Shannon Lay is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. The title to her sophomore full-length is a reference to the month she decided to quit her day job and devote herself to her music full-time, back in 2017. “Nowhere” is a song about living in the moment without fear of where the road you’re on may take you. August is out August. 23rd on Sub Pop Records.

Transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay will release this August, her Sub Pop Records debut, worldwide on August 23rd. You can now watch to her latest offering “Death Up Close” which serves as the album’s centerpiece. “With that song, I wanted to recognize that everyone else is going through something and reflect on that. Don’t be so close-minded to think you’re the only one who’s got issues, in fact, find comfort in the thought that everyone is on their own journey” Lay explains. What starts as an Eastern-influenced song morphs into an avant-garde sound bath. “I had this idea of the violin ascending. Then Mikal Cronin came in with the saxophone and just blew me away.  I love the idea of building a song like that, take people by surprise.”

Shannon drifts into nostalgia and loss while sitting on a couch in a familiar place we could all call home. “Death Up Close” from the Shannon Lay album “August”.

As previously reported, Shannon Lay will be a member of Ty Segall’s Freedom Band for the full album residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Berlin, and Haarlem.

August is now available from Sub Pop. LP .UK, and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on orange vinyl (North America) and Sun Yellow vinyl (UK/EU) while supplies last.

August is out August. 23rd on Sub Pop Records.

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Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard has shared another single off her debut solo album “Jaime”. This one shows off a slightly softer side compared to the previous single, and it comes with a video starring Terry Crews.

“Stay High” is as gentle and stripped-back as what you imagined Howard’s solo work would sound like. Easy acoustic strumming, warm, unembellished percussion and what truly sounds like a toy piano put Howard’s stunning bluesy vocals at the forefront. There’s no big chorus or blaring, thundering instrumentals à la Sound & Color; “Stay High” is smooth and bright—another easy entry point into the rest of the musician’s forthcoming solo project.

From the debut solo album “Jaime” set for release on September 20th, 2019.

Special Interest is a four piece Industrial punk band emerging from New Orleans, Louisiana. Combining elements of No-Wave, Glam, and Industrial Special Interest create a frenetic and urgent revisioning of punk and electronic music for a modern world gone mad. Propulsive analogue drum machines, a swirling layer of detuned samples, and a driving bass line create the foundation across which angular guitar work and dissonant synth lines glide. Front and center are Alli Logout’s commanding vocals and razor sharp lyrics moving from high camp satire to insightful political imperatives often within the course of one song.

Debut LP from NOLA’s Special Interest. Brooding, political no wave madness from members of Mystic Inane, Patsy, and Psychic Hotline. Great mix of all things punk and industrial, with plenty of catchiness to boot. Favorite track is definitely “Disco II”, a perfect dance tune for the inevitable techno-apocalypse ahead.

Originally released February 28th, 2018

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A mere three months after the release of their critically-acclaimed “U.F.O.F”., Big Thief have announced a second LP this year. “Two Hands” will be released on October 11th via 4AD Records and its first scorching single “Not.”

Recorded 30 miles outside El Paso at Sonic Ranch Studio — surrounded by 3,000 acres of pecan nut orchards — the Brooklyn band called Two Hands “the earth twin” to its sister record U.F.O.F., known as “the celestial twin” (that LP was recorded in a cabin in the woods of Washington State). The new album was recorded live with almost no overdubs, giving it a really raw desert feel.

“Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old,” vocalist Adrianne Lenker has said in a statement. “Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.” It’s our 4th record, Two Hands. . We started making this the week after making U.F.O.F. it’s hard to put into words how much this one means to us. we are so proud of it and we are so steamed up to share it with you all. once again, Dom Monks on the board and Andrew Sarlo in the producers seat.

‘Not’ by Big Thief, from their upcoming album ‘Two Hands’, out October 11 on 4AD Records.

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Until its removal in 2015, an enormous sign for the store King Of Jeans—depicting a towering, shirtless man bending over to kiss a kneeling woman—loomed large in South Philadelphia. It’s no coincidence that the band Queen of Jeans, who also hail from South Philly, took their name from the sign’s egalitarian-minded replacement. Since releasing their eponymous EP in 2016, the group has made a point of celebrating female identity, in both their music and their public persona. That message is amplified on their dazzling sophomore album, If you’re not afraid, I’m not afraid. While the group previously incorporated elements of doo-wop into their indie rock anthems, here they pull from a wide swath of rock history, embracing a sumptuous hi-fi sound, to deliver a resounding message of resilience in the face of dissolving relationships. It also addresses the death of frontwoman Miriam Devora’s mother (whose photograph graces the album’s cover), and the challenges of being a queer woman in fraught times.

