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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
Deafman GlanceI was under a lot of stress because I was trying to make an anti-folk record and I was having trouble doing it. I wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn’t want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally. I was always trying to make something like this I guess, trying to catch up with my imagination. And I think I succeeded in that way — it’s got some weird instrumentation on there, and some surreal far-out words.
I’m lucky enough to have some people who are playing on it who had a big part in shaping the songs and writing with me. Cooper Crain, the guy who engineered it, and played all the synthesizers. And when the flute guy, Nate Lepine came in, that was really something that made it special. The producer was this guy LeRoy Bach. I love LeRoy, he’s a really talented guy. He did the last record too.
And it’s more Chicago-y sounding. Chicago sounds like a train constantly coming towards you but never arriving. That’s the sound I hear, all the time, ringing in my ears.1. In Castle Dome
2. 22 Days
4. Can't Ask Why
5. Opposite Mind
6. Telluride Speed
8. Rocks on Rainbow
9. Spoil with the Rest
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
PinnedA couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn “just to keep her chops up.” As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she’d want to come to a band practice sometime.
For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers—Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Lia Braswell—have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume.
This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom.
There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies (“Execution”), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate (“There’s Only One of Us”). It all opens with “Never Coming Back,” a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole.1. Never Coming Back
3. There's Only One Of Us
4. Situations Changes
5. Too Tough To Kill
6. Frustrated Operator
7. Look Me In The Eye
8. Was It Electric
9. I Know I've Done Bad Things
10. Act Your Age
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Con Todo El Mundo (Awaiting Repress)Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; globetrotting Texan trio Khruangbin present their second album ‘Con Todo El Mundo.’
Whereas their 2015 debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was influenced by 60s and 70s Thai cassettes and compilations of southeast Asian pop, rock and funk, ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ hops east over India to take inspiration in similarly under discovered funk and soul sounds of the Middle-East, particularly from Iran. Laura Lee explains the album’s title: “My grandpa would always ask me ‘Como me quieres?’ (‘how much do you love me’?), and he’d only ever accept one response. ‘Con todo el mundo’ (With all the world).”
Throughout ‘Con Todo El Mundo’, Laura Lee’s melodic low-end theory, Mark’s lyrical, free-role guitar lines, and DJ’s ever-steady, ever-ready backbeat form something greater than their parts. A vibe-synchronous soul-unit travelling the planet, honing their craft, absorbing the sights, sounds and feels from cultures across the globe, processing them through the Khruangbin filter and gifting the result... with all the world.1. Como Me Quieres
2. Lady and Man
3. Maria También
4. August 10
5. Como Te Quiero
6. Shades of Man
7. Evan Finds the Third Room
8. A Hymn
10. Friday Morning
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
City MusicCity Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where great cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby.
Full of listless wanderlust, it's a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator's brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. "Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener," explains Morby.
City Music sees Morby joined once again by cohorts Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums). Here the vocals were recorded at night, in darkness, overlooking a Pacific Ocean illuminated only by the stars, the wash and whisper of the ebbing tidal a distant soundtrack. The record was completed with Richard Swift in Oregon (producer of Foxygen, sometime member of The Black Keys). Here the album gives voice to all those cities speaking the same universal language of chaos and commerce and culture.1. Come To Me Now
4. Aboard My Train
5. Dry Your Eyes
6. City Music
7. Tin Can
8. Caught In My Eye
9. Night Time
10. Pearly Gates
11. Downtown’s Lights
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
SlowdiveSlowdive's First New Album In 22 Years
The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. A band whose reach goes far beyond just influencing music is back, with their first new album in 22 years.
The album is called Slowdive - self-titled in an echo of their debut EP from 1990 - and is remarkably direct.
"We were always ambitious," says frontman Neil Halstead. "Not in terms of trying to sell records, but in terms of making interesting records. Maybe, if you try and make interesting records, they're still interesting in a few years' time."
Now, in 2017, the record is ready and first single from which, "Star Roving," shot to the top of the Billboard Trending 140 Chart.
