In The Groove
Noah Gundersen returns with his much anticipated new album, ‘A Pillar of Salt’ out October 8th ahead of a US headline tour kicking off October 9th. The project is a return to form for Gundersen, coupling heartfelt lyrics with his signature understated vocal performance. Featuring singles “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Atlantis,” a stunning duet with Phoebe Bridgers, fans old and new will be celebrating this triumphant piece of art.
On September 24, Mac McCaughan will release The Sound of Yourself, his second full-length under his own name.
Throughout his musical career fronting Superchunk and Portastatic, Mac McCaughan has channeled more than his share of angst and tumult into a microphone, resulting in straight-up undeniable rock anthems. So how can a voice so familiar to others still seem foreign to its owner? On The Sound of Yourself, he explores that question fully, shooting his voice through a prism and refracting it across these songs in new and rewarding ways. In January 2021, McCaughan found himself at his home studio in Chapel Hill staring down a clean slate after wrapping up a film score and several other music projects. This setting—a distant light at the end of a figurative tunnel, and a literal room full of instruments—was integral to The Sound of Yourself. His thought process was simple: “Each day is blurring into the next, so what are we doing today? How can I disrupt this? I think what resulted was a theme of subdued... ‘joy’ is the wrong word, but it’s at least comforting if not propulsive to have something open-ended to work on every day without any kind of structure or deadline or rules.”
While the pop-oriented tracks hint at sounds first explored on his 2015 album Non-Believers, McCaughan’s recent scoring work and frequent excursions down the rabbit hole of synthesizers and sequencers (see: the Moogfest-commissioned POMS and his ambient project with Mary Lattimore) add a particularly crystalline spaciness akin to The Durutti Column and Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. Also similar to the making of the Berlin trilogy, McCaughan sought out vital contributions from a slew of accomplished musicians: Yo La Tengo, Mackenzie Scott (TORRES), Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats, Bob Mould Band), Annie Hayden (Spent) & Michael Benjamin Lerner (Telekinesis), just to name a few.
On January 17, 1959, jazz immortal Erroll Garner took the stage of Boston’s Symphony Hall for a historic performance to a sold-out crowd. Recorded 11 months prior to the Dreamstreet sessions, which heralded Garner’s return after a lengthy battle for control over his catalog, Symphony Hall Concert is a previously unreleased compilation capturing the unparalleled genius of Garner’s live performances at the beginning of one of the most defining years of his life.
ERROLL GARNER – piano EDDIE CALHOUN – bass KELLY MARTIN – drums
A Foggy Day (In London Town) 5:21, But Not For Me 3:44 3, I Can’t Get Started With You 4:44, Dreamy 3:26, Lover 4:23, Moments Delight 5:05, Bernie’s Tune 3:36, Misty 4:20, Erroll’s Theme 1:41 ERROLL GARNER – piano EDDIE CALHOUN – bass KELLY MARTIN – drums
Previously unreleased 9-song compilation recorded live at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 1959 • Concert originally presented by famed promoter George Wein • Exclusive cover based on poster from Erroll Garner archive • Available as single CD, 180-gram vinyl LP and digitally
Change The World, recorded at Ringo's Roccabella West, includes “Let’s Change The World” (Joseph Williams/Steve Lukather) that delivers a welcome dose of hope and optimism, the reggae-infused “Just That Way" (Ringo Starr/Bruce Sugar,) the Country-esque “Coming Undone,” Starr’s first collaboration with Linda Perry who wrote and plays on the track (also with Trombone Shorty,) and Ringo rocks his version of “Rock Around The Clock” revved up by the unmistakable Joe Walsh on guitar. 10" LP.
NCT 127’s 3rd full-length album ‘Sticker’ will be released worldwide on September 17 with 11 songs of various genres including the lead single ‘Sticker.’ The album highlights NCT 127’s unique musical sensibility and outstanding performances. In March 2020, NCT 127 became a million-seller with their 2nd album, NCT #127 Neo Zone, which reached #5 on the Billboard 200. The album includes 1 photo book, 1 folded poster, sticker, photo card, postcard (sticker, photo card, postcard: random 1 out of 9). Dimensions 144mm x 205mm x 8.5mm.
Brandi Carlile's new album, In These Silent Days, October 2021 via Low Country Sound/Elektra Records. It's the follow-up to her 2018 album By The Way, I Forgive You, and she recorded it at Nashville's RCA Studio A with producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings. Tim Hanseroth (vocals, bass), Phil Hanseroth (vocals, guitar), Cobb (guitar, percussion), Jennings (piano, organ, synth), Chris Powell (drums, percussion), and Josh Neumann (strings) all appear on the album, and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius make a guest appearance, adding backing vocals to "You And Me On The Rock."
