MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 2 Mar

Genre pick of the week Cover of Era - Bonus Disc Edition by Echo Lake.

Echo Lake

Era - Bonus Disc Edition

FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY - BOTH FORMATS INCLUDE A CD BONUS DISC.

Debut album 'Wild Peace' was released in June 2012, after the then five piece had surfaced 18 months prior to a flurry of blog attention. The record is a near-perfect encapsulation of their early sound, with critics calling it “dazzling, hypnotic and deliriously seductive” and “truly magnificent”. However loud the acclaim, the release was inevitably overshadowed by the shock death of drummer Peter Hayes a few days before release.

The band recovered in private. The songwriting pair of guitarist Thom Hill and vocalist Linda Jarvis would spend two years working on the tracks which would form Era in East London’s Holy Mountain Studio, the first time the band had spent in a professional studio. The album is a result of this experience; far maturer, denser and considered than the band’s home recorded debut. Points recall the textures and expansive ambition of Spaceman 3, Neu! and Deerhunter yet the album is never stylistically referential to any particular period or style.

Aleph Null

Nocturnal

    Hazy German doom trio Aleph Null have recently released their debut album ‘Nocturnal’ .

    After forming in Düsseldorf in 2012, Aleph Null quickly made a name for themselves amongst doom and stoner rock connoisseurs with their first EP ‘Dale’, and its 2013 follow-up, ‘Belladonna’. The band’s thick, groovy sound and keen songwriting skills are sure to endear them to fans of bands like Sleep, Down and Clutch, and ‘Nocturnal’ finds the band on fine form, busting out all manner of deep, fuzzy anthems in style.

    Au.Ra

    Jane's Lament

    Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, are set to release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like “Sun,” and “Pyramid” emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation.

    Au.Ra's “emotive soundscapes” perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight “Morning,” where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a serene, meditative realm. Their repetitive lyrics belie this easy transcendence, sometimes even verging on incantation. These songs evoke a languid drive along a bending highway in autumn, the scenery and light shifting ever so slowly out the windows. As the sun sets earlier, this is an album to savor with the dying light.


    David Ivar aka Black Yaya is a new singer and a new songwriter, although he’s not new to the world of singer-songwriters. Indeed, he used to write, record and perform under the name Herman Dune. He travelled the seven seas and beyond with Herman Dune, and recorded more than ten albums with this name.

    One morning in November of 2012, David Ivar woke up with the strange feeling that he could not be in a band anymore, at least for the moment. For „Black Yaya“. David Ivar wanted to go back to recording everything himself, far from the recording facilities he had got used to with Herman Dune. He wanted to feel like he had when he was using four track tape recorders in High School, free to try anything with no pressure in terms of time spent working, or cost. His heroes were Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and John Lennon he loved them with all his heart, he loved them more than anything in the world, they were singers, writers and guitar players, and that was all he cared for...


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Limited edition LP includes 7".

    Breast Massage

    Heavy Metal

      This 7" from Nashville - based Breast Massage is the second release on the Too Pure Singles Club this year. The band features Jeff The Brotherhood axeman Jake Orrall as well as members of Diarrhea Planet and No Regrets.. speaking about the single the band said "Breast Massage belies what folks think they *know* about Nashville and the music emanating from it. The shit is heavy, it pulls no punches and fails to come off like a bunch of know-nothing rubes blazed on dirt kush. The inteli-stoner rumble flows forth with heft of a legitimate conscience. Solid dudes making even more solid jams."

      Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

      Abbatoir Blues / Lyre Of Orpheus

        English guitarist and organist James Johnston joined The Bad Seeds for their thirteenth studio album ‘Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus’, which was released on September 20th 2004 by Mute Records, and produced by Nick Launay.

        This masterful double album was produced by Nick Launay at Studio Ferber in Paris in March–April 2004 with Cave splitting drumming duties for the two parts, with Jim Sclavunos on ‘Abattoir Blues’ and Thomas Wydler on ‘Lyre Of Orpheus’.

        The entire album was completed in twelve days, and notably, the last track on the album, ‘O Children’, was featured in the 2010 film ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One’. The song is also referenced as an achievement in Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7.

        This edition, approved personally by Nick Cave, is finally available again on it’s original format.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLtd LP Info: Vinyl transfer approval overseen by Mick Harvey during Summer 2014, cut at Abbey Road studios.
        Vinyl is heavyweight 180 gram.

        Following the extended year-long gestation of his 'Who Am Eye' EP, Clarence Clarity ups his game with this hotly-tipped debut long player for Bella Union. 20 tracks long, 'No Now' is a chaotic melange of sounds that will have your head in a spin. Prince-tinted electro-funk, Michael Jackson in a psychotic state, alt-alt-R&B, hints of Ariel Pink's more bonkers moments, but remade as synth-pop, sampled vocals against Clarity's own vox, micro beat mash-ups... It's a fascinating collection of tracks, an album that takes pop experimentation into the outer reaches of the Galaxy...

        “Clarence Clarity’s electro-soul sleaze is unlike much you’ll hear this year, or any other year for that matter… Think Prince trapped in the wiring of a dusty Sega Mega Drive.” - NME

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLtd LP Info: LP format is pressed on gold vinyl and packaged in
        a gatefold sleeve with digital download.

        Crocodiles

        Crybaby Demon

          The first single from Crocodiles’ forthcoming album Boys offers a gaze into the salsa-punk existence the band lived while recording in Mexico City. It is the sound of helado and cervezas; bottles smashing against heads in Cuauhtémoc bat-caves.

          Charles Rowell’s psychedelic guitar swirl starts “Crybaby Demon,” immediately followed by an infectiously repetitive bass line and Latin trashcan percussion. Brandon Welchez’s sneering vocal floats above, telling the tale of a fallen angel, head still in the clouds, abusive and abused. The flip side is a joyously noisy retelling of Hot Chocolate’s 1975 disco classic “U Sexy Thing” and adds to their ever growing collection of oddball influences.

          Formed just over a year ago by guitarist Ross Dolan, vocalist Laura Dolan, Nick Vogelpohl (bass) and Nate Wagner (drums) Electric Citizen have had a busy year turning heads and ears onto their dark and esoteric style of haunting and unhallowed ’60s West Coast rock, and decidedly British-influenced heavy psychedelia.

          Like records by similarly late 60s/early ’70s-possessed anti-modernists Blood Ceremony, Wolf People and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, over nine tracks Sateen provides a blueprint for long term appreciation. Recorded and produced by fellow Ohioan and local stalwart Brian Olive (The Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers) the album draws on sounds synonymous with the roots of early ’70s proto-metal from groups such as Sir Lord Baltimore, Pentagram, Cream and the daemonic spirit of Amon Düül. Not to mention the comparisons it draws with the rock ‘n’ roll ceremony of forgotten acts like Frumpy and Shocking Blue when held up against the spellbinding light of high priestess Laura Dolan’s enigmatic voice and live presence.

          From the cloudy and mystical swirl of ‘Hawk Nightingale’ to the shades of folk metal on ‘Shallow Water’, Electric Citizen pitch scholarly interpretations of the old guard in new and electrifying ways and not always from the vaults of forgotten masters. Take new single ‘Light Years Beyond’ with it’s swirling and ferocious concoction of guitars and drums or ‘Magnetic Man’ with its unabashed nod to Heart and classic Black Sabbath. Just a handful of many songs here that showcases just how good the band is at dropping sonic needles into the grooves of records that all serious rock ’n’ roll lovers hold dear.

          After performing recent shows with Dead Meadow, Spirit Caravan and The Sword the band are currently on the road as official support to stoner rock Gods Fu Manchu on their North American tour.

 ‘Light Years Beyond’ is released on 20 May 2014 and paves the way for Sateen which will be officially released via RidingEasy Records on 1 July 2014.
 The artwork for the album has been created by acclaimed artist Neil Krug who has previously worked with The Horrors, Lana Del Ray and Boards Of Canada). This is the 2014 album by ELECTRIC CITIZEN. Taking its name from a song by the legendary Edgar Broughton Band, this outfit is the brainchild of guitarist Ross Dolan, enigmatic vocalist Laura Dolan, Nick Vogelpohl (bass) and Nate Wagner (drums). The music is powerful hardrock, with a '70s retro sound and influences from late '60s psych rock. Fans of Satan's Satyrs / Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats take note, this ones for you!

