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Revelator is an album that speaks to "the grand sadness in life" - perennial Phosphorescent subject matter, by Matthew Houck's estimation. In some ways, Revelator extends seamlessly from the story begun by Muchacho and continued by C'est La Vie. It finds Houck further mastering his unique blend of ragged, experiment-y classicism intertwined with ethereal, lachrymose atmospherics. Across Revelator, Houck sings from a woozy, worn headspace, but leads us to a place where dreams and reality mingle.
Phosphorescent - Revelator [CD]
$10.99
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Undefeated” is my tenth solo studio album, and in many ways I’m pleasantly surprised by that statement. I feel very fortunate that I’m still making records and touring - fortunate and proud. The record is fired by that feeling, and a new sense of energy and liberation. It feels like a new chapter for me - after the pandemic, back in the independent world, the new lineup of the Sleeping Souls, and a slightly bewildered sense of gratitude that I’m still standing, still have something to say. - Frank Turner

Frank Turner	 - UNDEFEATED [CD]
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Out on May 3rd, "Anniversary" is the new studio album from critically acclaimed artist Adeem the Artist. The album was produced by Butch Walker who has produced hits for artists including Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Katy Perry, Panic! At the Disco, Dashboard Confessional, Avril Lavigne and many others. This record is the continuation of a project that they began four years ago, directing their attention both inwards & outwards simultaneously and to exact correlating values so that they might be able to unbind the inner workings of themself while imagining new tools for stitching the fabric of society together again. It mostly just made some gay people like country music again.

Adeem The Artist - Anniversary [CD]
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XL RECORDINGS - CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON / CYAN BLUE - Toronto-born-and-raised singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Day Wilson announces her highly-anticipated sophomore album Cyan Blue out May 3rd via Stone Woman Music / XL Recordings. Along with the announcement of her new album comes the release of first single, "I Don't Love You", a stark and devastatingly beautiful confessional, highlighting Wilson's immaculate production skills and chill inducing vocals laid atop smooth groove piano chords and soft drums. The track also arrives with a visual directed by Dani Aphrodite featuring layered low fi footage of the artist and producer performing at home, living every day life and having moments of solitude in her car, a theme that comes up throughout the album. "This song is meant to remind us that losing love & leaving can be just as inspiring as finding it," shares CDW. - Cyan Blue finds Wilson crafting a smoothly woven cyan tapestry of her eternal influences; thumping gospel piano, warm soul basslines, atmospheric electronics, and penetrating R&B melodies. Yet, it possesses a sense of vastness that rings in a new era for Wilson, one in which she's embracing collaboration and newfound creative openness tinged with wistfulness and yearning and a reflection on youthful innocence. "I want to look through the unjaded eyes of my younger self again," Wilson explains of making Cyan Blue. "Before there wasn't as much baggage, before so much life was lived. But I also wish that my younger self could see where I am now. It would be nice to be able to impart some of the wisdom and clarity that I have now onto her." - Working with producers like Leon Thomas (SZA, Ariana Grande, Post Malone), and Jack Rochon (H.E.R, Daniel Caesar), Cyan Blue demonstrates Wilson's sonic expertise while also showcasing the next evolution of her time-bending songwriting. Through 13 hypnotizing tracks, she continues to use music as a vessel for unpacking relationships, which in turn allows her to meet and understand herself in life-spanning, panoramic focus. But, on Cyan Blue, she challenged herself to kick her perfectionist tendencies. "Before, I was extremely intentional about creating music with a strong foundation, a bed of artistic integrity," Wilson reflects. "But that was a bit stifling, like, 'Let me just make a great piece of art that will stand the test of time, no pressure.' Now, I think I'm getting out of this frozen state of needing everything to be perfect. I'm more interested in capturing feelings in the moment as they happen and leaving them in that moment." - While this is only her second album, Wilson's influence in music has made a major mainstream impact. Wilson broke out in 2016 with her critically acclaimed EP, CDW, followed by 2018's Stone Woman and made her debut studio album an official coming out moment in 2021 with the critically acclaimed, self-released Alpha. Over the past decade, she's been sampled by Drake, John Mayer, and James Blake, while Patti Smith has recently praised and covered Wilson's 2016 breakout single "Work." Additionally, she's collaborated with artists like Kaytranada, BADBADNOTGOOD, and SG Lewis, demonstrating that there's no sound Wilson can't adapt to and sprinkle her cyan-colored magic over.
Charlotte Wilson  Day - Cyan Blue
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Emily Nennihas written a follow-up to 2022’s critically acclaimed record, OnThe Ranch. Her debut album garnered her much success and introduced her toa devoted audience of music fans who celebrate the traditional side of countrymusic while embracing the modern indie aesthetic that comes with that nod tothe past. While writing her latest record,Drive & Cry, Nenni looked in the rearviewmirror for inspiration but kept focus on the sound that she has become known for.“This is the first record I have completely written on my own. I spent a good bit ofsolitary time ruminating on things that had happened over the last year or two.Rethinking what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, who with, even in just the everyday.Change is hard but also such a gift.”Nenni worked with producer John James Tourville (The Deslondes, Sunny War)to broaden her sound and bring in nuance to the recording. The record wasengineered by Jake Davis and mixed by Matt Ross-Spang in Memphis, TN. Theresulting recording is a matured country sound that focuses on the fun and thetears that come with all changes in life.

