Indie Exclusive Releases
Girl With No Face: Allie X’s fourth album, Girl With No Face, is a daring excavation of her identity. A maniacal journey into the mind of an artist who just spent three years in isolation, refusing any input as she became the solitary producer, writer and creative voice for the first time in her career. “This record documents an intense struggle for power and control – creatively, professionally, mentally and physically,” X explains. Inspired by the technology and hedonism of the early 80’s new wave scene, the album’s analog-leaning songs are a series of stark contradictions – retro in feel but ultra-modern in subject matter, pointed, unpredictable yet danceable, approachable while delightfully menacing. In short, Girl with No Face is completely orthogonal to the hyper-tuned, automated shapes that dominate today’s alt pop. “Instead of following any trends, I just wanted to indulge myself in all my favourite stuff this time. I wanted limitations. No plug-ins. I chose a bass synth, drum machine, string machine and embraced the shortcomings and grittiness of this old temperamental equipment. The result was something that felt messy, raw, and direct, which was really exciting to me.” Infused with early 80’s British experimentalism, with nods to The Human League and New Order, the album is a strident move away from 2020’s introspective and spare Cape God -- so much faster, more threatening. “The best comparison I can make is intentionally locking yourself in a room and sitting in front of a mirror staring at yourself. When everything is refracted through your lens you get high on the sense of power and control. But as you get to know yourself intimately, you see your own ugliness, your limitations, your pain. It’s terrifying and enlightening all at once. A total ego fuck.” - Allie X
TANGK is, at its core, a love album. Open to anyone who requires something to shout out loud in order to fend off any encroaching sense of the void, now or forever. TANGK is a bona fide pop record in a way we’ve never heard from IDLES before, that is, something for everyone to pass around and share, communal anthems intended for overcoming our grievances. The word - pronounced “tank” with a whiff of the “g” - began as an onomatopoeic reference in-studio for the sound of a guitar tone, but has grown into a sigil for living in love. Joe sings on TANGK in a way we’ve never heard before, completing his transformation from post-punk firebrand into soul singing evangelist. TANGK was co-produced by Nigel Godrich, Kenny Beats, and IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen.
Grief Chapter is an album with songs rooted in mortality, grief, and living fearlessly. Tracks like “Nobody Escapes,” “To My Heart,” and “Head Shrink” are sure to ignite their devoted legion of fans, and undeniable alt-rock anthems “Explode!,” “Days,” “Normalize” and “The Matrix” will sound at home on festival stages and amphitheaters they’ll be headlining in the US next summer. The album was produced by Mother Mother frontman Ryan Guldemond, and mixed by the revered Rich Costey.
East Los Angeles quartet Levitation Room’s floaty, cosmic songs are always a trip. Since forming nearly a decade ago, they’ve self-produced dizzying, otherworldly music that’s connected with fellow travelers in the hallucinogenic world of outré rock music. Led by singer and guitarist Julian Porte along with founding members Gabriel Fernandez (lead guitar) and Johnathan Martin (percussion), the band has enchanted live audiences at Desert Daze and on tour with like-minded groups Post Animal and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. The band’s vivid sound has found them placed on popular playlists like Modern Psychedelia and the legendary superproducer’s Danger Mouse Jukebox. Their 2015 debut, “Friends,” has surpassed 18 million streams. Joined by new member Kevin Perez (bass) in 2021, Levitation Room have continued to expand their colorful, unearthly sound, a process that has culminated with the vibrant new album Strange Weather. Collaborating with former Brian Jonestown Massacre keyboardist Rob Campanella, Jason Kick (Mild High Club), and Black Crowes’ Joel Robinow, Levitation Room take a new step in their story and vision with Strange Weather. The record’s lyrical narratives—about love in the park, life in the city, and the fact that “The world today is such an illusion”—are appropriately steeped in ’60s sonics and a dreamy, lo-fi atmosphere. It’s spacey, celestial guitar music for escaping into, and “it feels just like heaven.”
Voir Dire, the momentous album by Earl Sweatshirt and Alchemist, undoubtedly represents the long-awaited convergence of two rap titans. Earl's personal and intricately woven wordcraft, along with Alchemist's treasure trove of obscure, captivating samples, combine to create an artistic chemistry that permeates "Voir Dire" (which translates from French to "Speak Your Truth"). Earl accomplishes just that as he delves into the analysis of specific phases of his life, particularly in the past where his reflections resonate with immense potency, meticulous detail, and profound insight. The album features notable Los Angeles wordsmith Vince Staples on two tracks and esteemed rap artist, MIKE. On Voir Dire, unmatched lyricism and remarkable maturity take center stage, while personal experiences such as new fatherhood emerge and evolve over stripped-down, spacious Alchemist production — culminating in what many consider to be the best rap album of the year.
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
One of the leading lights in Europe’s experimental rock domain, The Pineapple Thief bring you their 14th album, It Leads to This, on February 9th 2024. The band features founding member Bruce Soord (guitar/vocals) plus Jon Sykes (bass/backing vocals), Gavin Harrison (drums/percussion) and Steve Kitch (keyboards).
