The Electric Fetus - Outside The Heard - April 2016
Foals What Went Down Warner Brothers
Foals have spent the last 10 years trying on different sounds – math rock, pop, Talking Heads / Eno influenced elastic funk – to thrilling results. What Went Down is Foals as their most direct without sacrificing any of that frenetic energy. The hooks are also bigger and better than ever. What Went Down proves Foals to be not just a band – they’re a force.
Yours, Dreamily Nonesuch/WB
The Arcs is a new project helmed by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Co-produced by Auerbach, the album was recorded in roughly two weeks through spontaneous, informal sessions across the country including Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, and in a lounge room at Electric Lady in Manhattan. The great Tchad Blake mixed the album on his horse farm in Wales.
Slingshot Dakota is comprised of two people, but has no shortage of volume, energy and catchy tunes. Carly Comando shreds an 88-key digital piano through multiple effects pedals and provides vocals for the band. Drummer Tom Patterson keeps the beat while energetically crushing his drums, a sight that is both entertaining and inspiring. While Comando and Patterson are influenced by their respective punk and hardcore basement scenes, Break is a poppy, indie rock delight.
The Revival GroundUP
Cory Henry is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who’s worked with an array of musical legends across genres, including Sara Bareilles, Bruce Springsteen, The Roots and as a member of the Grammy Award-winning collective Snarky Puppy. The Revival is a live album and DVD showcasing Henry’s deep musical roots, both in the church and outside of it, while working off his weapon of choice — the Hammond B-3 organ.
Bill Laurance Aftersun GroundUP
Bill Laurance returns with Aftersun, a paean to space exploration and life in the cosmos. With flavors of Dance music and African percussion at its heart, Aftersun combines deep world grooves with Laurance’s signature genre-bending exploration. Features contributions from bandmates from Snarky Puppy and legendary New Orleans percussionist Weedie Braihma.
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke ECM Records
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke features pianist Vijay Iyer and his hero, friend and teacher, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. The centerpiece of the album is the spellbinding title suite, dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), the innovative Indian artist whose improvisatory imagery evokes abstracted rhythms. Trumpet and piano interact here with creative sensitivity to tone, texture and space.
Anoushka Shankar Land of Gold
Land of Gold is Anoushka Shankar’s fervent response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty. The virtuoso sitar player – and daughter of Ravi – explores an expressive range, conveying an evocative journey infused with a message of enduring hope. Land of Gold is a narrative communicated with conviction and poetic beauty.
Family Dinner Vol. II GroundUP
Recorded in New Orleans, Family Dinner Vol. 2 once again finds band nerd heroes Snarky Puppy collaborating with a wide spectrum of musical luminaries in service of fun and a good cause – specifically, New Orleans-based charity, Roots of Music. David Crosby, Ivan Neville, Susana Baca, and Charlie Hunter are among the guest.
Alice Cooper Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Symphonic Decca
In honor of its 40th anniversary, Wish You Were Here is presented in spectacular symphonic sound, newly recorded at Abbey Road Studios. This performance is helmed by the one-and-only Alice Cooper and also features Yes maestro Rick Wakeman and the London Orion Orchestra with Peter Scholes, conductor & arranger.
Pet Shop Boys
Super x2 Records
Super, the album from Pet Shop Boys, was written in London and Berlin. The record features 12 new Tennant/Lowe compositions including the lead single, "The Pop Kids," which evokes the London club scene of the early '90s. And, given the current House Music revival, the music feels as urgent as ever. As usual, brilliant sarcasm and grand hooks prevail.
Autolux Pussy's Dead
Listening to an Autolux album has always been like being temporarily transported to an entirely different universe. Pussy's Dead is even more of an immersive sonic experience. The foundation of nearly every song consists of tangled sonic collages built around uneasy, often beautiful arrangements that approach meaning from seemingly impossible vantage points, but still register squarely with the listener’s emotions.
Dreamland is Wild Belle's bold and evolutionary new album. The duo that forms the core of this Chicago based group are siblings Elliott and Natalie Bergman, and have created a sound known for infusing its psychedelic pop sound with grooves based on reggae and ska. Tracks like “Throw Down Your Guns” and joyous and expansive, while remaining thought-provoking and fun.
Domo Genesis Genesis Columbia
Domo Genesis burst onto the scene a stalwart of the notoriously incendiary hip-hop enclave, Odd Future, and has earned a reputation as one of its most lyrically precocious members. Over time, Domo has revealed himself to be one the most ferocious rappers of the bunch and his solo debut, Genesis, proves he’s been saving up his hottest fire for this special occasion. Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Tyler, The Creator guest.
Lukas Graham Warner Brothers
Classically trained with the Copenhagen Boys’ Choir, with a musical scope widened by his Irish folk roots and passion for hip-hop, Lukas Graham possesses a distinct, poetic ability to capture the full range of emotions in his music. This is showcased perfectly on lead single “7 Years” which, thanks to Lukas’ impeccable lyricism and infectious hooks, is making huge global waves.
Ragbirds The Threshold and the Hearth
Rock Ridge Music
Hook-laden pop with a kaleidoscopic array of worldly influences, The Ragbirds exhibit a gleeful disregard for contemporary folk-rock convention. The Threshold & The Hearth is built around the songwriting of Erin Zindle, who skillfully switches between violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo and percussion, all while dancing. Zindle wears an infectious smile while yielding her positive messages – always spun through a poetic loom. You will too.
