Tindersticks release a new limited four-song EP See My Girls. The four song EP features a radio edit of See My Girls, an instrumental dub version of the track and two new songs – the David Boulter penned instrumental A Street Walker’s Carol and Blood And Bone, with Sidonie on lead vocals. The EP is a companion to Tindersticks’ 2019 release No Treasure but Hope.
In a shocking turn of events, Daniel Romano has decided to give you exactly what you asked for–– He and his unparalleled live band, The Outfit, have decided that you deserved it, that it is in fact already yours––and they want to say “you’re welcome.” The record is called “OKAY WOW”. Which is probably what you’ll say when you listen to it. It’s all your favourite songs except superior in every way to the versions you’ve exhausted. “OKAY WOW” also features several rarities previously heard only on two albums which received brief, momentary release via Bandcamp before being deleted forever. “OKAY WOW” was RECORDED LIVE by Kenneth Roy Meehan the 1st while on tour across Scandinavia.
Arbouretum’s mystic folk-rock uses English folk, country blues, Americana and 70s psychedelia as touchpoints in their singular and distinctive sound and they’ve perfected the craft of storytelling, using a delicate interplay of melodies and prosaic lyrics. Let It All In is their most accomplished and evocative album yet. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann’s melodies and solos remain a central focus bolstered by the hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey, enhanced by Matthew Pierce’s substantial yet understated keyboard figures. Each song a vivid scene or tale; Heumann’s deep sense of spirituality and command of storytelling through myth and metaphor transports the listener to another world and time.
North London’s Sorry release their hotly-anticipated debut record 925 via Domino. Together with co-producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Nilüfer Yanya), best friends Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen have woven 925 like a dreamscape in which idyllic and hellish scenes intermingle, forcing the question of what is real and what is make believe. Inspired by everything from Hermann Hesse to Aphex Twin and old-school crooner Tony Bennett, their experimental and holistic approach marks them out as a thoroughly 21st century band; from their open-minded approach to genre to their creativity allowing them to self-produce the music and direct accompanying videos. Joined by drummer Lincoln Barrett and Campbell Baum on bass, Sorry emerged from a thriving scene of bands in London, and though 925 is their debut album, it is by no means their first statement. It follows a series of mixtapes, released sporadically and used as a way to experiment with the disparate influences and sounds that give 925 its distinctively modern and apocalyptic sound. Where previous singles and mixtapes earned the band their status as one of the most vital and relentlessly creative new British bands of the moment, 925 is a record which will undoubtedly cement their status as true originals and cross-genre innovators in 2020 and beyond.
British shoegazing/alternative rock band Chapterhouse released two albums during their existence, ‘Whirlpool’ (1991) and ‘Blood Music’ (1993). Their debut album is a fantastic example of shoegaze at its best. The wall of sound approach is built around dance music structures and they’re creating some heavy grooves. Comes on 180 gram vinyl.
Bobby Conn on Recovery: “What’s the point of recovery if we were never really healthy to begin with? I started working on this record about four years ago, thinking of the American obsession with self-help, self-care, and self-empowerment as a cruel and cheap substitute for helping each other. It’s a concept that rewards those that have the money to help themselves, and blames those that don’t for not trying hard enough. Then there were some elections. Now there is a narrative of ‘recovering’ our stronger, bolder, racially pure, cultural and economic glory days. And then some of my friends started getting sick, or dying or committed suicide . . . I was really into 10cc, J Dilla, Liaisons Dangereuses, Jean-Claude Vannier, Anna Meredith, Slade, D’Angelo, etc. when writing this record, but I’m sure you can hear it for yourself. Musically, this is a collaboration with my partner Monica BouBou on violin and vocals and our super-band of drummer Josh Johannpeter, bassist Jim ‘Dallas’ Cooper, keyboardist and string player Billie Howard, guitarist Devin Davis, and longtime sound artist DJ LeDeuce. We recorded it over many months in a basement. There is a cameo by synth genius Felix Kubin on ‘Brother’. Mixed by the brilliant Tobias Levin and Hannes Plattmeier in Hamburg, Germany. Some notes on each tune: ‘Recovery’ — the never-ending journey and an addiction unto itself. ‘Disposable Future’ — amazing new technology gives us unlimited choice delivered through devices we cannot control; is this what we were dreaming of? ‘Good Old Days’ — nostalgia for the lies of old white men will kill us all. ‘No Grownups’ — from the perspective of a teenager trapped in a world where all the adults are self-deluded, irresponsible narcissists in terrible clothes. ‘Brother’ — it’s easy to ignore the suffering that surrounds us everyday. ‘On The Nose’ — grandpa’s racism now rebranded as edgy rebellion for the internet generation. ‘Bijou’ — an ode to a recently closed gay porn theatre in Chicago that was part of the struggle for sexual liberty. ‘Disaster’ — our masters imagine themselves as heroes when the mob storms the gates and burns the palace to the ground. ‘Young Man’s Game’ — you can’t play the same game forever. ‘Always Already’ — a misreading of Derrida, Marx and Foucault turned into a nihilist anthem. With apologies to Lionel Richie.”
