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Music Releases 06-28-24

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Marsha Ambrosius is a GRAMMY-nominated, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who is gearing up for her highly anticipated album, CASABLANCO. Executive produced by Dr. Dre, CASABLANCO is a combined mix of R&B, jazz and hip-hop which blends in a fulfilling and nostalgic soundscape that has the listeners wanting more.
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Lupe Fiasco

Samurai [Indie Exclusive Opaque Olive LP]

Vinyl: $24.98 UNAVAILABLE
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On his new album, Samurai, Lupe retreats inward to give fans one of his most personal albums in his deep catalog. “I sometimes get tagged by my fans as not doing personal records,” Lupe says, “but I always tell people there's me in there if you listen closely enough. This album is one of my more personal records to date. It's not a full biography, but my personal experiences are tied up in all of my music. A lot of the records are me. Some are from the POV of a character. and some are me. The album weaves things from my life as an artist, touching on things other artists go through.” The narrative follows a battle rapper through various moments in his career, starting with how they honed their battle rap skills, following their career through different moments.

Musically, the new album finds Lupe delighting in the simple pleasures of assembling assonant syllables into playful and poignant narratives. The 8-track album is smooth, yet cerebral, brimming with ideas, but always radiating Lupe’s pure love for the art of emceeing and committing himself as a servant of the rap game. The album was produced in full by longtime collaborator and friend, Soundtrakk (“Superstar,” “Kick, Push,” “HipHop Saved My Life”), their second time linking up on a full album after 2022’s DRILL MUSIC IN ZION, and is also the first time Lupe, Trakk, and longtime manager Charles “Chill” Patton were in the studio together since Patton’s release from prison in 2023. “It felt great to be back in the studio again as a family,” Lupe says. It’s the first time they’d worked together in the studio since Lupe’s seminal album, The Cool in 2005.

“The word ‘samurai’ means to serve,” Lupe says on the album’s title. “My relationship to that word has always meant that you need to be at the service of other people, either in the overall community, or in this instance, the rap community at large that I’ve been a part of for years. You have some duty, some purpose to serve. The title alone is very important to me. Before rap even, martial arts was my whole life, and it still plays a huge role in my life. The album is me, but also inspired by a quote I heard from one of my favorite artists. The overall themes of the album speak to the constant fight and the battle one goes through being in the entertainment industry. Some of the things we need to defend.”

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Medium Build

Country [LP]

Vinyl: $29.99 Buy

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Medium Build’s forthcoming album Country exists as a duality, running the spectrum of human emotions from playful optimism and visceral affirmations of life to heartbreak, loss, fear, and loneliness. Raised in Georgia, educated in Tennessee, and transformed in Alaska, his stories speak to the spectrum of those experiences and eagerly draw outside the clear lines of genre binaries – pulling from classic country, ‘80s new wave, '90s pop, and early 00's emo in equal measure. In another era, Medium Build might have just as easily been a rhinestone cowboy – lonesome out on the range, a blue-eyed crooner on a smooth-sailing yacht, or a leather-clad video star, but in the here and now, he’s no one but himself.

New Vinyl: $29.99 Video
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Three time Grammy nominated Hiatus Kaiyote return with their eagerly anticipated new album Love Heart Cheat Code. The band have warmed up fans with standout single 'Everything's Beautiful' and what awaits is a masterfully crafted album from a band who are firing on all cylinders and totally in sync. LHCC is a mix of their classic neo-soul sound, fused with jazz, soul and rock - which is on full display on their cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic 'White Rabbit' and a fan favorite from their live shows, 'Cinnamon Temple'. The album also includes a feature from BMO from the cult classic animated series Adventure Time (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim). Throughout the campaign the band will build a bright and vibrant world for fans to dive into, with games, artifacts, mazes and all other matter of zaniness that one can expect from Hiatus Kaiyote. Just ahead of album release the band will be embarking on a 19 day US tour, which includes stops at Montreal and Toronto Jazz Fests and Electric Forest.

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Imagine Dragons’ sixth studio album LOOM represents the pinnacle of their artistic journey of self-discovery and marks the best body of work they've ever made. LOOM, produced entirely by Imagine Dragons and their longtime collaborators Mattman and Robin, finds the perfect balance between the classic sounds that have made them superstars and the freshness that brought them joy in the studio. Featuring 9 brand new tracks including hit single “Eyes Closed”, LOOM signifies new beginnings on the horizon – the excitement for a new day, moments yet to come.

