NEW THIS WEEK AT THE SHOP:
The yin and yang of guitar-oriented indie brilliance represents this week with new records from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Protomartyr. After a couple nice EPs from Sub Pop, RBCF really deliver with their first full length, 'Hope Downs' is all plump cruisers in a Clean/Twerps vein. For their latest EP, Detroit post-punk heroes Protomartyr lure Kelley Deal of the Breeders into the fold.
Songwriter Joseph Arthur and R.E.M. co-founder Peter Buck follow a chance encounter to a florid conclusion on 'Arthur Buck', a miasma of folk rock and pop with pockets of funk and lots of contemporary commentary. We at last get a full length album from the mighty Dusk, the Appleton group that spun off of rootsy punkers Tenement. Their self-titled debut is a vigorous yet easy ramble through countrified pop that has a bit of the creeping, noirish bite that their name suggests, washed over with the compelling vocals of Tenement violinist Julia Blair.
The Thrill Jockey label brings us two incredible records from musicians with decades in the nether reaches of the musical world under their belt. 'Cloud Corner' is the latest LP from the 'American primitive' style guitarist Marisa Anderson, and it's resplendent with her one of a kind ability to spin yarns through her fingers, as she channels Fahey and the Delta blues styles that influenced him, firmly establishing her as the latest link in a century-long chain. John Parish is back with his first album in a handful of years. 'Bird Dog Dante' finds Parish comfortably in his zone, crafting spooked folk-rock with lots of guitar, banjo and percussive ephemera, and joined on tracks by vocalists like PJ Harvey and Aldous Harding.
Two possessive projects are back in the spotlight after some time away. Melody Prochet has returned with her Echo Chamber, a few years on from surviving a very scary car accident, with a new record that sounds defiantly new. Fans of her enchanting lilt will find lots to love here, and with a new collaborator on production (Reine Fiske of Dungen), she's made a turn for the obliquely psychedelic. Sub Pop revives two 90s indie classics from Maritime Canada's own Eric's Trip, long out of print on vinyl. 'Forever Again' and 'Purple Blue' set the standard for earnest, homemade pop, made of equal parts bashing fuzz and lonely minimalism. I hear a lot of Eric's Trip in contemporary groups like Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, and Soccer Mommy, all of whom have inherited the bare honesty and unvarnished energy that ET singer/guitarist Julie Doiron brought to these little-heard records.
The Killers celebrate their career with a massive boxset of the same name, including all 7 of their albums since 2004's 'Hot Fuss' and including 'Live From the Royal Albert Hall' on vinyl for the first time. The Gaslight Anthem revisit their '59 Sound' a decade on from it's release, with rare alternate takes and demos from the sessions. We've also got new releases from Buddy Guy, Fantastic Negrito, Sepultura, Tim Armstrong, Chromeo, Johnny Marr, Hatchie, Olivia Chaney, and a new solo album from Buck Meek of Big Thief.
We've got a huge spread of major releases along the hip hop, R&B and jazz spectrum this week. NYC rapper/Pro Era member Chuck Strangers drops his debut 'Consumers Park' and it is a fiercely played record of old school flow that calls back to Nas, Ka, and GZA. Watts rapper and Kendrick associate Jay Rock surprises us with a new rush release CD, 'Redemption', that hits with some real force. Robert Glasper joins up with new-gen jazz biggies like Terrace Martin, Derrick Hodge, and Taylor McFerrin for a sizzling session of hiphop-leaning jazz called R+R Now. The hard-working Chicago unit Dos Santos is described as a 'psychedelic cumbia' group, but their debut for freeform standard bearer label International Anthem shows them to be much more than that, and will appeal to fans of Antibalas and the Budos Band. We've got the Sub Pop debut of mid-fi dream-rapper Yuno, plus new discs from Christina Aguilera, Kali Uchi, Ne-Yo, and the very banging 'Uncle Drew' Soundtrack, which is stuffed full of summer jams.
UK leftfield house don Leon Vynehall shows a very compelling, contemplative side with 'Nothing is Still', a resplendent new album that blends his gauzy, throbbing beats with classical strings reminiscent of Gavin Bryars, inspired by interviews with his grandparents about their experiences emigrating to New York in the 1950s. Effluvial techno weirdo Actress continues to reinvent himself, this time teaming up with the London Contemporary Orchestra for an album that matches his strangely-timed rhythms with a group capable of making full on electro-acoustic concrète. The pairing really works, and 'Lageos' contains a whole lot to patiently digest. NYC techno whiz Will DiMaggio drops his first full length for Future Times, and its an entertaining suite of discreet jazzdance earworms that ought to keep parties percolating all summer. Prefuse 73 is back with his first proper album in many years, this one's called 'Sacrifices'. We all gotta make em!
Some wonderfully far-out essentials hit the bins afresh this week from 'round the globe. Celia Cruz's 1972 delicacy was produced by none other than Arthur Verocai, and is chock full of psychy, soulful bossa nova. Shina Williams and his African Percussionist's 1979 debut 'African Dances' is one of the rarest and best ever examples of Afro-disco, and holds up as the best Afrobeat album I've heard without the name Fela Kuti on it. Mexican voyager Luis Perez's 1981 album 'Ipan In Xiktli Metzli' is a one-of-a-kind slab of pre-Columbian art-folk-rock that slots in with other visionary albums from Jorge Reyes and Antonio Zepeda, forming the earliest wave of Mexican new age. David Axelrod's landmark album 'Song of Innocence' is back on vinyl after we blew out of our RSD supply, AND it's back on CD for the first time in forever-ever.
Lastly, we've got two reliable SD faves in the house with some newly-available material. 'Gene Clark Sings For You' delivers 13 rare tunes from his sessions just after he left The Byrds in 1967. Tom Waits' Orphans trilogy is back in the house as three individual LPs, that's 'Brawlers', 'Bawlers' and 'Bastards'.