New Release Round-Up 05-01-20
American Aquarium - Lamentations - New West Records
Lamentations is a 10-song rumination on the current state of the world around me. I was raised in the faith and the book of Lamentations was always one that caught my attention. A broken man crying out to the heavens, asking why God sat back and let his country fall apart. Questioning the sheer existence of a higher power in the lowest of times. How could an all loving God sit back and let an entire nation’s cry for help go unanswered? I saw many parallels in that story and the current climate of this country in 2020. There are a large group of people who were promised something in 2016. They are still waiting for those promises to be fulfilled. This is a record about the things that break people. Religion, politics, addiction, love, money, family, history. I believe it is an empathetic look at the other side. A group of stories about losing everything and still finding the will to stand back up and fight for the things that matter the most. - BJ Barham, American Aquarium
Car Seat Headrest - Making A Door Less Open - Matador Records
Making A Door Less Open, the new album from Car Seat Headrest and the first set of brand-new songs since 2016's Teens Of Denial, is available this week on vinyl and CD featuring distinct tracklists and mixes for each format. Created over the course of four years, Making a Door Less Open is the result of a fruitful 'collaboration' between Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, and 1 Trait Danger, a CSH electronic side project consisting of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo's alternative persona, 'Trait.' To realize this, the band recorded the album twice: once live with guitars, drums and bass, and once in a MIDI environment using purely synthesized sounds. During the mixing process, the two approaches were gradually combined using elements of each, with additional overdubs.
Hot Country Knights - The K Is Silent - Capitol Nashville
With a sound that recalls Country music's acid washed golden era, the '90s influenced band Hot Country Knights has finally revealed more details about their debut album The K Is Silent, from Capitol Nashville, available this week. Produced by Dierks Bentley, the multi-Platinum entertainer also serves as a co-writer on over half of the 10 brawny tracks, serving up one of the most musically satisfying debut albums since 1999. Standout track "You Make It Hard" best represents their High-T philosophy.
Damien Jurado - What's New, Tomboy? - Mama Bird
2020 release from the Seattle-based indie-folk veteran Damien Jurado. What's New, Tomboy? is his third album in three years, following 2018's Secretly Canadian swan song The Horizon Just Laughed and 2019's Mama Bird debut In The Shape Of A Storm.
Chicano Batman - Invisible People - ATO Records
Chicano Batman release their new album, Invisible People, via ATO. The LA-based quartet made up of Eduardo Arenas, Carlos Arévalo, Bardo Martinez and Gabriel Villa, follow-up the critically acclaimed breakthrough Freedom Is Free with their most sonically varied and cohesive album to date. Mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Beck, Alabama Shakes) the 12-song set accentuates the group's high-spirited synthesis of Tropicália, west coast psychedelia and late-'60s/early-'70s soul.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Reunions - Southeastern Records
"As a thank you for all the support over the years, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will be opening sales for their new album, Reunions, a week early exclusively for independent record stores. These are strange times we live in and the hope is that getting a jump start on sales of the album will be of some help to you in a time of need. Jason and the band look forward to seeing you again in person when they get back on the road. Hang in there!" His last album - 2017's The Nashville Sound - a #1 album on the Billboard Folk, Independent, Country and Rock albums charts, also received Best Americana Album at the Grammys, Album Of The Year At The Americana Honors & Awards and was nominated at the CMA Awards for Album Of The Year. Since then, he has collaborated on the soundtrack for A Star Is Born, the debut album by the Highwomen, and Sheryl Crow's latest album Threads. He also released a live album, Live From the Ryman.
Fake Names - Fake Names - Epitaph
In early 2016, D.C. punk legends Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion) and Michael Hampton (S.O.A., Embrace, One Last Wish) met up at Hampton's Brooklyn home to play music together. Friends since first grade, the two guitarists ended up writing a handful of songs that day, then closed out the session with a spur-of-the-moment decision to start a band. When it came to finding a bassist, Baker and Hampton looked to Johnny Temple of Girls Against Boys and Soulside (another fellow student at their elementary school), who equally shared their passion for what Temple refers to as "loud, angry, visceral music." By the end of the year, the band had enlisted Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzén as their singer, thus cementing the lineup to punk-rock supergroup Fake Names. Soon after dubbing themselves Fake Names-a moniker that's part Raising Arizona reference, part recognition of the "ubiquitous and demonic use of the term 'fake news,'" according to Baker-the band headed to Renegade Studios with the goal of creating a demo to present to record labels. But after playing those recordings for Baker's Bad Religion bandmate Brett Gurewitz, the Epitaph founder made an unexpected proposal. "Brett said to us, 'This isn't a demo, this is the album,'" Baker recalls. "He was pretty adamant about putting it out exactly as it was, so that's what we wound up doing."
Mark Lanegan - Straight Songs Of Sorrow - Heavenly
When considering any great work of art, be it a painting, a novel, or a piece of music, it's natural to wonder what might have inspired it. Mark Lanegan's 2020 album, Straight Songs Of Sorrow, features guest appearances from Greg Dulli, Warren Ellis, John Paul Jones, Ed Harcourt and more, These 15 songs are inspired his life story, as documented in his new memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep. The book is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, thanks to Lanegan's unsparing candor in recounting a journey from troubled youth in eastern Washington, through his drug-stained existence amid the '90s Seattle rock scene, to an unlikely salvation at the dawn of the 21st century. There's death and tragedy, yet also humor and hope, thanks to the tenacity which impels it's host, even at his lowest moments. Today, Lanegan is a renowned songwriter and a much-coveted collaborator, as adept at electronica as with rock, constantly honing his indomitable voice: an asphalt-laced linctus for the soul. While the memoir documents a struggle to find peace with himself, his album emphasizes the extent to which he came to realize that music is his life.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section.