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  • Solace Solace Quick View

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    180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl

    Includes Insert

    Soft Touch Outer Sleeve

    Including The Hit Singles The Path Of Thorns (Terms) And Into The Fire

    Featuring Bonus Track Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Donovan Cover)Including The Hit Singles The Path Of Thorns (Terms) And Into The Fire
    Featuring Bonus Track Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Donovan Cover)

    Solace is the second studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter and Grammy Award winning Sarah McLachlan. Known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range, Sarah McLachlan has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

    Originally released in 1991, Solace was the album that first made Sarah a star in Canada, spawning the hit singles The Path of Thorns (Terms) and Into the Fire and being certified double platinum for sales of 200,000 copies in Canada. Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing many of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.

    The album received favorable reviews internationally and was a good step towards Sarah's commercial breakthrough outside of Canada, which came with her third full album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

    The album includes the bonus track Wear Your Love Like Heaven, an amazing cover of the classic Donovan song.

    1. Drawn To The Rhythm
    2. Into The Fire
    3. The Path Of Thorns (Terms)
    4. I Will Not Forget You
    5. Lost
    6. Back Door Man
    7. Shelter
    8. Black
    9. Home
    10. Mercy
    11. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
    Sarah McLachlan
    180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Solace Solace Quick View

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    200-Gram Double LP 45 Rpm Gatefold Reissue From Analogue Productions

    Mastered By Bernie Grundman

    Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings!

    Features Into The Fire And Path Of Thorns

    The Analogue Productions/QRP pressing reissue treatment delivers sonics and luxury packaging second to none for discerning collectors. Now we've given three titles by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan this premier makeover and you reap the benefits: Solace, Mirrorball and Afterglow.

    Solace, McLachlan's second album, is considerably more mature and musically sophisticated than her 1988 debut, the promising if limited Touch. In fact, this disc is a must-have for McLachlan fans whose first encounter with her work was with her extremely popular later releases, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing.

    The opening track, 'Drawn to the Rhythm,' is a habit-forming gem of a song that soars on her smooth and heady soprano and Ronald Jones's addictive drums (though the drone of the billatron in the chorus seems incongruous). The rumbling, electric 'Into the Fire' grooves with a funky bass line; the lovelorn 'Path of Thorns' and 'I Will Not Forget You' are straight-ahead and bluesy. Always wise beyond her years, McLachlan displays a new awakening with introspective songs such as the Sinead O'Connor-esque 'Lost and Shelter.' The hymnlike 'Mercy' is the least interesting song - spare in comparison to the others - but it is a wondrous showcase of her multifaceted voice. Without a doubt, Solace is a testament to McLachlan's ever-swelling talent. -

    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Drawn to the Rhythm
    2. Into the Fire
    3. The Paths of Thorns (Terms)
    4. I Will Not Forget You
    5. Lost
    6. Back Door Man
    7. Shelter
    8. Black
    9. Home
    10. Mercy
    Sarah McLachlan
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Nights In The Dark Nights In The Dark Quick View

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    Nights In The Dark

    Two years after their self-titled debut on Don Giovanni Records, California X delivers Nights in the Dark, once again bearing the imprint of sound engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr, Speedy Ortiz). The guitar-drenched sound of their debut find solace in a heavy, lush, and melodic home with the addition of Zack Brower on guitar and Cole Lanier on drums.
    1. Nights In The Dark
    2. Red Planet
    3. Ayla's Song
    4. Hadley, MA
    5. Blackrazor (Pt 1)
    6. Blackrazor (Pt 2)
    7. Garlic Road
    8. Summer Wall (Pt 1)
    9. Summer Wall (Pt 2)
    California X
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Kuromarama Kuromarama Quick View

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    Kuroma is the project of Hank Sullivant, ex-member of the Whigs and current touring guitarist for MGMT. Kuroma is set to release their new LP, Kuromarama through Votiv Music. Recorded between the band's hometowns of Brooklyn, NY and Athens, GA, the sound of Kuromarama most closely resembles that of an artisanal prescription spectrum of liquified jollyrancher, each flavor each color imbued with a solace wrung from the depths of a salty ocean trench.
    1. 20+Centuries
    2. Running People
    3. Love Is On The Way
    4. Big Bad Money
    5. Passionate people
    6. Simon s In The Jungle
    7. Evan Mann
    8. Case Logic
    9. 30601
    10. Thee Only Childe
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Glad Rag Doll Glad Rag Doll Quick View

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    Glad Rag Doll

    Diana Krall's extraordinary new album, 'Glad Rag Doll' is an exhilarating and adventurous exploration of new sounds, new instrumentation and new musicians. It stars a singer and piano player, filled with mischief, humour and a renewed sense of tenderness and intimacy.

    The record reveals itself at that remarkable vanishing point in time where all music; swinging, rocking and taboo, collide with songs of longing, solace and regret. All are made new again in a vaudeville of Krall's own imagining.

    It is at once a major departure and a natural progression for the gifted musician. Diana simply calls the album, a song and dance record.

    1. We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye
    2. There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears
    3. Just Like A Butterfly That's Caught In The Rain
    4. You Know I Know Ev'rything's Made For Love
    5. Glad Rag Doll
    6. I'm A Little Mixed Up
    7. Prairie Lullaby
    8. Here Lies Love
    9. I Used To Love You But It's All Over Now
    10. Let It Rain
    11. Lonely Avenue
    12. Wide River To Cross
    13. When The Curtain Comes Down
    Diana Krall
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Cinematics Cinematics Quick View

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    Written and recorded over three years, Cinematics is an honest reflection of the band's experiences, encapsulating both their successes and failures.

    I wanted to present a collection of songs that were completely honest and unguarded, says front man Chris Heckman. I opened up in these songs in a way that I haven't done before and, while lyrically theses songs dwell in misery and regret, I found a great deal of solace in writing them.

    While Cinematics is about loss, it s also about empowerment. It's about the Epilogues and Chris Heckman (vocals/guitar), Nate Hammond (keys), Jason Hoke (drums), and Jeff Swoboda (bass) working with those they trust over those who have the most money, and it is about the new music industry.