Emily Nenni - Drive & Cry [Limited Edition Indie Exclusive Signed CD]
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There is no artist in the world like Sia. Try to think about an artist who transformed from an in-demand indie pop vocalist and chanteuse into a global pop superstar more than a decade into their career. Try to imagine that same global pop superstar writing and producing music for many of the other most iconic stars of our time. And then let yourself think about how Sia Furler has racked up more worldwide streams and hits (6 in the “Billions Club” on Spotify, and counting...) all while never showing her face, never compromising her artistic vision, and never letting anyone else define pop stardom for her. It’s staggering to imagine any artist doing just one of these things, let alone all of them, over the course of a career that continues to reach new heights. It’s worth repeating: there is no artist in the world like Sia.

Some quick background: Sia Furler grew up in Australia the daughter of musicians. Starting out in Adelaide, singing in bands and releasing her own music in 1997, Sia moved to London and released her debut album Healing Is Difficult in 2001. That same year she first appeared as part of Zero 7 on their debut album Simple Things - a collaboration that would continue with two more albums and a series of world tours. 2004’s Colour The Small One included “Breathe Me,” which famously soundtracked the final scene of the final episode of HBO’s Six Feet Under. More albums followed (2008’s some people have REAL problems, 2010’s We Are Born) before Sia began writing and co-writing, and featuring on songs for other artists, including Rhianna, David Guetta, Flo Rida, all of whom had massive, chart-topping hits thanks to Sia.

Her song “Chandelier,” from 2014’s Grammy-nominated 1000 Forms Of Fear, not only changed the way pop music sounds, but it revolutionized the art of music video with the groundbreaking clip starring Maddie Ziegler. More worldwide smashes followed in quick succession: “Elastic Heart,” “Big Girls Cry,” “Alive,” “Together,” “Dusk ’Til Dawn” with Zayn, and “Cheap Thrills” - a Billboard number one single for 8 nonconsecutive weeks. Over 50 billion audio streams don’t lie. Her Christmas album, released in 2017, has one of the top 10 most streamed holiday songs of all time. She directed her first feature film, titled Music, in 2021, and in 2022, a song from 2016’s This Is Acting - “Unstoppable” - became a viral sensation, pushing it past a billion plays on Spotify and onto the charts again in multiple countries around the world seven years after its release. Meanwhile, Sia co-wrote songs for other icons like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton, and more; wrote songs for countless films and TV show soundtracks; gave away money to Survivor contestants (her favorite show!); put her energy into animal rights advocacy; and more.

And now - there is Reasonable Woman, Sia’s first proper album since 2016. Reasonable Woman is so filled to the brim with pop perfection, it almost overwhelms with how effortless it is for her to craft such instantly connectable songs. The collection is everything Sia does best, and the sonic equivalent of a myriad of things: an empowering embrace, secrets told late at night, going to the best party in the world, the vulnerability of declaring you love someone, the steadfast determination to keep going, even if your love isn’t returned; the messiness of being human; the exuberance of being human. In essence, it is life - happening to us, happening for us; the songs on Reasonable Woman mirror back to us being alive with every chorus.

Sia - Reasonable Woman [CD]
$9.99
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Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism - Pop CD

Inspired by Dua's own self-discovery, Radical Optimism is an album that taps into the pure joy and happiness of having clarity in situations that once seemed impossible to face. The hard goodbyes and vulnerable beginnings that previously threatened to crush your soul, become milestones as you choose optimism and start to move with grace through the chaos.

Infused with the energy of Dua's hometown, London, the attitude of the album embodies the rawness, honesty, confidence and freedom of `90s Britpop. Radical Optimism transports its listener to a dreamy pop world rich in musicality, lyrically unapologetic and sonically liberating.

The 3x GRAMMY and 7x Brit Award-winning global pop powerhouse worked with a team of core collaborators throughout the project including Caroline Ailin, Danny L. Harle, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Kevin Parker.

Dua Lipa - Radical Optimism
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St. Vincent’s first self-produced record, All Born Screaming is Annie Clark at her most unfiltered. All Born Screaming is an invitation to test the limits of what is possible–and to then keep going;  Brought to life with the aid of a highly curated dream lineup of friends — Rachel Eckroth, Josh Freese, Dave Grohl, Mark Guiliana, Cate Le Bon, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Stella Mogzawa and David Ralicke — the album is an unadulterated expression of St. Vincent’s singular vision.

