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Rock Bottom Rhapsody
Model: POKEY LAFARGE
Release Date: 10 April 2020
2020 album. Blues/folk/country. Also available on CD.
“The man singing these songs isn’t exactly the same man who wrote them,” says American singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge of ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’, his eighth and latest studio release. “This album is about the story of who I used to be.”
In early 2018, the eccentric troubadour LaFarge - searching for the sort of artistic freedom and inspiration he wasn’t finding in the Midwest - relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment but new temptations soon found him, as well. Though he declines to get into specifics, LaFarge admits that he experienced a significant “fall from grace” during the last months of 2018. “Things sort of started to unravel in my mind.” Shortly before the recording of ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening - and the faith he re-embraced in his hour of darkness helped to buoy him through the making of the album.
Though he was struggling for spiritual equilibrium at the time, LaFarge at least had some rock-solid musical support to lean on. Recorded primarily at Reliable Recorders on Chicago’s Northwest side, ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ was produced by LaFarge’s friend and collaborator Chris Seefried (who also cowrote several of the album’s tracks) and features the considerable talents of guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton and drummer Alex Hall.
Musically, LaFarge continues to mix and match a wide variety of styles and traditions, while never losing track of his own vision “This record is kind of like Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan hanging out with chanson singers and French jazz bands in like the forties, but I was never trying to make it sound like a particular person.”
Despite the trying period that preceded its recording, ‘Rock Bottom Rhapsody’ is ultimately far more uplifting and life-affirming than its title would suggest. “That desperation, that struggle,” LaFarge ponders, “Did it add something to the record? It certainly did. I mean, I don’t know if it made it better; it just is what it is. It’s not up to me to decide if people are going to feel that…”
Tracklisting: Rock Bottom Rhapsody / End Of My Rope / Fuck Me UpBluebird / Rock Bottom Reprise / Lucky Sometimes / Carry On / Just The Same / Fallen Angel / Storm-A-Comin’ / Ain’t Comin’ Home / Lost In The Crowd / Rock Bottom Finale
Fast Food And Broken Hearts
Model: MFC CHICKEN
Release Date: 10 April 2020
2020 album. Rock n roll. Also available on Vinyl.
Formed in 2010 on top of a dirty fried chicken shop on London's Holloway Road, multinational band MFC Chicken play raw, sax-fueled rock and roll tunes about fast food and broken hearts. When tenor sax player Spencer Evoy arrived in London fresh from Canada, little did he know that his quest to reignite the spirit of the rock'n'roll sound of the American Pacific Northwest would start outside a chicken shop on the Holloway Road.
Since those early days, this poultry-power rock and roll group have released four award winning LPs and a fistful of instantly collectable singles on Dirty Water Records (UK) and FOLC Records (Spain). The band - Spencer Evoy (Sax/Lead Vox), Ravi Low-Beer (Drums), Zig Criscuolo (Bass/Vox), and Dan Criscuolo (Guitar/Vox) - have set the UK and Europe alight with 100’s of live shows presenting their own red hot take on "the music the Sonics and The Wailers were listening to", cementing this globe-spanning gang into the finest purveyors of Pacific Northwest rhythm and blues in the land.
2020 sees the 10th anniversary of the band and the release of their newest slab of vinyl presenting 14 brand new slabs of rock and roll, frat rock and rhythm and blues. Highlights include “KFC Called The Cops On Me”, “Breakfast ‘Taters” and “Fuck You, Me”. If you love dancing but hate contemporary music… if you are desperate to hear rock'n'roll taken back to its roots… if you are hungry for the greasiest item on the rhythm and blues dance menu, then you are most definitely ready for the indescribable, unstoppable sound of MFC Chicken - the best in the land!
Tracklisting: Always, Always, Always / KFC Called The Cops On Me / Who Gave What To Who? / Shell of a Man / I’m Lost / Couldn’t Say No / Fresh Chicken, Straight From The Trash / Spy Wail / Spontaneous Combust / Breakfast Taters / Fuck You Me / Free Range Man / Tipa Tapa / Waste Of Space
Model: DIXIE CHICKS
Release Date: 01 May 2020
2020 album also available on CD.
Gaslighter is the brilliant new album from the Dixie Chicks (the fifth studio album to be released by the band). After a long hiatus the country pop trio are back with their first new album since 2006’s ‘Taking The Long Way’ which won five Grammy Awards including “Album Of The Year,” “Record Of the Year” and “Song Of The Year.”
Band member Natalie Maines explained, the album was inspired by her divorce from actor Adrian Pasdar. “When I started getting a divorce, I had a lot to say, so that sparked me being ready. Songwriting is really hard for me, and for many years I didn’t want to analyze life or my relationship. I was just in it, and dedicated and devoted, and if I had started writing songs about it, that might not have been good. I was just in a … I don’t want to say ‘survival mode,’ but I was just not ready to open up. And then when my relationship fell apart, I had a lot to say.”
The new album will also coincide with a 2020 tour, and marks the trio’s final album under contract with Sony. “We thought we would do a covers album, just do it real easy, turn it in and get the money, and be free agents. And then my relationship fell apart, and I had a lot to say. So Gaslighter is not a covers album. Our last album was the most personal and autobiographical we’d ever been, and this one is ten times that.”
Gaslighter is produced by Jack Antonoff with the Dixie Chicks. Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a cultural phenomenon. Since the release of their debut album ‘Wide Open Spaces’ in 1998, the Dixie Chicks’ music has stirred emotions in fans across the world, making them one of the biggest and most influential bands of our time.
A Celebration Of Endings
Model: BIFFY CLYRO
Release Date: 15 May 2020
2020 album also available on Vinyl.
Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro are releasing their much anticipated eight album ‘A Celebration Of Endings’ of which frontman Simon Neil explains “This is a very forward-looking album from a personal perspective and a societal perspective. The title is about seeing the joy in things changing, rather than the sadness. Change means progression and evolution. You can retain everything you loved before, but let’s lose the bad shit. It’s about trying to take back control.”
The band made an instant impact with ‘Instant History’ blending their explosive attack with apocalyptic synths and bombastic beats, the track was premiered as BBC’s Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World. The band’s approach to opus eight was simple. Keep things fresh and maintain the wide-eyed wonder of what they do. Surprise themselves and each other. Push things to their furthest extremes. Their first building block in embracing the new was to turn to an old friend. In came Rich Costey, producer of ‘Ellipsis’.
Sonically, Biffy Clyro playfully push the outer reaches of their sound to the extreme – often in the case of the same song. Opening track ‘North of No South’ hits hard before finding the space for the Johnston brothers to unleash some soaring Queen-style vocal harmonies, before ‘The Champ’ throws piano, cinematic strings (conducted by Bruce Springsteen collaborator Rob Mathes at Abbey Road) and Biffy’s prototyped jagged rhythms into the mix without ever losing any of its sleekness.
Other songs are far more direct. ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ is the best direct rock anthem they’ve ever written, somehow snappy, melodic and light on its feet while feeling so natural you could imagine it was conceived in minutes. Meanwhile, ‘Space’ is a natural successor from previous lighters-in-the-air highlights ‘Many of Horror’ and ‘Rearrange’. It’s a sincere message of reconciliation for someone you love, and Biffy’s most tender, unguarded moment from the sweet spot of their catalogue.
How can you conclude an album of such esoteric diversity? Biffy launch headfirst into ‘Cop Syrup’. There’s the rush of ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’, a detour into Sub Pop-style grunge and manic shrieks which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Liturgy record. But then it contorts again, first into ethereal orchestration and then with a final burst of violence. It’s an ending to celebrate.To coincide with the album’s launch, Biffy Clyro have today shared the new track ‘End Of’. The aggression is old school Biffy, but the out-of-nowhere piano break and a final rally of rampaging riffs matches their current unpredictable flair.
Tracklisting: North Of No South / The Champ / Weird Leisure / Tiny Indoor Fireworks / Worst Type Of Best Possible / Space / End Of / Instant History / The Pink Limit / Opaque / Cop Syrup
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Radio Broadcast. John Peel sessions and two tracks from Dutch TV.
Rock and blues band Taste (originally "The Taste") was formed in Cork, Ireland, in August 1966 as a trio consisting of Rory Gallagher on guitar and vocals, Eric Kitteringham on bass, and Norman Damery on drums. In 1968 Taste began performing in the UK where the original line‐up split up. The new line‐up formed with Richard McCracken on bass and John Wilson on drums.
The new Taste moved permanently to London where they signed with the record label Polydor. In April 1969, Taste released the first of their two studio albums, the self‐titled ‘Taste’, with On the Boards following in early 1970, the latter showing the band's jazz influences with Gallagher playing saxophone on numerous tracks. Taste recorded three sessions for John Peel’s Top Gear programme between 1968 and 1969. Nine songs from those sessions are featured on this disc. In addition, two live recordings broadcast on Dutch television on 22 August 1969 are also included.
Tracklisting: Blister on The Moon / Dual Carriageway Pain / Norman Invasion / Sugar Mama / Leaving Blues / Born on The Wrong Side of Time / Wee Wee Baby / Same Old Story / I'm Moving On / Blister on The Moon (live) / Sugar Mama (live)
Model: FLAT WORMS
Release Date: 10 April 2020
2020 album. Psych/post punk. Also available on CD.
Flat Worms the three piece punk band from Los Angeles with Will Ivy, Tim Hellman (Thee Oh Sees, Sic Alps) and Justin Sullivan (Kevin Morby, The Babies) are launching their third album in the past four years ‘Antarctica’, which reflects a situation that’s dire but not hopeless. 2020: world in flames, deserts in permafrost, everyone in their own corners, looking down into their hands. What’s happening isn’t working, but Flat Worms’ have hardened their post-punk/psych sound, and are out there, playing to change minds at all times.
Since the release of their 2017 debut album - even since last year’s ‘Into The Iris’ mini-LP - the sound of the trio has hardened, with the polarities of psych and post-punk smelted into a brutal cobalt alloy. No doubt they’re aided by the Steve Albini-engineered sound rendered at Electric Audio, where the album was recorded and mixed (in collaboration with Steve Albini and Ty Segall) in six days.
The rest of the evolution is down to Flat Worms, whose world view and musical viewpoint pulse with a remorseless drive and a sense of collaborative unity. Will Ivy’s cortex-scorching guitar leads are in united space with the full-body rhythm of Tim Hellman’s bass and Justin Sullivan’s drums. Their social comment, bleak, yet earnest, is leavened with bone dry humour (the title track’s isolation conundrums: “My dog is smiling as I drive her to the park / we sit together in the kitchen after dark / I ask her questions / She just barks”) and caustic pronouncements; a vision of the chaotic, dysfunctional contemporary landscape that recalls the tragicomic expressions of 100 Flowers and the indefatigable recitations of The Fall.
Tracklisting: Casino Queen / Shugar Water / Dream St. / Short Black Dress / Lenexa / Odessa / Traveler’s Code of Conduct / Diamond Glue / Control
Model: EDDIE COCHRAN
Release Date: 10 April 2020
Also available on Double Vinyl.