          “Electric Citizen have barely been together a year and this gnarly cut [‘Burning In Hell’] melds 60s organ-stoked psychedelia with a fuzzed up 70s stomp. Meanwhile singer Laura Dolan’s witchily layered vocals set Electric Citizen apart from other retro-revivalists.” VICE Noisey

          “They take cultish cues from European acts like The Devil’s Blood and Mansion, but strip away the religious iconography to leave behind an earthy psychedelic swirl. The retro-style production, especially one so ably done, is a rarity among American acts, who usually bring such influences to bear with a modern feel, but Electric Citizen sound like old pros on their first outing.” The Obelisk

          This is the 2014 album by ELECTRIC CITIZEN. Taking its name from a song by the legendary Edgar Broughton Band, this outfit is the brainchild of guitarist Ross Dolan, enigmatic vocalist Laura Dolan, Nick Vogelpohl (bass) and Nate Wagner (drums). The music is powerful hardrock, with a '70s retro sound and influences from late '60s psych rock. Fans of Satan's Satyrs / Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats take note, this ones for you!

          Evans the Death return with their second album. Recorded again with producer Rory Atwell (Test Icicles, Warm Brains), the album bristles with an underlying tension and veers from rip-roaring noise to quiet contemplation, underpinned by Katherine Whitaker’s extraordinary voice. Still barely out of their teens, there’s a tremendous sense across Expect Delays of a band coming in to their own, honing a plethora of influences to make a sound that is uniquely them.

          Each song on the album has a different feel to it: some of them are melodic and pretty; some of them heavy and dissonant; and some of them are, to quote guitarist Dan Moss, “a bit strange”. While retaining the post-punk and 90s alt-rock inspired elements that peppered their debut, the music is more expressive, heavier and more experimental, and the lyrics more nuanced, the sense of despair leavened by sharp wordplay and humour. The unsettling undercurrent of melancholy and hopelessness that pervades the record has its roots in the last three years, spent eking out an existence on the poverty line in Cameron’s Britain.

          On the cusp of finishing school when their debut was released, the band rejected the opportunity of higher education in favour of focusing on music, a decision that backfired when the album failed to take off in the way they’d expected, leaving them with a succession of McJobs and unemployment benefits interviews. As guitarist Dan Moss relates, the album is about “being in London and feeling hopeless and a bit lost. Not having any money, relationships falling apart, things just not connecting or going anywhere and getting absolutely wasted all the time.”

          Named after the undertaker in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, the band’s 2012 eponymous debut saw critical acclaim from the likes of Q, Uncut and Artrocker as well as radio play on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music and XFM. Following the departure of bassist Alanna McArdle to Joanna Gruesome and the sacking of drummer Rob Mitson the band regrouped around the core of brothers Dan and Olly Moss and singer Katherine Whitaker for the recording of Expect Delays. Previously songwriting duties had been the preserve of the elder Moss brother, Dan, but with Olly now bringing his own songs to the table, the brothers resolved to switch between guitar and bass on a song-by-song basis. Drummer James Burkitt was recruited from Leeds’ band The ABC Club to complete a new lean and taut four-piece.

          Exploding into life with live favourite Intrinsic Grey, its incessant rhythms and squalling guitars a feral cry from the heart, Expect Delays contains more than its fair share of heart-stopping moments. The ebullient Sledgehammer is following by Idiot Button (named after the buttons at street crossings that don’t actually do anything) and what is perhaps the key lyric on the album of “I can’t explain these gaps in my employment record / I’m an idiot for trying”. As if they were demonstrating their virtuosity and versatility the Stereolab-esque title track Expect Delays is followed by the grunge-heavy Enabler, which in turn is followed by the achingly beautiful ballad Waste Of Sunshine, while elsewhere the (late) Beatles-y Don’t Laugh At My Angry Face deals with alcoholism and a relationship at its absolute bitter end. The album ends with a “secret” track Don’t Beat Yourself Up (“we would have listed it but I didn’t want to have 13 tracks” – Dan), written on the night Lou Reed died. More ambitious and focused than their previous record, whilst sacrificing none of their spontaneity and vitality, Expect Delays is a supremely inventive and intelligently crafted album from a band who have suffered for their art, and used that experience to inform and nourish their work. Expect no more delays, Evans The Death have arrived.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: Limited vinyl pressing with art print.

          Noel's second studio album finds his song-writing in supremely fine fettle, but then you'd expect that from the master-craftsman. This time he has self-produced and included a song which actually pre-dates Oasis, and one from the aborted Amorphous Androgynous sessions. There' a slightly funky vibe left-over from said collaboration and whilst most of the album is choc-full of Noel's classic sounding melodies (albeit with some fairly obvious cribbing) "The  Right Stuff"and opener "Riverman" are the most unusual cuts here, one a spacejazz freakout , the other a seventies acoustic groover inspired by a night out with Morrissey (namecheckin' fact fans!) The remainder of the LP isn't too dissimilar to Noel's debut, but perhaps with a more discernable bottom-end as  gloriously displayed on Noel-by-Numbers  (and therefore superb!) lead single "In The Heat Of The Moment", and the one-of-the-best-things-he's-ever-done follow-up "Ballad Of The Mighty I". All in all, a splendid record.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Martin says: He's still got it!

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

          What Happens Next, the title of Gang of Four’s thrilling and unsettling ninth album, refers both to the world outside and the band itself: an emphatic commitment to the future.

          On the album, as on the band’s rejuvenating 2013 tour dates, founding guitarist and songwriter Andy Gill has constructed a new Gang of Four: John “Gaoler” Sterry on vocals, Thomas McNiece on bass and Jonny Finnegan on drums. What Happens Next is a work that is aware of Gang of Four’s past but not beholden to it, and finds a band that is empowered to explore new tones and narratives.

          Gaoler is a shape-shifting, charismatic singer able to slide under the skin of Gill’s narrators, sometimes cruel, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes a neutral observer of how society operates. He is joined on What Happens Next by Alison Mosshart (of the Kills and the Dead Weather), Robbie Furze (of the Big Pink), Gail Ann Dorsey, Japanese guitarist Tomayasu Hotei and German musician and actor Herbert Grönemeyer. What Happens Next contains the intellectual muscle you would expect but this plenitude of voices also makes it Gang of Four’s most richly emotional album yet.

          International in scope as well as personnel, What Happens Next grapples with ideas of identity, religion and capitalism, and how individuals are led astray by ideology and received wisdom. It does so with music that is heavy, dynamic and often moving in ways that Gang of Four haven’t explored before. The consistent thread is Gill’s unmistakeable guitar-playing, as restless and probing as his lyrics.

          With a tough, radical new sound, Andy Gill has constructed a new entity for exploring enduring fascinations, which makes What Happens Next Gang of Four’s boldest, most self-interrogating album since Entertainment! As ever, Gang of Four takes nothing for granted.

          Ghostpoet is pleased to announce his forthcoming album ‘Shedding Skin’.

          The first fruits of the album, the track ‘Off Peak Dreams’ has already been premiered on Zane Lowe’s Radio One show and sees Ghostpoet, London-based Obaro Ejimiwe moving on from the cathartic musings of 2013’s ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ album.

          ‘Shedding Skin’ is the manifestation of a new challenge of fresh thinking and a brave confident stride into previously uncharted waters. Ten songs that embrace, unite and narrate observations that are designed to sit beside each other through bright peaks and dark shallows.

          Unlike his previous albums, ‘Shedding Skin’ was recorded with a traditional live set up with what has become his touring band; Joe Newman on guitar, bass player John Calvert and John Blease on drums.

