Indie Exclusive Releases

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Aaron Lee Tasjan

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 reminagines these vintage sounds, pushing the boundary of what can be considered Americana.

    The roots of Tasjan’s Karma for Cheap, stretch deep, drinking up the sounds of a Southern California childhood spent listening to The Beatles while riding around with his mom at the wheel of their navy blue Volvo station wagon—back to the very first pre-teen year he picked up a six-string and started figuring out all the pretty little chords in those Lennon-McCartney tunes. Back to the pure, blissful unfiltered innocence of falling in love with music for the first time. A huge sonic touchstone for ALT’s new record is The Beatles Anthology, one of his childhood favorites. In songs like “If Not Now When,” “Song Bird” and “The Rest Is Yet to Come,” you can hear echoes of George Harrison’s vibrant guitar riffs and Jeff Lynne’s lavish production on those lo-fi John Lennon demos the surviving Beatles dug up and polished off in the mid ‘90s.

  Perhaps the most poignant moment on Karma for Cheap is the anthemic, hypnotic “Heart Slows Down,” a tune rife with musical and lyrical references to the Beatles and Tom Petty, anchored by an unforgettable chorus with a Traveling Wilburys vibe that finds the sweet spot between Tasjan’s two earliest musical heroes. “When I was a kid, my favorite CD to fall asleep to was Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits, and the last song is a cover of that Thunderclap Newman song ‘Something in the Air.’ From the time I was a little kid to when I was teenager, I used to listen to that song on headphones almost every night—I heard it in that space between wake and sleep so many times. And Tom’s passing—he was a really big hero of mine, so it hit me pretty hard. We were in Seattle playing a show when I heard, and it was a heavy thing to process. But all of those elements are there in ‘Heart Slows Down.’ The chorus, ‘I will always be around,’ is a reminder that all the good you ever got out of listening to this music is still around you. You’ll always have that.”

        Aaron Lee Tasjan says he aims to use his music for good, but he’s no protest singer. And Karma for Cheap isn’t some heavy-handed, didactic political record cramming a set of talking points down anyone’s throat. It’s a finely tuned rock & roll seismograph measuring the dark and uncertain vibrations of the time in which it was created. A cracked mirror reflecting back the American zeitgeist in this foul year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eighteen. With Karma, Tasjan establishes himself as an artist who not only evolves over time, but isn’t afraid to risk reinventing himself completely from one record to the next.

Aaron Lee Tasjan
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Wild Nothing

Although civilization’s transition into a cyborg world seems inevitable, there are still those who recognize the beauty and power of a human touch to complement the circumvention. Jack Tatum understands this balance, and through a decade making music as Wild Nothing he has learned to embrace both sides of that dynamic—but perhaps never as distinctly as on Indigo, the fourth Wild Nothing album. On one hand, it is a return to the fresh, transcendent sweep of his debut, 2010’s Gemini, and on the other, a culmination of heights reached, paths traveled, and lessons learned while creating the follow-ups, Nocturne and Life of Pause. Indigo finds Tatum at his most efficient, calculated, and confident—resulting in an artful blend of hi-fi humanity and technology that fires on all circuits and synapses.

To make Indigo, Tatum confronted the Man vs. Machine dichotomy by seizing on the surrounding synergy. Finding the right people to work on the album was integral, as was the proper place to record it. So, Tatum booked four days at legendary Sunset Sound’s Studio. Afterwards, producer Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Gang Gang Dance, Japanese Breakfast) and Tatum built out the rest of the album’s sound by adding new parts and repurposing sounds from Tatum’s demos. The resulting Indigo is its own cyborg world, utilizing the artful mechanisms of human touch with the precision of technology to create the classic, pristine sound Tatum had been seeking his entire career. From the opening drum beat, chiming guitar, and sweeping synth of “Letting Go” to Tatum’s Bryan Ferry vocal turn on “Oscillation” to the ’80s-heavy blips, clicks, and strut of “Partners in Motion,” it’s clear that Indigo is at once vintage Wild Nothing and a bold, new leap into a bigger arena.

Wild Nothing
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White Denim

White Denim's new album 'Performance' collects nine expertly crafted songs that twist and turn, bending genres in the band's unique style. Students of rock music, White Denim has clearly listened to and learned from the best albums ever made from T. Rex to XTC to Little Feat to Jim O'Rourke...but they write songs just dumb enough to drink, dance, and fight to. Rock and roll music that aims for the whole body. Recorded in hometown Austin, Texas in their new Radio Milk studio, Performance displays a band of extraordinary musicians at their creative peak.

White Denim
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The Love Language

Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on pink + yellow marble vinyl in same packaging as standard LP. Includes coupon for full download + 2 extra digital tracks. Limited to 2,500  worldwide.

