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Charlie Gabriel

Eighty Nine

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I've been playing since I was 11 years old," says Charlie Gabriel, the most senior member of the legendary Preservation Hall Band, "I never did anything in my life but play music. I've been blessed with that gift that God gave me, and I've tried to nurse it the best way I knew how." While he's faced plenty of challenges nursing that gift for more than 78 years, none likely rank with last winter's passing of his brother and last living sibling, Leonard, lost to COVID-19. For the first time ever, Gabriel put down his horn, filling his days and weeks instead with dark reflection, a stubborn despondency broken now and then by regular chess matches in the studio kitchen of Hall leader Ben Jaffe, working overtime to bring his friend some light. One such afternoon also included Joshua Starkman, sitting off in a corner playing his guitar and half-watching the chess from a distance. When Charlie returned the next day, he brought his saxophone. "I was just inspired to try it, to play again. It had been a long time, and a guitar makes me feel free. I do love the sound of a piano, but it takes up a lot of a space, keeps me kind of boxed in." That day was to be the first session for Eighty Nine, almost entirely the work of Gabriel, Jaffe and Starkman, recorded mostly right there, in the kitchen, by Matt Aguiluz. Charlie Gabriel's first professional gig dates to 1943, sitting in for his father in New Orleans' Eureka Brass Band. As a teenager living in Detroit, Charlie played with Lionel Hampton, whose band then included a young Charles Mingus, later spending nine years with a group led by Cab Calloway drummer J.C. Heard. While he's also fronted a bebop quintet, played and/or toured with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet, Aretha Franklin and many more, this is the first time his name appears on the front of a record, as a bandleader. Since 2006, Gabriel has been a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, featuring prominently on That's It, So It Is, and Tuba to Cuba. Eighty Nine was different, and not simply due to a smaller ensemble. "We had no particular plan, or any particular insight on what we were gonna do. But we were enjoying what we were doing, jamming, having a musical conversation," Charlie says, further musing, "Musical conversations cancel out complications." Eighty Nine includes six standards and three newer pieces on which Gabriel is a writer: "Yellow Moon," "The Darker It Gets" and "I Get Jealous." The record also marks Charlie's return to his first instrument, clarinet, on many of the tracks. "The clarinet is the mother of the saxophone," he says. "I started playing clarinet early in life, and this [taught me] the saxophone." Finally, Eighty Nine includes three tracks of Charlie singing. "I always sung, but it wasn't my forte to become a singer," he says. "The truth is, people often develop a real relationship with a song once they hear the words. Sometimes I enjoy singing them.
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The roots of Naima Bock's music are far reaching. Born in Glastonbury to a Brazilian father and a Greek mother, Naima spent her early childhood in Brazil before eventually returning to England and various homes in South-East London. This heritage combines with more recent pursuits in Naima's music. From the Brazilian standards that the family listened to while driving to the beach, to the European folk traditions she tapped into on her own, and the pursuits that interest her today - studies in archaeology, work as a gardener, and walking the world's great trails - Naima's music draws from family, the earth and music handed down through generations. Naima's debut album Giant Palm is undoubtedly infused with the Brazilian music of her youth and regular family visits. She found inspiration in "the percussion, the melodies, chords - and particularly the poetic juxtaposition of tragedy and beauty held within the lyrics." By the age of 15 Naima was embedded in the music scene of South-East London, eventually forming Goat Girl with school friends and touring the world. After six years playing bass in Goat Girl, Naima left the band to try something new. She set up a gardening company and started a degree at University College London in archeology because, as she jokes, "I liked being near the ground." During this time she wrote music, played guitar, learned violin, worked with ever-shifting South-London collective Broadside Hacks, and met producer and arranger Joel Burton through Memorials of Distinction label head Josh Cohen. Joel's burgeoning interest in Western classical music, global folk music, experience in large scale arrangement and orchestration informed the collaborative process that eventually culminated in Giant Palm. Recorded with the help of over 30 musicians (including Josh Cohen on synth/electronics) by Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground at his studio space in Streatham, South-East London, and engineered by Syd Kemp, the songs on Giant Palm represent a snapshot of a specific feeling, of brief moments in Naima's life that make up a larger whole. The expansive yet delicate arrangements highlight Naima's love for the collectivist values of traditional folk music, in which songs belong to everyone, and singing can take on countless forms without the need to exactly replicate something. "All the other representations that I'd had of singing felt so unattainable" she recalls. Giant Palm finds Naima bucking these expectations to let her unique voice and sense of communal creativity flourish.
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Robin Pecknold brings light to the bleakest of winters with Fleet Foxes' 'A Very Lonely Solstice,' a 13-track career spanning collection recorded in December 2020, at Brooklyn, NY's St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church. Now being released for the first time on vinyl, CD and digital formats, 'A Very Lonely Solstice' captures a poignant moment in time. The recording was originally broadcasted as a live-stream event on the winter solstice of 2020, just days after New York declared a state of emergency tightening restrictions again in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. Pecknold describes the set as "me by myself on the longest night of the year... honoring the loneliness of 2020 with a nylon string and some songs new and old." Fans worldwide tuned in while quarantined at home, finding solace and a sense of community in a period of extreme isolation. Much of 'A Very Lonely Solstice' showcases a solo focus on Pecknold who offers up acoustic arrangements of fan-favorite songs spanning Fleet Foxes' catalog. Selections cover all four of the band's studio albums, including their 2008 self-titled debut album ("Tiger Mountain Peasant Song") to 2011's Helplessness Blues ("Blue Spotted Tail") and 2017's Crack-Up ("If You Need To, Keep Time On Me"), all the way to their latest release, Shore. Resistance Revival Chorus joins Pecknold on Shore tracks "Wading In Waist-High Water" and "Can I Believe You." Also featured: a cover of Nina Simone's "In The Morning" and a rearrangement of the traditional "Silver Dagger."
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The original soundtrack to Minions: The Rise of Gru promises another exciting installment in the Minions franchise. Produced by Jack Antonoff and filled to the brim with a star-studded list of artists, you can expect a very funky listening experience. CD Softpak.

