Music Releases 03-20-20
The Weeknd's latest chapter, After Hours which features the global hits "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights" is due to release on March 20th, via XO/Republic Records. Filtering R&B, pop, and hip-hop through an ambitious widescreen lens, quietly took over popular music and culture on his own terms. As a result, the multi-platinum two-time GRAMMY® Award winner has emerged as one of the most successful and significant artists of the 21st century.
Conan Gray announces his highly anticipated debut album Kid Krow, releasing on March 20th, 2020 via Republic Records. Gray recently wrapped up his headlining tour with three sold out nights at The Fonda in Los Angeles. Having sold over 65,000 tickets over his first two headline tours, Conan has quickly built an undeniable fan base. Kid Krow features the hit single "Maniac" which has already amassed over 110K in Global Consumption!
Enhanced with PlayARt - Augmented Reality
Produced by longtime collaborator Dan Horne (Circles Around The Sun, Allah-Las), Mapache's new album, From Liberty Street, captures the Los Angeles duo at their finest, with Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch weaving airtight harmonies around stripped-down, organic arrangements that blur the lines between traditional folk and modern cosmic country. The songs here reckon with longing, desire,and change, and the arrangements draw on everything from Hawaiian-steeped surf and Mexican boleros (Blasucci spent two years living South of the border) to Bakersfield twang and lonesome cowboy campfire tunes, all delivered with the kind of easy going charm and natural intuition usually reserved for blood brothers or married couples. It's an instantly engaging chemistry the two share, a captivating musical bond that mirrors the comfort, closeness, and camaraderie of the album's homespun roots.
'This record is about as close to the sound of home as you can get,' says Blasucci. 'We recorded it with a bunch of our friends in the house where we were living in a neighborhood that we loved. The studio was right downstairs, so we had the freedom to try all kinds of new ideas without any pressure or limitations. All the other folks who lived in the house were musicians, too, so it made for this communal atmosphere where everyone was always collaborating and creating together. 'The First Edition LP and CD of From Liberty Street includes a free Mapache air freshener in the packaging! Plus, the First Edition LP arrives on limited edition yellow vinyl!
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. I Am Not a Dog on a Chain is the 13th studio album by British Alt-Rock icon Morrissey. The album is Morrissey's first album of original material since 2017's Low in High School. It was produced by Joe Chiccarelli and includes the single "Bobby, Don't You Think They Know?" features vocals from Thelma Houston.
In their first collaboration, Brian and Roger Eno present an anthology of sonic inspiration. ‘Mixing Colours’ invites listeners into a prismatic world of calm contemplation. Based on a series of deliberately abstract colours, the innovative brothers evolved the new recording into a unique collection over the years. Their creative DG debut will reach an audience still unfamiliar with their artistry. The poetic set spotlights two celebrated ambient musicians at the height of their artistry.
Included in Rolling Stone’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2020 list, this dynamic collection of Kelsea Ballerini’s latest 13 songs is aptly self-titled – kelsea - not surprising since this is her most authentically, self-aware reflection to date. Writing or co-writing all of the songs on the record, It’s an introspective look into the emotions of the last two years of her life. Using songwriting as therapy, she explores everything from social anxiety to the importance of real friendships to new perspective on old heartbreaks to the realization that even the most independent, stubborn people need someone sometimes. The writing credits on this album are, in her words, “pretty RAD”. In addition to Nashville royalty Shane Macanally, Hillary Lindsay and Ashley Gorley, she wrote with Ed Sheehan, Tayla Parx, and Julia Michaels.
This is the first time Ballerini has been in the producer’s chair throughout the project, co-producing each track. She allowed the songs to drive the sonic personality of the record, resulting in a broad range of production elements/styles . Ballerini also set the collaboration bar high with two on this record... Stay tuned.
Velvet is Adam Lambert's ode to 70's, guitar driven rock and funk music done with a modern twist and accentuated by his distinct and incredible voice. Best known as an international superstar who blew the world away on the eighth season of American Idol. Since then he's gone on to have a fully-fledged solo career, and tour the world with Queen. In addition to his musical acheivements, he became the first openly gay artist to chart with a number one album in the US and Canada.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Everything is alright now. Alex Brown Church - the man behind the dark folk, indie rock band Sea Wolf - wants you to know that from the start. Really. Sea Wolf's eagerly anticipated fifth LP, Through A Dark Wood proves it in 11 textured, sometimes-acoustic, sometimes-electronic, unabashedly honest tracks.
Lightfoot discovered a treasure trove of unreleased material while he was housecleaning last year. Two CDs of songs he recorded nearly two decades ago were tucked away in his office. The songs were created in late 2001 and early 2002 before he suffered a near-fatal abdominal aortic aneurysm later that year.
Hot Mulligan writes songs for people to sing as loud as possible. Their music is the cathartic outcry for growth from a generation of forward-thinking Midwesterners caught in the gears of a rusted system in desperate need ofhope. The members -Tades Sanville, Chris Freeman, Ryan Malicsi, Garrett "Sniff" Willig, andBrandon Blakeley -use songwriting to explore the lessons they've learned from lives lead in the pursuit of dreams with full awareness of the cost.