You may not be able to see the gorgeous landscapes behind Baby Grand, Stuart McLamb’s fourth record as The Love Language, but they’re so essential to the picture you’ll feel them in every note. Started in, of all places, a cavernous Virginia hammock factory, fragmentary demos came alive when splashed by sunshine during a move across the country to California, where the album was completed. “It was something just about being in a new city, and a new light,” McLamb says, “and reopening the sessions, and this demo that I thought was a throwaway, suddenly I’m really feeling it….” You can hear the freedom kick in when the backwoods country shuffle of “Castle in the Sky” explodes into a full-on aughts anthem, equal parts outstretched arms and pumped fists.




The Love Language
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Jim James

My head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis, and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth,” says James. “The name of my new record is UNIFORM DISTORTION because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our ‘news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth…and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now...finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.

CHECK OUT THE SINGLES:

THROWBACK

and

JUST A FOOL

Jim James
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SYML

Brian Fennell is a student of simplicity. As SYML (pronounced “simmel”), which translates to “simple” in Welsh, Fennell writes emotive ambient pop songs that capture the ethos of his musical persona. With delicate piano, swells of strings and Fennell’s sterling vocals, the songs that comprise “In My Body,” embody the relinquishing of all emotions, a cathartic release laid bare.

SYML
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The Rock*A*Teens

Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on translucent green vinyl. Includes 24” x 24” full color foldout poster. Includes coupon for full download

Born in Cabbagetown, Georgia, the Rock*A*Teens carved their signature echo-wrapped, wounded-heart music on the edges of the Atlanta music scene more than 20 years ago. Led by songwriter and lead singer/guitarist Christopher Lopez, the band released a handful of reverb-drenched singles and full-lengths on the independent Daemon and Merge labels in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Following their reunion at the Merge 25 festival and the reissue of their last LP Sweet Bird of Youth (Merge, 2000), the group returned to touring and playing live. Restless with the need to move forward, the band began writing and recording new music.

Guided by a batch of home recordings and demos, Lopez, guitarist Justin Hughes, bassist William R. Joiner, and drummer Ballard Lesemann convened with Tim Delaney at Electron Gardens Studio and Rafael Pereira at Tribo Studios to shape their ideas into the glorious, bombastic new album Sixth House.

The Rock*A*Teens
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The Record Company

The band continues with their signature gritty, rock & roll, blues sound on All Of This Life, their second album following up a Grammy-nominated and hit-filled debut. The new album incorporates the band's organic style, but provides a richer, full expanded sound using Boulevard Recording Studio and mixes by Mark Needham (The Revivalists, Blue October, Newsboys, Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, etc...). This album is comprised of stories about moving through difficult times in life and coming through the other side as shared by their fanbase over the last two years of non-stop touring.

The Record Company
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Arthur Buck

Sometimes the catalyst for creating great art is simply being in the right place at the right time. For Arthur Buck, the new collaboration between singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and guitarist Peter Buck, that place was Mexico, and that time was the fall of 2017.  Specifically, a little town off the Baja coast named Todos Santos, with the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the east and the bright blue Pacific stretching out infinitely to the west. It is here that Buck has, for the last several years, held the Todos Santos Music Festival, which he created with his wife, Chloe Johnson, in 2012, shortly after R.E.M. called it a day. Among the many artists who have played the festival is Joseph Arthur, who also happened to leave behind a guitar—a Dobro, specifically—after his last appearance there. And so last year he made the trek down to Todos Santos to pick up the instrument. Which is where he ran into Peter Buck.

That was the beginning of Arthur Buck. The creative result of this relationship is a vibrant 11-song collection that captures the spontaneity at the heart of the project—right down to the 1-2-3-4 count off from Buck that opens the record—with sounds and styles meshed together in an easy, almost playful manner. Tchad Blake was brought in to mix the proceedings, and the result is the new Arthur Buck—the result of a shockingly productive burst of inspiration.

Arthur Buck
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Melody's Echo Chamber

Melody's Echo Chamber (aka Melody Prochet) has confirmed her second album, Bon Voyage, will be released on June 15th on Fat Possum Records. Made up of seven expansive tracks, Bon Voyage marries Melody's breathless soprano to the wildest sonic excursions, always pinned to an emphatic, clattering groove as she delivers her fables of spiritual search and emotional healing in multiple tongues (French, English and Swedish).

Bon Voyage is a collaborative record between Prochet and Dungen's Reine Fiske and The Amazing's Fredrik Swahn with Melody sculpting and producing the sessions as well as encouraging the players around her to experiment, often with instruments that might be less familiar to them. It also features special guests Gustav Esjtes and Johan Holmegaard (both from Dungen) and Nicholas Allbrook (Pond).