Various Artists - Minions: The Rise Of Gru
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Multi-platinum rock band Shinedown have released their lead single “Planet Zero,” the title track from their newly announced seventh studio album out April 22 on Atlantic Records. Planet Zero serves up an incisive look at the issues at hand: cancel culture run rampant, the corrosive effects of social media on mental health and society, and the increasingly toxic division among those of differing ideologies. Featuring Shinedown’s explosive yet artfully crafted sound and urgent lyrics, single “Planet Zero” rings the alarm on a dystopian warning of the dangerous consequences to come when it all goes too far, and we begin to lose our respect for those with differing opinions and our compassion for one another.

Says Brent, “If we shut each other down and allow ourselves to be divided by the information we consume and the way we talk to each other, we lose our humanity. When you look outside of your phone, you’ll see there are so many people doing good things and trying to take care of each other. But we’re starting to see parts of society slip into an unknown. Planet Zero was written for all of us. The fact is that we’re all here on this planet no matter what, so it’s time to actually move forward together with empathy, perseverance and strength. With that said….welcome to PLANET ZERO.”  

Over the last two decades, Shinedown have cemented their status as one of the most vital and forward-thinking powerhouses in modern rock.Their most ambitious and masterfully realized work to date, Planet Zerois a high-concept, ultra-vivid, viscerally charged saga. A critical yet optimistic look at the fractures and frays of a society that has undergone many challenges in the last few years, the album is part social commentary and part in-depth exploration of the human psyche. Produced by Shinedown’s Eric Bass (who also produced the band’s 2018 acclaimed album ATTENTION ATTENTION,) and recorded at Bass’ newly built Big Animal Studio in South Carolina, Planet Zero matches its immersive world-building and takedown of authoritarianism with a deliberately unvarnished sound, and the album is spliced with interludes featuring Cyren, an insidious and unsettling robot character that appears throughout the Planet Zero journey. While a raw ferocity fuels much of Planet Zero on tracks like “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo,” “No Sleep Tonight,” and “America Burning,” there is also hope, triumph, and reminders that we all need one another on songs like “Daylight,” “Dysfunctional You,” and “A Symptom of Being Human.” After all, it is the band’s impassioned striving for unity that has long been at the heart of their creative output and deeply informed the making of Planet Zero.Not only a driving force for their songwriting, their humanitarian outlook led Shinedown to be one of the first artists to fundraise for non-profit humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising more than $400,000 with their “Atlas Falls” relief effort.

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Without a brutal evaluation of their own becoming, TV Priest might have never made their second album. Heralded as the next big thing in post-punk, they were established as a bolshy, sharp-witted outfit, the kind that starts movements with their political ire. There was of course truth in that, but it was a suit that quickly felt heavy on it's wearer's shoulders, leaving little room for true vulnerability. "A lot of it did feel like I was being really careful and a bit at arm's length," says vocalist Charlie Drinkwater. "I think maybe I was not fully aware of the role I was taking. I had to take a step back and realize that what we were presenting was quite far away from the opinion of myself that I had. Now, I just want to be honest. " Having made music together since their teenage years, the London four-piece piqued press attention in late 2019 with their first gig as a newly