More than just a singer, American Eddie Cochran a first-generation rock-and-roll singer, was first and foremost a guitarist and musician, tragically diving at the tender age of 21 in a car crash while on tour in England. Eddie was a gifted artist, with an original style using the slide technique and he also excelled at the picking guitar plus an expert instrumentalist and was often employed as accompanist for other singers. With a charismatic voice that could switch effortlessly between smooth ballads and raucous rockabilly he was an important influence on popular music during the late 1950s, early 1960s, and beyond. Eddie - the James Dean/Elvis Presley-like stars’ legacy lives on in his recordings which continue to evoke a mood of teenage abandon with rare humour, precision, and vitality that still resonates today and these tracks are now packaged into ‘Something’ Else’ a mighty fine sampler of prime output by a visionary artist who died three years into his recording career.
It only took Eddie Cochran a handful of tracks, recorded in just three years, to become the most iconic rock’n’roll artist. Rather than weep forever for the spectre of a work that could not be accomplished completely, let us rejoice that we are able to listen to the imperishable songs that he bequeathed.
His compositions have been taken up by various groups. ‘Summertime Blues’, one of The Who’s favourite songs also taken up by The Straycats, The Flying Lizards, Blue Cheer, T. Rex, The Beach Boys, Chris Spedding, Terry Reid, Motorhead, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and even Olivia Newton-John. ‘C’Mon Everybody’ has been sung by Sid Vicious, UFO, Bryan Adams, The Sex Pistols, Humble Pie and Cliff Richard. ‘Somethin’ Else’ has been featured by The Move, Slade, The Sex Pistols, The Flamin’ Groovies and Moorhead. ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ has had the honour of being sung by Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard, The Straycats and The Bunch. This list is not exhaustive and Cochran’s songs are still being revived today.
2CD with 72 original tracks, including his complete official 58 original recordings and 14 alternate, rare and live tracks.
2LP with his best 32 original recordings.
CD1: Long Tall Sally / Blue Suede Shoes / That's My Desire / Twenty-Flight Rock / Completely Sweet / Dark Lonely Street / Pink Peg Slacks / Half Loved / Skinny Jim / Cotton Picker / Sittin' In The Balcony / One Kiss / Mean When I'm Mad / Drive-In Show / Am I Blue? / Completely Sweet / Undying Love / I'm Alone Because I Love You / Lovin' Time / Proud Of You / Stockin's’ n' Shoes / Tell Me Why / Have I Told You Lately That I Love You / Cradle Baby / Twenty Flight Rock / Pocketful Of Hearts / Never / Sweetie Pie / Pretty Girl / Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie / Teresa / Summertime Blues / Ah, Pretty Girl / Love Again / Lonely / Scratchin'
CD2: Don't Ever Let Me Go / I've Waited So Long / Let's Get Together / Nervous Breakdown / C'mon Everybody / Teenage Heaven / I Remember / My Way / Rock 'N' Roll Blues / Weekend / Think Of Me / Somethin' Else / Boll Weevil Song / Guybo (Drum City) / Milk Cow Blues / Strollin' Guitar / Song Of New Orleans / Hallelujah! I Love Her So / Little Angel / Cherished Memories / Three Steps To Heaven / Cut Across Shorty / Summertime Blues / Pretty Girl / Half Loved / Skinny Jim / Love Again / Lonely / Weekend / Little Angel / Tired & Sleepy / Fool's Paradise / I Want Elvis For Christmas / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / Money Honey / Sweet Little Sixteen
Model: EVERYTHING IS RECORDED
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Richard Russell. Also available on CD.
‘Friday Forever’ is the second album from multi-artist project Everything Is Recorded, helmed by producer artist Richard Russell. This follows the critically acclaimed and Mercury Music Prize nominated debut of 2018, ‘Everything Is Recorded’ by Richard Russell. ‘Friday Forever’ takes on a multi-lensed perspective of a classic night out, followed closely by the sobering reflections of the next morning.
The album features an array of new collaborators - in British rappers Aitch, FLOHIO and Berwyn, Irish singer songwriters Maria Somerville and Kean Kavanagh, the inimitable voices of A.K. Paul, James Massiah and returning vocalist Infinite Coles - as well as established names like Ghostface Killah and Penny Rimbaud.
Also released in April 2020, via White Rabbit, Richard Russell’s ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ - available in hardback, ebook, audio - is a spiritual journey through music by the Mercury Prize nominated musician and the man behind some of the world’s biggest recording artists including Adele, Dizzee Rascal and The Prodigy. ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ sees Richard Russell telling the remarkable story of XL Recordings and their three decades on the frontline of innovation in music; the eclectic chorus of artists who came to define the label’s unique aesthetic and Russell’s own story; his highs and lows steering the fortunes of an independent label in a rapidly changing industry, his celebrated production work with Bobby Womack and Gil Scott- Heron on their late-career masterpieces and his own development as an artist as 'Everything Is Recorded'.
Always searching for news sounds and new truths, ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ is a portrait of a man who believes in the spiritual power of music to change reality. It is also the story of a record label that refused to be categorised by genre and in the process cut an idiosyncratic groove which was often underground in feel but mainstream in impact.
“Writing this book was an opportunity for me to reflect on the last few decades. I hope people will get something from it. I’ve tried not to compromise in anything I’ve done, and that includes writing ‘Liberation Through Hearing’” - Richard Russell
Tracklisting: 09:46PM/EVERY FRIDAY THEREAFTER (Intro) (feat. Maria Somerville & Berwyn) / 10:51PM/THE NIGHT (feat. Berwyn & Maria Somerville) / 12:12AM/PATIENTS (FUCKING UP A FRIDAY) (feat. Aitch & Infinite Coles) / 01:32AM/WALK ALONE (feat. Infinite Coles & Berwyn)/ 02:56AM / I DONT WANT THIS FEELING TO STOP (feat. FLOHIO) / 03:15AM/CAVIAR (feat. Ghostface Killah & Infinite Coles) / 04:21AM/THAT SKY (feat. Maria Somerville & James Massiah) / 05:10AM/DREAM I NEVER HAD (feat. A. K. Paul) / 09:35AM/PRETENDING NOTHINGS WRONG (feat. Kean Kavanagh) / 10:02AM/BURNT TOAST (feat. Berwyn & A. K. Paul) / 11:55AM/THIS WORLD (feat. Infinite Coles & Maria Somerville) / 11:59AM CIRCLES (Outro) (feat. Penny Rimbaud)
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) and Australian composer Anthony Pateras. Also avavailbel on Vinyl.
‘necroscape’ is the sophomore release from the bi-continental outfit formed by Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) and Australian composer Anthony Pateras. ‘necroscape’ synthesizes a lot of territory: odd-time rock, musique concrète, otherworld grooves, soul, industrial noise, microtonal psychoacoustics… seemingly strange bedfellows on paper, yet in the ears they surprisingly coalesce into 13 songs which playfully challenge our notions of sonic logic and make you move at the same time.
Five years in the making, ‘necroscape’ mushroomed organically from Pateras’ production based on tape loops, analogue synthesis and rarified keyboard instruments in combination with Patton’s dense vocal arrangements, Erkki Veltheim’s exploratory violins and drummer Will Guthrie’s unique percussive strategies. The result is a handmade, kaleidoscopic tour-de-force which re-imagines songwriting as something other.
Pateras and Patton "created an intelligent but ferocious mixture of avant-garde experimentalism, world music accents, and heavy metal velocity" (All Music) within the confines of their 11-track, 2014 debut, "Geocidal". NME described the collection as "Roni Size getting spiked with GHB and fed through a woodchipper" while Alternative Press said, "once you are acclimated, it will leave you tingling." The pair, joined by Will Guthrie (percussion) and Erkka Veltheim (violin), both of whom appear on "Necroscape" as well, made their live debut, fittingly at the Tasmania Mona music and art festival. The Guardian said of the outing: "TĒTĒMA didn't enrapture with anthems or token festival rock gestures, they enraptured with mood, with surprises, and with evocations rarely felt by audiences…"
Packaging features noted artist Talitha Kennedy’s sculpture work, packaged in super gloss digipak (CD) and embossed extra glossy gatefold sleeve (white vinyl).
The track ‘Funerale’ is a cover of the Ennio Morricone classic.
Tracklisting: Necroscape / Cutlass Eye / Wait Till Mornin' / Haunted On The Uptake / All Signs Uncensored / Milked Out Million / Soliloquy / Flatliner's Owl / Dead Still / Invertebrate / We'll Talk Inside A / Dream / Sun Undone / Funerale Di Un Contadino
Call The Captain
Model: WESTERN CENTURIES
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Americana. Also available on CD.
As our culture grows increasingly isolated and selfish, Seattle-based roots group Western Centuries believes that the way forward is better together. ‘Call the Captain’, the band’s third full-length record, is a cosmic, genre melding testament to the power of collaboration and humility. Mutual admiration are what Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton, and Jim Miller cite as the heart of their project. Western Centuries celebrates their third album as a “band’s band” (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the band’s lack of hierarchy). Unsurprisingly for such an egalitarian outfit, the collection offers harsh criticism of dogmatic belief systems, all while leading by example with a unique, genre-defying sound.
Teaming up again with Band of Horses veteran and GRAMMY-nominated producer Bill Reynolds, ‘Call the Captain’ is rife with topical songwriting, deftly woven into a crazy quilt of country, rock & roll, and classic R&B sounds. ‘Call the Captain’s’ twelve tracks delve into issues contemporary and timeless, be it the arrogance of the powerful, the search for purpose, or the ever-sorrowful pain of lost love. The band’s three songwriters (Ethan Lawton, Jim Miller, and Cahalen Morrison) question dogmatic authority and institutional thought throughout, with both an earnest, introspective approach as well as brilliantly executed humour and satire.
Similarly, the band’s kaleidoscopic sonic choices make it nigh on impossible to pigeonhole the group, adding a subtle undercurrent of subversion to the country music establishment. The core makeup of the band (Lawton, Miller, Morrison, Nokosee Fields, and Thomas Bryan Eaton) are embellished with special guests along the way, including Americana legend Jim Lauderdale and former Stray Birds fiddler Oliver Bates Craven. Western Centuries will have you questioning your deepest assumptions, but don’t be fooled: with ‘Call the Captain’, you’ll have a damn good time doing it.
Tracklistng: Lifeblood Sold / Every Time It’s Raining / Barcelona Lighthouse / Heart Broke Syndrome / No Cure / All The Things That I Could Say To You Right Now / The Sentinel / Long Dreadful Journey / Dynamite Kid / Space Force / Sarah And Charlie / Before That Final Bell
Can You See Me?
Model: MAYA RAE
Release Date: 03 April 2020
Maya Rae has been described by CBC as “One of Canada’s Top 35 Jazz Artists Under 35…a supremely gifted artist who is able to phrase like Sarah Vaughan but write a lyric like Joni Mitchell." Poised at the crossroads between innocence and experience, Maya Rae’s voice communicates with an immediacy and commitment that most artists never attain. In an age when so much music feels overproduced and lacking in genuine emotion, Maya’s songs come like a breath of fresh air. Vital, committed and uplifting, the upcoming sophomore release from Maya Rae, ‘Can You See Me?’ is the real deal.
