Monday, January 28, 2019

New Album Watch :: The Mountain Goats - In League With Dragons

What better to follow up an album about Goth Rock, appropriately called Goths, which itself was a follow up to an album about professional wrestling, Beat the Champ!, than an album all about Dungeons and Dragons. Well that's just what The Mountain Goats are doing. Come April 26th we shall hear the results, but for now here's the lead off track and this note from band leader John Darnielle about the album:

This album began life as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard, for which some five to seven songs were written. When I’m focusing on a project, I always distract myself from the through-line with multiple byways, which are kind of like mini-games within the broader architecture of a long video game. As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in, probably under the influence of Leonardo Sciascia (a Sicilian author, he wrote mysteries) and Ross MacDonald’s The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which a friend from Port Washington gave me while I was in the thick of the writing. I thought these moods helped complicate the wizards and dragons a little, and, as I thought about my wizard, his health failing, the invasion by sea almost certain to wipe out half his people, I thought about what such a person might look like in the real world: watching a country show at a midwestern casino, or tryout pitching for an American League team years after having lit up the marquees. Finally, I wrote the title track, which felt like a drawing-together of the themes in play: rebellion against irresistible tides, the lush vistas of decay, necessary alliances. I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called “dragon noir” will spring from the forehead of nearly two years’ work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

New Album Watch :: Better Oblivion Community Center - S/T

Usually surprise releases are the purview of Kanye West, but today it comes from the duo of Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers who've teamed up as Better Oblvion Community Center. Dubbed "soft rock for hard times," the album is available for download and purchase at the Dead Oceans Bandcamp, and likely, hopefully, very soon here instore.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

New Album Watch :: Fennesz - Agora

Fennesz has always been a busy artist with collaborative releases with Jim O'Rourke, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto and others over the last couple of years. But Agora, due out on March 29th through Touch is his first solo recording since 2014. Recorded with stripped down equipment and headphones in his own flat it provides a slight bend in the electronic superhighway for him. Here is a sampler of the four tracks that make up the new album:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Album Watch :: Priests - The Seduction of Kansas

Washington based dance punks Priests are putting out their sophomore album The Seduction of Kansas April 5th on their own Sister Polygon Records. Here is the first single, the title track "The Seduction of Kansas."

New Album Watch :: Strand of Oaks - Eraserland

Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks has announced the follow up to 2017's excellent Hard Love. Eraserland will drop on March 22nd from Dead Oceans records. Here is the first single, "Weird Ways."

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New Album Watch :: Pup - Morbid Stuff

Canadian faves PUP have announced their new album Morbid Stuff will be released on their own Little Dipper label on April 5th!! Get ready. Here is lead single "Kids"

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

New Album Watch :: Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs

Australian singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly is following up her wonderful 2018 EP Thrush Metal with a full length titled Beware of the Dogs. It is due on March 8 through Secretly Canadian, and here is lead off track "Old Man". More timely than a Neil Young cover, really.