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MonomaniaAfter a brief hiatus following the success of third album Halcyon Digest, during which time Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt released their own albums as Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza respectively, a new Deerhunter line-up (with additions of bassist Josh Mckay and guitarist Frankie Broyles) reconvened in January 2013 at Rare Book Studio in Brooklyn, New York. Produced by Nicholas Vernhes and Bradford Cox and recorded in the dead of night, Deerhunter's new longplayer Monomania will be released on 7th May. Monomania finds the group recalling its scrappy punk aesthetic; a perfect nocturnal garage rock album full of the layered and hazy vintage guitar sounds that define them.1. Neon Junkyard
2. Leather Jacket II
3. The Missing
5. Dream Captain
6. Blue Agent
9. Back to the Middle
12. Punk (La Vie AntÉrieure)$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
On The Ones And ThreesOn the Ones and Threes is the band's first LP in ten years, and possibly their best. They remain one of the best bands out theregritty yet melodic, serene yet explosive, and balanced on the brink in a way that has become somewhat of a lost art.On the Ones and Threes is something of a return to form, featuring the reappearances of original member Edward Baluyut, and engineer Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Cat Power, Spoon) who worked on Secret Swingers and Two Cents Plus Tax. Watch for late summer tour dates!1.Death Ray
4.Gone To Earth
4.Ones and Threes, The
6.Nu Skin$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Halcyon DigestHalcyon Digest is Deerhunter's fourth album and their first to be released on 4AD worldwide. The album was recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Deerhunter's hometown of Athens, GA with the band self-producing and Ben Allen enlisted to mix, (Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion).1. Earthquake
2. Don't Cry
5. Memory Boy
6. Desire Lines
7. Basement Scene
8. Fountain Stairs
11. He Would Have Laughed$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNTFinally, after over a month of unanswered emails and text messages, blown deadlines, and pleas to finish and turn in their new album, last week, a large brown cardboard box showed up at the Dead Oceans doorstep. It had SHINJU TNT scrawled across the bottom of the box in black magic marker, and the return address read only AK, Detroit.
Opening it revealed a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown out song fragments on a TDK CDR in a zip-lock bag, three pictures, and a typewritten note from Akron/Family. A post-it on the bag declared the band refused to send the full album to anyone but the vinyl pressing plant, for fear of leaking and possible lost revenues.
From the note and a short video that arrived days later, Dead Oceans pieced together that the album was written in a cabin built into the side of Mount Meakan, an active volcano in Akan National Park, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. It was recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit with the blackest white dude we all know, Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age). Chris, on tour after finishing the record, commented: this album will transcend the internet.
Akron/Family spent the end of 2009 and half of 2010 exploring the future of sound through Bent Acid Punk Diamond fuzz and Underground Japanese noise cassettes, lower case micro tone poems and emotional Cagean field recordings, rebuilding electronic drums from the 70's and playing them with sticks they carved themselves. Upon miraculous resuscitation of the original AKAK hard drive, the album layers thousands of minute imperceptible samples of their first recordings with fuzzed-out representations of their present beings to induce pleasant emotional feeling states and many momentary transcendent inspirations.1. Silly Bears
3. A AAA O A WAY
4. So It Goes
5. Another Sky
6. Light Emerges
7. Cast a Net
8. Tatsuya Neon Purple Walkby
9. Fuji I (Global Dub)
10. Say What You Want To
11. Fuji II (Single Pane)
14. Healing Vapor Prismatic (LP Only Bonus Track)$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Fading FrontierProduced by Ben H. Allen III & Deerhunter at Maze Studios (Atlanta, GA) in May 2015. Deerhunter are Moses Archuleta, Bradford Cox, Josh McKay and Locket Pundt.1. All the Same
2. Living My Life
4. Duplex Planet
5. Take Care
6. Leather and Wood
8. Ad Astra
9. Carrion$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Matador Singles '08In this short span of time, Reatard has cranked out more memorable songs than some acts do in their whole careers -- Pitchfork
For the six months leading up to this release, Matador has put out a limited edition 7-inch by Memphis boy wonder Reatard. Each generated more attention, but was released in a progressively more limited run, starting with 3,500 copies for the first and ending with 400 copies for the sixth. This package collects all six (excluding the Deerhunter track on #4), plus one extra song. Each tune is a perfect snarling pop-punk gem.1. See/Saw
2. Screaming Hand
3. Painted Shut
4. An Ugly Death
5. Always Wanting More
6. You Mean Nothing To Me
7. Flourescent Grey
8. Trapped Here
9. Hiding Hole
11. No Time
12. You Were Sleeping
13. TBC$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Laraaji: RemixesLaraaji is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising trance inducing jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. Brian Eno saw him playing one night in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his seminal Ambient series (Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance, released 1980). Laraaji went onto release a prolific series of albums for a wide variety of labels, many of which he recorded himself at home and sold as cassettes during his street performances. In recent years he has been collaborating with a new generation of underground musicians, such as the 2011 album he recorded for the acclaimed FRKWYS series with Blues Control (That Healing Feeling). As well as the reissues of his music on All Saints, in the past year he has been included on Light In The Attic compilation I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950 - 1990, and been a live guest of Deerhunter and Jonathan Wilson.1. Cave (Bee Mask)
2. Kalimba (Ela Orleans)
3. Tilturn (Sun Araw)
4. Space (Motion Sickness Of Time Travel)$15.9912 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Boy (Discontinued)Its enough to make you stop and say, What is that? It being the gorgeous melodies and lean, spellbound guitar lines of Colin Caulfield, an English/French lit major whos about to change what it means to be a shapeshifting singer-songwriter in the YouTube age.
