Courtesy of Collective Concerts, enter here for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see An Intimate Evening of Songs & Stories with Graham Nash on Tuesday, October 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Last Month's Top Sellers

1. BRIAN ENO - Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks
2. VARIOUS - Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems
3. SLEATER KINNEY - Center Won't Hold 
4. FREDDIE GIBBS - Bandana
5. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - Western Stars

Click here for full list.




WAXAHATCHEE - Out In The Storm

"...An unsentimental candor defines Out In The Storm, which is not so much a breakup album as a scathing post-mortem that leaves neither party unsullied. As Crutchfield put it in an interview, the relationship’s intermingling of the professional and the romantic meant its dissolution “rippled throughout every little corner of my life,” and Out In The Storm is a blistering, unsentimental inventory of all the places that hurt can infect.

But it’s hardly a slog. On the contrary, Crutchfield has channeled her pain into some of her catchiest songs to date. Opener “Never Been Wrong” marries the record’s typically pointed lyrics to a wash of electric guitars that would fit in on a Superchunk album. (That the lyrics also point back at Crutchfield—“I spent all my time learning how to defeat / You at your own game, it’s embarrassing”—is also typical.) The guitar-led “Silver” recalls The Strokes, and “Brass Beam” has the warmth of a bar-rock confessional, as a subtle organ boosts Crutchfield singing, “I just wanna run, yeah, I don’t wanna fight / I just wanna sing my songs / And sleep through the night.”...

This being Waxahatchee, Into The Storm offers plenty of quieter moments as well, particularly in the album’s back third: “A Little More” puts Crutchfield’s lilting voice and acoustic guitar front and center, with little adornment. “Fade,” which closes the album, strips everything down further, some quiet piano the only accompaniment to her voice and guitar. It’s the most direct descendent of American Weekend’s sound and ends the album on a somber note as Crutchfield sings, “I’m fading, fading, fading, fading away.”..." - AV Club


FAZERDAZE - Morningside

"Amelia Murray is exactly what bedroom pop has been crying out for. Too often, records of this ilk-centered around fleeting shoegaze guitar lines and hushed musings on seclusion-have little to offer beyond invitingly human aesthetics. Seemingly, not hers. On her first full-length record under the Fazerdaze moniker, she crafts some of the most complete and worthwhile dream pop in recent memory. Morningside is near-overflowing with youthful brightness and new ideas; it's totally refreshing.

"You know I'm shit at having friends/I'm sorry I can only do my best" Murray croons before launching into the blistering chorus that punctuates "Friends." Elsewhere, the loud-quiet dynamic is eschewed for Beach House-esque lucidity; closer "Bedroom Talks" smartly stitches summer ambience with impossibly immersive composition. This is a record as capable of sedating as it is of startling. If it wasn't for Murray's knack of effortlessly projecting warmth, listening to Morningside would feel almost invasive-there's a sincere depth to the songwriting throughout.

Much akin to the way that fellow New Zealand native Ruban Nielson (of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) works, you get the sense that every moment of music produced by Murray is the product of intense emotional and technical labor in equal parts. Better than that, the Auckland musician makes the vehement sound effortless. It's hard not to be excited about this project." - Under The Radar



"She set out to write the definitive oral history of a rock scene that produced not just the Strokes and LCD Soundsystem, but also the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend and the Kings of Leon in addition to lesser-known groups like Jonathan Fire*Eater and the Mooney Suzuki. The result, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011 – out now – tells the whole story in astonishing detail across 621 pages. "This was an important and poignant period of time in the city," she says. "And I wanted to document it"...

...The timeline of the book coincides with the collapse of the record industry thanks to file-sharing sites like Napster. "A working title of this book was The Last Real Rock Stars," says Goodman. "Interpol is really emblematic of this reality. Their first album came out in the era of rock stardom that's familiar to pop culture. It's what you see in Almost Famous or Behind the Music. By the second record, which leaked, it's like, 'Oh, so we just started this career in this old paradigm and now we're still in this thing, but we don't even know what it is.' These people are all relatively young, but they're also relics of an era that's gone." - Rolling Stone


CONGOS - Heart Of The Congos (3CD Reissue)

Rolling Stone #82 in 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time
"With all due respect to the Wailers, this 1977 set by the vocal duo of "Ashanti" Roydel Johnson and Cedric Myton is probably the most psychedelic and spiritually potent roots reggae set ever made, and the greatest achievement of famed Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Unearthly harmonies bob in a whirlpool of echo and reverb alongside lowing cyber-cattle and other sound effects as the men sing of Jah, Africa, and the Bible, making art that's as much religious ritual – and mind-altering substance – as it is music. Which is exactly the point."

