June 6, 2014

special announcement



Every Saturday Afternoon through August 30
Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn
Facebook Event Invite | Free Admission

Other Music is thrilled to be co-presenting this FREE weekly party this year with Union Pool, which takes place every Saturday afternoon through August 30th in the iconic Brooklyn bar's big backyard. The line-up of bands and DJs is killer, and tomorrow will feature Pissed Jeans and Cold Fronts ! Upcoming Saturdays include Joe Bataan and 178 Improvisation Product (6/14), Ex-CultLiquor Store and Call of the Wild (6/21), and IIII (Four) featuring Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Hisham Akira Bharoocha (Soft Circle / Boredoms), Ryan Sawyer (Lonewolf) and Ben Vida (6/28). As usual, every party will be complete with brunch options from El Diablo Tacos and drink specials that will include offerings from Brooklyn Brewery, Jameson Black Barrel, & Kelvin Natural Slush Co. More acts will be announced soon, so mark you calendars and get ready for Summer Thunder 2014!!

Email for your chance to win a $50 bar tab at Union Pool good for the Summer Thunder parties along with a $25 Other Music gift certificate! (Must be 21+ to enter.)



Ace Hotel New York: 20 W. 29th St. NYC

Other Music's summer Monday residency returns to New York City's Ace Hotel and goes through to the end of August! During those months, you'll find a different member of our staff DJing their favorite records and countless varieties of music inside the gorgeous lobby bar every Monday evening from 8 p.m. to midnight, and we hope you'll come and join us as we shake off these dog days that are finally here. So mark your calendar: Other Music's Summer DJ Residency at Ace Hotel, every Monday in June, July and August. Here's the schedule for the rest of June:

June 9th – Scott Mou
June 16th – Daniel Givens
June 23rd – Gerald Hammill
June 30th –Amanda Colbenson  


in this week's update


Owen Pallett
Alice Boman
Diamond Version
Parquet Courts
Fucked Up
Mamman Sani
Leyland Kirby
Paco Sala
Royal Trux
69 Année Mélodique (Various)  
The Vampires


Jack White (Enter to Win Limited 7")
First Aid Kit (Enter to Win Test Pressing)
How to Dress Well (Deluxe 2LP Pre-order comes with Record Release Party Ticket)


Neil Young


Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes 3 & 4
Andy Stott - Luxury Problems



Follow on Facebook 
Twiter: @MoonDogMovie

We were thrilled when we learned of a Kickstarter campaign that recently got underway to raise funds for a feature-length Moondog documentary by filmmaker Holly Elson. Featuring a wealth of never-before-seen archival film, photos, home movies and rare audio recordings, along with interviews with Moondog's friends, family, collaborators and musicians who cite his influence (including Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Philip Glass, Debbie Harry, and John Zorn), The Viking of 6th Avenue will tell the unique story of this legendary street performer and musician. It's a film that all of us at Other Music are excited to support and know that so many of our customers and Update readers will want to as well. Head on over to the Kickstarter page for more information and to view the trailer, and please help spread the word and consider making a pledge to see this inspiring documentary come to full fruition.



Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. NYC

It's hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since the Notwist  released their breakout Neon Golden album, and with it kicked off the indietronica movement. Back with their great new full-length, Close to the Glass, Markus Acher and Co. still sound prescient, and will be making an appearance in NYC at Webster Hall this Monday, June 9. We're giving away a pair of tickets and you can enter for a chance to win by emailing



ISSUE Project Room: 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn

Other Music is excited to be giving away a pair of passes to a solo performance by iconic ambient music composer William Basinski, who will making the New York premiere of his evening-length work, "Cascade," at ISSUE Project Room next Wednesday, June 11! Email for your chance to win, and you can also purchase tickets to the show in person at Other Music.

