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The Joy Formidable'
WARB-ATL-1799xThe Joy Formidable
Wolf's LawThere's something panoramic about The Joy Formidable's music - their mountainous, fuzzed out riffs and ferocious, earthy rhythms shrouded in ethereal haze. It sounds like where they're from: Childhood friends Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar) and Rhydian Dafydd (bass, vocals) grew up in rural North Wales, surrounded by rolling green hills and little else. There's a beauty and a loneliness to the landscape there, says Dafydd. We had no neighbors growing up, Bryan notes. I think my parents looked for a house with no neighbors so they could play their music as loud as possible.
For her part, Bryan loved the isolation. Growing up as an only child, the singer immersed herself in her parents' enormous record collection and the classical guitar studies she took on at the age of seven. I loved playing guitar by myself, back then I was quite introverted with my music, she says.
Bryan and Dafydd had been writing music separately from one another, and worked together in a couple of short-lived local bands after finishing school. They knew they wanted to collaborate, but didn't manage to make it work until a few years ago. We kept missing each other, Ritzy says. Bryan went off to Washington, D.C on a whim and returned to Wales in 2008 with renewed focus. My family situation wasn't easy to go back to says Bryan. I came back out of necessity and found a lot of sanctuary recording with Rhydian and having this new band to concentrate on.
For six months, the pair wrote together, experimenting with different sonic approaches. We'd go for walks in the hills between recordings, Dafydd remembers. We'd write for hours and hours, adds Bryan, and if we got frustrated, we'd go stomp it out, up and down the mountains. But as the sessions began yielding signature tunes like Austere and Cradle - tracks that combined the duo's interest in thick, textured noises with clear, shimmering pop hooks - they knew they'd found their sound. We'd always been into writing strong melodies, Bryan says. The sparks really flew when we started messing with things that were choral and symphonic, mixed with what both of us had already enjoyed separately: dirty, loud, rhythmic guitars and thick bass-lines.Side A
1. This Ladder Is Ours
4. Little Blimp
6. Silent Treatment
1. Maw Maw Song
2. Forest Serenade
3. The Leopard and the Lung
4. The Hurdle
5. The Turnaround$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
HitchSelf-produced by the band, and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder, the new release showcases the evolution of
the trio's sound and musicianship. The commanding guitar and lead vocals of Ritzy Bryan coupled with bassist
Rhydian Davies and the stalwart stylings of drummer Matt Thomas perfectly align on the band's latest endeavor.Side A
1. This Ladder Is Ours
4. Little Blimp
6. Silent Treatment
1. Maw Maw Song
2. Forest Serenade
3. The Leopard and the Lung
4. The Hurdle
5. The Turnaround$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
All Rise: A Joyful Elegy For Fats WallerAcclaimed pianist Jason Moran will release All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, a collaboration with the vocalist Meshell
Ndegeocello that recasts the music of the legendary jazz entertainer Fats Waller as a modern dance party. The album-which was produced by
Ndegeocello and Blue Note Records president Don Was-is the ninth in a formidable catalog that Moran has been building on Blue Note since 1999.
All Rise features Moran hosting a changeable cast of musicians that includes vocalists Ndegeocello and Lisa E. Harris, his longtime trio The Bandwagon
featuring bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and a funky horn-inflected ensemble anchored by drummer Charles Haynes that features
trumpeter Leron Thomas and trombonist Josh Roseman, as well as guest saxophonist Steve Lehman. The album was recorded and mixed by Bob Power,
known for honing the sound on classic hip hop records by A Tribe Called Quest, Common and The Roots.1. Put Your Hands On It
2. Ain't Misbehavin'
3. Yacht Club Swing
4. Lulu's Back In Town
5. Two Sleepy People
6. The Joint Is Jumpin'
7. Honeysuckle Rose
8. Ain't Nobody's Business
9. Fats Elegy
10. Handful Of Keys
11. Jitterbug Waltz
12. Sheik Of Araby / I Found a New Baby$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-FRO-1073xThe Joy Formidable
AAARTH (Pre-Order)AAARTH makes a statement unlike its predecessors. Drawing inspiration from a worldwide climate of political and social uncertainty the band transplanted themselves in Utah's vivid natural landscape immersed in a collage of colors and light, the ever fluid and expansive Southwestern sky mirroring our rapidly-changing world. The deep burnt-orange rocks and canyons became touchstones as the band formed the sonic landscapes of AAARTH. From soaring choruses to percussive pulsating guitars, The Joy Formidable paint an 11 song musical tapestry deftly balancing a sound as grounded as their ancient surroundings and as elusive and mind-bending as a gloaming desert sky.
