New Releases & Staff Picks - 4/29/22
Lindsay - Toro y Moi, Cactus Blossoms and Willie Nelson
Zach - Toro Y Moi, Melody's Echo Chamber, Helms Alee
Kimber - Bloc Party
Toro y Moi – Mahal CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Dead Oceans)
Toro y Moi's seventh studio album, Mahal, is the boldest and most fascinating journey yet from musical mastermind Chaz Bear. The record spans genre and sound-encompassing the shaggy psychedelic rock of the 1960s and '70s, and the airy sounds of 1990s mod-post-rock-taking listeners on an auditory expedition, as if they're riding in the back of Bear's Filipino jeepney that adorns the album's cover. [A limited-edition silver color vinyl pressing is available.]
Bloc Party – Alpha Games CD/LP (BMG)
"Alpha Games was conceived on the road, playing in front of amazing crowds on our last tour and then brought to life with the fire and the frustrations of 2020," says Kele Okereke on Bloc Party's first new album in seven years. The first Bloc Party album written and recorded with a new lineup, adding the musicality of Justin Harris (bass) and the unbridled energy and power of Louise Bartle on the drums to capture the spark of their live shows. Produced by Nick Launay and Adam Greenspan (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, IDLES), the 12 tracks of Alpha Games veer from the intense and confrontational ("Traps", "Day Drinker") to melodic and introspective ("If We Get Caught", "By Any Means Necessary") and marks a new and important chapter in one of music's most important voices in Kele Okereke. [An indie store exclusive red color vinyl pressing is available.]
The Weeknd – Dawn FM 2xLP (Xo)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Dawn FM is the fifth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd. The album is narrated by Jim Carrey, and features guest appearances from Tyler, the Creator and Lil Wayne. The production was handled by The Weeknd himself alongside Oneohtrix Point Never - who produced most of the tracks-as well as Max Martin, Oscar Holter, Calvin Harris, and Swedish House Mafia, among others. The album serves as a follow-up to The Weeknd's fourth studio album, After Hours (2020).
Oddisee – The Odd Tape [Reissue/2016] LP (Mello Music Group)
Oddisee is an everyman with extraordinary talent. Both a rapper chronicling the perils and joys of ordinary existence, and a virtuosic producer attuned to the vibrations of how life sounds. But don't mistake 2016's The Odd Tape for the noise of birds chirping, idle chatter, or car alarms; it's that internal soul-jazz reverberating at the back of your brain. [An indie store exclusive copper color vinyl pressing is available.]
Bob Moses – The Silence In Between CD (Astralwerks)
Grammy Award-winning duo Bob Moses delivers their highly anticipated third album, The Silence In Between. One of the most anthemic moments here, "Love Brand New" finds Vancouver-bred musicians/producers Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance tapping into their deep-rooted love for '90s alt-rock and left-of-center dance music. Written with Michel Zitron and John Martin (a Swedish production duo known for their work with the likes of Avicii and Swedish House Mafia), the track encompasses a glorious collision of moody guitar tones, mercurial textures, and wildly propulsive beats as Bob Moses channel the dizzying euphoria of new romance. As their boldest and most viscerally charged output to date, The Silence In Between amplifies the unbridled energy that's made Bob Moses a repeat winner of Resident Advisor's Best Live Act prize.
Daniel Johnston – Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album LP (Eternal Yip Eye Music)
Diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, singer-songwriter, musician, and visual artist Daniel Johnston is highly regarded in the lo-fi and alternative music scenes for his cassette recordings which are notable for their pure and childlike soul. He gathered a cult following when Kurt Cobain was seen wearing a t-shirt featuring the artwork from Johnston's 1983 album Hi, How Are You and named checked fellow 1983 release Yip Jump Music as one of his Top 50 albums of all time. Johnston's songs have been covered by the likes of Tom Waits, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Bright Eyes, Teenage Fanclub, Beck, Wilco, Spiritualized and TV On The Radio among others. Johnston's sixth self-released album, Hi, How Are You, is the inimitable artist's most famous, as he claims he suffered a nervous breakdown while making it and never completely finished the tunes. That hasn't prevented it from drawing widespread critical acclaim and influencing a smattering of indie-rock artists in its wake.
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Emotional Eternal CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
Emotional Eternal, the third studio album from Melody's Echo Chamber, is a deeply human collection of songs full of prolonged moments of sonic transcendency – a record that clearly exhibits its maturity but still regards the world with a childlike wonder. Having swapped Paris for the clean air of the Alps, Melody hopes "the record has that uplifting quality. I made some big and impactful decisions and changes to my life. It took me to where it is peaceful, and I think the record reflects this." [An indie store exclusive red color vinyl pressing is available.]
Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time CD/LP (Legacy)
Willie Nelson is back with his seventy-second solo studio album A Beautiful Time. A full-fledged collection of new studio material produced with long-time collaborator Buddy Cannon, it's released just in time for Willie's 89th birthday and shows off just how prolific he continues to be as it includes some of his finest songwriting and performances in years. The fourteen tracks include five amazing new Nelson/Cannon compositions, new songs from Chris Stapleton & Rodney Crowell (the first single "I'll Love You Till The End Of Time") and a cadre of top Nashville songwriters, plus a couple of plum covers by Leonard Cohen ("Tower Of Song") and The Beatles ("With A Little Help From My Friends") given expert interpretation by Willie. [Vinyl edition due May 13.]
Seratones – Love & Algorhythms CD/LP (New West)
Love & Algorhythms is an interstellar synthesis of astral soul, R&B, and sci-fi funk. Working with producer Paul Butler (The Bees, Micheal Kiwanuka, Caroline Rose, Hurray For The Riff Raff), Seratones have taken the invitation to knock at the door of the cosmos. A.J. Haynes's voice dances with soul-stirring devotion at the altar of Black Feminisms: weaving the words Toni Cade Bambara, Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis multiverse, echoes of bell hooks, and Audre Lorde's Uses Of The Erotic: The Erotic As Power. With drummer Jesse Gabriel's machine-like precision and the transcendental touches from guitarist Travis Stewart, the album oscillates between Alice Coltrane-inspired bliss and Giorgio Moroder's ecstatic release. Each song hovers and pulsates in the wide, dark matter – constellations guiding a journey through the subtle body, the vast fullness of the human experience and the irresistible potential of liberation. [An indie store exclusive color vinyl pressing is available.]
Tomberlin – i don’t know who needs to hear this… CD/LP+MP3 (Saddle Creek)
Tomberlin is Sarah Beth Tomberlin, a pastor's kid born in Florida, raised in rural Illinois. She wrote most of her debut, At Weddings (2018), while living at home. For a while after leaving home and church, she lived in Louisville, Kentucky. She worked a day job and kept writing songs. She posted some of these songs to Bandcamp, which led to her signing a record deal with Saddle Creek. It all happened fast: Less than a year after her first live show, she performed on Jimmy Kimmel and she ended up moving to L.A. which is where she wrote Projections (2020), her EP follow-up to At Weddings. During the pandemic, Sarah Beth was all over the place, physically and mentally. Louisville. Los Angeles. Back home in Illinois for a bit. Brooklyn, where she's now settled, she says. Brooklyn is also where her new album i don't know who needs to hear this... was recorded. [An indie store exclusive translucent orange color vinyl pressing is available.]
Sofi Tukker – Wet Tennis CD (Sofi Tukker LLC)
Sofi Tukker, the genre-defying duo of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, is celebrated for their inclusive and global perspective on electronic music as well as their work's themes of liberation, unity, and self-empowerment. Wet Tennis is an acronym: When Everyone Tries to Evolve, Nothing Negative Is Safe. Wet Tennis is about forward movement, optimism and growth, no matter what the challenge. Wet Tennis is a dedication to constantly evolving and celebrating aliveness. Wet Tennis is a lifestyle. It says: everything's better when wet. Wetness is excitement, mother nature, movement, flow, sweat, and juice. It's athletic and elegant. It's loud and bright. All these qualities will be on full display when Sofi Tukker comes to town, both on stage and in the audience. [Vinyl edition – including a limited-edition picture disc version - due August 19.]
Ann Wilson – Fierce Bliss CD (Silver Lining Music)
With Fierce Bliss, legendary Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ann Wilson - recognized as one of the greatest singers of all time and co-founder of multi-platinum stars Heart - has created a supremely lavish, warm and seductive slice of rock 'n' roll which provides an instant soundtrack whether on the freeway or in front of the fireplace. Recorded between Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and Power Station, Waterford, CT, Wilson got together with famed Nashville session guitarist Tom Bukovac and invited several friends (including Warren Haynes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Vince Gill) to help fashion an album which carries the glow of an ochre sunset and the pristine vocals of a rock legend who still has every single unique octave at her fingertips.
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me [Reissue/2002] LP (Blue Note)
Norah Jones' seminal debut album, Come Away With Me, became a global phenomenon reaching #1 in 20 countries, selling nearly 30 million copies, and sweeping the 2003 Grammy Awards with eight wins including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. This remastered 20th Anniversary Edition captures the emergence of a singular talent on this now-classic album.
Diane Coffee – With People CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
After 2019's exquisite Internet Arms, which Paste described as "a heady exploration of the distinctions between online and authentic personas," Diane Coffee, the versatile and ambitious pop project of Shaun Fleming, returns with their fourth album, With People. [A clear vinyl pressing is available.]
