written by Rocky
NEW MONTH, NEW PRE-ORDERS! There are so many incredible and surprising artists this February; while we mentioned Tycho, Shania Twain, and Weird Al in our post last month, we’ll be talkin’ about some of the other albums coming out this month here and now, but it will be just the tip of the iceberg! Weekly summaries on pre-orders come out, well, every week, but be sure to check out our site any time before then before your favourites sell out!
The Week of February 3rd…
Weezer - “SZNZ: Spring”
I’ll be honest, dear reader, I don’t really understand Weezer memes. Known for their big hits and covers including “Island in the Sun,” “Say it Ain’t So,” and “Buddy Holly,” Weezer could be described as easy-listening “happy grunge” (creds to Gracey for that latter description, it’s perfect wording). You may hear ‘em as transitional songs to early 2000’s indie rock or back-to-back with Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the band is still kicking. Announced in early 2022, the band revealed their project, “SZNZ,” in which they would release four albums all themed around the tones of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. First in the endeavor, of course, was “SZNZ: Spring,” which is getting a re-press that is now available for pre-order.
Korn - “Requiem Mass” Blue Vinyl
For fans of heavy metal to include Celldweller and Slipknot–and perhaps newer fans of Loathe and Currents–prolific band Korn is here with a live rendition of several tracks from their recent album, “Requiem.” While there are not any tracks out for a sneak-peek yet, we’re anticipating the new record to be atmospheric both in the way that the band already is, but also given that this performance was recorded at the Hollywood United Methodist Church. It’s not often that we get much metal in our stock, so be sure to pre-order the new album for yourself if you’re interested!
Brit Taylor - “Kentucky Blue”
Something about all traditional country music feels nostalgic. Southern twang, walking bass, and fiddle, Brit Taylor caters to those who are loyal to the heart of the country music genre. Naturally, the singles that premiere this album are perfectly fit for square dancing to, and it’s without a doubt the rest of her upcoming record will work for just the same if not also for sitting on a porch swing while watching a summer sunset. If you’re working on your country music selection, consider pre-ordering Taylor’s “Kentucky Blue” on vinyl.
Shania Twain, Tycho, SYML, James Brandon Lewis, Rikki Ililonga, Twiztid, Fania All Stars, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Ghost, Now That’s What I Call Music, Young Fathers, Soul Searchers, Sunny War, The Go! Team, John Frusciante, Raye, Discovery, Slightly Stoopid, Sparta, The Pharcyde, Joe Chambers, Somebody’s Child
The Week of February 10th…
Paramore - “This is Why” [Indie Exclusive] Clear Vinyl
So it turns out I’ve never simultaneously heard Paramore and acknowledged it was the group. Wait, wait! Hold from throwing your tomatoes! I only have positive things to say! It’s inevitable that you’ve heard Paramore’s hits on mid-2000’s pop radio, regardless of if you put a name to a face or a song to a band; all their hits have been rightfully so–every single one of Paramore’s records have tracks featured on billboard charts across the world. The band’s musical style is the perfect definition of note-worthy pop punk, with whip-like snappiness in execution and tonal demand, continually remaining the head of their corner of the music industry. In accordance to their history and based on the singles already out to premier their newest record, “This is Why” is just as promising as ever. I could go on and on about nuances and influence, but, in short, “C’est Comme Ça” and the title track leads belief that Paramore’s upcoming album will be geared towards those who like Joywave for their irony, Of Montreal for their pop hits, new-era Two Door Cinema Club, and simply Saint Motel and Fits & the Tantrums. Voice-overs and unpolished vocals paired for contrast against pristine choruses and harmonies, needless to say we’re excited. We sincerely anticipate this record to be a success, so snag it while it’s still available for pre-order!
Civic - “Taken By Force” Translucent Red Vinyl
Aussie music enthusiasts are sure to already be familiar with the gritty punk band, Civic. While they had their time on both Anti-Fade and Flightless records, their new album, “Taken By Force,” is premiering their new home on Cooking Vinyl in Australia. In true punk fashion, Civic does not apologize for harsh vocals, punchy guitars, and brutal drums, all wrapped up nicely with nostalgic overtones. Singles previewing the new records include “Blood Rushes,” “Born in the Heat,” and “End of the Line,” and are more than promising as an extension to the band’s unrelenting energy. Don’t miss out (our pay for Aussie shipping…) and pre-order “Taken By Force” through our site.
Sleep - “Dopesmoker”
If you’re in the underground psych scene enough to have heard of Civic, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Sleep and their legendary album, “Dopesmoker.” Formed in 1990, Sleep was only initially around for eight years as they released their first three albums and an EP. The band split apart and went on to form the groups Om and High on Fire before reuniting in 2009, but “Dopesmoker” went onto become one of the most prolific stoner sludge records ever made. Sleep took “Dopesmoker” off of streaming platforms and their Bandcamp momentarily until a remastered version was later re-implemented by Third Man Records. Still, this album and its history has remained influential to bands such as Electric Moon and other modern doom-psychedelic groups. Oh, but I’m burying the lead: This double LP has two songs on it–yes, two–and one of those tracks is only eleven minutes long. Fill in the blank for how long the opening song is. Take the journey and find out what has made Sleep so iconic in the psychedelic community by pre-ordering your own copy before they inevitably sell out.
Mogwai - “Come on Die Young” White Vinyl
Finally, a post- and noise rock artist to write about! Mogwai’s sophomore album is getting a re-pressing this month and is one to keep on the edge of your seat for. Perhaps a leader and influence on today’s modern lo-fi artists such as Flatsound and Old Gray, Mogwai’s music is not for the faint of heart and emotionally vulnerable. This album will take your hand and lead you back to some sunny Sunday your parents spent fighting while they thought you were focused on TV in the other room. Atmospheric and heart-wrenching, “Come on Die Young” exists to remind you you’re not alone. Pre-purchase Mogwai’s re-pressing on white vinyl through our site before it hits shelves.
Andy Shauf, The Rolling Stones, Tennis, Yo La Tengo, AJR, Pierce the Veil, Baby Cool, The Academic, Kelela, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Uniform the Body, Pale Blue Eyes, Oliver Heart, Young Devyn, GING, Quasi, Marvel's Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur, BSS, Mogwai, Chase Rice, Maps, Ockham’s Blazer, Lisa O’Neill, Soul Glo, Matisyahu, Hot Mulligan
The Week of February 17th…
Phoenix - “Alpha Zulu” [Indie Exclusive] Coke Bottle Clear
If Phoenix’s 2022 album slipped by you like it did to me, I have good news for ya! Those of you who frequented Pandora in the mid 2010’s are sure to be familiar with the bands hit, “1901” from the album “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.” Not to bring ‘em both up again in the same blog post, but “Alpha Zulu” holds onto genre elements the group became known for along with details reminiscent of Joywave and Two Door Cinema Club. This is all a long-winded way of saying that if you liked what Pheonix had to offer when they were popping on the radio, you’ll still like them now! Their latest album is getting an Indie Exclusive re-issue on “coke bottle clear” vinyl and is ready for pre-order now.
Total Refreshment Centre - “Transmissions From Total Refreshment Centre”
Here’s an absolutely unexpecting record to get excited over. “Transmissions From Total Refreshment Centre” is a compilation album including a good handful of artists from Total Refreshment Centre in London. The single to premiere the record features Soccer96, Kieron Boothe, Poppy Daniels, and Tom Herbert in a silky collaborative crossroads where hip-hop meets jazz. If TRC’s catalogue of artists piques your interests, check out the label’s upcoming record that’s already available for pre-order.
Melanie Martinez - “Cry Baby”
Do you have a keen ear for crisp vocals and production value? If you tend to avoid pop music to navigate around autotune and explicitly-synthetic-sounding beats, allow me to refresh your perspective with Melanie Martinez. Somewhere similar to Nicole Dollanganger in tone, Martinez lurks in the dark of the vast pop scene donning pastels and night-black eyeliner. “Cry Baby,” her debut record, paints a vivid picture of her consistent overarching sound and features the hit singles, “Sippy Cup” and “Dollhouse,” which may leave you picturing haunted children’s toys in a cardboard box long-forgotten. This album has an incredible run of songs, and you can get it yourself as it’s on our site for pre-purchase.
Four Year Strong, Joe Louis Walker, John-Allison Weiss, Jaimee Harris, Inhaler, Grade 2, Jordan Davis, Avatar, Mötley Crüe, Khotin, Lee Harris & Davor Bozic, LE SSERAFIM, Birthright: A Black Roots Music Compendium, The Pretty Reckless, Tianna Esperanza, Mood, Visors & Moon King, See You Next Tuesday
The Week of February 24th…
Gorillaz - “Cracker Island” [Indie Exclusive] Neon Purple Vinyl
If Gorillaz hasn’t caught your attention yet, maybe Thundercat will. Yes, if you haven’t heard the premiering single for the upcoming “Cracker Island,” progressive funk musician Thundercat has a featured spot on the new record along with Tame Impala and Bootie Brown. News on this album has been ebbing and transforming since it was first mentioned in 2021, but it so far seems to promise that familiar Gorillaz charm fans love. If you somehow avoided shopping malls throughout the early 2000’s and you are unfamiliar with the band, Gorillaz is a virtual band composed of four fictional characters. Following me? The group (more accurately comprised of Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett, and many guest artists) has covered all sorts of genres throughout the years, all recognizable by a particular electronic undertone paired with the unmistakable voice of the band’s lead singer, 2-D. We’re happy to see Gorillaz back in our catalogue; make sure they make a place in yours by pre-ordering their new album before it’s gone.
