Posted: September 22, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC

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Babe Rainbow

Australia’s The Babe Rainbow have signed to 30th Century Records, the label spearheaded by Danger Mouse and unleash their wasted sunshine psychedelic pop debut album. The Babe Rainbow represents a slightly folkier, stripped-down and sweeter side of the Psych rock scene, and captures everything you loved about the late-60’s movement in the first place. If King Gizzard’s Paper Maché Dream Balloon was your bag, you simply cannot go wrong.

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The Horrors –  V

The Horrors return with their fifth album and it’s full of synth pop and futurism – produced by Paul Epworth and released on his label. There’s darkness, windswept melancholia and self destructive noise. The Horrors have raided the 80’s closet and deliver a thrilling and substantial pop album.

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Dream Syndicate – The Complete Live at Raji’s

Dream Syndicate The Complete Live at Raji’s on Run Out Groove. This is the first time the title will be issued on vinyl and features the complete show with 4 additional tracks making their debut on the format. Each 2LP set is individually numbered and strictly limited based on pre-orders and includes brand new artwork, never before seen photos and updated liner notes. On tour in support of their final album, 1988’s Ghost Stories, Dream Syndicate recorded a limited-edition live album, 1989’s Live at Raji’s, that quickly became something of a holy grail for fans. Complete Live at Raji’s (an expanded double-disc set featuring the full concert) is truly remarkable. Covering the band’s entire career, reaching all the way back to 1982’s groundbreaking Days of Wine and Roses (over half of which is represented), the set list is a well-chosen blend of Steve Wynn’s twisted character studies and the band’s neo-psychedelic guitar rave-ups. The second disc in particular focuses on the latter side of Dream Syndicate’s sound, consisting entirely of half-a-dozen different jams in the seven- to nine-minute range, all of which feature only the barest minimum of aimless noodling in favor of some impressively noisy solos and some of Wynn’s most raw-throated singing, especially on a near-violent climax to The Days of Wine and Roses. The whole thing is capped off with the definitive version of John Coltrane Stereo Blues, Dream Syndicate’s own Sister Ray, which had never quite been captured in its full glory on tape before. Dream Syndicate were already kaput when the first release of Live At Raji’s came out, but this expanded edition shows that unlike many of their so-called Paisley Underground contemporaries, they went out at the peak of their powers.


Wand –  Plum

Plum is Wand’s fourth LP since the band formed in late 2013 but their first new album in two years. After a whirlwind initial phase of writing, recording, and touring at a frenetic clip, their newest document marks a period of relative patience; a refocusing and a push toward a new democratization of both process and musical surface. In late winter of 2016, the band expanded their core membership of Evan Burrows, Cory Hanson, and Lee Landey to include two new members – Robbie Cody on guitar and Sofia Arreguin on keys and vocals. From the outset, the new ensemble moved naturally toward a changed working method, as they learned how to listen to each other and trust in this songwriting process was consciously relocated to the practice space, where for several months, the band spent hours a day freely improvising, while recording as much of the activity as they could manage. Previously, Wand songs had generally been brought to the group setting substantially formed by singer and guitarist Cory Hanson; now seedling songs were harvested from a growing cloudbank of archived material, then fleshed out and negotiated collectively as the band shifted rhythmically between the permissive space of jamming and the obsessive space of critique. This new process demanded more honest communication, more vulnerability, better boundaries, more mercy and persistence during a year that meanwhile delivered a heaping serving of romantic, familial and political heartbreak for everyone involved. They learned more about their instruments and their perceived limitations. Much else fell apart in their personal lives, in their bodies, and the bodies of those near to them. In this way, Plum lengthened like a shadow underneath a dusking Orange; or rather Weird Orange, an affectionate name given to the colour of a roulette-chosen, tour-rushed batch of Golem vinyl… an idiom, an inside joke, a talisman, a bookmark, a mood ring. And meanwhile all the shifting weather, the wireless signals, the helicopters overhead. Weird orange softened, darkened delicately, and rouged itself to a Plum. The music of Plum focuses teeming, dense, at times wildly multi chromatic sounds into Wand’s most deliberate statement to date, with a long evening’s shadow of loss and longing hovering above the proceedings. Plum delicately locates the band’s tangent of escape from the warm and comfortable shallows of genre anachronism, an eyes-closed, mouth-open leap toward a more free-associative and contemporary pastiche of logic that more honestly reflects the ravenous musical omnivorousness of the five people who wrote and played it. It usually goes without saying—we are so lucky to have had each other in this time, and we are more than lucky to have you all listen to this record.

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Chelsea Wolfe –  Hiss Spun

Chelsea Wolfe release Hiss Spun, her sixth album. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. Hiss Spun features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout the album, and a guest spot from Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on the song Vex. Digging beneath the mess of the world to find the beauty underneath is perhaps the most consistent theme in Chelsea Wolfe’s expansive discography—a theme that ties together her ceaseless explorations in unorthodox textures, haunting melodies, and mining the grandeur embedded within ugliness and pain. With her sixth official album Hiss Spun, Wolfe adopts Miller’s quest to become empowered by embracing the mess of the self, to control the tumult of the soul in hopes of reigning in the chaos of the world around us. Hiss Spun was recorded by Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts at the tail end of winter 2017 against a backdrop of deathly quiet snow-blanketed streets and the hissing radiators of warm interiors. While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Wolfe’s latest offering wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. It’s an album that inadvertently drew part of its aura from the cold white of the New England winter, though the flesh-and-bone of the material was culled from upheavals in Wolfe’s personal life, and coming to terms with years of vulnerability, anger, self-destruction, and dark family history. Aside from adding low-end heft with gratuitous slabs of fuzz bass, long-time collaborator Ben Chisholm contributed harrowing swaths of sound collages from sources surrounding the artist and her band in recent years—the rumble of street construction at a tour stop in Prague, the howl of a coyote outside Wolfe’s rural house in California, the scrape of machinery on the floor of a warehouse at a down-and-out friend’s workplace. Music is rendered out of dissonance—bomb blasts from the Enola Gay, the shriek of primates, the fluttering pages of a Walt Whitman book are manipulated and seamlessly integrated into the feral and forlorn songs of Hiss Spun.


