Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Julian Lennon releases two powerful new original tracks, “Freedom” and “Every Little Moment.” “Freedom” is a soulful, ethereal track intensified by Lennon's distinctive vocals that provokes an emotional and meditative journey. “Every Little Moment,” is a driving rock track, that not only confronts the wars within, but the ongoing battles we face on the outside. Lennon will continue to release singles, leading into a much anticipated studio album with BMG.
Doggerel is a mature yet visceral record of gruesome folk, ballroom pop and brutal rock, haunted by the ghosts of affairs and indulgences, driven wild by cosmic forces and envisioning digital afterlives where no God has provided one. And all the while, right there on the news, another distant storm approaches.
Guitarist Joey Santiago says, "This time around we have grown. We no longer have under two-minute songs. We have little breaks, more conventional arrangements but still our twists in there."
Vocalist/guitarist Black Francis adds, "We're trying to do things that are very big and bold and orchestrated. The punky stuff, I really like playing it but you just cannot artificially create that shit. There's another way to do this, there's other things we can do with this extra special energy that we're encountering."
Definition of doggerel [daw-ger-uhl]: loosely styled and irregular in measure especially for burlesque or comic effect also: marked by triviality or inferiority - Merrian Webster
Infectious Music Pixies - Doggerel (Deluxe)
The London Suede return with their ninth studio album, Autofiction.
As The London Suede began work on the songs that would become Autofiction, they decided to go back to basics. In a move that recalled their most formative days, Brett Anderson, Mat Osman, Simon Gilbert, Richard Oakes and Neil Codling schlepped to a rehearsal studio in deserted Kings Cross to collect a key, hump their own gear, set up and start playing.
Speaking about Autofiction, Brett Anderson said: "Autofiction is our punk record. No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess."
First single "She Still Leads Me On" is the track that reconfigured what the album could be. A beautiful song written from Brett to his late mother. As its title suggests, Autofiction is one of Anderson's most personal records yet. Reflecting on the process of writing acclaimed memoirs Coal Black Mornings and Afternoons with the Blinds Drawn helped Brett get a newfound perspective on himself as a performer and singer in the public eye, much of which has bled into the lyricism of Autofiction.
In the kitchen of the Byron Bay home of Winston McCall stands a refrigerator, adorned on one side by a quote from Tom Waits: “I want beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
This, the PARKWAY DRIVE vocalist says, is a pretty good summation of him-self. It holds true, too, as one of the guiding principles behind Darker Still, the seventh full-length album to be born of this picturesque and serene corner of north-eastern NSW, Australia, and the defining musical statement to date from one of modern metal’s most revered bands.
Darker Still, McCall says, is the vision he and his bandmates – guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, bassist Jia O’Connor and drummer Ben Gordon – have held in their mind’s eye since a misfit group of friends first convened in their parents’ basements and backyards in 2003. The journey to reach this moment has seen Parkway evolve from metal underdogs to festival-headlining behemoth, off the back of close to 20 gruelling years, six critically and commercially acclaimed studio albums (all of which achieving Gold status in their home nation), three documentaries, one live album, and many, many thousands of shows.
While Darker Still remains irrefutably PARKWAY DRIVE, it finds the band sonically standing shoulder to shoulder with rock and metal’s greats – Metallica, Pantera, Machine Head, Guns N’ Roses – as much as it does their metalcore contemporaries. “I wanted a classic guitar tone for this record,” explains Ling, who credits much of his inspiration to the connection his riffs have with a crowd in a live setting.
Emerging from the darkness of the past few years, this is the true face of PARKWAY DRIVE: redefined and resolute, focused in mind and defiant in spirit.
