The Telegraph :: New London, Connecticut

Bug's Hits

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Sometimes, Mitski says, it feels like life would be easier without hope, or a soul, or love. But when she closes her eyes and thinks about what’s truly hers, what can’t be repossessed or demolished, she sees love. “The best thing I ever did in my life was to love people,” Mitski says. “I wish I could leave behind all the love I have, after I die, so that I can shine all this goodness, all this good love that I’ve created onto other people.” She hopes her newest album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, will continue to shine that love long after she’s gone. Listening to it, that’s precisely how it feels: like a love that’s haunting the land.

“This is my most American album,” Mitski says about her seventh record, and the music feels like a profound act of witnessing this country, in all of its private sorrows and painful contradictions. In this album, which is sonically Mitski’s most expansive, epic, and wise, the songs seem to be introducing wounds and then actively healing them. Here, love is time-traveling to bless our tender days, like the light from a distant star.

The album is full of the ache of the grown- up, seemingly mundane heartbreaks and joys that are often unsung but feel enormous. It’s a tiny epic. From the bottom of a glass, to a driveway slushy with memory and snow, to a freight train barreling through the Midwest, and all the way to the moon, it feels like everything, and everyone, is crying out, screaming in pain, arching towards love. Love is that inhospitable land, beckoning us and then rejecting us. To love this place — this earth, this America, this body — takes active work. It might be impossible. The best things are.

Mitski - The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We [LP]
$25.98
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Slow Pulp

Moveys [Neon Green LP]

Vinyl: $26.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Neon Green Vinyl. Slow Pulp's remarkable full-length debut Moveys is a testament to hard-fought personal growth. In the process of making their new record, the Chicago-based indie rock band powered through health challenges, personal upheaval, and a pandemic, all while breaking old habits and learning how to be better songwriters and friends. Full of blistering energy and emotional catharsis, this compelling 10-track collection highlights the band's resourcefulness and resilience to come together even when they were states away.

Slow Pulp's tough adaptability is something that has formed over time thanks to the unbreakable bond of lifelong friendship. Slow Pulp's roots can be traced back to elementary school, with Alexander Leeds (bass), Theodore Mathews (drums), and Henry Stoehr (guitar) performing in bands together since the sixth grade while growing up in Madison, Wisconsin. Emily Massey (vocals/guitar) was later invited to join their new project, Slow Pulp, in 2017. "I can't describe a level of closeness with other people like we have. Having lived together, toured together, worked together, and written together, we learned so much about each other so quickly," says Massey. Slow Pulp first started working on new songs in the Spring of 2019, immediately after the release of their EP, Big Day, but they ended up scrapping the material. "When we started writing this record, I had been experiencing so much fatigue and getting sick a lot and I didn't know what it was. I got diagnosed with Lyme disease and a chronic Mono," says Massey. She adds, "The diagnosis validated a lot of what I was feeling. I got tools for how to take care of myself better." For Massey, taking care of herself meant more than just addressing her physical needs. "The way that I internalize trauma is I will hold it in and not process it for a very long time, but writing songs is the one place where I can't hide from myself. It just comes out whether or not I want it to or if I'm ready for it to. Figuring out how to write together, as a band, was like me learning how to take care of myself and learning how to communicate better." When the band toured with Alex G in the fall, new songs started to take shape. However, in March, as the band was finishing the songs and starting to realize a full-length effort, Massey's parents got in a severe car accident forcing her to pause recording and return home to Madison and take care of them. A week later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. "I wasn't able to come back to Chicago for a while. How were we going to finish this apart from each other?" thought Massey. With Stoehr leading engineering, mixing, and production duties, the band managed to finish the record in an isolated, post-COVID world. "Thankfully most instrumentals were already written. Alex and Henry and I were all able to do that separately from a studio space that we rent in Chicago. It required a lot of FaceTime which was no substitute for us being in the room together," says Mathews. As Massey's father Michael recovered from his injuries, the two worked on completing her vocal takes from his home studio. On top of engineering all but two vocal tracks, Michael Massey also contributed the instrumental piano track "Whispers (In the Outfield)." After a handful of singles and EPs, Moveys marks a turning point for Slow Pulp, not just as musicians, but as friends and bandmates. It is a marked departure from the ramshackle coziness of their earlier output, with a more thoughtful sound that allows Massey to soar. For example, lead single "Idaho," written on the road during tour-induced disorientation that led Stoehr to confuse their gig at Colorado College for a show in an entirely different state, bursts to life thanks to Stoehr's shimmering guitar theatrics and Massey's powerful and yearning vocal delivery. Here, she sings powerfully of the mental health hurdles that come with accepting love, "I'll keep on holding out for the downside / Before I knew why." Other songs like the shoegaze-y "Channel 2" feature Leeds on lead vocals whereas the understated and delicate highlight "Falling Apart" boasts Alex G collaborator Molly Germer on violin. So much of the album broadcasts their adventurousness, from the funky and cheeky samples on the title track to the gorgeous acoustic strums on opener "New Horse." The driving, two-minute ripper, "At It Again", was written and recorded in self-isolation as the last song to make the record. Massey explains her mindset behind the track: "I was starting to feel like I was getting back to a place where I could be healthy both physically and mentally. Then when everything happened, it was like, 'sike!'" The word "moveys" is multi-faceted for Slow Pulp. It's a made-up word, and a title of the album's bonus track. It is an invitation to dance. It is a wink at the cross-country nature of the album's songwriting process, while the bandmates were literally on the move touring, sheltering in place, and going through major life changes. But, mostly, it's an inside joke. Listening to these warm, dynamic and welcoming songs, it's easy to feel like you're a part of it too.

