Looking for new music? These are some of our favorite albums from the past and present.
The Midnight releases their first album with Counter Records, Monsters. Available on 2LP and CD. The Midnight are duo Tyler Lyle and Tim McEwan. Following up their widely successful independent release KIDS (2018), which reached #1 on Billboard Electronic chart, the group are set to release their next album titled Monsters.
Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes, beauty, and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, Man Man’s first album in over six years and their Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring, resulting in his best Man Man album to date. The 17-track effort, featuring “Cloud Nein,” “Future Peg,” “On the Mend” “Sheela,” and “Animal Attraction,” was produced by Cyrus Ghahremani, mixed by S. Husky Höskulds (Norah Jones, Tom Waits, Mike Patton, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint), and mastered by Dave Cooley (Blood Orange, M83, DIIV, Paramore, Snail Mail, clipping). Dream Hunting...also includes guest vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski on “Future Peg” and “If Only,” and Rebecca Black (singer of the viral pop hit, “Friday”) on “On The Mend” and “Lonely Beuys.” The album follows the release of “Beached” and “Witch,“ Man Man’s contributions to Vol. 4 of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2019. At the end of 2015, Man Man went on an unexpected hiatus, and thus began a period of creative reinvention for Honus Honus. He worked in music supervision and on scores (The Exorcist, Superdeluxe, Do You Want to See a Dead Body?). He acted in the indie film Woe (“I played a park ranger, a nice guy in a sad movie.”), So It Goes, a short musical film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and starred in the award-winning tour documentary Use Your Delusion. He also developed an animated series, wrote film scripts, a graphic novel, a neo-noir TV pilot, and briefly penned a music column for The Talkhouse all while continuing to work on new music, such as an unreleased kids’ record, another Mister Heavenly album, a self-released Honus Honus record, and a conceptual art/noise project Mega Naturals. In the midst of this surreal exile from Man Man, Honus began piecing together what would become Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between. He recruited longtime-collaborator Cyrus Ghahremani to help him produce. Written in a friend’s LA guesthouse that had “an old upright piano, a thrift store lamp, and nothing else,” it was an arduous, three-and-a-half-year process, “I had chord progressions that looked like chicken scratch and lyrics on pieces of paper stuck all over the walls. It looked like I was about to break the big case, catch the killer,” he says, laughing. “There was a lot of self-doubt, fighting the urge to throw in the towel. It wasn’t fun but it definitely forced the best album of my career out of me. Sometimes you just gotta tear it all down to rebuild things the right way. Trust the process.”
Disq have assembled a razor-sharp, teetering-on-the-edge-of-chaos melange of sounds, experiences, memories, and influences. Due out March 6 on Saddle Creek, Collector ought to be taken literally—it is a place to explore and catalogue the Madison, Wisconsin band’s relationships to themselves, their pasts, and the world beyond the American Midwest as they careen from their teens into their 20s. This turbulence is backdropped by gnarled power pop, anxious post-punk, warm psych-folk, and hectic, formless, tongue-in-cheek indie rock.
Collector, like the band itself, is defined and tightly-contoured by the ties between the five members. Raina Bock (bass/vocals) and Isaac deBroux-Slone (guitar/vocals) have known each other from infancy, growing up and into music together. Through gigging around Madison, they met and befriended Shannon Connor (guitar/keys/vocals), Logan Severson (guitar/vocals), and Brendan Manley (drums)—three equally dedicated and adventurous musicians committed to coaxing genre boundaries.
Produced by Rob Schnapf, Collector is a set of songs largely pulled from each of the five members’ demo piles over the years. They’re organic representations of each moment in time, gathered together to tell a mixtape-story of growing up in 21st century America. The songs are marked by urgency, introspection, tongue-in-cheek nihilism, and a shrewd under- standing of pop and rock structures and their corollaries—as well as a keen desire to dialogue with and upset them.
Though still at the very beginning of his career, Jonathan Something's catalog already displays a skillful musical command, a puckish sense of humor, and a knack for absurdist but pointed send ups that at times make him feel like an indie rock Andy Kaufman. It shouldn't be surprising then that for his third album, the forthcoming Cannibal House Rules (due out August 7th on Solitaire Recordings), Jonathan Something has made a sharp left turn and created something that not even the most attentive members of his cult-like fanbase could have predicted. Partly inspired by his interests in anime, classic horror/sci fi cinema and video games, Cannibal House Rules is a synth-driven album of pop songs that draw on the cultural ephemera of the mid 80s, blending the sounds of Italo disco and top 40 new wave with John Carpenter's Big Trouble In Little China and Brad Fiedel's The Terminator scores on a release that is structured to play like the soundtrack from a non-existent film.
