New Releases for March 1, 2019
Citizen Cope – Heroin And Helicopters CD/LP (Rainwater Recordings)
Comprised of eleven new, original songs all written and produced by Citizen Cope, Heroin And Helicopters serves as his first album in seven years and marks a return to a grassroots approach to musicianship, one that’s colored by hard work, hustle and heart, irrespective of the obstacles he’s encountered throughout 25 years as a career artist. Cope came up with the title after an encounter with Carlos Santana: “stay away from the two H’s – heroin and helicopters,” Santana told him. The LP tackles Cope’s personal struggles with religion, political manipulation, hollowness in the entertainment world, and spiritual enlightenment, as he contends with his own role in those societal institutions. It opens with “Duck Confit”, a poetic spoken word piece backed by 808 kicks and an ominous organ. “The River” is a slow-burning reflection on tyrannical systems that betray and oppress. Quiet stand-out “On My Love” is a stark, heart-wrenching tribute to Cope’s daughter Lula, and an attempt on Cope’s part to pass his life’s lessons on to her.
Criminal Hygiene – Run It Again CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Formed in 2011, Criminal Hygiene is a Los Angeles-based quartet comprised of founding member Michael Fiore (vocals, guitars, keys), Michael Hiller (vocals, bass, guitars) and Sean “Birdman” Erickson (drums, percussion) and bassist Cameron Ward. Their second album, Run It Again is a 10-song set that shines a fresh light on a raw sort of garage rock, full of melody, smart lyrics and hooks for days. When it comes to influences, the band cites everything from Johnny Thunders to The New York Dolls, The Clash and Wire. Television and Richard Hell. Minneapolis stuff like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, The Suicide Commandos and The Suburbs. Big Star. Guided By Voices. Fleetwood Mac. Fugazi. The Pixies. Nirvana. Pavement. The Shins. Wilco. Marshall Crenshaw. Tommy Keene. Not to mention the classic rock they all heard via their parents.
Delicate Steve – Till I Burn Up CD/LP (ANTI-)
Some of the first people to recognize Delicate Steve’s (aka Steve Marion) unique musical talents were renowned artists such as David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Dr. Dog, and elder statesmen like Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill. Steve is likely the only guitarist who has cut records with Sondre Lerche and Death Grip’s Zach Hill, been handpicked to open a sold out North American tour for Tame Impala and then provided guitar for a Paul Simon record. Now the acclaimed guitarist is back with his fifth solo studio album, Till I Burn Up. “On the (mostly) instrumental albums he’s released as Delicate Steve, Marion’s guitar playing is always in the spotlight, but never hogging it – rather, his luminous leads form the emotional undercurrent around which everything else flows. What makes Marion a guitar hero isn’t just his technical wizardry, but his music’s mission to help you through dark times.” – Pitchfork
Frankie and The Witch Fingers – ZAM CD/2xLP (Greenway)
Frankie and The Witch Fingers’ fifth LP, ZAM, bleeds beyond borders and boundaries. Its opening preternatural sounds bubble up out of the primordial soup, spilling into our world, invading the inner recesses of the listener’s mind. Like a two-headed snake wrapped around the skull, the album pendulates between winding instrumentals and dancey riffs that pop like supernovas out of the black void. Just when a song goes one way, it propels another through long stretches of a cosmic inferno. Bringing glimmers of krautrock and funk, its eleven tracks unleash a versatile and tenacious weight, slithering between the sexy, the aggressive, the vivacious, and the disorienting – until the living invasion is felt – ZAM, a supernatural entity summoned by four madmen obsessed with tearing open a gateway to dark space. After being pulled apart atom-by-atom, the listener is reconfigured on the other side, born unto starry wasteland. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl edition also available.]
Hand Habits – Placeholder CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Meg Duffy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and cut her teeth as a session guitarist and touring member of Kevin Morby’s band. The Hand Habits project emerged after Meg moved to Los Angeles; it started as a private songwriting outlet but soon evolved into a fully-fledged band with Meg at the helm. Hand Habits’ debut album, Wildly Idle was entirely self-produced and recorded in Meg’s home during spare moments when they weren’t touring. Wildly Idle is a lush, homespun collection of folk songs that found Meg in an exploratory state as an artist moving out on their own for the first time. Two years later, Hand Habits has returned with their sophomore album, Placeholder. To make this album, Meg chose to work in a studio and bring in collaborators, entrusting them with what had previously been a very personal creative process. Over the course of 12 tracks, Meg emerges with new confidence as both a bandleader and singer. This album is as tender and immediate as anything Meg’s ever written, but it’s also intensely focused and refined, the work of a meticulous musician ready to share their singular vision with the world.
Hozier – Wasteland, Baby! CD/2xLP+MP3 (Columbia)
Wasteland, Baby! is the sophomore album from Grammy-nominated Irish singer-songwriter Hozier. The 14-track collection is released on the heels of his September 2018 EP, Nina Cried Power whose title track is also included on Wasteland, Baby! and features vocals from Mavis Staples and instrumentation by Booker T. Jones. The track was highlighted as one of President Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2018. “I think musically it’s a logical step forward from previous records” Hozier told NPR. “The influences are all still there—the influence I had growing up—blues music and soul music, etc. Thematically, not that it was intentional, but it’s informed quite a bit by the political climate of the last 12 months, 18 months. I hope it’s taken with a bit of a pinch of salt. There is a kind of wry smile to the work, but it takes place with a great shadow hanging over, I suppose the end of the world kind of hanging over the album a little bit. But that is enjoyed in the best way possible. It’s a hard one to describe. There’s even optimism in that, and a lot of the work is very hopeful and very warm, but it still takes place in a very desperate place.”
Yves Jarvis – The Same But Different Means CD/LP (ANTI-)
Yves Jarvis is a recasting of Montreal-based musician Jean-Sebastian Audet. Audet previously created under the name Un Blonde. Each aspect of Audet’s work is immensely personal, and Yves Jarvis reflects this literally. Yves is Audet’s middle name, while Jarvis is his mother’s last name. His music is idiosyncratic neither by design or by chance; it just is. It mutates and shifts, as he does, through cycles and phases. Yves Jarvis new record, The Same But By Different Means, is a new cycle. With it, Audet continues to create music that is at once warm, haunting, and unfamiliar while remaining singularly inviting and kind – a mélange that reflects both comfort and its counterpart. Un Blonde’s 2017 LP Good Will Come To You was celebrated universally for those things that make Audet’s work compelling: careful folk noir, tender R&B flourishes, pillowy vocal beds that somehow seem to neither begin nor end, and a punkish ambivalence towards saccharine melodics that traditionally dominate the previous three structures.
Little Simz – Grey Area CD/LP (AGE101/AWAL)
Simbi Ajikawo, crowned Little Simz, let’s her work do the talking – and her prolific releases and boundary-breaking achievements clearly tell a story of a pioneering hip-hop artist who leads the way on her own terms. Giving lauded, energetic performances, critically acclaimed albums, sold-out headline shows around the world, and international tours with the likes of Gorillaz, Anderson.Paak and Ab-Soul, this visionary 24-year-old woman from North London is living out her childhood dreams to heights of excellence – and inspiring her generation to do the same. “While her last album, Stillness In Wonderland, brave and huge in scope, was certainly incomparable to anything else at the time, it’s also possible that she just needed some bigger tunes. On Grey Area, those are in abundance. It swings. It grooves. It’s not bogged down by a self-consciously poetic concept. And it feels like a record rather than a showcase, anchored by the production work of Simz’s childhood friend Inflo. He is the Timbaland to her Missy and gives her songs the glue they needed. There are big, chunky breaks, fat funk dollops, the crackle of US soul, touches of cosmic jazz and cinematic strings – also reminiscent of Adrian Younge’s work with Ghostface Killah. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Mansionair – Shadowboxer CD/2xLP (Liberation/Glassnote)
Sydney-based, genre-bending trio Mansionair release their debut album, the long-awaited Shadowboxer. It was written and self-produced over a three-year period – in living rooms, studios, a garage in inner-city Sydney, and finally a cabin in the Californian mountains – in between the band’s travels and touring. It’s the culmination of a journey that started with a viral hit single – “Hold Me Down” – and led to high profile collaborations, a Grammy-nomination, ARIA and Billboard charting singles and several major support tours (CHVRCHES, Florence & The Machine, London Grammar and Bob Moses). But it’s also an album reflective of everything the band were going through personally and creatively – from mental health to sickness, relationship breakdowns to the ordinary coming-of-age struggles of youth.
