Category Archives: NEWS

In The News: Beatles, Ruby Suns, Buffalo Tom, Steve Earle, Game Theory, Bee Gees, Can And More

The 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ iconic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band will be commemorated with special anniversary edition releases May 26 via Apple/Capitol/UMe. The super-deluxe boxed set will include previously unreleased 1992 documentary film The Making Of Sgt. Pepper, as well as previously unreleased session recordings … Sprite Fountain is the new album from the Ruby Suns, due out from Sellout! on June 9 … Low Cut Connie has announced the May 19 release of fourth studio album Dirty Pictures (Part 1) via Contender … New West has signed the Secret Sisters and will issue the duo’s Brandi Carlile-produced new record, You Don’t Own Me Anymore, on June 9 … On May 19, Buffalo Tom’s 1992 album Let Me Come Over will be reissued in honor of its 25th birthday, alongside first-ever live release Live From London, Ulu, 1992 from Beggars Arkive … The debut solo album from A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s Jen Goma (as Showtime Goma), Smiley Face, is set for a June 16 release … So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, the latest album by Steve Earle And The Dukes, will be available from Warner Bros. on June 16 … Game Theory’s final album, 2 Steps from The Middle Ages (originally released in 1988), will be reissued as a remastered and expanded edition June 9 via Omnivore … Capitol/UMe will release a career-spanning best-of collection featuring the work of the Bee Gees, Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits, on April 21 … May 15 will see the release of Jason Molina: Riding With The Ghost, a family-authorized biography of Jason Molina, from Rowman & Littlefield … The 40th birthday of Foreigner will be celebrated May 19 with the release of 40, which features 40 hits spanning 40 years, from Rhino … Acoustic In Concert is a new live DVD/CD featuring Simple Minds’ 2016 BBC “In Concert” series performance, due out from Eagle Rock on June 16 … Can has announced the June 16 release of CAN: The Singles on Mute/Spoon … Sony CG will reissue Leftfield’s debut album Leftism on May 5 … On May 5, Alice Coltrane‘s ashram recordings from the ’80s and ’90s will be released to the public for the first time ever, as part of World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, a compilation from David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label … A five-disc genre-defining boxed set featuring tracks by the Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Nico and more, Silhouettes And Statues: A Gothic Revolution: 1978-1986 will be available from Cherry Red on June 30 … GospelbeacH is the new project by Brent Rademaker, and debut album Another Summer Of Love will be released June 15 on Alive Naturalsound.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Slowdive, Dan Auerbach, Van Morrison, Who, Iron Maiden, Miranda Lee Richards, Sam Amidon, Paul Weller And More

After 22 years, Slowdive will finally return May 5 with the release of its self-titled fourth album via Dead Oceans … Waiting On A Song is Dan Auerbach’s second solo album, due out from his Easy Eye Sound label on June 2 … Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly And James McAlister have teamed up to create Planetarium, which will be available June 9 from 4AD … Legacy will issue a deluxe three-CD Van Morrison library set, Van Morrison: The Authorized Bang Collection, on April 28 … On June 2, the Who’s Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 2004 will be available for the first time in multiple formats from Eagle Rock … The next installment of BMG’s Iron Maiden reissue series will take place May 19 with Prayer For The Dying, Fear Of The Dark, The X Factor and Virtual XIExistential Beast, the new album from Miranda Lee Richards, is set for a June 16 release via Invisible Hands … Chicago’s Robert Lamm has announced the June 2 issuing of a solo retrospective album, Time Chill, A Retrospective, on Omnivore … Nonesuch will release Sam Amidon’s The Following Mountain, his first collection of completely original work, on May 26 … May 19 will see the release of The Complete Albums Collection, a collection of Rob Halford’s work outside of Judas Priest, via Legacy … An extended reissue of pioneering punk-club album Max’s Kansas City 1976—featuring tracks by Suicide, the Fast, Wayne County, Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls and many more—will be available from Jungle on May 5 … The Supremes A’ Go-Go, the 1966 ninth studio album from the Supremes, will be reissued as a deluxe expanded edition April 28 by UMe … Paul Weller’s 12th solo record, A Kind Revolution, is set for a May 12 release on Warner Bros./Parlophone … Concord Jazz has announced the April 21 release of The Musician, a live three-CD and Blu-ray set capturing Chick Corea’s 70th birthday celebration, featuring performances by Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis and more … On June 23, the new album from the Chain Gang Of 1974, Felt, will be released by Caroline … The first new Ryuichi Sakamoto LP in eight years, async, will be released by Milan on April 28.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Saint Etienne, Thurston Moore, Feist, Swans, !!!, Alison Moyet, Danzig, Ride, Black Lips, Nite Jewel, Royal Trux, Jason Isbell And More