What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop release from Los Angeles-based Moaning. Vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator, art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channeling those emotions directly into their music. “We’ve known each other forever and we’re really comfortable trying to express where we’re at. A lot of bands aren’t so close,” says MacKelvie. Adds Solomon, who celebrated a year of sobriety during the Uneasy Laughter sessions, “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.” Moaning’s 2018’s self-titled Sub Pop debut featured songs mostly written in practice or brought in already complete by individual band members. It garnered acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Los Angeles Times, who observed, “Moaning craft anxious music for an increasingly nervous local scene.” But Uneasy Laughter is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single “Ego,” which features a costume-heavy video directed by Ambar Navarro, as an embodiment of this evolution. Solomon admits Uneasy Laughter could have gone in quite another direction had he not gotten sober and educated himself on such core subjects as gender and mental health. “I did a lot of reading in the tour van — authors like bell hooks, Mark Fisher, and Alain de Botton, all really inspired me. I don’t want to be the person who influences young people to go get high and become cliche tragic artists,” he says. “What I’d rather convey to people is that they’re not alone in what they think and how they feel. ‘Ego’ specifically and the album overall is about those themes — letting go of your bullshit so you can help other people and be present.” “We want to be part of a community,” he adds. “I wrote online about being sober for a year, and I had kids from all over writing and asking for advice. One of them said, ‘For the first time I can remember, I didn’t drink last night.’ I thought, for once, maybe we did something besides sell a record. That’s a win. That’s incredibly exciting.”
From the warped mind of Primus frontman comes the release of Colonel Les Claypool s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade s Live at the Great American Music Hall. This two set, 12-track collection was recorded live over two nights in San Francisco. Set 1 includes five Claypool originals bookended by superb King Crimson and Pink Floyd covers, while Set 2 is comprised of an unabridged performance of Pink Floyd s legendary 1977 concept album, Animals.
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release, a nature-themed project from Pantha du Prince. Conference Of Trees was conceived, says the German artist, AKA Hendrik Weber, to translate the sound of the forest into music. "With this project we want to give a new meaning to the forest and the trees in our immediate surroundings and emphasize it's value and intelligence," said Weber. "Without forests we would not exist as humans on this planet."
• The final recordings from the last Game Theory line-up featuring Michael Quercio (The Three O’Clock). • LP contains 14 commercially unissued tracks (one previously included on a fan club only release). • CD/Digital adds 10 more previously unissued tracks. • The last recordings made by Game Theory. • Packaging contains photos, liner notes & remembrances from members of Wilco and Guided By Voices Throughout the 1980s, the California based Game Theory was ONE OF THE MOST original (and critically acclaimed) indie-rock bands. Their blend of ’60s and ’70s pop influences such as Todd Rundgren and Big Star coupled with a post-punk energy led to a string of diverse albums—nearly all produced by Mitch Easter of Let’s Active. For the past several years, Omnivore has painstakingly reissued each and every one of their original albums with the addition of a slew of unreleased bonus tracks. Their final album, 1988’s Two Steps From The Middle Ages was reissued in June 2017. That appeared to be the final chapter of their story, or was it? Hardcore Game Theory fans still talk about the band’s final line-up that toured the West Coast, but never released an album. Circa 1989–90, the band was rejuvenated with leader Scott Miller being joined by the legendary Michael Quercio from The Three O’Clock (who had recently broken up). Other interesting line-up changes included longtime Game Theory drummer Gil Ray moving over to guitar and keyboards, while Scott Miller’s former Alternate Learning bandmate (the original template of Game Theory) Jozef Becker, formerly of True West and Thin White Rope, joined as the drummer. Jozef is the brother of Game Theory’s original keyboardist, Nan Becker. Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript is the album that might have been at the time. There’s a blend of home and studio and live recordings. Songs that many fans haven’t heard unless they were lucky enough to catch a live show at the time—and some songs which reappeared in significantly different form on the debut album from Scott Miller and Jozef Becker’s post-Game Theory band The Loud Family, Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things. Miller uniquely blended classic pop songwriting with groundbreaking art-rock influences, which is reflected in home recordings of Brian Eno’s “Needle In The Camel’s Eye” and The Nazz’s “Forget All About It”. There’s a feast of Scott Miller penned delights on the 14-song vinyl LP, and the CD includes an additional 10 unissued bonus tracks with Game Theory originals and songs originally recorded by artists such as Big Star and The Three O’Clock. Journey Across The Barrier Of Sound and enjoy this PostScript to a great band’s career, but also as a wonderful album in its own right.
Justin Bieber is ready to give the world insight into events that have taken place in his life over the past four years. From marriage to faith and his new outlook on life, Justin is reflecting on changes he's experienced and the impact they've had on him. The album hinges on themes of personal growth through life experiences, love and commitment, creatively expressed through music, giving a candid look into his evolution as an artist and human being. Red vinyl in a gatefold jacket.
