In The Groove
Quietly Blowing It is an intimate and introspective offering that finds M.C. Taylor ruminating on themes of growing up, alienation, obligation, hope, purpose, family, class, self-discovery, healing, and rebuilding, fashioned with impressionistic tones. He says the record "feels like the most personal album that I've made because I'm not trying to explain anything to anyone except myself." Taylor reckons with these turbulent times in deeply personal terms and seeks to inspire listeners to do the same. Musically, the new songs are steeped in gospel, Southern soul, indie folk, and alt-country with tinges of blues, rock, and jazz influences running throughout. Highlights include the minimalist R&B of "It Will If We Let It," the rolling country groove of "The Great Mystifier," and the heartfelt, smoky lament of "Painting Houses" (co-written with Gregory Alan Isakov). Quietly Blowing It features special guests that include Griffin and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Zach Williams of The Lone Bellow, Nashville guitar great Buddy Miller, and producer/musician Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman.
CD: 4-panel wallet with 16-page booklet.
At last it can be told: the story of how, when The Mountain Goats got together in early March, 2020, it was to make not one album, but two. The idea this time around was to work with Matt Ross-Spang, the dashing Memphis wunderkind who'd engineered that album and charmed us all with his gentle wit and old-school savoir-faire. The Memphis album-Getting Into Knives, which came out last October-would be brighter, bolder, marked by rich and vibrant hues; the Muscle Shoals one-Dark in Here, set for release on June 25-quieter, smokier, but more deeply textured and intense. One of the words that John used when we were talking about the direction for Dark in Here was "wild," which I liked a lot. Not wild in the sense of abandon-these aren't those kind of songs. But wild in the sense of something undomesticated, untamable. Wild like the immutability of nature, the way it will take back any piece of untended space as it's own, whether amidst the AutoZones and Chick-fil-A's of Muscle Shoals or among the ruins of a scientific outpost on the Kola Peninsula. Wild like the whale; like a powerful animal. Or a virus-the beast that awakes, emerges from a forest, and stops the world. You can fight the calamity all you want, but either way, it's going to demand your surrender.
Coming June 25th: the new full-length from Lucy Dacus, Home Video. This new gift from Dacus, which features vocal contributions from boygenius bandmates Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, VA. Many songs start the way a memoir might''In the summer of '07 I was sure I'd go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS''and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus's ability to use the personal as portal into the universal.
Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the collaborative album Utopian Ashes, due July 2, 2021 via Third Man Records. The album is heralded by lead single "Remember We Were Lovers" alongside an official video by Douglas Hart (The Horrors, Paul Weller).
The long awaited third album from The Goon Sax, Mirror II.
Since forming in high school, Brisbane band The Goon Sax-the trio of Riley Jones, Louis Forster, and James Harrison, best friends who take turns writing, singing, and playing each instrument- have been celebrated for their unpretentious, kinetic homemade pop. Mirror ll, The Goon Sax's first album for Matador, is something else entirely: a new beginning, a multi-dimensional eclectic journey of musical craftsmanship that moves from disco to folk to no wave skronk with staggering cohesion. Gone are the first-person insecurities of their school days-they've been made expansive, more universal, more weird.
Mirror II is intense, the sum of everything that has always made The Goon Sax great: robust sprechgesang, raw lyrical candor, ascending guitar pop structures that would make the most storied jangle bands blush, elevated into their newfound narra- tive verisimilitude and expanded sonic experimentations. Each member's idiosyncratic style comes across on record: Riley's bubblegum noise is more present than ever before, Louis' moody, super- natural avant-pop, and James' psychedelic folk.
GOON SAX / MIRROR II
After his autobiographical debut album, The Good & The Bad, Brooklyn artist/actor Anthony Ramos returns with his sophomore release, Love And Lies, an adrenaline-filled record that leads listeners through a night out filled with lust, passion, and losing oneself in living on the edge. Proclaimed as Ramos’ most matured music to date, the album — like Ramos himself — is multi-genre from pop with “Lose My Mind”, to R&B on “Control,” and the Latin- inspired “Échale.” 2021 is the year of Anthony Ramos.
He scrapped the demos and began a collection of songs in quarantine where the unprecedented times and topics were unavoidable. He wanted to document the era sonically and lyrically in some way.
Sob Rock is the new album from John Mayer, and this collection marks the artist’s eight full length studio album. Sob Rock is produced by John Mayer and Don Was, and most of the album was recorded during the global pandemic of 2020- 2021. The album was launched with the single and video, “Last Train Home.”
