Jessica Pratt is not a loud performer. She does not have to be. In a club of a few hundred, even the bar staff are known to go quiet while she's on stage. Her third album, Quiet Signs, feels like a distillation of this power. The album leads off with "Opening Night," a nod to Gena Rowlands' harrowing, brilliant performance in the John Cassavetes film of the same name. It’s also an emblem of where this spare, mysterious collection of songs falls in the course of Pratt’s career.
"On some level I considered an audience while making the last record (2015's On Your Own Love Again)," she writes, "But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind."
After a collection of demos and early studio recordings (Jessica Pratt, Birth Records, 2012) earned her a small, dedicated audience, Pratt moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and recorded her first intentional album in her bedroom in a matter of months. That album, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015), would bring her around the world many times, leading many to fall under the spell of Jessica Pratt the performer, the songwriter, the singer with the heavy-lidded voice that feels alien and familiar at the same time.
Her first album fully recorded in a professional studio setting, Quiet Signs finds Pratt's songwriting and accompanying guitar work refined -- more distinct and direct. Songs like "Fare Thee Well" and "Poly Blue" retain glimmers of OYOLA's hazy day afternoon spells, yet delicate flute, strings sustained by organ arrangements, and rehearsal room piano now gesture towards the lush chamber pop and longing of The Left Banke. On the album’s first single, "This Time Around," Pratt hits on a profound, late-night clarity over just a couple of deep chords, evoking Caetano Veloso's casual seaside brilliance. And before the curtain drops on Quiet Signs, Pratt provides a show-stopping closer, "Aeroplane."
In the world of Quiet Signs, the black of night usually represents fear, despair, resignation; finally at home descending towards the illuminated city, she sings over black leather drone and tambourine shuffle with a newfound resolve. Quiet Signs is the journey of an artist emerging from the darkened wings, growing comfortable as a solitary figure on a sprawling stage.
The album was written in Los Angeles and recorded at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn, NY over 2017 and 2018. It was co-produced by Al Carlson. He plays flute, organ and piano on some songs. Matt McDermott also played piano and string synthesizer. It will be released on Mexican Summer on February 8, 2019.
Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security, and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless? If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Where have all the guitar rockstars gone?,” we have an answer: they are sleeping in the back of an old Citroën in a London alleyway awaiting the release of their hard-earned masterpiece.
Listening to The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness, you frequently feel the white-knuckle monomania of Yak’s mission. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade records, whose sheer sense of belief and commitment pulsates through every nanosecond of boundary-breaking sound – like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis.
Guitar music is alive and well on The Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, and with Yak on the scene, we expect it’s not going anywhere.
Ariana Grande returns with her fifth studio album Thank U, Next. Following the release of her previous studio album Sweetener (2018), Grande began working on a new album in October of the same year, enlisting writers and producers such as Tommy Brown, Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Andrew "Pop" Wansel. The album was created in the midst of personal matters, including the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and breaking up with fiancé Pete Davidson.
The Appetite For Destruction: Locked N’ Loaded box is the one true GN’R Holy Grail. The box includes the Super Deluxe Edition with 4CDs featuring the album newly remastered for the first time ever; B-sides N’ EPs newly remastered; the previously unreleased 1986 Sound City Session N’ More recordings; a Blu-ray Audio disc with the album, bonus tracks and music videos in brand new 5.1 surround sound along with the unearthed music video for “It’s So Easy” originally shot in 1989 but never finished; and a 96-page hardcover book showcasing unseen photos from Axl Rose’s personal archive and a wealth of memorabilia. In addition, the Locked N’ Loaded box contains high quality collectables including seven 12-inch 180g audiophile vinyl discs, seven 7-inch singles on yellow vinyl, a dozen lithos newly visualizing each song on Appetite, 5 custom hand-made metal-cast band skull face rings, 5 hand-made metal-cast band skull face lapel pins, buttons, patches, replica concert tickets and gig flyers, 5 metal skull face and signature-stamped guitar picks, a turntable mat, wall posters, replica ‘85/’86 club days banner, a Robert Williams painting litho, never-before-seen band lithos, a numbered certificate of authenticity and more.
Appetite For Destruction is also available as Remastered CD / Deluxe 2CD / Super Deluxe / 2LP
2LP w/ DL, bonus EP with 4 traditional covers, blue vinyl, insert
Anchored by poignant songwriting and their intimate live shows, Mandolin Orange (Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz) has quietly and confidently found their audience. On February 1, they will release a new album, Tides of a Teardrop, through Yep Roc Records. Thematically this album is a release for Andrew Marlin, the group's songwriter. He lost his mother at a younger age, and although that has impacted his writing in the past, this collection of songs is thematically about letting go and finding peace. Marlin and Frantz were joined by their touring band and for the first time, took more than a few quick days between tour, to record the album. That level of comfort shines through in the band's most accomplished set of songs to date.
After 2 decades, WITHIN TEMPTATION is ready to break with the past. Following HYDRA in 2014, the 7th studio album ‘RESIST’ is a distinctive metal record that takes inspiration from our modern & future society and casts it into arrangements & dark melodies like you’ve never heard before. Armed with 10 anthemic tracks that consist of heartfelt melodies, bombastic drums and heavy wobbles, but also flawless collaborations with famous singers Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) and Anders Fidén (In Flames).
Almost Free, the new release from FIDLAR touches on many of the tragedies and irritations of modern life: existential dread, gentrification, the inescapable sway of the super-rich and the self-involved, post-breakup telecommunication, performative wokeness, the loneliness of sobriety or the lack thereof. But through sheer force of imagination and an unchecked joie de vivre, the L.A.-based band manages to turn feeling wrong into something glorious and essential. In the age of joyless self-care, Almost Free makes a brilliant case for being less careful, for living without fear of fucking up, and possibly embracing any incurred damage as a lucky symptom of being alive. The album sees the band pushing boundaries into new territory and influences while staying true to their unshakable core. "A lot of the vibe was, 'Well, why can't we do that? Why can't we have horns? Why can't we have key changes? Why can't we have a harmonica loop?', said lead singer/guitarist Zac Carper. It was abouttaking the ceiling off. Having it be limitless. Ain't no rules." Elvis added "Almost Free feels like a step forward for us in a lot of ways. We tried to be true to ourselves and let the music come out naturally, without fear of how people would receive it.
Acclaimed New Zealand singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Graeme James has built a large and loyal fan base throughout his home country with his captivating live shows and unique folk style, performing with the aid of a loop pedal to layer electric violin, guitar, bass, baritone ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and beatboxing in his one-man-band sound.
James Blake has long been a hip-hop ally. Not only has his own discography cemented him as a critically acclaimed artist, the multiple Grammy award-nominee and Mercury Prize winner has worked with artists from the likes of Drake, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and more. 2018 was a massive year for the producer, singer and song-writer who collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the era-defining Black Panther soundtrack and lent his vocals to Travis Scott's "Stop Trying To Be God."
Guster's latest studio album Look Alive was produced by English musician, composer, and producer Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Brian Eno/David Byrne, Belle and Sebastian, Chromatics). The forthcoming LP maintains the band’s unique charm while charting new sonic and lyric pathways. It will be available on CD, vinyl, and digitally.
After rising to fame two years ago in 2016 with her explosive debut 1 Million selling single 'No Roots' (Mom + Pop), written about her constant moving homes as a child becoming such as huge debut, its safe to say its been a whirl wind for Alice Merton with 124 Million YouTube hits to date. She also gained 6+ Million streams, toured the US supporting the brilliant Vance Joy, championed by Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine with Performances on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonights Show and James Corden's Late Late Show, Live With Kelly and Ryan, and even a recent 2018 Teen Choice Awards Nomination in 'Best Rock' category. Merton's debut album, Mint, will be released on January 18th and featured "No Roots", "Lash Out" and her newest single "Why So Serious".
One of Los Angeles punk rock’s most widely admired yet little-heard bands makes a striking return to records on Jan. 18, as Yep Roc Records issues an all-new collection by The Flesh Eaters, I Used to Be Pretty. On the release, founding vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins — better known as Chris D. — is backed by the legendary “all-star” edition of the band, originally heard on the 1981 set A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die: Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of the Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of the Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos). The album was produced collectively by the band members.
Old Sea Brigade releases his highly anticipated full-length debut Ode to a Friend. While the songs remain rooted in Americana, indie, rock, and ambient soundscapes, they also toss and turn between analog cinematic flourishes and provocative lyricism. At times singer-songwriter, other times indie-rock – no matter the inspiration behind the mélange of styles, Cramer has created a soundscape of the utmost sincerity and beauty. Throughout Ode...Old Sea Brigade tackles one of life’s most complex crises: how to make each day’s fleeting moments amount to something. It's these deeply introspective, meditative songs that make Old Sea Brigade so compelling.