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New AlhambraIn many ways, new alhambra is an auditory homage to what has shaped lead singer Mathew Lee
Cothran's life. Its title, as any hardcore pro-wrestling fan will recognize, credits the Philadelphia
arena that birthed its most legendary and extreme version of it, and the use of samples from wrestling
shows serve as a reference to his upbringing. The album was characteristically made with
outdated equipment and limited by only one microphone, with Mike "Dr. Vink" Roberts playing
an essential role on bass that enrichens the rockier resonations in comparison to elvis depressedly's
previous releases. Cothran and Delaney were constantly on the move during the recording
process thanks to their new found career freedom, but none of it takes away from new alhambra
fully texturized shift toward brightly melancholic noise-pop inspired by Cothran's favorite unsung
heroes such as Waterboys, Prefab Sprout and Emperor X.1. Thou Shall Not Murder
3. New Alhambra
5. Rock n' Roll
6. Big Break
8. New heaven, New Earth
9. Wastes of Time$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You In ReverseOne of the most critically acclaimed of Modern Rock bands, Built To Spill returns with its long-awaited album, the first in five years. Putting aside extensive overdubs and an atmosphere sweep, You in Reverse captures the organic, loose, impromptu feel of the band's jams. Led by influential alt-rock hero Doug Martsch and sprouting new influences and a fresh feel, Built To Spill drives ahead with You in Reverse.1. Goin' Against Your Mind
5. Wherever You Go
6. Conventional Wisdom
8. Mess with Time
9. Just a Habit
10.Wait$18.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Ruler Of The NightMagic Trick is Tim Cohen from the wonder-pop masters the Fresh & Onlys. To call Magic Trick a side, or even a solo project, would be in many ways both right and wrong, for what started as an exercise in music making has evolved, sprouted wings, and taken form as a super group of sorts. Tim, along with Alicia from Aisler's Set, Noelle Cahill, and James Kim bring Tim's vision to life. Ruler of the Night is filled with heart breaking glorious joy and haunting, other planetary sounds. Imagine Kate Bush working with Harry Nilsson and you'd get close to it, but this record would be better than that.1. Ruler of the Night
3. Invisible at Midnight
5. Next to Nothing
7. Angel Dust
9. Same People
10. Weird Memory
11. I Say Your Name$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Guilt TripsCanada's own Ryan Hemsworth has become one of the fastest rising producers and remix artist in the past couple of years. Since his first official release in 2012 Last Words on West Coast label Wedidit Collective, he's gained notoriety for his original production and collaborations, and has since then amassed fans and charmed critics all over the world- meanwhile touring Europe, Australia, and North America with the likes of Bauuer, Daedelus, and others.
Now, the man some call "The Internet Zack Morris" and "The Remix Ryan Gosling" is proud to announce his debut album Guilt Trips on famed label Last Gang Records due out in 2013.
On this newest full length, Hemsworth digs deeper beyond the hip hop, r&b and dance music world to inspirations that sprout from a time before he made the type of music that people have come to expect.
"For this project, I wanted to just expand on everything, lay as much as I could out on the table," he explains. "There's a lot more of me on this than my last projects. With a lot of the songs, I had high school in mind and during that time I was making music with my voice, guitar, and samples, so I've gone back to the first two a bit more, and also getting help from vocalists. Some of the club music that I've been surrounded by in the past year can be really cold, so I think once you throw in more melody and emotion that can only come from the human voice and guitar, it becomes a lot warmer."
"I reached out to friends and people I admire really. I wanted kind of unexpected collaborations and people with a uniqueness to them, instead of just reaching out to random top-liners. Someone like Lofty305, who has a weird, certainly not trained voice, made sense for "Against A Wall" because I wanted it to match the mood of the track. That's so much more important to me than making a perfect song. I just wanted to flesh out that charming imperfection on a lot of the tracks. When I asked the people on it to do their parts, I didn't direct them too much but just asked them to think of a breakup or a time when they felt weird or shitty from love. All of my music is sparked from love in some form or another I think, so this album is kind of just a capsule of different moods caused by love."1. Small + Lost (featuring Sinead Harnett)
2. Against A Wall (featuring Lofty 305)
3. Weird Life
4. Still Cold (featuring Baths)
5. Avec Vous
6. Happiness & Dreams Forever
7. Yaeko Mitamura Is Lonely
8. Ryan Must Be Destroyed
9. One For Me (featuring Tinashe)
10. Day/Night/Sleep System (featuring Haleek Maul and Kitty)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MUSD-HUS-2519xLaura Arkana Met Peter Broderick
LentemuziekPeter Broderick-produced debut from the Dutch singer/songwriter, Laura Arkana shows the promise of a new voice. The recordings are warm and unfussy. For her part, Arkana paints specific details into her song-vignettes and sings with a conversational lilt. Her finger-pickingclean and anchoredgives rhythmic flight to a sophisticated melodic sensibility. It were as if she arrived fully formed.
