Out This Week 5/22

A chorus of strong female voices top this week’s list of new releases, none more promising than that of young London-via-Ontario singer-songwriter Al Spx, a.k.a. Cold Specks, whose head turning debut, as our Music Director, Don Yates, describes, is “a powerful, emotionally moving set of gospel-steeped folk-pop with a dark, hushed sound featuring muted guitars and solemn piano along with occasional strings, horns and choral backing singers accompanying her velvety, deeply soulful vocals and spiritually brooding lyrics.” Singer/actress Aleksa Palladino ramps up the intensity with her Devon Church, as Brooklyn duo Exitmusic makes good on the promise of their powerful 2011 EP with “an impressive set of dark, goth-tinged dream-pop featuring bleak, but emotionally powerful songs with densely layered arrangements comprised of rumbling, atmospheric guitar noise, stately piano, martial rhythms, brooding, lovelorn lyrics and Palladino’s haunting vocals.” Seattle’s Shannon Stephens, a former bandmate of (but clearly no relation to) Sufjan Stevens, is joined by local guitarist Jeff Fielder for her third solo album and “most emotionally hard-hitting (and occasionally politically charged) songs to date.” And Beth Ditto returns with Portland band Gossip and their fifth studio album, polished to “a smooth set of sleek, shiny dance-pop comprised of glimmering synths, processed guitars, propulsive rhythms, big pop hooks and Ditto’s powerhouse vocals.”

Some dudes have some pretty good albums this week also. New Frenchkiss signee Colin Caulfield, a.k.a. Young Man, is releasing his John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & Cake) produced Vol. 1. Brooklyn-via-Montreal singer-songwriter Jesse Marchant, a.k.a. JBM, follows up his debut with “an evocative set of minimalist folk-pop with a spare, haunting sound combining atmospheric electric guitar loops, strummed acoustics, somber piano, melancholy lyrics and reverbed vocals reminiscent of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James.” There’s also a posthumous release from the much loved and missed Joey Ramone, who apparently wrote a lot of diverse songs for future solo and band releases and are here produced and performed by friends, including Stevie Van Zandt, Joan Jett, Lenny Kaye, Richie Ramone, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick and many others.

You’ll find all of these and a lot more, including the latest from 80’s/90’s rockers The Cult, in record stores today:

Blue Foundation – Lost (MP3)
from In My Mind, I Am Free on Dead People’s Choice Records

Cory Branan – Bad Man (MP3)
from MUTT on Bloodshot Records

Cold Specks – Blank Maps
from I Predict a Graceful Expulsion on Mute

The Cult – For The Animals
from Choice of Weapon on Cooking Vinyl

The Danks – Automocar (MP3)
from Are You Afraid of the Danks on Hidden Pony Records

Dope Body – Weird Mirror (MP3)
from Natural History on Drag City

Dreamers – City of Hope (MP3)
from Dreamers on Germ

El-P – The Full Retard (MP3)
from Cancer For Cure on Fat Possum Records

Exitmusic – Passage (MP3)
from Passage on Secretly Canadian

Gossip – Perfect World
from A Joyful Noise on Columbia Records

Hilary Hahn & Hauschka – Bounce Bounce
from Silfra on Deutsche Grammophon

Hallelujah the Hills – Get Me in a Room (MP3)
from No One Knows What Happens Next on Discrete Pageantry Records

Holobody – Riverbed
from Riverhood on Mush Records

JBM – Only Now (MP3)
from Stray Ashes on Western Vinyl

David Kilgour – You Forget
from Here Come the Cars (reissue) on De Stijl

Kimbra – Settle Down
from Vows on Warner Bros.

Joey Ramone – Rock ‘N Roll Is The Answer
from …Ya Know? on BMG

Riverboat Gamblers – Comedians (MP3)
from The Wolf You Feed on Volcom

Shannon Stephens – Care of You (MP3)
from Pull It Together on Asthmatic Kitty Records

Shrouded Strangers – (Don’t Look At The) Pink Lightning (MP3)
from Lost Forever on Trade Root / Izniz

WITCH – Introduction (MP3)
from Introduction and In The Past on Now Again Records

Young Man – Fate
from Vol. 1 on Frenchkiss

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One Comment

  1. Nik
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink


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