Sunday, May 28, 2017

New Music Friday - April 14, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

The surprise release has become a bit of a tired approach, but there are still a couple of artists really capable of pulling it off. One of them is Kendrick Lamar; of course, it helps when the music you put out is so incredible. He shifts his sound again on this record, moving away from the experimental funk and jazz of To Pimp a Butterfly to trap on this record. Again, there's nothing lost in the shift, he's made another spectacular album.

Watch: "HUMBLE."
Watch: "DNA."

Lillie Mae - Forever and Then Some

Lillie Mae is one of Jack White's newest finds. The artist, who has been playing the fiddle since she was a child, was signed to Third Man Records a few years ago. Formerly a member of Jypsi, she started playing with White as a member of his all-female backing band, Peacocks, then released her first solo single on his label in 2014. Forever and Then Some is her first album.

Watch: "Over the Hill and Through the Woods"
Listen: "Honky Tonks and Taverns"

Little Dragon - Season High

Season High is the fifth album from this Swedish band. It follows the band's most successful album, 2014's Nabuma Rubberband, which earned them a Grammy nomination. The band has become known for playing across a wide variety of genres, even shifting the style from track to track. This may be their most stylistically consistent record to date, but one that still shows their talent for creating amazing danceable music.

Watch: "High"
Watch: "Sweet"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Billie Holiday - Platinum Collection

Listen: "God Bless the Child"
Listen: "Strange Fruit"

The Clash - Combat Rock Reissue

Listen: "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
Listen: "Straight to Hell"

The Fate of the Furious

Watch: Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo & Travis Scott - "Go Off"
Watch: G-Eazy & Kehlani - "Good Life"

Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Reissue

Watch: "Roses"
Watch: "The Way You Move" (featuring Sleepy Brown)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 27)

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! To celebrate the milestone, the album was released with tons of extra content like session tapes and alternate mixes. You know, a lot of seminal albums will be reaching the same milestone in the coming years, if they get the same reissue treatment, be sure to check them out at my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, SZA's debut studio album, CTRL, finally got a release date!

The singer, who is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, has self-released two EPs and released a third, 2014's Z, on the label. To most people, though, she may be best-known for co-writing and featuring on the opening track from Rihanna's excellent ANTI-, "Consideration".

CTRL was first announced a few years ago and initially intended to be entitled A. The release date was continually pushed back, but showed up on a TDE's planned 2016 releases. The album got a few more tentative and rumored release dates, but nothing concrete. I think the uncertainty nearly pushed the artist too far, and she threatened to quit the label back in October.

What we have now does seem to be the album's official release. Several tracks from the album have already been released, including "Drew Barrymore" and "Love Galore".

CTRL is set to be released on June 9.

Also announced this week:

Beach Boys - 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow (June 30)
Daphni - fabriclive 93 (July 21)
The Kills - Echo Home - Non-Electric EP (June 2)
LateNightTales: BADBADNOTGOOD (June 23)
The Pollyseeds - The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 (July 14)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

New Music Friday - April 7, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Alexandra Savior - Belladonna of Sadness

Alexandra Savior is a young singer from Portland who's become a bit of a protegé of The Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner. She co-wrote a track on The Last Shadow Puppets album last year and Turner, in turn (heh), contributed writing to this debut from Savior. She draws inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from Otis Redding to Adele, and has even found inspiration in Terry Gilliam's films.

Watch: "Mystery Girl"
Watch: "M.T.M.E."

Arca - Arca

This self-titled album is the third album overall for this Venezuelan artist. His first two albums focused on his production, this record is the first to feature his vocals, presented entirely in his native language and entirely improvised. He had not initially intended to sing on the record, the suggestion came from Björk (a friend and collaborator of Arca's). The shift has paid off for the artist, earning an already-praised musician some of the best reviews of his career.

Watch: "Reverie"
Watch: "Anoche"

Future Islands - The Far Field

Thanks in no small part to frontman's Samuel Herring's unique dance moves, Future Islands had a big 2014 with their fourth album, Singles. Despite following up that album, aspects of this release are more closely tied to their third album, In Evening Air. Both albums share a cover artist (Kymia Nawabi) and source of inspiration for the title (the poems of Theodore Roethke). Still, the album sees the band reaching for ever greater heights.

Watch: "Ran"
Watch: "Cave"

Karen Elson - Double Roses

It's been a little while since we've last heard from Elson, at least on the music front. The model and musician released her first album, The Ghost Who Walks, in 2010,  but has been more active in the fashion world since. She has released one-off singles, often for the Record Store Days, and done some touring. She started working on her second album in 2015. The album features an impressive set of guests, including fellow Brit Laura Marling, Father John Misty, and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys.

