EELS 'Hombre Lobo': [Release Date 01/06/09]
"That rarest thing in contemporary pop: a unique sound." -The New Yorker Vagrant Records will release EELS' seventh studio album Hombre Lobo on June 1st. EELS is the ever-changing project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett [aka E]. The band's first record since 2005's critically acclaimed 'Blinking Lights and Other Revelations', 'Hombre Lobo' was recorded entirely at E's studio in Los Angeles with Koool G Murder [bass, keyboards and guitar] and Knuckles [drums and percussion]. The album's first single, 'Fresh Blood', is currently streaming at www.myspace.com/eels and is available for purchase as a package with the b-side 'Devil's Dog' on iTunes from April 28. "I wanted to write a set of songs about desire," says E. "That dreadful, intense want that gets you into all sorts of situations that can change your life in big ways." Regarding the album, E continues: "I was thinking, 'What happens when the young Dog Faced Boy (of 2001's 'Souljacker album') grows up?' He tries to function in society. But he can't get past the fact that he's still likened to an animal… I figured the best he could do was to become a dignified old werewolf." The record contains a hint of autobiography, however "I didn't want to write a bunch of blatantly autobiographical songs about a lonely old indie rocker, so I thought it would be more interesting if it came from this character," concludes E. E has embarked on a number of projects since the release of 2005's 'Blinking Lights and Other Revelations' including his acclaimed autobiography 'Things the Grandchildren Should Know' and the BBC produced multiple-award winning 'Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives' documentary film about E and his quantum physicist father, Hugh Everett III, which was broadcast on PBS' Nova series in the U.S., fall of 2008. "All this time during the making of all these other projects, I was always writing and recording music," says E. "Every time I branch out and try something else, I think it will be some kind of relief to take a break from music. But I always come back with my tail between my legs, because there's nothing I enjoy more than making music. The other projects have been great experiences for me, but this is what I love to do."
DIANA KRALL 'Quiet Nights': [Release Date 01/06/09]
Diana Krall is without a doubt the first lady of jazz. Worldwide, she has sold over 5 million records and she is a household name, even in households where jazz wouldn't normally find a home. 'Quiet Nights' is her first studio album since 2006's 'From This Moment On', and marks a return to the stylistic and commercial success of 'The Girl In The Other Room'. Focusing on the music of Brazil – the Bossa Nova, the production team of Tommy LiPuma and Claus Ogerman have created a seductive and sensual backdrop to Diana's distinctive voice. Diana sings three Brazilian classics, adapts four standards, and adds three ballads to the mix. In addition for the UK release of 'Quiet Nights', two exclusive video performances have been included in an enhanced section of the CD.
ELVIS COSTELLO 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane': [Release Date 01/06/09]
The record was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded by Mike Piersante during a three-day session at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studio. Joining Costello were Jerry Douglas [dobro], Stuart Duncan [fiddle], Mike Compton [mandolin], Jeff Taylor [accordion] and Dennis Crouch [double bass], some of the most highly regarded recording artists and musicians in traditional American country music, Bluegrass and beyond. Several of these songs, including 'Down Among The Wines and Spirits', were given their first public performances during Costello's acclaimed solo appearances as part of 'The Bob Dylan Show' in late 2007. The album includes ten previously unrecorded songs. 'Sulphur to Sugarcane' and 'The Crooked Line', were co-written with T Bone Burnett while, 'I Felt The Chill' marks Costello's second recorded songwriting collaboration with Loretta Lynn. Costello revisits two songs from his catalogue in string band style. Both songs were originally written for Johnny Cash. 'Hidden Shame' was indeed included on Cash's album, 'Boom Chicka Boom'. The album title makes reference to 'The Secret Songs', Costello's unfinished commission for the Royal Danish Opera about the life of Hans Christian Andersen. Seeking a new connection from the author to the Anglophone world, Costello wrote about the Andersen's relationship with the world famous singer, Jenny Lind in 'She Handed Me A Mirror' and 'How Deep Is The Red'. 'She Was No Good', relates some of the chaotic details of Lind's famous 'All-American' concert tour of 1850, which was promoted by P.T. Barnum. In its aftermath, 'Red Cotton' imagines Barnum reading an Abolishionist pamphlet, while manufacturing cheap souvenirs of the adventure. These four episodes were newly adapted for the instrumentation of this record. Indeed these are first Costello compositions to be predominantly rooted in acoustic music since his 1986 album, 'King Of America', which was produced by T Bone Burnett. He also produced the 1989 album, 'Spike'. T Bone adds his distinctive Kay electric guitar to several of numbers, the only amplified instrument on the recording. Jim Lauderdale takes the close vocal harmony part throughout the record and Emmylou Harris contributed a third vocal part on the chorus of 'The Crooked Line' on the final day of recording. The record concludes with the waltz, 'Changing Partners', a song made famous by Bing Crosby.
