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There is a core element to Chelsea Wolfes musica kind of urgent spin on Americas desolation blues thats existed throughout the entirety of her career. Wolfe has always been a conduit for a powerful energy, and while she has demonstrated a capacity to channel that somber beauty into a variety of forms, her gift as a songwriter is never more apparent than when she strips her songs down to a few key components. As a result, her solemn majesty and ominous elegance are more potent than ever on Birth of Violence. The songs stem from humble beginnings little more than Wolfes voice and her Taylor acoustic guitar. Her longtime musical collaborator Ben Chisholm recorded the songs in their own studio and helped fill them out with his modern production treatments and auxiliary flourishes from ongoing contributors Jess Gowrie (drums) and Ezra Buchla (viola). Every Chelsea Wolfe album introduces new unorthodox textures and approaches, and the trajectory of her creative arc has generally aimed for larger and more imposing sounds, but Birth of Violence deliberately alters that course in favor of a more intimate atmosphere. The result yields Wolfes most devastating work to date.
Devour marks the fourth full-length record from Margaret Chardiet's project Pharmakon and her most intense output to date. Like her previous albums, Devour comes with a strong concept that is exorcised throughout the five demolishing tracks on the album, using imagery and language of self-cannibalism as allegory for the self-destructive nature of humans. Each of the five songs echoes a stage of grief associated with this cyclical chamber of self-destruction and the chaos surrounding us that leads us to devour ourselves in an attempt to balance the agony. The album was recorded by Ben Greenberg (Uniform) and is the first Pharmakon album recorded live in studio. The A and B sides were each recorded as a continuous take with vocals from start to finish, marking a totally new process for the artist that allows the ferocity and immediacy of her live performance to resonate throughout. Devour also explores new sonic territory, with denser electronics, groovier hooks, and moments of her most unhinged vocal deliveries to date. As one of the premiere vanguards of modern industrial and power electronics, Chardiet continuously pushes the genres and everyone involved in them, and with the release of Devour, she has once again changed the game. Artist Statement: "Devour" uses self-cannibalization as allegory for the self-destructive nature of humans; on cellular, individual, societal and species-wide scales. In our cells, our minds, our politics and our species, humans are self-destructing. But this behavior does not happen in a vacuum. It is an instinctive inward response to a world of increasing outward violence, greed, and oppression. Turning these wounds toward ourselves can be seen as an attempt at "balancing feedback", within a never-ending positive feedback loop of cause and effect. With this view, the blame is placed not within the individual, but with the world they must contend with, and a society that is designed to fail them - to keep them gnashing and wailing, inflicted with an all-devouring hunger that inevitably turns in on the self. Those that pit them against each other grin from the sidelines, bellies full. Those who see beyond the veil need to obscure the horrid sight by any means necessary, but respite is always brief - nothing can dampen the glare from behind the veil. This album is dedicated to all who were lost to their own demise, all who have been institutionalized; whether in prison, psychiatric facilities, or drug rehabilitation. It is for all those ostracized by and isolated from a totality which chews them up alive in a self-cannibalizing caste system. Here, where martyrs, slaves, and pharmakos are not eradicated, but simply called by another name. "ABOUT THE SHALLOWNESS OF SANITY"... To be well adjusted in this system is to be oblivious and unfeeling. This is for the rest of us, who understand that chaos, madness, pain and even self destruction are natural and inevitable responses to an unjust and disgusting world of our own making.
With their latest album Blood Year, Russian Circles forsake the sonic crossroads of divergent musical paths found on albums like Guidance and Memorial to offer up the most direct and forceful collection of songs in their discography. With guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook all residing in different states, Russian Circles have typically crafted their albums by piecing together song fragments and home recordings into meticulous texture-rich studio productions. But after seven tours in North American and five trips to Europe in support of 2016’s Guidance, the band made a conscious effort to approach the songs on Blood Year with the same organic feel of a live show. In an age where rock records are often built on a computerized grid, Russian Circles chose to track the foundations of the songs together in one room as complete takes without click tracks. While it retains the dexterity, multi-faceted techniques, and dramatic compositions that have been a trademark of Russian Circles since day one, Blood Year fully embraces the most forceful aspects of the band’s repertoire. The Album was expertly captured by Kurt Ballou at Electrical Audio in Chicago, the world-famous recording studio where they’d tracked Enter, Geneva, and Memorial.
Thom Yorke’s new album ANIMA released summer 2109 was written by Thom Yorke and produced by Nigel Godrich. The album features 9 tracks, with an extra track exclusively on vinyl. A ‘one-reeler’ film, also entitled ANIMA , is available to watch exclusively via Netflix worldwide from midnight 27th June. Made by Paul Thomas Anderson to music from Thom’s album, the one-reeler has a run time of approximately 14 minutes.
First Taste is, as the title implies, a visceral shot of new flavor from Ty Segall. The followup to last January's extroverted Freedom's Goblin, First Taste cross-fertilizes Ty's antisocial side (think: Emotional Mugger) with the wide-ranging humanism of Manipulator and the pop zazz of the aforementioned Goblin. This means an immaculate sequence of sides with Ty playing multiple parts with and without contributions from the Freedom Band. Ty's songwriting confidence is at an apex, and he moves from style to style, evoking directions in rock, lite pop, experimental, alternative and even afrobeat! Ty at 12 (albums) = his best yet?
2019 release, the second collaborative studio album by rapper Freddie Gibbs and record producer Madlib. Entirely produced by Madlib, it is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2014 album Pińata, and their sixth project as MadGibbs overall. The album features guest appearances from Pusha T, Killer Mike, Anderson.Paak, Yasiin Bey, and Black Thought.
