Out This Week 9/4

Labor Day week is bittersweet. It marks the end of Summer but also the oncoming onslaught of Fall releases, many anticipated and very likely be your favorites of the year. While the work week may be short, your shopping list of new albums is already growing by miles. Topping this week are new releases from Cat Power, Animal Collective, Bob Mould, and Two Gallants, each with mind-blowing and possibly career defining albums.

On Sun, her first album of new material in over six years, Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, reinvents her sound. Recorded almost entirely by herself, the new LP features more synths and electronic beats, but also rocks a lot harder. Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls the new songs “some of her most confident-sounding and forward-looking, addressing past traumas but with a determined eye aimed towards better days ahead.” Fans have been waiting to see what Brooklyn-via-Baltimore band Animal Collective would do next, after their 2009 breakthrough, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Don Yates calls the new album, Centipede Hz, “a decidedly more aggressive-sounding record of noise-addled, funhouse psych-pop... densely produced with an often-disorienting barrage of guitars, synths, samples, skittering polyrhythms and yelping vocals.” And you know it must be good if even with descriptions like “aggressive,” “addled,” “disorienting” and “yelping” it still gets added to our heavy rotation!

Former Hüsker Dü and still-current Sugar frontman Bob Mould has put out a lot of albums over the year, ranging between acoustic ballads and electronic dance numbers, but on Silver Age, he celebrates what many others might consider a career end-of-days with perhaps his best solo effort to date. The new LP “hearkens back to the ferociously loud yet brightly melodic punkish pop-rock of prime Sugar, with a fiercely aggressive sound combining loud, buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms, snarling vocals and anthemic pop hooks.” Also changing up their sound by rocking the hell out, San Francisco duo Two Gallants return after a five year hiatus with The Bloom And The Blight, featuring “a ferocious blend of crunchy guitars, pounding rhythms and howling vocals.”

Other new releases you’ll want to pick up come from fellow Bay Area band The Fresh & Onlys, whose latest album “is their most polished and mature-sounding release to date, blending elements of moody ‘80s post-punk and dream-pop with ‘60s psych-pop, folk-rock, doo wop, mariachi and more on beautifully crafted songs with jangly, reverbed guitars along with occasional horns and strings accompanying Tim Cohen’s gloomy baritone and lovelorn lyrics”; from Montreal band Stars, whose sixth full-length “is darker and more subdued than most of their releases, with a mostly bleak sound combining cold synths, atmospheric guitars and alternating lead vocals from Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan”; and Seattle trio Crypts, who debut with “a bracing album of dark, noisy electro-punk grooves combining elements of ‘80s goth, industrial, noise-rock and even some gloomy post-punk.”

Also out this week is a new collection of B-sides from U.K. band Elbow, and new LPs from The Music Tapes, the current project of former Elephant 6 member Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control); Saddle Creek band Azure Ray; Northern Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club; and Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman, with his first in five years.

You can pick up all of these at your favorite record store today. So put away those whites and get out there, but not before first sample these highlights of the week’s new releases:

Animal Collective - Today’s Supernatural
from Centipede Hz on Domino Records

Azure Ray - Scattered Like Leaves (MP3)
from As Above So Below on Saddle Creek

Raymond Byron and the White Freighter - Allegiance (MP3)
from Little Death Shaker on Asthmatic Kitty

Cat Power - Ruin (MP3)
from Sun on Matador

Crypts - Fancy (MP3)
from Crypts on Sargent House

Cult of Youth - Man on Man’s Ruin (MP3)
from Love With Prevail on Sacred Bones Records

Deerhoof - Fête d’Adieu
from Breakup Song on Polyvinyl Records

Elbow - Whisper Grass (clip)
from Dead In The Boot on Fiction / Cooperative Music

The Fresh and Onlys - Presence Of Mind
from Long Slow Dance on Mexican Summer

Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn’t
from I Know What Love Isn’t on Secretly Canadian

Bob Mould - The Descent (MP3)
from Silver Age on Merge Records

The Music Tapes - Playing “Evening” (MP3)
from Mary’s Voice on Merge Records

Stars - Backlines
from The North on ATO

Two Door Cinema Club - Sleep Alone
from Beacon on Glassnote

Two Gallants - Broken Eyes (MP3)
from The Bloom And The Blight on ATO

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