CIMS In The Groove
From M.C. Taylor: William s new record, Goes West, is the best music that he s ever made. I m sure of this because I know and love all of his music intimately, and this album moves me the most, and the most consistently. The first time I heard it was in the late spring in the Texas Hill Country, rolling between limestone and scrub. I was on a cleanse then no alcohol, no drugs, no evil thoughts and was astonished at the emotional clarity that the album held. It offered up a model for what I wanted my head to feel like. Goes West marks a sort of narrowing of focus for William s music; it sounds as though he found a way to point himself directly towards the rich and bittersweet emotional center of his music without being distracted by side trips. Perhaps this is down to the fact that William only plays acoustic guitar on the album, a clear and conscious decision considering that he is one of Nashville s great electric guitarists. The band that performs Goes West alongside William including guitarists Meg Duffy and Bill Frisell, bassist and producer Brad Cook, keyboardist James Wallace, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, and engineer Tucker Martine is the best and most sympathetic group of players that William could have assembled to play these songs.
Gallipoli, Beirut’s fifth album, started life when Zach Condon returned to his old Farfisa organ, the same one he used to write his first two albums, Gulag Orkestar (2006) and The Flying Club Cup (2007). After stints writing and recording in both New York and Berlin, with time for Zach to recover from a broken arm factored in, band plus producer Gabe Wax (Speedy Ortiz, Soccer Mommy, Adrianne Lenker / Big Thief) headed to Puglia in Italy to finish the album. With the remote rural setting “the right amount of isolated”, an intense month of 12 to 16-hour days in the studio with day trips around the coastline followed. Inspired by the surroundings, Gallipoli is unintentionally more visceral than Beirut’s more recent albums, alive with an energy that is further enhanced by every creak and groan of their instruments, every detuned note, and all amp buzz and technical malfunction being left in the cracks of the songs.
How do you describe an album out of time, concerned with the disappearance of culture, of humanity, of nature, of logic and emotion? Why make this album in an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing, and the tactile grains of making music have been further reduced to algorithms and projected playlist placement. Why wake up in the morning? Why hasn’t everything already disappeared? Deerhunter’s eighth LP forgets the questions and makes up unrelated answers. It gets up, walks around, it records itself in several strategic geographic points across north america. It comes home, restructures itself and goes back to bed to avoid the bad news. From the opening harpsichord and piano figures of Death in Midsummer, it is impossible to tell where the record came from. Is No One’s Sleeping an outtake of an aborted Kinks recording session in 1977 Berlin with Eno producing? No. That is nostalgia. If there is one thing Deerhunter are making clear it is that they have exhausted themselves with that toxic concept. What they spend their time doing instead is reinventing their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth. The result is as thrilling, haunting, and unpredictable as anything in their roughly 15 year career. Deerhunter have made a science fiction album about the present. Is it needed right now? Is it relevant? Perhaps only to a small audience. DADA was a reaction to the horrors of war. Punk was a reaction to the slow and vacant 70’s. Hip Hop was a liberated musical culture that challenged the notions presented wholesale about the African-American experience. What is popular music today a reaction to?
“I’m afraid I’m on the Willie Nelson retirement program, which means I’ll never retire,” promises Jim Heath, sounding every inch a Texan.
By day, Jim Heath is a mild-mannered musical historian well-versed in the birthing days of rock and roll. But when the sun goes down, he straps on his signature Gretsch 6120, steps up to the mike and is transformed into REVEREND HORTON HEAT, a hellfire-spewing, rock and roll dare-demon.
Jim’s tome is iconic: From recording with Lemmy Kilmister, being revered by country music legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, touring with Soundgarden, ZZ Top, The Cramps, Social Distortion, White Zombie and the Sex Pistols (a young Lydon was connected to Jim’s original 1985 demo), to providing touring opps to upstarts Kyuss, Hank III, Marilyn Manson and countless others across decades on the road.
