New Releases for May 11, 2018
CDs + Vinyl:
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Arctic Monkeys return with their sixth album, entitled Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Produced by longtime collaborator James Ford and frontman Alex Turner, the highly anticipated 11-track effort was recorded in Los Angeles, Paris and London. “The first Arctic Monkeys album in five years is lush and claustrophobic at the same time – it calls to mind a guy going a little nutty in a small room in a nice house on a hill, constructing a fantasy world in his head and setting his visions to piano” (Rolling Stone). “The album’s title is a fitting one: this record feels a lot like gazing into the night sky. At first it’s completely overwhelming – you’ll be trying to connect the scattered dots on this initially impenetrable listen, and maybe even despairing when it doesn’t all come together. But when the constellations show through, you’ll realize that it’s a product of searingly intelligent design” (NME). [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Bad Wolves – Disobey CD (Eleven Seven Music)
From their massive cover of The Cranberries “Zombie”, driving anthems like “No Masters” to the syncopated Faith No More-worthy rocker “Better The Devil,” Bad Wolves’ new album Disobey showcases elements of rock, metal, hip-hop and progressive rock into a unique amalgam of music that is infectious. [Vinyl edition due May 25.]
Beach House – 7 CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Beach House released B-sides And Rarities in 2017, which served as a proverbial “cleaning out the closet” to pave way for a new creative process. Their approach in the creation of 7 was rebirth and rejuvenation. “Looking back, there is quite a bit of chaos happening in these songs, and a pervasive dark field that we had little control over. The discussions surrounding women’s issues were a constant source of inspiration and questioning. The energy, lyrics and moods of much of this record grew from ruminations on the roles, pressures and conditions that our society places on women, past and present. ” – Beach House
The Body – I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer. CD/LP+2xMP3 (Thrill Jockey)
With each release, the duo of Lee Buford and Chip King continue to defy the constraints of what it means to be a “heavy” band, seamlessly combining composition or production approaches from hip hop, pop, classical, as well as rock and electronica resulting in a rich and utterly singular sound. On I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer The Body challenged themselves again by turning their compositional approach on its head, choosing to build the record on their own samples rather than recording the basic tracks of drums and guitars and processing those.
Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon CD/LP+MP3 (Atlantic)
Named after a Georgian gully that Dave Cobb often visited as a teenager, the singer/songwriter’s sophomore release Providence Canyon is an evocative, electrified album about a life lived on the run. There are road songs, half-lit drinking tunes, tributes to friends and family, and nostalgic nods to one’s younger years. There are songs about returning home and songs about getting the hell out of dodge. Gluing everything together is the unforced country croon and sharp songwriting of Cobb, who credits his recent touring history for inspiring the album’s quicker pace.
Ry Cooder – The Prodigal Son CD/LP (Fantasy)
Recorded in Hollywood, CA, and produced by Ry Cooder and his chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder, The Prodigal Son is all America – our spiritual, hopeful voices, our raw cries and our sly provocations, voiced through the songs of the Pilgrim Travelers, The Stanley Brothers, Blind Willie Johnson, and Ry Cooder himself. The album’s 11 tracks, including three Cooder originals and a carefully selected collection of his favorite spirituals of the last century, share a particular resonance in this time and place, forming an unflinching look at the state of play in modern America. “I do connect the political/economic dimensions with the inner life of people, since people are at risk and oppressed on all sides in our world today,” Cooder states. “There’s some kind of reverence mood that takes hold when you play and sing these songs. ‘Reverence’ is a word I heard my granddaughter’s nursery school teacher use, a Kashmiri woman. She said, ‘We don’t want to teach religion, but instill reverence.’ I thought that was a good word for the feeling of this music.”
Jerry Garcia – Before The Dead 4xCD/5xLP (Caroline)
A rare collection of the earliest known performances by Jerry Garcia. From an informal and intimate 1961 performance of simple folk songs at a birthday party with future songwriting partner Robert Hunter to more polished coffeehouse gigs with old-timey and bluegrass bands through 1964, Before The Dead showcases Garcia’s deep study of the folk music tradition and its influence on his musical journey leading to the formation of the Grateful Dead.
Dave Holland – Uncharted Territories CD (Dare2)
Uncharted Territories brings together a quartet of some of the best players in forward-thinking jazz. Joining Holland on this recording are saxophonist Evan Parker, drummer Ches Smith and pianist Craig Taborn. The epic-length album finds the group breaking off into various permutations, and coming back together again for quartet performances. [Vinyl edition due July 20.]
Mark Kozelek – Mark Kozelek CD (Caldo Verde)
The first of two albums Kozelek has planned for 2018, Mark Kozelek is comprised of 11 songs that were recorded in hotel rooms around San Francisco, including the previously released “This Is My Town” and “My Love For You.”
La Luz – Floating Features CD/LP (Hardly Art)
References to dreams abound on Floating Features. “Loose Teeth” catalyzes nightmare fuel into a propulsive, intentionally-disorienting collision of honeyed harmonies and Takeshi Terauchi-esque jetstreams of distorted surf guitar. Only La Luz could conjure up Floating Features’ Leone-on-LSD vibes, and the album finds the L.A. band at the height of their powers – golden rebels in a golden dream.
Loreena McKennitt – Lost Souls CD/LP+MP3 (UMe)
Loreena McKennitt’s first release of original material since 2006, Lost Souls is a rich tapestry of contemporary thoughts woven with threads from the Celts to the Bedouins, stitched with the sounds of a diverse collection of musical voices, including nyckelharpa, a military band and flamenco guitar.
