MAGIC MIX

END OF YEAR REVIEW 2017

TOP 100 ALBUMS

So what do we love this year? Kelly Lee Owens, that’s what! The Welsh singer / songwriter / techno diva / sonic healer flipped our Piccadilly lid with her perfect blend of shoegaze shimmer, dream pop drama, dancefloor thrust and lyrical poise, topping our chart by unanimous decision. Unexpected and excellent returns from LCD Soundsystem and Slowdive secure silver and bronze while Rolling Blackouts and Tornado Wallace round off the top five with purposeful jangle and fourth world flourish respectively. Looking beyond the top five there’s a ton of talent to be found, whether it be the slacker cool of Mac DeMarco and Ariel Pink, the Mancunian indie of Horsebeach and Charlatans or the jazz-flecked ambience of Penguin Café and Portico Quartet. Elsewhere Tennis, The War On Drugs and Michael Nau flew the red, white and blue of Americana, Oh Sees and Flat Worms brought the noise and Kendrick dropped another instant classic.

Kelly Lee Owens Q&A:
• First of all, congratulations on the Piccadilly Album Of The Year award! Has the success of the LP surprised you or was it all part of the plan?
Let me just say thanks to you guys, cause literally if it wasn't for you taking in copies of my first two self-released EP's we wouldn't be having this conversation. Your amazing reviews & support of my music meant Joakim from Smalltown Supersound (my label) got in touch & eventually we ended up releasing this album... so, TA !! - it means a lot having lived in Manchester & respecting Piccadilly from the start. In regards to the general success, I tried to expect nothing, so it's all been a surprise & a joy to me!!
• Your music seems to have a nocturnal quality, do you write and record at night?
I usually lay down lyrics & ideas at night – night-time is when a lot of creative ideas flow for me & true feelings seem to surface. But I usually record them in the daytime & run with whatever happens in the moment then too. I also recorded down by the water in London, so perhaps that element also makes its way on to the record.
• There’s a lot of debate about electronic VS organic at the moment, but you seem to fall into both camps. What do you think makes your music connect with people at a human level?
I think for me electronic music IS organic - I mean we are humans operating analogue synths for example and that's the bit that excites me; coaxing out beautiful frequencies and sounds, working WITH the synth. Of course, I also use a lot of my own weird samples in my music, so maybe that lends itself to the organic sound... there's everything on there, from pitched-down bird song, side-chained hailstone, to a prawn cracker melting in hot soup (haha!) It's fun to work with organic samples & its inspires me loads!
• Musical polymath and record store favourite Arthur Russell inspired one of your earliest tracks. How do you feel his music and story have influenced you?
His music was the thing that initially inspired me, because it felt otherworldly (‘World Of Echo’) - then when I discovered he made all kinds of music, from folk to dance tracks it felt like such a liberation, I was like "wow! I don't have to make just one thing". I connected to that sentiment so much. Working in records stores for the past 9 years, I always felt frustrated that music would be categorised - and he couldn't be - he usually has his own section - that lends itself to an artist creating a world for themselves - I aspire to that very much!
• Where’s the best place to listen to the record?
I think because I would constantly be referencing the sound on headphones throughout the mixing process, I would start there - that is the place you hear all the tiny detail. Then go listen on amazing loud speakers to hear all that sub bass!!
• So, you’re top of our pops this year, but what were your favourite releases of 2017?
I actually haven't had much time to listen to lots of new music this year but I think the Four Tet album & also Sevdaliza - she's fire.

Read below for our Top 100 Albums Of The Year.

Now for some important FREEBIE info!! For a limited period only we are offering a FREE EXCLUSIVE End Of Year sampler CD when you buy any LP or CD from our Top 20 albums, Top 20 Compilations and Top 10 Reissues/Collections charts. Click HERE for more info on the sampler.

Check out these links to see our other Best Of 2017 Charts:
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 20 Compilations 2017
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 10 Reissues / Collections 2017
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 10 Box Sets 2017

And don't forget our super deluxe perfect bound 60 page full colour End Of Year Review Booklet is available now too, beautifully designed yet again by Mark Brown Studio, you can pick up a physical copy here, free instore or view online here.

1 - Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens - Exclusive Piccadilly Bonus Disc Edition

    THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2017.

    PICCADILLY RECORDS EXCLUSIVE:
    For a limited period only, buy either the vinyl or CD of 'Kelly Lee Owens' and get a free 3 track remix 
    CD bonus disc

    Also comes with a free Piccadilly End Of Year CD sampler. Click HERE for more info.

    Without wishing to get too jackanory, I'm gonna start this review with a little anecdote. Way back in April 2015, when I was a little younger and lot lighter, Kelly Lee Owens strolled into our glorious establishment and casually inquired if we'd be interested in stocking her self-released debut 12". Always a sucker for something new, limited and hand labeled I took a cursory ten copies off her hands as she left for the train station. Approximately four minutes later, as the dreamlike shimmer of ghost-pop paean "Lucid" echoed through my headphones I called the number she'd left and asked if she could drop off another thirty copies without missing her train. 

    Fast forward two years and three Piccadilly Record Of The Weeks later and the Welsh wonder is back with a majestic full length on the excellent Smalltown Supersound. As she leads us through ten tracks of spectral techno, nebulous synth pop and squelching waveforms, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness and darkly-shaded ecstacy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. Previous 12" tracks "Arthur", "Lucid" and the hypnotic "CBM" sound better than ever next to the brooding synth soul of "S.O." and late night mysticism of Jenny Hval collaboration "Anxi", while the bleep heavy "Evolution" is a sultry, seductive club cut for very late in the session. For me, this LP perfectly captures those moments when you get home from the club with a loved one and settle into that time honoured pre dawn routine. It's intimate, emotional, sexy and slightly blurred - in other words, midnight music at its finest. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: An absurdly accomplished debut, this is just about as Piccadilly as it gets, referencing our collective favourites and transforming them into something fresh and exciting. Harnessing the Cocteau’s, MBV and JAMC, as well as the rhythmic thrust of Chicago and Detroit, KLO trades in immersive, psychedelic pop music, as danceable as it is dreamy. Swathes of hazy synthesis eddy and whirl beneath crystalline vocals, lending the music an aquatic depth matched perfectly by the intimate, expressive lyrics. Fusing the outsider musings of Arthur Russell with Bjork’s cryptic poetry, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness, identity and ecstasy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. A dynamic listen from start to finish, the LP ranges from the hypnotic thump of ‘Evolution’, ‘CBM’ and ‘Bird’ to the medicated daze of ‘S.O’, ‘Lucid’ and ‘Keep Walking’, constantly varying tempo and intensity on its way to sprawling closer ‘8’, a wonderfully blurred end to this nocturnal journey.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Deluxe LP Info: Includes a Piccadilly exclusive free CD bonus disc + a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

    Deluxe CD Info: This extended version includes 3 bonus tracks, "Spaces", "Pull" and "1 out of 3". Also includes a Piccadilly exclusive free CD bonus disc + a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

    2 - LCD Soundsystem

    American Dream

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      Deep breaths...headphones on...needle dropped. LCD Soundsystem are back. Seven years after their last long player, and six years since their premature retirement, NYC's era defining, life changing indie-dance/alt-disco/punk-funk legends are back on wax with their fourth LP "American Dream". As the live hats and staccato pulse of "Oh Baby" give way to tender arps, dramatic synth bass and Murhpy's crooning vocals, all seems well in the world once more. Imbued with the same cinematic quality with which "All My Friends" and "Someone Great" stole our hearts a decade ago, this album opener is vintage LCD. One track in and I'm already hooked. "Other Voices" pushes the tempo and picks up the intensity, fusing low slung bass, sizzling 4/4 and buzzing synthwork into the kind of hypnotic, disco-rock groover the world's been crying out for. Backwards guitar solos and strange synth riffs lend a little psychedelic colour while Murphy's vocals, ably supported by Nancy Wang and Korey Richey, retain all the sardonic lyricism of a particularly arch Larry David. Closing the first side out with shimmering synths, slow rolling bass and a moody piano, "I Used To" details a midlife moment of clarity before the squawking guitar, loose groove and Bowie-styled vocals of "Change Yr Mind" bring the punk to the funkshow. Tumbling toms, immersive reverb and distant vocals march around nagging violin and spectral arpeggios on "How Do You Sleep?", creating a gloomy Joy Division ambience which soon bursts into a slo-mo technicolour via chugging percussion and big bass blasts - Far from your average drug ballad, this is gonna bring the house down live! Blasting through the speakers on a tank full of squelching synthbass, snapping electronic percussion and Murphy's trademark half spoken/ half sung vocals, current single "Tonite" picks up the electroid baton from "Yeah" and "Pow Pow" and treats us to relentless barrage of Murphy's needle-point self referencial wit. Hilarious, danceable and deeply on point, this could well be an album standout. Presumeably inspired by his time working on Bowie's "Blackstar", "Call The Police" pairs an achingly sincere, occasionally bleak lyricism with anthemic rock drums and buzzing guitars, relishing in the bittersweet beauty of life. Electro-pop ballad "American Dream" continues the quest for understanding and acceptance in the tough climate of 2017 as Murphy leads us waltzing through the richest synth tones of his career. As we arrive at the final side Murphy et al blitz through the punk inspired rage of "Emotional Haircut", a hair-raiser in the style of early !!! or Outhud, before embracing the existential melancholy of "Black Screen", the medicated lullaby which closes the set with buzzing synth tones and delicate piano. Though this album may lack the immediacy of its predecessors, it offers infinite emotional depth, sincerity and faultless songwriting. Leave your skepticism at the door, this is the best LCD Soundsystem LP to date.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      David says: As you can imagine, news of a newly reformed LCD and a fourth album was greeted with trepidation here at Piccadilly. The band had gone out with a BANG in 2011, playing a sold out show at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. What remained for James Murphy to say or do? As it turns out, everything. As Murphy himself, freely admits, the band were already bloated and old when they split, so there was no chance of the fans being disappointed in that respect, which just leaves the music... Let’s not mince our words then, ‘American Dream’ is a triumph. It’s a new record whose primary focus is the end of things. Pop icons, (ghosts of pop past litter the album, whether it be Bowie on “Change Yr Mind” or Alan Vega and Suicide on “Oh Baby”), relationships, music, even the American Dream itself. However, amongst all these endings, LCD remain a constant. Murphy is still a musical magpie, still lifting wholesale from Mark E. Smith, still the biggest nerd in the record shop, (the hobbled veteran of the disk shop inquisition), still losing (what’s left) of his edge but at the same time defining 2017 in a way that none of his contemporaries can.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler. Includes lyric sheet.

      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      Cassette Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. A band whose reach goes far beyond just influencing music is back, with their first new album in 22 years.

      The album is called ‘Slowdive’ - self-titled in an echo of their debut EP from 1990, and is remarkably direct.

      Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane”, these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date.

      Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Martin says: It’s been 22 years since the release of ‘Pygmalion’. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume then that the world had heard the last of Slowdive. It was only out of curiosity and old times sake then the CD ended up on the Piccadilly player, with no expectation of a repeat. Except that it’s utterly beautiful. Right from the majestic opener “Slomo”, a work of iridescent beauty where a bed of Cocteau Twins guitar is underpinned to gorgeous effect by sparse bass notes, placed to perfection, the undulating heartbeat of a glistening wall of sound. Neil Halstead’s polished, almost choral delivery initiates vocal duties, before passing the baton to Rachel Goswell, whose exquisite voice soars far overhead into a spine tingling crescendo; the single “Sugar For The Pill”, is elevated into the high atmosphere by bewitching vocal harmonies courtesy of the same duo, while the churning power of “Star Roving” picks up where My Bloody Valentine left off. If “No Longer Taking Time” goes for the tried and tested loud-quiet-loud motif it does so with enough brilliance as to render that completely irrelevant. From beginning to end, ‘Slowdive’ is a joy.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies only silver vinyl.

      LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      Black vinyl edition.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      Cassette Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      4 - Rolling Blackouts C.F.

      The French Press

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      In early 2016, the release of ‘Talk Tight’ put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from SPIN, Stereogum and Pitchfork, praising them as stand outs even among the fertile landscape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick-witted wordplay, ‘Talk Tight’ was praised by Pitchfork “for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note.”

      The band was born from late night jam sessions in singer / guitarist Fran Keaney’s bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne’s live music venues. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, brothers Tom and Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs. The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to BIGSOUND, the entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows while prepping their next release.

      ‘The French Press’ levels up on everything that made ‘Talk Tight’ such an immediate draw. Multi-tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive basslines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band’s Australian storybook. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and ‘The French Press’ is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life - the melancholy of travel on ‘French Press’, having a hopeless crush on ‘Julie’s Place’ - before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality - vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone.

      Blending critical insight and literate love songs, ‘The French Press’ cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia’s smartest working bands.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Laura says: Rolling Blackouts C.F. hail from Melbourne, Australia and this mini album is their first UK release. I loved this album from pretty much the first listen, which isn't something that happens very often. It usually takes me a few listens to make up my mind on a record, but there was just something about this one that grabbed me from the off. Now, I appreciate that The Go-Betweens may be a lazy reference point when it comes to Australian bands, but intentionally or not, their languid strummed acoustics and gorgeous melodies often seem to filter through. But there's a lot more to their sound than that, there are other influences at play here too: as well as the jangling guitars and bright melodic vocals there's a kinda of sun-kissed surf-pop thing going on (think a more upbeat Real Estate), as well as the occasional burst of taut punk infused energy. Rather than following a traditional verse-chorus-verse pattern, the songs kind of meander along, changing rhythm and tempo along the way, which suits their story-telling style of songwriting.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl Loser Edition available to independent retailers.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The eye of the storm: welcome to Tornado Wallace's debut album! How about some references? New Age sounds meet new wave melodies, Grace Jones runs into the Dire Straits at Compass Point, while a Korg Mini Pops and a Roland CR78 make amends for Sly & Robbie's absence, Michael Mann pictures Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', Robert Rauschenberg tries his luck at naturalism and an imagined Wally Badarou echoes through all of it. The accumulation of about four years of work, with tracks written in Berlin and Melbourne, "Lonely Planet" is nothing like you may have expected from the Australian expat. Merging functionality with a musical playfulness on releases for ESP Institute, Beats in Space and Music From Memory's sister Label Second Circle, Tornado Wallace's found himself as one of the producers behind José Padilla's International Feel album. Here, he leaves the needs of the dance floor behind in order to create a magical mystery tour de trance into his and our inner jungle. Sandwiched between the title track and the yearning beauty of the album's final point "Healing Feeling", you get all of that as well as collaborations with and contributions of NO ZU, David Hischfelder and the voice of Sui Zhen on "Today", who would easily make Anna Domino take her proverbial hat off.
      Tornado Wallace created an album that supersedes the requirements and expectations of a debut. Like a lost Island Records or a never released Made to Measure album, "Lonely Planet" soundtracks notions and ideas that recall the nostalgic future in the past as much as it looks ahead.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Comprising of seven expansive compositions, ‘Lonely Planet’ transports the listener to a dreamlike landscape alive with excellent birds, dense foliage and breathtaking vistas. As he glides effortlessly between future primitive visions and otherworldly ambient suites, Wallace marries lush FM synthesis with Knopfleric guitar and organic percussion, grounding us in reality while our eyes dart over the intangible. And there, nestled in the midst of all this utopian beauty is ‘Today’, the greatest 80s pop record that never was. Boasting a blithely shrugged vocal from No Zu’s Sui Zhen, the track sounds like a springtime meeting between Talk Talk and Gina X at a far flung resort. Yet despite its abundance of detached cool, this cinematic gem lends the LP a human touch, allowing the listener to find their place in the natural rhapsody. Clear your schedule, close your eyes and take the trip of a lifetime.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      LP Gatefold Sleeve, 180g pressing.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The husband and wife duo of Alaina and Patrick, otherwise known as Tennis, return with “Yours Conditionally”, their new album which will be released on 10th March 2017 on the band’s own label Mutually Detrimental.

      Building on their dreamy combination of perfect melodies and classic songwriting, “Yours Conditionally” sees a full circle return to their nautical roots of sorts, with the duo even writing part of the album while sailing at sea, what Alaina calls “a grandiose gesture”, a necessary venture of revisiting the past to reinvigorate the present. However, the pair dig deeper and darker this time round, with the resultant album wedding discussions of identity and self-sacrifice to some of their most pristine and infectious hooks yet.

      Achingly beautiful lead single “In the Morning I’ll Be Better”, written about the “precariousness of our lives”, sums up this paradox completely, with gorgeous melodies belying its subject matter of Riley seeing a family member through a serious illness. “Please Don’t Ruin This For Me” and “Fields of Blue” also deliciously straddle the light/ dark divide, while others, like “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” and the divine swoon of “Modern Woman” hit the pop bullseye square on the nose while unpacking conflicting themes of feminism and industry archetypes.

      Taken in toto, “Yours Conditionally” sees a band at maturation point, looking fondly to the past while also staring down the uncertainty and confusion of the future without flinching. This is Tennis at their contrary, compelling best.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Martin says: ‘Ritual In Repeat’, Tennis’ previous outing, was the last of three increasingly polished releases; perhaps they felt they had lost something along the way, for, having been an idea initially conceived at sea, the husband and wife duo ditched a drummer, dispensed with slick production, took on studio duties themselves, and decided to return to the source for inspiration. ‘Yours Conditionally’ then was born on the waves, on a journey down the United States East Coast from San Diego to the Sea Of Cortez. The result was a reinjection of humanity and their finest album to date; a balmy, sun-drenched jaunt breathing in soft soul, Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters and exhaling warmth into what had always been gorgeously crafted songs. The lilting delivery and Alaina Moore’s elegant, passionate voice mask a stinging satirical lyricals around the stereotyping of women; but when she sings “I really love you; I just can’t help myself” on the delightful “Fields Of Blue”, she does it with such apparent abandon it is hard to believe she doesn’t mean it. Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all. Beautiful, in any case.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      Limited white coloured vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      7 - Penguin Cafe

      The Imperfect Sea

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The iconic Penguin Cafe join the Erased Tapes family and open a brand new chapter to their unique world with new album The Imperfect Sea.

      A penguin stands in the middle of a scorching desert, far away from its natural habitat. This mirrors composer Arthur Jeffes’ journey and exploration into a new musical territory. Penguin Cafe have evolved into something of their own at the hands of Arthur who started the band in 2009 with the continuation and homage to his father’s legacy, to the late Simon Jeffes’ Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Now, their upcoming album echoes reminiscent sounds that embrace the new.

      The album title refers to a saying by his father that “we wade in a sea of imperfections…”, reflecting upon the idea that beauty can be found amongst the chaos. “If there is a narrative to the album it’s coming to the acceptance of the imperfections in all aspects of life; moreover, the recognition that these imperfections and tiny randomnesses are in fact what make up the best parts”, Arthur explains. This has also been highlighted by the striking cover artwork designed by FELD under the art direction of label founder Robert Raths, resembling a lone figure adapting to and accepting its surrounding environment.

      Predominantly self-composed, the new album also features covers of electronic works by Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk, along with a re-working of Simon's 'Now Nothing'. Arthur has developed from the traditional folk and jazz heritage Penguin Cafe Orchestra is known for into another realm of blissful ambience and dance music, recreated using strictly acoustic elements.

      “For this album I wanted to effect a departure from where we’d been up to now. The idea was to create a musical world that would feel familiar to an audience more used to dance records but stay true to our own values. So we replaced electronic layers with real instruments: pads with real string sections, synths with heavily-effected pianos, and atmospheric analogue drones with real feedback loops ringing through a stone and a piano soundboard.”


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Keeping the upbeat and intricate, but decidedly pastoral vibes of Penguin Cafe Orchestra (a different, but both figuratively and literally related band) intact whilst having a different focal point was never going to be an easy task for Arthur Jeffes, but on 'The Imperfect Sea' we get the perfect combination. Erased Tapes are, in the most part a modern-classical label (there are a good number of exceptions), and there are definitely nods to that in “Control 1” and “Rescue”, but with it come brilliant folky outings like opener “Ricercar” and the wildly dreamy staccato-string haze of “Franz Schubert”. With their name being as it is, Penguin Cafe are never going to escape the considerable shadow of PCO, but with a history as rich as theirs, and with Jeffes' ability to put his own twist on their already established sound, why would you? A stunningly rich, and hugely rewarding journey.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies only clear vinyl edition of 250 copies for the UK.

      Ltd LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      8 - The War On Drugs

      A Deeper Understanding

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The War On Drugs announce their fourth full-length album, A Deeper Understanding, out August 25th on Atlantic Records. A Deeper Understanding is the band’s first album since 2014’s universally acclaimed Lost In The Dream, and their debut album with Atlantic. Following the Record Store Day release of the 11-minute “Thinking of a Place,” The War On Drugs present the album’s lead single, “Holding On.”

