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Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right ActionThe multi-Grammy winning, million selling four-piece Franz Ferdinand release their fourth studio album titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
This exuberant, unencumbered record is the first from the Glasgow band since 2009's Tonight. They seem to have rediscovered the imagination, vitality and fun found on their classic, era-encapsulating debut Franz Ferdinand.
Recorded over the last year at Kapranos's Scottish studio and McCarthy's Sausage Studios in London, the LP cements their status as a unique and adventurous British band: emboldened by a decade's undreamt-of worldwide success, but still daring and defiant. It's an ecstatic rejection of the drab conventions often accompanying that level of attention and expectation.
When asked for a quote, Kapranos came back with: "The Intellect Vs The Soul, played out by some dumb band."* God knows what that means, but the lyrics do seem more poetic this time. There were a few interesting collaborations, but more of that later
The ten songs that make up Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action take what propelled Franz Ferdinand from the incestuous Glasgow Art School world to, well, the entire world - painterly lyrical detail, heavyweight hooks, precise aesthetic vision and that uncanny ability to marry arch artistic sensibility with pop punch - and push it even further. The breadth of influence, musicality and invention on show here is enormous. If this is unmistakably a Franz Ferdinand record, it is as much by virtue of its sonic daring and perfectly patch-worked eclecticism as the timeless songwriting flair that has long been their calling card.
Franz Ferdinand are still Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy and Paul Thomson. There's still no one like them.1. Right Action
2. Evil Eye
3. Love Illumination
4. Stand On The Horizon
5. Fresh Strawberries
7. Treason! Animals.
8. The Universe Expanded
9. Brief Encounters
10. Goodbye Lovers & Friends$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You Could Have it So Much BetterYou Could Have It So Much Better is the second studio album by Glaswegian indie rock band Franz Ferdinand that was first released 3 October 2005 in the United Kingdom. Recorded in both the United States and their own studio in Glasgow with producer Rich Costey, the album gave birth to the release of four UK Top 30 singles Do You Want To on 23 August 2005, The Fallen / L. Wells, Walk Away and Eleanor Put Your Boots On. The album became the band's first UK #1 album and although their debut album was relatively successful in the USA, going platinum and reaching #32, You Could Have It So Much Better managed to reach #8 and earned gold status in the States. The cover design is modeled on Alexander Rodchenko's 1924 portrait of Lilya Brik. It was produced by Rick Costey and Franz Ferdinand.1. The Fallen
2. Do You Want To
3. This Boy
4. Walk Away
5. Evil and a Heathen
6. You're the Reason I'm Leaving
7. Eleanor Put Your Boots On
8. Well That Was Easy
9. What You Meant
10. I'm Your Villain
11. You Could Have it So Much Better
12. Fade Together
13. Outsiders$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SymphonicitiesSymphonicities is the companion release to accompany Sting's highly-anticipated world tour, which is underway and features the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Steven Mercurio (Bocelli, Pavarotti). The new studio album, comprised of Sting's most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement, serves as the ultimate commemoration of the live concert experience.
