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Bambara [Stray]

February 14 street date. One thing you won't be able to avoid on Bambara's "Stray" is death. It's everywhere and inescapable, abstract and personified - perhaps the key to the whole record. Death, however, won't be the first thing that strikes you about the group's fourth - and greatest - album to date. That instead will be its pulverising soundscape; by turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling, and at times simply overwhelming. Bambara (twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh, singer/guitarist and drummer respectively, and bassist William Brookshire) have been evolving their midnight-black noise into something more subtle and expansive ever since the release of their 2013 debut 'Dreamviolence'. While the music itself on "Stray" is evocative and propulsive, a fever dream all of its own, the lyrical content pushes the record even further into its own darkly thrilling realm. Here Bambara sound like they've locked into what they were always destined to achieve, and the effect is nothing short of electrifying.
Black Lips [Sing In A World That's Falling Apart]

January 24 street date. It's country music but not as we know it which begs the question: have these Bad Kids of 21st Century rock 'n' roll finally grown up on their ninth studio album? ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ continues to flick the middle finger to one and all. This ain't another gaggle of bearded southern sons fleeing their collective suburban upbringings and collegiate music education. There aren't the usual clichés about drinking, honky tonks, and heartbreak. These are, after all, the same Black Lips who rescued the waning garage punk subgenre. They also dug contemporary hip-hop and punk and actualized themselves. Like so many dramatic moments in the Black Lips career, ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ was born out of crisis. The band's stylistic evolution through decades of prolific touring and recording took them where no garage punk band had gone before - huge venues, network television shows, and major music festivals. Here Black Lips are at their grimiest, most dangerous and equipped with the best collection of songs since the aughts. They roll on with an unapologetic southern-fried twang, pacing the beast, every now and then dropping a psycho howl into the rubber room madness lurking underneath the truckstop fireworks. This ain't your granny's country album. And conversely this ain't your mama's Black Lips!
Broken Social Scene [Live At Third Man Records]

February 28 street date. Third Man had the pleasure of hosting the inimitable Broken Social Scene, carefully absorbing and recording their magnetic and unforgettable live set on the Blue Room stage. Epic, panoramic, and intimate all at the same time, the legendary Toronto collective Broken Social Scene began as an ebbing and flowing collective of artists in the late 90s, collaborating to create a distinct strand of indie rock that is both perplexingly maximal and straight-up catchy. Their live set was captured, mixed and mastered in real time via the world’s only live venue and direct-to-acetate lathe cutting studio and is Broken Social Scene’s first commercially available live album.
Caribou [Suddenly]

February 28 street date. In 2014, Dan Snaith aka Caribou released Our Love to overwhelming critical acclaim. Caribou returns now with his new studio album Suddenly, a warm, untamable, and constantly surprising record about family and the changes we go through as those relationships evolve. Most prominently, Suddenly refers to the moments of dramatic and unexpected change that occur at points in any life and within any family—universal themes that can catch you off guard and change your life in a heartbeat. Those dramatic moments are part of a slower process. These moments rear their heads, for good or bad, during the everyday flow of life. “There’s a tension between those sudden things which blindside you and the more glacial, gradual day-to-day changes,” he observes. “We are so caught up in the immediate—the details that require our attention every day—that we can be blind to the bigger forces shaping us. That’s why so often when something drastic happens suddenly, it catalyzes all sorts of changes in our lives. Our perspective shifts.” Suddenly is in the music, too. This is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date. Though it retains the trademark Caribou warmth and technicolor, this album is littered with swerves and left turns. “I wanted to balance the familiar—the sound that people associate with my music— against these moments of surprise,” Snaith says. As his passion and joy in music-making remains as fresh as ever, Suddenly is the purest example of this yet. LP is half-speed mastered by Matt Colton of Metropolis Studios in London UK. First album with Dan Snaith vocals on all tracks. Saxophone & guitar performance by Colin Fisher. LP is pressed at RTI on lead-free black vinyl
Cindy Lee [What’s Tonight To Eternity (Incl. Download)]

