Kingfish Records

Now Hear This

Now Hear This

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I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY! is the eagerly anticipated sophomore album from Norway born, and Oslo based singer-songwriter, girl in red. This 10-song album chronicles the artist’s last two and a half years with honesty and wit, and a willingness to play around with her music. With I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!, girl in red is building her music into something “more ambitious, and more exciting, and more idea-driven.” Exploring themes like confidence, criticism, self-esteem, and vulnerability, girl in red produced the album with frequent collaborator Matias Tellez.

girl in red - I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY! [CD]
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Pet Shop Boys release their brand new studio album ‘Nonetheless’ on Parlophone Records on April 26.

The album is the duo’s first with producer James Ford, who has previously worked with artists including Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Blur, Gorillaz and Simian Mobile Disco. The album also sees the duo return to Parlophone, the label which released their iconic and massively successful material spanning 1985 – 2012

‘Nonetheless’ features 10 brand new tracks, recorded and mixed in London last year, primarily at James Ford’s studio in East London. The orchestra and backing vocals were recorded at The Church studio in North London.

Pet Shop Boys - nonetheless [Deluxe 2 CD]
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There is no artist in the world like Sia. Try to think about an artist who transformed from an in-demand indie pop vocalist and chanteuse into a global pop superstar more than a decade into their career. Try to imagine that same global pop superstar writing and producing music for many of the other most iconic stars of our time. And then let yourself think about how Sia Furler has racked up more worldwide streams and hits (6 in the “Billions Club” on Spotify, and counting...) all while never showing her face, never compromising her artistic vision, and never letting anyone else define pop stardom for her. It’s staggering to imagine any artist doing just one of these things, let alone all of them, over the course of a career that continues to reach new heights. It’s worth repeating: there is no artist in the world like Sia.

Some quick background: Sia Furler grew up in Australia the daughter of musicians. Starting out in Adelaide, singing in bands and releasing her own music in 1997, Sia moved to London and released her debut album Healing Is Difficult in 2001. That same year she first appeared as part of Zero 7 on their debut album Simple Things - a collaboration that would continue with two more albums and a series of world tours. 2004’s Colour The Small One included “Breathe Me,” which famously soundtracked the final scene of the final episode of HBO’s Six Feet Under. More albums followed (2008’s some people have REAL problems, 2010’s We Are Born) before Sia began writing and co-writing, and featuring on songs for other artists, including Rhianna, David Guetta, Flo Rida, all of whom had massive, chart-topping hits thanks to Sia.

Her song “Chandelier,” from 2014’s Grammy-nominated 1000 Forms Of Fear, not only changed the way pop music sounds, but it revolutionized the art of music video with the groundbreaking clip starring Maddie Ziegler. More worldwide smashes followed in quick succession: “Elastic Heart,” “Big Girls Cry,” “Alive,” “Together,” “Dusk ’Til Dawn” with Zayn, and “Cheap Thrills” - a Billboard number one single for 8 nonconsecutive weeks. Over 50 billion audio streams don’t lie. Her Christmas album, released in 2017, has one of the top 10 most streamed holiday songs of all time. She directed her first feature film, titled Music, in 2021, and in 2022, a song from 2016’s This Is Acting - “Unstoppable” - became a viral sensation, pushing it past a billion plays on Spotify and onto the charts again in multiple countries around the world seven years after its release. Meanwhile, Sia co-wrote songs for other icons like Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton, and more; wrote songs for countless films and TV show soundtracks; gave away money to Survivor contestants (her favorite show!); put her energy into animal rights advocacy; and more.

And now - there is Reasonable Woman, Sia’s first proper album since 2016. Reasonable Woman is so filled to the brim with pop perfection, it almost overwhelms with how effortless it is for her to craft such instantly connectable songs. The collection is everything Sia does best, and the sonic equivalent of a myriad of things: an empowering embrace, secrets told late at night, going to the best party in the world, the vulnerability of declaring you love someone, the steadfast determination to keep going, even if your love isn’t returned; the messiness of being human; the exuberance of being human. In essence, it is life - happening to us, happening for us; the songs on Reasonable Woman mirror back to us being alive with every chorus.

Sia - Reasonable Woman [CD]
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Composer, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Laufey continues her story with Bewitched: The Goddess Edition, an expanded version of her 2023 critically celebrated and GRAMMY-winning second album. Since the release of Bewitched, Laufey has proven how staying true to oneself can result in creating a space where people can find themselves. Bewitched has been wildly successful around the world, appearing on multiple year-end best-of lists, sparking an immediately sold-out tour and reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz charts. The Goddess Edition features four brand-new original songs including lead single "Goddess" and will be available on vinyl, cassette, and CD. The expanded package includes dark blue vinyl, an updated booklet, and a custom board game.

