MARIE DAVIDSON & L’ŒIL NU – Renegade Breakdown 2LP/CD (Ninja Tune)
Montreal-based MARIE DAVIDSON follows up her 2018 LP “Working Class Woman” with a new band and a confident swagger. Featuring her husband (and partner in the electro-punk group ESSAIE PAS) Pierre Guerineau and Asaël Robitaille, “Renegade Breakdown” is a bold, pop- forward collection of anthems and polemics, filtering 80s house and synth-pop through DAVIDSON’s unique wit and critical eye. Really strong stuff on Ninja Tune.
ENSLAVED – Utgard LP/CD (Nuclear Blast)
The prolific Norwegian extreme metal legends ENSLAVED return with a new album for 2020. This is the first album with their new drummer Cato Bekkevold & his approach seems slightly more pummeling than their previous more-tech drummer. These guys always seem to find ways to keep things interesting which is VERY impressive 14 albums in. This one seems a little heavier all around than the last few which is totally ok with us. RECOMMENDED.
JONSI – Shiver 2LP/CD (Krunk) audiophile pressing or regular vinyl
The SIGUR ROS singer Jonsi delivers probably his most straight-ahead pop record yet on “Shiver.” Honestly we kind of need a record like this right now as it’s packed with fist pumping anthems & some great songs.COCTEAU TWINS Liz Fraser guests on “Cannibal” a track that starts off mellow but gets epic towards the end & ROBYN fans will flip for “Salt Licorice” which sounds like one of her classic hits. Jonsi/SIGUR ROS fans should approve.
LIFEGUARD – Dive TAPE (self released)
The Case family is now officially a Chicago rock dynasty. You know Brian from his time in 90 DAY MEN, DISAPPEARS, FACS & as a solo artist & now his son Asher brings it all full circle with his band LIFEGUARD. The trio are still in high school but their songs are mature & well-formed with melodic guitar melodies & jammy passages. This makes us think of everything from Touch & Go noise rock to PAVEMENT’s heavier moments. We’re looking forward to hearing more from this young band. RECOMMENDED!
KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH – The Mosaic of Transformation LP (Ghostly)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has made a pure new age record in 2020. Smith’s description for the record is “an expression of love & appreciation for electricity.” With the term electricity, she’s not only referring to the voltage flowing through her synthesizers but the electricity required in the body for movement. Bubbly Buchla sounds, swaying strings & deep drones that all together make for a listen that feels truly healing. RECOMMENDED.
SUFJAN STEVENS – The Ascension LP/CD/TAPE (Asthmatic Kitty) clear or black vinyl
Recently Sufjan Stevens moved from NYC To the Catskills & while his trusty acoustic instruments were in storage he wrote & recorded the music that would become “The Ascension” with synthesizers & a drum machine. Though electronic, these are still Sufjan Stevens songs & the album is a dense 2 hours of danceable electronic pop, lush synth ballads & even some experimental/drone leaning moments.
SUMAC – May You Be Held 2LP/CD (Thrill Jockey) limited blue vinyl
SUMAC returns with their fourth standalone record, as they continue to push the boundaries between sludge, noise and free improvisation. This should appeal both to fans of heavier doom like YOB or THOU, as well as PSF-style noise a la their frequent collaborator KEIJI HAINO.
OTHER IMPORTANT NEW RELEASES
A CERTAIN RATIO – ACR Loco LP (Mute)
AIX EM KLEMM – Aix Em Klemm LP (Kranky)
ANNIHILUS – Ghanima (American Decline)
ANDREE BURELLI – De Sidera (American Dreams)
GROOVIE GOOLIES – Groovie Goolies LP (Real Gone) limited “pumpkin” vinyl
JANES ADDICTION – Ritual De Lo Habitual 2LP (Rhino) color vinyl
KRALLICE / GERYON (split) – Wolf / Astomatous LP (Gilead)
LOVE – Forever Changes LP (Rhino) mono reissue
MASTERPIECE MACHINE – Rotting Fruit 12” (Triple-B) members of FUCKED UP
with POWER TRIP’s Riley Gale on vocals. RIP Riley
NICOLE MITCHELL & MOOR MOTHER – Offering: Live at Le Guess Who CD (Don Giovanni)
NEW ORDER – Confusion 12” (Warner)
NEW ORDER – Murder 12” (Warner)
NEW ORDER – Thieves Like Us 12” (Warner)
THE NUDE PARTY – Midnight Manor LP/CD (New West) limited purple vinyl
PEALS – Honey LP (Thrill Jockey)
COREY TAYLOR – CMFT LP (Roadrunner) color or black vinyl
ZACHERLE – Zacherle’s Monster Gallery LP (Real Gone) back in stock on limited clear & “pumpkin” splatter vinyl!
VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Return of the Living Dead: Original Soundtrack LP (Real Gone) back in stock on limited clear & “blood red” splatter vinyl!