The Day of the Dead it may be, but this week’s list of new releases hasn’t given up the ghost. In fact, you’ll find plenty of interesting new albums to draw you out to a record store near you. Among this week’s must-buys is the anticipated sophomore effort by British vocal powerhouse Florence + The Machine. Recorded at Abbey Road’s famous Studio 3, Ceremonials finds Florence Welch growing into her voice… or really, growing the music to match the full intensity of it. A bit less baroque and a quite a bit more breezy, LA-based songwriter AM and British producer/multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee (a.k.a. AM & Shawn Lee) team up for a highly enjoyable album of multi-genre blend of 70’s inspired pop on their debut. And finally, four years after his former band Tulsa’s last release, Carter Tanton returns with his solo debut. On Freeclouds, the sublime voiced songwriter — who appeared on Live at KEXP Volume Four — enlists fellow Bostonite Marissa Nadler for support.
For those of you looking for some nice gifts — for others or yourself! — check out The SMiLE Sessions, a nicely packaged 2-disc set of The Beach Boys‘ recordings for the album intended to follow up their ’66 masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Also, U2 is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby with a 6-disc set! The Decemberists complement their best-selling album The King Is Dead with a modest yet worthy EP called Long Live the King. And the really bizarre collaboration of Lou Reed & Metallica sees the light of day as Lulu.
You’ll also find the label release of local singer/songwriter Shelby Earl, whose Burn the Boats is now on fellow local singer/songwriter Rachel Flotard’s label, Local 638 Records. Shelby, by the way, very recently performed during KEXP’s “Reykjavik Calling” showcase (look for photos on the blog soon), and coincidentally, the California-turned-Icelandic songwriter Ryan Karazija, a.k.a. Low Roar, debuts his Reykjavik-recorded self-titled album. And if you want to keep Halloween alive — or perhaps beat the wandering spirits of Día de los Muertos at their own game, pick up the new spooky EP by The Soft Moon.
You’ll find all of these and hot jams from Seattle’s colorful electro-popsters Brite Futures, on Largehearted Boy’s list. But listen to some more hot jams right here first!
AM & Shawn Lee – Dark into Light (MP3)
from Celestial Eclectic on ESL Music
The Beach Boys – an introduction
from The SMiLE Sessions on Capitol Records
Jupe Jupe – Once Around the Sun (MP3)
from Reduction in Drag (self-released)
The Loom – For the Hooves That Gallop, and the Heels That March (MP3)
from Teeth on Crossbill Records
Shelby Earl – Under Evergreen (MP3)
from Burn the Boats on Local 638 Records
Florence + the Machine – Shake It Out
from Ceremonials on Island Universal
Girl in a Coma – Smart
from Exists & All the Rest on Blackheart Records
Low Roar – Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (MP3)
from Low Roar on Tonequake Records
Lou Reed & Metallica – The View
from Lulu on Warner Bros.
The Soft Moon – Total Decay (MP3) (courtesy of Pitchfork)
from Total Decay EP on Captured Tracks
Carter Tanton – Murderous Joy (MP3)
from Freeclouds on Western Vinyl