CIMS Now Hear This
Andrea Bocelli has teamed up with some of the hottest musical stars on the planet for his forthcoming album Si reuniting with his friend Ed Sheeran after their chart-topping Perfect Symphony on a brand new song called Amo Soltanto Te (written by Ed with lyrics by Tiziano Ferro) and joining with pop sensation Dua Lipa on the single If Only . Crossover superstar Josh Groban and classical soprano Aida Garifullina also duet with Bocelli on the record, which is released on Sugar/Decca on 26th October. It is his first album of new material in 14 years 16 brand new songs which celebrate love, family, faith and hope. At the centre of the new record is a spine-tingling duet between father-and-son, as 20 year-old Matteo Bocelli steps into the limelight to duet with Andrea on Fall On Me a beautifully poignant song which reflects the bond between parent and child. It will appear in the end credits of the hotly-anticipated new Disney film, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman, to be released on 2nd November. Andrea explains how his voice compares with Matteo's: Technically they are very different, but there is one thing that makes them most similar: the attitude. That characteristic way of expressing yourself through your voice. This makes Matteo and I very similar. But that is something that you cannot learn, that cannot be taught. That is something you are born with.
Faith In Nothing Except In Salvation Mysteriously appearing on the scene 2 years ago with the critically acclaimed Serpent Music, Yves Tumor returns once more with the highly anticipated Warp Records debut Safe in the Hands of Love. Ever the sonic chameleon, Yves blew the minds of familar fans with the first single NOID, while welcoming an unwitting new audience into the world of Yves Tumor. Yves TumoSafe in the Hands of Love sees Yves peaking out of the shodows with strong vocals and amped up production, channeling energy into deeply psychedelic and emotional compositions that manage to balance rampant experimentation with an indiosyncratic pop sensibility. From noise and industrial denizens to adventurous beat heads and a much wider field of adventurous music lovers of all kinds, Yves maintaings a curiously wide appeal. Its going to be an amazing ride, Safe in the Hands of Love.
Oh Pep! have returned with their second full-length that takes their alt-folk to a whole new level of delicious pop. Chock full of memorable hooks, sing-along moments I Wasn't Only Thinking About You…, proves itself as a career-defining feat. The band gets its Oh from Olivia 'Liv' Hally (vocals, guitar) and its Pep! from Pepita Emmerichs (violin, mandolin), who met at secondary school in Victoria. Their harmonies are sweet, with lyrics that are thoughtful, deep, funny and poetic.
LIFE is the first album to be released by Boy George & Culture Club for 20 years featuring the single ‘Let Somebody Love You’. It will be released on the 26th October 2018, with stunning artwork shot exclusively by world renowned photographer Rankin.
Following 2016's critically-acclaimed Home of the Strange, Mirror Master promises to continue ascending into consciousness, though this time with a heavy focus on personal self-awareness. Describing the overall thesis for Mirror Master, lead singer Sameer Gadhia expands, "Look in the mirror. What do you see? A familiar figure; a stranger; a monster? What we forget to realize is that the image that reflects is just an illusion. Like the world, we are made up of fictions of things people tell us. How we should dress, what we should believe in, what type of stock to invest in, how we should vote. What is our free will, if we trudge across tracks already traveled? If there is nothing else we control; nothing else new, we are at least in control of ourselves; can make our paths novel and undefined; shatter categories, stereotypes, and roles. Do what we want to do, think freely and not how others tell us to-live beneath the surface of things. Now look at the mirror again. What do you see? Only you are the master of what comes next."
This is the debut EP from iDKHOW. They are a 2 piece band consisting of Dallon Weekes (ex Panic! At the Disco) and Ryan Seaman (ex Falling in Reverse). The band self released 2 tracks in 2017 that fans discovered and streamed millions of times, earning them a Rock Sound cover as a then unsigned band. They played Reading and Leeds festivals this summer and are on tour with Waterparks in the US during the release of Extended Play.