For his part, Peter Broderick combines a wealth of experience with his signature restraint and sensitivity, letting the songs breathe while enhancing their textural depth and dynamics with stringed instruments, vocals and percussion.
With Laura Arkana Met Peter Broderick (the word met here fulfills an international double entendre which translates to with in Dutch) listeners are delighted to discover song-scape like so many sprouting vines and stems intertwining with the relentlessness of Springtime in Paris, in Berlin, in where you are now.1. Huilen
4. Prelude I
5. Het Vuilnis
6. De Mooiste Tijd Van Het Jaar
7. Prelude II
8. Koos$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ZammutoSprouting from the same mind that created the Books, one of the most acclaimed and innovative groups of the past decade, Zammuto marks a deep reinvention of the highly detailed, genre-defying spirit that made seminal albums such as The Lemon of Pink and The Way Out possible. Given the Books' success as an experimental collage-pop project, founder and namesake Nick Zammuto could have comfortably extended that thread.
Instead he presents Zammuto's self-titled debut full length, a record that is progressive and forward-looking, intense and driven, with hugely varied rhythms and melodies. Making music that sounds and feels like no one else is nothing new for Zammuto, but making music that doesn't even sound like his own past is a whole other impressive feat in itself.1. Yay
2. Groan Man, Don't Cry
3. Idiom Wind
5. F U C-3PO
6. Too Late To Topologize
7. Zebra Butt
8. Weird Ceiling
10. The Shape Of Things To Come
11. Full Fading$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stravinsky - The Rite Of SpringWhile he was finishing the score of The Firebird, the idea came to Stravinsky for a pagan, ritual scenario. The background history of Le Sacre du printemps is well known: while the modernists praised the work, the conservative public thought they were being hoaxed. The reason for their irritation and the scandalous fiasco of the premiere is still audible to this day. Stravinsky carries the aggressive, hammering rhythms to the extreme, casting them in atonal harmonies which feed on the alternation between a »red-hot and a mild mixture«, as Stravinsky put it.
Dorati urges on his ensemble with robust tempi, and the orchestra is quick to respond to all the refinements of the tightly knit movement. It appears to cope effortlessly with the extremes of contrast and manages to amalgamate the rhythmic excesses with the tenderness of the numerous tiny motifs and figures which seem to sprout like flowers out of hard rock. The excellent recording technique captures both the extreme loudness and the finely pulsating tones, resulting in a sound in which no detail goes unheard. The listener can be sure that this Stravinsky deserves the rating 'excellent' - both for the interpretation and for the sound.
- Antal Dorati (conductor)
- Igor Stravinsky (composer)
- The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
Recording: November 1959 at the NorthropMemorial Auditorium, Minnesota, USA, by C.R. Fine
Production: Wilma Cozart-Fine and Harold Lawrence
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. The Rite Of Spring Part I
2. The Rite Of Spring Part II$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Kissing To Be CleverImport
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
First Pressing Of 1000 Numbered Copies On Yellow Vinyl, Black Vinyl Thereafter
Includes Insert With Song Lyrics
Kissing To Be Clever is the debut album by Culture Club. Originally released in 1982, it immediately put the band on the musical map. Turning the flamboyant Boy George into a star, the Soulful Pop outing incorporated elements of Pop, Rock, New Wave, Dance and Caribbean rhythms and sprouted several international hit songs.
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me hit the #1 spot in several countries and turned out to be a song that resonates to this day with its universal feel of heart ache. All in all, this set is a highlight of 80s Pop music, that set the stage for one of the decade's most loved and oft-remembered bands.1. White Boy (Dance Mix)
2. You Know I'm Not Crazy
3. I'll Tumble 4 Ya
4. Take Control
5. Love Twist
6. Boy, Boy (I'm The Boy)
7. I'm Afraid Of Me (Remix)
8. White Boys Can't Control It
9. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me$31.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Familiar TouchIt's been almost three years since DIANA released their critically-acclaimed LP, Perpetual Surrender. Now, the wait for new material has come to an end with the upcoming release of their second album Familiar Touch. The band have also shared the album's opening track, 'Confession' - a sharply focused example of their statement of intent, and which follows on from the previously shared 'Slipping Away'.
