New Release Round-Up 08-24-18
Interpol - Marauder - Matador Records
For the first time since 2007’s Our Love to Admire, Interpol have opened themselves up to the input of a producer. For two-week spells between December of 2017 to April of 2018, they travelled to upstate New York to work with Dave Fridmann – famed for recording with Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, MGMT, Spoon, Mogwai, and countless others. In the run up to writing and recording, Sam found himself immersed in soul drummers such as Al Jackson Jr (Otis Redding’s drummer) and 80’s funk producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “How can I make shit swing?” was the question Sam repeatedly asked himself, and the answer is in the striding gallop of opener “If You Really Love Nothing,” the embellished skip ‘n’ bounce of “Stay in Touch” and the R&B swagger of closer “It Probably Matters.” Interpol have always been world-beaters at creating a feeling, but Marauder is where the feel is just as crucial. Paul may have stepped out of the shadows as a bassist, but he’s stepping into an even brighter light as a songwriter. During Interpol’s previous albums, the singer largely kept himself out of his own work, preferring to fill his lyrics with detached thoughts, characters, and observations, often phrased in abstract. But more than 20 years on since forming at NYU, the frontman is finally allowing himself to play a role in his own stories. “This record is where I feel touching on real things that have happened to me are exciting and evocative to write about,” he explains. “I think in the past, I always felt autobiography was too small a thing for me to reference. I feel like now, I’m able to romanticize parts of my own life.”
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Kaya 40 - Tuff Gong
2018 marks the 40th Anniversary of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ KAYA. Recorded in part during Marley’s and the band’s 1977 exile in London, KAYA is very much the sibling record to EXODUS. Fittingly, as Ziggy Marley revisited the original session recordings for last year’s EXODUS 40 celebration, this year sibling Stephen Marley revisits the original session recordings to commemorate KAYA, bringing a fresh perspective to this suite that’s quietly referred to as the ‘Peace Treaty’ album.
Devotchka - This Night Falls Forever - Concord Records
This Night Falls Forever, released via Concord Records, is Devotchka's most ambitious album yet with more detailed arrangements, more people involved including full orchestras and an overall bigger sound. The band’s sixth studio album features 10 tracks written and produced by frontman Nick Urata. The vinyl edition features 3 sides of music and an exclusive vinyl etching on the 4th side.
The Devil Makes Three - Chains Are Broken - New West Records
The power of words isn’t lost on longstanding Americana triumvirate The Devil Makes Three —Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean. For as much as they remain rooted in troubadour traditions of wandering folk, Delta blues, whiskey-soaked ragtime, and reckless rock ‘n’ roll, the band nods to the revolutionary unrest of author James Baldwin, the no-holds barred disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway, and Southern Gothic malaise of Flannery O’Connor. In that respect, their sixth full-length and first of original material since 2013, Chains Are Broken, resembles a dusty leather-bound book of short stories from some bygone era. As the band began writing ideas for Chains Are Broken, they veered off the proverbial path creatively. Instead of their typical revolving cast of collaborators, The Devil Makes Three stuck to its signature power trio, with one addition. This time, they invited touring drummer Stefan Amidon to power the bulk of the percussion. Another first, they retreated to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX a stone’s throw from the Mexican border to record with producer Ted Hutt [Dropkick Murphys]. The incorporation of new sounds as well as the experimentation in space finds the Devil Makes Three crafting a new yet still familiar sound. Coupled with a continued focus on in-depth lyricism that tells a story in every song, Chains Are Broken is a liberating, rump-shaking collection of past, present and future.
The Frights - Hypochondriac - Epitaph
Hypochondriac, the third full-length album from San Diego band The Frights, is an album full of addictively catchy songs about fear and frustration. “I’ve gotten better with time, but I’m pretty paranoid about most things, especially health issues—I think everything’s killing me,” says Mikey Carnevale, vocalist/guitarist for The Frights. “That, mixed with anxiety, means that I can be a real baby. All of these songs address this in one way or another.” The album is their first full-length for Epitaph Records, who signed The Frights in early 2018. Produced by FIDLAR frontman Zac Carper, Hypochondriac follows The Frights’ 2016 album You Are Going To Hate This and marks a period of major creative growth for the band (which also includes bassist Richard Dotson, drummer Marc Finn, and guitarist Jordan Clark). “I wrote every song on an acoustic guitar, which is something I made a point to do,” says Carnevale. Throughout Hypochondriac, The Frights build a brilliant tension between their shiny hooks and painful lyrics, their goofball spirit and melancholy outlook. In the end, the album unfolds as their most emotionally honest work so far, just as the band intended it to be.
Neil & Liam Finn - Lightsleeper - PIAS America
Recorded mainly in Neil Finn's Auckland studio, Lightsleeper bursts with melody and the trademark euphoric flips that are the Finn family trademarks. When Neil's iconic pop sensibility meets Liam's lo-fi atmospherics, it's produces a feeling of intimacy and awe that makes it easy to wonder why the dynamic father and son duo haven't written together sooner. The simple Finn family ethos of making music with friends and family continues right through to the personnel recruited for the album. Lightsleeper features the touring band, Sharon Finn (Neil's wife, and Liam Finn's mother) plays bass on two of the songs, Elroy Finn (Liam's brother) plays drums on seven, good friend Connan Mockasin returns for four and legendary Mick Fleetwood turns up to play on ''Anger Plays A Part'', ''Any Other Way'' and ''We Know What It Means''. The unmistakable spirit of musicians at their peak, bound together by a still-hot desire to make music that is brewed within the bones, love, quiet revelation and the perfectly-evoked euphoria of being alive is what makes Lightsleeper such a gorgeous progression in the Finn family musical history.
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - With Animals - PIAS America
Recorded in LA, Pasadena and Joshua Tree, With Animals is the second album by Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, two artists who've spent their careers stalking the peripheries and mapping sounds of the small hours. As befits a record called With Animals, these dusty songs feel like they were created in the company of the denizens of the night. Analogue and dust flecked, it's as if Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a '60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013's Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan's solo records (2012's Blues Funeral and 2017's Gargoyle after which Garwood toured as part of Lanegan's band).
Nonpoint - X - Spinefarm
After 20-plus years, 10 full-length releases, countless sold out shows, & over 1 million albums sold worldwide, Nonpoint endure through sustaining an unbreakable bond among themselves & to a diehard fan base all over the globe. On 2018’s aptly titled tenth offering, X, the quintet not only maintain the momentum, but also amplify the intensity. Signature grooves hit with haymaker force bolstered by hip-hop cadences, thrashed-out six-string precision, & unshakable melodies.
Passenger - Runaway - Nettwerk Records
Passenger is Mike Rosenberg, the Brighton-born singer/songwriter known for busking his way to the global hit “Let Her Go” which topped the charts in 19 countries. Produced by Rosenberg, along with longtime collaborator Chris Vallejo, the new album, Runaway, is largely inspired by the North American landscape and geography, both musically and lyrically, and taps into Rosenberg’s family roots in New Jersey. This brings a fresh new approach and sound, and speaks to the road going traveler in all of us.
Aaron Lee Tasjan - Karma For Cheap - New West Records
Most people know Aaron Lee Tasjan as one of the wittiest, most offbeat, brilliant, weed-smokin’ & LSD microdosin’ Americana troubadours writing and singing songs today. And the New York Times, NPR and Rolling Stone will all gladly corroborate. But steel yourselves, folk fans, because he’s about to follow his restless muse straight out from under the weight of everyone’s expectations into the kind of glammy, jingle-jangle power-pop- and- psych-tinged sounds he hasn’t dabbled in since his younger days playing lead guitar for a late-period incarnation of The New York Dolls. Karma For Cheap is Tasjan’s third LP and second for his label New West Records, based in his current hometown of Nashville. The record was co-produced by ALT and his friends Jeff Trott (Stevie Nicks, Liz Phair, Meiko, Joshua Radin) and Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.) and features Aaron Lee’s road band—guitarist Brian Wright, bassist Tommy Scifres and drummer Seth Earnest—with whom he’s been touring heavily for the last two years. While the stylistic shift from Tasjan’s palpably stoned ‘70s-country-channeling 2015 debut, In the Blazes, to his more sophisticated, introspective and lushly produced 2016 follow-up, Silver Tears, was relatively incremental, Karma’s rocked-up Brit-pop-influenced Beatles-Bowie-Badfinger vibes underscore a significant departure. The album boldly reimagines these vintage sounds, pushing the boundary of what can be considered Americana.
Troye Sivan - Bloom - Capitol
Bloom is an incomparably sweet and intimate work, and yet it's so well-named because from that base unfurls something grand and universal. It's also full of bops—a dizzy swirl of '80s synth-pop, crisp modern production, timeless balladry, and joyous dance—whose bold streaks and subtle shades effortlessly bridge arty to accessible. Troye Sivan executed his vision with care, first writing with trusty collaborator-confidants Bram Inscore, Allie X, and Leland, then taking those songs to producer Ariel Rechtshaid (HAIM, Usher, Kelela) and starting another batch in Sweden with Max Martin's MXM crew. He worked from a sonic moodboard—everyone from Madonna to This Mortal Coil, Phil Collins to Perfume Genius, Drake to Sky Ferreira—and emerged with a sound distinctly his own, but broad enough to span the liberating pulse of "My My My!," the epic stadium-rock of "Animal," and the cozy feel of Ariana Grande duet "Dance to This."
Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed? - Epitaph
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.
Saintseneca - Pillar Of Na - Epitaph
Saintseneca's Zac Little has been thinking a lot about memory. Not necessarily his memories, though they creep in often, too. Rather, he mulls over the idea of memory itself: its resilience, its haziness, how it slips away as we try to hang on, the way it resurfaces despite our best efforts to forget. Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus, OH folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar Of Na, arriving in late summer via ANTI- Records. Following 2015’s critically lauded Such Things, the new album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a burning Sodom after God instructs her not to. She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. “Na,” meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. “Nah” is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It means nothing and stands for nothing. It is “as it is.” Musically, Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. “I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before,” Little explains. I told Mike Mogis I wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I’m looking for the intersection between Kendrick Lamar and The Fairport Convention.”
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section.