MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 12 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes.. by New Order.

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. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Mute present this essential landmark in New Order's lineage with this 2CD / 3LP set from MIF almost exactly 2 years ago. The catalogue is given a renewed and invigorated twist, showing another side to an already venerable set of classic songs. An essential piece for any fans, and another reason New Order retain the status they've held for so long.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    3xColoured LP Info: Limited Edition Triple album pressed on transparent coloured vinyl housed in a slip-box.
    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.

    Ardentjohn is a project built around five core members from various parts of the UK and specialise in the sort of widescreen majesty that the cover depicts. We kick things off with the huge 'Magic Everywhere', building up like a post-rock staple, but bolstered with the sort of crescentic euphoria and tenderly sung vocals that lift it from a meandering instrumental into a fully-formed and fitting introductory piece. Things continue in a similar vein, with 'Malin Head' providing a slightly more upbeat offering, counteracting the quiet introductory passages but without sacrificing its integrity. 'Come Alive Again' is definitely more along the lines of a melodic 00's indie number, with slowly strummed chorused guitars and vocal harmonies pulling the piece along at a leisurely but perfectly measured rate.

    Later on, and 'To Be My Love' and 'Orange Nights' provide a wealth of handy guitar work and pitch-perfect production, while never sacrificing the overall aesthetic established in the first half while follower, 'When The Faces Change' shows the more tender side to the band, perfectly accentuating the minimalistic instrumentation with just the right amount of slide guitar and subtle tremolo.

    It's a beautiful work, and one that deserves your attention, no matter your musical leanings. 

    Bleached

    Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?

      ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ is what Jennifer Clavin asked herself when she hit a turning point in her life. It’s also the title of the new record from Bleached, Jessie and Jennifer Clavin’s first album written from a place of sobriety. That newfound perspective serves as the guiding force, yielding a courageous, honest and sonically ambitious album. It’s a record about fighting both literally and figuratively for your life - and the clarity born from that struggle.

      Writing began in early 2018, both in a Los Angeles practice space and with friends and co-writers in Nashville. Producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells) helped open every door to experimentation, wanting to be exploratory while keeping the sound singularly Bleached.

      The resulting album is explosive, grappling with the past; its twelve tracks mark some of the sisters’ most visceral, rawest songwriting to date - and some of their best. The work glimmers with inspiration found in touring with the likes of The Damned and Paramore. That arena-ready pop, incisively catchy, was a palpable influence helping to push Bleached’s sound in a new direction.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Opaque cream vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Bloc Party

      Silent Alarm Live

        Bloc Party are releasing a special live edition of their debut album Silent Alarm, compiled of live recordings from last year’s homecoming show at Alexandra Palace and European tour, in which the band played the album in full. Silent Alarm was released in 2005 to widespread critical and commercial success, achieving multi-platinum sales and earning Bloc Party a Mercury Prize nomination. The album has since been heralded as one of the most influential and important of the decade by outlets as diverse as Pitchfork, Q, Newsweek, Spin, Complex and Clash, and was named in numerous lists collating the best albums of the decade, whilst NME named it as one of the best of all time.

        Cocaine Piss

        Passionate And Tragic

          Coming into twisted existence in 2014 in the Belgian city of Liège, pretty much as a bad taste joke, Cocaine Piss quickly established their own very particular style, with furious high-octane gigs that never reach the half-hour mark, kind of like watching the Dead Kennedys, Bikini Kill and Melt Banana all playing at once while really high on their namesake substance.

          The new record, again recorded by Steve Albini, marks yet another chapter in the progression of their basic sound, as it sees the frantic foursome incorporate more noise rock (think early Mudhoney or Big Black), which only makes their outbursts beefier and stronger in impact. Thematically, they'll give you plenty to think about while your body shakes uncontrollably - equality, gender or otherwise, is the main thread in their work, and songs like Fake Tears, Role Model or Poor Decisions will have you reaching for that lyric sheet long after they've finished ringing in your ears. Once again, Cocaine Piss will conquer Europe following the release of Passionate & Tragic. From April 2019 onwards, Benelux, Germany, UK, France, Spain and Portugal are all within the splash zone.

          Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey

          Showboat Honey

            Kyle Craft and his now solidified backing band, dubbed Showboat Honey, reflect the sturm und drang of life with their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless ‘Showboat Honey’. “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”

            The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’: “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.” Though aesthetics veer from song to song, ‘Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a 60s/70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics, in which perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”)

            Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission. After years of touring, two albums with Sub Pop Records and solidifying the band, he’s grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded ‘Showboat Honey’ - co- produced by Craft, Clark and Slater - at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fuelled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. At the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now ‘Showboat Honey'.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive loser edition on clear and blue translucent vinyl with red spots.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            The Cramps

            Flamejob

              The garage punk band The Cramps returned in 1994 with their sixth studio album Flamejob. Wild vocals from Lux Interior and the creepy guitar work from Poison Ivy marks one of their most energetic performances in quite a long time. The whole album centres on the subjects sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Most of the tracks clocking just beneath the 3 minutes and the album contains multiple covers. The most famous one of them is “Route 66”, which is infused with the famous Cramps sound. 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Flamejob is available as a limited 25th anniversary edition of 2000 individually numbered copies on flaming (orange & yellow swirled) vinyl. The package includes an insert.

              The Cramps

              Real Men's Guts Versus The Smell Of Female Vol. 1

                This originally came out 4-5 years ago as a very limited pressing on Black vinyl with only a few 100 copies available.
                This highly saught after LP is considered to be one of the better unofficial releases as the sound quality is almost perfect (from the sound board). Great sleeve and an essential part of any Cramps collection.

                Good luck as this will be gone fast.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd LP Info: Ltd pressing of 300 copies on Red & Black splatter vinyl.

                Dark Carnival

                The Last Great Ride

                  Detroit High Energy Rock in its purest essence!!!! Niagara (DESTROY ALL MONSTERS) & Ron Asheton (THE STOOGES) among other great Detroit musicians recorded this killer album back in 1996.

                  Now it is finally reissued on vinyl with two added tracks to the original vinyl release, remastered in order to get its purest sound, and new artwork courtesy of Mrs. Niagara Detroit and Mr. Colonel Galaxy. And guess what?

                  This is an extension of Destroy All Monsters with absolutely killer guitars in line with The Stooges "Funhouse" with the unique stamp and signature of Mr. Ron Asheton.

                  10 classic shots which need to be in your record collection right by The Stooges, Destroy All Monsters, MC5, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, Radio Birdman, The New Christs, Bored!, etc. 

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd LP Info: 150 grams vinyl, 500 copies ltd.

                  DMA's

                  MTV Unplugged Live

                    DMA’S are set to release the ‘MTV Unplugged Live’ album. It was recorded at Melbourne’s intimate Memo Music Hall last October, with DMA’s becoming one of the first Australian bands to play the iconic MTV Unplugged session. It’s a format steeped in history following classic sets from Nirvana, Oasis, R.E.M. and many more.

                    Renowned for their ragged, anthemic energy often inspired by the Britpop and Manchester scenes, ‘MTV Unplugged Live’ finds DMA’S stripping their songbook back to basics. Focusing on acoustic guitar, piano, violin and cello, these new arrangements unveil fresh new perspectives on the songs. Some now carry a folk vibe, while others hone in on the poignancy of the band’s lyrics.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: It's when performed acoustically that the tactile songwriting and tender balladry of DMA's songwriting really comes into its own, and shows the stylistic similarities and melodic leanings of this Australian trio to our most beloved 90's britpop staples.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: Limited to 1000 copies in the UK.

                    DMA's

                    MTV Unplugged Live - WRISTBAND EDITION

                      NB: THIS EVENT IS ONLY 18's ONLY, AND IS NOW SOLD OUT.

                      STAGE TIME 8PM!!!

                      PRE-ORDER THE LP OR CD FOR 1 FREE WRISTBAND FOR AN EXCLUSIVE OUTSTORE GIG AT NIGHT & DAY IN MANCHESTER ON TUESDAY 16TH JULY AT 7PM. THE BAND WILL PERFORM A LIVE ACOUSTIC SET FOLLOWED BY A SIGNING.

                      WE ALSO HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF WRISTBAND ONLY PURCHASES AVAILABLE. 

                      DMA’s are set to release the ‘MTV Unplugged Live’ album. It was recorded at Melbourne’s intimate Memo Music Hall last October, with DMA’s becoming one of the first Australian bands to play the iconic MTV Unplugged session. It’s a format steeped in history following classic sets from Nirvana, Oasis, R.E.M. and many more.

                      Renowned for their ragged, anthemic energy often inspired by the Britpop and Manchester scenes, ‘MTV Unplugged Live’ finds DMA’s stripping their songbook back to basics. Focusing on acoustic guitar, piano, violin and cello, these new arrangements unveil fresh new perspectives on the songs. Some now carry a folk vibe, while others hone in on the poignancy of the band’s lyrics.

                      “It was the most fun I’ve had in awhile, just rearranging the songs and hearing them in a different light,” says Johnny Took. “To be able to do this is a bit of a dream come true.”

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: + 1 WRISTBAND.

                      CD Info: + 1 WRISTBAND.

                      Wristband Only Info: IMPORTANT - this gives you access to the outstore gig on Tuesday July 16th ONLY. It does not entitle you to a copy of the album. Max 2 per person.

                      Drab Majesty

                      Modern Mirror

                        Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut “Careless”, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album “The Demonstration” the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.  Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror.

                        Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own selfidentity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side”, possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment.

                        The first single, “Ellipsis”, romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division”, Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin”, a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence.

                        Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

                        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18

                        Joia

                          You might know CARWYN ELLIS from other projects like COLORAMA (part of the most heterogeneous and open-minded pop made in the UK this century), Bendith (Welsh dreamy folk) or Zarelli (hauntologic electronic). Or maybe you might be familiar with him because he collaborates with pop superstars and universal references like Edwyn Collins, Pretenders, Oasis or Saint Etienne. Or maybe you don’t know him at all, so far, because Ellis is one of those musicians that does not feel self-important, that is not under the spotlight but that is praised by other musicians and everyone wants to collaborate with. His diverse personal projects are a sample of his passionate love for the music with no borders of any kind. He is hard to label, and transforms his skin in each new record. Almost in every song. He records the albums that he feels like doing whenever he feels like doing them, and with the sound and the people that stand out for him in that moment. Most of his songs are sung in Welsh, his mother language, but his music is timeless and universal. Carwyn always approaches the global by the local.

                          It isn’t a coincidence that precisely now he has decided to take the plunge and go to Rio de Janeiro to record, along with two distinguished crazy local artists like Domenico Lancellotti and Kassin, his most colourful record. “Joia!”, in which he presents his new band Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, is a non-explicit plea against the Brexit. Against any Brexits taking place right now any way or another in this world shocked by the continuous transformations and fears that they lead to. Pretty sure that Lancellotti or Kassin might say that it is an anti-Bolsonaro record. However, Carwyn and his fellows in Rio 18 prefer to do a cheerful and positive record, like almost all the south American music it is inspire in, to celebrate that those changes, that definitely mark an era , boost and ease the fact that a musician from Cardiff is able to record an album with musicians from the other side of the world, and make it halfway between Rio and London with the invaluable help from another top musician like Shawn Lee. A record with latin American flavor sung, again, in Welsh, whose phonetics and sound matches surprisingly well with tropical music.
                          The record stars (literally: it’s the sound of a car engine which starts this trip) with a cumbia, Unman (Nowhere, perfect title for a project like this), which is a curious starting point and a good letter of introduction of the intentions for an album recorded by a Welsh man with some Brazilian friends. But this is a sensory party, a celebration in which you never know what you’ll find when you turn around the corner. Ellis already got us used to it in all of his projects (and within every Colorama record), but that now, precisely due to the collaboration between such imaginative, incorruptible and original musicians such as the ones forming Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, is when they get even more special and fun.

                          Cumbia, Bossa Nova, Samba, Tropicalism, Latin Funk, Pop and wonders like Ymosodwyr Anweledig (Invisible Attackers), a pure Tropical Krautrock song; like if Broadcast were to move their bunda to the sound of Os Mutantes, and which illustrates perfectly what can we expect from this JOIA which is the opposite of Brexit and narrow minds. Jump on to this trip and you’ll end, like the record ends, saying Diolch almani (Thanks For That) to Ellis for this record; obrigado, as the female chorus responds to the beat of the bossa.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: It's not a combination that I would have necessarily put together, but the chilled Brazilian grooves and Ellis' intoxicating vocals make for a wonderfully enjoyable way to make your political views known (for those that speak welsh, obviously). It's as brilliant as all his other projects, and on a completely different tip.

                          Frightened Rabbit

                          Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight

                            Context to ‘Tiny Changes: A celebration of the Midnight Organ Fight’:

                            Before Scott died, an idea was formed to celebrate 10 years of their seminal album The Midnight Organ Fight by asking some of their talented buds in music to take a crack at their own versions of a song on the album. The whole album was recorded and was due to be released last summer, but then unfortunately Scott passed away last May.

                            The band have decided they still want to release the record as a testament to the album, and to Scott. It’s going to be released on 12th July via Atlantic, and the band are going to be very much behind the release

                            History of the band:

                            Frightened Rabbit are a Scottish indie rock band from Selkirk, formed in 2003. Initially a solo project for vocalist and guitarist Scott Hutchison, the line-up currently consists of Grant Hutchison (drums), Billy Kennedy (guitar, bass), Andy Monaghan (guitar, keyboards), and Simon Liddell (guitar). From 2004 the band were based in Glasgow.

                            Frightened Rabbit's first studio album, Sing the Greys, was recorded as a duo by the Hutchison brothers, and released on independent label Hits the Fan in 2006. The band subsequently signed to Fat Cat Records, in 2007, and became a three-piece with the addition of guitarist Billy Kennedy for its second studio album, The Midnight Organ Fight (2008). The album was released to strongly positive reviews and extensive touring, with guitarist and keyboardist Andy Monaghan joining the band to flesh-out its live performances.

                            The band's third studio album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, was released in 2010, with former Make Model guitarist Gordon Skene joining the band for its accompanying tour. Frightened Rabbit signed to Atlantic Records later that year, and issued two EPs, A Frightened Rabbit EP (2011) and State Hospital (EP) (2012), before the release of its fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse in 2013. A critical and commercial success in the UK, the album peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart, with additional guitarist Simon Liddell joining the band on its subsequent tour.

                            Disillusioned from touring, Hutchison, Monaghan, and Liddell recorded a studio album without the band, entitled Owl John (2014). Gordon Skene departed from the band in early 2014, and the band recorded Painting of a Panic Attack the following year with producer Aaron Dessner (The National), in New York, with Liddell joining the band as a full contributing member.

                            Scott Hutchison died in May 2018 after going missing. In December 2018, the remaining members of the band played together for the first time since Hutchison's death, at a charity gig in Glasgow.


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: There is no better a dedication to a hugely talented songwriter and superb band than a variety of artists covering your songs and retaining all of the appeal they held in the first place. From huge, folk crescendos and punky drive to gently electronic shimmerers and gently throbbing ambience, this has everything, and goes to show how timeless Scott Hutchison's writing is. Gorgeous.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            2xLtd LP Info: Heavyweight double vinyl.

                            Gauche

                            People’s History Of Gauche

                              A People's History of Gauche, a collective catharsis of anger, frustration, and trauma through creativity. Jason P Barnett, Adrienne CN Berry, Mary Jane Regalado, Pearie Sol, and Daniele Yandel find their agency and joy through creating and performing music together in 36 minutes of groove-filled power punk. When asked about the genesis of the title of their Merge debut, Daniele cited this definition: A people's history, or history from below, is an account of events from the perspective of common people rather than leaders, the story of mass movements and of outsiders. It's a fitting title for an album that tackles such heavy topics as anxiety, capitalism and colonialization, and healing ancestral traumas, as well as dismantling and dissecting patriarchy, creating beauty in the face of oppressive forces, and resisting exploitation. These are vital songs manifested in a celebratory manner, created quickly through the group's self-proclaimed "Gauche magic." Recorded with Austin Brown (Parquet Courts) and Robert Szmurlo in Brooklyn, NY, and with Jonah Takagi (Ex Hex) in DC, A People’s History of Gauche marks the first time the band worked with people outside of their ranks, resulting in a fuller sound that boasts more intricate instrumentation.

                              From the very first line of album opener “Flash”—“Light’s supposed to show the way, not over-expose it”—Gauche are here to compel us to dance while singing along about society’s universal struggles. Gauche undoubtedly make art, but their guiding tenet is craft. "When I say that, I mean in the sense that Art with a capital A is thought of as something rarefied, something outside the context of everyday life, outside of everyone's grasp or potential," expounds Daniele. "That sense of craft, of something you return to every day and is valuable because it is something you share in common with all people, is how I think of music. Well, good music at least." Gauche bring us music and movement and struggle and light, and now it is our job to dance! 

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Deluxe LP Info: Limited opaque pink & white marbled vinyl LP plus exclusive 7" clear flexi disc.

                              Deluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              It's rare that a certain sound is entirely an artist's own. Although undeniably a stew of impeccable influences – from blues to folk to Latin to dusty funk, soul and hip-hop – one cannot hear a Tommy Guerrero song without immediately recognising it as his - and his only.

                              The cult skater from San Francisco is globally renowned as one of the original members of the legendary "Bones Brigade" team. And as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, his laid-back soul is beloved by all who've basked in its blissful glow.

                              There's something elemental about this music that really stirs the soul. Strikingly beautiful and instantly addictive, it's a kind of funk-fuelled, melody-driven, groove-based magic. There's a serenity and heart in the playing that radiates warmth and splendour, as if crafted for endless sunsets. His albums that surfaced on Mo Wax at the turn of the century have been treasured since their release and it's one of his most vital LPs that returns today.

                              The originals were quietly pressed on to a single piece of vinyl and they have been lovingly remastered, cut nice and loud on to heavyweight double vinyl and presented in deluxe gatefold jackets. “Soul Food Taqueria” continued Guerrero's guitar soul but represented a step forward with its polished production and greater complexity of instrumentation. Denied the promotion it deserved upon release, it flew under the radar. It is now the most wanted record of his wondrous back catalogue.

                              Guerrero's atmospheric touch and subtle guitar provide lush, glimmering pieces of musical texture. Within his spacious compositions, uniquely arranged instruments flourish alongside each other to create a languid soundtrack for halcyon days.

                              As ever, the diversity on display is beguiling. From bossa nova, samba and cumbia rhythms to understated folk, funk and soul grooves, this is another exotic set of mellow gold; perfectly represented by ESPO's memorable artwork. Furthermore, the title's hybridity reflects the intoxicating sweep of stylistic flavours served up, reminding us that, however tricky it is to categorise Guerrero's special blend, it's always a pleasure to indulge in something so creative and adventurous.

                              Dubby, bass-heavy instrumentals give way to moody folk-soul – witness "It Gets Heavy", featuring melancholic vocals from Gresham Taylor – whilst "Thank You MK" is a gentle ode to the tropics, featuring ethereal instrumentation, bright bass and warm, jazzy guitars. The second half in particular contains a number of stunning ambient tracks – check "Lost Unfound", "Another Brother Gone" and "Broken Blood" - built around minimalist, laid-back grooves and detailed guitar orchestrations which wouldn't be out of place on the latest Jonny Nash release.

                              Guerrero closes this flawless set with a moment of true beauty. Restrained and graceful, "Falling Awake" is a pared back piece containing meditative guitar melodies set against melancholic piano arrangements. It brings proceedings to the most peaceful close. Seductively good, it reminds you just how great simplicity can sound.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Superb slacker funk and sunkissed downbeat from legendary skater Tommy Guerrero. A classic that's filling the margarita shaped hole in my life on this sweltering Piccadilly afternoon.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              2xLP Info: 2019 Repress.

                              Here we have the newest outing from G C Holmes, 'Ultralove'. Sounding like a mix between the clattering, crescentic country rock of Lift To Experience and soaring blues rock, we kick things off with the flickering acoustic guitar and deftly played guitar trills of 'Into The Elixir' before bringing in the grounding constant of Holmes' eclectic vocal performance. Move a little further along, and the hefty rock vibes continue before segueing into psychedelic realms on the woozy, reverbed majesty of 'A Magical Fairytale' and 'Smokey Old Fashioned' which certainly pulls things down more into a shadowy groove before closing things off with the more shoegazing trio of 'The Girl Of The Sea Of Cortez', 'Throwaway Heart' and the shimmering, wide-ranging cinematic impact of the titular final piece. Lovely stuff all round. 

                              Imperial Teen

                              Now We Are Timeless

                                Imperial Teen includes members of Faith No More (Roddy Bottum), The Dicks (Lynn Perko Truell), Hey Willpower (Will Schwartz) & The Wrecks (Jone Stebbins). Imperial Teen’s releases over the past 20+ years have been pointed and specific diaries of musical celebration, windows into the hypersensitive personal drama of relationships within the band, individual conquests and failures, and collective, aspirational hopes, dreams, and perspectives. Roddy Bottum, Will Schwartz, Jone Stebbins, and Lynn Perko Truell—who they’ve become, how they are dealing, and what their lives are in 2019—all of this is on Imperial Teen’s forthcoming release Now We Are Timeless. The band wrote and recorded the new album in the cities the individual members have geographically gravitated to: New York City, the Bay Area, Denver, and Los Angeles.

                                Themes of time and movement, averting and succumbing to crisis, dealing with loss and pain are all represented on the record, but what rings triumphant is the undeniable joy and catharsis that come from the band’s spontaneous and improvisational approach to making music together. The juxtaposition of the title and the imagery of the cover of Now We Are Timeless takes us immediately to the heart of what Imperial Teen does best. By focusing on an element in the collective here and now—an iceberg in the midst of ecological crisis, clearly sinking, melting, disappearing, the absolute antithesis of timelessness—they pose the question of hope and beauty in the wake of age, a fading icon shining brightest in the final phase of its demise, exuding light and glory as the world falls apart.

                                Now We Are Timeless indeed. In strict keeping with the band’s roots of creating seemingly clean, pop presentations as a springboard for dramatic themes of loneliness, triumph, suicide, success, and failure, Now We Are Timeless moves us into a realm of inevitability for the band. While Seasick, the band’s first release, thematically touched on the queasiness of pop and beach and sun and glare and the optimism that lies beneath, the new release serves as a bookend of sorts in its portrayal of a world in crisis, a frostbitten but melting iceberg, monolithic and stationary yet impermanent and resonant. What has remained constant over the years is Imperial Teen’s indisputable knack for writing profound hooks as a framework for their musical memories. Their songs exhibit the realness, joy, and energy that only good friends can conjure. 

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Indies-only Clear & Translucent blue swirled vinyl.

                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Joy Division

                                Les Bains Douches

                                  The complete "Les Bains Douches" set spread across a double LP. A classic live album with nine tracks recorded live in Paris on 18th December 1979, three tracks recorded in Amsterdam (including the awesome version of "New Dawn Fades") on January 11th 1980 and four tracks recorded in Eindhoven on January 18th 1980.

                                  "Hasta El Cielo" is Khruangbin's glorious dub version of their second album "Con Todo El Mundo". The full album has been processed anew along with two bonus dubs by renowned Jamaican producer Scientist. The band’s exotic, spacious, psychedelic funk aligns with the dub treatment particularly well. Indeed, keen fans won’t find this a surprising release. Dubs of tracks from their first album "The Universe Smiles Upon You" appeared on limited vinyl releases of "People Everywhere" for Record Store Day 2016 and "Zionsville" on the BoogieFuturo remix 12”. The especially eagle-eared will have caught a dub of "Two Fish And An Elephant" playing over the credits of the track’s celebrated video.

                                  'For us, Dub has always felt like a prayer. Spacious, meditative, able to transport the listener to another realm. The first dub albums we listened to were records mixed by Scientist featuring the music of the Roots Radics. Laura Lee learned to play bass by listening to "Scientist Wins the World Cup". His unique mixing style, with the emphasis on space and texture, creates the feeling of frozen time; it was hugely influential to us as a band. To be able to work alongside Scientist, a legend in the history of dub, is an honor. This is our dub version of "Con Todo El Mundo.”' - Khruangbin

                                  Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of music from around the world, infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Their 2015 debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ was heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s Thai cassettes the band listened to on their long car journeys to rehearsal in the Texan countryside. 2018’s follow up ‘Con Todo El Mundo’, which received hugely positive critical reactions and radio play around the world, took inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran. 


                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: LP and 7", both pieces are pressed on individually numbered yellow vinyl and this is an indies exclusive version.

                                  LP Info: LP and 7".

                                  Love Language

                                  The Love Language

                                    “A casually stunning work of one-man-band lo-fi indie pop. McLamb’s songs, a mix of moody piano ballads and bouncy guitar rock are aching love letters that combine the emotional directness of Big Star with the raw immediacy of Guided by Voices.” SPIN. From frontman Stuart McLamb: On The Love Language's most recent tour opening for Teenage Fanclub, we played for lots of fresh ears, many of whom came to the merch table after the show and asked, "If you had to pick one, which of your albums is your favorite?" That's a very tough question, like trying to pick a favorite child. While it's hard to call it "best," it's impossible to deny that our self-titled record is and will always be the most sentimental to me.

                                    It's where it all started. A collection of demos posted every couple months on Myspace between 2007 and 2008 until we were signed to our first label, Portland, Oregon's Bladen County Records, who compiled them all as a full LP in 2009. The songs came effortlessly, and each one was recorded by a mobile multitrack recorder in various rooms (storage spaces, the back office of a record store, living rooms) throughout North Carolina literal hours after it was conceived. There's a freshness and vitality to these songs that I hope, but don't expect, to recapture again. It's the sound of a songwriter discovering their voice in real time. The record has been out of print on vinyl for a few years now, and I'm excited to reissue it with some slight updates to the original packaging with my friends at Merge Records! 