this week's update

In Conflict

Owen Pallett's discography -- be it under his own name or as Final Fantasy -- has been an always intriguing, sometimes beguiling mix of breezy yacht-pop vibes and chin-stroking classical sophistication; the effect of his music is oft akin to Christopher Cross cutting "Arthur's Theme" with Steve Reich instead of Burt Bacharach, and being about Arthur Russell rather than Dudley Moore's lovably bumbling drunkard. Pallett's new full-length, In Conflict, is his first proper solo album since 2010's Heartland, but in the interim he found himself collaborating and playing with a number of musicians, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his score to Spike Jonze's film, Her. He's been a busy fellow, and that inspired creative frenzy manifests itself fully on In Conflict, which proves to be his least oblique, most beautiful and accessible album to date. Pallett's string arrangements and violin are still the musical focal point, but his vocals are more prominent and confident here, and the synthesizers, rhythms, occasional brass flourishes, and Brian Eno background vocals(!) throughout never distract in ways that they have on past albums. This is Pallett in full control of his powers, and In Conflict makes for a stunning, impressive step forward for a singer and composer who has already proven much in the way of accomplishment. [IQ]

$13.99 CD
$21.99 LP

EP II & Skisser EP
(The Control Group)

We recently wrote up Alice Boman's haunting pop when we managed to score a handful of copies of her last Swedish-released EP, but now the Control Group has put together this great full-length CD and LP that compiles the singer's body of work thus far, a pair of simply-titled EPs titled Skisser ("Sketches," in Swedish), and EP II. "Sketches" is a dead-on description of Boman's music at this point, as these tracks are simple, plainspoken productions of her melancholy pop songs, surrounding Boman's infinitely deeply-felt and emotional voice -- she is frequently compared to Nina Simone, and it's actually not hyperbole -- with the barest of musical accompaniment. Airy piano, lazy guitar strums, woozy organ, ticking drum machine, and on the newer tracks, maybe some warm string or horn arrangements -- that's all. There is a demo-like sparseness throughout, and indeed, Boman's first songs were not even originally intended for commercial release, but no doubt they were destined to be heard well beyond the singer's bedroom. If you like early Cat Power, Young Marble Giants, or the whisper-like tranquility of Mark Hollis, you need to hear this stuff -- it does not exactly sound like any of those, but Boman shares a sense of quiet with all three that is utterly distinctive. I'll admit to wondering what Alice Boman will sound like going forward, if her poetic songwriting and simply stunning voice will flourish with a real production budget; she could be a straight-up pop star if she wanted to, no doubt. But that is no slight on this stellar collection, which is as powerful as its own statement as it would be as a prelude to something much bigger. [JM]

$11.99 CD
$14.99 LP


Although Carsten Nicolai (best known as Alva Noto and one of the heads of the Raster-Noton label) and Olaf Bender (who records solo music as Byetone) have been collaborating together as Diamond Version for nearly two years, they're only now releasing their debut full-length, and it was well worth the wait. While the duo's previous five 12" EPs (highlights of which are reworked and augmented here) were wholly instrumental affairs, CI features a number of excellent vocal collaborations from the likes of Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant (delivering a surprising reinterpretation of an old gospel standard), recent Raster-Noton signee Kyoka (whose new album is also well worth checking out), and one-of-a-kind dub poet Leslie Winer (whose opening line, which I won't give away here, is as raw and off-the-cuff as she's ever been), and these three tracks are unequivocally some of the record's highlights.

Winer's opening collab, "This Blank Action," sets things up quite nicely and is arguably one of the best things any of the three parties have recorded in a long time. The rhythms are tough, snapping tumbles of heavy bass weight, hissing bursts of static, and digital industrial crunch, simultaneously working both the head and the ass, while Winer snarls and deadpans her way through the fracas with delightful laissez-faire rancor. The rest of the album follows suit, rolling and pummeling across the stereo field in a kind of modern industrial funk, with the vocal contributions adding a bit of uneasy tension and sensuality, yet at the same time never settling for easy answers. In fact, it does makes me almost wish that CI featured MORE vocals, as the collabs here cause the duo's production to rise up and meet the glottal textures of the voice, blending with and contrasting against Bender and Nicolai's rhythms with ease. Japanese sound artist Atsuhiro Ito adds unique texture and fuzz via his Optron -- an amplified fluorescent light fixture played like a guitar -- and the duo occasionally utilizes sampled voices elsewhere on the album to give some kind of concept piece about communicative disconnect amid the 24/7 surveillance of our current technological void.

