The Saint Of Lost Causes is the 8th album from American roots troubadour, Justin Townes Earle. Earle’s latest album finds a songwriter and artist who is unflinching and unequivocal in his truth. When writing this album, Earle focused on a different America—the disenfranchised and the downtrodden, the oppressed and the oppressors, the hopeful and the hopeless. There’s the drugstore-cowboy-turned-cop-killer praying for forgiveness (“Appalachian Nightmare”) and the common Michiganders persevering through economic and industrial devastation (“Flint City Shake It”); the stuck mother dreaming of a better life on the right side of the California tracks (“Over Alameda”) and the Cuban man in New York City weighed down by a world of regret (“Ahi Esta Mi Nina”); the “used up” soul desperate to get to New Orleans (“Ain’t Got No Money”) and the “sons of bitches” in West Virginia poisoning the land and sea (“Don’t Drink the Water”). These are individuals and communities in every corner of the country, struggling through the ordinary—and sometimes extraordinary—circumstances of everyday life.
After spending years writing and recording music by himself in various bedrooms and basements, Andrew Carter hit his stride with the debut Minor Poet album, And How!. Made on a creative whim with no outside expectations, the eleven-song collection combined Carter’s love of carefully-crafted pop with a loose, fun, off-the-cuff recording aesthetic. The album was released in 2017 and developed a small but loving fan base, and Minor Poet has grown from a passion project into a cross-country touring band with write-ups in publications such as American Songwriter, Magnet, The Wild Honey Pie, Impose, and more.
Minor Poet’s second album, The Good News, is a six-song collection that expands the boundaries of what constitutes the band’s sound. In just twenty-two minutes, the songs take apart the standard formulas of guitar-based rock and infuse them with vibrance and energy. On opener “Tabula Rasa,” interlocking guitars and a Farfisa organ carry the song through until everything drops suddenly into a doo-wop section that wouldn’t be out of place on a 1950’s
Inspired by the warm, inviting sounds of ‘70s singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne and Graham Nash, Ryan Pollie wanted to make the most personal music of his career. He had released two albums as Los Angeles Police Department, and now he was ready to shed the protective barrier of his old band name — to make music, simply, as himself. Bolder and crisper than the albums he’s made as Los Angeles Police Department, his self-titled record emerges from a deeply collaborative place. He invited many of his closest friends over to his home to record the album, and a feeling of warm camaraderie shines through the music. “When somebody plays on a song, their character is in it,” he says. “I like to think all my friends are on this record. Their personality is in it. That was really important to me. I’m able to do what I do, mentally and emotionally, because of the people around me.”
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Jimmie Vaughans New Album Baby, Please Come Home available on CD, Digital and Limited Edition Aztec Gold Vinyl When it comes to the blues today, there are a handful of guiding lights to make sure the music stays true to its powerful source. The sound of pleasure and pain that first sparked musicians to create such a sound is a force that can never be underestimated. The mojo has to be there. Texas guitarist/singer Jimmie Vaughan has dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. Hes held onto the spirit of the blues for more than 50 years, and he isnt about to stop now. Vaughans first studio album since 2011, Baby, Please Come Home is a rolling and righteous celebration of everything the blues can be.
New to Vancouver (Canada), alternative/singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jon Bryant sought connection. After joining, spending time and eventually leaving an undisclosed ‘cult’, Bryant’s fascination with cults began to percolate and became the framework for his upcoming full-length ‘Cult Classic’, that releases on May 17, 2019 via Nettwerk.
“High Crimes” is the first album in 8 years from The Damned Things. Fronted by Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die) and backed up by the likes of Scott Ian on guitar (Anthrax), Joe Trohman also on guitar (Fall Out Boy), Andy Hurley on drums (Fall Out Boy) and Dan Andriano on bass (Alkaline Trio), The Damned Things sprung out of Ian and Trohman’s love of Thin Lizzy and catchy, dirty rock ‘n roll. The band’s Nuclear Blast debut was recorded by Jay Ruston (Fall Out Boy, Coheed and Cambria etc) and will be released April 26 2019.
