Posts Tagged ‘Son Volt’

Image result for RONNIE WOOD images,

Let’s hear it for Ron Wood! The shaggy-haired guitar ace has played devil’s advocate to both Rod Stewart and Keith Richards — his style perfectly complementing the Faces and the Rolling Stones. Wood joined the Stones in 1975 after the Faces split up, but his history dates back to the sounds of swinging London as guitarist with R&B rockers the Birds and as bassist extraordinaire for the Jeff Beck Group. Most people might only know the man from his tenure with the Stones.

Live from Kilburn, Andy Newmark -drums; Willie Weeks-bass; Ian McLagan– keyboards, and of course ,Ronnie Wood ,Keith and Rod Stewart What a fronting trio. Ronnie, Rod and Richards (the 3 Rs of Rock) fit together visually, musically and presentation wise like a dream rock and roll team.

This set of videos of The First Barbarians, Ronnie Wood shouldn’t have left The Faces, Keith Richards should have left the Rolling Stones and joined Rod, Ronnie, Kenney and Ian (Ronnie Lane had left by then) in a revitalized Faces lineup. With Rod, Ronnie and Keith writing lyrics, we’d have had more classic rock LPs like A Nod’s, Every Picture etc.

Ronnie Wood’s 1974 solo debut, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”, is somewhat of a forgotten artifact. He received a little help from friends Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, George Harrison and David Bowie, to name a few. One of the album’s best tracks is “Mystifies Me.” Hearing it all these years later begs the question, What would this have sounded like if it had been a Faces track?

From: ‘I’ve Got My Own Album to Do’ (1974)

I first heard Son Volt’s cover of this song. Jeff Tweedy did such a good job covering it that I thought it was his song. Then I ran across this! I couldn’t believe I didn’t know this was a Ron Wood song. This is an awesome performance. Ron and Keith were meant to play together and Ian is just fabulous.

Advertisements

Image result for graphic record player

it’s just over *One* week now till Record Store Day 2019 and the excitement is palpable. People are already eyeing up the sacred list, marking down their order of priorities, and what a bumper year it is this year too – with an unbeatable set of rarities, exclusives, fancy editions and downright collectables to feast your eyes and ears on.

Notable releases this week : music fans were rewarded with some of the most exciting new releases of the year so far. Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, has released a career-defining LP, Titanic Rising, one of the highest-rated albums of 2019 so far. also received this week the highly-anticipated sophomore LP from D.C. rockers Priests, The Seduction of Kansas. In terms of track releases, we heard new singles from Vampire Weekend, The National and Big Thief plus some great cuts from Julie Shapiro, Field Medic and Porridge Radio.

The David Bowie ‘Spying Through The Keyhole’ 7″ box set looks great!
Circa Waves bring out a brand new record – limited blue vinyl.
There’s a new Weyes Blood album that has had excellent reviews – limited red vinyl.
the New Order ‘Movement’ box set looks nice – weighs a ton too.
A second set of Motorhead reissues.
Limited coloured vinyl from Music On Vinyl for Matthew Sweet and Within Temptation reissues.
Black vinyl for The Wannadies ‘Be A Girl’ .

W.H Lung’s dinked n limited “Incidental Music” should be first album of note to receive the attention combining it does, the thrust of Krautrock, the shimmer of psychedelia and all the gung-ho decadence of space rock.

Mld121d

W H Lung – Incidental Music

W. H. Lung’s arrival at their debut album has been less conventional than most. A trait shared with the music they make, which weaves between shimmering synth pop and the infectious grooves of 70’s Berlin. The band never had any intention of playing live when forming, aiming instead to be a primarily studio-based project.

That approach was challenged when they released their debut 10” (‘Inspiration!/Nothing Is’) in 2017, which meant that they were quickly in demand. Booking requests started to flood in and W. H. Lung found themselves cutting their teeth on festival stages that summer. Though whilst some new bands may have let that interest change the course of the project, W. H. Lung stayed true to their original reticence and worked mainly as a studio band with their formidable live shows kept sporadic.

W. H. Lung have allowed this album to naturally gestate over the course of two years . The result is a remarkably considered debut – the production is crisp and pristine but not over-polished, the synths and electronics radiate and hum with a golden aura and the vocals weave between tender delivery and forceful eruptions. There is a palpable energy to the songs, as experienced in 10 glorious minutes of opening statement ‘Simpatico People’.
“I think it’s important to erase the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture,” states Joseph E. This colliding of worlds not only exists in the potent mix between whip-smart arrangements, lyrics and seamlessly danceable music but also in the fact that they are named after a cash and carry in Manchester. As Tom P. explains, “I thought it was funny juxtaposing those kind of austere associations with W. H. Auden and other initialed poets, writers, artists, etc. with the fact that it’s really just a Chinese supermarket.”

P

Rozi Plain – What a Boost

Rozi Plain has been making music since her brother taught her a few chords on the guitar aged 13. Raised in Winchester, she spent a few years studying art and painting boats in Bristol, where she began collaborating with long-term friends Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rachael Dadd among many others on a thriving local scene. It was there that Rozi made her first two albums, 2008’s Inside Over Here and 2012’s Joined Sometimes Unjoined, each works of deliciously sad and beautiful pop full of heart-wrenching harmonies dotted with unexpected instrumental flourishes. Released in April 2015 on Lost Map and featuring contributions from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor among others her last album Friend was a deeply meaningful and wonderfully measured ode to memory, place, companionship and music’s remarkable power as an emotional salve. A companion album of remixes, unreleased tracks and radio sessions, Friend Of A Friend, was released in 2016.

20000000053327

Luke Sital-Singh – A Golden State

Luke Sital-Singh releases his third album A Golden State on Raygun Records. The album was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, Soak), who also produced Luke’s last album, 2017’s Time Is A Riddle, and recorded in Portland’s Jackpot Studios, famously set up by Elliott Smith, where alumni include R.E.M., Stephen Malkmus, and The Decemberists. A Golden State contains new single Los Angeles, plus the 2018 singles The Last Dayand Love Is Hard Enough Without The Winter.

At its most basic, A Golden State is album of California dreaming. The songs therein reflect a new chapter, and a new mindset for Luke. “Overall, there is this ethereal, positive vibe – without being too cheesy,” he says. “There is an Americana fantasy, of wanting to escape to this gorgeous place – but also about what I’m escaping from.” The cover artwork, created by Hannah, a four-colour lino cut of the Venice Beach canals, is taken from her upcoming art book, Coastline.