Born Aaron Livingston, GRAMMY Award winning Son Little unleashes his album Like Neptune never sounding stronger or more confident than now, showcasing his original vision of r&b, informed by his love for hip-hop imbued with tinges of funk, pop, and psychedelia. While Little’s collaborations with The Roots and RJD2 had already helped him make a name for himself by that point in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia, critics on both sides of the pond were quick to recognize the unique power of Little’s solo recordings, which stripped the past for parts that could be reconstituted into something wholly new and original. NPR hailed Little’s “impeccably crafted songs” as “honest and unpretentious,” while The Independent proclaimed him “a formidable talent,” and Vice declared that he was “dissolving the barrier between R&B and rock ‘n’ roll one tearjerker at a time.”
“The whole point of this record was to share every emotion that I feel,” says The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez.“No two songs are the same. It’s about existing in the world as a human being and experiencing many emotions and experiences throughout life.”
And so hence the title Exister, a record rooted in the ecstatic joys and crippling lows that life can throw up and how just hanging on and existing is sometimes all we have. “Exister is my way of saying ‘I’m here, deal with it.’” Vasquez says.
Sonically, this expression is a vast, expansive and potent one. The opening ‘Sad Song’, which unfurls with a dense brooding atmosphere, Vasquez describes as almost a ballad, while tracks such as ‘The Pit’ capture the opposite end of the musical spectrum, exploding as a thundering piece of industrial techno complete with gut-churning levels of bass. ‘Monster’ - a song that follows a human metamorphosis into an unrecognizable and destructive being - seamlessly combines a deeply melodic, almost electro pop, vocal hook with a slow build atmospherics to create something equally beautiful and unsettling. ‘Become the Lies’ explores the devastating consequences of being lied to by your own family and is a post-punk stomper, merging charging basslines, pummelling drums and snaking guitars, all of which combine explosively. Elsewhere the album runs the gauntlet of everything from ambient to dark wave - features ferocious guest contributions from fish narcand Special Interest’s
Divino Niño are no strangers to bold reinvention. When Camilo Medina and Javier Forero—friends whose bond dates back to their childhoods in Bogotá, Colombia—moved to Chicago and recruited guitarist Guillermo Rodriguez to form a band, they were psych-pop outsiders playing live shows with a drum machine. With the addition of drummer Pierce Codina, their 2019 breakthrough and debut LP for Winspear, Foam, solidified their place as local indie rock mainstays. Soon after, multi-instrumentalist Justin Vittori joined to round out their lineup. Once again, with their masterful, unpredictable, and eminently danceable new album, the band has done something radical: They totally upended the way they write songs, eschewing practice room jams for unrelentingly collaborative beats, implied grooves for immersive dance floor heaters, and mellow vibes for frenetic doses of reggaeton, electropop, and trap on their most adventurous and ambitious work to date. Welcome to the Last Spa on Earth.
Written and recorded over the past two years, Last Spa on Earth deals in release and catharsis: confronting your darkest moments and coming out better for it. The album artwork, done by Medina, a longstanding visual artist, depicts a dreamy, yet graffiti-tagged spa, void of physical bodies so listeners can envision themselves in this unique environment. It represents the yin and yang approach Divino Niño took while creating the album: the serenity of the spa and the chaos of the party. Ultimately, the band’s desire is to provide healing in the same way one feels after sweating, shivering, stretching, and resting at the spa against the backdrop of the world’s darkness. Last Spa on Earth is the cathartic product of Divino Niño letting go of their musical preconceptions, past traumas, and future anxieties to embrace change, chaos, and each other’s contributions both to these songs and to each other.
Magnetically energetic and eternally hopeful, Dayglow (the project of Austin, TX based Sloan Struble) excels in creating catchy, carefully crafted, effervescent indie pop. His home-recorded 2018 debut album Fuzzybrain featured the Platinum Certified single “Can I Call You Tonight?”, which went on to be hailed as 2020’s biggest independent alternative hit. Following up with his sophomore album Harmony House in 2021, Dayglow generated a mountain of indie buzz and critical acclaim anchored by lead single "Close To You". Now, after racking up over a billion streams and selling out headline tours around the world, Dayglow returns with his third album People In Motion. Fun and colorful, People In Motion meditates on the ideas of commitment, inner peace, and movement, while inviting the listener to the dance floor to leave the chaos and noise of our current culture behind.
Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz have a special bond. Growing up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the two were fast and unshakable friends through sleepovers, school choir practices, and discovering formative bands, to the point that now, as roommates in Brooklyn, they finish each other’s sentences. This shared history and obvious love for each other are tangible in their songwriting project TOLEDO, named after the Spanish town and Álvarez’s familial namesake. Their music, which is full of seamless harmonies throughout, skirts the softer edges of indie rock and the darker fringes of pop with each song imbuing a heaping dose of vulnerability and emotional openness.
On How It Ends, their debut album which is out September 23 via Grand Jury Music, the two dive into each other’s family histories and traumas as they navigate their own lives as twenty-something musicians. These tracks are striking for their blunt honesty but also for the way Álvarez and Dunn-Pilz’s real-life chemistry translates on record: the 12 songs are as tender as a warm hug and as clarifying as a needed reality check. This LP is the product of deep self-reflection and the necessary hard work that comes with any relationship.
Perseverance carries us through the most turbulent, traumatic, and trying of times. When all hope seems lost, it shines a light from the inside that’s impossible to extinguish, no matter how hard even the darkest forces try. That light also burns bright at the heart of Gogol Bordello. Since 1999, the band have consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of punk, gypsy, dub, folk, Latin swing, and Eastern European magic.
However, the New York-based collective trumpet the spirit of survival louder than ever on their eighth full-length album, SOLIDARITNE. Ukrainian-born band leader Eugene Hutz and Co. linked up with New York underground icon Walter Schreifels [Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand] to co-produce the album. Meanwhile, H.R. of Bad Brains guested on “Era of the End of Eras,” blessing the track with a cameo punctuated by a key moment from the Bad Brains anthem “Sailin’ On.” The band also recorded a new version single “Forces of Victory” [feat. Serhiy Zhadan & Kazka]. Dizzying acoustic guitar and violin charge forward at lightspeed before crashing into an uplifting verse kickstarted by fits of electric guitar. The accompanying video juxtaposes footage of the band with real-life scenes of citizens and soldiers in the midst of war in Ukraine shot by a Gogol Bordello crew member.
In the end, Gogol Bordello rally everyone together on SOLIDARITNE.
Charley Crockett will release his latest album The Man From Waco on September 9th via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. Crockett wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album, and in many ways The Man From Waco is the purest distillation of his artistry to date. What started as a demo session with producer Bruce Robison at Robison’s studio The Bunker outside Austin, TX turned into the first album Crockett has ever made with his band The Blue Drifters backing him from start to finish. Mostly first takes with only a handful of overdubs, The Man From Waco finds Crockett refining his singular “Gulf & Western” sound which continues to captivate an ever-growing legion of fans.
“I just wanted an honest partnership: do it at your place, live to tape, everybody in the room,” Crockett says of the recording experience, and Robison was happy to accommodate. “The magic is in the performances on that tape. That’s what Bruce wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to do. When we were done, I said ‘these are masters, not demos.’”
There’s a loose narrative thread that ties the album together, but at the center of The Man From Waco is Crockett, who continues to trust his instincts and carve out his own singular space. Eschewing the ever-growing siren song of major labels and GRAMMY-winning producers, Crockett is forging ahead as a mostly DIY artist, calling his own shots and giving himself the space to strive for greatness on his own terms.
“Everybody was telling me: ‘go right, go right, go right,’” says Crockett. “I went left. I had to hold on to what has gotten me this far.”
The Man From Waco will be in a record store near you on September 9th on CD, Vinyl, and an indie record store exclusive edition featuring alternate album artwork.
GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and author LeAnn Rimes announces her new album, god’s work (EverLe Records via Thirty Tigers/ The Orchard), to be released on Friday, September 16th. The 12-track record features an eclectic group of accomplished artists that bring a genre-bending sound to the album, including Mickey Guyton, Ziggy Marley, Aloe Blacc, Ben Harper, Ledisi, Sheila E., Robert Randolph, and more.
