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New Music Preview: Calexico, Cadence Weapon, and First Aid Kit

Cadence Weapon - My Crew (Woooo)
Welcome to The Manual’s music preview for January 2018. A wide of range of exciting artists have new album releases coming out this month, and below you’ll find three that we can’t wait to hear.

Cadence Weapon – Cadence Weapon

Cadence Weapon
Cadence Weapon/Coey Kerr Image used with permission by copyright holder

When Rollie Pemberton, who performs as Cadence Weapon, dropped “My Crew (Woooo),” the Kaytranada-produced lead single picked up features in a variety of music blogs, including Consequence of Sound, Pitchfork, Stereogum. The song, his first release since the 2012 album Hope in Dirty City, came out alone; the announcement of the self-titled Cadence Weapon coincided with the premiere of another song, “Large,” released in November 2017.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Aalabama, Pemberton served a two-year term as the city’s poet laureate from 2009-2011. Between the end of that that stint and the release of his forthcoming album, Pemberton moved first to Montreal and now lives in Toronto. In a statement released with “My Crew (Woooo),” he noted, “There’s a sense of personal freedom that’s unique to Montreal and ‘My Crew (Woooo)’ is a representation of that feeling.”

Kaytranada is not the only big name making a guest appearance on the album: Blue Hawaii and Deradoorian both make appearances, as do Brendan Philip and Casey MQ.

Cadence Weapon’s self-titled album comes out Friday, January 19 via eOne Music.

First Aid Kit – Ruins

first aid kit ruins
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Formed by a pair of Swedish sisters, First Aid Kit’s breakout moment in the U.S. came in 2008 when Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold shared the duo’s cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” on social media. By the end of the year, First Aid Kit had signed to Wichita Records. Their debut full-length arrived in 2010, and their cover of Paul Simon’s “America” received a standing ovation at the 2012 Polaris Prize ceremony. The group’s star has only risen in the years since.

The band announced its fourth full-length, Ruins, in October 2017.

W Magazine premiered the poignant “It’s a Shame,” on October 10, 2017, and the band announced the release of their fourth album, Ruins, two weeks later. In the feature, the band’s Klara Söderberg discussed the background of “It’s a Shame.”

“I was going thru a break up, and we had gone to the ocean all day. I remember coming home from the beach, feeling terrible, and I started writing that song,” she says.

Ruins is First Aid Kit’s follow up to 2014’s Stay Gold. Both that album and the group’s 2012 album, The Lion’s Roar, were well received by critics. If the lead single is any indicator, Ruins will build off their pre=-established and well-loved sound.

Ruins comes out Friday, January 19 via Columbia/Sony Music.

Calexico – The Thread That Keeps Us

Calexico/Jairo Zavala Ruiz Image used with permission by copyright holder

Based out of Tucson, Arizona, Calexico has been playing its unique mix of Americana, indie rock, and Latin musical styles for over 20 years. The band’s sound, often dubbed “desert noir,” pulls from a multitude of traditions, primarily American folk and Latin dance. A statement issued by ANTI- describes the sound of The Thread That Keeps Us as “earthy yet expansive” and “spiked with jagged guitar tones and flashes of distortion.”

“There’s a little more chaos and noise in the mix than what we’ve done in the past,” adds vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns.

Though the band is based out of Arizona, Calexico takes its name from the California border town. The Thread That Keeps Us was recorded along the Northern California coast in a converted house. Dubbed the “Phantom Ship” by the band, the coastal studio where Calexico recorded The Thread That Keeps Us inspired lead single “End of the World With You,” whose lyric video arrived with the announcement of the album. Burns describes second single “Voices in the Field” as a “song to remind us to open up our hearts and hear other voices sing their stories.”

Calexico’s two decade-long discography is filled with highly regarded LPs, including The Black Light (1998) and the duo’s previous two albums, Algiers (2012) and Edge of the Sun (2015).

The Thread That Keeps Us comes out Friday, January 26 via ANTI-.

Terence Praet
Terence Praet contributes to The Manual’s New Music Monday column. He studied Philosophy and History at Skidmore College…
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