Devotion is a stunning artistic about-face from revered Melbourne songwriter Laura Jean. Loved for her piercing, intimate, folk-based albums, Laura has worked with producer John Lee (Beaches, Lost Animal) to create an enveloping, deep pop album like nothing she has done before. Laura's last self-titled album, recorded in the UK with John Parish (Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding) and featuring Jenny Hval on backing vocals, was a critical smash in Australia, short-listed for the Australian Music Prize. The album lead to tours with Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams, plus shows at the National Gallery of Victoria and various Australian festivals. But soon Laura found herself tinkering with a 90s Kawai keyboard, enjoying its built-in drum rhythms and moody synth sounds. Laura began a series of shows performing with nothing but the keyboard, as the idea for her next album grew and developed.Devotion is an album about teenage obsession, coastal childhood and vivid memory - universal themes filtered through Laura's razor sharp lyrical focus. Initial influences for the record took in R'n'B, 80s adult contemporary pop and 70s disco, but the end result is transformed into something wholly other, full of depth, resonance and mystery. Devotion is both contemporary and timeless.
The follow-up to Jenny Hval's acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval's more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, "life-like" context.
Hval recorded The Long Sleep with longtime collaborator Havard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world - Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lonning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on The Long Sleep their intuitive, improvised feel.
Julie Doiron's stunning album DÃ©sormais, originally released via Jagjaguwar in 2001, marked a departure from the Canadian artist's grunge pop releases in the 1990s. Like its title might suggest, the intimate record is sung almost entirely in French. Across DÃ©sormais' ten tracks, Doiron builds a disarming and warm atmosphere - through minimally-composed fingerpicking, Doiron's soft voice steers a wounded sound. Even for the English-speaking listener, the cohesion of the LP's subdued, immersive atmosphere looms. DÃ©sormais clearly communicates a close, unflinching look at self-doubt submerged in melancholy.
Heart and Crime, released less than a year later in 2002, traverses much of the same territory. Written within the same time as DÃ©sormais, Heart and Crime is a companion to its predecessor, similarly vulnerable and scarce compositionally, save for flickers of brass or a piano line flitting in or out. Again, its weight comes from its somber simplicity, in Doiron's wistful voice and lyricism.
DÃ©sormais and Heart and Crime serve as visceral time capsules for Doiron's own personal history. It’s fitting, then that the records are also distinct placeholders within the Jagjaguwar canon. DÃ©sormais and Heart and Crime came at a time just as the label began to widen its scope. Doiron's work was amongst the first in a new era of Jagjaguwar artists that expanded the label’s roster and aesthetic, ushering in new and diverse definitions of Jagjaguwar's early dedication to emotional dissonance.
A sublime meditation on mortality and memory, ghosts and grief, Angels of Death casts a series of spells against forgetting and finality, in the form of mystic-minimalist country-soul torch songs about writing, time travel, and spectral visitations. Castle wrote and recorded this breathtaking follow-up to the acclaimed Pink City (2014) in a 19th century church near the shores of Lake Erie, where her family also lived and experienced a constellation of losses that inhabit these bruised musings.
"Castle reaches a pitch of mystical transport so gorgeously ethereal she seems about to drift off into lands that don’t appear on any map." - Greil Marcus, The Believer
"Castle's music is not so much of the earth as floating above it, untethered to the natural order of time and space. Her songs live in that gray area where observation mutates into rumination, and where the physical world dissolves into psychic terrain." - Pitchfork
"Ravishing, soulful ... stands comparison with the best of Judee Sill and Joanna Newsom." - Uncut
Like previous albums, 'The Horizon Just Laughed' started with a dream. Though, that's where things change, as they often do. It is Damien Jurado's first self-produced album, more personal and more rooted than even his 'Maraqopa' trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he's stumbled upon his home.
Comprised of eight aural vignettes, I See You Among the Stars is a wood-grained, amber-hued world respectfully orbiting influences like Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and the softest moments of Broadcast. Paisley fabrics fade beneath an uncovered window, while dust and smoke billow gently through the sunbeams that never fully reach the dark half of the room. I See You Among the Stars achieves what the best music in the genre does: pictures with tangible depth, color, and detail painted with only a few well-chosen pigments.
I See You Among the Stars is an exemplar of spaced out psych-folk that seeks to convey the intimacy and introspection of a woman going about her simple matters at home, while creating an atmosphere to provide melancholy accompaniment to these very tasks. But the final result is something much more: a polyhedral, exploratory, and mystifying peer into a detailed pop-up storybook that reflects the mind and heart of its luminous creator.
