Monday, August 31, 2015

New Music Friday - July 24, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Ducktails - St. Catherine

Matthew Mondanile daylights as the guitarist for Real Estate, but has maintained his Ducktails solo project for nine years. He hones his style more and more with each record. Here, on his fifth album under the project, he sounds like his own unique band more than ever before. He's not the only member of Real Estate pursuing a solo project; look for an album from bassist Alex Bleeker soon!

Watch: "Headbanging in the Mirror"
Listen: "Surreal Exposure"

Watkins Family Hour - Watkins Family Hour

Watkins Family Hour is not, strictly speaking, a family affair. Sean and Sara Watkins are brother and sister, and have long performed together as members of Nickel Creek, but they bring some other musicians to the table for this album. Several past collaborators become a part of the family here; including Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, Sebastian Steinberg, and Fiona Apple.

Watch: "Steal Your Heart Away"
Listen: "Going Going Gone"

Other Full-Length Releases

Mas Ysa - Seraph

Watch: "Margarita"
Listen: "Gun" (featuring Nicole Miglis)

On an On - And the Wave Has Two Sides

Listen: "Icon Love"
Listen: "Behind the Gun"

Ricked Wicky - King Heavy Metal

Listen: "Tomfoole Terrific"
Listen: "This Has Been My Picture"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Chris Staples - Cheap Shades EP

Listen: "Cheap Shades"
Listen: "Center of the Universe"

Cyril Hahn - Begin EP

Listen: "Same" (featuring Yumi Zouma)
Listen: "Last" (featuring Joel Ford)

David Bowie - Fame Picture Disc

Listen: "Fame"
Listen: "Right"

Django Django - Reflections 12"

Watch: "Reflections"
Listen: "Reflections" (Happa Remix)

Jessy Lanza - You Never Show Your Love

Watch: "You Never Show Your Love"
Listen: "Fuck Diamond" (Bambounou Remix)

Matthew E. White - Fresh Blood: No Skin

Listen: "Vision" (No Skin Version)
Listen: "Holy Moly"

Peaches - "Bodyline"

Listen: "Bodyline"

Roger Waters - Amused to Death Reissue

Listen: "Too Much Rope"
Listen: "Watching TV"

Southpaw (Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture)

Watch: Eminem - "Phenomenal"
Listen: Action Bronson - "What About the Rest of Us"

Yung - "Blanket"/"Burning Bodies"

Listen: "Blanket"
Listen: "Burning Bodies"

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 29)

As always, you can click over to my Upcoming Album Releases page for a broader list of exciting music set to be released over the ensuing months!

This week, Natasha Khan (who performs as Bat for Lashes) announced a new project with TOY and Dan Carey, and an album of the same name, Sexwitch.

In the week before the announcement, Khan posted a game of hangman on her Twitter account, revealing a new letter each day. On the 19th, with _EX_ITC_ revealed, she also shared a short clip of a new song. General speculation from music publications and blogs assumed that a new album would shortly be announced, but none guessed at a brand new project from the musician.

For the new project, she partners with producer Dan Carey and the psychedelic British band TOY, who she has previously worked with for a cover of the song "The Bride," a pre-revolution Iranian song. This album follows on that initial collaboration, consisting of seven covers of American, Iranian, Moroccan and Thai folk songs.

Now, if you still prefer Khan on her own, she's not done with Bat for Lashes. She has indicated that she has nearly completed her fourth album and hopes to have it out next year!

Also announced this week:

Adele - 25 (November)
Andrew Hung - Rare Cave 2 EP (November 13)
Chris Walla - Tape Loops (October 19)
Jamie xx - “Loud Places” Remix 12” (out now)
Jean-Michel Jarre - Electronica 1: The Time Machine (October 16)
Made of Oak - Penumbra (November 6)
Mark Kozelek - Down in the Willow Garden EP (October 7)
Ricked Wicky - Swimmer to a Liquid Armchair (September 25)
Toro Y Moi - Samantha mixtape (out now)
The Velvet Underground - Loaded Reissue (October 30)
Weyes Blood - Cardamom Times EP (October 9)

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Music Friday - June 17, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

The bird and the bee - Recreational Love

The bird and the bee were a beloved band before the release of 2010's Interpreting the Masters, but it was that collection of reinterpreted Hall & Oates tracks that sealed my love for them. It's been a long wait between records from the band, who were dropped from their label and started families in the years since. This is a very welcome return!

