- Lowest Price
- Highest Price
Not Dark Yet'
REDD-SIL-3815xShelby Lynne & Allison Moorer
Not Dark Yet (Pre-Order)Critically acclaimed artists and sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer will release Not Dark Yet via Silver Cross Records / Thirty Tigers. Produced by Teddy Thompson, their first and highly anticipated album together is an extraordinary debut of the pair's transcendent musical bond.
Not Dark Yet was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016. The album provides a potent look at the sisters' individual and collective artistry through eclectic song choices from writers ranging from the Louvin Brothers, Nick Cave, Kurt Cobain, and back to Jessie Colter. Shelby and Allison wrap their arms around the past, plant their feet in the present, and nod toward what's around the bend with a co-written Is It Too Much, to close out the ten-song set.1. My List
2. Every Time You Leave
3. Not Dark Yet
4. I'm Looking for Blue Eyes
6. The Color of a Cloudy Day
7. Silver Wings
8. Into My Arms
10. Is It Too Much$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Dark PlaceSome singers can create a mood far before the first syllables of lyric have been
woven into a full story; a tone, mixed to dissolve perfectly into music, can say it
all. Such is the case with Jessie Baylin, whose ethereal voice shoots the opening
notes of Dark Place, her fourth album, into instant emotive territory - it envelops
in a mysterious gauze, setting the stage for what is her most raw, personal
work yet and also her most thrilling.
Baylin's always been adept at capturing the fragile, complex state of
human relationships with a hand that understands the middle ground - things
aren't always what they seem, and she isn't afraid to play in that treacherous territory.
She often weaves a forlorn lyric with an optimistic vocal lick, or a cheerier
song with a foreboding crunch of guitar, looming like a distant thunderstorm; it
sometimes makes it difficult to tell if a track is innately happy or sad, but that's
the point. Dark Place is the epitome of this dichotomy.
It's the combination of elements on Dark Place that make it such a
rattling look into not only Baylin's mind but the human condition: her voice, in its
other-worldly tone that can be both angelic and deeply plaintive, cuts through
poetic lyrics with throbbing guitars that carve scratches at the beautiful surface,
bounding free of both classification and genre. She's Nico, if she could sing like
Nina Simone; she's Dusty Springfield fronting Mazzy Star. "Dusty," she says,
before adding, "on Quaaludes."1. Creepers (Young Love)
2. To Hell And Back (
3. Black Blood
4. White Noise
5. Kiss Your Face
6. All That I Can Do
7. The Ringer
8. London Time
10. Dark Place
11. Do You Wanna Dance$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dark Side Of The MoonRanked 43/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Remastered From The Original Analogue Tapes By James Guthrie, Joel Plante, And Bernie Grundman
Pink Floyd's most successful and singularly defining album is here to stay. The Dark Side of the Moon has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since its release in 1973, and it shows no signs of letting up. With lush, immaculate production and sweeping instrumentals, The Dark Side of the Moon is unrivaled in sonic brilliance. The complex textures found within have captivated audiophiles for over thirty years.
With lyrics about seemingly mundane details set against dreamy, atmospheric backdrops, the songs on The Dark Side of the Moon achieve a truly emotional response. Performances are not virtuosic, but they are brilliant nonetheless and were likewise brilliantly recorded. Abbey Road Studios engineer Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd made use of some of the most advanced techniques available at the time to craft a sound that was innovative yet entirely classic, by any sense of the word. Swirling organs, mellow drums, and spacious guitars are signature sounds that have been inextricably linked with Pink Floyd's magnificent songwriting.
The Dark Side of the Moon is a peerless entry in the annals of classic rock history. No record collection should be without this multi-platinum masterpiece.1. Speak to Me
2. Breathe in the Air
3. On the Run
5. The Great Gig in the Sky
7. Us and Them
8. Any Colour You Like
9. Brain Damage
10. Eclipse$30.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Tomorrow's HarvestThe idolized and enigmatic duo are back. After considerable speculation by their rabid fan base (not to mention the media following every step of the way), Boards of Canada have revealed that their new album Tomorrow's Harvest will be released on June 11 via their long time home, Warp Records. Musically, the album is somehow dark yet positive, with atmospheric dissonance and mind-bending melodic creations.LP1
2. Reach For The Dead
3. White Cyclosa
4. Jacquard Causeway
6. Cold Earth
7. Transmisiones Ferox
8. Sick Times
1. Palace Posy
2. Split Your Infinities
4. Nothing Is Real
6. New Seeds
7. Come To Dust
8. Semena Mertvykh$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
New Skin For The Old Ceremony
When Cohen became known as a musician in his late 30s people were surprised that his music seemed to come out fully formed.
Many were familiar with his work as an author and poet, but did not know that he had been a musician for most of his life.
For Cohen, making music was another way to bring his poetry to the people. The dark thrall of his songs portray an artist that is ever able to trace the hidden contours of love, lust, sex, religion, politics and history.
'New Skin For The Old Ceremony', his 4th studio album from 1974, is a distinct move towards richer arrangements and greater musicality, yet through simple song structures the attention is still drawn to the poetry of the lyrics.
This first vinyl re-issue since its original release includes 'Who By Fire', a duet with Janis Ian, and a song about Cohen's relationship with Janis Joplin, 'Chelsey Hotel #2'.1. Is This What You Wanted
2. Chelsea Hotel #2
3. Lover Lover Lover
4. Field Commander Cohen
5. Why Don't You Try
6. There Is a War
7. A Singer Must Die
8. I Tried to Leave You
9. Who by Fire
10. Take This Longing
11. Leaving Greensleeves$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Something Wicked This Way ComesAfter the success of The Dark Saga, many were curious to see what steps Iced Earth would take to further elevate their position within the metal scene. There were many expectations about the new album, and of course, Iced Earth did not disappoint. They turned out yet another acclaimed album containing something old, something new, and most definitely something wicked. With thirteen tracks, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a roller-coaster ride which showcases Iced Earth's talent in many different forms. Ranging from the crushingly dark and heavy Disciples of the Lie to the heartfelt and introspective Watching Over Me, Something Wicked is bound to please both longtime fans and new listeners. The highlight of the album is another album-ending trilogy, entitled Something Wicked. Taking some musical cues from the Stormrider era and merging them with the newest Iced Earth sound, Something Wicked weaves a mysterious tale of prophecy, conspiracy, and the history of mankind. This powerful composition is a prelude to a future Iced Earth album, but even on its own, it stands as a masterful piece of work. To any metal fans who feel a void in their collection, it will be filled the day that Something Wicked comes to you.LP 1
1. Burning Times
2. Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
3. Disciples of the Lie
4. Watching over Me
5. Stand Alone
7. My Own Savior
1. Reaping Stone
3. Blessed Are You
5. Birth of the Wicked
6. The Coming Curse$25.99Vinyl LP Reissue - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Ghost Who WalksOn her debut disc, The Ghost Who Walks, Karen Elson spins intriguingly unsettling tales of lost love, dashed hope, romantic betrayal and various crimes of passion witnessed only by the full moon. In a coolly inviting voice, strumming an acoustic guitar, she summons up a dark yet seductive atmosphere, an after-midnight world that's irresistibly alluring. The arrangements for her small band - featuring the virtuosic Jackson Smith on guitar, Elson's longtime collaborator Rachelle Garniez on accordion and vocals, and husband-producer Jack White on drums -- evoke the lonesome side of country (''Cruel Summer'') or the tormented side of the blues (''The Truth Is In the Dirt''), with eerie organ touches, and keening electric guitars.