"There's a different energy about it," says drummer Simon Scott. "It took ages to get back together and write songs and for it to click in the studio, but this album doesn't feel like a bolt-on - it's got an energy that's as vibrant as Souvlaki and Just for a Day. It feels very relevant to now."1. Slomo
2. Star Roving
3. Don't Know Why
4. Sugar For The Pill
5. Everyone Knows
6. No Longer Making Time
7. Go Get It
8. Falling Ashes
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Quicksand / Cradlesnakes (Deluxe)Deluxe Reissue Of Quicksand / Cradlesnakes — Califone’s Second, Critically Acclaimed Full-length That Has Been Long Out-Of-Print
Includes Bonus LP With Previously Unreleased Tracks
In the summer of 2002, Tim Rutili and the rest of Califone had just come out of a busy year that included touring with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era Wilco and collaborating with Issac Brock's alter-ego project, Ugly Casanova. With new creative energy unlocked, the band began work on the follow-up to their breakout full-length debut, Roomsound. The result, the much-celebrated Quicksand / Cradlesnakes, brims with earned confidence.
Here, Califone began to master the mix of blues, country and technical glitchery so oft-referenced today, all the while creating something timeless. Quicksand / Cradlesnakes is rugged and elegant, dark and optimistic, familiar and entirely new. In a word it is beautiful.LP 1
3. Michigan Girls
4. Cat Eats Coyote
5. Your Golden Ass
7. Million Dollar Funeral
8. When Leon Spinx Moved Into 3. Town
9. Mean Little Seed
10. Vampiring Again
11. Slower Twin
1. When Leon Spinx Moved Into Town (6.18.03 - VPRO Radio, Amsterdam)
2. Slowness (califone + oRSo)
3. Ro (califone + oRSo)
4. Wednesdays (califone + orzo)
5. Kissing Cousin Wikkan (9.02 Cicero)
7. The Machines I Your Stomach Have Everything To Do With Your Dreams
8. Cat Eats Coyote (unedited)
$23.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Can You Deal?Pressed On White Vinyl
Los Angeles-based sister duo Jennifer and Jessie Clavin knew things were going to be different for their band Bleached's sophomore LP Welcome The Worms. Not only had they managed to charm world renowned producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes, Elton John) to join them and their bassist Micayla Grace in the studio, but the sisters had been crawling out of their own personal dramas. While emotionally spinning, they dove head first into music.
In the studio, Chiccarelli and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) helped the band perfect their fervent songs into fearlessly big pop melodies. They drew inspiration from the iconic hits of everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Heart to Roy Ayers. The result is an ambitious rock record with a new found pop refinement that somehow still feels like the Shangri-Las on speed, driven forward in a wind of pot and petals, a wall of guitars in the back seat.
After touring extensively worldwide and finding success with their hit single "Wednesday Night Melody" Bleached is back with four new blazing tracks on their Can You Deal? EP. Fueled by the experiences they've had as women in their calling for music, Can You Deal? takes on the complexities of issues female musicians encounter in an industry dominated by men. With this fire in their bellies, they connected with Alex Newport (Bloc Party, Mars Volta) to produce the EP. With their singularly triumphant mix of sunny melodies, thrashing guitars and lyrics highlighting the darker sides of life, Bleached continues to demand your attention.1. Can You Deal?
3. Turn To Rage
4. Dear Trouble
$14.9912" Colored Vinyl EP - SealedBuy Now
Hard LoveTim Showalter’s latest release as Strand of Oaks, Hard Love, emanates an unabashed, raw, and manic energy that embodies both the songs and the songwriter behind them. “For me, there are always two forces at work: the side that’s constantly on the hunt for the perfect song, and the side that’s naked in the desert screaming at the moon. It’s about finding a place where neither side is compromised, only elevated.”
Drawing from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub compilations, and Jane’s Addiction, and informed by a particularly wild time at Australia’s Boogie Festival, he sought to create a record that would merge all of these influences while evoking something new and visceral. These influences coupled with an uninhibited and collaborative studio experience moved an initial concept for a singularly feel-good record to something more complex and real. As much as Showalter wants this record to seem like a party, it’s more than that. It feels like living. “You went away…you went searching…came back tired of looking” is how Showalter begins the title track, a sentiment that epitomizes Showalter’s own mentality in beginning Hard Love. As the record progresses, so do the themes of dissatisfaction and frustration with love, family, success, and aging, both in personal experience and songwriting1. Hard Love
2. Radio Kids
4. Salt Brothers
5. On The Hill
7. Quit It
8. Rest Of It
9. Taking Acid And Talking To My Brother
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Welcome To The WormsLos Angeles-based sister duo Jennifer and Jessie Clavin knew things were going to be different for their band Bleached sophomore LP Welcome The Worms. Not only had they managed to charm world renowned producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes, Elton John) to join the sisters and their bassist Micayla Grace in the studio, but Jen and Jessie had been crawling out of their own personal dramas. While emotionally spinning, they dove head first into music.
