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The Breeders


    The Breeders were formed by The Pixies Kim Deal and Throwing Muses Tanya Donelly. This was their debut album originally released by 4AD in May 1990. The album, produced by Steve Albini combines the energy and angular pop sensibilities of their other bands, bolstered by creative songwriting and clever arrangements. It features iconic Vaughan Oliver artwork.


    Happiness Is A Warm Gun
    When I Was A Painter
    Fortunately Gone
    Only In 3’s
    Lime House
    Metal Man

    The Breeders

    Mountain Battles

      Fourth studio album, originally released in April 2008. This reissue of ‘Mountain Battles’ includes 12” size, 28 page booklet.


      Bang On
      Night Of Joy
      We're Gonna Rise
      German Studies
      Walk It Off
      Regalame Esta Noche
      Here No More
      No Way
      It's The Love
      Mountain Battles

      Cocteau Twins

      Treasure - Vinyl Reissue

        4AD are repressing two more Cocteau Twins’ albums on vinyl this coming March, the albums Head Over Heels and Treasure. Both following on from the recent reissues of Blue Bell Knoll, Heaven or Las Vegas, Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay and The Pink Opaque.

        Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, both albums are being pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl and come with download codes.

        The band returned to being a trio in 1984 with guitarist Simon Raymonde joining their ranks in time for third album, Treasure. Produced by Robin Guthrie and featuring tracks ‘Lorelei’, ‘Ivo’ and ‘Persephone’, Treasure is often celebrated as one of the band’s finest works.

        As Pitchfork put it when including the album in their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s, “Treasure was titled simply enough. An adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come.”


        Andy says: Amazing record. Stunningly beautiful tunes and voice, incredible guitars, and not one bad track. We thought we'd all died and gone to heaven when this came out in the early 80's!


        A1. Ivo (3.53)
        A2. Lorelei (3.42)
        A3. Beatrix (3.11)
        A4. Persephone (4.17)
        A5. Pandora (For Cindy) (5.35)
        B1. Amelia (3.29)
        B2. Aloysius (3.26)
        B3. Cicely (3.27)
        B4. Otterley (4.03)
        B5. Donimo (6.11)

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

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

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


        Nervous Mary
        Wait In The Car
        All Nerve
        Walking With A Killer
        Howl At The Summit
        Archangel’s Thunderbird
        Dawn: Making An Effort
        Skinhead #2
        Blues At The Acropolis

        U.S. Girls

        In A Poem Unlimited

          2017 marks a decade of U.S. Girls, the protean musical enterprise of multi-disciplinary artist, Meg Remy. Today, Remy announces details of her sixth studio album In a Poem Unlimited, which will be released on 16th February 2018, plus the official video for a new U.S. Girls song, ‘Velvet 4 Sale’.

          Remy’s second release for 4AD, which also includes her recently released single, ‘Mad As Hell’ – a clarion call for pacifism – was tracked in collaboration with Toronto-based instrumental collective the Cosmic Range, and features arrangements by long-time contributors Maxmilian Turnball and Louis Percival. The dizzying buffet of live grooves on In a Poem Unlimited represents an inversion of the dusty, sample-based minimal textures of Half Free, Remy’s euphoric 4AD debut. Steered into focus by Remy and mixer/co-producer Steve Chahley, Poem features disco employed as a protest vernacular (‘Mad As Hell’), as well as an unrelenting assault (‘Time’); moody, slow-burning funk (‘Velvet 4 Sale’ & ‘L-Over’) and earnest synth anthems ‘Rosebud’ and ‘Poem’, which form the album’s emotional core.

          Poem features dark meditations reflecting charged atmospheres that directly precede and follow acts of violence. Many of the songs are character studies of women grappling with power; how to gain and exert it spiritually, as well as desperate strategies to mitigate its infliction. Remy also rallies against the public lies told by political and religious leaders, and more crucially, questions the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive. While U.S. Girls, denoting the plural, is no longer a misnomer, In A Poem Unlimited may be Remy’s most individually distilled protest to date.

          Following ‘Mad As Hell’, Poem album opener ‘Velvet 4 Sale’ is released today. The song concerns a female narrator imploring another to buy a gun for protection, impressing that the only way to change men is for women to use violence. Remy says, “Men are lucky women (and children) have yet to take up arms. And although I hope this never happens and I completely disagree that violence is ever effective, this very idea was ripe for a song.”

          The accompanying video explores the idea of acknowledgement as a form of retribution, a counterbalance more powerful than violence itself. Remy plays a police officer who discovers that a fellow cop who has beaten his wife will be left off the hook as a “professional courtesy”. By the power of her unrelenting gaze she banishes the abuser in the final images of this powerful and provocative video. This striking tableau representing the power of bearing witness ties back into the album’s underlying theme; that truth and acknowledgement are our most potent and corrosive weapons in the fight against repressive inequality. Remy’s work with this video (which she co-directed with Alex Kingsmill) and the album as a whole, illustrate and seek to inspire the taking up of these moral arms.


          Barry says: This superb new outing from Meg Remy in her U.S Girls moniker sees snappy guitar falling under a landslide of heavy-rock power chords and scattered electronic elements, whilst still retaining all of it's cohesion and grace. More percussive numbers sit happily alongside the more folky, quiet pieces without skipping a beat.


          1. Velvet 4 Sale
          2. Rage Of Plastics
          3. Mad As Hell
          4. Why Do I Lose My Voice When I Have Something To Say
          5. Rosebud
          6. Incidental Boogie
          7. L-Over
          8. Pearly Gates
          9. Poem
          10. Traviata
          11. Time


          I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

          Officially now a duo, Merrill Garbus is joined by long-time collaborator Nate Brenner. Their new album, I can feel you creep into my private life, tackles race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental prophecies head on. But in the billows of intense subject matter, the album is their most immediate and upbeat yet – this is Tune-Yards’ music to dance to.

          The follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed album, Nikki Nack, much of I can feel you creep into my private life was recorded at John Vanderslice’s new Tiny Telephone studio in their hometown of Oakland, CA. To help finish this stunning record, they enlisted mixer Mikaelin “Blue” Bluespruce (Solange, Skepta, Kendrick Lamar) and mastered it in Harlem, NY with Dave Kutch (Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper).


          1. Heart Attack
          2. Coast To Coast
          3. ABC 123
          4. Now As Then
          5. Honesty
          6. Colonizer
          7. Look At Your Hands
          8. Home
          9. Hammer
          10. Who Are You
          11. Private Life
          12. Free


          Three Futures

            Torres is the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn-based Mackenzie Scott. In describing the album, Scott says it “is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy.” The 10 original tracks on Three Futures embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial, and exude this idea via immersive music. Mechanized grooves are placed at the forefront, providing a framework for perforated electro-pop static, harsh gothic / industrial textures, and insistent Krautrock motifs.

            For Three Futures, Scott reconnected with producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey), who worked on TORRES’ last album Sprinter, to record in Stockport and Dorset. David Tolomei (Beach House, Future Islands) mixed the album.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Innately listenable synth-pop / indie goodness on this newest one from all-round bon oeuf and songwriter extraordinaire Torres. It's a heartfelt and beautiful distillation of sexuality, companionship and brilliantly effusive melodicism. Would listen again.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Tongue Slap Your Brains Out
            2. Skim
            3. Three Futures
            4. Righteous Woman
            5. Greener Stretch
            6. Helen In The Woods
            7. Bad Baby Pie
            8. Marble Focus
            9. Concrete Ganesha
            10. To Be Given A Body

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

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

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

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

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Nobody Else Will Be There
            A2. Day I Die
            A3. Walk It Back
            B1. The System Only Dreams
            In Total Darkness
            B2. Born To Beg
            B3. Turtleneck
            C1. Empire Line
            C2. I’ll Still Destroy You
            C3. Guilty Party
            D1. Carin At The Liquor Store
            D2. Dark Side Of The Gym
            D3. Sleep Well Beast


            The Age Of Anxiety

              First appearing in late 2015 with the Fall In EP – which was hailed by The Sunday Times as “one of the most arresting debuts of the year” – Pixx (AKA Hannah Rodgers) has since released some more tracks to further intrigue and started to spend a lot of time out on the road, most notably tours with the likes of Daughter, Glass Animals and Youth Lagoon.