Written and produced by Rimes and her longtime collaborator and close friend/producer/songwriter Darrell Brown, god’s work has been nearly three years in the making and puts Rimes’ breathtaking vocals on full display. The track listing includes a mix of ethereal, rhythmic, and brutally honest songs that take each listener on their own unique journey, exploring the duality of life and recognizing the light and the dark that we all encounter. Rimes made a commitment to highlight females in the creation of the album, from the mixing to the recording and mastering, allowing her to fully immerse herself in the vulnerability of the lyrics and sound.
“For me, god’s work was all about a journey of reclamation, where humanity meets spirit,” Rimes said. “The idea was to really dig into the duality of life, and I needed to be at the place I am in my life now in order to release this record whole-heartedly. It’s so empowering that I am finally there.”
Rimes intentionally chose to go with an all-lowercase album title and track listing, explaining “If we’re arguing about why the ‘g’ is or isn’t capitalized, we’re missing the whole point. It’s so important for us to focus on the messages, rather than the nuances.”
More about LeAnn Rimes:
LeAnn Rimes is an international multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter who has sold more than 48 million units globally, won 2 Grammy® Awards; 12 Billboard Music Awards; 2 World Music Awards; 3 Academy of Country Music Awards; 2 Country Music Association Awards and one Dove Award. At 14, Rimes won "Best New Artist” making her the youngest solo artist to take home a Grammy® Award, and at 15, she became the first country artist to win “Artist of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards.
The powerhouse vocalist lit up television screens throughout the 2018 holiday season as she starred and served as an Executive Producer in Hallmark’s “It’s Christmas, Eve,” which earned the highest TV original movie debut to-date for the channel premiering to over 4.3 million viewers. In 2020, Rimes shined the brightest and won season four of FOX’s The Masked Singer, with Entertainment Weekly stating that she delivered “… the most beautiful performance in the history of The Masked Singer.”
Passionate about using her voice to help heal the world, LeAnn released a chant record in November of 2020 called CHANT: The Human and The Holy (EverLe Records / Thirty Tigers). Rimes continues her wellness journey with two seasons of her iHeartRadio podcast, Wholly Human, which will bring her lifestyle blog, Soul of EverLe, to life and introduces fans to the teachers and wise souls that have made a positive impact on her life. LeAnn is currently serving as the inspiration judge on the discovery+ competition series, Meet Your Makers Showdown, which started streaming on November 27th. LeAnn is also now celebrating her 25th anniversary as a recording artist, commemorating the release of her debut album “Blue,” and will release her next studio album, God’s Work, on September 16, 2022.
Troubadour, meaning an itinerant singer of songs, is a word that dates back centuries, and comes from the French verb “trouver,” which is to find. These musical wanderers would find and invent stories humorous and intellectual, romantic and earthy, performing them as they went from town to town. Troubadour is also the word that acclaimed musician-raconteur Todd Snider leans on to describe himself and his latest release, Live: Return of the Storyteller.
“I think my first thought with this record was I wanted to remind people really quickly that I'm a troubadour,” says Snider. “Playing live is the only chance for me to show, 'This is what I really do.' I've never thought of myself as a recording artist. I'm someone who gets over by traveling around, telling stories, making up new songs and singing them alone on stage.”
Before he even made his professional debut with Songs For The Daily Planet in 1994, Snider already knew that he wanted to be part of this time-honored tradition. “I like the romantic notion of drifting around and laughing your way through life,” he says. “Like Jim Croce or Mark Twain. I felt like I was half-doing that anyway. When I was 19, I was a real drifter and a sofa circuit person. Then when I first saw Jerry Jeff Walker and John Prine play, I became obsessed. I followed them both around like The Grateful Dead. I saw that the difference between a free spirit and a freeloader was three chords.
“And as soon as I figured that out, I knew that it would help me as a person who didn't have a plan. Just to be a busker. I didn't want to sign up for normal life. I wanted to do another thing, and then it turned into a real gig. I was really surprised. It's still funny to be getting away with it.”
