* OUT OF STOCK - BETTER OBLIVION COMMUNITY CENTER CD REPRESS EXPECTED 2/18 *
Better Oblivion Community Center is a brand new band comprising the formidable talents of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, two of the most lauded American songwriters of the past several years. Written and recorded in Los Angeles during the summer of 2018, their self-titled debut album will be released on Dead Oceans in early 2019.The pair first collaborated on Bridgers' 2017 single, "Would You Rather", taken from her acclaimed debut album Stranger In The Alps. They teamed up again for a recording of Oberst's "LAX" in the fall of 2018.
Co-produced by Bridgers, Oberst and long time Oberst/Bright Eyes collaborator Andy LeMaster, Better Oblivion Community Center features the work of several talented friends: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner appears on two tracks (first single "Dylan Thomas" and "Dominoes") while Carla Azur (Autolux, Jack White) plays drums on half of the album. Dawes' rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith appear on the other half. Songwriter Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass. Bridgers and Oberst are currently putting together a live band to tour in March and April.
Following 2016's On the Legs of Love Purified and the recent "Divine Illusion" single, The Mirage pushes the band'sethereal sound into the murky depths of dub. Marking a sonic shift for the project, we find the duo trading in chaoticbursts of noise for understated minimalism that's still characteristically melancholic and potent with emotion.Labrador's drum production is as deft as ever with an expanded range of electronic samples and tape delay inducedpolyrhythms. Layered with Madden's persistently dubby bass, Labrador's sparse guitar and gliding soprano floatabove a labyrinth of hypnotic sequences. These dublaced dirges signify growth within the band, heard in theircommand of repetition, space, and effects to build a pervasive mood that's often utterly heartbreaking.The Mirage was conceived following major upheaval in the pair's lives, including the loss of Madden's brother and anumber of friends in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire in 2016. Compounded with the dissolution of a marriage,and leaving San Francisco to relocate to Los Angeles, the album is an exploration of grief and the multifacetedheartbreak that follows such events. 'The Mirage' tells candid narratives of a heavy heart but does not wallow indespair.
"Good Fuck is the byproduct of collaborative conscious alignment. We jammed sometimes, usually late at night with a couple drinks in us, never bothering to record. And we'd tweak various setups while making lunch or getting ready for work. But mostly we talked about what it would be, defining the parameters. For months we talked and talked about it. We spent most nights DJ'ing for each other or checking out shows, identifying and refining what we were drawn to, where we found surprising cracks or overlaps. Then finally we packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist's colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest. And when we arrived, off-season and empty, we found it under four feet of snow. Our process was compressed into a single week in uninterrupted isolation, so we developed a working system to keep us moving and intuitive, trading tracks back and forth on a schedule.For the lyrics we agreed on 12 books we thought most relevant and came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations. And packing up after the end of the week, we were stunned by the results Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out."Tim Kinsella
Even if you've never heard of Hugh Marsh you've almost certainly heard the sound of his violin. He's a featured player on soundtracks by Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams, was nominated for a Juno award, recorded with Iggy Pop and The Stooges, and was in the backing band for Bauhaus' Peter Murphy, all a tiny fraction of his decades-long list of credits. The latest addition to that list is Marsh's own Violinvocations, an LP recorded while Marsh lived in L.A. with friend, mentor, and fellow soundbender Jon Hassell.
Despite the album's title, one would be hard-pressed to say with certainty whether violin was even involved in this album without being told so ahead of time. In one moment a ghost is heard weeping into a dictaphone; a digitized anime character is nervously chattering in the next; and in still another, jagged sheets of distortion avalanche toward the listener beneath auroric swells of harmony. It’s the kind of sound design that requires a dedicated attempt by any Oneohtrixian laptop composer, only it’s all being generated by Marsh's violin and his curious cabinet of effects pedals often in just one take.
Major Murphy follows up their debut long play 'No. 1' with a set of bedroom recordings archiving a time when Jacob Bullard was discovering his voice as a songwriter and the band was finding their footing within that space. Named after the house in Grand Rapids, MI that many of these songs were written and recorded in, the Lafayette EP chronicles a liminal space as the project transitioned from a stripped-down, solo project toward a three-piece rock band. The porches and walls of this house on Lafayette Avenue was a natural space for creativity and collaboration, a space where the band recorded early versions of Major Murphy standards that would eventually be taken into the studio to create their debut album. Listening to these tracks is almost like walking past the Lafayette house on a breezy Fall morning, hearing the songs spilling out the windows and down the street. Venture to peer through a window and you just might catch a glimpse of the magic.
