New Release Round Up 9/14/18 at Mills Record Company
The cover to Emma Ruth Rundle's fourth solo record, On Dark Horses, bears a blurry photo of the songwriter obscuring her face with a large toy horse with broken legs. The photo suggests something candid but also hidden, graceful but also fractured,a fitting portrait for an artist who has established a career by vacillating between shrouding herself in mystery and exposing her wounds to the world. The first peek behind the curtain came with her Sargent House debut Some Heavy Ocean, where layers of distortion were excised in favor of acoustic guitar and Rundle's beguiling vocals. There was a distinct difference by the time Rundle released Marked For Death, a stark and deeply personal meditation on mortality and self-destructive behavior. Her entire musical trajectory, from the cinematic instrumentals of Red Sparowes to the lush haze of Marriages and onward through her solo career, seems like a gradual disclosure of intimate secrets. With On Dark Horses, Rundle doesn't shy away from uncomfortable realities or retreat into a private world, but it does capture an artist who has survived their personal nadir and come out stronger on the other side. The eight tracks of On Dark Horses capture the evolution of Rundle as an artist, with vestigial traces of the savvy guitar work of Electric Guitar: One, the siren song beauty of Some Heavy Ocean, and the amplified urgency of Marked For Death all factoring into the album's rich tapestry. Rundle arrives at the end of the album with an ode to a traumatized and heartbroken friend on the grand and triumphant "You Don't Have To Cry". After laboring over the majority of the material for the album, she wrote the finale in one sitting, describing its easy birth as a gift from the gods. It's a fitting closer, a song announcing Rundle's newfound hope and reminding us to take control during our darkest moments instead of succumbing to them.
Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. This is their 4th EP that further stray from their noisy/grunge roots and dives further into the dreamy fuzzy side of the 90s. Leah's songwriting is as killer as ever, quirky & tongue and cheek. This record is their most soothing yet. A great follow up to 2017's "Everyone Else".
Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made out of honey-baked ham, the band consistently finds new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces. Twisted Crystal, Guerilla Toss’ new LP, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X, and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux – combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction. Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes, but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favorite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are molded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex networks of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life. Raised in a devoutly religious family, vocalist Kassie Carlson started performing at the age of five. She often participated in large pastoral choral performances, as well as her family’s four-part harmony gospel quartet, making her no stranger to the stage. Growing up under the fear of God leaves a distinct footprint on your perception. An omnipresent male dictates not only your present waking life but also the rest of your eternity. Discovering a rock band was more than self-expression for Kassie, it was a manifestation of a self-healing temple, a personal pipeline for power. What better way to part the waters of toxic sludge than a matriarchal shout? Arian Shafiee, Guerilla Toss’ resident textural-guitar guru, is inspired by aspects of non-Western tuning and extended techniques. He designs moments of dense, glistening, pitch-shifted harmony and measured strumming that link classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. His recent solo work truly comes through on this new record, as he tethers fantastical surreality to noise rock to deconstructed Middle Eastern pop music. Keyboardist Sam Lisabeth paws the keys with distinct virtuosity and expressive sass. A new member, Stephen Cooper (of the band Cloud Becomes Your Hand), binds the group with an urgent, disciplined, and melodic style. The hypnotic, ostinato-like basslines and up front rhythm tracks guide and grip each song like gravity, keeping the listener from swirling off into the cosmos. In albums past, Kassie’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member. Twisted Crystal goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding. What is a twisted crystal? And who told you it would heal? At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren, and La Dusseldorf. A constantly evolving, living breathing entity, the band now presents the album Twisted Crystal. Enjoy the same surrealistic, kinetic healing energy of live Guerilla Toss, today in your own home. “Magic is Easy. Hypnotize yourself well.”