In writing Crush Crusher, Medford committed herself to exploring her own issues with self-image, self-respect/worth, and the responsibility she has felt to others. Album opener “Hiding” was one of the first songs she wrote for the record while living in a frigid Brooklyn apartment during a winter break amidst her grueling tour schedule. In the song, Medford reflects on an interpersonal relationship that fell apart because of an inability to feel supreme comfort in sharing all the pieces of herself with someone. Nevertheless, a hopeful demeanor shines through on “Hiding” and in her writing across the album, with lyrics that embrace life’s hurdles and make them feel a little less scary. Much of Crush Crusher’s songs deal with Medford’s internalized pressure to become a caretaker in many of her close friends’ lives. As a defense mechanism for her own insecurities, Medford projects a sense of invincibility and benevolence to feel more deserving of the love received from others; we hear this on “Holographic Jesus” when she repeats the phrase “the sun built me to shade everybody,” characterizing the sacrifice and responsibility she feels in ways that could easily go unnoticed. “Holographic Jesus” ultimately represents a façade of strength that Medford has clung onto and, in true Taurus fashion, is stubborn to let go of. Musically, Crush Crusher is full of dissonant open chords and abnormal progressions, finding beauty in a level of conflict not seen on Shapeshifter. To help achieve this expansive-but-focused sound, Medford enlisted the help of someone who was just as ambitiously experimental in their approach, producer and engineer Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, The War on Drugs, Soccer Mommy). Medford and Wax set up shop at Rare Book Room studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and completed the basic tracking with musicians Simon Hanes on bass and Max Almario on drums. “Coming into a space where some of my biggest inspirations like Bjork, Dirty Projectors, and Deerhunter had all once also recorded, I felt determined to push myself and test every boundary that I may have subconsciously created along the way. Gabe made me feel comfortable with attempting anything,” Medford says. By the end of the recording process, IAN SWEET wound up with an unconventional assortment of songs featuring disparate elements of psych-rock, trip-hop, and shoegaze that together forged a sound uniquely her own.
MARIANNE FAITHFULL Negative Capability is Marianne Faithfull’s 21st album and the most emotionally powerful of her 54-year recording career. Facing down arthritis and bolstered by collaborators including Warren Ellis, Nick Cave, Rob Ellis, Ed Harcourt and Mark Lanegan, Negative Capability is charged with brutal honesty and autobiographical reflection as she addresses losing old friends, her loneliness living in her adopted city of Paris yet still hopes love can come around.
On Valley Maker’s second full-length album, Rhododendron, songwriter Austin Crane sings about movement – from one kind of belief to another, from place to place, through time. This new record from Crane, a Seattle-based musician and PhD student in Human Geography, reflects both the rootedness and rootlessness that shapes his songwriting on the precipice of his third decade. Like his noted inspirations Jason Molina, Bill Fay, and Gillian Welch before him, he speaks to the strange and transitory ways we mark time through our lives. Years pass and fold in his cosmic American songs. Crane formed Valley Maker in 2010 with a self-titled collection of songs written for his undergrad thesis project at the University of South Carolina, tracing existential questions around biblical origin narratives, as embedded in his spiritually-infused Southern upbringing. Similar themes shade his vision on Rhododendron, which follows 2015’s When I Was A Child. Prophetic and apocalyptic language shapes Crane’s lyrics, but his outlook is not bound by dogma. Instead, he uses the metaphors of faith to explore the ineffable and to navigate the intersection of belief, time, place, and the political present. Much of the album was written leading up to the 2016 US presidential election and in the months after as Crane was traveling for his PhD research on migration, borders, and humanitarianism. Tellingly, it grapples with what it means to share space with others as popular political discourses veer towards exclusion. Named for the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington, Rhododendron speaks to how the places and moments we occupy become reflections of ourselves. In his careful, open-hearted songs, characters move from place to place, traveling through time and over lines on maps, driven to encounter the mysteries of existence and glimpse shared humanity. Though lyrically contemplative, the music floats. Crane’s songs retain their folk-based nature – they are the kind of songs that stand on their own with his lone voice and guitar – but they bloom paired with surprising rhythms and arrangements. The album was recorded between two locales. In Portland, Oregon, Crane teamed with producer/engineer Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi. Longtime friends and schoolmates from the University of South Carolina, Bear and Crane laid the groundwork for the record over four days, playing all instruments in tracking four songs between themselves. The record’s remaining