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MuchachoMatthew Houck has delivered five albums as Phosphorescent, all with a highly distinctive artistic voice and a refreshing, rolled-sleeves approach to his expression. Now, his sixth album, Muchacho, flashes yet another color in the subtly shifting Phosphorescent spectrum.1. Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction)
2. Song For Zula
3. Ride On / Right On
4. Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master)
5. A Charm / A Blade
6. Muchacho's Tune
7. A New Anhedonia
8. The Quotidian Beasts
9. Down To Go
10. Sun's Arising (A Koan, An Exit)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
To WillieIn 1975, Willie Nelson recorded To Lefty From Willie, ten songs in which Nelson paid homage to Lefty Frizell, reinterpreting his favorites from the Frizzell catalog and stamping them with his unique voice. Now Phosphorescent has done the same for Willie Nelson on this recording of eleven hidden Nelson gems and lost classics. An unabashed musical love letter.1. Reasons To Quit
2. Too Sick To Pray
4. It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
5. Pick Up The Tempo
6. I Gotta Get Drunk
7. Can i Sleep In Your Arms
8. Heartaches Of A Fool
9. Permanently Lonely
10. The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)
11. The Party's Over$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur RussellMaster Mix' embodies the genre-defying, experimental spirit that defined Russell's work. Living in the East Village from the '70s until his untimely death in 1992 at age 40 from AIDS-related causes, Russell moved effortlessly between the city's various music scenes, recording disco beats alongside Nicky Siano one night, and the next, crafting slow, haunting tracks in his apartment with his cello and idiosyncratic warbling voice. The New Yorker called his work "stranded between lands real and imagined: the street and the cornfield; the soft bohemian New York and the hard Studio 54 New York; the cheery bold strokes of pop and the liberating possibilities of abstract art." Through his collaborations, he earned the admiration of artists like Allen Ginsberg, David Byrne and Philip Glass, who said of Russell's music: "It does not submit to formula, but subverts the formula." The record features 26 tracks by more than 20 artists, including Hot Chip, Sufjan Stevens, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, The Autumn Defense and Lonnie Holley, paying homage to Russell's boundless creativity and wide-ranging work, which swerved from electronic dance to folk to classical and resulted in what NPR hails as "catchy and hypnotic records that were far ahead of their time."1. Jose Gonzalez - "This Is How We Walk On The Moon"
2. Lonnie Holley - "Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun (Interlude)"
3. Robyn - "Tell You"
4. Hot Chip - "Go Bang"
5. Sufjan Stevens - "A Little Lost"
6. Lonnie Holley - "In The Light Of The Miracle (Interlude)"
7. Richard Reed Parry, Little Scream, Sam Amidon, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - "Keeping Up"
8. Liam Finn, Ernie Brooks & Peter Zummo - "This Love Is Crying"
9. Rubblebucket & Nitemoves - "Eli"
10. The Revival Hour - "Hiding Your Present from You"
11. Sam Amidon - "Lucky Cloud"
12. Devendra Banhart - "Losing My Taste For The Night Life"
13. Phosphorescent - "You Can Make Me Feel Bad"
14. Blood Orange - "Is It All Over My Face & Tower Of Meaning"
15. Scissor Sisters - "That's Us/Wild Combination"
16. VEGA INTL. - "Arm Around You"
17. Oh Mercy - "Planted A Thought"
18. Lonnie Holley - "Hop On Down (Interlude)"
19. Cults - "Being It"
20. Richard Reed Parry - "Just A Blip"
21. Glen Hansard - "I Couldn't Say It To Your Face"
22. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - "Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart"
23. The Autumn Defense - "Oh Fernanda Why"
24. Alexis Taylor - "Our Last Night Together"
25. Lonnie Holley - "The Deer In The Forest (Interlude)"
26. Redding Hunter - "Close My Eyes"$24.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Live at the Music HallThose who were fortunate to catch Phosphorescent at any of the their shows in 2013 can attest to the fact
that this is no ordinary touring band. Built around the core of founding member/songwriter Matthew
Houck, Phosphorescent has expanded from a loop-station based solo act into a fully fledged classic rock
band to be held in the same regard as the likes of Crazy Horse. They spent most of 2013 touring behind
their hugely acclaimed album Muchacho, and by the end of the year the band were at the peak of their
powers. This 3xLP live album was recorded over the course of four jam-packed, sweltering holiday
nights in mid-December.