          The self-produced album also features guest vocals from Nadine Shah, Etta Bond, Melanie De Biasio, Lucy Rose and Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith, amounting in a collection that sets a new precedent as his very best work yet.

          It may be seven years since he released a solo record, but José has been anything but idle in that time. He’s delivered two albums with the band Junip, his more fulsome, electronic-edged, pop project and has toured with both the Berlin/Göteborg String Theory orchestra (in 2011), co-performing 11 reworking’s of his songs, Sidi Touré and played with Malian desert blues troupe Tinariwen (both in 2012). In 2013, Hollywood came calling when Ben Stiller commissioned José to work with Theodore Shapiro on the soundtrack to his remake of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and most recently, he’s contributed his version of ‘This is How We Walk On the Moon’ to the Red Hot charity compilation honouring Arthur Russell. Community and collaboration are obviously satisfying in their own ways, but now José is again stepping centre stage solo, with Vestiges & Claws.

          Conceived as the natural third part in an acoustic trilogy, Vestiges & Claws is a(nother) hushed and delicate solo set that forefronts the artist and guitarist’s compellingly intimate vocal style and intricate playing technique, but it’s often strikingly rhythmic in nature and cohere’s perfectly, with hand claps and taps on the body of his instrument underlining the songs’ mantric rise-and-fall pattern, while elsewhere, over-dubbed guitar parts and multi-tracked vocal harmonies entwine to sweetly immersive effect.

          The title refers to both cultural practices and biological features that survive despite having lost their original function, and to currently useful tools, ie the “claws” of modern life.

          Vestiges & Claws was recorded almost entirely by José and self-produced, mostly in his Gothenburg home, using computer plug-ins to achieve a warm, analogue sound. He prefers working alone, mainly for artistic reasons. “There were a couple of things that enabled me to complete this record: one was curiosity, to be able to play percussion and do a lot of harmonies and also to produce and mix the album; the other was aesthetics. I love to listen to Arthur Russell and Shuggie Otis, to music that has been done mostly by one person in their solitary state.”

          As José sees it, the record is his personal, “zoomed-out eye on humanity on a small, pale blue dot in a cold, sparse and unfriendly space. The amazing fact that we are all here, an attempt at encouraging us to understand ourselves and to make the best of the one life we know we have – after birth and before death.”

          Colleen Green

          I Want To Grow Up

            Growing up.
            As a prospect it can be terrifying, sad, and worst of all, inevitable. But on I Want to Grow Up, her second album for Hardly Art, Colleen Green lets us know that we don't have to go it alone.

            This latest collection of songs follows a newly 30-year-old Green as she carefully navigates a minefield of emotion. Her firm belief in true love is challenged by the inner turmoil caused by entering modern adulthood, but that doesn't mean that her faith is defeated. With a nod to her heroes, sentimental SoCal punks The Descendents, Green too wonders what it will be like when she gets old. Throughout songs such as "Some People," "Deeper Than Love," and the illustrative title track, the listener has no choice but to feel the sympathetic growing pains of revelatory maturation and the anxieties that come along with it.

            Sonically the album is a major change for the LA-based songwriter, who has come to be known for her homemade recordings and merchandise. Her past offerings have been purely Green; testaments to her self-sufficiency and, perhaps, trepidation. This time, she's got a little help from her friends: the full band heard here includes JEFF the Brotherhood's Jake Orrall and Diarrhea Planet's Casey Weissbuch, who collaborated with Green over ten days at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN.

            I Want to Grow Up is an experience, not unlike life: questioning, learning, taking risks. And in true CG fashion, a quote from a beloved 90s film seems the perfect summation: "Understanding is reached only after confrontation."

            Jonny Greenwood

            Inherent Vice OST

              This is a heavyweight, double disc 140 gram high-performance vinyl on Nonesuch for Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack to Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s new feature film, Inherent Vice. In addition to nine compositions by Greenwood, the soundtrack features ‘Spooks’, an unreleased Radiohead tune performed by members of Supergrass, as well as other recordings from the movie’s era. Additional performers include The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Neil Young, Can, and The Marketts, among others.

              Happy Refugees

              Beyond Moth And Rust

                HAPPY REFUGEES were regarded as one of Post Punk’s most obscure bands for many years. But recently they became a reference point for cult US groups such as Crystal Stilts and Cloud Nothings. In 2011 the highly respected New York re-issue label Acute Records re-released their original recordings under the title “Return to Last Chance Saloon”. HAPPY REFUGEES resurfaced in New York to promote the album and play live. The album received plaudits across the world, particularly in the US, drawing comparisons with many other Post Punk artists, but also in recognition of HAPPY REFUGEES’ unique sound and idiosyncrasies. Their original album was nominated in NME’s ‘100 GREAT ALBUMS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD’. Fresh from the New York episode Happy Refugees embarked on recording a new album, ‘BEYOND MOTH AND RUST’, in Newcastle with Producer Robert Blamire from Penetration. The six piece line up reconvened, but with the addition of Clive Williams on bass taking the place of Paul Lamb who, sadly, died in 2007.

                Aldous is a Christchurch local, whose records are released in New Zealand by Lyttleton records (home of the mighty Marlon Williams and Delaney Davidson).

                Lyttelton is a gorgeous port town to the north of Christchurch. A home for Māori for about 700 years, Lyttelton Harbour was discovered by European voyagers passing by on 16 February 1770 during the Endeavour's first voyage to New Zealand. Today it is one of New Zealand’s busiest ports. In popular culture it is best known as the location for most of the exterior scenes in Peter Jackson's 1996 horror movie The Frighteners.It is also a town surrounded by many historic buildings, many of which have been turned into bars.

                Aldous Harding’s music has been the best thing that has ever happened to these bars, where wayfaring loners shuffle in at the wrong times of day. She has been the saviour of those falling in home-cooked opium furrows. She has kept sailors in check with cheek and a strong-songed tongue.
 


                And now she will be all yours for an album length period of time, and you may have your picnic and feast upon the music. So lucky one, close your eyes. Turn your nose towards river water. Twitch your ears as rabbits do. Settle in. Listen to this one closely.

                This is a special album in the sense that its graceful and subtle qualities form a powerfully emotive listening experience. It uses familiar musical forms to create something quite spooky and entrancing and it is those qualities that will repeatedly draw listeners back for more.” Under the Radar (NZ)

                “Don’t tell my wife, but I’ve fallen for another woman.” Rip It Up (NZ)

                “This is folk music, simple and bleak (not unlike Melbourne’s own gothic country band, Jimmy Tait), with Harding’s fragile coo reminiscent of retiring, 60s-era folk singers Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs.” Who The Hell.


                Ryan Kennedy has been making music ever since he was a young teenager. Now in his early 20's, his dreams and desires have finally been distilled into this, his debut album. Written over the space of a year, but recorded in a fortnight, straight to tape, in Ryan's central Manchester flat, 'Horsebeach' is a gorgeous journey through Northern, jangly, dreamy guitar pop. From as far back as The Wake, through the now de rigeur C86, this is bedroom introspection gone widescreen.
                                             
                Gorgeous songs of love and longing, this music has a lilting, drifting quality, sometimes reminiscent of Felt, or of a meandering, jangle-tastic Real Estate, of whom Ryan is clearly a fan. Chiming guitars, brooding melodies, thoughtful words. 'Horsebeach' is a very lovely record indeed.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: ‘Horsebeach’ is a self-released, recorded-in-a-bedroom (but hardly lo-fi) labour of love by local lad Ryan Kennedy. With no press to speak of and just a handful of spins on 6 Music, the album managed to become the Piccadilly Records surprise smash of the summer. It is a gorgeous journey through old-school, jangly, dreamy guitar pop. From as far back as Factory Records' The Wake, via Felt, the DIY ethic of C86 and right up to the present day (the kind of wistful sounds heard on Captured Tracks) this is lovely, considered, melancholy music where guitars chime, words provoke, and melodies meander beautifully. There's quite a few bands mining this peculiarly English sound right now, most of them Stateside, and a first listen to Horsebeach could well put you in mind of the best of them: Real Estate. It's in the ringing, shimmering guitars and sense of longing, but it's also in a shared love that's not like any other love. This one is different because it's The Smiths! Nothing is implied, Kennedy's heart is emblazoned right upon his sleeve. It's been 30 odd years so why not? Geographically and spiritually it's there in his blood, so to jingle like Johnny and murmur like Moz is clearly the most natural thing in the world. The boy can't help it! That's probably what's made the album such a hit in our shop. That and an accidental kinship with the burgeoning Mancunian Balearic collective. The tranquil, breezy drift of a number of tracks coupled with those hazy echoes of Smithsonia. That gentle sound, coming round again.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: Clear vinyl repress.