The Young Gods’ 2007 album, Super Ready / Fragmenté is finally released on vinyl. The twelve compositions of Super Ready / Fragmenté are of a pure sonic power. From the nasty rock song “I’m The Drug” or “Freeze”, to the abstract “C’est quoi c’est ça”, the playful “El Magnifico”, the psychedelic and moving “Stay With Us”, “Super Ready / Fragmenté” (nine minutes of sound journey and pivotal track on the album), The Young Gods have delivered a great album inhabited by Franz Treichler’s clearer, warmer and more powerful voice. That being said, words are, as always, of paramount importance to the Gods. With the political and poetic “About Time”, the group rises up against fear as a market value. Fear is a very current signature of today’s world, recalls Franz Treichler. How many politicians get elected by selling fear by the kilo? Or describes, in detail, the relationship between the couple and the imaginary “Everythere”. Super Ready / Fragmenté is one of those major albums that, behind a palpable sense of urgency and insecurity, is revealed and discovered through poisonous, disturbing and passionate listening. Artwork by IchetKar.
Can’t Make You Love Me is the debut album from Melbourne based Gena Rose Bruce. Bruce’s vocals drive this album; a stirring force amidst the pulsing rhythms, echoes of Mazzy Star and Lynchian undertones. Add to this the masterful restraint in the arrangements and one has an album that is both instantly timeless and unmistakably contemporary. In December 2017, Bruce pulled herself out of a toxic relationship, shifting focus entirely towards her music. “I quit my job, gave up the room I was renting and left the whole situation. I spent three months alone at a family property in Warrnambool on the south coast of Australia and wrote the album. It was a healing time.” The place was a small weatherboard near the ocean in the middle of nowhere. Secluded and eerily quiet, Bruce credits the album’s darker edges in part to this environment; “It’s not a sunny beach town, it’s very melancholic. Even in the middle of summer there was no-one around.” But it was here that she regained focus and confidence, entering a period of intense creative output. With fresh perspective, lyrics fell into place, followed by sound. Producer Tim Harvey and Bruce bounced ideas constantly. “There was lots of demoing and experimenting. We didn’t feel I had to fit to any genre—we just wanted it to be ‘me’.” Consequently, Can’t Make You Love Me is a distinct and dynamic debut from a young artist with a clear vision. With its infectious melodies, sultry vocal performances and biting lyricism it’s thrillingly playful and confessional. Bruce presents a refreshing brand of vulnerability through unfettered explorations of her life choices.
What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop release from Los Angeles-based Moaning.
Vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator, art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channeling those emotions directly into their music.
“We’ve known each other forever and we’re really comfortable trying to express where we’re at. A lot of bands aren’t so close,” says MacKelvie. Adds Solomon, who celebrated a year of sobriety during the Uneasy Laughter sessions, “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.”
Moaning’s 2018’s self-titled Sub Pop debut featured songs mostly written in practice or brought in already complete by individual band members. It garnered acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Los Angeles Times, who observed, “Moaning craft anxious music for an increasingly nervous local scene.” But Uneasy Laughter is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single “Ego,” which features a costume-heavy video directed by Ambar Navarro, as an embodiment of this evolution.
Solomon admits Uneasy Laughter could have gone in quite another direction had he not gotten sober and educated himself on such core subjects as gender and mental health. “I did a lot of reading in the tour van — authors like bell hooks, Mark Fisher, and Alain de Botton, all really inspired me. I don’t want to be the person who influences young people to go get high and become cliche tragic artists,” he says. “What I’d rather convey to people is that they’re not alone in what they think and how they feel. ‘Ego’ specifically and the album overall is about those themes — letting go of your bullshit so you can help other people and be present.”
“We want to be part of a community,” he adds. “I wrote online about being sober for a year, and I had kids from all over writing and asking for advice. One of them said, ‘For the first time I can remember, I didn’t drink last night.’ I thought, for once, maybe we did something besides sell a record. That’s a win. That’s incredibly exciting.”
