Music Releases 05-20-22
Harry’s House is the third solo studio album from Grammy award-winning global superstar Harry Styles. The 13-track full-length album was recorded in multiple locations across the UK, Los Angeles and Tokyo from 2020 to 2021. It was written by Harry alongside frequent collaborators Kid Harpoon, Tyler Johnson, and Mitch Rowland.
Coming fresh off his 3 year residency as lead guitarist in Frank Zappa’s band, Vai spent the majority of 1983 in the studio. These recordings resulted in the 1984 release of Flex-Able which introduced Vai to the world as a solo artist. The standout instrumental track, “The Attitude Song”, was featured in the October 1984 issue of Guitar Player magazine as the first sound sheet Flexi Disc and quickly established Vai as a bonafide and powerful innovator of guitar pyrotechnics. Flex-Able has served as an integral part of Vai’s career that paved the way for him to join Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth’s band, Whitesnake, and his follow up, platinum tour-de-force, second album Passion & Warfare. No expense or process was spared in the refurbishing and re-release packaging for Flex Able. It was remastered in 2020 by Bernie Grundman using the original ¼” analog master tapes.
Van Morrison's 43rd studio album, What's It Gonna Take? (Exile Productions/Virgin) features 14 new compositions that collectively reflect his indefatigable drive to record and perform live in front of audiences. The album was produced by Morrison and is preceded by the single "Pretending," a gorgeous, restless, soul song.
AM Gold is the new album from multi-GRAMMY Award-winning band TRAIN. This will be the group’s first release of all-new original music in five years, and is their 11th studio album.
“Writing songs is hard. Not compared to so many things I suppose, but it’s difficult to create something that you love and then other people love as well. Writing songs for two and a half years in front of video screens instead of being in the presence of other humans has been a long, strange trip. And now here we are,” frontman Pat Monahan shares. “It has to start with love. Love that goes into work comes out of work. We this album and our fans. Thank you for waiting so long for us. I think it was worth it. AM Gold! Here we go!“
Jo Schornikow’s new album ALTAR is the perfect counterweight to 2019’s Secret Weapon. While that album was bare and scrappy bedroom folk, this new album is a joyful announcement of synthy indie-pop.
From Melbourne, Australia, Jo’s first job at 17 was as a church organist, a job she’s picked up again now in Nashville, where she lives with her husband Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent and their two children. She’s played keyboard in that band for over 8 years now, touring heavily all over the world as a full band, and ducking into BBC to record a duo session on their grand piano.
Rolling Stone called her last album “excellent,” Pitchfork calls her piano playing “sensitive” and “impressionistic,” and Gorilla vs. Bear describes her songwriting as “gorgeous and smouldering.” But the songs on ALTAR take all of that a step further. There are still those moments of quiet beauty, but they are exploded through with joy. There are windows-down, anthemic pop moments on “Visions” and “Lose Yr Love.”
Jo Schornikow is a songwriter flexing her craft and sharing songs that have a special charm that allow them to somehow feel honest, open, intimate and funny at the same time.
Vinyl: $24.98 PREORDER
Floating On A Dream is the full length solo debut from Avi Kaplan. Produced by GRAMMY Award-winner Shooter Jennings (Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, American Aquarium), the album’s steadfast musical foundation showcases Avi’s signature baritone vocals. Includes feature guest Joy Williams on the track “All Is Well,” which Avi co-wrote with Joy.
When Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin, one of the most vital new voices in rock, began to consider the themes of her new album, three vivid words began to emerge: joy, fear and endlessness. The artwork of the band’s third full-length, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky, is a surreal image that evokes the ducks and dives, slippery slopes and existential angst of life in recent times. “To me, the feelings of joy, fear and endlesses coexist together,” says Dana. “You’re never just happy or unhappy.”
Following Every Bad’s release in 2020, Margolin was quickly becoming regarded as one of the most magnetic band leaders around. But if Every Bad established Dana’s bravery in laying herself bare, her band’s third record takes that to anthemic new heights. While there are moments of guttural release, she also finds soft power on songs. “I used to think I had to be loud to be heard,” she admits, “but now I’m definitely less afraid of being gentle.”
The band’s first new single, ‘Back To The Radio’, sets out their stall, a lurching call to arms that contrasts Dana’s lyrics of panic and closing herself off. This song is just one of example in WDBLTTS that explores something that has long been an important part of Porridge Radio’s process: playfulness. “I think the album needed to have that balance,” Dana explains.
Balance: that’s the word the album seems to be eternally striving for – joy, fear and endlessness in harmony but also self-acceptance. Dana is more aware of how she’s creating a persona as her star continues to rise, and how she’s singing personal songs that now belong to other people which gives her purpose. She says, “I wrote these songs for myself, but I think everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing is useful in some way. I’m ready to embrace it all now, whatever happens.