Having initially conceived Perpetual Surrender as a one-off recording project, Kieran Adams (drums, drum machines, synths), Carmen Elle (guitars, vocals) and Destroyer touring band member Joseph Shabason (synths, samplers, saxophone) regrouped after a period of time that Elle describes as "learning how to be a band." Bigger, fuller and far more open and expansive, Familiar Touch takes all of Perpetual Surrender's gorgeous qualities and pushes the songs to the forefront, upping DIANA's game tremendously.
'Miharu' is the perfect example of this: recalling the best mid-80's alt-pop, it mixes the lush soul signature of Flyte Time Productions (Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis) while delivering a massive pop chorus that liquefies into their modern production nous. "I really love the silky rub between Carmen's demure approach and Gary's [Beals, additional vocals] vibrant punctuations," Adams explains, his description also perfectly encapsulating 'Moment of Silence' - another sophisticated pop track with what Adams describes as having "a very smooth top layer" and synths that give the impression of "stretching time - being stretched thin in those moments." 'Confession' also builds upon those Jam & Lewis rhythms, with Adams describing it as sounding like the pair "if they worked with Annie Lennox."
Where Perpetual Surrender was the unexpected success of a group of friends experimenting with different sounds, Familiar Touch is the sound of them taking those experiences and maximising themselves as a proper band. "There was a much different studio flow - we started working on things close to a year before we recorded them," says Adams. "Last time, we were obscuring what it was that we were doing - with washed out or distorted vocals, for example. With this album - particularly with the vocals - we conceptualised everything a lot more in advance and really committed to certain sounds and feelings. We tried to fight the instinct of trying to distort it."
One thing that's clear this time around is how much more confidence DIANA have in themselves as musicians. The trio decamped to Adams' then-apartment, where the pressures of a second album and the time constraints of a regular studio were relieved. Renting their own gear, they made makeshift vocal booths of out of clothes cupboards and Star Wars sleeping bags (or "weird, fucked up musty vocal caves" as Shabason describes them). Upon listening to the record, it's hard to believe Familiar Touch was made in such a compact environment. With its emboldened production, it sits pleasingly alongside their personal influences and seminal recordings such as Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen or Yellow Magic Orchestra's Naughty Boys.
Mixed by Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Beach House, Grizzly Bear) and mastered by Heba Kadry, Familiar Touch is also lent a skilled hand by Thom Gill (guitars, keys, piano), Bram Gielen (bass), Vince Spilchuk (trumpet), and vocalists Robin Dann, Alanna Stuart of Bonjay and aforementioned Gary Beals - runner-up on the first season of Canadian Idol. By having the space and time to work with their new ideas on their own terms, this time around, DIANA have crafted an album that sounds unabashedly vibrant and distinctly 2016.1. Confession
2. What You Get
3. Slipping Away
4. Moment of Silence
5. The Coward
9. These Words
10. Take it Over$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-MIL-5100xNick Cave & Warren Ellis
Kings (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Pre-Order)Release Date: June 15, 2018*
Kings is a 2018 crime drama film directed by Deniz Gamze ErgÜven (Mustang). Set in 1992, it follows Millie (Halle Berry), a woman living in South Central Los Angeles who takes in at-risk youths to live in her home. When the infamous Rodney King riots grip the city, Millie and her cavalcade of adoptees are thrust into the mounting chaos sprouting all around them. In time, they are forced into unlikely alliances in order to stay alive.
Scoring duties for Kings fall to Nick Cave & Warren Ellis of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds fame. In recent years, they have become a force to be reckoned with in the world of soundtracks, thanks to their impressive work on films like Hell or High Water, Wind River, and the National Geographic series Mars. Cave and Ellis, the latter a repeat Erguven collaborator, pull from their rich history in the music world to deliver an unexpected score that immediately transports the listener to a specific place in time - the hot, angry streets of Los Angeles in the summer of 1992.
*Please note that release dates are subject to change.1. Latasha Harlins
2. CCTV Montage
4. Saying Goodbye
5. School Argument
6. Waking Up
7. Erotic Dream
8. Police Cars
9. Leave The Gun
10. Where Are The Boys?
12. Red Ford
13. Death of William
14. Lamp Post
16. Earthquake$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Soma Records Story: Vol. 3 - A Man's Gotta Be A Man!The record world was a completely different place in 1965.