John Mellencamp – Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre CD+DVD/CD+Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
“Try to keep it as plain spoken as possible…” those are some of the first words the viewer hears in Plain Spoken: From The Chicago Theatre. A self-narrated musical journey, the film encapsulates the sound and soul of John Mellencamp. Stepping outside the boundaries of a concert film or documentary, Plain Spoken blends highly personal voice-overs from Mellencamp with live footage of him performing with his full band at the historic Chicago Theatre, just 250 miles from his native Indiana. He tells us the story of his Midwestern upbringing, the trials, turns and triumphs of his career, and his overall outlook on life while the music plays, supporting his stories.
Buck Owens and The Buckaroos – The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967-1970 CD (Omnivore)
Newly remastered, and featuring liner notes from Scott B. Bomar, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967–1970 presents the golden age of Buck Owens in an entirely new way. This is the second in a series chronicling every one of Buck’s historic Capitol singles from the ’50s, ’60, and ’70s. Taken from the original mono and stereo masters, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967–1970 collects the A- and B-side to all 18 singles from that period, including 14 Top Ten hits, in their original, chronological form. These are the records that made Buck Owens a legend and defined the Bakersfield Sound.
Charlie Puth – VoiceNotes CD (Atlantic)
VoiceNotes is the sophomore studio album from American pop singer-songwriter and producer Charlie Puth. “Charlie Puth’s silky falsetto made him a global star with the pop ballad ‘See You Again’, but his roots, he is quick to point out, are in jazz.’” – Gulf News Music
RSO – Radio Free America CD (BMG)
Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer Richie Sambora Teams with Female Guitar Goddess Orianthi (who has shared stages with the likes of Michael Jackson, Santana, Prince, and ZZ Top, and was the first female member of Alice Cooper’s band) for a collection of new music mixing blues, pop, rock, country and many more genres.
The Sea And Cake – Any Day CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
The Sea And Cake deliver a refreshingly intimate collection of elegantly arranged, singular pop songs. Any Day is testament to the group’s artistry, song craft, and utterly unique sound. The heart of the album’s instrumentation is Prewitt’s intriguing choice of guitar effects, sparingly used to enhance his counter melodies. The combinations create a wealth of textures from surprisingly few instruments.
Sevendust – All I See Is War CD/LP (Rise)
Twenty-four years into their career and still with all of their original members intact, veteran heavy rockers Sevendust offer up their twelfth studio album.
Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations CD/LP+MP3 (Wichita)
Simian Mobile Disco return with their fifth album and, never a pair of men to rest on their laurels, James Ford and Jas Shaw have switched things up this time by choosing to collaborate with London’s all-female, Deep Throat Choir. The end result is lush and sumptuous. Murmurations combines SMD’s unparalleled production talents across layers of synths and percussion with Deep Throat Choir’s unique brand of choral vocals.
Skinless – Savagery CD/LP (Relapse)
Death metal veterans Skinless return with their pulverizing sixth studio offering, aptly titled Savagery.
Strung Out – Black Out The Sky CDEP/12” (Fat Wreck Chords)
While Strung Out has made their name on intense, frenetic slabs of metal-influenced tech-punk, there is more to the band than meets the eye. It might come as a shock to learn that the band’s new eight-song EP, Black Out The Sky, is an acoustic affair, but as vocalist Jason Cruz explains, it’s not nearly as surprising for the band members. “Every song starts on an acoustic guitar for the most part,” Cruz notes. “If it’s a good song, it can be played acoustic. For about the past five years, I’ve been pushing the band to release a record in this format.”
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Miles Davis – Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits [Reissue/1969] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Limited vinyl LP repress including digital download. This Greatest Hits collection checks in with Davis in 1969 and collects career highlights recorded from 1955 to 1965 including landmarks like “So What,” “‘Round Midnight,” “E.S.P.,” “All Blues” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” among others.
J Dilla – Dillatronic 2xLP (Vintage Vibes)
Over 40 rare instrumentals that showcase Dilla’s undeniable electronic influences.
Eminem – Revival 2xLP (Aftermath/Interscope)
Released last December on CD – now available on vinyl. Eminem’s ninth album features guest contributions from Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, X Ambassadors, Skylar Grey, Kehlani, P!nk, and Phresher.
Grateful Dead – Cornell 5/8/77 5xLP (Grateful Dead Production)
The forces aligned for the Dead on May 8, 1977, at Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; for what many hail the pinnacle performance of their 30-year career. So revered is the performance, that an audience recording of this show joined Prince’s Purple Rain and Dolly Parton’s Coat Of Many Colors as 2012’s inductees into the National Recording Registry of the US Library Of Congress, an honor bestowed upon music/songs that “are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.”
John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness LP (Oh Boy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl.
Soundtrack – Black Panther: The Album (Music From & Inspired By…) 2xLP (Interscope)
Released in February on CD – now available on vinyl. Soundtrack to the Marvel film, curated by & featuring Kendrick Lamar on five tracks plus SZA, James Blake, Schoolboy Q, Vince Staples, Anderson Paak, The Weeknd and more.
Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night [Reissue/1974] LP (ANTI-)
Tom Waits – Night Hawks At The Diner [Reissue/1975] 2xLP (ANTI-)
180gm vinyl reissues. Limited colored pressings also available. The Heart Of Saturday Night is Waits’ second studio album. Recorded in front of a live audience at the Record Plant recording studio in Los Angeles in 1975, Nighthawks At The Diner debuts some of Waits’ greatest classics like “Warm Beer, Cold Women” and “Eggs And Sausage” with a crack jazz ensemble
backing him up and some of the greatest stage patter ever committed to record.