Devora doesn’t merely process these traumas individually—she identifies situations in which they intertwine. “Tell Me,” for instance, turns an account of gaslighting (“You can’t sign away my rights on a dotted line”) into a testament to Devora’s resolve: “I’m a woman / And a woman knows her mind.” In “Rum Cheeks,” which channels the stately melancholy of Leonard Cohen, she searches for herself in the context of a tense relationship: “At your place / At our place?” she asks deftly.

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Instead of shying away from these moments of conflict, Queen of Jeans confront them with bombast. The epic kiss-off “Get Lost” evolves into a euphoric pop anthem in the vein of the B-52’s “Roam” or Fleetwood Mac at their most grandiose. Fueled by Patrick Wall’s thunderous drums and Mattie Glass’s vivid guitar figures, tracks like “Tell Me” and “Centuries” evoke the smart arena-rock of The Bends-era Radiohead. The album ends with “Take It All Away,” a cleansing, cathartic tidal wave of sound. “Break down that sorrow,” Devora cries alongside the tempestuous arrangement, summing up the album’s mission statement, “Rebuild things tomorrow.”

releases August 23rd, 2019

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Austin Texas-native Shakey Graves aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia performs a full concert live at Boston’s House of Blues. Alejandro Rose-Garcia is known for his stripped-down one-man-band style fusion of blues, folk, and rock playing his signature suitcase-turned-kick-drum along with raw, aggressive guitar & vocals. On this Wednesday night in Boston, Shakey delivered plenty of that signature sound mixed in with a full rock band arrangement joined by drummer Chris Boosahda, guitarist Patrick O’Connor and bassist John Shaw.

Setlist:

Roll the Bones 1:02 Built to Roam 6:17 Word of Mouth 12:13 Pansy Waltz 20:40 Dining Alone 25:09 Excuses 29:46 (Desert jam) 34:41 The Perfect Parts 36:11 Mansion Door 40:32 Big Bad Wolf 45:48 Counting Sheep 50:29 Family and Genus 57:30 Dearly Departed 1:02:16 Climb on the Cross 1:07:10 Tomorrow 1:12:42 Late July 1:16:23 — Foot of Your Bed 1:22:44 Cops and Robbers 1:26:25

The Band:

Alejandro Rose-Garcia – Shakey Graves, Guitars and Vocals, John Shaw – Bass/Keys Patrick O’Connor – Guitar Chris Boosahda – Drums

He was cursed, but not by the devil,  it was his first biographer that ensnared the soul of bluesman Robert Johnson. When musicologist Sam Charters published his landmark 1959 book The Country Blues, the first scholarly treatise on the genre, he noted of Johnson: “Almost nothing is known about his life.” But that didn’t stop Charters from propagating myths that have influenced the world’s view of Johnson, who had faded from the consciousness of all but the most avid collectors of old 78s.

Since then, Johnson has become a major influence on blues and rock artists. The 1961 release of the King of the Delta Blues fueled the ’60s blues revival and captivated such British blues-rock gods as Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Peter Green. His recordings—dutifully remastered—are readily available to anyone with a smartphone. And Johnson has been the subject of several films, including the recent Netflix documentary Devil at the Crossroads, which again sells the myth that Johnson sold his soul in exchange for guitar chops and a handful of juke box hits.

Up Jumped the Devil is the latest book to search for the man behind the myth. It may be the best. Coauthors Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow arrive with strong credentials: Conforth—a former professor of folklore, popular culture, blues, and American history—is a cofounder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Wardlow is a blues historian and owner of the world’s largest collection of prewar blues records. Fifty years ago, she uncovered Johnson’s original birth certificate, a discovery that set off a wave of research into Johnson’s origins.

Born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, Johnson was the illegitimate son of Noah Johnson and Julia Dodds. He was abandoned by his mother and raised by her ex-husband, Charles Spencer. Dodds later remarried a Delta sharecropper and reunited with her son, who was expected to work the fields. Unable to attend school and bored with fieldwork, Johnson took to the guitar and harmonica. At 18, he married and settled down to become a sharecropper. After his wife and baby died at childbirth, Johnson turned his back on farming and resumed his interest in guitar. He found a mentor in Ike Zimmerman, who offered lessons in an old graveyard, a setting that is the basis for the story of Johnson’s dalliance with the devil. But in the book, Zimmerman’s daughter says her father chose the quiet cemetery because he didn’t want his lessons to be disturbed.