St. Vincent - All Born Screaming [CD]
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On the new Owen album, The Falls of Sioux, Mike Kinsella (American Football, LIES, Cap'n Jazz) returns with the followup to 2020's critically acclaimed album, The Avalanche, and delivers the most ambitious and varied album of his career. Recorded at Hive Studios in Eau Claire, WI + SHIRK Studios in Chicago, IL and produced by S. Carey, Zach Hanson and Mike Kinsella, The Falls of Sioux finds Kinsella taking risks like never before, both lyrically and musically. Featuring lavish string arrangements, vocal contributions from Cacie Dalager (Now, Now), Kinsella's iconic guitar & drumming styles, and even a spoken word vignette, the album is an exciting departure from Kinsella's previous work, while still retaining what makes Owen albums so fascinating and replayable. Mike Kinsella's work over the years with his various musical endeavors has been nothing short of foundational, from early days with Cap'n Jazz right up until recently with American Football's unforeseen and excellent second act. His music has been heralded in outlets such as Rolling Stone, NPR, The NY Times, and Pitchfork, who called American Football's debut album "the most influential album in the genre."
Owen - Falls Of Sioux
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Light Verse arrives April 26th, and it's Iron & Wine's seventh full-length overall and fifth for Sub Pop Records. Fashioned as an album that should be taken as a whole, it sounds lovingly handmade and self-assured as a secret handshake. Track by track, it's equal parts elegy, kaleidoscope, truth, and dare. Light Verse was recorded with engineer and mixer Dave Way at his studio Waystation high up in Laurel Canyon (with an additional session at Silent Zoo Studio with a 24-piece orchestra), with a host of talented musicians joining Beam: Tyler Chester, Sebastian Steinberg, David Garza, Griffin Goldsmith, Beth Goodfellow, Kyle Crane, and Paul Cartwright. And, Fiona Apple joined Beam on vocals for the duet "All In Good Time." Packaging: Gatefold altpack with custom dust sleeve.
Iron & Wine - Light Verse
$9.99
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2024 release. Black Tusk go way back. Guitarist Andrew Fidler and drummer James May both grew up down in the swamps of Savannah, Georgia, where they've been banging heads together for the past 19 years. While often mentioned in the same weed-infused breath as Baroness and Kylesa, Black Tusk are a different beast. These swamp monsters have never strayed far from their roots in metal, sludge and punk, though their previous album found them fighting just to stay afloat after bassist Jonathan Athon's passing. 'The Way Forward' is just that. This album charges straight-on behind their new lineup, which includes former collaborators Chris "Scary" Adams on guitars, and Derek Lynch on bass. Together, they clear a path into the future by relying more on what Black Tusk does best. Lead single "Brushfire" comes in hot with a mean, ugly, foot-stomping riff. Rough and rowdy gang vocals will have pits trampling through "Dance on Your Grave", while "Breath of Life" rides off with a raised fist through drums that roll and crack like a thunderstorm. Nearly twenty years in, Black Tusk put the pedal to the metal harder than ever.
$9.99
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2024 release. Accept, long-standing legendary German titans of heavy metal, are back with a fiercely awaited new studio album. Humanoid is a towering musical achievement and another world class entry in the Accept catalog, certain to rally fans from around the world. Accept have never shied away from hot button issues, and this album is no exception. The band's 17th studio album is certainly not a concept album, yet it deals with topics like AI and how our reliance upon technology is gradually stripping away individuality. Since singer Mark Tornillo will never be an advocate for the digital age, he counterbalances the title track with raw emotions, frailties, significant Rites of Passage we encounter on the path of life and characteristics that make us uniquely human: feeling uncomfortable, getting older, dealing with hurt, disappointment, and the final stop for everyone: death. Humanoid is a ferociously electrifying, dynamic and subtly nuanced platter with tongue in cheek humor.
Accept - Humanoid
$7.99
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The fourth full-length record from Atlanta’s Microwave is a trip. It all begins with the misty synth strikes and cosmic transmission warbles of “Portals,” before hazy, dripping-wet guitar chords settle in. The song, an adaptation of the traditional Christian hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” is true to its new name, as liminal and fleeting as it is gripping and emotional. It’s an enormous, gentle, enveloping introduction to what will be explored: life and death, happiness and freedom, the real and unreal. This is Let’s Start Degeneracy, the long-awaited new album from Microwave, releasing on April 26 via Pure Noise.
 
It's an emo record, but perhaps only categorically speaking. It contains multitudes: ambient, pop, R&B, punk, and experimental sounds float in and out of one another as the record moves through scenes, experiences, and feelings, all of them rippling with a purity of intention and translation that mark the best artistic works of “psychedelia.” Vocalist/guitarist/producer Nathan Hardy, bassist Tyler Hill, and drummer Timothy Pittard have created something that resembles a concept record, but it’s the sort of concept that’s impossible to contain in just one phrase or word or sound. 
 