Steel Panther - “On the Prowl”
Ah, man, no one can do glam metal like the original entrepreneurs, but certainly no one can do satirical glam metal like Steel Panther. Fair warning: this record has a huge “explicit content” sticker plastered right over its cover. One glance at the tracklist titles and you know Steel Panther is cranking up the dial on bringing shock rock back to fit modern standards of what is, well, shocking. Some folks argue that we’re getting too soft, but you gotta think about how once upon a time people thought KISS was a band straight from Hell just because they wore black leather and makeup. Speaking of KISS, Steel Panther is arguably comparable in sound with a sort of Psychostick vocal quirkiness. “The only band to save my divorce from turning back into a marriage!” YouTube user wildatom exclaims in the comments of the band’s new single. Get a run for your money by pre-ordering this wildcat of an album.
Logic - “College Park”
2023 is the year I, your writer, gets into Logic. With seven albums, a soundtrack, a ton of singles, and several hits under his belt, American rapper Logic is putting out a brand new record soon. With pop tones similar to The Weeknd or The Neighbourhood but with the introspection of Kid Cudi and of his own genuine making, this new album is surely one to get starry-eyed over. Logic has explained in recent interviews how the exhausting rap industry has blurred the lines on what it means to make music, but has since rekindled his love for his passion. “College Park” is hopefully to be just as glimmering as his sense of wonder, so take a leap of faith and pre-purchase the record for yourself.
More to be found this week…
Lucero, Adam Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Gina Birch, Jenny O, The Strokes, Denzel Curry, Ghost, Iris DeMent, The Shootouts, Mui Zyu, Shame, John Lee Hooker, Godsmack, To The Grave, Isabelle Antena, The Best of Wattstax, Heidevolk, 58 Belvedere, Sam Gendel, 5 Seconds of Summer, Gracie Abrams, Bria, Jammin’ Sam Miller, Koe Wetzel, Booker T & the M.G.’s, David Bowie
The Week of March 3rd…
Macklemore - “Ben” [Indie Exclusive] (Alternative Cover)
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve actively thought about Macklemore, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been up to anything! Rap artist Macklemore has stayed busy the past several years with his personal life, activism, and–yes–making music, and has a shiny new record to be released in March. Take a peek at the new album by listening to its singles including “Faithful,” “Chant,” and “Maniac.” If you dig, consider pre-ordering the new record on our site, fit with hip alternative cover art.
Frank Zappa - “Zappa ‘80: Mudd Club / Munich”
Oooh, yeah, there’s no way I’m not writing about good ol’ Frank Zappa, though he’s a character hard to describe in only words. Teetering between free-form improv, rock ‘n’ roll, and sheer absurdity, Zappa is one thing consistent: an absolute master at his craft. Self-taught and constantly running a tight ship, Frank had an ear for real talent and ambition, forming his band made up of equally persistent musicians. “So what’s so special about this release?” Thanks for asking. Munich ‘80 is the first live-to-digital recording of Zappa and the former was recorded at the Mudd Club in NYC (one of Frank’s favourite venues). Ranging over countless musical styles, there was nothing Zappa couldn’t perfect. See for yourself by pre-purchasing this triple CD before it hits shelves.
Lostboycrow - “Indie Pop” Yellow Vinyl
I’ve been loving learning about new artists in writing these reviews, so here’s one to Lostboycrow. With a title like “Indie Pop” and a single titled “Indie Rock,” you start to wonder if this 2022 album is self-aware; if there’s anything that’s hip and in-trend, it’s tonal and/or lyrical irony. Probably coincidental in their crow motifs, if you like Conan Gray, you’ll probably like Lostboycrow, too! Whispery vocals over, well, haha, indie pop rock instrumentation, you’ve got the ingredients to a summer banger. Reissued on yellow wax, “Indie Pop” is available for pre-order.
Fake Names, De La Soul, Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach, Four Year Strong, Hollow Coves, Hello Mary, Haken, Kate NV, NCT 127, Willie Nelson, Constant Smiles, Drayton Farley, Pony Bradshaw, Trove Lo, Genesis, Full of Hell, ALO, Can’t Swim, Kali Uchis, Daisy Jones & the Six, Subhumans, Wilson Pickett, Irma Thomas, Kenny Rogers & the First Editions, Mystic
There are sooooo many new records out this month, so it goes without saying this is barely skimming the surface! Check out our pre-order site for yourself and stay tuned to future blogs highlighting artists for the upcoming week!