New Release Round-Up 4th February 2022
There's a brand new BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD album in the week that vocalist Isaac Wood announced he was leaving the band. Wood's vocals are among a number of stylistic shifts taking place on sophomore effort 'Ants From Up There', moving away from the frantic speak-singing of 'For The First Time' towards an emotionally raw croon, while musically there's less of a klezmer/middle-eastern jazz feel with intricate Philip Glass-esque sax/violin structures that threaten to collapse into ecstatic noise during its cathartic crescendos. The band have vowed to carry on and 'Ants' stands as a fitting close to their first chapter. There's a blue vinyl in a variant sleeve exclusive to indies, alongside standard and deluxe (featuring a live set) formats on CD and vinyl.
CATE LE BON's 'Pompeii' draws inspiration from Japanese city pop (albeit more the synthpop 'Philharmony'-era Haruomi Hosono than the smooth jazz of Hitomi Tohyama or Kimiko Kasai) but abstracted through the prism of the Welsh artist's distinct approach to composition. Limber basslines take a melodic lead with Yamaha synths and Stella Mozgawa's percussion adding detail, while Le Bon's curious vocals and harmonies spar with religion and isolation.
As THE REDS, PINKS & PURPLES, San Francisco's Glenn Donaldson has a fine line in approximating classic British indie jangle pop in the vein of Felt and Sarah Records alumni with a hint of the 90s output of 4AD. 'Summer At Land's End' has moments of cavernous shoegazey echo alongside its bright melodies.
It's one of two sold-out Dinked Editions this week, alongside the debut from global surf party outfit LOS BITCHOS 'Let The Festivities Begin', produced by Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos.
On 'Laurel Hell' acclaimed US singer-songwriter MITSKI employs some 80s glam flourishes to illuminate the darker corners of her introspective lyrics, plus there are new albums from KORN, SAXON, BASTILLE and ANIMAL COLLECTIVE plus a new EP from JOSIENNE CLARKE.
'Charmed Life' presents the best of Neil Hannon's beloved chamber pop institution THE DIVINE COMEDY across two discs with deluxe editions featuring bonus material.
PAUL McCARTNEY's first Wings album 'Wild Life' gets an Abbey Road half-speed remaster on LP.
'Unlimited Love' is the first RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS album to feature guitarist John Frusciante since 2006 and also sees the band reunite with producer Rick Rubin.
'Endless Rooms' is the first self-produced effort from Melbourne quintet ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER, following two exceptional full-lengths for Sub Pop.
CALEXICO return with their tenth studio album 'El Mirador', featuring appearances from Gaby Moreno and Jairo Zavala.
'How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars' is a companion album to THE WEATHER STATION's acclaimed 'Ignorance' (as featured on our very own staff EoY lists).
ALEX CAMERON's blend of black humour and sax-slathered synthpop has made him a shop favourite here at SK Towers. New album 'Oxy Music' is a character study of opioid addiction shot through the New York-based Aussie's unique lens.