This year’s new album release schedule really spikes in February. The month brings a wide array of music from many very talented acts, including 6 new album release from some of Reggae-Rocks beset up-and-coming acts. The list also features a few excellent records from outside the genre, records worth taking note off. In all The Pier has 15 new released to check out from this month.
Check out the Album Releases from prior months:
February 2014 Album Releases
Censi Rock – First Delivery
Release Date: February 1st
From The Netherlands city of Alkmaar comes 22 years old Erik Van Yperen know on stage as Censi Rock. Joining Amsterdam’s The Soul Rebels Band in 2009, after two years of playing together the band stopped, and Censi started to work on his network internationally linking up with several Jamaican producers.
An independent record label from Holland specialized in Reggae and Dancehall music.Area 026 Music proudly presents the debut album by the Dutch Reggae artist. Mixed by Selecta Wilfman (Sound Armada) the record includes 14 tracks and features Ray Darwin, Mr. Patze, Joggo, and Slyford Walker. Censi Rock’s First Delivery is available digitally online. Click here to watch the official video for Censi Rock’s first single “Haffi Bun” featuring Mr. Patze.
You can pick up First Delivery on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – New Ammo
Release Date: February 4th
For almost three decades, saxophonist Karl Denson has gained legendary-status, traversing the world, performing alongside some of the talented musicians in the business. In his earliest years Denson toured with Lenny Kravitz‘s band before co-forming The Greyboy Allstars and his own group, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. More recently Denson has been seen playing an amazing array of gigs, not only with his own groups at festivals ball over the nation but playing one-offs Beasty Boy tribute sets and even run of Ray Charles Cover sets with Zach Deputy.
Despite all his travel in the past two years, Denson has found time to get into the studio. In April of 2013 Denson, with The Greyboy Allstars, released Inland Emperor, the groups fifth album. Now, less than a year later, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe has released the group’s fourth record, New Ammo. Admittedly hard to mimic the live feeling on a record, Denson describes the latest studio effort, “We’ve finally figured out how to capture in the studio what the Tiny Universe does live. We move around a lot musically, but this record reflects who we are as a band and where we’re headed with our music.”
The 13-tracks of New Ammo make up Denson’s debut release on Slightly Stoopid’s record label, Stoopid Records in association Controlled Substance Sound Labs. The record is composed of Denson originals, like the live fan favorite “Everybody Knows That,” as well as the albums first single, “My Baby,” featuring Nicki Bluhm on vocals. Denson also wows with renditions of “Seven Nation Army”, originally by the White Stripes, “Hang Me Up To Dry” by Cold War Kids and “Sure Shot” off the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication.
John Butler Trio –Flesh & Blood
Release Date: February 4th
Following the groups last release, 2010’s April Uprising, John Butler Trio has released their sixth studio album Flesh & Blood. Recorded at The Compound, Butler’s studio in Fremantle, Australia, the album’s 11 tracks took just 20 days to record. Describing the album as having a “rawness and honesty” as a result of the brief recording process.
Butler, in his own words, further describes the record “There’s something really exciting about that moment when you’re writing a song and it’s flowing and you stand back and look at it and hear it and feel like it explains things that you’ve been trying to explain all your life, or it expresses something that feels universal… We wanted the grooves to get deeper and thicker and as a songwriter I wanted the songs to be a lot more guttural and fleshier. I wanted to smell it and feel it a bit more. And my voice to be more convincing.”
You can pick up Flesh & Blood on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Tarrus Riley – Love Situation
Release Date: February 4th
Exemplifying the resilience and timeless quality of the greatest era of Jamaican music, Love Situation, the newest album from international reggae artist, Tarrus Riley, dropped February 4th. Inspired by “Young Heart,” a favorite track off his second album Contagious, this new album explores musical space that can be enjoyed by music listeners of all generations. Love Situation resembles the classic sound of Jamaican Rocksteady, in a well balanced mix, modernly produced by Dean Fraser.
Fans of original-era Jamaican music will notice the use of many beloved rhythms created during the infamous Treasure Isle Studio days. Setting a mellow mood reminiscent of the Rocksteady vibes from the ‘60s, Riley’s Love Situation is 17 tracks of sweet smooth swaying Reggae. Crafting a cross-generational vibe, featured on these classic riddims are guests artist such as U Roy, Konshens, Big Youth, Mr Cheeks of the Lost Boyz, Dean Fraser and Whippa Demus. Catchy rhythms, proper production and engineering fused with the beautiful vocal work of Riley creates a quality record.
