Last Month's Top Sellers

1. ALABAMA SHAKES - Sound & Color
2. SUFJAN STEVENS - Carrie & Lowell
4. MY MORNING JACKET - The Waterfall
5. MUMFORD & SONS - Wilder Mind

Click here for full list.




VA - Sweet 'n' Salty Popcorn

Popcorn is a genre named by Belgian DJs who, in the late '60s, began spinning slow and medium-paced pop from five to ten years earlier to appreciative dancers. The Popcorn scene grew, remaining vibrant in Europe, and this collection compiled by Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley serves as an excellent introduction with its mix of R'n'B, soul, and smoky Latin-tinged numbers.

"A unique collection! The first-ever UK compilation of Popcorn, the continent's answer to the Northern Soul scene. The atmospheric sound of Popcorn has been an underground club phenomenon in Belgium since the late sixties, and has spread across Europe and hit British clubs in the last ten years." - Cherry Red Records

"What is Popcorn music? Bob Stanley of the band Saint Etienne and the new Croydon Municipal label wants to tell you. 'Popcorn is a genre after the fact, built by curation rather than creation...Its narrative was formed by Belgians in the seventies from records made in the fifties and sixties—there was no such thing as a Popcorn artist because no one had set out to make a Popcorn record in the first place. It was all in the rhythm, which had to suit the unusual 'slow swing' dance, and it could be Latin boogaloo, an orchestrated Italian ballad or an early Tamla Motown single." - The Second Disc


VA - Inner City Beat! Detective Themes, Spy Music and Imaginary Thrillers

An exciting Soul Jazz compilation spotlighting British library music composers who provided background instrumentals for suspense-laden, action-packed TV shows and films. There are non-stop thrills to be found here amongst the funky breakbeats and jazzy grooves by David Lindup, Johnny Hawksworth and co.

"Library music was meant to be used by film studios or television and radio stations. It was never meant to be commercially available. The music was recorded on spec by music libraries. They often hired young unknown composers, musicians and producers. Once recorded, record libraries sent out demonstration copies of their music to production companies. If the production companies liked what they heard, they’d license it from the music libraries. That was how it was meant to work.

Often, the music recorded by library companies was never licensed. Since then, it has lain unheard in the vaults of music libraries like KPM, De Wolfe, Amphonic and Conroy. This includes the music on Inner City Beat!, recently released by Soul Jazz Records. It features twenty-four slices of jazz, funk and easy listening. It's like returning to what was a golden period in television and cinema." - Dereksmusicblog


MILES DAVIS - Miles At The Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3

Yet more archival riches arrive via Sony Legacy's Bootleg Series, this time focusing on the complete recordings (four CDs worth!) of Miles' four-night June 1970 residency at New York's Fillmore East (as previously excerpted from/edited together by Teo Macero on Miles Davis At Fillmore), along with bonus tracks recorded in April of that same year at San Francisco's Fillmore West, totalling 135 minutes of music up to now unreleased.

"By the time Bitches Brew was released in April, 1970—and despite receiving a 5-star review in Downbeat—trumpeter Miles Davis was already under fire from mainstream jazz critics as having 'sold out,' despite the densely constructed, improvisationally unfettered music being as unapproachable to an audience looking for accessible music as anything he'd done with his increasingly liberated second great quintet of the 1960s. Sure, there were rock rhythms and, perhaps more disturbingly to the delicate ears of its detractors, rock energy and volume, but if anyone was thinking 'sellout,' it certainly wasn't Columbia Records, who had no idea what to do with side-long improvisational excursions, pasted together in collage-like fashion by Davis' longtime producer, Teo Macero.

But thankfully, the late '60s and early -to-mid-'70s was a time when the emergence of FM radio stations and open-minded music fans made the kind of music Davis and others in his circle made not just accepted, but massively successful...By the time
Bitches Brew was released, Shorter was gone, replaced by Steve Grossman; Keith Jarrett was added to the keyboard mix, playing organ and the occasional tambourine; and percussionist/vocalist/flautist Airto Moreira was recruited to turn Davis' touring quintet into the septet heard on all but three tracks of Miles At The Fillmore, another archival release that demonstrates how the trumpeter may well have been absorbing the music of Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone and James Brown, but what was coming from his pen and horn was something else entirely." - All About Jazz


TEMPLES - Sun Structures

The British group Temples join bands like Tame Impala and Toy with their contemporary twist on classic psychedelia. They throw such influences as The Beatles, Byrds, Love and T-Rex into a sonic blender, and what comes out is one hook-filled trip-fest.