Open uri20190404 4538 vi5nx4?1554387609

Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood, a.k.a. Natalie Mering, has designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist. Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising – which was written and recorded during the first half of 2018, after three albums and years of touring – as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.” The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.” As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”

Priests the seduction of kansas spr031

Priests – The Seduction Of Kansas

What is at stake in the seduction of Kansas? Like a gavel or hammer, the question rattles across the second LP from Washington, D.C. rock iconoclasts Priests: Entering their eighth year as a band, Priests—drummer Daniele Daniele, vocalist Katie Alice Greer, and guitarist G.L. Jaguar—remain an inspired anomaly in modern music. A band on its own label—jolting the greater music world with early releases by Downtown Boys, Snail Mail, Sneaks, and Gauche—they are living proof that it is still possible to work on one’s own terms, to collectively cultivate one’s own world. Priests enlisted two primary collaborators in writing, arranging, and recording The Seduction of Kansas. After playing cello, mellotron, and lap steel on Nothing Feels Natural, multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin (Mellow Diamond, Marissa Nadler) returned to breathe air into Priests’ demos, serving as primary bassist and a fourth songwriting collaborator on The Seduction of Kansas.

The band also found a kindred spirit in producer John Congleton (Angel Olsen, St. Vincent), recording for two weeks at his Elmwood Studio in Dallas. It marked the band’s first time opening up their creative work to collaborate with someone outside of their DC-based community—a decidedly less hermetic approach. Priests found a third collaborator in bassist Alexandra Tyson, who has also joined the touring band. The songwriting process found the group once again analyzing the textures and scopes of albums as aggressive as they are introspective, like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, Portishead’s Third, and Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral. The first single, “The Seduction of Kansas,” is Priests’ purest pop song to date. It is dark and glittering—though there is still something fantastically off about it, decadent and uneasy at once.

As journalist Thomas Frank explored in 2004’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?, the ideological sway of Kansas has often predicted the direction in which the U.S. will move—whether leaning socialist in the 1800s or going staunchly conservative in the 1980s. Illustrating Kansas’ potent place in our national imagination—as well as “a chorus of whoever is trying to persuade the social consciousness of Kansas”—Greer sings brilliantly of a “bloodthirsty cherub choir” in a cornfield, of “a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country through it used to be,” beckoning that “I’m the one who loves you.” The song does what Priests do best: They make us think, stir us with complexity.

Son volt union ts2020cd

Son Volt – Union

Led by vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Jay Farrar, Son Volt became one of the leading bands in the alternative country community, attracting critical praise and an audience that was loyal if not always large. Farrar has collaborated with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and several other well respected artists / musicians. Union is the bands 10th studio album and mixes present and past into strong confluence. The thirteen new songs written by Farrar confront our turbulent politics and articulate the clarity and comfort music can offer in the tumult.

A3222682875 10

Lady Lamb – Even In The Tremor

Even in the Tremor marks Spaltro’s latest full-length LP following 2015’s After and it’s a remarkable achievement because, among other things, it’s the first time in her career that Spaltro is singing explicitly about herself. Between confessing a tantrum in a batting cage (Little Flaws), telling the story of her parent’s kiddie-pool baptism (Young Disciple) and singing openly about untangling her girlfriend’s wet hair (Deep Love), Even in the Tremor is deeply rooted in the people and places, extraordinary and mundane, that have shaped Spaltro into the self-determining artist she is today. Known for her keen observations of others, Spaltro now turns her multifaceted ruminations inward; She calls out from dreams, peers into churches, has fits of rage, and struggles to get out of her head long enough to love herself and those around her. Commitment to creating only what is necessary and urgently felt is the key to appreciating Spaltro’s fearless songwriting, as emotional as it is philosophical. Even in the Tremor signifies the arrival of her most sonically soaring and brutally honest album to date.

Screen shot 2019 01 15 at 21.46.57

Shana Cleveland – Night Of The Worm Moon

Shana Cleveland has been beguiling listeners for years in her role as the superlative front woman for elastic surf rockers La Luz. Now Cleveland is evolving her sound on the new solo full-length Night of the Worm Moon, a serene album that flows like a warm current while simultaneously wresting open a portal to another dimension. As much a work of California sci-fi as Octavia Butler’s Parable novels, Night of the Worm Moon incorporates everything from alternate realities to divine celestial bodies. Inspired in part by one of her musical idols, the Afro-futurist visionary Sun Ra (the album’s title is a tip of the hat to his 1970 release Night of the Purple Moon), the record blends pastoral folk with cosmic concerns. Cleveland dreamt up this premise while living in Los Angeles, a city where – as deftly explored on La Luz’s recent Floating Features – reality and fantasy casually co-exist.

Abetting Cleveland during the recording process was a familiar gallery of co-conspirators: multi-instrumentalist Will Sprott of Shannon and the Clams, original La Luz bassist Abbey Blackwell, Goss, pedal steel player Olie Eshelman, and Kristian Garrard, who drummed on Cleveland’s previous solo effort (with then-backing band The Sandcastles), 2011’sOh Man, Cover the Ground. But whereas that album was internal and contemplative, Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks–a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.

100000x100000 999 2 1550886854 640x640

Gurr – She Says

Gurr return with a new 7 track EP “She Says” released in April 2019. Recorded with New York producer Mathew Molner (Sunflower Bean, Friends) and Berlin based producer Tobi Kuhn at the UFO studios in Berlin.

“We met Sunflower Bean at Latitude Festival in UK and asked them who produced their album “Human Ceremony” as we liked how it sounded retro and modern, they connected us with Mathew and we brought him to Berlin to record with us” says Andreya Casablanca... “After ‘In My Head’ was recorded all in analogue we definitely wanted to have a little bit more room for the production in these songs. We were adding guitars, small synth lines and sounds after laying down the basic tracks.”

The writing of the EP was heavily influenced by the big transitions in the lives of Laura Lee and Andreya Casablanca in the 12 month period after the release of ‘In My Head’, which can be heard in the fake highs of optimism of tracks such as “Of Hollywood” and “Bye Bye”, the melancholia of “She Says” and “Hush” and the angst of Middleton Mall but musically the band draws inspiration across genres, from contemporary dream pop wonders Beach Fossils to psychedelic classics such as The Velvet Underground.

Db stak

David Bowie – Spying Through a Keyhole

With 2019 marking 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, Space Oddity, Parlophone release a 7″ vinyl singles box set of nine previously unreleased recordings from the era during which Space Oddity was first conceived.

The title Spying Through A Keyhole is a lyric taken from the previously unknown song, Love All Around, and though most of the other titles are known, these versions have never been officially released until late last year. Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances, unless otherwise stated.

The design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m.

Due to the nature of some of the solo home demos where Bowie accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, the recording quality isn’t always of a usual studio fidelity. This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.