You Fucken Sucker is the new album by Paul de Jong, cofounder of beloved collage-pop eccentrics, the Books. Presented in the exact sequence in which it was conceived, You Fucken Sucker charts a grueling and complicated time span in de Jong's life. Over the course of its 14 tracks - which range in length from 15 seconds to nearly 10 minutes - we hear complex tapestries of acoustic and electronic instrumentation submit to waves of unhinged screaming; found-sound assemblage seamlessly incorporating subtle R&B rhythms; Freudian funk; lo-fi prog-metal; and vast synth patch orchestration adding unexpected textures and tension to the whole spectacular mess. Like much of Paul de Jong's work, You Fucken Sucker is a genre unto itself, overflowing with innovative exploration of sounds and senses. Unlike his previous work, it is an unvarnished exposition of anger, frustration, misery and confusion. Perhaps most vitally, it is an opportunity for the rest of us to experience the kind of communal emotional purge more typical of his roots; pre-Internet basement punk rock shows - unafraid of being afraid.
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 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.
Grand Rapids' Major Murphy is set to release their debut full-length No. 1 this year. Brimming with jangly guitar, bright riffs, synth-sheened grooves, and commanding backing vocals, No. 1 reimagines 1970s radio rock with bristling sensitivity for our present era. Not quite pastiche, the lyrics of songwriter Jacob Bullard come from millennials' unique cache of societal anxiety and ego-crises. The album's musical sensibilities catch all this with A-side's sudden velocity and mechanical repetitions, and B side's encouraging grooves and contemplative soft-rock. The sound is rich and evocative, owing in large measure to bassist Jacki Warren's faculty for harmonic structure. Drummer Brian Voortman's keen responsiveness to melodic progressions and emotional shifts make for concert-like, energetic recordings--in fact, most of No. 1 was recorded live, capturing how naturally Major Murphy makes music together. The result is an album that holds the kinetic charge of these three musicians. With precise control and live versatility, they never quite let the tension out. Even their dreamy soft-rock tracks have moments that feel utterly urgent, as if something dear were at stake. And isn't there? Major Murphy's No. 1 releases via Winspear on March 30, 2018.
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DJ Katapila's Aroo EP is the latest addition to the iconoclastic producer's catalog of fast-paced, pan-West African-influenced dance music. From a young age, Ishmael Abbey was a beloved local DJ in Accra, Ghana’s competitive and rapidly-evolving music galaxy.
DJ Katapila's debut release with Awesome Tapes From Africa, 2016's reissue of Trotro, ignited international acclaim for the Ghanaian DJ and producer: The New York Times, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor and FACT heaped praise on his work. Katapila launched a touring career beyond his grueling schedule of all-night parties around Ghana's southern coast and neighboring countries, heading to Europe and the UK, where he performed at festivals and clubs the pasty two years. Katapila brought Ghana's street party culture to audiences overseas; a wave of joy and happy dancers were left in his wake.
The EP's final cut is a track released with a an eye-catching music video this summer called "Monkey." Following radioplay in Ghana and demand from fans online, this track makes its debut on vinyl.
Awesome Tapes From Africa is proud to present new music from this unmistakably original artist with an honesty and unpretentiousness that feels good at this current point in history.
In the fall of 2012, Jones left his small-town in Louisiana for the foothills of Indiana. Alto saxophone in tow he enrolled in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. "Being a singer was never part of the plan," Jones admits. But soon enough he found his way in front of a rowdy rock-n-roll band belting out a rambunctious rendition of "Dock Of The Bay," to a basement full of drunken undergrads. That rowdy band unfolded into The Indications - comprised of Aaron Frazer (drums), Blake Rhein (guitar), Kyle Houpt (bass) and Justin Hubler (organ).
Inspired by a handful of dusty and obscure 45s bearing names like The Ethics, Brothers of Soul and The Icemen, The Indications set out to make a record steeped in heavy drums, blown-out vocals, and deep grooves. Gathered around a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a case of Miller High-Life, the group spent their Sunday evenings recording into the early hours of the morning.
With comparisons from Charles Bradley and Lee Fields to Al Green, the only thing that separates this band from those greats is their youth. Having now taken their raucous live show all across the US, the band have galvanized a following that are ready to take them to the next level.
A decade ago, Zombi cofounder A.E. Paterra conceived his solo endeavor, Majeure. Released in 2009, the debut album, Timespan, took the term "full-length" quite literally - its 40-minute runtime filled by three epic, side-long journeys through time and space. It merged the sinister soundtracks of Vangelis and John Carpenter, the stately minimalism of Cluster and Ashra, and the relentless drive of Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, delivering inspired sci-fi disco-prog of the highest caliber. Originally released on 2xCD and 2xLP, Timespan quickly sold out on both formats and has been out-of-print for nearly a decade since. To celebrate its forthcoming 10th anniversary, the album is given an entirely new mix and master for this special-edition reissue, Timespan Redux. Mixed from the original master files by A.E. Paterra, and remastered by James Plotkin, Timespan Redux improves upon the original in virtually every way. The vinyl format of Timespan Redux is pressed onto 100% virgin vinyl for premium sound quality, and is available on limited-edition colored vinyl (clear w/ transparent blue streaks) while supplies last.
