MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 25 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Tied To A Star by J Mascis.
J Mascis’ Tied to a Star, the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut 'Several Shades of Why'. The album, led by the songs “Every Morning” and “Wide Awake,” was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA.

'Tied to a Star' also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Exclusive pink vinyl available to independent
retailers.

The legacy of North Carolina’s Ashrae Fax seems destined to be appreciated in retrospect, in no small part given to the tremendous power of the group’s 2003 release Static Crash!, reissued twice from its initial CD-R run before appearing on Mexican Summer last year.

The Goth/ethereal duo of vocalist Renée Mendoza and producer/guitarist Alex Chesney had built a long, strange and mostly undocumented legacy prior to that release, and Never Really Been Into It extends the tale back even further: ten songs, sketched out in the late ‘90s, most of which were never completed and remained unheard until now.

Rescued from a shoebox of ephemera from the band’s earliest days, when Mendoza and guitarist Alex Chesney drifted out of high school and into the uncertainties of early adulthood, these songs were the product of a band whose members had nothing but time and ambition, influence and desire to transcend their humble beginnings. Pieced together and re-recorded in 2013 by Renée in her home studio, from mere stems and forgotten takes preserved on decades-old minidisc recordings, the songs reflect disquiet, uncertainty, absolute beauty, along teenage obsessions with The Cocteau Twins and The Cure, refracted through the lens of latter-day experience – pristine musicianship, gorgeous vocals, cryogenically frozen until now. Had these songs been properly released when initially conceived. First new record in over 10 years

For Fans of: Lush, This Mortal Coil, The Cure

Over the last decade and a half they've built a trove of eight full length albums, well over a dozen compilation appearances, digital-only rarity releases and multiple singles; a feat that many modern bands would certainly find daunting. They've impressively managed to grow this lengthy body of work whilst building a solid underground fanbase in the USA, aided by extensive touring with old psyche buddies: THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE & THE LILYS whilst still remaining solidly underground, cult band.

The A4 sound is a hypnotic hybrid of several different genres filtered through the kaleidoscope of all things psychedelic, "Krautrock", "Shoegaze", folk and even 70s "Cosmic" country rock and despite never shying away from wearing their influences squarely on their sleeves, it’s their longevity that has matured them to the point of originality rather than simply homage. It is that same longevity that has enabled them to do whatever they want, when they want, allowing them the freedom to experiment, which certainly makes up the foundation for anything truly "psychedelic".

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl.

Bitchin Bajas

Bitchin Bajas

    Bitchin Bajas have been around the world in five years, chasing sonics through space and time and coming up with a lot of conclusions along their discographical path. Always they push forward, recklessly consuming processes in order to realize their own works - but the sound and the music regularly emerges with tranquil essence, bringing them and their listeners into a shared experience.

    Bitchin Bajas’ output has been remarkably diverse in search of this singular goal, which makes for great listening across multiple albums. With the release of this new album they have mapped and traversed their own ecosystem as they journey in search of the aural epiphany, the true unknowing.

    Bitchin Bajas use their many methods to attain perfect flow throughout the 76 minutes of this self-titled album. Acoustic is the beginning. Eastern tonalities relocate Bitchin Bajas farther inside the source, finding the timeless time from long ago and slowly sliding via fader until then is now, until acoustic goes analogue.

    The space found on ‘Bitchin Bajas’ was located with organ, synthesizer, winds, xylophone and autoharp, employing a 1” 8-track tape machine to the fullest extent. Additional contributions from strings, keys, guitar and field recordings helped make ‘Bitchin Bajas’ everything that it is.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xCassette Info: The trip through ‘Bitchin Bajas’ took in all kinds of sonic terrain. When it was done, an additional mix was made, omitting the intense peaks of the album to create a ‘Relaxation Version’. This mix has been added to the cassette version only, making a double tape set.

    2008's 'London Zoo' is where the Bug's Kevin Martin found his true voice. Pulling the fringes into a collective, unilaterally hateful assault. A psychological warfare driven by bass that on one hand captured a moment of London, yet also encapsulated a global message influenced by years of timeless and classic out-music.

    Martin's latest offering, 'Angels & Devils', escapes the 'London Zoo' cage, drawing on it for influence yet blowing it up into a world-view now seen from Kevin Martin's new Berlin home. A record that simultaneously draws on 'London Zoo', completes a triptych cycle which started with his Bug debut 'Pressure', and fills the spaces between and inserts what was missing previously. Both a year zero re-set and a continuation of what has been. Like the Bowie / Eno classic 'Low', or Can's 'Tago Mago', the album is split into two distinct themes and explorations of light & dark. Bringing the angel & devil voices together under a single common banner. Antagonist at times, but not solely for the sake of being antagonistic, there's a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic. Truly only The Bug could find the common ground between Liz Harris (of Grouper) and Death Grips and make it seamless. 'Angels & Devils' stretches the polarity of its predecessor in both directions simultaneously and is even more extreme for its new found seductiveness and added intensity. Deep space is explored, and physical assault is administered. In these days of YouTube quick fixes, and single tune memory spans, its a joy to witness Martin actually charting a cohesive narrative that rejoices in celebrating life through sonic sex and violence, beauty and ugliness. This is an audio thriller that delights in pursuing its own singular path / vision.

    With the 'Angel' side(s) up first, things kick off with Liz Harris (of Grouper) in the submerged lushness that is "Void". Followed by contributions from ex-Hype Williams half copeland ("Fall"), the blissed out patois of touring partner Miss Red ("Mi Lost"), two truly zoned Bug instrumentals, and rounded out by Gonjasufi on "Save Me". It's a collection of heady, dubbed out cinematic blissfulness with a lurking darkness before giving way to devils...

