Indie-rap mainstay Aesop Rock has announced his new album, The Impossible Kid, dropping April 29th on Rhymesayers Entertainment, marking his first solo venture since 2012's Skelethon. On the new album, Aesop continues finding new ways to improve on the skills that have made him one of the kings of indie hip-hop. His creative process now includes a newfound willingness to open up about his personal life, going deep on topics like depression, his sometimes rocky relationship with his family, and the turbulent handful of years that culminated in Aesop leaving his adopted home of San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of The Impossible Kid. There's also moments of levity though, as Aesop taps into the funny side of his persona that he suppressed during the period where being taken as a serious lyricist was more of a priority. Like Skelethon, Aesop exercised complete creative control over every aspect of the album, from the production (which he handled himself, with instrumental help from Philly’s Grimace Foundation) to conceptualizing the cover art by his friend Alex Pardee.
"Humankind seems to teeter between hubris and paranoia: the hubris of our ever-growing power contrasts with the paranoia that we're permanently and increasingly under threat. At the zenith we realize we have to come down again...we know that we have more than we deserve or can defend, so we become nervous. Somebody, something is going to take it all from us: that is the dread of the wealthy. Paranoia leads to defensiveness, and we all end up in the trenches facing each other across the mud." - Brian Eno The Ship, a new album by Brian Eno, will be released by Warp Records. The Ship is Eno's first solo record since 2012's Grammy- nominated LUX. Originally conceived from experiments with three dimensional recording techniques and formed in two, interconnected parts, The Ship is almost as much musical novel as traditional album. Eno brings together beautiful songs, minimalist ambience, physical electronics, omniscient narratives and technical innovation into a single, cinematic suite. The result is the very best of Eno, a record without parallel in his catalogue. The album opens with the 21-minute eponymously titled "The Ship" on which Eno's cyclically sung sea-chant builds in ominous drama, followed by "Fickle Sun", a song in three movements. The first continues where "The Ship" left but with Eno's voice sounding more upfront, determined, even despairing. The album's finale is a Lou Reed penned cover of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free", a band who were famously credited by Eno as the inspiration behind his early music explorations as an art student. Coinciding with The Ship's release, a series of Eno installations will be happening around the world at which you will be able to hear an alternative telling of The Ship in multi-channel 3-dimensional sound installations. In addition to the standard version, a collectors edition version of the CD will be available in a beautiful cloth bound case with a spot gloss cover and four individual art cards.
Paging Mr. Proust finds the 2016 Jayhawks still remain one of America's foremost rock bands: based around leader Gary Louris gift for melody that has made them such a respected and seminal group for almost three decades. Paging Mr. Proust features the long-time core of the Jayhawks: Gary Louris (lead vox/guitars), Marc Perlman (bass), Tim O Reagan (drums/vox), and Karen Grotberg (keyboards/vox).
From the jangle of album opener Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces to the trademark harmonies of Isabel's Daughter to the more pensive Lover Of The Sun, it is clear that The Jayhawks power remains undiminished from their initial national impact, 1992's Hollywood Town Hall. Other tracks such as the sludgy rocker Lost The Summer, the kraut-rock groove of Ace and the taut minimalism of Comeback Kids bring new sounds to the palette. Paging Mr. Proust shows a commitment to adventure and forward motion, which makes this collection of songs exciting and instantly memorable.
The title of John Doe's new album couldn't be more appropriate. The Westerner, which will be released April 29th, finds the co-founder of Los Angeles punk legends X meditating across open expanses of the desert, sun burning bright in the sky and the arid landscape shimmering with mystery.
Doe's inspiration came in a feverish burst in Tucson, Arizona, where he was recording with Howe Gelb (of Giant Sand) and spent time with his friend, author Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves), hours before his death. From the opening rumble of The Westerner's leadoff track "Get On Board," Blake's spiritual presence and the inevitability of mortality are threaded through the album.
"This may not be a country record but it is definitely a Western record," Doe tells Rolling Stone Country. "It has all the horizon, sand and beautifully scary things of the desert."
Full Review at Rolling Stone
Coming only 6 months after the softer, folksy Paper Mache Dream Balloon, Nonagon Infinity finds King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard returning to form on this relentless psychedelic shred fest. The brand new album from the Aussie rockers consists of 9 interconnected tracks that comprise an infinite loop of music. Enter the nonagon if you dare.
