PlayARt - Bring Albums to Life
These albums are enhanced with PlayARt experiences, providing an Augmented Reality experience and taking your favorite albums to a new level.
To learn more about PlayARt check the description of each album and visit PlayARt.ai.
Vinyl: $149.98 PREORDER
Original remastered album, previously unreleased full live concert and BBC Session Recorded in 2012, 2011 Electro-Vox Session, limited-edition poster and lithograph, “new car scent: air freshener, 100-page photo book.
The Black Keys release a special tenth anniversary edition of their landmark seventh studio album El Camino via Nonesuch Records on November 5, 2021. El Camino (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) will be available in several formats including a Super Deluxe edition of five vinyl LPs or four CDs, featuring a remastered version of the original album, a previously unreleased Live in Portland, ME concert recording, a BBC radio Zane Lowe session from 2012, a 2011 Electro-Vox session, a limited-edition photo book, poster, and lithograph, and a “new car scent” air freshener. A three-LP Deluxe edition, which includes the remastered album and the live recording, also will be available.
The Black Keys won three awards at the 55th annual GRAMMY Awards for El Camino— Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album—among other worldwide accolades. In the UK, the band was nominated for a BRIT Award (Best International Group) and an NME Award (Best International Band).
El Camino was produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys and was recorded in the band’s then-new hometown of Nashville during the spring of 2011. In the UK, the record gave the band their first top 10 hit, and in the US it debuted at # 2 on the Billboard Top 200. The band was also the # 1 most played artist at Alternative and AAA radio formats for 2012 in the US. The album’s first single, “Lonely Boy,” reached # 1 on the Alternative and AAA charts; it also entered the top 10 at Rock radio. The second single, “Gold on the Ceiling,” also reached # 1 on Alternative radio and the third single, “Little Black Submarines,” reached the top 3 at Alternative radio. El Camino has been certified Double Platinum in the US, Australia, and New Zealand; Platinum in the UK, France, Ireland, and Belgium; Quadruple Platinum in Canada; and Gold in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Of the album’s singles, "Lonely Boy" was certified nine-times platinum in Canada, triple-platinum in Australia, platinum in New Zealand, and gold in Denmark. "Gold on the Ceiling" was certified platinum in Australia and Canada.
Rolling Stone hailed El Camino for bringing “raw, riffed-out power back to pop’s lexicon,” and called it “the Keys’ grandest pop gesture yet, augmenting dark-hearted fuzz blasts with sleekly sexy choruses and Seventies-glam flair.” The Guardian said, “They sound like a band who think they've made the year's best rock'n'roll album, probably because that's exactly what they've done.”
Diana Ross sings “Thank You” to the world. “This collection of songs is my gift to you with appreciation and love. I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to record this glorious music at this time,” said Ms. Ross. Her new album, “Thank You” is scheduled for release this fall through Decca Records / Universal Music Group. The title track and first single,” Thank You,” will be available for streaming and download on June 17.
Recorded in her home studio, “Thank You" offers a powerful, inclusive musical message of love and togetherness. With its songs of happiness, appreciation and joy, it wholeheartedly acknowledges that we are in this all together. Her family, friends and loyal and loving audiences all around the globe have been an integral part of her wonderful life’s story. In this special moment, it is time to step into the light.
Ms. Ross co-wrote and collaborated on the 13 songs along with award-winning songwriters and producers including: Jack Antonoff, Troy Miller,Triangle Park, Spike Stent, Prince Charlez, Amy Wadge, Neff-U, Freddie Wexler, Jimmy Napes, Tayla Parx, Fred White, and Nathanial Ledgewick.
Let us come together in harmony and gratitude with Diana Ross now and for the future. “I dedicate this songbook of love to all of you, the listeners. As you hear my voice you hear my heart. "Let Love Lead the Way”
Vinyl: $26.98 PREORDER
Translucent Orange Vinyl, comes with an autographed 11x17 poster
Time In The Sun is the 4th full length album from Charleston, SC band Susto. The album was written and recorded in the midst of a lot of life changing events for lead writer/singer Justin Osborne. Like everyone around the world, Osborne was navigating the global issues felt from the pandemic while normal life continued with its own blessings and challenges.. "We were navigating the global and national issues that everyone else was dealing with, but also I became a father and also lost my father. There was a lot of contemplation going on in my brain, a lot of personal evolution going on in my life, and songwriting was my way of working through it all. The title Time in the Sun is meant to be a monument to my own human existence and also a tribute to the human experience in general. I wouldn’t claim to understand what it means to be a human, from the countless different perspectives of the world, but I do have my own experience to reflect on and I want to be able to express and explain that in some way. I guess this album is an attempt at that. At the core though, it’s just a collection of songs about my life and my feelings." Time In The Sun is set for release on October 29, 2021 via New West Records.