    'Devils' leads off with the return of long time collaborator Flowdan on the mic and the guitar of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh / Jesu) bringing a complete about face to the proceedings and setting the tone with "The One". Roll Deep's Manga steps up next with the instant Bug classic "Function", which is being currently smashed on dubplate, by Mala, Kahn and Logan Sama. Death Grips raise the antagonistic bar with "Fuck A Bitch". Flowdan & Justin Broadrick come back for the cinematic death crawl of "Fat Mac". Warrior Queen steps in for hands down the nastiest vocal she's ever delivered (which is saying a lot) for "Fuck You", and finally Flowdan steps up again to round it all off with a Devils battle cry of sorts "dirty, fuck that murky...".

    The concept is completed by the artistic expression it's packaged in, courtesy of Simon Fowler (Cataract). Known for his work for Sunn O))), Earth, and others, Simon has delivered a stunning hand drawn illustration, that sort that would make Bosch proud, showing the duality of the proceedings.

    By The Sea are a modern pop outfit influenced by the classic British 1980s new wave and indie scene, where the jangle of Stone Roses meets the melodicism of ‘Ocean Rain’-era Echo & The Bunnymen.

    The emphasis here is on substance and structure. An album that equals more than the sum of its parts, this is a record you will want to get lost in.

    For fans of The Horrors, Toy, Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order, Felt, The Wake, Bill Ryder- Jones, The Coral.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Vinyl format limited to 300 copies.

    Cold Specks, aka Al Spx, has returned, two years and a world map of tours after 2012’s ‘I Predict A Graceful Expulsion’.

    Hailed as a masterful and wholly original debut, the follow-up is radically expanded. The 26 year-old Canadian singer, under the sobriquet Al Spx, began work on Neuroplasticity while holed-up in a cottage in Wick, Somerset during the winter of 2012.

    The album was recorded at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango and Toronto’s Revolution Recordings studios and produced by Jim Anderson and mixed by Anderson and Ben Hillier (Blur, Depeche Mode).

    When Cold Specks wasn’t writing or touring she was pin-balling between asks from an enviable roll call of collaborators and award panels. Shortlisted for the Juno Award and Polaris Prize, Spx also worked on Moby’s album and was invited to play with Joni Mitchell at the singer’s 70th birthday last year, alongside the likes of Herbie Hancock.

    She also contributed to Ambrose Akinmusire’s new record for Blue Note and the latest Swans album ‘To Be Kind’. These last two partnerships have left a significant impression on ‘Neuroplasticity’. The indomitable Swans founder Michael Gira appears on ‘Exit Plan’ and Akinmusire joins him on the holocaust of a closer ‘A Season Of Doubt’, as well as permeating most of the record with trumpet lines of an anguished, cracking frailty.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Limited vinyl pressing includes art print.

    Cymbals Eat Guitars

    LOSE - Bonus Disc Edition

    INITIAL COPIES OF BOTH CD AND VINYL FORMATS INCLUDE A BONUS 4 TRACK CD ('LOOSE') OF LIVE TRACKS.

    “A cosmic, philosophical treatise disguised as an indie rock record.” – Pitchfork.

    “Wanna wake up wanting to listen to records / But those old feelings elude me / I raise a toast to the rock n' roll ghost,” sings Cymbals Eat Guitars frontman Joseph D’Agostino on the hyper-adrenalized “XR,” which sounds like a Tonight’s the Night outtake recorded at triple speed, with its braying harmonica and spitfire vocal delivery. It’s the track that perhaps best captures the spirit of the band’s third LP, LOSE, one of coping with abject loss and grief by rediscovering what you’ve always loved, as difficult as it may be—the redemptive power of music. For D’Agostino, this entailed coming to terms with his best friend and musical collaborator Benjamin High, who passed away suddenly seven years ago, just as Cymbals Eat Guitars began recording in earnest.

    “LOSE is a very apropos title because it refers not only to losing Ben, but also it's about a sort of nostalgia, a longing for a time when music meant everything to you and your friends, and it seemed like one great rock record could change everyone's life the way it changed yours,” says D’Agostino. “It's about being in mourning for your long-held belief that music could literally change the world. That's the contradiction at the heart of LOSE... You're disillusioned, but somehow you can do nothing else but rail against that feeling mightily and try, once again, to make a record that makes you and everyone else ‘wake up wanting to listen to records’.” And indeed, the band, rounded out by bassist Matthew Whipple, keyboardist Brian Hamilton, and drummer Andrew Dole, alongside producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile), do little wallowing.

    This is a raucous affair, an Irish Wake, ultimately rooted in nothing less than a celebration of just being alive. What’s perhaps most impressive about LOSE is the manner in which D’Agostino comes clean with his emotions, tackling seemingly ineffable mourning without equivocation. “There are no $5 words that you'll have to pull up dictionary.com for... some of the lyrics are directly confessional. Very open, no obfuscation,” he explains. “I lost my dear friend a while ago and I've sort of been addressing it in song for most of my career, though you probably couldn't really tell until now. It’s just a direct expression of grief. I figured if I confronted it head-on on record it'd make for some interesting music.”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Pink vinyl.

    Brighton’s Dark Horses once again team up with the ever talented Richard Fearless (Death In Vegas) for their latest sonic offering, ‘Hail Lucid State’.

