Indie Exclusive Releases

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JD McPherson

JD McPherson presents A Christmas Album, SOCKS. Featuring 11 original tracks written by JD McPherson and his friends. SOCKS is an album of Holidays songs sure to be standards while you are decorating the tree. Come get warm by the fire with songs such as , "All The Gifts I Need" and "Every Single Christmas." Or, burn the cookies to "SOCKS" and "Ugly Christmas Sweater." There is something for everyone on this record to enjoy whether you are in the Christmas spirit or if you just wanna say, "Bah Humbug".

JD McPherson
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Opeth

Since the early 90s Sweden’s Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with on classics like “Orchid” and “My Arms, Your Hearse” to the records like “Blackwater Park” and the band’s recent record, 2016’s “Sorceress”, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. Filmed and recorded in 2017 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, “Garden of the Titans (Opeth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)” is a 2-CD/BLU-RAY + DVD release (along with several vinyl color formats) consisting of tracks spanning the band’s nearly 30 year career.

Opeth
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Saves The Day

Saves The Day have been through a lot over the past two decades: Van accidents, member changes, the emo explosion, and the adventures that carried the act and their fans from adolescence to adulthood. But they’ve never had a proper history of the band… until now. Saves The Day’s ninth album 9 tells the story of the band from the perspective of the band’s founder Chris Conley and does it in a way that’s as exhaustive as it is poetic and makes the listener a part of the songwriting process. From a narrative standpoint, 9 chronicles the epic story of a group of kids from New Jersey who realized their dream and became international sensations. However, on a more existential level, it shows how Conley “woke up” and became aware of his own consciousness through his relationship with music and the unbelievable adventures it inspired since he formed the act in 1997.

Saves The Day
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Super Unison

Oakland, CA trio Super Unison features Meghan O’Neil (formerly of PUNCH) on bass and vocals, Kevin DeFranco on guitar, and Justin Renninger (formerly of Snowing) on drums. Formed in 2014, the band released their acclaimed album "Auto" on Deathwish in 2017. Their new album "Stella" was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). It is an aggressive and sonically dynamic outpouring of post punk emotion. Though they tackle dark and personal subject matter, they ultimately find a light that cuts through the dark, and a way to get through the loss and loneliness we all face.

Super Unison
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Alkaline Trio

Across two decades, eight albums, and a multitude of singles, splits, and EPs, Alkaline Trio has built a reputation as a defining act in punk rock’s modern era. Formed in Chicago by vocalist-guitarist Matt Skiba in 1996, the band would come into its own with its debut album Goddammit in 1998. Since then, the band has continually evolved, incorporating new influences with each record while achieving artistic, critical, and commercial success along the way. It’s been 5 years since Alkaline Trio released their last studio album, My Shame Is True. In that time, they’ve toured the world, sold over a million records, including a 20th Anniversary – 8 LP live box set, recorded on their 2014-15 Past Live tour. Since those Past Live shows, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant both released solo albums, and Skiba joined blink-182, releasing the chart-topping album California with the band. Alkaline Trio’s live shows have always been thrilling due to the fact that, even as the band ascended through the ranks of punk, they always retained the feeling of three friends excited to be on stage together. “When I think of a Trio live show,” says Skiba, “I always go back to the humble beginnings of the band, and I want that to always be in this band.” Alkaline Trio closed 2017 with a coveted opening slot for The Original Misfits, a band Skiba describes as his “first love,” Alkaline Trio is primed to step back into the spotlight. “We have the wind at our backs, it seems,” says Skiba. “Every aspect of the band—be it business or artistically or whatever—it feels like the Gods are in our corner.” Andriano agrees, and says that he’s ready to make the band’s best record yet. “I wanna be a band that people want to hear new stuff from. Because I feel like I’m still in a band that wants to write good, new music.” “Is This Thing Cursed?” will prove that good, new music is worth the wait.

Alkaline Trio
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Buxton

Stay Out Late is ultimately, the end result of understanding who we are, and more importantly, who we are not.

This will be our 15th year as a band, and our 5th record overall. In the years preceding the making of this record, we all had to define what it meant for us to be happy making music. There are certain mechanisms and tropes we all fall into as a result. And as hard as we may try to emulate what we consider to be higher art, or rather, classic music; we always end up with a Buxton record.