Blue Raspberry is Katy Kirby’s follow up to her renowned debut album Cool Dry Place, which came out in February 2021. Singer/songwriter Katy Kirby introduced her warm, articulate vocals, perceptive lyrics, and playful adult-alternative style on her debut album as she toured tirelessly supporting bands like Waxahatchee, Andy Shauf, Julia Jacklin and Alex G.
That record was a tried-and-true folk collection, perfectly displaying the chops of a young songwriter and emanating the warm feel of a band in a room; Blue Raspberry, made with the same band and producers (Logan Chung and Alberto Sewald) , hits the gas and enters completely new territory as we see Katy truly step into her own as a songwriting force. She fearlessly leans far into baroque piano pop on tracks like ‘Redemption Arc’ and the title track ‘Blue Raspberry’, and lyrically she explores themes of loss and queer love. Very few are able to capture the same emo- tional, theatrical magic of artists like Fiona Apple, Tom Waits and Joanna Newsom but Katy pulls it off on this record; standout ‘Drop Dead’.
Vinyl: $26.98 Buy
Strawberry Shortcake Splash LP (Indie Exclusive). The Menzingers are an absolute institution. The Philadelphia punk legends' multi-decade reputation as road warriors with an unbeatable catalog is cemented as hard truth-and their seventh album, Some Of It Was True, stands as their most immediate-sounding and energetic record to date. The follow-up to 2019's sensational Hello Exile accomplishes the daunting task of capturing the Menzingers' distinctive live energy in the confines of the studio, resulting in a sound that's both rich, raw, and complementary to the group's increasingly prismatic songwriting approach. More than 15 years in, the Menzingers are still holding their listeners square in the immediate present, and Some Of It Was True documents that power in thrilling fashion.
"We wanted to make a fun record and write songs that we wanted to play live, and that's exactly what we did," co-vocalist/guitarist Greg Barnett says "We've always said that we want every album to sound live, but we never recorded an album live before. This was the first time we committed to that idea. We wanted to sound like how our band sounds onstage." Making the process easier: Grammy-nominated producer Brad Cook (Bon Iver, the War on Drugs, Waxahatchee), who joined the Menzingers in El Paso's legendary Sonic Ranch studios and lent his incredible ear for raw, immediate sound to help the band achieve Some Of It Was True's in-the-room live feel. "The Menzingers are as real as it gets," Cook says on his time in the studio with the band. "I had an absolute blast working with these guys and was moved to tears many times. They are truly dedicated to artistic growth, and to each other, in ways I found both refreshing and beautiful. I am now a lifer."
Blood, Hair, And Eyeballs - Alkaline Trio / New album produced by Bill Stevenson of All, Descendents, Black Flag, whose credits include As I Lay Dying, Rise Against, NOFX, Against Me! And many more-Guest appearance from Tim of Rise Against! - Alkaline Trio
Polaroid Lovers is the 7th studio album from four-time GRAMMY winner Sarah Jarosz. Produced by Daniel Tashian, Polaroid Lovers is a bold creative statement that sees Jarosz exploring new sonic territory. The 11 songs on the album, all co-written by Jarosz with songwriters including Tashian, Jon Randall, Ruston Kelly, and Natalie Hemby, touch on themes both personal and universal: love, longing, and finding one’s place in the world.
Liverpool’s acclaimed sensual existentialist Brad Stank today announces the release of his resolutely romantic new album In The Midst of You on January 26th via his new label Sunday Best Recordings. He launches the album alongside the quintessentially Brad ‘Natty Wine’ and its accompanying video. The new single ‘Natty Wine’ neatly encapsulates the many charms that emerge throughout the album. With Brad backed by soulful female vocal harmonies, the song’s jazzy psychedelia possesses a touch of twanging Americana, its warm and vibrant live instrumentation making for a song as relaxed as a Sunday afternoon in the sun. It’s also notable for featuring Brad’s favourite percussive instrument deep in the mix: a wooden frog. He adds, “This is a tongue-in-cheek song I wrote after being gifted a bottle of natural wine by a friend. I’m a working-class boy who would much rather drink shitty lager at a party, like Stella or Holsten Pils. I’ve got no right to be writing a song about natty wine but I was feeling bougie. It’s a love song in disguise, I liked the imagery of lyrics like, ‘Your sweet loving just keeps dripping from the vine.’” In The Midst of You finds Brad in late night lothario mode, his previous seductive style now taking a more resolutely romantic and perhaps surprisingly spiritual direction. The phrase “in the midst of you” comes from the Bible, Zephaniah 3:17, “the full quote is something along the lines of “God is in the midst of you” - basically meaning that you have to look inward for peace or enlightenment, etc. the album is about that in parts and also, as always, I tried to put a romantic twist on it so that the “in the midst of you” is about being in love with somebody. It’s kind of a juxtaposition but I’ve always enjoyed taking spiritual messages and giving them a double meaning, explains Brad. “Hopefully it’s a positive message of prostrating yourself to somebody, or to spirituality or something - but giving yourself fully to something, being in the midst…”