              The Age Of Anxiety is Pixx’s debut album, and it finds her ostensibly place herself on the outside, looking in. Including the singles ‘I Bow Down’ and ‘Baboo’, the twelve-song collection seeks to address a generation increasingly isolated by an unprecedented new world order, from the pressures of social media to ever-changing political turbulence. A bold debut, it borrows its title from W.H. Auden’s final poem which was published in 1947, which charted one man’s quest to find substance and identity in a shifting and increasingly industrialised world.

              “Pixx possesses the same celestial qualities as fellow label-mates Cocteau Twins or Blonde Redhead with a little astral, new age aesthetic of Grimes, and the gothic melancholy of Bauhaus.” The Guardian

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

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

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Blend
              2. Imagining My Man
              3. Living The Classics
              4. Party
              5. I’m So Sorry
              6. Horizon
              7. What If Birds Aren’t Singing
              They’re Screaming
              8. The World Is Looking For You
              9. Swell Does The Skull

              John Moreland

              Big Bad Luv

                The new album from John Moreland is an honest, bruising experience. A beautiful record about love, faith and the human condition, Big Bad Luv is John’s fourth album to date and also his debut for 4AD.

                Hailing from Tulsa, OK, John composes both pointedly and prodigiously, and has released largely self-produced albums every other year since 2011. Playing an equally pivotal role in his rise have been his mesmeric solo performances (including his TV debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year), which coupled with his incredible records, has helped to create a real word-of-mouth about him. Big Bad Luv, was recorded in Little Rock, AK, and mostly with a crew of Tulsa friends: John Calvin Abney (piano and guitar), Aaron Boehler (bass), Paddy Ryan (drums), Jared

                Tyler (dobro) and Lucero's Rick Steff (piano). Coming together in three sessions over ten months, which were sandwiched between touring dates and life, the final album was then mixed by GRAMMY winning Tchad Blake, who has worked with iconic acts from Al Green to Tom Waits.

                Future Islands

                The Far Field

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

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

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

                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Aladdin
                2. Time On Her Side
                3. Ran
                4. Beauty Of The Road
                5. Cave
                6. Through The Roses
                7. North Star
                8. Ancient Water
                9. Candles
                10. Day Glow Fire
                11. Shadows
                12. Black Rose

                Dead Can Dance


                  With the industrial textures of their eponymous debut behind them, the fifth album from Dead Can Dance (Aion, released in 1990) is perhaps the most focused and concise of their albums. Predominately recorded at their own studio in Southern Ireland and featuring guest vocals from soprano David Navarro Sust to add to Brendan and Lisa’s opposing yet complimentary styles, the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance are a core influence; an atmosphere amplified by the album’s cover, a section from the Earth phase of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights.

                  Dead Can Dance

                  The Serpent's Egg

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

                    Methyl Ethel

                    Everything Is Forgotten

                      Everything Is Forgotten, the new album from Methyl Ethel (Perth, Australia), is a vivid, compelling and mysterious creature, all sinewy, curvaceous pop nuggets and enigmatic currents. Written and recorded by frontman Jake Webb, the album was brought to life by acclaimed producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Foals). The pair’s collaboration infusing the band’s shoegaze dream-pop palate with electronic and polyrhythmic flourishes, allowing Webb’s keening, gender-fluid vocals and searing poetry to take centre stage.

                      Bing & Ruth

                      No Home Of The Mind

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

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

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

                      STAFF COMMENTS

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

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Starwood Choker
                      2. As Much As Possible
                      3. Scrapes
                      4. Chonchos
                      5. The How Of It Sped
                      6. Is Drop
                      7. Form Takes
                      8. To All It
                      9. Flat Line/Peak Color
                      10. What Ash It Flow Up



                        Two years after the release of his celebrated debut album Tremors, SOHN is back with Rennen.

                        In between records, the London-born artist has traded Vienna for the warmth of Los Angeles, but the influence of his former home still lingers (Rennen is a German verb meaning ‘to run’). Resuming a nocturnal schedule – as he did with Tremors – SOHN spent a month writing alone in northern California, recording until the morning most days. Including singles ‘Signal’ and ‘Conrad’, the ten songs of Rennen are confidently direct and focused. Consciously exercising restraint, he has used only a handful of musical elements on each track, eager to allow the spotlight to shine on the vocals, melodies and rhythms.

                        An ambitious exhibition of both his personal and artistic growth, Rennen confidently displays the evolution SOHN has undergone in just two short years. It's also a starter's pistol ringing out loud and clear with an unmistakable message: it's time to run again, and he’s ready.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Andy says: Deep, thoughtful, electronic soul from the London born producer.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Hard Liquor
                        2. Conrad
                        3. Signal
                        4. Dead Wrong
                        5. Primary
                        6. Rennen
                        7. Falling
                        8. Proof
                        9. Still Waters
                        10. Harbour

                        Dead Can Dance

                        Within The Realm Of The Dying Sun

                          ‘Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun’: With Dead Can Dance now firmly centred round the core of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, they released their third album ‘Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun’ in the Summer of 1987, showing both a continued maturity in their sound and rise in their popularity. Recorded during an intense period of musical and personal growth for the band, the album’s eight songs are split equally between the duo with the first half being sung by Brendan and the second Lisa. At the time, Q Magazine described the album as combining “superb voice, ethereal church choirs, sweeping strings and a brochure of ethnic music: Middle Eastern, Indian, Moorish, anywhere but London’s East End where the couple resided.” The album’s cover only adds to the album’s aura of mystery with a haunting photograph of the family grave at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris of famed French biologist François-Vincent Raspail.

                          Dead Can Dance

                          Garden Of Arcane Delights & Peel Sessions

                            ‘Garden Of The Arcane Delights’ / ‘The John Peel Sessions’: ‘Garden Of The Arcane Delights’ is the only EP released by Dead Can Dance, coming out in 1984 and acting as a bridge between their first two albums. Its sleeve a sketch by Brendan Perry, depicting “primal man deprived of perception, standing within the confines of a garden containing a fountain and trees laden with fruit... a Blakean universe in which mankind can only redeem itself, can only rid itself of blindness, through the correct interpretation of signs and events that permeate the fabric of nature’s laws.”

                            This new expanded version sees the EP faithfully pressed on to one piece of a vinyl at 45rpm with a second disc being added, compiling both of the band’s sessions for John Peel, recorded in the same time period.

                            Do Hollywood is the eagerly anticipated debut album from brothers Brian (19) and Michael (17) D’Addario.

                            Hailing from Long Island, NY, Brian and Michael have been playing rock music since they were old enough to walk and talk, mastering every instrument they could get their hands on and writing and performing everything together (they alternate writing credits and instruments on Do Hollywood).

                            Recorded in Los Angeles, CA, with production by Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, they mine inspiration from every era of rock, crafting richly sophisticated baroque-pop songs into a ten-track tour de force.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1. I Wanna Prove To You
                            A2. Those Days Is Comin’ Soon
                            A3. Haroomata
                            A4. Baby, Baby
                            A5. These Words
                            A6. As Long As We’re Together
                            B1. How Lucky Am I?
                            B2. Hi+Lo
                            B3. Frank
                            B4. A Great Snake

                            When Castlemaine’s Oliver Hugh Perry released his self-recorded debut EP, ‘Tropical Oceans’, D.D Dumbo was born. Led by the spooky strut of the title-track, the lo-fi four song-set of blues-laced, deconstructed pop announced Perry as an exciting newcomer fluent in a language all his own. People took notice and soon he was performing solo with a 12-string electric guitar, two drums and a bunch of effect pedals and on tour with the likes of Daughter, Iron & Wine, Jungle, St Vincent, Tame Impala, tUnE-yArDs and Warpaint.

                            ‘Utopia Defeated’ is his debut album, an epic, sprawling opus sprung from Oliver’s imagination, written and performed almost entirely by him. Based in the 4AD Studios in London, the album was recorded, engineered and produced by Perry and 4AD’s resident engineer Fabian Prynn.

