New Releases for October 23, 2020
CDs + Vinyl:
Action Bronson – Only For Dolphins CD (Loma Vista)
“When Action Bronson emerged a decade ago, he was hailed as a paragon of formalist East Coast hip-hop: a buddha-sized trash-talker who kicked loquacious rhymes, toked on breakbeats, and paid tribute to New York tacos. But recent years have seen Bronson embrace something akin to Dame Dash’s octopus business strategy: keep eight revenue streams open at all times. These days, he moonlights as an author, has his own cooking show on Vice, pops up in movies like The Irishman, and dabbles in art. Beneath his growing celebrity remains a rapper, albeit one whose dedication to the form may be diluting as he spreads himself across multiple interests. Given Bronson’s expanding outlook, it seems suitable that Only For Dolphins is his most eclectic album yet. Once infatuated by the eternal truths of boom-bap, he now boasts a more diversified palette that includes 1960s Brazilian pop, Latin funk, lounge jazz, and reggae.” – Pitchfork [Vinyl edition due October 30.]
Beastie Boys – Beastie Boys Music CD/2xLP (Capitol)
Beastie Boys Music is a new 20-song collection covering the Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum selling Beastie Boys’ recording career. The release is a companion piece to the critically acclaimed documentary Beastie Boys Story, currently nominated for five Emmys, and the group’s best-selling Beastie Boys Book, which ascended to No. 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers List. Spanning the group’s 30 plus year career, the set includes “Fight For Your Right”, “Brass Monkey”, “Paul Revere” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” from their debut Licensed To Ill, “Shake Your Rump” and “Hey Ladies” from their 1989 reinvention Paul’s Boutique and “So What’Cha Want” and “Pass The Mic” from 1992’s Check Your Head.
Blue October – This Is What I Live For CD/LP (Up Down Records)
“These songs should make you want to fall in love with somebody, or miss somebody, or want to do something outrageous with your life,” says Justin Furstenfeld, vocalist and lyricist for the alt-rock band Blue October. He’s talking about the tracks on the quintet’s tenth studio album, This Is What I Live For, introduced by lead single, “Oh My My”.
Joe Bonamassa – Royal Tea CD/2xLP (J&R Adventures)
Joe Bonamassa is known for taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory throughout his wide-ranging career, but now he has found a new way to surprise his fans and music lovers. Inspired by his British guitar heroes Jeff Beck, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton and Cream and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Royal Tea brings Bonamassa full circle. These 10 original tracks were co-written by Joe and a cast of homegrown notables including former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, ex-Cream lyricist Pete Brown and national-treasure piano man Jools Holland.
Clipping – Visions Of Bodies Being Burned CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Visions Of Bodies Being Burned contains thirteen scary stories disguised as rap songs, incorporating as much influence from Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker, and Shirley Jackson as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung. Clipping are never critical of their cultural references. Their angular, shattered interpretations of existing musical styles are always deferential, driven by fandom for the object of study rather than disdain for it. Clipping reimagine horrorcore – the purposely absurdist hip-hop subgenre that flourished in the 1990s – the way Jordan Peele does horror cinema: by twisting beloved tropes to make explicit their own radical politics of monstrosity, fear, and the uncanny.
Luke Combs – What You See Ain’t What You Get [Deluxe Edition] CD (SME Nashville)
Deluxe expanded edition of the country singer/songwriter’s chart-topping, Platinum-certified sophomore album including five bonus tracks. [Vinyl edition due November 20.]
The Fall – The Frenz Experiment [Reissue/1988] CD/2xLP (Beggars Banquet)
Beggars Arkive reissue of The Fall’s tenth studio album, expanded with singles and B-sides.
John Frusciante – Maya CD/LP (Timesig)
John Frusciante releases the first instrumental electronic album under his own name on Aaron Funk’s Timesig label. The record is dedicated to his cat Maya who recently passed away, a fellow traveler in his otherwise solitary music making sessions. He says, “Maya was with me as I made music for 15 years, so I wanted to name it after her. She loved music, and with such a personal title, it didn’t seem right to call myself Trickfinger, somehow, so it’s by John Frusciante.”
Fuzz – III CD/LP (In The Red)
Charles Moothart, Ty Segall and Chad Ubovich are Fuzz. III was recorded and mixed at United Recording under the sonic lordship of Steve Albini. Keeping the focus on the live sounds of the band, the use of overdubs and studio tricks were kept to a minimum. Albini’s mastery in capturing sound gave the trio the ability to focus entirely on the playing while knowing the natural sounds would land. It takes the essential ingredients of guitar-based music and rock and roll power trio and puts them right out on the chopping block.
Melody Gardot – Sunset In The Blue CD (Verve)
Sunset In The Blue is an orchestral celebration of Melody Gardot’s jazz roots.
Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One CD/LP/2xLP+CD (WB)
Song Machine, Season One is Gorillaz’s newest concept which started in January 2020, releasing brand new material episodically – as and when it happens – and has continued throughout the year. The ongoing and ever-evolving process has seen our favorite characters joined by an expanding roster of collaborators captured live in Kong Studios and beyond. The result is an 11-track collection (and 17 on the Deluxe Edition) embracing a myriad of sounds, styles, genres and attitudes from a breath-taking line-up of guest artists including Beck, Elton John, Robert Smith, ScHoolboy Q, St. Vincent, Peter Hook, 6LACK, Leee John, Georgia, Ovtavian, Kano, Roxani Arias, Fatoumata Diawara, Slowthai and Slaves.
Ben Harper – Winter Is For Lovers CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
Ben Harper’s new album Winter Is For Lovers unfolds entirely without words. It is a profoundly emotional story told exclusively through the nuance of sound. The narration is provided by a single lap-steel guitar and the music references blues and folk as well as flamenco, Indian and classical, but it transcends any specific style. In that, the album philosophically evokes the American Primitive movement pioneered by John Fahey and Leo Kottke, utilizing masterful playing to create an impressionistic and affecting work.
I Don’t Know But They Found Me – Razzmatazz CD/LP (Fearless)
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me or iDKHOW is a new project led by Dallon Weekes (Panic! At The Disco). iDKHOW’s music is from a time when fashions were loud, melodies were infectious, and iconoclastic pop trailblazers broke through commercially without compromising artistically; those who didn’t succeed despite creative courage but because of it. iDKHOW channels the legendary spirits of ’60s garage, ’70s glam, ’80s new wave, and the early days of Britpop, merging the greatest strengths of bygone eras into a transcendent sound of the future. [Indie store exclusive white colored vinyl pressing available.]
Will Kimbrough – Spring Break CD/LP (Will Kimbrough)
Will Kimbrough has spent a lifetime writing songs and performing them, along the way becoming a respected recording artist, producer and musician. Kimbrough’s latest endeavor, Spring Break, is a solo acoustic record in the tradition of Folkways and Vanguard folk records. “Spring Break is a tip of the artistic hat to personal favorite solo singer-songwriter albums like Skip James Today!, Nebraska, Pink Moon and Mississippi John Hurt Today!; it’s one man, a guitar, National guitar or mandolin, a harmonica on a rack, his voice, his songs,” Kimbrough notes.
Adrianne Lenker – Songs And Instrumentals CD/LP (4AD)
Songs And Instrumentals are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April 2020 after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to COVID-19. After returning to the states from Europe, frontman Adrianne Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts. “I grew really connected to the space itself,” says Lenker. “The one room cabin felt like the inside of an acoustic guitar – it was such a joy to hear the notes reverberate in the space.”
Loma – Don’t Shy Away CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Don’t Shy Away is shot through with revelations, both joyful (“Given A Sign”) and sober (the clear-eyed title track), and winds from moment to moment with confidence and humor. Like Loma’s first effort, there’s a tangible and sensuous feeling of place; insects sing in the trees, an ill-fitting door creaks in the wind. But there’s also a daring and hard-won wisdom, underlined by Cross’s benevolent clarinet, which often sounds like an extension of her singing voice.
Mountain Goats – Getting Into Knives CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
On the first of March 2020, John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Matt Douglas, and Jon Wurster, aka The Mountain Goats band, visited legendary studio Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, TN. Darnielle armed his band with new songs and reunited with producer Matt Ross-Spang who engineered last year’s In League With Dragons. In the same room where The Cramps tracked their 1980 debut album, The Mountain Goats spent a week capturing the magic of a band at the top of its game. The result is Getting Into Knives, the perfect album for the millions of us who have spent many idle hours contemplating whether we ought to be honest with ourselves and just get massively into knives.
Pallbearer – Forgotten Days CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
Carefully plotted throughout 2019, the quartet’s fourth long player eschews the compositional maximalism that hoisted predecessor Heartless aloft for the heaviest groove and the most visceral hooks to come out of the Arkansans to date. Spread across eight towering tracks, Forgotten Days sees Pallbearer embracing their roots again, but this time with a doom-infused metallic spark that’s infectious and transcendent. Indeed, this album is everything a Pallbearer fan could love.
Pearl Jam – MTV Unplugged CD (Sony Legacy)
Released on vinyl for RSD Black Friday 2019 – now available on CD. Three days after completing their first American tour, Pearl Jam headed to New York to strip back songs from their debut album Ten, well on its way to becoming one of 1992’s top rock albums. The album features all seven songs in the MTV Unplugged broadcast.
Plants And Animals – The Jungle CD/LP (Secret City)
Montreal indie rock trio Plants And Animals drop their fifth studio album, The Jungle. Their shortest album yet and certainly their boldest, The Jungle is eight acts in a world full of noise. The album is autoproduced and was recorded at Mixart, their studio in Montreal. The Jungle starts with electronic drums that sound like insects at night. A whole universe comes alive in the dark. It’s beautiful, complex and unsettling. Systematic and chaotic. All instinct, no plan.