Heath and longtime confidant and slap-bass general Jimbo Wallace have polished up their 12th release, Whole New Life, which Heath calls “the most positive material I have ever written. It focuses heavily on rock and roll but there is a human interest parallel - songs about growing up poor, vices, marriage, having children and walking the rapturous streets of America.”
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."
2019 release. Just as she takes up space in the male-dominated Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area punk scene, Sneaks - AKA Eva Moolchan - takes up space among the patriarchy. Highway Hypnosis, plays on hip-hop, post-punk, and invented words to fill a gap between the feminist underground and genre-specific singles charts. Through it, Moolchan joins the resistance forged by queer black feminists who create, explore, empower, conquer, and play bass.
The eagerly awaited album from Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt, ‘The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change’ will be released on the February 1, 2019 through Cooking Vinyl. Having obtained over 100 million streams between singles since signing her new deal with Cooking Vinyl, the new album shows Nina at her lyrical and musical best.
‘The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change’ has been three years in the making and bears no hint of compromise as Nina demonstrates her unique talent for acute lyrical observations and ear-worm melodies. Heralding a musical change of direction from Nina with more obvious pop influences, the album is a scintillating journey through a whole range of genres and moods.
Some bands love having very ironic names. When a band is called Daughters, listeners might expect: (1) a female-dominated or female-fronted lineup, and (2) an introspective folk-rock or adult alternative approach along the lines of the Indigo Girls, the October Project, or 10,000 Maniacs. But those who have been following Daughters since their official formation in 2001 (or before that when they were As the Sun Sets) know that they aren't a female act and that they don't sound anything like the Indigo Girls, the October Project, or 10,000 Maniacs. Daughters are guys, and they're guys who provide a jagged, dense, highly abrasive dose of noise rock on this self-titled 2010 release. Daughters have been described as everything from mathcore or math metal to alternative metal to grindcore (although this album doesn't sound like Cannibal Corpse or Carcass), but noise rock is the term that best captures Daughters in 2010 -- and make no mistake: this is an extremely noisy album. Daughters thrive on being as noisy as possible, and they love to be as frantic and as nervous as possible. A lot of that nervousness comes from a healthy appreciation of punk; they clearly appreciate punk's high-speed aggression as much as they appreciate metal's heaviness. Combine that frantic, nervous, punk-minded tension with a lot of metallic heaviness, and you have an album that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.
2019 release. Power Chords picks up where 2015's Turkey left off. It traces Krol's journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in it's title. He's wielding the same influences-Misfits, The Strokes, early Weezer, Ramones-but turning up the gravity and the gain. Indeed, Krol has gone somewhere new; yes, he bludgeoned himself with over-analysis and self-loathing, but along the way he stumbled upon a trove of intricate guitar lines and artfully mutating melodies. Music ruined Krol's life. And then saved it. In chronicling that process, Krol has made his best record-painful, voyeuristic, and angry, but ultimately transcendent and timeless. It is the sound of Krol giving in to a force greater than himself, as though the chords are playing him rather than the other way around.
amo is the long awaited new album Sheffield, England based rock band Bring Me The Horizon. amo is Bring me The Horizon's sixth studio album, and the lead single from this collection is the driving rock song MANTRA. The band spent time writing and recording in Los Angeles, with members Oli Sykes and Jordan Fish handling production. What has transpired is one of their most exhilarating, genre crossing albums to date. Says Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes, "amo is a love album that explores every aspect of that most powerful emotion. It deals with the good the bad and the ugly, and as a result we've created an album that's more experimental, more varied, weird, and wonderful than anything we've done before." While amo has some surprises, it very much sticks to the bands successful fan pleasing formula of massive stadium bouncing rocks songs with huge singalong choruses. Bring Me The Horizon have been on a rocket of a journey over the last few years, selling over 4 Million albums globally to date, playing sell out shows in over 40 countries.