    1. The Shadow King
    2. Call Me A Mistake
    3. My Misinformed John Hughes Teenage Youth
    4. Hunting Season
    5. Foxholes
    6. Paradigm Shift
    7. Closer
    8. Animals
    9. The Fallout
    10. Cinematics
    11. The Keene Act
    12. The Wondrous World Of Will Dupree
    13. Saboteur
    The Epilogues
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Baptizm Baptizm Quick View

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    It's grim, but strangely beautiful, a formula Rabit seems 
    to have nailed. - Resident Advisor

    Featured in a 'Artists who will define 2014' list compiled 
    by The Fader. 

    Over the past 2 years Rabit has developed a formidable reputation within the underground via a steady stream of acclaimed 12 releases and mixtapes. On an emotional level Baptizm is about having one's life thrown completely out of order and finding solace in an imagined world. Themes of destruction and regeneration dominate throughout as well as an ongoing obsession on the often-ugly clash between sexuality and religion. All in all 'Baptizm' finds Rabit continuing to feel out the parameters of his increasingly alien sonic world in a typically exciting fashion.

    1. Imp
    2. Bloody Eye
    3. Hex
    4. Straps
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sundowning Sundowning Quick View

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    Nu Sensae has taken big risks with even bigger payoffs on this release!

    Refusing to repeat themselves, however, Lukic and Pitout are proving just how unpredictable they can be, they abandoned their status as a duo, a favorite angle of both the media and fans, and recruited Vancouver noise rock great Brody McKnight as a full-time member. Previously working with the now-legendary group Mutators, McKnight has added another dimension of heaviness to the band's already mind-melting sludge attack.

    They've also embraced diversity in other ways, allowing more loud-quiet dynamics into their songwriting. From the creeping dirge of "Tea Swamp Park" to the vast expanse of "Say What You Are," the quiet sections offer brief moments of uneasy solace between the full out attack of songs like "100 Shades," "Tyjna" and "Eat Your Mind."

    Elsewhere, subtle but defined melodies surface amidst the fuzz of tracks like "Burnt Masks" and "Dust." Don't be mistaken, though: Sundowning is designed to bludgeon with the raw aggression that can only come from the best elements of noise, punk and grunge.

    1. First Born
    2. Swim
    3. 100 Shades
    4. Burnt Masks
    5. Dust
    6. Tea Swamp Park
    7. Whispering Rule
    8. Spit Gifting
    9. Tyjna
    10. Orange Roses
    11. Curdle The Cream
    12. First Born (Reprise)
    13. Say What You Are
    14. Eat Your Mind
    Nu Sensae
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities Quick View

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    Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities

    One of the biggest moments of the band's career was the monumental show at London's famous O2 Arena on November 24th, 2016. That landmark performance is now captured in its entirety. The 19-track recording proves with a vengeance what an enormous presence ALTER BRIDGE have become on concert stages around the world. Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, and Scott Phillips tear through hits like Farther Than The Sun, Show Me A Leader, Rise Today, and their masterpiece Isolation, showcasing a band on the top of their game. Other highlights include the Tremonti sung Waters Rising, the acoustic-driven Watch Over You and their mighty signature anthem Blackbird. In addition this release contains an exclusive full album length Rarities that will give every collector cause for rejoice! The rarities feature the limited release tracks Breathe, Cruel Sun, and Solace alongside seven songs that have only come out to date in Japan. Symphony Of Agony, the bonus track from the band's latest studio release The Last Hero also gets worldwide release on this collection.
    LP 1
    1. The Writing On The Wall
    2. Come To Life
    3. Addicted To Pain
    4. Ghost Of Days Gone By
    5. Cry Of Achilles
    6. The Other Side
    7. Farther Than The Sun

    LP 2
    1. Ties That Bind
    2. Waters Rising
    3. Crows On A Wire
    4. Watch Over You (Solo Acoustic)
    5. Isolation
    6. Blackbird

    LP 3
    1. Metalingus
    2. Open Your Eyes
    3. Show Me A Leader
    4. Rise Today
    5. Poison In Your Veins
    6. My Champion

    LP 4
    1. Breathe
    2. Cruel Sun
    3. Solace
    4. New Way To Live
    5. The Damage Done
    6. We Don't Care At All
    7. Zero
    8. Home
    9. Never Born To Follow
    10. Never Say Die (Outright)
    11. Symphony Of Agony (Last Of Our Kind)

    Alter Bridge
    Vinyl LP - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Drugs 'N Hymns Drugs 'N Hymns Quick View

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    Drugs 'N Hymns

    Drugs 'n Hymns is the newest release from LA-based artist Rocco Deluca. The album finds the blues-steeped musician forging a solo path armed with his National guitar, distinctively emotive voice and 10 reflective, vivid song-stories. The hypnotically spare compositions conjure a world of characters seeking a certain solace and salvation while continually mired in the disturbed darkness. The album was anti-produced by Rocco DeLuca and features guests such as the Echo Park Jubilee Tambo Flower Unsung Heroes Choir. Drugs 'N Hymns is a fascinating recording in its quiet intensity, conveying a wide swathe of emotions from quietude mixed with underlying dread to hopeful exhilaration.

    Rocco DeLuca was born in Southern California surrounded by a vibrant arts community that inspired him to follow his muses at an early age. By seven he was learning to play listening to Billy Holiday, Nina Simone and the Delta Blues heroes of the 1920s. He soon crossed paths and performed with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Johnny Cash and June Carter and Daniel Lanois, an amazing musical association key in the evolution of DeLucas unique sound whether fronting a band or playing solo.

    Says Daniel Lanois: I fully believe in DeLuca. I think that hes got the power to be a contemporary troubadour, as I see it, and I hope I can be his friend for a long time, whether I am operating in the same limelight, ahead of him, behind him, in his shadow, whatever it takes, Ill be there. The one thing that I love about Rocco DeLuca is he is driven by his own heart.

    1. Lucky
    2. My My
    3. Sibylle
    4. Amen
    5. Pray On
    6. Windows
    7. They Stride Like Gods
    8. Snake Oil Salesman
    9. Gorky
    10. Drugs n Hymns
    Rocco DeLuca
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Embers Of Time The Embers Of Time Quick View

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    The Embers Of Time

    A talent to outrank Ryan Adams or Conor Oberst - Uncut

    He's found a way to encapsulate all the dichotomies of life and make them work within the confines of a three-minute pop song. - Popmatters

    "It's my surreal expat therapy record," observes Josh Rouse about his new LP, The Embers of Time. A career peak, The Embers of Time takes inspiration from his self-admitted crisis of confidence and bouts with existential psychotherapy in his adopted home of Valencia, Spain.