The shows featured the full line up of Matthew Houck (Voice, Guitar, Piano), Rustine Bragaw (Bass,
Voice), Christopher Marine (Drums), David Torch (Percussion), Jo Schornikow (Organ, Voice), Scott
Stapleton (Piano, Voice), Ricky Ray Jackson (Pedal Steel, Guitar, Voice). The songs are culled from across
the catalogue of Phosphorescent albums stretching back to early live favorite 'Wolves', which is featured
here in both solo form and in full band guise, through to current classics such as 'Song for Zula' & Ride
After the shows, Houck spent hours going through the recordings, piecing together this definitive live
collection. This is far from a quick cash-in live album - in fact, it should should perhaps be seen as the
ultimate Phosphorescent record, taking the recordings that make the studio album to a whole new level.
Once Houck had pieced together the tracks, he and album mixer John Agnello worked through the
tracks, mixing them to truly represent that amazing Phosphorescent sound - one part cowboy bravado,
one part wounded master.
You can hear how Houck's voice cracks over over the tender 'Tell Me Baby ' and how it soars in the
perhaps definitive Phosphorecent live song 'Los Angeles'. The musicianship on display here is supreme,
particularly Ricky Ray's sublime pedal steel and the dual keyboard work of Schornikow and Stapleton,
playing opposite each other and playing off each other. This album should be considered an addition to
the pantheon of classic live records - The Who's Live at Leeds, Frampton Comes Alive, Neil Young's Rust
Never Sleeps, The Band's The Last Waltz, Bob Marley's Live, Cheap Trick's Live at the Budokan - like those,
it is a defining moment in the catalogue of Phosphorescent.1. Sun Arise! (An Invocation/An Introduction) (Live)
2. A New Anhedonia (Live)
3. Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master) (Live)
4. The Quotidian Beasts (Live)
5. Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough) (Live)
6. Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)(Live)
7. Dead Heart (Live)
8. Down To Go (Live)
9. Song For Zula (Live)
10. Ride On/Right On (Live)
11. A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (Solo, Live)
12. Muchacho's Tune (Solo, Live)
13. Wolves (Solo, Live)
14. Joe Tex, These Taming Blues (Live)
15. Los Angeles (Live)
16. A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise (Live)
17. South (Of America) (Live)
18. Wolves (Live)
19. At Death, A Proclamation (Live)$34.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
No GhostAfter headline runs and bouts touring with critical darlings like Bowerbirds, Phosphorescent and Akron/Family, in the summer of 2009 Canadian quintet the Acorn retreated from two years on the road to an isolated cottage in northern Quebec to begin work on their third full-length album, No Ghost. Songs took shape at all hours, crafted from hazy late-night improvisations, early morning melodies pulled from the thinning threads of sleep. Modernity clashed with the bucolic via exploratory percussion, feedback, acoustic textures and the natural surrounding sounds. The band then traded trees for telephone poles to finish recording in a sweltering heat wave in Montreal. There, the breezy ease of rural surrounds was buried under sweat-caked skin and cracked asphalt, birdsong drowned out by thick air and engine hum. No Ghost is a recording swaddled in dichotomy: togetherness and isolation, acoustic and electric, destruction and restoration.1. Cobbled From Dust
4. I Made The Law
5. Crossed Wires
6. On The Line
7. Bobcat Goldwraith
8. No Ghost
9. Slippery When Wet
11. Kindling To Cremation$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Here's To Taking It EasyHere's to Taking It Easy is the culmination of the past three years. A grand statement, the album we dreamed Phosphorescent would make. Just 20 seconds into the album you hear something so immediate, so purposeful, no infectious, it's clear something special is underway. This is the Phosphorescent record made for any time, any season.1. It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)
2. Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)
3. We'll Be Here Soon
4. The Mermaid Parade
5. I Don't Care If There's Cursing
6. Tell Me BabyTell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough)
7. Hej, Me I'm Light
8. Heaven, Sittin Down
9. Los Angeles$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Phosphorescent HarvestThe CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD unveil their third studio album PHOSPHORESCENT HARVEST via Silver Arrow Records. The band--Chris Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys, vocals), George Sluppick (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass, vocals)--will also hit the road in conjunction with the album's release.
PHOSPHORESCENT HARVEST is a treasure trove of 10 songs--including several the band road-tested over the last few years--that advances the band's kaleidoscopic sound, which is deeply soulful, rootsy and spacey all at once. There's strong songcraft here, with a free-flowing delivery; it is music that is in no hurry to reach its destination but firmly knows where it is going. From the beginning, the CRB set out to do something different from what they had done before, creating their own scene with a musical prowess, cohesive songwriting and a unified commitment to experimentation, both in the studio and on the road (they've performed over 230 shows since forming in 2011).
