New Release Round-Up 02-05-16
LUCINDA WILLIAMS - The Ghosts Of Highway 20 [Indie Exclusive Lower Price] - Highway 20 Records
We've all heard about the iconic vibe of Route 66, the neon lights on Broadway and the ocean air of the Pacific Coast Highway. But there are untold stories emanating from countless blue highways across the land like Interstate 20, which cuts a 1500-mile swath from South Carolina to Texas, and cuts deep into the spirit of those who've spent their lives traversing it. Lucinda Williams is one of those people, and with the expansive, enveloping The Ghosts Of Highway 20, she brings those stories to life and gives listeners a remarkably vivid look at how the highway has been a literal and figurative backdrop throughout her entire life.
DR. DOG - The Psychedelic Swamp - Anti
The Psychedelic Swamp is Dr. Dog's ninth album, and third studio release with ANTI-Records. Most of the songs were among the first ever written together by Scott McMicken and Tob Leaman and an assemblage of friends and musical cohorts that would evolve as Dr. Dog over the years. This early endeavor of writing a concept album helped shape their creative process as they became a label-defying multi-hyphenated indie-psychedelic-rock-folk-Americana-basement-touring band.
HIGH HIGHS - Cascades - PIAS America
Cascades is the name of the second record from the Brooklyn group High Highs. The title comes from a memory of a moment Jack Milas and Oli Chang remember while driving through the Cascade Mountains on tour. The song it comes from, also called"Cascades," is bright and expansive, silver threads of guitar laced through soft layers of synths. More than anything else, the song is an indication of how far the group has come in a short period of time - from working together in a recording studio in Australia to opening for Sky Ferreira and Vampire Weekend. Cascades is a portrait of a band in ascent, making music grand enough to carry them along the way.
SUNFLOWER BEAN - Human Ceremony - Fat Possum Records
In a haze of distorted guitars and psych-rock come Sunflower Bean, the Brooklyn trio who make wonderful, reverb-soaked music about things they are too young to even romanticize. All three members of the band are under 21, and yet they sing with the wistfulness of souls that are decades beyond their years. Sunflower Bean take a Velvet Underground-inspired foundation and mutate it for their own use and creation. Namely, they chronicle the melancholy aches of reaching post-adolescence, perfectly encapsulating the soreness of your 20-nothing years in a flurry of dusky shoegaze.
LEON BRIDGES - Louisiana Sun - Sony
Louisiana Sun consists of five songs recorded during sessions for Leon Bridges' debut, Coming Home, and originally intended for a RSD Black Friday 2015 release before it was delayed. It is now available on 10" vinyl.
RIHANNA - Anti - Def Jam
"The three full years since 2012's Unapologetic – the longest break between releases in Rihanna's career – turned out to be exactly what she needed to make a rich full-length statement. After more than a decade as a superstar of the singles chart, Rihanna has become an album artist. ... Anti's beats are more muted than the flashier productions of her past work, which leaves room for the album's biggest revelation: Rihanna's show-stopping vocal performances. " - Rolling Stone
ELTON JOHN - Wonderful Crazy Night - Island
Elton John's 33rd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night, was co-produced by Elton and T-Bone Burnett and reconvenes Elton’s core band of drummer Nigel Olsson, from his original three-piece group, and guitarist Davey Johnstone, with whom he first worked in 1971. "On Wonderful Crazy Night [Elton] succeeds in recreating the rootsy Americana of his youth. ... It sounds like they’re having a blast. It was recorded in just 17 days, which has perhaps contributed to the urgency of tracks such as 'In the Name of You.' But it has not come at the expense of John’s nose for a hit, with melodies such as that of 'Claw Hammer' proving his pop sensibility is as acute as ever." - The Guardian
TRIXIE WHITLEY - Porta Bohemica - MRI Associated
Based in Brooklyn, the Belgian-American multi-instrumentalist Trixie Whitley delves into dark, bluesy rock that sits adrift more sinister-sounding undertones. Whitley’s second LP, Porta Bohemica, is the follow-up to 2013’s Fourth Corner. Featuring the single “Soft Spoken Words,” the track is just that: it simmers and boils in angry waters, the shadowy instrumentation of guitars billowing under Whitley’s own soulful vocals, both doing well to balance the other. It’s fearless and unwavering, the content of the lyrics anything but soft.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section and don't forget that many of these titles are also available on vinyl.