The three girls spent time writing the 10 song LP at a remote house in Joshua Tree, away from the distractions of the city. Other times Jen and Jessie worked alone, just like when they were teenaged punk brats playing in their parents’ garage, imitating their heroes The Slits, Black Flag and Minor Threat.
In the studio, Chiccarelli and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) helped the band perfect their fervent songs into fearlessly big pop melodies. They drew inspiration from the iconic hits of everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Heart to Roy Ayers. The result is an ambitious rock record with a new found pop refinement that somehow still feels like the Shangri-Las on speed, driven forward in a wind of pot and petals, a wall of guitars in the back seat.1. Keep On Keepin’ On
2. Trying To Lose Myself Again
4. Wednesday Night Melody
5. Wasted On You
6. Chemical Air
7. Sour Candy
8. Desolate Town
9. I’m All Over The Place (Mystic Mama)
10. Hollywood, We Did It All Wrong
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Primrose GreenRyley Walker is the reincarnation of the true American guitar player. That’s as much a testament to his roving, rambling ways, or as to the fact that his Guild D-35 guitar has endured a few stints in the pawnshop. No one knows what the future holds for young Ryley Walker. Hardship and setbacks and dilapidated housing uncertainty only seem to spur him on creatively. Here, with this record, we risk limiting his access to personal disaster by flirting with success.1. Primrose Green
2. Summer Dress
3. Same Minds
4. Griffiths Bucks Blues
5. Love Can Be Cruel
6. On The Banks Of The Hold Kishwaukee
7. Sweet Satisfaction
8. The High Road
9. All Kinds Of You
10. Hide In The Roses
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Live at the Music HallThose who were fortunate to catch Phosphorescent at any of the their shows in 2013 can attest to the fact that this is no ordinary touring band. Built around the core of founding member/songwriter Matthew Houck, Phosphorescent has expanded from a loop-station based solo act into a fully fledged classic rock band to be held in the same regard as the likes of Crazy Horse. They spent most of 2013 touring behind their hugely acclaimed album Muchacho, and by the end of the year the band were at the peak of their powers. This 3xLP live album was recorded over the course of four jam-packed, sweltering holiday nights in mid-December.
The shows featured the full line up of Matthew Houck (Voice, Guitar, Piano), Rustine Bragaw (Bass, Voice), Christopher Marine (Drums), David Torch (Percussion), Jo Schornikow (Organ, Voice), Scott Stapleton (Piano, Voice), Ricky Ray Jackson (Pedal Steel, Guitar, Voice). The songs are culled from across the catalogue of Phosphorescent albums stretching back to early live favorite 'Wolves', which is featured here in both solo form and in full band guise, through to current classics such as 'Song for Zula' & "Ride On/Right On'.
After the shows, Houck spent hours going through the recordings, piecing together this definitive live collection. This is far from a quick cash-in live album - in fact, it should should perhaps be seen as the ultimate Phosphorescent record, taking the recordings that make the studio album to a whole new level. Once Houck had pieced together the tracks, he and album mixer John Agnello worked through the tracks, mixing them to truly represent that amazing Phosphorescent sound - one part cowboy bravado, one part wounded master.
You can hear how Houck's voice cracks over over the tender 'Tell Me Baby…' and how it soars in the perhaps definitive Phosphorecent live song 'Los Angeles'. The musicianship on display here is supreme, particularly Ricky Ray's sublime pedal steel and the dual keyboard work of Schornikow and Stapleton, playing opposite each other and playing off each other. This album should be considered an addition to the pantheon of classic live records - The Who's Live at Leeds, Frampton Comes Alive, Neil Young's Rust Never Sleeps, The Band's The Last Waltz, Bob Marley's Live, Cheap Trick's Live at the Budokan - like those, it is a defining moment in the catalogue of Phosphorescent.1. Sun Arise! (An Invocation/An Introduction) (Live)
2. A New Anhedonia (Live)
3. Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master) (Live)
4. The Quotidian Beasts (Live)
5. Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough) (Live)
6. Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)(Live)
7. Dead Heart (Live)
8. Down To Go (Live)
9. Song For Zula (Live)
10. Ride On/Right On (Live)
11. A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (Solo, Live)
12. Muchacho's Tune (Solo, Live)
13. Wolves (Solo, Live)
14. Joe Tex, These Taming Blues (Live)
15. Los Angeles (Live)
16. A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (Live)
17. South (Of America) (Live)
18. Wolves (Live)
19. At Death, A Proclamation (Live)
$34.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs SealedBuy Now
TransfixiationLimited To 2,000 Copies Worldwide
"[A Place to Bury Strangers] sculpts something unexpectedly elegant out of the type of din you'd expect to hear on an airport tarmac" - SPIN MAGAZINE
"Hypnotic and forward-looking, A Place to Bury Strangers sound more vital than ever”- ALLMUSIC
"A real sonic adventure that never relinquishes its grip on structure, despite the fact that the guitar effects pedals are practically stomped into the floor"- POPMATTERS
"That's the most intense fear and feeling—when you go to a show and you're actually scared," says Oliver Ackermann, guitarist and frontman of Brooklyn trio A Place To Bury Strangers.
