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June 2021

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Vincent Neil Emerson is a torchbearer of the Texas songwriter tradition. He channels the straightforward truth-telling and resonance of his songwriting heroes in Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Steve Earle into something fresh and distinctly his own. Where his 2019 debut Fried Chicken and Evil Women proved that he is one of the most reverent students of country and Western musical traditions, his follow-up LP, the masterful Rodney Crowell-produced Vincent Neil Emerson, which is out June 25 via La Honda Records/Thirty Tigers, is a brave step forward that solidifies his place as one of music's most compelling and emotionally clarifying storytellers. His songs are cathartic and bluntly honest, never mincing words or dancing around uncomfortable truths.
Raised in Van Zandt County in East Texas by a single mother of Choctaw-Apache descent, Emerson's world changed when he first heard Townes Van Zandt's music. "To hear a guy from Fort Worth say those kinds of things and make those songs was pretty eye opening," the now 29-year-old songwriter says. "I had never heard songwriting like that before." He's spent the better part of the past decade honing his songwriting and performance chops playing bars, honky-tonks, and BBQ joints across the Fort Worth area. His first album Fried Chicken and Evil Women, which he wrote in his mid-twenties and came out on La Honda Records—the label he co-founded that now includes a roster of Colter Wall, Local Honeys, and Riddy Arman—is a snapshot of his growth as a songwriter and stage-tested charm with songs like "Willie Nelson's Wall" and "25 and Wastin' Time" expertly combining humor and tragedy. 
These marathon gigs and the undeniable songs on his debut introduced Emerson to Canadian songwriter Colter Wall, who quickly became a close friend and took him on tour. With Wall's audience, and sold out theater shows on runs with Charley Crockett, Turnpike Troubadours, and many others, Emerson found his niche. "It took a guy from Canada bringing me on tour for people to actually start paying attention," says Emerson. "Before that it was a grind like anything else, just trying to make a living." Crockett is another staunch early supporter of Emerson's and covered Fried Chicken highlight "7 Come 11" on his 2019 LP The Valley.
Like every working musician, 2020 pulled the rug out from under Emerson. With the pandemic shuttering live music venues and cancelling promising tours, he processed the upheaval the only way he knew how: by writing his ass off. His intense and productive writing sessions produced ten finished songs over the course of just a couple of months, a body of work so personal that he knew he would have to name the final product Vincent Neil Emerson. These demos caught the attention of Texas country and folk icon Rodney Crowell, who signed on to produce and record the LP. "Rodney is a hero of mine," says Emerson. "He wanted to make something that serves the songs, as opposed to making a record trying to put focus on production or the playing. It was an honor to work with him." Crowell had similar high praise for Emerson: "if he grows on the public the way he’s grown on me, it’s possible young Vincent will plant the flag of his [songwriting] forebears firmly in the consciousness of a whole new generation." At the studio, Emerson tracked the songs with a crack team of session players put together by Crowell. "Because of them, we were able to get those songs in one take," he says.
The limited edition indie-exclusive vinyl includes a bonus flexi-disc featuring a duet with good friend, Colter Wall. 
Vincent Neil Emerson - Vincent Neil Emerson [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition LP + Bonus Flexi Disc]
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Heading into the spring of 2020, T. Hardy Morris had 12 demos that he thought would make-up his next album, then, everything changed.  The world took a break and so his plans to record did as well. As we all watched and waited out the storms; viral and societal, we seemed to wake up scrolling through a whole new century, a time Morris began to refer to as The Digital Age of Rome.

He scrapped the demos and began a collection of songs in quarantine where the unprecedented times and topics were unavoidable. He wanted to document the era sonically and lyrically in some way.
“I wanted it to sound like how the world felt to me in the second half of 2020. Uncomfortable and chaotic, dystopian but still beautiful.”
The Digital Age of Rome was recorded in a deserted downtown Athens, Ga. With long-time collaborator / producer Adam Landry.
T. Hardy Morris - The Digital Age of Rome [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Coke Bottle Clear LP]
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Yves Jarvis and Romy Lightman are a pair of idiosyncratic and restlessly creative artists. In the past decade, Jarvis’s ever-expanding swatch have earned international acclaim, while Lightman’s twin-sister-led band Tasseomancy has transfixed listeners since the late 2000s. The Lightman Jarvis Ecstatic Band marks the duo’s first collaboration, slingshotting both musicians out of their comfort zones into spellbinding territories of lysergic folk and impressionistic rock.

