Music Releases 03-30-18
No Mercy In This Land is a blues record. Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper were introduced to one another by John Lee Hooker. The legendary musician thought the two men should play together, so he brought them into the studio to record a song called simply “Burnin’ Hell.” The two remained friends and their paths periodically crossed out there on the road. But it wasn’t until 2013 that the two met up in a studio to record what would be their Grammy winning album Get Up!. And as good as that record was, it was just the beginning. Both men agree that their friendship deepened in the many months of touring that followed. And it’s that bond, that closeness, that makes this new record something special. At first glance, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite might seem an unlikely pairing. While Ben grew up in in the tree lined Southern California college town of Claremont, a bastion of culture and liberalism just east of Los Angeles, Charlie was raised in Memphis during the time of rockabilly and Sun Records. But while the two might have come to their musical knowledge in different eras and places, as Charlie explains, “We were both searchers and we’re still seeking.” Each of them possess an enduring hunger for musical knowledge that came to them early.
Golden Hour follows the massive success of Kacey’s critically-acclaimed albums Same Trailer Different Park, Pageant Material and A Very Kacey Christmas. Both Same Trailer Different Park and Pageant Material debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, with Kacey becoming the first solo female in 5 years to top the chart with a rookie release and only the seventh to do so in Nielsen SoundScan’s 22-year history. Kacey has won 2 Grammy Awards for Best Country Album and Best Country Song (“Merry Go ‘Round”), 2 CMA Awards for “New Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” (“Follow Your Arrow”), and an ACM Award for Album of the Year.
SLUFF is the debut release from the Seattle, WA band, Naked Giants. SLUFF is a collection of songs the band has been writing and performing over the past few years. The specific goal was to capture “THAT live energy” in a recording, but as the energies of the studio processes began to mingle, the album became an entity unto itself. Bassist Gianni Aiello explains, “We played our very best on this album, but there are still a good amount of mess-ups and rough edges that give it that ‘first album’ character. The album gets its personality in large part from the play between the planned and unplanned. With producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Low, Damien Jurado, The Posies), we could carefully craft some particular sonic signatures just as easily as stumble upon some random noise or mic technique. There’s no underlying concept for the album, but it’s this sort of order and chaos attitude which gives it a cohesive feeling.”
SLUFF is a rock and roll record for the modern rock and roller. Some songs are long, some are short, and some are even shorter than that. It’s full of hooks and plenty of guitar solos. The most important thing is that everything hits you all at once, feeling like it could all happen in a matter of seconds. This is the Naked Giants thesis statement...for now.
The Vaccines return to their roots with the release of their new album Combat Sports. The songs included in this collection range from pure Vaccines rock and roll to power-pop, and it's a combination of creativity that has never failed them in the past.
The Vaccines is comprised of original members Justin Hayward-Young (lead vocals, guitar), Freddie Cowan (lead guitar, vocals), Árni Árnason (bass, vocals), and recent additions Tim Lanham (keyboards), and Yoann Intonti (drums) who were both touring band members.
The Vaccines have become one of the biggest and most adored British bands of our generation. Starting their career with a bang in 2011 with the year's bestselling debut album What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?, 2012 then saw the release of the equally successful Come of Age, which charted at #1 in the UK, and in 2015 English Graffiti charted at #2. Combined, the band have sold over 1 million records worldwide.
New York native songwriter and composer Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences from the past six years through the almost inconceivable number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific creative output was initially born out of an era where bedroom recording and self-releasing became more possible than ever through the advent of the internet. But as she’s grown as a writer and performer, playing to larger audiences and devising more complex albums, Kline has shifted from an artist who’s made strides despite limitations, to an artist whose impact can be seen across modern independent music. Her newest record, Vessel, which will be out spring 2018 through Sub Pop Records, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world for the past half-decade, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable.
For her tenth album and first album on a major label in nearly fifty years, legendary soul singer Bettye LaVette takes on the songs of Bob Dylan with the grit and experience that makes her one of the greatest living soul singers alive. Things Have Changed is a masterpiece of interpretation of one of the greatest songwriters alive, by one of the greatest soul singers alive. Produced by Steve Jordan, the album spans Dylan’s catalogue and features guest appearances by Keith Richards and Trombone Shorty.
Jukebox the Ghost formed in college in 2006 and has been a steadily growing cult favorite and a globally touring band ever since. Composed of Ben Thornewill Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin, they have played over 1,000 shows across the country and around the world over the course of their career. Jukebox the Ghost's latest record, Off To The Races is a giddy, vibrant collection of Jukebox the Ghost's most bombastic, colorful songs to date. Though it's the fifth studio outing from this long-running trio of piano pop wizards, it plays like an energetic debut album: Just as eager to please as it is eager to surprise you.
Sons of Kemet is the iconoclastic mix of tenor sax, tuba and double drums. On this third studio album, they bring a genre defying approach that celebrates the restless exploration of identity within the Caribbean diaspora within the U.K. Your Queen is a Reptile was recorded in London with a host of guests spanning the breadth of the U.K. scene including jungle legend Congo Natty and poet Joshua Idehen.