That speaks to Snider's modesty about his singular talent and deep catalog of songs of every emotional stripe. Rolling Stone has called him “America's sharpest musical storyteller” while the New York Times described him as “a wryly quotable phrasemaker and worthy antagonist.” Live: Return of the Storyteller – his third live album and nineteenth overall - plays like a masterclass by one man with a guitar and a freewheeling imagination. Threading his husky-voiced phrasing through a likable cosmic cowboy manner, he invites you on a tour of tunes humorous (“Big Finish,” and the have-meets- have-not “In Between Jobs”), Proustian (“Play a Train Song,” “Too Soon To Tell,” and the lump-in-the-throat snapshot of John Prine on “Handsome John”) and heart-worn (“Like a Force of Nature,” “The Very Last Time,” “Roman Candles”). As the fifteen-song set unfolds, you can feel a tangible bond building between Snider and his fans.
But the songs are only half of what makes the connection so compelling.
Acting as palate cleansers and putty, the stories between numbers offer colorful glimpses into Snider's interior life. Whether he's talking about being mistaken for a homeless guy in a nice hotel, searching for a song in the woods while tripping or the poetry of one of his heroes dying on stage, his spoken interludes are delivered with both meandering charm and deadly comic timing.
Snider credits an unlikely source of inspiration for both. “The comedian Richard Lewis is a friend and a mentor, and we talk almost every day,” Snider says. “We met about six or seven years ago through a drummer who's a mutual friend, and really hit it off. I feel like since I've known him, my storytelling has evolved. I don't know that I've gotten better, but a lot of the ways I approach my shows is from learning things from Richard. Especially this idea of being able to go on and on without just going on and on. To ramble without getting boring.”
Snider is also mindful about not repeating himself when he's returning to a familiar venue, which can add a tightrope quality to his performances. “On this record, when I left Nashville, I didn't know what I was going to say,” he admits. “I just knew that it couldn't be the same shit that I've said. I was going to have to have some new stories to tell. That's how it's been for years. Then one night, I'll get up there and open my mouth and something new comes out. And then I'll just keep telling it and refining it. It happens under pressure.”
The timing of Live: Return of the Storyteller's release has extra resonance in our post-pandemic era. Snider says, “I'm glad I recorded the tour last year, because that was the sound of the country getting to see live music again. It was unique and it won't happen again. Everyone just hugs at the start of a concert - you can tell that they're glad to see each other, and then they get more excited than they used to be about just being out and seeing music. I'm sure that it will go back to normal, but it hasn't yet.”
While the album captures what Snider laughingly calls his “second tour - because I went out on the road in '94 and never went home until the pandemic” - it acts as both a summing up of a thirty-year career and a look ahead.
“I always think that being a recording artist isn't something that I've thrived at,” he says. “I have fun with it and try all different kinds of music and try to learn more and more, but the only reason I get to do it is because of the main thing I do - which is travel around by myself and sing and tell stories. That thing works. Since I was twenty, that thing has worked. People come to see me do it and I love to do it.”
“It’s been a process of learning how to be in a community of musicians and less focusing on the lone, depressed songwriter…just playing something that has a beat and is really fun,” Fullbright says. On September 30th, Fullbright is set to end the dry spell with the release of his new LP, The Liar (via Blue Dirt Records / Thirty Tigers) opening up his newfound trust in musical collaboration for the world to hear. “That’s not to say there are no songs on this record where I depart from that because there are, but there's also a band with an opinion. And that part is new to me.”
The Liar was recorded at Steve and Charlene Ripley’s farm-to-studio compound in northeastern Oklahoma. After Steve’s passing, Charlene flirted with the idea of selling the studio property, so Fullbright mobilized quickly to ensure he was able to record there before it changed hands. He threw together a band made up of, as Fullbright calls them, “the usual suspects.” Anyone fleetingly familiar with Oklahoma music will recognize the roster, which includes Jesse Aycock, Aaron Boehler, Paul Wilkes, Stephen Lee, and Paddy Ryan, all of whom are in more bands than seems possible. Along with a few more friends stopping in to lay down takes, they finished the songs and tracked the album with engineer Jason Weinheimer in a whirlwind four days.
