New Releases for September 25, 2020
CDs + Vinyl:
Blitzen Trapper – Holy Smokes Future Jokes CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Singer-songwriters have been tackling existential questions about life and death since time immemorial…or at least the 1960s. But when it came to Blitzen Trapper’s newest album, Holy Smokes Future Jokes, front man Eric Earley looked beyond mere existence – or even the end of it – to contend with grander cosmic explorations: namely, the intermediate period between a person’s separate lives on earth, “and what it means to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth,” he explains. Inspired by the experimental tome, Lincoln In The Bardo and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, Earley’s lyrics take the listener on a wild and dramatic journey through rivers of waist-high water in the aftermath of a tragic car wreck and the hazy morning before a murderous moment, and from getting blitzed to the point of extinction inside a masonic temple to a stop for chips and dip before the apocalypse.
The Buckleys – Daydream CD/LP (Petrol)
The Buckleys are a chart-topping teenage sibling trio from Byron Bay, Australia with roots in country music and an energetic live show which blends country, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and pop. At only 20, 19 and 17 years old respectively, The Buckleys combine honest storytelling with a fresh, dynamic and exciting blend of musical influences that capture their youthful and electrifying energy both on stage and in the recording studio.
Will Butler – Generations CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
In the five years since Will Butler released his debut album, Policy, he’s toured the world both solo and as a member of Arcade Fire, released the Friday Night live album, recorded and released Arcade Fire’s Everything Now, earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, hosted a series of touring town halls on local issues (police contracts, prison reform, municipal paid sick leave, voting rights), and spent time raising his three children. Generations is a meditation on Butler’s place in society and history. According to Butler, “A big chunk of this record is asking: What’s my place in American history? What’s my place in America’s present? Both in general…but, also extremely particularly: me as Will Butler, rich person, white person, Mormon, Yankee, parent, musician of some sort, I guess.”
Deftones – Ohms CD/LP (WB)
Multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning alternative rockers Deftones are back with their ninth studio album. Ohms is an other-worldly body of work meticulously crafted by the five-piece band. It is a magnificent tour de force and their first album in four years following 2016’s critically acclaimed Gore. The band, which includes Chino Moreno, Frank Delgado, Stephen Carpenter, Abe Cunningham, and Sergio Vega, has produced a dense LP with every member firing on all cylinders.
Diana DeMuth – Misadventure CD/LP (Creaky Gate)
Restless and ready to pave her own way, Diana DeMuth has burst onto the singer-songwriter scene with an arresting perspective about life, love and self-discovery. Growing up on the coast of Massachusetts, DeMuth was immersed in a bohemian upbringing where she moved from place to place with hippie parents. That same restless spirit inhabited DeMuth. After seeing The Avett Brothers from the front row when she was 13, she was enamored with their raw performance and hunger on stage. In that moment, she knew she wanted to be an artist one day. So at 19, after going to college for one week, DeMuth left because she was certain music was her path. For the past five years, she’s focused on just that.
Anna von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly CD (Southern Lord)
Musician/composer Anna Von Hausswolff’s All Thoughts Fly ultimately embodies the exploration of any and all possibilities, and the audience is invited to listen, liberate the mind and let it wander. Consisting of just one instrument, the pipe organ, All Thoughts Fly radiates a melancholic beauty and is distinguished by fluid transitions of contrasting elements; calmness and drama, harmony and dissonance, much like the place that inspires the music. [Vinyl edition due October 16.]
IDLES – Ultra Mono CD/LP (Partisan)
Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy As An Act Of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, Idles return with their highly anticipated third album – Ultra Mono. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses.
Kataklysm – Unconquered CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
For almost three decades, the French-Canadian melodic death metal syndicate has delivered unapologetic waves of powerful sound around the globe. Thundering with newly fueled power from the shadows and dust of humanity’s crumbling existence, Kataklysm return triumphant with their 14th full-length studio album.
Diana Krall – This Dream Of You CD/2xLP (Impulse!/Verve)
Diana Krall’s new self-produced studio album This Dream Of You consists of sessions that took place in 2016 and 2017, with personally chosen gems from the American Songbook and more. The record features lead-off single “But Beautiful”, Krall’s last collaboration with friend and longtime creative partner Tommy LiPuma who died in 2017 at 80, as well as tracks like “Almost Like Being In Love” and “That’s All”. Krall heads a quartet line-up on some tracks that includes such long-standing collaborators as John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and Anthony Wilson, while other tracks feature a trio format spotlighting Christian McBride and Russell Malone.
Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets To My Downfall CD/LP (Interscope)
Tickets To My Downfall is Machine Gun Kelly’s fifth studio album and first full project that is unabashedly rooted in pop-punk, following the platinum success of “I Think I’m Ok”. Produced by Travis Barker, the album contains the previously released hits “Bloody Valentine” and “My Ex’s Best Friend (with Blackbear)”.
Thurston Moore – By The Fire CD/2xLP (Daydream Library)
By The Fire is Thurston Moore’s seventh solo album, and features Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine) on bass and backing vocals, Jon Leidecker aka “Wobbly” (of Negativland) on electronics, James Sedwards on guitar, and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, as well as Jem Doulton, alternating on drums. “Hashish”, the ﬁrst single from the album, is described by Moore as “an ode to the narcotic of love in our shared responsibility to each other during isolation.”
Bob Mould – Blue Hearts CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
In the winter of 2019, Bob Mould bucked the era’s despair with his most melodic, upbeat album in ages, Sunshine Rock. Cut to spring of 2020, and he has this to say: “We’re really in deep shit now.” That sentiment informs the new full-length album, Blue Hearts, the raging-but-catchy yin to Sunshine Rock’s yang. Recorded at the famed Electrical Audio in Chicago with Beau Sorenson engineering and Mould producing, Blue Hearts nods to Mould’s past while remaining firmly planted in the issues of the day.
Paris – Safe Space Invader CD/LP (Guerrilla Funk)
In this era of reckoning for American policing, increases of racism fostered by the most incompetent president in modern times, and a global pandemic that has affected all areas of life as we once knew it, voices of dissent in entertainment have become more relevant than ever.
Enter Paris, arguably one of the most politically outspoken artists in hip-hop history, with his latest album, Safe Space Invader. Entirely self-produced and released on his own Guerrilla Funk Recordings imprint, Safe Space Invader is a brutal commentary on black life in 2020 America, touching on the topics of police brutality, racism, gentrification, economic inequality and cancel culture, among others.
Prince – Sign O’ The Times [Reissue/1987] 2xCD/3xCD/8xCD+DVD/4xLP/13xLP+DVD/2xLP (WB)
Overflowing with musical ideas and topical lyrics that sound just as relevant today as they did when they were initially released, Prince’s iconic double album Sign O’ The Times captures the artist in a period of complete reinvention and innovation. The final 16-track album included just some of the countless songs Prince recorded in the prolific period of 1985-1987, which saw the dissolution of his band The Revolution, the construction of his innovative recording complex, Paisley Park, and the creation (and ultimate abandonment) of the albums Dream Factory, Camille, and Crystal Ball. [Available in a wide variety of configurations: Standard, Expanded, Deluxe and Super Deluxe. The Deluxe edition adds 13 singles mixes and edits. The Super Deluxe edition contains 92 audio tracks, of which 63 are previously unreleased, including 45 studio tracks from Prince’s legendary Vault. A limited edition peach colored double-vinyl pressing is also available.]
Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? CD/LP (Def Jam)
Legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy returns to Def Jam – a cultural institution that they helped build – for their first release for the label in over two decades with What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? The loaded 17-track affair boasts a powerful lineup of guests including Nas, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run-DMC, Ice-T, PMD, George Clinton, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, S1Ws Pop Diesel, James Bomb and Mike D and Ad-Rock of Beastie Boys.
Lou Reed – New York [Reissue/1989] 3xCD+2xLP+DVD (Rhino)
Lou Reed struck a chord with critics and fans alike more than 30 years ago with New York, his Sire Records debut and 15th solo studio album. Its raw sound and evocative lyrics would go on to earn the legendary singer-songwriter-poet a gold record, a Grammy nomination, and a No. 1 hit on the Modern Rock charts with “Dirty Blvd”. This expansive reissue includes a newly remastered version of the original 1989 album on CD and – for the first time – on double 180gm audiophile vinyl. The set also includes 26 unreleased studio and live recordings of album tracks from the Lou Reed Archive, as well as the DVD-debut of The New York Album, a long-out-of-print concert video recorded during the New York tour. The set comes packaged in a 12” x 12” hardcover book that includes new liner notes written by music journalist David Fricke and essays from archivist Don Fleming.