Since their inception in 2008, Defeater have stood apart as storytellers in the world of hardcore. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the band’s lineup consists of Derek Archambault (vocals), Adam Crowe (guitar), Jake Woodruff (guitar), Joe Longobardi (drums) and Mike Poulin (bass). They have toured with the likes of La Dispute, Comeback Kid, and August Burns Red. Defeater will be the band’s fifth studio album
There are two phases of The Dream Syndicate. There was the band with revolving lineups that existed from 1982 to 1988 and made four albums including The Days of Wine and Roses and have influenced bands and delighted fans in the years since. And then there’s the band that reunited in 2012 and is closing in on its seventh year with nary a lineup change. This 21st Century version of the Dream Syndicate released How Did I Find Myself Here in 2017 to universal acclaim, no small feat for a band reuniting after almost three decades. With that reintroduction and a full year of touring behind them, the Dream Syndicate had the freedom to take it all somewhere new, to dig a little deeper, get outside of themselves a little bit. Their new album ‘These Times’ feels like a late-night radio show that you might have heard as a kid, drifting off into dreams and wondering the next morning if any of it was real. So, what does it sound like? If How Did I Find Myself Here was a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then These Times is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial, the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station, riffing on an idea of what a Dream Syndicate album could be at this moment in time. It is Radio DS19. So, what’s it all about? Founder and singer/guitarist/songwriter Steve Wynn says, “These Times. That’s it. It’s all we’re talking about, all we’re thinking about. There’s no avoiding the existential panic of a world that’s hurtling somewhere quickly and evolving and shifting course by the hour. It seems like a lie to not address or reflect the things that we can’t stop thinking about—the whole world’s watching indeed.”
Through her folkloric mystique, otherworldly psychedelia, and a dash of enigmatic punk, Ahomale by Combo Chimbita catapults the sacred knowledge of our forebears into the future. Their second studio album and Anti- Records debut sees the visionary quartet drawing from ancestral mythologies and musical enlightenment to unearth the awareness of Ahomale, the album’s cosmic muse. Comprised of Carolina Oliveros’ mesmeric contralto, illuminating storytelling and fierce guacaracha rhythms, Prince of Queens’ hypnotic synth stabs and grooving bass lines, Niño Lento’s imaginative guitar licks, and Dilemastronauta’s powerful drumming, the lure and lore of Combo Chimbita comes into existence. Rooted in Colombia and based in New York, Combo Chimbita lives in the future. After playing together for years, these first-generation New Yorkers began experimenting with different traditional musical styles during their late night residencies at Barbès in Brooklyn. Exploring the connections between visual identity and improvisational long-form trips, Combo Chimbita came together as a four-piece band after they started encouraging more vocals by Carolina Oliveros, who tightens the rhythm with her guacharaca.
