Indie Exclusive Releases
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Producer/singer/songwriter Neko Case has won a large and loyal audience for her smoky, sophisticated vocals and the downcast beauty of her music. Now more than 23 years into her musical calling, Case is the consummate career artist--fearless and versatile, with a fierce work ethic and a constant drive to search deeper within herself for creative growth.
On June 1st, Anti- will release Neko Case’s ‘Hell On,’ an indelible collection of colorful, enigmatic storytelling that features some of her most daring, through-composed arrangements to date. Produced by Neko with help from Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn & John), ‘Hell On’ is simultaneously the most accessible and most challenging album in a rich and varied career that’s offered plenty of both. Rife with withering self-critique, muted reflection, anthemic affirmation, and her unique poetic sensibility, the 12 tracks of ‘Hell On’ — which features collaborations such as Joey Burns, Beth Ditto, Kelly Hogan, KD Lang, AC Newman, Paul Rigby, Laura Veirs, and more.
Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on opaque red vinyl. Includes bonus 7” of “Baby’s Got It Bad” b/w “Can’t Get Over You” on black vinyl. Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 1,000 in the US.
Tracyanne & Danny is a new collaborative project between singer-songwriters Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura) and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby). Tracyanne hails from Glasgow, Scotland. London-born Danny is based in Bristol, England. Their paths first crossed in 2013 when introduced by mutual music industry pals. Tracyanne dug Danny’s Crybaby album (released on Helium Records) and invited him to open some Camera Obscura shows in the UK. Mutual artistic respect led to the swapping of song ideas, but tentative plans to work together were set aside while Camera Obscura wrote, recorded, released, and promoted their fifth album Desire Lines. Following the death of Camera Obscura’s Carey Lander, all band activity stopped. Time passed. Tracyanne and Danny revisited the idea of collaborating. A pool of songs were honed and crafted. On the suggestion of their manager (and Teenage Fanclub drummer) Francis Macdonald, they recorded at Clashnarrow, a studio in Helmsdale in the highlands of Scotland owned by the esteemed Edwyn Collins.
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The Grammy and Brit nominated Courtney Barnett returns with her second album - ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel.’ It follows her critically acclaimed 2015 debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit’, and a recent top 10 collaborative record, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’, with Kurt Vile. One of the most distinctive voices in music, Courtney is known for mixing witty observations with un inching self-assessment - fast forward to now and although all of the cleaver turns of phrase and an eye for story telling are still there; this new collection of songs see a more serious and outwardly tone capturing the current social landscape yet still retaining moments of intimacy and warmth. As the world becomes more familiar with Courtney Barnett these songs feel comforting and emphatic yet that raw energy and the ability to make the listener think still remain..
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Arctic Monkeys return with their new album, entitled ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ on Friday the 11th of May 2018. Produced by James Ford and Alex Turner, the album was recorded in Los Angeles, Paris and London.
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Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don’t really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. The signifiers of the band are there: Justin Ringle’s warm tenor and taut lyrics that speak of work, love, and other struggles; but on this album less of the song dynamics are achieved with strings and more with an exciting new rhythm section steeped in Northern Soul, creating a sound that leaps into the spotlight. Diehard fans are going to have to make room in the club house for a lot more people – with this album, the Horse Feathers secret is officially out.
The album arrives following years of anticipation and speculation, which reached a fever pitch as the outfit helmed by Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel launched their Fall 2017 tour with the release of “The Doomed”. The band then ushered in the new year with the debut of the contemplative song, “Disillusioned”.
“Although I’m extremely excited to finally be completing this album after a 14-year hiatus,” explains Keenan. “I’m actually more excited that its intentional release date is serving a greater purpose. The 20th of April is Carina Round’s birthday. She is a dear friend who is extremely difficult to shop for. Pressure off. Of course, I must also note that the potheads are gonna be thrilled that this album comes out on 4-20. May it serve as a glorious soundtrack to accompany all of the giggling and vexing sounds of nibbling and snacking. Fingers crossed, Cheech & Chong will be proud.”
“Demos are these precious ideas that you love in their initial state,” adds Howerdel. “Then you collaborate, invite other ideas, and watch them progress. That’s the dynamics and growth of a great record. I feel we’ve made a great record.”
Eat The Elephant, which was co-produced by Dave Sardy (Autolux, Slayer), is being released in multiple formats including digital, CD, and double gatefold 180 gram vinyl. In advance of Record Store Day, a limited-edition independent retail exclusive version of the LP on white 180 gram vinyl with alternate cover will also be available.
The highly-anticipated album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny or heartbreaking.
Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spectro called 'God Only Knows'; Another incomplete song, 'I Have Met My Love Today' now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact.
