Landscape Dream is Abram Shook's follow up to 2014's Sun Marquee, an album VICE called "...pleasant as fuck." and Texas Monthly called "...compelling, weird, and lovely." Applying what he learned through writing and recording Sun Marquee, Landscape Dream is a natural progression, demonstrating how much Shook's songwriting and production acumen has sharpened over the past year. Sun Marquee was a learning process where songs were often forced out of experiments in recording techniques. As Abram explains, "I had a lot of thoughts I just threw out there, but often I arrived at dead-ends and had to figure out how to make something out of what was available." However, on Landscape Dream he "went back to writing with just voice and guitar and then used arranging, production, and recording ideas pulled from Sun Marquee." The effectiveness of his new approach is clear from the 70's rock of "Find It" and "Chelsea" to the African vibes of "Get Gone", the dreamy Brazilian vibes on "5AM" and "Beach Glass", and the slow-jam soul found on "Perfect", "Jaw", and "Vessel".
Benjamin John Power's newest solo offering as Blanck Mass, Dumb Flesh, was written, produced and recorded in a number of different locations over the space of a year. It began life in Fuck Buttons' 'Space Mountain' studio, moved into a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London, then was finished up at Ben's new home in Edinburgh. The geographical spread of the sessions is reflected in the shifting landscapes of the tracks and the ever-changing sound-palette used to realize Dumb Flesh as an expansive body of work.
As a work of art, Dumb Flesh is a comment on the flaws of the human form in its current evolutionary state. The frailty of the human body naturally became a resonant and inescapable part of the album's gestation. "We are at the mercy of our genetic heritage everyday. No matter how intelligent we are compared to other life forms, we're still made up of the same building blocks and things can go very wrong". In particular, the first single 'Dead Format' reflects upon this reality, whilst 'Atrophies' and 'Detritus' acknowledge the organic decay we will all inevitably succumb to.
With Darling… It’s Too Late, Guantanamo Baywatch sought to harness and manipulate the sparkling sounds from yesteryear, all while staying true to the tape hiss and rough takes of analog recording. “We really wanted a mixtape compilation sound to the record,” says Powell, and that approach can be heard in both the songwriting and the production. According to Powell, each individual song was approached with all the amps and the EQs on the recording console zeroed out. That meant that every song was recorded with a new template. The title track and lead single, “Too Late”, perfectly captures this new aesthetic. With Burger Records soul singer Curtis Harding contributing backing vocals and rounding out the classic Motown ballad vibe of the track, “Too Late” is an enormous departure from the trashy Mummies-esque ruckus of their earlier recordings. Of course, the band hasn’t completely abandoned the rowdy surf rock of their previous releases—Powell put the finishing touches on the album back at his Jungle Muscles Studio in Portland to keep that rough-hewn feel intact. But even when he and his bandmates Chevelle Wiseman (bass) and Chris Scott (drums) tread on their familiar territory with songs like “Raunch Stomp” or their cover of Eddie & The Showmen’s “Mr. Rebel”, there’s a newfound clarity, punch, and swagger to their sound. Throughout the course of Darling… It’s Too Late the trio continues to fuck with various subgenres, from the dusty Western twang of “Corey Baum’s Theme” to the straight-outta-Sun Studios rocker “Do What You Want.”
The LP is available in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies on Peaches-and-Cream color vinyl. A digital download card for MP3 is included.
"In my book, one of the sharpest young intellectuals we have out there." - Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
ISSKOOTSIK (Before Here Was Here) is the debut album from author, activist, attorney, and Native American spoken-word artist Gyasi Ross. A forceful collection ranging from historical facts to dreams of love and death and loathing, featuring Slug of ATMOSPHERE, Abiodun Oyewole of THE LAST POETS, and Northwest Independent music legend STEVE FISK, as well as traditional Native American performances from NAKOA HEAVYRUNNER and SACRED WATER.
Gyasi comes from both the Blackfeet and Suquamish Indian Nations and has gained visibility nationally through frequent network television appearances and regular contributions to Huffington Post, Gawker, Deadspin and Indian Country Today.
Two legends, together again. Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Half Japanese's Jad Fair have teamed up to bring you their new magnum opus, "Yes". Encompassing all the songwriting eccentricities that have made these guys famous, this new collaborative album also features some of the most genteel, engagingly catchy, and downright adorable music in recent memory.
Norman Blake and Jad Fair originally collaborated over a decade ago on the Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair album "Words of Wisdom and Hope" (Domino/Alternative Tentacles). Unlike the simple, aggressive style of Half Japanese, the 13 new tracks on "Yes" feature refined, guitar-laden power pop and saccharin-sweet melodies, accompanied by backup singers and layered horn arrangements. Fair's characteristically-manic vocal style is still present, but when coupled with the head-bopping, articulately-layered arrangements of Norman Blake, the result is a potently earnest album that is brimming with positivity.
