PHOSPHORESCENT PHOENIX BANKRUPT! MUCHACHO GLASSNOTE DEAD OCEANS ItвЂ™s oh-so-French of global pop phenomenon, Phoenix, would call its new album Bankrupt! given the worldwide success of the bandвЂ™s breakthrough album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix вЂ“ Madison Avenue practically made that album an ATM. But for good reason: As they had been doing (practically unnoticed) for years, said album was filled to the brim with great hooks and a sugary production that produced a buzz on contact. Despite their Parisian roots, Phoenix plays guitars and sings in English. YouвЂ™d think their countrymen would despise such a methodology, but when you write songs this good then all is usually forgiven. Bankrupt! is anything but. In fact, itвЂ™s an embarrassment of riches. Just direct your ears to the first single вЂњEntertainmentвЂќ and youвЂ™ll quickly realize that this is still a band on top of their game (and, when you get home, be sure to check out the Dinosaur Jr вЂњremixвЂќ вЂ“ which is basically this definitively American band performing a cover that rivals the original). Sorry to keep harping on the money thing, but it does seem like the bandвЂ™s good fortune has made itвЂ™s way into the lyrical content as well. But these arenвЂ™t songs that wallow in bling, rather they find the band at what might be their most sardonic. ItвЂ™s oh-so-French of them. Matthew Houck, for he is Phosphorescent, likes to work. The Alabama native, now resident in Brooklyn has delivered five albums as Phosphorescent since his 2003 debut. Nearly three years on from his breakthrough album HereвЂ™s To Taking It Easy, Phosphorescent returns to the fray with his most stunning record yet: Muchacho. Muchacho reprises the understated melancholia and sensuous minimalism of 2007вЂ™s Pride, while kicking up a little of HereвЂ™s To Taking It EasyвЂ™s dust, but it also strikes out into more adventurous waters via rhythm and electronic textures. It took shape if not quite by accident, then partly as a result of events beyond HouckвЂ™s control. He bought a load of old analogue gear and вЂњjust starting playing around with it, making these noises. A domestic crisis meant he had to find another apartment/studio at short notice, in the dead of winter. Houck admits he was вЂњin the middle of a bit of a freak-out,вЂќ so one Sunday, he booked a ticket to Mexico, on a plane that was leaving three hours later. He spent a week there, working to finish the songs that would become Muchacho, then went back to NYC, fitted it out with his studio, and began tracking the record вЂ“ a collection of melancholia and texture that stands as a testament to the healing power of music. APRIL 2013 DIDO THE DEAR HUNTER WAVVES GIRL WHO GOT AWAY MIGRANT AFRAID OF HEIGHTS RCA EQUAL VISION WARNER BROS Dido, one of the worldвЂ™s best-selling female recording artists of all time with over 29 million albums sold, returns with her strongest album yet entitled Girl Who Got Away. Working once again with her brother Rollo Armstrong, who produced the majority of the album, Dido collaborated with a вЂњwhoвЂ™s whoвЂќ of hit makers including Brian Eno, Jeff Bhasker, Rick Nowels and Greg Kurstin to create an album of finely, self-penned songs and soul-baring pop with electro, folk, hip hop, ambient and dance infusions. The album Girl Who Got Away is a captivating collection of well-crafted songs and stunning production: from the euphoric вЂњGo Dreaming,вЂќ to the barbed wit of вЂњEnd of Night,вЂќ the folky вЂњSitting On The Roof Of The WorldвЂќ to the dance-y-yet-dark вЂњBlackbirdвЂќ to the albumвЂ™s title track which Dido shares: вЂњItвЂ™s one of my favorite songs on the record,вЂќ she says. вЂњBut I guess it also sums up the last few years for me. Taking a step back from it all and going off to have the whole happy adventure of starting a family and making an album that I really am so proud of. And now I just canвЂ™t wait for people to hear it.вЂќ And hereвЂ™s your chanceвЂ¦ Sometimes, it takes a while to find your way home, wherever вЂњhomeвЂќ may be. But when you do, itвЂ™s nothing short of glorious. And that, in a nutshell, is the story of The Dear HunterвЂ™s new album, Migrant. Casey Crescenzo, mastermind of The Dear Hunter, was born into music. His parents met while both were working at the Record Plant. He was born. He broke his arm. He learned to play guitar with a cast. Then without one. He joined a few nu-metal bands, designed websites, directing videos, touring, and working himself to the point of exhaustion. Eventually he began working on some new material which both his booking agent and record label encouraged him to do full time. The Dear Hunter was then born. Within a year heвЂ™d released the full-length albums Act I: The Lake South, The River North and Act II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading. The third installment, Act III: Life and Death, came two years later. Then, in 2010 and 2011, he took a break from the Acts to record The Color Spectrum, a series of nine EPs, each named for a color of the rainbow (along with black and white). After all that experimentation, The Migrant вЂ“ CrescenzoвЂ™s most cohesive statementвЂ¦ And itвЂ™s a doozy. Straight from the dungeons of L.A., Wavves are release Afraid Of Heights. Now a duo consisting of guitarist Nathan Williams and bassist Stephen Pope, they sound bigger, brasher, and shockingly more professional than ever on Afraid Of Heights which positions the band to take their rightful place amongst the pop-punk gods. The product of more than a year of writing and recording, Afraid Of Heights expands the Wavves sound while remaining true to the bandвЂ™s original vision - it was created with absolutely no label involvement, a specter that nearly derailed the last album, King Of The Beach. Working with producer John Hill (known for his work with M.I.A. and Santigold, as well as with hip-hop acts such as Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan), the band found a willing party in creating what they felt was the truest expression of what they wanted. As for the Afraid Of Heights sessions themselves, Williams paid for them out-of-pocket, explaining his reasoning with, вЂњIn doing so, I had no one to answer to. We recorded the songs how and when we wanted without anybody interfering, and thatвЂ™s how itвЂ™s supposed to be. вЂњ RIVAL SONS TYLER, THE CREATOR WOLF HEAD DOWN COLUMBIA CENTURY MEDIA Odd Future. Remember that shit? It was pretty funny. Even ruffled a few feathers. It also spawned a few superstars, including that dude Frank Ocean you may have heard about. The man-child behind the whole enterprise is an aptly-named skateboarding chap called Tyler, The Creator. On his album Goblin, Tyler, wrote about lots of non-necessarily-wholesome stuffвЂ¦ But no more: вЂњTalking about rape and cutting bodies up, it just doesnвЂ™t interest me anymore... What interests me is making weird hippie music for people to get high to. With Wolf [his brand new joint], IвЂ™ll brag a little more, talk about money and buying shit. But not like any other rapper, IвЂ™ll be a smart-ass about it. People who wanted the first album again, I canвЂ™t do that. I was 18, broke as fuck. On my third album, I have money and IвЂ™m hanging out with my idols. I canвЂ™t rap about the same shit.вЂќ Fuck yeah. But despite that braggadocio, Wolf is very much beat-oriented, some of it even recalls the work heвЂ™s done with badass Canadian hip hop / jazz group (yes, you read that right) BADBADNOTGOOD. ItвЂ™s quite a refreshing change of pace, Wolf. YouвЂ™ll like it. And, if you get the deluxe version (which looks BEAUTIFUL) then you might find yourself with a cool, new pair of sock. FoвЂ™ realzies. Pitched somewhere between the loose revivalism of Jack White and the groove of Alabama Shakes, Rival Sons possess a chimera-like character: A jazz -trained rhythm section that met at Isaac HayesвЂ™ house, a garagerock fuzzadelic guitar maestro, and a Blues rooted street singer with the powerful raw delivery of rock and the sensitivity of a Laurel Canyon trip. Though rooted in the past Rival Sons play with awareness and modernity like theyвЂ™re calling on inspiration through their roots anew, filtering out more of rockвЂ™s overblown past and bringing in call-and-response testaments to truth. In their own words, they вЂњwant to give the people the rock and roll they deserve by keeping it honest, visceral, and dangerous.вЂќ Head Down is scuzzy blues-rock that invades MotownвЂ™s backbeat to startling effect вЂ” from the eerily insightful вЂњJordanвЂќ to the breathy summer pop stylings of вЂњUntil The Sun ComesвЂќ or вЂњWild Animal,вЂќ and setting the whole thing aflame with the sprawling psychedelic guitar freakout вЂњManifest Destiny Pt.1.вЂќ Head Down is anchored in fuzzy guitars and soul groove spliced from The Small Faces and The Animals - Rival Sons donвЂ™t mess about, but theyвЂ™re not purists, theyвЂ™re modern. Get turned on. APRIL 2013 LITTLE GREEN CARS STEVE EARLE ABSOLUTE ZERO THE LOW HIGHWAY PORT ST. WILLOW HOLIDAY GLASSNOTE New West DOWNTOWN RECORDS Few of us make much out of the endless weekend hours we spend together when weвЂ™re young. Draping ourselves throughout our friendsвЂ™ houses and airing out the angst and dreams and heartbreaks that will shape us before they fade away with time, we may make mixtapes, or weave friendship bracelets, or simply craft inside jokes and rosy memories to cherish in years down the line. But for Dublin folk rock quintet Little Green Cars, those Sunday afternoons may have built the most important adventure theyвЂ™ll ever take. Absolute ZeroвЂ�s 48 minutes, crafted in unabashed earnestness with the aid of seasoned epic-producer Markus Dravs (Mumford and SonsвЂ™ Sigh No More and Babel, Arcade FireвЂ™s Neon Bible and The Suburbs, ColdplayвЂ™s Mylo Xyloto), act as a soul-bearing report, as guileless as the young quintet themselves, on the act of simply growing up: a process that requires, at once, so little and so much effort it could explode you from the inside at any moment. Between the opening title track and the reflective closing of вЂњRemember Me,вЂќ The Low Highway is very much Steve EarleвЂ™s road record, and one that has seen many miles. Says Earle: вЂњIвЂ™ve been on every interstate highway in the lower forty-eight states by now and I never get tired of the view. IвЂ™ve seen a pretty good chunk of the world and my well-worn passport is one of my most prized possessions, but for me, thereвЂ™s still nothing like the first night of a North American tour; everybody, band and crew, crowded up in the front lounge, eating Nashville hot chicken and Betty HerbertвЂ™s homemade pimento cheese, swapping the same tired old war stories half shouted over the rattle and hum of the highway. And IвЂ™m always the last one to holler good night to Charlie Quick, the driver, and climb in my bunk because to me it feels like Christmas Eve long ago when I still believed in Santa Claus. God I love this.вЂќ The 12-track set is the first to feature вЂњThe DukesвЂќ band name since 1987вЂ™s Exit 0. The Low Highway features his live band consisting of Chris Masterson, Eleanor Whitmore, Kelley Looney, Will Rigby and Allison Moorer. Also available on 180-gram vinyl. Port St. Willow is the project of Nicholas Principe, begun in 2009 as a recording outlet following a series of quick moves. Principe settled in Portland, OR where he released the projectвЂ™s first EP, Even//Wasteland, in the fall of 2010. Though brief, the record carried the weight of a much larger piece with movements bleeding into each other, creating a world glued together by swells of white noise and static. It provided an introduction for what was to come next. After a period of live experimentation, Principe began working on the projectвЂ™s first full-length album, Holiday. Recorded over the course of a year in his Portland studio, the record is a meditation on family and self. An exploration of new and old homes, seen though the lens of a blurred and softened memory, too saturated with distance and time. And through these tunnels back, full of warm and heavy water, there are anchors that do not age. Halves of lives that grow whole, full of contradiction and mess born from a lonely place. To find the lens warped, the colors faded, and the patterns returned, is not a defeat but an understanding that we are here, bent and maybe broken in places, but here. Holiday is a love record to no one. A recognition of an ending, and an awakening of the self - unarmored and honest. THE VIRGINS LORD HURON STRIKE GENTLY LONESOME DREAMS CULT RECORDS IAMSOUND Strike Gently is sophomore album from The Virgins вЂ“ an Indie Rock outfit fronted by Donald Cumming. The Virgins first made the scene back in 2008 with a debut album that foamed many a mouth. The Strokes frontman / founder of Cult Records, Julian Casablancas, not only related вЂ“ he elated: вЂњWhen I first saw the Virgins I was psyched there was such a rad new band from NYC. DonaldвЂ™s such an awesome guy and itвЂ™s great to meet someone whoвЂ™s such a true artist. I think theyвЂ™ve made a classic record and weвЂ™re really excited they chose to work with us.вЂќ Made in the basement of what used to be the venue Brownies, and now is the East Village Recording Center, Strike Gently was recorded mostly live, in a little room packed with gear and no vocal booth. After extensive touring for the first album, Donald experienced a spiritual crisis that led to a four-year gap between the first and the new records. The lineup has changed. The Virgins are now: Donald Cumming, Xan Aird, John Eatherly, and Max Kamins. Lord Huron is a musical and visual project created by Ben Schneider. He was born in Michigan and started playing music as a child, on his fatherвЂ™s acoustic guitar. The senior Schneider wasnвЂ™t a musician by trade, but he had learned a bit during his downtime on ships in the Navy. SchneiderвЂ™s father would bring the instrument out from time to time вЂ” most often on summer nights around the campfire up on Lake Huron вЂ” to strum and hum the songs he knew. Schneider studied art in college and lived in France and New York before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to pursue a career in the visual arts. Music was an ever-present pastime, whether through bands or personal projects. Passions often intertwined, and Schneider composed music for various visual art projects over the years. His work was continually inspired by his outdoor explorations, landscape, and water in particular. He travelled the world, but it was upon returning to Lake Huron that all his passions came together вЂ“ cultivating in two beautiful (and well-received) EPs and this, his first LP, Lonesome Dreams вЂ“ a collection of songs that yield that strange intimacy one finds in larger-than-life surroundings. These are the sounds that are bigger than you вЂ“ and nature just sings along. APRIL 2013 VARIOUS ARTISTS TELEKINESIS KOPECKY FAMILY BAND THE MUSIC IS YOU A TRIBUTE TO JOHN DENVER DORMARION KIDS RISING KIDS MERGE ATO RECORDS ATO RECORDS Telekinesis is both a band and a person. Now a grizzled and wizened 26 year old, Michael Benjamin Lerner has recorded his third album, Dormarion. The record is, in ways both practical and profound, the sound of a man figuring out exactly who he is. Also, itвЂ™s a total fucking hoot. Lerner wrote the 12 songs that comprise Dormarion in early 2012-half at his home in West Seattle and half at his familyвЂ™s house in the San Juan Islands-with the original intention of recording the album completely on his own. Instead, he road-tripped over the summer and made the record in two weeks with Spoon drummer Jim Eno (Heartless Bastards, Strange Boys, Polia, Black Joe Lewis, Mates of State), with whom heвЂ™d talked about working for years. Lerner packed up the van, screwing up his courage the whole drive towards EnoвЂ™s vaunted Public Hi-Fi studio in Austin, Texas (Arcade Fire, Spoon, Explosions in the Sky, Roky Erikson, Jet, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Lyle Lovett, Joe Walsh). On Dormarion Lane, to be specific. вЂњItвЂ™s a beautiful-sounding word, and if you Google it, nothing but this one tiny street comes up,вЂќ says Lerner. вЂњNo origin, no description. I canвЂ™t tell you what the word means. ItвЂ™s like something from Lost.вЂќ In late 2007, founding members Kelsey Kopecky and Gabriel Simon became united with four friends who shared a mutual vision. They planted seeds that have been nurtured for the past five years through persistent touring and recording вЂ“ and those seeds are rapidly reaching maturity. The Kopecky Family Band вЂ“ a non-traditional family, at that вЂ“ is dynamic, and they wield an equally dynamic slew of instruments. A diverse backdrop of sound supports the BandвЂ™s thoughtful songwriting, and the musical canvas is covered with broad brushstrokes вЂ“ ranging from clanging tambourines and guitars, booming percussion, intelligent string arrangements, and triumphant horns. These six bandmates вЂ“ siblings, if you will вЂ“ swap their musical tools without a second thought, creating an emotive, adventurous, and energetic environment onstage. With thousands of miles traveled, and surely thousands to come, The Kopecky Family Band is only just beginning their adventureвЂ¦ And, with Kids Raising Kids, they want to bring you along for the ride. It was the seventies. You were sexy. We all were. Even John Denver was. Maybe it was the drugs? The optimism? The confusion? Maybe it was The MuppetsвЂ¦ But it was probably the songs. Life may be a funny, funny riddle (as the man said) Music was still king in the seventies and John Denver had a ton of вЂ�em. 15 years after his death and 40 years after the release of his widely beloved song вЂњRocky Mountain High,вЂќ ATO Records will celebrate John DenverвЂ™s life and music with The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver. The album features covers of DenverвЂ™s most popular songs by a diverse group of artists including Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, Train, J Mascis, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and many more. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Wilderness Society in JohnвЂ™s name. THE THERMALS VARIOUS ARTISTS DESPERATE GROUND THE RZA PRESENTS SHAOLIN SOUL SELECTION: VOLUME 1 SADDLE CREEK The Thermals are a post-pop-punk trio from pre-Portlandia-Portland, Oregon who are (perhaps) most famous for turning down $50,000 from Hummer, discovering the elusive fourth chord in punk rock (F#m) and for soundtracking that scene in Weeds where Mary-Louise Parker jumps in the pot-filled pool in her underwear. The ThermalsвЂ™ sixth LP and debut for Saddle Creek, Desperate Ground, was produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth) in Hoboken, NJ. Agnello and The Thermals completed the record and evacuated the studio just hours before Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey, a fate quite fitting when you consider the product. Desperate Ground is a true scrappy and scratchy return-to-form for The Thermals, with all the raw power and unhinged adolescent energy that made their early LPвЂ™s so insanely enjoyable. Lyrically, Desperate Ground is a brash and irresponsible ode to human violence, a black celebration of the inevitability of war and death. A dark and yet joyous affair, Desperate Ground tells the (murky) tale of a lone rogue in the night. One man, one path, one sword. An unceasing urge to destroy. A never-ending battle against the forces of nature. A destiny impossible to avoid. SOUL TEMPLE APRIL 2013 Shaolin Soul Selection: Volume 1 is a two CD collection curated by Hip Hop master, The RZA. In the early вЂ�90s, The RZA, then known as Prince Rakeem, had begun making music for his then new Staten Island (aka Shaolin) based supergroup, Wu-Tang Clan. When Enter The 36 Chambers was finally released in late вЂ�93, the effect was seismic. The RZAвЂ™s вЂњawkwardвЂќ combination of rugged drums and off-center loops formed the foundation of a unique sound that would inspire a whole new generation of samplists, as well as set off searches for the components of those loops. Shaolin Soul Selection: Volume 1 presents 24 original recordings - nearly 2 1/2 hours of essential soul music from the vaults of Stax Records and its subsidiary labels that inspired The RZA and the classic sound of The Wu-Tang Clan. MILK MUSIC WILLIAM TYLER LANGHORNE SLIM & THE LAW CRUISE YOUR ILLUSION IMPOSSIBLE TRUTH THE WAY WE MOVE FAT POSSUM MERGE RAMSEUR RECORDS Milk Music is a band of American folk artists who make cosmic electric soul rock on the subject of life and the human condition. Their impeccable songwriting and style can be compared to artists such as the Velvet Underground, Gun Club, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and the Meat Puppets. The band release everything themselves, highly by choice, not to keep a DIY aesthetic, but to ensure quality control over their products and presentation in an era when records tend to look and feel like unimportant shit. Until now, Milk Music has never had a record label, yet they have politely declined offers from dozens over the last 3 years including Mexican Summer, Jagjaguwar, and Vice Records. Their beautifully pressed 1st album, Beyond Living has been working overtime for the guys for the last two years, circling the globe on word of mouth and selling thousands. But this new LP, Cruise Your Illusion is a real motherfucker. Get with it. Impossible Truth was born on tour as William Tyler was reading two books with an odd kinship while on long and lonely Midwestern drives: Barney HoskynsвЂ™ Hotel California and Mike DavisвЂ™ The Ecology of Fear. Both center on the promise and psychosis of southern California, albeit from very different angles: Hoskyns tackles the naive and narcissistic Laurel Canyon scene of the early seventies, while renowned social scientist Davis deals with the history of the destruction of Los Angeles, both in real and imagined disasters. The synchronistic tackling of these tomes inspired Tyler to compose a story rooted in apocalyptic expectation and bittersweet nostalgia. Or as Tyler puts it, this is вЂњmy вЂ�70s singer-songwriter record; it just doesnвЂ™t have any words.вЂќ Recorded and mixed at Beech House in Nashville and co-produced by Tyler and Mark Nevers, Impossible Truth features guest appearances from Chris Scruggs, Luke Schneider, Roy Agee, and Lambchop compatriot Scott Martin. Impossible Truth will challenge your ideas of what an instrumental guitar record can and should be. Langhorne SlimвЂ™s art school manner and hopeful folk musical stylings can make it hard for him to stand out among the oh-somany singer songwriters affecting the same sensitive ramblings. But what sets Langhorne Slim apart is a genuine sincerity. It appears that everyone who meets the musician is charmed by his general sweetness. He even seems to lack the self-awareness it perhaps takes to craft and cultivate such an image. His simplicity of lyric is too direct to be so calculated. In The Way We MoveвЂ™s third track, вЂњFire,вЂќ he sings, вЂњI kissed a girl she made me smile,вЂќ and there is no irony to directly follow this statement in the song. At times he achieves Cat Stevens, as in вЂњOn the Attack,вЂќ at other times he even channels southern gospel, as in вЂњSomeday.вЂќ But the driving beats of songs like вЂњGreat DivideвЂќ and haplessness of вЂњWild SoulвЂќ are energizing and captivating. The Way We Move has the potential to bring the folky Langhorne SlimвЂ™s smiling face before a much wider audience. CAVEMAN STORNOWAY CAVEMAN TALES FROM TERRA FIRMA FAT POSSUM 4AD As first albums go, CoCo Beware was something akin to a moody statement of intent, a blueprint for a band quickly learning how to create horizon-wide rock songs that were equal parts intimate and expansive. So itвЂ™s fair to say that the songs on Caveman benefited from a solid year of touring on the bandвЂ™s part. As a result, the guitars on Caveman are bigger and more expansive, the rhythm section is tighter and more adventurous, the keyboards more opaque and pronounced. Like a marriage between Tangerine Dream, late period Slowdive, and Lindsey Buckingham, tracks like their new single вЂњIn the CityвЂќ and вЂњAnklesвЂќ boast synth lines that sound simultaneously retro and futuristic, while вЂњPriceyвЂќ and вЂњNever Want to KnowвЂќ overflow with guitar sounds that could have miraculously floated off an old Cure album. And while CavemanвЂ™s music could certainly operate on the level of dreamy soundscape and still be excellent, the depth of feeling in front man Matthew IwanusaвЂ™s lyrics helps weave the songs deeply into your memory. Wonder and regret seem to fuel the record in almost equal measure. Stornoway is a band. They