Porches, a.k.a. Aaron Maine, is back with a new album, titled Ricky Music via Domino. Featuring contributions from Mitski, Zsela, and Dev Hynes, and with co-production by Jacob Portrait, Ricky Music expands on the Porches discography (The House, 2018; Pool, 2016; Slow Dance In The Cosmos, 2013) by delivering 11 emotionally open, cracked-glass pop songs.
When the band Trees Speak, coming out of nowhere, released an exclusive one-off 100-pressing white label 45, described as Can / Neu! meets Liquid Liquid, it sold out so quickly (in less than 30 minutes) that Soul Jazz Records decided to release their album almost immediately. Soul Jazz Records rarely release new music but found the music of Trees Speak’s album Ohms so stunning and to have so many elements of music that they admired that they felt compelled to release it.
The group Trees Speak are from Tucson, Arizona and create new music that sounds like German Krautrock meets no wave/post-punk and psych rock – music for fans of Cluster, Tangerine Dream, Can, Neu!, Silver Apples and early Kraftwerk. The album Ohms sounds at times like a tripped out and moody John Carpenter / Goblin / Morricone soundtrack that seamlessly segues into propulsive, ‘motorik’ Krautrock instrumentals loaded with fuzzy, hypnotic mellotron, synths and analogue effects, as well as elements of Art Ensemble free jazz, and all at times reaching a kind of post-rave psychedelia. More recent comparisons would include Beak> and Ghost Box who draw upon similar themes and styles.
Trees Speak relates to the idea of future technologies storing information and data in trees and plants – using them as hard drives – and the idea that Trees communicate collectively.
The Vinyl format includes an exclusive bonus 45 single (the white label of which sold out so fast) that will only be available with the first order of this amazing and ground-breaking new album.
Originally released in June of 1982, the debut album by the Cocteau Twins is considered far darker than some of their later offerings, being influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Cure and the Birthday Party. During this early period, Will Heggie’s bass played a significant role in defining their sound, giving it a darker and heavily rhythmic, earthy texture. This combined with Robin Guthrie’s minimalistic and heavily effected guitar arrangements; a great deal of distortion and feed-back, smoothed out with chorus, reverb and flanger. Beneath is the roland 808 drum machine thumping along, as distinctively Cocteau sounding as the guitar. All while Elizabeth Fraser seemed to veer into glossolalia and mouth music. Garlands marks the beginning of their haunting ethereal sound. A masterpiece.
Victorialand, Cocteau Twins’ fourth album, was released in spring 1986. The largely acoustic, non-percussive album was made with Elizabeth and Robin, while Simon was working on This Mortal Coil’s second album, Filigree&Shadow. Dif Juz label mate Richard Thomas guested on tabla and saxophone. The Guardian said”It’s not quite ambient, but it’s definitely not rock’n’roll even by the Cocteaus’ standards, building on the moments of guitar shimmer from the previous years’ EPs, while also stripping back at points to where it’s nothing but a Guthrie guitar line and Fraser’s voice.
LP – First vinyl pressing since the 80s cut at 33⅓ RPM.
Lapsley releases her highly-anticipated second album. Titled Through Water, it’s the follow up to her 2016 album Long Way Home, one of that year’s most acclaimed debuts. Released while she was still a teenager, Long Way Home featured Låpsley’s breakthrough moments Station and Falling Short and spawned one of the biggest club tracks in recent years (DJ Koze’s edit of Operator) as well as inspiring a new generation of electronically minded songwriters including Billie Eilish, who name checked it as a key influence on her sound.
Through Water is without doubt Lapsley’s most accomplished work to date, written and recorded during her transition into young womanhood. With Lapsley as the major producer and songwriter, the ten songs (whittled down from over one hundred) reflect her newfound confidence, clarity and self-awareness as an artist, documenting a wealth of personal experiences and coming-of-age stories set against a thematic backdrop of water, climate, weather and the elements.
Aporia is a New Age album from Sufjan Stevens and his step-father and record label co-owner, Lowell Brams. In the spirit of the New Age composers who sanded off the edges of their synths’ sawtooth waves, Aporia approximates a rich soundtrack from an imagined sci-fi epic brimming with moody, hooky, gauzy synthesizer soundscapes. The album may suggest the progeny of a John Carpenter, Wendy Carlos, and Mike Oldfield marriage, but it stands apart from these touchstones and generates a meditative universe all its own. This is no mere curio in the Sufjan Stevens catalog – but a fully realized collaborative musical piece.