    The 10-song collection of originals contains some of Rouse's most beautiful arrangements and complex songwriting to date. First song and lead single "Some Days I'm Golden All Night" channels Glen Campbell-style Countrypolitan pop mastery through 'Self Portrait'-era Dylan confessional lyrics.

    Rouse has been called "one of contemporary music's most engaging singer-songwriters" (NPR) as well as "a talent to outrank Ryan Adams or Conor Oberst" (Uncut), and with The Embers of Time he opens a new chapter in his lauded career. He split time recording the album between Valencia and Nashville, and enlisted Brad Jones (Justin Townes Earle) as producer. The record moves from the hushed twang of "Time," where Josh recalls a stepfather who died too young and muses about his own mortality, to the deceptively sunny album closer "Crystal Falls," which recounts a rare period of solace from his itinerant childhood. "In Crystal Falls I made a few good friends," he sings. "It was just another stop. I never saw them again."

    Originally hailing from rural Nebraska, Rouse has carved out a distinguished career as a top-tier musician. His last record, 'The Happiness Waltz' earned unanimous praise, with AllMusic calling it "absolutely beautiful, like 10cc producing Al Green."

    1. Some Days I'm Golden All Night
    2. Too Many Things On My Mind
    3. New Young
    4. You Walked Through The Door
    5. Time
    6. Pheasant Feather
    7. Coat For A Pillow
    8. Worried Blues
    9. Expat Blues
    10. Crystal Falls
    Josh Rouse
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising Quick View

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    Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising

    Pressed On Opaque Pink Vinyl

    Southern California's Dayseeker has revealed key details about their new album and Spinefarm Records debut, Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising.

    Frontman Rory Rodriguez told AP:

    This song is not only the start of our album, but it's also written for our dear friend who was a victim of sexual assault. This is a huge issue that we wanted to write about, not only to bring to light the trauma a person goes through when this happens but to hopefully offer solace to those same people as well.

    Regarding the album, Rodriguez furthered:

    This album is our proudest work to date. From beginning to end, you will hear a full concept album following the journey of a man who has fallen into a deep coma and his long journey to escape the mental prison he finds himself in.

    The album operates off an intricate concept: A man avenges the unspeakable crimes committed against his wife only to be bludgeoned into a coma. Locked in a vegetative state, changes erupt throughout his world, spanning the dissolution of his marriage and the death of his estranged mother. While his hospital bed doubles as a front row seat to the chaos, questions arise

    Is any of this happening? Is it real? What does it mean?

    Some of the answers may or may not be encoded within the 12 tracks comprising Dayseeker's 2017 conceptual third full-length album, Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising. Maintaining an inimitable and infectious intensity, the music represents a marked evolution for the Orange County group.

    1. Dreaming Is Sinking
    2. Vultures
    3. Cold, Dark Winter
    4. Abandon
    5. Sleep In The Sea Pt. II
    6. Six Feet Under
    7. Hanging By A Thread
    8. Desolate
    9. Carved From Stone
    10. Come Hell Or High Water
    11. Counterpart
    12. Waking Is Rising
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Christmas Party Christmas Party Quick View

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    Christmas Party

    Christmas Party is the new holiday album from She & Him, the duo comprised of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Christmas Party is the follow up to their wildly popular A Very She And Him Christmas, and this new collection features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley.

    Christmas Party is replete with holiday favorites - including classics like Darlene Love and Phil Spector's Marshmallow World, Bing Crosby's Mele Kalikimaka and Chuck Berry's Run Run Rudolph. But, Ward and Deschanel also may introduce listeners to the more obscure tracks such as folk-singer Vashti Bunyon's Coldest Night of the Year and the lesser know Sinatra track Christmas Memories. Pop favorites such as Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You and The Chipmunks Christmas Don't Be Late round out the celebration. Throughout the album is She & Him's signature stripped down take on production.

    It was the positive experience they had recording their first Christmas record, A Very She & Him Christmas, in 2011 that brought M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel back for another round of holiday cheer. Much like their first Christmas record, She & Him bring an organic and minimalistic approach to their holiday covers. Highly produced classics get stripped down to their most fundamental elements, a style perfectly aligned with their vision. You won't find any accompanying orchestra or full-piece brass bands on Christmas Party. Instead, She & Him rely on friends and family to lend a simple and authentic holiday vibe to this album, one where the guest list speaks for itself.

    In the years between the two holiday records, She & Him released Vol. 3, an album of original songs, and kept their affection for covers alive with Classics, a compilation of covers of their favorite standards. Throughout these intervening years and albums, Zooey and Ward gradually culled a new collection of holiday songs to re-interpret, tucking them away like a stack of presents growing under a tree. As Christmas Party comes to a close, the listener can take solace in knowing the door on this gathering is never fully shut. The sing-alongs, the happy accidents, the quiet moments with loved ones - they're all waiting for you whenever you wish to immerse yourself in the splendor of the season. As Ward himself says, Music is one of the purest ways into Christmas.

    1. All I Want for Christmas Is You
    2. Let It Snow
    3. Must Be Santa
    4. Happy Holiday
    5. Mele Kalikimaka
    6. Christmas Memories
    7. Run Run Rudolph
    8. Winter Wonderland
    9. The Coldest Night of the Year
    10. A Marshmallow World
    11. The Man with the Bag
    12. Christmas Don't Be Late
    She & Him
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native Quick View

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    Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native

    Acclaimed cellist, composer, songwriter and activist Ben Sollee announces the release of Ben Sollee And Kentucky Native via Soundly Music. Tracing the origins of a traditional American genre back to early immigrants, Sollee takes a nontraditional approach, blending the influences of early Irish and Scottish musicians with the rhythms of Mexico, Africa, and India. This album is Sollee's most personally revealing work and a reflection of his native Kentucky, a place like many others, that's still helping refine the ever-changing Bluegrass genre.

    Inspired by the interactions and collaborations of string musicians from all walks of life, Sollee and his bandmates recorded twelve songs in a cabin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, KY. Each song was captured live as an ensemble with a mobile, analog studio and with just a few overdubs. Together, they thoughtfully reimagined a revered style with world music characteristics. The moving arrangement of Carrie Bell features syncopated African-influenced rhythms, which contrast Sollee's melodic cello. Drawing inspiration from this side of the globe, Mechanical Advantage is built on the foundations of the Huapango musical-dance genre in Mexico. Sollee's vision, influenced by the people, culture, and environment around him, is elevated by lyrics reflecting life and human nature.

    Pieces Of You is a compelling and idealistic composition inspired by Sollee's friendship with conceptual artist Louis Zoellar Bickett II and his art exhibit 'The Archive.' The piece, which shows no distinction between personal mementos and trash, reminds Sollee of everyday artifacts in his life. Objects like a U.S. Postal name badge given to him by his grandfather and the marked-up sheet music from his first cello teacher could be considered worthless, but to Sollee, each has a story. In Presence which is perhaps the most poetic and personal, he shares a personal affinity for lying on his back in the deep end of a pool finding solace in the peacefulness of the water, before the need to come back to the surface. Just like that, he is thrown back into the frenetic pace of the real world and existence.

    Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native was produced by Alex Krispin. Musicians on the album include Jordon Ellis (Percussion), Bennett Sullivan (Banjo), Julian Pinelli (Fiddle), Jonathan Estes (Bass), Josh Hari (Bass) and Jonah Smith (Background Vocals). Sollee wrote all but two songs on the album (Emily's Song and Carrie Bell).

    1. Carrie Bell
    2. Presence
    3. Mechanical Advantage
    4. Eva Kelley
    5. The Holdout / Speed Breaker
    6. Pieces of You
    7. Two Tone Gal
    8. Well Worn Man
    9. Emily's Song
    10. Moon Miner
    11. The Wires
    Ben Sollee
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Being There Being There Quick View

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    Being There

    Includes Full Length CD

    LP Cut from Original Masters and Pressed at Pallas in Germany!

    Outtasite! Stunning 1996 Double Album Has Been Long Out-of-Print with Originals Fetching Hundreds of Dollars on eBay! Do Not Miss Out This Time!

    Also Available: 180-gram LP Versions of Wilco's A.M. and Summerteeth CUT FROM ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES and Pressed at Pallas! Unbelievable Sound!

    Motivated by leader Jeff Tweedys desire to improve on his bands debut A.M. and informed by numerous life circumstancesthe birth of his first child, a recent marriage, a new mortgage, and a decision to quit smoking potBeing There begins a cycle of creativity and ambition in Wilcos career that has yet to let up. Far more mature and advanced than anything Tweedy and Co. had done before, the eclectic double album finds the group moving beyond straightforward country-rock and embracing a gambit of styles that encompass power-pop, romantic balladry, barroom-brawling rock, and immersive psychedelia. A journey that is ultimately about finding solace in rock n roll, Being There is a seminal record in every sense. The album has only bettered with the passage of time.

    Jay Bennett, a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who joined the band before the recording sessions, is also largely responsible for the artistic growth. His keen pop sensibilities and keyboard playing expand Wilcos core rootsy sound, while Tweedy pushes himself as a songwriter. Introspective, surreal, and personal, tunes such as the explosive Misunderstood and meditative Hotel Arizona signal the arrival of a singular talent coming to terms with his own anxiety, restlessness, and dreams. And the band is up to the challenge. In addition to blending myriad sounds, Wilco gets more comfortable with the studio and adorns several arrangements with horns, strings, and hand claps.

    To preserve the musics spontaneous feel and accentuate the dynamic contrasts, Wilco practiced, rehearsed, and recorded one song a day. Nothing is overthought or overly polished. The production reflects these decisions. Sonics are warm, organic, loose, and noticeably real. Its no wonder that Tweedy successfully convinced Reprise to release Being There as a double album and sell it for the price of a single disc. To help make it happen, he personally volunteered to take a decreased royalty rate in exchange for the unconventional pricing and resultant revenue losses. Tweedys gamble paid off. And how.

    Now, hear this absorbing double album in the highest-possible fidelity for the first time ever! Mastered from the original tapes and pressed at Germanys legendary Pallas facilities, this 180-gram 2-LP version of Being Here is guaranteed to beat every other available version. (Plus, it comes with a CD of the complete album: You can't lose.) But dont delay! Wilcos Reprise LPs have been fetching hundreds of dollars on EBay for years. Get yours from Music Direct today!

    Wilco have not made your standard rock & roll road album. Tweedy's songs use the one-nighter clichÉs of Grand Funk Railroad's We're an American Band as a means of exploring deeper issues, particularly faith and commitment and how those qualities are tested by geographical and emotional distances. Being There is an album of parallel journeys that frequently overlap, a tour of the heart that becomes a search for renewal. -Greg Kot, Rolling Stone, October 1996

    1. Misunderstood
    2. Far, Far Away
    3. Monday
    4. Outtasite (Outta Mind)
    5. Forget The Flowers
    6. Red-Eyed And Blue
    7. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
    8. What's The World Got In Store (LP Version)
    9. Hotel Arizona
    10. Say You Miss Me
    11. Sunken Treasure
    12. Someday Soon
    13. Outta Mind (Outta Sight)
    14. Someone Else's Song
    15. Kingpin
    16. (Was I) In Your Dreams
    17. Why Would You Wanna Live
    18. The Lonely 1
    19. Dreamer In My Dreams
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Marigolden Marigolden Quick View

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    "The body remembers what the mind forgets," Chris Porterfield reminisces on his acclaimed band Field Report's sophomore record, Marigolden. The record is strewn with references to the inevitable tolls taken by the passage of time, and prolonged distance from home and loved ones.

    The past couple of years have flashed by for Porterfield, who was thrust into the spotlight after years of musical reclusion. His Milwaukee-based band, Field Report (an anagram of his surname), was culled together in the studio while recording their 2012 self-titled debut. They suddenly found themselves championed by their former idols: offered support tours by Counting Crows and Aimee Mann, lauded by the likes of Mark Eitzel and Richard Thompson, and covered by Blind Boys Of Alabama.

    The band honed itself from a septet to a quartet in the year that followed, focusing its sound and tightening the screws. With a heavy batch of songs under their arms, they retreated to snowy Ontario in December 2013 to record their sophomore album, Marigolden, with the help of producer Robbie Lackritz (Feist).

    Spending two years roaming around the country playing tiny venues and sold-out amphitheaters alike, Porterfield was uncertain whether he was leading the charge toward an artistic epiphany or headed down a misguided path of self-destruction. Marigolden reflects this, as he ruminates across homesick tension and an un-grounded anxiety. But rather than wallow in melancholy, Porterfield finds solace and inspiration through his songs, which reveal themselves as uplifting and celebratory. The album is brighter than their 2012 debut, but somehow remains just as elegantly ominous.

    Marigolden's second track, the surprisingly catchy radio single "Home," finds Porterfield on the road, hoping the home, wife, dog, and life he left behind in Milwaukee will still be there upon his return. "Leave the lights on," he asks, "it might be nighttime when I get there, but I'm on my way home." While the song contemplates lonesomeness, there is an undeniable sense of hope driving it. In "Summons," the penultimate track, he recalls this thought, repeating, "I'll be coming home to you" like a mantra. This sense of balance and symmetry across the album helps provide stability to the otherwise volatile themes. Case in point: the album starts with a sunrise in "Decision Day" and ends full circle with another in "Enchantment."

    Whether reconsidering sobriety in "Pale Rider," sticking to tonic water in the bars of "Summons," or cashing in a 30-day chip for a kiss in "Enchantment," Porterfield's relationship with alcohol runs through the current of nearly every song. Most notably in "Ambrosia," where he find himself face to face with the reality of where his drinking is destined to lead.

    The album runs the musical gamut, from the Traveling Wilburys-esque pop of "Home," to the Neil Young-inspired piano ballad "Ambrosia," to the electronic sonic landscape of "Wings." While the compositions express a wide range in terms of genre, they find unity in themselves within the limits of self-imposed minimalism. In the studio, the songs were stripped down to the bones and built back up using only their essential elements.

    Sequestered in a seemingly never-ending Ontario blizzard, the band only broke from this musical process to add logs to the stove, with the snow and the fire providing a proper background for music so rooted in the elemental. The effect that this fundamentals-based approach achieves is universal: the sparse arrangements and common themes speak to everyone, but somehow feel tailored to each listener. The title itself reflects this, a portmanteau of two common images (marigold and golden) to create something that feels both idiosyncratic and familiar: Marigolden.

    1. Decision Day
    2. Home (Leave The Lights On)
    3. Pale Rider
    4. Cups and Cups
    5. Ambrosia
    6. Wings
    7. Marigolden
    8. Michelle
    9. Summons
    10. Enchantment
    Field Report
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Nervous Nervous Quick View

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    "Carefully crafted, perfectly balanced, addictively
    melodic" - ROCK-A-ROLLA

    "In cold surroundings, moments of warmth arrive
    with life-affirming brightness, and that's what
    makes Siskiyou's music so memorable" - BLURT

    Siskiyou returns with Nervous, a majestic album of carefully constructed art rock
    built around songwriter and lead singer Colin Huebert's stacked acoustic guitars
    and intimate, whispery vocals. Siskiyou's sound has been previously dubbed a sort
    of 'Northern Gothic', conjuring cold winds and the life-saving warmth of temporary
    shelters and tiny hearth fires. With Nervous, the band continues to push beyond
    the crisp lo-fi intimacy of its early work, and has forged its most confident and
    finely-crafted recording to date, moving fully into auteur and chamber-pop
    territory with a song cycle that brings to mind the meticulousness of mood and
    sonics found in recent work by PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Tindersticks. Inflected
    by an anxious, sussurant restraint, Huebert's voice is supported by the falsetto
    backing vocal counterpoint and economical instrumentation of bandmates Erik
    Arnesen, Peter Carruthers and Shaunn Watt. Fans of the understated and
    underrated 1990s group Swell may also hear a welcome evocation of that group's
    acoustic guitar-driven simplicity and austere deployment of adornments.

    Following Siskiyou's excellent sophomore release Keep Away The Dead in 2011,
    Huebert became afflicted with a serious inner ear condition that eluded
    conventional diagnosis. While honouring a previously-scheduled songwriting
    residency in Dawson City, Yukon in winter 2012, Huebert found himself grappling
    with severe anxiety and an unwelcome interiority, engendered by hyperacusis and
    a house that felt utterly haunted. Intense chronic ear-ringing and panic attacks
    continued throughout the year, for which conventional medicine was unable to find
    any cause or effective treatment; Huebert began focusing on meditation, retreated to
    silence for a period, and then began rehearsing his new songs with the band at
    extremely low volumes. The songs on Nervous are shot through with the entirety of
    this experience: the literal feeling of being trapped in one's head and the physica-lpsychological
    feedback loop of debilitating anxiety; the lyrical themes and tense,
    whispered singing amidst tightly-wrought compositions and arrangements.

    Huebert found solace in new working methods within the controlled environment
    of studio-based production and composition, developing new sonic palettes and
    pursuing new avenues of instrumental arrangement and recording fidelity.
    Working with producer/engineer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy, Dusted,
    Austra) on most of Nervous, Siskiyou has emerged with by far its most assured,
    ambitious and authoritative recordings, while preserving the economy of elements,
    deft structures, and assiduous melodic deliberation for which the band has been
    rightly celebrated over its two previous albums. In charting escape paths from his
    disquieting cranial confinement, Huebert has very much succeeded in setting his
    songs out on an expansive canvas, while preserving a palpable sense of nervous
    interiority and quiet desperation at their heart.

    1. Deserter
    2. Bank Accounts and Dollar Bills (Give Peace a Chance)
    3. Wasted Genius
    4. Violent Motion Pictures
    5. J.esus in the 70s
    6. Oval Window
    7. Nervous
    8. Imbecile Thoughts
    9. Babylonian Proclivities
    10. Falling Down the Stairs
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Oh Man, Cover the Ground Oh Man, Cover the Ground Quick View

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    Oh Man, Cover the Ground

    Limited Edition Of 1,000 Copies

    Pressed On Custom Lake Blue Vinyl

    Shana Cleveland is a rare artist who seems dismissive of time. Shes been performing with
    a rotating batch of musicians tagged as The Sandcastles for years, and yet Oh Man,
    Cover The Ground is their first proper album. It would be easy to chalk up the delay
    behind the debut to a slacker lifestyle-Oh Man, Cover The Grounds laid-back vibe
    certainly suggests an extremely casual approach to songcraft. But Cleveland is no slacker.
    In the years since she first started playing out under her own name, shes helmed a
    number of other music projects; most notably her revered Girls In The Garage-inspired
    band La Luz. In her downtime, shes crafted a set of 37 trading cards dedicated to
    obscure acoustic guitarists and a calendar of drawings depicting rock bands of
    yesteryear. The glacial pace of Oh Man, Cover The Grounds development has little to do
    with work ethic and everything to do with doing things in a way that feels right. "I don't
    really think of it as a proper band," says Cleveland. "The line-up has been different for
    almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the
    atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals;
    some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We've played shows really selectively
    throughout the last few years-just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really
    interesting. Like, I'd rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at
    night than on a three band bill at a bar." In an industry fixated on striking while the iron
    is hot, getting an artist in front of as many people in as short of a time as possible,
    Clevelands insistence on atmosphere over arbitrary numbers is a bold move.