Vinyl: $29.98 PREORDER
On their new full-length - the first new music since The Waterfall (2015) - My Morning Jacket reaffirm the rarefied magic that has made them so beloved, embedding each song with moments of discovery, revelation and ecstatic catharsis. It comes after a near permanent hiatus for the band until performing four shows in summer '19 left them with a new energy. Jim James engineered/produced at 64 Sound in LA where the band spent weeks in intentional seclusion emerging with their self-titled 9th album.
Vinyl: $30.98 PREORDER
EVERY TIME I DIE is a loud rock institution committed to leaving an outpouring of chaotic passion and blissful malcontent all over their records and on the stage. With boiling charisma and unrelenting energy to spare, the Buffalo, NY band manages not one but two near-impossible tasks. They’ve survived two decades as an underground entity cherished for coloring outside the lines, and contrary to most career arcs, continually improving with each successive album as they charge ahead. ETID makes a glorious hardcore-punk noise. Alchemized by a swampy summoning of Southern rock and coarse poetry, the music swirls beneath sardonic and clever wordplay, cementing them as leaders, not followers.
The band’s ninth studio album, Radical, is 16 tracks of peak-ETID, including raucous new anthems. They deliver what you have come to know and love and then diverge into new paths. To say that “All This And War” featuring guest vocals by Josh Scogins from The ‘68 is absolute brutal heaviness is an understatement. It’s an addictive punch in the face, you’ll want on repeat. The boys then run off to explore the dark haunted woods of a more somber and melodic side in the track “Thing With Feathers” featuring Andy Hull from Manchester Orchestra.
Radical proves with every track that it is a distillation of the strengths of their past, injected with their unyielding revelry and signature sarcasm while cognizant – and fiercely combative – of the present state of world affairs.
Introducing Jackson + Sellers and their debut album Breaking Point, on ANTI records. Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers, two rising stars who aligned during the pandemic to write one of the most compelling duo albums of the last decade.
Drawn together by instant chemistry, cosmic forces and their ability to write intuitive romantic breakup songs for each other, their album is a window into the dissolution of two different relationships and the formation of another: a perfect, platonic, creative union. United in their desire to write a record that reflected their expansive musical interest from 70s rock to raucous roots to indie pop, their LA written, Nashville recorded album is a masterclass in unexpected vocal harmonic convergence.
With Breaking Point, Jackson + Sellers will establish themselves as two individual artists who together, share a deep friendship, musical kinship and the ability to craft tight singular pop rock songs that will embed themselves in your ears for the rest of time.
Vinyl: $23.99 Buy
Pokey LaFarge’s 7th studio solo album, In the Blossom of Their Shade, showcases the positivity of coming out of the darkness and into the light. When the 2020 global pandemic hit, LaFarge’s rigorous work ethic powered him through the potentially challenging creative period. As days became a couple months, songs blossomed from embryonic ideas into full-formed ones and he was ready to move on, which typified his mindset as a working artist. With this record LaFarge captures the thematic notion of being the perfect summer afternoon soundtrack...the type of music you want to listen to while having a cocktail with your significant other. It makes sense musically as well — LaFarge intentionally crafted songs that created space and have melodies that can glide throughout a composition that’s a far cry from the swing and blues-infused songs of his earlier work. LaFarge is an artist who refuses to rest on his laurels and compromise. He’s always motivated and ready to create. With In the Blossom of Their Shade the album is one of LaFarge’s strongest and most mature efforts to date.
Singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith will release his first all-new Show Dog Nashville album in more than five years October 15. Peso In My Pocket was co-produced by Kenny Greenberg and Keith, and features the highest Billboard Country Airplay chart debut of his career with the lead single "Old School."
