Here we are still a week away to that day we keep yapping about. Even though we are focused on making next weekend awesome there are still some fantastic new releases coming in. Here are the latest vinyl releases in stock now at Backbeat Books and Music.
Avey Tare – Slasher Flicks: Enter the Slasher House – LP
The power to mislead is a gusty, adventuresome force, and Slasher Flicks by name alone is not what it appears to be. Scrambled horror film soundtracks? Not even remotely. A bunch of East Coasters making their quintessential LA album? No, more like escape from LA, say leather masked guitar-wielding Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), knife-wielding keyboard player Angel Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian), and the cannibal chief drummer and decaying grandfather Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail, Dan Deacon). If LA is an environment to get lost in, as they claim, this group sewing roots in SoCal have become lost in the best way: relocating and reinventing sounds they’re already skilled in making, sounds that as Avey Tare says, are not only regionally unrestricted but that “come from a place that’s not human.” In that, the Slasher Flicks’ music is rather monstrous, like the band’s love of horror comic books, and is audibly underpinned by Avey Tare’s constant dedication to garage music distorted by miscreant artifice: Arthur Lee’s LOVE, Misfits, and Cramps. Slasher Flicks’ inaugural release undulates like a mirage: beyond the sonic space it creates, the band hopes it expresses something more synesthetic, what they call “pure emotional space.”
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Dean Wareham – Dean Wareham – LP
In an unprecedented burst of creativity, Dean Wareham follows his well-received solo mini-album ‘Emancipated Hearts’ just over four months later with his solo debut proper. Consisting of eight original songs and a cover of Michael Holland’s ‘Heartless People’, the self-titled album is a very different record to its predecessor, much less understated and more self-assured. No doubt partly due to its producer, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who also plays on some of the tracks here (and turns in a remix of ‘Happy & Free’ as the iTunes bonus track). Dean has admitted that Jim James pushed him in more of a “rock” direction, something which mini-album producer Jason Quever actively shied away from. This has resulted in surprisingly direct likes of ‘Holding Pattern’ (an ode to bicoastal commuting, which inexplicably turns into a list of AOR bands “Kansas, Boston, Toto, Journey, Foreigner and Styx”) and ‘I Can Only Give My All’, which sit comfortably alongside the countryfied rock of ‘Happy & Free’ and the retro-pop of ‘The Dancer Disappears’.
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Nine Inch Nails / Coil – Recoiled – LP
“Recoiled” is a rambunctious alchemy, of magikal Coil sensibilities and hi-tech home circa 90s mixing technique, all fused in the cave-like early studios of Danny Hyde / Peter Christopherson. These were the unrestrained PRE- BIG studio- mix downs, of four songs which long time Coil admirer / collaborator Trent Reznor requested Coil to remix. Reznor sent over the original multi-tracks and DATs to Hyde / Christopherson, who independently mixed versions and then met to synch both creations, molding them into these master versions. “Recoiled” includes a fuller, more opulent version of the track ‘Closer’, which eventually made it onto the opening credits to the movie “SE7EN”. These 5 lengthy compositions are pre-Ableton / laptop generation type priest song creations, with the use of baby alarms and numerous wires to create bespoke effects. These legendary tracks were always rumoured to exist and, only the due diligence of a dedicated NIN forum who hunted them down, are released/unleashed for your listening pleasure.
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Malachai – Beyond Ugly – LP
Beyond Ugly is the last panel in the band’s Ugly triptych and that it was completed at all came as a shock to all concerned, least of all the group. After the conclusion of the campaign for their second album, Return To The Ugly Side, members Gee Ealey and Scott Hendy drifted apart with no definitive plans to take up arms together. It was a chance meeting in Bristol that drew the two back into one another’s orbit and to the realization that there was some unfinished monkey business.
Beyond Ugly recaptures the sonic stew of debut album, The Ugly Side Of Love, a potent brew of post-summer of love and some good ol’ Bristol-fashion psychedelic comedown. However, there’s a healthy dose of renewed restlessness and anger emanating from Ealey that permeates the album thanks to some spirited vocal performances, from the anthemic and vengeful soliloquy of ‘Sweet Flower’ to the civilly disobedient ‘I Deserve To No’.
Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars – LP and CD
Throughout his five decades in music, Johnny Cash was unwavering in his dedication to his sound and style. Starting with Sun Records in 1955 through his days at Columbia and beyond, Cash always knew exactly what he wanted to do and exactly how it should sound. Everything he did, all the music he created was definitively Johnny Cash. By 1980, the business of country music had changed to incorporate sounds that were incongruous with Cash’s. His signature blend of folk and that “boom-chicka-boom” beat was out of vogue amongst the slick string-laden “countrypolitan” sounds that had become popular. This shift left all-time greats like Cash in the odd place of being revered, but not selling albums. In one effort to enhance his commercial appeal, Columbia Records paired Cash with producer Billy Sherrill who was having major success with this new country sound. While Sherrill selected many of the songs, it was Cash’s trademark sound that dominated. The sessions were nothing short of magic. Cash employed an expanded band, featuring a young Marty Stuart on guitar and fiddle as well as long-time duet partners June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings. Much of what was recorded was locked away in the vault lost and not to be heard again. Until now. Discovered in 2012, Out Among The Stars is truly a lost, previously unreleased Johnny Cash album. These aren’t alternate takes or different versions of songs that you’ve heard. These are brand new songs to the Cash canon. Completed in 2013 by Johnny’s only son John Carter Cash, Out Among The Stars is a pivotal Johnny Cash album lost in time, and now ready to become a classic.
