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UPCOMING RELEASES

Latest Additions:

South Rail - Stars EP (5/6)
PHOX - S/T (6/24)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Johnossi - Transitions (4/29)
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean (5/20)
Birdy - Fire Within (6/3 U.S.)
The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD (4/29)
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Challenger - Back to Bellevue (5/27)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
The Shilohs - S/T (5/13)
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/19)
Amber States - Saratoga EP (4/28)
Mimicking Birds - Eons (5/13)
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment (6/16)
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love (6/10)
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (5/6 UK)
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks (5/26)
Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (6/17 UK)
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War (6/3)
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff (5/12)
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (6/9 UK)
George Ezra - TBA (6/23 UK)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie (6/10)
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me (6/3)
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics (6/3)
Daughter - Live @ Air (4/15)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (5/19)
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light (5/19)
Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP (6/3)
Ed Sheeran - x (multiply) (6/23)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)

April 15

Afghan Whigs - Do To the Beast
Amatorski - From Clay Figures
Amaya Laucirica - Sway (4/18 AUS)
Bobby Bare Jr. - Undefeated
Bruce Springsteen - American Beauty EP (4/19)
Dan Wilson - Love Without Fear
 Daughter - Live @ Air
Dinah Thorpe - Lullabies & Wake Up Calls
Elizaveta - Hero EP
Emerson Hart (Tonic) - Beauty In Disrepair
Horse Thief - Fear In Bliss
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) - Homo Erraticus
Ingrid Michaelson - Lights Out
Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing...
Jim Kroft - Lunatic Lullabies (UK)
Justin Currie - Lower Reaches
Justin Nozuka - Ulysees
Marika Hackman - Deaf Heat EP
Matthew & The Atlas - Other Rivers (UK)
Needtobreathe - Rivers In the Wasteland
Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love (UK)
Ramona Lisa (Chairlift's Caroline Polachek) - Arcadia
Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky
The Bee Gees - The WB Years 1987-1991 Box
The Both (Aimee Mann, Ted Leo) - S/T
The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down
Thee Oh Sees - Drop
Vaudeville Etiquette - Debutantes and Dealers
Wallis Bird - Architecture (UK)
Woods - With Light & With Love

April 22

Black Prairie (Decemberists) - Fortune
Dwight & Nicole - Shine On
EELS - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Fear Of Men - Loom
 G. Love & Special Sauce - Sugar
Hedley - Wild Life
Justin Rutledge - Daredevil (Tragically Hip Songs)
Keb' Mo' - BLUESAmericana
Little Daylight - TBA
Little Feat - Live in Holland 1976
Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos - Sling Shot to Heaven
Sharon Corr - The Same Sun
The Madden Brothers (Good Charlotte) - TBA
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Days of Abandon
To Kill A King - Cannibals With Cutlery (U.S.)
Tom and Hebron - Zoyugo

April 29

Amber States - Saratoga EP
Archie Powell & The Exports - Back In Black
Ben Watt - Hendra
Brigitte DeMeyer - Savannah Road (4/29)
Broken Twin - May
Caitlin Park - The Sleeper (5/2 AUS)
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Phosphorescent Harvest
Curtis Stigers - Hooray For Lovers
Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) - Everyday Robots
Dave Keller - Soul Changes
Edward David Anderson - Lies & Wishes
Fiona Bevan - Talk To Strangers
Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon) - Midnight Sun
Hafdis Huld - Home
Johnossi - Transitions
Little Hurricane - Gold Fever
Pink Mountaintops - Get Back
Prefab Sprout - Crimson/Red (U.S.)
Rodrigo y Gabriela - 9 Dead Alive
Sam Morrow - Ephemeral
The Currys - Follow
The Howlin' Brothers - Trouble
 The Milk Carton Kids - Live from Lincoln Theatre DVD
The Old 97's - Most Messed Up
Tommy Malone (Subdudes) - Poor Boy
Wye Oak - Shriek 

