Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards – Blindspot (2013)

DWith the twang of a guitar, and that trademark voice – the sound of ice cracking as it is engulfed by warmer waters – Dan Michaelson opens his fourth album, Blindspot. From the very beginning of his debut record back in 2009 Michaelson’s voice, always full of such a fragile yearning, has been the centrepiece of every release.
In many ways, the voice will always be Michaelson’s iron lung. It is so unique, and so desperately beautiful that it couldn’t possibly be anything but the focus of his recordings. At the same time, though, so limited is it in terms of variety and versatility that his band the Coastguards are always stuck playing the same old sounds. There was such little development between debut Saltwater and follow-ups Shakes and Sudden Fiction that one could put the three records on shuffle and never be able to determine which track belonged to which.
Perhaps, then, this explains the approach Michaelson has taken to instrumentation on Blindspot. It is, quite frankly, gorgeous. At times sullen, at times simply lonesome, few albums have been this evocative of such a range of emotions and feelings – all of them in some way sad. Even when the music borders on inspirational in a sort of ‘Sigur Ros, but subtle’ way, the general inspiration isn’t a cheerfully manipulative Coldplay-esque ‘we can do anything!’, but rather an only vaguely hopeful ‘maybe, just maybe, we’ll make it through this’.

FLAC | 166 MB | UL |CL

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (2013)

qu…Like Clockwork is the forthcoming sixth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, due for release on June 3, 2013 on Matador Records. Self-produced by the band, it is the first Queens of the Stone Age album to feature full contributions from bassist Michael Shuman and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita, who both joined the band in 2007 to tour in support of its fifth studio album, Era Vulgaris (2007), and recorded its bonus tracks.

mp3 VBR~231 kbps | 80 MB | UL | CL

Surrogate – Post​-​Heroic (2013)

surFor their 4th studio record, Post-Heroic, Surrogate took their newfound self-sufficiency to new levels, moving into a dilapidated studio deep in the heart of their hometown’s college ghetto for two years of writing, recording, drinking cheap beer and taking their sweet ass time. Slimmed down to a four-piece, Post Heroic found all four members taking their turn manning the drum set, but rather than sounding scattered, the resulting 10 songs showcase the band’s penchant for incorporating disparate influences – the straightforward indie pop of “Lovers”, the post-rock ambience of “Accolades” or the bluesy, stripped down burn of “Battle Ground, Washington” – for a focused, multi-faceted sound.

mp3 320 kbps | 93 MB | UL

Danny Kalb and Friends – Moving In Blue (2013)

dannyRenowned blues guitarist Danny Kalb not only has a new album, but it s a double album in which he gets to explore the many sides and facets of the blues. A founding member of Blues Project in 1965 (which also included future Blood Sweat and Tears members Al Kooper and Steve Katz), Kalb is a fine guitarist with a deep understanding of the blues. This mighty collection kicks off with his own composition Feel Just Like Goin Hom,e a somewhat generic up-tempo blues rocker. It reveals Kalb s capable voice and workmanlike skills on the guitar, but it s the next song where the magic starts. Death Comes Creeping far better suits Kalb s gritty voice, and his hypnotic droning finger picking seems to be more his strong suit. This down-home riverside blues is pure pleasure and downright eerie when he sings God told Nicodemus, You must be born again. Other traditional covers include haunting acoustic rides through Got My Mojo Working, Can t Be Satisfied and In My Time Of Dying. Then he goes in a slightly different direction with Black Coffee, lush and luxurious in a T Bone Walker way. Kalb also offers a distinctly Chicago take on Big Joe Williams Baby Please Don t Go and John Lee Hooker s Louise. Dylan s It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry and Make You Feel My Love are given good updates, while Hank Williams (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle shows that early country wasn t far away from old blues. Originals like Waitress At the Troubadour, Feel Just Like Goin Home and Mournin At Midday are well-done, but the absolute highlight might be his stunning rendition of Son House s Death Letter Blues. It s dark, darker than black. This could actually be broken down into two records: An electric one and an acoustic based one. Released in this manner, however, the double CD album offers variety and diversity, showing the many ways you can use three chords and the truth and Kalb s singular, masterful take on it.