With a group that included Kai Welch, (keyboards/trumpet) Jamie Dick (drums), John Estes (bass) as well as The Birds Of Chicago on supporting vocals and Dawson on guitars, Canadian Maya Rae dove right into five days of intense recording and ‘Can You See Me?’ is the result. With only one vocal retake in the whole session, the group recorded live off the floor.
Maya and her brother, Gabriel, started writing songs together in the summer of 2018. Inspired by classic singers like Carole King and Nina Simone, iconic performers such as The Beatles and Joni Mitchell as well as modern-day artists like Ed Sheeran and Adele, Maya felt ready to record an album of original material. That’s where veteran roots musician and producer, Steve Dawson came in. On the strength of the demo she sent him, Dawson invited Maya to come to Nashville, saying that he had time to record the very next week. She flew down a few days later and almost immediately found herself at Black Hen Studio, surrounded by some of the hottest young musicians in Nashville with whom Steve had gathered to collaborate with Maya on the new material.
In Maya’s words, ‘Can You See Me?’ became a tribute to human cooperation and the merging of artistic visions with all the contributions from the musicians coming together. But, as good as the music supporting Maya is, her voice and songs are always the central focus. Melodically challenging, lyrically compelling and beautifully phrased, Maya’s songs reflect on experiences with an insight one would usually expect from a much more seasoned performer. “All of the songs are relevant to my own life. The title track, ‘Can You See Me?’ is about choosing to remove the masks we wear to reveal our true selves.
Confident and vulnerable, soulful and revealing, the songs on her new album are as impressive as you will hear anywhere. Produced by veteran roots musician and multiple Juno Award winner Steve Dawson, Can You See Me? takes the listener on a journey through the soul of a deeply talented young artist.
Tracklistng: Can You See Me? / I Get By / The Sun Will Come Out Again / New For Me / Picture Frame / Storm Leaf / Freedom Fighter / Mountain Angel / Moon Girl / Lonely Ones / Goodnight River
What The Dead Men Say
Release Date: 24 April 2020
2020 album also available on Vinyl.
With 8 studios albums under their belt and a musical career spanning 21 years, the Grammy nominated band Trivium - att Heafy[vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar], Paolo Gregoletto [bass], and Alex Bent [drums]- have quietly claimed their place at the forefront of heavy music in the 21st century and the Florida-based band is pleased to announce that its ninth full length, ‘What The Dead Men Say’ via Roadrunner records.
“’What The Dead Men Say’ is everything that is Trivium," explains Heafy. "On this album, one can hear the proper ingredients of past, present, and future Trivium. The Trivium sound is having everything the band does - on one album."
"With the new album, we took what worked on the The Sin And The Sentenceand dialed it all up to 11," says Gregoletto. Beaulieu echoes that sentiment, saying, "We wanted to build on the foundation hat we established with the last album. The record has all the elements that are Trivium - along with all of us wanting to keep pushing ourselves creatively. This led to a highly-inspired and fast-paced writing and recording process that really captures the energy of the band."
Trivium released its now-canonical album Ascendancy in 2005. It was recognized as KERRANG!'s "Album of the Year," achieved a gold certification in the UK, and eclipsed sales of 500,000 worldwide. Metal Hammer placed it in the Top 15 of "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of the 21st Century." It ignited a string of six consecutive Top 25 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 and five straight Top 3 debuts on the Top Hard Rock Albums Chart, culminating on 2017's benchmark The Sin And The Sentence. That album elevated the group's total stream tally past a quarter-of-a-billion. Additionally, "Betrayer" received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of "Best Metal Performance." Unanimous acclaim followed from Decibel. Loudwire, Ultimate Guitar, MetalSucks, and Metal Hammer who dubbed them, "quite simply one of the best bands in modern metal." Not to mention, they performed alongside Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and many others and graced the main stages of Download, Bloodstock, KNOTFEST, and more. After two decades, eight albums, and hundreds of sold out shows, Trivium actualise the all-encompassing ambition they first set in motion back in 1999. On their ninth full-length album, What The Dead Men Say [Roadrunner Records], the Florida quartet ascend to an inimitable nexus of masterful melody, hypnotic hook-craft, tight thrash, black metal scope, and cinematic extremity.
After the album’s release, Trivium will spend most of the remaining months of 2020 supporting the aforementioned tour with Megadeth and Lamb of God.
Tracklisting: IX / What The Dead Men Say / Catastrophist / Amongst The Shadows And The Stones / Bleed Into Me / The Defiant / Sickness Unto You / Scattering The Ashes / Bending The Arc To Fear / he Ones We Leave Behind
Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn
Model: WU FEI AND ABIGAIL WASHBURN
Release Date: 29 May 2020
2020 album also availble on CD.
First collaborative album by GRAMMY Award winning American banjo player Abigail Washburn and Chinese guzheng master Wu Fei. Produced by Bela Fleck, it’s a testament to the connective power of music across seemingly disparate cultures. Abigail Washburn and ’s Wu Fei duo project is as unlikely, perhaps, as it was inevitable--a manifest sonic consequence of politics and vibrations commingling across continents. There is a directness in the musical duo format that makes it such a good vehicle for melodic conversations between close friends who obviously listen to each other with an athletic respect matched by their respective virtuosity. For the listener, it means a gift of unhurried music drawn freely from streams of raised consciousness, waves which met from halfway across the world to find they shared the same shake.
Merging American old-time music and Chinese folksong, Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn features gorgeous, impressionistic renditions of traditional material from the hills of Appalachia to the prairies of Xinjian province, each tune flowing seamlessly into the next. The effervescent resonances of Wu’s guzheng zither dance around Washburn’s expressive banjo playing, their voices intertwining English and various Chinese dialects. This album recasts “world music” as music of our shared world, highlighting our shared humanity and the transformative power of song.
Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn’s duo is a musical resolution to their specific and differing issues about home. For Fei, it means an opportunity to assimilate elements of her musical argot—Chinese classical, folk and opera—into song forms while leaving room for the free associative tendencies she developed in the practice of free improvisation. In short, it marks a return to a thrown-out rule book with a changed perspective. For Abigail, it means musical collaboration with a sister from another Mister who speaks all the same languages. Someone with whom she can create brave, intimate music.
“[Washburn is] something of an unofficial musical ambassador to China. She constructs cultural bridges, one note at a time.” - CBS Sunday Morning
“A daring, definite talent, whose feel for the folk idiom results in moving material. Soulful is the word.” - Wall Street Journal
Trackslisting: Water Is Wide / Wusuli Boat Song / Four Seasons Medley: Four Seasons / Dark Ocean Waltz / Ping Tan Dance / Banjo Guzheng Pickin’ Girls / Who Says Women Aren’t As Good As Men / The Roving Cowboy / Avarguli / Weaving Medley: Busy Weaving / Julianne Johnson / Open Little Hand / Back Step Cindy / Bu Da Da / Ho Hey / Cluck Old Hen / Pretty Bird
If You're Dreaming
Model: ANNA BURCH
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Singer songwriter. Also avavailble on Vinyl.
With recurring themes of isolation, weariness and longing, the songs on Michigan based indie pop/folk musician Anna Burch’s new album ‘If You’re Dreaming’, deliver that emotional arc with a delicate but uncompromising execution. Anna’s intrinsically catchy songwriting dials down the urgency of her debut a notch, taking a turn towards airy, jazz-voiced chords, floating reverb and an expansion of the sonic palate with unexpected instrumentation. The soft-rock bass grooves and understated saxophone lines of ‘Not So Bad’ push an impressive pop structure into exciting new territory and the sweetly melancholic “Tell Me What’s True” centres around muted electric piano, its languid but metered vibe recalling the gentler side of Carole King.
The nuance of arrangements that could sometimes get buried on debut ‘Quit The Curse’ rises to the surface on patient, opulent tunes like ‘Every Feeling’ and in the twelve-string guitar hooks of ‘Party’s Over’. The album drifts dreamily as much as it hones in with a sharper clarity on some of Burch’s most personal songs.
Even at its most introverted, ‘If You’re Dreaming’ is always warm and present. It’s a deliberately drawn chapter of Burch’s work, trading in the wild-eyed and sometimes neurotic party hopping of ‘Quit The Curse’ for a more solitary walk after midnight. Daring and clearheaded, these songs cut deeper in their subtleties. ‘If You’re Dreaming’ moves with intention, taking its time revealing new layers of sophistication and growth in Burch’s always charming songcraft.
‘If You’re Dreaming’ was tracked with producer Sam Evian in his home studio in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York. Where the first album had been a rush of inspired songwriting followed by a drawn-out process of arrangement and mixing, Burch and Evian worked with self-imposed time limitations to establish a sharper focus and get to the core of the new songs. The work was swift but somehow more relaxed, locking into a groove of tracking the basic elements and then expanding on the arrangements with overdubs and auxiliary instrumentation. The end goal was to present not just an assortment of new songs but craft an album that moved dynamically through an interconnected emotional arc.
Initial LP pressing on purple vinyl with digital download code in spot varnish sleeve.
Tracklisting: Can't Sleep / Party's Over / Jacket / So I Can See / Ask Me To / Keep It Warm / Go It Alone / Tell Me What's True / Not So Bad / Picture Show / Every Feeling / Here With You
Revel In The Drama
Model: REN HARVIEU
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album also available on CD.
Ren Harvieu has come a long way from the 17-year-old who was signed to Island Records and release her debut album ‘Through The Night’ (2012), and who had no intention of becoming a singer-songwriter. And now the British singer-songwriter announces her long-awaited new album ‘Revel In The Drama’, via Bella Union. The album is a brilliant, bolder and broader take on her timeless pop classicism, a compelling diary of a struggle with self-belief and a celebration of liberation and survival, seven years after her Top 5 debut album and having overcome a life-threatening injury. Think of ‘Revel In The Drama’ as Harvieu’s second debut album; a new beginning.
Harvieu’s defiance against the odds and her willingness to lay herself open to make what she believed was within her is baked into every groove of the record, across every stylistic turn: the giddy pop of ‘Strange Thing’, the gothic swoon of ‘Cruel Disguise’, the smoky seductiveness of ‘Yes Please’ through to the stirring torchsong finale ‘My Body She Is Alive’.
It wasn’t until 2015 to be exact, when she met Romeo Stodart, the Magic Numbers frontman and songwriter who had emailed after seeing her perform on Later… With Jools Holland, to ask if she’d consider writing together. “When we started, the energy was immediately different to anyone I’d worked with before, there was this insane instant musical connection” she says. “I loved that Romeo really embraced who I was and encouraged it, I was starting to realise that I didn’t have to be anything other than myself.”
The pair spent the next two years co-writing: “I wasn’t in a massive hurry, because at last I was having fun” Harvieu says. “We’d stay up all night drinking, dancing and playing music, I felt like I was re-discovering a girl who had been hidden, quietened. I’d tell Romeo, I don’t just want to paint pretty pictures I want to revel in the drama of my life, the good and the bad, before I was afraid to say something in my lyrics, but no longer. I felt free.”
