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Music Releases 03-29-24 1

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Shabazz Palaces

Robed In Rareness [Ruby LP]

Vinyl: $19.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $6.99 Download

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On March 29, 2024, Shabazz Palaces’ two new mini-albums, Robed in Rareness and Exotic Birds of Prey, come out on CD and LP. Shabazz Palaces is masterminded by Ishmael Butler (Digable Planets), whose relentless drive to reimagine hip-hop – even as he enjoys his fifth decade on Earth – remains undiminished.

When Robed in Rareness hit digital platforms in 2023, NPR Music called it “enchanting and subversive," while Pitchfork observed that “the futurism of Shabazz Palaces has always been interwoven with the past and present, their songs scintillating tapestries of old-school shit talk, proggy psychedelia, and melodic flossing. Robed in Rareness is draped in this multiplicity as Butler and a team of close collaborators swagger across eras of rap.”

Exotic Birds of Prey furthers the modus operandi of Robed in Rareness: a respectful eye on the past, an embrace of an ever-evolving present, with its feet firmly planted in the future. Where Robed warped sounds like shoegaze and ambient music into the Shabazz Palaces multiverse, Exotic cross-pollinates these elements with twisted electro and funk vibes.

Shabazz Palaces - Robed In Rareness [Ruby LP]
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The final album from Canadian punk rock legends Sum 41 album. Spanning 2 discs and 20 tracks, the album features the singles “Landmines” and “Rise Up”.’

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serpentwithfeet, the Baltimore born singer-songwriter, is taking natural steps as a versatile talent from chapter to chapter in his career. His third album Grip is the result of these latest steps. GRIP finds its home on the dance floor of Black gay clubs and the intimate moments that happen there and afterward, no matter the location. It explores the small moments of physical touch and how they occur. Whether it be a grip around the waist or the face, serpentwithfeet manages to explore all angles.

GRIP and the Black gay club share an interesting juxtaposition: the club is public; the dancefloor is obviously a place where people look at and watch one another. At the same time, the Black gay club is a safe community space, it is “for us”, and in that way is very private, very intimate. These clubs provided a different atmosphere for him, a different comfort, and a different sense of welcoming that nurtured him in a new way.

From start to finish, GRIP sonically lives the highs and lows of not only a night out at the club but of romance as well. “Damn Gloves (ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Yanga Yaya)” captures the adrenaline rush of a night’s peak with a thumping bass entwined in dance production that mimics the heartbeat’s speed as intimacy runs high between two lovers.“Spades”employs a sweet guitar-driven melody to create a tender moment as a slow-dance would. “Lucky Me” is sweet and honest, void of anything that distracts from the moment at hand as serpent’s voice, a twinkling guitar melody, and enchanting synths serve as the driving force to champion a new romance.

It is a body of work that highlights moments that are closest to the heart. Throughout his seven-year career, he has exhibited versatility through R&B music that’s been in and outside of grim, spiritual, and joyous. serpentwithfeet continues to push the limits of his artistry.

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Nine-time Grammy Award winner and 2023 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, Sheryl Crow, will release her 11th full length studio album, Evolution. The album comes as a welcomed surprise after Crow publicly stated that she would not release another full-length album after Threads (2018) and kicks off with her lead single “Alarm Clock,” which is perhaps Sheryl Crow’s most radio-friendly pop song since “Soak Up The Sun.”

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In their decade-plus together, the four-piece—Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Lydia Lund (guitar, vocals), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals), and Annie Truscott (bass, vocals)—have created a resonant body of work. Live Laugh Love is a natural continuation. Against the bizarre backdrop of the past few years, Chastity Belt remained a supportive space for the members to grow and experiment, drawing on the ingredients most essential to their process since the beginning: authenticity and levity. Recorded over three sessions in as many years (January 2020, November 2021 and 2022), the focus became more about enjoying their time together in the studio than making it feel like work. Their ease and familiarity with engineer Samur Khouja in LA, who also recorded their last album, made for a particularly enjoyable process. Once completed, they returned to renowned engineer Heba Kadry who mastered the album.