Watch: "Will You Dance"
Watch: "Los Angeles"

Iron and Wine & Ben Bridwell - Sing into My Mouth

I didn't know this before this album was announced, but Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) and Ben Bridwell (lead singer for Band of Horses) grew up together in central South Carolina. Though they've gone in slightly different musical directions, they were able to find time to get into the studio together to record this album of covers. The record collects songs originally by Talking Heads, El Perro del Mar, and Spiritualized, just to name a few.

Listen: "Bullet Proof Soul"
Listen: "No Way Out of Here"

Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala had a lot of work to do to follow up on 2012's Lonerism (it was a favorite of mine and one of the best reviewed records that year). In a move that has the potential to alienate some fans, they're moving away from their psychedelic rock sound in order to incorporate synthpop and R&B. Frontman and songwriter Kevin Parker expressed a desire for the album to be a dance floor album, despite the personal nature of the songs' lyrics.

Watch: "Cause I’m a Man"
Watch: "Let It Happen"

Wilco - Star Wars

Dad rock, sci-fi movies, flowers and's a combination that makes perfect sense, I guess. In a move that had previously been the domain of hip hop and R&B stars, Wilco surprise-released this album in mid-July for free. In explaining the interesting choice for the album's title, frontman Jeff Tweedy stated that he was not actually a fan of the films; he just liked how the words looked juxtaposed against the image of the cat.

Listen: "Random Name Generator"
Listen: "You Satellite"

Other Full-Length Releases

Bad Bad Hats - Psychic Reader

Watch: "Midway"
Listen: "Fight Song"

Camera Shy - Camera Shy

Watch: "Your Only One"
Listen: "Colors Radiate"

The Chemical Brothers - Born in the Echoes

Watch: "Go" (featuring Q-Tip)
Watch: "Sometimes I Feel So Deserted"

Future - Dirty Sprites 2

Watch: "Where Ya At" (featuring Drake)
Watch: "Kno the Meaning"

MS MR - How Does It Feel

Watch: "Wrong Victory"
Watch: "Painted"

Ratatat - Magnifique

Watch: "Intro"
Watch: "Cream on Chrome"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Continental Drifters - Drifted: In the Beginning & Beyond

Listen: "The Mississippi" (Early Version)
Listen: "Side Steppin' the Fire"

Disclosure - "Holding On"

Watch: "Holding On" (featuring Gregory Porter)

Wavves - "Way Too Much"

Listen: "Way Too Much"

Sunday, August 23, 2015

On Repeat: "Sunday Candy"

Chance The Rapper has proven himself as one of the most unique young voices in hip-hop. His music often crosses the line into other genres and never was that more evident than on one of his latest projects, The Social Experiment. Chance partnered with trumpeter Nico Segal, who performs as Donnie Trumpet, for the project and surprise-released an album, Surf, back in May. One of the stand-out tracks from the record is "Sunday Candy," a gospel-tinged song featuring vocals from Jamila Woods.

Surf was released (for free) on May 28 and can be downloaded from iTunes. Chance followed that up with another free release last week, a mixtape he recorded with Lil B, appropriately titled Free.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 22)

Click on over to my upcoming release page to get a fuller list of albums and such that I'm excited for!

Last week's release turned out to be more than just speculative, Deerhunter did indeed announce a new album for release in October just the day after my post. This week's is not necessarily speculative, but we are still lacking a lot of information. The post-punk revival band Savages released a teaser video confirming a new album, set for release next year.

The all-female band released their debut album, Silence Yourself, in 2013 to mass critical acclaim. I didn't know anything about the band or the album at first, but thanks to high marks from a friend whose musical opinions I trust, I checked them out and loved them! The band is refreshingly presented without any artifice. They're not here to be sex symbols or fashionistas; they're not trying to reinvent the wheel or be woman's answer to anything. They just rock really hard.

The new album, which has neither a name or a release date yet, has already been mostly written and recorded, and the band has been playing some of them live. The teaser video combines video of one of their live performance with a voice-over from Henry Rollins reciting Phyllis Rose's "Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in Her Time." Although the words were originally written for someone else, they fit perfectly as an ode to this band.