Watch: "Call Your Name"
Listen: "Distant Shore"

The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions

I don't think I will ever stop loving The New Pornographers. The indie supergroup has released seven albums, each as amazing as the last. I was a little worried about this album before it was released. The band announced that member Dan Bejar (who is also a member of Destroyer and Swan Lake) would not be appearing on the record. His voice is one of my favorites of the group, but the group doesn't suffer in his absence; of course, Neko Case cures all ills. This is another great album from the band!

Watch: "High Ticket Attractions"
Listen: "This Is the World of the Theatre"

Other Full-Length Releases

Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine

Watch: "Love Is Mystical"
Watch: "Can We Hang On?"

Diet Cig - Swear I’m Good at This

Watch: "Tummy Ache"
Listen: "Barf Day"

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

Watch: "Ballad of the Dying Man"
Watch: "Two Wildly Different Perspectives"

Guided By Voices - August By Cake

Watch: "5° Degrees on the Inside"
Listen: "Dr. Feelgood Falls off the Ocean"


Watch: "Land of the Free"
Listen: "Rockabye Baby" (featuring ScHoolboy Q)

San Fermin - Belong

Watch: "Belong"
Watch: "No Promises"

Those Lavender Whales - My Bones Are Singing

Listen: "Lose My Mind"

Timber Timbre - Sincerely, Future Pollution

Watch: "Sewer Blues"
Watch: "Grifting"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

LAMC #17

Listen: Damaged Bug - "Rubber Lips"
Listen: Black Pus - "High Tide"

Njomza - sad for you

Watch: "Intro"
Listen: "Hear Me"

Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle

Listen: Angel Olsen - "Who’s Sorry Now"
Listen: Sharon Van Etten - "The End of the World"

Yumi Zouma - (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

Listen: "Champagne Supernova"

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 20)

The music festival season is fast approaching, and I am still deciding which to attend. I'm leaning towards Louisville's Forecastle so I can see Run the Jewels live! I may make it to a couple of others...time will tell. Lots of exciting artists with upcoming albums will be playing the festival circuit, check them out over at my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, Vince Staples, announced his sophomore album, Big Fish Theory.

The rapper from Long Beach started to make a name for himself with his 2014 EP Hell Can Wait. He followed that up the following year with an excellent debut album, Summertime '06, one of my favorites of that year.

His latest release was another EP, Prima Donna, released in August of last year and he was featured on Gorillaz's latest. He announced this new album on Thursday and released a new track, "Big Fish".

Big Fish Theory is set to be released on June 23.

Also announced this week:

Beach House - B-Sides and Rarities (June 30)
Briana Marela - Call It Love (August 4)
Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins (August 18)
Nicole Atkins - Goodnight Rhonda Lee (July 21)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Echo of Pleasure (July 14)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 13)

I spent this weekend up in Akron visiting my mom for Mothers' Day and her birthday, so I didn't get too much time to work on my blog. Of course, a happy Mothers' Day to all the music-loving moms out there!

As always, you can view a list of music I'm excited for at my Upcoming Releases page!

Last week, The National announced their forthcoming seventh album, Sleep Well Beast.

The rock band from Cincinnati released their last album, Trouble Will Find Me, in 2013. The album earned them much critical acclaim and was also one of my personal favorites from that year.

The years since have seen every member engaged in some side project. Frontman Matt Berninger partnered up with Menomena's Brent Knopf as EL VY and released Return to the Moon in 2015. That same year Bryan Devendorf released Gunnera with Pfarmers, and the next year he and Scott Devendorf released a self-titled album as LNZNDRF. The Dessner twins continued their compositional work, including collaborating on the score for the 2016 film Transpecos.

They began talking about a follow-up to Trouble Will Find Me last year. They released a few teasers before announcing the album on Wednesday. They've also released a new track and video, "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness".

Sleep Well Beast is set to be released on September 8.

Also announced last week:

5 Billion in Diamonds - 5 Billion in Diamonds (August 11)
Baio - Man of the World (June 30)
Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder (July 7)
Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 (June 30)
Danny L Harle - 1UL (May 19)
Hundred Waters - Currency (out now)
Love Theme - Love Theme (June 23)
MC Buddy & Kaytranada - Ocean & Montana (May 19)
Nick Murphy - Missing Link (out now)
of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Reissue (June 30)
Offa Rex - The Queen of Hearts (July 7)
Swet Shop Boys - Sufi La EP (May 26)
This Is the Kit - Moonshine Freeze (July 7)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Music Friday - March 31, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Aimee Mann - Mental Illness

Mental Illness is the ninth album from Aimee Mann and the first since her 2014 collaboration with Ted Leo as The Both. The album features vocal contributions from Leo, as well as a few unexpected influences. One track is influenced by a meeting Mann had with actor Andrew Garfield (she recently spoke of the experience on Song Exploder). Another track came about from a photo of a friend's cat. Both tracks are below!

