Indie Exclusive Releases
Hailed as "the reigning heavyweight champions of Southern rock" (No Depression), Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke is back with their 8th studio album, Be Right Here, produced by Dave Cobb. Be Right Here follows 2021's You Hear Georgia, which was the best-selling Country and Americana/Folk album in the country, entered at #7 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and #4 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. Released to critical acclaim, No Depression praised the band for being “as much students of singer-songwriter-folk and outlaw country as they are of jam-based, chest-pumping rock,” ” while Guitar World declared "Many try to reproduce that holy grail, golden-era-of-classic-rock sound through their six-string escapades, yet only a handful ultimately succeed. One such band who succeeds in spades is Blackberry Smoke, whose most recent album You Hear Georgia serves up 10 tracks of pure rock ‘n’ roll bliss.”
In addition to Blackberry Smoke—Starr (vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Brandon Still (keyboards)—the album also features background vocals from longtime collaborators The Black Bettys.
Vinyl: $26.98 PREORDER
Strawberry Shortcake Splash LP (Indie Exclusive). The Menzingers are an absolute institution. The Philadelphia punk legends' multi-decade reputation as road warriors with an unbeatable catalog is cemented as hard truth-and their seventh album, Some Of It Was True, stands as their most immediate-sounding and energetic record to date. The follow-up to 2019's sensational Hello Exile accomplishes the daunting task of capturing the Menzingers' distinctive live energy in the confines of the studio, resulting in a sound that's both rich, raw, and complementary to the group's increasingly prismatic songwriting approach. More than 15 years in, the Menzingers are still holding their listeners square in the immediate present, and Some Of It Was True documents that power in thrilling fashion.
"We wanted to make a fun record and write songs that we wanted to play live, and that's exactly what we did," co-vocalist/guitarist Greg Barnett says "We've always said that we want every album to sound live, but we never recorded an album live before. This was the first time we committed to that idea. We wanted to sound like how our band sounds onstage." Making the process easier: Grammy-nominated producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, the War on Drugs, Waxahatchee), who joined the Menzingers in El Paso's legendary Sonic Ranch studios and lent his incredible ear for raw, immediate sound to help the band achieve Some Of It Was True's in-the-room live feel. "The Menzingers are as real as it gets," Cook says on his time in the studio with the band. "I had an absolute blast working with these guys and was moved to tears many times. They are truly dedicated to artistic growth, and to each other, in ways I found both refreshing and beautiful. I am now a lifer."
Vinyl: $25.98 PREORDER
Polaroid Lovers is the 7th studio album from four-time GRAMMY winner Sarah Jarosz. Produced by Daniel Tashian, Polaroid Lovers is a bold creative statement that sees Jarosz exploring new sonic territory. The 11 songs on the album, all co-written by Jarosz with songwriters including Tashian, Jon Randall, Ruston Kelly, and Natalie Hemby, touch on themes both personal and universal: love, longing, and finding one’s place in the world.