"Temples are four young lads from Kettering who for all purposes sound like they just popped in from 1967 after a short trip on a paisley-bedecked TARDIS. They don't miss a single sonic trick; from soaring 12-string jangle to backwards-tracked guitars, flowing vocal harmonies, swooning Mellotrons, and baroque organ interludes, they know their musical history like they lived through it. Their 2014 debut, Sun Structures, is a nostalgia trip for sure, while at the same time sounding totally modern too. The band's vocalist/guitarist, James Bagshaw, produced the album and he goes for a sound that's happily mired in the past, but has a cleanly scrubbed punch that gives the album some real power." - AllMusic


VA - Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles

Practice your binder-scrawl penmanship, work on that twelve-sided dice roll, and grab a seat at the roundtable, because Numero Group has reanimated sixteen tracks of '70s occult American hard rock one-hitters for heathen ears only.

"The sixteen bands featured on Warfaring Strangers are a varied lot, the only thing really tying them together being their penchant for Satanism and the fantastical mysticism found in a Frank Frazetta poster. Some of these bands probably deserve to remain in the shadowed obscurity of Hades, but it's still a lot of fun to listen to. North Carolina's Arrogance offer up a slab of heavy blues with 'Black Death,' but the title is the only thing to fear here...Perhaps one of the more interesting tracks comes from Canton, Ohio's Wrath, although it's less for the music as it is the directness of the lyrics and the fact that guitarist Ralph Minocchi’s wife had to deliver them due to drummer-vocalist Rick Page suffering from laryngitis. It's the stories behind the songs—which are illustrated in the album's liner notes—that make this batch of misfits all the more likable. Most of the bands on Warfaring Strangers lasted barely a year. Hell, the noteworthy black hard-rock band Hellstorm lasted only one show. At the core of it all is the youthful unrest of small-town life and the liberating power—even if it's fleeting—of rock and roll. That's as timeless as it gets." - Paste


VA - Lou Adler: A Musical History

Plenty of classic tunes by legends like Sam Cooke and Carole King on this collection of music produced by Lou Adler, but the real gems are the tracks from lesser-knowns like Dante & The Evergreens, The City and Peggy Lipton. Fans of 20 Feet From Stardom should check out the wonderful covers by The Blossoms/Darlene Love ("Stoney End") and Merry Clayton ("Oh No, Not My Baby"). However, most exciting of all is The Brothers & Sisters' version of "Blowin' In The Wind," a preview of the much-anticipated Light In The Attic reissue of Dylan's Gospel, due to be released April 1st.

"The latest release in our Producers series contains key tracks from the career of Grammy-winning record producer, songwriter, publisher, record company owner, film director and all-round music biz mogul Lou Adler, an architect of the California sound...Adler, whose story is told in more detail in the picture-packed booklet, much of it in his own words, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award in 2013. 'If you asked me how to succeed as a record producer,' he said on being presented with his accolade by Cheech & Chong, 'I’d say it helps to work with three of the best singers and songwriters: John Phillips, Carole King and Sam Cooke.'" - Ace Records

Adler – whose story is told in more detail in the picture-packed booklet, much of it in his own words – was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award in 2013. “If you asked me how to succeed as a record producer,” he said on being presented with his accolade by Cheech & Chong, “I’d say it helps to work with three of the best singers and songwriters: John Phillips, Carole King and Sam Cooke.”  - See more at:
The latest release in our Producers series contains key tracks from the career of Grammy-winning record producer, songwriter, publisher, record company owner, film director and all-round music biz mogul Lou Adler, an architect of the California sound. - See more at:
The latest release in our Producers series contains key tracks from the career of Grammy-winning record producer, songwriter, publisher, record company owner, film director and all-round music biz mogul Lou Adler, an architect of the California sound. - See more at:

RONNIE LANE AND SLIM CHANCE - Ooh La La: An Island Harvest

A rollicking rock revue, Lane and his post-Faces outfit recorded two albums for Island, Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance and One For The Road, both collected on this double-disc set along with alternate takes as well as a BBC concert from 1974.

