Brandi, Oates, Rhye, Clams , Superchunk & more

NEW RELEASES for February 16, 2018 include:

Belle and Sebastian: How To Solve Our Human Problems

CD release that combines the tracks from three vinyl EPS. 2018 release from the Scottish indie legends. A new Belle and Sebastian release is always something to cheer. So, three new releases leads to the inevitable conclusion: three cheers! Here is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the official London residence of the US ambassador (the last president’s ambassador, not the current one’s). Murdoch, as ever, is not the only writer. Sarah Martin (violin/vocals) brought in the delicious ‘The Same Star’, which marries Belle and Sebastian’s melodiousness to a pounding Motown backbeat, and was produced by Leo Abrahams (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts, Regina Spektor). “We’d met Leo in February of 2016, and I’d say that meeting and the recording of ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’ were the first tangible steps of this EP project,” Martin says. “We didn’t have a stack of songs to play him, but we liked him and he became a part of the plan from that point – and when I’d got to a point with ‘The Same Star’ where it just needed to be recorded, I thought it could benefit from having a producer to steer things, and fortunately we had a slot in the diary marked ‘Leo’ coming up. It’s not a song we’d labored over playing for months – it fell together quite quickly thanks in large part to Bob’s [Bobby Kildea, guitarist] enthusiasm and Stuart’s willingness to dismember an old song and repurpose the break, so that it wasn’t just the same three chords over and over and over.” There’s one big reason why 15 songs are coming out on three EPs, rather than one album. “We’d made a couple of LPs, Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister, within the space of six months,” Murdoch says, remembering the early days of the band’s career, and how that fed into their decision-making this time.


Black Panther: The Album (Various Artists)

Original soundtrack to the 2018 motion picture. This release, which features music from and Inspired by the film, is produced by Kendrick Lamar and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. Includes “All the Stars” by SZA and Lamar. Black Panther is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler from a screenplay by him and Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary in a conflict that has global consequences.


Brandi Carlile: By The Way I Forgive You

2018 release from the singer/songwriter. By The Way, I Forgive You is not an album about forgiveness in the easy sense-where someone has hurt you and then suddenly there’s a great reconciliation and a remorse-filled scene with two people running across the golden wheatfield towards an embrace that somehow undoes a lifetime of pain and damage, as if the past has no meaning. It’s about radical acceptance (not to be confused with complacency) and unconditional love. Brandi Carlile is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter. Carlile’s music through the years has been categorized in several genres, including pop, rock, alternative country, and folk.


Dashboard Confessional: Crooked Shadows

2018 release, the first album in over eight years from the alt-rock band. Crooked Shadows was produced by band leader Chris Carrabba alongside Jonathan Clark and co-producer Colin Brittain. Includes the single ‘We Fight’. Carrabba says, “When I wrote ‘We Fight’ I thought it was just about the music scene that I came up in – a place where people who’d never quite fit in anywhere felt they actually belonged. When we began playing the song live on our summer tour, I realized that ‘We Fight’ held a much broader meaning. It’s a song for people who, in spite of their differences, can find common ground in their convictions and foster those into something bigger than themselves. That, to me is something worth fighting for.”


Franz Ferdinand: Always Ascending

A triumphant recasting, Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascending is as exuberant as it is euphoric, bursting with fresh ideas born of what Alex Kapranos calls “aggressive sonic experimentation.” With the help of producer Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, Beastie Boys), Kapranos and Co. Took a knife to their old canvas, producing an album that is so foreign in it’s familiarity it could only be current. A sound the singer refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.” These are the louche tales of the Parisian night, the exhilaration of an Italian car racing down the autobahn; a feeling of euphoria so pure it could only exist on a knife’s edge. As such, best to press play expecting nothing more than a good time. “I hope that when you listen to it you feel exhilarated,” Kapranos says, “Until you fully absorb the lyrics.”


Melody Gardot: Live In Europe

Hey Beavis. This chick isn’t wearing pants. Heh heh… After a serious car accident when she was 19, Melody Gardot used the experience as a springboard to musical success she might never have achieved otherwise. Gardot had played the piano before the accident, and a doctor suggested that she use music as a kind of recovery therapy. Since she couldn’t sit comfortably at the piano, she picked up a guitar and now after several albums she is celebrating the international tour success of her career so far by brings us her first ever album of live recorded music. Live In Europe presents live versions of her greatest hits recorded at concerts worldwide between 2012 and 2016. An album personally curated by Melody herself, hits include ‘Baby I’m A Fool’, ‘My One and Only Thrill’, ‘Les Etoiles’ and ‘March For Mingus’.


Grateful Dead: Road Trips 4 No. 3–Denver ’73

Denver was always one of the Dead’s favorite stops, and the pair of shows they played there on the hallowed Fall 1973 tour were a high time indeed. This 3-CD set-which has never before been released at retail-offers the complete November 21, 1973 show along with some choice excerpts from the night before, all beautifully recorded by Kidd Candelario and mastered by Jeffrey Norman in HDCD sound. Appropriately enough for the setting, the first set is laced with cowboy tunes like “Jack Straw, ” “Mexicali Blues, ” and “Big River” (a particularly good rendition), but the real revelation is the second set, which launches into an unprecedented and seamless 62-minute medley of “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo”/”Playing in the Band”/”El Paso”/”Playing in the Band”/”Wharf Rat”/”Playing in the Band” (three times!)/”Morning Dew.” Wow! The November 20 material at the end of disc three is quite worthy as well, highlighted by an adventurous “The Other One.” The 16-page full-color booklet features notes by Blair Jackson. A keeper! Rock’s longest, strangest trip, Grateful Dead, was the psychedelic era’s most beloved musical ambassadors as well as it’s most enduring survivors. They spread their message of peace, love, and mind-expansion across the globe throughout three decades. The group had popular music’s most fervent and celebrated fan following – the Dead Heads, whose numbers and devotion were legendary in their own right. Grateful Dead was the ultimate cult band, creating a self-styled universe all their own. The Dead became superstars solely on their own terms as tie-dyed pied pipers whose epic, free-form live shows were rites of passage for an extended family of listeners who knew no cultural boundaries.


I’m With Her: See You Around

See You Around is the full-length debut from I’m with Her, featuring multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. Before coming together these artists co-founded seminal bands (Nickel Creek and Crooked Still) and since have collectively contributed to critically acclaimed albums from esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, Kris Kristofferson, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, John Prine, and many others. This much-anticipated release reveals the commitment to creating a wholly unified band sound. With each track born from close songwriting collaboration, I’m with Her builds an ineffable magic from their fine-spun narratives and breathtaking harmonies. The result is a collection both emotionally raw and intricate, with layers of meaning and insight within even the most starkly adorned track. Co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and the band and recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in a tiny English village near Bath, See You Around delivers a warmly textured sound that proves both fresh and timeless.


John Oates: Arkansas

John Oates is one half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Now, he has teamed up with an amazing group of accomplished and rising stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life. The project originally began as a tribute to Oates’ idol, Mississippi John Hurt. It evolved organically, during a series of Nashville recording sessions, into a unique, retrospective collection drawing from a wide range of Oates’ musical influences. Asked about the style and sound of Arkansas, he says, “It’s like Dixieland dipped in bluegrass and salted with Delta blues.”


James Hunter: Whatever It Takes

The sixth album by The James Hunter Six. Hunter has already established himself as a permanent fixture in the world of Rhythm and Soul with his five previous albums, each more poignant and well-executed than the last. However, this record has buried them all. His voice has never been more compelling, his songs never more elegantly crafted. Recorded to tape at Daptone’s Penrose Studios in Riverside, California, Bosco Mann’s production elevates Hunter’s arrangements to the altitude they deserve.


Julian Lage: Modern Lore

On Modern Lore, Julian Lage’s second studio recording with his trio, the composer and guitarist focuses on the groove, building his melodies and solos around the work of the prodigious rhythm section of double bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Modern Lore finds Lage playfully flipping the script he followed on his acclaimed 2016 Mack Avenue debut, Arclight. “Last time it was specifically a combination of the electric guitar being a lead voice interacting with those pre-bebop songs. I wanted to do a jazz record the way I had always craved to do one,” Lage recalls. This time he incorporates the sensibility, if not the outright sound, of early rock and roll, a similarly hybrid form driven by rhythm, personality and a passion for the electric guitar.


Justin Timberlake: Man Of The Woods

2018 release, the fifth studio album by pop superstar Justin Timberlake. Man Of The Woods was produced by Timberlake, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Danja, Eric Hudson, and Rob Knox. As with FutureSex/LoveSounds, recording sessions for the album were loose and had multiple studios open for work. In one room, Danja and Timbaland worked, Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes worked in another room and producer and member of The Y’s Rob Knox and Eric Hudson worked in another. A direction was not discussed among the production team too much, as Timberlake already had an idea of the direction he wanted the album to take.


Lady Bird (Soundtrack From the Motion Picture)

Original soundtrack to the 2017 motion picture. This soundtrack showcases songs personally selected by Greta Gerwig for her acclaimed directorial debut. Album includes key tracks by Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band and others, the Overture from Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along (performed by The Original Broadway Cast and Orchestra), audio clips from “Lady Bird” and more! Lady Bird is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, and starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith. Set in Sacramento, California, it is a coming-of-age story of a high-school senior (Ronan) and her turbulent relationship with her mother (Metcalf).