Also announced this week:

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill Reissue (October 30)
BOOTS - Aquaria EP (November 13)
Børns - Dopamine (October 16)
Childbirth - Women’s Rights (October 2)
Dumb Numbers - Split Series (September 25)
Jay Rock - 90059 (August 19, 2016)
Kamasi Washington - The Epic LP release (October 2)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (November 11)
Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete (November 13)
Panda Bear - Crosswords EP (out now)
Saintseneca - Such Things (October 9)
Sylvan Esso - TBA (November 6)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

R.I.P. Bob Johnston

On Sunday, the world lost an iconic record producer when Bob Johnston passed away at the age of 83 after suffering heart failure.
The son of songwriter Diane Johnston, Bob got his start in the music industry in the 1950s as a rockabilly performer. By the '60s, he was writing music for Elvis Presley with his wife, Joy. He later went on to produce iconic albums for the likes of Simon & Garfunkel (The Sounds of Silence), Johnny Cash (At Folsom Prison), Leonard Cohen (Songs of Love and Hate), and Bob Dylan (Nashville Skyline). The albums in parentheses are just a small sampling of what he'd produced.


Simon & Garfunkel - "I Am a Rock"
Willie Nelson - "Who'll Buy My Memories"
Bob Dylan - "To Be Alone with You"
Johnny Cash - "Flesh & Blood"
Leonard Cohen - "Avalanche"

New Music Friday - July 10, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - Twelve Reasons to Die II

Several members of Wu-Tang are following up the release of last year's A Better Tomorrow with their own solo releases. Raekwon released an album earlier this year and Method Man is set to release one soon. Ghostface Killah seems to be trying to win some uninstantiated contest, though; he released an album late last year shortly after Tomorrow, an album earlier this year, and this new album.

Listen: "Return of the Savage" (featuring Raekwon & RZA)
Listen: "Let the Record Spin" (featuring Raekwon)

Heather Woods Broderick - Glider

Heather Woods Broderick has made a name for herself as a member of bands like Horse Feathers and Efterklang. Recently, though, she's focused on her role in Sharon Van Etten's backing band (they do sound incredible together). Now, she is shifting focus back to her own career. This is her first album under her own name since 2009's From the Ground.

Watch: "Wyoming"
Watch: "Mama Shelter"

Other Full-Length Releases

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

Watch: "Laughing in the Sugarbowl"
Watch: "The Gospel According to Saint Me"

The Alchemist - Retarded Alligator Beats

Listen: "Voodoo" (featuring Action Bronson)
Listen: "Muscular Infant"

The Forest Rangers - Land Ho!

Watch: "Trying to Believe" (featuring Alison Mosshart)
Listen: "A Goodbye" (featuring Audra Mae)

Statik Selektah - Lucky 7

Listen: "All You Need" (featuring Action Bronson, Elle Varner, & Ab-Soul)
Listen: "In the Wind" (featuring Joey Badda$$, Big K.R.I.T., & Chauncy Sherod)

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Eric Copeland - Remixes

Listen: "Cheap Treats" (Panda Bear Remix)
Listen: "Grapes" (Larry Gus Remix)

LAMC #15

Listen: JEFF The Brotherhood - "A Dog"
Listen: Colleen Green - "Hellraiser"

Paper Towns (Music from the Motion Picture)

Watch: Sam Bruno - "Search Party"
Listen: Santigold - "Radio"

Superchunk - Come Pick Me Up Reissue

Listen: "Hello Hawk"
Listen: "Cursed Mirror"

Talib Kweli - Train of Thought: Lost Lyrics, Rare Releases, & Beautiful B-Sides, Vol. 1

Watch: "Distractions"
Listen: "2000 Seasons"

Todd Terje - It’s Remix Time Time

Listen: "Inspector Norse" (Pepe Bradock Remix)
Listen: "Swing Star" (Pepe Bradock Remix)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Laura Marling - "Gurdjieff's Daughter"

In the video for Short Movie stand-out "Gurdjieff's Daughter," Laura Marling's plays an erratic, though maybe not entirely welcome, house guest. She breezes into a home wearing a simple black dress and interacts with everyone there in some way. Some smile and embrace her, other react coldly and try to ignore her. The video shows a somewhat playful side to an artist who can sometimes come off in a fairly serious manner.

Marling's latest album, Short Movie, was released in March of this year. It's a truly incredible album, which you should check out if you have not already.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 15)

Zip on over my upcoming releases page to see a fuller list of albums and the like that I am looking forward to (and that you should, too)!

This week's release is speculative, at best. It is a new album, possibly titled Fading Frontier, from Deerhunter!