Renowned songwriter, Grammy Award winner and three-time Guitar World “Guitarist of the Year”/recent “Guitarist of the Decade” title recipient Mark Tremonti is no stranger to storytelling. Throughout his time with massive bands like Alter Bridge and Creed – and most-recently his solo band, TREMONTI – he has never strayed from his love of writing memorable songs with strong inspiration at their core. With their upcoming fifth album, Marching In Time, the band looks to build upon this trend while exploring their love for searing heavy music, drawing from current events throughout the last year to form the basis of each colossal track. While TREMONTI’s previous album – the critically acclaimed, worldwide-charting A Dying Machine (2018) – was an overall concept album with darker sentiments and story, Marching In Time carries a different vibe altogether. Featuring his signature execution of blistering, laser-precision guitar work and a reverberating, rhythmic metallic attack, the album emerges as an upbeat offering inviting the listener on 12 individual journeys. From the driving drum beat of opener “A World Away”to the epic closer “Marching In Time,” the new album is a reflective look at the world around us today. The band’s unmatched musicianship permeates through the album – showcased on tracks like “Thrown Further,” “In One Piece”and the thought-provoking “Would You Kill” – while the band displays their softer side on the pensive tracks “The Last One Of Us” and “Not Afraid to Lose.” The title track, “Marching In Time,” hits a personal note, telling the story of a father having a child during a global pandemic and how he prepares for life during that time – something Mark Tremonti recently experienced in his own life. Standout debut single, “If Not For You,” displays the evolution of the TREMONTI sound in 2021 and is guaranteed to become a favorite. Marching In Time is the record that will solidify TREMONTI’s place in the hearts of longtime fans as well as add masses to the band’s legion of followers. The album is an exceptional auditory journey of memorable riffs, intriguing lyrics and the unmistakable sound that continues to earn the band prominent global acclaim. Marching In Time by TREMONTI was produced longtime friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette, the producer Mark has worked with exclusively since 2007.
2021 release. Recorded with an all-star band and featuring special guests like Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, and Lukas Nelson, Shannon McNally's extraordinary collection, The Waylon Sessions, isn't so much a tribute to Waylon Jennings as it is a recontextualization: a nuanced, feminine rendering of a catalog long considered a bastion of hetero-masculinity. That's not to say McNally has a softer, gentler take on the songs of Jennings and his outlaw compatriots here; in fact, just the opposite. Over and over again, she manages to locate a smoldering intensity - a searing hurt buried deep within the music's deceptively simple poetry - and she hones in on it with a surgical precision. McNally doesn't swap pronouns or couch her delivery with a wink; she simply plays it straight, singing her truth as a divorced single mother in her 40's in all it's beauty, pain, and power. The result is that rare covers record that furthers our understanding of the originals, an album of classics that challenges our perceptions and assumptions about just what made them classics in the first place.
Rock icon and multi-instrumentalist Roger Taylor introduces his new solo album Outsider. With much of Outsider recorded during lockdown, this new album finds Taylor in a reflective mood, conveying a palpable sense of isolation, concerns over the passing of time, and tellingly dedicated "to all the outsiders, those who feel left on the sidelines". A highly personal project, Outsider's instrumentation is almost entirely performed by Taylor, with his vocals matching the mood-piece atmosphere.
JW Francis burst onto the scene with his critically acclaimed debut ‘We Share a Similar Joy’, with features from DIY and Line of Best Fit to being named Album of The Day on BBC 6 Music. His warm, affable melodies and comforting lyrics earned him fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and now he returns with his sophomore album WANDERKID, a concept album about a wandering anti-hero. WANDERKID hones in on JW’s dreamy soundscapes and explores themes of escapism, whilst still maintaining that sense of comfort and intimacy so beautifully demonstrated in his debut. To celebrate the release, JW is going on a 2,000 mile walking journey across the Eastern United States along the Appalachian Trail. With WANDERKID, JW Francis is further cementing his place as a future stalwart in the alternative New York scene.