"If Lane still doesn't get full credit for his role in two groups dominated by their turbo-charged vocalists, his post-Faces career is even more badly undervalued. A new anthology confirms that he did some of his greatest work in the mid-'70s with Slim Chance, a loose rustic-rock band he built in his own image, the good-time exterior masking genuine soulfulness...After leaving the Faces he'd retreated to Fishpool farm, near the village of Hyssington on the Welsh-English border. The music he made there was dug from the soil and baked in the sun. Mixing eclectic covers with originals and drew from rock'n'roll, country, folk, blues, early jazz, vaudeville and blue beat, Fishpool sounds a bit like a Welsh Big Pink, only with sheep farmers living down the lane rather than Bob Dylan." - The Guardian


THE WAR ON DRUGS - Lost In The Dream

Playing two nights here in Toronto next month to support this new album (the first night of which having already sold out), Adam Granduciel's War On Drugs are a band whose fanbase is growing noticeably with every record, and it seems to be a near-certainty that Lost In The Dream will deservedly gain them that many more new listeners.

"Lost In the Dream is a beautiful, warm and comforting thing, for all the unhappiness that went into it. Picking up where Slave Ambient left off, it sounds as if Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band had made a lost album with Mark Knopfler, sometime between Born in The USA and Tunnel Of Love, but all concerned had been listening to very little apart from space-rock and krautrock. When Granduciel talks about his musical background, you realise it's not that surprising a combination. He grew up in Dover, Massachusetts, listening to classic-rock radio, then had what he calls his 'a-ha moment,' hearing The Perfect Prescription by Spacemen 3." - The Guardian

"Adam Granduciel, the man behind The War On Drugs, has been recording trance-inducing Americana since 2005, and along with his longtime friend and former bandmate Kurt Vile created a whole new style of folk-based rock reverie doused in an ocean of synthesizers. Lost In The Dream is the band’s third full-length, and continues to develop the Tom Petty-meets-Sonic Youth sound they pioneered. On all of the band's previous releases, Granduciel would build the core of the songs himself, playing most of the instruments and endlessly tinkering with the mixes until they'd reached an adequate level of perfection. He's had various musicians play on previous albums but with Lost In The Dream, Granduciel decided to change things up. He recorded the core of these songs with two collaborators, longtime bass player Dave Hartley and pianist Robbie Bennett." - PopMatters


SID SELVIDGE - The Cold Of The Morning

A starkly arranged, mostly solo set of country blues and folk interpretations (opening with a bold rendition of Fred Neil's "I've Got A Secret [Didn't We Shake Sugaree]" which coolly and confidently holds its own against Neil's version), this reissue of The Cold Of The Morning is yet another labour of love from the folks at Omnivore Recordings, one to file aside such earlier essential archival Americana from the label as Gene Clark's White Light demos and Townes Van Zandt's Sunshine Boy studio outtakes and demos.

"The Cold Of The Morning is a mid-'70s Memphis classic that almost never saw the light of day. Selvidge and producer Jim Dickinson created this 12-track song cycle live in the studio in 1975, with Selvidge on vocals and guitar, plus Dickinson on piano with Memphis' iconic Mudboy and the Neutrons on two tracks. The cover photo was by William Eggleston. The record seemed destined for greatness.

But when Peabody Records’ benefactor decided not to put it out at the last minute, he gave the rights to the recently pressed LP to Selvidge, who drove down to the plant, loaded up his car and distributed the discs himself. The album eventually found its way into regional stores and the national press, even reaching the Cashbox charts; this was enough to take Selvidge to New York. But life intervened, and bigger record deals were not in the cards.

