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Hiss Golden Messenger
Terms Of Surrender

MC Taylor returns with his latest Hiss Golden Messenger album, and his fifth in just under four years, Terms of Surrender. A rumination on upheaval and loss that Taylor has experienced over the last 12 months, his new effort includes old collaborators and new ones, including Jenny Lewis and The National’s Aaron Dessner. 

Richard Buckner
Dents and Shells

Richard Buckner is a man who has always followed his muse whether that be in classic sounding singer-songwriting with a country twist or the more experimental material he recorded with Jim O'Rourke. Dents and Shells was his 2004 album and perfectly exemplifies his vaguely wandering style of songwriting. The pedal steel of stunning opener A Chance Counsel provides the perfect bedrock for this lovely flowing album.  

David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights
Bobbie's A Girl

David Kilgour, as well as being a member of New Zealand's magnificent post-punk crew the Clean, has also had a long and storied solo career. Bobbie's a Girl is his latest offering and eschews the noisy garagey sound of his youth for a more gentle and pastoral work that recalls some of his favourite '60s musicians such as the Byrds and the Velvet Underground. Expect warm, understated psychedelia and laid back jangle.  

Superchunk
Acoustic Foolish

Superchunk have been mulling over how to approach an acoustic project, wanting to revisit old classics in a stripped-back fashion. Then they realised that their 1994 album, Foolish, was approaching it’s 25th anniversary and decided to re-record it acoustically. It features guest performances from Alison Crutchfiled (Swearin’), Peter Holsapple (The dB’s), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and Matt Douglas (Mountain Goats).
  • Vinyl LP (MRG642LP)
  • Preorder now (ships on release)
  • Limited edition

Little Scream
Speed Queen

'Speed Queen' is the third album by Little Queen AKA Montreal-based Laurel Sprengelmeyer. It sees her reflecting on the social divisions in America, with many of the lyrics written whilst touring through the country. Coming from a low-income background herself, she has observed how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and she's not happy about it.

Ibibio Sound Machine
Doko Mien

Ibibo Sound Machine return with their third album and second for Merge Records. Doko Mie is a joyful blend of post-punk and West African electronic music, that reflects Eno Williams' own upbringing having been born in the UK but raised in Nigeria. Arpeggiated synths meet exuberant horns, always being marshalled by Williams' commanding vocals.

Joyero
Release the Dogs

Wye Oak’s Andy Stack comes through with a record of thoughtful, widescreen rock as Joyero. Release The Dogs (Release The Hounds, surely?) harks back to that period in the late-2000’s when the likes of The Antlers, The National and Grizzly Bear were turning out LPs full of tender and emotional indie tuneage. It’s a welcome return to a sound we wish we heard more of these days. ‘Dogs’ is the hit.

Redd Kross
Beyond the Door

Redd Kross released their first album in 1982. Their new album, Beyond The Door, is only their 7th album in all that time. Anyway, quality, not quantity is what’s important. They return for the first time in seven years with an album of hard-edged power pop with Melvins drummer, Dale Crover, recording with them for the first time. Fellow Melvins, Geré Fennelly and Buzz Osborne guest, with Anna Waronker from That Dog and current Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer also putting in appearances.

Mikal Cronin
Seeker

Mikal Cronin, pal of Ty Segal, has done a Justin Vernon. Following a bit of a rough time in his personal life, he took off to a cabin in the woods with his cat. After getting the space he needed, Seeker became a thing. He wrote and demoed most of his fourth LP there before a forest fire made him flee. He’s also dropped the number as album name formula that has seemingly worked for him previously. The recording of the album was heavily influenced by The Beatles’ White Album.
  • Vinyl LP (MRG700LPC1)
  • Preorder now (ships on release)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only

  • Vinyl LP (MRG700LPC2)
  • Preorder now (ships on release)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Martin Frawley
Undone at 31

Martin Frawley (previously of The Twerps) has suffered a break up and needs someone to talk to about it. It turns out that person is you lucky listener! Undone at 31 is a chronological journey along with Frawley as he adjusts to the next stage of his life told through the medium of incredibly catchy indie rock and pop.

The Love Language
Baby Grand

Extremely big rock music from Stuart McLamb’s The Love Language. Baby Grand (more grand than baby) is a product of McLamb picking up sticks and moving from Virginia to California, where he found the light to be particularly inspirational. Soaring choruses and huge production makes this built for the stadium. On Merge. 

