MAGIC MIX

Lockdown Lowdown

Our Pick Of The Lockdown Releases

So as things are slowly returning to some sort of normal here at Piccadilly, we thought we'd give you a little run-down of what was keeping us entertained during lockdown.

We'd half expected every release that was due this spring / summer to get pulled or at least delayed until later in the year, but thankfully it was actually a great time for new releases with loads of great stuff keeping us all sane through all the weirdness.

So here are our top picks of what you might have missed while you were cooped up baking bread, hoarding loo roll or whatever it was you were doing with yourselves during lockdown.
Drawing from a diverse array of contributors, "Suggested Forms" gathers the asymmetrical rhythms and polyrhythmic dancefloor freakouts from New York multimedia artist Tristan Arp’s first EPs. Alongside twisted reworks from Dominican dembow and reggaeton producer Kelman Duran, techno experimentalist Machine Woman, and Brooklyn’s Beta Librae, the Human Pitch cofounder’s syncopated rhythm science serves as a strange and playful take on leftfield bass.

Badly Drawn Boy

Banana Skin Shoes

    Banana Skin Shoes is Damon Gough's ninth album and is comprised of 14 tracks including previously released track 'Is This A Dream?'.

    Always one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Gough's ninth album is a truly personal & heartfelt collection of songs, a huge statement of intent & the most glorious, colourful warming, honest pop record you'll hear this year.

    BC Camplight

    Shortly After Takeoff

      “This is an examination of madness and loss,” says Brian Christinzio, the inimitable force behind BC Camplight. “I hope it starts a long overdue conversation.”

      Fired by his ongoing battle with mental illness, Shortly After Takeoff is the final, and finest, chapter of what Christinzio calls his “Manchester Trilogy”, following 2015’s “How To Die In The North” and 2018’s “Deportation Blues”. All three albums were created after the native Philadelphian had moved to Manchester. Like Deportation Blues, Shortly After Takeoff spans singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll, with Christinzio’s similarly distinctive, flexible vocal carrying a fearless approach to lyrical introspection, but the new album is a major leap forward in songwriting sophistication and lyrical communication.

      “It’s important to stress that this isn’t a redemption story,” he says. “I'm a guy who maybe lives a little hard and I’m in the thick of some heavy stuff. But as a result, I think I've made my best record.”

      The “heavy stuff” has come thick and fast for Christinzio. Just days before How To Die In The North was released, he was deported and banned from the UK because of visa issues. Estranged from his new home, his girlfriend and his dog, unable to promote his album and back home with his parents, Christinzio sunk deep into the dark. An Italian passport, care of his grandparents, eventually allowed him to re-settle in Manchester, but then just days before Deportation Blues was released, his father Angelo unexpectedly died.

      “I went into a spiral that was worse than any time since my twenties,” he recalls. Hence the title Shortly After Takeoff: the feeling of being suddenly thwarted by what life throws at you. Making matters worse was a neurological disorder that returned after years in remission: “I see TV static, and it messes with how my brain interprets everything from sound to my own feelings.”

      One way to process tragedy is comedy, which elevates Shortly After Takeoff to a heightened plateau, from grief-stricken vulnerability to armoured bravado, from the black dog of depression to gallows humour. None more so than ‘Ghosthunting’, which opens with an extraordinary (fabricated) passage of Christinzio doing a stand-up routine, centring on the memory of hallucinating his father’s ghost. “I want to drag the listener into this world and hopefully they question why they feel uneasy,” he explains.

      “I also wanted to make a record totally free of whimsy and irony, that was just clear and open and honest. I don’t think you really heard the chaos in Deportation Blues, but in Shortly After Takeoff, I can hear I’m finding undiscovered places to go, only because I was so lost. Lyrically, I wanted people to hear and understand me this time. Before, if I would have written about my father dying, I would have made up some weird bullshit, like an analogy about a tree shedding leaves or something. That Brian is gone. I have a direct line to the listener now. I have a direct line to myself too. It’s a benchmark moment for me.”

      Shortly After Takeoff ends with the gorgeously tender 93-second ‘Angelo’, “a little fleeting moment for my dad. I wanted his name on the album, and something that sounded like a goodbye. It ends with the drums, like a heartbeat stopping…”

      That’s Christinzio and Shortly After Takeoff: his best, most honest, open and frequently heartbreaking record.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Surely this must finally be the record which brings Brian Christinzio the attention he deserves. He is simply an incredible melodicist and creates tracks full of surprising twists and unusual turns. Dark, crazy but funnily inspirational lyrics are offset against the sweetest voice and catchiest songs you’ll hear all year. Just brilliant.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Phoebe Bridgers

      Punisher

        Phoebe Bridgers doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities.

        Punisher, her fourth release and second solo album, is concerned with that subject. To say she writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom, to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. The arrival of Punisher cements Phoebe Bridgers as one of the most clever, tender and prolific songwriters of our era.

        Bridgers is the rare artist with enough humour to deconstruct her own meteoric rise. Repeatedly praised by publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, The Fader, The Los Angeles Times and countless others, Bridgers herself is more interested in discussing topics on Twitter, deadpanning meditations on the humiliating process of being a person, she presents a sweetly funny flipside to the strikingly sad songs she writes. Fittingly, Punisher is fascinated with, and driven by, that kind of impossible tension. Whether it’s writing tweets or songs, Bridgers’s singular talent lies in bringing fierce curiosity to slimy and painful things, interrogating them until they yield up answers that are beautiful and absurd, or faithfully reporting the reality that, sometimes, they are neither.

        Bridgers pulls together a formidable crew of guests, including the Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Christian Lee Hutson and Conor Oberst as well as Nathaniel Walcott (of Bright Eyes), Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jenny Lee Lindberg (of Warpaint), Blake Mills and Jim Keltner as well as her longtime bandmates Marshall Vore (drums), Harrison Whitford (guitar), Emily Retsas (bass) and Nick White (keys). The album was mixed by Mike Mogis, who also mixed Stranger In The Alps. On the album’s epic, freewheeling closer, “I Know The End,” Bridgers orchestrates wails and horns, drums and electric guitar into a sumptuous doomsday swirl, culminating in her own final whispered roar.

        This is Punisher in a nutshell: devastating elegance punctuated by a moment of deeply campy self-awareness.

        Tim Burgess

        I Love The New Sky

          How inspiring it is to hear Tim Burgess conjuring up exciting and life-affirming sounds as he, almost inconceivably, enters his fifth decade on public duty. Frontman, singer, label boss, DJ and author, he’s been instrumental in so many great records over the years, always bringing enthusiasm, positivity and diversity of influence, which altogether light the way for those who hold him dear.

          While in The Charlatans, Tim’s indefatigable energy has been a consistent fuel for the band across thirteen high-charting albums, his solo adventure has been no less extraordinary, scaling new heights in 2020 with his fifth solo release to date: ‘I Love The New Sky’. Released on Bella Union, it features wonderfully connective songs of everyday minutiae and universal experience, of love and anger, of loss and belonging, all united by elaborate yet natural arrangements and an effortless but deceptively expert way with melody.

          ‘I Love The New Sky’ differs from its predecessors in that all twelve tracks were self-penned. “In the past, I've written collaboratively,” says a characteristically, but rightfully excited Burgess. “(2012's) ‘Oh No I Love You’ was written with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner in Nashville, and then ‘Same Language, Different Worlds’ was a collaboration with Peter Gordon who had worked extensively with Arthur Russell.”

          The spark for ‘I Love The New Sky’ came after a year of touring another album, ‘As I Was Now’, which he’d made in 2008 but had a belated release ten years later. “That one was made in three days, just friends getting together”, he says – the amigos included Josh Hayward from The Horrors, Primal Scream Keyboard player Martin Duffy, Ladyhawke and My Bloody Valentine's Debbie Googe.

          “I didn’t realise the album hadn't actually come out as I had a copy of it on my ipod so I figured that maybe everybody did. So, all those years later I thought it would make an interesting release for Record Store Day. It did really well, so I was approached to tour it for Independent Venue Week and after that a load of festivals asked us to play too. Average Sex were the support band that then became my band so it was a brilliant little tour. After that, I was really energized, and I thought, Right, I'm going to do another album, but really concentrate on making it a solo record, where I write everything on my own and all the songs are the very best I can make them.”

          “I’d been listening to a lot of Isaac Hayes, Olivia Tremor Control, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, John Maus, Weyes Blood and Kevin Ayres - I’m not sure how much they have influenced the album but they were the impetus and inspiration.”

          The twelve tunes of ‘I Love The New Sky’ were authored, he says, “in Norfolk, in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest shop eight miles away. There are no distractions, and I guess that way things happen. I wrote everything on acoustic guitar, and the chords were really considered. The guitar lines would lead the melody, and the melody would inform the lyrics – just dreaming away with music.”

          So far, so Laurel Canyon, though ‘I Love The New Sky’ would end up sounding anything but hippie/folkie, thanks to a connection Tim made while living in a warehouse space in gritty Seven Sisters in North London, before heading to Norfolk.

          “The Quietus had their office there,” he recalls. “I used to know pretty much all the stuff they were writing about, but then their album of the year for 2013 was ‘Glynnaestra’ by Grumbling Fur, and I really fell in love with it. I started talking to the band about working together. To cut a long story short I recorded a song with Grumbling Fur, they remixed two Charlatans tracks and a couple of Daniel O'Sullivan's solo albums came out on my label.”

          As well as bass and drum duties on I Love The New Sky, O’Sullivan plays piano on much of the album, from the bouncing chamber-pop chords of ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ and the punchy chorus of ‘Empathy For The Devil’, through to ‘Comme D’Habitude’’s juxtaposition of blissfully rolling West Coast singer-songwriting and a complex Sparks-y Broadway-esque bridge, to the Velvets-y ramalama moves on ‘Warhol Me’ and ‘Undertow’’s sombre balladry.

          The album was arranged and recorded quickly but not rushed: “Ideas happen fast, don’t they?” Tim reasons. The first sessions at Eve Studios in Stockport were with long-serving Charlatans engineer Jim Spencer. Tim, Daniel and Nik Void cut three tracks in two days, with Nik layering up modular synths in line with her previous day job in Factory Floor.

          A third keyboard maestro entered the picture when Thighpaulsandra, a maverick musician and producer, came into the frame, best known for his work for Julian Cope, Coil Spiritualized and Elizabeth Fraser. I found out that he was based at ‘Rockfield’ [legendary residential facility near Monmouth, South Wales]. So I said, ‘Okay, that’s where we’re going to record the rest of it’.” As well as enlisting his know-how as an engineer, the cosmically-inclined Welshman also applied vintage synths and what Tim hazily calls “wizardry”.

          For Burgess himself, the return to Rockfield was meaningful: “I hadn’t been there since we recorded ‘Tellin' Stories’” he says. “It was a matter of ending this long period of not going there, because after Rob died we couldn’t face it again. So nearly 25 years later, we returned and the positive feelings came back. Mark Collins [Charlatans guitarist] came down to play on ‘Empathy For The Devil’ and ‘Sweetheart Mercury’, and he actually had the same room as he had in 1996. It was like no time had passed at all.”

          “I was in search of a certain sound there,” Tim adds, of his overriding motivation for returning. “I couldn’t exactly put my finger on what it was I was searching for, but I knew if it was there that I’d be able to find it”.

          The results are nothing short of astounding. ‘I Love The New Sky’ has landed somewhere between Paul McCartney's ‘RAM’ and Brian Eno's ‘Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)' and certainly that recipe covers both the all-pervasive tunefulness and high quality. Stylistically, though, it runs the widest gamut, from 'Empathy For The Devil's gospel style rockabilly skip, through to the sophisticated song-craft of ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ and the Nilsson-esque ‘Sweet Old Sorry Me’, with the angst-y gravitas of ‘Undertow’, which Tim describes as “a mood-changer, influenced by 10cc.”

          Lyrically, this might almost be a defining collection from Burgess after thirty years honing his craft. There’s plenty of typical lightness of touch of ‘Only Took A Year’s joking reference to the album’s twelve-month gestation period, and the quip, “what’s your favourite Cure LP? I like ‘Pornography! But it could be any one of three.”

          Equally amusing in its self-referencing is ‘Warhol Me’ set to a soundtrack of New York bubblegum pop. ‘Sweet Old Sorry Me’ finds Burgess reminiscing on his former life in Los Angeles, but drolly updating the Steely Dan vernacular for the social-media era with the line, “I had to unsubscribe from that particular tribe”. ‘Lucky Creatures’, meanwhile, follows Tim on his day back in LA on tour, as he enjoys “tacos on the underground”, revisiting his old everyday haunts in Hollywood.

          ‘The Mall’, too, revels in its everyday setting: “it’s an ordinary feature of everyday life. I’m pretty sure that the ‘escalating drama on a moving staircase’ bit happened at Boots in Piccadilly Circus. Maybe they'll put a blue plaque there one day. I love it round there, it’s like the whole world is happening – but it’s taking a small idea and trying to make it into something more universal.”

          ‘I Got This’ has the line “the future is friendly”. Says Tim: “Everyone’s been going through a lot of tough times. And the future is uncertain. But you have to have that optimistic outlook – like, waking up in the morning and feeling that it’s gonna be a good day.”

          There is a sense of community within this solo venture, which is emphasised when Tim and Nik’s six year old son joins in on ‘Comme D’Habitude’, and with the assembly of what Tim calls a “gang chorus”, in the spirit of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ ‘Plan B’, for the closing chant of the album title on ‘Laurie’. This song is particularly heartfelt, as Tim mistily reveals, written for “someone I love who I never met”. The end section happened spontaneously at Rockfield: “Everybody that came into the studio, I asked them to sing, so there are about 20 people doing that vocal – Mark Collins, Daniel, our friend Ally, Nik, Thighpaulsandra – everybody singing it, and for this spirit that is loved.”

          The final stages of the album’s year-long narrative arc were enacted at Jet Studio in Brussels, with the Echo Collective string section. Burgess looked on “mesmerised at what was happening to the songs, taking an even more magical turn.”

          With that icing on the cake, Tim is in no doubt that he has his finest solo record under his belt. On this occasion, it’s coming out on time, and he’ll be touring it with a live ensemble featuring Daniel O’Sullivan, Thighpaulsandra, another O Genesis artiste called Keel Her, and renowned avant-jazz violinist Peter Broderick, who plays on ‘’Empathy…’ and will recreate the Echo Collective parts, too. So, the community will grow. Just like Tim says, “the future is friendly.”


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: 180 gram LP.
          Transparent splatter vinyl with download code.

          Erland Cooper

          Hether Blether

            Erland Cooper is set to release Hether Blether, the third and final album in a trilogy of releases shaped by the islands where he grew up. Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, the contemporary composer and multiinstrumentalist has explored the birdlife (2018’s Solan Goose), sea (2019’s Sule Skerry) and, on Hether Blether, the land, manifesting an immersive collection of music, words and imagery.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Dinked Edition LP Info: • Alternative (green) album cover, reverse board outer sleeve*
            • Pressed on recycled vinyl
            • A4 matt print*
            • Foldable map of Orkney*
            • Hand-Numbered*
            • Limited Edition of 500.
            *Exclusive to Dinked Edition

            Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            LP Info: Recycled vinyl.

            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Coriky

            Coriky

              For anyone who’s been hoping Washington DC's post-hardcore legends Fugazi might at some point emerge from their long haitus, this might well be the next best thing.
              Coriky is a trio consisting of Amy Farina on drums, Joe Lally on bass and Ian MacKaye on guitar, with all of them sharing vocal duties. Formed in 2015, Coriky didn’t play their first show until 2018 and now finally, they release their debut album.

              As you’d expect, it’s the perfect mix of melody and intensity. Lally’s dubby basslines, rumble over rattling snares and although all three share the mic, it’s MacKaye’s distinctive vocal that gives them their edge.

              Idles might have borrowed the politically charged punk mantle for a while, but MacKaye and co are here to win it back.

              Dngdngdng

              Continentes Perdidos

                DNGDNGDNG is Dengue Dengue Dengue's new alias for this release of extra sensory perception. The duo have projected rhythmic visions of lost continents, unknown worlds and the unseeable past and future that is present all around us. By channeling rhythmic patterns from the matrix they're able to translate the waves of radiation around us which originated at the cosmic event which created the universe. DNGDNGDNG reach deep into their sonic imagination to draw from interlocking time signatures and variant tempos. From the cosmic interference and mathematics DNGDNGDNG create a polyrhythmic theme that brings the sound of continents lost and imagined to our ears. Dengue Dengue Dengue have established themselves as one of the most pioneering artists on the leftfield electronic scene in recent years with heavyweight support by the likes of Boiler Room, Resident Advisor and Bandcamp weekly.

                Heavily influenced by the sounds of UK bass sub-cultures Dengue Dengue Dengue are drawing on their decade of entrancing audiences around the world to connect to dances of the mythical past and lands of the dance beyond their alter ego Afro Peruvian invocations via ancient future rhythms. With the futurist alias of DNGDNGDNG the duo are able to break expectations and swing into imagined realities on a 6/8 rhythm.

                Behind the masks are Felipe Salmon and Rafael Pereira, two producers, dj’s and graphic designers from Lima, Perú. Their work explores the rhythms from Peru and other parts of the world, recreating them electronically by mixing new and old, analog and digital, to create a unique sound and visuals. Their musical explorations go from psychedelic cumbia to dub, from salsa to footwork, from tribal to techno. Their visual and sound palette continues to grow and add new flavours to this melting pot.

                DNGDNGDNG is the new alter ego of pioneering tropical bass duo Dengue Dengue Dengue

                ‘Continentes Perdidos' breaks expectations and swings into imagined realities on a 6/8 rhythm

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Ancestral idents, rainforest atmospheres and serious bassweight abound on this club destroyer from Dengue Dengue Dengue's new alias. Think Hessle, Yak or some of the more techno-tropical Neubau releases. Heaviest shit!

                Baxter Dury

                The Night Chancers

                  Failed Fashionistas, Instagram voyeurs, jilted Romeos, reeking insecurity, the willingly self deluded, the comically unware, the Night Chancers… “Baxter Loves You” The album was co - produced by long time collaborator Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, John Grant, Artic Monkeys) and Baxter, and was recorded at Hoxa studios West Hampstead in May 2019.

                  From thrilling affairs that dissolve into sweaty desperation (Night Chancers) to the absurd bloggers, fruitlessly clinging to the fag ends of the fashion set (Sleep People), via soiled real life (Slum Lord) social media – enabled stalkers (I’m not Your Dog) and new day, sleep – deprived optimism (Daylight), the record’s finely drawn vignettes, are all based on the corners of world Dury has visited.

                  Baxter says “Night Chancers is about being caught out in your attempt at being free”, it’s about someone leaving a hotel room at three in the morning. You’re in a posh room with big Roman taps and all that, but after they go suddenly all you can hear is the taps dripping, and all you can see the debris of the night is around you. Then suddenly a massive party erupts, in the room next door. This happened to me and all I  Could hear was the night chancer, the hotel ravers”.



                  EOB (Ed O'Brien)

                  EARTH

                    Ed O’Brien never planned to make a solo record. As a guitarist with Radiohead, who over almost three decades and nine albums have established themselves as one of the most innovative and influential musical forces of our time, he thought his artistic side had its outlet and was happy to spend any downtime from Radiohead with his family. Plus, he wondered, would it really be necessary? “Thom, Jonny and Phillip are making music,” he says, “and I’m like, ‘The last thing the world needs is a shit album by me.’”

                    But suddenly a switch was flicked and the songs came pouring out of him. That creative surge resulted in an album of rediscovery and adventure by O’Brien under the moniker EOB that deftly veers from moments of delicate folk to euphoric house, its songs seamlessly pinned together by unswerving melodic hooks and candid lyricism. A spirit of collaboration runs through it, from the production team of Flood, Catherine Marks, Alan Moulder and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett to the extraordinary musicians O’Brien assembled to help bring these tracks to life; Omar Hakim, Colin Greenwood, David Okumu, Laura Marling, Adrian Utley, Nathan East and Glenn Kotche.

                    But every group of collaborators needs a leader, and this album is all O’Brien’s vision. “I wanted to make a record from the heart,” he says. “I wanted to make something direct. I wanted to talk about love, your family in the immediate and the wider sense, where we are on the planet, the bigger picture, life and death. I wanted to make a big hearted, warm and colorful album… something hopeful and full of love.”

                    It all started in Brazil. Ed and his family moved out to the Brazilian countryside at the end of 2012. After setting up a home studio and dabbling with the idea of making an electronic record, a listen to Primal Scream’s landmark Screamadelica was O’Brien’s eureka moment. “I thought, this is it… I want my music to have that joy, that light, the depth and breadth of that album… elements of dance, soul, ambient… Uplifting in parts.” He immediately picked up an acoustic guitar and started writing, the new direction further influenced by a trip to Rio Carnival. “Carnival was another eureka moment… an extraordinary explosion of rhythm, melody, dance, light and joy… I felt there was a thread right through Screamadelica, rave and carnival.”

                    The O’Briens returned home in summer 2013 and Ed hunkered down in a remote cottage in the shadow of the Cambrian Mountains in Wales to begin writing songs. As the material for the album was taking shape, Flood offered his services as producer having heard some of the demos. “I had my man, my producer… He’s probably my favorite producer. The breadth of the stuff he’s done, from Depeche Mode, PJ Harvey, U2, Foals… he’s a sonic maestro.”

                    They rented a big house in Wales and over three weeks, in the Autumn of 2017, O’Brien and his house band – East, Hakim and Okumu – got down the bones of the record. A year of tinkering and re-working followed at Assault & Battery Studios in Willesden, London. “The house band was so good for some tracks – but other stuff needed a different approach. Any record that I’ve been involved with, that’s been of any merit, is always a journey.”

                    And then, following five years of writing and recording scheduled during any possible break from the making and touring of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, EOB’s debut was finally completed. “I see this as part of a bigger story…. A trilogy perhaps…I’ve really just started.” It has been a long, necessary process, and O’Brien has emerged a different person. “You have to keep moving and finding the things that inspire you and that resonate… there’s a music that I’m chasing… this feels like the right start.” EOB marks a new beginning for Ed O’Brien. From here, he can go anywhere.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Indies Exclusive Orange Vinyl.
                    180 gram vinyl.
                    Gatefold jacket.
                    6 lithographs.
                    Printed insert.
                    Manufactured with recycled packaging.

                    Four Tet

                    Sixteen Oceans

                      The flag bearer for dancefloor-orientated electronic music has come up with something rather special for, what I think, is his twelfth proper studio album to date. Reaching, through his ever-forward-glancing soundscapes, to even deeper levels of intimacy, intricity, abstraction & intrigue. Four Tet continues to usher in the Now; way before you even knew it existed.

                      Utilizing a beguiling and enchanting array of patches, synths, DSP units and the latest computer technology to yield a decidedly humanoid (read: cybernetic) approach to modern commentary and body movement through sound; our trusty technician has once again proven why he's the go-to tastemaker across the dance music global village, whatever particular camp you chose to shake your boots in.

                      Housed in a fractal-psychedelic sleeve which upon first inspection reveals very little, as the first utterances begin to emanate off the record it's clear Hebden is painting a multidimensional canvas of our current world. Musically and visually it resonates with current moods and emotions, especially as technology continues influence and interact with our daily lives.

                      After a crystalline and atmospheric opening track, "Baby" rushes through our senses at 5G; a track so quintessentially Four Tet yet unfathomably beautiful you'll curse the producer for not gifting it to us sooner. "Teenage Birdsong", a previously released single relishes in its languid, BOC-esque downbeat electronica while "Romantics" closes off the opening side with a warped but elegant moment of transcendence.

                      "Love Salad" smothers us delicate rhythmic glitches and morphed pianos, "Insect Near Piha Beach" deploys the mangled electro-acoustic palettes that garnered much of Hebden's early works while "ISTM"'s gentile flurries and ASDR-enveloped stimulation propels us off into dreamlike fantasy worlds unknown to our consciousness.

                      Side C is a somewhat nocturnal and tranquil affair, with obvious stargazing references contrasted with the whispering fairylike lullabies beamed down from the heavens.

                      After treating us to such a glorious three sides, Four Tet then leaves jaws floor bound by gifting to us an entire side of locked grooves straight from the stems of the album!!! - Honestly, this is some real treasure folks, ready to mined by Ableton heads, mixed and juggled by 3-deck wizards and used as DJ tools across other tracks; it's an unfathomably classy and fortunate touch that closes off one of the producer's most essential albums to date. 10 / fu**ing 10. Essential.


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Matt says: Arg! It's a decade since Keiran hinted at our Meta New World with "There Is Love In You"; and almost all of his predictions have metamorphosed into this hybrid sonic species for 2020. He's still predicting the evolution of electronic music with an almost Darwinian accuracy, setting the high watermarks for others to follow...

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xLtd LP Info: Gatefold Double Vinyl.

                      Ghostpoet

                      I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep

                        The two-time Mercury Prize nominee Ghostpoet (aka Obaro Ejimiwe) follows up 2017’s acclaimed 'Dark Days + Canapés’ with a record which couldn’t feel more prescient, a dystopian snapshot of the universal unease and anxiety we feel as we enter into this new decade, an uncertain future distilled across these 10 vital tracks.

                        The bluesy, gritty ‘Concrete Pony’ is the perfect entry point to the record – in Obaro’s own words; “It’s a snapshot of where we’re at as a society I feel, we seem to have everything and nothing at all. Infinite possibilities and choices galore but we seem set in stone, frozen in place, oblivious to the storm clouds in the distance…”

                        Recorded in London and written, arranged and produced by Ghostpoet, ‘I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep’ incorporates a myriad of sounds and styles but is anchored by the more alt-rock sonics presented across his last two records. It features guest vocals from an eclectic mix of artists; Art School Girlfriend, Skinny Girl Diet’s Delilah Holiday, SaraSara and Katie Dove Dixon. Obaro has always had a keen ear for collaboration, having worked with the likes of Massive Attack, Nadine Shah, Melanie Di Biasio, Maximo Park’s Paul Smith and Damon Albarn’s Africa Express amongst others across his distinguished career.

                        GoGo Penguin

                        GoGo Penguin

                          When a musical ensemble chooses to self-title an album mid-career, it usually signifies their conviction that they’ve struck upon the motherlode, hit the jackpot, stepped up and generally arrived at a point they’ve always striven for but never quite attained before.

                          Coming from GoGo Penguin at this stage in the game, it’s quite a bold statement: the instrumental trio from Manchester, England have fielded plaudits and rave reviews for inspiration and originality at every turn since 2013,when they settled on their dream line-up of Chris Illingworth (piano), Rob Turner (drums) and Nick Blacka (bass).

                          Fusing jazz, classical and electronic influences(amongst others) with a thirst for innovation, they’ve been garlanded as makers of one of the Mercury Prize album of the year (in ’14) and have enjoyed success on record and in the live arena matched by precious few vocal-free groups post-millennium.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive double clear coloured vinyl.

                          Ren Harvieu

                          Revel In The Drama

                            Harvieu’s defiance against the odds and her willingness to lay herself open to make what she believed was within her is baked into every groove of the record, across every stylistic turn: the giddy pop of ‘Strange Thing’, the gothic swoon of ‘Cruel Disguise’, the smokey seductiveness of ‘Yes Please’ through to the stirring torchsong finale ‘My Body She Is Alive’.

                            Harvieu has come a long way from the 17-year-old who was signed to Island Records and who had no intention of becoming a singer-songwriter. Even when she made her debut album “Through The Night”, her confidence was low. “I did help write a few of the songs on that record, which I’m still very fond of, but I felt more of a mouthpiece for someone else’s talent, which eats away at you especially because I had so much to say lyrically I just hadn’t learnt how to as yet.”

                            Her injury - a broken spine following “a freak accident” between recording and releasing her debut album - undermined Harvieu even further. Likewise, Island parted ways with her six months after it’s release, despite a Top 5 chart entry, making the BBC’s Sound Of 2012, a 5-star live review from The Guardian and TV exposure. What followed was what Harvieu describes as “some very dark years” which she addresses in songs like ‘Spirit Me Away’ and the 50’s ballad-evoking ‘You Don’t Know Me.’ A split with her long term partner, her manager and then her beloved Salford. “In one fell swoop everything was gone. I knew I had to get away, start again, rebuild myself.”

                            It wasn’t until 2015 to be exact, when she met Romeo Stodart, the Magic Numbers frontman and songwriter who had emailed after seeing her perform on Later… With Jools Holland, to ask if she’d consider writing together. “When we started, the energy was immediately different to anyone I’d worked with before, there was this insane instant musical connection” she says. “I loved that Romeo really embraced who I was and encouraged it, I was starting to realise that I didn’t have to be anything other than myself.”

                            The pair spent the next two years co-writing: “I wasn’t in a massive hurry, because at last I was having fun” Harvieu says. ‘We’d stay up all night drinking, dancing and playing music, I felt like I was re-discovering a girl who had been hidden, quietened. I’d tell Romeo, I don’t just want to paint pretty pictures I want to revel in the drama of my life, the good and the bad, before I was afraid to say something in my lyrics, but no longer. I felt free.”

                            The album was co-produced by Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi Lynch, owner of Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne where recording took place. “It was a truly magical experience working with Dave & Romeo, they are two absolute nurturing musical wizards.” says Harvieu.

                            Harvieu’s lyrical confidence is evident throughout the album and has you leaning in to absorb line after line. Her voice, soaring and caressing in equal measure, is matched in force by her flirtatious personality. From the album’s opening lyric “Let me put my paws on you, strange thing’through to the feminine bite of ‘Curves And Swerves’ “I’ve got some curves and some swerves, what you gonna do about it?” which crackles with sexual tension and an aching vulnerability.

                            Among Harvieu’s new songs are messages of hope to her younger, anxious self. To the teenage goth Ren in ‘Little Raven’, she says: “I want you to know, that I’m starting to feel, but its gonna take time, but I’m ready to heal”. ‘Tomorrow Girl Today’ is to the Ren “who would make bad decisions… we can all be very self-destructive, but will we make it this time?”

                            So what now, Ren Harvieu? “I’ve created a second chance for myself“ she says. “And I will keep creating second chances for myself, because this is my life and I’m not afraid to revel in it anymore.” Revel In the Drama of Ren Harvieu - finally we all can too.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl.

                            Hinds

                            The Prettiest Curse

                              With “The Prettiest Curse” Hinds shrug off any remaining lo-fi accusations and unveil a widescreen beast of an album, not so much a shift as a quantum leap in their evolution as a band. This is a record positively bursting with life, with the band finally harnessing the full extent of their pop prowess and unleashing songs which sound bigger, bolder, and more complex than anything they have done before. Which isn’t to say they have turned their backs on being Hinds – quite the opposite in fact! Here, they double down on what, precisely, makes them so special – the bright melodies betraying heartbreaking themes of isolation and betrayal, the empowering, don’t mess with us all-girl gang glow - while going even further.

                              You know how people say that a drop of balsamic vinegar makes strawberries taste more strawberry-ish? Well, on “The Prettiest Curse”, Hinds sound even more Hinds-ish, and marvelously so.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive light blue vinyl.

                              Holy Wave is an experimental dream-pop band originally from El Paso, Texas. After seeing a life-altering performance by My Bloody Valentine in 2008, the band moved to Austin to pursue their own vision of Texas psych, their sweet melodies dyed in carefully constructed noise.Over the course of four albums, the band have cemented themselves as a staple force in the international indie scene, with key performances at Levitation, Desert Daze, and nearly every psych gathering on the planet. They’ve toured the world, and shared the stage with heroes such as Slowdive, Spiritualized, Hope Sandoval and The Black Angels. Their body of work has received critical acclaim from Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, Paste Magazine and countless others, and in 2020 they are prepared to release their latest body of work.

                              Interloper sees the band adding new layers to their lush and mesmerizing songwriting style. Written about the duality between life at home and life on the road, it sees the band expanding on their most esoteric and thought-provoking themes. “I’m Not Living in the Past Anymore” is a mantra about breaking the cycle of the mundane, “Escapism” is a dream-like meditation. “Interloper” serves as the centerpiece for this self-expanding record, asking, what happens when the world beneath your feet changes so much that you feel like a stranger in your own shoes? The band turns inward, to blissed-out moments on album opener “Schmetterling”, the saccharine haze of “R&B”, and the freak-out catharsis of live favorite “Buddhist Pete”.

                              With Interloper Holy Wave weaves together a contemplative tapestry that can serve as a road map for the diffident, a soundtrack to self-realization, or simply an invitation to escape.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Mine says: Holy Wave have done it again. Our favourite psych-pop Texans deliver another hazy, reverb laden trip. One for the dreamers!

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: White vinyl edition.

                              Coloured LP 2 Info: Indies exclusive tangerine vinyl.

                              BH003 comes in the form of another 4 track EP from our own Jorg Kuning. Drawing as much from the collective euphoria of the dance as his expansive surroundings in the Welsh valleys; these four carefully crafted tracks evolve and pulsate with a driving, essential life force.

                              The EP starts with ‘Vera’ - a joyful and tender exercise in dance floor functionality. Round kicks and an undulating bass line lay the cement for flowing and idiosyncratic melodies. This is followed by ‘Quixo’, where sparse metallic percussion is peppered with life affirming bleeps, topped off with transcendent chords that could roll out indefinitely.

                              The B side begins with ‘Spirals’. Here Jorg temporarily ditches his characteristic playfulness in aid of a thunderous dance floor destroyer. Psychedelic, atonal yelps twist around a powerfully dubbed out rhythm section - willingly forcing us into a cosmic dread march. Closing the party is ‘Aevr’ - fluttering synth arpeggios echo into cold, glassy percussion and moody bass lines, a perfect example of Jorg’s distinctive style: at once meditative and floor-focused.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Big ups to MCR's Bakk Heia, who push the bar even higher on their third release, recalling Jorg Kuning for four more examples of his idiosyncratic techno stylings. Woody, organic, fractal and funky, the sounds on show seem to point to a new psychedelic direction for melodic minimal to groove into.

                              Yazmin Lacey

                              Morning Matters

                                This EP pairs candid songwriting with a laid-back, graceful delivery and is, as Lacey explains; “dedicated to anyone that’s ever struggled with getting up and out in the morning, for everyone doing work on themselves and trying to live better.” Contributors include Femi Koleoso and Ife Ogunjobi of Ezra Collective, plus jazz protege Moses Boyd. Yazmin Lacey didn’t set out to be a singer, however a chance encounter lead to her earning a place on Future Bubblers - Gilles Peterson’s development programme devoted to discovering and nurturing UK talent. Enthused by the experience, Lacey recorded some songs in her living room and in 2017 self-released debut EP, Black Moon. The more polished When The Sun Dips 90 Degrees EP followed in 2018 and includes standout single Something My Heart Trusts.

                                Lianne La Havas

                                Lianne La Havas

                                  ‘Lianne La Havas’, Lianne’s third album and her first in five years and is an album of startling beauty and insight—made entirely on her own terms which has been quite a journey. In one sense, geographically: La Havas spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the UK and the States working on writing and exploring her own identity. As a result, ‘Lianne La Havas’ feels spacious and luminous. Its sunbaked sounds recall, in places, the Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Milton Nascimento (on “Seven Times”). You might also hear the curveball chords of Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorious’s jazz explorations (“Green Papaya”), or the puttering drums and inviting warmth of golden-era Al Green (“Read My Mind”). And throughout the record, there’s a sense of empowerment that has its roots in the crisp ‘90s R&B of Destiny’s Child.

                                  ‘Lianne La Havas is ten songs that span the arc of a love relationship. The album’s opener, ‘Bittersweet’ functions as a kind of an overture, setting out what follows, before the giddy, love-struck rush of ‘Read My Mind’. If these first few songs suggest a flower opening its petals, that’s no coincidence: “What plays a big role in the album is the idea of the life cycle of plants and nature—equating this journey with a seasonal thing that blooms, thrives, goes away, and comes back even stronger,” La Havas says. Over the five years it took for the album to come together, she found herself watching the changing foliage outside her window in south London, struck by how she was growing and changing herself—not always comfortably. “A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn,” she says. “You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself.”

                                  After relentless touring and promoting of her first two albums as well as personal and emotional events in her life, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find time, inspiration and confidence to get back in the studio for a follow up. As it came about, the recording process of album number three began in earnest by accident; returning from a glorious, sunny Glastonbury festival performance in June 2019, La Havas and her core band decided to see if they could nail their lithe live version of Radiohead’s ‘Weird Fishes’ in the studio. “I had the most wonderful, nourishing experience recording that,” she says, “And that’s where I decided: the rest of the album needs to be like this. It’s got to be my band, and I’ve got to do it in London, whenever people have time.” By October, she had all ten songs, and by December, everything was recorded—mainly in London, and also in Bath and New York. In keeping with the album’s intimate feel, everyone who contributed to the record is a trusted collaborator, including long-term songwriting ally Matt Hales, co-producer Beni Giles, and guest co-producer Mura Masa.

                                  The confidence that La Havas has cultivated, both personally and creatively, is audible in the fact that ‘Lianne La Havas’ is a record that feels utterly real—a living, breathing thing. It hasn’t been polished to a squeak in favor of a “clean” recording; La Havas followed her gut on this album, going with what feels good.

                                  Beauty never really goes by the book, and ‘Lianne La Havas’ is a breathtaking example of this. Now thirty years old, she is excited about playing these powerful songs live. “The best part is that I own them, and really believe in them,” she says. “And, you know, it’s me. So I can’t be afraid of doing what I do, and being who I am.”

                                  ‘Lianne La Havas’—an exquisite, rich, and tender expression of love, loss, and rebirth that marks a new era for the British artist.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Rich, warm vocals meet with grooving keys and flickering guitars. Unmissable brilliant new LP from La Havas here, and the perfect counterpoint to these stressful times. A tonic if ever there was one. Beautiful stuff.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Indie exclusive limited mint coloured vinyl.

                                  The Lovely Eggs

                                  I Am Moron

                                    It’s a very busy time in Eggland right now. Since the release of their last album ‘This Is Eggland’ in 2017, The Lovely Eggs have sat back and watched the world mutate and slowly eat itself. However, rather than remaining frozen in despair, they have used their relentless analysis of a modern culture that is bringing the world to its knees and poured every bit of inspired anger, contempt and hysterical laughter into new album ‘I am Moron’.

                                    We got to hear the first results of their observations as 2020 lurched into life from its seasonal slumber, in the seething two-minute-and-fifty-seconds of rage in ‘This Decision’ and its accompanying mind-scrambling video, signaling the return of the Lancaster psych-punk duo. The single reached number #1 in both the physical and vinyl charts and was hammered by DJs at BBC 6 Music including Iggy Pop, Marc Riley, Steve Lamacq, Chris Hawkins, Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson and John Kennedy at Radio X. Not a bad start to their year, at all.

                                    ‘I am Moron’ is their second album to be co-produced and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Tame Impala) and continues their journey through Eggland into the unknown, with artwork by genius artist and video director Casey Raymond, who has the unbridled talent to perfectly visualize The Lovely Eggs sound, spewing Eggland out in a swirling whirlpool of dayglo colours, melting faces and symbols.

                                    Throughout their 13-year career, The Lovely Eggs have embraced isolation. Both metaphorically and geographically the married couple have chosen to shun the social conventions of normal life and dedicated their band and their life to the pursuit of what feels right.

                                    Operating out of their hometown of Lancaster, The Lovely Eggs are lonely pioneers and self-confessed kings of idiocy. Working in an industry whose currency is money, success and nepotism, The Lovely Eggs want none of it. They call out everything fake and plastic about the music industry and demand you to re-evaluate on their terms.

                                    ‘I Am Moron’ was self recorded by the band in Lancaster (“The Twin Peaks of Northern England”) between Lancaster Musicians Co-op and their home. During the recording, Lancaster Musicians Co-op was threatened with closure, so the band put their album on hold to fight the eviction.

                                    While the band were writing the album, they became fascinated by the Mars One program- a global project which aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Applicants are offered a one-way ticket- never to see earth again. This fascinated Holly and David who drew parallels between this mission and their own isolation as a band.

                                    Continuing the heaviness of ‘This is Eggland’. ‘I am Moron’ brings more depth to their sound bringing with it a mix of heavy psych, pop and strangeness. Some songs flicker between an earthly realism and the otherworldly loneliness of a one-way space mission. While in contrast, ‘Insect Repellent’ launches a gonzo-style attack against the middle classes and Bearpit questions the essence of working-class freedom.

                                    With no booking agent, manager, record label or publisher The Lovely Eggs are truly independent. And this isn’t due to economics. This is by design. From day one. And support for them is snowballing. They are selling out bigger and bigger venues and more eggheads are joining them in their crusade against bullshit.

                                    Welcome to their world. This Is Eggland!

                                    Zara McFarlane

                                    Songs Of An Unknown Tongue

                                      Brownswood are delighted to present Zara McFarlane’s, Songs of an Unknown Tongue a masterful work that underlines her continuous growth as an artist. Zara’s fourth studio album pushes the boundaries of jazz adjacent music via an exploration into the folk and spiritual traditions of her ancestral motherland, Jamaica. The album is a rumination on the piecing together of black heritage, where painful and proud histories are uncovered and connected to the present.

                                      Partnering with cult South London based producers Kwake Bass and Wu-lu, Zara has created a futuristic sound palate, electronically recreating the pulsing, hypnotic rhythms Kumina and Nyabinghi – and the music played at African rooted rituals like the emancipation celebration Bruckins Party, and the lively death rites of Dinki Minki and Gerreh. These richly patterned electronic rhythms are balanced throughout by McFarlane’s distinctive, clear vocal tones, and vivid song writing.

                                      Zara’s critically acclaimed third studio album ‘Arise’ met with universal critical praise, and was supported by an impressive live tour performing at festivals such as Love Supreme, Field Day and SXSW. Zara is the winner of multiple awards including a Mobo, 2 Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year Award (2018 & 2015), an Urban Music Award, and Session of the Year at Worldwide Awards. Drawing respect from a wide range of artists, Zara has collaborated with Gregory Porter, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Louie Vega.

                                      These new sonic explorations signal an exciting direction of travel for this innovative founding member of the UK’s vibrant homegrown jazz scene.

                                      Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes

                                      What Kinda Music

                                        “What Kinda Music” is an astonishing collaboration between two artists of very different disciplines, and one of the most unique and seamlessly original projects of its ilk to date. Moving fluidly through sleek electronica, avant-garde jazz, vintage hip hop and so much more, Misch and Dayes take you on a journey that is by turns surprising and spontaneous, heady and head spinning, and nothing less than compelling – a singular vision which fuses the DNA of both musicians with spectacular results, as can be seen in the title track, which comes backed by a gorgeously atmospheric video by XX.

                                        Even though the fundamental bones of this project came together very quickly, its actual provenance stretches back much, much farther back, with the pair not only growing up in the same area of South East London, but Misch actually seeing Dayes play on drums in the school talent show for the first time when he was roughly 8 or 9. They both kept tabs on each other – Misch becoming a fan of Dayes’ act YussefKamaal, Dayes clocking his videos in 2014 – but it was only when they met at a launch party for Misch’s debut LP “Geography” in 2018 that the proverbial creative sparks began to fly. “As a musician you’re always looking for contemporaries who can push you and challenge you and make you better”, says Dayes. “I instantly felt that with Tom – he was such a gifted musician, and so prolific”. That summer they decided to go into the studio together, jam a little, and see what happens, with no other expectation placed upon it.

                                        As it turns out, the music came fast and furiously. Two initial tracks were suddenly followed by a handful of others, and the pair found themselves contemplating what to do next. “Pretty soon, we knew that something was gelling”, Dayes says. “It didn’t feel like a one-off collaboration, it felt like a body of work”. What made the pair click, according to Misch and Dayes, were the exact same factors that meant it shouldn’t, by all rights, work. Misch says, “Yussef comes from a more experimental background, and he has a lot of loose, crazy ideas. I know how to write a catchy melody, but with interesting chords and have a good understanding of popular song forms, so I think I streamlined those ideas and made them accessible”. And certainly, in “What Kinda Music” you can sense the DNA of both musicians, but fusing so effortlessly and beautifully that it creates something else entirely, the appropriately named “Lift Off” sending goosebumps with its jazz flecked crescendo, and “Night Rider” hynotising with its deeply mesmeric grooves. “I have a love for harmony and chords”, Misch adds. “Working with someone like Yussef, who has such a gifted sense of rhythm allowed a perfect balance”.

                                        Throughout the record, there is an utterly joyful feel of two musicians at the top of their game sparking off one another, picking up ideas and running with them – zigging where the other zags, ebbing where the other flows, with Misch producing the majority of the record and both having a hand in the overall sound and feel of the record.

                                        “Working with Yussef has actually changed the way I work as a musician”, Misch muses. “He’s pushed me and unlocked a more experimental part of me that I hadn’t really allowed myself to explore before. I think we really did impact each other in a fundamental way”. Dayes is similarly effusive in his praise for Misch. “A musician like him, who’s at the top of his game, he doesn’t need to do this”, he raves. “He can just keep doing the same thing and why not? He’s killing it. The fact that he’s so humble, that he’s so curious about everything and open to collaboration, speaks a lot to him as an artist, because it’s not easy finding musicians who want to collaborate. Something always gets in the way, whether it’s ego or their team or whatever. But with Tom it felt like the intention was purely creative, and that’s what made it exciting”. In fact, Dayes says that the intentions of the record go even deeper than just music. “Both our parents who’d never met each other before, are now best friends as a result of this, they now see each other more than we do! I’d like to think, in some small way, that this album has a similar impact for people too – everything feels so divided these days, it would be nice for people to hear the record and hear two very different musicians coming together and realise it doesn’t have to be that way”. 


                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        2xLP Info: 180g vinyl, gatefold sleeve.

                                        Moisture

                                        Orgone / Gammut

                                        *More downbeat wickedness on the excellent Fasaan!*

                                        This double A-sider is the fruit of a long gestating collaboration with fellow Malmö-based record collector/selector & producer Simon alias Rizzolo DJ (alias Moisture). Closely intertwined with the label in various ways since the start, his path to producing started with re-edits and a more wild-haired approach to deejaying, finally landing into his own groove with the 2018 album A Freak Is Born. Released as a privately pressed cassette, the album featured two tracks co-produced with Fasaan founder Prins Emanuel.

                                        On that first album, the palette was a lo-fi reverie of minimal waves crashing into depths of goth and heights of camp. Here for the 12" format, we instead get the full onslaught of power tools gleaming in the blast of strobe lights. The weight of GAMMUT unfolds and delivers exactly what the title suggests: a complete scope of percussive barrage unleashed in tight locked grooves and smattering reverberations. In addition to that, we are treated with a spine-tingling re-imagining of the concept of a bass drop.

                                        For ORGONE, a 1984 track by Norwegian group Fra Lippo Lippi serves as the backbone of the composition. Championed by cosmic DJ Daniele Baldelli and here pitched down to wrongspeeder tempo, Moisture uses the original song to bridge the gap between his roots in the re-edit scene as well as in the cosmic tradition. Thedry mechanical bassline is flanked by hollow percussion that eventually propels into a crystal-chimmering microcosm of orgone energy.

                                        Thee MVPs

                                        Science Fiction

                                          Thee debut longplayer from Thee MVPS, on their own label, taking cues from all of their favourite labels…Influenced by SST, In The Red, Au Go Go, Goner, Stiff, Castle Face, Dischord etc. (you know, the good ones!!).

                                          The band lives in the same house in Leeds, they have a whole slew of 7” records out all over the world, some sold out, some, not, they are steeped in music, playing live and this album shows that: Thee MVPs (Most Valuable Players) love music a whole bunch and hope they made a record that shows that.

                                          Thee MVPs believe you can do a band just as well as anyone else

                                          Thee MVPs ran in to quite the hurdles trying to do make this album, a good few Gs sank in the wrong places and to say bad luck follows them would be an understatement

                                          Thee MVPs have already done 350+ shows all over the world.

                                          Thee MVPs have played with all your favourite bands.

                                          Thee MVPs mastered the record in Chicago with Bob Weston of Shellac.

                                          Thee MVPs wanted the first record to be 10 songs, Blue Album style.

                                          Thee MVPs think some of the guitar solos are like J Mascis.

                                          Thee MVPs think the bass is the best sounding instrument on this album.

                                          Thee MVPs like Hot Snakes, The Stranglers, Sleep, Meatbodies, Marked Men, Quelle Chris, CAN, Black Sabbath, Black Flag and Super Furry Animals. Please add on whatever else that makes them sound like they have cool influences.
                                          Thee MVPs ditched the reverb and space echo on the vocals and traded it for better lyrics.

                                          Thee MVPs consider this album part concept - tying in references and homages to Sci Fi with themes of difficulties all of us face as we get a little less away from youth. Some themes include always having camaraderie in the face of any dire straight, how being contactable 24/7 probably isn't best for any of us and how really we're not any more different/cooler/better/worse/charming/narcissistic than anyone else because we do a band

                                          Thee MVPs were lucky enough to have Edd's mum Sahrah, an architect student to design the cover based off Joel's readings of polymath Walter Russell.

                                          This is the best MVPs record until the next one is out.


                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Dinked Edition LP Info: ● Super exclusive “super-on-the-nose-sci-fi-warpspeed-hyperspace” Splatter blue.
                                          ● Dinked X MVPs Slipmat.
                                          ● Hand- numbered album art insert.
                                          ● Exclusive label sticker.
                                          ● Limited 350 pressing.

                                          Other Lives

                                          For Their Love

                                            The much loved Portland band Other Lives return after five years away following 2015’s ‘Rituals’.

                                            Recorded at their own Cooper Mountain Sound studios, ‘For Their Love’ is a ten track collection that nods to the past whilst progressing positively towards the future.

                                            The band have a loyal following across the UK, as seen by their social engagement.


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Andy says: Other Lives return with their 4th and greatest record yet. For Their Love combines their dark and doomy, widescreen Baroque Rock with the best set of songs they’ve written so far. Well worth the wait.

                                            Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

                                            Viscerals

                                              “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig” reasoned George Bernard Shaw. “You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” True to form, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have left the wiser of us aware that they are no band to be messed with. This is made manifest on ‘Viscerals’, their third proper, and an enormous leap forward in confidence, adventure and sheer intensity even from their 2018 breakthrough ‘King Of Cowards’.

                                              Incisive in its riff-driven attack, infectiously catchy in its songcraft and more intrepid than ever in its experimental approach, ‘Viscerals’ is the sound of a leaner, more vicious Pigs, and one with their controls set way beyond the pulverising one-riff workouts of their early days. Yet Pigsx7 have effortlessly broadened their horizons and dealt with all these new avenues without sacrificing one iota of their trademark eccentricity, and the personality of this band has never been stronger, whether on the Sabbathian and philosophical warcry of ‘Reducer’, the debauched, Jane’s Addiction-tinged swagger of ‘Rubbernecker’, the Melvins vs Sonic Youth demoltion derby of ‘New Body’ or even the demented MBV-meets-Twisted-Sister party-banger from hell that is ‘Crazy In Blood’.

                                              “We’re a peculiar bunch of people - a precarious balance of passion, intensity and the absurd” notes vocalist Matt Baty. Such is the unstoppable character of this unique and ever-porcine outfit; still the hungriest animals at the rock trough.

                                              PINS

                                              Hot Slick

                                                Bold post-punk, female trio, PINS release their third full-length LP Hot Slick via their own Haus of Pins label. The vibrant album is filled with neon synths, loud guitars, and cheeky melodies that mirror the group’s new boldly-hued imagery and create the sound of a girl gang refreshed and amplified. Hot Slick features a trio of recently released singles: the glitchy and cathartic title track (produced by Jamie Hince of The Kills) and anthemic “Bad Girls Forever” (produced by Rich Woodcraft) as well as the high-heeled skittering beat struts of “Ponytail”.

                                                The 10 new original tracks found the trio of singer/guitarist Faith Vern, guitarist Lois MacDonald and bassist Kyoko Swan welcoming a rotating cast of collaborators following the departure of their original rhythm section. Rich Woodcraft oversaw the entire project as producer and engineer, while Jamie Hince and Dean Horner contributed additional production and Nathan Saoudi of Fat White Family lent his talents on the keys. The resulting album highlights an expanded soundscape with nods to influences such as Soulwax, LCD Soundsystem, Suicide, and New Order.

                                                Since the release of Girls Like Us in 2013, PINS has exuded strength in their danceable alternative post-punk transmissions and earned the trust, endorsement, and creative blessings of rock royalty such as Iggy Pop, with whom they collaborated on 2017’s The Bad Thing EP. 2015’s Wild Nights earned widespread critical acclaim including an Album of the Week nod from Stereogum and profiles in Harper’s Bazaar, Interview Magazine, The Guardian, DAZED, and i-D.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent orange vinyl.

                                                "I feel like 'Home' is a second part of the same book, that the start was in 'Esja', a musical prelude to a real plot. I feel Home is a story with an ending, so the next book can tell a totally different one. I am constantly looking for new ways of expression. I am curious where 'Home' will lead me and my music". — Hania Rani

                                                Hania Rani is a pianist, composer and musician who, was born in Gdansk and splits her life between Warsaw, where she makes her home, and Berlin where she studied and often works. Her debut album 'Esja', a beguiling collection of solo piano pieces on Gondwana Records was released to international acclaim on April 5th 2019 including nominations in 5 categories in the Polish music industries very own Grammys, the Fryderyki, and winning the Discovery of the Year 2019 in the Empik chain's Bestseller Awards and the prestigious Sanki award for the most interesting new face of Polish music chosen by Polish journalists. Rani also composed the music for her first full length movie "I Never Cry" directed by Piotr Domalewski and for the play "Nora" directed by Michał Zdunik. Her song "Eden" was used as a soundtrack of a short movie by Małgorzata Szumowska for Miu Miu's movie cycle "Women's Tales"

                                                If the compositions on Esja were born out of a fascination with the piano as an instrument, then her follow-up, the expansive, cinematic, 'Home', finds Rani expanding her palate: adding vocals and subtle electronics to her music as well as being joined on some tracks by bassist Ziemowit Klimek and drummer Wojtek Warmijak. The album reunites her with recording engineers, Piotr Wieczorek and Ignacy Gruszecki (Monochrom Studio) and the tracks were again mixed again by Gijs van Klooster in his studio in Amsterdam and by Piotr Wieczorek in Warsaw ( Ombelico and Come Back Home). Home was mastered by Zino Mikorey in Berlin (known for his work on albums by artists such as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds).

                                                For Rani, 'Home', is very much a continuation of the work she started on 'Esja', "the completion of the sentence" as she puts it. The album offers a metaphorical journey: the story of places that become our home sometimes by chance, sometimes by choice. It is the story of leaving a place that is familiar and the journey that follows it. Home opens with the fragment of the short story "Loneliness" by Bruno Schulz, which can be seen as a parable of a journey that does not necessarily mean going beyond the physical door but can signify going beyond the symbolic limits of our knowledge and imagination.

                                                "One can be lost but can find home in his inner part - which can mean many things - soul, imagination, mind, intuition, passion. I strongly believe that when being in uncertain times and living an unstable life we can still reach peace with ourselves and be able to find 'home' anywhere' This is what I would like to express with my music - one can travel the whole world but not see anything. It is not where we are going but how much we are able to see and hear things happening around us". — Hania Rani

                                                Home is also about the inevitability of change. We never find places exactly how we left them. Time flies and life with it. Just like art and music. Once you started the trip, you will never be back really to the place where you started with. It is a sentiment that is at the heart of Home, not just its themes, but at the heart of Rani's music too. Following the success of Esja it would have been easy for her to stick to the same solo piano formula, but while Rani expresses her surprise and gratitude for the success of Esja, "I wasn't sure how this album - based on Piano and silence - will be received by the audience. The reception was a big surprise to me" it has also given her the confidence to express more of herself as an artist. On Home Rani steps into more of a producer's role, adding strings, bass and drums where needed, exploring the sounds of synths and electronica, but also creating textured layered songs made from acoustic samples, mostly from piano recordings. "I try to explore new genres and discover new artists, I don't want to be stuck in things that I know, I want to learn about things that are still new to me". But perhaps most notable is her singing, Rani has a fragile, beautiful voice, both pure and expressive. Long a feature of her live shows she uses it as another instrument, adding extra layers of melody and emotion to her already deeply expressive music.

                                                "I consider voice as another instrument. Maybe if I wasn't so often alone on the stage, I would take another instrument to play the melody that I have in my mind. But while I am alone, singing allows me to have more possibilities at the same time. The human voice has a real magic, nothing carries emotions as easily and powerfully as the voice, and I think being able to bring this atmosphere on stage opens up new possibilities of expression for me". — Hania Rani


                                                Home also features Rani's new band, bassist Ziemowit Klimek and drummer Wojtek Warmijak who appear on some of the albums stand out tracks, the beguiling single 'Leaving', the title track 'Home', atmospheric 'Tennen' and the beautiful 'I'll Never Find Your Soul'. After working and touring alone Rani begin to feel stuck with her own ideas and thoughts, and sounds. It was a prolific period for her compositionally, writing the music on Home, but also a film score and music for the theatre, but she felt that someone else's vision might bring new ideas to things that she already knew. Shortly before she was about to record Home she attended a concert of the young Polish jazz trio, Immortal Onion, in Gdańsk, her hometown. She liked what she heard and sked the double bassist and a drummer if they wanted to meet and something clicked. They spent most of the next week improvising and jamming on her music. This gave a whole new insight for some of the songs and brought new ideas for arrangements. And having enjoyed working together on the album Rani is looking forward to touring with the boys.

                                                "Touring with band is a totally different thing, way more challenging technically, but it also brings a new energy and new sound possibilities. I am very curious how we will manage to bring the album to life. I would like to keep the show balanced - mixing the new textures of Home with the atmosphere of minimalistic songs from Esja." — Hania Rani

                                                For Rani, this sense of exploring is a key part of her art. But it isn't only the music, Rani is keenly interested in art and architecture (as anyone who follows her exquisitely curated Instagram feed will know) and how her music works in the wider world.

                                                "I try to keep my eyes and ears wide open. What I want to master in my art is how to build the right atmosphere on stage, in recordings. To do this you need to be aware of many aspects - not only music, but also the full range of gestures, acoustics, visual aspect. I want to learn how to bring particular atmosphere and bring people to a specific space. I observe how music works in different contexts, how the feeling of sound changes in different acoustics, space, light conditions. The same thing happens with artwork that I share. I feel like everything of what I am bringing to the the world and sharing with others has an impact of reception my music. If we are an inseparable part of the ecosystem, then the music should be considered similarly." — Hania Rani

                                                The album's distinctive cover artwork was designed by the architect Łukasz Pałczyński, who combined his sketches with the stills from the music video for the song Leaving shot by her regular collaborators Mateusz Miszczyński and Jakub Stoszek in Greece and together with Rani's music and vision it is this sense of collaboration that gives Home it's power as Rani starts to give full expression to her own unique vision and perhaps the most exciting thing is that it is just another step on her journey, one that we are all lucky to be a part of!

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xColoured LP Info: Limited 500x only edition on Clear vinyl, printed in reverse board wide spine sleeve with printed insert

                                                2xLP Info: Double black vinyl, printed in reverse board wide spine sleeve with printed insert

                                                Rheinzand

                                                Rheinzand

                                                  After much anticipation, our Belgian disco diamonds Rheinzand present their debut full-length album. On their self-titled record, The Belgian trio wraps the human heart in synthetic threads of modular electronic disco. 9 songs writhing on timeless dancefloors, morphing in and out of shapes of luxuriant melody and vivid instrumentation.

                                                  The album is full of classic disco and electro sounds, wielded with imposing prowess by multi-instrumentalist Reinhard Vanbergen. It’s both an exploration of dance music’s electronic genealogy and the vintage cool that has defined its different eras. Still, an organic atmosphere pervades as the blend of real instrumentation fixes a sort of retro-futurism, imagining an alternative timeline that’s a bit more exciting, more sensuous and libidinal, maybe more human, too, than our current outlook.

                                                  We start the engines with Break of Dawn, a compelling beat rises from the basement and soon we’re submerged by the pulsing bassline. Dark sunglasses on, we cruise through the night, letting flashing city lights flow into unbroken torrents of color. Blind awakens us, a splash of handclaps in the face, vivid strings and Charlotte’s trademark slick vocals enter the stage. Tantalizing sunbeams power up circuits of electronic synths blipping and beeping away.

                                                  Later down the road, we hit the Latin part of town. Porque fits enchanting vocal spells in beautiful Spanish on playful flamenco rhythms. Fourteen Again is a throwback to early electro, playing around with knobs and buttons. An oscillating synth imagines new worlds of plastic emotion. Still disco and still very cool, though. A constant velocity is sustained throughout the album by this recurring locomotive synth, trudging away beneath the action. Once in a while, we hear the deep, mighty, trembling voice of Mr. Rheinzand speaking to us in incantations. Someone’s pulling the strings here. On Slippery People, the trio cover the Talking Heads classic in a characteristic procedure of bouncy funk. We’re swirled around by the delirious glasswork of You Don’t Know Me into the hypnagogic funk noir of Strange World. Drifting through the house of mirrors after the fourth mojito.

                                                  Obey collects all these threads in a full-bodied future classic disco anthem, before Queen of The Dawn wraps up the show with a sky-bound epic of operatic choirs and ceremonious drums that lands somewhere between Kate Bush’s Aerial and Peter Gabriel’s most bombastic.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Mine says: Calling all sofa ravers! The first Rheinzand album features an addictive blend of disco, synth wave and electro pop that is sure to get your extremities moving. If you miss the dance floor, this one's for you!

                                                  Ringo Deathstarr

                                                  Ringo Deathstarr

                                                    Texan shoegaze pioneers Ringo Deathstarr return with their new eponymous studio album. 'Ringo Deathstarr' poetically sees the band in a stage of personal and musical maturity. A staple of the genre with a rich back catalogue of revered material, it's on their sixth full length that Ringo Deathstarr address the kind of themes that can only come from life experience. "Ringo Deathstarr" is a dynamic, introspective psychedelia, multi-layered album with Frazer and bassist Alex Gehring's trademark, gorgeous, duel harmonies.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Mine says: As someone who's favourite record is MBV's Loveless I often get strange looks when I say "I don't actually like Shoegaze that much...". But there's Shoegaze and then there's... Shoegaze. Not all shoegaze is created equal, so to speak. The new Ringo Deathstarr LP ticks all the boxes for me. It's loud and bold and manages to strike a perfect balance between distortion and melody. Lovely stuff.

                                                    Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

                                                    Sideways To New Italy

                                                      After years spent looking out at landscapes and loved ones and an increasingly unstable world, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them, on their second full-length, Sideways to New Italy.

                                                      Led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Russo, Joe White and Fran Keaney, the guitar-pop five-piece returned home to Australia after the relentless touring schedule that came following their critically regarded 2018 debut Hope Downs. Feeling the literal and metaphorical ground under their feet had shifted, the band began grasping for something reliable. For Keaney, that translated into writing "pure romantic fiction" and consciously avoiding the temptation of angsty break-up songs, while Russo looked north to a "bizarre place" that captured the feeling of manufacturing a sense of home when his own had disappeared.

                                                      The New Italy of the new album’s title is a village near New South Wales’ Northern Rivers – the area drummer Marcel Tussie is from. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it pit-stop of a place with fewer than 200 residents, it was founded by Venetian immigrants in the late-1800s and now serves as something of a living monument to Italians' contribution to Australia, with replica Roman statues dotted like alien souvenirs on the otherwise rural landscape. The parallels to the way the band attempted to maintain connections and create familiarity during their disorienting time on the road was apparent to Russo. "These are the expressions of people trying to find a home somewhere alien: trying to create a utopia in a turbulent and imperfect world."

                                                      The record's geographic identity emerged from the band losing their grip on their own, whether that was through the pressure of touring, the dissolution of relationships, a frustrating distance from their daily lives – or some combination of all three – that came from being slingshotted all over the world, playing sold-out headline tours and festivals including Coachella, Governors Ball, Primavera Sound, All Points East, and Pitchfork Music Festival.

                                                      The notion of crafting, in Russo’s words, “a utopia of where your heart’s from,” permeates Sideways to New Italy, in which early attempts at writing big, high-concept songs about The State of the World were abandoned in favor of love songs, and familiar voices and characters filter in and out, grounding the band's stories in their personal histories. There’s something comforting, too, in knowing the next time they’re buffeted from stage to stage around the world, they’ll be taking the voices of their loved ones with them, building a new totem of home no matter where they end up.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: Loser edition sky blue vinyl.

                                                      Nadine Shah

                                                      Kitchen Sink

                                                        Kitchen Sink follows up Shah's Hyundai Mercury Prize nominated 2017 album Holiday Destination which received critical acclaim including AIM Awards 'Independent Album of the Year', a #7 'Album of the Year' from BBC 6 Music and #5 from The Quietus as well as prominent positions in lists from Loud and Quiet and The Line of Best Fit.

                                                        With the same ferocious determination and distinct voice Shah now turns her sights closer to home with an album that explores her own story as a woman in her 30's and the societal pressures and expectations that come with that. Jovial and playful at times, unblinkingly daring at others - Kitchen Sink is bursting with Shah’s beloved personality while simultaneously refusing to compromise on the social commentary that she continues to deliver so fearlessly. Once again produced by Shah’s long time collaborator Ben HillIer.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        Indies Exclusive LP Info: RSD Stores exclusive Orange LP.

                                                        Silverbacks

                                                        Fad

                                                          With taut rhythms of 70s punk and the freak-outs of NYC no-wave, Silverbacks craft a signature sound spiked with triple guitar riffs and on-the-pulse lyrics.

                                                          Silverbacks are a 5-piece band from Dublin, Ireland. Taking their cues from the taut rhythms and urgent drive of late 70s punk and the discordant, unpredictable freak-outs of NYC no wave, they craft a signature sound spiked with triple guitar riffs, a motorik rhythm section and on-the-pulse lyrics.

                                                          The band have independently released a string of singles produced by Girl Band bassist Daniel Fox, beginning in 2018 with Dunkirk and Just In The Band, each of which drew support on both sides of the Atlantic. 2019 saw the arrival of follow-up tracks Pink Tide, and then Sirens, which was part of a double A side 7-inch released with second single Drool by UK independent label Nice Swan Records in January 2020. These single releases were backed by festival appearances at Simple Things, Swn, Eurosonic and Electric Picnic, headline shows in the UK and Ireland and supporting Girl Band on their sold-out UK tour dates.

                                                          Debut album Fad represents the sound of a band trying to make sense of a noisy and disjointed world - one that competes for your attention at every turn. For them, it has come to be a symbol of what it feels like to try and absorb the world through both fleeting moments in front of screens, and prolonged obsessive periods filled with focus. They pull apart pop-culture in search of new meaning, whether it’s a nod to The Simpsons (Fad 95), imagining a lost John Hughes film (Klub Silberrücken), spiralling downwards into youtube deep-dives (Pink Tide), or making sense of youth culture through The Urban Dictionary (Grinning At The Lid). Much in the same way that modern life can be defined by its unpredictability, Silverbacks colourful, vivid and exuberant songs dismantle their source material and end up in places that you don’t think they will.

                                                          It can be heard in the spidering guitar lines of opening track Dunkirk, or Pink Tide’s Thin Lizzy-aping riffery, Fad 95’s overt Pavement influence, Up The Nurses’ Blondie injection or Last Orders’ The Fall-inspired tale of escapism. Grinning At The Lid’s huge gang vocal chorus even recalls New Fellas-era The Cribs. Elsewhere Just In The Band draws on tales of Bowie and Iggy Pop’s friendship, and Muted Gold – having sprouted from a time spent practising Afrobeat and highlife guitar techniques – shines a light on situations in which women are continually inundated with unsolicited advice.

                                                          All over Fad are the fingerprints of a band clawing their way through the remains of the day, seeing what there is to uncover.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Laura says: There's a definite NYC vibe to their sound: Television, The Strokes and Parquet Courts all spring to mind as reference points, but there's more to them than just that. The shared vocal duties and interplay of their three guitarist (yes three!) creates a unique and compelling sound, that might draw on art-rock, post-punk, math-rock or whatever from the past but gives them a sound all of their own.

                                                          Sleaford Mods

                                                          All That Glue

                                                            Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn stepped out of 2019 with a Top Ten album under their belt, Eton Alive, their biggest sold out tour to date and the swagger of a band that have never been more relevant, topically challenging and downright entertaining.

                                                            Sleaford Mods are set to continue their onslaught into 2020 with the release of All That Glue, a collection of songs spanning the last seven years of the bands career; an array of crowd pleasers, B sides, unheard tracks and rarities for fans and the curious, released via Rough Trade. Over the past few years Sleaford Mods have become one of the most intractable British pop stories. One of its best. Their music is drawn at a flawless fault-line of anger, tenderness and humour, a triumvirate of raw energy which frequently jostles in the space of a cadence for supremacy. On record you can hear their sinews, live you can touch their veins.

                                                            Ahead of All That Glue's release the band will be making available fan favourite Jobseeker for the first time. In addition, footage from the duo's acclaimed sell out show last year at the Eventim Apollo, will be released for the first time and kicks off with an incendiary performance of Tweet Tweet Tweet.

                                                            Limited edition independent store-only double white vinyl includes a 16-page A5 booklet - a précis in the inimitable style of Jason Williamson - documenting Sleaford Mods inexorable rise since their inception in 2011 to the present day, together with praise from the incomparable Iggy Pop.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            2xColoured LP Info: White vinyl – independent store exclusive, includes booklet. One pressing only.

                                                            Sonic Boom

                                                            All Things Being Equal

                                                              It’s auspicious that Sonic Boom—the solo project of Peter Kember (Spectrum, Spacemen 3)—returns in 2020 with its first new LP in three decades. Kember’s drawn to the year’s numerological potency, and this intentionality shines into every corner of All Things Being Equal. It’s a meditative, mathematical record concerned with the interconnectedness of memory, space, consumerism, consciousness—everything. Through regenerative stories told backwards and forwards, Kember explores dichotomies zen and fearsome, reverential of his analog toolkit and protective of the plants and trees that support our lives.

                                                              Sonic Boom’s second album and first for Carpark began in 2015 as electronic jams. The original sketches of electronic patterns, sequenced out of modular synths, were so appealing that Stereolab’s Tim Gane encouraged Kember to release them instrumentally. “I nearly did,” confesses Kember, “but the vibe in them was so strong that I couldn't resist trying to ice the cake.” Three years later, a move to Portugal saw him dusting off the backing tracks, adding vocals inspired by Sam Cooke, The Sandpipers, and the Everly Brothers (which he admits “don’t go far from the turntable pile”), as well as speculative, ominous spoken word segments. His new home Sintra’s parks and gardens provided a different visual context for Kember’s thoughtful observations, and he thematically incorporated sunshine and nature as well as global protests into the ten resulting tracks. “Music made in sterility sounds sterile,” he says, “And that is my idea of hell.”

                                                              Over the vivid, calculating arps of opener “Just Imagine,” Kember nudges listeners to do as the title suggests. It’s based on a story he read about a boy who healed his cancer by picturing himself as a storm cloud, raining out his illness. “The Way That You Live,” a rollicking drone powered by drum machine rattles and bright chord beds, morphs political distrust into a revolutionary mantra about ethical living. “I try and live my life by voting every day with what I do and how I do it, who I do it with and the love that I can give them along the way,” offers Kember.

                                                              An unusually curated gear list accompanies each song, unexpected layers reinforcing the monophonic skeletons. Mystery soundscapes and grinding sweeps were teased from EMS synths, synonymous with and evocative of ‘60s BBC scoring and ‘70s Eno. Pacing basslines oscillating into warbling heartbeats came from a cheap ‘80s Yamaha. A modern OP-1 generated subtle kicks and eerie theremins, while his toy Music Modem—an unused holdover from sessions Kember produced for Beach House and MGMT—finally found its recorded home.

                                                              It’s rare to see liner notes where synthesizers rather than humans are credited (other than guest vocal stints from “co-conspirators

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              LP Info: Standard LP comes with single sleeve jacket with matte coating, inner sleeve with lyrics, 12”x12” foil insert with artwork, black vinyl & download.

                                                              CD Info: Gatefold case, 12pg/6-panel insert with lyrics on front, poster on back.

                                                              Sports Team

                                                              Deep Down Happy

                                                                Here’s the thing…Sports Team are a band of six singular characters who have been variously described as one of the most raucous, electrifying and chaotic acts in the UK. Today the band announce their debut album Deep Down Happy. The highly anticipated record, out on 3rd April, follows the acclaimed EPs, Winter Nets and Keep Walking!, and is their first release on the legendary Island Records label.

                                                                Sports Team came up on the back of word of mouth live hype, drawing round the block queues to chaotic early gigs at The Five Bells and Moth Club before releasing any music. Recording their first EP (Winter Nets) in a converted Timberyard in Hammersmith, the band have consistently set themselves apart from the acts they came up playing with, showing an intoxicating ambition, and their debut album Deep Down Happy, looks set to deliver on all bold claims, and confirm their place at the head of a group of young guitar acts.

                                                                Talking about the record charismatic frontman Alex Rice says: “I don’t think we were conscious of doing it but the album maps the journey of moving in together in Harlesden, moving back to home towns to sleep on floors for 18 months, then coming back to London, weighing up whether being in a band with your mates, being young in London is still the best thing in the world. I think it probably is.”


                                                                Thundercat

                                                                It Is What It Is

                                                                  “It Is What It Is” was produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat and features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. The album follows his game-changing third album “Drunk” (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Bruner says about “It Is What It Is”. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand… some things just aren’t meant to be understood.”

                                                                  The unruly bounce of new single ‘Black Qualls’ is classic Thundercat, teaming up with Steve Lacy (The Internet) and Funk icon Steve Arrington (Slave). It’s another example of Stephen Lee Bruner’s desire to highlight the lineage of his music and pay his respects to the musicians who inspired him. Discovering Arrington’s output in his late teens, Bruner says he fell in love with his music immediately: “The tone of the bass, the way his stuff feels and moves, it resonated through my whole body.”

                                                                  ‘Black Qualls’ emerged from writing sessions with Lacy, whom Thundercat describes as “the physical incarnate of the Ohio Players in one person - he genuinely is a funky ass dude”. It references what it means to be a black American with a young mindset: “What it feels like to be in this position right now… the weird ins and outs, we’re talking about those feelings… Part of me knew this [track] was where Steve [Arrington] left us.”

                                                                  For fans of Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Flying Lotus, Kamasi
                                                                  Washington, BADBADNOTGOOD.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  Deluxe LP Info: 140g transparent clear vinyl, housed in a 6mm spined gatefold sleeve with gold foil detail and OBI strip.

                                                                  Deluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                  Indies Exclusive LP Info: 140g cream vinyl, housed in a 3mm spined sleeve with OBI strip.

                                                                  Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                  CD Info: CD softpack.

                                                                  Yves Tumor

                                                                  Heaven To A Tortured Mind

                                                                    Few projects at the forefront of contemporary art truly push visceral sonic boundaries in the way that Yves Tumor does. With an arc that impartially sits between psych-rock and modern pop, comparisons only serve as limitations intended to define that which cannot be. Yves Tumor melds restraint and chaos; diluting reality by giving meaning to the abstract and allowing for dissonance to be seen and heard as harmony.

                                                                    Heaven To A Tortured Mind - written and composed by Yves Tumor and produced by Yves Tumor and Justin Raisen (Sky Ferreira, Ariel Pink, Charli XCX) - marks the fourth official full-length release from Yves Tumor and the follow-up to 2018's critically acclaimed and era-defining Warp release, Safe In The Hands Of Love. Breakout singles "Noid", "Licking An Orchid" and "Lifetime" shifted critical perception into media such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Fader, NPR and more awarding the album as one of the best releases of the year.

                                                                    Yves Tumor has steered the project into a whole new realm with Heaven To A Tortured Mind, piercing through contradiction, redefining expression through song, and catapulting Yves Tumor into the next phase of illusion and evolution. Heaven To A Tortured Mind finds its place in music history as a collection of anthems for a generation.

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                    Woods

                                                                    Strange To Explain

                                                                      “Dreaming doesn’t come easy these shadowed days, which is why Strange To Explain by Woods is such a welcome turning of new colors. It presents an extended moment of sweet reflection for the 15-year-old band, bouncing back to earth as something hopeful and weird and resolute. Like everything else they’ve recorded, it sounds exactly like themselves, but with subtly different shades and breaths and rhythmic feels and everything else that changes, the natural march of time and the intentional decisions of the musicians moving in what feels like an uncommonly organic alignment.

                                                                      “Strange To Explain trades in a different kind of dependability, maintaining a steady connection to the voice on the other side of the record needle. After quickly recording and releasing 2017’s Love Is Love in response to the tumultuous events of their (and our) 2016, Jeremy Earl and company took their time with what came next. Parenthood arrived, as did a short songwriting pause. The band went bicoastal when Jarvis Taveniere headed west. And when they returned to their posts, there on the other side of this particular mirror, they made this, an album that not only catches and holds and shares the light in yet another new way, but recognizes that there’s still light to be caught, which is also no small thing.

                                                                      “A bend beyond the last bend beyond, Woods keep on changing, thoughtfully and beautifully. The colors were always there, like trees blossoming just slightly differently each season, a synesthetic message coded in slow-motion. Recorded in Stinson Beach, the kind of place that seems like an AI simulation of an idyllic northern California coastal escape, the familiar jangling guitars recede to the background. John Andrews’s warm keyboards and twining Mellotron rise around Earl’s songs and dance across the chord changes like warm sunlight off the Pacific. The music feels a karmic landmass away from the creepiness of the uncanny valley.” - Jesse Jarnow.

                                                                      Fresh from the needle skating industrial-punk of Tata Toto’s “Fuck” flexi-postcard, new Parisian imprint Association Fatale drop their first vinyl proper in ‘L’Alarme Fatale’, a four tracker of razor sharp cuts from some of their nearest and dearest.

                                                                      Parisian duo Jita Sensation kick the set off with occult whispers, flanging hats and the mechanical funk of ‘Posuere Nec’, a shamanic dancer which digs deeper into Xanax rave territories as it bursts into technicolour insanity.

                                                                      The A2 belongs to Zulu and their ‘Vogeltanz’, a pitched down powerhouse of woody bass, electronic birdsong and futuristic breaks which takes a brief detour into the neon-matrix of Rustie on its way to the run-out.

                                                                      Flip the disc and cop a load of ‘Tekamina’, the latest mind-melter from Drama-acolyte DJ F16 Falcon. Mangled vocal snippets, crushing system pressure and some batshit FX abuse are the order of the day on this whacked out track!

                                                                      Bringing the curtain down with maximum angst, speaker tweaking mids and a gnarly bassline, So Track’s ‘Graille’ seems tailor made for the current climate - I can picture an industrial unit full of people dressed like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat losing their mind to this cut.

                                                                      Fresh as fuck and in short supply folks…

                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Patrick says: Moody, tough and tranqued out warehouse material from new Parisian crew Association Fatale. Bristling with mechanical funk, dark psychedelia and techy idents, this shit is so cutting edge you'd best wear safety glooves when slapping it on the deck. Highest Recommendation!


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