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The Big Takeover Issue #91
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The Shop Window – “A 4 Letter Word” (Spinout Nuggets)

10 December 2022

Two albums in, The Shop Window has dived into the warm sound of jangle pop with outstanding results. The Kent, UK band’s ”A 4 Letter Word” has just been released on limited edition vinyl and is a record I can’t stop playing.

Kevin Flatt - People I Like (self-released)

9 December 2022

There are lots of multi-instrumentalists out there in Musicland – that’s no surprise. But how many of them are experts in a pair of instruments as disparate as the guitar and the trumpet?

Anton Barbeau - Stranger (Beehive/Gare du Nord)

9 December 2022

Barbeau lets it all hang out here, both musically and emotionally, and it leads to Stranger being one of his very best records.

Bad Mary - A Very Bad Christmas (self-released)

8 December 2022

Tired of the usual Christmas tunes played the normal way? Bad Mary has the answer and A Very Bad Christmas takes a collection of seasonal sounds, turns them on their head, weaponises them and breathes new life into the holiday sound. Not for the faint-hearted.

Richard Dawson - The Ruby Cord (Weird World/Domino)

8 December 2022

Guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Dawson is part of a long line of British eccentrics.

Popular Creeps - All of This Will End in Tears/Librarians With Hickeys - Handclaps & Tambourines/Crossword Smiles - Pressed & Ironed (Big Stir)

7 December 2022

In a way the West Coast counterpart to Boston’s Rum Bar Records, Burbank’s Big Stir also pledges its troth to gimmick-free guitar pop and rock & roll, with an emphasis on the former.

Russ Hewitt-Chasing Horizons

Russ Hewitt - Chasing Horizons (Russ Hewitt)

6 December 2022

One listen to this mesmerizing fourth album was all it took to become hooked on Dallas instrumental guitar virtuoso Hewitt’s dexterous and highly melodious style of flamenco playing.

Nasty Facts - "Drive My Car" EP (Left for Dead)

6 December 2022

While that pressing has sold out, a 2nd vinyl pressing (with a beautiful 11×17 poster) as well as a cassette and CD version have now been released, making it easier for fans who want a physical copy of this release to get one.

Harvie S & Roni Ben-Hur with Sylvia Cuenca - Wondering (Dot Time)

6 December 2022

The pair hit it off when working together as part of drummer Tim Horner’s group, and their chemistry, both with each other and with Cuenca, is evident in this relaxed set of songs.

Dawn Riding - You’re Still Here (Speakeasy)

5 December 2022

Working with producer Alicia Vanden Heuvel, Janko and her band make a record that sounds utterly out of time, with a simple, stripped-down arrangement style that eschews production slickness for soul.

Darryl Harper - Chamber Made (Stricker Street)

5 December 2022

The term “chamber jazz” has fairly wide-ranging connotations – just check out the catalog of ECM Records. But Chamber Made, the latest album from clarinetist Darryl Harper, takes the sobriquet literally.

Faith Marie - Rock Bottom (UUin, Inc.)

3 December 2022

LA-based alt-pop songstress Faith Marie presents her new single “Rock Bottom”, the lead single from her forthcoming EP, titled More Than I Am, which is slated for release in early 2023. Her two-year hibernation is over following a series of lockdowns and other setbacks, this 3-track release taking a year to complete from beginning to end.

SICKY - Garbage Town (self-released)

3 December 2022

British alternative artist SICKY presents his thickly layered sophomore album Garbage Town, a 12-track collection that follows three singles – the title track “Garbage Town”, “The Bridge”, and the latest “A Bite Without A Mark”. SICKY is the solo project of Mick Butler, his brand of melodic Britpop-infused indie rock spells good news for fans of Beck, Supergrass and early Blur. Originally from the Black Country region of England, he is now based in Shropshire.

Ahmad Jamal - Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse Vol. 1 & 2 (Jazz Detective/Deep Digs Music Group)

2 December 2022

Though he’s not invoked as much as he used to be, it’s worth remembering that Ahmad Jamal is a major jazz figure, both in terms of popularity and cultural impact.

Ward White - Ice Cream Chords (VF14)

1 December 2022

The Los Angeles singer/songwriter/guitarist has made it to album #14 without causing much of a ripple on the surface of popular acclaim, and given the high quality of his work, that’s both a shame and a mystery.

Stephan Thelen - Fractal Guitar 3 (MoonJune)

30 November 2022

Though not as focused as the Sonar records or as risky as the string quartet album, in some ways Thelen’s Fractal Guitar series represents his aesthetic at its most pure.

Dan Israel - Seriously (self-released)

29 November 2022
Few songwriters are capable of coming up with such catchy melodies with such ease, and his sonic approach – somewhere between rootsy folk rock and winsome power pop – fits his plainspoken singing and (mostly) personal lyrics like the perfect sock.

