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UPCOMING RELEASES

Latest Additions:

Marc Broussard - A Life Worth Living (7/29)
Benjamin Booker - S/T (8/19)
Luluc - Passerby (7/15)
Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear (June TBA)
Whitehorse - Leave No Bridge Unburned (Feb. 2015)
The Kooks - Listen (9/2)
Annie Stela - Whiplash Blues (TBA)
Jess Klein - Learning Faith (6/24)
Stu Larsen - Vagabond (7/15)
Tiny Victories - Haunts (6/10)
How To Dress Well - What Is This Heart? (6/24)
Chatham County Line - Tightrope (5/20)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - The Revelation (5/20)
Big Wreck - Ghosts (7/15 US, 6/10 CAN)
Levon Helm Band - Midnight Ramble Sessions III (7/1)
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy (7/1)  

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
Jackopierce - Live 25
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 

May 6

Ben Harper/Ellen Chase-Verdries - Childhood Home
Brian Eno/Karl Hyde - Someday World
Bridie Jackson & The Arbour - New Skin
Current Swell - Ulysses
Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain EP (U.S.) 
  Gregg Allman & Various Artists - All My Friends (CD/DVD)
Gruff Rhys - American Interior
Imogen Heap - Sparks 
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
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)
 Chatham County Line - Tightrope
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 Brian Jonestown Massacre - The Revelation
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
Owen Pallett - In Conflict
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

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 - Ride the Black Wave 
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
Tiny Victories - Haunts
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)
How To Dress Well - What Is This Heart?
Jess Klein - Learning Faith
PHOX - S/T

June TBA

Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear

July 1

Levon Helm Band - Midnight Ramble Sessions III
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy

July 15

Big Wreck - Ghosts (6/10 CAN)
Fink - Hard Believer
Jay Brannan - Always, Then, and Now
Little Daylight - Hello Memory 
Luluc - Passerby
Puss N Boots (Norah Jones) - No Fools, No Fun
Slow Club - Complete Surrender
Stu Larsen - Vagabond
Woman's Hour - Conversations

Beyond

Allen Stone - TBA (Summer)
Annie Stela - Whiplash Blues (TBA)
As Animals - S/T
Bebel Gilberto - Tudo! (7/29)
Ben Ottewell (Gomez) - Rattlebag (TBA)
Benjamin Booker - S/T (8/19)
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)
Jonah Tolchin - Clover Road (Summer TBA)
Kite Club - Fresh Air for Humans (TBA)
Kris Delmhorst - Blood Test (Spring TBA)
Marc Broussard - A Life Worth Living (7/29)
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)
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)
The Felice Brothers - Favorite Waitress
The Good Natured - Prism (Summer TBA)
The Kooks - Listen (9/2)
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) 
 Whitehorse - Leave No Bridge Unburned (Feb. 2015)
Winterpills - Echolalia (Covers) (TBA)  

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

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Wednesday
May152013

The Looking - Songs For A Traveler

Whatever your mind conjures up when you hear the words "traditional folk songs" is about to get turned on its head with Songs For A Traveler, a genre-bending collection of vintage folk standards, 50's country gems and random lullaby and 19th-century logging song tossed in for good measure. The man behind the remarkable project is Todd Carter, a New York-based singer (phenomenal, actually) multi-instrumentalist and arranger who goes by the pseudonym The Looking. The concept of reinterpreting folk standards is nothing new but Carter's dramatic, occasionally operatic and densely orchestrated approach gives songs like "Wayfaring Stranger," "Long Black Veil" and Hank Williams' "Angel of Death" a powerful, goose-bump-inducing force. One of the album's best tracks is "River in the Pines", a Wisconsin logging song (and duet with Sasha Dobson) that Carter describes as "a wonderful old ballad" adding, "I kept hearing this REM-esque guitar lick that became the opening of the song." It's that kind of imaginative rethinking that makes Songs For A Traveler one of the most rewarding left-field surprises of the year. Stream "Black Is The Color" below and the full album at The Looking site.

The Looking - 'River in the Pines' (from Songs For A Traveler)

The Looking - 'Black Is The Colour' (from Songs For A Traveler)

 

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”

–Benjamin Disraeli

Carter grew up in Carmel, a suburb just north of Indianapolis. Like almost all kids growing up in America, his earliest musical memories came drifting through the airwaves in the back seat of his parent’s car.

