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Clancy marks Twenty One Pilots’ first studio album in three years and follows their RIAA Gold certified LP, Scaled And Icy. With details of the release teased to fans earlier this month via cryptic mailings and covert artswaps on streaming services, “Overcompensate” welcomes listeners back to the band’s immersive world of ‘Trench.’ Layers of synths build over a racing breakbeat in the song - a skilled passage of alternative dynamics, flexing in time, and ready to explode. Having amassed over 33 billion streams worldwide and over 3 million tickets sold across global headline tours, the Columbus, OH based duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have established themselves as one of the most successful bands of the 21st century and redefined the sound of a generation. Co-produced by Joseph and Paul Meany, Clancy marks the final chapter in an ambitious multi-album narrative first introduced in the band's 2015 multi-Platinum breakthrough, Blurryface. Furthermore, Clancy’s forthcoming release on May 17th coincides with the 9th anniversary of Blurryface, which was released exactly nine years prior to the day. Twenty One Pilots extended the ambitious concept laid out in Blurryface with their 2018 Platinum-certified album TRENCH. Featuring the multi-Platinum and Platinum singles “Chlorine,” “My Blood” and the GRAMMY® Award-nominated “Jumpsuit,” the album graced spots on “Best of” year-end lists by Billboard, KERRANG!, Alternative Press, and Rock Sound—who placed it at #1.
St. Vincent’s first self-produced record, All Born Screaming is Annie Clark at her most unfiltered. All Born Screaming is an invitation to test the limits of what is possible–and to then keep going; Brought to life with the aid of a highly curated dream lineup of friends — Rachel Eckroth, Josh Freese, Dave Grohl, Mark Guiliana, Cate Le Bon, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Stella Mogzawa and David Ralicke — the album is an unadulterated expression of St. Vincent’s singular vision.
Vinyl: $32.99 PREORDER
The music on Deeper Well, the seven-time Grammy winner’s fifth album, is almost chimeric. Rolling acoustic guitars, puffy clouds of strings and synth, warm bass punctuations, layered harmonies, moments of Celtic melody and plenty of room on the tracks for Musgraves’ silvery vocals. On the bright, almost folky title track, the 30-something songstress surveys her life and priorities, recognizing what feeds her, drains her and even examines the childhood she’s left behind on her way to now.
Saturn returns, cardinals embody a dead friend, love is given and taken, streets rush by, belongings are packed and old chapters deserted, new love blooms, jade bracelets serve as talismans, deep lessons emerge, small details define everything, the woods are a refuge and New York City serves as the same gleaming beacon as Oz.
Revelator is an album that speaks to “the grand sadness in life” — perennial Phosphorescent subject matter, by
Matthew Houck’s estimation. In some ways, Revelator extends seamlessly from the story begun by Muchacho and
continued by C’est La Vie. It finds Houck further mastering his unique blend of ragged, experiment-y classicism
intertwined with ethereal, lachrymose atmospherics. Across Revelator, Houck sings from a woozy, worn headspace,
but leads us to a place where dreams and reality mingle. Indie Exclusive Black Ice LP.
Within six days and “without overthinking anything,” Noah Kahan completed the five-track Cape Elizabeth EP which has amassed 200M streams. See the newly repackaged Cape Elizabeth on Aqua-colored vinyl as Noah’s “thank you to the fans who stuck around, came to shows, watched my livestreams and listened.” The vinyl features fan- favorite songs “A Troubled Mind,” “Glue Myself Shut” and “Maine.”
MUNA’s sophomore album, Saves The World has been reissued on vinyl due to popular demand. The album delivers the alt-pop anthems fans know and love including hits like “Number One Fan” and “Stayaway". Rolling Stone called it a “mastery of pop songcraft” and Pitchfork named it “pristine pop.”
You get older, you have a family, and you start to slow down—that’s how things are supposed to go, right? Not for Montreal band Corridor, who have returned on their fourth album, Mimi, with a sound and style that’s more widescreen and expansive than anything that’s preceded it. The follow-up to 2019’s Junior is a huge step forward for the band, as the members themselves have undergone the type of personal changes that accompany the passage of time; even as these eight songs reflect a newfound and contemplative maturity, however, Corridor are branching out more than ever with richly detailed music, resulting in a record that feels like a fresh break for a band that’s already established themselves as forward-thinkers.