What do we hold on to from our past? What must we let go of to truly move forward? Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield spent much of 2018 reckoning with these questions and revisiting her roots for answers. The result is Saint Cloud, an intimate journey through the places she’s been, filled with the people she’s loved.
Written immediately in the period following her decision to get sober, the album is an unflinching self-examination. This raw, exposed narrative terrain is aided by a shift in sonic arrangements as well. While her last two records featured the kind of big guitars, well-honed noise, and battering sounds that characterized her Philadelphia scene and strongly influenced a burgeoning new class of singer-songwriters, Saint Cloud strips back those layers to create space for Crutchfield’s voice and lyrics. The result is a classic Americana sound with modern touches befitting an artist who has emerged as one of the signature storytellers of her time. Many of the narratives on Saint Cloud concern addiction and the havoc it wreaks on ourselves and our loved ones, as Crutchfield comes to a deeper understanding of love not only for those around her but for herself. This coalesces most clearly on Fire, which she says was literally written in transit, during a drive over the Mississippi River into West Memphis, and serves as a love song to herself, a paean to moving past shame into a place of unconditional self-acceptance.
Over the course of Saint Cloud, which was recorded the summer of 2019 and produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver), Crutchfield peels back the distortion of electric guitars to create a wider sonic palette than on any previous Waxahatchee album. It is a record filled with nods to classic country, folk-inspired tones, and distinctly modern touches. To bolster her vision, Crutchfield enlisted Bobby Colombo and Bill Lennox, both of the Detroit band Bonny Doon, to serve as backing band on the record, along with Josh Kaufman (Hiss Golden Messenger, Bon Iver) on guitar and keyboards and Nick Kinsey (Kevin Morby) on drums and percussion. Saint Cloud marks the beginning of a journey for Crutchfield, one that sees her leaving behind past vices and the comfortable environs of her Philadelphia scene to head south in search of something new. If on her previous work Crutchfield was out in the storm, she’s now firmly in the eye of it, taking stock of her past with a clear perspective and gathering the strength to carry onward.
When С крыш наших домов (S Krysh Nashikh Domov), the debut album by Molchat Doma, was released in 2017, it announced a bold new voice in underground music. The album found a passionate audience on Bandcamp and other streaming services and was released on CD and cassette. Sacred Bones Records is proud to present the album on vinyl for the first time.
Molchat Doma (translated as “Houses Are Silent”), founded in 2017 in Minsk, Belarus, stands at the intersection of post-punk, new-wave and synth-pop. Dark yet danceable, and with a heavy dose of goth ethos, their music is reminiscent of the masters that predate them, but make no mistake: Molchat Doma creates a sound and meaning that is immediately recognizable as all their own.
The band is comprised of Egor Shkutko, who sings the Russian lyrics in his deep monotone, Roman Komogortsev on guitar, synths, and drum machine, and Pavel Kozlov on bass and synths.
Chicago trio FACS have evolved very quickly in the span of their three years in existence. “Void Moments” is their third & latest offering; a dark & claustrophobic album with rivulets of seismic beauty peeking through the din.
Formed in the wake of the dissolution of Disappears, guitarist Brian Case & drummer Noah Leger’s project is the logical continuation of the trails blazed in their former outfit. Since their 2017 debut “Negative Houses”, the band have reworked, retooled & reshaped their sound, and with the addition of bassist Alianna Kalaba on 2018’s “Lifelike”, their evolution has coalesced into something distinct. Gone is the bone-rattling minimalism of “Negative Houses”; “Void Moments” offers an abstraction of the melodic elements that crept into “Lifelike” and contorts them toward a new horizon.
Where “Lifelike” rang with a metallic, near-industrial racket, “Void Moments” cloaks the music behind a black velvet curtain of sonance, obsfuscating the band’s most direct set of songs to date. “Boy” kicks off with a lurch of vocals and Case’s sinewy guitar-line guiding a stoic march. By the time Kalaba drops in with the bass, the track morphs into a milky swirl, leading into the chime of “Teenage Hive”s buzzing churn. “Casual Indifference” expertly fuses the band’s rhythmic pulse with a somber dissolve of guitars, vocals and backwards-masked drums. “Version” closes out side one with lush surges of Case’s shoegaze’d guitar & voice weaving around the rhythm section. Side two’s “Void Walker” careens in with Leger’s cavernous drums, Kalaba and Case riding alongside. The album’s final two tracks “Lifelike” and “Dub Over” cascade into one another, becoming one & act as a perfect analogy to “Void Moments” mutability, both musically & lyrically. Despite its foggy presence, “Void Moments” still careens toward the light. By embracing fluidity, FACS continue to evolve & refuse to be ensnared by genre. “Void Moments” ruminates on humanity’s increasing refusal of identity, not only via our reliance on technology, but also within our society’s challenging of societal & gender norms. “Void Moments” feels one step closer to oblivion, but its sounds are a welcome salve.