Though Keith has accomplished much since the 2015 release of 35 MPH Town - perhaps most notably in writing the Clint Eastwood inspired "Don't Let The Old Man In" - a new studio album was long overdue. And Peso In My Pocket has more than a little to do with the worldwide pandemic. "My whole musical career, I haven't been off the road this long," Keith says, calling 2020 "a reset button I never would have hit."
Also deserving of credit for the collection is Mexico, where Keith has a house he stayed at for the first several months of the crisis. "It was like being on the moon," he says. "A lot of my friends down there were afraid they wouldn't be let back in the U.S., so they all went home. I wasn't on the road and nobody could go anywhere, so I thought, 'You've written a long list of songs by yourself, dumbass. Get up and get busy!' I went through the ideas I keep on my phone and thought, 'Shit, I need to write these.'"
Not only did he come to the table with more than a few songwriting pesos in his pocket, he added outside contributors to the mix. Notable songwriting credits include The Warren Brothers, Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris, Jesse Jo Dillon, Brett Tyler, and Sammy Hagar. Keb Mo joined Keith in the studio on a cover of his "Old Me Better," as did well-known Oklahoma artist Mike Hosty, whose "Oklahoma Breakdown" kicks off the album. Keith also offers a tribute to the late John Prine on the Prine-John Mellencamp co-write "Take A Look At My Heart." And, of course, the 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee has several solo writes, led by the title track.
As Show Dog gears up for the album's release, Keith recently resumed touring on his Country Comes To Town Tour. He will receive the Academy of Country Music's prestigious Merle Haggard Spirit Award in August for "following his own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle's spirit." Keith received the National Medal of Arts earlier this year. He is being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame this November. And in June he raised another $1.4 million to help sick children and their families in Oklahoma through his OK Kids Korral.
Official reissue of North Americans' 2018 breakthrough album.
Originally limited to 100 vinyl LPs.
"For a piece that feels as if it could float away into nothing, GOING STEADY becomes the night." - NPR
Vinyl: $21.98 Buy
Norah Jones has been a warm voice of comfort and reassurance for nearly 20 years since her cozy 2002 debut, Come Away With Me. Now, the 9x GRAMMY-winning artist has made her first holiday album with I Dream Of Christmas, a collection of timeless seasonal favorites (“White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Christmas Time Is Here”) and profound new originals that explore the complicated emotions of the past year and our hopes that this holiday season will be full of joy and togetherness.
Vinyl: $25.98 PREORDER
To emerge from a global pandemic with a renewed sense of situational awareness, hard won insight, and a new album is the kind of move we’ve come to expect from THRICE over the last twenty years. With Horizons/East, Dustin Kensrue and his bandmates address, with candor and courage, the fragile and awkward arrangements that pass for civilization, while inviting us to dwell more knowingly within our own lives. Without surrendering any of the energy and hard edge of their previous albums, they’ve given us a profoundly meditative work which serves as a musical summons to everyday attentiveness.
Since forming THRICE with guitarist Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge, and drummer Riley Breckenridge in 1998, Kensrue has never been one to back down from a mental fight. This mood is set by the opening synth-driven number “Color of the Sky,” which sounds well-suited to accompany the closing credits of the Stranger Things season finale. Think Flying Lotus giving way to Elbow and setting the listener down in a new dimension. A self-recorded effort, Horizons/East conveys a palpable sense of danger, determination, and possibility.
REVIVED REMIXED REVISITED is a reimagined collection of her most iconic songs. REVIVED features exciting new arrangements of fan favorites like “Is There Life Out There” and “Can’t Even Get The Blues” recorded with Reba’s touring band. REMIXED takes songs like “Little Rock” and “I’m A Survivor” and spins them in ways like you’ve never heard Reba before. REVISITED produced by the Grammy® award-winning Dave Cobb strips back songs like “Somebody Should Leave” and “Consider Me Gone” to let the raw power of Reba’s vocals shine and features a long-awaited pairing between Reba and Dolly Parton on Reba’s most famous duet, “Does He Love You.” The collection spans Reba’s entire career and offers something for every Reba fan.
Dori Freeman’s inimitable signature sound is in peak form on her fourth studio album, Ten Thousand Roses. Raised among a family of musicians in the Blue Ridge Mountains and hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the most authentic vocalists to emerge from the hills of southwestern Virginia in recent years,” she’s a bonafide Appalachian artist, while simultaneously shattering the archetype by empowering the characters in her songs with personal strength and homegrown wisdom. Through this process, she both defies and expands notions of what it means to be from the region.