John Mayer emerged in 2001 with his debut album, Room For Squares. He has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including three # 1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 with the triple platinum Heavier Things in 2003, the double platinum Battle Studies in 2009, and the gold certified Born and Raised in 2012. His 2017 album, The Search For Everything, debuted at # 2 on the Billboard Top 200, and has also been certified gold. Additionally, he has earned 7 Grammy® Awards.
Oliver Wood is a testament to slow and steady wins the race. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, he relocated to Atlanta in his early twenties to pursue a career in music. Gaining a reputation over a ten year period as one of the premier working musicians on the local Georgia music scene, he was invited to join blues legend Tinsley Ellis’ road band. From there, Oliver would form his own group, King Johnson, who’d build a loyal regional following. When opening for his brother Chris’ band, Medeski Martin & Wood, he was invited to sit in, which instantly reminded them of the deep musical bond they shared. Soon thereafter, The Wood Brothers were born. They’ve since gone on to release seven studio albums, perform high profile shows from Red Rocks to Bonnaroo and earn a Grammy Award-nomination.
Until the release of “Soul Of This Town” and “The Battle Is Over," in 2020, Oliver had never stepped out under his own name as a solo artist. 'Always Smilin'' is a strong opening statement from Oliver as a solo artist, and one that sets him apart as an accomplished singer and songwriter outside of his day job with The Wood Brothers.
Almost 50 years after the sessions that would make them an “accidental Texas supergroup” (Rolling Stone), The Flatlanders have returned with Treasure of Love, their first new album in more than a decade. Completed during COVID-19 lockdowns with the help of longtime friend and collaborator Lloyd Maines, the record finds the iconic trio of Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock in classic form, serving up a rollicking collection of twang-fueled, harmony-laden performances full of wry humor and raw heartbreak. While a few songs here are never-before-heard originals, the vast majority of the tracklist consists of tunes the band picked up during their half-century together, some stretching as far back as the group’s earliest performances in the honkytonks around Lubbock, TX, where you might have spotted Willie Nelson or Townes Van Zandt in the audience.
Largely ignored by press and radio, the initial incarnation of The Flatlanders lasted only a few years before disbanding in 1973. In the decades to come, however, Ely, Gilmore, and Hancock would all go on to considerable success as solo artists, and with the 1990 reissue of their long lost debut, The Flatlanders finally received their due. Critics hailed them as visionaries and craftsmen of the highest caliber (The New York Times dubbed their first LP a “founding document of the alternative country movement”), and the trio would spend the next 30 years collaborating and touring on and off again to widespread acclaim.
Clairo has revealed her new single, “Blouse,” as well as the news of her forthcoming sophomore studio album, Sling, which will see its global release on July 16th via FADER Label/Republic Records. Written and recorded in upstate New York at Allaire Studios, Sling was co-produced by Clairo and Golden Globe/GRAMMY Awardwinning producer Jack Antonoff and was announced following Clairo’s live performance of “Blouse” on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Like thousands of artists, Williams cut her teeth and developed her craft by playing in small, medium, and large clubs throughout the country, and the world. These venues are vital to the development of artists and their music. Williams has never forgotten her roots, and often performs special shows in some of her favorite halls.
This year, the Lu's Jukebox Series will be made widely available on Vinyl and CD. Volume 1, Running Down A Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty, was released on April 16, 2021, and featured songs from the namesake's celebrated career.
Wavves new album Hideaway, is out July 16th and marks their return to Fat Possum Records. Across its brief but impactful nine tracks, the album, produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio, is about what happens when you get old enough to take stock of the world around you and realize that no one is going to save you but yourself, and even that might be a tall order.
"It's real peaks and valleys with me," Nathan Williams says. "I can be super optimistic and I can feel really good, and then I can hit a skid and it's like an earthquake hits my life, and everything just falls apart. Some of it is my own doing, of course." It's this self awareness that permeates each of Hideaway's songs, marking them each as mature reckonings with who he is.
WAVVES / HIDEAWAY
Republic Records and Warner Bros. Pictures present the soundtrack to Space Jam: A New Legacy, the mega- anticipated animated/live-action film opening in theaters across the U.S. and on HBO Max on July 16. The first single, “We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy)” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart and unites multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated rapper Lil Baby with 16x GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum gospel icon Kirk Franklin over a beat from Just Blaze [Eminem, JAY-Z.]