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Take Me Apart'
Take Me ApartWith great anticipation, Kelela's debut album emerges as an epic portrait of an artist spanning the past and future of R&B. In her hands, however, the genre knows no boundaries and so Take Me Apart exists as an absolutely singular and fearless addition to a canon of recent classics. From her very earliest work, honesty and vulnerability have been cornerstones of Kelela's art - even when clad in the armor of the avant-garde electronics she so deftly inhabits - and Take Me Apart sees her double down on both the emotional intensity and resonance of her message as well as the sonic seeking she is renowned for. Single vinyl with printed inner and outer sleeves.1. Frontline
3. Take Me Apart
8. Truth or Dare
10. Blue Light
12. Turn to Dust
14. Altadena$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dolls of HighlandKyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the
banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his
time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of
playing football or picking up the guitar. He's not the
product of a musical family, and bands never came
through town. It was only a chance trip to K-Mart that
gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation
that helped inspire him eventually to channel his
innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.
That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of
Highland, Craft's exhilarating, fearless solo debut.
"This album is the dark corner of a bar," he says. "It's
that feeling at the end of the night when you're
confronted with 'now what?'"
Craft knows the feeling well--Dolls began to take shape
when everything he took for granted was suddenly over,
including an eight-year relationship. "All of a sudden I
was left with just me for the first time in my adult
life," he says. He ventured far away from the ghosts of
his home in Shreveport, Louisiana to make a new life
for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend's
pool table while he demoed new songs and tried to
determine what came next.
The album was tracked at a home studio in Shreveport,
where Craft briefly returned for an intensely-productive
reckoning with his past. "I dedicated the album to
Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the
girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly."
Craft then returned to Portland, where Brandon
Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence
helped move the album from its DIY beginnings to a
more fully realized work. Craft played most of the
instruments on the album, and the record captures the
power of his live performance.
And then there's Craft's unforgettable voice - "I'm
fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice,
but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace
that," says Craft. Craft's talent and singular creativity
move the conversation into new and unpredictable
places. And this album is very much about moving
forward. "After everything fell apart, it didn't take very
long for me to learn who I was and what I should be
doing," says Craft, who is walking out on the other side
with Dolls of Highland.1. Eye of a Hurricane
4. Lady of the Ark
5. Gloom Girl
6. Trinidad Beach (Before I Ride)
7. Future Midcity Massacre
8. Black Mary
10. Dolls of Highland
11. Jane Beat the Reaper
12. Three Candles$18.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
LP Contains CD Of Full Album
Chicago's own The Lawrence Arms will release Metropole, their first
album in eight years, in 2014 via Epitaph. A beloved
band in the punk scene from their inception in 1999, members
Brendan Kelly (vocals/bassist), Chris McCaughan (vocals/guitar), and
Neil Hennessey (drummer) have released five studio albums to date.
Their sixth album and first with Epitaph, Metropole captures "that
aloneinacrowd, strangerinastrangeland kind of shit" according
to Kelly. Metropole was recorded at Chicago's Atlas Studios with co
producer Matt Allison, who has also worked with Chicagopunk
scene veterans Alkaline Trio.
The followup to their 2009 Fat Wreck
Chords EP Buttsweat and Tears, the new venture takes apart the
band's gritty punk rock and fiery spirit, to reveal a new passion for
storytellingthroughsongwriting. Take the bravely personal lyrics of
You Are Here where McCaughan ironically sings Days just keep
rolling on / They won't miss me when I'm gone / I'm the chorus to
that lonely street / Just footsteps fading to a dying beat." After a long
hiatus, dedicated fans have missed The Lawrence Arms and are
ready for the band's most dynamic album to date.1. Chilean District
2. You Are Here
3. Hickey Avenue
4. Seventeener (17th and 37th)
5. Beautiful Things
6. Acheron River
8. Drunk Tweets
9. The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic
10. Never Fade Away
11. Paradise Shitty
12. October Blood$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
The Way We Separate (Awaiting Repress)Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett, aka Brooklyn duo Beacon,
introduced themselvesto the world with theNo Body and ForNow EPs,
both released last year on Ghostly International. The EPs were united
by minimalist, R&B-inuenced instrumentation, and also by a lyrical
theme, with both serving as meditations on the darkness that
underpins the most intense of human emotions: love.
The duo's debut album The Ways We Separate both consolidates and
developsthese ideas. The album focuses, asthe title suggests, on the
idea of separation - both within the context of relationships and in a
more intimate, psychological sense. As Mullarney explains, The
narrative contained inside The Ways We Separate deals with two kinds
ofseparation: one where two entities grow apart, and the other where
we grow apart from ourselves. Over the course of a relationship, the
two sometimes happen together, one being the result of the other.
Desires, passions and regrets are central to the songs on The Ways We
Separate, which take a variety of perspectives to construct a nuanced
reection on the album's central theme. 'Between the Waves' draws a
clever analogy between relationships and soundwaves falling out of
phase: I know all the ways we separate/ Where we start to fade at
di erent frequencies. 'Overseer' catalogues a parting of the ways with
discom ting clarity: Isn't it ne?/ Taking it slow?/ Watching you watch
me walk out your door. And album closer 'Split in Two' explores how th
extremes of love and loss can take you far away from being the person
you thought you were, making explicit the connection between the two
ideas of separation: What I'd do for you?, sings Thomas Mullarney,
Split myself in half/ Divided into two.