Album opener “Hollow” sets the tone with a gently driving rhythm while guitar layers stream like sun rays through an open car window. A warmth radiates through Shapiro’s voice, even while grappling with feeling lost and stuck. “The older I get,” Shapiro says of the lyrics, “the more I realize that I might just always feel this way, and it’s more about sitting with the feeling and accepting it, rather than trying to fight it.” That wisdom seems to anchor Live Laugh Love. Chastity Belt has never shied from navigating the spectrum of difficult emotions, and an existential thread weaves throughout the subject matter. And yet the songs feel more grounded than ever; there’s a sense of quiet confidence and self-assurance that comes with being less numb and more present. Facing discomfort takes more fortitude, after all.

Live Laugh Love finds the members in their prime as musicians. Their parts trace intricate patterns over one another, but there’s room to breathe between the layers. Everyone contributes to the writing, sometimes switching instruments, and for the first time, all four members sing a song. It’s never been more apparent that they are creative siblings, cut from the same belt. “We’ve been playing music with each other for over a decade,” says Shapiro, “so it really does feel like we’re all fluent in the same language, and a lot of it just happens naturally.”

“Laugh” seeks in the balm of friendship, aware of the anticipatory nostalgia that hits during a good time that you’re already missing before it’s gone; the heavier guitar tones on “Chemtrails” streak ominous chord progressions over Grimm’s precision timekeeping, lamenting memories that won’t fade easily. During a transitional time, Truscott came across a note in their phone that read, “it's not hard all day, just sometimes,” which inspired a poignant line in the chorus of “Kool-Aid,” their first song as lead vocalist on a Chastity Belt recording. Another standout, “I-90 Bridge” shines with a silvery melody that soars as Lund belts one of the most resounding moments on the album: “Tell your girlfriend she’s got nothing to fear/I’m set in my head/My body’s a different story.” The track “Blue” saunters nonchalantly with a wink; you can almost hear Shapiro’s smile as she sings “Faking it big time/So I can hit my stride/Man, it feels good to be alive,” channeling early Chastity Belt channeling early ’90s before channeling the late Elliott Smith in a spiral of distortion and insight: “Don’t get upset about it/It’s gonna pass/Tell all your friends about it/They’re gonna laugh.”

“We have such a strong sense of each other’s musical inclinations” says Lund. “I think this allows for a lot of playfulness…we can kinda surprise each other, like a good punchline would.”

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It’s obvious listening to Sarah Shook and the Disarmers’ clear-eyed, biting, and unafraid songs that integrity is the most important thing to the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, country-punk outfit. “A lot of artists are in this industry for fame, recognition, and money but those things don’t mean anything to me,” says bandleader River Shook. “Songwriting is it for me. It’s the only real healthy coping mechanism I've ever had. It’s life-saving. I don't care about any superficial things when I’m making a record.” On their resonant fourth album Revelations, produced by Shook and out March 29 via Thirty Tigers, these raw and resilient tracks come first. Throughout, Shook’s deft storytelling documents regular people getting by and keeping on, all presented without filter or pretension.

In 2022, Shook was remarkably productive. They released two albums: debut solo indie rock record Cruel Liars under the moniker Mightmare (Kill Rock Stars) and a third Disarmers full-length called Nightroamer (Thirty Tigers). Compared to every Disarmers record before that, which captured the in-the-room energy of the band with live recorded songs, the latter LP was instead more of a product of the studio with meticulous tracking sessions and an outside producer. While that effort was well-received, Shook believed the songs on Revelations deserved a more direct approach. “Since the Disarmers started in 2015, our strength has always been in our live performance,” says Shook. “To me, an album should capture the essence of a band. With this new set of songs that are all super special to me, I didn't trust anybody else to capture the songs and decide how to best serve each song.” Shook, who honed their production skills with their Mightmare LP and Izzy Ryder’s debut record, confidently took the reins during a blistering recording session, capturing 10 songs in two days.

For Shook, it was paramount the recordings match the band’s tangible live ferocity because these songs boast their most immediate lyrics yet. “All of my writing is autobiographical, and I write everything based on my observations and experiences,” says Shook. “But there was something about Revelations that felt more personal to me. I unlocked this level of honesty with myself and an ability to be more objective about the things I struggle with daily.” Take the title track, which finds Shook singing about the precariousness of navigating mental health under capitalism. Over a rollicking, twang-hued arrangement, they sing, “Black cloud followin' me around, little storm in my head / Some days I levitate off the ground, some days I can't get outta bed.” The track doesn’t preach or romanticize. Instead, it’s galvanizing and relatable.

These are lived-in stories about real people with real dreams, atmospheric pasts, and inescapable problems. “I think of myself as a collector: I just go around and collect experiences and observations,” says Shook. “I'm still adjusting to writing songs as a sober person but a lot of the themes are just about being a working person and navigating mental health and relationships with other people going through the same things.” Lead single “Backsliders” comes directly from Shook’s life when they were a bartender at a Chapel Hill dive called The Cave. The song is a deceptively breezy romp about workplace romantic entanglements with Shook singing, “Love you like a breath when I ain't workin' myself to death / cause I'm longin' for the ghost of a friend.” On one hand, it captures the closeness that only service workers can experience on the job but on the other, it plainly states how easy it is to fall into bad habits when dealing with any type of loss.

Throughout the LP, there are cathartic, snarling kiss-offs to villainous men (“Motherfucker”) but also moments of tenderness and ecstasy. Shook describes closer “Criminal” as their “gay cowboy song”, the torturous longing of the lyrics is anchored by shimmering guitar leads from Blake Tallent and bastioned by drummer Jack Foster’s hypnotic rhythms. River sings, “If lovin' you will always be a crime I'll always be a criminal.” It’s a triumphant line that highlights Shook’s emotional sturdiness. “That line got me thinking about how we as queer people have been persecuted, and how we so often have to keep all kinds of things under wraps because of the law because of social taboo,” says Shook. “I wanted “Criminal” to portray these feelings of longing and desire that two gay people can have for each other. They're complicated feelings because human beings are complicated. Gay love is every bit as complicated as straight love.”

Revelations is the most assured Sarah Shook and the Disarmers record yet because it so pointedly captures the gamut of the human experience: anger, sadness, confusion, love, and acceptance. It’s a document of Shook at the top of their game and a reflection of their own journey not just as a writer but as a person. “I’m a firm believer that if you are an artist, and you want to make better art, a big part of that isn't just exercising your musical skills, it’s growing as a human being,” says Shook. “So every time I make a record, I want to be able to listen to it and look back on who I was then. I want to see this arc and this evolution. That's really fucking important to me.”

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Transnational Speedway League is Clutch’s very first recording (1993) and was never before released on vinyl - until now. It is the next release in our vinyl only Clutch Collector’s Series. Clutch’s guitar mastermind, Tim Sult, quarterbacked this release from A to Z. The album is remastered and manufactured on 180-gram colored vinyl (Translucent Emerald Green) which in turn is stored in extra heavy sleeves. The artwork was redesigned by Dan Winters (original graphic designer) and Tim Sult. The gatefold jacket is printed on metalized polyester paper, and each album includes a numbered insert autographed by the band. It is safe to say that Clutch fans around the world will want to get their hands on one of these very limited albums (7,500 units worldwide/4000 US)

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“This record breathes a second life into these songs,” says Alejandro Escovedo of Echo Dancing, the Americana pioneer’s new album where he reconceptualizes the songs of his storied career. The variety of songs range from his short-lived rock quartet Buick MacKane, rarities from his ‘80s alt-country outfit The True Believers, to the celebrated songs of his solo discography from his debut album all the way to his most recent sprawling masterpiece, The Crossing. Highlights include a reimagined trip-hop-funk hybrid of Escovedo’s “Castanets” (retitled here as “Castañuelas''), a blistering version of “Bury Me” that finds that songwriter now older than the characters he was singing about, as well as songs co-written with trailblazers such as Chuck Prophet, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and J. Steven Soles. At age 73, Escovedo continues to reshape his ever-changing sound and experiment with the boundaries of Americana music.
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INDIE RETAIL EXCLUSIVE! With nods to their earlier work, Ride’s 7th album contains some of the best songs they have ever written. It is a record in the old-school sense, a rich listen that flows from start to finish, at times urgent and formidable, at others wistful and melancholic. It’s a record about perseverance, sticking together, finding a way forward. Claudius Mittendorfer’s mix provides the final touches on a startling, stop-you-in-your-tracks LP. This is the sound of a band hitting a new peak of their powers.
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Aaron Lewis grew up in Springfield, Vermont, listening to his grandparents’ Country 8-track tapes. Those roots inspired the multi-platinum STAIND founder to return to his origins for the No. 1 Billboard Country Album debuts Town Line and Sinner, as well as Billboard’s No. 1 Hot Country Song debut “Am I The Only One.” Lewis has put a traditionalist brand on his outlier Country, and with his new album The Hill, the 15 million-selling workingman’s star offers his most personal and unplugged collection to date.

