New Releases for November 12, 2021
CDs + Vinyl:
Damon Albarn – The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows CD/LP (Transgressive/Harmonia Mundi USA)
The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows was originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. This last year has seen Albarn return to the music in lockdown and develop the work to 11 tracks which further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth. The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller. The album title is taken from a John Clare poem Love And Memory. Albarn says “I have been on my own dark journey while making this record and it led me to believe that a pure source might still exist.”
Jason Aldean – Macon CD (Broken Bow)
New release from the country music singer/songwriter. Macon is part one of his double ‘concept’ album – Georgia, the second half of the project, will be released in early 2022.
Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time CD/LP/Cassette (Mom + Pop)
Courtney Barnett is back with her third studio album, Things Take Time, Take Time, a finely woven collage of snapshots recorded at a time of creative renewal and deeper understanding. The work signals an exciting new chapter for a musician who is operating at the very peak of her powers and it sees her consolidating her place in the storied global lineage of ground-breaking and influential female singer-songwriters. Rolling Stone has already tipped their hat in high praise saying: “It just might be the most personal record yet from an artist who’s already given the world plenty of emotional truth.” [A limited-edition blue color vinyl pressing is also available.]
Borknagar – Borknagar [Reissue/1996] CD/LP (Century Media)
CD and vinyl reissue of the Norwegian progressive metal band’s debut album.
Eric Clapton – The Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions CD+DVD/CD+Blu-ray/CD+DVD+Blu-ray/2xBlu-ray/(Mercury Studios)
Eric Clapton’s The Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions captures a unique live performance by the music legend and his stellar band filmed during lockdown earlier in 2021. The Mercury Studios release features Clapton on top form with his longtime bandmates Nathan East (bass and vocals), Steve Gadd (drums), and Chris Stainton (keyboards). They perform acoustic versions of staples from Eric’s catalog and other numbers in blues and country styles. The project came about after the enforced cancellation of Clapton’s 2021 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. [Multiple configurations are available: the Deluxe Edition contains the DVD, Blu-ray and CD packaged in a 40-page 12″ x 12″ hardback photo book; a stand-alone Ultra 4k UHD + Blu-ray version; a CD+DVD version, and finally a CD+Blu-ray version.]
Come – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Expanded Edition 2xCD/2xLP (Fire)
In 1994 Come responded to the difficult-second-album stereotype with the hypnotic, intense and emotional masterpiece Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Featuring the original line-up of Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Sean O’ Brien and Arthur Johnson, the Boston band broadened their sound by slowing down the tempos and creating a dense urban stream of consciousness that mixes noise, city blues and catharsis. Lovingly remastered, this expanded edition includes Wrong Sides, an additional album’s worth of B-sides and unreleased tracks, including the band’s very first single “Car” and their last recorded song, “Cimarron”, featuring this core line-up.
Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Imposter CD/LP (Columbia)
On Imposter, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahah takes listeners on a personal journey of 12 meticulously chosen reimagined songs from across genres and time periods, including selections from Neil Young, Bob Dylan, PJ Harvey, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Lanegan, amongst others. One would be remiss to refer to Imposter as a cover album. Rather, Imposter is a story of songs, which Dave Gahan & Soulsavers listened to, studied, absorbed, and gave a new life.
Jerry Garcia Band – GarciaLive Volume 17: NorCal ’76 3xCD (ATO)
GarciaLive Volume 17 features highlights from three Jerry Garcia Band performances captured in their native Northern California during November 1976. Joined by fellow Grateful Dead members Donna Jean & Keith Godchaux along with John Kahn and Ron Tutt, Garcia has gone on record extolling the group’s harmonious sound, evident on classics like “Sugaree”, “Friend Of The Devil”, “Catfish John” and “How Sweet It Is”. The three-CD set contains over 2.5 hours of music sourced from original soundboard recordings.
Gov’t Mule – Heavy Load Blues CD/2xCD/2xLP (Fantasy)
“Woke up singing a dead man’s song…” is the opening line from the Warren Haynes original “Heavy Load,” a line of imagery that feels like the beginning of dirt. On Heavy Load Blues, the iconic American band puts their unique musical stamp on an incredible collection of blues covers and originals. Haynes, the leader of Gov’t Mule, hails from a Southern rock tradition of scruffy virtuosity. Gov’t Mule is Warren’s show, and the blues is the informing foundation, personal and universal. [A deluxe double-CD edition and a limited-edition indie store exclusive blue color vinyl pressing is available.]
Idles – Crawler CD/LP/2xLP (Partisan)
Idles return with their new album Crawler – an album of reflection and healing amid a worldwide pandemic that stretched the planet’s collective mental and physical health to the breaking point. Frontman Joe Talbot says, “We want people who’ve gone through trauma, heartbreak, and loss to feel like they’re not alone, and also how it is possible to reclaim joy from those experiences.”
The Legendary Shack Shakers – Cockadoodledeux CD/LP (Alternative Tentacles)
Now available on CD. Join those Legendary Shack Shakers as they mark their 25th anniversary as a band on Planet Earth. to celebrate the occasion, they’ve invited former members to help them record an all country & western album. From spaghetti western to bluegrass, western swing to rockabilly, Tex-Mex to country folk, the variety of the genre is on full display. Always ones to respect their history, the Shack Shakers have also included some Kentucky local legends to pick and grin.
Manchester Orchestra – Christmas Songs Vol. 1 CDEP (Loma Vista)
A collection of eight holiday classics reimagined earnestly and passionately by beloved indie rock stalwarts Manchester Orchestra. Familiar, inclusive, and the essence of holiday spirit, regardless of one’s beliefs: “Intro”, “Silent Night”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, White Christmas”, O Holy Night”, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, “Outro”. [A limited-edition red color vinyl edition is due November 19.]
Joni Mitchell – Joni Mitchell Archives, Volume 2: The Reprise Years 1968-1971 5xCD (Rhino)
The tracks on Archives Volume 2 have been sequenced chronologically to follow Mitchell in real time through one of the most creative periods of her career. The collection uncovers several unreleased Mitchell originals, including “Jesus” recorded in 1969 at her friend Jane Lurie’s New York apartment in Chelsea, which also served as the setting for the song “Chelsea Morning”. Other highlights include Mitchell’s performance at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa on March 19, 1968, that was recorded by Jimi Hendrix and a concert at the Paris Theatre in London on October 29, 1970, that was broadcast on the BBC. The latter includes several songs destined to appear on Blue the following year: “Carey”, “River” and “My Old Man”. In addition, singer-songwriter James Taylor joined Mitchell to perform with her during the second half of the show.
Nirvana – Nevermind (30th Anniversary) 2xCD/LP+7”/5xCD+Blu-ray (Geffen)
Remastered 30th Anniversary edition of Nirvana’s generation-defining sophomore album. Originally released in 1991 and produced by Butch Vig, it was Nirvana’s major label debut, as well as the first to feature drummer Dave Grohl. The double-CD reissue includes a bonus CD containing live recordings from the Nevermind tour. The (very limited) vinyl reissue includes a bonus 7” single containing “Endless, Nameless” with B-sides “Even In His Youth” and “Aneurysm.” The Super Deluxe edition contains adds four complete concerts on the Nevermind Tour from Amsterdam, Melbourne, Tokyo and Del Mar, California. Additionally, a Blu-ray of the complete Live In Amsterdam concert video (newly remastered in HD) is included along with a 40-page hardcover book with unreleased photos. [A value-added lithograph is available on a first come, first served basis.]
NRBQ – Dragnet CD/LP (Omnivore)
NRBQ, one of the greatest, most versatile American bands of the last 50 years, returns with their first full-length release since 2014. In addition to their version of the Dragnet theme, the album contains 10 new, original songs, all of which were written or co-written by the band – including Terry Adams’ “Sunflower”, which was originally recorded for the 2018 film Change In The Air. Any release of NRBQ music is a cause for celebration, but after nearly a decade since their last full-length studio release, Dragnet brings the band back to the turntables and live venues of America.
Elvis Presley – Back In Nashville 4xCD/2xLP (Sony Legacy)
What turned out to be Elvis Presley’s final Nashville session brought music that was originally overlooked. The original recordings found their way on the holiday themed Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas (1971), the gospel He Touched Me (1972), Elvis Now (1972) and Elvis (1973). Yet, to hear this music, a half century after it was recorded – now wiped of overdubs – reveals some of the most compelling singing of Presley’s career. There may not be a better set of tracks in his catalog that benefits more from un-dubbing the masters. No longer weighted down, Elvis shines. [The four-CD box set collects 82 tracks; the abridged double-LP gathers 21.]
R.E.M. – New Adventures in Hi-Fi: 25th Anniversary Edition 2xCD/2xLP (Craft Recordings)
First released in September 1996, New Adventures In Hi-Fi endures as one of R.E.M.’s most acclaimed albums and stands as a favorite among band members and fans alike. Recorded at the height of their fame, it is R.E.M.’s final album with drummer and founding member Bill Berry, who left the group amicably the following year. Perhaps most remarkable, however, is that New Adventures in Hi-Fi found the band taking a unique creative approach: writing and recording much of the LP on the road, during their 1995 Monster tour. [The double-CD edition features 13 B-sides and rarities. A double-CD + Blu-ray version is due November 19.]
Jake Shimabukuro – Jake & Friends CD/2xLP (Music Theories)
Jake & Friends, the second Jake Shimabukuro album with Mascot, sees the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele, the Michael Jordan of his instrument (he has done a “Master Class” like Malcolm Gladwell and Serena Williams) in the company of a multi-generational cast – from Willie Nelson and Bette Midler and Jimmy Buffett to Ziggy Marley and Billy Strings and Willie’s son Lukas. Four years in the making, Jake & Friends is loaded with new songs and favorite classics of all genres.
Amanda Shires – For Christmas CD/LP (Silver Knife)
New holiday release from the Americana singer, songwriter, and 400 Unit fiddle player. The 11-track offering feature nine originals and two covers: one of Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and the other of “Silent Night”. While the latter choice may give off the impression of a generic Christmas album sitting next to the register at Starbucks, Shires’ original “Gone For Christmas” quickly dispels that impression. “‘Gone for Christmas’ is a truth,” Shires said. “You’re going to ask for things for Christmas, so what do you really want? I liked the idea of the outlandish mixed with how you actually feel. We actually feel like, ‘Oh my, I’m so tired of all this sh*t, and I want a different scene.’ But maybe you don’t want really that, but you just want to say extreme things. I was thinking of the ultimate Christmas list, and then at the end, I was thinking about how most of the items on it were impossible.”
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars + Anderson.Paak with Special Guest Host Bootsy Collins) – An Evening With Silk Sonic CD (Atlantic/WEA)
An Evening With Silk Sonic is a collaborative project featuring Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak. The seeds of the collaboration were planted in 2017 when the two stars toured together in Europe. One late-night jam session on the road unlocked immediate chemistry. Just before the world slipped into quarantine, Bruno called Anderson: “Remember that idea we had back in 2017? Let’s do it.” One studio session grew into to a months-long collaboration, culminating the “setlist of doom”. Legendary Bootsy Collins christened Silk Sonic and came in as the “special guest host” for An Evening With Silk Sonic, their debut album.
Rod Stewart – The Tears Of Hercules CD/LP (Rhino)
Sir Rod Stewart’s rekindled love of songwriting grows even stronger on The Tears Of Hercules. This is Stewart’s fourth new album of original songs since 2013 – and his 31st album to date – and for this collection, Stewart wrote nine of the 12 songs, including the first single, “One More Time”. In addition to the new tracks, The Tears Of Hercules includes covers of Marc Jordan, Johnny Cash, and more.
Allen Stone – Apart CD/LP (ATO)
On his new album Apart, Washington-based singer/songwriter Allen Stone reimagines some of his most beloved songs to date, stripping each lavishly arranged track back to the very essence of its creation.
Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version) 2xCD/4xLP (Republic)
Swift’s re-recording of her 2012 album, Red includes nine unreleased songs from the vault. “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past. Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in passionate solidarity, or if it was simply time, but something was healed along the way… This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red. And hey, one of them is even ten minutes long.” – Taylor Swift
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou CD/LP+MP3 (Fingertips)
Vanishing Twin explore new ground on ‘Ookii Gekkou’ incorporating elements of Afrofunk, outer jazz and avant-garde, all while referencing Sun Ra to Alice Coltrane, Martin Denny to Morricone, Can’s Holger Czukay to meditative Gamelan, or The Free Design, to library music of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Locked into their strangely accessible groove is a history of ‘other’ sound, a crafted hauntology that evinces something completely new.
Walk The Moon – Heights CD (RCA)
Heights is the fifth studio album by pop rock band Walk The Moon. This is the band’s first album as a trio, without bassist Kevin Ray who parted ways with the band in December 2020. [Vinyl edition due December 10.]
Abbath – Outstrider [Reissue/2019] LP (Season Of Mist)
Limited clear vinyl pressing. Outstrider sees a maturation in sound, delivering a tighter, well-rounded offering from the Norwegian black metal band as they come into their own identity. While there are moments that certainly channel the frosty hallmarks of Immortal, there is no danger of Abbath repeating that formula. Abbath draws from NWOBM and melodic influences, adding a fresh new flavor to the sound that the band’s founder came to define. Oustrider consists of eight, crushing original songs and concludes with a fiery Bathory cover.
Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters 2xLP (Interscope)
Recently reissued on CD – now available on vinyl.
The Eagles – Live At The Forum ’76 2xLP (Elektra)
Live At The Forum ’76 features ten songs recorded in the Fall of 1976, just prior to the release of Hotel California. The tracks make their vinyl debut, as they were previously only available on CD and digitally as part of 2017’s 40th Anniversary Edition of Hotel California. The live music takes up three sides while the D-side features an etching of t
Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell LP+MP3 (Sargent House)
Released last week on CD – a limited-edition indie store exclusive white color vinyl pressing is now available. Emma Ruth Rundle’s new album Engine Of Hell is stark, intimate, and unflinching. For anyone that’s endured trauma and grief, there’s a beautiful solace in hearing Rundle articulate and humanize that pain not only with her words, but with her mysterious language of melody and timbre. The album captures a moment where a masterful songwriter strips away all flourishes and embellishments in order to make every note and word hit with maximum impact, leaving little to hide behind.