Melody's Echo Chamber
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Flasher

Since they appeared with their self-titled, self-released EP back in 2016, Flasher has exuded both a clarity of intent and a radiant self-confidence. Critically applauded from the start, that initial release offered a clear blueprint. By turns razor sharp and woozy, skipping from shoegaze to punk and back again, it offered confirmation of a band whose wiry energy and melodic ease made them instantly arresting. After the release of one more 7” (the wonderfully nervous stutter of Winnie), they quickly found themselves signed to Domino and have since been quietly working on their full-length debut - Constant Image. Recorded in 2017 across a few sleep-deprived weeks at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY, it was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, War On Drugs) and crackles with invention. This isn’t the sound of a band finding their feet, it’s the rare sound of three people who know exactly what they want to achieve from the start. From their hometown of Washington, DC, with its rich history of idiosyncratic underground music, Flasher - Taylor Mulitz on guitar, bassist Daniel Saperstein and drummer Emma Baker - have emerged at the forefront of a vibrant musical present. The three of them share vocal duties, sometimes harmonizing in gorgeous counter-melodies that sweep you away, sometimes taking turns to sing in nervous fits of emotion. Constant Image is an album of anxiety and escape, but also one of euphoria and freedom. There’s weight and lightness here. It’s not often a debut album arrives in so complete a form but when it does you know you’ve got something special on your hands.

Flasher
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Neko Case

Producer/singer/songwriter Neko Case has won a large and loyal audience for her smoky, sophisticated vocals and the downcast beauty of her music. Now more than 23 years into her musical calling, Case is the consummate career artist--fearless and versatile, with a fierce work ethic and a constant drive to search deeper within herself for creative growth. 

On June 1st, Anti- will release Neko Case’s ‘Hell On,’ an indelible collection of colorful, enigmatic storytelling that features some of her most daring, through-composed arrangements to date. Produced by Neko with help from Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn & John), ‘Hell On’ is simultaneously the most accessible and most challenging album in a rich and varied career that’s offered plenty of both. Rife with withering self-critique, muted reflection, anthemic affirmation, and her unique poetic sensibility, the 12 tracks of ‘Hell On’ — which features collaborations such as Joey Burns, Beth Ditto, Kelly Hogan, KD Lang, AC Newman, Paul Rigby, Laura Veirs, and more.

Neko Case
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Control Denied

CONTROL DENIED, the progressive heavy metal brainchild of legendary DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, released its first and only album The Fragile Art of Existence (1999) to massive critical acclaim. The Fragile Art of Existence is the sound of traditional metal stepping into a new century; an album where the experiences and inspirations of trail-blazing, world-class musicians coalesced under the watchful eye of one of the genre’s master craftsmen. Now available for the first time ever as an official vinyl release, The Fragile Art of Existence has been remastered and beautifully repackaged. Available as a gatefold 2xLP, this is the definitive edition of this timeless classic.For Fans of:Death, Nevermore, Cynic, Voivod, Fates Warning

Control Denied
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Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy is the project of twenty-year-old Sophie Allison, a Nashville native. She cut her teeth in her local DIY scene, going to shows and hanging out with other musicians, though she kept her own songwriting secret. All that changed the summer before Allison left for college. She bought a Tascam digital recorder and began to experiment with production, pushing the quality and craft of her songs to new heights. A buzz began to grow around her Bandcamp recordings, leading to live shows and eventually a record deal, with 2017’s critically acclaimed bedroom-recorded compilation Collection. “I realized that I could do this full-time,” says Allison. “It was either quit school now and do it, or stop growing as an artist. It was now or never.”

So Allison took the plunge. She quit school, moved back home to Nashville, shifting all her focus to music. She toured with Mitski, Jay Som, Slowdive, and others, and was featured in the New York Times article “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled By Women.” The bedroom project of Sophie Allison is now a full-time band with a new studio-album debut, Clean. Produced by Gabe Wax (War On Drugs, Deerhunter, Beirut) and mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey), Clean is Allison’s journey out of the bedroom and into the studio.

Clean presents Sophie Allison as a singular artist, wise beyond her years, with an emotional authenticity all her own. “It feels like my first real record,” says Allison. “It’s my first real statement.” It’s an emotional album, heavy on themes of growth, isolation, and change, but balanced by a lightness of touch, and with hooks to spare. Clean is a true step forward, a mature, powerful album from an artist just coming into her power.

Soccer Mommy
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Tracyanne & Danny

Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on opaque red vinyl. Includes bonus 7” of “Baby’s Got It Bad” b/w “Can’t Get Over You” on black vinyl.  Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 1,000 in the US.

