Anne, the second album By Toronto saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason, is a tonal essay on degenerative illness. Delicately and compassionately woven with interviews of Shabason’s mother from whom the album takes its name, Anne finds its creator navigating a labyrinth of subtle and tragic emotions arising from his mother's struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Across the nine vivid postcards of jazz-laden ambience that comprise the album, Shabason unwraps these difficult themes with great care and focus revealing the unseen aspects of degenerative diseases that force us to re-examine common notions of self, identity, and mortality.
Between his stints as a touring member of Girlpool and Dear Nora’s live bands, Utopia Teased, Steinbrink’s 8th full-length album, was written and recorded in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Stunned with grief in the months that followed the fire, he ate LSD daily, bought a synthesizer, and locked himself in his shipping container studio, refusing to sleep for days as he worked on the album that would become Utopia Teased as a means of working through his overwhelming feelings of cynicism and loss. Pitchfork calls lead single “Bad Love” “a perfectly-hewn pop song.”
A penumbra is the space between the shade and the light of a partial eclipse, the area that is neither blacked-out nor illuminated fully. Like this twilit fringe between being and non-being, the production of Spencer Stephenson-- known for his output under the name Botany-- gives shape and circumference to The Skull Eclipses’ self-titled debut. Penumbras lays bare that album’s hybrid scaffolding of ambient boombap, dubby jungle, and hauntological sample-collage revealing a multifaceted beat tapestry unadorned by lead-vocals, standing alone as a full-length listening experience. Hear lead single “Take My”, which samples The Free Design below.
Brocker Way’s original score for the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country is meant to reflect the outlook of each of the show’s interviewees rather than simply emphasizing their outward idiosyncrasies. The music invites the listener to inhabit the myriad personalities and situations in the show from a virtual first-person perspective. In Way’s words “This kind of music gives us an idea as to the motives of each talking head, without actually scoring the motives of the character, and hopefully entices us as the audience to take the journey with them. When the Rajneeshees are building their town, you get to feel that and be right there with them. When Dave Fronmeyer is building his case, you get to feel the nobility he saw in his cause, and we hope to put you right in the room with him when he’s doing it. When a city inspector has to go onto the ranch you can feel the fear as you sit in the car with him. That’s the goal anyway.”
“Church and State”
On Moon 2 Ava Luna’s de facto band leader Carlos Hernandez steps back, leaving space for the rest of the band members to step up and step into roles they hadn’t occupied on previous albums. Felicia Douglass (now a touring member of Dirty Projectors) worked with percussion and sampler, Julian Fader experimented with synths, nearly every band member ran the computer during recording sessions, and Becca Kauffman (aka performance artist Jennifer Vanilla) composed her first song for the group “On Its Side the Fallen Fire,” a deeply layered orchestral piece of Kate Bush grandeur meets Julia Holter reverie. The Fader premiered the infectiously buoyant lead single “Deli Run,” which you can check out here. +
Inspired by songwriter-producers like Arthur Russell and John Martyn, on Genericana Joe O’Connell descends into a world of effects making his voice all the more poignant and personal, while also paying tribute to laid back club sounds, from dub to ambient techno--and to the resourcefulness of the producers who invented these genres. Using “a bunch of gear that was devalued or discarded” including some Hindustani electronics, an old three-head tape deck functioning as a “poor man’s space echo,” and a synthesizer he built with his brother, Genericana explores how “where we live” affects “what we sound like.” Check out “Surf B” below, which features Jason Evans Groth of Magnolia Electric Co. +
We’re happy to announce the release of Pure-O by Berlin by-way-of Norway multi-instrumentalist and producer Farao (née Kari Jahnsen) today announced her new album, Pure-O, will be released October 19th, 2018 via Western Vinyl. The album’s first single “Lula Loves You” follows the May release of critically acclaimed song “The Ghost Ship” -- praised by Pitchfork, The New York Times, Stereogum, and others -- and arrives with a kaleidoscopic, analog-shot video directed/edited by Farao herself, which you can check out here. About the song, Farao says, “Loosely based on the movie Wild At Heart by David Lynch, ‘Lula Loves You’ is about resilience in the face of adversity – fighting for something in less than ideal conditions.” +
Virginia’s Juliana Daugherty has shared the first single, "Player" from her debut album Light. NPR premiered the track, writing; "Like the minimalist and monotone hypnosis of early Spoon and Cat Power, the song moves at a dramatic pace without breaking its stride; fixated on a destination, but with an end unknown to the listener.” Light was captured in Virginia’s countryside by producer Colin Killalea who is known for his work with Albert Hammond Jr and Natalie Prass. Click below to listen and read more about Daugherty’s gorgeous debut. +
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, violinist, vocalist and songwriter Aisha Burns began playing violin when she was 10 years old, and has been touring and recording since 2006. Soon after moving to Austin in 2005, she gained her start with folk-rock outfit Alex Dupree and the Trapdoor Band, and joined the instrumental ensemble Balmorhea on violin in 2007. After years of secret singing, she released her solo debut Life in the Midwater in 2013. Her new album Argonauta, is a collection of songs about her struggle with the grief of losing her mother, while also navigating a new relationship, and ultimately trying to figure out what the new normal is for her life. NPR premiered lead single "Must Be A Way" and said it "...will break and fill your heart." Check it out here. +
Comprised of eight aural vignettes, I See You Among the Stars by Jessica Risker is a wood-grained, amber-hued world respectfully orbiting influences like Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and the softest moments of Broadcast. Ultimately the album achieves what the best music in the genre does: pictures with tangible depth, color, and detail, painted with only a few well-chosen pigments. Through these songs Risker conveys the intimacy and introspection of a woman going about her simple matters at home, while creating an atmosphere to provide melancholy accompaniment to these very tasks. But the final result is something much more: a polyhedral, exploratory, and mystifying peer into a detailed pop-up storybook that reflects the mind and heart of its luminous creator. +