The album was co-produced by Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi Lynch, owner of Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne where recording took place. “It was a truly magical experience working with Dave & Romeo, they are two absolute nurturing musical wizards.” says Harvieu.
Harvieu’s lyrical confidence is evident throughout the album and has you leaning in to absorb line after line. Her voice, soaring and caressing in equal measure, is matched in force by her flirtatious personality. From the album’s opening lyric “Let me put my paws on you, strange thing” through to the feminine bite of ‘Curves And Swerves’ - “I’ve got some curves and some swerves, what you gonna do about it?” which crackles with sexual tension and an aching vulnerability.
Tracklisting: Strange Thing / Teenage Mascara / This Is How You Make Me Feel / Curves And Swerves / Cruel Disguise / Yes Please / Spirit Me Away / This Is Our Love / You Don’t Need Me / Tomorrow’s Girl Today / Little Raven / My Body She Is Alive
Model: M WARD
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album also available on CD.
‘Migration Stories’ is a spare and spacious 11-song album. It’s written, says M.Ward - a Souther California based prolific singer-songwriter writer, producer and performer - from the point of view of people living their day-to-day amidst political chaos, relying on faith and hope to keep going to try and find better lives. Ever since early human history, people have migrated, immigrated and emigrated. So, Ward thought, he should tell some of their stories. And he does so in his signature restrained, hypnotic style. “I love concise, short songs,” Ward says, citing The Beatles and The Minute Men as examples. “I’m inspired by songwriters that are able to say a lot with as little as possible.”
M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and other worldly. With ‘Migration Stories’ he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day.
For Ward, who wrote much of his new album amidst the contemporary torrent of terrible news headlines swirling the country of late, his processing involves music, often used as a filter. “The first thing that inspired the record were the articles that I’ve been reading in the newspaper and hearing about from friends when I travel,” he says. “It’s the story that’s impossible to ignore right now. The music comes out in a way that, to me, sounds like my brain is still processing the injustices I’m reading about.”
M. Ward has established himself as one of modern American music’s most unique and versatile voices. For his tenth album he journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine) and Teddy Impakt who opened up a new world of synthesisers and keyboards for the music.
Tracklisting: Migration Of Souls / Heaven’s Nail And Hammer / Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show / Independent Man / Stevens’ Snow Man / Unreal City / Real Silence / Along The Santa Fe Trail / Chamber Music / Torch / Rio Drone
Up All Nite With Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection
Release Date: 29 May 2020
One Nite Alone (1CD) / One Nite Alone Live! (2CD) / One Nite Alone: The Aftershow It Ain?t Over Yet (1CD) / Prince Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas (DVD). Recorded and filmed 2001/02.
‘Up All Nite With Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection’ is an electrifying set from the pint sized, consummate purple performer, himself. Prince has left a legacy and the American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, actor, and filmmaker is regarded as one of the most influential musicians in the history of popular music.This beautiful package will immerse fans old and new and brings the electrifying power of Prince’s 2002 studio and live releases together in one stunning package. This 4CD/1DVD set includes One Nite Alone…, Prince’s striking piano-and-vocal studio album (in its first commercial CD release); the double-disc One Nite Alone…Live! featuring recent jams (“Muse 2 The Pharaoh,” “1+1+1 Is 3”) and classic favorites (“Raspberry Beret,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “When U Were Mine”); the high-energy One Nite Alone…The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over! with guest appearances by George Clinton and Musiq Soulchild; and the Live At The Aladdin Las Vegas DVD. The ultimate Prince concert experience is here!
DISC 1: One Nite Alone… (Solo Piano and Voice by Prince) / One Nite Alone… / U’re Gonna C Me / Here On Earth / A Case Of U / Have A Heart / Objects In The Mirror / Avalanche / Pearls B4 The Swine / Young and Beautiful / Arboretum
DISC 2: One Nite Alone… Live! / Rainbow Children (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Muse 2 the Pharaoh (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Xenophobia (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Extraordinary (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Mellow (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / 1+1+1 is 3 (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / The Other Side Of The Pillow (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Strange Relationship (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / When U Were Mine (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Avalanche (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002)
DISC 3: One Nite Alone…Live! / Family Name (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Take Me With U (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Raspberry Beret (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Everlasting Now (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / One Nite Alone… (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Adore (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / I Wanna B Ur Lover (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Do Me, Baby (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Condition Of The Heart (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Diamonds & Pearls (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / The Beautiful Ones (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Nothing Compares 2 U (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Free (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Starfish & Coffee (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Sometimes It Snows In April (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002) / Anna Stesia (Live from One Nite Alone Tour 2002)
DISC 4: One Nite Alone: The Aftershow… It Ain’t Over! / Joy In Repetition (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / We Do This (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow)Medley: Just Friends (Sunny) / If You Want Me To Stay (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / Alphabet Street (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / Peach (Xtended Jam) (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / Dorothy Parker (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / Girls & Boys (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow) / Everlasting Now (Vamp) (Live from One Nite Alone Tour… The Aftershow)
DISC 5 - DVD: Prince Live at The Aladdin Las Vegas: Intro/Soundcheck (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Pop Life (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Money Don’t Matter 2 Night/The Work (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Push and Pull (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / 1+1+1=3 (Inc. Live Rollercoaster / Housequake) (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Strollin’ / U Want Me (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Gotta Broken Heart Again (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Strange Relationship (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Pass The Peas (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Whole Lotta Love (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Family Name (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Take Me With U (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / The Everlasting Now (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / Sometimes It Snows In April (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002) / The Ride (Live at the Aladdin, Las Vegas, 12/15/2002)
Model: JAMES ELKINGTON
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Singer songwriter. Also available on Vinyl.
Jim Elkington, Chicago based guitarist and songwriter moved to the United States in the late ’90s from his native England with the intention of making himself absolutely essential to the Chicago music scene. Twenty years later he’s contributed to a staggering volume of records and shows and projects both in Chicagoland (see Jeff Tweedy; Tortoise; Eleventh Dream Day; Brokeback) and far from it (see Richard Thompson; Laetitia Sadier; Michael Chapman; Steve Gunn; Joan Shelley; Nap Eyes). The 2017 release of the wonderful ‘Wintres Woma’, his first so-called solo album, seemed to be a logical, healthy respite from assisting with the creative needs of others that would allow him to serve his own. The record certainly sounded as though James found in it every reason to be satisfied—among much else, it effectively reconciled his personal and musical mongreltude as a child of Britain and a man of America—and thus could return his focus to bettering other folks’ records.
2020 and now Jim is releasing ‘Ever-Roving Eye’ which is even more elaborate, shrewd, thoughtful, and confessional than its predecessor. Though it sounds like a line culled from a murderous Child ballad, the title has everything to do instead with the slipperiness of satisfaction, and the equal parts virtue and vice that is being your own mule and driver. The album features previous collaborators Nick Macri (bass) and Macie Stewart (violin). The album also includes new collaborators Lia Kohl (cello), Spencer Tweedy (drums), The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman (vocals), and Paul Von Mertens (Brian Wilson) on woodwinds.
The latest track off ‘Ever-Roving Eye’ is called “Late Jim’s Lament.” Its title has a double meaning, alluding to never being on time but also dying before getting to everything a person is setting out to do. “No matter how I drive I know I can’t out-drive the hearse, ’cause it’s too late in my mind and getting later all the time,” Elkington sings. Like his other work, “Late Jim’s Lament” manages to conjure up folk traditions, psychedelic guitar sojourns, and Chicago’s idiosyncratic rock classicists all at once.
The album’s lead single/video, “Nowhere Time,” is a call to take up arms against procrastination, and features some of Elkington’s most daring guitar-wrangling. “A more cosmic acquaintance of mine once told me that when your life is going in the direction you want it to, it’s the universe’s way of telling you that you are in the place you’re meant to be,” Elkington says. “Does that sound likely? Not at all, but the song asks the question anyway…” The track’s accompanying video, directed by Tim Harris, features James, Spencer Tweedy on drums, and Nick Macri on upright bass.
Tracklisting: Nowhere Time / Sleeping Me Awake / Leopards Lay Down / Moon Tempering / Rendlesham Way / Late Jim's Lament / Carousel / Go Easy on October / Ever-Roving Eye / Much Master
The Ritual Begins At Sundown [Yellow vinyl]
Model: ROBBY KRIEGER
Release Date: 24 April 2020
2020 album. The Doors guitarist. Also available on CD.
Robby Krieger the legendary guitarist and songwriter of The Doors and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robby Krieger will be releasing his first solo album in a decade ‘The Ritual Begins At Sundown’. The Doors weren’t just one of the most iconic bands of their generation, but one of the most influential bands in rock history and Robby Krieger was responsible for writing some of their biggest hits in “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Touch Me” and “Love Her Madly.”
Krieger returns for his ninth solo album, and his first since 2010s Grammy nominated ‘Singularity’, once again with his long-time writing partner and co-producer Arthur Barrow. Barrow worked with Frank Zappa through the 1970s-80s as well as Giorgio Moroder, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross and Janet Jackson, and worked on soundtracks for Top Gun andScarface. The album also features other Zappa alumni Jock Ellis (Trombone), Sal Marquez (Trumpet) and Tommy Mars (Keys), as well as AeB Bryne (Flute), Vince Denim (Sax), Chuck Manning (Sax), Joel Wackerman (Drums) and Joel Taylor (Drums). Krieger shares, “I was hanging out with my buddy Arthur Barrow and we had some songs we had been fooling around with then we got some other friends involved.”
'The Ritual Begins At Sundown' is a ten-song instrumental record which was recorded at his own Horse Latitudes Studio in Los Angeles and features nine originals and one cover, the Frank Zappa song “Chunga’s Revenge.” To understand where he is for the album now, you need to go right back to the beginning when he was on the exploding jazz scene. Krieger explains, “When I wrote songs for The Doors, it was always the music first. I think you have to have some musical ability to really understand Jazz. When I was young, I didn’t really understand it. It took me a while. I was going to the clubs with John Densmore – before The Doors – to really get an appreciation of Jazz. We used to go see Wes Montgomery, Roland Kirk, Miles Davis, stuff like that. At first, I didn’t really get it, but after a while it sank in and I always loved it after that.”
The album really is a return to friends with his relationship with Barrow and Sal Marquez dating all the way back to his first solo album. “After The Doors I started becoming interested in Jazz and started hanging out with a guy called Sal Marquez,” he says. “So, we put this band together and that was the first Robby Krieger band and we played at the Whiskey A-Go-Go with Don Preston, Zappa’s keyboard player. Arthur Barrow who was a huge Zappa fan – this was before he worked with Frank – he decided that, after graduating from North Texas State music school that he was gonna come out to LA and try to get into Frank’s band, which was pretty brash of him,” he laughs. “He started hanging out with Don and with Zappa, Don was in my band so we decided to put Arthur in charge of the mixing at the Whiskey for our shows, that’s when I first met him in the 70s.”