"Or you can palpably feel the danger in the music," adds bassit Dion Lunadon, "Like it's going to fall apart at any moment and the players doing it are so in the moment they don't give a shit about anything else. They're just going for it. It's a gutter kinda vibe; everything about it is icky and evil and dangerous."
The same could be said the band’s fourth album, Transfixiation. Rather than fixate on the minute details like they may have done in the past, the group, rounded out by drummer Robi Gonzalez, trust their instincts and try to keep things as pure as possible. Music is much more exhilarating when it's unpredictable even on repeat plays, and this is very much an unpredictable record. Gonzalez makes his recording debut with the band here, and it’s obvious that he’s helped pushed the band’s recordings closer to the level of their infamous live shows.
"The one thing we have in common is this fire when we're playing," adds Gonzalez. "I don't know; it's real intense."1. Supermaster
3. Love High
4. What We Don't See
6. Lower Zone
7. We've Come So Far
8. Now It's Over
9. I'm So Clean
10. Fill The Void
11. I Will Die
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
NoctilucenceNoctilucence is a new 12" recorded between in 2013 and 2014 between Los Angeles, California, and Cleveland, Ohio. The term “noctilucence” comes from “noctilucent clouds”, the name given to clouds which, for some reason, emit a brilliant vibrance at night. On this recording we find our subject diving into the electric waters of the night sky, in long drives across the vast deserts of America. It’s a recording about the discovery and understanding of the shadow, entrance to the realm not controlled by the light of day, or the logic of reason. It’s about confronting nocturnal terrors and all of those things that go bump in the night. Understanding that the ancient archetypes which watch over us don’t flinch, and stand firm across the spell of time. On Along The Way we sought the Macrobes for guidance, and on Noctilucence we see them taking real shape. Opening with a mantra to the perpetual regeneration of the spirit of love, crying out for new levels of confidence and consciousness to emerge from the human race, Noctilucence is a deep stare into the infinite eye of the shimmering night sky of the future, and all it holds in its gaze.
- Mark McGuire, 20141. Freedom of Spirit
2. Earth Grid (Activation)
4. Entity (Presence)
5. Astral Protection
$14.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
GreylagLimited Edition Gold Vinyl
Like the wild goose that the Portland-based trio are named after, the members of Greylag have all undertaken amazing journeys, migrating as if by homing instinct from different parts of the US, to create a self-titled debut album that s the latest must-have slice of verdant, far-reaching Americana. Greylag is rich in melody, mood and detail with a range that mirrors the distance between their individual birthplaces, creating a personal twist on some timeless musical traditions, embracing electric and acoustic with a sound that s both subtle and forceful.
Meet Andrew Stonestreet (lead vocal, acoustic guitar, originally from West Virginia), Daniel Dixon (lead guitar and other stringed things, keyboards, from Northern California) and Brady Swan (drums, from Texas). The venerated Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Modest Mouse, The Shins) produced the album at Seattle s Avast! Studio, who clearly knows a sublime enterprising combination of roots and rock music when he hears it.
