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Life After Death'
Life After DeathReissue of the 1997 second and final studio album from Notorious B.I.G.LP 1
1. Life After Death (Intro)
2. Somebody's Gotta Die
4. Kick In The Door
5. #!*@ You Tonight (feat. R. Kelly)
6. Last Day (feat. The Lox)
7. I Love The Dough (feat. Jay-Z & Angela Winbush)
8. What's Beef
1. B.I.G. (Interlude)
2. Mo Money Mo Problems (feat. Mase & Puff Daddy)
3. Niggas Bleed
4. I Got A Story To Tell
5. Notorious Thugs
6. Miss U
7. Another (feat. Lil' Kim)
8. Going Back To Cali
1. Ten Crack Commandments
2. Playa Hater
3. Nasty Boy
4. Sky's The Limit (feat. 112)
5. The World Is Filled... (feat. Too Short & Puff Daddy)
6. My Downfall (feat. DMC)
7. Long Kiss Goodnight
8. You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)$41.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Death After LifeDeath After Life, Thug Entrancer's debut for Software Recording Co. is
a deliberately realized collection of dance experimentation and hybridized
electronic music with narrow stylistic precedents. It's also a gripping, somber
tide formed from the gravitational pull of an artist's amble through unknown
Ryan McRyhew's footing as a creative lynchpin in the Denver DIY
electronic music scene shued to the other world and beat of the South side
of Chicago in 2011. McRyhew's new home allowed him secluded time and
space to create in-depth and unconditional music as Thug Entrancer. The
move also provided McRyhew direct access to Chicago's dance music history
and the groundbreaking works being crafted in bedrooms and blasted on
speakers throughout his neighborhood.
A summation of varied approaches to electronic music, Thug Entrancer's
multiverse is not dissimilar to other Software artists (Slava and Huerco S.,
for example). McRyhew draws inuence from pioneering electronic and
experimental composers who placed an emphasis on extended development
and technique, alongside early analog dance producers who went all-out and
all-in with little more than a TR-808 in their arsenal.
Death After Life is comprised of eight chapters drawn from the album title,
each numbered I through VIII. These portions underscore a pitch-dark
motif thread throughout the album's fty minutes. Death After Life I is
whittled and icy - long echoed claps and panned sawtooth shapes swelter
around the skittering percussive elements over the four-and-half-minutes of
unsettled, environmental shifting.
Death After Life III delivers rapid-re, straight up acid with a snare heavy rhythm registering in an upper BPM range before fraying into the
sonic beyond. Death After Life V frenetically lashes out with hi-hat
triplets, lower mix perimeter synths and pounding claps / snare at a
breakneck footwork pace.
The album's nal cut is the most up-front Juke number. Altogether shorn of
the more abstract spaces heard earlier, "Death After Life VIII" attacks with
the feel of a live, improvised performance. In fact, the majority of the tracks
on Death A!er Life were composed on the y with very few overdubs and
zero reliance on sampled sources.
While Death After Life reframes elements of Chicago Juke and house in
long-form design, the end result one in which a subtler horizon is discovered,
trumping more palatable musical codes and dissuading us from treating
electronic music, or any genre-stamped style matter, with rote attention.1. Death After Life - I
2. Death After Life - II
3. Death After Life - III
4. Death After Life - IV
5. Death After Life - V
6. Death After Life - VI
7. Death After Life - VII
8. Death After Life - VIII$18.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Death To False MetalFirst Time On Vinyl
Mastered For Vinyl And Lacquers Created By Kevin Gray
Pressed On 180 Gram Black Audiophile Vinyl At RTI
Gatefold Jacket With A Matte Finish
11 X 22 Matte Insert
Limited And Hand Numbered
Death To False Metal is not a traditional collection of studio leftovers or songs from the vault, but a wholly original follow-up to Weezer's just-released Hurley. The album was created using the basic tracks of 10 previously unreleased recordings-nine never-before-heard songs plus one cover-to assemble a brand new and truly modern-sounding record. The result is an evolution for the band, a giant step forward with a nod to the past.
''These were great songs, great recordings, but for some reason they didn't make the final cut for previous records,'' Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo stated. ''Some just weren't right for the albums we were recording at the time-just a bit ahead of their time or too 'rock.' Now, the time is right to introduce them. Together, they are the album that should logically follow Hurley.''
Featuring tracks the band originally began recording from the late '90s to late '00s, Death To False Metal was a labor of love for Cuomo and his co-producer Shawn Everett, as well as the entire band. Each track was individually evaluated by the production team of Cuomo and Everett to figure out how to make each of the songs reach their full potential, and ultimately fit harmoniously on the album. After that process, they then brought in each band member in to complete the parts needed. Some of the ten songs received a major overhaul, while others got the equivalent of a sonic tune-up.
''Turning Up The Radio'' is the result of Cuomo's 2008 collaborative YouTube project, ''Let's Write A Sawng,'' for which he invited fans to submit ideas. As they went through the steps of composing a tune, eventually, 15 people became involved. This track is one of only two songs not solely penned by Weezer for Death To False Metal.
''Blowin' My Stack,'' ''Losing My Mind'' (which features some of the most raw and personal emotions in a Weezer song), ''I'm A Robot,'' and a rock cover of the massive R&B hit ''Un-Break My Heart'' were all first recorded prior to the release of 2005's Make Believe. ''I Don't Want Your Loving'' was originally laid down as a demo for 2002's Maladroit. The abrasive punk-metal ''Everyone'' hails from post-1998 Pinkerton period, as does the pop song ''Trampoline.'' The piano-based ''Odd Couple'' and new-wave-style ''Auto-Pilot'' were laid down prior to 2008's Weezer (aka ''The Red Album'').
