Music Releases 09-24-21
Distant Populations, just the fourth full-length album of Quicksand’s career, comes as a comparatively swift follow-up to Interiors--which itself came a full 22 years after its predecessor, 1995’s Manic Compression. Critically lauded and deemed very much worth the wait, Interiors succeeded in reestablishing the band as the powerful and contemporary entity they had always been.
Distant Populations has a punchier, more up-tempo sound than its predecessor; its 11 songs are concise, carved sonic jewels boasting not a single wasted note; and its raw power, its gripping lyricism, leaps out from the very first listening. It is a striking step up for the band.
The songwriting itself had been no minor process: Following the release of Interiors, the band successfully toured around the world and in the process fully re-established their chemistry together. Looking forward to making the next album, the three of them—frontman/ guitarist Walter Schreifels, bassist Sergio Vega, and drummer Alan Cage—had methodically recorded various soundchecks, improvisations, and show rehearsals, and compiled the results. “Eventually, when it came time to make a record,” Schreifels says, “we would just edit down to the ones that were most exciting to us all, and then refocus on them and see if we could recapture the magic from it.”
There may be a final irony in the title of Distant Populations. Practically speaking, that’s precisely whom Quicksand recorded it for: Listeners very far away. Not a single one of these songs has ever been played live onstage. The band has dates on hold for the fall, notes Schreifels, and fingers are crossed Quicksand will be out there performing very soon. They will likely be the most memorable shows of the band’s career.
Change The World, recorded at Ringo's Roccabella West, includes "Let's Change The World" (Joseph Williams/Steve Lukather) that delivers a welcome dose of hope and optimism, the reggae-infused "Just That Way" (Ringo Starr/Bruce Sugar,) the Country-esque "Coming Undone," Starr's first collaboration with Linda Perry who wrote and plays on the track (also with Trombone Shorty,) and Ringo rocks his version of "Rock Around The Clock" revved up by the unmistakable Joe Walsh on guitar.
Capitol Nashville’s Mickey Guyton will release her album, Remember Her Name, on September 24. Mickey co-penned 15 of the 16 songs on the album. Remember Her Name follows the release of her critically acclaimed Bridges EP which included “Black Like Me” for which she went on to receive a historic GRAMMY nomination. Her performance on the prestigious GRAMMY show was the first by a black female country artist and was touted by NPR as “the night’s most affecting live performance.”
Jaime – the first solo album from Brittany Howard – has been reimagined by an astonishing cross-section of the five-time GRAMMY winners’ peers. Featuring fresh takes and remixes from Bon Iver, Childish Gambino, Common, Michael Kiwanuka, Little Dragon & more - Jaime Reimagined illuminates these songs in a brilliant and new light. Jaime was awarded four stars by Rolling Stone, MOJO and Q, named the Best Album of 2019 by NPR and nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Alternative Music Album category.
Reflecting on the album, McCall shares, “This, to me, felt like what I’d been dreaming about for years…Black Powder Soul is the circle of life: you’re dropped off here, by the old ship of Zion, and everything in between is life itself, from good to bad. The things that clutter up the pure soul are all in here. We all have a black powder soul that can explode, but there is redemption in all of us too.”
Migos Culture III is the groundbreaking third installment finale of the blockbuster Culture trilogy. As a knockout climax, it spotlights their nimble ad-libs, bulletproof bars, head-spinning hooks, and irreplaceable chemistry. And it's stacked with A-list co-stars: Cardi B, Drake, Future, Justin Bieber, Polo G, Youngboy NBA and the late Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke to name a few. The streets, the internet, and the game have been begging for Culture III for three years, and now Migos have delivered.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, is a contemporary tribute to the Velvets debut, with each of the album’s songs performed by one of the band’s noteworthy artistic descendants. Featured artists include Kurt Vile & the Violators, Sharon Van Etten, Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, Michael Stipe, Matt Berninger of The National, Courtney Barnett, King Princess, Fontaines D.C. and more.