Chris Connelly - Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico (Shipwrecked Industries / Easy Action)

28 November 2022

Alternative music legend Chris Connelly presents his new album Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico, a colossal 24-track offering released by Shipwrecked Industries in the USA and Easy Action in the UK, paying tribute to Nico – the iconic muse of The Velvet Underground and one of the most unique, tragic and misunderstood female artists in the history of music.

Ant Law & Alex Hitchcock - Same Moon in the Same World (Outside In Music)

28 November 2022

As both men favor melodic construction over unrestricted blowing, together they create a program that, while technically impressive, is more purely musical than anything else.

Trashcan Sinatras - Lay of the Land (EP) (Last Night From Glasgow)

25 November 2022

Scotland’s Trashcan Sinatras released “Lay of the Land” over the summer as a digital-only release. A new physical-format EP (12” orange vinyl or CD) with three bonus b-sides is fresh off the press.

Rum Bar Records Round-Up: The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs - All the Covers (and More)/The Young Hasselhoffs - Life Got in the Way/The Downhauls - Versus (All Modern Evils (Rum Bar)

25 November 2022

It’s hard to keep up, let alone find the brightest diamonds, so here’s a quick round-up of some of the best of their recent releases.

Rob Munk - Youth (Magic Door Label)

25 November 2022

American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his new Phased Out album, 20 years after initially leaving the music scene. Alas, music takes on its own life, pushing Rob back into its realm with better and more personal songs than ever before. During the pandemic, he recorded this album with his good friend, actor-writer-artist Daniel London (Old Joy, Minority Report, Manhattan) and Tinsel drummer and writer-director Joe Ventura.

The Pull of Autumn & Once Grace Forever - Live Today (RBM Records)

24 November 2022

Art rock collective The Pull of Autumn presents their new single “Live Today”, a joint collaboration with Tokyo dreamgaze band Once Grace Forever. with a kaleidoscopic video created by Rosie Varela of acclaimed shoegaze band EEP.

Nicholas Payton - The Couch Sessions (Smoke Sessions)

23 November 2022

Trumpeter/keyboardist Nicholas Payton is that rare musician who knows exactly how to balance two callings – reverence for the ancestors and the urge to move forward and keep the music’s evolution going.

A Cloud of Ravens - Nature of Artifice (Nexilis Records)

23 November 2022

NYC-based alternative rock / post-punk duo A Cloud of Ravens present their new single “Nature of Artifice”. Following lead track “The Blackest Mantra”, this is the second taste of their third full-length album Lost Hymns, to be released in early 2023 via Berlin-based Nexilis Records, a division of Schubert Music Europe.

Gramercy Arms - Yesterday's Girl (Magic Door Recordings)

22 November 2022

NYC-based indie rock / powerpop outfit Gramercy Arms presents their Americana-tinged single “Yesterday’s Girl”, a bittersweet remembrance of love lost and friendship regained. This is the first taste of their Deleted Scene album, scheduled for release via the Magic Door Record Label in early 2023,

Overwhelming Colorfast - s/t (ORG Music)

22 November 2022

The quartet made three albums of punky, fuzz-banged power pop that deserved more than to be relegated to the dollar bins.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

21 November 2022

Jimi on the cusp of change, testing the boundaries of stardom.

Dezron Douglas - ATALAYA (International Anthem)

21 November 2022

Though probably best known for his work with Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Louis Hayes and Trey Anastasio, bassist/composer Dezron Douglas is a fine bandleader in his own right.

Savage Republic - Africa Corps Live at the Whisky A Go Go/Exploratorium - s/t (Independent Project Records)

18 November 2022

Guitarist Bruce Licher continues rolling out the reissues on his re-galvanized Independent Project Records label with the release of archival material from his much beloved band Savage Republic.

Hayley and the Crushers - Modern Adult Kicks (Kitten Robot)

17 November 2022

Filtering their sunny birthplace roots through the hard rocking urbanity of their current hometown, California-to-Detroit immigrants Hayley and the Crusher kick the appropriate jams out on fourth LP Modern Adult Kicks.

Avram Fefer Quartet - Juba Lee (Clean Feed)

17 November 2022

Fefer comes up with strong tunes that take advantage not only of his full-boded, almost creamy tone, but the special skills of his quartet.

Frenchy and the Punk - Zen Ghost (EA Recordings)

17 November 2022

Frenchy and the Punk is vocalist, percussionist and lyricist Samantha Stephenson and guitarist-composer Scott Helland, who was co-founder and bassist of Outpatients and also Deep Wound (along with Dinosaur Jr. founders J Mascis and Lou Barlow). Influenced by The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Blondie, Concrete Blonde and The B52’s, the duo thrive in their trademark blend of post-punk and dark folk music.