Tr432cd cu

The Proper Ornaments – 6 Lenins

‘Six Lenins’, the third album release from The Proper Ornaments, sees the band master their seemingly effortless but finely-wrought sound as their songwriting prowess refuses to plateau. Fresh from an US tour in Autumn last year, the London jangle pop group led by James Hoare (also of Ultimate Painting/Veronica Falls) and Max Claps (Toy) went into James‘ home studio in Finsbury Park, London and made their finest recordings to date on a newly-installed 16 track Studer machine – joined by Danny Nellis (Charles Howl) on bass and Bobby Syme (Wesley Gonzalez) on drums. Having escaped deep, twisting tunnels of illness, divorce and drug abuse to release their second record in January 2017, it’s unsurprising they sound sunnier this time around. What their supremely melodic work suggests is a nonchalance or naivety but is in fact an expensively bought slice of coherence and clarity within a constantly shifting backdrop to their lives and landscapes. The band exists as an unassuming and resilient organism in a fiercely competitive, trashed environmental niche. Throughout their years of hard-edged music industry Darwinism, they’ve shown longevity and growth scuttling from the wreckage of their previous guitar bands to become one united organism. “We started writing new songs in the Summer. I was in bed recovering from hepatitis and very broken and tired so couldn’t do anything else apart from playing guitar,” says Max, “and the songs slowly started to appear. In August we realised we had five new songs each and free time, so we decided to record them. The actual recording only took two weeks and it was considerably easier than our previous recordings.” The speed with which “Six Lenins” was made suggests the two songwriters managed to keep a keen focus on what they wanted to achive, further finessing the balance of conflict and collaboration that lends their sweet, succinct tunes their nervous energy. Well-crafted songwriting and a controlled sonic despite a zealous analogue sensibility. The opener ‘Apologies’, sets out stridently and the mood and momentum, even as we weave through some more sombre moments, never dips before soaring with the Velvets-y propeller riff of live favourite ‘In the Garden’ to end the record.

Circa waves lp artwork final 3000x3000

Circa Waves – What’s It Like Over There?

The new studio album from Circa Waves, titled What’s It Like Over There? via Prolifica Inc. / [PIAS]. Recorded in just one month, and renewing their blossoming co-producing relationship with Alan Moulder (Foals, The Killers), What’s It Like Over There? is an album that’s creatively unshackled and refuses to stay still. It fuses the visceral thrill of rock music with a slick pop sound, its themes of modern ennui, emotional fragility and all the inside-outs and upside-downs of relationships making it a record that could only have been made now. Whilst the anthemic Movies will appeal to the band’s long-standing fan base, the likes of Sorry I’m Yours and Be Somebody Good see Circa Waves experiment with a new progressive sound that will surprise and delight in equal measure. Me Myself and Hollywood touches on the band’s love of R&B, whilst Times Won’t Change Me is a piano-led, Beatles-inspired future hit. What’s It Like Over There? always manages to sidestep genres and easy pigeonholing, but what remains constant is Circa Waves’ ability to create the kind of infectious music that is propelling them towards the top tier of British music.

Brutalism album artwork 1547528745 640x640

The Drums – Brutalism

Brutalism is quite possibly the best collection of songs in The Drums’ ten-year career. The album is defined by growth, transformation and questions, but it doesn’t provide all the answers. Brutalism is a form of simplistic architecture defined by blocks of raw concrete. Brutalism is rooted in an emotional rawness but its layers are soft, intricate and warm, full of frivolous and exquisitely crafted pop songs that blast sunlight and high energy in the face of anxiety, solitude and crippling self-doubt.

Even the fact that Brutalism sounds intentional, focused and efficient is a symbol of how Pierce’s prioritizing of his own health and wellbeing has bled into how he makes music. For the making of this album, between his lake house in Upstate New York and a studio in Stinson Beach, California, Pierce was more open than ever, keeping his control freakery at bay, working with others to produce and record the album. He brought in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Amen Dunes) to mix it. If there was a guitar part he wanted to write but couldn’t play, he brought in a guitarist. It’s also the first Drums record with a live drummer. Delegating freed up Pierce’s time to produce a more specific vision.

Open uri20190320 15132 jg7goa?1553099622

Molly Tuttle – When You’re Ready

Award-winning guitarvirtuoso Molly Tuttle, whose debut album, ‘When You’re Ready’ is an insightful, gifted album from a songwriter who was crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP Rise, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible at picking guitar technique and confessional songwriting.

Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 25-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. ‘When You’re Ready’, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.

0000771440

Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend

Matthew Sweet is an American singer-songwriter and rock musician. He was part of the burgeoning music scene in Georgia during the ‘80s, before gaining commercial success in the ‘90s. In 1991 Matthew Sweet released Girlfriend, the pop-rock album which was widely considered an artistic breakthrough. It quickly garnered impressive sales, spawning a top 10 single with the title track. Girlfriend is Sweet’s most commercially and critically successful album to date. Both the title track and Divine Intervention did well on the charts. The album was included as number 61 on Paste’s list of “The 90 Best albums of the 1990s”.

LP – Limited edition of 1.000 individually numbered copies on 180 Gram pink vinyl with Insert.

Movement definitive edition

New Order – Movement – Definitive Edition

Out of the ashes of Joy Division, the remaining members decided to carry on recording under the name of New Order. The band’s debut album Movement recorded between 24th April to the 4th May 1981 at Strawberry in Stockport and featuring all new material, produced by Martin Hannett was released in 11th November 1981 on Factory Records. TheMovementboxed set includes the vinyl LP with its original iconic sleeve designed by Peter Saville, original album CD in replica mini album sleeve, a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, DVD of live shows and TV appearances plus hard backed book all housed in a lift off lid box. The vinyl LP of the original album is cut on 180 Gram and features the 2015 remastered audio, presented in a replica of the original sleeve. The second CD includes 18 completely unreleased tracks made from Demos, Sessions, Rehearsal Recordings and an Alternative 7” version of Temptation Accompanying the set is a 48 Page hard back book which features photos and an essay.

Boxmega30

Karen Dalton – The Karen Dalton Archives Box

Packaged in Ampex studio tape style carboard box. Including for the first-time ever on Vinyl – 3 LP : the 1962 double live album Cotton Eyed Joe remastered…. and the 1963 home recordings album Green Rocky Road remastered. 4 CD – same albums and 1CD of unreleased home recordings including a mesmerizing take on God Bless The Child – 52 Page Book with scans of Karen Dalton Personal archives (writings, photographs, memos) disclosed here for the first time. It also comes with a Large T-shirts and a Download Card.

Fake laugh honesty surrounded

Fake Laugh -Honesty / Surrounded

Hot on the heels of his debut LP and follow up 7”, Fake Laugh AKA Kamran Khan delivers yet two more bangers for the kids, in the form of another double A-Side. The driving, dream-pop bop that is Honesty features guest vocals from Poppy Hankin of previous tour-mates Girl Ray, whilst the skittish, social commentary of Surrounded hurtles along set against a backdrop of razor-sharp melodies and instant-hit hooks.

SON VOLT – ” Union “

Posted: March 27, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Power to the People: Son Volt's Jay Farrar Gets Back to His Roots

Son Volt’s highly topical new album “Union” includes four songs that Jay Farrar recorded while sitting next to Woody Guthrie’s handwritten lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land.”