The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live: Atlantic City, New Jersey 2xCD+DVD/3xCD+DVD+Blu-ray/4xLP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Having not hit the road for most of the ’80s, The Steel Wheels Tour was an astounding return for the Rolling Stones, not least as it was the longest they had by that point undertaken. It was also to be their last with longtime bassist Bill Wyman. Steel Wheels Live: Atlantic City, New Jersey was recorded towards the end of the band’s 60-date run through the stadiums of North America, in the second half of 1989. The previously unreleased live release features special guest appearances from Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker and is presented in a variety of multi-format configurations, including a deluxe four-LP colored vinyl set.
SuperM – SuperM The 1st Album ‘Super One’ CD (SM Entertainment)
K-pop unit SuperM’s first album ‘Super One’ features 15 tracks highlighting SuperM’s energetically hopeful vibe, conveying the members’ collective message that we are all “Super” beings with each “One” of us having power, and together as “One”, we can overcome any hardship. Each member version of the album includes a track, narrated by the corresponding member of SuperM, which delivers the core message of the “Super One” Project. Six collectable configurations.
Sylvan Esso – Free Love CD/LP (Loma Vista)
Free Love thrives on collaborative frisson – two people pushing one another into new territories with the shared assurance of knowing they’re in good company, a sort of trust fall in reverse. Yes, these 10 songs are some of electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso’s most direct. And most delicate. And most intricate. And most urgent. Free Love carries the confidence of two people delighted to be all those things, together, at once. Tantalizing opener “What If” is a brief, minimal and enticing track which finds Amelia Meath singing over spacious synth-bleeps, “Oh life, dying out/ And the oceans turn to clouds.” [Limited brick and mortar indie store colored vinyl edition also available.]
Tricky – Fall To Pieces CD/LP (!K7)
“Tricky has always worn his bruised heart on his sleeve. His brilliantly desolate debut album, Maxinquaye, was inspired by his mother, who died when he was four years old, and a song like ‘Strugglin’’ laid bare in excruciating detail his experiences of pain, darkness, and toil. Fall To Pieces, which contains some of the most darkly moving music that Tricky has produced since that debut album, was produced in the shadow of tragedy. Tricky’s daughter Mazy died in 2019 as he was beginning work on a new record. Here, on his 14th studio album, he translates that unimaginable loss into moments of nauseatingly raw emotion. However personal the burden of Tricky’s grief, his collaborators have played a significant role in shaping the sound and feel of the album. Marta Złakowska, who Tricky discovered in a Krakow bar after a singer dropped out of his Polish tour, has the perfect voice for a Tricky vocal foil, her spectral tones the wisp of smoke to his cigarette-end mutter, while Marie-Claire Schlameus’s cello and Kristof Hahn’s slide guitar creep around the arrangements with the finesse of art thieves.” – Pitchfork
Bassnectar – All Colors 2xLP (ATO)
Recently released on CD – now available on gold colored vinyl. Bassnectar is the brainchild of Lorin Ashton, and his open-sourced musical project is as diverse as it is imaginary, as raw as it is meticulous, and as fierce as it is stunning. Spanning the spectrum of sonic style, the music draws inspiration from every genre imaginable and supplies a synthesis of intense, wobbling basslines and hypnotic soundscapes for a devout international audience that desires the beautiful and the bestial in the same breath. Bassnectar’s new studio album, All Colors, signifies a merging of music and social change.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Dave Digs Disney [Reissue/1957] LP (Analog Sparks)
Dave Digs Disney is considered to be The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s second most important album after Time Out and includes Disney classics such as “Give A Little Whistle”, “Heigh-Ho”, “When You Wish Upon A Star” and “Some Day My Prince Will Come”, among others.
Bill Callahan – Gold Record LP (Drag City)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The abiding humanity of latter-day Callahan is highlighted by dark plumes of caustic wit upending standards of our everyday life and the songs that celebrate it: the job, the wife, the TV, the neighbors. Bill slips easily into his characters, whether they’re easy people or not – and the cross-hatch of their light and shadow is unpredictably entertaining in the manner that belongs only one singer in this whole wide world: we’re still talking about Bill Callahan.
