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Les Paul’s resume is hard to top. Paul was a self-taught guitarist, specializing in jazz, country, and blues. He was also a prominent songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He's credited for pioneering the solid-body electric guitar, along with many recording innovations that are used widely today. After You’ve Gone features an impressive twenty eight songs recorded by Les Paul & His Trio between 1944-1945. The release was remastered for vinyl at Infrasonic Mastering, and pressed on vinyl for the first time ever at Pallas Group in Germany.
Cult Leader is a chaotic band from Salt Lake City, Utah. “A Patient Man” was recorded and engineered by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios (Converge, Nails, High On Fire). From the first hits of opener “I Am Healed” Cult Leader take listeners on a sonic rollercoaster ride. Much of the album follows this blueprint. Songs like “Curse of Satisfaction”, “Craft of Mourning”, and “Share My Pain” are driven by a weave work of unorthodox metallic riffing and fueled by hyper-aggressive percussion. While the tech- nical proficiency is impressive, it’s in their use of dynamics where they truly shine. The album contains four beautifully brooding epics; “To: Achlys”, “A World of Joy”, title track “A Patient Man”, and “The Broken Right Hand of God”. Each one of them carries a maturation and sense of melody that few “extreme” bands have within their arsenal. Proving that aggressive music still has much to offer the world in terms of originality, creativity, and emotion.
Never before been pressed to vinyl, Shirley Horn’s Softly is reflective of the album’s late night recording sessions at Peirre Sprey’s home recording studio in rural Maryland, aptly named Mapleshade Studio. The 1988 release is commonly referred to as one of Horn’s most introspective and emotionally intensive records to date. With her sidemen Charles Ables (bass) and Steve Williams (percussion) gathered into a quaint, pastoral living room full of recording equipment, the trio plowed through the tunes, tracking almost until dawn. The album was remastered for vinyl at Infrasonic Mastering and pressed on audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas Group in Germany.
JD McPherson presents A Christmas Album, SOCKS. Featuring 11 original tracks written by JD McPherson and his friends. SOCKS is an album of Holidays songs sure to be standards while you are decorating the tree. Come get warm by the fire with songs such as , "All The Gifts I Need" and "Every Single Christmas." Or, burn the cookies to "SOCKS" and "Ugly Christmas Sweater." There is something for everyone on this record to enjoy whether you are in the Christmas spirit or if you just wanna say, "Bah Humbug".
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Since the early 90s Sweden’s Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with on classics like “Orchid” and “My Arms, Your Hearse” to the records like “Blackwater Park” and the band’s recent record, 2016’s “Sorceress”, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. Filmed and recorded in 2017 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, “Garden of the Titans (Opeth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)” is a 2-CD/BLU-RAY + DVD release (along with several vinyl color formats) consisting of tracks spanning the band’s nearly 30 year career.
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The original electronic music trailblazers -The Prodigy- are back with some of their fiercest ever tunes. ‘No Tourists’, has been written, produced and mixed over the last year by Liam Howlett in his studio in London’s Kings Cross. Though this is – Liam notes – “very much a band album”. Maxim and Keef Flint are very much present and correct, each supplying their legendary vocal skills on this, the Essex machine’s seventh studio record. Yes, there are one or two collaborators, but fundamentally this is the sound of the central Prodigy three, bringing their riotous sound to audiences old and new, two decades since they changed the face and sound of electronic music with epochal album ‘The Fat Of The Land’. Expanding on the general shape of the project, Liam says: “this album is equally aggressive as the last records – but in a different way." A musician, songwriter and studio maestro, Howlett is as rigorous and righteously Up For It as he was when he formed his 28-years-young band. He explains that, as ever, the new songs “are built to play live. That’s the one thing that brings everything together. I couldn’t write this music unless it has that outlet on stage. That helps write the music. This is what I do it for: the live thing. And until we feel like we can’t do it, or the buzz goes, we won’t stop." It’s that sense of do-or-die commitment that is reflected in the album title. “To us, ‘No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed. Don’t be a tourist - there is always more danger and excitement to be found if you stray from the set path.”
Saves The Day have been through a lot over the past two decades: Van accidents, member changes, the emo explosion, and the adventures that carried the act and their fans from adolescence to adulthood. But they’ve never had a proper history of the band… until now. Saves The Day’s ninth album 9 tells the story of the band from the perspective of the band’s founder Chris Conley and does it in a way that’s as exhaustive as it is poetic and makes the listener a part of the songwriting process. From a narrative standpoint, 9 chronicles the epic story of a group of kids from New Jersey who realized their dream and became international sensations. However, on a more existential level, it shows how Conley “woke up” and became aware of his own consciousness through his relationship with music and the unbelievable adventures it inspired since he formed the act in 1997.
