DIIV – Is The Is Are
When “Dopamine” dropped last year, it spent four minutes breaking nearly four years’ worth of promises Zachary Cole Smith had made about DIIV’s sophomore album. There was no remnant of the San Francisco magic Smith hoped to conjure by working with Chet “J.R” White. It did not sound like Royal Trux and it definitely did not sound like Elliott Smith. It didn’t signal that Smith would follow through on his proposed indictment of guitar-based music’s lack of originality and relevance. It was, however, the most sharply written DIIV song to date, making a promise Is the Is Are actually keeps: While it’s mostly about getting high and it sounds exactly like DIIV, it finds more interesting ways to do both of those things. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Dr. Dog – Psychedelic Swamp
Some songs here (surely “Bring My Baby Back” and “Swampadelic Pop”) are destined to become signature Dr. Dog tunes, but stronger than the impression of any single track is the one Psychedelic Swamp leaves as a whole. This band cranks every dial, stretches every muscle, and explores every nook and cranny in its domain, and has one hell of a time doing it. It’s an album of swampadelic pop that spares none of either, straddling the line with the band’s signature side-by-side blend of swirling atmospheric noise and earworm melodies. Read the full review on AV Club
Bloc Party – Hymns
Their latest, Hymns, represents yet another rebirth, this time with a new rhythm section and a fresh batch of digital tricks. Frontman Kele Okereke has been more committed than most of his peers in trying to extract humanity from machines and infusing bloops and bleeps with something resembling a soul, and first single “The Love Within” may be his greatest feat in that regard. An insistent techno backbeat, mutated organ hums, and sliding robo-moans give way to a blissful chorus, where he declares, “The love within is moving upwards, sweeter than any drug.” Read the full review on Entertainment Weekly
5 additional songs from the Coming Home sessions!
Originally scheduled as a Record Store Day/Black Friday release
Only available at RSD indie stores (Like Pure Pop)
1) “There She Goes”
2) “Daisy Mae”
1) “Mississippi Kisses”
2) “Here In My Arms”
3) “Outta Line”
Come on down to your favorite local record store for a FREE limited edition Lucinda Williams t-shirt with purchase of her new album!
Get “The Ghost of Highway 20” for a special low intro price!
Free t-shirt included with purchase while supplies last! Check it out below:
Williams’ new 14-song set, The Ghosts Of Highway 20, is a road album of a sort, as well as a remarkable distillation of her writerly gifts. Traveling an old, familiar byway through the Deep South evidently conjured for her an array of images and impressions. The moony, ominous title track maps the connections between Williams’ imagining of the past as a haunted domain and the ferocity of her songwriting voice. Concrete description of muggy days, “sweet coffee milk” and hellfire warnings lights her way into a clear-eyed appraisal of conflicted childhood experiences in the bittersweet reverie “Louisiana Song.”
Elsewhere, Williams pivots to obstinacy, as she purges her existential pain through devil-may-care, down-home blues (“Bitter Memory”), fantasizes about challenging the cruelness of death (“If My Love Could Kill”) and insists upon romantic perseverance (“Can’t Close The Door On Love”). Even at her most whimsical, as in the gentle pop-folk waltz “Place In My Heart,” she accentuates the tenacity in her affection. “Even though you take my love for granted,” she sings, her drawl dissolving into a brittle vibrato, “I’m pretty strong when I admit it. You might be surprised at what I can manage, so don’t you ever forget.”
Nevermen – Nevermen
Get the album at Pure Pop now!
Ever since introducing himself to the world with Faith No More’s The Real Thing in 1989, Mike Patton has been defined by near-superhuman levels of vocal dexterity and a creative restlessness that borders on ADHD, trying everything from avant-garde composition to Italian opera to the surf rock-death metal hybrids of Mr. Bungle. He might have finally met his vocal match in TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, a singer who’s been shaping art-rock and soul music into fascinating new forms for more than a decade. The debut album from Nevermen – a new group formed by Patton, Adebimpe and underground hip-hop hero Adam “Doseone” Drucker (best known for his work with Anticon/cLOUDDEAD) – finds the three artists pushing the capabilities of their voices to the breaking point, and their cohorts to keep up.
Come down to Pure Pop for a chance to win an autographed Squier guitar from Grammy nominated artist Courtney Barnett!! Take a photo next to this poster in the store and post it online with the hashtag #Barnett4BestNewArtist for a chance to win the guitar! A random winner will be chosen on 2/19.
“Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit” can be purchased here:
Deluxe LP: $29.99
Courtney Barnett is hitting the US again for some select dates. Check them out below:
04-19 Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
04-20 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
04-21 Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
04-26-27 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
04-28 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
05-25 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live!
05-26 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
05-29 Montreal, Québec – Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre
05-31 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
06-2-5 Nelsonville, Ohio – Nelsonville Music Festival
06-3-5 New York, NY – The Governors Ball Music Festival
06-15-17 Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
06-22-23 Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger
A 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of tinny and scorched guitar licks, jagged and fitful rhythms, and snotty drugged-out vocals (irksome croaking and all), the album celebrates its elaborate peculiarity in a way that makes it feel more like part of an era, rather than just “another Ty Segall record.” Nuggets of Parliament-style, space-party funk (“Squealer Two”) and hyper-proggy asides reminiscent of Robert Fripp’s collaborative work in the ’80s (“California Hills”) are welded together to bear a beast that’s ultimately greater than the sum of its parts. Read the full review on AV Club
Savages – Adore Life
Amidst the squall of Thompson’s guitar on the fiery lead-off track, “The Answer,” Beth wails, “If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody.” The song raucously captures the pleasure and pain of relationships, both lyrically and musically, as the towering number burns brilliantly before crashing out spectacularly upon the craggy rocks amidst a Sirens call to shipwreck. Hassan’s swinging bassline illuminates the dynamic “Evil,” while the ominous lyrics suggest a brave protagonist who fights against being confined by expectations or those unwilling to accept their evolution. Read the full review on Line of Best Fit
Jesu / Sun Kill Moon – Self Titled
Someone should send Paul McCartney a copy of Sun Kil Moon’s latest release — a blistering, yet thoughtful collaboration with Jesu (better known as Justin Broadrick, co-founder of industrial metal outfit Godflesh) — to prove that people still haven’t had enough of silly love songs. It’s gotten to the point that even Mark Kozelek seems like a romantic.
No, really. The opener to Broadrick and Kozelek’s collaborative album, “Good Morning My Love”, revolves around the meaning of “rekindle,” and might be his most sincere acknowledgment of love’s restorative powers. Read more on Consequence of Sound
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“The score opens with ‘Main Title’ by Ryuichi Sakamoto and it’s a moody 2 note motif with wind effect in the underscore. It’s slow, dragging, but interesting. I’m not in love, but I do love it for what it is. Minimalistic, harsh, bleak, cold. Those are a few words I would use to describe it. The wilderness. Sakamoto’s companions Alva Noto and Bryce Dessner are credited for the next cue called ‘Hawk Punished’ which feels much warmer to me, but the music is more electronic. I can hear electronic whispers and various effects like I was stranded in space. It’s quite beautiful.” 9.3/10 – Soundtrack Geek
The big Rhino special release records sale starts now with big discounts on new vinyl and CDs as well as a free calendar with purchase of any of the the below mentioned albums. C’mon down!
Bad Company Rock N Roll Fantasy: The Very Best Of Band Company (180g 2LP)
The Blue Man Group Giacometti/Ready To Go (7″)
The Cars The Cars (Translucent Blue LP)
Cibo Matto Viva! La Woman (180g Orange Opaque LP)
Devo Freedom Of Choice (Red White & Blue Starburst LP)
Grateful Dead Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 11/10/1967 (180g 3LP)
The Monkees Cereal Box Records (4 7″ Flexi Collection)
The Monkees Complete Album Collection (10CD box)
The Replacements Hootenany (LP)
The Replacements Let It Be (LP)
The Replacements Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash (LP)
The Replacements Stink (LP)
The Temple City Kazoo Orchastra Some Kazoos (Burgundy 7″)
The Velvet Underground Live At Max’s Kansas City (180g 2LP)
The Velvet Underground Live At Max’s Kassas City (CD)
Various Artists The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968 (9CD Box Set Reformat)
Various Artists Jackie Brown: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture (180g Yellow LP)
20% Off The Following CDs!
Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well
Linda Ronstadt Just One Look Collection
Grateful Dead Best of
Talking Heads Name of this Band
Pogues Rum Sodomy & the Lash
Faith No More Angel Dust & Real Thing Deluxe Editions
Faces You Can Make Me Dance Box Set
Band Last Waltz
Aphex Twin Richard B James
& many others
10% Off The Following LPs!
Black Sabbath 1st & Sabotage
Circles Around the Sun Interludes for the Dead
Gang of Four Entertainment
Joy Division All Titles
Pogues 4 Titles
Ramones 3 Titles
Smiths 4 Titles
Soul Coughing 3 Titles
Van Halen 3 Titles
& many others
Witchcraft – Nucleus
The production has a retro ’70s warmth to it, but with that comes some slight blurring of the audio edges; guitar chords sounding slightly muffled, for instance, or the drums lacking a bit of the treble presence they should have. The tone is well-suited to the blend of musical styles in which the band indulges, but that doesn’t really save it from the effects of these short-comings. Then again, more clarity and sharper contrast doesn’t seem like it would do many favors to the music, so it’s something of a wash on that aspect. Read the full review on Metal Blast
Waaves / Cloud Nothings – No Life for Me
From a creative perspective, one suspects that Williams benefits more from the pairing than Baldi. The guy can write a hook and roll a blunt with the same precision, but his recent output hasn’t been his most focused; sometimes, the curtain of fuzz is so thick that it snuffs out the flickering flame of melody beneath. Baldi, meanwhile, always seems in control of his compositions, even when he’s using them to explore unknown reaches of the mind. He exercises a bit of that control here, never allowing a song on No Life for Me to get too out of hand. Consequence of Sound
Daughter – Not to Disappear
Numbness and self-loathing sit deep at the album’s core. There’s no hiding from these songs: they know you inside out. It might – just – be a redemptive experience. Certainly, as Tonra flails for love among the ruins, you feel her shaking off the ghosts. Not to Disappear is shattering throughout: a brooding sound board, crackling guitars, unsettling beats and Tonra buried in there somewhere, documenting unspeakable hurt, graphic and unfiltered. Read the full review on Skinny
Jason Isbell/Something More Than Free A really fantastic album. I avoided Jason for a couple years because I thought his stuff was overrated, but when I first heard 24 Frames, I was hooked on this album (and his previous ones as well).
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats I came late to this album, but in the last four months, it's been on constant rotation. Just soulful and feel good.
Leon Bridges/Coming Home The first time I heard Leon, I knew the album would be great. His voice reminds me of Arthur Alexander and his image of Sam Cooke. I think we're in for big things from this guy.
Josh Ritter/Sermon on the Rocks My most played song this year, by far, was Getting Ready to Get Down, which was the first single, but Where the Night Goes, Henrietta, Indiana, Homecoming and Young Moses are some of Josh's best ever. If I could have two best albums, this would be up there. Very excited to see the tour in February. (And the Burlington picture in his Homecoming video always makes me smile.)
Lord Huron/Strange Trails This was a tough call. Lord Huron and Josh Ritter put out amazing albums this year, but, most likely because Lord Huron's came out before and therefore I had more time with it, I had to choose it as my favorite. I've been a fan for years and am really excited to see them get the credit they deserve. Fantastic follow up to Lonesome Dreams. I could tell they had made it when we had to wait 25 minutes to get into Higher Ground this year, when last time they came, the place was half full.
I found this year to be dominated by just a few albums, with very little new stuff in the mix. Despite this though, the three new artists I picked up this year made my top five list. I’m excited for next year – the return of Thrice is enough to make the entire year in music a plus! – and hopeful for some new acts revitalizing rock music.