The Motet – Self-titled
Release Date: February 11th
After twelve years of touring, performing a very mix of musical compositions, the aptly named Boulder, Colorado Funk-Jam act The Motet has had an array of musicians participate in the ensemble. Now solidified into a cohesive 9-piece unit, this month, The Motet has released their first album in over four years.
Recorded at Immersive Sound and Scanhope Sound, this self-titled 7th album is not just well mixed, balanced authentically classic sounding with an analog production. The tracks are also very polished, showcasing talent of the band’s musicianship and instrumentation seen in the bands live sets.
Known to fuse a variety of sounds, of which include influences Jazz, Funk, Folk, Soul, World-beats, Reggae, Disco and Dub with modern electronica, The Motet is a band who’s sound has admittedly been defined by the interests of the musicians in their live line-up.
On this latest studio effort, along with sounds based on the their origin, the group builds on those elements of past Funkateers. After playing together for the past few years, the current line-up has found a vibe that resonates with the group, hence their shift to a primarily funk outfit, with boogie and groove, easily evoking a dancing mood with any of the new record’s nine tracks.
You can pick up the album on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Big Gigantic – The Night is Young
Release Date: February 11th
Linking up in Boulder Colorado in 2008, six years and four albums later saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken have secured their spot at premiere music festivals around the world with their uniquely remarkable Livetronica act, Big Gigantic. Fusing elements of of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Funk, and various types of electronica the duo is known for their high-energy dance-tracks.
Following 2012’s Nocturnal, Big Gigantic’s latest studio effort is titled The Night is Young, a record that perpetuates the creativeness that puts the act in such high demand. In total the duo’s fifth record includes 8-tracks, with the title track featuring Cherub. This month, Big Gigantic releases their highly anticipated new album. The record is available for sale, however the group has also made the record available for free download.
The group released this statement about the new record: “The Night Is Young is kind of a blast from the past and a glimpse into the future of Big Gigantic. We wanted to stick with our signature hard hitting, funky, melodic sound while at the same time, expanding on some ideas and music we’ve always wanted to explore since we started this band. ‘The Night Is Young’ not only represents the idea that Big Gigantic is at the beginning of something even bigger and even more gigantic, but – it also represents a new sound in a generation moving forward.”
You can pick up The Night is Young on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Sono Vero – Roses for the Reckless
Release Date: February 14th
Originally set to drop back on September 15th, 2013, LA natives Sono Vero will be released their Roses For The Reckless EP for all the Reggae lovers to enjoy on February 14th. With the success and great sounds coming from their most recent singles, it was only natural that they stick with what’s working, and that meant having Lew Richards’ & 17th Street Recording Studios expertise to back them up.
The EP includes guest features such as Moi of Tomorrows Bad Seeds on the harmonies, as well as a guest appearance by Rico of Ease Up. Lead singer, Charlie Ueda, left The Pier with a little more insight to the making of the new EP and why it is so special for him: “Every single song has been given 110% of my writing abilities. Most of the material is very personal and it is truly amazing to have such an outlet for my thoughts like music.”
Spiritual Rez – Apocalypse Whenever
Release Date: February 15th
Apocalypse Whenever. The album was recorded at 9B Studios in Milford, MA and self-produced, with mastering by Howie Weinberg (RHC, Deftones, Beastie Boys). “This is the fourth album that we’ve done, and the second one we’ve self-produced, and we really got to express ourselves this time. We got to add jam sessions and fun different style changes that we’ve always wanted to have on an album. On this one we got to do it exactly as we want, just like our live shows,” explained bassist Jesse Shaternick.
As far as being more funk, rock, or reggae, Jesse continued “At the time, the stuff coming out of us was very rock driven. We had some stuff we had to let out. This was the one where we let the gate open, and we had this Apocalypse theme, getting closer to 2012. We wanted to kind of make light of it and we have all of these songs that have that are Apocalypse themed.”
Sean Paul – Full Frequency
Release Date: February 18th
Born Sean Paul Henriques and growing up in St. Andrew, Jamaica, during the late 90s the musician, now known as Sean Paul, broke into the music scene with his hit singles in is home country. Achieving mainstream stream success in the early 2000s teaming up with VP Records, after several record releases and a Grammy win, in 2013 Sean Paul announced the initial details of his sixth studio album.
Full Frequency, originally set to drop back in November ’13, the record was pushed back to a February 2014 release via Atlantic Records. The new record features guest appearances from Damian Marley, Iggy Azalea, Nyla Of Brick & Lace, Konshens, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz and Juicy J.
