9/10 New Release Cds
Focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray, and holding fast their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being alive, to turn the duality of existence into hymns we can share, Low present HEY WHAT. These ten pieces—each built around their own instantaneous, undeniable hook—are turbocharged by the vivid textures that surround them. The ineable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse - building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks FORWARD, with teeth. HEY WHAT is Low's thirteenth full-length release in twenty-seven years, and their third with producer BJ Burton.
"I've got plenty of energy, it's my currency" sings Amy Taylor on the opening track of Comfort To Me. After the release of Amyl and The Sniffers (2019), the band conquered the world one club gig and festival stage at a time. Their unrelenting, jaw dropping live show propelled them to must see status and prompted The Guardian to declare AATS “the single most exhilarating rock’n’roll show I’ve seen in years.” Comfort To Me is somehow both heavier and more awesome than their debut and fully captures the chaotic energy of their live show.
Riddy Arman opens her debut album from La Honda Records with a song called “Spirits, Angels, Or Lies” inspired by the true story of her father’s passing. In the lyrics, she examines the human tendency to interpret the unknown. The story she weaves details the final moments and visual hallucinations experienced when Johnny Cash visited her father on his deathbed. Long-time fans of Arman will recognize the song from her viral performance video, shot by Western AF in a Montana rail link boxcar, where the world was introduced to her distinct, sultry lope.
Against the bucolic and industrial backdrop of the video, Arman is clearly in her element, clad with ranch worn clothing. It is obvious she lives a lifestyle many romanticize, but few truly understand. However, Arman is more than just a cowboy, singing her lonely songs. The chapters of her life so far make for a story much richer than a common western archetype. Unafraid to take new paths, Arman has traveled across the country — from the farmlands of the Midwest to the bustling streets of New York City — writing songs, working as a ranch hand, and practicing an Agrarian lifestyle. It was during her childhood, full of folk and country music, in rural Ohio that she was first drawn to the guitar. Her deep dive into songwriting didn’t happen until her early 20s when she moved to central Virginia to resume her interest in horsemanship and agriculture on a friend’s small farm.
It was there, knee-deep in barn chores, that she found inspiration in female songwriting icons. The quiet isolation led to inspiration and a tangible way to heal through story. “Singing is my meditation, and I learned that in the imagery of Virginia,” Arman says of her growth during that time of her life. “It sets the stage for healing.”
With the encouragement of friend and fellow musician Kiki Cavazos, Arman began to feel more comfortable with a guitar in her hand. They often played together when passing through, and Arman credits Cavazos as her main inspiration. After Virginia, she headed west, taking a job at a farm in California where she spent four years working the land and learning livestock agriculture. In the sunburnt hills of ranch country, Arman fell in love, fell out of love, and found the beginning of her new record. Looking for a change of scenery, she found herself in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where many of the songs that would make up her self-titled debut record first came to life.
In the midst of this intensely creative period, Arman’s close friend overdosed. She headed to New Orleans in the wake of this loss and surrounded herself with the support and inspiration of several of her oldest and dearest friends. While in the Crescent City, Arman often joined her friend Nick Shoulders, playing shows around the Lower 9th Ward and downtown New Orleans. These stints on the stage served to bolster her confidence to perform and became just the catalyst Arman needed to keep going.
As fate would have it, Arman was invited to ranch sit in Montana, where she was contacted by content creators at Western AF at the behest of several New Orleans musicians. Not too long after the unexpected success of her Western AF session, Arman began an intensive six-day recording session at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon. Hopeful, and longing to capture the essence of deeply personal stories from her life, she teamed up with producer Bronson Tew (Dom Flemons, Seratones, Jimbo Mathus) of Dialback Sound and tracked nine songs.
“Recording these songs brought me back to the times that inspired them, but instead of reliving the pain, the studio magic empowered me to overcome it,” Arman says of her experience.
