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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 25, 2021 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Not two seconds into his sixth LP, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, Tyler, the Creator boldly stakes his claim with rap: ""Y'all ready?" booms the voice of DJ Drama, before the iconic "GANGSTA GRIZZILZ" tag jolts the album to life. Hosted by the legendary master-of-ceremonies, Tyler's latest LP imprints all the lessons of the last 8 years onto the raw rap talent of the Wolf era, combining visceral verses with expansive layers of production. Working with the likes of Westside Gunn and Freddie Gibbs has revitalised the outright fun of T's verses -- "AARGH, YOU LOOK MALNOURISHED" - as well as bringing the vivid storytelling of the former contrarian into subjects of vast personal import. It proves a sharp left turn after the progressive pop of 2019's IGOR -- but one that is realised with an unrelenting passion. Tyler's work has always been a patchwork of ever-increasing palettes, and CMIYGL is his most complex to date. Recurring tricks are masterfully melded into new templates: "RUNITUP!" continues the build-and-burst of "See You Again," "RISE!" folds IGOR's layered vocal textures into new visions, and "LEMONHEAD" channels Cherry Bomb for what sounds like an unironic take on Pink Guy's "Club Banger 3000." Yet it's equally clear that Tyler is continuing to expand with the sounds of his collaborators -- an intergalactic warble colours Uzi’s “JUGGERNAUT” tour-de-force, while yacht-rap lessons from The Alchemist make for a spectacle on “HOT WIND BLOWS” and “SIR BAUDELAIRE.” These new strides find a potent home among Tyler’s powerful-yet-familiar production toolkit; “I been switchin' gears since Tracee Ellis Ross was UPN” he raps on digital-only closer “SAFARI,” its soundscape playing out like a collage of each of his technicolour eras. As with every Tyler record, there’s a plethora of breadcrumbs to follow. The album’s central thread proffers a compelling forbidden-desire narrative, while the scratchy vocals akin to a much-referenced Wolf Haley are enough to make anyone drag their donut-print back out the wardrobe. In the minutiae, CMIYGL is equally abundant: "SWEET" is the full version of the interlude at the end of 2017's "I Ain't Got Time," while the Gravediggaz sample on "LUMBERJACK" is a sly wink to a tweet from the Bastard era. That’s saying nothing of the cryptic “Tyler Baudelaire”; fans of Charles Baudelaire may find the poet’s resonance in “WILSHIRE” and the album’s stretching, international escapism, though concrete answers remain shrouded. In a 2011 conversation with Nas, Tyler played every part the fan: "Nazareth Savage," the rapper exclaims, recalling his favourite sample from the Brooklyn legend, "that s*** is, like, legit as f***." Ten years on, Tyler finds himself recreating the beat for his own dizzying "MANIFESTO." It proves not only an acknowledgement of his icon, but an apt parallel for CMIYGL's daring return to rap: not only does Tyler possess every ounce of the talent to square up with rap's greats, he now has confidence enough to do so. © David Crone /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | Secretly Canadian

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Faye Webster's songs are like the musical equivalent of a drizzly morning when you know the sun is on its way—beautiful, sleepy in an appealingly decadent way, and full of promise. "Better Distractions," the gently percolating opening track from the singer-songwriter's fourth album, is a little jazzy, a little country, a little folky, flirting with the melody of "Something Stupid" while Webster comes on like a melting-butter version of Rickie Lee Jones. No wonder Barack Obama chose it as one of his favorite songs of 2020. "Sometimes" washes over you like a warm bath, while "A Stranger" employs sweeping romantic strings borrowed from an old movie—then adds deep pauses between drum beats to both heighten the drama and force the listener into a state of relaxation. The slip-sliding guitar of "Kind Of" has a similar magic effect, but the slightly off-kilter drum beat keeps you engaged and on your feet. "It feels kind of tucked away," Webster sings again and again, which is a pretty apt description of the song itself. Weirdly, "Kind Of" also suggests Webster could write a killer ballad for Gwen Stefani, as does "In a Good Way," its flamenco-flirting guitar smartly bouncing off her vocal melody. "Both All the Time"—"There's a difference between lonely and lonesome/ but I'm both all the time"—uses a plodding bass to underscore a sense of delicious wallowing, then adds triangle to interrupt her dark reverie, like the return of a typewriter putting a definitive punctuation on a thought. (It also lives up to the album title.) With its lazy sax, "A Dream with a Baseball Player" is a light and sexy take on girl-group shoop-shoop. "Overslept" finds Webster matched for low-key loveliness by Japanese singer-songwriter mei ehara. And "Cheers" is positively strident for the extremely low-key (if sometimes anxious-sounding) Webster, its slinky guitar bobbing atop a caffeinated rhythm, like a Courtney Barnett outtake. Good stuff. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Rock - Released May 21, 2021 | Matador