Following in the footsteps of Oasis and the Verve, Embrace became a pop sensation in post-Brit-pop Britain, breaking through in the late ‘90s. This pressing represents the first reissue of their third album, If You’ve Never Been. Featuring the UK Top 40 hit singles “Wonder” and “Make It Last,” the album showed a dramatic shift in direction from their earlier rockier sound, displaying their versatility in a thoughtful, tender approach to the body of work. The vinyl format has been long out-of-print since its original 2001 release, making this in-demand for collectors and fans alike.
Following in the footsteps of Oasis and the Verve, Embrace became a pop sensation in post-Brit-pop Britain, breaking through in the late ‘90s. This pressing represents the first reissue of their influential 2000 sophomore album, Drawn From Memories. The vinyl format has been long out-of-print, making this in-demand for collectors and fans alike. Upon its initial release, NME proclaimed "[The album] trawls emotional depths, plays to its strengths, comforts and encourages, strong in the knowledge that sometimes the good really will out.”
Hailed as one of the 50 best ambient albums of all time by Pitchfork, Vernal Equinox was the first commercially released work by Jon Hassell, originally put out by Lovely Music in 1977. It is also the debut of a pioneering new form of music that would become known as 'fourth world': a subtle blend of field recordings, electric jazz, ambience and global music influences. Hassell's trademark FX-soaked trumpet is carefully embellished by a studio ensemble including the master Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos and David Rosenboom on synth. The result is a quiet, meditative and highly original work of outstanding beauty.
Brighton's Wax Machine are a band so steeped in the kernel of psychedelic seep that there's every indication they may have slipped through a side door in space-time and sprouted anew a few years back on the UK coast. On Earthsong of Silence, their eclecticism incorporates Spiritual Jazz, Krautrock, Tropicália and Library Music, borrowing from dreams and trances to give life to a psychedelic experience that feels hauntingly familiar, yet strikingly new. They pick up right where their last EP's title track, 'Mind Palace,' left them 'growing into the mossy eiderdown of the English countryside, delightfully dosed and drenched in the sun that filters through the trees. The flutes, wandering guitars, and jazz touches come rising through the mists with a guiding hand from Kikagaku Moyo's Go Kurasawa behind the boards. With Earthsong, they add a new dimension to their sound, further exploring both their English psych-folk roots and mining a deeper appreciation for a West Coast sound dipped in sun, peace and serenity.
Free Your Mind is about living as the best version of yourself. Showing up fully for yourself and for those you love. Getting clear about what you want and working towards it. Being grateful for all you've been given and using that gratitude to spread positivity. Big Gigantic have enlisted a group of featured artists for the album, including Ashe, Louis Futon, The Funk Hunters, Pell, TOBi, Pell, Nevve and Jennifer Hartswick. The band will be doing a full 3D immersive tour in 2020, with stops in Austin, Detroit, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans and more. They will also bring their annual Rowdytown festival to The Shrine in Los Angeles, The Greek Theatre in Berkeley and The Brooklyn Mirage.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Canada-based tech-death specialists Beneath The Massacre have returned! After nearly eight years of slumber, the Great Beast from the North is ready to slay fretboards, shatter blastbeat records, and blow minds again on their fourth album and Century Media debut, Fearmonger. While most bands that go dormant will shed members due to natural causes, the Québécoise in Beneath The Massacre are a close-knit group, particularly where it concerns the Bradley brothers-Christopher Bradley (guitars) and Dennis Bradley (bass)-and their lifelong friend in vocalist Elliot Desgagnés. First and foremost, the trio are a brotherhood. Secondly, this union has afforded the trio-drummer Patrice Hamelin left to focus on Gorguts-the understanding that when they dropped out of the picture eight years ago, they would be able to pick up immediately where Incongruous left off no questions asked.
Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.
With the release of her new album, Folkesange, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.
After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.
Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over-interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.
But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.
It’s a binding of the otherworldly and the earthy that echoes the the subject matter of many of the tales themselves. Written by Amalie, Leaves Of Yggdrasil’s medieval cadences bind tragic love story and mythology, full of both fairytale wonder and deeply human foible. Tor i Helheim, its dreamily persistent rhythm redolent of both innocence and encroachment, is based on a poem from the Icelandic Eddas, relating a journey into the underworld of Hel where the sparse nature of the accompaniment becomes the medium that carries you along in its thrall.
An immersive experience in its own right, but also belonging to a wider, pagan folk-based renaissance that has attracted a devoted following worldwide, Folkesange answers a need that has become ever more pressing in turbulent times. A zeroing in on a resonance that is both intrinsic and enduring, it’s a rediscovery of personal grounding, and an experience that reaches beyond culture to remind us of a shared, deeply rooted inheritance. A tuning fork that binds the personal and the universal, Folkesange is a reminder that the most transcendent experiences are those closest to home. (Words by Jonathan Selzer)