indie

WEEK STARTING 26 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of In Quiet Moments by Lost Horizons.

Lost Horizons

In Quiet Moments

    In 2017, Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas had both abstained from making music for 20 years until they united as Lost Horizons and released a stunning debut album, Ojalá - the Spanish word for “hopefully” or “God willing.”

    “These days, we need hope more than ever, for a better world.” Thomas said at the time. “And this album has given me a lot of hope. To reconnect with music.... And the hope for another Lost Horizons record!”

    Thomas’ hopes had a mixed response. On the plus side, the new Lost Horizons album In Quiet Moments is an even stronger successor to Ojalá with another distinguished cast of guest singers and a handful of supporting instrumentalists embellishing the core duo’s gorgeously free-flowing and loose-limbed blueprint that one writer astutely labelled, “melancholy-delia.”

    On the minus side, any hope for a better world, as Earth continues to freefall toward political and social meltdown. Then, to make matters worse, as Raymonde and Thomas buckled down to create the improvised bedrock that Lost Horizons is built on, the former’s mother died. At least Raymonde had a way to channel his grief. “The way improvisation works,” he says, “it’s just what’s going on with your body at the time, to let it out.”

    Raymonde (bass, guitar, keyboards, production) and Thomas (drums, occasional keys and guitar) forged ahead, creating 16 instrumental tracks to send to prospective guests. When he did, Raymonde suggested a guiding theme for their lyrics: “Death and rebirth. Of loved ones, of ideals, at an age when many artists that have inspired us are also dead, and the planet isn’t far behind. But I also said, ‘The most important part is to just do your own thing, and have fun.”

    And then Covid-19 hit. Half of In Quiet Moments’ lyrics were written after lockdown, but Raymonde saw a silver lining: people were slowing down and taking stock of their lives. Hearing a lyric written by veteran singer Ural Thomas, known as “Portland's Pillar of Soul", who fronts the title track, Raymonde singled out the phrase “in quiet moments” and made it the album title. “It just made sense,” he says. “This moment of contemplation in life is really beautiful. The title also went with the album cover, a photograph by Jacques-Henri Lartigue from the 1940s of a woman and dog on a beach, captured as if in flight.” 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: There are a frankly dazzling array of guests on this beautiful collection of slow-motion psychedelic drifts from Raymonde & Thomas, and each one seem to effortlessly glide into the instrumental core of ambient swells and subtle strings. A perfect tonic to the strains of a day.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Double LP pressed on green and blue vinyl.

    2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Aili / Transistorcake

    Dansu

      Making her debut Belgian-Japanese artist Aili teams up with one of Eskimo Recordings' most exciting new Belgian acts Transistorcake for the mesmerising ‘Dansu’. Sung in a mixture of Japanese and English, ‘Dansu’ is a hymn to dancing the night away, the track’s taut Motorik rhythms and lambent washes of synths blending perfectly with Aili’s hushed vocals to create a hypnotic, languorously funky, track with echoes of artists like Can or Stereolab.

      "I left Tokyo for Belgium when I was 7 years old. In many ways my Japanese stayed at that level. When I sing in Japanese it puts me into this naive, almost childlike mindset that allows me to express what I feel right away. You don’t need to understand the words just the feeling that they convey." - Aili

      Julien Baker

      Little Oblivions

        Preorder the album and get a link to an EXCLUSIVE IN-STORE VIRTUAL SESSION on March 2nd.
        (Links will be emailed the day before the session).
        NPN.


        Little Oblivions is the third studio album by Julien Baker. Recorded in Memphis, TN, the record weaves together unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Baker’s capacity for storytelling to new heights. It also marks a sonic shift, with the songwriter’s intimate piano and guitar arrangements newly enriched by bass, drums, keyboards, banjo, and mandolin with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Julian Baker returns for another beautifully rich set of crescentic rock, coloured with an unmistakeable country hue. It's a delicate balance and is accomplished here with a beautiful warmth and comforting melodicism. Another wonderful journey, full of emotional duality and songwriting genius from Baker.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Golden yellow indies only LP.

        Camera

        Prosthuman

          With the band’s tenth anniversary in their viewfinder, CAMERA release “Prosthuman”, their fifth studio album. As befits an age in which realities can change in the blink of an eye, from one day to the next, the Berlin band never tire of changing themselves, their music or personnel.

          As Karlheinz Stockhausen noted: “New methods change the experience. New experiences change man.”

          Taking this as their lead, Michael Drummer (the drummer) and CAMERA surprise us once more on “Prosthuman” as they reinvent and reformulate their sound without sacrificing the project’s identity which has matured over the past decade. Less surprising is the fact that some record stores give CAMERA their own section, alongside Krautrock pioneers like NEU!, Can and La Düsseldorf. “Emotional Detox”, the predecessor to this album, was distinguished by the presence of two keyboard virtuosos (Steffen Kahles and CAMERA founder member Timm Brockmann). Finding replacements for “Prosthuman” was, as Michael Drummer stresses, “a difficult process.” The two keyboardists had – in different creative periods – formed the backbone of a band structure otherwise prone to fluctuations. Decisive input came from an unlikely source: Tim Schroeder, who first teamed up with CAMERA as a performance and video artist on their six-week tour of the USA in 2017.

          Over the course of various jams and recording sessions, he was able to offer ample proof of his synthesizers skills. Alex Kozmidi, a musician and composer with a flair for experimentation, completed the triumvirate on guitar, with Michael Drummer adding his own guitar riffs here and there. Change and friction can be useful allies in pursuit of creativity, something to which Drummer has grown accustomed as the only ever-present member of CAMERA. The pleasures and pain of isolation – suddenly a mass phenomenon in pandemic times – are well known to the quasi frontman of the group. Over the years, he has spent many hours alone or with a shifting cast of co-musicians in the band’s basement studio, beneath a former factory site in a less than hip southern district of Berlin. Virus-induced social distancing and quarantine measures that came into force during the recording process (June 2019 to June 2020) thus posed no great challenge.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: It's always a delight when something hits the shelves from Bureau B. This time sees Camera revisiting their familiar heady kosmische groove, albeit with different staff. Drummer and Schroeder here perfect the warmingly organic duality of synthesiser and live percussion, resulting in a fluid but cohesive build and release narrative and a hypnotic, rhythmic nod.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDinked Edition LP Info: • Orange vinyl *
          • Exclusive bonus 12” with remixes by Lloyd Cole, The Telescopes, Love-Songs, Dead Skeletons, Extnddntwrk (Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods) *
          • Neon orange print sleeve *
          • Limited pressing of 400 *
          * Exclusive to Dinked Edition

          Cheval Sombre

          Time Waits For No One

            Cheval Sombre releases his third album, Time Waits for No One. It is his first solo release for more than eight years, following 2018’s critically acclaimed collaboration with Galaxie 500 and Luna frontman Dean Wareham, and the first of two new albums scheduled for 2021, both of which have been produced by Sonic Boom. Cheval Sombre is the nome d’arte of Chris Porpora, a poet from upstate New York whose otherworldly psychedelic lullabies on his self-titled album from 2009 and its follow-up, Mad Love (2012), won him a cult following. Time Waits for No One ushers in his most prolific period, and serendipitously the world has finally slowed down to his pace. This is no lockdown record, but Cheval Sombre’s reclusive, reflective music is its perfect soundtrack.

            “I’ve always said that what I really want to do with music is to give people sanctuary,” he explains. “Pandemic or not, the world has always felt as though it were spinning out of control to me, and so if folks have slowed down, I do see it all as an opportunity to discover vital realms which have always been there, but we’ve been too rushed and distracted to encounter.” Time Waits for No One is also his finest and most fully realised body of work to date and, appropriately enough for a record that has taken so many years to come to fruition, across eight original songs, an instrumental and a closing cover of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘No Place to Fall’, its overarching theme is time itself; what it is and what role it inevitably plays in all of our lives.

            But the record is also timeless, contrasting the musical simplicity of Cheval Sombre’s open-tuned acoustic guitar curlicues with the beautiful, sweeping and ornate arrangements of Sonic Boom’s keyboards and Gillian Rivers’ and Yuiko Kamakari’s strings. The end result is something akin to Daniel Johnston backed by the Mercury Rev of Deserter’s Songs. Elemental and earthbound, but simultaneously and very subtly shooting for the stratosphere.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: A brittle but beautiful combination of folky guitar and heavily echoed vocals, falling somewhere between traditional 60's psych and slow shoegaze mixed with a dash of modern classical. It's tender and haunting, a wonderful journey.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: White Vinyl.

            Cloud Nothings

            The Shadow I Remember

              For a band that resists repeating itself, picking up lessons from a decade prior is the strange route Cloud Nothings took to create their most fully-realized album. Their new record, The Shadow I Remember, marks eleven years of touring, a return to early songwriting practices, and revisiting the studio where they first recorded together.

              In a way not previously captured, this album expertly combines the group’s pummeling, aggressive approach with singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi’s extraordinary talent for perfect pop. To document this newly realized maturity, the group returned to producer Steve Albini and his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, where the band famously destroyed its initial reputation as a bedroom solo project with the release of 2012 album Attack on Memory.

              Another throwback was Baldi’s return to constant songwriting à la the early solo days, which led to the nearly 30 demos that became the 11 songs on The Shadow I Remember. Instead of sticking to a tried-but-true formula, his songwriting stretched out while digging deeper into his melodic talents. “I felt like I was locked in a character,” Baldi says of becoming a reliable supplier of heavy, hook-filled rock songs. “I felt like I was playing a role and not myself. I really didn’t like that role.” More frequent writing led to the freedom in form heard on The Shadow I Remember. What he can’t do alone is get loud and play noisily, which is exactly what happened when the entire band— bassist TJ Duke, guitarist Chris Brown, and drummer Jayson Gerycz—convened.

              The band had more fun in the studio than they’ve had in years, playing in their signature, pulverizing way, while also trying new things. The absurdly catchy “Nothing Without You” includes a first for the band: Macie Stewart of Ohmme contributes guest vocals. Elsewhere, celebrated electronic composer Brett Naucke adds subtle synthesizer parts.

              The songs are kept trim, mostly around the three-minute mark, while being gleefully overstuffed. Almost every musical part turns into at least two parts, with guitar and drums opening up and the bass switching gears. “That’s the goal—I want the three-minute song to be an epic,” Baldi says. “That’s the short version of the long-ass jam.”

              Lyrically, Baldi delivers an aching exploration of tortured existence, punishing self-doubt, and the familiar pangs of oppressive mystery. “Am I something?” Baldi screams on the song of the same name. “Does anybody living out there really need me?” It’s a heartbreaking admission of existential confusion, delivered hoarsely, with an instantly relatable melody.

              “Is this the end/ of the life I've known?” he asks on lead single and album opener “Oslo.” “Am I older now/ or am I just another age?” Despite the questioning lyrics, the band plays with more assurance and joy than ever before. The Shadow I Remember announces Cloud Nothings’ second decade and it sounds like a new beginning.


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Spectral light whirl vinyl.

              Dubstar

              One

                It was the end of a century, and as the 1990s inevitably applied its brakes, Dubstar were sent flailing through the windscreen of popular music. Their third album, the unfortunately-titled Make It Better, lay bleeding at the side of the road, itself a casualty of one-too-many personal and professional traumas.

                In the following years there were some half-hearted attempts to record more music- even the occasional, low-key live appearance here and there- but it wasn’t until 2015 that Sarah Blackwood and Chris Wilkie found themselves formally reconstituted and writing new material in dedicated earnest. Not because it was expected, but because they couldn't help it.

                With the support and encouragement of legendary producer Youth, they began sessions for One, which represented the beginning of a new chapter in the Dubstar story, and one which has audibly benefitted from the passing of time. The album is generally considered to be the first worthy successor to their platinum-selling debut Disgraceful, and serves as generous compensation for the wilderness years, while promising even better things on the horizon.

                Flyying Colours

                Fantasy Country

                  Flyying Colours- hints of early 90’s shoe-gaze and grunge, which fans of Ride & MBV will connect with.

                  Australian four-piece Flyying Colours are set to release their sophomore album; taking inspiration from the early 90s UK psych/shoegaze scene, 'Fantasy Country' is rich in sonic texture and shimmering atmospherics with a heavy dose of melody. From the swooning, sludgy 'Goodtimes' and urgent noise-fest of 'Big Mess', to the gorgeous melodic pop of 'OK', Flyying Colours look to redefine noise within the context of pop music. Elsewhere, 'It's Real' is perfect, summery dreampop while the crushingly loud 'White Knuckles' and chugging 'Boarding Pass' is a hazy, echo-laden spaced-out affair.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Limited edition colour LP.
                  Two colour variants – green & blue phase & yellow & pink spinner.
                  Colour will be supplied at random.

                  Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains

                  Banane Bleue

                    ‘Banane Bleue’ (French for blue banana), the brand new album from Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains, is a nomadic and truly European record, hailing from rented workspaces in some of the continent’s key cities - Berlin, Athens and Paris - and recorded with instruments that were often borrowed from likeminded musicians.

                    Written solely by Frànçois Marry himself, close collaborator and Weird World artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi was enlisted for production duties whilst Renaud Letang (Feist, Gonzales, Connan Mockasin) mixed the album.

                    The title of the album is taken from the ‘blue banana’ concept, a geographical theory that groups together a corridor of Europe’s biggest cities, originally conceived in the 1980s. The theory states that the blurring of these cities’ boundaries has resulted in the formation of one massive, interconnected megalopolis.

                    Expanding on the theory, Frànçois poetised it, picturing a luminescent blue banana shape that you can see from space with vibrant, ethereal currents that surround and bind us. It explores common cultural and romantic ground, creating an album full of missed meetings and misunderstandings.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent blue vinyl.

                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    PJ Harvey

                    Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

                      Reissue on vinyl of the fifth PJ Harvey studio album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Produced by PJ Harvey with Rob Ellis and Mick Harvey, and originally released in November 2000, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea features the singles ‘Good Fortune’, ‘A Place Called Home’ and ‘This Is Love’ and includes a duet with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on ‘This Mess We’re In’. The album won the Mercury Music Prize in 2001. Reissue is faithful to the original recording and package, cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey producer Head.

                      PJ Harvey

                      Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - Demos

                        Collection of unreleased demos of every track written for the fifth PJ Harvey studio album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, including demos of ‘Good Fortune’, ‘A Place Called Home’ and ‘This Is Love’. Audio has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator Head. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

                        Here Lies Man

                        Ritual Divination

                          Four albums in, the convenient and generalized catchphrase for Here Lies Man’s erudite sound — if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat — might seem a little played out. But Ritual Divination is perhaps the best rendering of the idea so far. Particularly on the Sabbath side of the equation: The guitars are heavier and more blues based than before, but the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave remains a constant.

                          “Musically it’s an opening up more to traditional rock elements,” says vocalist/guitarist/ cofounder Marcos Garcia, who also plays guitar in Antibalas. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.”

                          The L.A. based band comprised of Antibalas members have toured relentlessly following their breakout 2017 self-titled debut. Their second album, You Will Know Nothing and an EP, Animal Noises, both followed in 2018. Third album No Ground To Walk Upon emerged in August 2019. All of them were crafted by Garcia and cofounder/drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann) in their L.A. studio between tours. Ritual Divination is their first album recorded as the full 4-piece band, including bassist JP Maramba and keyboardist Doug Organ.

                          Ritual Divination continues with an ongoing concept of HLM playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie, with each song being a scene. “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia says. “The intention and purpose of the music is to create a sonic ritual to lift the veil of inner space and divine the true nature of reality.”

                          Likewise, musically and sonically, the album is self-reflexive. “On this album the feel changes within a song,” Garcia says. “Whereas before each song was meant to induce a trancelike state, now more of the songs have their own arc built in.” Similarly, the guitar sounds themselves herein eschew the fuzz pedals of previous recordings, going for the directness of pure amp overdrive and distortion using an interconnected rig of 4 amplifiers. And, here, the well-versed live band is able to record as a unit, giving it much more of a live and dynamic feel.

                          Rough Trade named the band’s self-titled debut in their prestigious Top 10 Albums of 2017. BBC 6 & Classic Rock Magazine deemed it among the year’s best, as well as countless other press outlets singing its praises. Each subsequent album furthered the band’s reputation for genre-smashing rhythmic experimentation, topping many year-end lists as well as earning features from countless metal and indie rock outlets, plus cover stories in weekly papers.

                          “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” Garcia explains. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: Here Lies Man amp up the groove on their latest outing 'Ritual Divination', taking them from a more percussion-based sound into the stoner drawl and half-speed Sabbathy grind that suits them so well. Psychedelic and heavy without being wandering, a brilliant step forwards for the band.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Coloured vinyl edition limited to 666 copies.
                          Includes a blue vinyl 7"

                          LP Info: Black vinyl.

                          Horse Meat Disco grace Glitterbox Recordings with their first-ever full-length album “Love & Dancing”, a joyous, 14-track collection of the nightlife titans’ exquisite productions. The four-strong DJ collective of Luke Howard, Severino Panzetta, James Hillard and Jim Stanton started their disco shenanigans on New Year’s Day, 2004 at The Eagle, Vauxhall and over the 16 years since, their nightlife tenure has seen them become a global brand. With residences in Berlin, New York, Lisbon, and their London bedrock, as well as regular appearances at Glitterbox parties across the globe, the group has become one of the most revered and adored acts on the international club circuit.

                          “Love & Dancing” is the culmination of seven years’ work, fashioned from the demos the four have been working on simply for the love of making music. Free of cover versions and lazy samples, it is documentary evidence that disco has a present and future every bit the platinum-grade equal of its storied past.

                          Working with an array of A-List collaborators including founding member of Sister Sledge Kathy Sledge, acid jazz pioneer N'Dea Davenport, rising star Fiorious and the inimitable trio Dames Brown. Highlights from the LP include the adored Glitterbox anthems “Let’s Go Dancing” and “Falling Deep In Love”, the laid-back disco jam “Message To The People”, collaboration with The Phenomenal Handclap Band “Sanctuary” and the irresistibly soulful “Home” featuring Atlanta songstress Hadiya George. “Love & Dancing” is an album to get lost in, flawlessly arranged, produced and curated from start to finish.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: A pleasure to see these cats evolve into a global-adored sensation. They've produced a really strong album here; rivalling other pop-disco offerings from Roisin Murphy and Crazy P. Not only is it jam packed with collaborations and pleasantly loaded with tracks there's a depth and variety prevalent across the whole LP proving that HMD are here for a long time to come. One of those records your living room will thankyou for purchasing...

                          Geneva Jacuzzi

                          Lamaze - Reissue

                            Lamaze is Geneva Jacuzzi’s 2010 debut—a full-length pressing of analog 4- track and 8-track recordings that document the development of her musical style from her first appearance in 2004 up to 2009. It is a selective introduction gleaned from a body of over 200 recorded tracks. The recordings from this period are largely synth pop songs that are typical minimalist constructions with dance floor tempos. Use of experimental recording techniques and varying arrays of equipment produce differing electronic atmospheres—soundcrafting in the spirit of Chrome, Devo, Cabaret Voltaire, and Gina-X. 

                            There is also an exploration of format in her playful use of alternating theatrical interludes and instrumental treatments. Lamaze is essentially a collection of demos, which is an atypical debut, but it is among the first lo-fi pop recordings that became the lexicon of the emerging music frontier, today’s “hypnagogic” jukebox—chillwave, bedroom pop, witch house, vaporwave, and more. The sound of the future, but the present of Lamaze is a world that has vanished. The collection is venerated as canon among her devotees and has become a coveted relic among fans and collectors of pop artifacts and rarities.

                            Jetstream Pony

                            If Not Now, When? / Yellow Pills

                              Jetstream Pony come from a love of schrammelig indie-pop and post-punk, and are based in Brighton and Croydon, UK. The band features Beth Arzy (The Luxembourg Signal, Trembling Blue Stars, Aberdeen, The Fireworks, Lightning in a Twilight Hour) on vocals, Shaun Charman (The Wedding Present, The Popguns, The Fireworks) on guitar and Kerry Boettcher (Turbocat) on bass, with Hannes Mueller (The BV's, Endlich Bluete) on drums for live shows. Continuing the sound and essence of Jetstream Pony, there's a sprinkling of Garage-Power-Pop on this single, firing off with "If Not Now, When?', with the band's take on 'Yellow Pills', a live favourite, on the flip.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition - second pressing on coke bottle green translucent vinyl.

                              Loose Articles

                              Up The Disco

                                Dipped In Gold Recordings are proud to announce “Up The Disco” The latest 7” from Manchester upstarts Loose Articles.. Their debut outing EP ‘Orchid Lounge’ (Self released in 2019), cemented the bands foothold as one of the most abrasive, exciting and talked about bands in their stomping ground of Manchester. Up The Disco see’s the band continue to bring the mother flipping ruckus .. With the world going to Hell in a handcart it’s as good a time as any for ‘Up The Disco’ to bring those sweaty, alcohol infused nights at your favourite indie disco, straight to your home. The night is young, so join us, get a can on and dance. Loose Articles are Natalie Wardle, Erin Caine, Tree Nah and Louise Rivett

                                Margot

                                Walk With Me / Falling In Between Days

                                  New single Walk With Me is a song about empathy, depression and the power of talking. All channelled by frontman Alex Hannaway's pastel vocal hues and searingly honest delivery. Walk With Me works as a conversation between someone experiencing a depressive episode and another trying to understand. "It’s about listening, friendship, understanding, I’ve had experiences where friends, family members have been patient, they’ve been persistent and caring, and it’s this that has really helped me in my life" explains Hannaway. In addition to the official video, the band have also shared a 'Karaoke Video' for the single. "We've been using home karaoke sessions to blow off steam during the lockdown period. Often feeling confined, bored, angry, frustrated; the elation and release of belting out familiar songs in our living room felt cathartic. So it felt perfect for the video, capturing not only the isolation of lockdown but also the communal, spirited moments too" explain Margot. Margot comprises of five friends who moved from the suburbs of south London to Peckham after finishing University. In two separate bands at the time, drunken nights out discussing the merits of a merger evolved into the first few rehearsals. It went well - Margot formed in 2018 and released a steady stream of singles across the year. The band employ a DIY ethic, self-producing their recordings in their home studio. After ending 2019 supporting Swimming Tapes on their UK tour, the band released their debut EP in February 2020 and are set to support Dana Gavanski on her upcoming tour in March 2021. Margot's nuanced blend of dream-pop, neo-psychedelia and jangle-guitar create a propulsive, cruising feel reminiscent of Real Estate or War on Drugs.

                                  Maximo Park

                                  Nature Always Wins

                                    An album of our times, Newcastle band Maximo Park return with their seventh record Nature Always Wins

                                    The album arrives as something of an examination, zeroing in on the notion of the self, identity as a band, and that of humanity as a whole. The album’s title nods to the famous Nature vs Nurture debate. Discussing whether change is capable under the influence of time, perspective, environment or if we are destined to be bound by our own genetics, it asks, “who are we, and who do we want to be, and do we have any control over it?”.

                                    “I'm so happy we were able to make this album during lockdown, as it's been a challenging time for everyone. After almost 4 years since Risk To Exist, we wanted to explore new musical territory (for us) without sacrificing our trademark melodic twists and heartfelt lyrics. As always, the passing of time looms large, although the songs contain more affection for the past than before, and there are occasional hints of the fractious, divided time that we live in” – frontman Paul Smith

                                    Produced by Atlanta-based Grammy-winning producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter), who afforded the band freedom to play and create. What wasn’t anticipated was how that freedom would be soon be stripped, as lockdown restrictions left the band recording remotely across Newcastle, Liverpool and Atlanta with audio files bounced back and forth, 4000 miles across the world!

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    says: Nature Always Wins sees Maximo Park in fine form within a familiar but gradually perfected arena, mixing bombastic hooks and those unmistakeable vocals high in the mix. Propulsive and beautifully produced, this may be their finest outing yet.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Clear turquoise vinyl.

                                    2xLtd LP Info: Deluxe double black vinyl edition in a gatefold sleeve.

                                    Melvins

                                    Gluey Porch Treatments

                                      Gluey Porch Treatments’ is Melvins’ out-of-print 1987 album, finally available again on LP, pressed on lime green vinyl.

                                      Melvins

                                      Hostile Ambient Takeover

                                        ‘Hostile Ambient Takeover’ is the band’s 2002 album available on LP for the first time, pressed onto baby pink coloured vinyl.

                                        Melvins

                                        Working With God

                                          ‘Working With God’ is the new studio album from Melvins, featuring the 1983 line-up of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Mike Dillard. This is the first time the trio have recorded together since ‘Tres Cabrones’.

                                          ‘Working With God’ is Melvins’ 28th (yes, 28th) full-length studio release and their first since 2018’s ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’.

                                          The band have been one of the most lauded hard rock bands to have helped develop the Grunge and Sludge scenes.

                                          The new album is one of their most melodic and playful records - not just another ‘metal’ record, this will translate easily to hard rock and even mainstream rock fans as well.

                                          The songs on the album are originals except for their take on Harry Nilsson’s classic ‘Fuck You’ and the well-known ‘Good Night Sweetheart’ that finishes off the album.

                                          The National

                                          Cherry Tree EP - 2021 Reissue

                                            Released a year before The National broke through with their third album Alligator, 2004’s Cherry Tree EP is a thrilling record which - thanks to its collection of delicate ballads and anthemic crowd-pleasers - sums up what they do best in under 30 minutes. Now a firm fan-favourite, among Cherry Tree’s seven tracks are now National classics ‘About Today’ and ‘All The Wine’, plus a thrilling live version of ‘Murder Me Rachael’ that reminds of the band’s fearsome early live performances. Cherry Tree can be seen as the record that marks the moment when The National had truly found themselves, a bridge from what went before to a band ready to conquer the World.

                                            Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

                                            The National

                                            Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers - 2021 Reissue

                                              The National’s second album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers (2003) proved a leap forward from 2001’s eponymous debut, showing a band adept at delivering warm embraces and gut punches in equal measure.

                                              With word of mouth now spreading on the band, critics proved equally enthusiastic... Pitchfork in their glowing review called it a “Gorgeous train wreck” that “Lives up to its blunt title (with) Matt Berninger’s self-effacing barbs matched by the band’s equally potent hooks,” while Uncut also became early champions saying the album was “A genuine treasure... Livid as a bruise, this is brave, desperate, beautiful music.”

                                              No longer a secret among those that know, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is an important record in The National’s discography with this new remaster showing that it’s more than standing the test of time.

                                              Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

                                              The National

                                              The National - 2021 Reissue

                                                Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The National’s self-titled debut album of sozzled Americana is a thing of beauty, laden with heavy hints that this was a special band in the making.

                                                Their first release, The National arrived two years after The National formed, a time when they were juggling bandlife with needing to hold down full-time jobs. And while nods to the alt. rock artists that inspired them (Pavement, Silver Jews) can be heard, so too are the beginnings of something all their own – Matt Berninger’s stunning and unexpected lyrics being pinned to melodies that stop you in your tracks.

                                                The National marks the start point for one of the best bands of their generation with its new master helping elevate it to new levels. A great primer to a great band.

                                                Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

                                                Nightshift

                                                Zöe

                                                  The band that became Nightshift formed in 2019 in the ecosystem of Glasgow's current indie scene. The city's fertile & creative group of musicians have been committed to pushing the boundaries of and blurring the lines between DIY, punk, experimentalism and indie pop for decades now; a home to bands like Shopping, Vital Idles, Current Affairs, Still House Plants, and Happy Meals as well as forebears like Orange Juice, Teenage Fanclub and Yummy Fur. Nightshift slot right in with all mentioned, featuring members from current indie stalwarts Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo. Initially formed by guitarist David Campbell and bassist Andrew Doig as a "No Wave/No New York/ early Sonic Youth/This Heat-esque" group, the addition of Eothen Stern (keyboards/vocals) and Chris White (drums) instantaneously transformed their approach (guitarist / vocalist/clarinetist Georgia Harris joined as the band was writing "Zöe"). The band self-released a full-length tape on CUSP Recordings in early 2020, laying the foundation of their sound; hypnotic, melodic, understated indie post-punk with hooks that stick around long after you've heard them. "Zöe" is the band's newest effort, and first for Trouble In Mind.

                                                  Unlike the band's previous album, the songs on "Zöe" weren't conceived live in the band's practice space, but rather pieced together and recorded remotely during quarantine lockdown, with each member composing or improvising their parts in homes/home studios, layering ideas over loops someone made and passing it on. The isolation actually allowed for an openness and creativity to flow and many of the songs took on radically different forms from when they were originally envisioned.

                                                  "Zöe" means "live drive", derived from the word conatus. Bradiotti defines conatus as “an effort or striving, endeavour, impulse, inclination, tendency, undertaking, serving is an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself.” and Stern views it as "...a kind of feminist re-claiming of communal public, anti- privatisation, looking to strive for social and environmental justice. "Zöe" kicks off with "Piece Together", a hypnotic song anchored by the band's chanted vocals and serpentine guitar licks. "Spraypaint the Bridge" showcases Harris' clarinet in an unexpected & delightful melodic shift during the song's anti-chorus. Elsewhere tunes like the swooning "Infinity Winner" and "Outta Space"s minimalist, slinky rhythm swirl in a late-night vibe, while "Make Kin" ruminates on "Looking to kinship as a way of engaging with entangled environmental and reproductive issues... how a band is a bond" and lurches forward with kinetic guitar strangling and staccato rhythmic percussion from White and Doig.

                                                  "Power Cut" is the album's centerpiece, kicking off side two and lures the listener into its world over it's 7-minute runtime. Lulling them into involuntary movement with its waves of melodic harmonies, synth drones and metronomic pulse, until they all come crashing down in the song's dissonant midsection. The band acknowledges the whiffs of nostalgia prevalent in "Zöe"s songs (the title track in particular), and the nature of writing and recording the album is soaked in the self-work, reflection and reevaluations involved not only personally but creatively in each member's lives. Consequently, the album becomes a collection of sketches of hope, growth, awareness of the power of the world and the power of self, kith, kinship, friendship, resistance, and possibility.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited “moss green” colour vinyl.

                                                  Ohtis

                                                  Schatze / Failure

                                                    The Schatze b/w Failure 7” features two new tracks from Ohtis, including a duet with Stef Chura, and was mixed by Collin Dupuis (Lana Del Rey, Angel Olsen, St. Vincent). It follows the release of Ohtis' critically acclaimed 2019 debut album, Curve of Earth.

                                                    The release is led by “Schatze,” a new song that features Saddle Creek’s Stef Chura. A character study of the Selsh Antisocial Male, it is told primarily through the lens of his long put-upon girlfriend - which Chura acts the part of - in a series of complaints about his objectionable behavior. “I’ve always loved Ohtis and Curve of Earth is one of my favorite recent releases to come out,” Chura says of her involvement. “Sam is a rare songwriter. He speaks from an honest and dark place with a sincerity that I think is refreshing and deeply relatable. Adam is an old friend who was living down the street from me in Detroit at the time this collaboration came to be tossed around. I think someone on my Instagram kept asking me about doing a song with them... So I made a poll as a joke which led to the inevitable. When they showed me the song and the call and response format I was instantly in love with it.”

                                                    Though light-hearted and fun in its tone, “Schatze” offers no illusions about the state of affairs: he is wrong, selfish, and unrepentant about it all. “I got the idea for the song on an oceanfront balcony up in Cambria when my wife got annoyed by my neurotic vape addiction crampin’ the vibes,” Sam says. “Most of the rest was written and recorded last year, late at night in a hotel room in Amsterdam.”

                                                    The track actually takes its name from a cat belonging to Sam’s friend Gerald, which Sam says is extremely violent and possessive. “He has put Gerald's wife Teri in the hospital, and fucked me up badly more than once because I had refused to admit there was a cat alive whose heart I could not win,” Sam says. “Turns out Schatze is such a cat.”

                                                    B-side “Failure” can be seen as the Selfish Antisocial Male in a moment of introspective crisis. He is struck by fear and panic about the consequences of his behaviors and what it means for his future. Whereas in “Schatze” he breezily appeals to his freedom to do as he pleases, in “Failure” his fears indicate that perhaps these behavior patterns do not represent personal freedom but in fact quite the opposite.

                                                    “‘Failure’ was written many moons ago after visiting a walk-in clinic for an STD test attended by a ‘Dr. John’ and psyching myself out waiting for the results” Swinson says. “They eventually came back negative, but not before spawning this insane fucked up stream of consciousness song. I had always stood by the song
                                                    living up to its title until Adam and Nate dug it back up and added this Bonnaroo-worthy outro to it.”

                                                    Offering even further insight into a brutally honest mind, the two new songs are dark, raw, but always tinged with a compelling sense of sardonic wit. 

                                                    75 Dollar Bill Little Big Band

                                                    Live At Tubby's

                                                      NYC’s 75 Dollar Bill began its prolific career in 2012, after percussionist Rick Brown – a veteran of the indie underground (Fish & Roses, Run On, V-Effect) – and noise scene guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Che Chen – connected via MySpace. Since that initial jam session, when Brown began experimenting with his signature plywood crate drum rhythms, they have released 3 LPs and a clutch of self-released cassette and digital releases. Last year’s 2xLP I Was Real received serious critical acclaim – The Wire calling it 2019’s Album of the Year.

                                                      On their first live album, Live at Tubby’s, 75 Dollar Bill assembled a unique “little big band” [Sue Garner on bass, Cheryl Kingan on sax, Steve Maing on guitar, Jim Pugliese on percussion and Karen Waltuch on viola] for the small Kingston, NY club show. Recorded on the last day of their spring tour, the record puts a new perspective on themes from their body of work: a little more intimacy, a little more freedom, a little more controlled chaos. Brown’s idiosyncratic rhythms are all the more hypnotizing in Tubby’s cozy setting, and Chen’s furious guitar work cuts and hums with sounds seemingly only attainable on stage. It's an album both challenging and immediate. The expanded 75 Dollar Bill's affinity for improvisation and the avant-garde even leads to a rousing take on the Ornette Coleman classic, 'Friends and Neighbors' that feels right at home in their own repertoire. The listener can't help but feel present and part of the communal joy and catharsis being shared here in this room. This performance at Tubby’s turned out not only to be the last show of their tour, but the last show possible as the pandemic hit. Originally offered as a digital-only release on 75 Dollar Bill’s Bandcamp, Live at Tubby’s now documents a highlight and closure of sorts; this kind of musical improvisation and community interaction being on hold for the foreseeable future. The double LP on Grapefruit will have to tide us over until it can all happen again.

                                                      From Rick Brown:
                                                      75 Dollar Bill has always been a duo of Che Chen and myself, but many of our most satisfying and just plain fun experiences have involved some (or almost all) of our great crew of friend musicians who've worked with us for years and who play on our studio recordings, like 2019's I Was Real (Thin Wrist/Glitterbeat). Live at Tubby's presents a couple of sets recorded just as Spring and the coronavirus were arriving on the scene. We didn't plan for this as a “Little Big Band” concert, but we took advantage of timing and geography - as well as the fact that “everybody knows how to play WZN #3” - and sent out a call for any who could make it to come to Kingston, NY for the night's blowout, the last gig of a short tour we'd done as a duo. The material comes from I Was Real and its predecessor Wood, Metal, Plastic, Pattern, Rhythm, Rock plus a cover of the great and inspiring Ornette Coleman's song “Friends and Neighbors.” Hopefully, you'll agree it turned out pretty good – at the very least, it should be obvious that we had a good time! We sure do miss playing music with our friends and for our neighbors.

                                                      Skinshape

                                                      I Didn’t Know (Extended) / I Didn’t Know (Dub)

                                                        With over 15000,000 (yes, fifteen million!) plays on YouTube and over 2,000,000 on Spotify we thought it was only fair that Skinshape’s most popular song was released on glorious vinyl. The track is already on the ‘Filoxiny’ album so Skinshape extended the mix and backed it with a dub version for the flip. Skinshape is the project of British musician William Dorey. The sound has roots in many genres but in particular 1960s Funk, Soul, Reggae, Psychedelic Rock, Afrobeat and Folk.

                                                        Aside from the Skinshape project Dorey was bassist for the band Palace from 2014-2017 and also runs a reggae label called Horus Records based in North London. About I Didn’t Know from Dorey himself: “This is the most 'pop' song I've possibly ever made, and possibly the most 'modern' sounding. It is about being in a difficult relationship and not knowing how to deal with it and making mistakes as a result. I wrote and recorded most of the song around the drum pattern, and created some (terrible sounding) digital orchestral parts temporarily whilst I created the body of the song. I recorded the strings and horns in the last part of the recording process before doing the final mixes. The horns were recorded separately with the help of my long-time friend (since school) and master arranger Jon Moody (of the group Franc Moody).”

                                                        Smerz

                                                        Believer

                                                          Norwegian duo Smerz have announced the release of ‘Believer’, their forthcoming debut album that pushes Smerz far beyond their previous EP releases, 2017’s Okey and 2018’s Have Fun. Since releasing the ‘Believer’ trailer back in October 2020 followed by a video for the tracks ‘I don’t talk about that much/Hva hvis’, the duo of Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt have slowly revealed a new auditory world. The duo meld sonic touchstones from their youth, like musicals and classical music, with swirling, trance-indebted synth lines and hip-hop plus R&B vocals that is distinctly Smerz.

                                                          Last fall the duo performed at Oslo’s Ultima festival; in early 2020 they scored a performance by Carte Blanche, the Norwegian national company of contemporary dance, as well as performed at Mira festival in collaboration with legendary visual maverick Weirdcore.




                                                          Stereolab

                                                          Electrically Possessed (Switched On Volume 4)

                                                            The fourth in the Switched On series that compiles non-album tracks and sought after deep cuts by the groop. Following on from the first volume released in 1992, 1995's Refried Ectoplasm, and 1998's Aluminum Tunes, the long-awaited fourth installment spans 1999 - 2008 in the Stereolab story and collates 3 LPs worth of material, all remastered from the original tapes and overseen by the band. It features all the tracks from out-of-print and sought after mini-album The First Of The Microbe Hunters, one-off and impossible to find tour 7"s, compilation tracks, art installation work and a couple of unreleased outtakes from the Mars Audiac Quintet and Dots and Loops recording sessions

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            says: There are few bands more revered in electronic circles than Stereolab and this collection of brilliantly eccentric but unmistakeably deep 'rarities' compilations (I hate that term, but you know the sort), the FOURTH collection in fact being every bit as amazing as the first makes me wonder how many more there are, and when I can buy them.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            3xDeluxe LP Info: Mirriboard sleeve edition, very limited.
                                                            Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a polythene wallet.

                                                            3xLP Info: Vinyl comes in bespoke gatefold sleeve with download card, housed inside a polythene wallet.

                                                            Deluxe CD Info: Mirriboard sleeve edition, very limited.

                                                            Vapour Theories

                                                            Celestial Scuzz

                                                              New album from brothers John and Michael Gibbons, the guitarists from psychedelic drone legends, Bardo Pond. A “heavy ambient” instrumental masterpiece that explores the symbiotic relationship of the duo as they build and dismantle sounds on a unique ethereal trip.

                                                              A full-length follow up to ‘Joint Chiefs’ from 2006, ‘Celestial Scuzz’ is a monumental sound piece created from hours of jam sessions and crafted into a cohesive mind-blowing trip. The result has a heavy ambience, like Eno locked in a dark room with Sunn-O))))) rehearsing next door.

                                                              While Bardo Pond’s trajectory takes them deep into rock music’s ever-imploding sound, the brothers Gibbons surf a more ethereal and eclectic plain; from a heady and consuming space, a “sanctuary; balm for the soul.” Describing the writing process, Michael Gibbons explains it as “a kind of spiritual experience. Most of the time it leaves us stunned; the more stunned we are the better the jam.”

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition gold vinyl.

                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              Alan Vega & Revolutionary Corps Of Teenage Jesus

                                                              Righteous Lite

                                                                Alan Vega – voice/Stephen Lironi – machines. Alan Vega (Suicide) and Stephen Lironi (Altered Images) released an iconic album in 1999 as Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus. Righteous Lite is even more prescient today than it was over 20 years ago, Alan’s lyrics foresaw where society seems to be now, with corporate government utilising mass media to control the mass market and populace. Stephen’s production and music echo the analogue vibrations of the debut Suicide album, and in tandem with Alan’s primal scream, create an album that works as a raw conceptual piece.This is the first time that Righteous Lite has been released on vinyl, on a deluxe gatefold sleeve featuring new artwork (with cover art by Alan).

                                                                The album was originally released only on CD by The Creeping Bent Organisation. The link between Alan Vega and The Creeping Bent Organisation was born in the mid 1990s when the label released the debut single by Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, a 12” techno recasting of Suicide’s Frankie Teardrop (which quickly sold out after being awarded the coveted NME Single of the Week). The single heavily featured samples from the original version by Suicide, and contact was made with recording copyright owner Red Star to obtain permission to clear the sample. Creeping Bent quickly received a fax from Marty Thau granting not only permission to use the sample, but to inform us that Alan and Martin Rev loved the RCTJ techno demix. Further to that, Mr Thau informed Creeping Bent that Alan would love to join the Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, which Creeping Bent quickly set in motion. It wasn’t long before Alan Vega and Stephen Lironi were ensconced in a Brooklyn studio working on tracks. Protection Rat was released as a 12” single, followed by Who Cares Who Dies (as a split single with The Nectarine No9). Both releases were also Singles of the Week in the UK music papers, ensuring they too quickly sold out.

                                                                Righteous Lite features some of Alan Vega’s best work, he was extremely happy with the outcome of working on this album with Stephen. The production is claustrophobic and intense, matched by a dystopian lyrical outlook that feels incredibly topical.
                                                                Stephen Lironi: first appeared on vinyl as drummer with Article 58 and played on their only single, Event To Come, which was produced by Alan Horne and Malcolm Ross and released on Josef K manager Allan Campbell’s Rational Records label. He then joined Restricted Code and drummed on their recordings for Bab Last’s Pop Aural label, before going on to work with Last at Fast Product (which led to him being asked to drum on the final Fire Engines’ single, Big Gold Dream). Lironi then joined Altered Images for their Bite album, on which he drummed, played guitar, and co-wrote the material. He worked with Tony Visconti and Mike Chapman on the album, and got a taste for production that later manifested itself when he became a successful producer on hits by Hanson, Space, Black Grape, among others. He had the opportunity to work in the studio with Jah Wobble, Tom Verlaine, Brian Wilson, but the collaboration with Alan Vega on Righteous Lite was a pinnacle. 


                                                                Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

                                                                Interim Report, March 1979

                                                                  “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

                                                                  Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

                                                                  At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Ltd yellow vinyl with insert.

                                                                  The Wedding Present

                                                                  Locked Down & Stripped Back

                                                                    Locked Down And Stripped Back features home recordings of Wedding Present classics, along with two previously unreleased songs: ‘You’re Just A Habit That I’m Trying To Break’ and ‘We Should Be Together’. The former is the first fruit of David Gedge's songwriting partnership with Wedding Present guitarist Jon Stewart [of Platinum-album-selling Sleeper fame] whilst the latter was originally written [but never released] by Sleeper themselves. This new Wedding Present version features Louise Wener on vocals.With each band member recording and filming their parts at home under lock-down restrictions, the recording process was far from easy, but the end result illustrates splendidly how The Wedding Present have adapted to the impact of COVID-19.

                                                                    David Gedge says:“As the summer of 2020 wore on it became increasingly obvious that At The Edge Of The Sea – my annual festival in Brighton – was sadly going the way of other live music events. Following its cancellation, I decided to replace it with an ‘online’ version, presented live from my own living room and featuring home-recorded videos from many of the artists that had appeared at the festival over the years. For The Wedding Present’s contribution, we picked twelve tracks to re-work in a ‘semi-acoustic’ style, and it was fascinating to see how stripped-back arrangements brought out different aspects of the songs. The Seamonsters track ‘Blonde’ was a prime example of this, with a ‘just-two-guitars’ approach resulting in a naïve and stark-sounding interpretation. In addition to the brilliant contributions from Louise and Jon from Sleeper, my long-time writing associate Terry de Castro fired over contributions from Los Angeles and, fresh from finishing her first Such Small Hands solo album, Wedding Present bass player Melanie Howard took over lead vocals for a version of ‘Sports Car’.”

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies only neon orange vinyl.

                                                                    Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                                                    Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                                                    The White Stripes

                                                                    Greatest Hits

                                                                      October 6, 2020-New York, NY-Third Man Records and Columbia Records will release The White Stripes Greatest Hits on December 4. The first-ever official anthology of recordings from the iconic rock duo, Jack and Meg White, is an essential career-spanning collection highlighting 26 previously released songs – from late Nineties flashes of brilliance through early 2000s underground anthems, masterful MTV Moon Man moments, Grammy-grabbing greatness, and worldwide stadium chants…the songs here are as wide-ranging as you can imagine. 

                                                                      Twentysome years ago, a brother and sister climbed into the third floor attic of their Southwest Detroit family homestead and bashed out a primitive cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” sparking something in both of them and leading them to take their simple guitar-drums-voice approach to a local open mic night on Bastille Day. In what feels like a whirlwind, they record and release two 7-inch singles for a local indie label. A not-so-local indie offers to put out a full-length album. They start touring. Another album. More touring. Another album. Folks REALLY start to pay attention. Crazy touring, more albums, accolades, wildest dream after wildest dream coming true. “World-renowned” becomes an appropriate descriptor, as does “long-building overnight sensation.”

                                                                      The same hard work and dedication that The White Stripes exhibited from the onset of their existence is what has been poured into The White Stripes Greatest Hits. In an era of streaming where the idea of a “Greatest Hits” album may seem irrelevant – that an act’s most streamed songs are considered their de facto “hits” – we wholeheartedly believe that great bands deserve “Greatest Hits” and that a large part of Third Man Records’ and The White Stripes’ successes have been built on zigging when the rest of the music business is zagging. Thus, for a great band with great fans, a greatest hits compilation for The White Stripes is not only appropriate, but absolutely necessary. 

                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      says: We all know the White Stripes don't we, and this collection of their greatest tracks is never going to be anything less than superb. Legendary band, summarised for your convenience. What's not to like?

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      2xLP Info: 2xLP 150-gram black vinyl.

                                                                      Wild Pink

                                                                      A Billion Little Lights

                                                                        On Wild Pink’s third album (and first for Royal Mountain Records), ‘A Billion Little Lights’, John Ross explores the dichotomy of finally achieving emotional security - of accepting the love and peace he deprived himself of in his twenties - while also feeling existentially smaller and more directionless than ever before.

                                                                        Produced by Grammy-winning producer David Greenbaum (U2, Beck, Jenny Lewis), the album is a two-pronged triumph: an extraordinary reflection on the human condition presented through the sharpest, grandest and most captivating songs Wild Pink have ever composed.

                                                                        “A steady and unstoppable rush of grand melodies and rippling synths” - The FADER

                                                                        “The Brooklyn band... thrives on a combination of rock extroversion and frontman John Ross’ hard-won and tenuous new optimism” - Pitchfork (8.1)

                                                                        “‘A Billion Little Lights’ is his most ambitious and overall best work” - Uproxx

                                                                        “Glimmers like the stars over a vast heartland expanse” - Stereogum

                                                                        “Soaring, atmospheric indie rock” - BrooklynVegan

                                                                        “One of rock’s tiny masterpieces” - Billboard

                                                                        “Whatever vaguely ‘80s heartland motorik + classic rock quality has made The War on Drugs an amphitheater band, Wild Pink has it, too.” - Paste

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        LP Info: Light blue vinyl.

                                                                        Yard Act

                                                                        Dark Days / Peanuts

                                                                          Emerging Leeds outfit Yard Act will release their new 7” “Dark Days / Peanuts” via their own label, Zen F.C on 28th February 2021.

                                                                          Following their debut 7” Fixer Upper / The Trapper’s Pelts, which sold out its entire 500 copy pressing on the day of release, “Dark Days / Peanuts” comes in a hand printed cover, and is available in limited edition peanut colour or standard vinyl

                                                                          Yard Act formed in Leeds in September 2019 when Ryan Needham found himself temporarily living in James Smith's spare bedroom. The two had been pub associates for years, but their new living circumstances served as a catalyst for their friendship and creative partnership which saw them fuse James' interest in spoken word with Ryan's primitive proto-punk demos using an ancient drum machine and borrowed bass guitar. They released their first material in March 2020, coinciding with you-know-what, and with just three singles (The Trapper’s Pelts, Fixer Upper and Peanuts) and three gigs to date, Yard Act have staked out a territory all their own.

                                                                          Setting up their own imprint Zen F.C. they released their debut 7” which can now only be found for exorbitant sums on Discogs, they’ve scored two 6music playlists, and they’ve won a growing fanbase with their coruscating, narrative driven, spoken word dance-punk. Now girding their loins for a 2021 filled with new music, new recordings, debut novels, and (fingers crossed) plenty of live shows, Yard Act have most definitely marked our cards as one of UK’s most exciting prospects.

                                                                          Various Artists

                                                                          Keb Darge Presents Atomic Rhythm!

                                                                            Fantastic collection of rockabilly compiled by Keb Darge.

                                                                            Stag-O-Lee is proud to continue the DJ-Set Series with compilation by cult DJ and master of many compilations Keb Darge.

                                                                            Rockabilly didn’t cross my world until the early nineteen eighties at a Dirtbox weekender in Bournemouth, until then I was a pure northern soul boy. I didn’t really get stuck into collecting the stuff until a decade later, but when I did what a wonderful world of tunes opened up to me, and I went wild on it. I was very lucky to be doing a record stall in Camden market at the time just across from Boz Boorer and Neil Scott’s stall. They along with other serious collectors Dave Vickers, Barney Koumis, Cosmic Keith, Jim Fox, Dave Crozier, and many others taught me all I needed to know. I only ever made one great rockabilly discovery which none of them knew, “Little Bit Lonesome” by Charles Ross, but I was happy enough buying all their recommendations as they were all new and exciting for me. I have done several rockabilly comps before, but sadly the Philippines typhoon in 2013 destroyed my village and forced me to sell the bulk of my collection. Here are some of my favourites that I never got round to putting out before that happened.
                                                                            Keb Darge, London October 2020.


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                                                                            Don’t forget that @maximopark are doing their 4 hour marathon signing live stream tonight 5 - 9 and you still have… https://t.co/jayiyC3QU0
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