Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

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This is the first single off Caged Animals’ upcoming “Underneath The Spell” album. Caged Animals is the recording project of Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based songwriter Vincent Cacchione. Cacchione emerged from his role fronting Soft Black (whose members included DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith) to form Caged Animals alongside his sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. Since 2011 they have released three LPs of their soulful and noir-tinged indie-pop.

Trading Soft Black’s live-to-tape psychedelia for a meticulous, bedroom-born style, Caged Animals make soulful, character-driven pop for an increasingly digital time. The live show is a family affair with a band comprised of Vin’s sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. On their upcoming fourth record, Underneath The Spell, Caged Animals have crafted their first “band album” during the least band-friendly moment.

Although the recordings began in 2019, the project took a long pause when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and Vin and his family unintentionally relocated to his wife’s Canadian hometown in Sackville, New Brunswick. What began as a pre-COVID family visit turned into a major lifestyle change when the virus and a closed international border conspired to keep Vin’s family within the safer confines of “The Atlantic Bubble.” Having left their Brooklyn apartment with just travel bags, the young family and musical couple had to get creative about life and art.

Through the kindness of Sackville’s creative community the Caged Animals crew landed on solid ground. Underneath The Spell got its finishing touches in late 2020 after Canadian musician Jon Mckiel helped Vin and his family find a place to live and work.

While the project’s sonic palette has expanded, the homemade spirit remains intact. It features the core Caged Animals lineup plus the spacey guitar of Dane Zarra, hypnotic alto-sax of Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers, Modern Nature), and psychedelic pedal steel of Jon “Catfish” DeLorme (Psychic Ills).

Underneath The Spell’s ten songs feel oddly tuned to the frequency of our shared, strange moment, building a cinematic world out of contemplative moods and isolated characters. From the foxhole spirituality of “The Ghost Of Jesus” to the mournful solitude of “The Coldest Place On Earth,” the album weaves its narrative on a thread of alienation and yearning; each character and melody pushing for renewal. It was born in a moment of slowing down, as Vin became a father and began to look back on the moments that shaped him.

On the title track, Vin’s character laments a life lived “in a circle, underneath the spell,” evoking our current Groundhog Day reality but hinting at the possibility of release each time Dane Zarra kicks at the fuzz pedal. For “My Friend Dave,” Cacchione delivers a drone-kissed elegy mourning the loss of a departed friend: singer-songwriter Dave Deporis. “The Coldest Place On Earth” is a plainspoken remembrance of his father, while “Mirage” delivers a pop duet lit by headlights, as Vin and Magali trade verses about a romance on the brink.

On the serpentine “Dream World,” a lush, somnambulant landscape unravels over looping arpeggios, a sample of Vin’s daughter Alaska, and the album’s most hypnotic groove, pushing towards one of Spell’s most poignant conceits: “we’re living in a dream world but we’re running out of night.”

In addition to Caged Animals, Vin Cacchione is an esteemed collaborator in the contemporary fiction podcasting scene, working with John Cameron Mitchell on his ground breaking Anthem: Homunculus podcast, as well as shows by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel, and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Caged Animals music has been used in popular podcasts like Conversations With People Who Hate Me and Welcome To Night Vale.

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Cacchione also produced the critically acclaimed debut album of author, Bob Dylan cohort, and John Cale collaborator, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, a record which gave him the chance to work with Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, and Yasmine Hamdan.

Vincent Cacchione – Voice, Guitar, Keys
Talya Cacchione – Bass
Magali Charron – Keys, Voice
Patrick Curry – Drums and Loops
Dane Zarra – Guitar

with
Jeff Tobias – Alto Saxophone
Jon “Catfish” DeLorme – Pedal Steel
Alaska Cacchione – Dream Recitation
Bertholet Charron – Lullaby

All songs by Vincent Cacchione, excluding “Au Clair De La Lune

“Like a hip-hop influenced Velvet Underground” – The New Yorker

“If Alan Vega was 40 years younger, he’d be doing this. Or if they remade Blue Velvet, this could work as the soundtrack.” – The Guardian

“Beneath the japing lies a searing emotional truth.” The Sunday Times

“The heart of Vincent Cacchione’s newest project continues to pump blood through the veins of poetic narratives and escapism.” The Line Of Best Fit 

releases June 25th, 2021

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The Murlocs have announced their fifth studio album, “Bittersweet Demons”, to be released June 25th, 2021! On the band’s most personal and boldly confident work yet, The Murlocs share a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on our lives, the saviours and hell-raisers and assorted other mystifying characters. 

New Murlocs We are thrilled to announce The Murlocs will be released on June 25th on ATO Records. Watch the official clip for the new single “Francesca”, out now,

“Francesca” was written as a celebration of the life of frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s mom. With music written by Murlocs’ keyboard and guitarist Tim Karmouche, Ambrose says of the lyrics, “The song is about my mother and how she had been lost for love since the separation from my father when I was 10.

In the last year and a half or so, she’s found love again, with a very close family friend of ours, someone who has always been a godfather and mentor to me in many ways. This has changed her spirit immensely for the better. You can really see the pop in her step as this enormous weight has been lifted off her shoulders.” Citing some of his favourite songs as being odes to impressive women―like Van Morrison’s “Gloria”Ambrose explains, “Francesca is my mother’s middle name and I’ve always loved it so much.” Of turning his song writing lens to his mother, and celebrating her rediscovered joie de vivre, he adds, “It’s probably the most positive, feel-good song we’ve ever done. It’s also the closest we’ve ever come to having an 80s phase.”

Directed by Alex McLaren, the “Francesca” video was shot at the end of April 2020. The band’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia was coming out of one of its first COVID lockdown periods and restrictions had eased for a short period of time. The band and director quickly jumped on the opportunity to shoot while they had the chance.

Says Ambrose, “I remembered being at a festival and bumping into our longtime video-clip collaborator and friend, Alex Mclaren. I had brought him back to our campsite and he played the song “I Love LA” by Randy Newman which ultimately brought the tents down and got the party started.” Newman’s 1983 classic soft-top music video informed “Francesca”, with the car footage being shot along Ivanhoe Boulevard in Melbourne where Ambrose’s mom grew up.

“Bittersweet Edition”•Limited-edition of 500••Tangerine, black and white colored vinyl. A-side/B-side effect• Blue Eyed Runner Edition” White vinyl with baby blue splatter, Custom inner-sleeve and lyrics insert

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Springing from the obscurity of the Inland Empire, Brainstory forges a new sound using the soul and fire of Jazz, with the psychedelic expressions of 60’s/70’s pop. And now, with the addition of Leon Michels and the Big Crown records camp, Brainstory is sailing to new heights with the release of their debut album, “Buck” available NOW!  

Recorded during the thick of the Covid lockdown, Kevin, Tony, & Eric hunkered down in their studio and turned their energy inward. With all live shows and future tours cancelled, Brainstory had no other outlet besides their rehearsal space which had been converted into a makeshift studio. Stepping up to the obstacles of the moment, they recorded and produced an EP of brand new music. They were already highly skilled musicians two years ago, but time in the studio with Leon Michels producing Buck and playing alongside bands like Holy Hive and Chicano Batman had a profound effect on them. Their ears have developed, their ethos and their drive has matured, their musicianship is full-blown; hence the name of the EP, “Ripe”.

Ripe” is a seven song journey into who Brainstory are as people and as a band. They are light hearted and fun but never anything less than dead serious about their artistry. In choosing to record a mostly instrumental record, they have departed from their 2019 debut Buck and are showing more of their Jazz roots. Ripe pulls from Jazz, Hip Hop, 70s Funk, 60s Soul, and life in Southern California in the year 2021.

Kev’s intro to the EP is a testament to their thing, his goofy and charming “let’s go baby….less go baby” is welcoming and fun and then “Scissors” drops–serious as can be. The first vocal number we hear is “Seasons”, a song about maintaining through the challenges of 2020 that would make Roy Ayers proud. “Long Day” and “Rogers” are drenched in reefer and psychedelia and promise a moment away from reality if listened to in headphones. “Bye Bye” is another stone cold ballad from the group that is destined to be a staple in sweet soul sets around the globe.

Ripe is a welcome ray of sunshine as we all shake off the darkness of 2020 and will hold fans over while they finish recording their full length sophomore album due out in 2022. 

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releases June 25, 2021

Provogue Records has released “I’m Tore Down,” the opening track on Gary Moore’s posthumous album “How Blue Can You Get”. The album contains 4 originals, and 4 songs previously recorded and made famous by classic bluesmen like Elmore James, Sonny Thompson, Memphis Slim and BB King.

The eight-track LP consists of previously unheard music by the rock and blues guitarist, who died in February 2011 of a heart attack, aged 58. Another song, “In My Dreams,” was launched two months ago.