Musically, The Ways We Separate nds Beacon working with a richer
sonic palette than ever before -as Gossett says, The production on
this album is much more expansive than anything thing we've done
thusfar. We spent a lot of time exploring new gear and experimenting
with how to pull a wide range of sound out of various instruments.
Some ofthe key sonicsthatshaped this LP are analogue synthesis, lots
of heavily processed guitar work, and vocal layering/processing. While
the abiding mood remains that of late-night introspection, the
production draws from elements of hip hop and a wide gamut of
electronic music, marrying intricate beats and subtle textures to
honeyed pop melodiesthat belie the album's conceptual depth. Rarely
has bleakness sounded so pretty - this is a record that's deceptively,
compellingly beautiful, an exploration of a place both discom ting and
darkly seductive.1. Bring You Back
2. Feeling's Gone
3. Between The Waves
6. Late November
7. Studio Audience
10. Split in Two$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
CaerTwin Shadow, the project of George Lewis Jr., is back to announce his new album. Caer (pronounced: ka-air) is the artist's fourth album to date, and is set for release via Warner Bros. Records.
About Twin Shadow and Caer:
Sometimes I feel like I have to take a fall to essentially get to the next phase of my life, Lewis says
about Caer. It's happened over and over. I've been through so many musical phases and through
so many relationships with friends and lovers. I always feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff,
looking down and thinking, 'This is the only way forward: onto the next thing.' It's sort of destructive,
but I guess I thrive on rebirth.
Falling is a theme that surfaces throughout the album, which is why Lewis called it Caer - the
Spanish word for to fall. The album serves as a powerful lens through which Lewis explores his
own personal sense of falling, as well as what he has observed about a world that feels as if it's
declining. On a larger scale, Caer feels extraordinarily current, given what's going on culturally and
politically right now. The patriarchy is falling apart, Lewis says. Our perceptions of who we are as
human beings, because of technology and machines, are falling apart. We're living at a breaking
point, and a lot of the themes on the album are talking about these fault lines. Lewis refers to such
fissures on Saturdays (which features Haim). It's a love song, he says. 'Saturdays' is the heaven
place you go to when you're in love or even with friends, feeling your youth. But it's also about my
feeling that the world is starting to tear itself apart and maybe we're falling through the cracks. But
when you're laying in bed next to someone you care about, none of that seems real.
Lewis feels that Caer is something of a sister record to his 2010 debut album, the lush, gauzy
Forget, in that it's a record with hidden doorways and secret passages more is revealed the more
time you spend inside of it.
Lewis is part of a lineage of artists who constantly experiment but still manage to create the
soundtrack to people's lives, like Prince and David Bowie. Those are the artists who just keep
giving it to you forever. It's 'forever' music. To me, that's the greatest thing in the world.1. Brace (feat. Rainsford)
2. Saturdays (feat. Haim)
3. Sympathy (feat. Rainsford)
4. 18 Years
5. Little Woman
6. When You're Wrong
7. Twins Theme (Interlude)
8. Littlest Things
9. Too Many Colors
10. Rust (Interlude)
11. Obvious People
13. Bombs Away (RLP)$19.99Vinyl 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
AntisocialitesAntisocialites is the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays' 2014 self-titled debut. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage.
The album opens with the excellent strum-'n-thrummer 'In Undertow,' a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. You find a wave and try to hold on for as long as you can, you made a mistake you'd like to erase and I understand, sings Rankin, her voice full longing not for another person necessarily, but for what to do next. Meditate, play solitaire, take up self-defense, Molly continues, laundry-listing some strategies for moving on. What's next for you and me? I'll take suggestions, she deadpans under crashing waves of feedback and Farfisa.
Replete with more songs about drinking ('Forget About Life,' 'Hey'), drugging ('Lollipop (Ode To Jim)'), and drowning ('Already Gone'), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Rankin's phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me, the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner 'Dreams Tonite,' the song from which the album's name is derived. In fluorescent light, antisocialites watch a wilting flower.
Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin's shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. 'Not My Baby' is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, 'Plimsoll Punks' is the band's answer to Television Personalities' 'Part-Time Punks' and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream 'Lollipop (Ode to Jim)' after singing 'Just Like Honey' with Jesus and Mary Chain. 'Your Type' is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection.
The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On 'Forget About Life,' the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite? The resonant freaks in Rankin's tales don't find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.1. In Undertow
2. Dreams Tonite
3. Plimsoll Punks
4. Your Type
5. Not My Baby
7. Lollipop (Ode To Jim)
8. Already Gone
9. Saved By A Waif
10. Forget About Life$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Still RunStill Run is the new album from Brooklyn, NY based alternative band Wet, and is the follow up to the band's critically acclaimed debut album Don't You from 2016. Still Run shows Wet with a more upbeat and pop-driven sound than their debut. The band's new sound and outlook is informed by lead singer and songwriter Kelly Zutrau taking more creative control of the project. Much of Wet's shift stems from Zutrau's more forceful vocals, which allow her direct yet poetic lyrics to resonate more deeply - leaping out of the sunnier production.
