LUCINDA WILLIAMS - The Ghosts Of Highway 20 [Indie Exclusive Lower Price] - Highway 20 Records
We've all heard about the iconic vibe of Route 66, the neon lights on Broadway and the ocean air of the Pacific Coast Highway. But there are untold stories emanating from countless blue highways across the land like Interstate 20, which cuts a 1500-mile swath from South Carolina to Texas, and cuts deep into the spirit of those who've spent their lives traversing it. Lucinda Williams is one of those people, and with the expansive, enveloping The Ghosts Of Highway 20, she brings those stories to life and gives listeners a remarkably vivid look at how the highway has been a literal and figurative backdrop throughout her entire life.
DR. DOG - The Psychedelic Swamp - Anti
The Psychedelic Swamp is Dr. Dog's ninth album, and third studio release with ANTI-Records. Most of the songs were among the first ever written together by Scott McMicken and Tob Leaman and an assemblage of friends and musical cohorts that would evolve as Dr. Dog over the years. This early endeavor of writing a concept album helped shape their creative process as they became a label-defying multi-hyphenated indie-psychedelic-rock-folk-Americana-basement-touring band.
HIGH HIGHS - Cascades - PIAS America
Cascades, the title of the second record from the Brooklyn group High Highs, could be read in a number of ways. It could be taken as a nod to the group's hometown -- the coastal Australian city of Sydney, which rests against the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean. Or it could be a nod to the record's sound, which retains the broad scope of the group's debut, Open Season, but feels bigger, and grander sheets of sound, raining down softly. In reality, though, the title is a memory a moment Jack Milas and Oli Chang remember while driving through the Cascade Mountains on tour. The song it comes from, also called, Cascades, is bright and expansive, silver threads of guitar laced through soft layers of synths. It builds softly and steadily, Milas voice swooping up to an aching falsetto on the chorus, synths pooling gently beneath him. More than anything else, the song is an indication of how far the group has come in a short period of time from working together in a recording studio in Australia to opening for Sky Ferreira and Vampire Weekend. Cascades is a portrait of a band in ascent, making music grand enough to carry them along the way.
SUNFLOWER BEAN - Human Ceremony - Fat Possum Records
In a haze of distorted guitars and psych-rock come Sunflower Bean, the Brooklyn trio who make wonderful, reverb-soaked music about things they are too young to even romanticize. All three members of the band are under 21, and yet they sing with the wistfulness of souls that are decades beyond their years. Sunflower Bean take a Velvet Underground-inspired foundation and mutate it for their own use and creation. Namely, they chronicle the melancholy aches of reaching post-adolescence, perfectly encapsulating the soreness of your 20-nothing years in a flurry of dusky shoegaze.
CHARLES KELLEY - The Driver - Capitol Nashville
Stepping outside of Lady Antebellum, one of the world's most popular groups, Charles Kelley explores new territory with a raw sound that pushes his vocals into a lower, grittier key. Born in a ratty studio in the back of producer Paul Worley's offices, the initial batch of songs gave Kelley a sense that he was going to be diving into some new territory, with a real sense of range as Lonely Girl and Your Love have a Hall and Oates-style, while his cover of Tom Petty's Southern Accents (featuring Stevie Nicks) has a stark and melancholy feel. "At first, it was really weird to go in the booth and be like, Where's Hillary? Where's Dave? But it was very exciting to be the leader in there and go, This is it, I'm doing this, Kelley shared. "It was the most fun I've had in the studio, because everything felt new again. It took me out of my comfort zone."
TRIXIE WHITLEY - Porta Bohemica - MRI Associated
Based in Brooklyn, the Belgian-American multi-instrumentalist Trixie Whitley delves into dark, bluesy rock that sits adrift more sinister-sounding undertones. Whitley’s second LP Porta Bohemica is the follow-up to 2013’s Fourth Corner. Featuring the single “Soft Spoken Words”, the track is just that: it simmers and boils in angry waters, the shadowy instrumentation of guitars billowing under Whitley’s own soulful vocals, both doing well to balance the other. It’s fearless and unwavering, the content of the lyrics anything but soft.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section and don't forget that many of these titles are also available on vinyl.
The 2016 Grammy Awards nominees are in and it is no surprise that 2015's big hitters like Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Alabama Shakes are all getting a strong nod.
You can check out our list of the nominees for some of the big awards (Including: Album Of The Year, Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, and Record Of The Year) and try to see who you think will come out on top. With great artists such as Chris Stapleton, Courtney Barnett, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Tame Impala, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and D'Angelo also up for awards, it's going to be a tough job.
2016 GRAMMY Awards Nominees
You can also get a feel for the Nominees by checking out the Official 2016 Grammy Nominees Album which is out 01/22.