Dave Alvin, Victor Krummenacher (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), Michael Jerome (Toadies, Better Than Ezra) and David Immerglück (Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven) form the core of this group of seasoned musicians, who have joined forces to take a trip back to the psychedelic folk/rock sound of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They put their own spin on songs made famous by Alice Coltrane, 13th Floor Elevators, Fred Neil and others, plus an original song, Claudia Cardinale,. Turn on, Tune in, rock out!
‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ is Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in 8 years and his first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released this spring: the album’s lead-off track, “I Contain Multitudes,” the nearly 17-minute epic “Murder Most Foul” and “False Prophet.”
Three-time Grammy Award winner Lucinda Williams unabashedly takes on some of the human, social and political issues of our day with her boldest and most direct album to date, Good Souls Better Angels. During the course of her celebrated four-decade, pioneering career Williams has never rested on her laurels as she continues to push herself as a songwriter. On Good Souls Better Angels, she has much she needs to get out. On Good Souls Better Angels, Williams changes course and chooses to forgo the personal and narrative-based songcraft that has become synonymous with her name and instead speaks to some of the injustices permeating our society. Williams recorded Good Souls Better Angels backed by her remarkable, long time band, featuring Butch Norton (drums), Stuart Mathis (guitar) and David Sutton (bass). The rock-solid unit propels the music with both fire and finesse. Good Souls Better Angels marks the first time Williams' husband/manager Tom Overby is credited as a co-writer on many of the new songs. The album was co-produced by Williams, Overby and Ray Kennedy, who last worked with Williams on her 1998 landmark album Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.
Corb Lund embraces his rich and rustic western heritage with a style that’s unique, honest and resolute, while touching on a range of cowboy themes — from rough-and-tumble tales of lawless frontier saloons, to the sombre realities of running a modern family ranch. As a descendant of many generations of rodeo contestants and ranchers, he sings about a life that he and his ancestors have lived themselves, paired with his quick-witted, wry observations of today’s world. As a result of his heritage and the ten years he spent touring the world with his indie rock band, Corb’s writing resonates emphatically with rural and urban audiences alike. It’s a classic sound with a twist, something of a rarity these days, but one that evokes the spirit of the American West, past and present.
Corb Lund’s 11th studio album, Agricultural Tragic, finally puts a name to the genre he’s been embodying all of these years.
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Featuring writing and lead vocal contributions from all four members, The Jayhawks’ extraordinary new album, XOXO, is the most diverse and wide-ranging in the group’s storied history. Rather than marking a sonic departure, though, the collection signals a sharpening of focus for the band, an elevation in understanding of who they are and what they do best. In classic Jayhawks fashion, the songs here mix the influence of American roots music with British invasion and jangly power-pop, but there’s a newfound vitality at play, as well, an invigoration of confidence and energy that could only come with the injection of fresh blood. The result is an album that, much like the band’s lush harmonies, brings multiple distinctive voices together into a singular whole, a collection that, ironically enough, finds unity in individuality and identity in reinvention.
“This album feels like a new lease on life for us,” explains Louris. “I don’t know what the future holds, but this band is full of great songwriters who deserve to be heard, and my only regret is that we didn’t do something like this sooner.”
Curtis Stigers returns with a new album that offers a wry yet elegant reassessment of the modern male. Along with his own lyrical observations, Stigers also commiserates and celebrates with the words of top songwriters like Nick Lowe, Tom T. Hall and John Fulbright.
Norah Jones’ seventh solo studio album Pick Me Up Off The Floor features collaborators from Brian Blade to Jeff Tweedy, and grew out of her acclaimed singles series of the past 2 years as the songs she hadn’t yet released unexpectedly congealed into an album of tremendous depth and beauty connected by the sly groove of her piano trios, lyrics that confront loss and portend hope, and a mood that leans into darkness before ultimately finding the light.
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If there’s one lesson to be gleaned from Jamie Wyatts latest album, Neon Cross, it’s that life goes on. And through it all—good times and bad, dreaming and desperation, there is truth. When it came to capturing that truth on tape, Wyatt had some assistance from Shooter Jennings, who produced Neon Cross. Together, she and Jennings boldly color outside the country lines, taking a wide-lens sonic and stylistic approach to the songs on Neon Cross.
