Posts Tagged ‘singer songwriter’

While Jackson C. Frank s eponymous 1965 album and other material has enjoyed numerous official and unofficial reissues, Jackson C Frank: The Complete Recordings is the first to compile his entire recording career. Released in conjunction with Jim Abbott s book, Jackson C. Frank: The Clear Hard Light of Genius, The Complete Recordings contains a total of 67 tracks, 24 of which have never appeared before. Every song has been mastered or remastered, a number of them straight from the original, brittle reel-to-reels on which they were originally laid down. Plagued by tragedy with the most haunting music to show for it, Frank s life can be heard through his music, which has been covered by the likes of Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, John Mayer, and sampled by Nas for Undying Love.

While never fully recognized as one of the great musicians of the 60s, Frank clearly had his fans. The artist s story is a cautionary tale for the dangerous pitfalls of a life lived. At the age of eleven, he was the victim of the infamous Cleveland Hill School Fire in a New York suburb, leaving him burned and disabled, and killing fifteen of his classmates. He spent an agonizing eight months in the hospital, during which time he picked up a guitar for the first time. Scarred both physically and psychologically, and left a shell of his former self, Frank would never fully recover from the wounds. His never-released second album was to include the song Marlene, which honors his childhood girlfriend lost in the fire. After an aborted attempt at college, where he formed a folk trio, Frank, along with a Martin guitar and his then-girlfriend Kathy Henry, caught The Queen Elizabeth in February 1965, on which he apocryphally wrote his first, and now his most famous, song Blues Run the Game. He soon found himself making the rounds of the London folk clubs and rubbed shoulders with Jansch, Renbourn, Roy Harper, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Mike Seeger and Sandy Denny (who became Jackson s girlfriend and later wrote the somber song Next Time Around about him). Frank s music caught the interest of another young American songwriter in London named Paul Simon, who offered to record and produce his album Jackson C. Frank in 1965. Simon brought Al Stewart along to play guitar, while Denny, Judith Piepe and Art Garfunkel kept them company (and supposedly even ran out for teas for the performer). After recording his album, however, Frank s health took a turn for the worse and the following years were unkind. He met future wife Elaine Sedgwick, cousin of Edie Sedgwick, at a London party, and when his money began to run out he left London for Woodstock, where they married. The relationship was marked by a miscarriage and the death of their first-born son to cystic fibrosis, and Frank s subsequent mental unraveling. He was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and battled excessive weight gain from a thyroid problem developed after the fire. Additionally, he went through bouts of intermittent homelessness between stays at various upstate shelters. One day, while Jackson waited in a park to be moved to a new facility, he was shot and blinded in his left eye by neighborhood children with a BB gun. The light from this period of his life came from Jim Abbott, who looked after Frank until his death in 1999. Frank s recordings span four decades of a hard-lived life, and every experience, every trial, is reflected in his voice. If ever a person s individual journey could be traced through his music, it s Frank s, and The Complete Recordings is nothing less than a representative map of the artist s high points and deepest, most shadowed valleys.

Jackson C. Frank “The Complete Recordings Volumes 1-3 Bundle” Limited Edition Wood Box: 6xLP + 3xCD + BOOK . This is the definitive and official Jackson C. Frank release. All tracks have been restored and remastered. 

LP Volume 1 includes the classic Jackson C. Frank album from 1965, and unreleased traditional songs from 1961.

LP Volume 2 includes the 1968 Peel Sessions, “Blues Run The Game” 45, unreleased songs from 1972 and Jackson’s earliest recordings from 1958.

LP Volume 3 includes studio recordings for a never-completed second album from the 1970s, and Frank’s final recordings from the 1990s.

