It’s Friday! It’s a long weekend! Time to dig into some recent new releases, and we’ve got plenty to choose from including the latest from Boyhood (buy this!), Rolling Blackouts, Milk Carton Kids, Florence And The Machine, Dawes, Gorillaz, John Coltrane (yeah that guy), Chvrches and Panic! at the Disco. That’s a lot of great music! Want more? Check out our reissue highlights and restocks and additions later on in this post.
FYI – We are closed this Sunday for Canada Day.
On to the new stuff!
Boyhood – Bad Mantra
Caylie Runciman is Boyhood. When she performs, she howls from behind unkempt hair and dark eyeshadow like the love child of PJ Harvey and Regan from The Exorcist. She even makes up her songs on the fly, making us wonder if she’s channeling some kind of evil rock demon.
Boyhood’s first release was full of prog-grunge compositions shunning standard verse/chorus structure, instead coming in intense swells of noisy guitars and drums that morph from one melody to the next. She combines the pounding rhythms and off-key dirges of Nirvana with the atmosphere of a 1960s horror flick soundtrack to create something all the more visceral, haunting, and unexpectedly cathartic. It’s especially impressive that she does this as a solo artist who plays all of the instruments on her recordings herself.
Bad Mantras, her second LP shows us another side of Boyhood. “I had probably the most difficult year of my life so far last year (knock on wood), and was writing sporadically throughout it. The concept of, ‘bad mantras’ had been kicking around in my brain for a long time, and most of what I was writing ended up in this sort of simple, rhythmic style, with very repetitive, mantra-like lines of vocal parts.”
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Rolling Blackouts C.F. – Hope Downs (exclusive coloured vinyl)
It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Hope Downs. To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their buzz-building EPs from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. But don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists: Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice.
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Milk Carton Kids – All the Things I Did And All the Things I Didn’t Do
Waltzing into disaster and its aftermath, The Milk Carton Kids’ All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do is available now.
The new project marks the first time that acoustic duo Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have brought a band into the studio with them. “We wanted to do something new,” Pattengale says. “We had been going around the country yet another time to do the duo show, going to the places we’d been before. There arose some sort of need for change.”
“Musically we knew we were going to make the record with a bigger sonic palette,” says Ryan. “It was liberating to know we wouldn’t have to be able to carry every song with just our two guitars.”
Since their last studio album, Monterey (ANTI- 2015), life has changed dramatically for The Milk Carton Kids. Pattengale has moved to, and is now producing records in Nashville. Ryan is now the father of two children and works as a producer on “Live from Here with Chris Thile,” the reboot of “A Prairie Home Companion.” A break from years of non-stop touring, Ryan says, has yielded “space outside of the band that gives us perspective on what the band is.”
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Florence And The Machine – High As Hope
Six-time Grammy-nominee Florence + the Machine to release hugely-anticipated new album ‘High As Hope’ June 29th via Virgin EMI / Republic Records. ‘High As Hope’ is the sound of an artist who appears more certain than ever of herself. Florence writes about her teens and twenties with a renewed, more mature perspective: of growing up in South London, of family, relationships and art itself.
Dawes – Passwords (exclusive coloured vinyl)
In this rapidly approaching age of transparency, passwords can feel like this last vestige of a wall between a world we can see and one we can’t. Having a password allows you to gain access to some information or perspective that you didn’t have before. In that sense, I like the idea of looking at a song as a password – an opportunity for some sort of insight that had previously been unavailable to you. And that goes for the singer as much as the potential listener, I promise. :) These songs are about everything to the extent that any Dawes record has been…but in this case there is more of an objective…at least for us – to think a little harder about not just how but WHY we (not just ‘you’ or ‘I’ but ‘we’) feel the ways that we do. What small steps can be taken to revisit these old ideas of empathy? How can we develop a form of communication that goes beyond making sure you’ve said your piece and accurately aims at being heard?
Gorillaz – Now Now
After a gruelling six-year hiatus, Gorillaz returned last year with Humanz, their fifth studio album. Then, we learned from Gorillaz illustrator Jamie Hewlett that the band had plans to release another studio album in 2018. Now Now is out Now (say that 10 times fast).
Damon Albarn said that he wanted to create more of a “complete” record, saying, “If we’re going to do more with Gorillaz we don’t want to wait seven years because, y’know, we’re getting on a bit now.” Hewlett had also described the new material to be a new direction for the band, alluding that they would simultaneously shift the aesthetic of the artwork into a new direction as well.
John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once (The Lost Album)
Unknown until 2004 and unheard until now, these recordings by the John Coltrane Quartet are, as Sonny Rollins says in the liner notes, “like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.” With the discovery of the ¼”reference tapes that Coltrane took home with him after the recording session a session that was completely unknown and for which master tapes don’t exist an important chapter in the evolution of Coltrane’s music can now be heard for the first time.
Featuring the Classic Quartet John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones and recorded at the end of a two week run at Birdland, the music on this album represents one of the most influential groups in music history both performing in a musical style it had perfected and reaching in new, exploratory directions that were to affect the trajectory of jazz from that point forward.
Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked
Panic! At The Disco return with their sixth studio album, Pray For The Wicked, pressed to vinyl. Blending hip-hop influences with electronica for their own unique brand of pop, this album isn’t afraid to go big, reflecting on frontman Brendon Urie’s recent foray into theater. Produced by Jake Sinclair.
Chvrches – Love Is Dead (exclusive clear vinyl)
Glasgow 3 piece CHVRCHES return with their third studio album Love Is Dead. Featuring the incredible new single ‘Get Out’ along with ‘My Enemy’ a special collaboration with Matt Berninger of ‘The National’, this 13 track album showcases a band at the top of their game. Vinyl comes as a gatefold sleeve.
Fresh Reissue Highlights
Wire – 154 (2018 remaster)
Wire – Chairs Missing (2018 remaster)
Wire – Pink Flag (2018 remaster)
Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first. It has been a number of years since these albums were readily available. The aim with these new vinyl and CD releases is to approximate the original statements as closely as possible, but with remastered audio. The vinyl releases have the same covers and inners as the originals (minus the Harvest logo). The digipack CDs have identical track listings to their vinyl counterparts. These versions should be considered Wire’s classic 1970s albums, pure and undiluted. Usually contextualized against a backdrop of two years of the growing cultural importance of punk rock—Wire’s debut Pink Flag, released in December 1977 on EMI’s progressive label Harvest was in fact was something “other.” To the keen cultural commentator, the timing and label of it’s release will register two essential facts about it. Firstly, too late (a year after the Pistol’s debut release) to be part of UK punk’s first flush and secondly that the band were signaling something beyond punk by their choice of label. Further investigation would reveal twenty-one tracks, some of them clocking in at well under a minute and covering a range of tempi well beyond the buzzsaw rockabilly that had become, even by the second half of 1977, punk’s staple.
Soundtrack – Lost Boys (white vinyl)
When you were a goth kid in the 80s Lost Boys was a pretty important film for you. With a couple key tracks from INXS, the stellar cover of “People are Strange” by Echo & the Bunnymen and the title anthem “Cry Little Sister” by Gerard McMann, there’s plenty of great tracks on this classic soundtrack..
Mobb Deep – Juvenile Hell
Juvenile Hell is the debut album by the hip hop duo Mobb Deep. It was recorded when they were still in their late teens and released on April 13, 1993 by 4th B’way. Features the singles “Peer Pressure” and “Hit It from the Back.”
Restocks and Additions
If that’s not enough, here’s today’s list of restocks and additions to our new vinyl selection here at Backbeat.
Black Keys – Brothers
Bowie, David – Labyrinth
Broadcast – Work & Non-Work
Can – Ege Bamyasi
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
Coltrane, John – Portraits
Cooke, Sam – Ain’t That Good News
Cult – Pure Cult: The Singles
Cure – Mixed Up
Davis, Miles – Kind Of Blue
Davis, Miles – Seven Steps To Heaven
Evans, Bill – Portraits
Ghost – Meliora
Ghost – Prequelle
Lamontagne, Ray – Part Of The Light
Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
Marley, Bob – Legend
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See
Meters – Meters
Mingus, Charles – Portraits
Motorhead – No Sleep Till Hammersmith
Motorhead – Overkill
Petty, Tom & The Heartbreakers – Full Moon Fever
Pixies – Doolittle
Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Pixies – Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies
Portishead – Dummy
Radiohead – Kid A
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood,Sugar,Sex,Magik
Simone, Nina – Portraits
soundtrack – Blue Velvet (Angelo Badalamenti)
soundtrack – Heavy Metal
Sparks – Kimono My House
Sun Ra & The Blues Project – Batman & Robin
Vaughan, Stevie Ray – In Step
Vaughan, Stevie Ray – Texas Flood
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Winehouse, Amy – Back To Black
Young, Neil – Roxy – Tonight’s The Night Live