New Releases for May 7th (5/7/21)

Iron & Wine – Archive Series Volume No 5: Tallahassee Recordings
Available on CD and LP!

"Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee is the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine. A collection of songs recorded three years prior to his official Sub Pop debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002). A period before the concept of Iron & Wine existed and principal songwriter Sam Beam was studying at Florida State University with the intent of pursuing a career in film. Tallahassee documents the very first steps on a journey that would lead to a career as one of America’s most original and distinctive singer-songwriters.

Tallahassee was recorded over the course of 1998-1999 when Beam and future bandmate EJ Holowicki moved into a house together. Beam had not been performing publicly, however he was known for playing an original song or two in the early morning glow of a long night. Holowicki, also in the film program and who would go onto a career as a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, had a mobile recording device and after some prodding convinced his friend to record these late-night meditations.

Tallahassee is the foreword to your favorite book that you’ve somehow skipped over time and time again. It’s an alternative history mixed with some revisionist history told over the course of eleven songs. It’s also the debut record by Iron & Wine some twenty years after the fact."

Get more info and order your copy HERE

Leftover Salmon – Brand New Good Old Days
Available on CD & LP!

"For over 30 years, Leftover Salmon has been at the helm of the burgeoning “jam grass” scene, leaving in their wake a legacy of legendary live shows and a genre-defying sound, with absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With their ninth studio album, Brand New Good Old Days, their first to be released on Nashville indie label Compass Records since Live in 2002, Leftover Salmon harkens back to their rootsy Americana origins with a remarkably accessible group of songs that seems to effortlessly harness their myriad musical influences.

Primarily recorded in late 2019 while on tour in Asheville, North Carolina, the group was inspired by the relaxed and down-home vibe of Echo Mountain studios, which had been converted from an old church and is rife with unique characteristics such as an array of intricate stained-glass windows that had a definite impact on these sessions. In typical Leftover Salmon fashion, the record’s ten tracks run the gamut from bluegrass to country to rock, and even some tinges of Frank Sinatra, with nearly everything else in between.

Leftover Salmon might not be hollering “festival” much these days for obvious reasons, yet they still retain that studio charm that most bands in their scene quite never nailed."

Read the full review over at Glide Magazine

Iceage – Seek Shelter
Available on CD & LP!

"By now it’s well known that Iceage are prone to a dramatic shift in style. After the Danish band made their name with their early razor-sharp punk album, it was both baffling and thrilling when they suddenly mutated into a shambling country rock‘n’roll outfit for ‘The Lord’s Favourite’ in 2014, and then again into churning heavy psych-rockers for 2018’s ‘Beyondless’. So their fifth album is yet another reinvention of their sound, this time into sweeping, cathartic power ballads and anthemic stadium roc. What’s notable, though, is that even when compared to their past progressions in the past this is a considerable step forward. ‘Seek Shelter’ is a record overflowing in grandeur, a vast emotional release after a decade spent coiled like a spring.

Recorded with Sonic Boom, aka Pete Kember of space-rock masters Spacemen 3, whose influence you can hear on the colossal drone of lead single ‘Vendetta’, it’s the first time the band have opened themselves up to an outside producer. Their lengthy sessions together, which took place in an ancient Lisbon studio so decrepit that rain would leak through the ceiling, were reportedly defined by a desire to carve out a sense of warmth and calm as puddles swelled around their feet and chaos raged in the virus-ravaged world outside.

All of this makes for a record that never sits still, an album of considerable polish and scope and by far the boldest thing the Danes have ever made, but also a album that still feels distinctly theirs. The clattering atonal squall that ends the record’s closer ‘The Holding Hand’ could have been lifted from their earliest albums; Rønnenfelt’s voice still overflows with intense charisma 10 years on. The fierce 90-second punk songs of their early days might now have morphed into vast stadium-rock anthems, but Iceage remain as razor-sharp as ever."

Get the full scoop at NME

Maggie Rogers – Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016
Available on LP!

"When Maggie Rogers played her song 'Alaska' for Pharrell Williams during a master class at NYU, his reaction went viral — and so did she. At rapid speed, she signed to Capitol Records, put out her 2017 EP, Now That the Light is Fading, and her 2019 album, Heard It In A Past Life, all before headlining her own tour. To call Heard It In A Past Life her first album erases all of her work before it, but that’s the fight Rogers has been fighting. Rogers’ latest release, Notes from the Archive: Recordings from 2011-2016, features some of her past work from four different projects, but with this record, Rogers reclaims her sound and introduces listeners to that first girl, whom she never meant to keep a secret in the first place.

[The album] would be a strange release if Rogers’ intentions weren’t so clear. It flows reverse chronologically with Rogers interrupting throughout to explain the different projects and eras showcased. Starting right before the viral video and ending with high school Maggie, we see her in full form, getting a bird’s eye view of her evolution as an artist.

What’s clear is that while her sound may have gotten lost along the way, Rogers’ voice has been there all along. It's what will bring you back to certain songs. Even since high school, Rogers has excelled at capturing specific moments in life and relationships, especially when they are at their most uncertain. Notes from the Archive: Recordings from 2011-2016 is a sign of promise for Rogers’ work to come. It seems that by reuniting with her old work, she is recentering and finding the balance between the Rogers we know and the Rogers she knew."

Check out the full write-up at Tastemakers

Van Morrison – Latest Record Project Volume 1
Available on CD & LP!

"Van Morrison will release Latest Record Project: Volume 1 on May 7th on Exile/BMG. His 42nd record and his most dynamic and contemporary album in years, ‘Latest Record Project: Volume 1’ is a 28-track delve into his ongoing love of blues, R&B, jazz and soul. However much you may love his classic albums, this new project proves that he’s living in the present, and remains an artist of integrity and distinction.

Latest Record Project: Volume 1 is the result of our enforced period of isolation. Unable to tour, Morrison remained busy with constant songwriting, starting ideas on piano, guitar or saxophone. What emerged is a wealth of new material, which shimmers with a directness and vibrancy that comes from working with a rhythm section with whom he shares an immediate, spontaneous connection."

Pick up your copy and get the full details HERE

Weezer – Van Weezer
Available on CD and LP!

"As its title implies, Van Weezer is Weezer’s take on hard rock, drawing from influences such as Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, and Aerosmith, to name a few. These songs undeniably sound like Weezer, but from the instantaneous guitar tapping on opener 'The End of the Game,' it’s clear that Weezer is taking a new approach. 'The End of the Game' was also the first single released from the record; released in September 2019, it coincided with the announcement of the Hella Mega Tour, which featured Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and, of course, Weezer.

Now that the tour has been postponed multiple times, Van Weezer is finally making its entrance. With production from Suzy Shinn (Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco), these songs sound absolutely massive. At times, the sheer loudness submerges Cuomo’s keen sense of melody in a wall of distorted guitars, and it’s also what makes the closer, 'Precious Metal Girl,' stand out. It’s an acoustic track that sounds like it was originally written with the hard-rock premise in mind, but the band eventually decided to keep it as is.

Weezer’s more recent output has abided by overarching themes and concepts. 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End signified a deliberate return to form, and it even featured a song where Weezer apologized for everything that wasn’t the Blue Album or Pinkerton. On 2019’s fifth self-titled studio album, better known as the Teal Album, the band covered a bevy of hit songs, including that 'Africa' cover. Most recently, they channeled chamber-pop à la Pet Sounds on OK Human. Van Weezer continues that trajectory with its hard-rock/metal ethos, but it seldom feels like anything beyond a novelty."

Get the full scoop over at Spin