Liverpool’s acclaimed sensual existentialist Brad Stank today announces the release of his resolutely romantic new album In The Midst of You on January 26th via his new label Sunday Best Recordings. He launches the album alongside the quintessentially Brad ‘Natty Wine’ and its accompanying video. The new single ‘Natty Wine’ neatly encapsulates the many charms that emerge throughout the album. With Brad backed by soulful female vocal harmonies, the song’s jazzy psychedelia possesses a touch of twanging Americana, its warm and vibrant live instrumentation making for a song as relaxed as a Sunday afternoon in the sun. It’s also notable for featuring Brad’s favourite percussive instrument deep in the mix: a wooden frog. He adds, “This is a tongue-in-cheek song I wrote after being gifted a bottle of natural wine by a friend. I’m a working-class boy who would much rather drink shitty lager at a party, like Stella or Holsten Pils. I’ve got no right to be writing a song about natty wine but I was feeling bougie. It’s a love song in disguise, I liked the imagery of lyrics like, ‘Your sweet loving just keeps dripping from the vine.’” In The Midst of You finds Brad in late night lothario mode, his previous seductive style now taking a more resolutely romantic and perhaps surprisingly spiritual direction. The phrase “in the midst of you” comes from the Bible, Zephaniah 3:17, “the full quote is something along the lines of “God is in the midst of you” - basically meaning that you have to look inward for peace or enlightenment, etc. the album is about that in parts and also, as always, I tried to put a romantic twist on it so that the “in the midst of you” is about being in love with somebody. It’s kind of a juxtaposition but I’ve always enjoyed taking spiritual messages and giving them a double meaning, explains Brad. “Hopefully it’s a positive message of prostrating yourself to somebody, or to spirituality or something - but giving yourself fully to something, being in the midst…”
Vinyl: $23.98 PREORDER
Torchbearers for British guitar music, The Vaccines - Justin Young (lead vocals, guitars), Árni Árnason (bass, vocals), Timothy Lanham (guitars, keys, vocals) and Yoann Intonti (drums) - are back with their sixth studio album Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations. The title comes from a misremembered lyric from Don McClean's "American Pie," a song that for Young fittingly evokes the death of innocence and the American Dream. After he moved to Los Angeles - a city the band has grown up being captivated by - he was forced to wrestle with the disillusionment that comes when expectations, dreams, and reality don't quite meet. Yet, though Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations is an album about reconciling with loss, it's also filled with gratitude for the people and places we once loved.
"Pink carnations symbolise gratitude and tell a person they’ll never be forgotten," says Young. "So whether it's the loss of a lover, or a friend, or even just a dream, the record is a reminder that they’ll live on in whatever capacity the mind allows them to. And it's a reminder to keep on dreaming.”
Produced by Andrew Wells (Halsey, Phoebe Bridgers) with Mixing from Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips), Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations is an immediately anthemic addition to the band's discography. With a mammoth five UK Top 5 albums – including a Number 1 with 2012’s Come of Age – and a fierce live reputation forged through arena-filling headline shows and unforgettable slots at Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds, The Vaccines continue to be a vital band in the British rock canon.
The surprise companion to The National’s April release First Two Pages of Frankenstein, Laugh Track is the band’s most freewheeling, all-hands-on-deck album in years. If Frankenstein represented a rebuilding of trust between group members after 20+ years together, the vibrant, exploratory Laugh Track is both the product of that faith and a new statement of intent. Reveling in the license to radically upend its creative process, The National honed most of this material in live performances on tour, and captured those invigorated versions in impromptu sessions at producer Tucker Martine’s Portland studio. Two nights later in Vancouver, the nearly eight-minute album closer “Smoke Detector” was recorded during soundcheck, completing a body of work bristling with spontaneity and vintage rock energy that makes a perfect complement to the songs found on its more introspective predecessor.
Vinyl: $29.98 PREORDER
