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I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s GRAMMY®-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was mostly recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn and more far flung locations. The album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.

I Am Easy to Find is a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and a 68-minute album by the National. The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, “Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other”—they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don’t necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically sidestaged in favour of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group’s orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they’ve created for much of their careers.

As the album’s opening track, ‘You Had Your Soul With You,’ unfurls, it’s so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Berninger’s familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: The racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out—not as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it’s Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris—not a negation of the band’s dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.

“Yes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn't because, ‘Oh, let's have more women's voices,’ says Berninger. “It was more, ‘Let's have more of a fabric of people's identities.’ It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn't let that happen.”

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Indies only 140gram clear vinyl – limited edition, one pressing only.

3xDeluxe LP Info: 140g set on opaque red / yellow / grey colours.
5th side contains 22 minutes of music from the I Am Easy To Find Original Film Score – EXCLUSIVE to this format.
Etching on the 6th side.
Tri-fold LP jacket.
3x printed innersleeves.
24 page booklet.
24” x 24” poster folder.
Housed in printed plastic sleeve.

2xLP Info: Black vinyl.

Tycho

Weather

    Tycho are the Grammy nominated electronic music project led by Scott Hansen as primary composer, songwriter and producer. The highly anticipated release of their fifth studio album “Weather” is an exciting progression from their previous output, with most of the new tracks being vocal lead, while still retaining the signature Tycho sound. The sonic shift has been enhanced by the collaboration with exciting new vocalist Saint Sinner, who will be joining the live band following their time in the studio. “Weather” will be available on Mom + Pop Music X Ninja Tune.

    Tycho have been remixed by the likes of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Bibio and in turn, have done remixes for Little Dragon, Maggie Rogers and ODESZA.

    Recommended if you like… Boards of Canada, Bibio, Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Mark Pritchard, Com Truise, Ulrich Schnauss


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Dinked Edition LP Info: Worldwide exclusive pink coloured vinyl.
    Exclusive signed 12 x 12” print and hand-numbered inner print.
    Limited to just 550 copies.

    Indies Exclusive LP Info: 180 gram limited edition clear vinyl exclusive to indie stores.

    The Raconteurs

    Help Us Stranger

      'Help Us Stranger' is The Raconteurs' third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade. It sees the mighty combo reassembled, stronger and perhaps even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock 'n' roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With 'Help Us Stranger' The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together.

      White and Benson wrote all the songs on 'Help Us Stranger' except one cover, “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness),” which was written by Donovan. Recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, the album was produced by The Raconteurs and engineered by Joshua V. Smith. Longtime friends and musical collaborators helped make 'Help Us Stranger', including keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age) and Lillie Mae Rische and her sister Scarlett Rische. The album was mixed by Vance Powell and The Raconteurs at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies only white vinyl version with alternate cover and hand-screen-printed sleeve.

      New album from the Malmo-based trio of Marleen Nilsson, Anders Hansson and Magners Bodin.

      Following the critically-acclaimed ‘To Where The Wild Things Are’ from 2015 and their haunting collection of soundtracks in between.

      “Lush and enveloping, reminiscent of Curt Boettcher and Margo Guryan.” The Wire. 

      “Fantastically eerie.” Clash.


      Exposing the trio’s love of all things retro with a nod to everything from Fun Boy Three to Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Contonou, while still roaming somewhere between an ambient Eno and Cocteau Twins at a late-night soiree. A unique, individual sound: Longer, more plush and pampered; more hypnotic and haunting, mixing mellotron and affected guitar with a refined rhythm. Electronic melancholy at its most evocative, riddled with super-memorable motifs and melodies that nestle in reflective echo.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Death and Vanilla have eschewed their classic sound slightly for a more open and airy offering, channelling the vibes of 70's soundtracks, hazy psychedelia and tie-dyed synthplay as well as their more direct offerings mixed in for good measure. Definitely the soundtrack to the summer. Stunning stuff.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Standard Edition, Reverse board sleeve, Crystal Clear vinyl.

      Indies Exclusive LP Info: Ltd Edition – Grey textured board sleeve, Transparent Pink Vinyl.

      Vampire weekend return for their newest full-length since 2013's 'Modern Vampires Of The City', this time choosing to go further down the Americana route hinted at on their first LP. We kick things off with the acoustic-heavy duo of 'Hold You Now' and 'Harmony Hall', the former stripping back everything to vox and guitar, accentuated with airy vocal samples and lo-fi hissing only to bring in a choral accompaniment, knocking things into grand orchestral territory. The latter of the two flits between melodic piano and insistent percussion, all accentuated with perfectly phased vocals and flickering acoustic guitar. The technique of stripping things back only to bring it all back in is not a new idea, but the way it's handled here is beautifully done, with filter fades and instrumental shifts clearly highlighting the differing sections without resorting to the usual verse-chorus tropes. 

      Move things along a little and we get a bit of synthpop atmospherics ('Unbelievably White'), plaintive jazzy progressions ('My Mistake') and funky angular soul ('Sunflower'), whilst still retaining the underlying sound that makes Vampire Weekend unique. At the heart of things, we still have the same playful progressions and flickering momentum of their earlier work (along with that unmistakeable vocal style and harmonic accompaniment), but brought up to date with a more mature outlook and delicate balance between beautiful harmony and patchwork construction of sound. Brilliantly inventive and warmingly original, this is Vampire Weekend but brought into the present. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Vampire Weekend have always stood out from the crowd with their own particular brand of dreamy melodic indie, characterised by rapid changes in direction and richly textured instrumental passages. What we have here is a classic distillation of their sound, spread across a hefty 18 tracks. It was well worth the wait.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Orange double vinyl.

      "Hi, Mac Here. First off, thank you for listening to my new record. This one is my cowboy record. Cowboy is a term of endearment to me, I use it often when referring to people in my life. The rusty old grinning pin on the front and back covers of the record was purchased from a man in the mountains somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest between Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC.