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing..... A seminal, incredibly influential hip-hop release, Endtroducing..... is simply one of the defining albums of the ‘90s. Now available as an Abbey Road Half-Speed Mastered Edition LP.
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing..... A seminal, incredibly influential hip-hop release, Endtroducing..... is simply one of the defining albums of the ‘90s. Now available on an exclusive 7” featuring simply one the greatest remixes of the era, Cut Chemist’s remix of “The Number Song” on Side A. Side B features a new track, exclusive to this release “Endtroducing: Drums, Drops & Scratches” created by DJ Shadow to celebrate the anniversary.
Carrie Underwood will be releasing a Special Edition of her Christmas album, My Gift, on September 24th. This new version will include all 11 tracks from the 2020 release as well as 3 new tracks, including “Favorite TimeOf Year,” “All Is Well,” and “Let There Be Peace/Something In The Water” that was performed on her HBO Max special, My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood.
On September 24, Raleigh-based, globally acclaimed band The Connells release Steadman’s Wake, their first new album in over 20 years. The Connells started recording music in the autumn of 1984, and since their debut album Dark Days, the band has gone on to amass worldwide acclaim for their melodic and introspective alternative rock sound. The band’s 5th studio album, 1993’s Ring (featuring their hit "'74–'75") reached top 10 status in 11 European countries, peaking at #1 in Norway and Sweden.
Vinyl: $21.98 Buy
The Midnight Miracle is a thought-provoking spoken word album that uniquely blends salon and storytelling traditions while providing a glimpse into the unique perspectives of Dave Chappelle, Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey, and their friends. The Midnight Miracle was recorded during Chappelle's legendary 2020 Summer Camp in Ohio and released in 2021. CD Digipak.
New York electronic experimentalist Nicky Mao's 4th full-length, Silvercoat the throng, emerged against the backdrop of lockdown, compelled by an intuitive directive: “resist the urge to fill the space.” Compositionally this translated as a simmering, shadowy energy, veiled but variable, traced in a composite of strings, synthetics, rhythm, and voice. The title alludes to a poetic notion of “possibility, rescued from darkness,” which aptly evokes the shape-shifting, devotional feel of these ambitious and elegant sound designs, crafted in defiance of impermanence, driven by the pursuit of becoming “more and more articulated, differentiated.”
Collaborations with travis from ONO, Speaker Music, and Muqata'a further expand the album's lyrical, liminal palette, meshing elements of experimental techno, spoken word, neo-classical, and industrial noise into a fluid, encrypted dialect all its own. Mao speaks of creative strategies of solidification and reification, encounter and transformation, pure being and punctuation – a multitude of sparks, fuses, and forking paths leading across fresh thresholds and twilit terrain. Taken as a whole, Silvercoat captures Hiro Kone at the peak of their powers, alchemizing disruption and decomposition into regenerative interior worlds: “Within the darkness and absence is an opportunity for discovery.”
Hayden Pedigo is an acoustic guitarist and soundscape composer from Amarillo, Texas. Hayden's music combines the American primitive guitar picking styles of John Fahey with a proclivity for experimental sound design and manipulation. By his early 20s, Hayden had collaborated with luminaries such as Charles Hayward of This Heat, Fred Frith, Werner Diermaier of Faust, and outlaw country legend, Terry Allen. His latest LP and debut on Mexican Summer, 'Letting Go,' will be released this fall.
Since their emergence in 2014, Badflower has notched 3 #1’s off their critically-acclaimed debut album, OK, I’M SICK, scored the iHeart Rock Song of 2020 with “Ghost,” and went Top 5 with their hit “30.” Wielding their signature energy, the music taps into a gritty and grungy gutter rock spirit complemented by jarring theatrical delivery and unshakable riffing. The band’s latest single “F*ck The World” is Top 10 and climbing. This Is How The World Ends marks Badflower’s long-awaited sophomore album.