      For much of the three and a half year period since the release of Lost In The Dream, The War On Drugs’ frontman, Adam Granduciel, led the charge for his Philadelphia-based sextet as he holed up in studios in New York and Los Angeles to write, record, edit, and tinker—but, above all, to busy himself in work. Teaming up with engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), Granduciel challenged the notion of what it means to create a fully realized piece of music in today’s modern landscape. Calling on his bandmates – bassist Dave Hartley, keyboarding Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez -- continuously throughout the process, the result is a “band record” in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. Through those years of relocation, the revisiting and re-examining of endless hours of recordings, unbridled exploration and exuberance, Granduciel’s gritty love of his craft succeeded in pushing the band to great heights. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Adam Granduciel and co. exploded into our hearts with the peerless ‘Lost In The Dream’, three years ago. Taking classic 70s rock (particularly of a Dylan vintage) and somehow making it modern, here was a band for right across the ages, a band to truly believe in. They returned, this year (on Record Store Day!) with their magnum opus, and it was immediately apparent that with "Thinking Of A Place", they had, incredibly upped the ante. Here was 11 massive minutes of bliss and wonder. High summer and the album dropped: ‘LITD’ part two, or squared, if you like. The songs were huge (in every way) but the production was out of this world. This was sun-roof down, beers in the back, cruise control, heart-rending, shimmering classic rock. But, crucially, with a drum machine! Everything we could have hoped for in a follow-up to a modern classic.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      Standard double gatefold black vinyl.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      The newly shorn Oh Sees waste no time in racing headlong into nightmarish battle with the mighty Orc, and wouldn’t ya know it, they’ve clawed even farther up the ghastly peak last year’s A Weird Exits stormed so satisfyingly. The band is in tour-greased, anvil on a balance beam, gut-pleasingly heavy form, nimbly braining with equal dashes of abandon and menace on this fresh batch of bruisers and brooders, hypnotically stirred into to the cauldron of chaos you’ve come to expect from, ahem, Oh Sees. Fresh blood Paul Quattrone joins Dan Rincon to form a phalanx of interlocking double drums, alternately propelling and fleet footing shifting ground to pinion Dwyer’s cliff-face guitars to the boogie. Tim Hellman keeps it swinging like a battle-axe to the eyebrows. The tunes veer towards the violence of their live shows, with a few tasty swerves into other lanes… heavy to lush, groovy to stately… throughout it remains sinister in its swaggering skulk, manic in its fuzz-fried fugues… they hit all the sweet spots the heads foggily remember, and there’s plenty to sweat over if you just hopped into the sauna. Ew. More evil…more complex… more narcotic… more screech…. more blare…. more whisper… there’s even more Brigid. Less “Thee”, but more of everything else.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Darryl says: So here we are again, John Dwyer and co. hit the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Top 10 with another staggering album. So what’s changed from last year’s double header winners ‘An Odd Entrances’ and ‘A Weird Exits’? Well, having dropped Thee from their name, Oh Sees have added another drummer to the percussive maelstrom providing an interlocking double-drum accompaniment to their already impressive psych-rock groove. Of course, ‘Orc’ still provides the usual shards of cliff-face noise guitar moments, but the dual drumming has drawn out some of the songs, with extended jamming coming to the fore over the shuffling Can-esque kosmische beat. There’s gentler moments too, with the addition of vocals from Brigid Dawson on a few tracks providing a welcome balance to the proceedings before we’re off again lurching between huge bone-rattling riffs and Dwyer’s vocal screeches. ‘Orc’ is Oh Sees at the very top of their game, a magical sprawling classic.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: UK indies only coloured vinyl. Limited to 1000 copies.

      2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      2xLP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      Flat Worms belt-sanded everyone with their 7-inch on Volar, and Castle Face is proud as new papas to present their debut album. The band continues their ride on a buzz-saw wave of feedback-tipped riffs into the middle distance, the smog-choked sunset receding in the rearview, with a thousand-yard dead pan stare surgically pinned to a high octane set of boredom-energized punk pistons. This is an ear-ringing missive from the end of the cul-de-sac, a mirage wavering above a mid-sized American suburb at dusk, with the constellations bleached black by the sprawl. A little Wipers, a little Wire, and a lot of late-capitalist era anxious energy - Flat Worms scratch the itch quite nicely.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Laura says: Castle Face close out the year in fine style, with this hyper-energetic debut album from Los Angeles post-punk trio Flat Worms. Comprising of the all-star line-up of Will Ivy on guitar/vox (Dream Boys, Wet Illustrated, Bridez), Justin Sullivan on drums (Kevin Morby, The Babies) and Tim Hellman on bass (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Sic Alps) the Flat Worms have created a classic buzz-saw guitar sound that would happily nestle in your record collection next to the SST back catalogue, The Wipers, Soft Pack, No Age and more recently, the Parquet Courts. Pummelling drums, heaps of guitar fuzz, massive feedback drenched riffs and dead pan vocals are the order of the day here, and once you throw in killer tunes you’re destined to have these noisy earworm nuggets bouncing around your brain for days and days. A winner from start to finish and one of the most exciting debut albums of the year.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      UK only coloured vinyl.

      LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      First thing's first, Kdot's the greatest rapper alive. Through the hype-heavy new school G-shit of "Good Kid M.A.A.d City", the politically charged 'Martin Luther King Jr meets Miles Davis at a cypher' stylings of "To Pimp A Butterfly" and the free-wheeling, string of consciousness expression of "Untitled Unmastered", the West Coast rapper has embarked on a creative period comparative to Stevie Wonder in the 70s. Not concerned with setting the bar at Olympic record heights, Kendrick follows the 'voice of a generation' vibe of "To Pimp A Butterfly" with a move straight out of the Bob Dylan playbook. Much like the folk great going electric and swapping the protest songs for personal reflections, Kendrick finds the middle ground between the hard hitting car bumpers of "GKMC" and societal rage of "TPAB" with a fourteen track examination of his place within contemporary America. Over a series of whip beating, bass heavy beats, Kendrick muses on religion, the media, whack rappers and relationships, inviting mega stars Rihanna and U2 along for the ride. Beyond the massive singles "Humble" (better than Drake's whole album) and "DNA" (FEAT. bowel emptying bass!) we get a faultless LP of diverse moods and themes, culminating in the sublime "Duckworth". Taking us back to the early 90s, Kdot explores a chance meeting between his father and TDE's Top Dawg, which could have resulted in Ducky's death, Top Dawg's prison sentence and no Kendrick. Chillingly deep yo.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: Kendrick Lamar brings us his fourth studio album. We all told you to watch this space after previous releases and well here he is. ‘Damn’ is bold and fierce, and judging by the tracklist alarmingly shouty but as Kendrick said himself it represents the loudness of the record. LOYALTY, PRIDE, FEAR; though their titular semantics are simplified to one word, the songs are incredibly layered and submersed in raw emotion. Having said this, the album is very accessible. Fragmented lyrics are drenched in energy from the heavy bass throughout, the complexity of consciousness and storytelling is absolutely mind blowing. There isn’t much justice I can do express how essential this album is, but he has done it again by releasing a rap album which is so relevant you need to sit up and listen. ‘Damn’ is a powerful and political statement, and Kendrick is dominating the hip hop world with the most significant albums of modern times.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
      Click HERE for more info.


      Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades.

      Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality.

      Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: AP is a Piccadilly legend. Lord of hypnopompic indie-pop brilliance, his none-categorizable yet ticking-every-genre-box style is as contradictory as is it beguiling as it is idiosyncratic; and is possibly the reason that every one of us here in the shop has a favourite song. ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ sees complex song-writing and skilled musicianship almost undermined by Ariel's quirky, nonchalant, fun-loving nature. A celebration rather than a study, I'm positive Ariel cares little if you observe his exceptional hooks, evocative commentary or multi-dimensional musical vision. He just wants you to shake, rattle and roll! It's a contradiction that runs through his career, almost constantly shunning professionalism for fun. A feature that makes him all the more intriguing and enjoyable, reminding us that to take life seriously is to not enjoy it at all. Stylishly conjuring up idealistic dreams of playing pinball and driving freeways with your mates; drinking, dancing and smoking underage; youthful exuberance and the American Dream, ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ is a masterpiece.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xDeluxe LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
      Deluxe edition of "Dedicated To Bobby Jameson." Includes 24" x 36" poster (folded to 12" x
      12") and single-sided picture disc EP, titled "Non-Sequitur Segues," containing four bonus
      tracks available only on vinyl. Housed in a custom PVC slipcase.

      LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

      13 - Beach Fossils

      Somersault

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        The album features guest vocals by Gavin Mays aka Cities Aviv and Rachel Goswell of legendary band Slowdive. Recorded at multiple studios across New York City, a cabin in upstate New York, and Los Angeles (including the home studio of Jonathan Rado of Foxygen.) Known for their energetic live show, the band have played notable festivals such as Primavera, FYF, SXSW and Bonnaroo.

        The long-awaited return of Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils, Somersault showcases a band in bloom. Charting into new musical territory with a refined song writing style, it's an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience.

        The band’s self-titled 2010 debut established a sound that was both minimal and enveloping. With Somersault, the group’s first release since 2013’s Clash the Truth, Beach Fossils have channelled years of experimentation into expansion and reinvention. Augmented with more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and sax, the new songs offer multi-layered pop guided by sharp, poignant, and honest lyrics.

        As the band’s first release on Dustin Payseur’s new label Bayonet Records, which he co-owns with wife Kate Garcia—the group made the most of their newfound independence, investing ample time in expanding its range both musically and lyrically. While Payseur handled the bulk of the song writing duties in the past, Somersault is a true collaboration between the founding member and bandmates, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. The new songs speak to a more fluid, eclectic sound, filled with lush compositions formed by studio experiments and sampling of the band’s own recordings.
        Orchestral pop gem “Saint Ivy” shines with plucked strings, buoyant basslines and a propulsive, wayward, guitar. “Tangerine," a driving, tightly wound melody, rushes forward and briefly leaves the ground due to the gossamer guest vocals of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell. The effervescent “Rise," which hinges on the spoken word of Gavin Mays (Cities Aviv) discussing a failed relationship, hangs, like many recent breakups, in a sense of suspension. The cloudy, wistful “Social Jetlag,” bustling with samples of crowded streets, features the type of candid, off-the-cuff lyrics that make the entire effort immediately illuminating.

        Recorded at multiple studios across New York City, a cabin in upstate New York, and even Los Angeles (including the home studio of Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, who helped engineer part of the album), Somersault turns the newfound chemistry between the trio into a sonic tapestry. Due to the variety of sessions and recording locations, the album was a Frankenstein-like series of reworking and reimagining songs. As the group pieced together different parts in a cycle of creation and cooption, and built out more elaborate songs track by track, the process became more reminiscent of a record created via sampling and arranging than one built by simply grinding out riffs. The long-simmering album, filled with breezy music both melancholic and uplifting, sees the band channeling their voices and honing their craft. Flowing between shimmering compositions and immersive soundscapes, Somersault evokes the laid-back mood of a warm, breezy city night, the air crackling with humidity and excitement. These songs pulse and pull, capturing a blend of promise and heartache. It’s beautiful and layered, a refined, sweeping creation that threads together numerous styles, textures, and themes into a refreshing, singular vision.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Mine says: Worried I wouldn't be able to do it justice with my review, I was trying to come up with an all-encompassing adjective that best describes this jewel of an album and all I could think of was: 'nice'. Yes. Nice. Sounds boring? Let me elaborate. ‘Somersault’ is the first album Dustin Payseur's Beach Fossils recorded in 4 years and while they haven't exactly reinvented their sound, ‘Somersault’ sees them digress slightly from their lo-fi bedroom jangles to hook-laden and captivating baroque inspired pop. Jazz flutes, harpsichords and strings make regular appearances and even a sampled hip hop beat is cleverly introduced without distracting from what essentially is a jangly guitar pop album. Melancholy yet uplifting, dreamy yet catchy, nostalgic yet inspiring, the summery ‘Somersault’ will still be on heavy rotation come rain and snow and it might possibly be the nicest thing you will hear this year. Yes, I'm using the word nice again. Because sometimes nice is just what you need.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl.

        LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        Horsebeach is the Manchester-based project masterminded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Ryan Kennedy. Two years on from the chiming majesty of II, he returns with Beauty And Sadness - ten rain-soaked vignettes touching on love, loss, regret and remorse. Conceptual, confessional and boldly melodic, it’s a deeply textured LP fusing the familiar C86 jangle with chirping synths, grooving rhythms and expansive ambience whilst meditating on break ups and fuck ups with striking lyrical honesty.

        Melancholic, but never miserable, Beauty And Sadness is a celebration in the exquisite pain of longing. Named after Yasunari Kawabata's 1964 novel of the same name – a book which helped Kennedy through a difficult breakup – the source of the album’s title gives a clue as to what lies within, as Ryan explains; “It's about regret and an overlaying sense of loss but also a realisation of the beauty of starting again. I found some beauty in sadness, as it forced me to re-evaluate everything.”

        Although the sound may be a departure from Horsebeach's norm, the recording process remains the same with Kennedy overseeing all aspects of production. Taking full control of his melodic output, Beauty And Sadness is the third record to be released on Horsebeach’s own Alone Together imprint.

        Drawing on inspiration from either side of the Atlantic, both new and old, Horsebeach's music retains a certain appreciation to classic British guitar bands - The Smiths, Felt and groups from the C86 era are all indebted here. But Kennedy gives it a unique twist by delving into ambient electronics inspired by the likes of William Basinski and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. From the album’s dream-like intro - soft with velveteen pads and the delicate romanticism from a speech sample of Japanese author, Yukio Mishima - hazy synths give way to propulsive percussion, rippling guitars and soaring chord progressions as the band’s bittersweet signature sound evolves with newfound poise and purpose.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: From the saturated digital wavetable weirdness of the opening track, “Theme For Beauty” it would appear that Kennedy has taken a rapid turn from the hazy janglearica of his previous outings, but that only makes the impact of the later tracks all the more profound. Immediately we delve into the longing sorrow of “Alone”, as hummable as it is refined. The staggering majesty of “How Far Must We Go?” rolling and strutting forward confidently into the CR-78-led “Breeze”, a fitting closer to the 'Beauty' Chapter. “Theme For Sadness” once again revisits the synth-heavy mist of the first track before opening the doors for the profoundly memorable closing tetralogy. It is undeniable that we'll get a measure of stick for this, but if you wrote music this good, you'd be in our end of year list too. A majestic and unrivalled work of thought provoking, but ultimately impeccable rainy summer anthems.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
        Limited edition clear vinyl.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet have always been an impossible band to pin down. Sending out echoes of jazz, electronica, ambient music and minimalism, the group created their own singular, cinematic sound over the course of three studio albums, from their 2007 breakthrough 'Knee-Deep in the North Sea', and 2010 John Leckie produced 'Isla', to the self titled record 'Portico Quartet' in 2012. Now rebooted as Portico Quartet after a brief spell as the three-piece Portico, the group's fourth album is on shop favourite, Matthew Halsall's, Gondwana records. Heralding a return to their mesmeric signature sound but also featuring fresh new sonic departures, the band's comeback was so eagerly anticipated that their four-night run at London's Archspace in June, sold out in less than an hour.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        David says: Released on shop favourite, Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana label, Portico Quartet’s fourth album ‘Art In The Age Of Automation’ is a mesmeric, neo classical masterpiece. Sometimes the neo classical tag can be more of an insult than a compliment, bringing to mind Debenhams at dinner time piano, or the soundtrack to a documentary about the retreat from Stalingrad. Portico Quartet however, sidestep these comparisons by looking towards their contemporaries, visionaries like Floating Points and the more electronic moments of Radiohead, are as much of an influence as classic ambient artists such as Steve Reich and Brian Eno. ‘Art In The Age Of Automation’ is a genuinely beautiful listening experience. A languid journey through the full spectrum of sound, bookended by the rise and fall of the sun, melodies reflecting in its rays as the world, for these brief moments at least, let’s us drift away together in some kind of hard won harmony.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        Michael Nau returns with his new album, Some Twist, on Full Time Hobby. Some Twist is the follow up to 2016’s Mowing and its announcement comes amidst a flurry of recent activity. Two weeks ago, Nau debuted songs from Some Twist on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and headlined two sold out shows on back-to-back nights in Los Angeles. He has received extensive BBC radio play and been selected as a “6 Music Recommends” pick. Oneoff single “Love Survive” cracked the top 50 on Spotify's Global Viral Chart and Elton John has played Nau on his Beats1 show.

        The first single from Some Twist is “Good Thing”. Bright piano and fingerpicked guitar weave together throughout the song with a chorus that swells with feedback fuzz and crashing percussion. Nau’s ever-present sense of humor, one of the hallmarks of his songwriting, gives the song a wry sense of purpose amidst its reflection.

        “His masterful instinct for arrangement, along with his reedy voice, earns Nau a place in the rock’n’roll underdogs’ Hall of Fame.” - Pitchfork

        "A beguiling debut - a warm bath of baroque pop, country and Hazlewood-like balladry" - Uncut

        “Recalls cadences of 1970s Ned Doheny and solo David Byrne, with a hint of Brian Wilson” - The Fader

        "A breezy, laid-back union between country, folk, and classic pop" The Line of Best Fit

        "Intimate and inviting" Q

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: This gorgeous LP was made in the heat, to be listened to in the heat. Michael Nau is an American singer-songwriter who’s previously been in a couple of bands, but went solo in 2016 with his lovely debut record, ‘Mowing’. It was all good and garnered decent praise, but ‘Some Twist’ is a brilliant progression and something you absolutely need in your life! Conjuring warm, 70s, analogue sounds in a country, folky, gently psychy style, these are supremely melodic songs, beautifully sung. Nau has the sweetest voice which glides between the fruity, deep croon of a more wistful Fred Neil and the light, flutey flightiness of a star-sailing Harry Nilson. Not bad, eh? But it's the texture of the album with its FX laden guitars, beat box grooves, echoes, horns, fuzz and static, which really entrances. You'll think you've stumbled upon a long-lost West Coast, classic LP. You have. But it's Nau!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
        Indies exclusive orange vinyl.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        Captured Tracks have the album you've all been waiting for. Mac Demarco's 'This Old Dog' is finally upon us and for long-term fans or new listeners alike, it's a treat. Starting with the warming tribute, 'My Old Man' which begins rich with woody CR78 percussion and sumptuous acoustic guitar, soon to break into Demarco's unmistakeable vocal drawl. As the chorus grows from the tapestry of sound, the warmth of the reticent synth swells surrounds the stero image in a comforting blanket of organic haze. It's indicative of Demarco's earlier work, but more confidently approached, brilliantly minimal still but undeniably rich in it's simplicity. 

        'Baby You're Out' grows from a more off-centred rhythmic approach but undergoes a shuffling transformation to swoon into the folky redux of the main choral refrain, it's an approach that could be jarring but in the capable sonwriting hands of the man himself, it predictably goes by without a hitch. Speaking of transformations, Mac seems to undergo a tranformation himself from shuffled syncopator into sleazy lounge singer in the oozingly laid-back 80's synth sizzle of 'For The First Time'. Decending digital pads and simmering DX7 tines coalesce into a melting-pot of reverb and polyester garments. 

        There are pieces here like 'Sister' that really display the no-frills talent that has endeared us all to him for so long, comprising of hazy pitch-shifted guitar sitting right back in the mix while heartbreaking lyrics swim ever so briefly around the wistful plucking. 'Dreams From Yesterday' oozes with crackling tubes and hazy summer dreams to counteract the minimal aura of it's precident. And so it continues, from warm and full-bodied to cold and reticent, there isn't a bad moment here, only different emotions conveyed through a variety of techniques, and every one of them perfectly executed. 




        STAFF COMMENTS

        Mine says: "Mac DeMarco must be some kind of joke act, right?" Has this thought ever crossed your mind? I came across it in a festival review and I felt for the poor guy who just didn't seem to get what Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV (I'll give you a moment to let that settle in...) is all about. If you can relate but somehow feel intrigued, 'This Old Dog' is your perfect entryway into the wacky world of Mac DeMarco. It seems like everyone's favourite sleaze man is trying to show us that he has grown up, without having lost an inch of his quirkiness. It is okay to be vulnerable sometimes, the songs about his troubled relationship with his father seem to confess, just don't bury your head in the sand. 'This Old Dog' is stripped back, simpler and therefore easier to digest than his previous outings. It's dreamy and reflective but always light-hearted, and will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest. Careful, though, you might feel like you're floating on a cloud.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
        Indies exclusive red vinyl.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        That we live in a world changed is beyond question. Since 2015’s Zenith, Berlin-based songwriter Molly Nilssonhas surrendered to the world, traveling from Mexico to Glasgow, observing the changing socio-political landscape and imagining a better world. For an artist who has so successfully created her own environment and gradually let others in, her 8th studio album Imaginations sees Nilsson directly engaging with her surroundings, engendering change and allowing love in.

        Molly has built an almost 10 year career on perfectly summing up how we feel and this is no different... W ho else could write a song about privilege (Let’s Talk About Privileges) and make a heart-r endi ng c hor us of “It ’s never being afraid of the police, it’s expecting every thank you, every please.” The artist’s vision on this album is perhaps more forceful than the emotionally fragile moments of previous album Zenith, at times exemplified on songs like Memory Foam, a bright, driving pop song that belies themes of nostalgia and the past, reminding us that Molly alone can make us feel so welcome in loneliness.