All said, longtime fans of the Raster roster are definitely going to find much to love here, and the album's more heavyweight rhythm palette will perhaps appeal to newcomers to either Nicolai or Bender's works. On the whole, it's a great record that was well worth the wait. [IQ]

$14.99 CD

Sunbathing Animal
(What's Your Rupture)

Sunbathing Animal merits Parquet Courts' promotion from charismatic indie rookies to truly reliable contributors to the world of music culture, but no need to worry -- they still rock. The powerful blasts of riffs and hooks from Light Up Gold prevail once again, adding exclamation points to every song and breathing even more vibrant life into Andrew Savage's whip-smart lyrics, but there is something more to their chaos, this time around. As with Tally All the Things That You Broke, the group's EP follow-up to their 2012 breakthrough, the songs here are actually less immediate, yet while these tracks are longer and a little more abstract, they're somehow all the more infectious and robust. Although it's still completely fair to compare these rockers to Superchunk, Pavement or Archers of Loaf, they are amping up their aggression and emotional input as to surpass any type of similarity to other bands out there.

Savage finds himself realizing his name more and more, as monster songs like "She's Rolling" and "Black and White" have guitars fishtailing out of control, blaring in a way that can be hard on the ears, but always proves invigorating. Lyrically, he is not just stoned and starving here, with some serious focus on violence and personal struggle that serves to unveil the perplexing abyss of Savage's thoughts. His words are as clever as they have ever been, but far more open and introspective. Their Brooklyn post-punk NYC-ness is once again a factor in the record's success, but is no longer the centerpiece. Sunbathing Anima is a clear moment of progression for the Courts, as they no longer rely on charm alone to distinguish themselves, but rather a well-woven balance of ferocity and restraint, one that helps songs like the title track roar while still maintaining composure. This checkpoint on the journey of Parquet Courts' trajectory is a big one, and really should not be missed! (Comes with a bonus 7", while supplies last.) [MM]

Enter for a Parquet Courts LP test pressing! Email for your chance to win.

$13.99 CD
$21.99 LP+7"

Glass Boys

Fucked Up's epic 2011 double-LP, David Comes to Live, was the sprawling Canadian hardcore band's Zen Arcade, a relentlessly ambitious album that set out to prove the group could transcend the limitations of their chosen genre without turning their backs on the aggression or ideals of hardcore. The band succeeded unquestionably, and without completely losing hold of their hard-won and insular DIY audience, their profile went through the roof, drawing big crowds around the world as a headliner as well as a cred-catching opening act, while never failing to start a pit, and in many ways embracing mainstream music culture without ever giving up on punk. Now Pink Eyes hosts his own TV show, and his records are raved about in many news outlets that can't even print the band's name, and while we should all be snorting in disgust, the truth is, you just can't throw stones at these Glass Boys, and their enjoyable new LP of the same name shows why: they're too smart, too committed, and too good to hate.

Wisely, the follow-up to Fucked Up's iconic concept album is a compact 10-song powerhouse that makes no attempt to one-up David, yet still embraces that record's massive sound. Lush melodies are buried within layers of guitar noise like few have achieved since My Bloody Valentine (or Hüsker Dü, for that matter), and the group careens through this set with a fierce power that is all the more effective when delivered with a sweet acoustic guitar intro, sun-filled coda, or blissed-out psychedelic guitar breakdown. And always at the center, Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham's titanic growl, the spiritual force of the band, their most tangible attachment to hardcore's legacy, and probably the one thing that really prevents Fucked Up from entering the mainstream. From a group who have released literally scores of singles, EPs and albums over the last decade (50+ to be sure), Glass Boys is not a game-changer, it's just a great record from one of the more innovative and fun punk bands around these days. That works for me! [JM]

$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP
$21.99 LPx2

(Sahel Sounds)

