Music Releases 03-17-23
4 LP Super Deluxe Collector’s Boxset featuring 40 new acoustic and reimagined recordings from the U2 catalog, produced and compiled by The Edge and arranged into individual band member volumes. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a stunning mat laminated slipcase with bespoke debossing, this limited and numbered boxset includes new lyrics by Bono, exclusive photos by Anton Corbijn and liner notes from The Edge.
Created between Palm Springs, California and Hilo, Hawai'i, V is the first double album from the Hawaiian-New Zealand singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra band. Designed to play as one continuous movement and road-tested on dry California freeways, V is the definitive Unknown Mortal Orchestra car record. It's also the fifth full-length album Ruban has released in twelve years. Across fourteen sunbleached songs - written solo or with his brother Kody - Ruban draws from the rich traditions of West Coast AOR, yacht rock, weirdo pop and Hawaiian Hapa-haole music. Over a laidback blend of singalong anthems and cinematic instrumentals, he evokes blue skies, afternoons spent lounging by hotel swimming pools and the alluring darkness that lurks below perfect, pristine surfaces. It's a duality expressed in the dilapidated sunset blues and the saltcorroded soul Ruban explores through tracks like 'Layla' and 'Nadja. ' During the pandemic's early days, Ruban reunited with Kody at a cousin's wedding in Hawai'i. With assistance from their father, Chris Nielson (saxophone/flute) and longstanding Unknown Mortal Orchestra member Jake Portrait, they brought everything Ruban had been thinking about together. The result was V, due for release on March 3, 2023, through Jagjaguwar. When they talked about records that moved them in that spine-shivering manner, Ruban started thinking about the 70s AM radio rock and 80s pop songs that had lurked on the edge of his subconscious mind for most of his life. He wanted to write his version of records like that, leading to the two glorious uptempo singles Unknown Mortal Orchestra released in 2021, 'Weekend Run' and 'That Life'. However, the golden good times never last forever. Not long after, health issues began to plague his extended family. Putting his recordings aside, he helped his mother and his uncle move home from New Zealand and Portland to Hawai'i, and began dividing his time between Hawai'i and Palm Springs. During this period he reconnected with his relatives, reassessed his past, and started to look at things with fresh eyes. Hawai'i brought back memories of the darker side of his parents' lifestyle as entertainers. On those trips, he heard those classic AM radio rock records everywhere. They were inextricably intertwined with the palm trees, swimming pools, and glamorized hedonism he'd internalized from his childhood. There's a type of music in Hawai'i called Hapa-haole (Half white). You can hear it expressed in signature Unknown Mortal Orchestra style through the humid guitar-led atmosphere of V's penultimate song, 'I Killed Captain Cook'. Although the songs are presented in a traditional Hawaiian manner, they're mostly sung in English. Having been influenced by Hawaiian music since Unknown Mortal Orchestra's first album, Ruban saw a space for himself within the tradition. When he reflected on his success, he realised he had the responsibility and platform to represent Hapa-haole music on the global stage.
Vinyl: $39.98 Buy
Over the span of two decades, M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez has firmly established himself as an artist whose work transcends mere escapism in favor of full-on worldbuilding. Whether it be via his celebrated studio albums, film soundtracks, or compositions for stage productions, Gonzalez has proven that nothing surpasses his ability to perfectly encapsulate a specific time, emotion, or sense of place.
Now with Fantasy, the Platinum selling, GRAMMY nominated artist returns with his most personal album to date. Featuring long-time collaborator Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Joe Berry, M83’s touring keyboardist and sax player, the album was born out of extended jam sessions that lasted nearly a year. The result is an exuberant, live-sounding record where trademark M83 goosebump moments abound.
Kacey Musgraves will be releasing a limited edition Zoetrope Picture Disc Vinyl in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of her debut Platinum and Grammy winning album- Same Trailer Different Park. The album went to #1 on the Country Album Charts when it was released in 2013. Kacey co-wrote all 12 tracks and co-produced the album with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. Album won the Grammy award for the Best Country Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The album featured the break-out singles- “Merry Go Round”, “Blowin’ Smoke”, and “Follow Your Arrow”.
