Staff picks from our extensive CD collection

Our music enthusiast John has selected his recent favourites from our extensive CD collection. More coming soon, so keep checking!

John’s picks

Thurston Moore – Rock ‘n’ Roll Consciousness
Sonic Youth fans are in for a treat here as that legendary NY band’s guitarist, Thurston Moore, explores five lengthy, textural, guitar centred songs that are reminiscent of his playing on the groundbreaking Sonic Youth album, ‘Daydream Nation”. Accompanied by long time fellow traveller, drummer Steve Shelley, this is like a lost Sonic Youth album with My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Goodge on bass instead of Kim Gordon and James Sedwards on guitar instead of Lee Renaldo. The only difference being that Moore indulges in lengthy solos – which, as it turns out, is a very good thing indeed.

Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley
The London based duo have moved on from their potentially novelty roots, featuring archival plummy British spoken word samples, to become something akin to musical documentarians. Their debut focused on WWII, their follow up on the 1960’s space race, and now for their third album, they focus on the rise and fall of the Welsh coal-mining industry. They manage to turn that potentially dry subject into a vital and relevant commentary on progress and social awareness and have made an excellent socially conscious pop record that sounds like a good idea turning into a great one.

David Long, Richard Nunns & Natalia Mann – Utterance
Rattle Records describe this beautifully packaged release as a tribute to Richard Nunns, who’s ongoing health issues, very sadly, see this collection of 11 improvisations as his final recording. A key figure behind the revival of interest in ancient Maori instrumentation, here he uses his formidable kete of instruments to create mesmerizing atmospheres alongside David Long’s plucked and looped banjo and Natalia Mann’s haunting harp and zither.

Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology
UK artist Jane Weaver wrote, produced , sings and played synths, keys, guitars, bass and drum machines on this impressive release that combines the hypnotic pulse of krautrock with an unearthly cosmic pop. The follow up to her 2014 release, ‘The Silver Globe’, which found her recognition after seven albums and 22 years as an idiosyncratic solo artist whose work included acoustic folk balladry, avant garde electronics and improvisation. Here she manages to meld all of her arcane source material into a rich, melodic and engaging contemporary psychedelic pop, her crisp vocals floating over gorgeous musical backdrops that include early 80s synth pop, eerie folk, library music and experimental vintage electronics.

Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
Broken Social Scene are a Canadian musical collective with 15 members, two of whom have been pushing it all along since 2001. This is their fifth album, their first in seven years, and finds them refining their sprawling ramshackle sound into a great collection of distinctive and vibrant indie pop. Anthemic without being cheesy, the collective nature of this band comes across in the music which is relentlessly positive while maintaining a political awareness.

Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet
The second solo record from Michelle Zauner, the former singer for US EMO band Little Big League, is a nice blend of experimental pop, incorporating elements of shoegaze, electropop, soft rock, ambient and indie, all wrapped around her soft yearning vocals. It is a confident and engaging record that runs the risk, however, of being too pop for those who like experimental sounds and too experimental for those who like pop, but those with open ears will be well rewarded.

Dauwd – Theory of Colours
Electronic producers often find it difficult to maintain an entire album and it is nice to be able to report that UK artist Dauwd, bucks that trend. This album, on Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour, presents a distinctive take on electronic music that manages to communicate emotional content, yet remain danceable. Most of the seven tracks maintain a lovely rolling chilled rhythm with deep bass lines and skittering hi-hats pushing it all along, while warm analog synth flourishes and electronic samples dance around over the top.

The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile started The War On Drugs in 2008, with Kurt Vile leaving after their debut album. Since then, each of them have been rewriting Americana for the new millennium with Kurt Vile’s Violaters picking up the jam band mantle from precursors like the Grateful Dead while Adam Granduciel’s War On Drugs reinvents the wide open, heart-felt grandeur of artists like Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and even Bob Dylan. Their last album, ‘Lost In the Dream’, topped numerous end-of-year best album lists and this follow up looks to repeat that success.

The National – Sleep Well Beast
It’s good to see that by their seventh album US band The National haven’t slipped into a formula. While ‘Sleep Well Beast’ maintains the band’s well recognised brooding sound fronted by Matt Berninger’s distinctive baritone vocals, this time around they move deeper into a beautiful chamber pop incorporating extensive use of piano, string arrangements and, surprisingly, electronics and samples provided courtesy of collaborators, Cologne electronic artists, Mouse On Mars.

