MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 13 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of What For? by Toro Y Moi.
Never one to stand still and fresh from a scheduled intermission whilst working on a dance record as Les Sins, loaning his vocals to Chromeo and starting his own record label, producer, songwriter, singer and melodic mastermind Chaz Bundick is all set to resume his Toro Y Moi guise with brand new album What For? And whilst most would think there were no genres left to play with, the intrepid musical explorer is about to throw one hell of a curve ball into the mix.

“I’ve done electronic R&B and more traditional recorded R&B stuff. I just wanted to see what else was out there,”Bundick says of the record’s new direction. “It’s all coming from the same mindset and point of creativity. It’s just me trying to take what I already have, then taking it further asking, "OK, what can I do now?" or "What haven't I tried yet?"

As mastermind and ringleader of the smeared electronic production sound that defined and established ‘chillwave’ before hipsters rode it within an inch of its life (see 2010’s Causers of This), an explorer of motorik space-age funk (2011’s Underneath The Pine), smoky 4/4 house-tinged pop, electro-funk and late-night electronic soul (2013’s Anything In Return) all to critical acclaim, What For? is where Toro Y Moi’s story continues - albeit one that leaves its true meaning only to imagination. “The album’s main themes are love and nature,” he hints. “I wrote about personal experiences but intentionally left them vague. I‘ve always felt that good songs should heighten your mental awareness.”

Written and recorded over the course of eight months at his home studio in Berkeley, California,What For?draws inspiration from Big Star, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren, as well as the psychedelic soul of Brazil’s Tim Maia and ‘70s-era jazz-funk of France’s Cortex. Unknown Mortal Orchestra guitarist Ruban Neilson appears on the album, as does multi-instrumentalist Julian Lynch. This time, meticulous production of stereo-panned guitars, buzzing synthesizers, funky keys and live drumming has paved the way for the feel of a rock band playing together in the same room; “A studio should keep changing and all of the gear should be out and exposed or else you'll never remember to use it. With this album, I'd just walk up to an instrument somewhere in my house and start writing,”Bundick recalls.

Having spent his formative years playing in punk rock bands and studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, Bundick began making bedroom recordings under the name Toro Y Moi in 2001. Those early demos made up the seeds of his distinct retro-future sound ahead of a brief stint in New York before relocating to California in 2012. It’s a move that has given Bundick time to reflect on what’s important, allowing him the freedom to create whilst also embarking upon new exciting projects such as establishing ‘Company’ records;
“Having a label has been a goal for a while. I want to be a part of this generation,”tells Bundick. “I'm aiming to take Company as far as it can go. I'm helping artists with each release from production to the design of the album cover to make something timeless.”

Whether recording and creating another album, or assisting with someone else’s work in progress, Bundick continues to prove to be as prolific as he is diverse. In the process he is constantly pushing the limits to point Toro Y Moi in new directions, yet never sacrificing his melodic sensibility or keen ear for arrangements and texture.

What For? - Why Not...

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Ace change of direction for Chaz Bundrick. This record reminds me of Teenage Fanclub in its retro pop directness: Big Star meets power-pop melodiousness. However, there's also a slightly wonky Todd Rundgren flavour mixed in to keep things fresh. Superb stuff!

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Standard LP is black vinyl, includes digital download and sticker.

CD Info: CD in softpak, based on LP design.

Ltd LP Info: Deluxe Limited LP includes blue and white starburst colour vinyl housed in gatefold jacket with exclusive poster, sticker and download code.

Tori Amos

Little Earthquakes - 180g Vinyl Edition

    Emotionally and musically intense, 'Little Earthquakes' shows that the piano is as much a rock & roll instrument as the guitar. Tori Amos's debut (if one disregards 'Y Kant Tori Read', as one would be well advised to do) is at once listenable and challenging; she takes on every topic, from sex to gender to religion, in an uncompromising manner. Her music appears gentle at first, but this appearance is deceiving, as one quickly learns upon listening to the wrenching "Crucify" or the almost violent "Precious Things." By the time the album gets around to "Me and a Gun," sung hauntingly by Amos without accompaniment from her piano, the juxtaposition of Amos' sweet voice and the emotional complexity of her lyrics is both familiar and shocking.

    Tori Amos

    Under The Pink - 180g Vinyl Edition

      After sharing personal and emotional accounts on her stunning debut, 'Little Earthquakes', Tori Amos stirs those sensations up for an eclectic yet beautiful account of female security on Under the Pink. Being a woman, she's always in question of her actions, calling out and interrogating the opposite sex for her own pleasure. But it's not necessarily with a scolding tone. She's playful with her signature piano accompaniment, but allows for a twisted mess of guitars, violins, and bass loops, which are quite enigmatic like Kate Bush as well. "Baker Baker" and "Bells for Her" are aching with ballad-esque beauty, but the seething "The Waitress" sparks Amos' inner devil. She's quaint at first, but rages into a scalding vocal queen. It makes her even more a pioneer for female originality and independence. Singles such as "God" and "Cornflake Girl" are sultry and provocative, depicting that she's everything but shy. Under the Pink is typically melodic, but it contains a heavy desire. Amos is still breaking into something more definitive as both a woman and a singer/songwriter. The lyrical imagery is much more wide open, something that will become Amos' ever-changing swan song.


      The Apartments

      The Evening Visits And Stays For Years (Expanded Edition)

      Born of the small but vibrant Brisbane punk/new wave scene of the late Seventies, Peter Milton Walsh began to cultivate the mysterious, moody myth that would follow him through out his career that has taken him around the world. But before setting out abroad, Walsh certainly made his mark on the Brisbaine scene. His band, The Apartments, formed in 1978 and spent the next year playing ample amounts of shows around Brisbaine. With a reputation that preceded him, Walsh was sought out by Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, members of one of Brisbaine's most noteworthy bands, The Go-Betweens. Having been offered an 8 album deal by Beserkly Records, Forster and McLennon asked Walsh to join The Go-Betweens as their fourth member in late 1978. The union was, however, short lived. There were personality differences, which led McLennon to famously say "Walsh is night, we are day. We're sun, he's rain."

      After the deal with Beserkly fell through, Walsh returned to The Apartments, leaving The Go-Betweens as a three piece. They went on to affectionately write a song for Walsh, entitled "Don't Let Him Come Back", which included the line "Here he comes, with his twelve o'clock junk...who's that dressed in black? Who's that in his apartment?". Things weren't sour between the two bands and The Apartments recorded their first EP, "Return of the Hypnotist" on The Go-Between's Able Label. But before the EP was even released, The Apartments broke up and Walsh left for New York City. During his time in NYC, Walsh played mustic with a number of bands and recorded many songs that would serve as demos for future releases for the still defunct Apartments.

      Returning to Australia in 1984, Walsh got the band back together and recorded a few singles, including "All You Wanted". All the while the band were also recording demos, which led to a record deal with London's legendary Rough Trade Records, prompting Walsh to move to London. It was there that he recorded his first proper LP, "The Evening Visits... And Stays for Years". The album received strong praise and drew comparisons to a wide range of acts such as Cocteau Twins, Nick Drake and Bob Dylan. The NME said of the record "after whetting our appetites with last year's classic import single 'All You Wanted' The Apartments have stunned us to a reverential silence. This album is a pure heart-wrencher, and should only be listened to after dark.".

      Although The Apartments and Walsh continued to tour and record with a variety of line ups, it is these early works that provide a definitive look at their sound. Available all together for the first time, Captured Tracks are pleased to present "The Evening Visits... And Stays for Years" along with "The Return of the Hypnotist", the "All You Wanted" single and a collection of demos from "The Evening Visits...". Complete with liner notes by Robert Forster and Walsh himself, this incredible collection of Walsh's first seven years of recordings is not to be missed.

      While on a writing retreat in the sleepy southern town of Benton, Mississippi, the members of New York's Ava Luna came across an abandoned house while on a walk through the woods. Overgrown, rotting, and littered with evidence of its past inhabitants, the maze-like dwelling would haunt their psyches throughout the writing and recording of their third full-length Infinite House. Like Borges' "Library of Babel", the seemingly endless rooms and hallways in the old house felt like a metaphor for the invisble, internal labyrinths, which the band explores lyrically and sonically on their new album. Self-recorded in Benton and at Gravesend Recordings, the Brooklyn studio run by drummer Julian Fader and vocalist/guitar player Carlos Hernandez, and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT), it is safely their most polished recording to date. But their trademark intensity, mirthful humor, and angularity remain resolutely in place, the burnished surfaces illuminating the stories beneath like never before.  

      Working with Fridmann, Fader and Hernandez artfully employ the studio to further the album's preternatural vibe. As Hernandez explains "Dave Fridmann was able to augment this music in a really special way, removing it from the literal realm and putting it in a really psychedelic / fictional place." By questioning, or maybe just forgetting the rules of the real world, on Infinite House the band has grown beyond the "nervous soul" descriptor they've been tagged with in the past, delivering an album on which nightmarish moments can phoenix into revelations that help us reconnect with the surreal magic in our everyday lives. Of course, you don't have to dig into the intellectual concepts or references to love this album, or enjoy the band's twisted mystical perspective. On a very superficial level, these songs are sensual, vibrant, and fun. 

      You'd be forgiven for not knowing the newest addition to the slowly expanding Claremont 56 roster. You see, there’s been no recorded output from German combo Bambi Davidson since the release of their largely overlooked “minimal post-rock” debut album, 'El Faco', in 2000. Until now, that is. Following the release of their debut set, founder members Robin van Velzen (guitar / vocals) and Hans Christian Fuss (drums) became frustrated with their lot. Bored with “rocking out” as a two-piece, they decided to start inviting other musicians to join them on stage. That meant that each performance was unique, with new tunes - often improvised on the spot - being developed for, or at, every gig. It’s an approach that frequently paid dividends. One particular collaborative gig, with Frank Mollena (most famous for his involvement with fellow German rock outfit Mountaineer) and Sofia Fuss, went so well that both were asked to become permanent members of the band.

      It was at this point that the newly expanded four piece Bambi Davidson finally headed back into the studio to record a new album, some 15 years after they’d recorded their debut. As you’d expect with a new line-up, things are a bit different this time round. Whereas 'El Flaco' was a stripped-back affair with most tracks featuring just guitar, drums and vocals, Bambi Davidson features additional bass, electronics and keys provided by Frank and Sophia. The result is an expansive but atmospheric album built around sensual, undulating grooves, gentle sun-kissed melodies, lilting pedal steel and woozy, dub-influenced production. Often magical and always immersive, the six tracks that make up 'Brunswick' are delightfully contrary. While pleasingly accessible and capable of inducing broad smiles on the first listen, each carefully considered, drawn-out composition reveals more intricate layers on each listen. This is particularly true of “Foxhunting” - reminiscent of fellow Claremont 56 act Bison, and as a result of similar sonic influences - and opener "Brunswick". Arguably the album's high point, the latter offers a 13 minute-long shuffle through Balearic post-rock territory with Van Velzen’s weary, emotional vocals riding a wave of vibrant colours. Hazy, intoxicating and evocative, it sounds like a horizontal anthem in the making. There are plenty of other highlights, too, from the hypnotic, pitched-down dub-disco-meets-Balearic rock shuffle of "Cattle", to the low-slung krautrock revivalism of "Artist", and the touchy-feely rhythms and stargazing chords of “Hubble”, the four-piece’s most intergalactic cut yet. Give it time, and we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with Bambi Davidson as much as we have.

      'Summoning Suns' is James Blackshaw's tenth studio album and the first recording to feature his voice and lyrics. Drawing inspiration from 60's and 70's singer-songwriters, baroque/orchestral pop and folk music, while still sounding contemporary, 'Summoning Suns' is Blackshaw's foray into more traditional forms of songcraft. Blackshaw sings in a gentle but assured voice, occasionally reminiscent of Harry Nilsson, Jim O'Rourke and Elliott Smith, while his words combine his personal experiences, neuroses and fantasy through many layers of abstraction, poeticism and dark humour.

      While the deft fingerpicking acoustic guitar style of Blackshaw's previous recordings is still a prominent part of the sound, the songs are lushly and intricately arranged for drums, bass, piano, violin, flute and pedal steel guitar and features contributions from Simon Scott (Slowdive), Annie Nilsson and Japanese musicians Mori Wa Ikiteiru and Kaoru Noda (with whom he duets in Japanese on one song).

      Constant Bop is the debut album from Bop English, the recording name of White Denim frontman James Petralli. There’s a ton to unwrap on Constant Bop, a record that jumps from vocoder use on a ‘60s-jazz influenced jam to sampled 808-kicks on country numbers. It’s a rich and diverse record that’s teeming with pop classicism and zippy rock ‘n’ roll. It’s all there, and it’s all distinctly James Petralli. These 10 tracks demonstrate timeless songwriting, revisiting everything from Bob Dylan and Jeff Lyne to LL Cool J and Santana for inspiration.

      A widely collaborative project and the result of 4 years of work, having been created in the same period of time that it took Petralli to finish two White Denim records. It is an album born of real studio magic; dozens of musicians contribute to its ten tracks including White Denim’s drummer Josh Block, guitarist Austin Jenkins and bass player Steve Terebecki, as well as former Shearwater bassist Kevin Schneider.

      The biggest difference between Constant Bop and any White Denim record is the amount of time James spent working on it by himself. “The musicians on this record still influenced and shaped the record significantly though,” he says. There are over one hundred days of studio time preciously invested in Constant Bop, which ultimately reflects in its sheer quality.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Indie exclusive Limited Edition Blue & Yellow Splatter 12” Vinyl.

      Recorded for Radio Broadcast in New York & Boston. Many music critics of the day were not only intrigued but enamoured by Jeff Buckley when his musical career began to take off in the early nineties. Jeff Buckley born in California in 1966 and as the name suggests, he was the son of legendary singer, composer and guitarist, Tim Buckley, hence the early fascination with his artistic potential. Appearing on the world stage in 1994 with the critically well received album, Grace Jeff Buckley was poised to become a successful artist through the nineties and into the new millennium. However this sadly never happened as he would die in the spring of 1997 before fully realising his potential and only a half finished second album which was subsequently released posthumously.

      This double album of radio broadcasts contains a wide and eclectic range of songs and performances, including songs that would appear on Grace. Drawn from broadcasts both before and after Grace, these performances show another side to Jeff Buckley. The songs featured here include Hallelujah, a song now strongly identified with Jeff Buckley and many covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Elton John. More importantly for the first time this release includes the full unedited performance from WMFU at Upsala College on the 11th October 1993.

