Music Releases 09-06-19
Hailed by Rolling Stone as a “stomping, swaggering rock & roll balancing act teetering between blinding light and total darkness,” Barns Courtney releases his newest album, 404, on September 6 by Capitol Records. Barns wrote and produced the 10-song collection with synth wiz and longtime friend Sam Battle. All in all, 404 is a commentary on his journey from awe struck naivety to the dark realization of adulthood. Barns Courtney has already surpassed a half billion cumulative streams globally and is currently touring with Elle King. In between headline dates, he’s opened for everyone from The Who and Blur to Ed Sheeran and The Wombats, prompting The Dallas Observer to note, “At the rate he's been performing, it won’t be long until he’s burned his name into the memory of anyone and everyone who bought a ticket to see someone different.”
A uniquely somber and contemplative entry in the Iggy Pop canon. Free has virtually nothing in common sonically with its predecessor (Post Pop Depression)—or with any other Iggy Pop album. As Iggy says, “Free to recoil from guitar riffs in favor of guitarscapes, from twangs in favor of horns, from back beat in favor of space; and in large part, from the effluent of my own mind and problems, in favor of trying to interpret the poetry of others…so this album just kind of happened to me, and I let it happen.”
The Highwomen are a cleverly named new supergroup comprising country and roots rock stars Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby. After a few months of teasers and a soft debut at April’s Loretta Lynn tribute, they’re making their official introduction to the world.
The group has announced its self-titled debut album, out in September and produced by Dave Cobb, the Nashville mainstay who always seems to be behind the boards for these types of projects. (He’s also produced recent albums by Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Lori McKenna, Ashley Monroe… you get the idea.) The album features 12 songs written by various combinations of the core members plus some notable collaborators like Isbell, McKenna, Miranda Lambert, and Ray LaMontagne. It features guest appearances from Isbell, Cobb, Sheryl Crow, Yola, the Hanseroth twins, Chris Powell, and Peter Levin.
Grayscale align nostalgic confessions, nineties alternative homage, and 21st century playlist-busting ambition on their second full-length, Nella Vita. These twelve tracks urge pensive pondering, rock catharsis, and danceable elation all at once.
The ? anniversary 3-LP Deluxe Edition features the original album, all of its instrumentals, the entire A GHETTO CHRISTMAS CAROL EP,newly remixed songs and unreleased voice memo s from Jahseh D. Onfroy s process of the making of ?. The packaging features a pull-out poster, along with a booklet filled with never-before-seen photos.
Lost Girls is another brilliant full-length in Khan's incredible, acclaimed discography, mixing sounds she's always loved - heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats, cascading choruses - with some of her finest songwriting to date. It's an album full of romance, a homage to Los Angeles where the album was recorded, to being a kid in the 80's, to films that touched and changed her life. Spanning 10 tracks, Lost Girls sees Khan dreaming up her own fully formed parallel universe, creating an off-kilter coming of age film in which gangs of marauding female bikers roam our streets, teenagers make out on car hoods and a powerful female energy casts spells and leave clues for us to follow. The women of Lost Girls are parallel to one of Khan's previous female protagonists, the tough, darkness-driven Pearl, from her 2009 lauded album Two Suns. Within the women of Lost Girls and the character Nikki Pink, Khan unfolds elements of herself; within these songs, we do the same.
Vinyl: $34.98 PRE ORDER
The groundbreaking albums, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols. 1 & 2 are being reissued on digital and CD on February 8, 2019, also becoming available for the first time on streaming platforms. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 1 will be re-released on vinyl for the first time since 2012, with a deluxe edition containing both Volumes 1 and 2 on 2 LPs.
Miles Davis shocked the music world in 1985 when he left Columbia Records after 30 years to join Warner Bros. Records. In October of that year, he began recording the album Rubberband in Los Angeles at Ameraycan Studios with producers Randy Hall and Zane Giles. The musical direction Davis was taking during the sessions marked a radical departure, with the inclusion of funk and soul grooves; with plans to feature guest vocalists Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. Eventually, the album was shelved and Davis went on to record Tutu, leaving the Rubberband songs unheard and untouched for over 30 years.
Melanie Martinez’s sophomore album, K-12, is another ambitious triumph for the artist. As with her debut album Cry Baby, K-12's music is a vibrant and singular melting pot of low-key hip-hop, soulful pop and indie-leaning electro. K-12's universe is an expansion of the one introduced in Cry Baby. Using lyrics rich with metaphor, songs address the struggle to find a place to belong —including within friendships, the physical world and romantically — even when fitting into society feels like an uphill battle.