solidified group, a raucous outing in the warehouse district of Hackney Wick. Debut single "House of York" followed with a blistering critique of monarchist patriotism, and they were signed to Sub Pop for their debut album. When Uppers arrived in the height of a global pandemic, it reaped praise from critics and fans alike for it's "dystopian doublespeak," but the band - Drinkwater, guitarist Alex Sprogis, producer, bass and keys player Nic Bueth and drummer Ed Kelland - were at home like the rest of us, drinking cups of tea and marking time via government-sanctioned daily exercise. As such, the personal and professional landmark of it's release felt "both colossal and minuscule" dampened by the inability to share it live. "It was a real gratification and really cathartic, but on the other hand, it was really strange, and not great for my mental health" admits Drinkwater. "I wasn't prepared, and I hadn't necessarily expected it to reach as many people as it did. " As such, My Other People maintains a strong sense of earth-rooted emotion, taking advantage of the opportunity to physically connect. Using "Saintless" (the closing song from Uppers) as something of a starting point, Drinkwater set about crafting lyrics that allowed him to articulate a deeper sense of personal truth, using music as a vessel to communicate with his bandmates about his depleting mental health. "Speaking very candidly, it was written at a time and a place where I was not, I would say, particularly well," he says. "There was a lot of things that had happened to myself and my family that were quite troubling moments. Despite that I do think the record has our most hopeful moments too; a lot of me trying to set myself reminders for living, just everyday sentiments to try and get myself out of the space I was in. ""It was a bit of a moment for all of us where we realised that we can make something that, to us at least, feels truly beautiful," agrees Bueth. "Brutality and frustration are only a part of that puzzle, and despite a lot of us feeling quite disconnected at the time, overwhelmingly beautiful things were also still happening. "This tension between existential fear born from the constant uncertainties of life, and an affirmative, cathartic urge to seize the moment, is central to My Other People, a record that heals by providing space for recognition, a ground zero in which you're welcome to stay awhile but which ultimately only leads up and out. For TV Priest, it is a follow-up that feels truly, properly them; free of bravado, unnecessary bluster or any audience pressure to commit solely to their original sound.
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Stella makes her Sub Pop debut with the mesmerizing Up and Away, an old-school pop paean to the pangs and raptures of love. From the Greek folk-inflected get-go, we're swept up in Stella's world - and it's quite the captivating place to be. The singer-songwriter joined forces with artist and producer Tom Calvert (aka Redinho), and it was a match made in Athens; the results are heavenly. Tom caught one of Stella's gigs on a visit to the city. He reached out, they started hanging out, and the pair soon clicked creatively. Both mention chemistry when asked about their collaboration and it's clear, from what we hear, they had it in spades. The meld is seamless. Stella's songs have always riffed on American and Greek mid-century pop but Up and Away doubles down on the vintage aesthetic. Tom says he styled the record "as if it was a rare gem from the '60s found in a box of records in Athens," and Stella notes she was ready for a more "deeply Greek touch - it felt comfortable and right, smoothly fusing with the pop." The bouzouki appears on a full five tracks played by Christos Skondras who, she says, "was brilliant at improvising," while Sofia Labropoulou on the kanun "brought an insane amount of dreaminess to the last two songs. Having these amazing musicians play for Up and Away - I couldn't be more grateful."

