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Now Hear This

Now Hear This

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Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Georgia Blue

CD: $11.98 Buy

“Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia- related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia based non-profit organization. I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs, but the tracklist is not meant to be comprehensive. I would love to cover Outkast and 2 Chainz, but I don’t think the finished product would be very good. We’re a rock band, so we covered rock songs. We have roots in blues and R&B, so we enlisted some brilliant artists to help us pull off songs by Precious Bryant, James Brown, and Gladys Knight. My favorite part of the Georgia Blue recording process was having the opportunity to work with these very special artists, and I thank them: Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Adia Victoria, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Bèla Fleck, Chris Thile, Steve Gorman, Peter Levin, and John Paul White. I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.”

- Jason Isbell

Proceeds from the release will go to Black Voters Matter, Georgia Stand Up and Fair Fight. Learn more about each organization below: 
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Geese

Projector

CD: $15.98 PREORDER

GEESE / PROJECTOR - Geese is a band that begins and ends in Brooklyn, as a project between friends to build a home studio out of a basement. Their songs are born from the same ambition: make music by any means necessary. They began recording together with sneakers as mic stands and blankets draped over the amps, all within the afternoon following a school day, up until they ran the risk of noise complaints. Recently, they signed a record deal, so they are thinking about moving on from sneaker-laden mics and blanketed amps, but their musical ethos has not changed a bit. Curiously alien, yet strangely familiar, the band's debut album, Projector, is a product of five teenagers whose love of music touches every part of their lives: their restless anxiety about their futures, and their pent-up frustration with their present-a perspective all too familiar in today's uncertain world.
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Jason Boland & The Stragglers

The Light Saw Me

CD: $11.98 PREORDER

For the past 20 years, Jason Boland & the Stragglers have dazzled audiences all over as one of the leading ambassadors of the Oklahoma and Texas music movement. Millions of fans cheering him on, over 500,000 records sold independently and 10 albums later, Boland is a career musician whose legacy continues to grow. From his early days touring in cramped vans and playing in front of tiny bar crowds to the packed venues he performs in today, Boland’s uncompromising approach has grown his profile dramatically, especially in the past handful of years. Add to that the legions of musicians who are influenced by Boland, and his impact on the scene is undeniable.

Prior to the pandemic, Boland was hard at work on his most ambitious project yet. The groundwork he laid in 2019 saw the singer-songwriter roll through songs that would be a bold step forward. Strumming through the material with the Stragglers at a rehearsal in Colorado, Boland knew he had something big. However, that session took place a day before the lockdown and put the kibosh on the project for a year.
 
In early 2021, the time felt right to get the project rolling again. At a time when pandemic albums are popping up left and right, Boland zigged when everyone else zagged. Titled The Light Saw Me, the acclaimed singer-songwriter decided to go deeper than he’s ever gone before to create a multi-layered sci-fi concept album. Once again teaming up with his frequent co-conspirator, Grammy-winning producer Shooter Jennings, Boland hunkered down in a Los Angeles-area studio to bring The Light Saw Me to life.
 
On the surface, The Light Saw Me traces a cowboy living in Texas in the 1890s who is abducted by aliens and ends up in Texas in the 1990s, but there’s way more to it. Packed into three distinctive interlocking parts, The Light Saw Me is layered with vivid imagery that touches on old legends (such as a spacecraft allegedly crashing in Aurora, Texas), conspiracies, and other accounts that run contrary to reality.

Hidden behind the grandeur of the storyline, the message that Boland aims to share is a universal one: Everyone and everything is connected by love. In classic Boland fashion, The Light Saw Me tackles stories and themes that are integral to his writing beyond his world-class use of metaphors, like who we are, where we’re going, and whether love is something that people feel internally or just connected to consciousness and humans’ fear of their own mortality.
 
For most of his career, the only thing you could expect from Boland is to do the unexpected. On what’s now his 10th studio album, he not only does that, but he did it in his own organic and authentic way. He’s making the music he wants while continuing to please the people who want to hear where his artistic journey takes him next. With a catalog like his, that’s no easy feat.

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Jeff Parker

Forfolks

CD: $14.98 PREORDER

Jeff Parker’s Forfolks—a new album of solo guitar works—will be released on December 10, 2021 via International Anthem and Nonesuch Records. The albumincludes interpretations of Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty” and the standard “My Ideal,” plussix original compositions including "Four Folks" (a tune first written by Parker and recorded in 1995) and "La Jetée" (a tune he recorded with Isotope 217 in 1997 and with Tortoise in 1998). The four totally new original compositions are loop-driven, stratiform works that marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures. The album was recorded by Graeme Gibson at Sholo Studio in Altadena, California (aka Jeff’s house) over two days in June 2021.

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Aaliyah

Ultimate Aaliyah

ON SALE $14.98 CD: $13.99 Buy

Ultimate Aaliyah is the second and final compilation album by R&B singer Aaliyah. Originally released by Blackground Records in only the UK, Australia, and Japan, the 2005 double album features one disc of Aaliyah's greatest hits and one disc entitled "Are You Feelin' Me?" containing material from soundtracks and featured work with labelmate Timbaland.

Aaliyah - Ultimate Aaliyah
ON SALE
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Bruce Cockburn

Greatest Hits 1970-2020 [2CD]

CD: $17.98 Buy

Two CDs. The consummate collection curated by Bruce Cockburn himself, presents 30 songs over a double album that defines the acclaimed singer-songwriters' 50 year career. These songs are both the ones that shot to the top of the charts when they were released, and also are the fan favourites most often requested at Bruce's concerts. With over 125 minutes of music, and notes on each song by the artist.
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Claptone

Closer

ON SALE $14.98 CD: $14.49 Buy

2021 release, the third album from Claptone. The album features a string of collaborators and pop icons including Barry Manilow, Seal, James Vincent McMorrow and many others. Closer has been in the making for over three years and showcases a natural development in sound for Claptone. The album has been co-produced by Stuart Price, the three-time Grammy-winning electronic musician, DJ, songwriter, and record producer known for his work with artists such as Madonna, The Killers, Dua Lipa and Pet Shop Boys.
Claptone - Closer
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Bria

Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 EP

CD: $9.98 PREORDER

Bria is an intimate and incisive labour of love from multi-instrumentalists Bria Salmena and Duncan Hay Jennings. Catapulted by a deep sense of dread and confusion in the depths of 2020, Salmena decided to forgo writing her own music. "I wanted to listen for what might reflect my life back to me," she says, "six tracks that could be my mirror." The result is a pointillistic knockout of an EP that weaves a landscape both luscious and a little rogue; showing us exactly what good songs can do. Bria's internal turbulence seemed to mirror last year's external instability. When Jennings and back-up singer Jaime McCuaig moved to The Outside Inn, a hobby farm in Hockley Hills, Ontario, Bria soon joined. The farm's living-room-turned-studio proved an ideal setting for the long-time friends to compile a record of handpicked country covers. They went searching for songs that could speak to our everyday loneliness; outside and in. Cuntry Covers Vol. 1. houses it all: well-worn favourites and lesser-known gems. The record opens with "Green Rocky Road," as performed by Greenwich Village legend Karen Dalton. Jennings' twangy guitar carries Bria's original inflection and richly textured vocals, complete with dreamy overlay. "Dreaming My Dreams With You," a rendition of the Waylon Jennings hit, is followed by John Cale's "Buffalo Ballet," a lyrical journey through Abilene, Texas, the endpoint of the Chisholm Trail. Engineered and mixed by Jennings, each song brings desire and sexuality front and centre, with all the swagger you'd expect - and more. Bria hopes the record will be understood as a small contribution to the subversion of a genre with deep patriarchal roots. Mistress Mary's "I Don't Wanna Love Ya Now," from the 1969 album Housewife, served as the original inspiration. "It was the first song Duncan and I worked on," Bria notes. "It definitely set the tone for the other tracks we picked." Bria's voice - described as wavering between "sultry and howitzer" - shines on "Fruits Of My Labour," written and performed by country great, Lucinda Williams. The Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" is a harmonic (and hypnotic) standout. A musical explorer who moves fluidly between styles, Bria doesn't consider herself a country artist: "I feel as though I'm a visitor here, paying respect to a style that has informed a part of my musical identity. Country music, as much as any other art form, should be an arena for representation, expression and provocation. I have a ton of reverence for artists who came before me and challenged the primarily white-heterosexual status quo." Salmena and Jennings have toured for years as members of Toronto four-piece FRIGS, whose 2018 debut Basic Behaviour was long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. Making a mark in diverse genres from country to punk, both play as permanent members of Orville Peck's band. Cuntry Covers was recorded on the territories of the Anishnaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat and the Mississaugas of the Credit. The release also features contributions from FRIGS drummer Kris Bowering and vocals by Ali Jennings. Bria's first release is a gorgeous debut, a homage to the songs that brought solace and relief in the stillness of last year. - Zoe Imani Sharpe
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Andy Shauf

Wilds

CD: $11.98 Buy

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Few artists are storytellers as deft and disarmingly observational as Andy Shauf. The Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised musician’s songs unfold like short fiction: they’re densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. Like he’s done throughout his career, Shauf wrote, performed, arranged, and produced every song on his new album Wilds at his studio space in the west end of Toronto.

Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Shauf had written more than 50 songs, and pared down this massive body of work, into a single album’s worth of material, which became 2020’s highly acclaimed The Neon Skyline album. These songs focused on a theme by intertwining the individual characters stories of a group of friends who gathered for one night at the same local bar. Wilds includes songs from those same writing sessions, that did not fit into the Skyline storyline and had their own singular identity apart from that album, though he does revisit with his old friends Judy and Jeremy in this outing.

Andy Shauf - Wilds
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