Pigeonholing Blackberry Smoke has never been easy. Since emerging from Atlanta in the early ‘00s, the quintet – vocalist/lead guitarist Charlie Starr, guitarist/vocalist Paul Jackson, bassist/vocalist Richard Turner, drummer Brit Turner and keyboardist Brandon Still – has become known for a singular sound indebted to classic rock, blues, country and folk. Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke’s sixth studio album, doubles down on diversity. Songs hew toward easygoing roots-rock (“Run Away From It All”) and Southern rock stomps (“The Crooked Kind”), as well as stripped-down acoustic numbers (“I’ve Got This Song”) and bruising alt-country (“Nobody Gives A Damn”). Rich instrumental flourishes – keening fiddle, solemn organ and bar-band piano boogie – add further depth and resonance.
Philadelphia natives The Wonder Years return with their new studio album Sister Cities, a collection of testimonials on love, loss, and finding commonalities in the human experience despite cultural differences. Produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Manchester Orchestra, Morrissey, The Strokes), the album expands on the band's unique brand of emotional rock that has gained them a massive cult following since their start in 2007. Sister Cities is the follow up to 2015's No Closer To Heaven, an album that debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200, No. 1 on the LP Vinyl Albums Chart and went on to sell over 45,000 units in the U.S.
Winter is the project of songwriter Samira Winter, who’s love for guitar music and nostalgic imagery inspired the dream pop/indie rock four piece. Samira grew up in Curitiba, Brazil listening to her American father’s punk records, and her Brazilian mother’s MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) tunes. Winter’s first full length album, Supreme Blue Dream, was released in 2015 on Los Angeles label Lolipop Records. Ethereality is the long-awaited follow-up album, coming on the heels of various single releases and international touring.
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On every album, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed, and Freedom is the project's boldest leap.
The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it's a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable.
It's a sound never heard before on an Amen Dunes record, but one that was always asking to emerge. Eleven songs span a range of emotions, from contraction to release and back again. 'Blue Rose' and 'Calling Paul the Suffering' are pure, ecstatic dance songs. 'Skipping School' and 'Miki Dora' are incantations of a mythical heroic maleness and its illusions. 'Freedom' and 'Believe' offer a street tough's future-gospel exhalation, and the funk-grime grit of 'L.A.' closes the album, projecting a musical hint of things to come.
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Pianist Bud Powell can be heard in prime form during this live set from The Essen Jaz Festival Concert, recorded in April of 2960. The set finds Powell backed by an all-star trio, featuring bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke. The great tenor Coleman Hawkins joins the trio for three of the nine selections, including an incredible take of his own composition, Stuffy. The classic concert was remastered at Infrasonic Mastering and pressed on audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas in Germany.
The first track off the album, I Was A Fool has gained over a million streams and received press praise from The New York Times, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, MTV, NPR and more. The follow-up track, Crisis Fest is a call to millennial arms, melding pop shimmer and drive with the personal and political. 2017 we know/ Realitys one big sick show/ Every days a crisis fest, Cumming sings. Twentytwo is only one example of a gentler side of Sunflower Bean thats on display on the new album. While the trio remains a guitar band at its core, new and different textures shine on this new album. Sunflower Beans diverse sound has allowed them to tour alongside DIIV, Best Coast, Pixes and Wolf Alice. Their 2018 is filled with headline shows, festivals and a tour with Sleigh Bells. The New York times named them Spirited interpreters of rock n rolls eternal truths, the three early-20s New Yorkers who make up Sunflower Bean are equally adept at studio finesse (witness their recent single I Was a Fool) and raucous live noise.
Cavern Of Anti-Matter return for their third studio album on their own Duophonic label. Hormone Lemonade sees the band heavily utilising the sounds of modular synths and home built drum machines, yet still keeping the loose, improvised sound familiar to fans of their first two albums, with minimal guitar melodies and live drum kit helping to build hypnotic layers of texture.
The albums genesis was in the self-constructed rhythm machines of band member Holger Zapf, the Taktron Z3 and Taktron Z2, being recorded to tape during three one-hour sessions. These sessions also included the use of 70s Hohner and Eko drum machines. Holger played his parts in a free-form way and the bpm varied wildly as it was not possible to sync it to any outside controllers.
Tim Gane edited these initial jams into useable chunks and proceeded to overdub each new rhythmic “chunk” with some basic musical ideas, keeping in tune to the hum of the machines and retaining the “feel” of the inherent pulse. Joe Dilworth arrived to lay down a beat over these minimal backing tracks, going with the flow as best he could.
In the following months the music was fleshed out using various synths and sequencers from Roland, Arp, Oberheim and Holger’s modular synth set up. As well as many of the bass and sequencer parts the modular also supplied the chords by tuning each one of it’s five oscillators to specific notes and intervals.
'May Your Kindness Remain' is Courtney Marie Andrews statement piece. It is the follow up album to Courtney Marie Andrews critically acclaimed 2016 album Honest Life, which made Rolling Stone's list of the "Top 40 Country Albums of 2016" and was The Bluegrass Situation's Album of the Year. She even appeared on an episode of 'Later…with Jools Holland.” She has toured with The Head & The Heart, Big Thief, Hamilton Leithauser and more.
