Music Sampler


Music for April 2019

“Morning in America” - Durand Jones & The Indications, American Love Call

Dead Oceans
Released March 1, 2019

You’d be forgiven if you thought American Love Call was a long lost soul record from the early 70’s, uncovered, dusted off, and given new life through the transformative sharing powers of the internet. In fact, the album is a collection of brand new songs that take their sonic inspiration from sounds of the past while speaking the truth of what it means to be American today. Drummer Aaron Frazer highlights this point, saying, “We’re in a time when so many in this country romanticize the past – wishing to return to a place of simplicity and former glory. But the reality of our history can be disillusioning,” Frazer explains. “For so many in America, the past represents violence, oppression, fear and colonialism. As America grows more diverse, we have the opportunity to form the strong, interwoven tapestry that we’ve long claimed.”

“UFOF” - Big Thief, U.F.O.F.

4AD
Arrives May 3, 2019

Following their phenomenal 2017 album Capacity, Big Thief is gearing up to release their highly-anticipated third album U.F.O.F. on May 3. Along with the announcement came the release of the first single “UFOF.” Primary songwriter Adrienne Lenker has an extraordinary ability to fill their songs with so many vocal hooks that after several listens to “UFOF” it is difficult to pinpoint where one melodic idea ends and another begins. It has a natural flow to it that is reinforced by the delicate and responsive guitar playing by Buck Meek. Lenker’s lyrics are poetry, too. “To my UFO friend goodbye, goodbye / Like a seed in the wind / She’s taken root up in the sky see her flickering.”

“From the Other Side of the World” - Daniel Thorne, Lines of Sight

Erased Tapes
Released March 15, 2019

Liverpool-based avant-garde composer and saxophonist Daniel Thorne has released his debut solo album Lines of Sight on the London label Erased Tapes. The work comes on the heels of his collaboration with acclaimed synthesizer player Luke Abbot. Previously, Thorne had been artistic director at the collaboration-focused group Immix Ensemble where he co-wrote the 2016 experimental album Transition with the electronic musician Vessel. Fans of Brian Eno’s ambient albums like Reflection will appreciate the long, shifting chords of horns on the track “From the Other Side of the World.” Elsewhere on the record, Thorne explores fuzzy horn tones within the confines of an arpeggiating synthesizer.

solange-when-i-get-home-album

“Stay Flo” - Solange, When I Get Home

Columbia
Released March 1, 2019

When I Get Home is Solange Knowles’ first album since 2016’s critically-acclaimed A Seat at the Table and her fourth overall. The record is a tribute to her hometown of Houston, Texas and features a number of big name musicians including Pharrell, John Key, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, John Carrol Kirby, Metro Boomin, Panda Bear, and Dev Hynes among others. In addition to the music, Solange has put out a 33-minute accompanying video that takes viewers on a journey through Houston’s Third Ward where she grew up. On “Stay Flo,” Solange sings of home over a three-note keyboard loop.

“Bird” - Bedouine, Bird Songs of a Killjoy

Spacebomb
Arrives May 31, 2019

Nearly two short years ago, in the summer of 2017, Azniv Korkejian was largely unknown. Things changed, and not necessarily on purpose, when her debut self-titled album came out under the name Bedouine. Through a series of unplanned events, Korkejian found herself recording her songs with producer Gus Seyffert, who also works with the likes of Beck and Norah Jones. While the record wasn’t anticipated to be that much of a success outside of LA, it went on to garner acclaim among leading music critics. Now, Azniv is set to release her follow-up, Bird Songs of a Killjoy. Speaking of the album she says “All I can do is make sure I’m doing my best, putting my best foot forward, and honoring my emotional experience, but what it does in the end can’t matter as much.”