Laufey - Bewitched: The Goddess Edition [CD]
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After dark country trio Lost Dog Street Band released its 2022 album Glory, bandleader Benjamin Tod decided it was time to retire the project. Tod, alongside his wife Ashley Mae (fiddle), had been working together as a band since 2011. “I came to terms with letting go of Lost Dog completely, which is how I evaluate a lot of things in general,” explains Tod. “Oftentimes when I'm trying to make a really hard decision, I go ahead and go through the process of mourning its death and accepting that I am going to lose it.” But just a month after recording a solo project in January of 2023, Tod felt an urge to revisit the project one more time.

“I thought I was done with Lost Dog, but after recording my solo album, I looked over all the songs that I had ready for a new record. These were songs for my band. I had to admit to myself that I wasn't done with Lost Dog.”

Though there was heartbreak at the prospect of the project coming to an end, its resurrection has meant all the more in this new context. “Benjamin and I, both individually and together, have been through some professionally grinding and demoralizing personal times over the past five years,” Ashley Mae explains. “To take a step back from that over the past year and realize, ‘Wow, we held it down and withstood that, and we survived that,’ was a really good, bright, shining moment. It was the high point during a demoralizing time.” As such, Survived is a saving grace, a phoenix rising from the ashes. “This record means everything,” adds Tod. “It just feels like salvation.”

Lost Dog Street Band - Survived [CD]
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“I’m not afraid of the uncomfortable,” says Stephanie Lambring. “Oddly enough, I think you can actually find a lot of comfort in exploring it, in facing it head on and seeing it for what it really is.”

It’s that paradox that lies at the heart of Lambring’s stunning new record, Hypocrite. Recorded in Nashville with producer Teddy Morgan (Carl Broemel, Elise Davis), the collection is a remarkable work of self-reflection from an artist determined to know her truest self (and to help us find our own true selves in the process). The arrangements are lush and hypnotic here, with Lambring’s breathy vocals floating atop a sea of dreamy synthesizers and shimmering guitars, and the writing is as raw and vulnerable as it gets, confronting everything from religion and trauma to body image and motherhood with unflinching honesty. The result is a record that lands somewhere between Phoebe Bridgers and Alanis Morrissette as it looks for the best by reckoning with the worst, an album full of love and grace and compassion that aims to remind us that imperfection and humanity go hand in hand.

“They say the things you dislike about yourself are the things you call out the most in other people,” Lambring explains, “and with this album, I wanted to see what would happen if I called myself out instead. I think there’d be a lot more harmony in the world if we could just own up to our own shortcomings and forgive ourselves in the process.”

Such deep and thoughtful reflection has been a hallmark of Lambring’s work from the very beginning. Born and raised in Indiana, she got her start in Nashville working as a songwriter on Music Row, but after five years of composing for other artists, she asked to be let go from her publishing deal and walked away from the music business entirely. Feeling adrift creatively, she picked up work waiting tables at a restaurant and quit writing for an entire year until a regular customer—legendary songwriter Tom Douglas—encouraged her to return to her craft, this time for herself.

“It felt like my creativity had been rehabbed during that time away from the music industry,” Lambring recalls. “Writing for myself allowed me to say what I wanted to say, to sing about what felt important to me, and that changed everything.”

Lambring’s 2020 debut, Autonomy, was a critical smash, prompting Rolling Stone to hail her “John Prine-esque observation” and NPR to declare her “one of Nashville’s most fearless young singer-songwriters.” In addition to all the rave reviews, the album also landed Lambring on the cover of Tidal’s Rising Folk playlist, helped earn performances everywhere from Mountain Stage to the famed Bluebird Cafe, and led to an extensive US tour with Amigo The Devil. All the while, songs for Lambring’s much-anticipated follow-up were already brewing.

“I knew I wanted to write some of these songs for years before I was actually able to put them into words,” she explains. “They were just these little seeds planted in my subconscious that I’d keep coming back to until I felt like I’d finally experienced enough life to sit down and express them.”

The recording process was a similarly slow and deliberate one, with Lambring and Morgan working together on the songs on-and-off over the course of an entire year, experimenting with unexpected instrumentation and blurring the boundaries between roots music and indie rock.

“The foundation of this record is really just the two of us seeing how far we could push the songs,” Lambring says. “We’d get together and lay down the bones of a track, and then we’d come back to it a few weeks later and see how else we might be able to approach the same idea in order to take it someplace new and exciting. We would keep bouncing from one song to another, just tweaking and overdubbing and reinventing things right up until the very end.”

That adventurous spirit is clear from the top on Hypocrite, which opens with the brooding “Cover Girl.” Fueled by a thick, sinuous synth-bass and perpetually unsettled drumbeat, the track grapples with the modern pressures of a social media-driven world in which dysmorphia runs rampant and projection outweighs authenticity. “She writes, ‘Beauty’s on the inside’ / Underneath a picture of her good side,” Lambring sings with a deadpan delivery. “She watches on standby / As we tell her she’s pretty.” But rather than treat the observation as a scathing indictment, Lambring instead turns the lens on herself and her own implication in perpetuating the status quo despite her best efforts to break free of it. “Cover girl for inner beauty / Shine it up and sell it to me / We don’t have to believe it, do we? / Do we? / Do we?” It’s a question that sounds less convincing every time she asks it, the uncertainty building with each repetition. The tender “Filler” wonders who we’re really trying to please when we change our appearance (and if it will ever be enough), while the driving “Purity Ring” interrogates sex and shame and abstinence and abortion in the face of a strict religious upbringing full of double standards, and the aching “Good Mother” questions the traditional narratives of parenthood, giving voice to the fears and regrets that society deems too taboo to say out loud. “They say it’s the hardest / Best thing they’ve ever done,” Lambring sings wistfully. “But if it’s just the hardest / You can’t tell anyone.”

“I never felt a pull towards motherhood,” she explains. “I felt a lot of pressure about it, though, so I leaned into my anxiety and started researching. I dove deep on Reddit threads. I listened to podcasts. I read Regretting Motherhood: A Study by Orna Donath. There were so many heartbreaking accounts from mothers who loved their children but would be childfree if they had it to do over again, and I had a gut feeling that I would be one of those mothers. I wrote this song to process and sit with my own fears about it all, and to offer a voice for mothers who feel that way, either as a constant ache or in moments or seasons of exhaustion.”

Lambring finds unique ways to blend the deeply personal with the universal throughout the record, often transforming intimate slices of life into thought-provoking reflections on the human condition at large. The devastating “Hospital Parking” spins a garage fee into a meditation on grief and love and hope and loss; the unrelenting “Mirror” shines a light on the ugliness we try to hide, wrestling with the ways our desire to label things as “good” or “bad” without any room for nuance can spill out into politics and culture wars; and the country-tinged “Two-Faced” takes a self-deprecating look at insincerity, with Lambring singing, “We’re all a little two-faced / ‘Hey, how are you?’ fake / Makes the world go ‘round / God forbid some honesty would ruffle up this town.”

“I’ve lived in the south for 18 years, and when you pair that with a tendency to people-please, I haven’t always been the most direct (or enjoyed people being direct with me),” Lambring confesses. “Over the past several years, I’ve appreciated and practiced directness more and more, but it’ll probably always be something of a struggle for me, so it was therapeutic to poke some fun at myself and my fragile ego.”

In the end, such therapy is what Hypocrite is all about. The songs are serious, even painful at times, but they’re laced with humor and ultimately built to heal. Stephanie Lambring isn’t afraid to face the uncomfortable, and in the process, she offers up more than a little comfort for the rest of us.

Stephanie Lambring - Hypocrite [CD]
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Aaron Lee Tasjan, Nashville’s own synth-glam-rock-indie stalwart, has put the finishing touches on his new album Stellar Evolution due out on April 12th, 2024, a striking collection of hyper pop, indie rock, 80s synths and angular guitars. With his trademark sardonic wit, Aaron Lee shares poignant self observations and reflections on the world at large, that are a clarion call and safe space for anyone who has been made to feel other.

Whether it’s slacker rock anthem “The Drugs Did Me”, an autobiographical account of Aaron Lee’s journey to sobriety, new wave raver “Alien Space Queen,” which celebrates living outside the gender binary and Aaron Lee’s bi-sexuality and queer identity, or shimmering synth power ballad “Dylan Shades,” a celebration of those who carry their pain with love, Aaron Lee’s songs claim space and shine bright.

This is Aaron Lee’s most fully realized project to date, marking a culmination of Aaron Lee’s unique artistic voyage, from glam rock side person in the orbit of the New York Dolls and Lady Gaga, to breakout GRAMMY nominated Nashville singer-songwriter releasing a series of critically acclaimed albums, writing alongside some of Nashville’s established and emerging stars like Yola, Natalie Hemby and Mya Byrne, to now fully embracing his singular sound and making his most personal album to date. Fans Also Like: Beck, Father John Misty, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Jenny Lewis, The Black Keys, Yola

Aaron Lee Tasjan - Stellar Evolution [CD]
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Out on May 3rd, "Anniversary" is the new studio album from critically acclaimed artist Adeem the Artist. The album was produced by Butch Walker who has produced hits for artists including Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Katy Perry, Panic! At the Disco, Dashboard Confessional, Avril Lavigne and many others. This record is the continuation of a project that they began four years ago, directing their attention both inwards & outwards simultaneously and to exact correlating values so that they might be able to unbind the inner workings of themself while imagining new tools for stitching the fabric of society together again. It mostly just made some gay people like country music again.

Adeem The Artist - Anniversary [CD]

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