Francesca Blanchard – deux visions
he dramatic ebb and flow of Blanchard’s songs is heightened by tasteful, subtly dynamic arrangements and pitch-perfect instrumental performances. Her EP was strictly a solo effort, but here she’s backed by local luminaries including bassist Rob Morse, drummer Caleb Bronz, pedal steel player Brett Lanier and accordianist Tom Cleary, to name a few. There’s a horn section led by Bryan McNamara and featuring Andrew Moroz and Luke Laplant. There are strings and percussion. And it’s all expertly, warmly woven together by Montréal songwriter and producer Chris Velan. Read the full review on Seven Days
Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
Just like Under Color before it, The Agent Intellect leaves the listener feeling much more pumped up than its subject matter and harsh nature would lead you to believe. Closer “Feast of Stephen,” the dreamiest track Protomartyr have concocted to date, ends with 30 seconds of teetering ambient noise—a palate cleanser of sorts. Protomartyr are the kind of band that know how to care for their listener. Sure, they mix dark themes and crunchy riffs into their sound with high regularity, but they aren’t here to drive you into the dumps or make you feel uncomfortable. They’re here to play perfectly cathartic rock songs. Read the full review on Treble
Alex G – Beach Music
On a Wednesday night in August, Giannascoli is meeting me for a drink in Brooklyn. His hair’s cut a little shorter, but otherwise he’s very much the same artist I met a year ago in Philadelphia — soft-spoken, earnest, not the least bit arrogant despite his prodigious talent. He orders a cider and tells me about recording the album, which he did entirely on his own at home, as usual. “It’s almost like some kind of zen thing,” he says. “It’s just what I do. It’s like a mantra.” Read the full interview on Rolling Stone
Deafheaven – New Bermuda
While it would be hard for any band to reach the monolithic heights of Sunbather, Deafheaven found a way to offer a different kind of triumph. New Bermuda doesn’t break down the walls of metal, instead it expands its confines, allowing Deafheaven to include subgenres that rarely mix while injecting more outside references. Ultimately, New Bermuda proves just how progressive of a genre metal can be, purists be damned. Read the full review on AV Club
Clutch – Psychic Warfare
Approaching an album listed at the bottom of a group’s impressively lengthy career is always a gamble, yet many factors of this release add up to proving the risk is worth taking the plunge. I must applaud the potent amounts of energy, tasteful homages to classic rock, and numerous infectious melodies Read the full review on Metal Injection
Wood Brothers – Paradise
Paradise, recorded at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Nashville studio, represents the first time the group —brothers Chris and Oliver Wood along with percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix — composed an album with all the members in the room. The result is the warmest, most sublime and occasionally rowdiest Wood Brothers release. Read the full review on American Songwriter
This week we have releases from
Major Lazer-Peace is the Mission
Kamasi Washington-The Epic (super limited first pressing on vinyl)
Thunderbitch(limited vinyl only release) get while supplies last!!!
-Brittany Howard(Alabama Shakes) side project
Also, we have eight limited pink vinyl releases for Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help support Gilda’s Club of NYC.
Joey Badass-B4 DA $$
Run the Jewels 2
Chet Faker Built On Glass
Pierce the Veil Collide with the Sky
Primus Frizzle Fry
Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Between the Buried & Me Coma Ecliptic
Al Green the Belle Album
Titles are hitting the shelves today, don’t miss out on the limited releases.
Got a bunch of nice Eighties titles in the week.
Titles include albums by:
New York Dolls
Modern Lovers/Jonathan Richman(multiple titles)
Lou Reed(multiple titles)
Iggy Pop(multiple titles)
“It amazingly pulls off every genre it targets no matter what way it goes, with the rock touches adding another layer to the package. DeLong is rapidly improving at what he does, with his unique sense of style helping to sell the package more than the quality of its contents alone could have. It’s made for one of the most exciting and engaging albums of the year.” – Renowned For Sound
Pick up the new album at a Special price and get a free vinyl single!