Krieger’s influence spans generations, from Alice Cooper, who when playing the Sunset Strip for the first time in the 70s, was taken under the wing of The Doors and said of Krieger, “I never heard a guitar player like this, he did things with the guitar that nobody’s ever done.” William Duvall (Alice in Chains) has proclaimed that “Robby Krieger is one of my absolute heroes,” whilst John Garcia (Kyuss) got the opportunity to have Krieger guest on his album in 2015 and said “I will never forget that experience for the rest of my life, it truly made the song better, not to mention the entire record.” Other plaudits have come in from Ritchie Sambora who said “People do not know how good he is.”
Tracklisting: What Was That? / Slide Home / The Drift / Chunga's Revenge (Frank Zappa cover) / Hot Head / Yes, The River Knows / The Hitch / Dr Noir / Bianca's Dream / Screen Junkie
Ultimate Peggy Lee
Model: PEGGY LEE
Release Date: 19 June 2020
Official 22 track best of to celebrate her 100th anniversary. Also available on Vinyl.
The commanding Peggy Lee was one of the great female song stylists who sits among iconic female sonic alumni such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Smoky, sensual, sultry, confident, commanding…there has never been a voice quite like that of Peggy Lee. A triple threat singer/songwriter/actress, Lee had a remarkable career in music spanning over fifty years.
Inaugurating Peggy Lee 100 is a new collection from UMe and celebrating an artist who never goes out of style, ‘Ultimate Peggy Lee’ is primed with 22 indelible performances including classic hits, five of her own compositions, and one previously unissued track, “Try a Little Tenderness,” from 1963. Whittling down Lee’s discography to one CD or 2 vinyl LPs is no easy task; she wrote over 200 songs and recorded more than 1,100. But the selection here is a fine cross-section of the songs that made Peggy Lee a one-of-a-kind superstar.
Drawing on her original Decca and Capitol recordings, the anthology boasts such timeless favourites as “Fever” (reinvented by Lee from Little Willie John’s original), the alluring “Big Spender,” “Black Coffee,” “Why Don’t You Do Right,” “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” and two powerful anthems from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller: “I’m a Woman” and “Is That All There Is?,” the latter with a Randy Newman arrangement. Peggy’s own songs here include “It’s a Good Day,” “I Love Being Here with You,” and “He’s a Tramp.”
Peggy scored her first chart-topper in 1942 and her final recordings were released in 1995, seven years before her death in 2002. She was an Academy Award-nominated actress (Pete Kelly’s Blues), a 13-time Grammy nominee (and two-time recipient), and a talented songwriter whose collaborators included the esteemed likes of Harold Arlen, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington, and Lalo Schifrin. Lee was also a fierce advocate of artists’ rights, winning a highly-publicised lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company over home video exploitation of Lady and the Tramp, the 1955 film for which she supplied songs (including the immortal “He’s a Tramp” and romantic “Bella Notte,” both co-written with Sonny Burke) and the voice of – who else? – Peg. This week, The Peggy Lee Estate announced Peggy Lee 100, a centennial campaign honouring the late, great songstress and her influence across the spectrum of popular music.
Tracklisting: I Love Being Here With You / Fever / Things Are Swingin’ / I Don’t Know Enough About You / I’m A Woman / Just In Time / Hallelujah, I Love Him So / Sweet Happy Life / Alright, Okay, You Win / Too Close For Comfort / Why Don’t You Do Right (Get Me Some Money Too) / It’s A Good Day / You Deserve / Heart / Big Spender / He’s A Tramp / I Wanna Be Around / Black Coffee / I’ve Got The World On A String / The Folks Who Live On The Hill / Is That All There Is? / Try A Little Tenderness*
Juice [Yellow vinyl]
Model: BORN RUFFIANS
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Indie rock. Also available on CD.
Critically acclaimed Canadian indie rock mainstays Born Ruffians return with their new studio album, ‘Juice’, on Yep Roc Records filling our airwaves with their energy driven, wit-filled lyrics. Hailing from Midland, Ontario, Canada who formed in 2002. Since their debut, they have released five studio albums along with two EP's, and become one of the most exciting and intriguing bands on the famously fertile Canadian indie rock scene.
Born Ruffians—guitarist/vocalist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier, and drummer Steve Hamelin—are proof that a group of friends with a tireless work ethic and fierce, grassroots commitment to their labour's integrity and vision can still go a long, long way. 15 years into their career, the trio isn't slowing instead, they're doubling down on those designations with ‘Juice’, their 6th full-length record. It's a hyper, earnest, and affecting collection of rock and roll songs, written and polished over a three-year span then sewn together into a cohesive and uniquely enjoyable experience. It's Born Ruffians as they've always been: on their own terms, heads against the wind until their work is done.
‘Juice’ finds the band moving into a more confident and polished direction, bringing to mind 1970s songwriting prowess with layered, and mature production sensibilities. The album was produced by Graham Walsh, known for his work with Alvvays, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), and Holy Fuck.
‘Juice’ is a testament to where Born Ruffians have come from, and a bold, pulpy mission statement for the future. However weird and overwhelming things get, Born Ruffians close out the record by reminding us that they're in this for the long haul, as Lalonde sings, "You see a light come shining from behind, reminding you that kid is always on your back."
Tracklisting: I Fall In Love Every Night / Breathe / Dedication / The Poet [can’t Jam] / I’m Fine / Hey You (Feat. Maddy Wilde) / Squeaky / Hazy Wave / Wavy Haze
Kiss Cuddle And Torture: Volume 2
Release Date: 12 June 2020
2020 album. Reggae. Also availble on CD.
Acclaimed The Hempolics return with ‘Kiss, Cuddle & Torture: Volume 2’, the follow up to their triumphant 2017 album which won them accolades including a BBC 6 Music ‘Album Of The Year’ selection and they are out to put those organic rootsy vibes back into music; with their fat radio-friendly hooks, bumping soundsystem bass and a wanderlusty, ineffably real sound all of their own...
The new release builds on their trademark mash-up sound of reggae, dub, soul and pop but explores new territories with elements of hip-hop, shoegaze and trip-hop welcome additions to the mix. As with Volume 1, the release is underpinned by the masterful production of main man Grippa - an engineer who cut his teeth working with Faithless - and he’s once again joined by unmistakable Hempolics vocalists Dandelion and Nubiya, who continues to turn heads with her Amy Winehouse meets Hollie Cook timbre. Highlights of the album include the upbeat soul and reggae hit ‘Play On’, the trip-hop meets dub-influenced single, ‘Full of Surprises’, and the British reggae-funk stomper ‘Bongadashi’. ‘Gotta Thing’ sees the band deliver a fast hip-hop house track laced with classic Hempolics’ reggae flavours, vocals courtesy of Miami rapper Cojack, whilst ‘Place Is Here’, written by Grippa alongside Faithless vocalist Pauline Taylor, is a 90’s shoegaze influenced cut with a languid psych groove.
Sounding like the i-pod of the attention-deficit generation and swelled by guest appearances from various international talents The Hempolics have a storm brewing that promises to tear up the UK music scene. Recording underground style throughout the bedrooms and home studios of the band The Hempolics have created an infectious mash-up of Reggae, Electro, Hip-Hop, Soul, Rock and Pop. Although the weather out might be dull London-side it’s strictly sunshine vibes, resplendent with huge hooks and festival friendly choruses. These are tunes that people will be bopping to across festivals, clubs and car journeys for years to come.
Tracklisting: Full Of Surprises / Strange Feeling / Place Is Here / Bongadashi / MoonStars / Play On / Forever / In The Night / Get It Right / Gotta Thing / VaporizeMy Dream / The Enemy
Model: THIEVERY CORPORATION
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 release. Recorded live in 2017 at the JFK Center in Washington DC. Also available on Vinyl.
Formed in the summer of 1995 at Washington D.C.'s Eighteenth Street Lounge, Rob Garza and Lounge co-owner Eric Hilton were drawn together over their mutual love of club life, as well as dub, bossa nova and jazz records and together as Thievery Corporation, have thrived for 20 years without a radio hit, a big budget video, or major label backing? Moreover, have managed to do high-profile TV appearances, own and operate their own independent label since day one, sell several million albums and continue to expand their fan base across the globe each year. On 2017 Thievery Corporation played a historic concert at The JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The show saw their songs re-imagined with orchestral arrangements from some of today’s leading young classical composers.
The show is now legendary, and those fortunate to attend heard Thievery Corporation in an entirely new way. To honour this show and inspiration it provided, Hilton and Garza have created ‘Symphonik’ - recorded with Prague’s FilmHarmonic Orchestra along with Thievery Corporation’s live band and engineering and co-production by Gianmaria Conti.
Thievery Corporation have collaborated with such uniquely famed artists David Byrne, Perry Farrell, The Flaming Lips, Anushka Shankar, Femi Kuti, Seu Jorge, Bebel Gilberto, and been featured on major film soundtracks such as Garden State. They’ve headlined top music festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, and have influenced a whole generation of electronic producers and DJs. If you add these elements together, you can arrive at only one conclusion: Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, aka: Thievery Corporation.
Tracklisting: Heavens Gonna Burn Your Eyes / Love Has No Heart / Ghetto Matrix / Passing Stars / Until The Morning / Depth Of My Soul / Sweet Tides / Lebanese Blonde / Weapons Of Distraction / The Forgotten People / Marching The Hate Machines
Model: PURITY RING
Release Date: 03 April 2020
2020 album. Synth pop/hip hop. Also available on CD.
After more than five years, Canadian electronic music duo Purity Ring return to announce their third album. ‘WOMB’ - which is the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Another Eternity’- is released via 4AD and is entirely produced and recorded by the band of vocalist Megan James and multi-instrumentalist/producer Corin Roddick, the Edmonton native pair is known for blending electro-pop, synth-pop, and hip-hop with rather gory song lyrics.
‘WOMB’ chronicles a quest for comfort, the search for a resting place in a world where so much is beyond our control. The striking vulnerability of ‘rubyinsides’ - “If I could, I would let you see through me” - charts a course that’s both intensely personal and deeply connected to those close to us, our kin whether by nature or nurture.
As the ground shifts beneath their feet, ‘WOMB’’s characters help one another face death, despair andworld-altering discovery with resilience and grace. For all the terrain it encompasses, ‘WOMB’’s quest culminates in ‘stardew’, a glittering, transcendent invitation to “just be where you are” - to experience the kind of powerful peace that can only be found by truly coming home.
‘WOMB’ follows Purity Ring’s 2012 internationally acclaimed and highly influential debut ‘Shrines’ and 2015’s ‘another eternity’. On ‘another eternity’, The New York Times praised the songs as “only a few steps removed from radio hits by singers like Ariana Grande and Ellie Goulding” while Rolling Stone called them “lustrous synth pop plus cavernous hip hop” and The New Yorker lauded the duo, stating that they “create electro-pop that is as warm and human as it is cold and alien, an intoxicating combination that feels boldly futuristic.”
On their own prior headlining tours, the duo accompanied their live set with a dazzling sequence of pulsating lights. The pair have also teamed up together to strike a series of crystal shapes that rested upon tall poles to generate sounds during the show. Incorporating these mesmerising lights and sounds into their show is part of Purity Ring’s mystique.