Producers like Rostam (Haim, Solange), Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief), and John Hill (Santigold, M.I.A.) assisted primary producer and Wet band member Joe Valle, who brings a new comfort level to his production style, presenting dark lyrics in a brighter way that highlights their innate intensity and lets Zutrau's songwriting shine. There are a million ways to make a good song sound good, she says. But what matters to me most in the end are the vocal, and the songwriting, and whatever serves those best.
Wet is recognized for their deeply-hued emotional pop, well documented by the New York Times, Spin, and NPR among many others. Rolling Stone noted that Wet set themselves apart with music that combines the elegant ache of Nineties R&B with the raw honesty of indie pop.... Still Run is a testament to taking that control and pursuing one's artistic vision and it also shows how any hiccups that might crop up along the way can make the vision's eventual realization more satisfying.1. Still Run (feat. Starchild & The New Romantic)
2. There's a Reason
3. You're Not Wrong
6. 11 Hours
7. This Woman Loves You
8. Out of Tune
10. Love is Not Enough$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Nobody Knows YouGrammy-nominated bluegrass sensation, The Steep Canyon Rangers proudly present their debut Rounder Records effort Nobody Knows You. Grammy nominated for their collaboration with icon Steve Martin, these personable young musicians are as Steve puts it, "not only great musicians who continue to explore both the new and old styles of bluegrass and bring a fresh energy to the traditions of American music, but they are also really fun on a bus."
Deft musicianship, impeccable songwriting, distinctive vocals, and creative arrangements are just some of the qualities that set The Steep Canyon Rangers apart from the rest of the pack. Unafraid to break the mold, whether taking the unexpected musical turn or bringing home the surprising lyric, it's no wonder that Martin chose them as just the right band to record and tour with. Nobody Knows You is the most adventurous and fully realized accomplishment The Steep Canyon Rangers have achieved to date.
Guitarist Woody Platt's take on Nobody Knows You to No Depression, I think this record is an obvious step for us if you were to go back and listen to all of our records in order. To me, Nobody Knows You has the most depth from start to finish, and I believe that it features our best songwriting to date.
He adds, Although it is a bluegrass album, and we are very proud to be a bluegrass band, there are elements of pop, honky-tonk, jazz and rock and roll all kind of mixed into the album. The variety of the record will hopefully enable us to reach a larger audience of music fans, and not limit it to only bluegrass fans. Compared to our previous discography, I'd say that this record has the best chance to have a broad appeal.1. Nobody Knows You
2. Rescue Me
3. Easy To Love
4. Between Midnight and the Dawn
5. As I Go
6. Natural Disaster
7. Ungrateful One
8. Summer Winds
9. Open Country
10. Knob Creek
12. Long Shot$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
No Cities To Love
6-Panel Gatefold With 4-Page Insert And Custom Dust Sleeve
We sound possessed on these songs, says guitarist/vocalist Carrie
Brownstein about Sleater-Kinney's eighth studio album, No Cities to Love.
Willing it all - the entire weight of the band and what it means to us - back
The new record is the first in 10 years from the acclaimed trio - Brownstein,
vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker, and drummer Janet Weiss - who came
crashing out of the '90s Pacific Northwest riot grrrl scene, setting a new bar
for punk's political insight and emotional impact. Formed in Olympia, WA in
1994, Sleater-Kinney were hailed as America's best rock band by Greil
Marcus in Time Magazine, and put out seven searing albums in 10 years
before going on indefinite hiatus in 2006.
But the new album isn't about reminiscing, it's about reinvention, the
ignition of an unparalleled chemistry to create new sounds and tell new
stories. I always considered Corin and Carrie to be musical soulmates,
says Weiss, whose drums fuel the fire of Tucker and Brownstein's vocal and
guitar interplay. Something about taking a break brought them closer,
desperate to reach together again for their true expression. The result is a
record that grapples with love, power and redemption without restraint.
Produced by longtime Sleater-Kinney collaborator John Goodmanson, who
helmed many of the band's earlier albums including 1997 breakout set Dig
Me Out, No Cities to Love is indeed formidable from the first beat.
Sleater-Kinney's decade apart made room for family and other fruitful
collaborations, as well as an understanding of what the band's singular
chemistry demands. Sleater-Kinney isn't something you can do half-assed
or half-heartedly," says Brownstein. "This band requires a certain
desperation, a direness. We have to be willing to push because the entity
that is this band will push right back.
The core of this record is our relationship to each other, to the music, and
how all of us still felt strongly enough to about those to sweat it out in the
basement and to try and reinvent our band, adds Tucker. With No Cities to
Love, we went for the jugular.1. Price Tag
3. Surface Envy
4. No Cities to Love
5. A New Wave
6. No Anthems
7. Gimme Love
8. Bury Our Friends
9. Hey Darling
10. Fade$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Parts Of Speech (Awaiting Repress)From its first track, Dessa's new full-length Parts of Speech announces itself as something different. The Doomtree veteran and inveterate wordsmith - having proved her mettle in the fields of creative non-fiction, spoken-word and hip-hop - jettisons all genre expectations on "The Man I Knew" and croons a heartbreaking lament to a disintegrating relationship at an explosively-building clip.