Rolling Stone #33 in 40 Greatest Stoner Albums
"Plenty of classic reggae albums came in instrumental dub versions, remixed for maximum hypnagogic effect. But this Lee Perry-produced classic by vocal duo Cedric Myton and Roydel Johnson is one of the peaks of Jamaican roots music in large part because it came pre-baked. The mesmerizing grooves and transporting tunes of "Fisherman" and "Congoman Chant" are layered with studio muck that grabs and holds whether you're feeling irie or not."


VARIOUS - Nicholas Winding Refn Presents The Wicked Die Young (LP only)

"Director Nicolas Winding Refn will release a compilation of songs that inspired his recent horror movie The Neon Demon.

The Wicked Die Young spans punk, disco and electro, including tracks by Suicide, Dionne Warwick, Giorgio Moroder, Johnny Thunders and Sparks. It also features music by Refn’s previous collaborator Cliff Martinez, who has scored Refn’s past three films, and his son Julian Winding, who contributed to Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon.

In a 2015 FACT interview Refn explained why integrating music into moving image is so important for him. “Even when I shoot films I play music on set, in between takes,” he said. “It helps you convey emotion better for actors — and brings people to a place of being that helps their performance.” - FACT Magazine


JUSTIN WALTER - Unseen Forces

"To describe how Justin Walter makes his music gives only a vague idea of what it might sound like, but let's try anyway: He loops and layers improvised melodies made mostly on the trumpet and the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a rare wind-controlled analog synthesizer from the 1970s. The results are sublime.  The EVI has a warm, warbly sound, evoking a similar sort of moody nostalgia to Boards of Canada's less sinister stuff. The melodies have a pleasant, wandering feel, diatonic enough to follow along but freeform enough to lose oneself in...
Walter plays with patience and grace that allow the listener room to think and feel, but he never lets go completely. While one of Brian Eno's latest works was culled from an app that generates music from an uncaring algorithm, Walter's music still sounds like he cares very much. There is intention here, however gentle. Even the structure of the album seems thoughtfully curated to patiently woo us at first, then get more playful with distortion and faster rhythms in the middle, and finally lull us to our final destination — be it transcendence, sleep or something in-between." - Exclaim



"Real Estate have never been ones for taking giant leaps. Not for them any sudden changes in genre, double gatefold concept albums or other signifiers of a band wanting to “expand their horizons”. Instead, the New Jersey outfit’s career to date has been one of subtle shifts, quietly refining their pastoral indie-rock over the course of three albums. At a time when the genre is receiving criticism for its relative timidity, such steadfastness might seem like a strangely risky move. But, as fourth album In Mind shows, this is a band who are aware of where their talents lie and are happy to stick to them; there aren’t many, you suspect, who could match Serve the Song’s iridescent jangle or the sun-dappled psych of Stained Glass. The moments of experimentation, when they come, are brief and understated: a frayed synth line on album standout Darling, a smoky burst of reverb on the droning jam session Two Arrows. But, for the most part, this is an album that maintains Real Estate’s status as indie’s model of consistency." - The Guardian


ALICE COLTRANE - World Spiritual Classics

"This week, 10 years after Ms. Coltrane’s death in 2007 at age 69, Luaka Bop will release the sounds of the ashram on “World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda,” a compilation culled from four cassettes she recorded between 1982 and 1995. Only available at the ashram, and now out of print, the cassettes have long been sought by collectors, selling for as much as $450 apiece on the internet. The collection illuminates a missing phase in Ms. Coltrane’s remarkable musical journey from bebop to free jazz to New Age...

The newly remastered recordings feature Ms. Coltrane singing for the first time on record, leading a large choir through Eastern-influenced devotional music, with lyrics chanted in Sanskrit but shaped by the African-American church tradition. “That touch of gospel feeling in there never existed with the Hare Krishnas, I can promise you that,” said Baker Bigsby, a Los Angeles audio engineer who worked with Ms. Coltrane for over 30 years. “It’s a little bit of Detroit inserted into this Indian music...” - New York Times


VARIOUS - American Epic OST

"The American Epic project–a three-pronged operation consisting of a recording project, three-part PBS miniseries, and feature film–is finally seeing the light of day. It’s been gestating since 2015, when Jack White and specialist in all things “Americana” T-Bone Burnett united with Robert Redford to executive produce the project, which deals with American pop and folk/blues music in the 1920s, the beginnings of sound recording, and the record market. The first part of the miniseries premieres May 16 on PBS. The companion documentary will premiere in theaters in early June.

