Rock & Pop
A Place to Bury Strangers defund post-punk orthodoxy with the most audacious and varied songwriting of their career on their sixth album, See Through You' out February 4, 2022, on Oliver Ackermann's label, Dedstrange.
Following up on 2021"s highly acclaimed Hologram EP, the rebooted lineup' vocalist/guitarist Oliver Ackermann plus drummer/vocalist Sandra Fedowitz and bassist John Fedowitz (both of Ceremony East Coast)' delivers an overclocked set of futuristic electronic punk music encoded with punishing industrial rhythms, swirling voltage-starved guitars and unclassifiable auditory annihilation.
Across thirteen tracks recorded in seclusion throughout the nihilistic absurdity of the coronavirus pandemic, See Through You is proof-positive that the group hailed as 'The Loudest Band in New York' is still finding new ways to push the needle deeper in the red.
Jenny Hval is an Oslo-based musician, composer and writer. Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval'spolyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. She has released several solo albums and novels, including 2018's Paradise Rotand 2020's Girls Against God, both published via Verso Books.
The Nonesuch debut of Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra),LIFE ON EARTH, out February 18, 2022, is a departure for the Bronx-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter. Its eleven new “nature punk” tracks on the theme of survival are music for a world in flux—songs about thriving, not just surviving, while disaster is happening.For her eighth full-length album, Segarra (they/she) drew inspiration from The Clash, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Bad Bunny, and the author ofEmergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown. Recorded during the pandemic, Life on Earth was produced by Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby).
Vinyl: $184.94 Buy
Carole King's Tapestry is the rare record that plays in your head the moment it's title, cover art, or songs are mentioned. Ranked the 36th Greatest Album of All Time by Rolling Stone, it is the singersongwriter LP you'd bring to the proverbial desert island if you were limited to one choice. Indeed, one reason Tapestry endures-apart from the flawless songwriting, earnest deliveries, and eloquent performances-owes to the naturalness of the production and songs. King's articulations on love, conviction, friendship, place, sadness, and companionship ring true because there's no doubting their meaning, intent, or sincerity. Tapestry makes you feel. It compels you to get closer to the music and the musicians performing.
Commemorating the record's 50th anniversary, mastered from the original master tapes, cut at 45RPM, pressed on MoFi SuperVinyl at RTI, and limited to 10,000 copies, Mobile Fidelity's UD1S box set remains faithful to original album producer Lou Adler's vision of making King (and not just any pianist player) appear seated and playing just for you. The wider grooves allow more information to reach your ears, and MoFi SuperVinyl means the noise floor is as absolutely low as possible. The results mirror what went down in A&M Studios: Lean, simple, direct, and so nakedly real the sonics evoke what might be heard on a professional demo tape.
There's only one Tapestry, and this collectible version weaves together all it's elements in incomparable fashion.Feel the Earth Move: Mobile Fidelity UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP Box Set Is the Consummate Version of Tapestry and Puts Carole King in the Room. Ranked the 36th Greatest Album of All Time by Rolling Stone: Includes 'You've Got a Friend,' '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,' and 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?'
In the wake of his time leading The Healers, Marr’s solo career has given rise to three UK Top Ten albums - The Messenger (2013), Playland (2014) and 2018’s Call The Comet. He now returns with his most expansive work to date, Fever Dreams Pts 1-4. It was created during the long, uncertain period that followed the arrival of the UK’s first lockdown, when his focus was pushed into both his interior life, and evoking the emotional states of others. “It’s an inspired record, and I couldn’t wait to get in and record every day,” he says. “But I had to go inwards.”
The new album reflects his multi-faceted past, but takes his music somewhere startlingly new. “There’s a set of influences and a very broad sound that I’ve been developing - really since getting out of The Smiths,” he says. “And I hear it in this record. There are so many strands of music in it. I think it’s the most ambitious solo record I’ve done.”
Single LP on green & yellow color vinyl in same packaging as standard version. Full album download included. Ltd edition. Indie only.
Like every record Superchunk has made over the last thirty-some years, Wild Loneliness is unskippably excellent and infectious. It’s a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric and acoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all. On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick Me Up, Here’s to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) anger of What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what we’ve lost in these harrowing times and more about what we have to be thankful for. (I know something about gratitude. I’ve been a huge Superchunk fan since the 1990s, around the same time I first found my way to poetry, so the fact that I’m writing these words feels like a minor miracle.)