Mazy Fly, the second full-length by the Bay Area artist SPELLLING, explores the tension between the thrill of exploring the unknown and the terror of imminent destruction. Chrystia Cabral spent the summer of 2018 in her Berkeley studio reflecting on the thresholds of human progress and longing for a new and better tomorrow. She was struck by the way the same technologies that have given humans the ability to achieve utopian dreams of discovery have also brought the world to the precipice of dystopic global devastation. Despite the darkness of this reality, Mazy Fly is defiantly optimistic. It is a celestial voyage into the unknown, piloted by Cabral.
Mazy Fly musically traverses the spaces between languid, honey-soaked vocals and distant angelic whispers, from thumping 808 club beats to crunching tape loops, and from silky, smooth R&B to whirling organ sonatas. Cabral became enamored by the idea of flight as a harbinger of both progress and apocalypse, and that was expressed in the textures and compositional techniques she utilized. Swarms, flocks, flies, angels, spaceships, flying saucers â€“ all are represented sonically by Cabral and her Juno-106 synthesizer.
"New York quartet Sunwatchers drew a line in the sand with their last album "II", a powerful statement of the band’s unique brand of spiritual, free-rock, gonzo attitude and a progressive socio-political worldview. "Illegal Moves" is their second album for Trouble In Mind. "Illegal Moves" is the band's most potent blend yet; a heady potion of free-jazz, psychedelia, punk & noise rock that is both tender and ferocious; the perfect soundtrack to smash capitalism and fix our broken system thru sonic catharsis and revolution. Songs like "Everybody Play" and "Beautiful Crystals" insinuate themselves into your brain with the rubbery synchronicity of bassist Peter Kerlin and drummer Jason Robira. Elsewhere "New Dad Blues" and "Greeneyed Pigmen (Get The Blade)" sting with a righteous fury beyond the piercing scree of guitarist Jim McHugh's electric phin or Jeff Tobias' saxophone skronks, and the band's cover of Alice Coltrane's "Ptah, the El Daoud" transforms her meditative elegy into a fiery protest march. The songs crackle with an energy informed by passionate disgust of the status quo realized on the album cover's illustration of the Kool-Aid Man battling the personifications of evil from across the world. A psychedelicized avatar for the general wrath and action that they believe in."
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The lead single from the sophomore LP from Durand Jones & The Indications has everything you could ask for. Dual lead vocals from Durand Jones and Aaron Frazer, danceable beat, and super sweet soul harmonies that won’t soon leave your ear or turntable. It’s familiar yet modern and it’s truly beautiful seeing these guys push soul music forward with their second LP!
Over his first three albums, Homeshake's Peter Sagar followed his own idiosyncratic vision, a journey that's taken him from sturdy guitar-based indie-pop to a bleary-eyed take on lo-fi R&B. Now, with Helium, Sagar is putting down roots in aesthetic territory all his own.
It comes through not only in the gauziness of the production, but also in the vulnerability of the songs themselves. Everyone Sagar encounters here - including himself - seems to be a step removed from present reality, whether by technology ("Anything At All"), solitude ("Just Like My"), or sweet fantasy ("Like Mariah").
Helium was recorded and mixed by Sagar alone in his apartment in Montreal in early 2018. Freed of the rigid editing process he'd endured before, he was able to lose himself in pursuit of tone and texture. A budding interest in ambient and experimental music pushed him to tinker with the micro-sounds that surround the songs here. The warm chords of a Roland Juno 60 form the album's base, and gave him a clean palette with which to work. "No tape hiss, no humming power outlets and shitty mixing boards," as he puts it. "Everything just came out nice and pure."
The physical edition of Pinegrove’s follow-up to 2016's widely heralded ‘Cardinal’ is now here. The first pressings come with a bonus lp / disc - titled ‘Skylight 2’, an acoustic version of the whole album. ‘Skylight 2’ is exclusive to the the physical edition and not available digitally.
