Feature ·

[February 13, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:



Essie Jane

We Made This Ourselves

Ba Da Bing!

Little label Ba da Bing! got a lot of exposure from Beirut's debut last year, which set the blogosphere on fire. Now the label is hoping those good vibes will carry over to its new signing, Essie Jane. Jane, a Londoner who lives in New York, handles piano and guitar on the album, and the Dirty Three's Jim White provides percussion. Her voice is starkly beautiful, and she reaches deep for her emotions. Ba da Bing! cites a bunch of male singers as RIYLs-Elliot Smith and Leonard Cohen amongst them-and if there's one female she brings to mind, it's Corrina Repp. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.essiejain.com/

Label: http://badabingrecords.com/ 

Audio: http://myspace.com/essiejain

"Glory" MP3: http://www.essiejain.com/audio/01%20glory%20master.mp3

"Haze" MP3: http://www.essiejain.com/audio/02%20%20haze%20master.mp3 

Gerald Levert

In My Songs


Although his untimely passing in November and the pending red-satin bonanza of Valentine's Day taints In My Songs with an unavoidable bittersweet romanticism, Gerald Levert truthfully was just such a romantic throughout his career. The son of O'Jays co-founder and stalwart performer Eddie Levert, Gerald spent the formative years of his career in a critical spotlight. From exploring new-jack pop-isms as a young'n with his fraternal trio, LeVert, to his breakthrough duet with his father on "Baby, Hold on to Me," Gerald has constantly been regarded in comparison or contrast instead of as an individual. Appropriately, he stood out when he tapped the blues for his sensitive, sentimental crooning. His ability to channel nostalgia with both subtlety and robustness made him noteworthy, most notably on the soundtrack to Standing in the Shadows of Motown. If the throwback flavor of In My Songs' title track/lead single is any indication, Gerald's final album may be an honest and appropriate send-off. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.geraldlevert.com/

Label: http://www.atlanticrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/geraldlevertofficialsite 

Pop Levi

The Return to Form Black Magick Party


Androgynous musical chameleon Pop Levi is set to make waves with his full-length debut, The Return to Form Black Magick Party. Mixing everything from glam to blues to psych and folk, Levi's "astral rock 'n' roll" might be some of the best stuff you'll hear all year. ~Justin Sheppard

Artist: http://poplevi.com/
Label: http://www.counterrecords.com/

Media: http://www.myspace.com/poplevi 


Can't Go Back


Another week, another release from a bedroom laptop-pop auteur. But don't tune out just yet; this one has some good backing. Papercuts is Jason Quever, who recently signed to Gnomonsong, an imprint run by Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic. Quever has worked with Vetiver and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. And the members of Grizzly Bear just picked up Papercuts as an opening act for their tour. The label calls Quever's music "a cathedral of sound, a place of worship of all things analog and devotion to the musicianship of the old world." High praise from some guys who know a thing or two about being highly praised. ~John Zeiss

Label: http://www.gnomonsong.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thepapercuts

"John Brown" MP3: http://www.gnomonsong.com/mp3s/Papercuts-John_Brown.mp3  

The SoftLightes

Say No to Being Cool-Say Yes to Being Happy


The SoftLightes (yes, it's spelled that way) have been generating some buzz with a stream of appearances at clubs that dot the Silverlake/Echo Park corridor of hipness in L.A. (The band's home base is just down the road in San Diego.) Now they're bringing their Grandaddy-on-Prozac-happy electro-pop sound to a larger audience with their debut album. Main SoftLighte Ron Fountenberry and bassist Kristian Dunn used to be in the Incredible Moses Leroy, a band that plied a similar Beck-ian sound. Say No to Being Cool is full of songs that are as fun as their titles sound: "Heart Made of Sound," "The Microwave Song" and "The Robots in my Room Were Playing Arena Rock." ~John Zeiss

Band: http://thesoftlightes.com/

Label: http://www.modularpeople.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thesoftlightes 