mp3 160 kbps | 120 MB | UL | CL

Escondido – The Ghost of Escondido (2013)

escEscondido is a Nashville formed duo of Jessica Maros and Tyler James. Their vibey Spaghetti Western sound has a Southwestern desert sway to it, somewhat reminiscent of the Friends of Dean Martinez, Calexico and parts of Son Volt infused with Ennio Morricone. They create a really alluring vibe for such a young group. The Ghost of Escondido is their debut album on Kill Canyon.

FLAC | 227 MB | UL                                                       

mp3 320 kbps | 91 MB | UL

Bob Dylan – Tempest (2012)

Bob Dylan’s 35th album, continues to employ blues, country, folk, and ragged rockabilly to carry his songs.Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962.The new album, produced by Jack Frost,and follows 2009′s worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life.

mp3 256 kbps + Covers | 134 MB | UL

Luther Dickinson & The Sons Of Mudboy – Onward And Upward (2009)

LUUThree days after the death of legendary musician and producer Jim Dickinson, his son, Luther Dickinson, gathered friends at the family Zebra Ranch studio in Independence, MS, and recorded Onward and Upward, an album of gospel songs, hymns, and blues spirituals, tracking directly to half-inch tape with no overdubs or embellishments, and the result was a no-frills and intimate testament of grief and renewal. Luther, long a member of the North Mississippi Allstars and also currently a member of the Black Crowes, dubbed the ad hoc group the Sons of Mudboy, a reference to his father’s influential band Mudboy and the Neutrons. On hand were two original members of the Neutrons, Sid Selvidge (guitar, vocals) and Jimmy Crosthwait (washboard, vocals), along with Jimbo Mathus (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals), Steve Selvidge (guitar, Dobro, vocals), Paul Taylor (washtub bass), and vocalist Shannon McNally. The album itself is essentially a musical wake, a way to both honor and say goodbye to Jim Dickinson in the one way he would most certainly want, and it is full of muted gems like the gently sad opener, “Let It Roll” (which Luther wrote that day), a haunting version of “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” and “Back Back Train,” among others. Onward and Upward emerges as a moving tribute, an emotional goodbye, and an honest, loving photograph of a moment in time, a moment when music reaches past entertainment to become the very heart of the matter.

mp3 320 kbps + Covers | 97 MB | UL | CL

The Handsome Family – Wilderness (2013)

handOn Wilderness, The Handsome Family returns with a concept album about wildlife — each song is named for some creature or other — with an emphasis on nature’s capacity for destruction. In “Caterpillars,” a woman is struck by lightning and struggles to escape the unkind vibrations that haunt her. “” tells the story of the “Wisconsin Window Smasher,” Mary Sweeney, from the 1890s then follows its tragic protagonist to the insane asylum. “The owls, they mock me / and have stolen my pills,” Brett Sparks sings at one point in “Owls.” Animals may burrow in and out of each of these songs, but they’re merely helping humanity forge a pathway to madness.

m4a 256 kbps | 112 MB | UL | CL

Kasey Chambers – Wayward Angel (2004)

KWhen Kasey Chambers sings, she manages the not-unremarkable accomplishment of splitting the difference between Emmylou Harris’s crystalline purity and Lucinda Williams’s rough-hewn emotional honesty, and the most startling thing is you sense she sounded like this before she ever heard of either artist. Chambers’ songwriting is no less remarkable, and connects in much the same way, chronicling matters of the heart and soul in a manner that achieves a genuine and unaffected beauty with just a dash of the truthful messiness that comes with being human. Chambers’s third solo album, Wayward Angel, is perhaps a bit less striking than her first two sets, The Captain and Barricades & Brickwalls, if only because she staked out her style on those sessions, and here she’s harvesting from the ground she broke earlier on.

FLAC + Covers | 394 MB | UL | TB