    The band have recently completed a summer national tour supporting The Dandy Warhols and extensive tours throughout 2014 as handpicked support for the likes of Beck, Sigur Ros, Tame Impala, Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

    A pioneering blend of Siouxsie & The Banshees meets T-Rex. Urgent, catchy, and irresistible.

    “From the hearts and minds of people who believe that music must be more than background noise, that it must matter” - NME

    “A series of lullabies underpinned by synths and slow, droning bass-lines, befits the mythological symbolism and imagery that accompanies it” - Dazed & Confused

    “Dark Horses succeed in creating their own world. Not since The Horrors debuted have we seen so much attention to visual detail” - Mojo

    “The best band outta Brighton” - Nick Cave

    “A homage to power driven rock ‘n’ roll in its purest form” - The Line Of Best Fit

    Produced by Charlie Hugall (Florence And The Machine, Ed Sheeran), Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand) and Peter Miles (We Are The Ocean, Futures, The King Blues) and with arrangements and strings from Valgeir Sigurðsson (Sigur Ros, Bjork), the resulting 10-track album is bold, expansive, confident and cohesive - a genuine step-up in both diversity and volume from their critically acclaimed debut, Shallow Bed, which was released in March 2012.

    Eno - Hyde

    High Life - Indies Vinyl Exclusive Print Edition

    The collaboration between Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, two of UK’s most highly respected and influential electronic musicians, continues with second full-length record, ‘High Life’.

    In the short amount of time since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Someday World’, which also included an incredible ‘Later ... With Jools Holland’ performance, a Live From Maida Vale Session and an augmented reality iOS app, the creation of ‘High Life’ was written and recorded over a series of sessions. None of the music on ‘High Life’ existed before ‘Someday World’ was complete.

    The experiment drew inspiration from the repetitive minimalism of composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass and from the polyrhythmic music of Fela Kuti and funk, as well as continuing the work that Eno and Hyde have done separately.

    The resulting album - six expansive tracks over 45 minutes - reunites Eno and Hyde with 20 year old producer / multi instrumentalist Fred Gibson, guitarist Leo Abrahams and drummer Chris Vatalaro.

    “When ‘Someday World’ was finished I felt like we were still on a roll and I wasn’t ready to stop working and get into ‘promotional mode’ for that record. So I suggested we immediately start on another album, a different one, where we extended some of the ideas we’d started and attempted some of the ideas we hadn’t.” - Brian Eno

    “I wanted to work with a stripped down set of equipment... For this album I was very keen for Brian to live process my guitar playing so that we would be affecting one another’s performance, bouncing off each other, inspiring new combinations of polyrhythms.” - Karl Hyde

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLtd LP Info: Available exclusively to independent retailers as a 2LP in gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves, download code and deluxe art print.

    Pre-order the E&TC album "Closing Time" for a chance of winning an extremely limited (5 in the world) test pressing version of the album.

    When unassuming young Orkney music-maker Erland Cooper picked up his guitar and travelled the length of the country to play a show in London’s Notting Hill, little did he know that a chance encounter with musical veteran Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad & The Queen, and Gorillaz) would be the start of a unique songwriting friendship. Together they formed Erland & The Carnival and now, nearly a decade later, arrives Closing Time - the band’s third, most accomplished album yet.

    Opening a new chapter, Closing Time is an understated, inward looking collection of songs that feature stunning string arrangements and Erland’s impassioned vocals at centre stage. But rather than the modern folk adaptations of traditional songs, children’s poems, and ancient literature on the band’s earlier albums or the pair’s recent conceptual folklore project The Magnetic North, this time the band tell tales of a more personal nature. “Previously we didn’t know what we wanted to say or how to say it and would use stories and direct references to help us get to a place we could feel secure,” admits Simon. Erland adds; “in making this record we discarded an album’s worth of material that sounded like the first two albums. We wanted to make something different – doing another Jackson C Frank cover wasn’t an option.”

    Originally bonding over Jackson C Frank’s song ‘My Name is Carnival’ after his show all those years ago, Erland was first approached by Simon with a view to recording for his Butterfly folk label. The next day they were recording Frank’s song in the studio together and by the end of the session a band had formed. “It’s hard to find people who you instantly click with and Erland was one of those people,” tells Simon. “He’s very driven and will get out of bed in the morning which is half the battle sometimes.” Closing Time is the very first time the listener can truly hear the wholly collaborative process that is Erland & The Carnival. Lyrical and musical duties have always been shared, yet here the combined creativity of the pair’s working friendship is only solidified with Erland taking a more ‘hands on’ approach to production, and the strings, brought about by the album’s unashamed twisted and selfish love song ‘Quiet Love’, scored by Simon before being recorded by a quartet in his living room one afternoon.

    Recorded in Damon Albarn’s studio13 with previous Erland & The Carnival engineer Steve Sedgewick and mixed by London Grammar producer Tim Bran, despite creating more than 40 songs in the process of writing the album (“Some of the song melodies and ideas on this may have even been written when I was 21 to be honest. ‘Sometimes’ certainly was,” admits Erland), it was a brilliantly spontaneous and productive time taking just over 3 days to come to fruition. “We learnt to be incredibly disciplined” tells Simon. “It feels like pruning a tree – when you cut away the needless and weaker branches, what you get is something much fresher and stronger coming through.”

    Hinterhof / Play For Today

    Split 45

      This one’s a rare excursion into 7” territory for Deep Distance following a bunch of sold out 12s and full lengths from the likes of Umberto, NWW’s Colin Potter and Tim Gane’s new ‘Cavern of Anti-Matter’ project. A split 45, airing debuts from Berlin’s HINTERHOF and the shadowy world of Camberwell based synth dabblers PLAY FOR TODAY.