Lucinda Williams


Lost Highway

Lucinda Williams can churn out deep-fried Southern honky-tonk with the best of them, but she' can also adeptly express the sad, sometimes suffocating nature of small-town life. West will likely lean more toward the latter: Its subject material was informed by the death of her mother and the dissolution of a difficult romantic relationship. On opener "Are You Alright?," Williams could be addressing either of those two lost souls, or even herself. Other dour song titles include "Learning How to Live," "Fancy Funeral" and "What If." Both Gary Louris and Bill Frisell provide guitar licks. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.lucindawilliams.com/

Label: http://main.losthighwayrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/lucindawilliams 

Acoustic Ladyland: Skinny Grin (V2 UK)

Anaïs Mitchell: Brightness (Righteous Babe)

Brian McKnight: Ten      

Cooper Temple Clause: Homo Sapiens EP (BMG Japan)

The Dark Romantics: Some Midnight Kissin' (Lujo)

Deep Purple: Live at the Nec 1993 (Sony / BMG Import)

DJ Green Lantern/Ludacris: Truth Shall Set You Free (Invasion GRP Canada)

The Doobie Brothers: Definitive Collection (Rhino)

Duke Ellington: Legendary Duke: In Memoriam (Collectables)

Dukedagod: Jr Writer: Writer's Block 4 (Diplomatic Man)

Duran Duran: Essential Collection (EMI)

Ella Fitzgerald: Very Best of the Cole Porter Songbook (Verve)

Ella Fitzgerald: Very Best of the Rodgers and Hart Songbook (Verve)

Essie Jain: We Made This Ourselves (Ba Da Bing!)

The Eternals: Heavy International (Aesthetics)

Field Music: Tones of Town (Memphis Industries)

The Flying Burrito Brothers: Honky Tonky Nights (Music Avenue)

G. Dep: Bad Boy (Siccness)

Gerald LeVert: In My Songs (Atlantic / Wea)

Ginuwine: I Apologize (Siccness)

Grace Jones: Inside Story (EMI)

The High Strung: Moxie Bravo (Park the Van)

Infamous Stringdusters: Fork in the Road (Sugar Hill)

Jae Millz: Time Is Now: Official Remix  

Jason Donovan: Greatest Hits (EMI)

Jennifer Hall: Jennifer Hall Meets (Sea Breeze)

Joey McIntyre: Talk to Me (City Light)

Jokaman: In the Fast Lane (BCD Music Group)

Keak da Sneak: On One (Rex Recordings Inc)

Keak Da Sneak/P.S.D. Tha Drivah/Messy Marv: Da Bidness (SMC Recordings)

Lisa Gerrard: Best of Lisa Gerrard (4AD)

Louis Armstrong: Early Years: Recorded Live 1938-1949 (Collectables)

Lucinda Williams: West (Lost Highway)

Mike Post & Pete Carpenter: A-Team [Original Television Score/Soundtrack] (Silva)

Nicolai Dunger: Rosten Och Herren (V2 UK)

Nina Hagen: Fearless (Koch)

Original Soundtrack: Ghost Rider (Varese Sarabande)

Original Soundtrack: Death Row Archives: The Soundtracks (Death Row)

Original TV Soundtrack: Hills (Sony)

The Papercuts: Can't Go Back (Gnomonsong)

Peter Bjorn and John: Falling Out (V2 UK)

Peter Bjorn and John: Peter Bjorn and John (V2 UK)

Po' Girl: Home to You (Nettwerk)

Psycho Les: Psycho Therapy

Rudy Ray Moore: Petey Wheatstraw (Traffic Ent.)

Seafood: Paper Crown King (Cooking Vinyl)

The Softlightes: Say No to Being Cool -- Say Yes to Being Happy (Modular / Interscope)

T.I./DJ Drama: Leak Unloaded (BCD Music Group)

Talking Heads: Collection (Emi Gold Imports)

Tanakh: Saunders Hollow (Camera Obscura)

Vocokesh: All This and Hieronymous Bosch (Strange Attractors)

William Parker/Hamid Drake: First Communion/Piercing the Veil (Aum Fidelity)

Wiz Khalifa: Show and Prove

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

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