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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman is a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone's fearless leader and one of the world's greatest performers. In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones' voice remained at full power until her final days.
The songs on Soul Of A Woman exemplify two distinct sides of the band s sound. Side One showcases the grittier, bluesier material like Matter Of Time and Sail On giving Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess, creating a liveness that few studio albums posses. Side Two takes on a more sophisticated orchestral mood. Tracks like When I Saw Your Face and These Tears (No Longer For You), capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon's vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allow you to forget she's steering the ship. The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak.
LP: Black vinyl housed in a die-cut dust sleeve with printed lyrics and credits, all packaged inside a jacket with spot-gloss details. Includes album download.
Hollie Cook combines her unique vocal talent with charming charisma to craft her own dynamic strand of lovers rock with enduring tropical vibes, weaving a path from her West London roots to an arena of diverse collaborations, critically acclaimed records, and iconic live appearances around the world. Cook’s ability to continually surprise, delight, and progress solidifies her position as one of the most exciting voices in reggae, and this is crystal clear on her third full-length and Merge debut, Vessel of Love.
Rifles and Rosary Beads is a brand new collection of songs by Mary Gauthier, co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, through Songwriting With Soldiers, a non-profit organization that pairs US veterans with professional songwriters. These songs are a glimpse inside the hearts and souls of both male and female soldiers, and their spouses.
Ruins is the new and eagerly awaited album from Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit. This new album finds First Aid Kit as you've never heard them before: wounded and biting back hard. While Ruins follows the traditions of the classic folk rock sound that First Aid Kit revived via their breakthrough album Stay Gold (2014) and previous releases The Big Black And The Blue (2010) and The Lion's Roar (2012), the difference is that this time they've lived, and the results are intense.
Tracks such as "Rebel Heart" the album's opener documents a love doomed from the start. "It's A Shame" the lead single is a plea to live in the moment because everyone disposes of each other eventually. On "Postcard" and To Live A Life," you feel the breath-stealing weight of despair when a shattered love leaves you bereft of hope. "Fireworks" introverts the blame with self-loathing.
In many ways, First Aid Kit's largest asset is their biggest problem. Their voices are so damn pretty. The [previous] records were always so perfect," says Johanna Söderberg. On Ruins, the duo didn't want it to feel perfect. They wanted it to feel rough and wrenching. Johanna comments further, "Given the material, the lyrics had to be the focus. These sentiments didn't need to be dressed up. They needed to be naked."
Ruins was made with one target in mind: make it sound more real a result the Söderberg sisters clearly achieved.
Honk is the brand-new Best Of compilation album featuring the biggest hits and classic cuts from every Rolling Stones studio album from 1971 to 2016’s Blue & Lonesome. The 2LP collects 20 essential Stones’ tracks – including eight Top 10 singles, “Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Angie,” “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It),” “Fool To Cry,” “Miss You,” “Emotional Rescue” and “Start Me Up.” and more. The album also features a live version of “Wild Horses” featuring Florence Welch.
The experience of Daniel Norgrens music is marked by connection: the artist to the band, the audience to the music, and the body to the soul. His latest album, Wooh Dang, out April 19, 2019 on Superpuma Records, will be Norgrens first worldwide release. Recorded live and entirely on a 16 track analogue rig the album captures the close chemistry between Norgren and his band, comprised of old friends Anders Grahn (bass), Erik Berntsson (drums), and Andreas Filipsson (guitar and banjo). An intertwining of analog instrumentation, live performance, and rural field recordings, Wooh Dang is rife with a deeply hopeful creative intention. It's red blooded, alive, and coursing with equal parts adrenaline and seratonin. Wooh Dang was a real fun album to make and to me its been the world for the last few years, says Norgren. Thanks for taking the time. I hope you enjoy it.
“All anyone wants to be is what they can.”
In an era when networked access to information is nearly universal and wearing influences on your sleeve is normalized, it often feels like everything’s been done. Which begs the questions: What’s the point of creating? Does the world need another still life of fruit? Another film about love? Does the world need another melody?
On Raw Honey, his second album as Drugdealer, Michael Collins colors these existential conundrums with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.
Collins, who never played an instrument, let alone received musical training in any formal capacity, began experimenting with sounds in 2009 after traversing the US on freight trains. After a few years crafting abstract sampledelia, he decided to forgo his experimental exercises in favor of teaching himself how to write the traditional song. In doing so, he made the decision to approach songwriting from the perspective of a listener, rather than a “musician.”
In 2013, Collins headed west and enmeshed himself in the Los Angeles underground scene. It was then that he began collaborating with players in the orbit of Ariel Pink, slowly over time crafting what would become Drugdealer’s debut album, The End of Comedy, a collection of sunlit songs as indebted to Laurel Canyon psych pop as it is Bacharian orchestration.
Raw Honey continues where The End of Comedy left off, with Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop. Built on the foundation of a creative partnership between Collins, Sasha Winn (vocals) and Shags Chamberlain(bass, production), Drugdealer is more a collective than band. Raw Honeyfeatures contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh(guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.
Throughout Raw Honey, Collins and crew display their influences as a new tapestry, one woven with the recycled fibers from thousands of tapestries that have colored our collective listening histories. As evidenced throughout Raw Honey, Collins has an ear for penning numbers that would sound as at home on Classic Rock radio as they would at Zebulon in Los Angeles, where any of the contributors to Raw Honey could, perhaps, be found on any night of the week, on stage, or in the audience supporting another Angelino’s modern pop aspirations.
Rather than hiding behind a curtain or casually sidestepping AOR tropes, Raw Honey adheres to a modern kind of creation — one that cultivates influences and espouses reverence. An honest totem, Raw Honey isn’t tangled up in social norms, with Collins prefering to air his self-doubt as a northern star to guide like-minded people wherever they need to go.
Drugdealer’s Raw Honey will be released on April 19, 2019 via Mexican Summer.