First new studio album since 2017, I Am Not A Dog On A Chain was recorded at La Fabrique in France in 2018. The eleven track album, was produced by Joe Chiccarelli. Chicarelli has now produced the last four Morrissey albums, beating the three album run of Steve Lillywhite in the 1990s when he worked on Vauxhall and I, Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted. It’s Mozza’s boldest and most adventurous album yet. He has pushed the boundaries yet again – both musically and lyrically.
For the last 30 years, Greg Dulli, frontman of The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, has been the poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire. A foremost authority on the sell-your-soul rewards of carnal lust, the high voltage epiphanies of chemical enhancement, and the serotonin lows left in their wake.Therein lies Random Desire, the first solo album under Dulli’s own name, via Royal Cream / BMG.
The album opener. Pantomima, sets the tone from the sardonic taunts of the album’s first bars: desolation, come and get it. Random Desire started in the aftermath of the last Whigs record, 2017’s In Spades, which Pitchfork named one of the best rock records of the year, hailing it as a “heavy, menacing work of indie rock majesty…thrilling and unsettling.” Drummer Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator, bassist John Curley went back to school, and there was the tragic death of the band’s guitarist, Dave Rosser. In response, Dulli returned to his teenage bedroom roots, finding musical inspiration via the model of one-man-band visionaries Prince and Todd Rundgren.
The Los Angeles-by-way-of-Hamilton Ohio native wrote nearly every part of the record from piano lines to drums to bass riffs. As always, the music came first and the lyrics were completed later. Recording and writing way stations included his home in Silver Lake, the village of Crestline high up in the mountains above San Bernardino, and New Orleans. But the bulk was finished amidst the arid beauty and stark isolation of Joshua Tree (at the studio of engineer Christopher Thorne). Dulli handled most instrumentation, but an all-star cast of characters appear across the track-listing including The Whigs’ guitarist Jon Skibic and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, Mathias Schneeberger (Twilight Singers), pedal steel wizard, upright bassist, and physician Dr. Stephen Patt, and drummer Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age, The Mars Volta).
Clocking in at a lean 37 minutes, Random Desire is a clinic put on by a veteran master operating at the height of his powers, offering evidence of the hard-fought and weary wisdom learned from setbacks and victories alike. A lucid, confident and self-assured document of the songs of experience, the perils of existence, and the possibilities that offer themselves anew with each breath. Another death and rebirth from an outlaw who has seen it all and somehow lived to tell.
In Stock March 17, 2020
Brain Cycles is Radio Moscow’s second album, a new psychedelic trip into the musical territory originally charted by artists such as Randy Holden, Groundhogs, Peter Green and Flower Travellin’ Band, just to name a few. Hailing from Ames, Iowa, an unlikely rock n’roll town if there was one, and formed in 2006 by guitar prodigy Parker Griggs, Radio Moscow released their self-titled debut in 2007, with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys handling the production.
Stoner Rock called the album “an astonishingly good debut,” Pop Matters hailed it as an “awesome record-…fun and slutty and cool,” and Modern Fix described their sound as “dirty-ass psych-powered blues rock “.
After a full year on the road, Parker Griggs has headed back into the studio to cut the long awaited follow-up. On “Brain Cycles,” he once again plays all the instruments (guitar, drums, and percussion) and assumes vocal duties as well as production credits, while the bass guitar is in the hands of young Zach Anderson.
Conceived as an homage to the thrilling days of yesteryear, when vinyl was king and analog stereo ruled the world, “Brain Cycles” is a guilty pleasure best experienced at maximum volume while wearing headphones, if you want your brain to catch the waves!
A tortured songwriter and struggling addict who jolted the tired Chicago DIY scene with his own brand of primal despair, Trey Gruber and his band Parent were on track to join the ranks of Twin Peaks, Mild High Club, and Whitney. His death in 2017 at the age of 26 brought it all to a halt. In his final years, Trey wrote and recorded hundreds of previously unheard demos, dandelions in the cracked concrete of 21st-century disconnect, an alphabet’s worth of which have been compiled by his family and friends for his only album: Herculean House Of Cards.