Sting's greatest hits have been reinterpreted with brand new orchestrations arranged by Jorge Calandrelli, David Hartley, Michel Legrand, Rob Mathes, Vince Mendoza, Steven Mercurio, Bill Ross, Robert Sadin and Nicola Tescari. Highlights include fan-favorites culled from The Police songbook such as Roxanne, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and Next To You, as well as songs from his enduring solo career including Englishman in New York, I Burn For You, Why Should I Cry for You and She's Too Good For Me among others. Symphonicity is produced by Rob Mathes and Sting, mixed by Elliot Scheiner (Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac) and Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Franz Ferdinand).1. Next To You
2. Englishman In New York
3. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
4. I Hung My Head
5. You Will Be My Ain True Love
7. When We Dance
8. The End of the Game
9. I Burn For You
10. We Work The Black Seam
11. She's Too Good For Me
12. The Pirate's Bride
13. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (Bronx Street Fair Mix)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
CorrectoCorrecto is a Glaswegian super art-group collaboration that includes a member of Franz Ferdinand as well as a member of labelmates The Royal We. However, this project is about the sum of its parts and the songwriting charms of lead singer Danny Saunders, who pens bittersweet songs about chocolate and girls that is equal parts Vaselines, The Kinks and Pete Shelley after Howard Devoto split town. Inspired by the mundane, the fantastical, mawkish behaviour and hangovers; the result is an exemplary album of necessarily direct and unhampered songs, which are somehow familiar yet humanly original swipes at modern pop music.1. Inuit
2. Do It Better
4. Save Your Sorrow
5. Walking To Town
6. No One Under 30
7. Here It Comes
9. Even Though
10. New Capitals
11. Something Or Nothing
12. When You Get Away From Me$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ClassicsClassics remains resolutely instrumental, but the band has introduced a wealth of new sounds, from acoustic and slide guitar to sleigh bells and cello. Their vastly improved production and writing makes this record a refinement of their art. Ratatat lay squealing metal harmonies over choppy Neptunes-style dance thumps, then break into pastoral waves of keyboard tone, riding dub tempos and hip-hop struts. They're crotch-pumping arena pimps and introverted minimalists... - Blender. Stroud and Mast have come up with some catchy melodies over light, snappy bass lines in what sounds like something tailored for the headphones - Urb. The band has toured with Interpol, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, The Stills, and Mouse On Mars.1. Montanita
6. Loud Pipes
10. Tacobel Canon
11. Truman$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FFSCollaborations don't work, or that's what FFS would have us believe on their debut
album. When the seminal Los Angeles duo Sparks and Glasgow-based quartet
Franz Ferdinand decided to record together, it was a flawed and potentially
disastrous idea, right? Wrong, as FFS is one of the strongest albums of either bands'
Produced by Grammy-award winning John Congleton (St Vincent, David Byrne)
at London's RAK Studios, the album FFS took 15 days to complete. 'Kimono My
House'-era Sparks fans will recognize how FFS highlights their classic pop rock DNA,
and Franz Ferdinand fans won't be dissapointed to hear the band at their peak of
their powers as they bring their exhilaratingly unique and witty modern rock sound
to the collaboration.
Very much a new project, FFS doesn't truly sound like either band, but a striking and
fascinating mutation. "The real motivation was to make something new, not 'Franz
featuring Russell Mael', or 'Sparks with Franz Ferdinand backing them," says Alex
Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand).
"You can't chart what is Sparks and what is Franz Ferdinand," suggests Ron Mael (of
Sparks). "I think each band unconsciously relinquished a little of who they were in
order to enter new territory."
So in the right hands, collaborations DO work, and beautifully. The strength of the
two bands is bigger than the sum of the parts.1. Johnny Delusional
2. Call Girl
3. Dictator's Son
4. Little Guy From The Suburbs
5. Police Encounters
6. Save Me From Myself
7. So Desu Ne
8. The Man Without A Tan
9. Things I Won't Get
10. The Power Couple
11. Collaborations Don't Work
12. Piss Off
13. So Many Bridges (Bonus Track)
14. King Of The Song (Bonus Track)
15. Look At Me (Bonus Track)
16. A Violent Death (Bonus Track)$27.99180 Gram Audiphile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Mind TrapThe album features songs alongside instrumental pieces for orchestra. Martin sings and plays the instruments, supported by gospel singers Dee Alexander and Yvonne Gage (who've worked with The Police, Madonna and R.Kelly) and Andy Knowles (musical credits include stints with the Fiery Furnaces & Franz Ferdinand) playing drums on If You're Lonely, You Return and Don't Tell Me. Keiko Owada plays bass on Gift Attack / Don't Won't. Co-produced by Martin with Andy Knowles, the album was recorded in London, Chicago and the Czech Republic. Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand and Mark Ralph (who works with Hot Chip) provided additional production.1. Kid Yourself
2. If You're Lonely
3. You Return
4. I Want You
5. Pass Them On
6. Gift Attack
7. Don't Tell Me
8. The New Shutters
9. I Like Things
10. Don't Want
11. I Love You
12. Mind Trap
13. Work No. 955
14. Work No. 994
15. Work No. 1375
16. Practicing For You$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UnravellingWe Were Promised Jetpacks release their highly anticipated third album Unravelling, recorded in Glasgow at the infamous Chem19 Studios with Paul Savage (The Twilight Sad, Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai). The impending album release also sees the addition of a new member to the band in the form of multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan. The results of the sessions with Savage have made for the band's most accomplished and powerful album yet, taking their already legendary prowess with dynamic rock and injecting a bit of pop sheen to the mix.1. Safety In Numbers
2. Peaks and Troughs
3. I Keep It Composed
4. Peace Sign
5. Night Terror
7. Bright Minds
8. A Part Of It
9. Moral Compass
10. Peace Of Mind
11. Ricochet$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Eureka (Awaiting Repress)Eureka, the third studio album from Canadian avante pop quintet Mother Mother, is the band's most tenacious and undaunted record to date. Slated for a Last Gang Records worldwide release, Eureka offers up eccentric, hook laden pop-meets-rock songs housed in creative arrangements with clever lyrics and intricate harmonies.
Produced by Mother Mother's own Ryan Guldemond and mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Franz Ferdinand, Elvis Costello), the 12 new tracks that comprise the album surpass their predecessors with a greater sense of cohesion, exuberance and overall sonic depth. The Stand, Eureka's incredibly addictive lead off single is a tale of a misanthrope who corrupts the minds of two young school girls. Guldemond, the group's chief songwriter and frontman describes the album as a vivid depiction of where the band's at right now, which is the height of our musicianship, songwriting and strength as collaborators.1. Chasing it Down
2. The Stand
3. Baby Don't Dance
4. Original Spin
5. Born in a Flash
6. Simple Simple
8. Aspiring Fires
10. Far in Time
12. Calm Me Down$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
REDI-BAR-5213xDeath Cab For Cutie
KintsugiPressed At QRP
Kintsugi marks Death Cab For Cutie's first new album since the departure last year of founding guitarist/keyboardist/producer Chris Walla. Recorded in Los Angeles with Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Interpol) behind the board, the album takes its title from the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, highlighting cracks rather than hiding them. As such, kintsugi represents a compassionate aesthetic philosophy in which damage and wear are embraced as part of an object's history.
Considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, it had a great deal of resonance for us - the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty, says bassist Nick Harmer, who suggested the name to singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard and drummer Jason McGerr. Philosophically, spiritually, emotionally, it seems perfect for this group of songs.1. No Room in Frame
2. Black Sun
3. The Ghosts of Beverly Drive
4. Little Wanderer
5. You've Haunted Me All My Life
6. Hold No Guns
7. Everything's a Ceiling
8. Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)
9. El Dorado
11. Binary Sea$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Parts Primitive"Parts Primitive" is the debut album from London-based band Primitive Parts; consisting of Sauna Youth, Monotony and Male Bonding alumni Lindsay Corstorphine (guitar / voice) Kevin Hendrick (guitar) and Robin Christian (drums). After signing to Trouble in Mind earlier this year they immediately bought a Tascam 388 multitrack tape device & set to record their debut. "Parts Primitive" consists of ten close-knit and succinct songs that aim to evoke a sonic space that could be an imagined 1970s. 'Miracle Skin', 'Signal', 'Rented Housing' and 'Troubles' are influenced equally by the dynamic Australian garage rock of The UV Race, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control as they are by the pop sensibilities and British charm of early Eno, The Kinks and Blur. Parts Primitive was recorded by the band directly onto two 7 reels of quarter inch tape, mixed by Mark Jasper at Soundsavers and mastered by Mikey Young overseas. Primitive Parts have shared stages with Twerps, Franz Ferdinand, The Homosexuals and Juan Wauters. Having recently bought a car, they are due to embark on a full UK tour in Autumn.