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“God” figures in the new album from Philadelphia, PA based Alex Giannascoli's LP’s title, its first song, and multiple of its thirteen tracks thereafter, not as a concrete religious entity but as a sign for a generalized sense of faith (in something, anything) that fortifies Giannascoli, or the characters he voices, amid the songs’ often fraught situations. Beyond the ambient inspiration of pop, Giannascoli has been drawn in recent years to artists who balance the public and hermetic, the oblique and the intimate, and who present faith more as a shared social language than religious doctrine. As with his previous records, Giannascoli wrote and demoed these songs by himself, at home; but, for the sake of both new tones and “a routine that was outside of my apartment,” he asked some half-dozen engineers to help him produce the “best” recording quality, whatever that meant. The result is an album more dynamic than ever in its sonic palette.
“‘Eternally Yours’ actually sounds to my ears as if it were really the first Alphaville album – only that it wasn't released forty years ago. We just didn't have an orchestra at hand back then, but ‘only’ synthesizers and rhythm machines.” – Marian Gold “Eternally Yours” is about permanence and transience. The lyrics of the songs from four decades are for the most part written by Marian Gold herself. A central theme for Alphaville and Marian Gold has always been dreaming: ‘We get around quite a lot, we've played almost everywhere, in and out of our heads. All this contributes to our music, to the idea of what Alphaville could be. It's like a never-ending dream. Those who listen to our music hear fragments of that dream.’ The all- new and titular song reads like a farewell letter. In fact, except for the chorus, all the lines are taken from sonnets by Shakespeare. Marian Gold and his two arrangers Max Knoth and Christian Lohr succeed on this album in providing the musical substance of the songs with the appropriate sound content. At the same time, the songs do not sound unusually bloated or overused – on the contrary: as a listener, one wonders about the natural, warm, even familiar sounds and asks oneself why there have not been more symphonic arrangements of Alphaville songs before.
CD: $26.99 Buy
Vinyl: $27.99 Buy
Daddy Yankee’s farewell album LEGENDADDY combines all the styles that have defined him in one single album. It contains 19 tracks and has the most superb guest list yet including Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro, Nile Rodgers, Becky G and more. He also collaborated with some of the industry’s hottest producers including Play-N-Skillz, Luny (Luny Tunes) and Tainy. LEGENDADDY stands out as his first album in ten years and his boldest, brightest, and biggest musical statement ever.
Vinyl: $46.99 Buy
Throughout his six-decade long career, Dr. John embodied a near-mythic multitude of musical identities: Global Ambassador of New Orleans funk and jazz and R&B, visionary bluesman, rock and roll innovator, and a massively revered high priest of psychedelic voodoo.
Things Happen That Way, his final studio album, adds another dimension to his musicality: a lifelong affinity for country & western. It's a glorious farewell from one of the most essential figures in music history.
Vinyl: $33.99 Buy
FKA twigs’ highly anticipated mixtape CAPRISONGS is now on vinyl. The mixtape documents twigs’ “journey back to myself through my amazing collaborators and friends.” and showcases an evolution and expansion for this prolific artist who continues to thoughtfully push at the edges of her art. “CAPRISONGS… it’s bronzer in the sink, alco pop on the side, a cherry lolly, apple juice when you’re thirsty, friends in the park, your favourite person, that one sentence somebody said to you that changed everything, a club pre-game, your bestie who is always late but brings the most to the party, meeting a friend at the airport, just togetherness.” – FKA twigs. CAPRISONGS features collaborations with Pa Salieu (on “honda,”), Daniel Caesar (“careless”), Rema (“jealousy”), Jorja Smith and Unknown T (“darjeeling”), DYSTOPIA (“which way”) and Shygirl (“papi bones”) in addition to the previously released single “tears in the club”, which saw twigs teaming up with The Weeknd for her biggest track to date.
Secrets of Inanna is Han's third album with Mack Avenue following 2020's breakthrough Iron Starlet. The entire project is inspired by the Sumerian mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the goddess of love, sensuality, beauty, fertility and also war : Inanna. The Descent of Inanna chronicles the goddess' journey into the underworld from her domain in heaven. Along the way she must confront her older sister Ereshkigal, the Dark Queen of the Underworld, and her own inner darkness; in the process Inanna is killed and reborn as the Morning Star, eventually to be echoed in later tales of Venus, Ishtar and Aphrodite.