The best perspective I have on what's going on in my life--good and bad--is what comes out in the songs, says Chris Robinson. As you move on in time, you get older, you have relationships. Some of them are good, some fail. Friends. Drugs. Life. Death. People come, people go. Songwriting is a completely different emotional response to your life and to what it means, to in some poetic nature, put it out there.
PHOSPHORESCENT HARVEST follows the release of the companion albums Big Moon Ritual (June 2012) and The Magic Door (September 2012) plus last year's live quadruple vinyl Betty's S.F. Blends, Vol 1. The group continues to record with producer Thom Monahan, and Robinson wrote all of the songs with Casal, save for two that are Robinson solo compositions (Tornado, Jump The Turnstiles).
We're really going by the electricity and the vibrations that we can sort of tune in to, Robinson recently told Relix magazine (Jan/Feb '14). There's a psychedelic component to it. That's part of the greasing the wheels of the great cosmic engine, with psychedelic thought and philosophy and action. If you get my drift. He went on to talk about the more rock and roll feel on PHOSPHORESCENT HARVEST, and his overall vision for the Brotherhood: I'm not going to have hit records. I don't write pop songs. But then again, I find a deep need to express myself and how I'm feeling and where I am and where I've been and where I'm going by writing songs. Why change something to make it easier for anyone else, when I think if we stay sincere and keep our energies in a real creative place, then people will wander into our small community, and it maybe would get more popular to tend that garden is a great responsibility. But I want it to grow. Check out the whole Relix feature here.
Rolling Stone editor David Fricke picked the CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD as one of his favorites of 2012, and praised their live performance in New York City, saying the singer's acid-country Brotherhood, with ex-Ryan Adams guitarist Neal Casal, were a sublime time onstage and across these two albums, recorded at the same sessions and issued six months apart. The Irving Plaza show was a characteristic live high. In the second set, Robinson steered out of a rattling 'Tough Mama,' from Bob Dylan's Planet Waves, into the long reverie 'Girl on the Mountain,' a song from an earlier side trip, New Earth Mud, given fresh air and a new coat of DayGlo paint (1/30/13).1. Shore Power
2. About a Stranger
3. Meanwhile In The Gods....
4. Badlands Here We Come
5. Clear Blue Sky & The Good Doctor
6. Beggar's Moon
7. Wanderer's Lament
9. Jump The Turnstiles
10. Burn Slow$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Phosphorescent Blues\After working with Burnett numerous times-most recently on the soundtrack for the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis and the related Town Hall/Showtime concert Another Day, Another Time-Punch Brothers decided to join forces with the multiple Grammy Award-winning producer for their new record. Last summer, the band and Burnett spent a month at Hollywood's Ocean Way Recording laying down the songs that guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, mandolinist and lead singer Chris Thile, and fiddler Gabe Witcher had written during several writing "retreats" last winter and spring.
Thile explains one of the ways the music on The Phosphorescent Blues reflects the band's view of modern life: "We often go to bars after shows or writing sessions, to be around other people for a little while. And I'd see people just like me on their phones, telling people they wish they were there, texting people who really are there. Then a song would come on that somebody likes and then they see that someone else does too and maybe they both sing it together and that moment is spiritual, some shared experience, and they are interacting in the flesh, with their fellow man. And that's communion. Many of the songs on this record dive into that: how do we cultivate beautiful, three-dimensional experiences with our fellow man in this day and age?"
