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Wooden Nickel - Outside The Heard - September 2017

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Jake Clemons
Fear & Love
BMG
 
Jake Clemons has shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (he’s a member), The Swell Season, The Roots, and Eddie Vedder to name a few. This is good company to keep if you want to create music that’s as concerned with telling stories as it is with hooks. Springsteen and Clarence Clemons (his uncle) leave an especially strong impression on Fear & Love – an atmospheric, romantic, a surprisingly pop debut from a talent whose star is on the rise.
 
The Accidentals
ODYSSEY
Sony Masterworks

 
Odyssey affirms The Accidentals’ place among contemporary music's most original and adventurous new bands. Multi-instrumentalists Sav Buist and Katie Larson – joined on stage and in the studio by drummer Michael Dause – have crafted a genre all their own, fueled by their uniquely limitless approach to musicality and songcraft. Lyrically powerful songs like "Earthbound" and the potent title track see the band embracing their choice to lead an unconventional life with all its many surprising twists and turns.
Tori Amos
Native Invader - Deluxe
Verve

 
In the summer of 2016, Tori Amos took a road trip through North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. The intention was to reconnect with the stories and songlines of her mother's family. That winter, two seismic events knocked the plan off its axis: The fallout from the US Election and, in January, her mother, Mary Ellen Amos, suffered a severe stroke leaving her unable to speak. The dynamic tension caused from that strange, complex duality makes Native Invader Amos’ most powerful record in a decade. This deluxe edition features two additional tracks.
 
Nothing But Thieves
Broken Machine
RCA


 
Broken Machine is the highly-anticipated sophomore album from British rock band Nothing But Thieves. According to the band, Broken Machine “hinges on the systems of life we perceive to be automatic and flawless when in reality, they're anything but. The aim of Broken Machine was to create a rock album that feels fresh and exciting. It was about experimenting with sounds and song structures and expanding what we could do musically." Experimentation aside, Broken Machine is packed with stadium-sized anthems.
Luke Elliot
Dress For The Occasion
Jullian Records
 
Dressed for the Occasion by Luke Elliot harks back to the great songwriters of old - the stalwarts of the form who delicately honed their craft: the Leonard Cohens, the Bob Dylans and Tom Waits. Elliot, like these artists before him, has tales to tell. Produced by John Angello (Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, Dinosaur Jr.), Dressed for the Occasion demonstrates Elliot's precociousness as a songwriter – a record that shows equal parts aggression and restraint. Be it the softer ballads such as "Let It Rain On Me," or the forceful lead single "Trouble," with its desperate vocals and dark, Lynchian guitars.
 
Frankie Rose
Cage Tropicale
Slumberland


 
The result of an existential odyssey, Frankie Rose's fourth album, Cage Tropical, is awash with vintage synths, painterly effects pedals, upside down atmosphere and reverberating vocals. It evokes a new wave paranormality of sorts that drifts beyond the songs themselves. "My references aren't just music," says Frankie, "I love old sci-fi. They Live is one of my favorite movies ever, same with Suspiria. 80's sci-fi movies with a John Carpenter soundtrack, with silly synths – that makes it into my file, to the point that I'll write lyrics incorporating that kind of stuff. It's in there."
Yusuf / Cat Stevens
The Laughing Apple
Verve

 
Yusuf aka Cat Stevens, one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time, releases his highly anticipated new album, The Laughing Apple – which follows the common ‘60s template of combining newly-written songs with a number of covers – except that all the covers are from Yusuf's 1967 catalogue. The Laughing Apple celebrates some of his earliest material, presenting the songs as he has always wished they had been recorded. The Laughing Apple's newest songs – "See What Love Did to Me," "Olive Hill" and "Don't Blame Them" – possess the reflective insight of a spiritual seeker and the melodic charm that made Yusuf beloved by millions during the ‘60s and ‘70s and still speak to a younger, wide-eyed generation.
 
The Woggles
Tally Ho!
Wicked Cool


 
These seasoned garage rockers are greeting 30 years of making noise with a renewed rallying cry that also serves as the title of their new album: Tally Ho! This rock and roll fox hunt was overseen by Jim Diamond – ex-bassist for The Dirtbombs and producer of the first White Stripes and Von Bondies albums as well as veteran of projects with Electric Six, The Mooney Suzuki, The Sonics and The Fleshtones among others.  "In the studio, he lived up to his reputation for begin able to get the greatest guitar tones ever, especially fuzz tones," says frontman "The Professor" Mighty Manfred. And those fuzz tones rival the band's raw and dirty best!
James Blunt
The Afterlove (Extended Version)
Atlantic
 
The Afterlove (Extended Version) finds James Blunt melding contemporary pop production with his classic brand of personal songcraft, equal parts heartfelt poignancy and self-deprecating wit. The chart-topping troubadour enlisted a who's who of modern talent to join him in writing and recording the album, including Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran), Johnny McDaid (Example, Biffy Clyro), Stephan Moccio (Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd), and MoZella (Miley Cyrus, One Direction).
 
Madeline Kenney
Night Night At The First Landing
Company


 
Madeline Kenney begins her new album with a helpful reminder: “Don’t forget, there’s room for you.” It’s a fitting welcome to Kenney’s debut full-length, Night Night at the First Landing. The record is framed by meditative, repetitive recordings that each offer some kind of encouragement. The album is unavoidably dreamy, dipping into sweet fuzz while usually sailing through smooth, crystalline production. The songs are about people – and though people sometimes disappoint, this record is meant to comfort. Fall into it and imagine the clouds scooping you up, or the changing tide’s ripples gliding you past a gentle moon’s new reflection.
Hammock
Mysterium
Hammock Music

 
The Nashville duo Hammock returns with Mysterium, the band's eighth album since its founding in 2003. Composed as a memorial to Clark Kern, a son-like figure to Hammock co-founder Marc Byrd who died in 2016 from the tumor strain NF2, Mysterium merges modern classical, ambient, and choral music, and it's of a piece with recent records by Max Richter and Jóhann Jóhannsson. The gorgeous, hour-long collection features contributions from the Berlin mix engineer Francesco Donadello (Winged Victory for the Sullen, Ólafur Arnalds), Peter Katis (The National, Jónsi, Interpol), and the Hamburg orchestrator Roman Vinuesa ("Iris," "Umrika"), who transcribed scores for the Budapest Art Choir.
   

Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop, a #1 record, and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains. Produced by Mark Ronson and Mark Rankin and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails), Villains has all of the band’s the sonic signatures but with bold new twists. As Josh Homme himself puts it: "The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound… If you can't make a great first record, you should just stop – but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn't evolve, you become a parody of that original sound." Rankin concurs: "I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear... What we've made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens."

Queens of the Stone Age -
Villains

Matador

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The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 29 accounts that handle 47 stores in 21 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in its community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers.

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