The record’s title, taken from a conservative politician’s take on drugs in 1970, captures this liberated spirit. There are no rules, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. “It’s about letting go of attachments and behaviors that aren’t serving you, and trying to shake off your programming and not be motivated by fear and guilt and shame,” says Hardy.
Microwave - Let's Start Degeneracy [CD]
$7.99
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With $10 Cowboy, Charley Crockett didn’t set out to make a themed record. He had released a concept album in 2022, the critically acclaimed Man From Waco, propelling Crockett to new heights and establishing him as one of the leaders of a sparkling revival of traditional country and folk music.  

For the follow up album, Crockett wrote freely, over a two-month period, as he wound his way across the United States on the back of a tour bus. The resulting songs—raw, personal, vivid portraits of a country in transition—ended up being connected after all.

“This material is written at truck stops, it’s written at casinos, it’s written in the alleys behind the venues, it’s written in my truck parked up on South Congress in Austin,” explains Crockett. “A ramblin’ man like me, a genuine transient, is in a pretty damn good position to have something to say about America.”

As the album unfolds, you begin to understand that a $10 Cowboy is anyone who has hustled to get by, who didn’t fit in, who has slept on other people’s couches, or the street, who has fallen down, gotten up, and ventured from home chasing a paying gig, or a new start.

“Being out on the road gives you a first-hand experience of how different kinds of Americans see themselves as going through some kind of great struggle,” Crockett says. “The roughneck working the oil and natural gas fields in West Texas. The single mother raising kids by herself. The young man working a street corner because he thinks it's his only option. I would be dishonest if I said I couldn’t see the thread. Each of ‘em feel invisible. I am struck by the battles they are fighting internally, and the ways they have been entrapped by what America says they are.”

The album was recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin, produced by Crockett and his long-time collaborator Billy Horton. It was recorded live to tape, with anywhere from 6-12 musicians and backup singers on each track, giving the songs the feel of a live performance. It’s a sound Crockett has been after for years. “Reason I cut it on tape is because when you got the right people in the room, and the great players rise to the occasion when that red light is on and the tape is rolling, you get the magic of a great performance.”

It's exactly what he achieved with $10 Cowboy. Regular bandmates Fox, Nathan Fleming, and Mayo Valdez are joined by some of the genre’s most talented players—Rich Brotherton, Kevin Smith, Dave LeRoy Biller, T. Jarrod Bonta and others, including a string quartet. Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller sing on the album. While the musicianship and accompaniment are exquisite, they are also subtle, placed joyously, yet judiciously across the album.

No, Crockett didn’t set out to write a themed record. Or, through his studied eye, to find America. But with $10 Cowboy, he might have done both.

Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy
$9.99 Video
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On the surface, Eric Slick's forthcoming LP New Age Rage is a dance record. Further listening reveals that it’s also a statement about our harrowing future - AI, self-driving cars, Twitter rage, mass media manipulation, and ultimately, the sin of perfectionism. It’s sonically influenced by the work of Yellow Magic Orchestra, Talking Heads, Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, Prince, The Residents, and DEVO. New Age Rage features many of Eric’s close collaborators: Natalie Prass, Finom (OHMME), Liam Kazar, Antibalas, Butcher Brown, Deep Sea Diver, and many more

Eric Slick - New Age Rage [CD]
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After dark country trio Lost Dog Street Band released its 2022 album Glory, bandleader Benjamin Tod decided it was time to retire the project. Tod, alongside his wife Ashley Mae (fiddle), had been working together as a band since 2011. “I came to terms with letting go of Lost Dog completely, which is how I evaluate a lot of things in general,” explains Tod. “Oftentimes when I'm trying to make a really hard decision, I go ahead and go through the process of mourning its death and accepting that I am going to lose it.” But just a month after recording a solo project in January of 2023, Tod felt an urge to revisit the project one more time.

“I thought I was done with Lost Dog, but after recording my solo album, I looked over all the songs that I had ready for a new record. These were songs for my band. I had to admit to myself that I wasn't done with Lost Dog.”

Though there was heartbreak at the prospect of the project coming to an end, its resurrection has meant all the more in this new context. “Benjamin and I, both individually and together, have been through some professionally grinding and demoralizing personal times over the past five years,” Ashley Mae explains. “To take a step back from that over the past year and realize, ‘Wow, we held it down and withstood that, and we survived that,’ was a really good, bright, shining moment. It was the high point during a demoralizing time.” As such, Survived is a saving grace, a phoenix rising from the ashes. “This record means everything,” adds Tod. “It just feels like salvation.”

Lost Dog Street Band - Survived [CD]
$14.25
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From Neil’s sleeve notes: “Why do these old songs live so vividly now? They do to me.”

