MAGIC MIX

STAFF PICKS

PRESALES

Here's this week's 'staff picked' selection of forthcoming releases including oodles of limited editions, indie shops exclusives and coloured vinyl!!

For our latest all-genre presales click here

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.

    Liam Gallagher

    MTV Unplugged

      Last summer Liam Gallagher joined the list of all-time greats (Paul McCartney, Page and Plant, Nirvana and many more) who have filmed a prestigious MTV Unplugged session. Having missed Oasis’s 1996 session through illness, the show at Hull’s City Hall found Liam fulfilling some unfinished business entirely on his own terms.

      Now Liam is set to release the ‘MTV Unplugged’ live album of the show on April 24th.

      The show’s electrifying atmosphere is palpable from the very beginning with a phenomenal reaction as Liam takes to the stage with ‘Wall of Glass’. Material from Liam’s solo career such as his personal favourite ‘Once’ and the joyous ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ resonates in this stripped-back format, with his vocal shining alongside a trio of backing singers and string arrangements performed by the 24-piece Urban Soul Orchestra.

      Oasis guitarist Bonehead features on performances of ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Stand By Me’, ‘Cast No Shadow’ and Liam’s first ever live vocal performance of the ‘Definitely Maybe’ bonus track ‘Sad Song’. The show concludes on a crowd-pleasing high with an emotive take on the classic ‘Champagne Supernova’.

      Liam launches the ‘MTV Unplugged’ album by sharing the new version of ‘Gone’, which was one of the strongest performances of the night. Stripped of the force of the studio recording, ‘Gone’ instead reveals new-found bombastic dynamics and an evocative cinematic atmosphere.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Very limited two colour splatter vinyl.

      Various Artists

      Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986

        When Light In The Attic released Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986 in 2019, it was the first collection of its kind to be released outside Japan. It proved to be just what music fans had been waiting for—a compilation of sought-after tracks that had been nearly impossible to obtain unless you were well-connected with dealers and collectors, or traveled regularly to the countless record stores in Japan. Pacific Breeze included Minako Yoshida, Taeko Ohnuki, Hiroshi Sato and Haruomi Hosono among other key players of ‘70s-’80s Japanese City Pop, the nebulous genre that encompassed an “amalgam of AOR, R&B, jazz fusion, funk, boogie and disco, all a touch dizzy with tropical euphoria,” as we described it the first time around.

        With Pacific Breeze 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986 we dig deeper into those sounds of bubble-era Japan. From the proto-City Pop funk of Bread & Butter and Eiichi Ohtaki to the crate-digger favorites Eri Ohno and Piper, the latest entry in Light In The Attic’s Japan Archival Series brings another set of sought-after tunes, most of which have never before been available outside of Japan. Tomoko Aran and Anri, also included in this compilation, are just a few of the artists who have gained popularity in recent years thanks to Vaporwave, the meme-genre that heavily samples Japanese City Pop to create its particular aesthetic.

        Pacific Breeze 2 once again feature the artwork of renowned Tokyo-based illustrator Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have become synonymous with City Pop. Nagai’s urban tropical imagery is a perfect match for the expertly curated tunes, evoking a certain sense of nostalgia for the leisure lifestyles of ‘70s-’80s Tokyo, while simultaneously being perfectly in tune with the current zeitgeist.


        Kelly Lee Owens

        Inner Song

          Kelly Lee Owens' masterful second album Inner Song finds the convention-blurring techno producer and singer/songwriter diving deep into her own psyche—excoriating the struggles she's faced over the last several years and exploring personal pain while embracing the beauty of the natural world. It's a leap in artistry from a musician who burst forth on the scene with a confident, rich sound, and Inner Song is endlessly enticing when it comes to what Owens is capable of.

          Inner Song follows the star-making debut of her 2017 self-titled album, a quixotic blend of body-moving beats and introspective songwriting that garnered numerous accolades from the music press. Owens has indeed come a long way from her background as a nurse, since then she has remixed Bjørk & St Vincent, released an indelibly clubby two-tracker, 2019's "Let It Go" b/w "Omen," and teamed up with likeminded auteur Jon Hopkins on the one-off "Luminous Spaces."

          Her latest album also comes off of what Owens describes as "the hardest three years of my life," an emotionally fraught time that, in her words, "Definitely impacted my creative life and everything I'd worked for up to that point. I wasn't sure if I could make anything anymore, and it took quite a lot of courage to get to a point where I could make something again." So while the lovely cover of Radiohead's "Arpeggi" might strike some as an unconventional way to open a sophomore effort, to Owens the winding take on the classic tune—recorded a year before work on Inner Song properly kicked off—represents the sort of sonic rebirth that's so essential to Inner Song's aura.

          Inner Song was largely written and recorded over a month last winter. As with her debut, Owens holed up in the studio with co-producer and collaborator James Greenwood —and letting loose in the studio and being open to whatever sonic whims emerge was essential to Owens' craftwork. The evocative title of the album is borrowed from free-jazz maestro Alan Silva's 1972 opus, which was gifted to Owens Smalltown Supersound's Joakim Haugland for her 30th birthday: "I'm so grateful for him and his perspectives—he's always thinking outside of the box. Those two words really reflect what it felt like to make this record. I did a lot of inner work in the past few years, and this is a true reflection of that." The hair-raising bass and tickling textures of Inner Song drive home that, more so than ever, Owens is locked in to delivering maximal sonic pleasure—as evidenced by the decision to make the album's vinyl release a sesqui album, or triple-sided album: "I'm still obsessed with frequencies that don't do well on vinyl if they don't have the space."

          "The power of conceptualizing who you are has really informed this album," Owens states about Inner Song's essence, and her second album is truly a discovery of self— the latest statement from a fascinating artist who continues to surprise, gesturing towards a rich and varied career to come.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDinked Edition LP Info: 2LP Exclusive Clear Vinyl.
          Bonus Exclusive ‘Hidden’ track Side C.
          Etching on Side D.
          Signed and Numbered Exclusive 12” Art Print (Design exclusive to Dinked).

          2xColoured LP Info: White vinyl edition.

          Elbow

          Live At The Ritz - An Acoustic Performance

            In the week that their eighth studio album, ‘Giants of All Sizes’, became their third consecutive UK Number One album, elbow played a series of special acoustic shows for select audiences in Leeds, Kingston and Manchester. Combining tracks from the new album with songs from their extensive and ever growing back catalogue, the shows offered fans a rare opportunity to see elbow in small venues, with the recordings emphasising the special bond that exists between the band and their fanbase.

            The short tour included two sold out, hometown shows at Manchester’s Ritz, a place that looms large in the band’s history, being the site of a legendary headline show on the release of their debut album ‘Asleep in the Back’ in 2001 that had the Manchester Evening News display their fortune telling skills when they suggested ‘elbow are on the verge of something big’.

            The Ritz set reminded fans of that history with versions of both ‘Newborn’ and ‘Scattered Black and Whites’ from that debut album alongside versions of ‘Grounds for Divorce’ from ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ from ‘Little Fictions’ and ‘Great Expectations’ from ‘Leaders of the Free World’. As befits an album from a band so intrinsically intertwined with their hometown, the show also saw Guy Garvey quote John Cooper Clarke and pay tribute to various Manchester luminaries lost along the way.

            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.

              Protomartyr

              Ultimate Success

                Following the release of Relatives In Descent, the band’s critically acclaimed headlong dive into the morass of American life in 2017 (featured on myriad “best of” lists, including The New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Loud & Quiet and more), Ultimate Success Today continues to further expand the possibilities of what a Protomartyr album can sound like. 

                “There is darkness in the poetry of Ultimate Success Today,” says punk legend, founding member of The Raincoats, and friend of the band Ana da Silva. “The theme of things ending, above all human existence, is present and reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Our world has reached a point that makes us afraid: fires, floods, earthquakes, hunger, war, intolerance…There are cries of despair. Is there hope? Greed is the sickness that puts life in danger.”

                "The re-release of our first album had me thinking about the passage of time and its ultimate conclusion,” says singer Joe Casey of Ultimate Success Today. “Listening to No Passion All Technique again, I could hear myself hoping for an introduction and a long future, but also being cognizant that it could be ‘one and done’ for us. So, when it came time to write Ultimate Success Today, I was reminded of that first urgency and how it was an inverse of my current grapple with how terribly ill I’ve been feeling lately. Was that sick feeling colouring how I felt about the state of the world or was it the other way around?”

                “This panic was freeing in a way. It allowed me to see our fifth album as a possible valediction of some confusingly loud five-act play. In the same light I see it as an interesting mile marker of our first decade of being a band - a crest of the hill along a long highway. Although just to cover my bases, I made sure to get my last words in while I still had the breath to say them.”

                “There are exquisite, subtle gifts from other instruments that always heighten the guitar, instead of fighting with it,” explains da Silva. “They help to create a harmonious wall of sound all of its own. This was intentional. Greg Ahee wanted to use different textures other than pedals, and the drone quality of some of those instruments colours the guitar and the whole sound with a warm, rich in reverb, yet all-consuming landscape for Joe Casey’s voice.”

                Protomartyr is Joe Casey (vocals), Greg Ahee (guitars), Alex Leonard (drums), and Scott Davidson (bass guitar). Ultimate Success Today was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios, a late 19th century church, in upstate New York and co-produced by the band and David Tolomei (Dirty Projectors, Beach House) with mixing by Tolomei. Featured guest musicians on the album include Nandi Rose (vocals) a.k.a. Half Waif, jazz legend Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Izaak Mills (bass clarinet, sax, flute), and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello).


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: 140g transparent blue vinyl with 24"x24" poster, 'zine' booklet and download card.

                LP Info: 140g black vinyl with 24"x24" poster, 'zine' booklet and download card.

                Kate NV

                Room For The Moon

                  “Music knows what she wants,” says Moscow-based artist, Kate NV. On Room for the Moon, the lyrical follow up to the buoyant minimalism of 2018’s для FOR, NV follows this muse in fluid expression, harmonizing her lunar lullabies with a starry compositional choreography. NV says, “I always let music express herself without pressure, and with or without voice.”

                  NV began sketching the music of Moon sometime before для FOR, but the album did not take its full shape until the artist entered a new physiological phase. After trying to make a Buchla synthesizer mirror human imperfections, she was compelled to look past the patch bay and reconnect with her own voice. “I spent almost a year and half sitting, at best, or bending over the table. In the end it, my body rebelled, on some kind of physical level.” No longer concerned with demonstrating a traditional composer’s craft of для FOR, the return to vocal forms first found on her debut album Binasu was liberating and (gasp!) gleeful.

                  On Moon, NV’s vocals contour through screens of tulle or jars of glitter, the entire collection composed and produced by NV at home and studio spaces throughout Moscow. “I finished this record during the loneliest period of my life,” confides NV, with hints of melancholy, or fabled life lessons, adding even more depth to songs of cheery disposition. Her songs, sung in Russian, French and English, each carry unique features, like ten personas or ten scenes in a play where each character has its own keynote. Room for the Moon was conjured from unlived memories of 70s and 80s Russian and Japanese pop music and film, a 20th century fairy tale suspended in time like a moon torn from a paper sky.

                  NV is accompanied by long-time music collaborators on Moon: Jenya Gorbunov on bass guitar, Vladimir Luchanskiy on saxophone, and Quinn Oulton on both instruments. Musician Nami Sato’s gentle words lift and lilt over synth for one piece, too. These friendly contributions are in service of NV’s singular vision; the album is personal and particular in its construction. Filled with warm and sweet memories of her own invention, NV says, “these songs are now my closest friends.”

                  Moon could be made from chiffon ripples, night sky transmissions and long shadows. With each song we enter another chamber of illusion, NV’s vocals tiptoe through one track, toy with riddles on another and try to save time in a polka-dotted pocket. On “Plans,” NV, through some sort of sorcery, created a sax solo using only samples from the Found Sound Nation’s “Broken Orchestra” sample pack. A laugh slips from the sheets of music in “Ça Commence Par” like a misplaced photo. Mallet and marimba converse over mushroom tea on “Du Na.” “Tea” herself borrows melody from Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and “Telefon” teases us that “there’s nowhere to hide from the song.” But that’s ok, we’re all invited to the party.

                  Moon’s cast might make friends with other electric, eclectic, and visionary works of Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Akiko Yano, and Ann Steel. You know the feeling of instant affinity? It’s how you may respond to Room for the Moon. You’ll recognize something strangely familiar and inexplicably attractive, an afterglow of times spent in happy company, imagined or otherwise.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive Swirled clear, blue and yellow vinyl.
                  Kiss-Cut Sticker Sheet (a series of stickers based on Kate's illustrations and the album design).
                  Numbered sleeve.
                  Limited 300 pressing.

                  Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network

                  Ballet Of Apes

                    Tip-top of our osmosis list is the first quiver of tunes from Brigid Dawson and her newly minted Mothers Network: wise warnings dyed in dark hues, knotted and hard-won torch songs from the edge of a turbulent sea, bittersweet balladry spun in defense against evils familiar and unknown. Lovely though it may seem from a distance, the striation of loss quicksilvered throughout provides weighty balance to her contralto lilt. Those familiar with her harmonic counterpoint from her time in Thee Oh Sees or in OCS know she can belt as well as lullaby but there’s a fresh and smolderingly heavy swing in her step on display here that we mightily dig.

                    “Ballet of Apes” tapestries together sessions that read like a who’s who from outside our own castle walls - in Australia with Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring), in San Francisco with Mike Donovan (ex Sic Alps), Shayde Sartin (ex Fresh & Onlys/lifetime ringer) and Mike Shoun (ex Oh Sees/Peacers), and in Brooklyn with instrumental heavy-weights Sunwatchers - and the results are spellbinding. At the focal point of this maelstrom, our lady, as if illumed by candlelight, intones, pleads, consoles - white magic perhaps but it carries with it the anodized tang of blood. This is thrillingly potent stuff and it’s out on Castle Face May 22nd.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive Magenta Coloured Vinyl.
                    • Exclusive Folded 12 X 24” Poster (Folded / With LP).
                    • Signed Inner Sleeve.
                    • Numbered Sleeve.
                    • 400 Only.

                    Working Men's Club

                    Working Men's Club + Album Launch Show Ticket

                      We are excited to announce an exclusive Working Men's Club show at Night And Day Cafe on Wednesday June 10th (doors 7.30pm), to celebrate the release of their self titled debut album.

                      PRE-ORDER THE LP, CD or CASSETTE BUNDLE OF "WORKING MEN'S CLUB" FOR ENTRY TO THIS EXCLUSIVE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW ON WEDNESDAY 10TH JUNE AT THE NIGHT & DAY CAFE IN MANCHESTER.

                      WE ALSO HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKET ONLY PURCHASES AVAILABLE.

                      NB: NIGHT & DAY CAFE IS AN 18+ ONLY VENUE. ID WILL BE REQUIRED.

                      NB: ENTRY IS VIA TICKET ONLY!

                      THE TICKETS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE VIA PRE-ORDER FROM PICCADILLY RECORDS.

                       About the album:
                      A rumble on the horizon. Gritted teeth, nuclear fizz and fissured rock. A dab of pill dust from a linty pocket before it hits: the atom split, pool table overturned, pint glass smashed — valley fever breaking with the clouds as the inertia of small town life is well and truly disrupted. Here to bust out of Doledrum, clad in a t-shirt that screams SOCIALISM and armed with drum machine, synth, pedal and icy stare are Working Men’s Club, and their self-titled debut album. 