Just ask Bradford Cox. He knows. Why, just a year ago, the Deerhunter frontman stumbled upon Colin Caulfields organ-grinding rendition of Rainwater Cassette Exchange and said its fantastically superior to the original. It actually sent shivers up my spine, especially during the second verse.
Believe it or not, that chilling cover was just a warmup session. As killer as he is at capturing the very essence of everything from Animal Collective to Ariel Pink, Caulfieds true talent is in telling his own Young Man stories. The first chapter of which goes by the name Boy, a deceivingly-simple suite of songs about wanting to grow up without having the slightest idea of what being a man actually means.
Now thats a reason to hit rewind, from the tone-setting tenderness and psych-infused harmonies of Five to the restless rhythms (Caulfield was a drummer well before he became a singer/guitarist) and room-engulfing intimacy of Up So Fast. Both of which feature some of the most hopeful/haunting choruses youll hear all year.
And thats just the beginning, of course. Since Young Man was conceived as a concept project about the passing of time, love, and loss, Caulfield already has two loosely-linked LPs on tap, a faceless collection of fragile characters that could be any one of us, really.
A lot of its autobiographical, explains Caulfield, but its universal at the same time, because everyone goes through these things.
Listen closely. Itll all make sense soon enough. Trust us.1. Five
3. Home Alone
6. Just a Growin'
7. Up So Fast$11.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
High PlacesHigh Places is Mary Pearson and Rob Barber. Mary and Rob met while Mary was completing a music degree in bassoon performance and Rob was working in visual art, teaching lithography and etching at an art school. Both were performing as solo musicians at the time. Mary relocated to New York from Michigan in late 2006 and the two soon began collaborating under the name High Places. The name refers to a place where one has a better vantage point and can gain broader perspective; it references a love for mountains, rooftops and of course metaphorical 'high places.' The duo exchanges ideas back and forth, challenging one another's expectations, pushing songs to new places, or more aptly, new heights. They began by releasing a number of singles as well as contributing songs to a few compilations. These early and varied works were collected and released in July of 2008 as 03/07-09/07 in advance of tours with Deerhunter and No Age. Since its inception, High Places has created a signature sound out of using bass-heavy, yet crisp beats, lilting vocal melodies, syncopated rhythmic lines performed on folk percussion instruments, guitar duets turned into treated samples and percussive lines created from the manipulation of household objects. The songwriting is expansive and fluid, all the while managing to be concise. Overall, the compositions are settled and assured. High Places gravitates toward the organic over the electronic and that natural aesthetic adds warmth and intimacy to the recordings.
In a live setting, the band creates their layered recordings with Mary singing and simultaneously manipulating her vocals with various delay and reverb pedals, while playing some hand percussion, recorders and creating and controlling various loops. Rob handles the drums triggering a variety of percussive sounds with his drum pads, as well as playing hand percussion, wooden blocks with contact mics and singing some ambient vocals. High Places' self-titled debut was recorded by Rob and Mary in their apartment in Brooklyn'
s Fort Greene neighborhood between January and May of 2008. They employed a wide variety of instruments to make this album ranging from the more traditional: 12 string guitar, banjo, shakers and rattles, bass, bells and Kalimba, to the inventive: plastic bags, mixing bowls, wood blocks and other common household objects. The album has a contemplative and organic lyrical tone emphasized by the themes of goodness manifested in nature, hardship and wonder as necessities to human existence and growth. Additionally, the idea of maturation and development is further accented through the recurring mention of trees and their extending, enveloping branches. Rob created the High Places artwork by using photos taken by both band members. The images are drawn from nature but all have a subtle, mystical, golden motif, a fitting frame for the album's recurring themes.1. The Storm