Saint Etienne has announced the June 2 release of Home Counties on Heavenly … Rock N Roll Consciousness, the new album from Thurston Moore, will be released by Caroline on April 28. Several North American tour dates will follow … Interscope will issue Feist’s first new album in six years, Pleasure, on April 28 … An LP featuring re-worked renditions of the Cranberries’ major hits as well as brand-new material, Something Else, is due out April 28 via BMG in honor of the band’s 25th anniversary … On April 28, the 1995 album by Swans, The Great Annihilator, will be reissued by Young God/Mute … !!! (Chk Chk Chk) will release new album Shake The Shudder via Warp on May 19 … Other is the latest release from Alison Moyet, due out June 16 on Cooking Vinyl … Rhino has announced 29 limited-edition vinyl releases for Record Store Day (April 22), including titles by David Bowie, the Cure, Ramones, Lou Reed and more (plus the Space Jam soundtrack!) … The first new Danzig album in seven years, Black Laden Crown, will be available from Evilive/Nuclear Blast in mid-May … June 16 will see the release of the first new Ride LP in two decades, Weather Diaries, on Wichita … Black Lips’ new album, Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?, is due out from Vice on May 5 … Real High, the fourth Nite Jewel record, will be available May 5 from Gloriette … Bomber will issue America, Location 12, the latest Dispatch album, on June 2 … The second installment of Walkman Walter Martin’s “juvenile series,” My Kinda Music, will be released May 5 … On June 16, Platinum Tips And Ice Cream, the latest Royal Trux album, will be available from Drag City … Banditos’ second full-length, Visionland, is set for a June 23 release on Bloodshot … The Nashville Sound is the new album from Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, due out from Southeastern on June 16 … Dead Oceans has announced the June 16 release of Kevin Morby’s City Music … The new record by North Mississippi Allstars, Prayer For Peace, is due out from Sony/Legacy on June 2 … April 28 marks the reissue of two long-lost EPs by Paul Collins’ band the Beat, Long Time Gone and To Beat Or Not To Beat, via Lolipop … Tindersticks have announced the release of the original soundtrack and film by Stuart Staples, Minute Bodies: The Intimate World Of F. Percy Smith, on June 16 via City Slang … I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone: Lazarus Edition is a live album featuring the late Jim Dickinson, which will be available from Memphis International in April … Legacy will release So It Is, the new release from Preservation Hall Jazz Band, on April 21.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Fleet Foxes, Nick Cave, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Chastity Belt, U2, Benjamin Booker, Little Hurricane, Woods, TW Walsh And More

