New Releases for January 24th, 2020
Bohen & Der Club Of Gore – Patchouli Blue CD/2xLP (Ipecac)
German darkjazz outfit Bohren & Der Club of Gore – who Pitchfork aptly describes as a combination of “lounge jazz, dark ambience, the languorous adagios of classical-music requiem, and the saturated romance of Italian film soundtracks” – return with their first new album in six years and ninth overall.
Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman CD/LP (37D03D/SCD)
The timeless qualities of traditional tunes can carry us across oceans and eons, linking us not only to the past but to each other as well. It was under the banner of those eternal connections that the trio of Bonny Light Horseman came together. From Wisconsin festival fields and a German art hub to a snowy upstate studio and everywhere in between, the astral folk outfit – comprised of Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman – is mixing the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. The resulting album, Bonny Light Horseman, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres, eras, and ages. Nowhere on Bonny Light Horseman does the music feel staid, or burdened from the too-tight fit of a stuffy Renaissance collar. This is colorful, textured work: a lush and loving ode to the past with one eye fixed on the present.
Breaking Benjamin – Aurora CD/LP (Hollywood)
Aurora features reimagined versions of Breaking Benjamin’s biggest and most popular songs with special guests including Lacey Sturm (ex-Flyleaf), Scooter Ward (Cold), Adam Gontier (ex-Three Days Grace), Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) and Michael Barnes (Red). Highlights include their new track, “Far Away”, “Dear Agony”, which just celebrated its 10th year anniversary in September 2019, as well as “So Cold” and “Red Cold River”, both of which were No. 1 rock radio hits.
Caspian – On Circles CD/LP (Triple Crown)
Caspian, the symphonic Massachusetts-based band who have been dubbed “the most regal of the instrumental new rock school” (Pitchfork) and post-rock cosmonauts (Spin), return with their first album in over four years. This majestic collision of post-rock, metal, shoegaze, electronics, noise, minimalism and ambient music is an existential meditation, an acceptance of the cyclical nature of both life and career.
Lisa Mills – The Triangle CD/LP (BMG)
With her new album The Triangle, Lisa Mills takes listeners on a musical, and often humorous, emotional journey with charm and panache that is melodic, raw, unfettered and, most important, brutally honest: expect blues, country, gospel and soul influences. The confluence of influences that comprise the namesake river of Lisa Mills’ native Mississippi are indeed “mighty”.
Jeff Parker – Suite For Max Brown CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Though he invited in collaborators for this project, Jeff Parker is very much a solo artist on Suite For Max Brown. He constructs a digital bed of beats and samples; lays down tracks of his own on guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion, and occasionally voice; then invites musician friends to play and improvise over his melodies. Suite For Max Brown brims with personality, boasting the rhythmic flow of hip hop and the soulful swing of jazz.
Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot CD/LP+MP3 (x2 Recordings)
“Remembrance of clubs past motivates Neil Tennant at 65. The melancholy and wit which gave ambiguity and amused bite to the Pet Shop Boy’s pop pomp has matured naturally into distanced reflections on hedonism. Recorded partly in Berlin’s iconic Hansa studio, Hotspot’s vintage synths add a mechanistic clank and tactile detail to their music’s glide, the Hi-NRG pulse which so entranced them in the 1980s now part of a Proustian rather than active E rush. Having ceded their place at pop’s heart at the century’s start, they now burnish memories and paint characters like old masters.” – The Arts Desk
Andy Shauf – The Neon Skyline CD/LP (ANTI-)
Few artists are storytellers as deft and disarmingly observational as Andy Shauf. The Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised musician’s songs unfold like short fiction: they’re densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new album The Neon Skyline, he sets a familiar scene of inviting a friend for beers on the opening title track: “I said, ‘Come to the Skyline, I’ll be washing my sins away.’ He just laughed, said ‘I’ll be late, you know how I can be.’”
Wolf Parade – Thin Mind CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Wolf Parade’s fifth album, Thin Mind marks a return to the original power trio of Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, and Arlen Thompson, following multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro’s amicable departure from the group in 2018. The band’s decision to forge a future-forward sound using a myriad of synthesizers – from ‘80s synths and ‘90s MIDI to more modern, kitchen sink instruments – recalls the sonics of Wolf Parade’s earliest EPs. Album highlights include “Julia, Take Your Man Home”, “Forest Green” and “Against The Day”, with lyrics split evenly between Dan and Spencer.
The Wood Brothers – Kingdom In My Mind CD/LP (Honey Jar)
The Wood Brothers’ new studio album Kingdom In My Mind represents a reckoning of sorts, examining circumstance, mortality and human nature. Finding strength in accepting what lies beyond our control, the material on Kingdom In My Mind hones in on the bittersweet beauty that underlies doubt and pain and sadness with vivid character studies and unflinching self-examination. While the lyrics dig deep, the trio draws from across a broad sonic spectrum to create a set of songs that although thoughtful and inward looking is ultimately transportive and effervescent.
Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band – Just Like Moby Dick CD/2xLP (Paradise Of Bachelors)
Iconic and iconoclastic Texan songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen’s heartbreaking, hilarious new album, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom Of The World, features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka Allen, Richard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin.
The Black Lips – Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart CD/LP+MP3 (Fire)
Like so many dramatic moments in the Black Lips career, Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart was born out of crisis. Skidding onto the asphalt in a shower of sparks, they roll on with an unapologetic southern-fried twang, pacing the beast, every now and then dropping a psycho howl into the rubber room madness lurking underneath the truck stop fireworks.
The Dave Clark Five – All The Hits CD/2xLP (BMG)
The Dave Clark Five was the first English group to tour the United States, spearheading the British Invasion. During their first two years in the US they scored no less than fifteen consecutive Top Twenty hits, more than anyone except The Beatles. They took the world by storm and helped change the rock scene, blasting hit after hit over the world’s radio airwaves.
The Haden Triplets – Family Songbook CD/LP (Trimeter)
The Family Songbook is a tribute to the family’s American heartland heritage. The album includes four recently unearthed songs by their grandfather, Carl E. Haden, friend to the Carter Family, Porter Wagoner and other icons. The songs were written during the Depression when he was in his 20s.
Twin Atlantic – Twin Atlantic CD/LP (Harvest)
Twin Atlantic return with aplomb on Power, their scorching, charged-up fourth LP. The record’s first taste arrives in the shape of the addictive “Novocaine” – a racing, adrenalized synth-rock anthem.
AJJ – Good Luck Everybody CD (AJJ Unlimited Ltd.)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. A grim glimpse into the tidal wave reality of modern life in America, Good Luck Everybody is a collection of songs that will undoubtedly stand out in the AJJ’s 15-year catalogue; while still rooted in the folk-punk sound AJJ has become known for, the album is unafraid to delve into new territories that test the limits of what the band is capable of.
… And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – X: The Godless Void And Other Stories LP (Dine Alone)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. The Texas alt-rock/prog band cite Talk Talk, Laurie Anderson and Killing Joke as inspirations for the new album, X: The Godless Void And Other Stories. It comes as the duo enters their 25th year together as a band.
Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice [Reissue/2009] 2xLP (Arts & Crafts)
Dan Mangan is a Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter who pairs the rich vocals and classic, melody-driven songwriting of Van Morrison & Nick Drake with the clever, everyman lyrical insights of The National and Father John Misty. The 10th Anniversary deluxe edition of his gold-selling breakout album Nice, Nice, Very Nice features unreleased material including B-sides, demos, & unheard alternate versions from the original recording sessions.
Taylor Swift – Should’ve Said No 7” (Big Machine)
Limited white colored vinyl pressing. Rare acoustic version B-side.