Masked Intruder – III CD/LP (Pure Noise)
Masked Intruder, the ski-mask clad, pop-punk felons from Madison, WI have escaped from prison for the release of the new album III, their third full-length. For the new effort, the band – Intruder Blue, Intruder Green, Intruder Red and Intruder Yellow – recruited lead producer/engineer Roger Lima (Less Than Jake) as well as co-producer Mike Kennerty (The All-American Rejects). Whether it comes to stealing hearts or wallets, Masked Intruder have upped their game on III in every way and it seems as if even Officer Bradford can’t hold them back, although we’re sure he’ll try. Speaking about the follow up to 2016’s EP Love And Other Crimes, vocalist/guitarist Invader Blue said: “Our songs aren’t just about the feelings and situations that they describe but they’re supposed to hopefully help other people think about and reflect about their own situations.” Includes the rippin’ lead single “No Case”. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl edition also available.]
Royal Trux – White Stuff CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Royal Trux’s first album of new songs since 2000’s Pound For Pound not only maintains the magic chemistry between Jennifer Herrema (vocal, Moog, guitar, melodica) and Neil Hagerty (vocal, guitar) but expands upon it greatly with their natural ability to give us something unexpected, necessary, and truly unique. Their own formidable and informed imaginations…the same two creative minds that brought us (to name a few) Twin Infinitives, Cats And Dogs and Accelerator, are present in the unadulterated, exhilarating energy that has the album listed on most highly anticipated albums of 2019 lists. Royal Trux find innovation in their Bitches Brew aesthetic which now defines the standard mash-up approach so commonly ascertained and claimed by the majority of musicians that whether cognizant or not have followed in Trux’s very large footsteps: “everything in the pot whether you like it or not,” deriving from world music, punk rock, jazz, metal, electronic, southern, teeny-bop and all the rest. In the tradition of the blues, through appropriation and re-evaluation, Royal Trux changed the way we think of music. Their return is nothing short of glorious. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl edition also available.]
Teen – Good Fruit CD/LP+MP3 (Carpark)
If Teen’s 2016 album Love Yes was a bursting, harmony-infused synthpop thesis on embracing love, then its follow-up, the even more joyous and melodic Good Fruit, is its opposite, a look at what happens after love fades. The Lieberson sisters – Teeny, Lizzie, and Katherine – have, with their fourth album, crafted a dynamic, hook-stuffed take on the oft-trodden breakup album; as on prior releases, there are frequent meditations on death, capitalism, and womanhood. While recording Good Fruit, the sisters employed a self-described “reductive approach,” strove to create space within their songs, and, for their first time, self-produced the album (save a few co-productions from Francis, who also played on some songs). These techniques explode the glistening, sprinting glamour of “Only Water”, a deceptively upbeat number about death and the loss of a loved one. They inform Good Fruit’s handful of ballads too, including “Pretend”, which rings with a vast, unsettling static fuzz even as Lizzie beautifully recounts the disappointment of realizing a partner wasn’t all she’d built them up to be.
Twin Temple – Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound… Satanic Doo-Wop) CD/LP/Cassette (Rise Above)
Everybody knows that the Devil has all the best tunes. From Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads to the blood-soaked black metal of Norway, Satan has long loomed large over the music world, striking fear into the hearts of the sanctimonious. But nothing that has gone before will prepare you for the arrival of Twin Temple: Los Angeles’ one and only purveyors of Satanic doo-wop. Devout Satanists and meticulous preservers of rock ‘n’ roll’s ancient, timeless spirit, this black-clad and effortlessly stylish duo has created a sound that blends their Satanic ideology with the irresistible sass and melody of classic ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll. The result is Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop), a debut album that not only serves to salute the Dark One, but also delivers some of the catchiest and coolest music to emerge from any genre in years. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Nick Waterhouse – Nick Waterhouse CD (Innovative Leisure)
Nick Waterhouse’s eponymous fourth album was recorded at the finest working studio in Los Angeles, Electro Vox Recorders, and co-produced by Paul Butler (The Bees, Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart), the master of all things warm, rich and wooly. Nick’s songs here are personal, but personal in the way that “Please Mr. Postman”, “What’s Going On” and “Cathy’s Clown” are – intimate, direct, yet still malleable enough for listeners to suffuse their own life stories into the mix. The album is thick with talented players, including Andres Rentaria, Paula Henderson and the staggering, howling saxophone of Mando Dorame. All of the new Waterhouse songs sound big. Brawny and muscular. The lyrics are suspicious, outraged and, at times, very vulnerable (muscle is just flesh, after all). Waterhouse uses an economy of words to deliver complex, coded messages. He offers up equal parts criticism of the time we live in and innate human flaws. [Vinyl edition due March 8.]