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Johnny Cash recorded an album’s worth of self-penned songs in 1993. Shortly thereafter, he released the American Recordings albums and re-established himself as one of the world’s greatest songwriters, introducing him to a new generation of fans. Songwriter’s unreleased 11 songs have been updated and produced by his son John Carter Cash and co-producer David Ferguson.

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Camila Cabello has released brand new track “HE KNOWS (featuring Lil Nas X)” from her forthcoming album C, XOXO, which is out June 28th on Interscope Records and available for pre-order now.  C,XOXO is written by Camila and brought to life with executive producer El Guincho (Rosalia, FKA twigs, Frank Ocean) and co-producer Jasper Harris (Lil Nas X, Baby Keem,  Jack Harlow). Camila recently appeared on the March 2024 cover of Paper magazine, who describe C,XOXO as having “an emotional immediacy and rawness” and go on to proclaim C,XOXO as her “boldest solo album.” 

New Vinyl: $32.99 Video
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h. pruz

No Glory

Vinyl: $26.98 UNAVAILABLE

Shortly after the release of their gorgeous debut EP Again, There last year, Brooklyn songwriter h. pruz (Hannah Pruzinsky) upended their whole life. After the end of a long-term relationship, they fell deep into the throes of new love; they quit their full-time job to spend most of their time playing music. The result of that being the nine-song album, No Glory. Produced by Pruzisnky and Felix Walworth (Told Slant / Florist). 

New Vinyl: $26.98
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Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective's ninth studio album, sees the American art-rock collective in heartwarmingly baffling form, combining upbeat indietronica with mind-warping samples. For its 15th anniversary, the 2xLP has been pressed on color vinyl for the first time, Bluish and Translucent Green, and is housed in a reflective foil deluxe gatefold jacket.

Merriweather Post Pavilion was universally acclaimed upon its release in 2009 and was named the #1 best album of the year by Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, and KEXP. “Every once in a while, musicians sweep away the existing musical landscape to create something new,” stated NPR at the time. “Animal Collective is such a group, and its new Merriweather Post Pavilion is such an album.” It has since been recognized as one of the most influential records of the 2000s. “When it comes to 2000s indie, Merriweather stands as the era’s alpha and omega,” Pitchfork has written, “a diamond-cut reflection of the era’s eccentricities, seemingly impossible to replicate in form or format.”

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“Let us advance our mortal bodies up
Where hearts and minds will go
Let’s walk, let’s roll.”

So sings Madeleine Peyroux on the upbeat title track of her captivating tenth album, Let’s Walk, the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s most assured, courageous work to date. Powered by the distinctive, honeyed croon that delivered her from the Paris streets to concert halls, these ten unabashedly personal songs, all co-written by the versatile Peyroux, deftly interweave jazz, folk, and chamber pop, with themes ranging from the confessional to the political, from whimsy to yearning. In every note, Peyroux digs deep, rendering this exquisite work with the disarming grace and gravitas of an artist in peak form.

Let’s Walk was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. Following Peyroux’s 2018 album, Anthem, the enforced isolation of the global pandemic made any real-time community gathering impossible. From a creative standpoint, however, Covid offered Peyroux a silver lining: she seized the opportunity to hunker down with longtime collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Jon Herington (Steely Dan, Lucy Kaplansky). The pair reflected on the seismic era at hand and wrote and re-wrote in what Peyroux calls “a shadow of reckoning.” When multi-Emmy-and-Grammy-winning producer Elliott Scheiner (Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles) heard a sampling of the new material, including “Let’s Walk,” he mandated “no covers” for the album. The longtime studio veteran knew the time was ripe to highlight Peyroux’s incisive, often topical lyrics meshed with Herington’s ear for melody and arrangements.

Album opener “Find True Love” came to Peyroux during the George Floyd murder trial. Like “Let’s Walk,” “Find True Love” is an irresistible entreaty to join a journey. First stop: New Orleans. “I was searching for solace in the American landscape,” Peyroux says. “I was imagining the first step toward healing, if there could be a future worth living for.” The last line of each verse is a striking, yet inarguable Cornel West quote: “[One must] learn how to die.” Herington’s pulsing, finger-picked acoustic guitar, interwoven with Andy Ezrin’s shimmering keys, propel Peyroux’s message of steadfast hope in the face of encroaching darkness. Says Peyroux: “The ideas in this song let me imagine a place where I can become a better me.”