      • This package contains Rare Radio Broadcasts and performances from singer song writer Jeff Buckley
      • Includes complete unedited Radio performance from October 1992
      • Includes rarely heard songs and cover versions
      • Rarely Seen Photographs
      • Liner notes by Broadcaster/Author Jon Kirkman. 

      For the better part of two decades, the acclaimed band Calexico has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With their forthcoming record Edge of the Sun, out April 13th via City Slang, they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way.

      Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, and Neko Case. Burnsʼ brother John Burns lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the bandʼs keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, John Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher.

      For the better part of two decades, the acclaimed band Calexico has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With their forthcoming record Edge of the Sun, out April 13th via City Slang, they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way.

      Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, and Neko Case. Burnsʼ brother John Burns lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the bandʼs keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, John Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd CD Info: 12 track CD plus 6 track bonus CD.

      2xLtd LP Info: 2x180g heavy vinyl: 12 track album (blue vinyl) & 6 track bonus (turquoise vinyl) with etched B-side.

      Crosley

      Record Player CR8005A - Cruiser (Tweed)

        Love the rich, warm sound of vinyl, but wish it was a more moveable music format? Put down the iPod and mobilize your music with the Crosley Cruiser 3-speed portable turntable.

        Constructed of wood and bound in a leatherette material, the briefcase-styled record player is lightweight and easily transported from place to place. It features built-in stereo speakers so you can listen to your music without having to connect it to a speaker system.

        Cruise over to a friend's house and experience vinyl's superior sound together.

        - Belt-driven turntable mechanism 33 1/3, 45 & 78rpm.
        - Dynamic full-range stereo speakers
        - AC power adapter RCA audio out
        - Dimensions: 15.50in X 14.00in X 6.10in

        The Damned

        Damned Damned Damned

          ‘Damned Damned Damned’ is the debut studio album by The Damned, the first UK punk band to release a single (‘New Rose’, included here, in October 1976).

          The album was released on 18 February 1977 by the groundbreaking and irreverent Stiff label. Produced by Nick Lowe, ‘Damned Damned Damned’ is also the first full length album released by a UK punk group.

          Pretty much a stone classic and a much lauded punk masterpiece, this is a record driven by power chords, speed and a trashy attitude which belies the quality of the songs, which are uniformly excellent.

          The Damned

          Music For Pleasure

            The Damned’s second album ‘Music For Pleasure’ was produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, after the band’s attempts to lure Syd Barrett from his reclusion failed.

            ‘Music For Pleasure’ featured new guitarist Lu Edmunds, as well as guest saxophonist Lol Coxhill.

            The album was the last album length studio release to feature original guitarist Brian James, who would rejoin the band in the late 80s and early 90s for a live album and studio single. It was also the group’s final album release for Stiff Records. It saw the band move into more complex song structures, while maintaining the punk sound of their debut album.

            At the time of its release, the album was seen as a disappointment by the press and fans alike but time has been kind to it, and the record now stands out from many recordings by the band’s contemporaries, showing a more experimental and less derivative side to The Damned.

            The Damned

            Strawberries

              ‘Strawberries For Pigs’, as the album was originally entitled, was The Damned’s fifth studio album, and was released in October 1982 by Bronze Records.

              Describing the album, Trouser Press wrote “Eclectic and inconsistent but well-produced and boasting some fine tunes, ‘Strawberries’ shows Sensible’s increasing pop prominence and Vanian’s willingness to explore a stylistic pallette with no debt to punk.”

              The album is extraordinary, from the sleeve depicting pig with a strawberry, which stood in stark contrast to the band’s contemporaries, right through every track. The music is amongst the best the band ever recorded and can now be appreciated as a classic rock album, not a strange record by a punk band, which is how it was received by many way back in 1982.

              Dinner is the alias for Danish singer and producer Anders Rhedin. Since 2012, Dinner has released ‘Girl’, ‘You Are Like LA’, a guided meditation tape and, in collaboration with Texas label Red Eye Transit, ‘Oui!’, a four-track EP that serves as a powerful introduction to this idiosyncratic musician.

              Dinner’s songs seem to be inspired by his own life - in the lyrics one can find references to cities, parties and girls (the latter sometimes referred to as the ‘divine feminine’). Dinner himself claims that “All the songs are about death and transcendence.”

              At times, Dinner sounds a bit like a sun-bleached cassette tape you’d find stuck behind your car’s dashboard, last played at a party in Dusseldorf in 1984, full of echoes of sweaty depressions, spiritual longings and earlymorning trances.

              At other times, Dinner sounds a bit like melodic EBM-meets-Europop with elements of Danish darkwave. And sometimes he sounds more like the male descendant of Nico singing Eno-esque pop songs on discarded Julian Cope tracks.

              Whomever you ask, you’ll find Dinner’s sound defies simple classification. In his own words, his influences range from rock ‘n’ roll and pop giants like Michael Jackson and Velvet Underground, to experimental tape-music pioneers like Steve Reich.

              Dinner lives a somewhat nomadic existence, having alternated between LA, Berlin and Copenhagen. This last year, Dinner’s itinerary has included falling in love with a baroness in Berlin, learning Qigong from a renowned Sifu on a mountainside in the Algarve, working on commercial pop songs in Hollywood (“The essence of dark magic,” according to Dinner) and playing shows at festivals and galleries all over Europe. His current location is LA, where he is working on his debut full length.

              “His murky, multi-tracked pop miniatures scan as a gothic spin on ’60s girl groups or a John Hughes soundtrack staple (Simple Minds or the Psychedelic Furs, say) dripping with codeine. His syrupy baritone, meanwhile, evokes Stephen Merritt’s doleful delivery.” - Wondering Sound

              “Seated halfway between the gutter and a glitter-covered stage, Dinner (née Anders Rhedin) is Denmark’s great glam-pop hope.” - MTV Iggy

              “Though his sound defies simple classification, it’s a tasty combo of Europop and darkwave.” - Subbacultcha

              Django Django

              First Light - Inc. Wrongtom / Mickey Pearce / Ghost Culture Remixes

              Django Django return ahead of their sophomore LP "Born Under Saturn" with the expansive single "First Light", an uncompromising and contrary piece of pop majesty which combines tough military drum beats and muscular bass sequences with ethereal Simon & Garfunkel / Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies. On the A2, East End dub peddlar Wrongtom meets Django uptown, dubbing the track out with a high plains riddim and spiralling guitar part, and pushing the kosmische synth of the original to the fore. On the flip, Mickey Pearce blocks the "First Light" out and creates a sweat-soaked kuduro-tinted basement shaker from the mangled remnants of the original. Deconstructed dancefloor brilliance from the Rinse FM mainstay. Last but not least, Phantasy synth wizard Ghost Culture offers a transportive acid flecked interpretation complete with a warm rolling baseline, brain dance electro rhythm and plenty of machine magic. Three killer remixes and one resplendent return from Django Django.

              Evans The Death

              Enabler

                Limited Edition 7" (Reverend Black Grape coloured vinyl) Enabler is the first single to be taken from Evans the Death’s new album Expect Delays, out 2nd March. Recorded again with producer Rory Atwell (Test Icicles, Warm Brains), the new long-player bristles with underlying tension and veers from rip-roaring noise to quiet contemplation, underpinned by Katherine Whitaker’s extraordinary voice. Enabler opens with a sonic onslaught of fuzz and feedback before the rhythm section explodes into life and the song kicks in, Whitaker's distinctive vocals doubled up like sinister twins prowling around a gorgeously discordant melody.