        If there’s overt anger in songs like Money Never Sleeps, an anthem for a post-capitalist utopia if ever there was one, there’s also seams of optimism sewn into the album’s genetic code. A ny revolutionary will tell you that anger alone achieves nothing - Nilsson’s mission on Imaginations is to offer some alternatives we can hold close. Not Today Satan is a song about accepting love as the agent of change; “D on’t be sad, but do get mad at all the small men who act so tall, in the end they always fall; there ain’t no sin in giving in to love, that’s just how we’re winning the f i g h t . ”

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Sil says: This is perhaps the poppiest album we have had in the shop this year. Catchy and sweet yet unique and elaborate in its message. Swedish Molly Nilsson transports you back to the 80s with her synth drenched compositions. This is not polished glossy plastic mainstream pop. ‘Imaginations’ has an overall home-made feel to it, reminiscent of the cold wave genre and dark side of post punk 80s aesthetics. The melodies are smart and ingenious in places yet they manage to pull together a great result when coupled with the potent lyrics and themes covered in tracks like “Let’s Talk About Privileges”, “Not Today Satan” or “Modern World”. The main characteristic in this great LP is the balance in place between evoking an array of emotions whilst sounding carefully detached from it all. As a whole this is an album where intensely personal music and universally understood pop converge successfully. A future classic indeed.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        19 - The Moonlandingz

        Interplanetary Class Classics

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        They began as a fictional band from a fictional town featured on the Eccentronic Research Council’s 2015 concept album Johnny Rocket, Narcissist And Music Machine… I’m Your Biggest Fan. Now The Moonlandingz have lurched, sticky and bleeding, into the real world and are releasing the first great album of 2017.

        Interplanetary Class Classics, released on Transgressive Records, is a feast of swirling juddering synths, wailing guitars, motorik stomp and extraordinary songwriting. The Moonlandingz have proven themselves to be one of the best live bands in the UK (“Magnificent, cosmic and batshit!” said The Quietus. “Feral antics and louche anarchy!” said The Guardian) and now they’ve produced an album of proper weird catchy glorious filthy pop.

        The Moonlandingz is Eccentronic Research Council’s Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer in cahoots with Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi (aka frontman Johnny Rocket) and Saul Adamczewski. They recorded the album with Sean Lennon at his studio in upstate New York. Also on the record: Randy Jones the Cowboy from The Village People, Rebecca Taylor from Slow Club, drummer Ross Orton, bassist Mairead O’Connor, Phil Oakey and YOKO fucking ONO, who sings and yowls on epic closer This Cities Undone.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: From being featured on Eccentronic Research Council’s ‘Johnny Rocket, Narcissist & Music Machine... I’m Your Biggest Fan’ 2015 album as a fictional band from the fictional South Yorkshire district of Valhalla Dale, the Moonlandingz have now stepped out into the real world. Comprising of Eccentronic Research Council’s Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer along with Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski, the Moonlandingz have delivered a fantastic piece of wacked-out scuzzy electronic pop. With fizzing synths, pummelling free-style percussion, and filthy grooves these anarchic motorik stompers bring to mind a mix of Can, the Cramps’ horror-rock, and Iggy Pop from the year 3000. Recorded with Sean Lennon in upstate New York and featuring a whole hosts of unlikely guests; Randy Jones (the cowboy from the Village People), Phil Oakey and Yoko Ono amongst many others, ‘Interplanetary Class Classics’ is a surreal and wonderful trip to a sinister futuristic kosmische-dancefloor.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
        180g heavyweight vinyl.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Albums. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler.
        Click HERE for more info.


        Yes! A brand new Charlatans album. Needless to say we're dead excited about this.

        Includes loads of guest, inc. Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Kurt Wagner from Lambchop, Ian Rankin, Nic from Factory Floor... 

        More info soon.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Laura says: Sounding like a natural progression from their triumphant ‘Modern Nature’ album, ‘Different Days’ has a similar uplifting, groove infused vibe but adds in a few more experimental influences along the way with synths and samples scattered in amongst their trademark guitar, bass and keyboards. They've recruited a whole host of friends to contribute to the album, with each adding their own stamp, be it musically from the likes of Johnny Marr, Paul Weller and New Order's Gillian and Stephen, or as in the case of novelist Ian Rankin and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, brilliant spoken word pieces. And on top of all that, Tim's sweet soulful vocals are better than ever, teetering perfectly between melancholic and resolutely joyful.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.


        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.


        Cassette Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.


        7" Box Set Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.
        5 x 7" box set.

        21 - Aldous Harding

        Party

        Igniting interest with her eponymous debut album released just two years ago, Auckland’s Aldous Harding has become known for her sinister torch songs, gentle laments and eerie odes delivered with a charismatic combination of hubris, shrewd wit and quiet horror.

        Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) in Bristol, a world away from her New Zealand home, Party introduces a new talent to the stark, dramatic realm where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside. As well as contributions from Parish, Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas also lends vocals to the aforementioned ‘Imagining My Man’ and album closer ‘Swell Does The Skull’.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Beautifully produced brittle organic compositions, rich with orchestral accompaniment, emotive vocal outpourings and sensitively tackled emotional heft. The languid gothic morosity of slow-builders like requiem 'Horizon' being skilfully and effectively offset with less gloomy but equally brittle numbers, balancing the weight from a cornucopia of unsettling heft into a smooth, and varied ride. Brilliant.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited indie store exclusive edition includes a one-sided 7” of brand new track, ‘Elation’.

        Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Mogwai return with their 9th studio album which was recorded with renowned producer Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lip’s, Mogwai’s Come On Die Young and ROCK ACTION) at his Tarbox Road Studios in New York State.

        'Every Country's Sun' named after a friends lack of knowledge in how the universe works, takes two decades of Mogwai's signature, contrasting sounds and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria. It will definitely appeal to fans of the band and will gain many new ones along the way.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: I'll admit, there was a moment when I wondered if Mogwai could really do it again... it was fleeting and then it was quashed. 'Every Country's Sun' is every bit the refined, gripping journey we've come to expect from Mogwai. A perfectly balanced and impeccable accomplished juxtaposition of their early, post-rock roots and their more recent forays into stunning melodicism.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive heavyweight 180 gram double clear vinyl edition.

        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        2xLP Info: Heavyweight 180 gram double black vinyl.

        2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Anxiety about the precarious nature of reality is a recurring thread on Protomartyr's 4th full-length and Domino debut, Relatives In Descent. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme: the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that unknowing. It's no coincidence this missive comes to us at a moment when disinformation and garbled newspeak have become a daily reality. “I used to think that truth was something that existed, that there were certain shared truths, like beauty,” says Protomartyr singer Joe Casey. “Now that’s being eroded. People have never been more skeptical, and there’s no shared reality. Maybe there never was.”

        Relatives In Descent offers new layers and new insights, without sanding any of the edges born from their days as a Detroit bar band. Greg Ahee’s guitar still crackles and spits electricity. Casey's voice continues to shift naturally between dead-eyed croon and fevered bark. Drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson remain sharp and propulsive, a rhythm section that’s as agile as it is adventurous. But this is also Protomartyr at their most impressive. After months of rehearsal, the band decamped to Los Angeles for two weeks in March of 2017, to record with Sonny DiPerri (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors), who co-produced the record and helped capture the band’s long-simmering vision for something more complex, but no less visceral.

        It all begins with ‘A Private Understanding,’ pegged as the album's opening statement the second it was finished, and a wellspring from which the following eleven songs flow. At once beautiful and brutal, it mutates from drum-led oddity to unlikely anthem, with some of Casey’s most potent lyrical work at its centre: “Sorrow's the wind blowing through/Truth is hiding in the wire.”


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Another vicious sneering assault from Protomartyr, melodic but heavy AF. Punky progressions, brilliantly heavy production values, and an innate knowledge on dynamics and keeping things interesting make this a bracing and rewarding listen. Thrashing from exotica-tinged hardcore freak-outs, Bad Religion-esque skate-punk bravado and classic melodic progressions. A superb marriage of songwriting prowess and kinetic force.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Special edition indies only blue coloured vinyl (also includes fold-out poster, zine insert featuring lyrics & original illustrations, and download code).

        Grammy Award winning singer songwriter, virtuoso bassist and long-standing member of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder family, Thundercat returns with his incredible new album ‘Drunk’.

        23 tracks deep, ‘Drunk’ features an insane cast of guests including Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and certified legends Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.

        For fans of Flying Lotus, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino. 2016 saw Thundercat win his first Grammy award for his contribution to ‘These Walls’ from Kendrick Lamar’s opus ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. He also played the landmark Brainfeeder showcase at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Flying Lotus, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Shabazz Palaces and The Gaslamp Killer and he released the single ‘Bus In These Streets’ to universal acclaim. He also guested on Comedy Central’s Why? With Hannibal Buress and cult late-night talk show The Eric André Show.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Thundercat returns with more mutant funk noodle and hypnotic concentric boogie on this brand new TWENTY THREE! track album. Boasting a stunning array of guest stars including long time homies Kendrick, Pharell, Wiz Cauliflower, Fly Lo and Kamasi alongside yacht rock heroes Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, this is an arena spectacular of an LP. Ambitious and excellent future funk.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        CD Info: CD softpack with artworked booklet housed in a cardboard outer slipcase.

        4xLP Box Set Info: Box set comprising four red vinyl 10”s housed in 3mm spined sleeves with artworked inners and digital download codes. Photography by Eddie Alcazar, artwork by Zack Fox and art direction by Adam Stover.

        The second album from Alvvays, Antisocialites, is set for release on Transgressive Records. Across ten tracks and thirty-three minutes, the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates.

        To write Antisocialites, Rankin traveled to Toronto Island, working in an abandoned schoolroom by day and sleeping a few feet from shore at night. “I carried a small PA on the ferry in a wheelbarrow,” she recalls. “Every morning I would listen to my favourite records on the beach, then I'd write melodies and record demos in the classroom.”

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: Alvvays burst onto the scene with the instant classic "Marry Me, Archie" and a debut record that grew into a word-of-mouth mini hit. It was mid-80's UK indie-pop all over again, but perfectly done. "Antisocialites" is cut from a similar cloth, but seemingly adding The Smiths and the Shop Assistants to their Mary Chain template. It works! It's brilliant!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive coloured vinyl.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Since bursting out of the UK's soulful electronic underground alongside SBTRKT and James Blake back in 2010, Sampha's worked at his craft with a quiet and assured confidence. Though he's steadily released a string of precise and poignant singles over the past few years, the London artist has managed to fly just under the radar, revelling in the creative freedom this lack of attention affords. Still just twenty seven years old, he has lent his vocal, production and songwriting talents to a range of standout releases, from UK contemporaries such as FKA twigs, Jessie Ware and SBTRKT to world-renowned superstars like Drake, Kanye West and, most recently this year, on Frank Ocean’s "Endless" and Solange’s "A Seat At The Table" albums. Now it’s time for Sampha to tell his own story and "Process", produced by Sampha himself and Rodaidh McDonald, is set to be his defining musical statement. To paraphrase the previously mentioned Yeezy, Sampha's kept all the best shit for himself here, topping those critically acclaimed songwriting credits with a set of experimental soul and futurist R&B which explores grief with sincerity and sensitivity. Overwhelmed by the loss of his mother to cancer, the London musician poured his heart into the piano, raising his game to treat us to ten existential, poetic and occasional cryptic studies of the human condition. In turns fragile, tense and terse, but always alive with pure melodic beauty, "Process" is a stunning debut from a future superstar.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Delayed by three busy years spent writing and producing for the entirety of America's R&B A-list, Sampha finally finds time to release his debut LP, "Process". Meditating on the loss of his mother to cancer, the London musician packs this ten track set with emotional expression, existential exploration and heartbreaking synth-soul melodies - well worth the wait.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

        Bristol’s finest post-punk polemics IDLES have been promising to do great things for some time now, and with their debut album “Brutalism” they absolutely fulfil that promise, and a furious promise at that. Politically charged, refreshingly confrontational and infectiously volatile, IDLES are a band like no other. Bringing the unsettling reality of the world we live in into their frantic assault on the senses, they are a band that until now could only be truly understood by witnessing in a live environment - but with “Brutalism” it surely feels like they have captured the intensity of that live sound.

        Bottled up here are the abrasive, memorable lyrics of Joseph Talbot delivered with all of the spite and wry humour he puts across on the stage .Dedicated in part to the loss of his mother, who adorns the record’s cover, and partly to a perceived decimation of society, from the NHS to public services across Britain, “Brutalism” is a deadly serious indictment on popular culture. 

        “Idles are one of the most exciting British bands right now and Brutalism is the proof”-The Line Of Best Fit

        ”Visceral anthems that’s timed weirdly well for this year’s madness“ NME

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Snarling, pretence-free modern post-punk perfection from Bristol's very own Idles. From the slamming power-chord mayhem of “Well Done”, laying into Tarquin and his love of reggae and football, to the throbbing hook-laden 'Rachel Khoo', this is an unrelenting but perfectly formed juxtaposition of melodic sensibility and brazen, all-out aural warfare. Killer.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited to 300 copies on transparent light blue vinyl housed in gatefold sleeve with card inner. Comes with download code.

        A conversation between friends, documented in raw, unvarnished song form, brimming with personal history, crackling with energy and shot through with humour - this is the collaborative album of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. Two of the most acclaimed and gifted song writers of our generation “Lotta Sea Lice” also sees them roping in friends such as Dirty Three, Stella from Warpaint and Mick Harvey to create a body of work that sounds organic & candid.

        The shared chemistry is immediately apparent in the breathtaking jam of opener and first single “Over Everything”, with dovetailing vocal lines and intricate, shimmering guitar stylings from the pair. The lyrics play out as a rambling dialogue as they compare notes about song-writing and inspiration – it was the first song written for this project, and comes accompanied by a beautiful black and white video from Australian director Danny Cohen which features Courtney and Kurt swapping lines over series of jaw dropping backdrops in rural Victoria and New Jersey as well as Melbourne and Philadelphia. It’s deceptively simple but incredibly effective.

        Other tracks include the bluesy “Let it Go”, which itself was inspired by texts and emails between the duo, and the drop dead gorgeous ‘Continental Breakfast”, which showcases a more melodic side as the two harmonise over finger-picked acoustic guitars.

        There are even more surprises in store, however, when the pair tackle each other’s tracks, with Vile delivering a delicious, souped-up version of “Outta the Woodwork” backed by Barnett herself, and Barnett taking on Vile’s “Peepin’ Tomboy” completely solo, to spine tingling results. The overall effect is that of Barnett and Vile throwing open the doors to their house to listeners - this is certainly Courtney and Kurt’s party alright, but this time, everyone is invited.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: Originally intended as a one-off 7-inch single ("Over Everything") but quickly developing into so much more, this album features a handful of originals (all excellent!) a couple of covers (Jen Cloher and the Breeders) and both heroes doing a version of each other's songs. More Kurt than Courtney, but hey, that's alright! The slacker king and queen create something kooky'n'cool with some nice tunes to boot!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        From Mount Kimbie:

        “We're both excited to announce that our new album, 'Love What Survives' will be released on the 8th of September on Warp Records. It's been a fascinating process that has changed us as a band and we're feeling great about how it's come together. Can't wait to share our third album with you”

        “Love What Survives” is the long awaited third studio album from Mount Kimbie. It’s the most confident statement of intent from the boundary-pushing duo yet, and an embodiment of their career-long musical progression.

        ‘Blue Train Lines’ demonstrates the progression and evolutionary journey the band have embarked on since the release of 2013’s “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth”. The track centres on a motorik rhythm section, heightened and enhanced by long-time collaborator and friend King Krule’s jagged vocal bursts and pulsing synths.

        The album is the product of three years of intense creative development, continually honed by the duo writing and rewriting their ideas to form something wholly idiosyncratic and personal. It brings together the voices of their close friends and collaborators - who together represent a corner of the UK’s young artistic talent - James Blake, Micachu and King Krule, within the immersive, unique atmosphere of a Mount Kimbie album.

        The record’s expansive nature is indebted to the fact it was made between London where Kai Campos resides and Los Angeles where Dom Maker moved in 2016. The duo would travel back and forth to work together, cultivating ideas in intensive sessions. For Maker, putting down roots in a foreign city with its cultural differences and geographical vastness was alienating at first but it gave fresh perspective and inspiration.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: On Mount Kimbie's first full-length outing since 2013's 'Cold Spring Fault Less Youth', we get their most raw and uncompromising outing yet. A Semblance of the gritty, energetic UKG aesthetic seeping into the fractured beats and subby kick, while electronic glimmers and low-fi punk influences from across the pond are smoothly and euphorically juxtaposed into audio gold by these talented producers.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Independent retailers exclusive on white coloured double vinyl with gatefold sleeve and digital download card.

        “When I was first told about Duds, it came with the considered opinion that the guys were far from what you’d call ‘careerists’. ‘They don’t take themselves too seriously’ was another comment. I could have taken this as a warning that they weren’t in it for the right reasons—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. From my perspective Duds simply won’t bend over backwards to ‘get on’. They do what they do and you can take it or leave it. I took it—with both hands…with a vice-like grip. They have the invention and urgency of Edinburgh legends The Fire Engines. The PostPunk ethic. Short songs, short sets = short album.

        “They’re one of the most thrilling bands I’ve seen in years—and the fact that they’re releasing this brilliant piece of work on the Castle Face label adds the last piece of a perfect ‘outsider’ jigsaw puzzle. Duds sitting alongside Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Useless Eaters, et al. There is a god!” —Marc Riley, June 2017

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Laura says: Snare drums rattle like automatic gunfire, crashing cymbals are scattered amongst jagged guitar shards and dead pan vocals. Fiery sub three minute post-punk gems with a nod to the sounds coming out of both Glasgow and Manchester in the early/mid 80s, think Josef K, Fire Engines, bIG fLAME....

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: UK Exclusive clear vinyl edition.

        LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

        After seemingly coming out of nowhere, Your Old set the internet aflame in 2014 with his self-titled debut EP, catching the attention of bloggers all over the web from New York Magazine’s Vulture to NahRight.com. Before long, conspiracy theories started and people began to posit that Droog was another older, legendary New York rapper in disguise. Profiled in The New Yorker, Droog (meaning “friend” in Russian) set the record straight about who he was: a twenty-something Ukrainian immigrant who fell in love with hip-hop when he arrived in South Brooklyn as a small child.

        The timbre of his voice resembled that of a hip-hop legend but Droog’s content had more to it than street dreams or observations from a project window. His music reflected his own unique life experience as he referenced everything from sports, to crime, to Seinfeld and C-Span in his rhymes. He was an intelligent hoodlum with a stand-up comedian’s sense of humor—unafraid to be as self-deprecating as he was self-aggrandizing. On his critically-acclaimed debut, the Your Old Droog LP, he vowed to “bring back storytelling” and now on his sophomore album, PACKS, Droog delivers on that promise. In addition to the raw rhyme displays on songs like the Alchemist-produced, “Winston Red” Droog flexes his narrative muscles both comically (“My Girl Is A Boy”) and dramatically (“G.K.A.C”) on this new album.
         

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: One of rap music's most charismatic newcomers, Your Old Droog follows up his Nas-indebted rise to fame with fourteen punchy sagas from the streets. Cloaked in understated demeanour and garb, Droog delivers a flow so fierce, quick-fired and inventive it could have only come from life in New York. Alongside Ratking's Wiki, Droog is keeping the OG hip-hop spirit alive in NYC.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Smoke coloured vinyl

        32 - Farbror Resande Mac

        Farbror Resande Mac

          After a slew of 12"s and a mini-album for the likes of Aficionado, Mystic & Quantum and Is It Balearic, Stockholm's Farbror Resande Mac return to Horisontal Mambo with their debut LP proper. If you've caught their drift on any of those dreamy excursions you may be expecting a sumptuous blend of cosmic bleeps, languorous grooves and dubby percussion. Well, you'd be right, as the Swedish outfit fully deliver on the promise of those 12"s with a stripped back, strung out set of Balearic bliss tinged with that widescreen sound-design particular to Scandinavia. Synths oscillate mildly, drum machines stroll and acoustic guitar slow dances with the breeze, carrying each beautiful track into the next. Dive right in, you need a bit of this in your life!


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: The Swedish outfit’s debut albums delivers a stripped back, strung out set of Balearic beauty tinged with that widescreen sound-design particular to Scandinavia. Synths oscillate mildly, drum machines stroll blithely and acoustic guitar slow dances with the breeze, carrying each beautiful track into the next. Dive right in, you need a bit of this in your life!

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: LP with Translucent PP Sleeve, black inner and 30x30 cm heavy Cardboard Poster inlay

          CD Info: CD Digipack with 2 Bonus tracks (of mambo003 ep).

          The National return with their much anticipated seventh album, produced by Aaron Dessner, with additional production by Matt Berninger and Bryce Dessner. The album was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron’s Long Pond studio in Hudson Valley, NY.

