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Songs You Know By Heart'
Songs You Know By HeartSongs You Know by Heart is the 18th album and first greatest hits compilation by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, originally released on January 1, 1985.1. Cheeseburger In Paradise
2. He Went To Paris
4. Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
5. A Pirate Looks At Forty
7. Come Monday
8. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
9. Why Don't We Get Drunk
10. Pencil Thin Mustache
11. Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit
12. Boat Drinks
13. Volcano$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Know What Love Isn'tTracey Thorn wrote a song that reached Jens Lekman in the early stages of his new album, I Know What Love Isn't. In her song she sang Oh Jens, oh Jens/your songs seem to look through a different lens/you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun. A touching moment for the Swedish songwriter, having been a fan since his teens. But it came to him in a time when he found himself very confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs. They weren't looking through that lens anymore.
I Know What Love Isn't came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about at first. The songs began more fleeting than the last go around, on his 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. The songs began building from images and memories and soon began to take their own route, one that Lekman wasn't privy to their destination.
In The World Moves On he paints a picture of a sweltering summer in the city of Melbourne where he lived while writing and recording the album. The hot days that led up to the Black Saturday bushfires, but also more mundane images of feeding possums in a park or getting in trouble with some guy on a scooter. It seems to lead nowhere at first but the aimlessness in itself reaches heartbreaking conclusions later on, summed up by the soaring chorus and you don't get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully. Like Joan Didion once said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts. And of course they led him right back to the break up.
Musically, I Know What Love Isn't chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for Kortedala, he's only chosen a few somber colors this time around. There are strings but not a string section, an upright piano and not a grand, a single saxophone and gracenotes from a flute. The songs are lighter, almost aerodynamic, Jens explains, I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony. Like when you're in an airplane taking off and you look out the window and realize you're already in the air.
A dry country piano makes Become Someone Else's lift high. Vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in Erica America soar. Strings pick up the title track and send it up to the sky without much effort or force. In the latter, Lekman once again points the way to distill essential truths from every day life vignettes while singing about a sham marriage. I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her old crappy Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country.
The idea was so appealing, that we would build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at anytime. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great a story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories. And that's what I Know What Love Isn't is. A collection of songs that grew to a story that had to be told. A story that is not new, but essentially human. The story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.1. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
2. Erica America
3. Become Someone Else's
4. She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore
5. Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
6. I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
7. The World Moves On
8. The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
9. I Know What Love Isn't
10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undivided Heart & SoulUndivided Heart & Soul, produced by Dan Molad (Lucius) and
McPherson, and developed largely in the studio (that studio being the historic
RCA Studio B in Nashville), carries a sense of immediacy and irreverence.
"In writing this record, I threw several handfuls of caution to the wind.
Lyrically, I was allowing myself to be exposed in a way I never have before.
Concurrently, maybe as some sort of a self-defense mechanism, the guitars
got fuzzier and louder. The first day at RCA was like being in church...
by the second day, it was a high school band's rehearsal space."
Putting the hands of Dan Molad on the wheel of the record ensured that
the music didn't take too many expected turns. "Having toured with
Lucius and befriended Dan, I knew he was the guy to push my buttons
and challenge me to try new things. He's a tireless worker. He's constantly
tinkering away on something... and music just falls out of him."
The vintage recording equipment and instruments still housed
in RCA Studio B greatly informed the direction of the record. "Each night,
at the end of tracking, someone would invariably say, 'You wanna put vibes
on this?', speaking of the old RCA Vibraphone. I mean, you can hear THAT
vibraphone on Roy Orbison's 'Crying'... we couldn't keep our hands off of it.
It guided some of the songs into some strange and wonderful places.
'Lucky Penny' took such a cool turn once Ray (Jacildo, keys) added some to it.
We wrote several songs on the piano that Floyd Cramer played 'Last
Date' on. We were soaking up so much of the phantom energy in
that room, it led to some incredible sonic territory."
"Most folks know us for our take on vintage R&B and early Rock N' Roll.
The past year, I've been digging so much into the heavier, brasher sounds of
early Rock N' Roll... from bands like The Sonics, Link Wray, and into some
early British Rock such as The Creation... these influences feature heavily in
these songs. The tunes that showed up weren't exactly always in familiar
territory, and... we greeted them as welcome strangers. They have a lot
of heart... and that's what Rock N' Roll should always have."1. Desperate Love
2. Crying's Just A Thing You Do
3. Lucky Penny
4. Hunting For Sugar
5. On The Lips
6. Undivided Heart & Soul
7. Bloodhound Rock
8. Style (Is A Losing Game)
10. Under The Spell Of City Lights
11. Let's Get Out Of Here While We're Young$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Don't Want To Let You DownSharon Van Etten has never needed much room to make a grand statement. With four albums during the
last six years, she's become one of music's most astute new cartographers of the heart, able to capture
emotional trials and triumphs with incisive lines and a voice that loses nothing in the translation and
transmission of feelings. Her second record, epic, needed only seven tracks to live up to its title. 2012's
Tramp and last year's Are We There, went longer, but Van Etten managed still to squeeze enormous
sentiments into especially small spaces. From start to rising stardom, Van Etten has forever understood the
impact of economy
It should come as no surprise, then, that the five-song EP I Don't Want to Let You Down offers documents
of surrender and disappointment, admission and longing in only 22 minutes. Produced by Van Etten and
Stewart Lerman, who also helmed Are We There, these songs are as sophisticated as anything Van Etten has
ever done. Supported by a string section during "I Always Fall Apart," Van Etten's voice rises alongside her
piano. Her prismatic harmonies betray the terror of the song's central admission and one of the new lyrical
cornerstones of her catalogue: "You know I always fall apart/It's not my fault/It's just my flaw/It's who I am."
During the title track, she slowly pushes her voice past an introductory murmur, as if scanning her
surroundings for the resolve to be stronger and more steadfast than she knows she has been. Building across
four minutes, the desperation of the title is expressed through guitars that get bigger, harmonies that get
broader. The chorus is a sing-along commandment, an indelible promise Van Etten makes to be better. The
War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel and David Hartley join Antibalas' Stuart Bogie, Peter Broderick and
Heather Woods-Broderick for "Pay My Debts." The longest song here, it's a cinematic number that smolders
like shoegaze before climaxing into an inescapable seesaw refrain.
The EP ends with a live rendition of "Tell Me." A demo from Tramp, but backed here by her four-piece
touring band, the tune becomes a kind of battle cry for respect and a charged pronouncement of Van Etten's
cultivated powers. It's a map of the singer's progression from an acoustic songwriter to a bona fide
bandleader, a reminder of the poignancy and efficiency her work has long paired.1. I Don't Want To Let You Down
2. Just Like Blood
3. Always Fall Apart
4. Pay My Debts
5. Tell Me [Live]$14.99Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
Falling Faster Than You Can RunWell, it doesn't take long for Falling Faster Than You Can Run to reveal that Nathaniel Rateliff isn't in a very good place. His deep funk is revealed very quickly on the opening track 'Still Trying': "If you roll in it long enough/your shit won't even smell" sings Rateliff, in between crying out, unaccompanied, "I don't know/I don't know/a god damned thing".