Nonesuch will issue the long-awaited third album from Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up, on June 16. The band will tour internationally throughout 2017 in support … Lovely Creatures is a best-of collection featuring 30 years of music by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, due out from Mute/BMG in multiple formats on May 5 … A previously unreleased live album featuring the late Jaco Pastorius with the Word Of Mouth Big Band, Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live In NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording, will be available from Resonance as a limited-edition three-LP boxed set on April 22, with CD and digital versions due out May 19 … Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy will pay tribute to Merle Haggard on Best Troubador, which is set for a May 5 release via Drag City … On June 2, the third studio album from Chastity Belt, I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone, will be available from Hardly Art … Loma Vista has announced the April 14 release of Little Dragon’s new album, Season High. A North American tour will follow … Emotional Freedom Technique is the debut solo album from Death Cab For Cutie’s Dave Depper, due out from Tender Loving Empire on June 9 … The broadcast premiere of Outlaw: Celebrating The Music Of Waylon Jennings will take place on April 17 on CMT. The concert—which features the likes of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Shooter Jennings and many more—will be available as a CD/DVD combo from Sony the same day … U2’s fifth studio album The Joshua Tree, turns 30 this year, and Interscope will reissue it as a deluxe collector’s edition June 2, complete with a live recording, rarities and b-sides … June 2 will see the release of Witness, the new Benjamin Booker record, via ATO … 33 1/3 will issue Fastball’s new album, Step Into Light, on May 19. The band will join Everclear and Vertical Horizon for a national tour this summer … Run With The Pack and Burnin’ Sky, Bad Company’s 1976 and 1977 albums, will be reissued as deluxe, double-disc versions by Rhino on May 26, complete with the original remastered recordings and expanded with rare and unreleased tracks … Another pair of titles in The Frank Sinatra Collection, The Timex Shows Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, will be available from Eagle Rock on May 19 on DVD and digital formats … Little Hurricane will release Same Sun Same Moon on April 24 via Mascot … On April 21, the 15th album from the black watch, The Gospel According To John, will be available from Eskimo … Woodsist has announced the April 21 release of Love Is Love, the new Woods record … Terrible Freedom is TW Walsh’s new LP, due out from Tower Of Song on April 28.

—Emily Costantino

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Film At 11: Against Me!

Against Me! has a new video for its rollicking Shape Shift With Me cut “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts.” The animated visual functions like a light show at a live performance, perfectly tied in with the very loud volume at which this track should be played. Check it out below, and give our cover story with Laura Jane Grace and Joan Jett a read if you haven’t yet.

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In The News: Erasure, Wavves, Drums, Big Star, Ron Sexsmith, Juana Molina, Justin Townes Earle, Los Straitjackets, Coldplay And More

World Be Gone is the 17th studio album by Erasure, set for a May 19 release via Mute … Wavves has announced the May 19 release of new LP You’re Welcome on Ghost Ramp. The band will kick off a North American tour in April in support … The fourth studio album by the Drums, Abysmal Thoughts, will be released by Anti- on June 16 … Concord Bicycle Music will issue Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…And More, a 90-minute concert film celebrating the music of Big Star, on April 21. Recorded in 2016, it features performances by members of R.E.M, Wilco, Yo La Tengo and more … May 19 will see the release of the first new Land Of Talk album in seven years, Life After Youth, by Saddle Creek … Pent Up, the debut LP from Rogue + Jaye (the new collaboration between Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue and Courtney Jaye), will be available May 5 … Ron Sexsmith will release his 13th studio recording, The Last Rider, on April 21 via Compass … The seventh album from Juana Molina, Halo, is due from Crammed Discs on May 5 … New West has signed Justin Townes Earle and will issue new album Kids In The Street on May 26 … On May 19, the new Los Straitjackets LP, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And Los Straitjackets, will be released by Yep Roc … Time Bomb is the first new studio album from the Suicide Commandos in 39 years, due out from Twin/Tone on May 5 … Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP is set for a June 2 release from Atlantic … The new record from Brother Ali, All The Beauty In This Whole Life, will be available from Rhymesayers on May 5 … Omnivore will issue the first-ever career overview of the Sneetches, Form Of Play: A Retrospective, on April 29 … On April 14, Rhino will release the audio companion to Michael Nesmith’s autobiography, Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical RiffsPussycat is the new Juliana Hatfield record, due out April 28 via American Laundromat … Trombone Shorty’s debut album for Blue Note, Parking Lot Symphony, will be available on April 28.