The title Death To False Metal comes from a phrase that Cuomo and his younger brother used when they were kids. Musical integrity was a matter of life or death then, and now the new album is a reminder of how important music is for both Weezer and their many fans. At a time when many of their contemporaries seem to have forgotten how to rock, Weezer is ready to teach them. Cuomo and fellow axe-slinger Brian Bell crafted nine epic guitar solos-one for nearly every song on Death To False Metal-and with the band's signature hooks in full effect, Weezer's school of rock is back in session.1. Turning Up The Radio
2. I Don't Want Your Loving
3. Blowin' My Stack
4. Losing My Mind
6. I'm A Robot
8. Odd Couple
10. Un-Break My Heart
11. Mykel & Carli$28.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sentenced To LifeSouthern Lord is proud to unleash the second album from Seattle's barbaric wrecking crew that is Black Breath! Sentenced To Life is the highly anticipated follow-up to the band's raging 2010 debut album, Heavy Breathing. The new album projects an even more vile, metallic sonic attack than its predecessor with a bit less rock and roll swagger and more full-on crushing death metal rage.
This is a product of furious creativity jammed into a short span of time, written in the seemingly endless Winter after returning from their November 2010 European tour. Bearing 10 thunderous tracks in just under 33 minutes, Sentenced to Life features such smashing Black Breath hits as Feast of the Damned, Doomed, Forced Into Possession, Home of the Grave and of course the title anthem Sentenced to Life.
The band once again recorded at God City Studios with Kurt Ballou (Converge, Nails, High on Fire), and had the finished product mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side. Easily the band's most powerful recording to date!1. Feast Of The Damned
2. Sentenced To Life
3. Forced Into Possession
4. Home Of The Grave
5. Endless Corpse
6. Mother Abyss
7. Of Flesh
9. The Flame
10. Obey$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Give Me Convenience Or Give Me DeathRemastered And Available In A Deluxe Gatefold Sleeve
Track for track and album after album, the Dead Kennedys were the most relentlessly political and controversial stateside punk rock band to gain much public notoriety. Originally released in 1987, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death collects 17 of the band's singles, compilation tracks, and rarities spanning the eight years they played together.
This is a wide and deep collection of favorites like California Über Alles and Holiday in Cambodia, but the real reason to pick up this disc is the more obscure and rare material. From 1979, Night of the Living Rednecks has hyperactive mouthpiece Jello Biafra relating a tale of being chased by irate rednecks while the rhythm sections jams. Their version of I Fought the Law rewrites it into a true-to-life murder ballad, while rippers like Life Sentence, Insight, Pull My Strings and Straight A's are off the map unless you were lucky enough to pick up the original singles or compilations that they're pulled from. And Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round is Biafra at his sarcastic best, as he tells of one corporate head instructing another on the economic necessity of a new war. The DKs were a truly important and relevant band, and Give Me Convenience provides 17 livid reasons why. Boy, could we use them now. -- Carl Hanni1. Police Truck
2. Too Drunk To Fuck
3. California UberAlles
4. The Man With The Dogs
6. Life Sentence
7. A Child And His Lawnmower
8. Holiday In Cambodia
9. Night Of The Living Rednecks
10. I Fought The Law
11. Saturday Night Holocaust
12. Pull My Strings
13. Short Songs
14. Straight A's
15. Kinky Sex (Makes The World Go Around)
16. The Prey
17. Buzzbomb From Pasadena$34.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ready To Die
Ranked 133/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Ready to Die is the debut album of American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released September 13, 1994 on Bad Boy Records. The first release on the label, it features production by record producer and Bad Boy founder Sean Puffy Combs, Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson, DJ Premier, and Lord Finesse, among others. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1993 to 1994 at The Hit Factory and D&D Studios in New York City. The partly autobiographical album tells the story of The Notorious B.I.G.'s experiences as a young criminal, referring to himself as the black Frank White. Ready to Die is his only studio album released during his lifetime; B.I.G. was murdered days prior to the release of his second album Life After Death (1997).1. Intro
2. Things Done Changed
3. Gimme the Loot
4. Machine Gun Funk
6. Ready to Die
7. One More Chance
8. Fuck Me (interlude)
9. The What
11. Everyday Struggle
12. Me & My Bitch
13. Big Poppa
15. Friend of Mine
17. Suicidal Thoughts$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Antenna To The AfterworldAs a writer -- of songs, or plays, or short stories -- Smith has never limited himself to one style or
theme. The restless trend of changing gears dramatically continues on Antenna to the Afterworld,
which marks a total musical and narrative shift from last year's Longtime Companion (a country
record that chronicled Smith's break up).
On Antenna to the Afterworld, Smith likens himself to a space being visiting Earth using wry humor,
gritty poetry, and a myriad of musical lenses fleshed out by drummer Kelley Stoltz's Joy Division-like
beats, Ryan Browne's new wavish basslines, and Tahlia Harbour's deadpan vocals.
The murder of a close friend of the band led Smith to think a lot about death and life after death.
Shortly after, a visit to a psychic/medium brought Smith into contact with another friend who had
This encounter with the afterworld inspired many of the lyrics on Sonny & the Sunsets' new record.
And what a strangely entertaining odyssey it turned out to be.1. dark corners
4. path of orbit
5. natural acts
6. girl on the street
7. death scene
10. earth girl
11. green blood$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Music Is You: A Tribute To John Denver15 years after his death and 40 years after the release of his widely beloved song "Rocky Mountain High," ATO Records celebrates John Denver's life and music with The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver. The album features covers of Denver's most popular songs by a diverse group of artists including Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, Train, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and many more. A portion of the proceeds will be benefit environmental initiatives in John's name.1. My Morning Jacket - Leaving on a Jet Plane
2. Dave Matthews - Take Me to Tomorrow
3. Kathleen Edwards - All of My Memories
4. J. Mascis & Sharon Van Etten - Prisoners
5. Train - Sunshine on My Shoulders
6. Old Crow Medicine Show - Back Home Again
7. Lucinda Williams - This Old Guitar
8. Amos Lee - Some Days Are Diamonds
9. Allen Stone - Rocky Mountain High
10. Brett Dennen and Milow - Annie's Song
11. Evan Dando - Looking for Space
12. Emmylou Harris & Brandi Carlile - Take Me Home, Country Roads
13. Blind Pilot - The Eagle and the Hawk
14. Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado
15. Josh Ritter and Barnstar! - Darcy Farrow
16. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Wooden Indian$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Eccentric Soul: The Forte LabelIn 1969, after three years as Soul Sister #1 to James Brown's touring entourage, Marva Whitney came home to Kansas City, putting Ellis Taylor's Forte label back at full fighting strength. She'd calmed aching crowds the day after MLK's death, and she'd lived the life, despite its rigors-to pour out her pain and exuberance on Forte sides including "I've Lived The Life" and "Daddy Don't Know About Sugar Bear," which made national rounds in 1972.
