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The Big Takeover Issue #92
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Smokey Mirror - s/t (Rise Above)

2 May 2023

What’s more amazing – that heavy psychedelic blues rock is a style that never goes away, or that in the right hands it never gets old?

Tim Easton - Sliver of Light (Black Mesa Records)

1 May 2023

Nashville -based songwriter Tim Easton presents “Sliver of Light”, a song that lives in the category of powerlessness over the behavior of others. Literally inspired by a personal event and the thin line that exists between life and death, this single is released via Oklahoma -based Black Mesa Records.

Pennies By The Pound - Nothingside (Lilith Label)

1 May 2023

Nordic prog rock outfit Pennies By The Pound present their new Nothingside album, released via the Lilith label. A collection of 10 tracks primarily in prog-rock territory, Nothingside is a concept album that takes the band’s music to a fantastic new realm beyond anything they’ve released before.

deVon Russell Gray/Nathan Hanson/Davu Seru - We Sick (Innova/Composer’s Forum)

1 May 2023

For We Sick, pianist deVon Russell Gray, saxophonist Nathan Hanson, and drummer Davu Seru recorded in an empty church across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol – a building surrounded by the National Guard due to the murder of George Floyd mere weeks before.

Video: "King of a Land" by Yusuf/Cat Stevens (BMG/Dark Horse)

28 April 2023

Yusuf / Cat Stevens shares his wishes and advice with England’s new monarch. “The major message of the song is, don’t forget that there’s One above you, and be careful to look out for those who are below you,” says Yusuf.

Jody and the Jerms - Wonder (JATJ Records)

28 April 2023

UK indie pop outfit Jody and the Jerms present their full-length album Wonder, released via JATJ Records and arriving on a wave of rave reviews and airplay for lead tracks “Started Something” and “Insatiable”.

Their third album to date, this new collection of 12 tracks was produced, mixed and mastered by RIDE frontman Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studio in Oxfordshire. Loaded with a healthy dose of melodic crystallised indie pop that is heartfelt and honest, they present endearing jangle-pop songs that are both evocative and relatable.

Withered Hand - How To Love (Reveal Records)

28 April 2023

Withered Hand is the nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dan Willson, who originally hails from London. On this album, Withered Hand continues to live up to his reputation as one of Scotland’s most gifted songwriters. He has garnered worldwide support and heavy airplay on tastemaker stations including BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio.

Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream in Teenage Heaven/Express/Earth Sun Moon/s/t (Beggars Arkive)

28 April 2023

With their catalog now being reissued on collector nerds’ catnip (AKA vinyl), the time is ripe for both newcomers and longtime fans to discover, or rediscover, their distinctive genius.

Kenny Wheeler - Gnu High/Naná Vasconcelos - Saudades (ECM Luminessence)

27 April 2023

ECM steps up with the Luminessence series – vinyl reissues from the label’s vast catalog, both common classics and deep cut gems.

The Foreign Films - Magic Shadows (Sonic Envy)

26 April 2023

The Foreign Films’ sixth release guides the crafty Bill Majoros’ love of classic ‘60s/‘70s pop-rock toward the retro-futuristic ‘80s.

Allen Lowe & the Constant Sorrow Orchestra - In the Dark/America: The Rough Cut (ESP-Disk’)

26 April 2023

Saxophonist Allen Lowe has lived one hell of a music-obsessed life.

LionHaire - Wish You Never Did (OK Records)

25 April 2023

Lionhaire is a British singer-songwriter born in U.K. but having spent her childhood in Paris. Growing up between the two countries has had an influence on her music, as she flips casually between the languages to tell her story. Now back in the U.K. based in London, you’ll find Lionhaire on stage in the big city writing, performing and conveying her feelings with her guitar and voice, a voice whose smooth vocals are already being compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill.

Bill Evans - Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings From Denmark (1965-1969) (Elemental)

25 April 2023

As indicated by the title, these performances come from Danish radio, and have not been heard since they were first broadcast in the sixties.

Constant Smiles – Kenneth Anger (Sacred Bones)

24 April 2023

I recently caught up with Ben Jones from Constant Smiles to ask him about the new LP, ”Kenneth Anger” that came out in early March. The captivating album from Ben and his “collective” of band members flows with gorgeous indie dreampop/synth-pop.

Doc City - Welcome to Doc City (Self-Released)

24 April 2023

Welcome to Doc City is an exquisitely executed album, augmented by a cast of top session players, and the result is a listening experience that was clearly a labor of love for all involved.

Painted Faces - Normal Street (ESP-Disk’)

24 April 2023

Normal Street continues the journey into the heart of American primitivism and the lowest of low-fi.

The Ladderman - Figures on Demand (Self-Released)

23 April 2023

The Ladderman’s third album is easily their most ambitious and accomplished yet, and on Figures on Demand the group willingly throws themselves into the deep end, exploring uncharted territory with startling results.

Oberon Rose Preaches the Gospel of Psych Rock on new LP "Purple, Blue & Crimson"

22 April 2023

Having been called “psych rock in its most pure and raw form”, it’s clear Oberon Rose is a band that is letting the music do the talking. Wherever the muse leads them, though, thought provoking lyrical image-ry and engaging melodic hooks are always at the forefront.

The Mystery Plan - Haunted Organic Machines (10mm Omega Recordings)

22 April 2023

“North Carolina” indie pop outfit The Mystery Plan present their new album Haunted Organic Machines, released via American boutique label 10mm Omega Recordings. Their eighth full-length album and 13th major release to date, the band explores new, but familiar territory from spacey dance grooves to spooky, moody dream pop and thensome.

Wayne Merdinger - Hidden Gems (Self-Released)

21 April 2023

Hidden Gems, instead of being a mismatched hodgepodge, is the most concerted document of Merdinger’s fine songwriting ability so far, and it represents the pinnacle of a real maturing for the artist.

Ben Wendel - All One (Edition)

21 April 2023

Composer and horn player Ben Wendel clearly has a grounding in jazz and classical traditions. But that doesn’t mean he’s stuck in the past, as his latest album All One suggests.

The Noise Who Runs - 2poor2die (TNWR Records)

20 April 2023

UK-France duo The Noise Who Runs present their latest single, “2poor2die” ahead of Preteretrospective, a 14-track offering sprung from the mind of Ian Pickering (of Sneaker Pimps and Front Line Assembly), which will featuring songs from their first two EPs – curated and set in a more far-reaching context – along with six new, previously unreleased tracks.

Rachel Eckroth - One (self-released)

20 April 2023

If you’re a trainspotter for either jazz or rock credits, you’re likely to have come across Rachel Eckroth’s name.

The Bellwether Syndicate - Golden Age (Sett Records / Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe)

19 April 2023

Alternative post-punk outfit The Bellwether Syndicate have released “Golden Age”, the final single from their Vestige & Vigil album, out on April 28 via Sett Records in North America and elsewhere via Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe.

Black Dog String Quartet - A Thousand Times Brighter (Self-Released)

19 April 2023

A Thousand Times Brighter will appeal to fans of any number of genres from both sides of the classical/pop aisle, and the album will be released April 28th.

Clay Joule & Elisa Mammoliti - Drifters (Truwan Studio)

19 April 2023

Clay Joule always has something vital to say and his latest song, “Drifters” is certainly no exception. Here he teams up with vocalist Elisa Mammoliti and Truwan Studio to create a song that is both fantastic to listen to in the moment but which will also raise awareness and ask crucial questions of the listener.

Le Boeuf Brothers - Hush (Soundspore)

19 April 2023

As much a conceptual exercise as familial playtime, Hush is an album about sonic intimacy.

Withered Hand - Crippled Love (Reveal Records)

18 April 2023

Ahead of his much-anticipated How To Love album, UK folk-rock troubadour Withered Hand presents “Crippled Love”, along with a live acoustic set of this endearing song. This record – his first new music in nine years – will officially be released on April 28 via Reveal Records,

Bumpin Uglies - Live at Sugarshack Sessions Vol. 2 (Sugarshack Records / Ineffable Music)

18 April 2023

Bumpin Uglies spawned from an Annapolis, MD scene awash in musical history over a decade ago. They are rooted in East Coast ska, punk, and reggae, making their mark up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In the past ten years, Bumpin Uglies have worked to carve out their path by relentlessly touring, and releasing one album after another.

Trading Aces - Rock ‘n’ Roll Homicide (Ripple Music)

18 April 2023

Drawing from the ranks of Warrior Soul and the City Kids for a tribute track to Eddie Van Helen, Meyer and friends created Trading Aces, knocking out enough songs for a debut LP in record time.

Evidence of a Struggle - Do'Oa (self-released)

17 April 2023

Chicago-based collective Evidence of a Struggle presents their debut single “Do’Oa”, a wonderful fusion of sounds that recall the works of Tortoise and 4AD artist Dif Juz all at once. This spring of creativity offers the first taste of the forthcoming eponymous album, scheduled for release on June 9.

Dominic Miller - Vagabond (ECM)

17 April 2023

Though best known as the guitarist for Sting for three decades, guitarist Dominic Miller has another, less bombastic side to him.

Rachael Blanche - Translator (self-released)

17 April 2023

Rachael Blanche is a London based artist who splits her time between LA/Brisbane. She has, in recent years, teamed up with Stuart Stuart and they have been working together on her upcoming releases, her next single “Translator” is coming out on April 28th 2023.

Ruth Blake - Not Your Angel (self-released)

14 April 2023

UK indie pop artist Ruth Blake presents her new single “Not Your Angel”, rejecting the idea that our beauty lies only in our capacity to be angelic, beautiful and sweet. An antidote for that toxic ideology, Blake invites women to embrace their own fierceness.

GoGo Penguin - Everything is Gonna Be Alright (XXIM/Sony Masterworks)

14 April 2023

The dapper and dynamic trio GoGo Penguin exists outside of any easy genre sticker.