Up Jumped the Devil also offers a detailed account of Johnson’s previously unknown touring. According to the authors, Johnson and the late bluesman Johnny Shines performed together in Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Canada, Buffalo, New Jersey, and New York City. In the Big Apple, Johnson reportedly met jazz guitar legend Charlie Christian, who even showed Johnson his electric guitar (Johnson didn’t care for the sound).

Conforth and Wardlow have transformed a mountain of research, including many previously unpublished first-person interviews, into engaging prose. In the process, they have peeled back the myths to reveal a tragic figure who mastered his art but lived a hard life and died an agonizing death at 27. Johnson was a gifted guitarist and a hard-drinking womanizer, and jukin’ was his life. But it was his inner demons with which he grappled, not Satan.

“Means To Me” is the second full-length under Leslie Bear’s moniker, Long Beard, and her first since 2015’s Sleepwalker. Throughout the record, Leslie explores what constitutes a home—how it extends beyond the physicality of a roof over your head to the comfort of another person. A sense of self, stability or security.

The last four years between records mark a particularly significant and transitional time for Bear. A career move led her back to her hometown in New Jersey long after her friends and peers moved away, resulting in feelings of stasis and nostalgia that shape the album. Reflections on the past are evident in tracks like album single “Sweetheart”, in which Bear considers a past love, where they are now, and her life in relation to theirs.

Bear’s sophomore album shows a growth and maturation in sound from her debut. Co-produced with Craig Hendrix (Japanese Breakfast), the record occupies a dreamlike space that weaves between shoegaze-tinged guitars and upbeat, jangly pop. While still loyal to Leslie’s signature ethereal, melodic guitars and haunting whispered vocal delivery, the fully realized arrangements demonstrate a stunning clarity throughout the album.

The perfect amalgamation between Bear’s ambient-textured loops met with the pristine production and pop stylings of Hendrix’s playing can be heard in album standout “Snow Globe.” The combined reversal effects, seamless transitions, and heartbeat percussion are the language of Means To Me.

What Bear has created with Means To Me is not only a mirror for herself, but also a means for the listener to reflect on what home means to them. Whether Bear has defined a home for herself is left to wonder, as she leaves us with these final lines before the album crescendos into an explosive distorted instrumental and slowly fades: “driving down through our state lines while you dream, I’m thinking of a name to go by.”

Long Beard – “Getting By” From the album “Means To Me” Out September 13th 2019 via Double Double Whammy

Itasca announces her sublime new album “Spring”, written in a century-old adobe house in New Mexico. Feat. Chris Cohen, James Elkington, & members of Bitchin’ Bajas & Sun Araw, it contains her most quietly dazzling songs to date. Hear “Bess’s Dance” below, Itasca, is the mesmeric project of California songwriter Kayla Cohen, she has announced her new album Spring, due out November 1st. “Bess’s Dance,” describing it as “a beguiling rumination. Kayla Cohen’s got a voice that glows like the sun at dusk, and plays acoustic guitar with a nimble yet intricate touch.”

Cohen wrote the anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2016 album Open to Chance in a century-old adobe house in rural New Mexico. Inspired by the landscape and history of the region, the sublime Spring—its title summoning both season and scarce local water sources—dowses a devotional path to high desert headwaters.  James Elkington adds cinematic string arrangement graces “Bess’s Dance”, and members of Gun Outfit and Sun Araw.

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“Spring” contains Cohen’s most quietly dazzling and self-assured set of songs to date.

Featuring contributions from Chris Cohen, Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas), James Elkington, and members of Gun Outfit and Sun Araw.

No Home Record

More than 35 years after co-founding Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon has announced that she will release her debut solo album. The new LP – dubbed “No Home Record” – will drop on October. 11th via Matador Records.

“‘Why a solo record? And why now?,’” Gordon was questioned via press release. “I don’t know, but it wouldn’t have happened without the persistence of [producer] Justin Raisen. Living in LA the last few years it feels like home, but the transience of the place makes it feel sometimes like no home.”

The announcement comes with the music video for a new single, “Sketch Artist.” In it, Gordon portrays a ride-share driver (for a company called “Unter”), while “Broad City” star Abbi Jacobson makes a cameo.

From Kim Gordon’s new album ‘”No Home Record” released on Matador Records on October 11th.