Notable vinyl releases out this Friday - 3 May (2024)

Camera Obscura Look to the East, Look to the West

  • Merge Records
  • Indie pop, Shoegaze
Look to the East, Look to the West is Camera Obscura at their best and most evocative. Reuniting with producer Jari Haapalainen (Let's Get Out of This Country, My Maudlin Career), Camera Obscura have crafted an album that simultaneously recalls why longtime fans have ferociously loved them for decades, while also being their most sophisticated effort to date. Lead single Big Love relishes in the space between country rock and prog, a pining break-up anthem featuring the soaring pedal steel of Tim Davidson. Were Going to Make It in a Mans World was co-written with Maciocia for filmmaker Margaret Salmons 2021 film Icarus (After Amelia). (Salmon, in turn, shot Look to the East, Look to the Wests cover photography featuring Fiona Morrison, who was on the cover of Camera Obscura's debut, Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi.). Ironic and sincere, the two navigate the reality of being women in the music industry, somehow floating over Davidsons pedal steel and Maciocias keys. LP is black vinyl in a gatefold jacket with lyrics + a stock inner sleeve.
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Charlotte Day Wilson Cyan Blue

  • Xl Recordings
  • Alternative, R&B, Soul
Cyan Blue, Charlotte Day Wilson's debut album on XL Recordings arrives on May 3rd and showcases the next evolution of Wilson’s time-bending songwriting. Through 13 hypnotizing tracks, she continues to use music as a vessel for unpacking relationships, which in turn allows her to meet and understand herself in life-spanning, panoramic focus. With roots ranging from R&B to folk, her soulful, singular voice and timeless sound garnered global attention with the 2016 release of her debut EP CDW, and through her work with friends and collaborators BADBADNOTGOOD, Daniel Caesar, KAYTRANADA and River Tiber. After sharing stages with the likes of Angel Olsen, Local Natives, Feist, Haim, and Rhye, Wilson's first headlining tour in 2018 sold out in major markets across North America and Europe. Her music has received universal acclaim from NPR, Pitchfork, The Fader, Billboard, Spin, and many others, and her songs have received over 150 million streams across all platforms. Charlotte's anthemic single "Work" has been featured in Apple's Shot on iPhone 7 commercial as well as TV shows like HBO's Euphoria and Netflix's Grace & Frankie. Wilson also made her US Late Night TV debut in 2019 performing the single on The Late Late Show with James Corden; she also performed “Mountains” during The Ellen Degeneres Show’s final season in 2022. Her debut studio album ALPHA was released on July 9, 2021 to critical acclaim and has amassed over 50 million streams to date.
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Dua Lipa Radical Optimism

  • Warner Records
  • Pop
Inspired by Dua’s own self-discovery, Radical Optimism is an album that taps into the pure joy and happiness of having clarity in situations that once seemed impossible to face. The hard goodbyes and vulnerable beginnings that previously threatened to crush your soul, become milestones as you choose optimism and start to move with grace through the chaos. Infused with the energy of Dua’s hometown, London, the attitude of the album embodies the rawness, honesty, confidence and freedom of ‘90s Britpop. Radical Optimism transports its listener to a dreamy pop world rich in musicality, lyrically unapologetic and sonically liberating. The 3x GRAMMY and 7x Brit Award-winning global pop powerhouse worked with a team of core collaborators throughout the project including Caroline Ailin, Danny L. Harle, Tobias Jesso Jr. and Kevin Parker.
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Hana Vu Romanticism

  • Ghostly Int'l
  • Alternative, Garage, Indie, Rock
Hana Vu's "contemplative indie-pop captures the disillusionment of young adulthood," writes NME. Her new LP Romanticism furthers that sentiment as a coming-of-age work that mourns the impermanence of youth and searches for meaning. The acclaimed LA-born songwriter's been making music since high school, with a full-length debut and several EPs behind her of glowy, brooding anthems of abstraction and emotion. With previous work, Vu welcomed feedback as she went, but while crafting Romanticism, she shielded herself from outside opinion to preserve a singular vision. The result is a unified collection of songs aching with depth and intimacy. Lush and loud, the songs can feel both reminiscent of guitar-heavy late-aughts indie rock, and expansively futuristic in it's layered synth bass. They pulse with meaning and jolt with playfulness, anchored by her powerful, sonorous voice and underscored by the record's Romantic era-inspired artwork. "I'm just trying to convey my perspective as boldly as possible. To succinctly crystallize how it feels to be young, but also to be deeply sad." Under Vu's magnetic gaze, soaking up sadness has never felt so alive.
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Ibibio Sound Machine Pull the Rope