Banned was recorded in the tranquil environment of the Tree Museum, an outdoor art gallery in rural Ontario, Canada, hosting residencies for contemporary sculptors over the past 20 years. The pair credit its 200 acres of natural spaces intermingling with human-made creations as the fuel for their unfettered process. Recorded over two weeks in a free-flowing stream of improvisation, the album finds Lightman on synthesizer with Jarvis on drums and guitar, as their voices weave together into an electrified pastoral tapestry.

For both musicians, the creation offered a chance to challenge themselves: Jarvis defying his solitary practice to record with another person, while open jams provided Lightman an alternative to her preference for thoroughly composed songwriting. “This album is a loose manifesto in our shared vision for a way of being,” says Lightman. “It’s about our relationship and the dynamics in that. There’s an epicness to it and tension at times. It’s like the ways particles collide. There’s an alchemical aspect to it with these base components slamming together.”

Lightman Jarvis Ecstatic Band - Banned [Yellow LP]
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Gary Allan

Ruthless

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Gary Allan will be releasing a brand new album of all new material on June 25th. This is Gary's first studio album in over 8 years. Overall, Allan's nine studio and greatest hits albums have produced 26 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, including the number one hits "Man to Man", "Tough Little Boys" (both 2003), "Nothing On but the Radio" (2004), and "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" (2013). Seven more of his singles have reached the Top 10 on this chart as well: his debut single "Her Man", "It Would Be You" (both at #7), "Right Where I Need to Be" (at #5), "The One" (at #3), "Best I Ever Had" (a cover of a Vertical Horizon song) (at #7), "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" (at #4), and "Watching Airplanes" (#2).
Gary Allan - Ruthless
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Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Carnage [LP]

Vinyl: $24.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $7.99 Download

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Written, recorded, and completed during lockdown, CARNAGE is the first studio album from Nick Cave & Warren Ellis outside of the Bad Seeds and their many soundtrack collaborations.

The eight song project - developed amidst the downtime of a long, anxious, global emergency - showcases Cave & Ellis’ typical sonic and lyrical adventurism and stands as a quintessential record for these uncertain times.

CARNAGE is shot through with moments of distilled beauty and resonating with an almost defiant sense of hope. In Cave's own words, it is "a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe."

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Carnage [LP]
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Sucker Supreme is the third album from Rosie Tucker, and first for Epitaph Records. It is a coming of age album that aches with self-discovery, self-definition, and self-redefinition. Sucker Supreme is also just the right follow-up to where their last album, 2019’s Never Not Never Not Never Not, left off: still playfully observed, still sneakily political, still indebted to folk singers of the past – but also much, much bigger, brighter, louder and noisier than anything Tucker has dared before. It delivers mightily on an ambitious M.O.: to be relentlessly catchy and muscular and noisy but also beautiful; be achingly sad and searching, but never too far away from funny, either; and to spotlight Tucker’s empathetic, yearning vocals on top of it all. It takes a unique group of people to make an album that leaps out of the speakers at you like this one. Sucker Supreme is the first record made by Tucker’s current touring band: drummer Jessy Reed, guitarist Jess Kallen, and bassist Wolfy, who also occupied the producer’s chair. It’s a group of people as eager to share their long-dead folk music heroes as they are to pay homage to their still-kicking pop-punk heartthrobs.

Rosie Tucker - Sucker Supreme [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Coke Bottle Clear LP]
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Mammoth WVH is the debut, self-titled album of Mammoth WVH – the band created by Wolfgang Van Halen. This collection includes the chart topping new single, "Distance” plus “Don’t Back Down,” “Epiphany,” “Mammoth” and more.

At the beginning of 2015, Wolf broke ground on what would become Mammoth WVH with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette [Alter Bridge, Slash] behind the board. Wolf began to embrace his voice, inspired by everyone from his father, to bands like AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, TOOL, and Jimmy Eat World. In addition to writing and singing every song on the self-title debut album, remarkably Wolfgang plays every instrument.

“The name Mammoth is really special to me.” says Wolf. “Not only was it the name of Van Halen before it became Van Halen, but my father was also the lead singer. Ever since my dad told me this, I always thought that when I grew up, I’d call my own band Mammoth, because I loved the name so much.”

Mammoth WVH - Mammoth WVH [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Black Ice Translucent 2LP]
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Big Mess marks Elfman’s first solo collection in more than thirty years, but it’s no return to form. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the sprawling, ambitious double album finds the Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer breaking bold new ground as both a writer and a performer, drawing on a dystopian palette of distorted electric guitars, industrial synthesizers and orchestra in an effort to exorcise the demons brought about by four years of creeping fascism and civil rot.
The songs here call to mind everything from Nine Inch Nails, to David Bowie to XTC at times, balancing dense, harmonically complex arrangements with biting, acerbic wit as they reckon with the chaos and confusion of the modern world. Elfman wrote almost all of the record during quarantine, and while the anger, frustration, and isolation of it all is palpable in his delivery, Big Mess is about more than simply blowing off steam. In making the space to truly sit with his emotions and write without limitations, Elfman achieved a kind of artistic liberation on the record that had been eluding him for decades, rediscovering his voice and reinventing himself all at once in the process.
Born and raised in southern California, Elfman began his career as part of a surrealist, avant-garde musical theater troupe known as The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo. The group would eventually morph into the critically acclaimed rock band Oingo Boingo, whose high-energy performances and genre-bending sound garnered them a fanatically devoted cult following in the 1980s and ’90s. Among the group’s early fans was fledgling director Tim Burton and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman), who enlisted Elfman to score their first feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. The collaboration would prove to be the start of a long and fruitful partnership for Elfman and Burton, with Elfman going on to score a string of iconic Burton features like Batman, Beetlejuice, Big Fish, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. To date, Elfman has scored more than 100 films.

Danny Elfman - Big Mess [Black + White Explosion / Opaque Sky Blue 2LP]
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cleopatrick

BUMMER

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"Listening to the story of Canadian duo cleopatrick is a bit like hearing the plot of the best, most righteously validating coming-of-age film never made. Two friends meet aged four in Hicksville, Nowheretown (real name: Cobourg, Ontario, population 19,000), grow up completely inseparable, form a band and, against numerous obstacles, blossom into a genuine, global underground sensation. There are heroes and villains, highs and lows and, crucially, some of the most poetic plot twists that could seem almost too perfect, were they not completely true.

Take the story of 2017 breakthrough track ‘hometown’ for example. “It’s one of the craziest, most ironic things that’s ever happened,” begins vocalist and guitarist Luke Gruntz. “I was going to college because I was too scared to put all my chips in the band pile, and that’s what ‘hometown’ is about: it’s a song about feeling like we’re doing all this stuff and we’re working so hard and we’re just never going to be heard. It’s literally a song about people probably never hearing our songs. And then by some act of the universe, that song ended up unlocking all the doors for us.”

Today, cleopatrick has logged 77 million streams and counting - all from an increasingly dedicated fanbase who’ve found the duo, completed by drummer Ian Fraser, their own way: no major label, no big budget, just two best pals knuckling down, cementing a unique sonic alchemy and filling a space of honest, empathetic yet undeniably heavy-hitting rock music that they’d been searching for themselves for years. Between multiple sold out tours in Canada, the US and the UK/EU and appearances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Reading/Leeds, the pair have been crafting BUMMER: a debut album that sees cleopatrick harness all the magic they’ve been brewing over their two-decade friendship and funnel it into a record that aims to reinvigorate the rock landscape from the ground up. Taking the ethos of their New Rock Mafia collective - a group of friends and fellow bands, united in making a more inclusive, equality-driven space in rock music - and imbuing it with the sonic ambition and ferocity of a record designed to be played hard and loud, it’s an album about two friends, who’ve been with each other since the formative first steps that adorn ‘BUMMER’’s heartwarming cover image and made something that’s a testament to the power of sticking to your guns."

cleopatrick - BUMMER
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On Crystal Clear color vinyl. Changephobia is the 2nd full-length solo record from Grammy Award-winning songwriter, producer, and composer Rostam Batmanglij. An adventurous new direction for Rostam, the songs collected on Changephobia are deeply personal, yet universal for anyone who has ever experienced doubt. In addition to being a founding member of the seminal New York Indie Rock Band, Vampire Weekend, Rostam has been described as "one of the great pop and indie-rock producers of his generation." Rostam has produced & co-written critically heralded recent albums by Clairo and Haim, as well as singles from Maggie Rogers, Solange, Charli XCX, Frank Ocean, Santigold and others
Rostam - Changephobia [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Crystal Clear LP]
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