First Aid Kit
The Lion’s Roar
First Aid Kit is Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg. The first single and title track to their sophomore album, “The Lion’s Roar”, was recorded with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk, Jenny Lewis) in Omaha, NE. The record sees the band exploring a bigger sound and more instrumentation than on their debut album”The Big Black and the Blue”, but maintains the signature storytelling and harmonies they have become renowned for.
Mission of Burma
From the outset, Unsound was not going to be like any other Mission of Burma album. As expected, the material is raw, primal and aggressive. They still have a signature knack for twisting even the most ferocious noise into complex structures. There are, of course, those killer hooks scattered throughout, but just not quite where you would expect. Yet with all three lead members resolutely making the decision to deliberately stretch their boundaries even further, they stepped out of their comfort zone to create their most rewarding, bewildering and multifaceted long-player yet.
The Black Keys
The Big Come Up
There is something hugely satisfying about the unfettered moans of a vintage Fender Telecaster. For some solid sonic evidence, look no further than the gutsy 2002 debut of Ohio blues duo, The Black Keys. If you’re not hooked by the time Dan Auerbach finger-picks his way into the whining guitar groove of opener “Busted,” then the delivery of his sandpaper vocal drawl – ably assisted by Patrick Carney’s whiplash drumming and ‘medium fidelity’ production – will assure you that, in the US Midwest, they still keep their blues traditionally bottled. And therein lies the key to The Black Keys’ brilliance – the ability to make exciting new tunes sound raw and well-travelled, without falling into lame pastiche or parody. Check out the woozy, melodic leanings of “Yearnin’” or the straight-out garage barnstorm of “I’ll Be Your Man” – both tracks successfully fusing valve-humming cool with a contemporary edge that, five years and four LP’s down the line, remain founding cornerstones of The ‘Keys unique and wickedly uncoiled oeuvre. – Ross Bennett / Mojo
I Can See the Future
Yep Roc Records
Whether Eleni Mandell sings of dying embers or smoldering passion, a warm glow imbues the music throughout I Can See The Future. All 13 of these new songs are marked by the wry humor and lyrical economy that have long made her work so striking, as well as the tasteful, empathetic arrangements and timeless songcraft that’s always characterized her work.
Jukebox the Ghost
Yep Roc Records
Jukebox the Ghost’s album Safe Travels, the ambitious follow up to their 2010 breakout, was produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michelson) and features 13 new, original tracks. JTG remains pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel and drummer Jesse Kristin. After the release of 2010′s Everything Under the Sun Jukebox The Ghost’s fanbase exploded as the band played hundreds of shows and headlined the largest venues of their career, including a packed house at DC’s legendary 930 Club and NY’s Brooklyn Bowl. During their rapid rise the band’s music was featured in an iPad ad, they played on Letterman and Lollapalooza, and much more.
mewithoutYou returns with their 5th studio album, Ten Stories. Helmed by producer Daniel Smith (Sufian Stevens) and mixed by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins), Ten Stories is an allegorical coellection of songs that, at first listen, follows a winding narrative about a circus train crash in 19th century Montana. Long time fans will know that although we are introduced to a talking elephant, fox and tiger there is always more then meets the eye.
Chatham County Line
Sight & Sound
Yep Roc Records
On a recent summer evening in downtown Raleigh, NC, Chatham County Line set up shop at a stately theater filled with hundreds of their most devoted fans and captured for the ages what they do best: gathering around a single microphone to play and sing their own songs.
The result, the two CD/LP audio and video collection Sight & Sound, is an essential document of one of the finest acoustic ensembles North Carolina has ever produced. In a state rich with bluegrass, folk and country legends, this quartet stands out for its left-of-center approach, bringing a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility to roots forms in a manner that appeals to traditional and contemporary camps alike.
Time’s All Gone
Nick Waterhouse is the New Breed – An R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility and with a charged, contemporary style. Having just turned 25, he joins the ranks of similar acts and producers of recent times – Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc et al — that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage ’50s R&B and Rebel Rock n’ Roll. His take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail recording on all vintage equipment with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.
Trans- Records, the new label launched by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla, proudly debuts with the release of the sophomore full-length album Threads from Minneapolis based Now, Now on March 6th 2012. Produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, An Horse, New Pornographers), Threads is a sprawling sonic endeavor of vulnerable vocals giving way to oceans of sound retaining definition via deftly layered guitar parts augmented by lingering synths alternating between background and center stage.
Old Man Gloom