“Halo Light” - Buck Meek

Keeled Scales
Released February 19, 2019

Buck Meek, the lead guitarist of Big Thief, put out his full-length debut last year to critical acclaim. Recently, the prolific musician headed out on tour with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and marked the occasion with a new single, “Halo Light.” The song is all soft acoustic plucks and laid back drumming with Meek’s voice rolling over the chords with a gentle Texas twang. Like the songs on his album Buck Meek, “Halo Light” is dense with fleeting scenes of nature, lasting just long enough to place your finger on them before drifting away.

“All I Need” - Townes Van Zandt, Sky Blue

Fat Possum Records
Released March 7, 2019

Legendary Texas country folk musician Townes Van Zandt would have been 75 years old on March 7 of this year. To celebrate the man, his family has gathered a collection of songs that Townes had made in early 1973 with his friend Bill Hedgepeth. The collection offers listeners an intimate glimpse into Townes’ songs in a stripped-down format, including some of his most well-known songs, “Pancho & Lefty” and “Rex’s Blues.” Also included are a couple of his songs that have never been publicly released. One of these, “All I Need” is a slow country ballad wherein Townes considers the real meaning of freedom.

julia-jacklin-crushing-album

“Body” - Julia Jacklin, Crushing

Polyvinyl
Released February 22, 2019

Australian songwriter Julia Jacklin had been on the road off and on for two years promoting her debut record, Don’t Let the Kids Win. The traveling took a toll on Jacklin, and she began to feel that her mind and her body were being split apart. “For a long time I felt like my head was full of fear and my body was just this functional thing that carried me from point A to B, and writing these songs was like rejoining the two.” On opening track “Body,” she explores the rawness of a breakup and the anguish that come with wondering how former lovers could cause pain long after they are gone.

“Nobody” - Mac Demarco, Here Comes the Cowboy

Mac's Record Label
Arrives May 10, 2019

College radio legend Mac Demarco is back with a new track called “Nobody.” The song comes with the announcement of a new album that will arrive in May called Here Comes the Cowboy. Demarco has also created his own record label, fittingly called Mac’s Record Label. “Nobody” closely resembles the slower acoustic ballads found throughout his previous album This Old Dog. A major feature of the track, apart from Mac’s signature chilled out vocal delivery, is a wheezy and muted synthesizer pad that blends the other various elements together. To promote the album, Demarco will tour Europe and America extensively.

kevin-morby-oh-my-god-album

“Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild” - Kevin Morby, Oh My God

Dead Oceans
Arrives April 26, 2019

At the suggestion of his producer Sam Cohen, Kevin Morby eschewed his typical approach to recording and, in doing so, discovered a new path forward for realizing the songs on his new album Oh My God. Instead of playing acoustic guitar and singing through his song “Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild” in the fashion that it was written, Morby put his guitar down and just sang while Cohen played a muted organ. Of the album, Morby says “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet. It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting.”

Next month:
Listen to a new track from Growing Upward, the sixth studio album from social activists and global-music fusionists Rupa and the April Fishes. Drawing from the frontwoman’s own experiences over the last seven years as a doctor and activist, the band’s latest album is a musical response to the rebirth of global fascism, ongoing American racism, and the dire ecological circumstances we all face due to climate change. Their music is defiantly difficult to categorize, but will energize and engage both your mind and your soul.


This sampler was compiled and written by Ben Sauder, who makes music as No Magic. His new album, In Cocoon, is out now on French Exit Records.


Music for March 2019

“Love Fuzz” - Ty Segall, Deforming Lobes

Arrives March 29, 2019
Drag City

Ty Segall and The Freedom Band have announced a new album of live music called Deforming Lobes. The first single from the forthcoming record is called “Love Fuzz” and the sound of it is exactly what you might expect. The fuzzed-out guitars scratch away at the same contagious riff for the entirety of seven and a half minute freakout session with the drums and bass devotedly keeping pace. “Love Fuzz,” originally appearing on Segall’s 2012 Twins, is a much faster track this time around, bringing the urgency and showmanship of the live show right to you.

