New Releases for September 13, 2019
Devendra Banhart – Ma CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Ma is Devendra Banhart’s first album since 2016’s Ape In Pink Marble. Bursting with tender, autobiographical vignettes, the record displays a shift from the sonic experimentation of his previous albums to an intricate, captivating story-telling and emotional intimacy. Banhart favors organic sounds to accompany his voice and guitar here with the arrangements bolstered by strings, woodwinds, brass, and keyboards. Lead single “Kantori Ongaku” translates from Japanese to “country music” and is a nod to experimental pop legend Haruomi Hosono, a founding member of the influential electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra. Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon contributes background vocals on “Now All Gone” and Banhart’s mentor, muse, and dear friend, the folk legend Vashti Bunyan, duets with him on “Will I See You Tonight”.
Boy Scouts – Free Company CD (ANTI-)
Recently released on vinyl – now available on CD. As Boy Scouts, Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick makes the kind of music that hits like good advice from tough emotional truths. Vick’s songs survey the damage that can come from loving other people with curiosity and grace. Her new album Free Company is a stunningly tuneful rumination on heartbreak and loss that is always galloping toward the horizon.
Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles CD/LP (Polydor)
Hypersonic Missiles is the debut album from Brits Critics Choice Award Winner Sam Fender. Observational, questioning and socially engaged, Fender has an innate gift for simplifying matters of the newsworthy and topical. “I don’t have answers only questions” he clarifies, but there’s a canny simplicity here that seems to be touching and plain speaking.
Jeremy Ivey – The Dream And The Dreamer CD/LP (ANTI-)
Nashville-based performer Jeremy Ivey has operated in the background for years, initially performing in bands like Secret Handshake and country-soul group Buffalo Clover with his wife, celebrated country-rock luminary Margo Price. But now Ivey is ready to take a much-deserved step into the spotlight with a debut LP, The Dream And The Dreamer. Recorded in a “little bitty house studio” in Nashville and produced by Price, the nine-song album hosts a collection of homespun, deeply introspective tracks. Ivey writes prolifically and cites everyone from the Beatles to Neil Young to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan as influences.
Joseph – Good Luck, Kid CD/LP (ATO)
Joseph is a bewitching band of three sisters from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Expect honest words and genetically perfected harmonies. The Oregon-bred trio got their start playing backyard parties, and gradually amassed a devoted fanbase. Following the release of their 2016 debut I’m Alone, No You’re Not, the band performed across television from The Tonight Show to The Today Show and toured with James Bay and Amos Lee. Their sophomore effort, Good Luck, Kid is a road movie in album form, an odyssey at turns emotional, existential, and entirely literal. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Above Us Only Sky DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Above Us Only Sky traces the untold story of the making of John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine. Utilizing never-before-seen footage of Lennon and Ono from their private archive, the documentary delves into the depth of the creative collaboration between the couple and explores how the art, politics and music of the pair are intrinsically entwined. Features interviews with the people who witnessed the period first hand including Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon, David Bailey (photographer), John Dunbar (Gallerist who introduced the couple), Dan Richter (Yoko’s neighbor and John’s former personal assistant) and Eddie Veale (studio designer), some of who have never spoken publicly on camera before.
The Lumineers – III CD/2xLP (Dualtone)
The Lumineers’ new album III is audacious: every note, every syllable, and every moment of silence in between is emotionally charged. It’s darker in tone than previous albums and is presented in three chapters, with each one centering on one main character from a fictitious family known as the Sparks, who span three generations in the album’s storyline.
Mike Patton/Jean-Claude Vannier – Corpse Flower CD (Ipecac)
Mike Patton and renowned French composer Jean-Claude Vannier, who is perhaps best known for his work with Serge Gainsbourg, have come together on the smoky, psychedelic-tinged 12-song album, Corpse Flower. “Mike Patton doesn’t call upon his full range here; he’s up close to the microphone, brooding, playful and sometimes sinister.” – The Quietus
Pixies – Beneath The Eyrie CD/LP (Infectious/BMG)
Visceral, musically cinematic, otherworldly but strangely familiar and a bit unsettling, welcome to Pixies’ seventh studio album, Beneath The Eyrie, where tales of witches, Daniel Boone, misfits and other characters fit utterly into the band’s inherent weirdness. “Beneath The Eyrie sees Pixies dipping back into the mysticism that came with their first few releases. The album exudes creativity in hazy clouds of tremolo guitar and atmospheric moodiness and harkens back to a faraway time, filled with gothic storytelling of retribution and comeuppance.” – Gigwise
Emile Sandé – Real Life CD/LP (Virgin)
Emeli Sandé’s third album, Real Life, represents a new sound for the globally acclaimed English artist following a period of self-discovery that resulted in a new defiant confidence. Sandé says that her vision for Real Life is to give people hope and confidence, “Especially people who have been marginalized, forgotten or kicked down by this invisible oppression that’s always there. I just want to give people this incredible superpower every time they play the album. Like a battery pack – by the end of the album they’re going to feel restored.”