A Mineral Love Warp
Bibio is known – and celebrated – as an electronic musician but, for his new album, A Mineral Love, he wanted to not only create something from scratch – i.e. without samples – but one that would represent his musical breadth. “I feel this album is built more from… an exposure to music of many styles rather than close analytical study of any particular one,” he says. “It is after all just a view through my stained-glass telescope.”
It took four years for The Lumineers to follow up their platinum-plus, multi-Grammy-nominated, self-titled debut. Three of those years found The Lumineers touring six of the seven continents, earning Grammy nods, stomping and hollering their way into millions of homes. Their new album, Cleopatra, is anything but a sophomore slump. With the help of producer Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Avett Brothers), the band ensconced itself high atop a hill in rural Rhinebeck, N.Y., not far from Woodstock, and set about trying to make musical sense of their three-year-plus roller coaster ride. Their skill at setting a visual story to music comes through amidst the delicate, deceptively simple acoustic soundscapes remains intact, but Cleopatrais the sound of a group willing to take some chances. The band had total artistic freedom in writing and recording the album, so they pushed the envelope on experimental tracks like the stream-of-consciousness, purposely lo-fi “Sick in the Head,” the yearning, piano buttressed “In the Light,” or the closing orchestral instrumental, the aptly titled coda, “Patience.”
With his new album, Are You Serious, Andrew Bird has widened the breadth of his art by directly reflecting his own human experience. With key contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills, Are You Serious attains a level of expression that's a personal, evolutionary leap. It’s also a portrait of the artist at his un-guarded best. Recorded at legendary Los Angeles studio, Sound City – where classic records by Nirvana, Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac were made – Are You Serious finds Bird collaborating yet again with venerable producer and A&R man, Tony Berg. Together, the two meticulously brought every element of Are You Serious to life. "I wanted to make an album musically crafted like a Wrecking Crew session, where you have to be good,” says Bird. “There's less wordplay and more intention to process some brutal times that I went through. What happens when real ordeals befall someone who has always been happy writing from their imagination and the distance of the third person? What's the role of sincerity for a songwriter who doesn't really go in for the confessional thing? This is what I struggled with for this record. I suppose the title could be poking fun at my own foray into the confessional realm."
Andrew Bird -
Are You Serious
"Making music again with The Innocent Criminals has been a priority for a while now," Ben Harper told Rolling Stone last year. "It was time.” Tracing their roots back to 1993, The Innocent Criminals (percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates and guitarist Michael Ward) were involved in most of Harper’s projects before going on hiatus in 2008. The band toured the globe nonstop, earning legions of fans thanks to explosive live performances and a succession of acclaimed studio albums including Fight For Your Mind, The Will to Live, Burn to Shine, Diamonds on the Inside, and the GRAMMY® nominated Lifeline, their last studio album together in 2007. The Innocent Criminals also backed Ben and The Blind Boys of Alabama on the two-time GRAMMY® winning collaborative album There Will Be A Light. Call It What It Is, the new album from Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals is an incisive, bold, poetic statement that could only come from these longtime band mates – one of popular music’s most essential, cohesive and dynamic ensembles. Theirs is a groove that’s been sorely missed. You can bet that they’ll be destroying a festival stage near you very, very soon.
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals -
Call It What It Is
“Every day it starts, anxiety,” began the first song on 2014’s Content Nausea. Human Performance picks up where that thought left off, picking apart the anxieties of modern life: “The unavoidable noise of NYC that can be maddening, the kind of the impossible struggle against clutter, whether it's physical or mental or social,” says singer / guitarist Austin Brown. There has always been the emotional side of Parquet Courts, which has always had an important balance with the more discussed cerebral side, but guitarist / singer Andrew Savage sees Human Performance as a redistribution of weight in that balance. "I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance.” The sonic diversity, time, and existential effort that went into its creation makes Human PerformanceParquet Courts' most ambitious record to date – the classic NYC strum und skronk is still in place, but now touches of the Psychedelic Southwest elevate the palate… Sorta like Wall of Voodoo doing Fear of Music, with a touch of Pere Ubu’s album-as-road-movie sensibility. Streamlined, cheeky, subtly refined, and replete with a great lyric sheet (as usual), Human Performance is another triumph for Parquet Courts.
Parquet Courts -
By now, Charles Bradley’s remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well documented: How he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs before finally being discovered by Daptone Record’s Gabriel Roth. The documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America, follows Bradley’s extraordinary journey during the electrifying and transformative months leading up to the release of debut album No Time for Dreaming. The year following the release of No Time For Dreaming was one triumph after another and Victim of Love saw Bradley emerging from his past heartaches stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share. Now, “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” is proud to present his highly anticipated third album Changes. The album is named for his smoldering cover of the classic Black Sabbath song. “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional,” notes Bradley. “It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.” The rest of the album finds Bradley doing what he does best – pouring his soul triumphantly into his beautiful, raw music, that implores the world to be a become a better place. You’ll get all the feels, sure, but you’ll find yourself dancing, too.
Charles Bradley -
The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.
Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.
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