Indie Exclusive Releases
Vinyl: $23.98 PREORDER
In 2022, Shook was remarkably productive. They released two albums: debut solo indie rock record Cruel Liars under the moniker Mightmare (Kill Rock Stars) and a third Disarmers full-length called Nightroamer (Thirty Tigers). Compared to every Disarmers record before that, which captured the in-the-room energy of the band with live recorded songs, the latter LP was instead more of a product of the studio with meticulous tracking sessions and an outside producer. While that effort was well-received, Shook believed the songs on Revelations deserved a more direct approach. “Since the Disarmers started in 2015, our strength has always been in our live performance,” says Shook. “To me, an album should capture the essence of a band. With this new set of songs that are all super special to me, I didn't trust anybody else to capture the songs and decide how to best serve each song.” Shook, who honed their production skills with their Mightmare LP and Izzy Ryder’s debut record, confidently took the reins during a blistering recording session, capturing 10 songs in two days.
For Shook, it was paramount the recordings match the band’s tangible live ferocity because these songs boast their most immediate lyrics yet. “All of my writing is autobiographical, and I write everything based on my observations and experiences,” says Shook. “But there was something about Revelations that felt more personal to me. I unlocked this level of honesty with myself and an ability to be more objective about the things I struggle with daily.” Take the title track, which finds Shook singing about the precariousness of navigating mental health under capitalism. Over a rollicking, twang-hued arrangement, they sing, “Black cloud followin' me around, little storm in my head / Some days I levitate off the ground, some days I can't get outta bed.” The track doesn’t preach or romanticize. Instead, it’s galvanizing and relatable.
These are lived-in stories about real people with real dreams, atmospheric pasts, and inescapable problems. “I think of myself as a collector: I just go around and collect experiences and observations,” says Shook. “I'm still adjusting to writing songs as a sober person but a lot of the themes are just about being a working person and navigating mental health and relationships with other people going through the same things.” Lead single “Backsliders” comes directly from Shook’s life when they were a bartender at a Chapel Hill dive called The Cave. The song is a deceptively breezy romp about workplace romantic entanglements with Shook singing, “Love you like a breath when I ain't workin' myself to death / cause I'm longin' for the ghost of a friend.” On one hand, it captures the closeness that only service workers can experience on the job but on the other, it plainly states how easy it is to fall into bad habits when dealing with any type of loss.
Throughout the LP, there are cathartic, snarling kiss-offs to villainous men (“Motherfucker”) but also moments of tenderness and ecstasy. Shook describes closer “Criminal” as their “gay cowboy song”, the torturous longing of the lyrics is anchored by shimmering guitar leads from Blake Tallent and bastioned by drummer Jack Foster’s hypnotic rhythms. River sings, “If lovin' you will always be a crime I'll always be a criminal.” It’s a triumphant line that highlights Shook’s emotional sturdiness. “That line got me thinking about how we as queer people have been persecuted, and how we so often have to keep all kinds of things under wraps because of the law because of social taboo,” says Shook. “I wanted “Criminal” to portray these feelings of longing and desire that two gay people can have for each other. They're complicated feelings because human beings are complicated. Gay love is every bit as complicated as straight love.”
Revelations is the most assured Sarah Shook and the Disarmers record yet because it so pointedly captures the gamut of the human experience: anger, sadness, confusion, love, and acceptance. It’s a document of Shook at the top of their game and a reflection of their own journey not just as a writer but as a person. “I’m a firm believer that if you are an artist, and you want to make better art, a big part of that isn't just exercising your musical skills, it’s growing as a human being,” says Shook. “So every time I make a record, I want to be able to listen to it and look back on who I was then. I want to see this arc and this evolution. That's really fucking important to me.”
A decade after its initial release of only 300 copies, Tipper's Forward Escape is being offered once more in vinyl format to the legions of fans who sought this vaunted platter for their collection since. Blissfully naive the pressing would be so well received, the 300 copies Tipper self-funded was intended more a physical nod to the album artwork from Android Jones than as the highly sought after and rare collectible these became later. This 2024 'redux' adds a bonus track (Gratis) and updated mixes of each track to separate it from the original release, and the artwork has also received a re-working from the original artist (thus preserving the valuation of those 300 rare copies that have received mythical status in the reselling market over time).