Necronautical, was initially formed as a recording only project in 2014 by founders Naut, Carcarrion and Anchorite. The trio recorded, produced and released their debut album receiving high praise from listeners and critics alike, and quickly established Necronautical as one of the most promising and unique projects in the UK's flourishing Black Metal scene.
Close It Quietly is a continual reframing of the known. It’s like giving yourself a haircut or rearranging your room. You know your hair. You know your room. Here’s the same hair, the same room, seen again as something new. Close It Quietly takes the trademark Frankie Cosmos micro-universe and upends it, spilling outwards into a swirl of referentiality that’s a marked departure from earlier releases, imagining and reimagining motifs and sounds throughout the album. The band’s fourth studio release is a manifestation of their collaborative spirit: Greta Kline and longtime bandmates Lauren Martin (synth), Luke Pyenson (drums), and Alex Bailey (bass) luxuriated in studio time with Gabe Wax, who engineered and co-produced the record with the band. Recording close to home— at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studios— grounded the band, and their process was enriched by working closely with Wax, whose intuition and attention to detail made the familiar unfamiliar and allowed the band to reshape their own contexts. On opener “Moonsea,” an unaccompanied Greta begins, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say.” Take that as a wink and a metonym for the whole album, as her signature vocals are joined by Alex’s ascending bassline and Lauren’s eddying synths, invoking a loungey take on Broadcast or Stereolab’s space-disco experimental pop. There’s much more than “not much” to say here, and it's augmented and expanded by experimentation with synth patches, textures, and other recording nuances courtesy of Wax. As the lineup has solidified into the most permanent expression of full-band Frankie Cosmos, the bandmates have felt more comfortable deviating from their default instruments and contributing bigger-picture ideas to continue pushing the sound forward. The band’s closeness and aesthetic consistency freed its members to take more risks, notes Luke: "Everything will sound like Frankie Cosmos because Greta has such a distinct voice (literally and figuratively). We have so much latitude to experiment with the instrumental music, and this time around we really took advantage of that." Without losing any intimacy of prior albums, Close it Quietly is different, is outer. The album functions as a benign doppelganger, a shadow self of past releases; where other Frankie Cosmos records shine brightest looking inward, Close it Quietly refracts the self into the world, and vice versa, miraculously echoing Thoreau’s assertion that “when I reflect, I find that there is other than me.” Reflection--and refraction--isn’t tidy. “Flowers don’t grow/in an organized way/why should I?” Greta sings on “A Joke.” Growth isn’t linear. Change happens in circles. While recording the album, Alex says, “I closed my eyes a lot.” Stand in the sun, listen to Close it Quietly, and do the same.
If there were any justice, Guster's underappreciated masterpiece, Lost and Gone Forever, would have elevated the band to superstar status, and the follow-up, Keep It Together, would have been one of the most hyped releases of 2003. But while the Boston trio has built up one of the most formidable grassroots followings in music through constant touring, powerful live performances, and a level of interaction with its fans that rivals any band in the biz, Keep It Together has the goods to finally make Guster a household name.
Amadjar means ‘the unknown visitor’ in the language of Tamashek, the one who seeks hospitality and who’s condemned to an inner exile, within a territory or within himself. The story of Amadjar, the ninth Tinariwen album, begins at the end of 2018, at the Taragalte Festival of nomadic cultures in the Moroccan Sahara. After a concert and a sandstorm, Tinariwen hit the road and head for Mauritania, via southern Morocco, Western Sahara and the Atlantic coast. The destination is important but no more so than the journey itself. Tinariwen are joined by their French production team, who arrive in old camper van that’s been converted into a makeshift studio. The journey to Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, takes a dozen days or so. Every evening, the caravan stops to set up camp and the members of Tinariwen get to work under the stars – to prepare for the recording, talking things through, letting their guitar motifs, thoughts and long buried songs come. Then, during a final camp in the desert around Nouakchott that lasts about fifteen days, to an audience of scorpions, the band record their songs under large tent. In a few takes, without headphones or effects. The Mauritanian griotte Noura Mint Seymali and her guitarist husband, Jeiche Ould Chigaly, come to throw their musical tradition on the embers lit by Tinariwen – the curling vocals of Noura Mint Seymali on the song ‘Amalouna’ will become a highlight. This nomadic album, recorded in a natural setting, is as close as you can get to Tinariwen. And also, therefore, to the idea that things can evolve: bassist Eyadou plays a lot of acoustic guitar; percussionist Said tries his hand at new instruments; Abdallah exhumes songs that he’s never played on stage with Tinariwen. And that violin that appears on several songs and reminds you of the traditional imzad ; It’s actually played by Warren Ellis. The violinist in Nick Cave’s band is one of several western guests on the album. We also hear the mandolin and charango of Micah Nelson (son of the country music giant Willie Nelson, and Neil Young’s guitarist), and the guitars of Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O)))), Cass McCombs and Rodolphe Burger. The album is mixed by Joshua Vance Smith.
