Music Releases 02-02-18
February 2018 sees the return of Field Music with their sixth album, Open Here. The two years since Commontime have been strange and turbulent. If you thought the world made some kind of sense, you may have questioned yourself a few times in the past two years. And that questioning, that erosion of faith - in people, in institutions, in shared experience - runs through every song on the new Field Music album. But there's no gloom here. For Peter and David Brewis, playing together in their small riverside studio has been a joyful exorcism. Open Here is the last in a run of five albums made at the studio, an unprepossessing unit on a light industrial estate in Sunderland. Whilst the brothers weren't quite tracking while the wrecking balls came, the eviction notice received in early 2017 gave the brothers a sense of urgency in the recording of Open Here.
The Wood Brothers' sixth outing, One Drop of Truth, dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing Nashville-based trio treat each song as if it were its own short film. Fittingly titled, the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure.
A classically trained pianist, violinist, producer, and composer, Ackroyd turned heads in the neo-classical world with her previous works Escapement and Feathers, as well as her involvement in Hidden Orchestra (Tru Thoughts). Having played alongside giants of the genre, Hauschka and Nils Frahm, the unique musician has returned, fresh off the back of a mini-album Sketches, and set to release her brand new self-produced full-length record - her most ambitious and progressive piece of work to date. Ackroyd plays a combination of both upright and grand piano, and even plays the inside of the instrument using fingers, drumsticks and plectrums - and then arranges and multi-tracks the resulting sounds. The artist employed the same technique to record herself playing violin, pianino, harmonium and spinet, as well as record other musicians who played cello, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and hang.
On February 2nd, 2018, Daptone Records will release Whatever It Takes, the sixth album by The James Hunter Six. Hunter had already established himself as a permanent fixture in the world of Rhythm and Soul with his five previous albums, each more poignant and well-executed than the last. However, this record has buried them all. His voice has never been more compelling, his songs never more elegantly crafted. Recorded to tape at Daptone's Penrose Studios in Riverside, California, Bosco Mann's production elevates Hunter's arrangements to the altitude they deserve.
“This album has been my catharsis since the music started coming to me almost ten years ago. It’s the world seen through my eyes, or rather, through my piano. It’s evolved into a patchwork of emotions, experiences, beliefs – music that put an end to struggle. From On a cloud to Old soul, the pieces here came to life and brought hope when I thought nothing could save me. They each have their place in my development; they became my language. For me, a single chord can evoke a symphony of emotions. With solo piano, everything is exposed and we have to catch what passes through our fingers, which starts as raw emotion and translates as music in its purest form. I feel that sharing these emotions through music helps us to reconnect; these aren’t fingers double tapping to like or swiping away – these are fingers pulsing across the keys of a piano. The world changes and the music will always be tuned with the world; perhaps that is why I never seem to play a piece exactly the same way I did the last time. My insecurities and weaknesses find their way into my music, but also the landscapes and the people that inspire me. I hope the music on this album can reach the soul of listeners the very same way I feel it when I play”- RIOPY
Zappa Records presents The Roxy Performances. A 7-Disc Box Set that contains the MOTHERLODE of all things Roxy. All 4 public shows from December 9 & 10 1973, remixed in 2016 and presented in their entirety for the first time. Also included is the sound check from December 8th and bonus content that features rehearsal nuggets and unreleased tracks along with highlights from the recording session at Bolic Studios that took place in conjunction with the filming dates.
Forget everything you know about Hookworms. Ok, maybe not everything; the urgency and viscera both live and on record that led the five-piece to prominence across two blistering full-length LPs—2013’s Pearl Mystic and 2014 follow-up The Hum—remains. However, as they return with their much-anticipated third record Microshift, the title of the record connotates more than just the intended nod to the audio plug-in their vocalist MJ regularly uses; it could also be an understatement of a three-year narrative that’s brought about changing circumstances, influences and subsequent evolution.