Co-produced by Sid’s son, Steve (of The Hold Steady), The Cold Of The Morning has been expanded to include six previously unissued tracks from the original sessions. Consisting of originals, blues standards, and Broadway classics, the record is not only a snapshot of a time and place, but of Selvidge himself." - Guitar World


METRONOMY - Love Letters

A carefully casual-sounding recording, with off-kilter retro signifiers (analog synths, plenty of old drum machines, the odd horn arrangement) bolstering their setup and often sending things slightly out of whack (but never cloyingly so), and Joe Mount's knack for strong falsetto hooks kept fully intact, Love Letters never sacrifices a catchy pop tune for experimentation's sake, letting these two tendencies unshowingly inform each other and resulting in a formidable follow-up to The English Riviera.

"With each album, Metronomy have steadily announced themselves as master craftsmen of the three-minute electro-pop stomper...It's refreshing then, though with an admitted dollop of apprehension, to hear the band shed their floor-filling roots in favour of a more stately sound, as Love Letters is their most restrained album to date.

Despite the record’s introspection, it never steers too far from the fanciful. Joe Mount is a deft Midas of sorts, lacing each lyric with subtlety, each cadence with playful restraint...Of course, on the occasion that the album does let loose, it really lets loose. The title track is a swirling psychedelic romp that the Mamas and Papas would be proud of...Some fans will be disappointed with the comparative lack of bona fide readymade chest-lighting bangers, but they’ve been spoiled enough on previous records. Instead, Metronomy have stepped up from the mantle of electro-pop, and matured into the sort of band that endures. Excitingly still, they leave us with no idea where they’ll go next." - The Line Of Best Fit


LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste (New and Expanded Edition)

Even if you've already pored over Carl Wilson's breakthrough ode to pop-cultural relativism, you may nevertheless need this new edition, with thirteen additional guest essays from the likes of Nick Hornby, Ann Powers, Drew Daniel, Owen Pallett, Sheila Heti, and, oh, right, James Franco.

"In 2007, Continuum published the fifty-second volume in the 33 1/3 series. Its title, Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, seemed to suggest that it would be a book about Céline Dion. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Let’s Talk About Love is a book that invites the reader to second-guess the way they think about the things they love and the things they hate. Given the great response, Bloomsbury and Carl Wilson decided to create an expanded, stand-alone edition. Part I is the original text of Let's Talk About Love from the 33 1/3 series, and Part II is a set of essays on the book's themes contributed by a wide range of prominent writers, musicians and scholars.(Don't worry, the original 33 1/3 version will remain in print.)" - Bloomsbury


EACH OTHER - Being Elastic

For the past two-and-a-half years, Haligonians-turned-Montrealers Each Other have been steadily touring and recording, having already released two EPs and a 7" leading up to this debut full-length on Lefse, one that any fans of Women or Play Guitar (the latter having been drummer Christian Simmons' previous project) should find an immediate affinity for.

"Something is amiss with Each Other's power pop nuggets, even though to the group they appear perfectly normal. The 12 restless songs on the Montreal-based trio's full-length debut, Being Elastic, rarely seem to abide by standard verse-chorus-verse structure. The group's guitar, bass and drum arrangements provide a familiar entry point, but at any given moment, a song might veer off in a random direction. The catchy hooks and riffs are there—they’re just not presented in the way one might expect." - Montreal Gazette


VA - Studio One Rocksteady: Rocksteady, Soul and Early Reggae at Studio One

Another solidly uplifting set from Soul Jazz—with conditions refusing to fully thaw and springtime continuing to tease us, yet more great early reggae such as that featured here certainly helps keep us out of the winter dumps whenever we throw it on here in the shop!