CD: $15.98 PRE ORDER
Soundtrack to the second season of the critically acclaimed and eight-time Emmy winning HBO series, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. Big Little Lies: Music from Season 2 of the HBO Limited Series showcases an eclectic mix of soul, folk, blues, country and rock from Charles Bradley, the Spinners, Cassandra Wilson, Elle King, Willie Nelson and more. Several previously unreleased tracks are premiered, including “Piece of My Heart” by Christina Vierra and The Ryam Rehm Band (made famous by Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company), “Why Can’t We Live Together” by Jim James (originally by Timmy Thomas), and “That Was Yesterday” by Leon Bridges.
On September 6th, Finnish melodic metal titans SONATA ARCTICA will release their tenth studio album, called Talviyö (which means Winter Night), including eleven new tracks. "We were talking about having an album cover made from a photo and luckily managed to find this award winning photographer Onni Wiljami who actually hails from a village not too far from our hometown and his pictures were just perfect for this album", explains keyboardist Henrik "Henkka" Klingenberg. "The idea was to create an album that is musically in line with at least the previous two albums", says vocalist Tony Kakko and adds: "I am very happy with the songs and the general mood of the album. Some career highlights there, I feel." "We recorded a bunch of kick ass songs and tried some new stuff as well. I'm really proud of how we managed to record the band sounding more live, playing together instead of just tracking everything one by one", states Henrik "Henkka" Klingenberg. Talviyö was recorded between September 2018 and May 2019, produced by Mikko Tegelman and SONATA ARCTICA in 'Studio57'. Additional recordings took place in various other places. "Mikko produced the album and he really managed to push us to do our best, even with the more experimental stuff. Working with an outside producer was the biggest new thing we tried this time", says Henrik "Henkka" Klingenberg. The mixing was done by Mikko Tegelman and Pasi Kauppinen and the mastering was handled by Svante Forsbäck for 'Chartmakers'.
BLACK STAR RIDERS are back – with a new album, a new line-up, and what frontman Ricky Warwick calls “a new energy and chemistry”. In the seven years since Warwick and legendary guitarist Scott Gorham put BLACK STAR RIDERS together, they have made three of the finest hard rock albums, “All Hell Breaks Loose”, “The Killer Instinct” and “Heavy Fire”, of modern times. Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick created BLACK STAR RIDERS out of the modern version of Thin Lizzy, the band in which Gorham had served in its golden age during the 1970s on classic albums including “Jailbreak”, “Bad Reputation”, “Live And Dangerous” and “Black Rose”. Rounding out the Black Star Riders line up is guitarist Christian Martucci, formerly of Stone Sour, bassist Robert Crane, formerly of RATT and Vince Neal, and drummer Chad Szeliga, formerly of Breaking Benjamin and Black Label Society.
The Competition, the anticipated fourth album from Lower Dens, is a pop album with a concept both emotionally and politically urgent. The title is lead singer and songwriter Jana Hunter’s term for a sociopsychological phenomenon that, in different ways, binds us all. Modern capitalism by nature generates a psychosis that accelerates our insecurities and anxieties to the point of total overload, corroding our intimacies, our communities, and our senses of self. The Competition speaks, in various ways, to the necessity of “socially de-conditioning ourselves and learning how to be people,” Hunter says. “The issues that have shaped my life, for better or for worse, have to do with coming from a family and a culture that totally bought into this competitive mindset.” The band’s first three albums—Twin-Hand Movement, Nootropics, and Escape from Evil—formed a narrative of sorts, about finding community, and identifying one’s responsibilities. This trajectory was interrupted by personal crises including frustrating battles with mental health. At the same time, Hunter was and is still undergoing a gender transition they had been deferring for many years. “I repressed the idea for a long time,” Hunter says. Hunter studied Western classical music growing up, “but I was wild and in a lot of pain, and it didn’t really touch that. What did, especially as a very young person, was pop — a spectrum ranging anywhere from Prince to Anne Murray. Home life was very bleak, and pop songs were a guaranteed escape to a mental space where beauty, wonder and love were possible. I wanted to write songs that might have the potential to do that.” The Competition draws on influences ranging across decades of Western pop music and chronicles messy, vulnerable humanity at a time of upheaval and chaos — through immersive, four-minute songs meant to give pleasure as much as provoke self-examination. It channels an urgent, restless desire to connect. “My voice is gonna be different when I perform these songs than it was when I recorded them,” Hunter says. “I’m equally terrified of and excited by that, but I always want to be more myself onstage, to reach people.”