'The legendary Aphex Twin returns bringing the heat once more! One of the most spectacular and critically lauded artists in the world, the Collapse EP is one surely not to be missed!!! For nearly three decades Aphex Twin has reigned as The God of Electronic Music. His tunes have packed dancefloors, soundtracked late night sessions and highlighted festivals around the globe. The emotional crescendos he manages to sculpt from his melodies take the listener on a roller coaster of feelings. Also known as Richard D. James, the Duke of Rave has built a career on frollicking visuals and beastly bangers, but this doesn t mean the man cannot trade in a whole plethora of emotions, Avril 14th is a sumptuous celestial patchwork of sadness and euphoria, whilst Come to Daddy is without doubt the most petrifying song in the universe. The Collapse EP falls between these, affirming him as the very best electronic wizard in the game! The Collapse EP is a juicy bag of delights. Extending the flamboyant paths that Aphex Twin has consistently managed to forge through his dizzying career. From the utterly exhilarating T69 collapse to the complete and utterly bonkers, instantaneous and life affirming abundance10edit[2 R8's, FZ20m & a 909] featuring vertigo inducing high hats and sauntering arrangements with some brain scrambling noise thrown in for good measure!
Multi-platinum global superstar and seven-time Grammy Award winner, Carrie Underwood will release Cry Pretty, her first studio album on Capitol Records Nashville on September 14. The title track and lead single was released worldwide on April 11. The title track, “Cry Pretty” is currently in the Top 10 on the Media Base & Billboard charts.
Richard Reed Parry - Quiet River Of Dust Vol. 1 - Epitaph
Richard Reed Parry's Quiet River Of Dust, is a meditative, widescreen musical experience with Beach Boy harmonies and a hypnotic pulse. Layered songs that move in a linear fashion, following a current rather than circular composition. Japanese folk myths, death poems and British folk music are tributaries flowing into a river of avant-garde composition and traditional song craft, written and performed by a member of the Grammy-winning rock band, Arcade Fire. Being released as two volumes, Quiet River of Dust Vol. 1 will be available on the start of the autumn equinox, September 21 2018. Quiet River of Dust Vol. 2 is coming out next year on the spring equinox 2019.
Joyce Manor - Million Dollars To Kill Me - Epitaph
Joyce Manor are back with a new album, entitled Million Dollars To Kill Me. Frontman Barry Johnson along with co-founding guitarist Chase Knobbe, new drummer Pat Ware—(“Awesome new drummer,” adds Johnson)—and longtime bassist Matt Ebert, wrote enough songs to fill a full-length, and then worked to get songs lifted from emails between Johnson and one of his musical hero Impossibles’ guitarist/vocalist Rory Phillips, with whom he had been co-writing long distance, to match the ones written at full volume. (“Bedroom charm versus live rock band,” Johnson explains.) Their next step was a new step: their first time recording outside their L.A. hometown, at Converge’s Kurt Ballou’s GodCity studio in Salem, Massachusetts. They recorded daily 10-to-6 and then slept right upstairs in bunk beds: “Kinda felt like camp,” says Johnson. “It was a pleasure—I would recommend it to anyone.” If 2016’s Cody was about growing up, then Kill Me is about what happens next—the reckonings with love, money, doubt and confusion, and the hope that persists despite it all.
William Fitzsimmons - Mission Bell - Nettwerk Records
Singer/Songwriter and music producer William Fitzsimmons' album Mission Bell is a chronicling of the tumultuous last year of his life - particularly of the separation from his second wife. Sonically, Mission Bell is Fitzsimmons' first analog tape-centric album. The sounds are raw, real, and tangible. The familiar comforts of acoustic guitars are present but now joined generously by synthesizers, electric guitars, drum loops and violins.
The Paper Kites - On The Corner Where You Live - Nettwerk Records
"On The Corner Where You Live" is the latest album from Australian band The Paper Kites, a follow up to "On The Train Ride Home" which was released earlier this year. Produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Middle Kids) the album builds upon the romantic, dusky mood the band perfected on twelvefour (No. 1 debut on the ARIA chart) and includes standout tracks “When It Hurts You" and "Deep Burn Blue". The album is also available as a Deluxe Double Edition 2LP which includes "On The Train Ride Home".
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section.