Sergio couldn't write for almost 2 years after 'Half A Native'. The answers to "why" had run dry. We all saw each other, hung out and everything was like normal. I can't really pinpoint the moment it all made sense again. The question had suddenly changed to "why not" and we were back in the studio making demos. There was a lurking sense that nobody would ever hear these songs, and that lead to a sort of creativity I'm not sure we'd really experienced before. All ideas were on the table, and more importantly they stayed on the table.

There are a handful of truly great masterpieces and the attempt of achieving that is one of the most daunting and exhausting pursuits any artist can take on. In the van we're constantly educating ourselves and finding new and in many cases old points of inspiration. Whether it be Mark Hollis, HC McEntire, Mickey Newbury or rediscovering the genius of Bette Midler, we find ourselves at the mercy of our own limitations of expression. Yet somehow in our most vulnerable project, we're simultaneously the most comfortable in our skin as we've ever been.

The core of this record is about being in it for the long haul, looking back, and being able to accept it all.  We can only hope that the listener can in some way share and make tangible the joy that went into making this record.

Buxton
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Jason Isbell

Live From The Ryman was primarily recorded during the group’s six sold out nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium in 2017. The double album features 13 live versions of songs from their last three critically acclaimed, award-winning studio albums - Southeastern (2013), Something More Than Free (2015), The Nashville Sound (2017).

Jason Isbell
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Cloud Nothings

Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form — the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage — without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”

Cloud Nothings
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John Hiatt

The Eclipse Sessions, John Hiatt’s newest album, offers up his strongest set of songs in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. The 11 tracks presented in The Eclipse Sessions, from the breezy opener “Cry to Me,” to the stark “Nothing in My Heart,” the lost-love lamentation “Aces Up Your Sleeve” to the rollicking “Poor Imitation of God,” demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry.

Hiatt goes all in with The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs—a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like “Poor Imitation of God” and “One Stiff Breeze.” “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” The Eclipse Sessions is the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment.

John Hiatt
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Tom Morello

Tom Morello is living proof of the transformative power of rock’n’roll. As the co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage, and through collaborations with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Johnny Cash, he has continually pushed the limits of what one man can do with six strings.

But on his latest album The Atlas Underground, he’s transformed his sound into something even he could not have anticipated, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career.

The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, Vic Mensa, K.Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike and Whethan among others. “The riffs and the beats led the way, but the extraordinary talents of the collaborators set my creativity into uncharted territory,” says Morello of the project, which will be released October 12th, 2018 by Mom + Pop Music.

Tom Morello
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Molly Burch

Molly Burch burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut Please Be Mine – a ten-track ode to unrequited romance written after studying Jazz Vocal Performance in Asheville, NC – and earned immediate praise from critics for her smoky, effortless vocals and bleeding-heart lyrics. Following a year of touring all over North America, Europe and the UK alongside the likes of Ought, Alex Cameron, Grizzly Bear and Courtney Barnett amongst others, Burch then returned to Texas to decompress. Finding herself suddenly devoid of stimulation and with nothing but time on her hands, she began anew, bouncing ideas off her bandmate and boyfriend Dailey Toliver – who contributed guitar parts and orchestration suggestions – and, slowly, an album took shape; soon after, First Flower became real.

A walk-through Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships, and overwhelming anxiety – First Flower is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever. Opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. Title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that makes your skin raise with goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. But the album’s true stand-out is “To The Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. “I don’t need to scream to get my point across/I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” she coos over a sparse guitar riff.

First Flower is a shapely sonic stage to let Burch shine on. The composition and production carefully constructed to compliment and not over power.

Molly Burch
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Connan Mockasin

Nothing is ever straightforward with Connan Mockasin, and nothing should ever be straightforward with Connan Mockasin. This riddled rule has never resounded more than on Jassbusters, Mockasin’s third album and first in five years. An unclassifiable, unconventional album that neither picks up from nor abandons the modes of 2013’s widely-embraced Caramel or its 2010 predecessor Forever Dolphin Love, Jassbusters foreshadows a five-part melodrama titled Bostyn ’n Dobsyn, directed by and starring Mockasin. Jassbusters soundtracks the unpredictable narrative of the television series in eclectic, electric ways.

Whether bending genres for shits n’ giggles or collaborating with artists like James Blake, MGMT, John Cale, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connan Mockasin has always maneuvered in mysterious ways. After touring with the likes of Radiohead and Neil & Liam Finn (Crowded House), the Kiwi R&B surrealist continues assembling a cult around his theater, nay spectacle, of life with Bostyn ’n Dobsyn screenings and Jassbusters performances throughout October and November 2018.

Connan Mockasin
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Coheed & Cambria

Coheed and Cambria have distinguished themselves as among the most gifted storytellers in rock. While the most conceptually abstruse Coheed records have always had a foundation in reality,The Color Before the Sunmarks the first time Sanchez is exposing his raw feelings, narrated from his own perspective. His own story is told through big, bright, driving, colorful songs that beam like power-pop, crunch like vintage '90s emocore and float with the expansive feel of space-rock.

Coheed & Cambria
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Cursive

For the first time since Happy Hollow, the new Cursive album reunites Tim Kasher, guitarist/singer Ted Stevens and bassist Matt Maginn with founding drummer Clint Schnase, as well as co-producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M. Ward, Jenny Lewis) at ARC Studios in Omaha. They’re joined by Patrick Newbery on keys and touring mainstay Megan Siebe on cello. Press pickup from album announcement included Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, NPR, SPIN, COS and more. US tour dates 10/18-11/18.

Cursive
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Cat Power

There are few voices more deeply embedded in the iconography and mythology of American indie rock than that of Chan Marshall. Under the musical nom de plume of Cat Power, Marshall has released music for nearly 25 years now and her prowess as a songwriter, a producer, and most notably—as a voice—has only grown more influential with time. Wanderer, Cat Power’s stunning 10th studio album, marks a pivotal moment in both Chan Marshall’s life and her career. In the six years since the release of 2012’s Sun, Marshall has travelled the world, given birth to a child, and parted ways with her previous record label. Even though it was, in many ways, a period of profound upheaval and radical change, those experiences resulted in a record that is arguably the most assured artistic statement of her career. Produced by Marshall and mixed by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck), the album includes appearances by longtime friends and compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of friend and recent tourmate Lana Del Rey. Wanderer is, in many ways, a quintessential Cat Power record, with Marshall’s clarion voice front and center in a set of songs that remarkably stark and straightforward. But, if old Cat Power records might easily have been viewed as repositories for pain, Wanderer is, at its heart, a testament to the transformative nature of songs, an album-length imagining of alternate paths, redemptions, connections, and open-ended possibility.

Cat Power
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Blood Orange

Producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist Devonte Hynes returns with his fourth album as Blood Orange, Negro Swan. Raised in England, Hynes started out as a teenage punk in the UK band Test Icicles before releasing two orchestral acoustic pop records as Lightspeed Champion. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first of three solo albums under the moniker Blood Orange. His last album, Freetown Sound, was released to critical acclaim in 2016, and saw Hynes defined as one of the foremost musical voices of his time, receiving comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own searing and soothing personal document of life as a black man in America. He has collaborated with Solange Knowles, FKA Twigs, and many other artists, and was recently one of four artists invited to the Kennedy Center to perform alongside Philip Glass. In addition to his production work, he scored the film Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola and starring James Franco. Hynes’ newest album, Negro Swan, was written and produced by Hynes. Says Hynes: “My newest album is an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color. A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all. The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of HOPE, and the lights we can try to turn on within ourselves with a hopefully positive outcome of helping others out of their darkness.”

