Luke Haines goes electronic, with an album was recorded using entirely analogue synthesizers.

A concept album set in the future where Great Britain has retreated to a vast and secret network of abandoned nuclear bunkers and prays to a piece of silverware, referred to as the 'New Pagan Sun'.


1: This Is The BBC
2: British Nuclear Bunkers
3: Camden Borough Council
4: Test Card Forever
5: Cold Field Morning Under Bliss
6: Bunker Funker
7: Pussywillow (Kids Song)
8: Mama Check The Radar At The Dada Station
9: New Pagan Sun
10: Deep Level Shelters Under London 

“Rock And Roll Animals” is a psychedelic story for grown-ups (and children). Jimmy Pursey is a frisky fox; Nick Lowe – a solid badger and Gene Vincent – a cat who's seen a bit more of life than most of us. Three furry freaks. Three Rock n Roll animals. The fable of our four-pawed shamen is narrated by the good folk of Magic Town.

This is a story of righteous rock n roll and how our three rock n roll animal friends, when not frolicking in the undergrowth, do battle with their most unrighteous nemesis – a fuck ugly bird (from Tyneside) made of steel and wire called The Angel Of The North.


10. WE DO...

Luke Haines & Peter Buck

Beat Poetry For Survivalists

    Beat Poetry For Survivalists is the new collaboration between Peter Buck & Luke Haines.

    Peter Buck was the guitarist for the biggest band in the world – REM.

    Luke Haines was the guitarist for the Auteurs. The Auteurs were not the biggest band in the world. They were pretty good though.

    Luke Haines also does paintings of Lou Reed.

    One day, Peter Buck bought one of Luke Haines' Lou Reed paintings. They had never met before but decided that the fates had brought them together and they should write some songs together and make an album.

    'Beat Poetry For The Survivalist' is that album. With songs about legendary rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons, The Enfield Hauntings (of 1978), a post-apocalyptic radio station that only plays Donovan records, Bigfoot, and Pol Pot.


    1. Jack Parsons
    2. Apocalypse Beach
    3. Last Of The Legendary Bigfoot Hunters
    4. Beat Poetry For The Survivalist
    5. Witch Tariff
    6. Andy Warhol Was Not Kind
    7. French Man Glam Gang
    8. Ugly Dude Blues
    9. Bobby’s Wild Years
    10.rock ‘n’ Roll Ambulance

    Luke Haines

    Freaks Out! : Weirdos, Misfits And Deviants - The Rise And Fall Of Righteous Rock 'n' Roll

      The followers - this book is not for you. The salt of the earth - this book is not for you. The worthy - this book is not for you.

      The ideologists - this book is not for you. Hedonists and bohemians - this book is not for you. The middlebrow - this book is not for you.

      The highbrow - this book is not for you. Dilettantes - this book is not for you. 1970s middle school RE teachers - this book is not for you.

      The England football team (women's and men's) - this book is not for you. The litanists - this book is not for you. Gatekeepers - this book is not for you.

      Gamekeepers - this book is not for you. (Not even for the poachers...)The curators - this book is not for you. The left, the right - this book is not for you.

      The list-makers - lists are for shoppers not rockers, and this book is not for you. This is not a list - this is a manifesto, and this book is for ... the Freaks.

      Musician and author Luke Haines embarks on an odyssey through the ages, exploring how the 'freaks' infiltrated modern culture - and almost won the rock 'n' roll wars - only to lose to the rise of Cool Britannia and TV 'talent' shows that turned the strange and the outsiders into fodder for laughter. In this ultimate celebration of freakdom, Haines tells the story of pivotal freaks - including Johnnie Ray, Gene Vincent, Hank Marvin, Syd Barrett, the Incredible String Band and Big Youth - through the prism of rock 'n' roll and explains how freaks infiltrated wider culture through history in the form of the Cathars, the Ranters, Hells Angels and the Yippies. Part memoir, part manifesto, Freaks Out! is a righteous alternate history of rock 'n' roll.

      Luke Haines

      I Sometimes Dream Of Glue

        It started sometime after World War II – in the late 1940's. A convoy of British Special Services trucks had been dispatched to RAF Middlewych, their cargo - 10 tonnes of experimental solvent liquid. Sticky and deadly. The mission – to drop the toxic liquid over Germany and finish the job of carving up Europe for good. The trucks never made it to their airfield destination, coming off the road – most probably helped by saboteurs – some five miles out of London… 'I Sometimes Dream Of Glue' is the next solo concept album by Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder). Just off the Westway, in the motorway sidings, you can see a small sign. Actually you probably can't see the sign as it is the size of a child's fingernail clipping. The sign says 'Glue Town.' The name of a village. There is little or no documentation of Glue Town. You will not find any information about it on the 21st Century internet. Gluetown is a rural settlement born out of mutation. Of the estimated 500 or so dwellers, no one is thought to be over 2 ½ inches tall. The citizens of Glue Town exist on a diet of solvent abuse and perpetual horniness. The residents only leave to carry out daring night-time 'glue raids' on Shepherds Bush newsagent shops. On a tiny screen in the town centre, an old Betamax cassette of 'Michael Bentine's Pottytime' plays on a loop all day and all night...


        1. Angry Man On Small Train
        2. I Fell In Love With An Oo Scale Wife
        3. I Sometimes Dream Of Glue
        4. She Was As Ripe As A Meadow
        5. The Subbuteo Lads
        6. Solvents Cures The Ego
        7. At It With The Tree Surgeon’s Wife
        8. The Garden Gate
        9. Everybody’s Coming Together For The Summer
        10. Oh Michael
        11. Only The Stones Will Know
        12. Everybody’s Coming Together (Part 2)
        13. Fat Bird From The Woodcraft Folk
        14. We Could Do It

        Luke Haines

        Is Alive And Well And Living In Buenos Aires: Heavy Frenz The Solo Anthology 2001-2017

          Having played with The Servants in the late 1980s, Luke Haines carved a unique niche for himself in the 1990s with witty lyrics, wry humour and some stellar tunes with The Auteurs and other acts (Black Box Recorder, Baader Meinhof).

          By 1999, feeling aghast at the state of the Brit Rock scene in the UK, Luke decided to “start a righteous solo trip”, having been commissioned to write the soundtrack for the film Christie Malry's Own Double Entry (2001). Sticking with Virgin Records, Luke then unveiled his first solo album proper, The Oliver Twist Manifesto, before fronting a new-look Auteurs for Das Capital.

          In due course, Luke switched labels to indie Fantastic Plastic for Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop (2006), followed in 2009 by 21st Century Man. Since then, he’s curated a string of imaginative, amusing and always worthwhile albums for Cherry Red Records.

          Alive And Well… is the first-ever anthology of Luke’s solo work, cherry-picking musical highlights from each of his long players as well as a smattering of B-sides, radio sessions, rarities and – on Disc 4 – a raft of previously unissued material.

          With sleeve-notes by Luke himself, Alive And Well… is a very personal statement spanning the last two decades of the musical life of Luke Haines.

          Keiji Haino & SUMAC

          Into This Juvenile Apocalypse Our Golden Blood To Pour Let Us Never

            ‘Into this Juvenile Apocalypse our Golden Blood to Pour Let Us Never’ is the third collaborative album between trio SUMAC - Aaron Turner (guitar - ISIS, Old Man Gloom), Brian Cook (bass - Russian Circles), Nick Yacyshyn (drums - Baptists) - and Japan’s cultural provocateur, Keiji Haino.

            ‘Into this Juvenile Apocalypse our Golden Blood to Pour Let Us Never’ finds the quartet navigating the push-and-pull of creative interplay with bolder strides and stronger chemistry. Recorded on May 21, 2019, at the Astoria Hotel on Vancouver BC’s notorious East Hastings Street as a one-off performance during a short North American tour for Haino, the six compositions comprising ‘Into this Juvenile Apocalypse our Golden Blood to Pour Let Us Never’ showcase a musical unit bouncing unfiltered ideas off of one another, mining a trove of textures and timbres from their armoury to buoy and bolster these living and breathing pieces. Like so many albums documenting free music, the thrill here is in the tightrope walk, the wavering moments of uncertainty, and the ecstatic moments of shared brilliance.

            Whether deconstructing American blues, to a few rogue notes hanging across chasms of empty space in his solo endeavors, sparring with the nebulous fringes of psychedelia in Fushitsusha, or teaming up with musicians like Faust, Boris, Jim O’Rourke, Stephen O’Malley, John Zorn, and Peter Brötzmann for fleeting aural experiments, Haino’s work is never pre-planned or structured, but rather a completely spontaneous exploration of chemistry, texture, and dynamics.

            SUMAC’s tenure is much younger than Haino’s, though guitarist-vocalist Aaron Turner has covered a similarly large swath of musical territory across numerous projects and collaborations.



              Bursting forth in a riot of colour, Hairband are a new five piece group from Glasgow who, on their debut recordings, have distilled the joy and bittersweet trials of youth into 5 songs that bend to no rules but the ones they make up as they go along. Deeply immersed in their local DIY scene and featuring members of groups Spinning Coin, Breakfast Muff, Lush Purr and Kaputt, Hairband’s take on pop music is their own, so natural yet odd-shaped, carefree but meticulously constructed that it feels like no one has quite made music quite like this before, celebratory and joyful. Recorded in Glasgow’s famed Green Door Studios, and played in the moment, Hairband are life-giving.

              Hairband formed in 2016, by Glasgow DIY standards that makes them veterans. Their instinctively intricate triple-guitar lines deftly weave counterpoint and melodies which interact with Sephi Lock and Emma Smith’s elastic, breathing rhythm section. The music here presents as streamlined pop but bubbling beneath the hooks is audacious instrumental work. Indeed, the tension at the heart of Hairband’s music is a group who can play without it sounding like a big deal. Is this a Glasgow thing, because Orange Juice were a bit like that, Sacred Paws too. Hairband even try on a little Marquee Moon-era Television on Sassy Moon and make it fit like the best charity shop find ever. They’re a band with five songwriters, each distinct with a uniqueness barely containable except within Hairband. The synergy of the group often means that individual personalities are immersed in the whole, so when Rachel Taylor’s voice is isolated at the end of Flying – a sweet but sure ode to gravity, about trying to stay grounded when the world is spinning - it’s all the more affecting. The play of light and shade throughout the record is deftly handled: opener Bee has an intricate rhythmic accompaniment, sounding a little like Life Without Buildings’ jittery polyrhythms married to a sweet ensemble vocal performance topped off with melodically nourishing guitar licks. It’s a formula repeated on Bubble Sword, with guitarists Rowan Wright and Simone Wilson’s twin chords criss crossing across the stereo-field before a straight down the line, loaded rock riff skewers the prettiness.

              On the flip side, Hairband’s true instrumental prowess is on 10. Sassy Moon rolls out with the confidence of a band completely in tune with each other, Wilson’s vocal dancing across the treetops, Morricone-esque guitar slashes providing vivid colour. With Lock and Smith’s tight-but-loose rhythm loping purposefully and the group backing vocals washing over, suddenly the line “How do you feel? How do you feel… about the moon?” feels like the most important question you’ll ever be asked. White Teeth sums up every high on this epic self-titled debut. A stomping rhythm shrouded in soft melancholy emboldened by the band’s glorious sense of harmony. It could be a critique of beauty norms, a ghostly memory of an ideal unattainable but ultimately when the band are locked in like this it’s a source of pure joy, it goes beyond subject matter into wordless communication. Hairband is an ode to doing things differently, true, to standing together with your friends, to having respect for what’s gone before but also to carving your own niche. It’s simple, it’s not so simple, as Chic say, “celebrate good times”, Hairband seem to say, celebrate the times.

              TRACK LISTING

              Bubble Sword
              Sassy Moon
              White Teeth

              Haircut One Hundred

              Pelican West (Deluxe Edition)

                Haircut One Hundred sprung into the limelight with the release of their first single 'Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)' soon after having signed to Arista Records. It reached number 4 in the UK singles chart. Followed up by 'Love Plus One' peaking at # 3 and then 'Fantastic Day' making it to number 9 - the band had caught the attention and affection of the buoyant UK music scene when single sales were soaring. The band were at the forefront of the emerging Brit funk wave and created memorable and lasting pop classics. 

                The Hair


                  York band The Hair play infectious rhythms splattered with electronics, vibrant indie-guitar stabs and disco drenched bass lines. The songs are brought together by a powerful Cure-esque vocal telling tales of frustrated relationships, weekend apathy and the oft-misunderstood desires of today's youth. Beneath the dancefloor shaking grooves and taut guitars lay smart intelligent pop songs, while live they regularly stun audiences with their percussion-heavy breakdowns.

                  Hairy Hands is a DIY beats/vocals project from singer/songwriter Mr James Bright. His cut-and-paste productions are playful and naive, drawing from influences such as Madlib, Arthur Russell and Benny Sings.

                  Sometimes, a musician has to suppress some of his or her particular tastes for the benefit of a project. In developing the sound of Mr James Bright, production is often taken care of by James' close friends at studios all across the globe. Over the years, however, James' urge to unleash his own monster sound had grown, and after a year in the making, his own sound is ready to be let out of the cage.

                  This is HAIRY HANDS. Fluid rhythms and lavish keys are strewn together to create a blend of beats and wonky folk that is particularly difficult to label. Tracks bounce between chorus and verse, dropping and twisting every few bars; this music is undeniably vibrant. A childlike approach to production, with everything and anything sprinkled from start to finish, causes the finished product to sound beautifully naive. There are no limits here, each track will get you in a headlock and re-arrange your perception of groove. Goodbye Mr.Music Snob, Hairy Hands has just turned your world upside down…

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Ass
                  2. People Chat Alot
                  3. Try Too
                  4. I Know That You Want Me
                  5. Clap
                  6. And
                  7. Lights Go Down Down Down
                  8. A Song For Karen
                  9. Arthur Said To Do It
                  10. Boom (Room) 924
                  11. Faster/Quicker
                  12. It Was Kerrys Idea
                  13. Leaves Keep Falling
                  14. Lemme See
                  15. BumFunk

                  Nick Hakim


                    While Nick Hakim’s sophomore album, "Will This Make Me Good", was the release of a blockage that came out at the height of the pandemic as everyone was struggling to stay grounded, his forthcoming album "Cometa" sees the artist on the other side of that emotional roller coaster as he transcends to the next realm of his musical universe. Instead of tuning the world out and turning inward, Hakim invites the listener to embrace a newfound sense of clarity that he’s found. Since he was transitioning into the life of a nomad throughout 2021, the album was recorded between recording studios and domestic spaces throughout Texas, North Carolina, California, and New York. To build the foundation of this intricate soundscape, Hakim teamed up with his longtime collaborator, producer/mixing engineer Andrew Sarlo.

                    "Cometa" is truly a collaborative effort and the highlight for Hakim is having so many special guests from his community that play supportive roles–this talented roster of peers includes Alex G, Isaiah Barr, and DJ Dahi. Hakim refers to the bassist Kyle Myles as the glue that has held his musical life together for the past decade along with the pianist Jake Sherman, drummer Vishal Nayak, and guitarists Joe Harrison and Dylan Day. “Happen” includes Abe Rounds on drums and Alex G on piano, and “Slid Under” features Helado Negro on synths. Hakim’s younger brother, Danny Hakim, wrote the chords for “Perfume,” a sweet song about falling in love with someone’s scent, which he also plays acoustic guitar on.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1 Ani
                    2 Happen
                    3 Vertigo
                    4 Feeling Myself
                    5 M1
                    6 Only One
                    7 Perfume
                    8 Something
                    9 Slid Under
                    10 Market

                    Nick Hakim

                    Will This Make Me Good

                      In 2017, Hakim’s debut album, the critically acclaimed ‘Green Twins’, announced the singersongwriter as an idiosyncratic talent, making music that resists genre classification.

                      You could work a song of his into an HBO original series, as ‘Insecure’ did; you could smoke to it and wonder about your ego; you could slow dance with the person you love—it’s not versatility, so much as a lack of boundaries and a strong sense of intuition. In between albums, musical ideas still came and he worked with his peers, some including Onyx Collective, Anderson .Paak, Jesse and Forever, Lianne La Havas, and Slingbaum, but there came a time for Nick to dive into his own songwriting again, and ‘Will This Make Me Good’ is the result of this.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      All These Changes
                      Let It Out
                      All These Instruments
                      Drum Thing
                      Vincent Tyler
                      Gods Dirty Work
                      Seeing Double

                      Alex Van Halen


                        In this intimate and open account - nothing like any rock-and-roll memoir you've ever read - Alex Van Halen shares his personal story of family, friendship, music and brotherly love in a remarkable tribute to his beloved brother and band mate. Told with acclaimed New Yorker writer Ariel Levy Brothers is seventy-year-old drummer Alex Van Halen's love letter to his younger brother, Edward, (maybe "Ed," but never "Eddie"), written while still mourning his untimely death.In his rough yet sweet voice, Alex recounts the brothers' childhood, first in the Netherlands and then in working class Pasadena, California, with an itinerant musician father and a very proper Indonesian-born mother - the kind of mum who admonished her boys to "always wear a suit" no matter how famous they became - a woman who was both proud and practical, nonchalant about taking a doggie bag from a star-studded dinner. He also shares tales of musical politics, infighting, and plenty of bad-boy behaviour.

                        But mostly his is a story of brotherhood, music, and enduring love."I was with him from day one," Alex writes. "We shared the experience of coming to America and figuring out how to fit in. We shared a record player, an 800 square foot house, a mom and dad, and a work ethic.

                        Later, we shared the back of a tour bus, alcoholism, the experience of becoming famous, of becoming fathers and uncles, and of spending more hours in the studio than I've spent doing anything else in this life. We shared a depth of understanding that most people can only hope to achieve in a lifetime."There has never been an accurate account of them or the band, and Alex wants to set the record straight on Edward's life and death.Brothers includes never-before-seen photos from the author's private archives.

                        Pleasureland is the newest work from Canadian-born artist Haley McCallum, known professionally as Haley Bonar for the past 15 years. In 2017, she changed her surname to reflect her maternal family name, now performing under thename HALEY.Stark, minimalist, and melodically entrancing, Pleasureland stands in a class entirely of its own, forging new but not unfamiliar ground for the Minnesota-based artist HALEY.

                        Harkening back to her 2011 release Golder, which featured two instrumental tracks, McCallum has taken the instrumental concept a few steps further in a bold musical statement which features no vocals. This time, McCallum’s musicianship and artistry take the lead. Transitioning from the erratic, synth-driven intro of "Credit Forever Part 1" into the deeply enchanting "Give Yourself Away", which blends piano melodies in the style of French Romanticism with the production stylings of Brian Eno to build a sonic landscape which is as lovely as it is uneasy.

                        In the stoner-metal burner "Syrup", McCallum’s lead guitar swaggers lazily over a fuzzed out, intense layer of distortion, featuring long-time collaborator and guitar wunderkind Jeremy Ylvisaker and Low's Steve Garrington on bass. The intimate and devastating "Pig Latin" showcases McCallum’s extraordinary gift for melody, carried by world class saxophonist Mike Lewis (Happy Apple, Bon Iver), tracked live in Haley's bedroom.

                        Mixed by Shuta Shinoda (Anna Meredith, Ghostpoet), McCallum’s production shines through in a new light. Sparsely interlacing the organic and digital, Pleasureland moves through the gamut of grief, perception, and empowerment, eliciting both the uneasiness of a world shifting unexpectedly as well as the innate capacity for goodness and beauty. Here, McCallum displays her long time mastery of simple and haunting melodies that remain with the listener long after, replacing explanation through words with a pallet of sonic exploration wrapped up into just twenty-seven minutes.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Credit Forever Part 1
                        2. Give Yourself Away
                        3. Future Maps
                        4. Syrup
                        5. Credit Forever Part 2
                        6. Pig Latin
                        7. Double Dutchess
                        8. Next Time (For C)
                        9. Infinite Pleasure Part 1
                        10. Infinite Pleasure Part 2
                        11. Lonely As A Mother
                        12. Snake Moon

                        Half Foot Outside

                        New Ad Ideas

                          Not frightened to use six minute songs to get their ides across, with their third record, Half Foot Outside are no longer a "new band" and the maturity of ideas is apparant throughout. Their gigs with such bands as Fugazi has given them an edge and the culmination of all this work is "New Ad Ideas", a wonderful record in all senses: a great sound plus a beautiful design with some talented artwork by singer Carlos Leoz.

                          Half Japanese

                          Crazy Hearts

                            Half Japanese return with another thrilling ride into unknown charters encountering beasts, celebrities, and menaces.

                            Purveyors of noise and indie rock for over four decades, Half Japanese have inspired generations of fans from musicians and critics alike.

                            Now set to release their 19th studio album ‘Crazy Hearts’ continues with their detuned, outsider pop capturing you in the way that only Jad Fair ever can.

                            A philosophical psych-tinged journey, these whip-smart observations are uplifting with life-affirming sentiments (‘Wondrous Wonder’) that we are familiar with. They meld melodic classic rock riffs with heavier bass lines and darker, more twisted tones on ‘My Celebrity’ and ‘A Phantom Menace’.
                            Their last excursion saw Uncut praising them for their “unchanged, more ecstatic musings on love and science fiction” that continues to resonate here.

                            Half Japanese deliver another well-wrought album with their usual DIY ethos and art punk spirit at its core (‘Undisputed Champions’), all whilst wearing Jad’s heart firmly on its sleeve (‘Crazy Hearts’).
                            Recorded across various studios in Spain, France and the US, Jad Fair is accompanied by his longstanding band members John Sluggett, Giles Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett. Mastered by Brian Pyle and mixed by Jason Willett of the band. Album includes artwork from American illustrator and cartoonist, Gary Panter and David Fair.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. The Beast Master
                            2. Wondrous Wonder
                            3. Dark World
                            4. And It Is
                            5. My Celebrity
                            6. Late At Night
                            7. Undisputed Champions
                            8. Crazy Hearts
                            9. As Best You Can
                            10. A Phantom Menace
                            11. A Job Well Done
                            12. Let It Show

                            Half Japanese


                              “Still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” AllMusic… New studio album from Michigan’s greatest outsider combo. An inspiration to Kurt Cobain, post grunge deep thinkers and veterans of the “Can’t Play/Will play” fraternity. Pop music for those outside of pop music. Songs for those still bedevilled by one liners and abrasive melodies. Thematically succinct tales of puppet people, vampires and the walking dead juxtaposed with discerning love songs and eternal affection.

                              “Half-Japanese are a respected institution. They've been making noise since the late '70s.” Pop Matters “Innocent abandon is still at the heart of the band” Pitchfork. An off-kilter classic that shouldn’t sound right but ultimately does, in the best tradition of The Residents, Richman, Johnston, Brain Wilson at his most bamboozled and any number of out there talents. Uncategorizable, joyous, detuned, quizzical, alluring, childlike, charming, innocent, questioning – invincible. New album from Half Japanese, an inspiration on Kurt Cobain. Jad Fair of Half Japanese has previously collaborated with Teenage Fanclub, Moe Tucker (Velvet Underground) and Daniel Johnston. 

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1 Swept Away
                              2 Love Explosion
                              3 The Puppet People
                              4 Return Of The Vampire
                              5 Or Ever Will
                              6 No More
                              7 All At Once
                              8 The Walking Dead
                              9 Forever In My Heart
                              10 What Are You Gonna Do?
                              11 It's Here
                              12 Invincible
                              13 No Wonder
                              14 It Has Me
                              15 Indestructible

                              Half Japanese

                              Jump Into Love

                                ‘Jump Into Love’ is the new album from Half Japanese, true DIY noise-rock royalty, led by the ever-effervescent Jad Fair. It’s a meeting of minds, a coming together from the world’s favourite indie-alt-rock outsiders. Atypically out there and off-kilter, the album wears its heart on its sleeve through a cascade of new, dark and brooding songs from the band who would be king. Loved by Kurt Cobain, Daniel Johnston, Penn Jillette and outsiders everywhere, Half Japanese continue their quest for answers; creating a soundscape for a post-zombie land where bells chime and it’s OK to say “Yes”.

                                It’s another adventure; series 20 from an introspective parallel world where the super prolific Jad Fair cogitates on life, love, giants, the possessed and even bigger issues that simply swell the brain. Musing on the writing process, Jad explains “I feel a need to do music and do song writing. It's something I really miss when I'm not doing it. There's a certain amount of tranquillity that's obtained from the fact that you can be working on songs each day. I think you use that certain portion of your brain that is otherwise not used.

                                I kind of kind of prefer using it than not using it.” Half Japanese currently includes Jad with John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, a veritable who’s who of DIY indie culture. ‘Jump Into Love’ was recorded at Tempo House, Baltimore, Russian Recording, Bloomington Indiana, Studio de la Trappe, Donneville France and la Casamurada, Tarragona Spain. The album was mixed by long time Half Japanese sparring partner Jason Willett at his home in Baltimore, Maryland.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1 It's OK
                                A2 We Are Giants
                                A3 True Love Will Save The Day
                                A4 Listen To The Bells Chime
                                A5 Jump Into Love
                                A6 The Answer Is Yes
                                B1 Shining Sun
                                B2 This Isn't Funny
                                B3 Step Inside
                                B4 Here She Comes
                                B5 Shining Stars
                                B6 Zombie World

                                Announcing "Overjoyed", the first album in 13 years from legendary punk band Half Japanese. One of the most influential bands of all time, Jad Fair and Half Japanese spearheaded the DIY and Lo-Fi movements, influencing countless bands such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, and perhaps most notably, Kurt Cobain (who ranked Half Japanese amongst his top 50 favorites, had them open the "In Utero" tour, and was wearing their t-shirt when he died). Without exaggeration, Half Japanese is one of the most important bands in the history of music. "Overjoyed" was recorded and produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, and ranks amongst the best albums of the band's catalogue.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Darryl says: After 13 years away, Half Japanese return to the scene with 'Overjoyed'. And they prove themselves to be as vital as ever, melodic indie-punk that keeps them ahead of the pack.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. In Its Pull
                                2. Meant To Be That Way
                                3. Brave Enough
                                4. Do It Nation
                                5. The Time Is Now
                                6. Our Love
                                7. Shining Star
                                8. Each Other's Arms
                                9. Overjoyed And Thankful
                                10. We Are Sure
                                11. As Good Can Be
                                12. Tiger Eyes

                                Half Japanese

                                Volume 3 : 1990-1995

                                Formed in the mid-70s, and setting the standard for post-punk ever since, Jad and David Fair and Half Japanese return with a new volume that finds us twenty years into their story. The 90s would see them under a new spotlight as Kurt Cobain used his celebrity to tell anyone that would listen about their greatness, and had the band tour with Nirvana. They would respond with three of the most wild and varied albums in their career.

                                Continuing their Fire deluxe reissues of the entire Half Japanese catalogue, Volume Three: 1990-1995 is the third of four volumes containing three LPs/CDs. This next set of Half Japanese LPs begins with 1990’s explosively, noisy and chaotic (sometimes improvised) ‘We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love’ featuring their cover of the Them garage rock classic “Gloria” and two tracks “Titanic" and "Hand Without a Body” that were co-written with the like-minded Daniel Johnston. Two years later the notably more delicate and, dare we say, jangly, ‘Fire In The Sky’ (1992) arrived at a pivotal time for the group when they gained notable recognition from the likes of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and Yo La Tengo (whose Ira Kaplan guests on the record).

                                This highly anticipated third installation closes the trio with 1995’s ‘Hot’ which became MTVs album of the week on release, with Michael Goldbery writing “Hot, mixes Sonic Youth-style noise, Stooges primitivism and ’60s pop with excellent results. “Lucky Ones” is a simply charming number (“A good thing just got better/ As better as better can be”) reminiscent of Jonathan Richman, while “Drum Straight” is dose of feedback drenched skonk and “Vampire” rocks hard liken the Sonic’s “Bull In The Heather.” Fire’s colossal Half Japanese series began last year with the Record Store Day exclusive of ‘Half Gentleman/Not Beasts’, this set contains the records in their original form with extras that later appeared on CD formats available. It will also include original artwork from Jad Fair and liner notes by Half Japanese hall of famer Mark David Jickling. “Cutting straight to the gut. Jad’s phrasing matches surging sentiments, creating a counterpoint to the spot-on music. When they grind out a groove half-rhythmic/half-blank cadences, the woozy disconnect is oddly compelling” Pitchfork’s Best New Reissue (Volume 2: 1987-1989)

                                “An impressive and well-assembled study of one of this band's more interesting periods” - All Music.

                                “This should also lay to rest any questions about the importance of Half Japanese. Without them, we wouldn’t have the primitive pop of Beat Happening nor the id-bearing beauty of Daniel Johnston” - Paste Magazine. 

                                TRACK LISTING

                                We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love:
                                1 "Every Hour "
                                2 "Elevator Boy"
                                3 "Gloria"
                                4 "Ear "
                                5 "The Titanic"
                                6 "Our Eyes"
                                7 "Spin "
                                8 "Up And Down"
                                9 "Run "
                                10 "All Of Me"
                                11 "Hand Without A Body"
                                12 "Going Home"
                                13 "Three Rings"
                                14 "How Did You Know? "
                                15 "Then We Walk"
                                16 "Secret "
                                17 "Best "
                                18 "The House I Live In"
                                19 "Shanty Town"
                                20 "Everything Is Right "

                                Fire In The Sky:
                                1 "UFO Expert"
                                2 "Tears Stupid Tears"
                                3 "Always "
                                4 "This Could Be The Night"
                                5 "Possum Head"
                                6 "Frosty"
                                7 "Turn Your Life Around"
                                8 "I Love A Mystery"
                                9 "12 Houses"
                                10 "Hangar 18"
                                11 "Magic Kingdom"
                                12 "It's No Wonder"
                                13 "Fire In The Sky"
                                14 "Good Luck"
                                15 "Gates Of Glory"
                                16 "Everyone Knows"
                                17 "I Heard Her Call My Name"
                                18 "Eye Of The Hurricane"
                                19 "It's A Clear Night"

                                1 "Drum Straight"
                                2 "True Believers"
                                3 "Well"
                                4 "Dark Night"
                                5 "Part Of My Plan"
                                6 "Vampire"
                                7 "Lucky Ones"
                                8 "Vast Continent"
                                9 "Guess Again"
                                10 "Black Fruit"
                                11 "Sleep Talk"
                                12 "Smile"
                                13 "Lucky Town"

                                Half Japanese

                                Why Not?

                                  Half Japanese have returned to peel further layers from their onion. They have a new album that's a square further on in their unpredictable musical snakes and ladders board. ‘Why Not?’ is a magical thing – it’s Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ recorded in a cupboard, it’s an ode to love, it’s a Wire song with two duelling guitarists being Zappa on helium, it’s Parquet Courts in a tantrum, it’s The Crickets contorted into? and The Mysterians, it’s everywhere and nowhere, baby, it’s where it’s at. On ‘Why Not?’ nuances are mused, situations explained, questions asked.

                                  Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world. They’re on a high from their last release: “After all these years, his wiry voice still hits every song with a shock that’s equal parts joy buzzer and defibrillator, each barely in-key bleat alternating between laughable and life-affirming,” said Pitchfork of their last opus ‘Hear The Lion Roar’.

                                  To which All Music added that “after nearly 40 years of music-making, they're still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” ‘Why Not?’ goes further. It’s an even more intense concoction, it’s further out there. It contains pieces of fluffy thought-provoking music, a bag of sentiments delivered with a real sense of wonderment at how the normal world revolves; all powered with heart and soul, some crunchy guitars, a cello and reverb set-to-kill infiltrating their storytelling. ‘Why’d They Do It?’ quizzes track 11. Because they can. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Why not indeed?

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. The Future Is Ours
                                  2. The Face
                                  3. Why Not?
                                  4. Amazing
                                  5. Demons Of Doom
                                  6. A Word To The Wise
                                  7. Bring On The Night
                                  8. Zombie Island Massacre
                                  9. Better Days
                                  10. Spaceship To Mars
                                  11. Why'd They Do It?
                                  12. Magic
                                  13. Falling

                                  Half Man Half Biscuit

                                  And Some Fell On Stony Ground

                                    'And Some Fell On Stony Ground' is a compilation of Half Man Half Biscuit tracks previously only available on singles and E.P's plus 'David Wainwright's Feet' from the 'Colours are Brighter' charity CD.

                                    Includes all tracks from the now deleted Editor's Recommendation and Saucy Haulage Ballads.

                                    The idea for this came after some bloke from Crickhowell suggested it whilst engaging the band in pleasant chit chat during a fire drill at Norton Canes Service Station.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Jarg Armani
                                    Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years
                                    It Makes The Room Look Bigger
                                    On Finding The Studio Banjo
                                    Blood On The Quad
                                    I Went To A Wedding
                                    Ecclesiastical Perks
                                    Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
                                    Eno Collaboration
                                    Get Kramer
                                    Hair Like Brian May Blues
                                    Ordinary To Enschede
                                    David Wainwright's Feet
                                    Bob Wilson - Anchorman
                                    Worried Man Blues
                                    On Passing Lilac Urine
                                    New York Skiffle
                                    Lark Descending
                                    Vatican Broadside

                                    Half Man Half Biscuit

                                    The Voltarol Years

                                      Brand new studio album from the Merseyside legends Half Man Half Biscuit.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: One of our favourite Wirral exports (apart from McQueen, obvs) return for their FIFTEENTH full-length LP. Still having all the superb humour of their early years, bolstered by over 30 years of gigging and songwriting. A fine example of a band enduring AND thriving. A rare combo.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. I'm Getting Buried In The Morning
                                      2. Rogation Sunday's Here Again!
                                      3. Awkward Sean
                                      4. Tess Of The Dormobiles
                                      5. Grafting Haddock In The George
                                      6. Big Man Up Front
                                      7. When I Look At My Baby
                                      8. Beneath This Broken Headstone
                                      9. In A Suffolk Ditch
                                      10. Persian Rug Sale At The URC
                                      11. Midnight Mass Murder
                                      12. Token Covid Song
                                      13. Slipping The Escort
                                      14. Oblong Of Dreams

                                      Half Moon Run


                                        A mythic tone always accompanies the subject of Half Moon Run’s genesis. The musical chemistry of Devon Portielje, Conner Molander, and Dylan Phillips is a continued source of wonder, even to the band, and even now - a decorous decade on. Half Moon Run’s collaborative power has remained constant and unsuppressed and their new album Salt sees them revisiting the site of their bond’s first forging, bringing visions to light that’ve been there in waiting since the beginning.

                                        “While making this record, it felt as if we were boiling down a huge cauldron of musical ideas, trying to reduce it to something elemental,” Molander explains in examination of the album’s title. “And what we were left with was Salt.”

                                        Half Stack

                                        Sitting Pretty

                                          Building on the dusty country and garage inflected indie-rock of their past releases, Half Stack’s “Sitting Pretty” thrums with an expansive energy, adding optimistic songwriting and power-pop melodies to the mix. The band tracked the album with Mac Demarco collaborator Joe Santarpia, pairing locomotive rhythms and jauntily affable lyrics with their trademark whiskey-soaked spin on DIY rock, recalling artists like Tiger Trap, The Silver Jews, and “American Beauty” era Grateful Dead. Whereas singer/guitarist Peter Kegler took the lead as songwriter on previous Half Stack records, this time around he passed the mic to singer/guitarist Marley Lix-Jones for a number of tracks; The impact of her songwriting shines through across the varied tracklist, and is especially gripping on the swaggering “New Light” and psychedelic rocker “TOTM3”. Meanwhile, album opener “I Might Try” starts off strong with its vocal harmonies and soaring lead guitar; “Burnt” pairs honky-tonk rhythms with power-pop melodies; and “Diamond Dancer'' riffs on psych-rock with duelling harmonized guitars. The scope and variety of sound represented on “Sitting Pretty” cements its place as Half Stack’s most wonderfully unpredictable and ambitious outing to date. Highly anticipated new album from Half Stack. 

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. I Might Try
                                          2. Burnt
                                          3. Cruisin USA
                                          4. (I Swear) I’ll Get It Right
                                          5. New Light
                                          6. Diamond Dancer
                                          7. Flat Out
                                          8. No Reason
                                          9. TOTM3
                                          10. Strangin
                                          11. Listen To Your Dog
                                          12. Lil Mixer

                                          Half-Handed Cloud


                                            The (seventh) new Half-handed Cloud album, ‘Flutterama’, is a record of 18 jubilant indie-pop songs by John Ringhofer that investigate spiritual incompetence with lively arrangements and radiant melodies that skilfully dissolve into deterioration using herky-jerky tape manipulation, analogue wow-and-flutter, and an animated orchestra of homerecorded sound effects.

                                            Ringhofer’s work on ‘Flutterama’ was inspired by Frances Mary Hunter Gordon’s adolescent liturgies (recorded at Abbey Road during The Beatles era), turbid sights and sounds in Guy Maddin films, audaciously bold forms in Sister Corita Kent’s devotional printmaking, the exquisite brittleness of Elizabeth Cotten’s voice, Alberto Burri’s stitched wound burlap assemblages, Alvar Aalto church design, Andrea Büttner’s poverty-informed artwork, Lou Barlow/Dinosaur Jr’s lo-fi ‘Poledo’ sound collage (which namechecks Jesus), Julie Canlis book ‘A Theology of the Ordinary’, Wallace Berman’s visual collage, and The Raincoats’ magnificently shaky DIY aesthetic.

                                            The album’s tape-fiddled tunes - recorded on the very same 16-track recorder last serviced by a sound technician who also worked with The Beach Boys in their home studio - employ surprisingly little synthesizer (“it felt like cheating,” says Ringhofer) - he preferred to craft most of the album’s effects the long way, frequently going behind the back of rock instrumentation by hand-feeding ½” magnetic reel recordings of chord organs, deflating balloons, some guitars, piano (occasionally tracked with a baby on his lap), brass, tablecloth swipes, and a quickly-cranked half-speed music box. He was assisted by long-time Half-handed Cloud contributor Brandon Buckner on drums, and single song backing vocals from Anacortes, WA songsmith John Van Deusen.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            Bustin' Stronghodes
                                            Swallowing The Water You Walk On
                                            Can Shadows Praise You?
                                            The Netherworld Squints At The Sight Of
                                            Trick Leash
                                            Asking For Fish
                                            I'm The Weakest Link
                                            Under Your Breath
                                            Handles 01:52
                                            What's Illumined Becomes Visible
                                            Someone You Can Use
                                            About Face
                                            Periodically Yours
                                            We Won't Survive This
                                            Project Yourself Alive Onto My Corpse
                                            We Belong To You, But How Now Is Soon?

                                            Erik Hall

                                            Canto Ostinato

                                              In the fall of 2021, Simeon ten Holt's "Canto Ostinato" was reborn in a 'solo version for seven keyboards'. During the weeks leading up to the birth of his son Lark, Erik Hall moved methodically among the instruments in his recording studio, conducting a multi-track conversation with himself and the piece's score. Ten Holt composed "Canto Ostinato" between 1976 and 1979. The rhythmic motif (ostinato) repeated over its entire length has a limited number of printed notes. It is up to the performers how to play them, for how long, where to place accents, etc. In the score, the composer calls on musicians to interact and evaluate, to fuse sounds and colors into one cohesive musical universe. Then a cosmos is created. You can get lost in that. You want to get lost in that, like in the original live recording with four pianos. "That performance is deeply compelling, almost otherworldly," says Hall. He has always been drawn to music that is based on repetition, harmonically rich, and tonal. He previously added a groundbreaking dimension to Steve Reich's 1976 minimal masterpiece "Music for 18 Musicians", and– as again now with 'Canto'– his motivation is the love of the music itself. "When I first heard the piece, I was captivated." Then the plan emerged to undergo the same focused practice as before. He stacked seven total layers of his 1962 Hammond M-101 organ, a 1910 Steinway grand piano, and a 1978 Rhodes electric piano, each performance informed by those that preceded it. Erik Hall's "Canto Ostinato" lasts for one hour, and from the sheer joy of playing this wondrous composition emerges an elegantly meandering journey. In it, music rises above itself, higher and higher, like a lark jubilating freedom in the sky. 

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              01 Sections 1-16
                                              02 Sections 17-30
                                              03 Sections 31-40
                                              04 Sections 41-55
                                              05 Sections 56-73
                                              06 Sections 74-87
                                              07 Sections 88-90
                                              08 Sections 91-94
                                              09 Sections 95-106 

                                              Terry Hall


                                                Let's talk about denial.Let's talk about self-awareness.Let's talk about romantic idealism.And let's talk about pop music.Let's talk about Terry Hall and his strange relationship with all of these things: about his ability to create life-affirming pop music and about the fact that his exceptional gift was recognised by a long line of his peers before, finally, Terry Hall could no longer ignore it either.Let's talk about the album where the penny finally dropped.A record which believes in the dream of perfect love despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.Let's talk about 'Home', the first solo album by Terry Hall. Twenty-six years have elapsed since the original release of 'Home', but this Record Store Day sees its long overdue debut on vinyl.It might have been the first album which saw Hall step forward from a group identity, but 'Home' was Hall's ninth in various guises since the emergence of The Specials' self-titled LP in 1979.It had taken Hall a while to find his feet as a songwriter.With Jerry Dammers so prolific in that regard, Hall found himself in a strange position at the end of that group's collective lifetime.The Specials had made him a pop star, but he didn't feel like one.By the release of Fun Boy Three's second album 'Missing' (1983), the competition was Wham!, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club.Nothing wrong with any of those, but Hall would see himself staring back from the pages of a magazine alongside all the aforementioned names and experience what he called "a total cognitive disconnection". 'Home', then, was the culmination of a long process which saw Terry Hall separate his lack of love for the job of pop star from his adoration for pop itself.In solving that conundrum, it sounds like a weight has been lifted from Hall.Like a code has finally been cracked.Somehow emblematic of that process is the album's lead single 'Forever J', a song that Hall had started writing about his wife Jeannette almost a decade previously, but only finally came together when Hall presented it to the album's producer Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds) as the sessions got under way.Alloyed to a disarmingly beautiful chorus, this ticker-tape flurry of unguarded intimacies might just be the most perfect pop song of an era that wasn't exactly lacking in competition ñ and although it didn't crack the top 40 at the time, it cemented the affection in which an emerging generation of proficient popsmiths held him: Jarvis Cocker did his own remix of the song and Damon Albarn sang Hall's praises at every opportunity.In commencing the record, 'Forever J' sets the tone for what follows on the remainder of 'Home'.Yes, it's a solo album, but the engine of these performances is a stellar "house" band comprised of Craig Gannon (The Smiths, Aztec Camera, The Bluebells), Les Pattinson (Echo & The Bunnymen) and Chris Sharrock (The Icicle Works, The La's). This illustrious roll call is one that extends to the songwriters with whom Hall collaborated on the record.Co-written by Nick Heyward, 'What's Wrong With Joy' is a synergy of seeming incompatible components: its life-affirming power pop livery freighting a cargo of self-doubt ("I've got a bag full of promises I can't keep/And a hundred reasons why I don't sleep") and good intentions ("All I wanna do is make your dreams come true") to the affections of anyone who hears it.Andy Partridge steps forward to share the credit on 'Moon On Your Dress" and 'I Drew A Lemon': the latter a rebuke to the man who will never love her the way our lyrical protagonist pledges to; the former a longtime favourite among fans of both Hall and XTC for the sanguine self-deprecations that manage to captures something of both artists' relationship to the world around them. And, of course, if you have Ian Broudie manning the console, it would be obtuse not to write a song or two together.With a friendship dating back to the early days of The Specials (the young Broudie saw Hall's pre-Specials outfit The Coventry Automatics open for The Clash in 1978) the measure of the pair's chemistry stretches beyond Broudie's production role to encompass two of the album's indisputable highlights.Featuring the unforgettable couplet, "If ifs and ands were pots and pans, you'd be a kitchen", 'You' sees its protagonist trying to persuade his subject to see in him what he sees in her.The other Broudie co-write on 'Home' will need no introduction to most pop fans.'Sense' is the song which gave its name to The Lightning Seeds' second album, giving the group their third top 40 hit in 1992.The version sung here by Hall though benefits from the Sharrock's pugnacious Keith Moon-isms and, of course, the buccaneering fretboard work of Craig Gannon. It's Gannon, too, whose fingerprints can be found on a clutch of other songs which give a little more back with each repeated play.'Home' may have emerged in the era that saw the term 'Britpop' enter the cultural lexicon, but there's a fragrant melodic classicism at the heart of Gannon and Hall's collaborations that can also be found in the work of Hall's "other" 80s songwriting vehicle The Colour Field, with its nods to French chanson.It's there on 'Forever J' and it's also abundant on Hall/Gannon originals like 'No No No' and 'I Don't Got You'. And yet, for all of that, there's something about Hall's voice that is, to quote the latter song, "as English as the weather".You can hear it all over 'Home', and it works both to the advantage of this album and the listener.Like the expression of the man staring at you on the sleeve, there's an outward sense of reserve in these performances which belies the lyrical tensions hinted at in many of its songs.Hall's marriage was coming to an end when 'Home' was recorded, but these songs are manifestly the work of someone who still believes in happy ever after.Just about.They're also the work of someone who has come to an accommodation with his relationship to pop.To coin a neologism, you might say that this was the record where our hero finally learned to "own it".And if your love of great pop mirrors that of Terry Hall, 'Home' is a record you might also consider owning.

                                                Having stepped up to the plate for Will & Ink’s first release in five years with the Cullen EP, Yaleesa Hall follows up with another trademark, brain boggling EP of twisted dancefloor delights.

                                                Forever pushing the envelope, Hall hits with three dynamic cuts that flow from rapid fire, synth heavy techno to glitching, low-end electro and atmospheric electronica.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                A1. Newman
                                                B1. Shanks
                                                B2. Williams


                                                The Noise Of A Firing Gun

                                                  Portsmouth quartet Hallan release brand new EP ‘The Noise Of A Firing Gun’, via Nice Swan Records.

                                                  Spearheaded by lead singles ‘Unwomanly Face Of War’ and BBC 6 Music - playlisted ‘The Colline Gate’ , the group’s record sees them leave the mundanity of the 21st century behind and turn to real - life events of the past.

                                                  Bringing attention to the stories of historical individuals, from the vestals of Ancient Rome to the art scenes of Berlin, ‘The Noise of a Firing Gun’ debuts a new direction in songwriting and composition for the band. Experimenting with new production elements, Hallan shift their gaze towards synthesised sounds of the ‘80s whilst retaining their post - punk edge.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Unwomanly Face Of War
                                                  2. The Colline Gate
                                                  3. Cut With The Kitchen Knife
                                                  4. Sisyphus

                                                  Hallelujah The Hills

                                                  Collective Psychosis Begone

                                                    Hallelujah The Hills is one of the most admirably devoted, unconventional bands to have come out of Boston in recent years. Boston has likewise been waiting for them as demonstrated by packed shows and regular accolades from the Boston Phoenix (where they are now up for an award for Best New Band) and the Boston Weekly Dig. The band's line-up of bass, drums, cello, Moog, trumpet, melodica, sampler and plenty of guitars grants them the space to expand and contract as their melodies and arrangements see fit. Think of them as the sonic equivalent to Willy Wonka's ferry ride, seemingly random yet utterly precise, first drifting along a chocolate river with a gentle lulling sound then hurtling you into the unknown with a thundering danger until you arrive somewhere entirely new, a fantastic destination full of wonder. Unlike some of their anthemic peers, Hallelujah The Hills find solace in the space between their crashing crescendos and choral peaks and that's a subtle strength of the band. It grants the songs a great diversity, from amped-up campfire sing-alongs to sombre ballads.


                                                    Eat Meat, Swear An Oath - 2023 Reissue

                                                      Uncut Jan 2023 - 8/10 review "gorgeous Japanese psych rarity"

                                                      Deluxe vinyl edition in heavy tip-on jacket with textured paper, mounted high quality print, foil stamped finishes and spot colours.

                                                      Black Editions is pleased to announce the release of the definitive vinyl editions of two milestone, career-spanning works from Shinji Shibayama - one of the key architects of Japan's Kansai rock/psych/pop underground.

                                                      Nate Hall

                                                      A Great River

                                                        Solo debut from guitarist/vocalist from Neurot Recordings' North Carolinian pastoral psych specialists U.S. Christmas.

                                                        A Great River has that Southern melancholy feel in common with Hall‘s band, and joins the ranks of highlight Neurot solo outings from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till (both Neurosis) in its appreciation of classic folk, from Bob Dylan, whose influence shows up prevalently throughout, to a more stripped-down look at the brilliance of arrangement that has found a home in Wovenhand‘s David Eugene Edwards.

                                                        Foremost, the album is honest. Recorded in a single night last March, its “first album” feel is undercut by psychedelic flourish and the emotional depths Hall brings to the surface, and while there are still avenues of progression to be explored, a song like the Townes Van Zandt cover “Kathleen” remains the beautiful and lush work of a singer-songwriter beginning what will hopefully be a long journey.

                                                        It is a reflection of a lifetime spent with the echoes of Dylan, Young, Petty, Springsteen, and Van Zandt.

                                                        It draws from the rich musical history of America, the melancholy of Appalachia, and harnesses the "electric vacuum roar" of guitar slingers past and present.

                                                        Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

                                                        Abdel Hadi Halo & The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers

                                                          Chaabi has its roots in the Andalusian music of Moorish Spain, spreading to North Africa with exiled Jewish and Moorish communities; but it really took off in the music schools, parties and bars of occupied, post-WWII Algiers, where its Andalusian, Middle Eastern and North African lineage infused with the Mediterranean soundtrack of that era — chanson, jazz, snatches of tango and a little boogie-woogie. "Abdel Hadi Halo And The El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers" was recorded on the tilting fifth floor of the Conservatoire d'Algiers, in a room overlooking the sea on one side, and the Casbah on the other: the orchestra was recorded 'live' in full flight — all together, in continuous takes. For our recording, the Orchestra included four singers — joined in chorus by the voices of the entire orchestra — and five-man banjo, percussion and violin sections. The scale and organization are thrilling; the music is swirling and improvisatory, surging from the haunted to the bluesy, the devotional to the knees-up.

                                                          Halo Maud

                                                          Des Bras - Andy Votel Remix

                                                            Andy Votel says: "Working with Halo Maud's song came extremely naturally to me, and I thank Jeff [Barrett, of Heavenly] for recognising this connection. The contrast of her strong melodic songwriting combined with the fragility of her vocals is a real secret weapon and much more than just a breathy pastiche. I think Maud effortlessly captures many unique subtleties in French language music which so many contemporary bands seem to forget, and it's ingredients like these which gave me the confidence to take a more minimal route with this mix, which I appreciate.

                                                            "In the past I could only dream of finding a singer that comes close to Léonie Lousseau or Ann Sorel so working with Maud's vocals was an enjoyable experience and I already regard this short track as one of my personal favourite production achievements.... which I can't wait to play on the radio... off 7" vinyl naturally."

                                                            Maud says of the track, "I wrote the basis of the song in a few minutes, the day before a show. It was just the guitar and the voice, very simple. The rest of the track is a mix between a band jam, improvisations, ambient sounds, happy studio accidents, and all this material has been re-cut and tinkered with, until I felt it made sense. "It’s an amazing feeling to discover another vision of your own song, and Andy Votel’s version really overwhelmed me, in a good way. This is another song, but it’s still me. Thank you for this huge present.”

                                                            The original song features on Halo Maud's debut album, Je Suis Une île (which translates as "I Am An Island"), released on Heavenly Recordings last May.

                                                            Halo Maud


                                                              For multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Halo Maud (previously known as Maud Nadal), the title of both song and album reflect from her natural reactions to the creation of the music itself.

                                                              "For me, music contains what words cannot. It is its power to shape these things, and it’s what I hope to find while taking random bits, here and there, from the pitch of each note, their texture, their timbres, massaging and mixing them together until the sound resembles what is inside me. When everything fits together well the words settle in with the music to spread their clues. That’s when the song is ready. I called the album ‘Celebrate' because I danced a lot while creating it. I now feel that I can release it into the air. I hope that it will alight in your hands and ears, keep you company and resonate within you through multiple waves.”

                                                              Those multiple waves are Celebrate’s twelve tracks. Collectively, they offer a seamless mix of French and English; analogue electronics, scratchy guitars and tumbling drums; dream pop, woozy Yé-Yé and 1960s and 2020s psychedelia.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: I was a big fan of Halo Maud's brilliant Je Suis Une île all the way back in 2018, so it was with some joy that I saw her on the new release schedule, and Celebrate has all of the wispy pop charm of that brilliant outing but with more of a focus on grand, orchestral jubilance and airy major-key crescendos. It's a lovely experience, and further cements my love of Maud's work.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Celebrate
                                                              2. Terres Infinies
                                                              3. My Desire Is Pure
                                                              4. Last Day Song
                                                              5. Slowly Surely
                                                              6. Catch The Wave
                                                              7. Le Ciel Est Grand
                                                              8. You Float
                                                              9. À Te Voir
                                                              10. Iceberg
                                                              11. Pesnopoïka
                                                              12. Entends-Tu Ma Voix

                                                              Halo Maud’s first release on Heavenly is a recap of the story so far ahead of an album release later this year – three tracks of this EP originally came out on a Canadian label last year, with the difference that ‘Du Pouvoir’ now features some English lyrics, and ‘À La Fin’ and ‘Dans La Nuit’ cropped up on a La Souterraine compilations in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

                                                              Maud Nadal has been a member of both Moodoïd and Melody’s Echo Chamber’s live bands, and of course at times there are comparisons to be drawn with MEC, with both teetering on a crystalline peak where extreme joy and despair meet. But if anything Nadal’s own melodies are even more indelible, and her voice turns them into vapour trails.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Hazy harmonies, rolling grooves and insistent percussive workouts form the backbone to Nadal's often haunting vocal flourishes, sometimes falling behind to give the vocals their own space. Perfectly measured and beautifully written immersive indie anthems.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Wherever
                                                              2. Du Pouvoir/Power
                                                              3. Chanceuse
                                                              4. Surprise
                                                              5. Tu Sais Comme Je Suis
                                                              6. De Retour
                                                              7. Baptism
                                                              8. Fred
                                                              9. Je Suis Une Île
                                                              10. Proche Proche Proche
                                                              11. Dans La Nuit
                                                              12. Des Bras

                                                              Halo Maud

                                                              Tu Sais Comme Je Suis / Depression Au-dessus Du Jardin

                                                                Laurel Halo


                                                                  Currently based in Los Angeles, Laurel Halo has spent over a decade stepping into different towns and cities for a moment or more, to the point where everywhere almost became nowhere. Atlas, the debut release on her new imprint Awe, is an attempt to put that feeling to music. Using both electronic and acoustic instrumentation, Halo has created a potent set of sensual ambient jazz collages, comprised of orchestral clouds, shades of modal harmony, hidden sonic details, and detuned, hallucinatory textures. The music functions as a series of maps, for places real and imaginary, and for expressing the unsaid.

                                                                  The process of writing Atlas began back in 2020 when she reacquainted herself with the piano. She relished the piano's physical feedback, as well as its capacity to express emotion and lightness. And when the legendary Ina-CRM Studios in Paris invited her to take up a residency the following year in 2021, she spared no time to dub, stretch and manipulate some of the simple piano sketches she'd recorded over the prior months; these subtle piano recordings and electronic manipulations would go on to become the heart of Atlas. In the remainder of 2021 and 2022, with time spent between Berlin and London, Halo recorded additional guitar, violin and vibraphone, as well as acoustic instrumentation from friends and collaborators including saxophonist Bendik Giske, violinist James Underwood, cellist Lucy Railton and vocalist Coby Sey. All of these sounds were shaped, melted, and re-composed into the arrangements, their acoustic origins rendered uncanny.

                                                                  In short, Atlas is road trip music for the subconscious. With repeated listens, it is a record that can leave a deep sensorial impression on the listener, akin to walking at dusk in a dark forest. Its humor and sharp focus would dispel any notions of sentimentality. Completely distinct from the rest of Halo's catalog, Atlas is an album that thrives in the quietest places, rejecting bombast and embracing awe. Fitting that it's the debut release on her new recording label, whose slogan parallels the mood and atmosphere of the album: Awe is something you feel when confronted with forces beyond your control: nature, the cosmos, chaos, human error, hallucinations.

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  A1 Abandon
                                                                  A2 Naked To The Light
                                                                  A3 Late Night Drive
                                                                  A4 Sick Eros
                                                                  A5 Belleville

                                                                  B1 Sweat, Tears Or The Sea
                                                                  B2 Atlas
                                                                  B3 Reading The Air
                                                                  B4 You Burn Me
                                                                  B5 Earthbound

                                                                  Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                                                                  When The World Was One

                                                                    Over the course of four albums, Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of its brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His label Gondwana Records is home to GoGo Penguin and his own albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane, paying tribute to the hard bop of the late '50s and early '60s or most recently on 'Fletcher Moss Park' drawing on Eastern influences in his most personal statement yet. His latest album 'When The World Was One' is something of a companion piece to 'Fletcher Moss Park' (much of the music was written at the same time) but draws more explicitly on Halsall's love of spiritual jazz and Eastern music as well as his own studies in meditation and travels in Japan. Beautifully recorded at Hasall's favourite studio, 80 Hertz in Manchester, and engineered by Brendan Williams and George Atkins it features the recording debut of Halsall's large ensemble, The Gondwana Orchestra, which utilises the exotic flavours of harp, koto and bansuri flute and Eastern scales to create a global palate for Halsall's life-affirming sounds.

                                                                    The Gondwana Orchestra features long time collaborators Nat Birchall, saxophone, Gavin Barras, bass and Rachael Gladwin, harp as well as Taz Modi on piano. Modi who also plays with Halsall in their more electronic trio shares his passion for spiritual jazz and plays the music with real feeling while the role of the harp here is to bring a touch of 'magical reality' a floating dreaminess that is a vital part of Halsall's elegiac and beautiful music. The drummer Luke Flowers is perhaps best known as part of Cinematic Orchestra, and Halsall describes him as 'one of the best drummers in the world' and hails him for 'playing the music exactly as I heard it in my head', Keiko Kitamura is a Japanese Koto player who is becoming an increasingly important part of the Gondwana Orchestra, her role is similar to Gladwin's in that the koto helps free up the music while also bringing a real sound of the East. Finally, flautist Lisa Mallett brings a love of Indian music to the orchestra, much travelled on the continent she brings all of her knowledge and experience to play offering a unique texture to Halsall's dreamy melodies.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. When The World Was One
                                                                    2. A Far Away Place
                                                                    3. Falling Water
                                                                    4. Patterns
                                                                    5. Kiyomizu-Dera
                                                                    6. Sagano Bamboo Forest
                                                                    7. Tribute To Alice Coltrane

                                                                    Manchester based, DJ, bandleader and trumpeter Matthew Halsall is one of the UK's brightest jazz talents. A gifted trumpeter with a beautiful, expressive tone, his music draws on his love of the transcendental, spiritual and modal jazz of Alice and John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as the glories of 60s British jazz.

                                                                    His third album "On The Go" is a heartfelt love letter to the jazz of the late 50s and early 60s. Inspired by the evocative sounds of Miles Davis' soundtrack to the Louis Malle film "Lift To The Scaffold" and the legendary early 60s recordings of Art Blakey and Max Roach the album is nostalgic but always soulful. However, while Halsall's elegiac music is imbued with a sense of history, the young trumpeter and DJ nevertheless brings a contemporary bounce to his music ensuring that his music breathes with a personality all its own.

                                                                    The album opens with "Music For A Dancing Mind", the most obvious nod to the work of Blakey and Roach. The beautiful "Song For Charlie" is named for Halsall's grandfather, a key inspiration in his life. Dukkha is a Buddhist term roughly translating to suffering so the title "The End Of Dukkha" is self-explanatory and "Samatha", another Buddhist term, means calm, a perfect title for this elegant tune. "The Journey Home" came to Halsall on the train back to Manchester from London and captures that happy feeling of return.

                                                                    Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra

                                                                    Into Forever

                                                                      Over the course of five albums, Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall has carved out a niche for himself on the UK music scene as one of it's brightest talents. His languid, soulful music has won friends from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM and Mojo as well as an ever-growing international following. His new album 'Into Forever', puts the spotlight on Halsall the composer, arranger and producer. Halsall draws on a diverse range of influences from Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, Phil Cohran and Leon Thomas to the more contemporary sounds of The Cinematic Orchestra, Max Richter and Nils Frahm to deliver his most complete recording to date. 'Into Forever' features renowned Manchester based soul poet Josephine Oniyama and rising star vocalist Bryony Jarman-Pinto (Werkha) as well as regular collaborators, flautist Lisa Mallett, harpist Rachael Gladwin, koto player Keiko Kitamura, pianist Taz Modi, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Luke Flowers (The Cinematic Orchestra) and two percussionists Sam Bell and Chris Cruiks. The result is arguably Halsall's finest record, asublime melding of stripped back soulful funk and deep, minimalist, spiritual jazz, that will take you on a journey deep into forever!

                                                                      Matthew Halsall

                                                                      An Ever Changing View

                                                                        Halsall who has been hailed as one of the leading figures of the UK jazz renaissance has never seen himself as part of any one sound or scene: he builds his own sonic universe instead. An Ever Changing View finds him at his most experimental yet, once again expanding his sound and production techniques to create his unique brand of deeply meditative music.

                                                                        During the album's creation, he was staying in both a beautiful architect’s house with breath-taking sea views and a striking modernist house, where he composed what he saw “like a landscape painting”. In these new environments, Halsall wanted to capture “the feeling of openness and escapism” and to approach making music again from scratch. “I hit the reset button and wanted to have complete musical freedom,” he says. “It was a real exploration of sound.”

                                                                        It was hearing jazz on the dancefloor as a teenager that first opened up new possibilities in Halsall’s mind and his music has long drawn on his love for the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders and contemporary electronica from the likes of Warp Records and Ninja Tune. An Ever Changing View melds those forms in a way that feels heady and, at times, even otherworldly. One of the album’s starting points was Halsall’s ever-expanding box of percussion, from congas and kalimba to various clusters of seeds, bells and chimes, which he sampled and looped to use as a foundation for the songs – a first for him and his band. Elevating, charming, totally modern jazz tracks jostle with deft warm magic realism; and laid back grooves with hand percussion, deep bass and the gorgeous glisten of the Fender Rhodes meet hip-hop beats. Halsall himself sparkles, illuminating his beautiful tapestries of sound with lithe, glistening elegiac trumpet.

                                                                        An Ever Changing View comes in a package as striking as the music, with handmade fonts designed by Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic and the specially commissioned tapestry by artist Sara Kelly is a stunning and harmonious complement to the record's sound.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Martin says: That Matthew Halsall’s music takes as its starting point the meditative end of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane is no accident. His final two years of education were spent at the Maharishi school, where his experience of meditation led to a deeper immersion in Buddhism, a philosophy that permeates and shapes the nature of his work.

                                                                        This is his ninth solo album, which in itself presents the perennial problem that dogs most artists; how to keep the originality and inspiration that accompany approaching a blank canvas and not disappear into a spiral of ever diminishing returns by clinging too tightly to the only formula they allow themselves to know. While it is true that the flow of his work has remained consistent, the individual components and musicians have not. Almost all of the original members of The Gondwana Orchestra have moved on to the burgeoning London jazz scene, the silver lining to this being their replacements have brought their own influence. Halsall has also an ever increasing collection of percussion instruments to draw on and use as a base for his music - in this case kalimba, glockenspiel and marimba amongst others, over which his serene trumpet soars softly overhead. It’s a testament to Halsall’s willingness to evolve that his music still sounds so fresh. He’s produced an exquisite, peaceful gem, as rich as any of his previous work, overflowing with warmth, intricacy and gentle charm.

                                                                        On one level the album’s title could refer to the changes in landscape travelling between Northumberland and North Wales, where the album was recorded, But it also nods to the Buddhist concept of impermanence, the idea that it’s a property of the universe that nothing stays the same. An ever changing view.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Tracing Nature
                                                                        Water Street
                                                                        An Ever Changing View
                                                                        Calder Shapes
                                                                        Mountains, Trees And Seas
                                                                        Field Of Vision
                                                                        Sunlight Reflection
                                                                        Natural Movement
                                                                        Triangles In The Sky

                                                                        Matthew Halsall

                                                                        Bright Sparkling Light

                                                                          Matthew Halsall announces a limited-edition Vinyl only pressing of Bright Sparkling Light, a luminous three track EP featuring some of his most gorgeous compositions.

                                                                          Originally conceived as a tour only exclusive, Bright Sparkling Light was recorded alongside, last year’s expansive beguiling long-player An Ever Changing View and draws on the same trademark blend of jazz, electronica, global and spiritual jazz influences. The original pressing sold-out on Matthew’s EU and UK tour last October and November and so many people got in touch with us here at Gondwana asking how they could get a copy that we decided to make a further 2000 copies available for retail and online sales.

                                                                          The title track is a hypnotic meditation built on one of the lushest loops Halsall has ever created and featuring stellar work from Halsall and flautist Matt Cliffe. Newborough Forest is a brisk, uplifting composition celebrating one of Halsall’s favourite landscapes and the wonderous Tide and the Moon paints a sonic picture of late-night waters and deep mindfulness and features some of Matt Cliffe’s most beautiful tenor playing.

                                                                          Like An Ever Changing View, Bright Sparkling Light comes in a package as striking as the music, with handmade fonts designed by Ian Anderson and a beautifully realised embossed artwork that offers a perfect compliment to the LP.

                                                                          Strictly limited and featuring a download code, Bright Sparkling Light will not be re-pressed.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          A1. Bright Sparkling Light
                                                                          A2. Newborough Forest
                                                                          B1. The Tide And The Moon

                                                                          Matthew Halsall (born September 11, 1983, in Manchester, England) is a Worldwide Award winning and MOBO nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and DJ. Since 2008, Matthew has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and has been a key figure in the rise of a new jazz sound in the UK. In addition to his own releases Halsall has collaborated with many DJs and producers, most notably DJ Shadow and Mr. Scruff, and in 2013 Matthew's music was selected by Bonobo for his Late Night Tales compilation. Halsall is also the founder of Gondwana Records, a genre bending independent record label featuring a wealth defining albums by the likes of Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin, Hania Rani and Mammal Hands. His own rich music draws on the spiritual-jazz of Alice Coltrane and Phaorah Sanders, contemporary electronica and dance music alongside his travels in Japan, the traditional art and music of which, has left a lasting impression on his compositions.

                                                                          Sending My Love (2008) and Colour Yes (2009) were his first releases and document Halsall's first great bands featuring the likes of flautist Chip Wickham, saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes. Joyful, life-enhancing albums, drawing on UK jazz and spiritual jazz influences but with a decidedly modern bounce, they introduced Halsall's music to the world gathering support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum, Mojo, Straight No Chaser and beyond. But Halsall was never completely happy with how the records were presented and as part of Gondwana Records 10th anniversary decided to revisit the recordings, meticulously remixing and remastering them for vinyl and commissioning new artwork from Ian Anderson, one of his favourite designers. These then are the definitive editions of the records. Sending My Love comes complete with the beautiful bonus track This Time, while Colour Yes features the equally striking It's What We Do and Ai.

                                                                          "I am very proud of these early recordings. They represent the starting point of my musical journey in Manchester and showcase some of the cities finest musicians such as: Nat Birchall, Chip Wickham, Rachael Gladwin, Adam Fairhall, Gavin Barras and Gaz Hughes. They are also the very first recordings my brother and I decided to release on our record label (Gondwana Records). Listening back they sound full of energy and joy and really reflect how I was feeling at that precise moment. But as much as I loved the music, I was never 100 percent happy with the sound of the mixes and mastering. So I decided to go back to the original tapes to remix and remaster them and present them the way I'd always wanted, and along the way we unearthed a couple extra unreleased tracks, which we decided to include as bonus material. Myself and my brother also decided to bring in Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic to re-imagine the artwork and we are super blown away by the results!" Matthew Halsall, Oct 2019

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Millie says: A further look into Matthew Halsall’s previous releases, Colour Yes from 2009 is a mixture of soft piano keys and swaying brass. More uncovered gems please Gondwana Records, this is truly beautiful.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. Colour Yes
                                                                          2. Together
                                                                          3. I've Found Joy
                                                                          4. Mudita
                                                                          5. I've Been Here Before
                                                                          6. Me And You
                                                                          7. It's What We Do (Bonus Track)
                                                                          8. Ai (Bonus Track) 

                                                                          Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall is one of the rising stars of the UK jazz scene. His unique sound was brilliantly described as "Rain-streaked spiritual jazz from Manchester" by the Independent On Sunday and previous albums have found Halsall exploring the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane or paying heartfelt tribute to the hard bop of the late 50s and early 60s, but on 'Fletcher Moss Park' he offers his most personal statement yet.

                                                                          Written and recorded over the last couple of years, 'Fletcher Moss Park' is inspired by one of Manchester's most beautiful places. A rambling, multi-tiered park of walkways and dreamy gardens that offers the contemplative Halsall a place of peace and respite from the city, a meditative space to think and write in. The stillness and beauty of the surroundings have steeped into his beautiful compositions for this album. Elegant and sincere, Halsall's compositions draw on his love of spiritual jazz, modern dance music and even his work with the award-winning Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band earlier this year. Halsall who has recently been exploring his music in a stripped-back, electronica influenced, trio (featuring Taz Modi and Luke Flowers who also appear here) as well as the 12 piece Gondwana Orchestra has always favoured an earthy honestly and direct communication over tricksy arrangements and it is this deceptively simple openness that gives his music such a unique flavour as the young composer and producer seeks to express his feelings and thoughts with his music.

                                                                          'Fletcher Moss Park' opens with three tracks featuring saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin and pianist Adam Fairhall alongside bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes all long running members of Halsall's sextet. The beautiful 'Cherry Blossom' opens with a nod to Alice Coltrane before exploring it's own contemplative trajectory, the title track features a gorgeous opening from harpist Gladwin and one of Halsall's trademark slow but foot tappingly catchy grooves, Mary Emma Louise is an elegant tribute to someone special and features some beautifully wistful playing from the composer. 'Sailing Out To Sea' and 'Wee Lan' offer a change in mood, two short interludes for violin (Holly Simpson and Davinder Singh), cello (Adrianne Wininsky) and double bass (Barras), Halsall chose not to play here feeling that the brief musical sketches caught his intentions perfectly. Finally the album closes with the two most recent compositions, the reposeful 'Sun In September' which features fine work from flautist Lisa Mallett, alongside pianist Taz Modi and drummer Luke Flowers and the uplifting 'Finding My Way', which with its compelling groove and fine drumming from Flowers (best known for his work with Cinematic Orchestra) offers a nod towards Halsall's love of contemporary electronic music as well as a hint of future projects. But as with the writing here you can be sure that wherever Halsall's muse takes him his music will remain heartfelt and life affirming in its elegant directness as he explores his own unique musical terrain that stretches from the bucolic stillness of 'Fletcher Moss Park' to a world far beyond!

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Ryan says: A favourite of mine from our own local Jazz mastermind. Fletcher Moss Park explores a 50's, 60's sound channeling the likes of Coltrane. As you can imagine this album flows beautifully from beginning to end, almost as good as a stroll through the park itself.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. Cherry Blossom
                                                                          2. Fletcher Moss Park
                                                                          3. Mary Emma Louise
                                                                          4. Sailing Out To Sea
                                                                          5. Wee Lan (Little Orchid)
                                                                          6. The Sun In September
                                                                          7. Finding My Way

                                                                          Matthew Halsall


                                                                            The recordings on Oneness date from Jan, March and September 2008 and were born from a period of experimentation as Halsall first began to explore the music that would provide the inspiration for his spiritual jazz recordings Fletcher Moss Park and When the World Was One. They also offer an intriguing snapshot into the birth of Halsall's Gondwana Orchestra and feature many musicians who would go on to become a key part of Halsall's musical journey, such as harpist Rachel Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and saxophonist Nat Birchall. The recordings sat in the Gondwana Records vaults for over a decade before Halsall felt it was the right time to share them. Asked about the recordings Halsall says:

                                                                            "I've always treasured these recordings and loved how vulnerable, open and free they are, but I just felt they were too subtle and sensitive to release early on in my career, so I held them back until now. I also feel now is the right time to release these before I begin a fresh journey with a new bunch of musicians."

                                                                            Remarkably, the beautiful compositions heard here were all built around a simple tanpura drone sound. An instrument Halsall heard on Alice Coltrane's 'Journey In Satchidananda' album and then at a later date in a concert featuring Arun Ghosh on clarinet and John Ellis on piano. "I loved the way this instrument created a sort of meditative atmospheric pulse for the musicians to work over and it had this beautiful feeling of togetherness, so after the gig I went out and bought a Raagini Shruti box featuring the tanpura drone and began to practice my trumpet over it and wrote lots of loose themes and melodies".

                                                                            The sessions that make up Oneness capture Halsall in the process of building a new band, reaching out to various musicians he'd discovered and admired on the Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds music scene. "I really liked this idea of bringing lots of musicians together from different backgrounds and was fascinated with how they would all react to each other and the tanpura drone box seemed to bring everyone together really well, it was kind of like a nice meditative icebreaker exercise for everyone to loosen up, before we got stuck into the more composed tunes I'd created, some of which ended up on the Sending My Love and Colour Yes albums".

                                                                            The album's title, Oneness, speaks to both Halsall's conviction that the planet should be shared equally with all of its inhabitants. That no human being or other inhabitant deserves to exist more than the other and that we can achieve far more together than against each other. And also importantly to what Halsall was aiming for musically:

                                                                            "I really believe in Oneness and I've always loved the term 'greater than the sum of its parts'. I could make music on my own and live a fairly isolated antisocial life, but there's something far more rewarding about creating things with others. And for me these sessions document the coming together of lots of different musicians in a wonderfully organic soulful way to make egoless music".

                                                                            It's a belief that continues to underpin Matthew's music making and a message that the word sorely needs right now as we feel more divided and separated than ever. This then is Oneness, a decade in the making and well worth the wait. Enjoy!

                                                                            AIRPLAY from Mart Ann Hobbs, Gilles Peterson, Unclassified radio 3, Late Junction etc

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Millie says: Matthew Halsall’s recordings from 2008 have made it to the surface in this stunningly delicate record, Oneness. From the beginning of his journey, this precious jazz which has been stored for over a decade is a beautiful and pure edition to Halsall’s releases.

                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            1. Life
                                                                            2. Oneness
                                                                            3. Stan's Harp
                                                                            4. Loving Kindness
                                                                            5. Distant Land
                                                                            6. Stories From India
                                                                            7. The Traveller

                                                                            Matthew Halsall

                                                                            Salute To The Sun

                                                                              Composer, trumpeter, producer, DJ and founder of Gondwana Records, Matthew Halsall has always worn many hats. But at the heart of everything that he does Halsall is first and foremost an artist and a musician. A trumpeter whose unflashy, soulful playing radiates a thoughtful beauty and a composer and band-leader who has created his own rich sound world. A sound that draws on the heritage of British jazz, the spiritual jazz of Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as world music and electronica influences, and even modern art and architecture, to create something uniquely his own. A music that is rooted in Northern England but draws on global inspirations.

                                                                              Salute to the Sun is his first album as a leader since Into Forever (2015) and marks the debut of his new band. A hand-picked ensemble featuring some of Manchester’s finest young musicians: Matt Cliffe flute & saxophone, Maddie Herbert harp, Liviu Gheorghe piano, Alan Taylor drums and Jack McCarthy percussion as well as long-time Halsall collaborator, bassist, Gavin Barras who has been at the heart of Halsall’s bands for over a decade. For Matthew it was important to have a band based locally and able, pre-Covid, to meet and play each week, and who also performed a sold-out monthly basement session at Yes in Manchester. The album draws energy from these sessions and inspiration from themes and ideas that have inspired Halsall through the years (on albums such as Oneness, Fletcher Moss Park and When the World Was One) ideas of ecology, the environment and harmony with nature.

                                                                              “I feel Salute to the Sun is a positive earthy album. I wanted to create something playful but also quite primitive, earthy and organic that connected to the sounds in nature. I was listening to lush ambient field recordings of tropical environments such as jungles and rainforests and found myself drawn to percussive atmospheric sounds which replicated what I was hearing (bells / shakers / chimes / rain sticks) and I started to experiment with more wooden percussive instruments such as kalimba and marimba”.

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Patrick says: After a year in which most of us had plenty of opportunity to reconnect with nature, Manchester’s pre-eminent jazz musician returned with this lush tribute to the living world. ’Salute To The Sun’ is Halsall’s first album as a leader in five years, and finds him fronting a new band cherry picked from the next generation of Mancunian musicians as well as long time collaborator Gavin Barras.

                                                                              Halsall’s spent much of the last decade reinterpreting spiritual jazz for the 21st century, and there’s been a consistent focus on ecological influences. On ’Salute To The Sun’ however, Halsall looks far beyond Fletcher Moss, instead exploring the humid sounds of the tropics across seven immersive compositions. Placing a greater emphasis on percussion than on previous works, Halsall lets his expressive tone soar over the woody rhythms beneath, the marimba and kalimba adding pitched nuance to the primal drum patterns. This album is as rich, warm and rewarding as the life giving orb which inspired it.

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              Harmony With Nature
                                                                              Joyful Spirits Of The Universe
                                                                              Canopy & Stars
                                                                              Mindfulness Meditations
                                                                              Tropical Landscapes
                                                                              Salute To The Sun
                                                                              The Energy Of Life

                                                                              Matthew Halsall

                                                                              Salute To The Sun Live At Hallé St. Peter's

                                                                                Salute to the Sun: Live at Hallé St Peter's documents a very special concert recorded at the iconic Manchester venue during lockdown.

                                                                                Released in November 2020, Matthew's Halsall'sSalute to the Sunwas the trumpeter's first album since 2015'sInto Foreverand marked the debut of his new band. A hand-picked ensemble featuring some of Manchester's finest young musicians. The album drew it's energy from the band's weekly sessions and was inspired by Halsall's love of nature. Lush and spiritual it received universal praise, but Halsall and his band were frustrated that they were unable to share their beautiful new sound live with an audience.

                                                                                On November 25th 2020, Halsall took his band into the iconic Manchester venue,Hallé St Peter's,for a concert recording in aid of the charityMindand was streamed to a global audience in the thousands the concert was also recorded for posterity.

                                                                                "When we recorded Salute to the Sun, I wanted to create something playful but also quite earthy and organic that connected to the sounds in nature. It seemed to strike a chord with people and I was blown away by the response to the album. Our concert film, recorded at the height of last winter's lockdown was a special moment for us all and I feel that the concert recording captured something beautiful that we wanted to share".

                                                                                Salute to the Sun: Live at Hallé St Peter's featuresMatthew Halsall– trumpet,Matt Cliffe- flute & saxophone,Maddie Herbert– harp,Gavin Barras– bass,Liviu Gheorghe– piano,Alan Taylor– drums andJack McCarthy- percussion

                                                                                The recording has been mixed by Matthew Halsall andGeorge Atkinsat80 Hertzand is mastered byPeter BeckmannatTechnology Works. The vinyl was cut at Calyx in Berlin and the album is pressed at Optimal in Germany. It is presented in the form of a limited edition 2LP set with artwork by legendary designerIan AndersonofThe Designers Republic.

                                                                                Spread over three sides of the vinyl LP for maximum fidelity the fourth side of the LP (side D) features an etching ofDaniel Halsall's now iconic artwork for the album Salute to the Sun and copies are strictly limited with just 3000 available in total. The album will also be available for download and on streaming platforms.

                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                Millie says: Recorded just over a year ago, Salute to the Sun recording feels momentous for the historic venue and beautiful orchestral works. The concert has been encapsulated in time, featuring a sublime sound from Mathew Halsall as always. Such a joy to listen to.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1. Harmony With Nature (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
                                                                                2. Joyful Spirits Of The Universe (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
                                                                                3. Canopy & Stars (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
                                                                                4. Mindfulness Meditations (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
                                                                                5. Tropical Landscapes (Live At Hallé St Peter's)
                                                                                6. Salute To The Sun (Live At Hallé St Peter's)

                                                                                Matthew Halsall (born September 11, 1983, in Manchester, England) is a Worldwide Award winning and MOBO nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and DJ. Since 2008, Matthew has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and has been a key figure in the rise of a new jazz sound in the UK. In addition to his own releases Halsall has collaborated with many DJs and producers, most notably DJ Shadow and Mr. Scruff, and in 2013 Matthew's music was selected by Bonobo for his Late Night Tales compilation. Halsall is also the founder of Gondwana Records, a genre bending independent record label featuring a wealth defining albums by the likes of Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin, Hania Rani and Mammal Hands. His own rich music draws on the spiritual-jazz of Alice Coltrane and Phaorah Sanders, contemporary electronica and dance music alongside his travels in Japan, the traditional art and music of which, has left a lasting impression on his compositions.

                                                                                Sending My Love (2008) and Colour Yes (2009) were his first releases and document Halsall's first great bands featuring the likes of flautist Chip Wickham, saxophonist Nat Birchall, harpist Rachael Gladwin, bassist Gavin Barras and drummer Gaz Hughes. Joyful, life-enhancing albums, drawing on UK jazz and spiritual jazz influences but with a decidedly modern bounce, they introduced Halsall's music to the world gathering support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Jamie Cullum, Mojo, Straight No Chaser and beyond. But Halsall was never completely happy with how the records were presented and as part of Gondwana Records 10th anniversary decided to revisit the recordings, meticulously remixing and remastering them for vinyl and commissioning new artwork from Ian Anderson, one of his favourite designers. These then are the definitive editions of the records. Sending My Love comes complete with the beautiful bonus track This Time, while Colour Yes features the equally striking It's What We Do and Ai.

                                                                                "I am very proud of these early recordings. They represent the starting point of my musical journey in Manchester and showcase some of the cities finest musicians such as: Nat Birchall, Chip Wickham, Rachael Gladwin, Adam Fairhall, Gavin Barras and Gaz Hughes. They are also the very first recordings my brother and I decided to release on our record label (Gondwana Records). Listening back they sound full of energy and joy and really reflect how I was feeling at that precise moment. But as much as I loved the music, I was never 100 percent happy with the sound of the mixes and mastering. So I decided to go back to the original tapes to remix and remaster them and present them the way I'd always wanted, and along the way we unearthed a couple extra unreleased tracks, which we decided to include as bonus material. Myself and my brother also decided to bring in Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic to re-imagine the artwork and we are super blown away by the results!" Matthew Halsall, Oct 2019

                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                Millie says: The first of Mathew Halsall’s original releases ‘Sending My Love’ is a journey back in time to Halsall’s first beginnings with flourishing jazz notes. With the bonus track ‘This Time’ it’s a remastered treasure!

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1. On The Other Side Of The World
                                                                                2. Reflections
                                                                                3. Freedom Song
                                                                                4. Sending My Love
                                                                                5. Sachi
                                                                                6. This Time (Bonus Track) 

                                                                                Neil Hamburger

                                                                                First Of Dismay

                                                                                  Drag City invite you to celebrate Dismay Day with America’s hardest working funnyman in show business, Neil Hamburger.

                                                                                  A sombre work from a seasoned entertainer clearly carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, ‘First Of Dismay’ is being issued in answer to many who have applauded for “More! More!”

                                                                                  Specially-chosen stand-up comedy recordings from Neil’s recent appearances at coveted nightclubs in London, Savannah and Los Angeles are interspersed with musical cries for help as Neil emotes with the purely professional panache of the Too Good For Neil Hamburger Band in support.

                                                                                  Song highlights include ‘Endless Roll’, a disco complaint letter aimed at Kirkland Signature trash bags (featuring guest spots from members of The Germs and Jefferson Starship) and ‘Nickel Candy’ - societal decline set to music. Although Neil was strongly advised against the risk of merging side-splitting comedy segments with melancholy musical numbers, the exciting potpourri that resulted has enhanced his sparkle into a veritable milky way of entertainment.

                                                                                  ‘First Of Dismay’ effectively captures the excitement of the popular comedian’s nightclub presentation, featuring ruminations on history and the bible that, besides provoking laughter, will also be educational for the whole family.

                                                                                  Neil’s 10th full-length album is his first since 2012’s muchloved ‘Live At Third Man Records’.


                                                                                  Teenage Terrified

                                                                                    Teenage Terrified is the debut E.P. by Hamburger, a Bristol band formed over a chance meeting at a vegan fast food joint. Consisting of six friends, Hamburger have mixed the raw, immediate feeling of home/bedroom recording with the poppier sound of studio recordings with Dom Mitchison of Humm Studios. Teenage Terrified takes in a range of flavours, from the sing-songy, slacker pop of Zebulon, to the more ethereal, dreamy and melodic Seafood, to the intensely personal, stripped back and introspective Agatha. Every time you try to define Hamburger’s sound, they will surprise you and take you somewhere a little different. Having said that…one can definitely hear the sonic influence of Elliott Smith, Alex G, Sparklehorse and Built to Spill.

                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    1. All Hail Zebulon!
                                                                                    2. Alien Song
                                                                                    3. Seafood
                                                                                    4. Cut It Out
                                                                                    5. Supersad
                                                                                    6. Agatha


                                                                                    The Girl I Love

                                                                                      "The Girl I Love" is undoubtedly pop, but with an added layer of substance beneath the appealing and fashionable exterior. A sure fire winner with a hook you could hang you coat on. What materializes is a blistering chorus that is completely owned by the playful vocals and gaudy brass. Hamfatter are a clear pop talent. Crispy clean music, soft vocal and sugary lyrics that address sugar-free subjects.

                                                                                      Roy Hamilton, Cosmo Bowen and Dennis Palmer go back a long way to the early 80's when they were members of a 9 piece funk outfit called Breeze - playing regularly Upstairs at Ronnie Scott's along with bands like Hi Tension and Gonzalez. In 1984 they linked up for this one and only 12" on their own HBS imprint - a laid-back stomper that has become in-demand on the UK soul/funk collectors scene - now given a fresh new cut & press thanks to Freestyle Records' 12" reissue initiative!

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Turn Up The Music
                                                                                      2. Turn Up The Music (Instrumental)

                                                                                      Troels Hammer

                                                                                      An Introduction

                                                                                        Danish Artist Troels Hammer has released 5 albums to date, with his sixth House of Memories due out later this year. As yet there has only been a sampler 12” on vinyl. Therefore ‘An introduction’ LP is a compilation of tracks exclusive to Vinyl for fans and new listeners to enjoy.

                                                                                        Troels was discovered by the Danish producer Kenneth Bager in 2012 and has already gained great recognition for his music on both the Danish and the international scene

                                                                                        The style is instrumental and moving in the area between nu-classical, lounge, dance, ambience and electronica. When Troels Hammer sits down at the piano, the music flows through him and brings the audience in a mood that is both relaxed and intense. He himself says that he creates music you can go in and out of –and get carried away by.

                                                                                        Intermediation has been the centre of Troels Hammer’s entire professional life and also musically he is driven to set the tone for stories and touch elements recognizable to the audience. He can be experienced on stage alone, plays brilliantly with others and shares gladly stories about the music as a part of his performance.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        A1 Diário De Silêncio
                                                                                        A2 Cold Hawaii
                                                                                        A3 Fly Salmon Fly
                                                                                        A4 Bogotá
                                                                                        A5 Infinita Feat. Clara Valente
                                                                                        A6 View Of Wisdom
                                                                                        B1 Azur
                                                                                        B2 Unika 4 Feat. Rodrigo Sha
                                                                                        B3 Theme Frm Ngong Hills
                                                                                        B4 Run King - Piano Forte
                                                                                        B5 Father Sky
                                                                                        B6 Letters From Uhuru 

                                                                                        Capping off a busy year as producer, DJ and label owner, Rory Hamilton provides a quick follow up to "Think About Me" EP with the third release on his Italo Hiits imprint.

                                                                                        Once again arriving on coloured 10” vinyl, "Strangeness" takes the label's twisted disco sound into new territories that draws on both the genre’s darker hedonistic side and its more nostalgic leanings. 

                                                                                        'Pure energy is the mantra for Italo Hiits. The topline on "Strangeness" carries this task on its shoulders whiles keeps the sleaze level high. Fun and filthy.

                                                                                        "Ski Sunday" is a full 80s throwback, a full array of synths make up the journey, all the while rolling down the alps on full power.'

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Matt says: More proggy than Italo if you ask me, but who am I to argue?! The eagle-eared by recognize that gurgling bass hook off Marcello Giordani's "O Superman" (Disco Spacer Mix), also sampled by Artwork on that "Baby" 12" from a coupla years ago ;)

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        A. Strangeness
                                                                                        B. Ski Sunday

                                                                                        Peter Hammill

                                                                                        In Translation

                                                                                          For the first time ever, Peter has recorded a collection of cover versions. The songs come from a variety of musical worlds: Classical, American Songbook, Italian Pop and Tango. In all but three cases Peter has also translated the songs, from Italian, French and German. As strange a project as this might seem, there’s an overall sense of cohesiveness to it and it’s absolutely of this time. Two songs have lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein; the music for one is by Jerome Kern, the other by Richard Rodgers. Leiber and Stoller provided lyrics for “I who have nothing’, originally an Italian tune.

                                                                                          Three Italian songs are at the core of the album, written (and originally performed) by Fabrizio de Andre, Luigi Tenco and Piero Ciampi. The two tango pieces were composed by Astor Piazzolla. Finally, there are two classical songs, respectively by Faure and Mahler. In Peter’s own words…. “This collection seems to fit together as a group, not least because most of these songs are to do with measures of dislocation, of loss, of some kind of imagined or anticipated future which didn’t arrive. I was unfamiliar with several of these songs before I began this project. One discovery led on to another in some kind of paper trail. The back stories to the songs are interesting and some of the writers and singers had a spectacularly dramatic time of things. I doff my hat to these sometimes complicated lives. My approach has always been to make cultural rather than strictly linguistic translations, so that the spirit of the song rather than its precise narrative is rendered. I hope I’ve addressed the material, the writers, the original performers, with due and proper respect. Inevitably though there’s spin here: mine all mine.” “Finally, these recordings were made, of course, in the time of Covid and lockdown. But also in the knowledge that Brexit – in all its horror – was fast approaching. So these performances of, for the most part, European songs were my last as a European singer, with all the rights and privileges that has brought me for so many years.”

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1 The Folks Who Live On The Hill
                                                                                          2 Hotel Supramonte
                                                                                          3 Oblivion
                                                                                          4 Ciao Amore
                                                                                          5 This Nearly Was Mine
                                                                                          6 After A Dream
                                                                                          7 Ballad For My Death
                                                                                          8 I Who Have Nothing
                                                                                          9 Il Vino
                                                                                          10 Lost To The World

                                                                                          With The Strokes fresh off their first European show in four years, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. is focused on breaking an even longer seven year lull between solo LPs. ‘Momentary Madness’ is his third album after ‘Yours To Keep’ and ‘¿Cómo Te Llama?’.

                                                                                          The ten track album includes the singles ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘Losing Touch’.

                                                                                          ‘Momentary Masters’ features production from longtime Strokes engineer Gus Oberg. Unlike previous releases, Hammond called on the aid of a number of musicians for the recording sessions, including guitarists Mon Khmer’s Hammarsing Kharhmar and Bleachers’ Mikey Hart, bassist Jordan Brooks and drummer Jeremy Gustin.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1 Born Slippy
                                                                                          2 Power Hungry
                                                                                          3 Caught By My Shadow
                                                                                          4 Coming To Getcha
                                                                                          5 Losing Touch
                                                                                          6 Don't Think Twice
                                                                                          7 Razors Edge
                                                                                          8 Touché
                                                                                          9 Drunched In Crumbs
                                                                                          10 Side Boob

                                                                                          Albert Hammond Jr

                                                                                          Francis Trouble

                                                                                            Albert Hammond Jr’s fourth solo album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music.

                                                                                            In November of 1979, Hammond Jr’s mother, Claudia, miscarried. Although they rushed to the hospital, Claudia and Albert Hammond Sr. were told that the baby was far too premature to live. Albert continued to grow inside of his mother undetected until she was nearly six months pregnant. Although he had always known of the existence of Francis, it was not until he was 36 years old that he learned from an aunt that part of Francis had remained behind in the womb and was born along side him – a fingernail. With his music moving in a different path than before, Hammond Jr wondered if this new direction came from another avenue of himself, perhaps emanating from whatever he and the departed Francis had shared for the few short months they had together.

                                                                                            Taking a page from Bowie, Hammond Jr says: “What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analyzed or taken too seriously. I think it should be tarted up, made into a character, a parody of itself. The music is the mask the message wears and I, the performer, am the message.” Working within this mentality, Hammond Jr created Francis Trouble, an homage to both the death of his twin and his own birth, as well as the complexities of identity that arise because of their intermingling.

                                                                                            The number 36 became especially relevant, as he had learned more of Francis’s story at that age, and because he was born on the 9th day of the 4th month of the year. Significantly, the album is exactly 36 minutes long.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. DVSL
                                                                                            2. Far Away Truths
                                                                                            3. Muted Beatings
                                                                                            4. Set To Attack
                                                                                            5. Tea For Two
                                                                                            6. Stop And Go
                                                                                            7. Screamer
                                                                                            8. Rocky’s Late Night
                                                                                            9. Strangers
                                                                                            10. Harder, Harder, Harder

                                                                                            Albert Hammond Jr

                                                                                            Melodies On Hiatus

                                                                                              Pop/rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. is the lead & rhythm guitarist and songwriting member of the GRAMMY® and BRIT Awards-winning band The Strokes. He has released 4 solo albums to date, most recently the acclaimed “Francis Trouble” in 2018 which spawned the radio single “Far Away Truths”. In the 4 years, since then, The Strokes released their US Top 10 charting GRAMMY® nominated rock record “The New Abnormal” and toured the world extensively. Albert also began the songwriting process for his 5th solo album “Melodies on Hiatus”, a 19-track album, crafted in a most experimental style. Albert teamed up with his writing partner, Canadian songwriter, and poet Simon Wilcox (whom he never met during the process) and had lengthy conversations via the telephone; Simon would jot down notes from Albert’s stream of consciousness, and draft the lyrics on her typewriter, and drop them into his letterbox! Albert then added the lyrics to the melodies he had already crafted. The songwriting process became a long distant “anonymous love affair of ideas & lyrics.” The album covers themes of childhood, surviving adolescence, adulthood, vulnerability, fame, relationship with self and others, and is Albert’s “deconstructed broken down ego reaction” to “Francis Trouble.” The album also features songs with GoldLink, Matt Helders (of the Arctic Monkeys), Steve Stevens and Rainsford, and was mixed by Tony Hoffer (known for his work with Beck, Air, M83, The Kooks, Fitz and the Tantrums, Metric, Chromeo, etc.) and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters (Paramore, Spoon, Tame Impala, Jimmy Eat World, Peanut Butter Wolfe).

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              Disc: 1
                                                                                              1. Libertude
                                                                                              2. 100-99 (ft. Goldlink)
                                                                                              3. Memo Of Hate
                                                                                              4. Downtown Fred
                                                                                              5. Old Man
                                                                                              6. Home Again
                                                                                              7. I Got You
                                                                                              8. Darlin'
                                                                                              9. 5. Thoughtful Distress (ft. Matt Helders & Steve Stevens)

                                                                                              Disc: 2
                                                                                              1. Fast Kitten
                                                                                              2. Caught By Night
                                                                                              3. I'd Never Leave
                                                                                              4. Dead Air
                                                                                              5. One Chance
                                                                                              6. Never Stop
                                                                                              7. False Alarm
                                                                                              8. 13. Remember (ft. Rainsford)
                                                                                              9. 818
                                                                                              10. 19. Alright Tomorrow (ft. Rainsford)

                                                                                              The Guy Hamper Trio Feat. James Taylor

                                                                                              All The Poisons In The Mud

                                                                                                For fans of - Booker T & The MGs, James Taylor Quartet, Georgie Fame, Big Boss Man.

                                                                                                Groovy Hammond garage rock instrumentals from Billy Childish (Thee Headcoats/CTMF etc) and featuring James Taylor (Prisoners/JTQ) We’re loving this new album by The Guy Hamper Trio! Who’s in the band sunshine? Mainly myself on guitar, Julie on bass, Wolf on drums, and of course Jamie on Hammond. A great bonus is Thee Headcoats with Bruce and Tub guest as rhythm section on a track or two.

                                                                                                You and James Taylor go back a long way. Do you remember how you first met? The Prisoners were a young group who played with us (the Milkshakes) in the early 1980s. One day they turned up with an organ player, Jamie. Jamie used to then borrow my Selmer guitar amp to play through. You’ve revisited a few old classics on this album, and given them a true makeover.

                                                                                                How would you describe The Guy Hamper Trio’s sound? I guess there must be a derogatory term for it but I might need some help finding it. In the very early days of The James Taylor Quartet (Wolf was their drummer back then), I was in the Natural Born Lovers (A blues group with Big Russ and Sexton Ming). We used to be the support for them. I really liked their sound and I guess The Guy Hamper Trio is not a million miles from that blues-influenced, film soundtrack vibe, man. There you made me say “man”. Next thing you know I will be saying “cool!” Let’s just say it's a wizard sound, Jamie is such a great player.

                                                                                                Prior to this album The Guy Hamper Trio’s sole release was the ‘Polygraph Test’ 7” from 2009. Why such a big gap? It takes time for all of us to get all our solders in line. “Get on with it mush! And trifle not, your time is but short!”

                                                                                                What inspired the album’s title track All The Poisons In the Mud? It’s actually the title of a novel I’ve been writing, and rewriting, over the past 12 years, and is taken from a quote from I Claudius by Robert Graves - a formative influence on me as a 15 year old.

                                                                                                The sleeve art is pretty different to your other recent records, could you tell us a about that? Who designed it? I nominally designed it but the truth is that it's essentially a rip off of a Saul Bass sleeve he did for Duke Ellington. We started mining that seam back in the Milkshakes when Bruce (Brand) did the sleeve for Thee Knights of Trashe.

                                                                                                The album closes with a storming cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”. What do you think Jimi would make of your version? I've been a fan of Jimi since my elder brother brought his records home in the '60s. Jimi was well known to “dig” others work and interpretations and would no doubt smile, narrow his smoky eyes and say “cool man!” and I would no doubt reply "wizard Jimi!"

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                All The Poisons In The Mud
                                                                                                Come Into My Life
                                                                                                Moon Of The Popping Trees
                                                                                                Girl From '62
                                                                                                Full Eclipse Of The Sun
                                                                                                Sally Sensation
                                                                                                7% Solution
                                                                                                Step Out
                                                                                                Polygraph Test
                                                                                                The Kids Are All Square

                                                                                                Hampshire & Foat

                                                                                                Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand - Reissue

                                                                                                Multi talented UK Jazz Pianist Greg Foat has teamed up with Mercury Award nominated "The Bees" member and multi instrumentalist Warren Hampshire to collaborate on a new LP drawing on their diverse musical influences. Classic British library music, 60s Italian soundtracks & lost Americana combined with touches of modern classical, minimalism, Jazz and Folk. Featuring many members of Greg and Warren's previous bands and one of the U.Ks finest Jazz drummers, Clark Tracy, the LP also features an Edinburgh orchestra and soloists hand picked and scored by the boys. Recorded all analogue onto 2" multitrack in Edinburgh, mixed down by Mattias Glavå at his studio in Gothenburg, Sweden then mastered and cut in Helsinki, Finland, it's truly a European affair. 

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand 
                                                                                                The Solar Winds (& Cadenza) 
                                                                                                A Long Way Home
                                                                                                End Song
                                                                                                All Washed Up 
                                                                                                How The Nights Can Fly 
                                                                                                End Song (Reprise)

                                                                                                'Language Of The Birds' LP was recorded solo shortly after completing 'Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand' and 'The Honey Bear' with jazz pianist Greg Foat. 'Language Of The Birds' is noticeably influenced by Warrens love of walking the countryside and woodlands on the Isle of Wight. It's also influenced by his interest in Catastrophism/ Extinction events and the use of Symbolism employed in the Art, Architecture and Writings used to communicate knowledge of such events to subsequent civilizations.

                                                                                                Warrens personal folk musings hint at 60s Psychedelic Folk but with a deeper connection to nature and the part we all play within it, it's impossible not to be drawn into his music and artwork which provokes memories of old children's books, Fairy tales, and the transportive paintings associated with them.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                1. Eve Of The Deluge
                                                                                                2. The Falling Rain
                                                                                                3. Zep Tepi
                                                                                                4. Then It Was Gone
                                                                                                5. From Lonely Hours
                                                                                                6. I Just Didn't Think You'd Care
                                                                                                7. Autumn's Draw
                                                                                                8. They Glide The Hills
                                                                                                9. Only A Moment
                                                                                                10. Wu Wei

                                                                                                Hanakiv is a young composer and musician from Estonia (now based in London) who creates meditative piano-based ambient music with elements from classical and electronic music. 'Goodbyes' is her debut recording and draws on influences as diverse as Tim Hecker, Björk "Vespertine", Kara-Lis Coverdale, Arvo Pärt, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Aphex Twin as well as her own cultural heritage. Music has an important part in Estonian culture, especially choir music and its traditions, but Hanakiv also draws on her love of nature – the beautiful Estonian seaside and forests - and on her time in Iceland. However, it was moving to London that gave her the freedom to make her own music: "London gave me the freedom and courage to really be who I am (as a person and musically)" and her heritage and her new home both offer inspiration to Goodbyes, as Hanakiv moves between these two opposite places, a bustling metropolis and a small country full of nature, drawing inspiration from both as she sculpts her own voice.

                                                                                                Hanakiv had an unconventional music education – she started studying music at a school for handbells when she was nine and was part of a handbell ensemble for eight years. Starting on piano at the same time she went on to study composition at high school, and later at the Estonian Academy of Music. Eventually switching to electroacoustic composition, she studied in Reykjavik, and did internships in Malmö, and again Reykjavik before moving to London. She grew up in a musical family and her grandmother was a piano teacher and choir conductor.

                                                                                                "I would always ask her to take me to her choir rehearsals. I remember sitting under the grand piano, listening to the choir and just being mesmerised by the sounds. She also teaches in a local music school in the south of Estonia with about ten pianos, and I'd spend a lot of time there as well. I believe this was the starting point for me to get to where I am now. The last two pieces on the album (Home II and Home I) are composed in this same music school, so it feels like a full circle.

                                                                                                An early influence was Regina Spektor "the first artist who made me really want to play piano" alongside dream pop and Sigur Rós' as well as Estonian contemporary composers such as Erkki-Sven Tüür and Arvo Pärt. Later her studies took her to Reykjavík: "There is this amazing record shop called 12 Tónar in Reykjavik where you can drink espressos and listen to all their vinyls. I spent quite a lot of time there. There is something about Icelandic music that really excited me (the mixture of contemporary electronic sounds with melancholy, emotionality). This is when I started getting more into electronic music, and experimenting outside of classical music". Following a year long break from studying and inspired by making an electroacoustic soundtrack for a friend's abstract video, she was inspired to complete a masters in electroacoustic composition, diving fully into the worlds of sound recording and mixing and focusing on surround sound and how to position and move sounds in space, eventually doing an internship with composer Kent Olofson in Malmö, who works with multi-speaker systems for theatre productions. "I learnt a lot from him and he introduced me to some of my favourite plugins I've used a lot on this album as well."

                                                                                                Hanakiv moved to London just as the pandemic hit and found herself trapped, in a big new city, without any network or family and so just concentrated on making music. "I stayed in my room with my basic equipment - keyboard, Korg minilogue, SM 58 and Rode nt1-a microphones, laptop and speakers. I was reading about mixing, and trying out different things and listening to a lot of music to get the sense of the mixes and production and finishing a commission piece for 5.1 multi speaker system at that time so I set up four speakers for quadrophonic surround sound in my room!". She also found her way back to piano - my instrument – and started practicing again, playing the pieces she used to play, but also just improvising, and this was the beginning of what would become her debut album, 'Goodbyes'.

                                                                                                "I started appreciating everything about music again (even melody!), and everything just came together naturally, and I arrived to a point where I finally found my voice, and I had something that I wanted to say and share. I composed "Meditation I" first and started with "Goodbye", and all the other pieces are derived from that. Without "Meditation I" there wouldn't be this album. If you listen closely, "Meditation I" starts where "Goodbye" ends; "Meditation II" is born from "Meditation I".

                                                                                                But it was meeting Fi Roberts, a sound engineer based at the legendary Strongrom Studios in Shoreditch, London in December 2020 that really brought the album into focus. The pair bonded over an interest in prepared piano and a similar approach to production ideas (a balance of not overdoing it, and letting the songs speak for themselves, but being open to explore) and Fi became a friend but also a confidant and eventually co-producer

                                                                                                "Fi has a big impact on this record but I don't know how to really explain that properly. Of course, this album is sonically stunning thanks to her amazing mixes and recording skills, but she also believed in this music so much and it created something very special - that's difficult to measure with words. She just works with heart, and I really appreciate that"

                                                                                                This then is 'Goodbyes', the first offering from a major new voice, who offers us a meditative work full of space and tranquillity but also life and friendship and meaning. And we are very proud to welcome her to the Gondwana family.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                1. Goodbye
                                                                                                2. Meditation III
                                                                                                3. And It Felt So Nice
                                                                                                4. Lies
                                                                                                5. No Words Left
                                                                                                6. Meditation II
                                                                                                7. Home II
                                                                                                8. Home I

                                                                                                Herbie’s classic debut album was originally recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on 28th May 1962.
                                                                                                Featuring a truly impressive quintet of Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Dexter Gordon (tenor), Butch Warren (bass) and Billy Higgins (drums), "Takin' Off" is rooted firmly in hard bop but also showcasing the exquisite ballad ‘Alone And I’.
                                                                                                Features the all-time classic Herbie standard ‘Watermelon Man’, a top 100 pop hit for Herbie and #10 hit for Mongo Santamaria. The famous cover art was designed and photographed by Reid Miles.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                Watermelon Man
                                                                                                Three Bags Full
                                                                                                Empty Pockets
                                                                                                The Maze
                                                                                                Alone & I

                                                                                                Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove

                                                                                                Directions In Music

                                                                                                  Revisiting some classic jazz compositions, Coltrane's "Naima" and "Transition" as well as Hancock's own "The Sorcerer" amongst them, Brecker, Hargrove and Hancock turn in a evocation of the spirit of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, recorded live in concert at Toronto's Massey Hall. Supported by a rhythm section of Brian Blade and John Patitucci, they have produced a remarkable homage to the 'new direction' in jazz led by Coltrane and Davis in the 50s and 60s.

                                                                                                  Hand Habits

                                                                                                  Fun House

                                                                                                    There is a moment halfway through Hand Habits’ Fun Houseat which musician Meg Duffy asks the question, “How many times must I rewind the tape?”It’s a fitting question planted squarely in the middle of a sonically adventurous record concerned largely with making sense and taking stock. How much time must we spend examining our own past in order to fully understand it? How can we safely acknowledge pain in order to release it and fully actualize who we are supposed to be? Buffeted by strings, synths, and a gently-shook tambourine, the aptly-titled track, “The Answer,” highlights the emotional engine at the heart of the record. “I know the answer,”Duffy sings, “Here’s what I hope to find - it’s always mine.”

                                                                                                    Fun Houseis Duffy’s most ambitious Hand Habits album to date. Produced by Sasami Ashworth (SASAMI) and engineered by Kyle Thomas (King Tuff), the record was not intended as a reaction to the pandemic, but it was very much the result of taking a difficult, if much-needed, moment of pause. “When the pandemic happened, everything stopped,” recalls Duffy. “I had been touring consistently for five years, both on my own and playing in other people’s bands, so I wasn’t really writing a lot in between. It had been full pedal to the metal in terms of traveling and scheduling, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time to think about how I felt or really check in with myself. Then, when the world basically stopped, it turned out to be the longest I’ve been alone in my entire life — without being in a relationship, without being on the road, without working myself to exhaustion — and the result was really like, holy shit. I slammed on the brakes and everything psychologically that I’d been pushing down and ignoring for the past few years suddenly flew to the foreground.”

                                                                                                    What started out as a very personal reckoning eventually blossomed into a fruitful and convenient means of making new music. Grounded in LA and sharing a house with Ashworth and Thomas, who also runs a studio space in the building, Duffy began to flesh out the songs that would eventually become Fun House. Embold-ened by going into therapy and coaxed by Ashworth to push the songs into unexpected new shapes, the resulting music was more acutely personal and stylistically adventurous than anything they had attempted before. The new songs also became a prism through which Duffy could begin to self-actualize in a new way.

                                                                                                    While Fun Houseshares some of the same hallmarks as previous Hand Habits releases —a kind of outré queer sensibility, a gentle sense of vulnerability — the record is a marked sonic departure from the often muted tones of 2019’s Placeholder and 2017’s Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void). Instead, the tracks on Fun Housesparkle, moving in unexpected directions and eschewing any specific genre. Tracks like “Aquamarine” and “More than Love” package narratives about loss, romantic longing, and childhood trauma inside polished synth pop (“Suicide / Lost a life / Well then who am I? / Why can’t you talk about it?”) while “Gold Rust” and “Concrete and Feathers” have a ragged, Neil Young quality. Friend and collaborator Mike Hadreas (of Perfume Genius) contributes vocals on “No Difference” and “Just to Hear You,” making for one of the record’s most sanguine moments, his voice providing a perfect counterpoint to Duffy. The push/pull of styles, paired with songs that move deftly between the present and past, give the record a wildly diverse, hall of mirrors quality that befits its name. Where previous Hand Habits records could be fairly insular affairs, both in their creation and their execution, Fun Housefeels ebullient, lush, a fully-realized conversation.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    01. More Than Love 4:02
                                                                                                    02. Aquamarine 4:15
                                                                                                    03. Just To Hear You (feat. Perfume Genius) 2:53
                                                                                                    04. No Difference 2:51
                                                                                                    05. The Answer 2:04
                                                                                                    06. Gold/Rust 3:58
                                                                                                    07. Clean Air 3:08
                                                                                                    08. Control 3:40
                                                                                                    09. Concrete & Feathers 3:38
                                                                                                    10. False Start 4:06
                                                                                                    11. Graves 3:13

                                                                                                    Hand Habits

                                                                                                    Sugar The Bruise

                                                                                                      Hand Habits, the project of Los Angeles-based musician Meg Duffy (they/them),presents a new collection of songs titled Sugar The Bruise.

                                                                                                      Inspired by month-long songwriting class Duffy taught in the summer of 2021, they re-discovered, with newfound clarity, the generative capacity of embracing the unknown, and how essential collaboration and improvisation are for accessing the indescribable.

                                                                                                      Working with Luke Temple (Here We Go Magic, Art Feynman) and Philip Weinrobe (Adrienne Lenker, Cass McCombs), Duffy surrendered to the present moment, trusting that whatever sounds and words emerged were meant to emerge. With additional production, engineering and arranging from Jeremy Harris, Duffy created something which, in their words, “turned out nothing like I’d imagined it would.”

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      1. Something Wrong
                                                                                                      2. The Gift Of The Human Curse
                                                                                                      3. Andy In Stereo
                                                                                                      4. Private Life
                                                                                                      5. The Book On How To Change Part 3
                                                                                                      6. The Bust Of Nefertiti

                                                                                                      Handsome Devil

                                                                                                      Love And Kisses From The Underground

                                                                                                        Handsome Devil is the latest in a line of punk-fuelled rock bands to come out of California. Their influences range from punk fore-fathers, Social Distortion, to today's punk flag-wavers, Offspring. Extensive touring earned them a spot on the world famous Warped Tour and they're tipped for big things in the near future. The album has a pure punk energy and attitude, with a nod to true rock bombast.

                                                                                                        The Handsome Family's new album "Unseen" is their first since TV show True Detective used their song, “Far From Any Road” as its opening theme. Unseen is 10 songs by a couple both world-famous and happily invisible. Each song on the record has a guiding colour—gold, silver, green, red, white. Rennie is also a painter known for her vivid and surprising use of colour, and she finds herself painting even when her brushes are made of words. The stories of Unseen are mostly inspired by real events— “Gold” began when a bunch of twenty-dollar bills blew in Brett’s face in a parking-lot dust storm. “Gentlemen,” is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from unseen dimensions. And “Tiny Tina”— Rennie still hasn’t seen that little horse. Unseen is about the light that emanates from things we can’t see— behind “The Red Door,” in the empty hands of blackjack losers (“The Silver Light”), and amidst desert bones bleaching in the sun (“King of Dust”).

                                                                                                        The Sparks’ music is steeped in the western gothic of New Mexico life. The unseen is powerful here. Nothing rusts, but entire oceans have disappeared. Ski masks mean robberies, but in the slow dive of the sun, enormous bugs awaken in thorny yards and unseen sirens and coyotes cry out to the purple sky. Just about anywhere you stand there’s been some blood drawn.

                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                        1. Gold
                                                                                                        2. The Silver Light
                                                                                                        3. Back In My Day
                                                                                                        4. Tiny Tina
                                                                                                        5. Underneath The Falls
                                                                                                        6. The Sea Rose
                                                                                                        7. The Red Door
                                                                                                        8. Gentlemen
                                                                                                        9. King Of Dust
                                                                                                        10. Green Willow Valley

                                                                                                        Indies Exclusive ‘Best Of’ CD:
                                                                                                        1. Weightless Again
                                                                                                        2. So Much Wine
                                                                                                        3. Cold, Cold, Cold
                                                                                                        4. Far From Any Road
                                                                                                        5. After We Shot The Grizzly
                                                                                                        6. The Loneliness Of Magnets
                                                                                                        7. Woodpecker


                                                                                                        Clatter For Control

                                                                                                          This is the third full length by the viola and drums duo of Montreal's Hangedup, who've been mesmerising audiences, while pushing the boundaries of what a bow and a pair of drumsticks can conjure since 1999. "Clatter For Control" finds the band utterly on fire, swooping and slamming around with varying degrees of controlled chaos. Both noisier and more melodic than anything they've yet put to tape, they raise their compostional and improvisational bars on this album.

                                                                                                          The Hanging Stars

                                                                                                          On A Golden Shore

                                                                                                            The new album from cosmic country rockers The Hanging Stars. 'On a Golden Shore' is the follow up to 2022's 'Hollow Heart' and is the band's second album on Loose. Produced by Sean Read at Clashnarrow Studio. On A Golden Shore arrives as The Hanging Stars reflect on a year of triumphs. With an Americana Music Association Bob Harris - sanctioned award and a Nashville sell-out in Third Man’s Blue Room with Jack White approvingly looking on, they’re a leading light in the UK Cosmic Americana cohort. Their standing has allowed them to pay less attention to any preconceptions of what they are ‘supposed to be’. On A Golden Shore - their fifth album and their second for the pioneering Loose Music, following 2022’s Hollow Heart - finds them definitively themselves and presents a set of disparate songs whose fundamental linkage is the band that made them. On A Golden Shore was recorded at Edwyn Collins’ Clashnarrow Studios with Sean Read producing. Singer/guitarist Richard Olson, drummer Paulie Cobra, multi-instrumentalist Patrick Ralla, plus freshman bassist Paul Milne – laid down the album’s backbone over eight days. Mostly recorded live, even the solos done as a piece. Much is first take because trying better, it never worked as well. Pedal-steel player Joe Harvey-Whyte created and added his parts at his London studio bringing ‘shimmery psychedelic goodness’. Smartly sequenced On A Golden Shore proceeds in clusters of songs; commencing with the free and easy choogle of ‘Let Me Dream Of You’, encompassing the sunny glam of ‘Sweet Light’, the baggy Balearic waft of ‘Happiness Is A Bird’, the pan pipes and bongos of the exotic ‘Golden Shore’, through to the rolling banjo of ‘No Way Spell’ and the celestial cascades of ‘Heart In A Box’. Fashioned instinctively On A Golden Shore is ultimately an album of sensation as much as thought, filled with fleeting moments of blissful excess, and stumbling, rushing flutters of sound; its evanescent psychedelia, divine choruses, and shards of strings combine into an infectious, compelling Cosmic Heartbreak Boogie.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            1. Let Me Dream Of You
                                                                                                            2. Sweet Light
                                                                                                            3. Happiness Is A Bird
                                                                                                            4. Disbelieving
                                                                                                            5. Washing Line
                                                                                                            6. Golden Shore
                                                                                                            7. Silver Rings
                                                                                                            8. I Need A Good Day
                                                                                                            9. No Way Spell
                                                                                                            10. Raindrop In A Hurricane
                                                                                                            11. Heart In A Box 

                                                                                                            The Hanging Stars

                                                                                                            Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning / The Mountain

                                                                                                              Also recorded at Famous Times for a never-released Bert Jansch tribute album, Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning sees the band cover the opening track from Bert’s 1974 album L.A Turnaround – an album hailed at the time for combining Americana with a playful English wistfulness. The Hanging Stars imbue Jansch’s song with a mean energy and their own signature cosmic psychedelia. The song ends with Joe Harvey-Whyte’s pedal steel sounding closer to a sitar whilst droning and distorted guitars seem to almost collapse in on themselves during a coda that sounds like it cannot bear to stop itself.

                                                                                                              The Mountain sees the band enter entirely different territory. Bookended by Sam Ferman’s angular bass line and Paulie Cobra’s relentless drumming, what comes between recalls both the darkest sounds of The Doors and the ethereal psychedelia of early Verve, with Luke Barlow’s flute puncturing a haze of distorted guitars.

                                                                                                              The Hanging Stars released their debut album Over the Silvery Lake in 2016, which received plaudits from broadsheets such as The Times, who described it as; "An album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable”, as well as The Guardian, who said; “Mersey-laced harmonies and just a whiff of the Gun Club.” They picked up a good amount of support at 6 Music and “The House on the Hill” scored a much-coveted 10/10 by John Robb on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              A. Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning
                                                                                                              AA. The Mountain

                                                                                                              The Hanging Stars

                                                                                                              Hollow Heart

                                                                                                                With Hollow Heart The Hanging Stars transcend their well-earned repute as masters of a captivating meld of blissful psychedelic folk and harmony-laden cosmic country. This fourth album from the accomplished London five-piece; recorded at Edwyn Collins' Clashnarrow Studios in North-Eastern Scotland; scales fresh artistic heights, as they conjure a record more sonically varied, more contemporary, and less in awe of its influences.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                1. Ava
                                                                                                                2. Black Light Night
                                                                                                                3. Weep & Whisper
                                                                                                                4. Radio On
                                                                                                                5. Ballad Of Whatever May Be
                                                                                                                6. Hollow Eyes, Hollow Heart
                                                                                                                7. You're So Free
                                                                                                                8. Rainbows In Windows
                                                                                                                9. I Don't Want To Feel So Bad Anymore
                                                                                                                10. Red Autumn Leaf

                                                                                                                Hank IV


                                                                                                                  I don’t care how many goddamn cute hobo bands there are out there right now. Not two runny shits. There’s something Hank IV knows that few other current “of interest” bands realize, and it’s a painfully simple thing: guitars were meant to sound like this, not that (pick something). That’s as plainly as it can be put. This is twin-guitar punk rock in a class of its own, driving more than dueling and hot-sauce-free. I’d say 'power with taste' but then I’d have to kill myself. I will say that III is Hank Baby’s third and finest album yet and they are, in short, a band whose every move is worthy of your utmost attention.

                                                                                                                  'For this record (their second for Siltbreeze), Thee Hanks opted to spend zero dollars and buried themselves deep inside their very own Shill Building studio for a good, long while. Sightings became scarce. Promises of “work” being “done” were made but who really knew what was going on? To be fair, The Shill has its fair share of distractions. Imagine Plato’s Retreat, except like a basement in the Tenderloin. I think they only went outside for sandwiches from the East Coast West Deli on Polk Street, like that one time in the street when Bob McDonald told me about that Venom single he owns for the seventeenth time. Pffft… Bob, playboy, inventor (of “The Full Compliment”) and as powerful and confounding a front-man as you’re likely to find ambulating in today’s scene. Hawnk Quatre (as they’re called in France) is both an exercise and exorcism for this hardcore guy from Bum Kon all grown-up. “Anyway, the result of their self-imposed exile is this album bearing the aroma of fuck you coupled with a faint flutter of fuck me. It’s eight songs in 25 minutes of loud, angry, intelligent, rock ’n’ roll punk and it’s from San Francisco. Beyond that, the rhythms actually have a rhythm—a loud, all-rock rhythm, in fact. It’s shocking and practically akin to reinventing the wheel ’round these un-rocking parts. Great—and now the world’ll probably explode. Do I gotta pick a cut to exalt? “Down in the Dumps” springs forth. Hopefully the punks follow suit. Portfolio played it for me when I visited and he just sat back, smiling. I was too. It was creepy.” —Mitch Cardwell “Hank IV plays desperate man-style punk in the vein of Minute to Prayera Flesheaters. Throw in some of the sociopathic scorch of The Pagans and touches of earlier Siltbreeze satellites like Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and you got a great pro-rock primitive, one that combines accelerated jams with gut-busting vocals and the kinda furious delivery that makes it sound totally non-contemporary'. —Volcanic Tongue.

                                                                                                                  Paul Hanley

                                                                                                                  Sixteen Again : How Pete Shelley & Buzzcocks Changed Manchester Music (and Me)

                                                                                                                    Kathleen Hanna

                                                                                                                    Rebel Girl: My Life As A Feminist Punk

                                                                                                                      An electric, searing memoir by the original riot grrrl and legendary frontwoman of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre Hey girlfriend I got a proposition, goes something like this: Dare ya to do what you want. Kathleen Hanna’s rallying cry to feminists echoed far and wide through the punk scene of the 1980s, ’90s, and beyond. Her band, Bikini Kill, embodies this iconic time, and today their gutsy, radical lyrics of anthems like ‘Rebel Girl’ and ‘Double Dare Ya’ are more powerful than ever.

                                                                                                                      But where did this transformative voice come from? In Rebel Girl, Hanna’s raw and insightful new memoir, she takes us from her tumultuous childhood home, to her formative college years in Olympia, Washington, and on to her first years on tour, fighting hard for gigs and for her band. As Hanna makes blindingly clear, being in a ‘girl band’, especially a punk girl band, in those years was not a simple or a safe prospect. Male violence and antagonism threatened at every turn, and surviving as a singer who was a lightening rod for controversy took limitless amounts of determination.

                                                                                                                      But the relationships she developed during those years buoyed her – including with her bandmates Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox, and Billy Karren; her friendship with Kurt Cobain; and her introduction to Joan Jett – and they were a testament to how the true punk world nurtured and cared for its own. Hanna opens up about falling in love with Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys and her debilitating battle with Lyme disease, and she brings us behind the scenes of her later bands, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin. She also writes candidly about the Riot Grrrl movement and its decline, documenting with love its grassroots origins but critiquing its later exclusivity.

                                                                                                                      In an uncut voice all her own, Hanna reveals the darkest, hardest times along with the most joyful – and how it all fuelled her revolutionary art, from the 1980s to today.

                                                                                                                      Paddy Hanna

                                                                                                                      The Hill

                                                                                                                        Dublin-based songwriter Paddy Hanna’s album The Hill features Girl Band’s Adam Faulkner and Daniel Fox on Drums & Double Bass, Daniel Fitzpatrick (Badhands, The Mighty Stef) on guitar & Keys and Jill Redmond on Vocals. The record was produced by Daniel Fox and the artwork was designed by Jill Redmond.

                                                                                                                        Paddy explains further about the album – “We lost ourselves on the Hill, Daniel, Daniel, Adam and I. a seemingly endless spell of isolation spent banging sheet metal, rusted hubcaps and blistering our fingers through non stop recording. The Hill is an internal musical about how the past and the present exist at the same time in our minds. It deals with the struggles of mental health, the sometimes difficult search for happiness and the moral conflict of growing up in Catholic Ireland.

                                                                                                                        As a listener I want you to take a seat inside my head, to smell the west cork air, to feel the gravel under your feet. In order to get this we set up ambient mics outside our makeshift studio to capture the natural landscape, we wandered boatyards and an abandoned train station recording old bits of metal we would clang, to give the album a sense of place. Sonically we also wanted to step away from the String sections used on Leafy Stiletto, opting instead to create melodies and tones using vocals and synthesisers. Most importantly however, I just wanted to put the past behind me on this record, I wanted to leave it on the hill. I hope you enjoy my therapy”. 

                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                        1. Loss Of Their Kind
                                                                                                                        2. Cannibals
                                                                                                                        3. A Strange Request
                                                                                                                        4. Nameless
                                                                                                                        5. My Ladybird
                                                                                                                        6. Sinatra
                                                                                                                        7. Howling At The Duke Of York
                                                                                                                        8. My Wise Addiction
                                                                                                                        9. The Hill
                                                                                                                        10. Jog On Shall We?
                                                                                                                        11. Colosseum

                                                                                                                        Hannas Barber

                                                                                                                        Don't Buy The Sun

                                                                                                                          Hannas Barber perpetuate their nine bar blues schtick with "Don't Buy The Sun", and EP of intricately structured melodic electronica. From the live jam intro of "Possibly...Self Inflicted" to the heavily re-worked final track "Fatal Exception" this record refuses to be pinned down, instead taking the listener through a space generating soundscape.

                                                                                                                          Martin Hannett & Steve Hopkins

                                                                                                                          All Sorts Of Heroes

                                                                                                                            From the shrapnel of the unlikely collision point where Mancunian post punk royalty collides with sci-fi cinema and art house animation, this obscure diamond in the rough shines a new light on the Northern DIY era providing disc detectives with a whole new punk funk perspective. Recorded in 1976 by Invisible Girls’ Steve Hopkins and Martin Hannett for a truly bizarre stopmotion animation called ‘All Sorts Of Heroes’, this hard edged funk instrumental theme reveals another side to this versatile production team, joining the hidden dots between Hannett’s own discoid experiments with ESG, Gyro, A Certain Ratio and the mythical Afro Express recordings from the same year. Embodying as much in common with 1970’s bass heavy European funk soundtracks by bands like Goblin and Placebo, as the expected parallels with John-Cooper Clarke’s backing tracks or early Happy Mondays, this early 1976 session is the perfect example of Hannett and Hopkins’ under-the-radar artistic commissions working to a storyboard brief in what has now become recognised as a fertile arena for lost filmic funk.

                                                                                                                            Drawing historic parallels with Leeds based Graeme Miller and Steve Shill’s home recorded DIY soundtracks for ‘The Moomins’ animation and accentuating the connection between Manchester based animation house Cosgrove Hall (‘Dangermouse’ / ‘Chorlton And The Wheelies’) and its employees Bernard Sumner, John Squire and members of Gerry And The Holograms, this lost recording adds kudos to a quirky micro-niche and reveals another dimension to Northern anti-pop’s snarky personality.

                                                                                                                            Pressed here by Finders Keepers for the first time on vinyl, in close accordance with the wishes of Steve Hopkins himself, this custom-composed track originally appeared on the short film by Rick Megginson and Steve Hughes which was shown at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in 1976 where it might have otherwise remained, preserved in an 8mm film box up until now. As relevant today as it was then, this closely recorded, cosmic cartoon, slappy funk theme provided the films backdrop for a workshop montage scene where an aardvarkian spaceman constructs a giant metal face robot which might well leave fans of Madlib and MF Doom fans pondering time travel. Like much of the lost and unreleased projects that stalled on the peripheries of early proto-Madchester, including the disco-pogo music of Spider King, Gerry And The Holograms, The 48 Chairs, Naffi and The Mothmen, this record has been frozen in time waiting for the wider marathon of independent pop to catch up.

                                                                                                                            This 7” might well be another missing link between your Rabid, Absurd and Factory records, backed with another lesser-known Invisible Girls recording, ‘Scandinavian Wastes’, which has also been begging for its first vinyl outing since its recording in the early 1980s.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            All Sorts Of Heroes
                                                                                                                            Scandanavian Wastes

                                                                                                                            Hans Pucket

                                                                                                                            No Drama

                                                                                                                              Wellington, New Zealand four-piece Hans Pucket writes nervy but effortlessly danceable rock songs about feeling bad. Their second full-length album, No Drama, which is out November 4th via Carpark Records, gleefully captures the all-too-common twenty-something anxieties of talking too much and then being unable to find the right words to say. When frontman Oliver Devlin sings, “I’m surfing a constant wave of alarm” on the title track, it’s a compass for the other nine tracks. This is inviting and relatable music for people who, despite their best efforts, feel uncomfortable about themselves, the state of the world, and their place in it.

                                                                                                                              Both lyrically and sonically, No Drama is a departure for Hans Pucket from their 2018 debut Eczema. “I realized I didn’t want to write any more real heartbreak songs,” says Oliver Devlin. “We were and still are a live band. We're still trying to make music that’s catchy and people can dance to, but also really interesting to us: songs about growing up and finding how you exist in the world.” Songs like “My Brain Is a Vacant Space” with its blistering guitars and ebullient hooks hone in on the feeling that you have nothing to offer while “Bankrupt,” a fuzzed-out punk track, boasts lines like “I don’t know if I’ll always feel like / I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

                                                                                                                              Recorded with the band’s good friend and former tour mate Jonathan Pearce of The Beths at his Auckland studio, No Drama is full of big leaps, immaculate arrangements, and a ton of immediate grooves. “We were very ambitious when we first started recording this,” says bassist Callum Devlin. “Intentionally we left heaps of space in the track so we could add strings and horns. Because we were very measured and quite deliberate with the parts we had. It was a really fun process filling in the gaps.”

                                                                                                                              No Drama came together over several years and during its creation, the band added multi-instrumentalist Callum Passels, who provided all the horn arrangements on the LP. With Pearce producing, his other Beths bandmates like Benjamin Sinclair added string arrangements while singer Elizabeth Stokes provided backing vocals.

                                                                                                                              Overall it’s a remarkably eclectic record where the smooth pop of a track like “Kiss the Moon” can coexist perfectly with the Abbey Road freakout of “Some Good News.” “We didn’t want to be afraid of our 15-year-old self's influences,” says Oliver Devlin.” We really wanted to make an album that teenage us would just be amazed by.”

                                                                                                                              The result is Hans Pucket’s most sparkling and confident collection yet. While it’s danceable and fun, it’s also a thoughtful exploration of anxiety, a call for empathy in a turbulent time, and a relatable reminder that it’s hard to figure things out.

                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                              1. My Brain Is A Vacant Space
                                                                                                                              2. You Must Chill
                                                                                                                              3. Misery Loves Company
                                                                                                                              4. No Drama
                                                                                                                              5. Honey
                                                                                                                              6. The Square
                                                                                                                              7. Some Good News
                                                                                                                              8. Bankrupt
                                                                                                                              9. Kiss The Moon
                                                                                                                              10. Drag Me Through Your Heart
                                                                                                                              11. I'm Not Opposed To

                                                                                                                              Marla Hansen


                                                                                                                                Having worked for years as side-woman for the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The National and My Brightest Diamond, Marla Hansen returns with her first solo album in twelve years. "Dust" has the weight and wisdom of hand-me-down folk songs, but also sparkles with the confidence and the excitement of an artist with new colours on her palette. The slow-burn of "Dust's" inception can be felt as the album plays. The tracks have weight and wisdom like hand-me-down folk songs, but also sparkle with the confidence and the excitement of an artist with new colours on her palette. Taylor Savvy (Peaches), Knox Chandler (R.E.M.) and Christian Biegai (Antony and the Johnsons) are all present at this banquet - a transatlantic tapestry sewn together by producer Robbie Moore at his Berlin studio complex Impression Recordings.

                                                                                                                                Cory Hanson

                                                                                                                                Pale Horse Rider

                                                                                                                                  Lingering at the remains of a campfire before dawn, with the politics of the personal burnt into ash, running his stick through what’s left, Wand singer/guitarist Cory Hanson is reflecting on a series of moments in which he steps farther into himself, finding the ultimate big sky country on the inside of his skull. It’s a combination of songs and sounds that journey through bleak and broken territory and places of sweet, lush remove and it adds up to the best record he’s been involved in yet: his second solo album, ‘Pale Horse Rider’.

                                                                                                                                  Cory’s first solo, ‘The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo’, was an intense affair, a grand experiment that produced inspiring, unconventional music - but this time around, he wanted to breathe a bit easier, to feel that breath in the music as well. So he and his band drove out to the desert to record in a lowstress environment: Brian Harris’ Cactopia, a house surrounded by 6ft tall sculptural psychotropic cacti. They built a studio inside and then they made music and lived off pots of coffee and chili and cases of Miller High Life as they played guitars, bass, keyboards and drums in what seemed increasingly like a living biomech, their tech made out of fungal networks and cacti needles.

                                                                                                                                  It was loose and flowed onto tape well. Recorded by Robbie Cody and Zac Hernandez (who assisted on Wand’s ‘Laughing Matter’), the sounds were great from the get-go. First takes were mostly best takes. Fuelled with DNA lifted from country-rock cut with native psych and prog strands, Cory guided his craft toward the cosmic side of the highway, a benevolent alien in ambient fields hazy with heat and synths, early morning fog and space echo spreading the harmonies wide.

                                                                                                                                  ‘Pale Horse Rider’’s got a lot to get out of its mind, looking around and seeing that, on the surface, things don’t always look like much. A lifelong Californian, Cory’s naturally found himself standing to the left of most of the country. The west may be only what you make it; these days, the roadside view looks exceptionally sunbleached and left behind. ‘Pale Horse Rider’ eyes the city, the country and the fragile environment that holds them both in its hands - a record as much about Los Angeles as it can be with its back to the town and the sun in its eyes; as much about nostalgia as new music can be with the apocalypse over the next rise.

                                                                                                                                  On ‘Pale Horse Rider’, Cory Hanson moves ceaselessly forward. The old myths weave and waft, the shadows of tombstones flickering in the mirages and the light that lies dead ahead.

                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  Paper Fog
                                                                                                                                  Pale Horse Rider
                                                                                                                                  Bird Of Paradise
                                                                                                                                  Limited Hangout
                                                                                                                                  Vegas Knights
                                                                                                                                  Surface To Air
                                                                                                                                  Another Story From The
                                                                                                                                  Center Of The Earth

                                                                                                                                  Cory Hanson

                                                                                                                                  The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo

                                                                                                                                    Drag City announce the solo debut full length from Wand’s Cory Hanson. ‘The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo’ was recorded during May of 2016 in various locations across Los Angeles County and features string arrangements by Heather Lockie.

                                                                                                                                    Hanson’s lyrics here are his best to date. By turns naked, leering, playful, evasive, they present a mute, parading statuary - doughy figures waltzing in doomed configurations through bleeding watercolour backdrops across terrains of tangled information. The music is gorgeous and liveable. Every surface threatens with the promise of an untold depth; every depth threatens to collapse into a surface. Every place you ply a solution turns out to be an intractable edge. You go looking for the soul, but there is no soul - just the things you had to lift to look behind.

                                                                                                                                    Happy Accidents

                                                                                                                                    Everything But The Here And Now

                                                                                                                                      Everything But The Here And Now marks a real period of growth for the fledgling outfit, who have concentrated on pushing the whole sound of the band forward from the solid DIY roots they sunk on 2016 debut album You Might Be Right.

                                                                                                                                      Exploring new territory that includes washes of synths, keys and atmospheric production courtesy of Hookworms’ Matthew “MJ” Johnson (Drenge, Doe, Martha, Honeyblood), they’re also forging ahead into new lyrical pastures that reflect the often turbulent, yet upward trajectory of their experiences as a band and in their personal lives.

                                                                                                                                      In their short lifespan, Happy Accidents have already garnered attention from publications including Noisey, DIY, Kerrang! Magazine and Upset. After catching the attention of BBC Introducing London, the band went on to be be played by Annie Mac and Huw Stephens at BBCR1, Steve Lamacq at BBC 6music and John Kennedy at Radio X.

                                                                                                                                      Happy Meals


                                                                                                                                        Happy Meals is the Glasgow-based duo of Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook, life-partners since high school finding expression in cosmic form. Originally from the Scottish borders, Rodden and Cook (also of The Cosmic Dead) began Happy Meals in a flurry of experimentation at Glasgow’s creative hub The Green Door Studio. Initially the result of a free music production course, 'Apéro' sees the pair embark on a blissful voyage into a love-fuelled, outward-looking hedonism. Both artists operate machines and sing but it’s the dominating Franco-Scottish lingua-franca of Suzanne Rodden that imbues a sense of seductive fun to the album.

                                                                                                                                        Their first recorded statement, 'Apéro' is an instant rush of Kosmiche-disco, utterly addictive and inviting. The epic 'Crystal Salutation' welcomes the listener in with analogue synths delayed into the horizon before 'Electronic Disco' ushers in distorted drum machines and Rodden’s disco-at-sunset vocal. Album stand-out 'Altered Images' is a pop-masterpiece, mixing French / Italo disco, acid basslines and a sense of Scottish optimism. 'Age Of Love' is unabashedly the feeling of being up until day-break, with layered synths climaxing all-around. Retro-futuristic visions abound on the beat-less 'Visions Of Utopia' before closer 'Le Voyage' reprises back the cosmopolitan disco, playing out the perfect club night in ecstatic fashion. It’s an enchanting, inclusive vision; everyone is invited, the future is bright. Just say yes.

                                                                                                                                        Happy Meals

                                                                                                                                        Fruit Juice

                                                                                                                                          Fruit Juice is the first new recorded material from Glasgow-based electronic avant pop duo Happy Meals since the intense aftermath of Apéro, their debut album which garnered a place in the Scottish Album Of The Year final 10. Shorter in scale but sharpened and expanded, Fruit Juice takes the tender experimental beginnings and unabashed pop moments of ther first LP into undiscovered countries glowing with possibility. Since Apéro’s release at the end of 2014, Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook have toured the globe, from Moscow to Bangalore via various European festivals, and have honed their dynamics live, in the moment, improvising and twisting the beat into new forms. As their live show has become more visceral and cinematic, Fruit Juice documents the duo’s new confidence. Run Around opens the E.P., with a sun-soaked tropicalia as conceived by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Rodden’s vocals warped into wordless peons to the rising sun. Lá Lá-bas reaquaints the listener to Rodden’s Franco-Gallic tendancies, but this time Happy Meals reveal a sparse melancholy, with spacious percussion and synth fragments giving way to one of the group’s most immediate moments to date. If You Want Me Now is pop music, pure and from the source. Alternating between French and English, Rodden recreates the live persona that has emerged since the group’s beginnings; an unrestrained performer bringing the innate sensuality beneath Happy Meals’ surface exploding into the light. Cook’s production work here sounds fresh and classic simultaneously, a glorious Jacno tribute enthralled to House music and Italo Disco. Fruit Float, opening Side 2, brings us back up into the cosmos, with arpeggiated synths from Cook’s synth arsenal duetting with a flute solo before Suivez-Moi delivers another pop song worthy of eternal repeat, a slice of electro not unlike the heady heights of Dare!-era Human League. Seductive and irresistible, it precedes the biggest step-up in Happy Meals’ history, the acid-fried Now That You Have Me: ostensibly a high-BPM remix of If You Want Me Now that hints at the insanity of the final moments of a Happy Meals live show. Released as a limited to 500 12” featuring marble-painted artwork hand-made by the band, Fruit Float precedes Happy Meals’ 2nd full length album, being prepared for October release. Each copy of Fruit Float will be different and feature a digital download.

                                                                                                                                          Happy Meals

                                                                                                                                          Fruit Juice

                                                                                                                                            Fruit Juice is the first new recorded material from Glasgow-based electronic avant pop duo Happy Meals since the intense aftermath of Apéro, their debut album which garnered a place in the Scottish Album Of The Year final 10. Shorter in scale but sharpened and expanded, Fruit Juice takes the tender experimental beginnings and unabashed pop moments of ther first LP into undiscovered countries glowing with possibility. Since Apéro’s release at the end of 2014, Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook have toured the globe, from Moscow to Bangalore via various European festivals, and have honed their dynamics live, in the moment, improvising and twisting the beat into new forms.

                                                                                                                                            As their live show has become more visceral and cinematic, Fruit Juice documents the duo’s new confidence. Run Around opens the E.P., with a sun-soaked tropicalia as conceived by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Rodden’s vocals warped into wordless peons to the rising sun. Lá Lá-bas reaquaints the listener to Rodden’s Franco-Gallic tendancies, but this time Happy Meals reveal a sparse melancholy, with spacious percussion and synth fragments giving way to one of the group’s most immediate moments to date. If You Want Me Now is pop music, pure and from the source. Alternating between French and English, Rodden recreates the live persona that has emerged since the group’s beginnings; an unrestrained performer bringing the innate sensuality beneath Happy Meals’ surface exploding into the light. Cook’s production work here sounds fresh and classic simultaneously, a glorious Jacno tribute enthralled to House music and Italo Disco.

                                                                                                                                            Fruit Float, opening Side 2, brings us back up into the cosmos, with arpeggiated synths from Cook’s synth arsenal duetting with a flute solo before Suivez-Moi delivers another pop song worthy of eternal repeat, a slice of electro not unlike the heady heights of Dare!-era Human League. Seductive and irresistible, it precedes the biggest step-up in Happy Meals’ history, the acid-fried Now That You Have Me: ostensibly a high-BPM remix of If You Want Me Now that hints at the insanity of the final moments of a Happy Meals live show. Released as a limited to 500 12” featuring marble-painted artwork hand-made by the band, Fruit Float precedes Happy Meals’ 2nd full length album, being prepared for October release. Each copy of Fruit Float will be different and feature a digital download.

                                                                                                                                            Happy Mondays


                                                                                                                                              Like many an influential album in rock history, the cultural significance of Happy Monday’ Bummed was apparent to precious few listeners upon its first release on 5 November 1988. Within a decade or two, Bummed would be hailed as one of the best records of the ’80s, often by the self-same publications that had slated it back in the day – a harbinger of the seismic shift about to take place in British popular music, away from the squeaky-clean, corporately ordained pop-radio fodder which had increasingly dominated the charts since punk, and back towards the more aggressive, unruly and experience-hungry urges which had always pulsed through rock ‘n’ roll.

                                                                                                                                              With artwork lovingly replicated by original Manchester designers Central Station Design, this album is on vinyl for the first time since it’s original release.

                                                                                                                                              Featured the singles “Wrote For Luck” and “Lazyitis - One Armed Boxer”

                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                              Andy says: The Martin Hannett produced "Bummed" was a huge step up (and on!) from their debut record. Cavernous and rambling, heavy and churning, the tunes here were much more direct whilst the grooves were (can we say it?) BAGGY as fuck! One of Factory Records' greatest ever releases.

                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                              Country Song 
                                                                                                                                              Moving In With 
                                                                                                                                              Mad Cyril 
                                                                                                                                              Fat Lady Wrestlers 
                                                                                                                                              Brain Dead 
                                                                                                                                              Wrote For Luck 
                                                                                                                                              Bring A Friend 
                                                                                                                                              Do It Better 
                                                                                                                                              Lazy Itis

                                                                                                                                              Happy Mondays

                                                                                                                                              Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches

                                                                                                                                                Happy Mondays formed in 1980 and were signed by Tony Wilson to Factory Records. While their first album 'Squirrel And G-Man' had been all ramshackle ramblings and jarring grooves, by their second album 'Bummed' they were already showing signs of what was to come on 'Pills and Thrills' with off kilter funky grooves carrying Sean's sneering nonsensicle lyrics. 

                                                                                                                                                By 1990, 'Madchester' was in full swing, this was the time of the indie-dance crossover. Previously there had been a very distinct line drawn between these two genre's which was rarely (if ever) crossed, but rave culture and Ecstacy had erased such rigid barriers and with DJ Paul Oakenfold more dancefloor orientated production, the Mondays embraced this change and added loose (ok, yes, baggy) psychedelic grooves to their uncompromising lyrics and shady tales. This album (along with Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica') came to defined this indie-funk-psych-rave melding of genres and hedonistic scene perfectly. 

                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                Andy says: The Mondays first "pop" (but not really) LP was produced by superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold and featured their biggest hit, the superb "Kinky Afro". This was their time,and they didn't fail to deliver.

                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                Kinky Afro
                                                                                                                                                God's Cop
                                                                                                                                                Grandbag's Funeral
                                                                                                                                                Loose Fit
                                                                                                                                                Dennis And Lois
                                                                                                                                                Bob's Yer Uncle
                                                                                                                                                Step On

                                                                                                                                                Happy Mondays

                                                                                                                                                Tart Tart

                                                                                                                                                  Happy Mondays release this special 7" in memory of their legendary bassist Paul Ryder, who tragically passed away earlier this year. The 'Tart Tart’ limited edition 7” contains the original of the track, which originally appeared on Happy Mondays 1987 debut album Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) and was produced by John Cale. On the B-Side is a live version of the track from a BBC John Peel session.

                                                                                                                                                  Paul’s brother, Happy Monday’s vocalist Shaun Ryder comments: "This special release of Tart Tart showcases the unique musical talent of our brother Paul Ryder who passed from this world ... we will all miss you Horse...he brought the funk and the rock n roll to Happy Mondays … love you long time R kid”

                                                                                                                                                  All profits from the release will be donated to Music Cares, a charity chosen by Paul’s daughter Amelia, who comments: "Music Cares is a charity that helps people in the music industry who are struggling with addiction issues. 14 years ago, Paul was given help and support from the organization who helped fund extended outpatient care and therapy that enabled him to have 14 subsequent happy and productive years. Just two weeks ago he mentioned them in an interview and often expressed his gratitude and desire to pay their support forward so others could be helped too.”

                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                  Laura says: In the late 80s The 'Monday's released a handful of 12" singles on Factory Records, combining indie guitars with a loose, funky swagger, topped with Shaun's mad, stream of consciousness lyrics delivered with his distinctly Salfordian bark. Paul Ryder's guitar grooves were the backbone of songs like "Delightful", "Freaky Dancing" and this track, "Tart, Tart" which went on to influence the whole Madchester thing, and well, you know the rest....

                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                  A. Tart Tart
                                                                                                                                                  B. Tart Tart (2019 Remaster) 

                                                                                                                                                  From the simmering harmonised opener, 'Hanging On' with it's pitch-perfect vocal swirls and snappy percussive backdrop, it's clear that The Happy Soul mean business. Songs like 'The Rules Of Love' and 'I Heard It Said' ooze sleazy charm, with slide guitars and swaying surf-rock solos, while the more mellow latter-half of the LP brings you down from the almost euphoric upbeat nature of the earlier pieces, with the closing couplet of 'Don't Say Goodnight' and 'Like Newly Born Stars' rounding things off beautifully with a well-measured and balanced juxtaposition of optimistic drive and mournful poignance. 

                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                  1. Hanging On 04:10
                                                                                                                                                  2. With Fingers Crossed & Forget Me Nots 04:03
                                                                                                                                                  3. The Rules Of Love 02:28
                                                                                                                                                  4. A Salfordian Werewolf In Urmston 03:45
                                                                                                                                                  5. Comeback 03:12
                                                                                                                                                  6. Wanting & Needing 03:10
                                                                                                                                                  7. I Heard It Said 03:20 
                                                                                                                                                  8. The Sad Refrain 03:53
                                                                                                                                                  9. Add Zero To Zero 02:53
                                                                                                                                                  10. Someone Is Calling Your Name 02:38
                                                                                                                                                  11. Don't Say Goodnight 02:14
                                                                                                                                                  12. Like Newly Born Stars 04:26

                                                                                                                                                  "We’ll admit, this finished album landed at our headquarters late last summer, but it just seemed unfair to release it in the Fall or Winter months, since this debut LP by the Happy Thoughts is such an incredibly classic-sounding ‘Summer album’ in all aspects of the term. How do guitar riffs like these clear the clouds away so well, while embracing a pure freshness in such a familiar sense? You’ll feel like you’ve been listening to these songs your whole life.

                                                                                                                                                  As clean and crisp as the early ‘60s-infused rock’n roll backbeat holding onto these songs for dear life, each track sticks right to your ribs, and with the addition of a full band, compared to the previous solo recordings, it’s a richness you didn’t even know you deserved. Purity, harmony, and true, unabridged happiness come bleeding through this collection of songs even more impressively than on the other bands Eric Lagrange has played a pivotal part in, namely, the excellence of the Cave Weddings and Romance Novels (the latter of which, chosen by Nobunny for support on his first US tour).”

                                                                                                                                                  For fans of Bobby Fuller Four, Nobunny, Fevers, Shoes.

                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                  1. Half Day
                                                                                                                                                  2. One More Fish
                                                                                                                                                  3. Sweet Dirty Love
                                                                                                                                                  4. Indiana Girls
                                                                                                                                                  5. Back Of The Line
                                                                                                                                                  6. Bad Days
                                                                                                                                                  7. Anything But Love
                                                                                                                                                  8. Never Gonna Do It
                                                                                                                                                  9. Black & Blue
                                                                                                                                                  10. Hang Around
                                                                                                                                                  11. Ride Ride Ride
                                                                                                                                                  12. Think Happy Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                  Hapshash & The Coloured Coat

                                                                                                                                                  Featuring The Human Host And The Heavy Metal Kids

                                                                                                                                                    Hapshash & The Coloured Coat released this debut in 1968 and it's something of an electric mayhem and freeform psychedelic freakout. Art designers Michael English and Nigel Weymouth, whose striking graphics were seen on many bright and trippy posters for psychedelic clubs like the UFO and Middle Earth in London, were the creative talent behind this band along with DJ and manager Guy Stevens. They incorporated flower power, love, peace and acid into a psychedelic rock lifestyle. Could only have been recorded and released in the late 60s.

                                                                                                                                                    Har Mar Superstar

                                                                                                                                                    Har Mar Superstar

                                                                                                                                                      Genius ten track debut from Har Mar Superstar, a one man cabaret pop star extravaganza who will have you grinning ear to ear from the get go! Imagine Prince with a far dafter sense of humour and even less reluctance to strip to his undies!

                                                                                                                                                      Har Mar Superstar


                                                                                                                                                        Welcome to Roseville, the 7th studio album by Har Mar Superstar. Sean Tillmann’s latest collection of songs is career defining culmination of life and musical experiences that were heavily influenced by 70s AM gold artists including Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Carole King, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Genesis, Hall and Oates, Meat Loaf, Dory Previn, and ELO. The album came together in the late months of 2020 and is the first true collaborative effort of the whole touring band. It was distance recorded by all of the members in their home studios and the band’s home base, Mid City Studio, in Minneapolis.

                                                                                                                                                        It has been described as an “existential homecoming” that chronicles Tillmann’s return to life as a Minnesotan over the last 5 years. Most of the album was produced by bandmates Aaron Baum and Ryan Mach. John Fields (Jonas Brothers, Andrew WK, Har Mar’s 2004 album “The Handler”) returned to Team Har Mar producing “Solid Ghost” and “Hearts Have Misspoken”, and Ryan Olson (Poliça, Gayngs, Swamp Dogg) dropped in to produce “Patchwork Prisms”. Texas musical legends in the making Kam Franklin (The Suffers) and Jackie Venson (one of the greatest guitarists alive) popped by to elevate “Another Century” into a soul duet masterpiece. Denver Dalley (Desaparecidos) and T. Macey Taylor (Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis, Amanda Shires) appear on “Where We Began” which they helped write on the road while supporting Afghan Whigs a few years back. The band is Nelson Devereaux, Jake Baldwin, Adam Hurlburt, Ethan Elseth, Aaron Baum, and Ryan Mach, and everyone had a hand in co-writing to help make this album a united, genre hopping masterpiece. The whole album is a cohesive journey designed to be listened to front to back, but each track is strong enough to stand on its own

                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                        01. Solid Ghost
                                                                                                                                                        02. Where We Began
                                                                                                                                                        03. Another Century (feat. Kam Franklin & Jackie Venson)
                                                                                                                                                        04. Hello, Mr. Sandman
                                                                                                                                                        05. Sleight Of Hand
                                                                                                                                                        06. Patchwork Prisms
                                                                                                                                                        07. Neon Aglow
                                                                                                                                                        08. Hearts Have Misspoken
                                                                                                                                                        09. Burn The Page
                                                                                                                                                        10 .Hit And Run
                                                                                                                                                        11. You’re Not Alone 

                                                                                                                                                        Ed Harcourt

                                                                                                                                                        Beyond The End

                                                                                                                                                          A much acclaimed recording artist who released his Mercury Prize nominated debut, Here Be Monsters on Heavenly Records in 2001, in recent years his has gained acclaim for his songwriting for a variety of artists.

                                                                                                                                                          The album, which follows Furnaces, his 2016 album for Polydor, sees Ed Harcourt add another new string to his multi-faceted musical bow. Something of a left-turn after its busy, big-screen, somewhat under-appreciated predecessor, it sees the supremely versatile singer, writer and all-round instrumentalist bravely eschew vocals and lyrics and create a soft-spoken yet emotionally loquacious group of piano-led instrumentals, as if sound-tracking an as yet invisible film, or responding to today’s ferocious shouting match of a planet with a mesmerizing, meditative calm. “The world that we live in, we’re exhausted by the internet, social media, the sheer barrage of news and vomit being rained down us on a daily basis. You can’t avoid it, and it’s tiring. So this record came from taking a step back – it’s something that’s trying to be beautiful. My hope is that people might choose to swim amongst this music when it all gets too much.”

                                                                                                                                                          Talking about the gestation of the album, which was written and recorded at his ‘Wolf Cabin’ studio in Oxfordshire Harcourt said, “I knew I wanted to buy a new piano. Eventually I found this 1910 Hopkinson Baby Grand, which is exactly the same make and era as my grandmother’s piano which I started learning on and wrote my first three records on. I felt at home again. I needed a break from singing and lyrics so I began writing instrumental music. I grew up listening to and playing Debussy, Satie, Mozart, Grieg, as well as modern composers like Max Richter, Philip Glass, Arvo Part. I also loved Warren Ellis (with whom Harcourt worked on the new Marianne Faithfull album) and Nick Cave’s score for The Assassination Of Jesse James… 

                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                          1. Diving Bell
                                                                                                                                                          2. Wolves Change Rivers
                                                                                                                                                          3. Duet For Ghosts
                                                                                                                                                          4. Empress Of The Lake
                                                                                                                                                          5. Keep Us Safe
                                                                                                                                                          6. Faded Photographs
                                                                                                                                                          7. For My Father
                                                                                                                                                          8. For My Mother
                                                                                                                                                          9. Beneath The Brine
                                                                                                                                                          10. There Is Still A Fire
                                                                                                                                                          11. Circling Red Kites
                                                                                                                                                          12. Whiskey Held My Sleep To Ransom

                                                                                                                                                          Ed Harcourt

                                                                                                                                                          El Magnifico

                                                                                                                                                            Making his debut with the Mercury Prize-nominated Here Be Monsters in 2001, Harcourt has released music under his own name that blends raw emotions, impeccable songwriting and visionary flights of imagination. A succession of ten rich, enthralling albums have followed that first spark of his, including the intoxicating addictive Strangers in 2004; 2013’s breathless Back Into The Woods which was recorded in just eight hours; and Furnaces which compellingly and entreatingly envisioned family ties confronted by the small matter of the apocalypse. After that LP in 2016, Harcourt then moved to explore the instrumental sphere with recent soundscape albums Beyond The End and Monochrome To Colour.

                                                                                                                                                            While recognisably bearing all the hallmarks that have made him such an admired and prolific songwriter, one of Britain’s most cherished yet inventive music creators, Ed’s new record, El Magnifico, also finds him striving for something new. It is an Ed Harcourt record, but one with a desire to seek fresh reward.

                                                                                                                                                            With his body of work to date, it would be foolhardy for Harcourt not to lean on his artistic foundations, not just as a solo artist, but as an acclaimed music-maker in a variety of guises. His creativity has stretched beyond his own impressive catalogue too. Consistently inspired by the power of collaboration, as a writer, producer and, often, one-man backing band, he has aided the musical visions of the likes of Afghan Whigs, Lissie, Jamie Cullum, The Libertines and Marianne Faithfull, plus has worked with an array of fast-rising new talents. He has also engaged closely with filmmakers, scoring movies and documentaries and is a member of the gloriously louche, sonically hard bitten rock trio Loup Garoux.

                                                                                                                                                            With that array of creativity fizzing behind him, Harcourt enjoys a spectrum-spanning number of outlets of expression, ensuring his bountiful creativity and cascading of ideas always find an appropriately unique home. And ‘El Magnifico’ is the beneficiary of this immense scope and musical insight. 

                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Classic, swooning ballads written with Harcourt's unmistakeable melodic ear and wry lyrical style. there are as many moments of brittle restraint as there are jubilant celebration. It's a beautifully sequenced and wonderfully produced wonder.

                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                            1. 1987
                                                                                                                                                            2. Into The Loving Arms Of Your Enemy
                                                                                                                                                            3. Broken Keys
                                                                                                                                                            4. Strange Beauty
                                                                                                                                                            5. The Violence Of The Rose
                                                                                                                                                            6. Ghost Ship
                                                                                                                                                            7. Deathless
                                                                                                                                                            8. Anvils & Hammers
                                                                                                                                                            9. My Heart Can’t Keep Up With My Mind
                                                                                                                                                            10. At The Dead Of The World
                                                                                                                                                            11. Seraphina
                                                                                                                                                            12. El Magnifico

                                                                                                                                                            Ed Harcourt

                                                                                                                                                            Monochrome To Colour

                                                                                                                                                              Haunting and other-worldly new record from Ed Harcourt, his ninth studio album and second release on Point Of Departure following 2018’s ‘Beyond The End’.

                                                                                                                                                              Recorded at his own Wolf Cabin studio in rural Oxfordshire between January and October 2019, this beautiful 12-track album was written and produced entirely by Harcourt. It features Clive Deamer from Portishead on drums on three tracks, and Gita and Amy Langley on violin and cello respectively

                                                                                                                                                              The new album is full of rapturous outreach. It was made with an interesting blend of instrumentation, ancient and modern. There’s a 1910 Hopkinson baby grand piano and also a dulcitone, a 19th-Century oddity where hammers strike an array of tuning forks.

                                                                                                                                                              A much-acclaimed recording artist who released his Mercury Prize nominated debut ‘Here Be Monsters’ on Heavenly Records in 2001, in recent years Harcourt has gained acclaim for his songwriting for a variety of artists. He’s co-written songs with Marianne Faithfull, Lisa Marie Presley, Paloma Faith, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll. He’s featured on albums with Mark Lanegan and alongside an intercontinental array of musicians, from Egypt and Tanzania to Argentina and Russia (this global cast featuring on the 2019 album ‘Beyond Music: Same Sky’). Moving from bands to the big screen, Ed has written for several soundtracks, including the recent superhero comedy Supervised and the 2014 drama Like Sunday, Like Rain.

                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                              First Light
                                                                                                                                                              Drowning In Dreams
                                                                                                                                                              Her Blood Is Volcanic
                                                                                                                                                              Only The Darkness
                                                                                                                                                              Smiles For You
                                                                                                                                                              Death Of The Siren
                                                                                                                                                              After The Carnival
                                                                                                                                                              Last Rites
                                                                                                                                                              So Here’s To You, Hally
                                                                                                                                                              King Raman
                                                                                                                                                              Monochrome Into Colour

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