Out This Week 7/17

Although many Seattleites may have this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party on their minds, there’s a flurry of new music this week to keep your ears busy until this weekend. Easily the week’s highest profile release, Frank Ocean‘s Channel Orange is turning out to be one of the frontrunners for 2012’s Album of the Year. The follow up to last year’s head-turning Nostalgia, Ultra. mixtape, Music Director Don Yates says the album is full of “adventurous modern soul with a haunting, often-somber sound containing echoes of the expansive, jazz-tinged R&B of ‘70s-era Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye along with the woozy, hip hop-influenced soul of D’Angelo and Erykah Badu.” A member of the Odd Future hip-hop collective, Ocean has had an incredible summer, selling out his entire summer tour, performing with the Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and, if sales estimates hold up, he’ll have one of the year’s highest debuts through iTunes downloads alone. Expect to hear about this quickly-rising star for years to come. Also returning this week are Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood, who are releasing their seventh LP, Hypnotic Nights. Produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, the punchy garage rock of siblings Jake and Jamin Orall may have received an upgrade in production quality, but the songs remain as dirty as ever. It’s a record that’s built to put the “sweaty” in “sweaty rock club”. Another artist returning this week is the electro-Afro-pop trio The Very Best, whose fourth album, MTMTMK, features guest spots from K’Naan, Baaba Maal, and Amadou & Mariam. Tapping into equal amounts of British electronic and African rhythms and melodies, The Very Best have made another genre-defying album that will appeal to fans of all kinds. Returning with a new compilation this week is avant-garde electronic composer John Maus, who releases the appropriately-titled A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material. Although he didn’t achieve national prominence until halfway through last decade, the Minnesotan musician has been recording since 1991, and this release allows Maus-fanatics to have some of those recordings next to previously unreleased songs. It’s definitely one for the hardcore followers of the sometimes-philosophy professor/Panda Bear keyboardist.

Icelandic group múm has released a collection of early recordings previously found only on limited edition vinyl releases or buried away on demo tapes. It’s a rare glimpse into the band’s formative years and a must-buy for fans of Icelandic pop and experimental music in general. From the other half of the world, Monterrey, Mexico’s Kinky have a new album of electrified dance rock on the Nacional label. The Grammy-nominated band’s new album is produced by The Dust Brothers’ John King and featured guests like iconic Spanish rapper/emcee María Rodríguez, a.k.a. La Mala. Get ready to dance to Sueño de la Maquina.

Also out this week is Delayed Reaction, the tenth album from Minnesota alternative rock band Soul Asylum. Featuring Tommy Stinson (from their contemporaries the Replacements) on bass, the album finds Soul Asylum aging gracefully, combining the energy of their classic Twin/Tone sound with Dave Pirner’s mature songwriting. Also returning this week is Jewish reggae/hip-hop artist Matisyahu, who releases his fourth album, Spark Seeker, this week. Now without his trademark beard, Matisyahu has been open about his continual spiritual search, and Spark features some of his most personal songwriting yet. This week also features a new release from Old Crow Medicine Show, whose new record, Carry Me Back, is the band’s first since founding member Critter Fuqua’s reunion with the group. The album was produced by Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem), and features twelve new tunes from the old-time string band.

Other artists with new releases this week include hip-hop great Nas, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, sludge metallers Baroness, tiger mask-donning musician Shawn Lee, Omaha-based dance group Icky Blossoms, Edmonton rockers Hot Panda, and many others. Check out samples of some the aforementioned releases below.

Baroness – Take My Bones Away
from Yellow & Green, on Relapse Records

The Black Swans – Portsmouth, Ohio
from Occasion For Song on Misra Records

The Blank Tapes – I’m Back (MP3)
from I’m Back 7″ on on 20-Sided Records

Cosmo Jarvis – Sunshine
from Think Bigger on 25th Frame/ The End Records

The Drowning Men – Lost In A Lullaby (MP3)
from All The Unknown on Borstal Beat Records

The Dust Engineers – Snot Nosed Dweeb (MP3)
from Bail EP on No Horse Town

The History of Panic – The Chase (MP3)
from Fight! Fight! Fight! on Le Grand Magistery

Icky Blossoms – Perfect Vision
from Perfect Vision on Saddle Creek

JEFF the Brotherhood – Sixpack
from Hypnotic Nights on Warner Bros. Records

Kinky – Negro Dia (feat. Mala Rodriguez)
from Sueño De La Maquina on Nacional Records

Matisyahu – Sunshine
from Spark Seeker on Fallen Sparks Records

John Maus – Bennington (MP3)
from A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material on Ribbon Music

múm – 0,000Orð (MP3)
from Early Birds on Morr Music

Frank Ocean – Pyramids (MP3)
from Channel Orange on Island Def Jam

Old Crow Medicine Show – Steppin’ Out
from Carry Me Back on ATO Records

Jen Schande – I Really Like Sonic Youth and I Really Want to Have Sex with You (MP3)
from 19: Songs for and Inspired by Valencia Chapter 19 (self-released)

Shout Out Out Out Out – Never the Same Way Twice (MP3)
from Spanish Moss and Total Loss on Normals Welcome Records

The Stowaways – Changing Times (MP3)
from Changing Times (self-released)

The Very Best – Yoshua Alikuti
from MTMTMK on Moshi Moshi

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