                                    Julia Meijer

                                    Always, Awake

                                      Julia Meijer is a Swedish-born singer, song-writer and guitarist based in Oxford, UK. Julia is gearing up to release her debut album, Always Awake, which will also be the debut album release by Oxford-based music agency and label PinDrop. Always Awake features star musical turns from Julia's band, including former Guillemots drummer Greig Stewart, guitarist Andrew Warne and keyboard player and composer Sebastian Reynolds. Julia has appeared at festivals such as Rob da Bank's Common People, Wilderness, Truck and Wood, and performed shows in Oxford and London. Single Train Ticket received a premiere from Clash Music, and support from Gideon Coe and Lauren Laverne on 6Music, and with the release of Always Awake it seems only a matter of time before Julia stops being Oxford's best kept music secret.

                                      Melvins

                                      Houdini

                                        The iconic fifth album Houdini by the Melvins captures the band’s power, vision, and musical strangeness. It’s an essential ‘90s release, combining elements of grunge with hard rock and sludge metal. Their biggest commercially success and first major label release is an album where they displaying the full width of their musical abilities. Buzz Osbourne’s guitar sound is deep and heavy and combined with Dale Crover’s powerful drum rolls and fills it sounds really impressive. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) added his guitar skills to the track “Sky Pup” and plays the part of percussionist on “Spread Eagle Beagle”. It’s one of the most accessible Melvins albums and the gateway to explore more records by the band. Houdini is the ultimate Melvins classic and a must have for every grunge and music fan in general. 

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: 180g audiophile silver coloured vinyl, limited to 1500 copies.

                                        Melvins

                                        Stag

                                          The popular and influential American rock band The Melvins recorded their eight studio album Stag in 1996. It doesn’t sound like anything they recorded before, because they exploring new fields of music. The first notes of opener “The Bit” make it clear that they’re experimenting by bringing together the drone sounds of the sitar with the greatness of King Buzzo’s guitar riffs. The schizophrenia can be heard in the introductions of noise and ambience. The album even includes prog based music, like in the epic “Buck Owens”. It’s one hell of a ride, from sludge metal and experimental grunge to blues rock and pop. Another classic tune is “Bar-X and The Rocking M”, which explores the power of the trombone.

                                          Starting at the early days of The Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover created some influential pieces and are releasing records nowadays on a yearly basis. The variety of different musical styles they explored during their career made them popular in different fanbases. 

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: 180g audiophile silver coloured vinyl, limited to 1000 numbered copies.

                                          Melvins

                                          Stoner Witch

                                            The true gods of the stoner underground music, the Melvins, released their album Stoner Witch in 1994. The album is one of their most successful releases and one where their musical capacities can be felt in the depth, powerful and experimental sounds. It melds the sound of their earlier records with some ambient and hardcore melodies. The monster anthem “Revolve” is a true masterpiece that breathes the southern rock and brings a handful of well crafted riffs. Another epic track and one of the best recordings by the Melvins is “At the Stake”. “Queen” is a much more radio friendly approach, but even in this song you’ll feel their traditional sound.

                                            The Melvins can be classified as one of the most versatile bands. They recorded albums which mixed influences from blues, pop, metal, rock, grunge and doom music. Even now they’re still performing and recording music like there’s no time to waste.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: 180g audiophile silver coloured vinyl, limited to 1000 numbered copies.

                                            METZ

                                            Automat

                                              METZ, the widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto (ON, Canada), have been laying waste to stages around the globe for over 10 years. During that tumultuous chunk of time METZ, comprised of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet's most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. Along the way, they’ve earned enthusiastic support from The New Yorker, Mojo, NPR, The New York Times, KEXP, Pitchfork, Stereogum, The AV Club, Q, Uncut, Exclaim, and a bunch of others. Referring to the trio's tireless tour regime and unquenchable thirst to bring their music to the people, John Reis (Hot Snakes, RFTC, Drive Like Jehu) once said, “your ambition is really unflattering, chill out.”

                                              They did not listen. Instead, their love of the road and passion to create uncompromising and challenging music remains unwavering and has only grown over time. Their recorded output to date, a cornucopia of pop-inflected noise punk and damaged fuzz anthems, includes 3 critically-acclaimed LPs with Sub Pop, as well as a plethora of limited-edition releases, collaborations, covers, and rarities. Which brings us to Automat, a collection of non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available on LP for the first time, and including the band's long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings.

                                              Included here are the band’s first three 7” singles, recorded 2009-2010 and originally released by We Are Busy Bodies Records; a demo version of “Wet Blanket,” the explosive single from 2012’s METZ; two tracks from the limited-edition bonus single that accompanied preorders of METZ; “Can’t Understand,” originally released in 2013 by [adult swim]; and both tracks from the band’s 2015 single on Three One G.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Clashing, rawkous punk-rock guitars and huge percussion meet noise-rock production and hardcore screaming in a clattering maelstrom of fiery chord changes and snarling vitriol. Absolutely insane, and unfathomably packed with huge swathes of razor-sharp distortion and heft.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Coloured LP Info: Loser edition on clear vinyl. Comes with bonus 7".

                                              The Modern Lovers

                                              Rock 'N' Roll With The Modern Lovers

                                                Rock ‘n Roll with the Modern Lovers is the second album released as Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. The band, which is build around singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Richman, almost totally focuses on the sound from the ‘50s. The lo-fi record breathes folky roots music and rock ‘n roll as it would sound ages ago. “Ice Cream Man”, “Egyptian Reggae” (earning them a UK Top 5 hit) and “Roller Coaster by the Sea” are all superb songs, uncomplicated and wonderful. This is one of the most remarkable projects recorded by Jonathan.

                                                The Modern Lovers were formed in 1970 by teenage singer, songwriter, guitarist Jonathan Richman, augmented with Jerry Harrison (keyboards), Ernie Brooks (bass) and David Robinson (drums), with Richman’s friend and original band member John Felice joining them occasionally.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: 180 gram audiophile.
                                                Limited edition of 1500 audiophile turquoise coloured vinyl.

                                                Mono

                                                Hymn To The Immortal Wind (10 Year Anniversary Edition)

                                                  To commemorate the 20th anniversary of MONO – and the 10th anniversary of their most iconic album Temporary Residence Ltd. proudly presents Hymn to the Immortal Wind – Anniversary Edition. Beautifully remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service, this super deluxe reissue sounds, looks, and feels more pure and powerful than ever before. The CD format has been repackaged in a gorgeous full-color gatefold jacket with metallic gold inks, matte varnish, and custom inner sleeve. The 2xLP vinyl format is packaged in a mind-blowing full-color, custom die-cut jacket with metallic gold foil stamping, matte varnish, and 7 interchangeable full-color cover inserts. The vinyl is pressed onto 100% virgin, audiophile-quality vinyl. No expense was spared in properly honoring what has become MONO’s most beloved album. 

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Indies Only Metallic Ocean Blue & Green vinyl.

                                                  2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                  Mueran Humanos

                                                  Hospital Lullabies

                                                    Since their last album ‘Miseress’ at the end of 2015, Mueran Humanos have continued to expand their audience playing major festivals and most notably completed a full European tour supporting The Horrors, hand picked by the band themselves.

                                                    For the uninitiated, Mueran Humanos, (Tomas Notcheff, Carmen Burguess), can be a tough one to explain. I could list their influences and call them “a psychedelic-krautrock garage punk-electronics duo who manage to capture the rich cultural history and excitement of their adopted home of Berlin and infuse it with a sophisticated South American chic imported from their native Buenos Ares”, but that would be doing them an injustice. The reality is that there isn’t anything to explain. They don’t need a pretentious description full of talking points that make music nerds get all mushy and gushy. Once you listen to them, it just makes sense. At their core, these are simple and catchy songs with a solid electronics foundation solidified by driving bass lines and textural keyboard parts (which could just as easily take you on an atmospheric journey as they could break out into a “Sister Ray”-esque Velvets freakout at any moment). Vocals are shared by both members, and they create an important dichotomy between the masculine and feminine energies that shape the band. Spanish speakers are in luck, because the lyrics are surrealist poetry of the highest order. Thankfully for the rest of us, they occupy that special place reserved for bands like Einsturzende Neubauten, (Jochen Arbeit of EN actually appeared on the bands last album), or Os Mutantes where they transcend language barriers and are capable of telling a story through the sheer power of the human voice. There is something magical about this band, and it oozes out through the cracks every chance it gets.

                                                    Hospital Lullabies is a companion piece to a movie of the same name directed by Carmen Burguess, and without question this is their most refined and cohesive statement so far. While there is a darkness to some of it (fleshed out by imagery of nightmares, childhood terrors, and the trauma of mental institutions), it is balanced by feelings of romance and optimism and an overwhelming sense of childlike wonder.

                                                    Hospital Lullabies has delicate dream-like moments (Vestido), motorik cosmic freakouts (Alien), EBM floor-fillers (Los Problemas del Futuro), avant-garde poetry soundscapes (Cuando una Persona Común), and New Order/OMD-esque electro dance-pop ballads (Detrás de una Flor). That being said, there is a thematic linear thread that ties everything together, and the album really should be approached as a whole rather than a mere collection of songs.
                                                    Ultimately, this is a record that could only be made by two people completely and totally in love with one another - two people who have dedicated their lives not only to each other, but also to this music (which they are generous enough to share with the rest of us). So, if this is your first exposure to Mueran Humanos - then welcome! You’re in for something special. If you are a longtime fan, then what are you waiting for?

                                                    Penelope Isles

                                                    Until The Tide Creeps In

                                                      For every sibling band forged in rivalry, many others mount an unassailable genetic argument for keeping the music in the family. The latter is assuredly the case with Penelope Isles, a brother- sister-centred alt-rock quartet from Brighton (via Isle of Man/Devon) whose debut album, ‘Until The Tide Creeps In’, is released through Bella Union.

                                                      Formed around the chemistry between dual songwriters Jack and Lily Wolter, the quartet’s expansive DIY mix of translucent dream-pop, fuzzrock guitars and indie-psych flushes comes lovingly dipped in exquisite harmonies and lustrous melodies: a combination so intuitive, you’d think it was in their blood.

                                                      Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, it’s an album deepened by shared experience: experiences of, in Jack’s words, “leaving home, moving away, dealing with transitions in life and growing up. We are six years apart, so we had a different experience of some of this, but we share a similar inspiration when writing music. Family, leaving home, disconnection and connection all ring bells!".

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      2xColoured LP Info: Pink vinyl. Includes a pull-out poster.

                                                      2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      Pottery

                                                      No. 1

                                                        Hailing from across Canada and the UK, Montreal’s Pottery consists of core writers Austin Boylan and Jacob Shepansky, along with Peter Baylis, Paul Jacobs and Tom Gould. Initially bonding over artists such as Orange Juice, Josef K and Devo, the band create a sound that combines eclectic traces of post-punk, pop and dance music, forming an unusual atmosphere that envelopes audiences.

                                                        While often shrill and jarring, Pottery’s songs simultaneously engage listeners into a hypnotic state. It’s this dualism that binds them together, uncovering harmony within discord. Hailed as one of the hottest acts at 2019’s SXSW and The Great Escape Festival, Pottery’s debut mini album, titled ‘No. 1’, is available for the first time on vinyl, via Partisan Records

                                                        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.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Emotive Americana-tinged guitar work and jangling rock vibes on this self-titled debut LP from Purple Mountains, with brilliantly written melodic turns and moving, rich tapestries of sound. Beautifully evocative without being sugary-sweet, Purple Mountains is a perfect addition to the hazy summer days and balmy heat of summer.

                                                          The Rhythm Method

                                                          How Would You Know I Was Lonely?

                                                          The Rhythm Method were recently described by The Guardian as 'a Balearic vision of romance as imagined from a parochial nightclub dancefloor'. Formed half a decade ago in a Thameside squat protection scheme intended for professionals but inhabited by the barely-employed, the duo of lyricist/vocalist Joey Bradbury and top-liner/singer-songwriter Rowan Martin turned a summer of FIFA tournaments, cosmic breakdowns and 4pm beers into a series of bizarre, outsider-music iPhone demos that became a Soundcloud, then a band, then a live show and now an album.

                                                          "How Would You Know I Was Lonely?" is a journey through the present - a descent into late 20's, late-capitalist mind-funk; 12 stories of near-romances, yellow label dinners, chemical catatonia and lack-of-identity politics. Its influences are strange and diverse, not always entirely credible or tangible; Scritti Politti, Aswad, Irish Pub karaoke, ITV4, YouTube freestyles, Celtic standards, Golborne Road radios and more than a dose of Rod Stewart.

                                                          Pocket symphonies such as "Sex and The Suburbs", "Local, Girl" and "Cruel" sound like the Saturday night playlist from a Quantum Leap FM Radio station – ostensibly pop songs, but ones in possession of a rare intelligence, frankness and deep weirdness. The references may be initially esoteric, but the themes are palpably universal. Opener "Salad Cream", referring to a mid 90’s Heinz campaign, is about creating social demand for yourself via scarcity. "Cruel" is pub-karaoke paean to the spectre of addiction. "Single Life" explores the dark, bleak desperation of romantic dejection, set to sleazy noir funk and muted trumpets. Joey Bradbury's verses could be a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown recording the voice notes of his crack-up, whilst Rowan Martin's choruses ask questions you never thought you'd hear in such hummable form.

