New Releases — March 15, 2019

New Releases for March 15, 2019

The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Born out of the band’s latest formation, To Believe is a creative partnership between founder Jason Swinscoe and longtime friend and collaborator Dom Smith, along with an extended family of regular bandmates and collaborators. Guided by a communal spirit, the changing members are consistent with their ethos, where no individual ego takes precedence. Guest vocalists include the art-soul singer Moses Sumney, legendary UK rapper Roots Manuva, longtime vocal collaborator Heidi Vogel and many more. To Believe is the product of a long period of gestation, a reflection of the kind of album they wanted to make – the kind of album, that is, they’ve always made: deep, textured, and layered with meaning. With artwork by The Designers Republic and mixed by 15-time Grammy Winner Tom Elmhirst, at the legendary Electric Lady studio built by Jimi Hendrix, it’s a masterful return that stands as their most definitive statement as a group.

The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery CD/LP (Impulse)
The Comet Is Coming – “an improvisational, intergalactic mash-up” (The Guardian) who were shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize in 2016 – is comprised of King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) on saxophone, Danalogue (Dan Leavers) on keys/synth, and Betamax (Max Hallett) on drums. With their new album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, the trio envisage a 21stCentury take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner. The trio are nothing short of alchemists, concocting a primordial stew of taut beats, sub-bass, and unhinged sax breaks. They paint pictures of astral planes and neon seas, with driving beats and celestial melodies. Listen to the pulsing “Blood Of The Past”, on which guest vocalist Kate Tempest delivers a state-of-the-universe address that somehow simultaneously summons the spirits of William Blake, Ian Dury, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, all with wide-eyed awestruck wonder.

The Faint – Egowerk CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
The group that ignited an electro-pop-punk movement is back with an 11-track deep-dive into themes on modern society, the internet, and ego – specifically social media and its dark effects. Opener “Child Asleep” echoes well-loved Faint singles from the Danse Macabre days, with rapid-fire techno beats that sear so hot, your forehead will break into a sweat regardless of proximity to a dance floor. And though the synths should sound familiar to any Faint follower, the song’s monotone message is at once classic and current. It’s been four years since The Faint dropped a proper studio album, and more than two decades since they first tore onto the Midwest scene, alongside area staples Cursive and Bright Eyes, with anxious electro-pop-punk anthems that meshed doomsday themes with thudding dance-floor hooks.

Fallujah – Undying Light CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
California progressive death metallers Fallujah swing upward and venture outward on new album, Undying Light. With new vocalist in Antonio Palermo (also of Underling fame) firmly in position and a no-filler, all-killer songwriting attack, Undying Light isn’t just the follow-up to 2016’s Dreamless, it’s a massive jump forward. Whereas Dreamless wandered intelligently and resonated lithely, new tracks such as “Glass House”, “Ultraviolet”, “Eyes Like The Sun”, and closer “Departure” find Fallujah stripped down, razor-sharp, and emotionally charged. [Limited purple/black splatter colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Foreigner – Live At The Rainbow ’78 DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
On April 27, 1978, after their self-titled debut album had spent a year in the US Top 20, AOR heroes Foreigner played a sold-out show at London’s legendary music venue, the Rainbow Theatre. Opening with “Long, Long Way From Home”, the band’s legion of fans were treated to a magnificent display of musicianship and performance, including the hit singles, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice”, as well as an exclusive preview of two tracks from the upcoming 1978 album, Double Vision.

Karen O & Danger Mouse – Lux Prima CD/LP (BMG)
Lux Prima is the first release from iconic Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O and legendary musician-producer Danger Mouse. The two originally met to discuss collaboration in 2007 as mutual admirers, but in 2015, they got serious and made a plan – entering the studio with no sonic parameters and a handful of references – Lux Prima was born. “Title track ‘Lux Prima’ is the first song we wrote for the record,” says O. “After making music for the past twenty years and embarking on making this record with Danger Mouse I knew a couple things: one was that the spirit of collaboration between us was going to be a pure one, and two was that the more I live the less is clear to me. When you create from a blurry place you can go places further than you’ve ever been. I think we both were excited to go far out.”

Snarky Puppy – Immigrance CD (Ground Up Music)
Immigrance, the twelfth Snarky Puppy studio album, is all about movement. “The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we’re all in a constant state of immigration,” explains Michael League. “Obviously the album’s title is not without political undertones.” Like the Grammy-winning Culcha Vulcha, Immigrance is a studio project, and it features most of the same musicians. And though it shares that project’s ace musicianship and dynamic, kinetic spirit, it is also rawer and moodier than its predecessor. Several of the compositions put a newfound emphasis on delivering simpler, streamlined impact. With Immigrance, Snarky Puppy is essentially practicing what it’s preached all along: People from different places can bring their various strengths and experiences, and that can be beautiful and cohesive. The band itself is a representation of that musical expression. [Vinyl edition due March 22.]