Jackson MacIntosh may be an alien figure to most, but his resume pinpoints him as near the epicenter of the recent explosion in fantastic pop music currently being forged in the city of Montreal and exported the world over. He spent 2016 and 2017 recording and deploying funky, percolating bass lines on the road for indie pop outfit TOPS. He recorded and engineered the last two albums for labelmate Homeshake at his now-defunct home Montreal studio and venue, Drones Club. He has collaborated with cherished LA weirdo Drugdealer as well as Montreal's Bernardino Femminielli, all in addition to fronting the masterfully hooky power pop band Sheer Agony. Such is the man's work ethic that, when catching up with MacIntosh, the question that inevitably springs to your lips is: so what are you working on next?
And so it is that Sinderlyn is proud to introduce listeners to My Dark Side, the debut solo album from Jackson MacIntosh. Recorded over three years and two break-ups, My Dark Side is as confessional as it is casual: a collection of songs that oozed out of necessity.
Privately pressed to LP in 1978 under the name "J. Jasmine" and made especially for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, with artistic collaboration from the festival's founder and Once Group artist, George Manupelli, My New Music is the debut album by Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom. Featuring a cast of Mills College personalities like David Behrman and Sam Ashley on backup vocal duties, this song cycle is at every turn boundary pushing and intent upon gender-busting, yet still hilarious, sweet, and genuine, all delivered in a post-genre, art-song, cabaret musical style that happens to boast some serious avant-garde chops, courtesy of Rosenboom. If it weren't so spot on, you'd swear it was a guilty pleasure. As J. Jasmine writes, My New Music is a collection of personal stories and private desires, exposed, articulated, performed and dedicated to the hope that one person's fantasies can contribute to another person's freedom. Get lost in J. Jasmine's world for a little long while.
Through four parts each running in the 10-minute range, Stand Above The Streams conjures an evocative, abstracted survey of organic nature perhaps from on high, like a satellite scanning and processing data across diverse and slowly changing landscapes. The album also sits very comfortably alongside the recent resurgence in synth-based soundtrack music (John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream et al) â€“ though as alien as it can sometimes sound, there is an unmistakable human element and underlying warmth that courses through the tensile strength of this music, electrifying it with the viscera of the body.
Joey Dosik didn't set out to make a conceptual EP about basketball. It was his first love before music, and some of his earliest memories are of attending Lakers games, but he'd never thought to look to the sport for inspiration. But when Joey blew out his knee during his regular pick-up game and had to undergo reconstructive ACL surgery, he found himself confined to the couch, watching a lot of television and waiting to resume his normal life. He gravitated toward basketball, and when he started recording again, he found it seeping into his writing. The result is Game Winner, a brisk, emotive collection of songs loosely inspired by the language and lore of the game. Joey is an inveterate collaborator who has worked extensively with the likes of Vulfpeck, Nikka Costa and Miguel Atwood Ferguson, and who is a vital part of an LA scene that updates vintage sounds into a more contemporary context. But Game Winner was a different project with a different process; the lion's share of the EP was recorded solo in Joey's home studio. The common thread in the EP's six songs - as well as the four bonus tracks - is musicality and song craft: the two pillars of Joey's sound. "The most important thing is the song," explains Joey. "Songwriting won't go out of style." It's that approach, one that thinks beyond style, that gives the EP's title track its magic. Minimal and almost languid, "Game Winner" has a confidence that’s hard to place in time, an ease that meets a buzzer-beater just as well as it meets a Sunday morning. Basketball may have been Joey's first love, but the sport is also the perfect metaphor for where he's ended up musically, always striving to stay timely and timeless, to bring deep, foundational elements in sync with innovation and imagination.