Who Me? is the next chapter in the ongoing story of Juan Wauters. Whereas his debut solo record was recorded casually over the course of one year, his new album was crafted in under two weeks at Future Apple Tree in Rock Island, Illinois. Inspired by both the arrangements of Uruguayan songwriter Jaime Roos and the production of American master Dr. Dre, this collection of songs presents his continued approach to existential questioning through pop music. Tracks like "She Might Get Shot" and "I Was Well," which may seem like wisdom addressed to the listener, are in fact part of Juan's reciprocal process of self-actualization through songwriting and performing. Bringing new sounds to his repertoire, "This Is I" and "Through That Red" add a spiritual tone with ethereal string arrangements. Juan's voice - which has risen to the forefront of his music since his first recordings with The Beets - intensifies with added nuance. This year Juan Wauters will continue to tour the world in support of his second solo record.
The first-ever reissue of the private-press country-rock rarity by Colorado auto body painter, Marine, and garage band lifer Kenny Knight—he played in the original `60s Black Flag—Crossroads recalls a homebrew American Beauty-era Grateful Dead in its world-weary, low-key mood and indelible songwriting. Faded, anxious, melancholy, and beautifully woozy, this out-of-time document belies its 1980 release date. Produced in collaboration with Numero Group, it features liner notes by writer and collector Michael Klausman and Kenny himself.
"Blues: The 'Dark Paintings' of Mark Rothko" is one of Loren Connors' most cherished and sought after albums. Originally released in a handmade edition of around 300 copies on Connors' own St. Joan label in January 1990 under the name Guitar Roberts -- this album has been unavailable in any form until now.
At the time of its release, Connors was still an inscrutable guitarist whose matchless and alien rendering of the blues was just gaining recognition despite more than two dozen solo and collaborative releases since 1978. Connors' classic, song-based "In Pittsburgh" had only been available for three months when "Blues" welcomed the new decade. It would be the first of four solo albums issued by Connors that year and distilled the blues form into bleak, minimalist lines and tone; a compound of influences spanning Louisiana guitarist Robert Pete Johnson to painter Mark Rothko.
For this reissue, the audio has been restored to Connors' specifications of how these seven instrumentals were originally intended to sound. Cover art is an untitled 1969 Rothko work -- one of the paintings that influenced Connors to record this album. The original LP art and liner notes are replicated as a full-color inner sleeve. New liner notes by music historian Byron Coley chart Connors development and Rothko's effect on the music. Pressed on pristine 150 gram vinyl by Quality Record Pressing in an edition of 800. LP includes a coupon for a full download.
Sophy Hollington, and bassist Suki Sou met through mutual friends in Brighton in 2010, where they quickly realized that they shared a common love for '60s counterculture and bands like Black Sabbath, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Pale Saints. The addition of drummer Iain Laws in 2011 and keyboardist Isabel Spurgeon in 2014 solidified the group into a propulsive engine, capable of welding woozy, cosmic psychedelia to sustained squalls of flanged-out, far-out dream pop. Novella's debut album, Land, is a controlled blast of mainlined electricity, a tempest of relentless groove and crystalline vocals that is at once the vicious edge and the calm eye of the storm.
Pfarmers is the new project from Danny Seim (Menomena, Lackthereof), Bryan Devendorf (The National), and Dave Nelson (David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens).
According to Seim, "The record is about a dream I had where I'm reluctantly accepting a fear of drowning by focusing on being reincarnated as a giant Gunnera plant, which thrive on the banks of rivers (specifically the Jordan River i.e. the Biblical promised land) after I paint myself gold and sink to the bottom like the El Dorado of South American folklore."
Despite the notariety of it's members, Pfarmers sounds unlike anything they've produced before. Devendorf's trademark drum style anchors everything, but now it's been filtered so heavily as to almost sound mechanical. Seim contributes his layered vocals and the deep, almost funky bass grooves, while Nelson provides complex spatial arrrangements. The result sounds like Lackthereof (Danny's solo project) as played by the Tom Tom Club through a THX soundsystem.
It's a diverse record, switching swiftly from catchy pop hooks to ambient instrumental movements. For those willing to dive in, this album is incredibly rewarding.
Rivington Não Rio revels in the kind of compassionate complexity that marks Prefuse 73's greatest works, with a profound new element added to the mix: Patience. Herren's ability to marry the manic to the melodic has always been uncanny, but here it feels downright magical as the songs inhale with his trademark sense of urgency... then exhale in longer, more revealing breaths. The prismatic textures that have long been a staple of Prefuse 73 are bound to beats and melodies with the spirit of hip-hop and the subtlety of modern minimalism. The album's guests treat the material with a hushed respect: Roc Nation songwriter and Jessie Ware collaborator Sam Dew turns "Infrared" into a sublimely soulful, dimly-lit portrait of inverted R&B;Milo & Busdriver's vicious, rapid-fire verses contrast a pastoral downbeat to brilliant effect; and elsewhere, Pinback's Rob Crow and Latin electronic-folk crooner Helado Negro navigate splintered tropics with passive grace. As a stand-alone album, Rivington Não Rio ranks extraordinarily high in the Prefuse 73 canon. As a centerpiece to an epic triptych that includes the Forsyth Gardens and Every Color of Darkness EPs, it's a new peak from a pioneer who appears to only just now be hitting his prime. For an artist who has played an undeniably integral role in the careers of so many influential artists, it's not just refreshing to hear him return to top form... it's revelatory.
