Now Hear This
“I allowed myself to support a narrative I thought I had to support of PVRIS being a band,” Lynn confesses. “I didn’t really have a role model for this. Coming from a ‘band culture,’ it’s about how the group is always greater than the sum of its parts, and you’re not supposed to take credit, even if you do everything. There’s no template or role model for really owning it as a woman. I wanted to make everyone else happy and uphold an image I thought we had to. Growing up, I learned I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m finally allowing myself to take credit. I’ve got the full support and encouragement of my bandmates. PVRIS is a unit and very much a team, but the heart and soul of the vision and music always has sourced from me. I’m just saying it now. I fulfilled my own vision of what a role model should be.”
Writing and recording all of 2019, she found the perfect collaborator to bring this to life in JT Daly [K. Flay]. With Lynn writing, cooking up beats, playing guitar, drums, and bass, and singing, he amplified and augmented her vision and versatility in the studio. PVRIS set the foundation for the new era with recent EP, Hallucinations, spawning lead single and title track “Hallucinations,” which clocked 10 million total streams in a few months’ time, as well as fan favorites, “Old Wounds” and “Death of Me.”
2020 release. A Celebration of Endings is the ninth studio album by Scottish alternative rock band Biffy Clyro. It was produced by Rich Costey. The band has spent 160 weeks in the top 75 of the UK Album Charts, with two of those weeks being at the top position at #1 and 72 weeks within the main top 40 of the albums charts. The band's singles have spent a total of 79 weeks in the UK Singles Charts, with six weeks in the Top 10 and forty-two in the Top 40.
2020 release. Award-winning saxophonist/composer Nubya Garcia presents her much anticipated debut album, Source. Self-produced in collaboration with celebrated producer Kwes (Bobby Womack, Solange), it's a collection of sonic mantras, a deeply personal blend of identity, family history, grief; reconnecting with herself, her roots, her community. An erudite blend of broken beat, soul, dub-step afro-diasporic sounds - all whilst never losing her deep jazz foundation.
Gregory Porter, the world’s best-selling contemporary Jazz/Soul artist with over 3 million worldwide album sales returns with ALL RISE, his sixth studio album. The album marks a return to Porter’s beloved original songwriting – heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues and gospel. Produce by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sande), the set also represents the evolution of Porter’s art to something even more emphatic, emotive, intimate, and universal too. After 2017’s Nat King Cole & Me, Porter knew two things: one, he’d bring in an orchestra for his next LP, and two, the music is medicine. In the spirit of that latter revelation, ALL RISE brims with songs about irrepressible love, plus a little protest, because the road to healing is bumpy.
Since his world-beating 2013 Blue Note debut, ‘Liquid Spirit’, which won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Gregory hasn't let down his legion of fans, whether collaborating with Disclosure on ‘Holding On’, releasing his dance hit ‘Liquid Spirit – Claptone Remix’ which became one of the most popular tracks in Ibiza, scoring another Grammy for ‘Take Me to the Alley’ (2016), or telling his life story through Cole's songbook. Porter is still surprised by his runaway success, but he has a theory: "I was soothed by my voice as a child and I think that's the same thing others get from it. I'm trying to heal myself with these songs."
Not only has Gregory made chart history by bringing jazz back to the masses, graced the iconic Pyramid Stage and the world’s most prestigious gig venues, performed for the Queen, appeared on the biggest TV shows as well as presented his own series (‘Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices’ on BBC Four), 2019 saw the singer launch and host his own podcast, ‘The Hang’, featuring such distinguished guests as Annie Lennox and Jeff Goldblum.
Bach's monumental Goldberg Variations stand alone in the piano literature as a work of unique artistry and brilliance. Lang Lang first began exploring this masterpiece more than 20 years ago and presents this record as the outcome of a long personal and emotional journey. Marking a new stage in Lang Lang's artistic development, it is the project of a lifetime. Alongside a studio recording is a contrasting performance, a single take from a recital in Leipzig's iconic St Thomas Church, where Bach worked and is now buried. The heart of this project is the deluxe edition - a unique offering with simultaneous studio & live recording.