      Hinterhof don the white Lab coats for the icy sci-fi pop blast of “Molecular Love with a Molecular Sound”. All bubbling moogs and buzzing electronics topped with the cool vocals of Lollie Barr.

      If the reverse might be described as a kind of uptempo space age pop, Play for Today brings things down a few shades with the colder, more industrial synth tone and drone of “Golden Kids (What’s Going On?)”. Think darker Fad Gadget, early Cabs- a more angular, darker piece more in keeping with an early Mute 45 than it’s double A side here- yet it’s that dark and light aspect that makes the single such a winner.

      As ever with Deep Distance it arrives handsomely packaged, orange wax in cool company bags and inserts. A pressing of 500 expected to sell out pretty quickly….

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 7" Info: Orange vinyl pressing of 500 copies only.

      The History Of Apple Pie

      Out Of View

      ‘Out Of View’, recorded in London over the last few months, was self produced by guitarist Jerome Watson, mixed by Charles ‘Chicky’ Reeves and engineered by Joshua Third of The Horrors, who also adds his unique guitar sound to the albums closer ‘Before You Reach The End’. Released on Limited vinyl and CD the new album features 10 tracks including their critically acclaimed and sold out singles ‘Do It Wrong’, ‘Mallory’ and last years debut ‘You’re So Cool’.

      ‘Out Of View’ sees the band take expansive and very exciting leaps with the new recordings. The infectious fuzzy pop sound of those early singles has been crafted and developed and they have taken the guitar aesthetic of their heroes - Sonic Youth, Radiohead and Blur, into new and glorious terrorties. Expect more tales of medicated teenage heartache and the psychedelic rain of slacker-genius guitar chops from Jerome’s home made pedal board, but the band have really come of age and the result is a truly memorable and exhilarating guitar pop album.

      London based and formed just over eighteen months ago, The History Of Apple Pie line up is centered around the songwriting partnership of Stephanie Min (Vocals) and Jerome Watson (Guitar) together with Kelly Owens (Bass), James Thomas (Drums) and Aslam Ghauri (Guitar). A truly great and exciting live band, they quickly built up an ever growing fanbase of critics, punters and fellow musicians alike.

      They’ve already played over seventy shows both here and in Europe including numerous festival spots, a sold-out show for HMV’s Next Big Thing, ‘The Roundhouse Rising’, main support for both The Drums and Male Bonding and being hand picked by Graham Coxon to support him at his recent London show. As well as the aforementioned three sold out singles, they also recently released a split 12” with the similarly inclined talents of Gross Magic, Novella and Echo Lake.

      Devonté Hynes

      Palo Alto: Original Motion Picture Score

      Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange, has created his first original score for the feature length film ‘Palo Alto’ from writer-director Gia Coppola. Based on several linked stories by James Franco, ‘Palo Alto’ is a teenage romance for the ages, made indelible through its ensemble cast (James Franco, Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin).

      Hynes wrote and performed the entire score along with guest vocals by Samantha Urbani and additional instrumentation by Jason Arce. Not to be confused with 'Palo Alto (Music From The Motion Picture)', which Hynes' title theme, along with other artists' music.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Indies only mauve vinyl pressing.

      Invisible Familiars

      Clever Devil / Digger's Invitation

        ‘Clever Devil’ is the first single to be taken from ‘Disturbing Wildlife’, the forthcoming debut full length from Invisible Familiars, aka Jared Samuel, a New York City-based songwriter and multiinstrumentalist who has long made his living playing music, supporting a variety of NYC artists and now stepping out on his own.

        ‘Clever Devil’ was recorded with producer / musician Michael Leonhart (Yoko Ono, David Byrne, Steely Dan) and is all at once snaky and vivid, with Samuel’s acoustic guitar and mysterious, breathy melodies complemented by ear-candy flourishes of buzzing synths, electronics and a guest spot from Stuart Bogie (Antibalas) on saxophone.

        Non-album B-side ‘Digger’s Invitation’ shows the band’s more rocking side and was specially recorded for this single with Jared and Invisible Familiars core members Robbie Manga on guitar and Tim Kuhl on drums.

        Legendary Melvins front man Buzz Osborne releases solo, acoustic full-length.

        What started as a trio of kids making their own weird noise grew into the Melvins, a sludge-rock outfit that helped usher in the grunge era and influenced countless bands to come, including Mudhoney and Nirvana.

        For more than three decades, Buzz Osborne and bassist-drummer Dale Crover have been the only consistent members, experimenting with their music as well as their bandmates along the way: two drummers here, a standup bassist there, the return of a founding member who’s been gone for 29 years.

        King Buzzo: “My main goal was to not fall prey to what happens to most rock people who do this,” he said from his home in Los Angeles. “They often end up sounding like a half-assed version of Woody Guthrie or a half-assed version of James Taylor. That’s not what I wanted.”

        “You gotta understand, I wrote a lot of this stuff on acoustic guitar anyway,” he said. “I’ve certainly written a lot of songs [acoustically] that were then translated into the full band.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: Limited gatefold album.

        Mark Lanegan Band

        No Bells On Sunday

          Mark Lanegan Band release a new EP, ‘No Bells On Sunday’, followed by studio album ‘Phantom Radio’.

          The album title stems from a lyric in ‘Smokestack Magic’, which features on this EP.

          The ‘No Bells On Sunday’ EP is five songs written during the same period as ‘Phantom Radio’ but which were, in Mark’s judgment, “too goofy” to fit with the rest. “I’m less apt to throw away a song that might be a little weird nowadays. I can make it work with whatever I’ve got going.”