Mimi immediately recalls the best of the best when it comes to indie rock—Deerhunter’s silvery atmospherics immediately come to mind, as well as the spiky e ervescence of classic post-punk—but despite these easy comparisons, Corridor remain impossible to pin down from song to song, which makes Mimi all the more thrilling as a listen.
“The goal was to work differently, which is the goal we have every time we work on a new album—to build something in a new way,” Robert explains. “This time, we took our time.” And so in the summer of 2020, Corridor’s members—Robert, vocalist/bassist Dominic Berthiaume, drummer Julien Bakvis, and multi-instrumentalist Samuel Gougoux—holed away in a cottage to engage in the sort of creative experimentation that would lead to Mimi’s ultimate creation.
Corridor tinkered with the songs’ raw parts digitally and remotely over the next few years, with co-producer Joojoo Ashworth (Dummy, Automatic) lending their own specific talents in the theoretical booth. The process was a byproduct of not having access to their rehearsal space due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a result of the four-piece leaning harder into incorporating electronic textures than on previous records.
“For a long time, we identified as a guitar-oriented band, and the goal of making this whole record was trying to get away from that,” Berthiaume states. Berthiaume also describes Mimi as a record about “getting older” and “figuring out new parts of life”—but despite any claims of transitional growing pains from the band, Mimi is a record bursting with new energy and life, a vibrance that’s owed in no small part to Gougoux joining the band full-time after pitching in on live performances in the past.
“I come more from a background of electronic music, so it was nice to involve that with the band more,” he explains, and Mimi contains a distinct rhythmic pulse reminiscent of classic era-post-punk’s own melding of dance and rock textures. Over bright, chiming guitars and ascending synths, Robert addresses his looming mortality on “Mourir Demain”: “I wrote it when my girlfriend and I were shopping for life insurance,” he laughs. With our little daughter growing up, we also considered making our will. I said to myself, ‘Oh shit, from now on I’m slowly starting to plan my death.”
Don’t mistake this as music about dead ends, though, as Mimi embraces and champions unfettered creativity while paving a way for Corridor’s own bright future. “We just focused on making a record that sounded the way we wanted,” Gougoux exclaims while discussing the band’s aims. “There were no limitations when it came to what was possible.”
Vinyl: $23.98 PREORDER
With $10 Cowboy, Charley Crockett didn’t set out to make a themed record. He had released a concept album in 2022, the critically acclaimed Man From Waco, propelling Crockett to new heights and establishing him as one of the leaders of a sparkling revival of traditional country and folk music.
For the follow up album, Crockett wrote freely, over a two-month period, as he wound his way across the United States on the back of a tour bus. The resulting songs—raw, personal, vivid portraits of a country in transition—ended up being connected after all.
“This material is written at truck stops, it’s written at casinos, it’s written in the alleys behind the venues, it’s written in my truck parked up on South Congress in Austin,” explains Crockett. “A ramblin’ man like me, a genuine transient, is in a pretty damn good position to have something to say about America.”
As the album unfolds, you begin to understand that a $10 Cowboy is anyone who has hustled to get by, who didn’t fit in, who has slept on other people’s couches, or the street, who has fallen down, gotten up, and ventured from home chasing a paying gig, or a new start.
“Being out on the road gives you a first-hand experience of how different kinds of Americans see themselves as going through some kind of great struggle,” Crockett says. “The roughneck working the oil and natural gas fields in West Texas. The single mother raising kids by herself. The young man working a street corner because he thinks it's his only option. I would be dishonest if I said I couldn’t see the thread. Each of ‘em feel invisible. I am struck by the battles they are fighting internally, and the ways they have been entrapped by what America says they are.”
The album was recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin, produced by Crockett and his long-time collaborator Billy Horton. It was recorded live to tape, with anywhere from 6-12 musicians and backup singers on each track, giving the songs the feel of a live performance. It’s a sound Crockett has been after for years. “Reason I cut it on tape is because when you got the right people in the room, and the great players rise to the occasion when that red light is on and the tape is rolling, you get the magic of a great performance.”
It's exactly what he achieved with $10 Cowboy. Regular bandmates Fox, Nathan Fleming, and Mayo Valdez are joined by some of the genre’s most talented players—Rich Brotherton, Kevin Smith, Dave LeRoy Biller, T. Jarrod Bonta and others, including a string quartet. Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller sing on the album. While the musicianship and accompaniment are exquisite, they are also subtle, placed joyously, yet judiciously across the album.
No, Crockett didn’t set out to write a themed record. Or, through his studied eye, to find America. But with $10 Cowboy, he might have done both.