Favorite New Releases of the Week!

Oh man, such great new music we’ve been listening to! Here’s what some of our staffers recommend for you…


Flying Lotus You're DeadFlying Lotus
You’re Dead!

(John’s Pick)

You’re Dead is the long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Until the Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus. While the tracks often feel too short, FlyLo’s signature production style is in full force throughout the album’s 38-minute run time. Perhaps it’s best to view You’re Dead as one large piece, since many of the tracks bleed from one to another. In that case, it was maybe a mistake to separate them. The biggest departure for Flying Lotus on this album is the inclusion of several featured verses, including FlyLo’s alter ego, Captain Murphy. But it works out well. Overall, a great addition to the Flying Lotus discography.

Going Back Home Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey
Going Back Home

(Marc’s Pick)

Roger Daltrey sang with The Who that he hoped he’d die before he got old. At the age of 65, Wilko Johnson demonstrated he’d do just that. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012 Johnson, the original guitarist for British R&B/pub rock band Dr. Feelgood, but better known on this side of the pond as the mute executioner on Game of Thrones, opted to go down with his axe in hand. As part of his continual touring he cut this album in late 2013, planned with Daltrey a couple years prior. The pair roll through classic cuts from throughout Johnson’s career, with a Dylan number thrown in for good measure. For what may be Johnson’s final run, this is an excellent introduction and encapsulation of his career and influence. For bonus points, check out this video from his early days with Dr. Feelgood and see him float jaggedly around stage with the gaze that got him on Game of Thrones. And also check out the 4 disc set encapsulating his time with that band, which was released a couple years back. Finally, he announced just a few days back that after undergoing extension surgery to remove 3 kilograms of tumor he appears to be cancer free. Now if I can just convince him to make a victory lap through Madison, perhaps with Richard Hawley in tow…

77 Jefferson Let Me Know EP77 Jefferson
Let Me Know EP

(Kayla’s Pick)

Midwest reggae! These guys are from Missouri. I’d closely compare them to the rootsy lovers-rock-reggae singer Josh Heinrichs, who is also from the same state, and runs the record label they’re affiliated with. This EP came out in July of 2014, and it fits well on a summer playlist since their mood is super positive. I especially love the first song, “Rocksteady.”

More new releases are on the way! Go to murfie.com/preorder to see what’s coming, and pre-order your favorites.

Which albums are you excited to see? Tell us in the comments!

Elephant Revival Interview

Elephant Revival is a band that blends folk music with bluegrass, celtic music, psychedelic country, indie rock, and occasionally, even reggae and hip hop. Even with so many different sounds in their songs, they retain a style that is distinctly their own—mostly because of their wonderful vocals and environmentally conscious themes. Since 2006, they’ve been building a solid fan base around the country, and are about to embark on a Midwest tour. On September 28th, they’ll be playing at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, just a skip away from Murfie HQ—so we thought the time was perfect to learn a bit more about them! Here’s a Q&A I had with Dan Rodriguez (acoustic guitar, electric banjo/guitar, vocals). We talked via phone from his friend’s studio in Boulder, Colorado:

K: I see you guys are from Nederland, Colorado!

D: Yeah. We started there, and we all lived there for a handful of years. Just recently Sage moved back to Kansas to the family farm. So we’re not all living in Nederland now, but we still consider ourselves a Nederland band.

K: I actually visited that place for the first time last year for Nedfest—have you gone to that?

D: I’ve gone to it many times, and performed there a few times too. It’s a hometown fest!

K: Nederland is a funky little town, there’s mountains and taverns and flannel—I love it. And the people are really nice. One thing I like about your band is it’s a co-ed band, a mix of guys and girls. Have you found that it brings a certain energy to the band?

D: I certainly couldn’t imagine it any differently. The men and the women—the kind of alchemy that happens—it’s just been such an integral part of everything. It’s just a big part of our sound and part of the vibe.

K: So you all are coming to Madison on September 28th —do you have shows in between then?

D: Yeah, we do. We have one in Minneapolis, at the Cedar Cultural Center, and then we play Boats and Bluegrass Festival in Winona, Minnesota, then we play Ames, Iowa, and then we’re in Madison.

K: Have you had some good luck touring in the past? Do you like to travel around for shows?

Continue reading Elephant Revival Interview

My Favorite Albums of 2014 (So Far)

They say that time flies when you’re having fun—and if there’s even an ounce of truth to that statement, 2014 has been an all-around blast. Being a music junkie, album releases obviously impact how I’m feeling about any given year. And so far, 2014 has been hitting the high bar that 2013 set.

Here are five of my favorites albums, so far.