Earthless has a surprise for you. Whereas the band’s three previous albums featured anywhere from two to four completely instrumental space rock jams, the California trio’s fourth and latest, Black Heaven, is nothing like that. “It’s quite different,” drummer Mario Rubalcaba says with a laugh. “It has six songs, and most importantly it has vocals on about 70 percent of the record. There goes being pigeonholed as an instrumental band, I guess…”
Of Black Heaven’s six tracks, only two are instrumental. And one of those instrumentals is less than two minutes long. “It wasn’t a premeditated thing to do a record with vocals,” Rubalcaba explains. “On the older records, Mike was responsible for a lot of the riffs that would start these jams, but on this one Isaiah really brought his own pizazz and flavor to it. I’d say that’s one of the major differences on this album: It has more of Isaiah’s input. He took a risk bringing these ideas to us, not knowing if we’d like them. But as with everything we’ve done in the past, it felt very organic and natural.”
Black Heaven is a game changer for Earthless. Nobody is more aware of this than the band members themselves. But they also know this: you’ll never get anywhere if you’re running in place. “I’m sure there will be some people who have come to expect the big gargantuan space rock jams, and I don’t know if they’ll be into this or not,” Rubalcaba admits. “But I’m ready to deal with a little bit of disappointment from people who just want the freakout stuff. At the same time, I think people are gonna enjoy hearing a different side of us. If people really listen to what we’re doing, it’s gonna sound like us. Sometimes it just takes a few listens. And that’s the kind of stuff that pays off more in the end.”
The Decemberists explore a new sound on their inspired 8th studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, out 3/17 on Capitol Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band (with nearly 2M adj. albums sales) worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Ray) & embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as evidenced on synth-driven lead single “Severed.” The band kicks off their 2018 Your Girl / Your Ghost World Tour on 3/22.
“Black boys have a whole world of complexity that society makes us stomp out of ourselves." Language, Bryndon Cook's full-length debut as Starchild & The New Romantic, communicates his refusal to do so. Describing himself early-on as a “young romantic boy from Maryland," Cook has long been a dreamer, a student of black music’s rich lineage and its intersection with pop. He's drawn to landmark moments where artists have found truth in darkness; the diverse language of music living in their core. This record is his; lifting o from the monochrome world of Crucial, his 2016 EP on Ghostly International, up towards a dazzling crimson blood-rush of sky-high defiance and autonomy. On Language, Cook refines his phonics for funk, electro, and R&B, and arrives at a revelation, best summarized by a single motto: "my sensitivity is my strength."
“When I wrote these songs, the sunshine of my mind was beginning to set in a dark place. I found myself developing almost a surrogate relationship with my telephone. I would fall asleep at night clutching it, waiting for a call. When we parted, I would become attached to my phone as a conduit to this person I had lost.”
Even if the valleys of their relationship were debilitating — a "black goth realm" to his soul, as Cook puts it — he often overlooks them in hopes of more peaks, more light, resulting in his most earnest, warm-hearted material to date. Take the tender single, "Hangin On." Cook beams above a prismatic soul-tinged shule and luminescent keys, still visited by the past yet at peace with the present.
The pitch is far more pointed on the album's title track, a vibrant, funk-fueled opener that wastes little time making its purpose heard. "Should have stuck with me kid," Cook begins, as nasty as he is rapturous. By its end, he's in full control. "Can I get a witness?" He screams, invoking the power of an affirmation ushered from church aisles into the lexicon by Kirk Franklin.
Sonically and spiritually, Cook finds guidance in grand standards: looking up to producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, studying their contributions to the New Jack Swing era and pop music at large. Touchstone statements like Janet Jackson's Control, Michael Jackson's Bad, and Prince's 1999; singular breakout LPs from Terence Trent D'Arby and Bobby Brown; the honesty of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska and Carole King's Tapestry; the ingenuity of Laurie Anderson. Cook also reflects on recent years with Solange, as part of her touring band, and collaborations with Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange, as reminders of artistic individuality. "Being around them now urges me to find my own way of delivering my own messages."
Cook expands his message and its impact by arranging talents. For the first time, sessions included members of his band, The New Romantic, allowing for keyboard/synth parts to be recorded straight-through, with no punch-ins, and a more dynamic atmosphere overall. Further, Cook recruits The Newark Boys Chorus to underscore the most poignant lines of "Boys Choir," giving them the entire stage for the coda: "Be it understood. / This love is mine."
Moves like this get to the root of the record: a contemplation of the boyhood that never truly leaves us. "In the black community, any sign of femininity or childlike wonder is often misconstrued as weakness, because society has always expected us to be strong. They prey on us as kids and take us to prison like adults. They kill us on the street. They take everything from us and never say thank you."
Young Fathers will release their third studio album, Cocoa Sugar, on March 9th, 2018 via Ninja Tune. The UK-based & Mercury Prize-winning trio recently shared their latest track & video 'LORD', which was described as 'Spectacular' by FADER, Crack, and Clash & earned praise by Stereogum, Paste, NME, Complex & more. The band will then return to the USA with a run of shows this Spring. Following their work on the score of Danny Boyle's Trainspotting 2, Young Fathers deliver their third and most ambitious record to date.