The upbeat “I’m Tore Down” can be heard below. The album arrives on April 30th. After a series of engagement with various rock bands, most notably Thin LIzzy, Moore surprised fans with the release of “Still Got the Blues” in 1990, and remained focused on the genre until his death. “I went back to the music that I always loved,” he said in 2007, denying the suggestion that the LP represented jumping on a bandwagon. “It wasn’t commercial, it wasn’t cool. Nobody in a million years could have predicted how successful it became.” Speaking about his then-pending release As Close As You Get, he added: “I consider myself a blues musician. I didn’t have a fear of trying new things… But at the end of the day, I’ve realized that I want to do a blues album.”

“It’s our hope that current and future generations of music fans discover and re-discover Gary Moore, revelling in the artistry of not just a great guitarist, but a supremely talented musician,” Provogue Records said in a statement. A limited-edition version of How Blue Can You Get includes four guitar picks, two coasters, a postcard and a sticker.

Sharon Van Etten’s career since the release of her second album, 2010’s epic is well-known; critically lauded albums, films, and television shows have continually displayed her expanding artistry. Upon its release, epic laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognize in ourselves. Van Etten’s grounded and clenched vocals conveyed a sense of hope–the notion that beauty can arise from the worst of circumstances.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this special album’s release, and to acknowledge the convergence of Van Etten’s present and past work, she asked fellow artists she admired to participate in an expanded reissue, where each artist would cover one different song from epic in their own style. Some are musicians Van Etten herself admired in her early days (Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, and Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon of Big Red Machine), some are peers (Courtney Barnett, IDLES), and others are part of a younger generation of innovators (Shamir, St. Panther). What they all share is embodied by epic–a musician frankly communicating them-self through the power of music.

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The resulting epic Ten is a double LP featuring the original album plus the new album of epic covers and reimagined artwork.

Released April 16th, 2021

L.A.-via-New York rockers Slothrust today announced that their fifth album, “Parallel Timeline,” will be out via Dangerbird Records.

Having teased the project with the release of “Cranium” last month, the band (core trio of singer-guitarist Leah Wellbaum, drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann) celebrated the announcement with the release of a new single and video.

“Strange Astrology” is a ballad, giving Wellbaum a chance to shine. And she does. “‘Strange Astrology’ is one of the only proper love songs I have ever written,” she says. “It’s an honest exploration of what it means to love someone who is intrinsically different than you. It’s about hoping that those juxtaposing qualities and instincts encourage meaningful growth instead of chaos, but knowing that inevitably it will always be a bit of both. That is part of the fun of being in love with someone whose way of being starkly contrasts yours. I have always been fascinated by those differences and all the adventures and new perspectives they offer.”

As for the video, colour it strange, too. For almost five minutes, Wellbaum interacts (to choose a neutral word) with all kinds of fruit.

“The music video for “Strange Astrology” explores an idea I’ve always been fascinated by, which is: where do I end and you begin?” Wellbaum says. “We chose fruit to explore this theme because, in the moments where I find myself caught in a loop of existential dread, fruit has been a surprisingly grounding force. In a world with so much perceived chaos, fruit anchors me in a reality where all is intentional and perfect as is. It offers truly wild colours and has shockingly well-organized insides. Fruit is an epic sensory experience and full of surprises. Sometimes when I think about fruit, the presence of the void falls away and all is exactly as it is meant to be. In many ways, love and intimacy are mirrors of that experience. Also, the world needs more gay anthems about astrological connection and I am happy to provide that.”

The official music video for “Strange Astrology” from the forthcoming new album ‘Parallel Timeline’

Driven by the force of nature, The Black Angels singer’s solo journey takes an hypnotic detour along the wild trails of his indigenous homestead with songs of love, hope, human connection whilst navigating perils of modern society and tentatively facing the darkness. 

The music of Alex Maas has always mesmerised. Now, on his soul-baring solo debut Luca, the Texan and The Black Angel’s singer journey is taking an equally hypnotic detour along the wild trails of his indigenous homestead. Driven by the force of nature, each phase of life is celebrated through songs of love, hope, human connection whilst navigating perils of modern society and tentatively facing the darkness.

It’s a record fuelled by memories of an upbringing in the strange, unique paradise of his father’s plant nursery in Seabrook, Texas by the waterfront of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Native American sounds that would drift through the garden’s hidden speakers, ricocheting off multi-coloured pottery mazes of curiosities from across the world.

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Casting shades of deeply personal wide-eyed innocence and the darker realms of paranoia, “Luca” has its sights set on the near and distant future. Subtle psychedelic flourishes and instrumentation come from a cast of expert players in Austin but this is a deeply personal endeavour.