An astonished Peyroux says the title track came to her in a dream – including “the words, the rhythm, and the form” – a rarity for her. “The lyric refers to mass mobilization of marchers for civil rights around the world,” Peyroux says. “A voluntarily unified action in support of a humanitarian ideology.” Within two days, Herington fleshed out “Let’s Walk” with gospel textures, organ, and a steady, infectious beat, enlisting buoyant harmonies from Grammy-winning artist Catherine Russell (David Bowie, Rosanne Cash), along with vocalists supreme Cindy Mizelle (Bruce Springsteen) and Keith Fluitt (Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson). Their churchy call-and-response with Peyroux’s burnished lead elevate “Please Come On Inside” and “Blues for Heaven” into a revival of emotion.

“How I Wish” is Peyroux’s response to the horrific murders – over a period of three months in 2020 – of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Arbery. This melancholy, minor key waltz acknowledges her privilege, and her anguish. “2020 was the year I woke up,” she says. Immersing herself in the work of such writers as Cornel West, she was struck by West’s repeated references to Black musicians as “Love Warriors,” responding to oppression with game-changing music: Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson, to name a few. “These are my teachers and my heroes,” Peyroux says. “African American music has been the one constant, true path in my life.”

One such mentor was Dan William Fitzgerald, aka “Showman Dan,” for whom Peyroux wrote a rollicking ode after her longtime friend passed away in 2017. As leader of the Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band, the American-born expat took a very young, inexperienced Peyroux under his wing to perform across Europe, as she says, “on the street, in the underground, the public square, jazz clubs, restaurants, and private homes of dukes and duchesses.” Like many Black artists before him, Fitzgerald found he could get more artistic traction in France than he could in his homeland and conveyed his love of street theater to Peyroux, who’d moved with her mother to Paris at age 12.

During her years in Paris, Peyroux witnessed the custom of bourgeois parents gifting their young adult children with an apartment. For the satirical “Et Puis” (“And Then”), Peyroux, fluent in French, assumes the role of that young adult as one “both blissfully ignorant of their privilege and consciously disgusted by its injustice.”

For “Nothing Personal,” Peyroux not only bravely grapples head-on with sexual assault – both her own, and others’ – she offers an alternative to incarceration, which she maintains is “a ridiculous waste of time.” Rather, the perpetrator should “learn every aspect of the consequence of their actions and be party to recovery in whatever way is welcome by the victim.” Herington’s mournful, insistent piano and acoustic guitar recall the intensity of “Plastic Ono Band,” with Peyroux’s painful-yet-resolved vocals intimate and beautifully unadorned.

Peyroux changes gears with the playful, Caribbean-flavored “Me and the Mosquito,” and rapid-fire spoken-word album closer, “Take Care.” The former, inspired by Hank Williams’ hilarious classic “Fly Trouble,” offers perhaps the most humanist treatise ever on what Peyroux calls “the elusive singular mosquito which can ruin a night’s sleep.” For the latter, Peyroux “prayed to the spoken-word genius of Linton Kwesi Johnson” to deliver a heartfelt advisory re: avoiding the pervasive toxins in food, clothing, and modern culture in general. “I don’t recommend a morose existence,” she recites over Herington’s ska-flavored guitar and sampled marimba, “but life is an art and perspective needs distance / But ya gotta get lean and scrappy and fight / If you’re gonna begin to get livin’ right.”

When the road beckons this spring, Peyroux’s community of loyal fans is in for a singular treat. Thanks to serendipitous delay, her collaborators Herington and Scheiner, and the very perspective she shares in “Take Care,” the spare, slow burning Let’s Walk material will be set free in venues around the world, effortlessly dovetailing with Peyroux’s beloved versions of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits (to name a few) classics. As she learned in her busking years, a great song can wield powerful magic, and inspire the best in any type of crowd. With Let’s Walk, Madeleine Peyroux takes full ownership of that magic.

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15th anniversary pressing of Silverstein’s fourth studio album. The concept album chronicles a ship setting out to find land to no avail, causing the crew to turn on the captain. Upon its 2009 release, the album reached #3 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and was dubbed an "enjoyable, catchy album that digs deeper than most bands in its genre" by AbsolutePunk. It includes the single, “Vices” as well as fan favorites “The End,” “American Dream” and more.