Todd Snider – Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 CD (Aimless)
After six years of making rock records, Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3’s folk influence marks a departure. The album was inspired by a recurring dream Todd Snider had involving Johnny Cash and was recorded at the legend’s Cash Cabin Studio. Snider has long been recognized as one of his generation’s most gifted and engaging songwriters, so it’s no surprise he has returned with a brilliant set of songs – and make no mistake, Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 contains some of his best work as a writer. But what really jumps out on the album is Snider’s growth as a musician and vocalist. He plays all the instruments on the record, and his guitar work and harmonica playing are nothing short of exceptional; not only full of feeling, but highly skilled. In regards to his guitar playing on the record, Snider says he wanted to take everything he’s learned over the past 30 years and play the way he used to play really well.

Sontalk – Stay Wild CD/2xLP (Sony Masterworks)
Stay Wild, the debut album from Sontalk, follows the personal trials and triumphs of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph LeMay. By way of familial candor and visceral vulnerability, the twelve tracks comprising Stay Wild chronicle LeMay’s journey of self-reflection, discovery, acceptance and ultimately, growth. The lead offering from Stay Wild, “Baby, I’m Gone”, fuses a stark and soulful vocal to sinewy acoustic guitar and a glitchy beat, with LeMay’s haunting voice echoing with powerful passion and plaintive poetry. “I Am A Mountain” serves as a dynamic apex and bookend to the first half of the album. With a loping pace and persistent driving beat, it illustrates the tired longing of the narrator, building to a heartbreaking crescendo that mimics the fallout of a failing relationship. Elsewhere, the album is grounded by LeMay’s powerful vocals and a delicate dissonance of multifarious sonic textures that range from distorted slide guitar transmissions, sequenced beats, vinyl samples and warm electronics.

Venom Prison – Samsara CD/LP (Prosthetic)
Rising death metal band Venom Prison returns with their blistering second album, Samsara. Named after the Buddhist concept of being reborn into a never-ending cycle of suffering, the album is as abrasive as we have come to expect from this UK based five-piece; as frenetic as their 2016 debut Animus but more confidently delivered. Samsara is also more aggressive, unashamed of dynamics. It recognizes that “in order to feel impact you must have suspense,” comments guitarist, Ash Gray. “To feel the hate and aggression behind low-ended discord you must feel the relief of layered melodic swells,” adds fellow guitarist Ben Thomas. With this approach, Samsara is a contrasting and confrontational offer that does not hold back. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Finn Andrews – Once Piece At A Time CD/LP (Nettwerk)
British/New Zealand musician, and lead singer and songwriter of The Veils, Finn Andrews reveals his most personal songwriting to date with the release of his first solo material. The resulting songs are some of the most profound and intimate pieces of work Andrews’ has done. Recorded at The Lab in Auckland, and co-produced by Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins), not only do the songs’ subject matter expose more of his life than before, Andrews also admits that their arrangements allowed for less to hide behind, showcasing his voice in a different way.

Blaqk Audio – Only Things We Love CD/LP (BMG Rights Management)
New album by Blaqk Audio by the electronic alter ego of AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget. The futurepop elements of Blaqk Audio have a greater representation on this album than they did on the last. Synthpop and electropop still make up most of the record, yet these tracks have a uniquely modern feel. [Limited edition picture disc vinyl pressing also available.]

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Brian Jonestown Massacre CD/LP (A. Records)
The non-stop Brian Jonestown Massacre machine rolls into 2019 with the release of their eighteenth full-length album, just seven months after 2018’s Something Else. The self-titled 9-track effort features Sara Neidorf on drums, Heike Rädeker (LeVent) on bass, Hákon Aðalsteinsson (BJM/Third Sound/Gunman & The Holy Ghost) on guitar and Newcombe on multiple instruments. Also making a guest vocal appearance on “Tombes Oubliées” is Friederike Bienert who has sung on previous BJM albums. [Limited 180gm clear vinyl in superb deluxe packaging also available.]

The Fall – Bend Sinister/The Domesday Pay-Off Triad-Plus! [Reissue/1986/1987] CD/LP (Beggars Banquet)
Bend Sinister is The Fall’s ninth studio album and it was originally released in 1986. It was the last of three albums in a row produced by John Leckie and was named after a dystopian novel by Vladimir Nabokov. “Part musical hypnotist, part ranting mad- man, Smith was a singular figure in post-punk. His Mancunian accent, dry witticisms and plays on words were one of the Fall’s most constant characteristics. Their songs were odysseys into his ever-verbose psyche, marked by repetitive rhythms and melodies.” – Rolling Stone

Jerry Garcia Band – Electric On The Eel 6xCD (ATO)
On August 29, 1987 Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia led both the Jerry Garcia Band and the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band for performances at French’s Camp On The Eel River in Piercy, California. Garcia would bring the JGB back to the scenic venue on June 10, 1989 and on August 10, 1991. The Electric On The Eel six-CD set collects these electric sets.

