DINKED EDITION

RELEASES

Dinked was founded in 2018 by Drift, Piccadilly Records, Resident and Transmission. Four independent retailers coming together to form a new collective of like-minded shops.

You’ve read all about the "vinyl revival”. You’ve heard about how physical sales are outperforming downloads. You’ve seen loads of new record shops open their doors in the past few years. All sounds pretty rosy right?

Well, yeah, it is in many ways. It’s certainly a long way from the doom and gloom record stores were facing ten years ago, when all the focus was on digital, shops were going under weekly and the outlook was rather bleak for independent record retail.

It’s true that the renewed interest and investment in vinyl has offered indie record shops a new lifeline and has given us a valid position on the high street again. However, we are facing a whole new world of challenges and pressures: the rising costs of rent, rates, wages, pensions and stock, the increasing level of competition from those wanting to jump on the bandwagon and competition from within our own sector.

As independent record shops, we all operate entirely individually. This has many advantages in that we all offer a completely different experience, range of stock, atmosphere and set of knowledge. We’re not governed by politics and don’t answer to investors, so we’re able to remain true and authentic. We wanted to establish something that allows us to work together more as a united front, celebrating our strengths and differences whilst connecting and bonding us for a common cause.

With that in mind, we stopped just talking about it, got our shit together and established DINKED

Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra

The Unfolding

    There are pieces of music that seek to tell us deeper stories. Others harness the talents of the players at their disposal in adventurous ways. Then there are the rare, generous works that make us think back to our roots as human beings and to our shared beginnings in the universe, that lift us in their melodies, rhythms and textures, that carry us with them.

    The Unfolding is all of these things. An extraordinary eight-part collaboration between composer Hannah Peel (Mercury Prize and Emmy nominee) and Paraorchestra, it was made over three years in precious morsels of time around a global pandemic. These circumstances – unexpected when the collaboration began – add weight to its explorations in sound about who we are, where we came from, and who we could all be. The Unfolding also explores Paraorchestra’s progressive idea of what an orchestra should be, mixing analogue, digital and assistive instruments with a unique ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians to make magic happen, and accessible to all.


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    A1. The Universe Before Matter [10:58]
    A2. Wild Animal [3:55]
    Side B
    B1. Passage [5:22]
    B2. The Unfolding [5:47]
    Side C
    C1. If After Weeks Of Early Sun [4:16]
    C2. Perhaps It Made Us Happy For A Minute [4:17]
    C3. We Are Part Mineral [6:06]
    Side D
    D1. Part Cloud [10:31]
    D2. The Unfolding Credits Instrumental Version [02:19] *vinyl Exclusive Not On CD*
    D3. The Unfolding Credits [02:19]

    Keeley Forsyth

    Limbs

      Keeley Forsyth’s 2020 debut album found an elemental voice ringing out from beneath the rubble. Understated but devastating, Debris' success led to a transformation as the songs were brought to the stage. An innate performer, Forsyth found herself channelling something she hadn’t yet fully come to understand, and it was here that the voice found on Debris began to probe outwards and discover a physical form. It’s a form that fully takes shape on her second album Limbs.

      Anyone who saw Forsyth perform in the brief window after Debris was released and before shows ground to a halt can testify to the show’s power. In pin-drop silence, enraptured audiences watched as Forsyth inhabited a new body. No stranger to portraying characters in her career as an actor, this was something different.

      Limbs is a record of reckoning with that change. After the initial purge of Debris, those feelings of trauma and fear remain but there’s also a life to live. “Save me from the chair where sadness lies,” she sings on opener ‘Fires’, wrestling the need to be creative within the routine of daily life. Where Debris was composed and recorded in close proximity to instrumentalist and arranger Matthew Bourne, Limbs deploys a more expansive palette. With Forsyth at the centre, collaborator Ross Downes acts as another limb, remotely producing the pulses and drones which feed back into the voice. Bourne this time is enlisted to “Bring some of the soil of Debris” into Limbs. The result is clearer and more spacious. If Debris sounded like it was buried under the earth - Forsyth’s voice repressed and breathless - Limbs brings some of that live presence. 


      TRACK LISTING

      1. A1. Fires
      2. A2. Bring Me Water
      3. A3. Limbs
      4. A4. Land Animal
      5. B1. Blindfolded
      6. B2. Wash
      7. B3. Silence
      8. B4. I Stand Alone

      King Hannah

      I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me

        Liverpool duo Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle, aka King Hannah have announced their debut LP I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me via City Slang. The announcement is accompanied by the release of the new single “All Being Fine”. Originally inspired by Smog and noisy, lo-fi 90s bands, the track pulls the listener in immediately with its upbeat on the outside, sinister on the inside atmospherics, coming across like the aural equivalent of the opening of David Lynch’s classic film “Blue Velvet” - the bloody finger lying in the lush green grass. The video’s sun-drenched visual, directed by Whittle, is a perfect pairing, showcasing the band at their best: enigmatic, mysterious, but blackly humorous with it.

        “All Being Fine” sets the stall perfectly for the rest of I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me , drenched as it is in cinematic, often immersive and offbeam soundscapes, punctuated by lyrics that are darkly romantic and thrillingly sardonic in equal measures. Written and then recorded with additional musicians Ted White, Jake Lipiec, and Olly Gorman in just eight months, the LP is a bold, memorable, even startling document of a dream shared, an ambition fulfilled and a vision realized. I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me is a spectacular debut from the duo and a clear indication this is the beginning of a long, fruitful journey for King Hannah.

        King Hannah make music that lives somewhere between the gorgeously meditative pop of Yo La Tengo and the beautiful drama of Sharon Van Etten, the latter of which gave them a cosign for their 2020 EP. The foundation of I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me lives in Merrick's, Raymond Carver-Esque realism-inspired lyrics. Formed in 2017, the duo met waiting tables in Liverpool. Having seen Merrick perform years before and being serendipitously assigned to show Whittle the ropes at the new job, he immediately pestered her to play music with him. A writing routine was formed leading to their debut EP Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, which garnered early attention from The Guardian, Under The Radar, Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum and more.


        TRACK LISTING

        A1. A Well-Made Woman
        A2. So Much Water So Close To Drone
        A3. All Being Fine
        A4. Big Big Baby
        A5. Ants Crawling On An Apple Stork
        A6. The Moods That I Get In
        B1. Foolius Caesar
        B2. Death Of The House Phone
        B3. Go-Kart Kid (HELL NO!)
        B4. I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me
        B5. Berenson
        B6. It’s Me And You, Kid

        A Place To Bury Strangers

        See Through You

          A Place to Bury Strangers defund post-punk orthodoxy with the most audacious and varied songwriting of their career on their sixth album, See Through You' on Oliver Ackermann's label, Dedstrange. Following up on 2021"s highly acclaimed Hologram EP, the rebooted lineup' vocalist/guitarist Oliver Ackermann plus drummer/vocalist Sandra Fedowitz and bassist John Fedowitz (both of Ceremony East Coast)' delivers an overclocked set of futuristic electronic punk music encoded with punishing industrial rhythms, swirling voltage-starved guitars and unclassifiable auditory annihilation. Across thirteen tracks recorded in seclusion throughout the nihilistic absurdity of the coronavirus pandemic, See Through You is proof-positive that the group hailed as 'The Loudest Band in New York' is still finding new ways to push the needle deeper in the red.

          BIO:
          Fans all over the globe know: Oliver Ackermann always brings surprises. The singer and guitarist of New York City’s A Place To Bury Strangers has been delighting and astonishing his audience for close to two decades, combining post-punk, noise-rock, shoegaze, psychedelia, and avant-garde music in startling and unexpected ways. As the founder of Death By Audio, creator of signal-scrambling stomp boxes and visionary instrument effects, he’s exported that excitement and invention to other artists who plug into his gear and blow minds. In concert, A Place To Bury Strangers is nothing short of astounding — a shamanistic experience that bathes listeners in glorious sound, crazed left turns, transcendent vibrations, real-time experiments, brilliant breakthroughs.

          And just as many of his peers in the New York City underground seem to be slowing down and settling in, Ackermann’s creativity is accelerating. He’s launched a label of his own: Dedstrange, dedicated to advancing the work of sonic renegades worldwide. He’s also refreshed the group’s lineup, adding bassist John Fedowitz and drummer Sandra Fedowitz, and the band has never sounded more current, or more courageous, or more accessibly melodic. The Hologram EP is the first release from the new lineup — and the first on Dedstrange — and it’s no overstatement to say that the reaction has been ecstatic. Ghettoblaster wrote that the band’s racket outpaced everything to emerge from New York City in the past decade. Brooklyn Vegan praised Ackermann’s “terrific, emotive” singing, and lauded the group’s recent commitment to foregrounding its melodies and lyrics. Pitchfork, Flood, AllMusic: they’ve all lined up to call Hologram an example of the best work of a tireless band with a deep discography and an unquenchable drive to create challenging, unprecedented music. A Place To Bury Strangers release their highly anticipated sixth album See Through You February 4, 2022 on their newly formed label Dedstrange.


          TRACK LISTING

          Side A
          1. Nice Of You To Be There For Me
          2. I’m Hurt
          3. Let’s See Each Other
          4. So Low
          5. Dragged In A Hole
          6. Ringing Bells
          7. I Disappear (When You’re Near)
          Side B
          8. Anyone But You
          9. My Head Is Bleeding
          10. Broken
          11, Hold On Tight
          12. I Don’t Know How You Do It
          13. Love Reaches Out

          Los Campesinos!

          Hello Sadness - 10th Anniversary Edition

            Hello Sadness is Los Campesinos! shooting for a pop album. Not pop-punk, not indie-pop – punchy, pristine pop. But as with everything in life, nothing ever quite goes to plan.

            The UK’s First and Only Emo Band™ (see also: Your Ex-Girlfriend’s Favourite Band©), started off with the best of intentions. Opener ‘By Your Hand’ is a horny, hilarious tragi-comedy, rife with masturbation, stallion-like thighs and a sick covered rental tuxedo. ‘Songs About Your Girlfriend’ is sarcastic and punchy, with lines cribbed from T.I songs and a drunken brag of a chorus.

            But by the title track, the bravado evaporates and from there on out, Hello Sadness might be the most gut wrenching, emotionally devastating album the group has ever produced - quite a feat considering the rest of their catalogue.

            Recorded back in 2011, just outside of Figueres, Catalonia, and their first with new members Kim, Jason and Rob, it's an album of break ups, body parts and football. An album that finds bandleader Gareth cracking while the band around him play more frantically, more powerfully than they ever had before. It’s an album that, ten years ago, cemented Los Camp!’s position as més que un band.

            Hello Sadness is the album that made you a 4lyfer. The rawness and brutal honesty that spilled out felt like an invitation to join the band itself, or at least some broken hearts support group. In current times, the effort and drive the band put into furthering progressive politics, inclusivity and DIY spirit has always been mirrored by their fans, the feeling of collective effort uniting waifs and strays worldwide to create thriving scenes, collectives, venues, bands and zines.

            But LC! aren't about to give up the good fight, and that the reissuing of Hello Sadness comes on the band’s own Heart Swells label is a reaffirmation of their commitment to being DIY till they Die. And maybe it is their pop album – John Goodmanson’s production is crisp and cutting, Jason Campesinos!’s drumming adding a controlled intensity to Tom Campesinos!’ luscious compositions – but nothing for Los Campesinos! will ever be that straightforward.

            Since its original release the band's membership has changed, beloved venues have closed, we are all far older and more jaded. But Hello Sadness still hurts. ‘The Black Bird, The Dark Slope’ swirls desperately, ‘Every Defeat a Divorce (Three Lions)’ serves as a reminder of the dust gathering thicker in the England men's football team’s trophy cabinet, and we, Los Campesinos!’s ‘sad eyed children’, still hang on their every word.

            Los Campesinos! are: Gareth (vocals, he/him), Kim (vocals and keys, she/her), Tom (lead guitar, he/him), Neil (guitar, he/him), Matt (bass, he/him), Rob (keys and percussion, he/him) and Jason (drums, he/him)


            TRACK LISTING

            Side A:
            1. By Your Hand - Remastered
            2. Songs About Your Girlfriend - Remastered
            3. Hello Sadness - Remastered
            4. Life Is A Long Time - Remastered
            5. Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions) - Remastered
            Side B:
            6. Hate For The Island - Remastered
            7. The Black Bird, The Dark Slope - Remastered
            8. To Tundra - Remastered
            9. Baby I Got The Death Rattle - Remastered
            10. Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt. II - Remastered

            Samana

            All One Breath

              Having spent two years rebuilding a Georgian farmhouse in the wild Welsh countryside, Rebecca Rose Harris and Franklin Mockett filled their car with a refined selection of instruments and a tape machine and headed to France for a three-week residency in early 2020. However, the world had different ideas and before the end of the first week they were given a simple choice: head home immediately or stay and ride out the incoming lockdown which would force the closure of all borders indefinitely.

              They decided to stay and keep working, a decision which would lead to a new record - the duo’s second full-length album following 2019’s ‘Ascension’ LP, which was richly championed by Elbow’s Guy Garvey. 'All One Breath’, continues Samana’s enthralling musical journey, weaving between various musical styles and influences, from progressive folk to an experimental, transcendental take on soul, blues, and rock.

              Bound by the limitations of those select few instruments and tape machine they had brought with them, Samana used their work to mirror the environment where it was brought to life. “We were guided by the pulse and narrative of each song as it came into fruition,” they say of the songwriting experience they undertook, “be that as a subconscious improvisation, or as a deep reflection and rumination on a dream. ‘All One Breath’ feels to be more of an archipelago than that of a single world or landscape.”

              Though many of the songs on ‘All One Breath’ were improvisations - led both by specific moments and the days and nights that Rebecca and Franklin spent wandering the surrounding hills and forests - there is still plenty of structure here. ‘The Beach’ blends meditative guitar parts with a far more focused vocal, one which repeats the question ‘Should I turn back?’ as the darkness of the composition winds around it.

              “‘The Beach’ is a song that encompasses expansion. It is an interpretation of empty space; a walk upon a shoreline that stretches in between our waking consciousness and the liminal space of dreams.”

              In another world, Samana made a quick getaway back to Wales at the start of 2020 and concocted something entirely different. Thankfully, we have ‘All One Breath’ an emotional, mysterious, and mesmerising snapshot of a time and place that was, initially, uniquely informed by its own limitations but found its release, its spark and energy in the great depths of intrigue and imagination. And aren’t we the lucky ones?


              TRACK LISTING

              Side A
              A1 Melancholy Heat
              A2 Live For The Road
              A3 The Glory Of Love
              A4 The Spirit Moving
              A5 The Beach
              Side B
              B1 Patience
              B2 All One Breath
              B3 Passing Me By
              B4 Leaving
              B5 Begin Again

              Dinked Edition - Flexi Disc Bonus Track:
              1. Ymlaen

              Caroline

              Caroline

                UK eight-piece caroline’s eponymous debut album often cascades with force like an avalanche, squalling and rumbling on the edge of all-out collapse. At other points they slip back into impossibly fragile moments of quiet – a simple bassline or a rattle of snare the only sound amid a dark sea of silence. caroline know exactly the right balance between restraint and release. These songs are expansive and emotive pieces, their rich palette drawing on a mixture of choral singing, Midwestern emo and O’Malley and Llewellyn’s roots in Appalachian folk.

                “Sometimes things sound much better when there’s empty space,” says Llewellyn. “Sometimes you might populate [a song] with too many things and forget that an element on its own is enough.” Elsewhere on the record the band have employed a collage-like technique, combining snippets of lo-fi recordings from a myriad of different locations – a barn in France, the members’ bedrooms and living rooms, the atmospheric swimming pool in which they also filmed sublime live sessions for ‘Dark blue’ and ‘Skydiving onto the library roof’ – with more traditional group sessions at the Total Refreshment Centre and their studio in Peckham.

                The growth that began as a scrappy guitar band above a pub many years ago is still continuing. caroline’s astounding debut album is merely the first step. 


                TRACK LISTING

                Side A
                Dark Blue
                Good Morning (red)
                Desperately
                IWR
                Messen #7
                Side B
                Engine (eavesdropping)
                Hurtle
                Skydiving Onto The Library Roof
                Zilch
                Natural Death

                Dinked Edition 7” Tracklisting:
                Side A - Good Morning (red) Demo
                Side B - Dirty Triple (3) #2

                Kreidler

                Spells And Daubs

                  In a year of the moon, Kreidler have produced the album Spells And Daubs. In a year of the moon – and in a year with 13 moons. Such years are known for not being the most comfortable.

                  In September 2020 the band met for exploratory sessions and initial recordings in Düsseldorf, in the familiar settings of the Kabawil Theater. That already has a certain tradition. The impetus this time was a solitary gig in the conspicuously spacious surroundings of the (former) Philipshalle. In a year that threw everyone back on themselves. Over the winter Kreidler worked remotely, sifting through the material, arranging the pieces, adding textures and contours. They met again in the spring of 2021 for further recordings at the Uhrwerk Orange studio in Hilden, near Düsseldorf. That, too, has a certain tradition.

                  From fifteen pieces they filtered out ten, and thus held an album in their hands. Then – and this is new – they took it to London, to Peter Walsh, so that he could mix the tracks.

                  Daubs are in no doubt here. This is a tenfold of colourful-blotches-thrown-onto-canvas. Then a stepping back, contemplating, remixing paint, layering, overlaying, scraping free again elsewhere. And these spells are not devastating curses, rather they are enchanting incantations, a calling forth a spring without having to ban winter in a sombre masks. Spells And Daubs is a melodious interplay. Not that Kreidler neglect the rhythmic; their characteristic drive runs through all the pieces on Spells And Daubs. Perhaps it's like this: The beat is musicalised, the melody rhythmitised.

                  Spells And Daubs is like a collection of short stories. Its ten pieces explore the same space drawn together by an overlaying arc. All of them have the length of a single, and each one has the potential of a single in the way the arrangements are laid out – so enticing is the melodic line and the beat. This succinctness was perhaps last heard on the 2000 eponymous Kreidler album. The drums are powerful with a light swing. The bass alternates beyond its functionality and its indicator just of the low frequency, swoops up and takes over the melodic lead. Perhaps most beautiful in the irresistible pop gems Arena, Unframed Drawings, and Revery. Aptly Alex Paulick moved to the fretless Bass – conjuring the spirit of Mick Karn.

                  For all of their Krautrock attributions, Kreidler never tire of reminding us that their musical development stemmed form a love of British pop music. So you might say the co-op with Peter Walsh is a match made in heaven. His illustrious mixing and production skills have lifted works from Shalamar or Lynx to Heaven 17 to Scott Walker, Pulp or FKA Twigs into other spheres. Kreidler had previously collaborated with him in 2013 for two tracks (Snowblind, Escaped, BB169). On Spells And Daubs, Walsh's methods and magic are especially audible in the spatial production, with his hallmark blend of depth and punch. Spells And Daubs is wrapped up in an enigmatic black-and-white drawing by prolific artist and filmmaker Heinz Emigholz from his Basis of Make-Up series. Their ongoing collaboration feels like a constant now. The mutual interference of Heinz Emigholz's and Kreidler's universes started about ten years ago, when he expanded the album Den with seven videos.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A
                  A1 Tantrum
                  A2 Toys I Never Sell
                  A3 Dirty Laundry
                  A4 Revery
                  A5 Unframed Drawings
                  Side B
                  B1 Freundchen
                  B2 Arise Above
                  B3 Music Follows Suit
                  B4 Arena
                  B5 Greetings From Dave

                  Dinked Edition Bonus Disc:
                  Side C
                  C1 Howling At The Third Moon
                  C2 Moon
                  Side D
                  D1 Howling

                  The Reds, Pinks And Purples

                  Summer At Land's End

                    Summer at Land’s End is not an interlude or tangent for The Reds, Pinks & Purples but rather a perfect fourth movement following the albums Anxiety Art, You Might Be Happy Someday, and Uncommon Weather. As with these self-recorded records (the primary work of songwriter Glenn Donaldson), the songs on Summer at Land’s End were crafted slowly and then drawn together to make a unified statement. But here, and more than before, Summer at Land’s End combines Donaldson’s rueful pop sensibility with a parallel musical universe, one composed of pictures, dreams, and feelings without words. Even if the underlying theme of this collection is one of conflict or unhappiness, the vision of the music presents an escape to a new world, always fading in and out of sight.

                    For listeners who may not be familiar with Donaldson’s corner of San Francisco––the Richmond district––or the current wave of hazy, melodic DIY pop groups performing in the city, Summer at Land’s End pulls in images and scenes that feel like a collision of the mundane and the sublime of this present landscape. But settings such as these are the backdrop for personal narratives, expressed as a struggle with love, with companionship and the conflicts of home. With this record, The Reds, Pinks & Purples give less focus to the vanities of a subculture and more to the challenge of connecting with someone, to the ordinary goals of being human and finding harmony with others.

                    This deliberate saturation in drama and ambiance, along with some of Donaldson’s best songwriting to date, is what gives Summer at Land’s End its special class in the project’s discography. Of the album’s cinematic mood, Donaldson refers to films like Summer of ‘42 and the influence of the classic 4AD catalogue of the 1990s. This style informs much of Donaldson’s prior and current ventures of course (The Ivytree, Vacant Gardens, and a dozen projects in between) but now The Reds, Pinks & Purples have taken the mantle, embracing this instinct for instrumental or dreamier modes of pop songwriting. It’s a pleasure to experience Summer at Land’s End, as this record finds a thrilling balance between songs and sounds, instruments and voices, and the ironic twin poles of art and life.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Don’t Come Home Too Soon (03:12)
                    2. Let’s Pretend We’re Not In Love (03:06)
                    3. New Light (02:53)
                    4. My Soul Unburdened (02:21)
                    5. Summer At Land’s End (07:02)
                    6. Pour The Light In (04:10)
                    7. All Night We Move (02:42)
                    8. Tell Me What’s Real (03:05)
                    9. Upside Down In An Empty Room (03:15)
                    10. Dahlias And Rain (02:37)
                    11. I’d Rather Not Go Your Way (01:56)

                    DINKED EDITION:
                    Side A
                    Don’t Come Home Too Soon (03:12)
                    Let’s Pretend We’re Not In Love (03:06)
                    New Light (02:53)
                    My Soul Unburdened (02:21)
                    Summer At Land’s End (07:02)
                    Side B
                    Pour The Light In (04:10)
                    All Night We Move (02:42)
                    Tell Me What’s Real (03:05)
                    Upside Down In An Empty Room (03:15)
                    Dahlias And Rain (02:37)
                    I’d Rather Not Go Your Way (01:56)
                    Side C (DINKED EXCLUSIVE)
                    Never Said I Was Sorry Then (02:34)
                    Hummingbirds (03:19)
                    Holiday Cheer (02:56)
                    Randy, If You Were Here (02:34)
                    Public Fountains (02:37)
                    Side D (DINKED EXCLUSIVE)
                    Outer Avenues (02:37)
                    Sea Wall (02:43)
                    Mountain Lake Park (05:10)
                    Conservatory Of Flowers (03:19)
                    Like A Ghost Warmed Over (02:48)
                    Midday Sun (04:05)

                    Spoon

                    Lucifer On The Sofa

                      Spoon’s tenth album, Lucifer on the Sofa, is the band’s purest rock ’n roll record to date. Texas-made, it is the first set of songs that the quintet has put to tape in its hometown of Austin in more than a decade. Written and recorded over the last two years – both in and out of lockdown – these songs mark a shift toward something louder, wilder, and more full-colour.

                      From the detuned guitars anchoring “The Hardest Cut,” to the urgency of “Wild," to the band’s blown-out cover of the Smog classic “Held,” Lucifer on the Sofa bottles the physical thrill of a band tearing up a packed room. It’s an album of intensity and intimacy, where the music’s harshest edges feel as vivid as the directions quietly murmured into the mic on the first-take. According to frontman Britt Daniel, “It’s the sound of classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton.”


                      TRACK LISTING

                      Side A
                      Held
                      The Hardest Cut
                      The Devil & Mister Jones
                      Wild
                      My Babe
                      Side B
                      Feels Alright
                      On The Radio
                      Astral Jacket
                      Satellite
                      Lucifer On The Sofa

                      Eve Adams

                      Metal Bird

                        Eve Adams offers solace within life's shadows. Un-numbing senses with anthems of surrender and tender-hearted tales that tingle with Californian folk-noir, her album Metal Bird takes flight with the turbulence and romance of Hollywood’s golden age, and meditates on the mysteries of love, death, insecurity and loneliness.

                        Like a match struck in a cobwebbed attic, Adams voice is a fiery detective, unafraid to explore the unseen; the liminal spaces between mourning and rapture, between the coldness of a corpse and the heat of cremation. Imagery of flight and the denial of gravity floats slyly through the ten songs on Metal Bird by the California-born musician and hints at the experience of being caught in purgatory, like a passenger on a plane ride from Hell to Heaven.

                        Combining airy folk with haunting soundscapes the album takes listeners on an auditory voyage from sonorous lullabies, to dreamy ambience, skeletal jazz, 1930s torch songs and 1940s film noir. Metal Bird has a distinct, genuine tone, with orchestral arrangements, ambient hallucinations and high fidelity vocals that are unafraid to be heard loud and clear.

                        For those who are hopelessly enamoured with a by-gone time, there is solace in these songs and sounds. Flickering back and forth between dread and hope, the unrelenting march towards a spiritual transformation and the realization that each of us are driven by our own dreams and as much as we want to hold it in our hands, often it is intangible. The sublime remains elusive, existing somewhere in the heart, and it sounds like Eve Adams knows this best.

                        Metal Bird gets a release on Basin Rock, the Todmorden based record label who gave lift off to Julie Byrne, Aoife Nessa Frances, Nadia Reid and Johanna Samuels. 

                        "Metal Bird feels blissfully unmoored from any sense of time and space, its astral Americana hymns hovering somewhere between the dirt and the stars, between a bygone golden age and our tense present, between raw intimacy and dreamlike splendour." Pitchfork.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Side A
                        1. Blues Look The Same
                        2. You're Not Wrong
                        3. Butterflies
                        4. A Walk In The Park
                        5. Metal Bird
                        Side B
                        6. The Dying Light
                        7. Woman On Your Mind
                        8. La Ronde
                        9. Prisoner
                        10. My Only Dream

                        Bodega

                        Broken Equipment

                          The follow-up to the band's acclaimed debut album, Endless Scroll (2018), and 2019's Shiny New Model EP, Broken Equipment was inspired by a book club. In the early months of 2020, the Brooklyn art-punk incendiaries gathered together with close friends to study the works of a wide range of philosophers. Passionate debates lasting long into the night became a regular occurrence, motivating the band to become as ideologically unified as the weighty tomes they were reading. Broken Equipment is Bodega’s attempt to interrogate the external factors that make them who they are, propelling existential quandaries with tongue-in-cheek humour, highly personal lyrics, and irresistible grooves.

                          Since Bodega’s formation in 2016, Ben and Nikki (who previously played together in the band Bodega Bay) have experienced a rare meteoric rise. The duo double as filmmakers, earning acclaim for their 2020 erotic drama PVT Chat starring Peter Vack, Julia Fox, and other recognizable faces from the Safdie Brothers’ cinematic universe. When the pandemic forced them to hit pause, they used the opportunity to regroup with drummer/performance artist Tai Lee, bassist/book club leader Adam See, and lead guitarist Dan Ryan. Broken Equipment was produced by Ben himself with Bobby Lewis, Bodega’s NYC live sound mixer. The record was mixed by Bryce Goggin, whom the band sought out for his work with Pavement, and Adam Sachs (WIVES).

                          The album’s 12 songs are set in present day New York City, packing in references to contemporary issues of algorithmic targeting, media gentrification, and the band itself. On 'NYC (disambiguation)', they break down how the Big Apple was “founded by a corporation” and history remains alive in the present. The poetic 'Pillar on the Bridge of You' is the first love song Ben ever wrote for Nikki, while 'All Past Lovers' gazes back to the “southern belle” and “chat room suitor” who still live inside him today.

                          To accompany the propulsive pace of 'Statuette on the Console' and its lyrics about switching perspectives, Nikki recorded alternate versions in eight different languages. “I used God in that song as this arch overlord character, but it could also be a real estate developer,” she explains. “It’s about anyone who puts their reality on your back and forces you to carry it around.” In that song, Nikki also wryly states that although she doesn’t have faith in this particular “God,” she is still “living life with (my) platitudes.” On 'Territorial Call of the Female', Nikki playfully quips that “when the man is around that’s when I’m putting you down,” highlighting how in the past she unknowingly reinforced patriarchal values by turning against other women to attract men. It’s moments like these where Bodega most exemplifies their self-professed motto that “the best critique is self critique.”

                          As the band’s art director, Nikki commissioned the sculpture featured on the cover of Broken Equipment as a companion to the cover of their debut, Endless Scroll. “They’re in the same world,” she explains. “The Endless Scroll sculpture was kind of shaped like a computer but also a gavel that a judge would have. That album was about how we do not yet know in the information age what technology is doing to our brains. It was almost on the precipice of a judgement. Now, with the pointing finger machine on the cover of Broken Equipment, I wanted to convey the sense in which social media and Web 2.0 turn people who would otherwise be allies against each other.”


                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Thrown
                          2. Doers
                          3. Territorial Call Of The Female
                          4. NYC (Disambiguation)
                          5. Statuette On The Console
                          6. C.I.R.P.
                          7. Pillar On The Bridge Of You
                          8. How Can I Help Ya?
                          9. No Blade Of Grass
                          10. All Past Lovers
                          11. Seneca The Stoic
                          12. After Jane

                          Boy Harsher

                          The Runner (OST)

                            Boy Harsher’s latest release, ‘The Runner (Original Soundtrack)’, is an exorcism.

                            Augustus Muller and Jae Matthews’ fifth release entitled ‘The Runner (Original Soundtrack)’ is not a traditional album. Rather, it is the soundtrack to a short film, also entitled ‘The Runner’. The film, written, produced, and directed by the duo, is a searching horror film, attached to a meta-style “documentary” about Boy Harsher’s recording process. The album includes several distinct components: cinematic arrangements, vocal features, and of course classic Boy Harsher dark pop.

                            Last year, in the midst of the obvious chaos (the global pandemic), but additionally with Jae’s MS diagnosis, Augustus started working on moody, cinematic sketches. It was uncertain what these pieces would become, other than catharsis. In Jae’s period of convalescence, she kept thinking about this sinister character: a woman running through the woods. Together, they developed this idea further into a film. They were unable to tour, a drastic (and isolating) shift in their career, and making ‘club music’ did not feel right. But there was so much they needed to get out. The next Boy Harsher release would be a reconciliation of this time. The album processes feelings of universal anxiety and the confrontation of at home illness. A necessary expulsion during a time of unrest.

                            The album opens with “Tower”. The only track on ‘The Runner (Original Soundtrack)’ that Boy Harsher has previously played live, but never recorded. The song is an incantation, with its pulsing synth and Jae’s begging vocals. A spell about desire and impending destruction. Jae asks 'But are you honest? Do you trust? You trust in me?' Questions answered by her desperate yells. It starts both the film and the soundtrack with a heavy presence.

                            Two songs on ‘The Runner (Original Soundtrack)’ feature vocalists other than Jae Matthews. He allows a distinct sound for both vocalists and really leans into the possibility of divergent genres. “Machina”, is a HI-NRG homage, performed by Mariana Saldaña of Boan, and “Autonomy” a new wave tribute, performed by Cooper B. Handy of Lucy. Augustus Muller fully embraces the soundtrack ethos, by creating fictional ‘bands’ to generate additional content.

                            ‘The Runner (Original Soundtrack)’ is exactly what’s in the name: a soundtrack. At first the shape of the release was nebulous - yet once realized the album is dynamic. It serves as the story of the running figure and her musical accompaniment. Those expecting a traditional release will be surprised, but not disappointed.


                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1. Tower
                            A2. Give Me A Reason
                            A3. Autonomy (Feat. Lucy - Cooper B. Handy)
                            A4. The Ride Home
                            B1. Escape
                            B2. Machina (Feat. Ms. BOAN - Mariana Saldaña)
                            B3. Untitled (Piano)
                            B4. I Understand

                            Molly Nilsson

                            Extreme

                              “The letter X marks the spot, crosses over, literally with a cross. It’s the former, the ex-. The ex-lover known simply as “an ex”. Ex- is the latin prefix meaning “out”. Exterior, an exit. Extraordinary. Excellent. It’s exciting. Generation X. X-files. X is the unknown. X is Extreme“.

                              Extreme is Molly Nilsson’s tenth studio album. Recorded in 2019 and throughout the 2020 global pandemic at home in Berlin, Extreme is a departure for Nilsson, an explosion of angry love. It’s an album of anthems for the jilted generation, soaked with joy and offering solace, bristling with distorted, Metal guitars and planet-sized choruses that bring light to the dark centre of the galaxy. It’s an album of the times, by the times and for the people. It’s a record about power. About how to fight it, how to take it and how to share it.

                              Absolute Power explodes with massive guitars, double kick beats and the instantly iconic line “It’s me versus the black hole at the centre of the galaxy.” Nilsson’s performance itself portrays absolute power in its confidence but the song is a call-to-arms, an entreaty to grasp the here and now, to take the power back. It’s Nilsson pacing the ring and we’re instantly in her corner. Earth Girls takes familiar Molly Nilsson themes - female empowerment and subverting the patriarchy - but casually throws in one of the choruses of her career. “Women have no place in this world” she sings, but it’s the world that isn’t good enough. Stadium-sized but still warmly hazy, Earth Girls has its fists in the air, glorifying in harmony, almost ecstatic in its feeling good. Nilsson’s Springsteen-level conviction and righteousness bleeds through the speaker cones, the cognitive dissonance between the song’s cadences and angry lyrics redolent of Bruce in his prime. Female empowerment isn’t always an angry energy on Extreme, however. On Fearless Like A Child, Nilsson’s anthem to the female body and women’s sovereignty of it, she croons over a mid-80s blue-eyed Soul groove. It sets a nocturnal scene as the narrator surveys her past and her surroundings. Before we’re fully submerged in a dreamlike, Steve McQueen-era Prefab Sprout poem to learning from your mistakes the song erupts into one of those lines only Molly Nilsson can get away with: “I love my womb, come inside I feel so alive” she fervently sings. Against the backdrop of ever-encroaching, conservative rulings on women’s reproductive rights in places like Texas, it’s simultaneously angry and full of love.

                              Every song on Extreme is a gleaming gem in a pouch of jewels. On Kids Today, Nilsson is the voice of wisdom, archly commenting on the eternal struggle between youth and authority. Wisdom infuses Sweet Smell Of Success with a transcendent love that forgives the narrator’s shortcomings and celebrates the moment, it’s a letter to the author from the author that asks “what is success” and concludes that this is it, this song, this moment. It’s a rare moment of simple reflection that is generous in its insight to Nilsson’s inner life. “Success” is a tool of power and we don’t need it… We need power tools and there are moments on Extreme where it feels like Nilsson is showing us how to find them. It's an open conversation through out Extreme. She’s a warm, comforting presence through out the album and specially on these songs of encouragement, songs perhaps sang to a younger Molly Nilsson or, really, to whomever needs to hear them. “They’ll praise your efforts, they’ll call you slurs a rebel, a master, an amateur / Merely with your own existence, you already offer your resistance.” On Avoid Heaven she’s even more direct, pleading with us to avoid concepts of purity and to embrace the glorious, ebullient, emotional mess we’re often in as a method of upending the power structures who need things to be perfect.

                              They Will Pay brings back the big, distorted power chords in the form of a agit-punk, pop slammer. Of course, when Molly Nilsson does punk pop we get the catchiest chorus this side of The Bangles or The Nerves. It’s rendered in an off the cuff, throwaway manner that is just perfect in its roughness. However, it’s on Pompeii that Nilsson delivers the album’s epic, emotional heartbreaker. Like 1995 on Nilsson’s album Zenith, or Days Of Dust on Twenty Twenty, the lyrics of Pompeii are heavy with a transcendent sadness, an aching poetry that cuts to the truth of the heart like the best Leonard Cohen lines, though here delivered with an uplifting, life-affirming love. It contains the most personal moments of Extreme, a song lit by the dying embers of romance. Yet it’s here where the alchemy at the base of all Nilsson’s best work is found. Turning small nuggets of personal truth into big, generous universal moments that invite everyone to cry, to love and to fight the power. In an album of jewels, it might be the shining star.

                              Molly Nilsson’s biggest, boldest and most vital album to date, Extreme is about power. Against the love of power and for the power of love.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Absolute Power
                              2. Earth Girls
                              3. Fearless Like A Child
                              4. Kids Today
                              5. Intermezzo
                              6. Sweet Smell Of Success
                              7. Obnoxiously Talented
                              8. Avoid Heaven
                              9. Take Me To Your Leader
                              10. They Will Pay
                              11. Pompeii

                              ‘Fleuves de l'Ame’ is the debut album of Paris-based Tunisan artist Houeida Hedfi, produced with Olof Dreijer of The Knife. Originally a percussionist, ‘Fleuves de l' me’, is an elegant marriage of traditional folk music and contemporary sound design drawing references from Hedfi's drumming expertise and the textures of Tunisian music alongside a startlingly broad array of global genres.

                              Hedfi came to music late, getting her first drum kit aged 27 when she was already established as an academic in the field of economics / mathematics. Alongside teaching she toured playing a contemporary spin on stambeli, a genre of Afro-Arab sufi trance music heavy on rhythms. “I loved it,” she recalls, “but I had this need for melody. There was no room for that within our group, so I realised I had to start my own project.” She enlisted the help of Tunisian violin player Radhi Chaouali and Palestinian bouzouk player Jalal Nader and began rehearshals. Over nine years of travel between Tunisia, France, and Dreijer’s Berlin studio, Hedfi refined each composition with a perfectionist’s ear and found a home in melody.

                              During composition it was essential to Hedfi that the songs contained the quarter tones characteristic of Tunisian/Arabic music. “I wanted it to sound like me. In my mind, if you delete these quarter tones, it’s like deleting all the verbs from a sentence.” While her musical influences are not limited to Tunisia, she still views her album as a modern take on Tunisian music. “It’s not just Tunisian,” she adds, “it’s also made by a woman. That makes a difference. My music doesn’t take up so much space, it has nuance. If I had to put a nationality to my music, I would also put a gender to it.”

                              Each track is named for a different river, referencing both the safety found in the sound of water and the sinuous drama of each composition, which often starts peacefully, before evolving to encompass drama and tension, conflict and resolution. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: A beautiful marriage of swooning modern classical and traditional Tunisian folk music, with moments of elegiac pensiveness and more exuberant, shimmering beauty. A wonderfully written and beautifully crafted masterpiece.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Side A
                              Souffles Du Nil
                              Namami Gange (Obéissance Au Gange)
                              Side B
                              Envol Du Mékong
                              Appel Du Danube
                              Side C
                              Baisers Amers De L’Euphrate
                              Les Cloches De Yamuna
                              Echos De Medjerda
                              Side D
                              Cheminement Du Tigre



                              Los Bitchos

                              Let The Festivities Begin!

                                Panthers prowling through a desert. Cowgirls swaggering into a saloon and kicking up dust. Riding shotgun with a Tarantino heroine. Having the fiesta of your lives under a giant piñata with all your friends. Los Bitchos’ hallucinatory surf-exotica is as evocative as it is playful: the London-based pan-continental group could well be your new favourite party band with their instrumental voyages that are the soundtrack to setting alight to a row of flaming sambucas and losing yourself to the night. They’ve got a bun-tight knack for a groove – and they’ve got the best fringes in rock’n’roll too.

