New Vinyl Pressing! The highly anticipated debut LP from Say She She (named as a silent nod to Nile Rodgers, C’est chi-chi!: It’s Chic!), the all female discodelic soul band, will transport you with their dreamy harmonies, catchy hooks and up tempo grooves!
The ladies of Say She She deliver a mesmerizing vocal performance, weaving their voices together in an elegant, haunting style that incorporates earworm melodies, lush harmonies, playful adlibs, and climactic hindi riffs accented with operatic cries that will reel you in and lift you into their otherworldly ether.
The band’s sound is a hat tip to late 70’s girl groups with the three strong female lead voices of Piya Malik (El Michels Affair staple feature, and former backing singer for Chicano Batman), Sabrina Mileo Cunningham and Nya Gazelle Brown at the epicenter of a roaring roster of musicians including former members of the Dap-Kings, The Extraordinaires, the house band at Ronnie Scotts and members of underground cult-funk band Orgone.
Pulling sounds from every corner of their record collections, Say She She is a multi- dimensional, multicultural, multi-instrumental, collaborative melting pot. Think Donna Summer meets The Rotary Connection with a sprinkling of Asha Puthli backed by members of the Meters.
During the pandemic, the band found themselves making their debut LP- polishing off songs made on old tape machines in the basement studios of friends, and this September will see their much-awaited debut album, to be released via Karma Chief / Colemine Records. The largely self-produced debut album ‘Prism’ features contributions from Dap Kings Joey Crispiano & Victor Axelrod, Max Shrager (The Shacks), Bardo Martinez (Chicano Batman), Nikhil Yearwadekar (former Antibalas), Andy Bauer (Twin Shadow), and Matty McDermot (NYPMH), and is already one of the most anticipated records of the year.
New vinyl pressing! The Mutants – Curse Of The Easily Amused.
It’s hard to let go of a good thing. More than four decades after the Mutants first appeared on the San Francisco underground music scene, four of the original members are still playing shows together under that name in 2022. After all, mutants are known to mutate, and that’s what this colorful, energetic musical collective has been doing off and on since 1977.
Perhaps even more surprisingly, the sessions for their lone album, 1982’s Fun Terminal, continue to bring forth lost nuggets. In punk and new wave lore, Fun Terminal is considered a troubled project. Prior to the album’s appearance, the Mutants had released only one 7-inch single — 1980s’ The Mutants EP — and the band also had songs featured on two local compilations. Both the EP and one of the compilations were issued by 415 Records, the legendary Bay Area indie that made the jump from the new wave trenches to the majors when they signed a deal with Columbia Records in 1981. Many scenesters felt that the Mutants should have begun album sessions for 415 immediately after the EP, but that didn’t happen.
New vinyl pressing! Welcome to the world’s first (and only) post-punk-industrial-trance-psychedelic-surf album! The fact that it took so many adjectives to describe Tragic Figures lets you know just how unique of an album it is. Sure, there are echoes of other artists, like krautrock legends Can, post-punkers Public Image Limited (Savage Republic opened for PiL on their 1982 West Coast dates), avant-garde guitar players like Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, scrap metal industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten, and Bay Area sludgecore nihilists Flipper—but really, this unlikely product of (mostly) UCLA undergrads sounds like no other record before or since.
For its 40th anniversary edition, Real Gone Music worked with Bruce Licher to preserve and expand on the magical, talismanic quality of the initial release. The original album has been remastered from the original tapes by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, while both the CD and LP editions both boast an extra disc of largely unreleased rehearsal recordings taped in the bowels of UCLA parking garages, where the band used to practice to take advantage of the extended reverb afforded by all the concrete surfaces (imagine being an unwitting undergrad happening upon this unearthly din coming out of nowhere)! Richie Unterberger’s liner notes feature interviews with band members Licher, Philip Drucker, and Jeff Long, and the LP comes with the original cover graphics expanded into a gatefold jacket pressed in heavyweight “chipboard” paper stock. Clear your calendar and set aside a couple of hours to listen to Tragic Figures…you won’t end up where you started.
New Vinyl Pressing: Sam Hall’s new album as Ghost Orchard, Rainbow Music, is a collage of patience and meditation. It’s filled with nuances as quietly imperceptible as the seasons, or the profound movement of time, where one day looking back you realize your whole spirit has shifted. Where 2019’s critically revered Bunny was a love letter to a romantic relationship, Rainbow Music documents the culmination of Hall’s first personal experience with loss in several forms. At the end of 2020, his longterm childhood pet passed away, and with it the last continuing threads of familiarity between being a kid and adulthood. Still based in the Grand Rapids, Michigan town he’d grown up in, the static ease of familiar living seemed to be coming apart at the seams, as friends moved on to bigger cities, relationships shapeshifted and in a short period of time, another kitten he’d adopted passed away prematurely, leaving Hall to question the trajectory in which he himself was headed.
Like “songs in the key of life,” the title ‘rainbow music’ refers to the myriad of colors and qualities within Hall that are refracted throughout. It’s a symbolization of hope and the aftermath, the flickering light at the end of the tunnel (or “when a rainbow shows up after a big storm”). “Wish I could have fun anymore,” Hall ruminates on “dancing”, as well as confessing he “wish he made more upbeat bangers.” But reality packs more of a punch, and this collection of songs sees him finally be at peace with the current state of affairs. Relatable to anyone who has contemplated what it means to settle down, or even just catch your breath in an era where anguish is commonplace, the release of ‘rainbow music’ is a happy ending in its own right, a marker of survival that remains close to the bone.
Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Alpenglow is the Minnesota-based sextet’s tenth album. The album, named after the optical phenomenon that takes places when the sun casts a reddish glow across the mountains at dawn and dusk, opens with the wistful beauty of “It’s So Hard To Hold On”. The narrator contemplates the passing of time and how imperative it is to savor it while you have it.
10 of the 11 tracks on Alpenglow were written by lead singer Dave Simonett, whose introspective and literate songwriting is the foundation of the unwavering connection the group’s music has with its fervent and ever-growing audience. “On The Highway” expresses a longing to wander but struggles with the value in maintaining roots. “Central Hillside Blues” addresses nostalgia and loss while “Quitting Is Rough” deals with having inner strength to not lose sight of what is real, with its beautiful and inspiring refrain “climb out, climb out, climb out” The Tweedy-penned “A Lifetime To Find” features a simple back-and-forth dialogue with Death, which ends as one might expect.
Toucan Sounds is a record label & producer crew curated by French Horn Rebellion in Brooklyn, NY, and operated out of YouTooCanWoo, an artist-owned music and production studio in Williamsburg. The label officially launched in April, 2019, and this compilation features our favorite music released from our debut year. All tracks were remastered especially for vinyl, and include titles by Yuksek, Jean Tonique, JD Samson, Patterns , and more.
Founded by Daptone Records’ own Bosco Mann after building a new recording studio in his hometown of Riverside, California, Penrose Records will showcase the most exciting acts emerging on the blossoming SoCal souldies scene today. For its inaugural release, the label offers up five singles by five exciting new artists: Thee Sacred Souls from San Diego; Jason Joshua from Miami; East L.A. mainstays Thee Sinseers, and The Altons; and Altadena veterans, Los Yesterdays.
All five 45s + digital compilation will be available April 10th.
What better way to christen Daptone’s fledgling imprint Penrose Records than with “Can I Call You Rose?,” a sumptuous and serendipitously titled mid-tempo premier by San Diego’s blossoming young soul serenaders, Thee Sacred Souls. Stepping off the stage after their very first club date, Josh, Sal, and Alex were tugged aside by producer Bosco Mann whose seasoned ears had been tickled by their set. Backs were patted, hands were shook, and three days later heads were bobbing in Mann’s Riverside studio, as the Souls laid their first notes to tape.
As one of the most popular groups on today’s So-Cal soul scene, Thee Sinseers need little introduction. Their performance of “Seems Like” live at the Recordium went viral to the tune of over a million views, making them thee in-demand group for souldies parties up and down the coast. When asked what song they wanted to cut for their Penrose session, singer, songwriter, and man-who-can-play-any-instrument, Joey Quiñones didn’t hesitate to answer, “We need a proper recording of that song.” And so it was done. In the candle-lit studio, the band delivered unto us a starkly intimate rendition, stripping the tune down to its underthings, and laying bare Joe Q’s euphonious exhortations.
Since exploding onto the scene with his debut 45, “Rosegold” and it’s anthemic follow-up, “I Don’t Care,” Jason Joshua has built a dedicated following for his distinctive latin-soul sound and his notoriously titillating live performances. Following a string of homegrown Miami recordings with the Beholders on his own Mango Hill Records, Jason hopped the plane to Riverside to gather the Penrose Scholars for a session with his friend Bosco Mann, where he was eager to prove that just like a record, there’s more than one side to a man.
Though Bryan Ponce and Adriana Flores share the stage with Joey Q as part of the East LA souldies outfit Thee Sinseers, they really step into the spotlight with The Altons, a group they themselves founded along with drummer Caitlin Moss and bassist Gabriel Maldonado . On this their debut single on Penrose, Bryan sings the lead with a smoky-sweet falsetto that bends tenderly from growl to howl and back again. The group takes a turn through a classic Miracles-style mid-tempo groove on the A-side, leaving you helplessly addicted to their sweet eponymous refrain, When you go that’s when you’ll know… Watch the video for “When You Go (That’s When You’ll Know)”.
Los Yesterdays originated in an Altadena garage when Gabriel Rowland teamed up with his old friend Victor Benavides. Rowland, a long time drummer and eccentric creator of multitudinous soulful things, took charge of recording as well as playing all the instruments, while Benavides wrote and cut vocals. The project pretty much stayed in their garage for a few years until a mutual connection brought them to the attention of Tom Brenneck and Gabe Roth, who both dug the songs and offered to join in on guitar and bass respectively so that the duo might be able to perform their music live. The four soon found a handful of gigs behind them and a Penrose recording date in front of them.
Destroyer’s Dan Bejar initially conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. He was already active during the era but not heard overhead in a cafe or salon, which is perhaps what the idea of the Y2K sound evokes nearly two decades later. Bejar assigned frequent producer and bandmate John Collins the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.”
Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record—certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept. Have We Met manages to meet somewhere between those disparate Y2K reference points and Destroyer’s own area of expertise, gliding deftly into territory that marries the old strident Destroyer with the new, aged crooning one of late.
Release date January 31, 2020 – Preorder Now (inlcuding limited Peak color vinyl).