“South” - Damien Jurado, In the Shape of a Storm

south

Arrives April 12, 2019
Mama Bird Recording Co.

A lone voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Damien Jurado keeps it simple and sparse on the lead single from his upcoming 10 track album In the Shape of a Storm. The songs from the new collection were all recorded in one afternoon and so the result has an intimacy to it akin to a small house show where musicians pass a guitar around in a circle. “South,” like most songs that I write, is a collage of sorts, or collection of snapshots, that center around two characters. One could even presume me, or me as an alternate self. Dark, isolated, and slightly menacing in tone for a waltz number,” says Jurado of the new single.

“Anything At All” - HOMESHAKE, Helium

Released February 15, 2019
Royal Mountain Records

Montreal’s Peter Sagar, also known as HOMESHAKE, keeps it lo-fi on his fourth and latest album, Helium. On the track “Anything At All,” the drum machine beat sits heavy in the mix and sounds like a bossa nova preset on an old Casio keyboard - and that’s a good thing. A clean and lightly played electric guitar swirls around the beat before a synth pad and stumbling bass drop in. The R&B leanings of Sagar’s vocals is dry and seemingly presented without effects. It all adds up to an uncontrived jam that’s as simple as it is refreshing.

“Voice Simul” - Julia Holter, Aviary

Released October 26, 2018
Domino Records

“I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds.” The quote comes from a 2009 short story by the writer Etel Adnan and it inspired the epic 15-song record Aviary by the Los Angeles composer Julia Holter. Of the album’s theme, Holter says “Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it's hard to find one's foundation. I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person - how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace.” On “Voice Simul,” Holter walks the listener through a dream-like state of steady bass, crying horns, incidental harp, and vocals that rise and fall in tremendous fashion.

“Everyday” - Weyes Blood, Titanic Rising

Titanic-Rising 

Arrives April 5, 2019
Sub Pop Records

Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, describes her latest album, Titanic Rising, as the Kinks meets WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. These influences come through in surprising ways and can be heard clearly on the new single “Everyday.” The piano driven tune has a Kinksian hand clap bounce to it that would make Ray Davies proud, but to classify Weyes Blood merely as a collection of influences would be a disservice to Mering’s undeniable talent as a pop songstress in her own right. Try listening to “Everyday” three times in a row without having its melodies float around your head for hours after.

“Token” - Panda Bear, Buoys

Buoys

Released February 8, 2019
Domino Records

For the first time since 2015’s Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, Lisbon-based songwriter Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) is releasing a full-length album of new material. Buoys finds Lennox reconnecting with co-producer and co-mixer Rusty Santos (the two last collaborated on the critically acclaimed 2007 record Person Pitch). This time around the pair incorporate offerings from Chilean DJ Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D’Santiago. Panda Bear frames the new album as a fresh start, saying “The last three records felt like a chapter to me, and this feels like the beginning of something new.”

“4(E+D)4(ER=EPR)” - William Basinski, On Time Out of Time

Arrives March 8, 2019
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Modern avant-garde composer William Basinski has announced his latest work On Time Out of Time with the release of “4(E+D)4(ER=EPR).” The works from the new album were originally commissioned for the 2017 installations "ER=EPR" and "Orbihedron" by artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand for the exhibition Limits of Knowing at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin by curator Isabel de Sena. On Time Out of Time will be especially exciting for fans of both astrophysics and ambient music, as the new work incorporates source recordings from the interferometers of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) capturing the sounds of the merging of two distant massive black holes, 1.3 billion years ago.

“Cyboogie” - King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Cyboogie 7”

Released February 1, 2018
Flightless Records

Melbourne-based psychedelic band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have put out their first new material since 2017. That year, the band released an astonishing 5 full-length albums. Since then, the group has been touring the world including a headlining gig at the Desert Daze festival. On their latest effort, “Cyboogie,” the band explores the sounds of disco with heavy use of vocoder and clavichord a la Stevie Wonder. An accompanying video for the single features the guys performing the track in matching red jumpsuits and 70’s style motorcycle helmets.