“For this record Freeman says she leaned more into pop-inspired vocals than she ever has before. “I did some vocal layers and experimented with harmonies in a way I haven’t on previous records,” she says. The songs throughout the album tend to be shorter, and that was intentional. “I’m a big fan of the radio-ready tight three minute song,” she says. “I think there’s just something nice about a concise, but effective song. It’s like a couple sweet moments you can live in.” Ten Thousand Roses showcases an artist who knows exactly who she is and is ready to push past others’ assumptions about who she should be.”
Ten Thousand Roses was produced by Freeman’s husband, Nicholas Falk, who’s also an in-demand drummer who has toured extensively with artists such as Molly Tuttle and The Wood Brothers. Falk counts jazz and funk as his major influences, so quite fittingly his percussion punctuates the album. Freeman contributed guitar for the first time on her own recordings. The couple are joined by Victor Furtado bringing his skills as the youngest-ever recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo, Eli Wildman (The Wildmans) contributing acoustic guitar and mandolin, the much sought-after keyboardist Sam Fribush on piano, keys, and organ, Berklee College of Music graduate Eric Robertson adds additional guitars and bass, as well as acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Aaron Lipp contributing banjo and bass.
Grandson of country pioneer Hank Williams and the son of outlaw legend Hank Jr., Sam Williams is the latest in a long line of American originals, but he’s not here for the sake of tradition. He sings with his own singular voice and he writes in his own singular style, fusing gut-wrenching honesty and plainspoken poetics with raw vulnerability and deep empathy. Williams’ extraordinary debut, Glasshouse Children, is proof of that. Set for release this summer via UMG Nashville, the record is a gorgeous meditation on hurt and healing, on growth and loss, on sin and redemption, but more than that, it’s a reckoning with fate and free will and the family ties that bind us. Williams has already released a series of early songs, including “10-4,” “Can’t Fool Your Own Blood,” SHUTEYE,” and “The World: Alone,” to widespread acclaim—Rolling Stone raved that “his voice exudes equal parts power and grace,” while CMT declared that he’d “inherited the gift of wondrous country lyricism.” His late-night television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, brought his lyricism to life exemplifying his vocal prowess and grand storytelling. Sam Williams continues to prove that he is making a legacy for himself that is completely his own.
Sometimes, the best place to begin is at the end. If you really want to dig deep into Illusory Walls, the fourth album by THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE & I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE, it definitely helps to do that. That’s because epic closer “Fewer Afraid”—all 19 minutes, 44 seconds of it—doesn’t just revisit the themes and ideas on the ten songs that precede it, but also offers a self-aware summary of the Connecticut band’s entire history. It’s the conclusion of all the stories within the record as well as a nod to all the lives that helped make them—little glimpses of everything that’s come before, on both a micro, immediate level, and a more universal one. “That song is a higher level look at my whole life and the whole world,” explains vocalist/guitarist David F. Bello, “as well as the album, our band and our discography. It places the band in the context of the rest of the world, as if we’re listening to everything that came before. It touches on all the themes of the previous songs, but there are also callbacks to songs
from earlier in our career. But in this song, they’re the object, not the subject—I’m talking about a world in which these things happen, not talking about these things happening.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the band—completed by Steven K. Buttery (drums and percussion), Joshua Cyr (bass/vocals) and Katie Dvorak (vocals/synth)—had nothing but time to realize the full extent of their musical and thematic aspirations. And so, four years on from lauded third album Always Foreign, they were able to make what is undoubtedly the band’s most ambitious and epic record to date. Written and recorded remotely—a first for the band—Illusory Walls takes on the weight of human existence while it’s buckling under the pressure of today’s near-dystopian society. Personal anxieties and political struggles collide with a series of portentous, apocalyptic and dramatic tunes, resulting in some of the darkest music the band has made since forming in 2009.
This newly discovered live-recording of a performance of the Love Supreme suite is a revelation. Recorded at The Penthouse in Seattle on October 2, 1965, this recording transports the listener to a prime seat for piece of musical history. While not studio-quality audio, the power of the performance shines through. This version is also of the full suite and features an expanded band that includes the same Classic Quartet and Pharoah Sanders in his first official gig as part of Coltrane’s group.