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Eric Clapton’s lifelong passion for the blues burns brightly inNothing But The Blues. The CD of the soundtrack features 17 previously unreleased live performances recorded in 1994 during the legendary guitarist’s tour supportingFrom The Cradle, his GrammyÒ-winning, multi-platinum blues album. Clapton’s longtime co-producer, Simon Climie, has remixed the audio from those performances from the original multi-tracking recordings. -The previously unreleased live performances onNothing But the Bluesserve as a vital counterpart toFrom The Cradle, which was recorded in the studio. While several songs appear on both (“Motherless Child,” “Standing ’Round Crying,” and “I’m Tore Down”), the performances are entirely different. The release also includes songs that did not appear onFrom the Cradle, including Jimmy Rogers’ “Blues All Day Long” and Robert Johnson’s “Malted Milk,” as well as the standards “Every Day I Have The Blues” and “Forty-Four.”

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Joan Shelley returns with "The Spur" her first new album in three years. The twelve song set is a profound meditation on light and darkness, recorded in the spring of 2021 at Earthwave Farm in the Kentucky countryside. James Elkington serves as co-producer (alongside Shelley) and the album features collaborations with Bill Callahan, Meg Baird and the British novelist Max Porter along with Shelley’s musical partner Nathan Salsburg. 

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CAPITAL THEATRE, whose debut full-length album A HERO'S JOURNEY Produced by famed Mike Clink (GnR) is out June 24th. Melodic and edgy, it's 10 guitar/keyboard-driven tracks take inspiration from Joseph Campbell's book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, using it's seminal study of the archetypal hero as a lens for exploring the human condition in chaotic times
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With Happy Hour, her ravishing new LP, Hollie Cook matures into the queen of modern-day "lovers rock"-the lush girly harmony reggae style beloved in Britain since the 1970s. Evolution rings from the bittersweet opening title track; tender yet assertive, Hollie's voice caresses evocative lyrics through the arrangement's tumbling changes.
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Alexisonfire

Otherness

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2022 release. Otherness is the first album in over a decade from the group Rolling Stone declared "put Canadian post-hardcore on the map." Five guys playing aggressive rock grew to a hockey-arena headlining phenomenon while pushing and pulling between spirited guitar leads, melodic might, and emotional weight. The guys never sacrificed the punk soul summoned in beat-up vans and basement shows. Blending their classic sound with new and forward-thinking textures, they produced Otherness themselves. Jonah Falco of Fucked Up mixed.
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Mixing old school blues and folk with new school hip-hop and funk, G. Love’s electrifying new album, Philadelphia Mississippi, brings together both sides of the genre-bending pioneer’s eclectic career in a wildly innovative and deeply reverent sonic pilgrimage to the heart of the South. Produced by North Mississippi All-Stars’ Luther Dickinson, the collection is loose and spontaneous, full of joyful, improvised performances and freewheeling collaborations with a slew of special guests including blues torchbearers like Alvin Youngblood Hart and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and rap icons like Schoolly D and Speech. It would have been easy for G. Love to play it safe coming off his GRAMMY-nominated 2020 release, The Juice, but Philadelphia Mississippi is perhaps his most adventurous collection to date, ditching all the rules as it experiments with form and function in an ecstatic celebration of music’s power to connect across genres and generations.

