MUSIC MILLENNIUM - OUTSIDE THE HEARD - SEPTEMBER 2015

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Andra Day
Cheers To The Fall
WBR
 
Andra Day has been gifted with a brassy yet alluring voice that is as powerful as it is expressive -- described as “possessed by the ghost of Billie Holiday,” boasting flawless jazz chops that she can apply to her varied musical influences with equal ease. Day’s new album, Cheers To The Fall, is all about resilience through struggle, exemplified by “Rise Up,” which Andra describes as a relationship songs of sorts. “I look at all of us as brothers and sisters and a body working together.” She says. “‘Rise Up’ is saying one piece isn’t better than the other, and when one part is struggling, I’m going to help and lift you up. I will rise up with you.”
 
Atlas Genius
Inanimate Objects
WBR

 
After Atlas Genius – the project helmed by Australian brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery – found unexpected success with their debut, When It Was Now, they returned home after two years of trekking globe unsure what to do next. Obviously, the move was to make their next album in Los Angeles, explore dark themes an, and create an amalgamation of ambient, driving pop, punctuated by kinetic electronic beats, guitar and grimy synths – but never at the expense of melody and hooks. The result, Intimate Objects, is the dream from which “interesting 2nd albums” are born. This is not a bad thing. Far from it. Dig it.
Manu Katché
Touchstone For Manu
ECM Records

 
Touchstone for Manu is a specially priced compilation of Manu Katché’s recordings as a leader for ever-venerable jazz label, ECM.  Here the French drummer is joined in performances of his tunes by an outstanding cast of soloists including ECM artists of several generations recorded 2004 -2012 in Oslo, New York and Pernes-les-Fontaines, and drawn from his widely acclaimed albums, Neighbourhood, Playground, Third Round, Manu Katché. Says All About Jazz: “Katché is a true rarity – a chameleon-like drummer who can mold himself to any context, yet remain completely identifiable in his choices of rhythmic emphasis and punctuation. Music that is both evocative and revealing of greater depth with every listen.”
 
Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Tokyo Adagio
Impulse!

 
Tokyo Adagio is a posthumous release, but one that Charlie Haden ardently desired prior to his passing in July 2014. The album marks the pinnacle of the American bassist’s collaborations with Gonzalo Rubalcaba – the genius pianist he first encountered in Cuba in 1986, and with whom Charlie immediately developed a nearly telepathic bond. Several recordings the famous Montreal Tapes (1998), the studio albums Nocturne (2001) and Land of the Sun (2004) are evidence of the deep concordance of these two musicians, but no recording had yet captured the communal purity with which the duo displayed for the audiences at the Blue Note Tokyo in the spring of 2005.
ON AN ON
And The Wave Has Two Sides
Roll Call Records
 
When On An On entered the studio to begin work on their new album, they brought a new approach to their songwriting with them. “This is another first record for us in a way,” says keyboardist Alissa Ricci, alluding to their experience with their debut Give In, which was recorded only weeks after the band’s formation. If Give In was On An On exploring its sonic horizons, And The Wave Has Two Sides is the moment of clarity born of its initial soul-searching journey. And The Waves Has Two Sides is rife with deeply cutting emotional moments, often buoyed afloat by the incredible pop instincts in bloom on its debut – resulting in fully-formed gems like the summer dance-floor anthem “It’s Not Over.”
 
Bullet For My Valentine
Venom
RCA

 
Venom is an unrelenting, fierce step forward for Bullet For My Valentine. Their heaviest record to date sinks its teeth into listeners with a powerful delivery by vocalist/guitarist Matt Tuck, ferocious riffs by guitarist Michael "Padge" Paget and rapid-fire rhythm courtesy of drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas. With Venom, Bullet For My Valentine maintains their signature balance of heavy, coupled with surging melody, and pushes themselves to the next level. Bullet For My Valentine's progression of sound is evident on Venom, presenting a harder delivery and a more complex song structure, as witnessed on the band's crushing new track, "No Way Out."
Red Sun Rising
Polyester Zeal
Razor & Tie

 
Akron, Ohio is no stranger to rock ‘n’ roll, serving as home to everybody from Black Keys and Devo to Chrissie Hynde. That buzzing industrial landscape remains fertile ground for musicians to this day. You can now add Red Sun Rising to that list. The band headed to Los Angeles shortly after to cut Polyester Zeal with celebrated producer Bob Marlette [Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Seether]. They managed to siphon the pure, potent, powerful guitar chemistry, towering vocals, and muscular rhythms into the record’s 11 tracks with all of the “grit” intact. “It’s not today’s rock, but it’s a new alternative,” declares singer and guitarist Mike Protich. “We want to uphold the foundation with subtle nuances of what’s familiar. It’s fresh because we’re telling our story through that framework.”
 
Wild Ones
Heatwave
Topshelf Records
 
Sporting a lush and well-rounded sound – influenced by everything from German techno to American R&B – that is incredibly infectious, Portland, OR’s Wild Ones' pick up where they left off on Keep It Safe's melancholy pop, and add some brattitude. Try not listening to "Dim the Lights" while feeling like you're in a movie — maybe one starring a young Michael J. Fox about a ragtag group of college co-eds on a citywide scavenger hunt that will teach them the value of teamwork and (just maybe) a little something about love. You can't. Mixed by Michael Lerner from Telekinesis and mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Heatwave features five brand new songs on a 12 Inch LP. For fans of Purity Ring, Chromatics, Tennis, CHVRCHES or Wet.
 
Battles are the Networked Band, or perhaps the-band-as-network. A band that holds computerized loops in their brains, leaves sweat on their machines and whose sonic heartbeat is almost brutally human. As the name might imply, La Di Da Di is a mushrooming monolith of repetition. Here is an organic techno thrum of nearly infinite loops that refuse to remain consistent. The rhythmic genus of Battles is here as ever; full frontal, heightened and unforgiving – the gauntlet through which melody and harmony must pass, assailed at every turn. “The Yabba” squawks to life, tumbling down the stairs before it finds it’s own dislocated gait. The title of “Dot Net” hints at its propulsive bait-and-glitch, while “FF Bada” and “Summer Simmer” twitchily reach dizzy heights of forward-gazing no wave bluster. For a ‘breather’ “Cacio e Pepe” isn’t much of a breather, all unsettling harmonic shafts of light, like a short walk on an especially strange beach. It’s about at this point that you begin to realize the truly bionic reimagining of what a band can sound like. That seems like hyperbole until you lurch into the eerie skank of “Megatouch,” the percussive “Flora>Fauna,” and the seeming zero-gravity of “Luu Le” – realizing that genre’s been swept out the window You need this.

Battles -
La Di Da Di

Warp Records
When it comes to rock music, one message is left unspoken and handed down through the ages there are no rules. Nobody picks up a guitar to be constricted or oppressed. It’s all about feeling free artistically. The Sword—John Cronise [vocals, guitar], Kyle Shutt [guitar], Bryan Richie [bass], and Santiago Vela III [drums]—cut out boundaries since day one. When it came time to record the group’s fifth full-length album, High Country, Cronise landed at something of a spiritual crossroads. He holed up in his North Carolina home and eventually began writing new songs that reflected the nature that surrounded him. The material began to veer into a different space that at the time Cronise felt was somewhat outside of The Sword’s sphere. High Country became new territory for The Sword, and they began doing things differently. That approach included more attention to backing vocals and harmonies, implementing more synthesizers and percussion elements, and tuning to E-flat instead of all the way down to C. As a result, the guitars stand out as more vital and vibrant than ever. As a result High Country is an album of heavy psychedelic boogie that’s spiritual without being preachy... But don’t worry: It never stops rocking. If anything, it’s their best yet.

The Sword -
High Country

Razor & Tie
moremusic

The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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