          Leisure Birds

          Tetrahedron

            Third up for Augusts’ trio of new Deep Distance releases is the incredible new full length from Minneapolis based Leisure Birds, the mighty “Tetrahedron”. A shared release whereby Moon Glymph and Totally Gross National Product handle to rest of the world but where Deep Distance proudly helps out for the UK. The band sent the LP to the label here and we were so blown away by it that even at the 11th hour, we wanted to help out. The result is a micro edition of 100 copies for the UK so to move fast is most definitely advised. Here’s some press bumph:-

            “While much of modern psych seems to be stalled in a bygone era, Minneapolis-based Leisure Birds look squarely at the future. Their synth-driven grooves may evoke hazy memories of Krautrock and 1970s experimentation, but their aesthetic shies from the predictable shuffle that consumes current Psychedelic music. Leisure Birds strip away the trappings that made an old genre tired.

            As Weed Temple writes: “Leisure Birds brings back the hope in the existence and future of psychedelic rock.”

            Following the releases of LPs Copper Scroll (Totally Gross National Product, 2010) and Globemaster (Moon Glyph, 2012), Leisure Birds continue their outward trajectory with the release of their third LP, Tetrahedron, a co-release by Moon Glyph, Totally Gross National Product and Deep Distance in the UK. Using simple melody, hypnotic rhythm and highly constructed analog synthesis, Tetrahedron constructs a world on the edge of fiction and reality”.

            “too gorgeous of a sci-fi wonderfuck for you to be reading words about.” Decoder Magazine.

            “What psychedelic music will sound like in ten years” Bong Magazine France

            This truly is a wonderful album and although we here at DD can offer only a small amount of the pressing, we do urge you to move fast. 100 copies in gatefold sleeves, with the 100 copy Deep Distance edition featuring cover mounted sticker, hand numbered inserts and download code wrapped up in a cool gatefold sleeve. Get on it!

            First gaining notoriety with the LPs Children of Desire (2012), which Pitchfork hailed for its “glistening and emotive, ear-bleeding noise pop”, and then Totale Nite (2013), which NME likened to “a cultural jump-start” in their 9/10 review; Merchandise continue their ascent with the highly-anticipated new album, After The End.

            Drawing from too many places to be classified punk, they’ve certainly been informed by its ethics, earning all they’ve achieved. Still self-recording and producing their music, this time over a six month period in the house they share in Tampa, After The End is a real achievement in showing what bands can achieve themselves. The only outside influence this time came when they enlisted mixing help from Gareth Jones, the man famed for his work on Depeche Mode’s Berlin Trilogy of Construction Time Again, Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration, and more recently Interpol, These New Puritans and Grizzly Bear.

            As the album’s title suggests, Merchandise are still evolving. With this record, they’ve expanded ranks with Carson Cox (vocals / guitar), David Vassalotti (guitar) and Patrick Brady (bass), now being joined by Chris Horn (guitar / keys / sax) and Elsner Nino (drums).

            Speaking to the NME earlier this year, Carson said “Totale Nite was the end of the book. This is a whole new one. It's like we can start a new band with basically the same name. We've already exploded our reality – now we're going to re-make ourselves as a pop band, but it'll still be a twisted reality.” He’s kept to his word, the album is made up of ten tracks spread across a mean 45 minutes.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: Initial pressing on green vinyl.

            Nate Lacy spent the years since his teens exploring his inner world and his connection with the universe at large. These days, Lacy is focusing his gaze further outward, exploring what he calls “the infinite and the infinitesimal,” while also keeping lyrical watch on the crossroads where our digital future and our pastoral past bump up against each other. Few are the artists who are able to bring such thorny and thoughtful issues to bear in their music, but that is just one of the many reasons that ‘Eons’, the new album from Mimicking Birds, is so very special.

            How this comes out through Lacy is in toothsome lyrics that are filled to bursting with imagery, philosophical questions, and deep personal concerns. That he finds ways to tie these concepts together without losing his way or our fascination with them is a testament to his songwriting prowess.

            The rest of the band, Aaron Hanson and Adam Trachsel, remain connected, emphasizing fingerpicked acoustic guitars, the sturdy tones of a stand-up bass, and restrained drums, while pushing into the future as well.

            ‘Eons’ feels as expansive as its title thanks to the help of producer Jeremy Sherrer (The Gossip, 1776), weaving gorgeous electronic textures into the songs - listen for the skittering programmed beat that helps carry ‘Owl Hoots’ forward, or the swells of keyboards that pull closing track ‘Movin’ On’ towards an 80s pop sunrise.

            Mozart’s Sister - the solo project of Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant she started back in early 2011 - delights in making glittering, celebratory pop with an underlying strain of brittle, claustrophobic energy. By marrying the accessible with the decidedly off-kilter, she displays a similar vigor and charisma to female contemporaries Grimes and tUnE-yArDs, both of whom too learned their trade among the same fertile hometown scene as her.

            Since attracting a ton of buzz for her entrancing live shows and for first EP ‘Hello’, Mozart’s Sister has been head-down in her bedroom writing her debut album. For anyone who’s been following her work - and for new listeners - ‘Being’ is Mozart’s Sister expressing macrocosmic ideas about life with panache and abundant hooks.

            Inspired by ‘Discovery’-era Daft Punk, ‘Post’-era Bjork, and Betty Davis, Caila produced, recorded and wrote the album using a cheap soundcard and Ableton software, approaching it with a do-it-all-by-myself ideology.