It’s a fitting juxtaposition: Just as “This Land Is Your Land” was among Guthrie’s more pointed songs, Union is Son Volt’s most overtly political album in nearly 15 years. On a dozen new tunes and a cover, Farrar casts a skeptical eye on late capitalism, addresses the widening gulf of income inequality, imagines and offers a prescription for unity at a fraught moment in a divided nation.

After dabbling in a stylized electric blues sound on Notes of Blue in 2017, and exploring Bakersfield-style country on Honky Tonk in 2013, Union returns to the rootsy rock ’n’ roll of early Son Volt with a blend of acoustic and electric guitars, organ and harmony vocals sweetening Farrar’s worn-in, authoritative voice. Farrar began writing songs for Union in December 2016, and the sting of the previous month’s presidential election was still fresh. “I was just trying to make sense of things, and turning to pen and paper and music just seemed the natural way to go,” Farrar says. “It was sort of the tradition of the bard: the only thing I could do to feel like I was participating in anything that might help would be to write these songs. Whether or not they helped is anybody’s guess, but they helped me.”

Lest the album become a grim political screed, Farrar included a handful of non-topical songs with a different inspiration: his kids. With a son in college and a daughter in high school, the singer was thinking about sending them off into the world when he wrote “The Reason” and “Holding Your Own.” They’re tender songs, from a quietly proud father who is “seeing them go into adulthood and just thinking about the trials they will face, and hoping they don’t fall and press onward,” Farrar says.

He and recording engineer Jacob Detering took seven songs on the road, recording basic guitar and vocal tracks for four of them at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the other three at the Mother Jones Museum in Mount Olive, Illinois. (Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, once denounced in the U.S. Senate as the “grandmother of all agitators,” was a community activist and labor organizer in the late 1800s and early 1900s, most prominently involved with the United Mine Workers.)

Farrar and Detering arrived at the Woody Guthrie Center in the morning on a Monday, when the museum is closed to the public.

It’s not the first time: Guthrie has long been an inspiration to Farrar. The Son Volt leader collaborated on music for a batch of Guthrie’s previously unrecorded lyrics on 2012’s New Multitudes, with Jim James (billed as “Yim Yames”), Anders Parker and ex-Centro-matic singer Will Johnson. Farrar named Son Volt’s 2005 album, Okemah and the Melody of Riot, after the Oklahoma town where Guthrie was born. And like Guthrie, Farrar has consistently written topical songs throughout his career, though in so low-key a way that it often escapes notice.

“It’s always been there to some degree,” Farrar says. “With Uncle Tupelo, it would find its way into some songs, though not in as focused or comprehensive a way as it later sort of evolved into.”

Farrar sang on Uncle Tupelo’s first two albums about the dead ends of life in the post-industrial Midwest on songs with names like “Graveyard Shift,” “Factory Belt” and “Looking for a Way Out.” On the band’s acoustic third album, the song “Criminals” took direct aim at class divides: “Those that bleed the blood and those who work to will it.”

“His songs, they’re not simple, but they’re elemental, and that’s a hard thing to do,” says Anders Parker, who also collaborates with Farrar in the duo Gob Iron (which reissues its out-of-print 2006 LP Death Songs for the Living on Record Store Day). “It’s not like listening to Pete Seeger or something like that, or even Woody. It may come from the same place, but it is a little more abstract and a little more impressionistic type of approach.”

When Farrar reactivated the band in 2004 after a hiatus, Son Volt the following year released Okemah and the Melody of Riot, which included songs addressing the George W. Bush administration in fairly direct terms. Nearly a decade and a half later, Farrar had no second thoughts about another politically minded album. “I think in some ways I’m probably more willing to dive headfirst into topical songwriting, maybe even more so than with Okemah and the Melody of Riot,” he says.

On Union, he sounds disgusted on “The 99” at the growing gap between rich and poor, growling electric guitars buzzing beneath his voice; and he’s ready to cast aside distracting frivolities on “While Rome Burns.” Farrar takes on the role of storyteller in the classic folk-balladeer sense on “Reality Winner” and album closer “The Symbol.” The former, a mournful, sympathetic tune named for the intelligence specialist sent to prison for leaking classified information about Russian election interference, mixes guitars and piano as Farrar describes the circumstances around her actions and asks on the refrain, “What have you done?” On “The Symbol,” a dusty, aching acoustic tune, he sings from the perspective of an undocumented immigrant facing the prospect of ejection from the land of immigrants where he—and his American-born children—have made a home.

Son Volt’s ‘Union’ will be released on Friday, March 29th. Visit your local indie record store to pickup a limited edition copy of the album pressed on opaque mixed maroon vinyl. These copies include an 11 x 11 screen print signed by Jay.

Wide Swing Tremolo

Following the break-up of Americana standard-bearers Uncle Tupelo, singer-songwriter Jay Farrar and drummer Mike Heidorn recruited brothers Dave and Jim Boquist to form a new group – Son Volt – and signed to Warner Bros. The band’s third collection for the label, “Wide Swing Tremolo”, finds them leaning more toward the alternative side of alt-country,

From the vital drive of the opener with its distorted longing and its strained angst to the acoustic pulse of later tracks make this album a landmark in the now overpopulated landscape of country rock. The horror and fear that is all over “Jodel” gives way to the religious zealotry of Medicine Hat but redemption is found on the second half with the straight take on the country rocker that is Right On Through. If Question doesn’t get your foot tapping whilst making your head spin then you haven’t converted to the gospel of country and let me tell you, you’re missing out. Every generation an album arrives that signals a new direction and those who don’t see it will be left behind.

With energetic guitar rockers like “Straightface” and “Medicine Hat” practically jumping out of the speakers, even if Farrar’s enigmatic lyrics sometimes provide dark undercurrents. WIDE SWING TREMOLO was the final studio album from Son Volt’s original line-up, and we’ll crank it up now to celebrate the set’s 20th anniversary.

Wide Swing Tremolo is a wide-open, rocking album with precious little of the overt country influences found on previous Son Volt works. Instead, this album is driven by R.E.M.-like arpeggio guitar riffs and muscular, warm rhythms. It’s a strong album.

Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt-country movement of the 1990’s. The Search takes Jay Farrar’s signature juxtapositions of the arcane and the modern to provocative extremes, contrasting the blue highways of a disappearing cultural landscape with a perilous world in which the center no longer holds – a world of information overload, of clueless leaders carrying out sinister agendas, of “Hurricanes in December – earthquakes in the heartland / Bad air index on a flashing warning sign,” as the artist sings ruefully on “The Picture.” Originally released in 2007, and out of print for the past several years, this deluxe reissue of The Search features bonus content and comes pressed on colored double vinyl.