2. You in Forty Years
3. The Tree with the Lights in It
4. Visio's the First...
5. Gold Coin
6. Papaya Year
9. A Field Guide
10. From Stardust to Sentience$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Within And Without
Washed Out is the operational alias for Atlanta, GAs Ernest Greene, and their first full-length, Within and Without will be released via Sub Pop Records. Greene recorded Within and Without with Ben Allen, who, among a great many other things, co-produced Animal Collectives Merriweather Post Pavillion, Gnarls Barkleys St. Elsewhere and Deerhunters Halcyon Digest.
In 2009, Washed Out released two critically-acclaimed EPs; Life of Leisure (Mexican Summer) and High Times (Mirror Universe Tapes). Most recently, the Washed Out song Feel It All Around, from Life of Leisure, was chosen as the theme song for the new and very funny IFC series Portlandia, which features Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney/Sub Pop alum and current Wild Flag member Carrie Brownstein.1. Eyes Be Closed
3. Amor Fati
5. Far Away
7. You and I
8. Within and Without
9. A Dedication$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Not To DisappearNearly three years after the release of their debut album If You Leave, Daughter return with a new album entitled Not To Disappear. The band recorded Not To Disappear with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective) at his studio in Brooklyn. Lead tracks "Numbers" and "Doing The Right Thing" have been introduced with videos released as part of a series directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.1.New Ways
3.Doing The Right Thing
6.Alone / With You
10.Made Of Stone$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Carve Out The Face Of My GodInfinite Body is Kyle Parker, once know throughout the world as Gator Surprise in his youthful days. Now a grown man he has cast aside his harsh outpouring and transformed it into a lush and bright planetary awakening. Drawing the harmony of the spheres into his brain and channeling it through his fingertips onto recorded medium INFINITE BODY causes sound to bloom where there once was only darkness! Yes! This rules! You might have witnessed such events live during Infinite Body tours with No Age, Dan Deacon and Deerhunter.1. Dive
2. A Fool Persists
3. What They Wanted To Be Was Useless
4. Out To Where I Am
5. On Our Own To Fall Off
6. Beside Me In The Dawn
8. Lived On Its Knees (For Matt)
9. He Runs Without Feet And Holds Without Hands
10. Drive Dreams Away
11. Carve Out The Face Of My God$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ParallaxWelcome to Parallax, the third long player from Atlas Sound, the ever expansive solo project from Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. Atlas Sound is not a side-project but rather a fully fleshed musical landscape chock-full of pop chronicles culled from sci-fi fever dreams and mid century rock. This is perhaps Coxs best work to date, juxtaposing his modern, sometimes avant, songwriting sensibilities against a backdrop of ambient lonliness and a quiet feeling of desperation. The artwork and photos were done by Mick Rock, the legendary photographer best known for his work with David Bowie.
Let the album unfurl slowly, listen repeatedly and it will reveal itself in all its intricate resplendence.1. The Shakes
3. Te Amo
5. Modern Aquatic Nightsongs
6. Mona Lisa
7. Praying Man
9. My Angel Is Broken
10. Terra Incognita
12. Lightsworks$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SunswimmerFrom just south of the Appalachian Mountains, in the rolling
hills of Athens, GA., comes the roaring young four-piece,
New Madrid. Following the critical acclaim of their 2012
independently released album Yardboat, the band signed
with Normaltown records and promptly began work on their
sophomore album Sunswimmer.
Recorded during a cool, rainy July, under the direction of David
Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers), the aural landscapes forged in sunswimmer become almost palpable. Combining
reverb-drenched vocal harmonies, soaring underwater noise
and floating, meandering melodies, the sounds don't exit the
speakers as much as they condense and hang in the air like the
humid athens summer that birthed them.1. All Around The Locust (Out On The Pavement)
3. Forest Gum
4. Dead Legs
5. Find My Blood
7. And She Smiles$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Education, Education, Education And WarLeeds post-punkers Kaiser Chiefs are making a grand return in 2014. Singer Ricky Wilson has been named as a coach for the U.K. version of The Voice - joining will.i.am, Kylie Minogue, and Tom Jones - and his band will release their fifth album via ATO Records. Dubbed Education, Education, Education & War, the 10-track set follows up 2011's build-an-album experiment The Future Is Medieval.
