Music Releases 01-14-22
Covers [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Gold LP]
Vinyl: $29.99 Buy
Cat Power returns with Covers, Chan Marshall’s third album of her celebrated reinterpretations of songs by classic and contemporary artists.
On Covers, Marshall reaches back to songs that have affected her from childhood to the present, connecting each with a deeply personal memory. She recalls her grandmother’s love for Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” and finding a box of cassettes as a teenager that led her to discovering Kitty Wells’ “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” She remembers getting chills hearing Iggy Pop’s “Endless Sea” in the 1986 Michael Hutchence film Dogs in Space and being a broke artist in her twenties in New York City spending her last dollar to play the Replacements’ “Here Comes a Regular” on the jukebox at Mona’s. She recorded the Pogues’ “Pair of Brown Eyes,” which she calls one of her favorite songs of all time, after it reminded her of one friend who passed from cancer and turned to Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” to help her heal from the loss of another.
Alongside covers of rock-and-roll icons from Nico to Nick Cave, Marshall brings her inimitable vocal power and elegant arrangements to songs by contemporary artists, capturing the defiance of Dead Man’s Bones’ “Pa Pa Power” and the dreaminess of Lana Del Rey’s “A White Mustang.” And the album opens with a dazzling cover of Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion,” of which she says, “I believe in whatever God is called… But I think that the wretched men that have come in history to implement horror on humanity in the name of these religions is something that should be looked at universally.”
Finally, Covers finds Marshall, an artist of constant evolution, reworking “Hate,” a song from her 2006 LP The Greatest on which she sang “I hate myself and I want to die.” Marshall says she has always felt “antsy” about the track and reimagined it as “Unhate,” a new version that looks back on the raw devastation of the original track in the rearview. “We all have bad days,” she says. “We all have shit, trauma, something. There are times when you feel like that. But I needed to make it right.”
Marshall self-produced all of Covers; it was recorded in Los Angeles at Mant Studios with Rob Schnapf, who mixed and engineered.
Hell on Church Street [LP]
Vinyl: $22.99 Buy
Hell on Church Street, Punch Brothers’ newest album, due January 14, 2022 on Nonesuch Records, is the band’s reimagining of, and homage to, the late bluegrass great Tony Rice’s landmark solo album Church Street Blues. The record features a collection of songs by Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Monroe, and others. Recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio in November 2020, during a time of great uncertainty, Hell on Church Street was intended as both its own work of art and a gift to Rice, who died that Christmas. Punch Brothers said of Tony Rice and Church Street Blues: “No record (or musician) has had a greater impact on us, and we felt compelled to cover it in its entirety, with the objective of interacting with it in the same spirit of respect-fueled adventure that Tony brought to each of its pre-existing songs.”
Fragments [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Red Marbled 2LP]
Vinyl: $34.99 Buy
Bonobo will release new album Fragments, due on January 14, 2022 via Ninja Tune. Fragments is the most emotionally intense record that he - aka Simon Green - has ever had to make. It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei, O’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fueled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild.
Voyeurist [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Golden Age LP]
Underoath return to their unique chaotic core with their seventh studio album, Voyeurist. An unguarded keyhole invites the viewer to peer into the process, and draw their own conclusion on who the band is, and what that perception reveals about the viewer themselves. Amidst the colliding perspectives, it’s clear that identities have been lost, and you are no longer you.
Chelsea Walls [LP]
Listen To The Blood [LP]
Vinyl: $22.98 Buy
With a storyteller's eye and sly sense of humor that echoes not only his “honorary uncle” Del Reeves, but Tom T. Hall and Roger Miller, The Kernal delves deep into everything from family dysfunction to road trips to matters of the heart. The music, which he describes with a laugh as “diet country,” embodies the spirit of that genre without any of the slavishness or self-seriousness of much modern Americana. Rolling Stone has called his style “sweetly subversive, intellectual and addictive,” while Lo-Down said “the songs have an air of nostalgia but they sound far from old - modern, yet timeless. ”
From the joyous, southern-fried grooves of “U Do U” and “Pistol in the Pillow” through the revved-up rockabilly stomp of “Green Green Sky” and the cinematic travelogue of “Wrong Turn to Tupelo” to “The Fight Song,” a sparkling '80s style duet with Caitlin Rose, it's a nine-song sequence that showcases The Kernal's warm, confidential voice while managing to make profound connections with the head, heart and feet.
“When people ask me what kind of music I play, I say, 'It's like sixteen-foot trailer country music,'” he says. “You pull up a hay trailer in a field and you barbecue a bunch of stuff and there are people setting off fireworks and there are kids running around in diapers with ice cream running down their bellies. You get up there, turn it up and have a good time. I just love seeing people have a good time, and I think that's why I like country music. The groove of it. It speaks to people's legs. They loosen up and enjoy themselves and it's no big deal. I love that. And I love to be able to contribute to that.”
Storm Queen [Opaque White LP]
Vinyl: $24.99 Buy
Grace Cummings’s second album Storm Queen has its own unruly climate, governed only by the singular force of her devastating vocals. Over the course of 11 feverishly composed folk songs, the Melbourne-based singer/songwriter explores a vast and volatile emotional landscape, approaching each track with both exquisite control and unfettered abandon. Cummings captured the bulk of Storm Queen’s songs in just a few takes, amplifying the visceral quality of her spellbinding vocal presence.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters
The Boy Named If [2LP]
Vinyl: $36.99 Buy
Elvis Costello & The Imposters release The Boy Named If, an album of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, stinging guitar solos, and a quick step to the rhythm. Costello says, “The full title of this record is ‘The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories).’ ‘IF’ is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own.” Produced by Costello and Sebatian Krys.
Fix Yourself, Not The World [LP]
Vinyl: $30.99 Buy