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Best of Holiday Gifts

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Concord

Recorded in Helsinki, Paris and New York, Hey Clockface is the latest Elvis Costello & Sebastian Krys Production, following their collaboration on Elvis Costello and The Imposters’ GRAMMY-winning album Look Now. Hey Clockface also features contributions from Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and Steve Nieve. “I wanted the record to be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful,” Costello said.

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Loma Vista

What started out in LA and was finished back in North Carolina at Esso’s home studio, Free Love asks major questions about self-image, self-righteousness, friendship, romance, and environmental calamity with enough warmth, playfulness, and magnetism to make you consider an alternate reality. These are Sylvan Esso’s most nuanced and undeniable songs—bold enough to say how they feel, big enough to make you join in that feeling.

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Loma Vista

In 2018, Margo Price claimed her rock star status at the Mother Church of Country Music. She was headlining the Ryman Auditorium for the first time ever, in a sold-out run of three nights that she had admittedly spent more time planning than her wedding. Now, Margo revisits the career-changing residency with the release of a new live album, Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman. With special guest appearances from Jack White, Emmylou Harris and Sturgill Simpson!

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Fantasy

And It’s Still Alright is an intensely personal 10-song album of vibrant country-blues, badland ballads, ornate Americana and jazz-inflected R&B. Rateliff's warm baritone, ranging from gently hushed to a guttural howl, imbues these superbly drawn character studies with raw, naked emotion. It's a commanding next step in Nathaniel's evolution into one of America's most vital and essential songwriters.

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Loma Vista

As chaos envelopes the world, Manson penned the perfect prescription. The aptly titled We Are Chaos was written/produced by Manson & Shooter Jennings. Rock & roll icon and painter, Manson continues to infiltrate fashion, film, and music, leaving his fingerprints on modern culture.

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Loma Vista

The Third Gleam marks a return to the Avett Brothers’ roots, both sonically and with Seth & Scott playing as a trio with longtime bassist Bob Crawford. The eight tracks capture their personal experiences and perspectives on undeniably timely, universal themes: isolation, gun violence, incarceration, historical prejudice, mortality, resilience, love, hope, redemption.

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Sub Pop

Metz not only continues to push their music into new territories of dynamics, crooked melodies, and sweat-drenched rhythms, they explore the theme of growing up and maturing within a format typically suspended in youth. Covering seemingly disparate themes such as paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia, and the restless urge to leave everything behind, each of Atlas Vending’s ten songs offer a snapshot of today's modern condition.

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Sub Pop

Clipping reimagine horrorcore the way Jordan Peele does horror cinema: by twisting beloved tropes to make explicit their own radical politics of monstrosity, fear, and the uncanny. Visions of Bodies Being Burned contains sixteen scary stories disguised as rap songs, incorporating as much influence from Ernest Dickerson, Clive Barker, and Shirley Jackson as it does from Three 6 Mafia, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Brotha Lynch Hung.

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Sub Pop

Sugaregg roars from the speakers and jumpstarts both heart and mind. Like My Bloody Valentine after three double espressos, opener “Add It On” zooms heavenward within seconds, epitomizing the band’s newfound clarity of purpose, while the bass-driven melodies and propulsive beats of “Where to Start” and “Let You” are the musical equivalents of the sun piercing through a perpetually cloudy sky.

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Sub Pop

Brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter for Ernest Greene as a producer and songwriter. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder, and there’s a more comprehensive depth of dynamics. One can hear the luxuriousness of Sade, the sonic bombast of Phil Collins, and the lush atmosphere of the great Balearic beat classics.

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Sub Pop

After years spent looking out at landscapes and loved ones and an increasingly unstable world, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them, on their second full-length, Sideways to New Italy.

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Secretly Canadian

Stevens’ eight studio LP is the long awaited follow-up to Carrie and Lowell. In the time between, Stevens also released Oscar-nominated music for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name; a collaborative album entitled Planetarium with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (The National) and James Mcalister; and scored several works for ballet: Reflections (Houston Ballet) and Principia (NYCB).

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Dead Oceans

Amidst the current overwhelming uncertainty and upheaval of global and personal worlds, this reunion acts as both an escape from, and a confrontation of, trying times. Getting the band back together felt right, and necessary, and the friendship at the core of the band has been a longtime pillar of Bright Eyes’ output. For Bright Eyes, this long-awaited re-emergence feels like coming home.

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Highway 20

Three-time Grammy Award winner Lucinda Williams unabashedly takes on some of the human, social and political issues of our day with her boldest and most direct album to date. During the course of her celebrated four-decade, pioneering career Williams has never rested on her laurels as she continues to push herself as a songwriter. On Good Souls Better Angels, she has much she needs to get out.

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Third Man

A total reinvention of an iconic instrument, all of the sounds heard on this album were made with a 1967 Emmons Push / Pull pedal steel guitar. This is the sound of Valhalla, of heaven, planetary alignment, of total eclipse. This is the sound of an angelic army roaring into battle. This is the heavy metal thunder of the future we were promised.

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Third Man

Los Angeles-based musician collective with a rotating cast featuring Mary Lattimore and William Tyler, playing instrumental, psychedelic folk music. Pedal Steel and Nylon String guitar intertwine to create ethereal crystalline drones and twinkling hypnotic moods. Simple music.

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