After almost a decade in the making, Reindeers first official full-length solo debut, Field Reports from the Western Lands, arrives appropriately towards the end of 2017 as a testament to our current blazing backdrop of social and political catastrophe; Reindeers anguished vocals backed by Nimrods sonic landscape of breathtaking post-rock tones and loops beckon you home to neon-lit ruinsReindeer himself leading you by the hand through sprouting black monoliths out from a cracked, dying world. A conceptual sequel to the fbcabric & reindeer Its Not Who You Know, Its Whom You Know, this 16-track limited edition double vinyl in 4 parts utilizes various field recordings, from environmental sounds throughout his travels in Europe and North America to dialogue samples of President Truman and Robert Oppenheimer, taking you on an experiential journey through the fallen Western World of murky dreams and alluring weightlessnessno, this is not an album thats going to offer you any definiteness; rather, it endeavors to move you through the cavernous entrails of your own confused feelings via hallucinogenic impressions, spectral mirages and tones, carrying you from track to track through the chemical skies and radioactive rubble. This album also includes a hauntingly gorgeous lyric booklet with original drawings by Reymundo Perez III (AKA Mildew of Papervehicle), and a digital download code as well, the entire package reminiscent of Reindeers notoriously complex and involved hand-crafted Fragments from the Field packages containing forged documents from a seemingly eternal, glitchy atomic field. Like a dreamer awakening to find the horror of his prison cell, except the horror is that the bars are nowhere to be seenjust the harrowing knowing of their existence so it is to be submerged into the shifting, pulsating aural landscapes of this corroding lyrical maze, but with Reindeer guiding us through, his voice a blooming light amongst the wreckage
Produced by Matt Hyde (Deftones, AFI, Porno For Pyros) and mixed by Jay Ruston, Thread continues to expand on Red Sun Rising's concept of mixing different genres and influences to create a unique sound. When asked about the upcoming album, lead singer Mike Protich stated, 'This album feels like a rebirth. Although Red Sun Rising played 140 shows on our last tour, it was not until we made this album that I felt we became a band. The growth and evolution of RSR that you will hear in our sound and our songwriting builds on our 'Thread' mentality (songs that people can love and sing with us but don't fit a mold). We aren't chasing trends and never will.'
With the release of their newest disc, LAST FEW BEAUTIFUL DAYS, The Motels 2018, pick up where the original band left off. For those familiar only with the slickly hit making latter-day Motels of MTV fame, it might have seemed a bit incongruous to see band leader Martha Davis 2018 last viewed as a glamourpuss of major proportions wearing a baggy, gas-jockey jacket, fronting what could actually be described as a rock 'n' roll band. But to those who remember her as the most captivating female singer on the thriving L.A. new-wave club scene circa 1979, her return to a psycho-ragamuffin staredown vibe and songs loaded with ragged hooks, this is vintage Motels that fits in nicely with todays streaming world. In 1978 Davis formed the band with guitarist Jeff Jourard who brought in his brother Marty on keyboards and saxophone. Michael Goodroe on bass and Brian Glascock on drums. This lineup played around L.A. for six months before signing with Capitol Records on May 13, 1979 Mother's Day. The Motels released five albums on Capitol Records between 1979 and 1985, two of them earning Platinum record status and generating two Top Ten singles, Only the Lonely and Suddenly Last Summer. The band broke up in 1987 when Martha released POLICY, her solo album. After leaving Capitol Davis spent years working in different musical genres with multitudes of players. Recently it became apparent that one particular configuration generated the same feeling as the original band concept. The new lineup includes guitarist Clint Walsh, drummer Eric Gardner bassist Nic Johns and as of 2014, original member Marty Jourard.
Since appearing on the Nashville music scene in the mid-90s, Kim Richey has been nominated for two Grammy awards, recorded seven studio albums, and collaborated with everyone from Trisha Yearwood to Jason Isbell. After a nearly five year hiatus, Richey returns with her eighth studio album, Edgeland, in March of 2018. Richey teamed up with producer Brad Jones at his studio Alex the Great Recording in Nashville during the summer of 2017, where she created a 12-track collection of work showcasing her Americana roots, songwriting prowess, and musical adaptability. Special guests on the record include Chuck Prophet, Robyn Hitchcock, Pat Sansone, and more. Edgeland is Richey s second Yep Roc Records release.
Sometimes Just the Sky is not a greatest hits endeavor or a remastered compilation. It's not a celebration or a souvenir. It is a reimagining of a most unusual nature. It is a collection of songs written across the decades, recorded in bucolic western England at Real World Studios with the great producer Ethan Johns. Carpenter sat with new and old friends who circled together in a wooden room and made music, in real time. What we hear is precisely what was played and sung, all at once. There's a song originally recorded for each of Carpenter's original studio records, and then there's a new song, which was aided and abetted by hillside contemplation and a punk poet's advice.