By then, Forte had already done more than deliver Marvelous Marva to market. Taylor worked overtime at KPRS to bring the world The Rayons, who'd stroll their girl group harmonies past Chicago's RCA studios on "Baby Be Good." In '68, The Four Darlings sauntered in with smoky-voiced soul operatics on the demanding "Give Me Love." Progressing in the middle '70s, Everyday People got "Super Black" on Forte's pine-green label. Still powering forward some 13 years on, Forte redawned with the 1980s, essaying disco funk with Sharon Revoal's "Reaching for Our Star."
Numero 047 Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label charts Kansas City yeoman's work, the Carpets and the Derbys, dapper clothiers mysteriously murdered, and marriages made and broken. In 28 LP tracks, plus a trove of promo headshots and every-hued label scans
detailing all iterations of Forte's logo in print, this 16th Eccentric Soul sojourn hands over vivid floor shakers and lost dance craze records alike-though what moves "The Hen" required remains anyone's guess.LP1
1. Gene Williams - Don't Let Your Love Fade Away
2. Lee Harris - I'm Gonna Get Your Thing
3. Tear Drops - I'm Gonna Get You
4. Louis Chachere - The Hen Part 1
5. The Fantasticks - Cry Night And Day
6. Marva W Taylor - I've Lived The Life
7. Fabulous Rhythm Makers - Mini Mini Afro Twist
8.Tony Ashley & the Delicates - I'll Never Be Satisfied
9. The Rayons - You Confuse Me Baby
10. The Four Darlings - Baby Your Love Is Amazing
11. Lee Harris - Lookin' Good
12. Marva Whitney - Daddy Don't Know About Sugar Bear
13: Gene Williams - Whatever You Do (Do It Good)
14. Everyday People - Is It Really That Bad
1. The Rayons - Baby Be Good
2. Tony Ashley & the Delicates - All Along I've Loved You
3. Lee Harris - I've Got To Have Somebody's Love
4. Everyday People - Super Black
5. James Whitney - With Fun In My Life
6. Sharon Revoal - Reaching For Our Star
7. Marva W Taylor - Nothing I'd Rather Be (Than Your Weakness)
8. Four Darlings - Give Me Love
9. Unknown Artist - Dearest Lover
10. Fantasticks - Live And Let Live
11. Fabulous Rhythm Makers - Ya Gotta Be Doing It
12. Lee Harris - Skate Boogaloo and Karate Too
13. Tear Drops - Don't Fade Away
14. Marva Whitney & Ellis "Gripey" Taylor - We Need More (But Somebody Gotta Sacrifice)$31.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Sound Of RevolutionWarzone was a hardcore punk band from New York City. Anti-racist skinhead frontman Raymond "Raybeez" Barbieri was the group's only consistent member between its formation on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1982 until Barbieri's untimely death due to pneumonia on September 11, 1997. A U.S. Navy veteran, he was receiving treatment that many fans and friends have claimed was shamefully inadequate in a Veterans Health Administration facility when the illness damaged his liver and took his life at the age of 35.
Raybeez's small but loyal following accompanied the former Agnostic Front drummer from the nascent days before the "Youth Crew" era in hardcore punk, on and off of three record labels, before finally turning out en masse for two sold-out benefit shows following his passing.
He is often cited as one of the seminal influences in the genre, as well as one of its first major losses. Unlike the larger body of punk music, the highly youth-oriented hardcore music had previously felt very few such outpourings of grief. In the days after his passing, a sign hung from the awning in front of CBGBs that simply said "R.I.P. Ray." For more than a year following his death, every release on the Victory Records label was dedicated to his memory, as well as two independent compilations. Like the benefit shows following his death, these albums raised funds for several not-for-profit groups Ray had worked for which helped at-risk youth.1. S.O.S.
2. United Worldwide
3. At War With Reality
5. Throw Me a Line
7. The Sound of Revolution
8. The Snake & The Lion
9. Free at Last
10. We Won't Forget
11. Warzone$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Orchard (Out Of Stock)Ra Ra Riots debut full-length, The Rhumb Line, was released in the summer of 2008, and it
brought with it some beautiful and sparkly ruminations on the fragile things in life (namely
life, death and love), much critical praise, and the kind of success thats measured not just
by sales (although 65k US album scans and 130k US track downloads is nothing to sneeze
at these days for a brand-new indie artist) but by appearances on Letterman, Ferguson, and
Conan, plus Lollapalooza, All Points West, and Sasquatch festival plays.
After spending much of the summer and fall of 2009 alternately touring the US with Death
Cab for Cutie, headlining their own packed shows, and retreating to a country property in
upstate New York to write and record, the band announced this summers upcoming arrival of
their new album The Orchard on the eve of a 2010 appearance at the prestigious Coachella
Anticipation is feverish for new music, and the new album is an incredibly self-assured step
for the band, delivering both hook-laden pop jams like first single Boy and the
new-but-familiar-to-live-audiences Too Dramatic and ruminative slow-burns like the Anton
Chekov/Kate Bush-inspired The Orchard and album-closer Keep It Quiet.the orchard
you and i know
do you remember
keep it quiet$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Songs In A&EWho would have thought that Jason Pierce's Spiritualized would have had any life in them after the rather uninspiring Amazing Grace in 2003? In the intervening five years, Pierce nearly died from double pneumonia. Near death experiences by their very nature are life-changing events. The music on Songs in A&E were recorded in that aftermath, but most of the album was written two years before he got sick; with so much of it about near death and survival, it feels like life imitating art. From the first notes of Sweet Talk, it's obvious that a very different Spiritualized is up and about; an acoustic guitar, a sparse drum kit, the voice quartet, a few horns, and a minimal bassline fuel it. Pierce sweetly croons to a loved one in waltz time; his words are
simultaneously appeasing and accusatory. The gospel chorus isn't as overblown as it was on Amazing Grace or Let It Come Down. They are in a support role, offering Pierce's reedy voice a fullness and authority it wouldn't have otherwise. The arrangement is lilting but powerful. How strange, then, the sounds of a ventilator that usher in the next track Death Take Your Fiddle: I think I'll drink myself into a coma/And I'll take every way out I can find/But morphine, codeine, Whisky, they won't alter/The way I feel/Now death is not around...Death take your fiddle/And play a song for me. Minor-key acoustic
guitar and ghostly bass frame Pierce singing a mutant folk-blues that evokes Gary Davis' Death Don't Have No Mercy. The backing vocals float
wordlessly like death angels, hovering around the vocalist and giving the tune an otherworldly quality.