Deafheaven’s monolithic second LP Sunbather, was not only a massive success in 2013, it created a radical shift in heavy music culture, an acceptance of the genre by previous outsiders, and a trailblazing sound that heretofore hadn’t been heard outside of learned circles. It was a reville introducing the changing of the guard in metal, featuring phenomenal reviews across the board, and breaking the mold used by buttoned-up indie types and false-flag musical dilettantes intent on keeping the status quo. A maverick release in every facet, the cornerstone for the triumph that is Sunbather truly lies in its world class songwriting. From the opening anthem “Dream House,'' it's clear to see that Deafheaven was soaring triumphantly into the unknown, through the emotional highs and lows, the fire and rain, and onto the unseen road ahead. Lyrically, Sunbather examines themes of existentialism, diving headfirst into the abyss, and the pursuit of self-discovery. The album's title itself is similar in scope, representing the embrace of the light and movement out of the dark unknown. Sunbather takes influence from the majesty of early Emperor and underground US heroes Weakling, the dark beauty of France’s Alcest, the introspective nature of post-rock and shoegaze gods like Mogwai and Slowdive, as well as the DIY spirit of punk ranging from Fugazi to Man is the Bastard to create a new realm for their emotional and expansive epics. The result is the nihilism and icy darkness found in black metal melding perfectly with the pensive, ethereal nature of shoegaze and the expansive dramatics of post-rock to create a new landscape. By juxtaposing propulsive and harsh blast beats and riffs against soaring melody, Deafheaven had refocused the blind-hate nature found at the kernel of black metal into a melancholic and singular journey to explore the unknown. Considering metal’s staunchly negative relationship with the press, Deafheaven’s Sunbather was nothing less than a true triumph. An immediate success at the time of it’s release, Sunbather blasted through the glass ceiling that limited so many other heavy music bands before them. Lauded by virtually every major critical outlet, Sunbather is the picture perfect ideal of a music darling– leading to sold out shows around the globe in increasing numbers. Sunbather would eventually become a year end favorite, repeatedly named one of the best albums of 2013 and landing on top 10 lists that were previously alien to heavy music– outlets like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the New York Times and the like. And while the critics were dogpiling on the compliments, the conservative nature of heavy metal could not help but spin things in the opposite direction. As the saying goes, ‘the first one through the door catches all the bullets.’ “The easy answer was it was totally positive and overwhelming,” says founding guitarist Kerry McCoy with a bit of a chuckle when asked about his feelings about the response to Sunbather. “But in actuality it was also kind of frustrating. We were grateful for the positive notes, but there were people who thought we were the worst thing to ever happen to metal and others who thought that we claimed to invent the genre. Neither were true.” In addition to the game-changing musical approach, the band’s aesthetics were nothing if not utterly controversial as well. Designer Nick Steinhardt’s striking cover with use of a highly stylized font and a pale pink as the chosen color is not only a masterstroke in contemporary design, it was a true middle finger to the black metal establishment– one that prided itself on a lo-fi black and white aesthetic. The bright and easily recognizable cover openly positioned the album as a true outsider unafraid to duck genre boundaries. Formed in 2010 in San Francisco, California with the core duo of George Clarke and McCoy, the pair completed their debut demo with Jack Shirley, who would eventually helm Sunbather, releasing it on limited cassette. The cassette became an underground phenomenon, leading to a record deal with Deathwish Inc who released the cassette in limited numbers on seven-inch. After recruiting a live band, the five piece recorded their debut LP Roads to Judah and embarked on a series of shorter tours to promote the release. When the time came for the follow-up, the band slimmed back down to the original duo and added drummer Daniel Tracey– creating what many believe to be one of the most important musical statements of the ‘10s. The release would be their third with Jack Shirley. “Honestly, Sunbather gave us a career,” says McCoy with candor. “Before then we were working jobs and had these grandiose dreams, but that was the record that turned us into a real band. Because of that record, we ended up meeting a lot of people around the world that changed our lives and set us on the path we’re on now.” Ten years later, Deafheaven is nothing less than a mammoth and live touring juggernaut, with fans across the far reaches of the earth and a flawless live lineup of Shiv Mehra on guitar (joined in 2013) and Chris Johnson on bass (2017) in addition to Clarke, McCoy and Tracey. One of the most important and original rock bands of the past fifteen years, the long-awaited reissue of this pivotal release celebrates its tenth anniversary with a fresh shine and coat of paint– a newly remixed and remastered sound by original producer Jack Shirley with available spacial audio, an updated look to the packaging in all formats courtesy of the album’s original designer Nick Steinhardt, and deluxe color vinyl that includes a gatefold jacket with spot UV printing and 2 full-color printed inner sleeves. Whether a newbie to this colossal record or a familiar party, the anniversary edition is a crucial addition to the collection of any erudite music fan.
Vinyl: $59.98 PREORDER
Global icon and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dolly Parton, has joined forces with some of rock music’s most legendary artists along with today’s biggest stars for her first-ever rock album, Rockstar. The ever-evolving Parton teamed up with an all-star roster of musicians for the 30-song collection which includes 9 original tracks and 21 covers of iconic rock anthems.
Vinyl: $20.98 PREORDER
Daneshevskaya (Dawn-eh-shev-sky-uh), the project of New York’s Anna Beckerman, writes songs steeped in the folklore of her own personal history. Her artist (and real middle) name comes from her Russian-Jewish great-grandmother, a person whose presence she has always felt although their paths never crossed in real life. Beckerman grew up in a musical family; her father is a music professor, her mother studied opera and her own songs often feel spiritual, less so by any religious connotation and more as a hymn-like, archival record of Beckerman’s own past, present and future.
Vinyl: $29.98 PREORDER
“I’m still learning how to experience joy, how to be free, how to be comfortable in my own skin,” says Jaime Wyatt. “A lot of us grow up feeling like we have to hide who we are just to be accepted, but that comes from a place of fear and judgment. I wrote these songs as a way of letting go of all that, as permission to feel good.”
Feel Good, Wyatt’s extraordinary new album, is more than just a permission slip, though: it’s an invitation. Recorded with Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada, the record is bold and ecstatic, built on tight, intoxicating grooves that belie the songs’ substantial emotional stakes. Wyatt’s writing is raw and intuitive here, tapping into the deep recesses of her subconscious as she reckons with grief and growth, and her delivery is visceral to match, cutting straight to the bone with equal parts sensitivity and swagger. Taken as a whole, the collection stands as a radical act of creative liberation from an artist already known for pushing limits, a genre-defying work of healing and self-love that tips its cap to everything from Al Green and Otis Redding to Waylon Jennings and Bobbie Gentry in its relentless pursuit of peace and pleasure.
Duran Duran return with their new album Danse Macabre. The 13 song collection features: three brand new songs; haunting covers of songs by artists such as Billie Eilish, Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones and The Specials; and new versions of Duran Duran classics from their own catalog. It also includes a rare b-side and fan favorite: “Secret Oktober 31st”. Guest artists include producer, guitarist and composer Nile Rodgers, Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin and former band members Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo. Exquisitely packaged with a fold-out poster, the record features images adapted from a collection of authentic vintage séance photos that band member Nick Rhodes sourced at auction.
Vinyl: $25.99 PREORDER
As they set to work on their highly awaited sophomore album, Black Pumas broadened their palette to include a dazzling expanse of musical forms: heavenly hybrids of soul and symphonic pop, mind-bending excursions into jazz-funk and psychedelia, starry-eyed love songs that feel dropped from the cosmos. The debut was nominated for 7 Grammys and reached one million album equivalents. Chronicles Of A Diamond arrives as the fullest expression yet of their frenetic creativity and limitless vision.
“A lot of this record is questioning all the bad stuff we see in the world and the difficult things we go through in life, and asking how to deal with it,” says vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon, whose bandmates include drummer Benny Horowitz, bassist Alex Levine, and lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia. “I think the answer is that we’re all in this together and that somehow makes it okay, even when it’s anything but easy. The main message of the album is empathy.”
The first release from their own Rich Mahogany Recordings (a label distributed via Thirty Tigers), History Books finds The Gaslight Anthem working with acclaimed producer/engineer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie) and recording at his Bridgeport, CT-based Tarquin Studios. “We didn’t have any interest in reinventing what The Gaslight Anthem sounds like,” Fallon reveals. “We wanted to stay true to ourselves but also let Peter do what he does best, which is to make things sound beautiful and sad and fun and exciting all at the same time.” Featuring a guest appearance from longtime Gaslight Anthem champion Bruce Springsteen, History Books matches its unfussy yet gracefully crafted sound with the force-of-nature energy that’s defined the band since getting their start playing basement shows back in the mid-aughts. “None of us wanted to make a very somber or serious record showing how much we’ve matured,” says Fallon. “We’ve all changed and grown and learned so much, but the overall mood was a feeling of excitement to be back together and making music that means something to us.”