      Where I grew up there are many people that sincerely wear cowboy hats and do cowboy activities, these aren’t the people I’m referring to. Before realizing that your surroundings don’t necessarily define who you are, I felt very uncomfortable in the company of that culture. This record was recorded in my garage during the first two weeks of January 2019. I played all the instruments, except for a little bit of keyboard here and there, which was played by my touring keyboard player, and friend for most o me life now, Alec Meen. My travelling sound man Yakitori Santar helped me track it and put it together as well. It was raining a lot in Los Angeles while we were recording, you can hear it tapping on the windows of the garage here and there if you listen closely."

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Classic Mac this, snappy CR-78, lo-fi chord swells and Demarco's unmistakeable vocals. Add these classic sounds to the more esoteric offerings (the simmering funk of 'Choo Choo' or the minimalist lolloping groove of 'Nobody' for example) and you have the most rounded and satisfying offering yet.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive green/black mix coloured vinyl, with reverse artwork, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12" insert, sticker.

      LP Info: Black vinyl, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12” insert, Sticker.

      Black Peaches follow up their acclaimed 2016 debut with a dazzling display of musicianship on their explosive new album Fire In The Hole.

      “Black Peaches existed inside me before I was aware of it,” says the band’s Rob Smoughton, also known as a member of Hot Chip and Scritti Politti. “It’s the culmination and continuation of the music I love. I started to notice how Brazilian rhythm, funk, soul, classic country and pop were all combining in the music I was writing, and I looked for other band members to join me to bring it alive.”

      And he found other members to bring that combination alive in Susumu Mukai, Charlie Michael, Nick Roberts and Thomas Greene. Together they released 2016’s acclaimed Get Down You Dirty Rascals and now return with an album that continues to throw genres together with all the seamless grace of a seasoned cocktail maker but free of the postured affectations associated with such moves.

      Black Peaches are a place where genres collide and musical eras meld. On their second album the band has absorbed all the tropical sounds, glistening melodies and funk-ridden grooves into a sound that is truly their own. “I wanted the combination and layering of our influences to be organic,” says Smoughton. “To create Black Peaches music. To take the ideas from the first record further into our own place.”

      The result is a record that skips with the vibrancy and buoyancy of a band still in love with the idea of bringing their record collection to life, but the band now understand themselves as much as the music that inspires them and have created something new and refined.

      Given the eclectic styles rooted in the make-up of the band, to enter into the world of Black Peaches is often to feel like one is flying from country-to-country with each new song. For Smoughton this musical traversing is a key part of the experience of the band. “I find the combination of mythology, history and geography to be romantic and I want our music to elicit the same thrill. I think the album conjures up the adventure of moving from one place to another; from Spain into Northern Africa, where North America tips into the South. Narratively the songs inhabit a place between the conscious and subconscious - between dreams and waking life.”

      This globetrotting sonic voyage creates a sense of the unknown in the record, where each track exists as a new and unpredictable path. This is all done under the mission of creating a record that is capable of pure musical transcendence. “I really believe that music has the ability to transcend and move people emotionally and spiritually,” Smoughton says. “Our music is not about the separation between musician and audience but about the space in between.”

      Yet the album also works on an intuitive and physical level. On top of its narrative of the world between the conscious and the subconscious, it is also simply a collection of songs to make you dance and move. Whether it’s the Delta blues influenced strut of “Lemonade”, the “slinky and naughty” dance floor pounce of “The Black Peach Boogie” or the Afro-Brazilian skip of “Cuatro Berimbau.”

      Perhaps the most emblematic song of all when it comes to capturing the essence, power and groove of the album is the title track “Fire in the Hole”. “It comes from a phrase that miners would shout it to warn others that they had charged an explosive,” Smoughton says. “It’s to tell you something is about to explode. In this case it’s about being unable to resist the urge to dance. About giving over to rhythm and sound.”


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Dinked Edition LP Info: Teal Vinyl.
      Numbered.
      Signed Art Print 11" x 11".
      Bonus 7" two exclusive tracks (never to be repressed).
      Card with Download Codes.

      New Order

      ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes..

        In June 2017, New Order returned to the stage at Manchester’s Old Granada Studios where Joy Division made their television debut on Tony Wilson’s So It Goes programme in 1978. For the celebrated show ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes .., New Order deconstructed, rethought and rebuilt a wealth of material from throughout their career: familiar and obscure, old and new.

        Featuring tracks such as Disorder, from Joy Divisions Unknown Pleasures and not played live for 30 years, up to 2015’s Plastic from New Order’s critically acclaimed Top 5 album Music Complete - this is the perfect document of those magical 5 nights.

        The album was recorded live on 13th July 2017 and includes the full show and encore plus 3 additional tracks recorded over the residency to give listeners a full representation of the breadth of material performed. 

        This special series of intimate shows took over Stage 1 of Manchester’s iconic Old Granada Studios for five nights in June 2017. Created in collaboration with visual artist Liam Gillick, who has previously presented solo exhibitions at venues such as Tate Britain and MoMA in New York; and orchestrated by composer-arranger Joe Duddell, a fellow son of Manchester and a frequent collaborator with the band, the live show was performed by the band with a 12-strong synthesiser ensemble from the Royal Northern College of Music. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        3xColoured LP Info: Limited Edition Triple album pressed on transparent coloured vinyl.
        Vinyl 1: Red Transparent.
        Vinyl 2: Light Green Transparent.
        Vinyl 3: Blue Transparent.
        Packaged in individual sleeves and into a hardback slipcase, all with spot gloss finish.
        24 page 12" sized booklet with silk finish containing exclusive imagery and text relating to the legendary event.
        Includes hi definition digital download of all 18 tracks.

        2xCD Info: Double CD w/ Deluxe Booklet.
        Packaged in triple gatefold sleeve with spot gloss varnish.

        International psych explorers Flamingods are back with brand new album ‘Levitation’ coming out on via Moshi Moshi Records.

        Inspired largely by the disco, funk and psychedelic sounds coming out of the Middle East and South Asia in the 70s, the album channels these influences through a vision soaked in mysticism, positivity and sun-drenched imagery.

        During the process of writing and recording ‘Levitation’, Flamingods for the first time in four years found themselves living in the same continent, it’s this new unified feel that defines the confident and eclectic sound of the album.

        ‘Levitation’ is the follow-up to Flamingods’ breakthrough 2016 album ‘Majesty’ and follows their ‘Kewali’ EP release for Moshi Moshi in 2017 and a one-off release with Dan Carey for his Speedy Wunderground singles club. During this time they’ve performed live sessions at 6Music (with Gilles Peterson & Lauren Laverne), KEXP, Boiler Room and have been travelling the globe spreading their exotic psychedelia to the masses and getting people dancing from Austin to Amsterdam. 


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Flamingods return, bringing with them a brilliantly psychedelic mix of eastern-influenced groove, dreamy anthemic pop and acid-tinged folk. With pummeling percusion and rolling distorted bass holding down the backline, the guitars and echoing vox are allowed free-reign over the sonic spectrum. Killer stuff.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive glitter gold vinyl.
        Exclusive Embossed sleeve.
        Signed 12 x 12 art print.
        Very limited 400 pressing.

        Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl edition.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Morrissey With Billie Joe Armstrong

        Wedding Bell Blues - RSD Stores Exclusive



          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd 7" Info: Clear Yellow vinyl.

          Black Midi

          Schlagenheim

            black midi -- Georgie Greep (vocals/guitar), Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin (vocals/guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals/bass), and Morgan Simpson (drums) -- have a dynamic energy, playing as a musical unit that’s constantly in a state of flux and development.

            Schlagenheim was recorded with Speedy Wunderground producer Dan Carey, who the band praises for his quick, unfussy approach. black midi laid down eight of the record’s nine tracks in just five days. The process was one of refining and rebuilding tracks around the initial structures. Five hour jams would sometimes yield a riff that then became a few bars of a song. As anyone who’s been lucky enough to catch black midi live over recent months will testify, black midi’s songs are slippery creatures.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP Info: LP is pressed onto 180 gram vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve. Includes a download code.

            CD Info: CD includes fold out poster of the colour collage and lyrics.

            Joy Division

            Unknown Pleasures - 40th Anniversary Edition

              A limited edition 40th anniversary version of Unknown Pleasures will be released on June 14th, almost forty years to the day after it was originally released. The LP will be pressed on 180g ruby red vinyl with an alternative white sleeve resembling the original design idea.

              It's a celebration of one of the most important albums of our time as well as a landmark in music/design crossover history.

              One of the most significant debuts of all time, the album’s legacy continues to endure with NME claiming it to be ‘simply one of the best records ever made’


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited 180 gram red vinyl.

              Wheeltappers and Shunters was recorded in 2018 in founding band member Hartley's Liverpool studio, before they brought in Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons Of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) to mix it. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” Blackburn continues. Fun, sure, but this is Clinic – their brand of fun oozes with menace.

              The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by travelling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.

              For most bands about to enter their third decade as an entity the well would be running dry, but eight albums in and Clinic still retain the ability to surprise. Clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Wheeltappers and Shunters is an absolute blast, rich in detail and sonic intrigue, those precious minutes stuffed with ideas. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” Blackburn reveals. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Comfortingly warm and brilliantly varied, 'Wheeltappers and Shunters' perfectly treads the line between jagged, unpredictable psychedelia and smoothly redolent rock music, with enough of an edge to remain interesting and the perfect amount of sweetness to keep the listener fully on-board. Lovely.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive opaque red heavyweight vinyl.

              Black Midi

              Talking Heads / Crows Perch

              black midi, the enigmatic London-based four-piece that 'are less interested in proving themselves the future of indie rock than in imagining indie rock from the future' (Pitchfork), present new single, “Talking Heads”.

              “Talking Heads” is a calculated intensity, driven by frenzied percussion, bright, vivacious guitar, and spastic vocals. 'We've always tried to make it heavy but danceable, melodic but good rhythms,' says vocalist and guitarist, Geordie Greep. 'It is accessible music, there are experimental aspects that we've taken from when we went crazy at the beginning, we've just reigned it in to make something that is pop music.'

              Alongside the band’s recently shared single, “Crow’s Perch,” “Talking Heads” will be released as a double A-side 12” via Rough Trade.



              This is Kevin’s opus - a 2LP concept album on spirituality and religion. Throughout his four solo albums and myriad records of various collaboration, Kevin Morby has recognized in his work the ubiquity of an apparent religious theme. Though not identifying as “religious” in the slightest, Morby—the globetrotting son of Kansas City who has made music while living on both coasts before recently returning to his Midwestern stomping grounds—recognizes in himself a somewhat spiritual being with a secular attitude towards the soulful. And so, in an effort to tackle that notion head-on and once-and-for-all, he sat down in his form of church—on planes and in beds—and wrote what would become his first true concept-album: the lavish, resplendent, career-best double LP Oh My God.

              “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” he says. “It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this weird religious theme. I was able to write and record the album I wanted to make. It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting. At the end of the day, the only thing I don’t want is to be bored. If someone wants to get in my face about writing a non-religious religious record? Thank god. That’s all I gotta say.”


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Although Matt and I agree that the front cover of this looks unbelievably like a topless Dom Kozubik, don't let that put you off. 'Oh My God' is a tenderly delivered and perfectly measured slice of indie songwriting. Morby's ear for a tune and perfectly balanced juxtaposition of tender, brittle balladry and uplifting soulful soothe make this one for every collection.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xDinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive opaque red vinyl 2LP + download.
              Bespoke art (different coloured lettering).
              Bonus CD.
              Numbered.
              12 x 12" print.
              Limited Edition of 500.

              2xColoured LP Info: Sky blue coloured vinyl.

              A beautiful swimmer is a small blue crab. The Beautiful Swimmers are Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering (AKA Max D). And you, my friend, are about to get high on the happy. They’re here to take you on a gleeful joyride around their collective musical imagination. The Swimmers are full-bore record enthusiasts you see, but whereas you might associate this with squirrelly, exclusive and crabby sorts, they are inclusive, human and warm. It’s a wide-eyed ebullient romp and the joy of discovery is one to share. And to see them DJ IS a joy - they’re having at least as much fun as anyone else in the room, locked together tight, riding the same wave.

              So even when shit gets somewhat darker, the tempos higher and sounds gnarlier ("Analogous Doom") the world is never grey. When we’re stone cold Balearic in the Adriatic ("Plunky") the vibe is up, young and fun. Banging them B’more house beats? Well, you’re probably going to be recognising a welcoming RnB sample (KW Griff). We’ve also been blessed with some Swimmer’s specials in the shape of "Blow Up Girl" and "Living in a Zone". Exclusive.

              Ari and Andrew have previously worked in dog and childcare respectively. If this compilation were a dog it’d be a 'rascal', if it were a kid it’d be 'spirited'. We can’t think of anyone better to be your guides, as they themselves might say, 'it’s a vibe'.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Matt says: First compilation from emergant festival / brand / record label Love International. It's a pretty cutting edge selection, highlighting the maverik and hedonistic spirit that epitomizes much of the brand's ethos.

              Stereolab's 7 album reissue campaign kicks off with 1993's 'Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements' and 1994's 'Mars Audiac Quintet', reissued via Warp Records and Duophonic UHF Disks, as expanded and re-mastered editions on vinyl and compact disc.

              Each album has been re-mastered from the original 1/2" tapes by Bo Kondren at Calyx Mastering and overseen by Tim Gane. Bonus material includes alternate takes, 4 track demos and unreleased mixes.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Martin says: The more accessible end of their output perfected their assault on space age pop, blending complex and layered lounge experimentation with their trademark kraut influences to gorgeous effect.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              3xColoured LP Info: Numbered and pressed on triple clear vinyl, with scratch card to win an exclusive Stereolab record at end of the year.
              Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a heavyweight clear PVC wallet.

              3xLP Info: Black triple vinyl edition.
              Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a heavyweight clear PVC wallet.

              U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief, set to be released by 4AD on May. It was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios with engineer Dom Monks, and producer Andrew Sarlo who was also behind their previous albums.

              The New York-based band, featuring Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums), has spent the last 4 years on an incessant world tour, winning the devotion of an enthusiastic and rapidly expanding audience.

              Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Big thief are one of our favourites in Piccadilly, and this latest iteration of their sound really shows why. Skilfully toeing the line between mournful acoustic balladry, simmering country and more upbeat melodic indie, Big Thief have once again brought us an eminently listenable and transportative triumph.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition orange vinyl.

              "Juan Pablo: The Philosopher" has been one of our favourite releases here at Piccadilly in recent years, so we were utterly buzzing to hear word of a new LP from the mighty Ezra Collective. Soon enough the London five-piece furnished us with a promo CD, and it's been on the Piccadilly player ever since. Continuing the genre-bending journey they began on "Juan Pablo", "You Can't Steal My Joy" sees the ensemble apply their incredible musicianship to elements of Afrobeat, hip-hop, grime and dub, wrapping their diverse influences into their fearless, fun and contemporary take on jazz. If you needed any further evidence of their top tier credentials, they recently broke off from a sold out, mosh-pit-filled UK tour to play at Quincy Jones' birthday party - nuff respect. This is the jazz sound of 2019 folks - get joyful.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Millie says: Hearing the news of the new Ezra Collective album made my heart soar, after the success of Juan Pablo: The Philosopher this album is highly anticipated, with collaborations from Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner & KOKOROKO. You Can’t Steal My Joy will be without doubt favourite album of the year, I can’t rave about it enough. Go listen and support this amazing collective!!

              Interpol

              A Fine Mess EP

                Recorded during time spent in upstate New York with Dave Fridmann, the five songs that make up A Fine Mess gradually emerged as a body of work with a narrative and flow unto itself. The resulting set is a living, breathing postcard from the band to their fans as they tour the world throughout 2019, and a linear continuation of the visceral and contagious energy set loose with Marauder.

                Echoing its title, the artwork for A Fine Mess is illustrated by a series of lost images, recovered from an abandoned police station in Detroit, MI. In a crumbling evidence room - amongst the rubble - an undeveloped roll of film, dated “1-20-96”, featured latent images of a breaking and entering scene, the rooms in chaos.

                From the beguiling refrain of the title track, to the soulful topsy-turvy of ‘No Big Deal’, cathartic chorus of long sought-after live favourite ‘Real Life’, anthemic swell of ‘The Weekend’, and angular shades of ‘Thrones’, A Fine Mess is a bracing and distinct entry in Interpol’s oeuvre.



                Compiled by Andy Cabic (Vetiver), Zach Cowie (DJ & music supervisor) and Mark “Frosty” McNeill (dublab), "Pacific Breeze" documents Japan’s blast into the stratosphere. By the 1960s, the nation had achieved a postwar miracle, soaring to become the world’s second largest economy. Thriving tech exports sent The Rising Sun over the moon. Its pocket cassette players, bleeping video games, and gleaming cars boomed worldwide, wooing pleasure points and pumping Japanese pockets full of yen.

                Japan’s financial buoyancy also permeated its popular culture, birthing an audio analog called City Pop. This new sound arose in the mid ’70s and ruled through the ’80s, channeling the country’s contemporary psyche. It was sophisticated music mirroring Japan’s punch-drunk prosperity. City Pop epitomized the era, providing a soundtrack for emerging urbanites. An optimistic spirit buzzed through the music in neon-bathed, gauzy tableaus coated with groove-heavy strokes.

                "Pacific Breeze" is an expertly compiled collection of choice cuts that range from silky smooth grooves to innovative techno pop bangers and everything in between. Long-revered by crate diggers and adventurous music heads, this music has never been released outside of Japan until now. Including key artists like Taeko Ohnuki and Minako Yoshida, as well as cult favorites Hitomi Tohyama and Hiroshi Sato, the long-awaited release also features newly commissioned cover painting by Tokyo-based artist Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have graced the covers of many classic City Pop albums of the 1980s.

                Many of the key City Pop players evolved from the Japanese New Music scene of the early ’70s, as heard on Light In The Attic’s acclaimed Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, the first release of the ongoing Japan Archival Series. In fact, you could say City Pop set sail with a champagne smash from Happy End, the freakishly talented subversives who included amongst their ranks Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, both featured on this compilation. As Michael K. Bourdaghs noted in his book, Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon, this music was, “Deconstructing the line between imitation and authenticity.” Some of the best City Pop teeters in this zone—easy listening with mutant exotica, tilted techno-pop, and steamy boogie bubbling beneath the gloss.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: If like me, Ryan Horsebeach, Piccadilly supply teacher Michael and mailorder Sil, you've had your head turned by the sounds of Japan, you'll be giddy at the arrival of this LITA compiled collection of City Pop gems. Featuring a who's who of 80s Japan, and their best moments no less, this is sunkissed tropical synth pop with a heavy helping of Japanese soul. Sophisticated music from the future past, presented in typically lavish fashion from the mighty Light In The Attic.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xLtd LP Info: 2x black vinyl LP housed in a deluxe wide spine jacket with over sized fold-out booklet, full color printed inner sleeves, and custom die-cut obi card.

                CD Info: CD in a UV coated Digipak with over sized fold-out booklet and custom die-cut obi card.

                Aldous Harding releases her third album, Designer. Designer finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride. After the sleeper success of the internationally lauded Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road.

                Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen. From the bold strokes of opening track ‘Fixture Picture’, there is an overriding sense of an artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Another stunning LP from Harding here, being a favourite in the shop, we're no newbies to her own brand of rhythmic country-tinged melodic indie, but this time around we get the Welsh input from Huw Hawkline and Steve Baboo, both acts i'm well accustomed with from my time in Cardiff, and both perfectly fitting in to Harding's musical world. Beautiful stuff.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl, one pressing only, indies only.

                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                And another one! Best bring the noise yet again with an official re-mastered limited edition reissue of the mega-rare Blow Up records release of the Italo masterpiece "Pink Footpath" by Loui$. Originally released in 1985, this gem has become one of the most highly sought after Italo Disco tracks around. On the A side is Magic Dance which is good, but it's the instrumental version of the track Pink Footpath that really gets the disco DJs drooling. With its killer analogue bassline, dreamy soft synths and balearic guitar riffs, it's easy to see why it became such an anthem at the early Ibiza parties as well as a late night favourite in Chicago and New York.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Essential Italo for the proto house crowd here via this total winner from Loui$. All the heads know you need "Pink Footpath", a sublime combination of solid drum machines, sophisticated chords and sweet synth melodies, which pretty much set the blueprint for Metro Area two decades on.

                The Oh Sees

                Graveblockers (Reissue)

                  Encased in a brown paper wrapping like a forgotten bit of smut from behind the beaded curtain, this unassuming disc is a time-capsule back to John Dwyer’s early SF days, janglingly fingerpicked wisps of melody and electronics baking in the all-too anemic sunshine of San Francisco’s elusive summer. Like a seashell to the ear, one can hear within it Baker Beach bike ride excursions, holding court and gently harassing passers-by on a Haight street stoop, and midnight rambles with friends from out of town, daring the sun to come up.

                  Somewhere chronologically between the folky whisper of Songs About Death And Dying and the recently reissued Cool Death Of Island Raiders, this one’s been vexing to find for way too long and Castle Face has decided to give it “the treatment”. May it awaken the gentle glow of possibility dappled with the dancing shadow of danger that it stirs around this castle.

                  Flying Lotus

                  Flamagra

                    Nearly 5 years after the last Flying Lotus album—the Grammy-nominated You’re Dead! and Flying Lotus’ stock has never been higher. The interim years have seen him collaborating with Kendrick Lamar on the classic To Pimp a Butterfly, directing and writing the Sundance-premiered Kuso movie, and producing much of Thundercat’s Drunk.

                    Flamagra encompasses hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, global dance music, tribal poly-rhythms, IDM, the L.A. Beat scene, but it soars above a specific vortex whose coordinates can’t be accurately charted. Other than to say that it is a Flying Lotus record, perhaps the definitive one.

                    Flamagra features (in order of appearance): Anderson .Paak, George Clinton, Little Dragon, Tierra Whack, Denzel Curry, David Lynch, Shabazz Palaces, Thundercat, Toro y Moi, Solange and more.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Special Edition Limited Pop Up Deluxe Black Vinyl.
                    2LP in mirriboard inner sleeves, pop up gatefold sleeve, DL card insert, packed in PVC sleeve.

                    2xLP Info: 2LP black vinyl, in printed inners, in gatefold outer sleeve, DL card insert.

                    Purple Mountains

                    All My Happiness Is Gone

                      Purple Moutains is David Berman From Silver Jews.

                      Nots

                      3

                        “Once we really leaned into the space that being a three-piece afforded us, our writing started to make better sense and connect,” explains guitarist-keyboardist-vocalist Natalie Hoffmann. “It made for a more interesting record than if we stayed comfortable and safe in the way we were writing.”

                        “More interesting” is a classic hard undersell. When Alexandra Eastburn left nots in 2018, the threat of losing the gnarled texture or her hammering synth progressions resulted in some real growing pains for the band. But once the newly anointed threesome arrived at Bunker Audio in Memphis to record with trusted engineer and friend Andrew McCalla, each member had embraced nots fresh identity.

                        Rather than abandon the noisy synth attack, Hoffmann instead decided to add another role to her expanding sonic arsenal, painting the backgrounds of tracks like “Floating Hand” and “Half-Painted House” with melting buzzes and swirling waves that sound menacing and ominous at one turn and hypnotic and seductive at another. After the record began to take form, it felt much more accurate to understand 3 as a different force altogether from its Goner predecessors, Cosmetic (2016) and We Are Nots (2014).

                        Themes of lost control and societal division are spread throughout 3. They can be heard not only via Hoffmann’s reverb-drenched drawl, but also in the sneaky tightness between drummer Charlotte Watson and bassist Meredith Lones that occasionally (and quickly) devolves into a beautiful, reckless cacophony before shoring back up again (see opener “Low” as excellent proof).

                        Elsewhere, on cuts like “Persona” and “Rational Actor,” nots explore the loss of reality in performance and just how exhausting it can be to navigate the blurry line between playing an actor and playing human. It’s all pretty heady stuff, no doubt, but because nots tracked and recorded 3 live—as has been their way with all of their albums—they were also able to infuse it with what Hoffman describes as “an intensity and improvisational energy.”

                        So to what does that ultimately amount? A dark, unpredictable, raucous, liberating, and bold tour de force of a third record from the Memphis three—along with a strong impression that the best still yet to come.


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Opaque yellow 180 gram vinyl with download card.

                        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Buzzcocks

                        Singles Going Steady



                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive translucent violet coloured vinyl.

                          Protomartyr can finally answer what is probably their most frequently asked question: “When are you going to reissue your first album?” ‘No Passion All Technique’ has long been something of a mystery. Not available on streaming services; long out of print (and going for ridiculous prices on auction sites), why was this album so elusive?

                          When Protomartyr - vocalist Joe Casey, guitarist Greg Ahee, bassist Scott Davidson, drummer Alex Leonard - stepped into a studio together for the first time, in November of 2011, they didn’t know they were about to record an album. With only four hours of studio time booked and one case of beer between them, their plan was to walk out with enough songs for a seven-inch single. Instead, at the suggestion of engineer Chris Koltay, the newly formed Detroit outfit recorded as much as they possibly could, in what little time they had.

                          Sold out and out of print shortly after its original release on Urinal Cake Records in October 2012, ‘No Passion All Technique’ is a sometimes-messy look at one of rock’s most magnetic bands - and lyricists - just as they were coming to life. Primal, cerebral, heartbreaking, funny - it’s an accidental tour de force that’s also become an unlikely collector’s item. “My memory is shot,” Casey says, “but I appreciate now, looking back, how raw and off-the-cuff it was. There’s tons of mistakes in it and that wasn’t because we planned on it. We still can’t really admit that it’s as good as it is. You never want to say that your first is the best, but I’m happy that the first ended up not being terrible. It gave us doorway to what we’d want to do later.”

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Available to independent retailers on heavyweight blue vinyl with ‘zine’ magazine and digital download card.

                          LP Info: LP on heavyweight black vinyl with ‘zine’ magazine and digital download card.

                          It was never intended to get this far. Endless Boogie had been a band for six years when they were invited by Slint to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in the UK. Up to that point, they had been perfectly content existing only at their weekly Lower East Side rehearsals (and the occasional New York City show). At the time, Jesper Eklow and Mark Ohe worked at Matador Records, and word had begun to spread about the Art Departments band. They figured if they were leaving the country to play a show, they should have something to sell, so they pulled some recordings from their rehearsal tape archive, ran two small pressings, hand stamped some sleeves, and the Endless Boogie story officially began. The records (often referred to as "black" and "white") have long fetched high prices on the secondary market. They're back in print here and packaged together as a double CD / double LP set. Vinyl comes in an debossed gatefold jacket. CDs come packaged in a gatefold wallet. 

                          Purple Mountains

                          Purple Mountains

                            “Well I don’t really like talking to myself, but someone’s got to say it, hell...”

                            You know this voice. An old friend has returned. It was some years back that you dropped the needle on the record and heard it say, “No, I don’t really wanna die...” Like so many lines you couldn’t possibly have guessed the finish to, it’s now among the flat natural-born good-timin’ faves that you sing along with in the jukebox inside your head. It’s loaded up there along with at least a couple dozen others from Silver Jews, whose classic run was made somehow finite in 2009, when the voice himself, David Berman, announced his retirement from music. Ten years have come and gone since then. Where the time goes, we do not know. What do they say about old songwriters? We don’t know that one either, okay? We’re not good with jokes – we’re just glad that there’s always more songs to be written and sung. That’s what raised up Purple Mountains for all of us, after all.

                            Yes, Purple Mountains is the new nom-de-rock of David Berman. Purple Mountains is also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums – full of double-jointed wit and wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of handcrafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs are produced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance. And then…

                            What is 10 years? What are 50? How is everything anything in the eventual blink of eternity? The songs of Purple Mountains are a potent brew, stitched together from lifetimes, knitting the drift of the years with the tightest lyric construction Berman’s ever attempted. Honesty is archly in the air, but lines of incredible bleakness somehow give way to playful distraction and the hiding of surprises for close listeners. Even still, as the songwriter once wrote, “every single thought is like a punch in the face.” It won’t take long after slapping the record on the platter for you to hear that this is one of THOSE albums. There’s breakup records. There’s apocalypse records. Then there’s Purple Mountains.

                            The portrait is David Berman’s most to-the-bone yet, very frankly confessing a near-total collapse from the first moment, then delving into the layers of nuance with twin lazers of personal laceration and professional remove. This etches a picture that cries to be understood in the misbegotten country that made everything great about Purple Mountains. America’s fate is that of its treasured icons: the cowboy, the outlaw, the card sharp and the riverboat gambler, who all face simple resignation in the end. There are no perfect crimes. Berman’s poet-thief of so many precious moments, now stripped and chastened, recalls his latest lowest moments in perfect detail, hovering ghostly above the tumescent production sound as it echoes with tragic majesty and the sound-fragments of former glory, evoking the defeated-king era of late Elvis, soutern-fried and sassy still on his countrypolitan way down, and somehow still solid-gold at the bottom.