From this moment on Dessa - oft-described as "Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker" for the wit and flow shown off on previous solo albums A Badly Broken Code and Castor, The Twin - proves she has truly coalesced as an artist, transcending the restrictions of genre to reveal an astonishing multi-platform voice.
"I wanted to investigate the idea that a cohesive record isn't always made cohesive by having twelve songs that sound the same. I figured when you make a mixtape for a friend, you can get away with a range of genres and a lot of dynamic change. Why can't I approach an album like that? The sequence has to be just right, and we worked hard to nail it, but the thing that holds this record together is the sensibility of the lyrics, rather than a uniform theme."
Track two kicks off a stunning hat-trick of the record's standout numbers. "Call Off Your Ghost" is an admittedly haunting dirge on the "struggle for grace in the wake of a long relationship." An arena-sized chorus tucked into a melancholy lullaby, "Ghost" has that unique ability to perfectly soundtrack new love or bitter breakup at the same time.
Dessa then puts her fists up for "Warsaw." The track boasts a beat like Azealia Banks playing Pacman, which provides a background for our emcee's confident, hypnotic flow. Narrative takes a backseat to mood here, as Dessa spits impressionistic one-ups like "I sleep with both eyes open, standing up," daring you to blink first.
"Skeleton Key" contains Parts of Speech's mission statement: "I haven't met a locked door yet." An ode to female self-reliance that doesn't waste ambiance for message, the track plays like a great, lost M. Night Shyamalan movie, calling forth an era out of time in the story of a woman, a key and a bottomless reserve of courage.
"This record involves multiple narratives. It explores the same themes of love, loss, connection and communion as a lot of my work, but the angle and lens through which they're explored sets this album apart from my previous ones. The production techniques were new for me too - we spent a lot of time crafting a record that could include live players, Doomtree production, and sometimes a blend of the two."
While the album is born of Dessa's artistic vision, it benefits from the collaboration of her varied friends. Parts of Speech owes much of its impact to its diverse production. Dessa got her start as a member of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree - eventually going on to help manage the group's business affairs as they launched their own label - and members Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger lend their production to several tracks.
The players in Dessa's live ensemble all contributed to the record, as did several top-flight Minneapolis musicians working in rock, folk, and opera. She even enlisted a cellist she found on Pandora to make the gorgeously-layered foundation of penultimate track "It's Only Me."1. The Man I Knew
2. Call Off Your Ghost
4. Skeleton Key
5. Dear Marie
6. I'm Going Down
7. Fighting Fish
8. The Lamb
11. It's Only Me
12. Sound the Bells$17.99Vinyl LP - LP Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham (Book)
Exclusive 7" Vinyl Record Featuring Rare Unreleased B-Sides From Manchester Orchestra And Minus The Bear
Ryan is one of the greatest photographers working today." - Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie)
"Ryan is an exceptional talent." - Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Celebrated rock photographer Ryan Russell has announced plans to release his first travel photography book, "Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham," via No Sleep Records.
Known best for his ability to brilliantly capture timeless photos of some of rock's biggest acts, from Death Cab For Cutie and Against Me! to Paramore and Blink-182, Russell recently tackled a different subject entirely for "Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham." In the summer of 2013 he embarked on a life-changing, cross-country journey, moving from his native city of Birmingham, AL to the Pacific Northwest town of Bellingham, WA. Russell documented his trip, capturing the back roads, ghost towns, national parks and historical sites of America with stunning photos of everything he saw.
"Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham" will also include an exclusive 7" vinyl record featuring rare unreleased B-sides from Manchester Orchestra and Minus the Bear, two bands that Russell has shot extensively over the last several years.
Ryan is one of those rare photographers that can truly put you at ease while he takes superb and entirely honest photos," says Cory Murchy of Minus the Bear. "A master at capturing the most fleeting and candid of moments, we always look forward to working with him so we were extremely honored to be asked to be apart of this project.1. Manchester Orchestra - Sure Shot
2. Minus the Bear - Surf-N-Turf$35.99Book + 7 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
Goodbye Terrible YouthHow do you improve an already striking set of stripped-down, homemade pop? Gary McClure, the St. Louis-by-way-of Scotland songwriter behind American Wrestlers, a once anonymous project that became one of the year's best new bands, believes it's about being true to the basics.
"It's truly about becoming good enough to write the album you wanted to listen to when you were 15," he says. "Every time I make a new record, I feel like I'm getting closer."
Goodbye Terrible Youth (November 4, Fat Possum) shows McClure taking bedroom recordings onto a bigger stage without sacrificing the intimacy that makes them so attractive. If his self-titled album showed his knack for stringing together addictive guitar lines-the shimmer of shoegaze mixed with the emotional fist pump of power pop-Goodbye Terrible Youth amplifies that energy with a road-tested band. Literally breaking out of the home studio-the Tascam mixer McClure had been recording on has fallen apart from overuse-he's embraced a bigger sound and stage on Goodbye Terrible Youth, his rueful yet propulsive songwriting only becoming sharper.
"I wanted to write songs that bridged the gap better between audience and stage," he says. "Faster, louder more distortion. Something you can do handstands and backflips and start small fires to."
Building on the dreamy haze of previous recordings, McClure's music on GTY often crackles with energy. Lead song "Vote Thatcher" flips a switch between propulsive, jangly guitar lines and bright, boisterous, choruses, a fitting backdrop for lyrics imploring listeners not to let their youth slip through their fingers. "Someone Far Away," propelled by a massive, fuzzy bassline, makes a perfect soundtrack for a long desert drive, while the angular and angsty, while "Terrible Youth" opens with a muscular take on the midsection riff of Marquee Moon, than fuzzes into grunge over a Stone Roses bass line along with a bit of Big Star swagger.
When McClure's homemade recordings surfaced in late 2014, they featured the kind of lo-fi charm you'd expect from a lost classic, like a long-lost mixtape rediscovered under the seat of your car. Self-released on Bandcamp, the earnest and effortless album reflects McClure at his best.
"It's this weird kind of thing happens where the music kind of constructs itself," he says. "My music making process is always happening, always going on in my head. It's almost like anti-virus software in my computer. It's always plugging away in the background."
McClure's career may be the definition of plugging away, enough so that he has the unique distinction of being "discovered" twice. Before starting American Wrestler, he was one-half of Working For a Nuclear Free City, a shoegaze-inspired band out of Manchester, England. By 2013, McClure and bandmate Phil Kay decided to wind the project down. As McClure weighed next move, he started playing around and posting demos online. The tracks caught the attention of Bridgette Imperial, an American who was studying overseas, and sparked more than just a meeting of musical minds. They began dating, and a year later, McClure had moved to St. Louis to marry her.
The midwest move has been a key influence for the restless musician, a more open music scene than he was accustomed to in Manchester. While working a warehouse job for UPS in Missouri, McClure began experimenting and recording what would become the first American Wrestlers album, and the momentum and reception built since then has allowed him to stretch out and refine a new album of songs with a full band, which includes Imperial, who plays keyboard, as well as Ian Reitz on bass and Josh Van Hoorebeke on drums. McClure's new set of bouncing, well-crafted songs shows that musical youth is not always wasted on the young.
"I'm always surprised by how each record brings me closer to writing simpler, heavier, catchier songs like those bands who gave me my musical epiphany: Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and that first Foo Fighters record," he says. "I first learned how to write by copying them and got lost for a decade in intricacy and experimentation. Now, it feels like I'm heading back."1. Vote Thatcher
2. Give Up
3. So Long
4. Hello, Dear
5. Amazing Grace
6. Terrible Youth
7. Blind Kids
8. Someone Far Away
9. Real People$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
"I really felt like I was witnessing history... in a couple of years we'll be talking about,
'Man, I saw him at this intimate little show." - NPR
"Grand and transcendent... the layers of beautiful sound, homage to Japanese culture,
and use of violin make 151a a dreamy, pocket-sized symphony, perfect for anyone
needing a lift." - BUST
"Sumptuous orchestral brilliance... It's a stunningly good record, not merely chirpy,
zany, and whimsical-but also packed full of harmonious, heart-stopping beauty. If you
can imagine ELO's very best moments combined with Andrew Bird and a bit of weird
Bjork introspection-well, even that doesn't really do it justice. Apart from Pet Sounds,
perhaps, I can't think of a record that's as singly captivating in its sonic beauty." - THE PORTLAND MERCURY
"Kishi Bashi's music sounds surprisingly basic and natural. He's got such a great way
of thinking about production and melody that I've yet to hear a bad song from him." -
YOU AIN'T NO PICASO
"The music is off-kilter, particularly the opening chants and swirl of guitar and drums.
The middle section, though, takes a more even-keeled approach to pop, balancing the
looped whistles with peaceful, yet evocative vocals."
- CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
"A weightless, cartwheeling, electro-pop romp that's all zz and no fuss" - SPIN
Violinist, singer, and composer Kishi Bashi is slated to release his new album on
April 29, 2014. The album entitled "Lighght" (pronounced "Light") continues and
expands the sound of his critically acclaimed debut, "151a" - which earned Kishi Bashi
the *title* of "Best New Artist" by NPR. Since the profoundly successful release of
"151a" two years ago, Kishi Bashi has toured relentlessly, captivating audiences across
the globe with his loop-based live show, and fostering a groundswell of devotees.
"151a" was crafted over a four-year period while Kishi Bashi was touring and recording with Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal (where he was a full-time
member and co-producer). In late 2012, after the success of "151a", Kishi Bashi
decided to focus solely on his own music and began composing the new material
which has become "Lighght".
"Lighght" takes its title from the one-word poem by minimalist poet Aram Saroyan.
As Kishi Bashi explains, "The poem's blatant assault on literary convention and
classical form was attractive to me." It is apparent that such an approach informed
the new album, which has both broadened and redened his classical foundations.
"Though I have studied classical composition, I prefer to take an unconventional path when it comes to creating and thinking about music," says Kishi Bashi.
Though violin remains his primary instrument and songwriting muse, Kishi Bashi has
expanded his palette to include more diverse and nuanced instrumentation. Bright
and soaring avant-pop songs are prevalent, as are Eastern-tinged arrangements,
gentle ballads, Philip Glass inspired improvisations, and more than a few moments
that irt with 70s prog (in the tradition of ELO or Yes).