The name Greylag looks and sounds strong but has developed more meaning for the band - It s a wild goose, from which all domestic geese originate, so it s the first survivor, and it s still wild, and doing things its own way - the lag part refers to it being the last bird to migrate. It sits back and watches. We love the connotation.1. Another
2. Yours To Shake
3. Arms Unknown
6. Burn On
7. Black Sky
8. One Foot
9. Walk the Night
$17.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Lights OutThe new Bishop Allen record, Lights Out, is here at last. Here's what went into it: ten years, three full-lengths, twelve EPs, thousands of shows, a move out of Brooklyn, a new home in the wooly wilds of Kingston, NY, time off to score the films Bully and Mutual Friends, as well as an Anderson Cooper 360 special, months of demos, drum tracking in a sweat-lodge attic studio during a July heat wave, a wet Fall arranging guitars, bass, and synths in a now-chilly attic studio, the coldest December on record spent mixing, a close call with a frozen pipe and flooded hard drives, and a photo found on a friend's refrigerator.1. Start Again
2. Why I Had To Go
4. No Show
5. Give It Back
6. Black Hole
7. Skeleton Key
8. Good Talk
9. Hammer and Nail
10. Bread Crumbs
11. No Conditions
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Time Is Over One Day OldBear In Heaven's new album is aptly titled Time is Over One Day Old. It's a record with a visceral relationship to time and its processes.Where invulnerability and ambition can support you as you grow, at some point they become dead weight, and being true to yourself means casting them off,starting anew. This plays out as a powerful analogy for the band across the arc of it's career.
They’ve always made intriguing records, here especially. It's easy to see why musicians fall hard for this band.They entice and envelop you. Any Bear In Heaven song will most likely greet you with a provocative beat, textural synthesizers and unassuming but adeptly supportive bass and guitar, all exquisitely arranged and glistening.Jon Philpot’s high,smooth,strong voice is so tightly wound into the music that it can be easy to overlook the lyrics, Bear In Heaven’s capacious third dimension. Philpot is a center-seeking, contemplative writer who captures the fleeting thoughts that underscore our emotional lives,the interactions with the world that are both difficult to express and anathema in daily conversation.
While all of this can be said of any Bear In Heaven album, each varies wildly in tone and approach. 2007’s Red Bloom of the Boom is ambitious and experimental. Beast Rest Forth Mouth(2009)was a pivotal record that still feels important,seductive and intense.On their 2012 LP I Love You, It’s Cool the structural and musical ideas are challenging, and masterfully developed. For Time is Over One Day Old,we witness the band once again turning their gaze inward and prioritizing their evocative abilities in line with or even slightly ahead of technical skills. It feels very much in the tradition of BRFM in that way. It’s beautiful; it’s moving.
Here Philpot and Adam Wills are more deeply collaborative than ever. This album is darker at times, louder than their others; it feels personal and direct.“If I Were To Lie”places Wills' bass groove front and center,“Demon” is riveting and propulsive in spite of its dark pointed lyric, and“They Dream”dissolves into three and a half minutes of deeply satisfying ambient synth work in its second half.Wills has always been the bands anchor, providing rock solid,rhythmic bass lines and guitars that blur the boundaries of Philpot's synth. Though in moments such as the final track, “You Don’t Need The World,” Wills cuts through with an audacious, biting guitar hook. It’s a great culmination of the album’s sense of release. This album isn’t about being dark, it’s about releasing darkness and frustration.
When bands age well, their vitality takes shape. They wear, but with intention. They trim excesses. Throughout this album you’ll hear a band at peace with themselves. They've learned to cut back on that which is merely impressive and to concentrate on simply what is crucial.For Philpot this is about making something lasting. “A lot of shedding, getting rid of layers and preconceptions… breaking up with old ways of thinking, old ways of being, starting to look at this thing in a new way and finding something positive.”The result is a record that will stay with you.1. Autumn
2. Time Between
3. If I Were To Lie
4. They Dream
5. The Sun and The Moon and The Stars
6. Memory Heart
8. Way Off
9. Dissolve The Walls
10. You Don’t Need The World
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
HealFrom the first bars of HEAL, the exhilarating melodic stomp of ‘Goshen ‘97’ puts you right into Tim Showalter’s fervent teenage mindset. We find him in his family’s basement den in Goshen, IN, feeling alienated but even at 15 years old, believing in the alchemy and power of music to heal your troubles. “The record is called HEAL, but it’s not a soft, gentle healing, it’s like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that’s how I got better.” HEAL embodies that feeling of catharsis and rebirth, desperation and euphoria, confusion and clarity.It is deeply personal and unwittingly anthemic.