AAARTH first came to life on the road penning lyrics and recording selected parts in hotel rooms around the world. They self-produced and mixed most of the album in their mobile recording studio. This critically adored trio is comprised of Ritzy Bryan (lead vocals, guitars), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Thomas (drums, percussion). Formed in North Wales 10 years ago, each album they've released has been a joyful adventure and reflection of their fearless creative discovery and self evolution. The Joy Formidable has always refused to be fenced in or fit in. That restless and boundless artistic journey continues on their fourth album, an arresting and unapologetic tour de force that finds a band at its apex with no sign of getting comfortable.
Certainly, the road to AAARTH hasn't always been easy. Staying together as a band for 10 years requires immense tenacity and passion, both of which The Joy Formidable have never lost. That same tenacity echoes in their new unrelenting affecting musical treatise. The songs, melodies, and arrangements on AAARTH soar seamlessly from the personal to the epic sometimes in loneliness, vulnerability, disillusionment, joy,and redemption, but all the while refusing to deny the persistence of our own and other's imperfectly beautiful humanity. Fernando Chamerelli's evocative album art frames this vibrant, diverse, and playful melodic and lyrical collage.
While the sounds build the mood at the heart of this album are haunting songs that don't let go, "Cicada (Land On Your Back)" draws on the shamanistic influence of Utah, infusing the melody with a lingering psychedelic impression. "We wanted some kind of rebirth, the way you do in a tribal drug ceremony," Rhydian says. "We wanted to lose ourselves and start again." These themes of feeling lost and letting go only to reconnect with yourself thread through the songs. In "All and All" these themes are echoed, as the guitars hypnotically build into a crashing tide of reckless abandon, hope, yearning, and desperation.
There's one little part of me
that doesn't want to let go
It's easier to be the old me
I'm tired of staring down the price of bravery
All in all there's something missing
All in all there's something you can do
I won't play it down or pretend I haven't found
Because all in all there's something in you
The album is book-ended by two songs that calls for a world less divided, offering a dual desire that we take on the challenge to find love and forgiveness across entrenched divisions, while reminding us that healing journey cannot happen unless we also allow forgiveness and love for ourselves. "Y Bluen Eira," written in Welsh, invokes a white feather, a symbol of weakness in British history, and a snowflake. "It's very easy to write off a whole group of people just by labeling them," Ritzy notes. "That leads to a lack of communication and isolation. If we can be curious and courageous, then maybe we will find conversation across the spectrums that divide us and maybe even find new patterns to heal our world and ourselves".
From the contagiously sweeping sonic feast of "You Can't Give Me" to the careening and addictive "All and All", (possibly one of the more wrenching and beautiful rock ballads since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Maps" shattered male dominated rock radio over a decade ago), their new record grasps its listener tight and refuses to let go. NME has written that, 'The Joy Formidable has always sounded so much bigger than the stages they inhabit'. With the release of AAARTH later this year, we are poised for the moment where the size of this band's stages, may just yet, catch up with their sound. For a band who never coveted nor chased mainstream success a much wider audience awaits and, as always for this Welsh trio, it arrives on their timeline and will be met on their own terms.1. Y Bluen Eira
2. The Wrong Side
3. Go Loving
4. Cicada (Land On Your Back)
5. All In All
6. What For
7. The Better Me
9. Dance Of The Lotus
10. You Can't Give Me
11. Caught On A Breeze$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
About Last NightSleeper Agent today announced their highly anticipated second album, entitled About Last Night, will be released on RCA Records / Mom & Pop.
"About Last Night is the product of countless hours spent writing, rewriting, recording, hoping, toiling, questioning, and ultimately pushing ourselves as a band as far as we could go," said Sleeper Agent's Alex Kandel. "It's a record that I can hear our band's history in every heartbreak, every victory, every night spent in the van, every audience we've been in front of are woven into the melodies and fabric of the songs."
About Last Night was born after principal songwriter Tony Smith started scribbling together song skeletons on tour. The group fleshed out those compositions after decamping their tour bus and shacking up together in a log cabin in Middle of Nowhere, East Kentucky. Instead of killing each other in their secluded camp, they watched The Godfather, cooked family dinners, and emerged five days later with 10 solid tracks. The songs were recorded in Nashville and Charleston with producers Jay Joyce and Eric Bass. About Last Night is the follow up to their 2011 debut Celabrasion.