live in a city called Oxford in England. Rob loves confusing time signatures, dogs and posh nosh. Jon loves accents, Russia, and weird musical instruments. Brian loves birds, power kiting and beer. Oli loves moustaches, palindromes and loop pedals. They love making music and have recorded both of their albums themselves вЂ” in garages, community centers, churches, windy barns, kitchens and bedrooms in and around our home town. The first album BeachcomberвЂ™s Windowsill was compiled from our early EPs, written and recorded over the course of almost 6 years, whilst they studied at school and university. Stornoway has a new album. ItвЂ™s called Tales From Terra Firma. It is an album of true stories about discovering what it means to be human, and itвЂ™s crammed full of such eccentricities as RobвЂ™s Bavarian spoon solo on вЂ�Knock Me On the HeadвЂ™, OliвЂ™s reverberating bass line that mimics the call of a South African bird, and the fruits of JonвЂ™s quest to find the only glass harmonica player in all the land. ItвЂ™s the vacation you so richly deserve. DonвЂ™t delay. APRIL 2013 COLD WAR KIDS ALICE SMITH TOMASZ STANKO/NEW YORK QUARTET DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS SHE WISLAWA DOWNTOWN RECORDS RAINWATER/THIRTY TIGERS ECM Los Angeles four-piece Cold War Kids elevate their passionate take on indie rock with their emotionally raw fourth album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Formed in 2004, the bandвЂ™s breakthrough debut Robbers & Cowards was released to considerable acclaim in 2006. The darker Loyalty To Loyalty followed two years later, and 2011вЂ™s Mine Is Yours introduced deeper anthemic qualities to the eclectic groupвЂ™s catalog. вЂњWe were shaken up, ready to let certain songs go further than before by trying new styles and arrangements, while keeping others sparse and caring more about the finished product and less about how we got there,вЂќ explains frontman Nathan Willet about the ten-track album, which was recorded at the bandвЂ™s private studio in San Pedro, CA. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, which features the rollicking, energetic single вЂњMiracle Mile,вЂќ is Cold War KidsвЂ™ first release with former Modest Mouse and Murder City Devils guitarist Dann Gallucci, who also handled its production alongside Lars Stalfors. She is a Grammy-nominated artistвЂ¦ She received an instantly addictive review from NPRвЂ™s World Cafe on her 2006 debut release, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me... She was named one of the 10 Most Exciting Artists 2007 by Entertainment Weekly... She can count Ellen DeGeneres among her many fans... She was a featured performer at the 2012 Afro Punk Festival... She has played to sold-out crowds at NYCвЂ™s Highline Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, JoeвЂ™s Pub, and Blue Note Jazz Club... She is a singer-songwriter-producer whose 4-octave vocal range is described as tart and sultry by the New York Times and soul stirring by BET... She embodies soulful pop and R&B melodies wrapped in layered harmonies and orchestral arrangements... She is... Alice Smith Like his early hero Miles Davis, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko has a gift for shaping great bands, and this one, formed in the worldвЂ™s jazz capital, overflows with promise. The bass and drums team of Thomas Morgan and Gerald Cleaver is one of the most sensitive in contemporary improvising, and Cuban-born pianist David Virelles, inspired by ritual music as well as by Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill, seems particularly well-attuned to the brooding darkness and sophisticated dread of StankosвЂ™ free ballads. In the uptempo pieces all four players seem to enter new territory, with very exciting results. The double-album program of new Stanko compositions is inspired also by the poetry of Wisawa Symborska, the Polish poet, essayist and Nobel Laureate, who died in 2012. Says Stanko: вЂњReading Wisawa SzymborskaвЂ™s words gave me many ideas and insights. Meeting her and interacting with her poetry also gave impetus to this music, which I would like to dedicate, respectfully, to her memory.вЂќ PALMA VIOLETS CLUTCH EARTH ROCKER 180 WEATHERMAKER ROUGH TRADE Forget whatever you thought about Clutch. Earth Rocker crumples up the bad categories that have miscast them for years вЂ” stoner rock, post-hardcore, metal, grunge вЂ” and leaves no question about what they are: a damn good rock and roll band.Earth Rocker is a solid, straight-up rock and roll album, exactly what the band had in mind for their tenth studio album.вЂњIвЂ™m excited about its succinctness, and how balls-to-the-wall it is,вЂќ says frontman Neil Fallon. вЂњThe length of an LP is optimal for enjoying a body of new music, approximately 40-45 minutes. ThereвЂ™s something to be said about Side A and Side B. ItвЂ™s more cinematic, and that was the approach.