                                Serra Petale (guitar), Agustina Ruiz (keytar), Josefine Jonsson (bass) and Nic Crawshaw (drums) hail from different parts of the world but met via all-night house parties, or through friends, in London. Their unique sound binds them together, though, taking in a retrofuturistic blend of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf guitars. They are London’s answer to Khruangbin, if Khruangbin spent all weekend getting slammed on cheap tequila in a Dalston dive bar.


                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1. The Link Is About To Die
                                A2. I Enjoy It
                                A3. Pista (Fresh Start)
                                A4. FFS
                                A5. Tropico
                                B1. Las Panteras
                                B2. Good To Go!
                                B3. Change Of Heart
                                B4. Tripping At A Party
                                B5. Try The Circle!
                                B6. Lindsay Goes To Mykonos

                                Silverbacks

                                Archive Material

                                  In years from now, anyone seeking to make sense of what life was like during a global pandemic should extend their research beyond the newspaper clippings and dive into the art produced during the period. Archive Material - the aptly-titled second album by Dublin-based art-rock quintet Silverbacks - will make for a particularly illuminating listen on the subject. Capturing the absurd mixture of monotony and creeping disquiet experienced by many of us this past 18 months, it’s simultaneously sobering and wickedly droll.

                                  Spend more than five minutes in the company of brothers/band founders Daniel and Kilian O’Kelly and you’ll quickly realise this playfulness is hardwired. Reminiscing about their upbringing in Brussels, they gently rib one another about their early creative abilities. “When Kilian started writing music, around the age of 14/15, it was like, oh shit, that's better than what I've been doing - maybe I should latch on to him a bit,” older brother and lead singer Daniel chuckles. “And that’s still the case,” guitarist/vocalist Kilian bats back, grinning.

                                  They laugh too recalling how - prior to the existence of streaming services - they used their dad’s extensive record collection as a lending library, much to his disapproval. “The rule in the house was [you could borrow] just one CD at a time,” Daniel explains. “It was like borrowing a book: you’d check it out for a night and then the next day he'd be immediately chasing up on the CD asking, ‘Where is it?’ And then he’d fine us.”

                                  It was via these limited loans that the pair first discovered the work of Frank Zappa, the Beatles and Miles Davis, as well as some of the records and bands that would go on to inspire their output in Silverbacks specifically. “Television’s Marquee Moon was a big one,” Daniel recalls. “Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was another. And then Sonic Youth generally.”

                                  The siblings’ songwriting partnership only began in earnest when Daniel moved to Kildare to study music in 2008, with the pair swapping ideas over email under the band name Mighty Good Leaders. Two years later, Kilian joined Daniel at college in Maynooth and - after changing their name to Silverbacks - they expanded the line-up, recruiting course mates Peadar Kearney on guitar and Emma Hanlon on bass, alongside a revolving cast of drummers. This arrangement continued until 2014, when Peadar left Ireland to live in France and the band reverted back to being a bedroom project. The current incarnation of Silverbacks officially began two years later, upon Peadar’s return to Dublin, with drummer Gary Wickham completing the line-up.

                                  The five-piece’s first release together - ‘Just For A Better View’ - arrived in 2017, instantly picking up praise from an array of blogs. 2018-single, the BBC 6 Music playlisted ‘Dunkirk’ extended their audience even further, showcasing Daniel’s sardonic lyrical style as he played a man having a mid-life crisis on the site of the former battleground. As a result of the single’s success, they gigged solidly for the next two years, touring Ireland extensively, and playing shows across the UK and Europe with Girl Band, in-between working on their full-length debut, Fad.

                                  Recorded with Girl Band-bassist Daniel Fox - who the band had initially admired for his production work with Paddy Hanna - its release was initially scheduled for November 2019, before being put back to March 2020 for logistical reasons. When the music industry was derailed by the pandemic, its release was postponed indefinitely. Frustrated, the band took control and opted to put it out in July 2020, against the advice of their label. Daniel explains, “We knew it was a risk, but just for our own sanity, we just needed to get it out there and move on to the next thing.

                                  It was a leap of faith that paid off, with the Irish Times declaring the 13-track collection “seriously exciting”, DIY Magazine calling it “an excellent example of how a debut should be done” and it getting nominated for the RTE Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year. Not that the band hung around to revel in the acclaim: they were already hard at work on the follow-up.

                                  Archive Material only cements Silverbacks’ status as one of Ireland’s most fascinating bands. Recorded at Dublin’s Sonic Studios in November 2020, with Daniel Fox undertaking production duties once more, it finds the band leaning into their early influences, delivering idiosyncratic indie-rock packed with intricate, Tom Verlaine-esque “guitarmony”. Other reference points for the record included Neil Young, Weyes Blood and - on ‘Wear My Medals’ in particular - Bradford Cox and Cate Le Bon’s collaborative record Myths 004.

                                  Where Fad found Silverbacks focused on recapturing the live experience rather than reveling in studio experimentation, Archive Material skillfully traverses the line between the two. As a unit, they replicate that irrepressible live energy via complex arrangements incorporating everything from wistful Rhodes (‘Carshade’) to congas and Gang Of Four-style bass (‘Different Kind Of Holiday’).

                                  Thematically, the record is every bit as rich, displaying an anthropological approach as exemplified by the album’s artwork. The initial premise for ‘They Were Never Our People’ came from a YouTube comment, portraying the decline of a town that has lost its footfall as the result of a bypass. Meanwhile, ‘Central Tones’ is an empathetic character study of someone seemingly content to trade off former glories, but secretly deeply unhappy.

                                  On several songs, the pandemic functions as a particularly effective prism through which to examine ideas of community. ‘A Job Worth Something’ finds Daniel reflecting on his real-life experiences working in insurance while his sister treated patients on a COVID ward, and the feelings of futility and guilt he felt at the time. ‘Different Kind Of Holiday’ was inspired by the ways in which previously uncommunicative neighbours bonded with each other during periods of enforced confinement. Throughout, his observations arrived drenched in the same surreal strain of gallow’s humour that many of us were forced to adopt to lighten the toughest moments of the lockdown.

                                  Daniel explains, “I can't remember who it was, but I saw a musician who said that they'd be keeping away from writing anything about the pandemic, because who wants to hear about that? But I’d much rather hear about an event via someone who actually lived through it, rather than someone writing about it retrospectively.”

                                  Keenly observed and vividly rendered, Archive Material is an eye-witness account of human resilience as much as it is a compelling indie-rock record. Future historians take note.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Archive Material
                                  A Job Worth Something
                                  Wear My Medals
                                  They Were Never Our People
                                  Rolodex City
                                  Different Kind Of Holiday
                                  Carshade
                                  Central Tones
                                  Recycle Culture
                                  Econymo
                                  Nothing To Write Home About
                                  I’m Wild

                                  Holy Other

                                  Lieve

                                    Lieve is the long-awaited second LP by British electronic music producer Holy Other. Emerging from an extended stay at Bidston Observatory on the Wirral, Lieve was recorded throughout 2020 in the North West of England.

                                    Using the acoustics of the observatory — the cavernous basement and the geometrically-perfect wooden domes — Holy Other recorded and resampled material that would become the bedrock of Lieve.

                                    A marker in the sand as his first output since 2012’s critically acclaimed Held, these recordings — including the voice of NYX’s Sian O’Gorman, violin from Simmy Singh and saxophone from Daniel Thorne — were cut, manipulated and pieced together to form Lieve.

                                    “How do you break up with a place?”

                                    Have you ever tried to leave your problems behind? No matter how hard you try to reshape yourself, your past remains. This is an album about L(i)eaving, coming to terms with the past, and trying to live in the present.

                                    Much like his past work, Holy Other leaves the listener to draw their own semantic conclusions from the record. The lyrics are ambiguous — ghostly voices, whispers and stutters interwoven with his signature sound palette.

                                    Still, the expressive mood from prior releases remains intact, even if these intimate textures and deft rhythms pick up more mature questions about false starts and failed escapes.

                                    The title track single Lieve breaks almost a decade of silence, finding the language to articulate painful feelings, exhaling, and moving forward.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Dirt Under Your Nails
                                    2. Lieve
                                    3. Absolutes
                                    4. Heartrendering
                                    5. Up Heave
                                    6. Whatever You Are You're Not Mine
                                    7. Groundless
                                    8. Refuse
                                    9. Shudder
                                    10. Bough Down

                                    Peakes

                                    Peripheral Figures

                                      The sound of PEAKES has always been steeped in isolation, crafting hymnal electro-pop that floats, weightless and suspended, over the world they move through. Using the lens of nostalgia as a kind of refuge, their synth-led dreamscapes defy any sense of time and place: their sound is both current, yet transportive like a memory.

                                      Since their formation in 2017, vocalist Molly Puckering, synth-player and producer Max Shirley and drummer Pete Redshaw, have been solidifying what it means to be PEAKES. With a smattering of EPs and singles laying out their statement of intent, each one a run-up growing in momentum, their trajectory was clear: get into the studio and bring the music to the stage. This was the plan for the Leeds-based trio in 2020 – until the world stopped. No one could have predicted that touring and recording, an artist’s lifeblood, would grind to a global halt, and PEAKES could never have predicted that in a year defined by impossibilities, they would make their debut album, Peripheral Figures.

                                      “I think last year, when you had everything taken away from you, it made it easier to try something new,” says Molly. Having released their four-track EP ‘Pre-Invented World’ on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, amidst the world’s disorder, their music fell into a void: the appetite for new music had understandably dried up, and there was nothing PEAKES could do to change that. So rather than dwell on it, they took a step back and returned to the drawing board and went back to basics, learning to fall in love with music again through the purest sense of creation.

                                      Yet despite the logistical hurdles they had to overcome during the pandemic, where ten minutes might as well have been ten thousand miles away, Peripheral Figures is their most personal, hands-on project yet – and it’s entirely their own. Molly recorded her vocals in the wardrobe of her bedroom, while Pete’s drums were sent in a file-sharing back and forth over email: a departure from the sessions they’d had with producers in fully-fledged studios. “This is the closest that we wanted everything to sound like,” Max says. “Whereas before, it was someone else’s vision too, this time, we’ve had the final say, and it feels great.”

                                      The suspended time allowed them to experiment without a timeframe, having the opportunity to dedicate hours to perfecting the details, rather than minutes. What started as a means of escapism developed into an album which not only serves as the definitive realisation of PEAKES’ potential, but acts as a capsule for the universal feeling of isolation channelled through boundless imagination.

                                      Another freedom that the pandemic afforded them was to step away from a singles-driven mindset, embracing slow-burning songs that didn’t necessarily meet the tick-box requirements of upbeat with the ability to instantly connect with a listener. “Clouds”, one of the most interesting tracks on Peripheral Figures, wouldn’t exist if they weren’t writing in an album state of mind. Sonically stripped back, Molly’s entrancing, almost spoken vocals, carry it. “We’re quite nostalgic in the sounds we use and the world we want to create,” says Max. Inspired by the hazy dreamscapes of shoegaze, PEAKES choose to bring those elements forward, leaning towards synth rather than guitar. “Infinite Divide” merges the retrospective, synth-driven energy of the 80s and brings it to the brink of modernity. Experimenting with distortion, PEAKES welcomed the grittiness that their DIY production created over the far more polished, studio-level sheen they’d been used to. While the two tracks stand in contrast to one another, they are also the band’s favourites: “We’d never written two songs with that much energy from the start,” says Molly.

                                      “Day and Age” was written with nightclubs in mind, with its propulsive, entirely electric new-wave beat dreaming of crowded spaces. Their lyrics, penned between Max and Molly, usually came from a place of observation: “We didn’t realise how much we were influenced by being out in the world until we weren’t in it anymore,” Molly says. Using limitless imagination as a crutch, they started to explore scenarios in their head, embedded themselves into different stories. “Nameless Machines” was a concept song, built upon Max’s lyric: “Nameless machines / Statistical dreams”, envisioning someone working the same nine-to-five office job, being consumed by it and trapped within it. “I loved getting into the mindset of that and writing from it,” Max says.

                                      PEAKES’ music is a catalogue of reference points, from essentials such as Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and New Order to the ambient techno of Haruomi Hosono and the wonky German electro-beats of Grauzone. While Max is indebted to 80s new age, Molly looks to the female-led electronic renaissance of the 00s, with Portishead, Goldfrapp and Moloko being enormously influential for her own approach as the band’s frontwoman.

                                      The band met at university while they were studying at the Leeds Conservatoire in 2017 after cramming into an eight-bed house together, discovering that they shared a similar vision. Molly, as well as being PEAKES’ vocalist and lyricist, is also the architect behind the “silent stuff”, having styled all their outfits with an eye for dreamy, whimsical aesthetics that they bring into their artwork. Max, whose multi-hyphenate role extends to lyrics, production and instrumentation, brings a meticulous eye for detail that means that every track is finished to a sky-high standard, and Pete is PEAKES’ grounding force and peacemaker – not to mention their roadman (he’s the only one with a driver’s license).

                                      With the release of Peripheral Figures, PEAKES feel one step closer to their vision than ever: their debut album was hard-won, and yet stands brightly as an example that out of trauma, there is a possibility to build something beautiful. 

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Side A:
                                      Internal Forecast I
                                      An Infinite Divide
                                      Control
                                      Day And Age
                                      Lately
                                      Side B:
                                      Internal Forecast II
                                      Clouds
                                      Nameless Machines
                                      Fascination
                                      Circular State

                                      Fine Place

                                      This New Heaven

                                        Fine Place is a new duo comprising Frankie Rose (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls) and Matthew Hord (Running, Pop. 1280, Brandy). Based in Brooklyn, NYC together they’ve crafted a crystalline full length of nocturnal, electronic pop music that charts a way out the post-global, cyberpunk dystopian environment it was crafted in. Their debut album This New Heaven drenches minimalist song structures in post-industrial washes of sixstring delay and gothic post-punk synths. Presiding over it is the most evocative, emotive vocal performance Frankie Rose has committed to tape to date.

                                        Following Hord’s relocation from Chicago, the pair wanted to explore new avenues apart from their respective bands or solo projects. “The sound we were going for was an attempt to capture the dystopian feel of New York during a period of desertion by the wealthy. It was produced in a time-frame saturated in both uncertainty and serenity, and the soundscapes we created felt fitting and almost organic as a response to our surroundings. The title also reflects this in an arguably literal, maybe even satirical way.” Sonically, Fine Place references the pioneering mid-to-late 80s pioneers of icy melodrama The Cure and Cocteau Twins, while reflecting both the individuals’; music trajectories thus far. Modular synthesis triggers rhythm boxes and fluttery arps chirp around clanging 808-patterning as Rose’s reverb-laden vocal layering envelops the remaining headroom. The result is massive; a towering, shadowy music that embraces darkness while offering Rose’s bright vocal as chinks of light in the cracks; the production filling the head space of the beholder with preternatural imagery and emotional resonances that are real but not quite defined.

                                        The title song propels forth out of the fog, scintillating with delayed guitar before the reverb-immersed vocal injects the human drama. The chorus constantly teases a big release but holds back creating a taut, dynamic tension. Cover Blind’s slow march makes full use of Rose’s layered vocal sinking and emerging from Hord’s bank of synths. Stand out It’s Your House is pure honey pouring from the speaker on a bank of of arps and near-hymnal vocal layering, a syrupy light offering in the mist. It’s an emotive highlight that only increases as the album progresses; Impressions Of Me is the Lynchian ballad that glides onward into the sunset. The album finishes on a choice re-interpretation of the 1989 track The Party Is Over by Belgian group Adult Fantasies, one of the great over-looked ballads of the era given an almost ecclesiastical makeover by Matthew Hord and Frankie Rose in 2021.

                                        Says Hord: “This record was an incredibly challenging endeavor to make, as I had just come home from a European tour with another music project and wanted to invest into and focus on this collaboration with Frankie. I essentially reimagined how to approach writing basic sequences with the synthesizers I had been rehearsing and performing with for months prior to make something more accessible and pop- like for Frankie to build upon. Frankie is an unsung hero when it comes to mixing, and she was constantly mixing down and processing elements of the tracks to create different atmospheres as we forged forward with every song.”

                                        This New Heaven is an ecstasy of sorts, a half-dream in the border between sleep and daylight.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. I Can’t Shake It
                                        2. This New Heaven
                                        3. Cover Blind
                                        4. Tending To Twenty
                                        5. It’s Your House
                                        6. Impressions Of Me
                                        7. Tell Me A Second Time
                                        8. The Party Is Over

                                        M(h)aol

                                        Gender Studies

                                          Gender Studies it the debut EP from Irish Post-Punk band M(h)aol, for release on 29th October digitally, and then a 12” vinyl on 14th January via indie label TULLE which champions underrepresented voices in music. The 12” will be a Dinked Edition - a limited edition clear vinyl with 300 copies only. It’ll come with a hand signed postcard from the band, a glittery 'Ghost A Post- Punk Boy Today' sticker, and additional track.

                                          Gender Studies was recorded in just 3 days, and covers topics such as violence against women, the misogynistic music scene in Ireland and the UK, and trying to navigate life when you're not a cis straight white man.

                                          On the EP, lead vocalist Róisín says, “Gender studies weaves past & present in an exploration of how the construct of gender shapes our lives. From feeling like you're not performing your gender right to the way it shapes how we move through the physical, sexual & romantic sphere it marries urgent lyrics with a threatening yet (blank) sound.”

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          SIDE A
                                          Gender Studies
                                          Desperation
                                          Kinder Bueno
                                          SIDE B
                                          Laundries
                                          No One Ever Talks To Us
                                          Óró Sé Do Bheatha Bhaile

                                          Stealing Sheep And The Radiophonic Workshop

                                          La Planète Sauvage

                                            René Laloux’s celebrated 1973 sci-fi animation ‘La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)’, is overhauled with a re-imagined soundtrack by electronic modernists Stealing Sheep and legendary sound innovators The Radiophonic Workshop. This exclusive release is part of Fire Records’ re-imagined score series, and is released on Delia Derbyshire Day 2021.

                                            It’s a real pre-Avatar conundrum that Stealing Sheep, with the help of Bob Earland, Dick Mills and Roger Limb from the Radiophonic Workshop, unravel. Creating an ethereal excursion that’s narrated by Roger Limb; like a futuristic Martin Denny, or Dr Who gone ambient techno, with a hint of Forbidden Planet 50 years on. It’s an analogue swirl set in an off-world paradise; a field recording from the future. This is a creative, generation-spanning, union brought together to score this unique cult film.

                                            A must for fans of psyche electronica and Stealing Sheep’s formidable ‘Big Wows’ album.

                                            ‘La Planète Sauvage’ is a thing of ambient beauty punctuated with electronic earworms that switches from intensely ominous to otherworldly dream like moments.

                                            “No institution has had a greater impact on the development of electronic music than the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.” The Vinyl Factory

                                            “Stealing Sheep devour a broad range of styles, incorporating everything from the dark dance-pop of Grace Jones to the experimentations of Radiophonic Workshop pioneer Delia Derbyshire and John Carpenter soundtracks.” The Guardian.


                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            Side A
                                            A1 Opening Credits
                                            A2 The Chase
                                            A3 Saved/Captured
                                            A4 The Bracelet
                                            A5 Council Of Draags Pt.I
                                            A6 Terr & Tiwa
                                            A7 The Knowledge Pt.I
                                            Side B
                                            B1 The Fight
                                            B2 The Knowledge Pt. II
                                            B3 The Initiation
                                            B4 Escape
                                            B5 The Big Tree
                                            B6 The Ritual
                                            B7 The Duel
                                            Side C
                                            C1 Theft/Zarek
                                            C2 The Bird
                                            C3 The Free Oms
                                            C4 The Purge
                                            C5 The Journey To Ygam
                                            Side D
                                            D1 The City Of Free Oms
                                            D2 Robot Attack
                                            D3 The Fantastic Planet
                                            D4 The Final Battle
                                            D5 Terr C6 Council Of Draags Pt.II
                                            D6 End Credits

                                            Snail Mail

                                            Valentine

                                              On her 2018 debut album Lush, seventeen-year-old Lindsey Jordan sang “I’m in full control / I’m not lost / Even when it’s love / Even when it’s not”. Her natural ability to be many things at once resonated with a lot of people. The contradiction of confidence and vulnerability, power and delicacy, had the impact of a wrecking ball when put to tape. It was an impressive and unequivocal career-making moment for Jordan.

                                              On Valentine, her sophomore album, Lindsey solidifies and defines this trajectory in a blaze of glory. In 10 songs, written over 2019-2020 by Jordan alone, we are taken on an adrenalizing odyssey of genuine originality in an era in which "indie" music has been reduced to gentle, homogenous pop composed mostly by ghost writers. Made with careful precision, Valentine shows an artist who has chosen to take her time. The reference points are broad and psychically stirring, while the lyrics build masterfully on the foundation set by Jordan’s first record to deliver a deeper understanding of heartbreak.

                                              On “Ben Franklin”, the second single of the album, Jordan sings “Moved on, but nothing feels true / Sometimes I hate her just for not being you / Post rehab I’ve been feeling so small / I miss your attention, I wish I could call”. It’s here that she mourns a lost love, conceding the true nature of a fleeting romantic tie-up and ultimately, referencing a stay in a recovery facility in Arizona. This 45-day interlude followed issues stemming from a young life colliding with sudden fame and success. Since she was not allowed to bring her instruments or recording equipment, Jordan began tabulating the new album arrangements on paper solely out of memory and imagination. It was after this choice to take radical action that Valentine really took its unique shape.

                                              Jordan took her newfound sense of clarity and calm to Durham, North Carolina, along with the bones of a new album. Here she worked with Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee). For all the album’s vastness and gravity, it was in this small home studio that Jordan and Cook chipped away over the winter of early 2021 at co-producing a dynamic collection of genre-melding new songs, finishing it triumphantly in the spring. They were assisted by longtime bandmates Ray Brown and Alex Bass, as well as engineer Alex Farrar, with a live string section added later at Spacebomb Studios in Richmond.

                                              Leaning more heavily into samples and synthesizers, the album hinges on a handful of remarkably untraditional pop songs. The first few seconds of opener and title track ‘Valentine’ see whispered voice and eerie sci-fi synth erupt into a stadium-sized, endorphin-rush of a chorus that is an overwhelming statement of intent. “Ben Franklin”, “Forever (Sailing)” and “Madonna” take imaginative routes to the highest peaks of catchiness. Jordan has always sung with a depth of intensity and conviction, and the climactic pop moments on Valentine are delivered with such a tenet and a darkness and a beauty that’s noisy and guttural, taking on the singularity that usually comes from a veteran artist.

                                              As captivating as the synth-driven songs are, it’s the more delicate moments like “Light Blue”, “c.et. al.” and “Mia” that distill the albums range and depth. “Baby blue, I’m so behind / Can’t make sense of the faces in and out of my life / Whirling above our daily routines / Both buried in problems, baby, honestly” Jordan sings on “c. et. al.” with a devastating certainty. These more ethereal, dextrously finger-picked folk songs peppered in throughout the album are nuanced in their vocal delivery and confident in their intricate arrangement. They come in like a breath of air, a moment to let the mind wander, but quickly drown the listener in their melodic alchemy and lyrical punch.

                                              The album is rounded out radiantly by guitar-driven rock songs like “Automate”, “Glory” and “Headlock”. Reminiscent of Lush but with a marked tonal shift, Jordan again shows her prowess as a guitar player with chorus-y leads and rhythmic, wall-of-sound riffs. “Headlock” highlights this pivot with high-pitched dissonance and celestially affected lead parts – “Can’t go out I’m tethered to / Another world where we’re together / Are you lost in it too?”, she sings with grit and fatigue, building so poignantly on her sturdy foundation of out-and-out melancholy. On Valentine, we are taken 100 miles deeper into the world Jordan created with Lush, led through passageways and around dark corners, landing somewhere we never dreamed existed.

                                              Today, in the wake of recording Valentine, Jordan is focused on trying to continue healing without slowing down. The album comes in the midst of so much growth, in the fertile soil of a harrowing bottom-out. On the heels of life-altering success, a painful breakup and 6 weeks in treatment, Jordan appears vibrant and sharp. “Mia, don’t cry / I love you forever / But I gotta grow up now / No I can’t keep holding onto you anymore” she sings on the album closer “Mia”. She sings softly but her voice cuts through like a hacksaw. The song is lamenting a lost love, saying a somber goodbye, and it closes the door on a bitter cold season for Jordan. Leaving room for a long and storied path, Valentine is somehow a jolt and a lovebuzz all at once.

                                              - Katie Crutchfield

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              Side A
                                              Valentine
                                              Ben Franklin
                                              Headlock
                                              Light Blue
                                              Forever (Sailing)

                                              Side B
                                              Madonna
                                              C. Et Al.
                                              Glory
                                              Automate
                                              Mia





                                              Gnod

                                              La Mort Du Sens

                                                If one overarching feeling has dominated the last two years on this orbiting rock, it’s uncertainty. A sense of an old order in ruins, and nothing lined up to replace it. With societal strife, psychic warfare and sheer boredom assaulting us from all fronts in this still-fresh decade, co-ordinates have been hard to place forging a path forward. Therefore, who better to turn to as a soundtrack for this tumultuous new era than Gnod - longtime chroniclers of discord.

                                                “The Death Of Meaning” is the translated rendering of the new Gnod album’s title, and this also reflects its creation. As Paddy Shine of Gnod notes: “I think the title sums it up well because this album was coming together at a time when confusion was king for us all - still is. I think we can all relate to that. This record is a really strange beast because of the big change that happened between mixing and recording. I think the title really does sum up the vibe of ‘What the Fuck’? Maybe we should have called it that!”

                                                Wielding the taut, stripped-down and bludgeoning sound that had evolved on 2017’s ‘Just Say No The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’ and 2018’s Chapel Perilous, Gnod initially recorded the tracks for ‘La Mort Du Sens’ with key soundman and collaborator Raikes Parade in ‘an old mill in Manchester’ around the Christmas period of 2019. “It’s the first album in a while where we kept it in-house and DIY, and we wanted it to be as ferocious as our live sets have become” says Paddy, “We banged it all down live - two drummers and a load of cabs in a room pushing each other forward”

                                                Nonetheless, the arrival of the pandemic in early 2020 took the record on another course, adding to a turbulent and cathartic vitality that electrifies the likes of the caustic Melvins-in-hell assault of ‘Pink Champagne Blues’, the uncompromising percussive battering ram of the twelve-minute ‘Giro Day’ and the post-punk angularity of ‘The Whip And The Tongue’ with a fearsome elemental charge. “The world changed two months later so we were mixing this old world record in the new world and a lot of the vox got laid down during lockdown” reflects Paddy. “‘Pink Champagne Blues’ is a burst of total nihilist abandon and the lyrics wrote themselves in the midst of a dark wintry night of the soul”

                                                Masters of an approach which manages to be both unmistakable and unpredictable. Gnod are now well established as prophets of the dispossessed. ‘La Mort Du Sens’ is no less than another relentlessly invigorating stop-off on their wild ride to who knows where. “It’s all about the energy” reckons Paddy. “We never really know what’s coming next. It just organically shifts around, and I think we are getting better at not analysing where it’s going and just going with the flow”

                                                “Got No Obvious Destination, innit”.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: One of the most unstoppable forces in music is back with the incendiary genius of 'La Mort..' Unsurprisingly, utterly essential.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01. Regimental
                                                02. Pink Champagne Blues
                                                03. The Whip And The Tongue
                                                04. Town
                                                05. Giro Day

                                                Tasha

                                                Tell Me What You Miss The Most

                                                  Tasha’s second album, ‘Tell Me What You Miss The Most’ mingles pockets of introspection with wide, expansive, marveling at what’s yet to come. Born and raised in Chicago, Tasha is a musician who writes songs that take loving and longing seriously. Whether dwelling in the sad thrum of an impending break up or the dizzying, heart thumping waltz of new infatuation, here is an album that traces one artist’s relationship to herself in love. Full of deep, invigorating inhales and relieved, joyful exhales, Tell Me What You Miss The Most is an exquisitely crafted breath of much needed air.

                                                  Tell Me What You Miss the Most isn’t just a catalogue of tenderness it’s also a showcase of Tasha’s growing and formidable musician-ship. “When I made Alone at Last, I had only been writing songs for two years. I hardly even knew what kind of song writer I was. But this record feels much stronger as far as a representation of my songwriter and musicianship,” says Tasha, adding “I did feel like I was piloting it in a way that I haven’t really felt before.”
                                                  “I was inspired by a distance I felt from myself,” says Tasha of the album, “the writing was kind of born from this desire to get back to an intimacy, or honesty, with myself.” Other inspirations include kissing, long drives in nature, her mother, and “winter and all that it allows (being alone inside, wrapped up in something warm, feeling things deeply.)” Her list of inspirations is a collection of types of touch; fleeting affectionate touch, the brush of a knit blanket, the bracing grip of feeling one’s own skin twinned in a palm. So too does the album veer in and out of touch with Tasha herself, tracing tenderness and loneliness, the paradox of feeling held and utterly abandoned at once.

                                                  “Tasha makes wondrous, gentle soul that advocates for self-care.” – Pitchfork.

                                                  “Genre fluid like Lianne La Havas and Jamila Woods, with decorative-but-unobtrusive guitar work and electronics, Tasha roots her songs in a conversational poetry that hits like heart pangs.” - NPR Music.

                                                  “Her gentle, resplendent songs are a salve for those who struggle to find space to be themselves.” - Chicago Reader.


                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  Side A
                                                  1. Bed Song 1
                                                  2. History
                                                  3. Perfect Wife
                                                  4. Sorry’s Not Enough
                                                  5. Love Interlude
                                                  Side B
                                                  1. Dream Still
                                                  2. Burton Island
                                                  3. Lake Superior
                                                  4. Year From Now
                                                  5. Bed Song 2

                                                  The Coral

                                                  The Coral - 20th Anniversary Edition

                                                    With time as fluid as The Coral’s journey through sound, the band cut short the party to celebrate this year’s universally acclaimed, Number 2 album, Coral Island and visit the strange world where it all started. The Coral, released on Monday 29 July 2002 with the singles Dreaming Of You and Goodbye, catapulted the band to mainstream success as teenagers, landing a Mercury Prize-nomination and Platinum-certification.

                                                    Now remastered from the original mixes, the album will be reissued with Run On Records in association with Modern Sky UK. Two, unreleased, never-before-heard-tracks, She’s The Girl For Me and Tumble Graves, produced by Ian Broudie, but shelved after the 2001 album sessions are included in the track-listing. The rarities appear on an all-formats bonus disc, alongside a complete singles B-sides collection and the band’s pre-album EP The Oldest Path.


                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    Side A
                                                    Spanish Main – Remastered 2021
                                                    I Remember When - Remastered 2021
                                                    Shadows Fall - Remastered 2021
                                                    Dreaming Of You - Remastered 2021
                                                    Simon Diamond - Remastered 2021
                                                    Goodbye - Remastered 2021

                                                    Side B
                                                    Waiting For The Heartaches - Remastered 2021
                                                    Skeleton Key - Remastered 2021
                                                    Wildfire - Remastered 2021
                                                    Badman - Remastered 2021
                                                    Calendars And Clocks - Remastered 2021

                                                    Side C
                                                    The Oldest Path - Remastered 2021
                                                    God Knows - Remastered 2021
                                                    Short Ballad - Remastered 2021
                                                    Flies - Remastered 2021
                                                    Dressed Like A Cow - Remastered 2021
                                                    Darkness - Remastered 2021
                                                    Sheriff John Brown - Remastered 2021

                                                    Side D
                                                    Good Fortune - Remastered 2021
                                                    Answer Me - Remastered 2021
                                                    Follow The Sun - Remastered 2021
                                                    Travelling Circus - Remastered 2021
                                                    Sweet Sue - Remastered 2021
                                                    Another Turn In The Lock - Remastered 2021
                                                    She’s The Girl For Me - Remastered 2021 (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
                                                    Tumble Graves - Remastered 2021 (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

                                                    Dinked Bonus 7” Tracklist
                                                    (a) Shadow Falls
                                                    (b) Tbc

                                                    Dinked Bonus Flexi Tracklist
                                                    (a) Simian Technology

                                                    Madmess

                                                    Rebirth

                                                      Madmess are a band who know the value of doing things the hard way. Having established themselves among the outliers of Porto’s fertile, close-knit underground music scene, by 2017 it was clear that they had the potential to go much, much further. London, and its bigger, more merciless leftfield circuit beckoned. In a city full to the brim with bold and brilliant bands, the bar was significantly raised. Risks were many, but so too were opportunities.

                                                      Now, after years of slog – gruelling gigs, punishing recording sessions, not to mention a momentum-sapping pandemic – bassist Vasco Vasconcelos, drummer Luis Moura and guitarist Ricardo Sampaio, have emerged the other side with Rebirth, a debut album of rare intensity, released via Hassle Records. Their stripes earned, their teeth well and truly cut, it’s a record worthy of all that hard work, crushing riffs colliding with sweeping waves of overwhelming noise for a listen both beautiful and brutal.

                                                      As the pandemic eased in late 2020, at least temporarily, the band found time to escape to Foel Studios in the Welsh countryside, formerly used by iconic psych rock forebears Amon Düül and Hawkwind among others, to start work on their new LP. They were intent to build on the solid foundations they’d set with their EP the previous year. “We tried to do something more complete, more punchy,” says Sampaio. The sessions ended up being more intense than they were anticipating – the band record everything live, and when you’re playing the kind of complex epics that populate Rebirth there’s not much margin for error. “The shortest track is eight minutes, and they’re almost all more than 10,” says Sampaio with a wince. “The songs on this album are really complex, there were some stressful times, some harsh moments, but we managed to get through it.”


                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      Side A
                                                      Albatross
                                                      Mind Collapse

                                                      Side B
                                                      1. Rebirth
                                                      2. Shape Shifter
                                                      3. Stargazer

                                                      Marconi Union

                                                      Signals

                                                        Marconi Union are considered one of the leading ambient and electronic-synth acts in the world, continuously topping many lists as the most important contemporary ambient artists around today. The Manchester band often draw comparisons with Brian Eno and Biosphere, perhaps Sigur Ros, but the graceful manner with which their richly melodic compositions unfold and the emotion these evoke sets them apart from their peers.

                                                        Signals is the latest addition to Marconi Union’s highly acclaimed discography. Despite having released twelve albums in the last eighteen years they continue to experiment and push boundaries.

                                                        ‘In some respects Signals is a more traditional songwriting album than anything we’ve done before, but it draws on the same techniques we’ve used on our previous albums’

                                                        After their previous album, the largely beat-less Dead Air, one might think that Marconi Union would be primarily influenced by synth players or guitarists. However, it turns out that Signals was actually informed by the bands’ admiration of a number of different drummers and this played a significant part in helping shape its sound.

                                                        ‘We were quite inspired by various players like Jaki Liebezeit, Clive Deamer and Tony Allen and tried to imagine what our music would sound like with them playing on it.’

                                                        Signals combines synthetic textures with organic sound, and merges the familiar with the unknown, transporting the listener deep into their imagination. The one-word title is both mysterious and evocative, suggesting a multitude of images that range from high-tech electronic messaging to ghostly abandoned radio stations and even that most basic level of human expression, body language.

                                                        It Is both ironic and yet somehow so right, that a group so regularly described as ‘enigmatic’ should make an album that alludes to communication. Although, long-term fans will be relieved to note that Marconi Union decline to enlighten us on what all this means.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        Side A
                                                        Cycles Repeat
                                                        The Halo

                                                        Side B
                                                        Blowback
                                                        Strata

                                                        Side C
                                                        Citizen’s Dream
                                                        Breaking Point

                                                        Side D
                                                        Looking Through The Ilex

                                                        Penelope Isles

                                                        Which Way To Happy

                                                          When you’re trying to make it through tough times, you need a little light to find your way. That light blazes brightly on the alchemical second album from Penelope Isles, an album forged amid emotional upheaval and band changes. Setting the uncertainties of twentysomething life to alt-rock and psychedelic songs brimming with life, colour and feeling, Which Way to Happy emerges as a luminous victory for Jack and Lily Wolter, the siblings whose bond holds the band tight at its core.

                                                          Produced by Jack and mixed by US alt-rock legend Dave Fridmann, the result is an intoxicating leap forward for the Brighton-based band, following the calling-card DIY smarts of their 2019 debut, Until the Tide Creeps In. Sometimes it swoons, sometimes it soars. Sometimes it says it’s OK to not be OK. And sometimes it says it’s OK to look for the way to happy, too. Pitched between fertile coastal metaphors and winged melodies, intimate confessionals and expansive cosmic pop, deep sorrows and serene soul-pop pick-you-ups, it transforms “difficult second album” clichés into a thing of glorious contrasts: a second-album surge of up-close, heartfelt intimacies and expansive, experimental vision.

                                                          These extremes come into sharp focus on ‘Terrified,’ a reflection on anxiety set to a dreamy sunburst of psychedelic jangle-pop. As Jack explains, “I love that juxtaposition. It reminds me of when you’re feeling a bit delicate or not ready to socialise but you have to go out because you need milk for tea. Then you go to the supermarket and you bump into someone you kind of know and you have to pretend that everything’s OK when, really, you’re dying inside.”

                                                          With the album’s almost prog-psych ambitions on fulsome display, ‘Rocking at the Bottom’ taps coastal motifs for a call to embrace open possibility, twinkling with hope over a deep space-rock bass line and a phased Hammond. In an album of fluent dynamism, ‘Play It Cool’ offers a swift tonal about-turn, emerging from Lily’s gloriously in-character vocal as a sweet soul-pop message to the troubled self amid rousing drums, lush glockenspiels, creamy harmonies and wonky guitars. Warm and rippling, ‘Iced Gems’ is a sorrowed lament, played out over the gentlest of fluttery keyboards and experimental electronic sounds – plus, samples of carrot crunches. Written over a couple of years, Lily’s ‘Sailing Still’ charts the life of a relationship to a slow-burn and sorrowed soundscape of dulcitones, cello, violin and more: building in increments to a climax of measured grandeur, it sustains a sense of intimacy in a framework of great scope.

                                                          The album swerves into Mercury Rev and MGMT’s cosmic slipstream with ‘Miss Moon,’ a galloping centrepiece with an irresistible call to dream: “Hey, kids – look up!” As Jack says, “We wanted it to seem like lift-off.” After its exclamatory explosion, the psychedelic dream-pop of ‘Sudoku’ offers a mellowed invitation to turn off your mind, relax, float downstream. Steering the album through further contrasts, ‘Have You Heard’ is a feelgood flurry of insistent, pulsing space-rock; ‘Pink Lemonade,’ meanwhile, is a song of sweet, sharp beauty, touching on fading childhood memories and lifted by Fiona Brice’s strings. ‘11 11’ hosts Lily’s most tender vocal yet: recorded in one take through tears, it finds Penelope Isles at their most exposed, with Brice’s strings weeping in sympathy. Finally, ‘In a Cage’ cogitates on confinement yet finds solace in field recordings of happy, high times – a judicious note of meditative reflection after a giddy ride.


                                                          More field recordings were made during a stay at a small cottage in Cornwall, where Penelope Isles began work on the album. With romantic heartache already in the air, things swiftly got worse: lockdown began, claustrophobia kicked in and emotions ran high. As Jack puts it, “We were there for about two or three months. It was a tiny cottage with four of us in and we all went a bit bonkers, and we drank far too much, and it spiralled a bit out of control. There were a lot of emotional evenings and realisations, which I think reflects in the songs.”