“It was such a collaborative thing with some really cool voices,” Fullbright said, expressing surprise at the ease of the process. “It's just like playing music in Tulsa. Everybody kind of does whatever they do, and it works.”
The grab-and-go momentum landed Fullbright in the studio with some old songs (“Unlocked Doors” also appeared on 2009’s Live at the Blue Door), some new, and some unfinished, making his newfound trust in musical collaboration essential to the arrangements and reflected fully on the final album. The Liar, as a result, utilizes emotional and instrumental dynamics in ways Fullbright hasn’t allowed himself to explore fully before. There’s a noticeable slack here, an indulgent instrumental break there, and the general feeling that the tight-lipped John Fullbright who agonized over the writing process and then hesitated to talk about the meanings behind his songs in the past has eased up.
“What rules didn’t I have?” Fullbright says about his former songwriting self. “Even like, how many syllables were in a line, I had arbitrary rules for. So much of that has gone out the door, and I’m so much happier. It’s really just the idea that you don’t have to do this by yourself. It’s so much more fun to collaborate.”
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Even real places become imaginary when they are so far out of reach. Named for an idyllic island near Ibiza off the coast of Spain, Formentera is a place that, for Metric, only existed on a page in a “dream destinations” travel book that lay open on a desk in the new recording studio that guitarist Jimmy Shaw built in 2020, in a rural hamlet north of Toronto. This is the setting where the band’s eighth album took shape. Shaw brought on Synthetica collaborator Liam O’Neil as well as longtime friend Gus van Go (The Stills) to co-engineer and co-produce with him. When the border opened, Metric bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott Key came in from the U.S to record, adding live energy and sonic depth to complete the Metric sound.
The result is a conceptual arc that progresses from tension and turmoil to dance-floor abandon, beginning with the edgy ten-minute album opener “Doomscroller,” and progressing through a color wheel of emotions, from determined perseverance on “What Feels Like Eternity” to self-emancipation in full orchestral bloom on the title track as Haines poses the question, “Why not just let go?” There’s a sense of resolution in the very matter-of-fact, deceptively catchy “False Dichotomy,” and the album ends on a melancholy high with “Paths in the Sky,” a love song to lifelong friendship, a thematic companion track to “All Comes Crashing,” an end-of-days banger and the first single.
“This is what we’re all thinking about,” Haines says. “So let’s address it, let’s have this whole expansive emotional experience that can feel collective instead of all going through it alone.”
For Thee Sacred Souls, the first time is often the charm. The band's first club dates led to a record deal with the revered Daptone label; their first singles racked up more than ten million streams in a year and garnered attention from Billboard, Rolling Stone, and KCRW; and their first fans included the likes of Gary Clark Jr., The Black Pumas, Princess Nokia, and Timbaland. Now, the breakout San Diego trio is ready to deliver yet another landmark first with the release of their self-titled debut.
"Every step of the way has just been so organic," says drummer Alex Garcia. "Things just seem to happen naturally when the three of us get together."
Indeed, there's something inevitable about the sound of Thee Sacred Souls, as if Garcia and his bandmates - bassist Sal Samano and singer Josh Lane - have been playing together for a lifetime already. Produced by Bosco Mann (aka Daptone co-founder Gabriel Roth), Thee Sacred Souls is a warm and textured record, mixing the easygoing grace of sweet '60s soul with the grit and groove of early '70s R&B, and the performances are utterly intoxicating, with Lane's weightless vocals anchored by the rhythm section's deep pocket and infectious chemistry. Hints of Chicano, Philly, Chicago, Memphis, and even Panama soul turn up here, and while it's tempting to toss around labels like "retro" with a deliberately analog collection like this, there's also something distinctly modern about the band that defies easy categorization, a rawness and a sincerity that transcends time and place.
Their self titled debut album is out August 26th on Daptone / Penrose Records.