    Oh Man, Cover The Grounds softly-stated melodies and breezy air operates on its own
    sense of time. Though the songs still settle comfortably into three-minute parcels, their
    gestation bucked at the convention of pop musics stringent time format. "I'm really into
    meandering, fingerpicked open-tuned acoustic guitar, like John Fahey and Robbie
    Basho," says Cleveland. "I started playing guitar in that style during a year right before I
    moved to Seattle when I was lonely and bummed out in the San Fernando Valley and
    found solace in spending long afternoons fingerpicking slow moving improvisations." This
    casualness is evident in the music-you can hear it in the airy ambience of album opener
    "Butter & Eggs", the gentle piano and strings accompaniment on the title track, the
    particularly Fahey-esque explorations of "Itching Around" and "SPATM". But even the
    timeline of the albums development seems to defy the ephemeral haste that permeates so
    much contemporary music. The bulk of Oh Man, Cover The Ground was recorded in
    Shanas basement. "I wanted it to sound casual and kind of loose like my favorite folk
    albums, so we didn't practice much before recording and a few of the musicians were
    playing the songs for the first time."

    1. Butter & Eggs
    2. Holy Rollers
    3. Oh Man, Cover The Ground
    4. Itching Around
    5. Potato Chips
    6. Golden Days
    7. (death riff)
    8. SPATM
    9. Rounding The Block
    10. City To City
    11. Sucking Stones
    12. Quiet As Skin
    13. Change In The Ocean
    Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Absolute Zero Absolute Zero Quick View

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    Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero is the debut album by Irish quintet, Little Green Cars. Absolute Zero's 48 minutes, crafted in unabashed earnestness with the aid of seasoned epic-producer Markus Dravs (Mumford and Sons' Sigh No More and Babel, Arcade Fire's Neon Bible and The Suburbs, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto), acts as a soul-bearing report, as guileless as the young five-piece themselves, on the act of simply growing up; a process that requires, at once, so little and so much effort it could explode you from the inside at any moment.

    "This record constantly jumps between two contrasting perspectives: the beauty of a reckless youth and the fear and confusion caused by our ever-pending adulthood," Appleby explains. "It's a hopeful and naïve look at love and life in general, which gives the album its bright days - but also deals with isolation, unrequited love and madness. We wanted to express both a feeling of strength and vulnerability, so the work had to encompass both the light and dark."

    "These are all feelings we've had, as a group or as individuals. We hope this is something people can relate to. That's always been why music has been written; it's a voice for people who don't have a voice. Hopefully someone can find some sort of comfort or solace in this. "

    The band -a group of 20-year-old friends with a habit of waxing deadly serious about their ever-expanding ambitions - convened in 2008 in a bungalow in Stevie Appleby's parents' backyard for as ordinary a reason as any: as the frontman admits sheepishly, they wanted to win a battle of the bands competition. With guitarist Adam O'Regan and bassist Donagh O'Leary friends since primary school, and the rest having met in secondary, the five rehearsed for the gig, at which they promptly lost out to another local band.

    The defeat, however, was surprisingly fuel enough. It inspired them to work harder, to work through their remaining two years of school, during which they produced a massive catalog of demo recordings, blending acoustic and electronic, classical and punk, djembe drums and synth strings. Then, in 2010, not long before graduation, then-rising manager Daniel Ryan found them at one of their sparse live gigs. With just one client already under his wing, he approached the young band with a terrifying, yet exhilarating ultimatum: Do you want to go to university, or do you want to really be in a band?

    "That was the first time we considered looking that far ahead," says guitarist/vocalist/primary songwriter Faye O'Rourke. "We were trying to avoid thinking about the future because of the prospect of college, but " The choice became obvious. And like that, they dove in. For two years they redoubled their efforts, crafting a wide-eyed musical narrative that mirrored their evolution as an ensemble until, inevitably, label suitors began to knock. Since 2011 they've been quietly boiling down those demos into an album - the first they've ever recorded.

    "The main thing I want to hear out of an artist I admire is the truth," says Appleby. "How they really felt. If I'm going to say something, it may as well be the truth." The lengths to which Appleby, O'Rourke and the rest of the band will go to tell that truth have yet to reveal their depth, but a full-steam-ahead debut record is a good place to start. Finally, five years' worth of backyard Garage Band tracks have a name: Absolute Zero.

    The songs of Absolute Zero have only begun to see the light of day, because, as Appleby puts it, "we've always been more interested in recording and writing and experimenting with everything than in touring. [The past five years] was time spent finding our sound, finding ourselves. We've gone through everything, from acoustic guitars to electronic music. We needed the time to grow up as people and as musicians."

    In other words, this is a debut that is a sum total of its creators' ascent to this moment. It is a desperate, under-pillow diary; a painstakingly lettered love note dropped in a locker; a collective, yet very personal, dissertation. On the record's debut single The John Wayne, a fierce paean to the ones who so easily break our hearts, the lot of them proclaim, "It's easy to fall in love with you/It's easy to be alone/It's easy to hate yourself when all your love is inside someone else." On "My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me," O'Rourke is torn between the heartbreak and the healing that comes from being heartbroken, "But my heart burned out til it was no more/still I wait on the ground, I don't know what for/There is a heart in you/where is the heart in me?/This love's killing me, but I want it to." And by its early-morning close, when Appleby asks, "And who will write and who will fight for this man/I know I am?/And if you're running out of space/Please don't erase your time with me," it becomes clear that it's not just love Little Green Cars are grasping at: even amidst an ex-lover's plea for acknowledgement, the search has grown far beyond that.