As if his last archival LP wasn't delightfully surprising enough, Nigerien composer and keyboardist Mammane Sani has returned via the Sahel Sounds label for another stunning archival find, this one never before released in any form! Sani's previous LP was a mesmerizing collection of organ pieces, recorded and released (in VERY miniscule numbers) in 1978, that took folk songs from Niger and sent them into the stratosphere, infusing the folkloric pieces with an otherworldly sound that was both archaic and cosmic. Taaritt, on the other hand, is a collection of unheard recordings made by Sani in the late 1980s on analog synthesizers and drum machines in French and Nigerien studios. While the sound quality of Taaritt's music is much more cleanly produced than those of La Musique Elecronique du Niger, he's still working in a realm of sci-fi Africana, offering up a parallel lane down which to travel a path also driven by fellow Afro-synthesist composers like Francis Bebey, Wally Badarou, and Sun Ra. These tunes are slow-grooving miniatures that at times echo the aesthetics of library music, but more often than not simply occupy their own unique context and vibe. There's much to love here, and while the sound and feel is somewhat markedly different than Sani's debut, it's another vivid and rewarding slice of Afro-futurist culture that's not to be overlooked. [IQ]

$16.99 LP

Under Destruction

Bulgarian born Strahil Velchev is probably best known for the improvised house and techno jams he creates as Kink. While his latest release, Under Destruction, pulls from the same improvisational process we have come to know and love with this project, it spans a much broader range than I was expecting. The addition of Rachel Row on vocals and the use of acoustic piano adds another layer of atmosphere to the tracks and kind of glues the record as a whole together. For me, that simple addition is the main reason that this set stands so far above his previous releases. Under Destruction steps from drone-oriented Demdike Stare-ish pieces, to bubbly Detroit techno tracks, even touching on some IDM ideas vaguely reminiscent of Autechre, but none of the music comes across as an imitation or feels overly nostalgic. There was a time when it seemed a bit more common for electronic music producers to be covering a large range of tempos and styles, making techno, drum'n'bass, ambient, whatever they felt. It seems Kink is clearly trying to get back to that zone, and he does it all. As far as sitting down and actually listening to it like "an album," this is certainly one of the better electronic long players I've come across in recent months. The results of loosening up and taking time to explore new territories have certainly paid off here with a truly exciting start to finish LP. [CW]

$17.99 CD
$27.99 2LP

Intrigue & Stuff Vol. 4
(History Always Favours the Winners)

Spectral sound alchemist Leyland Kirby returns with two superlative new releases, both archival in nature, but sounding quite fresh and forward. First up is the fourth (and allegedly final) volume of Kirby's Intrigue & Stuff 12" series, in which he casts his ghostly sound in schizophrenic new contexts just recently explored via his EP for the R&S label's Apollo imprint. On these four cuts, Kirby works in altogether more beat-friendly zones, tapping into a post-hardcore pirate radio hijack (we're talking of the UK hardcore variety, kids -- jungle/drum'n'bass/etc.), offering up dank, dark, humid loops and skittering beat patterns which anchor and subvert neon-hued synth chords. It's lovely stuff, and it sets us up nicely for what could arguably be considered one of Kirby's finest hours, reviewed below. [IQ]

$18.99 LP

The Death of Rave (A Partial Flashback)
(History Always Favours the Winners)

Finally, a long-overdue, properly mastered pressing of selected highlights from Leyland Kirby's epic, download-only The Death of Rave, initially released under his old V/Vm moniker, and available as a huge digital freebie until his old website was taken down. For this release, Kirby has chosen eight choice cuts from that set and given them a proper mix and master for both CD and vinyl. What results is a focused, spellbinding platter of properly exorcised rave spirits -- the pieces here are all sourced from classic UK rave/jungle productions of the era, but stripped of all of their energy and relentlessness, leaving in their wake just unsettling clouds of ambience and dystopic whispered utterances.

