Posts Tagged ‘Soccer Mommy’

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Soccer Mommy, a.k.a. Sophie Allison, unveiled a sinister new song “Lucy” accompanied by a Matrix-like visual. The track will be released as a 7-inch single via Loma Vista Recordings.

Short for “Lucifer,” “Lucy” is a slow-burner with a fuzzy guitar riff and intense, sensuous lyrics like “You cannot resist him/When you look in his shiny eyes/The face of an angel/With the heart of something less nice.”

“Lucy’ is a really fun song for me because it has a dark, evil vibe,” Allison said in a statement. “It’s a song about struggling with inner demons and your own morality, but I masked it with this scenario of being seduced by the devil. I’m really excited to share this with everyone because I think it shows a different side of my writing.”

Allison recently released a demo of “Blossom.” The track originally appeared on her 2018 critically-acclaimed LP Clean, which she dropped out of NYU to record. “It would be so awful to have missed out on everything I’ve done,” she said last year. “I can’t imagine being in school right now.”

the new song “lucy” from Soccer Mommy: Loma Vista Recordings.

In anticipation of her current headlining tour and her upcoming support tour with Kacey Musgraves, Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has shared the demo for “Blossom” and the b-side “Be Seeing You” on Thursday. The latter was previously only available physically as a b-side to her “Last Girl” 7-inch on Bandcamp.

Both songs bring the tender intimacy we’ve come to associate with the Nashville native, like a love note pressed between the pages of a book. The demo of “Blossom” brings a more lo-fi sound than the iteration heard on Soccer Mommy’s acclaimed debut album “Clean”. Allison fills space with her omnipresent chorus of “oohs” versus the sharp clarity of the instrumentation in the album version. She made this demo for “Blossom” in her college dorm before i even knew “Clean” would exist, I was always really happy with it.

The 21-year-old recalled the history of the tracks in a statement:

“Blossom” was one of the first songs I wrote for Clean. It was before I even realized Clean was going to exist. I was always happy with the demo—it got made in the basement of my dorm room when I was still in college. “Be Seeing You” is an even older track. It was made as a single with the original recording of “Last Girl” but it was never put on streaming. It’s an old favorite of mine so I’m happy to see it get released everywhere.

Listen to the “Blossom” demo and “Be Seeing You”

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The album of the week shines in every facet of its existence. Phosphorescent (aka Matthew Houck) has meticulously crafted an intensely warm album of americana pop, drawing together a multitude of instrumental textures – from guitars and pedal steels, to synths, to his own voice – and yoking them into perfect harmony. his lush melodies are executed with the utmost sincerity, giving his music a widescreen poignancy.

There are many more tasty treats out this week…big thief vocalist Adrianne Lenker has struck out on her own with an absolute pearl of an album. sweet & understated, this collection of songs poured out of her in the moments between performing & practicing with her band, resulting in her most intimate work yet. that’s on very limited glow-in-the-dark vinyl, for people who like to listen with the lights off. picking up the tempo a little, Molly Burch’s country pop sophomore features that same beautiful, warbling voice channelled through a stronger, more confident set of songs founded upon indelible melodies.. we’ve also been loving the debut from kentucky’s the Other Years, whose angelically pure vocal harmonies, underpinned by a sweet backing of violin & banjo, are a thing of simple beauty. this is the perfect album to come home to after a strenuous day – trust. predictably, Cat Power’s new album is a stone-cold stunner! her largely acoustic set of folk-tinged, blues-tinted songs continue to prove her to be one of the strongest songwriters working today.

Further recomendations Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh delivers another powerful solo album of darkly melodic scuzz-songwriting Will Hoge injects his rumbly-voiced country with an invigorating dash of soul and an exhilarating bolt of rock bravado;  it’s also worth knowing that Blood Orange’s ‘negro swan’ is finally in on vinyl, amy helm’s red vinyl lp has finally popped in & settled its round little body into our shelves. & Marie Davidson’s excellent new record – which had me & mark jiving away.

Reissues this week, Bloc Party‘s classic debut ‘silent alarm’ arrives for the very first time on sturdy 180 gram vinyl. john Lennon’s ‘imagine’ gets a new stereo remaster, along with a bounty of alternate mixes & alternate takes that offer tremendous insight into his recording process. and possibily the greatest guitar album ever Television’s very seminal ‘Marquee Moon’ is in on blue vinyl, with a bonus disc of alternate versions – yum!