Showalter was on tour, walking home on a mild autumn night in Malmo, Sweden, when he first felt the weight of the personal crisis that would ignite him to write HEAL. “It was a culmination of pressure,” Showalter recalls. “My marriage was suffering, I’d released a record I was disappointed in, I didn’t like how I looked or acted…so I’d gone on tour, I was gone about two years!I didn’t take time to think about failure, but I knew I was going deeper and deeper…I was thinking, I have this life, but it’s not my life,I haven’t done it right…”
When Showalter returned, he wrote 30 songs in three weeks, a process that proved difficult, but cathartic and at times invigorating.Previous Strand Of Oaks records were more skeletal, raw examples of folk-rooted Americana with occasional rock and electronic currents,that have now come to the fore.HEAL is a bold new beginning,with a thrilling full-tilt sound that draws on Showalter’s love of ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s rock and pop, with the singer and guitarist playing the intense valedictory confessor.
Crucial to HEAL’s sound was the man who Showalter chose to mix the record, the stellar alt-rock icon John Congleton. Showalter also re-connected with Ben Vehorn, synth expert and studio engineer extraordinaire, and drummer Steve Clements,who provides HEAL’s thunderous ,sinewy drive. Songs such as ‘Shut In’,‘Plymouth’ and‘Woke Up To The Light’ have a classic construction and mood,recalling ‘70s power-pop/ballads and the yearning ache of Big Star’slate, great Chris Bell. Many of the songs on HEAL reveal an electronic undercarriage and towering drums that push the album’s wired dynamic to its stretching point, especially on‘For Me’,which expertly bridges the album’s twin decades of influences.And if ‘Goshen ‘97’recalls the molten energy of Dinosaur Jr, that actually is J Mascis on lead guitar. Despite the initials, the album’s smoldering 7-minute epic ‘JM’ is not a Mascis tribute, but to the late Jason Molina, about having his music as comfort no matter how bad things get.
Which brings usto another crisis, this time much more serious and immediate. HEAL was scheduled for mixing on Dec. 26, 2013.Driving on the freeway Christmas Day, Showalter and his wife were involved in a car accident with a semi-truck, and were fortunate to walk away with their lives. Showalter suffered a, “pretty severe,” head trauma, “which affected me much more than Irealized at the time.”Fearing delays, Showalter didn’t let Congelton know about it,so the mixing session went ahead. “Being on the verge of death, and my thoughts being so closely tied to that, changed the album’s direction,” Showalter claims. “Together, we pushed it toward a much more cathartic sound that forces the listener to where I was at that exact moment,somewhere between almost dying and being absolutely fearless.”
HEAL is not just a saviour for its creator, but for anyone who needs reminding of music’s ability to heal, or just thrill. Showalter is taking out a full band to play, and finally, the kid who wanted to be a rock star at 15 might get his chance. Finally, he and Strand Of Oaks have much to celebrate.1. Goshen '97
3. Same Emotions
4. Shut In
5. Woke Up To The Light
8. Mirage Year
9. For Me
10. Wait For Love
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
9 Songs“Whole generations of basement-tape shenanigans are baked into their lurching, overdriven sound, alternatingly stripped-down and blown-out” - SPIN
Take the 101 north out of Los Angeles, and you’ll pass by Agoura Hills,where the core duo of the band Dub Thompson grew up. Whatever you see in that town won’t readily prepare you for the music they wrote while there, but you’re free to look.
“Most everyone who’s in a group who’s our age lives on the Internet,” says guitarist Matt Pulos. “The kinds of thingsthat have shaped our band aren’t anchored to any one time or place.”
Pulos and his bandmate, drummer Evan Laffer, are currently both 19 years old, and are putting that line of thought to the test; their musical influences travel from the Midwestern malaise of Big Black and Pere Ubu, to Kraut pioneers Can and Kraftwerk, while bowing to the British belligerence of The Fall and This Heat.
Recording the album while living with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado at his rented house in Bloomington, the band had its first taste of a heavy Indiana summer, and all the humidity and insect life that buzzes along with it. “We woke up every day, ate hard-boiled eggs and stood on a porch,” says Pulos of the experience.
Their first collection of songs slyly unties the shoes of genre and convention, shape shifts mischievously, and tramples on the promises delivered on the name itself. There are only eight songs on this rangy debut.
Intense blasts of hook-filled noise rock (“Hayward!”), rock steady marionette stomp (“No Time”), hypnotic bouts of doomy poetics (“Epicondyles”), outlandishly sexy groove rock (“Dograces”), and a number of other bite-sized forays into parts unknown are made manifest across 9 Songs.