The 22-track reissue features all of the original tracks plus songs from the band’s 2007 vinyl-only “On Chant and Strum”. Available via CD, digital and a double-LP opaque sea foam green pressing, this release has been sequenced to mirror “On Chant and Strum”

Image result for vinyl records pictures images

Huge release List this week and the big reissue of the week is  St. Jude by Manchester darlings, The Courteeners, plus grab a listen to the beautifully accomplished LP and CD version of the acoustic reworks of the very same album. It’s a testament to their flexibility that the instruments can be stripped back and still be every bit as anthemic . Daniel Avery, whilst not necessarily rocking the spring vibes, has kept his sound concise and melodic, with a few surprises thrown in there for good measure on his latest, ‘Song For Alpha’. Goat Girl have blown all of us away with their rocking but finely balanced blend of punk rock, garage and indie rock and/or roll. It’s a superb debut album, and one that will be played for a long time to come catch them on tour this week.

There’s the new Unknown Mortal Orchestra album too, it is everything you’d expect. Riffs, brilliantly athletic vox and grooves throughout, all bolstered by their singular instrumental style. Another stormer in this week is the new one from Hinds, pitting their snarling three-part vocal onslaught against the clashing, fuzzed-out guitars and snappy, insistent drums, much like in their previous iteration, but injected with the experience of dealing with and touring their hit debut album.

Goatgirl rgb 4000px logo

Goat Girl  –  Goat Girl

Across 19 tracks in just 40 minutes, Goat Girl’s self-titled debut creates a half-fantasy world out of a very dirty, ugly city reality.

Goat Girl belong to a burgeoning, close-knit south London scene, born in venues like The Windmill in Brixton and including bands like Shame, Bat-Bike, Madonnatron, Horsey, Sorry, and many more. “We help each other – I put you on, you put me on – because we genuinely like each other’s music. We’d played gigs all over before but never really settled in a comfortable environment, which is what The Windmill is. It’s an important place for us, it was the first space that our music made sense to exist within. It’s a safe space where music is genuinely listened to and appreciated, and where laws and licensing haven’t reached over to ruin the venue.”

This live freedom enabled the band to think without constraints when it came to recording. Goat Girl enlisted producer Dan Carey (The Kills, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand) to help them capture their vision, set a goal to write and record a piece of music in a day in effort to capture that raw first-creation moment, and chose to record to tape.

It’s a very English album — sharp-eyed observations like The Kinks, louche rage like The Slits — but it’s also full of swampy, swaggering guitars and singer Lottie’s filthy drawl. Each member brings a diverse range of influences and contributions, ranging from krautrock to bossa nova, jazz to blues. They resist being boxed in to an indie, guitar-based genre, and focused intensely on the layers and textures of each song as well as the different contexts they could sit within.

The result, Goat Girl, succeeds in conjuring a complete world all unto itself, and is arranged in segments — divided by improvised interludes — that offer glimpses of an even stranger parallel universe. With each song acting as its own story of sorts that features different settings and characters, listeners are transported therewithin. It’s dark yet cheeky, varied yet cohesive, and striking in its vision; this world is populated by creeps and liars, lovers, dreamers, and wonderful lunatics. Lead single “Cracker Drool” is at once jaunty and sinister, a foreboding tale full of swirling guitar, echoing vocals and synthetic drum hits that stumbles and gurgles straight into “Slowly Reclines,” an equally menacing and considerably heavier track. “Creep” is, predictably and grimly enough, inspired by actual events: Creep on the train / I really want to smash your head in.

On “Country Sleaze,” she sings about sex in a way that embraces visceral reality and defeats shame. “If you say you’re sexually free, as a woman, society still deems that a bad thing. But really it’s a beautiful thing to be confident in yourself – to know that you can have sex and it doesn’t have to mean anything and that doesn’t make you a bad person.” Ellie smiles: “That song is quite disgusting, in a good way. It’s not trying to be nice, it’s not a love song.” Goat Girl is altogether an album crafted with intention, and invites imaginations to run wild; it draws listeners in to its half-fantasy world from the slow fade, eerie instrumental intro “Salty Sounds,” to the gorgeous, unsettling closer “Tomorrow” — a rendition of the song featured in Bugsy Malone — which ends with dawn-chorus birds and the feeling of new possibilities after a long and messy night.

Shacks haze cd lp

The Shacks  –   Haze

One of the best debut albums of 2018. Fronted by 19-year-old singer / bassist Shannon Wise and 21-year-old guitarist / producer Max Shrager, The Shacks are already well on their way to becoming one of the year’s big breakouts, and their remarkable debut album, Haze, solidifies their status as a band with ability to deliver on the well-deserved buzz.

Produced together by Shrager and Big Crown co-founder Leon Michels (who’s played with Bradley, Sharon Jones, and Fields in addition to working with The Arcs, Lana Del Rey, and countless others), the album was recorded in bits and pieces between Shrager’s basement and Michels’ Diamond Mine studio, which the Observer dubbed “the Shangri La of Soul.” Haze opens with the title track, which is, appropriately enough, the first song Shrager and Wise ever wrote together. It’s a spare, smoky tune that shimmers and sparkles as it shifts in and out of focus, and it’s an ideal gateway into the immersive world of The Shacks.

The 13 songs featured on Haze plays out like the soundtrack to some long lost 16mm film, beckoning you into their grainy, saturated world of analog beauty. In the short time that they’ve been together, The Shacks have already made an impressive mark. Their hypnotic cover of Ray Davies’ This Strange Effect soundtracked a global iPhone commercial, one which actually stars Wise herself, and their self-titled EP earned the band dates with St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Chicano Batman, and their Big Crown Records label mates Lee Fields and The Expressions.

3CD – Rough Trade Exclusive Version. CD one is the album. On the second CD is The Shacks Self-Titled EP, Selections Previously Issued Only On 7″ Vinyl And Complete Instrumentals From Haze. And on CD three is the Rough Trade exclusive bonus 9 track CD – The Shacks EP Instrumentals.

LP+ – Rough Trade Exclusive. 1000 Copies only on Coke Clear Vinyl with Download (featuring just the main album) and Rough Trade Bonus CD.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download (featuring just the main album) and Rough Trade Bonus CD.

Island feels like air

Island  –  Feels Like Air

Following the release of their hypnotic new single Try, the London-based Island release their debut album Feels Like Air on Beatnik Creative and French Kiss Records. Mellow, not melancholy, their deep rhythms roll with light and shade that’s uplifting and makes you want to move, but no sooner will have you stood still and beguiled in their scenic musicality. It’s totally captivating, hypnotic and emotional. It mixes the intensity and stadium filling potential of U2 with delicate soundscapes and an intense, throaty vocalist.

