Hey Backbeaters! Looks like it could be a snowy couple of days, so why not head over to the shop, pickup a book, grab a record and hibernate for the rest of the weekend. We’ve got four fresh album releases to feature this week including the latest Kyle Craft, Hookworms, Son Lux and Franz Ferdinand’s fifth album. Check out all the details below.
Kyle Craft – Full Circle Nightmare
Ever since his debut album ‘Dolls of Highland’ was released on Sub Pop in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic’s dream. Based in Portland, he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. “I’ve found my place,” he says. “I’m not one of those people that approaches music for anyone other than myself. My favorite part about music is when it’s just me and a notebook.” Speaking of, his second forthcoming album ‘Full Circle Nightmare’ is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it’s a huge leap forward from his 2016 release.
The title ‘Full Circle Nightmare’ refers to a moment where Craft saw his life for what it is and told himself to be satisfied. “But that’s nightmarish to me,” he laughs. He described his debut record as: “like walking down this long hall of bizarre characters and surreal experiences, moving through the spider web of love and loss.” This album is when you get to the end of that hallway, turn around and see all the stuff you’ve been through, then walk through the door, close it and start a new chapter in an even crazier hallway. A straight-up rollicking rock’n’roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of ‘Exile Rag,’ to the gothic style of ‘Gold Calf Moan,’ it’s a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades.
Hookworms – Microshift
Forget everything you know about Hookworms. Ok, maybe not everything; the urgency and viscera both live and on record that led the five-piece to prominence across two blistering full-length LPs—2013’s Pearl Mystic and 2014 follow-up The Hum—remains. However, as they return with their much-anticipated third record Microshift, the title of the record connotates more than just the intended nod to the audio plug-in their vocalist MJ regularly uses; it could also be an understatement of a three-year narrative that’s brought about changing circumstances, influences and subsequent evolution.
Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending (Pink Vinyl – Indie Shop Exclusive)
Forget everything you think you know about Franz Ferdinand. Always Ascending is nothing short of a rebirth. The album’s ten songs are a triumphant recasting of one of our favourite groups, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation.
“We wanted this to sound like nothing we made before,” said the band and after listening to the first moments of the title track it’s obvious that’s what they’ve accomplished.
There have been substitutions, but the team is playing stronger than ever. In case you missed the announcement last year, Nick McCarthy (guitar) left to raise his family and Julian Corrie, a much-loved figure in the Glasgow music scene, joined core members Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy and Paul Thomson.
Son Lux – Brighter Wounds (Pink Vinyl – Indie Shop Exclusive)
Son Lux is the grand genre-less dream of Los Angeles composer Ryan Lott brought to roiling, vivid life with the help of two New Yorkers, guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang. Each is a writer, producer, and performer with omnivorous taste and a penchant for wild improvisation—a band whose mix of electronic pop, unusual soul, and outright experimentalism feels more inviting than ever on the project’s fifth album, ‘Brighter Wounds.’ The songs therein leave behind Son Lux’s typically universal themes for deeply personal fare. While making ‘Brighter Wounds,’ Lott became a father to a baby boy and lost a best friend to cancer. Days of “firsts” were also days of “lasts,” and the normal fears that accompany parenthood were compounded by a frightening new reality—Lott’s son arrived shortly after Election Day. These songs draw on all of that: warm reflections of a fading past, pain wrenched from a still-present loss, and a mix of anxiety and hope for a future that is promised to no one.