Aphex Twin Out Now

Collapse is out now on CD, 12” vinyl & indie exclusive 12” with Procédé Heliophore sleeve.

The Lemon Twigs Out Now

“Go To School,” the new album from The Lemon Twigs, is out now on CD and 2LP + bonus 7”.

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MATATU Presents Saul Williams at Oakland's Grand Lake Theatre 9/26

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Music We Like

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Negro Swan (CD)

Blood Orange

Negro Swan is arresting. The latest from Blood Orange will make you stop what you're doing and listen closer to Dev Hynes' thought-provoking, poetic lyrics and slowed down, atmospheric melodies. Hynes has stated that the album was written to deal with his "own and many types of black depression” and “the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color” -- and that's precisely what the experience of encountering this album feels like. So much beauty and resilience shine through the LP's moodiest, darkest moments; Negro Swan glitters with hope. It's a gorgeous love letter to the queer POC community.

And Nothing Hurt (CD)

Spiritualized

And Nothing Hurt delivers on Spiritualized fans' thirst for the band's usual big, gorgeous cosmic sound but this time J. Spaceman did things a bit differently. As always, listening to these tracks is an ecstatic, bordering on religious, experience. It's easy to imagine how lovely these new songs would sound out in a festival field or in a cathedral with perfect acoustics -- what's surprising is how Spaceman painstakingly taught himself to record the whole album at home, layering washes of sound to approximate what he called a "1960s Columbia Studios recording." Yes, he succeeds. Yes, it's a warm, dreamy, euphoric listen. Even within the familiar parameters of their distinct sound, Spiritualized continues to surprise.

For Ever (CD)

Jungle

Jungle's For Ever shows a band on the verge of taking over the world. These evocative songs are just pure good fun; it's a non-stop hit parade of feel-good retro funk that should appeal to everyone from festival kids to soul purists to the cool kids nodding their heads around the dancefloor. The London duo goes full West Coast on this, their sophomore LP, with ear worm tracks like "Heavy, California" and "House in LA." You've got to hear this one to believe it.

Born To Wake Up (CD)

decker.

Arizona-based mystic decker. rises above the fray of current folk-rock with a rich, layered sound that delivers both the booming, anthemic vocals fans of the genre have come to expect and something more. Songs like “The Strawman” feel more like spirituals than songs designed for the radio, full of slowly unfurling, gospel-tinged vocal turns, whereas tunes like “Burnin Grass” deliver the same emotional output but buoy them with propulsive beats, gin-soaked guitar solos, and fist-raising vocals. The dusky setting is strong on its own, but it wouldn’t mean much without decker.’s searing voice, his warm tenor and gravely vibrato conjuring visions of wandering through desolate landscapes and starry nights by the fire as he belts lines like “though the desert days may take my life, they won’t take my soul.” Your next desert getaway just got the perfect soundtrack.

Generation Rx (CD)

Good Charlotte

For their seventh studio album, Good Charlotte dig into the opioid epidemic, immigrant struggles and other current social issues, drawing on their pop sensibilities and emo slant for a set of well-crafted rock songs. The “Actual Pain” single is a reaction to the death of rapper Lil Peep while “Prayers” talks about a friend of the band with undocumented immigrant parents; both tracks boast anthemic choruses and heartfelt lyrics. “Shadowboxer” is a little edgier with a similar dramatic atmosphere.

Palms (CD)

Thrice

Orange County’s native sons Thrice made a career in the 00s by playing exactly the type of music their Warped Tour-worshipping constituents thrived on: emo/post-hardcore that blended the technical prowess of their forbearers with a newfound sense of catchiness in the form of radio-friendly earworms. Yet this is not the same band that sang countless yearning, angsty hooks over arpeggiated guitar riffs on The Artist in the Ambulance . Maybe it was the 5 year hiatus starting in 2011 that did it, but this version of Thrice is much different. For one, the band has gotten in touch with their new-wave side, undoubtedly finding common ground through hefty doses of Depeche Mode. The vocals are lower, gruffer; a natural progression of aging, sure, but the tones and textures that comprise Palms are darker as well. Cold synthesizers color nearly every track while the guitar assault of old is paired back, and though Thrice are still a “rock” band through and through, electronica and industrial aren’t too far behind. Yet, despite the sonic makeover, one need only listen to the chorus of “The Grey” to realize that those yearning, shout-along earworms are still there. A refreshing update of the post-hardcore sound that dominated the aughts.

The More I Sleep The Less I Dream (CD)

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks expands their indie/math rock sound for The More I Sleep The Less I Dream , an album which was scrapped once in its entirety and then rewritten. After ten years of touring, the boys decided to trust their instincts to let the songs flow; the spacey but driving lead single “Hanging In” has that feeling for sure. The more hectic “Repeating Patterns” is built on ringing guitar and busy drums, proving that their energy is as present as ever.

Go To School (CD)

The Lemon Twigs

The first Lemon Twigs record, 2016’s Do Hollywood , is already somewhat of a musical outlier in their discography. As their polished, flashy studio debut, it belies their quaint origin story as precocious brothers with vivid imaginations concocting love letters to their favorite classic rock records, all from within their parent’s basement. Two years after their auspicious start, as well as the victory lap of the Brothers of Destruction EP, the brothers D’Addario feel comfortable enough to return to their roots on their newest release, as Go To School was recorded in that very same basement.   Let’s get this out of the way: the Lemon Twigs really, really like Todd Rundgren. A lot. The singing voices of the two brothers tend to operate somewhere between the trebly warble of their aforementioned hero as well as that of power pop troubadour Alex Chilton, and the ‘Twigs are apt to take plenty of songwriting cues from those two as well. Yet this time around the brothers have gone above and beyond by having Rundgren himself guest on the record. Billed as a musical, Go To School follows the absurd tale of an adopted monkey who goes to a new school (with the monkey’s would-be musician/actor parents voiced by Rundgren as well as the brothers’ own mother) before eventually escaping back into the wild. Exactly as cartoonish as it sounds, following Go To School ’s plot is not intrinsic to its entertainment value, just like you don’t really care about what’s going on with the characters on something like Tommy . What is important is that it gives the brothers a vessel for which to perform their operatic, theatrical take on ‘70s classic rock. The Lemon Twigs cycle through sounds like costume changes: the influence of Elton John, The Who, Steely Dan, ELO, and Meat Loaf are all readily apparent in these grooves, among many, many others. Self-aware of the inherent goofiness of rock ‘n roll storytelling, Go To School succeeds because it never loses its sense of whimsy through the bombast. So if two successful musicians recording rock operas in their parents' basement is a sure sign of arrested development, let’s hope The Lemon Twigs never grow up.

Collapse (CD)

Aphex Twin

The latest from Richard D. James is dark, intense, and addictive. The Collapse EP is an instant classic in Aphex Twin's prolific, stellar career, featuring all the distorted beats, propulsive drums, and woozy instrumentals fans expect to encounter. This one's a little bit woozier, though, a bit more disconcerting in a sleek, seductive, spacey way. Guaranteed to scratch your itch for smart, weird, slightly wild IDM.

Adult Contemporary (CD)

Milo Greene

Milo Greene's latest may be named after one of music's least offensive, least exciting genres but Adult Contemporary is a breath of fresh air. Lead single "Move" is an immediately likable, infectious indie toe-tapper. It's a great intro to this lush, light-hearted LP, bursting with softly romantic melodies and hypnotic basslines. These are the type of songs that sneak up on you -- before you know it, this thing will be on repeat on your turntable.

Great Thunder EP (CD)

Waxahatchee

For her Great Thunder EP , Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee reimagined six songs written for her experimental side project of the same name with Swearin' bassist Keith Spencer. In this incarnation, the music is stripped down and sparse, as on the single “Chapel of Pines,” keeping the focus on Crutchfield's expressive voice. The EP draws more on Waxahatchee's earlier folk and country-influenced sound, which has evolved into the harder rock of the latest album, Out In The Storm .

Cry Pretty (CD)

Carrie Underwood

Coming back from a terrible injury, Carrie Underwood comes out on top with her most wide-ranging album yet. From powerful calls for unity in divisive times (“Love Wins”) to a sports-ready collab with Ludacris (“The Champion”) to good ol’ fashioned emotional outpouring (the title track is a real tearjerker), it’s a thrill to hear one of country pop’s biggest stars this raw and ready to tackle nearly anything.

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