School of Language – Old Fears – LP
Old Fears. It’s a pop record. A place of clipped falsetto, melancholic funk, iridescent electro, shimmering post-punk, futurist prog. A self-contained sphere of strange sensations. Beguiling textures. Lengthening shadows.
At times it is both liminal and minimal, at others emotive and external. Ambiguous and ambient. Tantalising and tempered. Modern. Unique. And funny too. “I wrote a lot of notes and they seemed to distinctly split into things to do with love and things to do with fear,” says David Brewis. “A lot of it has ended up with me looking back at when I was 19, 20 – my formative years. So though I wouldn’t want to call it a concept album it’s definitely themed.”
Old Fears. Here each song has been honed and polished into something pure, like a vast block of marble chiselled down into a perfectly tiny delicate egg of Fabergé-esque perfection. Recorded throughout 2013 in Field Music’s studio on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland, synth flourishes sit alongside the staccato jarring guitars of ‘A Smile Cracks’ and the metronomic rhythms of ‘Dress Up’. Like a Ballard novel or a George Shaw painting, ‘Between The Suburbs’ offers perhaps the most lyrical and poetic moment, where “Dogs chase patterns, play to attention / Bulbs glare on greasy roads…”.
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Young Fathers – Dead – LP and CD
Young Fathers are three young men from Edinburgh and Liberia and Nigeria, all at the same time. Their journey has taken them through various incarnations and styles but they are still only in their mid 20s. And… and this is important: they’ve chosen to kill the past—their own past, even—to make their own future.
The what-what, the feeling: Following on from the acclaimed EPs TAPE ONE and TAPE TWO, their debut album DEAD comes as an intimate epic, thirty six minutes of…. what? What? You can call it hip hop or rap, but Alloysious, G and Kayus sing more than they chat. There’s the suburbs and the cities of Grey Britain in there, but also Africa. There’s an obsession with the surface texture of sound, the psychedelicist’s love of noise.
Equally, the deep, warm, maternal reassurance of bass. But the band also craft hook after hook, instant kid-melodies, piling them up on great reefs of backing vocals. Above all, what they insist on is that their music has to mean something, emotionally. If this is a wake, it’s a celebratory one, full of heart.
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Future Islands – Singles – LP
Despite the kind-of-just-a-little-bit-confusing title, it is not a collection of singles but is, in fact, a completely new full-length record. The Baltimore trio known for their “cathartic” (NPR) energy consists of enigmatic frontman Samuel T. Herring, bassist/guitarist William Cashion, and keyboardist/guitarist/ programmer Gerrit Welmers. Herring’s deeply poetic tales of heartbreak, love, and loss are finally up front and in high fidelity, thanks in part to a newfound creative partnership with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear). Singles follows 2011’s On The Water (Thrill Jockey) which earned a Best New Track nod from Pitchfork for the song ‘Balance’ and 2010’s In Evening Air (Thrill Jockey) which the LA Times praised for its “icy synth-pop melodies [and] lo-fi soul.”
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Tower of Light – The Tower of Light – LP
Beaming its sleep-walking sound from a bedroom in Brooklyn, The Tower of Light deals in the marriage of polarities on his self-titled debut album. At once delicate and severe, ecstatic then pensive, both sparse and lush, it follows a road that was paved by the early days of 4AD and its strange, beautiful diversity, while making unexpected stylistic detours as it winds its way through the ether.
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Polar Bear – In Each and Every One – LP w/CD
Over the last ten years, Polar Bear have marked themselves as one of the most exciting and progressive bands of their generation. Since receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination for Held on the Tips of Fingers in 2005, they have continued to innovate and transcend genre, connecting with jazz, rock, hip-hop, electronic and mainstream audiences alike. In Each and Every One is Polar Bear’s long-awaited fifth album, the group’s first since 2010’s hugely acclaimed Peepers. It’s certainly their boldest and most dynamic work to date. A remarkable song cycle, offering an expansive arc across deep emotional terrain, it evokes a range of atmospheres: post-industrial scrub, grimy metropolitan house parties, snowy wastelands, dark mountain gatherings. Perhaps the defining feature of In Each and Every One is space. The band occupies a fixed point in a vast three-dimensional setting: an electronic abyss. At times the players evaporate in a swirling mass of digital distortion, before reappearing through the mist. Saxophonists Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart together posses a broad emotional vocabulary, yet here they appear translucent, elusive. Bassist Tom Herbert is irresistible when he plays inside the groove, but does so only occasionally, giving these moments rare power. In Each and Every One is not just another Polar Bear record. It’s a new direction for one of the most thrilling and influential bands of the last decade.
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