Music Releases 04-28-23

The National - First Two Pages of Frankenstein [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Red LP]

First Two Pages of Frankenstein is The National’s ninth studio album. This 11-song collection signals a new chapter in the band’s discography. Anchored by evocative melodies and an enthralling lyrical narrative, First Two Pages of Frankenstein finds The National sounding more creatively energized than ever and poised to earn them even more fans. The album was produced by the band at Long Pond Studios in upstate New York and features guest appearances by Taylor Swift (“The Alcott”), Phoebe Bridgers (“This Isn’t Helping” and “Your Mind Is Not Your Friend”) and Sufjan Stevens (“Once Upon a Poolside”).

Josh Ritter - Spectral Lines [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Natural w/Orange Swirl LP]

Renowned singer, songwriter, musician, artist and best-selling author Josh Ritter will release his anticipated new album, Spectral Lines, April 28 via Thirty Tigers.

Produced by Ritter’s longtime collaborator Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Langhorne Slim), Spectral Lines finds Ritter expanding beyond the bounds of his previous work to create a record both atmospheric and profound. Dedicated to the memory of his mother, Ritter searches for commonality across these ten seamless tracks by exploring life’s most universal ideas—love, devotion and what it means to be connected, to both each other and to ourselves.

“I think it’s important for us to share some of our most basic and common experiences with each other, however we can. That’s what we really, really need right now. I know we have common experiences, and it’s important to telegraph those back because they don’t have to be lonely experiences.” - Josh Ritter

One of today’s most thoughtful and prolific voices, Ritter has released ten studio albums including 2019’s widely acclaimed, Fever Breaks, of which NPR Music praised, “He remains a hydrant of ideas while embodying an endless capacity for empathy and indignation, often within a single song.” In addition to his work as a musician, Ritter is also a national best-selling author, having released two novels to date: 2011’s Bright’s Passage and 2021’s The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All, for which the film rights have recently been optioned for development. Released to critical attention, Stephen King wrote in The New York Times Book Review that Bright’s Passage “shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime…This is the work of a gifted novelist.”

In celebration of the new record, Ritter and his band, the Royal City Band, will return to the road in spring ‘23 with headline shows at Chicago’s Thalia Hall, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, Washington, DC’s Lincoln Theatre, Philadelphia’s Keswick Theatre, Boston’s House of Blues and New York’s Beacon Theatre among others. Visit www.joshritter.com for full details.

In addition to Ritter (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar) and Kassirer (piano, organ, mellotron, synthesizers, drums), Spectral Lines also features Jocie Adams (clarinet, synthesizers, background vocals), Matt Douglas (woodwinds), Zachariah Hickman (upright bass, electric bass), Rich Hinman (electric guitar, pedal steel), Shane Leonard (drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass), Kevin O’Connell (drums, percussion, electric bass, electric guitar) and Dietrich Strause (acoustic guitar, electric guitar). 

Kip Moore - Damn Love [LP]

Kip Moore will be releasing his 5th studio album, Damn Love, on April 28, 2023. The album will feature 13 tracks including the single “Kinda Bar.” Kip Moore’s four studio albums include: Up All Night, Wild Ones, Slowheart, and Wild World. Moore has charted a total of 12 entries on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts including the number-one "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" and four additional top-ten hits. He has also written songs for Frankie Ballard, Thompson Square, and James Wesley.

Indigo de Souza - All of This Will End [Crimson Sundown LP]

“I was finally able to trust myself fully,” says Indigo De Souza of making her masterful third album All of This Will End. Across 11 its songs, the LP is a raw and radically optimistic work that grapples with mortality, the rejuvenation that community brings, and the importance of centering yourself now. These tracks come from the most resonant moments of her life: childhood memories, collecting herself in parking lots, the ecstatic trips spent wandering Appalachian mountains and southern swamps with friends, and the times she had to stand up for herself. “All of This Will End feels more true to me than anything ever has,” she says.

