TOP 10

ALBUMS THIS WEEK

It’s about change and the power to change. It’s about metamorphosis and evolution. It’s about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognizing your potential. It’s about self-doubt and inaction. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about you and me and the others. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It's about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts. It's about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer.

Savages’ second album Adore Life was recorded in RAK Studios, London in April 2015. Johnny Hostile was the producer and Richard Woodcraft the engineer. Anders Trentmöller took care of the mixing in Copenhagen. 

TRACK LISTING

The Answer
Evil
Sad Person
Adore
I Need Something New
Slowing Down The World
When In Love
Surrender
TIWYG
Mechanics

Tindersticks release their new album ‘The Waiting Room,’ a milestone not just numerically, but musically and creatively. Their first studio album since 2012’s critically acclaimed ‘The Something Rain' (9/10 DiS, 8.1 pitchfork, 8/10 the Quietus, 8/10 DIY, 4/5 Guardian, 4/5 Independent on Sunday, 4/5 Uncut, 4/5 Q, 4/5 Observer) is the most ambitious, diverse and elaborate album you’ll have heard from Tindersticks in recent years. 2 decades into their musical voyage Tindersticks, established masters of restraint and poetic human emotion, are a band now confidently making the best songs of their career.

‘The Waiting Room' breathes gravity and features guest appearances by Jehnny Beth of Savages and a particularly poignant duet with long time friend of Stuart Staples, Lhasa De Sela. Not just an album but also an elaborate collaborative artistic project, each track is accompanied by a short film, each one a visual interpretation by it's own director. Christoph Girardet, Pierre Vinour, Claire Denis, Rosie Pedlow and Joe King, Gregorio Graziosi, Richard Dumas and Gabriel Sanna.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Hazy and harrowing, The Waiting Room is an intimate album with soft lyrics which are told in a story-like manner holding incredible depth. It has remnants of Celtic folk influence from the percussion, orchestral choruses and tinkering sounds of loveliness!

TRACK LISTING

1 Follow Me
2 Second Chance Man
3 Were We Once Lovers?
4 Help Youself
5 Hey Lucinda
6 This Fear Of Emptiness
7 How He Entered
8 The Waiting Room
9 Planting Holes
10 We Are Dreamers!
11 Like Only Lovers Can

DVD  
1 Follow Me (Video)
2 Second Chance Man (Video)
3 Were We Once Lovers? (Video)
4 Help Youself (Video)
5 Hey Lucinda (Video)
6 This Fear Of Emptiness (Video)
7 How He Entered (Video)
8 The Waiting Room (Video)
9 Planting Holes (Video)
10 We Are Dreamers! (Video)
11 Like Only Lovers Can (Video)

Charlie Hilton, known up until now for her work in the band Blouse, has now forged a new identity with her debut solo album, ‘Palana’.

It should come as no surprise that many of the songs on ‘Palana’ are concerned with shifting characters, forms and ideas. The album’s title itself is a nod to Hilton’s given Sanskrit name, an identity she shed completely after high school in favour of the androgynous ‘Charlie’ and Palana’s overarching theme can be summed up by a quote from Hermen Hesse’s Steppenwolf, a phrase Hilton cites as a personal mantra: “Man is not by any means of fixed and enduring form… he is much more an experiment and a transition”

Enlisting Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait as producer, Hilton freely experimented with diverse sounds and moods - some minimal and some cacophonous - out of the confines of a band structure. ‘Funny Anyway’ is truly stark, featuring only string accompaniments, with Hilton assuming a role akin to a confessional French chanteuse, while ‘Let’s Go To A Party’ is Hilton’s cheeky take on an icy dance track with thick, bouncing synths and a chorus that echoes “I’m only happy when I’m dancing.” Alternatively, tracks like ‘Pony’ harken back to the psychedelic strengths of Blouse, saluting bands like Broadcast and United States Of America and then there’s ‘100 Million’, the sole track produced by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere that rounds out the album in a soft, acoustic and light-hearted way with labelmate Mac DeMarco lending his talents on percussion and back-up vocals.

This wide range of moods on ‘Palana’ recall several of Hilton’s key influences - the solemn beauty of Nico, the whimsical nature of Marc Bolan and the naïveté of Jonathan Richman - but the album is undeniably the work of one artist, perhaps best summed up by the artist herself: “The music on this record is diverse, but so is the inside of a person. I feel like I’m many people.”

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: A very good record that's hard to pin down, as it mixes lots of styles from krautrock grooves, dream-pop floatiness, psych and library sounds, blending the electronic with the organic in such a clever way. Stereolab fans will love this.

TRACK LISTING

Palana
Something For Us All
Pony
Long Goodbye
Funny Anyway
WHY
Let’s Go To A Party
Snow
The Young
No One Will
100 Million

Say the band: "While our first LP might be considered an assault, a spasmodic outpouring of disdain generated by the utter tedium of life when it is found unlivable, 'Songs For Our Mothers' is an invitation. It is an invitation, sent by misery, to dance to the beat of human hatred. In it we ask that you take us gently by the hand as we lead you on a journey, a journey that leads us from the blinding white heat of a midday Mediterranean shore, to the embattled boudoir of Ike and Tina Turner, from the clotted grey droll of Dr Harold Shipmans waiting room, to the final hours of the Third Reich in the Berlin bunker".

So that's nice. They continue: "It is as much a catalogue of our obsessions as it is a sensual odyssey; sex, drugs, politics, death, the Northern Irish A-lister Sam Neil, it's all here, all that's left to do now is breathe it in".

Co -produced by Liam Trashmouth and the Fat White Family and recorded at the Trashmouth studios in New Malden and Marcata Studios (where both Swans and Titus Andonicus record) in New Paltz in upstate New York.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Raucous and driven indie-rock with a politically charged punk attitude and impeccably balanced melodies, coupled with a sensitive production aesthetic which really sets this apart.

TRACK LISTING

1. Whitest Boy On The Beach
2. Satisfied
3. Love Is The Crack
4. Duce
5. Lebensraum
6. Hits Hits Hits
7. Tinfoil Deathstar
8. When Shipman Decides
9. We Must Learn To Rise
10. Goodbye Goebbels

A collection of nine reworks crafted by fans and selected by Nils himself form the ‘Screws Reworked’ re-issue, also featuring his original ‘Screws’

The 2012 album 'Screws' by Nils Frahm, was the result of inspiration from his fans and friends while he recovered from an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. These nine intimate recordings were offered to fans to download for free and in return fans thanked Nils by sending him their audio and visual reinterpretations.

Fascinated by the results, Nils then publicly asked his fans to submit their reworks or any form of art that was inspired by the release and all these submissions have been collected since on a dedicated website: screws.nilsfrahm.com. It gave birth to the 'Screws Reworked' project from which Nils selected nine reworks to feature on a special edition re-issue which also includes his original ‘Screws’.

Helios, Bug Lover and Plasma Rüby are amongst Nils’s final selection for ‘Screws Reworked’, housed in an inner sleeve a visual rework created by Adam Young aka Saturnine.

“Whenever you have to decide between two things, you end up favouring one over the other. In the case of this record, I had to choose nine out of hundreds of songs – but I didn’t want to follow this logic, I didn’t want the songs to compete against each other. I never liked music competitions, neither when I was a kid playing classical music contests nor today when the best album of 2015 is awarded. Having been in the situation to pick my own tracks for my own records, I knew that the only way to manage this tough job is to concentrate on the cohesiveness of listening to the songs all together. Screws Reworked should sound like a record, not like a random collection of tracks.

The motivation to make such a record came with the release of Screws in 2012 as a gift to my listeners. I thought about it as a starting point for people to make their own interpretations of the songs. The feedback was overwhelming. A couple of months later, we counted over 300 contributions. Without going through a selection process, they were all available only online until now. It seemed essential to make it a real record as I imagined how happy it must make those who would find their names – in most cases for the first time – on a real record.

Now is the time to thank you all for your numerous and beautiful contributions. In case you don’t find your track here, please don’t think it stands behind the others. This record means, in fact, that some of the most beautiful songs couldn’t be included as they simply weren’t ‘good neighbours’ and because there is only one rework for each of my original compositions. However all of you opened your hearts and minds and shared your uniqueness with us and I feel incredibly blessed by each and every single rework of Screws. Thank you!” – Nils Frahm.

TRACK LISTING

Disc 1 Disc 2
1. You 1. You (Bug Lover Rework)
2. Do 2. Do (Databoy78 Rework)
3. Re 3. Re (Helios Rework)
4. Mi 4. Mi (Soul Channel Rework)
5. Fa 5. Fa (Fred Yaddaden Rework)
6. Sol 6. Sol (Ruhe Rework)
7. La 7. La (Sebastian Freij Rework)
8. Si 8. Si (Plasma R?by Rework)
9. Me 9. Me (Analogue Dear Rework)

From the press release for ‘Emotional Mugger’:
“Get in the booth -
punch in the number
when they pick up
don’t say a word
just listen
shout at the double
from the damned
from a dry throat
dry eye chuckle
insistent / elastic (but never plastic)
thick / butt jump pierced by the kids
sweet angel voice sinister (what are they thinking)
guitars sliced with scribble
graffiti sprawled across the hemispheres; stuttered, stunted, dual-mono machine dreams flashing sudden stereophobic and back again / two screens alone together squeezing shaking oozing metallic pool like brain blood, slowly draining away all mental life. shaking ass / nihility at most corrodes candy’s gone no more fun.”

TRACK LISTING

1. Squealer
2. Californian Hills
3. Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess
4. Breakfast Eggs
5. Diversion
6. Baby Big Man (I Want A Mommy)
7. Mandy Cream
8. Candy Sam
9. Squealer Two
10. W.U.O.T.W.S.
11. The Magazine

Nearly three years after the release of their debut 'If You Leave', Daughter – the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella – will return in 2016 with a new album, entitled 'Not To Disappear'.

'Not To Disappear' is Daughter’s second album and finds the band making confident strides forward both sonically and lyrically. Elena, Igor and Remi spent a summer in New York recording 'Not To Disappear' with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective) at his Rare Book Room studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: An amazing album by the very talented Daughter, it’s expressive and emotional throughout. More progressive and experimental from their previous album, ‘Not to Disappear’ is filled with devotion. Absorbing and beautiful, I would recommend it to anyone.

TRACK LISTING

1. New Ways
2. Numbers
3. Doing The Right Thing
4. How
5. Mothers
6. Alone / With You
7. No Care
8. To Belong
9. Fossa
10. Made Of Stone

Revered Chicago-based instrumental group Tortoise, comprised of Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs, John McEntire and Jeff Parker, have spent 25 years making music that defies description. While the quintet have nodded to dub, rock, jazz, electronica and minimalism throughout their acclaimed and influential six-album discography, the resulting sounds have always been distinctly their own.

It’s a fact that remains true on the hotly anticipated forthcoming new album ‘The Catastrophist’ (Thrill Jockey) and Tortoise’s first studio album in nearly seven years.

Recorded at McEntire’s famed Soma Studios, it’s an album where moody, synth-swept jams like the opening title track cosy up next to hypnotic, bassand- beat missives like ‘Shake Hands With Danger’ and a fantastic cover of David Essex’s 1973 hit song ‘Rock On’ sung by U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittmann. Throughout, the songs on ‘The Catastrophist’ transcend expectations as often as they delight the listen’s eardrums.

‘Rock On’ isn’t the only vocal moment on the album. Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley distinctive tones are on the bittersweet classic soul/R&B vibe ballad ‘Yonder Blue’. this also marks the first time a Tortoise album will feature a guest vocalist singing original lyrics.

‘Gesceap’, the first track premiered from ‘The Catastrophist’, is a stunning seven-minute long, minimalist rhythmic piece, morphing from two gently intersecting synth lines into a pounding, frenzied full-band finish.

There’s a deeply intuitive interplay between the group that comes only from two decades of experimentation, revision and improvisation. At a time when our minds are constantly bombarded by myriad distractions, ‘The Catastrophist’ reminds us that there’s something much greater out there. All we have to do is listen.

TRACK LISTING

The Catastrophist
Ox Duke
Rock On
Gopher Island
Shake Hands With Danger
The Clearing Fills
Gesceap
Hot Coffee
Yonder Blue
Tesseract
At Odds With Logic

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Pond Scum

    There are no Peel sessions anymore - that tradition was buried in the pyramids with John Peel himself upon the great man's passing. Of the thousands left in the wake, six are ascribed to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - and of those six, three have been combined to form the deeply congruous experience of Pond Scum.

    A span of eight years is covered, in reverse, and many chestnuts are rolled out, freed of former contexts with sparse arrangements. "(I Was Drunk at the) Pulpit" feels, ten years from inception, more vividly worn; "Death to Everyone" is loosed from its frame, the bones decoupled and spread out, giving the song a re?ective air (as opposed the biting declamation of the original); "Arise, Therefore" adapts its metronomic base, the evangelic twist of its roots made palpable. With the centre of the performance in stark relief, the gnomic qualities of two "Get On Jolly" pieces are intensi?ed. Further accenting the devoted spirit of this collection is the inclusion of Bonnie's take on Prince's "The Cross", as well as the previously-unreleased original "Beezle."

    Bonnie's lone shadow casts over this lot, accompanied on the ?rst four tracks by David Heumann, but otherwise playing solo through a set of original songs (and two covers) representing a decade of progress in the almost unbearably intimate-yet-unknowable manner that was so often the vibe of those strange and wondrous days.

    Layers peel to reveal the subtle artistry and refinement contained within these sessions, so begin to dig deep into the vault on January 22nd, 2016! But wait, there's more! You can download a new arrangement of "Rich Wife Full of Happiness", (which is similar in tone, but not found on Pond Scum!)!


    Since bursting onto the DIY scene last summer, Hinds - Ana Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen - have mastered a raw and playful sound all their own. With just a handful of released singles under their belt, Hinds have already earned early support from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, NME, Guardian, Beats 1, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The FADER, Gorilla vs. Bear, and many more. Now with the release of their eagerly awaited debut album, Hinds are firmly establishing themselves as one of the most exciting emerging acts of the year and show no sign of slowing down.

    Kicking things off with their new single “Garden,” Hinds take us on a badass rock & roll ride on their debut full-length Leave Me Alone. Weaving sun-kissed, 60’s-inspired melodies, executed with a genius call-and-response between co-vocalists and band co-founders Perrote and Cosials, Hinds create the ultimate soundtrack to the best day ever - from start to finish - spent with your four best friends. In addition to previously released fan favorites including the band’s first-ever single “Bamboo,” “Castigadas En El Granero” - which translates in English to “Grounded In The Barn” - and the band’s first new song of 2015 “Chili Town,” Leave Me Alone only gets better with each song. Featuring bright surf-pop tune “San Diego,” the mixed-tempo “Fat Calmed Kiddos,” and a bitter ode to shitty boyfriends in “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back,” Leave Me Alone is guaranteed to bring the Mediterranean sun to you wherever you are in the world at any time of the year. 

    “A concentrated shot of brattish indie psych…a total breath of fresh air” – NME

    “Addictive, pure pop hooks…they know exactly what they’re doing” – Q

    “Loud, spiky and infectiously happy…(they) have a smack of the Velvet Underground and ramshackle riot grrrl bands” – Time Out

    “…all scratchy guitars, kiss-off lyrics and Phil Spector sonics.” – The Sunday Times

    “a lackadaisical, whimsical 60s garage-pop tune that’ll snog your face off and then nick your ice-cream afterwards.” – The Guardian

    “an assertive rhythm and off-kilter guitar line…an enjoyable ride.” - Pitchfork

    “The chillest four-piece in rock hail from Madrid, and write choruses so loose and lovely you’ll want to wear them in like a favorite pair of sneakers.” - The FADER

    “We're head over heels.” - Noisey.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: Infectious pop hooks but delivered with a kind of ramshackle, lo-fi cool rather than the hi-gloss synth-pop sheen of many bands at the mo. Guaranteed to set your toes tapping and bring a smile to your face.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Garden
    2. Fat Calmed Kiddos
    3. Warts
    4. Easy
    5. Castigadas En El Granero
    6. Solar Gap
    7. Chili Town
    8. Bamboo
    9. San Diego
    10. And I Will Send Your Flowers Back
    11. I’ll Be Your Man
    12. Walking Home


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