Watch: "Goose Snow Cone"
Watch: "Patient Zero"

Bob Dylan - Triplicate

In his old age, Dylan is finding his second wind. He's released an album for each of the past three years. It's become fairly stereotypical for aging rock stars to record standards albums and Dylan has been no different. His output has been better than most, though. So many other artists have transformed his music, it's interesting to hear him transform this music...and he's proven that his singing voice isn't nearly that bad.

Watch: "I Could Have Told You"
Listen: "My One and Only Love"

Freddie Gibbs - You Only Live 2wice

This album represents a bit of a resurrection for Gibbs. There is, of course, the obvious imagery of the resurrection of Jesus on the cover, but the album also follows a difficult year for the rapper. He was arrested in France last year for rape and eventually charged with sexual assault. The charges were later dropped. He processes the experience alone. A rarity in hip hop, there are no features on the album.

Watch: "Crushed Glass"
Listen: "Alexys"

Goldfrapp - Silver Eye

Silver Eye is the seventh album from Goldfrapp and one that stands in contrast to their 2013 record, Tales of Us. That record, with its more folk-focused sound, was also more somber than much of their work. They enlist producers Leo Abrahams, John Congleton, and The Haxan Cloak to help execute on the return to a more dancefloor ready sound.

Watch: "Anymore"
Watch: "Systemagic"

Tei Shi - Crawl Space

Crawl Space is the debut album from this Argentinean singer. It follows a pair of well-received EPs, Saudade and Verde, released in 2013 and 2015 respectively. She combines elements of art-pop, R&B, and electronica for something she has, jokingly, called "mermaid music".

Watch: "Keep Running"
Watch: "How Far"

Other Full-Length Releases

Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 - Star Stuff

Watch: "Star Stuff"
Listen: "Disco Kid"

Dave Davies & Russ Davies - Open Road

Listen: "Path Is Long"

Geotic - Abysma

Watch: "Actually Smiling"
Watch: "Nav"

Lydia Ainsworth - Darling of the Afterglow

Watch: "Afterglow"
Watch: "The Road"

Mastodon - Emperor of Sand

Watch: "Show Yourself"
Listen: "Andromeda"

Richard Edwards - Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset

Listen: "Disappeared Planets"
Listen: "Lil Dead Eye-d"

Timothy Seth Avett as Darling - IV

Watch: "Your World"
Watch: "Should We Move"

You’ll Never Get to Heaven - Images

Listen: "Images"
Listen: "Beyond the Clouds"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus - Black Mountain Songs

The Doors - The Doors Reissue

Listen: "Light My Fire"
Listen: "The End"

Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night Reissue

Listen: "Seven Wonders" (Early Version)

Gold Connections - Gold Connections

Watch: "Faith in Anyone"
Listen: "Isabel"

Julia Holter - In the Same Room

Listen: "So Lillies"
Listen: "Horns Surrounding Me"

Johnny Cash - The Original Sun Albums 1957-1964

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending May 6)

LCD Soundsystem is back, everybody (the lying bastards...)! They released two new studio recordings this week, and performed on Saturday Night Live last night. No word yet on a new album, but it's sure to be coming soon. If that happens, you can check it out over at my Upcoming Releases page.

This week, Amber Coffman gave us a release date on her long-awaited debut album, City of No Reply.

Coffman was a longtime member of the Dirty Projectors, parting ways with the band sometime between their 2012 album, Swing Lo Magellan, and this year's Dirty Projectors. That parting seems to be due, at least in part, to the end of Coffman's relationship with David Longstreth. Although, they continued working together in the ensuing years, and she was surprised by the content and recording of the new DP album, and the Longstreth's continued use of the Dirty Projectors name. So all of that probably didn't help, either.

Still, Longstreth was an integral part of the writing, production, and recording of this debut album, collaboration that all occurred post-breakup (of the relationship). Coffman previously released two tracks that appear on the record, "No Coffee" and "All to Myself".

City of No Reply is set to be released on June 2.

Also announced this week:

David Bowie - “Be My Wife” Picture Disc (June 16)
The I.L.Y.’s - Bodyguard (May 16)
Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds from Another Planet (July 14)
Jason Loewenstein - Spooky Action (June 16)
Mark Kozelek & Sean Yeaton - Yellow Kitchen (July 4)
Portugal. The Man - Woodstock (June 16)