The English group's latest was written in London, Los Angeles, and Nashville, and recorded at The Maze in Atlanta with studio boss Ben H. Allen producing (Washed Out, Deerhunter, Animal Collective).1. The Factory Gates
2. Coming Home
3. Misery Company
4. Ruffians On Parade
5. Meanwhile Up In Heaven
6. One More Last Song
7. My Life
8. Bows & Arrows
10. Roses$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live In Little FiveFive albums, fourteen years, hundreds of shows and thousands of miles have melded the Athens, GA power trio The Whigs into a live tour-de-force. For the first time, fans old and new can take their legendary live show home in all its limited edition vinyl glory. The ten-song collection spans the band's entire catalog, featuring long-enduring fan favorites alongside new, unreleased material. Recorded and produced by acclaimed engineer David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, Animal Collective), Live In Little Five captures the band at the height of their rock 'n' roll might.1. Like A Vibration (Live)
2. Production City (Live)
3. Violet Furs (Live)
4. Soon Comes Fast (Live)
5. Waiting (Live)
6. Right Hand On My Heart (Live)
7. Already Young (Live)
8. Cleaning Out The Cobwebs (Live)
9. Black Lotus (Live)
10. Staying Alive (Live)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Rooms Filled With LightRooms Filled With Light is the sophomore release from the London-based indie pop band Fanfarolo and follow-up to their internationally acclaimed 2009 debut Reservoir. The album marks a major step forward for Fanfarlo and finds the band incorporating new textures into their already eclectic sonic palette, replacing acoustic guitars with electric and using synths and samplers instead of mandolins and glockenspiels. Rooms Filled With Light retains the lyrical and musical themes of its predecessor while expanding upon them with increased dynamics and more emphasis on atmosphere. The 12-song set was produced by by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley) and engineered by award-winning producer/engineer David Wrench (Bat For Lashes, Everything Everything, Beth Orton) at North Wales Bryn Derwen Recording Studio.1. Replicate
4. Shiny Things
6. Everything Turns
11. A Flood
12. Everything Resolves$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Gray Waves (Discontinued)Hailing from Athens, GA, Twin Tigers are ready to unleash their dynamic sound unto the world. Along with other elements of the past five decades of rock music, Twin Tigers blend noise textures with pop structure and shoegaze overtones shaping a sound that's all new.
Formed by co-workers at the Grit restaurant, guitarist/vocalist Matthew Rain and bassist Aimee Morris began Twin Tigers as their previous bands dissolved. In February of 2008, the Curious Faces/Violet Future EP was released to critical acclaim. The band quickly started building a solid fan base throughout the southeast and played shows with Deerhunter, Dead Confederate, Black Lips, Dungen, Woods, Snowden and A Place to Bury Strangers.
After a slew of revolving guitarists and drummers the band debuted its current lineup with drummer Doug Crump and guitarist Forrest Hall, opening for Les Savy Fav at the Earl in Atlanta only a few weeks before their first trip to SXSW 2009. Upon returning from SXSW, the band began recording Gray Waves which is being released courtesy of Brooklyn based Old Flame Records.1. Passive Idol
2. Red Fox Run
5. Sexless Love
6. Gray Waves
9. Crystal Highway
10. Island$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Into The WideThe fourth album from San Diego-bred five-piece Delta Spirit, Into the Wide was born in a flood-ruined, cave-like, rat-colonized room in the band's new hometown of Brooklyn. After spending more than a year writing together in the windowless studio they rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy wreaked its havoc, the group resurfaced with a batch of demos and headed to Georgia to team up with Ben Allen (a
producer/engineer known for his work with artists like Animal Collective and Deerhunter). Recorded near an old shipping yard in Atlanta, Into the Wide intimately captures the claustrophobia of Delta Spirit's creative space, turning that tension into a moody meditation on the restlessness of city life, growing older, and longing for escape. With its lyrics largely inspired by the murder ballads of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Into the Wide proves more darkly charged than anything the band's ever offered up before but - thanks to their command of both indelible melody and sprawling, atmospheric arrangements - ultimately emerges as Delta Spirit's most gloriously heavy album so far.1. Push It
2. From Now On
3. Live On
4. Take Shelter
5. Hold My End Up
6. Into the Wide
7. Language of the Dead
8. For My Enemy
11. War Machine
12. The Wreck$23.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
All Are SavedNever settling down for a second, Fred Thomas has spent the last decade and a half flying just beneath the radar of most listeners, but amassing a dedicated grassroots collection of friends and admirers.
"All Are Saved" is technically the eighth Fred Thomas solo album, and possibly the best yet.
The result of over a year of recording, refinement and long-labored sonic sculpting, these eleven tracks are the culmination of everything Fred Thomas has done before while being a decidedly bold move into brand new territory. Heavy, poetic lyrics are more spoken than sung, recalling the urgency and straightforwardness
of cult bands like The Van Pelt or Life Without Buildings, while each song builds on a patchwork of grainy samples, dreamlike guitar figures and deftly produced clashes of organic instrumentation
and vintage synth textures.
Fred's dabblings in melancholic chamber pop (Saturday Looks Good To Me), ambient electronics (City Center), jangly but angular guitar playing (Failed Flowers) experimental production and jaw-droppingly confessional lyricism are all distilled into one unflinching statement. These are the raw nerves of the friendliest guy
at the party, spilling out shamelessly naked feelings. The album features mixing assistance on many songs from Drew Vandenburg (of Montreal, Deerhunter), and several guest spots from friends in bands like People Get Ready, Radiator Hospital, Known Moons and even a guest backing vocal cameo from Andrew W.K.1. Every Song Sung To A Dog
2. When They Built The Schools
4. Cops Don't Care Pt. II
5. Monster Movie
6. Bad Blood
7. Unfading Flower
8. Bed Bugs
9. Expo '87
10. Thesis (Lear)
11. Doggie$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Body FaucetThere is no pretense behind the Athens, GA four-piece Reptar (named after a Rugrats character) and consisting of Graham Ulicny (guitar/vocals), William Kennedy (analog keyboards), Ryan Engelberger (bass) and Andrew McFarland (drums). Still, the ability to amuse and arouse their fans is just as important to them as indulging their musical curiosities. This sonic wanderlust extends from African Music to post-punk to psych-pop and converges joyously in songs such as Blastoff and Rainbounce among others.
Their aesthetic percolates even more vibrantly through their debut LP, Body Faucet, to be released on Vagrant Records. A set of shimmering sing-along anthems produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Washed Out), Body Faucet is propelled by jerky guitars and persistent beats. The record feels like a big dream with different chapters, says Ryan. Ghost Bike captures the space between witnessing a friend's death and surviving it. In Sebastian (named after a saint who became a gay icon), it's experiencing, then remembering, a sexual awakening with a close friend.
Lyrics and music flow in a liquid form from real places, each song oozing with a different color and substance. We wanted to capture the thoughts we project on our surroundings and the ideas that flow in and out of us each day, says Graham. Indeed, much of the record deals with exploring and interacting with one's surroundings in new, occasionally frustrating, ways. The album builds with songs such as New House, expressing a future of possibilities. A centerpiece of sorts, notes Andrew, it's the most driving song on the record, and it's really empowering live.1. Sebastian
2. Please Don't Kill Me
3. Isoprene Bath
4. Orifice Origami
5. Houseboat Babies
6. Natural Bridge
7. Ghost Bike
8. New House
9. Thank You Gliese 370 b
10. Sweet Sipping Soda
11. Three Shining Suns
12. Water Runs$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-ANTI-7711xLost In The Trees
Includes CD Of Full Album
When Lost In The Trees set out to record Past Life, their
third album for ANTI-, they knew they needed a break
with the past. On their first two releases Picker had used an
expanded six-member band to render his carefully composed,
classical-inflected songs. For the new album, the band is pared
to a lean electronic-rock four-piece; the arrangements are modern,
spare, minimal, emphasizing groove and rhythm, blending the sonic architecture of 21st century electronic dance music, and the sensual swerve
of post-Bowie 80s pop.
The band made their next break with past practice by electing to work with
an outside producer for the first time. Nicolas Vernhes, whose credits include
breakthrough albums from Deerhunter, Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective, endorsed the band's new minimal aesthetic, and the
question in the studio became, "How much can we strip
away?" But fans that came to the band lured by the lush
classicism of All Alone In An Empty House and A Church That
Fits Our Needs (the Wall Street Journal's album of the year in 2012)
will not be disappointed. The haunting lyricism of Picker's voice and
melodies has not diminished in the new sparer approach, but instead rises
to the fore, bringing out that timeless quality of the melodies that is the common
ground of both folk and pop music. This pop quality, buried but always present
in previous efforts, shines on Past Life; not pop in any trivial, retro sense, but the
yearning lilt of Harry Nilsson or Mark Hollis, that floating melodicism that Relix
found so "achingly beautiful."1. Excos
2. Past Life
3. Lady In White
4. Daunting Friend
7. Glass Harp
9. Night Walking
10. Upstairs$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
180-Gram Light Blue Vinyl In Gatefold Jacket
Vinyl Includes 18x24 Poster With Artwork By David Barnes
Recorded At Sonic Ranch (Band Of Horses, Animal Collective)
Engineered by Drew Vandenberg (Kishi Bashi, Deerhunter)
"Whether exposing light or dark, or some blank hue in the middle,
Barnes has all but bulls-eyed his status as a brilliantly daring artist."
"A thrilling, carnival-like atmosphere around Barnes' fractured perspective."
- AV Club
"A golden despondency" is how Kevin Barnes translates the meaning behind
Aureate Gloom, the title he gave of Montreal's thirteenth full-length album.
The oxymoron is one Barnes says best describes the overall state of his life and
mental outlook while working on the record - penning lyrics so personal they
sound like entries ripped from a journal that should be permanently kept under
lock and key.
"I was going through a very stormy period in my life and felt like I was just
completely trashed," reveals Barnes. "I might be guilty of sharing or exposing
too much of my private life, but to me the best albums are those that help
people connect with an artist on a deep, human level and that do so without
too much artifice or evasiveness."
Aureate Gloom was recorded directly to tape with musicians Kevin Barnes
(guitar, vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums), Bob Parins (bass), Bennett Lewis
(guitar), and JoJo Glidewell (keys), plus the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg.
The strength of the members' musical rapport was instantly apparent. The
group completed nearly a song a day and even wrote a brand new track
on the spot, "Apollyon Of Blue Room," whose title references a supposedly
haunted bedroom in a hacienda on the studio grounds. With Aureate Gloom,
of Montreal have created one of the most unflinching, confessional and starkly
emotional albums in their career.1. Bassem Sabry
2. Last Rites At The Jane Hotel
3. Empyrean Abattoir
4. Aluminum Crown
5. Virgilian Lots
6. Monolithic Egress
7. Apollyon Of Blue Room
9. Chthonian Dirge For Uruk The Other
10. Like Ashoka's Inferno Of Memory$20.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ParacosmThe music recorded by Ernest Greene as Washed Out has been nothing if not dreamy, and on his second full-length, Paracosm, he takes the dreamlike,
otherworldly atmospheres of his music a huge leap further.
The title refers to a phenomenon in which people create detailed imaginary worlds, and the idea of escaping is all over Paracosm's music and lyrics. Paracosm finds Greene reaching beyond the computers and synths that filled Washed Out's previous recordings, expanding his sonic palette to include over 50 different instruments, the most significant of which turned out to be old keyboards like the
Mellotron, Chamberlin, Novatron, and Optigan.
"I've grown as a songwriter to the point where I
want to have more involved arrangements, and that's really hard to do with sampling," says Greene. "These machines were kind of a happy medium: The sounds have a very worn, distressed quality about them, much like an old sample. But they also offer much more flexibility because they're playable."
Following two years on the road in support of
the critically-acclaimed Within And Without, and the lauded Life Of Leisure EP (which can still be heard during Portlandia's opening credits), he and his wife, Blair (who plays in the Washed Out live band), relocated from the big-city hubbub of Atlanta to a house outside Athens, where Greene could shut out the real world in favor of an alternate universe of his own making. Listeners will be immediately struck by Paracosm's seamless melding of organic and synthetic sounds, and its lighter tone. Greene says: "I knew from the beginning I wanted this record to be optimistic, very much a daytime-sounding album. I think the last record felt more nocturnal in some ways. This one I just imagined being outside, surrounded by a beautiful, natural environment."
With its gorgeous execution and uplifting attitude, Paracosm is primed to be this year's summer record. And it promises to do what its name suggests: take listeners to a better world.
Paracosm was recorded at in Atlanta with Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley, Washed Out - Within and Without) at Maze Studios.1. Entrance
2. It All Feels Right
3. Don't Give Up
5. All I Know
6. Great Escape
8. Falling Back
9. All Over Now$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now