                            Featuring the singles ‘Satan’ and ‘Walrus’, the tentrack album hurdles effortlessly over the expectations set by his intriguing debut EP. In an early review, Uncut magazine heralded it as “a looping, globally attuned 2016 update of Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’.”

                            TRACK LISTING

                            In The Water
                            King Franco Picasso
                            The Day I First Found God
                            Toxic City

                            Galvanized by Tampa hardcore and inspired by its miscreant noise, A Corpse Wired For Sound signals a new chapter for Merchandise. Their second for album 4AD, Merchandise have stripped back to the core of Carson Cox (vocals, electronics), Dave Vassalotti (guitar, electronics) and Pat Brady (bass) to make A Corpse Wired For Sound. The trio travelled to Rosà, Italy to start proceedings, recording half in a studio there and the rest at home, in Tampa as well as in Cox’s newly adopted bases of New York and Berlin.

                            The album’s metallic title is inspired by a science fiction short story by JG Ballard, but equally sums up the band’s current state of mind; “we were ‘reborn’ as a rock band for our last record (After The End)," says Vassalotti, “and then we straight-up died again. It couldn’t last. The result is this distended corpse responding to you from both sides of the Atlantic, forever singing in spite of everything.”

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Flower Of Sex
                            2. Crystal Cage
                            3. Right Back To The Start
                            4. End Of The Week
                            5. Lonesome Sound
                            6. Shadow Of The Truth
                            7. Silence
                            8. I Will Not Sleep Here
                            9. My Dream Is Yours

                            Scott Walker

                            The Childhood Of A Leader - Original Soundtrack

                            Scott Walker follows his remarkable collaboration with Sunn O))) with this remarkable soundtrack to Brady Corbet’s directorial debut, Walker’s first score work since the Pola X soundtrack in 1999.

                            Partly inspired by Jean-Paul Sartre’s short story of the same name, The Childhood of a Leader is a tense psychological drama tracing the formative years of a young boy and set against the backdrop of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference that led to the establishment of the Treaty of Versailles.

                            Walker continues to work with long-term collaborators Peter Walsh (co-producer) and Mark Warman (musical director), with the latter conducting an orchestra comprised of 46 string players and 16 brass for the studio recording.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            CD Tracklisting:
                            1. Orchestral Tuning Up
                            2. Opening
                            3. Dream Sequence
                            4. Village Walk
                            5. RUN
                            6. Down The Stairs
                            7. Up The Stairs
                            8. The Letter
                            9. Versailles
                            10. Cutting Flowers
                            11. Boy,Mirror,Cars Arriving
                            12. Third Tantrum
                            13. Printing Press
                            14. On The Way To The Meeting
                            15. The Meeting
                            16. Post Meeting
                            17. Finale
                            18. New Dawn (synth Layout For Cut Scene)

                            LP Tracklisting:
                            A1. Orchestral Tuning Up
                            A2. Opening
                            A3. Dream Sequence
                            A4. Village Walk
                            A5. RUN
                            A6. Down The Stairs
                            A7. Up The Stairs
                            A8. The Letter
                            A9. Versailles
                            B1. Cutting Flowers
                            B2. Boy,Mirror,Cars Arriving
                            B3. Third Tantrum
                            B4. Printing Press
                            B5. On The Way To The Meeting
                            B6. The Meeting
                            B7. Post Meeting
                            B8. Finale
                            B9. New Dawn (synth Layout For Cut Scene)

                            Dead Can Dance

                            Spleen And Ideal

                              Dead Can Dance’s second album, Spleen And Ideal (1985), saw them experiment more with instrumentation, abandoning guitars in favour of cello, trombone and timpani. Widely acclaimed, there was now a richness of unification between voice and music, lyrics and structure, showing they had a concrete sense of the aural ideal they were striving towards. It’s title was taken from Spleen et Idéal, a collection of poems by 18th century French poet Charles Baudelaire.

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

                              Dead Can Dance

                              Dead Can Dance

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

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

                                ‘This Moment’ is the first album by Danish artist Søren Juul to be released under his own name, having previously recorded using the moniker Indians.

                                A deeply personal account of Juul’s life over a tumultuous three-year period, ‘This Moment’ was recorded mainly in Copenhagen and finished in Los Angeles with producer and fellow Dane Peter Stengaard. An uplifting and redemptive work, the immersive soundscapes of the songs reach heights Juul’s work under Indians had hinted at.

                                As Indians, Juul released the acclaimed album ‘Somewhere Else’, scored the stunning song ‘Oblivion’ for the major motion picture ‘The Fault In Our Stars’, composed works for the Copenhagen Philharmonic and was nominated in four categories for the prestigious Danish music awards Gaffa Prisen. He also toured the world with the likes of Beirut, Daughter, Julia Holter and Perfume Genius.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Dear Child
                                Don’t Want To Fool You
                                Epic Moon
                                Manly Beach
                                Pushing Me Away
                                This Moment

                                Methyl Ethel

                                Oh Inhuman Spectacle

                                New to 4AD, Australian trio Methyl Ethel’s celebrated debut album is being given a worldwide release. Hailing from the remote fringes of Perth in Western Australia, band linchpin Jake Webb - like 4AD peers Grimes and Bradford Cox before him - wrote, played and recorded everything on ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’.

                                Crafted in isolation, the album’s understated psychedelic pop quickly drew plaudits, leading Webb to recruit Chris Wright (drums) and Thom Stewart (bass) - friends from the tight-knit and thriving music scene in Perth - to help realise the songs live as a full-fledged band.

                                Having gained notable success in Australia including being nominated for the prestigious Australian Music Prize and taking Laneway Festival by storm, Methyl Ethel are now poised to take their music overseas with the worldwide release of ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’ and a huge run of touring in both Europe and North America to coincide.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Like a modern, indiefied iteration of Syd Barrett with the melodic intonations of the ghosts of post-punk. Woozy rhythms and fuzzed-out basses, twirling arpeggios meet chugging guitars and soaring strained vocal melodies. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Idée Fixe
                                To Swim
                                Twilight Driving
                                Depth Perception
                                Unbalancing Acts
                                Also Gesellschaft
                                Artificial Limb
                                Sweet Waste
                                Everything As It Should

                                Tim Hecker

                                Love Streams

                                  'Love Streams' takes its cues from the avant-classical orchestration and extreme electronic processing of his previous full-length, 2013’s 'Virgins', but shaped into more melancholic, ultraviolet hues. Inspired by notions of 15th century choral scores (particularly those by Josquin des Prez), transposed to an artificial intelligence-era language of digital resonance and bright synths, the album was assembled gradually, with layers of studio-tracked keyboards, choir and woodwinds being woven into the mix, then molded and disfigured through complex programming. Like hearing some ancient strain of sacred music corrupted by encryption, Hecker admits to thinking about ideas like “liturgical aesthestics after Yeezus” and the “transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune,” during its creation.

                                  The 'Love Streams' sessions took place throughout 2014 and 2015 at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland - where parts of both Virgins and Ravedeath, 1972 were tracked - with Hecker reuniting with the same crew of collaborators from Virgins (Kara-Lis Coverdale, Grímur Helgason) and bolstered by the Icelandic Choir Ensemble, whose vocal arrangements were scored by Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson.

                                  The title of Hecker’s new work can be interpreted any number of ways - erotic, technological, spiritual - although his own conception is appropriately vast, calling it “a riff on the ubiquity and nihilism of streaming of all forms of life.” Now we stream more than we love. Nowadays music too frequently resembles a product, or white noise. With a career spanning fifteen years, Tim Hecker belongs to a select camp actively resisting this undertow, this reduction in significance.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: What more apt a title could be given to the newest excursion of Canadian Sound sculptor Tim Hecker than 'Love Streams'? Recalling moments of Four Tet's similarly titled 'There Is Love In You', chopped vocal harmonies atop twinkling synths, churning yet shimmering industrial drones underpinning the whole adventure. This is Hecker's most optomistic and beautiful exploration yet. This is, as Princess Jasmine once famously said : a 'Shining and Shimmering Wonder'.



                                    Liima is a new band formed by Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö plus Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Danish act Efterklang.

                                    Their debut album, ii, features songs written in Finland, Berlin, Istanbul and Madeira during four week-long residencies, with each one ending with a live concert, performing the freshly written songs in front of an audience.