LCD Sound System – American Dream
The story goes that David Bowie told James Murphy to restart LCD Sound System after he had ended the project in 2010, so he took Bowie’s advice and here, seven years on, we get the fourth LCD album and it’s as good as anything they have done. The album starts with a characteristic musical tribute, this time to recently deceased electronic pioneer Alan Vega, and from then on it’s the expected grab bag of influences with Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and David Bowie name checked within a simmering survey of modern America. Anything but a cynical cash-in this album confirms James Murphy as a major artist. Continue reading “Staff picks from our extensive CD collection”

Get your headphones ready! We’ve got new CD box sets

Check out some of these newly catalogued box-set CDs in our extensive collection. They include the deluxe reissue of Smiths’ landmark album The Queen is Dead and two Neil Young’s original release series.

The Smiths, The queen is dead [deluxe]
“The Deluxe 3CD / 1 DVD Box set – housed in a lift off lid box with a stapled 12pg booklet. CD 1 -features the 2017 master of the album. CD 2 – features additional recordings; demos, b-sides and alternative versions. Tracks 1-7 and 9 are previously unreleased. Track 8 was released on 7” for Record Store Day. Tracks 10 and 11 are 2017 masters of b-sides from ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’. Tracks 12 and 13 are 2017 masters of b-sides from ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’. CD3 – features ‘Live In Boston’ album recorded at the Great Woods Center For The Performing Arts on 5th August 1986. DVD – features the 2017 master of album in 96kHz / 24-bit PCM stereo and ‘The Queen Is Dead – A Film By Derek Jarman’.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Isaac Hayes, The spirit of Memphis (1962-1976)
“Deluxe hardback book presentation with four individual CD-pockets plus 7″ single. Isaac Hayes: The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1975) chronicles Isaac Hayes’ ascension from orphaned field-hand to soul superhero, starting with his days as a young man working as a writer and producer for other Stax Records recording artists and ending with the zenith of his popularity as a cultural icon in the mid-70’s. An essential survey of the multifaceted artist, writer, and producer that changed the shape of popular music forever.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Neil Young, Neil Young original release series : discs 5-8
“The Neil Young Official Release Series Volume 2 limited edition box set includes: On The Beach, Times Fades Away, Tonight’s The Night, and Zuma. Remastered from the original analog studio recordings at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Historically accurate artwork reproduced by Neil Young’s long time art director Gary Burden.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Neil Young, Neil Young original release series : discs 8.5-12.
“Official Releases Series is the name Neil Young has given to the personally approved remasters of his core catalog. The series debuted in 2012 with a four-album box that contained Young’s first four albums, and this 2016 installment covers his next five: the Stephen Stills duet album Long May You Run (its presence is why this is billed as “8.5”), American Stars & Bars, Comes a Time, Rust Never Sleeps, and Live Rust. Whether they’re heard in new vinyl pressings or CDs released in 2017, the remasters are vivid and robust — the best this music has ever sounded, and that’s reason enough for hardcore Neil Young fans to purchase these titles again.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

10cc, Before during after
“Universal Music Catalogue (UMC), is delighted to announce the release of ‘Before During After – The Story of 10cc’ – a special four-disc box set, curated with input from the band to detail each and every chapter of their musical story. It Is the first complete, career-encompassing collection of the work of 10cc – Eric Stewart, Lol Crème, Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman, together and apart.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Tim Buckley, Buzzin’ fly : live anthology, 1968-1973
“Tim Buckley possessed a golden voice that spanned the range from baritone to tenor. More importantly, he knew what to do with it. Sometimes he used it simply as a vehicle to carry the lyrics. Other times he used it as an extraordinary musical instrument in its own right. This box contains three live albums on four CDs from Buckley’s classic phase: “Dream Letter – Live in London 1968” (on two CDs), “Live At The Troubadour 1969” and “Honeyman – Recorded Live 1973″. These performances feature eight songs that were never otherwise recorded, alongside selections from Goodbye And Hello, Happy Sad, Blue Afternoon, Lorca, Greetings From LA and Sefronia.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Noise reduction system : formative European electronica 1974-1984
“A year in the making, Noise Reduction System reaches out into the European mainland, taking in tracks from key figures on the electronica cassette label underground alongside early releases by ground-breaking innovators. Enthralled by the mysterious synthesiser and inspired by the DIY ethos of punk, a quiet revolution took place across Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From Norway to Greece, the microchip and the affordable synthesiser inspired artists for whom guitars, drums and bass had become old hat, and in home studios and art spaces across the continent electronic musicians began to stretch the boundaries of sonic experimentation. Some wanted to dance, some to relax and others to confuse and confront – all are represented here.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New CDs at your library

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs, from newcomers London Grammar to veterans such as Steve Winwood and Brian Wilson. The long awaited third installment in a deluxe reissue series A New Career in a New Town by David Bowie has already been proven very popular.