When I Get Home is the new album from Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles. This release represents the next phase in Solange's evolution as an artist, and is the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2016 album A Seat at the Table. The album is an exploration of origin. It asks the question how much of ourselves do we bring with us versus leave behind in our evolution. The artist returned to Third Ward Houston to answer this. When I Get Home was written, performed, and executive produced by Solange, and includes contributions from Tyler, the Creator, Chassol, Playboi Carti, Standing on the Corner, Panda Bear, Devin the Dude, The-Dream, and more. It also features samples from Third Ward's own Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, poet Pat Parker, and Scarface.
After a decade in the wilderness, David Berman has returned to record-making - this time around as Purple Mountains, leaving his iconic Silver Jews brand to history. Fortunately for all the fans, he's retained his iconic songwriting style, with a new batch of tunes conveying an astonishing variety of 21st-century mid-life crises. Featuring full-on technicolor production intervention from Woods' Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, Purple Mountains debut stands tall among Berman's classic albums, with knee-slappers and eye-wipers alike - ten new tracks ready to go into suffering jukeboxes across the land.
In Spring of 2019, The Tallest Man on Earth will release his first album in 4 years. I Love You. It's A Fever Dream. Was written, produced and engineered by Kristian Matsson and was recorded almost entirely in his apartment in Brooklyn, NY. When asked for some insight into the album, Matsson says "Here's what I can tell you: Of course there are some love songs and then there are some other songs. Making the album I was thinking a lot about the lenses we view our lives through and that, for some reason, our worst tendencies seem to be carried out so loudly, while our best can go unnoticed. I've come to realize that some of the most powerful, most inspiring moments in my life have been the most subtle and that so often the thing that deserves my attention, is trying the least to get it."
James Blake has long been a hip-hop ally. Not only has his own discography cemented him as a critically acclaimed artist, the multiple Grammy award-nominee and Mercury Prize winner has worked with artists from the likes of Drake, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and more. 2018 was a massive year for the producer, singer and song-writer who collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the era-defining Black Panther soundtrack and lent his vocals to Travis Scott's "Stop Trying To Be God."
In honor of the 70th anniversary of its original singles in 1949, The Complete Birth of the Cool by Miles Davis is being released on 2LP. The record features Miles Davis’ classic Birth of the Cool as well as a second LP of live material from 1948, previously unreleased on vinyl. The package features a wrapped gatefold jacket with laminated coating, as well as a brand new retrospective essay by Ashley Kahn, the author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece. Legendary Jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and Jazz historian Phil Schaap provide liner notes on the project, which were originally published in 1998. The first LP is mastered from analog tape of the original singles for the first time since the original Birth of the Cool release in 1957.
As you listen to Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest, a feeling of totality, of completeness, steals over you, like a thief in broad daylight. Of course it does – you’re listening to a new Bill Callahan record! The first one in almost six years! What more do you need to complete you?
Or perhaps, after all the time, the obvious needs to be made just a little more explicit?
First, it’s a different kind of record. Bill’s now writing from somewhere beyond his Eagle-Apocalypse-River headspace, and Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest is very much its own beast. The songs are, by and large, shorter, and there are more of them. It took almost all of the previous three albums to add up to that many. Plus, twenty’s a lot of songs! But again, it goes a lot deeper than that.
Two Door Cinema Club's highly-anticipated fourth album False Alarm finds the three piece gloriously unshackled and creatively at the peak of their game. Across it's ten tracks, False Alarm wryly scans and satirizes the social and environmental woes of 2019 through the prism of wonderfully off-kilter pop, simultaneously borrowing from and warping elements of future pop, disco, rock, funk and soul. Recorded in sessions between London and LA with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, The Killers), it's an LP that takes the familiar and twists it, to startling and stimulating effect.
METZ, our own widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto (ON, CANADA), have been laying waste to stages around the globe for over 10 years. During that tumultuous chunk of time METZ, comprised of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet's most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. Along the way, they’ve earned enthusiastic support from The New Yorker, Mojo, NPR, The New York Times, KEXP, Pitchfork, Stereogum, The AV Club, Q, Uncut, Exclaim, and a bunch of others. Referring to the trio's tireless tour regime and unquenchable thirst to bring their music to the people, John Reis (Hot Snakes, RFTC, Drive Like Jehu) once said, “your ambition is really unflattering, chill out.” They did not listen. Instead, their love of the road and passion to create uncompromising and challenging music remains unwavering and has only grown over time. Their recorded output to date, a cornucopia of pop-inflected noise punk and damaged fuzz anthems, includes 3 critically-acclaimed LPs with Sub Pop, as well as a plethora of limited-edition releases, collaborations, covers, and rarities. Which brings us to Automat, a collection of non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available on LP for the first time, and including the band's long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. Included here are the band’s first three 7” singles, recorded 2009-2010 and originally released by We Are Busy Bodies Records; a demo version of “Wet Blanket,” the explosive single from 2012’s METZ; two tracks from the limited-edition bonus single that accompanied preorders of METZ; “Can’t Understand,” originally released in 2013 by [adult swim]; and both tracks from the band’s 2015 single on Three One G. Consumers of the vinyl format of Automat will be rewarded with a bonus single that includes three additional tracks: a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig,” from a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single originally released by Toronto’s Sonic Boom record shop; “I’m a Bug,” a cover of The Urinals’ art-punk classic, originally released on YouTube (not an actual record label) in 2014; and METZ’s previously unreleased rendition of Gary Numan’s “M.E.” All tracks on Automat have been lovingly remastered for maximum soundiness by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service. METZ are currently hard at work on their 4th full-length LP which will be released on Sub Pop when we are all damn good and ready.