LOCAL NATIVES - "Hummingbird"

Circumstances shifted under the feet of the Local Natives, a critically acclaimed first record named after the bohemian destruction in the take-all-comers pad where they wrote the album, "Gorilla Manor." For follow up "Hummingbird," Aaron Dessner from the National took production duties in a new studio. As living conditions improved and the goal posts moved, as they often do, for the sophomore release, the band insisted on its youth, gathering itself against this mounting responsibility - the weight of expectations, three years turned long - to forge a dark and hopeful record. If the future remained uncertain, Local Natives managed to shuffle backwards towards it with images of bucolic 20-somethings in tow. - Geoff Nelson


On an album centered on death, Kris Kristofferson's laugh - old and true, tiny and visceral - sums up where he is as an artist these days. When you're young, you feel invincible, and when you're old, you feel well, you feel mortal. These 10 tracks prove that while Kristofferson may finally be coming to terms with what it's like to be old, there will always be a young spirit running rampant somewhere within his soul. The man himself might be mortal - we all are, of course. His music, however, is anything but. - Colin McGuire


Now, with nearly 20 years of traveling down his own versatile and communal road behind him, Ben Harper finds himself sharing the stage with one of the most gifted harmonica players in modern day blues, Charlie Musselwhite. The result, "Get Up!," is a rowdy 10-track set that is as moody as it is delicate, as invigorating as it is subtle. Together, Charlie and Ben have become a force from which it may be impossible to turn away. There's a palpable sense of comfort between these two, and each listen becomes yet another illustration of how strong their musical connection is. - Colin McGuire

MILES DAVIS QUINTET - "Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2"

Those unsure what to make of the massive and still mounting set of Miles Davis box sets and reissues should put their mind at ease. Though there are lesser releases than others - "Bitches Brew Live" is solid but not revelatory, for example - for the most part we're still learning Miles. Still piecing him together, parsing out what was myth and what was real, what was man and what was musician. Or maybe not, maybe this is just another phase of myth building, and if so, so be it. Because "Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2" is as vital a live release as we've ever heard from Davis, and lives up in every way to the gauntlet thrown down by the equally essential "Bootleg Series Vol. 1." - Matthew Fiander

Other notable releases this week:

Amor de Dias - "The House at Sea"

Buke & Gase - "General Dome"

Eric Burdon - "Til Your River Runs Dry"

Cult of Luna - "Vertikal"

Ducktails - "Flower Lane"

Fleetwood Mac - "Rumours" Expanded Edition

Adam Green and Binki Shapiro - "Adam Green and Binki Shapiro"

Hatebreed - "The Divinity of Purpose"

The History of Apple Pie - "Out of View"

Lena Hughes - "Queen of the Flat Top Guitar"

Lisa Loeb - "No Fairy Tale"

Rudresh Mahanthappa - "Gamak"

The Mavericks - "In Time"

Tegan & Sara - "Heartthrob"

Tomahawk - "Oddfellows"

Dale Watson - "El Rancho Azul"



-Winter 2013 New Music Playlist

The year has started with enough music for another playlist and then some. Many selections are singles from upcoming releases that aren't even out yet but the songs sound strong enough to want to share immediately, from Jim James, Foxygen, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, to STRFKR, Major Lazer and Atoms for Peace. Other tunes are standalone singles that need no padding to release on their own. It all bodes well for 2013, so dig in. - Jane Jansen Seymour


Qtier - "Still" / "Drift" (streams)

London's Qtier makes gentle, contemplative music perfect for snowed in winter interiors or lush and long summer days. Laced with mellow electronics and ethereal vocals, Qtier's music is beginning to make waves in the UK with The Fly calling their work "an extraordinarily rich debut."


EELS - "I'm Your Brave Little Soldier" (stream)

EELS' latest album "Wonderful, Glorious" releases on February 5th and the band has just shared a new bonus track from the record.




-Depeche Mode reveal release date, track list for new album "Delta Machine"

Depeche Mode have via their official website revealed details of their new album. Entitled "Delta Machine," the record will be released on March 26 on Columbia, with which the band recently signed a worldwide deal. In its standard version, "Delta Machine" will feature 13 tracks. Of course, a "Deluxe" version with extra tracks and a hardcover book will be an option as well. The album was produced by Ben Hillier, who also worked on Depeche's previous two albums. Notably, Flood mixed the album. It is the first time Flood has worked directly with the band since the troubled sessions for 1993's "Songs of Faith and Devotion." Ex-Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke is also rumored to be working on some remixes. - John Bergstrom




Jason Lytle - "Your Final Setting Sun" (video)

On the spurs of his tour supporting Band of Horses in December, Jason Lytle will kick off a European tour next month. Check out the dates below. In the meantime, watch the video for "Your Final Setting Sun," one of the many impressive tracks from Lytle's second solo album, "The Department of Disappearance," released in October. The clip is a trippy romp, featuring a techno-phobic cult leader and a boy who refuses to drink the Kool-Aid. Directed by Mike Aho. - Jennifer Cooke




Andy Winter - "Somewhere Else to Disappear" feat. Dan Swanö (MP3)

Andy Winter (founding member of Winds) has long been a mainstay in the Norwegian metal scene, specializing in something of a prog rock/metal blend that highlights an experimental musical spirit. On his latest album, "Incomprehensible," Winter delves more into classical forms and textures, collaborating with musicians from Agalloch, Borknagar, Novembers Doom, Tristania, and the Devin Townsend Project among others. Today we present the premiere of "Somewhere Else to Disappear," which features Dan Swanö of Nightingale & Bloodbath. "Incomprehensible" is available now at iTunes and other fine retailers.


Solid Steel Radio Show 25/1/2013 Part 1 + 2 - Coldcut (MP3)

British electronic duo Coldcut head up this week's edition of the Solid Steel Radio Show, which Ninja Tune presents on their Soundcloud.



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