  • 1 Prayer of St. Francis (From St. Francis Hymn)
  • 2 Hand in My Pocket – Alanis Morissette
  • 3 Little of Your Love – Haim
  • 4 Panis Angelicus – Adolf Fredrik Girls Choir
  • 5 It’s Given to Me – By Me
  • 6 Days of Steam – John Cale
  • 7 As We Go Along – the Monkees
  • 8 Center of Attention
  • 9 Overture (From ‘Merrily We Roll Along’) – the Original Broadway Cast and Orchestra
  • 10 Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band
  • 11 Happy Birthday – Altered Images
  • 12 City College
  • 13 Snoop Dog, Baby – Reel Big Fish
  • 14 Always See Your Face – Love
  • 15 Waltz of the Flowers (From the Nutcracker)(Excerpt) – St. Louis Symphony
  • 16 This Eve of Parting – John Hartford
  • 17 Wrong Side of the Tracks
  • 18 Little Plastic Castle – Ani Di Franco
  • 19 Tha Crossroads – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  • 20 Rosa Mystica – University of Notre Dame Folk Choir
  • 21 Let’s Just Sit

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet: Landfall

Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall, inspired by her experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and traditional strings by Kronos with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. The Washington Post calls it “riveting, gorgeous.” Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned-and daring-creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film, and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with an eclectic mix of composers and performers, and commissioning over 900 works and arrangements for string quartet.


MGMT: Little Dark Age

Little Dark Age was produced by MGMT, Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Kelela, Blood Orange), and long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala). MGMT recorded Little Dark Age at Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, NY. The album includes the previously released title song “Little Dark Age,” and the tracks “When You Die” and “Hand It Over.” Formed in 2002 by Andrew VanWyngarden (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, drums, percussion) and Ben Goldwasser (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion), MGMT released their influential, Grammy-nominated, debut album Oracular Spectacular in 2007. This was followed by 2010’s Congratulations and 2013’s self-titled album MGMT.


Rhye: Blood

Hey Beavis… Blood is the much-anticipated sophomore album from the romantic soul-pop group Rhye. An album about the aftermath of love which pairs a sultry, subtle, funky brand of soul music with the warm, powerful, and totally unique vocals and lyrics of Mike Milosh. A mosaic of emotive piano keys, physical percussion, buzzing analog synths, and expansive vocals, Rhye find humanity in musicality. Driven by this approach, the group quietly transformed into a phenomenon with the arrival of their 2013 debut, Woman. The record garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, Spin, and Pitchfork who dubbed it Best New Album. As the band began writing in 2016, this expansive live show indelibly impacted their second full-length album. The first single “Please” siphons a gorgeous vocal plea through a kaleidoscope of sparse percussion and piano that’s simultaneously stirring, stark, and sensual. It’s a new musical experience. It’s Rhye.


Superchunk: What A Time To Be Alive

2018 release from the iconic indie alt-rock band. After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.” That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.” Indeed, like so much of Superchunk’s music in the band’s nearly three decades together, the songs on What a Time to Be Alive meet rage and anxiety head-on with the catharsis and exhilaration of loud punk fire and vulnerable pop energy.


Shannon & the Clams: Onion

Onion, produced by The Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, finds a finely tuned and tour-tested band stretching out from the ’60s-inspired, surf inflected rock that has defined their previous releases, and delves into genres including soul and psychedelic pop. On Onion, the band explores themes of origin and self-determination, loss and recovery, and the power of community to heal after tragedy. “It’s okay for people to interpret the songs,” Shannon Shaw says. “You can put your own story into it if that helps you heal. I just want people to feel something, whatever it is.”


Simple Minds: Walk Between Worlds

2018 release from the veteran Scottish rockers. Walk Between Worlds is Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2014’s Big Music. The album was produced by Simple Minds with Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg, both of whom worked on Big Music. With it’s eight tracks rocketing past in 42 minutes, it is a relatively concise affair. It is also an album of two distinct sides, very much the old-school album format that singer Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill grew up with as music fans. Side One tracks such as “Summer” and “The Signal And The Noise” revisit the glassy guitars and new wave dance grooves of the post-punk era and the second half explores more cinematic sounds, with the title track and “Barrowland Star” both featuring dramatic orchestrations recorded at Abbey Road.


The Wood Brothers: One Drop Of Truth

The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, One Drop of Truth, dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing Nashville-based trio treat each song as if it were it’s own short film. Fittingly titled, the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that is honest and pure.

%d bloggers like this: