MAGIC MIX

Lockdown II

Special Offers

It's lockdown special offers time again folks. We have a limited quantity of all of these titles and once they're gone, they're gone, so don't snooze. Grab a bargain while you can!
Arcade Fire return for their latest album since 2013's 'Reflektor', Quickly following the snap-release of their 'Everything Now' 12" released last month, 'Everything Now' (the album) bursts into the limelight. 'Everything_Now (continued)' precedes 'Everything Now' (i'm sensing a theme here), both of them working together to ease you back into the orchestral, epic ways Arcade Fire have long been known for. As soon as we kick in to the titular piece proper, we get longing but upbeat piano blazing a path melodically for Butler's unmistakeable vocal affectations, before introducing swarming strings and frantic pizzicato bass. It's not surprising that the piece ebbs and flows through minimalistic orchestral lulls to euphoric, instrumentally dense passages with ease, that being the Fire's Raison d'être, and it is achieved without any trouble here.

'Signs Of Life' walks a little more towards the disco dancefloor end of the spectrum, with old-school hip-hop affectations segueing easily into stabbing horns and rolling, grooving bass guitar. It's another sign of a well-heeled group of composers that they can flit between their oft-repeated (but unmistakeable) trademark sound and something a little more off-piste.  

Move On a little bit, and 'Chemistry' is a blazing walk across a tropical Caribbean beach, with throbbing tropical percussion ducking the rest of the instrumentation, lending a noticeable compressor thump. Saturated, balmy swarms of reverb lurching into distorted guitar and multi-part vocal harmonisation for the call-response chorus.  

While the duo of 'Infinite Content' and 'Infinite_content' seem identical (try telling that to a C++ programmer), they actually represent different sides of the same coin, with the blazing post-punk distorted power chords of the former being re-interpreted by the same band but on a beach, mojito in hand, and sun blazing down for the underscored iteration. 

As we roll into the latter half of the album, 'Electric Blue' cuts an impressive shape with it's neon synths and treble-heavy falsetto putting things firmly into 70's disco territory, while the pulsing motorik rhythms and gothic sulk of 'Put Your Money On Me' and the stunningly evocative atmospheric longing of 'We Don't Deserve Love' are bookended with a closing version of 'Everything Now (continued)' but this time, minus the underscore. Details are everything (now). 

FORMAT INFORMATION

Deluxe LP Info: Night version.
This is the deluxe version – no extra tracks – deluxe packaging/ 'night art' & turquoise coloured vinyl.

LP Info: Day version, standard LP.

Deluxe CD Info: Night version.
This is the deluxe version – no extra tracks – deluxe packaging/ 'night art'.

CD Info: Day version.

This is the original Arcade Fire demo EP recorded in August 2003 in a barn in Maine, and featuring an earlier line up of the band (Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Dane Mills, Brendan Reed and Myles Broscoe). It was produced by Richard Reed Parry, Win and Régine, and was originally only available at shows.

The EP features an early version of fan favourite “No Cars Go”.

Bauhaus

Burning From The Inside

    Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

    Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

    Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more.

    Burning From The Inside was Bauhaus’ fourth album and was the last of their studio albums of this era, released just after the band’s breakup in 1983. This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl LP.

    Belle And Sebastian

    Dear Catastrophe Waitress

      Fifth album from Scots indie-pop heroes and their first for Rough Trade. Featuring their usual blend of twee chamber-pop and dry wit, the album was produced by Trevor Horn, the man behind the desk for such pop luminaries as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones and The Pet Shop Boys.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Belle And Sebastian

      Days Of The Bagnold Summer

        Days of the Bagnold Summer began life as a 2012 award-winning graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, was turned into a feature film and the directorial debut of Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner), and is now a wonderful, rich, bittersweet, and warmly welcoming original soundtrack album by Belle and Sebastian on Matador Records.

        The album features eleven brand new Belle and Sebastian songs, as well as re-recorded versions of classics 'Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying', originally appearing on 1996's If You’re Feeling Sinister, and ‘I Know Where The Summer Goes’, from 1998's This Is Just a Modern Rock Song EP.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Whether they're writing stand-alone albums, performing live or soundtracking, Belle And Sebastian have a pedigree that can't be denied. 'Days Of The Bagnold Summer' is in the latter camp, but works perfectly as a standalone album too, showcasing exactly why they're one of the most beloved bands on the indie circuit and have been for a great many years.

        black midi -- Georgie Greep (vocals/guitar), Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin (vocals/guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals/bass), and Morgan Simpson (drums) -- have a dynamic energy, playing as a musical unit that’s constantly in a state of flux and development.

        Schlagenheim was recorded with Speedy Wunderground producer Dan Carey, who the band praises for his quick, unfussy approach. black midi laid down eight of the record’s nine tracks in just five days. The process was one of refining and rebuilding tracks around the initial structures. Five hour jams would sometimes yield a riff that then became a few bars of a song. As anyone who’s been lucky enough to catch black midi live over recent months will testify, black midi’s songs are slippery creatures.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Much like the fervour that accompanied Battles' 2007 outing 'Mirrored', Black Midi have managed to make an indefinable and thrilling collection of angular post-punk, avant math-rock and percussive glitch without so much as a glance into their stylistic forebears. Singular in artistic scope and as forward thinking as they come, they are sure to have a loyal and enthusiastic following through their use of unexpected rhythms and off-piste stylistic flair.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: LP is pressed onto 180 gram vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve. Includes a download code.

        CD Info: CD includes fold out poster of the colour collage and lyrics.

        All Nerve – the first new album from The Breeders in a decade – reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, the line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash.

        The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material since then.

        Featuring singles ‘Wait in the Car’ and title track ‘All Nerve’, recording took place at Candyland, Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, Ohio. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with The Breeders since their first album, Pod.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: It's hard to not to get tingles down the spine when hearing Kim Deal's voice. As one of the most recognisable vocals in grunge history. Deal's role in the pixies was unarguably important, but this really takes that iconic backing vocal and brings it rightfully to the forefront. This is a confident, rocking delight, as nuanced as it is heavy.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: limited LP version pressed on 180g orange vinyl and with different artwork is available exclusively for independent stores.

        LP Info: 180g black vinyl LP.

        Camera Obscura

        Desire Lines

          ‘Desire Lines’ - an album born of life and experience; a record with something to prove. This time Camera Obscura decamped to Portland, Oregon to work with producer Tucker Martine, who has added so much to the music of R.E.M., The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens previously. The band also brought in Neko Case and Jim James from My Morning Jacket to contribute vocals. The result is a big, gorgeous pop record that sounds like it means it.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

          The Clash

          London Calling - 2013 Remastered Edition

            "Give 'Em Enough Rope, for all of its many attributes, was essentially a holding pattern for the Clash, but the double-album London Calling is a remarkable leap forward, incorporating the punk aesthetic into rock & roll mythology and roots music. Before, the Clash had experimented with reggae, but that was no preparation for the dizzying array of styles on London Calling. There's punk and reggae, but there's also rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock; and while the record isn't tied together by a specific theme, its eclecticism and anthemic punk function as a rallying call. While many of the songs -- particularly "London Calling," "Spanish Bombs," and "The Guns of Brixton" - are explicitly political, by acknowledging no boundaries the music itself is political and revolutionary. But it is also invigorating, rocking harder and with more purpose than most albums, let alone double albums. Over the course of the record, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones (and Paul Simonon, who wrote "The Guns of Brixton") explore their familiar themes of working-class rebellion and antiestablishment rants, but they also tie them in to old rock & roll traditions and myths, whether it's rockabilly greasers or "Stagger Lee," as well as mavericks like doomed actor Montgomery Clift. The result is a stunning statement of purpose and one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded." - Allmusic.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xLP Info: 180 gram legacy edition.

            Dead Can Dance

            The Serpent's Egg

              Dead Can Dance’s fourth album, The Serpent’s Egg (1988), came during a prolific period for the band, being released just four years after their debut. It was also the first they made at their own studio which, according to Brendan Perry, allowed them to continue to grow in “their own self-proclaimed direction”. A minimal yet rather grandiose record which includes fan favourites ‘The Host Of Seraphim’ and ‘Ullyses’, The Serpent’s Egg is a triumph and perhaps the finest example of where Brendan and Lisa’s diametrically different influences are overcome to form a new, almost synaesthetic whole.

              Dead Can Dance

              Dead Can Dance

                On their eponymous debut album, originally released in 1984, Dead Can Dance successfully harnessed a “bewitching barrage of sounds, layering grinding guitars and even a dulcimer-like yang chin over a taut wash of percussion. If the range of the group is staggering, then so too is their disciplined economy, no song lasting more than four minutes or degenerating into formless cacophony. With the five group members continually interchanging instruments, only the vocals of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry remain as a constant focus”.

                The 2016 LP version is a repress of the original release.

                Dead Can Dance

                Into The Labyrinth

                  Into The Labyrinth (1993) is Dead Can Dance’s sixth album, one of their most successful releases, its title a reference to the Greek legend of Theseus going into the Labyrinth to slay the Minotaur. It came when Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard had embarked on more individual personal paths, now writing their songs independent of one another, and on separate continents. Engineered and produced by Brendan at his Quivvy Church studio in Ireland, the album is an audiophile benchmark and also noted for being their first without any guests, instead they played all the instruments.

                  The 2016 LP version is also a double LP like the original release, but comes with brand new cover artwork and an altered track sequence.

                  Dead Can Dance

                  Toward The Within

                    ‘Toward The Within’: Released in October 1994 and out of print on vinyl ever since, ‘Toward The Within’ was an audio and video document of the 1993 sell-out Dead Can Dance World tour. Recorded at the Mayfair Theater in Santa Monica, California, it marked one of the final performances at the historic theatre as it later suffered major structural damage in an earthquake in 1994. Despite being a live recording, ‘Toward The Within’ includes twelve previously unrecorded tracks as well as material from their six previous studio albums.

                    Titled Magdalene, the album is the follow up to FKA twigs’ critically acclaimed Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominated debut LP1.

                    Created in a period where her confidence was knocked following heartbreak and laparoscopic surgery, Magdalene is the sound of twigs reconfiguring, emotionally and physically. As she sings on ‘Mary Magdalene’, the Magdalene album track that opened her highly-praised, sold-out live shows earlier in the year, “A woman’s time / A woman’s work / A woman’s time to embrace / She must put herself first”.

                    Magdalene is produced by FKA twigs and, as with LP1, the recording process has been directed by her at every stage. It was recorded between London, New York and Los Angeles over the last three years and features major contributions from Nicolas Jaar alongside a host of other collaborators. Magdalene sees FKA twigs creating a whole new artistic universe and it is, without doubt, her most masterful, innovative work to date.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: From gothic choral passages to pulsing, deep bass and skittering percussives, 'Magdalene' covers a wide range of smoothly accomplished stylistic changes as well as a viceral and effective range of emotional dynamics. It's a confident and varied selection, and in FKA's classic style, brilliantly done.

                    Future Islands

                    The Far Field

                    Future Islands are Samuel T. Herring (vocals, lyrics), William Cashion (bass, guitars) and Gerrit Whelmers (keyboards, programming).

                    Recorded in Los Angeles with GRAMMY award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound (where everyone from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces), The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road brilliantly express the central themes the band have been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.

                    The Far Field features string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn and is their first record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ on David Letterman’s late night TV show and has remained a fixture since. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track ‘Shadows’.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Whilst I know the lead singer of Future Islands has enchanted people with his 'Grandad after 7 sherries' stage-swagger, it is the music here that is truly the star (thank goodness). Slightly gothic atmospheres, soaring synths and plenty of late-80's plate reverbs. Dark but driven indie for the eye-makeup crowd.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram white vinyl.

                    Kim Gordon

                    No Home Record

                      With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music.

                      It makes sense that this “American idea” (as Gordon says on the agitated rock track “Air BnB”) of purchasing utopia permeates the record, as no place is this phenomenon more apparent than Los Angeles, where Gordon was born and recently returned to after several lifetimes on the east coast. It was a move precipitated by a number of seismic shifts in her personal life and undoubtedly plays a role in No Home Record’s fascination with transience. The album opens with the restless “Sketch Artist,” where Gordon sings about “dreaming in a tent” as the music shutters and skips like scenery through a car window. “Even Earthquake,” perhaps the record’s most straightforward track embodies this mood; Gordon’s voice wavering like watercolor: “If I could cry and shake for you / I’d lay awake for you / I got sand in my heart for you,” guitar strokes blending into one another as they bleed out across an unstable page. Front to back, No Home Record is an expert operation in the uncanny. You don’t simply listen to Gordon’s music; you experience it.

                      Aldous Harding releases her third album, Designer. Designer finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride. After the sleeper success of the internationally lauded Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road.

                      Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen. From the bold strokes of opening track ‘Fixture Picture’, there is an overriding sense of an artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Another stunning LP from Harding here, being a favourite in the shop, we're no newbies to her own brand of rhythmic country-tinged melodic indie, but this time around we get the Welsh input from Huw Hawkline and Steve Baboo, both acts i'm well accustomed with from my time in Cardiff, and both perfectly fitting in to Harding's musical world. Beautiful stuff.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      With scuzzy beats, trippy keyboard squiggles and vocals 100% full of attitude and belief, these Midlanders seem to have the lot. Like a more brazen Beta Band (similar 60's references, similar use of beats) or prime-time Happy Mondays, some of these songs are like chants or mantras that get right under your skin. It's powerful, low-slung-funky, effortlessly catchy fun!

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xLP Info: Reissued in original 10" double gatefold heavyweight vinyl format in a limited quantity.

                      The Lemon Twigs emerged in 2016 with their debut LP, Do Hollywood, which was praised by Rolling Stone for its “toting hooky songs that stand out for their intricate arrangements and delectable melodies” and NPR Music who mused, “like listening to music from a time that never was…a baroque rock romp.”

                      Their second album, Go To School is their most ambitious work yet; a conceptual musical, conceived by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, which tells a heartbreaking coming of age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy as he comes to terms with the obstacles of life. Todd Rundgren and their real-life mother Susan Hall play Shane’s parents. The album also features contributions from Jody Stephens (Big Star), Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) and their father Ronnie D’Addario.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Immediately reminiscent of all your favourite rock greats (you name it, the Lemon Twigs know it), but with a brilliantly innovative sense of pacing and style. Brilliantly mature and eccentrically conceptual, this is a killer LP from a band rising through the ranks quickly. Ace.

                      Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, also handling guitar duties on all songs, "Transformer" was Lou Reed's second solo album, but the first containing new songs (his debut consisted reworks of songs he wrote in his Velvet Underground days). "Transformer" is considered Lou Reed's signature album and includes his most known songs as "Satellite of Love", "Vicious"(inspired by Andy Warhol) and "Perfect Day". Rumours has it that, though not credited on the album, "Wagon Wheel" is actually written by David Bowie.






                      The album was recorded at Steve Mackey’s (Pulp) West Heath Garage studios in London. Jason Williamson discusses ‘English Tapas’: "Andrew walked into some random pub and saw "English Tapas" scrawled on the menu board. Underneath this beautiful coupling of words were it's components, half a scotch egg, cup of chips, pickle and a mini pork pie" It says everything about this fucking place. It's comedy, it’s make do, it's ignorant and above all, it's shit"

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Sleaford Mods hit us hard with another voracious and aggressive commentary on modern life with their trademark combination of wit and vitriol, backed by a thumping but decidedly downplayed backline. Snarling, punky spoken word passages and gritty dusty drum machines. If you like the Mods, this one won't change your mind. If you don't, it just might.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      Snail Mail’s full-length debut album, Lush, is a debut for the record books — a refreshing marvel of songwriting and technical composition, that’s both cohesive and explosive — Her voice rises and falls with electricity throughout, spinning with bold excitement and new beginnings at every turn.

                      Lush feels at times like an emotional rollercoaster, only fitting for Jordan’s explosive, dynamic personality. Growing up in Baltimore suburb Ellicot City, Jordan began her classical guitar training at age five, and a decade later wrote her first audacious songs as Snail Mail. Around that time, Jordan started frequenting local shows in Baltimore, where she formed close friendships within the local scene, the impetus for her to form a band. By the time she was sixteen, she had already released her debut EP, Habit, on local punk label Sister Polygon Records.

                      Sonic Youth

                      The Eternal

                        Long out of stock, now re-pressed and re-issued.

                        Produced by John Agnello and the band, ‘The Eternal’ not only marks Sonic Youth’s return to the independent label sphere (titles on their own SYR label excepted) after a long association with Geffen but, more importantly, it ranks as one of their more inspired efforts in a 28 year career.

                        Recorded through November and December of 2008 at the band’s Echo Canyon West studio in Hoboken, NJ, ‘The Eternal’ features many firsts for a Sonic Youth album, including a number of shared vocals between Kim, Thurston and Lee and the studio debut of former Pavement / Dustdevils bassist Mark Ibold, a member of Sonic Youth’s touring band for the past few years.

                        The super-hip New York quintet return with their third studio album and, gasp, what you might call a new direction! For a start this new longplayer lasts almost an hour, almost as long as "Is This It" and "Room On Fire" combined. The leading single "Juicebox" will give you some idea towards their redefined sound, whilst tracks such as "Vision Of Division" tread familiar ground which should please the faithful. All in all, another great album and a blistering start for 2006.

                        The Strokes

                        Angles

                          "Angles" is The Strokes’ first new release since their No.1 album "First Impressions Of Earth" in 2006.

                          The 10 new songs were all written, in various combinations, by everyone in the band: a first for a Strokes album. Their breakthrough debut, 2001's "Is This It", and the 2003 follow-up, "Room On Fire", were largely written by singer Julian Casablancas.

                          "Angles" is the best album The Strokes have made since "Is This It" because of the stylistic depth and progressive excitement in those crisscross guitars, the tightly wound rhythms and Casablancas' dry trademark croon.

                          The Strokes release their highly anticipated fifth studio album ‘Comedown Machine’ via Rough Trade Records.

                          The Strokes consist of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums).

                          The New York band have released four studio albums, ‘Is This It’ (2001), ‘Room On Fire’ (2003), ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ (2006) and ‘Angles’ (2011), which have sold over 5 million albums worldwide.

                          Discussing the recording of ‘Comedown Machine’, bassist Nikolai Fraiture said: “We got off tour and we had these songs, some left over and some new. We rehearsed in Electric Lady and it was working so we went with it. It was touch and go for a while but we finished up at Electric Lady (recording studio) in New York. We recorded ten or 11 songs and there is other stuff floating around.” He added: “We hashed it out all together like the good old days. It’s a legendary studio and it is not far away from us all, apart from Nick who lives in Los Angeles, but he made the trip out to record.”

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: The gritty New Yorkers make a comeback with 'Comedown Machine'. It’s clear that Casablancas’ stained vocals are still there, and the unique riffs & melodies remain, but Comedown Machine adds a new element of synthetic dreaminess, melodic 80's sounds & percussive overhauls. A must listen.

                          Teenage Fanclub

                          Howdy! - Remastered Edition

                            Originally released on Creation Records, this long out of print classic has been re-mastered for the first time from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London under the guidance of the band, Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley. Packaged in a faithful re-production of the original vinyl artwork and available on heavyweight 180g single vinyl. 

                            This is one of a series of five releases, and for each the band have also selected rarities, favourites and tracks previously unavailable on vinyl to include on a 7” with each album. These 7” singles each feature two tracks and are only available with the initial pressing of each album.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            says: Teenage Fanclub finally slow up with this year 2,000 record. It's still sweet, supremely well crafted, and in Raymond's "My Uptight Life" in particular, extraordinary, but it was no surprise that this release closed a particular chapter for this much-loved band.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd LP Info: Limited edition includes bonus 7".

                            Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Teenage Fanclub

                            Thirteen - Remastered Edition

                              Originally released on Creation Records, this long out of print classic has been re-mastered for the first time from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London under the guidance of the band, Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley. Packaged in a faithful re-production of the original vinyl artwork and available on heavyweight 180g single vinyl.

                              This is one of a series of five releases, and for each the band have also selected rarities, favourites and tracks previously unavailable on vinyl to include on a 7” with each album. These 7” singles each feature two tracks and are only available with the initial pressing of each album.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Ltd LP Info: Limited edition includes bonus 7".

                              Vampire Weekend

                              Contra

                                Some bands stay in a holding pattern their whole careers. Others jerk the steering wheel hard and fly off the road. On their second album, Vampire Weekend do neither. Or maybe they do both. “I think we sound more like Vampire Weekend than we did on the first record,” says drummer Christopher Tomson.

                                "Contra" pulls off a series of impressive feats: It’s bustling with fresh ideas and yet it sounds immediately familiar; it’s heavily layered but taut and kinetic; it chews ravenously through sound palettes and rhythms, and yet it’s nimble and assured; it’s still breezy, and yet it smolders with a newfound emotional heft. “It’s sadder than the first one, a bit more sentimental,” says singer Ezra Koenig. The songs are catchy, fast, twinkling, clattering – the darker themes of loss, doubt and regret accumulate almost imperceptibly, but they land a powerful blow.


                                Five and a half minutes into ‘Was All Talk’, the third track off his new album Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile murmurs in his beatific, laconic burr, “Makin’ music is easy / Watch me”. If that sounds like an empty boast it’s likely you’ve just not listened to enough of Vile’s music yet, as the way Kurt’s songs fall into place suggests that his art is entirely and convincingly effortless. That these songs zero in on a hazy perfection with such laser-guided precision shows that behind this veneer of lackadaisical creativity, beavers a songwriter toiling hard to make music so beguilingly laid-back.

                                Kurt Vile (his real name) is one of ten children, born in 1980 and raised in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. As a teenager, his bluegrass-lovin’ father gifted him a banjo, when what Kurt truly craved was a guitar. So, with a ‘can do’ spirit that’s a boon to any independent musician, he simply played it as if it were a guitar. Along with his passion for the 4-track-toting titans of early 90’s indie-rock, Vile also harboured a love for classic rock of substance – Creedence, Tom Petty, Neil Young, artists with their roots in ‘Roots’, but with enough vision to carve out an Americana of their own. Within the footprints he was following, Vile began carving a path of his own, making an art of dipping from introspective mellow rambles, to sky-scraping anthems; eager to rock out, equally unafraid to sing low and sweet.

                                Fast-forward some years and with The Violators in tow (the Heartbreakers to his Tom Petty, if you will) barnstormers like ‘Freak Train’ from the full-length Childish Prodigy [2009] were contrasted with more reflective and sun-dappled tunes from his break-through album Smoke Ring For My Halo [2011], as Kurt quietly became one of the great American guitarists and songwriters of our time.

                                Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Vile’s fifth full-length, is an album that builds on all Kurt has done before, that makes sense of the supposedly contrary impulses of his previous work. Learning whilst ascending, he’s crafted an album that would have sounded great 30 years ago, sounds great today and will still sound great 30 years from now.

                                Realising he’s in no rush to prove anything to anyone, songs on Wakin On A Pretty Daze unfurl at their own extended and unhurried pace, but not a second of this loveliness is wasted or surplus. The likes of ‘Air Bud’, ‘Was All Talk’ and ‘Gold Tone’ could keep on ringing out, exploring every possible wrinkle in its chord sequences and expounding with wisdom on the simple pleasures of a beautiful day, for as long as Kurt could stand to play them. These aren’t jams; these are songs that glide as they unwind, with a natural charm that’s enough to convince you that, yes, for Kurt, Makin’ music is easy. So, seriously: Watch him.

                                The long awaited second album from The XX.

                                Three years on from their Mercury Prize winning debut, Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith are back with a new album, ‘Coexist’, and a new perspective.

                                Where ‘XX’ lent in close to whisper in your ear, ‘Coexist’ gazes warmly in your eyes. Much has happened to lead to this point: most pertinently, they’ve grown up.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: Even more dazzling than their last! The vocals are intimate & soulful while subtle club rhythms chug along nicely to give it all just the right amount of impact.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                I See You marks a new era for the London trio of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, both sonically and in terms of process. For while xx and Coexist were both made in relative isolation in London, I See You was recorded between March 2014 and August 2016 in New York, Marfa TX, Reykjavik, Los Angeles and London, and is characterised by a more outward-looking, open and expansive approach. Produced by Jamie Smith and Rodaidh McDonald, I See You is The xx at their boldest yet, performing with more clarity and ambition than ever before.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: After two perfect, and pretty similar albums of clipped, late-night minimalism, The XX ring the changes, tinkering with their template with a record showing some of the dynamism and richness of Jamie's smash-hit solo album of 2 years ago. It still has all their hallmarks intact, just warped and deepened to beautiful effect. Brilliant.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Deluxe LP Info: Silver mirri board debossed box containing the album on 180g heavyweight vinyl, with an extra 12” including 3 bonus tracks, album CD, enhanced CD featuring a live video of bonus track ‘Brave For You (Marfa Demo)’ and 3 exclusive prints by Alasdair McLellan.

                                CD Info: CD comes in a debossed mirri board sleeve.

                                There's a riot going on. You don't need me, or Yo La Tengo, to tell you that. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It's easy to lose contact with the ground, flying through endless banks of storm clouds day after day. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And then there are times when what is indicated is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck.

                                While there's a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it's like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling "shoo-bop shoo-bop." You are there. And even if your mind is not unclouded--shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time--you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the sound and above the Sound.

                                For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting, and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You'd never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You'd imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of "Shades of Blue," will involuntarily hear "She May, She Might" on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and "Let's Do It Wrong" late at night. While there's a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.

                                In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly and the Family Stone released There's a Riot Goin’ On, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair. Their first proper full-length since 2013’s Fade, There's a Riot Goin’ On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken. 

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xColoured LP Info: Independent stores only orange vinyl.


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