Vinyl LP pressing. When considering any great work of art, be it a painting, a novel, or a piece of music, it's natural to wonder what might have inspired it. Mark Lanegan's 2020 album, Straight Songs Of Sorrow, features guest appearances from Greg Dulli, Warren Ellis, John Paul Jones, Ed Harcourt and more, These 15 songs are inspired his life story, as documented in his new memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep. The book is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, thanks to Lanegan's unsparing candor in recounting a journey from troubled youth in eastern Washington, through his drug-stained existence amid the '90s Seattle rock scene, to an unlikely salvation at the dawn of the 21st century. There's death and tragedy, yet also humor and hope, thanks to the tenacity which impels it's host, even at his lowest moments. Today, Lanegan is a renowned songwriter and a much-coveted collaborator, as adept at electronica as with rock, constantly honing his indomitable voice: an asphalt-laced linctus for the soul. While the memoir documents a struggle to find peace with himself, his album emphasizes the extent to which he came to realize that music is his life.
Drive-By Truckers is kicking off the new election year with The Unraveling, their first new album in 3 1/2 years (the longest space between a new DBT albums ever). Those years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within the band and the turbulent world outside (or as Patterson Hood puts it: "watching so many things we care about be decimated and destroyed”) informed the writing of this album to the core.
Ambertron is the fourth record and first full-length album by Mint Mile, a musical concern from Chicago, Illinois. The group is helmed by Tim Midyett, who spent eighteen years in the acclaimed Silkworm and eight more in the critically lauded Bottomless Pit. After three 4-song EPs, Mint Mile returns with over an hour of music over this epic double LP. From stripped-down twisters to languid drifters to opulent jams alternately joyous, gripped, and desolate, Ambertron explores the space between the personal and global, the emotional and political, and the places (sometimes dark) where memory and reality meet and sometimes disagree with each other. Baritone guitar, pedal steel, rock solid rhythms predominate, with keyboards, strings, horns, and atmosphere woven into the mix as expert spices.
Featuring members of: Silkworm/Bottomless Pit, Songs: Ohia, Palliard, Tre Orsi, Bitter Tears, Ensemble Dal Niente, Poi Dog Pondering, Helen Money, SUNN O))), Swell Season/Glen Hansard, Rock*A*Teens
Sleaford Mods are set to continue their onslaught into 2020 with the release of All That Glue, a collection of songs spanning the last seven years of the bands career; an array of crowd pleasers, B sides, unheard tracks and rarities for fans and the curious, released via Rough Trade.
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Driving anywhere in Texas can cost you half a day, easy. For example, it'll take you over four hours just to get from R&B singer Leon Bridges' hometown of Fort Worth down to Houston, where the psychedelic wanderers in Khruangbin hail from. The state is vast, crisscrossed with rugged expanses of road flanked by limestone cliffs and granite mountains, forests of pine and mesquite, miles of desert or acres of sprawling grassland, all depending on what part you're in. And it's all baking under the Texas Sun that lends it's name to Bridges and Khruangbin's new collaborative EP. "Big sky country, that's what they call Texas," Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee says. "The horizon line goes all the way from one side to another without interruption. There's something really comforting about that." On Texas Sun, these two members of the state's musical vanguard meet up somewhere in the middle of that scene, in the mythical nexus of Texas' past, present, and future-a dreamy badlands where genres blur as seamlessly as the terrain. It calls equally to the cowboys boot-scooting at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth, the chopped-and-screwed hip-hop fans rattling slabs on the southside of Houston, the art-school kids dropping acid in Austin, the cross-cultural progeny who grew up on listening to both mariachi and post-hardcore out on the Mexican borders of El Paso. All of these things, overlapping in a multicolored melange, purple hues as vivid and unpredictable as one of the state's rightfully celebrated sunsets. A journey through homesick reminiscences, backseat romances, and late-night contemplations, the kind of record made for listening with the windows down and the road humming softly beneath you. Like the highways that inspired it, Texas Sun is guaranteed to get you where you're going-especially if you're in no particular hurry to get there.
After releasing two critically acclaimed albums in the span of 10 months (TA13OO and ZUU, respectively), Denzel Curry starts off 2020 with a menacing and concise full length produced entirely by Kenny Beats. Unlocked is the product of a manic 3 day studio session following Denzel recording for an episode of Kenny's YouTube show, The Cave. The project finds the two mining sounds outside of what prompted their respective rises in recent years. While Denzel pulls influence from various members of The Wu-Tang Clan, Kenny taps into a sound inspired by the holy trinity of Madlib, Dilla & MF Doom. Despite these classic influences, Unlocked sounds like something completel y new and sees Denzel setting the tone for a new decade once again just as he and Raider Klan at the outset of the 2010's. Unlocked will also arrive with a half live action, half stop-animation companion film featuring every song from the project.