February 14 street date. For Patrick Flegel, Cindy Lee is more than just a recording music project. It is the culmination of a lifelong exploration of art, the electric guitar, queer identity and gender expression. “Singers like Patsy Cline and The Supremes carried me through the hardest times of my life,” explains Flegel, “and also provided the soundtrack to the best times.” Following the dissolution of Canadian experimental indie band Women, Flegel would delve deeper into songwriting that bends further toward high atmospherics and bracing melodies—a unique space where splendor naturally collides with experimentation. Delivering moments of sheer beauty through somber reflections on longing and loneliness, Cindy Lee is something to hold onto in a world of disorder. What’s Tonight To Eternity, Cindy Lee’s fifth long-form offering, showcases the project’s most entrancing strengths: ethereal snowdrift pop and sly nods toward classic girl-group motifs. Recorded at Flegel’s Realistik Studios in Toronto and featuring younger brother Andrew Flegel on drums, the album travels hand in hand with a spectral guide. What’s Tonight To Eternity remains a mix of pop culture indoctrination, pain and suffering, hopes and dreams, fierce confrontations and wide-open confessional blurs. Closing with the song “Heavy Metal” (dedicated to the memory of former Women bandmate Chris Reimer) and adorned by Andrea Lukic’s Journal of Smack artwork, the album continues the bold and rewarding path on which Cindy Lee has embarked.
Destroyer [Have We Met]

January 31 street date. Destroyer conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. Dan Bejar assigned producer and bandmate John Collins the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.” The result is not a startling departure from 2017’s ken, but unlike that more band-oriented approach, the only actual instruments that appear are bass and electric guitar. MIDI instrumentation will of course invite Your Blues and Kaputt nostalgia, but Have We Met is buoyed by precise, plasticky guitar shredding three dimensionally across massive percussion—the loudest and dirtiest drums on a Destroyer record to date. Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record— certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept. Have We Met manages to meet somewhere between those disparate Y2K reference points and Destroyer’s own area of expertise, gliding deftly into territory that marries the old strident Destroyer with the new, aged crooning one of late.
Dooz Kawa [Nomad's Land]

February 7 street date. Dooz Kawa revient avec son cinquième album, "Nomad's Land", dont le fil conducteur est le voyage, une échappée belle physique mais avant tout spirituelle et philosophique. Cet album se veut onirique et plein d'espoir en dépit du constat parfois difficile du rappeur. Sur ce disque fait de tristesse gaie, Dooz Kawa nous parle en treize chansons du bonheur et de ce qui nous lie. Il invite pour l'occasion Gaël Faye, Davodka, Degiheugi, Shantel, Swift Guad et le spécialiste en mandoline Vincent Beer Demander. Le tout est entrecoupé d’interludes avec Dorian Astor, maitre de conférences international et expert européen de Nietzsche. Force est de constater que peu importe le temps qui passe, peu importe les années qui défilent et l’âge qui avance, les mots de Dooz Kawa, seul ou accompagné, font toujours le même effet.
Envy [The Fallen Crimson (2LP)]

February 7 street date. After reuniting with briefly estranged singer Tetsuya Fukagawa, and shaking up their lineup for the first time in 25 years, Envy return refreshed with their most dynamic and progressive work, "The Fallen Crimson" - their first new studio album in five years. Japan's most iconic and influential post-hardcore band suffered seemingly insurmountable personal and creative struggles that challenged the very existence of the band like nothing they had experienced in their nearly three decades together. Opening with the kind of thunderous thrash that made them so renowned in the first place, and closing with the kind of triumphant ascent that has made them an inimitable force, "The Fallen Crimson" finds Envy perfecting their past, exploring their present, and pondering their future.
Foon, Rebecca [Waxing Moon (180g)]

February 21 street date. Rebecca Foon, the composer and musician behind Saltland and Esmerine (and former longstanding member of Silver Mt. Zion) presents a new album entitled "Waxing Moon". While best known as an incomparable cellist crafting textural soundscapes and instrumental chamber-rock in the aforementioned projects (and more recently recognized for her creative and organisational work as co-founder of Pathway To Paris), this new collection of songs finds Foon emphasizing piano and voice with striking intimacy and elegance, showcasing a captivating evolution in her always resplendent songwriting. The climate crisis has profoundly framed Foon's political and artistic life for many years now, and "Waxing Moon" finds her writing and singing her most arrestingly direct yet poetic words, tapping universal and personal heartbreak in both despair and hope.
Heliocentrics [Infinity Of Now]

