• Ben Lee

New Releases: 8th January 2021

Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, rock, post-punk, blues, soul, hip-hop, electronic, pop, alt-rock, jazz and folk. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:

The Dirty Nil - Fuck Art


The beautifully blasphemous Fuck Art, a statement of confidence and defiance from a group that’s now three albums into the game—i.e., the point where ambitious rock bands are supposed to call in the orchestra, experiment with electronics, and try to make their Ok Computer. The Dirty Nil, by contrast, have opted to perfect the formula that, over the past decade, has landed them on stages with everyone from Against Me! to The Who. Fuck Art melts down all of their favourite ingredients—classic-rock heroism, pop-punk horsepower, ‘80s indie scrappiness, ‘90s alterna-crunch, speed-metal adrenaline—into a radiant, chromatic solution they can then mould and harden into unpredictable shapes


Aaron Frazer - Introducing...


Aaron Frazer is the singer, drummer and songwriter with Durand Jones and the Indications. Soft-spoken with the look of a slightly disaffected 1950s matinee idol, Aaron Frazer possesses a unique voice that’s both contemporary and timeless. On Introducing... - his debut solo album produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, co-released on Easy Eye Sound and Dead Oceans - Aaron melds mid-‘60s soul with Auerbach’s particular sensibilities (Over You), songs with a message in the key of Gil Scott-Heron (Bad News), and uplifting tales of love told through a blend of disco, gospel, and doo-wop (Have Mercy).

On Introducing..., Aaron expertly calibrates consciousness-raising and the desire to be enveloped by love. Where previous records were written in a partial state of turmoil, Aaron’s debut LP shows maturation and range. Introducing... is both loving and gracious, critical without losing hope, and a showcase of a young artist on a seriously soulful ascent.


Homeboy Sandman - Don't Feed The Monster


Homeboy Sandman’s new album Don’t Feed The Monster, is a collaboration with producer/MC Quelle Chris. It’s also his most vulnerable & poignant work to date. Having grown up in Queens, New York, hip-hop was part of everything in life. This deep-rooted connection to the culture is evident when listening to his style of rhyming- bold, classic & deeply respectful. On Don’t Feed The Monster, he pulls back any pretense to show his most honest truth - a process that he needed both artistically and spiritually.


Nailah Hunter - Spells


Spells is the ethereal and enchanting debut release by Los Angeles harpist and composer Nailah Hunter. Each of the tracks offer tranquillity and a reflective setting. The release started off with Hunter wanting to reclaim the way she thought about creating and performing music.

Hunter says each of the eight tracks on the release represents a spell, allowing her to carry them out as steps of a ritual: “Each track is its own incantation, its own spell, its own world.” Ambient in nature, ‘Spells’ brings out Hunter’s intuitive skills as a composer.

For fans of Laraaji, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Enya, Pure Moods, Mary Lattimore and Alice Coltrane.


The Lathums - I See Your Ghost


Exciting and spooky 7" from the Lathums. I See Your Ghost is a two and a half minute upbeat ska pop nugget that sits somewhere between the Ordinary Boys and the Arctic Monkeys.


Johnny Lloyd - Cheap Medication


His second studio album in as many years, Cheap Medication arrives as the follow-up to 2019 solo debut: Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds and is the next instalment of what Johnny hopes will become an annual series of releases.

The new album continues a prolific spell of activity for the songwriter that has also seen him release two compilations of outtakes and rarities (Low Fidelity Vol. 1 and 2); work in collaboration with his partner Billie Piper and playwright Lucy Prebble (Succession) to score the entire soundtrack for the critically acclaimed Sky Atlantic series I Hate Suzie which is out now; plus rekindle friendships with his original band of brothers to reform: Tribes.


Passenger - Songs For The Drunk and Broken Hearted


Songs For The Drunk and Brokenhearted, is remarkably the 13th Studio album from this utterly prolific song writer known as 'Passenger or Mike' to millions all over the world. Written through a heavy touring schedule in 2018 and 2019 the writing of this album was spread far and wide all over the world but the roots are firmly planted in England.

This is Mike's most quintessentially English album to date, there are echoes of the Kinks, The Smiths and George Harrison in much of the songwriting and the album was recorded in Mike's very own 'Black Crow Studios' in his hometown of Brighton.


Matthew J Rolin - Matthew J Rolin


Worried Songs’ third release is the debut solo LP from Matthew J Rolin. Originally released on the inimitable Feeding Tube records in 2019 and very quickly out of print, this pressing for UK and Europe will continue to showcase Matthew as one of the most creative, versatile and powerful proponents honing their craft in the canon of the American primitive (and beyond) today. Cutting his chops in a haze of punk, noise and psychedelic projects and bands in and out of Illinois and Ohio, that misspent youth can still be heard in these nine achingly beautiful compositions of solo concert steel string guitar. This is true outsider music, easily transcending the tired list of American-primitive masters – it is ragged and rustic, tired and angry, beautiful and hopeful music for these often-hopeless times.


Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz


Since their founding in 2015, Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys have made a name for themselves burning up stages around the world. There's a little Iggy Pop spit and seethe, a David Yow drunken stumble, and a bite of Nick Cave's haunted bark. Add a dash of motorik groove, a pinch of post-punk grime, and a dose of no wave howl.

For every gruff and gritty croak in the outfit's catalog, they come back with a pair of bongos, squared-off synths, and a squonky saxophone, with songs that deftly lay waste to society's normalization of toxic masculinity, racism, misogyny, classism, and self-obsession.

The band's new album, Welfare Jazz, doesn't bargain with the anxiety in that defeated feeling, but rather a boiling certainty that nothing and no one is absolute. There's plenty of blame to go around, and things are just a lot more interesting when you admit that you're not always going to be nice, you're not always going to pick the right words in a fist-fight. So why not keep moving forward, swaying and strutting into the night.


Eli Winter - The Time To Come


The Time To Come is the first release from Worried Songs and the striking debut from twenty-one-year-old Chicago resident Eli Winter, noted as one of the Guardian’s ‘artists to watch in 2020’. These masterfully composed instrumental pieces for six-string, twelve-string, and electric solo guitar showcase the raw talent of this young guitar powerhouse. In The Time To Come, Winter remembers the dead, considers the dynamic nature of memory, and attempts to chronicle the nearly inexpressible difficulty of processing loss. Winter began recording sessions in Houston immediately after Hurricane Harvey, and this album's turbulent emotional landscape is in some ways a response to the devastation of the storm. The record revolves around its title track, a meditation on the passing of a close friend.


Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:

Alice In Chains - Facelift


We Are Vinyl release - Debut studio album released by Columbia Records on August 21st 1990. The tracks "We Die Young", "Man In The Box", "Sea Of Sorrow" and "Bleed The Freak" were all released as singles. "Man In The Box" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 1992. Facelift became the first album from the 'grunge' movement to be certified gold on September 11th 1991.


The Black Keys - Brothers (Deluxe Anniversary Edition)


The Black Keys release Brothers (Deluxe Remastered Anniversary Edition), an expanded version of their watershed 2010 multi-platinum, Grammy-winning sixth studio album via Nonesuch Records. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Brothers is re-released with three added bonus songs: Keep My Name Outta Your Mouth, Black Mud Part II, and Chop and Change.


Brothers, originally released on May 18, 2010, was largely recorded at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. It was a career breakthrough for The Black Keys. Although they realised upon their arrival in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in hot and humid August that the studio had seen better days, the band – singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney – brought in their own equipment and proceeded. The duo recorded nine of the original Brotherssongs in what was now "a remote recording in a historic room that had been gutted". The band recorded additional material in other locations: the album song Tighten Up in Brooklyn with Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), several others on Auerbach's eight-track in his Akron basement, and three in Mark Neill's home studio in San Diego. Chop and Change and Keep My Name Outta Your Mouth are bonus tracks on this anniversary edition of Brothers. The band then gave the music to Tchad Blake to mix.


Click here for the 7" Singles Boxset version.


Tony Fruscella - Tony Fruscella (Mono)


Tony Fruscella was an under-recorded mellow, lyrical, cool jazz trumpeter (think Chet Baker). He unfortunately lived a similarly addictive lifestyle that led to his tragically premature death in 1969. His cool tone, influenced by Miles Davis and swing-era veteran Joe Thomas, made him a sideman in the early ‘50s for artists like Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, and Stan Getz.

In 1955, the same year he recorded with Getz, Fruscella led the only session officially released during his lifetime, I’ll Be Seeing You a.k.a Tony Fruscella. He is backed here by a great horn section of Allen Eager on tenor saxophone (who played similar sounds with Gerry Mulligan), Charles Mingus’ associate Danny Bank on baritone, and Chauncey Welsch on trombone. The rhythm section is rounded out by the prominently featured piano of Bill Triglia (who also played with Mingus), Bill Anthony on bass, and Junior Bradley on drums.

Two standards, I’ll Be Seeing You and Blue Serenade, are included with seven originals. A true hidden jazz gem.


Jimmy Guiffre - Western Suite


James Giuffre was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger, notable for his development of forms of jazz which allowed for free interplay between the musicians. His 1960 album Western Suite features an unusual trio of clarinet, guitar and valve trombone.


Hooverphonic - With Orchestra Live


With the help of a symphony orchestra of 42 musicians, Hooverphonic provided one of the absolute highlights of their tremendous career with their concerts and album release of With Orchestra Live.

Singer Noémie Wolfs sounds overwhelming as leading lady during her stellar performance. She sang with determination and at the same time managed to play