In many ways, All of This Will End has become a personal motto for Indigo. “Every day I wake up with the thought that this could be the end,” she says. “You could look at it as a sad thing, or you could look at it as a really precious thing: Today I'm alive and at some point, I will not be in this body anymore. But for now, I can do so much with being alive.” There’s a peacefulness in acceptance throughout. As she sings on the title track, “I’m only loving only moving through and trying my best / Sometimes it’s not enough but I’m still real and I forgive.” She describes the experience of writing this song as “magic,” as if everything about it from the words and melody had felt timeless and intangible and that she was just writing it down. Like the hues of reds and oranges that her mother painted on the LP cover, All of This Will End marks a warmer and unmistakably audacious era for her. It’s a statement about fearlessly moving forward from the past into a gratitude-filled present, feeling it all every step of the way, and choosing to embody loving awareness.

Falling In Reverse - Coming Home [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Gold LP]

The follow-up to 2015’s Just Like You, Coming Home finds the band exploring its sound, all the while retaining the signature ethos and aesthetic that has won the love and loyalty of its incredibly invested fans and followers.

Frontman Ronnie Radke previously told Alternative Press that the album is “a huge left turn. It sounds like nothing we’ve ever done. Every song is very vibey. There’s more feeling in it.” 

He continued, “We’re challenging ourselves now more than we ever have in the weirdest ways possible, because you would think writing the craziest solo or riffs would be the challenging part. But the challenging part is trying to stick to a theme and not go all over the place like we would normally do.”

Rush - Signals: 40th Anniversary [Super Deluxe Edition]

The Signals Super Deluxe celebrates 40 years with a brand-new Hugh Syme cover & the 2015 remaster on CD for the first time. The album vinyl was cut for the first time at half-speed via DMM & pressed on 180g black vinyl for optimal vinyl quality with new Hugh Syme art in a premium tip-on jacket. A Blu-ray Audio disc features brand-new immersive Dolby Atmos & 5.1 surround mixes by Richard Chycki, the 2015 48kHz 24-bit stereo remaster, new animated visualizers for each song & 2 bonus music videos for “Subdivisions” and “Countdown”. Bonus items include a 40-page hardcover book with new song illustrations and unreleased photos from the Signals Tour, four 7-inches with new art, three lenticulars that transition from the original black & white band headshots into the original album “Digital Man” color headshots, four Signals Tour band lithos, Hugh’s original album cover sketch litho & a double-sided 24-inch by 24-inch poster featuring Hugh’s new art on one side and an outtake photo from the original album cover shoot on the other side.

Joy Oladokun - Proof Of Life [2LP]

Nigerian-American musician, songwriter and producer Joy Oladokun announces her new album, Proof of Life, out April 28, 2023 on Amigo/Verve Forecast/Republic Records. Her third original full-length album vividly captures the human experience with a profound simplicity, celebrating the little details and simple pleasures of being alive, while giving voice to some of life’s most complex experiences in a way only she can. The album boasts feats from Chris Stapleton, Noah Kahan, Mt. Joy and more.

Stephen Stills - Live At Berkeley 1971 [2LP]

Stephen Stills is an unyielding force of nature.  

The amount of music pouring out of this man could’ve fueled a half-dozen bands. Following the June 1971 release of his second solo album, Stephen Stills 2, he announced his first solo tour designed to showcase all aspects of the ever-growing artist. Fans who were lucky enough to catch his historic debut trek, dubbed “The Memphis Horns Tour,” were treated to the balladeer, the raving troubadour, the acoustic bluesman, the soul driver, and by far the most passionate music maker offering his goods across the better auditoriums and arenas that summer.  

This previously unissued live album, with performances hand-picked by Stills from his personal archives, was recorded on August 20 and 21, 1971 at The Berkeley Community Theater. This 3,500-seat venue made this one of the most unique and intimate stops on the tour that included his iconic concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. In many ways, these Northern California shows in Berkeley sound as if Stills is leaving it all on the stage during a hometown gig. 

In addition to The Memphis Horns, Stills is backed by a loyal cast of friends, including his usual steady rhythm section—drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels—along with keyboardist Paul Harris, guitarist Steve Fromholz, and percussionist Joe Lala. Guesting on both nights of these recordings was David Crosby, singing on his own nautical classic “The Lee Shore,” and the Stills-penned “You Don’t Have To Cry,” a Crosby, Stills & Nash favorite. 