Han shares her fascination of Inanna, "Beloved by her people as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, she represents a shining beacon of femininity, grace, and poise. This multifaceted goddess is self-assured in her unabashed pride, sexual conquests and audacity. Belligerent and feisty, Inanna stops at nothing to achieve her objectives as a passionate woman with an iron resolve and insatiable lust for power."
A deity possessing such complex and powerful characteristics deserves an homage that is equally rich and vivid, and Han has more than done her justice with Secrets of Inanna. The music was conceived and written in partnership with the pianist's longtime producer and drummer, Bill Wysaske, and features bass great John Patitucci and veteran tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, with contributions by Katisse Buckingham on alto flute and piccolo. Deploying just these brilliant musicians in varying configurations and imaginative arrangements, Han and Wysaske conjure a wide spectrum of moods and emotions for their epic journey.
CONNIE HAN / SECRETS OF INANNA
Whether original or discovered, songs have always come into my life out of need. I think every song in this record is about a beginning hidden in an ending, hidden reclamations of ways I've disappointed myself.
The record opens with Backup Plan. because I think being absolutely and freely myself was always stupidly my back up plan. If I couldn't succeed at being the person I was pretending to be, if I couldn't want the things I'd been pretending to want, only then would I give myself permission to just be me. Then came ThÃ©rÃ¨se and Mermaid Bar - ThÃ©rÃ¨se is about a misunderstood girl trapped in a painting and Mermaid Bar is about a girl who tries to end her life by jumping into the Hudson River and instead becomes a mermaid.
Bloomed Into Blue was originally a poem I had written with a friend in high school called the B-Word Muse. It was a tribute to Ariel, to Eddie Sedgwick, Marie ThÃ©rÃ¨se, and so many more.Women who were always the subject of art and not the creator. Worthy of being spoken about but not worthy of being listened to. This record reckons with childhood in Sweet Tooth and Driver, with regret in Luna Moth, Crazy Kid and Sticky Little Words, with anger in South Elroy, Restless Moon and Over.Above all this record wants to be about rebirth and acceptance.I'm crawling back to myself. Thank you for watching- Maya Hawke"
MAYA HAWKE / MOSS
Four-time GRAMMY nominee, multi-platinum selling saxophonist Boney James’ new album Detour marks his 18th release as a leader. Following the success of his 2020 album Solid (#1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and #10 Billboard Top Albums), Boney’s new record showcases ten original tracks including “Coastin’” featuring iconic vocalist Lalah Hathaway. Also featured is trumpeter Dontae Winslow, known for his work with the West Coast Get Down.
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ first acoustic album, Changeup, features chart-toppers like “Bad Reputation” and “Crimson and Clover,” as well as deeper cuts, stripped down and reimagined. Changeup showcases Joan’s signature, blistering sound with an immediacy that allows listeners to delve into the lyrics in a completely new way. The 20-track, double vinyl set, is at once intimate while capturing all the ferocity and menace that Joan Jett is known for.
Vinyl: $36.99 Buy
Omnium Gatherum’s sprawling 16 tracks of gonzoid prog jams, dizzying pop nuggets, rubber-legged hip-hop odysseys and passages of pure thrash-metal abandon offer plenty for Gizzard fans and neophytes alike to chew on. Typically, Gizzard albums pursue a single theme or style – but part of the thrill of O.G. for the group was the opportunity to present new ideas without committing the entire album to just one. It’s both the perfect entry point for newcomers, and a solid treat for the faithful. Indie Exclusive “Lucky Dip” Random Color 2 LP.
Vinyl: $199.99 Buy
THE KINKS, Muswell Hillbillies & Everybody’s In Show-Biz – Everybody’s a Star deluxe 6LP, 4CD box set is being released through BMG on September 9, 2022 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary. The box set combines two of THE KINKS’ classic 1970’s albums - Muswell Hillbillies, the album the band toured in America; and helped define them as a rock band in the U.S.. And Everybody’s In Show-Biz – Everybody’s a Star; the album that was written in reflection of the tour. Packaged inside a newly designed two-part box, this deluxe set includes remastered audio from the original Muswell Hillbillies & Everybody’s In Show-Biz, pressed across 5 color vinyl and 4 CD’s. Also includes a bonus heavyweight black vinyl of 11 new Ray Davies remixes and a Blu-Ray video of “Ray Davies 1971 Home Movie”. Also included in the release is a “London Roots Map” of all the Kinks landmarks, x6 glossy photos, a Kinks Pin-Badge and 52pp hardback book including rare and unseen band photos and quotes.