вЂќ The album began taking shape when Clutch toured with MГ¶torhead, then Thin Lizzy. Revisiting those two favorite bands, Clutch was able to apply their own experience as musicians to better understand the dynamics of their heroes. Not everything on Earth Rocker is strictly vintage rock and roll, though: The aggression and minimalism of Bad Brains and Fugazi was applied to these tracks вЂ“ keeping things simple, smart and powerfulвЂ¦ Which is how youвЂ™ll feel after hearing this album. For a long time if you wanted to hear the most exciting new band in Britain, you knocked on a tall black door off the Lambeth Road. An aging British Rail building - part art studio happening, part squat вЂ“ Studio 180 was where south LondonвЂ™s Palma Violets were gestating, away from sunlight and the world at large. A thrilling rockвЂ™nвЂ™roll four piece channeling The Clash, ? And The Mysterions and the Bad Seeds, from September 2011 they were holed-up here writing songs вЂњtheir friends could dance toвЂќ and occasionally putting on celebratory, ecstatic parties about which word quickly spread. It should be noted that the news of these parties / shows was spread in a manner that harks back to the days before the internet вЂ“ aka вЂњword of mouth.вЂќ For until a couple of months ago, Palma Violets had no online presence, no music recorded, and no press team working for them. If you got through the door of Studio 180 in that early period, what greeted you was an intoxicating sense of chaos. For Palma Violets, everything they do comes from a real love of music and a need to communicate feelings on a forceful basic level. TheyвЂ™re not a product of modern moodboard culture, theyвЂ™re a pure elemental force. APRIL 2013 COLLEEN GREEN BILLY BRAGG THE STAVES SOCK IT TO ME TOOTH & NAIL DEAD & BORN & GROWN HARDLY ART COOKING VINYL ATLANTIC Colleen Green always wears sunglasses onstage. Colleen Green is long hair and getting high. Colleen GreenвЂ™s first full-length for Hardly Art, Sock it to Me, is grounded in pure pop. GreenвЂ™s multitracked, emotive vocals take an enormous leap forward, evoking all-time heroes such as Rose Melberg and Tina Weymouth, with every drum-machine-tracked song awash in the dreamy slacker romanticism of California. Green is a powerful DIY force of one. She looms large, not only in the basement scene of the USA, but across the large stages of North America. People left and right fall for her style and brand of popular music and why wouldnвЂ™t they? Everything is in this pot! You get some Stacey Q, Tom Tom Club, Nu Shooz and mix it up nicely with the Descendents, the Ramones, and the Fastbacks, then, light it up with a fire made from the bones of Sebadoh? The smoke that comes from all of this, thatвЂ™s Sock it to Me, Colleen GreenвЂ™s first full length for Hardly Art. Sweet and custom made, just for you. Billy Bragg is staunch believer of conservative values. He believes marriage is a special contract between a man and a woman. He thinks Margaret Thatcher was a righteous babe. A longtime supporter of the rights of giant corporations, Bragg has long scoffed at the ideas of workers rights, unions, an resource drainers like unemployment benefits. He believes in absolute freedom provided it falls in lines with strict adherence of GodвЂ™s word. Recycling? Poppycock. Global Warming? A myth. Mormonism? A cultвЂ¦ Though he thought Mitt Romney would restore hope and glory to the United States, despite the fact that he is an Englishman. Taxes? No way. Social safety nets? Not on his watch. Wilco? Posers. Woodie Guthrie? A no-good-nik. Obama? WasnвЂ™t even born here. Ann Coulter? Hottie! So listen, sinner, itвЂ™s time for you to get right with the Man upstairs. His brilliant and compelling new album is called Tooth And Nail and that how heвЂ™s gonna fight for what he believes.* To describe The StavesвЂ™ music as merely comforting or enjoyable would be to severely under-egg the pudding. Theirs is songwriting as striking as it is exquisite вЂ” a melding of still, bright English folk and sublime West Coast pop that, performed live, is capable of plunging an audience into awed silence. It is singing so alluring that The Staves were asked to provide backing vocals for recent albums by both Tom Jones (alongside Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings) and Fionn Regan, and to tour with Willy Mason, Josh Ritter, James Vincent McMorrow, and Mt. Desolation, among others. Meanwhile, legendary producers Glyn and Ethan Johns (whose combined credits include the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Joan Armatrading, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Kings of Leon, and Laura Marling to name but a few) found The StavesвЂ™ talents so compelling that they both independently tracked the band down. For the listener, these are three songs that offer the merest taste of the sistersвЂ™ extraordinary talents, a promise of the brilliance to come, and a reminder, perhaps, that being sung to really is the nicest thing in the world. *this is the only sentence that isnвЂ™t absolute bullshit. THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS CHARLES BRADLEY VICTIM OF LOVE NANOBOTS DAPTONE IDLEWILD RECORDINGS Since the release of 2011вЂ™s award winning debut, No Time for Dreaming, Charles Bradley has transformed from a rising star in the Daptone galaxy into a bona-fide headliner, now affectionately known across the globe as вЂњThe Screaming Eagle of Soul.