The music on these grooves—timeless and era-defining performances— “Word Game,” “Love The One You’re With,” “Sugar Babe,” “Cherokee,” among others, hasn’t aged a day since they were captured on tape. This album, rather than being an artifact from a bygone era, sparkles and stimulates. It cajoles you into thinking, feeling and—most importantly—moving. This is music that’s been unearthed because it’s simply too good not to be blasting out of cars and exploding from apartment windows and onto the streets.  

Stephen Stills Live At Berkeley 1971 is a cornucopia of priceless sound—and all of it bears the distinct and loving fingerprint of Stephen Stills.

—Howie Edelson, New York City, December 2022

Aesop Rock & Blockhead - Garbology: Instrumental Version [Yellow / Green / Black 2LP]

When Aesop Rock debuted in the late 90s with Music For Earthworms and Appleseed, Blockhead was also a part of the process, not only as a producer, but also helping coordinate sales of the CDRs to hungry Hip Hop fans. Blockhead and Aesop continued to collaborate, creating an impressive list of songs along the way, including two of Aesopʼs most popular songs to date; “Daylight” and “None Shall Pass”. In recent years, Blockhead has contributed production, as well as remixes, to many of Aesopʼs solo releases and group projects, and Aesop has made a handful of guest features on Blockhead's solo projects, but in all that time, Aesop and Block had never done a full album together, until Garbology

Garbology came together over the course of the pandemic, and encapsulates the soundtrack of current times. As Aesop explains, “Garbology is defined as the study of the material discarded by a society to learn what it reveals about social or cultural patterns. I find a lot of parallels between that and the idea of picking up the pieces after a loss or period of intense unrest, and seeing whatʼs really there. Furthermore - the idea of digging through old, often neglected music from another time — with an ear tuned for taking in that data in a different way than your average listener — is exactly what Blockhead does.”

Nate Smith - NATE SMITH [LP]

The first thing Nate Smith said when asked about his debut, self-titled album was, “It’s not about me. It’s about being able to reach other people with music that means something.” Nate’s mission with his music is to be a “conduit of hope”; a selfless and passionate driving force that’s thematic in his songs. “I’m not trying to be cool, or reinvent the wheel, or chase musical trends…I’m going after the heart of the matter.” The result is a refreshing and timeless body of work.

His journey to Nashville and the challenges he endured along the way are traceable in his gravelly tone: heartbreak, losing his hometown of Paradise, CA to the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history, and a determined cross-country road trip to Music City that often involved sleeping in his car. Nevertheless, he found purpose and hope through it all. Like Nate, the 20-song collection is honest, raw, real, and threaded together with optimism. He fearlessly takes on vulnerability – a characteristic evident not only in his lyrics, but also in his fragile yet robust delivery. While each song tells its own story, Nate unveils two sides of his artistry through the project: deep, heartfelt ballads and fun-loving, drink in the air, country jams. The two are intertwined with undeniable hooks and his signature velvet thunder vocals.

Joseph - The Sun [Orange Sun & Cloudy Clear LP]

The Sun is the fourth studio record from Joseph (sisters Natalie, Meegan and Allison Closner) and the follow-up to Good Luck, Kid (2019). It builds on its predecessor’s cinematic pop, bringing a thrilling new energy into each of the albums ten elegantly sculpted tracks. Joseph worked with acclaimed producers Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, First Aid Kit) and Christian “Leggy” Langdon (Amos Lee, BANKS) to build an irresistibly vibrant sound ranging from moody grandeur to pure anthemic glory.

Bronson Arroyo & The '04 - Some Might Say

BRONSON ARROYO pitched for 17 seasons in the major leagues, but a baseball wasn’t the only thing he was gripping during his time as a professional ballplayer. Whenever he had a spare moment off the field you could usually find him playing guitar. Now, five years after his retirement from baseball, Arroyo shares his own music with the world for the first time. The album features 10 songs filled with hard-driving guitars, powerful choruses and vivid, observational lyrics.

Neil Gaiman & FourPlay String Quartet - Signs Of Life [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Silver Fox LP]

Since selling out the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House in 2010, Neil Gaiman and FourPlay String Quartet have been firm friends and collaborators. They have toured the world together, released a New York Times best-selling book & record together, sold out Carnegie Hall together and most importantly, recorded a new album together, Signs of Life. Reflecting the fact that Gaiman and FourPlay have each, always refused to be pigeon-holed in their creativity - together, they have created something remarkable and unique.

Signs of Life is a gorgeous, ground-breaking and genre-bending collaboration between an iconic author and a unique musical ensemble. Part songwriting, part poetry, part story-telling; all encompassing, all-engaging, all beautiful.

Don Letts - Outta Sync [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Green LP]

Documenting the early days of The Clash, working with Bob Marley, managing The Slits, colliding genres with Big Audio Dynamite: Don Letts appears to have done it all. But there’s one thing he hasn’t done… until now. That changes as Don Letts announces his debut solo album, Outta Sync

A heady cocktail of dub rhythms, island vibes and his own sweetly melodic topline, The irony is that Letts hadn’t really intended to make music of his own. Conceived during Covid down time and produced by Gaudi with a bunch of bass lines provided by Youth (The Orb/Killing Joke) that kick-started the whole thing.

The album is chockfull of guest vocalists including Terry Hall, Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, The Slits' Hollie Cook, Zoe Devlin Love and Honor Letts, aka Letts’ second youngest daughter. 

So concluded (sort of) Don Letts at the end (nearly) of last year’s best selling autobiography, There and Black Again. The musician (Big Audio Dynamite kind) DJ (party kind), film director (Grammy winning kind), radio broadcaster (BBC 6Music kind) is finally getting round to the one creative endeavour he’s not yet pursued.

Skerryvore - Tempus [LP]

Skerryvore have reinvented and reignited Scottish roots music with a modern alt-pop flavour that has connected with an ever-expanding multicultural global audience. But as the pandemic broke, the octet’s international touring immediately ceased. Yet from challenge came opportunity. Vocalist / guitarist Alec Dalglish had the time to develop his initial song ideas in more depth, while subsequent full band sessions in bagpiper/whistle player Scott Wood’s studio in Glasgow benefited from the freedom such an independent environment provided them. And when they returned in 2021 with ‘You & I’, the track became their first to be playlisted at Radio 2 buoyed by huge support from Jeremy Vine.

Further emboldened by the Celtic-tinged rock follow-up ‘Together Again’, Skerryvore focused on broadening the core of their sound with a fresh pop immediacy and wider stylistic adventures. The result is ‘Tempus’, an album epic of melody, intimate of feeling and plugged into the roots of Scotland but blasting out to the world.

Alec Dalglish says, “We wanted to get the production bigger, more fully formed. We wanted to make music on a much bigger scale, to reach a lot more people. But in doing that, we also had to write and record songs that are still what make Skerryvore what we are.”

Skerryvore exceeded that goal, which they now showcase by launching ‘Tempus’ with two new recordings. A new album version of ‘You & I’ adds some fresh sparkle to the end-of-the-night, jump-around celebration of communion and connection that made it such a fan favourite. It’s accompanied by ‘Vancouver Island’, an urgent, charging instrumental which speaks to the band’s desire to ensure that their non-vocal tracks have the same dynamic structure as their singalong moments. It paints a picture of the mixed ambience of its location: its striking natural scenery and its rich bagpipe history, but also its surprising current levels of poverty. 

Elsewhere, ‘Tempus’ is rich with the top tier musicianship that Skerryvore are renowned for, as well as an increasingly diverse musical palette. They’ve taken a rip-it-up-and-start-again approach to genre, blending anthemic highs, strident rock, stadium-ceilidh thrills and subtle dance beats into a sound that instantly transports the listener to a famously good-time Skerryvore gig. And while the record is predominantly a homegrown collection, it was completed with mastering courtesy of the 21-time Grammy Award winner Howie Weinberg (U2, Nirvana, PJ Harvey).