    1. Harper Lee
    2. Angel Owl
    3. My Love Took Me Down to The River to Silence Me
    4. The Consequences of Not Sleeping
    5. Big Red Dragon
    6. Red and Blue
    7. The Kitchen Floor
    8. The John Wayne
    9. Please
    10. Them
    11. Goodbye Blue Monday
    Little Green Cars
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lucky Lucky Quick View

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    Lucky, the title of Nada Surf's fifth album, is at once literal and ironic. Like the songs that singer-guitarist Matthew Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca and drummer Ira Elliot crafted for their previous two albums, let go (2003) and the weight is a gift (2005), lucky is filled with images of restlessness, longing and the elusiveness of love. Yet the band counterbalances the lyrical bittersweetness with a musical buoyancy. Intimate songs become in-it-together anthems, thanks to the chiming guitars, propulsive rhythms, and the emotional candor in Caws' vocals. A song like beautiful beat segues from a sparsely arranged, confessional first verse into a harmony-laden chorus and reaches multi-layered, canon-like proportions before the track fades out. If Caws is often suggesting that romance and resolution may still be an inch or two out of reach, he's also proffering immediate musical solace. Turn up the volume, hit the repeat button, and your troubles, for a blissful three minutes or so, will disappear.
    1. see these bones
    2. whose authority
    3. beautiful beat
    4. here goes something
    5. weightless
    6. are you lightning
    7. i like what you say
    8. from now on
    9. ice on the wing
    10. the fox
    11. the film did not go 'round
    Nada Surf
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Mirrorball Mirrorball Quick View

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    200-Gram Triple LP 45 Rpm Gatefold Reissue From Analogue Productions

    Mastered By Bernie Grundman

    Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings!

    Features Great Mclachlan Hits Performed Live: Building A Mystery, I Will Remember You, Adia And Angel

    The Analogue Productions/QRP pressing reissue treatment delivers sonics and luxury packaging second to none for discerning collectors. Now we've given three titles by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan this premier makeover and you reap the benefits: Solace, Mirrorball and Afterglow.

    Grafted from McLachlan's supremely satisfying 1998 performances, Mirrorball is drawn almost equally from the multiplatinum Surfacing and its superior predecessor, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. (Included also is the lovely, hard-to-come-by 'I Will Remember You.') Live, a haunting ballad such as Possession becomes a fevered, aggressive bit of psychedelia. Hold On reveals new depths when performed behind the beat with morphing time signatures and driving piano.

    McLachlan's warmly expressive voice is still at the epicenter of her performances. She roams through these 14 songs with agile ease, riding the rails between singing for dramatic arena effect - huskily growling, airily trilling - and knowing what to play down with her sensually controlled crooning (witness such gems as Fumbling's title song and 'Good Enough'). Overall, McLachlan's vocals match the heavily percussive intensity of her band and the build of her backing vocalists, producing a more spacious sound than the precise pitch rendered on her studio recordings. -

    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Building A Mystery
    2. Hold On
    3. Good Enough
    4. I Will Remember You
    5. Adia
    6. I Love You
    7. Do What You Have To Do
    8. The Path of Thorns (Terms)
    9. Fear
    10. Possession
    11. Sweet Surrender
    12. Ice Cream
    13. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
    14. Angel
    Sarah McLachlan
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Afterglow Afterglow Quick View

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    200-Gram Double LP 45 Rpm Gatefold Reissue From Analogue Productions

    Mastered By Bernie Grundman

    Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings!

    Features Fallen, Stupid And World On Fire

    The Analogue Productions/QRP pressing reissue treatment delivers sonics and luxury packaging second to none for discerning collectors. Now we've given three titles by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan this premier makeover and you reap the benefits: Solace, Mirrorball and Afterglow.

    McLachlan's rebellion is hushed on Afterglow, her first studio album since 1997's Surfacing. At times even the piano chords at the heart of the sound are tucked neatly beneath layer upon layer of strings and overdubbed voices. Listen to what's being sung within this soothing aural bed, though, and hear the just-before-sleep murmurings of the quietest riot grrl: I'm a train wreck waiting to happen.... a wildfire born of frustration, How stupid could I be.... you're no good for me, but you're the only one I see, I have to push just to see how far you'll go. The latter song (Push) resolves itself with the assurance, You complete me. Ultimately, McLachlan fans will be comforted again by what turns out to be her reliably untroubled aesthetic.

    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Fallen
    2. World On Fire
    3. Stupid
    4. Drifting
    5. Train Wreck
    6. Push
    7. Answer
    8. Time
    9. Perfect Girl
    10. Dirty Little Secret
    Sarah McLachlan
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Wild World Wild World Quick View

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    Wild World

    At first glance the striking artwork for Bastille's hugely anticipated second album, 'Wild World', may prompt a number of questions. Who are the two individuals balanced precariously above a cityscape? Why are they there? What will happen next? But Dan Smith's own interpretation of the image is one that runs through many of the songs on Wild World, "To me, the image isn't about what's just happened or what happens next," he begins. "It's not about how they got there or how they get down. It's about sharing a moment - two friends existing in that split second in that exact space, two people framed in the vast context of this huge mad metropolis that we've all built. They're there out of choice."

    The London four-piece release their hugely anticipated second album, 'Wild World' in 2016. The album follows the band's global four million selling, multi-platinum debut, Bad Blood.

    The announcement follows a fever pitch build spearheaded by infectious new single 'Good Grief', which received an incredible reaction across media and charted as last week's highest new entry as well as achieving the most week-one streams ever for an alternative single. The surreal video for the track clocked up over half a million views in just 48 hours and the band's recent triumphant Glastonbury set drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend and was hailed by the NME as "A masterclass in how to win Glastonbury."
    Wild World retains the vivid, rich, filmic song-writing of its predecessor but pushes the band's distinctive sound in exciting new directions. Lyrically, too, it's a leap forward, "If our first album was about growing up and the anxieties surrounding it" Dan explains, "Our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you, both as you see it and as it's presented to you through the media. It's also about asking questions of the world and of the people in it. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating - at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark."