To say In Heaven is about conquering grief would be oversimplifying everything Tim Showalter has achieved on the eighth studio album from Strand of Oaks. A stunning, hopeful reflection on love, loss, and enlightenment, In Heaven is a triumph in music making, and a preeminent addition to the Strand of Oaks discography.
In late 2018, Showalter’s wife, Sue, lost her mother in a car accident. Soon after, Stan, the cat they both adored, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Showalter quit drinking so he could take better care of his wife and help rebuild the life they shared. And within months, they decided to pack up and move across the country from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas. It was an irrational decision made at the height of a terrible time, but it’s one that shaped so much of what In Heaven is about.
In Heaven was recorded in October 2020 with Kevin Ratterman at Invisible Creature in Los Angeles. Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is featured on guitar throughout the record, while James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) contributed vocals and guitar for “Easter.” Bo Koster (MMJ, Roger Waters) provided keyboards, Cedric LeMoyne (Alanis Morrissette, Remy Zero) bass, Scott Moore violin, and Ratterman monstrous drums. Showalter also played a lot of synth on this record, which he hasn’t done since 2014’s HEAL. With clean sounds, Jeff Lynne-esque acoustics, and sophisticated songwriting, he approached In Heaven in a more poised and pop-leaning way than his past releases.
“I wanted to strive for something greater than what I thought I was capable of.”
The result is something extraordinary, as Showalter has crafted a poignant narrative that transcends his personal experiences and achieves a universality rooted not only in loss but joy, celebration, and newfound strength. The gorgeous opener “Galacticana” finds him telling us “I don’t want to drag you down,” a reassurance that his intentions lie in uplifting. But there’s a duality present throughout In Heaven that is palpable, as felt on “Easter,” an exuberant pop anthem featuring jaunty guitar and ethereal vocals courtesy of Iha, that both celebrates Showalter’s new life and references his efforts to “stop the boat from sinking.” It’s a powerful sentiment echoed in slow burner “Hurry,” which showcases some exceptional shredding by Broemel, and beyond, as Showalter explores mortality and a heightened sense of his own existence, intensified by a world where he no longer uses alcohol to cope.
Pairing smart, imaginative lyrics and striking arrangements, tracks like “Carbon” and its magnificent violin stand out, as does “Sister Saturn” with its funky, sinuous groove, and the sublime “Horses at Night,” which features one of Showalter’s most exquisite melodies to date. There’s also a discernible current running through In Heaven of homage to some notable losses in music—John Prine, Jeff Buckley, and Jimi Hendrix all play a part—for In Heaven is about moving beyond sadness or anger to a state of gratitude that we ever had these people to begin with. And while every song provides some clue to Showalter’s personal heaven, the jubilant “Jimi and Stan” says it all, wherein Hendrix and his beloved cat Stan are hanging out, going to shows, and looking at stars together.
And as our musical odyssey ends in the warm embrace of “Under Heaven,” the weight of everything Showalter has manifested—the beauty, and the sadness, and the immensity of it all—hits with tremendous impact. But any sense of hopelessness or melancholy yields to a different feeling entirely, just as he intended. Perhaps we’re feeling stronger, more prepared for something. Or maybe it’s just a reminder: call your parents, text your friends, hug your pets. Listen to your favorite records. And think about what it means to be alive.
Vinyl: $23.98 PREORDER
Distant Populations, just the fourth full-length album of Quicksand’s career, comes as a comparatively swift follow-up to Interiors--which itself came a full 22 years after its predecessor, 1995’s Manic Compression. Critically lauded and deemed very much worth the wait, Interiors succeeded in reestablishing the band as the powerful and contemporary entity they had always been.
Distant Populations has a punchier, more up-tempo sound than its predecessor; its 11 songs are concise, carved sonic jewels boasting not a single wasted note; and its raw power, its gripping lyricism, leaps out from the very first listening. It is a striking step up for the band.
The songwriting itself had been no minor process: Following the release of Interiors, the band successfully toured around the world and in the process fully re-established their chemistry together. Looking forward to making the next album, the three of them—frontman/ guitarist Walter Schreifels, bassist Sergio Vega, and drummer Alan Cage—had methodically recorded various soundchecks, improvisations, and show rehearsals, and compiled the results. “Eventually, when it came time to make a record,” Schreifels says, “we would just edit down to the ones that were most exciting to us all, and then refocus on them and see if we could recapture the magic from it.”
