Out This Week 8/23

Though the hot summer months (or “month” here in Seattle) are usually the slowest for new releases — and according to Largehearted Boy this week’s list is one of the shortest of the year — there are plenty of great new albums hitting record store shelves today. Think of it as a summer concentrate, which, among the sweetest picks, is the latest from the former Pavement frontman and his solo project, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, whose fifth release is the first to be produced by someone else… and who better than fellow post-modern pop music pioneer Beck? Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls Mirror Traffic “a more varied and also more punchy set of concise indie-rock songs that still have room for plenty of structural twists and turns, along with some of his strongest melodies and most quotable (though typically enigmatic) lyrics laced with slacker sarcasm and wry humor,” adding: “Not only is Mirror Traffic his most Pavement-like album with the Jicks, it’s also his best.” What more could you really want?

Well, how about a shopping basket full of other great new releases, like the shoegazery dream-pop debut of Swedish duo I Break Horses? Or the third album, and first recorded in a proper studio, by Bay Area psych/drone rock band Wooden Shjips? Or the full-length debut of Pat Grossi, a.k.a. Active Child, whose falsetto-laden voice stunned listeners on last year’s EP?

And you still wouldn’t be done because The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt returns to Merge (after three records on Nonesuch) and gathers rarities on Obscurities from the 69 Love Songs days and prior; two-thirds of former KEXP favorite Pela, now We Are Augustines, drop their physical release today (finally); and Brooklyn’s Little Gold and Sacremento’s Ganglians both have new albums. The genre-blending Brazilian dance-rock crew CSS are ready to retake the floors with La Liberación, while Sony’s Legacy Recordings gathers an 18-track anthology of Patti Smith called Outside Society. And for the children in your life, or the child in your heart, a handful of contemporary artists, including My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird, sing the songs of The Muppets on The Green Album. Check out some of the highlights, including Sun Araw, right here:

Active Child – Playing House (MP3)
from You Are All I See on Vagrant Records

Zee Avi – Swell Window (MP3)
from Ghostbird on Brushfire Records

CSS – Hits Me Like A Rock (download)
from La Liberación on V2/Cooperative Music USA/Downtown Records

Ganglians – Drop the Act (MP3)
from Still Living on Lefse Records

The George-Edwards Group – Nevada (MP3)
from Archives on Drag City

I Break Horses – Hearts (MP3)
from Hearts on Bella Union

Little Gold – Sisters & Friends (MP3)
from Weird Freedom on Loud Baby Sounds

Magic Trick – Daylight Moon (MP3)
from The Glad Birth of Love (self-released)

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Senator (MP3)
from Mirror Traffic on Matador

Stephin Merritt – Forever and a Day (MP3)
from Obscurities on Merge

The Moor – Warm Winter (MP3)
from The Moor on Dilettante

The Muppets – The Green Album sampler
from The Green Album on Walt Disney Records

Nig-Heist – Walking Down the Street (MP3)
from Nig-Heist (remastered) on Drag City

P.G. Six – January (MP3)
from Starry Mind on Drag City

Razika – Nytt Pa Nytt (MP3)
from Program 91 on Smalltown Supersound

Patti Smith – album preview
from Outside Society (remastered with bonus tracks) on Legacy Recordings

Sun Araw – Crete (MP3)
from Ancient Romans on Sun Ark Records (through Drag City)

Albert Swarm – Familiarities (MP3)
from Held EP on Brooklyn’s Ceremony Recordings

We Are Augustines – Book of James (MP3)
from Rise Ye Sunken Ships on Oxcart Records

Wooden Shjips – Lazy Bones (MP3)
from West on Thrill Jockey

Young Circles – 2012 (MP3)
from Jungle Habits (self-released)

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