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Last February, Omnivore Recordings released singer-songwriter JD Souther’s three efforts for Asylum Records on CD, remastered with extra bonus tracks and new liner notes informed by interviews with SoutherNo Depressioncalled them: “A worthy upgrade and a good introduction for those who haven’t yet dug into JD Souther.” Relixpredicted the reissues would “bring belated appreciation” to the albums. “Kudos to Omnivore for re-introducing Souther and his work to a brand new audience.”
On September 21st, 2018, Omnivore Recordings will release the trio of classic albums  John David Souther, Black Rose and Home by Dawn on high-quality vinyl. All three have been cut from the original analog masters by Kevin Gray at Cohearent, overseen by Souther himself and Omnivore’s Cheryl Pawelski and pressed atRTI on 180-gram vinyl. These new reissues also feature a little bit of updated art on the Black Rosealbum — no longer featuring the artist name and title, as was originally intended. In every other way, they are presented as they were originally released.
Before he was co-writing Eagles hits like “Best of My Love,” “New Kid in Town,” and “Heartache Tonight with Glenn Frey and Don Henley, Souther formed Longbranch/Pennywhistle with Frey when they were roommates. Their downstairs neighbour was a fellow by the name of Jackson Browne, who took Souther to audition for his boss, David Geffen, who’d recently formed the Asylum Records label. After hearing two songs, Geffen told Souther to “go make a record.” And, that’s exactly what he did. 
John David Souther (Expanded Edition)
John David Souther released in 1971, and was immediately a critical success and established Souther as a, if not the songwriter to watch. (He would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame 42 years later.) 
Co-produced by Souther and Fred Catero (who had recently finished Santana’s Abraxas), John David Southerfeatured 10 originals — all stunning, and many of which would be covered by artists like Bonnie Raitt (“Run Like a Thief”) and Souther’s old friends The Eagles, who released “How Long” as the first single from their 2007 comeback and multi-platinum smash, Long Road Out of Eden.
John David Souther was, and is, the perfect introduction to the singer and performer behind the songs. Still relevant over four decades later, the recording shows the emergence of one of music’s most influential artists. 
After his impressive debut, Souther worked with Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) in the short-lived Souther/Hillman/Furay Band. But, at that same time, his songwriting reputation grew, as friends and colleagues took his material to commercial heights. 
Black Rose

Five years after John David Souther, Black Rose appeared. Beautifully helmed by Peter Asher, the album was not only full of incredible songs, but a who’s who of musicians including Lowell George (Little Feat), Joe Walsh, Waddy Wachtel, Jim Keltner, Andrew Gold, Russ Kunkel, Donald Byrd, and Stanley Clarke — with David Crosby, Art Garfunkel, Don Henley and Glenn Frey adding their voices. In addition to the lush production and instrumentation, Souther’s ten songs were again exceptional. Linda Ronstadt had previously recorded “Faithless Love” on her breakthrough Heart Like a Wheel album, and would tackle “Simple Man, Simple Dream” in 1977 — even basing that year’s album title on the song. (For the record, Ronstadt has recorded 10 Souther tracks, a relationship that began with his production on her 1973 album Don’t Cry Now, also named for a Souther composition.)

Black Rose” was an ambitious undertaking, and it took a long time,” Souther states in the liners. “I wanted to use all the musical influences I had, and I really had to dig deep. But when we were finished, I was almost as pleased with it as if it had sold a million copies. Almost.” 
After hitting the Top 10 twice with “You’re Only Lonely” and his duet with James Taylor, “Her Town Too,” 
Home By Dawn

Souther released his only 1980s album  Home by Dawn, produced by David Malloy (Eddie Rabbit, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire).Souther took distinctive creative turns with each release, Home by Dawn emerged at the beginning of the new wave of country music. In fact, legendary producer/engineer, and David’s father,Jim Malloy (Townes Van Zandt, Eddy Arnold, Sammi Smith), told Souther, “You were about 15 minutes ahead of your time!” That timing was confirmed when Dixie Chicks covered “I’ll Take Care of You” on their platinum album Wide Open Spaces

The album has steadily earned a reputation as the groundbreaking and influential statement it was, and continues to be. From rock to roots-rock to rockabilly, Home by Dawn took Souther in a direction reflecting his Texas upbringing. Now is the perfect time to discover — or rediscover the songs of John David Souther. 