NOTHING return with the 10th year anniversary edition of their landmark debut album, Guilty of Everything. Recorded and produced by Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, War On Drugs, etc), Guilty of Everything is a triumph of a debut that successfully manages to be massively loud, darkly introspective and totally beautiful all at once.
NOTHING's Nicky Palermo comments on the bonus material, highlighting a cover of Big Star's track, "Holocaust": "We wrote and recorded this track right before I almost got killed in Oakland. We were out on tour with Cloakroom and Tony Molina, so before Doyle joined Nothing. Forgot it existed until a couple years ago while demoing with Nick in Oakland for The Great DIsmal. Hard to imagine a more crushing piece of music than the Alex version, but looking back and how things progressed following recording, this version really holds heavy weight as well to me. Looking back, it's almost like an eerie premonition now of how quickly things can turn devastating."
Playing Favorites is Sheer Mag’s third full-length and first with Third Man Records, the band capitalize on a decade’s worth of devotion to their own collective spirit—a spirit refined in both the sweaty trenches of punk warehouses and the larger-than-life glamour of concert halls—emerging with a dense work of gripping emotions, massive hooks, and masterfully constructed power-pop anthems. This is the record the Philadelphian rock and roll four-piece has always been destined to make.
Vinyl: $31.98 PREORDER
In another world, society has built an immense mountain. To make the mountain bigger, they must make the hole they live in deeper and deeper. All of society is built around the creation of the mountain, and a mountain religion dominates all thought. At the top of the mountain is rumoured to be a huge mirror that reflects endlessly recurring images of the self, and at the bottom of the pit is a giant golden snake that is the primal fear of all believers. A “Mountainhead” is one who believes the mountain must grow no matter the cost, and no matter how terrible it is to dwell in the great pit
Vinyl: $26.98 PREORDER
Mannequin Pussy’s music feels like a resilient and galvanizing shout that demands to be heard. Across four albums, the Philadelphia rock band that consists of Colins “Bear” Regisford (bass, vocals), Kaleen Reading (drums, percussion), Maxine Steen (guitar, synths), and Marisa Dabice (guitar, vocals) has made cathartic tunes about despairing times. “There’s just so much constantly going on that feels intentionally evil that trying to make something beautiful feels like a radical act ,” says Dabice. “The ethos of this band has always been to bring people together.”
Their new album, I Got Heaven, which is out March 1 via Epitaph Records, is the band’s most fully realized recording yet. Over ten ambitious tracks which abruptly turn from searing punk to inviting alternative pop, the album is deeply concerned with desire, the power in being alone, and how to live in an unfeeling and unkind world. It’s a document of a band doubling down on their unshakable bond to make something furious, thrilling, and wholly alive.
Following the 2019 release of their critically acclaimed third album Patience, Mannequin Pussy returned in 2021 for their EP Perfect. They toured that release relentlessly and added guitarist Maxine Steen to the band’s official lineup. The band changed their entire creative formula, choosing to write together in the studio in Los Angeles with producer John Congleton , over slowly crafting tracks at home. “Everyone felt empowered to speak up about their own ideas to make this thing the best it could possibly be,” says Regisford.
Real Estate’s sixth full-length album Daniel was recorded in an ebullient nine-day spree in RCA Studio A, in Nashville with celebrated producer and songwriter Daniel Tashian. In 11 compulsively tuneful songs, they connect the uninhibited wonder of their earliest work with the earned perspective of adulthood.
Martin Courtney actually learned of Tashian through his daughter, who adored an album he’d produced, Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour. The band reached out and spotted an instant connection despite their distinct wheelhouses—the Grammy-winning Nashville country-pop guy who’d helmed several smashes and the Northeast indie rock quintet with narcotic guitars. Real Estate had been thinking about R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People and ’90s “soft-rock radio,” the background music of their youth. Tashian helped lead them back toward it, toward an improved edition of the less self-conscious band they’d been at the start.