Dispel - Inferno (self-released)

16 November 2022

Dark electro-goth collective Dispel presents their sophomore release Inferno. A concept album based on Dante’s literary masterpiece, it features a song for each layer of sin existing in the infernal realm. In this album, Dispel follows Dante and his guide Virgil down each layer of the Nine Hells, dedicating a song to each level of mortal sin. Sprinkled with diabolical personalities from ancient mythology and fantasy literature, this undertaking took two years to complete.

Mata Atlântica - Retiro e Ritmo (7d Media)

16 November 2022

Mata Atlântica is a rainforest on the coast of Brazil, and is one of the most species-rich biotopes on Earth – as well as one of the most endangered, with 90% of it already destroyed. Mata Atlântica is also a musical project assembled by co-producer and co-composers Mathias Derer and Markus Reuter.

Dmitry Wild - Electric Souls (self-released)

15 November 2022

New York-based garage rock purveyor Dmitry Wild has released his Electric Souls album, bringing us 11 tracks that showcase his trademark blend of 70’s vintage rock, garage rock and post-punk ethos.

Elk City - Above The Water (Magic Door Record Label)

15 November 2022

Art pop band Elk City has released their new album Above the Water. A new chapter in the Montclair, New Jersey band’s evolutionary story, this album is vibrant, raw-edged and bold, showcasing a new guitar-rich lineup featuring members of Versus, Luna and the Psychedelic Furs side-project Feed.

Esbjörn Svensson Solo - Home.S. (ACT Music)

15 November 2022

His run with the Trio sadly came to a sudden end with his 2008 death via a scuba-diving accident, but it turns out his musical career wasn’t over yet. Discovered in the music he left behind was a fully recorded and mixed solo piano album.

Big Bliss - Sleep Paralysis (single) (self-released)

14 November 2022

“Sleep Paralysis” marks Big Bliss’ first new music in four years. The Brooklyn band has been biding their time through the depths of Covid and recently surfaced with their latest single. Expanding on their trademark edgy, angular post-punk exploration, I asked founder Tim Race to bring Big Takeover readers up to speed on the single and the upcoming second album.

Black Nite Crash - Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash (Neon Sigh)

14 November 2022

Seattle-based psychedelic rock outfit Black Nite Crash present their new album Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash, released via American boutique label Neon Sigh, which was mixed by longtime collaborator Matt Brown (Trespassers William) and mastered by Adam Straney.

Song Yi Jeon & Vinicius Gomes - Home (Greenleaf)

14 November 2022

There can be something magical about stripping music down to just an instrument and a voice, without the enhancement (distraction?) of a full-blown arrangement.

The Veldt - Entropy is the Mainline to God (Little Cloud/Acid Test Recordings/5B)

11 November 2022

Entropy is the Mainline to God is the first full-length album under the Veldt name since 1998. And it’s a doozy.

Bill Frisell - Four (Blue Note)

11 November 2022

Never one to rest on his laurels, guitarist Bill Frisell follows up not just 2020’s excellent Valentine, but also his consistent work as a sideperson and bandmate, with the new quartet record Four.

Candy Coffins - Once Do It With Feeling (self-released)

10 November 2022

Post-punk new romantics Candy Coffins present their new album Once Do It With Feeling, a loaded 10-track collection that arrives two years after their Somehow Misplaced EP. Showcasing solid songwriting, and relating the themes addressed both confidently and cohesively, this album is emotionally and sonically saturated. Their music boasts Cure*-esque textures and melody, as well as the thematic elements and visceral delivery of *The Afghan Whigs.

Olli Hirvonen - Kielo (Ropeadope)

10 November 2022

Though trained in jazz, with a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, guitarist Olli Hirvonen doesn’t confine himself solely to bebop on his fourth album Kielo.

Ronan Conroy - The Slow Death of the Lovemyth (self-released)

9 November 2022

Brooklyn-based Dubliner Ronan Conroy is gearing up to release his new album The Slow Death of the LoveMyth. Since 2013, Conroy has immersed himself in the ‘Lovemyth’ project, this work culminating in this collection, influenced both by the 80s/90s goth bands he grew up listening to and ethereal darkwave bands he would be introduced to later on.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles - Blank Canvas (Ropeadope/Stretch Music)

9 November 2022

Vocalist/songwriter Sarah Elizabeth Charles exists in a creative space in between genres on her solo album Blank Canvas.

Vernons Future - Aquaplaning (VF Records)

9 November 2022

UK indie rock veterans Vernons Future present their Aquaplaning album following the lead track “Call To Arms”, a plea to save the planet from a climate emergency by joining together in our efforts.

The Ember Glows - Where Spirits Play (self-released)

8 November 2022

Montreal-based indie rock / post-punk quartet The Ember Glows has released their new EP Where Spirits Play, a 4-track offering recorded at Closet Studios in Montreal with elements of Simple Minds, The Cult, Echo and the Bunnymen, early U2, Nick Cave and The Mission at the fore.