                            Berman’s songwriter’s bone’s never been laid more bare, either – if redemption doesn’t come on the lyric sheet, the act of putting these songs into singing, dancing form allows them their finest end – to provide infotainment for others, embodying moments of life and truth via music that elevates with disarming warmth and a reassuring commonality, even as David himself stands outside the communal campfires.

                            Where are you tonight, America? The things that used to be have slipped away into the darkness without you knowing it, and your children are wandering in a blasted landscape, with only Purple Mountains left to comfort them, and David Berman’s shattered fables for company.

                            After a 2 year hiatus marooned on a desert island surrounded by singing frogs and dancing jellyfish, the incognito re-edit label Balearic Blah Blah is back once again with a fresh batch of DJ delights from the motley crew of editors. Master Editor KB leads the charge kicking things off with an off kilter track "Pheew Position" from the Parade Album which has been maximized for longer dancefloor steel drum-funk, reminiscent of his eighties DJ sets where he used 2 copies of the original 2 min track.
                            Hamburg‘s frequency without control follows on to give us a sleazy, soulful German Balearic boogie gem in "Scheidung Nacht", a track for rolled up sleeves, powdered noses and neon lights. Closing the A-side is "Los Ninjas", a finger plucking flamingo fiesta of a track found by KB in a dusty & dirty basement in Aarus, Denmark on his global travels!
                            On the flip comes New Yorks finest Balearic Bastardo, with a monster disco-edit which was hammered by DJ Harvey at his Mercury Rising residency at Pikes, Ibiza. KB slows things down for the final cut, another find on his travels, this time in Amsterdam where it was lurking behind a Red Lighted radiator in a notorious coffee shop. Maximized editing for your aural pleasure.
                            That’ll do!


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Patrick says: Finally back after an extended vacation, the folks at Balearic Blah Blah bring us another fresh batch of Balearic and disco edits from KB, Frwctrl and Bastardo. Dig in for a primo purple extension, swooning German AOR outing (personal fave that!), flamenco frenzy, gospel-disco destroyer and melodica-topped afternoon croon. Predictably unpredictable, and just a brilliant as ever - big up the Blah Blah!

                            Lee "Scratch" Perry

                            Rainford

                              The mighty upsetter returns with 9 brand new tracks recorded with longtime friend and collaborator Adrian Sherwood at the controls. “It's the most intimate album Lee has ever made, but at the same time the musical ideas are very fresh. I'm extremely proud of what we've come up as a piece of work". - A.M.S

                              This new set is the culmination of over two years work and recording sessions that span Jamaica, Brazil and the UK. Determined to craft a work of lasting power, Sherwood likens to the album to the work that Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash on the American Recordings series, a deeply personal work (the album title refers to Lee’s birth name) and arguably the strongest batch of original material that Perry has released for many years.

                              From the atmospheric field recording and wah-wah guitar of album opener “Cricket On The Moon”, to the gothic cello embellishment on “Let It Rain”, the chopped-and-compressed horn section of “Makumba Rock”, to the layered, carefully arranged backing vocals like a heavenly chorus throughout the record, this is an album with true love, care and attention poured into it’s every groove. It culminates in the truly extraordinary “Autobiography Of The Upsetter”, in which Scratch narrates the story of his life from growing up on a plantation in 1930s colonial Jamaica to becoming a worldwide musical superstar.

                              The story of Lee Perry and Adrian Sherwood collaborating stretches back to the mid-1980s, and a fortuitous meeting brokered by underground broadcasting legend Steve Barker between the dub innovator and UK upstart. This led to the creation of On-U classics such as Time Boom X De Devil Dead and The Mighty Upsetter, as well as Lee gracing Dub Syndicate records with some vital vocal injections. 

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive gold vinyl, limited to 2000 copies worldwide.

                              Il Bosco

                              Bare Hits From The Manctalo Diskotek

                              Il Bosco is back at the controls ably assisted by The Bat & Flemming Dalum. Intriguingly labeled as 'edit not edit tackle' throughout, it sees Bosco and his select knife wielders tackle more forgotten hits from the Italian and Euro-synth underground; subtly transforming their arrangements into Y2K19-friendly jizzers and splurters. Change the sheets immediately after playing.

                              Limited press comes with wrap around riso print poster sleeve in pvc cover...

                              Limited copies, highly recommended. Red Laser is MCR's No. 1 dance outlet at the moment, fervently sought out by global dance movers and shakers with a keen ear for the 'Good'. Don't sleep. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: Bosco allows us back inside the top ring of the pyramid with The Bat and Flemming Dalum sat alongside him as New Emperors of The Modern Church of Synth. Specialist tackle for those in the know...

                              Girl Band

                              Shoulderblades

                                Nearly 4 years since Girl band’s critically acclaimed debut album, hailed by some as one of the best debuts of that year – they return with new single ‘Shoulderblades’. Sonically, the landscape warps from a dissonant, distant horizon to a threatening “shh!”, the sawing note panning from ear to ear, the uncomfortable atonal blanket that wraps around you, initiating you into the new world of Girl Band. Shoulderblades is a moment, a study, a significant detail from the greater surrealist portrait to come.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Ltd 12" Info: Custom etch design.

                                '‘Nothing Great About Britain’, the charged title of UK rapper slowthai’s debut album is the phrase echoing among the disenfranchised members of Britain’s society. Not just a title, the phrase epitomises all that slowthai has been talking about to this point, all that he himself believes in. With this offering he sets the stage to become the voice of Britain’s mistreated, unrepresented and forgotten. 
                                Blessed with a versatile voice and a fresh view of society, slowthai lays a grimey flow over trap-tinged beats, pulls an ODB on the narcotic love song "Crack" and yelps over garage-tinged jams "Doorman" and "Piece Of Mind" like a millenial Mike Skinner. Punk energy, urban attitude and a unique voice, slowthai ladies and gents.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

                                Stereolab

                                Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements (Expanded Edition)

                                Stereolab's 7 album reissue campaign kicks off with 1993's 'Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements' and 1994's 'Mars Audiac Quintet', reissued via Warp Records and Duophonic UHF Disks, as expanded and re-mastered editions on vinyl and compact disc.