“Green Eyes” - Chris Cohen, Chris Cohen

Chris-Cohen 

Arrives March 29, 2019
Captured Tracks

With the single “Green Eyes,” LA-based songwriter Chris Cohen explores the deeply personal subject of the separation of his parents. “My parents got divorced while I was making this record, they were married for 53 years and my father spent most of his life in the closet, hiding both his sexual identity and various drug addictions. For me it was like being relieved of a great burden, like my life could finally begin”, Cohen says. The track is packed into a tightly wrapped pop package, but it’s apparent simplicity is deceiving. Cohen’s self-titled album will be his third full-length album and the first since 2016’s remarkable As If Apart.

“Saturdays Again” - Avey Tare, Cows on Hourglass Pond

Arrives March 22, 2019
Domino Records

Experimental musician Dave Portner (aka Avey Tare) is set to release a new record with the amusing title Cows on Hourglass Pond. The innovative songwriter announced the news with a single called “Saturdays (Again).” Fans of the Avey Tare’s more mellow work will likely enjoy the single with its shuffling beat, acoustic guitar driven structure, and moody and resonating swells. Portner recorded the songs in early 2018 at Laughing Gas on a Tascam 48 half-inch reel-to-reel recording machine. This marks the first new material from Avey Tare since 2017’s Eucalyptus. Catch him on tour in the United States from late March through to the end of April.


This sampler was compiled and written by Ben Sauder, who makes music as No Magic. His new album, In Cocoon, is out now on French Exit Records.


Music for February 2019

 

“placeholder” - Hand Habits, placeholder

Arrives March 1, 2019
Saddle Creek

Meg Duffy, known predominantly as the lead guitarist for Kevin Morby’s band, should be recognized for much more when their second album, placeholder, comes out on March 1st. Duffy, who records and performs music under the name Hand Habits, has recently released the album’s lead single, also titled “placeholder.” The song has a laid back groove built on a simple three-chord progression. What sticks out from the rhythm track is the clear and smooth vocal delivery as Duffy sings “And this is where I doubted you and endless compromise / To say that you told me the truth is to tell each other lies / Oh, but now you are a placeholder blinded by desire / Oh, now you’re just a placeholder for someone wasting time.”

“Estrella” - Cass McCombs, Tip of the Sphere

Arrives February 8, 2019
Anti-Records

cass-mccombs

Following his critically-renowned 2016 album Mangy Love, Cass McCombs has released a new single in anticipation of his ninth full-length, Tip of the Sphere. On “Estrella,” McCombs and his band set a sunny and breezy mood with a driving beat and bouncy bassline. Shades of darkness come in and out with a dissonant synthesizer. The song eventually drops out into an amoebic vocal crooning backed only by sparse and stretched out tones of guitar and keyboards. Lyrically, McCombs presents “Estrella” as a tribute of sorts to Latino artist Juan Gabriel.

“I Told You Everything” - Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow

Released January 18, 2019
Jagjaguwar

On “I Told You Everything,” the opening song on Sharon Van Etten’s new album Remind Me Tomorrow, she sings “Sitting at the bar I told you everything / You said holy shit / You almost died.” The scene depicted certainly seems autobiographical. It’s been four years since Van Etten’s last album, Are We There, and a lot has happened in her life since then. Apart from her career as musician, she has gone to school, has acted in the show The OA, and has become a mother. It was in the bits of time between all of these other obligations that Remind Me Tomorrow was written. Despite the short windows of time available to her to work on the record, Van Etten, along with producer John Congleton, have crafted a beautiful and mesmerizing album.