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
It’s interesting that even in 2015 a brillliant male artist like Father John Misty can write a beautiful record like I Love You, Honeybear and be feted for his honesty, yet when a woman tackles similar themes something’s amiss. Yet ultimately Honeymoon debunks the idea that Del Rey is feminism’s anti-hero; it’s instead simply a story of love and all of its consequences, regardless of the gender of its writer.
Del Rey has that uncanny ability to sound both modern and retro at the same time but walks a very singular path. So let’s hope this isn’t adieu but an au revoir, because Honeymoon reaffirms her ability to make important, masterful pop music that doesn’t pay a blind bit of notice to fashion and it’s all the better for it. Read the full review on The Line of Best Fit
David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock
The opening, wistful guitar-led instrumental, 5am, acts as an overture to the John Milton-inspired title track. Built around the SNCF jingle, it has a bounce unheard for years in Gilmour’s work, and surprisingly evokes the understated spring of On The Beach-era Chris Rea. Among the album’s highlights are A Boat Lies Waiting: an emotional tribute to Rick Wright, with simple, fluid grand piano played by Roger Eno. In Any Tongue is the deep blockbuster, all mournful keyboards and swelling strings, while The Girl In The Yellow Dress is polite supper jazz. Read the full review on Record Collector
Metric – Pagans in Vegas
Long gone are the days of Metric, the sassy indie-rock quartet with downtown New York style and angular guitar riffs. After abandoning its edges for the glossier pop perfectionism of Fantasies, the group’s last effort lived up to its Synthetica title, transitioning the band into more synthpop sounds and dance-floor grooves. With Pagans In Vegas, the band has fully morphed into purveyors of slick electronic pop, music that would fit right in alongside British synth-driven acts like Depeche Mode or even The Cure. While the evolution has been steady and of a piece, early fans likely wouldn’t even recognize the artists behind this latest effort. Old world underground, where are you now, indeed.Read the full review on AV Club
Phish – Rift (1993)
Almost 23 years to the day it was released (2.2.93), Phish’s fourth studio album, Rift, still holds a unique place in their history. It was this album that began to lift the band from college gymnasiums and their own van to the long sought-after success of tour buses and a legit crew. Though many of the songs on the album had been played already, when Phish put them into a particular order, coupled with symbolic cover art, representing every song on the album, their first “concept” album emerged.
Phish – Lawnboy (1991)
This album is relaxed, friendly, and a lot of fun. It is their true statement of purpose, capturing Trey Anastasio’s unique visions in their rawest form. “Reba,” with its absurd lyrics, intricate design, and renegade momentum is one of their best moments, neatly summarizing the band’s philosophy in 12 minutes. Anastasio may have played with greater force and potency later on, but his creative spark was rarely brighter than here, and he proves himself to be not only a student, but a master of many divergent styles.
Phish – White Tapes (1983)
This compilation of early demos and four-track experiments was sold by the band at early performances. After going out of print, the collection (known as The White Tape) informally circulated among fans for years before being officially released by the band in 1998. The band itself only appears on five of the disc’s 16 tracks (“Alumni Blues,” “You Enjoy Myself,” “AC/DC Bag,” “Dog Gone Dog,” and “Letter to Jimmy Page”). The rest of the album is comprised of songs recorded by Anastasio and his high school friends (including future Phish collaborator and Amfibian founder Tom Marshall and the Dude of Life, with whom Phish would record 1991’s Crimes of the Mind) as well as several tongue-impaled-in-cheek cuts created by bassist Mike Gordon.
Phish – Junta (1988)
With great sound and better playing, Phish’s debut Junta is highly recommended whether you’re starting to discover Phish or are backing up to the beginning. It may be a bit long-winded and unfocused, yet it establishes their dedication to musical exploration effectively — not to mention the typical wild and woolly Phish humor spilling out all over the lengthy tracks.