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Thrust into heavy metal stardom as teenagers since their debut release, Kittie has thrashed and conquered the heavy metal world for more than twenty years. With six albums, over two million in sales and OzzFest co-headliners on their resume, Kittie has defied industry norms, fought back against women in rock stereotypes, and inspired generations around the globe since they appeared. Now for the first time, they are sharing their untold story about the importance of family, perseverance, and the upside-down hurricane of rock n roll that includes a rotating line up of bandmates, on-going lawsuits and the pressure to live up to the expectations that put them on the map. Generously peppered with archival footage shot by the band, this film gives you an honest and brutal look at what it takes to survive in the music industry and the price of following your dreams.
The Palo Duro Canyon runs through the Texas Panhandle for more than 100 miles. It's an explosion of color in an otherwise lonely place, interrupting the area's wide, windswept flatlands with steep canyon walls and vibrant rock formations. There, in a small house filled with musical instruments, the members of Shotgun Rider wrote their first songs together. Bandmates Logan Samford and Anthony Enriquez had grown up nearby, in the farming communities of Castro County. They'd both been raised on the sounds of the south -- the country hits that came across the FM radio; the gospel songs that Logan sang in the church choir; the George Strait albums that every Texan seemed to own -- but loved the sweeping, hard-hitting anthems of bands like Kings of Leon, too. Drawing on those influences, they carved out their own sound: a mix of country twang and guitar-fueled rock & roll stomp, as epic and darkly cinematic as the Texas landscape that inspired it.
Fronted by 19-year-old singer/bassist Shannon Wise and 21-year-old guitarist/producer Max Shrager, The Shacks are already well on their way to becoming one of the year s big breakouts, and their remarkable debut album, Haze, solidifies their status as a band with ability to deliver on the well-deserved buzz. When Max and Shannon met in high school, a bond was created that has permeated their music since the Shacks first incarnation four years ago. That chemistry lies at the heart of Haze, a record so hypnotic and seductive that it feels more like a whispered late-night secret than a young band s debut. Produced together by Shrager and Big Crown co-founder Leon Michels (who s played with Bradley, Sharon Jones, and Fields in addition to working with The Arcs, Lana Del Rey, and countless others), the album was recorded in bits and pieces between Shrager s basement and Michels Diamond Mine studio, which the Observer dubbed the Shangri La of Soul. Haze opens with the title track, which is, appropriately enough, the first song Shrager and Wise ever wrote together. It s a spare, smoky tune that shimmers and sparkles as it shifts in and out of focus, and it s an ideal gateway into the immersive world of The Shacks. On the breezy Follow Me, they channel the infectious charm of a 60 s girl group, while the soulful My Name Is grooves its way through a mesmerizing take on 70 s funk. Much like a dream, the songs often merge the familiar and the unfamiliar, constructing their own psychedelic reality full of beauty and yearning, all fueled by Wise s breathy vocals and the unmistakable electricity of a wildly creative band truly inhabiting their music. Birds makes brilliant use of Daptone drum hero Homer Steinwess s impeccable feel behind the kit, while the 50 s ballad-meets-baroque pop of Cryin tips its cap to Roy Orbison and John Lennon as Shrager takes over lead vocals, and the soulful shuffle of Texas belies a dark and violent undercurrent ripped from the headlines. Through it all permeates an unshakable sense that this is a group performing just for you. Nobody finds the Shacks re-interpreting Phil Spector s Wagnerian approach to rock & roll, complete with sweeping strings and darkly innocent lyrics. The 13 songs featured on Haze plays out like the soundtrack to some long lost 16mm film, beckoning you into their grainy, saturated world of analog beauty. In the short time that they ve been together, The Shacks have already made an impressive mark. Their hypnotic cover of Ray Davies This Strange Effect soundtracked a global iPhone commercial, one which actually stars Wise herself, and their self-titled EP earned the band dates with St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Chicano Batman, and their Big Crown Records labelmates Lee Fields & The Expressions.
Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes Academy Award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat s original score, compositions from acclaimed Japanese films Seven Samurai and Drunken Angel , The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band s brand of American psychedelia, and The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra s eccentric euphonies. I Won t Hurt You originally appeared as a B-side on the debut 1966 single by Los Angeles-based psychedelic group The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra s 1952 single Midnight Sleighride incorporates piccolo, xylophone, triangle, chanting, and, of course, sleigh bells. Japanese composer Fumio Hayasaka worked with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa on many projects, including Seven Samurai (1954). Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes a composition from Seven Samurai , performed here by the Toho Symphony Orchestra, as a cinematic nod to Kurosawa s work.
Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970s, THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. Originally launched by Tim Hauser in 1969, Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse were the group by 1972. Cheryl Bentyne joined the group in 1979 after Laurel Masse left. One of the co-writers on The Junction – the group’s new album which draws inspiration in part from The Transfer’s classic 1975 version of Glenn Miller’s “Tuxedo Junction”—is the group’s new mem- ber, bass vocalist Trist Curless. Curless began subbing on the road for the late band founder Tim Hauser in 2013, officially joining after Hauser’s passing in late 2014.