Music Releases 11-26-21
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
CD: $11.98 Buy
“Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia- related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia based non-profit organization. I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs, but the tracklist is not meant to be comprehensive. I would love to cover Outkast and 2 Chainz, but I don’t think the finished product would be very good. We’re a rock band, so we covered rock songs. We have roots in blues and R&B, so we enlisted some brilliant artists to help us pull off songs by Precious Bryant, James Brown, and Gladys Knight. My favorite part of the Georgia Blue recording process was having the opportunity to work with these very special artists, and I thank them: Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Adia Victoria, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Bèla Fleck, Chris Thile, Steve Gorman, Peter Levin, and John Paul White. I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.”
- Jason Isbell
Never Trust A Happy Song: 10th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition Green LP]
It's been ten years since Grouplove met on a commune in Greece and brought the idea of forming a band back to California. They'd never have anticipated making it this far: five albums, multiple chart-topping singles across alternative and pop formats, a Grammy nomination, and critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, which heralded the group as “a band who have perfected big, radio-friendly rock songs.” As their debut album ‘Never Trust A Happy Song 10th Anniversary Edition’ approaches its tenth anniversary, Grouplove is ready to celebrate with the fans by releasing a limited edition vinyl, pressed on 180 gram green vinyl.
e.p. x 3 [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Curacao, Clear & Yellow Vinyl]
Mogwai's 'EPx3' vinyl consists of the three EP's they released with Chemikal Underground from 1997 to 1999 (see below) and make up the CD release 'EP+6'. The three EP's will be housed in printed inners with the original front cover artwork and they will be held in an wide spined 7mm sleeve & coloured vinyl.
4 Satin (1997) on curacao coloured vinyl
No Education = No Future (1998) on clear vinyl
EP (1999) on sun yellow vinyl
The EP's were limited to 1000 and they all sold out quickly and this is the first time they have been available on vinyl in over 20 years.
Black Label Society
Doom Crew Inc. [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Clear & Black Ice W/Grey 2LP]
Turning To Crime [Limited Edition Crystal Clear 2LP]
After five decades of records made chiefly of original material, Deep Purple’s 22nd studio album consists solely of songs written and previously recorded by other artists: a criminal offense commonly described by the rock police and purists Grand Jury as “doing covers.”
Studio recordings of songs previously released by Love, Huey “Piano” Smith, Fleetwood Mac, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles & Quincy Jones, Little Feat, The Yardbirds, Lonnie Donegan/ Johnny Horton, Bob Seger System, Cream, plus the “Caught In The Act” medley feat. songs by Freddie King, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin and The Spencer Davis Group came to life with the band, for the first time in their career, recording them while not being in the same room.
“Turning To Crime” is Deep Purple enjoying playing music without commercial plans nor losing their edge and drive. This is Deep Purple coming full circle.
This is 100% Deep Purple.
Gold [Red in Clear LP]
West coast new romantic icon Riki returns with her 2nd simulacrum of pitch-perfect synth-pop, aptly titled for the precious substance it is: Gold. Inspired by notions of symbolic power, letting go, and transmutable realms of the heart, the album further refines her rare gift for making swooning melancholia as anthemic as it atmospheric. Working with Telefon Tel Aviv co-founder Josh Eustis at his Pasadena studio, the sessions unfolded fluidly and fruitfully, focusing on “quieter moments” and refining the record’s palette and voice. Occasional interruption from a nearby flock of wild parrots infused a mood of California dreaming, purple sunsets dissolving into deepening neon night.
Like all the most elusive pop, Riki’s songcraft is simultaneously direct and oblique, dynamic and detached, shifting from sparkling chorus to elliptical outro according to its own poetic logic. She characterizes her lyrical muse as “very much what’s going on in my life, things I wanted to say but didn’t have the platform.” This subcurrent of dream fulfillment animates the melodies with a specificity and immediacy that transcends her pantheon of 80’s influences: from Saâda Bonaire and Strawberry Switchblade to Bryan Ferry, Bananarama, and beyond. Gold skews less dance floor than her instant classic 2020 debut but taken as a collection it’s equally stirring, stylish, and exquisitely produced. Evocatively layered arrangements of drum machinery, sequencer, fretless bass, grey sky guitar, saxophone, and FX, anchored by Riki’s singular voice, alternately widescreen and wounded, yearning beyond time for ecstasies both fleeting and forever: “Thought I knew you, but you’ve gone far away / it’s not in your nature to stay / but the thought that I need you, grows stronger every day / the colors begin / to change.”
Satisfaction [Purple LP]
Narrow Head’s debut full-length record Satisfaction is available once again on vinyl for the first time since its initial release in 2016. Reissued by Run For Cover, this version of the album includes updated album art and a limited color vinyl release. While the band offered a handful of one-off singles and demos prior toSatisfaction’s release, this record offers a perfect introduction to the Houston band’s world.