Destroyer – Poison Season
Very much its predecessor’s heir, Poison Season finds Bejar with one eye cocked squarely at the past, though now in more ways than one. Like many left-field artists suddenly plucked from perceived obscurity for all the wrong reasons, Bejar seems particularly ambivalent toward the unexpected breakout success of Kaputt, and Poison Season is nothing if not willing to shrug off a few of Destroyer’s newest fans if that means staying true to what the band has done so well for the better part of two decades. More so than on Kaputt, all of the classic Destroyer motifs are on full display. Read the full review on Tiny Mix Tapes
Beach House – Depression Cherry
The most noticeable changes they make here are adjustments to lighting and angles. They’ve stripped back the booming drums of Bloom and boosted the synth and guitars, giving a new physicality to ethereal sounds. On “Sparks”, Scally’s vintage-organ keyboard patch is dissonant, mixed right up front, and a little uncomfortable, like a crick in the song’s neck. The slide guitars have a brittle edge, suggesting the involvement of actual human fingers. The backing vocals are mixed a few inches closer, so they sound less like a celestial choir than an earthbound crew of worried voices whispering secrets. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There
The choice of material here is certainly bolder than the stuff on Fakebook, which were primarily ‘60s-and-early-‘70s folk-rock or British Invasion songs. Yes, they do a Lovin’ Spoonful song here (“Butchie’s Tune”, one of the Spoonful’s many classic miniatures). But they also do a Parliaments B-side (“I Can Feel the Ice Melting”, light and jaunty but nothing compared to the dazed shimmer of the original), a Hank Williams weeper (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”), the Cure’s last actual hit (“Friday I’m in Love”), and obscurities ranging from mid-‘60s soul (Darlene McCrae’s “My Heart’s Not In It”, a song I’d never heard before and am glad I didn’t have to wait longer for) to ‘50s doo-wop (“Somebody’s In Love” by the Cosmic Rays, who I’ll remind you featured Sun Ra before he even went free-jazz) to ‘80s roots-rock (the aforementioned Great Plains song, mercifully lacking the original’s cheap-o synth and with Ira here accentuating the key line: ‘And we stopped fearing our death/That’s when we died’) to two home-base Hoboken outliers: Special Pillow (“Automatic Doom”) and Antietam (“Naples”). I could carp about the Hoboken pride stuff getting tiresome, but the fact is that the tunes grew on me. Read More on Pretty Much Amazing
Nathaniel Rateliff + The Nightsweats – Self Titled
Nathaniel Rateliff has never been afraid to bare his soul. Solo or with The Wheel, his music sounds as if it’s been yanked out from between the ribs, each song a painful, non-elective excision. “Early Spring Till” is the typical Rateliff gateway track for good reason: it hits like a cheap shot to the solar plexus. Here as in the rest of his best, he breaks in the door with a primal howl and lingers long after you’ve put away your earphones. Read the full review on Hey Reverb
Ghost – Meliora
Leading off from “Infestissumam,” “Meliora” feels quite different from the roiling and darker feel of that album. Whereas “Infestissumam” had more of a stripped down metal side to it, “Meliora” moves in the progressive side of things more than ever. Immediately from track one, the organ fueled intro-to-double-kick-drum swing draws us into a growing search for the “Spirit” (ahah), one which leads us from euphoric chorus through to a beautifully crafted guitar harmony, ending on a choral high note. And then it turns it around and starts getting down and dirty with “From the Pinnacle to the Pit,” a song that has one of the strongest set of riffs you’ll likely hear this year. Read the full review on Ultimate Guitar
Dr. Dre – Compton
Free T-Shirt with Purchase!
If there’s a surprise here, it’s that Dre, a 50-year-old near-billionaire long suspected of drifting out of touch, sounds charged-up, nimble, and relevant. Dre has always relied on other rappers and producers for inspiration and his own legacy is tied up in showcasing talent, lifting and rearranging it for his own cause. On Compton he’s taken the approach and doubled down, and while the album is frequently personal, it’s also communal, pushing his own voice towards the margins in favor of other vocalists. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Wilco – Star Wars
The music’s urgent, live-in-the-studio feel pairs well with Tweedy’s lyrics, which seem more direct and compact than they have in a while. He’s working his usual themes — doubt, devotion, everyday fears and resigned hopes — without any of the literary obscurity that sometimes creeps into his writing. “I was only after a friend to follow through,” he sings on the lovely “Taste the Ceiling,” sounding like John Lennon in a moment of hard-fought grace. Read the full review on Rolling Stone