Born Garrett Dutton in Philadelphia, PA, G. Love first broke out in the early ’90s with his band, Special Sauce, on the strength of their Gold-selling self-titled debut. Over the next three decades, he would go on to release seven more critically acclaimed albums with Special Sauce (plus five on his own), become a fixture on festival lineups from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, and collaborate on the road and in the studio with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, and DJ Logic.

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Unissued Gary Katz-produced 1970 album featuring members of the original Steely Dan line-up. In the summer of 1970, Linda Hoover, then 19, entered Manhattan's Advantage Sound Studio to cut her first album with Gary Katz, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen leading a team that also included guitarists (and future Steely Dan members) Denny Dias & Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, and Eric Weissberg, saxophonist Jerome Richardson, plus members of the Dick Cavett Orchestra. I Mean To Shine includes three original compositions by Linda alongside The Band's "In A Station" (from Music From Big Pink) and Stephen Stills' "4+20" (which appeared on CSN&Y's Déjà Vu). Almost half of the album was penned by the pre-Steely Dan songwriting duo of Becker and Fagen, including what would become the album's title track. After creating a wonderful record, album cover photos were taken and then it all fell apart.
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Just Mustard

Heart Under

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'Heart Under', Just Mustard's second album, asks you to forget what you know. At every turn, this remarkable record reconfigures and stretches the ideas and ambition of a rock band, and turns a year of lockdown and personal struggles into a breathtaking artistic statement. The music the five friends from Dundalk, Ireland make is strikingly untraditional. Though to look at them, it appears that the band are a five-piece with uniform make-up of a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer, not a single one of them utilizes their instrument in a confined or regular fashion. Guitarists David Noonan and Mete Kalyoncuoglu make their six-strings shriek and wail, the sounds produced sounding like everything from whirring machinery to horror movie monsters. Behind them, drummer Shane Maguire uses the rim of his drums almost as much as the skins, providing a clattering, metallic backbeat. Most of the melodies on offer poke through from Rob Clarke's inventive, nodding bass lines. Then there's Katie on vocals; she's the transfixing focal point of the band. Across its 10 tracks, the album presents a coherent style and ethos ' those scything guitars, Katie's magical vocals ' but still incorporates a wide and untethered vision. There are brooding, atmospheric rock songs and others that apply a lighter, dreamier touch, all tied together with impeccable instrumentation and a united vision. 'Heart Under' serves as the next stage of this development, with every instrument brilliantly pushed to its limit and every boundary of the band stretched.

Just Mustard - Heart Under
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2022 release. Automatic's second album Excess rides the imaginary edge where the '70s underground met the corporate culture of the '80s - or, as the band puts it, "That fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream, all for the sake of consumerism." Using this point in time as a lens through which to view the present moment, Excess takes aim at corporate culture and extravagance. The overarching themes of alienation and escapism emerged as Automatic put Excess together, taking writing retreats to flesh out the new songs before decamping to the studio for sprint recording sessions with producer Joo Joo Ashworth (Sasami, FROTH).
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The second album written, performed, and produced by Real Estate singer Martin Courtney, following 2015's Many Moons.
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On the deluxe edition of her breakthrough album, Arooj Aftab's remarkable voice, backed by a team of renowned musicians, transports listeners to worlds once known. Intimate compositions unveil mystical passage into Aftab's emotionally gripping symphonic world - vast with colorful sounds and transcendent of genre.

Arooj Aftab - Vulture Prince: Deluxe
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Ella Fitzgerald's "Songbook" records - with her peerless renditions of the best songs from iconic composers from Irving Berlin to Rogers & Hart to Cole Porter to George & Ira Gershwin - are the cornerstone of the Verve catalog and the standard for jazz vocal recordings. Ella never released a live version of these Songbooks. This record, discovered in the private collection of Norman Granz, will make the first time a live Songbook has been released from the First Lady of Song. CD Softpak.