(Sandy) Alex G – House Of Sugar CD/LP (Domino)
On House Of Sugar, his ninth album, (Sandy) Alex G inhabits a diverse range of musical and emotional points-of-view (often simultaneously), in turn illuminating the tension that hides in the shadow of desire. Alexander Giannascoli began writing these songs in the fall of 2017, having just finished a tour for House Of Sugar’s acclaimed predecessor, Rocket, and moved into a new apartment in Philadelphia. Whereas with earlier efforts, such as 2011’s self-released Winner or the landmark 2014 release DSU, he’d write numerous songs quickly; with House Of Sugar Giannascoli worked at a steadier pace, concentrating on fewer songs and laboring over each one more than before.
Jonah Tolchin – Fires For The Child CD/LP (Yep Roc)
Jonah Tolchin has wrestled with a wellspring of emotions in his 26 years, and in the process, has consistently found the means of integrating his sentiments into his songs. On Fires for the Cold, Tolchin lays bare the conflicts and quagmires that have engulfed him over the course of the last few years. Indeed, by his own admission, it’s been a difficult time. The ending of a marriage and an upheaval in his mindset left him shattered, confused and struggling to find the solace that had eluded him for too long a time. These experiences have yielded some of the most beautiful melodies and emotive offerings Tolchin has ever delivered throughout his steadily evolving career. Fires For The Child includes a number of notable guests — Jackson Browne and Rickie Lee Jones — both of whom lend their voices to a stunning and sublime cover of Little Feat’s “Roll Um Easy”. Sara Watkins sang on two other songs, “Supermarket Rage” and “Honeysuckle”.
Twin Peaks – Lookout Low CD/LP (Grand Jury)
Twin Peaks has one defining ethos and it’s to keep pushing. They’ve embraced change ever since their 2010 formation as high school friends making scrappy basement rock ‘n’ roll to now cementing their status as one of Chicago’s most essential bands. Where their last LP, 2016’s Down In Heaven, and 2017’s Sweet ‘17 Singles compilation were adventurous and compelling updates on their youthfully raucous formula, their fourth album Lookout Low feels like a total revolution. The songs are bursting with energy, like the spidery jam-minded opener “Casey’s Groove”, a mind-melder that is reassuring thanks to Caiden Lake James’ (vocals, guitar) inviting croon. [Limited indie exclusive vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – World Spirituality Classics 2: The Time For Peace Is Now CD (Luaka Bop)
The Time For Peace Is Now compiles fourteen songs that, while recorded over four decades ago, speak now more than ever. The tracks are a subset of 1970s-era gospel, not directly talking about Jesus or God, but instead tackling how we live with ourselves and each other. These are undeniably soulful, passionate, and urgent songs from obscure 45s, dug up from a long dormancy in attics, sheds and rated across the American south. “This album is reflective of the dichotomy of the sacred and the secular. The music here is in some sense the same as the music of the club. ‘Keep Your Faith To The Sky’ could have you singing ‘Keep Your Head To The Sky’ by Earth, Wind and Fire.” – Pastor Keith L. Whitney
Chelsea Wolfe – Birth Of Violence CD/LP (Sargent House)
There is a core element to Chelsea Wolfe’s music – a kind of urgent spin on America’s desolation blues – that’s existed throughout the entirety of her career. Wolfe has always been a conduit for a powerful energy, and while she has demonstrated a capacity to channel that somber beauty into a variety of forms, her gift as a songwriter is never more apparent than when she strips her songs down to a few key components. As a result, her solemn majesty and ominous elegance are more potent than ever on Birth Of Violence.
Belle And Sebastian – Days Of The Bagnold Summer CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Days Of The Bagnold Summer is the latest outside- the-box accomplishment from storied Glasgow six-piece Belle And Sebastian, comprised of Stuart Murdoch, Stevie Jackson, Sarah Martin, Chris Geddes, Richard Colburn, Dave McGowan, and Bobby Kildea. The last two years have seen them go against conventional practice by releasing a trilogy of EPs to some of the best reviews of their career, and launch and curate their own four-day music festival at sea in The Boaty Weekender, continuing the individualist streak that has characterized them from day one.
Cold – The Things We Can’t Stop CD/LP (Napalm)
The Things We Can’t Stop is a wonderfully varied and gripping entry in the alt-rock band’s discography. From the anti-bullying anthem “Shine” to the driving, hard grooving force that is “Without You” or the unforgettable beautiful “Quiet Now,” Cold’s new album shimmers in timeless colors.
The Cult – Sonic Temple: 30th Anniversary 5xCD/2xLP/3xLP+Cassette (Beggars Banquet)
To celebrate the anniversary of The Cult’s long out-of-print 1989 album Sonic Temple, this 30th anniversary edition is now available as five-CD set and a deluxe three-LP box which includes a cassette and ephemera. Both contain limited-release demos in addition to previously unreleased tracks. A standard double-disc vinyl reissue is also available. Sonic Temple catapulted The Cult into superstar status and remains their most commercially successful release.
Goo Goo Dolls – Miracle Pill CD/LP (WB)
Miracle Pill finds The Goo Goo Dolls at the top of their game with a collection of songs that are complete with emotion, incredible melodies and sweeping guitars. The album observes and reflects on our current landscape of instant gratification and relief that everyone seems to be seeking.
Gruff Rhys – Pang! CD/LP (Rough Trade)
A Welsh language pop album with a couple of verses of Zulu and an English title, Gruff Rhys’ Pang! Was produced and mixed by Muzi in Johannesburg, South Africa. The nine-track collection was developed unexpectedly over about 18 months and recorded in Cardiff, Wales.
Jenny Hval – The Practice Of Love CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
At first listen, The Practice of Love, Jenny Hval’s seventh full-length album, unspools with an almost deceptive ease. Across eight tracks, filled with arpeggiated synth washes and the kind of lilting beats that might have drifted, loose and unmoored, from some forgotten mid-’90s trance single, The Practice Of Love feels, first and foremost, compellingly humane. Given the horror and viscera of her previous album, 2016’s Blood Bitch, The Practice Of Love is almost subversive in its gentleness-a deep dive into what it means to grow older, to question one’s relationship to the earth and one’s self, and to hold a magnifying glass over the notion of what intimacy can mean. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Tom Keifer – Rise CD/LP (Cleopatra)
The former Cinderella frontman and powerhouse vocalist, Tom Keifer, ascends to new heights on his second solo album.
Korn – The Nothing CD/2xLP (Roadrunner)
Nu-metal progenitors Korn follow-up 2016’s The Serenity Of Suffering with their thirteenth studio album. Lead single “You’ll Never Find Me” exhibits plenty of the band’s signatures with its unrelenting drums, gnarly guitar work, unsettling keyboards and staggering quiet/loud dynamics.
Corb Lund – Cover Your Tracks CDEP (New West)
Covering songs from diverse artists such as Lee Hazlewood, Billy Joel, Marty Robbins and AC/DC, Lund expands on not only his favorite songs but on the range, sound and style in which those songs are delivered.
Janiva Magness – Change In The Weather – Janiva Magness Sings John Fogerty CD (Blue Élan)
Janiva adds her blues-oriented, soulful style to 12 classic Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes. Featuring guests Sam Morrow on the swampy “Lodi” and blues legend Taj Mahal on “Don’t You Wish It Was True”, the album reflects the timeless quality of Fogerty’s work, cutting a broad swath through rock, blues, and country, and trailblazing the eclectic, roots-based Americana genre.
Prince – The Versace Experience – Prelude 2 Gold [Reissue/1995] CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
Prince – Chaos And Disorder [Reissue/1996] CD/LP (Sony Legacy)
Prince – Emancipation [Reissue/1996] 3xCD/6xLP (Sony Legacy)
The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings continue their partnership in 2019 with the reissue of two key albums from 1996: Chaos And Disorder and Emancipation. Another key release from this era, The Versace Experience (Prelude 2 Gold), has also been reissued. All are available on vinyl for the first time as limited colored pressings.
Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup [Reissue/1996] 2xCD/3xLP (Warp)
Stereolab – Dots And Loops [Reissue/1997] 2xCD/3xLP (Warp)
Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In the Milky Night [Reissue/1999] 2xCD/3xLP (Warp)
The continuation of Stereolab’s seven album reissue campaign when 1996’s Emperor Tomato Ketchup, 1997’s Dots And Loops and 1999’s Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In the Milky Night are reissued, via Warp Records and Duophonic UHF Disks, as expanded and re-mastered editions on vinyl and compact disc. Each album has been re-mastered from the original 1/2′ tapes by Bo Kondren at Calyx Mastering and overseen by Tim Gane. Bonus material will include alternate takes, 4 track demos and unreleased mixes. These reissues follow 1993’s ‘Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements’ and 1994’s ‘Mars Audiac Quintet’ which received Expanded Editions earlier in 2019.
Archies – The Definitive Archies – Greatest Hits & More! LP (Real Gone Music)
The first vinyl compilation in 30 years from everybody’s favorite back-of-the-cereal-box band. Brainchild of Don Kirshner, the man behind The Monkees, The Archies, for all their manufactured image, was the result of a remarkable collection of talent. Holding down production duties was Jeff Barry, whose songwriting collaborations with then-wife Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector had yielded such classics as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Be My Baby”, and whose previous production credits included The Shangri-Las (“Leader Of The Pack”) and The Monkees.
NF – The Search 2xLP (NF Real Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. NF’s fourth LP features hip-hop, pop and cinematic elements, of which are evident in tracks such as “When I Grow Up”, “Returns”, title track “The Search”, and lead single “Time”.