Reese Wynans and Friends – Sweet Release CD (J&R Adventures)
Over the last five decades, you might have found Reese Wynans cutting his teeth with the early nucleus of the Allman Brothers Band. Taking the stage with Boz Scaggs. Saving the ‘80s blues scene with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble. Bringing the blues to the people with Joe Bonamassa. Adding his thumbprint on piano and B3 to the work of Larry Carlton, Delbert McClinton, Los Lonely Boys – and hundreds more. During a celebrated career that recently saw him inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the one omission on Wynans’ résumé was that this fabled keys man had never released a solo record – until now. Sweet Release is the album we always knew Wynans had up his sleeve: a glorious collision of stellar musicianship, classic material given fresh mojo and a glittering roll-call of star guests – including Keb’ Mo’, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Warren Haynes and Joe Bonamassa himself on production – that confirms the deep respect Wynans commands on the scene. [Vinyl edition TBA.]
Bonobo – Fabric Presents Bonobo CD/2xLP (Fabric)
Ushering in an exciting new era for the label, nightclub, and mix series, Bonobo opens the Fabric Presents series. His highly textural aesthetic translates into an ethos that looks to introduce a more open musical palette for the label. His mix features Roach from his rare pop-up alias Barakas and employs multi-instrumental arrangements in this 74 minutes of house, techno, electronica, and breakbeat.
Tommy Castro and The Painkillers – Killin’ It – Live CD/LP (Alligator)
A soul-satisfying romp with blustery blues, gritty R&B and hard-charging roadhouse rock, the set list includes fan favorites from throughout Tommy’s career.
Della Mae – The Butcher Shoppe EP CDEP (Rounder)
Comprised of cover songs and three brand new original compositions, The Butcher Shoppe EP highlights the band’s genre-bending virtuosity: from traditional bluegrass standards to classic southern rock. This EP also serves as Della Mae’s welcome back from hiatus, and features a number of guest performers including legendary banjo player Alison Brown, rising star/guitarist Molly Tuttle, and original bandmate/guitarist Avril Smith.
John Hartford – Backroads, Rivers & Memories: The Rare & Unreleased John Hartford CD (Real Gone Music)
Licensed directly from the John Hartford estate, Backroads, Rivers & Memories: The Rare & Unreleased John Hartford features three live radio cuts from 1964, and 16 beautifully rendered 1965-1969 songwriter demos, including five Hartford newly-uncovered originals never heard before. Fan favorites include “This Eve of Parting” (from the recent indie hit film Lady Bird), the iconic “Gentle on My Mind”, and a brief recording of the first rehearsal of the bluegrass classic “Steam Powered Aereo Plain”.
In Flames – I, The Mask CD (Eleven Seven Music)
At this point, In Flames are less of a band than they are a musical institution in the heavy music world. Since helping create Sweden’s legendary “Gothenburg Sound” three decades ago to their current status as melodic metal monoliths, the act has constantly eschewed trends in order to forge their own musical path. This is ever evident on their thirteenth full-length I, The Mask, which sees them reuniting with multi Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Motörhead, The Used). [Vinyl edition due March 15.]
Durand Jones & The Indications – American Love Call CD/LP (Dead Oceans)
Durand Jones & the Indications aren’t looking backwards. Helmed by foil vocalists in Durand Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer, the Indications conjure the dynamism of Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, and The Impressions. Even with an aesthetic steeped in the golden, strings-infused dreaminess of early ’70s soul, The Indications’ sophomore LP, American Love Call, is planted firmly in the present, with the urgency of this moment in time.
Mark Morton – Anesthetic CD/LP (Spinefarm)
New album from the prolific Lamb Of God guitarist. Guest vocalists include Chester Bennington, Randy Blythe, Jacoby Shaddix, Myles Kennedy, Alissa White-Gluz, Mark Lanegan, Chuck Billy, Jake Oni, Josh Todd, Mark Morales and Naeemah Maddox. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – The Best of Everything: The Definitive Career-Spanning Hits Collection 1976-2016 2xCD/4xLP (Geffen)
This collection of personal favorites and important milestones is the first anthology to span Petty’s entire career, from the first album to Mudcrutch 2. The album contains 38 tracks including the hits “Free Fallin’, American Girl, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, You Wreck Me: and many more. The album also includes two unreleased tracks, “The Best of Everything (Alternate Version)” and the previously unreleased and unheard “For Real”.