The London-based, Cornwall-bred band brings a windswept energy and daylight to a contemplative, gorgeously rendered suite of songs about inhabiting the landscape, and our bodies, in joy and pain alike. Informed by songwriter David Morris's spiritual practice, and recorded largely live in the studio, this is the band's most ambitious and emotionally affecting work to date: atmospheric but deeply rooted, equally concerned with investigating the concrete and the cosmic, both quiet details of the everyday and looming matters of faith. "So damn pretty … Always but a squall away from breaking apart." - NPR Music "Fuses folk-rock's past with its future. Red River Dialect is a language open to all." - The Quietus "Brave and different." - Uncut "Evocative songs of Cornish coastal contemplation." - MOJO "Strangely life-affirming sorrow ... a tribute to the power of healing and reconciliation." - AllMusic
New Vinyl: $12.98 $11.98 Buy
Extremely Rare Unreleased tracks taken from acetate of two Mike Leander produced songs from 30th December 1965
ERIN HARPE` BIG ROAD Blurb Erin Harpe has been called one of the most dynamic, talented and exciting roots rocking blues women on the scene by Living Blues Magazine. Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers, her Boston Music Award-winning band, are releasing their second album , BIG ROAD. The self-produced album highlights Erins diverse influences, from her roots in acoustic delta and piedmont blues, to her electric side slide guitar, boogie blues, funk and soul.
Rare live recording re-mastered and audio restored during classic Dolls period featuring the line up that recorded the two seminal albums plus a further 5 tracks from a U.S broadcast a few months after the concert Liner notes by Dolls biographer Nina Antonia .Presented in card gatefold sleeve with stunning artwork. The line-up at this time comprised vocalist David Johansen, guitarist Johnny Thunders, bassist Arthur Kane, guitarist and pianist Sylvain Sylvain, and drummer Jerry Nolan; the latter two had replaced Rick Rivets and Billy Murcia, respectively, in 1972. On stage, the New York Dolls donned an androgynous wardrobe, wearing high heels, eccentric hats, and satin. Nolan described the group at the time as "the Dead End Kids of today".
Manchester Apollo September 25th, 1977 on the Lust for Life Tour Iggy Pop Vox, Hunt Sales Drums, Tony Sales Bass, Stacey Heydon Guitar Scott Thurston Keyboards Limited Edition 10 of the 2 classic Iggy Pop tunes from 1977 (40 years ago!) from the iconic Lust For Life album Cover shots taken from the Manchester Apollo by Kevin Cummins who also provides a quote for the sleeve notes. The audio material has been recorded and presented in its entirety for the first time (previously only 2 minutes of Lust for life had been broadcast)
Pearl Charles lives in the moment, seeking excitement whether it leads her down a dark, dusty road or into the arms of a trouble-making lover. Her full-length debut album, Sleepless Dreamer, out February 2, 2018 on Kanine Records, describes late night revelry, love affairs, running away and running towards, serenading the sunrise through whirlwind stories of her native Los Angeles, the city, the canyon, the desert and the road. On a quest to discover the truest version of herself, Charles embraces the feeling of not being settled, a person who always restlessly wants more from life and is willing to chase it, wherever it may lead her.
'Criminal', The Soft Moon's fourth studio album, is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of '80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.
SAXON isn’t wasting any time in 2018. Following the critically acclaimed release of ‘Battering Ram’ in 2015, the heavy metal giants are set to release their latest studio album, Thunderbolt, on February 2nd via the Militia Guard label (Silver Lining Music). The new album Thunderbolt will feature original Artwork by long time Saxon collaborator Paul Raymond Gregory. “This is album 22 and it's called Thunderbolt. It's a Storming Smashing Thundering collection of tracks we've been crafting with Producer, Andy Sneap and it's finished ready to be unleashed. Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!” says Biff Byford Three weeks later, the band will be embarking on the first leg of the Thunderbolt 2018 European Tour. SAXON will be joined by fellow English rockers DIAMOND HEAD and metal trio ROCK GODDESS will be performing on the scheduled UK dates, with very Special Guests MAGNUM on the UK Hull date only. However, SAXON doesn’t stop there - dates for Thunderbolt Tour Part 2 will be announced in early 2018. “Ok this is part 1 of the colossal Thunderbolt World tour we're going to be touring the whole of 2018 so get your tickets and join the ride. It's gonna be fast and furious, dark and brooding. Monumental riffing and screaming vocals loud and proud it's going to be a Saxon tour, unique in every way” – Biff Byford Since the 1970s Saxon have shown their ability to take rock ‘n’ roll and give it an electrifying edge which has since cemented their status as pioneers of the British heavy metal wave. With over twenty studio albums under their belt, SAXON has made their steadfast dedication to creating a dynamic body of a work a staple of their career.
New CD: $16.98 $14.98 Buy
Ever since his debut album Dolls of Highland was released on Sub Pop in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic's dream. Based in Portland, he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. “I've found my place,” he says. “I'm not one of those people that approaches music for anyone other than myself. My favorite part about music is when it's just me and a notebook.” Speaking of, his second forthcoming album Full Circle Nightmare is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it's a huge leap forward from his 2016 release. The title Full Circle Nightmare refers to a moment where Craft saw his life for what it is and told himself to be satisfied. “But that's nightmarish to me,” he laughs. He described his debut record as: “like walking down this long hall of bizarre characters and surreal experiences, moving through the spider web of love and loss.” This album is when you get to the end of that hallway, turn around and see all the stuff you've been through, then walk through the door, close it and start a new chapter in an even crazier hallway. A straight-up rollicking rock'n'roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of 'Exile Rag,’ to the gothic style of 'Gold Calf Moan,' it's a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades. In terms of contemporary peers, Craft likes to stay in his own lane. He's an old soul who sticks to his tried and tested influences. Social media is not his game - it's just not interesting to him. He's not fussed about preaching his politics or discussing the status quo either. “I don't really like writing a time piece. I don't wanna get trapped in the 'Donald Trump era of Kyle Craft,' you know? I'm a very off-the-grid sort of person. As much as I am traveling across this giant place sometimes I just feel so outside of it. Also, I'm not necessarily a stand-up citizen so it's hard for me to say: here's Kyle Craft's America, ladies and gentlemen.” The ironic thing is that Full Circle Nightmare sounds exactly like Kyle Craft's America. That is what he's built for us: the story of one man's trials and tribulations to find his passion and voice for art and creativity in this vast opportunistic country. Where did he find it? Among the historic riches of America's most honest sounds.
Montero is Australian musician and artist Ben Montero. New album Performer was recorded at Mark Ronson's Tileyard studios in London. It is co-produced by Ben, Tame Impala/Pond/Gum's Jay Watson, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian. Performer glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder. As a visual artist, Ben's much-loved comic-based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. His art has graced album covers, t-shirts and posters for Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others. Ben has lost count of the number of fans who have had his drawings tattooed on their body. His Facebook page Ben Montero Sketchbook has more than 70,000 fans. Ben currently lives in Athens, Greece and his live band are made up of members of Greek psych heads Acid Baby Jesus, plus other Athens friends. The Montero band tour UK/Europe in November 2017 supporting Mac Demarco.
John Oates is one half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Now, he has teamed up with an amazing group of accomplished and rising stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life.
The project originally began as a tribute to Oates' idol, Mississippi John Hurt. It evolved organically, during a series of Nashville recording sessions, into a unique, retrospective collection drawing from a wide range of Oates' musical influences. Asked about the style and sound of Arkansas, he says, ''it's like Dixieland dipped in bluegrass and salted with Delta blues.''
New Vinyl: $11.98 Buy
Split 7" of "Rolling Stoned," a composition written by Alexander Britton. Recording on side 1 by Mild High Club and side 2 by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Artwork by Kyle Field (Little Wing).
The eagerly awaited official soundtrack album to the film Lady Bird showcases songs personally selected by Greta Gerwig for her acclaimed directorial debut. Album includes key tracks by Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band and others, the Overture from Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along (performed by The Original Broadway Cast and Orchestra), audio clips from "Lady Bird" and more!
New 7" Vinyl: $7.98 Buy