                Föllakzoid began seven years ago as a trance experience between childhood friends Diego, Juan Pablo, and Domingo from Santiago, Chile. Heavily informed by the heritage of the ancient music of the Andes, the band has learned to integrate this influence with contemporary sounds of their times, creating a rich yet minimal atmosphere.

                For III, the band wanted to expand their sound while building an atmosphere with mainly monochords and reiteration. After recording and mixing the album on their own at their studio at BYM Records, they partnered with German electronic maestro Atom TM to flesh out the album’s synth parts. Most of the sounds he provided were atonal electronic sounds, aiming for concrete frequencies and sampled organic glitches. (The Korg synthesizer Atom TM plays on this record was used by Kraftwerk on a tour during the ’80s and given to him by Florian Schneider.)

                III is a four-part minimal sound voyage in which you can hear Föllakzoid’s musical language developing into something more upbeat, obscure, and sharp, yet even simpler in terms of elements. During the past year, the band played more than 80 gigs, including at Primavera Sound Festival (both Porto and Barcelona), ATP Festival in the UK, Musique Volantes in Lyon, and Lollapalooza Chile. The shows for III, including a confirmed set at Austin Psych Fest in May, should spread the band’s fog-enshrouded gospel to an even wider audience. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: Limited to just 400 copies only on GOLD vinyl!

                I Am Kloot

                Hold Back The Night: I Am Kloot Live

                “I Am Kloot are astounding” - The Guardian

                “John Bramwell is as fine a wordsmith as Morrissey” - NME

                “Intimacy and romanticism colour Kloot’s noir-ish shadows, savage, lucid and lovely” - The Independent

                The dawning of the new Millennium saw I Am Kloot mark their live debut with a show at London Kashmir Club supported by nascent four-piece The Libertines.

                Sixteen years later and the two become entwined once more with the release of the live album ‘Hold Back The Night’ nestling rather appropriately on Walk Tall Recordings / PIAS, an imprint for Peter Doherty to realise his and others’ aural dreams.

                ‘Hold Back The Night’ is drawn from the band’s catalogue and includes tracks from 2010’s Mercury nominated ‘Sky At Night’ and their last studio album, 2013’s ‘Let It All In’, alongside earlier gems such as ‘Twist’ and ‘86 TVs’, recorded on I Am Kloot’s 2013 winter tour.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xCD Info: Includes download code featuring 6 bonus tracks.

                After five years away, Scottish alternative rock band Idlewild return with new album Everything Ever Written. The band’s eighth studio recording represents a new chapter, both personally and creatively - featuring twelve tracks of alternative rock woven together from strands of Scottish folk, Americana & Hebridean psychedelia.

                Produced by the band’s guitarist Rod Jones and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) whom they collaborated with on their 2002 release The Remote Part and augmented by new members Luciano Rossi (piano, organ & vocals) and Andrew Mitchell (bass, guitar & vocals), Everything Ever Written is Idlewild’s most eclectic output to date.

                “The album was predominantly written on the Isle of Mull”, vocalist Roddy Woomble explains. "The record soundtracks a period of transition. Working without time constraints gave the whole thing a creative freedom. Idlewild is a new band to me now; I’m excited for the future.”

                In October 2014 the group completed a sold out acoustic tour of unique, intimate venues throughout the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, re-introducing themselves to live audiences after a half-decade break, performing re-worked versions of old songs as well as songs from the new album. The still, idyllic settings chosen for the performances hint towards the sense of space afforded in writing and recording the new album.

                The Leisure Society release their fourth album The Fine Art of Hanging On, via Full Time Hobby. The intricate production, playing, arrangements, songwriting and broad-ranging instrumentation all indicate an outfit at their most purposeful and assured best.

                Alongside an audible new creative peak tied together by a distinct theme, The Leisure Society’s acclaimed prior trademarks are still present - namely Nick Hemming’s intensely personal and honest lyrics which adorn the band’s warm, timeless, seamless blend of folk, grandiose pop and indie.

                “‘The Fine Art of Hanging On’ is a recurrent, linking theme, although this wasn’t an intentional concept album”, explains Nick. “It’s about clinging to something - be that a relationship, a career, or life itself.

                All the way through writing the album a friend of mine was battling cancer. I reached out by sending him the rough demos of this album. By giving him this access to the work in progress and by him giving feedback, we formed a close bond. Sadly he lost his battle, but his input and presence is there in the album.”

                With ‘The Fine Art of Hanging On’ the band have perhaps created their most cohesive body of work yet, and they have embraced the theme with original artwork once again provided by acclaimed young illustrator Owen Davey, a long-term Leisure Society collaborator.

                “Nick Hemming is a musician of striking gifts” The Independent
                “A band that continues to grow into their story” The Line of Best Fit


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: 180g vinyl in gatefold sleeve with download code.

                CD Info: Limited edition CD in hardback book style cover.

                Looper

                These Things

                  In an inventive reinterpretation of ‘the box set’, Looper have curated the database of their entire body of work as five separate CDs, themed by type and entitled ‘Lexiphonics’, ‘Kinokraft’, ‘Voxtrot’, ‘Transmitte’ and ‘Melos’:

                  Lexiphonics - Spoken narratives accompanied by sample-based or electronic music, usually structured like a traditional pop song.

                  Kinokraft - A form based around a looped riff. Vocals, when present, are usually sampled fragments - used as counter riffs.

                  Voxtrot - A hybrid form, combining elements of the ‘lo-fi’ pop song with the production and beats of hip hop and R&B.

                  Transmitte - A hybrid form, combining the ‘lo-fi’ pop song with arrangements and beats from all fields of electronica.

                  Melos - A form in which the song is central. Elements from 1960s easy listening, pop and soul are combined using contemporary techniques and production.

                  Inspired by mixtapes and their modern day equivalent, the playlist, ‘These Things’ puts the songs in new contexts, allowing new relationships between works previously kept apart. Looper explain, “For us this box is a repurposed, recycled and renewed work - an attempt to make something new out of something old.”

                  The concept of sampling - present both in the construction of the early music and the creation of the playlists - assumes visual form in the cut-and-paste collage artwork by Karn David. Photographs from the Looper archives illustrate her unique liner notes: quotes and ‘samples’ from music reviews and articles from the time of the original releases, collaged together to tell the story of Looper.

                  Looper emerged from Belle & Sebastian in 1997 when Stuart David (co-founder and bass player of B&S) and his wife Karn (an artist who directed the early B&S videos) collaborated for a show at Glasgow School Of Art. A degree show fundraiser for Stuart’s sister Karla Black - who received a Turner Prize nomination in 2011 - the performance was a multimedia affair incorporating TVs, Super 8 film, 35mm slides and kinetic sculptures. Since nothing broke down and everyone clapped, they decided to keep doing it.

                  "Beat the Champ is about professional wrestling, which was an avenue of escape for me when I was a kid. Wrestling was low-budget working class entertainment back then, strictly UHF material. It was cheap theater. You had to bring your imagination to the proceedings and you got paid back double. I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown." - John Darnielle, Durham, NC.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xLP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                  3xLtd LP Info: Deluxe vinyl is pressed gold (LP1), green (LP2) and red (bonus 12”). Deluxe 2LP is Cargo collective stores only & includes a bonus 12” (“Blood Capsules” b/w “Dub Capsules”).

                  Mike Simonetti has decided to split from the Italians Do It Better (Chromatics, Glass Candy) label to focus on his new project, Pale Blue, as well as his new venture, the freshly minted label 2MR (Two Mikes Records). A collaboration between Simonetti and Captured Tracks, 2MR is an opportunity for Simonetti to start from a blank slate and release music he believes in. The first release on 2MR is ‘The Past We Leave Behind’, the debut album from Pale Blue.

                  During the writing process of his ‘Capricorn Rising’ album, Simonetti was asked to remix tracks from the West Coast twosome Silver Hands. Immediately taken by the incredible range of lead vocalist Elizabeth Wight he reached out to collaborate. The result of the bicoastal email exchange would eventually become Pale Blue.

                  Pale Blue, referencing the term ‘Pale Blue Dot’ coined by Carl Sagan to refer to a photograph of planet Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990, was originally conceived around the time that Hurricane Sandy hit New York and came to completion with Simonetti’s severance from Italians Do It Better. Thus, many of the tracks that make up Pale Blue’s debut grapple with themes of loss and new beginnings.

                  ‘The Past We Leave Behind’ encompasses myriad sonic elements, ranging from rhythmic, melodic techno to atmospheric ambient productions while also incorporating Simonetti’s varied background in noise, drone and even experimental dream pop. Above it all though, Wight’s vocals remain the focal point, saturating the record with a lush melodic warmth that’s so often missing in the electronic world.

                  Musically, Pale Blue is a response to modern dance music and its constant fluctuations. It intentionally bears no obvious singles, nor club hits. While Simonetti, Wight and Jana Hunter (vocals on ‘Dusk In Parts’) remain at its core, Pale Blue’s philosophy is to keep everything open to collaboration. It does not aim to pigeonhole itself into a genre or any new vistas in music but instead to a unifying sound produced collectively and harmoniously.

                  Part 1

                  Funeral Parade EP

                    Part 1 formed in 1980 and were part of the original London anarcho-punk scene. During the early 1980s they played a number of gigs, often with Rudimentary Peni, who the band became associated with, as well as other acts operating around the London Anarchy Centres funded by Crass’ Bloody Revolutions 7". Part 1’s final gig (before reforming in 2013) was at London’s 100 Club in 1983 with Subhumans.

                    The band’s only vinyl release during this time was the Funeral Parade EP, released in a limited run of 300 in October 1982. As well as an anarcho-punk classic, the record is now regarded as a seminal deathrock release – largely due to the dark, heavily flanged guitar work, morbid imagery, and anti-religious lyrical themes. Indeed, Part 1have been described as “England’s ultimate cult deathrock band.” (CVLT Nation)

                    This very special reissue finally sees this lost classic receiving a long-deserved quality release: A remastered 12" vinyl in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with accompanying horror zine I...Paraworm, packed with never-seen text and unpublished artworks from the pen of guitarist Mark Ferelli, all contemporaneous to the 1982 release.

                    In 2013, founding members Ferelli and Jake Baker (vocals), reformed the band with long-time admirer Chris Low (ex-Apostles, Oi Polloi, Political Asylum) on drums; later joined by David Barnett (ex-Adam & the Ants, Guernica, Lola Colt) on bass. Their first reformation show was at the Rebellion Festival that summer, 30years after their last live performance. Since then, Part 1 have played a number of gigs to great acclaim and enthusiastic response with further releases and concerts scheduled for 2015


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Mini LP Info: Limited to 100 copies for the UK.

                    Piccadilly Records

                    Mono Colour Print - Black Tote Bag

                      One colour 'mono' print (white) of the Piccadilly Records logo on a black tote bag.


                      The Ramones

                      Here Today Gone Tomorrow: Live At The Old Waldorf, San Francisco, January 31, 1978

                        This show, a clear-sounding FM broadcast from K-SAN, recorded just a month after the recording of It’s Alive, is a scorching set of songs from the first three albums - what many consider the band’s peak. Hear the guys at their best!

                        ‘Spunk’ is the alternative debut album by the Sex Pistols, appearing a few weeks before the release of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. Some journalists in the music press immediately suspected that the band’s manager, Malcolm McLaren, was responsible. The evidence for McLaren’s involvement is speculative, although it can be noted that his company, Glitterbest, retained the rights to the demo recordings as well as the master tapes - and the demos appearing on ‘Spunk’ were presented in excellent quality. McLaren always publicly denied responsibility for ‘Spunk’ but said that he preferred it to ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.

                        Some Sex Pistols fans agree with McLaren and producer Dave Goodman that the raw versions of the songs on ‘Spunk’ are superior to the officially released ones, particularly since ‘Spunk’ is a faithful reproduction of the original Sex Pistols line-up’s live sound.

                        The album also features the basslines of Glen Matlock, which were not reproduced when guitarist Steve Jones took over bass duties for the recording of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.

                        A tape of part or all of ‘Spunk’ had been played to Tony Parsons as early as March 1977 and became the subject of his NME article ‘Blank Nuggets In The UK’, which described the recordings as if they represented an imminent debut album release.

                        Sleep

                        Sleep's Holy Mountain

                          Highly limited vinyl version of Sleep’s iconic second studio album - widely considered as one of the most seminal albums in the evolution of stoner rock, it became a favourite of the heavy metal press and the band was heralded, along with Kyuss, as leaders of the emerging stoner metal scene. The song "Dragonaut" was used in the 1997 Harmony Korine film, Gummo. Since ending Sleep, guitarist and vocalist Matt Pike has found success with High on Fire, while Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius formed Om.

                          This vinyl album has been specially remastered using 'FDR' - Full Dynamic Range mastering - allowing the music's nuances to shine through and giving the whole album a more ferocious and dynamic sound than ever before, and enabling the listener to immerse in the full audio heaviness like never before.

                          Slug is the brand new musical venture from the mind of Ian Black, a merrily disruptive influence on the North East music for more than a decade. His debut album 'Ripe' is released on Memphis Industries. With Slug, Black wanted to get away from the tinnitus inducing noise rock of his formative bands, letting the idea dictate the song's form and sonic palette. Black says of the album "'what ifs' play a massive part in ripe. what if we use a stoner metal riff and use it like a dub bass part or what if we combined the drumming style of John Bonham with James Brown beat and the squelch bass of Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli".

                          Taking inspiration from film soundtracks (Enter the Dragon, Suspiria), 20th century abstract and minimalist music but also the rock and funk chops of Led Zeppelin, Prince and Funkadelic, the resulting album is concise, unselfconscious, idiosyncratic and exquisitely executed. Animators brothers quay, Phil Mulloy and Jan Svankmajer oblique approaches to subject matter also rubbed off on black and lend the slug album an air of the hypnagogic. 'Ripe' opener grimacing mask tackles how to break the cycle of personal and work related problems. Cockeyed rabbit wrapped in plastic focuses on the rocky foundations of apparently immutable institutions of power. 'Greasy Mind' is the most pop moment on the album that sees Zeppelin matched with 80's Madonna and screaming guitar solos. Running to get past your heart rides a wave of simplicity with a three note distorted bass riff, a one line chorus purely based on the phonetics, bongos and drums recorded with two vocal mics. 'Kill Your Darlings' is a straight to video horror film soundtrack dealing with how, as an artist, you have to avoid treating each creation like one of your kids. The album was recorded at Field Music's Roker studio with Peter and David Brewis on production duties. The Field Music brothers also return the favour for Black who toured extensively with their band as bassist. They play on the album and in the surreally fun yet precision engineered live band where they're joined by Andrew Lowther on bass and Rhys Patterson.

                          It was playing with Field Music that gave Ian the impetus to start Slug "you cannot be on the road for a year with the guys and not feel inspired. sometimes that helps create a sense of self belief that you can create your own thing.....however delusional that maybe." Slug have made one of the year's most inventive and rewarding debut long players. 2015 is 'Ripe' for their picking.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Ltd LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

                          ‘Not Real’ is the second album by Stealing Sheep, written, recorded and produced by band members Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer at their studio in Liverpool.

                          The unifying theme of ‘Not Real’ is an interplay of fact and fiction; the edge of dreams and limits of reality.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Ltd LP Info: Special LP + 7” format exclusively available to
                          independent retailers. 7” features the tracks ‘Set
                          In Sun’ and ‘Mountain Of Souls’.

                          Torino-based instrumental trio’s powerful, adventurous second album, inspired by the squares of the Arab Spring, features guests Scott McCloud (Girls Against Boys), Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver) and Ryan Patterson (Coliseum). Over the past decade, instrumental trio STEARICA (Torino, Italy) have gained a cult following in the independent music underground, touring and performing live with the likes of Girls Against Boys, NoMeansNo, Dälek, Tarentel, Damo Suzuki, Coliseum, and forming the Acid Mothers Temple and Stearica Orchestra, which recorded a full-length album together.

                          The key to STEARICA’s success is their powerful and adventurous sound, which is geometrical yet visceral: so intense that there is no need for words – much like “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. STEARICA’s second album, Fertile, will be released during Spring, the season of renewal and fertility in many parts of the world including the historical region known as ‘The ‘Fertile Crescent’, the birthplace of some of the earliest human civilizations, and also the scene of the revolutionary political uprisings that swept across the Middle East known as the ‘Arab Spring’. Both the concept of ‘fertile’ as ‘life-giving' and the revolutionary impulses of the Arab Spring and the Indignants protests in Barcelona provided inspiration for this latest work from STEARICA, Examples of this fertility are also seen in the artistic collaborations with the musicians who contributed in different ways to the gestation of the album: fellow travellers of the independent international underground, including Scott McCloud of Girls Against Boys, who provided the vocals for ‘AMREEKA’, Ryan Patterson of Coliseum (vocals on ‘NUR’) and groundbreaking saxophonist Colin Stetson (brass orchestration on ‘SHĀH MĀT’). Produced by band member Francesco Carlucci, Fertile captures the primordial nature of the sound that the trio creates in their dynamic live performances. At times brutal, chaotic, mysterious, tranquil; Fertile is music born of our time: instinctively revolutionary. 

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xLP Info: Deluxe 180 gram double gatefold edition of 500 with a free poster and album CD included inside.

                          Indie-folk ensemble Stornoway return with third album Bonxie. For the first time the band enlisted a producer to captain the ship and the man in charge was none other than Gil Norton. Noted for his work with Pixies, Foo Fighters, Twin Atlantic, etc. Gil certainly rocked Stornoway’s world and shook them out of their comfort zones; helping them cut to the chase, sizing up the new songs and shaping them with raptor precision. Joining Gil and Stornoway in the studio was none other than Craig Potter (Elbow) who mixed the track Man on Wire.

                          Whilst Stornoway’s second album ‘Tales From Terra Firma’ was concerned with very personal stories: life’s (and death’s) big questions, Bonxie is far more outward looking. It is infused with a humanistic ideal; a sense of humility and wonderment for the forces of nature, a desire and need for mutual regard and for a respect towards each other and the environment. Each song on Bonxie is a facet of the album which opens up like an origami bird. It is a construction of nature by humans but each song unfolds as a unique species, shape and call.


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: 180 gram Vinyl in Gatefold Sleeve. Includes Download Card.

                          Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

                          Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

                          Beginning in November 2012, Suuns and longtime friend Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart rented a studio in Montreal for seven days. The idea was to collaborate on rough sketches of song ideas and to complete as much recording as possible without discrimination. The session was successful, yielding many vibe-laden songs featuring heavy analogue synths, Arabic influences and electronic sensibilities.

                          After the session the recordings laid dormant. Both bands were releasing individual albums; touring was to ensue shortly. Some editing time was squeezed in between tour dates but a full year passed before the songs were heard by an audience. The collaborative band did a live show at Pop Montreal 2013 and then another the following March. At that point the project was kickstarted into gear. The band over-dubbed and re-worked the songs in the summer of 2014 and finally, whilst on tour in October, finished the vocal overdubs and mixing. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart did the tracking and most of the mixing while Max Henry of Suuns handled some mixing as well.

                          Teleman

                          Strange Combinations

                            Fresh from their headline show at London’s Village Undergound and performances at the 6Music Festival and Green Man’s Hywl, Teleman are pleased to share the first new music since their acclaimed debut album ‘Breakfast’ was released last year.

                            Produced by Dan Carey, the forthcoming single ‘Strange Combinations’ is due for release on April 6th as a one-off limited 7” via Dan’s label Speedy Wunderground.

                            A three-minute slice of propulsive rhythms, crescendoing synths and Tom’s echoing vocals, ‘Strange Combinations’ is backed by a dub B-side remixed by Dan Carey.

                            Teleman say of the collaboration: “We'd been keen to work with Dan for a little while as we're all fans of his work. The song is one we've had kicking round in our live set and been wanting to record for a little while so when the opportunity came up to do a Speedy Wunderground 7" it seemed like the obvious choice. We did everything in one day, which was really refreshing, and even though we worked really quickly, nothing felt rushed, which is testament to how well the studio and Dan's approach worked for us".

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition - 250 copies only.

                            Temples

                            Sun Restructured

                              A ‘reanimation’ of their much-acclaimed debut album by Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve (Erol Alkan and Richard Norris), released on Heavenly Recordings. 

                              Taking the original record as their guide, Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve have created a kaleidoscopic trip that redefines and takes the original into new, twisted sonic spaces. 

                              Using five re-interpreted tracks (‘Sand Dance’, ‘Shelter Song’, ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’, ‘Golden Throne’ and ‘Move With The Season’) from the original album to form the spine of the record, the 42-minute journey is interwoven with tweaked and warped snatches of other tracks from ‘Sun Structures’.

                              This Is The Kit

                              Bashed Out

                                This Is The Kit is the much beloved musical project of Kate Stables, born in England and based in Paris. ‘Bashed Out’ is the result of an extended period of collaboration with the record’s producer Aaron Dessner, a member of The National well-known for bringing a warm, starmaking touch to his work with Sharon Van Etten, The Lone Bellow and Local Natives.

                                The backing band gathered for ‘Bashed Out’ combines the talents of This Is The Kit’s touring members alongside a number of session players drawn from the Brooklyn music scene: Bryce Dessner, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The Gloaming), Matt Barrick (The Walkmen) and Ben Lanz (Beirut, The National) all made key contributions.

                                This music is honest, human and humane - a folky-lovely slow-rumble. It’s rock but of the hangover-friendly, stoner variety; it’s folk but at a groovy speed. Frontwoman Kate Stables’ voice hearkens back to the classic singersongwriter era, her distinctive, cutting vocals upfront in the mix. It’s a self-confidence gained since her previous album, 2011’s ‘Wriggle Out The Restless’, which made her band a minor institution in the United Kingdom, especially on the radio which has embraced the group.

                                The Line Of Best Fit has the band as an “essential fixture of British folk music for the past 10 years… one of a handful of truly innovate songwriters working with the British folk template today.”

                                For fans of Joni Mitchell, Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, Father John Misty, Gillian Welch, Laura Marling, Natalie Prass, Jose Gonzalez.

                                Tigercats

                                Sleeping In The Backseat

                                  The fabulous “Sleeping in the Backseat” is the first single to be taken from Tigercats’ second album Mysteries, released in February on Fortuna POP! Taking lead vocals is keyboardist Laura Kovic, but it was written by frontman Duncan Barrett who said, “I’ve always wanted to write a good driving song, but I don’t have a licence so this is probably the closest I’ll get.”.

                                  The track encapsulates the album’s sonically expansive sound, blending the very best of indiepop with complex song structures, lush production and beautiful arrangements. It was premiered by Gold Flake Paint who wrote that "Sleeping In The Backseat” “is as invigorating and poignant as we might have hoped for." Tigercats combine the talents of songwriter, singer and guitarist Duncan Barrett with his brother Giles on bass, Laura Kovic on keyboards and vocals, and Jonny Evans on drums, as well as recent recruit Paul Rains from Allo Darlin’ on guitar. And on Mysteries they’re joined by living legend Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk / Tindersticks), who contributes saxophone and trumpet on several tracks.

                                  A sophisticated pop record, effervescent and spirited, with care and love poured into every song, Mysteries is the sound of a band of outstanding musicians fulfilling their potential and using their talents in the studio to realise their musical vision, retaining their infectious hooks, their heart and their sheer danceability, and coupling it with a bright new contemporary sound. Superbly crafted and full of personality, Tigercats’ second album suggests that they won’t remain a mystery much longer.

                                  "Purveyors of a kind of melancholic yet celebratory pop music that deserves to reach a wider audience" (Independent On Sunday, 4 stars) 

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition of 500 on White Rabbit coloured vinyl.

                                  BBR#17 IS HERE!
                                  It's by Mancunian (well, Ashton Under Lyne actually), instrumental, electronic four-piece Unhappy Shoppers, a group of youngsters who make DIY electronica in the same style as those acts who graced MORR Music / Awkward Silence Records and City Centre Offices with the likes of Solvent, Isan, Bauri etc. It's what they call domestic disco - one side is quirky pop and the otherside is downtempo'd coldwave. I love it as it reminds me of that golden age of electronica and indie-minded youths mixing styles and influences. A glorious EP of electro beats, walls of distorted battered syths, faulty radio waves, melancholic rhythms, wierd sounds and a whirr & click groove. The sound of the suburbs channelled through affordable technology! 'Horsepower And The Modern Slog' is an upbeat electro stormer with a gorgeous melody. 'Ersatz Beat' could be by Adult or LeCar or Perspects with its minimal approach. 'Every Day' is a beautiful dreamy pop tune that could be what happened if The Field Mice went electro-pop while 'Untitled 2' is a gloomy hazy blurred downtempo track with more than a hint of doom. 'Save As' concludes with dark industrious tones sunk deep in its recesses while toxic gloop seeps from knife wounds across its tattoo-covered arms. 

                                  Limited 6 track 7" & 7 track download in a doublesided sleeve with a double sided insert  including 'colour your own' insert on one side (colouring pencils included). The envelope contains all the usual Box Bedroom Goodies - BBR Letter with detailed band notes, bag of confetti & download code. Beautifully presented as always. Recommended tackle from Manchester's finest 7" label!

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd 7" Info: Limited 6 track 7" & 7 track download in a doublesided sleeve with a double sided insert including 'colour your own' insert on one side (colouring pencils included). The envelope contains all the usual Box Bedroom Goodies - BBR Letter with detailed band notes, bag of confetti & download code.

                                  The Very Best return with their their most ambitious and richly textured album to date, 'Makes A King'.

                                  It’s been a long, strange trip for Johan Hugo and Esau Mwamwaya, the Swedish-Malawian duo behind The Very Best’s exuberant global pop. One which crosses continents as well as musical genres. It’s also a trip, according to Johan, with no end in sight. “We’re constantly evolving,” he says with a laugh. “Not just in the sense that we’re trying to change our sound. But we're constantly on a new journey which colours the music we make.”

                                  'Makes A King' was recorded in a remote Malawian village where the population is half-Christian and half-Muslim. The tracks bring together African vocals (including Senegalese star Baaba Maal), synths, downbeats, bass music and electroid grooves and the sound of chirping crickets. Mwamwaya’s haunting voice provides the centrepoint around which the duo's uplifting tracks are built. While their lyrics tackle poverty and corruption, tracks such as 'Mwana Wanga' and 'Mariana' are simple, sublime pop songs, and Sweka’s funky guitar and euphoric house groove would rock any dancefloor.

                                  The follow-up to Conor O’Brien’s debut, Becoming a Jackal, and its successor, Awayland - both hugely acclaimed and Mercury-nominated - is a breathtakingly beautiful, intimate album entirely about love and relationships.

                                  Darling Arithmetic was written, recorded, produced and mixed by O’Brien at home - the loft of a converted farmhouse that he shares in the coastal town of Malahide to the north of Dublin - revealing a single-minded artist at the peak of his already considerable songwriting powers. It encompasses the various shades of feeling – desire, obsession, lust, loneliness and confusion, and deeper into philosophical and existential territory, across a cast of lovers, friends, family and even strangers. Backing up his supple and emoting vocal and guitar is the subtlest palate of instrumentation – piano, Mellotron (which accounts for the album’s occasional horn and cello tones) and brushes. O’Brien plays every instrument on these exquisite, melodic songs in a sparse, spacious, acoustic-leaning fashion.

                                  On Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien doesn’t only pare back his use of language but looks deep into his own heart and motives. The opening track and first single, ‘Courage’, concerns the most important kind of love – for yourself: “It took a little time to get where I wanted / It took a little time to get free / It took a little time to be honest / It took a little time to be me.”

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd LP Info: Deluxe gold vinyl LP with bonus 7” with new tracks ‘Death Trap Kid’ and ‘Dawning On Me (Crouch Angeles Version)’ featuring additional production from Paul Epworth. This format is exclusively available to independent retailers and limited to 800 copies for the UK and Eire.

                                  Weirds

                                  Off The Hook

                                    Weirds are a Noise Rock quartet from Leeds, UK. Their first release on indie stalwart Too Pure Singles Club is loud, menacing and heavy madness. Off the Hook combines spaced out desert rock with mammoth riffs and screeching vocals, whilst B-side Heavy Rain is the perfect soundtrack for a nuclear apocalypse.


                                    Right from their inception in 1976, back in the first stirrings of punk, Wire went about making music in a subversive, conceptual way, setting themselves apart from both their peers and their influences.

                                    “I had this idea that I wanted to avoid things that had a particular kind of tradition,” explains singer and guitarist Colin Newman. “I thought the three-chord trick was too simplistic and that the one-chord trick would be better. Or the two chord trick where the second chord is definitely not the right chord.”

                                    Bass guitarist and vocalist Graham Lewis identifies another trait that has run throughout the group’s lifetime. “ People said, we were mysterious, arch and dark. But the only way of doing that successfully, is by also having a sense of humour. You have to have that balance. With Wire there’s a peculiarity, a contrariness and that can be funny."

