Your basket is empty

Categories :

Albums

From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Country - To be released January 21, 2022 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
From
CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - To be released November 12, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Country - Released September 17, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
While Ian Felice is a real person, the persona he's fashioned over the course of the Felice Brothers' recording career seems to have strolled out of a novel set in the Deep South in the early years of the 20th century, where his character is a boozy yet personable self-styled philosopher never at a loss for some lopsided wisdom on life's passing parade. Ian's character seemed to be wrestling with the precarious balance of breezy wit and the obstacles of living in America in 2019 on the Felice Brothers' Undress, and he's still figuring out the proportions on 2021's From Dreams to Dust. However, From Dreams to Dust feels more comfortable and confident in the belief that we're living in a difficult time and must acknowledge the gravity of the moment, even if we can't help but snicker about it every once in a while. Though mounting a soapbox is a relatively new concept for Felice, you wouldn't know it from listening to From Dreams to Dust. These songs are full of a wobbly confidence that puts a tight focus on the personal and political, lashing out at a world of waste and injustice ("To-Do List," "Money Talks") while Felice wavers between a playful appreciation of his own eccentricity ("Jazz on the Autobahn") and a less charitable observer who has something timely and eloquent to say. The band's ragged but right grooves are in especially good shape this time out: Ian's vocals and guitar hit a deft sweet spot between thoughtful and surreal, and his multi-instrumentalist brother James Felice and the rhythm section of bassist Jesske Hume and drummer Will Lawrence have taken the notion of loosely tight and given it flesh, lending their indie folk melodies a framework that has just enough give but never falls over. It's anyone's guess what manner of global calamity will greet the Felice Brothers the next time they go into the recording studio, but if From Dreams to Dust gives us anything to go by, they'll approach it with wisdom and heart, two qualities this album has in healthy quantities. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD$11.49

Alternative & Indie - Released September 17, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Country - Released September 14, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available

Alternative & Indie - Released September 3, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available
From
CD$10.99

Country - Released August 27, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Alejandro Escovedo's father was born in Mexico but left home as a young man to come to the United States in search of a better life for himself and his family. The victories and defeats that came his way are a vital part of Escovedo's backstory that has informed much of his work, and never as strongly as on his 2018 effort The Crossing. The Crossing is a concept album that follows two young men -- Diego from Saltillo, Mexico and Salvo from Southern Italy -- who were drawn to America through the images they saw in punk rock, film noir, and beat literature, only to find the land of their dreams far more complex and less forgiving than they imagined. A thoughtful, deeply powerful meditation on the immigrant experience, The Crossing is one of the finest albums in Escovedo's illustrious catalog, and in 2020 he offered a different take on the material with the release of La Cruzada. For La Cruzada, Escovedo worked with Alex Ruiz, leader of the Texas-based Rock en Español band Del Castillo, to translate the songs into Spanish, with Ruiz then cutting new Spanish-language vocals for The Crossing's backing tracks. (Escovedo believed that Ruiz would sing the Spanish lyrics with greater fluency than he could.) La Cruzada has a different feel than The Crossing that goes beyond a simple Spanish translation; Ruiz's vocals are strong but give the characters a different, more dramatic tone than in Escovedo's slightly more nuanced performances, and by putting these stories into a different tongue, it puts Diego and Salvo's otherness in America into far stronger relief. It also adds layers to the album's interpretation of Joe Ely's "Silver City," as Escovedo trades off verses sung in English with Ruiz's responses in Spanish, making the protagonist's disappearance into a land of broken promises deeper and more cutting. Even if the music remains the same -- a superb collaboration between Escovedo and the Italian rock band Don Antonio -- La Cruzada is something deeper and more resonant than a simple Spanish-language retread of a two-year-old album. It tells the same story, but with just enough differences to make it connect in a genuinely different way, and this variation adds layers to the already satisfying themes of the original album. Even fans not fluent in Spanish will find it a rewarding experience. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Ambient - Released August 27, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res