April TBA

Imogen Heap - Sparks
Neil Young - A Letter Home

May 6

Ben Harper/Ellen Chase-Verdries - Childhood Home
Brian Eno/Karl Hyde - Someday World
Current Swell - Ulysses
Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain EP (U.S.) 
  Gregg Allman & Various Artists - All My Friends (CD/DVD)
Gruff Rhys - American Interior
Jenny Scheinman - The Littlest Prisoner
Kina Grannis - Elements
Leisure Cruise (Dave Hodge, Leah Segal) - S/T
Liam Finn - The Nihilist
Lily Allen - Sheezus
Luke Elliot - Provisions
Lykke Li - I Never Learn
Natalie Merchant - S/T
Nikki Lane - All or Nothin'
Pacifika - Amor Planeta
Papercuts - Life Among the Savages
Rachel Taylor Brown - Falimy
Rae Morris - Do You Even Know? EP (UK)
Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) - Seven Dials (UK)
Sarah McLachlan - Shine On
South Rail - Stars EP
The Horrors - Luminous
Thomas Dybdahl - What's Left Is Forever (US)
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One
tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack
Willie Watson - Folk Singer, Vol. 1
Wooden Wand - Farmers Corner
You Are Wolf - Hawk to the Hunting Gone (UK)

May 13

Amen Dunes - Love
Braid - No Coast
Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt - For Keeps
Collin Herring - Some Knives
Eleanor McEvoy - Stuff
Jake Bugg - Messed Up Kids EP (UK)
Jeremy Fisher - The Lemon Squeeze
Jesse Denaro - Dear, Love
Joseph Arthur - Lou (Lou Reed Tribute)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test
La Sera - Hour of the Dawn
Little Dragon - Nabuma Underground
Megson - In A Box 
Mimicking Birds - Eons
Mirah - Changing Light
Molly Beanland - Night Dreams
Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband
Nick Mulvey - First Mind
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
Rhodes - The Morning EP (5/11 UK)
Swans - To Be Kind 
Sylvan Esso - S/T
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
The Shilohs - S/T
The Trouble With Templeton - Rookie
Tom The Lion - Sleep
Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines
Walter Martin (The Walkmen) - We're All Young Together

May 20

Bry Webb - Free Will
Cara Dillon - A Thousand Hearts (UK)
Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) - Upside Down Mountain
Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean
Haley Bonar - Last War
Hundreds - Aftermath
Jolie Holland - Wine Dark Sea
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Going Home
LCD Soundsystem - The Long Goodbye: Live @ Madison Sq. Garden
Malka Spigel - Gliding EP
Nightmare & The Cat - Simple
Oasis - Definitely Maybe 20th Anniv. Ed.
Phillip Phillips - Behind the Light
Smoke Fairies - S/T
Syd Arthur - Sound Mirror
The Roots - And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Wilsen - Magnolia EP (5/18)
Yann Tiersen - Infinity

May 27

Amy LaVere - Runaway's Diary
Blair Dunlop - House of Jacks
Challenger - Back to Bellevue
John Fullbright - Songs
John Illsley (Dire Straits) - Testing the Waters
Little Barrie - Shadow
Madison - The Bright Light EP
Matthew Barber - Big Romance
Miniature Tigers - Cruel Runnings
moe. - No Guts, No Glory
Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
Teleman - Breakfast
The Ghost Wolves - Man, Woman, Beast
Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers - World of Strangers

May TBA

Bridie Jackson & The Arbour - New Skin
Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience) - Legao
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 3

Alice Boman - EP II
BANKS - Goddess (Full Length Debut) 
Birdy - Fire Within (U.S.)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Only Run
Echo & The Bunnymen - Meteorites (4/28 UK)
Ethan Johns - The Reckoning (Prod: Ryan Adams)
Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) - Black Hours
Howling Bells - Heartstrings
James - La Petite Mort
JD McPherson - TBA
Joe Henry - Invisible Hour
Josh Record - Pillars (UK)
Kan Wakan - Moving On
Lonely the Brave - The Day's War
Matisyahu - Akeda
Meshell Ndegeocello - Comet, Come to Me
Paul Weller - More Modern Classics
Peter Murphy - Lion
Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour
Sleep Party People - Floating
The Donkeys - TBA 
   The Peach Kings - Mojo Thunder EP
The Pierces - Creation
The Shoe (w/ Jena Malone) - I'm OK

June 10

Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin
Cowboy Mouth - Go
First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
Glass Aniimals - Zaba
Got A Girl - I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
Heather Peace - The Thin Line (UK)
Jose James - While You Were Sleeping
Jack White - Lazaretto
Mary Gauthier - Trouble & Love
O.A.R. - The Rockville LP
Passenger - Whispers
Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie
The Who - Quadrophenia Live In London
Tomas Barfod - Love Me