Deerhunter is an Athens, GA-based band fronted by Bradford Cox (who also performs solo as Atlas Sound). The band has been together since 2001 and have released a trove of incredible albums. Their latest, Monomania, was one of my favorites in 2013. Bradford, his band, and the other various solo projects of the other members produce music with a strong pop sensibility, but with enough experimentation to keep themselves from sounding like something you would hear on top-40 radio.

Their maybe new album was announced implicitly on their website yesterday when a countdown clock was posted. Rumors of a new album have been around for some time now, and many (including myself) are taking this to indicate that something will soon be either released or announced. The countdown ends tomorrow (Sunday) at 11PM Eastern. To further support rumors of a new record, the online retailer MusicDirect has listed a pre-order for an album from Deerhunter with the title Fading Frontier set to be available on October 16.

Also announced this week:

Alex Bleeker & The Freaks - Country Agenda (October 16)
Angel Haze - Back to the Woods (September 14)
FKA twigs - M3LL155X EP (out now)
Joanna Newsom - Divers (October 23)
Kevin Morby - “Moonshiner”/“Bridge to Gaia” (September 4)
Magical Cloudz - Are You Alone? (October 16)
Makeout Videotape - Ying Yang Reissue (August 21)
Neon Indian - VEGA INTL. Night School (October 16)
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - It’s a Holiday Soul Party (October 30)
Talib Kweli - Fuck the Money (out now)
The Twilight Sad - Óran Mòr Session (October 16) 

W-X - W-X (November 7)

New Music Tuesday - June 30, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Jaill - Brain Cream

Jaill released an album in 2010, That's How We Burn, that has remained one of my favorites year over year. This isn't their first follow-up to that record; that would be 2012's Traps, but I was never able to get as much into that album. This latest record comes following some changes for the band; they were dropped from their label, Sub Pop, and much of the band left soon after. They're starting anew, but trying to hold to their unique sound.

Watch: "Getaway"
Listen: "Got an F"

Vince Staples - Summertime ‘06

Vince Staples may be the most interesting and exciting young voices in an era of hip hop dominated by the younger guys. Not content to rap about girls and parties, he hearkens back to earlier days of LA hip hop (he's from LA, by the way) by referencing his life and his community, often discussing the crime and violence that he is exposed to. He has made good on the excitement built with his excellent debut mixtape, Hell Can Wait, with one of the best-reviewed albums of the year.

Watch: "Get Paid"
Watch: "Señorita"

Wavves & Cloud Nothings - No Life for Me

Nathan Williams is keeping himself very busy this year. He released an album with a new band, Spirit Club, earlier this year, contributed to yet another soundtrack for GTAV, and is set to release a new album with Wavves later this year. In addition to all of that, Wavves has partnered with another young rock band for a collaborative album. Wavves and the Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings may not seem to have much in common on paper, but they sound pretty awesome together.

Listen: "Such a Drag"
Listen: "Come Down"

Other Full-Length Releases

Bilal - In Another Life

Watch: "Satellites"
Listen: "Pleasure Toy" (featuring Big K.R.I.T.)

Fraser A. Gorman - Slow Gum

Watch: "Shiny Gun"
Watch: "Broken Hands"

The Internet - Ego Death

Watch: "Girl" (featuring Kaytranada)
Listen: "Get Away"

Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money

Watch: "Jump out the Face" (featuring Future)
Listen: "All Eyes on You" (featuring Nicki Minaj & Chris Brown)

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Johnny Marr - "Candidate"/"Exit Connection"

Watch: "Candidate"
Listen: "Exit Connection"

Joy Division - Closer Reissue

Listen: "Decades"
Listen: "The Eternal"

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures Reissue

Listen: "Disorder"
Listen: "Shadowplay"

Nicolas Jaar - Nymphs III

Listen: "Swim"
Listen: "Mistress"

Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone

Listen: Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Feeling Good"
Listen: Usher - "My Baby Just Cares for Me"

Owen Pallett - "The Phone Call"

Listen: "The Phone Call"

Panda Bear - PBVSGR

Listen: "Crosswords" (Pete Rock Rework)

Pete Townshend - Truancy: The Very Best of Pete Townshend

Listen: "Guantanamo"
Listen: "Sheraton Gibson"

Voice Coils - Heaven's Sense EP

Listen: "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"
Listen: "Heaven's Sense"