New Release Round-Up 03-25-16
MARGO PRICE - Midwest Farmer's Daughter - Third Man Records
First impressions matter. Especially on a debut album. Time and attention-strapped listeners size up an artist within a song or two, then move on or delve in further. Fortunately, it only takes Margo Price about twenty-eight seconds to convince you that you’re hearing the arrival of a singular new talent. “Hands of Time,” the opener on Midwest Farmer's Daughter, is an invitation, a mission statement and a starkly poetic summary of the 32-year old singer’s life, all in one knockout, self-penned punch.
THE THERMALS - We Disappear - Saddle Creek Records
The Thermals are best at making songs you put on mixtapes named ‘Drunken Sing-alongs When You’re Sad.’ They specialize in late-night, secret conversations about feeling simultaneously romantic and resentful over being raised Catholic. They’re the soundtrack to breaking glass, and an ode to the beauty of brokenness. They say that the mark of intelligence is the ability to hold two disparate and conflicting truths in the mind at the same time: I am a good person; I am not a good person. We Disappear lives in this delicate, in-between place: at once hard and noisy, while also soft and personal. And seeming contradictions abound on this album.
BOB MOULD - Patch The Sky - Merge Records
"I always aim for the perfect balance of bright melodies and dark stories. I’ve used this juxtaposition for years. This time, I’ve tuned it to high contrast. The first side of the album is generally simple and catchy. The second side is heavier in spirit and tone. Opposing forces and properties. I love both sides of Patch The Sky. At the core of these songs is what I call the chemical chorus—you hear it once and your brain starts tingling. The heart rate picks up. It gets worse—you know it’s coming again and you can barely stand the anticipation. Then, the beautifully heartbreaking bridge appears, and you’re all set up—hooked for life. Music is an incredibly powerful drug. I want to be your drug dealer. I have what you need." - Bob Mould
PARKER MILLSAP - The Very Last Day - Okrahoma Records
Dynamic Oklahoma born singer-songwriter Parker Millsap releases The Very Last Day, via Okrahoma Records. The sophomore release boldly showcases the growth in both Millsap's arresting vocals and his thoughtful, intelligent songwriting. Since the 2014 release of his self-titled debut, Parker Millsap has been steadily building a dedicated fan base, wowing audiences and garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as USA Today, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also performed at high profile festivals including Stagecoach, Austin City Limits Festival, and Forecastle.
JOE BONAMASSA - Blues Of Desperation - J&R Adventures
Blues Of Desperation is Joe Bonamassa's most powerfully diverse and boldly realized album yet, with the material ranging from the gutsy, gritty blues call to arms of This Train (Joe's guitar is set to rude throughout) to the elegant yet emotionally shattering ballad What I've Known for a Very Long Time to the soul-nourishing, acoustic-based Americana of The Valley Runs Low, on which Bonamassa's voice rises up majestically to meet Barnes, McRae and Tippins in gospel-like rapture. And then there's the bleary, tequila-soaked Drive, dripping with the kind of raw, wicked and unsettling sensuality that could make David Lynch green with envy.
RADICAL FACE - The Family Tree: The Leaves - Nettwerk Records
More than 10 years ago, Radical Face started crafting the story of a fictitious, sometimes otherworldly 19th century family called The Northcotes. He brought these characters to life in a three-part album series he created and recorded alone in Jacksonville, FL. Certain instrumentations and melodies were used to represent various “family members” and each album was recorded using only the instrumentation available during the era represented. A natural storyteller, Cooper turns fiction into music.
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY - The Wilderness - Temporary Residence
The Wilderness is Explosions In The Sky's sixth album, and first non-soundtrack release since 2011's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. True to its title, The Wilderness explores the infinite unknown, utilizing several of the band's own definitions of "space" (outer space, mental space, physical geography of space) as compositional tools. The band uses their gift for dynamics and texture in new and unique ways - rather than intuitively fill those empty spaces, they shine a light into them to illuminate all the colors of the dark. From the electronic textures of the opening track to the ambient dissolve of closer "Landing Cliffs," The Wilderness is an aggressively modern and forward-thinking work - one that wouldn't seem the slightest bit out of place on a shelf between original pressings of Meddle and Obscured By Clouds. It is an album where shoegaze, electronic experimentation, punk damaged dub, noise, and ambient folk somehow coexist without a hint of contrivance - and cohere into some of the most memorable and listenable moments of the band's expansive body of work - "proper" studio albums and major motion picture soundtracks alike. The progressive ambience of early Peter Gabriel, the triumphant romanticism of The Cure in their prime, and the more melancholy moments of Fleetwood Mac all inform the curious beauty of The Wilderness. The uncanny ability to reconcile the tension between discordant, nightmarish cacophony and laid-back, Laurel Canyon-inspired folk-rock is a cornerstone of this album, and the center of Explosions In The Sky's remarkable evolution. If The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place was the defining album of Explosions In The Sky's career, The Wilderness is the band's [re]defining album.
CHEAP TRICK - Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello - Big Machine Records
Legendary power-pop collective Cheap Trick set a new course with "No Direction Home" from their upcoming album Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello, due out April 1, their first on Big Machine Records. Pulsating riffs intertwine with the anthemic chorus in this first taste of new music in over five years from the iconic four-piece from Rockford, IL. Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello follows the recent announcement about the band's forthcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
CHARLES BRADLEY - Changes - Daptone
Soul singer Charles Bradley's star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming, and his ascent has continued long after the release of his triumphant second album, 2013's Victim of Love. Dubbed The Screaming Eagle of Soul, the singer is proud to present his highly anticipated third album Changes, on Daptone imprint Dunham Records. The album is named for his popular, smoldering cover of the Black Sabbath track. "I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing 'Changes' and get emotional," notes Bradley. "It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away."
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.