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Jack Johnson

Meet The Moonlight

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Meet The Moonlight, Johnson's eighth studio LP and first full-length release in five years, was produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, Jim James) and recorded in Los Angeles and Hawaii. The creation process marks a major artistic milestone from past work, taking shape from a one-on-one collaboration with Mills and unveiled an intimate and highly experimental process that involved embedding Johnson's elegantly stripped-back arrangements with enchanting sonic details.

Jack Johnson - Meet The Moonlight
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For more than 6 decades, saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd has been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary. At 84, he remains as prolific as ever. Early on, Lloyd saw how placing the improvised solo in interesting contexts could provoke greater freedom and creativity. That vision is evident on his Trio of Trios project, which encompasses 3 albums in different trio settings. The first, Trios: Chapel, features guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan.
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Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind welcomes us back to “The Amory Wars” as the 2nd installment of the new five-part “Vaxis” arc about a couple on the run from tyrannical forces and their mysterious new addition. 

Named one of REVOLVER’s “Most Anticipated Albums of 2022,” Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind includes the recently released singles “Rise, Naianasha (Cut The Cord)” and “Shoulders,” the latter of which vaulted into the Top 10 at Active Rock Radio, marking the group’s career highest radio chart position to date. “(It) masterfully pairs heavy metal-infused riffs with sweeping, melodic vocals in a way that only Coheed can,” declared MTV who placed “Shoulders” in their 2021 Favorites round-up. “Coheed and Cambria are back, and they’re heavy as ever,” asserted Billboard, with Guitar World attesting “Coheed and Cambria have come out swinging.” Brooklyn Vegan observed, “It finds the band embracing their love of classic heavy metal riffage, before exploding into the kind of soaring chorus that Coheed have been churning out since day one… they sound pretty damn inspired.”
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Home, before and after is ReginaSpektor's eighth studio album and most quintessentially “New York” in years. Recorded in upstate New York, produced by John Congleton and coproduced by Spektor, the album is Spektor at her most inspired, heralded by "Becoming All Alone," a surrealist ballad that swells with arrangements and comes alive in your head. During the summer of 2019, Spektor completed a successful five-night Broadway residency at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, marking her debut on the Great White Way. The Daily Beast called the run “both whimsical and thunderous,” with Gothamist saying Spektor “delights on Broadway with a fun, zany show.” Spektor’s most recent album, 2016’sRemember Us To Life, has been the subject of extensive critical praise from the likes of NPR, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine,Peopleand many more. ReginaSpektor is synonymous with New York City. The Russian-Jewish-American singer, songwriter and pianist got her own Sign on the Bronx Walk of Fame,as well as “Regina Spektor Day,” (June 11, 2019) proclaimed by Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The Grammy Award nominee first saw commercial success with the RIAA Gold-certified LPBegin to Hopewhich includes singles “On the Radio,” “Better,” “Samson,” as well as “Fidelity” which climbed the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Spektor’s fifth album,Far(2009), and sixth album,What We Saw From the Cheap Seats(2012), both debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Spektor has performed at The White House as well as on Broadway, Saturday Night Live and contributed to many projects spanning film, television, and music includingThe Hamilton Mixtape.
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The Animals

The Animals

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The Animals' self-titled debut album features a mixture of blues, R&B, traditional folk covers, and an Eric Burdon original, "I'm In Love." The #1 US and UK charting "House of the Rising Sun" is included, which was voted one of Rolling Stone's Greatest Songs of All Time. The Animals has been remastered utilizing high-resolution sources from first generation mono master tapes. Includes liner notes by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke and the bonus track full version of "Talkin' `Bout You."
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The Animals

The Animals On Tour

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The Animals' second studio album, The Animals on Tour, is a mixture of blues, R&B and rock n' roll covers with the Eric Burdon and Alan Price Top 20 single "I'm Crying." The Animals On Tour has been remastered utilizing high-resolution sources from first generation mono master tapes. Includes liner notes by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke and the bonus tracks "Baby What's Wrong," "F-E-E-L," and "New Year's Radio Spot."

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The Animals

Animal Tracks

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The Animals - "Animal Tracks" This extended edition of Animal Tracks, The Animals' third U.S. album, is practically a greatest-hits set, including "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place." "It's My Life," a bonus track, came out shortly after this LP and went to Number 23 on the charts. Includes liner notes by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke and the bonus tracks "Roadrunner," "Don't Want Much," "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (U.K. Single Version)," and "I'm Gonna Change The World."
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The Animals

Animalization

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The Animals' fourth U.S. album is a mix of blues, R&B and traditional folk covers, plus Eric Burdon originals co-written with Dave Rowberry. The hits "Don't Bring Me Down," "Inside-Looking Out," and "See See Rider" are included. Animalization has been remastered utilizing high-resolution sources from first generation mono master tapes. Includes liner notes by Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke and bonus stereo versions of "Don't Bring Me Down," "Cheating," and "See See Rider."

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The Waterboys

All Souls Hill

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After blazing a trail with 2020’s critically acclaimed Good Luck Seeker, The Waterboys waste no time in delivering again with the announcement of their brand new record All Souls Hill - out April 22nd 2022 on Cooking Vinyl.
 
All Souls Hill is nine tracks of Waterboys brilliance, all mixed by Scott himself. Announced off the back of the band’s recent sold out UK tour, All Souls Hill is current, on the money social commentary, but with an air of hope.
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Foals take a fresh, thrilling new direction on with their upcoming album ‘Life Is Yours’, which will be released on June 17th via Warner Records. ‘Life Is Yours’ is the follow-up to the triumphant, two-part ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’, which proved to be a pivotal pinnacle in the band’s story. Not only did it result in the band’s first ever UK #1album, but the ambitious scale of the Mercury-nominated album saw Foals win their first BRIT Award for Best Group.

‘Life Is Yours’ feels like a natural evolution for Foals, its disco-tinged guitars, tight syncopated rhythms and punchy, insistent hooks echoing their roots as purveyors of rambunctious house party chaos. Thematically, it’s escapist, transportive and in rapture at life’s endless possibilities. It’s a record that’s perfectly in tune with the prevailing atmosphere of this moment in time – a life-affirming celebration as the world is reunited.

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever return in 2022 with Endless Rooms, the Melbourne quintet's third album proper. Described by the band - comprised of Fran Keaney, Joe White, Marcel Tussie and brothers Tom Russo and Joe Russo - as them "Doing what we do best: chasing down songs in a room together", Endless Rooms stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit and live power of RBCF. While initial ideas were traded online during long spells spent separated by lockdowns, the album was truly born during small windows of freedom in which the band would decamp to a mud-brick house in the bush around 2hrs north of Melbourne built by the extended Russo family in the 1970s. There, it's 12 tracks took shape, informed to such an extent by the acoustics and ambience of the rambling lakeside house that they decided to record the album there. The house also features on the album cover. For the first time, the band self-produced the record (alongside engineer, collaborator and old friend, Matt Duffy), creating their most naturalistic and expansive document yet. The result is a collection of songs permeated by the spirit of the place; punctuated by field recordings of rain, fire, birds, and wind. "It's almost an anti-concept album," say the band. "The 'endless rooms' of the title reflects our love of creating worlds in our songs. We treat each of them as a bare room to be built up with infinite possibilities."
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Not The Smile as in ha-ha-ha, more The Smile as in the guy who lies to you every day"... so speaks Thom Yorke on the inspiration behind the name of the new trio consisting of himself, his Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood and drummer Tom Skinner of UK jazz outfit Sons of Kemet. The description is borne out by The Smile's acerbic first single "You Will Never Work In Television Again," a 2:48 blast of ragged, raw energy that moved The New York Times to rave: "Over a bruising 5/4 beat and flailing guitars climbing through three chords, Yorke snarl-sings his avenging fury at 'some gangster troll promising the moon' who'd devour 'all those beautiful young hopes and dreams,' and you can almost feel the spittle flying." Additional singles "The Smoke", "Skrting the Surface" and "Pana-Vision" - which epically closed the series finale of hit show Peaky Blinders - followed with equal critical acclaim; all are collected on The Smile's first album, A Light For Attracting Attention, produced by Nigel Godrich.

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The band's 2018 debut, Constant Image, was a triumph - a set of songs both dizzy and explosive, balancing new-wave lushness and post-punk frenzy. Love is Yours steps up the ambition and reaches for the horizon. The record is ablaze with mood, melody, and carefully threaded hooks, finding the band foregrounding the pop sensibilities that had always been present in their previous releases.  The album was written and recorded amid a moment of flux for the band. Now a duo, guitarist Taylor Mulitz and drummer Emma Baker had to reimagine Flasher's voice. When it was first completed, Mulitz was shy about sharing the album, worrying that old friends would find the new sounds unrecognizable. Love is Yours is unquestionably made up of Flasher's DNA, but it's true that something pivotal has shifted. If Constant Image found the band tightening up and transcending its basement-punk roots, Love is Yours marks another, major moment of ascent, this time toward something that's easy to embrace, but harder to pin down - still thrilling, but newly illuminated and entirely their own.

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Cola

Deep In View

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Deep in View is the debut album from former Ought members Tim Darcy (vocals, guitar) and Ben Stidworthy (bass) alongside Evan Cartwright (drums). Titled after philosopher Alan Watts' anthology of the same name, the record is built on a foundation of elegant guitar grooves and knotty rhythms, offering commentary on modern life and technology through curious lyrical vignettes, where quotidian objects and scenes are never just as they seem. Deep In View is equally a product of introspective songwriting as it is a consideration of the abstract landmarks of an increasingly media-mediated society. It also presents the most concise and melodic songs Darcy and Stidworthy have written to date.. The album sounds streamlined and intentional, as the rhythms of the punchy and exuberant guitar parts, urgent basslines, and unexpected drum patterns all tangle with each other in an elegant dance. At the center of all these elements is Darcy, whose characteristically wry voice shifts from detached to decisive to distressed, throughout the album's course. Both enigmatically dense in meaning but precisely intricate in sound, Deep in View is an album that sparks novel interpretations with every listen, like an art object that takes on new shape with each angle from which you hold it.
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Songs My Friends Wrote is an album I’ve been threatening to make for years. It’s a bunch of tracks that are my versions of a bunch of…songs my friends wrote. I’m fortunate to count a lot of world class songwriters as good pals and I wanted to shine a little light on some of my favourite examples of their work. In most cases I’ve picked relatively obscure songs that have always spoken to me, even though many of them won’t be so familiar to people. There’s a pretty good chance of a Volume Two, Three and Four eventually, because there were a lot of friends and a lot of songs to choose from. The best part about recording all these tunes was that they reminded me of all the people who I haven’t been able to hang out with for the past two years because of the plague we’ve all been dealing with. All of these tunes bring a smile to my face and I hope they do the same for you. - Corb Lund

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Hank Williams Jr.

Rich White Honky Blues

CD: $14.98 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Hank Williams, Jr.’s sound has always been built on the blues, and his latest album, Rich White Honky Blues, is a sonic testimony to that. The project came together over three hot days in Nashville, recorded live with the finest blues session players in the country at producer Dan Auerbach’s legendary studio, Easy Eye Sound. Never one to rest on his laurels, even after 56 studio albums, the acclaimed Country Music Hall of Fame member is still finding new creative ground to explore.

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Bridges is the sophomore album from British singer/songwriter, Calum Scott, featuring his new single, “Heaven.”

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