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In The News: Mountain Goats, Robyn Hitchcock, At The Drive-In, Delta Saints, 50 Cent, Old Crow Medicine Show, Glen Campbell And More

Merge has announced the May 19 release of Goths, the new Mountain Goats album. The band will tour Australia and the U.S. this spring and summer … Robyn Hitchcock will release his self-titled 21st studio record via Yep Roc on April 21 … The first new album from At The Drive-In in nearly 17 years, in • ter a • li • a, will be available May 5 on Rise … Monte Vista, the latest record from the Delta Saints, is due out April 28 … On April 7, the acclaimed 1967 album by Frank Sinatra And Antonio Carlos Jobim, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim, will be reissued as an expanded remastered version in honor of its 50th anniversary … Columbia Nashville has signed Old Crow Medicine Show, and will issue 50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde, the band’s live performance of the iconic Bob Dylan album, on April 28 … 50 Cent will release his first best-of compilation, Best Of 50 Cent, on March 31 via UMe … Three out-of-print Glen Campbell albums—Gentle On My Mind, Wichita Lineman and Galveston—will be reissued on vinyl by Capitol Nashville/UMe on March 24 … Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 YearsOf The Story: An Album To Benefit War Child is a collection of newly recorded versions of songs from Brandi Carlile’s 2007 album The Story. Featuring appearances by Adele, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Pearl Jam and more, the album will be released by Legacy on May 5, with all of the proceeds benefiting War Child UK … April 21 will see the release of Cuidado Madame, the new Arto Lindsay album, via Northern Spy … Cooking Vinyl/Metalheadz will issue the new double LP by Goldie, The Journey Man, on June 16 … Anders Parker’s new record, The Man Who Fell From Earth, will be available on April 14 on Recorded & Freed … For the first time in more than two decades, Midnight Oil will embark on a world tour, The Great Circle 2017, kicking off April 25 in South America. The band has also announced the release of three archival boxed sets on May 5 from Sony.

—Emily Costantino

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In The News: Animal Collective, Los Campesinos!, Gin Blossoms, Sun Ra, Grateful Dead, Nightlands, R.Ring, Beans, Upper Crust, Pere Ubu And More

The new EP from Animal Collective, The Painters, has just been released digitally by Domino. The band will tour North America in May … Los Campesinos! has announced the February 24 release of sixth album Sick Scenes via Wichita … New Miserable Experience, the 1992 debut album by Gin Blossoms, turns 25 this year. UMe will honor the occasion March 24 with a vinyl reissue along with the band’s 1996 release Congratulations, I’m Sorry … Modern Harmonic will issue an album of unreleased Sun Ra music 50 years after its recording, Thunder Of The Gods, on April 7 … Also on April 7, Fujiya & Miyagi will issue a self-titled LP on Impossible Objects Of Desire … The 1977 Cornell performance by Grateful Dead will be available as an official release for the first time in honor of its 40th anniversary on May 5. May 1977: Get Shown The Light is an 11-disc boxed set containing the legendary concert, as well as three other previously unreleased performances … John Lee Hooker’s 100th birthday year celebration will begin March 31 with the release of a multi-label compilation album, Whiskey And Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest, via Vee-Jay … I Can Feel The Night Around Me is the new album from Nightlands, the project of the War On Drugs’ Dave Hartley, will be available from Western Vinyl on May 5 … The Company label will issue the new Chaz Bundick + the Mattson 2 album, Star Stuff, on March 31 … March 3 will see the release of Ed Sheeran’s “÷” (pronounced “divide”) via Atlantic … The debut full-length by R.Ring (featuring the Breeders’ Kelley Deal and Ampline’s Mike Montgomery), Ignite The Rest, is due out from Sofaburn on April 28 … Beans, founding member of Anti-Pop Consortium, will return after a five-year hiatus with three albums and a 226-page book. All three albums—Wolves Of The World, Love Me Tonight and HAAST—are set for a March 31 release via his own Tiger Rawwk label … Delusions Of Grandeur, the latest LP from the Upper Crust, will be available April 7 … Fire will issue a four-LP boxed set featuring the work of Pere Ubu, Drive, He Said 1994-2002, on March 10.