Like any great artist on the rise, Archy Marshall's life is moving fast. There's a lot to catch up on, after 2017's sprawling masterpiece, The OOZ, broke through amid Mercury Prize nominations and mind-blowing media plaudits. Unlike that record, Man Alive! doesn't aim to present any kind of narrative thread, or Brexit-era state- of-the-nation address, just a collection of snapshots and stories, artfully sequenced into a dazzlingly coherent whole.
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Thundercat is set to release his new album It Is What It Is on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first music; 'Black Qualls (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington). The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. 'This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,' Bruner says. 'It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don't necessarily understand' some things just aren't meant to be understood.'
Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives further into the musical dichotomies they're known for'lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily. What emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks.
The debut album from Paul Banks (Interpol), Matt Barrick (The Walkmen) and Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman). "We have a genuine, organic artistic chemistry together," says Banks. "It's partly a shared musical taste from youth, as with me and Josh, but then it's also the souls of my friends that resonate with me when expressed through music." The resulting songs are dark and gorgeous, expansive and sparse, like Cormac McCarthy prose stretched across a cowboy painting of a sunset. There are upstart rockers like 'Red Western Sky' and 'Knuckleduster' and jazz-beat drum showcases like 'How Many Days' and 'All Is Dead To Me,' but no matter the sonic direction Muzz go, they go there as if effortlessly and with maximum emotional, cosmic charge.
There's an obvious chemistry emanating throughout Ohmme's music that's so tangible it can only come from a decades-spanning friendship. Songwriters Sima Cunnningham and Macie Stewart formed their unbreakable bond performing throughout the fringes of Chicago's many interlocking communities, collaborating with titans from the city's indie rock, hip-hop, and improvised worlds. But together, along with drummer Matt Carroll, they've stretched the boundaries of what guitar music can do starting with the band's experimental 2016 self-titled EP and their adventurous debut 2018 LP Parts. Now their longstanding partnership culminates with the stunning and muscular follow-up Fantasize Your Ghost. Ohmme formed in 2014 as an outlet for Cunningham and Stewart to explore an unconventional approach to their instruments. "That's the whole genesis of the band: us walking up to our guitars and saying, 'how can we make this noisemaker do something different?'" says Cunningham. But as their musical collaboration strengthened, bringing Parts and intensive tours with acts like Wilco, Iron & Wine, Twin Peaks, and more, the band's scope and focus has also broadened. Fantasize Your Ghost is the direct result of the band spending more time on the road than in Chicago, a record deeply concerned with questions of the self, the future, and what home means when you're travelling all the time. "Grinding on tour last year for so long, it can alter your mental state where you have to think about your life in a different way than you would if you're home. A lot of the songs stemmed from just thinking about all of the possibilities that life could be and could take," says Stewart. The commanding single "3 2 4 3" tackles the terrifying realization of needing to make a change. The song opens with the two singing in transfixing harmony, "Looked in the mirror the other day / Caught my reflection / My mouth had moved a different way / The muscles were straining." Their deft scene-setting and the way their disparate voices blend together heightens the song's inherent anxiety. Later, they sing, "Filling the holes to make amends / Tearing them up to start again." These moments of emotional clarity fill Fantasize Your Ghost. Fantasize Your Ghost was recorded over a six day session in August when the band decamped to the Post Farm in southern Wisconsin, where Cunningham runs a yearly DIY music festival. With indie rock journeyman producer Chris Cohen and the idyllic setting just outside Chicago, the songs came to vibrant life. Though Parts showcased their wildly burgeoning influences and talents, Fantasize Your Ghost captures the astounding magnetism and ferocity of their live show. "Selling Candy" is the perfect example. It's a small snapshot of childhood complete with nostalgic references to summertime hot dogs and wandering the city but set to an explosive, stadium-ready fuzzed-out arrangement. Elsewhere, songs like the dystopian dance rocker "The Limit" further stretch their already dynamic palette. Fantasize Your Ghost encapsulates the thrilling and sometimes terrifying joy of moving forward even if you don't know where you're going. It's an album that asks necessary questions: When life demands a crossroads, what version of yourself are you going to pursue? What part of yourself will you feed and let flourish and what do you have to let go of? When they sing, "Just walk out the door and / Don't tell them goodbye" it's drastic but also exhilaratingly hopeful. This is a record of strength, of best friends believing in each other. Unapologetic and brave, Ohmme are ready to figure it all out together.