Ambient - Released August 23, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available

Country - Released August 20, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available
From
CD$0.99

Country - Released August 18, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

From
CD$11.49

Country - Released July 30, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Hard times make it hard to be optimistic, which is why it's important for those with the strength to look to the bright side to help us all with the burden. Jim Lauderdale doesn't quite sound like a cheerleader on 2021's Hope, written at a time when optimism was in short supply around the world. However, the album's subtle yet clear theme from the title on down is finding encouragement and stability when the world around you is in chaos. The album's tone isn't that of a pep talk, but a discussion of philosophy, exploring the ideas that bring us serenity and healing rather than getting stuck in a cycle of despair. Hope features the song "Memory," which was one of the last tunes Lauderdale wrote in collaboration with Robert Hunter, best known as one of the Grateful Dead's most reliable lyricists, and the hippie-like Zen of Hunter's worldview is audible throughout the album. The music may not sound psychedelic, but the arrangements summon a sunny, laid-back vibe that's ideal for the gentle contemplation these tunes encourage. The pedal steel swells that sweeten "Sister Horizon" and "Breathe Real Slow" remind us that Lauderdale is at least nominally a country artist, and the twang in his voice reinforces the sincerity of his lyrics, like a guru who has ambled in from the deep South. Even the songs with a darker tone, like "The Brave One" and "When Searching for Answers," speak from a place of looking forward instead of focusing anguish within, and if you need an energy boost, the Dixie-fried jig of "Here's to Hoping" is made to order. Jim Lauderdale may not be available to be your life coach, but listening to Hope is the next best thing, and between the intelligence of the songwriting and the wisdom of its outlook, it's more than welcome as the world makes its way through a collective rough patch. © Mark Deming /TiVo
From
CD$0.99

Country - Released July 27, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

From
HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Country - Released July 20, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res

Ambient - Released July 20, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available
From
CD$0.99

Country - Released July 19, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Country - Released July 14, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available

Country - Released July 6, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available
From
HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
It's November 1976, and the Rubinoos are preparing to record the debut album that would be hailed as an instant classic and serve as the foundation of their reputation as one of America's greatest power pop acts. They also happen to be four guys still in their teens who act like they've been given the keys to the candy store when they head into a first-class recording studio for the first time. Recording engineer Glenn Kolotkin took the band into the CBS Studio in San Francisco to let them get a feel for the place while he worked out basic sounds before proper recording for The Rubinoos began, and they bashed out whatever came to mind live to tape that afternoon. Someone happened to hold on to that tape, and 2021's The CBS Tapes allows listeners outside the Rubinoos' immediate circle to hear it for the first time. What's captured here is the sound of four teenage smartasses who also happen to be a great rock & roll band; they revel in childish glee when they swear into the mikes, they do funny voices to amuse themselves, they crack frequent jokes about someone's obsession with Catholic girls, and along with a few of their own tunes, they lurch into plenty of covers, including the Archies' "Sugar Sugar" (secure in the knowledge of how deathly unhip it is) and a then-current Pepsi jingle they treat with mock seriousness. In many ways, The CBS Tapes plays like a glorified rehearsal tape, but it's also a very entertaining testimony to how good the Rubinoos were even this early in their career. The arrangements are tight and punchy even when they sound like they're working them out on the fly, the harmonies are gorgeous, the playing is concise and on point, and the energy and sense of joy in these performances is irresistible. While Tommy Dunbar and Jon Rubin would go on to a long career as the power pop cult heroes who should have been stars, on this date in late 1976, they were having a blast with a seemingly glorious future ahead of them, and listening to The CBS Tapes, you'll be grinning right along with them. This is the sort of album that's for committed fans only, but those fans will be delighted it exists. © Mark Deming /TiVo

Country - Released June 22, 2021 | Yep Roc Records

Download not available

Label

Yep Roc Records in the magazine