Feature ·

First Look: 02.01.05 (Cass McCombs, The One A.M. Radio, Ed Harcourt)

Heading to the record store? Here's what's new this week.

Cass McCombs

PREfection
Monitor


Album samples
Cass McCombs unveils more lamenting Morrissey-type pop on PREfection, his second full-length. The Baltimore, Maryland-based songwriter looks rather distraught in all of the photos of him on the Internet, but it has nothing to do with the records; 2003's A was quite well-received. Recorded in Michigan and mastered at Abbey Road studios in London, PREfection will carry on McCombs's literary approach to his pleasant and melancholy chord progressions. He'll have his new record in his sweater-vest pocket when he tours with Modest Mouse this month.

 

The One A.M. Radio
On the Shore of the Wide World
Level Plane


Album samples
Sure, the One A.M. Radio is easier to remember than the artist's real name, Hrishikesh Hirway, but it doesn't sound nearly as cool. This EP is filled with remixes of last year's soothing A Name Writ in Water, and its cast of remixers is as hip as they come. Spacey techno purveyor John Tejada takes a crack at one of the selections, and producers Daedelus and Anticon's Alias also lend their hands here. Just when I thought Yale had lost all credibility because of its association with America's failing commander-in-chief, it turns out that bright minds like Hirway are still emerging from its corridors. Sweet.

 

Ed Harcourt
Strangers
Astralwerks


Album samples
This album has seen great acclaim since it was released in Europe in September. "I started writing these songs as soon as I met this girl," says Harcourt of Strangers. "I was completely inspired by her." Oh crap, Ed. Run in the other direction. Harcourt's third full-length was finished in Sweden by Concretes' producer Jari Haapalainen, and the former member of Snug and 2001 Mercury Prize nominee says he sings "at his best" on it. We expect nothing less.

 


The Skygreen Leopards
Life and Love in Sparrow's Meadow
Jagjaguwar

Album samples
Glenn Donaldson and Donovan Quinn's collection of ludicrously psychedelic folk music is more of the acid-soaked brand that filled last year's One Thousand Bird Ceremony. The track list on Life and Love in Sparrow's Meadow reads like a shelf full of kiddie-book titles, employing words like "fireflies" and "minotaur" with the carefree flippancy of an unshaven bookworm at a '67 love-in. Donaldson, co-founder of the Jewelled Antler collective, seems to be dipping into the same batch of brownies that Elephant 6 did some years back. Life is the duo's first release on Jagjaguwar and second release this year, coming after January's Child God in the Garden of Idols twelve-inch, a companion effort to this trippy long-titled long-player.

 

Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
Beanie Sigel: Feel It In The Air (Single) (Def Jam)
Beck: Hell Yes (Single) (Geffen)
Beenie Man: From Kingston to King: Greatest Hits So Far (CD/DVD Combo) (Virgin)
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (+3 Bonus Tracks) (Import) (V2)
Brazilian Girls: Brazilian Girls (Verve)
Built Like Alaska: Autumnland (Future Farmer)
Buried Inside: Chronoclast (Relapse)
Burning Spear: Appointment With His Majesty (Burning Music)
Burning Spear: World Should Know (Bonus DVD) (Burning Music)
Cex: Starship Galactica (Reissue) (Temporary Residence)
Dalek: Absence (+2 Bonus Tracks) (Japanese Import)

Devendra Banhart: At the Hop (CD Single Import) (XL)
Dizzy Gillespie: Early Years (1937-1951) (Jazz Legends)
DJ Crunk: Crunk Da Mix Tape 2 (Ichiban / Ryko)
Do Or Die: Dod (Bonus DVD) (Atlantic)
Dumbwaiters: Musick (Fiani)
Hive Mind: Death Tone (Hanson Records)
Impossible Shapes: Horus (Secretly Canadian)
Jens Lekman/El Perro del Mar: Split 7" (Secretly Canadian)
John Frusciante: Curtains (Record Collection)
Johnny Cash: Bigger Than Life Collection (Madacy)
KJ-52: Behind the Musik (Bec Recordings)
Klas' One: Swisha House Presents: The One and Only (Playa Made Ent.)
Mercury Rev: All Is Dream (Enhanced) (Box Set Import) (V2)
Mercury Rev: Deserters Songs (+ Bonus DVD) (Import) (V2)
Mogwai: Government Commissions (BBC Sessions) (Import)

Mötley Crüe: Red, White, & Crue (2xCD) (Hip-O Records)
Ray Charles: More Music from Ray (Rhino)
The Roots: Roots Presents: A Sonic Event (Clean) (Image)
The Roots: The Roots Present (CD) (Image)
Smegma: Rumblings (Hanson Records)
SNMNMNM: As Best As We Can (Unschooled Records)
Unwritten Law: Here's to the Mourning (Lava)

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with correction or additions.

 

- First Look: 01.25.05 (Trail Of Dead, Chemical Brothers, Low) First Look: 02.08.05 (Dalek, Sage Francis, Hood)
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