Blackbirds features songs primarily popularized by women who were the “bridge she came across on.” The album finds LaVette in top form with powerful renditions of songs that touched her personally. From Dinah Washington’s “Drinking Again,” Nina Simone’s “I Hold No Grudge” and more, they are all delivered in LaVette’s rich & raspy tone. Blackbirds honors LaVette’s heritage as an R&B singer and the women who came before her. LaVette A&R’d and sequenced the record herself – her first true curation.
S.G. Goodman was raised in Western Kentucky on the Mississippi River Delta in a strict church going family of row crop farmers. Her debut solo album, co-produced with fellow Kentuckian Jim James, showcases S.G.'s otherworldly voice, which soars above a sonic blend of gritty guitars, bottomland grooves and plaintive balladry."
2020 release. The supergroup - Renee Rosnes (piano), Melissa Aldana (tenor sax), Anat Cohen (clarinet), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Noriko Ueda (bass), Allison Miller (drums) and Cecile McLorin Salvant (vocals) - conjures a powerful, multi-generational, globe-spanning collective voice. The 9-track project features material composed/arranged by the instrumentalist members that unfurls with a dynamic flow, stunningly eclectic yet entirely cohesive.
2020 release. Burning deep in Girl Friday's music is an unquenchable will to survive. The LA-based band don't blunt the impact of the themes they work through in their ferocious, knotty rock songs, but they don't let the more harrowing aspects of being alive and young in the 21st century daunt them, either. Taking full advantage of the dystopian shades of post-punk and noise rock palettes on their arresting debut LP, Androgynous Mary, Girl Friday nevertheless suffuse their music with abundant optimism. The world is a hellscape, but the four of them are in it together. Written during a year of personal struggle for all four band members, Androgynous Mary reflects the solace they took in each other - as a band, but also as a micro-community and a chosen family.
Vinyl LP pressing. Bcos U Will Never B Free is the debut album by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rex Orange County. Written and recorded in his bedroom at the age of 16, it caught a wave of interest when it was self released in 2015. It's lo-fi textures and hi-def emotions led to a hook up with Tyler, The Creator who asked the teenager born Alex O'Connor to come to Los Angeles, where he wrote and sang on two tracks on the album that became Flower Boy. Rex has subsequently released two studio albums - 2017's Apricot Princess and 2019's Pony - which charted top 5 in the UK, US and Australia.
The Pineapple Thief are one of the leading lights of Europe’s experimental rock domain, led by post-progressive mastermind Bruce Soord and reinforced by Gavin Harrison (King Crimson) on drums. With the release of their new opus, The Pineapple Thief are set to raise the standard yet again, having delivered quite possibly one of the most important albums of 2020. Versions Of The Truth creates a conceptual progression from Dissolution - a contemplation on our ‘post truth’ world. Lyrically the album tackles a more personal reflection on how there can be more than one ‘version of the truth’, the impact it can have on our lives and the people we love.
Versions Of The Truth is Gavin Harrison’s second album as a full creative member of The Pineapple Thief alongside Soord, bassist Jon Sykes and keyboard player Steve Kitch. His presence has again helped bring writing and recording into sharp focus – a fresh dynamic added to the band’s previous creative process. Recording started at Bourne Place (London) and Soord Studios (Yeovil) as soon as they completed their US tour (October 2019 to April 2020), with engineering handled by Bruce Soord and Gavin Harrison, with mastering by Steve Kitch.
The Melvins’ King Buzzo has a new solo acoustic record called Gift of Sacrifice. This is exciting news!
What makes this news even more exciting is that King Buzzo has recorded this record with the fabulously talented bass player Trevor Dunn. Trevor was a founding member of Mr. Bungle and also plays bass in the psycho metal/spaghetti western band Fantômas, as well as recording and touring with the Melvins (as Melvins Lite).
The addition of Trevor’s stand-up bass makes Gift of Sacrifice a step up from King Buzzo’s last acoustic record, This Machine Kills Artists. It gives this new record a haunted quality which drives the songs to a new level. Another new element is the addition of modular synth, which adds its own angular sounds to the acoustic guitar and bass. This is an odd combination of sounds not heard before on an all acoustic record.