New Albums

London Grammar Truth is a beautiful thing.
“Four years after their debut, English trio London Grammar returned with their sophomore set, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, featuring production by Jon Hopkins (Imogen Heap, Coldplay), Paul Epworth (Florence + the Machine, Adele), and Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia). Once again, vocalist Hannah Reid takes center stage with her powerful, angelic instrument, which can stir the soul at the smokiest depths before jolting everything to the heavens in a fashion much like Florence Welch or Annie Lennox.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Mount Kimbie Love what survives
“Love What Survives is the third studio album from Mount Kimbie. It is a melodic yet robust electronic record for driving with the windows down and a distillation of their career to date, mixing multiple singing voices and musical personalities, flirting with freeform experimentation, pop tropes and an expansive sonic palette. As the title suggests the record is the product of three years of intense creative development, continually honed by the duo writing and rewriting their ideas to form something wholly idiosyncratic and personal.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Killers Wonderful wonderful
“Ghosts of that sound flutter through Wonderful Wonderful, but they get pushed aside by disco struts, brooding celebrity name-drops, Mark Knopfler cameos, and Fleetwood Mac harmonies so uncannily real you’d swear Lindsey Buckingham guested on the record. Such odd juxtapositions and untrammeled ambition have been the Killers’ stock in trade since at least Sam’s Town, but the impressive thing about Wonderful Wonderful is how the Killers are able to execute Flowers’ overstuffed ideas so precisely.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Horrors V
“Stunningly assertive fifth album from The Horrors. First single ‘Machine’ sees the group at their majestic, imperial best, although the ten tracks on the album are so diverse that when the final song ‘Something To Remember Me By’ appears to channel dance, trance and ‘80s pop genres it feels like both the most natural thing in the musical world and also the most surprising. ‘V’ shows the group at the peak of their powers, exhibiting a freedom and sense of exploration that feels truly liberating.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Steve Winwood Greatest hits live
“Steve Winwood will release his FIRST-EVER live album as a solo artist this September. ‘Winwood: Greatest Hits Live’ is a new 2CD collection sourced from Steve’s personal archives of live performances. With a 23-song tracklist handpicked by Steve, featuring his best loved songs. It offers fans a definitive musical portrait of his five-decade career. The expanded 2CD gatefold package features rare, previously unreleased material touching on all aspects of Winwood’s extensive catalogue, including contemporary arrangements of the music he created with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith, and on his classic solo recordings.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Brian Wilson Playback : the Brian Wilson anthology
“Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology is the first-ever compilation concentrating on Brian Wilson’s solo career, and given that his discography is a bit unwieldy, it’s not a surprise that Playback is a bit misshapen. Over the course of 18 tracks, Playback samples from nearly every record Wilson released between his eponymous 1988 solo debut and 2015’s No Pier Pressure, adding two unreleased tracks.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Mastodon Cold dark place
“Only the second proper EP from the band — the songs on 2001’s Lifesblood eventually made their way onto the 2006 compilation Call of the Mastodon — three of Cold Dark Place’s cuts (“North Side Star,” “Blue Walsh,” and the brooding, acoustic- and pedal steel guitar-heavy title track) were recorded during the sessions for 2014’s Once More ‘Round the Sun, and they reflect that LP’s somber tone and predilection towards accessible hard rock songcraft.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Box sets/ Reissues