                                Each album has been re-mastered from the original 1/2" tapes by Bo Kondren at Calyx Mastering and overseen by Tim Gane. Bonus material includes alternate takes, 4 track demos and unreleased mixes.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Martin says: While this is possibly Stereolab's breakthrough release, it is also one of the most sonically diverse and challenging, switching between extended krautrock jams, edgy and distorted instrumentals, hard driving noise and dreamy pop. Features the utterly enchanting "Pack Yr Romantic Mind" and "Jenny Ondioline".

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                3xColoured LP Info: Numbered and pressed on triple clear vinyl, with scratch card to win an exclusive Stereolab record at end of the year.
                                Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a heavyweight clear PVC wallet.

                                3xLP Info: Black triple vinyl edition.
                                Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a heavyweight clear PVC wallet.

                                Richard Hawley

                                Further



                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited Edition Orange LP.

                                  LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                  Bill Callahan

                                  Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest

                                    As you listen to Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest, a feeling of totality, of completeness, steals over you, like a thief in broad daylight. Of course it does – you’re listening to a new Bill Callahan record! The first one in almost six years! What more do you need to complete you?

                                    Or perhaps, after all the time, the obvious needs to be made just a little more explicit?

                                    First, it’s a different kind of record. Bill’s now writing from somewhere beyond his Eagle-Apocalypse-River headspace, and Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest is very much its own beast. The songs are, by and large, shorter, and there are more of them. It took almost all of the previous three albums to add up to that many. Plus, twenty’s a lot of songs! But again, it goes a lot deeper than that.

                                    After Dream River, Bill’s life went through some changes. Good changes – marriage and a kid - but afterwards, it was suddenly harder for him to find the place where the songs came, to make him and these new experiences over again into something to sing. His songs have always been elusive, landing lightly between character study and autobiography, as the singer-songwriter often does. This felt different, though. After 20 years of putting music first, he wasn’t prepared to go away from it completely. Or was he? The lives of a newlywed, a new parent, they have so much in them – but writing and singing, it was his old friend that had helped him along to this place where he’d so happily arrived. Was there room for everybody? While sorting it all out, he worked on songs every day – which meant that for a while, there were lots of days simply confronting the void, as he measured this new life against the ones he’d previously known.

                                    It informed the shape of the album. Moving gradually from reflections upon the old days in “Ballad of The Hulk” and “Young Icarus” to the immediacy of the present moment in “Watching Me Get Married” and “Son of the Sea”, Bill traces the different life lines, casually unwinding knotty contradictions and ambiguities with an arresting stillness. The sense of a life thunderstruck by change infuses Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest– the songs wander from expressions of newfound joy and great contentment to other snapshots, considerations of the not-joy that we all know. Unsettling dream-images and mythic recollections are patiently received; the undertow of the past is resisted, pulling against it instead into the present, accepting revolutions of time and the unconscious as a natural flow.

                                    These transcendent expressions are wedded translucently to the music. Acknowledging the uncertainty in which the songs were assembled, Bill went to the studio alone, unsure if he could find what he was looking for with a band riding along – because who knew how long it would take? This allowed the fluidity of his song-thoughts to be laid down with the right feeling. Once there was guitar and vocals, the other parts came. Matt Kinsey’s guitar partnership is an essential relationship within the music, as is Brian Beattie’s acoustic bass – but also, Bill found himself overdubbing parts himself for the first time in many years, which lent the songs an episodic drift, as if he’s passing through rooms while singing.

                                    In it’s final mix, Shepherd In a Sheepskin Vest glows incandescent – an entirely acoustic arrangement, sounds and stories shifting seamlessly, almost like one big song made of a bunch of new stories – the kind that only Bill Callahan thinks to sing.

                                    It’s a joy to hear from this old friend – informing all the lives that we’ve led in the hearing. Good listeners and tired dancers, sing along.

                                    Sunn O)))

                                    Life Metal

                                      Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto "Novæ". The cosmos clearly expands.

                                      At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members' own musical experiences out of the band's). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said "Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen."

                                      Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

                                      In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band's amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

                                      Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

                                      Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled "Troubled Air" (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

                                      The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

                                      There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. 


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: It's another amazing LP from Sunn here, enlisting the help of Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir on vocal duties to superb effect. Her music has always been beautiful in it's own regard (Múm being one of my absolute favourites) and it's lighter touch and orchestral delicacy adds beautifully to the famously all-encompassing drone of O'Malley and Anderson. Absolutely stunning.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      2xColoured LP Info: Limited purple coloured vinyl.

                                      Ltd LP Info: Limited black vinyl edition.


                                      Latest Pre-Sales

                                      191 NEW ITEMS

                                      Good morning. Open and ready for New Music Friday. Loads of great releases out today. https://t.co/KL1FeNcZ4F https://t.co/1xLXOCJu8X
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                                      Best Sellers of The Week https://t.co/T4SeJf1Eej Just In https://t.co/6f3fZjqA1i Latest Presales… https://t.co/OGU6K6ig8D
                                      Thu 16th - 1:09
                                      RT @dinkededition: This peach lands in all DINKED shops tomorrow. BLACK PEACHES ‘Fire In The Hole’ They may have flown a little under th…
                                      Thu 16th - 11:54
                                      DINKED EDITION 17 TYCHO 'WEATHER' Worldwide exclusive pink coloured vinyl. Exclusive signed 12 x 12” print and h… https://t.co/nn9XFwQkGv
                                      Thu 16th - 7:55
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