Face The River is the new album from singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw. The album is an emotional journey that reflects recent personal losses that Gavin has suffered. Face The River was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson) in Nashville, and this collection of songs is easily the most personal work Gavin has ever created.
The second LP by California rock n roll unit SPICE expands their palette of damaged anthems and addiction poetics with a more bristling, visceral sound, distilled from years in the trenches of bands, break-ups, and breakdowns. Singer Ross Farrar explains their chemistry succinctly: “We all got in a room and this is what came out.” Viv is named for a precursor project of bassist Cody Sullivan and violinist Victoria Skudlarek, but also alludes to broader notions of vividness, sonic, visual, and otherwise. Engineered by Jack Shirley and mixed/mastered by Sam Pura in Oakland, the mix achieves that rare balance of every element being elevated but distinct, with voices, strings, and drums each given space to blaze parallel paths.
Opener “Recovery” captures SPICE at their stormy, weathered best, booming drums and East Bay riffs skidding out in a rockslide of rapture, regret, and bruised melody (“You sacrifice perfect days to laugh through the night / you have to get out of bed / and it’s hard / and it’s hard / it’s so hard to admit”), peaking in Ian Simpson’s poignant single-note vibrato guitar solo; Farrar agrees: “The guitar says what we cannot.” Other tracks embrace the group’s shredded pop potential (“Any Day Now,” “Dining Out,” “Live Scene”) and their speedway ripper mode (“Threnody”), with detours into oblique instrumentals (“Melody Drive”) and orchestral balladeering (“Ashes In The Birdbath”).
But what unites and ignites these songs across different energies and arrangements is their specific sense of emotion. Rawness refined into reckonings, approaching truth, born of cold mornings, bad luck, and too many wrong turns. Waking up where you’re not supposed to be, living a life you don’t recognize. The album ends with no end to its narrative, still fighting, still slipping. Farrar calls “Climbing Down The Ladder” a “relapse song – telling people you’re okay but you’re still fucking up.” Heartbeat drums march under heartbroken guitars in an elegant downward spiral of defeat, delusion, and desperate hope, dreamed more than believed: “I said it was the last time / but I was up so high / 100 miles / 1000 miles / no me in sight / I saw into the next life / I wasn’t dead / I felt so vivid in the next life.”
Grammy Award-Winning UK Electronic artist, producer, & songwriter Tourist releases his deeply personal fourth studio record Inside Out on May 20. Prior releases include collaborations and remixes for The Weekend, Swedish House Mafia, Christine and The Queens, Wolf Alice, Deftones, CHVRCHES, Sophia Koutesis, & more. Recently sold out two nights at Village Underground in October 2021, previously played Coachella, & supported Bonobo on tour. After three EP’s and three albums, Inside Out marks ten years of releasing music as Tourist.
Vinyl: $26.98 PREORDER
Controlled By Hatred/Feel Like Shit…Deja-vu is where Suicidal Tendencies put down the Pepsi, got possessed to skate and cranked up the tempo into thrash’s proverbial red. By 1989, guitarist Mike Clark had jumped to ST from fellow Venice wrecking crew, No Mercy (who Suicidal covers on four of this record’s tracks) and upped the ante as Mike Muir’s loved-n-feared mob gave the likes of Anthrax, Slayer or Megadeth a run for their collective monies. This is Suicidal Tendencies at their fastest and deadliest.
Born into a musical family, as a child Charlie Hickey would obsessively watch videos of his parents on tour in their old band Uma, learning all the lyrics that he loved but didn’t understand. This introduction to music sowed a seed, and Hickey was soon writing songs of his own, playing on the guitars that lay around him and singing about the little details of his school days. He continued throughout his teen years, his songs becoming an outlet for the growing anxieties that Hickey now understands to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
This journey has led to Nervous At Night, Hickey’s debut album which releases in the early Summer of 2022 via Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records. Where 2021’s Count The Stairs EP was an attempt to capture the rawness of his performance, Nervous At Night comes alive within its production, Hickey and producer Marshall Vore leaning into their perfectionist tendencies to find the best version of each track. “He’s always interested in how you can push things further but also reigns them in when necessary,” Hickey says. “I think that’s the true hallmark of a good producer.”
Hickey calls it a pop record but admits that sonically it moves in many directions, an amalgamation of his love for the folk singers of yesteryear and more contemporary peers, from Taylor Swift and The 1975 to the Californian songwriter and producer Blake Mills. This shifting of styles – from the album’s quiet heavy-hearted ballads to its more gleaming, hook-led tracks - mirrors its overarching theme: life’s graceless passage between teenage years and adulthood.