On Wild Loneliness, it feels like the band is refocusing on possibility, and possibility is built into the songs themselves, in the sweet surprises tucked inside them. I say all the time that what makes a good poem—the “secret ingredient”—is surprise. Perhaps the same is true of songs. Like when the sax comes in on the title track, played by Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, adding a completely new texture to the song. Or when Owen Pallett’s strings come in on “This Night.” But my favorite surprise on Wild Loneliness is when the harmonies of Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub kick in on “Endless Summer.” It’s as perfect a pop song as you’ll ever hear—sweet, bright, flat-out gorgeous—and yet it grapples with the depressing reality of climate change: “Is this the year the leaves don’t lose their color / and hummingbirds, they don’t come back to hover / I don’t mean to be a giant bummer but / I’m not ready / for an endless summer, no / I’m not ready for an endless summer.” I love how the music acts as a kind of counterweight to the lyrics.
Because of COVID, Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon each recorded separately, but a silver lining is that this method made other long-distance contributions possible, from R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Sharon Van Etten, Franklin Bruno, and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, among others. Some of the songs for the record were written before the pandemic hit, but others, like “Wild Loneliness,” were written from and about isolation.
I’ve been thinking of songs as memory machines. Every time we play a record, we remember when we heard it before, and where we were, and who we were. Music crystallizes memories so well: listening to “Detroit Has a Skyline,” suddenly I’m shoutsinging along with it at a show in Detroit twenty years ago; listening to “Overflows,” I’m transported back to whisper-singing a slowed-down version of it to my young son, that year it was his most-requested lullaby.
Wild Loneliness is becoming part of my life, part of my memories, too. And it will be part of yours. I can picture people in 20, 50, or 100 years listening to this record and marveling at what these artists created together—beauty, possibility, surprise—during this alarming (and alarmingly isolated) time. But why wait? Let’s marvel now.
WHO CARES? is the eagerly anticipated new album from Rex Orange County. This new album was announced and launched with the single, and video, “KEEP IT UP.”
WHO CARES? was made in close partnership with musician Benny Sings, over the course of a few sessions in Sings’ Amsterdam studio. After spending the bulk of 2020 quarantined back home in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rex made the trek to Amsterdam that fall to record with Sings. What started as sessions without expectations turned into an incredibly productive 48-hour window of recording with Benny, prompting a follow-up trip to Amsterdam. The subsequent 10 days of work together produced his fourth album, made in close partnership with Benny, that is a playful record by an artist in a playful mood. The album also finds Rex reunited with Tyler, The Creator, who contributes a verse to "OPEN A WINDOW," which marks the first time the two have collaborated since Tyler's 2017 album Flower Boy.
WHO CARES? is Rex’s first studio album since 2019’s critically acclaimed album, PONY.
Coming February 11th: Spoon's tenth album, Lucifer on the Sofa, is alive, vital and inarguably the band's heaviest work to date. The first set of songs that the quintet has put to tape in its hometown, Austin, in more than a decade. Written and recorded over the last two years ' both in and out of shutdown ' these songs feel like a culmination of Spoon's career while marking a shift toward something louder, wilder, and more vivid.
The Mercury Prize-winning, multiple GRAMMY- and BRIT Award-nominated band alt-J have announced their eagerly-awaited fourth album The Dream, set for release February 11, 2022. The Dream is an album of intrigue, beauty and humanity - a coalescence of everything that has made alt-J a global band with true staying power. True-crime inspired stories and tales of Hollywood and the Chateau Marmont rub shoulders with some of the band’s most personal moments to-date The album was created after a period of rest for the band following their seismic world tour in support of previous record RELAXER. It is a record that is the sound of a band growing as songwriters and storytellers.
On their EP entitled perfect, MANNEQUIN PUSSY’s new songs burst forth from the sprawling months of social isolation & internet-fueled anxiety. The band rages about the practice of condensing your daily life into a manicured stream of images for social media. What happens to the social impulse when everyone you love or even like is leveled into a set of pixels. “It was a really weird psychological experience, being bombarded by images of other people constantly when you are not around a lot of other people,” vocalist Missy Dabice says.
After spending most of the year 2020 apart from each other and everyone else, the members of MANNEQUIN PUSSY decided to book studio time and work together in person again. What came out of that compressed session time were some of MANNEQUIN PUSSY’s most furious, incandescent songs yet. The Philadelphia based band teams up yet again with producer Will Yip to satiate fans with perfect, the EP follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2019 Epitaph debut Patience (Pitchfork Best New Music, sold out US tour, and “one of the best rock releases of 2019” according to Paste Magazine). “We just figured if we forced ourselves into this situation where someone could hit ‘record,’ something might come out,” Dabice says. “We’d never written that way before.”