Released December 4th, 2020

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There will be a new Birds of Maya record out June 25th on Drag City Records.
Much about this album, including the name and artwork is in honour of the beauty and wildness of the vacant lots where we used to play shows, garden, or build playgrounds for our kids before they were all dug out to build gigantic condos. It’s harder now to find the Earth around here. It’s not gone, just hiding, waiting to be let loose again.
This record is the first one we ever recorded in an actual studio, Black Dirt Studio.

A long era of dull ringing and nothing else in our ears is over. Once again, winds of warm guitar and humid thunderheads of bass and toms rumble all around. With Valdez, Birds of Maya are back in flight. And like the first song title explicitly states, this latest is a soaring blast of riffers, rife with punk rock abandon, sludge, treble, distortion, neck-throttling rock n roll solos, pummelling drums and bass and half-shouted/half-gargled vocals, all of it half on and half off the mic. For the good times as always, these Birds!.

That’s how they’ve done it: fast and heavy, hard, live and loose, amid accumulating piles of empties, in appropriately informal environments since 2004ish, with their three LPs (on Holy Mountain, Richie and Little Big Chief) ripping us up whenever they drop. With each release, our thirst has increased, but to our horror, we haven’t found any fresh feathers from their tree in the new release bins since 2013. Somewhere in Philadelphia, Jason Killinger, Ben Leaphart and Mike Polizze played on — preferably outside (the shows are always extra-good), but wherever, really.

Recorded in 2014 at Black Dirt Studios in New York. Yeah: Birds of Maya packed up their shit, drove out of North Philly to a recording studio hundreds of miles away and made an album. Kinda nuts. And then didn’t release it until…well, yeah — now! Time is a test that Birds of Maya recordings need to pass before they see the light of day. At the time this was recorded, Birds of Maya were standing on the other side of ten years kicking around town, suddenly far away from the primordial ooze they’d flopped forth from. The streets where all this had happened on were changing, with new money rolling in, but they were the same old Birds, content with their libations and ear-splitting variations on old favourite Stooges chords. The cover art of Valdez is a couple images from those days, glimpses at the old grass roots before they were ripped up by developers to build condos. But nothing ever really goes away, Valdez stands tall amongst the changing landscape.

“BFIOU” is from “Valdez” released on LP & Streaming on June 25th, 2021 by Drag City Records.

From the start, Son Lux has operated as something akin to a sonic test kitchen. The band strives to question deeply held assumptions about how music is made and re-construct it from a molecular level. What began as a solo project for founder Ryan Lott expanded in 2014, thanks to a kinship with Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia too strong to ignore.

Arriving at a time of considerable uncertainty in the world, Son Lux’s multi-album ‘Tomorrows’ is ambitious in scope and intent. Born of an active, intentional approach to shaping sound, the music reminds us of the necessity of questioning assumptions, and of sitting with the tension.

The music encompassed on Tomorrows provides an appropriate parallel for the sustained cacophony of the present moment, advancing a friction that reveals the strange in the familiar and the familiar in the strange. While this carefully crafted inversion acclimatizes the ear to tension, the steadily hardening exterior fractures at unlikely moments, revealing a strikingly visceral, emotional core. The process of creating Tomorrows is iterative in nature, with the lyrical content and music continually adapting and responding to one another and the shifting landscape of the moment.

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Released April 16th, 2021

Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey have been in so many great bands over the last 40 years, most notably Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, but also Tender Trap, Marine Research and, since 2014, The Catenary Wires. The names and other band members change over the years but the general vibe does not — indie pop that veers towards, but not too far into, twee territory with heartfelt, bookish but unpretentious lyrics. Amelia and Rob are set to release “Birling Gap”, the third Catenary Wires album, on June 18th via Shelflife and Skep Wax Records.

Previous Catenary Wires albums have been very gently, just Amelia and Rob and some lightly strummed acoustic guitars, but they’re now a five-piece, and Birling Gap looks to be a much more fleshed-out record. We’ve already heard a taste of what’s to come with “Mirrorball,” an unabashedly romantic and danceable tribute to never giving up on love and ’80s discos. They’ve now released a second single, “The Overview Effect,” a tender, dreamy number about getting older and accepting it. “Can’t things stay the same?” Rob and Amelia sing to each other, stars in their eyes, already knowing the answer.

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Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, with Fay Hallam, Andy Lewis and Ian Button.

The Catenary Wires, aka indiepop icons Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey (Heavenly, Talulah Gosh), release new album ‘Birling Gap’ in June 21st

A co-release with Skep Wax Records