Jim White gets around. When he's not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction. His sixth solo studio album, the bizarrely titled Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, is a mind-bending joy ride of sonic influences featuring a bevy of his hometown Athens' roots musicians, plus west coast indie darlings Dead Rock West, and rock and roll maverick Holly Golightly. Prior to Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, White released five eclectic, totally uncatagorisable albums plus another six even stranger side projects. Numerous songs from his back catalog have appeared both in film and television, with his Primus-esque "Word-Mule" being featured in Breaking Bad, and more recently his cautionary rocker "Crash Into The Sun" appearing Ray McKinnon's highly praised Sundance Channel series Rectify. UK fans may recognize White as the narrator and defacto tour guide for the award winning BBC documentary, Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus, a road movie set in the rural South, which the LA Times described as "Decidedly strange, delightfully demented." Prior to becoming a musician White led an aimless, diverse life, working countless menial labor jobs: dishwasher, landscaper, lifeguard, cook, surfboard laminator, road builder, culminating with thirteen long years driving a taxi cab in New York City.White is presently at work completing a memoir, Incidental Contact, based on a series of uncanny coincidences that befell him during his days driving that taxi in New York City. Two chapters of Incidental Contact, The Bottom and Superwhite, have been published in the literary music journal Radio Silence, with Superwhite being awarded a Pushcart Prize for short fiction. White was a pro surfer. He served as literary commentator for the National Endowment of the Arts. He was a European fashion model. Samuel Beckett once played a practical joke on him. There’s lots more non linear information that doesn’t really fit the usual bio format. But that’s Jim - he gets around.
As live albums go, Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon nail it down. No matter the crowd -- head thrashers, Instagram zombies, shaken jazzniks -- the shadow lines of feedback and bombastic percussive bombs are always at peak intensity. Through telepathic engagement the Bhutanese-born guitarist Dorji and Midwestern drummer Damon act with one-mind destruction as Leave No Trace: Live In St. Louis perfectly captures. It's a pure sound for these disruptive, politically tumultuous times. Or Marc Master's describes it as, a power lurching at you "in ways that feel dangerously uncontrolled, like someone playing with a plugged-in toaster over a filled-up bathtub." Leave No Trace -- a companion release to their hyper-acclaimed debut Both Will Escape -- was recorded at Gaslight in St. Louis. The 500-edition LP features jacket designed by the hand/razor of Jeremy Kannapell; comes with a download coupon.
Vision Songs Vol. 1 (1984) is the LARAAJI album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel. It is both his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century.Discovered busking in Washington Square Park by Brian Eno in the late 70s, engagement with the eternal flow has led Laraaji to, seemingly by magic, emerge as the most beloved avatar of the unstoppable new age music revival of recent years.Now Vision Songs rewrites Laraaji's musical history. Vision Songs is literally a revelation -- of a master songwriter whose unbelievably catchy best compositions such as "We Shall Be Lifted", "All Of A Sudden", and "Is This Clear?" belong in any great American songbook.Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment, "channeled," as Laraaji states in the album's eloquent liner notes, "from the sky," previously available in an edition of 100 cassettes sold at yoga retreats and on the streets of New York City, Vision Songs is humbly offered on vinyl, CD, and streaming for the very first time.
The Greatest Gift is a mixtape of outtakes, remixes and demos from Sufjan's 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. The release is available digitally on October 20th, and translucent yellow vinyl and yellow cassette in November.This collection serves as a companion piece to the Carrie & Lowell Live album released earlier this year (and as an expansion to the original album). In the same way the live show featured re-interpretations of the songs from Carrie & Lowell, the mixtape unveils new remixes by several longstanding collaborators including Roberto C. Lange (aka Helado Negro), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and James McAlister (aka 900X). The album also features Sufjan’s own remix of "Drawn to the Blood."The mixtape includes a few alternate and/or demo versions of songs from the original album. The digital release also contains an iPhone demo of the song "Carrie & Lowell."The mixtape features four previously unreleased new songs, "official" outtakes from Carrie & Lowell (they were recorded at the same time as the album). These include "Wallowa Lake Monster," "The Hidden River of My Life," "City of Roses," and "The Greatest Gift." This new material, in its investigation of love, life, death, God, and the beautiful state of Oregon, serves as a contemplative companion to the original album. We hope you enjoy.
Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane's work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman's 20,000 word essay is Jackie's first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane's story in her own words.
Jaye Bartell's songs are poetic yet candid and unafraid, formal but also spontaneous. His lyrics leap and land like dancers and are alive. It may not be apparent at first, but Bartell's songs are exultations that revel in the often unsteady but always moving life, filled with subtle humor and sincere love. Here we find Bartell working with expanded instrumentation and more sonic color. His vocals have been honed, hardened, and thoughtfully tempered, and there is sureness in his delivery, a paradoxical feeling that nothing is urgent despite the grave urgency of a song’s subject matter. Recorded in his former home of Ashville, NC, In A Time Of Trouble features appearances from Angel Olsen, Shane Parish (Ahleuchatistas), and more. Bartell's third album for Sinderlyn is a record in the full meaning of the word - of sounds, of friendships new and old, of songs that compel repeated listens and that deepen and grow richer each time. Stay with these songs, and they will stay with you.