Shortly before the sessions began, Thile and Witcher met with Burnett and discovered the producer had the very same things on his mind. In fact, he'd just given a commencement address at the University of Southern California on the subject of technology and human interaction. Witcher remembers, "Thile and I looked at each and said, 'This is unbelievable. It's exactly what we are writing about.' So this was a perfect, serendipitous union."LP 1
3. Passepied (Debussy)
4. I Blew It Off
6. My Oh My
1. Boll Weevil
2. PrÉlude (Scriabin)
4. Between 1st and A
5. Little Lights
6. Sleek White Baby
8. The Hops of Guldenberg
9. The Wireless$39.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Built to BreakFauss, who was described in Vanity Fair as a cross between Steve Earle and Gram Parsons, recorded the eleven new songs over five months in almost as many cities: Colleyville, Nashville, Dallas and Chicago. the record finds Fauss trading verses with Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller on Eighteen Wheels, a rolling barroom ode to long-distance trucking that simultaneously pays tribute to Fauss' myriad influences: Hank, Waylon, Willie, Cash, Dylan and Emmylou. The centerpiece may be Fauss' honest and austere rendition of the beautiful 2013 Phosphorescent track Song for Zula.1. Another Town
2. A Natural End
3. The Big Catch
4. Eighteen Wheels (feat. Rhett Miller)
5. A Place Out In the Country
6. Never Gonna Last
7. I'm Sorry Baby (That's Just the Way It Goes)
8. Song For Zula
9. I Can't Make You Happy
10. Old Life
11. Come On Down$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-AST-0871xRaymond Byron And The White Freighter
Little Death ShakerStripped of all noise influences and focusing on straight-up songs, Little Death Shaker is a record evocative of late nights and dusty parking lots, long drives and boozy hookups. This is the work of a dude who's spent his youth and young manhood on tour and it comes through in both the music and the lyrics. Where Castanets' lyrics gave us Ray Carver-ian fragments and it's-what-you-leave-out-that-counts minimalism, here we see Raposa back from the battleground with stories to tell.
This is the most lyric-heavy Raposa's been and it's also the most playful and humorous, and you get the feeling some of these songs would be the ones that would go down best near 2am at some weird sports bar dive in southeast Alabama/Iowa/Mississippi. (We can just see some big biker dude/fallen NASCAR star/Gary Busey lookalike sitting back-to-bar, Bud in hand, having a good-natured laugh over the punchline from Some of My Friends or the WTF premise of the Dan Reeder penned You'll Never Surf Again.)
The record begins with fighting spirit. Allegiance comes on with a punch of electric guitar and Raposa singing I woke up feeling/bold as shit. It's his rowdiest and most confident song to date, a real knockabout that'll take you by surprise if you're used to Castanets. Up next the title track verges on Queen (Flash Gordon soundtrack?) and Some of My Friends is a barnburner with the ghosts old Sun Studios players holding court.
Highlights are many. The dark-as-Skoal interstate roller Whippoorwill, the slowly ramping Some Kind of Fool, which rolls easy and pretty with backup vocals from Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent before building to a shitkicking rock 'n' roll peak where we find Raposa delivering some of his best and most racy lyrics, singing the very un-indie-rock, I could spend this good money wherever I care to/taste all the honies that I choose /lay myself down beside anyone's flower/all alive in the morning with the dew. It's a song about libertine freedom and heartbreak ignored and taking the bull by the horns and being, well, kind of a bastard.
More highlights: Castanets collaborator Talia Gordon taking main vocals on You're Not Standing Like You Used To (Kate Wolf); the after-afterhours minor chord jam Stateline, Little Death Shaker's most ruckus track of all, a late-night spent trapped in the stripclub/rig cab/country bar/tour van/your own damn head. At 10 minutes it's a tale of drugs and wayward love, a real red-lit kind of aloneness, backed by a legit live crawl, with high and ghostly organ and distorted vocals crackling like a bad CB connection.
With Meridian, Raposa and Houck bring back the vibe of Some Kind of Fool and take it on a humid trip through the deepest South, gators in the water, snakes in the sand, a stormhead looming over the sun-dappled river. When Raposa sings oh honey here comes the storm you can just FEEL the weather breaking.
One of this record's real charms is you can close your eyes and see these 13 tracks played live; you can see the drummer leaning over his kit with his brushes (and sunglasses on?), the backup singers standing around the mic, beers in hand, eyes closed, swaying side to side, the lights crisscrossing the stage. Meridian is no different. You can see this band. You can see these people playing together, and in a world of records that bands can't duplicate live, it's crazy-refreshing!
The album's closer, Allegiance 2, brings backlongtime Castanets collaborator Bridgit Jacobsen (nÉe Decook) for a hushed and barely-there apology. Oh lord be kind to me/after all these devils I have kissed. As a prayer, a shrug, and an exhausted offering, it's a fitting way to end an album so concerned with sin and vice. It's also a fitting end-introduction to this new band. So meet Raymond Byron and the White Freighters and their record Little Death Shaker. Here's to the new!1. Allegiance
2. Little Death Shaker
3. Some of My Friends
5. You'll Never Surf Again
6. Don't That Lake Just Shine
8. A Little More Credit
9. Some Kind of Fool
10. You're Not Standing Like You Used To
12. Meridian, MS
13. Allegiance 2$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Chris Thile & Brad MehldauNonesuch Records labelmates mandolinist/singer Chris Thile and pianist Brad Mehldau, longtime admirers of each other's work, first toured as a duo in 2013. At the end of 2015, they played a two-night stand at New York City's Bowery Ballroom before going into the studio to record Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau, a mix of covers and original songs.
Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same species, says the New York Times. Mr. Thile is a progressive-bluegrass pacesetter; Mr. Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years. Both are team players ... Both love Bach and the Beatles, and both have developed fan bases bigger and broader (and younger) than their genre silos can accommodate.
The two musicians first performed together in September 2011 as part of Mehldau's residency at London's Wigmore Hall. The Guardian said of that performance, Mehldau struck up his signature rocking chord vamp over which lightly struck motifs swell to sensuous extended melodies. Thile kept cajoling him with percussive snaps, flying runs, and chords strummed fast enough to sound as seamless as a purring strings section, inducing Mehldau to bat back the playful provocation with stinging rejoinders.
MacArthur Fellow and A Prairie Home Companion host Chris Thile is the founding member of Punch Brothers, which a Boston Globe reviewer called the tightest, most impressive live band I have ever seen. The band has released four albums on Nonesuch beginning in 2008: Punch, Antifogmatic, Who's Feeling Young Now?, and The Phosphorescent Blues. Thile's other releases on the label include Sleep with One Eye Open with Michael Daves; Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile and Bass & Mandolin-the latter of which won a Grammy Award; a solo record of Bach violin sonatas and partitas; and A Dotted Line with his longtime band Nickel Creek. He also recently collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer on the double Grammy Award-winning album The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
Brad Mehldau's Nonesuch debut was the 2004 solo disc Live in Tokyo and includes six records with his trio: House on Hill, Day Is Done, Brad Mehldau Trio Live, Ode, Where Do You Start, and Blues and Ballads. His collaborative records on the label include Love Sublime, Highway Rider, Metheny Mehldau, Metheny Mehldau Quartet, Modern Music, and Mehliana: Taming the Dragon. Mehldau's additional solo albums on Nonesuch include Live in Marciac and last year's 8-LP/4-CD 10 Years Solo Live, which the New York Times says contains some of the most impressive pianism he has captured on record. Earlier this year, he released a duo album with Joshua Redman, Nearness, of which the Wall Street Journal said: Few records released this year better define what jazz sounds like today, even if there isn't a hip noun to describe it.1. The Old Shade Tree (Brad Mehldau & Chris Thile)
2.Tallahassee Junction (Brad Mehldau)
3. Scarlet Town (David Rawlings & Gillian Welch)
4. I Cover the Waterfront (Johnny Green & Edward Heyman)
5. Independence Day (Elliott Smith)
6. Noise Machine (Chris Thile)
7. The Watcher (Brad Mehldau)
8. Daughter of Eve (Chris Thile)
9. Fast As You Can (Fiona Apple)*
10. Marcie (Joni Mitchell)
11. Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
12. Tabhair dom do Lámh (Ruaidri Dáll Ó Catháin)
*Vinyl-only bonus track$27.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Good AdviceGatefold LP With Poster
Good Advice is the fizzing, phosphorescing new pop LP by songwriter Basia Bulat. Captured and produced by My Morning Jacket leader Jim James in Louisville, KY, it follows on 2013's Polaris- and Juno-nominated Tall Tall Shadow and two years of tour-dates alongside acts like Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Lanois and Destroyer. These are 10 songs of desire and redemption, lit up with a bottle-rocket of liberated, faintly psychedelic sound.1. La La Lie
2. Long Goodbye
3. Let Me In
4. In The Name Of
6. Good Advice
9. The Garden
10. Someday Soon$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Anyway You Love, We Know How You FeelThe Chris Robinson Brotherhood have announced the release of their fourth studio album, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, via Robinson's own Silver Arrow Records. The band relocated to northern California for the sessions, recording on the side of a mountain overlooking the foggy Pacific Ocean and channeling the natural majesty of their surroundings into the album's eight sprawling tracks. Having spent the prior two years touring relentlessly, the CRB were road-tested and in peak form to capture their kinetic chemistry and immersive sound, which Uncut Magazine called, " a celebration of how American musical traditions can be at once honored and psychedelically expanded."
"It was an opportunity to see where our expression could take us. For us, when it comes to making records, the looser it gets the better," says Robinson. "It's all about taking our intuition and following it to where our ideas can really manifest themselves. This turned out to be the most spontaneous record I've ever been a part of."
Indeed, when the Chris Robinson Brotherhood entered the studio to begin recording the album, no one knew just what to expect. These would be the band's first recordings with new drummer Tony Leone (Ollabelle, Levon Helm) and their first time producing themselves. Robinson purposely left as much open-ended as possible. Rather than coming into the studio with a collection of finished songs as he had in the past, he would present the group with sketches-a verse and melody here, a chorus and chord progression there-and let the band follow its collective muse to bring the music to life. They'd lean into the improvisational nature that makes their live shows such enthralling spectacles and thrive on the unexpected.
"All it takes is one good, small idea, and then if everyone's focused and in the moment, a few hours later, you can have something that you realize you'll be playing for as long as you're making music," Robinson continues. "I think when everyone's aware that that's the sort of magic that we're looking for. More than any other session that I've ever been a part of, that's how all of these songs were done."
The album kicks off with "Narcissus Soaking Wet," a psychedelic toe-tapper that marks Robinson's first co-write with keyboardist Adam MacDougall. It touches on everything from Dylan and Parliament Funkadelic to psych rock and Chicago rhythm and blues. "Ain't It Hard But Fair" calls to mind the soulful Americana of The Band, while "Oak Apple Day" is a mediation on life in the CRB, and "Forever As The Moon" came together in a stream of consciousness between The CRB's lead guitarist Neal Casal and Robinson. "Leave My Guitar Alone" was a song Robinson had been sitting on for nearly 15 years, but only once he presented it to the rest of the band did it roar to life in a way that had eluded him for more than a decade. Some of Robinson's finest writing to date arrives in the album's final minutes, with the country-soul, gospel-tinged closer "California Hymn," which finds him singing "Glory glory hallelujah / It's time to spread the news / Though my good words may sound profane to some."
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood emerged in 2011 by playing close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State or officially releasing music. Their introduction on the national stage came in 2012 when they'd release not one, but two acclaimed full-length albums within a few months of each other. Critics hailed their sprawling debut, Big Moon Ritual, as a revelation, with The Independent raving that Robinson had "finally found the ideal vehicle to indulge his taste for 'Cosmic California Music.'" The reviews were similarly ecstatic for its immediate follow-up, The Magic Door, which was praised by Relix as "classic rock in the finest sense." The band's epic tour schedule brought their shimmering acid-Americana around the world for a staggering 118-date tour, firmly establishing the CRB as the new standard-bearers of the psychedelic roots torch. In 2014, they returned to the studio for Phosphorescent Harvest, a masterful collection that showcased the blossoming songwriting partnership between Robinson and Neal Casal. Rolling Stone raved that the album was "electrifying boast[ing] a vintage rock vibe that's at once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic," and Guitar World called it "a treasure trove of soul that advances the band's bluesy, kaleidoscopic sound."1. Narcissus Soaking Wet
2. Forever As the Moon
3. Ain't It Hard But Fair
4. Give Us Back Our Eleven Days
5. Some Gardens Green
6. Leave My Guitar Alone
7. Oak Apple Day
8. California Hymn$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Swimming In Strange WatersThis is The Wooden Sky's second release for Nevado Music and the first one that will come out in tandem with their home country of Canada. Follow up to 2015's Let's Be Ready. The band worked with John Agnello (Phosphorescent, Kurt Vile) on this album. Standard weight, black vinyl in standard jacket with poster.1. Swimming In Strange Waters
2. Life Is Pain, Pain Is Beauty
3. You're Not Alone
4. Deadhorse Creek
5. Born To Die
6. Black Gold
7. Riding On The Wind
9. Matter Of Time
10. Glory Hallelujah$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-ATO-5918xJessica Lea Mayfield
Sorry Is GonePressed On Clear Vinyl
Jessica Lea Mayfield might make some people uncomfortable with the level of honesty she projects on her
forthcoming LP, Sorry Is Gone, but she's not going to apologize - for that, or for anything else on her complex,
confessional fourth album, recorded with producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent), and
featuring guest appearances from Seth Avett and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth).1. Wish You Could See Me Now
2. Sorry Is Gone
4. Maybe Whatever
5. Soaked Through
6. Safe 2 Connect 2
7. Bum Me Out
9. Offa My Hands
10. World Won't Stop
11. Too Much Terrible$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
In The VinesRay Raposa had nearly finished this follow-up to 2005's First Light's Freeze when he was mugged at gunpoint outside his Brooklyn home. This climaxed a year of depression and nomadic, nocturnal dislocation for him. Appropriately, the album is based on a Hindu fable about being trapped in an inescapable fate, with death and the limitations of our physical lives closing in from all corners. But it isn't all darkness and peril; there's a strange sense of hope and delight in the brief moments of beauty that sustain our lives. Guest appearances by Jana Hunter, Sufjan Stevens, Viking Moses, Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent), Rafter Roberts, Nonhorse (Vanishing Voice), and Nathan Delffs (Shaky Hands).1. Rain Will Come
2. This Is the Early Game
3. Westbound, Blue
4. Strong Animal
6. Fields Crack, The
7. Three Months Paid
8. Night Is When You Can Not See, The
9. Sounded Like a Train, Wasn't a Train
10. And the Swimming$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Do You Feel Ok?Since their 2013 Innovative Leisure debut, Exhibitions, Superhumanoids sound like they've traveled 30 years forward. Whereas their first album elicited comparisons to artists from the 1980s, Do You Feel Ok? reflects the present in all the power and clarity possible with modern technology. The synths are phosphorescent.
Lead singer Sarah Chernoff's vocals are sleek, ethereal, and ignore gravitational limitations. With propulsive drum machines and feathery hooks, the band blends futuristic electronic textures with classic regard for songwriting. Superhumanoids are singular, but their grace at switching between dance music and rock recall similar hybrids, Darkside and Caribou.1. Anxious In Venice
2. Oh Me I
3. Norwegian Black Metal
4. Touch Me
5. Dull Boy
6. Death Rattle
8. Do You Feel OK?
9. 12 Fingers
10. I Want To Believe
11. Blinking Screens$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Santa Rosa FangsSanta Rosa Fangs is a stirring, stunning, and cinematic look and listen into the sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional journey of the venerable California musician Matt Costa through the tangled groves and grapevines of his home state.
Throughout the album's twelve songs, Costa illuminates what he has learned and how he has grown in the past 15 years of his career. His music has taken him around the world, allowing him to work with diverse, respected artists and to connect with people everywhere-from his albums released on Brushfire Records to recording with Belle and Sebastian in Glasgow, to penning film scores and releasing a variety of genre-bending EP's, and to finally coming home to Los Angeles's Dangerbird Records for his first new proper full-length release in nearly five years. A rebirth in a sense, through his keen pop sensibility, studious songwriting, technical mastery, and a modern-meets-vintage sound bursting with bite, Costa has recorded the album of his career, one sure to reach new shores and sailors alike.
"In the past 15 years of my career, I feel I've continually been breaking through, speaking out, and reaching different people," Costa says. "If one of my songs connects now to someone who didn't connect before, then we have a dialogue together. That's the point of music, to have that dialogue and tell a story, and to entertain with a sound that has depth."
He began the recording of Santa Rosa Fangs over a year and a half ago, though some songs here predate that mark. Over the past few years, Costa had challenged himself to explore new terrain, from the acoustic-fingerpicking/lo-fi garage/experimental sounds of 2015's EP's to the acid-washed and reverb-laden soundtrack to the film Orange Sunshine to another complete album that never saw the light of day. Realizing he sought a collection of dyed-in-the-wool songs rather than sonic experiments, in July of 2017 he and producers Peter Matthew Bauer (The Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks) entered a studio to begin work.
"There's a difference when I sit down to write sonic textures and when I sit with a guitar or piano and write a song," he says. "These new songs went back to a traditional sense, and when stripped back to their purest form, they still work. They tell a story, the melodies aren't leaning on anything, and they make instrumentation around them come to life in a new way, but their core is strong. My goal for the EP's was to develop conceptual ideas, making each one in a short period and with their own concepts; Orange Sunshine was a bigger exercise in that. Now, this record is all of those things I was exercising come into their own. It's more of a visualized record that takes you into the world of the Santa Rosa fangs."
The tale of Santa Rosa Fangs centers around a young woman named Sharon, her two brothers Ritchie and Tony, and their story of love, loss, and coming of age in a timeless yet contemporary California. It is replete with long distance love affairs and nostalgic romances woven through the loom of tragedy and time. Interestingly, rather than setting out to create a specific narrative, Costa began noticing a theme in the new songs as he wrote them: an unconscious embodiment of the surroundings in which he himself had grown up. According to Costa, the titular teeth refer to that inescapable feeling of a romantic, tragic, and eternal bite that certain places and events will always hold on us.
