CIMS Now Hear This
The Big Exercise, the second album by Dutch band The Homesick, and their first for Sub Pop, finds the group keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet. “It’s the opposite of trying to translate recorded music to the stage,” guitarist Elias Elgersma comments. “We were already playing these songs live for quite some time, so for this album, we wanted to unlock the potential of these songs further in the studio.” Opening track “What’s In Store” was in part inspired by bassist Jaap Van der Velde’s unprompted deep dive into the world of national anthems, making his own attempt to conjure a similarly timeless melody. The song seamlessly bleeds into the chivalrous prance of “Children’s Day” and the fragmented “Pawing,” righteously encouraging Erik Woudwijk’s nimble, cerebral drumming to become the band’s driving force. The headstrong wanderlust of The Big Exercise is fitting, given The Homesick’s exodus as a small-town Dutch band ready to trot the world. Contrary to the quest for belonging, roots, and provenance found on their debut album, Youth Hunt, the band’s creative trajectory is now dictated by a sense of otherness and imagination. The sharp contrasts are ever-present; the music’s new sonorous depth is underpinned by wry meditations on family ties, alternate realities, and commonplace encounters. As the band’s chief lyricists, Elgersma and Van der Velde deliberately keep each other in the dark, allowing the syntax of words and music to entangle in surprising – sometimes delightfully absurd – ways. “I Celebrate My Fantasy,” for example, summons a mirage of creeping pianos, sylvan clarinet flourishes and cartoonish sprawls with mock-paranoia, as Elgersma documents a macabre vision he had during a mild case of sleep paralysis. True to the band’s method of holding the more mundane, fleeting moments under a magnifying glass, closing track “Male Bonding” pulls a wide range of movements out of the top hat: the album’s rare heavy burst is promptly mediated by almost medieval-sounding prog rock-flirtations. The Homesick have made a record impregnated with impressions that still fit neatly under the pop umbrella. The album title’s nod to Scott Walker - “the big exercise” is a phrase pulled from a passage in Walker’s biography, Deep Shade of Blue - isn’t an aberration either: straddling pop sonority and the cacophonous fringes is something well worth aspiring.
Though he invited in collaborators for this project, Parker is very much a solo artist on Suite for Max Brown. He constructs a digital bed of beats and samples; lays down tracks of his own on guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion, and occasionally voice; then invites musician friends to play and improvise over his melodies. But unlike a traditional jazz session, Parker doesn’t assemble a full band in the studio for a day or two of live takes. His accompanists are often working alone with Parker, reacting to what Parker has provided them, and then Parker uses those individual parts to layer and assemble into his final tracks. The process may be relatively solitary and cerebral, but the results feel like in-the-moment jams—warm-hearted, human, alive. Suite for Max Brown brims with personality, boasting the rhythmic flow of hip hop and the soulful swing of jazz.
Dashboard Confessional's first-ever career-spanning compilation, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones, is a thoughtfully curated collection of the band's most beloved songs and features selections from all seven studio albums, the So Impossible and The Drowning EPs, and the band's legendary, Platinum-certified MTV Unplugged performance. From start to finish, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones showcases the profound durability of Dashboard Confessional's music over the past two decades. The collection highlights singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba's extraordinary ability to give a cathartic voice to the messiest of emotions, which led the band to ascend from a bedroom project to a global sensation.
Canadian folk and country singer/songwriter William Prince returns with his second album 'Reliever out 7th February via Glassnote Records"RELIEVER is a series of pieces for healing. Alleviation. As the definition states, something that allows for relief from pain, discomfort or distress. I've been told my songs allow people to let out their hurt; reminiscent of bloodletting. Reliever takes aim at the moments where we as human beings feel we aren't enough." Prince won a Juno 2017 Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for his debut album Earthly Days.
U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief, set to be released by 4AD on May 3rd. The New York-based band, featuring Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums), has spent the last 4 years on an incessant world tour, winning the devotion of an enthusiastic and rapidly expanding audience. Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era. Their first two back-to-back releases, Masterpiece (2016) and Capacity (2017), have been analysed, wept to, danced to, critically applauded, imitated, hummed idly, and shouted out loud. They have soundtracked crowded restaurants, difficult conversations, cowboy bars, yoga classes, night drives, and lonely bedrooms. U.F.O.F. was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios. In a large cabin-like room, the band set up their gear to track live with engineer Dom Monks and producer Andrew Sarlo, who was also behind their previous albums. Having already lived these songs on tour, they were relaxed and ready to experiment. The raw material came quickly. Some songs were written only hours before recording and stretched out instantly, first take, vocals and all. Others were explored in search of perfected moments of dynamic feedback and spiritual, rhythmic togetherness. A careful New Age sprinkle of mystical textures and stabs was added and kept in the mix only when all agreed that each element had become absolutely crucial to the tune. The completed palette feels classic, upfront and honest, with an occasional, welcome glimpse into the magic box.