Helms Alee – Keep This Be The Way CD/LP+MP3 (Sargent House)
Across the span of their first five studio albums, Seattle trio Helms Alee have consistently refined their signature sound, blend of lilting siren songs, crushing thunder and sludge, and heady guitar pop filled with lush guitars and elaborate three-part vocal harmonies that reach widely across various subgenres of the heavy music world. On their latest album, Keep This Be The Way, the band expanded their palette by delving into the production possibilities afforded by recording the album themselves, creating their most dynamic and technicolored work to date.
Eli "Paperboy" Reed – Down Every Road CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Eli 'Paperboy' Reed pays homage to country legend Merle Haggard by putting a soulful spin on some classic tunes. Recorded in Brooklyn with longtime collaborator Vince Chiarito (Black Pumas, Charles Bradley), Reed taps into all the heartache of Haggard's iconic catalog and channels it into explosive, high-octane performances that blur the lines of genre, geography, and race to reveal the common, distinctly American threads tying them all together.
Sparks – Balls [Reissue/2000] CD/2xLP (BMG)
Sparks – Lil’ Beethoven [Reissue/2002] CD/2xLP (BMG)
Sparks – Hello Young Lovers [Reissue/2005] CD/2xLP (BMG)
Remastered and expanded CD and vinyl reissues of the veteran pop duo’s 18th, 19th and 20th albums.
The Cactus Blossoms – One Day LP (Walkie Talkie)
One Day is the third album from the Cactus Blossoms - featuring eleven songs written, produced, and harmonized by brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum. Recorded and mixed by longtime collaborator Alex Hall using a mobile rig in Page's Minneapolis basement, the album continues the evolution of the band's signature blend of country, soul, and ‘60s rock sounds, all anchored by the brothers' core sibling harmony vocal style.
Coil – Musick To Play In The Dark² [Reissue/2000] 2xLP (Dais)
After leaving London in 1999 for the sleepy seaside retiree town of Weston-super-Mare, Coil co-founders John Balance and Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson set up shop in a palatial eight-bedroom estate to pursue the outer reaches of the group's heightening cabalistic chemistry. Among the staggering string of late-era masterpieces they produced is lunar opus Musick Is To Play In The Dark, widely hailed as an artistic zenith upon its release. The sessions that birthed it were in fact so fruitful that a second LP took shape during the creation of the first one. Aided by the recent addition of Welsh multi-instrumentalist engineer Thighpaulsandra, Coil mined further into the recesses of surrealist eldritch electronica Balance termed "moon music" - post-industrial spellcasting at the axis of narcotic and nocturnal energies. Musick To Play In The Dark² spans a full witching hour of bad acid sound design, synthesizer voyaging, opiated balladry, Luciferian glitch, and subliminal hymnals, alternately ominous, oracular, and absurd. [Several limited-edition colorways are available.]
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman [Reissue/1963] LP (Impulse!)
John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman, released by Impulse! Records in 1963, was recorded on March 7, 1963, at the Van Gelder Studio. Coltrane and Hartman had decided on 10 songs for the album, but en route to the studio they heard Nat King Cole on the radio performing "Lush Life", and Hartman immediately decided that song had to be included on their record. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013.
Cowboy Junkies – Songs Of The Recollection LP (Proper)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The new Cowboy Junkies album Songs Of The Recollection features covers of well-known songs by the likes of David Bowie, Gram Parsons, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and The Cure.
Sondre Lerche – Avatars Of Love 2xLP (Sondre Lerche LLC)
Having relocated to his native home of Norway in 2020, indie-pop auteur Sondre Lerche returns with his boldest, most expansive work yet: Avatars Of Love. Written and recorded within the span of a year, the album, as Lerche tells it, "burst into being during a very intense and hyperactive year of my life." Produced by Lerche and his team of longtime collaborators Matias Tellez (girlinred) and Kato Adland, it features guests AURORA, CHAI, Mary Lattimore, and Felicia Douglass of Dirty Projectors.
Suicidal Tendencies – How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today [Reissue/1988] LP (Red Music Legacy)
Originally released in 1988, Suicidal Tendencies' third LP, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today,was a major turning point for Mike Muir and his Venice, CA crew. Led by Muir's sardonic sneer, How Will I Laugh...grinds with beyond-punk prowess and biting social commentary that pushed Suicidal from Pendelton n' bandana'd clad, Pepsi-chuggin' hardcore heroes to flexible skateboard-obsessed thrashers who would give legends like Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica a run for their money. [An indie store exclusive blue color vinyl pressing is available.]