Queensrÿche – The Verdict CD/LP (Century Media)
The Verdict features 10 brand new songs expanding upon 2015’s Condition Human. The album offers the finest heavy metal with a dark progressive edge and stellar melodies. Produced, mixed, and mastered by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Iced Earth, Hatebreed). Includes the tracks Blood of the Levant, Man the Machine, Inside Out, Dark Reverie, Bent, Inner Unrest and more. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Weezer – Weezer (The Black Album) CD (Crush Music)
Weezer (The Black Album) was produced by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, with whom the band worked for the first time. The album’s songs were entirely written on piano by frontman Rivers Cuomo for the first time in Weezer history, creating some of the most satisfyingly awesome songs in the entire hits-filled Weezer catalog. With band members switching up instruments in the studio, and choruses filtered through Sitek’s own encyclopedic musical references of everything from Gorillaz to Can to Pink Floyd, Weezer (The Black Album) is the bold next step in the winning streak of acclaimed albums they’ve released since 2014.
Dee White – Southern Gentleman CD/LP (Easy Eye Sound/Warner Music Nashville)
Twenty-year old Alabama native and country music newcomer, Dee White releases his debut album, Southern Gentleman via Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound. Making classic-minded country music for the modern world, NPR says White “is up to something very different than most others in the swelling ranks of young artists with vintage country tastes” and says the album has a “finesse and a distinctly introspective angle on masculinity, and he applies those qualities in such an exhilarating way that his music is likely to sneak up on listeners and make a lasting impact.” Southern Gentleman features performances by Alison Krauss, Ashley McBryde, and Dan Auerbach, who co-produced the album alongside David “Fergie” Ferguson.
Vinyl Only Releases This Week:
21 Savage – I Am > I Was 2xLP+MP3 (Epic)
Released last December on CD – now available on vinyl. The rapper’s second album features vocals by J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Schoolboy Q, Post Malone, Offset, Lil Baby, Gunna, and Travis Scott, among others.
Ry Cooder – Paris, Texas – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Reissue/1985] LP (Real Gone Music)
Limited white colored vinyl LP pressing. Seldom has any artist captured that ineffable high, lonesome sound quite as beautifully as Ry Cooder did on his landmark soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ 1984 film Paris, Texas. Not quite blues, not quite bluegrass, not quite ambient, Cooder’s haunting, evocative score mirrors the existential journey of Harry Dean Stanton’s Travis Henderson as he wanders through the empty Texas prairie landscape in pursuit of his irretrievable past.
Elizabeth Cotten – Folksongs And Instrumentals With Guitar [Reissue/1958] LP (Smithsonian Folkways)
Elizabeth Cotten’s 1958 debut album on Folkways is best known for containing the earliest recording of her classic “Freight Train”. The breadth of her repertoire and her endearing style have captivated generations of guitarists and fans of traditional American music. Cotten’s self-taught, upside-down, left-handed playing style on the guitar and banjo made her a true original.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Cyboogie b/w Acarine 7” (ATO)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with their first new music since 2017. “Cyboogie” is a step in a new direction for Gizz with five of the seven members playing synth on the track and not a guitar in sight. It’s an incredibly fun, upbeat disco boogie track reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, Devo, Trans era Neil Young and everything that is good.
The Runaways – The Best Of The Runaways [Reissue/1982] LP (Sony Legacy)
From the all-female rock band The Runaways comes an updated vinyl compilation featuring 13 of the band’s top hits. Best Of The Runaways includes remastered audio and the career defining single Cherry Bomb, the song that took singer Joan Jett’s career to the next level.
Tom Tom Club – Tom Tom Club [Reissue/1981] LP (Real Gone Music)
Limited white colored vinyl edition. The Talking Heads spawned a number of worthy side projects and spinoffs – David Byrne & Brian Eno’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Jerry Harrison’s The Red And The Black – but none were as funky, danceable, and flat-out fun as Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth’s Tom Tom Club.
Lucinda Williams – Happy Woman Blues [Reissue/1980] LP (Smithsonian Folkways)
Lucinda Williams, whose musical style defies easy categorization, recorded her first album of original songs in 1980, supported by a six-member band. Her songs are a mix of traditional and alternative country, folk, and blues that reflect her Louisiana roots.