You can pick up Full Frequency on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
The Grouch & Eligh – The Tortoise and The Crow
Release Date: February 18th
After years in the making The Grouch & Eligh have exceeded fan expectations, producing what they call their most ambitious release, The Tortoise & The Crow. A 41 song triple album, the project features One full-length solo Grouch record, one full-length Eligh record, then one full-length Grouch & Eligh record. The Tortoise and The Crow features appearances by Kreayshawn, Slightly Stoopid, and Pigeon John, as well as production by Amp Live, Exile, DJ Fresh, Magi, Alexander Spit, Ant, and Pretty Lights.
Artist that have always been independent, looking to avoid signing a record deal, the duo turned to a crowd-sourced Kickstarter campaign in which they explained the project, “This body of work shows so many in depth dimensions of The Grouch & Eligh. The E album is totally different from The G album, the G&E album is completely unique as well. We have such a variety of sounds and messages, we really could have released this as three separate projects – every album stands on its own but together we found the answer…This is way it had to be. Just doing solo albums wouldn’t fulfill our souls right now. Neither would a straight-up G&E album. We’ve grown exponentially in recent years, and we’re such an integral part of each others paths. With these albums, we’re circling up on decades of growth and experiences.”
You can pick up The Tortoise and The Crow on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Lionize – Jetpack Soundtrack
Release Date: February 18th
In the past Maryland’s Lionize have been praised on how skillful their ability to evolve and write songs across multiple genres. Creating an album that exemplifies the bands current sound, with Jetpack Soundtrack the band has furthered their work in heavier rock sounds.
For their fifth release, Lionize signed to WeatherMaker Music, the label owned and operated by Maryland rockers Clutch, a band that shares a guitarist with Lionize. This is a big step for both the label and Lionize as they join forces to release Jetpack Soundtrack. Lionize is the first independent artist to sign with WeatherMaker Music, a label that has, up until now, served as the exclusive platform for all things Clutch and individual band member related side projects. The album was jointly produced by Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. This album is available on CD, Digital and for the first time ever Vinyl! Click here to watch lionize describe the process.
You can pick up Jetpack Soundtrack on now, by clicking HERE!
Skaters – Manhattan
Release Date: February 25th
The Punk-Rock quartet known as Skaters, forming only a few years ago, are set to release their debut album via Warner Brothers.
The foursome’s formation dates back to the summer of 2011, when vocalist Michael Ian Cummings and drummer Noah Rubin, who grew up together outside of Boston, were spending time in LA. At a house party one night the two met Josh Hubbard, a guitarist from the UK. Later that year, Hubbard, flying into NYC from the UK, contacted Cummings to play several shows. The three then linked up with local bassist Dan Burke, and the outfit quickly learned a few original tracks, and a few Pixies covers.
During the next year, the group continued to write and play gigs, eventually recording The Schemers EP in an apartment bedroom, releasing it in February of 2012 as a way to get their music into their friends hands. But, as these stories seem to go, the band made the EP available for free download and the music started to spread. They continued to tour, picking up support in Austin at SXSW, when someone heard Skaters live show, leading to a record deal with a major label and their first LP.
Known as the live music capital of the world, with hundreds of musicians performing on any night, it isn’t easy to play over all the noise. Though for the NYC based band, noise doesn’t seem to be an obstacle, but rather sounds to work with. Titled, Manhattan, in their debut record, the band incorporated the sounds of the city throughout the album. Recorded at the iconic Electric Lady Studios with veteran record producer John Hill, the 11 tracks of Manhattan fuse these components with elements of Post and Pop-Punk in a well-blended auditory take on life in the city.
You can pick up Manhattan on iTunes now, by clicking HERE!
Major Lazer – Apocalypse Soon
Release Date: February 25th
Over the past year, Major Lazer, led by Grammy nominated artist/producer, Diplo has continued to crack out the tracks, both in the studio and on stages throughout the world. In 2013, the producers released an onslaught of remixes & now Major Lazer is set to drop a third EP of original tracks.
Back with an impressive list of collaborators , the 5 new tracks of the EP include Grammy winning producer Pharrell Williams, Grammy winning artist Sean Paul, Trinidad Soca artist Michael Montano, and more. Apocalypse Soon will be available on February 25th via Secretly Canadian and Mad Decent.
Arden Park Roots – Burning the Midnight Oil
Release Date: February 28th
Arden Park Roots have spent over 200 hours working on their 4th full length album that will finally be released on February 28th. As mentioned in The Pier’s 2014 Most Anticipated Albums article the band told The Pier that the album is set to include 12 or 13 new songs, a long with a cover of “Jolene” by the band, Cake. The group recorded out of Pus Cavern in Sacramento, CA with producer, Joe Johnston. There’s one collaboration on the album with Legendary Bay Area rapper,
Article By: Aaron Solomon