    Written by Dan Smith and co-produced with Bastille fifth member Mark Crew, Wild World was recorded in the same tiny, South London windowless basement studio where the band recorded its predecessor. It's a collection of fourteen songs (nineteen on the deluxe edition) that sees Bastille at their boldest and most daring. Anthemic yet thought-provoking tracks include the fiery, string-laden, 'The Currents', a poignant and timely song that was written about, "Specific public figures on both sides of the Atlantic, and how it can be hard to believe they can think certain thoughts, let alone say them out loud or get on a podium and broadcast them." As well as the bombastic 'Send Them Off!' which boasts the attitude of a classic hip hop song set against the lyrical narrative and insecurities that are part of Bastille's own DNA, whilst referencing both The Exorcist and Othello. The track exemplifies Dan's belief in shuffle culture and the end of rigid genre boundaries. There's also the pensive, stripped back Depeche Mode-esque sound bed for the band's beautiful album trailer, 'Two Evils' which was recorded in one take; As well as the irresistible and rousing 'Snakes' and the guitar heavy 'Blame', which Dan describes as, "Our first foray into big guitar riffs, in a fictional standoff between two gangsters."

    But at the heart of it all, there's a sense of escapism that runs through Wild World and a fascination with the human condition and the relationships we all forge, fight over and sometimes forget. "The world can seem a fucked up place," Dan concludes. "But people - well, people can be amazing. The relationships you choose to have in your life are the main solace. They're the things that make life awesome."

    1. Good Grief
    2. The Currents
    3. An Act of Kindness
    4. Warmth
    5. Glory
    6. Power
    7. Two Evils
    8. Send Them Off!
    9. Lethargy
    10. Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)
    11. Blame
    12. Fake It
    13. Snakes
    14. Winter of Our Youth
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Coming Of Age Coming Of Age Quick View

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    Coming Of Age

    Call it a generous fluency, an affable virtuosity. Call it a true band spirit. The best bands have all had something that can't be forced: A refined mastery of music and a willingness to converse through music. That's what you hear, above all, on bassist Ben Williams' sophomore recording, Coming of Age: The sound of a musician who's cultivated an authentic rapport with some of the best young players in New York City.

    We have these group texts that we send to each other all the time," Williams says of his band, Sound Effect. "We're just as entertaining to each other off stage as on. If there were ever a reality show about jazz, we'd be good candidates for it!"

    Coming of Age for the 30-year-old Williams means playing a lively role among his peers and a vital part in the music world at large. After winning the prestigious Monk Institute Competition in 2009, Williams got busy turning his youthful promise into real achievement. "My career as a bandleader and composer started from the moment I won," he says. "I had this opportunity to say something-and an obligation, too." In 2011 Williams delivered a debut album, State Of Art, to great critical acclaim and toured widely as a bandleader with Sound Effect. He became a sought after and beloved sideman, playing so many sets at one year's Winter Jazzfest that he rarely left the stage. Most impressively, he assumed a highly-coveted place in guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Band. "Ben has a fearless and open-minded approach to what music can be," Metheny has said. "A wonderful combination of skills."

    For all his strides in bandleading and performing, on the track Coming of Age Williams shows his greatest growth as a composer. "Composing seems like a nebulous thing," he says. "But the ability to translate a feeling into actual music, takes a lot of doing it, a lot of practice. Which chord is going to invoke this feeling? What's the best key for this idea?" And Williams has some big ideas and feelings to convey, necessitating heavy skill in musical translation and storytelling. On "Toy Soldiers," for example, a martial rhythm and chantlike riff send a message about the sacrifices of war. He wrote the uplifting "Strength And Beauty" on the day of the 2012 Newtown school shooting.

    "The tragic news hit me hard, and this tune came to me as a way of feeling my way through the tragedy. The title was inspired later, when I saw how [jazz saxophonist] Jimmy Greene and his family responded to losing their daughter at Newtown. Their pain is something most of us can't even imagine, but the way Jimmy held it together and became a beacon of light and true strength was an inspiration to everyone."

    Williams takes a page from the Miles Davis school of bandleading by encouraging his band members to compose in the studio, too. For the R&B tribute anthem "Voice of Freedom (for Mandela)," Williams enlisted the smooth soulfulness of singer-songwriter Goapele-and then headed in to record the song with a characteristically open mind. In the studio, saxophonist Marcus Strickland contributed an on-the-spot horn arrangement with the sunny harmony of a South African choir.

    As much as Williams writes in response to politics and current events, his compositions are a respectful celebration of the musical past, too. The driving samba rhythms of "Forecast" are an homage to the jazz fusion group Weather Report, with the tune's melody inspired by Wayne Shorter's "Over Shadow Hill Way." Williams's fluid fretless grooves on "Half Steppin'" recall Jaco Pastorius's "Teen Town."

    Williams sees covers of pop tunes as a bestowal to the jazz canon. "I always like to contribute new repertoire to the jazz songbook," says Williams. "For me it's very important to shout out all the young, new songs coming out." His gift on this album is a moving instrumental version of Lianne La Havas' breakup ballad "Lost & Found." Guest trumpeter Christian Scott communicates the contained heartache of La Havas's song lyrics, with a lightly arranged string quartet adding the right amount of solace.

    Coming of Age concludes with the sweeping title tune, a showcase for Williams's broad stylistic range. "I wanted 'Coming of Age' to feel big," he says. "I was thinking of it in movements, as a kind of mini-symphony." In the final section of "Coming of Age," Williams picks up a bow for the only time on the record, filtering the sound to other worldly but soulful effect. "The vibe I was going for at the end was Prince," Williams says. "I wanted it to feel sonically transformed, tripped out." It's an auspicious end to an accomplished sophomore recording, with Williams' bowed strings sauntering off into the stars to explore for the next album.

    Whatever comes next for Ben Williams, it's sure to be as engaging as it is virtuosic. As an artist who's come of age, Williams' raw talent has evolved into musical grace, conviction, and power. He's a musician in meaningful dialogue with his band Sound Effect, with current events, with musical styles past and present, and finally, with his listeners.

    "My favorite thing is when someone comes up to me who's heard my music and they're singing one of my tunes," Williams enthuses. "Humming a melody! That's the best feeling in the world, when one of my tunes has stuck in someone's head."

    1. Black Villain Music
    2. Voice of Freedom (for Mandela) featuring Goapele
    3. Toy Soldiers
    4. Lost & Found
    5. Half Steppin'
    6. Smells Like Teen Spirit
    7. Toy Soldiers (Reprise)
    8. Coming of Age
    Ben Williams
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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