Until now, the British-born Elson has been better known as a top model, the face of ad campaigns for, among others, Armani, Prada, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent's Poison. With her pale white skin and shocking red hair, she seems an almost otherworldly presence on any given glossy page. While she assiduously worked as the face of various brands, she conducted an altogether different life behind the scenes as a singer and songwriter, honing what has proven to be her considerable skills. In part, she learned by doing: for the last five years, she's been a member, alongside Garniez, in the Weimar-style cabaret of New York City-based art and music collective The Citizens Band. Two of her more theatrical tracks, ''100 Years From Now'' and ''Mouths To Feed,'' inspired in part by author Tim Egan's dust bowl saga, The Worst Hard Time, were originally penned for her troupe, which combines bawdy entertainment with barbed political commentary.
The Ghost Who Walks may not be drawn literally from Elson's life, but it does represent an aspect of her psyche she's been brave enough to explore: ''I'm very much interested in the dark side of things. In my life, truthfully, I've had a lot of bizarre and dark experiences that have definitely colored the way I think about a lot of personal things. The music I have always listened to as well has had a sorrowful, mournful, if not murderous, quality to it.'' She pauses to laugh. ''I'm not saying I would ever want to kill anybody, but sometimes love can drag you to the very depths of yourself and - my God - make you so desperate and forlorn. I really respond to songs that write about that. Hank Williams, for crying out loud, speaking of being forlorn and forsaken -- there's a song I just heard of his, an early demo, that really resonated with me. Those songs move me in a way that happy go lucky songs don't.''1. The Ghost Who Walks
2. The Truth Is In The Dirt
3. Pretty Babies
5. 100 Years From Now
6. Stolen Roses
7. Cruel Summer
9. The Birds They Circle
10. A Thief At My Door
11. The Last Laugh
12. Mouths To Feed$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Light: On The South Side (Awaiting Repress)2 LPs and 132-page book!
Between 1975-1977, Chicago's South Side night clubs were a little lighter. Photographer Michael Abramson hit Perv's House, Pepper's Hideout, The High Chaparral, The Patio Lounge, and The Showcase Lounge, not to capture the artists on stage, instead popping off a half dozen rolls every night on the crowd. Light: On The South Side gathers for the first time over 100 of these images, as Numero Group shines its own strobe on yet another dark corner of the past. The 132-page hard back book features photos, an ephemera section, and an essay by Nick Hornby.
Housed in a gorgeous slipcase with the 12x12 book is Pepper's Jukebox, a seventeen track compilation of the kind of funky Chicago blues heard from the stage and the Wurlitzer. The deluxe 2LP set is packaged in a sharp gatefold jacket with two inner sleeves crammed to the gills with label scans and stories. All in all, it's the classiest Numero record ever made, spotted easily from across the room with its near 2 spine.
Light: On the South Side is undoubtedly Numeros most extravagant and audaciously packaged seta dazzling collection that should receive an automatic Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package. Housed in a slipcase box, the compilations 2-LP gatefold vinyl and 132-page hardbound 12x12 book offer the ultimate immersion into Chicagos African-American South Side nightclubs and the sounds, sights, personalities, and smells that filled them on a nightly basis. The gorgeous collection is a prerequisite for any fan of blues, R&B, and soul (and by natural extension, rock and pop)and anyone curious to glimpse a bygone era of life-after-dark celebrations staged by urbanites that lived for evenings on the dance floor, in front of the Wurlitzer, and in leather booths surrounded by the opposite sex, booze, and cigarettes. -Bob Gendron, TONE Audio, Issue 251. Arlean Brown - I'm A Streaker Baby
2. Bobby Rush - Bowlegged Woman
3. Ricky Allen - No Better Time Than Now
4. Little Mac Simmons - The Same One
5. Lady Margo - This Is My Prayer
6. Andrew Brown - You Made Me Suffer
7. Artie White - Gimmie Some Of Yours
8. Lucille Span - Women's Lib
9. Hugh Hawkins - Bring It Down Front
10. Slim Willis Band - I Sayed That
11. Little Ed - It's A Dream
12. Syl Johnson - Is It Because I'm Black
13. Walter 'Butterball' Davis - Baby Watcha' Doing
14. Willie Williams - Detroit Blues
15. Little Mack - Goose Walk
16. Detroit Jr. - Young Blood
17. Willie Davis - I Learned My Lesson
18. James Kind - California Lady$60.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
BloomBloom is the fourth full-length album by Beach House. Like their previous releases, Beach House (2006), Devotion (2008) and Teen Dream (2010), it further develops their distinctive sound yet stands apart as a new piece of work. The landscape of Bloom was largely designed on the road, between the countless sound checks and myriad experiences during two years of touring. Throughout this period, melodies, chords, rhythms, words and textures surfaced in moments of their own choosing. These spontaneous ideas were later gathered and developed in Baltimore, MD where the band members Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand live and work.
Bloom was then recorded in late 2011 over a period of seven weeks at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX and mixed for another two at Electric Lady in NC. The band co-produced the record with Chris Coady. Bloom is meant to be experienced as an album. A singular, unified vision of the world. Many songs were omitted or dropped because they lacked a place within our vision for this album, notes Scally. Though not stripped down, the many layers of Bloom are uncomplicated and meticulously constructed to ensure that there is no waste. Each chord and melody performs its role to form a whole.