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Local Natives' sixth studio album But I'll Wait For You is the expansion of their last project Time Will Wait For No One - the completion of a statement. It serves as an obligatory reminder of the transient nature of time & the necessity of prioritizing tenderness amongst the noise.

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Boulevards, also known as Jamil Rashad, returns with Carolina Funk: Barn Burner On Tobacco Road. Teaming up with funk producer Sergio Rios (Orgone, Say she she, Neal Francis). Taking notes from rare funk records and blaxploitation,  Carolina Funk: Barn Burner on Tobacco Road is a raw, muddy, infectious, live testament to the funk. With infectious hooks, syncopated basslines, tight drums and classic horns that bring a punchy and soulful element to the funk.

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Milly

Your Own Becoming [Black Ice LP]

Vinyl: $25.98 UNAVAILABLE

We began writing this record on New Years Day 2023. With that sentiment we felt like it was destined to be a totally new experience and we truly put our best feet forward. Since MILLY began, it was pretty much just myself writing everything but with this record it was much different. We solidified our lineup and we worked as hard as we could together, meeting 2 - 3 times a week for 6 months and playing music as a band because we wanted the record to have that feel. It sounds silly saying it that way as we are a rock band, but we had never spent more than a week or two actually preparing in a room before recording in the past. Everything previously was done very on the fly whereas this record we tried as many things as we coul d and used our heads. We talked about music a lot, and the way we wanted people to feel when they heard our new stuff -- the way that we feel when we listen to our favorites. We kept pondering if we could reinvent the wheel for ourselves in some way, even if minor.. just to feel a bit different and fresh. A large majority of the songs originated from jams that we recorded in our practice space and then I took home and chopped up. Once Sonny got involved, he really helped us structure everything all together nicely. We took rehearsing and pre production extremely seriously the way Nirvana did before tracking Nevermind and we are very proud of the raw live feeling that this album has. Though we are now a 4 piece band, for this process it was the 3 of us (Brend an, Yarden, Conner) so a lot of trios were in the back of our heads for inspiration (Failure, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr), especially in the guitar category. It felt like picking a guitar up for the first time in some ways, trying to reinvent my regular playing style as much as I could.

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South of Here, the fourth full-length studio release from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, reckons with a
lifetime of pain and trauma and transforms it into a stirring and soul-baring rumination on love, loss, hope and
resolve. Following Rateliff’s 2020 solo album, And It’s Still Alright, and The Night Sweats’ acclaimed 2021 release,
The Future, the new album blends both sides of his immense talent: emotionally potent, vivid storytelling and the
rugged, R&B revivalism that has powered the band to world-wide acclaim over the past decade. Iridescent Green
180g LP with die-cut O-card. Limited Edition. Indie Exclusive.

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Kaipa

Sommargryningsljus [LP]

Vinyl: $44.98 UNAVAILABLE

Kaipa are back! In the summer of 1964 Hans Lundin's musical career started when he became a member of his first band as organist and singer. He says that the following years were "the best education I could ever get". Nine years later in 1973 he formed the group KAIPA.  Now 60 years into his career he and his current bandmates Per Nilsson, Jonas Reingold, Darby Todd, Patrik Lundström & Aleena Gibson are proud to announce the release of Kaipa's 15th studio album Sommargryningsljus (Summer Dawn Light).    ”A whispering dawn the sun's on its way to open up a brand new day out of the shadows of the night” is the opening phrase of the song Songs in Our Hands.  The dawn theme has always been close to Hans Lundin's heart in his songwriting. On the self titled debut album released in 1975, 49 years ago, he wrote about this in the song Se var morgon gry. Also in the songs Dagens port and Visa i sommaren on the following albums he returned to this theme. With the new album he closes the circle and returns to where it all began.     Sommargryningsljus contains eight tracks portraying a nocturnal journey from dusk until dawn, with the first two tracks representing the twilight and the closing two indicating dawn. This nighttime odyssey can be seen as a metaphor for the state between death and rebirth, or as an allegory of life told in reverse.   As a bonus track, „Sommargryningsljus (single edit)“ is included where the entire song can be heard as it was originally written including „Sommarskymningsljus“.   The basic structures of two of the four long songs in the middle section of the album (Seven Birds & Spiderweb Train) were originally written in the late 90's. The same period as the songs for Kaipas comeback album Notes from the past (2002) were written.   “Sommargryningsljus” is available as Ltd. CD Mediabook, 12’’ Gatefold 180g 2LP vinyl in black and digital album