Son volt the seach %28deluxe reissue%29 ts2018lp %281%29

Son Volt  –   Search – Deluxe

Led by the songwriting and vocals of Jay Farrar, Son Volt was one of the most instrumental and influential bands in launching the alt-country movement of the 1990’s. Originally released in 2007, and out of print for the past several years, this deluxe reissue of The Search features bonus content. The Search takes Jay Farrar’s signature juxtapositions of the arcane and the modern to provocative extremes, contrasting the blue highways of a disappearing cultural landscape with a perilous world in which the center no longer holds – a world of information overload, of clueless leaders carrying out sinister agendas, of “Hurricanes in December – earthquakes in the heartland / Bad air index on a flashing warning sign,” as the artist sings ruefully on The Picture. The Search’s 14 songs locate and vividly portray the prevailing modes of the human condition in the first decade of the 21st century: cynicism (Beacon Soul), reflection (The Search), restlessness (L Train, Highways and Cigarettes), yearning (Adrenaline and Heresy), paranoia (Automatic Society), despair (Methamphetamine) and conditional hopefulness (Underground Dream, Phosphate Skin). By turns melancholy and exhilarating, the album further cements Farrar’s status as one of rock’s most eloquent chroniclers of contemporary existence.

A2722198111 16

Haley Heynderickx’s   –  I Need to Start a Garden

Haley Heynderickx’s highly anticipated debut album. Haley has a wonderful voice and the lyrics are poetic and heartfelt. Musically it’s sometimes reminiscent of early Velvet Underground in that many of the songs quickly build into frenetic and emotive climaxes. The difference here is that these crescendos dissolve into tender moments of unabashed vulnerability, rather than fragmenting into splinters of drug-fueled confusion. It’s beautiful and heartfelt. For fans of Velvet Underground, Angel Olsen and Cat Power.

Eels thedeconstruction cover 3000x3000

Eels  –  The Deconstruction

After a four year wait, Eels release their highly-anticipated new album The Deconstruction via E Works. “Here are 15 new Eels tracks that may or may not inspire, rock, or not rock you. The world is going nuts. But if you look for it, there is still great beauty to be found. Sometimes you don’t even have to look for it. Other times you have to try to make it yourself. And then there are times you have to tear something apart to find something beautiful inside.” Eels singer-songwriter E (Mark Oliver Everett).

2×10″ – Double Translucent 33rpm Yellow Vinyl.

2LP – Double 45rpm Translucent Pink Vinyl Deluxe Boxset. Printed box on uncoated paper. CD Digitpack. 28 page perfect bound lyric booklet with exclusive photos. 12” artwork print. A4 digital handwritten Rusty Pipes lyrics signed by E and E Tip and Strip pen.

Kcxp5002 cover

King Crimson  –  Live in Vienna, December 1st 2016

Three CDs featuring the complete concert from Vienna on Dec. 1st 2016 mixed from the original multi-track tapes. CDs Presented in concert sequence with discs 1 and 2 featuring the complete first and second sets. CD 3 features Vienna encores plus the long awaited live recorded debut of Fracture by the 2016 line-up as performed in Copenhagen. CD3 also features a series of soundscapes edited into newly sequenced pieces. Drawn from the introduction music (composed / improvised afresh for each night) and featuring Robert Fripp, Mel Collins and Tony Levin, this essential component of current live King Crimson shows also receives its most complete presentation to date. Presented in a 4 fold-out digifile package with 16 pages booklet featuring tour photos and notes by David Singleton and housed in a slipcase

Sbr197 zolajesus 300 1024x1024

Zola Jesus  –  Okovi – Additions

Limited Gray and Black Starburst Vinyl. Zola Jesus’ Okovi: Additions LP offers a new angle on her 2017 album, Okovi. The collection pairs four previously unreleased songs from the Okovi sessions with four remixes by a diverse cast of artists. Johnny Jewel turns Ash to Bone into a late-night cinematic torch song, Tri Angle Records composer Katie Gately’s Siphon is a dark choir of warping angels, black metal band Wolves in the Throne Room’s take on Exhumed makes the pounding industrial anthem even denser and heavier, and Toronto producer Joanne Pollock (formerly one half of Poemss with Venetian Snares’ Aaron Funk) makes Soak feel like an aching classical standard – until it starts warping in on itself and goes somewhere else entirely. The songs on Additions traverse a vast amount of sonic ground, but taken together, they cohere remarkably well as an album, all while serving to enrich the experience of Okovi.

100000x100000 999

Fenne Lily  –  On Hold 

Over the last couple of years Fenne Lily has made a real name for herself as a songwriter, surpassing over 30 million streams for her five self-released singles and supporting the likes of Marlon Williams, Charlie Cunningham and many more across Europe. Despite the first song she wrote at the age of 15 proving an almost instant hit upon release, she’s not rushed into releasing her debut collection, instead taking time to perfect her songs and develop her sound while living in Bristol and continuing to perform around the continent. Deciding she wanted to get out of the city to record the album, Fenne travelled to see some musical friends on The Isle of Wight where she formed a band and recorded a number of tracks in a basement studio with upcoming producer James Thorpe. Returning to Bristol to finish the tracks with long-time collaborator Dave Dixon (Tamu Massif) and Ali Chant (Youth Lagoon, Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey) her debut album has taken shape and is now ready for release.

Lbj 263 large preview.jpeg

Hop Along –  Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Written over the course of 2016 and 2017 and recorded in the summer of the latter year by Frances Quinlan (songwriter/vocalist/rhythm guitar), Tyler Long (bass), Joe Reinhart (guitar), and Mark Quinlan (drums), the album addresses disappointment, particularly in man’s misuse of power, and relates accounts from the periphery — one’s attempts to retreat from the lengthening shadows of tyrants, both historical and everyday. It considers what it’s like to cast off longheld and misguided perceptions, yet without the assurance of knowing what new ones will replace them. Much like on Hop Along’s first and second records, Get Disowned and Painted Shut, Quinlan seeks in real time to work through these issues.

Throughout the album, one gets the sense that Quinlan is wandering in the thicket of a forest—a state of being that will feel familiar to long time listeners—and on this outing, she hasn’t left a trail of breadcrumbs behind her. The album’s artwork, which Quinlan painted herself, invites the listener into that forest, as well. “There is a terror in getting lost,” she says, “the woods are at the same time beautiful and horrifying.” This curious wandering gives the album, both lyrically and musically, a heightened dimensionality.

Bark Your Head Off, Dog is, without question, Hop Along’s most dynamic and textured record yet. Self-produced and recorded at The Headroom in Philadelphia by Reinhart and Kyle Pulley, Bark Your Head Off, Dog features the familiar sounds that have always made the band allergic to genre: grunge, folk, punk, and power pop all appear, with inspiration from ELO to Elvis Costello to ‘70s girl group vocal arrangements. This time around, they’ve added strings, more intricate rhythms, lush harmonies (featuring Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian), along with a momentary visit with a vocoder. In more than one place, Mark Quinlan drums like he’s at a disco with Built to Spill.

Most significantly, Bark Your Head Off, Dog shows the band at its strongest and most cohesive. Hop Along (which originally began as Quinlan’s solo project under the moniker Hop Along, Queen Ansleis) has never sounded so deliberate, so balanced. “So strange to be shaped by such strange men” is a line that repeats on more than one song on the album. “I’ve been thinking about that a lot. That I just deferred to men throughout my life,” Quinlan says. “But by thinking you’re powerless, you’re really robbing yourself. I’m at a point in my life where I’m saying instead, ‘Well, what can I do?’”

73dc16c7 fee7 473c 82e4 8cc54270018a

Wye Oak –  The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs – the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak – begins with an explosion. For a few seconds, piano, drums, and a playful keyboard loop gather momentum; then, all at once, they burst, enormous bass flooding the elastic beat. “Suffering, I remember suffering,” sings Jenn Wasner, her voice stretched coolly across the tizzy. “Feeling heat and then the lack of it, but not so much what the difference is.” The moment declares the second coming of Wye Oak, a band that spent more than a decade preparing to write this record – their most gripping and powerful set of songs to date, built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their catalogue. Louder is the third record that Wasner and Andy Stack, who launched Wye Oak in Baltimore, have made while living in separate cities – she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas. They flew to one another for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music they’ve ever made. Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each track diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked.

A2723464100 16

Mien  –  Mien

Debut album by MIEN, the exciting new four piece band comprised of The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham. The seeds were sown for this collaboration as long ago as 2004, when Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone) found himself in a chance encounter with Black Angels frontman Alex Maas whilst performing sitar with his former band on a bill at SXSW in Austin with The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Not long afterwards, he would also stumble across electronics guru and producer John Mark Lapham from Anglo-American band The Earlies, via a shared love for one song – the ‘classic sitar banger’ by The Association, ‘Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’.

Some years later, another piece of the puzzle came into place, when Dhir was now playing bass with The Black Angels in 2012, and found the band sharing several bills with The Horrors. Thus he made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and yet another pact was made to work together. Several traversals of the globe by both plane and audio-file later, the result is an album that sees this quartet transcending their origins whilst maintaining a cohesive unity borne of a desire for outward exploration.

John Mark’s vision, as he puts it, was “imagine the Black Angels as Nico in her 80’s industrial phase mixed with George Harrison and Conny Plank.” – true to form, it’s an album that finds equal room for radiant groove-based propulsion and ambient dreamscapes alike – as comfortable with the murky hallucinogenic voyage of ‘You Dreamt’ as the powerful widescreen sweep of ‘(I’m Tired Of) Western Shouting’, yet with songwriting acumen as potent as the production values are expansive and exploratory. This may have been a record put together at a distance – yet the chemistry between these four figures is manifest amidst a kaleidoscopic series of atmospheres and excursions whereby the fertile songwriting of the golden age of ‘60s psychedelia is transmitted into a transcendental realm above and beyond the second decade of the 21st century.

Screen shot 2018 02 01 at 10.12.35

Unknown Mortal Orchestra  –  Sex and Food

Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes? These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson’s fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex and Food. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex and Food is a practical musical travelogue, with local musicians from the countries that Neilson and his band visited pitching in throughout.

Sex and Food is the most eclectic and expansive Unknown Mortal Orchestra release yet, from the light-footed R&B of Hunnybee to the stomping flange of Major League Chemicals. If You’re Going to Break Yourself and Not in Love We’re Just High chronicle the effects of drugs and addiction on personal relationships, while the lyrics Ministry of Alienation drip with modern-day paranoia like the silvery guitar tones that jewel the song’s structure. The modern world, and all the thorny complications that come with living in it, loomed large on Ruban’s mind while making Sex and Food. A statement of selflessness, to be sure-but make no mistake: Sex and Food reaffirms the vitality of Ruban’s voice in today’s musical landscape.

2zhcrpla

The Courteeners  –  St Jude Re:Wired

Courteeners mark the 10th anniversary of their debut album with a new, fully re-recorded version of the seminal record. St Jude Re:Wired has been produced by Liam and Joe Cross. Originally released in April 2008, St Jude charted at no 4 in its first week and went on to win the inaugural Guardian First British Album award, beating albums by Duffy, Adele and Glasvegas. The record saw Courteeners present to the world outside a first set of songs that perfectly soundtracked modern life in the UK.

B0797m1qdk

Suede  –  Suede – 25th Anniversary Edition

Brett Anderson believes that Suede’s debut album, winner of the Mercury Music Prize in 1993, probably has more cultural resonance than any other of their albums, as a pre-cursor to Britpop and a supplanter of grunge. It is also home to four ground-breaking singles. This deluxe edition features the album; the b-sides; a CD of demos, monitor mixes (several previously unreleased) and the band’s first BBC radio session, arranged chronologically; plus a concert from February 1993. The DVD features six contemporary TV performances (including their first ever TV appearance), and an hour-long film of Brett and Bernard Butler discussing the writing and recording of the album, all issued for the first time. Also included is a new note by Brett about his memories of the recording of the album, along with the lyrics, hand-written lyric drafts, tape boxes, and photos from the band’s collections.

Love forever changes cover

Love  –  Forever Changes (50th Anniversary Edition)

Love’s Forever Changes is the psychedelic folk-rock pioneers’ finest achievement. Mostly overlooked when it was released in 1967, today the album is considered an indispensable masterpiece. In 2008, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and – in 2012 – the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry. Love celebrate the acclaimed album’s golden anniversary with an extensive 4CD / DVD / LP collection housed in a beautifully illustrated 12 x 12 hardbound book that features a newly written essay and track-by-track notes by music historian Ted Olsen. Recorded during the Summer of Love in Hollywood, CA, Forever Changes is the group’s most fully realized studio effort, featuring Arthur Lee (vocals, guitar), Johnny Echols (lead guitar), Bryan MacLean (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ken Forssi (bass) and Michael Stuart (drums, percussion). The original album introduced classics like Andmoreagain, Red Telephone, A House Is Not A Motel and Alone Again Or. The set features a few firsts for the album, including the CD-debut of a remastered version made by its original co-producer and engineer Bruce Botnick, as well as the first-ever release of the mono version on CD. Also included are alternate mixes of the album, as well as a selection of rare and unreleased singles and studio outtakes. Botnick’s stereo remaster of the original album makes its vinyl debut on the LP included with this set. It was cut from high resolution digital audio by celebrated audio engineer Bernie Grundman. The DVD that accompanies the anniversary collection includes a 24/96 stereo mix of the album version of the original album remastered by Botnick. Also featured is Your Mind And We Belong Together, a rare promotional video directed by Elektra producer Mark Abramson that was originally released in 1968. Forever Changes: 50th Anniversary Edition boasts more than a dozen rarities, including single versions of Alone Again Or and A House Is Not A Motel that are available now for the first time since 1967. Two other recordings on the set have never been released: the backing track for Live And Let Live and an outtake backing track for

Spacemen 3 recurring orbit055cd hi res front cover artwork

Spacemen 3 –  Recurring

The fourth and final Spacemen 3 studio album Recurring; the follow up to their seminal Playing with Fire album. By the time the album was recorded, relations between the band had soured to the extent that the record is essentially in two parts; the first seven tracks written and performed by Sonic Boom a.ka. Peter Kember (Spectrum / E.A.R.), and the last seven tracks written and performed by Jason Pierce (Spiritualized) punctuated by the cover version of Mudhoney’s When Tomorrow Hits the only track on which both Kember and Pierce appear together.