Several days into recording, all five members of Real Estate were discussing album titles when someone suggested “Daniel,” simply because it seemed funny to bestow a human name upon a record. Was it for Daniel Tashian? Maybe. Was it a nod to The Replacements’ Tim? Possibly. Was it the sign of a band that has now been around long enough to take its music seriously without taking itself or its perception too seriously? Absolutely.
I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME's second album, GLOOM DIVISION, is a glimpse into the mind of Dallon Weekes. Produced by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, MGMT), the album is the follow-up to iDKHOW’s Razzmatazz (ft. the #1 Alternative Radio single "Leave Me Alone"), & an EP ft. the gold record "Choke.” The most autobiographical work to date from Weekes (formerly of Panic! At The Disco), GLOOM DIVISION leaves listeners with the same sense of euphoric fascination that sparked the album’s creation.
Girl With No Face: Allie X’s fourth album, Girl With No Face, is a daring excavation of her identity. A maniacal journey into the mind of an artist who just spent three years in isolation, refusing any input as she became the solitary producer, writer and creative voice for the first time in her career. “This record documents an intense struggle for power and control – creatively, professionally, mentally and physically,” X explains. Inspired by the technology and hedonism of the early 80’s new wave scene, the album’s analog-leaning songs are a series of stark contradictions – retro in feel but ultra-modern in subject matter, pointed, unpredictable yet danceable, approachable while delightfully menacing. In short, Girl with No Face is completely orthogonal to the hyper-tuned, automated shapes that dominate today’s alt pop. “Instead of following any trends, I just wanted to indulge myself in all my favourite stuff this time. I wanted limitations. No plug-ins. I chose a bass synth, drum machine, string machine and embraced the shortcomings and grittiness of this old temperamental equipment. The result was something that felt messy, raw, and direct, which was really exciting to me.” Infused with early 80’s British experimentalism, with nods to The Human League and New Order, the album is a strident move away from 2020’s introspective and spare Cape God -- so much faster, more threatening. “The best comparison I can make is intentionally locking yourself in a room and sitting in front of a mirror staring at yourself. When everything is refracted through your lens you get high on the sense of power and control. But as you get to know yourself intimately, you see your own ugliness, your limitations, your pain. It’s terrifying and enlightening all at once. A total ego fuck.” - Allie X
TANGK is, at its core, a love album. Open to anyone who requires something to shout out loud in order to fend off any encroaching sense of the void, now or forever. TANGK is a bona fide pop record in a way we’ve never heard from IDLES before, that is, something for everyone to pass around and share, communal anthems intended for overcoming our grievances. The word - pronounced “tank” with a whiff of the “g” - began as an onomatopoeic reference in-studio for the sound of a guitar tone, but has grown into a sigil for living in love. Joe sings on TANGK in a way we’ve never heard before, completing his transformation from post-punk firebrand into soul singing evangelist. TANGK was co-produced by Nigel Godrich, Kenny Beats, and IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen.
Grief Chapter is an album with songs rooted in mortality, grief, and living fearlessly. Tracks like “Nobody Escapes,” “To My Heart,” and “Head Shrink” are sure to ignite their devoted legion of fans, and undeniable alt-rock anthems “Explode!,” “Days,” “Normalize” and “The Matrix” will sound at home on festival stages and amphitheaters they’ll be headlining in the US next summer. The album was produced by Mother Mother frontman Ryan Guldemond, and mixed by the revered Rich Costey.
East Los Angeles quartet Levitation Room’s floaty, cosmic songs are always a trip. Since forming nearly a decade ago, they’ve self-produced dizzying, otherworldly music that’s connected with fellow travelers in the hallucinogenic world of outré rock music. Led by singer and guitarist Julian Porte along with founding members Gabriel Fernandez (lead guitar) and Johnathan Martin (percussion), the band has enchanted live audiences at Desert Daze and on tour with like-minded groups Post Animal and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. The band’s vivid sound has found them placed on popular playlists like Modern Psychedelia and the legendary superproducer’s Danger Mouse Jukebox. Their 2015 debut, “Friends,” has surpassed 18 million streams. Joined by new member Kevin Perez (bass) in 2021, Levitation Room have continued to expand their colorful, unearthly sound, a process that has culminated with the vibrant new album Strange Weather. Collaborating with former Brian Jonestown Massacre keyboardist Rob Campanella, Jason Kick (Mild High Club), and Black Crowes’ Joel Robinow, Levitation Room take a new step in their story and vision with Strange Weather. The record’s lyrical narratives—about love in the park, life in the city, and the fact that “The world today is such an illusion”—are appropriately steeped in ’60s sonics and a dreamy, lo-fi atmosphere. It’s spacey, celestial guitar music for escaping into, and “it feels just like heaven.”
