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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.
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On Last Man Dancing, Jake Shears turns his lifelong love affair with club culture into his most ambitious pop music to date. The album was brought to vivid life by Jake Shears and a close crew of collaborators, including head-turning features from Kylie Minogue, Jane Fonda, Iggy Pop, Amber Martin, and a pre-Renaissance turn from the iconic Big Freedia.
Named after the residential studios outside Paris where the album was recorded, Honky Château bought a new level of simplicity and directness to Elton’s music that had previously only been seen in glimpses. Shorn of the complexities and ornate orchestrations of his recent work, Honky Chateau seemed freewheeling and intimate. It was helped by Rocket Man, the record which became another of Elton’s signature songs.
These special editions contain the original album, and on both vinyl and CD editions a newly created selection of outtakes from the sessions, produced from the original tapes by Matt Still, which highlight the warmth and humor of the sessions.
On CD only there are eight tracks from the album that were recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in 1972, all receiving their live debut, just a few days back in the UK after recording. Assembled with the customary care by Elton’s catalog team, the album comes as a gatefold with an eight-page booklet with rare photos, memorabilia and an essay by co-curator and music writer Daryl Easlea, featuring interviews from those who were there.
Honky Château has been mastered at Lurssen in California, and the vinyl cut at Abbey Road.
Recorded at the band's show at the world-famous Wembley Stadium on 6th July 2019, The Who performed many of their greatest hits as well as songs from their acclaimed recent studio album with the help of the Isobel Griffiths Ltd Orchestra, which gave a new perspective to some of their best-loved material.
This release is available as a 2-CD + Blu-Ray containing an Atmos mix of the entire album and a 3-LP black vinyl edition. Both are housed in a trifold sleeve with an extensive booklet containing multiple photos from rehearsals, backstage, and the show.
Brit Taylor’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Kentucky Blue, is a drive down the famed Country Music Highway – Route 23 -- back to her Appalachian roots. Grammy-winner Sturgill Simpson and renowned engineer and producer David Ferguson caught wind of the Kentucky gem after her self-reflective debut album, Real Me, garnered praise from Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and NPR’s World Café. The two legends didn’t hesitate to jump in and get their hands dirty, producing the next musical chapter of Brit’s life story. The album is to be released on Brit’s own Cut A Shine Records in collaboration with Thirty Tigers.
Having the courage to find her “real me” set Brit free. Kentucky Blue is a musical celebration of her healing and rebirth. It exudes confidence with a touch of attitude that replaces the melancholy, contemplative sound of Real Me. It is a progression of her life and her music and an introduction to the stand-your-ground and know-your-worth Brit of today. It is a shift back to her East Kentucky influences where the cry of the fiddle, the moan of the steel guitar, the twangy banjo and the atmospheric string section are like a journey floating through space and time.
Brit continues to unabashedly write and sing about what she lives and what she knows and sees. It’s genuine. It’s who she is.
Kentucky Blue is Brit’s personal invitation to you to join her at her cabin in the woods for a bourbon, a swing on the porch and a story-telling song.
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Paramore are back with their first new music since 2017. The beloved Nashville-based trio of Zac Farro, Hayley Williams& Taylor Yorkhave returned from their hiatus -and the global pandemic -with “This Is Why”, one of the best songs of their already impressive repertoire. In what’s widely recognized as one of the most exciting musical returns of the year, the band have also announced the release of their long awaited sixth studio album, This is Why, for February 10th 2023. Recorded in Los Angeles, California with long-time collaborator Carlos de la Garza, the album features 10 new Paramore songs with cover art shot by Zachary Gray.
Entering back into a world -and cultural landscape -very different from the one they last participated in, Paramore have returned with a song about exactly that. “This Is Why” is a deliciously infectious Paramore ear-worm for the post-truth world. Of the song, Williams says, “This Is Why was the very last song we wrote for the album. To be honest, I was so tired of writing lyrics but Taylor convinced Zac and I both that we should work on this last idea. What came out of it was the title track for the whole album. It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last 3 or 4 years. You’d think after a global pandemic of fucking biblical proportions and the impending doom of a dying planet, that humans would have found it deep within themselves to be kinder or more empathetic or something.”
When Paramore revealed they were recording together in January 2022 the response from music fans around the world was immediate and celebratory. In the time since the Grammy-winning, RIAA-certified multi-Platinum band released their last album, After Laughter-and Hayley Williams unveiled two lauded solo albums -Paramore have become more popular than ever. Over the last few years Paramore’s influence and popularity has snowballed, as the age of streaming organically propelled them into a position as one of the world’s biggest, most culturally compelling rock bands. For the band, who formed as teenagers in Tennessee, their 20 year trajectory has seen them grow from youthful outsiders to bone-fide pop culture icons, permeating the musical landscape by inspiring a new generation of musical talent.
Andy Shauf’s songs unfold like short fiction: they’re densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new studio album Norm, Andy Shauf’s songwriting veers decidedly more oblique, hinting at sinister happenings and dark motivations. The result: an intoxicating collection of mellifluous melodies and beguiling lyrics. Levitating, synth-laden atmospherics drive Shauf’s storytelling on ‘Norm,’ mixed by Neal Pogue (Tyler, the Creator).
In 2016, The Party catapulted Andy Shauf to indie notoriety, followed by 2020’s The Neon Skyline which landed Andy Shauf performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS This Morning: Saturday, a Polaris Prize nomination, and mentions on several best-of lists — among them, a track on Barack Obama’s playlist and praise from Pitch- fork, The Atlantic, Esquire, Stereogum, and more.
We want to write a big album—something suited for radio, but our songs don’t follow conventional pop structures. Instead of choruses with universal themes, I write with a specificity that is new to me, narrowing in on the smallest details of our lives. The more we try to broaden our scope, the more we turn inward.
To keep ourselves from falling into old habits, we use instruments and gear that are new to us. We work alone and Patrick engineers. The sounds he creates are as foundational as any part he writes. We resist the urge to over edit or do too many takes. Unlike previous albums which have been more wall of sound, we make a point not to overpower my voice with a dense mix.
We name the album Pollen. It is about small things with big consequences: a particle, a moment, a choice. It is me in a fragile state; sometimes inhabited freely, sometimes reacted against. It is striving to remain in a moment without slipping into dread. It is about the way I can be undone by a very small thing."
Grammy Award-winning band Phoenix returns with their next full length, Alpha Zulu, due out 11/4/2022. This follows their 2020 single "Identical,'' which went #1 at AAA radio, from the Motion Picture "On The Rocks". The project was recorded during the height of the pandemic in Paris, at the iconic Louvre museum. Phoenix are set to perform at festivals like Primavera Sound (Barcelona), We Love Green (Paris) and Austin City Limits (Texas) and will embark on a full headline tour in the US, UK, and EU in Sept 2022. The band has seen over 1.5B+ streams across their catalog, and have previously headlined Coachella, Governors Ball, Primavera Sound, Austin City Limits, and more. They've performed on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, amongst others.
AVATAR will save Heavy Metal.
There are no weapons on this planet that can challenge might of the electric guitar. For decades metal has been the most powerful force known to man. Its sonic teeth have gnawed through the status quo over and over, pushing the boundaries for what can be created in the marriage between blood and machine. If a Mount Rushmore were to be carved for all the titans of the genre, it would span the entire globe many times over. It’s a burning beacon, the misfits and rebels.
As time has passed, much of the scene has become divided in two equally stale camps. The first is forever stuck in the past, no longer seeking to lead. The second are those who have forgotten the most important ingredients to what made metal what it was and must remain. They’ve lost touch with the devil. They’ve forgotten how to move. In a genre best experienced with your whole body, they’ve lost the lust.
We grew up together. John and Jonas started the band when they were just 15 and 14 years old. Johannes joined at the age of 16, as did Henrik and finally Simon, who left to be replaced by Tim, a longtime friend of ours, in 2012. While constantly redefining what we do and why we do it, we are among a select few who have remained a true band of brothers. Metal has been our key to the kingdom, our way to see the world. Self-financing our debut when we were between 18 and 19, we have never waited for anyone’s approval or permission. With DANCE DEVIL DANCE we are adamant to give something back for all we’ve received.
New England rock band Four Year Strong have announced a re-recorded version of "Enemy of the World” complete with an updated depiction of the album art. The album originally came out over 10 years ago and was a breakout record for the band. Now it sees new production and 4 extra b-sides. "We decided to re record EOTW first and foremost to be as cool as Taylor Swift, but secondly because we wanted to be able to repress the vinyl and offer it to fans that haven’t been able to get it since the record came out." says Alan Day. He continues "It was really interesting to revisit all of the songs down to every detail, getting to kind of relive it in a way. We recorded the drums with Will Putney (who worked on the original EOTW as a engineer), did the rest by ourselves at Dan's house, and then had Will work his magic on it and mix and master it. We had just worked with Will for the first time since 2010 on our new album Brain Pain, and figured it would be perfect to work with Will as he knows FYS old and new more than anyone. So give it a listen, come out to the tour, and party like it’s 2010 again."
Dierks Bentley will release his 10th studio album on Capitol Records Nashville on February 24, 2022. The brand-new album will include 14 songs and features duets with Ashley McBryde and Billy Strings. His latest hit single, “Gold,” is currently rising on the Country charts. Dierks has sold over 10M albums worldwide and garnered over 4.2B streams. He has 21 #1 songs, 3 CMA Awards, 14 GRAMMY nominations and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
It would be difficult to find a band that is more self-aware than longtime touring band Lucero. Since forming in Memphis in the late 90’s, Lucero’s base musical hallmarks have remained similar to the band’s initial sound established with their first record The Attic Tapes. In the history of their expansive discography, Lucero has evolved and embraced everything from southern rock to Stax-inspired Memphis soul, whilst simultaneously maintaining their distinctive sonic foundations. Years later, dedicated fans of the group still flock to hear the band’s punchy driving rhythms, punk-rooted guitar licks, and lyrics that evoke the whiskey drenched sentimentality of Americana singer-songwriters.
For their twelfth record, Should’ve Learned by Now, Lucero drew on a lot of work from their past. Literally. By adapting songs and guitar parts that had been left over from the group’s previous two albums, Lucero was able to construct one of its most comprehensive works to date.
“I had a particular sound I was looking for on each record and there was no room for any goofy rock & roll or cute witticisms or even simply upbeat songs.” Said primary lyricist and frontman, Ben Nichols. “But now finally, it was time to revisit all of that stuff and get it out in the world. That’s how we got to the appropriately-for-us-titled album Should’ve Learned by Now. The album is basically about how we know we are fuckups and I guess we are ok with that.”
Produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer, Matt Ross-Spang, the album is a punchy, rock and roll record that utilizes the more mature production stylings the group developed over time, and combines it with the first-person introspectiveness that the band is known and loved for.
From its original Ben Nichols-designed cover art to its credits, the album is a reflection of a band that knows itself. Should’ve Learned by Now bridges the gap musically between “old Lucero” and “new Lucero” in a manner which affixes the band’s position as the perfect intersection of punk initiative with hard-earned artistry. It’s an album that recognizes the past in its sound and content, but leaves the door wide open to the future and for the lessons still in store.