There may be a final irony in the title of Distant Populations. Practically speaking, that’s precisely whom Quicksand recorded it for: Listeners very far away. Not a single one of these songs has ever been played live onstage. The band has dates on hold for the fall, notes Schreifels, and fingers are crossed Quicksand will be out there performing very soon. They will likely be the most memorable shows of the band’s career.
Capitol Nashville’s Mickey Guyton will release her album, Remember Her Name, on September 24. Mickey co-penned 15 of the 16 songs on the album. Remember Her Name follows the release of her critically acclaimed Bridges EP which included “Black Like Me” for which she went on to receive a historic GRAMMY nomination. Her performance on the prestigious GRAMMY show was the first by a black female country artist and was touted by NPR as “the night’s most affecting live performance.”
The Bob’s Burgers Music Album Vol. 2 includes nearly every single musical morsel from seasons 7 through 9.
This 90-song smorgasbord will feature the Belcher family - Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), Linda (John Roberts), Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) - as well as the show’s numerous recurring and special guests. This includes actors, comedians, and musicians Adam Driver, Tiffany Haddish, Jenny Slate, Daveed Diggs, Max Greenfield, Toddrick Hall, Aparna Nancherla, and Matt Berninger (of the National).
For fans of the show, enjoying the music of Bob’s Burgers on its own is both an irresistible to-go bag and ultimately a world unto itself. Lose yourself in the strangely epic disco celebration “Hot Pants Rain Dance”, sing along with the musical theater gem, “The Wedding Is My Warzone,” or do whatever you’re gonna do to “Sexy Little Tiger” but don’t miss the Bob’s Burgers Music Album Vol. 2. Fans, your order is up.
Vinyl: $39.99 Buy
I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, is a contemporary tribute to the Velvets debut, with each of the album’s songs performed by one of the band’s noteworthy artistic descendants. Featured artists include Kurt Vile & the Violators, Sharon Van Etten, Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, Michael Stipe, Matt Berninger of The National, Courtney Barnett, King Princess, Fontaines D.C. and more. Wide Spine Jacket. Indie Exclusive Yellow 2 LP.
Vinyl: $27.99 Buy
The album cover you’re looking at might lead you to conclude Charley Crockett is on one hell of a roll. You wouldn’t be wrong. Ten records in six years is some kind of prolific. The latest, a double album, suggests the artist has some songs worth paying attention to. It’s clear that he’s invested as much time in the studio, recording storytelling songs, and making storytelling videos, as he has barnstorming around the United States and Europe playing live shows.
Not bad for a thirty-seven-year-old late bloomer.
Charley Crockett has been a fairly remarkable artist to follow. He’s got a sound. He’s got something to say. He has a look. And there’s a gauzy veil of mystery surrounding him suggesting he knows more than he’s letting on.
All those records in such a short amount of time have come with a “No Two Alike” guarantee, particularly the last three releases: the darkly prescient Welcome to Hard Times; the semi-autobiographical, hard-core country-roots The Valley; and 10 for Slim, his tribute of songs by the obscure and wholly authentic Texas honky-tonk maestro James Hand.
His voice is one-of-a-kind. His distinctive, plaintive vocals crack unapologetically with emotion, and he phrases his lines around the beat like a jazz singer, while he expounds upon personal relationships and the world beyond.
Now comes Charley’s tenth album in his six-year career. In the Crockett tradition, it is as ambitious and ground-breaking as each piece of recorded music he’s put out so far. And it’s not just an album. It’s a double album of Charley Crockett originals, each song going the distance to further define this singer-songwriter-performer-artist who came out of the proverbial nowhere.
Charley has endured the collapse of the recording industry, no money, petty crime, societal ennui, the Covid-19 pandemic, open heart surgery, one-night stands, long distance rides in a van, loud truck stops and diners serving stale lukewarm coffee to get to where he is now.
His reward – and yours – is this collection of Charley Crockett originals.
Sad, uplifting, hard, and sweet, complex and delicate all at once, his songs are like life its ownself, just like the songs’ creator: like nothing you’ve heard or seen before, a genuine Texas original.
JOE NICK PATOSKI
1 LP surprise color vinyl (collect all three). Kacey Musgraves’ new album star-crossed is a bold, empowering, and personal series of songs that displays the 6x GRAMMY Award winner's continued growth as one of the finest singer-songwriters of our time. It's the follow-up to Golden Hour, which earned Musgraves her third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and distinguished her as only the third artist ever to take home Album of the Year at the GRAMMY Awards, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards.
On Slothrust’s latest album, bandleader Leah Wellbaum pushed herself to try and understand her own spirituality on a deeper level, putting a lens on the core wound of the human experience, the idea that we’re alone. With Parallel Timeline , Wellbaum explores the feeling of being trapped inside her own consciousness while simultaneously searching for a meaningful connection to the universe, and all the mysteries it contains.
Vinyl: $26.99 Buy
A Beautiful Life is the first new music from Heartless Bastards since 2015’s Restless Ones. The album was produced by Kevin Ratterman (Strand Of Oaks, Jim James, White Reaper). Album performers include Andrew Bird on “The River,” Greggory Clifford (White Denim) on drums, Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake) on keys, flute, clarinet; David Pulkingham (Patty Griffin) on guitar, Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) on keys. The music is a melange of blues rock, rock and singer-songwriter which surround themes about self-love and awareness, mental health, the environment, and consumerism.
Focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray, and holding fast their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being alive, to turn the duality of existence into hymns we can share, Low present HEY WHAT. These ten pieces—each built around their own instantaneous, undeniable hook—are turbocharged by the vivid textures that surround them. The ineable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse - building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks FORWARD, with teeth. HEY WHAT is Low's thirteenth full-length release in twenty-seven years, and their third with producer BJ Burton.
Vinyl: $22.99 Buy
Rage, confusion, despair, self-deception, and introspection—Madi Diaz cycles through the full spectrum of emotions on History Of A Feeling, her debut on ANTI-. It’s an album that undeniably marks Diaz’s status as a first-rate songwriter, a craft she’s spent years refining, and one wherein Diaz establishes herself as an artist capable of distilling profound feelings with ease.
Diaz pulls from a range of folk, country, and pop leanings—she is as much influ- enced by Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna as she is the sonics of PJ Harvey and di- rectness of Kathleen Hanna. On History Of A Feeling, the Nashville based songwriter comes to terms with the dissolution of a meaningful relationship. By the end of it, she wills herself into a self-reflective state where she doesn’t hate herself for being so heartbroken.
The songs on History Of A Feeling, are the most direct and introspective songs Diaz has ever written. In the few times she’s gotten to perform them live in front of an audience, Diaz describes the experience as one where she feels acutely present even though she’s singing about emotions that started to take root years ago. It’s relatable to anyone who has experienced heartbreak and great change in some manner, and this profound sense of intimacy and camaraderie she seamlessly weaves into the songs was important to her. “I wanted it to sound conversational, like I had just walked over to your house and we’re sitting and at the end of your driveway talking—just like we’re hashing it out in the same way that you’d call a best friend at one in the morning because you needed to talk about what just happened.”
Vinyl: $27.99 Buy
In James McMurtry’s new effort, The Horses and the Hounds, the acclaimed songwriter backs personal narratives with effortless elegance (“Canola Fields”) and endless energy (“If It Don’t Bleed”). This first collection in seven years spotlights a seasoned tunesmith in peak form as he turns toward reflection (“Vaquero”) and revelation (closer “Blackberry Winter”). Familiar foundations guide the journey. “There’s a definite Los Angeles vibe to this record,” McMurtry says. “The ghost of Warren Zevon seems to be stomping around among the guitar tracks. Don’t know how he got in there. He never signed on for work for hire.”
The Horses and the Hounds is a reunion of sorts. McMurtry recorded the new album with legendary producer Ross Hogarth (Ozzy Osbourne, John Fogerty, Van Halen, Keb’ Mo’) at Jackson Browne’s Groovemaster’s in Santa Monica, California. Hogarth recorded McMurtry’s first two albums, Too Long in the Wasteland and Candyland and later mixed McMurtry’s first self-produced album, Saint Mary of the Woods. Another veteran of those three releases, guitarist David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks), returns with some of his finest work.
Vinyl: $21.98 Buy
Says the band in a new statement: "This past year has been the first time we’ve stayed still since we were 21, and the pause gave us the opportunity to sit with ourselves and set intentions. We have long been burdened by the dichotomy between our band name and the music we strive to create—if you’ve heard the songs, you know they are personal. Now that we can see a future where music is a shared experience again, we're defining the space we share with you on a stage or in your headphones, and making it one that welcomes our creativity and anyone who wants to listen."