After serving as a backing vocalist for the likes of Bob Weir, Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker and Elizabeth & The Catapult, singing in girl-group doo-wop trio The Bandana Splits and performing as Dear Georgiana, Lauren Balthrop is at last stepping into the spotlight to release her debut album, This Time Around. Balthrop says “Don’t Ever Forget” was inspired by Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” a meditation on the evanescence of joy and its accompanying nostalgia. It’s a steady-moving reverie highlighted by—what else?—Balthrop’s dulcet vocals, which are layered over fuzzed-out electric guitar and bright acoustic strumming.

Lucy Dacus, Historian

A long and hectic, albeit fruitful, year is just getting going for 22-year-old Lucy Dacus, following the March 2nd release of what is decidedly her breakthrough LP, Historian, on Matador Records. Where her first LP, No Burden showcased her talent for embedding meditative lyrics inside approachable rock songs, Historian is a major artistic stride.

If you’ve ever picked a scab and felt pacified watching the slow bleeding, you’ll know the strange satisfaction of revisiting wounds that won’t heal. I began listening to Lucy Dacus’ Historian while mourning a relationship that was long dead. Its painful dissolution symbolized something more difficult: a loss of youthful idealism, a growing weariness with the world around me. The 22-year-old Dacus has a knack for distilling feelings that, while universal, feel denser at this age. Her evocative, tightly-wound lines unravel the messiness of human emotion: “I feel no need to forgive, but I might as well / Let me kiss your lips, so I know how it felt,” she sings on “Night Shift,” her sweet voice cleaving cleanly through the complexities she’s laid bare. It’s an album that allows you to surrender to your most vulnerable self, sober and unguarded

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The Thrush Metal EP originally came out last year, self-released by the artist on tape and digitally. Stella Donnelly quickly became one of Australia’s buzziest young singer-songwriters and now Secretly Canadian release the EP on Vinyl. Boys Will Be Boys is the standout track. Atop delicate, singsongy acoustic fingerpicking, Donnelly confronts a man who raped her friend and takes to task the accompanying victim-blaming. “Why was she all alone? / Wearing her shirt that low / And they said boys will be boys / Deaf to the word no,” she coos in the chorus, a slight vibrato flaring up at the corners of her lovely voice.

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Stella Donnelly is a stunning new singer songwriter talent. Powerful songs sung with a powerful voice. Listening, and watching with interest.

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Tomberlin is the project of Sarah Beth Tomberlin. Her debut album, “At Weddings”, is due out August 10th via Saddle Creek Records. another song from the album, “Seventeen,” via its video. Zach Xanders directed the video, which features the singer driving around a small town and hanging out in the country and at a graveyard.

Tomberlin was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but is now based in Louisville, Kentucky. She grew up in a very religious household, the daughter of a Baptist pastor, and was home schooled until the age of 16, after which she went to college at a private Christian school she only half-jokingly describes in a press release as a “cult.” At 17 she dropped out of school, returned home, and started to question her faith and her place in the world. It was around this time she began writing the songs that would end up on At Weddings.

“I was working, going to school, and experiencing heavy isolation,” Tomberlin says of the period in a press release. “It felt monotonous, like endless nothingness. It was a means to get through to the next step of life.”

By the time she was 20 she had written enough songs for an album. The press release says At Weddings“documents the unlearning of her childhood faith” but was still heavily influenced by church music and hymns.

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New from London singer-songwriter Carmody is Singing Your Love, an uptempo love song that represents a further string to the bow of this versatile new artist.

Of the inspiration behind the song, Carmody says: “‘Singing Your Love’ feels like my first love song. I read somewhere that songwriters are always documenting each phase of their lives through their music. I had never thought of it like that before, but it felt important to write about a moment beyond the battles that can exist when you fall in love. I’ve always struggled to write about happiness without stumbling into cliché, but it felt like something worth celebrating, something worth dancing about, beyond the scrutiny that I usually put my relationships under.

“It also came from a conversation I had on the Are We Live podcast, where I started talking about how there are no songs that objectify men, no videos with men washing cars in little cute boxers. So it also stemmed from a desire to see and write about the male form as a muse and sexual object.”