US version: 1 CD, 1 Photobook, 1 Lyric Paper, 2 Photo Cards, 2 Polaroids, 1 Sticker, 1 Standing Card, 1 Special Card Set, 1 Poster, 1 Photocard Set (US only). All sales count towards Soundscan and the US Billboard Charts, as well as the Korean Hanteo and Gaon charts.
The Milk Carton Kids are set to release a special 10th Anniversary box set reissue of their critically acclaimed debut album Prologue, out September 24 on Milk Carton Kids Records.
The three-LP box set includes the remastered original album alongside a selection of early demos and live performances, as well as a disc that traces the evolution of “Michigan” and “New York,” two of the group’s most popular songs. The box set also comes with redesigned artwork and metallic ink on a clamshell box, plus a 32-page booklet featuring archival photos and a retrospective essay by author Kim Reuhl.
On September 24, Mac McCaughan will release The Sound of Yourself, his second full-length under his own name.
Throughout his musical career fronting Superchunk and Portastatic, Mac McCaughan has channeled more than his share of angst and tumult into a microphone, resulting in straight-up undeniable rock anthems. So how can a voice so familiar to others still seem foreign to its owner? On The Sound of Yourself, he explores that question fully, shooting his voice through a prism and refracting it across these songs in new and rewarding ways. In January 2021, McCaughan found himself at his home studio in Chapel Hill staring down a clean slate after wrapping up a film score and several other music projects. This setting—a distant light at the end of a figurative tunnel, and a literal room full of instruments—was integral to The Sound of Yourself. His thought process was simple: “Each day is blurring into the next, so what are we doing today? How can I disrupt this? I think what resulted was a theme of subdued... ‘joy’ is the wrong word, but it’s at least comforting if not propulsive to have something open-ended to work on every day without any kind of structure or deadline or rules.”
While the pop-oriented tracks hint at sounds first explored on his 2015 album Non-Believers, McCaughan’s recent scoring work and frequent excursions down the rabbit hole of synthesizers and sequencers (see: the Moogfest-commissioned POMS and his ambient project with Mary Lattimore) add a particularly crystalline spaciness akin to The Durutti Column and Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. Also similar to the making of the Berlin trilogy, McCaughan sought out vital contributions from a slew of accomplished musicians: Yo La Tengo, Mackenzie Scott (TORRES), Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats, Bob Mould Band), Annie Hayden (Spent) & Michael Benjamin Lerner (Telekinesis), just to name a few.
Ashley Shadow winks at darkness, but she won’t lead you towards it. It’s easy to fall under the spell of Ashley’s haunting voice. The Vancouver, B.C. based songwriter forged her own identity as a songwriter with 2016’s eponymous self-titled debut. Her sophomore effort, Only the End, maintains the moody introspection that is ingrained in Pacific Northwest life, but now comes armed with a palpable hope complementing her signature melancholy.
Ashley explains, “I wanted to make a more upbeat album, something you could play with some friends over. Some of the songs I wrote were initially bummers, but when we went to record them, we lightened them up.”
Balancing a couple of jobs and navigating life and love increasingly unstable times, the album was written over two years by Ashley at her apartment. Her confident vibrato above lightly, distorted guitars mirrors the album’s theme of resilience, if not triumph, over adversity. There is comfort in these warm songs that endorse the realism of contented acceptance, rather than the naïve search for non-existent utopias. While the songs were conceived in contemplative solitude, Ashley invited some very capable collaborators for their journey into the studio.
Ashley’s first album saw her take center stage after more than a decade of gracing friends’ projects in a supporting role. The move to the front was a cautious one. “First record was, can Ido a solo album? This time, I know what I’m doing. It’s way more clear.”
"Don’t Slow Me Down" reunites Ashley with Bonnie “Prince” Billy for the first time on record when she sang vocals on Bonnie's Lie Down In Light album in 2018. The album also includes contributions from Paul Rigby (Neko Case), Colin Cowan (Elastic Stars), Joshua Wells (Black Mountain, Lightning Dust) and Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear). It’s clear to anyone listening. It’s Only the End. If only all endings were so glorious
one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden is the name of the second album by Canadian songwriter Alexandra Levy, publicly known by the moniker Ada Lea. On one hand..., it’s a collection of walking-paced, cathartic pop/folk songs, on the other it’s a book of heart-twisting, rear-view stories of city life. Ada Lea has followed up the creative, indie-rock songcraft of her debut what we say in private with surprising arrangements and new perspectives. The album is set in Montreal and each song exists as a dot on a personal history map of the city where Levy grew up.