And that's the feeling that sticks throughout this, often very fine, new record from Denver, Colorado's Missouri-born Rateliff. On his second full-length album (dropping the & the Wheel from his name) loneliness is writ large: not the kind of loneliness from actually being along, but the kind that comes from being constantly surrounded by people yet unable to shake the feeling of complete isolation. Rateliff has toured with many, many acts over the past few years and most recently has spent time with Dr Dog and fellow Denver act (and friends) The Lumineers. Thankfully, Rateliff rarely sounds like his friends (you might say I'm not a fan) and instead writes and plays music with a lot of heart and soul. It's often his voice that's the star of the show thanks to the subtly-arranged instrumentation: part matured Kurt Wagner burr and part throat-ravaged bluesman ( a bit The Tallest Man on Earth) it's a voice you could listen to all day. But good voice is nothing without good songs, and Rateliff comes with plenty of ammunition on Falling Faster Than You Can Run.
"Still Trying" is an arresting opener; while Rateliff's heart-wrenching roars are the highlight, the backing isn't too shabby either - acoustic guitar and bass drum battle for the spotlight on a ragged country song, and it sounds authentic, like Rateliff has lived what he's singing. And things get better quickly: "I Am" is mostly just Rateliff and his guitar, as broaches his isolation singing: "you'll never know what's buried there / less you dig around". The music swells as he sings the title over and over, following a similar pattern to the album opener. But before things get too familiar, Rateliff picks up the pace with a couple of full band numbers that could almost be considered jaunty, if we were to ignore the lyrics. "Don't Get Too Close" is fine enough and ticks over nicely like a quickstep, but "Laborman" is even better. Like Wilco at their poppiest, it flies off on crunchy and bright electric guitars which belies the lyrical content: "I got a feelin' / a sleepin' depression / that somebody's gonna get hurt", sings Rateliff, followed by "you got the harness/so where you gonna drag me now?" You can see a pattern developing here; Rateliff's stuck somewhere he doesn't want to be, lonely, but how does he get out of it? Take another look at that album cover too - a couple share a bed, an arm reaches out yet it doesn't touch the other person. It's basically a visual encapsulation of what's being sung about.
The epic electric storm of "Forgetting Is Believing" leads a trio of great closing tracks, ending with the Lambchop-murmur of the title track. Rateliff's baritone is exposed and dusty as he sings "leave me alone/you can see me fall/faster than you can run", ending as he started the record - alone and isolated.
Falling Faster Than You Can Run feels, through the dirt, the shit and the whisky, and despite the loneliness, like a hard-earned triumph for Nathaniel Rateliff.
- Andrew Hannah (The Line Of Best Fit)1. Still Trying
2. I Am
3. Don't Get Too Close
5. How To Win
6. Nothing To Show For
7. Right On
8. Three Fingers
9. Forgetting Is Believing
10. When Do You See
11. Falling Faster Than You Can Run$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
By-What can be said about Bygones? Have you heard of Hella? Tera Melos? These bands don't need words to get their point across. So logically, a project bred from their members Zach Hill (drums, vocals) & Nick Reinhart (guitar, bass, vocals) is equally successful at rendering listeners speechless. Bygones' debut album by- is a sinewy, wired mass of riffs and rhythms tightly wound around a uniquely pop heart. The duo fits more riffs and ideas into one song than most bands fit into a whole album. It's tireless, and nearly infinite in the sheer quantity of ideas to unravel.
Most everyone familiar with Zach Hill knows he's an equally tireless collaborator. Along with Hella, he also performs with Marnie Stern and in El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Team Sleep (with Chino Moreno of Deftones), Goon Moon, Crime In Choir and a host of others. In a recent news story, Pitchfork quipped of his ridiculously busy schedule, at this rate, Hill's probably going to need to clone himself.
Can we play the game of stepping out of the bounds of what's expected to the point where we're no longer sure if we believe in anything anymore? Is there a point? Bygones are a product of our age. Let's not over-analyze. Let's not look for cultural pertinence. Let's not be stymied by tradition, or by the desire to react against it. Let's not pander. Instead, let's rejoice in both our common bonds and our eccentricities. Let's own it. And, let Bygones be by-.1. Cold Reading
2. Click On That (Smash The Plastic Death)
3. Not What It Is But What It's Not
4. Nu Cringe
5. Fool Evolved
6. Spray You With Your Own Trip
8. Up The Shakes
10. Error$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Astonishing Collection of The Queen of Soul's Greatest Songs for Atlantic Records: Aretha's Gold Includes Nine Top Ten Hits: Respect, Chain of Fools, and Think Among Them
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Pressed at RTI: Breathtaking Sonics on Mobile Fidelity 180g 45RPM 2LP of Aretha's Gold Get to the Heart of Franklin's Range, Emotions, Expressiveness
Aretha Franklin made her Hall of Fame reputation at Atlantic Records between 1967-1968. This astonishing two-year period witnessed the singer score nine Top 10 hits and define soul music, a era chronicled on Aretha's Gold. Pairing with producer Jerry Wexler and a flawless Muscle Shoals studio band, Franklin unleashed bolder sides of her artistry kept under wraps during her tenure at Columbia. The rest is history - a history that, until now, has never been in heard in true audiophile sound. And if there's any voice you want to experience to the most realistic extent, it's that of the vocalist Rolling Stone crowned the Greatest Singer of All Time.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP of Aretha's Gold presents Franklin's most seminal early Atlantic songs with reference-standard sonics. Finally, hear the full range of the Queen of Soul's depth, reach, and expressiveness. Complementing her timeless classics with tremendous dynamics, restored balances, and stunning clarity, this collectible analog set sheds new light on Franklin's power and technique, honesty and confidence, enunciation and directness.
Hear why Franklin is even better than you likely think or remember. You just haven't been able to hear the Detroit native on a format that mirrors exactly what went down in the studios when she recorded songs that, to this day, remain the bar by which all other singers are measured. The same goes for Franklin's backing band, known as the Swampers, whose instrumental savvy, feel, and textures are so unique, the group is credited with creating its own style: The Muscle Shoals Sound. On this vinyl edition of Aretha's Gold, experience every picked guitar note, brushed snare, and fluid bass line. Seldom has a band and vocalist ever made a more formidable, memorable, and emotional combination.
The evidence plays out across these 14 songs, each a soul landmark, each unforgettable thanks to Franklin's impassioned performances and empowering attitude. The Sweet Impressions (Franklin's backing vocalists) and sweeping string arrangements bolster the foundation, but the material belongs to Franklin. A veritable hit parade, the track listing on Aretha's Gold reads like a dictionary of soul.
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You), Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Chain of Fools, Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby), Think, The House That Jack Built, I Say a Little Prayer, Baby I Love You: All Top 10 hits. Plus five more tunes, including a riveting cover of Sam Cooke's You Send Me, that charted.
You know the songs by heart. You know the voice by memory. But you've never quite known them so intimately. Aretha's Gold on Mobile Fidelity gives the Queen the royal treatment she deserves.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
2. Do Right Woman-Do Right Man
4. Dr. Feelgood
5. Baby, I Love You
6. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
7. Chain of Fools
8. Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)
9. Ain't No Way
11. You Send Me
12. The House That Jack Built
13. I Say a Little Prayer
14. See Saw$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Bon JoviBon Jovi is the debut studio album of American rock band Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984. Produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album on which a song (She Don't Know Me) appears that was neither written nor co-written by members of the band. The album charted at No. 43 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Aside from hit single Runaway, songs from the album were rarely performed live after the band released their breakthrough album Slippery When Wet in 1986. However, on the band's 2010 Circle Tour, songs including Roulette, Shot Through The Heart and Get Ready were performed. The song Shot Through the Heart should not be confused with the much more well-known You Give Love a Bad Name, an unrelated song from Slippery When Wet.1. Runaway
3. She Don't Know Me
4. Shot Through The Heart
5. Love Lies
7. Burning For Love
8. Come Back
9. Get Ready$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
If The Roses Don't Kill UsIf The Roses Don't Kill Us was made with Grammy-winning producer Dave Sanger (Asleep at the Wheel) and his partners PJ Herrington and Jay Reynolds. They created a relaxed atmosphere in the studio that gaveDenny's vocals a sharp, visceral presence. The album opener, "Happy Sad" sets the stage for all that follows. When Denny strums a minor chord and sings the word "sad," you're pulled into his world of intense melancholy.
The descending melody line and bluesy guitar lines of "God's Height" gives the tune a sense of anguished longing, mitigated by Denny's playful vocal. "I was laughing about the thoughts you get at the end of a relationship when you think you're not good enough, but you know you're going to survive." The churchy B3 organ on "Our Kind of Love" suggests Memphis in the early 60s, a feeling echoed in Denny's crooning. "No matter how bad it seems, we only have this moment. When I wrote, 'It's our love, darlin', and we beat ourselves black and blue,' I was realizing how much I love my dark feelings."
Denny's jubilant vocal dominates "Watch Me Shine" with chiming acoustic guitar and sustained bell-like synthesizer notes adding to the track's righteous mood. "If the Roses Don't Kill Us" is pure country funk with a New Orleans brass band supporting Denny's lively vocal. "Sometimes you have to go crazy to figure out what's important to you," Denny explains. "This is about leaving a relationship when you know the situation isn't really resolved." That ambivalence is the thread that holds the songs on If The Roses Don't Kill Us together. Denny's barely restrained vocals have the ability to describe contradictory feelings with an intensity that gives every word he sings the ring of painful truth. His shimmering, one-of-a-kind voice reaches you on a deep emotional level, touching your heart and soul to deliver his hard won insights with an honesty that makes his singing and songwriting something unique and rare.1 Happy Sad
2 God's Height
3 Our Kind Of Love
5 Million Little Thoughts
6 Watch Me Shine
7 If The Roses Don't Kill Us
8 Love Is A Code Word
9 Man A Fool
10 Ride On
12 Some Things
$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ChiaroscuroI BREAK HORSES is the musical project led by Maria LindÉn. From her
Stockholm base, the Swedish artist delivered an extraordinary debut album
in the shape of Hearts, released by Bella Union in August 2011. Forward
two years, and the arrival of an eagerly awaited follow-up, entitled Chiaroscuro, is upon us. The latest chapter in I Break Horses' much celebrated
songbook is everything fans could wish for and more. In the words of
LindÉn: My only aim when starting to write this album was to ignore any
possible second album expectations. The result is a more confident and
evolved sound with a more dramatic expression.
The title of Chiaroscuro - meaning light-dark - serves as the perfect
embodiment of LindÉn's sonic creations, where an atmosphere and mood is
created that evokes innermost feelings and thoughts residing beyond the
surface reality of the material world. Affecting ballads such as 'Heart To
Know' and 'You Burn' are wrapped in fragile beauty. 'Denial' and 'Medicine
Brush' are sublime synth-pop odysseys whose pulses guide you to new
horizons. 'Faith' is a dance anthem complete with hypnotic beats, swirling
synths and the mesmerising looped vocals of LindÉn. I let myself write
both the happiest songs but also the saddest, and then I put them
together, states LindÉn. This arrangement of light and dark forms the
essence of Chiaroscuro.
'Ascension' is rooted in a gorgeous 80s synth-pop sound, where LindÉn's
vocals melt into the lush sonic tapestry. The song deals with love and
forgiveness. An irresistible groove lies at the heart of 'Disclosure' where a
divine purity is distilled in the intricate array of instrumentation. 'You Burn' is
perhaps the album's centrepiece, as well as being the opening track, where
a brooding darkness envelops the surrounding human space. The delicate
piano chords drift magnificently amidst Linden's searching lyrics. I Break
Horses are one of those rare bands capable of conjuring up raw emotion
through a sound that is ultimately something life-affirming.1. You Burn
6. Medicine Brush
8. Weigh True Words
9. Heart To Know$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDI-BUM-5610xTwo Hours Traffic
TerritoryTerritory is the follow up to the Charlottetown band's Polaris Prize nominated and internationally acclaimed sophomore album, Little Jabs. Once again produced by Joel Plaskett, Territory builds on the promise of Little Jabs as the band continues to write and record sunny pop gems for the heart and head. The album also finds Two Hours Traffic discovering the shadows at the side of the road. Right from the get go this becomes apparent as the gold into lead alchemy of the rousing opener Noisemaker kicks in and by the time the title track tells its tale of disillusionment and betrayal you know you are settling in for a drive to the darker side. Indeed, songs such as Weightless One, Drop Alcohol, Wicked Side, and Lost Boys all explore the approaching dusk but just like the more hopeful tracks on the album (Happiness Burns, Sing A Little Hymn) they all lock into the close your eyes, sing along choruses and instantly memorable lyrics that have put Two Hours Traffic on the melodic map.
Initially conceived as a two-piece, lead singer Liam Corcoran and guitarist Alec O'Hanley recruited bassist Andrew MacDonald and drummer Derek Ellis while attending university in their hometown of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After releasing their April Storm EP in 2003 a friendship was struck up with Halifax hero Joel Plaskett who offered to produce the band's first proper album. They've been working together ever since. While their eponymous debut and their follow up Isolator EP were received warmly by critics, it wasn't until 2007's breakthrough Little Jabs that the world really took notice. Appearing on dozens of year-end best of lists, Little Jabs also garnered an ECMA for Best Pop Recording and was a finalist for the coveted Polaris Music Prize.1. Noisemaker
2. Wicked Side
4. Weightless One
5. Painted Halo
6. Just Listen
7. Drop Alcohol
8. Monster Closet
9. Lost Boys
10. Happiness Burns
11. Sing a Little Hymn
12. Heroes of the Sidewalk
15. Backstreet Sweetheart$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FutureIt's something we all want the answers for. It's something we fear. It's something we want to have a grip on.
So we ask for clearcut forecasts, desperately seeking security in precise, defined direction. Tossing and turning, we think if we could just glimpse the end of the book, we'd rest easy. We make plans and maps, charting out our lives and where we want them to go. We find ourselves filled with anxieties, pressure, worries
Jordan Feliz knows the feeling.
But he didn't write his newest album, Future, because he figured out all the answers to his path. Quite the opposite. This record was born out of Feliz making peace with the fact that he doesn't, none of us can, know what his future holds. Cling to your best-laid plans until your knuckles turn white, mark your calendar up and down, worry yourself dizzy But the real answer is accepting that we do not hold the future in our own two hands. And thank goodness, because the One who does has already written better stories for us than we ever could.
Following widespread acclaim for his first album, The River, Jordan Feliz began the journey of recording a new one. But the process didn't start how he expected or hoped.
"I started going through anxiety and honestly didn't know how to begin, because I felt like 'Everything I create isn't going to be good enough.'" Jordan remembers.
He was on tour, trying to write for the album, but experiencing panic attacks. He found himself unable to connect with the songs he'd been working on.
"My head wasn't in the right spot. My heart wasn't either. it was more focused on appeasing people. It was listening to myself and not to God."
Then back home with friends and co-writers Paul Duncan and Colby Wedgeworth, he marched not around the fear, but through it. And on the other side was solid ground.
"I said 'What if I just can't do it?' but then Paul says to me 'Look man, there's no pressure. Everything in your future has already been plotted by Jesus. He has paved every step of the way for you, in a way to have favor on your life. Our future is not wound up in our success, but in the inheritance of God.'"
With those words, something clicked for Jordan. He took a breath. He let go. He remembered that his future is held by the strong, kind hands of the Father.
"Sometimes it's really hard to silence out the world and just listen to the small, still voice. But once I refocused and listened to Him, He had a message for me," Feliz shares. "A fire was set in me to write a song about freedom. A song we can sing to be stoked that every single day there's a God that loves us, never ceases, and never fails."
That day they wrote "Witness," which would go on to be Feliz's first single for Future, in only 45 minutes.
"And that's when the record started."
It's certainly not the first time Jordan's had to rely on faith. Six years ago, following much prayer, he and his wife ventured to Nashville after feeling called to make the move; the only catch: they didn't even have enough money to make it all the way from California to Music City. They were depending on a few performance gigs Jordan had along the route.
"But all the shows I was scheduled to play got cancelled. At first we were stressed and asking 'What do we do?'. We just felt like the Lord was saying 'You need to go.You just need to trust me.' We had to decide to think about what the Lord has for us, instead of what we have for ourselves. Watch and prepare for what He can do, not what we think we can do."
He ended up with a spontaneous opportunity to perform for less than 30 people, who bought more than enough merchandise to get the Felizes to Nashville.
"We sobbed in the car," he reflects. "For God to show us that He gives us more than we even need "
Jordan tells that story in the album's track "All Along," his most personal song to date. With the first lyric describing his literal first moment of breath, Feliz goes on to tell some of his life's highlights, revealing God's presence through each moment of every season.
And that's what marks this album as a mature step forward for the singer-songwriter. The vibrant pop melodies are not only infectious, but deep-rooted in the vulnerable walks of faith he's ventured through in the past year.
"This record is just chock-full of story. Every single song," Jordan says. "It's kind of me taking a piece of my life, my heart, my beliefs, and my trust in God and just giving them to people. And hopefully they'll hold onto the message and learn to trust God even more through it."
He wrote most of the album on the road with a hectic tour schedule and only eight other writers. Feliz was surprised to find that he loved this unorthodox writing process, saying it allowed for him and cowriters to spend more time simply experiencing life together, then reflect on it through creating music. Gone was the pressure to sit in a room and crank out a hit song. The result: more authentic songs that come from inspiration found in everyday life. Songs the musicians poured themselves into- including one of Jordan's favorites, "Faith," which came about from a middle-of-the-night writing session.
"That never would've happened back home," Jordan laughs.
And as Feliz and his team were wrapping up, something incredible happened for an album that began from a place of insecurity. When it came time to make the final song decisions, typically a stressful and challenging process, Jordan felt an unexpected peace.
"Not even kidding, the day we left that meeting, we all just kind of knew those were the songs. With The River, we thought through every little thing, but this time it feels like the Lord just gave us these songs and was like 'This is it. You don't need anything other than these.' And we still wrote over 40 songs, but it was so clear that these were the ones that were going to be recorded. We hadn't even heard them produced yet, so we were just hoping it was all going to turn out right and it did. These songs were gifted to me by the Lord."
Jordan Feliz belts out "Witness" to a roaring crowd.
"Your love is moving mountains every day of my life. Can I get a witness?"
Hands shoot up, voices join in, souls worship. Jordan beams. It's the smile of a heart that knows it's landed in the hands of its Protector. The smile of a heart, fearlessly honest, that is connecting with others. A heart that's traveled through uncertainty, and probably will again, but will always find home in the story already written for it.
Jordan listens to the new record, the latest season of his life in musical form. Those early doubts have transformed into peace. The shame into compassion. The worry into joy, and the fear into excitement.
"Probably craziest of all is that I didn't see any of it coming together at beginning. I thought 'There's no way this is going to get done and I'm going to be able to handle it,' and it just happened. This entire project comes down to the fact that every day I'm learning how to trust God more and more and more."
He doesn't know how the next chapter reads. But he knows something more important: the Author.
"Every time I think about the concept of this record, it feels like it's purposeful for people to grab onto the idea of a song and hold onto it for a very long time. That's what it stands for. It stands for what's coming. It stands for what God has for our life."
Written. Held.1. Witness
2. Count That High
4. Streets Of Gold
6. Lay It Down
8. All Along
11. That's The Life
12. My Shelter
13. Blank Canvas$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Big Sky CountryFrom the opening strums of Big Sky Country, the newest album - 6th, overall - from Sweden's Sofia Talvik, you know you're in for an aural pleasure experience. Her sweet, rich and enveloping voice immediately draws you in and the fullness of the songs captures your attention, enhanced by the just-right production. Acoustic-based, melody-built - a fine, fine work. Even though this young lady is from Sweden, I'd place her at the forefront of the American vanguard. One listen will tell you why and how.
"Aha Aha" opens the album and straps you in for the ride down this dusty, sun-setting musical highway; "Big Sky Country" is a melodic and melancholic, near Irish-folk-feel singalong while "Dusty Heart, Empty Hand" is pure Nashville with its pedal steel runs and banjo. "Lullaby" is a sweet, gentle piano based track with interestingly contradictory lyrics (" everything's beautiful - still you wish you were dead "); "A Matter Of The Hearts" is a vocal showcase - you can hear the natural skill in her singing and the feeling she conveys; "Bonfire" is a uptempo acoustic piece (without percussion) that builds with dramatic (yet not overboard) flair. "Fairground" is an acoustic shuffle with beautiful background harmonies and one of the album's standouts; "So" closes out the album in a subdued yet emotional manner.
- Rob Ross (Pop Dose)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mystery Girl ExpandedEveryone involved with Mystery Girl sensed the magic in Roy Orbison, who, in 1988, was enjoying a full creative renaissance and resurgence of popularity. One of Roy's classic recordings, "In Dreams," memorably lip-synched into a hurricane lamp by Dean Stockwell, had served as a key thematic element in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," igniting a renewed interest in the Big O.
In a series of bold aesthetic moves, Orbison directly addressed his legacy, first with Class of '55 (a 1986 reunion album with fellow Sun Records alumni Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins) and then, In Dreams: The Greatest Hits, where Orbison recut many of his biggest songs, using 1980s technology to produce results often surpassing his original recordings.
At this same time, Roy Orbison became a founding member of the Traveling Wilburys, the roots rock supergroup also featuring Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty. It was during work with the Wilburys that the vision for Mystery Girl, a new Roy Orbison album made of original songs from a variety of writers-including Roy Orbison, Diane Warren, Elvis Costello, Wesley Orbison and U2s Bono and the Edge (among others)-began taking shape.
"When he sang it, it was absolutely magnificent," said Jeff Lynne, who would produce tracks for Mystery Girl. "His voice, I had never heard a voice like that live, you know, in the studio, ever . He had this wonderful spirit, almost like a kid in many ways.
He was just a happy guy. I love him . One of the proudest things I've ever done is to have become his friend. I'd look at him and just go, 'Wow, it's him. The Big O.'"
Roy's core group of musicians on the original Mystery Girl recordings included Jeff Lynne (guitar, piano, bass, backing vocals), Tom Petty (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Mike Campbell (guitar, bass, mandolin), Jim Keltner (drums), Howie Epstein (bass, backing vocals), and Benmont Tench (piano, organ, cheap strings). Contributing artists on the album include Barbara Orbison, Roy Orbison, Jr., Al Kooper, George Harrison, Bono, T Bone Burnett, Steve Cropper, The Memphis Horns, and more.
"I was just taken by how amazing this guy was. Just sitting, singing softly, sitting on the sofa with an acoustic guitar, his voice was unbelievable." remembers Tom Petty. "The music will live on, you know; it's very timeless music."
Mike Campbell added, "Any time I hear one of Roy's songs, wherever I am, I just stop and listen to it and he's there, you know. His artistry and his voice and his spirit and the depth of his soul is so unique and it just connects with you in such a deep way . He just had a way of getting into your heart."
"He was a real innovator, truly a great singer," said Bono. "The real rebels to me always had manners. Elvis, you know, and Roy, Roy was a true gentleman. And that's a scary thing in a man, do you know what I mean? A man that's so sure in himself that he can be polite."
The legendary guitarist Steve Cropper confided that, "I've only met basically three, maybe three-and-a-half, of what I call 'light bulbs' in my life. And what I mean by 'light bulbs' is they're the brightest one in the room and when they walk in the door every head turns. Every head. Not just a few, not some people still talking in the corner. It's like everyone stops what they are doing. Elvis Presley, Otis Redding and Roy Orbison. And I saw that happen to Bill Clinton. So, there you go and I've never seen that happen to anybody else, ever."LP1
1. You Got It
2. In the Real World
3. (All I Can Do Is) Dream You
4. A Love So Beautiful
5. California Blue
6. She's a Mystery to Me
7. The Comedians
8. The Only One
10. Careless Heart
1. The Way Is Love
2. She's a Mystery to Me (Studio Demo)
3. (All I Can Do Is) Dream You (Studio Demo)
4. The Only One (Studio Demo)
5. The Comedians (Studio Demo)
6. In the Real World (Studio Demo)
7. California Blue (Studio Demo)
8. Windsurfer (Work-Tape Demo)
9. You Are My Love (Work-Tape Demo)$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Best Of The Boiler Room ClassicsIt's been over three years since Oscillate Wisely, the debut album from Mike Adams At His
Honest Weight. A lot has happened to all of us since then, but it was a particularly action-packed time for ol' Mike. His newborn son requiring emergency heart surgeries immediately
after birth (doing ne now!), his former rock band of nearly 10 years calling it quits, and plenty
of other heavy things have helped shape the follow-up, Best of Boiler Room Classics, into one
of the most believably moving albums to come around in a long time.
But forget about all that stu for a minute because we need to talk about how great these
SONGS are! And these are real songs, daddy! Verses, choruses, hooks, bridges, you know,
well-written timeless songs that at least some of us will be listening to 50 years from now. The
same mixing/mastering team of Adam Jessup & Eric Day have returned and have really taken
their time to make this album sound like exactly one million bucks. The thoughtful, hard work
that went into this record has resulted in something truly special, like a Midwestern Tusk made
by fun, lovable people who actually get along really well.
Best of Boiler Room Classics has the subtle, earnest warmth of an album like the Clientele's
Strange Geometry but with the arena-ready grandeur of ELO's Out Of The Blue. While there is
an unforgettable instant catchiness to these songs, there is a depth, both lyrically and musically,
that makes repeated listens a delight.
While this is not a country album by any means, songs like "Count On It" and "Don't Want It,
Don't Get It" nd Mike's comforting words gripping your heart like an old Roger Miller ballad.
Speaking of "Count On It", just wait until those actual strings kick in at 2:27! It'll do something
What if the GBV albums on TVT had been produced by Cowboy Jack Clement?
What if The Wonders songs in That Thing You Do were actually performed by The Pernice
Brothers? What if Dee Dee Ramone wrote "Late For The Sky" instead of Jackson Browne?
What if Todd Rundgren engineered a Cass McCombs record?1. If
2. Be Free, Live Well
3. I'm Worried
4. Findings of Feeling, Findings of Fact
5. A Woman Is The New Man
6. Count On It
8. The Bright Line
9. Don't Want It, Don't Get It
10. The Fingers You Know
11. That's Itt, Cuz
12. Good Thing Going$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The SheltersThe Shelters have their self-titled debut LP coming from Warner Bros. Records. Just like the EP they released last October as an album preview, their full-length is a blast of Southern Californian rock and roll from a four-piece like they used to make them, when the factory was still up and running. Co-produced by Tom Petty, this album comes at you from behind, nothing you were expecting.
The Shelters had just banded together when Petty heard them and got a gut feeling about what they could be. He gave The Shelters the keys to his home studio and showed them a few things. Though mostly he left them alone, Petty had enough sense to leave the gear powered up. Maybe they were determined to show him he hadn't made a mistake. Maybe they just liked the way those old tube amps sounded. They seized the moment and got to work, insistent on becoming a band. A real band.
One listen to their single Rebel Heart, or any one of the other eleven songs on their debut, and you'll know they pulled it off. Led by the songs, harmonies and twin-guitar sound of Chase Simpson and Josh Jove, and powered by drummer Sebastian Harris's groove obsession, the band has put together a collection of recordings that have an immediacy, an emotion, and a musical intelligence that suggests these boys are beyond their years.1. Rebel Heart
4. Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl
5. Surely Burn
6. The Ghost Is Gone
8. Never Look Behind Ya
9. Fortune Teller
10. Dandelion Ridge
11. Born to Fly
12. Down$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Just awarded the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the U.K.'s prestigious Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, bluesrock guitar hero and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa is set to release his tenth full-length solo album, BLACK ROCK, on March 22, 2010. This album was recorded at, and named for, Black Rock Studios in Santorini, Greece. "With this album, we wanted to explore a 'world' feeling, and this was the inspiration behind going to record in Greece and using some of the best Greek musicians to add a little flavor to a couple of the tracks. But it's by no means a 'world' album. We wanted Joe's usual youthful and energetic tones to play alongside the worldly vibes of the Greek bouzouki and clarino," said producer Kevin Shirley. Bonamassa says, "It was the kind of record Kevin and I wanted to make. We needed to rock again a bit like on my first album. I wrote the whole thing there." Also Joe signed up Blues legend B.B. King for a duet on his new album. The song they perform together is a rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned song, "Night Life," which appeared on King's 1967 album BLUES IS KING. Shirley says about the experience, "This is a rollicking Stonesy-vibe version of the Willie Nelson song on which B.B. King duets with Joe, both vocally and on his famous Lucille guitar. What a joy and an honor to work with the legend who is possibly the pivot point and unifying musician between Blues and Rock." Other tracks appearing on BLACK ROCK include Jeff Beck's "Spanish Boots," Leonard Cohen's poetic "Bird On A Wire," Otis Rush's "Three Times A Fool," Bobby Parker's "Steal Your Heart Away," Blind Boy Fuller's "Baby, You Gotta Change Your Mind," John Hiatt's "I Know A Place," and James Clark's "Look Over Yonders Wall," as well as the originals "When The Fire Hits The Sea," "Quarryman's Lament," "Wandering Earth," "Athens To Athens," and "Blue and Evil."1. Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker)
2. I Know A Place (John Hiatt)
3. When The Fire Hits The Sea (Joe Bonamassa)
4. Quarryman's Lament (Joe Bonamassa)
5. Spanish Boots (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood)
6. Bird On A Wire(Leonard Cohen)
7. Three Times A Fool (Otis Rush)
8. Night Life (Willie Nelson, Walter Breeland, and Paul Buskirk)
***WITH SPECIAL GUEST BB KING***
9. Wandering Earth (Joe Bonamassa)
10. Look Over Yonders Wall (James Clark)
11. Athens To Athens (Joe Bonamassa)
12. Blue And Evil (Joe Bonamassa)
13. Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind (Blind Boy
Fuller)$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mixed Up (Pre-Order)Release Date: June 22, 2018*
Half-Speed Mastered By Robert Smith And Tim Young At Metropolis Studios, London
Pressed On 180-Gram Vinyl And Housed In A Gatefold Sleeve
With the Disintegration album and its accompanying global Prayer Tour, 1989 had delivered a triumphant end to the 80s, but the first year of the 90s found The Cure unexpectedly unsettled.
Determined to keep up the momentum of the band's ongoing success, but knowing there were internal tensions to address before heading back into the studio, Robert Smith decided on a different course of action; curating an album of the band's rarer 12" mixes. As work on Mixed Up progressed, Smith realised that some of The Cure's earlier remixes didn't stand up to the newer ones.
Robert singles out Brian 'Chuck' New's dub style remix of Pictures Of You as the one that inspired him to take a more adventurous path. That mix turned the music on its head, but at the same time left the essential heart of the song intact. As soon as I heard it, I updated the entire Mixed Up plan. My revised ambition was to compile an album that was contemporary without being dated, immediate without being obvious, musically inspiring, rhythmically exciting and sonically great!
Two tracks on the album, A Forest and The Walk, were not just remixed but entirely re-recorded, as the multi-track tapes for both songs had long been lost. Both songs were reconstructed in the studio with producer Mark Saunders, using original instruments and gear.
The band convened over five days in June 1990 to record a new track for Mixed Up. After a certain amount of fraught experimenting with beats, loops and sequenced bass lines, Smith decided to change the vibe. A demo entitled PhaseAGE that had previously been deemed 'too rock' was committed to tape as Never Enough and was released as a single in September 1990. The 'Closer Mix' of Close To Me soon followed this and both songs were accompanied by customarily deranged Tim Pope videos.
With Mixed Up finally released, Smith felt he could at last move on, confident in a re-energized and re-integrated band. The whole of 1990 was essentially spent emerging from the shadow of Disintegration, and we managed to do it in a creatively satisfying way; by the end of the year, I couldn't wait to start work on new songs for the next record.
Set for release on vinyl, the 2LP sets of 'Mixed Up' and 'Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018' have been Half-Speed Mastered by Robert Smith and Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London. They have been pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in Gatefold Sleeves.
*Please note that release dates are subject to change.LP 1
1. Lullaby - Extended Mix - 2018 remaster
2. Close To Me - Closer Mix - 2018 remaster
3. Fascination Street - Extended Mix - 2018 remaster
4. The Walk - Everything Mix - 2018 remaster
5. Lovesong - Extended Mix - 2018 remaster
6. A Forest - Tree Mix - 2018 remaster
1. Pictures of You - Extended Dub Mix - 2018 remaster
2. Hot Hot Hot!!! - Extended Mix - 2018 remaster
3. Why Can't I Be You ? - Extended Mix - 2018 remaster
4. The Caterpillar - Flicker Mix - 2018 remaster
5. Inbetween Days - Shiver Mix - 2018 remaster
6. Never Enough - Big Mix - 2018 remaster$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
"Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara just know how to
make heart-wrenchingly intimate tunes." - Nylon
"The sisters Söderberg further refine their blend of
rootsy Americana, channeling their inner Johnny Cash
over a mix of rumbling guitars and sweeping strings." - CoS
"With 'My Silver Lining,' these Swedes ride the line of
country and pop with rolling acoustic guitars and
Llsh orchestral accompaniment that sends a message
of hopefulness in pursuing that light at the end of
the tunnel. You should definitely add this song to
your finals week playlist to get you through those
late nights of cramming." - CMJ
Stay Gold is the followup to 2012's The Lion's Roar, released via Columbia Records. The release was produced by Bright Eyes producer Mike Mogis and features the Omaha Symphony Orchestra and arrangements from Nate Walcott, who's worked with Bright Eyes, Broken Bells, and Rilo Kiley.1. My Silver Lining
2. Master Pretender
3. Stay Gold
4. Cedar Lane
5. Shattered & Hollow
6. The Bell
7. Waitress Song
8. Fleeting One
9. Heaven Knows
10. A Long Time Ago$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Indoor LivingWith a lot of Superchunk products, it's easy to think there's a simple message because
the music is so direct. But on Indoor Living, typically unfussy guitar hooks and
shout-sung tag lines that beg for an audience to croon along-"Let's burn last
Sunday"-are just the overarching structure of a record that moons over details:
"Marquee" drapes a lazy sonic arm over the seat, pulling you in for a story about egos
twisting apart ("The arc of lights / above your head / is not to be believed").
"Martinis on the Roof " puts a slightly manic, rueful smile on the loss of a friend, a
search for that emotion that lurks in a mix of anger and nostalgia: "Well the wasted
space is mine / Yeah I hardly have the right to sing about it."
Indoor Living is about domestication: The taming and training of human beings to inhabit each others' lives, during which a certain amount of blood is spilled. But anyone
can write a break-up record, anyone can color in a broken heart all black. It takes a
more sophisticated eye to find the light and perfect moments that happen even when
we wish they didn't, and Indoor Living is a scrapbook of those moments. A request
for mercy comes across like an in-joke ("We both know that I've got bad knees") in
"Watery Hands." "European Medicine" is a lively travelog that's by turns amusingly
fatalistic ("All our wine just froze, so much for your sunny coast") and achingly needy
("Hold my hand steady while I write / Look over my shoulder all night"). Even "The
Popular Music," the record's angriest slice of heartache, has a protagonist that can't
quite pull off a fully punk rock tantrum: "I'm smashing not washing the china you left
me to use," but "making mosaics of scenes from the parts of my life that you left me
Angst is easy, hope is hard. Thinking you're going to die from a broken heart is easy,
knowing you won't is hard. Adulthood is about forsaking the black and white
resolutions of youth for a more complicated, and resonant, resilience: From "Burn
Last Sunday," one of the saddest lines in indie rock: "The branches you thought you'd
break / Well, they just bend." In music and with people, maturity happens when the
sharp edges and jangly rhythms of angst and outrage give over to fuller conversations.
Indoor Living shows that you don't have to lose a single joule of energy in becoming a
little more self-reflective. You just have to be willing to take it all in.
Trying to hear Indoor Living the way I heard it sixteen years ago was easier than I
wanted it to be. Though of course-of course!-I've listened to the record on and
off in the intervening time, I had forgotten how familiar this record is to me. I had
forgotten I knew all the words to every song, could anticipate every hesitant drop in
rhythm and wavering chorus. This record was the soundtrack of being 25 and because
of that, it does remind me of a really specific time; but that time is not so much the
late '90s as the turning point between adolescence and adulthood, which happens later
and later to me every year.
-Ana Marie Cox, 20131. Unbelievable Things
2. Burn Last Sunday
4. Watery Hands
5. Nu Bruises
6. Every Single Instinct
7. Song for Marion Brown
8. The Popular Music
9. Under Our Feet
10. European Medicine
11. Martinis on the Roof$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
VisualsMew frontman Jonas Bjerre has worked on the projections for the band's live shows since their early days. Usually, the Danish trio finish an album and Bjerre gets to work on the visuals. For their seventh record, though, the singer decided to turn things upside down, working on the visuals first and seeing if they informed the music. The resultant record feels like a culmination for one of rock's most ambitious and inventive groups: Visuals is where Bjerre and his bandmates, bassist Johan Wohlert and drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen, join the dots of a career that has spanned over two decades. "We do everything on this album ourselves," says Bjerre. "We produced it ourselves, I did the artwork, I'm doing the visuals. Visuals felt like a fitting title. I like the idea that each song has a visual aspect to it somehow."
Mew have a tradition of, as Bjerre puts it, hiding away in a cave for three or four years between albums. The tour that accompanied 2015's +- album found the band reaching a creative peak that they felt was too exhilarating to be dampened by a period of extended cave-dwelling. They arrived home with demos that had been written on the road and the spark was lit. They wanted to break the cycle and make an album quickly. "We just felt like, "if we do it the normal way, it's gonna be another three or four years before we get to do it again'," says Bjerre. "If you keep doing it like that, ultimately you make a handful of albums and then you're ready for retirement." The trio wanted to make an album spontaneously, keeping the energy they'd generated on the road going.
They set to work in Copenhagen and started knocking the demos they'd written on tourbuses and in hotel rooms into shape. At the same time, new songs were emerging in reaction to what was going on around them. Mew aren't a political band but couldn't help but be affected by rolling news and the death of an icon. "It was pretty dark last year, so some of the darkness in the lyrics comes from that. You definitely get the feeling that things don't last forever when someone like David Bowie dies." Visuals was completed in just under a year - what Bjerre describes as an "incredible" feat for a band used to periods of prolonged tinkering. "Spending less time on it, you can still maintain the feeling you had when you first wrote it," says Bjerre.
Bjerre doesn't know where Mew songs come from. He finds it hard to pin down his lyrics, his melodies, himself. It's what makes his band so special, that thrill that songs could go anywhere, that understated verses could suddenly rocket skyward, anthemic choruses could implode into beautiful soundscapes or sophisticated grooves could be crushed like a tincan. "I don't consciously know why the songs come out the way they do," says Bjerre. "It's a lot of trial and error for us. Even though a song is on an album, it keeps growing because we get to go out and perform it for an audience. I like the thought it can keep growing. It's never really finished."
Visuals is Mew at their most compact, their chemistry at its most potent. With only one song over five minutes, it's their most concise album. Bjerre says there was no need for a grand, overarching concept. Each song on Visuals represents its own little chapter and story: nothing needed to be overly long. "Each album is like a collection of thoughts and ideas that fit the time we're in," he says. "They're like little diary entries, except they're a little bit more veiled perhaps. To me, albums are memories of times in my life."
The song that led the way was the slow-building euphoria of Nothingness And No Regrets. Bjerre says that Mew lyrics often have two or three different meanings, and the opener is a reflection on life and death at the same time as "imagining this team of people trying to accomplish something and ultimately failing." The expansive 80s-style pop of The Wake Of Your Life is about legacy and what's left after you've gone. "These are things you think about more and more the older you get." It started out as a synth-pop track with lots of programming before taking on a different shape when the band added guitars over the top. "We try to change the method of how we reach the destination all the time cos if you do things the same way all the time, the results will often be very similar," says Bjerre.
The discordant stomp of Candy Pieces All Smeared Out came about after Bjerre went back over some demos he'd made as a youngster on an Omega 500. "Some of them were interesting sonically so I kept some of the programming. We built the song on top of this really weird 8-bit computer track." The song sums up the emotional to and fro and ca
ptivating contrariness at the heart of Visuals: it's an album that's both nostalgic and contemporary, that looks back whilst marching forward.
The blissful glide of In A Better Place is a prime example of the impulsive environment that the songs were written in, a drumbeat by Jorgensen inspiring Bjerre to write a song immediately, whilst the atmospheric rock of Ay Ay Ay was based around a choir part that Bjerre had come up with a few years ago. All of the vocal parts were recorded in the booth that Bjerre had constructed in his apartment in Copenhagen. "I like waking up in the middle of the night and feeling inspired by something and being able to go in my booth and just sing it," he says.
Bjerre says that the celebratory groove of Learn Our Crystals "is one of our weirdest songs." Poppy and fantastical, it had a familiar feeling to the singer as soon as he wrote it. The soulful sway of Shoulders has an R'n'B feel to it, whilst Bjerre had earmarked the mesmerising intricacy Carry Me To Safety as the album's closer as soon as it'd been written. "I just like how it twists and turns," he says. "It's a reflection on life and being in a band, what it means to be in a band, dedicating so many years of your life to this thing."