David Bowie A new career in a new town (1977-1982).
“The third installment in a comprehensive deluxe reissue series of David Bowie’s entire catalog, A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) chronicles perhaps the most artistically ambitious phase in Bowie’s career. A New Career in a New Town is a handsome, alluring, and exceptional-sounding reissue that earns its price tag.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Verve Urban hymns [deluxe]
“Expertly catching the mood of the late-‘90s upon its release in September 1997, The Verve’s third studio outing went on to become one of the all-time classic British albums. Now, exactly twenty years on, comes this Super Deluxe expanded edition, containing a host of special features. Re-mastering was undertaken by original co-producer Chris Potter and this 5CD / 1DVD box adds all of the era’s B-sides, the previously unreleased Haigh Hall concert plus further live material and BBC sessions from 1997-1998. The DVD features the full Haigh Hall concert, the ‘The Video 96-98’ documentary, a ‘Later With Jools Holland’ appearance from November 1997 plus the promo videos.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Pink Floyd The early years 1965-1967 : Cambridge st/ation.
“Four disc (2CD + DVD + Blu-Ray) set. Covering Syd Barrett’s time with the band, from the pre-EMI demos, through the non-album hit singles and related tracks, the first volume also features previously unreleased tracks like ‘Vegetable Man’ and ‘In The Beechwoods’ (newly mixed), plus BBC session recordings. Pink Floyd have also acquired the tapes of an unreleased 1967 concert in Stockholm. The DVD/Blu-ray includes historic TV performances plus some of Pink Floyd’s own film material.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Check out these new CDs in our collection!

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. They include the new albums by the big names such as Foo Fighters, The National and our very own Black Seeds. Enjoy!

New Albums

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
“New 2017 album from Josh Homme and cohorts … their first in 4 years! Produced by Mark Ronson. Includes “The Way You Used To Do”.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Foo Fighters – Concrete and gold
“9th studio album from Dave Grohl & Co.Heavy riffs, sweet melodies & lush production, “..Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper… or something like that.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

The National – Sleep well beast
“New 2017 album … their first in 4 years! Recorded at multi-instrumentalist Aaron Dessner’s own studio in upstate New York. Includes “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness”.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Black Seeds – Fabric
“Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends The Black Seeds return in September with their long awaited 6th studio album ‘Fabric’. While firmly based in the island grooves that inspired the birth of the band nearly two decades ago, The Black Seeds’ sound casts a wide net, layering funk, soul, Afrobeat, and other eclectic elements over their dub/reggae foundations. It’s “contemporary groove music with influences from soul and funk and reggae rhythms – and even rock…” explains guitarist/vocalist Barnaby Weir.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Neil Finn – Out of silence
“2017 solo album from Crowded House mainman, recorded live in one session! Produced by his son Liam, with guests including Tim Finn, Don McGlashan & EJ Barnes. Features ‘Love Is Emotional’.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Unkle – The road. Part 1
“After a rollercoaster twenty-five year career as an artist, curator and tastemaker, James Lavelle returns with UNKLE’s fifth studio album: The Road. After a productive trip to the States, Lavelle returned to London to add the finishing touches to what was shaping up to be another classic UNKLE record.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Paul Kelly – Life is fine
“With 2017’s Life Is Fine, Kelly seems to have relaxed a bit and returned to what has been familiar territory though much of his career. Life Is Fine is otherwise a set of Paul Kelly originals that find him in a largely upbeat mood while backed by his road band, most of whose members have worked with him for over 20 years.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Grizzly Bear – Painted ruins
“Grizzly Bear release their highly anticipated fifth full-length album “Painted Ruins” following up their 2012 commercial breakthrough “Shields.” The band spent the better part of two years writing and recording the eleven new compositions featured on “Painted Ruins” with the entire album produced by Grizzly Bear’s own, Chris Taylor.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Box sets/ Reissues

Kraftwerk – 3-D : the catalogue
“As with their concerts since 2009, the group designed special three-dimensional visuals for the performances, and equipped the audience members with 3-D glasses straight out of a 1950s movie theater. Box set 3-D The Catalogue is an audio document of the arrangements devised for these concerts.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Silhouettes & statues : a gothic revolution 1978-1986
“Extensive 5CD/book set exploring the evolution of the Goth movement, from the glacial post-punk of the late 1970s through positive punk and into the Batcave era, dark electronica and beyond. Features over 80 classics, rarities, album tracks & hidden gems from The Cure, Joy Division, Sisters Of Mercy, PiL, The Birthday Party, Adam And The Ants, The Mission, Southern Death Cult, Fields Of The Nephilim, and many more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)
njoy

Check out these new CD arrivals!

