Twitter
Last Month's Top Sellers

1. TAME IMPALA - Currents
2. BEACH HOUSE - Depression Cherry
3. LEON BRIDGES - Coming Home
4. DANIEL ROMANO - If I've Only One Time Askin'
5. WILCO - Star Wars

Click here for full list.

Search
Login

FEATURED RELEASES

Saturday
May092015

JACCO GARDNER - Hypnophobia

"To call Jacco Gardner a daydreamer may not be as farfetched as he’d have you believe. Its meaning may refer to a fear of sleep, but with Hypnophobia, the brand new album from 'baroque pop' prince and Dutch producer/multi-instrumentalist Gardner, he's all set to cast a majestic and vibrant psychedelic spell that will hypnotise listeners at the point dreams and reality meet.

'I came up with the title 'Hypnophobia' while falling asleep and part of my brain just didn’t turn off,' explains Gardner. 'I often have trouble letting go of reality, even though I prefer the world in my dreams... Hypnophobia comes from a place where fears, darkness and creativity collide, like a slightly scary lucid dream. Fearing a loss of control definitely plays a big part of it.'" - Polyvinyl

Friday
May082015

METZ - II

"Frontman Alex Edkins has said that this record was made with a 'mistakes-left-in kind of approach,' but if anything this only makes II‘s noise-rock more pointed and direct. 'Spit You Out' starts out feeling like a familiar METZ track, all tightly wound distorted bass and sneered vocals, but it casually morphs into something a little more woolly and wild. Edkins' guitar lines and Hayden Menzies' drums rattle and sputter around like malfunctioning machinery before revving back into the pummeling high gear they’re known for. That’s the rule for most of what works best on II: the trio take the forms that worked the first time around, turn them on their head, and then jump right back into the fray with reckless abandon." - SPIN

Thursday
May072015

MARKER STARLING - Rosy Maze

"There is no one else like Cummings in Toronto (Tonetta, with his dirty, aggressive lo-fi scuzz-pop, might in fact be his antithesis). Perhaps there is nothing like him in the world, and foreign listeners are catching on: Marker Starling's new album Rosy Maze on Tin Angel is already receiving high accolades internationally.

Carefully produced and 13 tracks long including delicate interludes, Rosy Maze doesn't sound like an album made in haste—and it wasn't. The album has been in the works since 2010, with some songs, such as 'I Guarantee You a Good Time'and 'Uphill Battle,' started as long as 15 years ago." - Chart Attack

Monday
May042015

ALABAMA SHAKES - Sound & Color

"After the wild success of Alabama Shakes' debut, it took a lot of courage to veer into the territory they explore in Sound & Color, a deeply layered collage of tempos and texturesand a seemingly hard left-turn from their previous work. Patient listeners will hear evidence of the R&B-tinged retro-rock they crafted on Boys & Girls, but here, it’s just an element of a greater groove—actually, grooves, pursuing myriad versions in these 12 songs. Sometimes the rhythms skitter and stutter; sometimes they throb, or soothe. More often than anything, they surprise and intrigue." - American Songwriter

Tuesday
Apr282015

VA - Spiritual Jazz 6: Vocals

"Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and then followed its messengers and influences in Europe and beyond, the sixth instalment of our Spiritual Jazz series showcases jazz vocals: a collection of jazz messages united in voice.

The majority of tracks here are as political as they are theological, but it's the inner sanctity of the music that is the defining factor. These are songs that concern themselves with the universal condition of this world, as well as the next. In fact, as the distinction between the theological and the humanistic is blurred, so is the definition of a song—many of the tracks are atypical in that they do not possess lyrics with a beginning, middle and end.

Likewise, the voices that convey them often can't be said to be 'singing' in the usual sense of the word; we hear solemn chanting, intense wailing, earnest poetry and ardent recitation in between bouts of singing, the quality of which is often nothing short of exquisite.The styles of performance encompass modern jazz, the avant-garde and jazz fusion, and include elements of styles from the long and winding path of the African diaspora, including Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean and other Pan-American rhythms. Spiritual Jazz 6: Vocals examines some of the rarest and most extraordinary vocal jazz recordings.