If this sounds jarringly kaleidoscopic, that's because it is. But it works. Listen and see.1. DÉbut - Impromptu
2. Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!
3. The Ballad of Mr. Steak
4. Carry on Phenomenon
5. Bittersweet Genesis for Him AND Her
6. Impromptu no 1
8. Once Upon a Lucid Dream (In Afrikaans)
9. Hahaha Pt. 1
10. Hahaha Pt. 2
11. In Fantasia$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing
Boston. Titletown. The Cradle of Liberty. Beantown. From popular neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain and Davis Square to the more hardscrabble quarters like Mattapan and Roxbury, Boston is a complex fabric of people, cultures, and viewpoints. None more Boston are punk rock outfit, Street Dogs. From the air they breathe and the food they eat to the communities they serve-frontman Mike McColgan is a Boston Fire Department 911 Dispatcher and drummer Pete Sosa is an honorary member of the City of Boston-and the values they uphold, Street Dogs exemplify their city and what it has to offer the world. Across the group's storied 16-year career, they've hit hard, spoke the truth, and walked the walk. New album, Stand for Something or Die for Nothing, is proof the Bostonians continue to live and be empowered by their punk rock, tell-it-like-it-is ethos.
"Anyone who has ever listened to our group knows we are Bostonians to the bone," says bassist Johnny Rioux. "We all love the city. It's our home. I think our fans abroad get a window into our city and what it is like to grow up here and live here through a multitude of different life experiences [from our music]."
Indeed, Sicut Patribus Sit Street Dogs Nobis. But the primary motivator to pick up where 2010's lauded self-titled left off wasn't to continue waving the sky blue at the Boston Common, but to sound the alarm that our leadership and the affluent are taking advantage of society. The wedge is being driven between classes, deeper and deeper, where the rich get richer and the poor are afforded fewer choices in life, like education, opportunity, and the pursuit of a good life, respected liberties, and unquestionable happiness. This gift, as it were, has given the Street Dogs have plenty to write about eight years after their Hellcat Records' swansong.
"The dumbing down of America is a reason to write songs in 2018," Rioux asserts. "People need to wake the fuck up and realize the rich won't drain the swamp or look after the working man and woman. [So] we hit on familiar turf and we go outside our zone as well on Stand for Something or Die for Nothing. It's tough to contain my excitement for this record and our fans are going to love it. Everyone stepped way up."
If there's one thing that sets the self-titled apart from Stand for Something or Die for Nothing it's the songwriting. Tracks like "Other Ones," "Angels Calling," "Working Class Heroes," and "Never Above You, Never Below You" show Street Dogs at their finest: loud, abrasive, confrontational, and unifying. In fact, there's not one track on the group's sixth full-length that doesn't convey brotherhood, common values, and the ability to stand together against anyone with aims to disfigure or disband their raised fist.
"On Stand for Something or Die for Nothing, we took our time making sure everything was worked out as well as it possibly could be with multiple re-writes of songs and painstaking takes," says Rioux. "The band wrote this record together as a unit. This is the most full-band record we have ever made with everyone contributing. It's our best record. I really believe that and all the hard-painstaking work we put in people will hear and feel. With respects to the self-titled record we were moving at very quick and prolific pace back then. That record came together fast and is special."
Recorded at Woolly Mammoth Studios, Sugarland Studio, and Q Division Studios with Rioux in the producer's chair, mix master Sean Cahalin at the desk, and mastering ace Jeff Lipton navigating, Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is a punk rock album for the new era. Rioux was careful to balance the DIY tenets of punk with the professional requirements of recording an album. The result was hard won, but Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is a punk rock triumph, with tracks like "The Comeback Zone," "Lest We Forget," and the title track delivering modern-day anthems that kick ass and take names.
"Other than Sean being a total professional and super-proficient, there aren't really any specific stories to Stand for Something or Die. I've always has had a hand in the production of our records and I can be demanding in the studio! That all said, I think we have our best sounding record to date. It has all the energy of our live shows in it. Fans will immediately tell it's us when they hear it."
While the definition of punk rock has its divisions, Street Dogs are, no doubt, part of the genre's proud history. Stand for Something or Die is undoubtedly punk rock. Using Rioux's definition (or not): "What's punk to me is people living how they want to not how they are told to."
Amen, brother.1. Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing
2. Other Ones
3. The Comeback Zone
4. Angels Calling (feat. Slaine)
5. These Ain't The Old Days
6. Working Class Heroes
7. Lest We Forget
8. The Round Up
9. Mary On Believer Street
10. Never Above You, Never Below You
11. Torn And Frayed$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-DOG-0710xAll American Rejects
When The World Comes DownLimited Repress Gatefold LP On Clear Vinyl With White And Blue Starburst
The All-American Rejects began writing material for their third studio album in late December 2006 after wrapping up their Tournado tour, and continued through into the new year. But due to further touring and promotion for their second album Move Along, the band did not enter the studio until nearly a year later. This was also the first time lyricists Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter tried new methods of writing by escaping to various regional areas in North America to conceive new lyrics so that the songs could sound honest.