Blood Orange
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Kristin Hersh

A highly personalised sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works, a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din. A ten-track album, her tenth studio set. Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of dark sunshine , a brooding solo record creating with friends to expand her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky mix of discordant beauty. Feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. Messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock s true innovators. Sometimes the most subversive thing I can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we ve heard before, twisted into different shapes, and sometimes a story is lived a thousand times before we can ride it like a roller coaster. Nothing wholly unfamiliar is gonna make you look twice. When you can describe a record as being deceptively anything, you re hinting at the sociopathic nature of music. Something I love. Imagine truly buying your own sunshine and charm, but also your darkness and violence; the two sides of your psychology showing each other off in relief. Songs can do that...we can t, really. Darkness we ve seen. Kristin Hersh, July 2018

Kristin Hersh
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Ron Gallo

Stardust Birthday Party is about human evolution. Specifically, one humans evolution: mine, Ron Gallo. That’s the name my parents gave me. Hi.

At one point, I was a very lost mid-twenties person living in Philadelphia, in a relationship with someone struggling with mental health issues and crippling heroin addiction. I was asleep. I didn’t know how to handle my life. I was also writing songs for HEAVY META - my “frustrated with humanity” album. I laugh about it all now, but at the time it all felt like an absolute nightmare. It was the perfect doorway to look inside the place I’d been avoiding forever: myself.

Stardust Birthday Party is about what is happening underneath all of this life stuff. My path inward. The details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. It is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question “WHAT AM I, REALLY?” It’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. I think at one point I wanted to change the world, but now I know I can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. And that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person I thought I was, and hopefully forever.

In the liner notes of John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme (which we pay tribute to on this album) he wrote: “During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.”

That’s it. That is the pure essence of creativity. Someone embodying what they have realized about themselves and the world that surrounds them. That is why this album exists.

Thank you for letting me share this with you. Ron Gallo

Ron Gallo
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Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots shook the world with the release of their 2015 LP BLURRYFACE, an album that would go on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide and earn the band their first ever GRAMMY® Award as they shattered longstanding chart records, and captivated audiences worldwide on sold-out arena runs and at international festivals. Now three years later, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have returned to write the next chapter of their story with TRENCH, the band's highly anticipated new studio album. TRENCH finds Twenty One Pilots fearlessly reimagining the possibilities of their music through the same candid expression and genuine identity that helped to cement their place as one of the largest bands in the world.

Twenty One Pilots
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Echo & The Bunnymen

Bunnymen Classics Transformed & New Songs With Strings & Things Attached ‘I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.’ Ian McCulloch This new studio album will see The Bunnymen, still lead by the indominable Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, revisit some of their greatest songs to rearrange and transform them with co producer Andy Wright…and strings and things. Expect a couple of brand new tracks to accompany the classics. Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of post-punk and The Doors/The Velvets-inspired pop psychedelia has brought the group twenty top 20 hits and nine top 20 albums in the UK so far in their 40 year career. The band have come a long way from the group's infamous first concert as a three-piece with a drum machine in 1979 at the legendary Erics club in Liverpool, The Bunnymen still perform sell-out concerts across the world today. Their seminal albums 'Crocodiles', 'Heaven Up Here', 'Porcupine' and 'Ocean Rain' have been a major influence for acts such as Coldplay, The Killers and The Flaming Lips whilst later albums 'Evergreen' and 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?' and 'Siberia & Meteorites' demonstrate what an amazing body of work the band have. The Bunnymen are still revered by those in the best of popular culture. In the past year alone, the highly acclaimed and culturally phenomenal Netflix series 'Stranger Things' has used the song 'Nocturnal Me' whilst the equally comparable '13 Reasons Why' has used 'The Killing Moon', a song also used on another Netflix show, 'Dead of Summer'.

Echo & The Bunnymen
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AdriAnne Lenker

Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her "back story" has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells,gardens, and kitchens around the world. In the hands of Lenker songwriting is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following a 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this particular time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, abysskiss. "I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years," explains Lenker. "My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed." Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is notsomething that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time. With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.

AdriAnne Lenker
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Swearin'

Swearin’ is the kind of band that comes around, at best, once a decade. Thankfully for us, they’ve come around twice. After releasing two beloved full-lengths, 2012’s Swearin’ and 2013’s Surfing Strange, the Philadelphia band quietly put things on hold. It was due, at least in part, to the band’s main songwriters, Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, ending their romantic relationship. And though Swearin’ tried to soldier on, it became far too stressful to keep going. But after a few years apart, those bad feelings disappeared. And when the band’s three members—Crutchfield, Gilbride, and drummer Jeff Bolt—found themselves in a room again, the conversation inevitably turned back to Swearin’. “Drunkenly, without any hesitation or inhibitions,” said Crutchfield, “we asked, ‘What would it take from each of us? What would we need to do this again? What would we want to accomplish if we decided to be a band again?’” They realized that what they all wanted was to not just play shows, but to make a new record. Before the band initially split, they’d already started writing for what would have been their third album, but instead of going back to that old material, they wanted to do something that reflected the people they’d become during those intervening years. “When a band re-forms and makes a new record that is trying to sound like the heyday of their band, it doesn’t sound genuine,” said Bolt. Before long, Crutchfield and Gilbride had a new batch of Swearin’ songs, ones that meshed with the sound they’d originally developed together but boldly pushed things forward. The result is Fall into the Sun, a Swearin’ record that doesn’t try to obscure the passage of time but instead embraces it. “Getting older, your tastes change, and what you want to do changes,” said Bolt. Those changes, though subtle, are impactful, making Fall into the Sun what Crutchfield calls “the adult Swearin’ album.” It can be seen in songs like “Big Change,” where she says goodbye to Philly and the scene that she came up in, or in “Dogpile,” where Gilbride offers the line any aging punk can relate to: “By pure dumb luck I’ve gotten where I’m going.” Where Swearin’ used to pummel through their songs, on Fall into the Sun, they bask in what this newfound openness offers. It’s most notable on the ambling “Stabilize,” which sees the band throw their weight around in the song’s back half, offering up what’s easily the heaviest riff in the band’s catalog. “I think both me and Allison have gone through huge transitions in our lives. There was a lot on our minds, and it was a super fertile time to put a bunch of songs together,” said Gilbride. It’s true of the material found on Fall into the Sun, but it’s noticeable in the album’s production, too. Much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “I feel like this was the first time I could look at a Swearin’ record and say that I co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Recorded in both Philly and Los Angeles, where Crutchfield now resides, Fall into the Sun took shape by the members giving their full trust to one another, and it can be seen in the final product. Listening to Fall into the Sun, the old Swearin’ is still there, but it’s a more confident, collaborative version than the one people first came to know. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. Though it may have taken them a while, Swearin’ finally made the third album they always wanted. Fall into the Sun is as riotously affirming as their early work...

Swearin'
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Fucked Up

Double LP on opaque yellow blob in clear vinyl in same packaging as standard 2-LP.  Includes coupon for full download

“Never sink and never hide / They tried to break our dream, but child: / Joy Stops Time”.  I was sent an unfinished version of Dose Your Dreams so that I might contribute string parts. I couldn’t stop listening to the rough mixes I received. A friend asked me how the record was. I replied, “My God, Fucked Up have made their Screamadelica.”  

And psych-rock-groove it is. The drums mixed wide, propensity for drones, for delay pedal, for repetition, groove. The politics and aesthetics of hardcore married to an “open format” approach to genre. Elements of doo-wop, krautrock, groove, digital hardcore. 

“None of Your Business Man” opens the album in familiar enough territory, a sax-assisted exit from an office space. But things get psychedelic very quickly. By the time the title track arrives, Mike Haliechuk is whispering, wah pedals are in full effect, and we’re wearing oversized t-shirts and pinwheeling. “Accelerate,” the lyrical centerpiece of the album, storms in like Boredoms on a bullet train and dissolves into a digital nightmare. The album closer, “Joy Stops Time,” finds Fucked Up at their most Düsseldorfian, nearly eight minutes of blissful motorik.

At the center of it all is Damian Abraham’s scream—a man chained, a man tortured, a true protagonist. The effect is one of an epic, every chapter attempting its own narrative devices, its own genre hybridization—and it works, it works so insanely well. The drama unfolds like a miniature world of many parts being explored, a map being illuminated, location by location.

As with David Comes to Life, there is a story here. David—who once came to life—is now indentured to a desk job. David meets the elderly Joyce who closes his eyes, opens his mind, and sends him on a spiritual journey. David embarks on his own metaphysical odyssey. He sees a stage adaptation of his own life. He speaks to an angel in a lightbulb. He sees an infinite series of universes as simulations within simulations.

Meanwhile, Lloyd—Joyce’s lover—was sent, decades ago, by Joyce on the same odyssey, but was lost in the void. Lloyd seeks to be found and reunited with his lover. Where will David end up? Will Joyce and Lloyd be reunited?

Dose Your Dreams—meaning: treat your dreams as you would a dream, allow yourself to be lost within them, allow them to open your heart and your mind, enjoy them as you would a drug. Reach out for my hand and pull me close.

—Owen Pallett
June 2018

Fucked Up
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Winter & Triptides

Estrela Mágica is a starcrossed collaboration between Samira Winter (Winter) and Glenn Brigman (Triptides). Sighting influences from Brazil’s colorful Tropicalia movement as well as the phased out sunshine psychedelia of the American 1960’s, Winter and Triptides started blending together their favorite musical colors into a brand new sonic palette. Two years and a dozen home recording sessions later, they had crafted enough material to form Estrela Mágica.

Winter & Triptides
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All Them Witches

By most bands’ fifth LP, the sound is pretty set. Parameters established. Refinement dissipated in favor of to-formula execution of what’s worked in the past. Fair enough. All Them Witches go a harder route.

In 2017, the Nashville four-piece offered what might’ve otherwise become their own template in their fourth album, Sleeping Through the War. Also their second for New West Records behind 2015 mellow-vibing Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, it brought a larger production value to dug-in heavy psych blues jamming, with oversight from producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson).

After exploring new ground through their early work on 2013’s Lightning at the Door and 2012’s Our Mother Electricity as well as Dying Surfer, the band had arrived at something new, sprawling, and grander-feeling than anything before it.

So naturally in a year they’ve thrown that all to the Appalachian wind, turned the process completely on its head and gone the absolute other way: recording in a cabin in Kingston Springs, about 20 miles outside of Nashville on I-40, with guitarist Ben McLeod at the helm. Take that, expectation.

The result, mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile), is the most intimate, human-sounding album All Them Witches have ever recorded and another redefinition of who they are as a band. Introducing keyboardist/percussionist Jonathan Draper to the fold with McLeod, bassist/vocalist Charles Michael Parks, Jr., and drummer/graphic artist Robby Staebler, All Them Witches’ All Them Witches isn’t self-titled by mistake.

It’s the band confirming and continuing to develop their approach, in the shuffle of “Fishbelly 86 Onions,” the organ-laced groove of “Half-Tongue,” the tense build of “HJTC” and the fluid jam in closer “Rob’s Dream.”

It’s a reaction to being a “bigger” band. To playing bigger shows, bigger tours, etc. From the sustained consonants in Parks’ vocals to McLeod’s commanding slide in “Workhorse” and drifting melancholy at the outset of “Harvest Feast,” All Them Witches is their laying claim to the essential facets of their identity.

And most crucial to that identity is its shifting nature. All Them Witches didn’t get to this point by resting on laurels, and if anything, the urgency of these tracks – fast pushers and sleepy jams alike – is among their greatest strengths.

It’s a rawer delivery, as stage-ready as the band itself, and as ever, it captures All Them Witches in this moment. Is it who they’ll be tomorrow? Who the hell knows? Check back in and we’ll all find out together. That’s the whole idea.

All Them Witches
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Roosevelt

After his celebrated self-titled 2016 debut, Roosevelt aka Marius Lauber steps outside. While the debut album was deeply rooted in club culture and neon lit Nightmoves, his new album, entitled Young Romance, sees the 27 year-old producer embracing a new found love for bigger, bolder and sunnier pop songs - a fearless leap towards the light with songs that will further establish him as one of the most talented young artists of the day. Pressed on limited sun yellow vinyl.

Roosevelt
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Gouge Away

Gouge Away are a hardcore punk band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Burnt Sugar” is their latest album, co-produced by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) and Jeremy Bolm of Touche Amore. With “Burnt Sugar” Gouge Away dive into personal and social political subject matter without getting the bends on their way back to surface. Carrying an emotional vulnerability and honesty that few bands own in today’s music world.

Gouge Away
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