Tracyanne & Danny is a new collaborative project between singer-songwriters Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura) and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby). Tracyanne hails from Glasgow, Scotland. London-born Danny is based in Bristol, England. Their paths first crossed in 2013 when introduced by mutual music industry pals. Tracyanne dug Danny’s Crybaby album (released on Helium Records) and invited him to open some Camera Obscura shows in the UK.  Mutual artistic respect led to the swapping of song ideas, but tentative plans to work together were set aside while Camera Obscura wrote, recorded, released, and promoted their fifth album Desire LinesFollowing the death of Camera Obscura’s Carey Lander, all band activity stopped. Time passed. Tracyanne and Danny revisited the idea of collaborating. A pool of songs were honed and crafted. On the suggestion of their manager (and Teenage Fanclub drummer) Francis Macdonald, they recorded at Clashnarrow, a studio in Helmsdale in the highlands of Scotland owned by the esteemed Edwyn Collins.  

Tracyanne & Danny
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Graveyard

Gothenburg, Sweden’s Graveyard has been flying the classic hard rock, blues and psychedelic rock banner since the band’s inception in 2006.

Graveyard
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Paul McCartney

Released in 2005, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, was instantly hailed as continuing a hot streak that included Flaming Pie, Run Devil Run and Driving Rain. Produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck) and featuring the singles “Fine Line” and the Grammy-winning “Jenny Wren,” the album debuted at #6 on the Billboard chart. It remained on the charts for nearly half a year, while Paul mounted the massive ‘US’ Tour. 180g gold vinyl LP.

Paul McCartney
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Paul McCartney

Recorded in 1971 but not released until 1977, Thrillington remains one of the most enigmatic entries in the storied McCartney discography. Credited to the pseudonym Percy “Thrills” Thrillington, a fictitious socialite whose activities were chronicled in UK newspaper ads, Thrillington was actually a fully reimagined instrumental lounge/jazz version of Paul and Linda McCartney’s RAM. Percy is given a new lease on life with this collector’s item available on 180g red/black marbled vinyl LP.

Paul McCartney
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Paul McCartney

Upon its release in 2013, NEW, was lauded by Rolling Stone as "energized and full of joyous rock & roll invention.” Executive produced by Giles Martin and also featuring production by Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth, it entered the U.S. chart at #3. The album scored positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly to Pitchfork and all points in between, while the title track, “Queenie Eye” and “Save Us” would become staples of the McCartney live show. 180g pink vinyl LP.

Paul McCartney
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Wings

Originally released in 1978, Wings Greatest , was the first ever compilation of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles hits, featuring four classics that had previously been unavailable on any McCartney album: "Another Day," "Junior's Farm," "Hi, Hi, Hi" and "Mull of Kintyre.” The penultimate Wings album release, Wings Greatest was naturally a worldwide hit, and the soundtrack to the 70s for a generation. As part of its 2018 edition reissue, it will be available as a 180 gram blue vinyl LP.

Wings
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Calpurnia

Indie Exclusive 7” – limited to 1,000 copies

 

“Greyhound,” a slacker anthem recalling vintage Pavement to “Louie,” all Exile on Main Street-style country-blues slide guitar and choirboy harmonies,” Calpurnia’s songwriting craft belies not only their age but their experience as a collective unit. “It was super fun watching these ideas come to life,” Anderson offers with supreme modesty. “Seeing the stuff we’ve been working on for so long reach its full form is incredible.”

Calpurnia
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Courtney Barnett

INDIE ONLY RED VINYL

The Grammy and Brit nominated Courtney Barnett returns with her second album - ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel.’ It follows her critically acclaimed 2015 debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit’, and a recent top 10 collaborative record, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’, with Kurt Vile. One of the most distinctive voices in music, Courtney is known for mixing witty observations with un inching self-assessment - fast forward to now and although all of the cleaver turns of phrase and an eye for story telling are still there; this new collection of songs see a more serious and outwardly tone capturing the current social landscape yet still retaining moments of intimacy and warmth. As the world becomes more familiar with Courtney Barnett these songs feel comforting and emphatic yet that raw energy and the ability to make the listener think still remain..

Courtney Barnett
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Fred Mcdowell

As Ron Wynn wrote for AllMusic, “Fred McDowell played simple, haunting blues with vivid, demonstrative passion and power.” This is music that owes nothing to artifice, but simply makes its impact through the total honesty of the performer. Of all the blues singers of the older school who have been discovered or rediscovered in recent years, McDowell may well be the most impressive, and this LP affords ample proof of his stature. “Mississippi Delta Blues” was recorded in Como, Mississippi, late in 1965, by producer Alan Bates. The LP was originally issued by Bate’s Black Lion label in 1965. It has now been remastered by Infrasonic Mastering, and pressed on audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas Group in Germany. The Indie Exclusive edition comes on transparent yellow color vinyl.

Fred Mcdowell
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