The follow up to FKA twigs’ critically acclaimed Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominated debut LP1 (2014, Young Turks). Widely regarded as one of the best albums of 2014 and selling over 340,000 records globally. Top-40 rapper Future appears on the album’s second single “Holy Terrain”, continuing a run of rap collaborations including an appearance on A$AP Rocky’s ‘Testing’ LP. Twigs will tour the US in November with a theatrical performance that debuted in May to universal acclaim as well as several major festivals (Afropunk Brooklyn and Atlanta, Flog Gnaw) Press campaign includes September i-D cover, multi-page feature in Vogue October issue, television appearances and more. Twigs is a cultural figure outside of the music realm as well: appearing in the feature film “Honey Boy” out 11/8/19, being named a creative director for Nike, and starring in a viral Spike Jonze-directed Apple ad
Thom Yorke’s new album ANIMA released summer 2109 was written by Thom Yorke and produced by Nigel Godrich. The album features 9 tracks, with an extra track exclusively on vinyl. A ‘one-reeler’ film, also entitled ANIMA , is available to watch exclusively via Netflix worldwide from midnight 27th June. Made by Paul Thomas Anderson to music from Thom’s album, the one-reeler has a run time of approximately 14 minutes.
New CD: $19.98 Buy
Original score music from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, including 5 original songs, soundtracking the forthcoming remake of Dario Argento’s cult classic “Suspiria.” The Luca Guadagnino directed film stars Dakota Johnson & Tilda Swinton.
Walk Through Fire, the debut album from Yola, establishes her as the queen of country soul from the first note. The Dan Auerbach-produced album is a contemporary twist on a traditional sonic tapestry of orchestral strings, fiddle, steel, and shimmering tremolo guitars. Walk Through Fire is a career-defining and genre-bending release from one of the most exciting emerging British artists in music today. Yola's arresting vocals captivate with sincere tales of heartache and loves lost, forgotten, and broken.
Named after the street that led to Soulsville, USA, Memphis-bred rock and blues outfit Southern Avenue burst onto the scene with their acclaimed debut in 2017. The boundary-breaking combo sparked a one-band musical revolution, embodying an effortlessly organic blues/soul/R&B fusion that reflects the band's international roots. On their latest album, Keep On, the band does exactly that, never letting up with a churning blend of horns, gospel-tinged harmonies, and a rhythm section that would make any southern soul icon proud. It’s a return of the Memphis sound – a gritty, funky mojo – ringing once again down Southern Avenue.
Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, While I’m Livin’ is Tanya Tucker’s first album of all new music in 17 years and signals the return of this country music icon. "While I'm Livin'" is an album of mostly original music written by Brandi Carlile, the twins and Tanya Tucker about her real life and the places she's seen. This album is a musical biography of sorts narrated by the greatest country and western singer this side of Johnny Cash. When the kids heard Cash stripped down on "American Recordings" they knew where their outlaw country music came from. When they hear Tanya stripped down on "While I'm Livin'", they'll know it again.
Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, 'Look Now' is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It's the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of 'Momofuku' and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, 'Wise Up Ghost'. 'Look Now' is an outstanding 12-strong addition to his song catalogue. Most of the titles were written solely by Elvis Costello although, 'Don't Look Now' and 'Photographs Can Lie' were co-written with Burt Bacharach, who makes a guest appearance, leading The Imposters from the piano for those two ballads. The album was co-produced by Elvis and Sebastian Krys - the Latin Grammy Producer of the Year for 2007 and 2015, whose love and understanding of music spans both hemispheres.
I Prevail return to dominate the rock & alternative world with their second full-length album ‘TRAUMA’ set to release March 29th on Fearless Records. Produced by Tyler Smyth (Falling In Reverse) this album continues to expand upon the band’s style, entrancing hooks, and powerful music breakdowns & features guest appearances from female vocalist Delaney Jane & hip hop artist Justin Stone. Leading the way with dual singles - a moving “Breaking Down” & hard-hitting “Bow Down” - the band will embark on a year’s worth of worldwide festival appearances, headlining tour dates, and stadium worthy rock shows this spring.