February 14 street date. The UK's cosmic, psychedelic-funk ensemble issue their first album on maverick producer Madlib's label, Madlib Invazion. The Heliocentrics' albums are all confounding pieces of work. Drawing equally from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, the sublime fusion of David Axelrod, Pierre Henry's turned-on musique concrète, and Can's beat-heavy Krautrock, they have - regardless of the label on which they've released their music - pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, one that could only come from a band of accomplished musicians who were also obsessive music fans. Drummer Malcolm Catto and bassist Jake Ferguson are the Heliocentrics’ masterminds and producers, and they are obsessive weirdos in today's musical climate, searching, progressive humans who are often out-of-time with current trends. The Heliocentrics search for an individual in an alternate galaxy where the orbits of funk, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, avant-garde and "ethnic" music all revolve around "The One". With "Infinity Of Now", the Heliocentrics have returned to develop their epic vision of psychedelic funk, while exploring the possibilities created by their myriad influences - Latin, African, and more.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges [Texas Sun EP]

February 7 street date. It'll take you over four hours just to get from R&B singer Leon Bridges' hometown of Fort Worth down to Houston, where the psychedelic wanderers in Khruangbin hail from. The state is vast, crisscrossed with rugged expanses of road flanked by limestone cliffs and granite mountains, forests of pine and mesquite, miles of desert or acres of sprawling grassland, all depending on what part you're in. And it's all baking under the Texas Sun that lends its name to Bridges and Khruangbin's new collaborative EP. On "Texas Sun", these two members of the state's musical vanguard meet up somewhere in the middle of that scene, in the mythical nexus of Texas' past, present, and future - a dreamy badlands where genres blur as seamlessly as the terrain. A journey through homesick reminiscences, backseat romances, and late-night contemplations, the kind of record made for listening with the windows down and the road humming softly beneath you.
Men, The [Mercy]

February 14 street date. New York band The Men have always been genre-morphic and unpredictable, but on their eighth album "Mercy" they have truly done something new as a band. For the first time since forming, they have now created three straight records with the same lineup, and the result is a sound that feels developed and continuous despite running the gamut of mood, in true Men fashion. Having this lineup stability has allowed the band to deepen and finesse the sounds they were exploring on 2017's "Drift" and produce tracks that have a unique and distinct voice. The album is simply the sound of a band that has a deep and unjaded passion for songwriting and creation, working at the peak of their collaborative connection.
Meters [Gettin' Funkier All The Time (6CD)]

January 24 street date. Among the most sampled groups of the 60s and 70s by a slew of top rap and hip-hop artists of the 90s and beyond, the legendary New Orleans band and Grammy Lifetime Achievement awardees The Meters created an instantly recognizable sound through almost a decade of recording, initially for the Josie label and then for Reprise and Warner Brothers. Group members guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr., drummer Joseph 'Zigaboo' Modeliste and keyboardist/singer Art Neville formed the core of the band, later augmented by Art's younger brother, percussionist/singer Cyril who joined The Meters in 1975. With a superb, informative and extensive essay by renowned UK writer Charles Waring that includes quotes from Nocentelli, Porter and Cyril Neville from interviews conducted for the liner notes, first class mastering by Nick Robbins and stellar artwork by Roger Williams, this wonderful 116-track, 6-CD SoulMusic Records' box set showcases The Meters' entire recorded output for Josie Records (1968-1971), Reprise and Warners Brothers (1972-77). In addition to their eight full albums, this luxurious package (with a 40-page booklet) includes non-album singles, bonus material, single edits and a rare 1977 disco mix of ‘Disco Is The Thing Today’, available for the first time on CD.
Mighty, Haviah [13th Floor]