ISLAND RECORDS 'Island Life: 50 Years Of Island Records': [Release Date 01/06/09]
Island Records celebrates it's 50th Anniversary this summer with a feast of Multi Media Events. To coincide with the date, UMTV will release a 3CD set of Classic Island Hits plus a number of unique cover versions from current Island Artists. Founded by the legendary Chris Blackwell, Island has been long renowned as the most musically influential record label and has been consistently successful over the years. One of their earliest hits My Boy Lollipop by Millie is included. The album is sure to appeal to Island Records aficionados as well as all music fans.
SPINAL TAP 'Back From The Dead': [Release Date 15/06/09]
Brand new album from the legendary band, released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the release of This Is Spinal Tap * Includes reworkings of all the classic Tap tunes as well as Warmer Than Hell, the song they wrote for Live Earth * Package includes a DVD which has a 60 minute track by track rundown from Nigel, David and Derek * The release is packaged in a luxury digipack which folds out to make a mock-up stage with pop-up figures The loudest Rock band in the World, Spinal Tap, Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls have announced that they will be returning to the UK this June to kick off their one time only exclusive special show at London's Wembley Arena with very special guests The Folksmen. 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic cult classic rock movie 'This is Spinal Tap' and Spinal Tap are celebrating this in a big way! By reuniting for the 'One Night Only World Tour' the band had the following to say: "If we're going to do a World tour on only one night, at least it's this world" – Nigel Tufnel "This show will be dedicated to all of our drummers who have passed on, either to their reward or to middle management at Sainbury's." – David St. Hubbins "One night is not enough, and it's way too much!" – Derek Smalls On June 15th the band release Back From The Dead, their new album made up of reworkings of classic Tap tunes and new songs. Accompanied by a DVD with 60 minutes of song-by-song analysis and thoughtful insight from Messrs Tufnel, St. Hubbins and Smalls, and packaged in a luxury digipack, this is a must-have for any Tap fan.
PAOLO NUTINI 'Sunny Side Up': [Release Date 01/06/09]
It's hard to believe that Paolo Nutini is still only 22-years-old, for he has already achieved so much, from his hometown of Paisley (Scotland) to Carnegie Hall, from BRIT award nominations to supporting Led Zeppelin at their infamous O2 reunion show. He returns this summer with his wonderful new LP 'Sunny Side Up', the follow-up to his 2006 debut album 'These Streets', which has sold over 2.3 million worldwide including over 1.3 million in the UK. Written by Paolo, 'Sunny Side Up' was recorded in a host of places including Ireland, Wales, New York, LA and Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Bath, which is reflected by the celtic sway and motown feel to the album. It was produced by Paolo and Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon). 'Sunny Side Up' is a record full of warm sentiments and dazzling sounds, courtesy of Paolo's band The Vipers, tied together by Paolo's distinctive vocal, one of the most unique vocals to come out of the UK for many years, a mesmerising soulful voice that has no equal – he has never sounded better. 'Candy' is one of the many standout tracks, infectious and beautiful in equal measure. Other highlights include the soulful swing of 'Coming Up Easy', 'Pencil Full Of Lead' sees Paolo's vocal bounce along at its show stopping best and 'Worried Man' is a heart pulling ode enhanced by strings and the tear in Paolo's voice.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY 'New Again': [Release Date 01/06/09]
Taking Back Sunday follow their US #2 album 'Louder Now' with the June 1st release of their fourth set entitled 'New Again'. The album heralds the introduction of new guitarist Matt Fazzi [previously of Facing New York] following the departure of Fred Mascherino. Produced by David Kahne [The Strokes, Paul McCartney] with contributions from Matt Squire [Panic At The Disco], 'New Again' is a diverse album from a band freshly inspired and eager to push the boundaries of their sound. It features highlights such as the stadium-sized anthemic title track, the enticing pop hooks of 'Summer Man' and the gang-chant rush of 'Sink Into Me'. The album also focuses on the harder, high energy 'Swing' and 'Lonely Lonely', a song that vocalist Adam Lazzara describes as, "One of the most relentless songs we've written". The band's fresh enthusiasm has been driven by Fazzi's introduction. "The excitement and the drive to get out there and play for people is just what it was with our first record; it's like we bottled that energy", says Lazzara. Bassist Matt Rubano concurs, adding, "Matt brings an excitement and a fearlessness to working on music that really makes us feel even more that we can do anything and call it us".
RANCID 'Let The Dominoes Fall': [Release Date 01/06/09]
Rancid's 'Let The Dominoes Fall' is essential Rancid: a readymade punk classic that will take its place beside 'And Out Come The Wolves' as a touchstone of the genre, filled with two-minute gems that every kid will be singing along with this summer. Lead by first single 'Last One To Die' – a defiant anthem to brotherhood and commitment already tearing it up at modern rock radio – 'Let The Dominoes Fall' both continues and expands on Rancid's legacy, as the new songs show a lyrical depth perhaps best shown in two songs that centre the album, 'Civilian Ways' and 'The Bravest Kids'. Punk has often seen the world as 'us vs them', but with these two songs – a sensitive portrait of a returning serviceman and a loving tribute to those that serve – Rancid show empathy for working men and women that recalls the songs of Springsteen or Petty. Rancid have set their sights on greater things, aimed, and hit the bullseye.