In The Groove
Back in 2017, Minneapolis-raised artist Jeremy Nutzman emerged with his debut project, NCOD, released under the moniker Velvet Negroni (a name inspired by a fancy cocktail at a bar in Austin). His unique soundscapes brought him to big audiences and bigger fans: sampled by Kanye West, touring with Bon Iver, and signed to 4AD for the release of his acclaimed 2019 album Neon Brown. A few years later, he is gearing up for the release of his propulsive new album Bulli, a record that trembles with a slick and polished new intensity following a relatively tumultuous life period. “I started using drugs again in a negative manner,” he says, “And felt like I lost all my friends or their respect. And then there was Covid, and I was at home, then my CashApp got hacked. And because of that I got paranoid as fuck for a long time and stayed in the house.” The result is an album on which Nutzman cannot fully hear himself. It glimmers with an almost-uncomfortable pop sheen, with lead single ‘Sinker’ whirring with a strutting positivity and rich instrumentation that is at stark odds with the lyrics. Touchstones of leftfield electronic sounds meld with nods to alternative rock, power pop, even tender R&B and deft hip-hop. It’s a record that holds something anticipatory, at times almost frantic and manic, occasionally even sexy and breathy . Given the period of his life that it emerged from, it’s understandable that Nutzman would feel fraught and uncertain listening back, it’s a deeply accomplished album which swirls with fragmentary soundscapes pushing ever forward into somewhere that feels new and vital.
Signed to Playboi Carti’s Opium label, rising Atlanta artist Destroy Lonely released his debut mixtape NO STYLIST in August 2022. Featuring a guest appearance from labelmate Ken Carson on the track “VETERAN,” NO STYLIST will be released on vinyl on January 6, 2023.
Describing their first three albums as a trilogy that is now complete, Meath and Sanborn see No Rules Sandy as the beginning of a new period, with songs that are “wilder and stranger and more cathartic than the band used to be,” as Nick Sanborn puts it. “It feels like who we actually are,” Amelia Meath adds. “It just feels like us. We’re not trying to fit into the mold, just happily being our freak selves.”
In 2015, Dan Auerbach entered the studio with Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, and the late Richard Swift (who passed away in 2018) to record The Arcs' debut album Yours, Dreamily in a handful of freewheeling sessions over two weeks. Now, more than 7 years later, those same sessions became the bedrock on which the surviving members fleshed out the anticipated follow-up album, Electrophonic Chronic, a collection of psychedelic rock, gritty funk, and heady, soulful grooves.
Following the global success of the unstoppable single “Unholy” featuring pop diva Kim Petras, Sam Smith will be releasing their fourth studio album, Gloria, on January 27, 2023. The 13-track record will be Sam’s boldest statement yet and comes off the back of an undeniable run of success with the lead single from the album.
Five-time GRAMMY® award winning and multi-platinum selling icon, Shania Twain, announces her new album, Queen Of Me, out February 3, 2023 on Republic Nashville, a division of Republic Records. Her sixth original full-length album, Queen Of Me, is the superstar's most triumphant-feeling body of work; an album about standing in your own power and worshipping yourself. Its lead single “Waking Up Dreaming” was co-written and produced with BTS hitmaker David Stewart.
The beautiful third album by the GOLDEN DREGS, On Grace and Dignity, starts with a scene of a man going on holiday in search of his “best self”. In among the personal reflections on loss of innocence and inferiority, Benjamin spins subtly interweaving narratives about survival, desperate acts of violence, loss and the limitations of community in the face of rapacious gentrification. Nevertheless, it is, appropriately for an album about home, somewhere you’ll want to spend a while. (Benjamin recorded it at his place –that’s his sister Hannah on saxophone.) Life here proceeds at a graceful pace –the bass is sturdy, organs celestial, horns softly valedictory –grounded by Benjamin’s deep voice, which seems to resonate from his feet as he delivers the sort of meticulously written lunar wisdom worthy of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, or the tidy yet revelatory koans of Silver Jews’ David Berman.
Coming February 10 2023: the first new studio album in five years from Yo La Tengo, This Stupid World. Recorded at YLT’s practice space in Hoboken NJ, the new material captures the collaborative energy and eclecticism that has defined the band’s career as it enters its 40th year. The double LP features a 10th track on Side D available exclusively on vinyl. The trio returns to NYC’s Bowery Ballroom for their storied annual eight-night Hanukkah residency this December before touring across North America throughout 2023.