The first song she wrote for the record, “Half a Heart Keychain,” started off as a slow and somber breakup tune. With the help of Tew, the track morphed into a triumphant and transformative anthem for women. Moving forward from some of life’s most painful moments is in many ways the thread that ties each song together. Songwriting became part of Arman’s dialog with life, translating the experiences in not only lyrics, but also performance.
“Most people would try to find a therapist, but at the time that wasn't something that I had access to, so I just started playing music because it was cathartic,” she explains. “It’s very, very meditative for me.”
While tracks like “Half a Heart Keychain” and “Too Late to Write a Love Song” allowed Arman to heal, her debut LP is far from just a breakup album. Her songs are rooted in the poetic imagery of country life, from the beauty of its simplicity to the isolation and loneliness that can often overtake its inhabitants.
“Old Maid’s Draw” is a song about the landscape where Arman has worked, an area mythologized by locals with the tale of a woman who lived alone in the early settling days of Montana. “Problems Of My Own” is rooted in classic country songwriting, exploring the darkness that can lurk within family life. With simple references to classic scenes, such as bacon frying in cast iron pans, the song explores the urge to escape.
Arman’s take on Kris Kristofferson’s beloved classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night” fits perfectly alongside her originals, with her aching vocals at center stage. “Barbed Wire” was written during her time working as a ranch hand and wisely recalls the seclusion and longing that can come while living on the range.
“A lot of folks distract themselves with work. It is a common trait of cowboys and ranchers alike,” Arman says. “In the song ‘Barbed Wire’ the cowboy understands who he is, but not how he relates to other people, so it is easier to be alone.”
Arman herself has chosen to take a different path, embracing isolation and interpreting her life through the rural landscape that adorns her lyrics. With fierce honesty and a voice that immediately commands attention, on her debut record, Riddy Arman has proven herself as much more than a cowboy.
Over the last four decades, Bela Fleck has made a point of boldly going where no banjo player has gone before, a musical journey that has earned him 15 Grammys in nine different fields, including Country, Pop, Jazz, Instrumental, Classical and World Music. But his roots are in bluegrass, and that's where he returns with his first bluegrass tour in 24 years, My Bluegrass Heart. My Bluegrass Heart is the third chapter of a trilogy which began with the 1988 album, Drive, and continued in 1991 with The Bluegrass Sessions. The project features a who's who of some of the greatest instrumentalists in bluegrass music's history alongside some of the best of the new generation of players mandolinists Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, and Chris Thile; fiddlers Michael Cleveland and Stuart Duncan; celebrated multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses, bassists Edgar Meyer and Mark Schatz, and the amazing Bryan Sutton and Molly Tuttle on guitar.
A Beautiful Life is the first new music from Heartless Bastards since 2015’s Restless Ones. The album was produced by Kevin Ratterman (Strand Of Oaks, Jim James, White Reaper). Album performers include Andrew Bird on “The River,” Greggory Clifford (White Denim) on drums, Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake) on keys, flute, clarinet; David Pulkingham (Patty Griffin) on guitar, Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) on keys. The music is a melange of blues rock, rock and singer-songwriter which surround themes about self-love and awareness, mental health, the environment, and consumerism.
It’s finally here – Metallica’s eponymous album, better known as The Black Album – is remastered and will be available everywhere on September 10th. The Black album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time, with global sales of over 35 million, and contains a series of unrelenting singles, “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven, “Nothing Else Matters, “Wherever I May Roam,” and “Sad But True.” The standard album is remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering and all other content is remastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering. All content was overseen by executive producer Greg Fidelman.
The 3CD Expanded Edition has an alternate cover handpicked by Lars Ulrich and includes 3 CDs of featuring the newly remastered album and previously unreleased, demos, rough mixes, & live tracks. Includes a 28-page booklet.
Kacey Musgraves’ new album star-crossed is a bold, empowering, and personal series of songs that displays the 6x GRAMMY Award winner's continued growth as one of the finest singer-songwriters of our time. It's the follow-up to Golden Hour, which earned Musgraves her third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and distinguished her as only the third artist ever to take home Album of the Year at the GRAMMY Awards, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards.
The Spaceman Reissue Program edition of Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space promises to give those recordings the fullest spectrum audio and physical treatment they’ve deserved since the original release. It will be the third in this series of 180g double albums with the lacquer cut from original sources by Alchemy Mastering, presented in a gatefold jacket adorned by reworked art by Mark Farrow, and available in both a standard black vinyl pressing and limited edition Neptune Blue vinyl, as well as CD.
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - "Spanish Model" Elvis Costello and award-winning producer, Sebastian Krys, have brought together a stunning international cast of some of the biggest Latin rock and pop artists from around the globe to interpret Elvis Costello and The Attractions' album, This Year's Model, entirely in Spanish. The inspired Spanish-language adaptations are set to the band's classic studio performances, culled from the original master recordings, which have been newly mixed by Krys. Available on CD.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions' album, This Year's Model, which has been newly remastered.
On her new album Faster, Samantha Fish joins forces with superproducer Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting) and imbues even more intensity into her electrifying brand of blues/rock-and-roll. With Fish accompanied by legendary drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements), bassist Diego Navaira of The Last Bandoleros, and Hannah Brier on backing vocals, the result is a singular body of work both irresistibly galvanizing and emotionally raw.
Unlike most of us, Peter Sagar - also known as Homeshake - was staying at home a lot, long before the pandemic. Sagar wrote the majority of his fifth studio album, Under the Weather, in 2019, when he was going through a long, unrelenting period of sadness. "I was in a deep, deep depression," he recalls of that time period now. "Tours were breaking me. It was awful." Sagar and his partner were living in Montreal and while everyone was out being social, he was inside listening to ambient music, binging Star Trek, and writing songs. (Sound familiar?) "It was a bit of a dark pit," he says. "That's kind of what the whole album is about."Under the Weather follows Sagar's life and the depression that consumed him in 2019 - after a brief album intro, it jumps right into "Feel Better," a reflection on attempting to buck up when the weather outside is grim. The album is hazy and moody, the pace slow as syrup, and from beginning to end, a fog falls over every synth and guitar line. In "Inaminit," Sagar cancels plans when he's feeling low; the closing track, "Tenterhooks," sees Sagar's deliverance into the depths of despair: "Feel myself drying up / feel myself turn into dust," he sings over a funhouse mirror synth. "Oftentimes when you're in a dark place, you're supposed to journal and that helps release the pressure," Sagar says. "For me, it always found it's way into the music."Capturing the cloudy sound of a depressive funk was no simple feat, especially in the headspace Sagar was in for over a year. For that reason, he decided to enlist his friend, Jerry Paper's Lucas Nathan, to help with production on the record. Having Nathan contribute helped Sagar dial back some of "dry, pristine digital sound" that defined his fourth studio album, Helium, and add back personal analog touches that drew people to the Homeshake project in the first place. "I didn't realize how much I missed having a second set of ears. It's pretty invaluable," Sagar says. He would send all the of tracks back and forth with Nathan over the course of 2019, which made the process a longer one than he was used to. "There are a lot of things that I probably wouldn't have done that Lucas did do. I would tend to do a lot of softening of things, a lot of making everything super bassy and gentle. Lucas was aware that sometimes you needed some punch and grit." To Sagar, those additions made the record what it is - a melodic, honest look at personal emotional struggle.As Sagar readies it for release this September, the record he wrote about feeling isolated, alone, and despondent has begun to seem eerily prescient. "People will probably think that I made Under the Weather during or about Covid," Sagar reflects now. "I was just already living my life that way." For Sagar, the feelings he experienced over the course of that year are far from over - "I've been writing about feeling isolated my whole life," he says - but with age, he has come to understand them better. "I had a fairly clear idea what the album was going to be like based on where I was emotionally at the time," he says about Under the Weather. "I just try to make music that is honest about how I'm feeling."
It’s finally here – Metallica’s eponymous album, better known as The Black Album – is remastered and will be available everywhere on September 10th. The Black album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time, with global sales of over 35 million, and contains a series of unrelenting singles, “Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven, “Nothing Else Matters, “Wherever I May Roam,” and “Sad But True.” Remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering and overseen by executive producer Greg Fidelman.
Remastered edition of Metallica on CD.
The house band at Stax, Booker T. & The MG's were so good, so tight, that each member'guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn, drummer Al Jackson, Jr., and keyboardist/bandleader Booker T. Jones'is a legend in his own right. Playing behind such superstars as Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, and Wilson Pickett, the group forever defined the sound of Southern soul. And on their own'man, they just couldn't be topped, with a total of 12 Pop and 15 R&B hits during their unparalleled tenure at Stax. That's why they are the greatest instrumental R&B band of all time'and, not incidentally, a potent symbol of racial integration and harmony from a time when such diverse outfits were rare. We already brought you 29 of the 49 single sides The MG's recorded for Stax on The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 1; now we're back with the other 20, assembled'for the first time ever!'after a painstaking search for the best sources available, and, like on all of our singles collections, carefully vetted (by engineer Aaron Kannowski) to ensure that the versions you're hearing are exactly what disc jockeys were spinning off their 7-inch singles on to the airwaves back in the day. In this case, that means the first 15 songs on this CD/2-LP set are in mono, the last 5 stereo, all discographically documented in meticulous fashion by liner note writer Ed Osborne, whose essay maps every move Booker T. & The MG's made during the late '60s through the early '70s and beyond. But most of all, The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 2 (1968-1974) is one incredible listen, featuring such classic songs as 'Time Is Tight,' 'Soul-Limbo,' 'Melting Pot,' their versions of Domenic Frontiere's 'Hang 'Em High,' The Beatles' 'Something,' and Simon & Garfunkel's 'Mrs. Robinson,' a bunch of hard-to-find B-sides, and more, all played by basically the best band that ever lived! Go ahead and pick your poison: either buy this on CD or on a 2-LP set pressed on red vinyl and housed inside a gatefold jacket. Either way, you will be the proud owner of some of the greatest and grooviest R&B instrumentals ever recorded.
Originally released in 1978, Elvis Costello & The Attractions' album, This Year's Model, has been newly remastered. Available on CD with the addition of "Big Tears" and "Radio Radio."
Spanish Model featuring a stunning international cast of some of the biggest Latin rock and pop artists from around the globe interpreting Elvis Costello and The Attractions' album, This Year's Model, entirely in Spanish.
Frances Forever can spin anything into sunshine. As the project of Boston-area singer-songwriter Frances Garrett, its myriad moods can send listeners reeling into romance or off floating in existential space. Garrett balances their familiarity with extremes with an undeniable ear for melody and a gift for writing tracks that could live at home anywhere on the pop timeline. paranoia party, the project's first EP in the wake of TikTok explosion 'space girl,' rockets forward with the past half-century of radio magic in its back pocket. Atop this glitter-shocked display, Garrett spills their guts about fumbling their own power. Take one listen to 'space girl,' Frances' latest charmer of a single that's rocketing up indie charts and TikTok counts despite a disaster mission of a year. The track continues to grow, with 80MM+ streams globally, 57 Viral Spotify Charts, 265k average daily streams, and over 535 million video views and 500k videos created on Tik Tok. Frances Forever has been hotly tipped as one of the top artists to watch in 2021: featured in lists by Rolling Stone, SPIN, Amazon Music, GQ UK, Uproxx, and recently named as one of Pigeons & Planes best new artists. paranoia party further seals their fate as a breakout act, showing off Frances Forever's mastery of vintage texture and 2021 attention spans in equal measure. From the doo-wop glaze of opener 'depression' to the horn-flecked indietronica of 'daytime,' paranoia party carves its identity from stopovers in darker, braver territory. Those enchanted by 'space girl' have plenty to root for, though, as the EP's title track serves as its boldest mission statement, stacking a story of college-party anxiety against a circus-tent waltz that glitches and stutters in line with Garrett's narrative confidence.