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Awaken My Love'
Awaken, My Love! (Awaiting Repress)Awaken, My Love! is a bold departure from the hip-hop sound of his previous work, and finds the Atlanta star evolving into full-on funk and R&B mode. Donald Glover and longtime collaborator Ludwig Goransson channel the spirit of Parliament Funkadelic with a potent psychedelic funk vibe that permeates through the entire album. Check the Bootsy-esque single Redbone and the epicMe And Your Mama for a taste, we know you'll be coming back for more!1. Me and Your Mama
2. Have Some Love
9. Baby Boy
10. The Night Me and Your Mama Met
11. Stand Tall$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Awaken, My Love! (Box Set)Limited Edition Virtual Reality Box Set
Pressed On 2x Heavyweight 45 RPM LPs
Glow In The Dark Cover
Includes Virtual Reality Headset
Instructions To Access Exclusive Virtual Reality Live Performances From The Pharos Experience
Childish Gambino's third album, Awaken, My Love!, is being packaged as a limited edition virtual reality box set. This deluxe version is pressed on 2x heavyweight 45 RPM LPs, and includes a glow in the dark cover, an exclusive booklet, and a virtual reality headset. Additionally, it contains instructions to access exclusive virtual reality live performances from the PHAROS Experience.LP 1
1. Me and Your Mama
2. Have Some Love
3. Baby Boy
4. The Night Me and Your Mama Met
5. Stand Tall$59.99Vinyl LP Box Set 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (Colored Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)Pressed On Clear Pink & Clear Blue Vinyl
With these soft spoken words on the simply-titled opening track-"Intro"- M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez introduces us to his sixth record and first double disc album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
Dauntlessly singing into the void that was left behind since Saturdays=Youth, Gonzalez suddenly surges with overwhelming emotion as the music mounts an invisible precipice. Historically, he softly eased you into his world, introducing you to the lush and radiant spaces between captivating melodies and intimate lyrics, but not this time. Not on this record.
Graduating from the fuzzy, fumbling emotional cobwebs and draped ambiance of past records, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming careens past its audience. Brazenly stretching out along the horizon, spilling glittery, golden arms of sound across the landscape, it holds your breath hostage without you even noticing you were missing it. If it seemed that Anthony was basking in the sunshine-drenched days of his youth when he released Saturdays in 2008, then it can be said that in 2011, at the age of 30, he is tempestuously charging towards his future with Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
Relocating to Los Angeles from Antibes, Gonzalez surrounded himself with players pivotal to completing his childhood dream of a double disc record. Producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp) and guitarist Brad Laner (from 90s band Medicine) had been hugely influential on Anthony growing up and now were central to the new record's creation.
"In France there is this show on TV where at the end there is a musical guest who plays one or two songs. I remember one night when I was a teenager being at home watching the best of performances and looking at this crazy bass player with a big afro and thinking, 'Wow this guy is so cool.' "And now I am working with him. It's so intense that thinking about it makes me feel weird. But it's weird in a super good way. Same thing with Brad, I was listening to his music when I was first getting into music and now he's on my album."
Anthony and Justin met backstage in 2009 at Scotland's T In The Park. Later, "he came to me very genuinely stating that 'he was a fan and that he would love to work with me,'" explains Gonzalez. "I love when people do that because I can tell it's coming from the heart. He was sincere and that's the way I like to work with people."
Stepping away from his work with producers Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson on Saturday, Gonzalez freckles his new chapter with signature M83 fingerprints while pushing himself beyond the constricting emotions of a guarded musician. Bored with being frustrated and shy, Anthony is respectful of the precious time given to him and doesn't want to leave behind any regrets, thus thrusting himself into the spotlight vocally. He tests out different ways of singing, ranging from a spectral breathy whisper to a howling scream, and each voice clings to us like a dew-heavy spider web at dawn.
Fans will recognize band member Morgan Kibby, her vocals flirting with the shadowy places in between verses, leaping off the record in spoken word or blending with an adult choir. Morgan will join Anthony on tour but she was never meant to sing as much on this record as she had on pervious projects. Quenching his desire to work with a different person on each record, Gonzalez added LA-based chanteuse Zola Jesus to the mix for the completion of "Intro." "The song was already written but I really wanted a female vocal on it and I was kind of struggling to find the right person, but then I heard her music and it just made sense."
Where Saturday=Youth is drenched in lustful exploration and hungry adolescent wonder, Hurry Up is decadently cunning and seductive. "Intro" and "My tears are becoming a sea" eerily croon to you, swirling all of the glitter and growth from the past records into an epic swell, mysteriously and dramatically warning you of the impact you are about to experience. "Midnight City" (disc one) and "OK Pal" (disc two) are humid, adrenaline driven dreams unlike anything we have heard from M83 in the past. "Midnight City" adeptly sweeps you through abandoned concrete streets swimming in broken neon light and aggressively pushing and pulsating to synthetic beats. While "OK Pal" catcalls you to a locker full of mapped out Peter Gabriel-esque echoing lyrics, leaving you stranded in a post-apocalyptic landscape. These journeys are about awakening, craving and conquering. Throughout Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Anthony carries the listener to different countries of sound in his own universe, "We didn't need a story, we didn't need a real world. We just had to keep walking and we became the stories- we became the places." Drifting away from his previous records and reigned in politeness he unleashes all that he has been dreaming of and yearning for. Even when he takes a second to look back on "Echoes of Mine" the velvety, elderly voice of a woman heartbreakingly tells the story of a girl drenched in the shadows of her youth, knowing she has to grow up.
Grandiose in scale and inspired by Smashing Pumpkin's revered double disc Melancholy & The Infinite Sadness, Anthony has long had the goal to create his own monumental double disc record. "I saw when I was a teenager that I could dig into it [the album]. It was like a treasure. If I were a teenager nowadays I would try to find something as creative as this album. They had so much to say in their songs."
Impressed with the juxtaposing sun and moon artwork featured on Melancholy, Anthony focuses in on another natural duality: siblings. The cover artwork mirrors this relationship, featuring a photograph of a little boy with a little girl sitting on a bed. The photograph perpetuates the conversation for the two distinct voices we behind each disc, representing two sides of an overall piece that are almost the same. "I want people to listen to it as two different human beings that are connected somehow, but every song on the album has a secret on the other side."
Soaring and scraping up against the sky while sharing each uncharted frontier with new collaborators is what M83 does best. Gracefully coming into the next decade of his life, Anthony delivers what makes each record sincere, innocent, and full of joy: he gives us his past and his future.
"I think it is a reflection of my 30 years of being a human being. It's a compilation of all my previous music together. It's a retrospective of myself."LP 1
2. Midnight City
4. Where The Boats Go
6. Raconte moi une histoire
7. A Train To Pluton
8. Claudia Lewis
9. This Bright Flash
10. When Will You Come Home?
11. Soon, My Friend
1. My Tears Are Becoming A Sea
2. New Map
3. OK Pal
4. Another Wave From You
6. Year One, One UFO
8. Steve McQueen
9. Echoes Of Mine
10. Klaus I love You
11. Outro$28.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Hidden CityWhen Rolling Stone hailed THE CULT as "the Messianic moment of Coachella" in 2014, few knew that their next release would be unveiled in the form of HIDDEN CITY, their tenth studio album (and second for Cooking Vinyl).
The final instalment in a trilogy of recordings, completing 2007's Born Into This (The Fall) and 2012's Choice of Weapon (Dark Night of the Soul), Hidden City is a tightly-woven series of experience and visions with underlying themes of redemption and rebirth threaded through The Cult's visceral music. Astbury's signature baritone and blood-soaked lyrics paired with Duffy's smouldering, textured guitar tones, create a musical environment that is fearless and peerless.
From the sonic assault of the opening track Dark Energy, Hidden City launches quickly into the dark underbelly of its subject matter. Stemming from the Spanish phrase "La Ciudad Oculta" or "hidden city," the album reflects an awakening of consciousness through its tone and complexity. "Hidden City is a metaphor for our spiritual lives our intimate interior lives," explains Astbury. "I find today's gurus are trying to peddle some cure, product or insight as if it's a new phenomenon. My place is to respond, not react, to observe, participate and share through words and music. There is no higher authority than the heart."
Produced by Bob Rock and written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy the team has collaborated on what has turned out to be the brutal and beautiful masterpiece Hidden City.
The Cult have revealed in a storied career. From the iconic Love album bursting with idealism to the dystopia of 2001's Beyond Good & Evil to the current seductive Hidden City, the band lives their art. A new chapter dawns for The Cult as the future unfolds The Cult will respond. It's what they do.
The Cult are Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitars), John Tempesta (drums), Grant Fitzpatrick (bass), Damon Fox (keyboards + rhythm guitar).1. Dark Energy
2. No Love Lost
3. Dance The Night
4. In Blood
5. Birds Of Paradise
7. G O A T
8. Deeply Ordered Chaos
9. Avalanche Of Light
12. Sound and Fury$30.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullersWhen Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.
"I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."
The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.
But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.
Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.
In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."
Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."
"12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.
With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis1. Carson's Blues
2. New York Is My Destination
3. Instant of the Hour After
4. We of Me
6. 12 Mortal Men
7. Harper Lee
8. Lover, Beloved
9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
10. Carson's Last Supper$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now