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Transgender Dysphoria BluesAgainst Me! have been making pop-friendly punk for nearly two decades now, but the late 2000’s found the band lacking the ferocity they once harnessed. That all changed with this year’s Transgender Dysphoria Bluesa semi-autobiographical account of the life of front woman Laura Jane Grace, who publicly came out as a transgender woman in 2012. The album’s lyrical content is hands-down the most important you’re going to hear all year, but Transgender‘s musical content nearly matches in quality, having found a drive of its own.

Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

Here and Nowhere ElseIn 2012, Dylan Baldi took his musical venture Cloud Nothings from a bedroom project to a full-blown rock outfit. Here and Nowhere Else, Cloud Nothings’ second release as a full band, is another healthy dose of raw guitars, ferocious drums and yelping vocals. The record gets in and out in half an hour, not wasting any time in rocking the heck out. And though its heavier than some Cloud Nothings fans may be used to, Here and Nowhere Else is just as full of hooks and catchy choruses as the ones Baldi used to pen alone in his bedroom.

Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

I’m only 22,You're Gonna Miss It All but sometimes I feel too old to appreciate Modern Baseball. The band is technically of the “emo” variety, but that tag is most assuredly due to front man Brendan Lukens’ memorable but sulky vocals. The actual music that Modern Baseball dabbles in is all over the map, ranging from pop to punk to acoustic ballads. Their second record, You’re Gonna Miss It All, caught me completely off guard — but its quietly become my most spun record of the year.

tUnE-yArDs – Nikki NackNikki Nack

Nikki Nack finds Merrirl Garbus (AKA tUnE-yArDs) perfecting her unique brand of progressive pop; it’s weird, it’s fun and, above all, it’s just good music. For anybody who’s sick of the blandness surrounding today’s indie pop scene, Nikki Nack will be just the breath of fresh air they crave.

The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

Lost in the DreamThe War on Drugs‘ Lost in the Dream brings to mind Springsteen, Petty and Dylan, but the album stands alone because it takes those influences and crafts something sprawling and unique out of them. Every track here sifts into the next, crafting one seamless, beautiful blur. I have a hard time believing a more cohesive, front-to-back record will be released this year—and that doesn’t bother me one bit.

Luckily for us, the second half of 2014 is looking just as juicy as the first. I’m already looking forward to Spoon‘s They Want My Soul (8/05), and self-titled debuts from Alvvays (7/22) and Jungle (7/15).



Andrew Brandt
@andrewtbrandt

Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.



Album Preview: “Terms of My Surrender” by John Hiatt

Terms of My SurrenderAlbum
Terms of My Surrender

Artist
John Hiatt

Release Date
Tuesday, July 15th

Label
New West Records

Pre-order Link
Pre-order album

Preview
It’s hard to imagine that an artist who’s been covered by Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen can remain off the radar, but that’s essentially how John Hiatt has spent his entire career.

Best of John HiattHiatt grew up in Indianapolis, where he learned to play the guitar at age 11 as a way to deal with growing pains. He moved to Nashville in his late teens and ended up landing a songwriting gig with the Tree-Music Publishing Company. In 1973 Three Dog Night recorded a track he wrote, “Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here,” and he subsequently signed a contract with Epic Records.

Things wereBring the Family just beginning to look up for John, yet he was dropped from Epic a few years later when his albums failed to chart. After a brief stint with Geffen Records, he finally caught a break in 1987 with Bring the Family and his biggest hit, “Have a Little Faith in Me.” Hiatt continued to harbor critical success during his stay with A&M Records, but he couldn’t match the level of commercial success he found with Bring the Family.

6146-largeThroughout the 90’s, Hiatt continued to perfect his storytelling technique, becoming a masterful lyricist in the process. He also honed a sound that was distinctly American, falling somewhere in between new-wave, country and rock. In 1995 he received his first Grammy nomination for Walk On, and in 2002 he contributed a handful of track’s to the Disney film Country Bears.

Hiatt is set to release his 22nd album, Terms of My Surrender, next week. The record marks a minor departure from his recent country sound, opting instead for something a little more blues influenced. No matter the genre of music, however, it’s sure to be nothing but another worthy album from a well-traveled cult hero.

A teaser from Terms of My Surrender

Pre-order your copy of  Terms of My Surrender on Murfie! Each CD comes with unlimited streaming (Web, iOS, Android, Sonos) and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC. 

Album Preview: “Mutineers” by David Gray

David Gray MutineersAlbum
Mutineers

Artist
David Gray

Release date
Tuesday, June 17th

Label
+180 Records

Pre-order link
Pre-order album

Preview
English singer-songwriter David Gray is A Century Endsno stranger to putting out albums. Starting with his release of A Century Ends in 1993, Gray started making his mark as a modern folk artist who has been compared to the legendary Bob Dylan. The classic elements of his mostly guitar and piano driven indie-rock-sounding songs include thoughtful lyrics, downbeat tempos evoking a mellow mood, and surprising elements like electronic percussion, layered textures, echo and other effects.