songs were tracked in Seattle, Washington with producer/engineer Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes). Having worked together on Valley Maker’s previous release, Spencer and Crane’s Rhododendron sessions aimed for imaginative, groove-oriented arrangements that remain concisely in step with the individual songs’ qualities, enlisting drummer James Barone (Beach House, Tennis) and bassist Eli Thomson (Father John Misty), along with Brandon Camarda on trumpet, and Andrew Swanson on saxophone. Amy Fitchette, a longtime collaborator whose roots with Valley Maker stretch back to the Southeast, provides richly layered vocal harmonies across the album to round out Rhododendron’s lush but spacious sound. From the streamlined indie rock of opener “A Couple Days” to the swirling psychedelia of “Be Born Today,” from the soulful horns of “Rise Up” to the ambient touches of closer “River Bend My Mind,” the album demonstrates Crane’s distilled approach, his solidly built songs blooming with tasteful arrangements and touches. Out October 12, 2018 on Frenchkiss Records, Rhododendron is an album about transition, about leaving, but also arriving, a document of the journeys in-between.
The original electronic music trailblazers -The Prodigy- are back with some of their fiercest ever tunes. ‘No Tourists’, has been written, produced and mixed over the last year by Liam Howlett in his studio in London’s Kings Cross. Though this is – Liam notes – “very much a band album”. Maxim and Keef Flint are very much present and correct, each supplying their legendary vocal skills on this, the Essex machine’s seventh studio record. Yes, there are one or two collaborators, but fundamentally this is the sound of the central Prodigy three, bringing their riotous sound to audiences old and new, two decades since they changed the face and sound of electronic music with epochal album ‘The Fat Of The Land’. Expanding on the general shape of the project, Liam says: “this album is equally aggressive as the last records – but in a different way." A musician, songwriter and studio maestro, Howlett is as rigorous and righteously Up For It as he was when he formed his 28-years-young band. He explains that, as ever, the new songs “are built to play live. That’s the one thing that brings everything together. I couldn’t write this music unless it has that outlet on stage. That helps write the music. This is what I do it for: the live thing. And until we feel like we can’t do it, or the buzz goes, we won’t stop." It’s that sense of do-or-die commitment that is reflected in the album title. “To us, ‘No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed. Don’t be a tourist - there is always more danger and excitement to be found if you stray from the set path.”
On the heels of Eric Bibb’s Grammy nominated "Migration Blues" comes his most ambitious project to date, the 2-disc set "Global Griot." It is easy to point to Eric’s accomplishments. A five-decade career recording with folk and blues royalty. Two Grammy nominations and multiple Blues Foundation awards. A following that not only crosses borders, it crosses continents. His father, the late Leon Bibb, was an activist, actor, and folk singer who marched at Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King. Eric’s youth was spent immersed in the Village folk scene. Names like Dylan, Baez, and Seeger were visitors to his home. He was deeply influenced by Odetta, Richie Havens, and Taj Mahal. And he has synthesized all of that into his inimitable style. Troubadour is the word that best describes him. He slides neatly between genres as he builds bridges with musicians from the UK and Europe, pickers from North America, and kora players from West Africa. “GRIOT - (in West Africa) a member of a caste responsible for maintaining a oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry and storytelling.” “It’s an honor and a great pleasure to introduce you to my fellow Global Griots with this gathering of the tribes.” – Eric Bibb
Songs that last tell stories. Real magic happens when a cranked guitar chord, wailing harmonica, saucy beat, and soulful vocal conjure up a psychedelic scene, a warm family memory, or a romance-gone-wrong (or -right, for that matter)… Since 1987, GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum rock mavericks Blues Traveler—John Popper [vocals, harmonica], Chan Kinchla [guitar], Tad Kinchla [bass], Ben Wilson [keyboards], and Brendan Hill [drums]—have spun such tales. Moreover, they proudly continue this tradition on their 13th full-length album, Hurry Up & Hang Around. Unsurprisingly, there’s a hell of a story behind Hurry Up & Hang Around. As it goes, 2017 rolled around and marked the boys’ 30th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than to return with an all new body of work? Re-energized and focused, they hit the road for a month, joined forces with Cast Management, and returned to Nashville in order to work with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Matt Rollings [Willie Nelson]. After five weeks, they came home with the 12 tracks comprising Hurry Up & Wait Around. “It’s our truth,” Popper leaves off. “When you hear this, I hope the songs matter to you. I want to get into your heart. If you enjoy what we’re doing in any way, our mission is accomplished. We’re a family. You’re a part of that.” This story is really getting good now on Hurry Up & Hang Around.
Sarah Brightman returns with her new studio album, HYMN, reuniting with long time producer and collaborator Frank Peterson, with whom she created chart topping albums such as Timeless (Time To Say Goodbye), Eden, La Luna, Harem, Symphony, and A Winter Symphony. HYMN is an inspirational collection of orchestrated, choir-based songs. Brightman, kept thinking about the word, HYMN, and to her it suggested joy a feeling of hope and light, something that is familiar and secure. For Brightman, every project comes from an emotional place, and HYMN is no exception. HYMN was recorded over the past two years in Hamburg, Miami, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, and Budapest, and encompasses songs by such modern composers as Eric Whitacre (Fly To Paradise), Japanese superstar musician and songwriter Yoshiki (Miracle), and German DJ Paul Kalkbrenner (Sky and Sand). HYMN's mystical, uplifting tone is set with its title track a song by British prog-rock band Barclay James Harvest. From there, the album becomes excitingly eclectic, encompassing many styles. Sogni, described as a mash-up of two arias from two different operas by French composer Georges Bizet, is flawlessly sung by Brightman and French tenor Vincent Niclo. Also included are Canto Per Noi, written by famed Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Romano Musumarra, and Follow Me, the love theme from the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty. Finally, the album closes with a new rendition of Brightman s signature smash duet with Andrea Bocelli, Time To Say Goodbye, in a new solo rendition with lyrics Sarah wrote herself, and sung in English for the first time.
Stay Out Late is ultimately, the end result of understanding who we are, and more importantly, who we are not.
This will be our 15th year as a band, and our 5th record overall. In the years preceding the making of this record, we all had to define what it meant for us to be happy making music. There are certain mechanisms and tropes we all fall into as a result. And as hard as we may try to emulate what we consider to be higher art, or rather, classic music; we always end up with a Buxton record.
Sergio couldn't write for almost 2 years after 'Half A Native'. The answers to "why" had run dry. We all saw each other, hung out and everything was like normal. I can't really pinpoint the moment it all made sense again. The question had suddenly changed to "why not" and we were back in the studio making demos. There was a lurking sense that nobody would ever hear these songs, and that lead to a sort of creativity I'm not sure we'd really experienced before. All ideas were on the table, and more importantly they stayed on the table.
There are a handful of truly great masterpieces and the attempt of achieving that is one of the most daunting and exhausting pursuits any artist can take on. In the van we're constantly educating ourselves and finding new and in many cases old points of inspiration. Whether it be Mark Hollis, HC McEntire, Mickey Newbury or rediscovering the genius of Bette Midler, we find ourselves at the mercy of our own limitations of expression. Yet somehow in our most vulnerable project, we're simultaneously the most comfortable in our skin as we've ever been.
The core of this record is about being in it for the long haul, looking back, and being able to accept it all. We can only hope that the listener can in some way share and make tangible the joy that went into making this record.
The Greeting Committee's debut album This Is It is a coming-of-age story, a reflection on growing up but defiantly holding onto a certain innocence. The band delivers an undeniably original selection of songs that feel as intimate as a basement recording but unfold in intricate textures and melodic sophistication. With delicate yet powerful vocals, Sartino instills This Is It with an openheartedness that transcends age & time, bringing both dreamy sensitivity and wide-eyed wisdom to every track.