Vinyl: $25.99 Buy
The only artist to ever achieve #1 albums in SIX consecutive decades, Barbra Streisand’s Release Me 2 is yet another musical gem in her unparalleled career. The follow-up to her acclaimed 2012 album, Release Me, this new collection contains previously unreleased tracks from Barbra’s vault, including duets with Willie Nelson and Kermit the Frog. With songs by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Barry Gibb, Paul Williams, Randy Newman, Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Harold Arlen, and Carole King, Barbra describes Release Me 2 as, “A lovely walk down memory lane…a chance to revisit, and in some cases, add a finishing instrumental touch to songs that still resonate for me in meaningful ways.” This Exclusive Picture Vinyl is limited to 3,000 units and available exclusively via Independent Record Stores.
Merlot Wave Vinyl. Guccihighwaters is the artistic persona of 21 year -old, artist/producer, Morgan Murphy. Since his debut single in 2017, Murphy has exploded in the cloud rap community and his music has been streamed over 200 Million times. His new album, joke's on you, is his debut for Epitaph Records and will be his first available on vinyl. Guccihighwaters is the keystone to the label's dedication to this sound that we feel is the future of Alternative music. Spending his formative years growing up in rural Ireland, Murphy was shy and when his family returned to their native New York, that shy 15 year-old turned to home recording/bedroom production and starting making his own beats. He began to indulge his musical vision by exploring community on the internet, finding a place to belong that he had not found prior. As a singer, Murphy was a bit of an outsider to the SoundCloud rap world he'd begun to orbit. "I was grouped in because of the time and place and platform," he says. His use of original piano with a classic touch and his angelic singing gave him an original voice within the scene's crowded world. Even if he wanted to blend in, he didn't know how. With Jokes On You, he says, "basically my goal was to make it sound like me. " Some members of that community, like Powfu and nothing, nowhere, feature on the album, adding their voices to Murphy's signature sound. Guccihighwaters is a top digital artist in the Indie Pop/Cloud Rapspace, releasing his music on vinyl for the first time. Album features include lo-fi sensation powfu , top emo rapper Convolk and popular alt/hip hop artist, nothing, nowhere. For Fans of powfu, Lil Peep, nothing, nowhere and Lund
2020 was not quite what Jay Farrar was expecting for the 25th anniversary of Son Volt, the band he started in 1995 after leaving the seminal group Uncle Tupelo, whose No Depression album helped define the alt-country and Americana genre. The group had just finished an Outlaw Country Cruise when the pandemic hit and sent them into their homes on lockdown.
Instead of a triumphant tour marking the illustrious landmark, Farrar was forced indoors by the pandemic, and his “Reverie” during that time helped define Electro Melodier, Son Volt’s 10th studio album – and third for influential Nashville indie Thirty Tigers. The title, taken from the names of two vintage amplifiers from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, also describes the disc’s unique blend of folk, country, blues, soul and rock – an electric troubadour with melodies that hit and stick. Social protest songs like “Living in the U.S.A.” and “The Globe,” the former about the promises of this nation gone wrong, the latter referencing the street protests accompanying the Black Lives Matter movement, exist side by side with odes to long-term relationships (specifically his 25-year marriage) in “Diamonds and Cigarettes” and “Lucky Ones.”
Once again accompanied by the current Son Volt line up – keyboardist/steel guitarist Mark Spencer, bassist Andrew Duplantis, guitarist Chris Frame and drummer Mark Patterson – Farrar takes a slight turn from 2019’s politically pointed Union to a series of songs that asks questions rather than demanding answers – think of “Living in the U.S.A.” as Farrar’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” or Patti Smith’s “People Have the Power,” an anthem to unite the populace.
One listen to Electro Melodier, which opens with “Reverie,” describing Farrar’s contemplative state gazing out his window, enlivened with Mark Spencer’s “Wichita Lineman” guitar riffs and the lush Big Star melodies, and you wonder why no other rock ‘n’ roll bands or singer/songwriters are making albums like this about what we’re all going through.
With tour dates scheduled before the end of 2021, Son Volt is ready to return to what they know best after a welcome period of introspection.
The songs of Electro Melodier help remind us to be thankful of what we still have – new music from Jay Farrar and Son Volt.