                Ash Hunter is a fantastic singer / songwriter with a folk storytelling style - an English Gentleman with attitude. His debut album captures some beautiful performances and has a unique view his songwriting; he delivers his stories with humour and personal feeling and has a gentle voice - some great guitar picking too.

                James Holt is a 21 year old singer/songwriter from Manchester. Music has been his life from a very early age. He is a classically trained pianist (since 6), guitarist (since 9) and cellist (since 12), and also has grade 8 theory. He achieved four grade 8s and then went onto graduate from the University of Salford with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Music, majoring in composition and arrangement. He is now studying for a MA in Music Composition at Salford University. He was also awarded the Derek Scott Composition Award at his graduation ceremony.

                His song 'Whatever Happened to John?' was chosen by Brian Eno. Brian Eno, a world-renowned producer, said of the track: "Brisk, funny, exciting. Great drumming. This track feels fresh and exciting to listen to". James is particulary pleased because he recorded and produced the song himself. Brian Eno chose the song via the NOISE Festival 2014.

                With his unique blend of folk and alternative rock, James performs regularly at venues and festivals in towns and cities accross the UK including Manchester, Liverpool, Leicestershire and Bolton.

                He has a love of composing and arranging and a desire to write lyrical songs in many styles. He records, writes and produces all his own music and is inspired by The Beatles, Bob Dylan,Tame Impala, Radiohead, Miles Davies and Bill Evans. 

                Laika

                Silver Apples Of The Moon

                  Medical Records continues on it’s exploration of seminal 1990s reissues with the 1994 masterpiece “Silver Apples Of The Moon” by England’s Laika. Originally released on the iconic Too Pure label in 1994, this record has long been out of print on vinyl.

                  The members of Laika hailed from various interesting places. Margaret Fiedler was actually born in Chicago but relocated to London to pursue musical interests and was one of the vocalists and songwriters for Moonshake (also on Too Pure) as well as a previous member of Ultra Vivid Scene. Guy Fixsen was (and still is to this very day), a renowned audio engineer and producer.

                  In fast, he was involved in the infamous production of My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”. The bass player John Frenett was also in Moonshake and left that band the same time as Fiedler after their first USA tour. The drummer, Lou Ciccotelli, had previously played in Kevin Martin’s band God. The band also had a saxophonist, Louise Elliot.

                  “Silver Apples Of The Moon” was Laika’s first album and is almost unclassifiable. Taking a very forward-thinking approach, the sound is the result of a very unique equation of live drums/percussion, layered guitars/samples, and diverse analog tones that all fuse together to form a hypnotic polyrhythmic combination that was truly original.

                  Too Pure was known for it’s cutting edge roster including Seefeel, Mouse On Mars, and Pram. Laika was certainly no exception to these game-changing artists. The opening track “Sugar Daddy” explodes from the first note into a percussive frenzy that is quite dizzying before it smolders a bit and is layered with various samples that propel the track. “Coming Down Glass” exudes a more mutated trip-hop form with thick powerful bass lines. Other standout tracks include the intense “Red River” and the harder track “44 Robbers”. While it is exceedingly difficult to draw any similarities of this album with other artists, one can make loose associations (or at least influenced by) some of the most challenging percussive experiments of Miles Davis, the brilliant exotica of Martin Denny, and the gut churning bass magic created by Jah Wobble in early PIL.

                  Fans of the crucial and long lasting mark left by the Too Pure artists such as Pram and the like will definitely need to own this album if they have never heard it. For most fans, the original vinyl LP was not available or accessible (especially in the USA).

                  - The masters for which this reissue is sourced were directly transferred from the vinyl master source material courtesy of Beggars Limited with the utmost care and quality.

                  - The LP jacket features similar original artwork, and the LP contains a bonus insert with an engaging interview and write up by Segal featuring exclusive interviews with Guy Fixsen and Margaret Fiedler.

                  - Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight colored vinyl.



                  Lapsley

                  Understudy EP

                    Over the course of 2014, fast-emerging singer, songwriter and producer Holly ‘Låpsley’ Fletcher has become one of the most hotly-tipped new UK artists around.

                    Through beautifully crafted songs such as ‘Station’ and ‘Painter (Valentine)’, the eighteen year old, Southport-raised artist has created a unique sonic identity, mixing solo piano and sparse, minimal electronic production with gorgeous, emotive songwriting. Adele produced by James Blake? That's my lazy (ballpark) comparison of the day!

                    Now, following a deal with XL Recordings, Låpsley releases her debut, ‘Understudy EP’, available on 12” vinyl and featuring three further brand new tracks.

                    February 2014 saw the band release their “Back To Bagarmossen” EP on London/Stockholm indie label PNKSLM Recordings. The 10” vinyl received huge praise both internationally and at home, even picking up mainstream TV coverage on Sweden’s TV4. Following the EP, Les Big Byrd are now preparing to unleash their debut full length release, “They Worshipped Cats”, on Anton Newcombe’s A Records, Anton has co written & plays 2 tracks on the album.

                    When Anton recently visited Stockholm with his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, the guys accidentally ran into each other at a local record shop, and started talking about music. Anton invited the band down to his studio in Berlin to record and jam for a few days and it was there that a big part of "They Worshipped Cats" was conceived and recorded. Les Big Byrd was formed in Stockholm by Joakim Åhlund and Frans Johansson a couple of years ago. They each eventually joined different rock bands that brought them out of Sweden and into a different world. Frans' band Fireside, got signed by Rick Rubin to his label Def American and Jocke had a taste of international success with 60's-influenced garage-pop outfit Caesars, as well as his other, more electronically flavored project Teddybears.

                    They decided that they still - in spite of everything - had their love for music intact, and the dream in common to get the perfect band together and give it one more shot. They recruited Jocke's former bandmate, drummer Nino Keller and keyboardist Konie and started jamming and rehearsing. Joakim had been running a recording studio in Stockholm, writing and producing for Swedish and international artists, including Robyn and Håkan Hellström, and had also directed music videos for prominent Swedish exports such as Bob Hund, Refused, Broder Daniel and The International Noise Conspiracy. Keyboardist Konie also runs a studio in Stockholm, where he's been recording a number of film scores as well as many of Swedens most interesting black metal acts.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: Green vinyl repress edition.

                    Lusts

                    Temptation

                      Lusts are brothers Andy and James Stone from Leicester, presenting here their debut single for 1965 Records.

                      Mixed by MJ of Hookworms, A-side ‘Temptation’ evokes both the classic woozy choruses and reverb laden guitars of Echo & The Bunnymen and the New Wave pop sensibilities of Beach Fossils.

                      Mat Skinner singer/songwriter delivers a blend of Folk/Americana wrapped in a gentle Northern voice, armed with guitar & harmonica he plays an acoustic ode to friendship, life, death and love. With influences from the likes of Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen and Jackson C Frank, Mat’s music combined with his beautiful filmic and soulful voice proves he is clearly an accomplished writer.

                      If we had to pigeonhole this EP then it likely deserves a genre of its own. Welcome to the world of ‘Cinematic Northern Folk’. On ‘…with the Power of a Thousand Suns’ Mat has created a body of songs that people will be choosing as the soundtrack to their lives for many years to come.

                      “This music holds such beauty, Mat Skinner warms my northern heart.” - Guy Garvey - Elbow.