                                    Translated from Finnish as ‘glue’, Liima found the spontaneity of writing and performing in a limited time frame hugely liberating and took the same instinctive approach when recording this album. In October 2015, the band along with producer Jonas Verwijnen headed to Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, recording the album in just three days, playing everything together live with no overdubs. ii was mixed to tape by Francesco Donadello.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Your Heart
                                    2. Amerika
                                    3. Roger Waters
                                    4. Russians
                                    5. Trains In The Dark
                                    6. Woods
                                    7. 513
                                    8. You Stayed In Touch With The Wrong Guy
                                    9. Black Beach
                                    10. Change Of Time

                                    This trio comprises of The National's rhythm section, brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf along with Trombonist / arranger Ben Lanz who has worked with Beirut and Sufjan Stevens amongst others.

                                    LNZNDRF’s debut is rock minimalism meets sonic maximalism. Recorded in a church in Cincinnati over two and a half days, the eight songs on the album were improvised with a vital spirit harking back to the reason the members became musicians in the first place.

                                    The songs, which were edited from 30+ minute jams, evoke the essence of their expansive, largely improvised live shows.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    01 Future You
                                    02 Beneath The Black Sea
                                    03 Mt. Storm
                                    04 Kind Things
                                    05 Hypno-Skate
                                    06 Stars And Time
                                    07 Monument
                                    08 Samarra

                                    Nearly three years after the release of their debut 'If You Leave', Daughter – the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella – will return in 2016 with a new album, entitled 'Not To Disappear'.

                                    'Not To Disappear' is Daughter’s second album and finds the band making confident strides forward both sonically and lyrically. Elena, Igor and Remi spent a summer in New York recording 'Not To Disappear' with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective) at his Rare Book Room studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Millie says: An amazing album by the very talented Daughter, it’s expressive and emotional throughout. More progressive and experimental from their previous album, ‘Not to Disappear’ is filled with devotion. Absorbing and beautiful, I would recommend it to anyone.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. New Ways
                                    2. Numbers
                                    3. Doing The Right Thing
                                    4. How
                                    5. Mothers
                                    6. Alone / With You
                                    7. No Care
                                    8. To Belong
                                    9. Fossa
                                    10. Made Of Stone


                                    Art Angels

                                      As Marylin Manson once said, "This Is The New Shit"! Grimes is back in the house, beating up your speaker stack at her batshit best. Faced with the tricky decision of how to follow up her trend setting, hot cake-like selling breakout smash "Visions", the now LA-based musician took the obvious route of synth-baroque chamber music. Well at least on oddball opener "Laughing And Not Being Normal". From there we accelerate through the whole host of iPod-friendly pop, from country EDM, through baile funk and nu disco to chill out. But before you lose faith that the mighty Grimes has fallen in with the wrong crowd since her move to LA, all those mainstream tropes are perfectly subverted with a well judged post modern subtlety, while retaining all the hooks, riffs and melodies which makes pop, well, popular. Spanning over 14 tracks "Art Angels" features collaborations with Janelle Monáe and newcomer, Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes, but like all of her previous albums was written and recorded entirely as a solo endeavour. The new album features more live instrumentation than ever before with Grimes playing piano, guitar and violin and continuing her evolution as a musician and a producer for her most ambitious album to date.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Millie says: The pop sensation Grimes’new album was an instant hit, her electro style remains but comes back with even more pop-power (which I didn’t think was even possible!) It has a feisty cartoon anime vibe, extravagant reverb and dreamlike lyrics for her angelic vocals.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Laughing And Not Being Normal
                                      2. California
                                      3. SCREAM Ft. Aristophanes
                                      4. Flesh Without Blood
                                      5. Belly Of The Beat
                                      6. Kill V. Maim
                                      7. Artangels
                                      8. Easily
                                      9. Pin
                                      10. Realiti
                                      11. World Princess Part II
                                      12. Venus Fly Ft. Janelle Monáe
                                      13. Life In The Vivid Dream
                                      14. Butterfly


                                      Ciao! Best Of...

                                        Formed in London in 1988 and centered around childhood friends Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi, Lush expertly fused melody and guitars; a sound that was christened ‘shoegaze’ well after they released their first records, a scene they outlived by sharpening their pop sound as they went.

                                        Coinciding with news of the band’s upcoming reformation, ‘Ciao! Best Of Lush’ is finally being pressed on vinyl, previously having only been released as a CD back in 2001.

                                        Unusually for a greatest hits compilation it runs in reverse order, starting with four tracks that appeared on their third album, ‘Lovelife’ (1996), five (six if you include a B-side) from their second ‘Split’ (1994), then four from their debut ‘Spooky’ (1992) before finishing with four early works which includes two from their first ever release, 1989’s mini-album ‘Scar’.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        Single Girl
                                        Ciao! (ft Jarvis Cocker)
                                        500 (Shake Baby Shake)
                                        Light From A Dead Star
                                        Love At First Sight
                                        Desire Lines
                                        When I Die
                                        Nothing Natural
                                        For Love
                                        Sweetness And Light

                                        El Vy

                                        Return To The Moon

                                          EL VY is the collaboration between Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National, and Brent Knopf, the Portland musician and producer best known for his work in Menomena and his more recent band, Ramona Falls.

                                          Their debut album, Return To The Moon, is a project Berninger and Knopf have been thinking about for years. Their friendship spans nearly a decade, starting back when The National and Menomena played small half-empty clubs along America’s west coast. Feeling an immediate musical kinship, the pair kept in touch, Brent sending Matt occasional rough sketches of music and Matt responding with ideas and lyrics. Finally, in the winter and spring of 2014-115, they got together to make an album.

                                          Return to the Moon sounds exactly like you'd hope a collaboration between these artists would: Berninger's darkly funny, lyrical storytelling and his immediately identifiable sense of melody offset by Knopf's playful, architectural arrangements and inventive production.


                                          Fading Frontier

                                            Fading Frontier is the seventh studio album by Deerhunter. The record was made by founding members Bradford Cox, Lockett Pundt and Moses Archuleta, and bassist Josh McKay. Written in their hometown of Atlanta, GA, production duties were shared by the band and Ben H. Allen III, continuing a collaboration that began with 2010’s Halcyon Digest.

                                            Following the death-rattle garage catharsis of 2013’s Monomania, the group has shifted towards something strikingly balanced, focused on melody and texture. The songs are brighter; if not in content, then in the album’s production. Starkness plays against clutter in what is the band’s most complex yet accessible work to date.

                                            Fading Frontier shows that a decade in, Deerhunter has lost none of its intensity. As the group matures, so they have grown into the most consistent purveyors of art-rock of their generation.


                                            Fall In

                                              The nom de guerre of 19 year-old Hannah Rodgers, Pixx is a young songwriter from Chipstead, just beyond the fringes of south London where suburban sprawl starts to break into countryside.

                                              Inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Aphex Twin, she’s adopted her grandmother’s nickname to strike out it alone as Pixx.

                                              Her debut EP, ‘Fall In’, is a collection of four electronic folk-infused torch songs; a perfect introduction to the mysterious world her music inhabits.

                                              “Pixx possesses the same celestial qualities as fellow label-mates Cocteau Twins or Blonde Redhead, with a little of the astral, new age aesthetic of Grimes and the gothic melancholy of Bauhaus.” - The Guardian 

                                              U.S. Girls

                                              Half Free

                                                U.S. Girls is Illinois-born, Toronto-based artist Meghan Remy. A captivating musical force, Meg has evolved from the raw, corrosive 4-track fidelity found on her early records to the more unabashed art-pop of recent works ‘U.S. Girls’ on KRAAK (2011) and ‘Gem’ (2012); the latter managing to “widen and universalise her music without losing a drop of what previously made it so special and personal” - Pitchfork.

                                                ‘Half Free’ is the next step in this impressive transformation, an honest and lyrically jarring exploration of emotions, drenched in a bath of raw beats and loops that have become the hallmark of her work with producer and frequent collaborator Onakabazien.

                                                Other album guests include Slim Twig (DFA), Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Guv), Amanda Crist (Ice Cream) and Tony Price.