Mac McCaughan
Non-Believers

Superchunk fans rejoice because Mac’s back! This time with a solo album under his own name, Mac McCaughan delves into the soft-focus nostalgia of ‘80s introspection. Non-Believers is a sweet collection of personal songs about the ambiguity of transition. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Merge.

Imperial Teen
Now We Are Timeless

Now We Are Timeless is the sixth album by US indie-rockers, Imperial Teen. The band feature Roddy Bottum, formerly of Faith No More. This is their first album in 7 years, so all you fans out there may have been missing them. I, on the other hand, assumed that their 1996 debut, Seasick, featuring the catchy single, You’re One, was a one-off event. How wrong I was.

Fruit Bats
Gold Past Life

Gold Past Life by Fruit Bats is the final part of a cathartic trilogy which included singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson’s 2014 solo album and 2016’s Absolute Loser. The thematic arc that joins the albums involves personal loss and political dissatisfaction, culminating in Johnson working on projects out of his comfort zone whilst recording this album. Neal Casal, Meg Duffy and Greta Morgan are among the guest performers.  

Titus Andronicus
An Obelisk

An Obelisk is the the sixth album by Shakespeare-monikered New Jersey-ites, Titus Andronicus. This time they chose the legendary Bob Mould to produce their album. It was recorded in Steve Albini’s Chicago studio. All this has led to the band making a more concise, rockier record which clocks in at an efficient 38 minutes.

Gauche
A People's History of Gauche

Washington D.C. band Gauche make the move to prestigious indie imprint Merge for their latest album. A People’s History of Gauche also saw the band work with outsiders for the first time on production, with Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown involved with this collection socially and politically on-point material. 

Apex Manor
Heartbreak City

Ross Flournoy’s second Apex Manor album Heartbreak City arrives a whopping eight years after the project’s indie-power-pop debut, The Year of Magical Drinking. In the meantime, he’s been getting sober, scoring the occasional movie and helping out with his father’s homemade cheese business (really!). 

Neutral Milk Hotel
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

The damn near-mythologised second album from Neutral Milk Hotel. Idiosyncratic stuff from 1998. Whether you’re die-hard for this one or rediscovering, let Jeff Mangum sing to you about semen-stained mountaintops and Jesus Christ between those stellar brass sections. Reissued on Domino on LP or CD.

Reigning Sound
Abdication... For Your Love

New edition of Reigning Sound’s 2011 LP Abdication… For Your Love here, courtesy of the good people at Merge Records. If you like your garage rock full of dinky organ melodies and delivered with a whole hunk of Southern charm, then this is right record for you. Reigning Sound main man Greg Cartwright has some serious songwriting chops, you know.

The Mountain Goats
In League With Dragons

In League With Dragons is the seventeenth album by The Mountain Goats. This one sees John Darnielle and co. continuing their 28-year quest to convince us that monsters are okay, really. It comes in a number of increasingly fancy vinyl versions (some of which are limited editions, so be quick) and CD on Merge.

Ex Hex
It’s Real

Ex Hex are back with their second album , It’s Real. Mary Timony (Helium, Wild Flag) is joined by Bat Fangs’ Betsy Wright and Laura Harris. It’s Real is the follow-up to 2014’s Rips and like its predecessor, will provide riffs and hooks galore, but this time they’ve used the studio to make their sound bigger, stretching beyond what they thought were their previous limits. One to look forward to for fans of unbridled guitar fun and tunesmithery. LP and CD on Merge.

Telekinesis
Effluxion

For his fifth album, Michael Benjamin Lerner wanted to do it alone. Though previous Telekinesis albums have seen Lerner playing everything, Effluxion is the first where he has handled everything up to the production. A power-pop record with a spectacular sense of intent, and is filled with the catchy hooks and uplifting choruses we expect.

William Tyler
Goes West

Go west! William Tyler’s there! The title of Goes West is to be taken both literally and figuratively: literally in the sense that the former Silver Jews/Lambchop guitarist moved to California to write the record, figuratively in the sense that there is a distinctive dose of West Coast sunshine to this collection of instrumental alt-country. We could quite easily see these deft tracks cropping up on the soundtrack for Bojack Horseman one day - a compliment indeed (have you seen that show’s Metacritic scores?!).

Bob Mould
Sunshine Rock

Just look at that sleeve. Bob Mould is obviously in a better place than where he was around the time of his 1990 album Black Sheets of Rain. But there's a point to the all the happiness. Bob is content in Berlin and instead of a raging anti- US administration album as you might expect, he's celebrating the good things in life as a means to stay alive during these dark years. 

Mike Krol
Power Chords

Garage-punk upstart Mike Krol returns to Merge with his fourth LP Power Chords. This one is very much a record that does what it says on the tin. Cuts like ‘An Ambulance’ and ‘Little Drama’ are blown-out rockers that recall Wavves and Colleen Green. Swearin’’s Allison Crutchfield, Sleeping In The Aviary’s Elliott Kozel and Enon’s John Schmersal all guest.

Sneaks
Highway Hypnosis

Really impressive album from Sneaks here. Highway Hypnosis may be a record from D.C. with its roots in post-punk, but this is as far as any similarities with Minor Threat, Dischord Records go. Sneaks has produced a record of lo-fi hip-hop, leftfield pop and upstart feminist punk. Such is the scope of this LP that comparisons to Shabazz Palaces, Dean Blunt, Inga Copeland and M.I.A. all feel right. Very cool.

Fucked Up
Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up have pulled out all the stops to make, arguably, the album of their career with Dose Your Dreams. Whilst it kicks off in a familiar punk fashion, they then take unexpected turns into psychedelia, groove work-outs and even doo-wop before is brought to a close with a Krautrock epic. LP and CD on Merge.

Redd Kross
Teen Babes From Monsanto

Teen Babes From Montasano was the critically acclaimed second EP by Redd Kross, originally released in 1984. The EP features covers of songs by Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kiss and The Shangri-Las along with one original composition. Jeff and Steve McDonald were a relatively baby-ish 21 and 17 respectively when they made this EP. LP and CD on Merge.

The Spinanes
Manos

26/11/18 was the 25th birthday of The Spinanes’ college rock classic Manos. Merge felt something ought to be done to mark the occasion, so they’re re-releasing the LP. Many groups to subsequently emerge from The Spinanes’ home town of Portland, Oregon owe quite a debt to the band’s melodic post-grunge sound.

Redd Kross
Hot Issue

Redd Kross are a Californian punk/power pop band led by brothers Steve and Jeff McDonald. Hot Issue gathers together rarities and other unreleased nuggets from the band’s archive. The songs date from 1980, when they were known as Red Cross, and go as far as 2007. Reissue vinyl LP and CD on Merge.

Hiss Golden Messenger
Devotion: Songs About Rivers and Spirits and Children

North Carolina country/folk type collective Hiss Golden Messenger, led by MC Taylor, have been quietly going about their business for a decade now, releasing 9 albums in that time. It wasn’t until Merge got hold of them and released 2014’s Lateness Of Dancers that they were noticed outside of certain circles. Now, however, their albums grace the upper-echelons of critic’s end-of-year lists regularly. Devotion: Songs About Rivers And Spirits And Children takes us back to their early years with three albums: Bad Debt, Poor Moon and Haw. This box set will also include and exclusive rarities album, Virgin Fool. 4LP box set or 4CD box set, both of which are lavishly packaged.

Swearin'
Fall Into the Sun

Back after a two-year break-up, Swearin’ are releasing their first album in 5 years. Somewhere halfway between Wavves and Alvvays (but without v’s, for some reason) you’ll find Fall into the Sun. Come and get your fix of girl-fronted, clever and noisy indie-rock. Comes with a tiny hint of tasty self-deprication. 

Titus Andronicus
Home Alone on Halloween

Special releases for Halloween now, eh? That’s what we have with Home Alone On Halloween, the new 12” single from New Jersey's favourite Shakespeare aficionados Titus Andronicus. The three tracks here were recorded at the same time their last album, A Productive Cough. The title track is remix of the epic Home Alone from said album and is presented along with an obscure Bob Dylan cover and a 17-minute verbose spook-fest. Orange vinyl 12" on Merge, limited to 1300 copies.
  • Vinyl 12" (MRG666LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Destroyer
City of Daughters

Not satisfied with being a critically acclaimed prolific singer/songwriter Dan Bejar, AKA Destroyer is also a member of Canadian band The New Pornographers along with AC Newman and Neko Case. Destroyer, however is his main focus. City Of Daughters was his second album proper, and is getting the reissue treatment to celebrate its 20th anniversary. City of Daughters marks his first leap forward, introducing more instruments and production techniques to his previous efforts which consisted of voice and acoustic guitar. Opaque red vinyl LP on Merge.