                                                          Fans and supporters have ranged from spiritual forbearers such Mike Skinner (who produced "Cruel", which also features London electronic pop artist Zoee), Squeeze frontman Chris Difford (who lends a knowing baritone to the chorus of Zone 2 opus "Wandsworth Plain"), Elton John and Suggs; contemporaries including The 1975’s Matty Healy (who is responsible for half of the band’s YouTube views), Wolf Alice and Shame; actress and poet Michaela Coel and Denise Welch; highlighting the varied magnetism of the lyrical insight, classic songcraft and inquisitive spirit at the heart of these off-kilter pop tunes.


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Matt says: Not my usual cup of tea, quirky indie, but the lol'ing genius of some of these lyrics combined with the tongue-in-cheek approach throughout has won me over. Comedy genius + catchy tunes = massive hit for boring afternoons!

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Ltd LP Info: Limited to 300 white label units worldwide.

                                                          RMFTM

                                                          Bliss

                                                            Eindhoven-based industrialists RMFTM (Radar Men From The Moon) are back with new material in the shape of an EP titled Bliss. The three-track EP arrives on June 14th via long-term label Fuzz Club and follows on from a split 7” with cult Norweigan noise-rock/metal band Årabrot (2019), the third and final volume in their Subversive album trilogy, Subversive III: De Spelende Mens (2017), as well as a collaborative record with Salford collective Gnod under the Temple Ov BBV moniker 2017). With a new full-length in the works, Bliss offers a welcome introduction into what’s to come: a world of apocalyptic drone and ambient nightmares. Taking influence from such avant-garde innovators as Cabaret Voltaire and Nurse With Wound – whilst also following a similar path to it’s more contemporary proponents in Shit & Shine, Container and collaborators Gnod – RMFTM say of the new release: “The Bliss EP is made up out of three songs that were conceived on the 2018 Secret Howls For Europe Tour, in support of Subversive III. When we came back from that tour we recorded them immediately. These three K-Hole anthems are an experimental exercise in ambient, drone and dark electronics.”

                                                            The titular, opening track ‘Bliss’ – “a Dionysian meditation put to sound” – offers a menacing insight into what’s to follow on the rest of the EP. Across it’s 12-minute running length, the Dutch band envelope the listener with a deluge of dark, droning electronics, eerie chiming bells and a propulsive beat that’s submerged beneath a stormy sea of feedback that twists, throbs and hisses away from start to finish. ‘Moon’ is something of a comedown from the former; in absence of the previous track’s 4/4 beat ‘Moon’ is instead a piece of shadowy ambient drone that sounds like La Monte Young in the clutches of a terrifying hallucinogenic-induced fever dream. Upping the ante once again, final track ‘Naked’ sees the band approach industrial techno territory, the claustrophobic drone still looming in the background but what drives the track is a pulverising mechanical beat that never lets loose for a second. RMFTM formed in Eindhoven in 2010 and is comprised of Glenn Peeters, Tony Lathouwers, Titus Verkuijlen and Bram van Zuijlen. 

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            12" Info: Limited indies-only vinyl.

                                                            Julia Shapiro

                                                            Perfect Version

                                                              When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.”

                                                              Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version, her solo debut for Hardly Art. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.

                                                              Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process. Her perfectionist qualities create an album that shines in tiny lyrical moments and meticulous guitar parts. “When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything,” says Shapiro. She plays all the instruments (save for a mouth trumpet solo by Darren Hanlon and guest violin by Annie Truscott) and after recording and mixing the first batch of four songs at the Vault studio with Ian LeSage decided to record the final six tracks alone in her apartment, adding drums in the studio later and learning to mix them with the help of her friend David Hrivnak. Perfect Version is a fully realized vision from a gifted songwriter finding a more intimate voice. “So what comes next?” she questions on the album closer “Empty Cup” which explores the quiet satisfaction of being alone with yourself and creating a blank slate. “A lasting sense of self,” she concludes.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Royal blue vinyl.

                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              Stereo Total

                                                              Ah! Quel Cinema!

                                                                Musically, this Stereo Total disc, their twelfth, cannot be readily aligned with anything at all. If earlier albums resonated with influences from chanson, trash or disco to punk, rock'n'roll and NDW (German New Wave), Stereo Total have now arrived in their very own musical universe which pays no heed to stylistic devices, A word to our younger readers: Stereo Total began making music before the internet existed, before the Euro, before Germany reunited and before there were even bands or music. They will probably still be playing when all that has been consigned to the dustbin of history.

                                                                Suicide

                                                                Suicide - Art Of The Album Edition

                                                                  By the Summer of 1969 the US hippie dream lay in tatters but the cultural influence exerted by New York City would echo loudly through the decades that followed and no louder than it did with the incendiary electronic NYC duo, Suicide, who came to notoriety nearly a decade later. If dismissive at first, the music press have gone through something of a dramatic U-turn in more recent years with many mainstream publications now regarding Suicide’s 1977 debut as a stone cold classic.

                                                                  It sits at #39 in Pitchfork’s Top 100 Albums Of The 1970s; it placed at #441 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time; and reached #236 in NME’s The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.

                                                                  Four decades later, we are only just now counting the positive cost of their influence across genres such as techno, noise, electro clash, goth, synth pop, psych and industrial. However, a sense of their vital impact can be discerned from the number of cover versions of Suicide tracks there are delivered by the likes of Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Peaches and R.E.M. Elsewhere they have had been praised widely by Nick Cave, Jim Thirlwell and M.I.A. and count Jason Pierce (Spacemen 3/ Spiritualized), Lydia Lunch, Nik Void of Factory Floor and Savages as fans. This Art Of The Album edition of Suicide sees the record remastered and presented in its original form and packaging, with in-depth liner notes covering the context, craft, impact and legacy of the album.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  Ltd LP Info: Deluxe edition celebrating the album as an art form, with in-depth liner notes covering the context, craft, impact and legacy of the album.
                                                                  Plus exclusive 12" sleeve art print.
                                                                  Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                                  Television Personalities

                                                                  Some Kind Of Happening (Singles 1978-1989)

                                                                    A comprehensive remastered collection of all of the Television Personalities’ ground-breaking single releases from the Peel-approved ‘14th Floor’ through to the effervescent ‘Salvador Dali’s Garden Party’ EP. Includes the super rare Creation flexi, the TVPs as The Gifted Children, and the even rarer Caff 45 where the band tackle Stock, Aitken And Waterman. Purists will also find two shelved 45s for the Dreamworld label plus their take on Syd Barrett’s ‘Apples And Oranges’ from the ‘Beyond The Wildwood’ tribute album. Features the seminal ‘Where’s Bill Grundy Now’ and the self-effacing ‘Part Time Punks’ alongside a host of pop culture-bating gems. A celebration of the songwriting of Dan Treacy

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    2xCD & Book Info: Limited Edition 2 x CD in DVD sized Bookpack format. Television Personalities – Some Kind of Happening: Singles 1978-1989

                                                                    Television Personalities

                                                                    Some Kind Of Trip (Singles 1990-1994)

                                                                      “Television Personalities have been England's great forgotten band for too long.” Melody Maker // A comprehensive remastered collection of all of the Television Personalities’ ground-breaking single releases from the evocative ‘Strangely Beautiful’ EP through to the dark introspective terrain of ‘Far Away And Lost In Joy’. Includes the super rare ‘Favourite Films’ 12-inch (only previously available on12-inch vinyl) plus the exquisite ‘Goodnight Mr Spaceman’ and ‘You, Me And Lou Reed’ EPs. Sequenced in chronological release order including every track and remix, embracing a host of pop culture threads from art, music and writing with all the ironic wit and wisdom of a master tunesmith – a veritable L-shaped room of pop desire. A further celebration of the songwriting of Dan Treacy. 