“Harm Reduction (Morning)” - Tim Presley’s White Fence, I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk

Released January 25, 2019
Drag City

Tim Presley, perhaps better known by the name White Fence, has released his second album in as many years, entitled I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk. The new record showcases the whimsical, lo-fi, Kinksian songs that featured on his previous work, like the Family Perfume albums, but Presley expands his sonic palette into other psychedelic realms like on the track “Harm Reduction (Morning).” Reminiscent of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” “Harm Reduction (Morning)” consists mainly of a repetitious synthesizer sequence with various bleeps and bloops bouncing and scratching around its edges. In a music business that more often than not takes itself far too seriously, it’s refreshing to hear songs like this one that sound as though they were created out of pure joy and creative curiosity.

“Jealousy” - SASAMI, SASAMI

Arrives March 8, 2019
Domino Records

LA-based musician Sasami Ashworth, or SASAMI as she is known professionally, spent much of last year on tour playing guitar and keys for Cherry Glazer. While on tour, Ashworth would type out long texts to lovers and friends, but then would never send them. These unsent messages seemed to naturally fit as lyrics for the demos she had been making on her iPad and it wasn't long before Sasami had a full album’s worth of songs. On the latest single for the album “Jealousy,” SASAMI builds layers of offsetting guitars and keys that are reined in by a steady four-on-the-floor drumbeat. The vocal melody floats on its own wavelength at times, almost as if it belongs to a different song entirely, but when it does sync in with the groove it is magic.

“Stonehurst Cowboy” - Steve Gunn, The Unseen In Between

Released January 18, 2019
Matador Records

unseen-inbetween

Two short weeks after the release of Steve Gunn’s previous album, 2016’s Eyes On the Lines, his father passed away from cancer. The death of his dad at a time that should have been a celebratory one, left Gunn with a new set of feelings to explore on what would turn out to be his latest work, The Unseen In Between. On “Stonehurst Cowboy,” Gunn remembers the lessons his father taught him and looks back at a time that is gone forever. “Dear old house on 69th / Streets look the same / Trees are strong / Faces are gone / My background is the same.” Sparse instrumentation is provided by Gunn’s acoustic guitar and stark basslines from Bob Dylan’s musical director, Tony Garnier.

“Ordinary Pleasure” - Toro y Moi, Outer Peace

Released January 18, 2019
Carpark Records

Outer-Peace

Chaz Bear, who goes by the moniker Toro y Moi, has a new album out called Outer Peace. The record was recorded in the Bay Area after Bear had spent a full year up in Portland. The single “Ordinary Pleasure” opens with what sounds like a bongo sample from “Sympathy for the Devil” over a backdrop of gentle waves before breaking out into a funky jam a la disco-era Michael Jackson. The track is a party jam through and through. Bear puts the hedonism on full display singing, “Maximize all the pleasure / Even with all this weather / Nothing can make it better / Maximize all the pleasure.”

“Better Way” - Kian Byrne, Up & Down

Released 2018
Self-Released

After years of playing in the Irish American folk band The Elders, Kansas City musician Kian Byrne has self-released his debut solo album, Up & Down. The primarily acoustic album represents a branching out for Byrne, who, apart from drumming for The Elders, plays guitar for the ska band The New Riddim. On the album opener “Better Way,” Byrne chugs along on an acoustic guitar with a pleasant assortment of noodling stringed riffs floating in the background. Byrne sings about the uncertainty of relationships “It’s hard to know who to trust / I’ve been wondering about my feelings / What are all the meanings / What are the outcomes?”

“Long Wave” - Bonny Dune, Longwave

Released March 23, 2018
Woodsist

Longwave

Bonny Dune’s latest album, 2018’s Longwave, opens with the aptly titled track “Long Wave,” and it sounds like what riding a wave must feel like. There’s no fussiness about it, just a laid back confidence that the current will take you to wherever you are going. Simple shakers and an easy snare tap set the pace as guitars, an organ, and bass guitar join in and float along for the ride. This gentle flow of music from the Detroit-based band, alternating between just two chords, comes with sage advice about following your own course: “Don’t spend your whole life waiting on the turning of the season of your mind / You are who you’re supposed to be.”