Tracklisting: rubyinsides / pink lightning / peacefall / i like the devil / femia / sinew / vehemence / silkspun / almanac / stardew
Eight Cylinder Big Band
Model: MATTHIAS BUBLATH
Release Date: 10 April 2020
2020 album. Jazz.
Where the era of jazz orchestras ended in the 1940s, today a pleasingly large number of young big bands are starting from scratch. The pianist, keyboarder and organist Matthias Bublath is now also putting his musical passions into practice on a large scale. And since he likes it brawny, his jazz orchestra also bears the appropriate name: Eight Cylinder Big band.
What gives this musical engine unusually large displacement, torque and pulling power is the fact that Bublath has tailored this project not only for the big band but also for the Hammond organ: the largest line-up in jazz meets the instrument, which itself is almost an orchestra in its own right.
Tracklisting: Big Band Intro Joint / Matight Intro / Nice Green Bo / Eight Cylinder / Gospel Song / Home Cookin’ / Return To The Source / Dump The Goose / Sad Belt / Mr. Scales / Outro Blow / Bolero
It Is What It Is [Red vinyl]
Release Date: 03 April 2020
Thundercat is the stage and recording name of esteemed American R&B, jazz fusion, electronic, and psychedelic, bass player Stephen Bruner, hailing from Los Angeles, California, U.S. and now the artist drops his new album on Brainfeeder Records ‘It Is What It Is’, a unique voice transcending style and genre: “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” says Thundercat.
Bruner grew up in a creative and musical family, with his father Ronald Bruner Sr., an established drummer known for his work with Diana Ross and the Temptations, and his brother Ronald Jr. known as a Grammy-winning drummer, who has worked with the likes of Kenny Garrett and Stanley Clarke. Bruner’s earliest musical excursion was in the boyband No Curfew before joining his brother as a member of the L.A. metal band Suicidal Tendencies.
Thundercat’s new LP ‘It Is What It Is’ picks up where his last full-length, 2017’s ‘Drunk’, left off. Like that record It Is What It Is intersperses more fully-formed tracks with scene-setting vignettes.
A quick glance at the tracklisting shows several of the entries here clock in at under two minutes, but this does not reflect a paucity of ideas. Rather, the shorter interludes add light and shade to Thundercat’s already colourful combination of neo-soul, fusion-funk and R ‘n’ B - for instance, the spiritualised cooing of ‘How I Feel’ sets the scene perfectly for the astral yacht-rock jam ‘King Of The Hill’ that follows it.
As is often the case on Thundercat albums, a variety of guest stars appear on 'It Is What It Is'. It’s an intriguing mix of talents here, one that simultaneously expands and refines the album’s sonic universe. The likes of Steve Lacy and Childish Gambino are easy bedfellows for Thundercat’s sound, and along with Steve Arrington they help to construct one of the record’s poppiest joints in ‘Black Qualls’. However, the meeting of Ty Dolla $ign and Lil B on the ultra-smooth ‘Fair Chance’ is delightfully unexpected. KNOWER’s Louis Cole and rap prankster Zack Fox are the other features on It Is What It Is.Thundercat’s ‘It Is What It Is’ is both another soulful triumph for the artist and also the sort of record that only he could make.
CD in softpack.
Deluxe 140g picture disc LP housed in a 6mm spined gatefold sleeve with gold foil detail and OBI strip. Includes digital download code.
Deluxe 140g pink clear vinyl LP housed in a 6mm spined gatefold sleeve with gold foil detail and OBI strip. Includes digital download code.
Red 140g vinyl LP housed in a 3mm spined sleeve with OBI strip. Includes digital download code.
Thundercat will play his biggest UK shows to date in April.
Tracklisting: Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26 / Innerstellar Love / I Love Louis Cole (feat. Louis Cole) / Black Qualls (feat. Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, & Childish Gambino) / Miguel's Happy Dance / How Sway / Funny Thing Overseas (feat. Zack Fox) / Dragonball Durag / How I Feel / King Of The Hill / Unrequited Love / Fair Chance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B) / Existential Dread / It Is What It Is (feat. Pedro Martins)
Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Long-lost vintage 60s-70s proto-metal and stoner rock singles.
Ten editions in and the series ‘Brown Acid’, as always is packed in the highest highs of the dankest hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal tracks previously lost to the sands of time. As usual, all of these tracks were painstakingly licensed legitimately and the artists were paid. It’s hard to believe we’re already up to 10 volumes of this lysergic neanderthal wail, but the long-lost jams just keep-a-coming like Texas crude to fuel your rock’n’roll engine and melt your metal mind. As the celebrated series reaches landmark double-digits, there are no indications it will slow down in the near future. The 'Brown Acid' series is curated by L.A. label RidingEasy Records and retailer/label Permanent Records.
This Trip kicks off with the Hammer of the Gods howl of “Plastic Thunder” by Bitter Creek. The Atlanta, GA quintet’s lone single from 1970 on Mark IV Records is rated #6 of the Top 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath by GuitarWorld Magazine. You can hear why in the ominous riff and larynx-ravaging chorus that merges the deepest of Deep Purple sludge with The Who’s rollicking psychedelia.
Not much is known about The Brood’s 1969 bluesy paean to dirtbag weed consumption “The Roach” on the It’s A Lemon imprint, except that it’s a big, growling rocker with a crazed in-the-round blowout of wailing guitar solos, screeching organ blasts, wildly overlapping vocals and drum rolls for days.
Nova Scotia, Canada sextet Brothers and One’s double-entendre laden single “Hard On Me” certainly pushes the boundaries of what would be acceptable at the time (especially amongst their ever-polite Canadian brethren.) Their lone full length was released in 1970 on short-lived Audat label, the group featuring two sets of brothers (hence the name) recorded the album while all members were between age 13-18-years-old. This glam-influenced single was privately released on the band’s own label nearly 4 years later.
Louisville, KY quartet Conception’s excellent revision of Blue Cheer’s “Babylon” (1969, Perfection Records) adds heavy phaser effect on the guitar and a more driving rhythm to make the song entirely their own. Lead guitar and high harmony vocals by Charlie Day (not to be confused with the Sunny Philadelphian actor) are assertive and commanding as he implores listeners onward to hallucinagenic nirvana.
Not exactly a typically psychedelic band name for the era, but First State Bank’s “Mr. Sun” (1970, Music Mill) pays hearty dividends of boogie bustle. The Central Texas band led by guitarist/vocalist Randy Nunnally released only 3 singles in its career from 1970-1976. For those keeping score at home, their song “Before You Leave” was featured on The Third Trip back in 2016. “Mr. Sun” is the heavy B-Side to “Coming Home To You.”
Clearly inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Tucson quartet Frozen Sun topped the local charts in 1969 with this barnstorming rocker “Electric Soul” (Capt. Zoomer Records.) The song is replete with guitarist/vocalist (with big Hendrix hair) Ron Ryan’s spoken interlude, “Well have you been electrically stoned? You know, living in the danger zone?” We say yes.
Ralph Williams and the Wright Brothers took flight with “Never Again” on Hour Glass Records in 1972, and apparently never landed after this 45 with “Dark Street” on the A-side. The serpentine riff and sexually-charged backing vocal grunts drive this archetypical tale of a young man’s chemical odyssey… or, should we say, trip?
Sounds Synonymous pretty much epitomized heavy fuzz from Michigan with their 1969 single “Tension” on the Wall Productions label. The Hendrix “Fire” meets Arthur Brown’s “Fire” track lunges and lurches with glee throughout its 3-minutes and change of unbridled crunch. Tabernash’s “Head Collect” (1972) is the suburban Denver quartet’s only release following the name change from The Contents Are and a move from Davenport, IA. This more stately psych-rock chune features Byrds-like harmonies, twangy reverse-looped guitar soloing and Keith Moon-esque drumming that should’ve made it a chart-topper, but we all know there’s no justice in rock’n’roll.
The Tenth Trip closes, appropriately, with the “War Pigs” reminiscent fuzz of New Orleans quartet The Rubber Memory’s 1970 tune “All Together.” The band self-released only 110 copies of their lone album, making it an incredibly sought-after rarity for decades. Alongside a limited edition reissue in 2000, the group reformed for a one-off show before quickly bouncing back into our collective cosmic consciousness.
Tracklisting: Sounds Synonymous - Tensions / Ralph Williams & The Wright Brothers - Never Again / Conception - Babylon / Bitter Creek - Plastic Thunder / The Rubber Memory - All Together / First State Bank - Mr. Sun / Brothers And One - Hard On Me / Frozen Sun - Electric Soul / he Brood - The Roach / Tabernash - Head Collec
Live In Japan
Model: MICKY DOLENZ
Release Date: 08 May 2020
Recorded 1982. CD contains 6 extra tracks not on the vinyl. 7a Records. Also available on Double Vinyl.
Micky Dolenz travelled to Japan in early 1982 to give his first ever tour as a solo performer, towards the end of a massive Monkees resurgence that had sparked there in the fall of 1980. Dolenz’s Japanese concerts marked the closest thing he had ever done (up to that point) to a solo concert tour. While he had toured extensively in 1975 and 1976 with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, he had seldom set foot on the concert stage post-Monkees ‘on his own’.
Dolenz employed a Japanese group of musicians for his backup band, hiring an outfit called Marlboro. The tour provides a revealing look into what he himself, only fifteen years removed from the original Monkees phenomenon, may have considered the crème-de-la-crème of their catalogue. While the practice of playing deep cuts for diehard fans has become more common in recent years, at this early juncture Dolenz makes some captivating choices, including: 1969’s “Pillow Time”, written by his mother Janelle Scott and two killer Nesmith compositions from Headquarters, “Sunny Girlfriend” and “You Just May Be The One”.
Also included are the Davy Jones staple “I Wanna Be Free”, “Shades Of Gray” and what might be the first ever concert performance of “Zor And Zam”. The CD + DVD version includes five bonus tracks, including the first ever release of “I’m Your Man” from 1978s World Popular Song Contest in Tokyo, and the first ever reissue of “Tomorrow” from the West End play Bugsy Malone, which Dolenz directed.
Tracklisting: (Theme From) The Monkees / Sunny Girlfriend / Last Train To Clarksville / You Just May Be The One / I’m A Believer / Randy Scouse Git / Zor And Zam / Mary, Mary / I Wanna Be Free / Pillow Time / Shades Of Gray / No Time / Daydream Believer / (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone / Goin’ Down / Pleasant Valley Sunday / Beverly Hills / To Be Or Not To Be / I’m Your Man (Semi-final) / I’m Your Man (Final) / Tomorrow (from ‘Bugsy Malone’) / To Be Or Not To Be (Single Ver.) / Beverly Hills (Single Ver.)
Beneath The Remains [Deluxe]
Release Date: 03 April 2020
1989 album with 10 bonus tracks. Also available on 2CD.
Sepultura’s acclaimed third album, ‘Beneath The Remains’, originally released in 1989, marks the band’s major label debut on Roadrunner. Widely regarded today as a thrash-metal classic, the album perfectly distilled the Brazilian band’s potent mix of piercing melodies and pummelling rhythms.
In December 1988, brothers Max (guitar/vocals) and Igor Cavalera (drums), Paulo Jr. (bass) and Andreas Kisser (guitar) recorded ‘Beneath the Remains’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with producer Scott Burns. Soon after its release, the album was hailed by fans and critics alike for standout songs like “Inner Self,” “Primitive Future” and the title track. The album has been remastered especially for this collection.
The Deluxe 2CD Edition also features nine unreleased “mixdown” recordings taken from the Beneath the Remains sessions at Nas Nuvens Studios in Rio de Janeiro. Highlights include versions of “Lobotomy” and “Mass Hypnosis,” as well as instrumental versions “Slaves Of Pain” and “Sarcastic Existence.” The studio tracks are complemented by unreleased recordings of the band performing live on September 22, 1989 at the Zeppelinhalle, West Germany. The concert features songs from Beneath the Remains (“Primitive Future” and “Inner Self”) and the band’s previous albums (“Troops Of Doom” and “Escape To The Void”), along with covers of Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of the Universe” and the Dead Kennedys “Holiday In Cambodia.”
Founded by the Cavalera brothers in 1984, the group recorded two full-length albums – Morbid Visions (1986) and Schizophrenia (1987) – before signing with Roadrunner Records in 1988. Since then, Sepultura’s dynamic studio recordings and intense live performances have earned it fans everywhere. The current version of Sepultura (Derrick Green, Paulo Jr., Andreas Kisser, Eloy Casagrande) released a new album in 2020, ‘Quadra’. Former members Max and Igor Cavalera perform together in the band Cavalera Conspiracy.
LP1: Beneath the Remains / Inner Self / Stronger Than Hate / Mass Hypnosis / Sarcastic Existence / Slaves of Pain / Lobotomy / Hungry / Primitive Future
LP2: Beneath the Remains (Mixdown) / Inner Self (Mixdown) [Instrumental] / Stronger Than Hate (Mixdown) [Instrumental] / Mass Hypnosis (Mixdown) / Troops of Doom (Live 9/22/1989) / Sarcastic Existence (Mixdown) [Instrumental] / Slaves Of Pain (Mixdown) [Instrumental] / Lobotomy (Mixdown) / Hungry (Mixdown) [Instrumental] / Primitive Future (Mixdown)
On The Widow's Walk
Model: WHITE BUFFALO
Release Date: 29 May 2020
‘On The Widow’s Walk’ is the new studio album from The White Buffalo, the touring / recording persona of Jake Smith – singer, songwriter, guitarist, teller of tales; the Emmy nominee whose voice, a timber-shakin’ baritone, seems fuelled by a greater truth. Of the half-dozen albums released under The White Buffalo banner, this latest 11-tracker – a loosely linked collection of dark thrills produced by Shooter Jennings, who also provides piano and keys – is the most collaborative and organic.
From the beginning, Oregon-born Smith has wilfully side-stepped genre, touching on a variety of musical threads – from Americana to punk, from brooding folk to driving rock ‘n’ roll – whilst maintaining a strong, signature style. His spontaneous delivery and narrative lyrics are at the heart of it all, instilling the songs – effectively, mini-movies – with a cinematic, hand-crafted quality, and this very much holds true for ‘On The Widow’s Walk’. At one point, the idea of a concept album was considered, but Smith didn’t want to leave out quality songs just because they might not fit a specific concept; hence, these recordings have water and the ocean as underlying rather than dominant themes, a sense of longing too, something also reflected in the cover art – a portrait of Smith by UK painter Jack Browning.
Other reference points include living for the moment, the march of technology, the force of mother nature, plus what happens when the moral conscience spins out of control. Simply, ‘On The Widow’s Walk’ is a compelling statement from an artist whose activity between the musical lines has seen his star very much on the rise.
Tracklisting: Problem Solution / The Drifter / No History / Sycamore / Come On Shorty / Cursive / Faster Than Fire / Widow’s Walk / River Of Love and Loss / The Rapture / I Don’t Know A Thing About Love
Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions
Model: BELA FLECK
Release Date: 10 April 2020
Original album released 2009. A document of virtuoso banjo player Bela Fleck's remarkable journey across Africa to explore the banjo's roots, is available for the first time as a complete film and music set, with the addition of a brand new duo album with kora master Toumani Diabat.
‘Throw Down Your Heart’, a document of the influential American virtuoso banjo player Bela Fleck’s remarkable journey across Africa to explore the banjo’s roots, is available for the first time as a complete film and music set, with the addition of a brand new duo album with kora master Toumani Diabat , ‘The Ripple Effect’ (also available separately on 180-gram 2-LP gatefold vinyl).
‘Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions’ brings together Béla’s Grammy-winning 2009 album ‘Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3—Africa Sessions’ along with ‘Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks’ as well as ‘The Ripple Effect’ with kora player Toumani Diabaté. The kora is a forerunner and cousin of the banjo. The collection, including three discs of music and a DVD, document Fleck’s journeys in Africa to discover the roots of the banjo.
“I knew that my beloved instrument had originally come from West Africa,” Fleck wrote in a statement. “And from time to time I found tantalizing tidbits of African acoustic music that gave me the confidence to know that there was a phenomenal amount of incredible stuff going on under the radar.”
Then, Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin played Béla a recording of renowned Malian singer Oumou Sangare. “I was literally stunned,” Fleck remembers. “I’d had this reaction only a few times — when music was so compelling that everything had to stop while I listened. Earl Scruggs’ banjo did it to me. Chick Corea’s music did it to me. And so did this.”
As fate would have it, one of Fleck’s old bluegrass friends managed Sangare and the singer invited Béla to Mali which kicked off a three-nation journey Fleck described as “a nonstop set of intense, powerful and joyful musical interactions. Every day for five weeks, I was meeting musicians, and filming pieces with them in their homes, other unconventional locations, and even on rare occasions – recording studios. We recorded/filmed over 30 pieces so it came out to something like a tune per day while we were there.”
This is the first time it will be available as a complete set. Its release is timed to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Rounder Records.
CD DVD 1: Tulinesangala / Kinetsa / Ah Ndiya / Kabibi / Angelina / D’gary Jam / Throw Down Your Heart / Thula Mama / Wairenziante / Buribalal / Zawose / Ajula / Mbamba / Pakugyenda Balebauo / Jesus Is The Only Answer / Matitu / Mariam / Djorolen / Dunia Haina Wema / Thumb Fun
CD DVD 2: Spirit Song / Salam Aleikum / Chant / The Rights Of Man / Ya Fama / The Rights Of Man / Ya Fama / Kamungoro / Kandjo / Obughangwa / Soumauro / Furaha / Mar Rano / Jesus Of Banjul / Mali Jam / Kayi Ni Wura / OldJoe Jatta
CD DVD 3: Bamako / Nashville / Snug Harbor / Elyne Road / Matitu/Buribalal / Manchester / Throw Down Your Heart / Kauonding Sissoko / Katmandu / Dueling Banjos
CD DVD 4: Anania’s Song / Kinetsa / Aida Ganya Kitenge Bero Yoti / Awomiso / Tulinesangala / Wairenziante / Fatina Mbaya / Jesus Is The Only Answer / Tulinesangala / My Name Is Anania / Furaha / Dunia Haina Wema / Sunrise / Throw Down Your Heart / Matitu / Gogo / Zawose Vocalizations / Tudumishe Utamaduni Wa Tanzani / Nightclub Open Song / Nightclub Song / Cha Cha’sTune / Leele / Ndapari / Duna Haina Wema / Throw Down Your Heart / Jatta Family Song / Remy Jatta Solo / Home Sweet Home / When Strings Collide / O Susannah / Ajula / Mbamba / Harouna Jam / Djelimady Solo / Kayi Ni Wura / Bb Jam / Daman Ndiaye / Harouna’s Groove / Yafama / Mariam / Bassekou Solo / Mariam / Ah Ndiya / Djorolen / Throw Down Your Heart / Children Of Nakisenyi / D’gary Jam / Bampa Di Da / Gambian Fantasy In Blue / Spirit Song / Matitu And Cha Cha / Bagamoyo Song / Dunia Haina Wema / Throw Down Your Heart / Lost Luggage / Press Conference / Old Joe Jatta / Jesus Jah Jarju And B la Fleck / Bb Jam (Extended Version) / Trilok Gurtu At The Hotel Wassulu / Buribalal Akibar / N’guatu / Harouna Jam
Amends [Blue vinyl]
Model: GREY DAZE
Release Date: 26 June 2020
Grey Daze, Chester Bennington’s pre-Linkin Park band, have announced ‘Amends’, the Phoenix-born band’s eagerly-awaited album featuring newly recorded music with re-mastered vocals from the group’s long out-of-print, and largely undiscovered catalogue.
‘Amends’ is the origin story of one of modern rock’s most recognizable voices and also a full circle moment among friends. The album is the fulfillment of a planned Grey Daze reunion that Chester had announced prior to his untimely passing. The remaining band members - Dowdell (drums), Mace Beyers (bass) and Cristin Davis (guitar) - along with Talinda Bennington (Chester’s widow) and his parents, made it their mission to see the project through with assistance from Tom Whalley, the founder of Loma Vista Recordings and former Warner Bros. Record Chairman during Linkin Park’s tenure at the label.
Dowdell, Beyers and Davis selected the tracks from the band’s mid-‘90s, but largely unknown catalogue and re-recorded the music in 2019 to accompany Chester’s re-mastered vocals. Produced by Jay Baumgardner, several musicians leant their time and talent to the album, including Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer, Paige Hamilton (Helmet), Chris Traynor (Bush, Helmet, Orange 9MM) and singer-songwriter, LP.
“We started Grey Daze in 1993, the band ended up breaking up in 1998,” explains Dowdell. “Fast forward to 2016, Chester’s on the road and says, ‘I think we should put Grey Daze back together.’ Obviously, what happened, happened and Chester was tragically taken from us. Of course, as soon as he passed, it was like ‘oh my God, I lost my friend, my friend’s wife is now a widow and my friend’s kids are now fatherless.’ There were all of these emotions. About six or seven months later, I started some conversations and said I really want to finish this album. We’re not going to accept mediocrity, we’re going to do our friend proud, we’re going to make Chester proud and we’re going to make sure this is something he would have been elated to put out.”
Tracklisting: Sickness / Sometimes / What’s In The Eye / The Syndrome / In Time / Just Like Heroine / B12 / Soul Song / Morei Sky / She Shines / Shouting Out
Model: JOE SATRIANI
Release Date: 10 April 2020
2020 album. Rock. Also available on Vinyl.
Joe Satriani releases his 17th album ‘Shapeshifting’ and he co-produced it with Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) and with longtime associate John Cuniberti on board handling the mastering duties. Joe enlisted a wide range of collaborators, both old and new, to help him bring his latest musical concoctions to life. Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux were the core musicians on the new album with additional contributions coming from Lisa Coleman (The Revolution) and Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap).