And so we have ‘Planet With Water’, a plaintive love song that bristles with nostalgia, Hickey singing of phone calls after school, of hearing a neighbor’s TV through the wall. Elsewhere‘Mid Air’ holds a similar weight, Hickey singing of “spinning in mid-air, waiting for some where to land, or some face to show up” as the song flourishes around his voice, delicately accompanied by guest turns from fellow LA musicians Harrison Whitford, Christian LeeHutson and Mason Stoops.
Nervous At Night comes alive in its juxtapositions, chronicling the constant push and pull of life, both its stagnancy and motion. Chiefly though, this is an album about connection, how even through those struggles we rely on the people around us to keep moving forwards.“I’d like to write songs that are for everyone, that let people into my inner world while also hopefully making people feel less alone on their own. I hope that these songs can be therefor somebody the way my favorite songs have been for me.”
Black Rain is Ozzy Osbourne’s tenth studio album and the last of his albums to date to feature Zakk Wylde on guitar. Originally a top 3 album upon its release in 2007 (tying as highest charting album in the US with his 2019 Ordinary Man album), the album went on to become certified gold in the US. Black Rain contains the #1 Rock hit “I Don’t Wanna Stop” along with “Not Going Away” and the title track, “Black Rain.”
Vinyl: $22.98 PREORDER
Punk rock pioneer with X, songwriter, poet, actor, solo artist, published author...folk musician. With Fables in a Foreign Land, the debut release from The John Doe Folk Trio, his tales are now set in the pre-Industrial Era. And though many of the 13 songs were written over the last three years, the sound was born in loose weekly backyard jams on Kevin Smith’s (Willie Nelson and Family) patio. “I guess ‘Fables in a Foreign Land’ is my version of folk music. It started by being sick of musicians that play too much and having to orchestrate or arrange songs. ‘What if it was just less?’ Everyone says less is more, but you have to figure out for yourself what that means. I didn’t do a deep dive into folk music and concern myself with what was ‘traditional,’ it was just an outgrowth of trying to strip the songs down to the basics.” Singles include contributions from outsider country polymath Terry Allen on “Never Coming Back,” Los Lobos’ Louie Perez on “El Romance-O,” and fellow X bandmate Exene Cervenka and Shirley Manson (Garbage) on “Destroying Angels.”
The legendary CAVE IN makes a highly anticipated return with their Relapse Records debut, Heavy Pendulum, their first full studio record in over a decade. The band (Stephen Brodsky - Guitar/Vocals, Adam McGrath - Guitar/Vocals, John-Robert Conners - Drums) sees a revival following the addition of Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom) on bass and vocals. Produced by Kurt Ballou at God City, Heavy Pendulum showcases everything that has long established CAVE IN as one of the best contemporary rock, hardcore, and metal bands since their monumental 1998 debut Until Your Heart Stops. From the driving tracks such as crushing opener "New Reality" to the metallic edge of "Blood Spiller", Heavy Pendulum sees CAVE IN look back at their discography and capture their most memorable, visceral, and forward-thinking moments to create a record that is all at once familiar and in true CAVE IN fashion, ahead of the mainstream.
When performing his solo material live, Craig Finn is joined by a dynamic group of musicians called The Uptown Controllers.
Legendary New Zealand band The Verlaines are proud to release Live at the Windsor Castle, Auckland May 1986.
Packaged in a beautiful gatefold jacket, the artwork is a replication of the vintage gig poster. Sky Blue vinyl, complete with download code and liner notes from singer Graeme Downes: “This album may end up the hands of people who weren't even born when these performances took place, so, let me tell you what it was like. The Verlaines. at the time, were Graeme Downes, Jane Dodd and Robbie Yeats. We lived in Dunedin at the near-bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. We were at University. These gigs were recorded to try to capture a live version of Slow Sad Love Song for the upcoming Birddog album that we recorded later that year.
Originally released in May 1982, ‘Combat Rock’ is the final album from The Clash of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon. Featuring two of the band’s most well-known songs, ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ and ‘Rock The Casbah’. Now re-released as a 180g 3LP special edition, with an additional 12-tracks compiled by The Clash.
Having returned to London following their pivotal 17-show residency at New York’s Bond’s Casino in 1981, the band rehearsed and recorded at The People’s Hall in the squatted Republic of Frestonia near Latimer Road in London and from there they embarked on a tour of the East and South East Asia, during which the album sleeve image was captured by Pennie Smith in Thailand.
The tracks on ‘The People’s Hall’ chart the period from what was their last single Radio Clash right up to the release of Combat Rock, including unheard, rare and early versions of tracks.
Also includes rare Pennie Smith images + history of Frestonia essay by Tom Vague.