          While in some ways it’s typically National-sounding, they’ve definitely added some new elements to their sound. Opening track “Nobody Else Will Be There” is a stripped back ballad with melancholic piano, and Matt’s distinct vocals, but the electronics pulsing away in the background are a sign of what’s to come with the album.

          All the usual elements are there, intricate guitars, delicate piano keys, scatter-shot drums and of course Matt’s mumbling/crooning baritone, but a new layer of electronics bubbling away in the mix adds a new dimension to their sound.

          As with the last couple of albums, it features mostly fairly downtempo ballads but they do ramp things up from time to time: “Day I Die”, “They System Only Dreams In Total” and the big rock-out track of the album, “Turtleneck”. It’s taken a few listens to get into it, but as a fan I’m certainly not disappointed.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Laura says: While in some ways it’s typically National-sounding, they’ve definitely added some new elements to their sound. All the usual elements are there, intricate guitars, delicate piano keys, scatter-shot drums and of course Matt’s mumbling/crooning baritone, but a new layer of electronics bubbling away in the mix adds a new dimension to their sound.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: INDIE EXCLUSIVE limited run edition pressed on BLUE vinyl. Comes in a gatefold sleeve, and includes a download card and poster.

          2xLP Info: Standard edition pressed on white vinyl. Comes in a gatefold sleeve, and includes a download card and poster.

          34 - Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

          Adiós Señor Pussycat

          Beautiful and evocative and recorded in his home-town of Liverpool between March 2016 and June 2017, the album is the culmination of four years of hard work. Equal to his finest moments, Adiós Señor Pussycat will undoubtedly only further cement his reputation as one of this generations greatest songwriters.

          Since a self-imposed hiatus in 2008, Michael Head has been working with a fluid concept of an ever-rotating band format to provide a flexible platform for the range of his new live and recorded works.

          ‘Under the guise of Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band in 2013, they released their sought-after debut EP, Artorius Revisited, and followed this with a double A sided 7”, Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears in 2015.

          A soulful and poetic genius, fate, bad luck and circumstance and often conspired to deny him his rightful dues. Loved and lauded by fellow artists and critics alike, he started out in the early 1980s with The Pale Fountains, with whom he recorded a brace of acclaimed albums, Pacific Street (1984) and …From Across The Kitchen Table (1985). He subsequently formed Shack with his brother John and went on to record five albums over almost twenty years including the much loved and acclaimed Waterpistol and HMS Fable in 1999 which saw the band briefly flirt with chart success and hailed from the cover of the NME as “our greatest songwriter”

          He also released, what is often regarded as his classic album, The Magical World Of The Strands under the name of Michael Head & The Strands in 1997, and with Shack currently on hiatus he has been performing under the Red Elastic Band guise for the past few years.

          The album features the following musicians:
          Michael Head - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
          Steve Powell - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
          Phil Murphy - Drums
          Tom Powell - Bass Guitar
          Nina - Piano
          Dan Rogers - Electric Guitar
          Rod Skipp - Cello
          Dewi Tudor Jones - Violin
          Helen Tonge - Viola
          Martin Smith - Trumpet
          Andy Diagram - Trumpet
          Simon James - Saxophone
          Steve Powell, Joanne Head, Phil Murphy, Mary McCombs - Backing Vocals
          Michael Head, Phil Murphy, Karina Townsend - Percussion


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: Good things come to those who wait! It's been 11 long years and here it is: a modern day singer-songwriter, folk pop classic! Sounding closer to his work as The Strands than Shack, this uses his love of The Byrds and late-60's folkies to create a modern masterpiece, timeless and true. Our "Greatest Living Songwriter" (thanks NME!) has delivered. It better hadn't be 11 years 'til the next one!

          Having come up with an annual-ish drop of 12”s since 2010, Even Brenden AKA Chmmr set aside the spring of 2016 to challenge himself to a new format: a full-length album. A true nostalgic, he uses Compass Pointera and early Italo sounds for inspiration and attempts to simulate these styles. This makes for a melodic, chuggy and graphic album that belongs a little more in the living room than on the dance floor. With 10 tracks of dusty rhythms and the honest, naive and spacious themes that is Brenden’s signature, it’s a record designed to signal that today’s technological future may not be as different as yesterday’s. Features a nicelooking cover painting drawn by the late Harold Cohen’s AARON program - automation at its finest.

          Hidden behind his Chmmr moniker is Even Brenden, whose summery debut found its way into the world via Norwegian psych-disco label Luna Flicks in 2010. The record became somewhat of a soughtafter item and after making pit stops at Relish, Dødpop and Untz Untz Records, he landed on Prins Thomas’ Full Pupp in 2014 and have stayed put ever since, all the while enjoying a steady habit of record jocking and the occasional keyboard duty in Telephones’ now-defunct live band. Even resides in Oslo makes odd waves without vowels.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Expect brilliantly deep swooning melodies, heavy-hitting progressive percussion and swaying detuned synth stacks. Cosmic atmospheres mix beautifully with serene pads and euphoric chilled lead lines. From the hypnotic, perfectly shaped bass throb of “Nine Chains...” to wildly cosmic, soaring arpeggiated ether of “Vim's Theme”, and onto Balearic, Rhodes-drenched numbers like “New Slam”, this is easily one of the best electronic records this year.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

          It was 2011's 'Galactic Melt' that really opened my eyes to the neon synthwave streaks and pulsing bass throbs of Seth Haley's Com Truise productions. Like a simmering mix of 80's Italo, and the more modern soundtrack emulations of Pye Corner Audio, Xander Harris, Panabrite etc. Fast forward 6 years,  during which there have been one studio album and 2 EP's and we get the majestic 'Iteration'. 

          Kicking things off with the dystopian shimmer of '...Of Your Fake Dimension' , led with a downtuned oscillator stack and skittering noisy hats, it sets the pace nicely without giving too much away, acting as an amuse oreille for the glowing journey that is to come.  'Ephemeron' takes things into another gear altogether, despite the reticence of the opening passage, things quickly build into a cacophony of echoing Linn drums and richoteing saw waves, underpinned by an ever-reliable machinated hi-hat flutter. 'Dryswch' weaves simmering pads together before leaping into a brutally fragmented bassline, twisting and turning around the solid foundation of hi-passed kicks (it is unusual for the drum parts to sit so high in the frequency spectrum, with most of the bass 'heavy lifting' often accomplished here by the bass guitar, the drums sitting in the low mids perfectly accentuating the throbbing churn of analogue oscillators). 

          Move a little further along and 'Propagation' gives us the first truly anthemic taste of an Italo summer stormer, with corused pads and sidechained chords giving way quickly to a glitched-out two-part discussion between pummeling staccato bass and FM synth stabs before breaking down once again into glassine chorused keys and 16th note clattering percussion. It's a formula that is tried and tested, but injected with the off-kilter production quirks so recognisable as Haley (automated distorted fragments and stuttering filtered degradation being a big part of his sound), leaving the listener conforted but fascinated in equal measure. 

          It is a stunning collection, supremely memorable, and warmly dynamic. There are moments of serene beauty and melancholic anthems, equally at home on the dancefloor as played at home for a gathering with friends. If they don't like it, get new friends. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: I always knew I liked Com Truise, there was just something that resonated with me (no pun intended), but never has it had as much of a pull as 'Iteration'. Stripped back into the constituent parts that made CT's music so enthralling without the sometimes distracting frenetic background makes this an unrivalled modern synth classic.

          37 - A Tribe Called Quest

          We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

          Just when it looked like The Avalanches had the 'unlikely comeback of the year' award sewn up, legendary hip hop ensemble A Tribe Called Quest return with their first album in eighteen years, months after the death of group member Phife Dawg. Recorded at Q-Tip's home studio after the group's reunion on Jimmy Fallon, the set sees Q-Tip, Phife and Jarobi swapping the mic at will, exchanging couplets and finishing each other's lines like they'd never been apart. Musically, "We Got It From Here..." finds the group flipping their well loved jazz samples into contemporary arrangements alive with collaborative performances from a whole host of A-list guests, while the free flowing lyrics meditate on culture, sociology and the total shit show which is US politics. As a longtime fan of ATCQ, I'd have been happy with a decent rehash of their early nineties stylings, but "We Got It From Here" excels with modern production and pointed subject matter, serving up a stinging critique of society's ills over the most infectious grooves. Simply put, it's a masterpiece.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Musically, "We Got It From Here..." finds the group flipping their well loved jazz samples into contemporary arrangements alive with collaborative performances from a whole host of A-list guests, while the free flowing lyrics meditate on culture, sociology and the total shit show which is US politics. Simply put, it's a masterpiece.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLtd LP Info: Limited double vinyl.

          38 - Do Make Say Think

          Stubborn Persistent Illusions

          Constellation Records are an important label, they have a host of massively important artists on their roster spawned from another massively important band, and a whole host that weren't. It's an epic and fascinating story which could easily be stretched into a dissertation. Maybe you'd do it better than I did.

          Point being, if you haven't heard the bands, you should. If you have, you won't want to hear any of this again, so i'll focus on the music. This is Do Make Say Think's first album since 2009's 'Other Truths', and seventh outing to date. DMST (as they shall hereafter be known to spare another 12k words) create tapestries of sound encompassing aspects of modern-classical, post-rock, jazz, drone and anything else you could name. Their compositions are the exponentially blooming result of boolean logic, exploding one way or the other, with infinite cycles of possibilites, and infinite fields of influence. Take opener 'War On Torpor', for example. Brimming with mystery from the opening dusty tape-saturated guitar and hi-passed rolling percusision, it quickly but succinctly develops into crescentic rock territory before switching out elements almost imperceptibly into a cascade of rhythm and heart-wrenching highs, developed with intent but doomed to stutter out once again. Follower, 'Horripilation' rises like a grooving, writhing phoenix from the ashes, fielding a tinny reverbed guitar and dusty ambience before rolling gracefully around the rhythmic guitar counterpoint and majestic anthemic highs of the mid-section and grooving mind-expanding psychedelic swoons of the latter third. It's a journey, and something you have to believe in. It might not be a standard verse/chorus affair but trust them, they know what they're doing.

          The brittle duo of 'Bound' and 'And Boundless' are at once a statement of beauty and a stunning cascade of doubt, bringing together affirming spine-tingling instrumental heft and majestic constructions (Bound) together with skittering pointilism and gothic ambient interludes, minor-key wandering progression and foggy echoed fields. All this before pulling out the undeniable optimism of 'Her Eyes On The Horizon', based around guitar and bass, and minimal percussives. A complete antithesis of everything that has come before it, and only suggested at in everything that comes after.

          Every piece on here is more than worthy of mention, and no less important to the story than the one preceding it, but in the interests of brevity i'll refrain from listing all of their nuances. It is safe to say however, that Do Make Say Think continue to be as important to music as they ever were, and their continuing innovation and experimentation. It is jazz that doesn't wander, it is instrumental music that speaks, it is delicate but bold experimental rock, it sounds like every band they've ever been compared to, and every band they haven't. A dichotomic juxtaposition in every sense and a brittle, beautiful, towering mountain. 


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Soaring instrumentals, jagged breakdowns, stunning ambience and grooving psychedelic twists. Bright and beautiful but unendingly complex rhythms, forged through melodies played a thousand times but executed like nothing you've ever heard. From the chamber-rock clanging of “War On Torpor”, to the euphoric post-rock classicism of “Return, Return Again”, this is perfection.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLP Info: 2x180gram gatefold vinyl includes etching on Side Four, 12x24 art print poster + 320kbps MP3 card.

          CD Info: CD in 100% recycled paperboard custom gatefold jacket.

          Once again, I heard the announcement, got excited and (not so patiently) waited. I guess I should be grateful that the time between announcement and release is exponentially smaller with most of Constellation's releases, this one even more so. Godspeed You! Black Emperor have returned for the first time since 2015's 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' with the monolithic behemoth that is 'Luciferian Towers'. From the very first moments of 'Undoing A Luciferian Towers' we get the richly evocative post-apocalyptic tremolo they've become so well known for, which slowly and purposefully grows, turning and writhing into a twisted mass of spine-tingling euphoria and tentative glimmers of light. I'm not entirely sure how reasonably simple chord changes can become such overwhelming tectonic shifts, but the evidence is plain for all to see, all encompassing darkness takes it's hold before bursting out into a repeated melodic refrain, soaring above the unearthly drone.

           As we move into the spellbinding trio of 'Bosses Hang' (parts 1-3) we start with a shuddering violin double-stop, shortly joined by a powerfully distorted, soaring single-note guitar riff, rising into a cataclysmic chaos that only GYBE can achieve. It is both meditative and overwhelming, and a whole world of contrasting adjectives reserved for bands that deserve them. Part two once again takes this quiet-loud formula but swaps out the reasonably lucid quiet section for a more unwieldy bowed maelstrom, keeping the soaring crescendo constrained within the confines of atonal chaos. Once again, a testament to the balance required to keep up this sort of fine-tuning of musicality and disarray, whilst retaining the spine-tingling highs of which we've become so fond.

           Fam_Famine once again hints at the repeated phrase suggested throughout this whole collection, with swells of string pushing through the fragmented patchwork of simmering drone below, glimmering glimpses of hope in an otherwise damned existence, acting as a superb counterpoint to the resolutely melancholic and stunningly beautiful closer of 'Anthem For No State'. Soaring tremolo weighted by off-kilter melodic bursts remind me in no small way of the (admittedly less frequent) glimpses of sunshine in 'Sings Reign Rebuilder', brought to earth with the static hum of the stunning Hiss Tracts LP, 'Shortwave Nights'.

          Comparing GY!BE to anyone else is in essence, fruitless. This is where it came from, and this is a concise and spine-tingling distillation of everything Godspeed ever were, and have recently become. It's a breathtaking and transportative wonder, brimming with melody, but balanced with an unmistakeable experimentation that only GY!BE can pull off. Stunner.



          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Think of the most spine-tingling moments from 'Slow Riot..' or 'Lift Your Skinny fists..' and mix them together, and you get this. A more optimistic (resigned?) affair, flickering from soaring purposeful guitar into earth-shaking orchestration. Just as meaningful, but condensed into a summary rather than a novel. A hugely necessary and vital addition into their already unbelievable catalogue.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: Luciferian Towers comes in a gatefold jacket printed on uncoated paperboard with a printed inner dust sleeve and a 24"x24" pull-out poster that re-caps all four of the artwork panels created by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the gatefold jacket.

          The trails that Brooklyn’s Big Thief -- Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums) -- take us down on Capacity, the band’s highly anticipated second record out 6/9 on Saddle Creek, are overgrown with the wilderness of pumping souls. After last year’s stunning Masterpiece, Capacity was recorded in a snowy winter nest in upstate New York at Outlier Studio with producer Andrew Sarlo. The album jumps right into lives marked up and nipped in surprisingly swift fashion. They are peopled and unpeopled, spooked and soothed, regenerating back into a state where they can once again be vulnerable. Lenker’s songs introduce us to a gallery of multifacted women and deal with the complicated matters of identity — at once dangerous and curious, though never unbelievable. Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open. Tricked into love, done in and then witnessing the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it to all happen again, but this time to a sturdier soul, one who is going to take the punches better than ever before and deal some jabs and roundhouses of their own. The album is thick with raw, un-doctored beauty: most of the songs on Capacity were played for the first time in the studio and were recorded the same day. “There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album,” Lenker explains. “The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a reaction from inside the pain, whereas I feel Capacity examines the pain from the outside.”

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Laura says: Following on from their aptly titled debut "Masterpiece", this Brooklyn four piece once again bring us a stunning collection of heartfelt songs. It's a beautiful album, at times sounding quite stripped back, with gently strummed guitars over crisp drum patterns, but it's the gentle intensity of Adrianne's vocals that really sets it apart.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Just managed to get a couple more of these, but you're gonna have to be quick if you want one!

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Girl Ray, the North London three-piece comprising 19 year-olds Poppy Hankin (guitar/vocals), Iris McConnell (drums) and Sophie Moss (bass), was formed two years ago when the band were still just 16 years old and in a twist of fate as symbolic as it was bittersweet, ‘Trouble’, their first single for Moshi Moshi was recorded on what would have been their final day of school.

          A band whose songs document the dramas of adolescence with a wit and wistfulness far beyond their years, Girl Ray are the sound of that uncertain period in everybody’s life when the rest of it starts to loom large, when feels are felt more intensely than ever before, and when every decision seems like a fork in the road on your way to adulthood. Being a teenager is a crucible of heightened emotions and transformative confusion from which the ‘real’ you will ultimately emerge, having fallen in love (and out again), outgrown friendships you thought would last forever, and changed in ways you never thought possible. What you typically won’t emerge with, however, is a debut album as richly evocative of the experience as ‘Earl Grey’.

          Recorded with their friend (and now touring guitarist) Mike O'Malley over two "intense and insane" weeks at Ramsgate's Big Jelly studios, Earl Grey is a record of invention and ambition, whose delicate, sun-dappled melodies dance around the inside of your skull like a flickering zoetrope of memories - some fond, others less so.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: It's crazy that the 3 women in Girl Ray are only 19 years old! The themes may be gloriously youthful but the playing is anything but! You could call it C86 era retro indie but that's doing them a bit of a disservice, as the unusual arrangements and lovely melodies make this a unique, fresh and totally now record. This is buoyant, charming, charismatic pop music!

          It's never a dull week when a new Pye Corner hits my desk, and this week is no exception. The Spiral is a shiny new suite of soundtracky churners, not entirely dissimilar to Mr Jenkins' early work for the Black Mill Tapes ; deeply powerful cinematic synthesis but stepped up a few BPM to be more in line with the most recent Ghost Box output. 

          We kick things off with the throbbing dystopian chase-music of 'Do You Hear Them' titled perfectly, bringing to mind the onset of adrenalised panic upon sensing impending danger. Quickly pushing towards the 'Flight' side of the phisiological response spectrum, shunning agression for quick-footed arpeggios and snappy toms, settling into a more relaxed but still emotionally charged close. As we move into 'Wake Up', the true majesty of this futuristic polarised wasteland comes into full panoramic view. Bassy churns are ridden with a saturated lead line, majestic and powerfully cinematic, before continuing into 'It May Not Be Real' which continues this theme but cleverly takes things in an altogether more sinister direction. The lead line becomes fractured and terse while the ambient churns form into menacing subby throbs and beatless rhythm. 

          Flip over and 'The Spiral' is by far the most direct offering on this visceral cinematic masterpiece, with soaring skittering melodies chirping around in the background while bit-crushed lead lines soar around the skittering percussion and heavily reverbed snare stabs. As it draws to a close, we segue into the concise closing duo of 'Descent and 'It Is Real', Brilliantly summarising this futuristic construction with optimistic but melancholic synthplay perfectly offset with graceful ambient restraint and simmering saturation. 


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Pye Corner Audio continues his foray into the realms of pseudo-soundtrackery, but this time opting for a near-beatless representation of the futuristic worlds he is so adept at constructing. Punctuated with ambient interludes, 'The Spiral' takes its time to portray the dystopian crumbling society. One of the true masters of cinematic synthesis, and still at the top of his game. IT IS REAL.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          10" LP Info: Limited edition transparent red vinyl.

          43 - Floating Points

          Reflections - Mojave Desert

          Floating Points began as the solo project of Sam Shepherd before it became clear the immersive, intricate nature of his music demanded expansion. Following his critically acclaimed debut Elaenia this is exactly what happened and Floating Points live became a band of incredibly talented musicians with Sam at the helm. Now, Floating Points has announced a new short film and soundtrack, featuring entirely new and unheard compositions - Reflections - Mojave Desert via Pluto on 30 June. The film, in collaboration with director Anna Diaz Ortuño, finds the ensemble in a thrilling sonic exploration of environment under an endless desert sky.

          “Whilst we were out playing and exploring the area around us - the sound reflecting from the rocks, the sound of the wind between them, complete stillness at night and packs of roaming coyotes in the distance, it became apparent that we could use this as its own unique recording environment.” - Sam Shepherd, Floating Points

          The first in a planned series of environmental recordings by Floating Points to be filmed and recorded at different locations around the world; the recording was made last year, as Floating Points travelled to the Mojave to rehearse in between US touring. Immediately struck by the distinct sonic tapestry created by the rock formations and valleys, Sam and the band set up a recording operation and filmed this new work at the base of the natural sculptures they encountered. The music of Reflections - Mojave Desert mirrors the landscape: soaring and vast, dynamic and intimate, centred around two longer works and shorter pieces that create a singular and seamless experience.