The Lemon Twigs – Brothers of Destruction EP

The new EP from The Lemon Twigs, Brothers of Destruction, features six previously unreleased tracks. It was recorded by the D’Addario brothers – Brian (20) and Michael (18) – on their 8-track at home in New York, not long after they finished making their acclaimed debut album, Do Hollywood, with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado in Los Angeles.

“In the beginning of 2015, we had songs left over from the Do Hollywood sessions, so we decided to record them at home in New York on our 8-track. Many of you will recognise some of the songs from our live shows. They’ve changed a lot over the past year, but these are the original versions. We consider the EP the last chapter of the Do Hollywood era of our group.”


Phoebe Bridgers  –  Stranger In The Alps

Phoebe Bridgers releases her debut album Stranger In The Alps. Produced by Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, the ten haunting and introspective songs on Stranger In The Alps further introduces the 22-year-old Bridgers as a singular voice. There is a delicate balance to her work, a dance between veiled narratives and earnest emotions, between whispers and shouts. Throughout the album, Bridgers contemplates and reflects on personal experiences through her unique lyric writing perspective: there are overt references to lost idols, canonical pop songs and actual incidents, but her stories unfold through specific, evocative imagery sung in her subtle, confessional style. And according to Bridgers, everything you hear has arrived by feeling; her music is what comes when she is at her most honest, without specific intention, and she aims to be in her songs the person she is in the world. Stranger In The Alps follows Bridgers’ 2015 three-song single Killer, produced by Ryan Adams in his L.A. studio and released on Adams’ Pax-Am label. Since early 2016, she’s toured with Julien Baker, Conor Oberst (who also guests on Stranger In The Alps track Would You Rather), and Adams, among others.

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart –  The Echo of Pleasure

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have long set the benchmark for big-hearted, idealistic pop songs. With The Echo of Pleasure, The Pains push beyond their many inspirations and embrace their role as indiepop heroes in their own right. Showcasing the deft songwriting of frontman Kip Berman, The Pains‘ fourth album is their most confident and accomplished. After three critically-acclaimed records, 2009’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, 2011’s Belong and 2014’s Days of Abandon received praise from The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian and Rolling Stone, they have put together a collection of songs that possess a timeless grandeur, deeper and more satisfying than anything the band has done since their iconic debut.

It’s an album that reflects the band’s most joyous moments while maintaining Berman’s candid and critical lyricism, free of the self-abasing insecurity of youth. “The album is loving. The music is heavier, more expansive,” he says. “To me, songs about love shouldn’t be thought of as light. Love is big- sometimes it’s emphatic, overwhelming or simple – other times it’s tense, anxious or just exhausting. But at its best, it makes you want to be something better.”

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Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow

Hallelujah Anyhow is the next studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Evan Ringel. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.


The Rolling Stones –  Their Satanic Majesties Request – 50th Anniversary Special Edition

High-end audiophile 50th Anniversary edition with restored original lenticular cover and bespoke fold out packaging. Stunning four disc deluxe package. Features both 180-gram LP and hybrid SACD versions of the mono and stereo album. Limited edition pressing and hand-numbered sleeves. Both recordings newly remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. Lacquer cutting by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios. 20-page book with essay and photos from Michael Cooper’s original cover photo session. This is the 50th anniversary special edition of the classic album, originally released in December 1967. Recorded at London’s legendary Olympic Studios during the heady days of the ‘Summer of Love’, in a landscape of fervent creativity – Pet Sounds, Sgt Pepper, Hendrix, the Velvet Underground and The Who – Satanic Majesties stands out as a dramatic landmark. The band’s first full venture into the world of ‘psychedelia’, it may have split critical opinion at the time but is long overdue for reassessment – an innovative and experimental piece, as much influenced by Coltrane, John Barry’s spy thriller scores and classical composers as the Blues and R’n’B of previous releases. Produced by the band, engineered by Glyn Johns and with string arrangements by John Paul Jones it features some of their most imaginative soundscapes, which included African rhythms, mellotrons, ‘found voices’ and full orchestration.
Amongst the song highlights are the beautiful She’s A Rainbow with its elegant harmonies, piano intro and strings, the powerful, riff-driven Citadel and the imposingly dark cosmic rocker 2000 Light Years From Home. It also features Bill Wyman’s debut writing and singing credit on a Stones release – In Another Land. The pioneering packaging – a ‘lenticular’ sleeve with a 3D-style Michael Cooper image of the band and the album’s title (a adaptation of the wording, ‘Her Britannic Majesty Request and Requires …’ on British passports), both confirmed the group’s creative intent and also its satirical attitude.

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Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band –  Safe As Milk

Captain Beefheart’s debut album on 180 gram audiphile vinyl with an insert and a bonus LP including 7 bonus tracks. Originally released in 1967, was the most accessible and pop inflected of all the releases from his catalogue. Still Safe As Milk is a very strong and heavily blues-influenced work but it also hints on many of the features that would later become the trademarks of Captain Beefheart.



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