Out This Week 3/20

The long-awaited album by The Shins, their first in five years, tops this week’s list of new releases. James Mercer has rebooted his project with a new band and heightened production, thanks to Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, The Flaming Lips, etc.) and contributions from Richard Swift and Deep Sea Diver’s Jessica Dobson, among others. Port of Morrow also deals with some weightier topics, like religious violence and mortality, but even with that and its more richly textured sound, the album is unmistakably “The Shins” and features Mercer’s clever turns of phrase and captivating voice. Also out this week is the ninth studio album and first in four years from The Wedding Present, David Gedge’s long-running, on-off-on again project, and our recent guests live at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop during our broadcast from SXSW. Valentina sharpens the bite somewhat softened in Cinerama but remains as lovestruck (or lovelorn) as ever.

Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo has released solo recordings in the past, but the newly released Between The Times And The Tides is his first song-oriented rock album under his own name and features contributions by Nels Cline, Alan Licht, John Medeski, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and others on what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls a “consistently strong set of richly textured songs combining the poppier side of Sonic Youth’s atmospheric avant-rock with jangly folk-rock, highlighted by lots of sparkling guitar interplay and Ranaldo’s sturdy melodies.” Brooklyn based dance-rock duo Tanlines have finally followed up their strong 2010 EP with their full-length debut of “80s-influenced electro-pop, with polished and streamlined songs combining warm synths, clean guitar lines, propulsive, sometimes tropical rhythms, moody lyrics and bouncy pop hooks.” And Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen follows bandmate Chris Taylor (CANT) with his own solo release, “an outstanding EP of airy chamber-pop, featuring five gorgeously crafted songs highlighted by Rossen’s spacious arrangements, intricate guitar work and sublime melodies.”

There’s plenty more to be found in record stores today, including the latest from Vancouver’s Yukon Blonde, a touching tribute by the orchestral Lost in the Trees, and psychedelic space rock from NYC’s White Hills. Before you head out to your favorite record store, be sure to check out these songs first!

Conduits – Top of the Hill (MP3)
from Conduits on Team Love

Cousins – Jules (MP3)
from The Palm at the End of the Mind on Saved by Vinyl

Lost In The Trees – Golden Eyelids
from A Church That Fits Our Needs on Anti Records

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s – Shannon (MP3)
from Rot Gut, Domestic on Mariel Recording Company

Morningbell – You Think I Don’t Know (But I Know) (MP3)
from Basso Profundo (self-released)

Odd Future – NY (Ned Flander) (feat. Hodgy Beats & Tyler, The Creator)
from The OF Tape Vol. 2 on Odd Future

Lee Ranaldo – Off the Wall (MP3)
from Between the Times & the Tides on Matador

Daniel Rossen – Silent Song
from Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP on Warp

The Shins – Simple Song
from Port of Morrow on Columbia Records

Solander – Book Of Advice (MP3)
from Passing Mt. Satu on A Tenderversion Recording

Esperanza Spalding – Black Gold
from Radio Music Society on Heads Up International

Tanlines – All of Me (MP3)
from Mixed Emotions on True Panther Sounds

The Wedding Present – You Jane
from Valentina on Scopitones

White Hills – Pads of Light (MP3)
from Frying on This Rock on Thrill Jockey

Yukon Blonde – Stairway
from Tiger Talk on Dine Alone Records

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