  • Merge Records
  • World, Disco, Psychedelic
Pull the Rope by Ibibio Sound Machine casts the Eno Williams and Max Grunhard-led outfit in a new light. The hope, joy, and sexiness of their music remain, but, further honing the edge of their acclaimed 2022 album Electricity, the connection they aim to foster has shifted venues from the sunny buoyancy of a sunlit festival to a sweat-soaked, all-night dance club. Williams and Grunhard attribute this shift to a matter of collaborators, recording Pull the Rope with Sheffield-based producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A.) over the course of two weeks. The way the pair wrote songs changed significantly-rather than Eno penning lyrics to music generated by Max and company's jamming, Orton started with Eno and Max writing together before adding the band. With less time in the studio and a new way of considering how they built songs, the duo found making decisions about Pull the Rope's sound quicker and more instinctual than before.
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Jessica Pratt Here in the Pitch

  • Mexican Summer
  • Folk, Indie, Rock, Pop
Here In the Pitch, the fourth album from the beloved, beguiling songwriter Jessica Pratt, was written and recorded between her home of Los Angeles and Brooklyn over the course of three years. Pratt enlivens her timeless, placeless folk sensibilities with newfound instrumentation and an expanded ensemble, both under the influence of 60s spectral pop. Whereas Pratt's 2019 record Quiet Signs floated elegantly in the ether, Here In the Pitch is entrenched in more earthen characteristics, as the title suggests, and her craft is emboldened with a newfound gravitas.
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John Carpenter Lost Themes IV: Noir

  • Sacred Bones
  • Alternative, Electronic, Rock
It's been a decade since John Carpenter recorded the material that would become Lost Themes, his debut album of non-film music and the opening salvoin one of Hollywood's great second acts. Those vibrant, synth-driven songs,made in collaboration with his son Cody Carpenter and godson DanielDavies, kickstarted a musical renaissance for the pioneering composer and director. In the years since, Carpenter, Carpenter, and Davies have released closeto a dozen musical projects, including a growing library of studio albums andthe scores for David Gordon Green's trilogy of Halloween reboots. With LostThemes IV: Noir, they've struck gold again, this time mining the rich history ofthe film noir genre for inspiration.Since the first Lost Themes, John has referred to these compositions as"soundtracks for the movies in your mind." On the fourth installment in theseries, those movies are noirs. Like the film genre they were influenced by,what makes these songs "noirish" is sometimes slippery and hard to define,and not merely reducible to a collection of tropes. The scores for the greatAmerican noir pictures were largely orchestral, while the Carpenters andDavies work off a sturdy synth-and-guitar backbone. The noir quality, then, issomething you understand instinctively when you hear it, as in connected inan emotional way.The trio's free-flowing chemistry means Lost Themes IV: Noir runs like a welloiled machine-the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster from Kiss Me Deadly, perhaps, or the 1958 Plymouth Fury from John's own Christine. It's a chemistrythat's helped power one of the most productive stretches of John's creative life,and Noir proves that it's nowhere near done yielding brilliant results.
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Kamasi Washington Fearless Movement

  • Young
  • Jazz, Fusion
Turning his attention to dance for his latest album, Fearless Movement out this May on Young, Kamasi Washington resumes his ongoing study of music as a means of connection. His 2015 album The Epic, as well as 2018’s Heaven and Earth were received by critics and audiences as a reimagination of modern jazz showcasing Washington’s larger-than-lift compositions full of celestial grandeur and his distinct blend of jazz, Latin, funk, classical, hip-hop and soul. Fearless Movement, however, offers something different: terrestrial rhythms and collaborations from rappers, musical icons and even Washington’s own daughter. Features include: Thundercat, Taj Austin, Ras Austin, Patrice Quinn, DJ Battlecat, Brandon Coleman, D-Smoke, George Clinton, Bj the Chicago Kid, and Andre 3000.
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Mdou Moctar Funeral for Justice

  • Matador
  • Alternative, World, Rock
The songs on ‘Funeral For Justice’ speak unflinchingly to the plight of Niger and of the Tuareg people. “This album is really different for me,” explains Moctar, the band’s singer, namesake, and indisputably iconic guitarist. “Now the problems of terrorist violence are more serious in Africa. When the US and Europe came here, they said they’re going to help us, but what we see is really different. They never help us to find a solution.” “Mdou Moctar has been a strong anti-colonial band ever since I’ve been a part of it,” says producer / bassist Mikey Coltun, who has been playing with Moctar since 2017. On the lead single and title track, Moctar addresses African leaders directly, bidding them: “Retake control of your countries, rich in resources / Build them and quit sleeping”. The song ‘Sousoume Tamacheq’ deals with the plight of the Tuareg people to which the band belong, and who are spread across three countries: Niger, Mali and Algeria.”Oppressed in all three / In addition to lack of unity, ignorance is the third issue.” Mdou Moctar in its current iteration is first and foremost a band. Alongside Moctar, it consists of rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and American bassist and producer Mikey Coltun. The band got their start performing at traditional weddings. These are high energy events – amps are dialed to 11 and the whole town is invited to attend. Their first concerts in the US were sometimes, mistakenly, organized to be tame seated affairs. That’s no longer the case. Over hundreds of shows, they’ve proven themselves as one of the world’s most vital rock bands – a group rooted in Tuareg tradition, but undeniably its own singular organism. An Mdou Moctar concert is now recognized to be a place for dancing, if not full-force
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S. Raekwon Steven