Slow Pulp - Moveys [Neon Green LP]
$26.98
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Alice In Chains

Facelift [2LP]

Vinyl: $30.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Alice In Chains debut studio album, Facelift, a standard black vinyl reissue with remastered audio will be released on November 13, 2020.  Not only did the album introduce the world to Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, and Mike Starr, it was also a pivotal album in the era of grunge music. Facelift has sold over 2 million copies in the US alone and includes the hits “Man in the Box,” “Bleed the Freak,” “We Die Young,” and “Sea of Sorrow.”

Alice In Chains - Facelift [2LP]
$30.98
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Orville Peck

Pony [LP]

Vinyl: $24.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Combining the lulling ambience of shoegaze with the iconic melodies and vocal prowess of classic American country music, enigmatic outlaw cowboy - Orville Peck, croons love and loss from the badlands of North America. The resulting sound is one completely his own, taking the listener down dusty rose-colored desert highways, through a world where worn out gamblers, aloof road-dogs and lovesick hustlers drift in and out of his masked gaze. Orville’s upcoming debut album, Pony, delivers a diverse collection of stories that sing of heartbreak, revenge and the unrelenting tug of the cowboy ethos. Warm lap steel guitars and echoing drums move through dreamy ballads, campfire lullabies and sometimes frantic buzzsaw tunes, all the while paying homage to his country music roots. Orville’s music has been featured by Nylon magazine, ID mag, Vice, The Needle Drop, as well as numerous Apple Music and Spotify playlists. He has also had magazine features in New York’s Hello Mr. and the UK’s Notion.

Orville Peck - Pony [LP]
$24.98
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Coming June 25th: the new full-length from Lucy Dacus, Home Video. This new gift from Dacus, which features vocal contributions from boygenius bandmates Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, VA. Many songs start the way a memoir might''In the summer of '07 I was sure I'd go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS''and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus's ability to use the personal as portal into the universal.

Lucy Dacus - Home Video [LP]
$27.98
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Beach House

7 [LP]

Vinyl: $24.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

7 is our 7th full-length record. At its release, we will have been a band for over 13 years. We have now written and released a total of 77 songs together. Throughout the process of recording 7, our goal was rebirth and rejuvenation. We wanted to rethink old methods and shed some self-imposed limitations. In the past, we often limited our writing to parts that we could perform live. On 7, we decided to follow whatever came naturally. As a result, there are some songs with no guitar, and some without keyboard. There are songs with layers and production that we could never recreate live, and that is exciting to us. Basically, we let our creative moods, instead of instrumentation, dictate the album’s feel. For 7, we built a "home" studio, and began all of the songs there. Whenever we had a group of 3-4 songs that we were excited about, we would go to a “proper” recording studio and finish recording them there, in the process shortening the amount of time between the original idea and the finished song (of the album’s 11 songs, 8 were finished at Carriage House in Stamford, CT and 2 at Palmetto Studio in Los Angeles). 7 didn’t have a producer in the traditional sense. James Barone, who became our live drummer in 2016, played on the entire record. We also worked with Sonic Boom (Peter Kember), who became a great force on this record by shedding conventions and helping to keep the songs alive, fresh and protected from the destructive forces of recording-studio over-production/over-perfection. The societal insanity of 2016-17 was also deeply influential, as it must be for most artists these days. Looking back, there is quite a bit of chaos in these songs, and a pervasive dark field that we had little control over. The discussions surrounding women’s issues were a constant source of inspiration and questioning. The energy, lyrics and moods of much of this record grew from ruminations on the roles, pressures and conditions that our society places on women, past and present. The twisted double edge of glamour, with its perils and perfect moments, was an endless source. In a more general sense, we are interested by the human mind's (and nature’s) tendency to create forces equal and opposite to those present. Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that arises in dealing with darkness; the empathy and love that grows from collective trauma; the place one reaches when they accept rather than deny. While the title is simply a number that represents our seventh record, the number 7 does represent some interesting connections in numerology. 1 and 7 have always shared a common look, so 7 feels like the perfect step in the sequence to act as a restart or “semi-first.” Most early religions also had a fascination with 7 as being the highest level of spirituality, as in "Seventh Heaven.” At our best creative moments, we felt we were channeling some kind of heavy truth, and we sincerely hope the listeners will feel that. Much Love, Beach House

Beach House - 7 [LP]
$24.98
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Joy Division

Closer [Vinyl]

Vinyl: $24.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $8.99 Download

Limited 180gm audiophile vinyl LP repressing of this album by the Manchester post-punk icons featuring the original Peter Saville designed packaging. Closer, the band's 1980 sophomore album released two months after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis, continued where the first album left off, with "Heart And Soul", "Isolation", and "Twenty Four Hours". Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris. Formed by Sumner and Hook right after they attended a Sex Pistols gig, Joy Division transcended their punk roots to develop a sound and style that made them one of the pioneers of the Post-Punk movement. In May 1980, on the eve of the band's debut American tour, Curtis, aged 23, committed suicide. After Curtis's death, the remaining members continued as New Order, achieving critical and commercial success. Today Joy Division are seen as one of the most influential bands of the late 1970s.
Joy Division - Closer [Vinyl]
$24.98

        
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