$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ImpressionsThe Los Angeles trio Music Go Music began humbly, recording songs in their spare time and playing them for friends. A few songs posted online caught the ears of a surprising number of strangers, who implored the band to make a go of it. They eventually, and reluctantly, agreed to this, and before long the show had been officially taken on the road; MGM was being buzzed about, flying back and forth across the the Atlantic, touring around with Glasgow rockers Franz Ferdinand, and performing for the most discerning of music lovers in Moscow, London, LA, and points in between. Their debut album Expressions was a warmly received dance-pop-prog excursion that drew apt comparisons to Abba, Kate Bush, Bonnie Tyler, and Giorgio Moroder. After things settled down and they got back to their workaday lives, they began chipping away at a new record. In the course of several years, one or two songs at a time, 'Impressions' took shape. By now, the world has swayed in ways that seemed unlikely back at the band's dawning. When their first EPs began coming out in 2007, MGM was an anomaly; a real band capable of crafting a steady stream of hook-dense A-sides, who played honest-to-goodness live dance music. This time around, of course, they're sending a record out into a world that has turned just enough to embrace the kind of analog disco that MGM has been making for years. While remaining unambiguously pop, Impressions sees the group's aural sheen and careworn elegance joined to deeper grooves and oblique sonic turns. Never before, though, has an unhinged recounting of love won and lost been so blatantly entertaining. It's an assured, kinetic journey through light and dark, calm and chaos, with nothing less than pop transcendence waiting on the other side.1. Love Is All I Can Hear
3. People All Over The World
4. Tell Me How It Feels
5. Part Of Me
6. Nite After Nite
7. Tuff Turf
8. Never Get Over You
9. Shine Down Forever$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil ConnectionLegacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection, an innovative new collection of 12 beloved vocal recordings re-experienced through new samba and bossa nova arrangements created by iconic Brazilian musicians and The Berman Brothers.
Embracing the All In One Rhythm™ Theme of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection blends 12 iconic performances--from Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Sly & The Family Stone, The Isley Brothers, Mel TormÉ, Nina Simone, Johnny Nash, Dave Brubeck with Carmen McRae, Andy Williams and Sarah Vaughan--with new, samba and bossa nova arrangements and production inspired by the spirit of Brazilian music.
Working on Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection project, the Berman Brothers sought out the original multi-track masters and utilized an all-new, state-of-the-art separation technology from Science of Sounds to extract exquisitely pristine and detailed vocals. The newly isolated vocals were then melded with brand-new, authentic backing arrangements played by Studio Rio, an all-star cast of Brazilian musical pioneers from the bossa nova and samba genres, including Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roberto Menescal and Brazilian musical legend Marcos Valle.
Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection is the latest innovative musical project from the Berman Brothers (Frank and Christian), a production team whose previous work includes Rhythms Del Mundo (2006), a cross-cultural album summit which which fused an all-star cast of Cuban musicians including Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club with US and UK artists and superstars such as U2, Coldplay, Sting, Jack Johnson, Maroon5, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and others. Rhythms del Mundo was released in more than 61 countries and received multiple sales awards worldwide.
During the past 20 years, the Berman Brothers have received more than 90 gold and platinum awards, two BMI Awards, a Golden Globe nomination, a Grammy nomination (for Love One Another, recorded by Cher) and a place in history for their production and remix of the Baha Men's colossal hit, Who Let the Dogs Out. As producers, writers and publishers, the Bermans have worked with an array of international superstars including Coldplay, Sting, Cher, Real McCoy, Dido, Maroon5, Sophie B Hawkins, Reamonn and members of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.
Music is the heart and soul of Brazil, celebrating with syncopated beats and beautifully expressive melodies. It's the life force of the entire culture, wrote the Berman Brothers in their notes for Studio Rio Presents: The Brazil Connection. We have always had a huge appreciation of Brazilian music. Between us, we have a massive collection of bossa nova and samba recordings, new and old, a lot which we found in flea markets in Amsterdam, Paris, and London.... Once you get into this music, there really is no way to stop. It was this joyful and timeless music that inspired the idea for this collection. Our goal was to bring the Brazilian joie de vivre to iconic performances by well-known American artists like Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, and many others. What would these classic songs sound like had they been recorded in the studios of Rio De Janeiro in the first place, with the best Brazilian musicians and arrangers?"
"It was an amazing journey-bringing together these American classics and the vibrancy of Brazilian music with the help of so many talented musicians, arrangers and a dedicated production team. We learned many things putting together this music including what was the most important, and least surprising lesson of all: Brazil is the most musical place we have ever been in our lives.1. Lovely Day (Studio Rio Version) - Bill Withers with Studio Rio
2. Walk on By (Studio Rio Version) - Aretha Franklin with Studio Rio
3. Sexual Healing (Studio Rio Version) - Marvin Gaye with Studio Rio
4. You've Changed (Rio Music Collective Version) - Billie Holiday with Studio Rio
5. Family Affair (Rio Music Collective Version) - Sly & The Family Stone with Studio Rio
6. It's Your Thing (Rio Music Collective Version) - The Isley Brothers with Studio Rio
7. I've Got You Under My Skin (Studio Rio Version) - Mel TormÉ witb Studio Rio
8. I Can See Clearly Now (Studio Rio Version) - Johnny Nash with Studio Rio
9. Take Five (Studio Rio Version) - Dave Brubeck & Carmen McRae with Studio Rio
10. Music to Watch Girls By (Studio Rio Version) - Andy Williams with Studio Rio
11. Summertime (Studio Rio Version) - Sarah Vaughan with Studio Rio$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition) (Awaiting Repress)10th Anniversary Edition On 180-Gram Gold Vinyl
Includes A B2 Pull-Out Poster, Handwritten Lyrics & Previously Unseen Photos
Comes With A Special Bonus 7 With 2 Unreleased Songs
Limited To Only 1000 Copies For North America
This Autumn Midlake will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Trials of Van Occupanther with a deluxe reissue via Bella Union on 180g gold vinyl, complete with a B2 pull-out poster, handwritten lyrics and previously unseen photos. The cover artwork has been reimagined in a fittingly flushed, hallucinatory painting by neo-impressionist (and pavement-scorching skateboarder) Brian Lotti. The original album will be accompanied by a special bonus 7" featuring two previously unreleased tracks, the plaintive rolling lament of "The Fairest Way" and the revelatory psychedelic swirl of "Festival," two tracks recorded before original vocalist Tim Smith departed the band.
In 2006, Van Occupanther was hailed as an instant classic and over the course of the next year proved to be the band's commercial breakthrough. While their debut, 2004's Bamnan and Slivercork, had drawn acclaim alongside comparisons to Grandaddy and Radiohead, Midlake looked further afield and deeper within for the follow-up. Suffused with a romantic yearning for the simpler life, this was a record pitched between 1871, 1971 and somewhere out of time: between Henry David Thoreau and Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, between 1970s Laurel Canyon thinking and a longing for something more mysterious. Rich reserves of wistful melody, dreamy horns, rolling guitars and plaintive pianos reflect its elusive, idiosyncratic narratives: a couple long to be robbed by bandits so they can start anew, an outcast scientist ponders his pariah status, a woman chases a frisky deer, a river leads who knows where yet leaves you little choice but to follow
Famous admirers included Thom Yorke, Beck, The Flaming Lips, Paul Weller, James Dean Bradfield, St Vincent, actor/skateboarder Jason Lee and The Chemical Brothers, and the album went on to secure high placings in the end-of-year polls. Since then, their influence has perhaps been felt in the breakthrough of many a band or singer at one with the stuff of beards, bucolic yearning and blissful West Coast harmonies, from Fleet Foxes to Band of Horses, The Low Anthem, Jonathan Wilson, Matthew E White and beyond.