I’m sorry, what? A double Say Hi LP without any vocals? Yep, you’ve heard right. I woke up one day not too long ago and decided I needed to take a break from words, so it seemed like a convenient time to attempt the all-instrumental-mega-synthesizer-record I’ve been itching to make for a while. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but these songs aren’t meandering, ambient sketches. They’re just as focused and concise as I’ve tried to make every other Say Hi record. It’s just that the melodies here are expressed via dulcitones or vector-synthesis in lieu of my usual slightly-off-key vocal chords. Please dig in. It took me a while to get the formula right, but I’m hopeful you’ll like it. Oh yeah, it’s also the 20th anniversary of Say Hi, so I’ll be performing every past record around the release of the new one. -- Eric / Say Hi
The duo of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, 100 gecs, announces that the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, 10,000 gecs, will arrive on March 17th, 2023. Following their breakout debut album, 1,000 gecs, the anticipation of their next body of work has been high and the band’s teases have been plentiful. The forthcoming album is set to include previously released singles “mememe” which was described in the story as "an ebullient carnival of ska-inflected verses that bounce off a chorus of thrash guitars and a squiggling synth line" along with the 90’s Alt Rock-inspired “Doritos & Fritos,” which The Fader noted as "unlike any other Gecs track before it.”
For those yet initiated: 100 gecs planted their flag on the proverbial pop culture moon with their 2019 debut album 1000 gecs, which was heralded by The New Yorker as, “an impressively precise maximalist exercise with no rules” and “utterly unhinged in the best way possible” by GQ. The innovative project captured the hearts of fans and critics alike - selling out all of their live shows to date along with The New York Times calling it, “some of the savviest pop music of the year,” and Rolling Stone dubbing it “one of 2019’s most exciting debuts.” In just a few months following the release of 1,000 gecs, the band went from playing their first concert from inside the video game Minecraft to selling out shows across the country, proving that their rabid, rapidly multiplying fanbase doesn't only exist in the far corners of the internet. After their world tour was postponed in the summer of 2020, Brady and Les kept rolling with the release of 1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues, a rework of the original album featuring collaborations from the likes of A. G. Cook, Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, as well as crowd sourced contributions by fans. The transformative release was described by The NME as a “brain-melting, genre-crushing vision of pop’s future.” Their subsequent international touring over the past two years has sent the unlikely wizard-cloaked pied pipers jumping from sold-out show to sold-out show, seemingly two steps ahead of the zeitgeist, not to mention having a blast while doing it.
Vinyl: $25.98 Buy
The music on Blackout rocks, has a truckload of sweat, blood and energy & conveys an intense insight into relationships (Walk Away) & personal politics (Gonna Be A Blackout Tonight - lyrics written by Woody Guthrie after the band was given special exclusive access & permission to use the words of Woody Guthire through his family). The record still contains rousing tunes rooted in Irish music & American Folk (Black Velvet Band & The Dirty Glass) and destined to be a Boston Bruins call to arms classic called “Time To Go”. And it’s important to mention that each member of the band played a crucial role, working hand in hand to create this new record. Everyone’s influence from the youngest member of the band to the most experienced, bring together their many influences to play a role in creating an all time gem of a rock record. With each new record, they just don’t let up, their passion, life experience & and true commitment to music fans shines through on every song. Reissued on limited edition red vinyl to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary!
Misc. Items, trumpeter Jake Baldwin’s second record as a leader, features Adam Harder Nussbaum on drums, Toivo Hannigan on guitar and Cody McKinney on electric bass with seven compositions by Baldwin and three from Hannigan. It showcases Baldwin’s ability to mesh the simple and melodic with the exploratory and textural, the juxtaposition of beauty and tension, showing that miscellaneous items can sometimes be used together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
Vinyl: $37.99 Buy
There’s more than a hint of ambition on the double LP sophomore effort from Sam Austin Rabede, the producer known as DJ Black Low. Pretoria, South Africa-born and based, the young man makes amapiano with new ways of expressing this local-turned-global style of dance music.
In DJ Black Low’s musical imagination, the songs manage to smoothly vacillate between dreamy and firmly-grounded. Adorned with vocalists across most of the twelve tracks, there’s a new dimension to Black Low’s now-signature approach to abstract, angular deconstruction of the rhythmic developments in his songs.
The album references influences and ambitions in its song titles and lyrics while the music itself is anthemic in its sonic and structural aspirations. On many of the songs a slow-burning tension transforms into something unexpected until you’re somewhere else as the track concludes. There is an emotional and compositional maturity that builds on his earlier work. Vocals and lyrics are in focus. Production collaborators among Black Low’s Gauteng Province circle add to the constantly churning array of ideas that populate this consistently surprising release. Despite being a relative newcomer, DJ Black Low is onto something here.