                                                          At different point along the way, Jack Sowton and Becky Redford left the Isles. An old friend, multi-instrumentalist Henry Nicholson, stepped in swiftly – “A godsend after a low time,” says Lily. Another friend, Hannah Feenstra, contributed drum parts; now, Joe Taylor is the band’s drummer. After Cornwall, the band redid many of the rhythm tracks, recorded a little in Brighton, then recorded more in Cornwall at their parents’ house. “It was,” says Jack, “a proper rollercoaster ride.”

                                                          The ride continued with Fridmann, whose recent credits include Isles’ favourites Mogwai’s No 1 album, As the Love Continues. As Lily puts it, the process of sending Fridmann a mix, receiving it back in the morning and then having five hours to make decisions on it resulted first in stress, then in something sublime. “I love everything he’s touched – MGMT, Mogwai, Mercury Rev. He would turn our mix into this electric, fiery thing. There were some moments that were initially hard, like on ‘Miss Moon,’ where he took out the bass when it gets to the chorus. But now it’s my favourite bit on the record. He made everything so colourful. It’s an intense-sounding record – a hot record. It was so refreshing to have that blast of energy from Dave – it’s like he framed our pictures.”

                                                          Away from the confines of the cottage, the Wolters also opened the door to a collaboration with storied composer Fiona Brice, whose credits include John Grant, Lost Horizons and Placebo. A “big bucket-list tick” for Jack and Lily, the team-up results in glorious arrangements across the album: for Lily, ‘11 11’ stood out. “I was in absolute tears when she sent back the strings for ‘11 11’. It was like, oh my goodness, she’s nailed it.”

                                                          Flushed with resourceful detail, Which Way to Happy adds extra strands to the Isles’ ever-tightening core DNA. Born in Devon and raised on the Isle of Man, the Wolters’ bonds were already strengthened by separation when Jack (six years Lily’s senior) moved away to university at 19. As Lily grew older, they rediscovered their connection and formed a band called Your Gold Teeth. When both moved to Brighton, Penelope Isles came to being, fuelled by a passion for DIY alt-rock and all who sail its seas.

                                                          On its release, Until the Tide Creeps In received rave reviews from Q, DIY, The Line of Best Fit and many others, while finding champions in Steve Lamacq and Shaun Keaveny. It also become part of a lifeline for music fans during the 2020 lockdown when the band participated in Tim Burgess’s Twitter Listening Party. Meanwhile, extensive touring saw the Isles develop into a formidable live force, with ‘Gnarbone’ emerging as a sure-fire show-stopper.

                                                          Now, the Isles have 11 more show-stoppers to add to the mix. At the album’s heart, the band’s core traits have never been stronger: the bond between the Wolters, a sensitivity towards complex feelings, a desire to celebrate life in all its facets and an ambitious reach combine to create an album that feels utterly, emphatically present on every front, rich in depth and uplift.

                                                          “There’s so much love between me and Jack, we couldn’t do it without each other,” says Lily. “And even in that chaotic, tiny bubble of a cottage that sent us all mad, we had some really funny, stupid, lovely times together. There’s a lot of emotion in the album.” Wherever Penelope Isles go from here, that guiding emotional compass couldn’t be more finely attuned.


                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. Terrified
                                                          2. Rocking At The Bottom
                                                          3. Play It Cool
                                                          4. Iced Gems
                                                          5. Sailing Still
                                                          6. Miss Moon
                                                          7. Sudoku
                                                          8. Have You Heard
                                                          9. Pink Lemonade
                                                          10. 11 11
                                                          11. In A Cage

                                                          Good Morning

                                                          Barnyard

                                                            Good Morning, the Melbourne duo of Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons, are rulebreakers. Not in a sexy, flamboyant way — more in a casual, resigned kind of way. Accidental and incidental rulebreakers. They are friends first, band second, business third, often in spite of function, and often at their own expense. Every time the machinations of the industry have zigged, Good Morning have zagged.

                                                            In late 2019, after the release of The Option and Basketball Breakups, with a lengthy American tour looming, Good Morning decided to go back to basics — to record as a duo again, as they had on 2014's Shawcross and 2016's Glory. Over the course of the year, they demoed any number of songs in their Collingwood studio space, meeting up every Tuesday to write and record together as they always had. In November, as their American tour wrapped up, the pair decamped in Chicago, to properly record the demos they had amassed at Wilco’s famed studio, The Loft, with Tom Schick, the studio’s in-house engineer.

                                                            Despite how quietly epochal Barnyard is — a milestone in the history of Good Morning — it’s also the band’s most meditative record, thoughtful and careful in its evocations. Barnyard is world-weary, concerned with the state of things in a loose, unfocussed sort of way. In other words, like we all are — frustrated both with the way things are and with everyone’s general inability to fix any of the many issues endemic to our society.

                                                            In spite of the appropriately bleak vibe, these songs feature some of Good Morning’s catchiest and most distinctive productions. The spritely groove and easygoing harmonies of “Depends On What I Know” belie its frustration-ridden lyrics; the gripping, awesome propulsion of “Country” persists in spite of its appeal to return to a simpler, easier way of being. Thoughtful, melodic, and idiosyncratic, Barnyard is all the things one might love about Good Morning, this time around presented with the fat trimmed and the edges sharpened, loose ends tied and ducks all in a row.


                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Too Young To Quit
                                                            2. Depends On What I Know
                                                            3. Wahlberg
                                                            4. Yng_Shldn
                                                            5. Matthew Newton
                                                            6. Tree
                                                            7. I’ve Been Waiting
                                                            8. Burning
                                                            9. Big Wig // Small Dog
                                                            10. Never Enough
                                                            11. Green Skies
                                                            12. Country

                                                            Malcolm Middleton

                                                            A Brighter Beat - 15th Anniversary Edition

                                                              Originally released on 25th February 2007, Malcolm Middleton’s third solo album and first for Full Time Hobby is being made available on vinyl once more for its 15th anniversary.

                                                              Only ever released on black vinyl in limited numbers around the original release, this updated version has been re-cut to optimise sound quality and pressed to natural / clear vinyl, includes liner notes from broadcasting legend Colin Murray, and is presented in a high-quality gatefold sleeve with updated art from David Shrigley.

                                                              Also available is a very special Dinked Archive edition featuring an alternative sleeve, again by David Shrigley, silver vinyl and an exclusive 7” featuring three b-sides from the original sessions (Point of Light, Pick Me Up, Black Marks) limited to 500. This 15th anniversary edition will be released 25th February 2022. 

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. We’re All Going To Die
                                                              2. Fight Like The Night
                                                              3. A Brighter Beat
                                                              4. Death Love Depression Love Death
                                                              5. Fuck It I Love You
                                                              6. Stay Close Sit Tight
                                                              7. Four Cigarettes
                                                              8. Somebody Loves You
                                                              9. Up Late At Night Again
                                                              10. Superhero Songswriters

                                                              Bonus Dinked Edition 7"
                                                              A1. Point Of Light
                                                              B1. Pick Me Up
                                                              B2. Black Marks

                                                              John

                                                              Nocturnal Manoeuvres

                                                                Nocturnal Manoeuvres – the new album from JOHN - finds the duo expanding upon their celebrated idiosyncrasies once more. It sees them returning to their trusted producer Wayne Adams (who was behind the boards for both of their previous albums) knowing his success in capturing their presence as a live band. Realising the expansive quality of the resulting recordings, they then enlisted mastering engineer Sarah Register (Protomartyr, Future Islands, Chastity Belt) in order to deliver the sense of space that the varied track-list deserved. The result is a towering, titanic body of work – one that moves easily between cinematic post-rock, elastic post-hardcore and pummelling noise rock.

                                                                The new record is the follow-up to their second LP, 2019's Out Here On The Fringes, which catapulted them into the Top 40 of the UK Independent Vinyl Chart, was featured as an Album of the Day on BBC 6Music with three successive playlisted singles, and saw the band hit the road with the likes of IDLES, METZ and Mclusky.

                                                                Having established an international presence with a blistering KEXP live session and a month-long journey through Europe in support of Out Here On The Fringes, JOHN return to the live stage in 2021 with a mammoth run of UK and Irish dates throughout the autumn of this. As venues continue to reopen, it offers a captivating chance to catch a band who've built a devoted following through the sheer energy of their live show: a celebration of the primal intensity of the guitar-drums duo as a format and a monument to idiosyncrasy, which is exactly the sort of manifesto you could attach to Nocturnal Manoeuvres as a whole.


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Laura says: Ooof! This is just awesome! Intense, dynamic guitar noise that has more in common with the likes of Jesus Lizard or any number of bands from the 80s DC scene than any more contemporary noisemakers. (The dual vocal on Šibensko Powerhouse in particular brings to mind Mackay / Picciotto.) That's not so say their sound is dated, far from it, this is the most vital noise around right now.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1. Return To Capital
                                                                2. Šibensko Powerhouse
                                                                3. A Song For Those Who Speed In Built-Up Areas
                                                                4. Haneke'd
                                                                5. Austere Isle
                                                                6. Jargoncutter
                                                                7. Stadium Of No
                                                                8. Power Out For The Kingdom
                                                                9. Northwood Turret
                                                                10. Nonessential Hymn

                                                                Ada Lea

                                                                One Hand On The Steering Wheel The Other Sewing A Garden

                                                                  one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden is the name of the second album by Canadian songwriter Alexandra Levy, publicly known by the moniker Ada Lea. On one hand, it’s a collection of walking-paced, cathartic pop/folk songs, on the other it’s a book of heart-twisting, rear-view stories of city life. Ada Lea has followed up the creative, indie-rock songcraft of her debut what we say in private with surprising arrangements and new perspectives. The album is set in Montreal and each song exists as a dot on a personal history map of the city where Levy grew up. Due on September 24th from Saddle Creek and Next Door Records in Canada, the physical record will be released alongside a map of song locations and a songbook with chords and lyrics, inspired by Levy’s love of real book standards.

                                                                  Levy penned and demoed this batch of songs in an artist residency in Banff, Alberta. After sorting and editing she made her way to Los Angeles to record with producer/engineer Marshall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers) who had previously worked on 2020’s woman, here E.P. After a long walk to the studio each morning, Levy spent her session days diving into the arrangements, playfully letting everything fall in place with complete trust for her collaborators. She notes “Marshall’s expertise and experience with drumming and songwriting was the perfect blend for what the songs needed. He was able to support me in a harmonic, lyrical, and rhythmic sense.” Other contributors that left a notable fingerprint on the soundscape include drummer Tasy Hudson, guitarist Harrison Whitford (of Phoebe Bridgers band), and mixing engineer Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett). Many songs came together with a blend of studio tracks and elements from the pre-recorded demos.

                                                                  The resulting sounds range from classic, soft-rock beauty to intimate finger-picked folk passages and night-drive art-pop. And the textures are frequently surprising due to the collage of lo-fi and hi-fi sounds that tastefully decorate the album without ever clouding the heart-center of the song. Tracks like “damn” and “oranges” feel timeless with their AM gold groove and 70’s studio sheen, while songs like “my love 4 u is real '', “salt spring” and “can’t stop me from dying” sound completely modern in their use of electronics, sound effects, and pitched vocals. In their subtle, sonic variety, all of the album’s songs flow together with ease into one big, romantic dream for Levy’s silken vocals to float above.

                                                                  Inspired by personal experience, daydreams, and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, the lyrics of one hand... center storytelling on a bigger scale. The experience and emotions of a year are communicated through Levy’s vignettes of city life. Her prose is centered in its setting of the St Denis area of Montreal as it draws up memories from local haunts like Fameux, La Rockette, and Quai des Brumes in rearview reverie. Levy creates a balance through the album’s year by splitting her songs evenly into four seasons. Opening track “damn”, as a song of winter, kicks off the narrative with the events of a cursed New Year’s Eve party. Immediately this timeline becomes jumbled into a Proustian haziness. The listener is then led through the heat-stricken, brain fog of Summer song, “can’t stop me from dying” and then into the autumnal romanticism of “oranges” before returning back to New Year’s on “partner,” which Levy describes as “a woozy late-night taxi blues reflection on moments when timing can be so right, yet so wrong…”. These collected stories as a whole chart the unavoidable growth that comes with experience. “All is forgiven in time. All is forgotten in time. And when the music stopped, I heard an answer” (from “my love 4 u is real”).

                                                                  Whether to consider these songs fiction or memoir remains unknown. On one hand, Levy says “Why would I try to write a story that’s not my own? What good would that do?” but on the other hand, she is quick to note the ways that language fails to describe reality, and how difficult this makes it to tell an actually true story. The poetic misuse of the word “sewing” in the album’s title serves as a nod to the limitations words provide. What does it mean to sew the garden? And how can we appreciate its carefully knit blooms when the rearview mirror is so full of car exhaust?

                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                  Barry says: Ada Lea's new album is a wonderful mix of honest, hearfelt lyricism and psychedelic instrumentation, ranging from subtly swaying indie-pop to jagged punky drive. It's a beguiling and beautiful outing, and one that deserves to be heard.

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  01. Damn 4:21
                                                                  02. Can't Stop Me From Dying 3:09
                                                                  03. Oranges 4:54
                                                                  04. Partner 3:45
                                                                  05. Saltspring 4:23
                                                                  06. And My Newness Spoke To Your Newness And It Was A Thing Of Endless 0:56
                                                                  07. My Love 4 U Is Real 4:31
                                                                  08. Backyard 2:56
                                                                  09. Writer In Ny 3:19
                                                                  10. Violence 4:26
                                                                  11. Hurt 3:31

                                                                  Clinic

                                                                  Fantasy Island

                                                                    On their vibrant and eclectic ninth studio album Clinic, the band who wore surgical masks before it was a matter of urgency, are taking you to Fantasy Island, where you will find yourself transported to tropical climes.

                                                                    In Hartley’s words: “Clinic look to a brighter future, [Fantasy Island] it’s a very positive album, it's more about what you can make happen rather than being defeatist.”

                                                                    Their last album, 2019’s Wheeltappers and Shunters, found the band satirising British culture and wallowing in sleazy Seventies nostalgia. Fantasy Island was recorded in an old studio on Merseyside during the summer of 2019, with good vibrations seeping into the grooves. This time they are embracing “the idea of looking at the future and the different ways it can unfold”, with their most electronic and pop record to date. “It’s a more global, international and outward looking record,” says Hartley. “Clear blue horizons. The brave new world!”

                                                                    The album was mixed last year by Claudius Mittendorfer, who has worked with Parquet Courts, Neon Indian and many pop greats.

                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Barry says: Clinic take their trademark post-punk psychedelic groove into new territories with their latest outing, 'Fantasy Island'. Part outsider electronica, part woozy psychedelic groove and entirely wonderful, it's a perfect listen for the times we live in.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. The Lamplighter
                                                                    2. Fine Dining
                                                                    3. Take A Chance
                                                                    4. Refractions (In The Rain)
                                                                    5. Dreams Can Come True
                                                                    6. Miracles
                                                                    7. On The Other Side…
                                                                    8. Fantasy Island
                                                                    9. I Can’t Stand The Rain
                                                                    10. Feelings
                                                                    11. Hocus Pocus
                                                                    12. Grand Finale

                                                                    Cindy

                                                                    1:2

                                                                      Cindy is a band built around the singing and guitar playing of Karina Gill. She became a musician only recently, having sat on the sidelines while ex-partners and friends made their stabs at it. Gill describes a chance encounter with an abandoned Squire Strat left in the basement by a previous tenant, “mummified in electrical tape with the remnants of a burrito on the head stock”, that led her to begin carefully strumming her way through simple chords and making her own songs. After one interesting self-released LP, still finding their footing, the band made the masterful and buzzed-about Free Advice, which went from a limited cassette on local SF label Paisley Shirt to vinyl pressings on Tough Love (UK) and Mt St Mtn (USA).

                                                                      Cindy’s third LP arrives in quick succession, the quietly devastating 1:2. Jesse Jackson on bass, Simon Phillips on drums and Aaron Diko on keyboards weave the perfectly thin web behind Gill’s slow Velvety strums and murmured melodies. The rhythm section brings the crude flow, while the keys add subtle and surreal counterpoint to the withering world Gill depicts in her lyrics.

                                                                      “Just as a mood is made by everything taking part in a pattern of association, so the songs tie together seemingly disparate things by the logic of mood,” Gill tries to explain. This isn’t dream-pop sunshine bliss; half-closed black drapes hang on the window where the narrator stares into the middle distance. “Sometimes you say you’re feeling small/You plan all day for your own funeral”, she intones in Party Store.

                                                                      Gill has a way of halting her phrasing that makes it feel like her thoughts are gently tumbling into the abyss. It’s this unsettling quality mixed with the hazy atmosphere that makes Cindy’s new LP 100% addicting and the perfect antidote to comfort listening.


                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: The tenderly hushed vocals and lo-fi bedroom pop on offer here has echoes of a more melodic Moldy Peaches, but swims with a clever off-kilter writing style, lending less of a punky lo-fi haze and more of a whimsical, airy breeze to the pieces. It's really quite simple, and swimming in beauty.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      1. The Common Era (2:04)
                                                                      2. My Friend (3:09)
                                                                      3. Party Store (2:15)
                                                                      4. Song 36 (2:51)
                                                                      5. Lost Dog (3:55)
                                                                      6. To Be True (3:55)
                                                                      7. They Say What I Mean (3:43)
                                                                      8. 1:2 (3:01)
                                                                      9. Sincere Sound (3:12)
                                                                      10. Deer In Japan (4:37)

                                                                      Nolan Potter

                                                                      Music Is Dead

                                                                        Nolan Potter is putting us home recording freaks to shame. We had a year of global pandemic to lay out our grand ideas and the sum total of most artists “quar-riffs” wouldn’t push the constraints of a normal band practice (gosh, remember those?)

                                                                        Nolan Potter, in the meantime, has quietly painted us a beatific masterpiece that veers from the whimsical to the wigged out, deftly weaving an untamed tapestry of sound all the while archly commenting on the present musician’s predicament - and he did it alone. No drum machine clattering in the background amidst tape hiss and 4 track grime here - this is a fully realized, insanely well played, full on rock record that might even one-up his first LP for us, last year’s excellent Nightmare Forever.

                                                                        The guy’s got more chops than a beauticians’ college across a wide array of instruments - no small feat, and easily overlooked when you leave the lyric sheet and credits on the dining room table. That the songs travel far, wide, up, down, backwards, and gamely spill out over the 5 minute mark with exceptionally loose interludes and diversions is just another marvel in this carnival of aural delights. It’s a gem of a record!

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Side A
                                                                        1. One Eye Flees Aquapolis
                                                                        2. Stubborn Bubble
                                                                        3. Gregorian Chance

                                                                        Side B
                                                                        4. Holy Scroller
                                                                        5. Preeminent Minds
                                                                        6. Music Is Dead

                                                                        FLEXI:
                                                                        1. Overture For A Short Film

                                                                        Ducks Ltd.

                                                                        Modern Fiction

                                                                          Toronto’s Ducks Ltd. (formerly Ducks Unlimited), the bright jangle-pop duo of Tom McGreevy (lead vocal, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Evan Lewis (guitar, bass, drum programming), accomplish the impossible. The pair craft songs that play to very specific inspirations without drowning underneath them—immediately evidenced on their critically acclaimed EP, Get Bleak, and sharpened on Modern Fiction, their debut LP. “The Servants, The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, Television Personalities, Felt,” Evan rattles off. “Look Blue Go Purple is one I reference a lot with our production.” Echoes of ‘80s indiepop abound, but they never overwhelm. This is not a nostalgic record, after all, nor is it a derivative one. Instead, across 10 cheery-sounding songs, Ducks Ltd. explore contemporary society in decline, examining large scale human disaster through personal turmoil (hence the title, taken from a university course called Gnosticism and Nihilism in Modern Fiction, influenced by Graham Greene novels. Bookish indie fans, look no further.)

                                                                          Writing the album was intimate. Tom drafted the nucleus of a song on an unplugged electric guitar and brought it over to Evan’s apartment, where the pair sat in his bedroom, placing percussive beats from a drum machine under nascent melodies, passing a bass back and forth, adding organs and bridges where necessary. “It’s computer music trying extremely hard not to sound like computer music,” Tom jokes. Fearful that limited and expensive studio time would kneecap the project creatively, eroding their charming naivete, the pair re-recorded the album in a storage space owned by Evan’s boss. Ornamentation through collaboration followed: there’s Aaron Goldstein on Pedal Steel in the Go-Betweens’ “Cattle and Cane”-channeling interlude “Patience Wearing Thin,” Eliza Niemi on cello (“18 Cigarettes,” a song loosely inspired by a 1997 Oasis performance of “Don’t Go Away”), and backing harmonies from Carpark labelmates The Beths (on an ode to friendship at a distance, “How Lonely Are You?,” “Always There,” and on the sped-up Syd Barrett stylings of “Under The Rolling Moon.”) While in his native Australia due to covid-19, Evan worked closely with producer James Cecil (The Goon Sax, Architecture in Helsinki) on Modern Fiction’s finishing touches—at one point, in the mountains of the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, recorded a string quartet (featured on “Fit to Burst,” “Always There,” “Sullen Leering Hope,” “Twere Ever Thus,” “Grand Final Day.”)

                                                                          It’s danceable, depressive fun, with some relief: in “Always There” and “Sullen Leering Hope,” Modern Fiction’s faithful heart. “There’s a tendency in my writing, because of my world view, to be very bleak.” Tom explains. “A quality I don’t always see in myself and really appreciate in others is the courage to go on.” And yet, the record manages resiliency—enough for pop fans to fall in love with. 


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Laura says: Ducks Ltd, the duo of Tom Mcgreevy and Evan Lewis formed in Toronto, Canada and are now based between there and Geelong, Australia. Channelling 80s UK indie pop and weaving in some antipodean charm, this is perfect sun-kissed jangle pop with a heavy dose of melancholy. An absolute delight. For fans of McCarthy, Flying Nun Records, RBCF, Horsebeach, Goon Sax....

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. How Lonely Are You?
                                                                          2. Old Times
                                                                          3. 18 Cigarettes
                                                                          4. Under The Rolling Moon
                                                                          5. Fit To Burst
                                                                          6. Patience Wearing Thin
                                                                          7. Always There
                                                                          8. Sullen Leering Hope
                                                                          9. 'Twere Ever Thus
                                                                          10. Grand Final Day

                                                                          Metronomy

                                                                          The English Riviera (Instrumentals)

                                                                            The Joseph Mount-fronted electronic pop collective Metronomy announce details of the forthcoming special vinyl release of the instrumental versions of their career-changing 2011 album The English Riviera, which is this year celebrating its ten year anniversary. The English Riviera (Instrumentals) are available to listen to online now and will be released on vinyl in November.

                                                                            The Dinked vinyl edition of The English Riviera (Instrumentals) will be a cream coloured 12” vinyl with numbered sleeve, complete with transparent sticker sheets, A6 Postcard and Dinked sticker.

                                                                            A love letter to the stretch of coast a stone's throw from where Joe Mount grew up, The English Riviera marked a breakout moment in the band’s history that would lead them to global success and see them constantly developing their sound for a decade to come. 


                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            A Side:
                                                                            The English Riviera
                                                                            We Broke Free (Instrumental)
                                                                            Everything Goes My Way (Instrumental)
                                                                            The Look (Instrumental)
                                                                            She Wants (Instrumental)
                                                                            Trouble (Instrumental)

                                                                            B Side:
                                                                            The Bay (Instrumental)
                                                                            Loving Arm (Instrumental)
                                                                            Corinne (Instrumental)
                                                                            Some Written (Instrumental)
                                                                            Love Underlined (Instrumental)

                                                                            The new album by electronica producer Ulrich Schnauss and the Engineers guitarist Mark Peters 'Destiny Waiving' lands in store on Hamburg's Bureau B.

                                                                            Hailing from Kiel in North Germany, it's now 20 years since the electronica prodigy Ulrich Schnauss released his debut album. His second, 'A Strangely Isolated Place' cemented his reputation as both a pioneer and an artist who routinely creates inspirational music that is adored by many. As a full time member of Tangerine Dream since 2014, his lifelong passion for their work inspired a creative resurgence for the band, resulting in their most successful new album for over 30 years, 2017's 'Quantum Gate'.

                                                                            Liverpool born guitarist (and founder of the dream pop outfit Engineers) Mark Peters shared a similar musical path, exploring ambient textures and effect laden songwriting via a series of blissful albums for the band. In 2017 he released his first solo album, 'Innerland' which was enthusiastically received by BBC6 music and later included in Rough Trade's top ten best albums of 2018.

                                                                            'Destiny Waiving' completes a collaborative trilogy that began with 2011's 'Underrated Silence' and followed by 2013's 'Tomorrow Is Another Day' (Schnauss also became a full time member of Engi-neers at this time). Initial sessions began at Ulrich's East London home studio in early 2017 and final mixes where completed there in late 2020. Despite it's extended conception, most tracks where com-pleted during 2017, in part informed by improvisational sets in London, Dublin and St James' Church in Birmingham (as part of the Seventh Wave electronica festival).

                                                                            Despite these exercises in exploration, 'Destiny Waiving' is perhaps the most focused and concise collection of all three releases. Ranging in tone from precognitive foreboding to soaring optimism, the album delicately hones a particular atmosphere that is unmistakable in their work. While track titles such as 'The Supposed Middle Class' acutely display a concern for society at large, compositions and performances reveal a great deal more light and shade. This inherent balance is a key facet of the duo's chemistry, signposted by the titles of 'Chiaroscuro' and 'Clair-Obscur' and the shifting moods within the tracks. For every rushing, upward sweep (Hindsight is 20/20, 'Circular Time'), contemplative countering is evident in tracks such as 'Words Can Be Dismissed' and 'So Far', 'The Moment'.

                                                                            As we're all tired of hearing now, the global situation in 2021 is less than ideal, but if it's any consolation, Ulrich and Mark have fulfilled their destiny by creating a work that's both undeniably potent and endlessly immersive.


                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            Side A
                                                                            1. The Supposed Middle Class
                                                                            2. Hindsight Is 20/20
                                                                            3. Circular Time
                                                                            4. Chiaroscuro
                                                                            Side B
                                                                            1.Words Can Be Dismissed
                                                                            2.Speak In Capitals
                                                                            3.Clair-Obscur
                                                                            4.So Far, The Moment

                                                                            Bonus Dinked EP
                                                                            Side A:
                                                                            1.Hindsight Is 20/20 (Count Two Four Version)
                                                                            2.Circular Time (Measure By Measure Version)
                                                                            Side B:
                                                                            1.Words Can Be Dismissed (Talking Snare Version)
                                                                            2.Speak In Capitals (Uppercase Drumming Version)



                                                                            The Oscillation’s continuing journey into the centre of the mind and beyond shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Indeed, new album "Untold Futures " is less a consolidation of all that we’ve come to love and expect from the cosmic explorers and more a leap forward into an upcoming reality. Redefining the possibilities of altered states through audio stimulation, “Untold Futures” finds The Oscillation at their most daring and breathtaking.

                                                                            A multi-layered assault on the senses, this is an unexpurgated experience for the seasoned connoisseur and unspoiled novice alike. Its power is felt in the multi-layered dissonance and undying throb of “Dilated Mind”, the metaphysical possibilities that beat at the heart of metronomic pulses of “Forever Knowing” and the face-melting attack of “The Inner Void”. “Heart Of Nowhere” is a mantra for the profane, while the dissonant beauty of “Obscured” realises re-birth and resurrection.

                                                                            Revelatory in its brilliance and an intersection between the individual self and the collective unconscious, this is music to fuel the inner technology of the mind. Veering between krautrock edginess, droning medicated tones and noise driven no wave fuzz, The Oscillation recalls the music of Neu! and Tangerine Dream and Loop interpreted with an eye on Pil’s dubbed out punk funk, Miles Davis’ experimentalism and Spacemen 3’s strung out blues rock.

                                                                            Beginning in 2007, when DC Recordings released the debut “Out Of Phase”, The Oscillation have released many albums and EPS both self released and with labels (Fuzz Club and Hands In The Dark and Cardinal Fuzz). Recent releases include the mutant kosmiche techno of “U.E.F”, the pounding and otherworldly “Wasted Space” from 2018 and the epic exploration of the inner landscapes with “Droneweapon”. Now The Oscillation return with a new face-biting album questioning our strange relationship with reality as “Untold Futures”.


                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Matt says: Wild, incendiary, chest-beating psych rock that shoots off the stage like a flamethrower. Roaring with wobbly feedback and howling like a banshee for its entire duration. Unmissable!

                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            Untold Futures
                                                                            1 Dilated Mind
                                                                            2 Forever Knowing
                                                                            3 The Inner Void
                                                                            4 Heart Of Nowhere
                                                                            5 Obscured

                                                                            Ambient Version LP (DInked Edition)
                                                                            Obscured (ambient)
                                                                            The Inner Void (ambient)
                                                                            Dilated Mind (ambient)
                                                                            Heart Of Nowhere (ambient)




                                                                            Pip Blom

                                                                            Welcome Break

                                                                              There are approximately a great deal and very many ‘Welcome Breaks’ scattered throughout the sprawling motorways of the UK.

                                                                              Now, regardless of whether that statement’s true or not… when life’s become a series of long-stretches and welcomed breaks, it’s to no avail that sometimes all it takes to alleviate spirits is the simplest, of experiential indulgences.

                                                                              Be it the buzz of an overly exhausted tour van, or the green light and smell of sausage rolls in the near Beaconsfield distance... inspiration can be found in the funniest corners of this place we call home; and it’s in the heart of day-to-day simplicities and sprawling services, that we gladly receive Amsterdam’s beamy-grinned, indie-pop powerhouse Pip Blom, back into lives.

                                                                              Following an extensive touring schedule which saw the Dutch 4-piece roam over field, oceans, and Glastonbury’s John Peel stage following the release of their debut record ‘Boat’, any such cool-cat would be forgiven for wanting to kick back, and indulge in some very appreciated, time off.
                                                                              As is often the way, such timely-abandon cannot be said for Pip Blom however, who immediately began to gather up all her soaked-up inspirations taken from the road, and manifest a re-energised sense of self, and ritualistic songwriting.

                                                                              Cosying down in a room of her parents’ house (which she shares with her brother and fellow bandmate Tender Blom), Pip, a self-confessed “fan of deadlines”, set aside three months to write twenty songs- sixteen of which
                                                                              were to become demos for the band to structure and flesh out, once in the studio together.

                                                                              It’s at this stage in our indie-fairy-tale that things start to get ever so 2020. Whilst the world was suddenly put on hold as a result of Covid-19, Pip Blom, who’d made plans to return to their favourite ‘Big Jelly Studios’ in Ramsgate, England, were suddenly faced with a very sticky, kind of dilemma. “We’d scheduled to go into the studio in September but summer started moving and there were a couple of countries not allowed to go to the UK anymore... a week before we had to go, the Netherlands was one of those countries”- notes Pip.

                                                                              Sentimentalities, and pre-established friendships (by way of Grammy award-winning engineer Caesar Edmunds) took president, and the decision was made to pack up their gear and a variety of board games and exercise equipment, all in preparation of a fourteen-day quarantine faced upon arrival in the UK.

                                                                              In total, three weeks were spent recording what would become the groups sophomore release; a Al Harle engineered love-affair which was self produced entirely by the band and culminated in a legally intimate, fully seated album play-back, to six, of Ramsgate’s most chorus-savvy and ‘in the-know’ residents.

                                                                              Getting out of their hometown and into an environment which removed all notions of “normality” or personal space, was an atmospheric godsend in terms of motivation; an act which encouraged Pip Blom to re-adjust and buckle down as a unit again, after spending so long in mandatory isolation.
                                                                              Much like the danceable-realism of Pip’s beloved Parquet Courts, the key to an album well done, is the balancing act of fine-production, and capturing that core live-essence we all miss. “We always play one live track three times and after we then build that track in the studio” says Pip, assembling together amalgamated “live-energies” in order to produce a capsule of environmental-satisfaction, that can be appreciated during any time of day, or life’s little moments.

                                                                              Actively seeking out moments of creative-authenticity, be it via a slightly out-of-tune guitar or proudly-fuzzed vocals, Pip Blom take us back full circle and introduce us to their ‘Welcome Break’- an eleven-track release which resonates with about as much decisive allure as it’s ‘Boat’ precursor, but this time with a bit more contemporary chaos to boot.

                                                                              Where ‘Boat’ reckoned as a fresh-faced, yet gloriously fearless game changer, ‘Welcome Break’ is the self-assured older sibling who, with an additional year or two behind themselves, isn’t afraid to speak out, take lead, and instigate a liberated revolution-come-bliss-out.

                                                                              Lead single’s ‘Keep It Together’ and ‘You Don’t Want This’ are glistening masterclasses in feel-good chorus- the very kind of coming-of-age relatability where a soul would want to let down their hair, stick their arm out the window of their best friends car and roll with the motions in a rapture of soundtracked euphoria, and jangled adventure.

                                                                              Unhinging genre in our instant-access era of musical snoot, no-one does an enthused-chorus quite like Pip Blom yet much can be said for this gang being far from one-trick-ponies.

                                                                              Anthemic drifters ‘Different Tune’ and ‘It Should Have Been Fun’ are slow building, amplified highlights. Carrying all the weight of convicted fearlessness on their shoulders, Pip Blom unhinge pre-disposed expectations of crafted alternative like graduates straight outta Kim Deal’s school of rock, whilst closing number ‘Trouble In Paradise’, sets the tone for what will only be the ultimate, set-list once gigs resume again.

                                                                              With Pip Blom, no mood is untouched nor sense of renewal left behind. The trick to it all? As Pip reveals: “I just really like catchy songs and I feel like that’s something we try to do. I’d classify it as being sentimental – it’s not sugar-happy Pop.... more like ‘Titanic’ pop songs...”

                                                                              For those of us missing the buzzed adrenaline of communal music exploration, the idea of escapism in cramped and sweaty crevices can seem quite lifeless. If it's a sense of community you’re after then look no further than ‘Pip Blom Backstage’.

                                                                              Streaming goodness 24/7 as a fan-centric loyalty app, ‘Pip Blom Backstage’ gives access to exclusive news, premium content, and, a chat box for the Pip Blom Backstage community; further cementing Pip Blom as undeniable pals for life as fan-clips, spotify playlists and even a cooking lesson from bassist Darek Mercks, are all made available from the VIP lounge of your own back-pocket.

                                                                              In conclusion, there're actually thirty-five ‘Welcome Break’ pit stops a weary traveller can make in a lifetime spent on the M1, and it’s associates. Whilst the road’s presently a little less travelled, Pip Blom’s ‘Welcome Break’ is adamantly nothing to do with the present state of affairs. In fact, it doesn’t have anything to do with much at all and that’s the way they like it.
                                                                              ‘Welcome Break’ is but two nouns of which when placed together in context, ring confidently with prowess, intent, and a radiant true-spirit - much like Pip Blom herself. 


                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              1 You Don't Want This
                                                                              2 12
                                                                              3 It Should Have Been Fun
                                                                              4 Keep It Together
                                                                              5 Different Tune
                                                                              6 I Know I’m Not Easy To Like
                                                                              7 Faces
                                                                              8 I Love The City
                                                                              9 Easy
                                                                              10 Holiday
                                                                              11 Trouble In Paradise

                                                                              W.H. Lung

                                                                              Vanities

                                                                                “We were raring to go,” says W. H. Lung’s Tom Sharkett of the band’s desire to keep the momentum going after the huge success of their debut album.

                                                                                2019’s Incidental Music - a vivacious concoction of krautrock, synth pop and infectious grooves - topped end of year lists, with the likes of Piccadilly Records and Resident both naming it album of the year. However, it quickly became apparent that a repeat performance was of no interest to the band. “At the beginning it felt like every new idea could’ve just been on Incidental Music,” remembers Tom. “They weren’t bad ideas, but they didn’t feel new. I don’t think we knew where we wanted to go but we were 100% sure on it not being Incidental Music part 2.”

                                                                                Things soon burst to life however and a period of profound creativity, musical intuition, bold innovation and near total musical rebirth came forth. “I was in the best place of my life,” says Joe Evans. “I was like a slot machine putting in wellbeing currency and jackpotting this album. Words and melodies were coming so quick and easy. Tom was sending tunes across and I was having a lot of fun playing around with a new way of singing which was freer, more expressive, more instant and more melodic.”

                                                                                The result is a record that is direct, punchy and potent. Merging silky vocals, strutting grooves, enveloping textures, and a sparkling blend of electronic and pop music. “We thought: okay we’ve done the long sprawling introductions and instrumentals,” says Tom. “So let’s see if we can get the same intensity, energy and layers whilst getting straight to the point.” Joe echoes this. “We wanted to move away from easing people in and grab them by the heart straight away. I reflected on how we played live shows and romanticised about launching onto the stage in a bundle of energy and starting the party, no messing. The directness comes from making music more intuitively, and more from a place of fun. We were writing music that affirmed how much we missed dancing in sweaty rooms, enjoying the company of a collection of beautiful friendly strangers.”

                                                                                The album documents a period of change for the group. They lost a member in Tom Derbyshire, moved from Manchester to Todmorden and fell in love more with dance music and the shifting sense of community and inclusivity that came with these changes. “We have moved forward from the change with a new energy,” says Joe of Tom Derbyshire’s amicable exit to focus on filmmaking. “It was a challenge shifting the dynamic but we truly found our stride and Tom Sharkett and I have an absolutely beautiful working relationship.”

                                                                                Tom also feels this forced sense of change has brought about something fresh. “We didn’t have many spare ideas let alone spare tunes for the first album,” he recalls. “Whereas for Vanities we had loads that we binned. That needed to happen for us to get somewhere new and I think before the change in line-up we were in limbo a bit.” The album was written with a process of passing ideas back and forth, in a spirit of playfulness and exploration. The songs were then further refined in the studio of band member Chris Mulligan (guitar, bass, keys), a producer in his own right, who helped to further refine the arrangement and directness of the songs. ‘We are blessed to have brilliant musicians in W. H. Lung. It is very comforting, creatively, to know that initial ideas will always be further developed and expanded when played by Alex (drums), Chris and Hannah (keys, vocals.)’ says Joe. ‘And we got loads of magic out of (producer) Matt (Peel) for this record. He infuses all the tracks with such an infectious, wonky energy.’

                                                                                This positivity, and incandescent dance floor giddiness that the pair espouses can be felt all over the record too. Despite being written in isolation and remoteness the album is rooted in very real physical spaces. “Manchester is a very important part of this record,” says Tom Sharkett, “The White Hotel, nights like Wet Play, seeing Gerd Janson DJ at the End of Year Riot (Electric Chair) and then discovering all the amazing stuff on his label Running Back. Then when we moved to Todmorden it was the same. Seeing Andrew Weatherall down the road from our flat at The Golden Lion - it just felt like an exciting time for us and I wanted to consume as much new music as possible.” Joe shares his bandmates’ enthusiasm for their dance floor experiences that have fed into this record. “Vanities is a musical representation of what Tom and I crave the most now that it’s been taken away from us,” he says. “In simple terms, we love to dance and have both fallen deeper in love with the music that facilitates that. Because of this voracious appetite for new music and the experiences that come with that hunger, influences on the album are vast: the aforementioned Weatherall, Robyn, Todd Terje, Grauzone, Kelly Lee Owens, Helena Hauff and countless others. But the end result is something distinctly the band’s own.”

                                                                                ‘Pearl in the Palm’ was the track that kicked it all off. “A transition from the old W. H. Lung to new,” says Tom. It marries pulsing synths, galloping drums and a vocal take that is both caramel smooth but also fervently intense. ‘Show Stopper’ allows the drums and bass to carry a subtle funk strut and is one of the album’s moments that highlight the band’s deft touch for layering and texture. ‘Somebody Like’ is an absolute stomper, marrying filthy electronics with a pop hook that is as irresistible as it is anthemic. ‘Gd Tym’ nicely captures the transition from a more archetypal band sound to dance floor fodder, as spiralling guitar lines intersperse with heavy lashings of electronics and deep hooks.