June 17

Beverly Craven - Change of Heart (UK)
Glass Towers - Halcyon Days
Lewis Watson - The Morning
Mark Chadwick (Levellers) - Moment
The Antlers - Familiars
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress      

June 24

Ed Sheeran - x (multiply)
George Ezra - TBA (UK)
PHOX - S/T

Beyond

Allen Stone - TBA (Summer)
As Animals - S/T
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Ben Ottewell (Gomez) - Rattlebag (TBA)
Charlene Soraia - Love Is The Law (TBA)
Dear Plastic - The Thieves Are Babes (TBA)
Deluka - BONDS EP (Spring TBA)
Don Henley - Cass County (TBA)
Ellis Paul - Chasing Beauty (TBA)
Empires - Orphans (TBA)
Haroula Rose - Here The Blue River (TBA)
Imelda May - Tribal (7/29)
James Taylor - TBA (8/19)
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now (7/15)
Jonah Tolchin - Clover Road (Summer TBA)
Kite Club - Fresh Air for Humans (TBA)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test (Spring TBA)
Little Daylight - TBD (7/15)
Miranda Lee Richards - Echoes of the Dreamtime (TBA)
Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business (Summer)
  Nick Mulvey - First Mind (9/16 U.S.)
Peter Himmelman - The Boat That Carries Us (TBA)
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun (7/15)
Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) - The Ceaseless Sight (TBA)
Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting (TBA)
Sara Swenson - Runway Lights (Summer TBA)
Sasha Siem - Most of the Boys (TBA)
Scott Matthews - Home Pt. 1 (TBA)
Slow Club - Complete Surrender (7/14)
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress
The Good Natured - Prism (Summer TBA)
The Vespers - Sisters and Brothers (TBA
Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One (TBA)
Toby Lightman - Every Kind of People (TBA)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye (Summer TBA)
Wakey! Wakey! - All It Takes Is A Little Love (TBA)
Winterpills - Echolalia (Covers) (TBA) 
Woman's Hour - Conversations (7/15)

All titles and dates subject to change! Correction? Addition?

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Friday
Apr062012

Dar Williams - In the Time of Gods

Dar Williams - Acclaimed singer/songwriter taps noted producer Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel) for her first new studio recordings in four years and ninth overall since her 1995 debut...as with all Williams albums, social issues are at the lyrical forefront but this time she cleverly integrates elements of Greek mythology into the presentation...Shawn Colvin and Larry Campbell guest along with Rob Hyman (The Hooters) who co-wrote four songs // Release: In the Time of Gods (April 17, Razor and Tie) // Sounds like: Williams describes Killen as the "alchemist" behind her Gods, letting him "handpick" the studio band - including Charley Drayton (Fiona Apple) and Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) - and creating a denser, more atmospheric sound than her earlier works, what she describes as "strength and sophistication"...

Quote: "I'm at a point in my life where I feel like people are flying higher and falling harder. There is a grown up fairytale feeling to In The Time Of Gods. It sparkles with simple and beautiful layers, and it's muscular in places and very lyrical in others." // What we like: "I Am the One Who Will Remember Everything" opens the album with bold strokes, William's sandy alto perfectly mixed above the layers of spacious instrumentation ..."The Light of the Sea", one of the album's best tracks, proves once again Williams' remarkable way with a melody and interesting lyrical twist: a tale of holding to one's moral compass that grows from the concept of Poseidon, god of the oceans...

Dar Williams - "I Am the One Who Will Remember Everything" (from In the Time of Gods)

Dar Williams - In the Time of Gods Sampler (This Earth, The Light & The Sea, Crystal Creek, Storm King)

Photo Credits - Amy Dickerson

The initial idea came in a flash. Dar Williams was driving on an isolated highway, crossing from New York into Ontario, surrounded by frozen fields, silver trees, and empty sky, when inspiration struck.

“I thought, ‘I want to write a biker song!,’” Williams says with a laugh. “And then my second thought was, ‘I want to write an epic biker song.’ The Greek messenger of the dead is named Hermes, and I want to write about him—the god of travelers and thieves.

“I had this picture of Hermes starting to take a silver-haired woman down to her death, as she’s asked him to do, and instead he seduces her, saying ‘I love people like you who are experienced and worldly.’ And then I thought, why don’t I really freak out my record company and make a whole album about Greek mythology? So I decided to look at each of the gods of the Parthenon and see if their stories sprang to life for me or not.”