          Reflections - Mojave Desert begins with chords played on a Rhodes Chroma and recorded with a surround sound microphone. Throughout the filming, microphones were placed throughout the landscape to capture the natural sonic textures of the desert: the undulating sound of wind, a bird call, the rustling of bushes and more created a backdrop on which much of the record rests. The music softly shifts from the Fender Rhodes introduction to ‘Silurian Blue’, an expansive full band piece that balances refined restraint with explosiveness. In one scene, ‘Kites’, Sam Shepherd walks through a valley with a super directional microphone, swinging it back and forth as a synthesiser loop gets faster to showcase the natural reverb and shifting phase of sound waves. ‘Kelso Dunes’ signals the film’s final act: the sky grows dark, lasers flash, the band and rocks gleaming in the pitch black around them.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Floating Points is in peerless form at the moment, and "Reflections" could well be his most emotive piece to date. A meditation on the Mojave Desert, the disc sees Shepherd sweeping through kosmische synth drones, glistening arps and celestial jazz like only he can.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP Info: LP & DVD.

          Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music on ‘Death Song’ serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. “Currency,” a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion.

          Recorded between Seattle and Austin, ‘Death Song’ features production from Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins). The 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound - menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream.

          The band will tour extensively behind ‘Death Song’, including a headline set at one of the first-ever shows at new NYC venue Brooklyn Steel on May 2nd. Full itinerary below for “The Death March Tour”, which begins in Nashville. The band will be supported by A Place to Bury Strangers.

          Since forming in Austin in 2004, The Black Angels have become standard-bearers for modern psych-rock, and the New York Times has said they “play psychedelic rock as if the 1960s never ended, and they are absolute masters of it”. The band has toured with Queens of the Stone Age, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Keys + more, and played festivals such as Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Primavera, Coachella and Bonnaroo. Two of the band members co-founded Levitation Festival (formerly Austin Psych Fest) in 2008, which has since grown into one of the best-reviewed and expertly-curated festivals in the country (returning in 2018).

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Twisting psychedelic passages, heavy wig-outs and tripped-out percussion. Brilliantly sedate in parts, only to soar into a mind-bending sunny haze of reverbed vocals and astral delay. Taking influence from all over the psychedelic spectrum, with throbbing single-note guitar lines meeting rolling, pulsing bass distortion and pitch-shifted screaming guitar.

          Forest Swords, aka acclaimed Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes, returns with his eagerly anticipated new full-length record.

          “Compassion" engages with an uncertain world we’re experiencing, distilling it into a unique sound territory: Barnes' exploration of the mid-point between ecstasy and frustration, artificial and human feels timely and affecting. The result is an assured, compelling body of work, tying together the ancient and future: weaving swathes of buzzing digital textures, field recordings, clattering beats and distorted jazz sax with fizzing orchestral arrangements.

          "Like many, with all that's been going on since I started making the record, I've struggled to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel," says Barnes, "so I realised there's some sort of power in trying to create our own instead. I'm inspired by the ways we're communicating now, for better or worse, and thinking about new channels we can distribute ideas. The idea of looking for flexible future ways of expression and language, that bends to our needs quicker, really excites me”. Barnes launched the record with a unique experiment in new ways to disseminate music, personally sending album tracks through messaging app WhatsApp to anyone who asked.

          The album shifts from 'The Highest Flood's skeletal bounce to 'Panic's claustrophobic paranoia; the rapturous hyperballad 'Arms Out' to the windswept and cinematic ‘Knife Edge’, navigating through the orchestral glitch of 'War It' to decaying jazz thump of ‘Raw Language’. The album is equal parts disorienting and immersive, balancing bold sweeping gestures and crumbling textures; tracks seemingly disintegrating and reassembling at points across the album. Blending both digital and specially recorded brass, strings and vocals, Barnes's processing never truly makes it clear what's new or old, sampled or unique, constantly blurring and toying with the line between digital and acoustic.

          There will also be a variety of multidisciplinary projects set to run through his Dense Truth umbrella over the coming year: collaborations across dance, performance, film and music. Previous Forest Swords projects include devising and scoring contemporary dance piece ‘Shrine’, composing for the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ video game, collaborating with Massive Attack on their new music, and scoring the first movie made entirely with drones – 'In The Robot Skies’ – which debuted at the BFI London Film Festival.

          Central to this enthralling world is “Compassion", an album that's as weighty as it is vulnerable, sculpting the most striking parts of his previous work into something that feels urgent and necessary, and cementing Barnes as one of the UK's most significant electronic artists and composers.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Martin says: I’ve always had a soft spot for Forest Swords paranoid, rhythmic soundscapes. That the emotion that inspires Matthew Barnes' music is born of his view of the current political situation, the brooding angularity hung on its sparse frame is hardly surprising. An uneasy marriage of analogue and electronic fragments, shot through, reflecting the world situation perhaps, with a germ of hope.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe version of the LP is a gatefold sleeve housing an additional 12” x 12” art booklet + 12” x 12” insert

          This Is The Kit - the musical project which holds exceptional Paris-via-Bristol songwriter Kate Stables close to its heart - have earned the adoration of peers including Guy Garvey, The National and Sharon van Etten. Their new album and Rough Trade debut, 'Moonshine Freeze', is undoubtedly their most compelling and accomplished to date. Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, M Ward, Perfume Genius), it began in the immediate wake of its predecessor, 'Bashed Out', when days after coming off tour last November, Stables and her band (Rozi Plain, Jamie Whitby-Coles, Neil Smith and Jesse D Vernon) headed into the studio in Bristol. Aaron Dessner of The National also features on six of the album tracks.

          Though the album’s songs were already written before heading into the studio, Stables says she had no fierce vision for how they should sound, preferring to let them take shape with the input of her band and Parish. “I’m not yet someone who says ‘I want this album to sound like an 80’s French nightclub’,” she says. “All I can do is write the songs and then step back from them and see what themes or patterns there are, then bring those patterns out so it’s a coherent piece of work, sonically and in terms of feeling.” Sonically, Moonshine Freeze is a beguiling mixture of great musical sophistication and something more guileless — children’s games, songs, incantations and snatches of nursery rhymes. Stables’ voice too is a remarkable thing: in its angles there lies an exquisite strangeness reminiscent of Will Oldham, Magnolia Electric Co, Robert Wyatt, Karen Dalton. 


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Propulsive dual vocal melodies and tenderly treated fuzz guitars punctuate subtle acoustic strums and clashing lo-fi percussion, gradually acquiescing into folky flickering strings and softly accentuated angelic vox. The 11 songs on ‘Moonshine Freeze’ perfectly progress from twee minimalism into hefty, but not overwrought instrumentals. It's a delicate balance to maintain, but it is done flawlessly here.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: RED coloured vinyl.

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Although L.A. Witch hail from Los Angeles, they do not partake in any sort of witchcraft. Yet their ability to conjure a specific time and place through their sound does suggest a kind of magic. On their eponymous debut album, L.A. Witch’s reverb-drenched guitar jangle and sultry vocals conjure the analogue sound of a collector’s prized 45 from some short-lived footnote cult band. The melodies forgo the bubblegum pop for a druggy haze that straddles the line between seedy glory and ominous balladry; the production can’t afford Phil Spector’s wall of sound but the instruments’ simple beauty provides an economic grace that renders studio trickery unnecessary; the lyrics seem more descendent of Johnny Cash’s first person morality tales than the vacuous empty gestures of pre-fab pop bands. This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers and obsessive historians.

          Album opener ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ is the perfect introduction to the band’s marriage of 60s girls-in-the-garage charm and David Lynch’s surreal exposés of Southern California’s underbelly. Sade Sanchez’s black velvet vocals disguise the malicious intent of this murder ballad, with the thumping pulse of bassist Irita Pai, the slow burn build of drummer Ellie English and Sanchez’s desert guitar twang helping beguile the listener into becoming a willing accomplice to the narrator’s crimes.

          ‘Brian’ follows the opening track with a similarly graceful, if not somewhat ominous, slow-mo take on a well-worn jukebox 7”. It’s a vibe that permeates the entire album, from the early psychedelic hue of 13th Floor Elevators on tracks like ‘You Love Nothing’, through the motorik beat and fuzzed-out licks of ‘Drive Your Car’, to the grittier permutation of Mazzy Star’s sleepy beauty on ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Darryl says: Hailing from the streets of Los Angeles this is the magical self-titled debut from L.A. Witch. ‘L.A. Witch’ is a reverb drenched blast of super cool druggy psych-pop complete with a sultry vox and a seedy burnt-out dreamers vibe that smacks somewhere between the Black Angels and a hazy but grittier Mazzy Star.

          Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver's melodic-protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. After the huge critical acclaim of 2012's “Fallen By Watchbird”, followed by 2014's exploratory "Silver Globe" LP winning her unanimous "record of the year accolades" and hefty measures of radio play-listing Jane Weaver's conceptual trajectory has sent her neo-kosmische penchants to the point of no-return. Jane Weaver's unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: Jane Weaver has fully hit her stride. This record is the perfect companion piece to the incredible ‘Silver Globe’, with just as much invention, depth and attention to detail, but somehow more streamlined, more concise. Proving that our erstwhile Album Of The Year was no flash in the pan, ‘Modern Kosmology’ is just as magical, just as lovely, and most importantly just as full of top tunes!

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Indies only Blue LP repress.

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe LP for Cargo Collective Stores Only, 1000 only black 180g vinyl, deluxe metallic foil print sleeve, black inner, 24”x12” fold out poster, A6 download card.

          LP Info: Standard vinyl edition.

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          CD Info: Digi-pack sleeve.

          The band’s fifth album overall, it was recorded in London with Paul Epworth, the acclaimed producer who began his career with the likes of Bloc Party and Death From Above but is perhaps most known for his more recent work with Adele and U2. Epworth helped The Horrors explore a diverse sound that’s their “most expansive and progressive music” yet. Anyone who has heard low-slung and massive comeback single Something To Remember Me By should be in no doubt that this is a band expertly ringing the changes once again.  It's a swaggering blend of synths, groove and rock and, to these ears  sounds like the Human League. With Faris actually singing!  Whilst this is a revelation, it's also quite necessary, as this time out The Horrors have written the best pop songs of their whole career. It's dark, multi-layered and shifting, but it's also, bizarrely whistle-able as fuck!  Gonna shock all the aficianados, but I think this is their best album yet!

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: What a surprise! Just when we thought The Horrors were losing their way, they come up with their best album yet. Firstly, the songs themselves are all superb, every single track, but the sound, the production is absolutely incredible! A deep, dark, moving blend of synths, electronics, guitars and grooves.

          Ghostpoet announces his return with the release of his fourth album ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ on Play It Again Sam. ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ is Ghostpoet's most defining album to date. A stunning and stimulating return, ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ is a record that captures the sense of unease felt by so many in recent times. After receiving recognition for the beat-driven arrangements of his first two albums, third album ‘Shedding Skin’ initiated a more alt-rock sound that saw Ghostpoet Mercury nominated for a second time. Produced by Leo Abrahams, best known for his work with Brian Eno and Jon Hopkins, delves even further into a fuller, guitar driven sound.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Grooving instrumental melodies meet with Obaro Ejimiwe's trademark rhythmic drawl, darkened funky jams, slowed down through a haze of reverb while groaning saturated samples morph into hypnotic rock abstractions. Urban improv jams break into hazy psychedelic grooves, which slow into eastern-influenced opium-den throbs and guitar trills. A welcome, and outstanding return for Ghostpoet.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez had a clear vision for his band’s gorgeously cinematic debut album. After the phenomenal online break-out success of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby”, from the band’s debut EP 1, the Brooklyn transplant (originally from El Paso) wanted to project his worldview on to a bigger screen, a broader canvas. As Greg explains, “This is like the novel or feature-length version of Cigarettes. I wanted it to feel like a complete work, where some of the imagery repeats – like it’s all in the same world. It’s very much a fulfilment of the feelings in the short works.”

          That sense of fulfilment is richly felt on Cigarettes After Sex, which unspools like the most achingly romantic of movies: immersive, cohesive and transporting. Swooning in the spirit of influences such as Mazzy Star and Red House Painters, its sumptuous songs of love elevate Cigarettes to the ranks of those acts who create worlds of their own, exciting the most devoted kind of following.

          Alongside keyboardist Phillip Tubbs, bassist Randy Miller and drummer Jacob Tomsky, the ability of Gonzalez and his band to set a scene and sustain a mood reels you in deeply. On album opener ‘K’, a tale of blossoming love etched in tiny details luxuriates over chiming guitars; on the hymn to romantic compulsion of ‘Each Time You Fall in Love’, the suspended animation of Angelo Badalamenti’s heart-stopping Twin Peaks music is echoed. ‘Sunsetz’ and the gently lilting ‘Sweet’, meanwhile, showcase Gonzalez’s ability to weave impressionistic snapshots of romance into melodies that haunt like memories of past loves, all coalescing around his melting vocals.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Andy says: Gorgeous, slow-mo, late night heart-breakers drift by with classic chords, beautiful vocals and not one bad song in sight.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Limited grey vinyl.

          52 - Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson

          Wahalla

            Produced in 2014, Wahalla is the collaboration between Dean Blunt (Hype Williams – Babyfather – Blue Iverson...)- and visual / folk artist Joanne Robertson. Created in the same year of Blunt’s Black Metal and Skin Fade releases - this eight-track release coincides with the time Robertson was recording for her 2015 album Black Moon Days.(Feeding Tube Records) Originally released on social media (Mediafire/YouTube) early 2017, "Wahalla" is now available for the first time on a physical format. (Vinyl only) Joanne Robertson is a frequent Blunt Collaborator. Both collaborated memorably on 'Imperial Gold’, a highlight from Blunt’sThe Redeemer and several other Blunt releases. Wahalla is the second collaboration between Joanne Robertson and the Paris based label Textile Rds nine years after the critically acclaimed «the lighter» album.

            Strictly Limited Vinyl only release
            No Download Code

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Recorded in 2014, but only released this year, 'Wahalla' sees musical outlier Dean Blunt come together with Joanne Robertson for eight tracks of visceral art-rock.

            53 - The Jesus And Mary Chain

            Damage And Joy

            The Jesus And Mary Chain are set to release their long-awaited new album ‘Damage and Joy’ on March 24th, their first since ‘Munki’, back in the summer of 1998. The Reid brothers have enlisted the help of super (as in cool, not megabucks!) producer Youth and he has coaxed and cajoled these perma-scrapping siblings (still, even now!!) into producing a magnificent distillation of everything we've come to love about their sound.

            Fuzzed up trashy or broken and blue, Jim's honeyed voice takes us over familiar territory while William scuzzes things up in the wings. The songs are all classic Mary Chain.

            With the help of Isobel Campbell, Sky Ferreira and the Reids' own sister Linda on vocals, there's also a freshness to their palette, bringing their much imitated sound back up to date, here in the now.  It's great to have them back!

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Darryl says: Their first album since 1998’s ‘Munki’ sees the JAMC smash the imitators out of the park, their trademark fuzzy scuzzy noise-pop never sounding better.

            “Don’t Get Lost” was recorded & produced at Anton’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin between March 2016 & October 2016. It is the 16th full length release. With band members Ricky Maymi , Dan Allaire , Collin Hegna & Ryan Van Kriedt .Also Emil Nikolaisen from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh & Pete Fraser (The Pogues .New Young Pony Club) on saxophone joins the band on this album , plus vocal performances from Tim Burgess (Charlatans) , Tess Parks and Shaun Rivers .

            A new dynamic is heard on this album mixing the shoegaze/psychedelic sound with more experimental twists, on some tracks you might hear PIL (Metalbox) , Primal Scream , or even Ornette Coleman . 14 tracks that will twist and turn through the known and unknown Brian Jonestown Massacre . In 2016 The band released 2 singles and the critically acclaimed Third World Pyramid . 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Brilliant hypnotic melodies and grooving psychedelia from Newcombe and co. As prolific as they are, there is no dilution of the sheer songwriting prowess, and with a host of talented collaborators coming forward on guest duties, there is a diverse and stunning array of talent to bolster BJM's already venerable sonic skills. Superb.

            Just as you begin to get comfortable with something, the rug is pulled from under you. Very recently, John Dwyer and his band Oh Sees released their newest record, the monolithic psych opus Orc. This release represents the 19th album under some amalgam of the name Oh Sees/Thee Oh Sees/The Oh Sees, OCS, etc. Wasting no time, John Dwyer presents the 20th album (in the 20th year of the band's existence), ‘Memory of a Cut Off Head’ (out 17/11 on Castle Face), returning to his roots as OCS.

            It is easy to forget (especially amidst the ringing of ears and aching of muscles after your typical Oh Sees show) that initially, OCS was a rather hushed affair. After the minimalistic brutality of Coachwhips, OCS was a diametric opposite corner of John’s musical world, quiet to the point of whispered in the wind, buffeted by the airy whirr of singing saw, soft and strange. Those early records especially had a rather contraband hush about them, as if the party has gone on all night and continues into the morning but everyone’s raspy from talking too much and gradually agrees to whisper and pantomime as they watch the sun come up over the hills. Since then of course, things got gradually louder, faster, crazier...the band evolved since then into the Oh Sees everyone knows. For the 20th Oh Sees release, 100th Castle Face title, and 20th year doing it, John re-examines the quieter roots of it all in particularly baroque and homesteadly fashion. Memory of a Cut Off Head was co-written with longtime collaborator and vocal counterpoint Brigid Dawson, recorded in total in John’s own Stu Stu Studio, and it’s lush, sumptuous in texture, but satisfyingly retains the gentle grace of the early stuff. There’s beautifully executed strings throughout, courtesy of Heather Lockie’s fine arrangements, horn arrangements courtesy of Mikal Cronin, and they even brought back the old saw - Patrick Mullins, that is - on saw and electronics. A return and a refinement of old forms, a few solemn meditations on life lived at high velocity, perhaps a respite from it…a softer side of JPD and distinguished company.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Darryl says: Unveiling a mellower side to the Oh Sees output, John Dwyer revisits the OCS moniker. Co-written with Brigid Dawson it’s a beautifully lush and sumptuously hushed affair.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Very limited coloured vinyl edition.

            When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with 2013’s debut single ‘It’s On You’, their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, ‘Weird Little Birthday’, went on to feature in many of 2014’s End Of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on much-loved label Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US) and millions of plays later, it is with some anticipation now that the band finally reveal the full details of the follow up.

            Titled ‘Write In’, released through Moshi Moshi Recordings and featuring artwork from the band’s own Jon EE Allan, the record was made in the band’s own studio above a now-abandoned bookshop, then finished and mixed with Adam Lasus at his LA home studio.

            ‘Write In’ sets its stall out as an outward looking, inventive and thoughtful progression from their debut. Drawing on an array of influences including Roxy Music, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Sonic Youth, Big Star and Pierre Cavalli, the direction is best summed up by Jon EE Allan; “I’d like to think this record looks outside the little American alt-rock sphere we were looking in on. I think we used to be very afraid of being earnest. And now we’re able to be tender or heartfelt without feeling too guilty about it.”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Andy says: A massive, chugging, classic chord-changing blend of a more hazy, sometimes dream-poppy Teenage Fanclub with the rock'n'roll insouciance and charm of, say, Foxygen in their pomp.

            The first Hype Williams recordings since "Hippos In Tanks" and therefore surrounded with unfathomable levels of hype and excitement. Both Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland have enjoyed untold levels of career success since their emboldened entry to the record world and rightfully so; no one epitomizes the now and yet-to-come more than this pair of audio mavericks. With twenty tracks decorating the new album, from emotional sonic missives to spiraling downbeat epics back through fractured and skewed pop lullabies and occasionally bursts of mesmerizing hypnagogia, it's at once erratic & haywire, chaotically broken and yet heavily opiated, like the whole album is some ode to a lost junkie film set in a Charlie Brooker-predicted dystopia. It's excellent!

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Offering emotional sonic missives and spiralling downbeat epics back, fractured and skewed pop lullabies and occasional bursts of mesmerizing hypnagogia, this is an excellent and unclassifiable listen.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Ltd LP Info: Matt UV board finish
            1 x 12” - black 180g vinyl
            Single Sleeve
            White Paper inner Sleeve

            Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            CD Info: Clear plastic cartridge case outer.
            Paper insert for the CD Silver onbody.

            From adversity can come triumph, and from catharsis inspiration. Such has been the case for Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, whose second release for Rocket Recordings, ‘Tschak!’ arrives in the wake of considerable turbulence and tumult within their personal lives and scoiety itself, all of which has only been fuel for a creative epiphany that has seen them create a deeply evocative work rich with vibrant experimentation and saturated in a widescreen sense of wonder.

            It may only have been eighteen months since ‘Ngan!’, the band’s first release for Rocket, whose self-styled ‘stargaze’ approach marked a glorious collision between melodic sweetness, skysurfing guitar experimentation and motorik magnificence, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on ‘Tschak!’, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar noise and electronic extrapolations both blissfully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defence to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating ‘Tschak!’ entirely on their own terms.

            Central to the this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analogue textures form crucial ingredients on songs like ‘Severokamsk’ and the title track, arriving at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records. Forging forth into unknown realms both physical and metaphysical, Gnoomes recently completed a UK tour - including an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia (full European tour planned for spring 2017). Yet with the dreamlike radiance of the potent and otherworldly ‘Tschak!’ on their side, this adventure is already well on its way

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Martin says: The Russian threesome’s second album brings a fluent collage of influences, easing krautrock, ambient drone and pulsing electronica through a loose psyche blender.

            59 - Broken Social Scene

            Hug Of Thunder

            With Hug of Thunder Broken Social Scene created one of 2017’s most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. The 15 members of Broken Social Scene - including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines – refract their varying emotions, methods and techniques into something that doesn’t just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year – a song that will become as beloved as “Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.

            Its title captured what the band wanted people to feel about the group’s comeback, and how they sound playing together again: “It’s just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder.”

            “Hug Of Thunder” is a panoramic, expansive album, that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: “Stay Happy” lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. “Gonna Get Better” makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That’s not to say it’s an escapist record: Broken Social Scene are completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring “There was a military base across the street,” the listener is caught in the division between the notional security provided by national defence, and the menace of the same thing.

            First studio album in 7 years. Produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Chiccarelli (White Stripes, Spoon, The Strokes) and mixed by Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius).

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Hugely orchestral, momenatrily tender and perfectly formed work here from Canning & Co. Full of delicately introspective moments and bombastic full-force rock-outs. It's no mean feat that a band can tick so many boxes, and without even breaking a sweat. An absolute triumph.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: The Limited LP is pressed on clear vinyl, and is limited to 3000 for Europe.

            Produced by Spoon and Dave Fridmann, Austin’s most esteemed rock ambassadors have created the bravest, most sonically inventive work of their illustrious career.

            Reuniting the band with the label that released their 1996 debut, ‘Telephono’, and following on Spoon’s streak of three consecutive US Top 10 albums—‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’ (2007), ‘Transference’ (2010) and ‘They Want My Soul’ (2014)—‘Hot Thoughts’ is nothing short of epic. Listening to ‘Hot Thoughts’, it’s instantly apparent why Spoon are considered one of the most critically acclaimed acts of the first decade of the new millennium. 

            Within the space of 10 captivating songs – all written by Britt Daniel- ‘Hot Thoughts’ creates a musical universe all its own, with individual worlds ranging from the kaleidoscopic opening/title track through the gargantuan stomp of “Do I Have To Talk You Into It” and ubiquitous wiry hooks of “Can I Sit Next To You" to the bittersweet “I Ain’t The One” and beyond.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: As addictive, funked up rhythms give way to distorted bursts and effervescent vocal melodies, this sonically fascinating but brilliantly accessible LP twists and turns break into pulsing synth pop and grooving head-nodders.

            61 - Bjorn Torske & Prins Thomas

            Square One

            After a session together in a Bergen studio 20 years ago which sadly only resulted in a distorted tape, Bjørn Torske and Prins Thomas finally get back together to make music. Bjørn Torske is a figurehead and grand old man of the electronic music scene in Norway, inspiring and laying the foundation for producers like Prins Thomas, Lindstrom and Todd Terje. Bjørn and Thomas' relationship goes back to the mid 90's when they first bonded over a shared passion for oddball disco, dub and detroit techno. This album is in many ways full circle with Bjorn and Thomas making music together for the first time. Square One is a collection of loose, abstract and freeform avant-disco jams, parallel world-disco maybe? Whatever you call it, this album is a labour of love. A sound they both have traveled towards for all these years. And here they finally are, at square one. The album was recorded live in Taakeheimen Studio, Oslo, in the spring of 2015 with both guys manning an instrument each in each overdub, piling the layers of sounds on top of each other. A year later they took the now edited tracks and mixed them down in live takes with all hands on the desk in Malabar, another Oslo studio. After a couple of rounds with some very blunt scissors the tracks became what are now included on this album. "Square One" is a meeting of two minds. Probably as close to their musical soul as you can get.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: The perfect alchemy of the Norwegian dreambeam’s diverse styles, ‘Square One’ offers dubby basslines, motorik rhythms, tribal vibes and trippy sound design. Far out!

            Sinkane music - every note of it - comes from a generosity of spirit, and never has that spirit been on more vivid display than on the new album "Life & Livin’ It". His breakthrough album was a futuristic funk record from Space, appropriately titled "Mars", that dealt with feeling like an outsider living on another planet. With his second album, "Mean Love", he set out to find a place for himself. And with his new album, "Life & Livin’ It", he seems to have found it. Ahmed Gallab is no longer searching for his home, he has created a home for himself. There’s a party there, "Life & Livin’ It is playing on the stereo and we're all invited. The album draws from the best elements of Sinkane’s previous records: the slinky funk and soul grooves are there, so are the sparkling melodies with roots in sub-Saharan Africa. "Life & Livin’ It" is true to its name: it’s an album about all kinds of experiences, an uplifting album about a universal feeling of soul. Undoubtedly influenced and inspired by his time at the helm of The Atomic Bomb Band, "Life & Livin' It" boasts the same easy grooves, ear catching synth sounds and gentle funk we all loved William Onyeabor for. In fact, if you listen closely to tracks like "U'Huh" and "Favourite Song" I think you can make out the spirit of Nigeria's elusive electro-funk hero coursing through the mixing desk. 


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Sinkane delivers a spectacular third album here fusing the slinky funk and smooth soul stylings of his earlier work with infectious Afro-beat rhythms and Onyeabor's big-hearted electro-funk.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive yellow coloured vinyl.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album - a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 - is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light.

            Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang.

            In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities — released appropriately on February 3, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

            According to guitarist Ripley Johnson, “the concept of the dark/light, two-part album came as we were recording and mixing the songs, beginning in the dead of winter and continuing into the rebirth and blossoming of the spring. There’s something really powerful about the changing of the seasons in the Northwest, the physical and psychic impact it has on you, especially after we spent so many years in the seasonal void of California. I became interested in gnostic and hermetic literature around that time, especially the relationship between music and occult qualities and that fed into the whole vibe.”

            Adds keyboardist Sanae Yamada, “the two parts are also intended to represent inverted components of a singular entity, like two faces on the same head which stare always in opposite directions but are inextricably driven by the same brain.”

            Vol. 1 was mixed in Berlin by the band’s longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Pulsing, synth-driven electronica meets hypnotic psych headfirst on Moon Duo's latest odyssey. From the dark-wave gloom-step of 'Cold Fear' to the rocking swagger of'White Rose', Moon Duo consistently smash the boundaries. Play loud.

            In 2017, the musical term “electronic” is nearly obsolete given the ubiquity of computerized processes in producing music. Even so, the prevailing assumption is that musicians working under this broad umbrella must be inspired by concepts equally as electrified as their equipment. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has demonstrated in her still-blooming discography that this notion couldn’t be further from the truth, and that more often than not, rich worlds of synthesized sound are born from deep reverence of the natural world.

            Smith (who by no coincidence, cites naturalist David Attenborough as a contemporary muse) has embodied such an appreciation on The Kid in as direct and sincere a way as possible by sonically charting the phases of life itself. The album, which punctually follows up her 2016 breakthrough EARS, chronicles four defining cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan across four sides of a double LP. The first side takes us through the confused astonishment of a newborn, unaware of itself, existing in an unwitting nirvana. Smith’s music has always woven a youthful thread befitting of the aforementioned subject.

            Here she articulates it in signature fashion on the track “An Intention,” which serves not only as a soaring spire on The Kid, but on her entire output. There is playfulness here, but it's elevated by an undertone of gravity into something compelling and majestic that is fast becoming Smith’s watermark. The emotional focus of side two is the vital but underreported moment in early youth when we cross the threshold into self awareness. The subject is profound enough to fill an entire album, but rarely makes its way into a single track, indicating Smith’s ambition to broach subtler and deeper subjects than the average composer. This side offers up another highlight in the form of “In The World But Not Of The World” which serves its subject well with epiphanic, climbing strings and decidedly noisy textures over a near-Bollywood low end pulse.

            Side three emphasizes a feeling of being confirmed enough in one’s own identity to begin giving back to the formative forces of one’s upbringing, which is arguably the duty that all great artists aim to fulfill. This side ends with the exploratory album cut “Who I Am & Why I Am Where I Am” recorded in a single take without overdubs on the rare EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer. This humble piece of sound design serves as a contrast to side four’s verdant orchestral moments, all written and arranged for the EU-based Stargaze quartet by Smith herself.

            This final side represents a return to pure being, the kind of wisdom and peace that eludes most of us until the autumn of life. On “To Feel Your Best” this concept is voiced in the bittersweet refrain “one day I’ll wake up and you won’t be there” which Smith intended to be a grateful acknowledgement of life rather than a melancholy resentment of loss. The song has both effects depending on the mood of the listener, and both interpretations are equally moving. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith belongs to an ilk of modern musicians who are defined by their commitment to creating experiential albums despite the singles-oriented habits of modern listeners, and here she represents her kind proudly. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Absolutely stunning work once again from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Beautifully emotive, ridiculously clever and wholly immersive, this is mindblowing.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: This indies exclusive LP is on Twilight coloured vinyl (transparent blue with solid black and white bits mixed in).

            Headland began in 2013 as a soundtrack to a gorgeous collection of found super8 film fragments depicting surfing and coastal culture in and around Lennox Head, Australia in the 1970s.

            For this release, contemporary, High Definition slow-motion footage by award winning filmmaker Stephen Jones (El Mar Mi Alma) overscores each track of a full length LP. The film provides a discrete and personally emotive portrait of the Lennox coastline that builds upon traditional notions of landscape and seascape where each and every frame seems painted by hand. The instrumentation is lyrical, the compositions quaint and heartfelt. The combination is a personal insight into an emotional understanding of place.

            With an almost distinct Australian fever to its pitch, “True Flowers” ebbs and flows like the proverbial tide it is “soundtracking”, the players of this collective have a long history in the underground/mainstream music scene in Australia, and with this record have created a similar cinematic/avant garde-pop as created by the likes of Calexico, Friends of Dean Martinez, Boxhead Ensemble, Lullaby for the Working Class, and even Pink Floyd and Neil Young, so immersive and far-reaching is their sound.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Darryl says: Following on from 2014’s delicate sun-dappled dreamy debut is this equally immersive album of beautifully cinematic and languid gems.

            Two years on from the audio fire of "RTJ2" and the audio fur of "Meow The Jewels", rap's most turnt up duo El-P and Killer Mike are back on wax, ready to smash the set all over again. Since we last heard from them, the duo have transformed from underground stalwarts to a global rap juggernaut, spawning an international art movement, radio show, several Marvel comic cover variants, characters in a video game, their own Virtual Reality initiative (VRTJ) and a whole host of critical acclaim. But don't get it twisted, our heroes are still as hot and hungry as ever, devouring rhymes and defecating beats in non-stop beast mode on "RTJ3". Working alongside Danny Brown, TV On The Radio's Tunde, Kamasi Washington and more, El-P and Mike trade hard hitting bars at headspinning pace over the nastiest, bass blasting beats you're gonna hear all year. Featuring the recently released singles “2100 (ft. BOOTS)” and “Talk To Me”, the duo's third album proper may well be their best. Play this shit LOUD!



            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: El-P & Killer Mike are back in the house with their finest release to date. Spitting pure gangsta shit over heavyweight bass and neck snapping beats, the duo keep the vibe feisty throughout. So howbow dah?

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: Deluxe gatefold 2LP with heavyweight gold coloured vinyl and includes stickers.

            2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: JUST FOUND ONE OF THESE!
            Double solid gold coloured vinyl, gatefold sleeve with a sticker sheet, lyrics insert and album cover poster. Very limited indies only edition also includes RTJ pendant (RTJ logo) with a gold chain!! (Guessing this is gold coloured rather than solid gold!)

            CD Info: Deluxe CD digipack including stickers.

            Finally one of the most requested, eagerly anticipated and generally exciting LPs of the year has finally landed. That's right, ambient maverick, electronic legend, jungle revivalist and abstract jazzer Four Tet is back with his first full length (longer than two conceptual suites) LP of brand new material in four years. Leaving the archival "0181" to one side, Kieran's last two LP outings were the extended and mind expanding ethno-lectronica of "Morning / Evening" and the dislocated, narcotic and blunted jungle of "Beautiful Rewind". Much to the delight of the KH traditionalists out there (cough...Barry) there's nary a spinback in sight on the blissful "New Energy", the producer opting instead to stroll calmly through the ambient pads, twinkling sequences and sublime textures which kept us company from "Everything Ecstatic" through to "There Is Love In You". Float away on the chilled waters of "Alap", nod along to the harp-led downbeat of "Two Thousand And Seventeen" and smile along to the soft focus stylings and pastoral glitch of "LA Trance". The B-side brings the "Ringer" style hypno-rhythm and "Love In You" beauty of "Lush", before darting off into the skitterish BOC beat space of the jazz flecked "Scientists". Boasting subtle breakbeats, cinematic swells and pulsating electronics, not to mention a bewitching kalimba refrain, "You Are Loved" sees out the first disc in sublime fashion.
            Onto the second platter and "SW9 9SL" (a nod to Four Tet's Brixton Academy all nighters) is a streamlined club banger decorated by shuffling percussion, rumbling bass and a massive, hands aloft breakdown. "10 Midi" offers a moment of calm after that dancefloor burner and leads nicely into the harpy downbeat of "Memories". Referencing the mantra like vocals of "Morning/ Evening" and "There Is Love...", "Daughter" is a gossamer blend of reversed vocals, cascading melodies and soothing bass - the perfect companion to the astral, ethno-techno of "Planet". Pulsating space sounds, scattered vocals and trilling kora dip in and out of the spectral arps, riding a sturdy 4/4 thump into the furthest reaches of our galaxy. All that remains is to buy yourself a copy, sit comfortably by the speakers and rest easy in the knowledge Four Tet's done it again.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Combing the brilliant off-kilter jazztronic excursions of early years with the more downbeat, dancefloor-orientated kinetic outings of late (not that late) has worked a treat. Properly beautiful.

            A gradual crescendo of spirit-lifting gospel introduces "Yesterday's Gone", perfectly fitting for the debut longplayer from the young master of 'confessional hip hop'. Indeed as Ben Coyle-Larner spits sombre bars over "The Isle Of Arran"s soulful grooves, the South Londoner touches on family, bereavement and religion, all with the same intricate flow and honest delivery. It's a sound that's at odds with the current slew of mumbling, stumbling, gangtas who dominate the charts and mixtapes, celebrating gold, diamonds and designer footwear as they breeze through meme-references and barely decipherable hooks. Rather, Loyle Carner takes his cues from Mos Def, Talib Kweli and London's own Roots Manuva, delivering conscious rhymes over gentle, jazzy grooves. Intimate, intricate and tough to imitate, Loyle Carner is entirely relatable as he treats us to everyday tales of family, food, romance and regret, laying his growing pains bare across a dozen tracks and a couple of well placed skits. If the recent ATCQ LP's put you in the mood for some proper hip hop, then this is your new jam.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Bucking the trend for distorto-bass and medicated mumblings, Loyle Carner keeps it conscious on his debut LP, topping jazzy beats with free flowing bars of real talk.

            69 - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard With Mild High Club

            Sketches Of Brunswick East

            Just when you think you have King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard sussed they throw a curveball - in the wake of two albums released in 2017 already, including most recently the dystopian end-times concept album Murder Of The Universe, which tackled in no uncertain terms the rise of robots and the downfall of mankind, comes Sketches Of Brunswick East, an entirely altered beast.

            Australia’s finest and most productive rock band have done this before, of course: while the world was still reeling from their 2014 breakthrough psych-punk masterpiece I'm In Your Mind Fuzz (2014) they casually released 2015’s expectation-confounding Paper Mache Dream Balloon (2015), a pastoral, sun-drenched acid-folk album.

            Sketches Of Brunswick East is a collaboration between King Gizzard and Mild High Club, the Los Angeles based tripster troupe signed to Stones Throw Records and led by Alex Brettin – the two bands formed a strong friendship touring together throughout the USA, Europe, and Australia.

            Recorded at the band’s own Flightless HQ in East Brunswick, Melbourne Australia earlier this year and mixed at Stones Throw studios in L.A. it’s the third of five projected albums to be released in 2017. 

            “We were listening to compilations of Ethiopian music form the 1960s and 70s a lot,” explained Stu Mackenzie about the making of the record. “It was in no way thought-out though. If Murder Of The Universe was our most conceptual and arranged album - then Sketches... is the exact opposite.”

            The title could be perceived as both a knowing nod towards Miles Davis’s Sketches Of Spain and the sketchy on-the-hop, improvised nature of its creation by these gnarly and feral Aussie dudes. It also sees the band further exploring the Tropicalia element only ever previously hinted at. Stu explains that a change of pace and tempo was necessary after “a concurrent period of productivity, a ball of energy and ideas”.

            Logistically, its creation saw the sifting through “piles of ideas” previously laid down during intense periods of creation that their frontman confesses he barely remembers having taken place. Truly this is impulsive music, sketches of time and place reworked and pieced together, akin to, says Stu “sampling-culture, in which old ideas are reshaped and suddenly things make sense. It was like we were continually jamming with ourselves.”

            King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals / guitar/ flute), Ambrose Kenny Smith (harmonica / vocals), Craig Cook (guitar / vocals), Eric Moore (drums), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass) & Michael Cavanagh (drums).

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Oh Gizz', you may write 1.8 albums p/h but we love you so. This time out it's a tad jazzier but as ever, impeccable.

            For starters: to pin down and value Andrew Weatherall’s musical deed takes more space than available in a press release text but here is some of many highlights. As a producer, Weatherall has since he first shook the foundation for modern pop music with ground breaking and genre bending remixes of Primal Scream (Loaded), My Bloody Valentine (Soon) New Order (World In Motion) and many other influential acts, continued to push sounds in to unknown territories. His importance as a musician is as big, with bands like the iconic Sabres Of Paradise and Two Lone Swordsmen in the 90’s and top quality solo records from the 00’s up till today.

            With the above In mind, Höga Nord Rekords are proud to announce the release of Andrew Weatherall new album Qualia! This album fits perfect in to the Höga Nord – Catalogue, which shows clearly already from the opening track Evidence The Enemy. This song is a monotonous yet uplifting piece of music, a case that holds for the album in full; Weatherall lets the melodies, built on a deep tradition of classical music and later developed by bands such as Kraftwerk, go in major scales, which lets fresh air in and creates a feeling of freedom. The music put you on top of Mont Blanc to overview the complete European music history. Qualia is soothing, harmonic and transporting. Within his framework, Weatherall knocks those frames out of place from time to time. When a song goes to much in one direction a new melody or a new instrument steps in to redirect and surprise the listener. This album is the perfect soundtrack to a road trip inside your own, ever-changing inner landscape. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Weatherall does it once again, and smashes out a refined and perfectly measured suite of cosmic electronic excursions, infused with the melodicism and songwriting prowess of a classic indie anthem. Will he ever make a bad record? It certainly doesn't look like it.

            71 - Ulrika Spacek

            Modern English Decoration

            The relatively short amount of time between their first and second albums is testament to the band’s self-contained creative environment and the productivity it encourages. There’s a tendency to label this degree of self-reliant creativity ‘DIY’ - and the band do certainly feel emboldened by that ethos - yet to consider Modern English Decoration solely in these terms is a disservice. Their craft is considered and purposeful, the means of its production reflecting the band’s overall vision rather than the value system of an often haphazard and accidental DIY culture. “We enjoy listening to music through the album format and want our records to reflect that”, says Rhys Edwards (guitars, vocals, synthesiser).

            Ulrika Spacek formed in Berlin in one night, when 14-year-long friends Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams conceptualised ‘Ulrika Spacek’ and came up with The Album Paranoia as their debut album title. Moving back to London with the intention to record it, they were joined by Joseph Stone (guitars, organ, synths, violin), Ben White (bass) and Callum Brown (drums, percussion), ossifying into the five-piece they are now. The album was released soon after with little forewarning and was accompanied by a year long, near-monthly club night called Oysterland.

            Given the lyrics often favour abstraction and the vocals can be more impressionistic than declarative, the album title itself offers perhaps the most telling entry point to the record. In part, it’s a self-effacing play on an interior design cliché that references the meticulous creative processes the band adheres to. There’s also a nod towards the environment in which it was created – a Victorian house turned art gallery turned home studio

            Unsurprisingly given the context of its creation, Modern English Decoration might be considered a companion piece of sorts to The Album Paranoia.But there are crucial differences. Most notably, this isn’t the work of the Ulrika Spacek conceptualised by Edwards and Williams in Berlin – Modern English Decoration is the band as five rather than two people, and it shows. Those who have witnessed the intensity of their live show will instantly recognise the merits in this. The bass and drums provide a versatile anchor, at once soft, then aggressive, while the vocals drift woozily in and out, like druggy hindsight or skewed premonition. With three guitarists in the band guitars were always going to be central to the music, but what is less expected is the dynamic interplay between the trio that suggests a three-headed version of the Verlaine-Lloyd axis at the heart of Television. What’s more, the absence of reverb is integral, in part attributable to the ambience of the studio, but also a conscious decision in order to add focus. And focus is the abiding term: this is an album designed to be just so - a 45 minute commitment, a surrender.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Laura says: A fabulous second album, channelling 90s American indie rock with occasional shoegazey shimmer and a smattering of melodic psych.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: The coloured LP is for Cargo Collective stores only and is yellow vinyl with a bonus 7”.

            With great anticipation, Kelela's debut album emerges as an epic portrait of an artist spanning the past and future of R&B. In her hands, however, the genre knows no boundaries and so Take Me Apart exists as an absolutely singular and fearless addition to a canon of recent classics. From her very earliest work, honesty and vulnerability have been cornerstones of Kelela's art - even when clad in the armor of the avant-garde electronics she so deftly inhabits - and Take Me Apart sees her double down on both the emotional intensity and resonance of her message as well as the sonic seeking she is renowned for.

            On 2015's acclaimed Hallucinogen EP, Kelela swept listeners along in the rush of ecstasy and the melancholic vapor trail of a hopeful, but ultimately doomed liaison. Hallucinogen would prove to be a turning point, and The New York Times would name it's single, "Rewind", one of the "25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going". The EP's oversized impact would ignite a period of kinetic worldwide live shows culminating in Kelela crisscrossing the globe on tour with The xx. In parallel with this, 2016 and early 2017 would see Kelela grace a handful of crucial records as a feature vocalist - from longtime ally Solange's majestic A Seat At The Table, to Danny Brown's immense Atrocity Exhibitionand most recently, the star-studded Humanz from Gorillaz. These appearances would be tantalizing signs leading the way to Take Me Apart.

            Amplifying the ideas explored on Hallucinogen, here Kelela treats relationships and their effects like a Matryoshka doll, unveiling layer after layer to find herself at the center. Expressing an honest vision of how we navigate dissolving ties with each other and yet remain sanguine for the next chance at love, the emotional ricochet is traced across the album's narrative. Take Me Apart stands not only as an intensely personal chronicle, but also a defiant and turbulent statement direct from Kelela; "Despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the 'burbs listening to R&B, Jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another."

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Heartfelt synthy soul, modern beatplay and smooth-as-silk vocal melodies, this is modern R&B at it's very finest. Intricate, evolving and brilliantly written odes.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: 2LP transparent vinyl in paper inners and printed gatefold sleeve, 8 page lyric booklet (7" folded size) and 6 panel fold out poster (12” folded size)

            A lot can change in a year: markets boom and bust, trends come and go, presidents get elected. In 2015, Margo Price was a country underdog just trying to keep enough gas in the tank to get to the next gig, but by the end of 2016, she was one of the genre’s most celebrated new artists and a ubiquitous presence on late night television and at major festivals around the world. It’s the kind of year most musicians can only dream of, and the arrival of Price’s spectacular sophomore album, 'All American Made' proves that she hasn’t taken a moment of it for granted.

            Delivering on the promise of her debut and then some, the record find Price planting her flag firmly in the soil as a songwriter who’s here for the long haul, one with the chops to hang with the greats she so often finnds herself sharing stages with these days. A prolific writer with a knack for candid self-reflection, Price has never had to look too far for inspiration, and on 'All American Made', she and her songwriting partner/ husband, Jeremy Ivey, continue to depict the trials of everyday life with un inching honesty, painting poetically plainspoken portraits of men and women just trying to get by.

            Highs and lows, long nights and hard days, wild women and cocaine cowboys, politics and sexism, it’s all in there, singularly filtered through Price’s wry, no-bullshit perspective. Throughout the album, her contemporary take on classic sounds is at once familiar and daring, an infectious blend of Nashville country, Memphis soul, and Texas twang that tips its cap to everyone from Waylon and Willie (who makes a guest appearance) to Loretta and Dolly, all while flipping a middle finger to the cookie-cutter pop that dominates modern country radio. Rich with swirling pedal steel, honky-tonk rhythms, and Price’s stop-you-in-your-tracks vocals, 'All American Made' is deeply reverent of tradition even as it challenges conventions, a nuanced exploration of conflicted emotions for our deeply conflicted times.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: All American made indeed! Knee-slapping guitar licks, strutting percussion and plenty of oh-so-slidey guitars. A modern take on the classic genre, and all the better for it. Superb.

            Jlin's long awaited second album “Black Origami” drop via Planet Mu. A percussion-led tour de force, it's a creation that seals her reputation as a unique producer with an exceptional ability to make riveting rhythmic music. “Black Origami” is driven by a deep creative thirst - 'Black Origami for me, comes from letting go creatively, creating with no boundaries. The simple definition of origami is the art of folding and constructing paper into a beautiful, yet complex design. Composing music for me is like origami, only I'm replacing paper with sound.'

            Spirituality and movement are both at the core of “Black Origami”, inspired largely by her ongoing collaborations with Indian dancer / movement artist Avril Stormy Unger whom she met and collaborated with at her debut performance for the Unsound festival.Playing with concention throughout, time shifting / folding / disrupting effects can be heard throughout the record -especially on “Holy Child”, an unlikely collaboration with minimalist legend William Basinski. She also collaborates again with Holly Herndon on “1%”, while Halcyon Veil producer Fawkes' voice is on “Calcination“ and Cape Town rapper Dope Saint Jude provides vocals for “Never Created, Never Destroyed“. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: Hailing from the same town as Freddie Gibbs, Jlin's atypical brand of tribal-fused rhythmic workouts, leftfield sound design and amalgamation of footwerk energy couldn't be further from the gangsta rapper's remit; thankfully it’s every bit as good.

            75 - Chastity Belt

            I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone

            A few years ago, while in a tour van somewhere in Idaho, the members of Chastity Belt—Julia Shapiro, Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund, and Annie Truscott—opted to pass the time in a relatively unusual fashion: They collectively paid one another compliments, in great and thoughtful detail. This is what we like best about you, this is why we love you. I think of that image all the time, the four of them opening themselves up like that, by choice. It’s hard to imagine other bands doing the same. But beyond their troublesome social media presence—see: the abundance of weapons-grade duck face, the rolling suitcase art—and beyond their moonlit deadpan lies, at the very least, an honesty and an intimacy and an emotional brilliance that galvanizes everything they do together. Which is a fancy way of saying: They’re funny, but they’re also capable of being vulnerable.

            This June marks the release of I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, their third and finest full-length to date. Recorded live in July of 2016, at Jackpot! in Portland, Oregon (birthplace of some of their favorite Elliott Smith records), it’s a dark and uncommonly beautiful set of moody post-punk that finds the Seattle outfit’s feelings in full view, unobscured by humor. There is no irony in its title: Before she had Chastity Belt, and the close relationships that she does now, Shapiro considered herself a career loner. That’s no small gesture. I can make as much sense of this music as I can my 20s: This is a brave and often exhilarating tangle of mixed feelings and haunting melodies that connects dizzying anguish (“This Time of Night”) to shimmering insight (“Different Now”) to gauzy ambiguity (“Stuck,” written and sung by Grimm). It’s a serious record but not a serious departure, defined best, perhaps, by a line that Shapiro shares early on its staggering title track: “I wanna be sincere.”

            When asked, their only request was that what you’re reading right now be brief, honest, free of hyperbole, and “v chill.” When pressed for more, Truscott said, “Just say that we love each other. Because we do.” This is who they are, this is why I love them. - David Bevan, February 2017.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Millie says: Chastity Belt deliver their third album with an effortlessly edgy set. The melodies feel raw and are perfectly matched with the jangly guitars which underline the entire album.

            Life is a Rorschach, life is a Rashomon. Fuck your facts. Throw ‘em out with yesterday’s webpages. Lives lie beyond the equations of currency, border lines and government —  and truth is just a drop in the beholder’s eye.

            Ty Segall has made whole records that wrestle with realities — fighting against some, pulling mightily to bring others into being. Of late, he’s thrown up his hands and donned clown shoes, dancing merrily in the dual role of oppressed/oppressor! His hands aren’t any more or less dirty than anyone else’s — but amidst the thunder and the chaos of the ongoing storm, he’s looking for the eye within.

            The new self-titled record — the next record after Emotional Mugger, Manipulator, Sleeper, Twins, Goodbye Bread, Melted, Lemons, and the first self-titled album that started it up in the now-distant year of 2008 — is a clean flow, a wash of transparency falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly, to their logical end. It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse (from way back in the long, hot summer of 2012), but it also features a steep flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty’s new songs range around in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colors high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation. All he wants is some truth!

            The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping overdubs together to form the sound — but for this new album, he entered a studio backed by a full band — Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart and Ben Boye — to get a read on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal passages yet heard from Ty Segall.

            “Freedom/Warm Hands” puts the “sweet” back into suite; “Orange Color Queen” is a supreme moment of tenderness; “Talkin’,” a roots-infused truth-attack. “Papers,” looks behind the doors of Ty’s process; “Break A Guitar” is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the back of the house. Ty Segall keeps you guessing, bracing your skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies, and LOTS of songs to sing. There’s no concept beyond that; finding the right places to be is a momentary thing. Ty Segall is the sum of his songs — and about getting the free. The free to be!

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Ty’s latest LP is more punky than sludgy, with more in common with early Pixies than his recent output. Driven, rocking and absolutely essential.

            77 - Ibeyi

            Ash

              French-Cuban twins Ibeyi are back with their second album ‘Ash’, a record that tackles subjects as diverse as womanhood, spirituality, activism and racism, all conveyed in Ibeyi’s own unique blend of modern pop, hip-hop and electronic influenced music that incorporates the traditional sounds of Yorùbá. ‘Ash’ is the follow-up to the twin’s 2015 critically acclaimed, eponymous debut album that made Ibeyi a globally recognized name.

              While Ibeyi’s first album grappled with the past—the sister’s relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, Beyoncé and Alvin Ailey included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, finds itself entirely concerned with Ibeyi’s present: Who Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are, what’s important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when Ibeyi was recorded.

              ‘Ash’ was recorded in November 2016 in London with producer Richard Russell at his studio The Copper House. The album features twelve new tracks, including ‘Away Away’ which was released in June, and includes appearances from Kamasi Washington, Mala Rodriguez, Chilly Gonzales, Meshell Ndegeocello.

              ‘Deathless,’ the second track to be debuted from ‘Ash’, features the incomparable Kamasi Washington on saxophone, and was written in the wake of an experience that Lisa-Kaindé had when she was sixteen that involved her being wrongly arrested by French police. She went home and wrote the emotive ‘Deathless,’ in which she describes her experience: “I was writing ‘Deathless’ as an anthem for everybody!” Lisa-Kaindé says. “For every minority. For everybody that feels that they are nothing, that feels small, that feels not cared about and I want them to listen to our song and for three minutes feel large, powerful, deathless. I have a huge amount of respect for people who fought for, what I think, are my rights today and if we all sing together ‘we are deathless, ’they will be living through us into a better world”.

              Step out of the gloom and into Ibeyi’s world, a place of optimism, openness and acceptance. The modern world never looked so beautiful as it does through Ibeyi’s lens

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Martin says: The French-Cuban twins return with their sophomore release ‘Ash’, fusing a unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, modern electronic pop and the traditional sounds of Yorùbá.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd LP Info: Initial pressings come in a foldout sleeve, housed with a yellow bellyband.

              A Winged Victory For The Sullen, the otherworldly collaboration between Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran, return with their third full-length titled Iris – available worldwide via Erased Tapes. Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and Dustin O'Halloran first met the director Jalil Lespert after he had discovered A Winged Victory For The Sullen on a music search online. After listening to their music, he immediately knew: "it was the sound of my new film". With an excellent cast of France’s finest actors Romain Duris, Charlotte Le Bon, and the director himself, plus a script filled with tension, sexuality and darkness, they knew there was a lot of musical territory to mine. It was agreed that they wanted to explore more analogue electronique experiments as well as working with a large string ensemble, to create something that felt very modern and still cinematic.

              “Despite A Winged Victory For The Sullen being associated with film score type music, trying to survive the process of creating the modern film score is not for people with fragile egos. It requires those who are the most responsive to change. The director and the film presented a new set of challenges, so we decided to stop thinking about cinema as an object, and moved closer to using the film’s images as triggers for experiences. The more we were able to let go, and see the music as something that happens, like a process – not a quality, the more we were able to reach a place that sounded like us. It was as if we were making our first record all over again, except being filtered through another language littered with dead metaphors”, the duo elaborate. The recording sessions began with their long time sound collaborator Francesco Donadello in the form of some modular synth sessions in Berlin. Dustin and Adam began working from the script in their own studios, and after filming commenced they continued to create music that could be used for first edits of the film – each day getting new scenes that triggered ideas that would become the base of the film score. Over the course of the next few months the two slowly crafted the music with weekly discussion from their studio to the editing room. The final sessions to what is now the score of Iris were recorded with a 40-piece string orchestra at Magyar Radio in Budapest.

              Upon label founder Robert Raths' request the over sixty minutes of material were then edited down to a concise album listen at forty-one minutes with a physical release set for January 13, 2017. The digital bonus track edition includes two solo pieces by Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie entitled The Endless Battle Of The Maudlin Ballade Part 2 and The Endless Battle Of The Maudlin Ballade Part 3, as well as tracks by Petite Noir, dOP, DJ Pone and The Shoes which feature in the film. The artwork was created by Berlin based illustrator Stephanie F. Scholz who also created the iconic cover for Nils Frahm's Music for The Motion Picture Victoria.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: ‘Iris’ builds on their already stunning canon with a smattering of pulsing synthesis joining their trademark modern classical soundscapes.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition of 1000 copies on clear vinyl.

              Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              “The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against—their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go."—Joshua Homme

              Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age re-emerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains.

              Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the line-up that took …Like Clockwork around the world and back are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question 'what do we sound like now?' If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound."

              Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, "Queens are and have always been my favourite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought Rated R in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. There were moments during the making of the album in which I was aware I was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream--a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”

              Long-time Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, "After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the addition of Ronson into the creative mix… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens."

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Darryl says: ‘Villains’ finds the QOTSA boys in fine rockin’ form. Heavy sonic riffage with an added groove appeal too, no doubt courtesy of Mark Ronson in the producer’s chair.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe heavyweight tipped-on sleeve, with 180g vinyl, plus 14 limited edition art prints by Boneface.

              2xDeluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Independent store exclusive – different sleeve artwork.

              2xIndies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              When the city starts to encroach on the forest, nature will find a way to reclaim what is rightfully hers. Snapped Ankles come as messengers. On debut album Come Play The Trees they hold a mirror up to us. They’re here to plant the seed. They’re here to have a good time, but never at the expense of their natural habitat.

              Snapped Ankles have emerged from the woods clutching an album that feels simultaneously modern and ancient. This is what dance music will sounds like when computers finally fail us. Log synths, bass guitar and sticks on taut animal skin coalesce to form fearsome primal rhythms. Fuzz guitars rubbing up against dirty rolling arpeggiated synthesisers to ignite wild white noise fires. Forest folklore passed down through generations, has made its way onto the tracks. Subjects veer from dystopian futures to railing against Swedish flat-pack furniture, from the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky to throwaway YouTube comments. High art and cultural detritus are all fair game - a brave new world indeed.

              • This is Snapped Ankles debut album

              • Since relocating to bohemian East London, the woodwose have integrated seamlessly into the creative firmament, setting up camp at the Total Refreshment Centre

              • The videos for singles ‘Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin’ and ‘I Want My Minutes Back’ offer a glimpse into the off-kilter art-house minds of Snapped Ankles and display a certain preoccupation with spaghetti

              • A dish best served live: wildmen dressed in ghillie suits coaxing unholy noise from a forest of logs, wires, drums and guitars.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Throbbing pulses, primal melodies and fiery aggression spew forth from the newest Snapped Ankles outing. It’s as if they were born to make this sound.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl edition.

              Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

              81 - Lindstrøm

              It's Alright Between Us As It Is

                On Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s latest album, those northern disco lights are twinkling once more. Over the continuous stream of nine interlocked tracks on It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, he’s refined his love of arpeggiated synths, warm and steamy analogue bubble baths and earworm melodies into his most rounded and complete statement to date.

                A Norwegian based in Oslo, Lindstrøm has always made a virtue of his obsessive work ethic, turning his city centre studio (where his neighbours include friends and collaborators Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Andre Bratten) into a factory floor for churning out monster tracks, then punching out regularly and going home to his family. This is about music being woven seamlessly into the fabric of life.

                The album’s title is a direct quote from one of Lindstrøm’s favourite movies, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. This Swedish arthouse classic is about looking for meaning and finding closure at the end of a long life. About reaching the special place you’ve waited for all your life. A professor asks his longtime housemaid if they could become more familiar, starting with her brushing his teeth for him. She replies they shouldn’t become too intimate: ‘it’s all right between us as it is.’

                The album aggregates all the best elements from his long and varied career: the Balearic free-disco excursions of his two albums with Prins Thomas, experimental cosmic voyages in the vein of Six Cups of Rebel and 2015’s collaboration with the stellar Todd Rundgren, Runddans; shimmering electronic pop featuring vocals by American singer Grace Hall (‘Shinin’) and Sweden’s Frida Sundemo (‘But Isn't It’). ‘Bungl (Like a Ghost)’ features a stream of conscious poem by transgressive Norwegian vocalist Jenny Hval. Most of all it reveals him as a masterful mood sculptor, with heart-stopping chord changes rolling over his relentlessly uplifting beats.

                Conceived as a continuous flow, each side of the vinyl version will play as one track; while the CD and streaming versions will be timestamped. But in any case, once you’re strapped into Lindstrøm’s driverless vehicle, you won’t want to get out. It’s alright as it is. In fact, it’s more than alright: it’s almost nearly perfect.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Eschewing the proggy flavours of recent work in favour of the twinkling arps, crisp percussion and gliding basslines of his early years, Lindstrøm returns with a blast of pure disco euphoria.

                Hailed in advance by Rolling Stone as a "euphoric blast of experimental pop,” Beck’s 13th album Colors has been confirmed for an October 13 release on Virgin EMI.

                Possibly the most aptly titled work in Beck’s storied discography, Colors unfolds in an intoxicating rainbow of auditory tricks and treats, making it a shoo-in for summeriest smash of the autumn season.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: Brimming with throbbing bass hooks, gated reverbs and FM synth slaps, this is a brilliantly effervescent suite of satisfying melodies, impeccable production and undeniable lyrical genius.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Standard red vinyl.

                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                2xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe LP – 2 x heavyweight red vinyl on 45 RPM, spined sleeve with diecut to the front, 4 x red transparencies to allow you to change the colour of the sleeve, printed inner bag.

                2xDeluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive yellow vinyl.

                Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                83 - Gnod

                Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine

                Considering the current political climate, Gnod's newest outing was never going to be a particularly cheery affair. 'Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine' is indeed political, it is wrought and angry, and it installs everything you would expect from a Gnod album, and adds to it exponentially. 'Bodies For Money' sets out as a state of intent from the off with a screaming pillar of feedback before launching headfirst into a barrage of percussion and punishing guitar. Settling slightly to leave sonic headroom for an angry muted voice is as symbolic as it is effective, giving the impression of fighting against the tide of noise and crushing weight of the background. 

                'People' begins much more unceremonoiusly, pitching a looped vocal abstraction against rich and guttoral bass guitar and driving percussion. More akin to the aggressive Krautrock of their earlier years, but injected with a satisfying grit and industrious drive. The vocal segments are layered and amplified, giving the impression of a growing force speaking towards one end. This is music for protest, a soundtrack for forced disillusionment, a call to arms and it is as rousing as it is brilliant. 

                The clanging of 'Paper Error' quickly becomes one of the more melodic points on the album, eschewing vocal snippets and ambient swells for a deft stoner-rock passage, before twisting and tunring into a rawkous and molten grinding thump. It's towering conclusion is inched upon you, like a frog boiling in water without jumping out. 

                'Real Man' is rich in thunderous sub-bass, and propelled by galloping drums and a snarling monologue half-sung about our hero, the man in a dirty grey suit with a bag full of beers. Claging old-school punk littered with instrumental passages and cataclysmic breakdowns, screaming and feedback twisted and rolled into a voracious wall of noise and force. 

                The epic closer 'Stick In The Wheel' grows from a vocal refusal of convention, accompanied by rhythmic guitar stabs and dark-ambient synth work, the constantly propulsive and militaristic rhythm perfectly befits the conventions of the previous numbers, acting as an anchor for the political tumult that preceeds it, before breaking down into a psychedelic and metallic distillation of rage into an eastern-tinged opium den percussive head-nodder. 

                A driven and direct assault on the troubles of today, and a bold, bracing barrage of musical magma. Caustic, loud and captivating to the end. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Brilliance as ever from Manchester noise-rock-drone-psych stalwarts Gnod. Brilliantly musical, stunningly direct and absolutely unmissable.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl edition.

                84 - Susanne Sundfør

                Music For People In Trouble

                  Acclaimed Norwegian singer songwriter and producer Susanne Sundfør releases her highly anticipated new album ‘Music For People In Trouble’ through Bella Union.

                  Sundfør’s most poignant and personal album to date, ‘Music For People In Trouble’ marks her out as one of the most compelling artists in the world.

                  The album was inspired by a journey Susanne made in a bid to re-connect, travelling across continents to contrary environments and politically contrasting worlds from North Korea to the Amazon jungle.

                  “We are living in a time of great changes. Everything is moving so rapidly, sometimes violently, sometimes dauntingly. I think a lot of people experience anxiety these days. I wanted to address these emotions on the album.” - Susanne Sundfør

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Darryl says: Her fifth album, and a career definer on the Bella Union label. Unsettling and emotional at times but always full of her unique spine-chilling vocal beauty.

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

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

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

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

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

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Ranging from silky sunshine pop anthems to grimy dancefloors and the shimmering glitz of a 70s ballroom, this is every bit as conceptually grand, and as impeccably accomplished as you'd imagine.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                  LP Info: Day version, standard LP.

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

                  CD Info: Day version.

                  Nick Mulvey's second album 'Wake Up Now. Hisstandout debut album, First Mind, in 2015 was the introduction of an artist who shirked the conventional and side-stepped the expected. Nick’s return with the first fruits of his new album sessions has brought with it his own outlook on a world that can’t decide which direction it’s going, or quite what to do with itself. We’re all hastily trying to find our spot within these times, and Nick is no exception, but if clarity is part-resolved by a call to arms, perhaps it’s time to make that call.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Martin says: Wonderful follow up to the exquisite "First Mind". Darker and more world weary, but still as beautifully crafted and endlessly compassionate as his debut.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xColoured LP Info: Double limited edition orange vinyl.

                  Oh my, what is this? The alien globule of Damaged Bug’s errant planet has circled the sun and re-enters our orbit where last year’s Cold Hot Plumbs left off. Urgent falsetto morbidities detail Damaged Bug’s most rhythmically adventurous offering yet, syncopating lush landscapes with moon-shot death rays. Witness in horror the tractor beam pull of Slay The Priest - a breathless sprint through unfamiliar enemy territory - erratic laser beam synths dredge the lake, hard panned double drums resurrect dead heartbeats - load thy crossbow, friend, this night is long and we appear beset on all sides. The Bug is back and more hideous than ever - join us in a gawp at its iridescent shell, its alien mandibles…and the guts streaming from the wound. 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: John Dwyer steps into his Damaged Bug moniker once again for a synthy freak-out of psychedelic loops and twisted melodic interludes.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xColoured LP Info: UK exclusive colour vinyl crystal clear with 6 colour splatter..

                  88 - Bing & Ruth

                  No Home Of The Mind

                  Ever-evolving, Bing & Ruth is steered by composer David Moore, a pianist from Kansas and graduate of New York’s school of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School.

                  Their line-up has transmuted from the eleven-strong line-up that created debut album City Lake (“A stunning, humble record built on traditions we all understand, yet, somehow feels dizzyingly new.” – The Quietus) to a cast of seven for 2014’s Tomorrow Was The Golden Age (“One of the finest leftfield releases of the year.” – Pitchfork).

                  With No Home of the Mind, the ensemble has been streamlined to five and, after a year of heartfelt composition and with everything meticulously rehearsed in advance, the whole album was recorded in two days and in the fewest takes possible. An attempt to recreate the immediacy of classic session-style musicianship, where one-take recordings were a standard to keep costs down, No Home of the Mind explores piano’s percussive qualities alongside running woodwinds, warbling tape delays and splattered upright bass lines that stare out with a wide-eyed transcendence, taking so-called “classical” music to new limits.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A beautiful suite of brittle modern-classical drones and twinkling piano, crafted together with subtlety and grace. A startling and riveting journey, filled with moments of tentative meditation and glimmers of pure joy.

                  Since 2012, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably, um, idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berzerk”, or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape - that of a real enigma. Pure Comedy sees Tillman at the height of these powers: as a lyricist, and equally so a cultural observer - at times bordering on freakishly prescient. Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and - at 75 minutes - there’s a veritable fuck ton of it. The album navigates themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection and his own role in it all with his usual candour, and in terms as timely as they are timeless.

                  Tillman wrote the majority of Pure Comedy throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) at United Studios (fka the legendary Ocean Way Studios, favored by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) in Los Angeles March 2016.

                  Pure Comedy was co-produced once again by Josh Tillman and long-time producer Jonathan Wilson; mixed by Tillman, Wilson and Trevor Spencer, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album features string, horn and choral arrangements from classical iconoclast Gavin Bryars (Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Sinking Of The Titanic), with additional contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: One of the most anticipated records of recent times does not disappoint as Josh Tillman turns in his most personal and political songs under his Father John moniker.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  The Northern Irish artist and electronic composer’s third album is a seven-movement odyssey for analogue synthesizers and traditional colliery brass band. Only a year following on from the release of her album ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’ (‘Album Of the Year’ – Electronic Sound Magazine), ‘Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia’, explores one person's journey to outer space, by telling the story of an unknown, elderly, pioneering electronic music stargazer and her lifelong dream to leave her terraced South Yorkshire home in the mining town of Barnsley and see Cassiopeia for herself.

                  Artwork by the Grammy award winning designer Jonathan Barnbrook (David Bowie collaborator on ‘Blackstar’ and ‘The Next Day’ )

                  Recorded live on location in The Barnsley Civic Theatre by Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio team

                  ‘….Cassiopeia ’combines Peel’s analogue synths with ‘Tubular Brass’ featuring the top UK championship brass band players. It’s a collaborative sound that has never been made or heard before.

                  Hannah collaborated with Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve on the singles ‘Diagram Girl’ and ‘Creation’

                  Hannah is one third of The Magnetic North, a highly praised and expansive collaborative project with Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good The Bad And The Queen, Gorillaz) and Erland Cooper (Erland & The Carnival).

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Beautiful, cosmic synths, pulsing rhythms and that good old-fashioned digital synthesis sparkle throughout this great LP.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd LP Info: Limited edition gatefold, mirror-board LP (500 copies)

                  On In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums - 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas - so beloved. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M. Greif-Neill (Julia Holter, Beck), In Mind delivers the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band - pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy - but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings.

                  It offers a mild shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light - one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: One of Piccadilly Records' favourite janglers return with another swooningly resigned ache-a-thon, this time with added quirk and expanded dynamism thanks to the addition of the splendid Julian Lynch on lead guitar.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies only limited coloured vinyl with gold foil imprint.

                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Grizzly Bear are back! It's been five long years since 'Shields' and their newest outing, 'Painted Runs' takes the ideologies of that stylistic curveball, and coherently matures it into a pulsing throng of grace and intricacy. From the outset, 'Wasted Acres' seems to hark back to the minimalistic woozy sombre-tronica of yesteryear but quickly gives-in to it's inner lounge-lizard with a throbbing harmonic redux into some sleazy lounge-jazz before smoothly seguing back to the gloom-led minor-key drone. 

                  'Mourning Sound' drives along with a little more energy, bolstered by swelling synth pulses and flickering light-ray saw-waves, a sentiment echoed on it's follow-up 'Four Cypresses', with a metronomic flicker gracefully joined by a militant snare march, and an oddly jarring but brilliantly tempered lo-fi string sample. As it grows, there is more cinematic outpourings and theatrical gestures with a grand euphoric progressive lurch and choral echoes crackling in and out of lucidity like waking from a dream. 

                  Latterly, we get gifted some melodic groovers in the form of 'Losing All Sense', with rhythmic guitar upsweeps and warm distorted bass slowly decaying into the background, and 'Cut-Out' giving the hazy summer vibes before dipping a toe into twangy Americana waters. 

                  Grizzly Bear once again continue to defy convention with deft stylistic progressions and impeccably produced seismic shifts, whilst still retaining the sullen melancholic charm of their alt-folk psychedelic roots. 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A fascinating progression of the languid wistful acoustic guitars of yesteryear, furthering their explorations into angular progressive chord sequences and jagged stylistic morphs.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  2xLtd LP Info: 180 gram double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                  2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Sometimes it can take years to find your calling. Not so, for wanderer Julie Byrne; whose power of lyrical expression and melodic nous seems inborn. But often, what comes naturally demonstrates against speed. Julie’s second album Not Even Happiness has taken time to evolve, but as it spans recollections of bustling roadside diners, the stars over the high desert, the aching weariness of change, the wildflowers on the coast of California and the irresolvable mysteries of love. Her new album archives a vivid world that would've otherwise been lost to the road and in doing so, Byrne exhibits her extraordinarily innate musicality.

                  In fact, some of the album’s songs took two years of fine tuning to get where they needed to be. And if you were to ask her why the follow up to 2014's Rooms With Walls And Windows has taken so long, you’d only be greeted with a bemused smile as though it's the strangest question she's ever been asked; “Writing comes from a natural process of change and growth. It took me up to this point to have the capacity to express my experience of the time in my life that these songs came from.”

                  Having counted Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Northampton, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, Seattle, New Orleans as her home in recent years. For now, Julie has settled in New York City where she moonlights as a seasonal urban park ranger in Manhattan. Whether witnessing the Pacific Northwest for the first time (‘Melting Grid’), the morning sky in Colorado after staying up through the night at a house party in the mountains of Boulder (‘Natural Blue’), recording the passage of freight trains on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York ('Interlude'), or a journey fragrant with rose water; reading Frank O’Hara aloud from the passengers seat during a drive through the desert of Utah into the rainforest of Washington State (‘All The Land Glimmered Beneath’), Not Even Happiness is Julie’s beguilingly ode to the fringes of life.

                  Self-taught on the guitar after picking it up when her father became ill and could no longer play the instrument himself, Julie readily admits she can’t read music and doesn't even listen to it all that much - the first vinyl she owned was indeed, her own. Recorded with producer Eric Littmann (Phantom Posse), Julie laid down the new album in her childhood home in western New York state and offers an altogether bigger picture to its predecessor through a wider, yet subtle, exploration of instruments and atmospherics, Not Even Happiness reveals an artist who has grown in confidence over time.

                  Byrne's debut album was released back in January 2014 on Chicago based DIY label Orindal after initially being as two separate cassettes releases. Rooms With Walls and Windows went onto become a true modern-day word of mouth success story (it would have to be for an artist who shuns all forms of social media) and ended the year being voted number 7 in Mojo magazine's best albums of the year, with the Huffington Post calling it "2014's Great American Album". A collection of hushed intimate front porch psych-folk songs, that unknowingly recalled the greats, but felt very much for our time. It saw her travel to Europe over two summers playing the Green Man festival and End Of The Road, as well as lesser trodden tour paths around Europe.

                  Julie Byrne will take the songs from Not Even Happiness (the first release on a new record label Basin Rock, based in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border town of Todmorden) on the road throughout 2017.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Lightly strummed and impeccably arranged folk guitars meet with swaying and mournful vocals all purposefully and beautifully delivered as a shining example of minimal affectations with maximum results.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: LP jacket is gloss laminate with front & back folds on the outside.
                  The back panel is uncoated/matt varnish - 300 gsm card and 180g vinyl.
                  Digital Download included.

                  Piccadilly favourites, synth-dub heroes and psychedelic explorers Peaking Lights return with their fifth LP, "The Fifth State Of Consciousness", a tripped out pop masterpiece recorded in their Dreamfuzz studio over the last two years. Ditching the label to go it alone, this LP comes self released from the heart, retaining the dubwise pop sensibilities of old while wearing the influence of house and psychedelia more plainly than ever before.
                  Wonderfully diverse, the double LP offers a broad range of tempos and tone from the washed out dream pop stroll of opening track "Dreaming Outside", through the fuzz-heavy nugget "I'll Be In The Sky" (one for the Tame Impala fans) to the low slung groove of "Que Du Bon" and casio Balearic "A Phoenix And A Fish". Though they may be varied, the twelve tracks are tied together by the ever-presence of timeless pop hooks and the far out sonics of Aaron Coyes' production. The whole creative process was filled with nerdy gadgetry, playful experimentation and deep alchemical soul searching for a musical medicine. Aaron describes Dreamfuzz as 'a small junkyard with many happy mistakes', using tape machines, writing melodies backwards then playing them in reverse, layering sound upon sound to create 'pads', literally breaking electronics to get sounds, and a strict motto of 'anything goes, pure creativity'. Most sounds were run through Peaking Lights' 1976 16/8 Soundcraft Series Two mixing console (the same type of board used by Lee 'Scratch' Perry at Black Ark, and at the infamous Cargo Studios where many of the early Factory Records bands were recorded) to add some extra mojo and the whole album sparkles as a result. Five albums in and Peaking Lights still do outsider pop music better than anyone else! 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: Tropical cyperpunk Aaron Coyles returns with more of his idiosyncratic, hypnagogic-dub-pop. And boy is it a belter.

                  Recently championed by Gilles Peterson on his BBC6 Music radio show, "Dilla" by Abstract Orchestra has been generating a buzz since it's inception in 2016.

                  Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra seeks to reflect the diversity of music sampled by Hip-Hop producers by presenting music that has the complexity of jazz, framed within the simpler structures of Hip-Hop. 

                  Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40 piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla. The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of sax, trumpet and trombone and features the cream of the north of England's jazz scene.

                  "Dilla" by Abstract Orchestra is a tribute to the work of the highly acclaimed and influential producer. Opener "Welcome to Detroit/The Diary" takes the the vocal sample from Isaac Hayes's "Man's Temptation" and places it against lush brass and driving beats while "Workinonit" transplants the original 10cc guitar samples from the Dilla original onto biting trumpets and aggressive saxes, underpinned as always by Joost Hendrickx's on point drumming. On "Stop" vocalist Anna Uhuru handles the Dionne Warwick vocal with assurance while the band lay down an arrangement that is reminiscent of the work of David Axelrod and Don Sebeskey.

                  The middle of the album revolves around 2 Dilla medleys featuring versions and sections of"Airworks", "ULove", "Last Donut" and "Welcome To The Show"."Raw Shit" sees Farfisa organ underpinning the insistent brass figures with the bass taking on an almost bassoon-like quality while "Official/Fall In Love" sees Anna & Akin provide a stunning vocal performance, trading lines over the delicate horn arrangement. "Fantastic" features the Rhodes intro of the original which is then taken up by the flutes and baritone sax. Inspired by the work of 20th century classical composers like Barber and Copeland the 2nd half of the arrangement takes on an almost orchestral feel with shades of Gil Evans.

                  "Love","So Far To Go","A.N.G.E.L.", and "Sun In My Face" provide interesting takes on these well known Dilla originals while album closer "Two Can Win"(recently championed by Gilles Peterson on his BBC6 Music show) acts as a showcase for the variety of Anna Uhuru's vocals, blending the style of the original Sylvers track with Minnie Ripperton style harmonies, 70's funk and Lalo Schiffrin/JJ Johnson film score vibes.

                  Let's face it 'Donuts' is probably the best cut up album there is, so how can you not love this?! Awesome.




                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Millie says: If I could think up a perfect record it would be this exact one. Dilla originals switched up by Abstract Orchestra brings a huge influx of jazzy hip hop beats. So good!

                  New Los Angeles Wichita Recordings signings Froth release their third album ‘Outside (briefly)’.

                  Formed in Los Angeles in 2013, Froth first garnered attention with their debut album, ‘Patterns’. Originally intended as a small-run cassette release, the album quickly became an underground sensation in the Southern California music scene, catapulting the band to local fame and prompting a vinyl re-release in 2014. The following year saw the arrival of ‘Bleak’, a more dynamic, adventurous effort that matched lush shoegaze soundscapes with driving krautrock beats.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Mine says: LA psych-pop-kraut-gazers Froth are back with their third LP, a fuzzy but melodic shoegaze pop outing that features some of their most experimental yet accessible work to date.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl LP includes digital download code.

                  Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  “Divination/Cleromancy/Comes the card that I refused to see” – The Afghan Whigs, “Oriole”  

                  “Cleromancy” isn’t a word one normally finds in rock lyrics. Then again, In Spades – the new album by The Afghan Whigs, from which the new song “Oriole” hails – is defined only by its own mystical inner logic. The term means to divine, in a supernatural manner, a prediction of destiny from the random casting of lots: the throwing of dice, picking a card from a deck. From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery.  

                  On the one hand, In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording.  

                  Indeed, the chemistry of the lineup – Dulli, guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, drummer Patrick Keeler, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and Whigs co-founder/bassist John Curley – set the tone for In Spades’ creation. When it came to follow up the band’s triumphant return to recording – Do To the Beast (Sub Pop 2014), which was the band’s first ever Top 40 album, – the die was cast. “This is the first time since Black Love [the Whigs’ 1996 noir masterpiece] that we’ve done a full-blown band album,” Dulli says.  

                  The joys, sorrows, and upheavals of innocence and experience echo throughout In Spades: it powerfully documents where The Afghan Whigs have been, and where they might go next. For Dulli and Curley, it’s a journey that, since their origins as one of the first Sub Pop acts to be signed from outside the label’s Pacific Northwest base, has spanned decades. Dulli notes they were barely in their twenties when they first started the band, and yet here they are, fulfilling dreams long held and frequently realized. “Having a break from the Whigs helped me remember what made it so rewarding,” Curley says. “Over the course of a lifetime, there are constants, and there’s also change. You see who’s dropped off the vine – who’s going in reverse, and who’s still by your side. It’s interesting to see where life takes you, and where it doesn’t. That’s the journey and it hasn’t stopped.”

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Encompassing aspects of stoner, psych and indie-rock, Afghan Whigs have always veered towards the art-rock end of the spectrum, but this is their most direct and cohesive offering yet. Heavy but highly melodic, full of anthemic highs and measured restraint. A brilliantly formed tornado of rock and/or roll.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive, Loser Edition white vinyl.

                  Manchester’s idiosyncratic art-popologists Dutch Uncles return with Big Balloon, their new studio album, on 17th February 2017 on Memphis Industries.

                  Big Balloon is the latest chapter in Dutch Uncles’ brilliantly witty, hip-swiveling, left-field adventures. Taking musical inspiration from Kate Bush's The Red Shoes, Low-era David Bowie, some slightly-less fashionable records belonging to their Dads and East European techno, it's the fifth Dutch Uncles studio album and the follow-up to 2015's acclaimed O Shudder.

                  Functioning as ten distinct pieces, each tackling a different topic, including austerity cuts, therapy, fried chicken, paranoia and coming to terms with loneliness, Big Balloon is Dutch Uncles’ finest album to date, taking listeners on an exhilarating cerebral journey.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Bracing, inventive, catchy electronic-tinged indie at it's very finest. Never afraid to stray from conventions but managing to keep the hooks flowing, DU deliver both a benchmark and a triumph.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl.

                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  The ever reliable RVNG Intl. return to Piccadilly this week with the second album proper from electronic experimentalists and ambient boundary pushers Visible Cloaks. In 2010, Spencer Doran, one half of Visible Cloaks alongside Ryan Carlile, prepared the first volume of "Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo", a mixtape intended as an investigation into fourth-world undercurrents in Japanese ambient and pop music, years 1980 - 1986. These mixes contextualized the outré orbit of Yellow Magic Orchestra-related solo projects and their abstract, radiant forays as forever futuristic modes of music, and became a highly influential listen on a generation of DJs, musicians and collectors. "Reassemblage" evokes similar musical futures celebrated on the Fairlights mixes, but does so observantly rather than reverently. The foundation of the duo’s second album is gently poured upon the ground their musical predecessors explored, using the materials of chance operations, MIDI “translation,” and other generative principles that favor inclusive musical environments over the narrowly constrained. Often the duo strip tonal elements of their specificity or randomize melodies so they become stirring and lucid. Essential patterns emerge, conscious experience heightens. In these moments, the musical language of "Reassemblage" finds unlimited resonance and presents a path to uninhabited realities. The origin of this language could be described as translingual or polyglottal, working within the eastern / western feedback loop of influence, Fourth World ambiguity, and the universality of human emotion. Incorporating an international array of virtual instruments to advance the idea of panglobalism through digital simulation, tones and colors cohere into a living, breathing pool of sensorial experience in Visible Cloaks’ environs. Beyond embracing the fluidity of worldly musical influences, Visible Cloaks works fluently between mediums. The contribution of stalwart digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy’s dream dimensions to "Reassemblage"’s cover artwork and surrounding videos extends the album’s exploration of global headspace into a visual, visceral reality.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Martin says: Visible Cloaks second LP sows seeds from the angular, exotic world of Japanese electronic pop, and reaps a beguiling and at times unsettled East-West hybrid of textures, rhythms and moods.

                  Third album from Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. who, along with his drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, and their bass player, keys and horns man extraordinaire, JFAbraham, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe.

                  Released 7th July, on Every Valley Willgoose takes us on a journey down the mineshafts of South Wales valleys. Yet the record is a metaphor for a much larger, global and social malaise, using the history of coal mining to shine a light on the disenfranchised.

                  The album features guest vocals from James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers), Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut, the award winning Welsh singer Lisa Jên Brown, and Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell on lead single ‘Progress’.

                  Recorded at the Ebbw Vale Institute, South Wales.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: An epic trek through space-rock, bombastic choral harmonies and weighty orchestral beauty, this conceptual affair sees Public Service Broadcasting finding the human touch.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies only limited 180 gram clear vinyl edition.

                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Ltd CD Info: Digi-pack edition.


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