                                                                                Despite the album’s exploration of the dizziness of dance floors and their maximalist appeal, it’s also one that plunges deep lyrically and comes from a place of profound introspection. Taking influence from the searching at the heart of the plays of Anton Chekov, as well as the novels of Shusaku Endo and Iris Murdoch, Joe also went deep into self-observation books like Red Hawk and The Fourth Way by Pyotr Ouspenskii. “It talks about stepping back from your mind and waking up to the patterns and conditionings of your thoughts,” he says. “This is like a constant meditation and so when I sat down to write lyrics, the different behaviours that I recognised in myself were really clear and poured out.” This meditative state also extended to another physical connection, this time out in the open rather than under the strobes. “A source of inspiration was getting out into nature,” he says. “We would often go out onto the tops of Todmorden and walk and swim. Sitting with and walking in the abundance of the natural world has fed into some of the playfulness and light spirit of the album.”

                                                                                Perhaps most remarkable thing about the album - aside from the unflinching new sonic leaps it takes - is that the band have taken a dormant year void of live experiences, sweaty clubs, or anything resembling fun times, and have made an album that makes that world feel palpable – that you can crawl inside it. “Lockdown gave me the time to pour work into myself and out came this wonderful album,” reflects Joe. “It was strange at first and I missed seeing my mates and having a laugh and dancing but this album is a direct reflection of creative flow brought on by the space given by lockdown.”

                                                                                Vanities is a very rare beast of a record: a lockdown album that feels bursting with vitality and the love, promise and transcendence of shared dance floor experiences. Just in time for when we crave those the most.

                                                                                Joe Evans – Vocals / Tom Sharkett – Guitar / Alex Mercer Main – Drums / Hannah Peace - Synths + Vocals / Chris Mulligan - Bass / Synths.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1. Calm Down
                                                                                2. Gd Tym
                                                                                3. Pearl In The Palm
                                                                                4. Ways Of Seeing
                                                                                5. ARPi
                                                                                6. Showstopper
                                                                                7. Figure With Flowers
                                                                                8. Somebody Like
                                                                                9. Kaya

                                                                                Anna Phoebe

                                                                                Sea Souls

                                                                                  In March 2020, I was asked to produce a ten-minute package for a BBC Radio arts show. Living in Deal on the Kent coast, I went down onto the beach to sit and think about what I wanted to write about. The sea is such a source of comfort, the sound of the waves and the line of the horizon a daily form of meditation and reflection. I filmed and recorded the sea then went back to my studio. I found it was easier to express my emotions through music rather than words, and so the opening track, ’By the Sea’ was born.

                                                                                  Mary Anne Hobbs heard the piece and played it on her BBC Radio 6 Music show. She suggested that I release it, and that’s how Sea Souls started.

                                                                                  This album takes you on a journey through the soul, each piece on this album inspired by how the sea and the weather reflected my emotions that day. 2020 was such a turbulent year and each track on this album represents a different snapshot of that time.

                                                                                  Many of the pieces were recorded in a series of single improvised takes, and some were worked on over a period of time. Like the commitment to the improvised takes on violin, viola, piano, recorder, bass and guitar which pervade the music, this album is an acceptance of flaws and imperfection, letting go of the idea of perfection.

                                                                                  On June 7th the music from Sea Souls will be used in collaboration with female poets across the globe opening up York Festival of Ideas, in partnership with Dhaka Lit Fest and Jaipur Literary Festival. Anna will be joined by Klara Schumann (cello) and Richard Bundy (piano) for a streamed performance from the beautiful York Minster, interweaving her music with poetry including Salena Godden, Sadaaf Saaz, Jasmin Kaur and Melizarani T.Selva.


                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  1. By The Sea
                                                                                  2. Light On Waves
                                                                                  3. Horizons
                                                                                  4. Sirens
                                                                                  5. Moon
                                                                                  6. Breathe
                                                                                  7. Undercurrent
                                                                                  8. Sea Drift I
                                                                                  9. Sea Drift II
                                                                                  10. Sea Drift III
                                                                                  11. Sea Souls
                                                                                  12. Beyond Horizons

                                                                                  Hamish Hawk

                                                                                  Heavy Elevator

                                                                                    Hamish Hawk is an Edinburgh-based songwriter. Performing solo and as frontman of the New Outfit, Hawk's ability to surprise, enchant and bewilder has secured his status as one of the more endearing figures on the Scottish contemporary music scene.

                                                                                    His songwriting offers a blend of wit, charm and sensitivity that is unique and unmistakable.

                                                                                    Hawk has provided support for King Creosote, This is the Kit, Idlewild, James Yorkston and Out Lines.


                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    Side A
                                                                                    Vivian Comma
                                                                                    This, Whatever It Is, Needs Improvements
                                                                                    The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973
                                                                                    Bakerloo, Unbecoming
                                                                                    Your Ceremony

                                                                                    Side B
                                                                                    Caterpillar
                                                                                    Daggers
                                                                                    Heavy Elevator
                                                                                    Calls To Tiree
                                                                                    New Rhododendrons



                                                                                    JW Francis

                                                                                    Wanderkid

                                                                                      JW Francis burst onto the scene with his critically acclaimed debut ‘We Share a Similar Joy’, with features from DIY and Line of Best Fit to being named Album of The Day on BBC 6 Music. His warm, affable melodies and comforting lyrics earned him fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and now he returns with his sophomore album Wanderkid, a concept album about a wandering anti-hero.

                                                                                      Wanderkid hones in on JW’s dreamy soundscapes and explores themes of escapism, whilst still maintaining that sense of comfort and intimacy so beautifully demonstrated in his debut. To celebrate the release, JW is going on a 2,000 mile walking journey across the Eastern United States along the Appalachian Trail.

                                                                                      With Wanderkid, JW Francis is further cementing his place as a future stalwart in the alternative New York scene.

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      SIDE A
                                                                                      1. John, Take Me With You
                                                                                      2. I Love You
                                                                                      3. Maybe
                                                                                      4. Make Another Record
                                                                                      5. Only With You
                                                                                      6. Holy Mountain

                                                                                      SIDE B
                                                                                      1. WANDERKID
                                                                                      2. Don't Fall Apart
                                                                                      3. Fake It Till You Make It
                                                                                      4. I'm Probably A Ghost
                                                                                      5. Cars

                                                                                      Low Hummer

                                                                                      Modern Tricks For Living

                                                                                        Low Hummer are a fast-rising six piece from Hull that write about their life in deepest darkest East Yorkshire and their place in a world of consumerism and bad news stories sold as gospel. Daniel, Aimee, Steph, Jack, John and Joe came together from the far corners of the city’s tight knit DIY community, established a regular rehearsal home in iconic DIY venue The New Adelphi Club and set about honing their righteous, danceable garage rock before announcing themselves in late 2019 and introducing the world to Low Hummer - this band of misfits from a town left behind.

                                                                                        “Scuzzed out indie with lashings of synths, their post-punk leaning songwriting has a surreal pop instinct running through it” – Clash.

                                                                                        “Brilliant new garage rock… classic garage rock sounds that join with post-punk fury.” – Gigwise.

                                                                                        “Its really charming. Great.” Laura Snapes (The Guardian / Pitchfork - For 6 Music Roundtable).

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                        Take Arms
                                                                                        Don’t You Ever Sleep
                                                                                        I Choose Live News
                                                                                        Never Enough
                                                                                        Sometimes I Wish (I Was A Different Person)

                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                        The Real Thing
                                                                                        Human Behaviour
                                                                                        I Tell You What
                                                                                        Commercials
                                                                                        The People, This Place

                                                                                        LoneLady

                                                                                        Former Things

                                                                                          Former Things is the follow up to acclaimed 2015 album Hinterland which garnered praise from The Guardian, The Quietus, The Financial Times and more. The soundworld of Former Things was entirely crafted by LoneLady during her time spent in Somerset House Studios Rifle Range, an 18th century shooting range that has now been adapted into an experimental performance space.

                                                                                          The album was inspired by a seismic move for LoneLady who left her native Manchester, decamping to London’s Somerset House Studios in search of a new cityscape to inspire her poised machine funk. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: An absolutely top tip for any fans of machine funk or disco, this newest LoneLady outing sees Campbell brilliantly offsetting the more hefty synth grooves with an acoustic levity and lightness of touch. It's dynamic and exciting, filled with moments of clever production and every bit the deserving follow-up to 2015's 'Hinterland'.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          Vinyl Tracklisting:
                                                                                          Side A
                                                                                          A1. The Catcher / (There Is) No Logic
                                                                                          A2. Former Things / Time Time Time
                                                                                          Side B
                                                                                          B1. Threats / Fear Colours
                                                                                          B2. Treasure / Terminal Ground

                                                                                          CD Tracklisting:
                                                                                          1. The Catcher
                                                                                          2. (There Is) No Logic
                                                                                          3. Former Things
                                                                                          4. Time Time Time
                                                                                          5. Threats
                                                                                          6. Fear Colours
                                                                                          7. Treasure
                                                                                          8. Terminal Ground

                                                                                          Shire T

                                                                                          Tomorrow's People

                                                                                            Shire T (AKA Chris Davids, one half of celebrated electronic duo Maribou State, who released their latest album ‘Kingdoms In Colour’ to widespread acclaim in 2018) releases his debut solo album ‘Tomorrow’s People’ on Maribou’s own Dama Dama imprint. As Shire T, Davids draws on darker, more club-ready sounds, citing a broad range of influences which manifest in a record he describes as “a celebration of British dance music culture, pulled from all the experiences and memories I’ve had in that world over the years.”

                                                                                            Having originally set out in early 2020 to work on new Maribou State music, the unfolding pandemic and abrupt change in circumstances led Davids to a renewed focus on his solo work. “I started feeling really nostalgic” he explains, “Sometimes you need a purpose to make music, something to work towards, but with this it was very much the opposite. It felt like the future had been erased and I ended up delving back into the past, into all the dance music that inspired me when I was growing up. It became a way to escape the madness that was going on at the time”

                                                                                            Tracks like lead single “Blue Kiss”—built around a TB-303 bassline and some classic drum machines—and album opener “Full Attention” wear their influences on their sleeves, building the pace early on with driving synth-lead rhythms in a nod back to 90’s rave. Elsewhere, tracks like “London. Paris. Berlin.” and “Serve No Tea” show off a gentler side to the record, the main piano refrains the result of a day spent tinkering on his old childhood piano. Regardless of the direction each track takes, Davids’ deft uses of melody and vocal samples keep everything tied together in a way that will feel both new and familiar to fans of his existing work.

                                                                                            Beginning life in 2017 as a way to create more club-ready tools for Maribou State’s DJ sets, Shire T soon became an important creative outlet for Davids, often seeing him carve out extra hours in the studio following Maribou recording sessions to work on the music. The project took on more significance as the pair began preparations for their ‘fabric presents’ release, resulting in two tracks—”Hackney Birdwatch” and “Gentlemens Whistle Club’—used to tie together the dancier-end of the various styles and tempos exhibited on the mix, which included new music from fellow Dama Dama label-mate North Downs, as well as new track “Mother” from Maribou State themselves.

                                                                                            Despite the period in which it was created, the album title ‘Tomorrow’s People’ serves as a more hopeful look towards the future, a time when dance music will once again ring out from club and festival sound-systems to be met by feet on the dance floor.


                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Barry says: As one half of Maribou State, it's no surprise that Chris 'Shire T' Davids has a few electronic tricks up his sleeve, but 'Tomorrow's People' is so chock full of nods to classic breakbeat, braindance and electronica that it's hard to believe it pulls together so cohesively, and it's a testament to the skills of Davids' production that it does.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            Full Attention
                                                                                            Under The Sun
                                                                                            Blue Kiss
                                                                                            L.D.R.A
                                                                                            Over You
                                                                                            Burnin’ Jungle
                                                                                            London. Paris. Berlin.
                                                                                            Mind Games
                                                                                            Serve No Tea

                                                                                            After a host of well received ambient releases, Richard Norris is back with the motorik, trance inducing electronic groove of 'Hypnotic Response'.

                                                                                            Influenced by German 70's music, psychedelia, hypnotic repetition and an old Korg 55 drum machine, these tracks veer from the expansive eleven minute workout 'Arca' to the mesmeric sequences of 'In Flight', from the propulsive Kosmishe rhythm of 'Free Ride' to the electronic lullaby 'La Lune'.

                                                                                            A widescreen and mesmerising set, with accompanying retina altering artwork and vinyl. Dive in deep.

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Barry says: Aaah, Richard Norris. I am a huge fan of his 'Elements' release from last year, so it's a huge joy to have his latest collection of snappy cosmic beats and spine-tingling arpeggios to wrap the ears around. It seems like there's no stopping Norris at the moment, with all of his monthly 'Music For Healing' releases providing vital relaxation during lockdown only adding to the excellence of his physical output. 'Hypnotic Response' is a triumph in every way.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            Side A
                                                                                            1. In Flight
                                                                                            2. Arca
                                                                                            3. Free Ride

                                                                                            Side B
                                                                                            4. Gamma & Delta
                                                                                            5. Reflections Of Kyoto
                                                                                            6. La Lune

                                                                                            Molly Burch

                                                                                            Romantic Images

                                                                                              Romantic Images, Molly Burch’s third album, marks a distinct evolution for Burch, both emotionally and sonically. Recorded in Denver with Tennis’ Alaina Moore and Pat Riley producing, the collection celebrates the timeless delights of a well-crafted pop song, flirting with Blondie, Madonna, and even Mariah Carey as it forges a joyful soundtrack to liberation and self-discovery.

                                                                                              Burch deliberately worked with more women collaborators than ever before on the album, and the results are transcendent, reveling in the passion and the power of the divine feminine. The collection prioritizes ecstasy and escape, and Burch’s commitment to collective catharsis in her lifted, airy delivery manages to exude both thoughtful introspection and carefree abandon all at once. The shadow still lurks on the album, to be sure, but the light ultimately wins, and the result is an intoxicating collection all about coming into our truest selves.

                                                                                              When it came to mixing and mastering the material, Burch put her faith in Gloria Kaba (Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest), Mikaelin “Blue” Bluespruce (Solange Knowles), and Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House) to truly understand where she was coming from with the music.

                                                                                              Burch designed the record to mirror the emotional journey that went into creating it, sequencing the music to work its way from jittery indecision to poised certainty over the course of ten mesmerizing tracks. Exhilarating opener “Control” takes a leap of faith as it learns to make peace with letting go, while the infectious “Heart Of Gold” grapples with wanting what you can’t have. By the time the silky “New Beginning” rolls around, Burch begins settling into a newfound sureness that dominates the collection’s second half, with the addictive “Emotion” (a collaboration between Burch and her Captured Tracks labelmate Wild Nothing) celebrating a spectrum of emotions as fuel for creativity.

                                                                                              “I’ve written quite a bit about anxiety and heartbreak in the past,” Burch reflects, “but this record is more inspired by confidence and self-love. This is the most me I’ve ever sounded on an album.”

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Barry says: With a pretty legendary lineup of collaborators and producers working in conjunction with Burch, this was never going to be anything but superb. It's with a great deal of pleasure then, that I can confirm her singular writing style and unmistakeable vocal direction is at it's peak here. A brilliantly enjoyable and gorgeously evocative selection, drenched in nostalgic production and clever writing.

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              1. Control
                                                                                              2. Games
                                                                                              3. Heart Of Gold
                                                                                              4. Romantic Images
                                                                                              5. New Beginning
                                                                                              6. Took A Minute
                                                                                              7. Emotion
                                                                                              8. Honeymoon Phase
                                                                                              9. Easy
                                                                                              10. Back In Time

                                                                                              Villagers

                                                                                              Fever Dreams

                                                                                                Conor O'Brien is pleased to announce Villagers' fifth studio album Fever Dreams which will be released on August 20th via Domino. Escapism is a very necessary pursuit right now, and Fever Dreams follows it to mesmerising effect. It works like all the best records - it becomes a mode of transport; it picks you up from where you are and sets you down elsewhere.

                                                                                                O’Brien says on the gestation of Fever Dreams: “I had an urge to write something that was as generous to the listener as it was to myself. Sometimes the most delirious states can produce the most ecstatic, euphoric and escapist dreams.”

                                                                                                These are songs with the strange, melted shapes and the magical ambivalence of dreams. The intent of the songs is both mysterious and as clear as a bell. With Fever Dreams, there is a sense of a deepening mastery and an expanding reach by O’Brien. Inspiration for the album was found in many places and came in from all angles, from night swimming on a Dutch island to Flann O’Brien, Audre Lorde, David Lynch, L. S. Lowry via the library music of Piero Umiliani and Alessandro Alessandroni and jazz from Duke Ellington and Alice Coltrane.

                                                                                                Written over the course of two years, the main bodies of the songs were recorded in a series of full-band studio sessions in late 2019 and early 2020. During the long, slow pandemic days, O’Brien refined them in his tiny home studio in Dublin, and the album was then mixed by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, FKA Twigs).


                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                Barry says: I admit to having not given too much time to the previous Villagers LP, but as soon as I heard 'Fever Dreams' it became clear I really should have done. Wistful melodies, perfectly balanced orchestration and brittle, soaring vocals coalesce into a wonderfully written and evocative whole.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                Side A
                                                                                                01 Something Bigger
                                                                                                02 The First Day
                                                                                                03 Song In Seven
                                                                                                04 So Simpatico
                                                                                                05 Momentarily

                                                                                                Side B
                                                                                                01 Circles In The Firing Line
                                                                                                02 Restless Endeavour
                                                                                                03 Full Faith In Providence
                                                                                                04 Fever Dreams
                                                                                                05 Deep In My Heart

                                                                                                Bristol experimental jazz collective Ishmael Ensemble reveal their expansive new album “Visions of Light”. Proceesing “A State of Flow” their sophomore record sees the group reimagine what an ‘ensemble’ can do; expanding into a shifting collective, where human relationships between artists underpin far-ranging, stunningly ambitious and emotionally heavyweight compositions.

                                                                                                Helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, Ishmael Ensemble’s richly inventive 2019 debut “A State Of Flow” marked them out as an explosive new force in UK jazz, imbuing lush cinematic compositions with left-field dub and electronic sensibilities redolent of Bristol’s vital musical landscape. Named The Guardian’s ‘Contemporary Album Of The Month’ and Mojo’s ‘Jazz Album of The Month’, it saw the group perform Maida Vale sessions for both Gilles Peterson and Tom Ravenscroft, as well as feature on compilations for Brownswood Recordings and Soul Jazz Records.

                                                                                                Ishmael Ensemble has since become a platform for Cunningham to subvert the conventional notions of producer/artist relationships, unsettling genre tags, and transcending the familiar landscape of UK jazz itself. Across the album’s 10 tracks, Cunningham practices a holistic approach with a long list of collaborators. Together, they explore vast new sonic terrain with an honesty, intimacy and emotional heft impossible for a conventional band.

                                                                                                “Visions Of Light” tells the story of Ishmael Ensemble’s development across its two sides. The first draws from the energy Cunningham and his bandmates discovered whilst extensively touring “A State Of Flow”. The album opens with a cascade of harp glissandos and the gorgeous “Feather” – Holysseus Fly’s lush vocal lulling the listener into a false sense of security, before her voice is warped beyond recognition in the high-octane, cacophonous “Wax Werk”. The tracks that follow take a darker, heavier turn. The driving, uninhibited performances of Stephen Mullins (guitar) and Rory O’Gorman (drums), along with Jake Spurgeon’s agile synth work, lay the foundation for Cunningham to deliver his most confident and direct saxophone performances to date.

                                                                                                Side B sees Cunningham settle into his role as producer and collaborator, resetting the scene with the vivid and playful “Looking Glass”, inviting vocalist, harpist and strings arranger STANLAEY to take centre stage. The landscape shifts again for the movingly nostalgic “Morning Chorus”, whilst “The Gift” sees the angelic vocals of Tiny Chapter (Waldo’s Gift) initiate a dizzying crescendo of swirling synthesisers and string arrangements. When “Visions Of Light” resolves with the gorgeous slow-burner “January”, it is with an unmistakable hopefulness – something that, in these times of disquietude, is urgently felt.


                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                Side A
                                                                                                1. Intro
                                                                                                2. Feather
                                                                                                3. Wax Werk
                                                                                                4. Soma Centre
                                                                                                5. Empty Hands

                                                                                                Side B
                                                                                                1. Looking Glass
                                                                                                2. Morning Chorus
                                                                                                3. Visions Of Light
                                                                                                4. The Gift
                                                                                                5. January

                                                                                                Maple Glider

                                                                                                To Enjoy Is The Only Thing

                                                                                                  Maple Glider is Naarm/Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Tori Zietsch. On debut album To Enjoy is the Only Thing, Zietsch's vocals melt into layers of plucked acoustic guitar and lulling piano, drawing on the sombre styles of folk contemporaries with a stark tenderness and introspection that assumes the listener is inside her bedroom as she plays for herself. Striking emotionality is at the centre of this performance, leaning into an intimacy that is achieved by way of deeply personal reflections and velvety melodic compositions.

                                                                                                  In Tori's words: "To me, To Enjoy is the Only Thing feels like walking past tinsel-covered trees in mid-September, swimming along the calanques in the south of France, frost on the hood of a car, darkness at 4pm, lightness until 10pm, Sibylle Baier’s Colour Green, Devendra Banhart’s Ma, Adrianne Lenker’s a-sides, a muted feeling, the perpetual grey fog that swallows the Silver Coast in Portugal, an ugly green dress, the color red, red wine, red blood, red lips, the red of a cardinal’s robe, Switzerland, my mother’s diaries, a coroner’s report, the sun on my face, the end of love."

                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                  Barry says: 'To Enjoy...' absolutely swims with a wealth of influences from tender 60's folk and country to more exuberant soulful moments that wouldn't feel out of place in a dimly lit club, smoke rising from the tables. It's evocative and brimming with beauty, a wonderfully realised gem.

                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                  Side A
                                                                                                  1 As Tradition
                                                                                                  2 Swimming
                                                                                                  3 View From This Side
                                                                                                  4 Friend
                                                                                                  5 Be Mean, It's Kinder Than Crying

                                                                                                  Side B
                                                                                                  6 Good Thing
                                                                                                  7 Baby Tiger
                                                                                                  8 Performer
                                                                                                  9 Mama It's Christmas


                                                                                                  Turin Brakes

                                                                                                  The Optimist - 20th Anniversary Edition

                                                                                                    Turin Brakes critically acclaimed debut album ‘The Optimist LP’ gets the re-issue treatment to celebrate its 20th Anniversary

                                                                                                    The ground breaking long player, originally released in 2001 features classic tracks such as ‘Underdog (Save Me)’, ’The Door' and ‘Feeling Oblivion’.
                                                                                                    ’The Optimist LP’ will be re-released on Deluxe 2LP & 2CD on Two-Piers, a new Brighton label, now with a Bonus album of ‘Demos’ from the original sessions and New Artwork. The Album has been out of print on Vinyl for many years now.

                                                                                                    Press for The Optimist LP:

                                                                                                    Drowned in Sound - 'The Optimist LP' is a quite stunningly beautiful record.

                                                                                                    NME - It’s one of those albums. Like ‘Parachutes’, for some, we suppose. But then listening to Coldplay instead of Turin Brakes is like the [I]Almost Famous[/I] generation choosing Don McLean over Tim Buckley. One’s comforting, familiar, pretty; the other strikes at your soul. And it’s a special kind of record which can encourage [I]and[/I] soundtrack such introspection, without losing its edge to indulgent miserabilism

                                                                                                    Pitchfork - Olly Knights' vocals mix Jeff Buckley moan and Marc Bolan hiss. The songs are simple, emotional, and earnest…., and they're laden with Everly Brothers harmonies 


                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    2LP
                                                                                                    THE OPTIMIST
                                                                                                    A1 Feeling Oblivion
                                                                                                    A2 Underdog (Save Me)
                                                                                                    A3 Emergency 72
                                                                                                    A4 Future Boy
                                                                                                    A5 The Door
                                                                                                    A6 State Of Things
                                                                                                    B1 By TV Light
                                                                                                    B2 Slack
                                                                                                    B3 Starship
                                                                                                    B4 The Road
                                                                                                    B5 Mind Over Money
                                                                                                    B6 The Optimist
                                                                                                    DEMOS VERSIONS
                                                                                                    C1 Feeling Oblivion - Demo
                                                                                                    C2 Underdog (Save Me) - Demo
                                                                                                    C3 Emergency 72 - Demo
                                                                                                    C4 Future Boy -Original Version.
                                                                                                    C5 The Door - Original Version
                                                                                                    C6 State Of Things - Demo
                                                                                                    D1 By TV Light - Original Version
                                                                                                    D2 Slack - Demo
                                                                                                    D3 Starship - Demo
                                                                                                    D4 The Road - Demo
                                                                                                    D5 Mind Over Money- Demo
                                                                                                    D6 The Optimist – Demo

                                                                                                    2CD
                                                                                                    CD1: THE OPTIMIST
                                                                                                    1 Feeling Oblivion
                                                                                                    2 Underdog (Save Me)
                                                                                                    3 Emergency 72
                                                                                                    4 Future Boy
                                                                                                    5 The Door
                                                                                                    6 State Of Things
                                                                                                    7 By TV Light
                                                                                                    8 Slack
                                                                                                    9 Starship
                                                                                                    10 The Road
                                                                                                    11 Mind Over Money
                                                                                                    12 The Optimist
                                                                                                    CD2: DEMOS & ALTERNATE VERSIONS
                                                                                                    1 Feeling Oblivion - Demo
                                                                                                    2 Underdog (Save Me) - Demo
                                                                                                    3 Emergency 72 - Demo
                                                                                                    4 Future Boy -Original Version.
                                                                                                    5 The Door - Original Version
                                                                                                    6 State Of Things - Demo
                                                                                                    7 By TV Light - Original Version
                                                                                                    8 Slack - Demo
                                                                                                    9 Starship - Demo
                                                                                                    10 The Road - Demo
                                                                                                    11 Mind Over Money- Demo
                                                                                                    12 The Optimist – Demo

                                                                                                    Gemma Cullingford

                                                                                                    Let Me Speak

                                                                                                      Following March's debut single ‘Wide Boys’ which gained favour from Steve Lamacq, John Kennedy, Amy Lamé, Jamzsupernova, Get in Her Ears to name a few, Outre are delighted to present this solo long player, Gemma Cullingford's quiet public persona as one half of Norfolk's finest disco maidens Sink Ya Teeth and previously with Blast First's KaitO has masked her nature.

                                                                                                      On Let Me Speak Gemma finds her voice and noise as a solo artist and songwriter with a very personal body of work. Storytelling through the medium of raw electronic and industrial sensibilities. During Sink Ya Teeth’s downtime throughout the pandemic Gemma has been working on creations of a more personal nature, and it’s just what your ears need right now.

                                                                                                      Raised on a diet of Throbbing Gristle, Depeche Mode, New Order, Fad Gadget and A Certain Ratio, Gemma Cullingford's own trajectory has been equally impressive - from playing bass with Blast First / Mute signings Kaito, and more recently as one half of post-punk electronic dance duo Sink Ya Teeth.

                                                                                                      This solo offering further adds to her fine body of work. 2020 saw Sink Ya Teeth having to abandon many live gigs and promotion for their second album, so during the band's downtime Gemma worked purposefully in her home studio on solo works of a more personal nature.

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Barry says: While Sink Ya Teeth definitely took influence from the dancefloor, it's Cullingford's solo output that really pays homage to the sweaty peak of industrial and techno clubgoing with it's own particular brand of momentous rhythm and rich, chest shaking bass hits. Wildly immersive and wonderfully satisfying,

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      Side A
                                                                                                      1 The Lizard
                                                                                                      2 Sight For Sore Eyes
                                                                                                      3 Wide Boys
                                                                                                      4 Racer
                                                                                                      5 Let Me Speak

                                                                                                      Side B
                                                                                                      6 Queen Bee
                                                                                                      7 Chase The Beat
                                                                                                      8 I Like You
                                                                                                      9 Ode To Billy Joe
                                                                                                      10 Fatal Embrace

                                                                                                      Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane

                                                                                                      Lost In The Cedar Wood

                                                                                                        ‘Lost In The Cedar Wood’, Johnny Flynn’s much-anticipated fifth album, is co-written with his friend Robert Macfarlane.

                                                                                                        Johnny and Robert began work on the album in the first weeks of the pandemic, wanting to make music that sang of those dangerous, disorienting spring days; when birdsong was brighter –– and the sense of bewilderment more powerful –– than any of us had known before.

                                                                                                        They drew inspiration in part from The Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest surviving work of world literature; an epic poem from Ancient Mesopotamia that contains the earliest version of the Flood Myth. To Johnny and Robert, Gilgamesh resonated eerily with the present moment –– and it catalysed their song-writing.

                                                                                                        For Gilgamesh is a story of friendship, love, loss, grief, bad governance and good dreaming; of natural disaster and environmental crisis. It also contains the first recorded act of human destruction of the natural world: when Gilgamesh and Enkidu travel to the Sacred Cedar Wood, slay the guardian spirit of the forest, and cut down the trees with their axes, thereby bringing catastrophe upon themselves.

                                                                                                        Johnny and Robert wrote the album between March 2020 and February 2021, during a year in which we all wandered unsure of our path, lost in the cedar wood. The songs were composed in large part as a correspondence, through a back-and-forth of notebook pages, voice-recordings and WhatsApp-messages, at a time when lockdowns made meeting in person impossible. The first eight songs were recorded in an off-grid cottage deep in a Hampshire forest, with the sounds of chainsaws felling trees drifting in through the windows along with the birdsong.

                                                                                                        The result is an album at once urgent and ancient, which fuses poetry, landscape, myth and music into something unique. These are songs that ring with hope, love and sadness –– and one need not know anything about The Epic of Gilgamesh to be touched by them.


                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                        Barry says: A beautifully evocative and wonderfully weighted collaboration between two of the most talented voices in folk music today. Both Flynn and Macfarlane are right at home here, crafting warm melodies and richly woven harmonies around a solid instrumental core.

                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                        1. Ten Degrees Of Strange - Johnny Flynn
                                                                                                        2. The World To Come - Johnny Flynn
                                                                                                        3. Gods And Monsters - Robert Macfarlane
                                                                                                        4. Bonedigger - Robert Macfarlane
                                                                                                        5. I Can’t Swim There - Robert Macfarlane

                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                        6. Nether - Robert Macfarlane
                                                                                                        7. Flood In The Desert - Johnny Flynn
                                                                                                        8. Tree Rings - Johnny Flynn
                                                                                                        9. Enkidu Walked - Robert Macfarlane
                                                                                                        10. Home And Dry - Robert Macfarlane
                                                                                                        11. Ferryman - Robert Macfarlane

                                                                                                        Lucy Gooch

                                                                                                        Rain's Break EP

                                                                                                          An exploration of repression, longing and ‘otherness’ amidst illusory landscapes, ‘Rain’s Break’ EP is inspired by the early technicolour films of Powell and Pressburger. Lucy Gooch uses synthesisers and vocal layering to concentrate elements of each film’s score and narrative into songs which move through different moods of yearning and renewal:
                                                                                                          “I first experienced their strange cinematic worlds in childhood, and they stayed with me, like waking dreams – their vibrancy seemed to capture the hidden emotional lives of everyday people. The films’ fantastical sets were often met with the complexities of the inner female experience, as portrayed by each heroine. People wrestling with post-war isolation, changing attitudes to women and sexual repression alongside their struggle to establish equality and autonomy of their own lives.”

                                                                                                          So, it is amidst 1940’s austerity that these films were an escape, an over-rich backdrop of possibilities. A snatched piece of dialogue, the film’s score, the crackle of uncertainty all succumbs to the layered ambience of Lucy’s music as she traces moods of yearning and renewal on ‘Rain’s Break’ EP.

                                                                                                          Originally from Norfolk, Lucy studied Fine Art and later moved to Bristol to join the emerging ambient scene there - gradually developing her writing and finally releasing her debut ‘Rushing’ EP in early 2020. Over the past year, she’s dipped into a wealth of long gone celluloid as the basis for a filmic journey, a five song EP that relives formative movies in her unique take on ecclesiastical pop.

                                                                                                          ‘Ash and Orange’ emerged after listening to old recordings of women’s choirs from the 1930’s, their stoic sopranos circling churches and halls. In two parts, it touches on an everyday person’s hidden life that leads to an emotional breaking-down. A change from Lucy’s trademarked looping style it takes its inspiration from choral composition.

                                                                                                          ‘Chained To A Woman’ by contrast, is more playful, nodding to ‘80s synth pop, a homage to some degree to Blue Nile, pop music tinged with melancholy.

                                                                                                          “I sought to stick to that tradition of talk-singing the verses, and it seemed to fit in with the feeling of the song, which is more ambiguous. I wanted the words to be about being devoted to something, like family, a person or religion and all the things that come with that kind of devotion.”

                                                                                                          Inspired by the monsoon scene at the end of Black Narcissus (1947), the title track ‘Rain’s Break’ takes its lead from the weather to reflect an emotional journey.

                                                                                                          “That amazing tradition in early film of using weather to reflect the character’s emotional journey - it seems cliched now but at the time it was revolutionary. This is my attempt at trying to recreate the feeling of total surrender to drama, of something totally sensual.”

                                                                                                          This is music that takes you places, shifts focus, paints large canvases.

                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                          Barry says: There are all sorts of musical touchstones flying out of the player for this one. It's essentially widescreen ambient music but with a focus on the walls of echo and reverb-effected synths more akin to shoegaze. Slowly building into crescentic waves of layered tones, brilliantly warm but undeniably massive.

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          Side A
                                                                                                          1 Rain's Break
                                                                                                          2 It Brings Me Back To You
                                                                                                          3 Chained To A Woman

                                                                                                          Side B
                                                                                                          4 6AM
                                                                                                          5 Ash And Orange

                                                                                                          Willy Mason

                                                                                                          Already Dead

                                                                                                            Magic, miracles, ghosts, world leaders; these days it seems there is little left to believe in. Lies outweigh truth and even truth can be dangerous. Raising everyone’s spirits Already Dead – the fourth album and the first for nine years from Willy Mason - explores honesty and deception, anonymity in the digital age, good intentions with unexpected consequences, freedom, colonialism, love, god, and purpose because, its storyteller says, now is the time to restore some much-needed faith.

                                                                                                            “Already Dead is a spiritual state to aspire to; it is freedom from the trappings and inhibitions of one’s ego, culture, and mythology. It is freedom and love and freedom to love in the face of death,” tells Willy of the philosophy behind the writing. “It’s about the necessary destruction of one’s mythology; mythology of species, sex, race, nation, self. It’s about the pain and tragedy that comes with such destruction, but also about the freedom, possibility and opportunity for reconciliation; reconciliation with the natural world and with each other.”

                                                                                                            Already Dead arrives at a time when certain words must be said. It is a quest for love in a society which fears and discourages it; for truth and justice in a society which prioritises convenience and profit. “I ended up diving so deeply into this record because it felt at the time, like the only way I could hope to do some good for somebody,” Willy says. “All the concern and care I have for people, fear, frustration and sadness, all came pouring out."

                                                                                                            Sparkling opener ‘Youth On A Spit’ is one of Willy’s heaviest tracks to date; “I feel no pain I’ve already bled / You can’t kill me I’m already dead,” he taunts, through double-sided declaration of invincibility before embarking upon a biting, bold, and caring tour through the purgatory of life in 21st century North America; reaching for Heaven “The Truth is Love/The Truth is Life/The Truth is Sowing Paradise'', whilst preparing for Hell, “Things we’d do to each other/I’m worried to discover” (Gilded Lie). All the while pleading and appealing to one’s nation as if to a wayward lover; “oh my country/you were born/as a branch from a tree of thorns/of poison apple poison tree/you’ve fallen far but roots run deep” (Oh My Country). Even those considering themselves above suspicion cannot hide: “Wilfully ignorant/a false equivalence/smitten with shame/a pawn in the game” (One Of The Good Ones).

                                                                                                            Voyaging across the cracks of a bleak and crumbling landscape, beauty begins to blossom as Already Dead casts new shades of meaning when applied to a society and culture teetering on the edge between reinvention and dissolution. Hope, without promise, develops into its own suspended resolution with ripping album closer ‘Worth It’ and looks towards reaching a definitive destination after the soldiering on of early LPs Carry On (2012) and If the Ocean Gets Rough (2007); “The seed and the sowing/the need and the growing/the hope and the hatred/the faith and the sacred/the thief and the servant/the fazed and the fervent/I Know It’s Worth It”.

                                                                                                            After seeing the world on countless tours and supporting independent music communities, Willy’s next move looks to be even greater. “Already Dead captures the feeling of these times and I’m trying to give people encouragement, whatever that may be or look like,” he says. Here lies unquestionable truth; life might be uncertain, but to be Already Dead is just the beginning.


                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            Barry says: It's been a long wait since the last Willy Mason LP but 'Already Dead' perfectly epitomises what we've come to know and love from Willy. Brimming with folky restraint, but imbued with a cinematic intensity, these are cleverly written and brilliantly played earworms.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            1. Youth On A Spit
                                                                                                            2. You’d Like To Be Free
                                                                                                            3. Gilded Lie
                                                                                                            4. Reservation
                                                                                                            5. Oh My Country
                                                                                                            6. Slowslide
                                                                                                            7. One Of The Good Ones
                                                                                                            8. Outwit The Devil
                                                                                                            9. If There’s A Heart
                                                                                                            10. Worth It

                                                                                                            The Surfing Magazines

                                                                                                            Badgers Of Wymeswold

                                                                                                              Garage rock supergroup The Surfing Magazines have announced Badgers of Wymeswold, out 29th March via Moshi Moshi Records.

                                                                                                              Consisting of one half of Slow Club and two thirds of The Wave Pictures, The Surfing Magazines’ primary influences are Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground and all the great surf guitar music of the 1960s. They burst onto the scene with their eponymous debut album in 2017, a lauded LP described by Record Collector Mag as “a vintage-yet-modern rock’n’roll classic”.

                                                                                                              Mixing the noir surf textures of 1960s garage rock along with westcoast sun beaten harmony pop, the 17-track Badgers of Wymeswold follows the acclaimed debut and is to be released July this year. The London based foursome recorded the album at Ranscomb Studio in Rochester in February last year before the start of the first UK lockdown.

                                                                                                              Pushing their sound forward, the band utilise their garage rock ethic and have both Drummer Dominic Brider and Rhythm guitar player Charles Watso lead on vocals across multiple tracks. The album sees a return of free form saxophone parts, eerie violins and piano all appear, notably on tracks ‘Nostaw Boogie’ and ‘I’m Going Out Tonight To Play Some Pool’. The title track is drawn from David Tattersall’s nightmare vision about his home town's population of self governing people, the album artwork was also made by Tattersall and depicts a collage of his referenced dreams. The extensive LP showcases their characteristic sound at their brightest, from softer ballads such as ‘Poppies’ and ‘Silver Breasts’, surf guitar rock anthem ‘Locomotive Cheer’, and to the six bar blues ‘Pink Ice Cream’.