Prior to all this, there will be a companion book released on May 2, and shortly afterwards on May 12, a huge amount of American-Epic-related albums. Legacy Recordings will release a soundtrack and 100-song box set featuring archival recordings. White’s label Third Man Records will release a soundtrack and a selection of archival recordings used in the series/film in LP form, and Columbia will release an American Epic Sessions album, which features new performances of early folk and pop songs by the artists who appear in the series."- SPIN


DO MAKE SAY THINK - Stubborn Persistent Illusions

"Ideas, especially creative ones, can be wild beasts, difficult to wrangle and control. They are born in our thoughts and intentions but ultimately take on lives of their own. Like life itself, this process can be messy, complicated, and fraught, no matter how hard we try to fit it into our neat categorical frameworks. Do Make Say Think make music that captures these phenomena in a sonic vernacular that, on their latest LP, is aimed at interrogating the Stubborn Persistent Illusions we find ourselves embroiled in every day.
The nine instrumentals that make up the band's first album in almost as many years are all written in major keys. They have a warmth and earnestness that permeates their complex emotional movements. Their soundscapes seamlessly blend the organic and rustic infrastructures of urban life.
...Stubborn Persistent Illusions can seem daunting with its hour-long runtime, but it's a worthy monolith that can be explored on the listener's own terms. These songs don't necessarily need your attention for validation — they have their own agency. Inevitably, they will come home to roost." - Exclaim


FEIST - Pleasure

"...Pleasure gives you the sense that you’re hearing the album being recorded in real-time — a simplicity that is sure to make for a powerful live performance when Feist tours later this year — but there are certain luxuries that can only be captured in the studio, and the album is at its most playful when the outside world leaks into Feist’s own. She’s always enjoyed popping the insular bubble that recording an album provides — think of the chirping birds on “The Park” or the busy nature tableau of Metals closer “Get It Wrong, Get It Right” — but here her use of environment is often accompanied with a winking sense of humor. Two specific instances stick out: the end of “Any Party,” which closes on the faint hum of a party as the hook of lead single “Pleasure” bleeds out of a passing car, and the conclusion of “A Man Is Not His Song,” which fades into a Mastodon sample that serves as a nod to the music landscape’s overbearing masculinity. Both are discursions that provide some levity, and it demonstrates that the real world has no qualms about encroaching on the protective casing that Feist creates for herself.

Still, the album feels largely unmoored from time and expectation. Feist spent much of the six years between albums soul-searching, wondering if she was ever going to play music again, and it’s telling that she found a creative spark in something as distinctive and personal as her singular voice and presence. Metals felt like a pointed reaction to The Reminder’s popularity; The Reminder was, at least in part, a shoot-for-the-stars attempt at mainstream success. But Pleasure is a long look inward, a no-frills depiction of Feist at her rawest, and her personality and compassion are what come through strongest on these songs..." - Stereogum


RON SEXSMITH - The Last Rider

"Ron Sexsmith maintains his melodic consistency on "The Last Rider," 15 pop songs absorbed by the threat of loneliness and ways to avoid it. The St. Catharines native recorded his 13th solo album with his touring band, adding to its ease and intimacy. Sexsmith has said he thought this could be his final recording for some time, but the pleasure of the experience might make him reconsider.

"Dreams Are Bigger" has a singalong chorus worthy of a long-distance dedication — "If your dreams are bigger than your worries, you'll never have to worry about your dreams" — with musical hints of New Orleans, while "Man at the Gate (1913)" was inspired by a postcard purchase and dwells on anonymous lives and connections across the years, also recurring themes in the Sexsmith catalogue...There are no surprises here but don't be distracted by the apparent familiarity of some of the tunes. Sexsmith's range may not be wide but his aim is true." - Hamilton Spectator


GIDON KREMER - Preghiera: Rachmaninov Piano Trios

"It would be very easy for Daniil Trifonov, only just 26 and with the world at his feet, to spend his time in the solo spotlight, so it’s good to hear him playing chamber music. And this is a fascinating disc, bringing together Trifonov with Gidon Kremer – 70 this year – and cellist Giedre˙ Dirvanauskaite˙, one of the founding members of Kremerata Baltica. Kremer has never stopped exploring and in the promo DG video he talks about this being the right time to be immersed in Rachmaninov: ‘Playing his music is like attending a Mass. You enter a spiritual space where every emotion is allowed but the main emotion remains love, which is familiar to everyone.’