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Rooted in the same issues that once inspired the American blues it's modeled on—poverty, corruption, conflict—West Africa's desert blues boom still has much to say, eloquently weighing in on both public disputes and personal struggles caused by assouf, which in the Tamashek language means loss, longing, homesickness, or "the pain that is not physical." By adding grooves and most importantly, the electric guitar, this maturing genre—percolating since the 1980s—from bands like Tinariwen, Imarhan, and Bombino, has made West Africa a source of fresh inspiration for electric blues rock and psychedelia (two forms of Western music in dire need of new energies). Mdou Moctar, (aka Mahamadou Souleymane)—deemed the "Hendrix of the Sahara,"—has become the latest performer to make the leap to Europe and the US. After a live album for Jack White's Third Man records in 2019, this studio album is a crucial step up in his rapidly rising career. A remarkable collage of sound considering there are only four musicians, Afrique Victime has both ballads and upbeat numbers, all of it rhythmically vital and improvised around a core groove. The left-handed guitarist is supported throughout by his band of rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane (a star in his own right who has collaborated with Moctar since 2018), drummer Souleymane Ibrahim and American bassist/road manager Mikey Coltun who also produced this album which Matador is modestly calling, "Van Halen meets Black Flag meets Black Uhuru." Recorded while the band was on the road in Amsterdam and the US, the overall sound is reasonably clear and well-balanced and was mixed to give the band equal prominence to Moctar's guitar and singing. Nowhere near the equal of his guitarwork, his vocals in Tamashek are often doubled and tripled to make them sound like a chorus. After setting the scene with the buzz of insects, a crowing rooster, and footsteps in gravel, opener "Chismiten" has Moctar singing, "To become a better person, you need to stop being so jealous and insecure," before ripping into a razor-edged electric guitar solo that's swirled with reverb and a slightly distorted tone. Muscular and original, this stirring statement leaves no doubt that this self-professed Eddie Van Halen fan has the requisite ideas and confidence to be a guitar hero. Despite the album's title and the political bent of much of the music from this region, the songs on Afrique Victime are for the most part love songs. In the enchanting chords of the album's most fully realized tune "Tala Tannam" he sings, "I adore your eyes and body shape." In the acoustic guitar and hand claps-led "Ya Habibti" his "heart beats fast when I think of you." And while the humor may be unintentional—the product of a less than elegant Tamashek-to-English translation—the closer "Bismilahi Atagah," finds our hero weary from the battle of the sexes, declaring, "Love has become a painful boil in my life/ More painful than the sword of my enemy." A star on the rise, a guitar hero gently weeping. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released May 21, 2021 | Griselda Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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World - Released April 23, 2021 | New Amsterdam

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Arooj Aftab is a young prodigy of Pakistani origin who has lived in Brooklyn since she was 18. This is the second album from this singer-songwriter (and what a singer!). Six years after Bird Under Water, her music is taking wing again and soaring even higher with Vulture Prince. She had hoped that this release would be filled with light and joy: but a family bereavement got in the way.  Her younger brother and a journalist friend both passed away as she was writing this album. The young woman set out to find a connection to life after death and to pay tribute to them. The album is dedicated to her brother Maher and the track Saans Lo is based on a poem by her friend Annie Ali Khan, with whom she had long been planning to collaborate. Arooj Aftab draws strength and originality from the blend of her mixed heritage. Her singing voice is inspired by the Indo-Persian traditions of earthly and divine love songs, by the ghazal form, and by Sufi poetry. Last Night is based on a poem by the founder of the whirling dervishes Jalâl ad-Din Rûmî, while Mohabbat is written around verses by Urdu poet Hafeez Hoshiarpuri. Musically, Arooj Aftab borrows deftly from jazz and mystical electronic music, which provides a perfect foil for her heavenly singing. Track after track, the music's radiance offers comfort and pure, deep euphoria. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
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Metal - Released April 16, 2021 | Sargent House