The Scooches - Stop This Climate Change (On The Bol Records)

13 April 2023

“Stop This Climate Change” is a poetic and uplifting call to action fraught with cataclysmic imagery of fire, ice, flooding, and the desire for change. The lyric “We’ve got to stop this climate and change” refers to the climate of helplessness and denial that surrounds climate change. Vocalist/composer/lyricist/performer Betina Hershey wrote the song about interpersonal relationships with each other, but also with Mother Earth, because, collectively, the human race must stop denying climate change.

Wayne Escoffery - Like Minds (Smoke Sessions)

13 April 2023

Like Minds, the latest album from saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, focuses on chemistry – particularly the chemistry between old friends and bandmates who’ve played together so often their interplay is beyond telepathic.

Lusitanian Ghosts - The Long Train (European Phonographic)

12 April 2023

Trans-Atlantic alternative neo-folk collective Lusitanian Ghosts present “The Long Train”, engineered and mixed by Sebastian Muxfeldt (Elbow, Peter Doherty, Teenage Fanclub) at Clouds Hill Studios in Hamburg. This is the first single from the band’s forthcoming Lusitanian Ghosts III album, due out later this year via European Phonographic. The ‘Ghosts offer a brilliant taste of the sonic prism through which they present ancient sounds in the 21st Century.

Pennies By The Pound - Whispers Beneath The Willow Tree (Lilith Label)

12 April 2023

Nordic prog rock outfit Pennies By The Pound present their new Nothingside album, released via the Lilith label. A collection of 10 tracks primarily in prog-rock territory, Nothingside is a concept album that takes the band’s music to a fantastic new realm beyond anything they’ve released before.

Nick Finzer - Dreams Visions Illusions (Outside In Music)

12 April 2023

The founder of the great Outside In label, Nick Finzer has spent the last decade gracing the jazz racks with a plethora of interesting and exciting musicians.

Bike - Filha Do Vento (Quadrado Mágico / Before Sunrise Records)

11 April 2023

Brazil-based sonic adventurers BIKE have released their new single ‘‘Filha Do Vento” (translation ‘Daughter of the Wind’) with its tense progress and syncopated rhythm. This is the second invigorating taster of their new album Arte Bruta scheduled for release on May 5 via Quadrado Mágico Records and Before Sunrise Records.

Highway 61 - Driving South/Leather Catsuit - s/t/Slamdinistas - Shoot For the Stars (Rum Bar)

10 April 2023

One thing that often gets overlooked by the punk and power pop heads that follow them is that the label also spotlights a style of blues- and roots-based rock & roll that’s fallen ever further out of fashion as the decades pass.

Big Bliss - A Seat at the Table (single) (Good Eye)

8 April 2023

Swirling with R.E.M. —infused sparks, the powerful new single, “A Seat at the Table”, from NYC trio Big Bliss surges and uplifts musically while capturing the grim reality of daily gun violence in America.

The Earthly Frames - Taped Over (Self-Released)

6 April 2023

Shifting away from the electronic or ambient sounds of previous releases, The Earthly Frames have found a real home with folk, and although it’s unlikely they’ll linger here for long, one can only hope it’s a sound they return to in the future.

A Cloud of Ravens - Parable (Nexilis Records)

6 April 2023

NYC-based postpunk duo A Cloud of Ravens has released “Parable”, the final taster of their much anticipated Lost Hymns LP with a new video that is as foreboding as the lyrics. Recorded from spring to autumn 2021 and mastered by ACTORSJason Corbett at his Jacknife Sound studio, this collection of 11 tracks will be released via Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe on April 28.

Walter Smith III - Return to Casual (Blue Note)

6 April 2023

Both a brilliant bandleader and a consummate sideperson, saxophonist/composer Walter Smith III has been modestly making a mark in the jazz world for nearly twenty years.

The Flowers of Hell - Keshakhtaran (Space Age Recordings)

5 April 2023

Toronto-London based experimental group The Flowers Of Hell have announced that they will release their new album Keshakhtaran via UK cult label Space Age Recordings (home to Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, Chapterhouse, Acid Mothers Temple and The Telescopes). Ahead of this, they present “Foray Through Keshakhtaran”, the first taste of the trans-Atlantic group’s first studio album in six years.

Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys - Howl (Unique Records / Schubert Music Europe / Metropolis Records / The Orchard)

5 April 2023

As they gear up to release their new Heaving LP, Berlin-based Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys has joined with Metropolis Records for North America distribution as a result of a partnership agreement with Europe-based Unique Records, a division of Schubert Music Europe, Uniquely merging moody art pop, dark folk and delightful ambient noise, the group, South Africa-born artist Lucy Kruger leads the way in creating music that is full of atmosphere and intensity.

Psycho Death Punk - Psycho Death Punk (self-released)

5 April 2023

Blending everything from punk to grunge to rock to doomy metal, Psycho Death Punk’s eponymous debut album could just be the shot in the arm that the harder end of the music spectrum has been waiting for.

Steve Swell’s Fire Into Music - For Jemeel: Fire From the Road (RogueArt)

5 April 2023

Everyone involved hits their marks with practiced ease and long-running passion, showing not only adventurous spirits but a deep-rooted chemistry.