Do you know what the best part about the long weekend is? Not having to wait an extra workday for new release Tuesday. So celebrate your return to the rat race by treating yourself to one of this week's newest albums. Check out our reviewers' recommendations to see which are must-owns for the post-Victoria Day workweek. Then, head on over to our Recently Reviewed section to read recommendations on all of this week's newest releases.
First up on the docket is Trouble Will Find Me, the highly anticipated follow-up to to the National's 2010 mainstream breakout High Violet. On their newest release, the Brooklyn-based rockers have managed to tone down the arena-ready rock of their previous LP, while maintaining the band's melancholic lyrics and signature sonics to solidify a sound that is distinctly their own.
Toronto indie-rock outfit Hooded Fang return with Gravez, a saturated garage rocker that manages to sound peppier than its predecessor, while Majical Cloudz' Impersonator delivers captivating vocals and sparse accompaniment to create a truly serene listening experience.
Next, Dirty Beaches' cinematic drones and avant-garde guitar noodling are at full-force on double LP Drifters/Love Is the Devil, and IDM's unsung heroes the Black Dog keep it consistent on their 12th LP, Tranklements.
International singer-songwriter Oliver Mtukudzi's surprisingly upbeat Sarawoga details the guitarist's emotional journey following the loss of his son in 2010. Although his new LP doesn't tread any new ground sonically, according to our reviewer, it "serves as an example of an artist who has mastered his style."
And, of course, Daft Punk have finally released Random Access Memories, which we gave a perfect ten last week.
Over the years, we've seen numerous clashes and lawsuits over duplicate band names, and now up-and-coming Toronto electronic pop outfit DIANA are the victims of a similar dispute. Their upcoming debut album was originally intended to be self-titled, but they've had to change to it to Perpetual Surrender. In a statement, Jagjaguwar explained that there's already an album called Diana by a band called — you guessed it — Diana. Evidently the Toronto-based DIANA intend to keep their band name, so hopefully the title change will help them steer clear of a lawsuit. ...Read More
Former Pantera frontman Philip H. Anselmo is getting ready to release his solo debut Walk Through Exits Only on July 16 through his own Housecore Records, and it turns out the metal legend will whip audiences into submission when he takes the songs out on the road this summer. Anselmo and his backup band the Illegals will hit up a number of North American cities between July and August for their "Technicians of Distortion" tour, with Canadian stops taking place at Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on August 10 and at Montreal's Heavy MTL fest the following day. Texas crushers...Read More
While Diamond Rings' John O'Regan has recently been opening for OMD and gearing up for festival stops of his own this summer, he's already well into planning his next LP, the follow-up to last year's Free Dimensional. Speaking to Exclaim!, O'Regan says he's begun working on new music, and while in its preliminary stages, it could mark something of a departure from the pop-song format he's been most comfortable in. "I just finished a tour and have two months to just relax and write new music," O'Regan says. "I'm hoping to write some longer songs with really solid beats and bass lines...Read More
A few years back, we called Wind-Up Radio Sessions' debut album, Red Brick House, "real impressive stuff." Following last year's sophomore LP, Bird Eyes, the Montreal-based band are preparing to keep the momentum going with an EP and a batch of summer tour dates in Canada. The collection is called Yeti Sounds, and it's out on May 28. The band have reportedly been stockpiling new ideas since last summer, and this is the culmination of those efforts. Stream the easygoing country rocker "Diane" at the bottom of this page. After the EP comes out, Wind-Up Radio...Read More
It's been a few years since Placebo released a new album, but the angst-fuelled Brits are preparing for another kick at the can. Loud Like Love with be out on September 16 in the UK, with the North American release date hopefully out the following day. These 10 new songs were recorded at London, UK's RAK Studios during 2012 and early 2013. Production was handled by Adam Noble. Loud Like Love will be available in four different physical packages: standard CD, digipak including a live studio session on DVD, coloured double vinyl, and a so-called "super deluxe box...Read More
Earlier this month, Hole singer Courtney Love announced a handful of U.S. dates this summer to help highlight the greatest hits of her recording career. Now, she's unveiled a West Coast leg to the tour, which will bring her up to Canada. The latest stretch of dates are booked near the end of July, starting with a show at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom on July 22. She'll then head south for shows in Seattle, Agoura Hills and Anaheim. Tickets for these latest dates go on sale May 24. Opening for Love on most dates will be U.S. duo Starred. You can get the details on the summer schedule...Read More
Fuzz-pop merchants Crocodiles have set a pretty prolific pace since issuing their Summer of Hate debut in 2009, and now they've announced their fourth full-length, Crimes of Passion. The act's next set arrives August 20 through Frenchkiss Records. According to a press release, core members Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell left their current home bases of New York and London to record the LP in Los Angeles with the Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner. The set is described as being influenced by the Soft Boys, Street Hassle-era Lou Reed, the Jackson 5 and no wave guitar guru...Read More
Canadian rap charmer Shad has a new album called Flying Colours on the way this year, but that's not the only collection he has in the works. He's also teamed up with East Coast turntable master Skratch Bastid for a collaborative EP called The Spring Up that will come out digitally this month. Although the EP is scheduled to come out prior to the full-length, an announcement confirms that these songs were actually completed "shortly after the pair wrapped up work on Shad's upcoming full-length." The Spring Up also includes some production help from DJ Jazzy Jeff. ...Read More