Many of the songs on one hand came together with a blend of studio tracks and elements from the pre-recorded demos. The resulting sounds range from classic, soft-rock beauty to intimate finger-picked folk passages and night-drive art-pop. And the textures are frequently surprising due to the collage of lo-fi and hi-fi sounds that tastefully decorate the album without ever clouding the heart-center of the song. In their subtle, sonic variety, all of the album’s songs flow together with ease into one big, romantic dream for Levy’s silken vocals to float above.
Inspired by personal experience, daydreams, and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, the lyrics of one hand... center storytelling on a bigger scale. The experience and emotions of a year are communicated through Levy’s vignettes of city life. These collected stories as a whole chart the unavoidable growth that comes with experience. “All is forgiven in time. All is forgotten in time. And when the music stopped, I heard an answer” (from “my love 4 u is real”).
Whether to consider these songs fiction or memoir remains unknown. On one hand, Levy says “Why would I try to write a story that’s not my own? What good would that do?” but on the other hand, she is quick to note the ways that language fails to describe reality, and how difficult this makes it to tell an actually true story. The poetic misuse of the word “sewing” in the album’s title serves as a nod to the limitations words provide. What does it mean to sew the garden? And how can we appreciate its carefully knit blooms when the rearview mirror is so full of car exhaust?
Caleb Landry Jones is a continual creator. The Texan-born star found fame as an actor - you’ll recognise him from key roles in X-Men: First Class,Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, amongst others - but music is perhaps his first love, and his source of greatest comfort. A chance encounter with famed auteur Jim Jarmusch brought him into the orbit of Sacred Bones, and the stalwart independent released Caleb’s 2020 debut album The Mother Stone. Psychedelic in a defiantly non-retro way, this indulgent, freewheeling trip won critical acclaim, but masked a secret - he’d already finished another album.
Filming alongside Tom Hanks in dystopian themed Finch, Caleb found himself writing during those long evenings after the shoot in locations across New Mexico, idling away his hours by focusing on creativity. “I need it,” he says, “I’ve tried working without it. On one acting job, I intentionally didn’t bring a guitar to try and do it without music... but that didn’t last long. I need to create something - it could be a drawing, it could be a song - because otherwise I feel like I’m wasting time. Which is something I do plenty of on my own!” With his creative faculties burning, Caleb knew he had to get straight back into the studio when filming stopped. Linking with the same cast who formed The Mother Stone, he resumed his partnership with producer Nic Jodoin, based out of the elegant Valentine Recording Studio in Los Angeles. A studio steeped in history - everyone from Bing Crosby to Frank Zappa worked there - he interrupted mixing sessions for his own debut album in order to focus on something different.
Gadzooks Vol.1is unlike anything you’ve heard before - comparisons range from Skip Spence’s fractured masterpiece Oar through to skewed troubadour Robyn Hitchcock, viaJohn Lennon’s black moods on The White Album and Frank Zappa’s caustic surrealism. Recording to tape, Caleb would hack away at each take, re-assembling the songs like Escher diagrams. “It’s like when you’re swimming in the pool,” he smiles, “and you’re doing a bit of butterfly, and then that gets old after a while. So then you start doing breaststroke, and then that gets old after a while. I think it’s just a reaction from the place where we were before.”
Part of a flood-tide of creativity - as its title suggests, a second half to this album is already on the horizon - Gadzooks Vol.1 is thrilling, shocking, and wonderfully entertaining. Each song starts and finishes in entirely unique places, often totally divorced from each other. “I’m trying to write something very simple,” he says, “And it gets really abstract because I don’t know any other way.”
One of the top emerging artists across all genres of music, Billy Strings has made his most ambitious album to date with Renewal, a 16-song collection that effortlessly positions him as a singular talent—one who reveres the history of the acoustic music that inspired him, while pushing it forward into new spaces and audiences through his incredible live shows.
Serving as a reflection of Strings’ diverse musical influences, Renewal reaches well beyond bluegrass with elements of heavy metal, jam bands, psychedelic music and classic rock—even though it’s still primarily an acoustic record. The album follows his Grammy Award-winning project, Home, as well as industry recognition ranging from Pollstar’s Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
“I’ve learned, you’ve just got to let the song do its thing,” shares Strings. “So that’s what I try to do—write songs and let them come out however they do.”
Looking for this album on VINYL? Check back here on 8/5 for a big announcement!
Cake Pop is a band helmed by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs and made up of a group of friends and collaborators from St. Louis, Missouri. Cake Pop is Dylan Brady, Aaron Cartier, Ravenna Golden, Lewis Grant, Pritty, Robel Ketema, Kevin Bedford, and Adam Newcomer.
Recorded in the San Fernando Valley just a stones throw away from the infamous Van Nuys Blvd. cruising scene, it’s no wonder from the debut long player from The Rugged Nuggets hits hard and demands to be turned up loud with the windows rolled down. Delivering west-coast cool at it’s finest. With swooning strings, breezy guitars and tough as nails drums, Odds & Ends epitomizes a mellow vibe, but is undeniably cool.
The BLUE STINGRAYS’ story starts in ‘59...the band formed that summer and created a new sound. that sound was surf music. Like those who roamed the globe for the perfect wave, The BLUE STINGRAYS’ nailed the perfect sound when their twang rang ‘round the world. A singular devotion to surf guitar music became a way of life for them and they considered it to be the only artform profound enough to truly express the passion in man’s soul.
The facts in 2021 :
Upon its original release, the members of Blue Stingrays were touted as iconic yet anonymous surf rock pioneers. Now, after decades of whispers and speculation, the identities of these mysterious musicians have been officially confirmed as guitarist Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers/Fleetwood Mac/The Dirty Knobs), bassist Ron Blair (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) and drummer Randall Marsh (Mudcrutch).
Esperanza Spalding's new album SONGWRIGHTS APOTHECARY LAB explores how songwriters may incorporate knowledge in consultation with practitioners of music therapy, neuroscience, and more to create music that can have a specific effect on the listener. These 12 new songs were created and recorded with different musicians in her traveling lab over the past several months and follow her GRAMMY Award-winning album from 2019, 12 Little Spells.
The reigning UK Queen of blues rock guitar, Joanne Shaw Taylor is releasing her newest record The Blues Album, produced by blues rock icons Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith. The Blues Album finds Joanne energetically reinterpreting hidden gems from the genre's best such as; Albert King, Otis Rush and Little Milton. After being sidelined for over a year, Joanne felt this was the best time to release an album of blues covers and she brought her best vocals and guitar playing to the table.
LOOK AT YOURSELF is the third studio album by British rock band URIAH HEEP, released in September 1971 by Bronze Records in the UK and Mercury Records in the US. Characterized as heavy metal and progressive rock, the album came to be viewed as a high point in the band’s career, and is today regarded by many fans and critics as URIAH HEEP’s finest album along with Demons and Wizards, released the following year.
WELCOME TO HELL is the debut studio album by English metal band VENOM. It was released in December 1981, through Neat Records, at the culmination of the New Wave of British Heavy
Metal movement. The music of WELCOME TO HELL is often described as speed metal, but it had a great influence on the then-emerging thrash metal style, and crystallized the elements of what later became known as death metal and black metal and has been a huge influence on extreme metal as a whole, the band being the pioneers of the genre. This 40th anniversary, limited edition splatter vinyl version comes in an embossed sleeve, with a reproduction
of the original lyric bag and poster..
With his Elektric Band in full swing in the 80s, Chick created its perfect complement: the Akoustic Band. With Elektric Band veterans John Patitucci on upright bass and Dave Weckl on drums, the group carved a totally new path in the world of the piano trio: the kinetic interplay of all three members, honed on high-velocity Corea originals. As a follow up to the Akoustic Band's Standards & More (1989) and Alive (2007), this third album was recorded live during the band's 2018 tour. 2 CD Digi-Pak.
Join Thievery Corporation co-founder Eric Hilton on a blunted journey through space with his new album, Ceremony - 13 tracks of emotive interstellar psychedelia. Cosmic events include the first 2 singles "Who Are You?" and "Forming Star," and the star-dying closer "Fade Into Forever." Out August 20th on Montserrat House Music.
In the wake of Bitch Magnet and current of Superchunk, Sooyoung Park and Mac McCaughan formed a raw version of Seam in the summer of ’91. With bassist Lexi Mitchell, the trio banged out an album and two singles worth of shambolic dream pop in the sweltering Chapel Hill heat. Ten songs of talk-whispered vocals, sloshing guitar solos, scattered snare rolls, Velocity Girl’s Sarah Shannon, and the original version of Codeine’s slowcore classic “New Year’s,” on LP for the first time in 30 years.
2021 release. Look Out! Is the triumphant sixth album return of jazz supergroup The Cookers. Recorded at the iconic Van Gelder studio in Englewood Cliffs and cut using a Van Gelder-era '67 Haeco Sculley lathe at Gearbox Records, the 7-track release comprises original, fresh pieces written by Cecil McBee, Billy Harper, and George Cables which channel the heady, aggressive post-bop era of the mid-60s.
Every trip needs a guide. Through the trumpet, Theo Croker narrates a human story rooted in intimate experience, yet cognizant of cosmic consciousness. The GRAMMY®Award-nominated artist, producer, composer, thought leader, influencer, and tastemaker unpacks moments of heroism, trials, tribulations, awakenings, and apotheosis within a musical pastiche brought to life by a myriad of fellow cultural renegades and threaded together by his playing.
This journey unfolds in technicolor on his sixth full-length offering, BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST.
“This record was composed like a film score,” Croker explains. “I want the listener to feel like they are in the movie.” The narrative is an affirmation of the hero’s creative identity. A reclamation of the culture, for the culture. “Our hero receives a transmission (sent from his ancestors while in meditation) that sets him on a mission to raise the planet's vibrations through music that defies the confines of a ‘genre’ and frees the culture from the imminent threat of commercial gentrification. BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST is meant to be a deeply impactful, personal experience for the listener. One that you can also dance to - it is Black music after all.”
Joining Croker on the new 13-track project are Ari Lennox, Charlotte Dos Santos, Gary Bartz, Iman Omari, Kassa Overall, Malaya, and Wyclef Jean.
Croker introduces the album with the first single “State Of The Union 444 || BLK2THEFUTURE” [feat. Wyclef Jean] in which legendary Fugees co-founder admits, “This might be my last rap on the planet…I don’t know what I’m going to say after this.” This is followed by the tracks “Hero Stomp || A Future Past,” “Happy Feet (for dancers)” featuring Malaya, where Croker delivers a shuffling anthem meant to “capture the essence of the Detroit dance scene and give dancers everywhere something to move to,” and “Every Part of Me” which features Ari Lennox and was specifically written with her in mind. “I wanted to feature different voices as narrations to all of the different movements and colors I was presenting instrumentally,” Croker explains, “lyrically, she’s asking why she can’t simply be who she is as a divine feminine being.”
In the end, Theo isn’t just our guide on BLK2LIFE — he’s also the story’s hero.
“I’m reborn in 2021,” Croker says. “I allowed the stillness to catch up to me. Instead of putting it aside, I really saw who I was as a human being, how I receive and treat people, and how I understand the world and how it understands me. I fully believe in myself as an artist, as a creator, as a friend, as a family member, and as a human being. I am who I am—and I like it. This music is me.”