And from that moment came “You Will Ride With Me Tonight,” the fifth song on In the Time of Gods, the ninth studio album by the beloved singer-songwriter. Produced by Kevin Killen (who has worked with such giants as U2, Elvis Costello, and Peter Gabriel), and featuring a remarkable set of musicians including Larry Campbell, Charley Drayton, Gerry Leonard, and Rob Hyman, the ten songs that resulted from exploring this theme became some of the richest music and most evocative writing of Williams’s career.

The complex and mysterious world of mythology aligned with several other issues that Williams was grappling with. “I’m interested in power right now,” she says. “I’m in my 40s, and I’m shocked that the café conversations I had in my 20s—‘Somebody has to do something!’— are now my responsibility. I see people who are actually doing things that you always dreamed somebody would do, and I can help make that a reality. So the stakes are higher, in a good way, but you also see the shadow, the reckless behavior, where a person can lose it all in a weekend.”

Of course, the ceaseless turmoil in the world today is of great concern to this seasoned artist who’s also a wife, mother and “involved neighbor,” as she puts it, active in her community. “A lot of what’s going on is actually really gross,” she says, “and to see it as epic, instead of doomed, is helpful for me. These stories and characters helped me make sense of it.”

Williams, though, wanted to be sure that she was serving the songs themselves, and was prepared to abandon the mythology theme any time it didn’t naturally fit; “I didn’t want it to be a gimmick or a test,” she says. But she was pleased to find how flexible and expansive these archetypes really are. “The Light and the Sea” began with the notion of the sea god Poseidon, but became a meditation on retaining a moral compass.

“As I get older, my big struggle isn’t being virtuous and moral, it’s more about what I do in chaos,” says Williams. “When I’m stressed out, I say and do terrible things. There’s a light to follow, and you can lose it in chaos.”

Other songs brought ancient themes directly into the Hudson Valley home Williams shares with her husband, their son, and their young, Ethiopian-born daughter. She describes “Write This Number Down” as “an Athena-ish song” written for her younger child. “It’s telling her not to lose faith, because even when the justice system isn’t up to what you want it to be, there will be networks of people who will help you find justice.”

Williams also wanted to write a song for her husband. “When I go on the road, there’s an understanding that it is part of our relationship,” she says. “In the Parthenon, there is one goddess—Vesta, goddess of the hearth—who sits in the middle of the hall stoking the fire. I never thought that I needed a hearth, but that’s my home, and also my marriage, an anchor in my life that just gets better all the time. So ‘I’ve Been Around the World’ does correlate, but I would have written that story no matter what.”

As documented on her last album, the 2010 two-disc retrospective Many Great Companions, Williams’s growth as an individual over her almost two-decade-long career has gone hand-in-hand with her evolution as an artist. Raised in Chappaqua, N.Y., and educated at Wesleyan University, Williams spent 10 years living in the thriving artistic community of Northampton, Mass., where she began to make the rounds on the coffeehouse circuit. Joan Baez, an early fan of her music, took Williams out on the road and recorded several of her songs.

n 1995, two years after self-releasing The Honesty Room, she signed with Razor & Tie Entertainment, beginning a relationship now in its 16th year. Along with her studio albums, she’s also released the onstage document Out There Live (2001) and the DVD Live at Bearsville Theater (2007).

The final song on In the Time of Gods manages to bring all of her concerns—social, creative, and personal—under one roof. “We have a mountain close to our house called Storm King,” says Williams. “When a circle of clouds gathers around the top of it, that means the rain is coming. Pete Seeger lives across the river and can see the mountain, and I wrote a song saying that Pete is the storm king now. He looks down and watches over us, guides and warns us, like the mountain does.

“So my ‘Storm King’ is not a king of Greek mythology,” Williams continues. “He’s a father figure who influences me from two miles up the road, where he composts and chops his own wood, and reminds me of my responsibilities. ‘Storm King’ is my way of saying that we aren’t living in 400 BC Greece, we are evolving in time. And that’s what you’re allowed to do with mythology—to let it evolve and show who your Parthenon is now.”

That’s the great achievement of Dar Williams’s album. With ease and grace, it reminds us that wherever we are, whenever it may be, we are always living In the Time of the Gods.

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