Six Albums Out Today Worth Hearing: Algiers, Radiohead, Bedouine, Prince, and More

Plus King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Jeff Tweedy

Jun 23, 2017 Bookmark and Share


Here we highlight six albums due out today that we feel are most worth hearing. We have also included Amazon links for each album. If you click through those links and buy the album (or anything else on Amazon once you've clicked through) then Amazon rewards us with a sales percentage. So buy that album you were likely going to purchase anyway, but also help support one of America's last truly independent print music magazines. 

Algiers: The Underside of Power (Matador)

Algiers are releasing a new album, The Underside of Power, today via Matador. They have previously shared the album's title track ("The Underside of Power"), "Cleveland" (which references Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old African American boy who was shot to death by police in Cleveland in 2014 because he was playing with a toy gun in a playground), and fierce album opener "Walk Like a Panther."

A previous press release described the album as such: "Touchpoints on this masterpiece include everything from Southern rap to British grime to horror movie soundtracks to late-'70s English industrial to Northern Soul. More vital than ever before, particularly in the wake of our current political climate, the record touches on whiteness, oppression, police brutality, dystopia, and hegemonic power structures." 

Bassist Ryan Mahan had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "This album was recorded in a political environment that collapses the late '70s economic crisis and the looming onslaught of arch-conservative neoliberalism, via Thatcher and Reagan, into the late 1930s, a world driven by fascist nationalism and white power fantasies in the U.S. and abroad." 

The band now features former Bloc Party bassist Matt Tong on drums.

Read our review of The Underside of Power.

Read our Album of the Week post on Algiers's The Underside of Power.

Read our interview with Algiers on The Underside of Power.

Buy the album here.

 

 

Bedouine: Bedouine (Spacebomb)

Bedouine is the project of singer/songwriter Azniv Korkejian. She was born in Aleppo, Syria to Armenian parents, but spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia and then moved to America when her family won a Green Card lottery. She's lived all over the U.S., including Boston, Houston, Lexington, Austin, and Savannah, but is currently based in Los Angeles. Her self-titled debut album comes out today via Matthew E. White's Spacebomb label (also home to Natalie Prass). Musically she's got a '60s/'70s singer/songwriter vibe akin to First Aid Kit or Laura Marling, with some hints of Prass too. The album includes "One of These Days," which was the song that convinced White to sign her to Spacebomb.

Buy the album here.

 

 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe (ATO)

Prolific Melbourne psych-rock adventurers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have already stated their intentions to release five albums this year and they already released one, Flying Microtonal Banana, back in February via ATO. And they are releasing their second album of 2017, Murder of the Universe, today via ATO. The album is split into three chapters and the band have previously shared a 13-minute video containing the entire third chapter, "Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe." The band also made their worldwide TV debut on Conan, performing Murder of the Universe track "The Lord of Lightning." The band also shared a 14-minute video for "The Lord of Lightning vs Balrog," which is another chapter from the album and includes "The Lord of Lightning" song.

Frontman Stu Mackenzie had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "We're living in dystopian times that are pretty scary and it's hard not to reflect that in our music. It's almost unavoidable. Some scientists predict that the downfall of humanity is just as likely to come at the hands of Artificial Intelligence, as it is war or viruses or climate change. But these are fascinating times too. Human beings are visual creatures - vision is our primary instinct, and this is very much a visual, descriptive, bleak record. While the tone is definitely apocalyptic, it is not necessarily purely a mirror of the current state of humanity. It's about new non-linear narratives."

Read our review of Murder of the Universe.

Buy the album here.

 

Prince: Purple Rain (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (NPG/Warner Bros.)

Prince passed away at his home last year. It was previously announced that a reissue of his classic 1984 album Purple Rain is due out today via NPG and Warner Bros. and a previously unreleased song, "Electric Intercourse," was shared, which was followed by two other previously unreleased tracks: "Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden" (which are two separate songs that were often performed together live) and "Father's Song" (a 90-second excerpt was featured in the Purple Rain film and the hook was reused in "Computer Blue," which did end up on the Purple Rain album).

The reissue will be released in two formats. There's a Deluxe Edition that features 11 songs "from the vault and previously unreleased." Six of those 11 tracks have "never been released or distributed in the collector or bootleg community." Then there's an Expanded Edition that also includes a third disc of "single edits & B-sides," plus a concert DVD of Prince and the Revolution performing live at the Carrier Dome, in Syracuse, NY, on March 30, 1985. The remaster of the original Purple Rain album was put into motion by Prince in 2015.

A previous press release laid out some of the six unreleased tracks as such: "'Possessed' - the '83 Prince solo version, never heard before; 'Electric Intercourse' - the studio version not known to exist before it was discovered at Paisley Park; 'Father's Song' - a full, five plus minute version that prior to this fans could only find a minute and half snippet of in the movie; 'We Can Fuck' - a track that has never circulated as the full, 10 minute version with these lyrics; and 'Katrina's Paper Dolls' - a finished master of the song, which has previously only circulated as a demo. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album."

Buy the album here.

 

 

Radiohead: OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 (XL)

Today, Radiohead are releasing a deluxe reissue of their landmark 1997 album OK Computer in honor of its 20th anniversary. It is being dubbed as OKNOTOK and includes a remastered version of the original album, eight B-sides, and three previously unreleased tracks from the era: "I Promise," "Lift," and "Man of War." We were previously treated to the string-backed ballad "I Promise," as well as a strange video for the song featuring an android's head riding a city bus at night. Then the band shared an equally off-kilter video for "Man of War," in which a man is pursued down city streets while the setting continually shifts from day to night and back again, even though the characters are in the same location, doing the same things.

The CD/digital/vinyl versions of the reissue are out today via XL. Then there's a special boxed edition due out in July. All of the tracks are newly remastered from the original analogue tapes. The boxed edition includes Thom Yorke's notes from the era and mix tape made by the band, among other things. The press release describes it as such: The OKNOTOK boxed edition will ship July, featuring a black box emblazoned with a dark image of a burned copy of OK Computer containing three heavyweight 180 gram black 12" vinyl records and a hardcover book containing more than thirty artworks (many of which have never been seen before) and full lyrics to all the tracks (except the ones that haven't really got any lyrics). Under this weighty tome are yet more surprises: a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time, a sketchbook containing 48 pages of Donwood and Tchock's 'preparatory work' and a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by the band, taken from OK Computer session archives and demo tapes." 

Radiohead released their acclaimed latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool, last May. It landed at #2 on Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2016 list.

Buy the album here.

 

Jeff Tweedy: Together At Last (dBpm)

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy is releasing a new solo album, Together At Last, today via dBpm. It's a solo acoustic album that features new versions of songs by Wilco as well as Tweedy's side-projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog. Monday night Tweedy stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to perform "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" from Wilco's classic album Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. Then Tuesday night he stopped by the show again, this time to perform Summerteeth track "I'm Always in Love," which Meyers said was one of his favorite songs.

Together At Last was recorded at Tweedy's studio in Chicago, The Loft, and is the first in a series entitled Loft Acoustic Sessions where Tweedy will cover his previous work. Tweedy previously shared a new version of Loose Fur's "Laminated Cat."

Read our review of Together At Last.

Buy the album here.

 

 

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