"If you want to get a sense of why rocksteady is spectacular, there's an easy way to experience it. Each Sunday, some time after midnight on Rae Street, between the aptly named Paradise Street and less perfectly named Walter Street, heaps of people of all ages will congregate in front of Brother Bunny and Sister Norma's Capricorn Inn for an oldies session, one that's been happening in Kingston since 1982...Sure, it may not be possible to jump on an airplane and get yourself to Rae Town in time for this Sunday’s dance, but you could do much worse than Soul Jazz’s excellent collection of Rocksteady, Soul and Early Reggae from Studio One. This is music from the mid-'60s—an in-between era for Jamaican music that is often characterized by Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. But where Reid’s rocksteady really took its cue from US soul and R&B, Studio One was, as reggae historian and liner note writer Lloyd Bradley suggests, more experimental. And, perhaps, as can be heard from the often love-laden tunes showcased on Rocksteady, from Alton Ellis's 'Hurting Me' to 'Me and You' by Carlton and the Shoes, more soulful." - Pitchfork


VA - You Talk Too Much: The Ric & Ron Story Volume 1

While Mississippi's Ace Records (the label from which the UK reissue label in turn takes its name, anthologized on its multi-volume The Ace Story series) was first to record and market New Orleans rock'n'roll and R&B, Joe Ruffino's Ric and Ron imprints soon followed suit, recording early cuts by Professor Longhair, Eddie Bo and Irma Thomas, among many more featured here in this first volume, covering 1958 to 1960.

"From 1958 to 1963 the Ric and Ron labels brought the sound of New Orleans rhythm and blues to the world and paved the way for the great Crescent City independents that followed. They were not the city’s first R&B indies, but they forged a template to which their successors adhered and built upon for many years afterwards. Ric and Ron were founded by Joe Ruffino, who named the labels after his two sons. Ruffino had learned how the R&B business worked through his association with Record Sales, the New Orleans record distribution outlet, and with Johnny Vincent, who based his Ace and Vin labels in Jackson, Mississippi but recorded almost exclusively in New Orleans. For a while Ruffino was Vincent’s eyes and ears, bringing several acts to Ace, including the Supremes and Lenny Capello. However, in 1958 Vincent cut him loose to do his own thing." - Ace Records


SHIRLEY NANETTE - Never Coming Back

Discovered by Friends Of Sound record store owner/music licensor David Haffner while record-shopping in Fort Worth, TX and passed on to Truth & Soul for reissue, Never Coming Back is a private-press soul find well worth the second life it's now been given, as gritty backbeat-laden, horn-section-accented numbers are balanced with smoky smooth slower, guitar-accompanied tracks, and Nanette's lightly fiery vocal approach is impressively subtle and versatile throughout. 

"The life of any musician is filled with moments that could have sent her career down a completely different path. For Shirley Nanette, it was the recording of Never Coming Back in 1973...Attempts to get the sessions released by one of the major labels of the day came to naught, and the 500 privately pressed albums that Nanette and her husband Al made left her with boxes of vinyl in her basement. While she isn't hurting for work or recognition these days, Nanette is reclaiming at least a small part of her previous musical life with the help of Truth & Soul Records. The Brooklyn-based label reissued Never Coming Back last month, with lovers of rare groove and historians of '70s soul singing its praises at long last." - The Portland Mercury



Two of 2013's most critically-acclaimed music documentaries, now finally available on DVD and Blu-ray!

"Directed by Morgan Neville in fan-boy mode (that's high praise), Twenty Feet From Stardom is an exquisitely rendered look at the dialectics of celebrity and artistry, luck and hard work, its conversation laced with smart observations about race and gender...At heart, it's a praise-song for the many black women whose backing oohs and aahs have done the heavy lifting of turning good songs into classics and rock stars into icons." - Village Voice

"The Muscle Shoals sound was built out of conviction, rejection and raw vision. These muscular characteristics are what connected filmmaker Greg 'Freddy' Camalier with Fame Studio founder Rick Hall in the elegant documentary Muscle Shoals. Hall put Muscle Shoals, Ala. (pop. 11,924) on the map in 1961 when he produced the Arthur Alexander hit 'You Better Move On,' which was popularized by the Rolling Stones. He created from a dark and maverick energy that becomes the linchpin of the film. Similarly, Camalier never attended film school; Muscle Shoals is his directorial debut." - Chicago Sun-Times



Fans of Real Estate’s previous efforts will find nothing to complain about with Atlas. Their trademark breezy sound is instantly recognizable, full of beautiful, jangly guitar melodies. The band's records always evoke seasonal descriptives from critics (much to the confusion of the band), but it is hard to hear this record without thinking longingly of warm weather just around the corner.