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Jazz - Released April 9, 2021 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Although it stems from a work that Iyer originally crafted back in 2011, one could hardly imagine a better title for a 2021 album release than Uneasy. As the world wobbles onto its post-pandemic footing and the United States begins to take stock of the social and political toll from years of continued divisiveness, any optimism or forward motion one may feel is almost always tempered by the reality of that which came before. That anger and frustration with the past and the resultant realism about the future is at the core of the pianist's first trio album for ECM since 2015's Break Stuff. Like that outing, Uneasy relies on tight, confident interplay between three highly skilled and unique musicians, but this lineup is all new, featuring double-bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Iyer's skills as a player, composer, and collaborator have since grown considerably and Uneasy is an excellent showcase for all of them. "Children of Flint" and "Combat Breathing" are stunning compositions, focusing on the human costs of political negligence and malfeasance, forces that have unmistakably driven the uneasiness behind the album's title. "Children of Flint" is the more rigorous of the two, opening the album in a dramatically unfolding manner, but "Combat Breathing" definitely holds its own, finding a sturdy groove that's fueled by fire—not funk—and culminating in a cluster of sonics that evaporates into the ether like so much tear gas. The interplay between the three players is remarkable throughout, most notably on the dramatic "Entrustment," which relies on telepathic communication between the rhythm section and Iyer's piano; likewise, "Retrofit"—a piece written for sextet and appropriately complex—gets handled deftly by these three, giving each plenty of opportunity to shine. Of course, it's Iyer's piano work that holds down the entire affair, and as he wends through the dense, melodic "Touba," he manages to evoke Coltrane's spiritual-era changes, but with a more pensive vibe, while on the solo piece "Augury," his playing is both insistent and introspective. On Uneasy, Iyer continues his unique balancing act of presenting complex and demanding compositional ideas in a framework that's welcoming and accessible, with players who see eye-to-eye and can help execute that vision in a way that's imaginative and invigorating. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2021 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Few bands from the post punk revival that began in the 2010s are led by women. Florence Shaw is redressing the balance with brilliance. The Londoner who heads up Dry Cleaning has above all a uniquely serious, warm and rather sensual voice that balances perfectly against the roughness of the abrasive, dark rock'n'roll played by guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton. This singing sometimes borders on spoken-word (Grace Jones, Annette Peacock or a female Baxter Dury come to mind). This voice plays hide-and-seek with a soundtrack that refers to the classics (Joy Division, Magazine, Gang of Four, Feelies, Wire) without ever going overboard. This all dresses up a collection of collages à la William Burroughs, in the famous and rather extreme cut-up style, which inspires as much love as hate... At the console, we have John Parrish, PJ Harvey's faithful accomplice. He has tailored an impeccable sonic suit for New Long Leg: one that's full of heady compositions. These compositions stand out from those of their colleagues like Shame, Fontaines D.C., Girl Band, Idles and Murder Capital. This is real original Dry Cleaning material. It's one to discover urgently. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 2021 | Smalltown Supersound

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Jenny Hval is an experimental artist who knows no limits. Take, for example, her album Blood Bitch (2016) on which the Norwegian used her electro-speckled pop and her vaporous, chloroformed, dreamlike vocals to talk of nothing but blood! Menstruation and vampirism fed this disturbing new wave-influenced sixth album... Written as a duet with her compatriot Håvard Volden with whom she has been working regularly since 2008, Lost Girls is another story altogether. This duo's trip is all about the desire for freedom. It is a kind of total improvisation and mixes electro, new age influences, spoken word, a mille-feuille of percussion, drone sounds, and more. Menneskekollektivet makes it look like a live performance even though it was recorded in the studio, at Øra Studios in Trondheim, Norway. In this 45-minute stream, Hval and Volden slalom between club, ambient, krautrock and avant-garde, paying little heed to the boundaries between them. It's a fluidity that imbues this album with real poetry and makes it quite captivating. We are often reminded of the works of contemporary American composer Robert Ashley, or a dance version of his works. Laurie Anderson has also left a mark on these Lost Girls, who have produced the most fascinating discographic oddity of the moment. ©Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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R&B - Released January 8, 2021 | RCA Records Label

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Reality Show was a major milestone in Jazmine Sullivan's career. With this third album, released in 2015, the Philadelphia singer was gaining in stature, in her singing and deepening her relationship with melody and groove. The grace of her old-school R&B mingled with some rather elaborate lyrics. Five years later, and after some impeccable features for artists like GoldLink (Meditation with Kaytranada), Frank Ocean (Solo and four tracks on Endless), Kindness (Hard to Believe), Mali Music (Loved By You), Niia (Sideline) and Robert Glasper (You're My Everything on Black Radio 2), Sullivan gives us even more swagger with Heaux Tales, a viscerally committed work that talks unsentimentally about money. “Heaux Tales is about my observation of today’s women standing in their power and owning who they are.  No longer is male patriarchy dictating what it means to be a ‘good girl.’  The truth is, women of all ages have been called a ‘heaux’ at some point in life, whether deserved or not, by some man trying to put us in our place; a place designed to keep us under control, out of the way and usually beneath them. Women are over feeling ashamed about the decision we have made, or chose to make, in regards to our bodies. We are multi-faceted and shouldn’t be defined by any one thing.  We all have a journey to make and it’s our choice alone how we get there.” These sentiments are set impeccably to music, as on the sure-fire hit Girl Like Me which closes the album, a demented duet with the Californian Gabriella Wilson a.k.a. H.E.R, a classy love story with deception at its heart. Two other guest appearances enrich Heaux Tales (Anderson .Paak on Pricetags and Ari Lennox on On It). Her spot-on voice is hoarse with a naked soul timbre (Lauryn Hill/Brandy) and she sometimes takes a playful run at Kendrick Lamar's flow (Put It Down) or flirts with gospel (Bodies, Lost One). Above all, Jazmine Sullivan is not content to throw together a feminist hotchpotch to catch the pulse of the moment. This is her fourth full album. A beautiful and deep work that will stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 25, 2020 | AWGE - Interscope Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
For Playboi Carti, red means many things: the colour of the Bloods, the gang with which he is affiliated; the colour of the lean that gives him inspiration; and of blood, because on Whole Lotta Red, his second album, The Atlanta rapper turns into a vampire. This effort, which appeared in the twilight of 2020, just when it was least expected, could wake the dead with its great billows of saturated trap and penetrating bass, and it closed out the year beautifully. All the Atlanta sound is here, condensed into twenty-four tracks, from codeine odes such as Sky or Teen X (featuring the ubiquitous Future), to cries of wild monsters, sometimes so deafening that you might imagine yourself in hell, like on King Vamp, F1lthy, or the unstoppable No Sl33p. "When I go to sleep I dream about murder", he intones on this last, as if to remind us that monsters not only populate this album, but also the streets Playboi Carti ran during his adolescence. As executive producer of the album, we find Kanye West, also a guest on the track Go2DaMoon, which introduces an absolutely monstrous banger called Stop Breathing. Whole Lotta Red is a masterclass in contrasts. Because despite the unity of the productions based on the TR-808, Playboi Carti masters everything: the slow groove of New N3on (a huge favourite from producer Maaly Raw), the bass that drives the crazy Punk Monk, the most melodic productions from beatmaker Art Dealer, or the sensitivity of F33l Lik3 Dyin, which closes this fantastic album. So the rumors were true: Atlanta is indeed home to the one and only vampire of rap. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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World - Released November 12, 2020 | Golden Child Entertainment Ltd

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Jazz - Released October 31, 2020 | International Anthem

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2020 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2020 | 4AD