Dave Hause - Drive It Like It's Stolen [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Blue Jay LP]

Drive It Like It’s Stolen is just as earnest and heartfelt, raw and real as anything Dave Hause has ever written before. Yet there’s also a subtle yet significant difference—here he’s delving into a more fictional type of storytelling to create what he terms "post-apocalyptic Americana”. The disturbing, apocalyptic quasi-reality of the album’s lyrics is matched and amplified by the music. Written by Hause with his younger brother Tim, Drive It Like It’s Stolen—just like the three that preceded it, as well as Tim’s 2022 debut full-length—is the distinct next phase of their creative partnership. The third release on the brothers’ own Blood Harmony record label, it shakes up expectations while at the same time building off the sound and reputation Hause has established for himself over the past decade or so." Drive It Like It’s Stolen was engineered and mixed by David Axelrod, and—like Blood Harmony—produced by Will Hoge and recorded at Santi Sound in Nashville. With this particular car ride, then, Hause is en route to a whole new world. Whether real or imagined or a combination of both, it’s time to buckle up for the ride.

Illenium - ILLENIUM [Translucent Orange 2LP]

As one of the most successful crossover electronic artists today, GRAMMY® Award nominated producer/DJ and instrumentalist ILLENIUM (born Nick Miller) elevates dance music via his bold, progressive take on the genre. His expansive sound, which mixes elements of celestial electronic, mellow alternative, crushing dubstep, emotional indie and pop-tinged bass music, has topped the U.S. charts, garnered over 5 billion collective streams and solidified the Denver-based artist as a singular force in a crowded arena. Now Miller is returning to his roots with a novel sound that celebrates his love for raw guitar riffs and impactful rocktronica. ILLENIUM spent the last year working on his soon-to-be-released fifth studio album, including the singles “Shivering” (with Spiritbox), “All That Really Matters” (with Teddy Swims), “From The Ashes” (with Skylar Gray) and “Worst Day” (with MAX).

Spotlights - Alchemy For The Dead

Spotlights occupy the space between a push-and-pull of jarring metallic catharsis and sweeping distortion. Even as either side vies for supremacy, neither extreme ever completely tightens its grip, allowing waves of melodic vocals and expressive sonic sorcery to breathe in the middle. This deft balancing act has enabled the trio—husband-and-wife Mario Quintero [guitar, vocals, keys] and Sarah Quintero [bass, vocals] joined by Chris Enriquez [drums]—to carve a singular lane. Armed with an uncanny ability to wield darkness or light, the trio’s fourth full-length offering, Alchemy for the Dead [Ipecac Recordings], finds them exploring something we all face, yet few embrace

The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site: 20th Anniversary Edition [Limited Edition Apple & Black LP]

Sonically located in the finest tradition of Punk, The Weakerthans walk an archipelago of influences from rock to folk to alt-country and beyond, led by lyrics tutored in the best of contemporary literature and progressive politics.

Their third full-length recording, Reconstruction Site, mixed by Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age) and produced by the legendary Ian Blurton, is their most musically cohesive and lyrically ambitious effort to date. Reconstruction Site follows the success of Left and Leaving and Fallow --records that garnered appreciation and acclaim from listeners around the world. Reissued on limited edition color vinyl to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release!

Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good! [LP]

Jessie Ware releases her 5th studio album That! Feels Good! on April 28, 2023. It’s the follow-up to 2020’s What’s Your Pleasure? which proved her status as one of the U.K.’s most influential artists and became her highest charting album to date. Last year saw Jessie support juggernaut Harry Styles in the U.S. on tour, gain 2.4 billion global streams and complete a fantastic run of live shows, including career-defining sets at Glastonbury and Primavera Sound. Jessie Ware continues to cement herself as a formidable force at the forefront of pop.

Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe - Crime Pays [LP]

This album compilation features the very best of the Colon/Lavoe partnership’s early years. First time available on vinyl in decades. All tracks showcase the genius of the Colon/Lavoe partnership in a variety of genres.

Susanne Sundfor - Blomi [LP]

Vinyl LP pressing. 2023 release, the sixth solo album from Norwegian singer/songwriter. The album finds Sundfør strengthening her roots as she digs deeper into familial connections from her past, present, and future.

Ryan Hamilton - Haunted By The Holy Ghost [LP]

Hollywood Undead - Hotel Kalifornia [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Baby Blue LP]