Destroyer
Thief

Destroyer AKA Canadian singer/songwriter Dan Bejar used a backing band for the first time on his third album, Thief. At the time of its release in 2000 it was considered his best to date, the sound of an artist hitting his stride, and remains a jewel in his back catalogue to this day. Bejar is also a member of The New Pornographers. Orange vinyl LP on Merge.

Waxahatchee
Great Thunder

Katie Crutchfield returns with a mini album of recordings she started whilst making her previous albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp. These were more experimental jams recorded with a collective called Great Thunder that is no longer active. Fascinated by the material Crutchfield took it into the studio and reworked it resulting in a stripped down collection closer to her folk and country roots than to her recent more pop/rock material. 

Eric Bachmann
No Recover

Former Archers Of Loaf/Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann drops the third LP under his given name. No Recover isn’t a title that screams positivity, and despite the many gentle acoustic treatments and ringing vocal harmonies that crop up here the overall feeling of the album is bittersweet. It’s not exactly a sad record, but there’s certainly a lacing of melancholia to the tracks here. Imagine Fleet Foxes if they’d been through the ringer a few times.

Escape-ism
The Lost Record

Escape-ism is of course ex Make Up, Nation of Ulysses and professional irritant Ian Svenonious. With this latest project he has decided to make an album that could be considered a 'lost' record. However he doesn't want to go through the usual process 'lost' records have to endure such as poor initial sales, critical panning etc. No he's headed straight to the moment when they are rediscovered and reassessed.  

Spider Bags
Someday Everything Will Be Fine

Nice sleeve, nicely raucous garagey rock and roll but.... Spider Bags? Spider. Bags. Anyway the Bags have gone back to basics by using a vintage Tascam machine to record this second album giving the record a better punch to it leading the band to make a record that makes you think about all the worlds problems in so much as 'ah fuck it, let's rock, let's roll'. 

The Essex Green
Cannibal Sea

The Essex Green were a part of that much-loved Elephant 6 collective, though this grouping was all gone by the time they released their third album Cannibal Sea in 2006. Positively lovely psychedelic pop to make you happy and the sun come out. Here reissued on vinyl by Merge, with a download code that also adds in three rare cuts in digital format.

The Essex Green
The Long Goodbye

Fifteen years after initial release, here comes The Long Goodbye again, reissued in all its glory. This is the second album from The Essex Green, and their sound on it comes pouring through the speakers in waves of lovely joy. Psychedelic pop music just like they used to make it. Reissued by Merge on vinyl with a download code that includes some rare bonus tracks.

The Essex Green
Hardly Electronic

After taking a break of nearly a decade to pursue other interests, Brooklyn-based Elephant 6 Collective associates, The Essex Green are back with Hardly Electronic - their first album since Cannibal Sea in 2006. If lead track Sloane Ranger is anything to go by, expect some delicious, catchy pop synonymous with other Elephant 6 bands such as Apples In Stereo. Red & orange swirl vinyl (limited to 1000 copies), standard black vinyl and CD on Merge.

The Rock*A*Teens
Sixth House

20 years ago The Rock *A* Teens played a small part in the history of the Atlanta, Georgia indie scene with a few EPs and albums. Some were released on the Superchunk-owned Merge label. This led to a reunion appearance at the Merge 25 festival and now a new album, Sixth House. Previously blurred by reverb, their sound is sharpened up and the songs are more anthemic. Limited translucent green vinyl, standard black vinyl and CD on Merge.

Crooked Fingers
Red Devil Dawn

Eric Bachman was the driving force behind ‘90s American indie dudes Archers Of Loaf. After four albums the band called it quits and Bachman formed Crooked Fingers, a more singer/songwriter-y affair that told stories of people down on their luck with a poetic turn of phrase. Their third album, Red Devil Dawn, is the one where those tales are deemed to be the most poignant. Limited edition red vinyl LP, standard black vinyl and CD on Merge.

Tracyanne & Danny
Tracyanne & Danny

This is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin collaboration between Tracey Anne Campbell of Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan (Crybaby).  A classic get together story, they liked each other's music then decided to collaborate. This took a number of years to sort out but they hooked up at Edwyn Collins' highland studio with the great man himself producing.  

Wye Oak
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

Wye Oak are a duo made up of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. They formed in Baltimore but after two albums moved apart to North Carolina and Texas, respectively. Their long distance working relationship has now produced three further albums. The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs was made as they wrote apart and recorded together. It sees the pair introducing more electronic elements into their music following on from their earlier guitar-led work. Available on limited edition beige/blue split coloured vinyl, black vinyl LP and CD on Merge.

Various
I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas

A niche but nice one - covers album and companion to the Night Vale Presents podcast I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats, curated by podcast evangelist Joseph Fink and Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle. Featuring covers from the likes of Ibibio Sound Machine and Andrew Bird. Out on Merge, on opaque pink and blue vinyl.
  • Vinyl Double LP (MRG617LP)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Superchunk
Cup Of Sand

Cup of Sand is a super-sized compilation of Superchunk singles, B-sides and rarities, originally rounded up in 2003 and now made available on vinyl for the first time (with a few extra songs appended). Loads of quality Superchunk treats here, including covers of David Bowie and Adam Ant! Three LPs of superlative indie rock, reissued by Merge.

Superchunk
What a Time to Be Alive

Although Superchunk leader Mac MaCaughan rightly says he would swap eight years of terrible music for having his country not run by a child, much great art is coming out of the Trump years. Superchunk have a lot to say but have tried to make an album that is uplifting and not depressing to listen to. It also features more guest backing vocalists than any other Superchunk record.  

Titus Andronicus
A Productive Cough

Pretty much the world's most preposterous band 'A Productive Cough' could well be seen as the album Titus Andronicus went too far. These haughty singalongs sound something like the Pogues channeled through Bruce Springsteen but even more rambunctious than that sounds. Features an extremely pointless cover of Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' which was the moment we (finally) switched off.  

Ought
Room Inside the World

For their third album, Room Inside The World, Canada’s Ought have allowed previously alien elements into their tight post punk sound. Here, frontman Tim Darcy’s aping of Ian Curtis, and the spiky guitars and frantic drums are interspersed with the obligatory vibraphone, synths, drum machines and a 70-piece choir that bands apply when they get a bit of coin behind them. Will it spoil the brilliant sound of before? Time will tell though the band haven’t mellowed out, maybe things may have just got a whole lot more interesting? We doubt it.  

Hollie Cook
Vessel Of Love

After a VERY auspicious start in music, joining The Slits aged 19 when they reformed in 2006, Hollie Cook is now releasing her third album. She’s moved up the genre family tree, Vessel Of Love is a vivid selection of soaring reggae tracks released by Merge on CD and limited edition transparent pink vinyl.

H.C. McEntire
Lionheart

Lionheart is the debut solo album by indie/country band Mount Moriah frontwoman H.C. McEntire. The album is personal and autobiographical in terms of people and places and mixes her own slants on country, pop and gospel. It came about through her wish to rescue country music from the hideous stereotypes which are synonymous with the genre. The album was recorded at home and on the road when she was part of Angel Olsen’s touring band. LP and CD on Merge.

Hiss Golden Messenger
Heart Like a Levee

New material from Hiss Golden Messenger, written during challenging times, like all the best country-derived music is. Heart Like A Levee is available in regular and fancy editions of both the CD and the vinyl versions: the deluxe ones add grand packaging, a poster, and a CD of a whole extra album, named Vestapol. On Merge.

Escape-ism
Introduction to Escape-ism

Like Jon Spencer, Ian Svenonius is one of the hardest working men in contemporary rock 'n' roll. Over the years he's amassed an awesome discography with The Nation Of Ulysses The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, XYZ, Weird War etc. but hasn't stepped out on his own. Until Now. Here he is, but naked and armed with a guitar, drum box and cassette player.

