El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey "Ekundayo Inversions (Big Crown)"
From Big Crown Records:
There has always been a Reggae influence in the music of El Michels Affair. From their cover of “Hung Up On My Baby” done in a Reggae style, to the general sound and approach that permeates Leon’s production style. While recording Bailey’s 2020 Ekundayo album, they did some straight forward reggae tunes inspired by different eras alongside some modern R&B tracks that would fit more comfortably next to Frank Ocean than Jacob Miller. It is this same notion that old and new can live so comfortably together that birthed the idea of Ekundayo Inversions.
Traditional dub came out of reggae in the late 60s and early 70s when pioneers like King Tubby and Lee Perry started taking the multi track recordings of songs and running them back through the board adding effects and additional instrumentation. These recordings are called “dubs” or “versions” and are typically instrumentals with flourishes of vocals from the original tracks.
El Michels decided to use the blueprints left behind and make something using the influences of today. He wound up straying so far from the traditional format that it didn’t seem right to use the word ‘Dub’, hence Ekundayo Inversions. All the songs are tied together by WhatsApp messages between Leon and Liam that perfectly narrate the story of this record and their working relationship
Alexalone "ALEXALONE WORLD (Polyvinyl)"
From Polyvinyl Records:
The sounds of alexalone will usher you into warm, fuzzy, lonely spaces, then shock you alive with pulsing energy. But, alexalone’s first full length album, ALEXALONEWORLD, isn’t merely about the sound, it is an exercise in world building, and a portrait of the artist cradling and nurturing their emotions as they create, navigating labyrinths of pain as they search for exits, and hoping for a haven where they can survey the damage and regroup.
Appropriately, alexalone’s first full-length record emerges at the moment we’ve learned to live with the pain of isolation while also clinging to shimmers of hope for an ending. ALEXALONEWORLD’s gravitational center is Alex Peterson’s (they/them) musical vision and authorial voice, the wayfarer through a forest of moods. And, having begot a world of solitude, Peterson then tore open a wormhole through which other artists, musicians, and friends might enter, plumbing the dark corridors and secret rooms.
Lingua Ignota "SINNER GET READY (Sargent House)"
From Sargent House Records:
“Kristin Hayter, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, and vocalist known as Lingua Ignota has announced her Sargent House debut, SINNER GET READY arriving August 6th. The follow up to her critically acclaimed break out CALIGULA, SINNER GET READY is an unsettling portrait of devotion and betrayal, judgment and consequence, set in the derelict landscape of rural Pennsylvania, a neglected region deeply embedded with a particularly god fearing brand of Christianity, and where Hayter was living during the album’s inception. Watch the video for “PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE” incredibly it was all directed, shot, and edited by Hayter herself using remarkable imagery and the landscapes of rural Pennsylvania. The song reflects on the inevitability of God’s judgment, evoking the legend of an 18th-century ironmaster whose dogs return to drag him down to hell after he throws them all into his furnace in a rage.
With SINNER GET READY Hayter continues to build on the mythology she has created with CALIGULA and ALL BITCHES DIE but renegotiates and dismantles her own aesthetic language. She abandons any previous industrial grandeur and multi-genre approach, instead focusing on creating dissonance with traditional instruments of the Appalachian region. SINNER GET READY was created with Hayter’s primary collaborator, producer, and engineer Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets in Rhode Island, with additional arrangements and performances from multi-instrumentalist and composer Ryan Seaton, and banjo-playing from J. Mamana. “
Laura Stevenson "Laura Stevenson (Don Giovani)"
From Don Giovani Records:
“The journey that this new collection of songs takes the listener on may be a familiar one for anyone going through the stages of grief. “Mary” sees Stevenson alone at her piano, recalling the long drive to the scene of the crisis, an agnostic bargaining with holy figures to save a life. On mid-album highlight, “Sky Blue, Bad News” Stevenson punishes herself for things that were ultimately out of her control, going over events in her life that lead up to this moment to figure out why all of this was happening, “Did I shirk something? Did I hurt someone? Was I ever any good? Was I ungrateful?” All this uncertainty and darkness is juxtaposed against a Crazy-Horse-like canter (a song in particular which may remind listeners of Stevenson’s recent Neil Young covers EP with longtime friend and collaborator Jeff Rosenstock, who also plays guitar on some of the new self-titled album’s tracks).
Finally, Laura Stevenson ends on a moment of surreal tranquility: “Children’s National Transfer” is a window of sudden, crystalline calm amidst the chaos, as the narrator stops for a Diet Coke and a pack of cigarettes while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, “no one knows me in this store, pitiless me.”