Revisiting Satisfaction after the release of last year’s 12th House Rock finds this younger version of the band honing in their signature blend melody, heaviness and atmosphere. Leadoff track “Necrosis” immediately recalls the heaviness of genre fore-bearers like touring partners Quicksand, while standout song “Cool In Motion” kicks off with what feels like an all-time alt-rock hook before disintegrating into an airy and melodic full-band jam.
Let The Morning Come [LP]
Vinyl: $22.98 Buy
2020 was supposed to be Wästberg's big year. Still riding high from the release of his second album as sir Was '2019"s Holding On To A Dream ' the Swedish multi-instrumentalist was booked to open for Little Dragon across Europe and the US. When the tour was cancelled due to COVID, he decided to channel all his energies into writing new music instead, but in August of 2020, he received some life-changing news. Tests revealed he carried the gene for a rare, hereditary condition causing multiple strokes. This dichotomy lies at the heart of his beautifully bittersweet third LP. Meditating on love, growth, self-acceptance, forgiveness, mortality and the passing of time, Let The Morning Come, which arrives self-produced by Joel, contains his most candid writing to date. And yet, for all the heartache that comes with being cruelly confronted with one's own mortality, the prevailing impression Wästberg leaves listeners with is one of hope, resulting in a collection that is life-affirming in the very truest sense.
Ka Baird & Pekka Airaksinen
FRKWYS Vol. 17: Hungry Shells [LP]
Vinyl: $27.98 Buy
Hungry Shells, the seventeenth entry in RVNG Intl.’s intergenerational collaborations series FRKWYS, brings together vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and sound artist Ka Baird with avant-garde composer and radical performance art pioneer Pekka Airaksinen. Recorded six months before Pekka’s passing,Hungry Shells alchemizes separate but similar spiritualistic practices, canvassing Baird’s voice and synthesizer rituals and Airaksinen’s lysergic sound explorations into startling, surreal landscapes.
Pekka Airaksinen, who left this realm for another in May 2019, is recognized as a pioneering composer both in and outside his native Finland’s fringe art community. A founding member of the late 60s art and music collectiveThe Sperm, Airaksinen discovered Buddhism in the early 1970s, eventually establishing a number of meditation centers around Finland.Throughout his career Airaksinen embraced a degree of obscurity and anonymity that was inspired by his Buddhist learnings, and afforded him complete creative freedom. Ashe explained, “The less success you have, the more time there is to develop things.”
Ka Baird, who found her musical footing in Chicago playing inSpires That In The Sunset Rise before moving to New York to pursue her solo career, has developed a practice based in forms of active and engaged embodiment. Inspired b yCharlemagne Palestine’s Body Music, Baird’s performances explore physical extremes as a catalyst for charged immediacy and presence. “I’m interested in the places between precision and something unrestrained,” she toldThe Wire in 2019.Drawing on minimalism’s ecstatic deployment of duration and endurance, her recordings explore the outer limit sounds of her voice and its synthesis with developing music technology.
Airaksinen and Baird convened in Utrecht in the fall of 2018 to write, rehearse, and record Hungry Shells ahead of a performance at the Dutch festival institution Le Guess Who? Sessions took place between contemplative walks along the city’s medieval canals, and, for Airaksinen, lengthy meditations in his hotel room. Early on in the trip, Pekka shared ODO with Ka, a collection of Buddhist parables that he divinely received while meditating. After translating several of these texts from Finnish to English the duo used them as text for the album, and a sort of psychic foundation.
On Hungry Shells, Airaksinen and Baird embrace the creative potential within ritualistic or meditative states. Manifesting as stylistic touchstones from both artists’ oeuvre and, ultimately, an innovative discourse, the artists’ voices thread like a golden, mystical rope throughout the album. This merging of musical voices creates the character of this collaboration: a limitless form without ego, dismantling our frame of reality to reveal a portrait of true peace. Hungry Shellsadds one last, unique hue to Airaksinen’s spectral, unconventional fifty year discography, and sets a stage for Baird to preserve her mentor and collaborator’s legacy and promote the concept that transformation truly defies time.
Ka Baird and Pekka Airaksinen’s Hungry Shells, FRKWYS Vol. 17, will be released in vinyl and digital editions on October 22, 2021.Mastered byRashad Becker, the album features an artist essay from Baird, and poetry and cover artwork from Airaksinen. On behalf of Ka and Pekka’s estate, a portion of the proceeds from this release will benefit Nepal Art House, a non-profit art school that provides free art and cultural education toNepalese children who have limited resources and opportunities.