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Rock - To be released February 5, 2021 | New West Records

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Country - To be released January 4, 2021 | New West Records

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Soul - To be released December 18, 2020 | New West Records

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Folk - To be released December 11, 2020 | New West Records

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Rock - Released November 27, 2020 | New West Records

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Relaxation - Released November 27, 2020 | New West Records

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Soul - Released November 24, 2020 | New West Records

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Country - Released November 18, 2020 | New West Records

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Folk - Released November 18, 2020 | New West Records

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R&B - Released November 13, 2020 | New West Records

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On one level, Randall Bramblett's Pine Needle Fire, is another entry in a catalog steeped in soul and funk, rock and R&B. On the other hand, it's arguably the most lyrically intimate, poetically revealing outing in his career. Bramblett the world traveler offers up sly humor, honesty, and even wisdom with Southern grit and groove. His other side reflects upon his growing up among the pines in Jesup, Georgia; he understands those who live, work, and raise families in small towns and knows their stories are ultimately America's on a cellular level. But Bramblett is also living through the dangerous times our world is currently steeped in. He balances memories of and reflections on everyday life with advice for staying sane -- even if he's offering the latter to himself in the mirror. "Some Poor Soul," begins with a guitar drone, choogling congas, a rubbery bassline, and chunky electric piano. Bramblett's falsetto offers observations from a traveler's life: Some poor soul, had to get up at four/I hear the shower running, in the room next door … The race is on…. Swelling synths, strings, guitars, and a trap kit, transform it into a hard-grooving funk number. "Lazy (And I Know It)" frames a humorous narrative in drum loops, funky Rhodes, and clacking synths. The greasy, off-kilter groove is punctuated by swaggering horns and Betsy Franck's sultry backing vocals under Bramblett's falsetto. The title track is introduced by pillowy atmospherics with backmasked guitars, twinkling electric piano, a shuffling loop, and layers of sonic drift. Its lyric is about the searing memory of first romance: Love made of turpentine/Love made of smoke and tears/Out on the fire break lines/And up the tower we will climb…. "I've Got Faith in You" tenderly melds soul, psych-pop, and gospel. Bramblett's voice drips with sincerity while former Cowboy guitarist Tommy Talton punctuates his words with slide fills using Duane Allman's Gibson SG. The lyric is like an inside-out sequel to Bob Dylan's "Forever Young": When you’re runnin' out of luck/And the streets won’t hold you up/And the meanness of the night knows where to find you/I’ve got faith in you …. "Another Shining Moment" addresses the tension of the current era with stirring gospel piano and George Harrison-esque slide guitars framing Bramblett's most resonant vocal. "Built to Last" is a swampy, midtempo rocker juxtaposing the troubled state of the world with the everyday concerns of small town life. As if to underscore, "Never Be Another Day" weds Americana and sweet soul. Its lyric encourages sanity via attentiveness to the moment and letting go of the unchangeable when life is turned upside-down. While Bramblett manifests a degree of poignancy on all his records amid rowdy roadhouse rock and R&B, it is a guiding spirit on Pine Needle Fire, shot through with an aching yet grateful heart, abiding empathy, and self-effacing humor. It is exactly the kind of record the 2020s call for. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 6, 2020 | New West Records

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Though they followed the B-52's into the spotlight and would help set the stage for R.E.M.'s long reign as Athens, Georgia's (and later America's) best-loved ambassadors of underground rock, Pylon were a band not strictly defined by their hometown or early-'80s heyday. Their story did, however, typify many of the great bands of the days when "new wave" was giving way to something else; they were smart kids with arty leanings who created music as an extension of their other creative pursuits, not a diversion or distraction. Pylon were intent on creating something that didn't follow the accepted templates of the day, and they did so without sounding stiff or pretentious. The sharp slash of Randy Bewley's guitar and the howl of Vanessa Briscoe Hay's vocals were not exactly soothing, but they were full of joy and expressive release, and the cool yet implacable (and often funky) rhythms of Michael Lachowski's bass and Curtis Crowe's drums made Pylon's music challenging but also welcoming, and fun to dance to. While name-checking reggae was certainly a hip thing during their lifetime, Pylon learned more from the space and aural punctuations of dub rather than Jamaican roots music. (When they sang "We eat dub for breakfast," they obviously meant it.) As an independent band existing at a time when the distribution and touring networks for underground music were still tenuous at best, Pylon's influence was initially limited to folks who already had their ear to the ground, but those who did hear them embraced them with love and spread the word, and they became wildly influential post-punk icons after the fact. Pylon Box is a glorious celebration of the group's original 1978 to 1983 run, featuring newly remastered versions of their first two albums, 1980's Gyrate and 1983's Chomp, as well as a bonus disc of singles sides, remixes, and rarities. While the lean, propulsive groove of Gyrate and the more ambitious but still tightly focused sound of Chomp are worthwhile in themselves, this set also includes a previously unreleased 1979 demo tape, recorded and mixed live to cassette in their practiced space. While the band are clearly still refining their attack on the tape, and they sound more punk than they would a year later, the elements that made them special are all there, and it's a welcome addition to Pylon's history. The set also comes with a beautiful 200-page book of photos, artwork, biographical essays, and endorsements from artists ranging from Gang of Four to Sleater-Kinney, all of whom learned a great deal from Pylon's music. (R.E.M. are especially gracious, citing them as longtime favorites and the best band from Athens.) Though it's a shame that their 1990 reunion album Chain isn't acknowledged, Pylon Box is an otherwise near-flawless summation of a great and unique band, and it's absolutely worth every penny of its purchase price. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Folk - Released November 4, 2020 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2020 | New West Records

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Rock - Released October 27, 2020 | New West Records

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R&B - Released October 26, 2020 | New West Records

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Soul - Released October 22, 2020 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 2020 | New West Records

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Folk - Released October 20, 2020 | New West Records

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R&B - Released October 15, 2020 | New West Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2020 | New West Records

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After two years of near-constant touring in support of their self-titled debut album, the Nude Party headed back to their communal farmhouse in the Catskills to work on another full-length with Black Lips' Oakley Munson. The resulting follow-up, Midnight Manor, finds the six-piece still cranking out riff-fueled, freewheeling rock jams about booze and women (and the music industry). Indebted to '60s and '70s acts like the Velvet Underground, T. Rex, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks throughout, the 12-track set has both swagger and nervous energy to spare. Opening with a chord progression pounded out on piano, it begins with the raucous glam-punk tune "Lonely Heather" ("When you twist, I hear the crinkle of your leather") before delving into the Southern-fried, Latin-tinged accents of "Pardon Me, Satan." Elsewhere, the sleazy "Thirsty Drinking Blues" drinks alone following a breakup, and "Easier Said Than Done" takes a slightly more theatrical approach to loose and dirty rock & roll. Veering toward the more sensitive side are tracks like the Rundgren-esque "Shine Your Light" ("In a world falling apart/You are the light in the lonesome dark") and the Jagger-evoking "Time Moves On," a song whose layered rhythms include more ballroom basics as well as sustained strums saturated in delay. It's one of several tracks here with airy, mid-century-styled backing vocals. Midnight Manor closes with the stripped-down prom slow dance "Things Fall Apart," followed by an irreverent acoustic ditty, "Nashville Record Co.," which laments "They don't come to make sense/They come to take dollars" and "Someday I fear they'll replace us all with machines." (Midnight Manor arrives courtesy of Nashville-based New West Records.) "Nashville Record Co." takes the filler-free album out, appropriately, on a honky tonk jam. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo