MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 5 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Commontime by Field Music.
'Commontime' is the first album of new songs from North East siblings Peter and David Brewis since 'Plumb' in 2012 and their fifth album 'proper' since their debut in 2005. After four years threading a way through one extra-curricular project after another, the space that Field Music vacated still appears to be empty and Field Music-shaped. No one else really does what Field Music do; the interweaving vocals, the rhythmic gear changes, the slightly off-chords, but with the sensibility that keeps them within touching distance of pop music.

All this is present again but things are different this time. Where 'Plumb' was an album of vignettes and segues, 'Commontime' edges towards what people might call “proper songs”. Field Music have never shown off their unashamed love of choruses quite like they do on this record. Lyrically, Peter and David continue to mine that inexhaustible seam wondering how on earth we ended up here, in this situation, as these people. Over fourteen songs, conversations are replayed and friendships are left to drift. And all the while, that thing you were trying to remember has changed while your head was turned.

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: The Brewis brothers return with more perfectly realised funky, melodic, math-pop (and not forgetting 70's rock!?) nuggets. It's an incredible blend that's just built for repeated listens. Possibly their best yet.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive NEON ORANGE 180 gram double vinyl with download code.

‘SEE HOW’ is Pete’s first solo album since 2007’s ‘You, Me and Bill Withers’ (“imagine if Gil Evans and Miles Davis had written for the band in Trumpton.” Uncut Magazine). ‘SEE HOW’ explores the life Pete has lived since then - what it's like to be a divorced, homeless, fifty-year-old father of two with a guitar and a head full of great songs. Pete’s earlier work received much critical acclaim, but ‘SEE HOW’ contains a truthfulness and grit that only a decade of difficult times can produce. Although the album explores themes of emotional upheaval and life-changing events, which should be familiar to many people Pete’s age, his lyrics always manage a wry smile at life’s vicissitudes. All this is set to seductive melodies melded with lilting arrangements. It’s sophisticated songwriting taking in folk, country and pop, amongst which, in the past, has seen Pete compared to Squeeze and The Beatles, as well as vocally compared to Stephen Duffy and Kevin Rowland at his quiet best. ‘See How’ also features some very fine guitar playing – playing that has seen Pete in high demand as a session guitarist. See How’ also includes a cover of Pharrell's 'Happy'. Aside from his solo output Pete has played guitar with the High Llamas for many years and worked with Lee Hazlewood, Petula Clark, Nick Lowe, Shirley Collins, The Lost Ladies Of Folk and Harry Hill among others. 

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Limited to 500 copies.

Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

Bianca Casady & The C.I.A

Oscar Hocks

    Bianca Casady once more steps out of the familiar CocoRosie context to embark on a new musical-performance project, Bianca Casady & The C.i.A.

    About her solo work, she says:

    "I often played the dark side of CocoRosie. And now I don't have to worry about being too dark, too scary, too weird."




    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Limited Edition Gatefold Vinyl (1000 copies worldwide).

    CD Info: CD includes 12 pages booklet with art and lyrics.

    CABBAGE are a group of young males who have fallen into solitary, half-mad grooves of life and given up trying to be normal or decent. With a collective desire to express themselves creatively, artistically, and in a semi rebellious - but ultimately meaningful nature - Cabbage are here to fight for all that's pure.

    Oliver Rodrigues in 1825 said: “The power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way to social, political and economic reform,” and Cabbage join and submerge in that struggle and inevitable victory. Manchester-based, the five-piece serve up an idiosyncratic, satirical attack in the form of discorded neo post punk.

    Their single entitled Kevin, taken from the Le Chou EP, has already been released with an accompanying video which will undoubtedly distort your view on life and ruin your day.

    Chakk existed between 1981 and 1987. Their first single, "Out Of The Flesh", was recorded with Richard H. Kirk at Cabaret Voltaire's Western Works studio and mixed and engineered by Alan Cross, a member of the band who had studio training. Chakk's original sound was centred around Cross' four track tape machine, some home built echo and effects boxes and a small mixing desk. They had always believed that the most important instrument a band could use was the studio itself.

    The first album by Sheffield electro-funk group Chakk was originally released as a cassette by the band themselves in 1982. Personnel for this album: Mark Tattersall (also in Element/Transelement, drummer for Cabaret Voltaire on various recordings), Mark Brydon (also in Moloko, Hula), Sim Lister (also in Heights of Abraham), Alan Cross (DJ Alan X). This early recording, unheard by most people until today, presents a much jazzier and funkier Chakk than later Fon releases. It could be compared to early Clock DVA. There's also a lot of Cabaret Voltaire here, some Hula, also some Industrial music. The album is one wild ride of styles and sounds. It's a fantastic document of its time, and at the same time a timeless and brilliant piece of music.

    Carefully remastered for this first digital release.

    Crystal Shipsss

    Dirty Dancer

      Jacob Faurholt of Berlin-based Crystal Shipsss has never been very good at hiding things. So when he decided to write and record a collection of personal songs intended only to share with his future self and not for official release, deep down Faurholt always knew that this diary of songs would one day be left open for the world to find. The album, Dirty Dancer, is a hauntingly intimate collection of minor falls and major lifts through one man’s life of ups and downs – all documented through melodies reminiscent of Daniel Johnston, Xiu Xiu and Grandaddy.

      Recorded sporadically between 2011-2013, Dirty Dancer is an autobiographical album with stories centered around struggles with anxiety, obsessive thoughts, teenage insecurity, and in one case a panic attack. In “I Had a Friend,” Faurholt sings about the true story of a burning ferry that took the lives of his best friend along with the boy’s entire family, while in the song “I’m Not Insane,” he shares details of a helpful therapy session. “I wanted to make an album that lyrically would be embarrassingly direct and describe moments in my life that burned into my mind,” admits Faurholt, a native of Denmark, who relocated to Berlin in 2010. Faurholt recorded the album with a mix of studio experiments and pre-written arrangements but without having a pre-meditated clue of how to glue everything together. Faurholt recorded and mixed most of the album in his living room in Berlin. In the end he invited some good friends and fellow musicians to help out with some additional recordings and mixing. They are: Soren Little Brothers from Canadian act Man Meets Bear, Daniel Crowell from California’s The New Slave, and Jens Christian Madsen from the Danish one man band Tjaere+Fjer. The album was mastered by James Plotkin (Isis, Earth). Faurholt and Crystal Shipsss have played a long list of shows, sharing the stage with bands such as Nadja, The Black Heart Procession, TEEN, CocoRosie, Efterklang, and Grizzly Bear, including a successful US tour, which saw Crystal Shipsss play shows in California, Oregon, and Washington.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Includes MP3 Download Code.

      The Cult release the tenth studio album of their stellar career, the epic ‘Hidden City’, produced by Bob Rock and written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy. It’s the final part of a trilogy that has witnessed the rebirth of the band, beginning with ‘Born Into This’ (2007), which evolved into ‘Choice of Weapon’ (2012), and arrived fully formed, kicking and screaming with the seductive ‘Hidden City’

      The sonic assault of ‘Dark Energy’ is the perfect intro to this startling new album. Peel away the layers of this 12 track master class in space and time, and you will discover a band in their absolute prime. Which comes as no surprise, as the Cult have existed in the shadows and wild spaces since their inception.

      When the Cult played Coachella last year, Rolling Stone hailed their performance as “the messianic moment of Coachella” This year they’ve played a handful of visceral shows that promises much for next year’s touring. For the Cult, ‘Hidden City’, became the perfect metaphor for the revolt between the self and soul and provided the framework for the new album.

      “I find today’s gurus are trying to peddle some cure, product or insight as if it’s a new phenomenon,” says Ian Astbury. “My place is to respond, not react, to observe, participate and share through words and music. There is no higher authority than the heart.”

      The Cult have cut their own career path. From the iconic ‘Love’ album to the dystopian ‘Beyond Good & Evil’ (2001) to the current biting truth of ‘Hidden City’, the band live their art. As The future unfolds The Cult will respond. It’s what they do.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd LP Info: 2 x Black Vinyl 180 gsm LP cut at 45 RPM in gatefold Sleeve with colour inner sleeves and spot gloss finishes.

      Includes MP3 Download Code.

      'Is The Is Are', the highly-anticipated sophomore release from Brooklyn-based DIIV, is an album years and many personal struggles in the making for it's architect, Zachary Cole Smith. Recorded and mixed in various locations in Brooklyn, it showcases everything you know and love about DIIV, and many things you did not, all with an added nuance and depth. It is a 17-song, double-album statement intended to resonate with its audience in much the same way that 'Bad Moon Rising' or 'Tago Mago' has for Smith himself. An extension and deepening of the musical ideas first expressed on 2012’s critically-lauded Oshin, 'Is The Is Are' yields a multiplicity of textures, lyrical themes, and moods. It is a more diverse world than Oshin, with different parameters and ideals. Dark and honest to a fault, the new songs are dynamic, loud, quiet, sad; they are songs that hiss and snarl; songs that, as Smith wrote recently, represent “the real me.” Smith’s vocals, too, are much closer to the foreground, layered legibly on top of tidal waves of shimmering guitar and melodic bass weaving in and out, leaving a distinct and indelible imprint.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Double LP with two 12-page 12"x12" lyric and art booklets.

      Includes MP3 Download Code.

      Eagle/Deer

      The Summer Of Sepia

        Maybe this album should be called “patience is a virtue”. Time has it’s own logic, and this 2011 record has been sat patiently awaiting a release date for some years now….. And in that time the music seems to have turned into a deeper, darker ache, the flavours got richer, the strange got stranger. But a stranger no more …2016 please welcome Eagle/Deer.

        Eagle / Deer is Sara Barratt. She is now 29 years old.She actually started recording this album in her early 20’s.She says she enjoys singing but isn’t so sure about all the hoopla that goes with it, she remains somewhat ”off grid” tho’ not in a Unabomer sense. One phone call, a few emails. That’s Sara on the record cover doing some static “horse vaulting”. You can read a couple of short interveiws out there on the web And we’ve heard tell of the occasional (undocumented) live performances, tho’ not for some time. This is not some attempt to seed ‘mystique’. The songs will do that nicely, thank you kindly.. We can do the modern thing and try to get our pidgeon in a hole. So today we’re calling it “ massachusetts psych-soul -folk” The few people who we played the record too offered up a range of references - mostly of a “ 70’s classic lost legend”. But eagle/deer is all original & in entirely of the here & now. Surely one the most strangely beautiful records blast first has ever released in it’s 30 year history. Play it once and be intrigued. Play it twice and fall under the spell. Play it three times and you’ll be in love. Patience is a virtue.

        Earl Brutus

        Tonight You Are The Special One (Expanded Edition)

          Earl Brutus achieved notoriety and cult status with the release of their debut album Your Majesty… We Are Here. Their attention grabbing interviews and gigs attracted wider interest and they sign to Island Records via Fruition. They released a second long player, Tonight You Are The Special One, and several singles including The SAS And The Glam That Goes With It and Come Taste My Mind (“masterful examples of raging techno-pop” - Select ) and Larky.

          The band continued to play chaotic shows and the last ever gig is at Hammersmith Working Men’s Club on 7th April 2004 and the last track from that gig, Teenage Taliban, is included on the 2CD edition along with a demo recorded in William Reid’s (Jesus And Mary Chain) front room. Other bonus tracks include all the single b-sides sequenced by the band.

          The art direction on this re-issue has been done by Scott King who realised the concepts for the original release and singles. The album sleeve is included in Q magazine’s 100 Best Album Sleeves Of All Time in 2001.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xCD Info: The 2CD set is packaged in a tri-fold digipack and comes with a 16 page booklet with sleevenotes by Ian Harrison.

          Earl Brutus

          Your Majesty...We Are Here (Expanded Edition)

            Earl Brutus are Nick Sanderson (Clock DVA, Jesus And Mary Chain, World Of Twist), Gordon King and Jim Fry (World Of Twist), Rob Marche (JoBoxers, Subway Sect) with Shins and Stuart Boreman.

            Earl Brutus formed in 1993 and release a handful of singles before their debut album Your Majesty… We Are Here on Deceptive Records in 1996. They are chaotic, glam-rock, glitter-stomp British Pop. They think Bowie, T-Rex, Kraftwerk and The Fall. Their chaotic live shows became folklore and their reviews and interviews were always impressive. Your Majesty… featured in Q Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of the Year in 1996 and in 1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die.

            Your Majesty… has been long unavailable and is now re-issued.

            The two CD edition also includes all the b-sides sequenced by the band and an unreleased David Arnold remix of Life’s Too Long, the rare Alan Vega (Suicide) version of On Me Not In Me and Earl Brutus Display Purchasing Power, both commercially available for the first time.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xCD Info: The 2CD set is housed in a tri-fold digipack sleeve with a 16 page booklet, all designed by artist, Scott King, and contains sleevenotes by Ian Harrison

            “She effortlessly dissolves barriers between herself and her fellow musicians, between music and listener, between language and expression" -  The Wire.

            Josephine Foster's "No More Lamps In the Morning" is a new folk route, a stripped down starsailor vector connecting heller to highwater. Foster, on nylon string guitar, and husband Victor Herrero, accompanying on Portuguese guitar, together weave intimate readings of songs spanning Foster's songwriting career including selections from recent albums "This Coming Gladness" (2008) and "I'm a Dreamer" (2013) and back to Born Heller (2004).

            Foster's new route is a free, chromatic music, a tuneful montana of mind-an expansive harmonic space dominated by Rif mountain on the horizon. As highwater as the music is, as broad the stylistic palette of the musicians, the music really exists in service of the lyrics. Two of the songs on No More Lamps are poems by Rudyard Kipling and James Joyce given musical settings by Foster. The rest arguably are musical settings of her own poems strengthened in a fiery crucible of guitars (and on 2 tracks Gyða Valtýsdóttir's cello) in which dissonant notes bend and quaver as wirefork embers, dying without affecting the glowing tonal fire which unites contrary forces in a Moroccan speakeasy. She and Herrero have performed, for an audience of burros, concerts of Federico Garcia Lorca poems set to music. A music of wandering and a music of roots. An impermanent tradition passed down for generations. Recorded live to tape by Henry Hirsch and Patrick Higgins at Future-Past Studios, Hudson, NY, in February 2014, the record was mixed by Patrick Higgins. ‘No More Lamps In The Morning’ features Victor Herrero on Portuguese guitar and Gyða Valtýsdóttir on cello (tracks 4 and 6). 

            Grimes

            Geidi Primes - Arbutus Edition

            Grimes' debut LP 'Geidi Primes' has a strange air of being created unconsciously while the artist herself was asleep. It is a vastly intriguing set of pop tunes highlighted by its amazing ffth and sixth songs: “Avi” and “Feyd Rautha Dark Heart”, which are each frighteningly reminiscent of an unaccountable psychic experience you may have never had. As an album, it touches on many different tones without exploiting any.

            It manages to be playful without being precious, clean without being sterile, cryptic without being obscure, and operates in a deceptively complex melodic structure without calling attention to the artistry therein. It reminds one of being a small child, listening to adult contemporary radio in the back seat of your mother’s minivan when a special kind of song comes on. You are still maddeningly susceptible to the sympathetic rise and fall of a maternal voice, yet this is a different sort of mother, one more primeval and distant.

            Icily it falls over your entire body, begging for an escape you know you cannot give it. You are strangely moved. It seems like an album made for very tall people about what it’s like to be very small. It calls to mind the glowering of a child king amidst the many vestments and decorations of his coronation. Listening to Geidi Primes is what it’s like to suddenly realize you are being watched while taking a cold shower...on the moon.


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Includes MP3 Download Code.

            Micah P Hinson & Nick Phelps

            Broken Arrows

              After his fifth studio album ‘Micah P. Hinson and the Nothing’ ( Talitres 2014), Micah P. Hinson comes back with an intense, almost entirely instrumental 'psych-western' recording. ‘Broken Arrows’ is via Bronson Recordings, a small label specialized in limited edition vinyl recordings (Steve Wynn, Dirty Beaches, Pontiak, Ronin, The Vacant Lots). Hinson and the label owners Bronson Produzioni have a long-time friendship. He has played several times in Ravenna where the group run three different live venues (Bronson club, Hana-Bi Beach and Fargo Café) and promote some of the most important festivals in Italy, such as Beaches Brew and Transmissions’ festival.

              The Texas-based Americana folksinger decided to pay tribute to his Italian passionate friends with this exclusive LP written, arranged and recorded together with his close friend and collaborator T. Nicholas Phelps in Abilene, Austin and Baltimore. The album is composed of nine tracks (only I Sleep Tonight has vocals) where Micah’s harsh baritone voice makes way for unusual fuzzy and thunderous suites (‘Why Yes, I Was Born Yesterday’, ‘Whilst Rabbit Run’, ‘Chinatown’), appealing western glimpses (‘Looking Outside’, ‘The Oregon Vortex’, ‘The Downside’) and narrative moments evoking comparisons to The Black Heart Procession, as well to Neutral Milk Hotel and other Elephant 6 early recordings.

              Hood

              British Radars

                Although it is true that Hood never officially announced their break-up, it is also true that for over a decade they have not been that creative rampant cell which we were used to until circa 2005. That is why the publication of “British Radars”, an exclusive limited edition vinyl containing 6 songs, is such an important event. Being a sort of facsimile edition of a 7” that could not be released at the time (1994) because of various circumstances (as explained by Richard Adams with a lot of sense of humor in the previous notes to the single) its contents goes beyond the mere time capsule. The matter of urgency that the songs reveal (some unpublished, others renovated through a new mix or in different versions regarding the original) are so current, so contemporary that there is no room for nostalgia.

                “British Radars” - alternate version of 'Cabled Linear Traction' track / “Experiments In Silence” - appeared on 'Structured Disasters' / “Flood History” - appeared on 'Singles Compiled' Bonus disc as 'Create!' / “Delusions Of Worthlessness” - different version from 'Silent 88' album / “Walking Mindless” – exclusive / “Fears Grow” - appeared on 'Structured Disasters' 

                Benji Hughes

                Songs In The Key Of Animals

                  RIYL Beck, Harry Nilson, Randy Newman, The Flaming Lips.

                  North Carolina's Benji Hughes fronted a rock band in the nineties. He's written commercial jingle. He's made music for film and television (Walk Hard, Eastbound & Down). He released 2008's A Love Extreme, his excellent double-LP debut record. But these ventures aren't different hats Hughes wears. They're not different paths traveled. This is Hughes playing in different keys. Now, for his first full-length on Merge, Benji Hughes is playing Songs in the Key of Animals.

                  Recorded over two years mostly at Frisbie studios in New York, the record is 41 minutes of pop-music exploration. The album has a summertime immediacy but an evergreen resonance (see "Longshot"). It's clever but too deep for punchlines (check the excellent back and forth of "Picnic"). It is sincere ("Girls Love Shoes") yet heartbreaking ("Song for Nancy"). It's eccentric but never forced in its strangeness. It's the kind of record that reminds us music can be fun without being empty. It's an album full of peacocks and sharks and zebras and tigers, but ultimately, it's about us. "People are animals," Hughes says, "even if some people don't want to admit it." Songs in the Key of Animals taps into something beyond just intellect or trend or taste. It's all about the feel, the connection between the player, the music, and the listener.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: LP includes full album download.

                  The Lavender Flu

                  Heavy Air

                    Heavy Air is a 30 song puzzle / map masterminded by Chris Gunn (The Hunches, Hospitals). Recorded on analog tape machines over a period of years and outside of the genre concentration camps. A home recording project approached completely open to experimentation but in love with songs. Like Terrence Malick's Tree Of Life remade by the ghost of Phillip K. Dick; projecting sounds as images inside your head. It's extremely psychedelic and dense with layers and layers yielding new secrets with each listen. Songs / melodies / lyrics appear and reappear as half remembered dreams or reconstructed memories. It's a circuitous path through pop songs ("My Time", "Those That Bend" - with a Waterloo Sunset vibe), blasted rockers ("Fingers Like Wounds"), beautiful instrumentals ("Feel The Ground", "Telepathic Axe"), fractured folk ("Between The Trees"), weirder experimental songs ("Vacuum Creature", "La-Bas"), straight up fried epics ("Transcendental Hangover") plus a few covers in the mix including a maximal / minimal take on The Godz mantra-like ode to sun worship and a Townes Van Zandt tune that is derailed by a massive panic attack. Traces of Big Star, Royal Trux, Brian Eno, Meat Puppets II, American Beauty are in the DNA but The Lavender Flu is its own beast.

                    While it is obviously insane to release a double album debut in the current no-attention-span era, it is the only way. Put in the time, you will be rewarded. This is one of those rare double albums that isn't overripe or padded with mediocrity. All killer, no filler! Super dynamic pressing! Completely insane on headphones! Recorded by Chris at home with lots of help from Justin Higgins (of Old Standard Sound), Lucas Gunn (The Blimp), Scott Simmons (Exiled Records, Helen), Ben Spencer (The Hunches), Adam Stonehouse (The Hospitals), Hart Gledhill (The Hunches), Spencer Clark and others.

                    Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk.
                    Lacquers cut at Ardent (Big Star) by Jeff Powell on the old Stax Lathe.
                    Vinyl cut at Quality Records.



                    Following the lead single 'Dancing Star' co-produced with Tom Furse of The Horrors, described by Thump as "the perfect cosmic jam", Lilies on Mars announce their full length album '∆GO'. Born and raised in Sardinia, a magical island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, a place that recalls mystical legends and the strength of a population that has fought throughout history to keep traditions alive and never be fully conquered, Lisa and Marina moved to London 13 years ago. Some time later Lilies on Mars emerged, the result of many long nights spent listening to music and jamming with every imaginable instrument at their home studio in Hackney, from guitars to vintage organs, synthesizers, effects and drum machines.

                    The contrast of living between these two places has had a profound effect on Lilies on Mars' music. It became a way to navigate their experience, gently incorporating all the information that inspired them, becoming notes and melodies but more precisely a sound. Delicate, surreal and sometimes disturbing, like a lily growing on a red planet. This is the imagery within which they are suspended, where time does not exist. Collaborations with Italian pop experimentalist Franco Battiato also dramatically influenced and inspired the project in its early stages.

                    Lisa and Marina began writing '∆GO' immediately after returning from an extensive tour of Europe and America. Filled with inspiration, excitement and with overwhelming changes in their lives post tour, they searched for shelter at Lisa's beach house in Sardinia. Here they set up a studio and found the perfect space and freedom needed to create and experiment with new sounds. All songs on '∆GO' were written from edited improvisations and immediately recorded, whilst post production is also a key element in the whole creative process. Retro-futurist, psychedelic and cosmic pop elements are accentuated on this record. At times uplifting, at times drone- and Kraut-like.

                    They are strongly influenced by primitive electronic experimentalists and pioneers such as Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The title '∆GO' symbolises the retro-futurist concept; without context the word becomes abstract and helps to weave together the past and future (AGO also means needle in Italian). It can be read as AGO as used in story telling of times 'long ago' or as A GO, as if giving a go at something new in the future. Equally, the lines of Lisa and Marina's distorted silhouettes on both album cover artwork and 'Dancing Star' video, inspired by Rutt-Etra-Izer, provides a visual representation.

                    "'Dancing Star' is a pulsing, sensual piece of ethereal synth pop with dreamy, trippy textures created with vintage analogue equipment including space echo (just like King Tubby!), ancient, dusty organs and the duo's lysergic vocal tones..." – Louder Than War.

                    "Lilies on Mars' 'Dancing Star' Is the Perfect Cosmic Pop Jam..." – Thump .

                    'Dancing Star' is a blissfully kissed slice of cruise controlling Kosmiche über-pop, sending forth love notes from an unspecified solar outpost through the galactic slipstreams on vapour trailing ice cream vans." – God Is In The TV.

                    "Lilies on Mars are two very talented girls, I really love this song." – Lauren Laverne on 'Dancing Star' (selected for 6 Music Recommends 30/06/2015).


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Includes MP3 Download Code.

                    Lois

                    Dank Jazz

                      Lois is a multi-talented artist; a gifted vocalist and musician who also draws his own artwork, an illustrator who has a flair for writing obscure, haunting indie-pop songs from his bedroom studio in Madrid. His first release was a two-song cassette on US DIY-label Citrus City Records, and it was aptly entitled ‘Bedroom Recordings’. Everything is done by Lois himself in his room, with an old beatbox, a Fender Jaguar and a 4-track tape recorder. Those two songs quickly caught the attention of some influential blogs and put him under the spotlight, surprising everyone with his sultry vocals and catchy guitar lines. Instead of basking in the media attention, he retreated back to his nest to write the two new songs that appear on this 7” vinyl debut, and started scouting for musicians to form his live band.

                      Now, with ‘Dank Jazz’ on shiny vinyl and its two wonderful dark-surf songs under his belt, LOIS is ready to take the next step and travel outside of his boudoir with his excellent live band, crooning his way across the ocean and rightly becoming the latest indie-pop sensation to come from this new hotbed of musical talent that is Madrid.

                      “The missing link between Nick Cave and Billy McKenzie” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT / 

                      Really, really good” – DIY

                      “With Cure-like guitar lines and tinny Garageband drum tracks, Lois manages to create his own goth-tinged, C-86 world” – NME (Buzz Band of the Week) 

                      “Catchy tape-recorded bedroom serenades” – REMEZCLA 
                      “With Hinds and The Parrots leading the charge of the Madrid music mafia, Lois is set to be the next breakout artist from the Spanish capital’s creative scene” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT.


                      Magazine

                      Secondhand Daylight - 180g Vinyl Edition

                      After leaving the Buzzcocks in 1977, vocalist Howard Devoto formed Magazine with guitarist John McGeoch, bassist Barry Adamson, keyboardist Bob Dickinson, and drummer Martin Jackson. Acknowledged by Radiohead as an important influence, Magazine wilfully ignored the prevailing musical orthodoxy of the punk era - which is what makes these albums timeless. "Secondhand Daylight" was released in March 1979. Magazine's ambitious second album was produced by Colin Thurston, the engineer on two era-defining albums: David Bowie's "Heroes" and Iggy Pop's "The Idiot". Reviewing "Secondhand Daylight", Nick Kent said that 'there is now an austere sense of authority to the music. Magazine are a force to be reckoned with'. The chilly majesty of "Back To Nature" and "Permafrost" attest to that.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Philippa says: Again, not something I bought at the time, but an album that got played a huge amount on the shop record player when I started working here. A dark and menacing record that side-stepped punk's three chord orthodoxy in favour of pre-punk inspirations.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      LP Info: 180g vinyl pressing in gatefold sleeve with insert.

                      Mind Enterprises

                      Idealistic

                      Debut album. Puzzling over a new direction for his one-man electronic project a few years back, Andrea Tirrone aka Mind Enterprises turned to an old friend. Or more precisely, a hard drive given to him by an old friend, Salvatore Principato. “I was looking for something to inspire me,” he says. “So I plugged it in and suddenly there were all these amazing sounds.” Now 29 and having recently finished work on “Idealist”, a debut album which channels both the electronic pulse of Todd Terje and William Onyeabor’s loose-fit West African disco, Tirrone’s desire to widen his musical horizons and find a new audience for the electronic experiments he was creating on his laptop have since taken him from northern Italy to London – and his current studio in a garden shed in Clapton.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                      Mystery Plane

                      Still Life

                        Mystery Plane formed in 1980 from the ashes of 70's new wave band 3D5 who's line-up also featured future Cure member Porl Thompson. This record was originally a demo cassette made in 1981 that was hawked around record labels with a view for release. Later Color Tapes released a 100 copies edition. To support their demo at the time the band played such gigs at the Marquee, Rock Garden and The Bridgehouse supporting bands such as Fad Gadget, Modern English and Henry Padovani (Ex-Police) in London.

                        This sublime minimal basement krauty synth LP was inspired by bands such as Neu, Amon Duul ll, and "Vienna" period Ultravox. The album features guitar work of Gerald O' Connell who was a big fan of Ash Ra Tempel's guitarist Manuel Gottsching. A year later he went on to form Lives Of Angels who made the classic cold wave album "Elevator To Eden" which was originally released on Color Tapes in 1983.

                        Mystery Plane have been featured on the sold out Cold Waves Of Color compilation series. The album has been remastered by Denis Blackham and comes complete with a poster insert.

                        Nap Eyes

                        Thought Rock Fish Scale - Bonus Disc Edition

                        Both vinyl and CD formats include a free Paradise Of Batchelors label sampler CD.

                        For fans of The Only Ones, The Modern Lovers, The Clean, The Verlaines, The Go-Betweens, Bedhead, and all things Lou Reed. With lyrics, color inner sleeve, and download code. Recorded live to tape, with no overdubs, on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, Nap Eyes' quietly contemplative sophomore record refines and elaborates their debut, offering an airier, more spacious second chapter, a bracing blast of bright oceanic sunshine after the moonlit alleys of Whine of the Mystic (PoB-20). But the briny, cold Atlantic roils beneath these exquisite, literate guitar pop songs, posing riddles about friendship, faith, mortality, and self-doubt.

                        Like all of their recordings to date, the album is framed by a set of severe self-imposed strictures: a mere four days to capture as many songs as possible completely live, with no overdubs, to a temperamental old TEAC four-track ¼” tape recorder. The result is a document pristine in its intentional imperfections. After the dark, drunken night of Whine of the Mystic (recorded nocturnally in Montreal), Thought Rock Fish Scale brings blinding sunlight and blue horizon to these elemental stories of water, fire, and spirit. Compared with its predecessor, this album is far less concerned with the effects of alcohol—excepting “Click Clack,” with its admission that “Sometimes, drinking, I feel so happy but then / I can’t remember why … Sometimes, drinking, I don’t know my best friend for my best friend”—and more concerned with negotiating the mornings after, all the hungover or otherwise creaky, tentative new mornings of a life assembled from discrete days. Musically, a new delicacy and tautness manifest here as well, a patient willingness to wait; Josh Salter (bass), Seamus Dalton (drums), and Brad Loughead (lead guitar) exhibit consummate restraint. Sonic touchstones remain similar—The Go-Betweens (particularly Robert Forster’s melancholic bite). Thought Rock Fish Scale deploys the language of anxiety and self-reflection as a sort of symbolic vernacular.

                        Nap Eyes make soul music, in the sense that their music describes, from a position of uneasy humility, the often mundane maintenance of the fragile human soul. How long can we keep ourselves buoyed or crutched, even provisionally, like that sad swallow in “Alaskan Shake”? As Nigel asks in “Mixer,” “Then again what else is there / Another life, some other way?” 

                        Nots

                        Reactor - Mikey Young Remix

                          Ultra limited one sided white label 12".

                          Remix by Mikey Young of Total Control!




                          Palehound

                          Molly

                            Palehound is the musical alias of 21-year-old Boston-based guitarist and songwriter Ellen Kempner. Much has been made of her connections with Speedy Ortiz and it's obvious that they've both drawn from the same influences (The Pixies, Pavement and the like) but Palehound have their own sound, and it's great! 

                            The 7” features 'Molly' from the forthcoming album 'Dry Food' and features a cover of Kelly Clarkson's ‘Miss Independent’on the flip.


                            Pimlican

                            Geht Enough / That Girl

                            Although based in the north of England Pimlican has spent a lot of time and put down strong roots in the south developing a north/south blend of music covering different dance genres. Operating as a solo artist but often collaborating with other artists Pimlican has developed a strong song writing ethic. Creating killer hooks and workflows as spontaneously and colourfully as possible along with live performance has always been a great passion.

                            Porches is the project of Aaron Maine, who resides in New York City. ‘Pool’ is Porches’ second full length album and their debut on Domino.

                            Written and recorded almost entirely in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his partner and frequent collaborator Greta Kline (aka Frankie Cosmos), ‘Pool’ is an elegantly drawn set of gorgeous, synth-driven pop songs that were influenced, in part, by settling down.

                            ‘Pool’ was written, recorded and produced by Aaron Maine and mixed in Los Angeles by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Tobias Jesso Jr).

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Indies Exclusive LP Info: Exclusive coke bottle clear vinyl version with spot gloss detail on jacket and 12”x12” insert available to independent retailers.

                            Includes MP3 Download Code.

                            NYC’s The Prettiots (Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Prat) release their debut album ‘Funs Cool’ via Rough Trade.

                            Packed with catchy melodies, memorable hooks and heart on the sleeve lyrics, ‘Funs Cool’ acts as a thoughtful, funny, and catchy-as-hell state of the union address from young women living in a big city and watching life unfurl in fits and starts before them.

                            ‘Funs Cool’ comes hot on the heels of the band’s recent rapturously received first UK shows in November.

                            The Prettiots have a playful aesthetic and a sweet pop sound but their observations are scalpel-sharp and the emotional gut-punch their music packs is real. For Kay (vocals and uke) and Lulu (bass), simple instrumentation and no-frills vocals aren’t employed because they’re easy or cute - they’re useful because they’re the fastest way to the truth.

                            As Kasparhauser explained recently in a Rookie Magazine interview earlier this year, “My lyrics are completely honest… they’re 100% true to my thoughts at any given moment. I like to talk about Werner Herzog and sex.”

                            The Skiffle Players

                            Skifflin'

                              Songs pre-date our Internet, television, and even the written word as the way to get The News. The stories of all time, ballads, and living legends instantly come to life when the guitar strikes up and the band begins to play, and the singer sings, echoing clear messages from distant times and places. These five skifflers—Cass McCombs (guitar, vocals), Farmer Dave Scher (keyboards, lap steel guitar, melodica, vocals), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Dan Horne (bass), Aaron Sperske (drums and percussion)—have found a common bond in the belief that handmade music is in short supply these days—music made by the people, for the people and delivered to the people via an astrological and metaphorical horse and buggy that skiffles through the cosmos direct to your turntable.

                              Skifflin’ was conceived in a land of enchantment in Fall 2013, cultivated in design and conception throughout 2014, and performed live in the studio with no digital trickery in 2015. Barrel-aged to perfection, this is straight skifflin’ extract; pure, unadulterated, non-filtered West Coast golden goodness. With some ballads old, some brand new, and the whole history of the human condition in song to draw from, The Skiffle Players show no sign of relenting, for they have tapped into something great and mighty and true: a roaring river of living memory, always flowing, waiting there to be discovered when we, humankind, need it most.

                              So give yourself to the Great Story, the voices of the land in the grand pageant of all times and places. The skiffle has always been and shall endure, and is here once more.