CD – Presented in a shrink-wrapped 6 panel fold out card wallet featuring the original vibrant cover artwork used on the original US release of this album.

R 11190059 1511547827 4467.jpeg

Richmond Fontaine  –  Don’t Skip Out On Me

Richmond Fontaine and Deline’s singer / songwriter, Willy Vlautin releases his fifth novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me on Feb 1 2018 (Faber and Faber). Like his previous novel Northline it will have an accompanying soundtrack included with the book on CD. While the CD will be included with the book, Décor release the album on vinyl. Don’t Skip Out on Me is magnificent. Willy Vlautin is now one of America’s great writers.’ The Don’t Skip Out on Me soundtrack was recorded early 2017 just after the band called it quits on their final European tour.

LP – 180 Gram vinyl – limited edition of 1000 copies.

Katie von schleicher glad to be here fth317s

Katie Von Schleicher  –  Glad To Be Here

Glad To Be Here / Party Dawn is the first material the Brooklyn-based songwriter has shared since her critically acclaimed debut album, Shitty Hits, last year. Katie said the following about the tracks: “On a break from touring this winter I went alone to Maryland, where I am originally from, and made these two songs, taking the gear I’ve very happily accrued since making my album Shitty Hits. I built a fire, I set up my gold drum kit, I saw a ton of stars and felt smashed by silence, and it was lonely, so I made these songs. Glad to Be Here is where I find myself right now. Party Dawn is tied to Maryland, to my friend and our adolescence. Both are a bridge toward the subject matter of my next record. Back in New York, my collaborator Adam Brisbin (Sam Evian, Jolie Holland, Buck Meek) contributed guitar and bass, and Julian Fader (Ava Luna, Frankie Cosmos, Nadine, Palehound) mixed it.”

27972680 10151001728859990 6984818013370149813 n

The Lucid Dream  –  SX1000

Very limited 12’’ single in yellow disco bag, single sided. The Lucid Dream return in April with the release of new single SX1000, the first taster from the recently completed 4th album. The track is a slice of pure acid house, and will again see them acknowledged for venturing into pastures new, setting themselves apart from ‘genres’, ‘scenes’ or what any other band are currently doing. SX1000, as with the whole album, was penned over the summer by Mark Emmerson (vocals / guitar / synths), using only the classic Roland 303/808 synths, bass and vocals as tools for writing.
Inspiration for the writing was formed via continuous listening to the Chicago to UK acid house works of 1986-1992, the focus predominantly on the groove. 5 months on from those writing sessions and The Lucid Dream have competed their 4th album in 5 years, this track a perfect indicator as to what awaits. A record made for the dancefloor.

Son Volt’s new album, Notes of Blue, is “a tribute and a chance to connect with icons and heroes” for group founder and leader Jay Farrar.

The 10-song set — Son Volt’s eighth studio release and first in four years, due out February. 17th is the culmination of a pair of projects Farrar had in motion. “I was working on two different kinds of projects at the same time,” he says. “A Nick Drake, English folk-inspired project and a more blues-oriented band project.

Ultimately I felt like there was a commonality of purpose there, a common ethic, especially in terms of finger-picking and alternative tunings being a method with all those guys. So eventually those two projects just merged into one.”

The result is an album that has blues at its base  such as the raw shuffle of “Sinking Down,” but with ambience and texture that can be heard in other tracks such as “Lost Souls” and “Cairo and Southern.” “I was aiming for where blues and folk and country music converge,” Farrar explains. “Ultimately I see it as kind of folk record and a rock record with elements of the blues — all of those things. There’s even some garage rock thrown in there,” such as on the stomping “Cherokee St.” and “The Storm.”

The “icons and heroes” he sourced for Notes of Blue were Nick Drake, Skip James and Mississippi Fred McDowell, specifically tapping into those alternate tunings he mentions. “At first they might seem a bit incongruous together, but I felt like there was a certain mystique attached to the guitar tunings and guitar voicings those guys used,” Farrar says. “They can open a lot of doors or provide a lot of different avenues to go down. It emanates from looking for ways to be challenged, really.”

Farrar was also anxious to strap on his electric guitar again after Notes of Blue predecessors such as 2013’s Honky Tonk and 2009’s rootsy American Central Dust. “Part of that meant bringing out the old Webster Chicago amplifier I used for Son Volt’s (1995 debut) record Trace, the amplifier that’s on the cover of that record,” Farrar says. “It’s a low-powered amp that just delivers a big sound, and I just wanted to revisit the sound of that amp. It sort of represents a quintessential sounding blues amplifier.”

Farrar plans to return to standard guitar tuning for his next project, but first he’ll be taking Son Volt on the road to support Notes of Blue. The trek kicks off March 2nd in Little Rock, Ark., and so far has dates booked into mid-May, including the Stagecoach California Country Music Festival on April 28. The new songs will be fun to play live, he predicts, but Farrar acknowledges that the different tunings will require some coordination with his techs in the wings. “We’re going to have some long talks, with charts about what guitars to use when,” Farrar says. “It’s going to be an adventure.”

SonVolt_DavidMcClisterPhoto_8897_1.jpg

If Jay Farrar’s name is unfamiliar to you, his music shouldn’t be. As one half of Uncle Tupelo, and then fellow bandmate Jeff Tweedy married the roar of punk rock with traditional country sounds for four albums, including their 1990 debut, No Depression, which help spew an entire genre of music now known as alt-country. With Farrar’s Springsteen-like tales of life in the Midwest (the duo hailed from Belleville, Illinois, outside of St. Louis) and Tweedy’s ruminations on love and relationships, the influence of Uncle Tupelo is legendary.

Farrar and Tweedy’s relationship was combustible to say the least, and they called it quits in 1994. Tweedy would go on to form Wilco and Jay Farrar carried on with Son Volt, debuting Trace, in 1995. Over the course of seven Son Volt albums and a hefty solo output, Farrar has immersed himself in all types of roots music, from folk to crunching rock. Now, with a new album “Notes of Blue”, scheduled for release February 17th 2017.

Farrar delivers a collection of songs inspired by the giants of Mississippi blues. two songs from Notes of Blue, “Back Against the Wall” and “Lost Souls” .