Oakland, CA trio Super Unison features Meghan O’Neil (formerly of PUNCH) on bass and vocals, Kevin DeFranco on guitar, and Justin Renninger (formerly of Snowing) on drums. Formed in 2014, the band released their acclaimed album "Auto" on Deathwish in 2017. Their new album "Stella" was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). It is an aggressive and sonically dynamic outpouring of post punk emotion. Though they tackle dark and personal subject matter, they ultimately find a light that cuts through the dark, and a way to get through the loss and loneliness we all face.
Out 26th October, Cohesion is the third album from London based producer Masaaki Yoshida aka Anchorsong. Whose unique gift for combining catchy melodic phrasing with idiosyncratic beats and vintage African influences, positioned his latest Ceremonial LP at #5 in BBC 6Musics Albums of 2016.
Wick Records is honored to release the sophomore long player from Virginia's Troglodytic Troubadours, the group with the antediluvian je ne sais quoi: The AR-KAICS! Recorded in three days at Adrian Olsen's Montrose Studio and Produced by Wayne Gordon (Black Lips, King Gizzard..., John Spencer Blues Explosion, Michael Rault,) In This Time is a low brow journey through the teen-beat sounds of the 1960's... AND BEYOND! From the opening crude thud of "Don't Go with Him, the Velvet Underground-tinged swagger of "She's Obsessed with Herself", the breezy, late-period psych of "Long Way Down," to the unpretentious, sap-free balladry of "It's Her Eyes," The Ar-Kaics flex their deft understanding of the subtle intricacies that define bonafide garage rock. A must for fans of the Back from the Grave compilations.
Aviary is LA composer Julia Holter's most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a short story by Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also agood metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.
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Across two decades, eight albums, and a multitude of singles, splits, and EPs, Alkaline Trio has built a reputation as a defining act in punk rock’s modern era. Formed in Chicago by vocalist-guitarist Matt Skiba in 1996, the band would come into its own with its debut album Goddammit in 1998. Since then, the band has continually evolved, incorporating new influences with each record while achieving artistic, critical, and commercial success along the way. It’s been 5 years since Alkaline Trio released their last studio album, My Shame Is True. In that time, they’ve toured the world, sold over a million records, including a 20th Anniversary – 8 LP live box set, recorded on their 2014-15 Past Live tour. Since those Past Live shows, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant both released solo albums, and Skiba joined blink-182, releasing the chart-topping album California with the band. Alkaline Trio’s live shows have always been thrilling due to the fact that, even as the band ascended through the ranks of punk, they always retained the feeling of three friends excited to be on stage together. “When I think of a Trio live show,” says Skiba, “I always go back to the humble beginnings of the band, and I want that to always be in this band.” Alkaline Trio closed 2017 with a coveted opening slot for The Original Misfits, a band Skiba describes as his “first love,” Alkaline Trio is primed to step back into the spotlight. “We have the wind at our backs, it seems,” says Skiba. “Every aspect of the band—be it business or artistically or whatever—it feels like the Gods are in our corner.” Andriano agrees, and says that he’s ready to make the band’s best record yet. “I wanna be a band that people want to hear new stuff from. Because I feel like I’m still in a band that wants to write good, new music.” “Is This Thing Cursed?” will prove that good, new music is worth the wait.
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Stay Out Late is ultimately, the end result of understanding who we are, and more importantly, who we are not.
This will be our 15th year as a band, and our 5th record overall. In the years preceding the making of this record, we all had to define what it meant for us to be happy making music. There are certain mechanisms and tropes we all fall into as a result. And as hard as we may try to emulate what we consider to be higher art, or rather, classic music; we always end up with a Buxton record.
Sergio couldn't write for almost 2 years after 'Half A Native'. The answers to "why" had run dry. We all saw each other, hung out and everything was like normal. I can't really pinpoint the moment it all made sense again. The question had suddenly changed to "why not" and we were back in the studio making demos. There was a lurking sense that nobody would ever hear these songs, and that lead to a sort of creativity I'm not sure we'd really experienced before. All ideas were on the table, and more importantly they stayed on the table.
There are a handful of truly great masterpieces and the attempt of achieving that is one of the most daunting and exhausting pursuits any artist can take on. In the van we're constantly educating ourselves and finding new and in many cases old points of inspiration. Whether it be Mark Hollis, HC McEntire, Mickey Newbury or rediscovering the genius of Bette Midler, we find ourselves at the mercy of our own limitations of expression. Yet somehow in our most vulnerable project, we're simultaneously the most comfortable in our skin as we've ever been.
The core of this record is about being in it for the long haul, looking back, and being able to accept it all. We can only hope that the listener can in some way share and make tangible the joy that went into making this record.
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Live From The Ryman was primarily recorded during the group’s six sold out nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium in 2017. The double album features 13 live versions of songs from their last three critically acclaimed, award-winning studio albums - Southeastern (2013), Something More Than Free (2015), The Nashville Sound (2017).
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Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form — the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage — without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”
Common Blah is the debut full-length by Portland, Maine's Weakened Friends. Founded by songwriter Sonia Sturino, drummer Cam Jones, and bassist Annie Hoffman in 2013, the trio is a low pressure outlet for volatile music. Recorded by Hoffman and perfected over the last year, the songs broadcast heavy feelings amid screech and feedback with little more than a distortion pedal the clog up the signal chain. The album also features guest shredding by peer and kindred spirit J Mascis (on the song Hate Mail).
Ace Frehley is on a roll, and he’s ready to embark on his next musical journey with Spaceman, his third solo outing in four years, and eighth overall. Amongst Ace’s post-KISS recorded output, Spaceman might be the closest link to his widely acclaimed 1978 solo record, both in spirit and execution. First off, Frehley played all of the guitar parts on Spaceman, as well as bass on all but two songs. Longtime drummer Anton Fig, whose friendship with Ace began in that 1978 record, also appears on “Off My Back” and “Pursuit of Rock and Roll” (longtime collaborators Scot Coogan and Matt Starr also play drums on Spaceman). There’s also a thematic, almost biographical, thread running through the album of a long life in rock ’n’ roll, although Ace admits it wasn’t intentional. The first single “Bronx Boy” lays out Ace’s pre-KISS roots, running wild with an Irish street gang called the Ducky Boys. It might be his grittiest song to date, with an opening riff that lashes out like a switchblade. “Pursuit of Rock and Roll” ticks off a list of rockers that made Ace who he is, including Little Richard and the Stones. Frehley also makes it clear that rock is truly all he needs: “So sick of looking at reality TV / and like the Beatles said, you gotta ‘Let It Be.’” “No need to worry, I’ll be home soon, ’cause I’m rockin’ with the boys,” Frehley sings on “Rockin’ With the Boys,” which tells the tales of life on the road. Ace says he wrote the original version of the song back in KISS’s heyday in the ’70s—if you listen closely, it could almost be seen as a rockin’ counterpart to the Peter Criss-penned KISS classic “Beth.” Speaking of KISS brethren, let’s get back to those two songs on Spaceman that Ace didn’t play bass on. One listen of opener “Without You I’m Nothing” should be a dead giveaway. That mighty dinosaur growl of a bass tone belongs to Gene Simmons, who co-wrote that song, along with “Your Wish Is My Command,” with the Space Ace at Frehley’s home studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Frehley's reconnection with Simmons and fellow KISS vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley (who joined Ace on a cover of Free’s “Fire and Water” for 2016’s covers LP Origins, Vol. 1) might be chalked up to the fact that Frehley has been sober for more than a decade (he celebrated 12 years of sobriety in September). Ace’s clean living no doubt has a lot to do with his productive streak, which began with the release of his top 20 Anomaly album in 2009, his top 10 Space Invader LP in 2014 (a first for any KISS member); and continues with Spaceman (a title suggested by Gene Simmons himself). Spaceman is a lean-and-mean nine tracks, and includes what has become a trademark for any Ace joint, a cosmic instrumental. “Quantum Flux” is a classic prog ’n’ roll song from Frehley, with lush acoustics and twin-leads. Fans might also notice the song’s doomy outro, which nods to “Black Diamond” on KISS’s 1974 debut.
The Eclipse Sessions, John Hiatt’s newest album, offers up his strongest set of songs in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. The 11 tracks presented in The Eclipse Sessions, from the breezy opener “Cry to Me,” to the stark “Nothing in My Heart,” the lost-love lamentation “Aces Up Your Sleeve” to the rollicking “Poor Imitation of God,” demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry.
Hiatt goes all in with The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs—a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like “Poor Imitation of God” and “One Stiff Breeze.” “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” The Eclipse Sessions is the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment.
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
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.
Translucent Red vinyl. 180g.
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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 October 12th, 2018 by Mom + Pop Music.
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Molly Burch burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut Please Be Mine – a ten-track ode to unrequited romance written after studying Jazz Vocal Performance in Asheville, NC – and earned immediate praise from critics for her smoky, effortless vocals and bleeding-heart lyrics. Following a year of touring all over North America, Europe and the UK alongside the likes of Ought, Alex Cameron, Grizzly Bear and Courtney Barnett amongst others, Burch then returned to Texas to decompress. Finding herself suddenly devoid of stimulation and with nothing but time on her hands, she began anew, bouncing ideas off her bandmate and boyfriend Dailey Toliver – who contributed guitar parts and orchestration suggestions – and, slowly, an album took shape; soon after, First Flower became real.
A walk-through Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships, and overwhelming anxiety – First Flower is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever. Opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. Title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that makes your skin raise with goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. But the album’s true stand-out is “To The Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. “I don’t need to scream to get my point across/I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” she coos over a sparse guitar riff.
First Flower is a shapely sonic stage to let Burch shine on. The composition and production carefully constructed to compliment and not over power.