 

“It was the heyday of classic 70s radio, with bands like Wings and Bread and America,” Carter remembers. “It wasn’t long before I was clipping those dodgy Columbia House music club ads out of magazines and secretly sending away for cassette tapes of Iron Maiden and Foreigner. I loved hiding this activity from the rest of my family, smuggling the precious contraband from mailbox to bedroom. There’s just something magical about listening to music on the sly… it was like finding messages in a bottle, but instead they arrived in little plastic cases.”

His fate sealed in shrink-wrap, Carter eventually traded his football helmet for a microphone. “With some friends we formed a local rock band in Carmel,” Carter says. “We won the battle of the bands during my senior year in high school, and that was it — I was absolutely consumed with music.

“I focused my studies on philosophy and music and played in all kinds of bands in college, and it was there that I began to study voice,” Carter says. “My first voice teacher said, ‘Why aren’t you in the opera program? You have an operatic voice.’ My response was a tough, ‘Really? I sing punk rock, man.’”

Yet it became those two seemingly disparate worlds that Carter melded together to form The Looking. Carter’s soaring vocals on indie epics like “Revolt, I Do” (Tin Can Head, 2005) and “Causeway” (Cabinet of Curiosities, 2009) imbue the songs with an individual edge. It’s heady stuff, especially for fans of Carter’s beloved jangly ‘80s and ‘90s British-by-way-of-the-Byrds rock, and though perhaps more delicate, that unique blend of elements glistens on the latest record as well.

“There’s a familiar sound in the guitars that’s comforting, and a psychedelic presence in songs like “River of Pines.” It’s reminiscent of Pop, even though it’s an old 19th century Wisconsin logger song,” Carter explains.

Therein lies the twist of Songs for a Traveler, a story discovered by way of the journey. The album is adventurous tour through unexpected cover songs from far afield. Listeners will undoubtedly be familiar with some, with others refreshingly unexpected. All of them bear the distinct imprint of The Looking.

“The arrangement of the song list is organic in terms of intensity and feel, with each song seductively moving into the next,” Carter says. “I thought about it as more of a complete document instead of each song being an individual journey, though by listening you’ll discover that in fact they are standing quite tall on their own. The first song (“All the Pretty Horses”) is a lullaby made famous by Odetta.  “I kept hearing an up beat drum part under the basic melody.  The originality of this version really comes from the intensity of the drums, the guitar parts and the vocal delivery.  The second song, ‘900 Miles,’ was challenging because there are some incredible versions of that song out there. ‘River of Pines, is a wonderful old ballad and I kept hearing this REM-esque guitar lick that became the opening of the song.

Carter has taken some bold moves in his interpretation of these timeless songs. “‘Wayfaring Stranger’ has been made famous by so many people, but I think we did it justice. That and ‘Long Black Veil’ are a little more rocking than people are used to,” Carter says. “‘Long Black Veil’ loses a bit of the sadness at the heart of the song, but we wanted to make our version distinct. There is there’s some happiness to be found in the story of death in this song, a sweet kind of release in knowing that this woman is still crying for him. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record and it was born during a rehearsal. I knew the chord progression and I knew the harmony, but it was just jamming with the guys that took it where the song wanted to go. You may notice that the drummer never plays a crash cymbal, staying instead on the hi-hat the whole time, resulting in a beautiful grounding.”

Carter produced Songs for a Traveler. He selected the material, road tested it and either arranged or co-arranged every single track. Yet one of the album’s undeniable delights is the keen interplay between the musicians. “The basic tracks were recorded live off the floor,” Carter says. On ‘Sail Around,’ for example, the vocal is completely live. That’s what we got out of the studio from the whole band jamming through it. The chemistry and the alchemy of us being together is truly what makes it work.”

Many of these same top-notch musicians will comprise the Looking when Carter takes the album on the road, with planned dates along the East Coast through the Midwest and possibly even across the Atlantic.

Carter, though a proficient multi-instrumentalist, plans to move forward with his voice more than anything else. “I’m starting to put the instruments down,” he says. “I just want to sing, and this desire is opening up a spectrum of performance unavailable to me before.”

 

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