Following 5 BBC Folk Awards nominations and a designation by the Guardian as Folk Album of the Year in 2019, it is fair to say that Lisa O’Neill is one of the most evocative songwriters in contemporary Irish music today. Fresh off 2018’s collection Heard a Long Song Gone for the River Lea imprint, The Wren EP in 2019 and an adaptation of Bob Dylan’s ""All the Tired Horses"" for the final scene of epic TV drama Peaky Blinders, O'Neill now returns with her latest album, and first for the Rough Trade label, the beautiful, resonant All Of This Is Chance.A raconteur in the truest sense of the word, every story starts somewhere and O’Neill starts this extraordinary collection here on earth, on Irish soil, hands in the land. The album is full of both orchestral masterpieces like the ambitious and cinematic ""Old Note"", inspired by the great Monaghan writer Patrick Kavanagh's prescient meditation on The Great Hunger as well as stirring meditations on nature, birds, berries, bees, and blood that ring out over a clacking banjo, dusting and devastating all those in its wake.All Of This Is Chance takes Lisa’s inimitable voice to greater heights, or depths, depending on which way you look at it. Vol Side Track Artist Title Sub-Title 1 1 1 Lisa O'Neill All Of This Is Chance 1 1 2 Lisa O'Neill Silver Seed 1 1 3 Lisa O'Neill Old Note 1 1 4 Lisa O'Neill Birdy From Another Realm 1 2 5 Lisa O'Neill The Globe 1 2 6 Lisa O'Neill If I Was A Painter 1 2 7 Lisa O'Neill Whisht, The Wild Workings Of The Mind 1 2 8 Lisa O'Neill Goodnight World
Beauty, disposability and fragility of the culture that surrounds us, and the exhilaration of freeing yourself from those structures… these are the themes Ladytron return to on Time’s Arrow, their seventh album.
Driven by analogue synths, distorted chimes and hallucinogenic soundscapes, Ladytron crash-landed into electroclash at the turn of the century, using the dancefloor as a bridgehead to the collective unconscious. On Time’s Arrow the group add new richness, distant shimmers and a shoegaze-adjacent glow with Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo’s trademark understated voices now inhabiting a space somewhere between cloudscape and dream.
With One Day, Fucked Up have delivered one of the most energizing and intricate albums of their career, a massive-sounding record that arrives in deceptively small confines. The Canadian hardcore legends have been known for their epic scale in the past, so it might be a surprise that Fucked Up’s sixth studio album is their shortest to date, written and recorded in the confines of one literal day (hence the title). Don’t mistake size for substance, though: The band’s sound has only gotten bigger, more hard-charging, with even denser thickets of melody.
“I wanted to see what I could record in literally one day.” That singular idea came to mind for guitarist Mike Haliechuk in the closing months of 2019. Haliechuk got himself into a studio and proceeded to write and record the record’s ten tracks over three eight-hour sessions, reconnecting with the core the band’s songwriting essence in the process.
Initially, Fucked Up vocalist Damian Abraham was also set to complete his vocals in similar fashion—that is, before the lockdowns of 2020 took place. As it turns out, the isolation yielded creative dividends, as Abraham returned to contributing lyrics as well for the first time since 2014’s Glass Boys. “It almost felt like it might be the last time I’d ever get to record vocals for anything,” Abraham says of the stakes he felt while putting his part to tape, before reflecting on how he approached the lyrical process: “What do I want to say to friends who aren’t here anymore? What do I want to say to myself?”
Over swarms of tuneful noise that evoke Sonic Youth circa Daydream Nation, Abraham lets loose on gentrification in “Lords of Kensington,” which was inspired by an “incredible” Toronto neighborhood that was regularly subject to life-ruining police surveillance and structural violence. “The police chief during that era—he just opened a cannabis store,” Abraham explains. “It’s so cynical and gross, what society has come to—but by being in a band, we’re culpable in changing the neighborhood, too, since the punk spaces and cool happenings that pop up are part of gentrification. Are you building a culture? Or are you ruining something that’s already been there?”