Kids wanting to take home a piece of the rock 'n' roll action they frugged to at the Armory dance last weekend or a wild tune they heard the local bossjocks spin on the way home from school, inevitably had to deal with seven-inchers made by independent record labels. The single was the thing in the mid-60's, not the album. In even the hippest big city record emporiums, you could thumb through the entire recorded canon of British Invasion-influenced LPs - no more than a hundred or so - in about five minutes. But, ahhh, those singles. And nobody did them better than the shoebox companies sprouting up like bread mold all over the country, labels who could tap into the best local talent and get their show-stopping songs into the local record shops.
Just about every sector of the US had its own scene, red hot local chart entries that kids three hundred miles away were destined to never hear. And that's why the legendary indie labels - from International Artists in Houston or Autumn in San Francisco to Dunwich in Chicago or Etiquette in Tacoma - and hundreds more just as groovy, are revered today more than ever.
The Soma Record Company of Minneapolis caught the national spotlight by releasing hits from the likes of the Castaways and the Gestures. But Liar Liar and Run, Run, Run are just the tip ofthe iceberg. If you've always suspected that thousands of great singles from the '60s that you've yet to hear are lurking in the bushes, guess what? You're right. Step into the dusty Soma vaults with us - brush aside those cobwebs, if you would - point your flashlight towards the strobelight flickering at the far end of the tunnel and keep walking. When the cool Fender 'n Farfisa sounds finally grab you by the shirt collar, just keep telling yourself: This isn't a dream. It's what I was born to do.1. The Chancellors / I Can Tell*
2. The Castaways / A Man's Gotta Be A Man
3. The High Spirits / (Turn On Your) Love Light
4. The Gestures / Don't Mess Around
5. The Del Counts / Let The Good Times Roll
6. The Titans / Reveille Rock
7. The Messengers / My Baby
8. The Gamins / Freeway
9. The Gestures / Run, Run, Run
10. The Chancellors / Surf Beat*
11. The Torres / I've Had It
12. The Shades / Please Please Please
13. The Fabulous Rumbles / I'll Be Gone
14. The Titans / Tchaikovsky Rides Again
15. The Castaways / Should Happen To Me
16. The Sounds Like Us / The Other Side Of A Record$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ThreadbarePort O'Brien began as the bedroom recording project of Van Pierszalowski and Cambria Goodwin. As the songs grew legs and spread among friends, live performances became inevitable. Sprouting from the isolated coastal village of Cambria, CA, the band collected kindred spirits along the way and blossomed into a full band. The band released All We Could Do Was Sing in the summer of 2008 which captured the life Van and Cambria lived throughout their never-ending summers in Alaska. Van is a commercial fisherman, spending every summer on his father's fishing boat off the coast of Kodiak Island. Cambria is the head baker at the cannery in Larson Bay, supplying pastries, breads, and deserts for the entire seasonal fishing community. They're seasonal lives changed with the release of their first album however and their inspirations shifted from the desolation of Alaska to the experience of seeing the world.
As 2009 began, the band started to prepare songs for what was to become Threadbare. What started as a light-hearted and loose effort quickly turned into a dense, introspective work following the tragic loss of Cambria's younger brother. Recording in friend Jason Quever's living room studio in San Francisco, the songs were given a certain warmth and intimacy that couldn't be achieved in a larger space. The sense of comfort they found gave them the ability to fully realize the weight of the songs. In the Meantime explores the desire for contentment in tumultuous times. High Without Hope bookends the album, illuminating the emotion and sense of loss that was felt throughout the recording process.