                                                Featuring recent singles ‘Damn That Valley’ and ‘Woman’s Work’, ‘Half Free’ is Meg’s first album for 4AD. Again emerging as a vital voice among the noise, ‘Half Free’ is an enchanting document of life at the point when it feels most on its knife-edge.

                                                “She’s the fast-rising exponent of luscious lo-fi DIY pop.” - The Guardian

                                                “With each successive release, you’re never quite sure which Girl you’re going to get: the avant-pop deconstructionist, the 1960s traditionalist, the basement R&B diva.” - Pitchfork

                                                It’s December 2013, and Zach Condon is in an Australian hospital. He’s at the tail end of a 3-year non-stop world tour, suffering from health problems brought on by severe exhaustion, fighting through a messy divorce, and is trying in vain to escape the reality that’s dismantling around him and within him. From the hospital, he makes the difficult decision to cancel the rest of the tour. “I had completely broken down and my body was making me pay for it,” Condon recalls from his east Williamsburg home. Ironically, the artist so widely recognised for breaking geographical boundaries was being undone halfway around the world. Pensively, Condon concludes, “For the first time in my life, I was facing extreme self doubt. I had hit rock bottom.”

                                                Met with enormous success at age 19, Condon’s career up to that point had been relatively smooth sailing. But now post Australia he finds himself back at home in Brooklyn and unable to write songs. It was 2014, and at age 28 he found himself completely lost. “I couldn’t fathom how one day I was capable of it and one day I wasn’t,” Condon remarks. The darkness clouding his physical and mental health had fully infected his creative and artistic abilities.

                                                But this darkness contained a spark of light: he had fallen in love with a woman who inspired him to turn it around. Condon recalls, “having a positive presence like her both provides a healthy guiding force and shines a light on all the negative things in your life. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now without her.” The two retreated to Turkey Summer of 2014, which proved to be the ultimate keystone in his personal renewal. It has since become their second home, providing perspective in both geographical and political landscapes. He was taken in and cared for by her family there for months (she is Turkish), and given a home base to build around, all during the summer of the Gezi Park riots.

                                                Upon returning, still not fully himself, Condon would find himself uncertain, this time in the studio. “I would turn my phone off and be holed up in my rehearsal space alone for days at a time,” says Condon, “and come out with nothing.” He would compose and discard entire albums’ worth of material. For Condon, the songs needed to be born from melody, and if the melodies weren’t coming, the songs would never transpire.

                                                So, with his back against the proverbial wall, Condon began a new approach, starting from scratch in Fall 2014 with nothing but an open mind and the musical camaraderie of bandmates Paul Collins (bass) and Nick Petree (drums). For two full months they hammered away daily, creating the foundations for what would evolve into No No No (as well as countless songs that would carpet the cutting room floor).

                                                With winter approaching, he booked two weeks at a studio that, by sheer chance and unbeknownst to him, was located a few blocks from his home. This proximity would prove crucial, as the two weeks of recording turned out to overlap with some of the worst winter weather in NYC history – it was one of the coldest and snowiest on record – a fitting climax to the events of the past four years.

                                                With his band by his side, No No No suddenly began to take shape, creating an exponentially productive excitement. Those two weeks in the studio, with blizzard after blizzard raging outside, resulted in Condon’s most vibrant and spirited record to date. On past records, Condon composed mostly on his own, electronically, building on sounds and arrangements with ProTools. This time around, the songs were constructed live, in the moment, by the band, and are more concert-ready than ever as a result. The band was significantly stripped down: guitar, piano, bass, and drums formed the bulk of the arrangements as opposed to the more obscure instruments for which he was initially known. No No No opens with a sort of tribal drum beat, quickly giving way to a more western/modern snare sound and drum machine – a subtle wink at Beirut’s own musical transformation.

                                                There’s a caffeinated exuberance throughout the entirety of the record. The opening songs are particularly upbeat and awake, reflective of Condon’s newfound clarity, so much so in fact, that the fifth song, the instrumental breather ‘As Needed’ is exactly that – a necessary intermission. The second half picks up where it left off, with effervescent percussion across pop songs, often led by bubbly piano lines that showcase Condon’s development as a pianist.

                                                If the darkest hour is right before the dawn, Condon’s dawn is the brightest point in his still-young career. He’s found his true artistic identity as a songwriter – one that greatly abandons many of the formulas for which he was first known. The songwriter within Condon has always been there, albeit sonically veiled on past records. It’s never been presented so prominently, and finds Beirut on its most stable and convincing footing yet.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                01. Gibraltar
                                                02. No No No
                                                03. At Once
                                                04. August Holland
                                                05. As Needed
                                                06. Perth
                                                07. Pacheco
                                                08. Fener
                                                09. So Allowed

                                                In Camera


                                                  In Camera - David Steiner (vocals / keyboards), Andrew Gray (guitar), Pete Moore (bass) and Jeff Wilmott (drums) - are among the more mysterious acts of 4AD’s early alumni (Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, MASS, Modern English, Rema- Rema, The The).

                                                  Active between 1978 and 1981, in the thick of London’s postpunk scene, they enjoyed an intense and fruitful short time together. Coming to the label’s attention when they supported Bauhaus at the Billy’s venue in Soho, their only releases came with two singles in 1980 - the double A-side 7” of ‘Final Achievement’ and ‘Die Laughing’ and the ‘IV Songs’ EP. Calling it a day before they recorded an album, 4AD fittingly issued the posthumous release of the 12” EP, ‘Fin’, using the band’s epic, three-track John Peel Session.

                                                  Ten years after amicably splitting, 4AD released the now long out of print retrospective CD, ‘13 (Lucky For Some)’, coercing the band back in to a studio to record four songs they had played live but not committed to tape to complete the release.

                                                  Things returned to quiet until interest to licence their music from experimental French label Desire Records (who subsequently pressed up a limited mini-album of the first two singles entitled ‘IV Songs + II’ in 2011) sparking In Camera’s interest to compile ‘Era’, the definitive and final word on their band.

                                                  ‘Era’ focuses solely on their earlier material with the deluxe, double CD package containing their three singles in chronological order on disc one and eleven not before released tracks on disc two - two demos, four live recordings and five tracks from a recently found rehearsal tape.

                                                  The gatefold LP version has all but one track from the three singles and seven of the not before released tracks spread over two records, also coming with a download card for all tracks.

                                                  Holly Herndon


                                                    4AD release ‘Platform’, the new album by American artist Holly Herndon.

                                                    Holly Herndon has become a leading light in contemporary alternative and electronic music by fearlessly experimenting within the outer reaches of dance music and pop songwriting structures.

                                                    A galvanizing statement, ‘Platform’ cements Herndon’s reputation as a unique musician with a singular voice. Born in Tennessee but reared on music abroad, Herndon broke out from her formative years in Berlin’s minimal techno scene to repatriate to San Francisco, where she currently lives and studies as a doctoral candidate at Stanford’s Center For Computer Research In Music And Acoustics (CCRMA).

                                                    To achieve ‘Platform’, Herndon has opened up her process to vital artists and thinkers from her creative circle, including radical Dutch design studio Metahaven and digital DIY artist Mat Dryhurst, leading by example to tackle a host of topics ranging from systemic inequality, surveillance states, and neofeudalism. ‘Platform’ underscores the need for new fantasies and strategic collective action.

                                                    Herndon’s debut album ‘Movement’, released in 2012, showcased her fascination with trance and the disjunctive sampling techniques pioneered by avant-garde composition. Subsequent singles ‘Chorus’ and ‘Home’ (rolled out in advance of ‘Platform’) humanized the laptop by celebrating its capacity for memory storage and lamenting its vulnerability in light of revelations of mass surveillance.

                                                    Offering what Herndon describes as “a rupture, a paradisic gesture,” ‘Platform’ is an optimistic breakthrough for Herndon, an appeal for progress and a step toward new ways to love.

                                                    Purity Ring

                                                    Another Eternity

                                                      After sixty-five fortnights, Purity Ring have returned with their second album Another Eternity. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. For the first time, vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick were able to create a record in the same room.