"I've interwoven my own stories into a fictional idea of what 'Santa Rosa Fangs' is, from my own time spent living in Northern and Southern California and years driving up and down the coast, seeing the landscape and where life can pull you within one state," Costa says. "It is all these things-the 'bite that is eternal, the smile in the neon'-and it has fangs. They stick with you: the romantic, the tragic, all that. It's the characters' story and my story, too, contemporary but still tortured by the past. It's a window into a time period but spoken as if it's the present. The beauty of love and loss doesn't have a date on it; it's timeless."
The album follows the siblings as they search for love and meaning in their lives, which are ultimately cut short by the passing of both brothers in unrelated accidents. Sharon, left battling with her own mortality and forced to see through a shattered lens, becomes the story's grieving, guarded hero and, as Costa says, is "a little bit me, and a little bit everyone." Similarly, the origin of the characters has one foot in reality and one in the ether. The song "Ritchie" is based on a true family saga, as two of Costa's cousins were twin brothers who died within a year of each other in motorcycle and car accidents in the early 1980s. Likewise, "Phosphorescent Letter" is the story of a local friend's daughter who endured a long-distance, online relationship with a boyfriend in Australia; in that dramatic situation Costa saw a through-line for Sharon's tale. "Because she is so tortured by loss she's afraid of love, so she sets herself up for a distant relationship, illuminated on her phone," he says. "It's a real-love thing that happens frequently these days."
Other concrete inspirations found their way into Santa Rosa Fangs as well. Costa imagined his creations in a setting similar to that of a Jim Jarmusch film, with dramatic events unfolding around them as they attempt to go about their daily lives as earnestly as possible. He also cites Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska as an influence for its songs and characters as well as its moments of sparseness. Like that iconic record, the cover of Santa Rosa Fangs is a stark black-and-white photograph tinged with deep red text, featuring three youths running along a freeway overpass. It's not clear whether the trio-Costa's real-life Orange County neighbors-are sprinting for joy or to escape some unknown entity; Costa hints that to him they are running away from the grabbing hands of time. "The song 'Time Tricks' is about that, too: it's inevitable and coming for you."
Costa also found inspiration in working with Bauer and Stumpf, whom he had previously admired from a distance and whose music resumes he respects greatly. "I really connected with Pete and Nick and took their lead on several ideas," he says. "That's why you partner with someone-you want their input. I shaped things a little differently by listening through their ears than I would have otherwise." Costa cites "Real Love," an upbeat, heavy tune written in 5/4 time, as such a moment of collaboration. Originally intended as an acoustic song, he was encouraged by his producers to approach it from a fresh direction. "I had done that sort of thing before, a Nick Drake, fingerpicking type thing," he says. "Pete and Nick inspired me to take it to a new place. To write a driving rock song in 5/4 is a real challenge, but I had the basis in my pattern and we all drove it home with a really strong beat. On my own I might have stuck with a simpler take, but it felt good to tackle some new ground."
In another circumstance, Costa again came up with two variations of the same song, but rather than being forced to choose between the two, he simply used both. As a result, "I Remember It Well" bookends the album, first as a rollicking, piano-driven number that sets the record's tone and pace, and second as a sparser, quiet version to end it. The latter was the initial version and was also the first song written for the album some four years ago. "That song is both the entrance and exit to this world, and also shows the process of how you can take a song, do it two ways, and both can be impactful and give you different feelings."
No matter how his process or approach may change-in the present moment or in any era of coming-of-age throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career-Costa recognizes that one unique thing in his work will always stay the same: his perspective. "Essentially, what it comes down to is this: I sit down with a guitar, and these are songs," he says. "I've worked hard to understand how to produce them in certain ways. You can try to dress up a song and put a different sound to it, but if the song isn't that kind of song then it's not going to work. I've had to exercise both of those qualities equally-to know how to develop these sounds sonically, and then when I know sonically where I want it to go, I have to write to that. I guess that knowledge comes with 15 years of songwriting experience. I couldn't have made this record any other time than now."
For Matt Costa, the world of Santa Rosa Fangs is the past, present, and future of his life all rolled up into one long stretch of sunlit California coastline.1. I Remember It Well
4. Pacific Grove
5. Santa Rosa Fangs
6. Time Tricks
7. Coming Around
9. Phosphorescent Letter
10. Windy Smile
11. Real Love
12. I Remember It Well #2$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now