The Steel Woods' sophomore Thirty Tigers album, Old News, represents a creative leap for the southern roots rock songwriting team of Alabama native Wes Bayliss and his North Carolina partner Jason "Rowdy" Cope, who completed their first recordings barely months after they first met. Recorded in Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain Studios, the site of an old church during a six-day break in a hectic touring schedule, the new album features more original songs and, for the first time, the whole band participated -- including the rhythm section of bassist Johnny Stanton and drummer Jay Tooke -- playing in a single room, cutting the tracks virtually live. Part Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, dual-guitar southern blues-rock with elements of R&B, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, folk and metal, the descriptively named, Nashville-based band deepens its resolve on a theme-driven album that joins the mystery train of the past with the full-speed loco-motion of the present, seeking to bring people together with the universality of music.
The Recording Academy™'s GRAMMY Recordings® and Republic Records have revealed the track listing for the 2019 GRAMMY® Nominees album. Set for release on Jan. 25 in stores and via digital retailers, the latest installment of the best-selling series—now in its 25th year—features a collection of top-charting hits from many of this year's illustrious GRAMMY-nominated artists. A portion of album proceeds will benefit the year-round work of the GRAMMY Museum® and MusiCares®—two charitable organizations founded by the Recording Academy that focus on music education programs and critical assistance for music people in need.
The 2019 GRAMMY Nominees album features 22 hits from the world's top recording artists and emerging talent, including Record Of The Year nominees Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin; Brandi Carlile; Childish Gambino; Drake; Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper; Kendrick Lamar & SZA; Post Malone featuring 21 Savage; and Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey.
"The artists highlighted on this year's album represent the overall diversity of the artists being recognized as 2019 GRAMMY nominees," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "We are very grateful to partner with Republic Records to release this impressive collection of songs, and to raise funds and awareness for the GRAMMY Museum and MusiCares—the two philanthropic organizations of the Recording Academy dedicated to supporting our musical culture and music creators."
"This year's 2019 GRAMMY Nominees album is a testament to an incredible year in music," said Monte Lipman, founder and CEO of Republic Records. "It’s an honor to work alongside the Recording Academy and support these two important charities in the artist community."
In music as in love, one + one can add up to not two but a new and greater one. On Heart Songs two of the world's greatest guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles, make this clear. Both are masters of their instrument, honored by the iconic Chet Atkins with the rare designation of CGP (Certified Guitar Players). Their early journeys were dissimilar. Emmanuel began his in Australia, grew up on the road with his family's band, settled as a teenager in Sydney and left his rock band to launch a spectacular solo career. Knowles followed a more academic path, eventually earning a PH.D. in physics from Texas Christian University but then electing to pursue his true love of music. Inevitably they would cross paths, become friends and perform on stages and clinics around the world. Their styles are distinctive but for that very reason they mesh seamlessly, with Knowles generally creating sophisticated but compelling foundations over which Emmanuel's guitar soars in astonishing yet always musical flights.
Timing matters. With our without you the train is departing; the second hand doesn't really stop when you won't wind your watch; inspiration strikes in an instant but its reckoning can take an eternity. In the world of music, the concept of time doesn't just pertain to cues to come in or a 4/4 beat -- it is also equally about patience and the space an artist must allow themselves to create. So for Christina Cone, the leader of the Nashville-based soulful indie-pop band Frances Cone, Late Riser, the title of her first album since 2013, is a nod to that notion, and her band's growing achievements.
Following the ever-emotive Boo Boo, Toro Y Moi’s new album Outer Peace is a time capsule that captures our relationship to contemporary culture into one comprehensive, sonic package. As both a producer and designer, Bear utilizes abstract sound pairings with recognizable samples for his most pop influenced record to date, including features from ABRA, WET, and Instupendo. This is no departure from his funk and disco roots, which can be heard on “Ordinary Pleasure”, later fusing into variations of house with tracks like “Freelance” and “Laws of the Universe.” Smooth interludes melt into fast paced beats, paralleling the feeling of driving through the Bay Area, where Bear spent most of his time writing the album. Outer Peace is duality. It embodies whatever form you choose to inhabit in the moment. Listen and let your imagination become the universe.