Fourth studio album by the Australian singer-songwriter Tame Impala (Kevin Parker). 'The Slow Rush' was recorded between Los Angeles and Parker's studio in his hometown of Fremantle, Australia. The album is Parker's deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you're looking at your phone, it's a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life.
Sports Team a band of six singular characters who have been variously described as one of the most raucous, electrifying and chaotic acts in the UK release their debut album Deep Down Happy. The highly anticipated record, is their first release on the legendary Island Records label. Sports Team came up on the back of word of mouth live hype, drawing round the block queues to chaotic early gigs at The Five Bells and Moth Club before releasing any music. Recording their first EP (Winter Nets) in a converted Timberyard in Hammersmith, the band have consistently set themselves apart from the acts they came up playing with, showing an intoxicating ambition, and their debut album Deep Down Happy, delivers on all bold claims, and confirm their place at the head of a group of young guitar acts.They've been defined though by an increasingly cultish fanbase spawned from online community pages, making 1000s of memes, pieces of artwork and crucially turning up wherever Sports Team play - from the bands annual Margate trip (where many of the songs were written) to the living room of the group's shared house, first in Harlesden, now Camberwell. Sessions for Deep Down Happy have been snuck in between huge tours at various London studios, including Konk and Livingston, with long-time collaborator Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever) once again at the production desk. Having first worked together on the anthemic Kutcher in 2018, the debut features Reid-produced singles Here It Comes Again, The Races and Fishing while also featuring a re-recording of early single and live favourite Camel Crew - until now, only available on 2018's Winter Nets.
2020 release. In the life of any interesting artist, there is the perpetual war between the simplicity of public perception and the complexities of reality. Consider Hanni El Khatib, a definitive purveyor of visceral, blues-wracked, punk-spiked, soul-warped, knife fight rock n' roll over the last decade. You may be familiar with him through any one of his four acclaimed solo albums on Innovative Leisure, his work with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, or as one of the rare polymaths able to artfully blend serrated guitars and hardcore rap on collaborations with GZA and Freddie Gibbs. And while these are all real things that could accurately yield a sketch of the multi-dimensional Los Angeles-based artist, they amount to little more than a black and white pencil sketch. More compelling is the Hanni El Khatib of terrestrial existence, who is less susceptible to being pigeonholed by shrewd branding or capsule biography. There is the Hanni El Khatib who existed before he was a professional musician. This was the rap and punk-revering San Francisco skate rat, who grew up digging in the crates for samples to flip on his bedroom MPC - who would eventually become the creative director for the venerable streetwear label HUF. There is the second chapter in which El Khatib moved to LA to pursue music full-time and almost immediately found himself embraced by KCRW and on tour with Florence and the Machine. Music supervisors synced his music in Audi commercials that played at the Super Bowl. Over the last several years, El Khatib had become close friends with Leon Michels, best known as the mastermind of the soul controllers, the El Michels Affair, but who has also quietly racked up producer credits for the likes of pop juggernauts like Lana Del Rey, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky, and Eminem - as well as working in sessions with Grammy-winning super-producer Mark Ronson.
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The project was formed in early 2016, leading to their debut album later that year `Wisdom of Elders'; a document of sessions combining Hutchings with a group of South African jazz musicians he'd long admired.
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Women in Music Pt. III is the third studio album by American band HAIM. Released through Columbia Records. It was produced by Danielle HAIM, Rostam Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid, and was preceded by the singles 'Summer Girl', 'Now I'm in It' and 'Hallelujah'.
Though he invited in collaborators for this project, Parker is very much a solo artist on Suite for Max Brown. He constructs a digital bed of beats and samples; lays down tracks of his own on guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion, and occasionally voice; then invites musician friends to play and improvise over his melodies. But unlike a traditional jazz session, Parker doesn’t assemble a full band in the studio for a day or two of live takes. His accompanists are often working alone with Parker, reacting to what Parker has provided them, and then Parker uses those individual parts to layer and assemble into his final tracks. The process may be relatively solitary and cerebral, but the results feel like in-the-moment jams—warm-hearted, human, alive. Suite for Max Brown brims with personality, boasting the rhythmic flow of hip hop and the soulful swing of jazz.