We have included some well-known songs, as well as some of the most obscure. There are tracks recorded made for major labels, and some that were issued privately. But all of them speak or sing of a better place or a better world, and the world can only be a better place when they are played." - Jazzman Records

Friday
Apr242015

GONZALES - Chambers

"Jason Beck, the man who puts the bomb into the bombast of Chilly, retired from the rap game in 2003, and while he's dabbled since then (The Unspeakable purported to be the world's first orchestral rap album), he's managed to successfully smuggle the virtuoso pianist into our midst as his own career Trojan horse, and it's that persona we imagine now when we think of him. It's been a gradual and surprisingly smooth transmogrification, the electro cabaret maître d' with the extra testicle now a fully-fledged classical composer, having released Solo Piano, Solo Piano II and now this; indeed, by the conclusion of Chambers and the final song 'Myth Me', to hear the Canadian's voice suddenly appear almost feels incongruous. It's testament to just how successful he's been in his image overhaul, not that it really feels like one...Gonzales the renaissance man comes with the not uncharacteristically grand ambition of breathing new life into something contemporarily neglected. To do this, he conflates the old with the new with customary swagger." - The Quietus

Wednesday
Apr082015

WEED - Running Back

"Weed's songs sound like layered linen. Instrumental fragments are fragile and wispy on their own, but stacked together, these small pieces create an impressive textural whole. Weed call Vancouver home, and despite being a city with as many scenes stacked within it as there are layers of molten haze on their album, Weed sound distinctly Pacific Northwestern. That is not to say that Weed's new album recalls Sub Pop's early empire; it's more of a reference to the softened gloom found on the album. This is a record that all at once sounds like rain on Sundays, trying to drive home in a late-night downpour, and the moment when the sun slowly creeps out from behind the clouds to breathe some sort of life into a soggy day. There's hope to be found in this dour, silty mud." - Stereogum

"The band with the most unfriendly U.S. border-crossing name in the world are back with a new full-length. Weed formed in 2010 with the chance meeting of Will Anderson and Kevin Doherty at a clothing-optional beach in Vancouver that I can only assume was Wreck. Hugo Noriega joined later, and the band has gone through 'a million drummers' since. Now they’ve signed to Lefse and are starting to garner some serious attention, thanks in part to the well-honed skills of Jordan Koop of the Noise Floor.

"Although Weed didn’t exactly 'run back' to release a follow up to 2013's Deserve, they did it patiently and perfectly. Plodding along, Running Back sees a band comfortably and confidently master a genre. Whether or not the album title refers to a quick jog along a golden beach or a sprint through the cool woods, or perhaps a return to form, they've nailed that melodic, fuzzy, emotional, grungy, shoegaze sound that everyone is wetting themselves over right now." - Beat Route

Thursday
Apr022015

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR - 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress'

"'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' is exceptional in the GY!BE canon in a whole heap of ways. Firstly, it's a mere 40 minutes longwhich is short by anybody's modern standards, let alone for the band which popularised the 20-minute-plus track time for a whole generation. What's more, the four tracks that make up the album play through as one single suite, resulting in such a potent statement that it's tough to argue against always sitting through in its entirety (as if 'motherfucker=redeemer' had been its own album). The only other release by the band to rival Asunder in its sheer distilled potency is the half-hour Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP.

A deceptively meaningful step for Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the occasional soppiness of post-rock, which ultimately rendered it a dirty word in certain circles, has all but disappeared from the work of its godparents, now truly playing the music they were destined to play, and in its purest, weightiest possible form." - The Quietus

Tuesday
Mar312015

RYLEY WALKER - Primrose Green

"Bert Jansch (and Pentangle), Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Tim Hardin: these are just some of the ghosts that haunt the fringes of Primrose Green, the excellent second album from Chicago guitarist and songwriter Ryley Walker. Whilst his debut showed promise, not least in his tumbling, cascasing acoustic guitar playing, Primrose Green performs an impressive double stunt in better showcasing both his songwriting and singing on one hand, and his ambition to create something looser, freer and more spontaneous on the other.

To achieve the latter, Walker has employed a high level, fluent and creative band of seasoned Chicago jazz players. Walker understands the John Martyn of Inside Out as much as he understands the John Martyn of Bless The Weather, yet the songs here are also richly melodic, evocative and pastoral. The combination of inspired writing and productive improvising results in something freewheeling, psychedelic and fluid, music that is proud to wear its influences on its sleeve, but which also seems in its own way daring and personal." - MusicOHM

Saturday
Mar282015

VA - Highlife On The Move: Selected Nigerian & Ghanian Recordings From London & Lagos 1954-66

"In conjunction with compiler and highlife researcher Dr. Markus Coester, Soundway Records presents this very special release on double CD or triple 180g gatefold vinyl (with bonus 7-inch).

The 45 includes the two first-ever recordings by Fela Ransome Kuti with his band The Highlife Rakers. Recorded by Melodisc in London in 1960, both tracks have been unearthed after more than fifty years in hiding.

In many ways, this compilation is a prequel to Soundway's groundbreaking Nigeria & Ghana Special compilations, telling the early story of modern highlife's foundation & formulation. It traces the music from West Africa to London, adding elements of jazz, mambo and calypso along the way and paving the way for the Afro sounds of the 1970s." - Soundway Records

Thursday
Mar262015

TOBIAS JESSO JR. - Goon

"The story of Tobias Jesso Jr.'s rapid ascent in many ways began with the breakup of the band Girls and Jesso reaching out to producer Chet 'JR' White in the aftermath of the split. But the storybook beginning, which included Jesso relocating from Vancouver to San Francisco, sleeping on White's couch during recording, and inevitably collaborating with the likes of The Black Keys' Patrick Carney and Ariel Rechtshaid as well, is only the background. Jesso's debut, Goon, doesn’t need any of it to be impactful or important. What Jesso has delivered is a record that needs no context, that can exist outside of time and place. Jesso, in short, has crafted a masterpiece, with the only connection of real significance being between him and his audience.

While the comparisons to Harry Nilsson and John Lennon hold up over the course of the debut, what may be the most surprising is the range that Jesso shows throughout. Goon isn't all piano ballads; hell, it isn't all ballads, period. 'Crocodile Tears' is a mid-tempo, psych-tinted strut that finds Jesso boo-hoo-hooing his way into unexpected territory. 'Leaving L.A.' is something totally different, lounge-y in its instrumental breaks, allowing Jesso freedom to veer from straight-ahead singer/songwriter territory. Throw in the guitar backbones of 'The Wait' and 'Tell the Truth,' and Goon contains plenty of variety in both tone and arrangement, carefully placed gaps in the ultimate strengths of the album." - Paste

Thursday
Mar262015

COURTNEY BARNETT - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Think

"'Take what you want from me,' Courtney Barnett repeats near the end of 'Kim's Caravan,' a highlight from her new album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. That bit of exasperation is surrounded by some clever observational lines and a fiery guitar solo, but it sits at the song’s core, a reminder that Barnett is more than a Seinfeld-ian joker pointing out life’s little quirks. Like Stephen Malkmus or Kurt Vonnegut, Barnett looks at the mundane with a skewed perspective, turning it over in her mind and transmogrifying it into something extraordinary." - Consequence Of Sound

Wednesday
Mar252015

VA - Modernists: A Decade Of Rhythm & Soul Dedication

 

"Modernists is the soul version of Mod Jazz, comprising records we feel could have been massive in mod clubs in the 1960s and could fill dancefloors today. We hope you will be impressed by the high quality throughout, from Jeb Stuart's boogaloo opener to Paul & Rick's perfect ender. Timmy Wilson's 'Long Ways To Go' would surely have been an R&B club smash had his record label not gone bust, while Mel Williams' 'Jet Set' fulfils all the musical and lyrical requisites of a mod classic. It's difficult to choose highlights, but as we've been championing it in clubs for a couple of years, we're going to mention Little Eva's 'Dynamite,' an amazing answer to James Brown's ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.'" - Ace Records

ts” is the soul version of “Mod Jazz”, comprising records we feel could have been massive in mod clubs in the 1960s and could fill dancefloors today. I hope you will be impressed by the high quality throughout, from Jeb Stuart’s boogaloo opener to Paul & Rick’s perfect ender. Timmy Wilson’s ‘Long Ways To Go’ would surely have been an R&B club smash had his record label not gone bust, while Mel Williams’ ‘Jet Set’ fulfils all the musical and lyrical requisites of a mod classic. It’s difficult to choose highlights, but as I’ve been championing it in clubs for a couple of years, I’m going to mention Little Eva’s ‘Dynamite’, an answer to James Brown’s ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’, which is amazing. - See more at: http://acerecords.co.uk/modernists-a-decade-of-rhythm-soul-dedication#sthash.znUndL8Z.dpuf
Wednesday
Mar252015

VA - Ultra-High Frequencies: The Chicago Party

"For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime of local post-disco casualties. Unfettered nightlife and outlandish humor poured out of oddball outpost The CopHerBox II and onto TV screens, presented here as a 100-minute video mixtape on DVD. Its companion compilation features five previously unreleased tracks, joined by music culled from a trove of self-released 45s and small-time 12”s. Die-cut cathode-ray jacket and six in-package stills put the Party at your fingertips." - Numero Group

Tuesday
Mar242015

VA - Los Angeles Soul: Kent-Modern's Black Music Legacy

 

"The Bihari brothers, owners of Los Angeles' Kent and Modern labels, knew their black music, signing artists of the calibre of Etta James, Jesse Belvin and Jimmy Witherspoon in the '50s. Their travels to New Orleans, Memphis and elsewhere saw them expand their horizons, recording acts in those locales or licensing in material for release. In the soul era, The Other Brothers from Texas, Jeanette Jones and Wally Cox from the Bay Area, and the Memphis-recorded Earl Wright fit that pattern." - Ace Records

ihari brothers, owners of Los Angeles’ Kent and Modern labels, knew their black music, signing artists of the calibre of Etta James, Jesse Belvin and Jimmy Witherspoon in the 50s. Their travels to New Orleans, Memphis and elsewhere saw them expand their horizons, recording acts in those locales or licensing in material for release. In the soul era the Other Brothers fromTexas, Jeanette Jones and Wally Cox from the Bay Area, and the Memphis-recorded Earl Wright fit that pattern. - See more at: http://acerecords.co.uk/los-angeles-soul-kent-moderns-black-music-legacy#sthash.mkamkvj0.dpuf
Monday
Mar232015