                                                      Purity Ring’s first album, 2012's Shrines, was recorded separately in Montreal and Halifax, where Corin and Megan were respectively living at the time. Despite being a thousand kilometers apart, Shrines was a cohesive, beguiling and wholly unique universe of what the band called ‘Future Pop’. At the center of the amniotic swirl of Shrines was an undeniable nucleus of crystalline pop which presciently suggested both indie and popular music to come. They quickly amassed a rabid fanbase, toured relentlessly and sold out shows worldwide, earning ‘Best New Music’ from Pitchfork and praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and NPR, among others.

                                                      On Another Eternity, Purity Ring trade the gorgeously claustrophobic atmospheres of Shrines for wide-open, muscular vistas of sound and luminous, up-front vocals. Crafting a lyrical universe of “sweat and dreams” populated by seacastles, rattling spines, and weeping drawers, Megan James wields concrete imagery and metaphor with increasingly direct, startling resonance. Corin Roddick's gifts for evocative melody remain intact, but his drum work and use of space have been completely reforged: immaculately built and focused in service of the song.

                                                      Though they are now working at a higher resolution, Purity Ring remain hands-on with every aspect of their project. As usual, the band produced and recorded Another Eternity entirely themselves. 

                                                      To celebrate its 25th anniversary, 4AD release PIXIES: Doolittle 25, a deluxe, three-disc package that brings together for the first time all the album's B-sides, Peel Sessions and demos from the time, along with the original album. Nearly half of the tracks on this album are being commercially released for the first time.

                                                      Doolittle, the second studio album from Pixies - Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Loverng - was to prove a pivotal moment for both band and the wider scene. For the few years prior, the band had enjoyed cult status in their homeland with their early records having to find their way in to the US on import. Their secret was well and truly out in 1989 though when their British label (4AD) joined forces with American giant Elektra in time for Doolittle to receive a full domestic release.

                                                      Produced by Gil Norton and recorded between two studios (Downtown Recorders in Boston MA and Carriage House Studios in Stamford CT) in late-1988, Doolittle was an instant hit, containing some of the band’s most memorable singles (‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’, ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Debaser’). A slow-burn success story followed, helping them to sell in excess of a million copies in the US alone.

                                                      An important record, included among the many plaudits thrown Doolittle’s way was Pitchfork ranking it at Number 4 in their Best Albums of the 80s poll, while NME writers in 2004 named it their Second Best Album of All Time. The band toured Doolittle in 2009 to celebrate its 20th birthday and 5 years on from then, it’s now time to give it the deluxe release treatment it deserves.

                                                      Like all other Pixies sleeves before it, Vaughan Oliver returns to oversee its design, reinterpreting his original artwork and Simon Larbalestier’s photographs to create a stunning design using metallic ink.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      CD1 (Original Album)
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      I Bleed
                                                      Here Comes Your Man
                                                      Monkey Gone To Heaven
                                                      Mr. Grieves
                                                      Crackity Jones
                                                      La La Love You
                                                      No. 13 Baby
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Gouge Away

                                                      CD2 (B-Sides, Peel Sessions & Demos)
                                                      Manta Ray
                                                      Weird At My School
                                                      Dancing The Manta Ray
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)
                                                      Into The White
                                                      Bailey's Walk
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Manta Ray
                                                      Into The White
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      Down To The Well

                                                      (B-Sides, Peel Sessions & Demos)
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      I Bleed
                                                      Here Comes Your Man
                                                      Monkey Gone To Heaven
                                                      Mr. Grieves
                                                      Crackity Jones
                                                      La La Love You
                                                      No. 13 Baby (Viva La Loma Rica)
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Gouge Away
                                                      Bailey's Walk
                                                      My Manta Ray Is All Right
                                                      Weird At My School
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      No. 13 Baby
                                                      Gouge Away

                                                      LP1 (Original Album)
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      I Bleed
                                                      Here Comes Your Man
                                                      Monkey Gone To Heaven
                                                      Mr. Grieves
                                                      Crackity Jones
                                                      La La Love You
                                                      No. 13 Baby
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Gouge Away

                                                      LP2 (B-Sides, Peel Sessions & Demos)
                                                      Manta Ray
                                                      Weird At My School
                                                      Dancing The Manta Ray
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)
                                                      Into The White
                                                      Bailey's Walk
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Manta Ray
                                                      Into The White
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      Down To The Well

                                                      LP3 (B-Sides, Peel Sessions & Demos)
                                                      Wave Of Mutilation
                                                      I Bleed
                                                      Here Comes Your Man
                                                      Monkey Gone To Heaven
                                                      Mr. Grieves
                                                      Crackity Jones
                                                      La La Love You
                                                      No. 13 Baby (Viva La Loma Rica)
                                                      There Goes My Gun
                                                      Gouge Away
                                                      My Manta Ray Is All Right
                                                      Weird At My School

                                                      Ariel Pink

                                                      Pom Pom

                                                        Across its 17 tracks and 69 minutes, pom pom is unfiltered Ariel, a pied piper of the absurd, with infectious tales of romance, murder, frog princes and Jell-O. The record sees the Los Angeles native strike it out alone, returning to the solo moniker he has adopted for well over a decade when cementing his name as a king of pop perversion.

                                                        From demented kiddie tune collaborations with the legendary Kim Fowley (songs like ‘Jell-O’ and ‘Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade’ were written with Fowley in his hospital room during his recent battle with cancer), to beatific, windswept pop (‘Put Your Number In My Phone’, ‘Dayzed Inn Daydreams’), scuzz-punk face-melters (‘Goth Bomb’, ‘Negativ Ed’), and carnival dub psychedelia (‘Dinosaur Carebears’), pom pom could very well be Ariel Pink’s magnum opus.

                                                        “Although this is the first “solo” record credited to my name, it is by far the least “solo” record I have ever recorded.” – Ariel Pink.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Andy says: Brilliance mixed with utter daftness. It's a 'White Album' for our times.

                                                        Scott Walker & Sunn O)))


                                                          When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, little did they know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott was back with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind.

                                                          With a career spanning more than five decades, Scott Walker’s cult status remains as significant as ever before. Experiencing mega-stardom as part of The Walker Brothers before carving out a career as a solo crooner who released a quartet of peerless self-titled LPs that painted rich vignettes of life in the late 60s, Scott went through what felt like a massive U-turn by recording a collection of masterfully challenging albums: Climate Of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1996), The Drift (2006) and Bish Bosch (2013). While there’s some truth to this artistic arc, the actual picture is a lot more complex, with his knack for introducing the disturbingly counter-intuitive and the uncanny into his songwriting dating back to the likes of 'The Plague' (1967) and ‘It’s Raining Today’ (1969).

                                                          Centred around the core duo of Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, Sunn O))) have been at the heart of underground and experimental metal since they began in Los Angeles back in 1998, broadening in range to increasingly encompass avant-garde and jazz dynamics to their dark music. Anderson runs Southern Lord (Sunn O)))’s usual label home), whilst O’Malley is involved in a remarkable web of projects as a musician, designer, and label head of Ideologic Organ. They appear alongside extended Sunn O))) member Tos Nieuwenhuizen on this recording.

                                                          Recorded in London in early 2014 and produced by Scott Walker and long-time ally Peter Walsh with the assistance of musical director Mark Warman, Soused is a 5-track, 50-minute collaborative record that cements the status of both act’s wide-reaching and otherworldly renown.


                                                          After The End

                                                            First gaining notoriety with the LPs Children of Desire (2012), which Pitchfork hailed for its “glistening and emotive, ear-bleeding noise pop”, and then Totale Nite (2013), which NME likened to “a cultural jump-start” in their 9/10 review; Merchandise continue their ascent with the highly-anticipated new album, After The End.

                                                            Drawing from too many places to be classified punk, they’ve certainly been informed by its ethics, earning all they’ve achieved. Still self-recording and producing their music, this time over a six month period in the house they share in Tampa, After The End is a real achievement in showing what bands can achieve themselves. The only outside influence this time came when they enlisted mixing help from Gareth Jones, the man famed for his work on Depeche Mode’s Berlin Trilogy of Construction Time Again, Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration, and more recently Interpol, These New Puritans and Grizzly Bear.