                                                                      Tijuana Panthers

                                                                      Carpet Denim

                                                                        Live and on record, the Tijuana Panthers are a great band. You could say garage, punk or surf while describing their sound, but they're harder to pin than that. The truth is that they write classic songs that don't depend on tropes from any genre. They craft perfect pop and deliver it with energy and immediacy. However, the real magic of this band is in their weirdness. Behind their picturesque portraits of daily life is an aching despair. This subtle contrast creates an eerie tension between the ideal, the real and the surreal. You suddenly realize they're not the happy-go-lucky beach boys you tried to pin them as, but more akin to sexually frustrated soda jerks in a David Lynch film. And this all makes sense with the fact that they come from Southern California's shadier city of Long Beach, not exactly the fun in the sun that California dreamers might expect. 

                                                                        Too Much

                                                                        Patent Leather / Dylexia

                                                                          Too Much is a new Merge Records artist composed of Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Chain and the Gang, Escape-ism) & Rich Morel (Deep Dish, Outsider Music). “Patent Leather” b/w “Dyslexia” is pressed to black vinyl with an LP3 download coupon for both tracks and is limited to 500 copies for the world. This July, Rich Morel and Ian Svenonius will introduce the world to Too Much with the “Patent Leather” b/w “Dyslexia” 7”. Too Much use excitement and pathos to create sounds, a reversal which has never before been attempted. The listener isn’t actually hearing anything, but imagining that they hear things based on suggested impulses sent forth through the name, the record cover, etc. It is dance, it is rock ’n’ roll, it perfectly distills everything Rich and Ian ever liked or wanted from music. “Patent Leather” is a love song of pure self-absorption and, simultaneously, absolute devotion. “Dyslexia” is a feeling of alienation and confusion about the bogus values of the steroid state. These songs present “tech noir,” a new dance genre, for the first time!

                                                                          Following 2017’s Infinite Avenue and 2013’s Sleeper, Both Lines Will Be Blue is Carmen’s first full instrumental album. A 7 track collection of cosmic excursions and dubby ambient-jams, the album is written, recorded, played, produced and mixed by Carmen in her Oslo studio. The soothing atmospherics are made up of tapestries of field recordings, synths, piano, drum-programming, zither and modular sounds. Throughout, Carmen’s music is colored by experimenting with different sounds and learning new techniques or by adding new instruments to the mix

                                                                          "I’ve been playing around with instrumentals for a long time, and it was something I wanted to do more with after I finished Infinite Avenue,” says Carmen. “Leaving out my voice and lyrics got me out of my own head a bit, which I needed. Working with sound is to me the ultimate meditation and is a more unconscious way of expressing whatever is going on inside.”

                                                                          The flute, played by Chilenean-Norwegian Johanna Scheie Orellana (formerly of Sassy 009), is a central part of this new album. Carmen got her in to the studio to both record melodies that she had written, as well as making plenty of room for impro/freeform. Prins Thomas also appears on the record, playing percussion on “I Could Sit Here All Day.”

                                                                          “I made this track based on a Roland SH-101 sequence run through various processing,” says Villain. “The whole thing came together kind of like a jam, I wrote the flute in one take, and it just felt right. I wanted real flute on this, so asked Johanna if she'd like to come in, and we've been collaborating ever since.”


                                                                          We Were Promised Jetpacks

                                                                          These Four Walls - 10th Anniversary Edition

                                                                            Scottish rock mainstays We Were Promised Jetpacks have announced the 10th anniversary edition of their acclaimed debut album These Four Walls.

                                                                            Now the album, full of explosive energy and knife-edge tension, packed with a bounty of fans' live favourites and unreleased tracks including demos, acoustic sessions (including a cover of ‘Modern Leper’ by fellow Scots and good friends Frightened Rabbit) and live tracks from a very early gig at Barfly in Glasgow is released via FatCat.

                                                                            The band's youthful energy (their average age at the time was 21) explodes thunderously as colossal choruses fall unfailingly into place. Every space is filled, tension bristling achingly in Adam Thompson's vocal delivery as the rest of the band crashes around him with a perfect balance of force and harmony. The romanticism and accessibility of a pure pop sensibility is never hidden too deep. Both "Roll Up Your Sleeves" and "Quiet Little Voices" capture this beautifully and immediately. The product of Ken Thomas' (Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins, David Bowie etc.) studio mastery and Peter Katis' (Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, The National etc.) mixing, the recording of These Four Walls was almost entirely live, with only minimal overdubs, and the band members' collected passion and intuition is translated into a pure, precise form, at once powerful and delicate.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            2xColoured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl.

                                                                            2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            Various Artists

                                                                            Brought To Light

                                                                              This release is a collection of demos, curated by the FatCat Records, who have deemed them some of the finest submissions they’ve received over the last few years. FatCat have a long tradition of supporting new artists and treating demos with an open mind. This new collection of songs, the first in a trilogy of such releases, is demonstrable to the eclectic taste the label have always possessed. One of the founding partners of the label, Alex Knight says. “FatCat has a rich history of signing Artists from Demo recordings, this includes renowned artists such as Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad,Animal Collective and Max Richter as well as current signings C Duncan, Samana, Resina and Shida Shahabi. We receive a wonderful array of demo’s and the compilation is a great way to highlight just how good this material is!”

                                                                              FatCat have always been a label that comfortably straddle the line between guitar music and electronica. For this release, the focus is on the sort of DIY guitar sound of which Paws and TRAAMS fans might enjoy. Away from the FatCat roster, fans of Yuck, Cloud Nothings, Drenge and Girl Band will also find plenty in which to immerse themselves. The next two compilations will focus on other genres that make up the FatCat musical tradition. The artists on this release are all at different stages of their careers. Some have gone to work with labels, some have remained independent. Some are new, some have been around for years. The album has been lovingly put together by FatCat with the intention of bringing these songs into the spotlight.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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