But this isn't a song about dying; it's a song about coming close and cheating it; it's eerie. The proof? The next two tracks: I Gotta Fire, and Soul on
Fire. The former is a taut, Gimme Shelter-esque rocker, the latter, a lush, uptempo love song. Sitting on Fire is a beautifully orchestrated love song:
it's an admission of weakness and codependency but celebrates both of them at the same time: Baby, I'm sitting on fire/but the flames put a hole in my
heart/when we're together we stand so tall/But a part of me falls to the floor/Sets me free /I do believe it'll burn up in me for the rest of my life. Strings,
vibes, marimbas, and drums crash in to the center of the mix carrying the protagonist into oblivion. Yeah, Yeah is a scorching rocker that feels like the
Bad Seeds meeting the old Spacemen 3. You Lie You Cheat, crashes in Velvets style with acoustic guitar and screeching feedback. The chorus sings
atop a flailing drum kit, distorted strings, and wailing electric guitar. The marimbas and strings that power Baby, I'm Just a Fool, sweetly underscore a
very dark pop song, complete with da-do-da-do-dat det-det-do's. It descends into beautifully textured chaos led by a loopy violin solo over seven
minutes. Songs in A&E is the most consistent recording Spiritualized has issued since 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. It
contains the best elements of the band's signature sound, and paradoxically hedonistic yet utterly spiritual lyric themes. That said, newly focused energy,
willfully restrained arrangements, and taut compositions give the set a sheer emotional power that no Spiritualized recording has ever displayed before,
making it, quite possibly, their finest outing yet.
- Thomas Jurek (All Music)LP1
1. Harmony 1 (Mellotron)
2. Sweet Talk
3. Death Take Your Fiddle
4. I Gotta Fire
5. Soul on Fire
6. Harmony 2 (Piano)
7. Sitting on Fire
8. Yeah Yeah
9. You Lie You Cheat
1. Harmony 3 (Voice)
2. Baby I'm Just a Fool
3. Don't Hold Me Close
4. Harmony 4 (The Old Man )
5. The Waves Crash In
6. Harmony 5 (Accordion)
7. Borrowed Your Gun
8. Harmony 6 (Glockenspiel)
9. Goodnight Goodnight$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Battle ScarsThe title Battle Scars stands for Walter battling his illness and coming out victorious thanks to his liver transplant. Each song has a specific story from Walter's experience with life and almost death. Walter returned live on stage at the Royal Albert Hall only 13 months after his successful life-saving liver transplant. •Walter has mesmerized guitar fans around the globe with his masterful phrases and unique style01. Almost Gone
02. Omaha Prelude
04. Tomorrow Seems So Far Away
05. Please Take Me Home
06. Playin' Hideaway
07. Haunted By The Night
08. Fly Away
09. Move On
10. My Ship Came In
11. Cold, Cold Ground
12. Gonna Live Again$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
AlmanacWidowspeak is an American band comprised of Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock and roll. Their self-titled debut was praised for its reverential spaciousness, Hamilton's haunting voice, and Thomas's sinister Morricone-esque guitar lines. On their second album, Almanac, the duo explores denser arrangements and new sonic territory, from Saharan rhythms to Appalachian-inspired melodies, all delivered with stoic, wistful restraint. Named after those annual tomes which provide agricultural advice, chart weather patterns and astronomocal phenomena, Almanac likewise tracks the life and death of seasons, youth, love, and the cyclical nature of all things.
The album was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) in a hundred year old barn in the Hudson River Valley of New York State during the transition from summer to fall. Producing with McMahon, Thomas expanded on the band's demos, crafting layers of guitar, Rhodes piano, organ and harmonium.1. Perennials
2. Dyed In The Wool
3. The Dark Age
4. Thick as Thieves
6. Ballad of the Golden Hour
7. Devil Knows
8. Sore Eyes
11. Spirit is Willing
12. Storm King$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Infinity CallerWhat do you do when irrational guilt and fear start to steer the ship? When you're a kid living in the Dallas suburbs it's relatively predictable; you start to see a shrink, take some prescribed meds, and as soon as you have access, numb the voices with
drugs and alcohol. Not a particularly novel or interesting trajectory, but what if those voices just keep getting louder, consuming every waking moment, leaving you effectively paralyzed or twitching with paranoia? After a while, succumbing to these voices might seem self-indulgent, a cry for attention, or just boilerplate teenage histrionics. What do you do when you're 30; a grown-ass-man still tethered to the beast that dictated your life throughout your formative years? You could do a lot of things, but if you're Travis Johnson of the band Grooms, you stop drinking, soberly stare the demons in the face, and start writing songs.
Johnson's OCD (a religion-centric form of OCD called Scrupulosity) has guided all of his adult life's pursuits, from inspiring his initial interest in music to his current day job making guitar pedals at Brookyn's Death By Audio. After releasing two albums on the prestigious indie label Kanine Records, the band still hadn't gained enough traction to support themselves with their music and they were understandably ready to call it quits. However, in 2011, impressed with their albums and live shows, author Michael Azerrad invited Grooms to perform at his Our Band Could Be Your Life show alongside St. Vincent, Ted Leo, Wye Oak, Dan Deacon, and WV alumni Dirty Projectors. It was a huge opportunity for the band, and the catalyst for what would become their
new album Infinity Caller. Azerrad's enthusiasm and encouragement gave Johnson the confidence to soldier on, keep making music, and ultimately find peace of mind.1. Lion Name
2. I Think We're Alone Now
3. Sleep Detective
4. Iskra Goodbye
6. Susie Jo
8. Very Very Librarian
9. Sometimes Sometimes
10. Something I Learned Today
11. Infinity Caller$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Last Days of OaklandFantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to make it, who got it, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn't, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.