Following yesterday's (May 20) premiere of new single "LoveHate Thing", Maybach Music Group rapper Wale has now let loose the cover art and tracklisting for The Gifted. Set to drop June 25 through MMG/Atlantic, the LP will come stacked with 16 songs. This includes "LoveHate Thing" and Wale's recent team-up with Tiara Thomas, "Bad." It's unclear at present whether any other guests will appear on the set, but you can see the tracklist as we know it down below. You can also check out the recently premiered album artwork, featuring a stone-faced bust of Wale, as well as cartoony...Read More
Queens of the Stone Age are not only inching closer to the release of their long-awaited …Like Clockwork LP, but towards a summer tour. Now, the band have added a couple more Canadian dates on top of their previously revealed appearance at BC's Squamish Valley Music Festival. A newly tweaked summer schedule has added more North American dates throughout August, with Canadian show stops now booked for Edmonton on August 7 and the next night in Calgary. You can see all the North American details down below. Those shows will be preceded by a European trip, and you can get the...Read More
Canadian '90s radio mainstay Matthew Good is pressing ahead with his solo career, and the latest in his steady string of releases will arrive this fall. Good's new disc is called Arrows of Desire, and it's out on September 24 through FrostByte Media/Universal Music Canada. According to a press release, the album finds Good venturing in new musical directions. While Arrows of Desire's sound isn't described in detail, it was apparently inspired by alt-rock vets the Afghan Whigs. "I had come across an old playlist on my computer... and was listening to it while I was...Read More
The recently released debut album from Jamaica-Toronto collective the Courtney John Project is something its frontman dubs "rootstronic," a blissful blending of reggae and EDM influences. Appropriately dubbed Future, the LP represents a digitally-forward sound that comes organically, Courtney John tells Exclaim! — one with which the band intends to continue pushing boundaries. "We created this sound and didn't know what to call it," says John of the rootstronic tag. "We said we'd call it [that] because of the indigenous [Jamaican] elements and the innovative 'tronic' kind...Read More
Having just served a 60-day prison stint over parole violation that ended in March, troubled rap teenager Chief Keef is back in the news after being arrested in Atlanta last night (May 20). TMZ initially reported that the rapper born Keith Cozart was arrested for disorderly confuct, though they're now saying he was busted for allegedly smoking weed in a fancy hotel. In the early hours of the morning, he tweeted, "Jus Got Out Of Dekalb County jail In Atlanta Mad As fuck." Here's hoping he won't have to spend any more time in the slammer. Since getting out of his last...Read More
Legendary punk rock group the Clash disbanded in 1986, but their music has stood the test of time, influencing generation after generation of performers since. It only makes sense, then, that their discography would be reissued in a massive deluxe box set. The enormous collection includes remastered versions of the band's first five albums (their 1985 effort Cut the Crap has been excluded), along with three discs' worth of demos, rarities and B-sides, a double-disc best-of album, and a DVD full of rare and previously unseen footage. In addition to the music, the set also...Read More
Last month, we learned that Amber Webber and Josh Wells will deliver their third Lightning Dust LP, Fantasy, on June 25 through Jagjaguwar. Now, the band have announced a few concert dates to support their latest set, which has now spawned its first music video. The duo's summer tour plans begin in Calgary on July 24. The next night, they'll play another Canadian gig in Edmonton, but the rest of the band's onstage activity this summer will take place beneath the border. You'll find the details down below. Lightning Dust have also just premiered the video for their previously...Read More
Imaginary Cities' debut album, Temporary Resident, earned the Winnipeg band plenty of accolades, including a Polaris Music Prize nomination, and now the group are back with the follow-up. Fall of Romance is out on May 28 through Hidden Pony Records, and the entire thing is available to stream ahead of time right here on Exclaim.ca. The album features the core duo of Rusty Matyas and Marti Sarbit joined by a host of notable collaborators. Andrew Scott of Sloan plays drums on two songs, and Ewan Currie of the Sheepdogs lends his voice to a track. Plus, several members of...Read More
Ray Manzarek, founding member of the Doors, passed away today (May 20) due to complications from bile duct cancer. He was 74 and died at a hospital in Rosenheim, Germany. He was surrounded by his wife Dorothy and his brothers. Manzarek founded the Doors alongside Jim Morrison, John Densmore and Robby Krieger in 1965. His iconic keyboard sound proved to be a backbone of the band, anchoring hits like "Light My Fire" and "Break on Through." Outside of that group, Manzarek was also an accomplished solo artist, with four albums on his own and two in collaboration with Roy Rogers. He was...Read More
It was nearly a year ago that we first heard about Explosions in the Sky's plans to score David Gordon Green's Prince Avalanche film. Now, we've finally got details for the soundtrack's official release. The soundtrack will be available on August 6 via Temporary Residence and will feature 15 tracks. The project sees the group reuniting with their Austin, TX compatriot musician David Wingo. Both acts appeared on the soundtrack Green's 2003 film All the Real Girls, but this time around they're working together on the whole soundtrack. Prince Avalanche...Read More
Good news if you missed out on James Blake's spring tour: the golden-throated UK tunesmith makes his way back to North America this fall. Blake revealed a number of new dates today (May 20) over on his website that confirm he'll be back our way by the end of October. The next North American leg of Blake's Overgrown trip kicks off in Los Angeles, but he'll make his way to both Montreal and Vancouver before closing the concert tour in Portland. You can see the North American dates down below, and check out his upcoming run of overseas performances over here. Tour dates: ...Read More