New Release Round Up 10/12/18 at Mills Record Company
Travel can inspire in surprising ways: Kurt Vile discovered as much making his first record in three years, the eclectic and electrifying Bottle It In, which he recorded at various studios around the country over two very busy years, during sessions that usually punctuated the ends of long tours or family road trips. Every song, whether it’s a concise and catchy pop composition or a sprawling guitar epic, becomes a journey unto itself, taking unexpected detours, circuitous melodic avenues, or open-highway solos. If Vile has become something of a rock guitar god—a mantle he would dismiss out of humility but also out of a desire to keep getting better, to continue absorbing new music, new sounds, new ideas—it’s due to his precise, witty playing style, which turns every riff and rhythm into points on a map and takes the scenic route from one to the next. Using past albums as points of departure, Bottle It In heads off in new directions, pushing at the edges of the map into unexplored territory: Here be monster jams. These songs show an artist who is still evolving and growing: a songwriter who, like his hero John Prine, can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same line, as well as a vocalist who essentially rewrites those songs whenever he sings them in his wise, laconic jive-talkin’ drawl. He revels in the minutiae of the music—not simply incorporating new instruments but emphasizing how they interact with his guitar and voice, how the glockenspiel evokes cirrocumulus clouds on “Hysteria,” how Kim Gordon’s “acoustic guitar distortion” (her term) engulfs everything at the end of “Mutinies,” how the banjo curls around his guitar lines and backing vocals from Lucius to lend a high-lonesome aura to “Come Again.” These journeys took Vile more than two years to navigate, during which time he toured behind his breakout 2015 album b’lieve I’m goin’ down, recorded a duets album with Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Courtney Barnett, opened for Neil Young in front of 90,000 people in Quebec, famously became a clue on Jeopardy, hung out with friends, took vacations with his wife and daughters. “I’ve been bouncing around a lot and recording all over. My family would meet me in the middle of America, and we’d go on a road trip somewhere. I would record in between all that stuff.” As Vile prepares for another round of lengthy tours and countless shows, these songs should prove good company, reminders of the love and responsibility he has toward those he leaves at home and those he meets along the way. That makes the sentiments resonate more strongly and lends Bottle It In an emotional weight. “It’s like that moment on the airplane,” Vile says, “when you’re on your way somewhere and you have that burst of panic. When you’re terrified of dying, that’s when you want people to know you love them.” “Impeccably recorded and mixed songs that shuffle bits of folk, new wave, or country in the mix but are always squarely down-the-middle rock.” Mark Richardson, Pitchfork “Vile’s self-awareness is as appealing as his melodies, and he’s stoked a reputation as a bit of a slacker maharishi—at the very least, a look inside Vile’s head might make you think a bit more deeply about what’s going on in your own.” The New Yorker
MassEducation re-imagines St. Vincent’s #1 New York Times album, MASSEDUCTION, laying bare exquisite songwriting and beauty.
David Bowie - Loving The Alien (1983-1988)
David Bowie: 4. Loving The Alien (1983-1988) is the fourth boxed set spanning his career from 1969 and the follow-up to the awarding winning and critically acclaimed David Bowie: 1. Five Years (1969 – 1973), David Bowie: 2. Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976) and David Bowie: 3. A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982). David Bowie: 4. Loving The Alien (1983-1988) features material officially released by David Bowie between 1983 and 1988 including newly remastered studio albums ‘Let’s Dance’ (remaster overseen by Nile Rodgers), ‘Tonight’ (remaster overseen by Hugh Padgham) and ‘Never Let Me Down’, the live albums ‘Serious Moonlight’ from 1983 (previously unreleased) and ‘Glass Spider’ from 1987, and the exclusive new compilation ‘RE:CALL 4’ featuring single versions and edits, soundtrack music and non-album B-sides. Also included exclusively is a brand 2018 version of the 1987 album ‘Never Let Me Down’ co-produced and mixed by Mario McNulty. David had already discussed this in 2008 with Mario McNulty so ‘Never Let Me Down (2018)’ is a much darker album with additional production by Mario and new live drums by Sterling Campbell, new guitars by Reeve Gabrels and David Torn plus a string quartet. The album will also feature new artwork with photography from the original session by Greg Gorman. The album ‘Dance’ was scheduled for 1985 but was never released and never will be, however we have used the artwork for ‘Dance’ for this set for an album which contains 12 original extended remixes from across the three studio albums plus ‘Underground’.
Tom Morello - The Atlas Underground
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 by Mom + Pop Music.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now
Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, 'Look Now' is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It's the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of 'Momofuku' and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, 'Wise Up Ghost'. 'Look Now' is an outstanding 12-strong addition to his song catalogue. Most of the titles were written solely by Elvis Costello although, 'Don't Look Now' and 'Photographs Can Lie' were co-written with Burt Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance, leading The Imposters from the piano for those two ballads. The album was co-produced by Elvis and Sebastian Krys - the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015, whose love and understanding of music spans both hemispheres.
Available for the first time on vinyl, the SteelDrivers’ GRAMMY-nominated sophomore record, Reckless, picks up where their eponymous debut left off. Originally released in 2010, it’s the Nashville group’s last album with singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton at the helm, who left the band later that same year to pursue his solo career. With Reckless, the SteelDrivers continue to push the boundaries of bluegrass incorporating experimental aspects from other genres, including blues and Southern soul.
Atreyu - In Our Wake - Spinefarm
Following a short hiatus Atreyu returned firing on all cylinders with Long Live during 2015. It crashed the Top 30 of the Billboard Top 200 and earned widespread acclaim. The band sold out countless headline shows in addition to sharing the stage with everyone from Slipknot to Linkin Park. After a 2 year tour cycle for Long Live, Atreyu regrouped in Southern California for what would become offering number seven, In Our Wake, reuniting with producer John Feldmann who famously helmed Lead Sails Paper Anchor.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section.