                              The eponymous soundtrack to the documentary about celebrated singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. Among the gems: “Untitled Guitar Finger Picking,” written and performed by a 14-year-old Smith, a glimpse of the technical style that permeated Smith’s earlier solo albums. “Don’t Call Me Billy” is a potent precursor to Smith’s Either/Or-era “Fear City.” And “Unknown Song,” one of three instrumentals here, pays homage to Smith’s frequent crash-pad/studio, the house belonging to Quasi’s Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes. And of course, included is Smith’s first TV appearance, a performance of “Miss Misery” on Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

                              Snøskred

                              Empty House

                                Norwegian indie band Snøskred (pronounce the Ø as the «i» in bird) are back with their first album since 2012. «Empty House» is an elegant exploration of «bands with guitars in them» to quote Snøskred themselves.

                                After starting out as a shoegaze influenced act in 2012, Snøskred have reinvented themselves and the 2015 version sees them drop the cascadeing noise in favor of classic 90’s indie stylings. Referential, but not conservative, they mention bands like Pavement, Wilco, Talk Talk and Yo La Tengo as important influences on their new sound. Subtle, slow burning and introvert but still quite immediate and engaging. It feels like Snøskred have something truly timeless etched in the grooves.

                                Lead single «Puzzle» was released in september and got lots of positive reviews, among them kind words from The Guardian and Amazing Radio.

                                Singer Karl Klaseie: Puzzle is a simple song living in a complex world. The melody and lyrics are innocent, while guitars are tumbling and falling around them. It was the last song written and recorded for our upcoming record, and it came at a point where a lot of the elements that makes up this record already were there: Fripp guitars, echoing drum machines, the viola sound of an Arp Omni. Too easy.

                                Drummer Kyrre: I remember the sun beating on the excessively large storefront window of the studio making the control room hotter and hotter. I remember missing the sound of the fans we went out to buy for the studio when I heard the recordings at home. I remember listening to strange overdubs in a room with practically no oxygen in it. My head works differently in the summer and I think that the unusually warm summer of 2014 in Trondheim gave the music its own particular logic.

                                Steepletone

                                12" Record Storage Carry Case - Orange

                                  - Portable LP record storage carry case
                                  - Robust vinyl covering available in 5 colours
                                  - Protective chrome effect trim on corners and all edges of the box
                                  - Hinged lid with 2 closing clasps and carry handle in matching colours
                                  - Holds approx upto 50 LPs / 12"s in their sleeves
                                  - 3.8 KG

                                  Summer Twins are sisters Chelsea (guitar, vocals) and Justine Brown (drums, vocals). They write dreamy rock ‘n roll songs with a touch of California sun. Born and raised in Riverside, Ca, they formed Summer Twins in 2008, with a focus on singing pop harmonies atop garage rock inspired by the ’50s and ’60s.

                                  Summer Twins play live with Michael Rey Villavicencio on bass and Andy Moran on guitar. Sisters Chelsea and Justine always knew they wanted to be in a band. For them, the vision came first; the songs came later. They are the core members of Summer Twins, who weave together modern pop, ‘50's sock hop melodies, and wild ‘60's garage rock, topped with dreamy harmonies and a tinge of psychedelia. Chelsea plays guitar and Justine's behind the drums, with Michael Rey on bass and Andy Moran on guitar and keyboards. With their meticulous DIY ethic, the sisters continue to dream up music videos and crafty photo sets, inviting fans to escape to a carefree world in which worries seem to melt away. Still, now in their mid 20’s, life isn't all roller skating and balloons. The reality of adulthood, and the struggle to balance art with making a living are themes that appear in their latest songs. For ten rainy days in the winter of 2014, Chelsea, Justine, and producer Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees) holed up in an isolated Sacramento studio and created "Limbo". (Burger Records, October 2015) The seclusion and the intensity of the sessions are revealed through the album -- this is Summer Twins music with a new bite to it. Also new is the greater role played by Justine as she shares the bass duties with Michael Rey, and makes her songwriting debut on two new songs (singing and playing all the instruments on both “Florence” and “Helpless”).

                                  Sunflower Bean

                                  Human Ceremony

                                  Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The New York trio’s full-length debut album, Human Ceremony [Fat Possum Records], emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelica and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colours the aural tapestry of these three musicians—Jacob Faber [drums], Julia Cumming [vocals/bass], and Nick Kivlen [vocals/guitars].

                                  “Everything comes from a conflicting interest,” affirms Nick. “We love dream pop, but we also really love rock ‘n’ roll. It’s those two spectrums.”

                                  “You’re allowed to obsess over Black Sabbath as well as The Cure,” adds Julia. “It’d be boring if everything was just one way or the other.”

                                  That diversity defined the group’s approach since Nick and Jacob started jamming back in high school. They would hole up in Jacob’s Long Island basement for hours on end, channelling this vast cadre of influences. Julia’s addition would only expand that creative palette further in 2013. Through constant gigging around New York, Sunflower Bean sprouted into a sonic enigma, boasting a fiery musical call-and-response that serves as a centrepiece, giving the music what Jacob refers to as a “lyrical aspect” between the guitars, drums, and bass.

                                  They transferred this multi-headed energy into their 2015 Independent EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets. At the same time, this distinct alchemy enchanted ever-growing audiences live. By the time, they entered the studio for Human Ceremony, Sunflower Bean had a lively aural cauldron from which to draw.

                                  They took the summer of 2015 off and retreated to Jacob’s basement to write together. Taking the ideas out of the basement, they hit a Brooklyn studio with producer Matt Molnar [Friends] and tracked eleven tunes in just seven days. Whereas the EP was recorded after Sunflower Bean played 100 shows in one year, Human Ceremony showed the band’s studio side with richer soundscapes, overdubs, and music that had yet to be debuted live.