Neil Young with Crazy Horse in all their “Ragged Glory”.
Neil & The Horse have played together for over 50 years and the performances of these songs is
a true highlight of that long relationship.

9 songs on 2 LPs, with the original song titles replaced with selected lyrics. (“Farmer John”,
being a cover, retains its original title.)

The album was recorded in 2023, with this line-up:
Billy Talbot – Bass, vocal
Ralph Molina – Drums, vocal
Micah Nelson – Guitar, vocal, piano
Nils Lofgren – Guitar, vocal, piano
Neil Young – Guitar, vocal, harmonica

Neil: “In the spirit it’s offered…made this for the Horse lovers. I can’t stop it. The horse is runnin’.
What a ride we have. I don’t want to mess with the vibe. I am so happy to have this to share.”

Neil Young with Crazy Horse - Fuckin' Up [CD]
$11.99
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Pet Shop Boys release their brand new studio album ‘Nonetheless’ on Parlophone Records on April 26.

The album is the duo’s first with producer James Ford, who has previously worked with artists including Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Blur, Gorillaz and Simian Mobile Disco. The album also sees the duo return to Parlophone, the label which released their iconic and massively successful material spanning 1985 – 2012

‘Nonetheless’ features 10 brand new tracks, recorded and mixed in London last year, primarily at James Ford’s studio in East London. The orchestra and backing vocals were recorded at The Church studio in North London.

Pet Shop Boys - nonetheless [Deluxe 2 CD]
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Corridor

Mimi

CD: $10.99 Buy

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You get older, you have a family, and you start to slow down—that’s how things are supposed to go, right? Not for Montreal band Corridor, who have returned on their fourth album, Mimi, with a sound and style that’s more widescreen and expansive than anything that’s preceded it. The follow-up to 2019’s Junior is a huge step forward for the band, as the members themselves have undergone the type of personal changes that accompany the passage of time; even as these eight songs reflect a newfound and contemplative maturity, however, Corridor are branching out more than ever with richly detailed music, resulting in a record that feels like a fresh break for a band that’s already established themselves as forward-thinkers.

Mimi immediately recalls the best of the best when it comes to indie rock—Deerhunter’s silvery atmospherics immediately come to mind, as well as the spiky e ervescence of classic post-punk—but despite these easy comparisons, Corridor remain impossible to pin down from song to song, which makes Mimi all the more thrilling as a listen.

“The goal was to work differently, which is the goal we have every time we work on a new album—to build something in a new way,” Robert explains. “This time, we took our time.” And so in the summer of 2020, Corridor’s members—Robert, vocalist/bassist Dominic Berthiaume, drummer Julien Bakvis, and multi-instrumentalist Samuel Gougoux—holed away in a cottage to engage in the sort of creative experimentation that would lead to Mimi’s ultimate creation.

Corridor tinkered with the songs’ raw parts digitally and remotely over the next few years, with co-producer Joojoo Ashworth (Dummy, Automatic) lending their own specific talents in the theoretical booth. The process was a byproduct of not having access to their rehearsal space due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a result of the four-piece leaning harder into incorporating electronic textures than on previous records.

“For a long time, we identified as a guitar-oriented band, and the goal of making this whole record was trying to get away from that,” Berthiaume states. Berthiaume also describes Mimi as a record about “getting older” and “figuring out new parts of life”—but despite any claims of transitional growing pains from the band, Mimi is a record bursting with new energy and life, a vibrance that’s owed in no small part to Gougoux joining the band full-time after pitching in on live performances in the past.

“I come more from a background of electronic music, so it was nice to involve that with the band more,” he explains, and Mimi contains a distinct rhythmic pulse reminiscent of classic era-post-punk’s own melding of dance and rock textures. Over bright, chiming guitars and ascending synths, Robert addresses his looming mortality on “Mourir Demain”: “I wrote it when my girlfriend and I were shopping for life insurance,” he laughs. With our little daughter growing up, we also considered making our will. I said to myself, ‘Oh shit, from now on I’m slowly starting to plan my death.”

Don’t mistake this as music about dead ends, though, as Mimi embraces and champions unfettered creativity while paving a way for Corridor’s own bright future. “We just focused on making a record that sounded the way we wanted,” Gougoux exclaims while discussing the band’s aims. “There were no limitations when it came to what was possible.”

Corridor - Mimi
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“I’m not afraid of the uncomfortable,” says Stephanie Lambring. “Oddly enough, I think you can actually find a lot of comfort in exploring it, in facing it head on and seeing it for what it really is.”

