The Loyal Seas "Strange Mornings in the Garden (Rough Trade Publishing)"
For the last decade, trailblazing alternative rock figurehead Tanya Donelly — co-founder of Belly, Throwing Muses and The Breeders — has pursued meaningful collaborations with favorite artists and friends. The resulting work is by turns poignant, delightful and entirely surprising, melding folk, rock, pop and orchestral sounds. Her latest, The Loyal Seas, pairs Donelly with New England cult-favorite Brian Sullivan, who’s worked under the moniker Dylan in the Movies since the mid ’00s. A skilled singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Sullivan’s debut, Feel the Pull (2005), and follow-up full-length, Sweet Rebel Thee (2014), are each teeming with a lush, discrete form of alt-pop, Sullivan’s private mind garden translated as cinematic vignettes.
Donelly and Sullivan first met in the mid ’90s at Fort Apache Studios, the famed New England recording studio that has produced legions of beloved albums. They were friends almost instantly and have collaborated over years, appearing on two of American Laundromat’s most popular tribute compilations. The pair contributed a sparkling cover of “The Lovecats” for Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to The Cure (2009), where Donelly’s honeyed rasp is brightened by the contrast of Sullivan’s lower-register growls. Their take on “Shoplifters of the World Unite,” from Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to the Smiths (2011), glimmers with melancholic wonder, Donelly’s silken lead vocals textured by an orchestral scythe and Sullivan’s backing anchor.
The Loyal Seas’ dynamic debut single, “Strange Mornings in the Garden” b/w “Last of the Great Machines,” released in December 2020, is a label exclusive. Each side is an individualistic statement showcasing a particular side of the pair’s personality, one a luxuriant, sweeping ballad, and the other tightly-knit, kinetic alt-pop. The group’s full-length debut “Strange Mornings In the Garden” will be released in 2022.
American Laundromat Records
Pkew Pkew Pkew "Open Bar (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Pkew Pkew Pkew is looking on the bright side.
As a band that lives and dies by touring, it’s been a while since they could say fuck it, we’re taking a year off to make something. That decision wasn’t entirely theirs, but 2020 handed them an opportunity. Open Bar doesn’t navigate any of the tired pandemic tropes. Instead, Pkew is celebrating the things that make their lives awesome, even if those things suck sometimes.
The band was forced to take a step back and use a slower approach. Mike Warne (guitars/vocals), Ryan McKinley (guitars/vocals), Emmett O’Reilly (bass/vocals) and David Laino (drums) bounced song ideas off Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, and went into the studio with Jon Drew, who produced their first album.
“Since we didn’t have a hard deadline to finish, we felt a lot more freedom to take our time and mess around in the studio. Jon is the kind of producer that is down to try anything, so we had lots of fun playing with trumpets, old moog synths, glockenspiels,” says Warne.
In a weird year, the familiar Pkew themes—navigating life’s small daily troubles with a sardonic grin and your friends by your side—are comforting, nostalgic.
The result is tight, rowdy modern punk with the heart and soul of classic rock. It’s cracking a beer in the park, plugging in the AUX cord on a summer road trip, cramming into a sweaty bar with your friends and a million strangers.
Maserati "37:29:24 – Anniversary Edition (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Originally released in a very limited capacity in 2001, Maserati’s debut album finally gets reissued on all formats to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary. Remastered from the original master tapes by Josh Bonati, 37:29:24 featured Maserati’s original lineup of Coley Dennis, Matt Cherry, Steve Scarborough, and Phil Horan, and includes many of the most placid and meditative moments in Maserati’s storied catalog – a darker, more pensive night drive than they would come to be known for on their later albums.
Maserati "The Language of Cities – Anniversary Edition (Rough Trade Publishing)"
Originally released in 2002, The Language Of Cities was Maserati’s second album – and their last before Jerry Fuchs joined the band. Out-of-print and unavailable for over a decade, The Language Of Cities finally gets reissued on all formats to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary. Remastered from the original master tapes by Josh Bonati, The Language Of Cities featured Maserati’s original lineup of Coley Dennis, Matt Cherry, Steve Scarborough, and Phil Horan, and remains the most sprawling and contemplative album of the band’s decades-long career.