For Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, color theory confronts the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have long-plagued her, presenting listeners with an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait. The new album’s sonic landscape is vast and dexterous, with melodies that shimmer on the surface, but reveal an unsettling darkness with each listen.
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As we age, we face obstacles that are beyond our control. Some forces are internal: insecurity, anxiety, fear. Some are external: the loss of loved ones, an unjust system and the fragility of time. Yet the mark of maturity is how you respond when you realize you’re not in control. Where do you find your resilience?
This album is a reflection of us coming to terms with how to find our power in the face of an unfair world. These songs lead listeners past “where happy man searches, to a place only mad women know.” We question our purpose, our relationships, our faith. Trading the fears of our youth for the dread that rages within us as mature women.
With SATURN RETURN, our hope is that women can feel less alone in their journey through the modern world. We need each other more than we ever have; the less competition and the more inclusiveness and understanding, the better. We are southern women in the 21st century, convicted by our beliefs.
Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives further into the musical dichotomies they're known for'lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily. What emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks.
In 2014, Dan Snaith aka Caribou released Our Love to overwhelming critical acclaim. Caribou returns now with his new studio album Suddenly, a warm, untamable, and constantly surprising record about family and the changes we go through as those relationships evolve. Most prominently, Suddenly refers to the moments of dramatic and unexpected change that occur at points in any life and within any family-universal themes that can catch you off guard and change your life in a heartbeat. Those dramatic moments are part of a slower process. These moments rear their heads, for good or bad, during the everyday flow of life. "There's a tension between those sudden things which blindside you and the more glacial, gradual day-to-day changes," he observes. "We are so caught up in the immediate-the details that require our attention every day-that we can be blind to the bigger forces shaping us. That's why so often when something drastic happens suddenly, it catalyzes all sorts of changes in our lives. Our perspective shifts." Suddenly is in the music, too. This is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date. Though it retains the trademark Caribou warmth and technicolor, this album is littered with swerves and left turns. "I wanted to balance the familiar-the sound that people associate with my music-against these moments of surprise," Snaith says. As his passion and joy in music-making remains as fresh as ever, Suddenly is the purest example of this yet.
It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own. And that's precisely what James Taylor has accomplished with his brand-new album, American Standard. Recalling the best of James' early work, he infuses new sounds and fresh meaning into these timeless works of art. While these 14 carefully chosen interpretations naturally feature James' warm, one-of-a-kind vocal ability and incomparable musicianship, what makes this collection so unique is the inventive way James and his fellow co-producers, longtime collaborator Dave O'Donnell and famed musician John Pizzarelli, approached the project. Unlike most who have tackled similar material, American Standard's beautifully simple, stripped-down arrangements are based on James' skillful acoustic guitar work rather than piano and the affect is mesmerizing.
Hank Mobley, famously called the "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone", had a round sound and an incredible rhythmic lightness. This remarkable 1957 session features a stunning cast of bop giants, including Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Sonny Clark and more. "East of Brooklyn", a highlight on the album, is a masterpiece of lyrical construction. Part of the Blue Note Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this 180g vinyl features all-analog, remastered audio in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Double vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 2020 release, the eighth album from hard-hitting rockers Five Finger Death Punch. The album was produced by Kevin Churko, the Canadian record producer/engineer and songwriter who currently lives in Las Vegas, where he works out of his private studio, The Hideout Recording Studio. Includes "Inside Out".
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Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. His latest album, That's What I Heard, was recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and produced by Steve Jordan (Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs). The music is a varied sonic blend of blues, soul, boogaloo and gospel. Guest artists include Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry.
Singer-songwriter Gaz Coombes played a charity concert at the Sheldonian Theatre on May 19th to mark the 350th anniversary of Christopher Wren's iconic building. The former Supergrass frontman performed live onstage with a full orchestra, under the direction of Luke Lewis. Releasing on 180g vinyl December 20th, the live EP includes songs from his three solo albums taking on a new sound, with Gaz's indie-rock nature interwoven with powerful crescendos from the Hot Fruit Orchestra.
Stanley Turrentine is at his blues-drenched best on Comin' Your Way. This 1961 session features the magnificent rhythm section of the Horace Parlan Trio (Horace Parlan, George Trucker & Al Harewood) at the peak of their collective power. Also featured is Tommy Turrentine on trumpet, contributing his strong Fats Navarro influence. Part of the Blue Note Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this 180g vinyl features all-analog, remastered audio in deluxe gatefold packaging.
For the entirety of her nearly three-decade-long career, globally acclaimed singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb has been exploring a variety of styles of music, moving seamlessly between creating family-friendly albums, including her 2018 Grammy-winning Feel What U Feel, and adult-focused studio albums like Tails, Firecracker, and The Way It Really Is. It is her latest release, her fifteenth record to date, A Simple Trick To Happiness, that finds Loeb putting forth her most poignant and profoundly personal album in an exceptional body of work.
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There are several albums titled Chet Baker Sings, but this Pacific Jazz recording is the original, and arguably, the best. Highlights Chet's indelible vocals and sterling trumpet playing with two quartet line-ups on a set of classic standards. For the first time in 60 years, this definitive edition is pristinely cut from the original masters. Includes additional session photography. Blue Note Records' Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series features 180g vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Angelica Garcia‘s new album is here. It’s called Cha Cha Palace and will be here on February 28th, 2020. Today, you can hear the dynamic new single “Guadalupe” and watch the Spencer Ford (Brockhampton)-directed video. Referencing La Virgen de Guadalupe (a Catholic icon of the Latinx community), “Guadalupe” is a meditation on the deity as a powerful 14 year-old who is the epicenter of a culture—and the responsibility that comes along with that. The announcement comes on the heels of an exciting beginning to the year, which included a co-sign from President Barack Obama and inclusion in The New York Times’ ‘Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward To’ list and ‘Best Songs of 2019’.
Whether scoring a film or making a solo album, Daniel Davies thinks cinematically. Images and story - on a movie screen, on a canvas, or flashing through his mind - inform the shape of his compositions and the sounds he uses to bring them to life. For Signals, his first solo record for Sacred Bones, the inspiration for his musical narration was a collaboration with visual artist Jesse Draxler, whose otherworldly mixed media works grace the cover and the booklet. "I had an instant connection to Jesse's art," Davies explains. "One of the main concepts for this album was working with the feeling of uncertainty. Jesse's art illustrates that perfectly with his disruptive shapes. At first, they are foreign to the landscapes they live in, but over time we become used to them, we adjust. The foreign objects force us to evolve, to accept and live with the uncertainty they create." Using Draxler's images as his jumping off point, Davies created eight richly textured compositions that created a soundtrack for the unsettling world of the artwork. "Musically, I wanted to capture that same contrast - melodies evolving out of drones, haunting beds of tension with beautiful shimmering melodies laid above. What were once conflicting emotions became harmonious." As the songs move through the landscape, Davies calls on whatever instrumentation he needs to serve their journey. He utilizes the warbling synths and slicing guitar that have characterized his soundtrack work, but he's also preternaturally at ease when he busts out a harpsichord and a vocal synth on lead single "Phantom Waltz." On "Destructive Field," he leaves space for his Halloween collaborator John Carpenter to lay down his signature sound. With the exception of that passage, all the music on the record is recorded by Davies himself. While the results indeed feel cinematic, Davies is liberated by the absence of a film to score: "While scoring a movie, I serve the director's vision and focus on telling a specific story. When working on an album, I'm free to create my own narrative and be more experimental." That freedom is evident in the many sumptuous details on Signals. It's an album with a lot to discover, and repeat listens will reveal an inviting - if a bit unnerving - world that you'll want to spend all day in.
On his sophomore album, Full Hand, Indiana musician Kevin Krauter tackles complicated emotional states and ideas through elliptical songwriting that is at once poetic and truthful. "A lot of the lyrics touch on how I was raised religiously, touch on me understanding my sexuality more and more in recent years," Krauter says, "just growing up and becoming more confident in myself...that process of looking inward and taking stock of myself." It’s not especially uncommon for artists to probe deep into their own psyche to uncover what makes them tic, but Krauter’s light touch feels like something all his own. On the album’s first single, "Pretty Boy," he sings, "Look ahead, say I see me now / Smiling at what used to stress me out / Cause it won’t be too long, but I’ll take my time with it / It won’t be too long till I come back home." There’s a palpable sense of joy in Krauter’s acceptance of dire, stressful moments, and a liberation that comes from hearing him realize that the present will eventually be the past, and he’ll be able to look back and find peace.
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Grant Green's Nigeria is an underrated gem in the guitarist's remarkable Blue Note catalog. Recorded in 1962, and released in 1980, the album features a top-shelf band with Sonny Clark on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and powerhouse Art Blakey on drums. The groove is deep right from the start, highlighting timeless renditions of the classic tracks. Blue Note's Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series features 180g vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Look - if you weren't freaking out with a scrawny young Juiceboxxx at a basement show in Milwaukee when he was 15, or following his bizarre stint opening for Public Enemy in Canada a decade ago, or there for the launch of his Thunder Zone Energy Drink, or his recent champion stint on Las Vegas alt-rock radio, these are years of missed fandom you will never get back. (God knows he won't get those years back either.)But it's not too late to never forget this legendary, all-American, DIY-music lifer who against all odds keeps moving forward and confounding expectations."Coinstar Song," out May 10, is the lead single from Juiceboxxx's forthcoming new album via Dangerbird Records. Listening, or some other time when you're silently breaking down at your office desk, you might ask yourself: What is this life? Why??!? What do I get out of bed for? The answer might be in "Coinstar Song," which is somehow both soul-crushing and supremely motivational. We are here to move forward, to persist, to grind what we grind until it's deadly sharp.And if the answer to life's pressing questions isn't in "Coinstar Song," you go on looking for it. That's what the man who has maintained this deranged moniker since he was a teenager teaches us. Because if there's one thing to know about Juiceboxxx, it's that he never surrenders. "Did I mess up my life?" he asks at one point. Probably, but what else is there to do.