He takes this material, once filled with the euphoric hopes and dreams of a thousand club children, and shows us a possible grim truth laying underneath the ecstasy once the comedown begins. It's absolutely gripping and perfect for headphones or to set the tone in any room's sound system. Like the best ambient music, it works successfully both as atmospheric furniture AND as demanding, nuanced pieces whose subtleties demand your full attention, whether you want to give it or not. Longtime fans would be wise to grip this immediately, as Kirby's releases on History Always Favors the Winners are pressed in strictly limited quantities. If you're also a fan of the darker sides of post-rave archaeology like Lee Gamble's Diversions 1994-1996 or even the likes of recent Modern Love releases, this is right up your street. Absolute highest recommendation. [IQ]

$21.99 CD
$24.99 LP

(Tri Angle)

One of the many promising up-and-comers on Tri Angle, Olly Peryman b/k/a Fis has added a second EP to his repertoire to follow last year's mind-blowing Preparations. That debut EP was the product of a sonic mastermind who followed the rules of rhythm and key as loosely as possible. Bangs and buzzes lurked behind each corner of Preparations, waiting for untimely moments to pounce, all in all forming some distinctly unnerving music. Iterations finds Peryman taking a different angle on the same topic. Expanding and softening his sound a bit with a glassy synth here and there (most notably on the title track), Fis reverts from pure claustrophobia and hones in on a greater equilibrium between fire and ice. While "Womb Dream" errs on the heated side, the final tracks tend to weave in and out of calm and crazy. Still injecting repressed hints of chaos into the industrial electronica, Fis is by no means ready to cushion his style altogether; he's merely exploring new territories as he seems to do so naturally. In a sense, Preparations was preparatory material for Fis' style, and Iterations wanders inside of the already-pushed boundaries. Now we'll just have to wait and see in which bizarre direction the full-length goes this November. In any event, Iterations is yet another impressive release from Tri Angle, one that continues to confuse and delight any bass connoisseur. [MM]

$12.99 LP

Put Your Hands on Me

The second album by mysterious duo Paco Sala is a welcome treat for those who like their pop heavily warped, mutated, and skewered. Anchored by gauzy synthesizer textures, offbeat and arty yet hypnotically evocative female vocals, and snapping beats, Put Your Hands On Me plays like it was cut from a similar cloth as FKA Twigs, Hype Williams's more pop-influenced moments, and early Nite Jewel. (Those of you who've always wanted a proper weirdo follow-up to Nite Jewel's debut, Good Evening, and I know there are a bunch of you out there, well... consider this it!) There are hooks and melodies, but they've been refracted and distorted by the loping, cubist arrangements, and the album is all the better for it. While there's an air of nostalgic familiarity to the record, nothing sounds predictable at all, and it makes for one of the most surprisingly pleasing (un)pop releases I've heard in a long while. It quite nicely walks the tightrope of artful abstraction and warm, velvety R&B sensuality, providing enough pleasures for both halves of the equation. Put Your Hands On Me is an art gallery take on smooth, quiet storm synthetic soul, and it's absolutely fucking gorgeous. [IQ]

$21.99 LP

Twin Infinitives
(Drag City)

Twin Infinitives is one of the cornerstones of early-'90s rock experimentation (actually recorded in '89), and makes most indie rock of its time seem like mere boy bands making pop music to woo girls with -- which most of it was, lets face it. A total mess that succeeds, by virtue of its own twisted logic, Royal Trux utilize what seems at first like a senseless, clunking barrage of sound to somehow show that there's another way "out." Twin Infinitives is sludgy, dumb and decadent on the one hand while also being intellectually uplifting, as every bit of lowbrow, indulgent nonsense flummoxes in its ability to get somewhere completely unexpected, unforeseen and quite honestly, illuminating. It reveals another world, as pleasurable as it is far from the world of convention. Moreover, this seemingly lackadaisical cosmic slop was done with VIGOR -- perhaps other contemporaries of that time like Dead C, Nurse with Wound ('90s era), Faust ('90s era), Swans (also '90s era), Mirror or Harry Pussy also made you feel this way?

This is not the thin, near-baseless, snot-nosed, self-congratulatory hipsterism cloaked in obvious, Wikipedia-fed, shallow, unfelt references we've grown to expect from the so-called "weirdos"/artists of today. Sure, there are nods to luminaries of previous decades like Sun Ra ("Chance Are the Comets in Our Future") and Captain Beefheart ("Edge of the Ape Oven") both in sound and title references which show more or less where they were at the time and, more importantly, where they were going. But add to that an overall overwhelming and near-nauseating FUNK that overcomes the senses much like the most intense Funkadelic (meets Chrome) records, drenched in the intimate haze of Alexander "Skip" Spence plus the (ill)logic of the Shaggs and other non care-ers, like Jandek, and you have an enduring, two-slab beast of a "concept LP" that outshines its "concept" enough to sound more or less timeless and just as revelatory today -- an album very much worth succumbing to. [SM]

$21.99 2LP

69 Année Mélodique

If you're a Jean-Claude Vannier fan, this compilation is ESSENTIAL due to its inclusion of what is one of his most rare and, in my opinion, perhaps his BEST arrangement job on a pop tune ever released. This stunning set collects twelve absolutely epic fusions of post-yé-yé French pop with a more pointedly sophisticated and simultaneously psychedelic approach to arrangement and presentation. It features a number of heavyweight Francophile delights (Jacques Dutronc, Dalida, Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg) as well as quite a few lesser-known but equally talented singers and songwriters, but the joy of 69 Année Mélodique is the deep, deep song selection; obvious hits are disregarded in favor of more obscure b-sides, rare instrumental takes, and even some previously unheard versions.

These songs are chock full of the lush orchestral sweeps and loping, stoned grooves made infamous via Vannier and Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson album and as I mentioned before, the set is essential listening solely for its inclusion of Ann Sorel's epic "L'Amour A Plusieurs." This said track is an impossibly rare and hugely expensive 1972 single that has made EVERYONE in the room stop and pay attention whenever I've played it in public due to Vannier's massive Middle Eastern strings and the song's explicit lyrics. The rest of the set is no slouch, either, and if this sort of thing wets your whistle, don't sleep -- it's all killer, no filler, and is brilliantly sequenced to play quite nicely as an album unto itself. [IQ]

$23.99 CD

Vampires Underground
(Pharaway Sounds)

This new archival dispatch on Pharaway Sounds proves to be one of the label's most interesting and, for my money, straight-up coolest releases yet. The Vampires were, according to the notes within, a quintet of anonymous Indian expats living in South Africa's Durban port town, and Vampires Underground was their second LP. Recorded and released in 1971 in South Africa, the album is a beguiling yet wholly hypnotic mutation of chunky fuzzed-out garage rock riffage, swinging grooves that fuse together British jazz and US southern soul, and... lots of flute. In fact, the flautist is really going off as the band knuckles down behind him or her through covers of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, Herbie Mann, Wilson Pickett, Francis Lai, Deep Purple, Glen Campbell, and even Led Zeppelin -- it's a wildly eclectic mix of tunes, but the Vampires rip them up with impressive enthusiasm. It's a real trip to hear these influences get blended together seemingly in real time, with the group sounding slightly awkward, yet simultaneously deft and skilled.

This could best be described as garage-rock exotica -- a band seemingly inspired by the same sounds that birthed hundreds of Nuggets across the globe, yet instead of "Hey Joe," they're cutting teeth on the likes of Les Baxter or Ferrante & Teicher. It's a crazy mix that plays well, all novelty aside, and is definitely recommended listening for fans of weirdo psych/fuzz groovers. There's a stoned and knuckleheaded dance party just waiting to be soundtracked by this record (with even a few slow jams so you can get up close and personal!). Make it happen. [IQ]

$17.99 CD
$26.99 LP



Next week's a big one for Jack White fans, who'll be releasing his solo follow-up to 2012's Blunderbuss, on Tuesday, June 10! We're taking pre-orders right now both in the shop and via mail order for the CD format as well as the Ultra LP edition of Lazaretto. Collectors are not going to want to miss this special LP version, as not only is it pressed on 180 gram vinyl, it also includes two vinyl-only bonus tracks (both of these songs are hidden beneath the center labels -- one plays at 45 RPM, the other at 78 RPM). Add to this: Side A plays from the outside in and contains a first-of-its kind, hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke; "Just One Drink" utilizes dual-groove technology, in which the song starts with either an electric or acoustic intro depending on where the needle is dropped; Side B has a matte finish which gives the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record; both sides end in locked grooves; the LP is in a different running order than the CD and digital versions; and it's pressed in a seldom-used flat-edged format.

All Jack White pre-orders for both the CD and LP formats will also be automatically entered into a drawing for a limited edition, blue vinyl 7" featuring "High Ball Stepper" off the album, which we'll be giving away to one lucky customer!

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$31.99 ULTRA LP+MP3

Stay Gold

We're taking pre-orders for Stay Gold, the new album by First Aid Kit, which hits stores on Tuesday, June 10. The Swedish sisters' follow-up to 2012's The Lion's Roar marks a significant growth for the duo; working with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) again, Klara and Johanna's lovely melodies and harmonies are accompanied by lusher, more intricate arrangements, and they have moved well past the wistful, wide-eyed folk of their teenaged years, maturing into capable songwriters whose music is truly heartfelt.

Customers who pre-order First Aid Kit's new album will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a limited, numbered, gold vinyl LP test pressing of Stay Gold, which we'll be giving away to one lucky fan.

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$24.99 LP

"What Is This Heart?"
(Weird World)

Other Music is taking pre-orders for the deluxe edition of How to Dress Well's new album, "What Is the Heart?", which will be released on Tuesday, June 24. This limited edition is a special double-LP set, with both records pressed on 180-gram vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve, along with a 28-page 12"x12" booklet and a one-sided 10" with two exclusive non-album songs, "Let You Know" and "So Easy for Pleasure."

While supplies last, customers who pre-order the deluxe edition of "What Is This Heart?" from Other Music on-line or in the store will get their name on the guest list for How to Dress Well's record release show in New York City on Wednesday, June 11, at the Slipper Room!

$44.99 DELUXE 2LP+10"+Booklet

now on cd

A Letter Home
(Third Man)

A Letter Home is a brand new album from Neil Young covering songs by Bob Dylan, Everly Brothers, Bert Jansch, Willie Nelson, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen and more. Each tune was recorded directly to vinyl in the 1940s-style Voice-o-Graph booth at Third Man Records with Jack White appearing on a couple of the tracks, giving this set a crackling, intimate vibe, best described by Young who calls the LP "retro-tech."

$16.99 CD

vinyl back in print

Black Mill Tapes Volumes 3 & 4

Type Records delivers another crown jewel in the catalogue of both their own discography and that of the Head Technician with this superlative collection of the most recent volumes of Pye Corner Audio's Black Mill Tapes. Volume Three was initially self-released as a digital download via PCA's Bandcamp site prior to his Sleep Games album on Ghost Box, while Volume Four is a new set and together they provide what might be, along with the aforementioned Sleep Games, PCA's finest offering yet. Those familiar with the sounds of the Head Technician will find themselves in familiar territory, but the foggy, brimstone-scented synthetics and pulsating electronic rhythm excursions simultaneously pack a harder punch and a more spectral ethereality. This is essentially the PCA sound at its most distilled and concentrated, a perfect entry point for neophytes and a splendid continuation for the committed heads; fans of the darker, more haunted strains of synthwave and knackered analog science will find much to love here. Consider this a seance in a box... a velvet-lined Pandora's box filled with Turkish delight. [IQ]


Luxury Problems
(Modern Love)

2012's Luxury Problems is where we found UK producer Andy Stott really hitting his stride, by adding the warmth and sensuality of the human voice to his palette. He is joined on many of these tracks by singer Alison Skidmore (his former piano teacher), and it's a stunning collaboration, with Stott cutting her syllables into glottal rhythmic fragments, looping her breaths and sighs into wordlessly erotic pillow talk, and then letting her lyrics spiral upward in hypnotic mantras that hint at a blend of R&B and opera, as if Aaliyah and Maria Callas joined bodies to enact the works of Anaïs Nin. Effortlessly balancing brute force with blatant sensuality, Stott's attention to detail is more brilliant than ever here, with lots of other vocal textures wafting in and out of these tracks from other sources, and a diversity in his rhythmic arsenal that flirts with a bit of jungle/hardcore break science, and even a bit of funk on the title cut, which is arguably amongst his best work.

$26.99 2LP
$18.99 CD

the big picture