Port O'Brien crafts beautiful, melodic tuens that utilize string instruments to their fullest. And the group is not afraid to rock out. - Billboard1. High Without The Hope 3
2. My Will Is Good
3. Oslo Campfire
4. In The Meantime
5. Tree Bones
6. Sour Milk/Salt Water
8. Calm Me Down
9. Leap Year
10. Next season
11. (((Darkness Visible)))
12. Love Me Through
13. High Without The Hope 72$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
O ShudderSix years into Dutch Uncles' flourishing career, the idiosyncratic art-popologists return with new album O Shudder which sees them further distilling and refining their signature sound, marrying rock bombast with classical arrangements, acoustic instrumentation with smart synthetic pop.O Shudder is Dutch Uncles' most direct record to date, the sound of a wildly witty band well and truly finding their stride, whilst lyrically tackling the growing pains of being twentysomething in a generic Northern suburbia; according to hip swivelling front man Duncan Wallis, the album covers themes including "pregnancy, social media, terrorism, divorce, sexual dysfunction, job seeking, health scares, doubt, love".With O Shudder, Dutch Uncles continue their fascinating, wonky ascent which has seen them play enormodomes with emo punk rock behemoths and self confessed Dutch Uncles acolytes Paramore, supporting and being supported by like minded left-field pop adventurers Wild Beasts, Outfit, Field Music, and Everything Everything, have a burger named after them by one of Manchester's premiere eateries and prefigure Future Islands' dance moves meme in their video for 2013 single Flexxin.The album was recorded with long term collaborator Brendan Williams in three locations; at a studio in the heart of the Welsh valleys, above a Salford pub, 'The Kings Arms', (incidentally where C4 comedy Fresh Meat is filmed) and, for the acoustic instruments, in the natural reverb of Salford's Peel Hall. The band were meticulous in tweaking their synth sounds so they'd fit seamlessly with the harp, xylophone, marimba, string and woodwind sounds that populate the record. Sources of inspiration for the record included The Blue Nile, Kate Bush's third album, Never For Ever, Igor Stravinsky, Japan and lyrically John Cooper Clarke, Sparks, Ian Dury and Prefab Sprouts' album From Langley Park to Memphis. All set to o shudder and stun, and induce plenty of hip swivelling, Dutch Uncles have delivered on their youthful potential and, with O Shudder, solved their own particular Rubix's cube, bringing their unclassifiable pop music into clear and precise focus.1. Babymaking
4. Decided Knowledge
5. I Should Have Read
6. In N Out
7. Given Thing
8. Don't Sit Back (Frankie Said)
10. Tidal Weight
11. Be Right Back$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
20 Jazz Funk GreatsPressed On Limited Edition Green Colored Vinyl
Mute are delighted to announce a limited edition green LP reissue
of 20 Jazz Funk Greats, the landmark 1979 album from industrial
music pioneers Throbbing Gristle.
The impetus for the record apparently came about from Genesis
P-Orridge's mum's request that the band record something
"nice". The tame cover photo shows the nattily dressed band -
white disco jacket, comfy slacks, mini-skirt - stood amid flowers
on a clifftop. The chosen scene of natural beauty was Beachy
Head, a notorious suicide spot.
20 Jazz Funk Greats' cheerful breaching of lounge jazz and
disco contains some of the band's prettiest moments on songs
like the breathy "Hot on the Heels of Love". Similarly "Tanith"
and "Exotica" are gentle interludes in which TG's usual jagged
punctuations are kept to a minimum. You could be fooled into
thinking this was indeed easy-listening industrial.
Pitchfork wrote that "20 Jazz Funk Greats finds the band waking
up from D.O.A's dark night of the soul and feeling curiously
frisky. Snacking on not only the titular funk and jazz, the band
also takes touristic zig zags through exotica, rock and disco",
ultimately describing it as a "kitsch detour toward mutant disco".
Uncut Magazine wrote that "musically, it turned away from the
precipice; not exactly jazz and funk, but sublimating TG's noise
elements within electronic rhythms and proto-exotica." Dusted
Magazine described the album as "a deliberate attempt to toy
with the ideas behind marketing strategy and the purpose of
Pitchfork ranked 20 Jazz Funk Greats at number 91 in its list of
the 100 greatest albums of the 1970s. UK magazine Fact named
it the best album of the 1970s, writing that "This album is a
rupture. It's an open crack into the unpronounceable dimensions
into which tumble important streams of 20th century pop, art
and underground culture, to seethe around each other, mingling,
festering, sprouting new and unpredictable forms which in turn
would ooze out to infest vast sections of what comes after."1. 20 Jazz Funk Greats
2. Beachy Head
3. Still Walking
5. Convincing People
7. Hot On The Heels Of Love
10. What A Day
11. Six Six Sixties$23.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Sacred Heart SessionsThe Lowest Pair features the duel banjo picking of Kendl Winter and
Palmer T. Lee. Draped in Kendl's high lonesome harmonies and Palmer's
Midwest croon, their debut release, 36¢, (Team Love Records) was
hailed by many outlets and American Songwriter praised their earnest,
earthy songcraft. Team Love will release their
sophomore album, The Sacred Heart Sessions.
Arkansas-born and now homesteading in Olympia, Washington, Kendl
Winter sprouts alfalfa beans in mason jars in the back of the tour van and
spreads her songs across the country Johnny Appleseed style. Kendl
brings to The Lowest Pair her wonderfully weaving poetry of song, old
and new, and a voice somewhere between Gillian Welch and Iris DeMent
with a little Olympia twist. Palmer T. Lee who hails from Minneapolis was
nineteen years old when he inherited a couple of banjos and discovered
he could reassemble them into his dream instrument. Former front man
for the much loved high energy bluegrass band The Boys n' the
Barrels, Palmer's songs are distilled into the warm sweet sounds of his
percussive wordplay and the melodic interludes of his own unique style
played on a pieced together banjo.