            Being is fundamentally a pop record. If you’re looking to catalogue her music more than that, you’re going to have a hard time; Caila describes Being as an intentionally fractured album. “It was far reaching. Things didn’t always connect, but that was part of the whole idea,” she says. Which is representative of the best music, and maybe the best of life: looking for order in chaos, not always finding it, and living with whatever happens next.

            God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray. The music takes centre stage and many songs resemble in their musical aspect the other work of Stuart Murdoch and Belle and Sebastian. The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow and is released theatrically by Amplify Releasing.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xLP Info: 180gram Vinyl LP + Download Card. Double Gatefold Album.

            Jordan Lee has spent the last few years bouncing around the indie underground. From Ohio, to Texas, to Boston and Brooklyn, running the wonderful Kassette Klub label, touring with his friends’ bands and leading an amorphous project called Mutual Benefit, a one-man-band or a sprawling collective, depending on where he is and who is around that day.

            He released his debut album, ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’, last year, a self-release on cassette that, on the strength of a Bandcamp posting, had blogs blowing up with praise for the record. It became clear that ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’ needed a wider release. Other Music Recording Co. were thrilled to step in, not a moment too soon as the album became the first ever Bandcamp release to be named Pitchfork’s Best New Music, while still almost totally unavailable to a wider audience. Since its release proper in January, Mutual Benefit has been touring the world non-stop.

            That brings us to The Cowboy's Prayer, the mini album that marginally preceded ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’, now released for the first time in Europe, as well as the first time on vinyl and CD.

            ‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’ was based loosely on a road trip Jordan Lee took with a friend to Ohio through upstate New York that happened to correspond with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. They ended up getting stuck in a small town for a couple days, the roads blocked with debris and all around them were families grappling with the loss of all their worldly possessions. “One of the few things open in the whole town that first day was a generator-powered Waffle House.” says Jordan. “I had a bit of a hard time processing all the surreal imagery and, upon returning to Boston, was weirdly struck by a sappy Roy Roger’s clip where he recites ‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’. I adapted it to be somewhat of a personal mantra and it really informed the making of this record along with finally working up the courage to live nomadically for a while.”

            ‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’ was the real introduction of the lush orchestral folk sound that many first heard on Mutual Benefit’s breakthrough ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’. Listening to it, it’s hard not to adopt Jordan's mantra and get swept away by the beauty.

            Brill Bruisers is the first new release in four years from the acclaimed supergroup, who have been called, “Virtually peerless in the world of power-pop and indie-rock” by NPR Music. Additionally, the New Yorker describes the band’s music as “Magnificent and clever” while Stereogum proclaims “In recent history, no group has featured so much formidable established talent, collaborating on a regular basis.”

            Of the album, lead-singer and main songwriter AC Newman comments, “This is a celebration record. After periods of difficulty, I am at a place where nothing in my life is dragging me down and the music reflects that. I’m grateful.”

            Produced by band-members John Collin (bass) with Newman, the 12-track album was recorded primarily at Little Blue in Woodstock, NY and at JC/DC Studios in Vancouver B.C. with additional recording in Austin, Brooklyn and Vermont.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: US import splatter vinyl with download code.

            Karen Novotny X

            3 Minutes Over Brussels

              The second of Augusts‘ trio of new Deep Distance releases is most definitely a gift from the gods to yr record collecting fraternity. A playable picture postcard from East London’s favourite shady, mysterious synth heads’ KAREN NOVOTNY X.

              Arriving a couple of years ago completely outta’ the blue with their previously discarded synth experiments recorded in East London between 1978 and ’79 (with debts of gratitude to Chris Carter and Suicide amongst others), the vinyl only collection sold out it’s run of 500 in the blink of an eye on Deep Distance’ parent label The Great Pop Supplement.

              Airing here also for a first time is the wonderful “3 Minutes over Brussels”. A killer instrumental piece displayed to the world via a playable picture postcard featuring more of KN X’s acclaimed collage work in a sealed stickered pack with insert in a pressing of 500.

              Sadly, given the nature of the format, the full audio experience is somewhat flawed but fans of the band are thankfully pointed to the bands’ bandcamp page to fully appreciate the piece.

              Unsurprisingly given the shadowy nature of the groop, the band actually embrace the ultra lo-fi aspect and quirkiness of it’s playback quality which I guess should come as no surprise to fans….

              Looks utterly gorgeous and will no doubt fly, but from a label’s point of view, do check out the bandcamp link- the track really is killer and amongst the best things they’ve done but the sound quality on the card itself isn‘t the best….

              Ned Oldham

              Further Gone

                Two new songs and just the second solo release from Ned Oldham, who’s been recording music for more than two decades now, first with Palace, then as The Anomoanon, later as Old Calf.

                Simple songs rooted in folk and bluegrass and presented in a swirl of psychedelia. Music forged in history, created in the present and timeless in sound.

                Piccadilly Records

                Logo T-Shirt - Heather Navy

                  The latest Piccadilly Records T-Shirt featuring our new logo, complete with snazzy 'PICCADILLYRECORDS.COM - MANCHESTER' sleeve print.

                  Printed on a Gildan Softstyle Adult Ringspun heather navy T-Shirt.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  L Info: To fit chest size 42/44".

                  M Info: To fit chest size 38/40".

                  S Info: To fit chest size 34/36".

                  XL Info: To fit chest size 46/48".

                  Encapsulating their ferocious, bluesy bass and drums groove, ‘Come On Over’ blisters with an immediate intensity that matches their recent breakthrough singles ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘Little Monster’.