When Seattle band Tacocat—vocalist Emily Nokes, bassist Bree McKenna, guitarist Eric Randall, and drummer Lelah Maupin—first started in 2007, the world they were responding to was vastly different from the current Seattle scene of diverse voices they’ve helped foster. It was a world of house shows, booking DIY tours on MySpace, and writing funny, deliriously catchy feminist pop-punk songs when feminism was the quickest way to alienate yourself from the then-en vogue garage-rock bros. Their lyrical honesty, humor, and hit-making sensibilities have built the band a fiercely devoted fanbase over the years, one that has followed them from basements to dive bars to sold-out shows at the Showbox. Every step along the way has been a seamless progression—from silly songs about Tonya Harding and psychic cats to calling out catcallers and poking fun at entitled weekend-warrior tech jerks on their last two records on Hardly Art, 2014’s NVM and 2016’s Lost Time. This Mess is a Place, Tacocat’s fourth full-length and first on Sub Pop, finds the band waking up the morning after the 2016 election and figuring out how to respond to a new reality where evil isn’t hiding under the surface at all—it’s front and center, with new tragedies and civil rights assaults filling up the scroll of the newsfeed every day. “What a time to be barely alive,” laments “Crystal Ball,” a gem that examines the more intimate side of responding emotionally to the news cycle. How do you keep fighting when all you want to do is stay in bed all day? “Stupid computer stupor/Oh my kingdom for some better ads,” Nokes sings, throwing in some classic Tacocat snark, “Truth spread so thin/It stops existing.” Despite current realities being depressing enough to make anyone want to crawl under the covers and sleep for a thousand years, Tacocat are doing what they’ve always done so well: mingling brightness, energy, and hope with political critique. This Mess is a Place is charged with a hopefulness that stands in stark contrast to music that celebrates apathy, despair, and numbness. Tacocat feels it all and cares, a lot, whether they’re singing odes to the magical connections we feel with our pets (“Little Friend”), imagining what a better earth might look like (“New World”), or trying to find humor in a wholly unfunny world (“The Joke of Life”). It’s a delightfully cathartic moment and the cornerstone of the record when they exclaim, in “Grains of Salt:” “Don’t forget to remember who the fuck you are!” Producer Erik Blood (who also produced Lost Time) brings the band into their full pop potential but still preserves what makes Tacocat so special: they’re four friends who met as young punks and have grown together into a truly collaborative band. Says Nokes: “We can examine some hard stuff, make fun of some evil stuff, feel some soft feelings, feel some rage feelings, feel some bitter-ass feelings, sift through memories, feel wavy-existential, and still go get a banana daiquiri at the end.” —Robin Edwards
Judah & the Lion return with their third album, Pep Talks, following their widely successful Folk Hop n’ Roll and their breakout hit, “Take It All Back.” The album is a mature step for the band, and blends uplifting, powerful anthems with more contemplative and emotional tracks. The album includes “Over my head” and “Quarter-Life Crisis” and features Kacey Musgraves and Jon Bellion.
Summer Of Sorcery', the follow up to the critically acclaimed 'Soulfire' is SVZ’s first album of original material in 20 years. It was written during the second half of the 'Soulfire' Tour and recorded at Stevie’s Renegade Studio September-November 2018. All 12 songs are original SVZ compositions, 1 recut from his Revolution Album, 1 outtake from the Lilyhammer Score, and 10 new songs. The album was recorded with the same members of The Disciples Of Soul that have been touring this past year. The album is a breakthrough artistically for Stevie in several ways, “My first five albums in the 80s were both very personal, and very political. I wanted the new material to be more fictionalized. The way records were when I grew up. Before it was an Artform. The concept (loosely) was capturing and communicating that first rush of Summer. The electricity of that feeling of unlimited possibilities. Of falling in love with the world for the first time. Obviously, there are occasional personal references, and a bit of what’s going on socially scattered throughout, but I achieved what I set out to do. I created a collection of fictional audio movie scenes that feel like Summer. I’m quite proud of it.” -Little Steven
Brian Fennell is a student of simplicity. As SYML (pronounced "simmel"), which translates to "simple" in Welsh, Fennell writes emotive songs that capture the ethos of his musical persona. Ultimately his songs are a kind and truthful depiction of emotion grounded by his gut-wrenching vocal delivery. This is SYML’s debut album.
Not everything appears instantly. Jesse Mac Cormack's astonishing debut album arrives unhurried: a work of ardent, kaleidoscopic art-rock that is at once a dazzling premiere and the culmination of a meticulous five-year evolution. Over the course of three EPs, the Montreal native has gathered accolades and refined his vision, nourishing a songwriting that is lavish and undaunted. Following early work that drew heavily from folk and roots-rock - Les Inrocks called him the 'new hero of modern folk' - the songs on Now are prismatic and forward-facing, recalling the adventurous pop of Tame Impala, Talk Talk and Perfume Genius.'If you succeed at being yourself, nothing can stop you,' Mac Cormack says. On 'Now,' he's succeeded. (And nothing will.) Pressed on limited edition milky clear vinyl.