It’s that paradox that lies at the heart of Lambring’s stunning new record, Hypocrite. Recorded in Nashville with producer Teddy Morgan (Carl Broemel, Elise Davis), the collection is a remarkable work of self-reflection from an artist determined to know her truest self (and to help us find our own true selves in the process). The arrangements are lush and hypnotic here, with Lambring’s breathy vocals floating atop a sea of dreamy synthesizers and shimmering guitars, and the writing is as raw and vulnerable as it gets, confronting everything from religion and trauma to body image and motherhood with unflinching honesty. The result is a record that lands somewhere between Phoebe Bridgers and Alanis Morrissette as it looks for the best by reckoning with the worst, an album full of love and grace and compassion that aims to remind us that imperfection and humanity go hand in hand.

“They say the things you dislike about yourself are the things you call out the most in other people,” Lambring explains, “and with this album, I wanted to see what would happen if I called myself out instead. I think there’d be a lot more harmony in the world if we could just own up to our own shortcomings and forgive ourselves in the process.”

Such deep and thoughtful reflection has been a hallmark of Lambring’s work from the very beginning. Born and raised in Indiana, she got her start in Nashville working as a songwriter on Music Row, but after five years of composing for other artists, she asked to be let go from her publishing deal and walked away from the music business entirely. Feeling adrift creatively, she picked up work waiting tables at a restaurant and quit writing for an entire year until a regular customer—legendary songwriter Tom Douglas—encouraged her to return to her craft, this time for herself.

“It felt like my creativity had been rehabbed during that time away from the music industry,” Lambring recalls. “Writing for myself allowed me to say what I wanted to say, to sing about what felt important to me, and that changed everything.”

Lambring’s 2020 debut, Autonomy, was a critical smash, prompting Rolling Stone to hail her “John Prine-esque observation” and NPR to declare her “one of Nashville’s most fearless young singer-songwriters.” In addition to all the rave reviews, the album also landed Lambring on the cover of Tidal’s Rising Folk playlist, helped earn performances everywhere from Mountain Stage to the famed Bluebird Cafe, and led to an extensive US tour with Amigo The Devil. All the while, songs for Lambring’s much-anticipated follow-up were already brewing.

“I knew I wanted to write some of these songs for years before I was actually able to put them into words,” she explains. “They were just these little seeds planted in my subconscious that I’d keep coming back to until I felt like I’d finally experienced enough life to sit down and express them.”

The recording process was a similarly slow and deliberate one, with Lambring and Morgan working together on the songs on-and-off over the course of an entire year, experimenting with unexpected instrumentation and blurring the boundaries between roots music and indie rock.

“The foundation of this record is really just the two of us seeing how far we could push the songs,” Lambring says. “We’d get together and lay down the bones of a track, and then we’d come back to it a few weeks later and see how else we might be able to approach the same idea in order to take it someplace new and exciting. We would keep bouncing from one song to another, just tweaking and overdubbing and reinventing things right up until the very end.”

That adventurous spirit is clear from the top on Hypocrite, which opens with the brooding “Cover Girl.” Fueled by a thick, sinuous synth-bass and perpetually unsettled drumbeat, the track grapples with the modern pressures of a social media-driven world in which dysmorphia runs rampant and projection outweighs authenticity. “She writes, ‘Beauty’s on the inside’ / Underneath a picture of her good side,” Lambring sings with a deadpan delivery. “She watches on standby / As we tell her she’s pretty.” But rather than treat the observation as a scathing indictment, Lambring instead turns the lens on herself and her own implication in perpetuating the status quo despite her best efforts to break free of it. “Cover girl for inner beauty / Shine it up and sell it to me / We don’t have to believe it, do we? / Do we? / Do we?” It’s a question that sounds less convincing every time she asks it, the uncertainty building with each repetition. The tender “Filler” wonders who we’re really trying to please when we change our appearance (and if it will ever be enough), while the driving “Purity Ring” interrogates sex and shame and abstinence and abortion in the face of a strict religious upbringing full of double standards, and the aching “Good Mother” questions the traditional narratives of parenthood, giving voice to the fears and regrets that society deems too taboo to say out loud. “They say it’s the hardest / Best thing they’ve ever done,” Lambring sings wistfully. “But if it’s just the hardest / You can’t tell anyone.”

“I never felt a pull towards motherhood,” she explains. “I felt a lot of pressure about it, though, so I leaned into my anxiety and started researching. I dove deep on Reddit threads. I listened to podcasts. I read Regretting Motherhood: A Study by Orna Donath. There were so many heartbreaking accounts from mothers who loved their children but would be childfree if they had it to do over again, and I had a gut feeling that I would be one of those mothers. I wrote this song to process and sit with my own fears about it all, and to offer a voice for mothers who feel that way, either as a constant ache or in moments or seasons of exhaustion.”