                  The album is a mixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that provides intricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. Royal Blood are the result of a lineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers. Their ferocious attack is the result of just two men – vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: White Stripes meets Black Keys: result!

                  THE SEGALL HAS LANDED. And it’s fully loaded, with everything that Ty Segall (and you and me) are gonna need in the world to come. Heads up! It’s coming down fast. Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, TY is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout 'Twins' and 'Sleeper'. And now more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image . . . picking up speed . . . . Still fighting the power with all the energy that a determined mind-patriot can conjure, Ty’s a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty — like you, he’ll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it — and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up 'Manipulator'. Sour-sweet declarations featuring freaks and creeps alike: 'The Singer', 'The Faker', 'Mister Main', 'Susie Thumb' the 'Connection Man' and 'The Crawler', to name but a mutant fistful.

                  To see these peeps, to realize their dreams and visions, TY kept working, kept writing, laying down more tracks than ever. New musical expressions pop and surprise relentlessly throughout all the knockout tunes of 'Manipulator' with many sounds in the mix — but most of all, SO many guitars! So many. And different kinds of strings — the strangled-neck solo of “The Singer,” recalling the good old days down by the river with Neil. Numbed-and-unplugged discursions spiraling away from the funk on “Mister Main.” Three-quarter quartets raising their din in a few key places. Waves of sparkling acoustics with ominous, Love-ly undertones — and then, torrents of filthy git-grunge, exploding into the chorus, washing everything away, fusing the blackness of Sabbath with the grime and grab-ass of the Stooges and the sweet swinging tones of the Stones. All in the name of getting higher on the music. Why have one guitar solo when you can have a few in the same space? There’s so little time, and a LOT to say. In order to ensure that he got it all out, TY called a few friends to fill in special parts on certain 'Manipulator' songs. He got great touches from Chris Woodhouse (piano, synth & percussion), Sean Paul Presley (vocals), Brit Lauren Manor (vocals), Steve Nutting (drums), Irene Salzer (violin), Jessica Ivry (cello), Matthias McEntire (viola) and the Ty Segall band (Mikal Cronin, Charles Mootheart, Emily Rose Epstein). Plus, Mikal arranged the strings — and everyone played awesomely. The clarion call / siren song of his guitar . . . . clouds of guitar billowing, blood rushing to the head, the temperature going from blue to red . . . . TY’s on a mission, working to change chemistry through music with the steam-lined pop and helium-cooled vocals of 'Manipulator'. These seventeen songs take many forms, as if TY is finally releasing all the thoughts that have been holding him down, that made him pick up the ax to begin with. By the end of 'Manipulator', you’ll feel that he must have chased all the demons — but it’s a big world, and 'Manipulator' has only begun to fight.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: More music. More brilliance. Not many artists can be this prolific and this damn good. His star is rising.

                  The Travelling Band

                  The Big Defreeze

                  Manchester’s finest folkrock superhumans, The Travelling Band, have won hearts and minds wherever they’ve found themselves, combining the strut of refried Southern country with the One Foot On The Monitor mayhem of the EStreet Band. With smatterings of McCartney (the beard years) and Crosby Still & Nash millionpart harmonies, TTB have become firm favourites for people with ears and good hearts.

                  Fans include 6 Music’s Marc Riley (who loves their “shimmering blend of cosmiccountrypop”) and Michael Eavis (who was taken back to his “musical roots” with “marvellous music to savour”), who have lapped up the band’s headynufolk. On the back of LPs like 2008’s ‘Under the Pavement’ and 2011’s ‘Screaming is Something’, it isn’t at all surprising. Whether they’re burrowing away in a recording den on the Isle of Mull, packing out rapturous shows, or kicking off impromptu jam sessions in the middle of a field, The Travelling Band aren’t messing around – music is what makes their blood move. Now, readying their latest offering, ‘The Big Defreeze’ – produced by Iestyn Polson (Patti Smith, David Bowie and more) at the world famous Church Studios in Crouch End, TTB find themselves with their paws firmly on their roots, but growing upwards and outwards too.

                  Never ones to sit still, 2014 could well be the year that sees The Travelling Band really cement their place as the true champions of blissful cosmicpop. Great on record and outstanding onstage, if you haven’t got down with The Travelling Band yet, now is the time, before they disappear on to much larger stages. Fans of Calexico, Iron & Wine, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Frightened Rabbit and Elbow should apply here, for The Travelling Band are the kings of North Country & Western music.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xCD Info: Includes 6 track demo disc.

                  Ltd LP Info: Limited yellow vinyl.

                  White Hills

                  Glitter Glamour Atrocity

                    'Glitter Glamour Atrocity' is a snapshot of the band in the midst of an incredible burst of creativity, and was recorded during the same sessions that produced 'Heads On Fire' and 'Abstractions & Mutations'. Sonically, it is radically different from anything else coming out of the New York underground at the time, and it set the template for the singular concoction of heavy psychedelic music, krautrock, and a worship of pure sound they have explored in different variations ever since.

                    Throughout the album the band explores themes of greed, misinformation, war, hypocrisy and their outcomes within the world’s political and economic systems, presenting these weighty topics with the same air of mystic understanding that underpins their music. Glitter Glamour Atrocity includes the song “Under Skin Or By Name,” the longest running staple in the band’s live set, which the band performed in the acclaimed film Only Lovers Left Alive at the request of director Jim Jarmusch. It is one of only two performances in the movie, which is enamored with the music making process and record collector culture.

