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Jessica Pratt is not a loud performer. She does not have to be. In a club of a few hundred, even the bar staff are known to go quiet while she's on stage. Her third album, Quiet Signs, feels like a distillation of this power. The album leads off with "Opening Night," a nod to Gena Rowlands' harrowing, brilliant performance in the John Cassavetes film of the same name. It’s also an emblem of where this spare, mysterious collection of songs falls in the course of Pratt’s career.
"On some level I considered an audience while making the last record (2015's On Your Own Love Again)," she writes, "But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind."
After a collection of demos and early studio recordings (Jessica Pratt, Birth Records, 2012) earned her a small, dedicated audience, Pratt moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and recorded her first intentional album in her bedroom in a matter of months. That album, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015), would bring her around the world many times, leading many to fall under the spell of Jessica Pratt the performer, the songwriter, the singer with the heavy-lidded voice that feels alien and familiar at the same time.
Her first album fully recorded in a professional studio setting, Quiet Signs finds Pratt's songwriting and accompanying guitar work refined -- more distinct and direct. Songs like "Fare Thee Well" and "Poly Blue" retain glimmers of OYOLA's hazy day afternoon spells, yet delicate flute, strings sustained by organ arrangements, and rehearsal room piano now gesture towards the lush chamber pop and longing of The Left Banke. On the album’s first single, "This Time Around," Pratt hits on a profound, late-night clarity over just a couple of deep chords, evoking Caetano Veloso's casual seaside brilliance. And before the curtain drops on Quiet Signs, Pratt provides a show-stopping closer, "Aeroplane."
In the world of Quiet Signs, the black of night usually represents fear, despair, resignation; finally at home descending towards the illuminated city, she sings over black leather drone and tambourine shuffle with a newfound resolve. Quiet Signs is the journey of an artist emerging from the darkened wings, growing comfortable as a solitary figure on a sprawling stage.
The album was written in Los Angeles and recorded at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn, NY over 2017 and 2018. It was co-produced by Al Carlson. He plays flute, organ and piano on some songs. Matt McDermott also played piano and string synthesizer. It will be released on Mexican Summer on February 8, 2019.
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Steve Earle was nineteen and had just hitchhiked from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. Back then if you wanted to be where the best songwriters were you had to be in there. Guy Clark had moved to Nashville and if you were from Texas, Guy Clark was king.
Flash forward more than forty years. In the fall of 2018, Steve and The Dukes went into House Of Blues studio in Nashville and recorded GUY in six days. 'I wanted it to sound live...When you've got a catalog like Guy's and you're only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.'
Earle and his current, perhaps best-ever Dukes lineup, take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. But in the end GUY leads the listener back to its beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good 'tribute' should do. GUY is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. We are lucky that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, GUY is a diamond.
James Blake has long been a hip-hop ally. Not only has his own discography cemented him as a critically acclaimed artist, the multiple Grammy award-nominee and Mercury Prize winner has worked with artists from the likes of Drake, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and more. 2018 was a massive year for the producer, singer and song-writer who collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the era-defining Black Panther soundtrack and lent his vocals to Travis Scott's "Stop Trying To Be God."
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Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert captured performances from the historic event at The Theatre At Madison Square Garden, honoring the songs of one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. The concert film/audio recordings feature 20 performances of Beatles and solo classics by Aloe Blacc, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Brandon Flowers, John Fogerty, Peter Frampton, Juanes, Kris Kristofferson, Pat Monahan, Tom Morello, Willie Nelson, The Roots, Spoon + Chris Stapleton.
After rising to fame two years ago in 2016 with her explosive debut 1 Million selling single 'No Roots' (Mom + Pop), written about her constant moving homes as a child becoming such as huge debut, its safe to say its been a whirl wind for Alice Merton with 124 Million YouTube hits to date. She also gained 6+ Million streams, toured the US supporting the brilliant Vance Joy, championed by Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine with Performances on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonights Show and James Corden's Late Late Show, Live With Kelly and Ryan, and even a recent 2018 Teen Choice Awards Nomination in 'Best Rock' category. Merton's debut album, Mint, will be released on January 18th and featured "No Roots", "Lash Out" and her newest single "Why So Serious".
Guster's latest studio album Look Alive was produced by English musician, composer, and producer Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Brian Eno/David Byrne, Belle and Sebastian, Chromatics). The forthcoming LP maintains the band’s unique charm while charting new sonic and lyric pathways. It will be available on CD, vinyl, and digitally.
One of Los Angeles punk rock’s most widely admired yet little-heard bands makes a striking return to records on Jan. 18, as Yep Roc Records issues an all-new collection by The Flesh Eaters, I Used to Be Pretty. On the release, founding vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins — better known as Chris D. — is backed by the legendary “all-star” edition of the band, originally heard on the 1981 set A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die: Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of the Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of the Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos). The album was produced collectively by the band members.