Prinzhorn Dance School's spartan sonics have often lead to some hand-wringing when trying to play out their records 'in the club'. In the first 7 years of their existence, there was a sole club-friendly remix in their entire catalog. It is for these reasons that we're really proud to announce there is now a second.
DFA veteran Shit Robot takes the track "Reign" from their imminently released third album "Home Economics" and turns it into a deep, dark floor-filler. The band's pleading vocals dive in and out of a throbbing bassline, with new robotic percussion seamlessly blending with the band's original bangs and clangs.
The flip features that previously alluded to Optimo (Espaco) mix of You Are The Space Invader - previously only available commercially in digital form, this is the first (slightly) wider vinyl release of this classic remix. An edition of 500 hand-stamped and numbered white label copies, not to be pressed again for another 7 years or so. Probably.
Culled from the vaults of WFMU - the world's most acclaimed free-form radio station - comes over 20 hours of mind-bending, hilarious phone calls between the renowned comedy duo of Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster. From 2000 to 2013, their tremendous imaginations took over the WFMU airwaves every Tuesday night with bizarre tales from a fictional town called Newbridge, NJ and the desperate denizens that inhabit it. Included inside this definitive collection are 75 calls over 16 compact discs, edited by Scharpling & Wurster (over 50 of them previously unreleased or unaired), a 108-page hardcover book with cover art by Joe Matt that features essays by Patton Oswalt, Julie Klausner, Damian Abraham (lead singer of F*cked Up) and Best Show associate producer Michael Lisk (aka A.P. Mike), a definitive interview with Scharpling & Wurster by Jake Fogelnest, notes on the evolution and inspiration behind each bit written by Scharpling & Wurster, a USB drive with all of the calls plus 4 hours of bonus material, a fold-out map of Newbridge, Philly Boy Roy & Timmy von Trimble Paper Dolls, postcards, and temporary tattoos with The Best Show catch-phrases.
1000 Palms marks a return to Surfer Blood's DIY ethos. Abandoning the big time studio, the band decided to head back home to self-record and self-produce their third full-length album. Free of major-label-influence, Surfer Blood has delivered a uniquely compelling album, unlike anything in their catalog.
The story of 1000 Palms began on January 1st 2014, after playing a New Year's show in Portland, OR. The band decided to stick around for the rest of the month, renting a practice space and sorting through a backlog of ideas. By February, as their lease ran out, Surfer Blood had recorded demos for most of the tracks that are now featured on their third LP.
After a frustrating time at their previous home, Warner Brothers, the quartet was beyond ready to return to a more DIY recording process, completely void of the middlemen scrutinizing every bar of previous LP, Pythons. With the band self-recording, it was in the glamorous setting of an attic studio above a doctor's office where drums were committed to tape. Of the work, frontman John Paul Pitts states "fortunately none of us are strangers to DIY recording, so this seemed like the kind of challenge well-suited to our band".
The making of 1000 Palms also owes a lot to the kindness of friends and family, with the remaining instrument sessions taking place at the home of drummer Tyler Schwartz's parents, while they were on vacation. Following a few days of very little sleep and after the band pooled resources and called in favors, the band had managed to craft everything you now hear on the upcoming record.
The Holydrug Couple began in Santiago, Chile in 2008, a little over a half-decade after Ives and Manu met for the first time. The two young friends hadn't seen each other in a few years when Manu texted Ives to tell him that he bought a drum kit. They started jamming, and a week later, the band was formed. A flurry of songwriting activity followed, culminating in 2011's Ancient Land EP and 2013's Noctuary, both released on Sacred Bones. Moonlust boldly treads territory that those earlier psych-indebted recordings only hinted at, especially the dreamy French movie soundtracks of the '70s and '80s and the discography of Serge Gainsbourg.
Dark Bird Is Home doesn't feel like it came from one time or one place. The songs were captured in various countries, studios and barns, carrying a weather-worn quality, some dirt and grit. This is Kristian Matsson at his most personal and direct, deeper and darker than ever at times, but it's also an album with strokes of whimsy and the scent of new beginnings.
In excess virtue lies danger, or at least limits to pragmatic action—it’s a lesson hard learned by anyone disillusioned by the erosion of youthful mythologies. Strict fealty to a fixed ideal of identity doesn’t do us any favors as adults. Loyalty, the third and finest album yet by The Weather Station (and the first for Paradise of Bachelors) wrestles with these knotty notions of faithfulness/faithlessness—to our idealism, our constructs of character, our memories, and to our family, friends, and lovers—representing a bold step forward into new sonic and psychological inscapes. It’s a natural progression for Toronto artist Tamara Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice. Recorded at La Frette Studios just outside Paris in the winter of 2014, in close collaboration with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist), the record crystallizes her lapidary songcraft into eleven emotionally charged vignettes and intimate portraits, redolent of fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and David Wiffen, but utterly her own.