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 2020 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Sat alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released October 9, 2020 | Rhino - Warner Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Addition by subtraction? A punk band selling out? Audio distortion as an artistic principal? The sound of a boom box cranked up? Where's Bob? The Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me continues to answer all these questions and more. In 1986, like a snake shedding its skin, the Minneapolis foursome parted ways with guitarist Bob Stinson, leaving a trio of his younger brother Tommy on bass, drummer Chris Mars and singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg. Westerberg's poppier, more intimate songs and growing ambitions for success immediately began to transform the band. For their fifth album the threesome ended up at Memphis' Ardent Studios in the capable hands of Jim Dickinson, the producer of Big Star's Third, the pianist heard on The Stones' "Wild Horses," and a collaborator with Bob Dylan and Ry Cooder. Described in the liner notes by friends as a "Southern mad scientist," Dickinson engaged in a psychodrama-mind meld with the band and the result was an album that both band and producer would forever after be known for. Because record labels have come to realize that extras are needed for reissues to succeed, two ideas predominate: demos to show how songs were shaped and unreleased concert material to show how the material matured when played live. First reissued with extra tracks in 2008, Rhino's new Pleased to Meet Me reissue is a deep dive into how the tunes evolved from early demos, through rough mixes, outtakes, alternates and tracks that appeared only as singles to a 2020 remaster of the original album. Of the 55 tracks in this reissue, 29 have never been released before. The early demos from Blackberry Way Studios in Minneapolis—which contain Bob Stinson's last recordings with the band—show that the material had structure and rudimentary arrangements before Memphis. The rough mixes of tunes like "Alex Chilton" by Ardent's John Hampton, have a clattery, spacious ambiance and show how much tightening had yet to be done. Of the rough mixes, "Can't Hardly Wait" is a tick slower than the issued take and Dickinson's rollicking piano part on raucous opener "IOU" is lifted up in the mix. An early digital recording which made extensive use of a Fairlight sampler, the sound of Pleased to Meet Me has always been aggressive and embellished, tarted up with touches like the broken glass in "Shooting Dirty Pool," the opening distortion of "Red Red Wine," and Chris and Tommy's opening laughter, their zombie Greek chorus and the mid tune sax growl in "I Don't Know." The oddball lounge jazz of "Nightclub Jitters" is appropriately atmospheric and cool while the "The Ledge," the album's chosen single has the requisite "big" sound which was then attractive to alternative radio and MTV. Visceral but melodic, tender but defiant, as fierce a rock record now as it was the day it was released, Pleased to Meet Me, still epitomizes what producer Dickinson calls in the liner notes, "recording the feeling in your soul while you're playing." © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Rock - Released October 9, 2020 | Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Lament finds Touché Amoré in an interesting position. As a post-hardcore band five albums and 10-plus years into their career—and with their 20s in the rearview mirror—they're firmly on the page of the Rock Career Calendar indicating it's time to "mature" and "branch out" and "maybe let's try something a little more accessible." Add to that the fact that their last album, 2016's Phase Four was both their most emotionally riveting (with lyrics and intensity inspired by vocalist Jeremy Bolm's mother’s death from cancer) and sonically intricate, and you have a band primed to downshift and glide into punk rock middle age. Touché Amoré, however, decided instead to hire nü-metal icon Ross Robinson to produce their latest album. Now, whether or not this was driven by some perverse nostalgia is unclear, but the results of Robinson's precise and clarified approach to production redound greatly to the band's benefit, clearly delineating it from their previous Brad Wood-produced efforts. Lament is a wiry and intense album, but also full of dynamic range (both sonic and emotional). Bolm is still explosively emotional throughout, but his diaristic approach is more inclusive and empathetic here, especially on tracks like "Exit Row" and "Feign." And while the crisp, dry midtempo romp of "Reminders" (featuring Julien Baker, who also appeared on Stage Four) sounds almost joyous, it's still quite a melancholy and angry song. The album's other guest slot is on "Limelight," featuring verses from Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) and some steel guitar flourishes that could point the way to what an "adult" Touché Amoré would sound like. However, by the time "A Forecast" closes the album with its gentle piano/vocals opening that feels a bit self-abasing but blossoms into a melodramatic catharsis, you realize that the marginal evolution of Lament is exactly how a band like this moves into middle age: by playing to their strengths. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2020 | Memory Music

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2020 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
The world changes. Fleet Foxes doesn’t. Which isn’t such a bad thing, seeing as Robin Pecknold and his hairy band members have mastered their craft. With this fourth album, coming fifteen years into their career, the sound is still the same for the Seattle-based harmonies-obsessed neo-folk group. Pecknold carries on the legacy of Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Byrds and the Beach Boys on this album. More than he ever has before. But his distinguishable voice - and the almost spiritual reverb that surrounds it - is now a recognized and rather unique hallmark of his era. To prove he’s not a dictator, he hands the mic over to the young and little-known 21-year-old Uwade Akhere on the opening track Wading In Waist-High Water for a delicate and delicious antipasti. Though what follows, for the next hour, is pure Robin Pecknold. It’s a symphony that combines a solid Brian Wilson production with subtle songs with David Crosby-esque harmonic overtones (from the If I Could Only Remember My Name era, his crazy solo album). Shore doesn't change a thing. It simply comforts Fleet Foxes’ fans... and their foes at that. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz