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In their early years, Atlanta trio The Coathangers were very much of the classic punk ethos-the band was a live entity, and the records were a document of the charisma and chaos projected from stage. But after 12 years of relentlessly touring on a steady flow of EPs and LPs, The Coathangers finally took a moment to recalibrate before diving into the creation of their sixth studio album The Devil You Know. The band regrouped to make an album that captures all the vitality of their early years while honing their individual strengths into new communal achievements. It's a record that takes their established takes on vitriolic punk, playful house-party anthems, and heartworn ballads and melds them into a new sound that retains all their former live show glories while revealing a new level of songwriting and nuance. "The writing process was done with an open heart," says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. "Everything that came before had to go away. And we started there, at ground zero." With each album, you could hear the individual songwriters honing their style. But with The Devil You Know, it feels like we're hearing the first Coathangers record written as a true unit.
How do you describe an album out of time, concerned with the disappearance of culture, of humanity, of nature, of logic and emotion? Why make this album in an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing, and the tactile grains of making music have been further reduced to algorithms and projected playlist placement. Why wake up in the morning? Why hasn’t everything already disappeared? Deerhunter’s eighth LP forgets the questions and makes up unrelated answers. It gets up, walks around, it records itself in several strategic geographic points across north america. It comes home, restructures itself and goes back to bed to avoid the bad news. From the opening harpsichord and piano figures of Death in Midsummer, it is impossible to tell where the record came from. Is No One’s Sleeping an outtake of an aborted Kinks recording session in 1977 Berlin with Eno producing? No. That is nostalgia. If there is one thing Deerhunter are making clear it is that they have exhausted themselves with that toxic concept. What they spend their time doing instead is reinventing their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth. The result is as thrilling, haunting, and unpredictable as anything in their roughly 15 year career. Deerhunter have made a science fiction album about the present. Is it needed right now? Is it relevant? Perhaps only to a small audience. DADA was a reaction to the horrors of war. Punk was a reaction to the slow and vacant 70’s. Hip Hop was a liberated musical culture that challenged the notions presented wholesale about the African-American experience. What is popular music today a reaction to?
“Signs” is the fourth studio release from Tedeschi Trucks Band and offers another outstanding example of their ability to expand musical boundaries in ways that only a rare caliber of musician can achieve. “Signs” showcases the band at their best – combining inventive musicality and provocative lyrics across eleven original tracks, running the gamut from uplifting soulful anthems, to bittersweet ballads and driving rock and roll.
The album was recorded at Derek and Susan’s home studio, Swamp Raga, on two-inch analog tape giving it a warmth and richness that recalls the ambience of the best vintage recordings. Vinyl mastering and lacquers were cut from the analog master tape and pressed on 180 gram black vinyl for highest sound quality.
Durand Jones & the Indications aren’t looking backwards. Helmed by foil vocalists in Durand Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer, the Indications conjure the dynamism of Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, AND the Impressions. Even with an aesthetic steeped in the golden, strings-infused dreaminess of early ‘70s soul, the Indications’ sophomore LP, American Love Call, is planted firmly in the present, with the urgency of this moment in time.
The Indications’ 2016 self-titled debut was the product of friends who met as students at Indiana University in Bloomington, In., recorded for $452.11, including a case of beer. American Love Call, the band’s sophomore LP is instead the record the Indications dreamed of making, fleshed out with strings, backing vocals, and a newfound confidence in songwriting.
Blending a slew of influences from years spent crate-digging, guitarist Blake Rhein says the Indications approach songs in the same way hip-hop producers do, as likely to pull inspiration from ‘70s folk-rock or classic R&B as they are Nas’ Illmatic.
“Did I expect to do this shit once I got out of college? Hell no,” Jones relays, laughing. “Totally not. But this is what God is telling me to do – move and groove. So I’m gonna stay in my lane.”
Color Vinyl, Limited Edition. Better Oblivion Community Center is a brand new band comprising the formidable talents of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, two of the most lauded American songwriters of the past several years. Written and recorded in Los Angeles during the summer of 2018, their self-titled debut album will be released on Dead Oceans in early 2019. The pair first collaborated on Bridgers' 2017 single, "Would You Rather", taken from her acclaimed debut album Stranger In The Alps. They teamed up again for a recording of Oberst's "LAX" in the fall of 2018. Co-produced by Bridgers, Oberst and long time Oberst/Bright Eyes collaborator Andy LeMaster, Better Oblivion Community Center features the work of several talented friends: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner appears on two tracks (first single "Dylan Thomas" and "Dominoes") while Carla Azur (Autolux, Jack White) plays drums on half of the album. Dawes' rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith appear on the other half. Songwriter Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass. Bridgers and Oberst are currently putting together a live band to tour in March and April.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning maverick channels his signature sense of soul from the crossroads of rock ‘n' roll, blues, jazz, hip-hop, reggae and punk. Clark's most accomplished songwriting and virtuosic performances to date; THIS LAND delivers socially relevant, transcendentally ambitious, and musically rich declaration as unapologetic, undeniable, and unique as he is. He emerges with a body of work that is dynamic in every sense, embodying an ever-evolving sound that transformed him into an artistic force anointed by everyone from President Barack Obama to the late Prince.
Boy Harshers second full-length album, Careful, further develops the bands brooding dance style, set up in their previous ep Country Girl. The ten songs, spanning forty-four minutes, contain eerie narrative soundscapes that are bracing, high tempo and dynamic. The album delivers manifold emotions, from the nostalgic yearning of LA to the gripping intensity of Come Closer. The nervousness of Augustus Muller's bent, out of tune synths paired with the lush and sometimes brittle vocals of Jae Matthews, delivers an unsettled, yet fulfilling encounter with Boy Harsher. Careful summons a new spirit for the young band - that of growth and desire.
Opaque Red Vinyl. After releasing 2016's critically acclaimed Apocalipstick, Cherry Glazerr spent the next 18 months touring the world on their own steam. Between DIY All Ages venues, rock clubs, large festival stages, and massive theaters with some of the world's best and most beloved bands (The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and The Breeders, among others), the band has really only stopped to work on their follow up, Stuffed & Ready. While furiously building the band's sound and ideas, front person Clem Creevy enlisted Carlos de La Garza to be the band's studio co-collaborator as they evolved the songs and refined the recordings.
Pedro the Lion has always been David Bazan, but it took a long time to get back there.
In August 2016, during what he now recognizes as his lowest point, Bazan was touring the country alone in an aging minivan and found himself in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. In need of a break from the road, he spent a night off at his grandparents’ house instead of driving on to San Diego. Before leaving town the next morning, after realizing that even the most familiar places can become unrecognizable, Bazan gave himself the gift of a quick detour past the house he grew up in, and on the way, experienced a breakthrough - one that would lead him both forward and back to another home he had built many years before.
From the beginning, Pedro the Lion didn’t work like the bands Bazan had played drums in, where each player came up with their own parts. Instead, like scripting scenes of dialogue for actors to play with, Bazan recorded and arranged all of the skeletal accompaniments for his obsessively introspective lyrics and spare melodies. Each player would then learn their parts and, together as a band, they brought the skeleton to life. While bandmates played on a few recordings, Bazan often played all or most of the instruments himself.
“I found so much joy working this way,” Bazan remembers. “It came naturally and yielded a feeling and a sound that couldn’t have existed by any other process. At the same time, I was also aware that not everyone wanted to play in a band where the singer wrote all the parts and might perform them on the record. Someone even suggested it might not be a valid approach to having a band in the first place. Being insecure and wanting to find camaraderie, I became conflicted about my natural process.”
By 2002, after recording Control, the high rate of turnover in the band finally caused Bazan to ditch his “natural process” in favor of a collaborative writing process. When, after a couple more years, this move did nothing to stabilize turnover, Bazan was perplexed. In November 2005, Bazan decided to stop doing Pedro the Lion altogether.
Ironically, Bazan didn’t see “going solo” as a chance to revert back to his original process of writing and playing all the parts. For the next decade Pedro the Lion felt off limits, even forgotten, like a childhood home Bazan had moved out of. He pushed forward with releasing solo albums & relentless touring in living rooms and clubs, through every part of the US and beyond, sometimes with a band, but mostly on his own. It took a toll on his family and more acutely on himself. By the summer of 2016, he still hadn’t found the personal clarity or the steady collaboration he’d been seeking and was at the end of his rope.
“I had abandoned my natural way of working in the hopes of creating space for a consistent band to write with...and it hadn’t worked. So I got a rehearsal space, mic’d up drums, bass, and guitar, and really leaned into my original process again. It immediately felt like like home. Before long I realized it also felt like Pedro the Lion.”
In June 2018, with Bazan on bass, vocals, and arrangement writing, Erik Walters on guitar and backing vocals, and Sean Lane on drums, Pedro the Lion went into Studio X and Hall of Justice with producer Andy Park to create Phoenix, the first new Pedro album in 15 years.
The physical edition of Pinegrove's follow-up to 2016's widely heralded 'Cardinal' is now here. Comes with a bonus lp / disc, titled Skylight 2, of an acoustic version of the whole album, exclusive to the physical edition and not available digitally. The deluxe LP comes on clear vinyl.
In 2019, Hot Water Music will be celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band and touring the world performing tracks from their entire catalog. Epitaph Records will be repressing three of the band’s albums on colored vinyl for re-release in 2019: 2001’s A Flight and A Crash, 2002’s Caution and 2004’s The New What Next.
Fresh off 2018 s collaborative LP with the enigmatic MF DOOM, CZARFACE meets METAL FACE, the adventure continues as CZARFACE now faces off with Wu-Tang Clan s GHOSTFACE KILLAH. "Czarface meets Ghostface brings strictly mind melting beats and bars as 3 emcees clash like villains & heroes in the Savage Land. Czarface, a hip-hop & comics force comprised of WU-TANG CLAN General Inspectah Deck, Esoteric (who recently penned an X-Men comic for Marvel) and super producer 7L team up with Ghostface aka Iron-Man aka Tony Starks for murderous mayhem! Czar commando's Rebel INS & Esoteric trade lines such as "follow in my footsteps might tear your Achilles," & "flow customized got that Dapper Dan touch" with Ghost on the assist "chain is off the cooler, charm look like a shrunken head". With track titles like "The King Heard Voices", "Mongolian Beef", "Czarrcade '87", "Masked Superstars" & "Powers and Stuff" expect nothing short of a super charged collaboration! 12 brand new tracks produced entirely by The Czar-Keys (7L & Jeremy Page)
Anderson .Paak's new album, Oxnard, is a nod to the Southern California city where Anderson grew up. It is the Grammy-nominated artist’s 3rd studio album and the first to be released on Dr. Dre’s label Aftermath Entertainment. Oxnard will include his latest single, “Tints” featuring Kendrick Lamar along with album features from J. Cole, Pusha T and many more. Earlier this year, Anderson .Paak shared with Rolling Stone that "… this is the album [he] dreamed of making in high school, when [he] was listening to [Jay-Z]'s The Blueprint, The Game's The Documentary, and [Kanye West's] The College Dropout."
From M.C. Taylor: William s new record, Goes West, is the best music that he s ever made. I m sure of this because I know and love all of his music intimately, and this album moves me the most, and the most consistently. The first time I heard it was in the late spring in the Texas Hill Country, rolling between limestone and scrub. I was on a cleanse then no alcohol, no drugs, no evil thoughts and was astonished at the emotional clarity that the album held. It offered up a model for what I wanted my head to feel like. Goes West marks a sort of narrowing of focus for William s music; it sounds as though he found a way to point himself directly towards the rich and bittersweet emotional center of his music without being distracted by side trips. Perhaps this is down to the fact that William only plays acoustic guitar on the album, a clear and conscious decision considering that he is one of Nashville s great electric guitarists. The band that performs Goes West alongside William including guitarists Meg Duffy and Bill Frisell, bassist and producer Brad Cook, keyboardist James Wallace, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, and engineer Tucker Martine is the best and most sympathetic group of players that William could have assembled to play these songs.
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances together, and chance encounters that led to friendships – including Bridgers’ and Dacus’ first in-person meeting backstage at a Philadelphia festival, greenroom hangouts that felt instantly comfortable and compatible, a couple of long email chains and even a secret handshake between Baker and Dacus – the lyrically and musically arresting singer-songwriters and kindred spirits got to know each other on their own terms.
Aviary is LA composer Julia Holter's most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a short story by Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also agood metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.
The musicians and production team behind the great CHARLES BRADLEY present DUNHAM RECORDS newest sensations! Direct from Staten Island, The SHA LA DAS (a play on their surname, Schalda) are a musical family in every sense of the phrase. Don't get confused here, folks. We're talking real-deal, shoot-from-the-hip group harmony of the highest order. The group is comprised of Patriarch, BILL who honed his skill and cultivated his ear for harmonies at an early age, singing on the streets of Brooklyn with other neighborhood kids and his sons WILL, PAUL, and CARMINE, all musicians in their own right (THE EXTRAORDINAIRES, SWIVS, PAUL AND THE TALL TREES.) The genesis of the Sha La Das came to fruition when an old friend, TOMMY BRENNECK (Dunham/Daptone producer and musician), called upon the Schalda boys to sing back-ups on CHARLES BRADLEY S now classic Victim of Love. The second Tommy heard the four Schaldas sing he knew he had to make a record with them. This idea soon developed into a passion whose fruits have been cut into the 12 masterpiece we humbly present here. From the opening atmospheric guitar strum of Open My Eyes' via a walk along the Coney Island boardwalk catching the last glimpse of sunlight at dusk of Carnival to the sublime crescendo of harmonies of the winsome Love in the Wind, each song evokes a deeply personal yet universal yearning that none of us can escape. Quite simply every song yields magic. So sit back, close your eyes and take in the SHA LA DAS' Love in the Wind. Let the full realization of their harmonies wash over the lush instrumentation of MENAHAN STREET BAND, and float into the starlit summer's night.