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April 2021

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After two UK #1 albums, 2 million album sales and an array of international acclaim, you might’ve thought you knew what to expect from Royal Blood. Those preconceptions were shattered when they released ‘Trouble’s Coming’ last summer. Hitting a melting pot of fiery rock riffs and danceable beats, they delivered something fresh, unexpected and yet entirely in tune with what they’d forged their reputation with.

When Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher sat down to talk about making a new album, they knew what they wanted to achieve. It involved a conscious return to their roots, back when they had made music that was influenced by Daft Punk, Justice, and Philippe Zdar of Cassius. It also called for a similar back-to-basics approach to what had made their self-titled debut album so thrilling, visceral and original. 

We sort of stumbled on this sound, and it was immediately fun to play,” recalls Kerr. “That’s what sparked the creativity on the new album, the chasing of that feeling. It’s weird, though - if you think back to ‘Figure it Out’, it kind of contains the embryo of this album. We realised that we didn’t have to completely destroy what we’d created so far; we just had to shift it, change it. On paper, it’s a small reinvention. But when you hear it, it sounds so fresh.”

Those traits pulsate throughout the new single and title track. Kerr’s spiralling bass riff casts an hypnotic allure as it grows in intensity, while his vocals switch at will between a raw rock roar and a soulful falsetto. It’s underpinned by Thatcher’s thundering beats, his taut rhythms infused with groove-laden hi-hats.

After setting the tone with ‘Trouble’s Coming’, the album opens in breathless, take-no-prisoners style with the fierce metallic grooves of ‘Who Needs Friends’ hitting an early visceral peak. Royal Blood further reference their fresh array of influences by deploying vocodered vocals on ‘Million & One’ before dynamically switching between the biggest contrasts of their sound with ‘Limbo’. Already a fan favourite having been a regular during the duo’s 2019 shows, ‘Boilermaker’ lives up to its reputation and is more than matched by ‘Mad Visions’, which evokes a hyper-aggressive Prince. It ends with a final surprise in the shape of the stark piano ballad ‘All We Have Is Now’, a vulnerable and revealing reminder to live in the moment.

This new approach manifested itself in the duo’s decision to produce the majority of ‘Typhoons’ themselves. ‘Boilermaker’ was produced by Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, the two bands having first connected when Royal Blood supported them on a huge North American tour. Meanwhile, the multiple Grammy Award winner Paul Epworth produced ‘Who Needs Friends’ and contributed additional production to ‘Trouble’s Coming’.

Royal Blood - Typhoons [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Curacao Blue LP]
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if i could make it go quiet, the debut album from girl in red, is the musical distillation of Marie Ulven’s solitary conversations on the road: it’s an album brimming with the things we wish we could say to others, but tell ourselves instead. The album is girl in red in its purest, elevated form. She has never been braver, and the music follows suit, whether it’s collaborating with pop mastermind and Billie Eilish collaborator FINNEAS on “Serotonin,” a huge pop anthem that speaks to Ulven’s struggles with mental health, or flexing her instrumental chops with album closer “it would feel like this.” Betrayal, lust, longing, pulling herself out of a depressive spell -- nothing is off-limits on if i could make it go quiet.

 

“I really poured my heart into a lot of these lyrics, fully,” she says. “I just feel like I emptied myself in this album.”

girl in red - if i could make it go quiet [Gatefold Black LP]
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Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Julia Michaels is set to release her highly anticipated full-length debut, Not In Chronological Order. The 10-track album is executive produced by Monsters & Strangerz, with two songs co-written with JP Saxe. Each track takes listeners through a storytelling journey of events in Julia’s love life and explores themes of being happy and most importantly: love.
Julia Michaels - Not In Chronological Order
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Eric Church

Soul [LP]

Vinyl: $25.98 Buy

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Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church confirmed that new music is on the horizon: "I have [new] albums coming out in April. They came out of my 28 days in the mountains of North Carolina, where the songs were recorded and written. The collection is entitled Heart & Soul."

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Eric Church - Heart

Eric Church  - Heart

Eric Church - Soul [LP]
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Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions)—the latest offering of Tom Petty music, curated with help from his loving family, bandmates and collaborators—will be released on April 16 via Warner Records. The tracks, which were previously released on the limited-edition Super Deluxe 9-LP version of 2020’s Wildflowers & All The Rest, will now be available on limited edition gold vinyl for indie retail, and CD.  A black vinyl release will follow on May 7.

Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions) features 16 studio recordings of alternate takes, long cuts and jam versions of Wildflowers songs as Tom, band members and co-producer Rick Rubin worked to finalize the album in 1994. The release offers fans further deep access into the writing and recording of Wildflowers, as well as realizing the full vision of the project as Tom had always intended.