Imagine (2018 reissue)

John Lennon  –  Imagine (2018 reissue)

this truly unique edition of one of the most iconic albums of all time sees the timeless record remastered with a new stereo remix and some additional non-album singles.

digging through extensive archival content, Yoko and her team deliver us an incredibly personal journey through the entire songwriting and recording process – from the very first writing and demo sessions at John’s home studio at tittenhurst park through to the final co-production with Phil Spector – providing a remarkable testament of the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their own words. ***the deluxe 2cd comes with an extensive bonus disc of different mixes, demos and alternate takes. *** ***the super deluxe boxset comes with an incredibly vast array of different mixes, demos and alternate takes, the restored ‘Imagine’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ films and a 120 page hardcover book documenting the album’s creation***

Abysskiss

Adrianne Lenker – Abysskiss

the big thief vocalist lays down a mesmerising set of songs that are hushed & disarmingly intimate, in which we climb into her consciousness without encountering any barriers & revel in the sweet beauty of her gentle melancholy.

the songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. these are not castaways or b-sides. some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the recording session. with this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public that she is a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice & the greater voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness & clarity of translation. “it’s an invitation to peer into the hidden spaces of an extraordinary modern songwriter, where calm & quiet moment prompt superlative work”

C’est La Vie

Phosphorescent  –  C’est La Vie

Matthew Houck has crafted an electrifying collection of songs that blend a dreamy, psychedelic americana aesthetic with solid pop foundations that never fail to engage.

this album reveals a crystallisation of what made ‘Muchacho’ such a breakout record release — a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative. the magic of Matthew Houck’s music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the-earth sounds. it’s not experimental, exactly, but it’s singular and it’s definitely not traditional. that knack, the through-line across the phosphorescent catalogue, is front and centre here. fans of bon iver, iron and wine, bonnie prince billy, damien jurado and okkervil river will love this! “songs of experience make up Matthew Houck’s heavenly seventh”

First Flower

Molly Burch  –  First Flower

a walk through Molly Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships and overwhelming anxiety – ‘First Flower’ is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever.

opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that gives you goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. but the album’s true stand-out is “To the Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. if you enjoyed angel olsen’s ‘My Woman’, this is the album for you. “more dreamy, torchy country-pop goodness from this Austin breakout”

Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo –  Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo’s punk-poet persona remains intact, backed by a generous injection of scuzz and fuzz.

“the details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. it is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question ‘what am i, really?’ it’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. i think at one point i wanted to change the world, but now i know i can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. and that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person i thought i was, and hopefully forever”. fans of oh sees, ty segall and warm drag should check this out

WANDERER

Cat Power  –  Wanderer

Chan Marshall’s return to the folkier, bluesier side of the tracks is very welcome on this lustrous set of understated, yet quietly powerful, acoustic ballads.

produced in its entirety by Marshall, ‘Wanderer’ includes appearances by long-time friends & compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of Lana del Rey & an exquisite cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’. the 11 tracks encompass “my journey so far,” says Marshall. “the course my life has taken in this journey – going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. folk singers, blues singers, & everything in between. they were all wanderers, & i am lucky to be among them.” “the set has both strength & a lean, lustrous beauty, tapping Carole King-style classicism & american folk standards”

Fall Into the Sun

Swearin’ – Fall Into The Sun

their scuzztastic reunion has gifted us a blissful set of melodic bangers that go hard on distortion and easy on the ears.

much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “i feel like this was the first time i could look at a Swearin’ record and say that i co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. fans of rilo kiley, the beths, speedy ortiz and forth wanderers need to check this out!

Masana Temples

Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples

the psych-prog quintet return with a serene set of wah-heavy motifs, seasoned with moments of exquisitely delicate, hushed vocals.

more than the literal interpretation of being on a journey, the album’s ever-changing sonic panorama reflects the spiritual connection of the band moving through this all together. inspecting the harmonies and disparities between their evolving perspectives, the group reflects the emotional impact of their nomadic paths. the music is the product of time spent in motion and all of the bending mindsets that come with it. fans of minami deutsche and sundays & cybele should check this out.