                      It’s hard to believe that the three fresh-faced music college kids who bounced out of nowhere and onto the 6 Music playlist with the sweet-but-potent, twangy guitar-led ‘Bad Blood’ (Melodic Records) in 2019 are the same band who clattered back there with maddening techno-cowbellpuncher ‘Teeth’ less than half a year later — and that’s because for the most part, they’re not. Having signed to Heavenly and with the hype around them building, underlying tensions came to a boil a mere five days before the band’s all-important first London headline show, and wunderkind frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant was left high and dry; guitarist Giulia Bonometti had decided to focus on her blossoming solo career, and drummer Jake Bogacki was against the new electronic direction Minsky-Sargeant saw Working Men’s Club taking. (“I guess WMC started off as a bit more guitar-based, tryna copy stuff in our own way, like the Velvets and stuff like that, but I didn’t want it to be that anymore. It became dancier and dancier as I tried to experiment”, he explains.) All that remained of the outfit was Minsky-Sargeant himself, recently recruited bassist Liam Ogburn, and — given the band’s indebtment to wood panelled, community-run venues for an early leg-up — a rather pertinent name. But with staunch determination burning in his belly, Minsky-Sargeant quickly assembled a lineup consisting of himself, Ogburn, and Mairead O'Connor (The Moonlandingz) and Rob Graham (Drenge, Baba Naga) — both of whom he had met at the Sheffield studio of producer Ross Orton (The Fall, M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys) — replaced the live drums with a drum machine, and rush-rehearsed the new setup before going ahead with the show. “If it wasn’t for Sheffield then we probably wouldn’t have played that gig” he says. “I was shitting myself, because I didn’t know what would work or not.” Luckily, something stuck: “After about three gigs with that lineup it was already way better than what we’d had before.” Two original members lighter and three new ones the richer, Working Men’s Club took on a new hard-edge permutation, their shows becoming ever more sweaty, pulsating and rammed to the rafters; their energy raw; their vigour renewed; their interplay as musicians growing ever-more intuitive and elastic. Their eponymous collection of songs is equal parts Calder Valley restlessness and raw Sheffield steel; guitars locking horns with floor-filling beats, synths masquerading as drums and Minsky-Sargeant’s scratchy, electrifying bedroom demos brought to their full potential by Orton’s blade-sharp yet sensitive production. 

                      It was at home in the town of Todmorden in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, feeling hemmed in, that 18-year-old Syd Minsky-Sargeant first began assembling these 10 songs. “There’s not much going on, not much stuff to do as a teenager” he says. “It’s quite isolated. And it can get quite depressing being in a town where in the winter it gets light at nine in the morning and dark at four”. It is this sense of cabin fever, of “thinking that you will never escape a small town in the middle of nowhere” on which the album opens, with the boredom-lamenting and rave-reminiscent ‘Valleys’. In a post-punk talk-sing over an old-skool beat, Minsky-Sargeant begins: 

                      Trapped, inside a town, inside my mind 

                      Stuck with no ideas, I’m running out of time 

                      There’s no quick escape, so many mistakes, I’ll play the long game 

                      This winter is a curse 

                      And the valley is my hearse, when will it take me to the grave? 

                      Fortunately for Syd and a thousand other bored-shitless, dark-dwelling teenagers, the Calder Valley boasts a burgeoning grassroots music scene, chiefly centred around The Golden Lion in Todmorden, and the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge — both of which were instrumental in the early life of the band. “Without those venues we probably wouldn’t have been able to get into playing live music”, Minsky-Sargeant reflects. Working Men’s Club’s first ever gig, at The Golden Lion, was self-booked and self-promoted, landlord Waka having allowed the band to use the 100-capacity room above the pub for free. Even before booking himself onto the stage though, Minsky-Sargeant regularly snuck into the venue to watch the internationally renowned DJs, like Justin Robertson and Luke Unabomber, who passed through its doors. This, combined with the discovery of 808 State, his stepdad’s extensive afrobeat record collection, YouTube videos of Jeff Mills making beats on a Roland TR-909, and a chance festival encounter with Soulwax, provided sustenance and inspiration for Working Men’s Club’s developing sound. Though it is songs almost entirely written and sung by Minsky-Sargeant that appear on the record, he is quick to point out the influence of the other members of his band on the record too; that “everyone that’s been involved in this band, from the old lineup to the new lineup, played on the record, contributed and shaped it in some way, through the phases”, wheedling in and around Minsky-Sargeant’s songs, embellishing them with their own bass, guitar, key or backing vocal parts. And without Orton, “it wouldn’t have been half as good a record.” Working with the producer radically changed MinskySargeant’s songwriting practice — “I tried to replicate what he was doing in his studio in my bedroom, and think more about drum sounds and making them more complicated and messing around with synths and stuff like that. It made me think about more components than just a guitar.” 

                      The songs following ‘Valleys’ come fast and relentless — momentum ever increasing, mission well and truly stated as the frenetic, pew-pewing ‘A.A.A.A’ speeds through to nonchalant existential groove ‘John Cooper Clarke’ — centred around the realisation that yes, even the luckiest guy alive, the Bard of Salford himself, will someday die. 

                      Hard holds hands with soft, and rough with smooth. On washily-vocalled, Orange Juicily-guitared ‘White Rooms and People’, there are simultaneously beautifully blooming flowers and ‘people talking shit about you’, and the hazy, ricocheting ‘Outside’, the gentlest track on the album, flips straight into the tough-as-shit, industrially-geared ‘Be My Guest’, which opens the second half of the record with markedly E. Smithian brio. The opening bars of ‘Cook A Coffee’ are momentarily reminiscent of ‘Bad Blood’, but spiral into direct and uncomfortable eye contact in song-form; a lost Joy Division number from an alternate universe, about taking a dump live on the telly. ‘Tomorrow’ glitches and glimmers, whilst outro track ‘Angel’ moves between psychedelic languidity and hardcore thrash, the album playing itself out on a 12-and-a-half-minute noodle. 

                      It is with war, free-fall, and re-birth already behind them that Working Men’s Club emerge, resilient; inspiration from across breadth of eras, genres and tour-mates merely strata in their very own indie-cum-dance-cum-techno niche in the crag. 

                      Diva Harris, February 2020

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: COLOURED LP & TICKET. Neon yellow vinyl in an embossed sleeve with neon pantone and laminated logo.

                      CD Info: CD & TICKET.

                      Cassette Info: CASSETTE & TICKET. Clear shell + neon yellow slip-case.

                      Tim Burgess

                      I Love The New Sky + Album Launch Show Ticket

                        PRE-ORDER THE LP OR CD OF "I LOVE THE NEW SKY" TO GET A TICKET FOR HIS EXCLUSIVE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW ON WEDNESDAY MAY 27TH AT THE NIGHT & DAY CAFE IN MANCHESTER (DOORS 7.30PM). 

                        WE ALSO HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF TICKET ONLY PURCHASES AVAILABLE.

                        NB: NIGHT & DAY CAFE IS AN 18+ ONLY VENUE. ID WILL BE REQUIRED.

                        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.”

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                        CD Info: CD + TICKET.

                        Ticket Only Info: IMPORTANT - this gives you access to the album launch gig on Wednesday May 27th ONLY.
                        It does not entitle you to a copy of the album.
                        Max 2 per person.

                        The Cool Greenhouse

                        The Cool Greenhouse

                          Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but The Cool Greenhouse are about to shatter glass ceilings with their self-titled debut LP.

                          “I wanted to hear repetitive music that wasn’t pretentious” tells the band’s voice Tom Greenhouse of his personal agenda to inject some pop sentimentality into the rock’n’roll textbook. “The mission was to make long, repetitive pop music that wasn’t boring. I soon realised I could do that through focusing on the lyrics.”

                          With phrases culled from the pages of his many notebooks, Greenhouse has a way with words. Exploring Rotary Club jumble sales and mausoleums or making futuristic voyages into musical VR, his songs dig at the gammon classes and scoff at the stupidity of society alongside pop punches about female harassment. Inspired by conversations and magazine articles he narrates upon the world as he sees it, preferring wise-cracks and judgement to merely passing comment. “At school I wrote a story about a whale that fell in love with a submarine and tried to have sex with it which almost caused a serious nuclear meltdown; it won a prize. As a teenager I thought I was Arthur Rimbaud so moved to Paris and wrote terrible poetry.”

                          Down and out in Paris and later, in London, Tom got skint fast so headed to the sticks of Norwich. Sitting in his garden, inspired to turn scripture into song and record it on a friend’s tape recorder, he began penning the album between writing clickbait articles to get by and turned to humour to express his deeper thoughts; “A lot of punk is on the nose like “fuck the Tories” but I’m not that hardcore. Humour is good for talking about serious things without getting too sentimental.”

                          Encouraged by The Shadow Ring’s Graham Lambkin (“I wrote to him asking whether it was worth the bother. He sent a really nice reply. He probably doesn’t remember, but it spurred me on.”), Tom took to the live circuit, but his solo backing track performances needed a fuller sound. Ahead of securing a show with The Stroppies, he turned to the talent of guitarist Tom O Driscoll, bassist Thom Mason, drummer and percussionist Kevin Barthelemy and Merlin Nova on keys and synths, harmonium, melodica, violin and backing vocals. “We practiced the songs and played that first show; we did a good job and Melodic signed us! Those guys are crazy,” Tom says. Perhaps not; also championed by DIY it could be a sign of things to come as the band prepare for their Great Escape debut.

                          Discovering The Cool Greenhouse’s first 7” (which coincidentally mentioned his own surname) ace producer, sound engineer and mixer Phil Booth (Sleaford Mods, Jake Bugg) invited the group to his JT Soar studio in Nottingham. The old potato-packing warehouse offered an idiosyncratic working method for the band, who recorded the album over 7 days as live between kipping on its couches, 4am whiskey-soaked sessions and Mario Kart ’64 on demand. “Phil’s got all the kit and know-how, but the studio is rough around the edges with great character,” Tom tells. “There were weird little synchronistic miracles… discussing a song then seeing its title on a shop window, finding things in pubs straight out of our songs… these zapped me onto some sort of Jungian plane where I didn’t need sleep and knew just what to do.”

                          Blissfully instinctive, Tom’s lexicon flies across the album with the agitation of an internal monologue that won’t quit. From pop culture to cautionary tales, anything deemed too musically extravagant was swiftly removed before being mastered by Mikey Young (Bodega, Amyl and the Sniffers); “we added a tympani and clarinet but ended up taking it all off again” At times the Truman Show-trappings of ‘Trojan Horse’ or ‘Gum’s unsettling cowbell hint at the motoric. For now, whatever it is that gets you going, let’s just call it The Cool Greenhouse effect.


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive Dinked ‘Ultra Clear’ colour vinyl.
                          • Exclusive signed and numbered postcard.
                          • Exclusive Dinked Colour OBI strip.
                          • Includes download code containing two bonus tracks exclusive to Dinked.
                          • Reverse Board Outer Sleeve.
                          • Matt Black Inner Sleeve W/ Centre Holes.
                          • Matt Art Paper Two Sided Insert.

                          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.

                            For our second foray into the vinyl world, Sprechen label head Massey joins forces with Sir Horatio, 'a certain' band from Manchester on collaboration cut 'Music Control'.

                            The result is a meeting of musical minds that blends together both parties favoured sounds to create a squelchy sandwich of post-disco/ proto-house with a healthy helping of acid & punk-funk which should appeal to fans of mucky basements and mature mosh-pits as well as those cosmic ALFOS astronauts.

                            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.

                              Once And Future Band

                              Deleted Scenes

                                "The space-age songsmiths of Once & Future Band have been ting-tinging away on the truly heavy anvil of hominid perspective and emotion again to bring you this singing scape of songs.
                                Annealing for over a year now, until it was cool enough to hold in your ears, nested in the pinnae, the time has finally come.
                                Dew drops pop and hiss as they settle on the gliding guitarmonies.

                                Once & Future Band have outdone themselves this time around, in my opinion. If songs could stop heated exchanges by mere presence, these are the ones, and more needed than ever.
                                As I tuned in to each new transmission, each step closer to this perfect platter, I had to stop and do nothing else, and merely absorb how wonderful this album is. Each tune exists in the company it was born to live with. There are haunting chorale escorts here...long trains of room warmth... the belting of the machine heart...lofty guitar and bass melange... and just beautifully laid to magnetic tape with a sure hand by the throbbing brains that are Once & Future Band for fans of Roy Wood, Idle Race, ELO, Roxy Music, Head Hunters, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, The Lord Bowie, The Band, and the soundtrack from every movie that ever pierced your cold, cold heart”
                                - John Dwyer.


                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Dinked Edition LP Info: • EXCLUSIVE translucent “beer” coloured vinyl
                                • EXCLUSIVE FOLDED 12” x 24” poster (folded with LP)
                                • EXCLUSIVE 3 track flexi-disc
                                • Numbered sleeve
                                • Strictly limited edition of 300

                                Katie Von Schleicher

                                Consummation

                                  Katie Von Schleicher doesn’t hold back. Her music, drenched in layers of warmth and fuzz, mines depression, devotion, power, and anxiety without reserve.

                                  But if channeling weighty subject matter is a constant in Von Schleicher’s music, so too is transforming that material into sonic landscapes that defy expectations. On Von Schleicher’s second record, Consummation, she blasts past the lo-fi power ballads of her debut Shitty Hits (2017) with a severe expansion of her sonic palette; its 13 shape-shifting songs depict a deeply personal exploration of trauma. The result is both potent and listenable; strange and familiar; intense and entertaining - and, perhaps most of all, teeming with life.

                                  Von Schleicher pulls the listener in from the outset. The synths and drum machines of the album opener “You Remind Me” evoke a room depressurizing, signaling a crossover into unsettling, dream-like territory. Her self-assured voice floats above the fray, her lyrics pointed: “And now I can’t confine my rage.” The following songs vary in genre and tempo, ranging from a pulsating, electronic rocker (“Brutality”) to upbeat and jagged kraut (“Wheel,” “Caged Sleep”) and a melancholic, cosmic ballad (“Gross”). There’s even a brief, haunting crooner of a track (“Strangest Thing”). What they share is lyrical concision, emotional heft, and conscientious production.

                                  Consummation is, in part, inspired by an alternate interpretation of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In 2018, Von Schleicher rewatched the seminal film and was struck by its largely unanalyzed subtext of abuse. She knew immediately that this hidden narrative, which spoke to her personal experience, would be the basis of her next album.

                                  While writing and engineering the record, she found sanctuary in the words of other women: namely, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, and Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. The latter proved particularly influential: Soon after revisiting Vertigo, Von Schleicher stumbled upon Solnit’s lacerating take on the film. Solnit describes the “wandering, stalking, haunting” of romantic pursuit that it depicts as “consummation,” while “real communion” - understanding and mutual respect between two lovers - is, to the men in the film, “unimaginable.” The consequence is a fundamental failure of communication. At its core, Consummation evokes the pain of being unable to bridge that vast psychic distance between oneself and another.

                                  Can love that destroys, Von Schleicher asks, be love at all? At the close of the album, it seems she’s arrived at something of an answer, at least for herself. On “Nothing Lasts,” the record’s final song, a romantic verse gives way to an anthemic, albeit fatalistic chorus - one that feels something like a sigh of relief: “Cause nothing lasts for long, nothing lasts, see it’s gone.”


                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive clear vinyl.
                                  • Exclusive bonus 7” with two tracks ("CMWA" / "Display").
                                  • Exclusive tote bag.
                                  • Hand numbered sleeve.
                                  • Limited 300 pressing.

                                  Mac Demarco

                                  Here Comes The Cowboy Demos

                                    Following last year’s release of Here Comes The Cowboy, “his most introspective and refined work to date” (Billboard), Mac DeMarco is pleased to announce two new demo albums; Here Comes The Cowboy Demos, which will be released on April 17th via Mac’s Record Label and distributed by CAROLINE, and Other Here Comes The Cowboy Demos, out April 18th as a Record Store Day Exclusive. Other Here Comes The Cowboy Demos features unreleased recordings from the same sessions that spurred the final album. 

                                    Sonic Boom

                                    All Things Being Equal

                                      It’s auspicious that Sonic Boom—the solo project and nom-de-producer 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

                                      Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited LP comes with foil single sleeve jacket, inner sleeve with lyrics, 12”x12” foil insert with artwork, 12”x19” poster, black vinyl & download – Indies only.

                                      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.

                                      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.

                                        2xLP Info: Double black vinyl.

                                        GLOK

                                        Dissident - Signed Edition

                                          GLOK is the electronic solo project from Andy Bell of shoegaze legends RIDE (formerly of Oasis/ Beady Eye/Hurricane #1). His debut album under the moniker, Dissident, was originally released last year on a limited edition cassette by Bytes, an offshoot of Ransom Note Records. That sold out in 24 hours, and was followed by a vinyl pressing of 500 copies, on transparent green vinyl, sold via Bandcamp and two online shops.

                                          However, with that edition now sold out pretty much on word of mouth, due to popular demand, Dissident is being repressed and is this time being made available to a wider audience via a partnership between Bytes and Republic of Music/K7.

                                          The name GLOK is a misspelling of the German word for Bell. The German connection fits well as there is a strong Krautrock influence in the music, especially on the title track, ‘Dissident’, an epic clocking in just shy of the 20-minute mark, which blends synthwave, minimalism, trance, Detroit techno and John Carpenter soundtracks, with Andy even dropping in some killer John Squire-esque guitar licks.

                                          The album was supported by Andrew Weatherall, Justin Robertson, Tom Ravenscroft at BBC 6 Music, The Times, Electronic Sound, Clash, DJ Mag, ChainDLK, Stamp the Wax and Groove.

                                          Dissident Remixed will follow on June 26, 2020, featuring reworkings from Andrew Weatherall, Jay Glass Dubs, Maps, Richard Sen, Minotaur Shock, C.A.R., Timothy Clerkin and Andy himself.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: Transparent red vinyl

                                          The Blinders

                                          Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath

                                            The Blinders have announced their new album, 'Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath' via Modern Sky UK.

                                            The follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album, Columbia, released in 2018, the album explores existential despair, mental health and society’s ills in a time of planetary crisis, and is both a riposte to, and commentary on, the rise of populist ideology. Delivering a blistering collection of powerful tracks, Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath is imbued with the visceral energy of IDLES, the twisted melodies of solo-era Lennon and the darkness of the Bad Seeds.

                                            In the shadow of Brexit and the climate crisis, The Blinders return with their unique brand of outspoken anthemicism and a sensational album to rouse awareness and inject vital energy into a bleak 2020. Combined with their blistering live energy, get ready for The Blinders to accelerate furiously into the limelight. 

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive Deep Red vinyl.
                                            Numbered & Signed 12"x12" Art print.
                                            500 only.

                                            Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl edition.

                                            Sébastien Tellier

                                            Domesticated



                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Coloured LP Info: Yellow translucent vinyl.

                                              Rose City Band

                                              Summerlong

                                                It is impossible to talk about modern psychedelic music without mentioning Ripley Johnson. As bandleader of Wooden Shjips and half of Moon Duo, Johnson has continually charted new cosmic paths that expand on the language of the genre. With Rose City Band, Johnson’s songwriting and beautiful guitar lines take center stage. While his vocal treatment would be recognizable to any Wooden Shjips fan, the sparseness of the instrumentation lays bare the beauty of his writing. Shimmering guitar lines are free to shine, buoyed by driving rhythms. New to the mix are arrangements and instruments drawn directly from classic country, resulting in songs with more than a hint of twang. Buoyant and joyous, Summerlong is a captivating listen that leaves the listener yearning for more. The record is an ode to freedom, born of a musician stepping out of all routines and whose own liberation is communicated so completely in his music. Summerlong is a record that, taken in its entirety, is an emphatic statement on the songwriting power of Ripley Johnson. Johnson’s joy in every aspect of this album is delightfully infectious.

                                                Rose City Band started purely as a recording project, with Johnson’s role mostly obscured for the self-titled debut album. Released with no promotion, in the style of private press records, it was a liberating, a focus on music without any expectations. With a chuckle, Johnson elaborates, “I always would threaten to my friends that I’m gonna start a country rock band so I can retire and just play down at the pub every Thursday night during happy hour. I love being able to tour and travel, but I also like the idea of having a local band … more of a social music experience.” Freedom from expectation and obligation gave Johnson the space to experiment. The introduction of lap steel, mandolin, and jaw harp enhance Johnson’s lean guitar work with radiant overtones, placing Summerlong more overtly within the country tradition than its predecessor. Work on the album began at Johnson’s home studio in Portland during the summer, but, interrupted by touring, was not be finished until winter. The dark isolation of winter and the pining for summer’s easier days can be felt in the album’s few quieter moments. Summerlong was mixed by John McEntire (Stereolab, Broken Social Scene, Tortoise) at his newly minted Portland Soma Studios and mastered by Amy Dragon at Telegraph Mastering, also based in Portland.

                                                The aptly named Summerlong, born of Johnson’s own fondness for the season, delivers an emotional lift—an expression akin to the joy of getting out there on a warm day, be it gathering for a BBQ, hopping onto a bike, leaping into a swimming hole, or simply reading in a park.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Clear / orange / blue vinyl.

                                                The Strokes

                                                The New Abnormal

                                                  The Strokes are back with their first new album in seven years.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive red opaque coloured vinyl.

                                                  JARV IS

                                                  Beyond The Pale

                                                    JARV IS… are pleased to announce their debut album “Beyond the Pale”. This is the first original music from Jarvis Cocker since the “Further Complications” album in 2009.

                                                    JARV IS… a band featuring Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar, percussion), Serafina Steer (harp, keyboards, vocals), Emma Smith (violin, guitar vocals), Andrew McKinney (bass, vocals), Jason Buckle (synthesiser & electronic treatments) & Adam Betts (drums, percussion, vocals).

                                                    JARV IS… formed to play a show at the Sigur Ros “Norður og Niður” festival in Iceland at the very end of 2017.

                                                    JARV IS… was conceived as a way of writing songs in collaboration with an audience. As the material they were playing was in a state of flux the band decided to record their live shows so that they could monitor how the songs were developing. After an appearance at the Desert Daze festival in California, Geoff Barrow (Portishead, Beak>) suggested that these recordings could be used as the basis for an album. Overdubs & vocals were added at Narcissus Studios in Neasden, London. Post-production work took place at Jason Buckle’s Place du Big Boss studio in Raynes Park, London. The album was mixed by Craig Silvey at Toast Studios in West London.

                                                    The first single from the album “Must I Evolve?” was released in May 2019 & appeared in many “Top 10 Tracks of the Year” lists.

                                                    JARV IS… an ongoing live experience because life is an ongoing live experience.

                                                    Or, to put it another way:

                                                    THIS IS NOT A LIVE ALBUM – it’s an ALIVE ALBUM.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear orange vinyl in tip-on gatefold sleeve.

                                                    Modern Studies

                                                    The Weight Of The Sun

                                                      New album from kosmiche folk-rock quartet Modern Studies. A glorious compendium of haunted disco hallelujahs, mercurial krautrock chorales, cosmic pop adagios and euphoric, resilient, anthems. ‘The Weight of the Sun’ sees principal songwriters Emily Scott and Rob St John further their warm, esoteric field studies with Pete Harvey and Joe Smillie, as previously reconnoitred on ‘Swell To Great’ (2016) and ‘Welcome Strangers’ (2018).

                                                      “The exact point where Fairport Convention meet Jim O’Rourke at a remote Scottish railway station.” Tim Burgess.

                                                      “Melancholic magic… recalls Johnny Marr’s hazier reveries and the febrile, electrified folk of Polly Harvey’s Let England Shake.” UNCUT

                                                      There is a strange familiarity, and a welcome strangeness, in the quiet alchemy of Modern Studies.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive “Sunburst Splatter” vinyl.
                                                      • Exclusive numbered lyric sheet.
                                                      • Dinked sticker.
                                                      • 300 only.

                                                      Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      LP Info: Standard black vinyl with DL card.

                                                      Biffy Clyro

                                                      A Celebration Of Endings

                                                        Biffy Clyro can announce that their eagerly anticipated new album ‘A Celebration of Endings’ will be released on 15 May. It follows the band’s previous two studio albums – ‘Ellipsis’ (2016) and ‘Opposites’ (2013) – both of which went straight to #1.

                                                        The band’s approach to opus eight was simple. Keep things fresh and maintain the wide-eyed wonder of what they do. Surprise themselves and each other. Push things to their furthest extremes. Their first building block in embracing the new was to turn to an old friend. In came Rich Costey, producer of ‘Ellipsis’.

                                                        “This is a very forward-looking album from a personal perspective and a societal perspective,” explains frontman Simon Neil. “The title is about seeing the joy in things changing, rather than the sadness. Change means progression and evolution. You can retain everything you loved before, but let’s lose the bad shit. It’s about trying to take back control.”

                                                        That idea manifests itself in various ways. On a personal level that might be a relationship which has reached a point where it’s in both parties’ interest to separate. And on a wider scale, it’s about standing up for what you believe in.

                                                        Sonically, Biffy Clyro playfully push the outer reaches of their sound to the extreme – often in the case of the same song. Opening track ‘North of No South’ hits hard before finding the space for the Johnston brothers to unleash some soaring Queen-style vocal harmonies, before ‘The Champ’ throws piano, cinematic strings (conducted by Bruce Springsteen collaborator Rob Mathes at Abbey Road) and Biffy’s prototyped jagged rhythms into the mix without ever losing any of its sleekness.

                                                        Other songs are far more direct. ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ is the best direct rock anthem they’ve ever written, somehow snappy, melodic and light on its feet while feeling so natural you could imagine it was conceived in minutes. Meanwhile, ‘Space’ is a natural successor from previous lighters-in-the-air highlights ‘Many of Horror’ and ‘Rearrange’. It’s a sincere message of reconciliation for someone you love, and Biffy’s most tender, unguarded moment from the sweet spot of their catalogue.

                                                        How can you conclude an album of such esoteric diversity? Biffy launch headfirst into ‘Cop Syrup’. There’s the rush of ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’, a detour into Sub Pop-style grunge and manic shrieks which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Liturgy record. But then it contorts again, first into ethereal orchestration and then with a final burst of violence. It’s an ending to celebrate.


                                                        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

                                                          Dinked Edition LP Info: - Exclusive tri-striped vinyl (red, orange and yellow)
                                                          - Exclusive 12x12” Double Sided Art Print - signed album sleeve image of band / ‘Exclusive’ print image design (from the artist)
                                                          - Bonus green 7” Flexi Disc of Spanish Bombs (The Clash cover)
                                                          - Gatefold sleeve (same as other LP versions)

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive light blue vinyl.

                                                          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.

                                                            Throwing Muses

                                                            Sun Racket

                                                              ‘Sun Racket’ is the brand new album from legendary Boston trio Throwing Muses, consisting of Kristin Hersh, David Narcizo and Bernard Georges. The follow up to 2013’s ‘Purgatory/Paradise’ is an outpouring of modal guitars, reverbed shapes, echoey drums and driving bass set behind Kristen Hersh’s well-thumbed notebook of storylines. A ten-song opus of suitably wrought tales set against a wall of sound that’s at once calm and ethereal before building into glorious cacophonous crescendos. When Throwing Muses wrote their last album, they were shattered. Pieces were coming and going, elements repeating and charging the whole. “It sounded beautiful jumping around like that”.

                                                              Two-minute songs reappearing as twisted instrumentals or another song’s bridge. They mimicked the effect live which kept them on their toes. Whatever was happening was already over in other words. ‘Sun Racket’ is the opposite. It refused to do anything but sit still. It says, “sit here and deal”. “All it asked of us was to comingle two completely disparate sonic vocabularies: one heavy noise, the other delicate music box. Turns out we didn’t have to do much. Sun Racket knew what it was doing and pushed us aside, which is always best. After thirty years of playing together, we trust each other implicitly but we trust the music more” - Kristin Hersh And so, they continue. Business unusual.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition violet vinyl.

                                                              Margo Price

                                                              That's How Rumors Get Started

                                                                "Everybody wants to know / how I feel and what I think," Margo Price sings in her emotive, bittersweet twang, halfway through her third full-length record. On That's How Rumors Get Started, Price has committed her genre-bending rock-and-roll show to record for the first time, stretching out into sky-high soft-rock, burning psychedelic rock ballads, stomping road songs, and sprinkles of pop.

                                                                Twinkle Twinkle:
                                                                'Twinkle Twinkle' is an anti-nostalgia anthem of sorts, about the polarization of becoming a more well-known artist, and the wild ride that was Margo Price's last few years. It traces her trajectory: she gets by, gets high, racks up debt, can’t pay the rent, plays dives to stay alive. "If it don’t break you, it might just make you rich," she sings, with heroic sass.

                                                                In fact, the song was inspired by a back-stage encounter with Marty Stuart and the Superlatives at a music festival that was otherwise pretty bleak. (Price has played with Superlatives guitarist Kenny Vaughan over the years.) After the show, in Stuart’s trailer, while he tuned his guitars, he said to Price, “So, you and the band have been on the road a lot lately, do you all hate each other yet?” As Price recalls it: “I said, ‘No, well, I mean, our marriages are falling apart and our health’s deteriorating. But other than that, we’re great.’ And he looks at me, and he gets this gleam in his eye, and he says, ‘You wanted to be a star.. Twinkle twinkle.’”


                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive includes "Twinkle Twinkle" 7".

                                                                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

                                                                  2xDeluxe LP Info: 180g vinyl, gatefold sleeve with music book , recycled plastic dust jacket and recycled plectrum.

                                                                  2xLP Info: 180g vinyl, gatefold sleeve.

                                                                  Pottery

                                                                  Welcome To Bobby's Motel

                                                                    The debut album from Pottery, Welcome to Bobby's Motel, arrives 10th April 2020.

                                                                    Who is “Bobby,” you ask?

                                                                    Enter Pottery. Enter Paul Jacobs, Jacob Shepansky, Austin Boylan, Tom Gould, and Peter Baylis. Enter the smells, the cigarettes, the noise, their van Mary, their friend Luke, toilet drawings, Northern California, Beatles accents, Taco Bell, the Great Plains, and hot dogs. Enter love and hate, angst and happiness, and everything in between. Beginning as an inside joke between the band members, Bobby and his “motel” have grown into so much more. They’ve become the all-encompassing alt-reality that the band built themselves, for everyone else. So, in essence, Bobby is Pottery and his motel is wherever they are.

                                                                    But really, Bobby is a pilot, a lumberjack, a stay at home dad, and a disco dancer that never rips his pants. He's a punching bag filled with comic relief. He laughs in the face of day-to-day ambiguity, as worrying isn’t worth it to Bobby. There’s a piece of him in everyone, there to remind us that things are probably going to work out, maybe. He’s you. He’s him. He’s her. He’s them. Bobby is always there, painted in the corner, urging you to relax and forget about your useless worries. And his motel? Well, the motel is life. It might not be clean, and the curtains might not shut all the way. The air conditioner might be broken, and the floors might be stained. But that’s okay, because you don’t go to Bobby’s Motel for the glamour and a good night’s sleep, the minibar, or the full-service sauna. You go to Bobby’s Motel to feel, to escape, to remember, to distract. You go for the late nights and early mornings, good times and the bad. You might spend your entire life looking for Bobby’s Motel and just when you think you will never find it, you realize you’ve been there all along. It’s filthy and amazing and you dance, and you love it.

                                                                    The 11 songs on ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ don’t just invite you to move your body; they command you to. Fusing reckless, manic energy with painstaking precision, the record is part post-punk, part art-pop, and part dance floor acid trip, hinting at everything from Devo to Gang of Four as it boldly careens through genres and decades. The music is driven by explosive drums and off-kilter guitar riffs that drill themselves into your brain, accented with deep, funky grooves and rousing gang vocals. The production is similarly raw and wild, suggesting an air of anarchy that belies the music’s careful architecture and meticulous construction. The result is an album full of ambitious, complex performances that exude joy and mayhem in equal measure, a collection that’s alternately virtuosic, chaotic, and pure fun." 

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    Coloured LP Info: 'Hot Dog yellow' vinyl.

                                                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                    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

                                                                      Jehnny Beth

                                                                      To Love Is To Live

                                                                        "To Love Is To Live" is the debut solo album from Jehnny Beth from Savages.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: White vinyl.

                                                                        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.

                                                                          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.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

                                                                            Car Seat Headrest

                                                                            Making A Door Less Open

                                                                              Created over the course of four years, Making a Door Less Open is the result of a fruitful “collaboration” between Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, and 1 Trait Danger, a CSH electronic side project consisting of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo’s alternative persona, “Trait.” To realize this, the band recorded the album twice: once live with guitars, drums and bass, and once in a MIDI environment using purely synthesized sounds. During the mixing process, the two approaches were gradually combined using elements of each, with additional overdubs.

                                                                              In this way, Making A Door Less Open sees Toledo embarking on new and imaginative roads to songwriting and recording, placing emphasis on the individual songs, each with its own “special energy,” rather than attempting to draw a coherent storyteller narrative through the album as he has in the past , resulting in his most dynamic and open-ended work to date.

                                                                              Comprised of Will Toledo, Andrew Katz (drums), Ethan Ives (guitar) and Seth Dalby (bass), Car Seat Headrest has either released 11 or three albums to date, depending on the way you look at it. A prolific songwriter, Toledo took his moniker from making early recordings in the private environment of his family’s car, releasing a dozen self-recorded and produced albums on Bandcamp and building a tight-knit following. Toledo has since gone from an empty five-seater to selling out tours and filling festival main stages. 2015’s Teens of Style was a collection of songs from his early years. The band’s proper Matador debut, Teens of Denial, followed in 2016 and catapulted them to overnight commercial success and widespread critical acclaim, as well as highlighting Toledo as a prodigious lyricist. 2018’s Twin Fantasy, an epic re-imagination of an album originally released in 2011, demonstrated newfound scale, depth and ambition.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive opaque pink vinyl.

                                                                              Mark Lanegan

                                                                              Straight Songs Of Sorrow

                                                                                When considering any great work of art, be it a painting, a novel, or a piece of music, it’s natural to wonder what might have inspired it: ‘the story behind the song’. Mark Lanegan’s new album, Straight Songs Of Sorrow, flips that equation. Here are 15 songs inspired by a story: his life story, as documented by his own hand in his new memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep.

                                                                                The book is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, thanks to Lanegan’s unsparing candour in recounting a journey from troubled youth in eastern Washington, through his drug-stained existence amid the ’90s Seattle rock scene, to an unlikely salvation at the dawn of the 21st century. There’s death and tragedy, yet also humour and hope, thanks to the tenacity which impels its host, even at his lowest moments. As Lanegan writes near the end: “I was the ghost that wouldn’t die.”

                                                                                Today, Lanegan is a renowned songwriter and a much-coveted collaborator, as adept at electronica as with rock, constantly honing his indomitable voice: an asphalt-laced linctus for the soul. While the memoir documents a struggle to find peace with himself, his new album emphasis the extent to which he came to realise that music is his life.

                                                                                “Writing the book, I didn’t get catharsis,” he chuckles. “All I got was a Pandora’s box full of pain and misery. I went way in, and remembered shit I’d put away 20 years ago. But I started writing these songs the minute I was done, and I realised there was a depth of emotion because they were all linked to memories from this book. It was a relief to suddenly go back to music. Then I realised that was the gift of the book: these songs. I’m really proud of this record.”

                                                                                Straight Songs Of Sorrow combines musical trace elements from early Mark Lanegan albums with the synthesized constructs of later work. The meditative acoustic guitar fingerpicking – provided by Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton – on Apples From A Tree and Hanging On (For DRC) echo 1994’s Whiskey For The Holy Ghost. Yet one of that record’s touchstones was Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, echoed in the new album’s opener I Wouldn’t Want To Say, where Lanegan extemporises *à la Ballerina over musique concrète wave patterns generated by his latest favourite compositional tool, a miniature computer-synth called the Organelle. The lyric clings onto the music, emulating his book’s queasy momentum: *“Swinging from death… to revival.”

                                                                                “That song is the explanation, the beginning and middle and end of that entire period of time,” Mark says. “The encapsulation of the entire experience, book and record. So I started with that.”

                                                                                Lanegan affirms that every song references a specific episode or person in the book, albeit some more explicitly than others. Hanging On (For DRC) is a loving ode to his friend Dylan Carlson, genius progenitor of drone metal and a fellow unlikely survivor of Seattle’s narcotic dramas. “I was always unhappy, and he was the guy who was always smiling, even through my crazy schemes that eventually got both of us into a lot of trouble.” The richly cinematic mood of Daylight In The Nocturnal House, meanwhile, paints a more impressionistic scene: factory smoke, rain, a phone call from *“somebody’s grand-daughter”, who’ll *“pay to make somebody crawl/And send you to heaven.” The singer’s perspective is ambiguous. “I got into a lot of shady business in those years,” Lanegan says.

                                                                                Longtime observers will recognise some familiar recurrent themes. Death. Destruction. Bad behaviour. In the case of At Zero Below, all in the same song. “Yes, I did burn someone with a cigarette,” Mark says. “Yes, I did spit in somebody’s face – maybe more than once in my life. Stuff I’m not proud of. That song is also about one of my many ex-girlfriends who is no longer with us. It’s all linked to the book.”

                                                                                At Zero Below features two of the album’s many stellar guests. Singing admonitory harmonies with himself is Greg Dulli, another ’90s alt-rock veteran, Lanegan’s erstwhile partner in mischief and fellow Gutter Twin. The song’s incantatory fiddle is played by The Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis. No lesser figure than Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones provides Mellotron on the serpentine Ballad Of A Dying Rover (*“I’m just a sick sick man/My days are numbered”). Aside from mandolin, all Daylight In The Nocturnal House’s cobwebbed atmospherics are by Portishead’s Adrian Utley. Ed Harcourt is Lanegan’s pick for album MVP (“He’s all over it – everything that he plays, piano or Wurlitzer, becomes magical”), with special mention to bassist Jack Bates, son of Peter Hook; that duo make especially distinctive contributions to Churchbells, Ghosts a bleakly humorous lament to the drudgery of life on the road (*“I’d ask somebody for a quarter/If there were someone for me to phone”).

                                                                                Ketamine is a numb blues, with Lanegan shadowed by Cold Cave vocalist Wesley Eisold, who inspired the album’s only overt drug song (ironically, about a drug that Lanegan has never actually taken). “Wes is good friends with Genesis P-Orridge,” explains Mark, “and he said the last time he saw Gen she was in a hospital bed, saying to this priest, ‘No thank you sir, I don’t need any last rites, but if you have any ketamine that would be perfect.’” He laughs. “So I immediately wrote that song and had him sing on it. There’s drugs throughout the record – they’re rife in Bleed All Over – but that song was the only real specific one.”