The Second Trio sets off with a quiet solemnity, the two string players duetting ardently above the steady tread of the piano. There’s much to thrill here, but still more striking are the moments of stillness and the way the movement unfolds seamlessly. The Maestoso section (4'40"), where the strings launch into driving triplets, is truly compelling but just listen to the way the tempo relaxes again, the high-lying cello melody (6'00") played with great poise by Dirvanauskaite." - Grammophone


VARIOUS - To Love Somebody: Songs of the Bee Gees 1966-70

"Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb always considered themselves to be songwriters first and performers second. Indeed, Barry wrote his first song, ‘Turtle Dove’, at age nine on an acoustic guitar he received for Christmas 1955. After their move to Australia in 1958, the brothers, managed by father Hugh, found plenty of work performing, writing, recording and appearing on TV – opportunities which would have been hard to come by had they remained in the UK. Barry signed his first publishing deal at 15 and supplied songs for Leedon Records’ stable of artists, as well as for the Bee Gees themselves.

Artists from the full spectrum of musical styles have covered the Gibbs’ songs. From US stoner rock bands to more easy listening fare, stopping off at psychedelia, lovers rock, power ballads and classic pop. The top soul singers of the late 60s seemed to be particularly adept at interpreting their numbers. Barry’s guitar playing was basic, often tuning to an open chord and barring with one finger. This lack of chops in conjunction with a simple melody left plenty of space for the soul singers of the day to put their personal stamp on the songs." - Ace Records


SALTLAND - A Common Truth

"When loud, angry, "alternative facts" are consistently demonstrated to trump objectively known realities and threaten the very natural makeup of the world around you, gestures towards the very notion of truth begin to feel revolutionary. For Rebecca Foon, whose environmental and social activism is inseparable from her work as an artist (in ongoing and former musical projects Esmerine, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, the Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary and Fifths of Seven), that's enough to spur action and reflection.
Her second solo release as Saltland, A Common Truth, offers meditations on climate change, unfolding in spellbinding passages that entrance with deeply resonating, emotional dispatches on the realities facing the natural world, healing warmth and cosmic awareness. Built primarily from Foon's ethereal vocals and both acoustic and processed cello, that all manifests across the record nebulously, but there's an unmistakable gravity to it that insures it's all operating in the same realm..." - Exclaim


VARIOUS - Manhattan Soul Vol.3

"Over the years, our privileged position of accessing the labels’ tapes has enabled us to make many previously unissued recordings available. This CD alone features an unheard Chips Moman song from Helen Henry, the Shirelles’ take on Luther Dixon’s superb ‘Two Stupid Feet’, songwriter Van McCoy’s own interpretation of the Shirelles’ ‘What’s The Matter Baby’ and an R&B group sound from the Tabs. Earlier vault discoveries from Junior Lewis and Big Maybelle are given their first CD outing.

R&B is also provided by Billy Adams on a hip and raunchy nursery rhyme-themed number and the Soldier Boys, an early 60s doo wop supergroup consisting of Wally Roker from the Heartbeats, Don Covay and John Berry from the Rainbows and Robert Spencer of the Cadillacs. Ex-doo woppers Brenton Wood and Harold Hopkins demonstrate how pop-soul should be sung." - Ace Records


FEELIES - In Between

"In its best moments, In Between sounds both mellow and intense in ways only the Feelies can pull off. That’s helped along by the increased prominence of acoustic guitar compared to Here Before (making the album a kind of spiritual sequel to The Good Earth). Acoustic guitars naturally exude calm, but Mercer and Bill Million imbue them with a sharpness. The quick strums in the pithy “Turn Back Time” and aforementioned swayer “Stay the Course” both soothe and energize. Acoustics even tighten the otherwise placid ballad “Make It Clear.”

Still, the Feelies remain a democratic machine, with each sound snugly complementing the other. They’re masters at weaving their moving parts into a kinetic whole: Take “Gone Gone Gone,” an insta-classic that escalates simple chords into a cycle of tension and release. While Mercer intones open-ended lyrics (“What do you want to know?/What do you want to do?”), the tune peaks when bassist Brenda Sauter redirects the band’s momentum like a ship’s rudder.

All the instrumental symbiosis on In Betweenconnects its songs into an arc. That’s emphasized by how the album begins and ends. On previous records, the Feelies liked to conclude with a cover: the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” on 1988’s Only Life, the Stooges’ “Real Cool Time” on 1991’s Time for a Witness. Here, they cover themselves, reprising the sparse opening title track as a long, dense closing jam. Explicitly framing the album as a cycle is a typically Zen move, suggesting that this evergreen band plans on more trips around the sun." - Pitchfork



"On their sixth album, Hurray for the Riff Raff have come full circle, ending up where the band’s songwriter, Alynda Segarra, started off. If that sounds like a lacklustre plug for one of the albums of the year, it really shouldn’t be. The Navigator represents a return from years of wandering – or, as Segarra puts it: “I’ve been a hungry ghost,” referencing the far eastern myth of the restless spirit for whom food offerings are left out. The Navigator is billed as a concept album about an alter ego called Navita, but the teenage punk Segarra ran away from the Bronx, New York to ride in boxcars, busking roots music. She lost friends to this high-risk life, eventually creating a community of like-minded musicians in New Orleans. This lineup of Hurray for the Riff Raff reimagined Americana (more feminist, more inclusive) with a pair of wonderful albums – 2012’s Look Out Mama and 2014’s Small Town Heroes – before Segarra moved on, again.

Beautifully produced by Paul Butler and played by a new line-up that features the eloquent guitar of Jordan Hyde and fluid rhythms of drummer Greg Rogove, this is a fusion album that wears its border-busting chops very lightly indeed. Album highlight Nothing’s Gonna Change That Girl is a country love song that gradually eases into more aromatic polyrhythms. Entrance, meanwhile, opens the album with a doo-wop group singing a gospel tune. Its most political moment, the stark Pa’lante, has an unexpected middle eight that’s pure Beatles. There’s not a lot you can’t sing along to, whoever you are." The Guardian


VA - Feeling Good

"We Want Sounds is back with Feeling Good, a compilation of rare Spiritual Jazz and Funk grooves culled from legendary Producer Bob Shad’s Mainstream Records. Alice Clark’s cult classic Never Did I Stop Loving You features here alongside many gems uncovered for the first time. Working with titans such as Charlie Parker and Lightnin’ Hopkins in the 40s, founding the EmArcy jazz label in the 50s and discovering Janis Joplin in the 60s, Bob Shad has had an incredible influence. TDrenched in modal Fender Rhodes keys, spiritual sax and flute solos, deep percussions and funky beats, these albums have slowly been rediscovered by a new generation of DJs, hip hop producers and vinyl junkies. Afrique’s classic House of the Rising Funk and its funky wah wah frenzy to Hadley Caliman’s deep jazz Flute ode; From one of Clark Terry’s famous Mumbles (Shad produced the original with Oscar Peterson) to Jack Wilkins’ Red Clay sampled by both A Tribe Called Quest and Chance the Rapper. A Soul Music lover, Shad also excelled in soul divas and produced Ellerine Harding, Maxine Weldon and of course the mighty Alice Clark. Carmen McRae, one of Shad’s long time collaborators, gives a soulful, conga-led version of the classic Feelin’ Good a song made famous by Nina Simone." - Rough Trade



"Imagine a piano in a room in the Chateau Marmont, located at the west end of Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Boulevard. What stories might that instrument have been witness to? A musician serenading a lover; the reflected visage of a Hollywood starlet doing lines of cocaine off of the piano’s polished black surface; or the discarded cigarette ash of LA mobsters conducting shady deals. Room 29, a collaborative album from Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales runs with this concept, exploring the debauchery and detachment that occurs within the walls of the famous Sunset Boulevard hotel.

In an attempt to stay true to the concept of a piano telling tales, Room 29 was recorded live with Cocker and Gonzales predominantly performing together without accompaniment. Whilst some tracks do feature additional vocals (such as soprano singer Maud Techa and film historian David Thomson) and instrumentation, this is a rarity, with the focus instead being on the interplay between Cocker’s vocals and Gonzales’ piano. The result is a melancholic, mournful rumination on fading Hollywood glamour, of hangovers filled with regret, broken glass and peeling wallpaper..." The 405

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