The follow-up to 2014’s Get Hurt, History Books takes its title from a heavy-hearted track about the power in letting go of what no longer serves you. “I think forgiveness is so important on so many levels, but I’ve learned that in some cases you need to cut ties with the people who’ve done you harm,” says Fallon. Rooted in lyrics that perfectly encapsulate Fallon’s penchant for gorgeously lived-in poetry (e.g., “Nights of smoke and dirty jokes/Darkened rooms with lonely ghosts/They were beautiful some time ago/But time keeps rollin’ us on”), “History Books” also echoes the album’s themes of transience and transcendence. “In some ways each song is a history book—they each tell a story of the past, and all the things that we’ve left behind,” Fallon points out.
Vinyl: $22.98 PREORDER
Jenny from Thebes began its life as many albums by the Mountain Goats do, with John Darnielle playing the piano until a lyric emerged. That lyric, “Jenny was a warrior / Jenny was a thief / Jenny hit the corner clinic begging for relief,” became “Jenny III,” a song which laid down a challenge he’d never taken up before: writing a sequel to one of his most beloved albums. The Mountain Goats’ catalog is thick with recurring characters—Jenny, who originally appears in the All Hail West Texas track bearing her name, as well as in “Straight Six” from Jam Eater Blues and Transcendental Youth side two jam “Night Light,” is one of these, someone who enters a song unexpectedly, pricking up the ears of fans who are keen on continuing the various narrative threads running through the Mountain Goats’ discography before vanishing into the mist. In these songs, Jenny is largely defined by her absence, and she is given that definition by other characters. She is running from something. These features are beguiling, both to the characters who’ve told her story so far and to the listener. They invite certain questions: Who is Jenny, really? What is she running from? Well, she’s a warrior and a thief, and, this being an album by the Mountain Goats, it’s a safe bet whatever she’s fleeing is something bad. Something catastrophically bad. Jenny from Thebes is the story of Jenny, her southwestern ranch style house, the people for whom that house is a place of safety, and the west Texas town that is uncomfortable with its existence. It is a story about the individual and society, about safety and shelter and those who choose to provide care when nobody else will. This is what a follow-up to All Hail West Texas entails. But if you think about the Mountain Goats as they were in 2001, when Darnielle wrote and recorded that album on his own, mostly into his Panasonic RX-FT500 boombox, and how they are now as the recording and touring outfit of Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Matt Douglas, and Jon Wurster, you may find yourself asking how. That occurred to Darnielle, too. “If we’re going to do a sequel to a record that was recorded almost entirely on a boombox,” he asks, “why not do the opposite and make it as big as possible?” Decamping to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s legendary The Church Studio with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Trina Shoemaker (Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions), that is exactly what the Mountain Goats did. Jenny from Thebes is a lush collection of showtunes, pushing Darnielle as a vocalist and the Mountain Goats as a band, broadening their sonic palette once again by leaning into influences like Godspell, Jim Steinman, and The Cars. The resulting album cuts a path that is simultaneously full of allusions longtime Mountain Goats fans will spin entire mythologies from while also being their most inviting record for those who’ve yet to be converted to the cause. Lifted by Matt Douglas’ horn and string arrangements, the dreamy guitar of Bully leader (and Bleed Out producer) Alicia Bognanno, and backing vocals from Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s (“Only One Way,” “Same as Cash,” “Going to Dallas”) and Matt Nathanson (“Fresh Tattoo”), the album is a widescreen musical in scope, a melodrama of richly detailed characters and sweeping emotions. Explaining the title of the album, Darnielle notes that Jenny is not unlike a character from Greek literature, someone on the verge of an unimaginable tragedy whose signs and portents will not make themselves known to her until she finds herself amidst the wreckage. “These things never happen in isolation,” he says. “One bad event leads to and is the reason for another bad event. Jenny should know that you can’t keep a safehouse in a west Texas town, but she’s too wrapped up in the process and has to go through the loss to understand how it happened.” Whether or not she comes to understand how it happened, the events of Jenny from Thebes set Jenny on the run. A woman and her custom yellow and black Kawasaki held in the memories of a vanishing few, someone who held the gate for as long as she could, as a warrior might, before disappearing into the night like a thief.
Vinyl: $27.98 PREORDER