GRAMMY-winning UK artist James Blake has announced his first new full-length album in 3 years, Friends That Break Your Heart, due out September 10 via Republic Records and featuring the new single, “Say What You Will.” Blake calls this a concept album and worked closely with artist Miles Johnston to design cover art that is a visual encapsulation of the emotions brought forth throughout the body of work. James Blake has also announced dates for his 2021 Fall Tour. Indie Exclusive Signed CD
Reflecting on the album, McCall shares, “This, to me, felt like what I’d been dreaming about for years…Black Powder Soul is the circle of life: you’re dropped off here, by the old ship of Zion, and everything in between is life itself, from good to bad. The things that clutter up the pure soul are all in here. We all have a black powder soul that can explode, but there is redemption in all of us too.”
To say In Heaven is about conquering grief would be oversimplifying everything Tim Showalter has achieved on the eighth studio album from Strand of Oaks. A stunning, hopeful reflection on love, loss, and enlightenment, In Heaven is a triumph in music making, and a preeminent addition to the Strand of Oaks discography.
In late 2018, Showalter’s wife, Sue, lost her mother in a car accident. Soon after, Stan, the cat they both adored, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Showalter quit drinking so he could take better care of his wife and help rebuild the life they shared. And within months, they decided to pack up and move across the country from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas. It was an irrational decision made at the height of a terrible time, but it’s one that shaped so much of what In Heaven is about.
In Heaven was recorded in October 2020 with Kevin Ratterman at Invisible Creature in Los Angeles. Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) is featured on guitar throughout the record, while James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins) contributed vocals and guitar for “Easter.” Bo Koster (MMJ, Roger Waters) provided keyboards, Cedric LeMoyne (Alanis Morrissette, Remy Zero) bass, Scott Moore violin, and Ratterman monstrous drums. Showalter also played a lot of synth on this record, which he hasn’t done since 2014’s HEAL. With clean sounds, Jeff Lynne-esque acoustics, and sophisticated songwriting, he approached In Heaven in a more poised and pop-leaning way than his past releases.
“I wanted to strive for something greater than what I thought I was capable of.”
The result is something extraordinary, as Showalter has crafted a poignant narrative that transcends his personal experiences and achieves a universality rooted not only in loss but joy, celebration, and newfound strength. The gorgeous opener “Galacticana” finds him telling us “I don’t want to drag you down,” a reassurance that his intentions lie in uplifting. But there’s a duality present throughout In Heaven that is palpable, as felt on “Easter,” an exuberant pop anthem featuring jaunty guitar and ethereal vocals courtesy of Iha, that both celebrates Showalter’s new life and references his efforts to “stop the boat from sinking.” It’s a powerful sentiment echoed in slow burner “Hurry,” which showcases some exceptional shredding by Broemel, and beyond, as Showalter explores mortality and a heightened sense of his own existence, intensified by a world where he no longer uses alcohol to cope.
Pairing smart, imaginative lyrics and striking arrangements, tracks like “Carbon” and its magnificent violin stand out, as does “Sister Saturn” with its funky, sinuous groove, and the sublime “Horses at Night,” which features one of Showalter’s most exquisite melodies to date. There’s also a discernible current running through In Heaven of homage to some notable losses in music—John Prine, Jeff Buckley, and Jimi Hendrix all play a part—for In Heaven is about moving beyond sadness or anger to a state of gratitude that we ever had these people to begin with. And while every song provides some clue to Showalter’s personal heaven, the jubilant “Jimi and Stan” says it all, wherein Hendrix and his beloved cat Stan are hanging out, going to shows, and looking at stars together.
And as our musical odyssey ends in the warm embrace of “Under Heaven,” the weight of everything Showalter has manifested—the beauty, and the sadness, and the immensity of it all—hits with tremendous impact. But any sense of hopelessness or melancholy yields to a different feeling entirely, just as he intended. Perhaps we’re feeling stronger, more prepared for something. Or maybe it’s just a reminder: call your parents, text your friends, hug your pets. Listen to your favorite records. And think about what it means to be alive.
Asleep At The Wheel is celebrating their 50th Anniversary with the release of Half A Hundred Years. The nineteen tracks feature original band members, current band members and guest artists. The special guest artists are Lyle Lovett, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack, Willie Nelson, and Emmylou Harris. Tracks 1 - 11 are new songs featuring the original band members. Tracks 12 -16 are old songs featuring the current band members and Asleep At The Wheel alumni. Tracks 17 - 19 are songs from the vaults that have never been released and track 14 features the current and the two previous female band members.
Austin indie folk duo make their Grand Jury debut with True Love. Recorded over winter 2020 in LA with Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver, etc.). This album is about growth and nostalgia. Both band members got married. One had a kid. They’ve found themselves individually away from the band, but settling into their most creatively fertile moment as a duo. Artwork by Bradley Pinkerton (Harry Styles, The Weeknd, etc.).