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Carmody has recently appeared at festivals including The Great Escape in Brighton and Liverpool’s Sound City, with appearances at Barn on the Farm and Wilderness still to come this summer.

Natalieprass

The album was written, the tour scheduled, the pieces all in place. It had been almost two years since Natalie Prass’ self-titled debut garnered rave reviews for its luscious, baroque-pop sounds. At the end of 2016, the singer-songwriter’s sophomore follow-up was almost ready to be released. Then the election happened.

“I had a record ready to go,” Prass says. “And I scrapped it.”

What followed was a trying time for the Richmond, Virginia, native, full of soul-searching, dark thoughts, and a protracted fight with her (now former) record label. But Prass was insistent. “I can’t release a neutral record right now,” she says. “I need to contribute to the conversation.” Her determination and focused songwriting has finally led her to her new album, The Future and the Past.

It’s been three-and-a-half years since Prass’ debut, and her newest effort has her returning in fighting form. She once again worked with producer Matthew E. White and the Spacebomb House Band, who are quietly earning a reputation as one of the best house bands around. Prass’ gorgeous orchestral strings are back, but with a smaller role this time around. Instead, she’s rummaged through the thrift shops of music history, dusting off artifacts of funk and soul, Brazilian tropicalia, indie folk, and bedazzled LA rock. The result is eclectic, fun, and thoroughly groovy — a polished statement of raw feeling.

“Oh My”:
At the time I was writing these songs in 2016 and 2017, right after the election, I was pretty raw and feeling so many emotions. The news was just pounding down on all of us. It was a lot to handle and feeling like my life was changing and the country was changing and the world was changing really quickly.

So, I would go to my little rehearsal space — I shared this shitty rehearsal space with metal dudes for a while. I would go there in the morning time when there were no metal people playing and lie on the floor and cry. Read, write, play piano for a little bit, and cry. I felt like it was my responsibility to try and put some positive energy into the world and talk about things that were very real. The only thing that was hard about it was convincing the label I was with at the time that it was a good idea, because they were not into it at all.

“Short Court Style”:
So, “Short Court” was already gonna be on the other record. For that one, I already wrote the music for a short film called Oh Jerome, No that was written by Teddy Blanks and Alex Karpovsky. They asked me to write the music for it, and I wrote maybe five or six tunes for that little short film. That was the opening track, the montage, without lyrics or anything. Then when the short film came out, people were hitting me up like, “Where do I get that song? I need that song.” So, I was thinking, “Oh, I should just write lyrics to this and make it an actual song I can put on my record.” Usually, the melody and chords come to me pretty effortlessly, and then I start building from there. Usually, when I co-write, I have people who help me fill in lyrics and help me put my thoughts together. Usually, the chords and the melody are what I feel most confident about.

“Interlude: Your Fire”:
It’s funny, I didn’t intend for that to be split up. Everybody was like, “”The Fire” should be a single, but we need to split up that intro and make it a separate track,” and I was like, “No!” But I get it. It was intended to be all one piece, but it’s kind of cool; a lot of my favorite records have interludes, so I was like, “Ok, ok, I’ll split it up.”

“The Fire”:
I wrote a version of that song in Nashville with my buddy Mikky Ekko. We wrote that a long time ago, and then I couldn’t remember how it went.  That song was on an old laptop that died. I’m really bad with technology, so when a computer dies I’m like, “Well, that’s it.” But that one…I went from memory, and kind of re-wrote the whole thing. I thought it was a good story of feeling in-between, of knowing you need to get out of something but feeling stuck at the same time. The whole…the future and the past… stuck in-between, very much in the present – knowing what has happened and what led you here – But what’s going to happen in the future?

“Hot for the Mountain”:
That one is a protest song, a political song for staying focused. You might feel like you’re the only one, but you’re not. “Hot for the Mountain”, like, it’s not gonna be an easy way, but just stay positive. It’s kind of like, “You’re not alone.” I feel really numb to a lot of stuff now. I’m just trying to focus on the big picture, doing what I know I can do, making sure I always vote — that is so important to me now. It’s like, “Oh, I’ll do it on the big election.” But now it’s like, “No, I am always going to stay up on it” and be involved in my local elections, especially. I knew it was important before, but now it’s a very high priority.

“Lost”:
That one goes with the Me Too movement. I really didn’t want that song to be on the record. I didn’t want to give the person it’s about any kind of ammo against me. The Me Too movement has been really hard on me, personally, because it’s really painful to remember things that have happened to you — but I’m so grateful for it at the same time. Now there’s all this language, there’s all this support, when you just felt like you were so alone … People were like, “You just have to deal with it and move on.” Which, yeah, you have to move on. You can’t live your life in pain like that. It’s nice to know there’s brave women out there and they’re telling their stories. I’m a pretty private person, but I think it’s important to have solidarity with people who have had experiences like myself.

“Sisters”:
Matt’s
the producer. He’s been my buddy for a very long time and is like a big brother to me, and he lives a 10-minute walk from my apartment. I went to his house almost every day during those couple months and spent a lot of time sitting in his kitchen drinking coffee. He had this drum machine, and he had this beat he made on his drum machine, and I was like, “Oh, that’s what I’m feeling right now. Let’s write to this beat.” It was a heavy-hitting kind of beat, and I wanted it to be kind of like a fight song for how I was feeling. I was feeling extremely hopeless at the time, feeling that people don’t want to listen to women, people don’t want women leaders, women cut each other down, men cut women down, there are so many deep stereotypes, and women are pitted against one another. Basically that entire song is A Minor. I was listening to a lot of gospel music when the election happened. I wanted to put some of that feeling into the new music I was writing.

“Never Too Late”:
The label I was with before I parted ways with them — after this record (laughs) — they were like, “How would you feel about going to LA and writing with some people?” I was like, “Sure, I’ll try it.” And that was the worst month of my life. These people… All right, they’re just trying to get by, like me, and they have to hustle way more than I do because I live in a very cheap city, and they live in LA. Of course, they want to write music that could potentially make money. But that’s not where my interests are. I was miserable. It made me feel like the one thing I know how to do very well I don’t know how to do. People were treating me like I didn’t know how to write music. We couldn’t agree on anything.

My publisher, who I’ve been working with since I was 23 years old, was like, “Hey, Nat, there’s this guy out there, Steve Lindsey, this old LA scene kind of guy. I feel like you might like him.” He’s this old LA session dude. Used to play with Toto back in the day. He knew exactly where I was coming from. It was this bright light in the middle of all the terrible. I was having fun, relaxing, like, yeah, “Let’s write this glitzy, shiny, Steely Dan kind of song.” Of course, I don’t relate to the people my age or the people younger than me. I relate to the people 70 and up. That’s so me. We wrote that song super fast. I had the melody already. For the chorus, either, “It’s too late,” or “It’s never too late.” They helped me tighten up the loose ends. But I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to do already.

“Ship Go Down”:
I really love psychedelic tropicalia music. Tropicalia music was a huge political movement, and I was taking inspiration from how they expressed their political views. Brazilian music has the most beautiful melodies, harmonies, and it’s groovy: it takes from jazz, pop, R&B, and american blues. The lyrics are really meaningful and thought-provoking and poetic, talking about politics in Brazil at the time.

No place is perfect, and I always thought America had a ton of problems. But I at least felt like we were moving in the right direction. I thought, “There’s no way people are going to vote for this…” I was so naive. I knew it was going to be close. Then the shock. Going out in Richmond — and Richmond is very progressive — but going out, thinking, “Who did they vote for? Who did they vote for?” Feeling like I don’t know where I live anymore. That’s definitely the darkest song on the record.

“Nothing to Say”:
I’ve had that one for a long time, and I’ve always wanted to record that one, and I thought the time is right now. There’s so many talking heads. That one was funny when we were recording it in the studio, because Matt was all, “I don’t know what to do with this song,” and I was like, “I got it, I got it, I got it! We’re going to record this marble bouncing off the floor, and then we’re going to have this bell sound!” And then Matt just basically cleaned up the huge mess I made.

“Far from You”:
That one’s written about Karen Carpenter. I’ve always loved her; I’ve always thought she was this beautiful soul. She’s very misunderstood, and people often only think about her in terms of how she died [from complications due to anorexia]. But there’s so much more than that. She was from a time when women didn’t play drums; women were up front and singing. She didn’t have a choice. Her label and everybody pushed her out from the kit. Once she got pushed out front, the body shaming started. It got to her head. She started to feel like she didn’t have any control over her career and what she was doing musically. The one thing she could control was her diet. Always in a competition with her family, who favored her brother. You can hear how kind she is and how much she just loves singing and gets a joy out of music. I wanted to write a tribute to her.

“Ain’t Nobody”:
That was straight up trying to bring joy into a harsh reality. You have to keep moving and stay energized. We weren’t intending it, originally, to be such an upbeat tune. We were thinking it would be a little more subdued, almost more of a piano, mid-tempo groove sort of thing. But once we got in the studio, I was like, “This isn’t what I need right now. We gotta pick this up.” It took a long time for us to figure out where that one was supposed to sit, but it got there. That’s what’s so fun about creating and putting a production together. If you have a pretty solid song you can mold it to be whatever you want it to be. I wanted to end on a high note.

The Future And The Past is bursting with a myriad of grooves and Natalie’s vocals float on top, light as a feather and tough as nails. Short Court Style dials the tempo into 90s R&B territory – punctuated by handclaps, sampled “woos,” and a Dr. Dre-esque whistling synth line. Lyrically she wields a sharp knife as well. The love torn Lost begins with: “Turn up the fader, its like a lightning bolt / we can’t be saved, so now I’m listening on my own / Once there was a time when you had me hypnotized / you realized that your finger prints were on my bones.” Funky feminist anthem Sisters is an empowering rallying cry: “I want to say it loud / for all the ones held down / we gotta change the plan.”

thanksconsequenceofsound.

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Be The Cowboy, is the much anticipated follow-up to Puberty 2, won’t be out until August 17th. But the first single “Geyser” has the sweep of an album, building from a quiet murmur to an arena-rock roar in just about two-and-a-half thrilling minutes. Mitski has hinted in interviews that Cowboy might be a departure, but “Geyser” is just as rousing as her signature song, “Your Best American Girl.”

I think this is one of my vaguest songs,” Mitski says in this conversation about her new song, “Geyser.” “Usually my songs have a narrative of some sort. But this song is all feeling.

“Geyser” is the leadoff song on her new album Be the Cowboy. And there’s nothing vague about the music — it builds with a powerful precision. Mitski has an intense desire to write songs. “I will be whatever it needs me to be. I will do whatever it needs me to do in order for me to continue to be able to make music.”

Mitski’s “Geyser” from Be The Cowboy. Out Aug 17th on Dead Oceans Records.

Hatchie’s utterly perfect new EP Sugar & Spice might remind you of The Cranberries and Natalie Imbruglia both names are meant as deep compliments. But instead , I’ll go with Cocteau Twins whose Robin Guthrie has already remixed a song from Sugar and The Sundays, but even those fall short in capturing the album’s radiant, sparkling beauty. So let’s forego comparisons altogether and say this instead: that Hatchie  aka Harriette Pillbeam has the kind of graceful knack for pop hooks that artists twice her age would sell their souls for. Step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath irresistible pop melodies.

The EP moves from triumph to triumph: in “Sure,” Hatchie’s voice skips through a glistening field of guitars, pausing only to ricochet her voice up and up and up the octave on the chorus. She see-saws up and down, from high register to deep alto, on the verses to the title track, the chorus of which is as sticky-sweet and elastic as pulled taffy. But the runaway winner on an EP full of stunners comes at the end; on “Bad Guy,” Hatchie modulates her voice so it lands somewhere between pained longing and calm resolution, and the way the chorus spills from her lips short, breathless syllable after short, breathless syllable adds to the song’s nervous momentum. That the album runs a short 20 minutes is Sugar & Spice’s only drawback as you want more, but that’s a minor quibble; Hatchie could write an album three times as long, and it would still feel like it was over too soon.

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Released May 25th, 2018