  • Father / Daughter Rec
  • Alternative, Indie
"Steven is the sound of me holding a mirror up to and critically reflecting on who I am:the good, the bad, the ugly. It's about trying to understand the multitudes within me." -S. RaekwonSteven Raekwon Reynolds performs as S. Raekwon, but his second LP is simply calledSteven. Across ten tracks of furious and subtly strumming guitars, plodding bass riffs,and whispering revelations, S. Raekwon's newest album strips back sonic and personallayers to present his most vulnerable, yet authentic self.Born in Buffalo and now based in the East Village of New York City, Steven wrote,produced, engineered, and mixed everything on the record, in addition to playing everyinstrument except the drums. He packed up a rental car with all his gear and returned tohis fiancée's parents' home in Southern Illinois, where they rode out the pandemic andwhere he recorded half of Where I'm at Now. The house proved to be a nontraditionalrecording space, but one that provided plenty of physical space as well as spiritual roomfor experimentation.Steven and drummer Mario Malachi, longtime friends since their days at college inCleveland, Ohio, spent a week in July 2023 transforming the living room into amakeshift studio, rearranging furniture, sitting face-to-face in front of a mic, and tapingsongs in single takes. It was a new way of working together, with no demoing or pre-production; Mario hadn't even heard the songs before getting there, which created a senseof spontaneity and improvisation.Where his debut explored his past - longing for a connection to his father and the Blackside of his family and wrestling with his identity while being raised in a household by asingle, white mother - Steven looks inward. Steven is loosely structured in three parts:Part 1 is fast and energetic, exploring the concepts of rage, anger, jealousy. Part 2 is slowand dynamic, with themes of ugliness, disappointment, embarrassment. Part 3 issomething gentler, a moment of contentment and clarity. Steven is a portrait ofstrengths and weaknesses, flaws and fulfillments.
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Sia Reasonable Woman

  • Atlantic
  • Pop
There is no artist in the world like Sia. Try to think about an artist who transformed from an in-demand indie pop vocalist and chanteuse into a global pop superstar more than a decade into their career. Sia’s first proper album since 2016. Reasonable Woman is so filled to the brim with pop perfection, it almost overwhelms with how effortless it is for her to craft such instantly connectable songs. The collection is everything Sia does best, and the sonic equivalent of a myriad of things: an empowering embrace, secrets told late at night, going to the best party in the world, the vulnerability of declaring you love someone, the steadfast determination to keep going, even if your love isn’t returned; the messiness of being human; the exuberance of being human. In essence, it is life - happening to us, happening for us; the songs on Reasonable Woman mirror back to us being alive with every chorus
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The Lemon Twigs A Dream Is All We Know

  • Captured Tracks Rec
  • Rock, Indie
Since the release of their debut studio album Do Hollywood (on 4AD) in 2016, The Lemon Twigs-the New York City rock band fronted by brothers Brian (27) and Michael D'Addario (25)-have waved the same revivalist torch as Alex Chilton and his Big Star crew, working to prove that archaic music from the '60s and '70s can still be relevant in digital world. Alongside peers like Foxygen and Drugdealer, The Lemon Twigs have explicitly documented a synchronistic blend of contemporary narrative motifs, old-school recording techniques, and flawless, consistent attitudes collaged from various crucial stages of rock 'n' roll. After a whirlwind 2023, the D'Addarios are continuing the momentum of their own evolving vision and voice, distilling a history lesson of baroque and power pop into A Dream Is All We Know (out May 3 on Captured Tracks).Garnering the top-to-bottom critical acclaim the brothers have long deserved, their 2023 LP Everything Harmony was spearheaded by an impressive string of singles, including "Corner Of My Eye" and "Any Time of Day." It was the kind of record that put all of Brian and Michael's talents on display, be it the former's multi-instrumentalist gifts or the latter's boyish, explosive pop-rock charisma and eye for engineering and vocal layering. But A Dream Is All We Know is not the acoustic, nylon string-based project that Everything Harmony was. Instead, it's a return to the form the Lemon Twigs first introduced on Do Hollywood- an electric guitar-centric, anthemic assemblage of, really, everything the band does great. These two companion records are an immediate example of a band capitalizing on their fire-in-the-belly appetite to make tunes that boast ubiquitous chemistry.A Dream Is All We Know is grandiose yet grounded; meticulous, yet wild and glowing. Made with analog precision, the album was finished in the immediate months after the band completed Everything Harmony during a vibrant, prolific period split between three studios on separate coasts. A Dream Is All We Know is a profoundly dense and charged album, rife with string arrangements and a sonic thesis statement that has quaked through phases of glam, conceptualism, baroque, and Mustang-loud, stone-cold rock 'n' roll for more than half-a-century. A Dream Is All We Know sounds like it's lived a thousand lives already.
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