After nearly a year of traveling the country playing clubs, hotels, house
shows, back yards and street corners, they found their way back up to
Minnesota, this time to Duluth where they sat down to record the followup
to 36¢. Linking up with Tom Fabjance at an old church seemed like
the perfect way to expand on their sound without diluting their original
magical formula. The Sacred Heart Sessions is an album that allows the
listening to enter the space that surrounds its creation. One can virtually
feel the walls and vaulted ceiling of the old wooden church rising up,
creating a natural reverb and warming the air.
Be it Kendl's punk roots, her admiration for the traditional American
songbook, or the gravitational pull she sensed drawing her to Olympia,
it's her combining these talents and creative impulses with Palmer's
Midwestern charm, the long winters spent listening to a steady diet of
Townes Van Zandt and John Hartford and the strange moment of fate
that left him with two inherited banjos as a young man; this combination
has resulted in a uniquely original sound that is The Lowest Pair.1. Ruben's Fortune
4. Fourth Time's A Charm
5. Minnesota, Mend Me
7. In The During Of A Moment
8. Smile And Nod
10. Scavenger Hunt$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Human CeremonyIncluded in top 45 most anticipated albums of 2016 from Rolling Stone
Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The New York trio's full-length debut album, Human Ceremony [Fat Possum Records], emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelica and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colors the aural tapestry of these three musicians-Jacob Faber [drums], Julia Cumming [vocals/bass], and Nick Kivlen [vocals/guitars].
"Everything comes from a conflicting interest," affirms Nick. "We love dream pop, but we also really love rock 'n' roll. It's those two spectrums."
"You're allowed to obsess over Black Sabbath as well as The Cure," adds Julia. "It'd be boring if everything was just one way or the other."
That diversity defined the group's approach since Nick and Jacob started jamming back in high school. They would hole up in Jacob's Long Island basement for hours on end, channeling this vast cadre of influences. Julia's addition would only expand that creative palette further in 2013.
Through constant gigging around New York, Sunflower Bean sprouted into a sonic enigma, boasting a fiery musical call-and-response that serves as a centerpiece, giving the music what Jacob refers to as a "lyrical aspect" between the guitars, drums, and bass.
They transferred this multi-headed energy into their 2015 Independent EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets. At the same time, this distinct alchemy enchanted ever-growing audiences live. By the time, they entered the studio for Human Ceremony, Sunflower Bean had a lively aural cauldron from which to draw.
They took the summer of 2015 off and retreated to Jacob's basement to write together. Taking the ideas out of the basement, they hit a Brooklyn studio with producer Matt Molnar [Friends] and tracked eleven tunes in just seven days. Whereas the EP was recorded after Sunflower Bean played 100 shows in one year, Human Ceremony showed the band's studio side with richer soundscapes, overdubs, and music that had yet to be debuted live.
On the lead track "Easier Said," Julia's delicate vocals glide over a lilting clean guitar that spirals off into a vibrant hum.
Sunflower Bean's spell is cast on Human Ceremony.
"When you're in a band, you always dream about the first record," Julia concludes. "It's that moment where you explore everything that's been inspiring you."1. Human Ceremony
2. Come On
4. Easier Said
5. This Kind of Feeling
6. I Was Home
7. Creation Myth
8. Wall Watcher
9. I Want You To Give Me Enough Time
10. Oh, I Just Don't Know
11. Space Exploration Disaster$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Doughnut For A Snowman (Discontinued)Doughnut For A Snowman is an exclusive single from the brand new Guided By Voices album Let's Go Eat The Factory, out on Fire Records in January of 2012. The first album of new material in fifteen years and featuring the classic Guided By Voices lineup, Doughnut For A Snowman is, in Robert Pollard's own words, the twinkliest song he's ever written. This 7 single release also includes four exclusive B-sides from the 'classic' line-up of Robert Pollard, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos and Jimmy Pollard at their improv best.1. Doughnut for a Snowman
2. So High
3. Without Necks
4. Fish On My Leg
5. One, Two, Three, Four$7.997 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Your BluesYour Blues is a stunning collection of songs and craftsmanship. Bombastic and bold at times, quiet and
soothing at others, Your Blues has an almost theatrical quality that informs the compositions. Originally released on CD in 2004, Destroyer's sixth studio album is now widely available on vinyl, as the December installment in the Merge25 reissue series.
Recorded with the production duo JC/DC (aka David Carswell and John Collins) -- who aided in the creation of
Destroyer's first three discs -- Dan Bejar ditches the band format he used for 2002's This Night with tremendous results. Fusing a dramatic vocal style akin to that of David Bowie in the 1970s with 1980s studio achievers like Microdisney and Prefab Sprout, Your Blues is regularly breathtaking.1. Notorious Lightning
2. It's Gonna Take an Airplane
3. An Actor's Revenge
4. The Music Lovers
5. From Oakland to Warsaw
6. Your Blues
7. New Ways of Living
8. Don't Become the Thing You Hated
9. Mad Foxes
10. The Fox and the Hound
11. What Road
12. Certain Things You Ought to Know$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dream CenterCouple Skate Records are extremely excited to announce the signing of
Los Angeles-based songwriter Michael Vidal. After years of blazing coasts
and continents, DIY enclaves and contempo-art spaces alike as the singer
/ guitarist of LA punks Abe Vigoda, Michael Vidal has stepped out of the
combustible, hyper-color tropical punk of his former group, and onto his own
into more pastoral, lush territory. Dream Center is Vidal's inaugural work,
originally released onto cassette in 2013 from LA label Big Joy, reissued onto
all additional formats from Couple Skate Records.
The music of Dream Center is a wonderful and diverse spectrum of looping,
beautiful guitar pop (featured on "Dreams" and "Appraisal") that evokes the
deeper emotional shades of the likes Blue Nile and Prefab Sprout, and crystalline
instrumental pieces ("Mono No Aware") reminiscent of Durutti Column
and the earlier days of Felt. All touchstones aside, the music of Vidal's Dream
Center is an impressionist paean to love, loss, and existence, an exciting new
beginning for a uniquely creative spirit.1. Dreams (Come Back To Me)
4. Mono No Aware
6. Sky Blue
7. (Your Song)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Poison SeasonPoison Season opens with Vancouver native Dan Bejar swathed in Hunky Dory strings. He's a dashboard Bowie surveying four wracked characters-Jesus, Jacob, Judy, Jack-simultaneously Biblical and musical theatre. This bittersweet, Times Square-set fanfare is reprised twice more on the record-first as swaying, saxophone-stoked "street-rock" and then finally as a curtain-closing reverie. "The first and last songs are actually one song tracked live with quintet," explains their author. "I even sang with the band. That song always swung between super austere and super mid-'70s Springsteen/Bowie street-rock. In the end, I decided I wanted both. Couldn't really figure out a way to sequence the orchestral version within the record, so I decided to carve it up as a book-ending motif, with the rock version squarely in the middle." Mr. Bejar has long displayed a chameleonic instinct for change while maintaining a unified aesthetic (rather than just pinballing between reference points). No two records sound the same, but they're always uniquely Destroyer. His latest incarnation often appears to take sonic cues from a distinctly British (usually Scottish, to be precise) strain of sophisti-pop: you might hear traces of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Orange Juice, or The Blow Monkeys. These songs merge a casual literary brilliance with intense melodic verve, nimble arrangements, and a certain blue-eyed soul sadness.1. Times Square, Poison Season I
2. Dream Lover
3. Forces From Above
5. The River
6. Girl in a Sling
7. Times Square
8. Archer on the Beach
9. Midnight Meet the Rain
10. Solace's Bride
12. Sun in the Sky
13. Times Square, Poison Season II$23.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Gone Banana"Backed by film noir brass and gently reverbed minor chords, Birgy's spectral vocals are at once comforting like a cashmere blanket and discomboblatingly strange. Not unlike catching the scent of someone that pulls you
back to a dimension you forgot."- Noisey
"The record takes delightfully unexpected..., mixing together subdued vocals, fuzzy riffs, and deliberate bass lines with a saxophone that often slices
through melodies with free-spirited and seductive cries." - Wild Magazine
A thick green mist, a lush chill vibe; after 5 years and countless self-released
tapes and CDs, Mega Bog - the brainchild of songwriter Erin Birgy - has
completed their best work to date; a swirling pop cloud called 'Gone Banana'.
Influenced equally by the emotional psychedelia of Kevin Ayers and the pop
whimsy of Steely Dan, 'Banana' is a joyous declaration of artistic independence and purpose. The story of a chronic goofball insisting on being taken
seriously. A celebration of melancholy; using music to force yourself off the
floor when you hit the bottom. Birgy is an enigmatic musician and a true
weirdo - Megabog changes lineups and configurations faster than most musicians change clothes.
Alternately a tender songwriting project, a blazin-hot jazz-rock combo, or an
open forum for goofy one offs and fragile experimentation, it is ultimately
whatever Birgy wants it to be on a given day. For 'Banana' she has gathered a
loose group from Seattle's thriving experimental pop and improvised music
scene, including members of local mainstays like Neighbors and Iji, along
with hotshot sax guy Jacob Zimmerman. Sounding equal parts Ariel Pink and
Prefab Sprout, they rip through 9 hazy burners with a sneaky tightness hidden behind layers of drizzle and reverb. Birgy's rich voice croons and bends
around the shifting walls of sound, organizing and refocusing the swirl. Representing a unique moment in Birgy's songwriting and a budding maturation
for a bouncy community of oddball pop addicts, 'Gone Banana' is an immersive listening experience and a peek into the life of a truly strange soul.1. Intro (Bird Bridge)
3. Goobie Krishna
4. Cologne in the Night
5. Wet Moss
6. Gone Banana
7. Year of Patience
9. TP - 89 (edit)
10. Lady Rachel (by Kevin Ayers)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Moon TidesIt's a rare and beautiful thing when a band emerges fully formed, but it makes perfect sense in the case of guitarist Daniel Hindman and keyboardist Sarah Versprille's Pure Bathing Culture. Having backed folk rock revisionist Andy Cabic in Vetiver, the New Yorkers partnered up and moved West in 2011, settling in Portland, Oregon. Building off their past experiences as musical collaborators, in a short time the duo have created a sound that is undeniably their own: soaring synths, chiming keyboards, and shimmering electric guitars move in lockstep with bouncing drum machines. Sarah's crystalline voice floats on top of it all with divine purpose. It's a sound that looks back momentarily for inspiration -- Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout, Cocteau Twins -- but then fixes its gaze firmly on the present.
Further developing the sound of their acclaimed four song, self-titled 2012 EP, at the start of 2013 they set out to record Moon Tides, their first full length album. Again, they chose to work with producer Richard Swift at his National Freedom studio in rural Cottage Grove, Oregon. Throughout 2012 Swift had called on the duo to help him with other studio projects (Versprille sings on Foxygen's latest LP and Hindman adds his sprawling guitar work to Damien Jurado's excellent Marqopa) which only helped to cement the threesome's musical partnership. For Moon Tides they continued where the previous EP left off, bolstered by Swift's belief in the duo's artistic vision and their unique sound, "From very early on, Richard was the person telling us that what we were hearing and wanting to do musically (which at times could feel a little strange or embarrassing to us) was ok and valid and that we should pursue it."
Like the earlier sessions for the EP, they worked quickly in the studio and improvised parts around the basic song structures that they'd carefully composed up in Portland. Dan explains, "Pretty much all tracks (vocals and instruments) are all first or very early takes. Richard is kind of a stickler about this and I actually don't go in with a clean, pristine idea of what I'm going to play on guitar or any other instrument for that matter, so there's actually a lot of improvisation as far as performances in the studio go." The results, like the earlier EP, are astounding: the arrangements feel fresh and imaginative, the melodies are unforgettable and the finished songs, most importantly, feel intensely human and deeply spiritual.
It's this compassion and warmth in Pure Bathing Culture that set them apart. The music is uplifting. It invites self-reflection. It never feels alienating. This, confirms the band, is no accident: "Concepts of spirituality, self actualization, mysticism, new age symbolism and pretty much anything that has to do with humans making sense of why we're all here are all deep, deep muses for us." To that point, even the album title Moon Tides alludes to self-discovery: "We are deeply inspired by the relationship between the moon and the tides. Particularly in the sense that the tides and the ocean are comprised of water and the element water is often associated with human emotion." While these heady themes can be difficult to explore in a pop song, Pure Bathing Culture makes it feel effortless. "Pendulum" is a perfect mid-tempo album opener that pulses and shines. Other standout tracks from the album -- "Dream The Dare", "Twins", "Scotty" and "Golden Girl" -- are slices of reverb-drenched, soulful, danceable electro-pop, that musically and lyrically tap into an introspective worship of the natural and psychic mysteries that surround us. Pure Bathing Culture's debut album Moon Tides is optimistic modern music for souls who seek to explore the infinite.1. Pendulum
2. Dream The Dare
3. Ever Greener
5. Only Lonely Lovers
7. Seven to One
8. Golden Girl
9. Temples Of The Moon$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now