Esperanza Spalding has announced an audacious new project called ‘12 Little Spells’ that finds Spalding conjuring in the medium of musical creation, through an exploration of the body, human energy and healing. Esperanza released one new spell per day on her website and social platforms as well as a “Liner Notes Live” hosted on Facebook all resulting in over 3.1 million views. The spells come in the form of new music, which was crafted by Spalding at a castle in Italy last month, and then recorded in sessions completed just yesterday in Brooklyn. Each spell will be presented with song-specific imagery and video spells (short films that will accompany each release).
Fresh off the GRAMMY-Award winning album TajMo, his collaboration with Taj Mahal, prolific blues musician Keb’ Mo’ returns his first solo record in five years, Oklahoma. Sonically timeless but lyrically relevant, Oklahoma solidifies Keb’ as a modern master of American roots music, a reputation he has held and expanded on throughout his 25+ year career.
My Finest Work Yet finds Bird grappling with themes of current day dichotomies and how to identify a moral compass amidst such divisive times. “I’m interested in the idea that our enemies are what make us whole—there’s an intimacy one shares with their opponent when locked in such a struggle. If we were to just walk away would our enemies miss us? How did we get to this point and how can we, through awareness of it, maybe pull ourselves out of this death spiral,” says Bird.
See You Around is the full-length debut from I'm With Her, featuring multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan. Before coming together these artists co-founded seminal bands (Nickel Creek and Crooked Still) and since have collectively contributed to critically acclaimed albums from esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, Kris Kristofferson, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, John Prine, and many more. This much anticipated release reveals the commitment to creating a wholly unified band sound. With each track born from close songwriting collaboration, I'm With Her builds an ineffable magic from their finespun narratives and breathtaking harmonies. The result is a collection both emotionally raw and intricate, with layers of meaning and insight within even the most starkly adorned track. Co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and the band and recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in a tiny English village near Bath, See You Around delivers a warmly textured sound that proves both fresh and timeless.
Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented their bond. Their roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on the stage, it wasn’t until last year that their schedules aligned. Years to Burn can’t help but be different from In the Reins. Back then, Calexico entered the studio with a long list of previous collaborations (first in Giant Sand, then backing the likes of Victoria Williams and Richard Buckner), but wondering if Beam’s material was so complete and self-contained that it lacked a way in. Beam had been intimidated by Calexico’s virtuosic playing and their deep comfort in an encyclopedic array of styles. Those fears were dispelled quickly. Calexico was bowled over by Beam’s many talents: “The arranging, the writing, his sense of rhythm, the quality of his vocals—and then there’s the experimental side of Sam,” Joey says. “They were the perfect band at the perfect time for me,” Sam adds. “I loved all their different sounds. They’re musical anthropologists, not regurgitating but absorbing what they discover.” Beam, Burns and Convertino reconvened in Nashville for four days of recording in December 2018. Nobody was keen to retread old ground. The change of venue—In the Reins was tracked in Tucson—was one part of the effort. Together with steel guitarist Paul Niehaus, Calexico trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela and frequent Beam cohorts Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio) on piano and Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) on bass, they settled in at the Sound Emporium, a fabled studio founded in the sixties by Cowboy Jack Clement. An added ingredient was Grammy-winning engineer/co-producer Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Al Green, Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free). As on In the Reins, Beam took the lead on songwriting for Years to Burn, but Burns added one of his own in the end. They took differing approaches: Sam shared meticulous demos ahead of time and was ready with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise. “Life is hard. Awesome. And scary as shit. But it can lift you up if you let it,” Sam offers. “These are the things Joey and I write about now. And the title can encapsulate a lot of things. ‘Years to Burn’ could mean you’re cocky, you’ve got it made. Or, our life is ours to burn, to be inspired. Or you’re burned by life, brutalized. It’s an ambiguous title, because life is complicated.”
Run Home Slow is the sophomore album from The Teskey Brothers. The Australian band are two brothers (Josh and Sam Teskey) and their friends Liam Gough and Brendon Love. Onstage the band is as tight as any in the game, bringing horns and keys into the fray to deliver a show that soars and dives with masterful control. It's anyone's guess how far The Teskey Brothers are going to take their music but all indications so far suggest the love will go deep and wide around the world for this special combo.