                      The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes, offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivating the new album in the unfamiliar environment of a new dwelling; a dark Portland basement. The effect was akin to the act of descending from a train after a long and arduous trip, only to see it (and all your subsequent realities) speed off into the horizon without you. It was from this stir-crazy fire that Shadow of the Sun was forged.

                      Evolving the sound of their critically acclaimed first two full length records, Mazes (2011) and Circles (2012), Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada have developed their ideas with the help of their newly acquired steam engine, Canadian drummer John Jeffrey (present on the band‘s last release, Live in Ravenna. Moon Duo used the creative process as a flickering beacon of sanity in an ocean of uncertainty while in these land bound months. The unchartered rhythms and tones of this album reflect their striving for equilibrium in this new environment, and you can hear that Shadow of the Sun is the result of months of wrangling with this profound, unsettling way of being. Exploring the record, a listener will perceive the song "Night Beat," with its off-kilter dance rhythm, as an attempt by the band to find meaning and acceptance in this new, shifting ground, while “Wilding" delivers a familiar Moon Duo sound, taking refuge in a repetitive, grinding riff-scape. Elsewhere on the record, the band recognizes that no journey is possible without being on the road, paying tribute to the cosmic trucker boogie saint in “Slow Down Low” and “Free the Skull.” From the narcoleptic dancefloor killer “Zero,” the record spirals perfectly into a resplendent daydream, the ecstatically pretty “In a Cloud,” which is a spectacular moment to witness.

                      In a nod to a great pop tradition, the lead single, “Animal,” will appear as the A-side of a 7-inch, packaged with each copy of the vinyl edition. The song has an early West Coast punk viciousness to it that is entirely unique to the Moon Duo catalog, and it will also appear as the last track on the CD.

                      To further coat the album with an air of uncertainty and tension, the duo decamped to Berlin to mix with Finnish beat-meister Jonas Verwijnen of Kaiku Studios. There in a counter-intuitive act of creative catharsis, they managed to dissolve the album’s formal technique into a cool and paradoxically sane sound of confusion.

                      The result, at the end of the trip, is the album Shadow of the Sun.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Red vinyl edition that comes with a free 7".

                      Prior to their second full-length "Calendar" (2012), Motorama was a wonderfully kept secret. From the port city of Rostov-On-Don, Southern Russia, the band was producing a Manchester-inspired cold wave, icy and hypnotic. Icy but not frozen, hypnotic but awake. Before long, their compositions gained in clarity, lyricism and assurance: the prominent rock of their first recordings now opening its doors to a romantic and melodic pop. The quintet visited many territories (continental Europe many times over, the vast and intimidating Slavic land, Peru, Mexico...) gaining praise from critics and audiences alike. The gems of their third album "Poverty" will reveal themselves in the midst of this winter, and to co-incide with this new release, Motorama will play shows both in and outside Russia in early 2015.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

                      Jonas Munk

                      Absorb / Fabric / Cascade

                        Second solo LP from Causa Sui guitar player/producer Jonas Munk. These three long pieces aren't defined by Munks signature guitar-approach, they are rather the fruits of a musical vision of vintage synthesizers, organs, piano and analog electronics elegantly weaved together to create extensive formations of pure sound. The harmonic simplicity and unrestricted dedication to sonic balance and texture is something of a first in Munk's body of work. This is pattern music, characterized by slow builds and subtle, but refined, transformations, where gradual tectonic shifts and tiny harmonic gestures generate vivid emotional responses. Instead of imposing any direct intention or meaning, it's an album that can create a mental environment for the listener to expand and open up into.

                        Absorb, taking up the entire A-side, is a piece of meticulous balance, structured from techniques recalling the classical minimalists: soft-glowing analog synthesizer patterns in perpetual motion, creating new harmonic content as each bar progresses. Gradually, randomized modular effects are introduced as well as layers of white noise and detuned, heavily tube-overdriven guitar drones, slowly bathing the piece in warmly filtered fuzz.

                        The B-side opens with two identical organ lines played against each other. After a few minutes the organs lock into a an effortless flow, gently rolling towards a pastoral peak several minutes later, where piano and various layers of electronics enters the soundscape, recalling the blissed-out spiritualism of Alice Coltrane or Popol Vuh.

                        The album's last track, Cascade, opens peacefully but soon enough crosses into an oscillating flood of sound – echoing the multi-textural psychedelia of Munk's previous solo album, Pan, released in 2012. Gradually the intertwined layers of sound rises to enormous billows of sonic saturation, where each drone harmonizes against layers of distorted pulses. Music like this is perceived as incredibly simple and free flowing, but, as is the case with the biological world, reveals textural minutiae and interweaved intricacy once studied close-up. Every tiny detail serves the bigger picture. It's music that's practically vibrating with possibility.

                        File next to: Terry Riley, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Brian Eno, Popol Vuh.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd LP Info: LP limited to 500 copies, transparent ornage vinyl, includes download card.

                        From just south of the Appalachian mountains, in the rolling hills of Athens, GA., comes the roaring young four-piece, New Madrid. Following the critical acclaim of their 2012 independently released album Yardboat, the band signed with Normaltown records and promptly began work on their sophomore album Sunswimmer.

                        Recorded during a cool, rainy july, under the direction of David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-by Truckers), the aural landscapes forged in sunswimmer become almost palpable. Combining reverb-drenched vocal harmonies, soaring underwater noise and floating, meandering melodies, the sounds don't exit the speakers as much as they condense and hang in the air like the humid athens summer that birthed them.

                        Of Montreal

                        Aureate Gloom

                          “A golden despondency” is how Kevin Barnes translates the meaning behind Aureate Gloom, the title he gave of Montreal’s thirteenth full-length album. The oxymoron is one Barnes says best describes the overall state of his life and mental outlook while working on the record — penning lyrics so personal they sound like entries ripped from a journal that should be permanently kept under lock and key.

                          “A golden despondency” is how Kevin Barnes translates the meaning behind Aureate Gloom, the title he gave of Montreal’s thirteenth full-length album. The oxymoron is one Barnes says best describes the overall state of his life and mental outlook while working on the record — penning lyrics so personal they sound like entries ripped from a journal that should be permanently kept under lock and key. “I was going through a very stormy period in my life and felt like I was just completely trashed,” reveals Barnes. “I might be guilty of sharing or exposing too much of my private life, but to me the best albums are those that help people connect with an artist on a deep, human level and that do so without too much artifice or evasiveness.” Aureate Gloom was recorded directly to tape with musicians Kevin Barnes (guitar, vocals), Clayton Rychlik (drums), Bob Parins (bass), Bennett Lewis (guitar), and JoJoGlidewell (keys), plus the help of engineer Drew Vandenberg. The strength of the members’ musical rapport was instantly apparent. The group completed nearly a song a day and even wrote a brand new track on the spot, “Apollyon Of Blue Room,” whose title references a supposedly haunted bedroom in a hacienda on the studio grounds. With Aureate Gloom, of Montreal have created one of the most unflinching, confessional and starkly emotional albums in their career.

                          The Picturebooks

                          Imaginary Horse

                            On their new release, Imaginary Horse. the German duo kick out thumping, muscular riffs. At their core, the duo takes cues from the blues-based sledgehammering of Scott Asheton. But then, on the even nastier cuts like "Your kisses burn like fire," the band gets grimey and wallows in low, rumbling reverberations that would make any Amphetamine Reptile band proud. This is vicious, modern rock and roll. Like Royal Blood if they recorded for Am Rep in 1989. Heavy two piece rock action!

                            Pinkshinyultrablast

                            Everything Else Matters

                            Pinkshinyultrablast, a five-piece band from Saint-Petersburg in Russia, are set to release their debut album 'Everything Else Matters' in January. Hailing from a city more synonymous with the State Conservatory rather than a gang of shoegaze addicts, they've been compared to Lush. But this is no mere throwback tribute – due to their sharp, icy electronics and ability to subvert the genre, bringing something new to the table. They possess not only the spirit of late 80s/early 90s British bands like Ride, but also machine-made sounds of the same era from Sabres Of Paradise or Global Communication, not to mention wider vibrations like Cluster, Popul Vuh, Terry Riley and Philip Glass.