Not that Midlake stood still to lap up the praise: a band acutely attuned to nature's shifts, they embraced change. In 2010 they ventured into darker psych-folk thickets for The Courage of Others and backed John Grant on his celebrated breakthrough album, Queen of Denmark. When Tim Smith subsequently departed, guitarist/singer Eric Pulido stepped up to the lead vocal role for 2013's freshly exploratory Antiphon. Since then, Pulido and various Midlake members have embarked on a new musical project with a cast of all-stars including members of Grandaddy, Franz Ferdinand, Band of Horses and Travis, for an album due for release next year. All of this serves to remind us what fertile seeds were sown with The Trials of Van Occupanther: a modern classic, made of vintage craft and timeless magic.1. Roscoe
3. Head Home
4. Van Occupanther
5. Young Bride
7. In This Camp
8. We Gathered In Spring
9. It Covers The Hillsides
10. Chasing After Deer
11. You Never Arrived
Bonus 7" Single
2. The Fairest Way$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + 7 Single - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Binary"My last record was very inward-looking," says Ani DiFranco. "I was pregnant and then raising a screaming infant. But now that kid is about to turn four, so I got out of the weeds of personal space and started looking outward again, being more engaged, more big 'P' Political. As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place. So when I'm not in heartbreak or motherhood mode, that's where you'll naturally find me."
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world's attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
She describes a moment during the writing of "Play God," an unblinking pro-choice battle cry, as a particular breakthrough. (A live version of the song was included in the anti-Trump "30 Days, 30 Songs" campaign alongside tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, and more.)
"When I wrote the line 'You don't get to play god, man/I do,' I paused and thought, 'Can I say that?,' " she says. "It's not the first time I've thought that, but it's been a while. And in that moment, I thought, 'I'm back, mothafuckas!'"
"When you make a record about family and relationships, people assume you're mommy now and you've lost your edge, and it's going to be all buttercups from here on. So that line had the feeling of 'Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!"
On Binary, DiFranco tackles the challenge and necessity of teaching non-violence with "Pacifist's Lament" and the need for empathy in "Terrifying Sight." Remarkably, though, these songs-recorded, in her usual fashion, in a couple of short full-sprint sessions spread across several years-were all written prior to the 2016 elections and attendant political turmoil.
"I'm not surprised," says DiFranco. "Over twenty-five years, I've found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they're about. I'm just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what's happening now-the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!"
She notes that Binary's title track is key to her intention on this project. "I always title a record from the song that seems to be at its core," she says. "An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy-nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that's only a surface story."
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology ("Sitting alone at home, staring at a screen, you can't really know anything, because knowing is engaging," she says), DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world.
"Every year on Goddess' Green Earth, I understand my relationship to it more," she says. "My early songs were all human drama. I don't think I noticed the bigger picture at all-I was transfixed by power dynamics between people. Now I see that it's largely the providence of women to really embody nature, so I do think I'm getting back to basics, and it's a shift for me."
The backbone of Binary's sound is DiFranco's long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. "I knew I wanted to involve some of my brilliant friends this time out," she says. "We made some calls and got a party going. That was the idea, to reach out and have some other spirits enter."
Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record; "they are so captivating and they elevate my shit whenever they come near it," says DiFranco. Other contributors include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of the tunes. "Their souls are of this place," she says. "The feel they bring is something they got in utero."
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her "Vote Dammit!" tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women's March on Washington and performing at the official Women's March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it's a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
"While I was precedent-setting at one time with Righteous Babe and my indie crusade, I feel like, in the time it took me to nurse another baby into being, I've fallen behind," she says. "The universe and technology have continued to evolve, and the idea of harnessing technology and crowd-sourcing everything-money, knowledge, revolution-is a very powerful concept that I'm ready to get more involved with. Righteous Babe is starting to grow now into something that will hopefully become avant-garde once again- more of a collective, more dynamic."
"I'm trying to figure it out daily," says Ani DiFranco. "Just like always."1. Binary
2. Pacifist's Lament
4. Play God
7. Even More
10. Terrifying Sight
11. Deferred Gratification$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now