John Prine – Crooked Piece Of Time: The Atlantic & Asylum Albums (1971-1980) 7xCD (Elektra)
This limited seven-CD box set includes every studio album John Prine recorded between his debut in 1971 and 1980, presented in mini-LP sleeves: John Prine (1971), Diamonds In The Rough (1972), Sweet Revenge (1973), Common Sense (1975), Bruised Orange (1978), Pink Cadillac (1979) and Storm Windows (1980). The clamshell box also contains poster inserts and a 20-page booklet with new liner notes written by acclaimed music journalist David Fricke.
Sevendust – Blood & Stone CD (BMG)
Heavy metal legends Sevendust deliver their thirteenth studio album, Blood & Stone which sees the band working once again with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Tremont, Slash) who helmed 2018’s All I See Is War. From the pulsating intro of album opener “Dying To Live” to closer and single “The Day I Tried To Live”, Sevendust continue to push the sound they have made their own for more than 25 years.
Songhoy Blues – Optimisme CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Songhoy Blues has created a distinctive sound by blending Malian cross-rhythms with Western influences such as rock and punk alongside a uniquely virtuosic guitar style. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You CD/LP/2xLP (Columbia)
Letter To You is Bruce Springsteen’s new studio recording with the E Street Band and is a rock album fueled by the band’s heart-stopping, house-rocking signature sound. Recorded at his home studio in New Jersey, Letter To You is The Boss’ twentieth studio effort, and his first album with the E Street Band since 2012’s High Hopes and their first performances together since 2016’s The River Tour. Letter To You includes nine recently written Springsteen songs, as well as new recordings of three of his legendary, but previously unreleased, compositions from the ’70s, “Janey Needs a Shooter”, “If I Was The Priest”, and “Song For Orphans”. Springsteen is joined on Letter To You by Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons. [Indie store only deluxe grey colored double-LP edition available.]
This Is The Kit – Off Off On CD/LP (Rough Trade)
Kate Stables’ group This Is The Kit has created a name for themselves with songs that untangle emotional knots and weave remarkable stories. Off Off On is a beautifully clear distillation of Stables’ songwriting gifts. The songs are exquisitely astute, the album title suggesting life’s glitchy rhythms “two steps backwards, one step forwards. Swinging between good places and bad places inside and out.”
Wallows – Remote CDEP/12” (Atlantic)
Following the success of their debut album, Nothing Happens, and summer smash “Are You Bored Yet?” (feat. Clairo), Wallows release their new quarantine-made EP titled Remote. Lead track is quirky love song, Nobody Gets Me (Like You). It’s a sun-kissed ‘80s inspired bundle of joy which is upbeat and instant.
Steve Wynn – Decade 11xCD (Real Gone Music)
Steve Wynn first gained fame as lead singer and songwriter for the legendary Paisley Underground outfit The Dream Syndicate. Decade is an 11-CD set that chronicles, with lavish deluxe editions, the guitar-driven solo albums Wynn recorded between 1995 and 2005, most of which have been long out-of-print. 166 tracks, 57 of them totally unreleased, plus 31 other rarities.
The Allman Betts Band – Bless Your Heart 2xLP (BMG)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl.
Baroness – Red Album [Reissue/2007] 2xLP (Relapse)
Baroness – Blue Record [Reissue/2009] 2xLP (Relapse)
Baroness – Yellow & Green [Reissue/2012] 2xLP (Relapse)
Limited vinyl picture disc reissues of the stoner metal band’s first three albums.
Deradoorian – Find The Sun LP (ANTI-)
Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and sonic visionary Angel Deradoorian has never shied away from testing aural and conceptual boundaries in her work. Fusing elements of indie rock, world music, and dance rhythms, Deradoorian launched a solo career after making a name for herself collaborating with notable acts Dirty Projectors, Avey Tare of Animal Collective, and Flying Lotus.
Drive-By Truckers – Live From Austin, TX 2xLP (New West)
Double 180gm vinyl LP pressing features a new alternate cover printed on a high-quality gatefold jacket. The Drive-By Truckers Austin City Limits performance was recorded on September 23, 2008 during their Brighter Than Creation’s Dark tour. The band lineup featured Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Shonna Tucker, John Neff, Brad Morgan and Jay Gonzalez. Lauded by fans as an instant classic and hailed by Patterson Hood as the band’s best filmed performance to date, this acclaimed recording is now on vinyl for the first time.
Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist – Alfredo LP (ESGN)
After releasing the critically acclaimed Banada album in 2019, Freddie Gibbs returns with The Alchemist behind the boards for what is being hailed as one of the best albums in 2020 with, Alfredo. A play on both Freddie and Alchemist’s names, the project also boasts features from Rick Ross, Tyler, The Creator, Benny The Butcher, and Conway the Machine.
Lera Lynn – On My Own LP (Death Before Pop Country)
Zakk Sabbath – Vertigo LP (Magnetic Eye)
Zakk Sabbath is the Black Sabbath tribute band featuring guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) and drummer Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queens of the Stone Age), who have been constantly gigging since 2014 with their take on the Birmingham four’s early songs.