                            This is an album brimming with playful melody and finely-crafted songwriting. Imagine the scope of a Caribou record, fronted by Elizabeth Fraser soundtracking a grizzly Raskolnikov crime. The band take their name from an Astrobrite album, an act who were, according to the band, instrumental in how they "researched spaces between ambient, heavy guitar and pop music" .The spaces are what stand out, the production creates a dream-like affair, while space to breathe and reflect on the beauty of the music is accommodated. There is a sparseness to the album that in turn gives spaciousness, even expansiveness.

                            Post Industrial Noise

                            The Official Anthology

                            - The tracks on this collection have been restored from the original analogue tape reel for this reissue.
                            - For fans of the previously reissued Near Paris and other synth outfits such as Chris & Cosey, early 80s new wave, and even more edgy artists such as Suicide. * Remastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage Studios, UK.
                            - Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight colored vinyl.

                            Medical Records in collaboration with Crispy Nuggets is proud to present a collection of tracks by Post Industrial Noise. PIN was an “audio artsemble” conceived in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio by the trio Robert Crise Jr, Gerald F. Nelson, and Dana Riashi Ritchey.

                            They started on a drum machine, guitars, and vocals but quickly evolved to one member on synths and two guitarists on occasional synths. Robert Crise Jr maintained a studio titled “The Center For Contemporary Realism” where he conceived most of the lyrics for PIN. Gerald F. Nelson was a local performance artist, and Dana Riashi (OSU art student) claimed to be the “idea-mediator” between Robert and Gerald. Robert produced a flexidisc of PIN material through an Ohio Arts Council grant and distributed it through the OSU art tabloid “Dialogue”. The accompanying article from Cleveland’s Spaces Gallery noted PIN to have “redigested their input from influence bands such as Tangerine Dream, PIL, and Kraftwerk, to produce their own unique sound”.

                            PIN performed mainly in galleries and occasionally clubs at the time. They produced a cassette release and were soon feeling the pressure to specialize towards more concrete art performance or club venues. It was this pressure that soon led all activity of PIN to a strangling halt unfortunately. Robert soon left Ohio for graduate studies in Detroit where he remains a “future archaeologist” today. Gerald and Dana then proceeded to form the outfit Near Paris (reissued on Medical Records in 2013). The output of PIN could be described a more experimental/minimalist offshoot of new wave with pleasant synth sequences blanketed in rich synth tones.

                            Fans of Near Paris will obviously draw comparisons, but the overall feel of PIN is a bit darker and possibly more lo-fi in all aspects. The opening track “Sketch” has a definite cold wave vibe with slightly echoed vocals over a subtle drum machine beat and monotonous synth lines. “Prelude” is a deep instrumental cut with synth and sample interplay resulting in a hypnotic slab of brilliance.


                            Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combination of oscillators, sequencers, limiters and filters to create a system that allows him to create sounds that are surprising and inviting.

                            His new album, ‘The Republic’, is Sam Prekop’s latest synthesizer work, following 2010’s ‘Old Punch Card’ and showcases Prekop’s talent for creating expressive music through mechanical patterns, repetitions and chance.

                            Prekop’s innate gifts of melodic turns of phrase that have made him a revered songwriter are transferred into new forms in his synthesizer work, aided by the unpredictable melodic capabilities of analogue sequencers and ‘The Republic’ is an exciting new chapter in his development as an accomplished synthesist. ‘The Republic’ moves Prekop’s synthesizer compositions further into the realm of the accessible without abandoning the experimental legacy of the instrument.

                            The first half of ‘The Republic’ consists of songs that were originally created as a score for a video installation of the same name by David Hartt which was shown at the David Nolan Gallery in New York.

                            Although Prekop has primarily only performed synthesizer sets in Chicago, in part due to the extensive process of setting up and dismantling the instrument, he plans to perform works incorporating elements of ‘The Republic’ throughout the US and Europe in 2015.

                            Sam Prekop is not only the singer and songwriter of The Sea And Cake but also a well respected painter and photographer.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP Info: LP version pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged in a high gloss jacket with artworked innersleeve and free download coupon.

                            CD Info: CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package.

                            Purity Ring

                            Another Eternity

                            After sixty-five fortnights, Purity Ring have returned with their second album Another Eternity. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. For the first time, vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick were able to create a record in the same room.

                            Purity Ring’s first album, 2012's Shrines, was recorded separately in Montreal and Halifax, where Corin and Megan were respectively living at the time. Despite being a thousand kilometers apart, Shrines was a cohesive, beguiling and wholly unique universe of what the band called ‘Future Pop’. At the center of the amniotic swirl of Shrines was an undeniable nucleus of crystalline pop which presciently suggested both indie and popular music to come. They quickly amassed a rabid fanbase, toured relentlessly and sold out shows worldwide, earning ‘Best New Music’ from Pitchfork and praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and NPR, among others.

                            On Another Eternity, Purity Ring trade the gorgeously claustrophobic atmospheres of Shrines for wide-open, muscular vistas of sound and luminous, up-front vocals. Crafting a lyrical universe of “sweat and dreams” populated by seacastles, rattling spines, and weeping drawers, Megan James wields concrete imagery and metaphor with increasingly direct, startling resonance. Corin Roddick's gifts for evocative melody remain intact, but his drum work and use of space have been completely reforged: immaculately built and focused in service of the song.

                            Though they are now working at a higher resolution, Purity Ring remain hands-on with every aspect of their project. As usual, the band produced and recorded Another Eternity entirely themselves. 


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                            Sannhet

                            Revisionist

                              Revisionist is the second full-length from Brooklyn avant-post-metal outfit Sannhet (the word means “truth” in Norwegian) and their first for The Flenser. Founded in late 2010, the instrumental trio has amassed a diehard audience within the borough’s broad underground music circuit through their numerous live performances, always choreographed with electrifying visuals. Sannhet released their sprawling debut full-length Known Flood in February of 2013 on Sacrament, the record label run by the co-owner of legendary Brooklyn bar / venue St. Vitus.

                              Continuing where Known Flood leaves off, Revisionist delivers an epic, trance-inducing concoction of math-metal intricacy, prismatic pop shimmer, and dense metallic crush. Dynamic indie rockisms and the metal-gaze sound of like-minded combos Deafheaven or Alcest are distilled into concise song structures. At the same time, Sannhet offers the powerful emotiveness of instrumental post-rock acts like Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, packing just as many musical ideas and majestic heights into a compact blast.

                              Revisionist was mixed by Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Converge, Red Sparrows) and mastered by Carl Saff (Forest Swords, Guided by Voices, Pygmy Lush).

                              “Sannhet makes music that largely defies categorization—it’s epic, cinematic stuff; its complex instrumentation is employed in the service of soaring, breathtaking music.” —Stereogum.

                              “… welds the power of black metal, sludge metal, and grindcore to the structures and orders of post-rock and post-punk.” —Pitchfork.

                              “…Sannhet’s tools are dynamics and texture, deployed over simple melodic arcs… Instru-metal succeeds when it remember that it’s metal.” —Decibel.

                              “… soaring post-rock with elements of black metal tremolo-picking, hardcore, and more. Think Russian Circles meets Altar of Plagues.” —Brooklyn Vegan
                              .

                              • Sophomore album from cornerstones of the influential Brooklyn metal scene
                              • Mixed by Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Converge, Red Sparrows) and mastered by Carl Saff (Forest Swords, Guided by Voices, Pygmy Lush)
                              • For fans of Deafheaven, Alcest, Explosions in the Sky, or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.


                              Screaming Females

                              Rose Mountain

                              Screaming Females had such a clear goal for their sixth LP that it became almost a mantra. Songs that were concise, crisp and melodic. And that's exactly what the New Jersey punk trio delivers on Rose Mountain. Having a deeply-rooted diy streak, they self-produced their previous releases, but have brought in Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword) on the new record. The result is a fitting way to celebrate 10 years together, a period that has taken the band from playing basements in their hometown, to touring with the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and Garbage.

                              Slow Season

                              Mountains

                                Press “play” on Slow Season‘s second full-length album MOUNTAINS, and you might just forget what era you’re in. It could very well be the sixties, seventies, or now. It almost doesn’t matter though because this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization.

                                The Central California quartet – Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) – scale new heights, while recognising where it all began. “I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969,” grins Cody. “We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.”

                                In order to do so, the musicians holed up in Cody’s home studio, which actually doubles as his parents’ garage, and cut Mountains ten tracks throughout the course of early 2014. Inspiration struck, they actually recorded the songs live on reel-to-reel tape. Eschewing the digital mindset of today and not even uttering the words “Pro Tools”, everything was caught on analog, giving the music a crackling kinetic energy.

                                “I like everything associated with reel-to-reel,” Cody goes on. “I love the sound. I like the mojo that comes along with it.” They lock in during the album opener and first single, Sixty-Eight. It snaps into a bluesy riff and bombastic beat before Daniel lets out a soaring refrain and a screeching solo roars. “We wanted to nod back to Led Zeppelin,” the vocalist says. “We managed to get this really big sound in the garage. It’s very organic and natural. The subject matter is pretty gnarly, and I’d encourage everyone to take a close listen to the lyrics.”

                                That mystique carries over to the hazy Synanon, which details the exploits of a mountain cult nearby where the boys reside. Meanwhile, Endless Mountain drives forward on robust guitars and propulsive drums. It also reflects the overarching theme inherent within the title.

                                For fans of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Datsuns, BLack Crowes… ROCK!!!

                                Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp perform traditional songs from England and beyond, with special attention given to their respective homes in the North West and East Anglia. While placing a great value on unaccompanied solo and harmony singing, they also accompany themselves on English concertina, 5-string banjo, cello, and guitar and are sometimes joined by fiddler, Laurel Swift.

                                Laura and Ted interpret and deliver their music with a reverence for traditional performers and source material, taking influence from the classic folk revival performers of the 60s and 70s, whilst achieving a style that is very much their own.

                                Their debut EP, The Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey, produced by Rob Harbron (Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party, The Full English) is their interpretation of 5 songs collected from or set in Lancashire.

                                "Their new EP is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard in a long time. There’s no artifice, no straining for clever effects at all. It’s just damn good songs sung beautifully." Mike Harding, The Mike Harding Folk Show.

                                "Good straight ahead, proper job folk duo like what they made in the 1970s - sound and look like an escapee from Trailer. No silly folkist mannerisms, and not twee… worth investigating." Ian Anderson.

                                "The Charcoal Black and The Bonny Grey EP is a small but perfectly formed gem which shines like a beacon in the dark winter night and will be treasured by anyone for whom the legacy of traditional English folk music is as important today as it ever was. Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp are part of that rare but thriving band of musicians who are influenced by traditional material while developing their own distinct style and I, for one, hope we’ll be hearing much more from them in the future.” Helen Gregory, folkradio.co.uk.


                                St. Lenox

                                Ten Songs About Memory & Hope

                                  Ten Songs About Memory and Hope, the Anyway Records album debut of New York’s St. Lenox, is Choi’s singularly thrilling mix of popsong craftsmanship, atmospheric electro kicks, rich singing, jazz freedom, and, yes, karaoke. All of this, rendered with charisma to burn, is precisely what you hear on an energetic St. Lenox track like “I Still Dream of the ‘90s,” which colors the recent past with current longings for flying cars, or “Just Friends,” a fluidly melodic mid-tempo ballad that insists that pop-soul lives in 2013.

                                  For St. Lenox, emotion starts, although doesn’t end, with Choi’s voice, an agile tenor with an undewy top-end glow. His voice is, at any rate, one reason why songs such as “That Old Time Religion” and “Bitter Pill” occupy a listener’s memory long after the tracks finish. - James Hunter.

                                  New to Nashville's music scene are two extraordinary young musicians—one American, one Englishman—at the helm of instrumental band Steelism. Jeremy Fetzer on guitar and Spencer Cullum on pedal steel are joined by a team of the finest young musicians in Nashville. Following in the traditions of instrumental artists such as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Ennio Morricone and Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Steelism let their instruments do the talking, creating intoxicating melodies and hooks that are thoroughly modern, with a nod to their instrumentalist forebears. Signed in the US by Alabama based Single Lock Records founded by Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes), John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Will Trapp, 615 To Fame will be released in Europe by London based Names Records (Caitlin Rose, Alela Diane, She Keeps Bees)

                                  Cullum and Fetzer first met in Nashville, performing in backing bands for artists including Caitlin Rose, Wanda Jackson, Jonny Fritz, Rayland Baxter and Andrew Combs, among others. In one another they discovered a mutual enthusiasm for instrumental pop music across genres—country, surf rock, reggae, psychedelic, jazz, funk and soul. “We’ve always been into the idea of playing a strong melody—something you can hum—rather than soloing,” said Cullum. “Steelism allows us to write and play in a way that crosses genres to tell our own stories, rather than supporting someone else’s songs as side-men,” added Fetzer. Produced and arranged by Cullum and Fetzer, 615 to FAME is a nuanced, mature exploration of their combined sensibilities, featuring 11 songs, 10 of which are original compositions. They write catchy tunes with memorable hooks so strong you don't miss the fact that there aren’t any vocals. "Cats Eye Ring," "Marfa Lights" and "The Landlocked Surfer" are but 3 examples from the new album that illustrate their creative range. Single Lock’s Ben Tanner, who mixed the record and co-produced half the album, explained, "Great instrumental rock and roll, sadly, has become a lost art, but Steelism are resurrecting that tradition and adding new chapters of their own. They may not have a singer, but they certainly have great things to say."

                                  Swervedriver

                                  I Wasn't Born To Lose You

                                    Swervedriver were formed in Oxford in 1989 around core members Adam Franklin and Jim Hartridge.

                                    The band’s mix of guitar-fuelled energy and forlorn melodies echoed American US acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth while also attracting comparisons with the so-called ‘Shoegaze’ bands.

                                    The new album boasts the song ‘Deep Wound’, which the Swervies performed on the Jimmy Fallon Show in the States before releasing it as a limited edition single in 2014.

                                    Tse-Tse

                                    Land In Sicht - Green Vinyl Edition

                                    Remastered by Martin Bowes at the Cage Studios, UK. Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight green transparent vinyl. Limited Edition.

                                    Medical Records returns to Germany for another piece of the Neue Deutsche Welle story with the reissue of the one and only album by Tse-Tse. Long out of print from it’s original 1983 pressing on Neuland Tonträger, it is due to be heard again.

                                    Highly recommended for fans of the Neue Deutsche Welle genre and especially those fans of Die Gesunden, instrumental tracks of Der Plan, and even the synth stylings of Soft Cell.

                                    Tse-Tse were Claas Melhop and Clement Hülse. The duo met in Hamburg at a disco. While Claas was a medical student and trained flutist, Clem was a school drop out playing in a German punk band (Hermann’s Ogrie) which he joined when he was only 16. They hit it off and spent a lot of time listening to early Human League, Virgin Prunes and other oddball stuff from the time. In between hanging out at trendy bars at some point, Clem took a tiny toy Casio keyboard over to Claas’s place. They began improvising and playing through the home stereo. The drum machine sounds were simply whatever was built into the cheap gear, and everything was recorded on a cassette tape player. The songs came together quite easily with key changes and rhythms evolving quite instinctively. A friend of the band ran an independent record label and insisted they go into the studio. They recreated their homemade tunes and added some vocals, sax, bass, and effects. They did use a Korg MS20 and Roland Drumatix which they now had access to.

                                    Following the recording, Clem moved to Berlin and later London. He played in multiple grunge bands, but none of them had any use for the novelty toy synthesizers (which at this point were deteriorating rapidly). Back in Hamburg, Claas finished the album but shortly thereafter he suffered a serious car accident. Sadly the entire project suffered a premature end, and none of the pieces were ever performed live.

                                    Clement is still playing in bands today and works as a web designer. Claas eventually finished his medical degree and moved to Berlin. He continued to play music with Temple Fortune who released several albums. He is now an established psychiatrist. The album is a very interesting hybrid of minimal instrumentals interspersed with unique more melodic tracks with vocals. There seems to be an almost prog element (in the most stripped down of fashions) and a clear knack for experimentation. After the brief intro, the first track “Land In Sicht” highlights the duo’s mastery of novelty keyboards highlighted by restrained use of synth and bass guitar with moody vocals. Whereas the first side tends to feature more traditional style synth oriented tracks with vocals (though still quirky and atypical), the second side evolves into long convoluted instrumental pieces with samples and an array of synths and drum machines in a more heady fashion.

                                    Highly recommended for fans of the Neue Deutsche Welle genre and especially those fans of Die Gesunden, instrumental tracks of Der Plan, and even the synth stylings of Soft Cell.


                                    The Unthanks invite you to Mount the Air. An invitation to be free, weightless, airborne, to transcend reality, to enter your imagination, to raise the possibilities above the ordinary, to become one with nature, to give yourself up to nature and let the wind carry you to new places. To fly!

                                    Mount The Air is the first studio album by The Unthanks since Last was released four years ago. The album has been two years in the making and is the first to be made in their own makeshift studio in Northumberland, set up in an old granary building, 200 yards from where Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally live with their 2 sons, 1 and 3 years old.

                                    It is the first Unthanks record to feature writing from all 5 core members, including debut contributions from both Rachel and Becky Unthank, as well as continued and more extensive writing from pianist and producer Adrian McNally, including the opening 10 minute title track. Musically more ambitious than ever, the Mercury nominated Geordies are still a combination of grounded tradition and filmic orchestration, but with Mount The Air, they take on flavours from traditions as diverse as Spain, India, Blue Note and, er, Trip Hop.

                                    Mount The Air is the work of an act who still believe whole heartedly in the value of the album as an artform. On very limited resources and makeshift facilities, they have shown extraordinary commitment and devotion to that art-form, to create their finest work yet.

                                    For an album so long in the making, there will considerable anticipation for Mount The Air, not least from the many fellow performers who count themselves as fans of The Unthanks, including Martin Freeman, Elvis Costello, Colin Firth, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Ryan Adams, Rosanne Cash, Dawn French, Ade Edmondson, Al Murray, Matt Lucas, Stephen Mangan, Boy George, Paul Morley, Ewan McGregor and Nick Hornby.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    2xLtd LP Info: 2LP vinyl edition with a specially etched fourth side.

                                    Vessels

                                    Dilate - Bonus Disc Edition

                                    The transformation is complete. After four years of incremental musical evolution, Vessels emerge into the light with a brave and brilliant new sound, masterfully fusing the widescreen builds and elegant breakdowns of their previous work with altogether more physical electronic rhythms. With their new album 'Dilate', Vessels are firmly focused on the euphoria of the dancefloor.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    2xLP Info: Includes bonus disc featuring Vessels remixes of Rival Consoles, Satelliti, Maximo Park, Pick A Piper, Torkelsen and Harry Wolfman.

                                    Jane Weaver

                                    T-shirt (Ladies)

                                      Andy Votel-designed Jane Weaver t-shirts. Silver print on black Gildan Soft Style ring spun t-shirt. Ladies slim fit with capped sleeves. (Can be worn by men also!)


                                      Jane Weaver

                                      T-shirt (Men's)

                                        Andy Votel-designed Jane Weaver t-shirts. Silver print on black Gildan Soft Style 100% cotton pre-shrunk t-shirt. Standard "men's" fit (can be worn by women also!)

                                        The Well

                                        Samsara

                                          Samsara, the first full-length long player from Austin, TX’s heavy psych trio The Well. Well versed in the bluesy, proto-metal of Blue Cheer, Sabbathian heaviness and all manner of dark and ominous psychedelicacies that span the course of forever, The Well are a force to be heard.

                                          Built around spectacular riffs and the dual vocal power of bass player Lisa Alley and guitarist Ian Graham the trio has been showcasing Samsara live since their signing to the LA based label RidingEasy Records earlier last year.

                                          Gathering exceptional praise for their unholy fuzz and furious approach to rock’n’roll The Well, well truly put the power into “power trio”.

                                          For fans of early Kyuss / Fu Manchu / Blue Cheer.

                                          The Wolfhounds

                                          Middle Aged Freaks

                                            Originally formed as teenagers in 1984, the band released four critically acclaimed LPs before disbanding in 1990, after appearing on the legendary and influential C86 cassette and releasing four critically acclaimed LPs and many singles.

                                            The band reformed in 2005 to celebrate 20 years since their debut release and since 2012 they have been recording and releasing new material. The three Odd Box 7” singles - ‘Cheer Up’, ‘Divide and Fall’ and ‘Anthem’ - are all featured on ‘Middle Aged Freaks’. Each of these singles received excited responses and are now sold out - ‘ ‘‘Divide and Fall’’ is a cert for indie nights, guaranteed to prompt dervish dancing from drunken studes’ according to Record Collector.

                                            In just the last 12 months the band have played New York Popfest, Berlin Popfest, the ‘‘Scared To Get Happy’’ boxset and ‘‘C86’’ reissue launch nights (having been featured on the influential NME cassette back in the day). Their 1986 debut LP ‘‘Unseen Ripples From A Pebble’’ is being reissued along with all their early recordings in November, shortly after ‘‘Middle Aged Freaks’’.

                                            However, despite their history the band are not content with looking backwards. The 13 songs on ‘Middle Aged Freaks’ see a band matching and surpassing their original recordings with a born-again fervour - no mean feat, given their consistently great 1980s output. In the midst of their 30th anniversary but this album shows they can give any band half their age a run for their money. The Wolfhounds are back and better than ever.

                                            Current members are: David Callahan - vocals, guitar, samples; Andy Golding - guitar, vocals, samples; Richard Golding - bass; Pete Wilkins - drums.

                                            Dennis Young

                                            Reel To Real

                                            Dennis Young is best known as the marimba player/percussionist for the legendary early 80s NYC band Liquid Liquid. "Reel to Real" is a lovingly assembled archive collection of his rare and unreleased solo recordings from 1982-1983.

                                            Dennis Young: "Back in 1982 at the age of 24 I bought my first recording equipment a - 2 track Teac reel-to-reel-tape-recorder. I already owned a number of analog synthesizers, an electric & acoustic guitar, various effect boxes, and a full drum set. The music was recorded live over a two year period (1982-1983) when I was still playing in Liquid Liquid. I was busy with the band but I still found time at home to experiment with my own sound using various instruments and vocal effects"

                                            Various Artists

                                            Factory Records: Communications 1978-1992 EP Vol 2

                                              Following on from Rhino’s critically acclaimed 2008 box set ‘Factory Records: Communications 1978-92’ and the subsequent 10” vinyl sampler produced for Record Store Day 2010 comes another equally sought after release. Featuring four tracks from artists synonymous with Factory records - Joy Division, New Order, Durutti Column, and Happy Mondays. This is sure to be an instant collector’s item particularly when paired with the sampler #1 to complete the set.

                                              Limited in the UK to 800 copies only.

                                              Various Artists

                                              Ho-Dad Hootenanny Volume 2

                                                On Crypt! Mid-60s Frat-Rockin’ Garage Blowout!

                                                Gatefold Sleeved with liner notes, band photos, label scans. 32 cuts in supreme fidelity!

                                                Various Artists

                                                The Last Of The Garage Punk Unknowns - Volume 1

                                                  On Crypt Records. 15 prime slabs of mid-60s USA garage punk aceness in gatefold sleeved luxury with liner notes, band photos, label scans.

                                                  Various Artists

                                                  The Last Of The Garage Punk Unknowns - Volume 2

                                                    On Crypt Records. 15 prime slabs of mid-60s USA garage punk aceness in gatefold sleeved luxury with liner notes, band photos, label scans.


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