January 31 street date (CD) / February 14 (LP). Haviah Mighty's 2019 Polaris Prize winning album "13th Floor" now available via FAB! Raised in a musical household in Brampton, Ontario, Mighty started singing at the age of 4, rapping at 11, and producing at 15. Well-known for being one of the three MCs who make up The Sorority - a hip-hop group born during an all-female cypher on International Women's Day in 2016 - Mighty is making equally large waves as a solo artist. Haviah has been releasing music independently since 2009, but it was her project, "Flower City" (2017), that propelled her solo career into further success. This past September, "13th Floor" made history as the first hip hop artist and the first black woman to ever receive the Polaris Prize. Garnering overwhelming praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Billboard, Hot New Hip Hop, and Lyrical Lemonade to name a few, Haviah continues to carve out spaces that boldly defy gendered expectations for women in hip hop.
Okay Kaya [Watch This Liquid Pour Itself]

January 24 street date. In Okay Kaya songs, her world looks a lot like ours - Netflix, jetlag, vegan peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, lonely bowls of ramen, diet trends. But unlike ours, each of these vibrates and shimmers with deeper, darker meaning, with existential dread and desire for understanding. This is Sade for nihilists. As she transforms feelings, defeats, and victories into songs, the lyrics often involve pools of sweat, oceans, and other forms of wetness. But Okay Kaya's world is not one of renewal and rebirth - it's not water at all, actually. "It's more like bile," Kaya says, "It's what comes out in the purge." In these songs, Kaya swims through her melancholy and anxiety - not as a way of cleansing herself, but as an understanding of their depths.
Six Organs Of Admittance [Companion Rises]

February 21 street date. Six Organs of Admittance is back after 3 years with a new record, new techniques in sound generation, and a new attitude. "Companion Rises" has a driving force only hinted at with previous releases. Manipulating the rhythmic DNA from songs such as the bass-dominated "Taken By Ascent" (on his last record, "Burning The Threshold"), Ben Chasny has grown a new sound creature in his lab that is as welcoming as it is terrifying and as fun to listen to as it provocative and intriguing. Sonically, Ben's songs are bursting with ideas, harmonically rich, gorgeously arranged; often presenting two versions at once, overlaying electric and acoustic treatments that interlock like two shards that form a single key. "Companion Rises" plays like a mutant joining of avant and good-time forces, as if Faust produced The Revolution instead of Prince, or This Heat recorded on top of Amon DüüI's classic "Paramechanical World", but left a few of the original tracks to bleed through.
Son Little [Aloha]

January 31 street date. That was certainly the case with his new album, aloha, his third studio album. Recorded at Paris’s iconic Studio Ferber, the entire project was an exercise in letting go, in ceding control, in surrendering to fate. While SON LITTLE (the stage name of songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Livingston) still plays nearly every instrument on the album himself, he put his songs in the hands of an outside producer for the first time here, collaborating with French studio wizard Renaud Letang (Feist, Manu Chao) to create his boldest, most self-assured statement yet. Equal parts vintage and modern, the collection blends classic soul, old-school R&B, and adventurous indie sensibilities into a timeless swirl fueled by gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals. It’s an ambitious work of vision and reflection, to be sure, but more than that, it’s an ecstatic testament to the freedom that comes from torching the map and trusting the currents of life to carry you where you belong.
SONICS [Here Are The Sonics (180g)]

February 7 street date. The ultimate garage rock monsta is back on vinyl! Seldom has a group ever been better named. The youthful aggression in their music, coupled with singer Gerry Roslie's ‘80 razorblades-a-day’ vocal attack and a selection of overwhelmingly brilliant riffs that underpinned some of the most wildly recorded music ever to be committed to tape, should have made the Sonics one of the biggest groups the world has ever known or heard. Instead they went on to become celebrated by generation after generation of collectors, and other young people with an urge to rock 'n' roll. The overwhelming importance of tracks like ‘The Witch’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Boss Hoss’ has provided a template for countless groups who've come up in their wake, and who have achieved a level of commercial success that they could never have achieved without the inspiration.
SQÜRL [Some Music For Robby Müller (black vinyl)]