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CNTS are back with their sophomore release! The band features guitarist Mike Crain (Dead Cross, Retox, Festival Of Dead Deer), drummer Kevin Avery (Retox, Planet B)  and vocalist Matt Cronk (Qui) with new guitarist Koko Arabian and bassist Rico Adair.

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Our fifth chapter is the one where we seek, savor, and settle. The muse found us in the depths of raising children, nurturing relationships, surviving a world-changing virus, bidding farewell, shifting our mindsets, and discovering a sense of peace heretofore unseen. Our third decade of life has proven to be one of routine, rest, and realization, and these songs are about the lessons we’ve learned. We’ve learned to be space-holders and defenders of the people we hold close. We’ve learned from deep, steady love in various forms. We’ve learned to let go of people and perceptions and priorities that just didn’t make the cut as we weighed what is right and important and worth keeping. We’ve learned how all the things we’ve always treasured continue to withstand the pressure of time. If you notice an upward trend to the mood and emotions, you’re on target-we have found calm waters, for now.- The Secret Sisters

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On March 29, 2024, Shabazz Palaces’ two new mini-albums, Robed in Rareness and Exotic Birds of Prey, come out on CD and LP. Shabazz Palaces is masterminded by Ishmael Butler (Digable Planets), whose relentless drive to reimagine hip-hop – even as he enjoys his fifth decade on Earth – remains undiminished.

When Robed in Rareness hit digital platforms in 2023, NPR Music called it “enchanting and subversive," while Pitchfork observed that “the futurism of Shabazz Palaces has always been interwoven with the past and present, their songs scintillating tapestries of old-school shit talk, proggy psychedelia, and melodic flossing. Robed in Rareness is draped in this multiplicity as Butler and a team of close collaborators swagger across eras of rap.”

Exotic Birds of Prey furthers the modus operandi of Robed in Rareness: a respectful eye on the past, an embrace of an ever-evolving present, with its feet firmly planted in the future. Where Robed warped sounds like shoegaze and ambient music into the Shabazz Palaces multiverse, Exotic cross-pollinates these elements with twisted electro and funk vibes.

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Available on vinyl for the first time since its original release 50 years ago, the downtempo-funk extravaganza People & Love is a crate-digger's treasure chest, filled with soul-jazz grooves and mesmerizing vibraphone textures laid down by Johnny Lytle, who was touted as "the greatest vibes player in the world" by the big band legend Lionel Hampton. The album was mastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray, pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI, and comes packaged in a tip-on jacket.
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Since forming in 2008, Chicano Batman have followed their own visionary impulses to tremendous heights—a journey that began at local dive bars and recently saw them co-headlining the legendary Hollywood Bowl. In the making of Notebook Fantasy, Chicano Batman worked with producer John Congleton (Erykah Badu, Death Cab For Cutie, St. Vincent) to double down on their hyper-creative tendencies, discovering new dimensions of their prismatic music while infusing the lyrics with an unflinching honesty.