The Mountain Goats
All Hail West Texas (Remastered)

Reissue of the seminal 2002 release by Californian psychobilly band The Mountain Goats. Part rockabilly, part 1960s pop, this is considered to be one of the band's most respected and lo-fi albums. Recorded with a condenser mic and a boom box, with most tracks laid down immediately after being composed. Available now remastered and as a pleasing gatefold.

Hiss Golden Messenger
Hallelujah Anyhow

Imagine having the self confidence to have that as your album sleeve. MC Taylor certainly isn't lacking in a belief in his own ability something that must have been even further boosted when David Bowie once said he liked him. This new album is a rather quick follow up to 'Heart Like a Levee' and comes with his own impenetrable sleeve notes. Check press release to see if you can make head nor tail.   

A Giant Dog
Toy

The fourth full length record from A Giant Dog entitled Toy. A solid mix of indie-rock and percussion pop that combines nicely with joint male and female lead vocals. The band continuously refuses to lose any of its charm and spontaneity that has kept the fire burning oh so bright. Available on vinyl LP and CD.  

Superchunk
Superchunk

Merge bring us this reissue of North Carolina based Superchunk’s self-titled debut full length. Available on vinyl for the first time since 1990. It’s their first album, so it is suitably raw, messy, fun filled and damn pleasing. What more do you want from punky indie-rock? Includes download code for an 11 track live recording called Clambakes Vol 9.
  • Label(s):
  • Merge

William Tyler
Modern Country

William Tyler’s music actually is a kind of Modern Country: although his songs are instrumental, and thus not about your wife leaving you, they feel essentially of contemporary rural America. His backing band is fantastic here, including Glenn Kotche of Wilco and frequent Jim O’Rourke collaborator Darin Grey. On Merge.

Waxahatchee
Out In The Storm

Waxahatchee presents her fourth album Out In The Storm, which is borne out of the ashes of a relationship collapse. As ever, music and songwriting provide a vehicle to self-love and renewal. With a mostly live-in-the-room production, Out In The Storm is a strong indie-rock record with a real personal punch behind it. Out on Merge.

Superchunk
Tossing Seeds (Singles 89-91)

The super-bummed and super-good Superchunk made themselves a lot of pop-punk back in the '90s, and still make a fair bit now. If you're still seeking it out, there's now 'Tossing Seeds', which collects their singles from the early days (specifically '89 onto '91). It's been out of print on wax for a while so hey, why not get it and enjoy the nasal pop of yore? 

Mikal Cronin
MCIII

Prolific garage rock character and Ty Segall associate Mikal Cronin returns with his third proper solo record, its properness signified by the official-sounding title MCIII. It is also ‘proper solo’ in another sense, in that Cronin himself plays virtually every scrap of sound here himself, with the exception of a string quartet. Whaddaguy.

Ibibio Sound Machine
Uyai

Ibibio Sound Machine is an excellent bit of Afro-electro, forged in London via Nigeria and combining funky highlife rhythms and horns with brash electro-synths. And you know what? It sounds addictively good and irresistibly groovy: supreme good time music! Uyai is the group’s second full-length album, and it’s released by Merge.

The Mountain Goats
Goths

Wordy and literate storyteller John Darnielle (and his Mountain Goats) has this time turned his attention to goth, both the music and the movement. Keenly eyed observations on those bands that didn't quite make it or what it meant to be goth all delivered nasally over Mountain Goats regular brand of strum-a-long folk -- or not, in this case, since they've ditched the guitars in favour of a synth-athon.

Coco Hames
Coco Hames

The debut solo album from Coco Hames, an American songwriter in a classic 60’s pop vein. As the frontwoman of The Ettes, our Coco knows her way around a tune, but Coco Hames gives her the chance to get really stuck into her personal favourite pop and country influences. Coco Hames is released by Merge.

Richard Buckner
Impasse

Merge reissue Richard Buckner’s grizzled blues-rock classic on vinyl LP and CD. Impasse is an album of sparse guitar music, with a dense lyricism and some lovely arrangements that deserve to be appreciated on this remastered 15th anniversary special edition, complete with additional rare material.

Sneaks
It’s a Myth

Minimal synth-pop from Sneaks, who operates from within Washington D.C.’s DIY punk scene while pointedly avoiding almost all of that genre’s trappings. No, the music on It’s A Myth is icily precise and stripped back to crisp beats and a cool vocal delivery: Sneaks sounds compellingly unique. It’s A Myth is ten tracks and just eighteen minutes long. On Merge.
  • Label(s):
  • Merge

The Clean
Getaway

The Clean’s Getaway album (geddit?) was released in 2001, by which point New Zealand’s finest underground indie boys were in a position to apply fancy production to their sound. They still sound gorgeously shambling however, e.g. just the way you want them to be. Two tracks even feature members of Yo La Tengo! Now Getaway is reissued in double CD / double LP editions by Merge.
  • Label(s):
  • Merge

Allison Crutchfield
Tourist in This Town

Swearin’s Allison Crutchfield returns with a solo debut full-length in tow. “Tourist in This Town” re-introduces Crutchfield with a more complete realisation of her skill in songwriting, arranging and instrumentation. Bringing synths into the mix, the album was recorded with Jeff Zeigler and shows off its sheen through the anthemic lead single “Dean’s Room”. The CD is a 4-panel digipak and the LP includes a download code.

Sneaks
Gymnastics

Lo-fi and minimal post-punk from Washington based one woman band Sneaks. There’s an air of Siouxsie and The Banshees, but stripped back to bass guitar, drum machine and Eva Moolchan’s dry and tongue in cheek lyricism thrown in with a Sleaford Mods gritty punk-come-poetry apathy to a larger band sound.

Hiss Golden Messenger
Southern Grammar

Triumphant folk rock star Hiss Golden Messenger released the excellent Lateness of the Dancers last year and he returns now with Southern Grammar, a miniature release that houses unwanted cuts from the record itself as well as an official place for "Brother, Do You Know The Road?" to lay its weary head.

Will Butler
Friday Night

Will Butler really is in a no Win situation both literally and figuratively. The lesser known Arcade Fire Butler struck out on his own last year away from his enormo-band with the 'Policy' album and this brief follow up showcases him attempting to play the songs live. Aptly he is introduced by a comedian and there are new songs here too some of which he wrote for the Guardian.                                     

Titus Andronicus
S+@dium Rock : Five Nights at the Opera

If you loved the songs of Titus Andronicus’ epic punk-rock opera The Most Lamentable Tragedy but maybe shied away from the 90 minute running time, you might do well to try S+@dium Rock: Five Nights At The Opera. It’s a live album, picking out highlights from the longer suite and presenting them with a more direct sound, stripping back more ornate numbers and electrifying acoustic ones. Out on Merge.

Bob Mould
Patch The Sky

Now that Husker Du aren't reforming (good), Bob can get on with making his solo albums. This latest one is a result of him spending six months in solitude (a long time to not see a human) and promises to be his darkest record in some time. I'd be interested to see a return to the 'Workbook' sound but who knows with Bob. His latter day albums always have moments of great so this will be well worth keeping an eye on.     

Little Scream
Cult Following

Little Scream makes catchy indie electro-pop, the kind you can certainly shimmy to in your local discotheque. That said, some songs here go pretty deep and dark. Some of the guests on this record are pretty impressive: think Kyp Malone from TV On The Radio, Sharon Van Etten, and Mr Sufjan Stevens himself! Cult Following is out on Merge.

A Giant Dog
Pile

A Giant Dog are a Texas outfit who boldly bring back the glory days of glam rock, splashing sequins and sparkles all over the place with their riff-centric boogies. Plus, lyrics that can be favourably compared to Sparks! Pile is their third full-length, and you know what? It sounds like they are on a roll. Released by Merge.

Eric Bachmann
Eric Bachmann

You know Eric Bachmann from his time in Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers, but this solo record finds him breaking away from his typical character-based approach for a series of personal songs written around the piano. ‘Mercy’ even has a damn gospel choir. This self-titled new record is a bold step forwards. Released by Merge.

Benji Hughes
Songs in the Key of Animals

‘Songs in the Key of Animals’ was recorded over two years at Frisbie studios in New York and will be pop adventurer Benji Hughes’ first album release on Merge. The album has a sun drenched feel that balances emotional depth with a very natural eccentricity resulting in a record that can be lots of fun without sacrificing substance. It’s also full of animals.

Mount Moriah
How To Dance

Mount Moriah are back with a third album, ready to teach you How To Dance. Heather McEntire and her crew play Southern-tinged rock with firm riffs and excellent vocal harmonies, plus proper low-slung groove skills. Guest vocals come from Angel Olsen, Mirah Zietlyn and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. Released by Merge.

Destroyer
Streethawk: A Seduction

The 2001 album from Destroyer, Streethawk: A Seduction, properly reissued. Smart indie-tinged epic pop of the high quality you’d expect from Dan Bejar: indeed, this early album was one of the albums that established his remarkable reputations, containing many fan favourites. CD or LP editions available, on the Merge label.

Destroyer
Destroyer's Rubies

The 2006 album from Destroyer, Destroyer’s Rubies, reissued by Merge. Smart indie-tinged pop of the high-quality you’d expect from Dan Bejar. The (double) LP edition comes with a useful download code, and the download code comes with an exciting, exclusive bonus track, the 24-minute ‘Loscil’s Rubies’.

Destroyer
This Night

The 2002 album from Destroyer, This Night, properly reissued on vinyl by Merge after a Record Store Day exclusive release a few years ago. Smart indie-tinged epic pop of the high quality you’d expect from Dan Bejar. CD or double vinyl LP editions available, the LP coming with  a handy download code.

Telekinesis
Ad Infinitum

An assured fourth album from Seattle-based Telekinesis, Ad Infinitum is gloriously bathed in analogue electronics and features Michael Lerner's trademark knack for infectious power pop melodies of the highest order. Out on Digipak CD and vinyl LP from Merge. LP includes 3 bonus tracks and free download code.

Mike Krol
Turkey

Mike Krol presents his third record, and his first for famed indie label Merge. Turkey is a direct thrashload of lo-fi indie-punk-pop, rich with analogue hiss. In fact, the instruments all seem to slide together into one big high-energy mess. This is a lot of fun. LP comes with a nice newsprint-esque insert.

Titus Andronicus
The Most Lamentable Tragedy

American Indie stalwarts Merge Records presents the new record from Titus Andronicus, and what a record it is. Over three LPs (or two CDs) and five acts, The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a full-blown goddamn hardcore rock-opera, with suitably sweeping sound and melodramatic storyline. Titus’ biggest record, in every sense.

Seaweed
Actions and Indications

Seaweed are eighties northwest punks, formed by singer Aaron Stauffer (Spook & the Zombies) and best friend Clint Werner (guitar) who then recruited Wade Neal on guitar, John Atkins on bass, and drummer Bob Bulgrien. Seaweed played over a thousand shows throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as recording five pop punk albums from 1989 to 1999 including the powerhouse 'Actions And Indications', originally recorded in 1999.

Superchunk
Come Pick Me Up

Recorded in 1999 at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago and produced by Jim O’Rourke, ‘Come Pick Me Up’ allowed Superchunk to evolve into a more experimental sounds directions including accompaniments from horn sections provided by Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, and Bob Weston and string instrument contributions from Fred Longberg-Holm and Suzanne Roberts.

Richard Buckner
The Hill

Richard Buckner's ‘The Hill’ was born in 1996 at The Ranch Olancha Motel, a converted garage near the mouth of Death Valley, while Buckner was staying a week in a room with nothing for company but his guitar, a four-track recorder, and a copy of Lee ‘Masters' Spoon River Anthology’. The resulting recordings of Buckner’s experiments with passages from the iconic book of poems were then forgotten about until four years later when he would bring them back to life with the help of Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino.

The Mountain Goats
Beat The Champ

Wordsmith, genius song-writer, metal enthusiast and all-rounder nerd John Darnielle has released roughly ten billion records as The Mountain Goats, and since transitioning from lo-fi cassette underdog to established folk hero, he's released classics such as Get Lonely and Transcendental Youth, dealing with what it feels like to be hauled up inside your own head, even when there's a world of stories out there. Beat The Champ is a concept album based around pro-wrestling, because of course, and it comes swiftly after the release of his debut novel, so promises narrative prowess of the highest.

Will Butler
Policy

Policy is the debut solo LP from Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. Though with contributions from Jeremy Gara and various other musicians, most of the music here was played by Butler himself. Using traditional song structures and clean arrangements, Policy depicts a variety of clashing emotions, and recalls the best in American music both new and old: think the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, The Modern Lovers, Dylan and Smokey Robinson. 

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