The first life ('who am I and where am I going?'). Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. When, at the age of 12, Negrito's family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, he was hit with an intense culture shock. Oakland in 1980s was a million miles from Negrito's conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day, living in the heart of one of the wildest, most infamous, most vibrant black communities in the nation. Shit was extra real in Oakland.
By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, but he was also caught up in street shit. This went on for several years until a near death encounter with masked gunmen. After that Negrito packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette.
The second life ('I want to be a star I think'). It didn't take long for Negrito to find himself entrenched in the 'Hollywood' lifestyle; clubs and bitches and bullshit politics that have nothing to do with great music. Negrito signed with a big time manager and soon after that, a million dollar deal at Interscope and soon after that, creative death.
The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. He was infected by the constant emphasis on 'what would sell'; which looks, hooks and gimmicks would attract an audience. He lost all sense of himself. The songs stopped coming to him, so he quit. He sold all of his shit and he quit.
In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Though he rehabbed intensely for several years, the damage was permanent. In 2008, he returned home to Oakland.
The third life (the birth of Negrito). Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He settled down, planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. This is when his specific POV of the world came into focus. His conservative Muslim values melded with the liberal, multi-cultural world of Oakland. The cynicism that comes from struggle made room for the hope that comes from cheating death. He truly knew who he was. He was confident about his place in the world because he understood it as much as any man can. And then his son was born.
With his son's entrance into the world, all the creative energy Negrito bottled for years came rushing out. His musical choices were sharp and without doubt. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. Fuck what's hot now, what moves me? Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta.
For Fantastic Negrito, derivative is the devil so to ensure his sound is his own, every chord comes from a place of immediacy. Immediacy opens the door for instinct. Instinct is God's tool that makes an artist into an individual. Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip Woods intact and builds bridges to modernity by looping and sampling his own live instruments.
When you listen to Negrito, you're invited to hear the story of life after destruction. Your dream can die. You probably will give up. But from there, you can start everything over.1. Intro - The Last Days of Oakland
2. Working Poor
3. About A Bird
4. Scary Woman
5. Interlude - What Would You Do?
6. The Nigga Song
7. In the Pines (Oakland)
8. Hump Thru the Winter
9. Lost In A Crowd
10. Interlude 2 - El Chileno
11. The Worst
12. Rant Rushmore
13. Nothing Without You
14. Push Back
15. The Shadows$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Recent SongsRecent Songs is the sixth studio album by Leonard Cohen, released in 1979. It was a return to Cohen's acoustic folk music after the Phil Spector experimentation of Death of a Ladies' Man, but now with many jazz and Oriental influences.
The album includes Gypsy violin player Raffi Hakopian, and even a Mexican Mariachi band. Long-time Cohen collaborator Jennifer Warnes prominently appears in vocal tracks. Members of the band Passenger played on four of the songs and Garth Hudson of The Band also appeared on the album.
Came So Far for Beauty seems to be an unaltered outtake from the unfinished 1975 album Songs for Rebecca , which also included early versions of The Traitor and The Smokey Life (then with music by John Lissauer).
Ballad of the Absent Mare's metaphoric lyrics are based on the twelfth-century Ten Bulls (or Ten Ox-herding Pictures). The song is covered by several artists, notably Emmylou Harris on the album Cowgirl's Prayer (as Ballad of a Runaway Horse).
This album comes with a lyric sheet.1. The Guests
2. Humbled In Love
3. The Window
4. Came So Far For Beauty
5. The Lost Canadian (Un Canadien Errant)
6. The Traitor
7. Our Lady Of Solitude
8. The Gypsy's Wife
9. The Smokey Life
10. Ballad Of The Absent Mare$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Algiers"This is revolutionary music in the truest sense of
the word. It demands action. It requires penance. It
destroys expectations." - Stereogum
"The Death Grips of gospel torching the South's
dark underbelly." - Rolling Stone
The debut LP by Algiers is haunted by promises of the past:
the rapturous call and response of millenarian gospel, the
bellowing urgency of 60s protest soul, the scene-searching
intensity of DC hardcore and the smeared viscosity of
post-punk and no wave. After all, as Marx once said: "The
tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare
on the brains of the living." But rather than revel in a state
of nostalgia, the band wields these burdened visions to
charge headlong into the future.
Over the album's eleven tracks, these three ÉmigrÉs of
the American Deep South lay waste to appropriators,
oppressors, revivalists and the cultural shock troops of
capitalism. Vocalist Franklin James Fisher's every shriek and
incantation will take you from the sweaty fervor of Dennis
Edwards-era Temptations through the righteous rebellion
of Nina Simone to the solitary midnight howls of PJ Harvey.
Shards of Lee Tesche's guitar, along with Ryan Mahan's
bass pulses and synthesizer slashes, pierce through the
processional, transforming neo-modernist hymns with
explosions of foreboding and dread that evoke the
vanguard of pop experimentation from Suicide to Roland
In an era when political subjectivity and human connectivity
have been smashed to pieces by the demands of finance
capital, Algiers has taken its stance: to maintain fidelity to
these subversive spirits and trudge toward the light. While
they may never arrive at their destination - consigned to a
life of wandering - they conjure the dead sound to life in
frightening new directions.1. Remains
3. And When You Fall
5. Old Girl
6. Irony. Utility. Pretext.
7. But She Was Not Flying
8. Black Eunuch
10. In Parallax
11. 11$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mighty Real: Greatest Dance HitsTwenty-five years after his untimely death at the age of 41, the iconic legacy of Sylvester, the "Queen of Disco," will be resurrected with "Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits," due out June 25 (international release dates vary) on Fantasy Records.
