MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 20 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Natural Causes by Kelley Stoltz.
Picture yourself in front of your record collection, deciding which one you'll listen to next. You finally choose 'Kilimanjaro' by Teardrop Explodes; you haven't listened to it for a long time. In that moment, you notice that your partner placed your 'Face to Face' copy in an incorrect slot. It goes with you to the record player too. A few minutes later, you corroborate that both Cope and Davies made prevailing, lucid and brilliant records. And you dream thinking how would they sound together, in an hypotetic alloy that feels almost impossible straight away. There are only fourteen years away from one record to the other, but they seem made in different centuries, different planets. We find the answer at the Electric Duck studios in San Francisco, Kelley Stoltz's base of operations.

A Detroit-native, Kelley was an adolescent moved by post-punk and English new-age, and became an adult falling in love with the extensive pop legacy from the 60s. Both references define one of the strongest, most talented discographies of the last years. Filtering and tying those sounds together with freshness and distinction is what makes Kelley an unique composer. Stoltz gets ostentation and histrionics out of the best 80s pop and supplies it with outstanding melodies and sense of humor. What Brian Wilson doing a cover by Wire's 'The 15th' would feel like.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Definitely influenced by the hypnotic repetitions and incremental progressions of 70's Krautrock, Kelley Stoltz presents a gripping cosmic journey, ambient and soaring but with the sturdy backbone of post-punk holding things together. A brilliantly conceived, and impeccably realised juxtaposition, and an absolute joy to listen to.

Blacklab

Under The Strawberry Moon

    Fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, doom, stoner, more fuzz. Welcome to the world of Blacklab. Blacklab describe themselves as ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. However, when it comes to witches, they are more the spectral Sadako from ‘The Ring’ than campy ‘Countess Dracula’. Chilling cool with built in overdrive. Yuko and Chia are undoubtedly immersed in the Japanese stoner doom scene, and it’s no surprise that with this first offering, they’ve pulled out a calling card that is as ‘in yer face’ and arresting as anything out there. A full frontal assault of distorted riffs, howls and ghostly vocals, as well as bags of riot girrl attitude and lo-fi bravado. In fact, listening to them brings back that frisson of excitement you got (those who may be old enough to remember) when you heard Mudhoney’s ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’ for the first time. But grunge they are not, and neither are they ‘occult rock’ as such.

    Being nominally a ‘Doom’ band, expect a bucket load of Sabbath worship for sure, but Blacklab have a vibe and experimental undertow akin more to their countrymen ‘Boris’ and the souped up lo-fi fuzz of Ty Segall or Comets On Fire. Tracks like ‘Black Moon’ ‘Hidden Garden’ ‘Spoon’ ‘Symptom Of The Blacklab’ (which starts like Sabbath … then thrashes somewhere else), twist, burn and boil into the red. ‘His Name Is …’ is a churning chunky throb. ‘Spoon’ and ‘Warm Death’ offer moments of relief and crushing noise. And ‘Big Muff’ is … well … 9 minutes of drum-less fuzz, that will probably do serious damage to your speakers.

    What’s not to love. This first Blacklab release on NHS, is a version of their ‘Under The Strawberry Moon’ album which was released in tiny numbers on CD only in Japan, a pull together of previous tracks and new songs recorded over 2017. But the NHS variant is different. Wayne Adams (Death Pedals, Shitwife, Vodun, Casual Nun) noise guru at Bear Bites Horse Studio, has remixed the tracks to maximum effect, upping the fuzz and weight of the originals, to create Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0. exclusively for NHS. You will not be disappointed. It’s an album full of promise, and we at New Heavy Sounds are super stoked to be working with ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. 