The vibes are strong here. Pulos sings and plays like he’s working out long-standing grudges, pulling the most sinewy tones from an acoustic guitar and ripping huge chunks of demon flesh out of his electric. Laffer matches him step for step on the drums, an exacting presence behind the kit who pushes even the band’s more placid moments into bouts of tension. Together they succeed in animating their musical ideas to startling, almost unnatural life. Reverb units, keyboards,samples and processing gluing everything together,saturated in the August heat and worn in until they sound second nature, it’s like somehow you’ve been listening to these songs forever.1. Hayward!
2. No Time
6. 9 Songs
7. Ash Wednesday
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
BabyFreedom often begins from terror, and White Hinterland's third album, Baby, addresses the fear that comes along with breaking out of established rituals, or leaving a comfortable place, and striking out into the unknown. Four years after her profile-raising release, Kairos(2010), Casey Dienel aka White Hinterland has taken the gloves off and knuckled down to produce a deep, dark, heady mix of songs. After two and a half years of writing and recording material in Montreal and Portland, OR, Dienel moved back in to her family home in Scituate, MA. There she forged a new aesthetic, spending five months building her own studio, The Glades, in her parents' basement - the same space where she practiced piano and vocal lessons as a child. Determined to helm her new album, Dienel spent months studying production, poring over YouTube tutorials about Protools, mic'ing techniques and other minutiae.
Armed with this self-taught skill and her new studio, Dienel set forth to subvert the existing power structure of male producer as svengali and female artist as figurehead (see: Billy Corgan/Courtney Love, Timbaland/Aaliyah, Phil Spector/The Ronettes). She created her own, new path on Baby, which showcases her as a singer/songwriter/producer who has only become bolder and more resolute over the past three-plus years. Calling in her friends as pinch hitters, Dienel worked acclaimed musicians Sean Carey (Bon Iver, S. Carey), Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan), and Cole Kamen-Green (Beyoncé).
On her first four records, Dienel projected her fears and fantasies onto imaginary characters, role play, and lush atmospherics. If Kairos was a work of atmosphere, then Baby sits at the opposite end of that spectrum. Baby is about song craft. It is forceful, rooted in the physicality of the voice, percussion and piano, and it is about getting straight to the point. Where her earlier work occasionally showcased a strong Joni Mitchell influence, on new songs like “David” she finds herself in Fiona Apple territory. Her lifelong love of R&B and gospel also comes to the fore, these resonant styles complement and contrast the sharp dynamic shifts, booming drums, and blasts of brass. On "Metronome," Baby's centerpiece and most assertive track, she declares, "All day long I'm a boss." She's not asking for someone to serve as a steadying influence, but instead requiring that it's necessary to keep up with her. It is the past three years of her life distilled into song: joy, heartbreak, frustration, longing, disappointment, anger, and loss accumulated, poured out and reborn in this new, unflinching release.1. Wait Until Dark
2. Dry Mind
3. Ring the Bell
6. White Noise
8. No Devotion
9. Sickle No Sword
10. Live With You
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Along The WayFrom the mid-western underground consciousness, guitarist/producer Mark McGuire emerges with his forthcoming 2014 Dead Oceans debut Along the Way. The conceptual album details the inner journey of an individual seeking definition and enlightenment. For those following McGuire’s musical ascent thus far, the record is a culmination of a prodigious and prolific artist.
Playing with a wide variety of instruments and styles on Along the Way, McGuire presents his unique vision of modern psychedelia. Using electric and acoustic guitars, a Talkbox, drum machines, a mandolin and lots in between, McGuire conducts a sonic exploration of the inner self. “This story is an odyssey through the vast, unknown regions of the mind,” he explains in the liner notes,” The endless unfolding of psychological landscapes, leading to perpetual discoveries and expansions, in a genuinely emergent and infinite world of worlds.”
Mark McGuire first came to national attention as part of Cleveland’s drone collective Emeralds, a band that single handedly created a paradigm shift toward the meditative in an era of underground music best known for noise and chaos. Their albums for the Editions Mego, No Fun and Hanson labels, among others, remain treasured to a generation of tape collecting misfits. Over the course of many independent and self-releases the individual members of the band exhibited their solo material from their earliest days. McGuire’s first solo release in 2006 showcased a natural affinity for melody, slowly disintegrating loops and composition. When he kept audiences spellbound with live performances of his material it made believers of concertgoers across the world. By 2009 his solo debut album Living With Yourself was garnering praise from press and audiences alike. McGuire as a solo performer made a direct connection with fans through his hypnotic playing, becoming more complex in its dynamics and phrasings. The album’s 2011 follow up Get Lost furthered the guitarist’s palate to include a sun-bleached digital effect. The music continually grew over itself as delays decayed and new ones took their place, each layer revealing colors and sunspots, reflecting the expanse of roads traveled.
The last few years have found McGuire touring with friends like Ducktails as well as performing as a fifth member of the legendary Afghan Whigs, collaborating with artists like Ponytail’s Dustin Wong and releasing his own R&B influenced Road Chief project. 2014 will bring more touring, more collaborations, more videos and media; expanding horizons that all start with a sound.1. Awakening
2. Wonderland of Living Things
3. In Search of the Miraculous
4. To The Macrobes (Where Do I Go?)
6. Silent Weapons (The Architects of Manipulation)
7. The Instinct
8. The Human Condition (Song For My Father)
9. For the Friendships (Along the Way)
10. Arrival Begins the Next Departure
11. The War on Consciousness
12. The Lonelier Way
13. Turiya (The Same Way)
$20.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Dagger BeachDagger Beachwas Recorded at Tiny Telephone on 2" Analog Tape Without the Use of Computers.
The Vinyl Release Will be Issued as a QRP 200 Gram Audiophile Limited Pressing.
While it's true I did endure a terrible break-up at the beginning of writing this record, this is not a break up record. Dagger Beach is a put-me-the-fuck-back-together record.
The break up came in late 2011, after endless months of White Wilderness touring. I returned home to an empty house, and, as that's pretty unbearable when you're not quite right in the head, I decided to set out walking. I hiked the Lost Coast (36 miles of off-the-grid splendor in Southern Humboldt County), I hiked the entire 150-mile trail system of Pt. Reyes, I hiked for days, deep, deep in the woods, usually alone. As I walked and walked, listening to records on repeat, I started obsessing about music again. Three records found their way into my psyche and inspired much of this new record: Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me, Silver Jews' The Natural Bridge, and Radiohead's King Of Limbs. I don't think you'll find traces of these records in Dagger Beach, but their spirit and fearlessness deeply affected me. (Hence the shout-out on the record to one of my lifelong heroes, David Berman.)
The first two reminded me how crucial great lyrics can be, how your experience of a record can evolve and change as you slowly decode complex and thoughtful writing. King Of Limbsshowed me how powerful linear songwriting can be, when subtle changes in form and repeating motifs slowly shift into something else entirely (just try to follow "Morning Mr. Magpie" on headphones). There are many songs on Dagger Beach that take this approach: "Damage Control" and "Gaslight" were both written to drum patterns played by Jason Slota, my long-time partner. Jason played drums alone, without music, and I adapted to his structures and rhythms. Doing this keeps me from relying on my usual tricks and structures and forces me into brand new territory.
This strange experience, the endless hiking and backcountry camping off the grid, it completely changed the songwriting process for me. I edited lyrics while walking, I worked out songs in my head. It didn't come easy: the first time I camped alone (I was deep inside the million-acre Mendocino National Forest) I freaked out, ended my trip early, and wrote "Raw Wood" the next day. By the end of 2012, I could stay out for a week on my own.
As the experience changed me, it changed the record. Dagger Beach is looser, weirder, and more free because of itRaw Wood
Song for Dana Lok
How the West Was Won
Song for David Berman
Song for the Landlords of Tiny
Sleep it Off
North Coast Rep
$21.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
NepentheJulianna Barwick's art is equal parts force and beauty. Her music finds its motor in significant events in her own life, but they are abstracted into a sense of sonic wonderment, a radiance that you could say is her signature sound. That radiance has been taken to new zeniths with Nepenthe, her third full-length album, which was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland, in the dark cold days of February.1. Offing
2. The Harbinger
3. One Half
4. Look Into Your Own Mind
8. Adventurer of the Family
9. Crystal Lake
10. Waving To You
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
StitchesStitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all permutable definitions of the word, its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. Archetypes and mythological figures rub shoulders with bruised civilians throughout this odyssey. Intimate timbres, garage sale drum machines, slack guitar strings and hushed vocals offset the album's cinematic inclinations. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroing in on emotions and images that cannot be glanced over.1. Movie Music Kills a Kiss
3. Frosted Tips
5. Bells Break Arms
8. A Thin Skin of Bullfight Dust
9. We are a Payphone
10. turtle eggs/an optimist
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.