Jose Contreras goes 45, Julien Chang flutters by, Clipping play carpenter and more in today’s Roundup. If there’s a more beneficial beverage for an overheated and sleep-deprived scribe than iced coffee, I don’t know what it is.
1 Let’s be honest: When it comes to love and relationships, nobody has anything figured out. Most of us, however, just won’t admit it. By contrast, By Divine Right leader Jose Contreras fearlessly owns up to his romantic failings in At 45, a gorgeous piece of confessional heartbreak from his Sept. 13 solo album At the Slaughterhouse. Based on the stylish video, he doesn’t know enough to get the hell off the road. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Thematically, At The Slaughterhouse is an album about fundamental matters of the heart. Examinations of the relationship between voice and guitar, of love lost and regained, and of friendship and redemption all come alive with sparse elegance echoing in the symphony of a room’s subtle ambience.” Hit the road, Jack:
2 It’s a question that we’ve all asked at one time or another: Where do butterflies come from? Julien Chang has the answer. Or at least one answer. And he shares it in Bufferflies From Monaco, a warm and gently floating bit of Beach Boys-inspired indie-rock from his Oct. 11 debut album Jules. Sit back and enjoy the ride. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Colored by the earthy textures of American blues and roots, and inspired by the concept of the butterfly effect, Butterflies from Monaco can be heard now.” Spread your wings:
3 Halloween is still more than two months away. But artful L.A. rappers Clipping — the trio of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes — are already ready to scare the hell out of you with their horrorcore-inspired Oct. 18 album There Existed an Addition to Blood. Get a taste of what you’re in for with the single and lyric video Nothing Is Safe, based on the creepy one-finger keyboard soundtracks and title sequences of classic John Carpenter flicks. Trick or treat? You be the judge. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nothing is Safe (is) a reversal of Assault on Precinct 13, where the band create their own version of a John Carpenter-inspired rap beat and the cops are the ones raiding a trap house. Diggs sketches the narrative from the perspective of the victims, full of lurid and visceral details and intricate wordplay. The windows are boarded and sealed, the product simmers on the stove, the bodies sleep fitfully in shifts. Then law enforcement arrives and the bullets start to fly.” Caskets cannot be ignored:
4 Everybody loves a great cover tune. Including Corb Lund. So on his upcoming EP Cover Your Tracks, the hurtin’ Albertan turns his attention to a slate of classics by everyone from Nancy Sinatra and Marty Robbins to Eagles and even AC/DC. The latter comes via his respectfully authentic version of the band’s bluesy Ride On, a deep cut from 1976’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Bonus points to Lund for roping in Canadian cowboy legend and unlikely suspect Ian Tyson. Giddy-up. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’ve been listening to the Dirty Deeds record since I was in junior high, like everybody else in the universe. AC/DC is modern folk music for the people. It’s the most universal music there is, no matter what your walk of life. And I always felt like Ride On was secretly a cowboy song. At least that’s the way I always heard it. Having my old friend and hero Ian Tyson help me sing it really brings the whole thing home. His voice makes the song real heavy.” You might even say he’s hard to beat:
5 It’s an ill wind that blows no good. Especially when you’re talking about Breeze, the latest cut from Nightshifts — aka Toronto producer Andrew Oliver. Between laid-back thwack of its trap groove and the ethereal swirls of its trippy psychedelic textures — not to mention Oliver’s sleepy vocals and gliding melody — it bodes well for his upcoming EP Window Weather. Open the curtains and take it in. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Throughout this past winter, I kept experiencing the same cycle of anxiety. I would get worked up about all sorts of inconsequential things. Inevitably, I reached the point where I realized I had no control over these things I was worrying about. Arriving at this conclusion always felt great. Breeze was written about that cycle and the relief that followed.” It’s blowing through the jasmine in your mind:
6 There’s more than one way to play Hangman. You could get out the pen and paper — or you could click below to listen to the Long Island punks’ brand-spankin’ track One Mistake, a craggy, hard-grooving assault that advances their Sept. 20 debut disc One By One. Bottom line: It’s _p to yo_. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hangman specialize in New York hardcore of the most vitriolic variety. Armed with razor-sharp riffage and a vocalist that scorns all that he sees, Hangman propel their way through vicious grooves and bruising breakdowns, always brimming with the palpable energy, passion, and anger that they have become known for since their inception in 2014.” Make no mistake: