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

EX:RE

EX:RE

    Elena Tonra, guitarist, vocalist and lyricist of Daughter, has announced details of a solo project. Running parallel to Daughter, she’s assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need. Just finished, it’s being released with equal speed and will be out digitally on 30th November

    Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters to herself and others. Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there. Writing took a year but the recording process lasted mere months, turning to Fabian Prynn (4AD’s in-house engineer and producer) and composer Josephine Stephenson on cello to help bring Ex:Re to life.

    Elena said of the album, “Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there's either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”

    Snapped Ankles

    Stunning Luxury

      Snapped Ankles have taken on the guise of the very agents of their community’s demise – the property developers and brokers who heat the market on the promise of ‘Stunning Luxury’. With their adopted warehouse habitat under constant threat, the woodwose have taken this sharp-suited incarnation in order to infiltrate. The resistance starts here.

      From humble forest beginnings via bohemian East London on debut album Come Play The Trees, Snapped Ankles are moving on. The log synths have been transformed into gaudy “To Let” and “For Sale” signs, which have become the new instrument of choice for the discerning woodwose. The sounds they eke out of the housing bubble are as frenzied and unstable as you’d expect. Dystopian bangers. Illicit thrills. Stunning Luxury moves quickly through life in the capital: microdosing mindfulness in the morning, a poisoned nod to the marketing department, investment portfolios and death by same day delivery.

      The primal rhythms and forest chants are all present and correct. On the surface it’s hedonistic business as usual – a communal dance for the ages. But there’s a sense of discomfort too. There’s subversion, but it’s not clear who’s subverting who. There’s a message, but it’s often fragmented. Keep dancing. Keep foraging. Perhaps the woodwose are human after all…


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive gold vinyl
      Additional gold & foiled third outer sleeve
      Pink outer sleeve
      Gold inner sleeve
      Hand-numbered
      Sticker.

      Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

      Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited edition INDIES ONLY neon pink vinyl.

      Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

      LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

      Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

      Karen O & Danger Mouse

      Lux Prima - RSD Indies Exclusive

        Icons Karen O and Danger Mouse unveil their debut recording as a duo, “Lux Prima,”. The song is the first to be released from a forthcoming joint album.

        “Lux Prima is the first song we wrote for the record,” says O. “After making music for the past twenty years and embarking on making this record with Danger Mouse I knew a couple things: one was that the spirit of collaboration between us was going to be a pure one, and two was that the more I live the less is clear to me. When you create from a blurry place you can go places further than you’ve ever been. I think we both were excited to go far out.”

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 12" Info: Limited Edition 12” Vinyl with Etched B Side.

        Ian Brown

        Ripples



          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies only coloured vinyl.

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Sleaford Mods

          Eton Alive

            Sleaford Mods are one of the most important, politically charged and thought-provoking duos currently making their mark on the UK music scene and beyond. They are now poised to release their fifth studio album entitled ‘Eton Alive’ in February 2019. The album, which features 12 new tracks from the prolific artists, was recorded in Nottingham. The record will be the first release on Jason and Andrew’s newly formed label ‘Extreme Eating’ and their first album since parting ways with Rough Trade Records.

            “Eton Alive speaks for itself really. Here we are once again in the middle of another elitist plan being digested slowly as we wait to be turned into faeces once more. Some already are, some are dead and the rest of us erode in the belly of prehistoric ideology which depending on our abilities and willingness, assigns to each of us varying levels of comfort that range from horrible to reasonably acceptable, based on contribution. So after the digestive system of the Nobles rejects our inedible bones we exit the Arse of Rule, we fall into the toilet again and at the mercy of whatever policies are holding order in the shit pipe of this tatty civilisation. It is here our flesh regenerates as we rattle into another form, ready, and ripe for order”. – Jason Williamson.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies Only Blue Vinyl.

            LP Info: Black vinyl.

            Toy

            Happy In The Hollow

              RIYL: The Horrors, Moon Duo, Wooden Shjips, Spiritualized, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dungen, Goat, Clinic.

              TOY have announced details of their new album, Happy In The Hollow, which is released on Friday January 25th 2019. Their fourth album, and their first for new label Tough Lough Records, it’s unquestionably their most direct and propulsive album to date.

              Recorded between their own home tape studios and mixed at Dan Carey’s Studio B in South London, the album was entirely produced and mixed by the band.

              "Happy In The Hollow is entirely uncompromising: an atmospheric capturing of a state of mind that touches on Post Punk, electronic dissonance, acid folk and Krautrock. Familiar qualities like metronomic rhythms, warping guitars, undulating synths and Tom’s gentle, reedy vocals are all in there, but so is a greater emphasis on melody, a wider scope, and a combining of the reassuring and the sinister that is as unnerving as it is captivating."

              The sound has without doubt expanded — and grown more confident — in part because this is the first album for which Toy has become a self-sufficient five-person unit doing everything for themselves.

              “Each song was a blank canvas,” says Maxim. “Producers inevitably develop their own patterns over time, right down to certain drum sounds. We were starting from scratch and it felt very creative as a result. It’s an album we feel deeply connected to”.

              TOY are: Tom Dougall (vocals / guitar), Dominic O’Dair (guitars), Maxim Barron (bass / vocals), Max Oscarnold (synths / modulations) & Charlie Salvidge (drums / vocals).


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Dinked Edition LP Info: Pressed on Transparent Vinyl.
              Exclusive alternative artwork.
              Includes a bonus 7" single with two secret tracks.
              Hand Numbered.
              Limited to 700 copies to Dinked Shops only.

              Coloured LP Info: Limited to 1000 copies on “Behind Blue Eyes” vinyl and exclusive to Indie stores only.

              LP Info: Standard black vinyl edition.

              International Teachers Of Pop

              International Teachers Of Pop

                The Moonlandingz founders / writers Adrian Flanagan (Eccentronic Research Council) & Dean Honer (All Seeing I / I Monster) bumped in to lead singer, Leonore Wheatley (The Soundcarriers) at a ‘Circuit Bending Workshop’ in South Yorkshire where they decided to try writing “one song together and see what happens!”

                Well, what happened from writing that one song was; Marc Riley at BBC 6 Music invited them in to do a live radio session for which they wrote a couple more songs. Then the Lord & Lady Mayoress of SHEFFIELD outsider pop music, Jarvis Cocker & Roisin Murphy, both invited the group (now calling themselves, INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP) to do a few live shows with them. One (with Jarvis) was for two nights in a cave in Derbyshire and the other (with Roisin) at the prestigious Somerset House in London, so the band wrote a few more songs to give themselves something resembling a live set.

                Immediately after those live shows they signed a record & distribution deal with Republic of Music in Brighton which allowed the group to put out a couple of killer singles over the summer - the Northern Rail baiting, nerd disco of ‘Age of the Train’ & the ‘Moroder playing down a youth club in Rotherham’ radio bothering, ‘After Dark’ which helped the group build some traction via their own label imprint, Desolate Spools. Now, after a spate of sporadic sell out shows, a mini tour and electrifying festival appearances, ITOP are proud to announce the release of their eponymously titled debut album and a full U.K. tour to support it.

                ‘International Teachers of Pop’ was all written, recorded and Mixed at Dean Honer’s Bowling Green Studios in Sheffield using mainly pre- 1980’s U.S & Soviet analogue synthersizers and a collection of dusty old drum machines and is influenced by producers of disco & pop such as Giorgio Moroder, Martin Rushent & Bobby Orlando whilst straddling a lineage of artist such as Kraftwerk, the Human League, Suzanne Ciani & Broadcast.

                An album covering an esoterically wide array of subjects from throbbing disco monster (and possible next single) ‘The Ballad of Remedy Nilsson’, a song about a disobedient pet, ‘On Repeat’ which is a song about the monotony of going to work in Brexit Britain, or album closer, and ode to terrible pronunciation, - ‘Oh Yosemite’ which also features additional vocals & drums from ‘Levenshulme High School Choir’ and Moonlandingz / ITOP live drummer, Richy Westley.

                Always with one eye on pop music and the other on something more artful, playful and slightly wicked, Leonore Wheatley from the group describes it as “Grace Slick on the raz with Donna Summer and the Pet Shop Boys, legging it over to Kraftwerk’s gaff for a quick synth-sesh before getting a cab round to All Saints gaff to sing at the telly til the sun comes up!”

                Adrian Flanagan of the group continues: “I think It’s the 3rd most important outsider pop album to come out of Sheffield since Dare & Different Class. Sheffield has a great history of drawing out these awkward, gangly weirdoes that make a very British, nay eccentric, kind of pop music that stews in the underground for a few years then appears seemingly from nowhere fully formed, like a very peculiar butterfly. I think as we collide head first in to this political sea of ‘total and absolute’ carnage, people are gonna need music & live shows like ours. We are not about separating ourselves from society and being another bunch of rockstar /pop star dicks, we have always been on the outside anyway, it’s about unifying ; ITOP is a bonafide 125 BPM cuddle for the masses!”


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Green vinyl.

                Panda Bear

                Buoys

                  Noah Lennox's sixth solo album as Panda Bear is Buoys. The first song to be released from Buoys is “Dolphin”: Lennox’s bright, sincere voice front and center, with miles of space surrounding it, a guitar and some textured samples fleshing out the dubby sparseness and undercurrent of speaker-limit-pushing sub-bass low-end. Buoys was co-produced and co-mixed by collaborator Rusty Santos in Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Portugal. Lennox and Santos last collaborated on the landmark Panda Bear album Person Pitch, which had its 10-year anniversary last year.

                  Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, Lennox and Santos envisioned something that would “feel familiar to a young person’s ears.” However, Buoys retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through the hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.

                  Alongside Santos, Buoys also features collaborators in Chilean DJ/vocalist Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D'Santiago, both artists who came to Lennox via Santos’ recent trap and reggaeton production work; the former contributes arrangements throughout the album including “Dolphin,” and both lend their vocals to “Inner Monologue."

                  Buoys is the first Panda Bear release since 2018's vinyl-only EP A Day With the Homies, and the follow-up to 2015's kaleidoscopic full-length Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. "The last three records felt like a chapter to me, and this feels like the beginning of something new," says Lennox whilst surveying how Buoys relates to the estimable Panda Bear catalogue. Indeed, the forthcoming Buoys is full of fresh ideas from one of modern music's most fascinating, innovative, and emotionally generous artists.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Red & white marbled vinyl.

                  E.B. The Younger

                  To Each His Own

                    “What came before you is why you’re here now,” declares the man born Eric Brandon Pulido. “So embrace both the past and the present.”

                    The current frontman of Texan legends Midlake embraces both past and present times for his glorious debut solo album, To Each His Own, under his new enigmatic alias E.B. The Younger. It’s a deeply personal record, rooted in Pulido’s love of warm, glowing rock, folk and country hues that came of age in the 1970s woven with contemporary recalibrations: guitars ripple, sigh and sizzle alongside gliding keyboards over crisp, choppy and becalmed rhythms. Pulido’s lyrics equally look back and forth, philosophising about his place in the world, the choices he’s made, and where they have taken him.

                    Or, as he describes To Each His Own, “an eleven-song journey through the life and times of a wayward Midlaker seeking to find purpose in an uncharted land. Will he find his way? Listen, and ye shall find.”

                    Pulido’s “wayward” phase began in 2014 with a break from Midlake, “to invest time in kids and musical projects less physically demanding”, he says. His first project was the transatlantic collective BNQT, a self-described ‘poor man’s Travelling Wilburys’ featuring Pulido, Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Fran Healy (Travis), Jason Lytle (Granddaddy) and Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) who recorded the 2017 album BNQT – Volume 1. But To Each His Own is all Pulido – or rather, E.B. The Younger.

                    “It’s an antiquated way of naming a younger member of a family,” he explains. “I’m expressing, simply, that something greater came before me. It’s countering the idea in today’s culture that everything revolves around ourselves, that we’re the most important thing in the world. I feel that humility is a lost virtue – you only have to look at America’s current leader - which I want this record to represent. Honesty, empathy, love.”

                    In this case, honesty begins at home. Solo debutantes typically distance themselves from their musical past, but Pulido freely acknowledges Midlake’s presence on To Each His Own, from the three Midlakers in his backing band to an album title that stems from his memories of band discussions.

                    Says Pulido: “It’s very common in bands to have artistic differences, and we were no exception. Saying ‘To each his own’ was almost a way to collectively acquiesce and move forward when differences would arise. It’s OK that we feel differently, because both opinions are valid. The phrase is also about me doing something on my own, a statement that it’s OK to define who you are outside of what has defined you before.”

                    With Pulido on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, he drafted in Midlakers (and BNQT contributors) Joey McClellan (electric guitar), McKenzie Smith (drums) and Jesse Chandler (flute), who dovetail with Scott Lee (bass), Daniel Creamer (keyboards) and Beau Bedford (keyboards) from local country-funksters The Texas Gentlemen to form an empathic ‘alt.Wrecking Crew’ of session

                    players. Bedford is also the album’s principal producer, while studio engineer and Centromatic drummer Matt Pence acted as the overarching producer, alongside Pulido, as well as adding percussion and occasional drums.

                    As Pulido explains, “Midlake self-produced and recorded everything, but as with BNQT, I wanted to embrace collaboration. I’d present songs with just voice and acoustic guitar and ask the musicians where they heard things going, and so we built the songs up organically.”

                    Within that organic build, Pulido still had specific ideas in mind. He singles out the late, great Harry Nilsson as a key influence. “Midlake songs were often cerebral and minor-key and I wanted some of mine to be more playful and buoyant and major key, which Harry did so well, while still making deep, thoughtful music.”

                    Pulido also hears traces of The Eagles, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Wings and CS&N in To Each His Own, plus an “eighties vibe” to the record’s freewheeling lead single ‘Used To Be’, inspired by The Last Waltz, the film documentary about Pulido’s all-time favourites, The Band. As he recalls, “The guys are sitting backstage playing ‘Old Time Religion’, and Robbie Robertson says, ‘It’s not like it used to be!’, which has always stuck with me. But it’s OK by me that it’s not like it used to be. Embrace where you’re at, and look forward. Be both the old and the young.”

                    The Old and The Young is a familiar concept to Midlake fans, as a songtitle from the band’s last album Antiphon. In one sense, ‘The Young’ are also represented here by Conrad Lee Pulido, Eric’s three-year-old son, whose uninhibited dancing to calypso rhythms (from Harry Belafonte and Nilsson tracks) inspires the carefree Tropicália of ‘CLP’. A similarly summery vibe energises ‘On An Island’, inspired by an artist retreat (on the island of Nantucket) where Pulido, “focused on, and finished, several of the songs for the album.” But again Pulido finds a double meaning: “To be an island means you don’t live or march to the beat of anyone else’s drum.”

                    Self-determination also defines the sumptuous, soft-rocking “When The Time Comes” where Pulido gently mocks himself as the so-called ‘artist’ who chose to “follow the dream” but without any guarantee of job security or a pension. Moreover, the exquisite ‘Hope Arrives’ recognises that making art typically involves self-doubt, as Midlake experienced. As Pulido recalls, “I felt that fear controlled the obstacles that existed for the band. But when hope arrives, fear will disappear, and peace will come.”

                    Midlake also figure in the acoustic, sparse ‘Monterey’, named after the Californian idyll where the band played their last show to date, after which Pulido suggested a break would benefit all: to step off the merry-go-round for a while after riding it together for 15 years. “I said, we’ll pick things back up if and when it makes sense to everyone, trust me,” he recalls. “And I was at peace with our decision.”

                    The closing title track emanates a palpable sense of peace while crystalising Pulido’s past-present/old-young mindset: “I’ve been about all alone / I’ve never felt so good before… And what we did before / No I do not ignore”. With a new BNQT album in the works and, if all goes to plan, a Midlake album to follow, Pulido is already looking forward. But his present is E.B The Younger, and his effortlessly melodic, gorgeous songs invested with honesty, empathy and love. Listen, and ye shall find.


                    Deerhunter

                    Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?

                      As thrilling and unpredictable as anything in Deerhunter’s near 15-year career, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? was recorded in several strategic geographic points across North America, and produced by the band, Cate LeBon, Ben H. Allen III, and Ben Etter. Forgetting the questions and making up unrelated answers, Deerhunter’s eighth LP is a science fiction album about the present. Exhausted with the toxic concept of nostalgia, they reinvent their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Grey coloured vinyl.

                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      Nils Frahm

                      Encores 2

                        Following the release of Encores 1 on June 1st, Nils Frahm releases of Encores 2, the second in a series of EPs following the release of the universally acclaimed album, All Melody, released in January of this year.

                        While Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with just a solo piano and harmonium, Encores 2 explores a more ambient landscape from the All Melody sessions, the pinnacle of which is the astral 12 minute showpiece Spells. Recorded through an amplified stone well Frahm found on Mallorca, Encores 2 is at once unique but familiar; orbiting the universe of All Melody while inhabiting its own world.

                        “The idea behind Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody”

                        Homeshake

                        Helium

                          When you walk alone, you’re never lost. At least, that’s the operating principle behind Homeshake, the recording project of Peter Sagar. Over his first three albums, Sagar followed his own idiosyncratic vision, a journey that’s taken him from sturdy guitar-based indie-pop to, on 2017’s Fresh Air, a blearyeyed take on lo-fi R&B. Now, with Helium, Sagar is putting down roots in aesthetic territory all his own. Landscape that he once viewed from a distance now forms the bedrock of his sound, and from here, he looks back out at the world as if through a light fog, composing songs that feel grounded and intimate, even as they explore a dispersed feeling of isolation.

                          It’s a feeling that comes through not only in the gauziness of the production, but also in the vulnerability of the songs themselves. Sagar began writing Helium shortly after completing Fresh Air, and in the middle of what he calls a “binge” reading of Haruki Murakami. It’s not hard to picture the narrator of these songs as a distinctly Murakamian character: He moves through time by himself, bemused by and insulated from a world he doesn’t quite seem to have been made for. Everyone Sagar encounters here — including himself — seems to be a step removed from present reality, whether by technology (“Anything At All”), solitude (“Just Like My”), or sweet fantasy (“Like Mariah”). The record is stitched together by a series of instrumental interludes, synthesizer explorations whose haziness adds to the suspicion that this is all an uncanny dream.

                          Which isn’t to say that Sagar is unmoored in his own world. In fact, much of Helium is the result of what he calls “a much clearer mental state” than the one he’d experienced shortly following Fresh Air’s completion. “I had a better idea of the sound that was working for this record and what it was turning into as I was writing the songs,” he says. That’s owing in part to the album’s genesis. Where his previous three records were recorded directly to one-inch tape in a local studio, Helium was recorded and mixed by Sagar alone in his apartment in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood between April and June of this year. Freed of the rigid editing process he’d endured before, he was able to lose himself in pursuit of tone and texture. “I didn’t have to book time, compete for good hours, wait on availability. I did a lot of it at home in the middle of the night,” he says. “It made me get more obsessive about details.”

                          A budding interest in ambient and experimental music — particularly Visible Cloaks, DJs Paypal and Rashad, and Jlin — pushed him to tinker with the micro-sounds that surround the songs here. It’s a process he found creatively invigorating; even the tinkling boom-bap of Young Thug informs “All Night Long.” It’s a far cry from the chorus-laden guitars of his earlier work. “Ever since I started introducing synthesizers into my music, I’ve gotten more interested in texture,” he says. “I’d hit a creative dead end [with guitars], so synths took over.” The warm chords of a Roland Juno 60 form the album’s base, and gave him a clean palette with which to work. “No tape hiss, no humming power outlets and shitty mixing boards,” as he puts it. “Everything just came out nice and pure.”

                          Still, for all the growth it demonstrates, Helium is at its core a singer-songwriter’s record made by someone who doesn’t feel beholden to any particular set of sounds, textures, or instruments to get his point across. In that sense, it feels closer to the bone, at once assured of its vision and remarkably vulnerable. It’s perhaps our purest view yet of Homeshake’s home country.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Dinked Edition LP Info: Limited to just 300 copies worldwide.
                          Hand numbered.
                          Exclusive "Fruit Punch" colour vinyl.
                          Includes exclusive art print.

                          Coloured LP Info: Indie Edition is pressed on Light Blue vinyl.

                          Stealing Sheep

                          Big Wows

                            Big Wows is heavier, harder and weirder than Stealing Sheep’s previous work. Bold neon pop songs with rave percussion, steelpans, dreamy segues and breathy experiments. The *fsszzt* sound of lemonade opens the album with a hyper-real sense of optimism that progressively reveals the cracks of dystopian irony amidst sugar–coated pop; held together by Emily Lansley’s bass guitar, Luciana Mercer’s drum kit, Rebecca Hawley’s synths, and the trio’s swooning steely vocal harmonies.

                            Stealing Sheep describe Big Wows as “a slow rush”; taking shape over a period of nearly three years spent working out exactly what they wanted it to be and creating an album that levitated their identities as individuals as well as merging them into one unit “We’re each finding our own creative intuition,” says Bex “..and then we come together...and we back each other up" adds Lucy.

                            Just as the title suggests, Big Wows is both cynical and optimistic: dreaminess and pop dance rhythms are cut With eye rolling vocal styles inflected by heartfelt lyrical messages “We hit upon this conversational-style between the vocals and have alternating lead melodies. There's a sarcastic tone to some of the music but there is always a strong wilfulness to incorporate honest integrity, which is hard to do but refreshing when it finally comes out.”

                            Side one opens with a burst of shimmery synths as ‘Show Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ lead you heart first into the headier feels of ‘Jokin' Me’ and upbeat bounce of 'Why haven't I?' following into the more progressive grooves for ‘Girl’ then fading out with the narcoleptic comforts of ‘Just Dreaming’. Side two digs deeper into a dreamworld, with the manias and hallucinations of ‘Breathe’ and ‘True Colours’ as well as the gorgeous disillusionment of the title track and ending with an unexpected tropical club banger ‘Choose Like You’.

                            Running through the whole record is a response to living in a tech era: “We wanted sounds to represent TVs, computers and everyday glitches” says Bex “We started to have this feeling that life is like a game and how you can malfunction when you're blasted with too much information…” As well as composing with traditional instrumentation they also started songs solely on the computer; sequencing, building sounds, drum machines and responding to that non-emotional binary world. “The big challenge,” continues Bex “is making machines sound organic, emotional, finding their flaws. That’s why Delia Derbyshire is so important to us. All the effects that she uses serve to humanise the machines.”

                            Since the release of their last album, 2015’s surreal and fantastical ‘Not Real’, they’ve been in demand as multidisciplinary public artists as well as musicians – on projects including Wow Machine, which brings to life another more conceptual strand of ‘Big Wows’; in a mechanical light up stage with dancers and live music. This summer they also performed at UK festivals with a 15 strong all-female procession to celebrate the centenary of Suffrage. “Being female has become more of a theme in our work” the band say. “It's obviously always been there but now we're playing with it more conceptually and thinking about empowerment"

                            This greater confidence and rock-solid aesthetic mean that Stealing Sheep can take greater risks and reap more wonderful rewards. They have a broad range of influences – St Vincent, Michael Jackson, The Knife, Kraftwerk, Drake, Little Dragon - but they remain so resolutely and richly themselves. “We try new things out and we get more confident about what we like.” says Bex. "There’s a really good thing Grayson Perry says about developing your creative intuition. You get to a level as an artist where you know on a gut level what you like and what you don’t like. It takes a long time to feel comfortable in that place, to know your palette, to know you like these drum sounds or whatever it is.”

                            Lucy is working with a full drum kit now instead of just toms, Emily is playing bass guitar, Bex is making her own synth patches and they’re all using new equipment: they are developing and experimenting and moving forward together. “We wanted the machine sounds to be juxtaposed against a full kit and bass guitar, which we tracked live to feel intentionally loose in places. We like the idea of placing robotic tech next to real life energy.”

                            The songs began at home or in their studio at Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, laying down the main body of the tracks, then the band worked with various producers – including Marta Salogni (Bjork, MIA, Factory Floor), Andy Smith (Years & Years), Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy) and Joe Wills (video artist for Little Dragon) – as they’ve tried out different mixes and ideas to convey their messages. They also teamed up with 8bit video artist Pastle Castle (Emily Garner) from Leeds, who created a Karaoke video series for the whole album; exploring Stealing Sheep's digital dimension and their shifting identities amidst changing cultural moods and millennial paraphernalia. "It's a crazy time and it's challenging navigating through it, but it's like 'whatever' bring on the BIG WOWS.’


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Splatter disc with mirri-board sleeve (first pressing edition only).

                            Steve Gunn

                            The Unseen In Between

                              For over a decade, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gunn has been one the American music’s most pivotal figures-conjuring immersive and psychedelic sonic landscapes both live and on record, releasing revered solo albums ranking high on in-the-know end of year lists, alongside exploratory collaborations with artists as diverse as Mike Cooper, Kurt Vile, and Michael Chapman (whose most recent studio album he produced). Gunn is known for telling other people's stories, but on his breakthrough fourth album, The Unseen In Between, he explores his own emotional landscapes with his most complex, fully realized songs to date. 

                              Mercury Rev

                              Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited

                                Mercury Rev reimagine the Bobbie Gentry album from 1968 with guest vocals from Norah Jones, Hope Sandoval, Rachel Goswell, Vashti Bunyan, Beth Orton, Marissa Nadler, Lucinda Williams, Margo Price, Susanne Sundfør, Phoebe Bridgers, Kaela Sinclair, Carice Van Houten and Laetitia Sadier.

                                It slipped out of a Mississippi of hot biscuits, genteel table manners and working-class sense, suddenly overturned by a grave sinning and suicide. Carried on an evening breeze of strings and a supple, foreboding voice like sensually charged breath, “Ode to Billie Joe”—Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 debut as a singer-songwriter and a Number One single for three weeks in the late Summer of Love—was the most psychedelic record of that year not from San Francisco or London, as if Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Brian Wilson had conspired to make a country-rock Pet Sounds. Except Gentry, just 23 when she wrote the song, got there first, in miniature.

                                Gentry’s hit was a revolutionary act, a quietly thorough feminism in vision, deed and success amid the strict, paternal order of the country-music industry. And it was her license to thrill again. In October, 1967, while “Billie Joe” was still in the Top Five, Gentry began recording The Delta Sweete, a connected set of a dozen songs that extended the narrative dynamics of that single with personal reflection and set her folk-siren charisma in a richer frame of dream-state orchestration, swamp-rock guitars and big-city-R&B horns.

                                In her eight original songs for the album, Gentry drew from her childhood and church life on her grandparents’ farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi: the girl-ish craving for a beautiful dress in “Reunion”; the rise-and-shine of “Mornin’ Glory”; the stern Sunday lessons in “Sermon,” based on a traditional hymn also known as “Run On.” The covers were boldly chosen: Mose Allison’s chain-gang blues “Parchman Farm”; “Tobacco Road”’s litany of trial; the Cajun pride in Doug Kershaw’s “Louisiana Man”. Gentry also turned them to new purpose and even gender. “Gonna get myself a man, one gonna treat me right,” she sang in Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man” with heated assurance.

                                But The Delta Sweete—released in March, 1968, only three months after Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and right as the Byrds came to Nashville to cut Sweetheart of the Rodeo—was too soon in its precedence. Gentry’s LP, the first country-rock opera, was ignored on arrival, not even cracking Billboard’s Top 100. It was as if Billie Joe had risen out of the Tallahatchie River and thrown that record off the bridge instead.

                                This Delta Sweete is her long-delayed justice—Mercury Rev's committed and affectionate resurrection of an album that anticipated by three decades their own pivotal expedition through transcendental America, 1998's Deserter's Songs. From their recording lair in New York's Catskill Mountains, the founding core of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper with Jesse Chandler (previously in the Texas group Midlake) honor Gentry's foresight and creative triumph with spacious invention and hallucinatory flair. And they are not alone. Gentry's stories and original resolve are brought to new vocal life and empowerment by a vocal cast of women from across modern rock and its alternative paths: among them, Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval; Laetitia Sadier, formerly of Stereolab; Marissa Nadler; Margo Price, the fiery new country star with a punk-rock heart; and Norway's Susanne Sundfør, who cuts through "Tobacco Road" with arctic-Nico poise. Phoebe Bridgers, whose first record was a softly stunning 2015 single for Ryan Adams' PAX AM label, hovers through the acid-western suspense of Gentry's "Jessye' Lisabeth" with floating calm, like a comforting angel.

                                On the 1968 LP, Gentry opened with a call to jubilant order, “Okolona River Bottom Band,” like she was leading a barn-dance union of the early Rolling Stones and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five. Norah Jones takes that entrance here with her own sultry command, like Sarah Vaughan at the head of a slow-blooming choir. In “Sermon,” Price—who has known real struggle up close—sings like a survivor through Mercury Rev’s explosion of color and groove: a specialty throughout the band’s history as recently as 2015’s The Light in You, going back through All Is Dream in 2001, the whirling iridescent soul of 1995’s See You on the Other Side and the sumptuous turbulence of the 1992 single “Car Wash Hair.”

                                Gentry is still very present in the changes. Her seesaw of pride and hurt in the melancholy blur of “Penduli Pendulum” (“When goodbye serves as/My one amusement”) is even more explicit with the seasoned intimacy of Vashti Bunyan—a once-elusive voice from Britain’s psychedelic-folk boom—set against the younger, brighter arc of Kaela Sinclair, now in the electronic project M83. And in “Courtyard,” a despairing finale of strings and guitar arpeggios on Gentry’s LP, Mercury Rev build a striking Delta Krautrock in which the English singer Beth Orton wanders, like Gentry, through a ruin of profound loss and treasured memory.

                                “Ode to Billie Joe” was not on the ‘68 Delta Sweete. But Mercury Rev go back to that dinner table with Lucinda Williams of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and it is an inspired bond, calling up the ghosts and questions of a South still very much with us. Indeed, Gentry—who retired from recording and performing in the Seventies—reportedly lives only a couple hours’ drive from the bridge that made her famous, while the spirits she set loose in The Delta Sweete are as restless and compelling as they were 50 years ago. This album is a loving tribute to that achievement, one of the greatest albums you have never heard. It is also a dozen new ways to walk that land.

                                —David Fricke

                                Various Artists

                                Midnight In Tokyo Vol. 3

                                  'Midnight In Tokyo' is a compilation series that aims to be the perfect companion to nights in Tokyo, collecting tracks by Japanese artists that sound best at night. While vol. 2 focused more on ’80s jazz fusion, the latest installment, Vol.3, picks up where Vol.1 left off, bringing together forgotten soul, disco, and new wave gems.

                                  The compilation opens with Japanese rare groove classic “More Sexy,” a provocative song by “the queen of sexy songs,” Yoko Hatanaka. “Kimi No Yume,” from the album Yume No Yonbai by the wandering poet Masumi Hara, is one of the best balearic acid folk songs to come out of Japan. “Silhouette Call” is an electric bossa nova track—in the vein of Antena—taken from the rare album called Octopussy by Yuki Nakayamate, a singer songwriter who also worked as a backing vocalist for Motoharu Sano.

                                  “Theme Of High School Student” is a dubby cut featured on the soundtrack to the Japanese ’80s film Kougen Ni Ressha Ga Hashitta, written by Atsuo Fujimoto of Colored Music—one of the key artists in the recent wave of global interest in Japanese music.
                                  “Get To Paradise” is a stone cold funk jam by Mari Kaneko, who was known as the Janis Joplin of Shimokitazawa in her heyday, and is now known as the mother of the drummer and the bassist of popular rock band Rize.

                                  Following that is one of Japan’s greatest new wave disco track, “Hannya,” taken from Tomoko Aran’s popular third album Fuyu-kukan—produced by Masatoshi Nishimura who was part of the Friends Of Earth Project with Haruomi Hosono. Masako Miyazaki—whose rendition of Seawind’s “He Loves You” is a fan favorite—puts her own spin on the Earth, Wind & Fire classic, “Fantasy,” singing in her accent-heavy English which gives the song an undeniable character. “Watashi No Koukoku” is a certified disco boogie classic by popular singer Junko Sakurada. The Brazilian-esque jazz fusion, “Sunshine Bright On Me” is by a fusion group called Kangaroo, who were often billed as “the Japanese Shakatak.”
                                  “Stranger’s Night” is a synth-pop number by pop idol Maiko Okamoto, which bears a suspicious resemblance to Rah Band’s “The Shadow Of Your Love.” Electro-pop disco “Singing Lady”—off the sole album released by the one-off project the Fad—sounds like something Giorgio Moroder could’ve cooked up. “Magic Eyes” is a disco anthem recorded by songwriter Tetsuji Hayashi’s disco project, the Eastern Gang. following that is Japanese soul gem “Crazy Baby,” found on a rare 7 inch entitled Minato No Soul by Rinda Yamamoto—also composed and arranged by Tetsuji Hayashi. and last but not least, closing out this collection of 14 Japanese rare groove goodies is “I’m in love”, a bittersweet mellow dance number by Tomoko Aran.


                                  Sharon Van Etten

                                  Remind Me Tomorrow

                                    Remind Me Tomorrow comes over four years after the release of Are We There, a top 10 critically praised album of 2014, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout, Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force.

                                    Written while pregnant, going to school for psychology, after taking The OA audition, Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time: in scraps of hours wedged between myriad endeavors — Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, and brought her music onstage in David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks. Off-screen, she wrote her first score for Katherine Dieckmann’s movie Strange Weather and the closing title song for Tig Notaro’s show, Tig.

                                    The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through producer John Congleton’s arrangement. He helped flip the signature Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound. Joined by Van Etten’s longtime collaborator and bandmate Heather Woods Broderick, plus Jamie Stewart, Zachary Dawes, Brian Reitzell, Lars Horntveth, McKenzie Smith, Joey Waronker, Luke Reynolds, and Stella Mozgawa, Remind Me Tomorrow was recorded at studios throughout Los Angeles.

                                    For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. When she was writing the score for Strange Weather her reference was Ry Cooder, so she was playing her guitar constantly and getting either bored or writer's block. At the time, she was sharing a studio space with someone who had a synthesizer and an organ, and she wrote on piano at home, so she naturally gravitated to keys when not working on the score - to clear her mind. Lead single “Comeback Kid” was originally a piano ballad, but driven by Van Etten’s assertion that she “didn’t want it to be pretty,” it evolved into a menacing anthem. Remind Me Tomorrow as a whole shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. There are dark intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.

                                    The breadth of Van Etten’s passions (musical, emotional, otherwise), of new careers and projects and lifelong roles, have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise sense of a warped-time perspective. This is the tension that arches over the album, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new love.


                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition pink vinyl. Initial copies include "Remind Me Tomorrow" post-it notes.

                                    Drenge

                                    Strange Creatures

                                      The follow up to their critically acclaimed albums Drenge (2013) and Undertow (2015), as well as this year’s Autonomy EP, Strange Creatures includes singles ‘This Dance’ and ‘Autonomy’, and according to the band is “the most considered record we have ever made”. 

                                      Speaking about Strange Creatures, Drenge said “It’s a nocturnal record. A psychological horror movie on wax. Warped hallucinations from mundane observations as you move through it. Is that a school or a skyscraper on fire in the distance? Or maybe it’s just the ski village? You drive nearer, past roadside diners jammed with dancing teenagers, through Uncanny Valley, past the most unhygienic nightclub in the world. The stereo sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any moment. The car judders to a halt and all you can hear is the sound of the sea.”


                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition orange vinyl with art print.

                                      Beirut

                                      Gallipoli

                                        Gallipoli, Beirut’s fifth album, started life when Zach Condon returned to his old Farfisa organ, the same one he used to write his first two albums, Gulag Orkestar (2006) and The Flying Club Cup (2007). After stints writing and recording in both New York and Berlin, with time for Zach to recover from a broken arm factored in, band plus producer Gabe Wax (Speedy Ortiz, Soccer Mommy, Adrianne Lenker / Big Thief) headed to Puglia in Italy to finish the album.

                                        With the remote rural setting “the right amount of isolated”, an intense month of 12 to 16-hour days in the studio with day trips around the coastline followed. Inspired by the surroundings, Gallipoli is unintentionally more visceral than Beirut’s more recent albums, alive with an energy that is further enhanced by every creak and groan of their instruments, every detuned note, and all amp buzz and technical malfunction being left in the cracks of the songs.

                                        Lost Under Heaven

                                        Love Hates What You Become

                                          A startling, thought-provoking record, it follows their 2016 debut, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing. Shot full of incisive social commentary, Love Hates What You Become captures the couple at their most musically raw and visceral.

                                          The band wrote the album in Ellery’s native Manchester before traveling to Los Angeles to record with producer John Congleton, known for his Grammy-winning work with St. Vincent, Swans, Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós. Congleton introduced the band to Swans drummer Thor Harris, who plays on the record. “We were without a drummer or a real band,” explains Ellery. “I just concentrated on writing the songs rather than making a sound. We turned up in LA with that as our starting point, this collection of Guitar & Piano demos that I’d sent through.”

                                          Those demos included some of the most accomplished song writing of his career to date, such as momentous album closer ‘For The Wild’. “I started writing that song years ago almost as a pastiche of trying to write real this rock’n’roll saviour,” he reminisces. “The rock’n’roll revolutionary feels such a culturally irrelevant cliché now, we’re living in a mechanised world seemingly indifferent to the longings of the human soul.”

                                          A striking difference from their debut record is the prominence of Ebony’s vocals, notable on the album’s formidable ‘Bunny’s Blues’. “Creating this character of Bunny began with a performance piece I did back in Amsterdam,” Ebony explains. “She became a playful tool to confront how male-dominated society attempts to control both women and nature without having any real understanding or respect for their being and innate power.”


                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl

                                          Be Svendsen

                                          Between A Smile And A Tear

                                            Be Svendsen – Dancefloor heavy hitter and pioneer of the desert-tech sound, is releasing his first full length album on Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams label. Here he reaches beyond the dusty dance floors that brought him recognition, and connects with nostalgic roots of music from his childhood.  After a series of very well received singles and ep’s on labels like Crosstown Rebels and All Day I Dream, we now get a deeper peep into what it’s like Be’ing Svendsen.

                                            ’Between A Smile a Tear’ is a wide spanning album in terms of mood, instrumentation, tempi and style, with clear references that reach back to a time where experimental innocence met the futuristic and forward thinking. Be Svendsens describes his music as “Tarantino Techno”. He brings in emotional guitar melodies and dry strings, and adds it to his club universe where moods can change in an instant. With many talented musicians featured on the album, Be Svendsen shows us his diversity that spans from innovative deep new-disco cuts, galactic journey melodies, analogue ambient atmosphere to classic song writing, soundtrack’esque epicness, and a deep-tech organic collaboration with Henri Texier. We even get a taste of Be Svendsens own vocals.

                                            In his musical expression Svendsen still walks the fine line of opposites. He takes both the obvious and the unpredictable, the familiar and the unknown into play, dedicated to entertain yet challenge the listener. Be Svendsens describes his musical universe as so: ”The music should ultimately connect you to a bigger picture”. The goal is to express and convey a feeling, and to behold the moment - the essence of oscillating between a smile and a tear. “I like to bring tragedy and humour together, and invite them up for a dance.” This is in some way, a a celebration of what he calls chiaroscuro - the light and dark - of existence.


                                            Based in Flint, Michigan, USA, the four young sons of an electrician welded together their debut album. This album, titled "Elektroworld", is a personal tribute to the well known pioneers of the electro-disco-beat; Kraftwerk. A rarity amongst the electro scene, as well as a masterpiece in DIY electronix, Clone Classic Cuts reissue the illustrious album from 1995 - the only one the band ever completed!

                                            The bar is set high as "Future Tone" opens with skilled sound design as well as a solid grasp of the aesthetic. "Perpetual Motion" sets off the Drexciya alarms straight away as fizzing oscillators drift in and out of time and tune with a rigid, mechanized beat. "Japanese Electronix" sees the first forays into more electro-pop sensibilities, nodding to their German pioneers as they vocoder a tasty hook alongside the gliding electofunk backing. "Check Mate" combines more classic degraded synthesizers with inventive drum programming that hints at were footwork and juke would take these blueprints in coming years....

                                            Look we're not even half way through yet at it's pure power 100%. One of the high watermarks of the electro genre and an absolutely imperative LP for hardware heads. You'll only get one chance at this one folks! Don't miss out.... 


                                            Unloved

                                            Heartbreak

                                              “Sometimes it’s hard to say how you feel,” says Jade Vincent. “These songs are vulnerable stories for me to tell — they’re things I couldn’t say out loud. But I found that I could sing them. And then I closed my eyes when they would listen.”

                                              Listening to Vincent’s songs were her partner, the producer/composer Keefus Ciancia, and the DJ and producer/composer David Holmes. Together, Vincent, Ciancia and Holmes make up Unloved, the musical project that evolved out of a late-night Hollywood bar in 2015, released a stunning debut album the following spring, and this year crafted the soundtrack to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed new series Killing Eve.

                                              Now Unloved bring us their second full length record Heartbreak, a record emboldened by its predecessor to be more emotionally exposed, more musically, lyrically, and vocally audacious. In the words of Holmes: “We just get together, had a load of ideas, and Jade went off and wrote and wrote. She got deep and deep. She has an amazing story. They are amazing songs. She excelled herself.”

                                              To enter the world of Unloved is to surrender oneself to a great musical immersion, one that seems to occupy the space somewhere between past and present, where thoughts soften and ideas mingle with twisted mancini-esque orchestrations, where music binds the dawn and dark.

                                              Buzzcocks

                                              Another Music In A Different Kitchen - Reissue

                                                Like many first albums, Another Music In A Different Kitchen collected material written by the group - in particular Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle - that had been amassed during the previous years, going back to 1974 and 1975. According to Tony McGartland in his Buzzcocks: The Complete History, the songs were sequenced in the order that they were written. The play through seems to bear this out: the album begins in fast protest punk and ends in the seven minute, definitely non punk length Krautrock of ‘Moving Away From The Pulsebeat.’

                                                Most of Shelley’s songs on the first side concern the vicissitudes of romance, but the opener Fast Cars name drops US campaigner Ralph Nader in an ecological diatribe: “They're so depressing going 'round and 'round/Ooh, they make me dizzy, oh fast cars they run me down.” ‘No Reply’, ‘You Tear Me Up’, ‘Get On Our Own’ and ‘Love Battery’ are sharp, short (all under two and a half minutes), speedy disquisitions on the tortures of interpersonal communication, love and lust played with a perfect balance between pace, abrasion and melody.

                                                Side closer ‘Sixteen’ is something else. It’s longer and contains an avant-garde breakdown around two minutes in, recorded with each group member isolated and unable to hear each other. “It started off as a false ending,” Shelley told me in 1977: “All sloppy, and then it carries on longer so that people are thinking, “Oh I’ve just clapped but they’re not thinking — what’s up?” and then it comes back in again.” It was, as John Maher added, “A remnant of our chaos days.”

                                                Would Shelley like to be sixteen again? “In some ways yes, in some ways no. The words go: “And I wish I was sixteen again/Then things would be such fun/All the things I'd do would be the same/But they're much more fun/ Than when you're twenty one.” Things like going for a drink — now the novelty’s worn off but the enjoyment’s still there. There’s no difference between doing something when you’re 16 and 22, except there is a difference if you’re doing it for the first time.”

                                                Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the song is its rapid fire, venomous ending:
                                                “And I hate modern music/Disco boogie and pop/They go on and on and on and on and on/HOW I WISH THEY WOULD STOP!” Never has a truer sentence been written about the true impetus behind Punk: not just boredom with progressive rock or dinosaur sixties acts but an intense disgust with mainstream pop music, which in 1976, the year of number one singles by Elton and Kiki, Abba, the Brotherhood of Man, Adge Cutler & the Wurzels, seemed not to have anything to do with teenage life and certainly nothing to do with excitement or the true teenage news.

                                                The five songs on side two reflected the group moving away from simple love tropes into something more complex: as Shelley sang on ‘I Don’t Mind’, “Reality’s a dream.” Unlike the increasing militarism and violent posturing of the Clash, Buzzcocks aimed to explore male sensitivity and frailty (‘This pathetic clown’) - which in pop terms was still new, exactly what punk had set out to be. They began to use love songs as a conduit through which they could talk about other things: the nature of human relationships in a capitalistic society, the nature of reality itself.

                                                Onstage Buzzcocks did not present as macho. Sometimes they’d try a group uniform, like the Mondrian shirts of early 1977, but mostly they just dressed as themselves: Diggle and Maher in various permutations of Mod wear, Paddy Garvey in leather jacket and skinny tie, and Shelley in a bewildering variety of styles. “It’s no good me wearing anything like that (bondage pants),” Shelley told me; “I’m just not the fashionable shape.” “You put those clothes on and you become a different character,” Diggle added: “I don’t feel myself, I feel like somebody else.”

                                                ‘Fiction Romance’ continues the themes of ‘I Don’t Mind’: male frailty, the commodification of emotions, the difference between reality and fantasy. Steve Diggle’s powerful ‘Autonomy’ spells out the true theme behind Punk: self determination. “It’s a discussion between two sides of your personality,” he told me; “It’s about discipline in yourself, like when you say you’d like to do something and you haven’t got control, you’re not autonomous. Like giving up smoking, which I’m trying to do now and it’s very difficult. I haven’t got control of myself.”

                                                Shelley’s pell-mell ‘I Need’ tackles the capitalist perplex head on: “I used to only want but now I need/To get by with what I got but now I need.” After a fine bass led instrumental break, Shelley lays it out again: “I need sex/I need love/I need drink/I need drugs/I need food/I need cash/I need you to love me back.” ‘Moving Away From The Pulsebeat’ continues the breakneck pace: lasting at least three times the standard punk rock single, it features some stinging psychedelic solos and some rapid fire classic break beats from John Maher.

                                                There’s a pause, then the riff of ‘Boredom’ returns: back to the beginning. Another Music in a Different Kitchen is a perfect circle: thirty five and a half minutes of tuneful, exciting and thoughtful music that stretched the boundaries of guitar pop music at the same time as it delivered on the group’s promise. It was a critical and a commercial success, reaching the UK album top twenty in March 1978 and staying there for nearly three months. But Buzzcocks had no time to rest on their laurels.


                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Silver vinyl. Comes with a recreation of the original Buzzcocks carrier bag.

                                                Buzzcocks

                                                Love Bites - Reissue

                                                  Behind the chocolate box cover, Love Bites is an album of paradoxes if not clashing opposites: real/imaginary, past/future, love/lust, connection/alienation, commerciality/experimentation. It’s to the group’s credit that they walk the high wire with ease: the attack is less punk, more measured and on occasion psychedelic, as befits the perceptual and philosophical nature of Shelley’s lyrics. The glossy pop star photo on the sleeve is matched by stranger photo realist portraits on the inner, by Robin Utracik of the Worst: Shelley in particular looks dishevelled, having just vomited when the source photo was taken.

                                                  Love Bites hit its moment. The reviews were good, and so were sales: it reached number 13 in the album charts, Buzzcocks’ best showing. They immediately went out on their fourth tour, Beating Hearts - supported by Subway Sect - which was marked in this year of Sham 69 by skinhead violence and stage invasions, definitely not what Buzzcocks were about. The fifth single of that year had already been recorded: ‘Promises’ and ‘Lipstick’, the latter of which used the same riff as Magazine’s debut ‘Shot by Both Sides’. Buzzcocks had reached their commercial peak, but Pete Shelley was deeply troubled.

                                                  Late 1978 was a harsh place, with competing styles and fads and the relentless pressure of rapid fire novelty that punk had set up. The pace was killing and on top of that the impetus of 1976 punk had faded. Shelley also felt that the original sense of community had gone: “Once we were in the music industry, people had become more diversified, there was nothing really to pull people together again.” More importantly, the constant touring was driving him mad: “It was a bit unnerving. When we did the Love Bites tour I was convinced by Richard not to leave the band. It was all getting too much for me.”



                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: White vinyl. Comes with a recreation of the original Buzzcocks carrier bag.

                                                  You Tell Me

                                                  You Tell Me

                                                    You Tell Me is Field Music’s Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow member Sarah Hayes. As one half of Field Music, Peter Brewis has been honing the craft of pop songwriting for almost fifteen years, whilst Sarah Hayes has been exploring contemporary folk in her solo work, and the world of indie-pop via her band Admiral Fallow. Their debut self-titled album, the last to be recorded at the old Field Music recording HQ, is set to be released in January on Memphis Industries.

                                                    After meeting at a Kate Bush celebration concert, the pair clicked. “I'd been an admirer of Field Music for a good while before meeting Peter at the gig,” Sarah recalls. “So I was pleased to discover he wasn't an insufferable diva, and delighted that he was keen to try working on some music together.” Peter had been “blown away” by Sarah’s voice during a rendition of “This Woman’s Work” and when investigating her solo work heard a lot of parallels to what he was trying to do in Field Music.

                                                    By blending their distinct compositional talents, they’ve created a record that possesses their own clear styles but also a new voice too. With both of them writing songs and lyrics, Peter describes it as “a sort of dual-personal record”. Sonically, the result is a subtly crafted album with a rich and intricate sense of composition, in which strings glide above multi-layered keyboards and percussion, and vocal melodies wrap around one another in snug unison. In many senses it feels like a classic songwriter record - rich in craft, songs, arrangements and vocal interplay - yet it manages to feel stylistically contemporary and void of nostalgia.

                                                    Lyrically, Peter says, “most of the songs seemed to either be about conversations, be conversational or about talking or not talking.” Sarah echoes this: “the subject of communication - talking and listening, guessing and questioning - looms large on this record and in general for me. It's something I think about a lot.” Which makes sense given that this record is fundamentally a musical conversation between two new collaborators and friends, a constant back and forth of new ideas, shared influences and the expunging of inner feelings.

                                                    Whilst the subject matter can occasionally be personal and explores troubled or conflicted conversations around inner turmoil, there’s also a stirring sense of beauty that comes from the record; a feeling of pastures new and moving onto new things rather than being held back by the past. What makes this an even more remarkable musical statement and achievement is that two first-time collaborators were able to channel so much of themselves into a project and create something coherent and poised.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive screen-printed sleeve.
                                                    Signed.
                                                    White vinyl.
                                                    Hand numbered.

                                                    Various Artists

                                                    Back To Mine - Nightmares On Wax

                                                      The iconic album series Back to Mine returns in 2019, to mark it’s 20th anniversary, with the indomitable Nightmares on Wax, to share his personal collection of music for after hours grooving. The series was renowned for its eclectic selection and selectors which includes some of the biggest names in electronic and pop music, from the likes of Faithless to Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada to New Order.

                                                      The collection includes three exclusive tracks, one new track from Nightmares on Wax, along with a remix from the man himself of seminal band Fat Freddy’s Drop and brand new project Creative Principle. The album is impeccably mixed and blended, as you’d expect from a DJ and collector of George’s pedigree. His selection includes a strong representation from his roots in Northern England. Opening with respected Manchester soul duo Children of Zeus, Hull’s Steve Cobby provides his own ‘Lefthanded Books’ featuring Crazy P’s Danielle Moore and also introduces his chuggy-disco project Chieftain. There’s also room for the recent Nightmares on Wax recent single ‘Look Up’. Moving internationally; there’s Greek producer Dim Zach who doffs a cap to Imagination on the synth-heavy ‘Innocence’, US-born/Colombian based Afro/Latin/disco/funk producer Bosq, Italy’s Massimo Vanoni with the slo-mo funk ‘Exciting Groove’, the deep and jazzy ‘Gotta Have It’ by Berlin’s SoulPhiction side project SBM and two tracks by New Zealander Ladi6.

                                                      This first re-instalment of Back to Mine is a triumphant return for the iconic and music loved series. Nightmares on Wax delivers an incredible selection of tracks that gives the listener a real insight into the artists personal and extensive taste. “I always hoped that when the time was right I would be asked to do a Back To Mine release and so when the call came there was absolutely no hesitation”. - Nightmares on Wax.


                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      2xLtd LP Info: Limited edition heavyweight vinyl.

                                                      2xCD Info: CD1 mixed, CD2 un-mixed.

                                                      Swervedriver

                                                      Future Ruins

                                                        'Future Ruins' presents a band moving with real time and real life vitality, showcasing new tricks alongside classic hallmarks. It exhibits Swervedriver’s fabled widescreen escapism, but with a tension that echoes the sleeve image of Coney Island in skeletal monochrome, like a post mortem photograph of a failed utopia. The LP’s come in standard heavyweight vinyl and an indie store exclusive of heavyweight red vinyl. Both formats have download codes. 

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive heavyweight red vinyl.

                                                        LP Info: Black heavyweight vinyl.

                                                        The Twilight Sad

                                                        It Won't Be Like This All The Time

                                                          From their unassuming origins as a group of school friends drawn together by a shared passion for music to the global touring force (supporting The Cure and Editors at arenas and stadiums), they have quietly become, The Twilight Sad’s ascent has been forged the old way with grit, graft and four exceptional studio albums. Now signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action Records, the bands fifth album does not disappoint and will certainly not disappoint fans of their previous works. It will also appeal to fans of The Cure, Frighten Rabbits, The National, Interpol and Editors.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive heavyweight blue vinyl.

                                                          2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          Steve Mason

                                                          About The Light

                                                            Having written most of his previous albums alone, About The Light marks a change in approach for Steve.

                                                            “I decided with this album that I wanted to get my live band involved at every stage because I wanted to capture the energy that we produce when we play live shows, so this time the band and myself worked on a collection of songs over the course of last year,” he explains.

                                                            Picking Stephen Street to produce the album, and with a very clear plan in mind, from the off the goal was to capture the songs live and draw out their soulful elements.

                                                            Talking about the process, Stephen Street says, “Steve explained that he wanted to make this album with his band playing more ‘live’ than on some of his previous offerings and also to augment the songs with brass and female backing vocalists. I felt this approach of first stripping back the songs to a more ‘live’ feel to create more space for the more ‘soulful’ elements to breathe in was an interesting one and we got down to work!”

                                                            Recorded at studios in London and Brighton, About The Light, sees a subtle yet noticeable evolution in Steve’s sound.

                                                            “When I listen to this album it feels and sounds like the first ‘legitimate’ record that I have ever made. It’s hard to explain but it sounds like a ‘real’ album. I think that is partly the production, the playing and the work that I did with the band for all those months in our rehearsal room on the South Coast,” says Steve.

                                                            “It’s a beautiful, confident, positive, angry, loving and gentle album which once again moves what I do forward,” he adds. “David Bowie said that you should always be slightly out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve greatness, and for the first time perhaps ever, I deliberately pushed myself into that place. Who doesn’t want greatness?”

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited indies exclusive silver vinyl edition.

                                                            Night Beats

                                                            Myth Of A Man

                                                              Fronted by Texan native Danny Lee Backwell, Myth Of A Man is Night Beats' fourth studio album, and their second for Heavenly Recordings following the release of Who Sold My Generation in 2016.

                                                              While Blackwell has always fed off the musical legacy of his Texas roots—Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Krayola, The Black Angels and more paving the way for the the napalm-coated psych-rock headtrip of past albums—Myth Of A Man has him pulling from the surrogate wellspring of Nashville, Tennessee.

                                                              It was there that he worked with the eminent Dan Auerbach, and a murderer’s row of battle-worn session musicians—the combined weight of experience that comes from working with every legend from Aretha Franklin to Elvis not lost on Blackwell. “I was just humbled by being accepted,” he explains, “Big hearts all around.”

                                                              In short, it’s an album that holds its own next to the classics, less of the bloodshot acid trip of Sonic Bloom (2013) and Who Sold My Generation (2016) here, Blackwell has recalibrated them, slowed them down just enough and allowed them the space to breathe and exist as something new. It’s the same book, just a different chapter. The moody organ comps and slow stroll of the 12-string on “Her Cold Cold Heart” evoke the noxious feeling and hypnotic state of toxic love, the spirit of Bill Withers is flowing through the acoustic guitar and sun-soaked shuffle of “I Wonder,” and string-trimmed ballads like “Footprints” and “Too Young To Pray” evoke the imaginative, cowboy psychedelia of fellow Texan, Lee Hazlewood. “Let Me Guess” with its searing riff and Elevators-esque organ assures us that the scuzzy sound we know and love is alive and well, while “One Thing,” a song about being used and abused—or as Blackwell sharply puts it, “being rolled up and smoked”—has plenty of fuzzed-out guitars to let us know he might just be happy about it.

                                                              Written during a particularly destructive period of the band, the album is populated by fallen angels, blood-sucking wanderers, and vindictive lovers—sketches of people the band has surely come across during their cosmic roving through the underground—but the character most present is Blackwell, himself. “Myth Of A Man can be summed up as a personal display of vulnerability and guilty conscience,” he explains, “Destroying the mythos of what it means to live and function in society.” With its bold steps forward, Myth Of A Man serves as both a takedown and reintroduction of the band as we know it—the strongest evidence that you’ll never be able to pin Night Beats down. 


                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl.

                                                              Bob Mould

                                                              Sunshine Rock

                                                                The cliché that circulated after the 2016 election foretold a new artistic golden age: Artists would transform their anger and anxiety into era-defining works of dissent in the face of authoritarianism.
                                                                Yet Bob Mould calls his new album Sunshine Rock.
                                                                It’s not because Mould—whose face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of alternative music—likes the current administration. His decision to “write to the sunshine,” as he describes it, comes from a more personal place – a place found in Berlin, Germany, where he’s spent the majority of the last three years. Here Mould would draw inspiration from the new environments.
                                                                “Almost four years ago, I made plans for an extended break,” Mould explains. “I started spending time in Berlin in 2015, found an apartment in 2016, and became a resident in 2017. My time in Berlin has been a life changing experience. The winter days are long and dark, but when the sun comes back, all spirits lift.”
                                                                These three years in Berlin would quite literally shed new light on Mould’s everyday mindset.

                                                                “To go from [2011 autobiography] See a Little Light to the last three albums, two of which were informed by loss of each parent, respectively, at some point I had to put a Post-It note on my work station and say, ‘Try to think about good things.’ Otherwise I could really go down a long, dark hole,” he says. “I’m trying to keep things brighter these days as a way to stay alive.”

                                                                That makes Sunshine Rock as logical a product of the current climate as any rage-fuelled agit-rock. Variations on the word “sun” appear 27 times in five different songs over the course of the album’s 37 minutes. To hear Mould tell it, the theme developed early.
                                                                “Sunshine Rock is one hell of a way to wrap up the busiest decade of my career,” he shares. “The autobiography, the Disney Hall tribute show, reissues of several albums from my catalogue, three current rock band albums, several world tours, and now this new album — I’m humbled and grateful to still be making new music while celebrating my lifetime songbook.”

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition opaque yellow & red swirl vinyl for Indie stores only.

                                                                LP Info: Black vinyl.

                                                                Cherry Glazerr

                                                                Stuffed & Ready

                                                                  After releasing 2016’s critically acclaimed Apocalipstick, Cherry Glazerr spent the next 18 months touring the world on their own steam. Between DIY All Ages venues, rock clubs, large festival stages, and massive theaters with some of the world’s best and most beloved bands (The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and The Breeders, among others), the band has really only stopped to work on their follow up, Stuffed & Ready. While furiously building the band’s sound and ideas, front person Clem Creevy enlisted Carlos de La Garza to be the band’s studio co-collaborator as they evolved the songs and refined the recordings.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                                  Yann Tiersen

                                                                  All

                                                                    ALLis the first album to be recorded at Tiersen’s new studio, venue and community centre, The Eskal, built in an abandoned discotheque on the island of Ushant, a small island positioned in the Celtic sea between Brittany and Cornwall, Tiersen’s home for the past 10 years. The album, mixed and co-produced by Gareth Jones, continues the themes of environment and a connection to nature first explored on EUSA, incorporating recordings from outside of Brittany, such as the redwood forests of California as well as field recordings from Tempelhof airport in Berlin (on ‘Tempelhof’), plus guest vocalists.

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    2xLP Info: Heavyweight vinyl, Side D etched.

                                                                    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                    Green River

                                                                    Dry As A Bone

                                                                      The story of Seattle's rise to global rock supremacy in the late '80s and early '90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12”s and a 7” single during its brief existence. Green River's influence on Seattle's music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members' dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind.  "By '83, '84, there was definitely a movement that was happening within hardcore, like Black Flag slowing down for My War," says Arm. "The Replacements and Butthole Surfers were rearing their heads, and they're very different bands, but they're not hardcore—the Replacements are pretty much straight-up rock, and Butthole Surfers were God knows what. Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising was around, and a lot of really interesting post-hardcore things were happening."

                                                                      Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres—blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. The mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, and the band's lone full-length Rehab Doll, which came out in 1988, were released as a single CD with a few bonus cuts, including their sneering cover of David Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and their marauding version of Dead Boys' "Ain't Nothin' to Do," in 1990—but they've been unavailable on vinyl for years. Now, these slices of Seattle music history are not only back in print, they're accompanied by items from the vaults that had been forgotten about for decades.  Dry As A Bone was recorded at Jack Endino's Reciprocal Recording in 1986, and it shows the band in furious form, with Arm's yowl battling Fairweather and Gossard's ferocious guitar playing on "This Town" and "Unwind" opening as a slow bluesy grind then jump-starting itself into a hyperactive chase. The deluxe edition includes Green River's cuts from the crucial Seattle-scene compilation Deep Six, as well as long-lost songs that were recorded to the now-archaic format Betamax.Rehab Doll, recorded largely at Seattle's Steve Lawson Studios., bridges the gap between the taut, punky energy of Dry As a Bone and the bigger drums and thicker riffs that were coming to dominate rock in the late '80s. This new edition of Rehab Doll includes a version of “Swallow My Pride” recorded to 8-track at Endino's Reciprocal Recording, which features a more accurate depiction of how the band sounded when they played live. "When I listen to these mixes, I think, 'This is how we actually sounded—this is the kind of energy we had,'" says Shumway.