                    Following the mood-setting intro track and the meditative bombast of “Under Skin or By Name,” WHITE HILLS settle into the sparse groove of “Spirit of Exile,” an expression of a desire to live apart from a culture that one does not fit into. These songs glow with the burning vitality and passion of free thinkers trapped in the waning years of the Bush administration. Those sentiments are perhaps most compellingly expressed on “Love Serve Remember,” a warped, surreal vision of life after 9/11 seen through the eyes of someone who witnessed the event first-hand, interspersed with a brilliantly edited speech by Bush himself in which he admits “I was a threat to the United States.”

                    Glitter Glamour Atrocity was recorded with the first iteration of the trio line-up with Dave W on vocals, guitar, synthesizers, and sound collage, Ego Sensation on bass and vocals, and Bob Bellomo on drums. It was recorded at Bellomo’s studio in Passaic, NJ, and produced by Dave W.

                    Wild Smiles

                    Never Wanted This

                      Wild Smiles will release their brilliant debut album, ‘Always Tomorrow’, on Sunday Best Recordings.

                      Ahead of this, the fast-rising trio, comprising brothers Chris and Joe Peden with drummer Ben Cook, release their new single ‘Never Wanted This’ in addition to touring throughout the summer.

                      Single includes exclusive B-side ‘Round & Round’, mixed by Mike Pela (The Who, Electric Light Orchestra, Gang of Four).

                      Sargent House is excited to re-issue both of Chelsea Wolfe’s first two albums, The Grime and The Glow and Apokalypsis, on CD and LP for the first time.

                      Chelsea Wolfe's sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk—a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life's darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within. Originally hailing from Northern California, Wolfe's formative years were spent tinkering in her country musician father's home studio, however, she long lacked the confidence to share her work. Then, in 2009, an overseas excursion as part of a nomadic performance troupe ignited her passion for performing and initiated a renewed interest in writing and recording. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into a breathtaking debut album, 2010's The Grime & the Glow. Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern music. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise.

                      Inspired, Wolfe then relocated to Los Angeles and recorded her second album, 2011's Apokalypsis, which found her in an actual studio with her live band. The songs captured therein maintained the strikingly visceral elements of her debut, further showcase Wolfe’s unique songwriting ability, while adding a serious heaviness of sound that balanced eloquently with her transcendent voice. Its release was subsequently met with critical adoration, and rightly landed on numerous best of 2011 lists.

                      Sargent House is excited to re-issue both of Chelsea Wolfe’s first two albums, The Grime and The Glow and Apokalypsis, on CD and LP for the first time.

                      Chelsea Wolfe's sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever-evolving electric folk—a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life's darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within. Originally hailing from Northern California, Wolfe's formative years were spent tinkering in her country musician father's home studio, however, she long lacked the confidence to share her work. Then, in 2009, an overseas excursion as part of a nomadic performance troupe ignited her passion for performing and initiated a renewed interest in writing and recording. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into a breathtaking debut album, 2010's The Grime & the Glow. Marrying the gentle intimacy of folk, the atmospheric voodoo of death rock, and the bleak, sullen nihilism of black metal, Wolfe's sound effectively cast a genre all her own: a cavernous rumble, marked by stuttering drums, ethereal synths, and a wash of guitar, all very much in the service of one of the most hypnotic, celestial voices in modern music. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise.

                      'Annabel Dream Reader' is the debut album from The Wytches, released on Heavenly Recordings on August 25th 2014. Recorded at Toe Rag Studios and co-produced by the band's Kristian Bell and former The Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Limited edition gold vinyl.

                      XL Recordings release ‘Pay Close Attention’, a label history-spanning compilation album. The album documents and celebrates the key releases and moments from the 25 year history of the London-based, independent record label.

                      In the ‘Pay Close Attention’ sleeve notes, XL owner Richard Russell writes: “XL Recordings is a collaborative endeavour, and many people have contributed to its evolution. In the song ‘Out Of Space’, Liam Howlett of The Prodigy provided a blueprint when he sampled Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MC’s rapping these words: “Pay Close Attention”. And whilst XL has never had any outside ownership, Gil Scott-Heron advised me not to even consider XL an “independent”, because everything is connected. Part 1 of this compilation are the roots of XL; underground music, made for DJs. These roots are still growing. Part 2 features some of the singular talents who have taken the label further than we ever envisioned. There is no unifying genre; hopefully the thread of originality is evident though.”

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xCD Info: Two black polycarbonate CDs in a 6 panel digi wallet pack which includes poster insert.

                      4xLP Box Set Info: Deluxe four LP lidded boxset that includes a poster and a bonus 10 track NTSC Region 0 DVD featuring such iconic footage as The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ video, Michel Gondry’s ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’ (for The White Stripes) and Adele performing ‘Someone Like You’ at The Brits.

                      Ample Play Records release a heavy duty collection of Richard Norris’ recent Time And Space Machine remixes. A man of many guises, he has operated as a duo - as The Grid with Dave Ball, as Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve with Erol Alkan - but when it's time for some solo sonic action, he records and remixes as The Time And Space Machine.

                      We find him at it here: 'The Way Out Sound From In', reworking the most cosmic beat combos around into hitherto unheard psychedelic shapes. Warpaint, Jagwar Ma, Temples, Psychemagik, The Sufis and more fall into the Time And Space Machine and come out the other side with wider grins and shinier eyes. Ploughing a similar dancefloor furrow to Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay's A Love From Outer Space sound, Norris revives the late 80s / early 90s tripped-out, cosmic, Balearic-friendly, baggy house sound, which combines well with the psychedelic sounds of the original bands / artists here.  It's The Way Out Sound From In....all aboard.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Andy says: It's all gone a bit Baggy in 'ere! Love it!!


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