Out This Week 10/2

As it turns out, the setting to the latest album by The Mountain Goats, topping this week’s list of new releases, just so happens to be our own Washington State. On Transcendental Youth, John Darnielle locates the narrator — lost, alone, and “fighting the urge to just stop fighting at all” — in the gloomy Pacific Northwest to further emphasize his desperation. While we Seattleites might take exception to that — it’s fabulous here in August and September! — there’s no denying what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls “an emotionally powerful set of smartly crafted songs centering around social outcasts and recluses.” And no matter how seemingly bleak the subject matter, Darnielle never fails to elevate his songs with peppy melodies and witty lyrics. Who else can make you shake your hips as you sing “All is la-ah-ah-ost”?

San Francisco’s Moon Duo, comprised of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada, turn up the dial on yet another impressive LP of “droning psych-rock with buzzing guitar riffs, eerie keyboards, hypnotic, often-motorik rhythms and haunting vocals.” Also out this week, the fourth album by LA electronic composer Flying Lotus. Until The Quiet Comes is “a more dreamy and nocturnal take on his adventurous blend of various electronic styles, hip hop, jazz, cosmic soul and more, with a warm, densely layered sound combining spacey synths, deep bass, twinkling keyboards, lush strings and other instrumentation with intricate beats, mysterious ambient noises and occasional guest vocals (including Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke) on fluid, shape-shifting songs that enchant from start to finish.” And Brooklyn’s Tom Krell “brings sharper songwriting and greater clarity to his second album” as How To Dress Well, “while still delivering a haunting, reverb-drenched blend of spectral R&B and minimalist electro-pop with ethereal synths, echoed, bass-heavy beats, occasional strings and distant, ghostly voices and other mysterious half-heard sounds accompanying Krell’s delicate falsetto vocals.”

It won’t just be Radiohead fans who will be clamoring for the debut of Ultraísta, a new band formed by famed producer Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M., Norah Jones, etc.) and the relatively unknown singer and visual artist Laura Bettinson. While the band claims “a mutual love of Afrobeat, electronic and dance music, visual art, and tequila,” their self-titled debut is a Krautrock meets trip hop extravaganza.

Other new albums out this week that you’ll want to check out include the latest from former American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel, who’s latest solo effort “is another well-crafted set of dark, mostly low-key folk-pop pairing mostly hushed, acoustic-oriented arrangements with Eitzel’s supple crooning and sometimes biting, often-poignant lyrics.” British singer-songwriter Beth Orton worked with NW producer Tucker Martine on her fifth album and first in six years, while Philadelphia’s Sun Airway go for “an even bigger, lusher sound” on their sophomore LP of “hazy, psych-tinged electro-pop… that’s densely layered with glittering synths, strings, propulsive beats and half-buried vocals.” The Conor Oberst endorsed Tilly & the Wall return with their first record in four years, Heavy Mood, which unlike its title, is full of “brash indie-pop with an energetic sound combining guitars, electronic beats, various kinds of percussion, exuberant gang vocals and anthemic pop hooks.” And Austin band Balmorhea “subtly expands their sound on their fifth album by adding guitar loops, synths, steel drums and more to their cinematic blend of guitars, piano and strings on a variety of evocative post-rock instrumentals incorporating elements of classical, folk, rock and other styles.”

There are too many other excellent new albums out this week to describe here, but definitely don’t miss the the third album by the Victoria Bergsman-led project Taken By Trees, the latest from Brooklyn’s ecstatic-pop duo Matt and Kim, two new releases from songwriting veterans Ken Stringfellow and John Cale, the second studio LP by brash Brits The Vaccines, and the first newly recorded album by Athens post/psych rockers Maserati since the untimely death of beloved drummer Jerry Fuchs.

Give a listen to the terrific new tracks gathered here before heading out to your favorite record shop to pick ‘em up for yourself:

Balmorhea – Pyrakantha (MP3)
from Stranger on Western Vinyl

Boys Noize – What You Want
from Out Of The Black on Boysnoize Records

John Cale – Face To The Sky
from Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood on Double Six

Mark Eitzel – I Love You But You’re Dead (MP3)
from Don’t Be a Stranger on Merge

ERAAS – Fang (MP3)
from ERAAS on Felte

Flying Lotus – Putty Boy Strut
from Until The Quiet Comes on Warp Records

How To Dress Well – Ocean Floor For Everything (MP3)
from Total Loss on Acéphale

Immigrant Union – My Heart’s a Joke (MP3)
from Immigrant Union

Maserati – The Eliminator (MP3)
from Maserati VII on Temporary Residence

Matt and Kim – Let’s Go
from Lightning on FADER Label

Moon Duo – Sleepwalker (MP3)
from Circles on Sacred Bones Records

The Mountain Goats – Cry for Judas (MP3)
from Transcendental Youth on Merge

Beth Orton – Magpie
from Sugaring Season on Anti-

Ken Stringfellow – Doesn’t It Remind You of Something (feat. Charity Rose Thielen) (MP3)
from Danzig In The Moonlight on Spark & Shine

Sun Airway – Close
from Soft Fall on Dead Oceans

Team Genius – Everything’s Alright (MP3)
from Loud Songs EP on Paper Garden Records

Tilly and the Wall – Love Riot (MP3)
from Heavy Mood on Team Love

Ultraísta – Bad Insect
from Ultraísta on Temporary Residence

The Vaccines – Teenage Icon
from Come of Age on Columbia

WHY? – Jonathan’s Hope (MP3)
from Mumps on Anticon

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