                                  On the lead track “Easier Said,” Julia’s delicate vocals glide over a lilting clean guitar that spirals off into a vibrant hum.

                                  Sunflower Bean’s spell is cast on Human Ceremony.

                                  “When you’re in a band, you always dream about the first record,” Julia concludes. “It’s that moment where you explore everything that’s been inspiring you.”

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                  London four – piece, Telegram release their eagerly awaited debut album, ‘Operator’, Recorded in London with Rory Atwell, features twelve tracks including the single ‘Taffy Come Home’, and a new version the band’s long deleted seven-inch debut release ‘Follow’ from October 2013.

                                  A stunning set of songs, the album will more than confirm TELEGRAM’s early promise as one of the most exciting bands around right now. Formed just over two years ago, the TELEGRAM line up of Matt Saunders (vocals/ guitar), Oli Paget-Moon (bass) and Jordan Cook (drums) have recently recruited new guitarist Pip Stakem to the fold. Effortlessly combining a love of Roxy Music, Syd Barrett, krautrock and late proto-punk to great effect, they’ve built up an ever growing fanbase of critics and public alike with extensive touring and a clutch of fantastic and much sought after seven inch singles, ‘Follow’, Regatta’, ‘Inside Outside; and most recently ‘Aeons’.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd LP Info: Limited edition signed coloured vinyl.

                                  CD Info: CD digipak comes with bonus track ‘Have It Your Way’.

                                  Ulrika Spacek

                                  The Album Paranoia

                                  RIYL: Mercury Rev, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Deerhunter, Atlas Sound.

                                  Ulrika Spacek is a British experimental rock band formed in Berlin by Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, relocated to Homerton, London. Work on debut album ‘The Album Paranoia’ began in the summer of 2014 in the band’s shared house KEN, and was finished there last month. In conjunction to the making of ‘The Album Paranoia’, the band has curated a number of nights under the name ‘Oysterland’ combining their first live performances with a series of exhibitions. The band's music has drawn various interpretations, a cross pollination of hypnotic fuzz, Verlain-Malkmus guitar idiosyncrasies and intertwining feelings of both angst and melancholia. 

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: Limited edition white coloured vinyl.

                                  Includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Working For A Nuclear Free City

                                  What Do People Do All Day?

                                  Working for a Nuclear Free City have never been too concerned with genre. Since their debut release almost a decade ago they have danced around the constraints of genre, eschewing predictability and expectation in the process by creating a body of work dictated by invention and momentum.

                                  Their latest release is no exception although, like much of their previous work, whilst it is difficult to pinpoint it is not lacking in stylistic coherence, “When putting the record together I was trying make something cohesive in some way.” Says one of the group’s founding members, Phil Kay.

                                  The end result is an expansive, pop-tinged, experimental album that can be as propulsive as it can be restrained, bringing to mind artists as diverse and brilliant as Beck and Brian Eno to the Super Furry Animals.

                                  The situations and inspiration around the record have been rather hodgepodge, “I listen to the radio most of the time, stations that play pretty diverse things, or I put things on shuffle a lot - mainly just trying to take the decision making process out of what I choose to listen too” Kay says, whilst also stating that the environments in which the record were created were just as all over the place, “I move around a lot so all the tracks are from different areas. Some from back in Manchester, a few from here in London, a couple I recorded in LA up in the Hollywood hills in Jennifer Anniston’s old apartment.” This geographically vast record was also done over a period of time too, making it a continent-spanning record that has had years’ worth of thoughts and ideas funnelled into it, “It was recorded over such a long period of time that each track has its own distinct memories for me.” Kay says of the process.

                                  The title of the album What Do People Do All Day? Has a dual meaning, as Kay points out, “I was writing a kids book at the time so had loads of Richard Scarry books lying around. I think we hit on the title as it of course reminds you of Scarry and puts you in that playful territory but the second meaning of it is about the mundanity and futility of life, so there's that juxtaposition. It was supposed to be this loose concept album about peoples lives or various snapshots of people lives. The songs also all seem to relate to these imagined characters and their lives - perhaps a days in their lives”

                                  As a result the songs vary enormously and when discussing what some of the individual tracks are about, Kay paints a picture of a little universe of strange tales and stories, one song is about “Media and politics and bullshit and living in a city and everyone wired up and concrete and adverts and too much noise” whilst others are about: “A girl who dreams of killing her boss, quitting her mundane job and living in a magazine”; “The heir to Blackpool Pleasure Beach who turns it into a Vegas-style resort, makes millions, moves to Venice beach and turns it into Blackpool” and “Teenagers getting stoned in a park in suburbia and discovering a secret portal”. As illustrated by these unique and vast narrative situations, it’s an album with huge scope and one that has set out to be as lyrically ambitious as it is sonically. 

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: LP includes CD version of the album in clear wallet.

                                  Various Artists

                                  Cold Waves Of Color - Volume 3

                                    "Must have collection of English post-punk synth rarities, sourced from the legendary Color Tapes label, remastered by Denis Blackham, all presented on vinyl for the first time! It's highly likely that these tracks have been barely heard beyond their original 100 edition tape pressings in the early 80's, and thusly this is a bit of a treasure trove, especially when considering the quality of the masters. This is the realest deal for people into minimal wave, Dark Entries and OG wave music. Don't sleep!" - Boomkat review.

                                    The majority of these tracks from these UK garage cold wave bands used mostly synthesizer, drum machines and sequencers such as EMS VCS3, Minimoog, Korg MS-20, Roland Juno 6, SH-09, TR-808 - so you know how they could sound. These machines today are part of the history of the development of electronic music in the UK.

                                    The LP package also includes a full colour poster plus a rare reprint of issue 2 of Color Tapes' own fanzine Purple Twilight from 1985, featuring articles on such bands as Bushido and Mystery Plane plus The Subway Organization cassette catalogue from 1985. An essential document from the 80's UK cassette underground scene.

                                    A true trip through never never land!


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