                                                                      Green River's place in American music history is without question, but these recordings paint a more complete picture of the band—and of rock in the mid- to late-'80s, when punk's faster-and-louder ideals had begun shape-shifting into other ideas. 


                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Loser edition.

                                                                      Green River

                                                                      Rehab Doll

                                                                        The story of Seattle's rise to global rock supremacy in the late '80s and early '90s begins with Green River. Made up of Jeff Ament (bass), Mark Arm (guitar/vocals), Bruce Fairweather (guitar), Stone Gossard (guitar), and Alex Shumway (drums), the quintet put out three 12”s and a 7” single during its brief existence. Green River's influence on Seattle's music scene spread far and wide thanks to the members' dispersion into bands including Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, as well as the punk-glam-sludge-rock songs they left behind.  "By '83, '84, there was definitely a movement that was happening within hardcore, like Black Flag slowing down for My War," says Arm. "The Replacements and Butthole Surfers were rearing their heads, and they're very different bands, but they're not hardcore—the Replacements are pretty much straight-up rock, and Butthole Surfers were God knows what. Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising was around, and a lot of really interesting post-hardcore things were happening."

                                                                        Green River, which formed in 1984, was part of that evolution, with a sound that straddled a lot of different genres—blues, punk, bloozy straight-ahead rock. The mini-LP Dry As A Bone, which came out in 1987, and the band's lone full-length Rehab Doll, which came out in 1988, were released as a single CD with a few bonus cuts, including their sneering cover of David Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and their marauding version of Dead Boys' "Ain't Nothin' to Do," in 1990—but they've been unavailable on vinyl for years. Now, these slices of Seattle music history are not only back in print, they're accompanied by items from the vaults that had been forgotten about for decades.  Dry As A Bone was recorded at Jack Endino's Reciprocal Recording in 1986, and it shows the band in furious form, with Arm's yowl battling Fairweather and Gossard's ferocious guitar playing on "This Town" and "Unwind" opening as a slow bluesy grind then jump-starting itself into a hyperactive chase. The deluxe edition includes Green River's cuts from the crucial Seattle-scene compilation Deep Six, as well as long-lost songs that were recorded to the now-archaic format Betamax.Rehab Doll, recorded largely at Seattle's Steve Lawson Studios., bridges the gap between the taut, punky energy of Dry As a Bone and the bigger drums and thicker riffs that were coming to dominate rock in the late '80s. This new edition of Rehab Doll includes a version of “Swallow My Pride” recorded to 8-track at Endino's Reciprocal Recording, which features a more accurate depiction of how the band sounded when they played live. "When I listen to these mixes, I think, 'This is how we actually sounded—this is the kind of energy we had,'" says Shumway.

                                                                        Green River's place in American music history is without question, but these recordings paint a more complete picture of the band—and of rock in the mid- to late-'80s, when punk's faster-and-louder ideals had begun shape-shifting into other ideas. 


                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Loser edition.

                                                                        Benjamin Smith and Paul "Mudd" Murphy are back with a Balearic gem - The Distance. Featuring a vocal and instrumental on the A-side, and a remix on the flip by legend and consummate production ace - Ron Basejam. Lyrics and vocals are by Quinn Lamont, who's captivating earthy tones playfully tease us with emotional yearning, and it's Quinn who provides a stunning jazzy guitar performance that will have you air guitaring all over the dance floor, and which sits splendidly alongside the beautiful layers of rich electric piano and Balearic disco grooves. The remix by Ron Basejam recasts the track as an instantly affable yacht-rock-esque anthem, that will fill your hearts and have you reaching for the Campari. This is a sumptuous summer groover, with layer upon layer of blissed out disco warmth. A sublime masterclass in musicianship and production that will bring joy to the most discerning of ears.

                                                                        Blood Red Shoes

                                                                        Get Tragic

                                                                          The story of 'Get Tragic' can be traced way back to the relentless gigging off the back of their 2014 self-produced and self-titled record, when the heels finally fell off of Blood Red Shoes at the end of that same year. A near-decade of incessant road time and a non-stop pace of life finally took its toll, with the band stopping only to quickly hammer out “another ten songs” to release as their next record, before ploughing straight back into touring. The pair exhausted themselves to the point of collapse. “We didn’t, at any point, have a breather,” says Steven Ansel (drums and vocals), “We probably didn’t see each other for about 10 days a year, tops, for six or seven years.” Understandably, such incessant close proximity led to implosion. “We got the to the end of the fourth record and were like, ‘F**k you, I never want to see you again’,”Steven adds, half-laughing, half-sighing.

                                                                          Vocalist and guitarist Laura Mary-Carter packed her bags and bought a one-way flight to Los Angeles, a complete radio-silence between the two bandmates stretching on for months. She fell in with a songwriter’s crowd, penning tracks and collaborations with big-time pop producers and pitching songs for the likes of Rihanna. It provided her with “a lot of time to reassess,” she says. Steven, conversely, “went out and took drugs and went clubbing for about half a year,” he laughs. “I don’t remember a lot about it. Classic break-up move, right?”

                                                                          “That’s the whole running theme of this record,” says Steven. “The reason we called it Get Tragic is because we realised that everything we’ve been doing over the last three years is kinda tragic!” he says, prompting laughter from the pair. “Just like, ‘Ooh, I hate you, I’m going to America to find myself’, and like ‘Ooh, I’m gonna party for the rest of the year!’ Everything about it is such a cliché – we were like, ‘We’ve turned into a f**kin tragedy!’”

                                                                          'Get Tragic', then, fully embraces the absurdity of BLOOD RED SHOES situation. As a result, the pair come out the other side sounding fresher and more assured than ever. Recording in the States, working with a new producer, ditching the two-piece rock rulebook they arguably helped write - everything that went into Get Tragic was a leap into the unknown. Their first move, post-reconciliation was a writing retreat in rural Wales, which saw them woken up by the village community leaders, who entered the house while they were sleeping and banished them from town, fearful of the rock group’s proximity to the local church.

                                                                          Regrouping once more and booking in some more sessions in Leeds, Steven took a phone call a few days before round two. Laura had broken her arm. “I fell off a motorbike,” she explains. “I didn’t tell anyone – I didn’t post anything about it, but the fact is I had a broken arm for a long time.” Throughout it all, they went through a conveyor belt of managers and manager firings, the group falling out with everyone around them as they attempted to rebuild their core, two-way relationship. One of those managers “led us into a record deal that was really fucked, and we shouldn’t have signed,” explains Steven. The subsequent fallout and legal trouble financially crippled them both. As that period came to a close, Laura went through a romantic break-up that still visibly affects her. “We were finally getting there,” says Laura, “and I was like, ‘No… don’t let this happen too…’.”

                                                                          Remarkably, though, Laura’s broken arm proved to be a blessing in plaster-clad disguise. Leaving her unable to play guitar, it prompted the longtime-guitarist to pick up a keyboard, and sing more than she ever had before. Through mishap and misfortune, the songs that came out of the sessions were the duo’s light at the end of the ever-expanding tunnel. They decamped to L.A. to record with Nick Launay (Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Arcade Fire / Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). He pushed them to explore these new worlds even further, and as such the the after-effects of Laura’s motorbike tragedy can be heard throughout 'Get Tragic' – more melodic and synth-led than any of the band’s records to date, it embraces electronics and nuance in a way their stripped-back and stomping two-piece rock sound of old never could have.

                                                                          “That was where it started to make sense,” says Steven. “It was like, ‘How do we combine our songwriting with electronics and keyboards?’ We wanted to have the soul of a rock band, but change the style so it was more interesting, more groovy, and more sexy – and less like everybody else! I started to feel like all rock music around us was one shade of one colour.” Laura agrees: “I really find the music industry, and just culture in general, has a sheep mentality. Like, ‘Is it okay to like this?’ You just need to have a mind of your own. Whether people like it or not, we’re at least trying to do something that isn’t ‘of the moment’ or whatever.”

                                                                          Through disaster and dismay, the band have emerged reinvigorated. Every incident has fed into a record of defiance and self-acceptance. Knowingly embracing the tragedy of their movements, and the clarity at the end of such woe – they even laugh at the very idea of having a picture of themselves on the cover – 'Get Tragic' is a total reimagining of the
                                                                          BLOOD RED SHOES you might think you know.


                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Deluxe green and black coloured vinyl with an alternative sleeve, and a bonus 7".


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