Laneway – Turn Your Love Up (2012)

It’s been over three years since the release of their acclaimed debut album, If You Don’t Need It Let It  Go.  Now, after two years of pioneering and playing music from their sub-tropical abode in the southeast Queensland rainforest of Natural Bridge, Laneway have crafted a stunning new release entitled, Turn Your Love Up.Featuring a superb collection of ten original songs penned by the duo, Turn Your Love Up displays strong and striking roomy guitars both gritty and delicate, reflecting light and shade, with haunted, floating vocals and diverse compositions.

mp3 320 kbps | 93 MB | UJ | UL

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Tribute – A Box Full Of Versions (2012)

01 I am trying to break your heart (Fernando Bernardino )
02 Kamera (Gru )
03 Radio cure (Harmada )
04 War on war (Josephines )
05 Jesus, etc. (The Prom Queen)
06 Ashes of american flags (Foppa )
07 Heavy metal drummer (The Sorry Shop)
08 I’m the man who loves you (Trend)
09 Pot kettle black (Benjamins)
10 Poor places (Lestics )
11 Reservations (Giancarlo Rufatto & Wilco Country Club)

mp3 192 kbps | 105 MB | UJ | UL

Emily Portman – Hatchling (2012)

Portman’s ability to weave new songs from old yarns, unveiled on her 2010 debut The Glamoury, is maintained with verve on this follow-up. Again the Northumberland-based singer mixes antique folk with myth and touches of magical realism, as in Hinge of the Year – inspired by Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus – a new year’s tale with “vodka, wine and blood in the gutters”. Portman’s ethereal vocals work well enough alone but are best showcased by the cello and viola accompaniments of Sleeping Beauty and Ash Girl, both reminders that faerie land can be a dark and brooding realm. Marvellous.

mp3 320 kbps | 101 MB | UJ | UL

American Music Club – San Francisco (1994)

Regrettably, with their final effort, San Francisco, American Music Club went out with a whimper, not a bang. An undeveloped, erratic collection of songs, the record suffers under the weight of overly slick, commercial arrangements, and production which renders tracks like “It’s Your Birthday,” “Wish the World Away,” and “Hello Amsterdam” as bland alterna-rock; only the effervescent “Can You Help Me?” manages to absorb and transcend its glossy pop veneer. Still, Mark Eitzel goes down swinging, conjuring a handful of haunting gems — the best cuts on San Francisco, from the luminous opener “Fearless.” to the achingly tender “The Thorn in My Side Is Gone,” are also the most simple; AMC never needed adornment, just a sympathetic ear.

mp3 320 kbps | 140 MB | UJ | UL

The Bloody Jug Band – Coffin Up Blood (2012)

Coffin Up Blood,is a combination of Americana, Alt. Country, JUG-Rock, Blues, and Florida Swamp-Noir.Every nuance of the band’s distinctive sound is here. Most bands might use a jug, harmonica, wash tub bass, mandolin, or washboard as a single effect in a song here or there, but with The Bloody Jug Band, those are just some of the band members’ primary instruments, and they can be prominently heard, without taking away from the rest of the song.

mp3 320 kbps | 102 MB | UJ | UL

O’Hooley & Tidow – The Fragile (2012)

The album is again dominated by O’Hooley’s inventive piano playing, first heard when she was with the Unthanks, but here she also adds accordion, while the occasional backing is provided mostly by strings. To this the duo add their finest harmony singing to date, particularly on the unaccompanied tracks: the Irish ballad She Lived Beside the Anner and an exquisite reworking of Massive Attack’s Teardrop.

mp3 320 kbps | 124 MB | UJ

Gram Parsons – GP (1973, MFSL 2012)

GP is American singer-songwriter Gram Parsons’ debut solo album. Working with a crack band of L.A. and Nashville’s finest (including James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums, Byron Berline on fiddle, and Glen D. Hardin on piano).
Mastered from the original master tapes, and going far beyond the multiple digital reissues that never opened up the music as promised, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited edition hybrid SACD brings to fore unprecedented degrees of fireplace-hearth warmth, natural organic accents, and the you-are- there vocal signatures of Parsons and partner Emmylou Harris.