Lambring finds unique ways to blend the deeply personal with the universal throughout the record, often transforming intimate slices of life into thought-provoking reflections on the human condition at large. The devastating “Hospital Parking” spins a garage fee into a meditation on grief and love and hope and loss; the unrelenting “Mirror” shines a light on the ugliness we try to hide, wrestling with the ways our desire to label things as “good” or “bad” without any room for nuance can spill out into politics and culture wars; and the country-tinged “Two-Faced” takes a self-deprecating look at insincerity, with Lambring singing, “We’re all a little two-faced / ‘Hey, how are you?’ fake / Makes the world go ‘round / God forbid some honesty would ruffle up this town.”

“I’ve lived in the south for 18 years, and when you pair that with a tendency to people-please, I haven’t always been the most direct (or enjoyed people being direct with me),” Lambring confesses. “Over the past several years, I’ve appreciated and practiced directness more and more, but it’ll probably always be something of a struggle for me, so it was therapeutic to poke some fun at myself and my fragile ego.”

In the end, such therapy is what Hypocrite is all about. The songs are serious, even painful at times, but they’re laced with humor and ultimately built to heal. Stephanie Lambring isn’t afraid to face the uncomfortable, and in the process, she offers up more than a little comfort for the rest of us.

Stephanie Lambring - Hypocrite [CD]
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The Melvins new album is like nothing the band has ever done before. Probably the best record they’ve ever recorded. Certainly one of their weirdest. The five song album centers around the mammoth 19-minute opening track “Pain Equals Funny” and features Buzz, Dale and Steven along with second drummer Roy Mayorga (Ministry, Soulfly, Stone Sour and Nausea) and guitarist Gary Chester (We Are The Asteroid). 

Melvins - Tarantula Heart
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FOLTERKAMMER, which translates to "torture chamber" in German, offers a sonic experience startlingly unlike anything you’ve ever heard. This New York-Swiss-French ensemble skillfully fuses elements of Baroque music, black metal, opera, jazz, and classical into a captivating, yet unsettling amalgamation. Their Century Media debut, "Weibermacht," a term translated with octave-flexing prowess by Andromeda Anarchia as "Bitch Power," immediately delves into the provocative, pushing boundaries from the very first track, "Anno Domina." Sung entirely in German, the song initiates a 45-minute thematic plunge into the depths of BDSM, where pain blurs with pleasure. This venture into the taboo is no surprise, as the band's lineup also includes IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT guitarist Zachary Ezrin, and boasts a truly disturbing cover by renowned artist Eliran Kantor (Immolation, Heaven Shall Burn). Uneasy listening has never felt so good. 

Folterkammer - Weibermacht
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In 2024, Mountain Stage will release Live on Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers via Oh Boy Records compiling some highlights from the program, curated by the show’s co-founder and longtime host Larry Groce.  With four decades worth of recordings in its archives, many documenting artists in their formative years, this is bound to be an essential release. "I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of these tracks and they’re just jaw-droppingly gorgeous" says Groce.  Net profits from the album’s release will benefit the program.

Various Artists - Live On Mountain Stage: Outlaws & Outliers
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Every single song SeeYouSpaceCowboy have released since forming in 2016 has been deeply rooted in the life experience and trauma of frontwoman Connie Sgarbossa. It’s one of the things that makes the San Diego band’s music so compelling and visceral, because those oftentimes harrowing experiences flow through its veins. Whether that’s existential anguish, substance addiction or suicidal ideation (and attempts), Sgarbossa has never been afraid to detail her pain and torment in excruciating detail. She holds nothing back, and combined with the band’s intensely dark (and darkly intense) blend of sasscore, punk, mathcore and metalcore, it’s always made for profound and devastating listening. Coup De Grâce is no exception to that rule. The band’s third album, it follows on from 2019’s The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds and 2021’s The Romance Of Affliction. But unlike those two records, which were unadulterated, no-holds-barred accounts of her life at the time, Coup De Grâce takes a different approach to its lyrics. Rather than Sgarbossa baring her most private and innermost thoughts for all to hear, on these 12 songs they’re funneled through the lives of fictional characters within a noir-inspired world of the singer’s invention.

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY - COUP DE GRÂCE	[CD]
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2024 release, the eighth album from the Cleveland rockers. Final Summer is the follow-up to 2021's The Shadow I Remember.
Cloud Nothings - Final Summer [CD]
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Based on the 2018 Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 film, the MEAN GIRLS soundtrack features songs from a number of the movie’s stars including Reneé Rapp as Regina George, Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, Auli’i Cravalho as Janis ‘Imi’ike, Avantika as Karen Shetty, and more. Also featuring the single “Not My Fault” by Reneé Rapp with rap superstar Megan Thee Stallion.