—Emily Costantino

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What The Hell Is Jeff Mangum Trying To Tell Us?

Over the past several months, a series of cryptic drawings by Jeff Mangum has appeared for sale on the official Neutral Milk Hotel website. The series, titled The Book Cipher Sings, appears to be full of clues and codes alluding to new music that could be on the way. Fans immediately noticed that several of the drawings say “Double LP” or “Double AWOL Bombe?” (which, when read aloud, sounds like a lot like “Double Album”).

In terms of new music, Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel have certainly been “AWOL” (a military acronym for Away Without Leave) and the mention of the word “Bombe” could be a reference to the code-breaking machines used by British cryptologists to decipher the German Enigma codes during World War II.

But whether these clues are indicating new music from Neutral Milk Hotel remains to be seen. The band has not released an album since 1998’s critically acclaimed In The Aeroplane Over The Sea and when asked on tour, Mangum said multiple times that there would be no new music from the band.

Here’s what we do know:

Many of the drawings contain the phrase “Stage Magicicada Cassini Huygens” and reference elephants.

The Magicicada is a type of “periodical cicada” that emerges from hibernation roughly every 13 and 17 years. It was roughly 17 years ago that Neutral Milk Hotel stopped touring the first time. According to Wikipedia, Brood VI is expected to re-emerge in the summer of 2017 in northern Georgia. (The Elephant 6 Collective originally hailed from Athens, Ga.)

Then there’s the possible connection to Cicada 3301, a series of complex cryptographic puzzles that may have been designed by the intelligence community to recruit codebreakers. The Washington Post called it one of the internet’s eeriest unsolved mysteries and described it as “a kind of internet scavenger hunt that relies on advanced code-breaking—and a working knowledge of things like obscure medieval literature and Mayan numerology—to unlock progressive clues. Who’s behind the puzzle is unclear, although many enthusiasts believe it’s a large, well-funded and shadowy organization trying to recruit into its membership. At this rate, we may never know.”

The Cassini-Huygens is an unmanned spacecraft launched by NASA in 1997 to explore Saturn. It’s expected to end its mission in September of this year. Many of the drawings include images of what appear to be ringed planets in front of the figures, numbered first, second and third, but the third planet is always depicted with two rings. Some have interpreted these as representing Neutral Milk Hotel’s albums, the first two being single LPs, and a clue for a forthcoming third double LP.

But there’s been much debate on Reddit and the Elephant 6 forums over whether or not these illustrations actually mean new music from Neutral Milk Hotel and Mangum, or something else.

They could be indicating a live album compilation from various tours (one drawing says “NY To SF,” while another says “1997 Chris Knox” referring to the member of the Tall Dwarfs that Mangum played with in 1998 and covered for a benefit record in 2009), or the drawings could be generating hype for the already-recorded but yet-to-be-released final album from another Elephant 6 band that Mangum was involved with, the Olivia Tremor Control. One drawing includes the phrase “Over The Countersign” scrawled on the back, leading some fans to interpret it as a clue for new music from that band since the first letters the words: O.T.C.

The lead singer of Olivia Tremor Control, Bill Doss, unfortunately passed away in 2012, but not before reportedly completing the recording of his vocal tracks for the final OTC album, The Same Place. The album was expected to be released in 2014, but it never materialized and there’s been no word on its status since a 2013 forum post by Bill’s widow.

Has Mangum taken the reigns and put finishing touches on the final Olivia Tremor Control record?