Twenty years into their career, Mew have the irrepressible ebullience of a band on their debut album. Visuals feels like the beginning of a new chapter. "Mew is what I always come back to, it's a companion to my life. It's always been there, as long as I can remember. It's a big part of the footprint that we'll leave behind," says Bjerre. Mew march on: this is the sound of a band seizing the moment.1. Nothingness and No Regrets
2. The Wake of Your Life
3. Candy Pieces All Smeared Out
4. In a Better Place
5. Ay Ay Ay
6. Learn Our Crystals
7. Twist Quest
11. Carry Me to Safety$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
JackrabbitBrooklyn-based San Fermin, now an eight-piece touring enterprise, did not start that way.
In December of 2012, the initially makeshift project performed a single concert-from sheet music-and signed a record deal. Their self-titled debut was subsequently released worldwide in the fall of 2013 via Downtown Records. Following rave reviews, the band was thrust into the spotlight, performing sold out shows and festivals across the world and opening for the likes of the National, St. Vincent, Arctic Monkeys, and The Head and the Heart.
"Suddenly, we were not in a vacuum. We were in the thick of it, which was thrilling but also terrifying," bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone says. "There were all these new possibilities and gray areas. It was a shock to the system-out in the world, barely at home, constantly in a state of semi-crisis."
Many of the songs on Jackrabbit, San Fermin's second album, existed only on Ludwig-Leone's laptop for the better part of a year, as he toured and turned the band into an ensemble operation. When at last he revisited them, he knew that they had to be reborn.
"The first record was written in a very pre-composed way, recorded when I didn't think this would be a band. So I went from being this isolated composer guy to sitting in the back of a crowded van with seven other band members playing shows in rock clubs every night," he says. "When I got back, I ripped these holes in the middle of the existing songs and added some new ones. I rethought everything I had been writing."
Recorded piecemeal in many sessions under Ludwig-Leone's watchful eye, Jackrabbit bears the scars of experience admirably. If San Fermin could seem prepared and guarded to the point of being polite, Jackrabbit lines that record's complicated compositional maneuvers and grandiose pop eruptions with necessary aggression. It is urgent and in your face, like a band sweating and singing in a cramped venue. It is emotionally complicated, too, like a group of strangers who have suddenly had their lives interrupted and linked by unexpected circumstances.
Fittingly, Jackrabbit is filled with moments in which each member of the band is prominently featured: John Brandon (trumpet), Stephen Chen (saxophone), Rebekah Durham (violin/vocals), Michael Hanf (drums), Charlene Kaye (lead vocals), Tyler McDiarmid (guitar), and Allen Tate (lead vocals). The two discrete characters born by the debut album have been replaced by multiple personalities, treading new and difficult terrain.
This evolution is at the heart of Jackrabbit, a powerful record where moments beautiful, brutal and a bit of both produce songs that don't know how to let you out of their clutches or console you with easy answers. At once lived-in and sophisticated, Jackrabbit feels a lot like real life-charmed, challenging, and wonderfully compulsory.1. The Woods
2. Ladies Mary
7. Ecstatic Thoughts
8. Woman In Red
9. The Cave
12. The Glory
13. Two Scenes
14. Halcyon Days
15. Billy Bibbit$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wall Of Sound (Awaiting Repress)I thought WALL OF SOUND would be the toughest album I would ever make. I was so satisfied with my previous album, INFERNO, more than I have ever been in my whole career. Musically, sonically, and most importantly, I was satisfied with the melodies and soundscapes on a personal level. It was as if I finally found the key to something.
Even as I was still working on INFERNO, I was thinking, how the hell am I ever going to top this next time? I was doomed.
I started WALL OF SOUND with a daunting blank slate and somehow, ideas came out. Refined ideas, complex ideas, small and large scale ideas and plenty of them.
It was as if the exhaustive process of putting INFERNO together strengthened a new creative muscle that I had never zoned in on before, so the first steps of writing WALL OF SOUND felt like a runner who runs a marathon after over-training for a long time. I was well warmed up.
The guitar playing on the album also came quite easy, despite it being without question the most evolved guitar playing of my career. It's a challenge to evolve on one's instrument album after album, especially on your 13th solo album. Luckily this is a challenge that I love. You will find this hard to believe when you hear the density and sheer amount of guitar coming at you from all directions, but in fact, all of the final guitar tracks on WALL OF SOUND were done in 9 days.
This furious and productive pace was made possible by over a year of making demo after demo and spending more time listening and living with the music rather than playing it. I had lived with the songs and edited them so incredibly many times, that by the time I got to the actual recording studio, it was like I had been playing the whole album on tour for a year already. I learned to do this from making INFERNO. This is why a lot of artists` debut albums are so strong - because they have had so much time to reflect on and fix the music, and also, more importantly, attach real life experiences to the songs. I feel like I have a debut album here.
Jinxx from Black Veil Brides and I wanted to do something that would shock his fans and my fans. I arranged a monster of a tune called Sorrow & Madness based on a melody that Jinxx wrote on the violin. I took his sweet melody and added so many twists and turns that it became a mammoth of Martyisms in tandem with a large side of Jinxx that has yet to be heard by his fans. We are both very proud of what happened.
I think Deafheaven is the one heavy band that comes to mind when people ask me to recommend something that`s not Japanese!, I was super excited to work with Shiv from Deafheaven. We wrote Pussy Ghost together and it is one of the most aggressive songs I have ever played, while at the same time evoking grotesquely beautiful moods that I have never felt before. One thing I learned from making INFERNO is that when you have a guest, let them come up with music first. Let it be their baby, so they are personally invested in the song. Then arrange it and do it my way, then add more things together. This gives you a final song that really sounds like both of the people put their heart and souls into the music, as opposed to one guy doing everything and the guest just blasting out a solo somewhere.
Jorgen from Shining also guested on INFERNO and when we finished that song we immediately started talking about what we would do next. For those who don`t know Shining, they are like a steroided out and genius level musicianed out version of Nine Inch Nails for the 21st century, with a charismatic singer/composer (Jorgen) and a wicked sense of melody, that hits me in the gut on every song. (Just Gimme) Something To Fight is the one vocal track on the record and it kills. Even after finishing this song we have started working on more new things for who know what
Having super engineer Paul Fig (Ghost, Alice in Chains, Rush), mixer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Lamb of God) and even the producer responsible for many of Queen's biggest hits and my idol Brian May's guitar sounds, Mack do the mixing on 2 of the songs on the album, is an honor for me for sure.1. Self Pollution
2. Sorrow and Madness
5. For A Friend
6. Pussy Ghost
7. The Blackest Rose
8. Something to Fight
9. The Soldier
11. The Last Lament$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
UNIM-GLA-2695xLittle Green Cars
Absolute ZeroAbsolute 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
11. Goodbye Blue Monday$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now