Akron/Family: Soul I Know b/w World Is Tired
"Soul I Know" b/w "World Is Tired" is a limited edition 10" from Akron/Family recorded during the sessions that lead to their 2013 scorcher, Sub Verses.
Strand of Oaks: Darker Shores
Darker Shores is a collection of songs that continues to reveal itself. Its path leads back to the vintage synthesizers used to create a unique journey into the human experience. Beyond the bleak and uncertain lies a solace and comfort that comes when songs achieve their highest possible potential. These songs represent both a definite ending and an undeniable new beginning. Hope you enjoy the journey.
The Darker Shores EP comes as a welcomed follow-up to last year's LP, Dark Shores. After long spells supporting both The Tallest Man On Earth and Phosphorescent, Strand of Oaks takes his newly informed sound to Europe for a headlining tour, plus London and Nijmegen dates with Damien Jurado and a stop at End of the Road Festival on September 1. Plan to see this powerful two-piece live.
Phosphorescent: Muchacho De Lujo (Deluxe Edition)
Muchacho de Lujo is the deluxe edition of one of 2013's most renowned albums, Muchacho, which garnered the coveted Best New Music (Pitchfork) tag as well as the adoration of The New York Times and Time Magazine. The bonus material is from an intimate pre-release live show, recorded at St. Pancras Church in London. The set, performed as a two-piece of guitar and piano, features standout tracks from across the Phosphorescent catalog including "Song For Zula," "Mrs. Juliette Low," "Wolves," and a cover of Waylon Jennings' "Storms Never Last."
Stitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all permutable definitions of the word- its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroing in on emotions and images that cannot be glanced over.
In some regards, Stitches harks back to those earliest days of Califone, yet the ultimate outcome sounds like the work of an artist reborn. Rutili says. "Instead of writing from my balls and brain, this time I wrote from the nerves, skin, and heart."
Julianna Barwick: Nepenthe
Julianna Barwick's art is equal parts force and beauty. Her music finds its motor in significant events in her own life, but they are abstracted into a sense of sonic wonderment, a radiance that you could say is her signature sound. That radiance has been taken to new zeniths with Nepenthe, her third full-length album, which was recorded in Reykjavík, Iceland, in the dark cold days of February.
"Everything I was making was visceral ? the record represents some serious emotional stuff," she confirms, while at the same time she raves with enormous positivity about the unique recording environment. Alex Somers (musician/producer of Sigur Rós, Jónsi, Jónsi & Alex) invited her to Iceland in the first place. For Julianna, who was blown away at a Sigur Rós show in 2002, it was a dream come true. "That was the fastest email I ever wrote: ?Yes!? Who would say no to that?" Somers produced and engineered the record and brought in local Icelandic musicians who turned out to make crucial contributions: string ensemble Amiina, guitarist Róbert Sturla Reynisson from Múm, and a choir of teenage girls.
Gauntlet Hair: Stills
For all the dark tones pulsing through Gauntlet Hair's new album Stills, there is also a guileless affection for the goth/industrialists and post-punks who blazed a shadowy path through the 80s and 90s. Recorded during Portland, Oregon's grey winter days in producer Jacob Portrait's (Unknown Mortal Orchestra) appropriately named studio "The Cave," Stills is a modern salute to Trent Reznor and his cohort's arena-ready post-apocalyptica.
The album follows the once-Denver-based band's 2011 self-titled debut for Dead Oceans and singles spread across labels like Forest Family and Mexican Summer. After moving back to their hometown of Chicago last year, drummer Craig Nice and singer/guitarist Andy R. looked to their teenage selves for inspiration. "I started listening again to the stuff I would have in my discman in the back of my mom's car," says Nice. "White Zombie, Marilyn Manson ? the production on those records is so amazing. Nothing sounds like that anymore."
John Vanderslice: Dagger Beach
While it's true I did endure a terrible break-up at the beginning of writing this record, this is not a break up record. Dagger Beach is a put-me-the-fuck-back-together record. The break up came in late 2011, after endless months of White Wilderness touring. I returned home to an empty house, and, as that's pretty unbearable when you're not quite right in the head, I decided to set out walking. I hiked the Lost Coast (36 miles of off-the-grid splendor in Southern Humboldt County), I hiked the entire 150-mile trail system of Pt. Reyes, I hiked for days, deep, deep in the woods, usually alone.As I walked and walked, listening to records on repeat, I started obsessing about music again. As the experience changed me, it changed the record. Dagger Beach is looser, weirder, and more free because of it.
Like a stunning spring morning, Saltwater is buoyant, expansive pop, with an astonishingly sure hand of craftsmanship. With a light and lilting poise and the unique perspective of Crane, Saltwater is a quixotic melange that is both understated and startlingly honest. This is our Martin Crane ? the restless, yearning, young musical adventurer - balancing raging power, with a lovely articulation of deep feelings.
Akron/Family: Sub Verses
The album started with visions of large monumental sounds inspired by Heizer and Turrell; American works on a grand scale, monuments, dirty hands and an epic American masculinity. Dust, Stone, Sky, Earth.
These broad, bold strokes would come to pass but not quite as expected.
A Sci Fi aesthetic narrative emerged. Tackling distant pasts and future humanism, the pain and idiocy of our contemporary culture. How to deal with it open heartedly? The boredom, the sadness and speed. The plots within plots of Dune mirrored in many layers of sound. Creating 3D sonic atmospheres that our songs and singers inhabit.
Our story, a story, all stories. Told in verses, in underground language, in sub frequencies. Not audible, only felt, intuited, imagined in some deepest psychic space that you are yet to know. A strange story. Of the future, of yourself. Of everyone. We are all we are, only this and yet we move forward. Along some line to somewhere. And who knows?