The first time we heard Bobby Oroza, it was his slow moody ballad "This Love", that perked the world's ears and made a name for the dapper crooner that calls Finland his home. Since it's release, "This Love" has become somewhat of an underground hit, the soundtrack to car shows and swap meets in the West Coast, numerous movies and TV shows, and it even made it to Earl Sweatshirt's most recent mixtape. This new single from Bobby Oroza picks up the tempo and show- cases another side of his range with a record sure to move bodies and nod heads. The A side "Your Love Is Too Cold" is a stomper that blends the groovy soul drumming of early Motown records with guitar that could have been lifted from a James Bond soundtrack. Bobby pleads over the track of his decision to call it quits and keep it quits. The B side "Deja Vu" finds Oroza leaning again into the B side ballad stylings that made him a name to check for. Heavy duty drums lay down the canvas on which Bobby's vocals paint the picture of a relationship that has come to a fork in the road. The Cold Diamond & Mink production and backing band are tight as ever and this is sure to be another classic with the slowie fans.
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Experimental lute player Jozef Van Wissem and acclaimed film director and musician Jim Jarmusch have a working relationship that dates back to 2006, when they ran into each other on the street in New York City and quickly struck up a friendship. Van Wissem contributed to the soundtrack for Jarmusch's 2013 movie Only Lovers Left Alive, and the two have collaborated on three previous studio albums - Apokatastasis, Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity, and The Mystery of Heaven. An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil is their second release as a duo for Sacred Bones Records, following The Mystery of Heaven, and its narrative picks up where that album left off.
Musically, the mostly instrumental album finds much of its power in minimalism. Van Wissem's unadorned lute traces the outlines of subdued electronics and ominous guitar drones laid down by Jarmusch. It's a subtle album, and repeat listens reveal vast depths in its dark corners. Above all, it's an album that sees two formidable collaborators complement each other brilliantly.
The masterful follow-up to his universally celebrated 2017 albumâ€¯50,â€¯Michael Chapman’sâ€¯True Northâ€¯finds the elder statesman of British songwriting and guitar plumbing an even deeper deep and honing an ever keener edge to his iconic writing. This authoritative set of predominantly new, andâ€¯utterly devastating, songs hews to a more intimate sonic signature—more atmospheric, textural, and minimalist thanâ€¯50, stately and melancholy in equal measure. Recorded in rural West Wales,â€¯True Northâ€¯unflinchingly surveys home and horizon, traveling from the Bahamas to Texas to the Leeds of Chapman’s childhood, haunted by the mirages of memory and intimations of mortality. Joining him on this introspective journey is a cast of old friends and new disciples: once againâ€¯Steve Gunnâ€¯produces and plays guitar, and fellow UK songwriting heroâ€¯Bridget St Johnâ€¯sings, collaborating with cellistâ€¯Sarah Smoutâ€¯and legendary pedal steel playerâ€¯BJ Cole, who has accompanied everyone from John Cale to Scott Walker, Elton John to Terry Allen, Felt to Björk to Brian Eno.
Pentaptych is a collection of 9 new tracks from Ryan Lott, taken from the ballet piece commissioned by the Philbrook Museum of Art and presented by Tulsa Ballet. The original evening-length work was choreographed by Ma Cong and included a live, original painting created by Eric Sall on-stage (Pentaptych's cover is another of Sall's pieces). It premiered in September of 2018 at the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. About the score, Lott writes: "In dance, music is as much the space in which movement occurs as is the room itself. Those of us who write music for dance are, in that sense, architects. For Pentaptych, I sought to create a series of resonant spaces for Ma's choreography, and for the generation and regeneration of Eric's paintings. Each musical movement explores a consistent instrumental palette, led by the violin (and its viola and cello counterparts), in various stages of abstraction. We hear familiar sounds accompanied by unknown colors, just beyond the reach of familiarity. My hope is that navigating through this array of "rooms" feels as much like an exploration as a homecoming."
After releasing 2016’s critically acclaimed Apocalipstick, Cherry Glazerr spent the next 18 months touring the world on their own steam. Between DIY All Ages venues, rock clubs, large festival stages, and massive theaters with some of the world’s best and most beloved bands (The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and The Breeders, among others), the band has really only stopped to work on their follow up, Stuffed & Ready. While furiously building the band’s sound and ideas, front person Clem Creevy enlisted Carlos de La Garza to be the band’s studio co-collaborator as they evolved the songs and refined the recordings.