In the three decades since first convening at the University of Massachusetts, Buffalo Tomsinger-guitarist Bill Janovitz, bassist-vocalist Chris Colbourn and drummer Tom Maginnishave built a formidable body of work. Having first made its mark with a raw, raucous approach that put the band at the forefront of the '90s alt-rock explosion, the intrepid trio has consistently revealed new layers of musical and emotional depth, as manifested in the bittersweet ballads, soul-searching songcraft and rousing rock tunes that make up the new album Quiet and Peace. The consistently compelling 11-song set (on the band's own Scrawny label, in association with Schoolkids Records) finds the band simultaneously mining their best-known sonic elements while breaking new ground on emotionally resonant new tunes such as "All Be Gone," "Overtime," "Roman Cars," "Freckles" and "CatVMouse.
Single LP on black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Includes coupon for full download.
After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.”
That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years, out February 16, 2018, on Merge Records. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”
Single LP on black vinyl in single sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Includes coupon for full download.
Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus has been conditioning faithful listeners to always expect only the unexpected, consistently zigging where others would zag and maintaining a steadfast dedication to fearless ambition. With the March 2 release of the new studio album A Productive Cough on Merge Records, Titus Andronicus has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.”
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A new Belle and Sebastian release is always something to cheer. So three new releases leads to the inevitable conclusion: three cheers! Here is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the official London residence of the US ambassador (the last president’s ambassador, not the current one’s). Murdoch, as ever, is not the only writer. Sarah Martin (violin/vocals) brought in the delicious ‘The Same Star’, which marries Belle and Sebastian’s melodiousness to a pounding Motown backbeat, and was produced by Leo Abrahams (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts, Regina Spektor). “We’d met Leo in February of 2016, and I’d say that meeting and the recording of ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ were the first tangible steps of this EP project,” Martin says. “We didn’t have a stack of songs to play him, but we liked him and he became a part of the plan from that point - and when I’d got to a point with ‘The Same Star’ where it just needed to be recorded, I thought it could benefit from having a producer to steer things, and fortunately we had a slot in the diary marked ‘Leo’ coming up. It’s not a song we’d laboured over playing for months - it fell together quite quickly thanks in large part to Bob’s [Bobby Kildea, guitarist] enthusiasm and Stuart’s willingness to dismember an old song and repurpose the break, so that it wasn’t just the same three chords over and over and over.” There’s one big reason why 15 songs are coming out on three EPs, rather than one album. “We’d made a couple of LPs, Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister, within the space of six months,” Murdoch says, remembering the early days of the band’s career, and how that fed into their decision-making this time.
A triumphant recasting, Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending is as exuberant as it is euphoric, bursting with fresh ideas born of what Alex Kapranos calls “aggressive sonic experimentation.” With the help of producer Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, Beastie Boys), Kapranos and co. took a knife to their old canvas, producing an album that is so foreign in its familiarity it could only be current. A sound the singer refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.” These are the louche tales of the Parisian night, the exhilaration of an Italian car racing down the autobahn; a feeling of euphoria so pure it could only exist on a knife’s edge. As such, best to press play expecting nothing more than a good time. “I hope that when you listen to it you feel exhilarated,” Kapranos says, “Until you fully absorb the lyrics.”
The songs and narrative’s on LONER reflect my life over the last couple years––I joined Tinder, I got my first apartment and painted it teal, I went to parties, I discussed politics, I had a girlfriend, we traveled the country, we broke up. I learned, for better or worse, how to be a member of the modern world. Turns out the modern world is terrifying. Tired of the bottomless pit of sad songs, I decided to put a spin on my greatest songwriting inspirations––misogyny, unplanned pregnancy, Capitalism, anxiety, loneliness and death––and wrap such depressing subject matter in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito…Because it’s hard being serious all the time and sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail. Loner reflects the styles of music I love––pop, folk, punk, electronic, and surf music––all thrown into a blender with a ladle full of cheeky satire. I call it Schizodrift. It sounds like Blondie drunk on mai tais. Loner was co-produced by myself and the wonderful Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul & The Broken Bones) and recorded in freezing Northern California, in addition to my parent’s attic and my last apartment. It was mixed by sound guru Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Show Me The Body) in Brooklyn, NY. - C.Rose
Jonathan Wilson had a busy 2017, producing Father John Misty's grammy-nominated Pure Comedy and touring arenas around the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters (for whom he also contributed to the lauded Is This The Life We Really Want? album.) Wilson also saw widespread acclaim heaped on Karen Elson’s sophomore LP Double Roses, which he recorded with her in Los Angeles in 2016.
But it's not looking like Wilson is going to get much of a rest in 2018 either, as he'll be continuing on with the worldwide Waters tour and is set to release his own new solo album Rare Birds in the spring. The highly anticipated long player - which features backing vocals from Lana Del Rey, Josh Tillman, fellow Roger Waters bandmates Lucius and an extraordinary musical gift from otherworldly Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji - will be released through Bella Union worldwide.
Joshua Hyslop’s new album Echos, releases on February 23, 2018 (Nettwerk) and is an empathetic collection of stories reflecting the Vancouver based singer/songwriters personal experiences as well as those around him. Since emerging with his 2012 full-length debut Where The Mountain Meets The Valley, Joshua Hyslop has accumulated over 65 Million streams worldwide, performed over 200 shows spanning North America and Europe, garnered critical acclaim and support throughout the media and industry peers, and has carved out an impressive diehard fan base.
Wait For Love, their fourth album, sees PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH taking another sonic step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres. The Baltimore natives have produced a collection of songs that feature lush soundscapes and a more nuanced and melodic sound when compared to the screamo-aggression of their early work.
Fans who have followed the band’s trajectory—from their 2013 split with Touché Amoré—can trace the way the band’s sound has evolved from a melodic screamo act to a group that create heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of distortion and dissonance.
The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic! is the album of record for Barbra Streisand s triumphant concert tour of the same name in 2016. This collection captures the iconic songstress culminating her 13 city tour in Miami, Florida on December 5th, 2016. The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic! is available in two versions: a single disc album of concert highlights, and a deluxe 2 disc set featuring the entire concert performance and all of Barbra's dialogue including her reflections on making some of this music, her film career, and what it was like to make her most recent # 1 album, ENCORE Movie Partners Sing Broadway (with Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Jamie Foxx, Antonio Banderas, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Daisy Ridley). Both versions of this album are also available digitally. This career spanning collection also includes a performance of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" with special guest, Jamie Foxx.
“My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James returns with Tribute To 2, a collection of cover songs that reverberate with hope and blur the boundaries of time and genre. James interprets songs made famous by a wide variety of artists including songs from from The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Dianne Izzo, Ray Noble and Al Bowlly, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Abey Lincoln. Record Store Day Vinyl Club edition will come on gold colored vinyl and is exclusive to indie record stores”