This collection will celebrate the life and music of the artist who once danced his way into the hearts and minds of the disco and LGBT communities.
A quarter of a century after his passing, Sylvester will make a fabulous debut back into a prolific time in the LGBT community just the way he would have liked it - through dance music. This 11-track release, available on CD and on double pink vinyl, will feature a number of original album tracks and 12" mixes that are rare or no longer available on CD, as well as the brand new remix of the iconic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Grammy-nominated remixer and DJ, Ralphi Rosario (Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Madonna).
As a dear friend of Harvey Milk and an icon to the LGBT community, Sylvester has long held a special place in music and socio-political history. Sylvester was not only one of the first disco stars to stand openly gay, but bravely crossed beyond the boundaries of race, gender and sexuality to become a proud figure of the gay liberation movement.
"Sylvester James was an unlikely star: an androgynous, cross-dressing, openly gay, African-American, falsetto-singing, unapologetically flaming man-diva influenced primarily by church women, black blues singers, drag queens, hippies and homos," liner notes writer Joshua Gamson said. "Like very few before him, and quite a few after, Sylvester rode his marginality right into the mainstream."
A Los Angeles local, Sylvester found his home in the vibrant subcultural scenes of San Francisco in the late 1960s. As the community around him became devastated with AIDS, Sylvester's music took on a sort of weary determination, becoming a call to live, to keep dancing and to keep loving.
Sylvester died on Dec. 16, 1988 and bequeathed royalties from the sale of his music to benefit two charitable organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area: the AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand.
"Decades later, even as strides have been made in the fight against the disease that has taken so many lives, Sylvester's music lives on, a call to be fabulous against the odds," Gamson said.
"Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits" was produced by Tom Cartwright and Chris Clough on Fantasy Records with liner notes written by Gamson, author of "The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco."
The Double Pink Vinyl edition features all 11 tracks on two 12" pink vinyl LPs.1. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) [Ralphi Rosario Dub Remix]
2. Dance (Disco Heat)
4. Can't Stop Dancing
6. Over And Over
7. I Need Somebody To Love Tonight
8. Sell My Soul
9. I Need You
10. Body Strong
11. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Nightingale FloorsNightingale Floors is the fifth studio album from Rogue Wave. This release follows the band's 2010 album Permalight and the debut track from the album, titled College, is already streaming via Soundcloud.
The brainchild of Zach Schwartz (aka Zach Rogue) Rogue Wave formed in 2002 in Oakland, CA. While the line-up has changed from album to album the two constants have always been Zach and drummer Pat Spurgeon. Nightingale Floors finds the group secure in its sound and brimming with confidence. The result can only be described as a triumphant return to form.
Meditations on life and death dominate Nightingale Floors, in large part because Rogue's father passed away during the writing of the record. But far from being a downer, Rogue has used the experience to find peace and, ultimately, happiness in facing up to the short time we have on Earth and appreciate everything around him. Much has been written about Rogue Wave's misfortune over the years, and it's true that for such a nice bunch of guys, they certainly have had their fair share of bad luck.
Rogue Wave tapped Release The Sunbird s mixer John Congleton (whose impressive rÉsumÉ includes Modest Mouse, The Walkmen, David Byrne & St. Vincent, and Explosions In The Sky) to produce the record just north of Oakland at Cotati's Prairie Sun Recording Studios. With the assistance of touring bassist Masanori Mark Christianson, Peter Wolf Crier s Peter Pisano (guitar), Sea Of Bees Jules Baenziger (vocals), and Mwahaha s Ross Peacock (synth manipulation), Rogue, Spurgeon, and Christianson channeled their energies into 10 smart, dynamic songs that range from opener No Magnatone and its dreamy washes of sound to the big, catchy rock of College to the gentle The Closer I Get to the moody yet epic closer Everyone Wants To Be You. The music is as thoughtfully conceived as you'd expect from Rogue Wave, and there s an emotional energy behind the tracks that lingers on long after the album's last note.1. No Magnatone
3. Figured It Out
4. Siren's Song
5. The Closer I Get
7. Used To It
8. Without Pain
9. When Sunday Morning Comes
10. Everyone Wants To Be You$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Italian Movie SoundtracksImport
Chet Baker had a long and complicated relationship with Italy. It was a country where he was both imprisoned and adored. His first visit there took place in 1955, during his first successful European tour. It was during this tour that the quartet's pianist, the talented Dick Twardzik, tragically died in Paris from a heroin overdose. Baker was devastated, and following Twardzik's death - for which he felt some level of responsibility - the trumpeter submerged himself in the drug world and in a self-destructive spiral which would last for the rest of his life. Baker would stay in Europe for a number of months after Twardzik's death, playing with different local musicians.
Baker made his way back to New York in mid-1956 and wouldn't return to Italy until the 1959 trip that yielded the recordings included here. In fact, as Ezio Leoni (the musician in charge of the sessions) explained that Chet's trip to Milan took place in order to make two albums (one with strings and orchestra, the other with a small combo of Italian players). Baker was already an addict when the contract was signed, and before he could travel he was imprisoned in the States. Therefore, the sessions had to be postponed and shortly after this music was recorded Baker would be imprisoned again, this time in Italy. Prior to his Italian imprisonment he made the two albums expected of him and recorded some interesting tracks for movie soundtracks with different bands conducted by Piero Umiliani, which are presented on this LP. All of that music is also contained here, including a vocal version of "Arrivederci" which has been taken from the original movie itself and, for that reason, has some odd overdubbed dialogues in Italian.1. Tensione
2. Alone In A Crowd (Solti Ignoti)
3. Relaxin' With Chet
4. I Soliti Ignoti (Lyda / Movimenti Con Swing)
5. Tema D'Amore (Sentirsi Solo)
7. Smog (Introduzione e Finale)
8. Twilight In Los Angeles (Smog Versione Strumentale)
9. Thinking Blues (Hollywood Tonight)
10. Improvvisando In Blues
12. Furtivamente$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Angels & DevilsIt's after the end of the world, don't you know that yet...
