Spring Releases

Things have been quiet here for a bit, but we assure you no one has been resting.  We are happy to announce a few new records that we’re putting out that we are super excited about.  Some have been long in gestation, others are simply new statements in line with the last.  We’ll give you a little step by step:

JONAH PARZEN-JOHNSON Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow

Saxophonist/Composer Jonah Parzen-Johnson is one of the most original musicians out there.  He plays solo music, it’s simple, it’s songs, it’s beautiful, it’s challenging.  He sometimes says he wants his music to be like listening to old American folk field recordings.  When you see him live, sometimes the most compelling parts of his performance are his monologues in between songs, which are just as eloquent as his musical compositions.  He’s our favorite kind of artist; honest, simple, innovative, devilishly attractive.  Catch him on tour this summer.


LAND OF LELAND Home/Away Vol. I & II

Land of Leland’s Justin Keller has been a part of Primary Records since day one.  He’s a member of Pony Of Good Tidings, has been a part of Names of War’s live iterations, and now brings us his newest recordings.  Home/Away is a lush, pop-tending collection about leaving his home in New York, living in rural New Hampshire, getting older, confusion, clarity…all the stuff we all deal with and hate to deal with.  It features tons of great musicians as well as Keller’s own multitasking skills.


STEVEN LUGERNER Gravitations Vol. II (feat. Fred Hersch)

Bay area woodwind virtuoso Steven Lugerner has brought us another installment of his Gravitations series.  The concept is that he recorded different musicians improvising and then has gone and composed new material based on and around those improvisations, or gravitations as he calls them.  They are short vignettes that leave you with a personal sense of both musicians and their voices.  The first installment was with Angelo Spagnolo.  This time we hear Lugerner with jazz great, Fred Hersch, with whom Lugerner performed Fred’s ‘My Coma Dreams’.  There is also a visual accompaniment to this new record.  Watch it here.


NAMES OF WAR The Guest Room

Though Andrew Carlson has been performing as Names Of War for a few years, and this album was recorded a while ago, it is just now seeing a release.  There are many reasons, but you could also see it as completely in line with the subject matter of the album and as a more abstract expression of the meaning of the songs.  Carlson says of the record:

“This record is about catharsis. This isn’t to say that this is what makes this collection of songs unique; most music, at least in my experience, is based on some sort of catharsis. However, this album is about a slow one. The kind that comes out of the task of diligently unpacking a decade of repression disguised as compromise, conflict called by other names, and grieving in all its forms. All stemming from a single event, a single question:
What happens to a family when, suddenly, a member of that family is gone?
This record does not answer that question. This record couldn’t really be an answer to the question. This record is one example of the great and terrible things family can be. This record is one example of the stories we tell ourselves about our upbringing; distorted by the act of reflecting on reflecting on a reflection. This record is one attempt at packing all of it back up and handing it over, so that someone might make some use of it, might find some relief in it.”


Andrew is one of our favorite songwriters and a complete artist (he’s as brilliant behind a camera and as an analog color photo printer as he is with music).  We hope you enjoy this album, and our other new releases, as much as we do.