Cauthen first earned his reputation as a fire-breathing truth teller with the acclaimed roots rock band Sons of Fathers, but it wasnt until the 2016 release of his solo debut, My Gospel, that he truly tapped into the full depth of his prodigious talents. Rolling Stone called the album a triple-barreled blast of Texas country, soul and holy-roller rockabilly delivered by a big-voiced crooner, while Vice Noisey dubbed it a somber reminder of how lucky we are to be alive, and Texas Monthly raved that Cauthen sound[s] like the Highwaymen all rolled into one: hes got Willies phrasing, Johnnys haggard quiver, Kristoffersons knack for storytelling, and Waylons baritone. The album landed on a slew of Best Of lists at the years end and earned Cauthen dates with Elle King, Margo Price, Billy Joe Shaver, and Cody Jinks, along with festival appearances from Austin City Limits and Pickathon to Stagecoach and Tumbleweed. He followed it up two years later with Have Mercy, an EP that prompted Rolling Stoneto dub him one of the most fascinating, and eccentric, new voices in country music and NPRs Ann Powers to proclaim it the year of Paul Cauthen.
This is Sleeping With Siren's first album since signing with Sumerian Records - The band will be on tour all summer on The Disrupt Tour and performing at two of The Vans Warped Tour Dates - For fans of: Asking Alexandria, Pierce The Veil, I See Stars
Miss June is what happens when angst matures. Raised in the embers of punk rock, Miss June harness jagged, noisy guitars filtered through the unrivalled stage presence of frontperson Annabel Liddell, unafraid, unapologetic and ready to wake up the music scene. Described as "some unholy union between Sonic Youth and Le Tigre" the NZ four piece, completed by the music school alumni recruited by Liddell - guitarist Jun Park, bass player Chris Marshall and drummer Tom Leggett - has built a reputation for fierce, formidable and head-spinning live shows. Miss June have caught the attention of acts like The Foo Fighters, Shellac, Wolf Alice and Idles who have all eagerly harnessed their support on stage. Over the past 12 months Miss June have held industry figures and tastemakers alike in the palms of their hands following the buzz generated from their 2018 BIGSOUND showcase, a ground swell which culminated in the band choosing to sign early in 2019 with New York label Frenchkiss Records (Passion Pit, Bloc Party, The Hold Steady, Local Natives, The Drums, & The Antlers). 2019 is set to be a landmark year for Miss June. On May 31st they release the lead single "Best Girl", backed with fan favourite "Twitch", taken from their impending debut album Bad Luck Party (expected September 2019). Combining elements of post-punk, no-wave and rock, the Tom Healy (Jen Cloher, Tiny Ruins, Die! Die! Die!) produced record sees Miss June still holding close their DIY roots while creating a blistering, reckless sound full of melodic hooks and overdriven riffs that are at once immediately recognizable and yet entirely their own. Miss June are fast growing into a force to be reckoned with. Miss June demand attention. There has never been a better time for Miss June to make noise. Get in now. Or miss out.
A sweeping introduction to an artist deep into their practice, Kendra Amalie's Intuition is a star map to a new and developing sound space. An exploratory and (sometimes) shredding finger-style 12-string guitarist (both acoustic and electric), band leader, synthesist, new media creator, and experimental producer, the Wisconsin-based musician is also a songwriter occupying an ethereal zone between galaxy-brain cosmic transmissions and deep, personal expression. There's a concept and narrative arc to Intuition, too, the action moving from underwater locales to boat to city to global consciousness to farmland to the etheric plane and back to water. Shifting her music-making energies over the past several years, Intuition is the sound of a powerful new voice in focus. Intuition is a sound-based cross-section of a larger body of work. An arrival and a destination, Intuition is also surely a stopover, too. Meet Kendra Amalie.