Possible Dust Clouds

Kristin Hersh  – Possible Dust Clouds

enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of ‘dark sunshine’, this brooding solo album expands her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky cocktail of discordant beauty.

feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock’s true innovators. “sometimes the most subversive thing i can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we’ve heard before, twisted into different shapes” – Kristin Hersh, july 2018. “the prodigious output and commitment to quality is pretty staggering, but then Kristin Hersh is a very, very special musician.”

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Father John Misty – Live at Third Man Records

Live at Third Man Records covers songs from the first three of his albums, heard here stripped totally bare, you lucky tikes.  In September last year, Josh Tillman stopped by Third Man’s Nashville headquarters on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon and surprised them with a lunchtime solo, acoustic set before his sold-out Ryman Auditorium performance. They, of course, had our 1955 Scully Lathe warmed at the ready to capture the occasion. As is typical for direct-to-acetate recordings in the Blue Room, Josh warmed up the room (and our engineers) with two songs before they started cutting the LP. He began with the debut performance of his newly penned Mr. Tillman(foreshadowing its release as the first single on God’s Favorite Customer 9 months later). They then used the second song as an opportunity to carve a 12” on-the-spot single of Now I’m Learning to Love the War, which was promptly handed it to a lucky attendee for safe keeping. If you want to know more about that, you’ll have to scour the depths of FJM’s fan net. Live at Third Man Records covers songs from all three Father John Misty albums out at the time of its recording, heard here stripped totally bare

my american dream

Will Hoge  –  My American Dream

Hoge gives it his all on this blazing album of gritty, country soul, newly infused with a furious rock energy.

with ‘My American Dream’, Hoge hopes that others will follow his lead, see the world through someone else’s eyes, and maybe begin to fix the mess we’re living in. “i don’t want to write songs telling people how they should feel” Hoge says. “if anything, maybe there’s a 16- or 17-year-old kid in the small-town south who has rumblings of these feelings but doesn’t have anybody in his little community to go, ‘hey man, think about it like this for a second. here’s another group of people’s perspectives’”. fans of chris stapleton, lydia loveless, steve earle’s ‘copperhead road’ and nikki lane will love this!

ICON OF EGO

Arc Iris  –  Icon of Ego

the trio’s third is a vividly expressionistic record that reflects their protean talents, creating an avantgarde experimental pop that’s entirely their own.

‘Icon of Ego’ finds a stronger, more experienced band. the band has evolved into a concentrated pop-prog explosion, mixing styles with disparate elements that captivate and surprise. with heavy synthesiser work by Tenorio and Jocie Adams, and seemingly impossible transitions executed effortlessly by Belli, the songs here carry a thick, analogue electronic sound that harks back to the ’70s. presiding over these are Adams’ powerful vocals that house the energy under pop forms. fans of cocorosie and deerhoof should check these guys out.

I

Terry – I’m Terry

the Melbourne quartet capture their particular kind of witty diy, garage pop beautifully on this lp.

there are few rules in Terry’s world. “they seem to make a song out of whatever sounds good to them. the only stylistic consistency is in their hat wear. terry are like Steely Dan or 10cc. both bands make me queasy after a certain point. Terry probably also make me a bit queasy, singing about police beatings and nationalism and all that. but they’re not out to hurt you. they’re like the kindly bearer of bad news. Terry puts it in terms that speak to me. it’s a tragicomedy.” – fans of the go-betweens, courtney barnett and rolling blackouts coastal fever need to hear this.

henry / I

Soccer Mommy – Henry / I’m on Fire

Soccer Mommy aka Sophie Allison puts her own heavenly spin on the boss’ timeless classic, plus reworks the lead track from her obscure 2016 album ‘For Young Hearts’, previously only physically available as a rare cassette release. we think she’s done Bruce proud. Soccer Mommy is a must for fans of snail mail, phoebe bridgers, lucy dacus and julien baker.

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Kevin Morby – Live at Third Man Records

Kevin Morby performs two tracks for third man, stripping them down and revealing something completely new, in relation to their studio counterparts.

Formally a member of New York folk group Woods, Kevin Morby has made a name for himself with his four acclaimed solo releases. these songs, “Destroyer” and “Black Flowers”, come from his third record ‘Singing Saw’. “Destroyer” is an autobiographical minimalistic keyboard ballad, a distant cousin of the full band album version. “Black Flowers” on this single borrows less from the sweeping orchestras of leonard cohen’s catalogue and more from the melancholic austerity of bert jansch.