The songs have depth and reveal themselves in new ways through repeated listenings. As a complete work, Bloom transcends the banality of simple emotions and arrives at a realm of honesty and complexity. It soberly reveals how frightening and temporary, yet beautiful, our existence is. It creates an honest reflection of death, as it must to relate to life. To this Legrand adds, Bloom is a journey. For me, it is about the irreplaceable power of imagination as it relates to the intense experience of living. A bloom is only temporary, a fleeting vision of life in all of its intensity and color, beautiful even if only for a moment. 2LP pressing with expanded outer sleeve in glow in the dark in, four inner sleeves and MP3 coupon.1. Myth
4. Other People
5. The Hours
7. New Year
9. On The Sea
10. Irene$20.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-SUR-0912xThe Burning Of Rome
With UsThe Burning of Rome's style can not be forced into any known genre without taking shortcuts and over looking its originality. Imagine a Gothic band collides with a Jewish Carnival (if there's such a thing), the result would be The Burning of Rome. Its dark tones and circus like melodies intermingle into one spontaneous, yet entertaining work of musicianship. They hail from the San Diego area.
Blistering live shows and melodic hooks. Blending gypsy punk, dance and rock into a mind-bending stew, this is music for the new world.The thrillingly eerie, impossibly fun five-piece ensemble The Burning of Rome will unleash their musical mosaic debut studio album on indie fiends far and wide. WITH US explodes into ears on September 18th, 2012. Nominated for Best Alternative in the 2012 San Diego Music Awards, the band is leaving a cult of believers in their wake. WITH US will galvanize even the most disparaged souls.
"A lot is riding on this new record." Adam Traub checks in by phone about his band the Burning of Rome and their new disc. "Kind of everything. We've got a good relationship with our label (Surfdog Records.) I'm treating it like it's our chance to break out. Everything came together at the same time - the booking agent, the label, and the publicist. It's sink or swim time."1. Ballad Of An Onion Sprout
2. Little Piranhas
3. Cowboys & Cut Cigars
4. Norman Bates
5. Wake Up Edamame
7. Why Can't I Stop Killing My Friends?
8. Audrey II
9. Opus For Sleepwalking
10. The Universe Is Made of Nonsense$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Saturn/Mystery Mr. Ra (Awaiting Repress)Sun Ra's angular yet strident and soulful Saturn," recorded in 1958, displays bluesy cubist bop in perfect alter-dimensional extension of Fletcher Henderson. It's also a showcase for John Gilmore's sax acrobatics and supersonic swing. Gilmore dove deep into the Ra Omniverse; got the concept - as Coltrane described the tenor giant - hooked by this composition, and never left. Dual baritones of Pat Patrick and Charles Davis (who continues in the front line of the living, glowing Arkestra of 2016!) boil underneath Sunny, skipping lightyear intervals on the ivories. Mystery, Mr. Ra, recorded live in 1984 and originally unissued, is just on the friendly side of ominous. Its deep funk, delivered by James Jacson on the Ancient Egyptian Astro Infinity Drum, lifts up Ra's dark bravado with no uncertainty:
I'm Mister Re, King of the Kingdom of Mystery
I represent the splendor of the Magic Myth
I'm not a part of history
I belong to the Myth you see
Part 2 of Mystery involves Sun Ra's conduction and Arkestral space chords, collective emissions of precision and discipline from the Ra jail." Marshall Allen is heard on alto at the conclusion.1. Saturn
2. Mystery Mr. Ra$9.997 Vinyl Single - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
In The Magic HourAoife (pronounced EEE-fah) O'Donovan's debut solo album, Fossils, was released to critical acclaim and ended up on many "Best of 2013" lists from outlets like NPR Music, American Songwriter, New York Magazine and No Depression, among others. Aoife appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, NPR's Weekend Edition, SiriusXM The Coffee House and The Village. President Obama even exposed himself as a fan by including the track "Red and White and Blue and Gold" on his first official Spotify playlist in the summer of 2015. Since it's release, Fossils has sold more than 22,000 copies worldwide, and Aoife is poised to break through with her new album, In The Magic Hour.The songwriting process for In The Magic Hour coincided with the death of Aoife's grandfather, at age 93. She remembers him as a "gentle soul" in the small Irish village of Clonakilty where he lived. The lyrics on In the Magic Hour are infused with a sense of loss and mortality's dark certainty.
But the album is just as much an ode to Aoife's joyful childhood visits to Ireland. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and flocks of cousins would gather at the Clonakilty seaside to swim in the chilly ocean and sing together in the lingering Irish summer twilight. Aoife had not yet performed many of the songs live before arranging and recording them over the course of three sessions in Tucker Martine's (The Decemberists, Neko Case), studio in Portland, OR. "The whole recording process was really Tucker [Martine] and me taking these songs and building them from the ground up," Aoife says. The result is deliberate but not over-done, the freshness of the material intact. While In The Magic Hour rekindles the creative partnership with Grammy-nominated producer Martine, the album also highlights the fruits of Aoife's various career collaborations. Composer Gabriel Kahane, New York's string quartet Brooklyn Rider and musician Chris Thile all lend musical and vocal support, as well as I'm With Her band members Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz, plus many more.1. Stanley Park
2. Magic Hour
3. Porch Light
6. Donal Óg
7. The King of All Birds
8. Not The Leaving
9. Detour Sign
10. Jupiter$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Everything Is Debatable (Awaiting Repress)Hellogoodbye: Everything is Debatable - Is everybody ready for an inspired cacophony of joyful sound contrasted with dark yet mature lyrics? If so, take a listen to Everything Is Debatable. This album is the sonic personification of live for today because you might not get tomorrow. The album deals extensively with death, but instead of descending into depression, the album explodes with energy. It's as if Hellogoodbye sees death coming and there's a lot on their bucket list, the culmination of which is a great album.
The concept of death leads off the album with the opening line to 'And Everything Becomes a Blur'. "All the friends we made along the way, everyone single one will pass away". Later in the album the concept is explored further with 'Die Young, Die Dumb; Not Soon' and with the album's closer, 'A Near Death Experience'. The final track vacillates between slow build, soaring self-exploration and almost jazz-inspired interludes. 'Die Young, Die Dumb; Not Soon' uses the concept of death as more of a joke. The plan of the title is to pass away before cynicism infiltrates your psyche: die before you're no longer open-minded, but hopefully "not soon".
The album is quite adept at dance tracks as well. '(Everything is) Debatable' is an inspired, danceable song. It is rich and full and it never leaves the listener bored. Every moment is complete with a new sound to hear, a new instrument being shown off. 'Just Don't Let Go Just Don't' is another really great dance track. This entire album is a clinic in how dance tracks can be exciting without being vapid. The electronic base line mixed with the real guitars and drums is brilliant. Hellogoodbye mixes the real with the synthetic like a brilliant designer.That blend is really what completes the album. A track is never fully synthetic or completely grounded with real instruments. The blend is always present and well thought out.
Probably my favorite song on the album is also its darkest. 'Summer of the Lily Pond' explores the details of disagreements and discovers that the author is in fact the one that "was wrong". The concept is explored with fantastic horns that capture the brassy feeling of regret. It is perhaps the least synthetic song on the album and its contrasting presence highlights the brilliance of the album.
- Jay Abbondanza (Violent Success)1. And Everything Becomes A Blur
2. (Everything Is) Debatable
3. The Magic Hour Is Now
4. Swear You're In Love
5. Summer Of The Lily Pond
6. Just Don't Let Go Just Don't
7. I Don't Worry (as Much As I Should)
8. How Wrong I Can Be
9. An External Force
10. Die Young, Die Dumb; Not Soon
11. A Near Death Experience$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Phantom Vibrate EPLuckyMe are very proud to present Jacques Greene's Phantom Vibrate EP, a three track club 12" of JGs most sophisticated songs to date. Phantom Vibrate explores themes of human interaction with technology as he embarks on a new hardware show and string of headline launch events in the three cities that helped model his signature blend of techno, house & contemporary R&B: Brooklyn, Montreal & London.
Now residing in New York, Jacques Greene is a producer helping define the next template for dance music - something not beholden to purist abstract language of what's 'real' house music or techno. No, JG is singularly absorbing experimental influences, hip hop & R&B. It's ironic then that should the old guard of dance music take notice of this artist. Greene continues to write on analogue hardware - he's DJ sets a journey through Chicago and Detroit, albeit ending up in the contemporary hubs of London & Atlanta. Since his early releases The Look, Another Girl and last summers massive On Your Side featuring How To Dress Well - he has proven himself as an artist who doesn't think in tracks. These are considered EPs with deliberate aesthetic themes. 'No Excuse', sees JG dust off his trademark vocal phrasing but here there's another layer of intensity to his previous tracks. The vocals aren't central this time. This track is about hard shuffling taikos and owes more to hip hop production while 'Feel What' is euphoric gospel house. The sample is processed into a plate chorus that lifts a rhythm section of jacking hats and Prince-esque chords. It's ascendant, reaching a hazey pinnacle before disappearing under sparkling synths. B2 'Night Tracking' is on ode to JG's old club night in Montreal that was responsible for refining his tastes and cutting his teeth alongside many legends. The track is pure hardware work out - and yet it's cinematic in its evocation of dark dancefloors & midnight car rides. Just like so much of Greene's music, it's alive and deeply visual.1. No Excuse
2. Time Again (Feel What)
3. Night Tracking$12.99Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
Music (On Sale)Released on the heels of her breakthrough, Tapestry, Carole Kings Music is every bit the equal of its more famous predecessor, a Number One smash that features impeccable songwriting, infallible melodies, and extraordinary piano playing. In short, everything thats made King an institution. After of years of being overshadowed, this 1971 singer-songwriter classic has finally been given the audiophile treatment its long deserved.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited-edition 180g LP of Kings second solo masterpiece is rife with intimacy, transparency, soulfulness, and you-are-there sound. Never before remastered, Music seems like a brand-new album, Kings familiar voice, intelligent arrangements, and ravishing support band presented on a deep, three-dimensional soundstage. Your appreciation for and understanding of Kings inspirational lyrics and ravishing performances will increase tenfold. Mobile Fidelitys 180g LP brings you that much closer.
Accompanied by percussionist Bobbye Hall, drummer Russ Kinkel, guitarist/vocalist James Taylor, and a cavalcade of professional wind musicians, King delves further into R&B and jazz-derived pop, coming up aces every time. Warm, intelligent, and cohesive, songs echo with simplicity and honesty. And as is typical of much of Kings work, several of tunes here were later covered by other artists, including Its Going To Take Some Time (the Carpenters). Yet the originals trump the later renditions, and the rendition of the standard Some Kind of Wonderful stands as the best ever recorded.
With Taylor lending more of a hand on Music than he does on Tapestry, King expands her confident reach on the piano and peppers the songs with graceful touches of saxophone, flute, pedal-steel guitar, and woodwinds. Ballads sway (Surely), gospel brightness lifts spirits (Brighter), and backup vocals float heavenly pop (Song of Long Ago). Yet the best aspect is Kings voice, infused with fondness, concern, joy, and a quiet power that parallels the delicacy and deliberate nature that define Music.
Mobile Fidelitys audiophile edition is free of the limiting artifacts that have helped keep this record in the dark for the better part of the past few decades. Previously diminished, acoustic guitars, subtle brass elements, and soft percussion contribute to the enjoyment of the songs, and Kings voice pleasant, assuring, emotion comes through with incredible clarity and inflection. The brilliance of the legendary Lou Adlers original production is restored to its full glory.
If its at all possible and it is this treasure now sounds even more heartwarming than it did upon original release. The companion to Tapestry, Music is an aural and sonic delight.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1.Brother, Brother
2.It's Going to Take Some Time
4.Some Kind of Wonderful
6.Carry Your Load
8.Song of Long Ago
10.Growing Away from Me
11.Too Much Rain
12.Back to California$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-JAG-5517xSharon Van Etten
Are We ThereFor all the attention that was paid to her 2012 break-through Tramp, Sharon Van Etten is an
artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper,writing from a place of honesty
and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match.
Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is
Are We There, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy,sublime generosity, and immense
Most musicians are quite happy to leave the production end of things to someone else. It's
enough to live your music without taking on the role of producer as well. Yet Van Etten knew it
was time to make a record entirely on her terms. The saying goes "fortune favors the bold" and
yet this boldness had to be tempered. For this,Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music
producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on Boardwalk Empire,they gently moved
into new roles,rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman's studio in New
Jersey. Lerman's studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make Are We There the way she
imagined.Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods
Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins, and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam
Granduciel from The War on Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater),Jana Hunter(Lower Dens),
Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott(Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C. Morris and Mickey Freeze.