Gray’s first four albums (released between 1993-1998) White Ladderwere well done, but unfortunately they were not met with popular sales or chart positions. All that changed in 2000 when Dave Matthews decided to re-release Gray’s fourth studio album, White Ladder, under his own label. The album’s popularity immediately soared, especially in Ireland—where it remained No.1 on the charts for a whopping span of two years and five months.

After White Ladder, Gray has been putting out successful albums fairly constantly, with occasional short hiatuses. Draw the LineIn 2009, his album Draw the Line featured vocals by well-known artists Annie Lennox and Jolie Holland. Within a year, Gray pumped out another album with similar sound elements called Foundling. His upcoming new release Mutineers will be his 10th studio album, and his first release in about four years.

Murfie preview

Video transcript
Kayla: “Hey guys, another album release is coming to Murfie on Tuesday, June 17th. David Gray is putting out his newest album, Mutineers. David Gray has been doing this since 1993, so he’s certainly not new. This is his 10th studio album, but it’s his first release in about four years. So he’s back in the world again, to use an awful pun based on the first track of his new album (“Back in the World”). His sound is still piano and guitar-driven—he is definitely a folk singer—but since he’s modern, it sounds a lot like indie rock because he uses electronic effects, and he uses layers to make his songs build and build which I think is really great. My favorite track that he’s released off the new album is called “Beautiful Agony”. It’s an example of how his song can start a certain way and it can build and become more powerful. It’s really beautiful, the way the song sounds, but it also sounds a bit sad and contemplative, so maybe that’s where he got the idea for the name “Beautiful Agony”. So he’s back in the world after four years—is he keeping it up with this album? A lot of people say he is, but it’s a bit less minimal than what he’s put out before. You can see for yourself! [Mutineers] is on our pre-order page, murfie.com/preorder.”

Audio-only version

Some teasers from Mutineers

Pre-order your copy of Mutineers today on our pre-order page! Each CD comes with unlimited streaming and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC. 

This Week in Music History (March 26th-April 1st)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

3/26- On this day in 1985, radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonder’s songs from the airwaves after he dedicated his Oscar win the previous evening to Nelson Mandela.

3/27- On this day in 1965, “Stop! In the Name of Love” became The Supremes’ fourth US No.1 single. The song was nominated for the 1966 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Vocal Performance.

3/28- On this day in 2005, U2 kicked off their 131-date Vertigo tour at the iPay One Center in San Diego, California. The tour grossed $389 million, the second-highest number ever for a world tour.

3/29- On this day in 1967, The Beatles began recording “With a Little Help From My Friends” at Abbey Road Studios in London. They recorded over 10 takes of the track during the first day of work.

224303-large3/30- On this day in 2013, famed US music producer and music pioneer Phil Ramone died at 79. Ramone was one of the most successful producers in music history, having won 14 Grammy Awards and worked with stars including Bob Dylan, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles.

3/31- On this day in 1967, Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire onstage while appearing at the Astoria in London. Lighting guitars on fire became symbolic of Hendrix’s performances, and the Fender Stratocaster that he burned was sold for $280,000 at a 2008 London auction.

4/1- On this day in 1966, David Bowie’s first solo single, “Do Anything You Say”, was released by Pye Records. Before the single, Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and the Lower Third.

Check out these pieces of music history in our CD marketplace! Every album you buy is made available to stream (via Web Player, iOS, Android and Sonos), download (mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC), and ship!

This Week in Music History (January 22nd-28th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

1/22- On this day in 1959, alone in his New York City apartment, Buddy Holly recorded his last songs. The recordings included “Peggy Sue Got Married”, “Learning the Game” and “That Makes it Tough”, among others, which were later released by Coral Records.

1/23- On this day in 1971, George Harrison became the first solo Beatle to have a No. 1 hit when his single “My Sweet Lord” reached the top of the UK single charts. The track stayed at No. 1 for five weeks.

1/24- On this day in 1969, New Jersey state prosecutors issued a warning to US record sellers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they sold the John Lennon and Yoko Ono LP “Two Virgins”, which showed the pair fully nude.

1/25- On this day in 1986, Albert Grossman, a manager who managed acts including Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Peter, Paul and Mary, died of a heart attack. Grossman founded Bearsville Records in 1970.

1/26- On this day in 2003, Justin Timberlake burst out of boy band fame and onto the solo scene when his debut solo album “Justified” went to No. 1. The album went on to spend over a year on the charts.

1/27- On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley’s single “Heartbreak Hotel” was released by RCA Records. The song sold 300,000 copies in its first week and eventually sold over a million, becoming Elvis’ first Gold record.

1/28- On this day in 2008, Madonna was listed as the world’s richest female musician. Forbes.com estimated that the 49-year-old singer made $72 million between June 2006 and June 2007.

Oh, so you wanna own any of these gems, or hear ’em in lossless format? Check out our CD marketplace!