About Last Night will follow up Sleeper Agent's heralded debut album Celabrasion, which was released by Mom + Pop in 2011 and immediately garnered the affectionate attention of the blogosphere straight to the top of the national music media - leading to prominent features on the pages on SPIN, Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Guitar World, Los Angeles Times, and many more. Rolling Stone hailed them as a Band To Watch and the group was named the #2 Best New Band in the annual Rolling Stone Reader's Poll. Sleeper Agent also won MTVu's Freshman Award in February 2012 and singer Alex Kandel was one of six artists to be nominated for Rolling Stone's Women Who Rock contest in 2012. The band toured nonstop throughout 2012, sharing the stage with Weezer, Fun., Grouplove, Young The Giant, Ben Kweller, The Joy Formidable, Manchester Orchestra, Circa Survive, Company of Thieves, and more.
Sleeper Agent is Alex Kandel (vocals), Tony Smith (guitar, vocals), Justin Wilson (drums), Lee Williams (bass), Scott Gardner (keys), and Josh Martin (guitar).1. Be Brave
3. Take It Off
4. Haunting Me
6. Bad News
7. Me On You
10. Good Job
11. Eat You Up
12. Sweetheart$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Passage (Awaiting Repress)Brooklyn, NY's Exitmusic, comprised of Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino, present their debut album, Passage. The 10-song set is a collection of newly-written songs and some of their older tunes that received some new coats of paint. Here, the two tethers that make up Exitmusic's sound, one stirring atmospherics, one of grandioise and thoughtful pop, are let to bow further out than ever before. They are, however, also pulled into a tighter, sharper knot at the center. There are big, emotional dynamic shifts, and a wave-crashing momentum across the set without ever breaking a sustained feeling of tenderness. It's dream-pop for those of us whose dreams are Lawrence of Arabia-epic in scope: lulling, apocalyptic, celestial, triumphant.
Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with mixer Nicholas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter), Church and Palladino, along with the assistance of new bandmates drummer Dru Prentiss and live electronics by Nicholas Shelestak, built on the chilling, beautiful aesthetic they had created as a duo when recording at home. The result is a sound that is more powerful and more nuanced, covering broad oceans of emotional terrain. Opener and title track "Passage" is like watching a great shifting of tides through rapid time-lapse photography, introducing new dynamics in one magnificent breath. It is a statement of intent that tears down the Victorian boudoir gauze found on previous efforts. The ghosts are still piercing the veil, but now they're throwing chairs. The song begins gently, with candlelight piano plucks, distant explosions on the horizon, aching breaths and moans. But in moments, the oceans swell and lurch as it detonates into a shower of brilliant shrapnel.
Elsewhere, on album standout "The Night," Exitmusic's gaze moves upwards with chiming, blurry guitars, the heavenly sighs of Palladino in the background and one of the album's finest choruses in the foreground. And "Storms" sounds like Peng-era Stereolab as seen through a fun house carnival mirror. The album has a bona fide, fist-pumping anthem "The Modern Age" and closes elegantly with the starkly devastating "Sparks of Light. Simply put: This is arena goth.
Passage is a longtime in the making, and certainly worth the wait. Church and Palladino started writing together several years ago, when the Canadian-born Church moved to New York City, Palladino's home, following a year teaching English in Taiwan and India. Their collective sonic interests: layers, textures, churning, spacious guitars (Palladino had been playing hers since age 12), blinking electronics, shimmering vocals, created a fruitful writing partnership immediately. Their songs began to take on new dimensions when the pair moved to Los Angeles a year later, finally committing their compositions to the recording process. A few twists and turns, and a move back to New York City, later, Exitmusic found a home with Secretly Canadian who released their first EP, From Silence, in the Fall of 2011. Critical raves for the four song collection poured in globally, with everyone from New York Magazine to The Guardian heralding the band's arrival. With the new live line-up, Exitmusic will have toured with artists such as Phantogram, School of Seven Bells, The Joy Formidable and A Place To Bury Strangers.1. Passage
2. The Night
3. The City
4. White Noise
6. The Wanting
8. The Modern Age
9. The Cold
10. Sparks of Light$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
In 2008 the members of Chief finished school, left New York City and returned home to the west coast with their suitcases stuffed full of soaring melodies, shimmering guitars, lovelorn lyrics and heart-stopping harmonies. Their debut album, Modern Rituals, is as rich and expansive as it is personal and intricate. This is a record so teeming with joyful desperation that you'll want to hold onto it with all your might. Modern Rituals is not only a radiant, cohesive and effortlessly captivating introduction to a formidable new band, it's a contender for most contagious album of the year.1. The Minute I Saw It
2. Nothing's Wrong
3. Wait For You
4. This Land
5. Breaking Walls
6. In The Valley
8. You Tell Me
9. Summer's Day
10. Irish Song
11. Night & Day$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You Can't Stop MeMany of the greatest works of art throughout history were
fashioned from grief, anger and overwhelming despair descending on its creators in the aftermath of tragedy and SUICIDE SILENCE's appropriately titled You Can't Stop Me is no exception. Plenty of bands trumpet the idea of strength through adversity, but few have lived it like this one.
Like the once unthinkable creative and commercial reemergence of ALICE IN CHAINS or the classic, legendary and timeless touchstone that is AC/DC's Back in Black, Suicide Silence's fourth album features a new frontman on the heels of earthshaking tragedy. You Can't Stop Me serves as a simultaneous introduction to vocalist Hernan "Eddie" Hermida, as well as a celebration of the brotherhood the band shared with Hermida's fallen predecessor. The group chose the album's title from a collection of lyrics left behind by the late Mitch Lucker, while their formidable revamped sound makes it clear that Suicide Silence's resurrection is complete. Ever since Suicide Silence went public with their plans to continue as a band, they've put all of the emotions from the last two years into these songs. "Inherit the Crown" name checks The Black Crown, as Hermida demands the chance to honor his friend's legacy and carve out a place of his own.
Mark Heylmun and Chris Garza (guitars), Dan Kenny (bass) and Alex Lopez (drums) sound more driven than ever, force-feeding their mashup of death metal, black metal, grind and time-signature bending dissonance into structured, focused and often groove-oriented missives of anger and perseverance. Just as the surviving members of JOY DIVISION were able to remake themselves as NEW ORDER, and as a post-plane crash LYNYRD SKYNYRD was reborn with Johnny Van Zant stepping in for his late brother, You Can't Stop Me is equal parts mournful tribute and statement of renewed purpose.
Death metal legend George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher (CANNIBAL CORPSE) and Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, KILLER BE KILLED) make guest appearances, but make no mistake: Suicide Silence is as bonded, as cohesive, as ever. You Can't Stop Me was produced and mixed by Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, GLASSJAW, SEPULTURA), the band's longtime friend and collaborator. Evetts was set to begin working with Lucker on new material just days after the singer's passing.
Most bands will declare their most recent album the "best" they've ever done. Suicide Silence have declared You Can't Stop Me as their most impassioned, most committed, and most important release thus far. It's a record they fought, bled, sweated and even cried to make happen.
If a rising heavy metal band can overcome a tragedy this triumphantly, this definitively, this absolutely, then surely there's hope for us all.1. M.A.L.
2. Inherit The Crown
3. Cease To Exist
4. Sacred Words
5. Control (feat. George Corpsegrinder Fisher)
7. You Can't Stop Me
8. Monster Within (feat. Greg Puciato)
9. We Have All Had Enough
10. Ending Is The Beginning
11. Don't Die
12. Ouroboros$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Second Release From Swedish Electronic Pop Mastermind Erick Berglund AKA ceo, Formerly Of The Tough Alliance
The second stanza by The Tough Alliance mastermind and Sincerely Yours (jj, Air France) don, "the pimp, the whore, the John," Eric Berglund, is here.
Wonderland comes three short years after the ceo debut, White Magic, Berflund's stepping out, a decandent record of white gold riches and a life more
extraordinary, punctuated by highlights like Come With Me, Illuminata and the title track.
Wonderland, on the other hand is on some whole other level, a Technicolor elucidation of a fantasy ideal, a place in a dream from which you never
awake. The record stretches and threatens to buckle under the kind of dense emotional weight we only catch glimpses of in the world we know, which is
perhaps why Berglund had to find one in which these feelings can thrive. It's one that dives deep into the trenches of despair while also overflowing with a
kind of purity and joy one can only hope to experience in real life.
Production, aided by Dan Lissvik and Kendal Johansson, glimmers and glides as if from a futuristic utopian pop nirvana, touching on modern rap (Mirage),
lush, orchestral instrumentation (Harakiri, In a Bubble on a Stream) and gypsy trance (Wonderland.) There are details that enhance the enchantment, a
touch of strings here, a smattering of sampling there, but none of this would matter were it not for the songs so formidable, the hooks unassailable and the
extremely tender core.
Make no mistake about it, with Wonderland, ceo's poured every ounce of his heart and soul into this fantastical reality.1.Whorehouse
4. In a Bubble on a Stream
8. OMG$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now