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.
Fat White Family’s first album Champagne Holocaust was released on April 1, 2013; an iconoclastic debut, a freakshow which reminded that, as with Throbbing Gristle/The Gun Club/Butthole Surfers/Jane’s Addiction before them, the outside is the only viable place from which to make true art. America beckoned, and all the temptations and troubles that go with the touring life. The carousel began to spin. When second album Songs For Our Mothers arrived in January 2016, the band were running on fumes. Incarcerated in a fiscal Gulag, every single member had developed serious problems with alcohol and/or hard drugs; most were homeless. They were just about held together by singer Lias Saoudi who had led, Rommel-like, from day one. Saoudi’s songwriting partner and band director Saul Adamczewski had been jettisoned from the band. Salvation came via the intervention of Domino, who signed the band and backed their frontman’s stratagem to move them away from temptation. In a sprawling suburb in the North of England they established Champzone studios and, bloodied but not unbowed, they hunkered down. The collective mission statement: to make a pop record, something to distance the band from the many Fat Whites imitators who had formed in their wake. Lias’ lyrical irony, previously adopted as a protective layer against insecurity and criticism, was discarded in favour of a forensic examination of the self, what the frontman describes as “a genuine mapping out of my innermost psychological landscape, without ever patronising the listener, which for me is the lowliest crime in lyricism.” Nathan Saoudi, Lias’ keyboard playing brother, honed his own songwriting contributions, and Adamczewski returned from both rehab and time working with his other band Insecure Men - freed from the past burdens of musically carrying the project, he sank his teeth in as producer-arranger. With the smoke cleared and the battlefield-free of casualties, Fat White Family re-emerge triumphant. Serfs Up! is a lush and masterful work, lascivious and personal. Tropical, sympathetic and grandiose. It invites the listener in rather than repel them through wilful abrasion. In one of the most gratifying and unexpected creative volte face in living musical memory, the band you hate to love have stormed the palace, ceased the throne, and are set to embark are on their imperial phase as overlords of a kingdom of their own making. The struggle continues, always, but for now… Serfs Up!
On April 12, nine-time GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones is releasing Begin Again, a collection of singles that gathers seven eclectic songs that Jones has recorded over the past year with collaborators including Jeff Tweedy and Thomas Bartlett. Begin Again will be released on 12” vinyl, CD, and as a digital album and features the new song “Just a Little Bit,” which was produced by Jones and features her on vocals, piano, and organ along with Brian Blade on drums, Christopher Thomas on bass, Dave Guy on trumpet, and Leon Michels on tenor saxophone. The singles Jones began releasing last summer ran the gamut from riveting electronic experiments to starkly acoustic folk ballads to organ-and-horn drenched soul songs. With the addition of three more previously unreleased songs, Begin Again presents seven snapshots of creativity from one of the music world’s most versatile and consistently intriguing artists.
The Ghost of Ohio, the second album released under the Andy Black moniker, is both a soundtrack to its comic book graphic novel counterpart and a thrilling standalone record of diverse anthems and ballads, in pursuit of a muse that transcends genre. The Ghost of Ohio saw Andy return to longtime collaborator John Feldmann, the producer and songwriter whose discography includes multiple Number One rock albums and gold/platinum certifications, including releases from Blink-182, 5 Seconds Of Summer.
Absolute Zero is Bruce Hornsby's fourth studio album as a soloist; his discography is eleven total studio albums, including his recordings as Bruce Hornsby and the Range and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The album was produced by Bruce Hornsby; Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Brad Cook co-produced "Cast Off" and Bruce Hornsby and Tony Berg, co-produced “Meds”. Featured guest artists - yMusic, Jack Dejohnette, Blake Mills, Justin Vernon, The Staves, Sean Carey (Bon Iver), Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra - University of Miami (or the Orchestra of St. Hank’s as Bruce calls them), among others including Bruce’s band The Noisemakers.
Like their acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 which The Guardian called "wistful and mesmerizing... tonally ingenious and haunting" Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York City's Village Vanguard. The new album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve together in this intimate environment. There are further poetic takes on pieces from the duo's beloved Americana songbook ("All in Fun," "Red River Valley," "Save the Last Dance for Me"), as well as another intense version of a composition by Paul Motian ("Mumbo Jumbo"), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and the Frank Sinatra hit "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," so much so that the famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular "Epistrophy" and the ruminative ballad "Pannonica." And as with "Goldfinger" on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film "You Only Live Twice."
Brutalism is quite possibly the best collection of songs in The Drums’ ten-year career. The album is defined by growth, transformation and questions, but it doesn’t provide all the answers. Brutalism is a form of simplistic architecture defined by blocks of raw concrete. Brutalism is rooted in an emotional rawness but its layers are soft, intricate and warm, full of frivolous and exquisitely crafted pop songs that blast sunlight and high energy in the face of anxiety, solitude and crippling self-doubt. Even the fact that Brutalism sounds intentional, focused and efficient is a symbol of how Pierce’s prioritizing of his own health and wellbeing has bled into how he makes music. For the making of this album, between his lake house in Upstate New York and a studio in Stinson Beach, California, Pierce was more open than ever, keeping his control freakery at bay, working with others to produce and record the album. He brought in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Amen Dunes) to mix it. If there was a guitar part he wanted to write but couldn’t play, he brought in a guitarist. It’s also the first Drums record with a live drummer. Delegating freed up Pierce’s time to produce a more specific vision. His intentions were rooted in pop, as they’ve always been. Back in The Drums’ previous iterations, however, the pressure was on Pierce to maintain the innocent and nostalgic sound of this surf-pop indie band and it didn’t allow him to explore sex, drug use, darker emotions or how he felt currently. Abysmal Thoughts was the first occasion he had chance to do that. Lyrically Brutalism is another giant step in that direction. It’s much more cut-throat. “I think there’s a parental advisory sticker on the cover!” laughs Pierce. “I didn’t have the courage to stand up for what I wanted before. I felt I had to keep things whimsical and that’s not who I am. It feels empty.” Sonically he had been devoid of external influences, so afraid of being accused of losing the purism of The Drums’ sound. Now he’s rediscovering music: everything from SOPHIE to 90s band Whale. They inspired the loop-based, breakbeat drums on ‘Kiss It Away’ and ‘Body Chemistry’. “I used to think our songs sounded like they were held together by scotch tape. These are more bulletproof.”
They say in the world of punk music nothing is given and everything is earned. Over the course of two albums PUP has given blood, sweat and vocal chords to earn every one of their accomplishments. This hard work has seen them go from scrappy young upstart on the mean streets of Toronto to bona fide punk rock heavyweights, garnering accolades from NPR Music, The New York Times, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. PUP have sold out headlining tours across the globe, played mainstages at major festivals and been nominated for awards but they have never stopped working, and from that effort they have emerged with their new album “Morbid Stuff.”
“Morbid Stuff” features 11 new songs that ooze passion, emotion and raw energy. This album captures the chaotically catchy, visceral sound that has already made PUP punk rock torchbearers and critical favorites, and continues to push and propel their music to the next level. “Morbid Stuff” is sure to draw in old and new fans alike to sing and shout along and share in the full experience of listening to PUP.