Soccer Mommy announced a new 7″ single. The single’s A-Side is a newly reworked version of “Henry,” a song that originally appeared on Soccer Mommy’s 2016 collection For Young HeartsThe B-Side is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’sI’m On Fire,” a live show highlight that now has a long-awaited studio recording. The cover was previously only experienced live and has therefore been long-awaited.

“I wanted to make a version of ‘I’m On Fire’ that connected with the sadness of the song,” explains Allison. “I think that doing a more stripped down version allowed me to make something that feels emotionally raw.” the limited edition release “Red Smoke” 7″, is out October via Fat Possum Records,

The 7″ follows on the heels of her debut album, Clean, that has already received mid-year Best of 2018 nods from the likes of NPR, Rolling Stone, Billboard,Stereogum, Uproxx, Vinyl Me Please, all giving high praise for Soccer Mommy’s debut album, Clean.

Clean is Allison’s excellent studio debut: a compact album of clear melodies, plainspoken lyrics, and the impossibly tangled logic of infatuation.” – Pitchfork(Best New Music, 8.4)

Clean greatly expands the scope of Ms. Allison’s songs in both words and music… Both clear-eyed and passionate, she is growing up in public, unabashed.” – New York Times

She combines mischief and bluntness in the manner of Liz Phair, and her voice has a quality like melting ice cream—sweet and appealingly messy, slipping around the pitch of a note.” – The New Yorker

Soccer Mommy’s Clean is one of the best rock records of the 2018 so far” – The FADER (Gen F)

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This South X Lullaby Session with Soccer Mommy took us away from the frenetic world of the South by Southwest music festival and into the past. Venturing my favorite store in all of Austin, TexasUncommon Objects, is a self-described “one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk” or “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.”

There are 24 different antique sellers under the single, Uncommon Objects roof, and for Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, it was the perfect setting for her song “Wildflowers.” It was, in fact, filled with objects related to blooming flowers.

The song from the Switzerland-born, Nashville-raised artist is, as I hear it, about finding your place in the world — to discover who you are and to blossom.

“Wildflowers don’t grow in the city
I dreamt the sidewalk broke in two
The earth was calling to me”

The song is from Soccer Mommy’s album Clean which was released earlier this month on Fat Possum Records.

Image result for soccer mommy

Our South X Lullaby Session with Soccer Mommy took us away from the frenetic world of the South by Southwest music festival and into the past. We ventured to my favorite store in all of Austin, Texas: Uncommon Objects, a self-described “one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk” or “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.”

There are 24 different antique sellers under the single, Uncommon Objects roof, and for Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, we found the perfect setting for her song “Wildflowers.” It was, in fact, filled with objects related to blooming flowers. The song from the Switzerland-born, Nashville-raised artist is, as I hear it, about finding your place in the world — to discover who you are and to blossom.

“Wildflowers don’t grow in the city
I dreamt the sidewalk broke in two
The earth was calling to me”

The song is from Soccer Mommy’s album Clean which was released earlier this month on Fat Possum.

Set List

  • “Wildflowers”

Soccer Mommy

Just over two years ago, Sophie Allison was writing melodic bedroom rock ahead of a move from her native Nashville to New York to study music business at NYU. During that time, she started to find a burgeoning fanbase on Bandcamp for her wistful demos under the name Soccer Mommy, which chronicled the harsh realities of the teenage experience. During her tenure at NYU, she began playing live shows around Brooklyn, building a presence in the DIY scene, and it wasn’t long until she caught the ears of Fat Possum (the influential independent label who’ve released records by Wavves, Youth Lagoon, and Lissie) and her life changed.

Still aged just 20, Allison is reeling from her rise to indie-rock stardom. On her recently released debut album Clean, she self-reflects, translating the loneliness and crushing disappointment that comes with being a teenager into intimate musings – a confessional sound that similarly launched the careers of Mitski and Julien Baker. However, age aside, Allison believes her music is universally relatable. “I think it resonates with people because it’s about struggling to be open, honest and take risks: struggling with your own identity,” she explains. “Everybody feels that at some point in their lives.”

Take for example her latest single “Cool”, a raucous track where Allison lilts about what it means to be the “cool girl.” Despite its initial appeal, her pursuit of the “cool girl” trope ends up creating her own unhappiness. Instead, she finds more solace in being herself. In Allison’s video for the track, premiering below, she explores “the depth beyond the image of coolness.” Playing with the idea of cool, Allison blossoms into different versions of herself, all the while interspersed with animated ice cream sandwiches, pot leaves, and crayons. She becomes one of the guys, clad in aviators and a leather jacket; a rocker who flaunts fuschia wing-tip eyeliner and a Hot Topic necklace; and a heartbreaker who chops off the hair of a Ken doll, ultimately revealing that “cool” doesn’t mean just one thing.

Taken from the debut, Clean, available on Fat Possum Records

Soccer mommy

“I was wasting all my time on someone who didn’t know me,” Sophie Allison sings in the first verse of “Blossom (Wasting All My Time).” It’s the kind of thing you can’t remember if you realized in hindsight, or a part of you knew it all along—the subtle production and the warm strums of the acoustic guitar allowing your mind to drift. “Scorpio Rising” starts out sounding like an updated version of Big Star’s “Thirteen,” before taking a sudden turn when Allison’s young Romeo changes his mind and goes for a girl that In “Flaw,” the end is her fault, though she doesn’t want to believe it. “I choose to blame it all on you/’Cause I don’t like the truth,” she sings, her clear and unpolished voice fittingly going slightly flat.

Clean is the Debut album proper from Nashville based 20 year old Sophie Allison who records under the name Soccer Mommy. Following on from the critically acclaimed Collection, released in August. Clean was recorded by Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, War on Drugs, Beirut) in NYC and mixed by Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding). The album is a big step up production wise, and it’s the most grown up Allison has sounded to date. For fans of Liz Phair, Frankie Cosmos, Angel Olsen and Julia Jacklin.

Taken from the album, Clean, available on Fat Possum Records

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Album of the week has to go to Simply Saucer, one of my all time favourite records, a legendary proto-punk classic and a must for any fans of The Velvet Underground/The Stooges/Modern Lovers or weirdo Psych-punk. So chuffed that In The Red have reissued this with a bonus Live LP too. Gwenno returns for her second album in an unfathomable language (to me anyway), with ‘Le Kov’ sung entirely in Cornish, but retaining every bit of the interest that had her last LP playing constantly in the shop. All-round top producer and session musician Jonathan Wilson has a new full-length out, the latest since his 2103 stormer, Fanfare. It’s no surprise that he’s really not missed a trick on the production front, but the songs themselves are stunning, heartfelt and unmissable.

Soccer Mommy’s new one covering the jangly lo-fi end of the spectrum with aplomb, sounding like a grungy distillation of the 90’s with today’s saturated tape aesthetic, brilliantly varied but hugely satisfying. If this isn’t quite heavy enough for you, then you could do worse than the storming Moaning LP on Sub Pop, at points sounding like a bastard child of NY hardcore and melodic post-punk, but brought together with a wonderously heavy, but undeniably glossy aesthetic.

Moaning moaning cover 3000x3000

The impassioned, self-titled debut from Los Angeles-band Moaning produced by Alex Newport.
Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after they met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future. The trio began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for Don’t Go, setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heartbreak to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream.

Suuns felt

Suuns are pleased to announced their new album, Felt, coming out March 2nd on Secretly Canadian. Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie says, “This record is definitely looser than our last one [2016’s Hold/Still]. It’s not as clinical. There’s more swagger.” You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. It’s both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums [Zeroes QC and Images Du Futur] with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

Complementing O’Neill are the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song on Felt while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about “freaky post-techno” and Frank Ocean’s use of space, he’s among your more modest studio desk jockeys: “Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played – hitting ‘record’ and ‘stop’. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music.”

Titus a productive

Titus Andronicus A Productive Cough

Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] has been conditioning faithful listeners to expect only the unexpected. With A Productive Cough, +@ has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.” In a move that may infuriate the black-denim-and-PBR set, A Productive Cough sets aside leadfooted punk anthems in favor of a subtler, more spacious approach that pushes Stickles’ soul-baring songwriting to the fore, creating an intimacy between artist and audience with which previous +@ efforts had only flirted. “[+@] records have always had their fair share of ballads,” Stickles explains, “but they were always buried amidst a lot of screaming. Now, they are the cornerstones. Punk rock is nice, but it is but one tool in the toolbox from which I pull to achieve my artistic purpose, and that purpose has always been communication and validation. This time, perhaps I can more effectively talk to the people if I am not so busy yelling at them.” The mission of A Productive Cough is apparent from the first bars of opening track “Number One (In New York).” As a tableau of piano and dulcet horns unfolds, Stickles unleashes a breathless and unceasing 64-bar verse with subject matter as sprawling as the kitchen-sink arrangement, which grows to include sparkling guitars, twinkling bells, and uplifting choral vocals as Stickles searches desperately for the strength to carry on through an increasingly violent and frightening world.

Darlingside extralife

Darlingside – Extra Life 

Extralife is the follow up to the band’s 2015 breakthrough, the highly praised Birds Say. Where Birds Say was steeped in childhood nostalgia and the loss of innocence, Extralife finds Darlingside looking to the future, mourning the loss of our world with an almost post-apocalyptic view. While the subject matter may seem bleak, Extralife is not without an underlying sense of hope and optimism. Extralife looks at hard truths ranging from societal issues, politics, environmental concerns and religious tensions as catalysts for where we may be headed. While the issues of today dominate every form of media and communication, Darlingside views it all from a different lens. The group looks past the now and predicts the life to which we could potentially be headed as a fictional narrative, but is it? How the group could address such a dark subject with such artistic beauty and grace is a testament to the distinctive nature of Darlingside.

Tracey thorn record

 

Tracey Thorn –  Record

Tracey Thorn’s first solo album of entirely original material for seven years.

Describing Queen, Tracey says: “It’s a great opener for the album – driven along by Ewan Pearson’s unashamedly glittering electro-pop production, drums and bass from Warpaint’s Stella and Jenny, it features me playing electric guitar for the first time in a while, and singing my heart out.”

As ever the personal has often been political in Tracey Thorn’s work. “Nine feminist bangers,” Tracey Thorn jokes when asked to describe ‘Record.’ If this album is in part about freedom and disenthrallment, new single ‘Queen’ is the opening broadside, all personal fire and desire. Her voice, self-assured and richly-textured, yet confessional and affecting, spits out the lyrics on ‘Record’ with a fresh compelling drive and remains one of the finest female pop voices of the last four decades.

”I think I’ve always written songs which chronicle the milestones of a woman’s life.” she says. “Different ages and stages, different realities, not often discussed in pop lyrics. If 2010’s Love and Its Opposite was my mid-life album – full of divorce and hormones – then ‘Record’ represents that sense of liberation that comes in the aftermath, from embarking on a whole new ‘no fucks given’ phase of life.”

On Record, the synth-driven tracks arrive and leave with a punchy sub-three-minute directness. “I wanted it to be a record you’d listen to in the daytime,” Tracey says. “On your headphones or on the move. Not necessarily in the evening, or in your bedroom.” For all its no-fuss pop brevity, the album rotates around Sister, a dubby nine-minute Compass Point-style disco jam where Tracey is joined again by Warpaint’s rhythm section and glorious backing vocals from Corinne Bailey Rae.

Across four decades Tracey’s songs and writing have offered up a clear-eyed woman’s view of the immediate world around her; from the acerbic teen love songs of her first early-eighties band Marine Girls, through sixteen years as one half of articulate multi-million-selling duo Everything But The Girl to her recent acclaimed memoirs and journalism.”

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Lucy Dacus –  Historian

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock’s most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. “This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. “Everything after this is a bonus.”

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus’ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

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The Men  Drift

Drift is the seventh full-length by NYC rock polymaths The Men. The band’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find.

The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the album drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts.

The album was recorded to 2″ tape with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices) at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn. A whole pile of instruments was involved — synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike recent releases from The Men, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift — a reflection of the personalities of its makers becoming less frantic, Chiericozzi suggests. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel. The songs on Drift took giant leaps and trips from their beginnings only to find the band returning to the first spark of creation.

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Soccer Mommy – Clean

Following on from last years compilation “Collection”, Nashville based Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy now brings us her debut album proper. Produced by Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Beirut), the new album is a huge step up from her earlier bedroom recordings. The fuller sound works perfectly with Sophie’s finely crafted, bitter-sweet pop songs that have a world weary quality beyond her 20 years.

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Jonathan Wilson  Rare Birds

Jonathan Wilson had a busy 2017, producing Father John Misty’s grammy nominated Pure Comedy and touring arenas around the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters (for whom he also contributed to the lauded Is This The Life We Really Want? album.) Wilson also saw widespread acclaim heaped on Karen Elson’s sophomore LP Double Roses, which he recorded with her in Los Angeles in 2016.

But it’s not looking like Wilson is going to get much of a rest in 2018 either, as he’ll be continuing on with the worldwide Waters tour and is set to release his own new solo album Rare Birds in the spring. The highly anticipated long player – which features backing vocals from Lana Del Rey, Josh Tillman, fellow Roger Waters bandmates Lucius and an extraordinary musical gift from otherworldly Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji – will be released through Bella Union worldwide.

Although much of the album is comprised lyrically of meditations on a failed relationship and its aftermath, Wilson insists that Rare Birds is not really a concept album. “It’s meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music that includes elements consciously and purposefully to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It’s all in there.”

And, for this one, music critics will need to retire the comparisons to heritage rockers and Laurel Canyon troubadours as they’re hardly useful anymore. Wilson’s new sound takes a synthetic/acoustic, best-of-both-worlds analog/digital hybrid approach to achieve the complexity, sonic density and glossy hi-fi coating of Rare Birds. Heard for the first time on a Jonathan Wilson album are the sounds of synthesizers and drum machines.

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The Breeders  All Nerve

All Nerve – the first new album from The Breeders in a decade – reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, the line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash.

The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material since then.

Featuring singles ‘Wait in the Car’ and title track ‘All Nerve’, recording took place at Candyland, Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, Ohio. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with The Breeders since their first album, Pod

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Simply Saucer  –  Cyborgs Revisited

Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John Ping Romany LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked Bullet Proof Nothing, an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused. Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center!

Last but Most Importantly, Patrick, Stu and Katy (or not Patrick, Stu and Katy, depending on how secretive they want to be) are now hither forth to be known as TALKING DRUMS, their record is out now and available in-stores! I’ll eat my hat if this one doesn’t fly off the shelf because it’s Amazing, and you need to hear it.

This weeks —–
Simply Saucer – Cyborgs Revisited – In The Red
Pye Corner Audio – Where Things Are Hollow – Lapsus
Street Sects – Rat Jacket – Flenser
Turbonegro – Rocknroll Machine – Burger Records
Dwarves – Take Back The Night – Burger Records
Hans Zimmer – True Romance OST – Enjoy The Ride
Max Eastley/ Steve Bereford/ Paul Burwell & David Toop – Whirled Music – Black Truffle
Dead Moon – Cracks In The System – Mississippi Records

Following on from last years compilation “Collection”, Nashville based Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy now brings us her debut album proper. Produced by Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Beirut), the new album is a huge step up from her earlier bedroom recordings. The fuller sound works perfectly with Sophie’s finely crafted, bitter-sweet pop songs that have a world weary quality beyond her 20 years. Whole record is stellar, new version of Last Girl makes me really happy. A contender for the best record so far in 2018,

Twenty-year-old Sophie Allison, cuts to the core on Soccer Mommy’s Cleanas if she’s already in hurry. Her flat delivery and lack of lyrical pretense lay bare moments of obsession and rejection in a frank, almost detached fashion. Her album takes its title from Taylor Swift’s freedom ballad, but there’s also a sense of the world-burning defiance borrowed from Liz Phair’s ’90s debut. “I don’t want to be your f****** dog,” she snarls in answer to decades of obliviousness. Clean betrays simmering anger, hurt and an ever-present humor and self-deprecation (not surprising for someone with a moniker this silly). The emotions are felt, but Allison revels in none of them. As if to say there’s a lot of life yet to live, she keeps a sense of the absurdity of it all. “She’ll steal your joy like a criminal,” Allison sings in admiration. “I wanna be that cool.”

We love the delicate-yet-fearless vibe of Soccer Mommy’s new songs “Cool,” “Still Clean,” and “Your Dog,” the latter of which she performed for us live in the Paste studio last month. The young Nashville songwriter’s debut full-length, Clean, finally drops today.

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Released March 2nd, 2018
Sophie Allison – Guitar, vocals, bass
Julian Powell – Lead guitar
Nick Brown – Drums
Gabe Wax – Piano, synth, mellotron, bass, guitar, drum programming, percussion