It is clear from the opening chords in the first song, Afraid of Nothing, that we are witnessing a
new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing,producing and performing from a place
that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying
away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Etten's songwriting continues to
evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then
resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and
loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary,waiting, of silence.
The artist who speaks in such a voice is urging us to do something,to take hold and to go deeper.
Living in this way,the questions of life remain alive, as close and steady as breathing. Many of the
ballads of old are as dark as pitch, and people for whom the issues of life and death were as vivid
as flame wrote them.You could turn off the electricity,remove all the instruments and Sharon's
voice and words would remain.They connect her to the mystic stratum which flows just beneath
the everyday, which is rarely acknowledged as the forces of distraction sweep our attention away.1. Afraid of Nothing
2. Taking Chances
3. Your Love is Killing Me
4. Our Love
6. I Love You But I'm Lost
7. You Know Me Well
8. Break Me
9. Nothing Will Change
10. I Know
11. Every Time the Sun Comes Up$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Angel Guts: Red ClassroomAngel Guts: Red Classroom is the beginning of Xiu Xiu's descent from grayness into the deepest blackness endurable. It is the sound of Xiu Xiu's death.
This is a bold proposition, even for a band that has never so much pushed the envelope as pulled it (forcefully) away from the line other musicians are willing to toe. And now, in what is unquestionably their darkest hour, Xiu Xiu have lit the envelope on fire and are using it as a torch to light the path ahead.
Having spent the previous four years living in North Carolina, primary songwriter Jamie Stewart relocated to Los Angeles, moving blindly into a neighborhood whose notoriously dangerous reputation was unknown to him.
A park divided among four gangs, a lake routinely dragged for bodies, a building wherein two infant skeletons were recently uncovered -- the aura of his new home bleeds into every pore of the album, each lyric and note bearing traces of its essence: the terrible beauty, the despair, the violence, the ultra humanity, the uncertainty.
I know to a degree I must have romanticized it, Stewart admits, But when it's not safe to go out at night, what else can one?
Romanticized is hardly the word anyone other than Stewart would use. Like its namesake, a Japanese erotic noir film, Angel Guts: Red Classroom is as radical as it is inventive. The subject matter -- racialized sex, double suicide, double penetration, criminality, fear of physical harm -- is unsuitable for the faint of heart. But when the heart has stopped beating, only the soul remains to carry on. And here, Stewart transcribes his without boundaries.
Your face is down alone / On your desk / At the end of the city / You were squashed into / There is no one you love. So begins the album's first verse.
In the wrong hands, such topics could be rendered as far-fetched fantasies. But Stewart's evocative vocals lend his provocative lyrics the balance they need, grounding them in a stark realism that forces us to acknowledge their existence, even confront them (as discomforting as that is).
Unsettling, too, is the music. Working with only analog synths, drum set, and 1970's analog drum machines, Xiu Xiu has never before sounded so focused, so captivating, so intent on delivering a kick to the throat.
Though influences can be cited (Suicide, Kraftwerk, Nico, EinstÜrzende Neubauten), they are ultimately far less relevant than the mark this album will leave on other musicians and music fans from this point forward.
Take Stupid in the Dark -- its tone ominous and pulsing, its harmonies simple and direct, its grip unrelenting. Or Botanica de Los Angeles, a sparse, yet undeniably anthemic merging of bruising drums and bone-rattling bass synths.
Unbearably dark, yet incredibly illuminating, on the John Congleton-produced Angel Guts: Red Classroom Xiu Xiu continues to forge (and at times risk) its reputation as avant-garde pioneers. It is the work of a band unraveling to its core and exposing the boldness within.
Xiu Xiu may be dead, but its will is more alive than ever.1. Angel Guts
2. Archie's Fades
3. Stupid in the Dark
4. Lawrence Liquors
5. Black Dick
6. New Life Immigration
7. EL Naco
8. Adult Friends
9. The Silver Platter
10. Bitter Melon
11. A Knife in the Sun
12. Cinthya's Unisex
13. Botanica de Los Angeles
14. Red Classroom$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDI-YEP-3615xFujiya & Miyagi
VentriloquizzingAfter two years experimenting in the shadows, cutting edge minimalist-funk heroes Fujiya & Miyagi are back with their darkest and most propulsive set yet. The band's fourth full-length, Ventriloquizzing has a dark heart, via its throbbing electro-glam beat and menacing lyrics. I think there's an underlying anger, or perhaps just annoyance, at institutions and people in general, and probably ourselves too, says singer/guitarist David Best. And it also seemed like the right time to work with someone else to help us avoid going to our default setting, which the band combated by bringing in a co-producer for the first time in the form of famed producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Pernice Brothers), their first time not self-producing. Written in Brighton, UK and recorded in Sacramento, CA; Ventriloquizzing is likely the first (and last) black comedy you can dance to.1. Ventriloquizzing
2. Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue
3. Cat Got Your Tongue
4. Taiwanese Boots
9. Spilt Milk
10. Tinsel & Glitter
11. Universe$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me (Black Vinyl)Black Vinyl Version
When Brand New released Deja Entendu in mid-2003, it caught a lot of their fans off guard. It found the band taking a stylistic leap forward from the clever (albeit cookie-cutter) pop-punk of their 2001 debut, exploring expanded sonic textures and indie rock overtones, their urgent choruses tempered by acoustic musings and softer introspections. It all seemed very deliberate yet completely natural all the same, and the record was an underground smash. Something even more substantial was definitely brewing beneath the band's emo façade, and as a result, Brand New's follow-up was hotly anticipated for the three years it took the band to release it. The resulting The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is the completion of their pop-punk molting process and one of the best surprises -- that isn't really a surprise at all -- to come out of 2006. Even when they were playing straightforward pop-punk ditties, Brand New had an edge to them that made them seem smarter than their peers; now they sound even older and stronger (and like they've been listening to a lot of '90s college and indie rock). This record is dark and dense, yet accessible, a shadowy air permeating every crevice where Jesse Lacey's plaintive and often tortured lyrics aren't already residing. He draws listeners in with vulnerable ruminations and questions of love, death, self, and religion, and his vocal inflections bring as much meaning to the table as his carefully chosen words. The opening Sowing Season ebbs and flows steadily, moving along under light guitar before exploding with percussion, Lacey ably switching from a hushed delivery into an anguished cry of emotion before falling back down again effortlessly. With it, Brand New sets up the somber intensity of the record straightaway. Textural and sonic layers unfold at every turn -- punching drums and trembling guitars here, aching vocals and subtle touches of string there -- and the album moves with a directed force that seems so naturally powerful and uncontrived, it's almost ridiculous to think that the band cut its teeth with poppy anthems like Jude Law and a Summer Abroad. The Devil and God is not an album of hooks; the excellent percussive stomp of The Archers Bows Have Broken is the most immediate here, but songs get stuck in the brain nonetheless and demand repeated spins. Old fans especially smitten by Deja's Play Crack the Sky have no excuse not to love everything about this record, as even lengthy tracks (like the near-eight-minute Limousine or the chill-inducing beauty of Jesus) are completely compelling. People who were ready to discount Brand New into the emo/TRL heap of the 2000s better rethink their stance; Brand New seems to know exactly what they're doing and this record is a testament to their ability to stay true to themselves. Whether they want to stay underground or fully break into the mainstream, this album has the potential to do either. Either way it doesn't really matter -- whatever happens, there's no denying how excellent this record is.
- Corey Apar (All Music)1. Sowing Season
5. Limousine (MS Rebridge)
6. You Won't Know
7. Welcome to Bangkok
8. Not the Sun
11. The Archers' Bows Have Broken$42.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Funky Was The State Of AffairsFergus and Geronimo's leap between their early R&B-influenced singles and their first wildly diverse record was so daring, many music writers and fans were forced to reconsider the pigeonhole to which they had already damned them. Happily damned them, since, after all, those early tracks went over exceptionally well. But observers and admirers were also left doing something not many get to experience in this dime-a-dozen singles renaissance: scratching their heads concerning what this group would do next. After a first record that was such a departure, not only did they wonder, they actually cared.
Founding member Andrew Savage is very conscious of the risks the band took, the changes that were made in order to avoid being marginalized. Says Savage: "Jason (Kelly) and I had no interests in becoming lost in the indie rock/garage rock milieu. The nature of those early singles was that they were instantaneously gratifying, and we both wanted to make a record that was ultimately gratifying, but not necessarily instantaneous."
Now we have an idea of how far Fergus and Geronimo are continuing to take their gradually conceptual ambitions, in the form of their second full-length record, Funky Was The State of Affairs.
Like some of history's most well-regarded and oft-reissued acts, the group is doing exactly what they are compelled to do: making an album that actually plays like a cohesively complete statement. "I feel like bands aren't really making albums anymore. By that I mean, a start to finish concept meant to be listened to in its entirety. Labels are more interested in singles, which is in a tail-wags-dog sort of way.
And yet the record is entirely unpredictable, even as it tackles reoccurring themes, which Savage says include, "aliens, technology, intergalactic dating/hooking up, the Roman Empire, and the earthling resistance movement." At times the story seems filtered through the earthling point of view; in the next, extraterrestrials listen to phone-tapped conversations by some understandably paranoid humans.
Though at times it sounds like fairly serious subject matter, the group employs a sharp-tongued attack with the same sort of gallows humor cracked wise by the likes of their equally Doubting Thomas inspirational figures, everyone from the Mothers of Invention to Devo. Within the first few minutes, the tone is set; the bright, spiky, opening track over a Krautrock rhythm, "No Parties," contains a line summarizing the restlessness caused by the alienation of modern habits, sung in a mock-English accent: "Collecting devices, you're paying the prices/Of over consumption, with mental destruction."
"Basically, its a dystopian sound-scape of our civilization's collapse," says Savage. Indeed, those feelings of dread are sometimes instrumentally emphasized by passages of synthesizer static and noise, which Savage attributes to being influenced by groups like Chrome. New members Bob Jones (guitar, bass, analog synth) and Jef Brown (Tenor Sax) also add to the playful chaos. Savage says the original duo added members in order to achieve "the tightness that can only come from recording with a live core," as "musicianship is extremely important to Jason and I."
Since Brown and Jones both played in the self-explanatory Evolutionary Jass Band, which evolved out of the equally experimental Jackie-O Motherfucker, there is an expansion in the group's improvisational capabilities that wasn't as obvious on past recordings. Yet nothing sounds forced, each interlude is enjoyable, each hip-hop-inspired skit serves a narrative-pushing purpose. The record bounces from Booker T-styled soul ("Wiretapping Muzak I and II") to early '80s New York dance rock ("Marky Move") with an immodest ease.
"Hi, I'm Heather Strange, and I'm a 23-year-old human earthling female" says a woman between the first and second track. "Really, I'm just looking for a man whose cerebral capabilities haven't been fried by LCD screens yet." Most people reading this might be able to relate to Heather's plight, or worse yet, sink under the weight of being the type of person she's desperately seeking to avoid. But such is the genius of Fergus and Geronimo. They have made all of these variously opposing forces; dark and light, alien and earthling, melody and noise, condemning and being condemned, something that you feel like listening to over and over again. If only to hear what happens next.1. Planet Earth is Pregnant for the 5th Time
2. No Parties
3. The Strange One Speaketh
4. Roman Tick
5. My Phone's Been Tapped, Baby
6. Roman Nvmerals/Wiretapping Muzak I
8. Earthling Men
9. The Uncanny Valley
10. Earthling Women
12. Wiretapping Muzak II
13. Off the Map
14. The Roman Stuff is Where it's At
15. Marky Move
16. Funky Was the State of Affairs$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Songs In A&EWho would have thought that Jason Pierce's Spiritualized would have had any life in them after the rather uninspiring Amazing Grace in 2003? In the intervening five years, Pierce nearly died from double pneumonia. Near death experiences by their very nature are life-changing events. The music on Songs in A&E were recorded in that aftermath, but most of the album was written two years before he got sick; with so much of it about near death and survival, it feels like life imitating art. From the first notes of Sweet Talk, it's obvious that a very different Spiritualized is up and about; an acoustic guitar, a sparse drum kit, the voice quartet, a few horns, and a minimal bassline fuel it. Pierce sweetly croons to a loved one in waltz time; his words are
simultaneously appeasing and accusatory. The gospel chorus isn't as overblown as it was on Amazing Grace or Let It Come Down. They are in a support role, offering Pierce's reedy voice a fullness and authority it wouldn't have otherwise. The arrangement is lilting but powerful. How strange, then, the sounds of a ventilator that usher in the next track Death Take Your Fiddle: I think I'll drink myself into a coma/And I'll take every way out I can find/But morphine, codeine, Whisky, they won't alter/The way I feel/Now death is not around...Death take your fiddle/And play a song for me. Minor-key acoustic
guitar and ghostly bass frame Pierce singing a mutant folk-blues that evokes Gary Davis' Death Don't Have No Mercy. The backing vocals float
wordlessly like death angels, hovering around the vocalist and giving the tune an otherworldly quality.
But this isn't a song about dying; it's a song about coming close and cheating it; it's eerie. The proof? The next two tracks: I Gotta Fire, and Soul on
Fire. The former is a taut, Gimme Shelter-esque rocker, the latter, a lush, uptempo love song. Sitting on Fire is a beautifully orchestrated love song:
it's an admission of weakness and codependency but celebrates both of them at the same time: Baby, I'm sitting on fire/but the flames put a hole in my
heart/when we're together we stand so tall/But a part of me falls to the floor/Sets me free /I do believe it'll burn up in me for the rest of my life. Strings,
vibes, marimbas, and drums crash in to the center of the mix carrying the protagonist into oblivion. Yeah, Yeah is a scorching rocker that feels like the
Bad Seeds meeting the old Spacemen 3. You Lie You Cheat, crashes in Velvets style with acoustic guitar and screeching feedback. The chorus sings
atop a flailing drum kit, distorted strings, and wailing electric guitar. The marimbas and strings that power Baby, I'm Just a Fool, sweetly underscore a
very dark pop song, complete with da-do-da-do-dat det-det-do's. It descends into beautifully textured chaos led by a loopy violin solo over seven
minutes. Songs in A&E is the most consistent recording Spiritualized has issued since 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. It
contains the best elements of the band's signature sound, and paradoxically hedonistic yet utterly spiritual lyric themes. That said, newly focused energy,
willfully restrained arrangements, and taut compositions give the set a sheer emotional power that no Spiritualized recording has ever displayed before,
making it, quite possibly, their finest outing yet.
- Thomas Jurek (All Music)LP1
1. Harmony 1 (Mellotron)
2. Sweet Talk
3. Death Take Your Fiddle
4. I Gotta Fire
5. Soul on Fire
6. Harmony 2 (Piano)
7. Sitting on Fire
8. Yeah Yeah
9. You Lie You Cheat
1. Harmony 3 (Voice)
2. Baby I'm Just a Fool
3. Don't Hold Me Close
4. Harmony 4 (The Old Man )
5. The Waves Crash In
6. Harmony 5 (Accordion)
7. Borrowed Your Gun
8. Harmony 6 (Glockenspiel)
9. Goodnight Goodnight$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Angels & DevilsIt's after the end of the world, don't you know that yet...
With recent reports from various think tanks predicting we have somewhere in the range of 15 years left before the collapse of society begins, it would seem like Kevin Martin's sonic predictions of dystopian London that were set out on 2008's London Zoo were pretty accurate. And if we are in fact declining rapidly to chaos, there's no better time then the present to take the focus of that sonic assault from earthly domains and blast it to the netherworlds above and below.
The aforementioned London Zoo is where Kevin Martin, found his true voice. Pulling the fringes into a collective, unilaterally hateful assault. A psychological warfare driven by bass that on one hand captured a moment of London, yet also encapsulated a global message influenced by years of timeless and classic out-music.
The latest offering from the The Bug, Angels & Devils, escapes the London cage, drawing on it for influence yet blowing it up into a world-view now seen from Kevin Martin's new Berlin home. A record that simultaneously draws on London Zoo, completes a triptych cycle which started with his Bug debut Pressure, and fills the spaces between and inserts what was missing previously. Both a year zero re-set and a continuation of what has been. Like the Bowie/Eno classic Low, or Can's Tago Mago, the album is split into two distinct themes and explorations of light & dark. Bringing the angel & devil voices together under a single common banner. Antagonist at times, but not solely for the sake of being antagonistic, there's a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic. Truly only The Bug could find the common ground between Liz Harris (of Grouper) & Death Grips and make it seamless. Angels & Devils stretches the polarity of its predecessor in both directions simultaneously and is even more extreme for its new found seductiveness and added intensity. Deep space is explored, and physical assault is administered. In these days of YouTube quick fixes, and single tune memory spans, its a joy to witness Martin actually charting a cohesive narrative that rejoices in celebrating life through sonic sex and violence, beauty and ugliness. This is an audio thriller that delights in pursuing its own singular path/vision.
With the Angel side(s) up first, things kick off with Liz Harris (of Grouper) in the submerged lushness that is Void. Followed by contributions from ex Hype Wiliams half copeland (Fall), the blissed out patois of touring partner Miss Red (Mi Lost), two truly zoned Bug instrumentals, and rounded out by Gonjasufi on Save Me. It's a collection of heady, dubbed out cinematic blissfulness with a lurking darkness before giving way to devils...
Devils leads off with the return of long time collaborator Flowdan on the mic and the guitar of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh / Jesu) bringing a complete about face to the proceedings and setting the tone with The One. Roll Deep's Manga steps up next with the instant Bug classic Function, which is being currently smashed on dubplate, by Mala, Kahn and Logan Sama. Death Grips raise the antagonistic bar with Fuck A Bitch. Flowdan & Justin Broadrick come back for the cinematic death crawl of Fat Mac. Warrior Queen steps in for hands down the nastiest vocal she's ever delivered (which is saying a lot) for Fuck You, and finally Flowdan steps up again to round it all off with a Devils battle cry of sorts dirty, fuck that murky....
The concept is completed by the artistic expression it's packaged in, courtesy of Simon Fowler (Cataract). Known for his work for Sunn O))), Earth, and others, Simon has delivered a stunning hand drawn illustration, that sort that would make Bosch proud, showing the duality of the proceedings.