A leaked track list for The Same Place found online has only 11 songs that are rumored to be on that album but The Book Cipher drawings seem to indicate that whatever is coming from Mangum could include a total of 28 tracks, with seven per side. Each arm of the figures is segmented into seven pieces, and several of the drawings feature numbered lines extending from the hands of the figures up toward a series of seven concentric circles that look like tracks on a record.

Just recently, the mystery deepened when an image of the latest drawing appeared online. While similar to many of the others in the series, this one includes a series of three- and five-digit numbers written in the empty spaces. The three-digit numbers are all from one to 100, while the five-digit numbers are between 1,300 and 7,400. It looks very much like a code. Arrows point to the numbers 5-6-7 and 7-6-5 on the arms of the figure (which also bear resemblance to the rotors on a cryptographic machine).

Book Ciphers are codes created using a book as the cryptographic key. Numbers might correspond to pages or words to reveal a message. Are these new numbers on the latest drawing the “page numbers” of a book? So far, there have been no theories put forth as to what book the key could be.

The drawing also includes the words Angel and Echo—an Angel Echo is a term defined as “A radar echo from a region where there are no visible targets; may be caused by insects, birds, or refractive index variations in the atmosphere,” possibly a further reference to the Magicicada.

Whatever Mangum is trying to tell us, it seems to indicate new music on the horizon. I just hope we don’t have to solve the puzzle before we get it.

—Edward Fairchild

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In The News: David Bazan, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Dave Davies, Mark Lanegan, Ha Ha Tonka, Sondre Lerche, Craig Finn, Six By Seven And More

David Bazan has announced the March 7 release of his new album, Care, via Undertow. He’ll be playing several festivals around the U.S. this spring … Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits is a best-of album from Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, due out from Fat Wreck Chords on April 7. The band is currently touring Europe, with a North American tour to follow this spring … Partisan rds will issue Death Song, the latest release from the Black Angels, on April 21 … The new album from the Kinks’ Dave Davies and his son Russ Davies, Open Road, will be available March 31 … On April 28, the Mark Lanegan Band will release its latest LP, Gargoyle, via Heavenly … Bobby Darin And Johnny Mercer’s 1961 collaborative effort, Two Of A Kind, will be reissued as an expanded edition by Omnivore on March 24 … Snow is the first new record from the New Year in nine years, set for an April 28 release via Undertow … Bloodshot has announced the March 10 release of Heart-Shaped Mountain, the latest album from Ha Ha Tonka … The fifth full-length from Cory Brannan, Adios, is due out from Bloodshot on April 7 … March 17 will see the release of Gary Clark Jr.’s second live album, Live North America 2016, on Warner Bros. … Flatfoot 56’s seventh studio album, Odd Boat, is set for an April 28 release from Sailor’s Grave … Hopeless Romantic, the latest record from Michelle Branch, will be available from Verve on April 7 … UMe will issue Hits And Pieces: The Best Of Marc Almond And Soft Cell, a compilation album featuring the career of Marc Almond, on March 10 … Gnomonsong will release Tara Jane O’Neil’s new, self-titled album on April 21 … The new Sondre Lerche album, Pleasure, is set for an April 14 release. The singer is currently touring his home country of Norway, with a North American tour to follow … On March 24, the third solo album from Craig Finn, We All Want The Same Things, will be available from Partisan … Six By Seven will reissue its 2000 album, The Closer You Get, with an additional LP of Peel Sessions and b-sides, as well as a greatest-hits CD, from Beggars Arkive on February 17 … From Where I Started is Sera Cahoone’s fourth release, due out from Hearth Music on March 24 … Relapse will release Obituary’s self-titled 10th studio album on March 17 … The first two albums from Pinback, 1999’s Some Voices and 2003’s Offcell, will be released on vinyl for the first time March 17 as Some Offcel Voices … On April 14, the first new album from Fionn Regan in five years, The Meetings Of The Waters, via his own imprint 常に愛 TSUNENI AI/Abbey.

—Emily Costantino

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