Almost Free, the new release from FIDLAR touches on many of the tragedies and irritations of modern life: existential dread, gentrification, the inescapable sway of the super-rich and the self-involved, post-breakup telecommunication, performative wokeness, the loneliness of sobriety or the lack thereof. But through sheer force of imagination and an unchecked joie de vivre, the L.A.-based band manages to turn feeling wrong into something glorious and essential. In the age of joyless self-care, Almost Free makes a brilliant case for being less careful, for living without fear of fucking up, and possibly embracing any incurred damage as a lucky symptom of being alive. The album sees the band pushing boundaries into new territory and influences while staying true to their unshakable core. "A lot of the vibe was, 'Well, why can't we do that? Why can't we have horns? Why can't we have key changes? Why can't we have a harmonica loop?', said lead singer/guitarist Zac Carper. It was abouttaking the ceiling off. Having it be limitless. Ain't no rules." Elvis added "Almost Free feels like a step forward for us in a lot of ways. We tried to be true to ourselves and let the music come out naturally, without fear of how people would receive it.
Acclaimed New Zealand singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Graeme James has built a large and loyal fan base throughout his home country with his captivating live shows and unique folk style, performing with the aid of a loop pedal to layer electric violin, guitar, bass, baritone ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and beatboxing in his one-man-band sound.
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Active since 1984, Blind Guardian is one of the most influential & revered bands in the metal genre. Nuclear Blast is excited to release 3 of the band’s classic albums on vinyl, remixed and remastered as well as bonus content.
2LP w/ DL, bonus EP with 4 traditional covers, blue vinyl, insert
Anchored by poignant songwriting and their intimate live shows, Mandolin Orange (Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz) has quietly and confidently found their audience. On February 1, they will release a new album, Tides of a Teardrop, through Yep Roc Records. Thematically this album is a release for Andrew Marlin, the group's songwriter. He lost his mother at a younger age, and although that has impacted his writing in the past, this collection of songs is thematically about letting go and finding peace. Marlin and Frantz were joined by their touring band and for the first time, took more than a few quick days between tour, to record the album. That level of comfort shines through in the band's most accomplished set of songs to date.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music & their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, Freddie became one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band with their iconic songs and revolutionary sound through to Live Aid, becoming of the greatest performances in the history of rock music.
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Ltd Edition Banana Scented Scratch & Sniff Sleeve, Yellow Vinyl.
The Lemonheads follow up the critically acclaimed Varshons from nearly ten years ago with another eclectic collection of covers. Produced by director Matthew Cullen and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Beastie Boys, Nirvana, The Ramones), their tenth studio album brims with the slowly-matured vocal of Evan Dando as he lures a host of personal faves to his melodic lair. He really has become one of the great expressive singers of our time.
Single LP on black vinyl with euro sleeve. Includes coupon for full download
The cliché that circulated after the 2016 election foretold a new artistic golden age: Artists would transform their anger and anxiety into era-defining works of dissent in the face of authoritarianism.
Yet Bob Mould calls his new album Sunshine Rock.
It’s not because Mould—whose face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of alternative music—likes the current administration. His decision to “write to the sunshine,” as he describes it, comes from a more personal place—a place found in Berlin, Germany, where he’s spent the majority of the last three years. Here Mould would draw inspiration from the new environments.
Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security, and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless? If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Where have all the guitar rockstars gone?,” we have an answer: they are sleeping in the back of an old Citroën in a London alleyway awaiting the release of their hard-earned masterpiece.
Listening to The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness, you frequently feel the white-knuckle monomania of Yak’s mission. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade records, whose sheer sense of belief and commitment pulsates through every nanosecond of boundary-breaking sound – like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis.
Guitar music is alive and well on The Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, and with Yak on the scene, we expect it’s not going anywhere.
On their latest album "On the Train Ride Home", The Paper Kites muse on late night longings both romantic and heartbreaking, but all filled with hope. The mostly acoustic collection is anchored by singer Sam Bentley's croons for the escapists, the street wanderers, the lovers, and the lonely. "On The Train Ride Home" is the first part of a two-part release, with the second album "On The Corner Where You Live" to be released this fall.
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, J.S.Ondara fell in love with Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis Minnesota when he was 20 to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter.He notes other musical influences as Neil Young, Noah Gundersen, Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne. His debut album, Tales of America, is an examination of the American Dream from an outsider's perspective; an introspection on a universal matter.
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Piroshka is the latest project of Miki Berenyi, frontwoman of British shoegazers Lush. It is also a UK alt-rock supergroup with Moose’s KJ McKillop and Modern English’s Mick Conroy and Elastica’s Justin Welch.
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Hello. I'm Robert Ellis, The Texas Piano Man. I wanted to take a moment to say a few words about this record and what you might expect from it. Texas Piano Man is a collection of songs specifically written for my piano driven Rock & Roll band from the great state of Texas. Myself and the guys bring these songs to you in the very spirit of Texas itself; loudly, confidently, over the top, larger than life, at times deadly serious and yet always with a wink and a smile. We invite you to come on in, stay a while, and when you leave take with you the spirit of these songs, the spirit of Texas, and the spirit of The Texas Piano Man himself. Adios!
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Double LP on light pink vinyl Gatefold jacket Standard weight Includes digital download Artwork painted by Hisaki Yasuda
South Of Reality, The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s epic sophomore album might be just the antidote this sick world needs. Music so potent it could repel an asteroid impact from space, these seasoned warriors of psychedelia have crafted timeless songs that may as well be chiseled in stone. The monolithic dream team’s new record was produced by Les Claypool and Sean Lennon themselves, and engineered and mixed by Les Claypool at his own Rancho Relaxo studio in Sonoma County, California.
As for the album, for L+M, Canterbury Girls refers to a real place they know, in Broad Ripple, IN - and for them, as Madeleine explains," it’s the first place of adolescent freedom, the first place of blossoming girlhood - and a place to imagine the future a girl wants,” But the opposite is also at play; when youthful dreams are lost and the kind of emotional baggage that women have to carry, more often than not, becomes their burden. Burdens of disgust, of pain, unwanted attention, and trauma - the double standard, the disappointments, the disrespect, the fury, the helplessness, and the resignation. Sharing the angst bundled baggage and taking refuge in sharing and realizing you aren’t alone… that’s when healing begins. It’s the story of many, and the story of Canterbury Girls everywhere.
Each song on Bayonne's Drastic Measures is orchestral in texture, unfolding in countless layers and kaleidoscopic tones. With great intensity of detail, the Austin-based artist otherwise known as Roger Sellers deepens that sonic complexity by weaving in elegantly warped samples of the field recordings he's gathered for over a decade. But in its powerful melodies and pristine arrangements, Drastic Measures ultimately bears a pure pop lucidity even in its most grandiose moments. Throughout the album, Sellers matches his bursts of experimentation with the graceful piano playing he's honed since he was a little kid. By his early 20s he'd discovered minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Terry Reilly, which led him to infuse an atmospheric, ethereal quality into much of his work. With the release of Primitives in spring 2016, Sellers adopted the moniker of Bayonne as a way to distinguish his more electronically crafted output from his other musical projects. I'd been playing a lot of shows with a very folk-based set, so using a different name was a way to separate those two personalities, he explains. In bringing Drastic Measures to life, Sellers merged his increasingly classic-pop-inspired sensibilities with a production approach closely focused on looping, layering, and overdubbing. Even if you hear something simple like clapping or finger snaps, it's probably layered 10 or 20 times, he says. I just like to stack and layer everything to get these big sounds, and create a really wide sonic space within the songs.
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La Dispute is five close friends from the Upper Midwest with a firm passion for the concept of music and art as a medium for making new friends. As a result, La Dispute makes (or strives to make) music that is both artistically, technically, and emotionally engaging in hopes of establishing legitimate connections with any and all interested people, while encouraging dialogue between those people and themselves about things in life that truly matter and that truly last. La Dispute also carries a firm passion for the relevance of a live show, both for the bands involved and for the people in attendance, and will go to the grave believing that the environment created when strangers come together despite their differences to celebrate one important thing is invaluable and should not under any circumstances be taken for granted.
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Single LP on magenta & blue swirl vinyl in same packaging as standard LP. Includes coupon for full download. Indie Only. Limited Edition
When Ex Hex exploded onto the scene with their unfettered brand of rock and riffage, the power trio for our generation had finally arrived. Made up of Mary Timony (guitar, vocals), Betsy Wright (bass, vocals), and Laura Harris (drums), the group’s 2014 debut Rips was a gleaming collection of tightly wound gems that scored Best New Music honors from Pitchfork, the top spot on Magnet Magazine’s Best of 2014 list, and No. 11 in that year’s Pazz & Jop critics poll. Near-constant touring throughout 2015 and 2016 established the band as a force to be reckoned with: an audacious three-piece distilling rock music to its essence with formidable skills and a reputation for frenzied and unabashedly fun live shows.
On It’s Real, the group’s forthcoming second album, Ex Hex’s commitment to larger-than-life riffs and unforgettable hooks remains intact, but the garage-y, post-punk approach that defined Rips has grown in scale and ambition. What started as a reaction to the blown-out aesthetic of Rips would test the sonic limits of the power trio and lead the band on a quest for a more immersive and three-dimensional sound. Vocal harmonies are layered ten tracks deep, solos shimmer and modulate atop heaving power chords, and the codas linger and stretch toward new frontiers of sound. On first listen, you might think you’ve unearthed a long-lost LP carved from the space where crunch-minded art rock and glitter-covered hard rock converge, an event horizon at the intersection of towering choruses and swaggering guitars.