Lightning Dust: Fantasy
Lightning Dust's 3rd proper full length finds its inspiration in skeletal synth pop, modern R&B beats, the films of John Carpenter and -- in accordance with Lightning Dust's only longstanding rule -- absolute minimalism. The core of Fantasy lies as much in the songwriting as in its sonics, and begins with tools familiar to Webber and Wells: her acoustic guitar and his Wurlitzer piano. They worked to distill the arrangements to just the few key elements that were necessary to make the feel right, and through countless hours of labor in The Balloon Factory - their Vancouver studio - the songs found their way to a sonic palette more squarely electronic than either expected.
Lightning Dust: Fantasy
Includes Fantasy on both compact disc and vinyl LP, 17 x 22" glossy poster featuring the album artwork, digital download code for the album (as .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s), redeemable June 11th (two weeks prior to release date). First 200 orders also receive a limited-edition 7" single featuring two new songs, "A Lifetime of Waiting" & "Sunday".
Foxygen: Foxygen 'No Destruction' b/w 'Where?s The Money?'
Featuring "No Destruction", a hot slice off the "We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic" pie, and the ostensibly quizzical b-side, "Where's The Money?"
Angel Olsen: Half Way Home
After her highly-acclaimed debut Strange Cacti landed in the hands of listeners, it became very obvious the special presence Angel Olsen offered to listeners. She had a fresh edge to her sound, a warm and wonderful range, and a level of skill and charm out of this world.
Half Way Home is a continuation of her elegance brought forth on Strange Cacti, a collection of both new and old music, honed and matured, thoughts revisited. We're hearing this same beautiful girl with that same beautiful voice, this time brought up to a new level, in no doubt a growth and reach brought on by several roadtrips with the one and only Bonnie "Prince" Billy and crew.
The work of Angel Olsen is entirely her own: a raw, glowing sound that stands out now just as much as it did in 2010. It's an emotional stew with Angel's robust voice up front, bold and engaging, coming out of the background, aching to be heard. With the help of Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang) behind the board and playing throughout the songs, Half Way Home is a natural progression showcasing the wondrous sounds of a songwriter with such a voice that is rarely found.
Small Black: Limits of Desire
The cover of Brooklyn-based Small Black's second LP, Limits of Desire, features a photo of a man and a woman embracing on either side of a ladder, completely naked, divided by its triangular arc. They're close, but they can't get any closer. It's a moving depiction of connectivity and interaction in the 21st century and it serves as a sort of source code for the record.
Limits of Desire is Small Black's most accomplished album yet. It's a crystalline realization of a sound they've been building toward since their self-titled EP in 2009. Now a full-time four piece, Josh Hayden Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums, percussion), the band have moved way beyond the hazy home recorded sound of their previous releases toward a full-fledged, but still self-produced, clear approach. Where 2010?s New Chain was a lesson in maximalist pop, Limits of Desire finds the band trimming their sound to the essentials, yet hitting new and unexpected heights with the addition of live drums, electric guitar and trumpet to the existing Small Black palette. Tonally the songs sweep and glide over lush keys, bolstered by lyrics that illustrate the semi-abstract moments of lost opportunities and misread signs, hinted at by the cover image. The title track whirls softly, and channels luminaries Tears for Fears and The Blue Nile, anchored by Pieczanski's punchy bass as Kolenik sings: "Other lives droned/ far from the grass where I lay/ each eye stared out the opposite way." As much as the record is about looking for deeper connections, it's also about avoiding real life, if only for a moment?getting out of your own head just long enough to calm down and find perspective.
?Free At Dawn? and ?No Stranger? do what fans have come to love Small Black for, only better. They?re smart pop bangers tinged with a specific brand of melancholy that slowly build to night-affirming climaxes. While "Breathless? ups the tempo, over synth stabs, with lyrics that tackle apathy and uncertainty with catchy grace: "I'm standing in tomorrow's way/ future's fine/least it seems okay." It paints a concise portrait of a generation struggling with unlimited freedom and malaise.
The band builds on a rich history of synth pop by making a thoroughly modern album, on both the front and back end. One that seeks out cohesion, connection and calm in a world that won?t sit still. Limits of Desire doesn't attempt to provide any solutions, but coming to terms with not finding the answers feels infinitely more fruitful.
Small Black: Limits of Desire (Deluxe Bundle)
Includes Limits Of Desire on both compact disc and LP (on limited-edition white vinyl while supplies last), 17 x 22" glossy poster featuring the album artwork, and digital download code for the full album (as .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s), redeemable April 30th, 2013. First 200 orders will also receive a limited-edition 12 x 12" print with artist portraits of the band.
Wolf People: Fain
Recorded in an isolated house in the Yorkshire Dales, Fain is the sound of a band at the peak of their creative powers. It?s an honest and natural album that allows its stories and melodies to breathe. The album draws on more traditional English and Scottish folk melodies than anything they?ve done before, but not straying from the drop-out fuzz-rock route they?ve made their own.
Wolf People: Fain (Deluxe Bundle)
Includes Fain on both black vinyl LP and compact disc in 6-panel wallet, 11 x 17 glossy poster featuring album artwork by Joe Hollick, and digital download code for the album (as .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s), redeemable immediately upon purchase. While supplies last, also includes bonus "Silbury Sands" b/w "Dry" single on 7" vinyl!
The Besnard Lakes: Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO
With Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, The Besnard Lakes create a distinct and dreamy headspace, an enigmatic and somehow familiar placelessness. It happens in such a way that both the close and casual listener find themselves immersed in the generous sonic vision, one moment as timeless as the next.
Dinosaur Jr.: Now The Fall b/w Ricochet
The Cave Singers: Naomi
On Naomi, The Cave Singers have charted new territory for the band, both musically and spiritually, while remaining true to their distinctive brand of brushfired folk. After some time in the dark wealth of the unknown, they have returned to the light with a revitalized purpose.