mp3 320 kbps | 136 MB | UJ | UL

Small Sur – Mobtown Microshow: Live From Baltimore (2012)

Small Sur’s sound is composed of tidy layers of ambiance that are both robust and beautiful. The sustain pedal on Abelow’s electronic keyboard is key. The aesthetic most closely resembles droopy artists such as Will Oldham, Dolorean, and the Red House Painters, bands that require a serious commitment to sit, think, and not nod off while getting deep into a listening session.

mp3 320 kbps | 85 MB | UJ | UL

Six Organs Of Admittance – Ascent (2012)

Adopting the maxim ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it,’ Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny opens his latest album with a big, bold guitar solo – a whole five and a half minutes of virtuoso fret fiddling, all told. Track two mixes things up, kind of: it’s still a five-minute guitar solo, but with a couple of extra minutes of moody psych preceding it.For those who prefer such noodling as a means to an end (rather than the main attraction), both workouts are liable to outstay their welcome, but Chasny knows better than to let tedium take root, with Solar Ascent focusing his skills on a dirge-like slice of melancholia, and the acoustic melodies of Your Ghost delivering another well-timed pace-change. While Ascent is arguably less distinctive than recent discography highlights like the droning Luminous Night, its full-on rock elements serve to further subvert SOA’s alt-folk origins, to striking effect.

mp3 256 kbps | 42 MB | UJ | UL

The Beach Boys – 50th Anniversary Collection ‘Zinepak (2012)

This commemorative 50th Anniversary Beach Boys release includes an 11-song CD, a collectible 72-page magazine and three exclusive postcards. The CD features an all-new recording of the hit “Do It Again” available exclusively on this release, plus 10 more of the band’s greatest hits. The magazine includes dozens of rare photographs from the band’s career and exclusive new interviews with Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, and David Marks.

mp3 320 kbps | 68 MB | UJ

Old Joe Clarks – Metal Shed Blues (1999)

The Old Joe Clarks’ solid debut, Town of Ten, was all delicate acoustic picking and melancholy motifs. The 1999 follow-up Metal Shed Blues remains faithful to those country-blues beginnings, but it also marks a significant step forward for the group. Singer/songwriter Mike Coykendall’s craggy voice sounds something like Bob Dylan’s might after a small hit of helium, so it’s not really surprising that his songs occasionally bear Dylan’s influence: “Passers By,” for example, feels like Dylan’s “Meet Me in the Morning” run low on batteries, and “Thirsty” is reminiscent of “Country Pie.” The best cuts here, though, fuse such expected folk-rock inspirations with a bittersweet melodicism at which the group’s debut never even hinted. “Slow,” “Turn,” and “Eyes Closed” travel the back roads of relationships dead and dying, with a poignant and spare pop sense that’s quietly beautiful.

mp3 320 kbps | 101 MB | UJ | UL

Saint Thomas – There’s Only One of Me (2009)

Apparently Saint Thomas have been around for six years now, touring with the likes of Lambchop and Of Montreal and over time developing an addiction to alcohol and prescription medications. Yep, like Amy Winehouse, they tried to make him go to rehab, and apparently he did and put together this album at the same time. I suppose it’s a good way to get rid of your demons, and this collection of surprisingly upbeat alt-country pop (think Bonnie Prince Billy crossed with Galaxie 500) is a testament to the man’s willpower. Already released in Norway to great acclaim, we can finally hear the record in the UK and it shows just how intruiging the Norwegian scene is right now, coming up with some of the finest pop this side of the world. I mean, they gave us The Kings of Convenience and now it seems Saint Thomas is ready to step into the limelight. Check out opening track ‘The Drive’ and you’ll know exactly what to expect, with chirpy upbeat vocals and an endearingly lo-fi production style that makes you feel like you’re being played to in your front room. Elsewhere ‘The Famous Stalker’ brings to mind Hefner at their best and ‘After the Show’ is like Sufjan Stevens as played by Daniel Johnson. For alt.country at it’s most intimate you won’t be able to find much more honest and heart-wrenching than Saint Thomas.