Voir Dire, the momentous album by Earl Sweatshirt and Alchemist, undoubtedly represents the long-awaited convergence of two rap titans. Earl's personal and intricately woven wordcraft, along with Alchemist's treasure trove of obscure, captivating samples, combine to create an artistic chemistry that permeates "Voir Dire" (which translates from French to "Speak Your Truth"). Earl accomplishes just that as he delves into the analysis of specific phases of his life, particularly in the past where his reflections resonate with immense potency, meticulous detail, and profound insight. The album features notable Los Angeles wordsmith Vince Staples on two tracks and esteemed rap artist, MIKE. On Voir Dire, unmatched lyricism and remarkable maturity take center stage, while personal experiences such as new fatherhood emerge and evolve over stripped-down, spacious Alchemist production — culminating in what many consider to be the best rap album of the year.
Hailed as "the reigning heavyweight champions of Southern rock" (No Depression), Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke is back with their 8th studio album, Be Right Here, produced by Dave Cobb. Be Right Here follows 2021's You Hear Georgia, which was the best-selling Country and Americana/Folk album in the country, entered at #7 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart and #4 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. Released to critical acclaim, No Depression praised the band for being “as much students of singer-songwriter-folk and outlaw country as they are of jam-based, chest-pumping rock,” ” while Guitar World declared "Many try to reproduce that holy grail, golden-era-of-classic-rock sound through their six-string escapades, yet only a handful ultimately succeed. One such band who succeeds in spades is Blackberry Smoke, whose most recent album You Hear Georgia serves up 10 tracks of pure rock ‘n’ roll bliss.”
In addition to Blackberry Smoke—Starr (vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Brandon Still (keyboards)—the album also features background vocals from longtime collaborators The Black Bettys.
Vinyl: $28.98 PREORDER
Vinyl: $29.98 PREORDER
One of the leading lights in Europe’s experimental rock domain, The Pineapple Thief bring you their 14th album, It Leads to This, on February 9th 2024. The band features founding member Bruce Soord (guitar/vocals) plus Jon Sykes (bass/backing vocals), Gavin Harrison (drums/percussion) and Steve Kitch (keyboards).
“The band was once described as a 'fucking nightmare' to be around, whilst we are lovely people we do embrace the chaos that comes with all of this so found it fitting to title our next album as such. The songs themselves mainly follow this theme but relate to all aspects of life. Lyrically, it is more of the same... no metaphorical meanings, no fantastical story telling, no pretentious bollocks.... Just tales of a life lived as it will always be.”
Blue Raspberry is Katy Kirby’s follow up to her renowned debut album Cool Dry Place, which came out in February 2021. Singer/songwriter Katy Kirby introduced her warm, articulate vocals, perceptive lyrics, and playful adult-alternative style on her debut album as she toured tirelessly supporting bands like Waxahatchee, Andy Shauf, Julia Jacklin and Alex G.
That record was a tried-and-true folk collection, perfectly displaying the chops of a young songwriter and emanating the warm feel of a band in a room; Blue Raspberry, made with the same band and producers (Logan Chung and Alberto Sewald) , hits the gas and enters completely new territory as we see Katy truly step into her own as a songwriting force. She fearlessly leans far into baroque piano pop on tracks like ‘Redemption Arc’ and the title track ‘Blue Raspberry’, and lyrically she explores themes of loss and queer love. Very few are able to capture the same emo- tional, theatrical magic of artists like Fiona Apple, Tom Waits and Joanna Newsom but Katy pulls it off on this record; standout ‘Drop Dead’.