Out This Week 1/22

Finally! With all of these great new releases, 2013 is coming on with a roar. Well, maybe not The Big Roar this time, but rather Wolf’s Law, the new and much anticipated second album from The Joy Formidable. Fans wondering how the Welsh trio could possibly follow up their hard hitting debut after such a meteoric rise can rest assured that the emotive wallop of their sophomore release is just as strong. In fact, the album’s title itself refers to a bone’s ability to get stronger after it heals from a trauma, a fitting analogy for this vigorous set of songs. Chaz Bundick a.k.a. Toro Y Moi‘s sounds are less muscular but no less appealing on his third album out today. Anything in Return is, as our Music Director, Don Yates, says, “an intricately crafted set of sleek electro-pop with warm, lushly textured songs combining house, funk and hip hop rhythms with atmospheric synths, wispy vocals and sticky pop melodies.”

Many other excellent new releases of 2013 can be found in record stores today, like full-fledged debut of bi-coastal band Foxygen, who “follow up their excellent 2012 mini-album, Take The Kids Off Broadway, with a smartly executed set of ‘70s-inspired rock blending elements of prog, glam, garage-rock, soul, Dylanesque folk-rock, Kinks and more”; the second album from Brooklyn-via-Tacoma band Widowspeak, “an evocative set of dark dream-pop inflected with ‘70s folk-rock, psychedelia, spaghetti western and more”; and a new project called Pillowfight, featuring producer Dan the Automator and singer-songwriter Emily Wells, whose debut “hearkens back to ‘90s-era trip hop, combining mostly downtempo beats and dark textures with Wells’ sultry vocals.” For more laidback beats, check out the latest from LA-based producer Jason Chung, whose second album as Nosaj Thing is “a meticulously-crafted set of moody, lush, crisp beats with soft, subtle, ethereal vocal samples and two standout vocal guest turns from Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino and Toro Y Moi.”

And if you like moody music, there’s more where that came from: LA-via-Copenhagen band Gliss make a strong showing on their latest, which “finds them moving away from the crunchier Smashing Pumpkins-influenced sound of their earlier records towards a more atmospheric dream-pop sound thickly textured with reverbed guitars, ethereal synths, mostly programmed beats, airy vocals and blissful pop melodies”; Chicago’ Speck Mountain third album “is a fine set of dreamy, psych-tinged indie-pop reminiscent at times of Mazzy Star, featuring mostly slow-burning songs combining atmospheric guitars, ethereal organ, dusky lead vocals and airy harmonies”; and Baltimore’s Arbouretum have created “another expansive blend of doom-laden stoner rock and psych-tinged folk-rock, with heavy, rumbling guitars, atmospheric keyboards, occasional pedal steel and spare, stately rhythms accompanying Dave Heumann’s solemn vocals and dark, poetic lyrics” on their fifth album.

Like we said, it’s a good week for new music, so while you’re at your favorite record shop (R.I.P. Easy Street Queen Anne), be sure to check out the latest from Nightlands, the Philly-based project of War On Drugs bassist Dave Hartley, whose sophomore effort is “an often-enchanting set of psych-tinged indie-pop blending acoustic and electric guitars, synths, trumpets, dulcimers, handclaps, soaring multi-tracked harmonies and smooth ‘70s-inspired pop melodies”; from Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru, whose fifth album “is another charming set of whimsical folk-pop, with a densely layered sound combining a wide variety of colorful instrumentation with sunny pop melodies”; from the LA-based husband-and-wife duo Big Harp, whose second album “finds them moving away from the more rootsy sound of their fine debut towards a grittier, noisier folk-rock sound with crunchy guitars and buzzing keyboards accompanying Senseney’s haunting baritone and dark lyrics”; and from Ra Ra Riot, the Syracuse U.-founded band that’s paired down its lineup to a four but turned up the dancebeats to eleven!

You’ll find all of these and more, including the first in nine years (and their tenth in nearly 30 years!) by “college rock” legends Camper Van Beethoven, on the shelves of record stores today. There are too many other great new albums to mention, so be sure to sample all of the songs below and get on out there. 2013 is rolling on, with or without you!

Arbouretum – The Promise (MP3)
from Coming Out of the Fog on Thrill Jockey

Big Harp – Waiting For Some Drunk (MP3)
from Chain Letters on Saddle Creek

Brokeback – The Wire, the Rag and the Payoff (MP3)
from Brokeback and the Black Rock on Thrill Jockey Records

Camper Van Beethoven – Northern California Girls
from La Costa Perdida on 429 Records

DRGN King – Wild Night
from Paragraph Nights on Bar None

FIDLAR – Cheap Beer (MP3)
from FIDLAR on Mom & Pop Records

Foxygen – Shuggie
from We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic on Jagjaguwar

Gliss – Weight of Love (MP3)
from Langsom on Modern Outsider Records

The Growlers – Use Me for Your Eggs (MP3)
from Hung at Heart on Everloving

Petra Haden – Psycho
from Petra Goes To The Movies on Anti-

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – Tales That I Tell (MP3)
from Nobody Dances in This Town on Park the Van Records

Julia Holter – You & Me Both (live Arthur Russell tribute)
from Dual Form on Stones Throw / Leaving Records

The Joy Formidable – This Ladder Is Ours
from Wolf’s Law on Atlantic

Mountains – Living Lens (MP3)
from Centralia on Thrill Jockey

The Night Marchers – All Hits (MP3)
from Allez Allez on Swami Records

Nightlands – I Fell in Love with a Feeling
from Oak Island on Secretly Canadian

Nosaj Thing – Try feat. Toro Y Moi
from Home on Timetable Records via Innovative Leisure

Pillowfight – Used To Think
from Pillowfight on Bulk Recordings / EMI

Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love (MP3)
from Beta Love on Barsuk

Alasdair Roberts & Friends – The Year of the Burning
from A Wonder Working Stone on Drag City

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin
from Reverse Shark Attack on In The Red

Speck Mountain – Slow So Long
from Badwater on Carrot Top Records

This Town Needs Guns – Left Aligned
from on Sargent House

Shugo Tokumaru – Decorate
from In Focus on Polyvinyl Records

Toro Y Moi – Say That
from Anything in Return on Carpark

Torres – Mother Earth, Father God (MP3)
from Torres (self-released)

Widowspeak – Ballad of the Golden Hour (MP3)
from Almanac on Captured Tracks

Renny Wilson – By and By (MP3)
from Sugarglider on Mint Records

Young Fathers – Romance
from Tape One on Anticon.

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