VA - Hung On You: More From The Gerry Goffin & Carole King Songbook

"This bumper collection of numbers penned by Gerry Goffin and his wife Carole King includes familiar hits (The Shirelles' 'What A Sweet Thing That Was,' Bobby Vee's 'Sharing You,' The Cookies' 'Will Power,' The Drifters' 'When My Little Girls Is Smiling,' et cetera), overlooked gems (The Hondells' 'Show Me Girl,' The Hearts & Flowers' 'Road To Nowhere,' Walter Jackson's 'Anything Can Happen') and some new-to-CD rarities ('You Turn Me On Boy' by The Honey Bees, The Orlons' 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,' The Clovers' 'The Sheik' and Theola Kilgore's 'It's Gonna Be Alright')." - Ace Records

Sunday
Mar222015

ANNIE PHILIPPE - Sensationnel! Yé-Yé Bonbons 1965-1968

"This release on our occasional Ace International imprint comprises an hour of pure pop highlights from the career of Annie Philippe, one of France's leading yé-yé girls. The collection is available as a 24-track CD and 12-track 180g red vinyl album, both featuring notes by Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, author of the recent book Yé-Yé Girls Of 60s French Pop, who interviewed the lovely Annie specifically for this project.

Annie was launched into a yé-yé world dominated by Sheila, Sylvie Vartan, Françoise Hardy and France Gall. Her debut, a Lulu cover, didn't fly for the 17-year-old Parisienne, but sales were excellent for her follow-up, a version of the Supremes' 'Baby Love.' A year passed before Annie achieved fame at a parallel level to those others girls; her smash hit 'Ticket De Quai' paved the way for many others and remains her biggest seller.

Annie's final chart record came at the end of 1967, following which superstar Claude François signed her to his newly formed label, where she saw out the decade. There were sporadic releases in the ensuing decades but, after a protracted silence, she re-emerged looking as glamorous as ever." - Ace Records

Sunday
Mar222015

JOHNNY ADAMS - I Won't Cry: The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964

"It was a lucky day for music lovers when Johnny Adams' songwriter neighbour Dorothy La Bostrie knocked on the young gospel singer's door and asked if he would consider singing the demos for two R&B songs she was hoping to pitch to record man Joe Ruffino of Ric and Ron Records. One of the songs was 'I Won't Cry,' which started the Tan Canary on a career that spanned five decades, gave so much pleasure to fans of New Orleans soul and R&B, and which now features as the title track of a must-have Ace CD.

It was only a local hit, but 'I Won't Cry' set standards for the great music collected in this first-ever compilation to include the A- and B-sides of all 11 of Adams' Ric and Ron singles, along with two otherwise unrecorded demos that made their first appearance on a vinyl single in a boxed set of Ric and Ron 45s issued for Record Store Day a couple of years back. It beggars belief that of these 11, only 'A Losing Battle' became a national R&B hit, so high is their overall quality." - Ace Records

Saturday
Mar212015

CURTIS KNIGHT & THE SQUIRES - You Can't Use My Name: The RSVP/PPX Sessions

"In the mid 1960s, before launching a solo career that profoundly influenced and altered the course of popular music, Jimi Hendrix was a little known sideman, working for short periods with a variety of artists including the Isley Brothers, Don Covay, Little Richard, and the Harlem-based R&B combo Curtis Knight & The Squires.

These recordings made for PPX and RSVP are part of Jimi Hendrix's extraordinary legacy. They neatly align with those other sessions Hendrix participated in during this same era as a sideman for other acts. 'I was a backing musician playing guitar,' Hendrix explained in a 1967 interview. 'I was always kept in the background, but I was thinking all the time about what I wanted to do.' Enjoyed in this context, these Curtis Knight sessions showcase his evolving technique and emerging brilliance." - Experience Hendrix

Friday
Mar202015

THE NOTATIONS - Still Here 1967-1973

"From the dawn of doo-wop to the death of disco, the Notations saw—and sang—it all. Persisting through changing trends and technologies, on major labels and minor ones, produced by both Syl Johnson and Curtis Mayfield, nothing could stop the Notations from representing Chicago's Southside for decades. The first overview of their indie label golden age, Still Here 1967–1973 finds the Notations at a musical crossroads, turning from simmering R&B ballads to socially-conscious soul." - Numero Group