                                                                                The material on the last two Mark Lanegan Band albums had Lanegan’s words set to music by various other sources. But aside from the Mark Morton collaborations, Straight Songs Of Sorrow was built from the ground up by Lanegan alone, aided by producer Alain Johannes, his longtime consigliere. Only two other songs have shared credits, and even these stay in-house: Burying Ground and Eden Lost And Found were co-written by Mark’s wife Shelley Brien, with whom he also duets on the Rita Coolidge/Kris Kristofferson-style ballad This Game Of Love. “Let’s put it this way,” says Mark. “Every girlfriend I’ve ever had, for any amount of time, left me. All the good ones left me! Until my current wife. It was great to sing that with Shelley, it really shows she’s a great singer. And it has a depth of emotion that I’m not used to. This is a more honest record than I’ve probably ever made.”

                                                                                A crushing twin-song centrepiece proves that. First, Stockholm City Blues, a sparse, beautiful, strings and finger-picking meditation on the remorse code of addiction (*“I pay for this pain I put into my blood”). Then, the seven-minute epic Skeleton Key, a supplicatory confessional (“I’m ugly inside and out there is no denying”) that also provides the album title. It’s a remarkable performance from a man whose punishment for plumbing the depths was simply to continue further along the road. “My wife called that my ‘redemption song’,” says Lanegan.

                                                                                And indeed, there is a happy ending to this story. Just as his book closes with the hero overcoming adversity and turning, battered but cleansed, towards a new day, so Straight Songs Of Sorrow closes with Eden Lost And Found. *“Sunrise coming up baby/To burn the dirt right off of me,” marvels Lanegan, with his words echoed by Simon Bonney of Crime & The City Solution, an all-time hero. “I wanted to make a positive song to end this record, because that’s the way the book ended,” Mark says. “And what’s more positive than to have your favourite singer sing with you?”

                                                                                Straight Songs Of Sorrow feels both definitive and unique, a culmination of its creator’s arc yet also indicative of the energy that drives him onto future horizons. No wonder Lanegan is proud.

                                                                                “I do feel this is something special for me, something honest,” he says. “’Cos records are not real life, man – in case no one told ya. They’re just a fake version of life!” Mark Lanegan laughs. “Well, at least you have one now that’s a little closer to being real. Unfortunately, it’s by me.”

                                                                                Keith Cameron.


                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                2xColoured LP Info: 180 gram crystal clear vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with printed inners.

                                                                                2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                2xLP Info: Double 180 gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with printed inners.

                                                                                2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

                                                                                Reunions

                                                                                  Reunions is the new album from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Jason Isbell is a four-time Grammy award winner and nine-time Americana Music Association award winner

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive opaque creamsicle coloured vinyl.

                                                                                  Perfume Genius

                                                                                  Set My Heart On Fire Immediately

                                                                                    Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is the fifth studio album from Perfume Genius that will be released May 15th on Matador Records. It sees artist and musician Mike Hadreas re-teaming with GRAMMY-nominated producer Blake Mills and features contributions from musicians Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino and Matt Chamberlin. It was recorded in Los Angeles, where Perfume Genius settled in 2017 with longtime partner and musical collaborator Alan Wyffels.

                                                                                    The album explores and subverts concepts of masculinity and traditional roles, and introduces decidedly American musical influences. Throughout Hadreas plays with themes of love, sex, memory and the body, channeling popular music mythologies while irreverently authoring its own – from the delirious, Cyndi Lauper-nodding celebratory pop of ‘On The Floor’, specters of Elvis on haunted tremolo waltz ‘One More Try’, to the harpsichord- punctuated baroque pop of ‘Jason’, and gliding steel guitar and Balearic rhythm of ‘Without You’.

                                                                                    “I wanted to feel more open, more free and spiritually wild,” says Hadreas, “and I’m in a place now where those feelings are very close-- but it can border on being unhinged. I wrote these songs as a way to be more patient, more considered -- to pull at all these chaotic threads hovering around me and weave them in to something warm, thoughtful and comforting.”

                                                                                    First album taster ‘Describe’ captures this sense of fleetingness and living in the moment through a heavy fog of grizzly distortion and tumbling slide guitars: “It started as a really somber ballad. It was very minimal and very slow. And then it turned into this beast of a song. I started writing that about when you are in such a dark place that you don’t even remember what goodness is or what anything feels like. And so, the idea was having someone describe that to you, because you forgot or can’t get to it.” Its accompanying video, self-directed by Hadreas, envisions “an end of the world where there are no boundaries, there are no edges, no rules, or the rules are completely new with how you interact with each other and the space around you.”

                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                    2xColoured LP Info: Transparent blue vinyl

                                                                                    Samantha Crain

                                                                                    A Small Death

                                                                                      After releasing her previous album in 2017, Samantha Crain thought she would never make music again. Instead she found herself trying to work out how to live without the use of her hands, which had become paralysed. However, with a steeliness and concrete determination to at least employ music as a pastime, if no longer professionally, she tasked herself with perseverance in finding her way back to health. And she never gave up. Somehow, the paralysis in her hands eventually abated, and Samantha was able to transfer the music that she had been able to dream up in her head to the guitar and then to record in what she describes as a miraculous “bonus round” to her career.

                                                                                      This new found appreciation and gratitude for still being able to make music professionally can be heard throughout Samantha’s new album, A Small Death. It’s a record that brims with hope and a deft wryness, packed with the sort of melodies and stories that have been warming the hearts of those so familiar with and fond of her work over the years. There are plenty of people who know precisely what this Oklahoman is capable of and they have the records to attest to it. Samantha’s unlikely return to music has an additional chapter - in 2019, after playing a show together, Lucy Rose was so moved by the music she heard coming from Crain on stage that it inspired her to turn a long-held pipe dream into a reality: Rose would launch her own record label, with Samantha Crain’s A Small Death as the first album to be released. 


                                                                                      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.

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited crystal clear vinyl.

                                                                                        No Trend

                                                                                        Too Many Humans / Teen Love

                                                                                          In the early 1980s, Washington, DC, boasted one of the world’s most vital and distinguished hardcore punk communities. Home to Minor Threat, Dischord Records and an ascetic straight-edge lifestyle that disdained booze, sex, and drugs, the city was heralded for its loud, fast music and righteous, left-leaning politics. Hailing from the unhip suburb of Ashton, Maryland, No Trend presented a sneering alternative to that sanctimonious ethos. Cynical, surreal, and eager to call attention to the hypocrisy of both Middle American norms and supposedly free-thinking subcultures, the band mercilessly baited its audience, dressed in atrociously kitschy clothing, and antagonized fans and foes with grinding dirges and contemptuous, tragicomic lyrics. Despite much local hostility, the group managed to make a name for itself nationally, touring often and gigging with the likes of the Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth, T.S.O.L., Hüsker Dü, The Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers, Soundgarden, and countless others.

                                                                                          This compilation covers No Trend’s early records: the first LP, Too Many Humans, and two versions of the “Teen Love” EP. The inserts and ephemera from the original releases have been recreated to produce true facsimiles of these vinyl documents. The attendant CDs also tack on the group’s first demo tape and a live performance from the period. These artifacts defined No Trend’s sound and image in 1983 and 1984, and are largely how the band is remembered today. The booklet accompanying the music was painstakingly assembled from a variety of sources, and it includes photos, show flyers, contemporaneous fanzine reviews, and interviews with leader Jeff Mentges and No Trend’s other surviving founder, Bob Strasser. The box also contains the infamous No Trend “dance” books (presumed lost until recently), as well as several other surprises.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Box set Info: LP + 12"EP + 7”EP + 2xCD + MISC.


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