Reneé Rapp / Auli’I Cravalho - Mean Girls (Music From The Motion Picture) [Candy Floss LP]
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High on Fire, the Grammyr Award winner, brings an electrifying experience to Spotify with their dynamic sound that blends sludge, doom, and thrash metal. Dive into a sonic journey as their music transcends boundaries, delivering a heavy and intense atmosphere. Their latest single, "Burning Down," amplifies the raw power of their signature style, featuring relentless riffs and thunderous beats. With High on Fire, listeners embark on a visceral adventure through the depths of metal, where each note ignites a fiery passion for the genre. Tune in and let the blazing energy of "Burning Down" leave an indelible mark on your metal playlist.
High On Fire - Cometh The Storm
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Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, Pearl Jam, return with their highly anticipated new album Dark Matter. The band’s 12th studio album was produced by Grammy® Award Winning Producer, Andrew Watt. 

Pearl Jam - Dark Matter [CD]
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Maggie Rogers - "Don't Forget Me"
Maggie Rogers - Don't Forget Me [CD]
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One Deep River (Sft) - Mark Knopfler / One Deep River offers an unstoppable flow of future Knopfler classics, with their customarily learned lyrics and refined guitar textures. They draw on a lifetime of genre-crossing ingredients and influences in blues, folk, rock and beyond, and as usual, reveal their charms with unhurried grace and depth.
Mark Knopfler - One Deep River [CD]
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 On her new album Sun Without the Heat, McCalla brings more playfulness and joy than she has on previous records when she speaks to the concerns that have shaped her career, mainly including an ethos in which you must look back at lost and erased histories before you can embrace a forward vision of Afrofuturism and the importance of music making to heal and forge relationships across differences. Across Sun Without the Heat’s ten tracks, she achieves this with music that combines jazz, Haitian Twoubadou, American blues, folk and Brazilian Tropicalismo.

Born in New York City to Haitian emigrants and activists, McCalla possesses a stunning mastery of the cello, tenor banjo and guitar. A founding member of Our Native Daughters alongside Rhiannon Giddens, Amysthyst Kiah and Allison Russell and an alumna of Grammy award-winning band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, McCalla has also received considerable praise and attention for her solo works, including 2014’s Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, which prompted the New York Times to rave that “her voice is disarmingly natural, and her settings are elegantly succinct” and 2022’s Breaking The Thermometer (4/5 review from The Guardian).

Lyrically on Sun Without the Heat, McCalla draws from the writings of Black feminist Afrofuturist thinkers Octavia Butler, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Adrienne Maree Brown, among others, with frequent themes being grief, connection and motherhood. Like these authors, McCalla is thinking hard about collaboration as a means of creative expression, community thinking, personal salvation, and rectifying social injustice. “The stories we’ve been told about ourselves and the stories that we have to learn to undo the stories we’ve been told,” she explains.“Sometimes these are painful stories to tell. This is especially vivid in the title song, “Sun Without the Heat.””

Leyla McCalla - Sun Without The Heat
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On Up On Gravity Hill, the new album by Toronto power-trio METZ, the band creates a kaleidoscopic sonic world as tender as it is dark, aided once again by engineer Seth Manchester (Mdou Moctar, Lingua Ignota, Battles, The Body). For those who believe in the power of the rock band to exemplify the highest resonance of human connection, there is much on Up On Gravity Hill to lift the spirit, a puzzle worth repeated listening to unlock or just to get lost in again and again. The album contains some of the most spacious, sympathetic, and accessible songs-could we call them pop?-of their career. If this seems contradictory, well, METZ has always been something of a contradiction. In the words of guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins, "We've never been heavy enough for metal or hardcore purists, but we're way too heavy for indie rock. We just don't have a lane-and that's okay. We exist outside the lines of delineation. I think this record is even more like that."
METZ - Up On Gravity Hill
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Aaron Lee Tasjan, Nashville’s own synth-glam-rock-indie stalwart, has put the finishing touches on his new album Stellar Evolution due out on April 12th, 2024, a striking collection of hyper pop, indie rock, 80s synths and angular guitars. With his trademark sardonic wit, Aaron Lee shares poignant self observations and reflections on the world at large, that are a clarion call and safe space for anyone who has been made to feel other.

Whether it’s slacker rock anthem “The Drugs Did Me”, an autobiographical account of Aaron Lee’s journey to sobriety, new wave raver “Alien Space Queen,” which celebrates living outside the gender binary and Aaron Lee’s bi-sexuality and queer identity, or shimmering synth power ballad “Dylan Shades,” a celebration of those who carry their pain with love, Aaron Lee’s songs claim space and shine bright.

This is Aaron Lee’s most fully realized project to date, marking a culmination of Aaron Lee’s unique artistic voyage, from glam rock side person in the orbit of the New York Dolls and Lady Gaga, to breakout GRAMMY nominated Nashville singer-songwriter releasing a series of critically acclaimed albums, writing alongside some of Nashville’s established and emerging stars like Yola, Natalie Hemby and Mya Byrne, to now fully embracing his singular sound and making his most personal album to date. Fans Also Like: Beck, Father John Misty, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Jenny Lewis, The Black Keys, Yola

Aaron Lee Tasjan - Stellar Evolution [CD]
$15.50

        
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