Dashboard Confessional – MTV Unplugged 2.0 LP (Hidden Note/MTV Unplugged)
Celebrating 20 years of Dashboard Confessional in 2020 – available on vinyl for the first time. Recorded in 2002 on the era-defining show MTV Unplugged, DBC’s performance holds a significant place in their lore. The set was released as the iconic emo band’s first live album on the heels of studio releases The Swiss Army Romance, The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, and the So Impossible EP. This performance showcases re-imagined versions of seminal tracks such as “Hands Down” and “So Impossible” which receive a full-band treatment for the first time.
Roger Eno and Brian Eno – Luminous 12” (Verve/Deutsche Grammophon)
The Mixing Colours story continues with the EP Luminous, adding to Roger Eno and Brian Eno’s first duo album on Deutsche Grammophon released last March. Includes “Pewter”, formerly a Japan-only bonus track, as well as six brand new tracks. As with the Mixing Colours album, the artist Dom Theobald has supplied the original cover artwork.
Grateful Dead – Dick’s Picks Vol. 26—4/26/69 Electric Theater, Chicago, IL 4/27/69 Labor Temple Minneapolis, MN 4xLP (Real Gone Music)
Dick’s Picks Vol. 26 stands as a worthy counterpoint to what is one of the greatest ‘official’ live albums in rock ‘n’ roll history. It captures the band working on material for the forthcoming album Aoxomoxoa including an incredible version of “Mountains Of The Moon” and serves up a real live Dead rarity with a rendition of Jimmy Reed’s “I Know It’s A Sin”. This is a Pick that’s worthy of coming out on vinyl. Limited to 1500 hand-numbered copies.
Guns ‘N’ Roses – Greatest Hits [Reissue/2004] 2xLP (Geffen)
Available on vinyl for the first time. Includes the bonus track “Shadow Of Your Love” – recorded in 1986, originally released on the 2018 “Locked N’ Loaded” edition of Appetite For Destruction. 180gm.
Arlo McKinley – Die Midwestern LP (Oh Boy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Coming out of the eclectic Cincinnati music scene that has produced everyone from The National and Walk The Moon to Bootsy Collins, Arlo McKinley has washed his songs in the blood of street soul, country, punk and gospel – and tattooed them onto the underground. Filled with a weight, honesty and gritty-hope from rustbelt city life, McKinley rolled downriver to Memphis to Sun Studio where Grammy Award-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine) gathered a working man’s all-star band to record Die Midwestern. McKinley’s 10 original songs bleed truth and emotion from a heart scarred by wild nights and redeemed by Sunday morning confessions. “She’s Always Around”, “Suicidal Saturday Night”, “Bag Of Pills”, and “Ghost” – a song he wrote in a funeral home parking lot after carrying the coffin of his best friend – are all songs carved out in the key of life. Filled with a hardscrabble spirit akin to the late, great Johnny Paycheck, McKinley is making a name for himself that blue-collar way – humbly stacking piles of soulful acoustic songs that hurt so good.
John Prine – Souvenirs [Reissue/2000] LP (Oh Boy)
Vinyl reissue of Prine’s 14th studio album, which was originally intended for German-only release. Souvenirs consists of new performances of some of Prine’s most popular early songs.
The Horace Silver Quintet – Further Explorations [Reissue/1958] LP (Blue Note)
Further Explorations documents hard-bop pioneer Horace Silver’s quintet: Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan, Teddy Kotick, Louis Hayes. The 1958 session is particularly inspired, with Silver penning all but one of the compositions. Reissued as part of The Blue Note Tone Poet Series: all-analog, remastered 180gm vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
The Weeknd – After Hours 2xLP (XO)
Now available on vinyl. The Weeknd’s latest chapter, After Hours, features the global hits “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”. Filtering R&B, pop, and hip-hop through an ambitious widescreen lens, The Weeknd quietly took over popular music and culture on his own terms. As a result, the multi-platinum two-time Grammy Award winner has emerged as one of the most successful and significant artists of the 21st century.
Ziemba – True Romantic LP (Sister Polygon)
Ziemba is the performing moniker of El Paso-based musician, writer, and perfumer René Kladzyk. Kladzyk’s multifaceted work has been showcased in venues including MoMA Ps1, Pioneer Works, National Sawdust, and toured internationally. Her new album, True Romantic, is a collection of unabashed and overblown love songs.