    Jenn Champion

    Single Rider

      Fans of Jenn Champion (formerly “S”) have praised her open-hearted lyrics, expertly-deployed melancholia, technical skill, and willingness to forgo conventions, but mostly they’ve praised her for making albums they could cry to. With the release of Cool Choices in 2014, Champion made what many considered the best record of her career, and a lot of people cried to it.
      On Single Rider, Champion brings with her all those skills and vulnerabilities, but it is not a record for wallowing: it is a record for intense eye contact on the dancefloor. “Sometimes you are sad and you just want to dance about it,” said Champion. Side B of Cool Choices presaged Champion’s agit-pop transformation. “Let the Light In” and "Tell Me" signalled her move toward a more electronic sound, but it was the digital single “No One” (2016) that marked the clear delineation.

      “I feel like a door got opened in my mind with electronic and digital music. There was a room I hadn’t explored before and I stepped in,” said Champion. While she’d initially intended to follow Cool Choices with “a rock record - guitar, a lot of pedals, heavy riffs,” plans changed. “I couldn’t pull myself away from the synthesizers and I realized the record I really wanted to make was more of a cross between Drake and Billy Joel than Blue Oyster Cult.” Soon after the release of No One, Champion’s publishers partnered her with Brian Fennell, aka SYML, and the two co-wrote the song “Leave Like That” (featured on SYML’s Hurt For Me EP). The pair hit it off, and with nearly all of Champion’s Single Rider demos completed, the timing was perfect--she was looking for a producer. “I guess you could say I pursued Brian.” Fortunately, Fennell was open to being pursued and the two spent the next five months working on Single Rider. “In the studio with Brian, I was more open than I had ever been.” With Champion’s vision and Fennell’s expertise, the record evolved from synthy roughs to a hi-fi dance album.

      Despite the new direction in her sound, emotion cuts through on Single Rider in the classic Champion style, weaving simultaneously pleading-and-incensed vocals into anthemic pop songs. Champion wants her listeners to see that the rooms are all on fire and she has not given up. Taking a double “fuck you” approach to the world, to the patriarchy, all the things which screw you up and hold you back, she is dancing right on out of the disappointment apocalypse with her middle fingers in the air, and you can follow if you want to.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl.

      Cult Party

      And Then There Was This Sound

        Manchester band Cult Party have announced their first album in two years, And Then There Was This Sound, set for release on 21st July via Manchester's Icecapades Records (Slowcoaches, Joey Fourr, Sprinters, Sex Hands...)

        They've also shared 'I Got The Blues This Morning', a gorgeous folk effort which displays bandleader Leo Robinson's poignant vocals through his confessional storytelling

        Beginning life as the bedroom project of multi-disciplinary artist Leo Robinson - a specialist in the kind of hushed, evocative recordings which bring to mind the intimacy of well-loved acts like The Microphones and Thanksgiving - Cult Party has quickly blossomed into one of the most respected bands working out of Manchester.

        Recorded last year with a close-knit group of friends, including Moshi Moshi Records' signee Kiran Leonard, And Then There Was this Sound follows on from Leo's last full-length effort, the long sold out, Eternal Love & The Death of Everything. The new album was composed and recorded at the same time as Leo, who also works as a visual artist, was busy readying artwork for his debut solo show at the Tiwani Gallery.

        With his creativity at a peak, and ideas humming around his head, Leo and his band have produced a rich follow-up album with its eyes very much to the sky. Brimming with energy, inventiveness and positivity, it's a master-class in taut songwriting and economical arrangement.

        Buoyed by the assistance of some of the best musicians in Manchester, Leo's guitar playing delivers a transcendental, meditative quality, adding weight to a suite of beautifully arranged and generously orchestrated songs. Alongside a minimal set-up of guitar, vocals, organ, cello, violin and percussion, Leo's baritone croon intones a sequence of emotionally expressive lyrics, veering from free-associative poetry to intimate confessionals. All of this adds up to a wonderfully warm record that spans four tracks and over forty minutes of music, inviting you into the world of its creator.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Yeah! Icecapades return with another killer outing, this time from folk aficionado and hugely talented songwriter, Cult Party. Think The Microphones / Mount Eerie (early Noah And The Whale vox) with a bit of the dark looping guitar of Alexander tucker etc. Beautiful, and totally essential as always.

        Following the recent release of the "Exist" EP, Cuts - composer and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr - releases "Dream Voyager", with remixes from shoegaze legends Slowdive and Village Green labelmate Ben Chatwin.

        The original’s electric hum, pounding drums and indistinct vocals are reassembled by shoegaze heavyweights Slowdive and Village Green labelmate Ben Chatwin. The former remould the tune inline with their image by adding a pulsating heartbeat and swathes of atmospheric guitar while on the flip Chatwin transforms the tune almost beyond recognition, into a rumbling monster decked with cascading analogue synths and distorted percussion.

        Drahla

        Twelve Divisions Of The Day

          Blending wiry, dark post-punk with unpredictable art-rock, Drahla have established themselves as a formidable and distinctive band across their two sold out 7” singles and the 2017 Third Article EP. Formed in late 2015, Drahla quickly found their identity in Yorkshire’s fertile music scene with their minimal yet robust bass-heavy sound.

          Their reputation as a fervent live act is ever-growing, with the band being asked to share stages with the likes of Parquet Courts, METZ, Ought, Buzzcocks, Hookworms, The Cribs and more. Their Third Article EP, produced by Hookworms’ MJ, was released at the end of 2017 on the band’s own Blank Ad label followed by their first European tour supporting Metz. Third Article finds the band at their most captivating, with track ‘Silk Spirit’ exhibiting Luciel’s mesmerizing spoken drawl, paired with the steady unrelenting wall of sound from Rob Riggs on bass, and Mike Ainsley on drums. After watching the band’s self-made video for ‘Silk Spirit’, Mike Sniper, founder of Brooklyn independent label Captured Tracks, was immediately hooked. The band signed to Captured Tracks shortly after.

          Now, having just completed a tour supporting Ought, the band are releasing their commanding new 7-inch single ‘Twelve Divisions of the Day’, featuring a B-side remix that strikes with as much fervor as the original but leaves a different bite mark. As they commence a slew of May and June shows, including an invitation to play Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, the band are poised to take their mark as one of the most visceral and exciting new bands on the scene.

          Language Of Prairie Dogs

          The Water Boatman

            Dean Anthony Sobers (singer, guitarist) and Matthew Alexander Kaufman (bass player) have been making music together since the late 1990s. The Water Boatman is a concept album - a collection of 12 songs inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel. Lyrically, the album explores themes of intergenerational conflict and miscommunication. Sonically, it has a brash, accessible, no filler, eighties pop sound - inspired in particular by Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, Terence Trent D'Arby, The Waterboys… the list goes on.

            Liars

            1/1: Original Soundtrack To The Film

            Liars announce the release of their first original soundtrack - ‘1/1’.

            ‘1/1’ is the soundtrack to Jeremy Phillips’ directorial debut, due to be released in July 2018. Starring Lindsey Shaw (‘Pretty Little Liars’), Judd Nelson (‘Breakfast Club’, ‘St Elmo’s Fire’) and Dendrie Taylor (‘Star Trek Generations’, ‘Twins’), the film submerges the viewer into the mind of Lissa, a 20-year-old girl in rural Pennsylvania and her struggles with sex, drugs, love and loss. Liars have created an electronic soundtrack that reflects the film’s use of mixed media abstractions and multi-film formats, which undoubtedly stands up as an album in its own right.




            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Liars form a strong and driven backing to Philips's first outing with their nuanced and textured touch, with clicking, syncopated percussion, shimmering ambience and haunting shards of reversed guitars and tenderly plucked acoustics. Every bit the standalone piece, and perfectly fitted to the film as well. Great stuff.

