MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 3 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Migration Stories by M. Ward.

M. Ward

Migration Stories

    A prolific writer, producer and performer, M. Ward has established himself as one of modern American music’s most unique and versatile voices. For his tenth album he journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine) and Teddy Impakt. Together at Arcade Fire’s Montreal studios they recorded a collection of 11 songs inspired by stories of human migration.

    M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and other worldly. With Migration Stories he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day.

    Euros Childs

    Gingerbread House Explosion

      Euros Childs returns with his fifteenth album Gingerbread House Explosion released on his own label National Elf. Recorded by Stephen Black (aka Sweet Baboo) at Gus' Dungeon II studios Cardiff, it features Stuart Kidd (Kidd, The Wellgreen, Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab) on drums and Stephen Black on saxophone, clarinet and guitars.

      Following last year's all instrumental Olion, Gingerbread House Explosion sees Euros singing once more and returning to the more familiar melodic pop songwriting that he is perhaps best known for. It's an album brimming with memorable hooks and choruses, with songs tackling subjects such as Richard Branson acquiring the moon ( Virgin Moon) somebody's bits falling off in the bath ( Bits of me (Falling off) a couple bonding over a love of bombs ( Cuddle Up to the Bomb ) a man developing an unhealthy obsession with someone else's bins( Bin Night )and screwing things up (Screw It Up ).

      Gingerbread House Explosion is an album that will make you laugh, cry and tap your toes - possibly all at the same time. 


      Karen Dalton

      Recording Is The Trip - The Karen Dalton Archives

        Including for the first-time ever on Clear vinyl ltd. edition:

        3 LP : the 1962 double live album Cotton Eyed Joe remastered + the 1963 home recordings album Green Rocky Road remastered

        3 CD : same albums download card of 13 unreleased home recordings including a mesmerizing take on "God Bless The Child" (writings, - 56 PAGE BOOK with scans of KAREN DALTON PERSONAL ARCHIVES photographs, music sheets, lyrics, memos) disclosed here for the first time

        KAREN DALTON RECYCLED FABRIC T-SHIRT (featuring her own guitar tabs)
        DIGITAL DOWNLOAD CARD

        Press about ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe’ (1962/2007) and ‘Green Rocky Road’ (1963/2008)
        "All the informality of someone thinking aloud, which suits her signature vocals perfectly. In overdubbing, she seems to consider tempos and time signatures almost as restricting as a real studio. A particularly personal statement, a career marker"

        "Like a lost book of the Old Testament. Less like a folk record and more like a warp in the space-time continuum. The most beautiful and harrowing album you'll hear this year. The results are startling. Her rendering of "Katie Cruel" on In My Own Time has been hailed as definitive but she improves it here. Bewitching." "Proving her masterly command of both the material and the audience" "Using her uncluttered fingerpicking and keening phrasing to a reimagine a pair of lesser known Ray Charles numbers to devastating effect" "Sounds great. The set captures a side of Dalton that her original releases never could. Such a personal statement it's far more challenging"

        "An invaluable treasure" Pitchfork 8/10.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd Box Set Info: Packaged in Ampex studio tape style cardboard box (size: 12.8x12.8x1.1)

        Brian Fallon

        Local Honey

          The lead singer of beloved heartland-punk band The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon steps away from that sound and into a stripped-down Americana space on his third solo album, Local Honey. Produced by Grammy-award winning producer Peter Katis (The National, Frightened Rabbit, Death Cab for Cutie), the album showcases Fallon's songwriting in small vignettes, from a loving devotional for his daughter to a vengeful murder ballad.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive yellow vinyl.

          Coloured LP 2 Info: Translucent orange vinyl.

          Dana Gavanski

          Yesterday Is Gone

            ‘I’m learning how to say goodbye / to let you go and face the tide / to wrap my feelings in a song,’ sings Dana Gavanski on the title track of her debut LP, Yesterday Is Gone. To wrap her feelings in a song: this is the task Dana has dedicated herself to with this record. It’s a goal common to many songwriters, but few approach it with such aplomb. By turns break-up album, project of curiosity, and, as Dana puts it, ‘a reckoning with myself’, Yesterday Is Gone is her attempt to ‘learn to say what I feel and feel what I say’: an album of longing and devotion to longing, and of the uncertainty that arises from learning about oneself, of pushing boundaries, falling hard, and getting back up.

            Born in Vancouver to a Serbian family, Dana has always harboured a desire to sing. In her final year of university in Montreal, she picked up the guitar left by her ex-partner and decided to re-learn. But with a father in film and a painter mother, other art-forms clamoured for her attention. She spent a summer as her producer father’s assistant in the Laurentians, in a derelict hotel-turned-office that looked like something out of The Shining. The long days behind a computer cemented her desire to make music, ‘because it was so impossible to play that I needed to, in order to feel like it was real.’ The income she saved that summer funded a year of writing religiously, leading to EP Spring Demos in September 2017, which Dana describes as ‘whatever was coming out of me. A flood.’

            Following Spring Demos, Yesterday Is Gone reflects Dana’s aim ‘to make something bigger, more thought through’. Steeped in determination and uncertainty in equal measure – ‘I just wanted to write a good song’ – the album took shape after she returned from a writing residency in Banff, Alberta. She left the residency resolved not to worry about her songs being ‘too obvious’. She’d begun to learn the art of empty time, of being alone with her emotions, losing herself in a landscape. She thought of Vashti Bunyan, riding for hours and writing, writing, writing. She considered how she might use writing to make sense of her life after the tumults of a break-up and a new city. Adrift in Toronto, Dana struggled to feel at home and connected to people, but the solitude also allowed her to ground herself in writing. She kept office-style hours at her bedroom desk every day until she started to understand the writing process, to see that ‘transforming a burning desire into something clear and tangible is a vulnerable and delicate act. You have to be able to let things happen, to accept losing control.’

            The record is a co-production between Dana, Toronto-based musician Sam Gleason, and Mike Lindsay of Tunng and LUMP. While Sam helped Dana bring out the tunes, Mike’s input marked ‘the beginning of developing a sound that was closer to what I had in my head’. Though excited by the other elements of a song introduced during production, Dana and Mike were keen on ‘finding essential things, not overblowing, keeping things bare and letting the elements speak for themselves’. Not that the sheer variety of sounds and instruments didn’t overwhelm. ‘But you have that feeling,’ Dana says, ‘then you just pick up an instrument. At the base, you do know what you want. It’s about how to chip away at what you don’t want.’

            The album shapeshifted as it passed through the hands of Dana, Sam, and Mike, taking on different tastes, feelings, and visions. When Dana performed the songs with a band, they found new form again. She was intrigued by performers like David Bowie and Aldous Harding, who inhabit different personalities on stage, physically tuning themselves to their music. ‘Watching these kinds of performances,’ Dana says, ‘I feel my body longing to express myself in exaggerations … to leave behind self-consciousness and become this energy.’ But a three-month trip to Serbia in autumn 2018 really pushed performance to the forefront of Dana’s mind. She took singing lessons to learn how to sing with the resonance that defines traditional Serbian song. Stirred by the bombast of fifties, sixties, and seventies music, including the high-energy kafana, or café music, as rooted in expressive pouts as it is vocal resonance, the trip incited a yearning to completely inhabit herself on stage. ‘I often feel we’re all just these controlled bodies,’ she says. ‘Sometimes I just want to make a snarl with my lip and keep it there.’

            Stood on a crowded train last spring, Dana sang the Macedonian song Jano Mome to an audience of cheery Scottish ladies. The moment, brief but beautiful, lays bare Dana’s craving for live spontaneity. But it also reflects her injection of stylish drama and vivid emotion into the folk landscape that inspires her, from contemporary singers H Hawkline and Julia Holter, to stalwarts Fairport Convention, Anne Briggs, Connie Converse, and Judee Sill. Expressive urges run all through Yesterday Is Gone. Moments of beguilement splinter a backdrop of tenderly picked guitar, bass, synth, and poppier elements, which commune to produce her own kind of wall of sound. Each component is meticulously placed, yielding a deeply sincere response to the chaos of human emotion. ‘Often we have to go a little far in one direction to learn something about ourselves,’ Dana says. The months of solitary writing and self-doubt testify to this, but they’ve led to Yesterday Is Gone: an optimistic, steely-eyed gaze into the future.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive orange vinyl.

            Robert Johnson

            The Rough Guide To Robert Johnson - Delta Blues Legend

              A true original with cult status, Robert Johnson was arguably the most influential bluesman of them all. Lovingly remastered to give exceptional clarity, this Rough Guide breathes new life into the work of a legend, who defined the blues and planted the seed of rock ‘n’ roll.

              Robert Johnson was artist of near-mythical standing and personification of the Delta blues Considered by Eric Clapton as “the most important blues singer that ever lived”. A towering influence on legendary bands and performers such as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan

              Experience the never-before heard clarity of his mesmerizing guitar licks and gravelly voice. Johnson’s music and legend continues to attract an ever-widening audience. Following on from the success of other blues titles in the Rough Guide range. Robert Johnson was the root source for a whole generation of blues and rock and roll musicians. Ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. An influence on just about everyone that has picked up a guitar and played blues and rock. Lovingly remastered using pioneering restoration techniques

              Sir Richard Bishop

              Oneiric Formulary

                Five years after Tangier Sessions, Sir Richard Bishop, we presume, is back from his travels around the world. With Oneiric Formulary, he’s dug deeper into his bag of extra-musical gestures from the eternal and unknowable, along with a few sounds we might recognize, all transmuted for our mortal ears’ enjoyment. The last couple of Sir Richard Bishop releases on Drag City were genre exercises of sorts — The Freak of Araby explored the musical legacy of late Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid while Tangier Sessions explored the sound of an obscure 19th century guitar that Rick had acquired from a mysterious Swiss luthier.

                The title Oneiric Formulary, may sit contrarily on the tongue — but we may refer to it as representing “a collection of dream states” — which means we like it! With such a lofty goal in mind and at his fingertips, Sir Rick returns to the approach of his DC debut, Polytheistic Fragments — a different sound, a different instrument, for nearly every track, drawing from the music of all nations, including and especially that infamous republic with only one person on the census roll (initials SRB). It’s got mad variety, the kind you don’t see much of anymore — an Ed Sullivan kind of evening out, with some spinning plates, dancing mice, and of course, an appearance from Zippy the Chimp.

                What it means is that when you drop the needle/raise the laser/press the head to tape/or do whatever happens when you stream it, you’ve got sounds that don’t sound at first like guitars — because they’re not! Then you’ve got sounds that sound initially like guitars — because they are! Sir Richard found joy in not only finding unlikely sounds, but also writing a fake jingle, soundtracking an unreleased film, reflecting on Southern origins, going concrète (Beatles-style!), using computers (Sir Rick, no!), and accidentally juxtaposing Frippian electric guitar drone against the grit of ol’ school acoustic guitar while thinking of sci-fi, as well as revisiting (t)rusty old forms such as Americana, classical, gypsy and raga. It’s all trotted out to phantasmic effect, as it brings to us with the freshness, the roar of the old crowd as they see, smell and hear the greatest show on earth. What a night! Thank you, Sir Richard Bishop.

                Various Artists

                The Rough Guide To Blind, Black & Blue

                  A unique compilation of tracks from blind blues musicians who left remarkable musical legacies in the face of incredible adversity. Featuring many legendary guitarists including Blind Blake, Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell and Blind Willie Johnson

                  A remarkable phenomenon in the history of the blues was the vast contribution made by blind musicians, whose legacy left a lasting impact on American music to this day. From ‘The Father Of The Texas Blues’ Blind Lemon Jefferson to slide guitar evangelist Blind Willie Johnson, this Rough Guide highlights the blind blues pioneers who, against all the odds and in the face of incredible adversity, were responsible for a musical revolution.

                  The image of the blind bluesman is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and meaningful themes in the history of the blues. A diverse selection of tracks ranging from upbeat rags and gospel tunes to earthy blues. Highlighting the incredible contribution made by blind blues musicians that has left a lasting mark on the history of American music . Includes hidden gems by artists shrouded in mystery. Following on from the success of other blues titles in the Rough Guide range. A must-have album for blues guitar enthusiasts. Lovingly remastered using pioneering restoration techniques


                  We’re very sad to hear of the passing of Bill Withers here at Piccadilly Records. Your music and its influence will… https://t.co/KfZyoEAbEn
                  Fri 3rd - 7:33
                  Well, that’s the discovery we can get behind. Thanks for sharing. Artwork is amazing isn’t it?!… https://t.co/r6u9paixOF
                  Fri 3rd - 6:15
                  Even more releases here from @WilmaArchers Loose Fit, Stumbline and a reissue from Nurse With Wound. Labels… https://t.co/t7uXY0WVVc
                  Fri 3rd - 11:52
                  More new music this way from @RenHarvieu @YvesTumor Everything Is Recorded @loppylugsOG aka Richard Russell and… https://t.co/QP626TLa26
                  Fri 3rd - 11:10
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