                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              SIDE A
                                                                                                              1. Joke
                                                                                                              2. Locomotive Cheer
                                                                                                              3. Pink Ice Cream
                                                                                                              4. I Dreamed When I Was Young
                                                                                                              SIDE B
                                                                                                              5. Ten Days Of Shiver
                                                                                                              6. Running Scared
                                                                                                              7. Bonsai Tree
                                                                                                              8. Century Breaks
                                                                                                              SIDE C
                                                                                                              9. Badgers Of Wymeswold
                                                                                                              10. Nostaw Boogie
                                                                                                              11. Sports Bar
                                                                                                              12. Hard Times
                                                                                                              SIDE D
                                                                                                              13. Silver Breasts
                                                                                                              14. Caribbean Ginger Cake
                                                                                                              15. I'm Going Out Tonight To Play Some Pool
                                                                                                              16. Poppies

                                                                                                              Bachelor (Jay Som + Palehound)

                                                                                                              Doomin' Sun

                                                                                                                Bachelor, the new project from Melina Duterte (Jay Som) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound), is not a band, it’s a friend-ship. After being mutual fans for years, they finally met when sharing the bill at a show in Sacramento in 2017. Keeping in touch over text and Instagram posts, Duterte and Kempner started recording together for fun in 2018, resulting with what would become "Sand Angel", the seductive slow-burner that convinced the pair to write an album together.

                                                                                                                Reconvening in January 2020, the duo packed the entirety of Duterte’s recording equipment into two cars and headed to a rental house in Topanga, CA. In this space Kempner and Duterte hybridized their individual song-writing talents, producing a collection that slips between moods with ease and showcases their lyrical prowess. Arriving with almost no songs written and no solid plan, they finished the 10 songs that make up Doomin’ Sun after two short weeks. That much work in so little time may sound exhausting, but it wasn’t, it was blissful and freeing.

                                                                                                                There was a lot of pain that went into the record, especially around themes of queerness and climate change inspired by the red skies and wildfires subsuming Australia at the time. However, when the duo did shed tears during the creative process, they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of laughter. When Kempner and Duterte look back on those weeks, what they remember first is shortness of breath and the inability to track vocal takes without falling to the floor howling. They couldn’t remember a time they’d ever been so delirious with creativity, so overwhelmed with joy.


                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                Barry says: With more than a little nod to seminal grunge bands of the 90's (and beyond), Bachelor sees Jay Som and Palehound team up for a riotous mix of pop-punk, grunge and grooving noisy rock. Tracks like 'Sand Angel' and 'Anything At All' tread a more minimal, psychy groove while 'Stay In The Car' is undoubtably the most riotous, melodic slice of pop on here. Really great stuff.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                Side A
                                                                                                                1. Back Of My Hand
                                                                                                                2. Sand Angel
                                                                                                                3. Stay In The Car
                                                                                                                4. Went Out Without You
                                                                                                                5. Spin Out

                                                                                                                Side B
                                                                                                                6. Anything At All
                                                                                                                7. Moon
                                                                                                                8. Sick Of Spiraling
                                                                                                                9. Aurora
                                                                                                                10. Doomin’ Sun

                                                                                                                Andrew Hung

                                                                                                                Devastations

                                                                                                                  Stars collapse and new worlds arise in Devastations, the bold new album from Andrew Hung.

                                                                                                                  Andrew Hung is an artist known for his breakthrough debut Realisationship, film soundtracks (The Greasy Strangler, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn) and his collaborations (Fuck Buttons, Beth Orton and Aimée Osbourne)

                                                                                                                  His work as Fuck Buttons brought about three critically-acclaimed albums, headline slots at festivals such as Glastonbury, Green Man and All Tomorrow’s Parties. Their music sound tracked key moments in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.

                                                                                                                  Hung went on to work with cult director Jim Hosking and his films “The Greasy Strangler” (winning best comedy at the Empire awards, “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” and “Tropical Cop Tales” for Adult Swim.

                                                                                                                  Hung continued his collaborative streak through writing and producing with artist Beth Orton on her career redefining album Kidsticks (described by The Skinny as “…an exceptional return to form.”) and daughter of a rock god, Aimée Osbourne on her incredible debut album Vacare Adamaré (Released under the name ARO).

                                                                                                                  Hung now returns his attention to his own expression.

                                                                                                                  Hung’s second album Devastations is the ecstatic cry of colour found between light and dark. The album documents a transitional period in Hung’s life; a stepping out from the shadows. Hung explores the deepest recesses of his psyche and in doing so finds himself reconciling the light and dark within. Underlying the propulsive bests and prisms of noise is a melodic tenderness that weaves throughout the album; an offering hand emerging from a turbulent sky. The deepening of inner space becomes an exploration of the universal; a new beginning from the Devastations of old worlds.

                                                                                                                  The artist wrote, performed, produced and mixed the whole album himself. He also painted the self-portrait that adorns the cover of the album. The oil painting further illuminates the artist’s intentions in his work; it depicts the artist stepping out of a shadowy world, partially lit by the bright light of the sun.


                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Barry says: Former Fuck Button Andrew Hung returns for only his second full album under his own name, though has been busy with a number of superb soundtrack outings since then. 'Devastations' is a brilliantly innovative mix of gothic synth pop, avant electronica and slow motion loungy Krautrock grooves, all topped with Hung's distinctive vocal style. Bold and exciting, and filled with moments of pure joy.

                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                  Side A
                                                                                                                  1. Battle
                                                                                                                  2. Promises
                                                                                                                  3. Brother
                                                                                                                  4. Colour

                                                                                                                  Side B
                                                                                                                  1. Light
                                                                                                                  2. Wave
                                                                                                                  3. Space
                                                                                                                  4. Goodbye 

                                                                                                                  The Go! Team

                                                                                                                  Get Up Sequences Part One

                                                                                                                    On “Get Up Sequences Part One” Ian, Ninja, Nia, Simone, Sam and Adam have created a musical world distinctly of their own making. A place where routine is outlawed and perfection is the enemy. Where Ennio Morricone meets the Monkees armed with flutes, glockenspiels, steel drums and a badass analogue attitude. We’re talking widescreen, four- track, channel hopping sounds that are instantly recognisable.

                                                                                                                    In The Go! Team's world, old’s cool, the future's bright and melody is the star. Just check the second cut “Cookie Scene” with a bouncing flute and junk shop percussion it introduces guest rapper Indigo Yaj who delivers an old school vocal that continues this sonic trip. Pow channels Curtis Mayfield and enter stage centre, the inimitable Ninja in full flow and you don’t stop, you wont stop to this flute driven free for all.

                                                                                                                    By way of demonstrating The Go! Team’s old school manifesto, comes the 'needle-in-the-red' “I Love You Better” a defiant message to an ex love, spelling out exactly how he’s fucked up – and then there’s those steel drums. Following that comes the soda fountain soul courtesy of “A Bee Without Its Sting”, a groovy protest song that makes its point with a tambourine – hey only The Go! Team.

                                                                                                                    The musical wagon train then takes you into the wide screen, windswept western that is Tame the Great Plains heading off into a polyrhythmic panorama that’s full of hope. Slappin’ you back to reality comes “World Remember Me Now”, a timely reminder that when you’re lost in the routine of life, you can always count on The Go! Team.

                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                    Barry says: It's exactly what you'd expect from the Go! Team, this it's bright and bold and chaotic and absolutely on-brand. Summery steel drums and syncopated percussion, offset tinny melodies and jangling percussion, topped with jubilant vocal swathes. Brilliantly bright and wonderfully fun.

                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                    1. Let The Seasons Work
                                                                                                                    2. Cookie Scene
                                                                                                                    3. A Memo For Maceo
                                                                                                                    4. We Do It But Never Know Why
                                                                                                                    5. Freedom Now
                                                                                                                    6. Pow
                                                                                                                    7. I Loved You Better
                                                                                                                    8. A Bee Without Its Sting
                                                                                                                    9. Tame The Great Plains
                                                                                                                    10. World Remember Me Now

                                                                                                                    Lambchop

                                                                                                                    Showtunes

                                                                                                                      Kurt Wagner's signature brittle baritone is back, but that doesn't mean we're going to get a nostalgic Alt Country album. Showtunes is a continuation of Lambchop's explorations of new sound worlds and opens up another chapter. Each track is an exciting journey with an uncertain destination.

                                                                                                                      With Showtunes, as he has done so many times throughout his varied and fascinating career, Kurt in late 2019 was experimenting with something new. He took simple guitar tracks and converted them into midi piano tracks. It was a revelation that from those conversions he was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn't have any of the limitations he had with his previous methods of writing with a guitar.

                                                                                                                      Removing these limitations led to a surprising new sound, something akin to showtunes but with edges sanded down and viewed through Kurt's own specific lens. it's a genre he was none too fond of with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits, early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. “I’d always wanted to make songs with a similar feel but my skills were limited until now” says Wagner.

                                                                                                                      “Anyone can be in Lambchop (so long as they behave themselves)” - Kurt Wagner.


                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                      Barry says: Another wonderfully mournful, rich outing from lambchop here, leaning heavily on the slow-country roots of their early work but imbued with a heartbreaking tentative unease. Jazzy horns and slow upright bass licks help to lend a levity to proceedings, but still results in a thoroughly beautiful and unsettling whole.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      A1. A Chef's Kiss
                                                                                                                      A2. Drop C
                                                                                                                      A3. Papa Was A Rolling Stone Journalist
                                                                                                                      A4. Fuku
                                                                                                                      B5. Unknown Man
                                                                                                                      B6. Blue Leo
                                                                                                                      B7. Impossible Meatballs
                                                                                                                      B8. The Last Benedict

                                                                                                                      Gruff Rhys

                                                                                                                      Seeking New Gods

                                                                                                                        Gruff Rhys is releasing his new album “Seeking New Gods” through Rough Trade Records on 21st May. This will be Gruff’s seventh solo album. “Seeking New Gods” was recorded following a US tour with his band and mixed in LA with superstar producer Mario C (Beastie Boys).

                                                                                                                        The album concept was originally driven to be the biography of a mountain, Mount Paektu (an East Asian active volcano). However, as Gruff’s writing began to reflect on the inhuman timescale of a peak’s existence and the intimate features that bring it to mythological life, both the songs and the mountain became more and more personal.

                                                                                                                        “The album is about people and the civilisations, and the spaces people inhabit over periods of time. How people come and go but the geology sticks around and changes more slowly. I think it’s about memory and time,” he suggests of Seeking New Gods’ meaning. “It’s still a biography of a mountain, but now it’s a Mount Paektu of the mind. You won’t learn much about the real mountain from listening to this record but you will feel something, hopefully.” - Gruff Rhys.


                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                        Barry says: Gruff returns for yet another faultless slab of widescreen cinematic pop, full of his warmingly familiar but endlessly inventive chord progressions and swoon-inducing vocal drawl. Optimistic but filled with more introspective moments among the otherwise bombastic stomp. It's as dizzying and perfect as anything he's ever done. Peak Gruff.

                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                        1. Mausoleum Of My Former Self
                                                                                                                        2. Can’t Carry On
                                                                                                                        3. Loan Your Loneliness
                                                                                                                        4. Seeking New Gods
                                                                                                                        5. Hiking In Lightning
                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                        1. Holiest Of The Holy Of The Holy Men
                                                                                                                        2. The Keep
                                                                                                                        3. Everlasting Joy
                                                                                                                        4. Distant Snowy Peaks

                                                                                                                        Dinked Edition Flexi Disc
                                                                                                                        Tropical Messiah

                                                                                                                        Hattie Cooke

                                                                                                                        Bliss Land

                                                                                                                          “It's about the in-between moments.” - Hattie Cooke “Bliss Land” is the new LP from Brighton born artist Hattie Cooke. Her third album and debut release for Castles In Space opens up her sound by managing to find a balance between the introspective and the communal. It is an album that looks forward whilst acknowledging the creators past creating a work full of a nostalgia that also feels vitally current. Initially conceived as a soundtrack album, during its creation, “Bliss Land” morphed into a beautiful set of personal songs born out of anticipation, excitement and anxiety.

                                                                                                                          Speaking about the themes of the albums, Hattie says: "It wasn’t until the album was finished that I realised what it was about. I had recently graduated from university and people were beginning to take more notice of my music. I was excited about the possibilities of the future, but at the same time the immediate future had been put on hold due to the pandemic, so I was frustrated and anxious. And then whenever I think about the future, I can’t help but think about the past and where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through to get to that point. So in some ways it’s a reflective record and in other ways it’s a record full of anticipation. “One Foot Out The Door” is a track that really resonates with me - it’s about that liminal space between the past and the future when you’re on the threshold of something. I think that’s what the album is about, it’s about the in-between moments. "I grew up on a small council estate on the outskirts of Brighton in a house that was full of music. Both my parents played guitar and my dad also bought and sold records for a living. I taught myself the guitar when I was twelve and made plenty of music throughout my teens. At 17, I won a scholarship to study at the British Institute Of Modern Music and continued writing and playing local shows. I also started to learn how to record and produce my own music on GarageBand as a necessary alternative to going into an expensive recording studio. GarageBand has some fantastic synth and electronic drum sounds and that’s when I became more interested in electronic music and music production. In 2015, Third Kind Records approached me after hearing my songs on a homemade demo CD that a friend had passed on. We released my debut album in 2016 and I’ve been making and releasing music ever since.”

                                                                                                                          Hattie writes, records and produces all her own albums, however she is keen to express how others have helped shaped parts of Bliss Land: “The record isn’t a completely solo effort, I had people along the way to help shape this album into what it became, although I had complete artistic freedom to let the album grow into what it wanted to be. I had invaluable help from Dom Keen who helped me mix the album. We spent a good number of nights in his studio drinking gin and trying to get everything just right. He did things to the music that I would never have even considered doing. I had no idea what compression really was until the making of this record, which probably sounds mad considering I’ve produced three records but when you’re self-taught you can miss out learning about so much! Antony Ryan’s mastering added a whole new dimension to the record as well.”

                                                                                                                          “Bliss Land” is an album soaked in the outer edges of pop music making it a cohesive and beautiful album full of dense textures held together by Hattie's unique voice. It’s an album that will undoubtedly chime with a cross section of audiences. So where does Hattie see her music in the landscape of the current UK electronic scene? "There’s a lot of instrumental/soundtrack music coming out of the scene, a lot of synthwave music which seems to be a real throwback to the 70s and early 80s. I think that’s because so much of the music coming out of the scene is made by those who grew up during those decades. So I think I’m a bit of an outlier when it comes to the UK electronic scene for two reasons. Firstly, I’m at the lower end of the age range and secondly, I’m a woman in an extremely male dominated scene. “Bliss Land” is intentionally quite poppy, which seems to be less in fashion at the moment whereas my other instrumental stuff is more inspired by classical music than by IDM or ambient music, so I think I’m coming at writing and producing from a slightly different angle. However, I still definitely feel part of the scene. There’s a particularly strong sense of community within the UK electronic scene on Twitter and I’ve been nothing but welcomed and supported by the artists, fans and labels. It’s like being part of a strange and wonderful family.”

                                                                                                                          You’ve made a video for the track “Youth” with Chris Standley from Rogue Robot which is both funny and shot through with real melancholy. “Youth" is about reflecting on the past. I turned thirty this year and sometimes (more than I'd like to admit) I worry that I've gotten more boring as I've gotten older. I was pretty wild and unhinged when I was younger and sometimes I miss those mad nights out where it felt like absolutely anything could happen - although saying that I just don't have the energy to stay up for three days or the stomach to cope with the hangovers anymore. Still, there are days when I miss the way that everything feels new and exciting when you're in your late teens/early twenties - everything is more intense when you're younger and the world around you seems bright and buzzing with life. I've been thinking about it a lot this past year. I've not had much to do for the last twelve months besides walk around on my own and reflect on the past, since the future has basically been put on indefinite hold, so that has almost certainly fed into some of the lyrics and maybe even the feel of the music.”

                                                                                                                          The album is already garnering a lot of attention and praise. What’s next for Hattie after the album is released? "Who knows what’s next! I have plans to tour the album when the world opens up again. I’d also love to have the chance to score a film or to work with some other artists doing guest vocals or some remixes. And I’d like to get back to doing some music-related charity work again as my family were supported by a number of charities when I was growing up and think it’s important to give back when you can."

                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                          Barry says: Having formed one of the most enduringly superb 'pseud-ost' releases of the past few years in 'The Sleepers' for the excellent Spun Out Sounds, Cooke hits electronic stalwarts Castles In Space for her excellent new LP 'Bliss Land'. Brilliantly toeing the line between electronic and acoustic, there are moments of pure Broadcast-y bliss and echoes of the soundtrack moments from the previous LP too. Do not sleep on this one.

                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                          Side A
                                                                                                                          1. I Get By
                                                                                                                          2. Mistaken
                                                                                                                          3. Cars
                                                                                                                          4. One Foot Out The Door
                                                                                                                          5. Youth

                                                                                                                          Side B
                                                                                                                          6. Don’t Wanna Talk
                                                                                                                          7. Invisible Lines
                                                                                                                          8. Fantasies
                                                                                                                          9. Lovers Game
                                                                                                                          10. Summer Time

                                                                                                                          Dinked Edition Bonus 7”
                                                                                                                          1. One Foot Out The Door (Acoustic Version)
                                                                                                                          2. Above My Bed

                                                                                                                          Hiss Golden Messenger

                                                                                                                          Quietly Blowing It

                                                                                                                            “I went looking for peace,” says songwriter M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger about his new album Quietly Blowing It. “It’s not exactly a record about the state of the world—or my world—in 2020, but more a retrospective of the past five years of my life, painted in sort of impressionistic hues. Maybe I had the presence of mind when I was writing Quietly Blowing It to know that this was the time to go as deep as I needed to in order to make a record like this. And I got the time required in order to do that.” He pauses and laughs ruefully. “I got way more time than I needed, actually.”

                                                                                                                            Quietly Blowing It was written and arranged by Taylor in his home studio—his 8’ × 10’ sanctuary packed floor to ceiling with books, records, and old guitars—as he watched the chaotic world spin outside his window. “Writing became a daily routine,” he explains, “and that was a ballast for me. Having spent so much time on the road over the past ten years, where writing consistently with any kind of flow can be tricky, it felt refreshing. And being in my studio, which is both isolated from and totally connected to the life of my family, felt appropriate for these songs.” Between March and June, Taylor wrote and recorded upwards of two dozen songs—in most cases playing all of the instruments himself—before winnowing the collection down and bringing them to the Hiss band. In July, the group of musicians, with Taylor in the production seat, went into Overdub Lane in Durham, NC, for a week, where they recorded Quietly Blowing It as an organic unit honed to a fine edge from their years together on the road. “We all needed to be making that music together,” he recalls. “We’ve all spent so many years traveling all over the world, but in that moment, it felt cathartic to be recording those particular songs with each other in our own small hometown.”

                                                                                                                            Throughout Quietly Blowing It, Taylor brings his keen eye to our “broken American moment”—as he first sang on Hiss Golden Messenger’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY®-nominated Terms of Surrender—in ways that feel devastatingly intimate and human. Beginning with the wanderer’s lament of “Way Back in the Way Back,” with its rallying cry of “Up with the mountains, down with the system,” Taylor carries the listener on a musical journey that continually returns to themes of growing up, loss, obligation, and labor with piercing clarity, and his musical influences—including classic Southern soul and gospel, renegade country, and spiritual jazz—have never felt more genuine. Indeed, Quietly Blowing It is a distillation of the rolling Hiss Golden Messenger groove, from the rollicking, Allman-esque “The Great Mystifier” to the chiming falsetto soul of “It Will If We Let It,” to the smoky, shuffling title track with its bittersweet guitar assist from Nashville legend Buddy Miller. The album ends with soulful lead single “Sanctuary,” a song about trying to reconcile tragedy and joy, with references to John Prine (“Handsome Johnny had to go, child…”), economic disparity, and the redemptive quality of hope. Indeed, when he sings, “Feeling bad, feeling blue, can’t get out of my own mind; but I know how to sing about it,” it feels like the album’s spiritual thesis. Throughout Quietly Blowing It, Taylor reckons with the tumultuous present in wholly personal terms, encouraging listeners to do the same. “These songs always circle back to the things that I feel like I have a handle on and the things that I’m not proud of about myself. When I think of the phrase ‘quietly blowing it,’ I think of all the ways that I’ve misstepped, misused my gifts, miscommunicated. ‘Born on the level, quietly blowing it.’ That’s what’s on my mind there. Always fuckin’ up in little ways.”

                                                                                                                            Surrounding himself with a trusted cast of collaborators that includes Miller, songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, songwriter and Tony Award–winning playwright Anaïs Mitchell, multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman, Dawes’ brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, and his oldest musical confidant Scott Hirsch, Taylor has made his most audacious and hopeful work yet with Quietly Blowing It; it’s an album that speaks personal truth to this moment in which the old models of being feel broken and everything feels at stake. “I don’t know that the peace that I crave when I’m far from home exists, actually,” says Taylor. “It’s more complicated. I still don’t know what peace means for me, because I can be sitting on the couch watching a movie with my family and be completely tangled up in my head. But if I keep on doing my own personal work on myself—writing records like Quietly Blowing It—I have to think that I’m getting closer.”

                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                            Barry says: Hiss Golden Messenger has a long and varied career crafting endlessly beautiful lamentations on life and love, and this newest outing brims with the skill of a man at ease with his own writing style. Gorgeous progressions and swooning dusty country-indie passages are offset with Taylor's unmistakeable vocals. Really beautiful stuff.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            Side A
                                                                                                                            1 Way Back In The Way Back
                                                                                                                            2 The Great Mystifier
                                                                                                                            3 Mighty Dollar
                                                                                                                            4 Quietly Blowing It
                                                                                                                            5 It Will If We Let It
                                                                                                                            Side B
                                                                                                                            6 Hardlytown
                                                                                                                            7 If It Comes In The Morning
                                                                                                                            8 Glory Strums (Loneliness Of The Long-Distance Runner)
                                                                                                                            9 Painting Houses
                                                                                                                            10 Angels In The Headlights
                                                                                                                            11 Sanctuary

                                                                                                                            Live At Leeds CD (Dinked Exclusive)
                                                                                                                            There’s A New Day Coming
                                                                                                                            Jaw
                                                                                                                            Call Him Daylight
                                                                                                                            Red Rose Nantahala
                                                                                                                            My Wing
                                                                                                                            Terms Of Surrender
                                                                                                                            Blue Country Mystic
                                                                                                                            Highland Grace
                                                                                                                            Beat The Retreat
                                                                                                                            Harder Rain

                                                                                                                            Fears

                                                                                                                            Oíche

                                                                                                                              Pieced together over five years, Oíche chronicles growth through challenges, instability, and relationship changes, both with one's self and others. The album reveals itself much like a coming of age novel about the breaking apart of girlhood and rebuilding of a young woman.

                                                                                                                              An intimate depiction of discovery, Oíche unearths internal dialogue, and makes peace with uncertainty. Oíche, meaning 'night' in Irish, was recorded in three bedrooms, hospital, and the Domino Recordings studio in Brixton.

                                                                                                                              Fears is London-based Irish artist Constance Keane. Combining reflective electronics, acoustic samples, and haunting vocals with organic visuals, Fears invites the listener on an ethereal journey, blurring the boundaries between music and visual art. Her minimalist approach centres on emotive subjects, which are all-at-once deeply personal yet remarkably universal.

                                                                                                                              Oíche is the first release on TULLE, run by and for exceptional women.


                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                              Barry says: In parts brittle, raw and minimalistic before breaking into deep, rich electronics and beautifully produced meandering instrumentation, 'Oiche' is a rich and dynamic juxtaposition of genre biases and electronic-adjacent songwriting. Immediately alluring, but unendingly expressive, this is a wonderfully produced and cleverly written gem.

                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                              A1. H_always
                                                                                                                              A2. Bones
                                                                                                                              A3. Daze
                                                                                                                              A4. Fabric
                                                                                                                              A5. Vines
                                                                                                                              B1. Dents
                                                                                                                              B2. Brighid
                                                                                                                              B3. Tonnta
                                                                                                                              B4. Blood
                                                                                                                              B5. Two_

                                                                                                                              Francis Lung

                                                                                                                              Miracle

                                                                                                                                “For me, [Miracle] is about the struggle between my selfdestructive side and my problem-solving, constructive side,” says Francis. “I suppose through a lot of these songs I’m dealing with these emotional problems, acknowledging the negative aspects of my behaviour instead of burying them, and providing an alternative point of view for myself”. Despite its serious subject matter, Miracle is far from austere in sound, marrying the cinematic, dreamlike quality of Francis’s earlier music with the pared-back charm of great singer-songwriters like Judee Sill, Jeff Tweedy and Elliott Smith.

                                                                                                                                The album opens with ‘Bad Hair Day’, a relentlessly catchy—and deceptively upbeat—ode to hangovers and missed connections. “I’ve been calling on you all night /But I never get through, I just get in the way” Francis laments; “I am a cloud in the sun’s light/Whatever I do, whatever I say.” Elsewhere, the title track finds him pondering the fickle nature of the music industry: “I think of [Miracle] as acknowledging and even encouraging the feelings we’re not supposed to succumb to - giving up, giving in - just because it can be comforting to hear it from someone else. ‘Why am I climbing these social ladders and jumping through the hoops of this creative industry? Does this make me happy?’”

                                                                                                                                These themes of longing, and lacking, missing and being missed, reoccur throughout Miracle. “When I die/Will I be missed/Or am I missing the point?” asks ‘Say So’; while ‘Lonesome No More’, inspired by the Kurt Vonnegut book of the same name, begs the question: if loneliness was eradicated, would we miss it? By confronting these feelings, Francis is able to move forward, as triumphant album closer ‘The Let Down’ proves. Its lyrics serve as a call to action, as Francis wills himself (and the listener) to ‘Get up/Get something going/Do something, do it/Do it now’

                                                                                                                                Miracle was produced by Francis in collaboration with Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, Matthew Halsall, Kiran Leonard) and Robin Koob (who co-arranged and performed strings). The opportunity to take creative control was one Francis relished. “I’m quite bad at delegating” he admits, noting that he played every instrument except strings on Miracle. The result is a cohesive, deeply personal record, which is as vital as it is vulnerable. “I don’t want to be defined by my anxiety, my depression or any history of substance abuse,” Francis says, “but I do want to reach out to other people who have had similar experiences, especially if it’s in a way that helps them feel a little better. To me, this music is celebrating healing as much as it focuses on the darker sides of the human psyche.”

                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                Barry says: What an enchanting LP this is. Taking in facets of classic rock, psychedelia and folk rock of the late 60's, while remaining true to the sunshine indie-pop roots. Wry observations and even a Vonnegut reference! this is clever songwriting that's easily accessible and endlessly reveals elements the more you listen. Absolutely essential stuff.

                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                1. Intro
                                                                                                                                2. Bad Hair Day
                                                                                                                                3. Blondes Have More Fun
                                                                                                                                4. Miracle
                                                                                                                                5. Empty Playgrounds, Broken Swings (Demo)
                                                                                                                                6. Don't Call Me Baby
                                                                                                                                7. Say So
                                                                                                                                8. Southern Skies
                                                                                                                                9. Want 2 Want U
                                                                                                                                10. Comedown (Again)
                                                                                                                                11. Uncommon
                                                                                                                                12. Lonesome No More
                                                                                                                                13. The Let Down

                                                                                                                                Johanna Samuels

                                                                                                                                Excelsior!

                                                                                                                                  With a special knack for balancing bright pop melodies with a drifting sense of melancholy, LA based Johanna Samuels new album Excelsior! is a tender, honest document of the importance of companionship above all else. Named after Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna”, Samuels grew up on the classic songwriters of yesteryear (George Harrison, Tom Petty, Neil Young) and after a healthy dose of Elliott Smith and Jon Brion, has spent the best part of the last decade honing her craft.

                                                                                                                                  'Excelsior! was recorded in a small cabin in West Shokan in NY State, in the middle of the winter with her band and producer Sam Evian but it's songs are full of West Coast sunshine. It's Evian's first full album production at his own Flying Cloud Studios. Recorded mostly to tape, the album is as a gorgeous combination of vintage instrumentation, strong melodic hooks, killer harmonies and Samuels’ elegant voice.

                                                                                                                                  Samuels seeks those answers through companionship, exploring the depths of her relationships and then calling upon a handful of womxn to provide the album’s backing vocals - a task she’d always performed herself until now. As such, Excelsior! makes a space for the voices of Courtney Marie Andrews, Hannah Cohen, Lomelda’s Hannah Read, A.O. Gerber, Louise Florence and Olivia Kaplan.

                                                                                                                                  The album takes its name from the signature that Samuels’ grandpa would use before he sadly passed away last December. “He was a very important person to me and he helped raise me,” Johanna explains. “He signed all of his letters and emails ‘Excelsior!’, including the exclamation point. It means ‘ever upward’ and that’s what I wish for everyone: to grow from listening with more empathy and from hearing each other out. I hope this record makes people want to be gentler with each other and themselves.”


                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  1. Sonny
                                                                                                                                  2. Nature’s Way
                                                                                                                                  3. High Tide For One
                                                                                                                                  4. All Is Fine
                                                                                                                                  5. The Middle
                                                                                                                                  6. Close To The Vest
                                                                                                                                  7. Song For Sid
                                                                                                                                  8. Julie
                                                                                                                                  9. Less Of You
                                                                                                                                  10. Cathy

                                                                                                                                  Field Music

                                                                                                                                  Flat White Moon

                                                                                                                                    "We want to make people feel good about things that we feel terrible about." says David Brewis, who has co-led the band Field Music with his brother Peter since 2004. It's a statement which seems particularly fitting to their latest album, Flat White Moon released via Memphis Industries.

                                                                                                                                    Sporadic sessions for the album began in late 2019 at the pair's studio in Sunderland, slotted between rehearsals and touring. The initial recordings pushed a looser performance aspect to the fore, inspired by some of their very first musical loves; Free, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles; old tapes and LPs pilfered from their parents' shelves. But a balance between performance and construction has always been an essential part of Field Music.

                                                                                                                                    By March 2020, recording had already begun for most of the album's tracks and, with touring for Making A New World winding down, Peter and David were ready to plough on and finish the record.

                                                                                                                                    The playfulness that’s evident in much of Flat White Moon's music became a way to offset the darkness and the sadness of many of the lyrics. Much of the album is plainly about loss and grief, and also about the guilt and isolation which comes with that.

                                                                                                                                    Those personal upheavals are apparent on songs like Out of the Frame, where the loss of a loved one is felt more deeply because they can't be found in photographs and compounded by the suspicion that you caused their absence, or on When You Last Heard From a Linda, which details the confusion of being unable to penetrate a best friend's loneliness in the darkest of circumstances.

                                                                                                                                    Some songs are more impressionistic. Orion From The Streets combines Studio Ghibli, a documentary about Cary Grant and an excess of wine to become a hallucinogenic treatise on memory and guilt.. Others, such as Not When You're In Love, are more descriptive. Here, the narrator guides us through slide- projected scenes, questioning the ideas and semantics of 'love' as well the reliability of his own memory. For the most part, the album has fewer explicitly political themes than previous records, though there is No Pressure, about a political class who feel no obligation to take responsibility if they can finagle a narrative instead. And there's I'm The One Who Wants To Be With You which skirts its way around toxic masculinity through teenage renditions of soft-rock balladry.

                                                                                                                                    On Flat White Moon Field Music take on the challenge of representing negative emotions in a way that doesn't dilute or obscure them but which can still uplift. The result is a generous record of bounteous musical ideas, in many ways Field Music's most immediately gratifying to date.

                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                    Laura says: I'm a bit late to the Field Music party, I have to admit. Always quite liked them when I heard them, but never really got into them properly, despite people telling me I should (yes Marc Riley, you were right!)
                                                                                                                                    But I thought the last album 'Making A New World' was amazing and this one is equally as good.
                                                                                                                                    Flat White Moon is full of intricate, multi-layered songs. They're arty and clever (but not in an annoying smart-arse way) and they know how to write a pop song too!

                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                    1. Orion From The Street
                                                                                                                                    2. Do Me A Favour
                                                                                                                                    3. Not When You're In Love
                                                                                                                                    4. Out Of The Frame
                                                                                                                                    5. When You Last Heard From Linda
                                                                                                                                    6. No Pressure
                                                                                                                                    7. In This City
                                                                                                                                    8. I'm The One Who Wants To Be With You
                                                                                                                                    9. Meant To Be
                                                                                                                                    10. Invisible Days
                                                                                                                                    11. The Curtained Room
                                                                                                                                    12. You Get Better

                                                                                                                                    Iceage

                                                                                                                                    Seek Shelter

                                                                                                                                      With each new release, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth and Dan Kjær Nielsen refigure the contours of a typical Iceage song. This is especially true of Seek Shelter, their fifth LP and first for Mexican Summer. Enrolling Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) to produce the record and an additional guitarist in the form of Casper Morilla Fernandez, Seek Shelter sees Iceage’s propulsive momentum pushing them in new, expansive, ecstatic directions. A decade on from their first record, Iceage continue to harness their lives together through music. This journey, in music and life, has never progressed in a linear fashion.

                                                                                                                                      Seek Shelter is the sound of a tight emotional core unwound. Rain dripped through cracks in the ceiling of Namouche, the dilapidated wood-panelled Lisbon radio studio of a 1960s vintage where the band set up for 12 days. The band had to arrange their equipment around puddles. Pieces of cloth covered slowly filling buckets so that the sound of raindrops wouldn’t reach the microphones. Kember arranged garden lamps from a nearby party store for mood lighting in the high-ceiling space. It was the longest time Iceage have ever spent making an album. When the rain had stopped, Seek Shelter revealed itself as a collection of songs radiating warmth and a profound desire for salvation in a world that’s spinning further and further out of control.

                                                                                                                                      Iceage started making music together in 2008 as young teens in their hometown of Copenhagen. The band’s 2011 debut New Brigade, crystallized the raucous energy and unbreakable brotherhood of Danish teenagers weaned on post-punk, hardcore and no wave, and it found ears and kin around the world. 2012’s You’re Nothing was hard, fast and raw, a bold doubling-down on the aggression of youth in the first record as well as the weight of expectation. Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014) and Beyondless (2018) saw a softening of the band’s hardest edges and the arrival of a certain world-weary vaudeville in the Iceage sound. In an extraordinary and unexpected run, the band had gone from the fertile hyperlocal Copenhagen scene to stages all over the world. Iceage’s past two records — all filtered twangy guitar riffs, sparse piano arrangements, and slinky, slow-moving rhythms — ventured into an intoxicated but knowing swirl, surveying the party at the end of the night. They’d seen it all, at least once, and their music rode the crest of that chaos.

                                                                                                                                      Seek Shelter, the band’s first record made with an outside producer brought in alongside longtime collaborator Nis Bysted, is the place they have been called to next. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt casts the influence of producer Sonic Boom as that of a sparring partner, another wayward mind to bounce ideas off of and another pair of hands (along with Shawn Everett, who mixed the record) to help shape the sound. Kember had said in an interview that he’d like to produce for the band, and the feeling was mutual. Rønnenfelt recalls being 12 or 13, listening to Spacemen 3, the band Kember co-founded in 1982 at the age of 16. “It was one of those things that just reverberated with my being,” he explains. For Seek Shelter, “we wanted a partner that had some noise that we didn’t have, more a wizard than a producer. We thought he’d be that kind of wizard for us, and we were right — he came in with a truckload of strange equipment that we’d never seen before.” Kember, reflecting on the session and reaching for his highest praise, describes Iceage as “fucking show offs, like everyone who was ever great and emotional and honest.”

                                                                                                                                      For Seek Shelter’s story of scorched-earth salvation, the band’s songwriting embraces conventional structures more conspicuously than it has in the past. The dirge-like drone that opens the record gives way to a wall of reverb that sounds fuller and brighter than anything they've committed to tape, signalling a clarity of clouds breaking. American gospel and blues signatures break to the front of the slow-grooving “Vendetta” and harmonica-flecked “Gold City,” a record which sounds like the road, a desert mission under a blazing sun. The Lisboa Gospel Collective, who joined the band for two tracks on the final day in the studio, provide a new scale to Rønnenfelt’s incantations. There are moments of unvarnished romanticism, as on the brisk Jacques Brel-like “Drink Rain,” and an overcast tenderness that gently glides over “Love Kills Slowly.” The massive “High & Hurt” interpolates “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a warhorse of the American religious vernacular that has become an increasingly urgent plea over the past century. It’s not the only anthem that calls out to the heavens: later on, Rønnenfelt invokes the patron saint of music and poetry on “Dear Saint Cecilia,” a song for seekers everywhere. “Writing a song is like trying to find a space where you can make something that’s been riled up and down through the years feel like it belongs to your present moment,” says Rønnenfelt. “It’s all just scaffolding that you can project something onto.”

                                                                                                                                      Rønnenfelt’s lyricism reaches grand heights despite its classic opacity — he sings of taking shelter, of tranquil affections that threaten to combust, and of a limp-wristed god with a cavalcade of devotees in search of relief. His expressionist imagery consistently hinges on the divine, a natural result of his desire to take a kernel of ordinary emotion and, as he explains, “blow it up like a balloon.” For Seek Shelter, as with all Iceage’s previous albums, Rønnenfelt stowed away for a set period of weeks and wrote the lyrics in one shot. “I set a time just to make sure that all the lyrics are written from the same mindset,” he explains of these weeks alone. The lyrics stem from journals that he’s kept over the past few years: “it becomes an amalgamation of ideas and impressions of things that you’ve been provoked by or had to live through. You end up with something that is a rough, blurry perspective of what that period of time was like, a mishmash of personal struggle that is shaded throughout by a world that seems more transparent in its inherently cruel ways.” Romance and desire, as described in “Love Kills Slowly” and the album closer “The Holding Hand,” are feelings that stretch torturously — a race without a finish line.

                                                                                                                                      What precisely makes an Iceage song is still a mysterious thing, and the band wishes to maintain this protean quality. “If there’s ever a point in our history when something in the songs starts to seem easy but doesn’t really excite us that much, we just discard that shit right away,” he says. “You’ve always got to find a new vantage point to attack the assignment of writing a song. If we had a formula, it would be just a continuous watering down of what we do until we hated ourselves and quit.” With Seek Shelter, they’ve managed to hold onto this core of presence and risk while writing their most ambitious songs. Even Rønnenfelt was surprised with what they were able to create together. “I think when we started we were just lashing out completely blindfolded with no idea as to why we were doing anything.” He’s speaking of the new record and also of their entire existence as a band, a travelogue that has catapulted these four friends far past the horizons of punk. “Some of that we wanted to remain intact. We try to keep the mystery. If there's no sense of mystery in it for us, then it's not fun.” Seek Shelter is a record that now exists at a moment of a collective unknown, when every beating heart wonders what will happens next.


                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                      Barry says: There's an indescribable flow to Iceage's music, pulling in influence from classic rock, a sort of country swing and distorted melodicism you don't hear that much nowadays. In a way, it harks back to the heyday of 90's indie, full of energy and power-chord groove, but with a much more nuanced lilt. It's clever and confounding and endlessly replayable.

                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                      Side A
                                                                                                                                      1. Shelter Song
                                                                                                                                      2. High & Hurt
                                                                                                                                      3. Love Kills Slowly
                                                                                                                                      4. Vendetta
                                                                                                                                      5. Drink Rain

                                                                                                                                      Side B
                                                                                                                                      6. Gold City
                                                                                                                                      7. Dear Saint Cecilia
                                                                                                                                      8. The Wider Powder Blue
                                                                                                                                      9. The Holding Hand

                                                                                                                                      White Flowers

                                                                                                                                      Day By Day

                                                                                                                                        RIYL: Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Cigarettes After Sex, Slowdive.

                                                                                                                                        For songwriting duo Joey Cobb and Katie Drew of White Flowers, one of the most exciting young bands in the UK right now, it was only on leaving London to return to their native Preston that the dark-hued dreampop of their debut album, Day By Day, began to crystalize.

                                                                                                                                        "There’s something uniquely bleak about the North,” says Joey, speaking from the abandoned textile mill that White Flowers call home, “but in that bleakness there’s a certain beauty.”

                                                                                                                                        The pair had left Preston for London to study at art college, and it was there that they first began to explore the nascent psych scene bubbling under in the few remaining arts-orientated spaces in the east of the city. It soon inspired them to begin work on music of their own.

                                                                                                                                        “We didn’t want to be a psych band,” explains Katie, "but discovering that music gave us both energy and focus. We’ve spent so many years developing these songs, because I think it was important we waited until White Flowers became its own defined thing."

                                                                                                                                        The pair found that by using equipment they barely understood, they produced their most innovative work. Beginning on GarageBand, they crafted loops that turned into songs, and by the time they’d worked out how to use it, they’d graduated to a drum machine.

                                                                                                                                        Now very much in control, and with a clear and determined focus, the pair began producing music that, whilst leaning into the North’s post-punk past, possessed a vision and depth informed by their own post-industrial Preston experiences. Creating all of their artwork, visuals and overall aesthetic, they began building a world that stretched beyond the music alone – in an unusual circular fashion, this auteurist-like approach became a way of translating their environment and experiences into a form of escapism from the very place that inspired them.

                                                                                                                                        “We’ve always taken care to control every aspect of the White Flowers ‘world’, and because we’ve developed this over time, it feels to us like there’s a separate realm for White Flowers music to exist in,” observes Joey. “More than anything, the isolation that a place like Preston provides means that what we do is very much its own, separate thing”.

                                                                                                                                        That ‘thing’ is the sound of the North at night; the unglamorous North, caught in the hinterlands that divide the main cities, a monochrome psychedelia formed in Preston and the imposing Lancashire hills that envelop them. As if always waiting there for them, in returning to their roots, White Flowers found themselves.

                                                                                                                                        Nonetheless, it was shortly before leaving London that another creative breakthrough occurred. While performing a small show as a support act, a fan in the audience, impressed by the wall of noise that would frequently extend for minutes at the end of tracks, suggested they work with a like-minded friend. Within weeks, the pair were recording at the Manchester studio of Jez Williams, erstwhile member of Doves.

                                                                                                                                        Williams and Manchester immediately made sense, and it’s that industrial gothic that White Flowers were able to tap into as they built the album during on-off sessions across two years – sometimes leaving the studio for a couple of months to work on ideas, other times crafting the minutiae of details across all-night studio sessions.

                                                                                                                                        The access to flexible studio time was telling, and the band were able to develop an aesthetic that, whilst indebted to the various sounds that defined their youth, also leaned heavily into Kevin Shields’ droning wall of noise guitars, the palimpsestic hauntology of early Burial, and the ghost box sampleadelia of Boards of Canada.

                                                                                                                                        “We like the more alien sounds” explains Joey, “where the focus is on creating atmosphere.” This is perhaps most obvious on the album title track, one of the more sonically enticing tracks on the record with its pulsing drone and Portishead-esque rhythm, or even ‘Night Drive’, a live favourite that the pair take pride in building into a monstrous wall of sound.

                                                                                                                                        ‘Daylight’ pushes forward with a prettiness matched by Katie’s oblique, near-glossolalia vocal. “We don’t like it when things are clean or overproduced” explains Katie, “and there’s something interesting in the instinctive nature of the first thing you sing, because you don’t really know what you’re singing until it comes out and it makes sense.” That psychographic-style process to writing informs a collection of songs that are at once both intuitive and fully-formed.

                                                                                                                                        The oldest song on the record, ‘Help Me Help Myself’, bears witness to this approach. Perhaps their most direct and perfect ‘pop’ song to date, it suggests these songs were always there within, just waiting to be divined. "We’d just started using drum machines and there’s something of a naïve quality to it,” explains Katie, though its naivety has now been augmented by Jez Williams’ impossibly diaphanous production.

                                                                                                                                        The constant upheaval of, well, everything has fed directly into Day By Day. “The songs on the album were written from when we were teenagers up to our early 20s, so it’s come of age in this weird apocalyptic time,” says Katie.

                                                                                                                                        “Everything’s surrounded by uncertainty” notes Joey, "but it isn’t all doom and gloom, there are positives, rules are out the window and you can do what you want. There’s some hope in there.”

                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                        Barry says: 'Day By Day' presents a gorgeously plaintive mix of post-rock quiet/loud instrumentation, shimmering walls of sound and tender, delicate vocal accompaniment. A rich and sumptuous swell of talented songwriting and emotional delivery.

                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                        1. Intro - (02:25)
                                                                                                                                        2. Night Drive - (04:57)
                                                                                                                                        3. Daylight - (03:45)
                                                                                                                                        4. Stars - (03:35)
                                                                                                                                        5. Tried To Call - (04:26)
                                                                                                                                        6. Help Me Help Myself - (04:43)
                                                                                                                                        7. Day By Day - (06:07)
                                                                                                                                        8. Different Time, Different Place - (04:16)
                                                                                                                                        9. Portra - (04:03)
                                                                                                                                        10. Nightfall - (03:23)

                                                                                                                                        Sarah Neufeld

                                                                                                                                        Detritus

                                                                                                                                          Composer and violinist Sarah Neufeld is a career-long touring and recording member of Arcade Fire. Her third solo LP ‘Detritus’, confronts anguish with beauty, turmoil with grace, gliding through the present like a dancer mid-motion, reaching through space 'til she's caught.

                                                                                                                                          The album is wistful and emotive, and carries the listener on a journey of euphoric and complex looped violin dusted with mesmeric melody recall. Openers ‘Stories’ and ‘Unreflected’ lead with atmospheric ease, sombre soundscapes and distant, otherworldly vocals. ‘With Love And Blindness’ ups the tempo with remote, dreamlike rhythms that hypnotise and enthrall. ‘The Top’ is elated, but it highlights the isolated strings and poetic loneliness Neufeld is able to convey with them. ‘Tumble Down The Undecided’ and ‘Shed Your Heart’ are climatic in their delivery, full of cascading notes and delays before closer ‘Detritus’ exits with a state of calm, easing back into the shadows and taking with it the vivid textures and images crafted with infinite grace over the course of the album.

                                                                                                                                          NOTES ABOUT DETRITUS
                                                                                                                                          I composed this album within a larger body of work that was commissioned as a live soundtrack for Peggy Baker Dance Project’s Who We Are In The Dark.

                                                                                                                                          Who We Are In The Dark is a collaboration originating in 2015 when Peggy Baker (legendary Canadian dancer and choreographer) and I were asked to perform a duet together at Fall For Dance North. Peggy chose to choreograph to my piece From Our Animal from my (then) upcoming second album, The Ridge.
                                                                                                                                          Wanting to create something personal for her for this performance, I composed a prelude which began with the words “who we are in the dark”.

                                                                                                                                          There was something utterly compelling about working and performing together.
                                                                                                                                          Coming from different generations (Baker is now 68), we share a sense of intensity, curiosity, and ferocity.
                                                                                                                                          Shortly after our debut performance together, Peggy commissioned me to collaborate with her on a full scale piece for her company. I began composing for this project in 2017, with the solo violin piece, The Top.
                                                                                                                                          Peggy and I were exploring themes of darkness- her take often lived in the macro, universal elements, space, death, while my own exploration at the time was more close up- intimacy and the ego self. I think there was an invisible thread between us from our own experiences of loss and grief.
                                                                                                                                          To say the least, this collaboration and the work we produced has held tremendous meaning for both of us.

                                                                                                                                          Drummer and composer Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire) joined the collaboration in 2018, adding percussive and harmonic depth to my solo compositions, as well as inputting his own signature style of ambient noise composition and heavy, gripping drumming into the live score.
                                                                                                                                          The work premiered in February 2019 and toured internationally throughout the year, with our most recent performance in Den Hague at Holland Dance Festival in February 2020.

                                                                                                                                          I began distilling the solo compositions into a smaller, album length body of work in the Summer of 2019, experimenting live with solo versions, adding more vocals, and incorporating foot pedal bass synth to my solo live capabilities. This body of work stood out for me, as a further push and refinement of the composition style I’ve been developing for the past 8 years, and as a marker of an intense and difficult passage in my own life.



                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                          1. Stories
                                                                                                                                          2. Unreflected
                                                                                                                                          3. With Love And Blindness
                                                                                                                                          4. The Top
                                                                                                                                          5. Tumble Down The Undecided
                                                                                                                                          6. Shed Your Dear Heart
                                                                                                                                          7. Detritus

                                                                                                                                          The Coral

                                                                                                                                          Coral Island

                                                                                                                                            The wheels rattle into the thrilling unknown on The Coral’s first new music since 2018, finding the unsurpassed, metamorphic gonzo-pop five-piece in the company of crooks, sell-by-date candyfloss and plastic skeletons as they release Faceless Angel. Of misplaced memories from a place and time that might never have been, the track precedes a new and vividly evocative body of work from the legendary Merseyside band in the form of their TENTH and first, ever double-album: Coral Island.

                                                                                                                                            Squinting into the neon-lit penny arcades and draining an after hours glass with the displaced and dispossessed once the power is pulled, The Coral’s latest caper concerns listeners with the light, shade, thrills and profound melancholy of coastal palaces packed with fun and fright. Both now and then, or perhaps never as fiction encroaches on reality, the feverous anticipation of a night amongst the screams, fights and romance of the fair become part of life on the newly-built Coral Island.

                                                                                                                                            Welcoming travellers one trepidous step at a time, Faceless Angel sits amongst a series of promised audio visual portraits of and inspired by the Island’s inhabitants. Conceived and created by artist, Edwin Burdis, the single’s video was filmed ‘on’ Coral Island itself, a sprawling diorama purpose-built inside a deserted Chinese restaurant in Cardiff. It’s the band and fans’ first venture onto the surreal land mass, populated by surreal sculptural forms, charity shop-finds, looming mountains and gathering storm clouds. Filmed in debt to the traditional model-based filmmaking methods of greats like George Lucas or Ray Harryhausen, Burdis navigated Coral Island at waist-height and via camera-friendly pathways to gather 360 degree footage from inside and outside his and The Coral’s fascinating, fabricated world. The expansive and ambitious installation also provides the album artwork for Coral Island as well as designs for Faceless Angel and future singles.

                                                                                                                                            Indebted in part to the classic pre-Beatles rock and roll era of Duane Eddy and Chuck Berry alongside the clattering of a weary ghost train’s rusted wheels on worn steel, Faceless Angel’s title evokes DC Comics ominous occult detective series, Hellblazer and the broken character of the strip’s protagonist, John Constantine.

                                                                                                                                            Almost 19 years after the release of their celebrated, self-titled, Mercury Music Prize-nominated, platinum-certified debut in 2002, kick-starting a decade of classic singles, including Dreaming Of You (now on over 100 million streams globally and gaining UK Platinum status), Pass It On, Don’t Think You’re The First and In The Morning, The Coral move into 2021 as in thrall to the self-endowed gift of creative freedom as they were on day one. The band has sold over a million albums to date.

                                                                                                                                            Of their nine albums to date, the last of which, Move Through The Dawn, was released in 2018, five have reached the Top 10 including 2003’s chart-topping Gold-selling Magic and Medicine which saw the band nominated for Best Group at the Brit Awards. Never anything other than wilfully idosyncratic and critically-praised, the follow-up, The Invisible Invasion reached No.3 in the UK Albums Chart and joins it’s predecessor in being certified Gold.

                                                                                                                                            Recorded in a sense of barely-controlled, copy and paste chaos at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, Coral Island was written and performed by the multi-instrumentalist and multi-talented line-up of James Skelly, Ian Skelly, Nick Power, Paul Duffy and Paul Molloy plus a special guest.


                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                            Barry says: There's no doubt from the first notes that this is The Coral. From the perfectly manicured harmonies and wonderfully resplendent guitar tones, this shimmers with everything that made us love them in the first place. Without a doubt one of my favourite things to have come out of the Wirral since Andy McQ.

                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                            Side A
                                                                                                                                            1 Welcome To Coral Island
                                                                                                                                            2 Lover Undiscovered
                                                                                                                                            3 Change Your Mind
                                                                                                                                            4 Mist On The River
                                                                                                                                            5 Pavillions Of The Mind
                                                                                                                                            6 Vacancy

                                                                                                                                            Side B
                                                                                                                                            7 My Best Friend
                                                                                                                                            8 Arcade Hallucinations
                                                                                                                                            9 The Game She Play
                                                                                                                                            10 Autumn Has Come
                                                                                                                                            11 The End Of The Pier

                                                                                                                                            Side C
                                                                                                                                            12 The Ghost Of Coral Island
                                                                                                                                            13 Golden Age
                                                                                                                                            14 Faceless Angel
                                                                                                                                            15 The Great Lafayette
                                                                                                                                            16 Strange Illusions
                                                                                                                                            17 Summertime

                                                                                                                                            Side D
                                                                                                                                            18 Telepathic Waltz
                                                                                                                                            19 Old Photographs
                                                                                                                                            20 Watch You Disappear
                                                                                                                                            21 Late Nights At The Borders
                                                                                                                                            22 Land Of The Lost
                                                                                                                                            23 The Calico Girl
                                                                                                                                            24 The Last Entertainer

                                                                                                                                            Natalie Bergman

                                                                                                                                            Mercy

                                                                                                                                              While many know Bergman as one half of brother-sister duo Wild Belle, her forthcoming record is a cathartic collection rooted in the hopeful values and traditions of gospel that have helped her through the recent, tragic loss of her father.

                                                                                                                                              On the signing of Natalie Bergman, Third Man Records co-founder Ben Swank adds, “Natalie has a unique vision and has approached this album with a reverence for the sacred and healing nature of the history of this music, but has managed to update it in a way that is distinctly her own. We're very excited to welcome her to the Third Man label and family.”

                                                                                                                                              Alongside her brother Elliot, the island-influenced music Natalie Bergman made in Wild Belle has led to collaborations ranging from Major Lazer to Tom Tom Club, performances at Coachella and Lollapalooza, tours with Beck, Cage The Elephant, Toro y Moi and more.

                                                                                                                                              Helmed by her heavenly voice, Bergman’s solo album is steeped in mystic melodies and time-bending tones of psychedelic rock and soul. Showcasing her multi-instrumental and creative versatility, songs will be accompanied by visuals that blend her own abstract artwork, self-designed wardrobe and beyond. Stay tuned.

                                                                                                                                              RIYL: Wild Belle, Haley Heynderickx, Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski, Meiko, El Perro Del Mar, Sylvan Esso, Overcoats, Weyes Blood, Sharon Van Etten, Maggie Rogers, Angel Olsen.

                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                              Barry says: Bergman's music clearly leans heavily on the vocal-dominant acoustic guitar ballads of the 60's and 70's, joined with gorgeous harmonised girl-group soul aesthetic. It's a wonderfully new take on the tried and tested mellow folk vibe, and Bergman's haunting vocals fit it perfectly.

                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                              SIDE 1
                                                                                                                                              1. Talk To The Lord
                                                                                                                                              2. Shine Your Light On Me
                                                                                                                                              3. I Will Praise You
                                                                                                                                              4. I'm Going Home
                                                                                                                                              5. Home At Last
                                                                                                                                              6. You Make My World Go Round

                                                                                                                                              SIDE 2
                                                                                                                                              1. Paint The Rain
                                                                                                                                              2. The Gallows
                                                                                                                                              3. Your Love Is My Shelter
                                                                                                                                              4. He Will Lift You Up Higher
                                                                                                                                              5. Sweet Mary
                                                                                                                                              6. Last Farewell

                                                                                                                                              Dinked Edition Exclusive 7"
                                                                                                                                              Side A
                                                                                                                                              A. Paint The Rain (Pachy Remix)
                                                                                                                                              Side B
                                                                                                                                              B. Paint The Rain (Dub Instrumental)

                                                                                                                                              Esther Rose

                                                                                                                                              How Many Times

                                                                                                                                                Esther Rose was in perpetual motion when she wrote How Many Times. In the span of two years, she moved three times, navigated the end of a relationship, and began touring more than ever. The New Orleans-based singer-songwriter used that momentum while she penned her third studio album. That’s why, as the album title’s nod to the cyclical nature of life implies, there’s a rush that accompanies How Many Times as if you’re experiencing an awakening, too.

                                                                                                                                                “That’s how I untangle what’s on my mind, by going off for a walk into wild places. That’s what makes this album a country album,” says Rose. “It’s not really just about feeling better, it’s about feeling it, whatever it is.”
                                                                                                                                                If Rose used time to frame the stories on her 2019 sophomore album You Made It This Far, then she’s swapped that clock for a heart monitor on How Many Times. While some may look outward and lament over hard times and bad luck, Rose turns inward. Instead of blaming an ex for failing to juggle her reactions on “My Bad Mood,” she examines her own blind spots where she hopes to improve as a partner. When her car’s engine blew up during an impulsive “pitstop” in Nashville, she wrote “Good Time” not to rue misfortune, but to toast her own recklessness. After losing her nerve and fleeing a New Year’s Eve date by bicycle half an hour before midnight, she immediately penned “Are You Out There,” confronting her fear of letting go and moving on.

                                                                                                                                                With the integrity of Dean Johnson, Faustina Masigat, and Kiki Cavazos serving as primary influences, Rose expands her alt-country sound into a blossoming world of folk pop, rustic americana, and tender harmonies. “They’re the holy trinity of songwriter magic,” she says, “and when I listen to them I feel like I can explore my own heartache.” Creative touches add detail throughout the album. She uses a 1962 Gibson ES-120T, her first semi-hollow body electric guitar, to play unplugged for a distinct tone. On “Mountaintop,” she includes a blustery voice memo recorded at the summit of Mount Philo, an homage to the field recording in a Bright Eyes song she holds dear.

                                                                                                                                                From “Coyote Creek” to “Without You,” Rose’s compelling voice is ferried masterfully by the musicians that join her: Matt Bell on lap steel, Max Bien-Kahn on electric guitar, Dan Cutler on upright bass, Cameron Snyder on drums, and Lyle Werner on fiddle. A collection of complete takes recorded live to tape with rich instrumentation, soul-tugging hooks, and resonating vocal melodies, How Many Times carries you into the room in which it was made. There to help realize this was co-producer Ross Farbe of synthpop band Video Age, who Rose also credits for bringing a stereo pop glow to these new songs.

                                                                                                                                                The album opens with Rose reflecting on the mundane as she drifts around her house in How Many Times. She wrote it in a night of intentional sobriety, choosing to address directly emotions she had been avoiding until then, a theme that’s apparent throughout the record. “‘How Many Times’ shows that ‘face it’ moment: opening the fridge, staring down the bottles, opening a laptop, just bouncing around the house before you finally make room to face the pain and be with it,” she says. “I remember walking trancelike to my writing table thinking, No numbing tonight. I’m going to sit here and look at it.” From opening for Nick Lowe on tour to being asked to sing on Jack White’s new album, Rose’s journey through the past few years has been one of saying yes to new opportunities, all while nurturing and playing in bands in the New Orleans country music scene. The arrival of How Many Times is evidence of the sweeping growth Rose has undergone, both personally and artistically. 

                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                Barry says: There's a lot to be said for a gently strummed acoustic guitar and a well sung tune isn't there? I mean, I know i'm a big fan of both bells and whistles (maybe not *actual* whistles), but Rose presents the stripped-back country aesthetic that is perfectly accentuated by a single lap-steel or a snappy percussive wander and executes it so perfectly, it's impossible not to be drawn in.

                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                Side A
                                                                                                                                                How Many Times
                                                                                                                                                Keeps Me Running
                                                                                                                                                My Bad Mood
                                                                                                                                                Coyote Creek
                                                                                                                                                Good Time

                                                                                                                                                Side B
                                                                                                                                                When You Go
                                                                                                                                                Songs Remain
                                                                                                                                                Mountaintop
                                                                                                                                                Are You Out There
                                                                                                                                                Without You

                                                                                                                                                Bonus Dinked Edition 7”
                                                                                                                                                A1. Bitter Heart
                                                                                                                                                B1. My Jealous Mind

                                                                                                                                                Hannah Peel

                                                                                                                                                Fir Wave

                                                                                                                                                  The new album, a sonic shimmer of textures and pulses that switches between raw atmospheric edges and environments, arrives with a fascinating history. As Peel explains, “The specialist library label KPM, gave me permission to reinterpret the original music of the celebrated 1972 KPM 1000 series: Electrosonic, the music of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop.” This process of re-generation and finding fresh inspiration in pioneering, experimental electronics from the early 1970s is at the core of the album. Peel has made connections and new patterns that mirror the Earth’s ecological cycles through music.

                                                                                                                                                  Peel explains, “I’m drawn to the patterns around us and the cycles in life that will keep on evolving and transforming forever. Fir Wave is defined by its continuous environmental changes and there are so many connections to those patterns echoed in electronic music - it’s always an organic dis-covery of old and new.” As Delia Derbyshire revealed in 2000 to BBC sound engineer, journalist and academic Jo Hutton: “I like new things that don’t seem new . . . as though they’ve always been there.”

                                                                                                                                                  Known more recently for curating and presenting on BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks, the Northern Irish Emmy-nominated composer and producer’s work is ambitious and forward-looking, adapting and re-inventing new genres and hybrid musical forms. Recent albums include the solo electronic and pop work of Awake But Always Dreaming, which became an ode to her grandmother’s mind as she lived with dementia; the electronic ruralism of Chalk Hill Blue, an album recorded with the poet Will Burns; and the space and the unparalleled vastness of Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, scored for synthesisers and a 30 piece colliery brass band. In 2019 she composed and recorded the soundtrack for Game of Thrones: The Last Watch which earned her an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)’. 


                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                  Barry says: While i'm a big fan of archival synth business, it's often hard to really listen to it in any other situation other than chin-scratching synth-nerdery. I know, i'm a fan of that and while the more esoteric synth explorations are great fun, they have nowhere near the amount of sheer depth and replayability that you get with 'Fir Wave'. A dynamic and cohesive set of rhythmic electronic pieces, moulded with the legendary influence from KPM. Stunning.

                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                  Side A
                                                                                                                                                  1 Wind Shadow
                                                                                                                                                  2 Emergence In Nature
                                                                                                                                                  3 Patterned Formation
                                                                                                                                                  4 Carbon Cycle

                                                                                                                                                  Side B
                                                                                                                                                  1 Ecovocative
                                                                                                                                                  2 Fir Wave
                                                                                                                                                  3 Reaction Diffusion 

                                                                                                                                                  William Doyle

                                                                                                                                                  Great Spans Of Muddy Time

                                                                                                                                                    It’s nearly a decade since William Doyle handed a CD-R demo to the Quietus co-founder John Doran at a gig, who loved it so much he set up a label to release Doyle’s debut EP (as East India Youth). Doyle’s debut album, Total Strife Forever, followed in 2014, as did a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. A year later, he was signed to XL, touring the world and about to release his second album – all by the age of 25.

                                                                                                                                                    After self-releasing four ambient and instrumental albums, Doyle’s third full-length record – and the first under his own name – Your Wilderness Revisited arrived to ecstatic reviews in 2019: Line of Best Fit described it as “a dazzlingly beautiful triumph of intention” and Metro declared it an album not only of the year, but “of the century”. Just over a year later, as he turns 30, Doyle is back with Great Spans of Muddy Time.

                                                                                                                                                    Born from accident but driven forward by instinct, Great Spans’ was built from the remnants of a catastrophic hard-drive failure. With his work saved only to cassette tape, Doyle was forced to accept the recordings as they were – a sharp departure from his process on Your Wilderness Revisited, which took four long years to craft toward perfection. “Instead of feeling a loss that I could no longer craft these pieces into flawless ‘Works of Art’, I felt intensely liberated that they had been set free from my ceaseless tinkering,” Doyle says.

                                                                                                                                                    “The album this turned out to be – and that I’ve wanted to make for ages – is a kind of Englishman-gone-mad, scrambling around the verdancy of the country’s pastures looking for some sense,” says Doyle. “It has its seeds in Robert Wyatt, early Eno, Robyn Hitchcock, and Syd Barrett.” Doyle credits Bowie’s ever-influential Berlin trilogy, but also highlights a much less expected muse: Monty Don, presenter of the BBC programme Gardeners’ World, Doyle’s lockdown addiction.

                                                                                                                                                    “I became obsessed with Monty Don. I like his manner and there's something about him I relate to. He once described periods of depression in his life as consisting of ‘nothing but great spans of muddy time’. When I read that quote I knew it would be the title of this record,” Doyle says. “Something about the sludgy mulch of the album’s darker moments, and its feel of perpetual autumnal evening, seemed to fit so well with those words. I would also be lying if I said it didn’t chime with my mental health experiences as well.”

                                                                                                                                                    Great Spans of Muddy Time is a beautiful ode to the power of accident, instinct and intuition. The result, however, is far from an anomaly: this celebration of the imperfect album is one that required years of honed craft and dedicated focus to achieve. “For the first time in my career, the distance between what I hear and what the listener hears is paper-thin,” Doyle says. “Perhaps therein reveals a deeper truth that the perfectionist brain can often dissolve.”


                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: There has been a significant stylistic change in Doyle's output since his early material as East India Youth, and every single note oozes with the intellectual construction and well placed melodic sensibilities that will ensure his place in the musical landscape for years to come. 'Great Spans...' is a wonderfully rich and fascinating journey, and one that rewards with each further listen.

                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                    Side A
                                                                                                                                                    I Need To Keep You In My Life
                                                                                                                                                    And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright) 
                                                                                                                                                    Somewhere Totally Else
                                                                                                                                                    Shadowtackling
                                                                                                                                                    Who Cares
                                                                                                                                                    Nothing At All

                                                                                                                                                    Side B
                                                                                                                                                    Rainfalls
                                                                                                                                                    New Uncertainties
                                                                                                                                                    St. Giles’ Hill
                                                                                                                                                    Semi-bionic
                                                                                                                                                    A Forgotten Film
                                                                                                                                                    Theme From Muddy Time
                                                                                                                                                    [a Sea Of Thoughts Behind It]

                                                                                                                                                    Cassandra Jenkins

                                                                                                                                                    An Overview On Phenomenal Nature

                                                                                                                                                      “Nothing ever really disappears,” Cassandra Jenkins says. “It just changes shape.” Over the past few years, she’s seen relationships altered, travelled three continents, wandered through museums and parks, and recorded free-associative guided tours of her New York haunts. Her observations capture the humanity and nature around her, as well as thought patterns, memories, and attempts to be present while dealing with pain and loss. With a singular voice, Jenkins siphons these ideas into the ambient folk of her new album.
                                                                                                                                                      An Overview on Phenomenal Nature honors flux, detail, and moments of intimacy. Jenkins arrived at engineer Josh Kaufman’s studio with ideas rather than full songs — nevertheless, they finished the album in a week. Jenkins’ voice floats amid sensuous chamber pop arrangements and raw-edged drums, ferrying us through impressionistic portraits of friends and strangers. Her lyrics unfold magical worlds, introducing you to a cast of characters like a local fisherman, a psychic at a birthday party, and driving instructor of a spiritual bent.

                                                                                                                                                      Jenkins’ last record, 2017’s Play Till You Win, confirmed the veteran artist’s talent. Evident of Jenkins’ experience growing up in a family band in New York City, the album showcased her meticulous songwriting and musicianship, earning her comparisons to George Harrison and Emmylou Harris. Jenkins has since played in the bands of Eleanor Friedberger, Craig Finn, and Lola Kirke, and rehearsed to tour with Purple Mountains last August before the tour’s cancellation. Her new record departs from her previous work in its openness and flexibility, following her peripatetic lifestyle. “The goal is to be more fluid, to be more like the clouds shifting constantly,” she says. The approach allowed Jenkins to express herself like she never has.

                                                                                                                                                      On album opener “Michaelangelo,” before the heavy drum beat and fuzz guitars enter, Jenkins sings quietly “I’m a three-legged dog, working with what I’ve got / and part of me will always be looking for what I lost // there’s a fly around my head, waiting for the day I drop dead.” Phenomenal Nature thrives in this dichotomy between ornate sonics and verbal frankness, a calming guided tour to the edge. Later, on “Crosshairs,” amid lush strings, she sings conversationally: “Empty space is my escape / it runs through me like a river / while time spits in my face.”

                                                                                                                                                      “Hard Drive,” the third track and album centerpiece, opens with a voice memo Jenkins recorded at The Met Breuer: a guard muses about Mrinalini Mukherjee’s hybrid textile and sculpture works, which were then on display in a retrospective titled Phenomenal Nature. “When we lose our connection to nature, we lose our spirit, our humanity,” she explains. Stuart Bogie's saxophone & Josh Kaufman's glittering guitar make way for Jenkins' spoken word which constellates scenes from her life, gradually building and blossoming as she recreates a meditation guided by a friend who incants, “One, two, three.”

                                                                                                                                                      Sounds of footsteps and bird calls run through the album’s glittering conclusion, “The Ramble.” Meditative and bright, it recalls how Jenkins felt while writing and recording her new material: “Everything else is falling apart, so let’s just enjoy this time,” she said. If Phenomenal Nature has a unifying theme, it’s the power of presence, the joy of walking in a world in constant flux and opening oneself to change.


                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                      1. Michaelangelo
                                                                                                                                                      2. New Bikini
                                                                                                                                                      3. Hard Drive
                                                                                                                                                      4. Crosshairs
                                                                                                                                                      5. Amibiguous Norway
                                                                                                                                                      6. Hailey
                                                                                                                                                      7. The Ramble

                                                                                                                                                      Camera

                                                                                                                                                      Prosthuman

                                                                                                                                                        With the band’s tenth anniversary in their viewfinder, CAMERA release “Prosthuman”, their fifth studio album. As befits an age in which realities can change in the blink of an eye, from one day to the next, the Berlin band never tire of changing themselves, their music or personnel.

                                                                                                                                                        As Karlheinz Stockhausen noted: “New methods change the experience. New experiences change man.”

                                                                                                                                                        Taking this as their lead, Michael Drummer (the drummer) and CAMERA surprise us once more on “Prosthuman” as they reinvent and reformulate their sound without sacrificing the project’s identity which has matured over the past decade. Less surprising is the fact that some record stores give CAMERA their own section, alongside Krautrock pioneers like NEU!, Can and La Düsseldorf. “Emotional Detox”, the predecessor to this album, was distinguished by the presence of two keyboard virtuosos (Steffen Kahles and CAMERA founder member Timm Brockmann). Finding replacements for “Prosthuman” was, as Michael Drummer stresses, “a difficult process.” The two keyboardists had – in different creative periods – formed the backbone of a band structure otherwise prone to fluctuations. Decisive input came from an unlikely source: Tim Schroeder, who first teamed up with CAMERA as a performance and video artist on their six-week tour of the USA in 2017.

                                                                                                                                                        Over the course of various jams and recording sessions, he was able to offer ample proof of his synthesizers skills. Alex Kozmidi, a musician and composer with a flair for experimentation, completed the triumvirate on guitar, with Michael Drummer adding his own guitar riffs here and there. Change and friction can be useful allies in pursuit of creativity, something to which Drummer has grown accustomed as the only ever-present member of CAMERA. The pleasures and pain of isolation – suddenly a mass phenomenon in pandemic times – are well known to the quasi frontman of the group. Over the years, he has spent many hours alone or with a shifting cast of co-musicians in the band’s basement studio, beneath a former factory site in a less than hip southern district of Berlin. Virus-induced social distancing and quarantine measures that came into force during the recording process (June 2019 to June 2020) thus posed no great challenge.

                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: It's always a delight when something hits the shelves from Bureau B. This time sees Camera revisiting their familiar heady kosmische groove, albeit with different staff. Drummer and Schroeder here perfect the warmingly organic duality of synthesiser and live percussion, resulting in a fluid but cohesive build and release narrative and a hypnotic, rhythmic nod.

                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                                                        1.Kartoffelstampf
                                                                                                                                                        2.Alar Alar
                                                                                                                                                        3.Prosthuman / Apptime
                                                                                                                                                        4.Überall Teilchen / Teilchen Überall
                                                                                                                                                        5.Freundschaft

                                                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                                                        1.El Ley
                                                                                                                                                        2.Schmwarf
                                                                                                                                                        3.A2
                                                                                                                                                        4.Chords4 / Kurz Vor
                                                                                                                                                        5.Harmonite

                                                                                                                                                        Exclusive Dinked Bonus 12”:
                                                                                                                                                        A2 – Lloyd Cole Remix
                                                                                                                                                        Schmwarf – The Telescopes Threw A Way Through Experimental Health Version
                                                                                                                                                        Alar Alar – Love-Songs Remix
                                                                                                                                                        Prosthuman – Extnddntwrk Remix (Andrew Robert Lindsay Fearn Of Sleaford Mods)
                                                                                                                                                        Freundschaft – Dead Skeletons Planet Book Remix (Ryan Van Kriedt, Henrik Björnsson)

                                                                                                                                                        Claud

                                                                                                                                                        Super Monster

                                                                                                                                                          When Claud Mintz’s mother finally heard the 13 songs on her kid’s magnetic first album, Super Monster, she asked a concerned question: Just how many people had her 21-year-old dated? From beginning to end, these sparkling pop tunes capture the assorted stages of a relationship’s delight and dejection—the giddy sensation of a first kiss during the beaming “Overnight,” the heartsick longing of a pending rejection during the yearning “Jordan,” the reluctant call for a requisite breakup during the smoldering “Ana.” Claud, though, replied that these songs detailed the phases of only two or three relationships, simply written during them or at various points after they were over.

                                                                                                                                                          The debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, Super Monster is a vertiginous but joyous coming-of-age reckoning with such young love. Claud sees relationships as games of endless wonder, intrigue, and second-guesses, a roller-coaster thrilling you even when it’s terrifying. If “Gold” turns the tension and indecision of a bad match into an undeniable bit of lithe disco, “That’s Mr. Bitch To You” uses a spurt of righteous indignation to fuse a little soul and emo into one breathless hook. Super Monster is like a compulsive compilation that Claud culled from a lifetime of musical enthusiasms—the arcing alt-rock of ’90s airwaves, the rapturous pop of ’00s chart-toppers, the diligent genre-hopping of modern online life. Claud emerges as the chameleonic mastermind of this mélange, channeling all of love’s emotions into songs so sharp they make even the hardest times feel fun.

                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps you are in the throes of one of these romantic moments yourself right now, resentful of a frustrating paramour like Claud during “Pepsi” or indulging in lust like “In or In Between.” Or maybe these songs recall those wild days and tough situations. Incisive, instant, and addictive Super Monster works on either level—to remind us of love’s wild ups and downs or to help us deal with them in real time. In that way, Mom, these songs are about dating, well, everyone.

                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Beautifully melodic bedroom pop, thumping percussion and shimmering hooks bring the stories of Claud to life. It's no surprise that the first signing on Phoebe Bridgers' Saddest Factory is brilliant, but this is a clever and nuanced indie pop LP, brought with the vitality of youth. Top stuff.

                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                          Side A
                                                                                                                                                          1. Overnight
                                                                                                                                                          2. Gold
                                                                                                                                                          3. Soft Spot
                                                                                                                                                          4. In Or In-Between
                                                                                                                                                          5. Cuff Your Jeans
                                                                                                                                                          6. Ana (ft. Nick Hakim)

                                                                                                                                                          Side B
                                                                                                                                                          1. Guard Down
                                                                                                                                                          2. This Town
                                                                                                                                                          3. Jordan
                                                                                                                                                          4. That’s Mr Bitch To You (ft. Melanie Faye)
                                                                                                                                                          5. Pepsi
                                                                                                                                                          6. Rocks At Your Window
                                                                                                                                                          7. Falling With The Rain (ft. Shelly)

                                                                                                                                                          The Telescopes

                                                                                                                                                          Songs Of Love And Revolution

                                                                                                                                                            The Telescopes have been described by the British music press as 'more a revolution of the psyche than a revolution of the sidewalk'; a thread consistent throughout a body of work spanning over 30 years. The Telescopes have constantly pushed at their own boundaries to unravel new pathways of existence, colouring outside the lines of all expectation to reach beyond the realm of natural vision.

                                                                                                                                                            With a legacy full of eureka moments, intravenously fed through a crack in the cosmic egg, The Telescopes invoke the kind of altered perceptions that time has shown not only withstand repeated listening, but reveal something new whenever one ventures into the depths of their highly influential artistry.

                                                                                                                                                            At the core of their being, The Telescopes are an all embracing concern, in every sense, a constant revolution of the psyche exploding endless spores of sound, carriers of warm transmissions seeped in aural innovation that spiral around ones inner receptors to induce a series of auditory illusions that completely immerse the listener in the grip of their own imagination.

                                                                                                                                                            The most revolutionary act we can all perform is to stand by our calling, to keep doing what we do, for the reasons we are conceived to do so, no matter what. Some call it 'The New Weird' but call it what you will, it is born of love. The Telescopes are one of the very few artists that are living proof that this revolutionary act is possible to evolve and sustain free from artistic corruption.

                                                                                                                                                            Songs Of Love And Revolution is a solar burst of trance inducing rhythms gripped at the helm by a wall of throbbing bass held in place by a swarm of encircling guitars. Lashed to the mast of this whirling dervish, incantations abound to dispel what is bound. This is the 12th album by The Telescopes, music for a four-piece ensemble that will never sound the same twice in any given environment or to any set of ears.


                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Hypnotic stoned groove and psychedelic echo abound on this stunning new LP from English space-drone stalwarts, The Telescopes. Melodies slowly weave their way around the bass-heavy churn and jangling 70's guitars.

                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                            1) This Is Not A Dream
                                                                                                                                                            2) Strange Waves
                                                                                                                                                            3) Mesmerised
                                                                                                                                                            4) Come Bring Your Love
                                                                                                                                                            5) This Train
                                                                                                                                                            6) Songs Of Love And Revolution
                                                                                                                                                            7) You're Never Alone With Despair
                                                                                                                                                            8) We See Magic And We Are Neutral, Unnecessary

                                                                                                                                                            Dinked Edition Bonus 12":
                                                                                                                                                            (Come Bring Your Love) Come Drown In Love (Anton Newcombe Remix)
                                                                                                                                                            Strange Waves (Lloyd Cole Remix)
                                                                                                                                                            This Train (Love-Songs Remix)
                                                                                                                                                            Come Bring Your Love (Camera Remix)
                                                                                                                                                            (Come Bring Your Love) Come Bring Your Magic Waves (Third Eye Foundation Version)

                                                                                                                                                            A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the composer collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O'Halloran, release new album ‘Invisible Cities’, the stunning score to the critically acclaimed theatre production directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner. Released on their own Artificial Pinearch Manufacturing label, the album comes as part of an agreement with A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s current label, Ninja Tune.

                                                                                                                                                            Premiering in July 2019 at the Manchester International Festival, the duo was commissioned by Warner’s 59 Productions to score the music for the 90-minute multimedia theatrical stage show, adapted from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, ‘Invisible Cities’. Described by The Sunday Times as “a beautiful frenzy of movement”, it fuses theatre, music, dance, architectural design and visuals and brings to life a series of fantastical places and disparate worlds, centred on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo. Originally conceived as a touring project, it’s last performance was in Brisbane, Australia before COVID-19 changed the world as we know it.

                                                                                                                                                            “Four months is not a lot of time to create 90 minutes of music for a production using classical theatre, dance, & high res video mapping on a stage the size of 2 football pitches. It was a pleasure to work with 59 Productions, unlike other producers, they left the micro-managing at home, and let us get on with it. Early on in discussions with director Leo Warner it was realised that the human voice would take a central role in the score as it was essentially the only instrument we could see evolving over 600 years with a storyline that would not have the listener screaming “its Zimmertime”…,” says Wiltzie.

                                                                                                                                                            Transformed into 45 minutes of breathtaking beauty, ‘Invisible Cities’ opens with the numinous ‘So That the City Can Begin to Exist’, as Wiltzie and O'Halloran draw breath from distinctively enthralling and vastly expansive worlds. The ominous soundscapes of ‘The Dead Outnumber the Living’ contrast with the new beginnings that are presented in ‘Every Solstice & Equinox’, while the jagged and uneasy ‘Thirteenth Century Travelogue’ is one of tension and dread.

                                                                                                                                                            Elsewhere, ‘The Divided City’ captivates and intrigues while ‘Only Strings and Their Supports Remain’ and ‘There Is One of Which You Never Speak’ are bold roars for survival before the choral ambience of ‘Desires Are Already Memories’ and piercing drones of ‘Total Perspective Vortex’ bring down the curtain on a spectacular and incredibly emotive body of work.

                                                                                                                                                            Releasing their self-titled debut album in 2011 (Erased Tapes), A Winged Victory for the Sullen has developed something of a cult status over the past decade and alongside artists such as Max Richter, Hauschka, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Tim Hecker, are the vanguard of the neoclassical and ambient world and can count the likes of Jon Hopkins as fans.

                                                                                                                                                            The duo has gone on to release two further studio albums; ‘Atomos’ (Erased Tapes, 2014) and most recently ‘The Undivided Five’ (Ninja Tune, 2019) and were asked to perform at the BBC proms in 2015 by 6 Music presenter Mary Anne Hobbs. A Winged Victory for the Sullen also scored the music for the independent film ‘Iris’ (2016), directed by Jalil Lespert.

                                                                                                                                                            Wiltzie is best known as founding member of drone legends Stars of the Lid, The Dead Texan and Aix Em Klemm and has scored multiple film projects including ‘American Woman’ (2019) starring Sienna Miller, ‘Salero’ (2016) and The Yellow Birds (2017). In 2018, he also scored ‘Whitney’ (2018), the estate-approved documentary about the life of the late Whitney Houston, directed by Kevin Macdonald. Elsewhere, his original music has featured in Hollywood films including ‘Transformers: Dark of The Moon’ (2011), ‘Godzilla’ (2014), ‘Like Crazy’ (2011) and acclaimed TV shows including ‘House M.D’, ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘Top Boy’. He also collaborated with the late Jóhann Jóhannsson on his scores for ‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014) and ‘Arrival’ (2016).

                                                                                                                                                            O'Halloran, a self-taught pianist from the age of 7, began his musical life as a guitarist and formed the much-loved indie rock outfit Dévics with Sara Lov, releasing four albums on Bella Union. As a solo artist, he has composed music for numerous film and television projects including Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ (2006) and Drake Doremus’ ‘Like Crazy' (2011) starring Felicity Jones. Demand for his film scores is high and in 2015, he won an Emmy for theme music for the Golden Globe-winning Amazon series ‘Transparent’, starring Jeffrey Tambor. He has also collaborated with film composer Hauschka on numerous films, including ‘Lion’ (2016), with the score nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe. Most recently, he co-composed the music for the film ‘Ammonite’ (2020) with Volker Bertelmann, directed by Francis Lee and starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.


                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: There are few experiences I treasure more than popping some slow moving ambient business on the stereo and sitting down, and there are few bands that do that exact business better than AWVFTS. One of my all-time favourites return for another gorgeous suite of swelling pads and tentative piano.

                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                            1. So That The City Can Begin To Exist
                                                                                                                                                            2. The Celestial City
                                                                                                                                                            3. The Dead Outnumber The Living
                                                                                                                                                            4. Every Solstice & Equinox
                                                                                                                                                            5. Nothing Of The City Touches The Earth
                                                                                                                                                            6. Thirteenth Century Travelogue
                                                                                                                                                            7. The Divided City
                                                                                                                                                            8. Only Strings And Their Supports Remain
                                                                                                                                                            9. There Is One Of Which You Never Speak
                                                                                                                                                            10. Despair Dialogue
                                                                                                                                                            11. The Merchants Of Seven Nations
                                                                                                                                                            12. Desires Are Already Memories
                                                                                                                                                            13. Total Perspective Vortex

                                                                                                                                                            Mirry

                                                                                                                                                            Mirry

                                                                                                                                                              Mirry is one of those rare projects where the story seems so absolutely magical, that it’s almost impossible to imagine such beauty being lost in the shadows for so long.

                                                                                                                                                              30 years ago, Edinburgh based musician Tom Fraser was helping with the house clearance after his grandfather’s death and found an old scratched Transco record left out on the street. He took it home where it sat on a shelf for years until one day during lockdown, he gave it a play - and a whole world opened up to him - his Great Aunt Mirry had recorded a number of piano compositions which she had kept secret from her family. Since then, Tom has been re-working and re-mixing her compositions with his brother-in- law Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good the Bad and the Queen, and The Magnetic North) and together with project curator Kirsteen McNish they hope that this secret life will now reach beyond Mirry’s own four walls.

                                                                                                                                                              Mirabel Lomer was born in 1906 to a military family and for the best part of her life stayed at home in Ireland looking after her elderly parents. In the early 1950s she became a paid companion to another elderly couple in Wiltshire, both of whom she nursed until they died. While most of her life was spent caring for others it also transpired that Mirry had written music (despite the fact that as a young woman, her father actively discouraged her playing music in the family home). In quiet rebellion and creative escape, she composed this piano music secretly and her nephew and confidant Geoffrey captured it on his tape recorder.

                                                                                                                                                              Like untold numbers of women whose creative lives didnt find an outlet, Mirry never received any accolades for her work but enjoyed the act of creating work for herself. She died in the 1980s but the story of Mirry’s music and secret life is still unfolding.

                                                                                                                                                              The resulting album “Mirry” by Fraser and Tong is a celebration of Mirry’s work and a call and response to her original recordings with her family members – almost as if she were still in a room with them.

                                                                                                                                                              Since then Tong has retrieved whatever else he could find in the family attic. Hundreds of Stereoscopic slides, super-8 films, photography, stories, poetry and further recordings were found, all recorded by her nephew, (now in his nineties) who believes Mirry would be delighted that her work would be heard many years down the line.

                                                                                                                                                              Tong said “This project hopes to shine a light on carers, and how ones creative work can live on and continue to reverberate and evolve long after it’s original conception”

                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                              Barry says: I was (am) a big fan of The Books, and Mirry certainly shares elements of that kind of patchworked loop business, but what really sets this apart is the gorgeous depth of the brittle piano and organic echoes of the ambient instrumentation surrounding it. Really transportive and intoxicating suite of hazy ambience and almost veers into ragtime piano in parts too.

                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                              Anthem
                                                                                                                                                              Idyll
                                                                                                                                                              Study In B Flat Minor
                                                                                                                                                              Caragh Lake
                                                                                                                                                              Study In F
                                                                                                                                                              Consolation
                                                                                                                                                              Reverie
                                                                                                                                                              Anthem Reprise
                                                                                                                                                              Nicholas And Alexandra

                                                                                                                                                              Tala Vala

                                                                                                                                                              Modern Hysteric

                                                                                                                                                                Tala Vala combine experimental recording methods bridging marginalised genres, synths, brass and strings, jagged guitars and primal percussion.
                                                                                                                                                                John Roffe-Ridgard is a producer and former touring musician and Ben Locket is a composer for TV and Film.

                                                                                                                                                                The pair began making music in 2017 and self-released their first EP on a limited vinyl run. Mixed by Jake Jackson at Masterchord studios, the records were sold exclusively through Sounds of the Universe and Bandcamp.
                                                                                                                                                                Enthused by the interest in the record and selling out the run, the pair set about recording a full-length album expanding on the ideas of the fist ep. The album was again performed and produced by Ben and John using mainly analogue processes, where possible utilising 24 track tape and mixed by Jake. The self-titled record was self-released on vinyl and made it into the Stranger Than Paradise top 10 albums of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                Album number two began as a soundtrack project in early 2019, it was abandoned as they became disillusioned with the boundaries the film was imposing. The only remaining music from the soundtrack session is the opening cue which can be heard as the last track of what became Modern Hysteric, album two.

                                                                                                                                                                The new album was worked on throughout 2019 and mixed in early 2020 again sticking to mainly analogue processes, avoiding any audio plugins and computer editing. Jim White (Dirty Three, Xylouris White) guest drums on two of the tracks ( Reoccurring Weather & Haxen ) bringing his instantly recognisable style to the Tala Vala sound. In addition to the string quartet and brass sections, a kora player and the manipulated voice of soprano singer, Grace Davidson can also be heard throughout the album. 


                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                Side A
                                                                                                                                                                1 Angel Organ
                                                                                                                                                                2 Modern Hysteric
                                                                                                                                                                3 Beach Tranquiliser
                                                                                                                                                                4 Reoccurring Weather

                                                                                                                                                                Side B
                                                                                                                                                                5 Exit Strategies
                                                                                                                                                                6 Hexen
                                                                                                                                                                7 Orbits
                                                                                                                                                                8 See The Moon Shine

                                                                                                                                                                The Weather Station

                                                                                                                                                                Ignorance

                                                                                                                                                                  Through Ignorance, Lindeman has remade what The Weather Station sounds like, using the occasion of a new record to create a novel sonic landscape, tailor-made to express an emotional idea. Ignorance is sensuous, ravishing, as hi-fi a record as Lindeman has ever made, breaking into pure pop at moments, at others a dense wilderness of notes; a deeply rhythmic and painful record that feels more urgent and clear than her work ever has.

                                                                                                                                                                  Ignorance began when Lindeman became obsessed with rhythm; specifically straight rhythm, dance rhythm, those achingly simple beats that had never showed up on a Weather Station album before. The album marks Lindeman’s first experience writing on keyboard, not guitar, and her first time building out arrangements before bringing them to a band. Montreal producer Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire) co-produced, with Lindeman, and also mixed the record.

                                                                                                                                                                  The lyrics across Ignorance roil with conflict. The narrator confronts characters who turn away from love. “I used to be an actor, now I’m a performer,” Lindeman says. In those roles she often finds herself to be the subject of projection, reflecting back the ideas and emotions of others. In turn, the album cover shows Lindeman laying in the woods, wearing a hand made suit covered in mirrors. Throughout Ignorance, she sings of trying to wear the world as a kind of ill fitting, torn garment, dangerously cold; “it does not keep me warm / I cannot ever seem to fasten it” and of walking the streets in it, so disguised and exposed. 

                                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                  Barry says: The jazzy instrumentation and orchestration behind the vocals may indicate something a lot less melodic than the sum of the Weather Station's parts, but the end result is a brilliantly balanced mix of slow lounge, funky soul and classic indie-rock song structure. A beguiling but enduringly deep listen.

                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                  Side A
                                                                                                                                                                  1. Robber
                                                                                                                                                                  2. Atlantic
                                                                                                                                                                  3. Tried To Tell You
                                                                                                                                                                  4. Parking Lot
                                                                                                                                                                  5. Loss

                                                                                                                                                                  Side B
                                                                                                                                                                  1. Separated
                                                                                                                                                                  2. Wear
                                                                                                                                                                  3. Trust
                                                                                                                                                                  4. Heart
                                                                                                                                                                  5. Subdivisions

                                                                                                                                                                  Teenage Fanclub

                                                                                                                                                                  Endless Arcade

                                                                                                                                                                    Teenage Fanclub have announced news of their tenth studio album, Endless Arcade, released 5th March. Even if we weren’t living through extraordinarily troubling times, there is nothing quite like a Teenage Fanclub album to assuage the mind, body and soul, and to reaffirm that all is not lost in this world.

                                                                                                                                                                    Endless Arcade follows the band’s ninth album “Here”, released in 2016 to universal acclaim and notably their first Top 10 album since 1997; a mark of how much they’re treasured. The new record is quintessential TFC: melodies are equal parts heart-warming and heart-aching; guitars chime and distort; keyboard lines mesh and spiral; harmony-coated choruses burst out like sun on a stormy day.

                                                                                                                                                                    In the 1990s, the band crafted a magnetically heavy yet harmony-rich sound on classic albums such as “Bandwagonesque” and “Grand Prix”. This century, albums such as “Shadows” and “Here” have documented a more relaxed, less ‘teenage’ Fanclub, reflecting the band’s stage in life and state of mind, which Endless Arcade slots perfectly alongside. The album walks a beautifully poised line between melancholic and uplifting, infused with simple truths. The importance of home, community and hope is entwined with more bittersweet, sometimes darker thoughts - insecurity, anxiety, loss.

                                                                                                                                                                    Such is life. But the title track suggests, “Don’t be afraid of this endless arcade that is life.”

                                                                                                                                                                    A preview from the album came in February 2019 with Raymond’s ‘Everything Is Falling Apart’, an online single released at the outset of a six-month tour and a highlight of Endless Arcade.

                                                                                                                                                                    Everything is falling apart? Well, yes, but the song was written long before COVID-19 arrived. Neither was Raymond’s inspiration political or social, but more, “the entropy in the universe, the knowledge that everything eventually decays,” he explains. But Raymond says relax. Or rather, “Relax, find love, hold on to the hand of a friend”.

                                                                                                                                                                    Fortunately, Endless Arcade was virtually finished by the time lockdown was announced, bar the odd tinker under the engine hood. It seems timely, given how everyone had to initially stay home under lockdown, that the album starts with Norman’s ‘Home’, though it was chosen in part because of its opening line: “Every morning, I open my eyes...” The album’s longest track (at seven minutes) typifies TFC’s relaxed groove, culminating in Raymond’s peach of a guitar solo.

                                                                                                                                                                    Norman’s search for ‘home’ could be literal: after all, he’s been living in Canada for the last 10 years. But it’s also figurative. Like Norman’s other Endless Arcade songs – The Sun Won’t Shine On Me’, ‘Warm Embrace’, ‘I’m More Inclined’, ‘Back In The Day’ and ‘Living With You’ – his words on ‘Home’ are etched by loss and yearning. “Without going into too much detail, the last eighteen months have been challenging for me on an emotional level,” he admits. “But it’s been cathartic channelling some of these feelings and emotions into song.”

                                                                                                                                                                    In contrast, Raymond’s songs – he’s also responsible for ‘Come With Me’, ‘In Our Dreams’, ‘The Future’ and ‘Silent Song’ – are philosophical and questing. As he sings in ‘The Future’: “It’s hard to walk into the future when your shoes are made of lead”, but he’s still going to try, “and see sights we’ve never seen.”

                                                                                                                                                                    In the band’s own near future, they’re already planning another new album given they can’t yet tour the one they’re releasing now. Welcome back, Teenage Fanclub, unafraid of this endless arcade that is life.


                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: With one of the most legendary discographies behind them, it's no surprise that the new album from these Glasgow stalwarts is every bit the triumph. Clanging guitar lines and nigh-whispered silken vox coalesce together into an oddly triumphant (the irony of the beautifully melodic 'Everything Is Falling Apart' being one of the highlights is not lost on me) and brilliantly wistful treat.

                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                    CD
                                                                                                                                                                    1. Home
                                                                                                                                                                    2. Endless Arcade
                                                                                                                                                                    3. Warm Embrace
                                                                                                                                                                    4. Everything Is Falling Apart
                                                                                                                                                                    5. The Sun Won’t Shine On Me
                                                                                                                                                                    6. Come With Me
                                                                                                                                                                    7. In Our Dreams
                                                                                                                                                                    8. I’m More Inclined
                                                                                                                                                                    9. Back In The Day
                                                                                                                                                                    10. The Future
                                                                                                                                                                    11. Living With You
                                                                                                                                                                    12. Silent Song

                                                                                                                                                                    LP
                                                                                                                                                                    A1. Home
                                                                                                                                                                    A2. Endless Arcade
                                                                                                                                                                    A3. Warm Embrace
                                                                                                                                                                    A4. Everything Is Falling Apart
                                                                                                                                                                    A5. The Sun Won’t Shine On Me
                                                                                                                                                                    A6. Come With Me
                                                                                                                                                                    B1. In Our Dreams
                                                                                                                                                                    B2. I’m More Inclined
                                                                                                                                                                    B3. Back In The Day
                                                                                                                                                                    B4. The Future
                                                                                                                                                                    B5. Living With You
                                                                                                                                                                    B6. Silent Song

                                                                                                                                                                    Kiwi Jr.

                                                                                                                                                                    Cooler Returns

                                                                                                                                                                      Kiwi Jr. is a phenomenal “rock” and/or “punk” and/or “indie-rock” (whichever you like more) band from Canada, made up of Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). Cooler Returns is their second album, and their first for Sub Pop. Despite being a snapshot of the pandemic-infused beginnings of this decade, Cooler Returns is truly a whole lot of fun.

                                                                                                                                                                      RIYL indie-pop from down under, things that are smart / exuberant / catchy all at once. Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbor’s basement; undecided voters sharpening their pencils: under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr.’s Cooler Returns “timely.” But what year is it, again? On Cooler Returns, Kiwi Jr. cycle through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, squinting anew at New Year’s parties forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer shuffling to sanitized studio by streetcar, masked like it's the kind of work where getting recognized means getting killed, Cooler Returns materializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of the terrible twenties, an investigative exposé of recent history buried under the headlines & ancient kings buried under parking lots. 

                                                                                                                                                                      Not so long since their debut Football Money in archaeological time, unending gray eons later in the dog years of quaran-time, spiritually antipodean Canadians Kiwi Jr return to disseminate this year's annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record, a 3,000 word tract for stakeholders to pore over. These stories - memories of Augusts past, unrepressed & transcribed fast - go down easier thanks to meaningful changes enacted in 2019’s KiwiCares Pledge: delivering on a promise to transition from Crunchy to Smooth by 2021, the caveman chug of Football Money has been steamed & pressed with the purifying air of a saloon piano - operated with bow-tie untied - and a spring green side-salad of tentatively up-tempo organ taps & freshly fluted harmonica. A chronically detuned spin of the dial through swivel-chair distractions & WFH daydreams, an immersive ctrl-tab deluge cycling through popular listicle distractions like the unentombing of Richard III, or the deja vu destruction of the Glasgow School of Art, Kiwi Jr. sing this song to an indoor audience, crisscrossing canceled, every other prestige distraction source wrung dry, only songwriting remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days.

                                                                                                                                                                      Fixing loose ingredients into a sturdy whip, Kiwi Jr. beam in live from the 9-5, striding into 2021 with a mastered brainwave that comes equally from the back room of the record store as the penalty box. And how do we, left holding this box of deliberate entanglements, sign off to those as yet uninitiated, undecided, uncertain, unseen, absent return coordinates -  Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Good Luck? Cooler Returns, Cooler Returns, C o o l e r  R e t u r n s ! Cooler Returns was produced by Kiwi Jr., mixed and engineered by Graham Walsh (METZ, Bully) in Toronto, and mastered by Phillip Shaw Bova at Bova Labs in Ottawa, Ontario.

                                                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                      Barry says: Sounding not unlike a modern version of The Strokes, Kiwi Jr mix the unhurried punky aesthetic and mild, modern fuzz with cleverly measured heft and undeniably clever songwriting.

                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                      Side A
                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tyler
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Undecided Voters
                                                                                                                                                                      3. Maid Marian's Toast
                                                                                                                                                                      4. Highlights Of 100
                                                                                                                                                                      5. Only Here For A Haircut
                                                                                                                                                                      6. Cooler Returns

                                                                                                                                                                      Side B
                                                                                                                                                                      1. Guilty Party
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Omaha
                                                                                                                                                                      3. Domino
                                                                                                                                                                      4. Nashville Wedding
                                                                                                                                                                      5. Dodger
                                                                                                                                                                      6. Norma Jean's Jacket
                                                                                                                                                                      7. Waiting In Line

                                                                                                                                                                      Virginia Wing

                                                                                                                                                                      Private LIFE

                                                                                                                                                                        One of the year's most daring and true pop records, private LIFE comes as the result of Virginia Wing living through, and with, huge personal emotional and mental traumas. It is a document of how the very process of music creation in a group can be of huge therapeutic benefit to people. The three members of Virginia Wing have explored the depths of their creative and artistic inspirations within performance, production and composition, and have made a candid and brash pop record that speaks clearly about hope, desperation, impulse, addiction, urge and shame.

                                                                                                                                                                        More tumultuous than its predecessor, private LIFE knocks hard. The evolution of Virginia Wing’s sound continues to build on the broad creative flow of the last album whilst being another audacious contribution to contemporary pop. The drums are huge and playfully unquantized. Edits are both assured and heavy handed, the instrumentation lightly mediates the two and finds itself on the edge of collapse alongside them. The icy facade of Merida Richards’ words are still front and centre, but are contrasted by dense, multilayered improvisations, vying for attention throughout the record. Over ‘I’m Holding Out For Something’s relentless juggernaut of 90’s R’n’B beats, Richards examines the relentless hope and desperation glued to modern consciousness, and speaks of how we often find the answer, or the route through, right at the breaking point. Subsequently, ‘St Francis Fountain’ compounds the issue, observing that often our own coping mechanisms can grow into full blown traumas of their own. Virginia Wing’s last record opened its arms into euphoric light, private LIFE invites you through a door and closes it. It examines what we’re doing at night, on our own, after work. What we do to enjoy ourselves, to cope, to be together, to be alone. It shines a dim blue light on what might be happening, causing us anxiety, stress and desire.

                                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: Virginia wing bring another nuanced slab of moody synth-indie, with 'Private Life' displaying all of the superb songwriting prowess which made 2018's 'Ecstatic Arrow' such a heavy hitter, but with a more world-weary experience and depth of feeling. Superb stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                                                                        A1 I’m Holding Out For Something
                                                                                                                                                                        A2 Moon Turn Tides
                                                                                                                                                                        A3 Soft Fruit
                                                                                                                                                                        A4 Michael Returns To The Garden
                                                                                                                                                                        A5 99 North
                                                                                                                                                                        A6 Return To View

                                                                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                                                                        B1 St. Francis Fountain
                                                                                                                                                                        B2 Private Life
                                                                                                                                                                        B3 Half Mourning
                                                                                                                                                                        B4 Lucky Coin
                                                                                                                                                                        B5 OBW Saints
                                                                                                                                                                        B6 I Know About These Things

                                                                                                                                                                        LICE

                                                                                                                                                                        WASTELAND: What Ails Our People Is

                                                                                                                                                                          A ‘satire about satire’, WASTELAND is a wild Burroughsian adventure melding science-fiction, absurdism and magical realism, calling fora revolution against the reductive ‘good versus evil’ narratives of popular satirical music. Arguing that through experimenting with the form of the song lyric (our most widely disseminated form of creative writing) we can build more nuanced popular discourse around the implicit forms of bias that ail us, WASTELAND presents complex characters changing their minds–along with their bodies and places in spacetime. Set in an unearthly liminal space populated by shape-shifters, time-travellers, talking genitalia and ectoplasmic spectres, the prose text evolves as the characters do: warping into cut-ups, soliloquies and even plays.Created over two years, the album draws from LICE’s rise in ‘the punk world’ (sharing stages with IDLES, The Fall, Squid, Fat White Family, Girl Band etc.) and eventual disillusionment with the limits of its prevailing ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                          WASTELAND is a concept album structured as an experimental short story, taking cues from Brian Catling, William Burroughs and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Its core argument is that, through reworking the prevailing forms of satirical song lyrics, we can build more nuanced popular discourse around the implicit forms of bias that ail us–the song lyric being the most widely disseminated and commonly ‘engaged with’ form of creative writing there is. In this allegory for crises in society and art (from commodification to ideological state apparatuses), the moral, physical and temporal transformations of its characters are paired with the text’s transformation: breaking from prose into cut-ups, soliloquies and even plays. In the wild, liminal space of the Wasteland, this story follows The Conveyor as here lates the schemes of the shadowy RDC and flamboyant Dr Coehn to engineer the human race’s self-annihilation:introducing us to a cast of time-travellers, shape-shifters, talking genitalia and ectoplasmic spectres.As well as WASTELAND’s manifesto, this text features notes directing the curious reader to sources, figures or narratives behind the story’s various arguments.

                                                                                                                                                                          Musically, the album features a ‘noise intoner’ hand-built by LICE, based on the ‘Intonarumori’ of Luigi Russolo and his early 20th century circle of revolutionaries The Italian Futurists (whose vicious writings and manifestos about the art-world formed source material for the album). WASTELAND sees LICE draw influence from Bristol’s vital experimental scene, with the album principally written at community hub The Old England. Having performed with projects such as SCALPING, Giant Swan andEP/64 (HARRGA), LICE’s first album sees them reconcile minimalism, prog and industrial in the band’s post-punk framework.


                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: It's almost certain that unless you've had your eyes and ears entirely shut for the past few years, you can't have helped but notice the influx of heavy AF punk indie hitting the shelves. Enter : Lice, as scathing as they come and sitting in the oft-ignored space between indie, psychedelic and thrash. Bizarre and brilliant.

                                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                          A1 Conveyor
                                                                                                                                                                          A2 Imposter
                                                                                                                                                                          A3 Espontáneo
                                                                                                                                                                          A4 R.D.C.
                                                                                                                                                                          A5 Pariah
                                                                                                                                                                          A6 Persuader
                                                                                                                                                                          B1 Arbiter
                                                                                                                                                                          B2 Serata
                                                                                                                                                                          B3 Deluge
                                                                                                                                                                          B4 Folla
                                                                                                                                                                          B5 Clear

                                                                                                                                                                          The Besnard Lakes

                                                                                                                                                                          Are The Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings

                                                                                                                                                                            The Besnard Lakes have passed through death and they’re here to tell the tale. Nearly five years after their last lightning-tinted volley, the magisterial Montreal psych-rock band have sworn off compromise, split with their long-standing label, and completed a searing, 72-minute suite about the darkness of dying and the light on the other side.

                                                                                                                                                                            The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is the group's sixth album and the first in more than 15 years to be released away from a certain midwestern American indie record company. After 2016's A Coliseum Complex Museum - which saw Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas attempting shorter, less sprawling songs - the Besnards and their label decided it was time to go their separate ways; with that decision came a question of whether to even continue the project at all. What use is a band with an instinct for long, tectonic tunes - rock songs with chthonic heft and ethereal grace, five or 10 or 18 minutes long? How do you sell that in an age of bite-sized streaming? How do you make it relevant?

                                                                                                                                                                            "Who gives a shit!" the Besnard Lakes realized. Ignited by their love for each other, for playing music together, the sextet found themselves unspooling the most uncompromising recording of their career. Despite all its grandeur, ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings honours the very essence of punk rock: the notion that a band need only be relevant to itself. At last the Besnard Lakes have crafted a continuous long-form suite: nine tracks that could be listened together as one, like Spiritualized's Lazer Guided Melodies or even Dark Side of the Moon, overflowing with melody and harmony, drone and dazzle, the group's own unique weather.

                                                                                                                                                                            Here now, the Besnard Lakes finally dispensed with the two/three-year album cycle, taking all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix their opus. Some of its songs were old, resurrected from demos cast aside years ago. Others were literally woodshedded in the cabanon behind Lasek and Goreas's "Rigaud Ranch" - invented and reinvented, relishing this rougher sound. Some of that distortion makes its way into the final mix: an incandescent crackle that had receded from the Besnards' more recent output.

                                                                                                                                                                            Rightly - nay, definitively! - The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a double LP. "Near Death" is the title of the first side. "Death," "After Death," and "Life" follow next. It's literally a journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of the Besnard Lakes' own odyssey but also a remembrance of others', especially the death of Lasek's father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can go on: in Lasek's father's case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about "a window" on his blanket, with "a carpenter inside, making intricate objects." That experience pervades the album, catching fire on the song "Christmas Can Wait"; elsewhere the band pays tribute to the late Mark Hollis and, on "The Father of Time Wakes Up," they mourn the death of Prince.

                                                                                                                                                                            In these scorched and pitted times, as the world smoulders, there might be nothing less trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again, there might be nothing we need more. ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a bright-blazing requiem: nine tunes that are one tune and six musicians who make one band - unleashed and unconstrained, piercing and technicolour. At the end of the golden day, the Besnard Lakes are right where they should be.

                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: 'Are The Last...' has all of the haunting Besnard Lakes atmospherics with a more direct bombastic stadium approach, cavernous echo and rolling basses below the wonderfully acrobatic vocal performances. As ever, it's quintessentially THEM, and sounding better than ever.

                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Blackstrap
                                                                                                                                                                            2. Raindrops
                                                                                                                                                                            3. Christmas Can Wait
                                                                                                                                                                            4. Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again
                                                                                                                                                                            5. Feuds With Guns
                                                                                                                                                                            6. The Dark Side Of Paradise
                                                                                                                                                                            7. New Revolution
                                                                                                                                                                            8. The Father Of Time Wakes Up
                                                                                                                                                                            9. Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings

                                                                                                                                                                            Jim Ghedi

                                                                                                                                                                            In The Furrows Of Common Place

                                                                                                                                                                              “Instead of landscape sketches I wanted to go into more personal areas of my reality,” says Jim Ghedi of his third album In The Furrows Of Common Place. “To hold up certain aspects of society that were laying bare in front of me.”

                                                                                                                                                                              Whilst Ghedi’s previous idiosyncratic take on folk has often been instrumental, exploring the natural world and his relationship to it through his music as seen on 2018's A Hymn For Ancient Land. His new album In The Furrow Of Common Place is a deeper plunge inside himself to offer up more of his voice to accompany his profoundly unique and moving compositions. “There were things I was seeing around me and being affected by in my daily life,” he says. “Socially and politically I saw defiance but also hopelessness. I wanted to be honest with the frustration and turmoil I was experiencing.”

                                                                                                                                                                              The decision to include more of Ghedi’s vocals was a conscious one and driven by a need to say something. However, this isn’t a brash raging political polemic. As is now customary with Ghedi’s work, it is rich in nuance, history, poetry and allegory. Musically, the album is equally locked into this ongoing sense of evolution. Ghedi’s intricate yet deft guitar playing still twists and flows its way through the core, weaving in and out of gliding double bass, sweeping violin, gentle percussion and vocals that shift from tender solos to overlapping harmonies.

                                                                                                                                                                              As with much of Ghedi’s work, there’s a rich connection between the past and the current. Musically, he continues to sit in a singular position of sounding distinctly contemporary yet also with a touch of traditional flair. This expands itself into the lyrical terrain here too. “I've been exploring contemporary issues and in that process discovering sources that correlate with similar issues in the past,” he says. “Which proves that these issues throughout history - environmental destruction, working class poverty etc - are ongoing.”

                                                                                                                                                                              For all the socio-political and historical backdrop to the record it is not one that feels overwhelmed by it. Much like Ghedi’s work when it was largely instrumental - and some of it still is here - it flows and unfurls thoughtfully, with space still being utilised masterfully, creating room to pause and reflect. It’s another inimitable record from an artist that truly sounds like nobody else right now. 


                                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                              Barry says: An intoxicating mix of traditional folk, hazy psychedelia and classic rock progressions all enriched with Ghedi's distinctive vocal affectations. It's a heady and transportive affair, and one that will reward richly on repeated listens. Gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Common Thread
                                                                                                                                                                              2. The Lamentations Of Round Oak Waters
                                                                                                                                                                              3. Mytholm
                                                                                                                                                                              4. Stolen Ground
                                                                                                                                                                              5. Ah Cud Hew
                                                                                                                                                                              6. Beneath The Willow
                                                                                                                                                                              7. Beneath The Willow Part II
                                                                                                                                                                              8. Son David

                                                                                                                                                                              Black Honey

                                                                                                                                                                              Written & Directed By

                                                                                                                                                                                ‘Written & Directed’ is Black Honey’s second album. It follows their outstanding self-titled debut released back in 2018 when the world that surrounded the Brighton fourpiece looked and felt like a very different place. Black Honey however are still the bad-ass, truly original band they have always been, they’ve just graduated from the intriguingly anomalous newcomers to becoming one of UK indie’s most singular outfits. They've travelled the world and released a Top 40 album; graced the cover of the NME and become the faces and soundtrack of Roberto Cavalli's Milan Fashion Week show; smashed Glastonbury and supported Queens of the Stone Age, all without compromising a shred of the wild, wicked vision they first set out with.

                                                                                                                                                                                It's now time for the next instalment of their story – ‘Written & Directed” – which see’s Black Honey deliver one, very singular, message – a 10 track mission statement that aims to unashamedly plant a flag in the ground for strong, world-conquering women. For fierce frontwoman and album protagonist Izzy B. Phillips – it’s the most important message she could send to inspire her cult-like fanbase and fill the female-shaped gap that she felt so acutely when she was growing up and discovering rock music for the first time.

                                                                                                                                                                                Written throughout 2019 and recorded in fits and spurts between touring, ‘Written & Directed’ is drenched with a hedonistic, anything-goes attitude. It’s also the most full-throttle collection of music that Black Honey have ever-written – egged-on by their run of shows supporting long-term friends and collaborators Royal Blood. Exploring everything from womanhood, to identity and power, it’s an album that revels in the rich history of pop culture, throws a wink to its rock-and-roll heroes, but ultimately (and in true Black Honey fashion) it stands on its own two feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                With a typically hyper-visual world referencing grindhouse cinema, kitschy pulp films and a flip-reverse of female cinematic representation all primed to unfurl and explode around them, 'Written & Directed' is the sound of Black Honey strapping in and saddling up, of harnessing their quirks, and, as the Phillips has always hoped, riding them joyously into the sunset.


                                                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                Barry says: Black Honey return, bringing more of their scathing guitars and pummeling rhythms, pitch-perfect vocals and psychedelic grooves. A superbly singable and dynamic coalition of energy and politicism in one hugely enjoyable package.

                                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I Like The Way You Die
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Run For Cover
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Beaches
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Back Of The Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Believer
                                                                                                                                                                                6. I Do It To Myself
                                                                                                                                                                                7. Disinfect
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Summer '92
                                                                                                                                                                                9. Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                10. Gabrielle

                                                                                                                                                                                Buck Meek

                                                                                                                                                                                Two Saviors

                                                                                                                                                                                  Big Thief’s Buck Meek announces his new solo album, Two Saviors, out January 15th on Keeled Scales. While his last album, 2018’s Buck Meek, is a yarn of blue-collar fairy tales and character driven narratives, Two Saviors emerges as a cathartic, naked confession of heartbreak, resiliency, and enchantment. The first word on Two Saviors is “pareidolia.” It is a word about recognising shapes where none were intended to exist - like searching for images in the clouds. It’s an uncommon word, with a beautiful sound, and serves as an apt guide through these new songs of Buck’s, which are themselves uncommon and beautiful, and which invite a deep, cloud-gaze state of attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Two Saviors was recorded by producer and engineer Andrew Sarlo (who produced the first four Big Thief LPs), under his specific conditions: they make the album in New Orleans, during the hottest part of the year, spend no more than 7 days tracking, all live, on an 8-track tape machine with only dynamic microphones, and no headphones, not allowing the players to hear back any takes until the final day. The band, featuring Adam Brisbin (guitar), Mat Davidson (bass, pedal steel, fiddle), Austin Vaughn (drums), and Buck’s brother Dylan Meek (piano, organ), set up in a Victorian house one block from the Mississippi River and worked within these limitations, encouraging every recording to be imbued with the living, intuitive, and human energy of a first take.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The rituals that led towards these songs are ones of pain and healing; the power felt through the songs lies in the fact that the pain is never plainly stated, never a note of anguish or resentment, no complaints about the feeling of pain. Pain is not weaponised on this record, but cared for, nurtured, and the songs become meditations on the reality of pain, conducted without resistance.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Although the song’s narrator runs into several roadblocks in 'Second Sight' - like a pool spiked with turpentine - the chorus is uplifting, with sprightly guitar and upbeat lyrics: “I work for free // because love is all I need // yes I work for free // and love is all I need.” “The value in our world is built by the labour of love - a currency that accrues no debt, enriching both the giver and receiver,” says Buck. “This wealth provides the vitality needed to lift a hammer, to raise a roof, and to lay upon the eaves in silent awe of nature and civilization and the culmination of universal effort. Magic (the left hand of love?) arises from attention, and is accessible to all without prejudice. A creation from nothing, from some uncaused cause, some eternal unmoved mover."

                                                                                                                                                                                  The songs on this album shine with this wisdom and are not ostentatious about it. This is true to Buck’s nature. He is recording life, consciously and unconsciously on a broad spectrum of planes. A new album from him is a gift, a chance to wonder about ways we could be seeing, recording.

                                                                                                                                                                                  “At its core, Buck Meek feels like a country record, and not just because Meek’s native Texan twang stands at the forefront of every tune. The album has a mischievous spirit like the celebrated self-titled LP from cult-hit country star Willis Alan Ramsey.” Pitchfork // “Writing these songs was a process of creating talismans - little prayers and visions from within the constant flux of pain, healing, and discovery - that I could return to for perspective, and share with those in need.” Buck Meek.

                                                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                  Barry says: A collection of beautifully brittle ballads and Americana-tinged anthems beautifully conceived and delivered with the assured confidence of an artist at the peak of their skills. A beautiful outing for the increasingly essential Keeled Scales.

                                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                  Pareidolia
                                                                                                                                                                                  Candle
                                                                                                                                                                                  Second Sight
                                                                                                                                                                                  Two Saviors
                                                                                                                                                                                  Two Moons
                                                                                                                                                                                  Dream Daughter
                                                                                                                                                                                  Ham On White
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cannonball! Pt. 2
                                                                                                                                                                                  Two Moons (morning)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Pocketknife
                                                                                                                                                                                  Halo Light

                                                                                                                                                                                  Michael Price

                                                                                                                                                                                  Eternal Beauty - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                                                                                                                                                                                    Michael Price, one of the UK’s most sought after composers (Unforgotten, Sherlock, Dracula), releases the original soundtrack from director Craig Roberts’ (Submarine, Just Jim) latest feature Eternal Beauty, starring Sally Hawkins.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Eternal Beauty soundtrack will be released on vinyl as the 73rd Dinked Edition, exclusive to the Dinked network of the UK’s best independent record shops.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The 16 track Première edition LP - exclusive to the Dinked network - is a limited edition on blue vinyl with multi-colour splatter and includes a signed and numbered print.

                                                                                                                                                                                    It becomes available to pre-order from October 2nd, coinciding with the cinema release and on demand première of the film. It will also be available exclusively on Bandcamp from the same date, before arriving on all other digital platforms in November.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Recorded and mixed by Andrew Dudman at Abbey Road Studios and The Control Room.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Mastered by Oli Morgan at Abbey Road Mastering.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Price’s score, as his so often do, serves as a narrator, a character helping to guide us through the true highs and lows of Jane’s (Sally Hawkins) rarely uneventful life. Price’s signature sweeping strings, underpinned by piano and a beautifully restrained use of sound design ensures that whilst the score drives the story forwards it never distracts from that which is unfolding before our eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “A soundtrack that provides the rocket fuel for a story that unzips our understanding of ’normal’ " Adrian Bates, Eternal Beauty Producer

                                                                                                                                                                                    When Jane (Sally Hawkins) is dumped at the altar she has a breakdown and spirals into a chaotic world, where love (both real and imagined) and family relationships collide with touching and humorous consequences.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The reality we see through Jane’s eyes is vividly different, heightened in the film by the stylized palette, camera work and intoxicating score - a reality that the film celebrates and treats with dignity, humour and affection.

                                                                                                                                                                                    On writing the music, Michael Price explains:

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Finding a musical voice for Jane was a little daunting at first. Craig Roberts' kaleidoscopic writing, and Sally Hawkins' blazing performance seemed to fill so much of the air around me, that the first few notes to emerge were tiny and bird-like. In fact, there is literally bird-song, an Irish nightingale, that stayed in the score, early in the film when Jane sits and feeds the pigeons in the park. That became a key to unlocking Jane's interior world, as did using snippets of her vocalisations, which became percussion instruments and stretched into more ambient pads. Once I had opened the door to her world, though, the music came tumbling out - rich, romantic, delicate and tender, and sometimes terrifying. All of it brought into life by the writing and performance, and the opportunity to celebrate Jane's "superpower", as Craig described it.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    Shot in and around writer/director Craig Robert’s native South Wales, the inspiration for the character of Jane at the heart of Eternal Beauty came from people Craig was close to when growing up. He explains “The character came fully formed. I just kind of knew those people, to be honest.

                                                                                                                                                                                    On the recording, Michael Price recalls:

                                                                                                                                                                                    When we finally recorded the orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, I was touched to see that Craig had brought some of his family down to listen too. I think this is an incredibly personal film for him, and there was something about hearing the orchestra sounding majestic and noble, which seemed as if we had done musical justice to both the characters, and the people who had inspired their creation."


                                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: There's something inherently soundtracky about Michael Price's work for the decidedly soundtracky Erased Tapes records, so it's no giant surprise that this soundtrack of his for Craig Roberts' 'Eternal Beauty'. It's the perfect score, and displays wonderfully how talented a composer Price is.

                                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                    Side A
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. A Walk And A Wedding
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Eternal Beauty
                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Different Dose
                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Where Have You Been
                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Cannibals
                                                                                                                                                                                    6. Beauty Pageant
                                                                                                                                                                                    7. Marry Me

                                                                                                                                                                                    Side B
                                                                                                                                                                                    8. Pot Plant
                                                                                                                                                                                    9. Unpacking
                                                                                                                                                                                    10. Making You Better
                                                                                                                                                                                    11. The Other Side
                                                                                                                                                                                    12. Towards The Light
                                                                                                                                                                                    13. Time To Go
                                                                                                                                                                                    14. More Friends Than You
                                                                                                                                                                                    15. Nice Or Really Nice?
                                                                                                                                                                                    16. The End

                                                                                                                                                                                    Anna B Savage

                                                                                                                                                                                    A Common Turn

                                                                                                                                                                                      City Slang is thrilled to announce the debut album of London based singer-songwriter Anna B Savage! Her 2015 EP was deeply intriguing and quickly drew the attention of Father John Misty and later Jenny Hval, both of whom brought Savage out on European tours.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Anna B Savage’s first full-length record ‘A Common Turn’ is question mark music. Her songs are heavy with unanswered queries, with dilemmas and insecurities, or often just with wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Savage’s voice is endlessly warm, but producer William Doyle (East India Youth) consistently finds the iron in it. Even the darkest moments in this music don’t stick in their devastation, though – Savage’s fire burns too brightly. Her voice can drop to a whisper, but then it will open all the way up in a flash flood of cavernous guitar, echoes, and swelling strings that expand and then vanish just as suddenly as they arrived.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Savage’s music is deeply vulnerable, without being submissive. She lays claim to her own fragility, and the stories she tells are of taking up space, finding connections, and owning the power in not knowing all the answers. Hers are songs for anyone who thinks hard, feels deeply, and asks big questions.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Produced by William Doyle (East India Youth), ‘A Common Turn’ presents us a nest of fully-formed and room-filling artistry.


                                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                      Side A
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. A Steady Warmth
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Corncrakes
                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Dead Pursuits
                                                                                                                                                                                      4. BedStuy
                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Baby Grand
                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Two

                                                                                                                                                                                      Side B
                                                                                                                                                                                      7. A Common Tern
                                                                                                                                                                                      8. Chelsea Hotel #3
                                                                                                                                                                                      9. Hotel
                                                                                                                                                                                      10. One

                                                                                                                                                                                      Rats On Rafts

                                                                                                                                                                                      Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths

                                                                                                                                                                                        The third album from Dutch punk-laced noiseniks adds new maturity and a conceptual feel that pulls the extremes of their sound together. A psychefuelled journey into the id punctuated with rhythmic kabuki modal mood swings, thunderstorms, digital beeps, traffic noise, and just plain old beautiful cacophonous reverb-drenched sound when needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The ‘third chapter’ refers to the last five years that the Dutch band have spent creating their “difficult” third album. Each song spins a yarn; there are plagues, dreams, wind and fire, ‘mythical’ characters, and the search for the secret government warehouse. Lead single, Tokyo Music Experience, resonates with a conveyor belt-propelled modal guitar, reflecting the halcyon days of Japanese super-productivity; a mesmerising mantra, infected with news bulletin on-thehour bleeps underlining its time-sensitive nature; a pristine super-commercial anthem to drive loyalty and reinforce solidarity with the party!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Having been described as creating “underground noise with a bracing, warped pop appeal” (Mojo), their new album is a coming-of-age post-classic with a unique worldview - inspired by Van Dyke Parks (Song Cycle) Scott Walker (3 & 4), Moondog (Elpmas), White Noise (An Electric Storm) and Beach Boys (Smile).

                                                                                                                                                                                        If their previous effort (Tape Hiss) was their very own sketch of a sketch for an incomplete concept album, a noisy reaction to their previous life, then ‘Excerpts From Chapter 3..’, with all its interlaced intricacies, is the realisation of their transition from punk-spiked-pop to psyche-pop protagonists. Evolving, testing, infectious...

                                                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: This wild and superb outing from Rats On Rafts shows that the bands playful spirit and whimsical melodies don't have to give way when things get serious. A brilliantly deep and eminently enjoyable third outing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Prologue: Rain
                                                                                                                                                                                        2 A Trail Of Wind And Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Second Born Child
                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Tokyo Music Experience
                                                                                                                                                                                        5 The Rise And Fall Of The Plague
                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Another Year

                                                                                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Fragments
                                                                                                                                                                                        8 The Disappearance Of Dr. Duplicate
                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Excerpt Taken From Chapter 3
                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Where Is My Dream?
                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Part One: The Long Drought
                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Part Two: Crossing The Desert
                                                                                                                                                                                        13 Epilogue: Big Poisonous Shadows

                                                                                                                                                                                        Bonus Dinked Edition 7":
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tokyo Music Experience (Single Edit)
                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Osaka

                                                                                                                                                                                        Kelley Stoltz

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah!(etc)

                                                                                                                                                                                          “I was guzzling wine at my favorite bar in San Francisco, the Rite Spot, and the entertainment that night was some local opera singers singing along with a big video screen showing a collage of various operatic moments with subtitles. One particular subtitle, ‘Ah!-(etc)’ made me laugh, I thought it was a perfect description of life - the joy of existence against the etcetera of it all, the struggle. With a heavy head of rose’ it seemed like ecstatic poetry! I scribbled it on a napkin and thought it might make a good title for something” And so the mystery behind the title of Kelley Stoltz new record is solved. Less of a mystery is the quality contained therein… after 12 self-titled releases and a several more under pseudonyms, Stoltz is the word for “one-man-band-home-recording-pop-songs of idiosyncratic character.” A quick follow up to his more power pop and pub rock LP only “Hard Feelings” offering in the summer, “Ah-(etc)” finds Stoltz returning to his sweet spot, writing songs that never were, but should have been in the 60’s and 80’s.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As with other LPs Stoltz makes virtually every noise on the album which was written and recorded in 2019 at his Electric Duck Studio in. San Francisco. A few friends popped in to play along… Stoltz former bandmate, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant adds electric guitar to “The Quiet Ones” a sort of Scott Walker lyrical take on strangers and neighbors. Karina Denike formerly of Dance Hall Crashers adds gorgeous vocals on the bossanova groover “Moon Shy”, where Sergeant pops up again in a spoken word role on the outro. Allyson Baker of SF’s Dirty Ghosts sings on “She Like Noise”, a song Stoltz wrote for her in celebration of her love of seeing live bands.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The album was mastered by Mikey Young in Australia, Tour dates scheduled for summer 2021.


                                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Kelley Stoltz returns for his newest 'Ah! etc', brimming with the clever riffs and latent sunshine psychedelia we've come to expect. It's a refreshing and beautifully accomplished LP, and will certainly go on to reveal many layers with each subsequent listen. Gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                          SIDE A
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Team Earth
                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The Quiet Ones
                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Never Change Enough
                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Dodged A Bullet
                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Cold

                                                                                                                                                                                          SIDE B
                                                                                                                                                                                          6. She Likes Noise
                                                                                                                                                                                          7. Some Other Time
                                                                                                                                                                                          8. Moon Shy
                                                                                                                                                                                          9. Darkness Too
                                                                                                                                                                                          10. Chasing The Light
                                                                                                                                                                                          11. Tomorrow
                                                                                                                                                                                          12. Having Fun

                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinked Edition Bonus 12” EP
                                                                                                                                                                                          A:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Gift Of Days
                                                                                                                                                                                          Peace Together
                                                                                                                                                                                          B:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Pictures Of Me
                                                                                                                                                                                          Casio Life

                                                                                                                                                                                          AK/DK

                                                                                                                                                                                          Shared Particles

                                                                                                                                                                                            Even when artists say they they’ve discovered who they are on their latest record, it doesn’t really work that way. You never stop striving to discover more about yourself - that’s just being human; and it’s something that two-headed electronic rock party outfit AK/DK understand. As Ed Chivers and Graham Sowerby announce the release of their third album Shared Particles, it’s what makes the dual drums and synth pairing such an exciting prospect.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Shared Particles propels itself relentlessly forwards, thrusting onwards in pursuit of a finish point that may never come. The two-piece have always loved the motorik of the 70’s like Kraftwerk and Can, bands that revelled in the journey as much as the destination. They also describe themselves as “like a chunkier Devo” – and, yes, there’s a warmth to the textures of their music from the modular synths and other self-built pedals in their set up, while there’s a driving rhythmic constancy too.

                                                                                                                                                                                            AK/DK aren’t re-imagining the past though; tracks like opener Feeds or the bouncy hooks of Data Beach are a dive forwards, with dirty synths whirring around percussion that threatens to punch itself out of the speakers. Or there’s the title track, more frenetic still in its squalling feedback and breakneck pace, the duo setting it towards orbit with a hefty dollop of mind-melting psychedelia. As anyone who’s seen their high-octane live show might suspect, the challenge for Chivers and Sowerby is squeezing all of that sweat-drenched energy of a packed club onto record.

                                                                                                                                                                                            “We really wanted to combine the two elements of the band on this record, both live improvisations and more studio based songwriting” they explain. “What we really miss in the studio is the live audience and we’ve definitely tried to capture the spirit of our stage shows and the ebb and flow of the energy in the room, whilst still putting together songs and ideas.” Sure enough, while AK/DK’s way of working is initially to build up ideas through improvised jams until there’s a structure to build on, the twelve tracks here are more refined than just tripped-out wigouts. The band’s ear for a melody has grown only growing stronger, the likes of Wait and Return to Zero filled with subtle hooks that leave themselves in the mind long after the music’s departed. The queasy, distorting Casio Beguine, meanwhile, is an example of the pair’s newfound restraint.

                                                                                                                                                                                            “We’re always trying to capture the different sides of our sounds and influences so we end up with a slight smorgasbord of tracks,” they say. “Some are strictly electronic, others are more disco, and some kosmische-style builders. For us it's all about tension and release, playing with the hypnotic loops and synths.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            It’s fair to say AK/DK’s own horizons have broadened vastly since the groove-laden krautrock disco of 2017’s Patterns/Harmonics. There’ve been festival slots at the likes of Bluedot and End of the Road, ever-increasingly-sized rooms to play on tour and - appropriately for a band started as a “a sonic-art act” - cross-theatre shows, including a set as part of ‘Party Skills For The End of The World’ at Manchester International Festival 2017; as well as making their own audio-visual show ‘The Sleeper Awakes’ at Shoreditch Townhall.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps most impactful though was a cultural exchange that saw AK/DK put together some of Shared Particles in Belém, Brasil. “We played festival shows over there and in Argentina and managed to spend a week in the studio; working on our own stuff but also playing with local musicians” they say. “It was an unbelievable experience. We collaborated with artists using their audio samples of local indigenous tribes and live VJs using their own Amazonian-inspired visuals.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thematically AK/DK are sprawling, although the vocals that do drift over their songs aren’t explicit. Nevertheless, writing the record was done amidst thoughts of how the internet and social media can unite and divide society, and how political forces have been able to manipulate these tools. You could perhaps point to Defragment To Survive’s title as a summary of the record’s lyrics, inspired as it is by the idea that our minds have become more robotic and computer-like - and that they need to be defragmented, like you would a hard drive on your laptop.

                                                                                                                                                                                            “Really, though, our message is one of togetherness and unity,” they say. “It’s quite a strong political message in itself when people come together for music.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ultimately it’s that message that holds the band and their music together. As the name Shared Particles suggests, we are all as one living together, and this is music that could’ve found a home everywhere from rave and free party scene to the punk community. AK/DK’s initial ethos was to break down the invisible screen between stage and audience. They’ve always tried to capture that on record, and this is the closest they’ve come... so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: With all the percussive thrust of the famously drummy Ty Segall, AK/DK unveil their blistering new outing, 'Shared Particles'. We get thumping drums and shifting micro-arpeggios all joined by a frantic core of 8bit blips and perfect harmonised vox. Ace.

                                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                            1.Feeds
                                                                                                                                                                                            2.Wait…
                                                                                                                                                                                            3.Shared Particles
                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Return To Zero
                                                                                                                                                                                            5. Data Beach
                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Casio Beguine
                                                                                                                                                                                            7. Kosmische #1
                                                                                                                                                                                            8. Heliotrap
                                                                                                                                                                                            9. Hot Mist
                                                                                                                                                                                            10. Astroturf
                                                                                                                                                                                            12. Defragment To Survive
                                                                                                                                                                                            13. Draggin'

                                                                                                                                                                                            Being the humble guys that they are, Surprise Chef aren't going to admit they have something very special going down. However, there must be some magic in their studio, or maybe in the fact they all share a house and have formed close bonds, or perhaps from absorbing the DIY ethos of running their own record label that has culminated in such a unique and enchanting sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                            'Daylight Savings' is the follow-up to the group's debut album 'All News Is Good News’. That album earned the band a much-deserved following across the world and triumphantly marked their arrival onto the international stage. Their new album was recorded in Spring 2019, almost exactly a year after they recorded ‘All News Is Good News’. It was the weekend that daylight savings time started in Australia, and the studio was filled with the smell of the towering Jasmine bush on the exterior back wall of the house. The record is subsequently filled with the optimism that comes with the impending warmer months and longer days in Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Recorded in their own home studio in Melbourne, the production approach for 'Daylight Savings' is a big step up from their debut. Engineer, Henry Jenkins, created enormous-sounding space within this record, using a great deal of creative analogue recording techniques and working in an expansive recording environment. The results are a sound that emulates the massiveness of the late-60s Capitol Records.

                                                                                                                                                                                            ‘Daylight Savings' was written collaboratively by the whole band and features the core Surprise Chef rhythm section. It expands upon where their debut left off with a leaning more towards 70's jazzfunk than soul and a stronger focus on the rhythm section. There’s the epic drama, ebbs and flows of a vintage David Axelrod or Alain Goraguer cinematic production, plus the influence of El Michels Affair and Melbourne bands Karate Boogaloo and The Putbacks, yet it still sounds uniquely Surprise Chef. You get a sense of that rare attribute of being both a contemporary band and a band you expect it won't be too long before other producers start sampling them.


                                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Sunny Melbourne soulsters Surprise Chef return for another LP of sunshine groove and jazzed out instrumentals. Toeing the line expertly between frenetic, percussive mayhem and Khruangbin-esque downbeat business, they have crafted a uniquely innovative and sun-dappled sound. Another perfect pick-me-up.

                                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. College Welcome
                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Deadlines 
                                                                                                                                                                                            3. New Ferrari
                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Washing Day
                                                                                                                                                                                            5. College Welcomes Carl
                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Sick Day
                                                                                                                                                                                            7. Daylight Savings
                                                                                                                                                                                            8. Dinner Time
                                                                                                                                                                                            9. Leave It, Don Take It
                                                                                                                                                                                            10. The Limp

                                                                                                                                                                                            Luke Abbott

                                                                                                                                                                                            Translate

                                                                                                                                                                                              'Translate' is the first solo artist album in six years from Norfolk synthesizer specialist Luke Abbott: a strikingly direct and assured return to the solo music-making game following a productive diversion into live improvisation with his experimental jazz trio Szun Waves.

                                                                                                                                                                                              At times dark and ominous, others bright and welcoming, these eleven electronic vignettes form a dramatic and undeniably cinematic body of work which functions as a fitting widescreen soundtrack to our new now.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The lumbering rhythms, strident synths and distinctive touchstones of 'Translate' represent a musical reconciliation with the directness of the wave-making rolling synth-kraut of Abbott’s forthright debut 'Holkham Drones'.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Newly-reinvigorated and with a new sense of musical purpose, this is Luke Abbott’s sound fully realised and never so sure of itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                              Barry says: 'Holkham Drones' was one of my favourite albums for many a year, and still gets a good playing nowadays but nothing has come close to the mind-melting electronic bliss-blanket of 'Translate'. Perfectly split between hypnotic electronic counterpoints and synthy, IDM levity.

                                                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Kagen Sound
                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Our Scene
                                                                                                                                                                                              3) Flux
                                                                                                                                                                                              4) Ames Window
                                                                                                                                                                                              5) Roses
                                                                                                                                                                                              6) Earthship
                                                                                                                                                                                              7) Living Dust
                                                                                                                                                                                              8) River Flow
                                                                                                                                                                                              9) Feed Me Shapes
                                                                                                                                                                                              10) Luna
                                                                                                                                                                                              11) August Prism

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Phoenix Foundation

                                                                                                                                                                                              Friend Ship

                                                                                                                                                                                                The Phoenix Foundation have lived many lives. From high school distortion addicts to indie folk trippers to masters of motorik dream pop. It’s been five years since their last album, Give Up Your Dreams, but that downtime has been well spent. The New Zealand outfit have been writing, recording, touring with a Symphony Orchestra, creating the acclaimed soundtrack for Taika Waititi's Hunt For The Wilderpeople, building shrines to light, creating scores for VR, producing other bands and, that most lockdown-friendly activity, baking sourdough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Slowly, when they could, the six old friends found time to work together in studios, garages, forests, and sheds to put together the concise ten song set of that is Friend Ship. “We took such a long break after Give Up Your Dreams that when we did decide to make a new record we all felt it needed to be in some esoteric sense different,” says co-lead singer Samuel Flynn Scott. “To me that meant returning to something more focused. Honing in on the songs before we went deep into the arrangements and freaky sounds.” And the results reflect this approach too. Whilst Friend Ship, as you would expect, weaves seamlessly between dreamy introspective pop, stretched out grooves and psychedelic rock, it also exists as a collection of masterfully crafted songs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Friend Ship features vocals from Nadia Reid, Tiny Ruins’ Hollie Fullbrook and Anita Clark aka Motte plus sumptuous string arrangements performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.


                                                                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                Barry says: Phoenix Foundation present a widescreen look at the blurred peripheries between dream pop, synthwave and good old fashioned indie music here with their latest outing, Friend Ship'. Beautifully smooth, soaringly melodic and deeply comforting, The Phoenix Foundation have done it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Guru
                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Miserable Meal (with The NZSO)
                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Hounds Of Hell (with Nadia Reid)
                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Decision Dollars (with Hollie Fullbrook)
                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Transit Of Venus (with The NZSO)
                                                                                                                                                                                                6. Tranquility (with Hollie Fullbrook)
                                                                                                                                                                                                7. Landline
                                                                                                                                                                                                8. Former Glory (with Anita Clark)
                                                                                                                                                                                                9. My Kitchen Rules
                                                                                                                                                                                                10. Trem Sketch

                                                                                                                                                                                                Frankie And The Witch Fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bubbling up from the psychedelic tar pits of L.A., Frankie and the Witch Fingers have been a constant source of primordial groove for the better part of the last decade. Formed and incubated in Bloomington, IN before moving west to scrap with Los Angeles’ garage rock rabble, the band evolved from cavern-clawed echo merchants to architects of prog-infected psych epics that evoke a shift in reality. After a stretch on Chicago/LA flagship Permanent Records the band landed at yet another fabled enclave of garage and psychedelia - Brooklyn’s Greenway Records, now working in tandem with psych powerhouse LEVITATION and their label The Reverberation Appreciation Society, the groups latest effort is dually supported by a RAS / Greenway co-release.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  After years of searching for the specific alchemy that would tear open the cosmos, they found the formula with the addition of Shaughnessy Starr on drums in the summer of 2018. They began a new cycle and tripped into tip-on double gatefold territory, flesh-ing out their lysergic impulses into a monolith of sound that closes in from all sides. The band reached new levels of grandiosity and utilized every minute to manifest their psych-soul Sabbath in four dimensions, spilling psychic blood on a populace ready and eagerly waiting. Yet, as expansive, inventive, and immersive as any studio album might be, the band is born for the stage. As their live prowess caught the ears of some legends in their own right, the band practically lived on the road last year with stints opening for Oh Sees, Cheap Trick and ZZ Top. Along the way the constant pulpit of the stage would form ZAM into a transformative experience while plotting their next permutation of space and time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That transformation, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters... (repeated infinitely,) rises like a Phoenix from the road tar, van exhaust, and ozone crackle of amps in heat. Once off the road it was recorded in just five blistering days. Though, while the tour may have hammered the album into shape and brought about a wind of change, those changes stretched to the band itself as well. In the wake of the tour the band’s longtime bassist Alex Bulli made his exit, with the majority of bass parts on the album being written and played by multiinstrumental magician Josh Menashe with occasional pitch in from songwriter Dylan Sizemore. Stripped to their core the band has created their most ambitious work to date, an album that takes the turbulence of ZAM and crafts it into a beast more insidious and singular than anything in their catalog. Moving forward, the band has taken on new blood. Completing their lineup, Nikki Pickle (of Death Valley Girls) will join them working the new album out roadside on bass. A new horizon of Frankie and the Witch Fingers draws near and we’re all set to follow them into the unknown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                  SIDE A
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Activate
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Reaper
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Sweet Freak
                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Where's Your Reality?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Michaeldose

                                                                                                                                                                                                  SIDE B
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Can You Hear Me Now?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Simulator
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Urge You
                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Cavehead
                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. MEPEM...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Richard Norris

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Elements

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hypnotic sequences, majestic drones and deep listening ambience collide on a new album from Richard Norris entitled ‘Elements’.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The five long tracks use warm, pulsing electronics and washes of synthesiser to create an evocative and widescreen sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Electronic Sound magazine called Richard “the electronic musician’s electronic musician’, whilst Time Out New York referred to him as an ‘unhinged sonic magician’ He has a deep and broad history spanning decades of electronic culture, which serves him well on ‘Elements’.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    His background includes working alongside Soft Cell’s Dave Ball in the Grid, alongside Erol Alkan in Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, and collaborating and mixing countless artists including Brian Eno, Sun Ra, Robert Fripp, Warpaint, Tame Impala, Joe Strummer, Yello and many more. He has also recently released two deep listening ambient albums entitled ‘Abstractions’ on the Group Mind label, as well as a series of weekly 20 minute pieces called ‘Music For Healing’ during lockdown.


                                                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: Now THIS is exactly up my street. Slowly morphing arpeggios and modulated filters work their way around a solid rhythmic backbone, bringing to mind some of the early pioneers of Kosmische synthesis, or more recently, Panabrite. Beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Earth
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Air
                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Space

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Wytches

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Three Mile Ditch

                                                                                                                                                                                                      “This is the first thing that I've ever been proud of for longer than a week,” says The Wytches frontman Kristian Bell of the band’s latest album Three Mile Ditch. This sense of vigour and enthusiasm coming from Bell about the band’s third album is matched by its contents. The album is an explosive collection of 10 tracks that weaves seamlessly between gut-wobbling monster riffs, swampy rock, slick surf, and finely tuned songcraft. It’s also the result of a band coming back from the brink of collapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The band’s early trajectory was a steep and speedy one as they quickly established themselves as one of the country’s most exciting and pulverising new bands. Major festival slots stacked up at places such as Glastonbury, SXSW, Reading and Leeds, and British Summertime with the Strokes. As did the tours across the US with METZ, traversing Europe with Fat White Family and Death Grips. They garnered support from BBC 6 Music, DIY, MOJO, NME and more. However, when the ascent to the stratosphere is moving at such a speed, there’s a risk of burning out and imploding, and the band came close to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They were on the rocks for a while, unsure of themselves and if the band should - or even could - go on. “I had it in my head that this kind of thing only really happens once and to try it again might be a big waste of time,” Bell reflects. However, despite the difficulties, the powerful pull of the band was too great to ignore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      “We had an album’s worth of songs that was some of our best material. The mission became to complete a Wytches album rather than get The Wytches back on the touring circuit. This album helped us make the decision to try it again.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whilst the album is bursting at the seams with hard rock screamers, with hooks and riffs so infectious they burrow deep into the brain, there’s also other more nuanced elements at play. Bell’s love of classic songwriting from Bob Dylan to Elliott Smith via Big Star’s Alex Chilton can be heard reverberating throughout the record; the result is a blend between his honed and subtle knack for songcraft and crunchy, eruptive bursts of noise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A leaving member left them feeling they couldn’t face introducing a new drummer and teaching them all the new songs so they simply pounced on their momentum and took on that role themselves, sharing drumming duties. Joining the two, was a familiar face in Mark Breed. “It was the first time Mark was present for most of the recording sessions. Mark was our original bassist before we moved to Brighton. He decided to stay in Peterborough to focus on his own work and a few years later re-joined us on guitar and keyboard. He added a lot of depth to the song arrangements. Also, I think when he saw things were starting to fall apart, he stepped in to help bring back the band dynamic we were missing.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For Bell, the band has never felt more vital or alive and that’s come with a degree of confidence and assuredness when looking to the future. “Early on a few negative comments would be enough for me to disassociate from my own work. But you grow up and you mature. I never felt like I could stand behind what I was doing all that much but with this album I really can.”


                                                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cowboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Three Mile Ditch
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Midnight Ride
                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Fly Inside
                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. A Love You’ll Never Know
                                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Meat Chuck
                                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Everyone’s Friend
                                                                                                                                                                                                      8. White Cliffs
                                                                                                                                                                                                      9. Silver Trees
                                                                                                                                                                                                      10. You Looked Happy To Me

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tim Koh

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In Your Dreams

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In Your Dreams is Tim’s most straightforward and accessible release to date, and an exciting addition to his body of solo work, which hitherto can broadly be described as experimental noise. The poignant song collection tackles core themes of life’s calamities, broken love, and transitory relationships, yet counterbalances its essential melancholy with a whimsical, upbeat, and playful spirit throughout. While not strictly autobiographical, the songs draw from Tim’s recent personal experiences during his two-year isolation from friends and family, and create a compelling narrative of alienation, loss, and love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tim wrote In Your Dreams in Amsterdam, L.A., and London in-between his time touring with Ariel Pink, and subsequently recorded the songs at home in Amsterdam while recovering from a near-fatal 2018 accident. The recurring hospitalizations that Tim has endured in recent years subtly find their way into the album through phone recordings from Tim’s actual hospital stints, underscoring the album’s themes on this highly personal work. In Your Dreams deftly juxtaposes lush, densely layered sounds with stark simplicity through a series of quick turnarounds, creating the captivating feeling of tension and release that characterizes this remarkable song collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Guest musicians on In Your Dreams include Chris Cohen on guitar, and drum help from Jay Watson (Tame Impala, Gum) and Josh da Costa (CMON). Adding to the family feel of the album, longtime Ariel Pink and Tim Koh collaborator Jorge Elbrecht performed mixing duties along with mastering by Heba Kadry.


                                                                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                                                                                                        01 Fall Into Your Dream
                                                                                                                                                                                                        02 The Stomach
                                                                                                                                                                                                        03 Not Tonight
                                                                                                                                                                                                        04 The Passenger
                                                                                                                                                                                                        05 DNA Spray

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                                                                                                        06 Rational Anthem
                                                                                                                                                                                                        07 Please Don’t Go
                                                                                                                                                                                                        08 Everyday
                                                                                                                                                                                                        09 Covered With The Moss Of Time
                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Cherry Box



                                                                                                                                                                                                        Narratively, H.C. McEntire’s Eno Axis is about finding direction in the natural world, and following love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sonically, it’s an album shaped enormously by the atmosphere it was recorded in - the crew’s synergy and positivity, the proximity and presence of a band in a room playing with intention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Structurally, it’s a group of songs inspired by the colors and tones of open tunings, by the sacrality of space and instinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stylistically, it’s folk-rock leaning into its curious experimental side and moved by the spiritual rawness of classic soul and the simplicity of earnest pop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eno Axis feels like a confident and mature step forward from her debut album LIONHEART - in tone, arrangement, production, and spirit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: Eno Axis is an entrancing record in many ways, rich with the majesty of traditional Americana but with an experimental sensibility effecting everything from the timbres, chord patterns and song structure. Psychedelic, downbeat moments are contrasted with major key changed and spine-tinglingly optimistic turns. Gorgeous stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Side A
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Hands For The Harvest 4:17
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Footman's Coat 3:43
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 High Rise 4:49
                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 River's Jaw 4:34
                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 One Eye Open 2:12

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Side B
                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Final Bow 4:09
                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 True Meridian 3:34
                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Sunday Morning 1:41
                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Time, On Fire 3:07
                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Hoses Of The Holy 4:10

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Widowspeak

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plum

                                                                                                                                                                                                          With Plum, the songwriting partnership rooted in the creative rapport between bandleader Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas continues to expand on shared visions, delving deeper into what was always there: dusty guitars, ear-worm melodies, warm expansive arrangements. Each entry to their catalog has marked a subtle reimagining of Widowspeak’s sound, though perennial points of reference remain the same: 90's dream pop, 60's psych rock, a certain unshakeable Pacific-Northwestness. Speaking to the timeless feeling of each, the albums continue to be discovered well beyond their respective PR cycles, made beloved by new listeners through word of mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The band’s fifth album feels comfortable and lived-in: humble in structure, heavy on mood. Perhaps that came taking time off from the touring grind, instead working full-time jobs and settling into the rhythm of daily life in a small upstate New York town. Plum was recorded over a handful of weekends last winter by Sam Evian (Cass McCombs, Kazu Makino, Hannah Cohen) at his Flying Cloud studio in the Catskills, and was mixed by Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, Perfume Genius). In addition to Hamilton (vocals, guitar) and Thomas (guitars, bass, synth), it features instrumental contributions by Andy Weaver (drums), Michael Hess (piano), and Sam himself (bass, synth). Plum nestles into the band’s canon like it was always there, but with new textures coming to the fore, like the polyrhythmic pulse of "Amy" and "The Good Ones", or the watery, Terry Riley-influenced track "Jeanie".

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Plum navigates the spaces between the lesser emotions of modern life. Hamilton’s lyrics speak to the unique turmoil of anyone who creates as their work, who must somehow survive off such "fruits of their labor." Yet, Widowspeak have always made a bitter pill much easier to swallow. The majestic "Breadwinner", the luminous "Even True Love" – these songs here were made to be listened to, enjoyed. "Money" is particularly hypnotic, built around a repeating, cyclical motif that serves as both skeleton and body. "Will you get back what you put in?" Hamilton asks over an insistent guitar riff. The line is delivered with a knowingness that transcends its surface critiques of late-stage capitalism, asking both herself and the listener whether this is, in fact, the world we want to live in. Through Plum, Widowspeak have brought something into the world that seems to know its own worth, even as it wonders aloud about what is to come. What value and meaning do we assign ourselves, our time, and how do we spend it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Widowspeak mix the swooning, airy aspects of country with drifting melodic twists and a gorgeous, heady production aesthetic. A rewarding and heartening experience, exactly as you'd expect from such stellar talent, and a perfect fit for Captured Tracks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Plum
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The Good Ones
                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Money
                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Breadwinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Even True Love
                                                                                                                                                                                                          6. Amy
                                                                                                                                                                                                          7. Sure Thing
                                                                                                                                                                                                          8. Jeanie
                                                                                                                                                                                                          9. Y2K

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Girl Friday

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Androgynous Mary

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burning deep in Girl Friday's music is an unquenchable will to survive. The LA-based band don't blunt the impact of the themes they work through in their ferocious, knotty rock songs, but they don't let the more harrowing aspects of being alive and young in the 21st century daunt them, either. Dystopian shades of post-punk and noise rock abound alongside abundant optimism on Girl Friday’s arresting debut LP, Androgynous Mary. The world is a hellscape, but the four of them are in it together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            With bold, dramatic guitar lines and tightly wound vocal harmonies, Girl Friday - guitarist Vera Ellen, bassist Libby Hsieh, guitarist Sierra Scott, drummer Virginia Pettis - negotiate the stress and alienation of being sidelined by society. "Does the average man feel like he's on the outside?" goes the beginning of "Public Bodies," a wistful jangle-pop gem that shudders open into a snarling punk coda. Taking cues from boundary-pushers Sonic Youth, Girl Friday favor the rush of jarring turns over the safety of well-defined pop taxonomy. Looking to queer provocateurs like Placebo, they cherish the frisson of incongruous musical elements: "really dark, heavy things mashed up with quite beautiful things, whether that be a distorted guitar line and a sentimental vocal or vice versa," as Ellen puts it. That duality dovetails with the thematic friction running through the album, the alternating despair and hope that intertwine in the fight to survive as disenfranchised people in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Written during a year of personal struggle for all four band members, Androgynous Mary reflects the solace they took in each other -- as a band, but also as a microcommunity and a chosen family. On the record's final song, "I Hope Jason Is Happy," Girl Friday sing in unison: "My head is on your chest / In the end I'll be happy if you do your best / You've got to fight to keep your breath in this world." It's a testament to the power of their bond, and a gesture of solidarity with those listening. Alone, we suffer under the weight of everything designed to keep us down. Together, we stand a fighting chance. Girl Friday place their hope squarely on that chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: With all of the vim of punk rock, but with an instrumental sensibility far beyond the typical punk band, Girl Friday come roaring out of the gates with a ripping collection of ballads, both tender and rawkous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. This Is Not The Indie Rock I Signed Up For
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Amber's Knees: A Matter Of Concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Eaten Thing
                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Public Bodies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            5. What We Do It For
                                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Earthquake
                                                                                                                                                                                                            7. Clotting
                                                                                                                                                                                                            8. Gold Stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                            9. Favorite Friend
                                                                                                                                                                                                            10. I Hope Jason Is Happy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Little Kid

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Transfiguration Highway

                                                                                                                                                                                                              After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There, he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”(Matthew 17:2).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Based out of Toronto, Little Kid’s Kenny Boothby finds himself inspired by this idea of transfiguration - a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state. Far-ranging in both its sonic palette and its subject matter, the band’s forthcoming album, Transfiguration Highway is a record of unusual depth and clarity from a songwriter who has spent the better part of a decade honing his craft and a lifetime building the perspective his songs so deftly express. These are personal songs that look outward, that seek to tie together the bigness of the world and the smallness of the everyday with both subtlety and humility. For years Boothby and Little Kid have been quietly building a devoted following, but their Solitaire debut is a beautifully formed introduction to the wider world for an artist who will undoubtedly be recognized as a uniquely gifted songwriting voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Operating since 2011, and now joined by Megan Lunn (banjo, keys, vocals), Paul Vroom (bass & vocals), Liam Cole (drums) and Brodie Germain (drums, guitar, percussion), Little Kid has built a cult audience with a series of idiosyncratic home recordings, self-released in short cassette runs that range from more traditional albums and EPs, to 2019’s Botched Restorations - on which Boothby sold out a run of one-of-a-kind 60 minute cassettes that each contained 10 songs from his discography, chosen by the purchaser and recorded live to tape in his bedroom.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I Thought That You'd Been Raptured
                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. What's In A Name
                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Transfiguration Highway
                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. Thief On The Cross
                                                                                                                                                                                                              5. All Night (Golden Ring)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              6. Candle Out
                                                                                                                                                                                                              7. Made For Each Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                              8. Close Enough To Kill
                                                                                                                                                                                                              9. Losing
                                                                                                                                                                                                              10. Gill
                                                                                                                                                                                                              11. Pry

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Crack Cloud

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pain Olympics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like Psychic TV before them, Crack Cloud have a philosophy, and one that they are not afraid to wear on their sleeves. While their anarchic, phantasmagorical visuals, heavy use of symbology, and seemingly never-ending cast of colourful collaborators have often invited cult comparisons, this really does the collective no justice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is no apocalyptic death drive here; no cult of personality; no hierarchy of power. While frontman and lyricist Zach Choy is in many ways the face of the group, the collective is one founded on equality, and in his cryptic lyrical blending of poetics, polemics and personal experience, Choy is truly the mouthpiece of something far larger than himself. Nowhere else is this more apparent than on the album’s first single, ‘The Next Fix.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What begins as a caustic, claustrophobic account of addiction swells into a sprawling, euphoric hymn as Choy is joined by a choir of seemingly endless celestial voices. Less a cult then; more a church. Listening to this song or watching  its accompanying self-directed video is a truly spiritual experience, and in its building, jubilant movement it offers a glimpse of Crack Cloud’s most vital message: using community to turn adversity into hope. This isn’t just bravado; its a story born of deep, personal experience. Crack Cloud operate on the frontline of Canada’s out-of-control opiate crisis, mobilising and organizing in Vancouver’s harm reduction programmes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The group themselves have had their fair share of trauma, and the collective offers its members a vital vehicle for rehabilitation and recovery. As the tagline on the album’s back cover makes clear then, this is absolutely ‘based on true shit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Post Truth (Birth Of A Nation)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bastard Basket
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Somethings Gotta Give
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Next Fix (A Safe Space)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Favour Your Fortune
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ouster Stew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tunnel Vision
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Angel Dust (Eternal Peace)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ballet Of Apes

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Is The Time For New Incarnations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The Fool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Carletta’s In Hats Again
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. When My Day Of The Crone Comes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Ballet Of Apes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6. Heartbreak Jazz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7. Trixxx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kate NV

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Room For The Moon

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LP Tracklisting:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not Not Not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Du Na
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sayonara
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ça Commence Par
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Marafon 15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lu Na
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Plans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If Anyone’s Sleepy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Telefon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CD Tracklist:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    01. Not Not Not (5:12)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    02. Du Na (4:48)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    03. Sayonara (Full Moon Version) (6:26)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    04. Ça Commence Par (3:16)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    05. Marafon 15 (5:26)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    06. Tea (Full Cup Version) (3:40)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    07. Lu Na (4:38)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    08. Plans (5:37)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    09. If Anyone’s Sleepy (3:22)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. Telefon (4:36)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11. Sayonara (Single Edit) (5:15)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12. Tea (Small Sip Edit) (1:44)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Cool Greenhouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Cool Greenhouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      01 The Sticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      02 Cardboard Man
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      03 Gum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      04 Life Advice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      05 Dirty Glasses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      06 Smile, Love!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      07 Trojan Horse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      08 4Chan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      09 Prospects
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Outlines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11 The Subletters Pt 2 (Ft. The Shifters)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thee MVPs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Science Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thee MVPs have played with all your favourite bands.

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thee MVPs like Hot Snakes, The Stranglers, Sleep, Meatbodies, Marked Men, Quelle Chris, CAN, Black Sabbath, Black Flag and Super