With recent reports from various think tanks predicting we have somewhere in the range of 15 years left before the collapse of society begins, it would seem like Kevin Martin's sonic predictions of dystopian London that were set out on 2008's London Zoo were pretty accurate. And if we are in fact declining rapidly to chaos, there's no better time then the present to take the focus of that sonic assault from earthly domains and blast it to the netherworlds above and below.
The aforementioned London Zoo is where Kevin Martin, found his true voice. Pulling the fringes into a collective, unilaterally hateful assault. A psychological warfare driven by bass that on one hand captured a moment of London, yet also encapsulated a global message influenced by years of timeless and classic out-music.
The latest offering from the The Bug, Angels & Devils, escapes the London cage, drawing on it for influence yet blowing it up into a world-view now seen from Kevin Martin's new Berlin home. A record that simultaneously draws on London Zoo, completes a triptych cycle which started with his Bug debut Pressure, and fills the spaces between and inserts what was missing previously. Both a year zero re-set and a continuation of what has been. Like the Bowie/Eno classic Low, or Can's Tago Mago, the album is split into two distinct themes and explorations of light & dark. Bringing the angel & devil voices together under a single common banner. Antagonist at times, but not solely for the sake of being antagonistic, there's a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic. Truly only The Bug could find the common ground between Liz Harris (of Grouper) & Death Grips and make it seamless. Angels & Devils stretches the polarity of its predecessor in both directions simultaneously and is even more extreme for its new found seductiveness and added intensity. Deep space is explored, and physical assault is administered. In these days of YouTube quick fixes, and single tune memory spans, its a joy to witness Martin actually charting a cohesive narrative that rejoices in celebrating life through sonic sex and violence, beauty and ugliness. This is an audio thriller that delights in pursuing its own singular path/vision.
With the Angel side(s) up first, things kick off with Liz Harris (of Grouper) in the submerged lushness that is Void. Followed by contributions from ex Hype Wiliams half copeland (Fall), the blissed out patois of touring partner Miss Red (Mi Lost), two truly zoned Bug instrumentals, and rounded out by Gonjasufi on Save Me. It's a collection of heady, dubbed out cinematic blissfulness with a lurking darkness before giving way to devils...
Devils leads off with the return of long time collaborator Flowdan on the mic and the guitar of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh / Jesu) bringing a complete about face to the proceedings and setting the tone with The One. Roll Deep's Manga steps up next with the instant Bug classic Function, which is being currently smashed on dubplate, by Mala, Kahn and Logan Sama. Death Grips raise the antagonistic bar with Fuck A Bitch. Flowdan & Justin Broadrick come back for the cinematic death crawl of Fat Mac. Warrior Queen steps in for hands down the nastiest vocal she's ever delivered (which is saying a lot) for Fuck You, and finally Flowdan steps up again to round it all off with a Devils battle cry of sorts dirty, fuck that murky....
The concept is completed by the artistic expression it's packaged in, courtesy of Simon Fowler (Cataract). Known for his work for Sunn O))), Earth, and others, Simon has delivered a stunning hand drawn illustration, that sort that would make Bosch proud, showing the duality of the proceedings.
Utopian/dystopian, black/white, complexity/singularity, negative/positive... Angels/Devils.1. Void (Featuring Liz Harris)
2. Fall (Featuring copeland)
4. Mi Lost (Featuring Miss Red)
6. Save Me (Featuring Gonjasufi)
7. The One (Featuring Flowdan)
8. Function (Featuring Manga)
9. Fuck a Bitch (Featuring Death Grips)
10. Fat Mac (Featuring Flowdan)
11. Fuck You (Featuring Warrior Queen)
12. Dirty (Featuring Flowdan)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
SmashPianist's First New Studio Album in More Than Four Years Masterfully Unites Harmony and Melody Via Uncommon Delicacy, Tonal Intimacy
Barber Defies Expectations, Channels Melancholic Experiences Into Expressionistic Poetry and Attractive Arrangements
Instant Audiophile Classic: Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP Set Renders Atmospherics, Whisper-Soft Transients, Acoustic Dimensions, and Images With Utmost Detail and Precision
"No One Else Writes or Sounds Like This"-Chicago Tribune
Accessible and complicated, alluring and challenging, sensuous and liberating, Patricia Barber's Smash once and for all confirms the pianist/singer exists in an elevated artistic plane reached by none of her generational peers. Four years in the making, and the beloved musician's first studio record since 2008, her Concord Records debut defies expectations and crystallizes her status as a preeminent songwriter. Informed by personal episodes of significant loss and yearning, the album masterfully unites harmony and melody via uncommon delicacy, tonal intimacy, and ethereal surrealism. It will likely stand as 2013's finest jazz effort, an instant classic.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 2LP possesses audiophile-quality fidelity and dynamic transparency unmatched by the commercially released CD. Akin to the reissue label's previous Barber releases, many of which are long out-of-print and command huge sums on the collector's market, Smash brings the singer and her band into your listening room, converting it into a recreation of the stage at Chicago's Green Mill, Barber's home base. Sonic characteristics crucial to Barber's sophisticated compositions-atmospherics, decay, whisper-soft transients, mood, acoustic dimensions, precise imaging-are rendered with utmost detail, balance, and accuracy. All else that's required for your trip to the Green Mill is a stereo and glass of chardonnay.
Punctuated by deft instrumental passages and mysterious verses, Smash marks a triumphant return for Barber after she endured a series of melancholic episodes, including the death of her mother and four other people close to her. In addition, a disagreement with business associate cost her untold amount of money. She also broke away from Blue Note after its president stepped down from his position. Barber channels these painful, often-angry experiences and transitional periods into expressionistic poetry on Smash, transferring her emotions to arrangements that mirror the deep, meaningful cycle of human life and death.
Backed by a brilliant trio, Barber opts for her now-signature subdued methods, allowing each syllable to linger, every note to hover before fading, each rhythmic line to develop unique relationships with the groove. Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich wrote in his rave review of Smash: "No one else writes or sounds like this, in other words, because no one else approaches the art of singing, songwriting, and piano playing with Barber's particular interests. The liquidity of her vocals, the sharp edge of her jazz pianism, and the quirkiness of her original songs cannot be imitated and remain a work in progress."