“In the Hot Hot Rays” - Fleet Foxes, First Collections 2006-2009

Released November 19, 2018
Subpop Records

It’s been over 10 years since Fleet Foxes topped several “Best Of” lists with their debut full-length album Fleet Foxes. Subpop, the band’s label at the time, is celebrating the anniversary with an extensive release of material. Included are the above mentioned self-titled album, the Sun Giant EP, an EP made before their label signing, and various home demos. Among the 30 recordings on the collection is a song called “In the Hot Hot Rays,” from their first EP. The track, and the EP it came from, is most notable for what it is not. Listeners familiar with the band might be surprised by the lack of acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, and songs about the natural world. Despite this, the band shows glimmers of its eventual success, primarily through the confident and intricate songwriting and decisively executed guitar work.


This sampler was compiled and written by Ben Sauder, who makes music as No Magic. His new album, In Cocoon, is out now on French Exit Records.


Music for January 2019

 

“No One Seems to Know” - Neil Young, Songs for Judy

Released November 30, 2018
Shakey Pictures Records

Songs for Judy

Neil Young has been one of the most prolific artists of the past 50 years and he has shown no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In the past three years alone, Young has released six albums. Some feature his latest band, The Promise of the Real, one is a soundtrack to a movie he made with his new wife, actress Daryl Hannah, and a few feature never-before-released recordings from the 70’s. The latest offering, Songs for Judy, is comprised of live material from his November 1976 solo tour. Among the album highlights is the previously unreleased piano ballad “No One Seems to Know,” which sounds like it could be a sibling song to “After the Gold Rush.”

“Don’t Want to Say Good-bye” - Cut Worms, Hollow Ground

Released May 4, 2018
Jagjaguwar

Cut Worms is the project of Brooklyn-based Max Clarke. After years of working as a graphic designer, Clarke decided to give music a serious go. The debut full-length album from Cut Worms, Hollow Ground, maintains a late 50’s/early 60’s relaxed pop vibe reminiscent of the Everly Brothers. While the lyrical themes come off as simplistic and naive on first listen, the aesthetic they create pairs well with the tightly constructed pop melodies and instrumentation. Standout tracks include “Don’t Want to Say Good-bye,” Like Going Down Sideways,” “Cash for Gold,” and the psychedelic, saloon piano album closer “Mad About You.”

“terminal paradise” - Adrianne Lenker, abysskiss

Released October 5, 2018
Saddle Creek

abysskiss 

The last few years have been a whirlwind for Adrianne Lenker. Big Thief, the band she fronts, have catapulted into the heights of the international independent music scene since the release of their 2016 debut album Masterpiece. The next year the band put out the astonishingly beautiful Capacity. Over the course of touring those albums, Lenker documented her experiences by writing even more songs. These are the ones found on the impeccable abysskiss. With Big Thief, the sounds get big and loud, but with her solo album Lenker stays mostly light and feathery on acoustic guitar and piano. Not enough can be said about Lenker’s songwriting to convey her inspired ability. One must just go and listen to it.

“Cantaloupe Island” - Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra,The Capitol Studios Sessions

Released November 9, 2018
Decca Records

Everyone’s favorite chaostitian, Jeff Goldblum, is often charming and strangely sophisticated on screen. This everybody knows. But what is less known about the man is that he exhibits those same qualities behind the jazz piano. On his debut album, The Capitol Studio Sessions, Mr. Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra stroll through 13 cocktail party jazz songs in a live club setting. Featured guest performers include Imelda May, Haley Reinhart, Till Bronner, and comedian Sarah Silverman. The Herbie Hancock penned “Cantaloupe Island,” one of the album’s two singles, leads off the album and can be listened to here.