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. They include the new albums by Arcade Fire and Lana Del Rey. Also, fantastic box-sets keep coming to our extensive collection and U2’s The Joshua Tree is back as a super deluxe box-set!

New Albums

Public Service Broadcasting / Every valley.
“The third album from Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. who, along with his drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, and their bass player, keys and horns man extraordinaire, JFAbraham, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe On Every Valley Willgoose takes us on a journey down the mineshafts of South Wales valleys.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Lana Del Rey / Lust for life.
“For the first time on a Lana Del Rey album, we’ll hear voices besides Lana herself: Lust for Life includes guest appearances from Stevie Nicks, the Weekend, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, and Sean Lennon.” (adapted from mightyape.co.nz)

Arcade Fire / Everything now.
“‘Everything Now’ is the 5th studio album from Arcade Fire. The thirteen track album features the lead single ‘Everything Now’ and was produced by Arcade Fire, Thomas Bangalter and Steve Mackey, with co-production by Markus Dravs.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Steve Earle / So you wannabe an outlaw.
So You Wannabe an Outlaw, Earle’s first album for Warner Bros. Records since 1997’s El Corazón, explores his country songwriting roots and features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, and Miranda Lambert.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

David Bowie / Cracked actor (live Los Angeles ’74).
“2CD set. Finally officially released on CD! Pivotal 20-track live performance from Los Angeles in September 1974, including two songs tracks not on the “David Live” album. Recorded in-between the “Diamond Dogs” and “Philly Dogs” tours.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Box sets/Reissues

U2 / The Joshua tree [super deluxe].
“Alongside the 11-track album, the super deluxe collector’s edition includes a live recording of The Joshua Tree Tour 1987 Madison Square Garden concert; rarities and B-sides from the album’s original recording sessions; as well as 2017 remixes from Daniel Lanois, St Francis Hotel, Jacknife Lee, Steve Lillywhite and Flood; plus an 84-page hardback book of unseen personal photography shot by The Edge during the original Mojave Desert photo session in 1986.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

The Brain box : cerebral sounds of Brain Records 1972-1979.
“Music & Progressive Rock Fans rejoice as the first deluxe box set of the legendary Krautrock label BRAIN RECORDS is available. Over one year in the making this stunning and well documented 8CD box covering the glorious years of the famous BRAIN Records label will allow an unique insight into the progressive and stunning releases that occurred during that era.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Evan Dando / Baby I’m bored.
“Emerging after The Lemonheads disbanded Evan Dando returned to music first with a solo tour and Live At The Brattle Theatre then came his debut solo album Baby I m Bored . Mature and autobiographical, Baby I’m Bored is a stellar record that stripped Dando of his grunge label.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Manchester north of England : a story of independent music, Greater Manchester 1977-1993.
“From Buzzcocks to Britpop, Manchester North Of England is the ultimate tribute to the independent output of that most important and iconic of musical cities, with 146 tracks across seven CDs in a deluxe box set.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Allman Brothers Band / Brothers and sisters.
“This 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition features BROTHERS AND SISTERS (Original Recording Remastered), a second disc of previously unreleased Jams, Rehearsals, and Outtakes, in addition to two extra discs that feature the entire live show from Winterland in San Francisco on September 26, 1973.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

Beach House B-sides and rarities
Anathema The optimist
Imagine Dragons Evolve
Juana Molina Halo
Jethro Tull Songs from the wood : the country set
Frank Zappa Greasy love songs
Tom Waits Transmission impossible : legendary radio broadcasts from the 1970s
Beach Boys 1967 : sunshine tomorrow


Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

Radiohead OK computer : OKNOTOK 1997 2017
Alt-J Relaxer
Teenage Fanclub Here
Jeff Tweedy Together at last
Jason Isbell The Nashville sound
Laurel Halo Dust
Arve Henriksen Towards language
Yasmine Hamdan Al jamílat
Prince Purple rain : [music from the motion picture] Deluxe



Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

Early Years II
Sylvan Esso What now
Forest Swords Compassion
John Williams The ultimate collection
Orchestra Baobab Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng
Bruce Springsteen Unplugged 1992


Sound & Vision: New CDs

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. To reserve these items click on the title link below, and to find out a bit more about them click on the cover images…

Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie
Paramore After laughter
Fujiya & Miyagi Fujiya & Miyagi
Ryuichi Sakamoto Async
Linkin Park One more light
Roger Waters Is this the life we really want?