These aspects, and more, are immediately apparent on Smash, arguably the boldest and most satisfying set of the reclusive talent's career. Her famously seductive and breathy vocals, supple right-hand runs, and nuanced harmonics simultaneously engage, hypnotize, and tempt. Her mates follow suit with aptly sculpted bass lines, taut percussion, and suggestive guitar fills. A model of economical succinctness, Smash takes risks, harbors intensity, and utilizes silences to communicate. It represents a new level for 21st century jazz, and there's no way to better way to experience it and immerse yourself in its powers than via Mobile Fidelity's superb edition.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Code Cool
2. The Wind Song
6. Spring Song
7. Devil's Food
9. The Swim
11. The Storyteller
12. Missing$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
VisualsMew frontman Jonas Bjerre has worked on the projections for the band's live shows since their early days. Usually, the Danish trio finish an album and Bjerre gets to work on the visuals. For their seventh record, though, the singer decided to turn things upside down, working on the visuals first and seeing if they informed the music. The resultant record feels like a culmination for one of rock's most ambitious and inventive groups: Visuals is where Bjerre and his bandmates, bassist Johan Wohlert and drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen, join the dots of a career that has spanned over two decades. "We do everything on this album ourselves," says Bjerre. "We produced it ourselves, I did the artwork, I'm doing the visuals. Visuals felt like a fitting title. I like the idea that each song has a visual aspect to it somehow."
Mew have a tradition of, as Bjerre puts it, hiding away in a cave for three or four years between albums. The tour that accompanied 2015's +- album found the band reaching a creative peak that they felt was too exhilarating to be dampened by a period of extended cave-dwelling. They arrived home with demos that had been written on the road and the spark was lit. They wanted to break the cycle and make an album quickly. "We just felt like, "if we do it the normal way, it's gonna be another three or four years before we get to do it again'," says Bjerre. "If you keep doing it like that, ultimately you make a handful of albums and then you're ready for retirement." The trio wanted to make an album spontaneously, keeping the energy they'd generated on the road going.
They set to work in Copenhagen and started knocking the demos they'd written on tourbuses and in hotel rooms into shape. At the same time, new songs were emerging in reaction to what was going on around them. Mew aren't a political band but couldn't help but be affected by rolling news and the death of an icon. "It was pretty dark last year, so some of the darkness in the lyrics comes from that. You definitely get the feeling that things don't last forever when someone like David Bowie dies." Visuals was completed in just under a year - what Bjerre describes as an "incredible" feat for a band used to periods of prolonged tinkering. "Spending less time on it, you can still maintain the feeling you had when you first wrote it," says Bjerre.
Bjerre doesn't know where Mew songs come from. He finds it hard to pin down his lyrics, his melodies, himself. It's what makes his band so special, that thrill that songs could go anywhere, that understated verses could suddenly rocket skyward, anthemic choruses could implode into beautiful soundscapes or sophisticated grooves could be crushed like a tincan. "I don't consciously know why the songs come out the way they do," says Bjerre. "It's a lot of trial and error for us. Even though a song is on an album, it keeps growing because we get to go out and perform it for an audience. I like the thought it can keep growing. It's never really finished."
Visuals is Mew at their most compact, their chemistry at its most potent. With only one song over five minutes, it's their most concise album. Bjerre says there was no need for a grand, overarching concept. Each song on Visuals represents its own little chapter and story: nothing needed to be overly long. "Each album is like a collection of thoughts and ideas that fit the time we're in," he says. "They're like little diary entries, except they're a little bit more veiled perhaps. To me, albums are memories of times in my life."
The song that led the way was the slow-building euphoria of Nothingness And No Regrets. Bjerre says that Mew lyrics often have two or three different meanings, and the opener is a reflection on life and death at the same time as "imagining this team of people trying to accomplish something and ultimately failing." The expansive 80s-style pop of The Wake Of Your Life is about legacy and what's left after you've gone. "These are things you think about more and more the older you get." It started out as a synth-pop track with lots of programming before taking on a different shape when the band added guitars over the top. "We try to change the method of how we reach the destination all the time cos if you do things the same way all the time, the results will often be very similar," says Bjerre.
The discordant stomp of Candy Pieces All Smeared Out came about after Bjerre went back over some demos he'd made as a youngster on an Omega 500. "Some of them were interesting sonically so I kept some of the programming. We built the song on top of this really weird 8-bit computer track." The song sums up the emotional to and fro and ca
ptivating contrariness at the heart of Visuals: it's an album that's both nostalgic and contemporary, that looks back whilst marching forward.
The blissful glide of In A Better Place is a prime example of the impulsive environment that the songs were written in, a drumbeat by Jorgensen inspiring Bjerre to write a song immediately, whilst the atmospheric rock of Ay Ay Ay was based around a choir part that Bjerre had come up with a few years ago. All of the vocal parts were recorded in the booth that Bjerre had constructed in his apartment in Copenhagen. "I like waking up in the middle of the night and feeling inspired by something and being able to go in my booth and just sing it," he says.
Bjerre says that the celebratory groove of Learn Our Crystals "is one of our weirdest songs." Poppy and fantastical, it had a familiar feeling to the singer as soon as he wrote it. The soulful sway of Shoulders has an R'n'B feel to it, whilst Bjerre had earmarked the mesmerising intricacy Carry Me To Safety as the album's closer as soon as it'd been written. "I just like how it twists and turns," he says. "It's a reflection on life and being in a band, what it means to be in a band, dedicating so many years of your life to this thing."
Twenty years into their career, Mew have the irrepressible ebullience of a band on their debut album. Visuals feels like the beginning of a new chapter. "Mew is what I always come back to, it's a companion to my life. It's always been there, as long as I can remember. It's a big part of the footprint that we'll leave behind," says Bjerre. Mew march on: this is the sound of a band seizing the moment.1. Nothingness and No Regrets
2. The Wake of Your Life
3. Candy Pieces All Smeared Out
4. In a Better Place
5. Ay Ay Ay
6. Learn Our Crystals
7. Twist Quest
11. Carry Me to Safety$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now