"Now, with their collective early 20s internalized and in the rearview, Real Estate shift focus to a matter with far less capacity for composed handling: looking forward. Their third LP, Atlas, trades in 20/20 hindsight for the courage of trying to grasp an endlessly unclear future. Look no further than the alarmingly forward lyric that opens Side B opener 'Crime,' one that wouldn’t have been allowed within a mile of Days: “Toss and turn all night/ Don’t know how to make it right/ Crippling anxiety.” In stark contrast to Days, Courtney is struggling with the impossibility of appreciating what he doesn’t know or understand; just like Days, the laid-back tone in his voice couldn’t be more misleading." - TIME


BOB FRANK - S/T / PETER WALKER - "Second Poem to Karmela" or Gypsies Are Important

Light In The Attic follows up a recent first-time vinyl reissue of stone-cold country-soul classic (and staff favourite since it was reissued on CD a few years back) Bobby Charles with two titles (apparently the first in a new 'Vanguard Vault' series dedicated to the label!) that are even more obscure but both just as compelling in their own ways: Bob Frank is a charmingly bawdy set of songs mainly telling tales of ne'er-do-wells and the down and out from 1972, while "Second Poem to Karmela" is Peter Walker's long unavailable 1968 follow-up to Rainy Day Raga, with flute and violin added to tamboura, sarod and guitar, making for an Indian-infused instrumental jam session very similar in sound and spirit to Sandy Bull's "Blend" series and Bruce Palmer's sidelong excursions on The Cycle Is Complete.


THE NOTWIST - Close To The Glass

Right from their initial announcement about this record, Sub Pop's excitement regarding releasing the next Notwist record was made clear, and we feel they had every right to be pleased, since Close To The Glass is an affably adventurous electronic pop outing by a group that's long been a standout in an increasingly crowded field.

"The Notwist have been around for long enough and have such a solid discography that it's easy to take them for granted. It's almost as if their consistency works against them getting the credit due for helping to create the electronics-meets-indie rock template followed by so many later bands. However, that shouldn't be a problem with Close To The Glass; the band's first album since 2008's The Devil, You + Me is some of their most accessible and attention-getting music yet. The Notwist blend the experimental side of their music and their undeniable pop skills into songs that are equally dynamic and haunting: songs such as 'Signals' are abrasive and hooky at the same time, marrying noisy percussion with a poignant melody and strings. The band's maturity shows in how easy they make this seem, and aside from the nine-minute instrumental workout 'Lineri,' their experimental expertise is in service of some of their strongest songs." - All Music Guide


VA - Kent's Cellar Of Soul Volume 3 / VA - Hall Of Fame Volume 3

With the Cellar Of Soul and Hall Of Fame series on the Kent label both reaching Volume 3, you may be asking yourself: do I need another soul compilation from Kent? The answer: of course you do! As usual, there's an embarassment of riches to be found within, from Fred Hughes' yearning "Ooh Wee Baby, I Love You" on Cellar Of Soul to the sweet soul duos by Billy & Clyde and Ben & Spence on Hall Of Fame.

"We present for your delectation 26 mid-to-late '60s classic soul tracks, only six of which are currently on Ace CDs. Inevitably, many are uptempo, but this CD is designed to capture the spirit of '60s soul rather than its later UK dance-centric revision. Several were R&B hits, and a few made the Pop Hot 100, too. Most were released in the UK, some on groovy little labels such as Action, Spark, Soul City, Direction, B&C and Pama. They were the type of records the pirate radio stations would plug from their off-shore floating studios. It was mod music in the sense of new, hip and in the groove, rather than of any elite, exclusive in-crowd." - Ace Records

"Our Fame vault excavation continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for southern soul fans. And what better way could there be to start another soul-filled year than with a new volume of Hall Of Fame. The previous two volumes of the series presented a cross-section of exceptional, and mostly unissued, material from the vaults of Fame studios from the prime years of Rick Hall's funky building on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals. The previous volumes mixed male and female vocalists and added a smattering of groups, but this one concentrates on the recordings by the great male singers who passed through Fame’s doors in the mid-to-late '60s." - Ace Records