Utopian/dystopian, black/white, complexity/singularity, negative/positive... Angels/Devils.1. Void (Featuring Liz Harris)
2. Fall (Featuring copeland)
4. Mi Lost (Featuring Miss Red)
6. Save Me (Featuring Gonjasufi)
7. The One (Featuring Flowdan)
8. Function (Featuring Manga)
9. Fuck a Bitch (Featuring Death Grips)
10. Fat Mac (Featuring Flowdan)
11. Fuck You (Featuring Warrior Queen)
12. Dirty (Featuring Flowdan)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Born Villain (Awaiting Repress)Born Villain is the eighth studio album from the always controversial artist Marilyn Manson, to be released in a joint venture between his own label Hell, etc. and Cooking Vinyl. Manson described the release as more romantic yet self-abusive and featuring a sound he dubs suicide death metal. All the Manson benchmarks are once again here including dark, sinister vocals, throbbing rhythms and heavy, thrashing guitars not to mention some punk rock fervor thrown in for good measure. Includes the rhythmic lead single No Reflection.
The new record put simply has the ambition and determination of how I started making music in the first place, Manson says. It sounds like the first record in that it's not afraid to do anything. I had to remove myself from my lifestyle and start fresh. It doesn't really sound like any of my old records. In fact it sort of sounds like what I listened to before I made records; Killing Joke, Joy Division, Revolting Cocks, Bauhaus, Birthday Party. It's very rhythm-driven. I think this will probably be the grandest concept record of all.LP1
1. Hey Cruel World...
2. No Reflection
3. Pistol Whipped
4. Overneath The Path Of Misery
5. Slo Mo Tion
6. The Gardener
7. The Flowers Of Evil
8. Children Of Cain
10. Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms
11. Murders Are Getting Prettier Every Day
12. Born Villain
13. Breaking The Same Old Ground$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
REDD-SIN-7524xJohn Paul White
BeulahBeulah. It's a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings.
It's the title of John Paul White's new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.
Beulah is also a White family nickname. "It's a term of endearment around our house," White explains, "like you would call someone 'Honey.' My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It's something I've always been around."
Beulah is also something much loftier. For the poet and painter William Blake, Beulah was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious. "I won't pretend to be the smartest guy in the world," says White, "but I dig a lot of what he's written. Beulah was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center B photo credit: Allister Ann 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D yourself. It wasn't a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state."
And perhaps the music on this album originated in that "pleasant lovely Shadow where no dispute can come." According to White, the songs came to him unbidden-and not entirely welcome. "When these songs started popping into my head, I had been home for a while and I was perfectly happy. I wasn't looking for songs. I didn't know whether any would pop back in my head again, and I was honestly okay with that. I'm a very happy father and husband, and I love where I live. I love working with artists for a label that I think is doing good work."
Far from the grind and glamour of Nashville-where he worked for years as a working songwriter before stepping into the spotlight himself-White settled in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a wellspring of gritty Southern rock and soul since the 1960s. Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by some of the Yellowhammer State's finest, including Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone's throw from White's own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head.
"Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down. I got my phone out and I'd sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off." Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit. "Then one day I told my wife I think I'm going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet."
Most artists would kill for such a downpour, but White was wary of the consequences. He knew that writing songs would lead to recording them, which would result in releasing them, and that means touring and leaving home for weeks at a time. "As soon as I write a song, I start thinking what other people might think of it. I've talked to friends about this: What is it about us that makes us do that? Why can't I just sit on my back porch and sing these songs out into the ether? I don't have an answer for it yet, but I think it's just part of who I am. I need that reaction. I need to feel like I'm moving someone in a good way or in a bad way. I need to feel like there's a connection."
White threw himself into the project, no longer the reluctant songwriter but a craftsman determined to make the best album possible-to do these songs justice. He cut several songs at the renowned FAME Studios in his hometown, where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Allmans, the Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Arthur Conley, and Clarence Carter recorded some of their most popular hits.
One product of those sessions is "What's So," which introduces itself by way of a fire-andbrimstone riff, as heavy as a guilty conscience-the kind of riff you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Sabbath album. But White's vocals are gritty and soulful, a product of the Shoals, almost preacherly as he sings about earthly and eternal damnation: "Sell your damn soul or get 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D right with the man, keep treading water as long as you can," he exhorts the listener. "But before you do, you must understand that you don't get above your raisin'." It's the heaviest moment on the record, perhaps the darkest in White's career.
At the other end of the spectrum is "The Martyr," one of the catchiest tunes White has ever penned. The spryness of the melody imagines Elliott Smith wandering the banks of the Tennessee River, yet the song is shot through with a pervasive melancholy as White wrestles with his own demons. "Keep falling on your sword, sink down a little more," he sings over a dexterous acoustic guitar theme. This is not, however, a song about some unnamed person, but rather a pained self-diagnosis: "These are the wounds that I will not let heal, the ones that I deserve and seem so real." White knows he's playing the martyr, but he leaves the song hauntingly open-ended, as though he isn't sure what to do with this epiphany beyond putting it in a song.
The rest of Beulah was recorded in the Single Lock offices/studio near White's home. "I can be more relaxed about the process. We can all just sit there and talk about records or baseball without feeling like someone's standing over our shoulders. That's a big deal to me, not to feel pressured. And I'm only about twenty yards away from home, so I can walk over and throw a baseball with my kids or make dinner with my wife."
Some of the quieter-but no less intense-songs on Beulah were created in that environment, including the ominously erotic opener "Black Leaf" and the Southern gothic love song "Make You Cry." As he worked, a distinctive and intriguing aesthetic began to grow clearer and clearer, one based in austere arrangements and plaintive moods. These are songs with empty spaces in them, dark corners that could hold ghosts or worse. "There were certain moments when Ben and I would finish up a song, listen back to it, and think how in the world did we get here. But that's just what the songs ask for. These are the sounds in my head. This is the sound of me thinking and living and breathing and doing."
Once White had everything assembled and sequenced, it was time to give the album a title, to wrap everything up for the listener. Beulah stuck-not only because of family history or Blake, but because White realized that making music was his own trip to Beulah. "If you had to sum up what music is for most people in this world, it's that. It's that escape. It's that refuge. You go there and you come back and you use that to help you with your life. You always have that as a place to go."1. Black Leaf
2. What's So
3. The Once And Future Queen
4. Make You Cry
5. Fight For You
6. Hope I Die
7. I've Been Over This Before (Feat. The Secret Sisters)
8. The Martyr
9. Hate The Way You Love Me
10. I'll Get Even$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now