The collection was produced by Tom’s longtime engineer and co-producer Ryan Ulyate who listened to 245 reels of 24-track tape, revealing Tom and his collaborators’ evolutionary process, and finding the group willing to do whatever it took to discover the essence and magic in the material.

Tom Petty - Finding Wildflowers: Alternate Versions [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Gold 2LP]
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After three years, one-million concert tickets sold across five continents, four consecutive #1 singles, a GRAMMY Award, and performances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, GRETA VAN FLEET is hurtling into the future with its second album, The Battle at Garden's Gate on Lava/Republic Records. Indie Exclusive on white vinyl.

Greta Van Fleet - The Battle At Garden's Gate [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition White 2LP]
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Eric Church

Heart [LP]

Vinyl: $25.98 Buy

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Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church confirmed that new music is on the horizon: "I have [new] albums coming out in April. They came out of my 28 days in the mountains of North Carolina, where the songs were recorded and written. The collection is entitled Heart & Soul."

Also Available:

Eric Church - Soul

Eric Church  - Soul

Eric Church - Heart [LP]
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Imelda May

11 Past The Hour [LP]

Vinyl: $25.98 UNAVAILABLE
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The goal of the album is to show Imelda May returning to her most honest self. Truthful beauty, feminine intuition. Intelligence. Visually, we should be showing a soft sense of warm spirited grittiness. Intimate. At home. Behind the curtain Imelda's radiant smile and illuminating laughter. A nod to her roots. Irish Heritage & inherent connection to storytelling. Imelda's words as a lyricist/poet/writer & overall thread to her Irish roots as a storyteller is a key thread within the campaign.

Imelda May - 11 Past The Hour [LP]
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Silver Synthetic

Silver Synthetic [LP]

Vinyl: $17.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $7.99 Download

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In the midst of the thick New Orleans summer of 2017, Chris Lyons of garage punks Bottomfeeders found himself sitting on a small batch of songs that didn’t quite fit the fuzzed-out pileups of that band. The new songs were more chiming, driving but relaxed, full of little corners begging to be filled with classic pop harmonies and wayward country licks. He called in his trusted confidants: Bottomfeeders drummer and longtime musical partner Lucas Bogner—the two started playing music together at the tender age of 15—plus bassist Pete Campanelli, and Kunal Prakash (Jeff the Brotherhood) dug the songs and signed on, and the quartet started playing in earnest, hunkering down in the practice space.

By the time the band played its first gig in late 2018 at the opening of Nola’s ManRay Records, the songs had multiplied and the members of the newly christened Silver Synthetic had become genuine rock & roll craftsmen. In a world that doesn’t seem capable of swaying, Silver Synthetic’s self-titled debut shakes and boogies.

It makes sense that the band’s first gig was in a record shop ‘cause folks, this is record nerd-core in a major way, evocative of the LP's first golden era, as the late sixties oozed into the strange 1970s, with the requisite T-Rex stomps, Britfolk twists and turns, and dueling Verlaine/Lloyd guitars. It’s about warmth, and you can practically smell the gently glowing amp tubes on “In the Beginning,” which wafts along on a gust borrowed from Lou Reed’s beatific Coney Island Baby breeziness. With “Chasm Killer,” the boys lean into jammy heartland rock, almost approaching Silver Bullet Band territory at one point! Even when the band kicks into charging lean rock-n-roller, like on the Kinksy “Around the Bend,” there’s a laid-backness that allows more room for the spirit.

You could call Silver Synthetic rock & roll formalists, but the truth is they're more like minimalists, stripping away tired clutter and unnecessary bloat and just zooming in on the essential.

Silver Synthetic - Silver Synthetic [LP]
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Just a few weeks after the surprise release of the Cuttin' Grass (Vol. 1): Butcher Shoppe Sessions album—which Uproxx called “the most sublime and delightful music he’s yet made on record”—Sturgill Simpson returns with the next installment of his bluegrass series, Cuttin' Grass (Vol. 2): The Cowboy Arms Sessions. The genre-defying singer/songwriter reconvened an A-Team of acoustic players (now dubbed "The Hillbilly Avengers") for another round of reinterpretations of his catalogue, this time largely focusing on 2016's A Sailor's Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year. This volume also includes "Jesus Boogie," originally performed by Simpson's first band, Sunday Valley, and two previously unreleased songs, "Tennessee" and "Hobo Cartoon," the latter of which was co-written with the incomparable Merle Haggard—who once said that Simpson was "about the only thing I've heard that was worth listening to in a long time."

Cuttin' Grass Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions) is now available on Vinyl & CD.

Sturgill Simpson - Cuttin' Grass - Vol. 2 (The Cowboy Arms Sessions) [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Opaque Blue w. White Swirl 2LP]
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