вЂќ The raw emotion and soulfulness of BradleyвЂ™s voice lifts him up among the greats of the golden age of Soul - Otis, JB, Wilson Pickett, and Darrell Banks. Anyone who has had the privilege of hearing him sing has experienced how Bradley can captivate an entire audience with a simple вЂњOoooo...вЂќ Bradley and writer/producer/multiinstrumentalist Thomas вЂњTNTвЂќ Brenneck returned to Dunham studios and recorded the most exciting Daptone release to date, Victim of Love. On this album, Bradley moves past his вЂњHeartaches and PainвЂќ to the great promise of hope and love. Though quite at home among the music that has affirmed Daptone as the worldвЂ™s #1 authority on Soul Music, Victim of Love proves to be a genrebending masterpiece, picking up where the early 70вЂ™s Temptations left off and edging boldly forward into psychedelic soul exploration. You need this. They Might Be Giants have perfected their deliriously catchy, original sound over the past three decades. The two-time GRAMMY winning Brooklyn originals return with charming wit, electrifying pop melodies and just enough bass clarinet on their 16th studio album, Nanobots. Nanobots finds the band in fine form. Blending the bandвЂ™s signature storytelling, some dueling horns and sly humor, вЂњCall You MomвЂќ is a caffeinated pop gem. Title track вЂњNanobotsвЂќ puts a dark cartoonish spin on the world of technology while the call and response chorus and percussive guitar line of вЂњYouвЂ™re On FireвЂќ dares even the grumpiest wallflower not to dance. Oh: and six of the songs are under 20 seconds long. Why? вЂњWe came of age in the time of albums,вЂќ says Giant Flansburgh. вЂњSo we were raised on the notion that songsвЂ”when collected togetherвЂ”serve to amplify and support each other when part of a well-considered collection. With Nanobots we werenвЂ™t making a concept album, but it does have a certain power as a kind of song cycle. These short little tiny songs have a purpose and they make sense when surrounded by the longer songs. ThereвЂ™s a certain mania to this record, a certain energy you get when you include all these hard working miniatures.вЂќ Take that, shuffle! APRIL 2013 KVELTERTAK ALPHA REV MEIR BLOOM ROADRUNNER KIRTLAND RECORDS Kvelertak (Kuh-vell-er-tack) is a band from Norway that plays rock music. And not just any rock music. The hard stuff. The stuff your parents (used to) hate. Their latest album is called Meir and it was produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge вЂ“ a band well known for not fucking around. They recorded it in Salem, Massachusetts where there are / were witches вЂ“ so you know thereвЂ™s some seriously weird mojo coursing through this heavy ass music. With the explosive first single вЂњBruane BrennвЂќ to the slowed down guitar crunching of вЂњEvig VandrarвЂќ to the brutally chaotic вЂњNekrokosmosвЂќ, Meir is an album that certainly lives up to the hype of giving the listener вЂњmore.вЂќ Tight rhythms, inventive guitar hooks and melodies that seep into your consciousness, this is an album that constantly surprises. вЂњIt is both catchy and heavy; weвЂ™re pushing our limits in both ends of that spectrum,вЂќ says lead singer Erlend Hjelvik. вЂњItвЂ™s very varied and there are a lot of surprises in store. I mean, itвЂ™s unlike anything I myself have heard before, so we even managed to surprise ourselves.вЂќ вЂњI want the band to mark a moment in time, to celebrate the being of something new; The light at the end of the tunnel, the first step toward revealing something that needs to be seen,вЂќ says singersongwriter Casey McPherson of Alpha Rev. Following the success of New Morning. The bandвЂ™s third album Bloom is a set of personally transformative and redemptive songs, born in the spirit of creative expansion, and a mandate to blossom and grow. With a glistening rock sound that is at once fragile and tough, Bloom picks up threads from the past while it takes a big bite into the eternal here and now. Drawing from the wellspring of American history, the grandeur of its landscape, and lifeвЂ™s sweet and tragic mysteries, McPherson leans into his personal challenges as well as the wages of the 21st Century and emerges with a triumphant statement on the ways in which music can serve as a constant source of strength and inspiration. вЂњAlpha Rev is a combination of the Greek word for the beginning, and the incredible Latin prefix rev, as in revolve, revolt, reveal,вЂќ says McPherson. вЂњAlpha Rev is more than a band nameвЂ” itвЂ™s a motto.вЂќ Quite.