            Maps & Atlases

            Lightlessness Is Nothing New

              Maps and Atlases Lightlessness Is Nothing New, their first since 2012s critically acclaimed Beware & Be Grateful, serves to foreshadow an emotionally and musically dynamic collection of songs that contemplates the jolt of loss and the strain of longing to music that, against our better judgment, makes us want to dance.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              Second self-recorded album from this Chicago punk quartet. Chicago punk band Negative Scanner return to the fray with their second long-player, the cheekily titled Nose Picker. Once again recorded by the band themselves in their Chicago practice space, Nose Picker opens with a question; “Is there anybody there?”, which acts as both a legitimate query as well as a rallying cry. Negative Scanner make it clear that they want your attention, as opening tune “T.V.”s stutter step guitar riff leans into an lean and mean, 4-on-the-floor churn. The rest of the album follows suit, either with raging punk snarl (”History Lesson”, “First Blood”, “Let it Die”), or angular, emotive jagged guitar riffage (”A Cross”, “10 Million Kids”, “The Only One”), punctuated by vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Valeriano- Flores’ voice, teetering between a full throated roar and a plaintive monotone.

              Her lyrics are insular, spitting accusatory and inquisitory barbs inward, talking to anyone who listen. Is there anybody there? Despite the darkness on the surface, Nose Picker has an unmistakable air of whimsy, and a sense of humor, punctuated by the very literal album cover, and by the sound of a toilet flushing at the album‘s closing. The past two years have seen the band step out of the Midwest DIY spaces and basement shows and tour the USA and Europe, support UK band Sleaford Mods on select dates in the UK and the USA and standing toe-to-toe with the underground’s finest acts, including Sheer Mag, Protomartyr and more. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Hi-octane punk and roll, snarling vox, screaming guitars and fuzzed-out overdrive mix brilliantly into a dynamic, exciting force to be reckoned with. Negative scanner have hit the nail on the head with this one, just what you need to brighten up these hazy summer days.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Snot Green Coloured Vinyl.

              Piccadilly Records

              Logo T-Shirt - Summer 18: Navy / Silver

                New for Summer 2018, this shirt features a silver print on a navy Gildan Softstyle Rinspun t-shirt.



                FORMAT INFORMATION

                S Info: To fit chest 28"/30".

                M Info: To fit chest 32"/34".

                L Info: To fit chest 36"/38".

                XL Info: To fit chest 40""/42".

                As with their previous albums, Across the Meridian mixes instrumentals and songs, weaving a gleeful path through the musical territory of film scores, 30s jazz, sun-drenched pop, electronica, and post-punk experimentation. Haunting and wistful vocals are set to a variety of soundscapes, sometimes appearing as a snatched fragment of the subconscious and dreamlike, at others crafting a story of longing or regret, drawing the listener into Pram’s uncanny world through the mirror. Newcomers to Pram will find a richly detailed collage of influences ranging from exotica, Krautrock and the forgotten film soundtracks that went on to inspire contemporaries Stereolab & Broadcast.

                The band convened at the remote Foel studios in Wales to improvise on ideas and record some bases for tracks, before finishing them in their studio in Birmingham. Pram have a working process that has developed over many years and reflects shifts in band personnel and technological advancements. Across The Meridian is a testament to the band embracing these new approaches without losing any of their original allure.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Haunting, dusty melodies and slowly pulled strings mix with echoed vocals, simmering horns and clicking electronic percussion in this multi-faceted and smooth juxtaposition of post-rock, electronic and psychedelic instrumentation. Perfectly balanced and fully immersive.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Indies Only silver vinyl.

                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                Third is the stunning third album by Nathan Salsburg, one of his generation’s most gifted and idiosyncratic acoustic guitarists. It’s been five years since his last solo record (Hard for to Win and Can’t Be Won, 2013) — but not because he hasn’t been playing guitar. In the intervening years he’s backed up Joan Shelley on three releases and several hundred live dates; put out a collection of guitar duets with multi-instrumentalist James Elkington; teamed up with fellow Louisvillian and neighbor Bonnie “Prince” Billy on an EP; and contributed playing to records by The Weather Station, Wooden Wand, Watter (what’s with the Ws?), Jake Fussell, and Red River Dialect. Meantime he’s also managed to keep his head above water at his day job as curator of the Alan Lomax Archive.

                The original pieces on Third, his first strictly solo guitar record—no singing, no guests—were composed in fragments of down-time, with little expectation that they would ever come to comprise a collection: Impossible Air, was written in a converted cow-shed outside of Eeklo, Belgium; Sketch from Life, while watching college basketball on TV. Exilic Excursions resisted completion for nearly four years. The songs, as others have before them, distill a love of old-time dance music and rural ragtime; the melody-centric compositions of American guitarists Peter Lang and William Ackerman; and the work of Scottish and English folk-revivalists like Dick Gaughan, Dolly Collins, and especially Nic Jones, whose monumental arrangement of the pipe tune Planxty Davis has been adapted here in turn. And they all display a notable increase in confidence and ease, as Salsburg has quietly, persistently established a style marked by a depth and a complexity that are utterly his own. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Beautiful, rhythmic guitar plucking forms a solid basis to Salsburg's sense of progression and pace, with lively hammer-on / pull-off trills lending a momentum to the traditional beauty and stripped-back simplicity of the acoustic guitar. Thoroughly beautiful.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                Ty Segall / Black Time

                Split LP (Repress)

                  A 180 gram repress of a classic record in Ty's career. Constantly referred to as his best early work. Originally released in 2009, the Ty Segall / Black Time split LP highlights a dichotomy between two vastly different musical climates. Ty Segall plants himself firmly in the California sun with seven unreleased (and reverb-drenched) tracks. Black Time infiltrate their side like a disorienting British fog, stumbling through six songs in a most cacophonous way. This repress offers fans a chance to lay their hands on a highly desirable record, priced much lower than the original, which sells for around 50 USD.

                  Blonde and brunette. Dog and cat. Lemon and onion. Friend and foam. The change has been made! You can scratch your seven-year itch freely now: Ty Segall and White Fence are become one again, regrooving what we once called Hair into what is now Joy.

                  Hair grew out of a simpler time, man! If, as the dyphrenic duo indeed affi rm on Joy, rock in 2018 is dead, don’t come around here looking for no burial. Instead, fi nd Joy caught up in the commencement of on-beyond rock; music made with the old tools, but emitted from a fresh new, single-celled organism. This time, the old “one and one make one” line does not apply. Hair had the quality of emulsion — drops of Segall suspended in Fence; a compound of White dispersed over sheets of Ty. With Joy, Tim and Ty arrive without travelling from the same place, occupy one single headspace, fi nishing the other’s phrases, pulling licks from each other’s places. Singing and thinking and laughing as one. Calling themselves from inside the house. C-c-c-creepy!

                  Both these fellows have been known to trifl e with tropic pasts and reactivate vintage visions within their new music. Not now. Now is the only time this time — Joy is their own sound of today, a shared individuality, prisming all possible stances into an unseamly metastasis that FLOWS for 15 ebbcentric tracks. Plus, since it ends at the beginning, it never has to stop. LOOP that shit!

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Ty Segall and White Fence bring it back for more of their collaborative journey through foggy psychedelia, simmering rock and roll and lysergic arm-swaying riffage. Yet another superb meeting of minds from these two top talents. Superb.

                  When you listen to the Shacks' self-titled debut EP, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are much older than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hear the youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiar and completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute. Since the release of their first single, "Strange Boy," which they recorded with El Michels Affair, The Shacks have been compared to 90’s indie icons like Mazzy Star, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Broadcast. As good as those bands are, you wouldn’t find a single one of their records in Max and Shannon’s music collection. All these bands are drinking from the same well, just 20 years apart. Highlights from The Shacks EP include a cover of the Ray Davies-penned "Strange Effect," which Shannon sings as if it were written for her, giving the song an unnerving edge that’s way more interesting than Dave Berry’s tepid original. Also included on the EP is "Orchids," one of Leon Michels and Max Shrager's first co-productions, recorded at the legendary Diamond Mine studios. "Orchids" is a truly original piece of music that showcases The Shacks’ adventurousness in the studio. "Left It With the Moon" is a lo-fi lullaby written by Shannon and recorded to 4 track cassette at Max’s home studio in Princeton, NJ. And "Hands In Your Pockets" features the Frightnrs rhythm section laying down a pitch-perfect rocksteady backing track behind Shannon’s deadpan delivery a la Jane Birkin. 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Twanging indie-rock guitars and 70's influenced fuzzy harmonies interwoven with the soothing and silky vocals of Shannon Wise. A bracing and enchanting listen, full of irresistible hooks and undeniable charm.

                  Shindig!

                  Issue 82

                    Shindig! is an eclectic cornucopia overflowing with obscure TV and film, psychedelia, folk, garage rock, folk rock, progressive rock, funk and soul. Contributions from its team of international expert writers ensure that new and intriguing tales about influential artists fill every issue. Shindig has established itself as a cutting edge forum and critique of the glories of 60s and 70s music, film and culture.
                    Available version

                    Into the darkness, the early days. In this issue, we look at how four working class lads from the tough Aston district of Birmingham defined heavy metal and brought the Dark Side to the masses.

                    Skiffle Players

                    Piffle Sayers

                      Supergroup, side project, high-school-garage-band-of-brothers-from-other-mothers, whatever its called, this band formed to play a one-off show in Big Sur and had so much fun they’re still at it. On guitar, Neal Casal (Circles Around The Sun) sticks mostly to the acoustic allowing his elegant affinity towards melodic craft to shine. Cass McCombs’s guitar wizardry and acclaimed compositions are at their peak, and his raw, mostly first-take vocals bring the core of the song to the forefront. And when asking “what the hell was that sound”—it was probably Farmer Dave, the official leader and founder of the band, his keyboard / lap steel / harmonium work is the glue that holds the flotsam together.

                      Dan Horne’s bass (Circles Around The Sun) and Aaron Sperske’s percussion (Beachwood Sparks) are so intertwined it sounds like each of them are both playing drums and bass at the same time.After the instant classic and record store rare find Skifflin’ (2015), The Skiffle Players are ready to release two new works. The Piffle Sayers EP ss made up of a few gems from the Skifflin’ sessions, and can be considered a companion piece to that debut LP. This foreshadows the release of a new full length album scheduled for this fall.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: There's no way with this calibre of musician, that the debut release by the Skiffle Players would be anything but brilliantly executed and immensely enjoyable, and you'll be happy to hear that everyone is indeed on top form. Beautifully evocative, brilliantly written and (as expected), played perfectly. Can't wait for the full-length!

                      The Spitfires

                      The New Age / Bitter End

                        The New Age captures the band’s live sound. 3 and a half minutes of loud guitars and energy with a sort of ‘back to basics’ approach.

                        Various Artists

                        NOW 1

                          Back by popular demand… NOW 1 is being re-released this summer on Vinyl  featuring the original track list and cover from 1983. Genesis, The Cure, Simple Minds, Kajagoogoo, Duran Duran, The Human League. Go on take your self back in this classic album package. 


                          This was a big hit at the @bluedotfestival - we have just one copy left at the shop now of The Voyager Golden Recor… https://t.co/u1PtmelZM4
                          Mon 23rd - 10:37
                          RT @up_and_adam: Nice to see @PiccadillyRecs getting BBC coverage here: https://t.co/9r15O2oDv7 - interesting environmental idea to ditch p…
                          Mon 23rd - 9:49
                          What a set! @Vesselsband have just finished playing @bluedotfestival and we have some signed copies of their album… https://t.co/xJgF82DZB3
                          Sun 22nd - 6:41
                          We now have @slowdiveband signed albums in. Thank you for popping to our pop up shop @bluedotfestival guys. https://t.co/qvq2SqExmk
                          Sun 22nd - 3:54
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