                                    This questing approach has served them well in guarding against repetition and cliché. In context, Wire’s last album, 2013’s aptly titled Change Becomes Us was another case of “Expect the unexpected” as it found them extensively reworking a rich cache of material abandoned amid a temporary
                                    break-up in the early 80s.

                                    Their 13th studio album - simply titled Wire – comprises material that was written with the album in mind, but toured extensively first, as well as songs that Newman introduced to the group in the studio just prior to recording. The idea was to get the most spontaneous reaction possible from the musicians, and far from the rough and ready results one might expect from such a tack, Wire is full of swooning pop melodies with a 60s tinge and an irresistible, near motorik rhythmic momentum. One can recognise certain melodic inflections, guitar and bass motifs, and drum rhythms from Wire’s idiosyncratic vocabulary but it has a remarkable freshness. The basic tracks were recorded at Rockfield Studios with overdubs added at Brighton Electric. The 11 tracks selected for release were the ones that came together most naturally.

                                    From the outset Wire was an alliance between four very different characters and continues today with the addition, in 2012, of It Hugs Back guitarist Matthew Simms, who is around thirty years younger than the other group members. “With Matt there was a really new dynamic that had appeared in the group’s sound and that was something we wanted to capture, utilise and be creative with,” says Lewis.

                                    Wire is the first album where Simms has been involved in formulating the material from the ground up, but when the group’s particular chemistry starts working he is now very much part of the process.

                                    Lewis provides most of the lyrics for the album, their subject matter encompassing love songs, cryptic narratives and coded messages. One time, Newman asked Lewis to send over some unfinished, unformatted text so he wouldn’t be bound by what to use for the chorus. This material spawned two songs written on the same day, ‘Split Your Ends’ and the droll ‘In Manchester’. The latter has the disorientating and rather absurd situation of having “In Manchester” as a soaring chorus, when the song is not about Manchester beyond a single line in the lyric.

                                    As the album progresses, some of the sunlit pop tunes become more shadowy and it ultimately plunges into the musical black hole of ‘Harpooned’, eight churning minutes of the group’s darkest, most abrasive music to date, and a favourite in live performances since 2013.

                                    “The point where our personal narratives meet is all about change - moving on and keeping it interesting for ourselves,” says Newman. “We’re in it for the long haul and this is a one-way trip.”

                                    The Wombats follow their Top 5 album ‘This Modern Glitch’ with the release of their third full-length ‘Glitterbug’ via 14th Floor Records / Warner Bros. Records. Already named as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record, the album’s lead single ‘Greek Tragedy’ was accompanied by a darkly compelling video in which one young fan takes her obsession with the band to disturbing extremes. Produced by Mark Crew (Bastille) and The Wombats – frontman Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy, bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen and drummer Dan Haggis – the album’s themes were inspired by core songwriter Murph’s experiences in Los Angeles. Drawn to the city’s mix of “opulence and anxiety”, his songwriting for the album focused upon the idea of writing about a tumultuous relationship with a fictional woman from Los Angeles.

                                    “That became the main inspiration for most of the songs, this false world that I’d created for myself,” he explains. “As time progressed, I’d go to L.A. more and more, and the idea kept on building. The album’s about the envy and the struggle and the pretence and the worry and the fear that L.A. – and every major city in the world – encompasses.”

                                    Approximately halfway through the writing process, events conspired to curve full-circle from fiction into fact when Murph started dating a seemingly unattainable woman from the city. And so imaginary stories evolved into real life concerns: the fading embers of his relationship back in London and the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship. Instrumentally, most of the songs took one of two directions: back in Liverpool, bassist Tord and drummer Dan’s rush of creativity would result in them delivering backing tracks as a foundation for Murph to then build upon in L.A. or London; alternatively Murph would develop the essence of a song on guitar or piano for the band to collectively flesh out. Despite the initial geographic displacement of the trio, subsequent sessions at Mark Crew’s London studio demonstrated that The Wombats’ inter-band dynamics are as strong as ever before.

                                    ‘Greek Tragedy’ floats an East Asian-infused synth riff over booming, distorted drum beats, while another immediate stand-out, the uplifting ‘Give Me A Try’ (inspired by Murph’s blossoming new relationship) represents the band’s most positive lyric to date. Other highlights include the elastic bass and pulsating disco rhythm that permeates throughout ‘Be Your Shadow’; the almost unrecognisably different ‘Emoticons’; and ‘This is Not A Party’ which addresses Murph’s swing from celebratory hedonism to a borderline existential crisis over the course of some “fairly sizeable” nights out in the summer of 2013.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Ltd CD Info: Deluxe CD edition, including 2 bonus tracks.

                                    Mexican border crossings, the traditional ceremonies of surviving Native American communities and lunar eclipses all form the lyrical rock bed of the laid-back, guitar driven debut single and album of new Welsh five-piece, Zefur Wolves.

                                    Sin Fronteras (No Borders) is just one spellbinding shot of fuzzed-up alt-rock on the emergent, self-titled album from Welsh five-piece Zefur Wolves, released on Strangetown Records on Monday 13 April 2015. Led by singer-songwriter Estelle ios, Sin Fronteras shows solidarity with Mexican communities forced to challenge the world’s busiest border crossing - communities that the band became immersed in while writing and recording in California.

                                    Opener, Fading Out pays its dues to legendary songwriter, Jason Pierce, following Estelle’s 24hr binge on Rated X from Spiritualized Amazing Grace album, transporting her to a clear starry night in the redwood forests of Northern California. The album and resulting tribute evokes the band’s very real experiences on their autumn writing retreat, exploring largely uninhabited areas on the edge of the Pacific.

                                    Having immersed themselves in an ‘off the grid’ adventure in the emerald triangle, Zefur Wolves debt to the wilds of Mendocino, Northern California are equal to the sunshineflecked, West Coast vibe of Mazzy Star and 4AD stalwarts, The Breeders.

                                    Following Sin Fronteras’ call to dissolve borders for the sake of humanity, Accept What You Feel calls on love to find a route through difficult times, by learning to leaving the past behind. It forms nearly four minutes of surging, heartfelt grunge-pop, made to pour from the radio on lazy journeys down deserted American highways.

                                    The album was recorded and produced at Strangetown Studios by producer and co-writer Cian Ciaran (Super Furry Animals).


                                    Wall Of Sound are pleased to announce details of a new label compilation ‘Walls Have Ears: 21 Years Of Wall Of Sound’ to be released through PIAS.

                                    The brainchild of Mark Jones, the Wall Of Sound label was launched in 1994. Following the underground acid house explosion of the preceding years the label set about unleashing a catalogue of releases that were to become synonymous with the era, mixing sonics and genres together with abandon. The first ever signing to the label, Mekon (John Gosling), sums the label up as “a well-oiled machine reversing into the future.”

                                    Available on double CD, the compilation features an array of artists from the heady days of the label’s inception and includes tracks and artists from the off shoot labels We Love You and Bad Magic.

                                    Also includes tracks culled from various BBC sessions, cruising through a catalogue that encapsulates the diversity of a label that has been home to the likes of Royksopp, Grace Jones, Propellerheads, Les Rythmes Digitales, Reverend And The Makers, The Human League, Aeroplane, The Bees, Tiesto and more.


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