Vijay Iyer/Craig Taborn – The Transitory Poems CD (ECM)
Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn, two of creative music’s most resourceful players, learned to meld and mesh their artistic approaches inside Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory ensemble (as documented on Mitchell’s 2007 recording Far Side). Since then, Iyer and Taborn have continued to play concerts together. The Transitory Poems, recorded live at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest in March 2018, is their first duo album. A marvel of shared invention, it incorporates pieces offered as tributes to formative influences including pianists Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams and Geri Allen, and the painter and sculptor Jack Whitten.

Stephen Malkmus – Groove Denied CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Following hot on the heels of 2018’s Sparkle Hard comes Groove Denied, the rejected album Stephen has been telling everyone about. Groove Denied was written in Berlin and Oregon between Malkmus’ soundtrack to the Netflix series Flaked and Sparkle Hard. It finds Stephen in a playful, exploratory mode – recorded by himself in Oregon; Malkmus plays bass, organ, drum machines, a Roland 2080 and a Memorymoog alongside other instruments interspersed with loops and vocal effects. His first album as a solo artist since 2001, Groove Denied is a fine companion to Sparkle Hard, echoing the experimentation (Auto-Tune, genre-dabbling) found there.

Over The Rhine – Love & Revelation CD (Great Speckled Dog)
Critically acclaimed husband and wife duo Over The Rhine celebrates 30 years of making understated yet emotionally-charged music with Love & Revelation. Self-produced and releasing on their own Great Speckled Dog label, Over The Rhine’s first new music in four years finds the beloved duo in a deeply reflective place, contemplating both personal loss and the wavering of Americas collective compass. [Vinyl edition due April 12.]

Steve Reid featuring The Legendary Master Brotherhood ‎– Nova [Reissue/1976] CD/LP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
As a radical jazz artist, Steve Reid played with an extraordinary group of artists Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, James Brown, Ornette Coleman, Lester Bowie and many more. He began his career as a teenager in the 1960s as a drummer at Motown. Reid was born in the South Bronx and grew up in Queens, New York, three blocks away from John Coltrane. In 1969, Reid refused to enlist to the Vietnam war and was arrested as a conscientious objector and given a four-year prison sentence. Upon his release in 1974, he formed the Legendary Master Brotherhood and the independent record label, Mustevic Sound, to release his debut LP Nova.

Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad! CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
Stay Rad features lead single “I Wanna Be A Dog”, a perfect example of the snappy, punchy pop punk that this band has always excelled at.

DVDs + Blu-ray:

Foreigner – Live At The Rainbow ’78 DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
On April 27, 1978, after their self-titled debut album had spent a year in the US Top 20, AOR heroes Foreigner played a sold-out show at London’s legendary music venue, the Rainbow Theatre. Opening with “Long, Long Way From Home”, the band’s legion of fans were treated to a magnificent display of musicianship and performance, including the hit singles, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice”, as well as an exclusive preview of two tracks from the upcoming 1978 album, Double Vision.

Just on Vinyl:

Don Cherry – Brown Rice [Reissue/1975] LP (A&M)
On vinyl in the US for the first time since 1977, this 1975 release includes African, Indian, Arabic and ‘70s era Miles Davis style electric rock fusions. Featuring contributions from former Ornette Coleman bandmates Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, and liner notes from Stanley Crouch.

Devo – Turn Around: B-Sides & More (1978-1984) LP (Run Out Groove)
Limited 180gm colored vinyl LP pressing. Hard-to-find and unique tracks collected from 7” and 12” singles.

Hot Water Music ‎– The New What Next [Reissue/2004] LP (Epitaph)
Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. In 2019, Hot Water Music celebrates their 25th anniversary as a band and will tour the world performing tracks from their entire catalog. Epitaph Records has repressed three of the band’s albums on colored vinyl including 2001’s A Flight and A Crash, 2002’s Caution, and now, 2004’s The New What Next – Hot Water Music’s third album for Epitaph, and their last before a lengthy hiatus.

Jean Ritchie – Traditional Songs Of Her Kentucky Mountain Family [Reissue/1952] LP (Fantôme Phonographiq)
In the world of American folk music, Jean Ritchie was a truly unique presence. Most of the younger artists of the folk revival of the ’50s and ’60s were middle class urbanites and liberal arts college students who helped rediscover the older traditional artists of the South. Though these two groups intermingled at concerts and the younger artists idolized the true folk artists, Jean Ritchie was an anomaly in that she fit equally in each crowd.

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