The retro feeling sounds of first single, “Nineteen Eighty” finds Satriani spiritually revisiting the time period when he was working with his first band, the Squares. The future guitar hero the world came to know less than a decade later, would have to wait. He recalls that in those early days, they “dialed back the guitar solos and histrionics to try to create a cooler new wave vibe.” Decades removed from those goals, he was free to go forward and attempt to recapture what was on his mind in 1980.
Staying true to the sounds of the time, he even used a vintage MXR EVH phaser. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Van Halen,” Satriani says. “In my mind, he just crystallized that era. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he kind of saved rock guitar. So that’s what I would have been doing.”
Tracklisting: Shapeshifting / Big Distortion / All for Love / Ali Farka, Dick Dale, an Alien and Me / Teardrops / Perfect Dust / Nineteen Eighty / All My Friends Are Here / Spirits, Ghosts and Outlaws / Falling Stars / Waiting / Here the Blue River / Yesterday’s Yesterday
Release Date: 17 April 2020
2020 debut album from Ed O’Brien (Radiohead). Also available on vinyl.
Ed O’Brien never planned to make a solo record. As a guitarist with Radiohead, who over almost three decades and nine albums have established themselves as one of the most innovative and influential musical forces of our time, he thought his artistic side had its outlet and was happy to spend any downtime from Radiohead with his family. Plus, he wondered, would it really be necessary? “Thom, Jonny and Phillip are making music,” he says, “and I’m like, ‘The last thing the world needs is a shit album by me.’"
But suddenly a switch was flicked and the songs came pouring out of him. That creative surge resulted in an album of rediscovery and adventure by O’Brien under the moniker EOB that deftly veers from moments of delicate folk to euphoric house, its songs seamlessly pinned together by unswerving melodic hooks and candid lyricism. A spirit of collaboration runs through it, from the production team of Flood, Catherine Marks, Alan Moulder and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett to the extraordinary musicians O’Brien assembled to help bring these tracks to life; Omar Hakim, Colin Greenwood, David Okumu, Laura Marling, Adrian Utley, Nathan East and Glenn Kotche.
But every group of collaborators needs a leader, and this album is all O’Brien’s vision. “I wanted to make a record from the heart,” he says. “I wanted to make something direct. I wanted to talk about love, your family in the immediate and the wider sense, where we are on the planet, the bigger picture, life and death. I wanted to make a big hearted, warm and colourful album… something hopeful and full of love.”
It all started in Brazil. Ed and his family moved out to the Brazilian countryside at the end of 2012. After setting up a home studio and dabbling with the idea of making an electronic record, a listen to Primal Scream’s landmark 'Screamadelica' was O’Brien’s eureka moment. “I thought, this is it… I want my music to have that joy, that light, the depth and breadth of that album… elements of dance, soul, ambient… Uplifting in parts.” He immediately picked up an acoustic guitar and started writing, the new direction further influenced by a trip to Rio Carnival. “Carnival was another eureka moment… an extraordinary explosion of rhythm, melody, dance, light and joy… I felt there was a thread right through 'Screamadelica', rave and carnival.”
The O’Briens returned home in summer 2013 and Ed hunkered down in a remote cottage in the shadow of the Cambrian Mountains in Wales to begin writing songs. After working on and promoting the last Radiohead album ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, Ed got started for real and over three weeks, in the Autumn of 2017, O’Brien and his house band got down the bones of the record. A year of tinkering and re-working followed at Assault & Battery Studios in Willesden, London. “The house band was so good for some tracks – but other stuff needed a different approach. Any record that I’ve been involved with, that’s been of any merit, is always a journey.”
Tracklisting: Shangri-La / Brasil / Deep Days / Long Time Coming / Mass / Banksters / Sail On / Olympik / Cloak of the Night
Fodder On My Wings
Model: NINA SIMONE
Release Date: 03 April 2020
1982 album with 3 bonus tracks. Also available on vinyl.
Recorded in 1982, not long after she moved to Paris, ‘Fodder On My Wings’ was one of Nina Simone’s personal favourites of her own albums and yet has remained one of her most obscure. Originally recorded for a small French label and only sporadically available since its initial release. The album is one of Simone’s most introspective and personal works, with songs about her father’s death and her (not always pleasant) stay in Liberia, Trinidad and Switzerland.
‘Fodder On My Wings’ also features similarly personal and autobiographical songs such as “I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them” and a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father, on a remake of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)”. Simone’s loneliness at the time of her Parisian stay exacerbated her mental illness, and her family life was fractured. From her despair, the near-title track “Fodder On Her Wings” was forged.
Pitchfork, in their analysis of Simone’s most memorable work, said that the song “Fodder On Her Wings” “captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period, and she returned to it frequently through the next decade, cutting another studio version three years later (the synth-heavy take on ‘Nina’s Back!’) and including it on several live albums, including an awe-inspiring performance on 1987’s ‘Let It Be Me’. Simone’s vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale.”
Tracklisting: I Sing Just to Know That I’m Alive / Fodder in Her Wings / Vous Etes Seuls, Mais Je Désire / Etre Avec Vous / Il Y a Un Baume À Gilead / Liberian Calypso / Alone Again Naturally / I Was Just a Stupid Dog to Them / Color Is a Beautiful Thing / Le Peuple En Suisse / Heaven Belongs to You / Thandewye / Stop / They Took My Hand
Model: GREGORY PORTER
Release Date: 28 August 2020
Undeniably one of the best voices of our generation, Grammy award-winning singing sensation Gregory Porter has made his eagerly-awaited return to the studio with his sixth studio album ‘All Rise’.
Following on from 2017’s ‘Nat King Cole & Me’ album, Porter’s forthcoming record marks a return to his beloved original songwriting – heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues, and gospel. First single, “Revival”, sets the tone, kicking off with Gregory’s signature hand-clapping. “Yes, you could say that I went big,” says Gregory about the track, which features a handpicked horn section and 10-member choir. He explains, “For me, it’s the message of walking into this life and having some fear and self-doubt, and the point where you grab onto something that you know is real, the silent and real things, the truth… Once you can wrap onto the truth then this fearlessness comes.”
Since his 2013 debut, ‘Liquid Spirit’, which won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Gregory hasn’t let down his legion of fans, whether collaborating with Disclosure on ‘Holding On’, releasing his dance hit ‘Liquid Spirit – Claptone Remix’ which became one of the most popular tracks in Ibiza, scoring another Grammy for ‘Take Me to the Alley’ (2016), or telling his life story through Cole’s songbook. Porter is still surprised by his runaway success, but he has a theory: “I was soothed by my voice as a child and I think that’s the same thing others get from it. I’m trying to heal myself with these songs.”
Tracklisting: Concorde / Dad Gone Thing / Revival / If Love Is Overrated / Faith In Love / Merchants of Paradise / Long List of Troubles / Mr. Holland / Modern Day Apprentice / Everything You Touch Is Gold / Phoenix / Merry Go Round / Real Truth (bonus track 1) / You Can Join My Band (bonus track 2) / Thank You
Circles [Clear vinyl]
Model: MAC MILLER
Release Date: 17 April 2020
2020 posthumous album also available on CD.
‘Circles’ is the American rapper and singer-songwriter Mac Miller’s sixth and final studio album and first posthumous album after his passing on September 7, 2018 due to an accidental drug overdose. ‘Circles’ is an optimistic epilogue to the life of an aspirational artist. It’s the culmination of a career spent improving, a fitting epilogue to an aspirational life.
When Mac Miller sought out Jon Brion - American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist - to help produce the music that would become last year’s ‘Swimming’ and this month’s ‘Circles’, even Brion thought it was an odd pairing. The renowned producer and film composer was 30 years the senior of the late rapper, part of a different generation and scene, and someone whose extensive list of credits included scarcely any hip-hop (Kanye West’s ‘Late Registration’ and Graduation are notable exceptions). “I think he [Miller] presumed, quite honestly, that I’d had some sort of musical prejudice against hip-hop or people who made beats or something?” Brion recently told Vulture. “These were his exact words: ‘Oh, yeah. Hi. I really wanted to meet you, but I don’t know if you’d even consider what I do as music.’ ”Miller’s supposition, of course, was nonsense. Brion may be best known for his work with distinguished singer-songwriters like Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann, but he harbored no such musical prejudices. When you got past their surface-level differences, the pairing actually made quite a bit of sense. Brion is talked about like a musical savant, but Miller—who played the drums, guitar, and piano and had bona fide production chops—was every bit his match. Emotionally, Miller fit in the Brion sonic universe, too.
The magic of Brion’s scores is that they convey disorientation while also counterbalancing it. It’s hard to listen to Circles without wearing what Brion describes as “loss goggles.” Dying can elevate an artist’s mythology. But it also robs them of any semblance of control. They can’t push back against false interpretations (something Miller found futile even while he was alive). With a posthumous release, especially, death becomes the dominant narrative. The conceit of ‘Swimming’ and ‘Circles’ is that together they form a portrait of a man, you know…swimming in circles. But on ‘Circles’, what Miller frames as stagnation actually sounds like incremental progress. Against the dreary sonic backdrop, Miller is self-critical and also full of resolve. He may have still been making mistakes, but on songs like the standout “That’s On Me,” he takes responsibility for his actions (“That's on me, that's on me, I know / That's on me, that's on me, it's all my fault,” he sings on the chorus). These might have been hopeful moments had Miller lived, but instead those loss goggles render them even more tragic than the album’s downbeats: He was trying.
Impossible as it is to divorce the material from its author—and more specifically, the fate of its author— we’d still be celebrating ‘Circles’ if not for the fog of death. Brion has described being moved to tears by some of these songs before Miller passed. The concision and complexity with which Miller articulates his mental currents and emotional tides makes it tough not to sink under their weight. There’s only one other voice on all of ‘Circles’; for most of the album, Miller is left to grapple with himself. “I wonder what they know,” he sings on the album closer, “Once a Day.” “I wonder if they ever even cared at all / I wonder, do they see their own reflection in the rain / And look away?” Time and again, Mac Miller doesn’t look away. He faces down his demons, flaws, and insecurities. It’s one of those rare times you’re left aching for a sequel.
Tracklisting: Circles / Complicated / Blue World / Good News / I Can See / Everybody / Woods / Hand Me Downs / That's On Me / Hands / Surf / Once A Day / Bonus Track 13 / Bonus Track 14
Notes On A Conditional Form
Release Date: 24 April 2020
2020 album. Also available on vinyl.
Hot English band The 1975 have cued up their fourth album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ for release in the Spring 2020. In 2019 they played a “will they won’t they” game regarding whether the album was coming or not, teasing fans with chatter online but finally in July they put out “The 1975” the first single from the album which featured the climate activist Greta Thunberg reading a mission statement. At the time of writing in January 2020, a total of four songs have now been trailed from the thumping “People” to the jittery Burial soundalike “Frail State Of Mind”.
“Me & You Together Song” with its indie rock feel shows the new album will be another diverse collection from the talented and highly popular four-piece who’s first three albums all went to No.1 in their native UK. Frontman Matthew Healy explained that the album would be inspired by British nighttime culture, adding that it contains references to “the beauty of the M25 and all those lights and going to McDonald’s and listening to garage records in a haze in a Peugeot 206.”