January 31 street date. These recordings were made by SQÜRL to provide the score to the documentary film "Living The Light" by Claire Pijman. The subject of Claire's film is Robby Müller, the unparalleled Dutch cinematographer and poet of light whose work includes: "Paris Texas", "Dead Man", "Breaking The Waves", and at least 70 other remarkable films. He also produced many still photographs, like these luminous Polaroids on the jacket of this vinyl recording. "As SQÜRL approached creating music for Claire's film, we attempted to be guided by the beautiful and illuminated elements of Robby's spirit. Just before recording, SQÜRL borrowed an unusual vintage Japanese electric guitar from the wonderful Brooklyn-based Dutch luthier, Flip Scipio. We used it for all the guitar parts, its tonal qualities also somehow channeling the spirit of Robby" - Jim Jarmusch.
Stelling, Christopher Paul [Best Of Luck]

February 7 street date. CHRISTOPHER PAUL STELLING is a guitar virtuoso, a folk singer- songwriter and a touring troubadour. His new album Best of Luck was produced by Grammy award winning musician-producer, Ben Harper. The album’s title, Best Of Luck, mirrored perfectly the emotional landscape in which it was created. “Depending on how you say it, it can either be a blessing or a dismissal,” Stelling says. “And that was exactly the point I was coming to with myself, my career as an artist, as a friend and as a person.” Harper and Stelling met a few years back when Harper invited Stelling to open a series of shows. “Ben gave me a true gift back then,” Stelling says. “I’d been on the road for a long time and he put me onstage in front of his fans. He took me to the Beacon, The Ryman, Massey Hall, all these legendary rooms. Just to see that what I could do would even translate in spaces like that was revelatory.” When Harper talks about his admiration for Stelling,. “A guy that can play any instrument from any country and play it with real feeling. He crosses genres but manages to respect them; he is a folk singer with an unusual soulfulness. He understands where this music comes from and why it’s remains so essential. Of all the record’s I have produced, this is one I’m most proud of.”
Torres [Silver Tongue]

January 31 street date. A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue.” It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott—who has spent the 2010s making boundary pushing pop music under her TORRES moniker—has chosen to call her fourth album, and first release on Merge, just that. Recorded at O’Deer in Brooklyn, New York, Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over TORRES’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. It’s also the first TORRES record produced solely by Scott. After having shared production duties on her first three albums, the latter two alongside PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis, she found the process liberating: “I made exactly the record I want, and it feels very ‘me.’” Silver Tongue fastidiously chronicles the impulses that make up desire— from the dreamy first blushes of infatuation through the slightly terrifying wonder that accompanies connection with another. In between, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what “being in love” might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths.
Walker, Scott/Jacques Brel [Scott Walker Meets Jacques Brel]

February 7 street date. Many in the English-speaking world first heard of Jacques Brel through Scott Walker's championing, yet when Scott launched his post-Walker Brothers solo career with his recording of Brel's ‘Jackie’ in 1967, Brel had been an enormous star in France for years. That lofty status was remarkable, given Brel's lyrical obsessions with doomed romance, loneliness, prostitution and death. It was American songwriter Mort Shuman who, by remaining as faithful as he could to Brel's original words, transformed several key chansons into versions English-speaking audiences could relate to. Scott, however, was introduced to Brel's songs by his chanson-loving German girlfriend, who would translate them for him. He was immediately smitten. Meanwhile, a demo disc of Shuman's translations had reached Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who in due course passed the disc to Scott. Brel's impassioned narrative-based compositions had a profound impact on Scott, shaping the creation of his own increasingly meditative and dramatic songs. His first three solo albums would each feature Brel songs. This new Ace compilation comprises Scott's interpretations of those nine Brel songs, followed by Brel's own French language originals, plus Brel's version of ‘Seul’, a song Scott performed on his TV series but of which made no studio recording.
Wild Nothing [Laughing Gas EP (milky clear vinyl)]

January 31 street date. Often considered a secondary or transitional format, Wild Nothing has always used the EP to further explore new ideas and influences. "Laughing Gas" is no exception. On the third EP from Wild Nothing, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum delves deeper into the territory where he thrives: namely, the synth and sophisti-pop of the 1980s. Working within a more mechanical and synthetic framework than his previous releases, Wild Nothing continues to delicately toe the line between the organic and the unnatural. These are still pop songs, but there's an underlying sense of uneasiness that threads the music together. Recorded with the help of Jorge Elbrecht, these five songs were originally imagined alongside last year's "Indigo" and were written and tracked simultaneously with the album.

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