Then there’s the dusky burn of “Cicada,” a sonic cousin to Dose Your Dreams’ excellent standout “The One I Want Will Come for Me” that features Haliechuk taking lead-vocal duty. The song is dedicated to lost friends, and in his words, it’s about “what life is like after you lose people, and our responsibility to carry them forward into the future, using the things they taught us as a light. I like to imagine the sound of cicadas as a metaphor for our strange life in the subculture—we all just live these weird little hidden lives under the dirt, and then once in a generation, one of us gets to bust out of the dirt and intone their song so loud that it can be heard all over.”
One Day is an undeniable work of confidence from a band that continues to operate at the top of their game, making music that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime and beyond.
“I feel like there are two sides of me,” says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso known as Sunny War. “One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced.” That’s the central conflict on her fourth album, the eclectic and innovative Anarchist Gospel, which documents a time when it looked like the self-destructive side might win out.
Extreme emotions can make that battle all the more perilous, yet from such trials Sunny has crafted a set of songs that draw on a range of ideas and styles, as though she’s marshaling all her forces to get her ideas across: ecstatic gospel, dusty country blues, thoughtful folk, rip-roaring rock and roll, even avant garde studio experiments. She melds them together into a powerful statement of survival, revealing a probing songwriter who indulges no comforting platitudes and a highly innovative guitarist who deploys spidery riffs throughout every song.
Because it promises not healing but resilience and perseverance, because it doesn’t take shit for granted, Anarchist Gospel holds up under such intense emotional pressure, acknowledging the pain of living while searching for something that lies just beyond ourselves, some sense of balance between the bad and the good.
Featuring: David Rawlings, Allison Russell, Jim James, Micah Nelson
Perseverance carries us through the most turbulent, traumatic, and trying of times. When all hope seems lost, it shines a light from the inside that’s impossible to extinguish, no matter how hard even the darkest forces try. That light also burns bright at the heart of Gogol Bordello. Since 1999, the band have consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of punk, gypsy, dub, folk, Latin swing, and Eastern European magic.
However, the New York-based collective trumpet the spirit of survival louder than ever on their eighth full-length album, SOLIDARITNE. Ukrainian-born band leader Eugene Hutz and Co. linked up with New York underground icon Walter Schreifels [Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand] to co-produce the album. Meanwhile, H.R. of Bad Brains guested on “Era of the End of Eras,” blessing the track with a cameo punctuated by a key moment from the Bad Brains anthem “Sailin’ On.” The band also recorded a new version single “Forces of Victory” [feat. Serhiy Zhadan & Kazka]. Dizzying acoustic guitar and violin charge forward at lightspeed before crashing into an uplifting verse kickstarted by fits of electric guitar. The accompanying video juxtaposes footage of the band with real-life scenes of citizens and soldiers in the midst of war in Ukraine shot by a Gogol Bordello crew member.
In the end, Gogol Bordello rally everyone together on SOLIDARITNE.
There’s a line on Honey, the latest album from Nashville-via-NYC songwriter Samia, about Aspen Grove, a collection of 40,000 trees in the plains of North America, all connected by a single expansive root system. There’s no stronger metaphor for the audience the 25-year-old empathy engine has been generating since she began releasing music seven years ago. Her songs, her fans, her friends: one enormous, interconnected ecosystem. Honey, comprised of eleven new moments of catharsis, is by and for that organism. Set for release on January 23rd 2023 via Grand Jury Music, the album was recorded at North Carolina studio Betty’s –- owned and operated by Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sandborn and Amelia Meath, frequent touring partners of Samia’s. It was produced by Caleb Wright, part of the team that helmed Samia’s breakthrough 2020 debut The Baby, and a founding member of one of Samia’s favorite bands, The Happy Children. It features some of her nearest and dearest friends: Christian Lee Hutson, Briston Maroney, Jake Luppen, Raffaella. Its songs were surreptitiously road tested for her devotees while opening for Lucy Dacus, Courtney Barnett, and more. The end result is what Samia calls simply “a real community record.”
The Murder Capital’s second studio album Gigi’s Recovery, produced by John Congleton, will be released on January 20, 2023 via Human Season Records. The CD will be housed in a printed inner sleeve in a recycled wallet-style jacket. Painting by Peter Doyle and designed by Aidan Cochrane.