“Find Me” - Porches, The House

Released January 19, 2018
Domino Records

Aaron Maine weaves electronic dance club beats and poppy synthesizer leads together with heartfelt vocals on his latest Porches release, The House. First impressions of the album might leave uninitiated listeners a bit perplexed, as most of the songs are made up of several melodic layers that don’t immediately seem to gel together. One such instance is on the track “Leave The House.” Maine establishes a vocal melody that is simple enough, but then an additional and entirely separate vocal melody is added on top of it. While this kind of stylistic choice might not intrigue everybody, it’s moments like these that make The House an increasingly rewarding,album with each listen.

“Take the Doggie” - Shy Boys, Bell House

Released August 3, 2018
Polyvinyl

shy boys album cover 

On their second full-length album, Bell House, Kansas City-based Shy Boys deliver a short but very sweet collection of songs. Fronted by brothers Colin and Kyle Rausch, the band stands out for their tight, often-falsetto, vocal harmonies and their clean and simple guitar lines. On “Miracle Gro,” the band channels The Beach Boys with a four-part harmony backed up only by steady handclaps. Lyrical themes tend to focus on day-to-day activities, like getting a snack or taking a walk. On the lead single “Take the Doggie,” Colin sings about a neighbor’s dog who looks underfed and considers taking the dog to give it a better life.

“Wild Life” - Paul McCartney & Wings, Wild Life (Archive Collection)

Released December 7, 2018
Capitol Records

On the heels of his second solo album, Ram, Paul McCartney was looking for a permanent band to make music with. He found that band in session drummer Denny Seiwell, guitarist Denny Laine of The Moody Blues, and his wife, Linda, on keys and vocals. They called themselves Wings. To avoid competing with the outrageous success of his previous band, McCartney wanted to make a record with a raw sound that would capture the essence of a band forming its identity. The result of their efforts is Wild Life. It’s an album that could easily be passed by among the slew of great Wings records, but it is chock-full of hummable melodies and is worth a listen from any casual Beatles fan. The title track is particularly charming and features Paul throwing caution to the wind with a raucous vocal delivery.

“Poly Blue” - Jessica Pratt, Quiet Signs

Arrives February 8, 2019
Mexican Summer/City Slang

Los Angeles-based songwriter Jessica Pratt branches out from her previous work on her third album, Quiet Signs. With her first two releases, Pratt kept faithful to the wispy stylings of early 70’s guitar folk music by employing only a classical guitar and her hazy, washed-out voice. The new songs still lean heavily on those old, folky influences, but are embellished with more textures than she’s ever used before. On the second single, “Poly Blue,” Pratt showcases this subtle shift with piano and flute flourishes. She is currently on tour with Kurt Vile and the Violators.

“Element” - Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

Arrives January 18, 2019
4AD

deer hunter album cover

“Element,” the second single from Deerhunter’s upcoming album Why Hasn’t Everything Disappeared Already?, is a string-heavy baroque pop jam that should brighten the darkest of winter days. Despite the upbeat vibe of the song, however, the lyrics suggest something much more grim. “The wind was stained/ Orange clouds laid out for a toxic view.” On their 8th album, Deerhunter have made what they call “a science fiction album about the present.” Why Hasn’t Everything Disappeared Already? was produced by Welsh musician Cate Le Bon and was recorded in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Marfa, Texas.

“Kazakhstan” - Brian Eno, Music For Installations

Released May 4, 2018
UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Following his glam rock days with Roxy Music and his first few glam-pop oriented solo albums in the early 70’s, Brian Eno began creating music that sounds almost otherworldly. He called this new form ambient music and he has continued exploring its boundaries ever since 1978’s Ambient 1/Music For Airports. His latest, Music For Installations, features “new, rare, or unreleased” music dating back to 1986 that was crafted specifically for use in art installations around the world, including St. Petersburg, Beijing, Sydney, Kazakhstan, and others. The physical release of the album comes with a 64-page booklet that showcases the visual art from the various installations where the music was first heard.


This sampler was compiled and written by Ben Sauder, who makes music as No Magic. His new album, In Cocoon, is out now on French Exit Records.








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