New Vinyl: $44.98
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Follow-up to Fat Wreck debut "Get It Together" out 6/28/24. A uniquely fresh eyed and youthful rallying cry, somehow made by seasoned punks, tempered with anger, heartache, a dash of Latinx hardcore rage and a virtuosity that belies their relatively short tenure as a band. MakeWar is THE punk band for today’s increasingly polarized MAGA world: Furious, multicultural, packed with revolutionaries, friends to those in the cages, behind the walls and trapped in Florida, lovers and repurposers of classic art and style, from punk, to aughts-era-emo to art film to Los Fucking Crudos

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“More than ever, people need to hear songwriters talk about their lives. We don’t always have to search for monster hits. We can just write about our lives and maybe that might actually work. That’s what this record is a lot of. A lot of massive songs, but also a lot of me just writing authentically and honestly about my life. Flyin symbolizes the next phase of my career. I feel like I'm flying into this chapter where I’m the best version of myself that I've ever been. Y’all better catch-up or you’re getting left behind. I’m on fire!”

New Vinyl: $24.98
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Cleveland death metal legends-in-waiting 200 Stab Wounds have returned with Manual Manic Procedures, a superlative sophomore effort that follows 2021’s Slave to the Scalpel, their tour de force debut. The new album is a brutal slab of old school death metal with a contemporary edge. Not for the faint-hearted, Manual Manic Procedures may well be the album that puts classic gore-themed ferocity back into the metal community’s collective consciousness. The band's debut, "Slave to the Scalpel" saw 200 Stab Wounds insinuate themselves into the minds of extreme metal fans, leading to praise from Pitchfork for their “unpretentious brilliance, pitch-black sense of humor” and an “aesthetic [that’s] built around a chugging, groovy riff that stomps down a path of destruction.” Manual Manic Procedures sees the band upping the ante both musically and lyrically. Ultimately, for 200 Stab Wounds, it’s all about creating art that they enjoy. “I know that if we like it, our fans will like it,” says Buhl. “That's really all that matters to us. And if we keep touring, it's just gonna get bigger and bigger. Then everyone's happy, far as I'm concerned.” The songs on Manual Manic Procedures are not safe for work – perhaps unsafe most anywhere. But that’s its dark charm in a world where even heavy music can play it too safely. 200 Stab Wounds have crafted Manual Manic Procedures for themselves and like-minded brethren: thrill-seekers, carnage cravers, horror fans, and aficionados of the most extreme metal. Above all, 200SW created a future death metal classic.

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Born and raised in west Texas, her upbringing pours through her songwriting in tales of desert highways and the hustle and bustle of oil towns. Laced with heartache, joy, loss and female angst, her songs are ingenious and uniquely her own. On June 28, 2024, Singer/Songwriter Kat Hasty will release her 2021 debut album "Drowning in Dreams" on CD & vinyl for the first time.

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On vinyl for the first time, ‘Random Album Title’ is a seminal body of work in electronic music from Canadian producer deadmau5. The vinyl includes “Not Exactly,” “I Remember,” “Arguru,” and more.

This award-winning, chart-topping album is arguably the most sought-after physical piece of work from deadmau5’ impressive catalog - this is ‘Random Album Title’.

New Vinyl: $35.98
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Traversing the bounds of genre and language in his songs, singer-songwriter GRAMMY nominated Omar Apollo captures the adventurous spirit that this multi-hyphenate moment in pop demands, returning with his highly anticipated sophomore album, God Said No. God Said No is Omar’s interpretation of “lo que sera, sera” which translates to “whatever will be, will be”. The phrase embodies the album with Omar’s tongue-in-cheek humorous outlook on the suffering that comes from surrendering and accepting whatever is thrown at you by life, a relationship, or lover. Omar believes his natural state is longing for love or stability, and elements of the album are about surrendering to that. The record was created with Teo Halm, Blake Slatkin, Carter Lang, Dylan Wiggins, and Oscar Santander, among other contributors. In 2022 with the release of Ivory, Apollo’s eclectic debut, his hit single and career first Billboard Hot 100 entry “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me at All)” was certified platinum, sold out his first headlining tour, and performed arenas with SZA and Daniel Caesar. Omar Apollo is a true visionary, whose one-of-a-kind pop synthesis unites listeners from all walks of life in a shared passion for rhythm and soul.
        
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