Although one should never underestimate the international pleasures of the big beat, Western festival enthusiasm for Kinshasan percussion ensemble Konono No. 1 remains a rather unlikely success story. Especially since nobody can quite agree on what to call their specific musical brand. Forget genre — Wikipedia essentially throws up its hands to heaven, currently linking to an entry for Trance ("a genre of electronic music that developed during the 1990s in Germany") and a citation-lacking "bazombo." Others have attempted more noble stabs in the dark: there's the technically-accurate-if-Eurocentric "electro-acoustic," Robert Christgau's poetically apt "paleo-futurist," and the band's own preferred approximations of "tradi-modern" and "Congotronics."
Nomenclature aside, jam-band enthusiasts and dance-music devotees have seized upon the Congolese troupe as fellow travelers in rhythm, in which frenetic and repetitive grooves played on an assortment of traditional Central African instruments and junkyard prizes get run through jerry-rigged amplifiers and retrofitted PA systems for maximum sonic enjoyment. Call it modern African music, to be filed alongside fellow cosmopolitan adventurers Mbongwana Star (also of Kinshasa) and the Saharan blues rock of Tuareg virtuosos.
Full Review at Spin
Resistor is Lera's follow up album to the critically acclaimed, The Avenues.
Ten new tracks written by Lera and co-produced by Joshua Grange. Resistor at once embraces the darker and more provocative sides of Lynn's songwriting. From the percussive pulse of 'Shape Shifter' to the greasy, slow-motion strut of 'Little Ruby,' Resistor finds Lynn in the captain's chair, confidently steering her ship into uncharted waters.
Rolling Stone says... 'evocative of everything from Nineties girl-band alt-rock like Veruca Salt and the Breeders to modern artists like St. Vincent and Fiona Apple, who approach composition with a sense of fearless play while never forgetting a good pop melody's undeniable pull.' - Rolling Stone
Formed in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii by Kaleo Wassman, Bret Bollinger and Yesod Williams, the now California-based trio relied on their longtime friendship and creative partnership to self-produce (their first time) and record Ohana in their newly established Kona Inn Recording Studio in Redondo Beach (former studio home to Pennywise). With Ohana, Pepper was able to bridge their past with their future. The first single, Vacation, bassist Bret Bollinger describes as ...if James Brown and The Beach Boys got together and had way too many Mai Tai's, while Start You Up and Never Ending Summer demonstrate that with Ohana, Pepper is on a whole new level and better than ever.
The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser is Rob Zombie's sixth solo studio album. Produced by Zeuss, it was recorded and mixed at Goathouse Studios. A full return to form by the rock icon, The Electric Warlock... features John 5 (Guitar), Piggy D (Bass) and Ginger Fish (Drums). This album marks Rob Zombie's first solo studio album since 2013's Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, which debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200.
Three years after 2013's sparser, more tentative Nightingale Floors, Rogue Wave come roaring back with an album that reasserts them as major, albeit under-recognized, players in the world of 21st century indie rock. Core members Zach Rogue (singer/songwriter/guitarist) and drummer Pat Spurgeon decided to record and produce this album themselves, and the result is their best work since 2007's Asleep at Heaven's Gate.
The electro-pop experimentation of 2010's Permalight seems like a distant memory, the only hint of it coming in the synth bleeps of first single "What Is Left to Solve." Most of these songs feel like they could have been written during the period between 2005's excellent Descended Like Vultures and Asleep at Heaven's Gate. The highlights are many and include the catchy "California Bride" and the hook-filled "Endless Supply." "Ocean" (featuring backing vocals by Mike Deni of Geographer) sounds as massive as its title, but the album ends with the hushed, contemplative "Memento Mori." There are references to divorce and broken relationships peppered all throughout the album, but they also aren't afraid to show a humorous side with references to a "Canadian tuxedo" in the otherwise haunting "Frozen Lake." All in all, Rogue Wave's sixth album is an unqualified triumph.
Review From Under The Radar
Following hot on the heels of their second Grammy win for 2015's Sylva and this years critically-acclaimed and #1-charting Family Dinner Volume Two, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Denton, Texas Snarky Puppy introduces their first new band album in two years, Culcha Vulcha.
In a nutshell, the album title refers to how we the Western civilized world have all become slaves to Pop culture, consuming as many messages to buy, be and get as possible. We circle above and wait to swoop in and ravenously eat or consume as much messaging as possible so we can feel full and satisfied that we are cool, losing our sense of self-confidence and self-acceptance as we are.
The album is a slight departure for Snarky Puppy; darker, with elements of Rock along with brilliant flourishes of R&B, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Bossa Nova, electric Blues and more.
Guitars cry, keyboards wail, all the while the percussion and bassline drive you forward. In a word, intoxicating. Scratch that: otherworldly.
Consider this their White Album. You will only get one chance to make a first impression, and if this is the introduction to many people of the Snarky Puppy experience, it will quickly make them Puppy addicts!