The first songs to be written that made it onto the album were I Wanna, Back to Me, and Breakin'. While I Wanna was written over a six-month period, with Ritter making constant refinements, the following songs Gives You Hell and Another Heart Calls were all written during a road trip to Vancouver, Canada, with Fallin' Apart and Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down) getting scored in Rabun County, Georgia, the latter of which was recorded live in one take. The album was later named When the World Comes Down as Ritter saw the title track as a perfect, simple work of art.
The All-American Rejects began recording for When the World Comes Down at Skywalker Ranch in San Rafael, California and later at Barefoot Studios with producer Eric Valentine. The 16-piece orchestra featured on a dozen of the tracks was recorded at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.
In an interview with She Knows Entertainment, Ritter commented I think When the World Comes Down has been a journey. I was twenty-three when I started writing this record. I'm twenty-four now... people say when you graduate college you figure out who you are. If I had graduated college, this would be that moment - now. I think I was most questioning life when I was getting off the road with Move Along and this record was therapy for me. It's everything I needed it to be for me.1. I Wanna
2. Fallin' Apart
3. Damn Girl
4. Gives You Hell
5. Mona Lisa
7. Another Heart Calls
8. Real World
9. Back To Me
11. The Wind Blows
13. Untitled$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lies & WishesEdward David Anderson is an artist as ancient as he is modern. In a time when the music business desperately flails about, grasping at any new trend that will save its sinking ship, he exists far beyond its confines. Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, I'm the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother. The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson's an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.
I feel like every experience, every mile, every interaction, every tune, sort of got me to where I am at this moment, Anderson recounts while shedding light on the over-arching theme that ties together the 10-track collection. The songs on the record are confessional by nature. They are songs about loss and love and living and hope. Halfway through my life, it's an honest look in the mirror.
Anderson's journey over the last five years and his response to the challenges he faced is what sets the lifers apart from those that concede the artistic pursuit. The dissolution of Backyard Tire in 2011 was the first obstacle to overcome. The band had built a devout cult following around the U.S., counting Cracker, Reverend Horton Heat and Clutch among their fans, all of whom took BTF on the road exposing them to a wider audience. It was around this time that Steve Berlin of Los Lobos was first drawn to Anderson's songwriting.
"Backyard Tire Fire opened a show for us and I remember being backstage and listening to their music and I was like, 'Wow, that song sounds really familiar. Whose cover is that? It's a classic tune,'" says Berlin. "It turns out that they were all Ed's originals. They just had that instantly memorable quality to them. So, I introduced myself at the show and we became buddies and then collaborators. Ed's music is so evocative, so well written. I honestly think he is as talented as anyone in the songwriting world and it is important that he be heard."
Anderson adds: I was just starting to get back on the road again after Tire Fire split, touring with my friend Johnny Hickman and I got inspired to get back in the studio. I had these songs and had something pretty interesting to say based on the experiences I just went through. I knew if I could get Steve Berlin involved, who is an old friend that I've worked with in the past, it could be something special."
It was just prior to this that Anderson's mother passed away, while the previous winter his wife lost her mother, both to extended illnesses. It was a defining moment for the 40-year old artist and culminated in a torrent of songwriting. Indeed, songs like Lies & Wishes Lost & Found and Chain Reaction delve deep into the human condition, asking difficult questions of both himself and his loved ones.
"A lot of the subject matter on this record came from reflecting on these painful experiences" says Anderson. After losing my mom, I decided I've got to make a record and dedicate it to her and make a statement here on my own.
Musically speaking, the core of Lies & Wishes is built around refined melodies, acoustic guitars and sparse arrangements, yet Berlin's production colors the tracks with squalls of electric guitar, affected vocals, drum loops and assorted analog keyboard flourishes. It should also be noted that fans of Anderson's vintage rock and roll songwriting from his Backyard Tire Fire days will find plenty to love on tunes like "Nothing Lasts Forever," "Taking It Out On You" and "The Next Melody," which deliver the big hooks and classic refrains on which he so effortlessly hangs his hat.
This is where we find Edward David Anderson today. His heart's on his sleeve and it's that of an artist. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but as the songs on Lies & Wishes bare out, when the muse calls, he will be there to answer.
I needed to make this album, he concludes. I feel like it's undoubtedly my finest work to date, the beginning of the next chapter for me.1. Lies & Wishes
2. Lost & Found
3. Son Of A Plumber
4. Pins & Needles
5. Taking It Out On You
6. I Missed You
7. Nothing Lasts Forever
8. Chain Reaction
10. The Next Melody$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Trinity LaneThis record was written mostly in the summer of 2016 in my apartment off of Trinity Lane. A few tunes came out on the road as well. After moving out of an ex's house, I settled into a new neighborhood down the road. Shortly after, I picked up a tour with my good friend John Moreland where we went to the West Coast and back. I was trailing them in my little 2002 Honda Accord that has literally been all over the country with me. A woman in my early 30s, I found myself sick of my same old shit. I was inspired by the landscape of the west. My faith was tested on the curves of the Highway 101 through the Red Woods. I got terrifyingly stoned on weed gummy bears in Denver. I saw real cowboys in Wyoming and drove through a flood in Arkansas. I felt displaced, but connected.
Upon returning to the south, my home of Tennessee, I slunk back into my nook off of Trinity. I went over all the things I'd seen. There had been a freedom in being so far away - a lack of responsibility, a distance from some of the issues, if you will, though I'd carried them right with me, back to my birthplace of Los Angeles, peering over the ocean, wondering how you can come so far yet end up in the same place. I contemplated fleeing and just staying in California, but the south is my home and I had to deal with what needed to be dealt with. I started to write. And go to the park. And listen to records. And play my guitar every night. Every time I wanted a man, I picked up my guitar. Every time I wanted a drink, I picked up my guitar.
Love will take you to the darkest places but also to the most honest places if you let it. Learning how to love myself is something I've always been lousy with, and I spent some time on that. I thought about my sobriety, what that means to me, the struggles I'd had throughout the years, since I was a 27-year-old and hung up my toxic drinking habit. I thought about my mother, who took her own life when I was a baby, not far from my age at 30 years old, and I related to her more than ever. As you can see, there was plenty of time spent on my own. I didn't talk to that many folks, albeit a few close friends, and leaned into my family. I stayed away from men, and danced alone in the evenings, looking out my window observing my humble and lively neighborhood. I found power in being by myself. I found peace in the people I was surrounded with - we didn't really know one another, but we smiled when passed on the street. One time I almost rear-ended an older woman in her car backing out of my driveway and I said, Oh man, I'm just not used to any cars coming around this bend. She replied, This is our little hideout, baby. And it really was. The woods were behind me, Dickerson Pike was in the front.
So after a while, I had all these songs to play, and wanted to share them. I wanted to get out of town to get some distance from everything, so after an ongoing conversation with Michael Trent, I took my band to Johns Island, SC and we holed up for a few weeks. I poured my heart out, and trusted them with it, and these guys gave it right back. I think we all understood what it's like to question home, intention, demons, love....I think most people understand that. I hope you love this record, I made it for you.1. All Kinds Of People
2. The Night David Bowie Died
3. Trinity Lane
4. Everything I Had
5. I Wanna Go Home
8. Different, I Guess
11. So Much You Don't Know
12. See Ya Later$19.99Vinyl 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
ADAD-WES-3514xHeather Woods Broderick
GliderBeautiful post-folk ballads a thing of tremendous sonic depth one of the year's best debuts BOOMKAT
A bold and beautiful album CYCLYC DEFROST
haunting and atmospheric. THE 405
...compelling...it never dissolves after the first listen instead it only acquires new layers, new musical textures. THE GUARDIAN
It's a ravishing, terrific, gorgeous album-the rare kind that throws its listeners into reverie. PORTLAND MERCURY
Heather Woods Broderick excels at distilling her experiences into a soulful melancholy
that's enduring both for it's intimate relatable moments and its persistent
sense of mystery. Her uncanny ear for evocative production and gorgeous vocal
harmonies serves her well on her new album Glider. Throughout the album, the rich
dreamlike atmospheres she creates hint at a darkness looming on the horizon, while
the singularity of her ethereal voice always seems to linger long after the music has
As a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Heather has had the opportunity to
record and tour with plenty of incredible artists including Horse Feathers, Efterklang,
and Sharon Van Etten, which has kept her moving house and traveling around
the world for much of the past decade. She's currently living in Portland, Oregon,
but it's easy to imagine how her peripatetic lifestyle might diminish her sense of a
place to call home, while also strengthening her resilience, and her connection to
the reassuring constants in her life. As she explains Living in so many different
places has made me able to feel pretty comfortable everywhere. Her uncommon
sense of ease and grace, despite her hectic life, stems in part from her deeply
rooted and intertwined musical and familial background.
Music took root in Heather's life before she was even born, when her parents, both
musicians, met for the first time at one of her mom's gigs, which her dad was
attending. The two married and moved to Maine where Heather, second of three
children, was born at home. When she was 8-years-old the family moved across the
country to Oregon, and soon after moving, she asked if she could take piano
lessons, a practice she would continue through high school and into college. In
elementary school band she learned flute, and later picked up cello and guitar.
Though the songs on Glider aren't explicitly about touring, her life on the road
provides the backdrop and context for her songs that are often about relationships
that naturally fade as two people grow apart. I've realized that I really used the
songs on Glider and the time I put into writing them as a way to pay some attention
to things I'd been putting off, and to find some clarity around certain events, says
Heather. Building on what she learned from her first solo effort From the Ground
(2009), the dynamic structures and emotional complexity of her new songs are
evidence of how much she's grown as a person and as a songwriter. More confident
and self-assured than ever, songs like Fall Hard evolve from vulnerable bare piano
and vocals to hypnotizing swells of vocals reminiscent of Grouper or Cocteau Twins'
Elizabeth Fraser. Her voice soars in stride with a wall of guitars on Wyoming,
while Mama Shelter introduces a gentle groove as Heather conjures the sensuality
of Stevie Nicks. The album closes with the heartbreaking All for a Love, ending
with the refrain I can see our love is dragging you down. As dark as the sentiment
can be, Heather always seems to be leaning into the light.1. Up In the Pine
2. Mama Shelter
3. Fall Hard
5. The Sentiments
6. A Call For Distance
9. All For A Love$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now