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.
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
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.
On every album, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed, and Freedom is the project's boldest leap.
The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it's a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable.
It's a sound never heard before on an Amen Dunes record, but one that was always asking to emerge. Eleven songs span a range of emotions, from contraction to release and back again. 'Blue Rose' and 'Calling Paul the Suffering' are pure, ecstatic dance songs. 'Skipping School' and 'Miki Dora' are incantations of a mythical heroic maleness and its illusions. 'Freedom' and 'Believe' offer a street tough's future-gospel exhalation, and the funk-grime grit of 'L.A.' closes the album, projecting a musical hint of things to come.
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.
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.