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Bass player Ron Carter’s debut album Where? features Eric Dolphy (clarinet, sax, flute) and Mal Waldron (piano). The album was originally released in 1961 having been recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey. This new edition of the album is released as part of the Original Jazz Classics Series and is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI with all-analog mastering from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and presented in a Tip-On Jacket.
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180-Gram High Quality Virgin Vinyl - Limited Gatefold Edition. One of the most celebrated and emblematic LPs of Brazilian music, Todos Os Olhos was an album in which Tom Ze presented, with a lot of courage, a different way of fighting his country's military dictatorship. "This was the record that took me out of circulation," explained Tom Ze. "Until then I was played on the radio." However, he admitted that, "This album is something so joyful that I've done, that I don't even know how to explain. It was the best thing I've accomplished after years of incomprehensible lack of motivation. I noticed that my heart could stand being unpopular, and this conviction spread comfortably inside me. This record had the faculty of bringing back my internal joy. It has brought back the joy of singing, of making music, of creating, of accomplishing. It's what I'm doing." 1130 GRAM HIGH QUALITY VIRGIN VINYL LIMITED EDITION
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Stitching together the frenzied snarl of gory early 1990s OSDM and eerily plodding doom intonations, COFFINS find no shame in continuing to perfect the vile, derelict strain of dungeon-crawling death-doom for which they are revered." - Invisible Oranges Japan’s COFFINS return with their crushing new full-length album, Sinister Oath. Recorded ahead of the band's 25th anniversary in Tokyo, Sinister Oath further cements COFFINS' legacy as one of the most putrid sounding and uncompromising Old School Death Metal bands in the world. From the chest-pounding, drudgy opening of "Spontaneous Rot" to the hammer-crushing riffage of "Things Infestation" thereafter, Sinister Oath creeps and crawls through a cavernous space firmly rooted in no-frills Death Metal. The band's signature sound is forever-present: equal parts bleak, doomy, crusty, disgusting, and wholly heavy. Featuring album art by Axel Hermann (Asphyx, Bloodbath, Demolition Hammer, Sodom, and more,) Sinister Oath is COFFINS at their most vile!

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Known as the main dancer of global superstar group BTS, j-hope releases his second album titled ‘HOPE ON THE
STREET VOL.1’ in which he tells of his humble beginnings as a part of a street dance crew and the journey to BTS.
This new album will be available in 2 versions: VER.1 PRELUDE and VER.2 INTERLUDE. Contents include a CD,
Zipper Bag, Photo Zine (80 pages), Lyrics Book (8 pages), Poster, 2 Photo Cards, Sticker and Hang Tag.
Dimensions: 340 x 235 x 10 mm.

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Known as the main dancer of global superstar group BTS, j-hope releases his second album titled ‘HOPE ON THE
STREET VOL.1’ in which he tells of his humble beginnings as a part of a street dance crew and the journey to BTS.
This new album will be available in 2 versions: VER.1 PRELUDE and VER.2 INTERLUDE. Contents include a CD,
Zipper Bag, Photo Zine (80 pages), Lyrics Book (8 pages), Poster, 2 Photo Cards, Sticker and Hang Tag.
Dimensions: 340 x 235 x 10 mm.

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Catfish and the Bottlemen are back after a nearly 5-year hiatus with new song “Showtime.” Frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Van McCann recorded the song in Los Angeles with multi-GRAMMY® Award winning producer Dave Sardy (Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Rolling Stones). The song reflects the sun-kissed optimism of LA and marks a bold evolution in Van’s songwriting. White 7" Single.

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For You is a collection of songs that reflect change, both the desire for it and the anxieties that hold you back from it. It's about working through challenging transitions in your life, a call to be kind to yourself in the process, and a move towards a bigger picture in your life. On a grander scale For You is about navigating challenging new changes in life. The desire to stay true to yourself but let go of the anxieties that stop you from flowing with that change and embracing new experiences. Honed in For You reflects my challenges touring for the first time and embracing a new chapter in my life with music.

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On her debut Capitol Records studio album All I Ever Want Is Everything, Blu DeTiger claims the spotlight as a rising pop icon who’s not afraid to feel it all. The record is a portrait of Blu at her most unstoppable and most vulnerable as she captures the unpredictable process of coming into one's own. Inspired by sleepless nights out on the town and memories of her thumping DJ sets, the album sees Blu staking a claim to her desires and transforming into the messy protagonist of her fantasies.


        
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