mp3 320 kbps | 86 MB | UJ

Will Johnson – Scorpion (2012)

Scorpion was recorded in the wooded outskirts of Denton, Texas, at the studio of longtime bandmate, producer and engineer Matt Pence.  Also lending their skills to Scorpion are multi-instrumentalists Scott Danbom (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel, Sarah Jaffe), Howard Draper (Tre Orsi, Shearwater, Okkervil River) and Magnolia Electric Company’s Mikey Kapinus.Unlike Centro-matic’s Candidate Waltz or Johnson’s last solo album Vultures Await (both of which were written well in advance and recorded using carefully conceived arrangements), Scorpion documents the genesis and germination of its songs. “A lot of them,” Johnson says, “Were written in the studio, right then and there, in the moment. I enjoy capturing those initial gut reactions in songwriting. It doesn’t always work, but when it does—you capture the song in such a raw, unique form.”

mp3 320 kbps | 86 MB | UJ

Freeman Dre And The Kitchen Party – Old Town (2012)

Freeman Dre has become of one Toronto’s most talked about singer-songwriters. His fresh take on Folk traditions and songwriting have garnered attention of crowds and critics around the world, his collective, Fedora Upside Down, are changing the landscape of Toronto’s downtown music scene, and his band, The Kitchen Party, are a cult following in progress.The name of the band is a reference to a kitchen in a partied-out Queen West pad in Toronto where, only a few years ago, the group threw impromptu shows until crowds started to spill into the street and the neighbours began complain. But despite the casual atmosphere in which they originated, make no mistake; onstage, Kitchen Party is tighter than a three day bender. Described in Exclaim magazine as “a highly entertaining outfit live”, the lyrics aren’t just words, they are stories, and the landscape is one of the city’s most creatively fertile neighbourhoods, Parkdale. Where friends hang out most every night, where tales get spun, and where a lot of music gets written.

mp3 320 kbps | 90 MB | UJ | UL

Peter Baldrachi – Back To The Start (2012)

Back To The Start is the third solo release from Peter Baldrachi. Eleven of the twelve tracks appearing on Back To The Start were released on 2011’s Tomorrow Never Knows in September 2011.However, the record was pulled a few months after its initial release to be remixed the by Ed Stasium, (Ramones, Mick Jagger, The Smithereens, Reverend Horton Heat, Nada Surf) in early 2012. An additional track, “Picture On My Wall” which first appeared as a B-side, was also remixed with additional parts added by Stasium (harmonica, guitar, percussion), and included on the album.The record has earned positive reviews from publications such as The Big Takeover, GhettoBlaster magazine, and PowerPopaholic.The record also features performances by guitarist, bassist, and arranger Gary Rand, keyboardists Dave Lieb (The Vinyl Skyway) and Peter Linnane (The Farewells), backing vocalists Alice Austin (The Lavas, Stark Raving Mad) and Amy Fairchild, keyboardist and 2012 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ian McLagan (Small Faces, Faces, The Rolling Stones, Billy Bragg), singer/songwriter Amy Rigby (solo, Wreckless Eric), multi-instrumentalist Ian Kennedy (Reverse, Dennis Brennan), and cellist Aristides Rivas.

mp3 320 kbps | 102 MB | UJ | UL

Family Band – Grace & Lies (2012)

It’s no surprise that the musical pairing of a visual artist and a metal guitarist winds up being as dramatic as Family Band. Vocalist Kim Krans and husband Johnny Ollsin take on the gothier side of dreamy folk on their debut album, Grace & Lies, wrapping shivery shadows of simple, heavy music up with bleak, chilly vocals. Bassist/lap steel guitarist Scott Hirsch fleshes out the pair’s haunted pop, but the icy power of Family Band lies in the empty spaces that pervade the album’s nine songs.

mp3 320 kbps | 93 MB | UJ | UL