                                                            As the album’s title suggests, Merchandise are still evolving. With this record, they’ve expanded ranks with Carson Cox (vocals / guitar), David Vassalotti (guitar) and Patrick Brady (bass), now being joined by Chris Horn (guitar / keys / sax) and Elsner Nino (drums).

                                                            Speaking to the NME earlier this year, Carson said “Totale Nite was the end of the book. This is a whole new one. It's like we can start a new band with basically the same name. We've already exploded our reality – now we're going to re-make ourselves as a pop band, but it'll still be a twisted reality.” He’s kept to his word, the album is made up of ten tracks spread across a mean 45 minutes.

                                                            Cocteau Twins

                                                            Blue Bell Knoll - Remastered Vinyl Edition

                                                            Released in 1988, ‘Blue Bell Knoll’ is the Cocteau Twins’ fifth studio album. Delivered after a slightly longer period between records than fans had been used to, this was the first they recorded in their own studio. Freed to now make music how they wanted and with no clock to beat, they rose to the challenge of producing it themselves with real aplomb, introducing a new pop sensibility to their sound, expressed through shorter, ‘hookier’ songs with occasionally intelligible lyrics. Sound On Sound magazine praised the band for showing “an uncanny feel for contemporary sound possibilities without making even the slightest concessions towards the mainstream.”

                                                            A beautiful record that showed the band’s continued maturity, it also included one of their most enduring songs, ‘Carolyn’s Fingers’, which was reflected on the album’s cover - a close-up of their friend Carolyn’s hand as shot by Juergen Teller.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Martin says: Liz Fraser possesses possibly the most sublime voice in the history of contemporary music, and never was it put to more exquisite use than on the peerless 'Carolyn's Fingers, the very high point of a celestial, iridescent sonic daydream.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            Blue Bell Knoll 3:25
                                                            Athol-Brose 3:00
                                                            Carolyn's Fingers 3:08
                                                            For Phoebe Still A Baby 3:16
                                                            The Itchy Glowbo Blow 3:21
                                                            Cico Buff 3:50
                                                            Suckling The Mender 3:35
                                                            Spooning Good Singing Gum 3:53
                                                            A Kissed Out Red Floatboat 4:10
                                                            Ella Megalast Burls Forever 3:39


                                                            Nikki Nack

                                                              When Merrill Garbus first committed her tUnE-yArDs persona to tape, she used a simple dictaphone to capture every part and then lovingly pieced it all together on GarageBand. A laborious process partly enforced by tight finances, the resulting album Bird-Brains (2009) was a sheer joy. A record so unique, it immediately set hearts racing; The Guardian in their five-star review went as far as to call her "the find of the year." At the same time, she enlisted Nate Brenner on bass to help her make tUnE-yArDs an unmissable live act. It worked. Word of mouth quickly spread, helping to fill every venue they played and to take the magic of Bird-Brains across the world. With a record deal also in the bag, she was able to now concentrate on being a musician full-time.

                                                              Shortly after, Merrill relocated from Montreal to Oakland, California, a new home that would have a huge influence on the themes for her next record, the call to arms that was w h o k i l l (2011). Recording in a studio for the first time, it showed Bird-Brains to be no fluke. Lyrically, Garbus explored constructs of femininity and sexuality, marrying it with the threat of violence that lurks on the streets where she lives, all the while maintaining the energy of their show and translating it perfectly to record. Cropping up in nearly all end of year lists, it was topped off with w h o k i l l named Album of the Year in the Village Voice’s highly prestigious Pazz & Jop poll, based on the votes of 700 of America’s most notable music critics.

                                                              After 18 months of near solid touring around the second album, Merrill gave herself some much-needed time off; "It was nice; I was trying to be healthy and have a good time,” she says. It was also the first time since embarking on life as tUnE-yArDs that she was without any new material in the works, allowing her to reflect on what’s gone before and where to next; “I thought, 'OK, if I'm going to grow as an artist, I need to do this differently.’”

                                                              Where the second album saw her stepping in to a studio proper for the first time, her third album Nikki Nack sees her enlist producers to help her achieve new heights on some tracks; “To ask Malay (Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys, Big Boi) and John Hill (Rihanna, Shakira, M.I.A.) for input, I had to let go of tUnE-yArDs being rigidly my production. I have a very specific vision for the sound of the band and I don't think women producers get enough credit for doing their own stuff, so I was resistant – but we grew, Nate and I both, and the songs grew. And it turns out that's what's most important: the songs, not my ego.”

                                                              A record that could only have been made by its creator, at heart it’s heavy yet still retains a sense of fun. This is explained in part by experiences in between records - like a life-affirming trip to Haiti (which she wrote extensively about for the online magazine written by the artists themselves, The Talkhouse) and her finally catching up with 80s kid’s TV programme Pee Wee’s Playhouse some 25 years since first broadcast - proving influential during the songwriting process. Her upbringing was also at the forefront of her mind in this period, shown by her subtle use of the traditional American music her parents raised her on to help colour her new creation (her dad’s old fiddle too makes an appearance).

                                                              Experimentation is still key for tUnE-yArDs. Where the loop pedal and the saxophone were main components of the first and second record respectively, it’s the drum that takes centre stage here, augmented by greater use of synth and Nate’s growing prowess as a bassist. She also decided to launch her third album with a homemade ‘MegaMix’ of the record, posting it to her fans online on her birthday; "I've put together a mash-up so you can get a tiny taste. We really can't wait to play this music for you. Thanks for all your support and patience while we cooked this chicken!".

                                                              With it’s its jump-rope-chant title, the brilliantly playful Nikki Nack continues the tUnE-yArDs story gloriously.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Andy says: More unique brilliance from Merrill Garbus. Pure imagination!



                                                                Having tantalised with ‘The Wheel’, ‘Bloodflows’ and ‘Lessons’, SOHN has added the final touches to his debut solo album.

                                                                'Tremors' is the way in which past traumas, as much as past successes, linger like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Even in the calmest moments its effects continue to reverberate and inform who we become. Throughout the eleven songs that form 'Tremors' runs a sense of the nocturnal - a sensitivity to the darkness and its inhibitions - with London-born SOHN adopting a night-time schedule for an in tense period of long nights writing and recording in his Vienna studio.

                                                                “I wanted 'Tremors' to feel like fresh air,” says SOHN. “There’s something about the way I was working overnight on the album which found its way into the sound. Every night I worked finished with a cold sunrise and a walk home... and to me that’s what 'Tremors' sounds like."


                                                                Blue Film

                                                                  4AD release ‘Blue Film’, the debut album by LA-based producer Lo-Fang (née Matthew Hemerlein).

                                                                  Classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano and guitar, Hemerlein’s soulful falsetto floats above a rich blend of classical, R&B and electronic music, telling stories of love, loss and deceit.

                                                                  The album was written and recorded during Hemerlein’s world travels everywhere from a farmhouse in Maryland to a hotel in Cambodia to studios in London and Nashville. He completed the album at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with GRAMMY Award winning producer Francois Tetaz.

                                                                  Noted filmmaker Grant Singer (Sky Ferreira, Kendrick Lamar, DIIV) directed the stunning twopart video for album track ‘Look Away’. The first half nodding to the op-art movement, with the latter half filmed in an abandoned mansion in the Hollywood Hills where Steven Spielberg once shot scenes from Columbo.

                                                                  The Birthday Party

                                                                  Live 81-82

                                                                    Though various live releases had emerged over the course of the band’s existence, no full-length capturing of the Party’s particular bacchanalia approved by the group had officially emerged until this release.

                                                                    “Stitching together tracks from a London date in 1981 and a German show in 1982 (plus a ringer cut from Athens, Greece - a version of The Stooges’ ‘Funhouse’ with Jim Thirwell aka Foetus on sax), ‘Live 81-82’ threatens at all points to leap from the speakers and throttle innocent bystanders. Clear sound on the first ten songs, all from the London date, makes resistance even harder. Given the sometimes (though intentionally) unclear or unexpected mixing of Party songs in studio, hearing everything via in-your-face stun methods brings out the abilities of the band all the more, especially Pew and his vicious bass work.

                                                                    “Songs like ‘The Dim Locator’ and ‘King Ink’ cut all the more closer to the bone as a result. ‘Nick The Stripper’, amazingly, is even more viciously sleazy than the original, which is saying something and a half; Cave sounds like he’s summoning his voice from his shoes on up. The German date’s sound is only slightly less thorough than the London’s, and the performances no less wired. ‘Big-Jesus-Trash-Can’ thrashes around like there’s no tomorrow, Pew’s bass again shooting through the mix, while ‘The Friend Catcher’ seethes with a creepy, frigid energy. Harvey takes over on drums for the last two German tracks and the ‘Funhouse’ cover, but even down to four people the band still generates more noise and activity than most other acts could hope to achieve.

                                                                    “Definite bonus points have to go to Cave for his occasional, softly spoken between-song asides - “Thank you, I love your haircuts as well.” - Ned Raggett, All Music Guide


                                                                    With Love

                                                                      Since issuing a clutch of 12”s in the late-noughties and the 2008 release of his debut album 'Where Were U In 92?' - a rave-homage made using equipment from the period - Zomby has consistently proven himself to be a unique presence in an increasingly cluttered field. A purist and afficiando in the truest sense, he’s spurned every chance to board the EDM bandwagon to make a quick buck, instead preferring to stay faithful to the ideals of the music he grew up with.

                                                                      Following the success of his debut, it took him three long, thoughtful years to next break cover, this time with an altogether different record. 'Dedication' (2011) was an after-hours meditation on mortality, weighed down with an audible sadness, and it was abundantly clear why he had taken time out. Not only did it deliver an unexpected twist, its surprisingly human qualities also offered a rare, candid glimpse of an artist who prefers anonymity and little fanfare. The response was unanimous - he had written a modern masterpiece. An accompanying seven-track EP (Nothing) followed six months later, acting both as an encore bow and cue to retreat back to the shadows.

                                                                      'With Love' is Zomby's third album. An astonishing 33 tracks that collectively trace an arc through dance music’s history, revealing an artist in his most creative phase yet. Touching upon rave, jungle, house, techno, and grime, Zomby once again marks himself as a genre savant free of the cosy nostalgia that weighs down many of his peers. Across two volumes that move invariably between a dancefloor focus and darkened emotional introspection, Zomby points to a different future.

                                                                      A sonic palimpsest written of true experience, 'With Love' is the work of a producer who has absorbed the shifting textures and plains of electronic music first hand, and reconfigured them into a definitive, sprawling love letter to the soulful dance music of his past.

                                                                      Efterklang With Copenhagen Phil

                                                                      The Piramida Concert

                                                                        Over the years Efterklang hae developed an insatiable taste for adventure, keen to immerse themselves in different projects and be challenged musically. Collaborating with classical orchestras is one such challenge that the band have never shied away from, and the results have always been stunning. With the release of their fourth album ‘Piramida’, they continued this tradition by performing it for the first time - before the record itself was released - at the iconic Sydney Opera House in May 2012 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. An unorthodox way of introducing a new body of work, perhaps, but the moment has become a milestone in Efterklang’s twelveyear history.

                                                                        Early on in the gestation process of ‘Piramida’, Efterklang enlisted the talents of renowned composers Missy Mazzoli and Karsten Fundal to provide orchestral arrangements for the Sydney performance. Their invaluable contributions brought the orchestra into sharp focus, becoming the catalyst for the performance rather than an embellishment.

                                                                        Since their appearance at the Sydney Opera House, the band have played fifteen other such concerts - dubbed The Piramida Concerts - around the globe, including sold out performances at London’s Barbican with the Northern Sinfonia and New York’s Metropolitan Museum concert hall with The Wordless Music Orchestra.

                                                                        The album ‘Piramida’ was released in September 2012. It is named after a forgotten mining settlement on the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen, located just south of the North Pole, abandoned since 1998 and slowly decaying. The trio of Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg spent nine days exploring this ghost town, collecting field recordings that would help form the backbone of their fourth studio record. Although cut from the same cloth, The Piramida Concerts differ from Piramida and, keen to present this other side, Efterklang decided to commit one of the performances to tape. Fittingly, they chose the concert they played in their native Denmark, and this will be released as a deluxe double vinyl package (with a copy of the album on CD).

                                                                        ‘The Piramida Concert’ by Efterklang & Copenhagen Phil was recorded live at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy Of Music Concert Hall in October 2012. Over the course of two sold-out nights Efterklang - plus special guests Peter Broderick, Katinka Fogh Vindelev and Budgie (Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Creatures) - teamed up with the 33-strong Copenhagen Phil orchestra and German conductor André de Ridder to perform ‘Piramida’ in its entirety.

                                                                        The concert also features ‘So’, a song written during recording sessions for ‘Piramida’, and ‘Vælv’, a classical piece commissioned by Efterklang and composed by Karsten Fundal.

                                                                        Mixed to tape by Francesco Donadello at the Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, the deluxe gatefold double vinyl will consist of one black disc and one white, designed by Danish artists and long-time Efterklang collaborators Hvass&Hannibal.

                                                                        This is the sixth studio album for the Brooklyn band, and follows 2010’s High Violet, which was No 2 in our Albums of The Year, that year.

                                                                        In an interview with UK’s Uncut Magazine, front man Matt Berninger described the songs as more “immediate and visceral” than their previous work. Trouble Will Find Me possesses a directness, a coherency and an approachability that suggests The National are at their most confident.

                                                                        After a 22-month tour following the release of High Violet the band returned home. Regardless of plans to wait to record new music for another year or two, guitarist Aaron Dessner began working on sketches of new songs that the other members were too inspired by to not fully realise. Matt confesses, “For the past ten years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities. After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax—not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.” The results are simultaneously breakthrough and oddly familiar, the culmination of an artistic journey that has led The National both to a new crest and, somehow, back to their beginnings—when, says Aaron, “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.” The album was recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY. Trouble Will Find Me was self-produced and mixed by Craig Silvey with additional mixing from Peter Katis and Marcus Paquin.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Laura says: With every album The National have pushed on and made a more ambitious album, constantly upping the ante with bigger arrangements and a bigger sound. So how on earth were the going to follow High Violet?
                                                                        Well, it seems they’ve finally come to terms with who and where they are as a band and made an album that reflects that. The Dressner brothers intricate arrangements are still there, as are the distinctive scatter-shot drum patterns (described perfectly by film director DA Pennebaker as “like rain falling through the leaves of a tree”) and of course Matt Berninger’s rich baritone rolls effortlessly over it all, but “Trouble Will Find Me” is a more relaxed, streamlined collection, and this stripping back gives the songs room to breathe and emphasises just how good they are at what they do. There may be less angst here than in the past, but the romanticism and melancholy are still there and for me, once again they've come up with one of the best albums of the year.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        1. I Should Live In Salt
                                                                        2. Demons
                                                                        3. Don't Swallow The Cap
                                                                        4. Fireproof
                                                                        5. Sea Of Love
                                                                        6. Heavenfaced
                                                                        7. This Is The Last Time
                                                                        8. Graceless
                                                                        9. Slipped
                                                                        10. I Need My Girl
                                                                        11. Humiliation
                                                                        12. Pink Rabbits
                                                                        13. Hard To Find



                                                                          Bradford Cox's music is the stuff of an obsessive and unquiet mind. Everything about the singer's approach to music — whether he's dumping four discs' worth of home recordings onto the Internet with little fanfare or smearing fake blood onto his spindly, dress-clad body onstage — has a chaotic, haunted quality to it, even in painstakingly crafted recordings that layer his sound with atmospheric psychedelia.

                                                                          All of which makes Monomania a perfect title for an album by Cox's band : A single-minded obsession with music is so clearly what's kept him intact and whole throughout his adult life. But this particular collection, the sound of which he describes as "nocturnal garage," has a dirtier, wirier, looser and less fussed-over feel than he's often cultivated in recent years. Five studio albums into Deerhunter's existence, Monomania captures Cox's gift for self-laceration and unpredictability, but it moves in a less studio-bound direction, closer to the raw and unhinged spirit of his live shows.

                                                                          Monomania's gnarly dissonance leaves a bit less room than usual for glimmers of beauty — though they shine through in a few haunting tracks like "The Missing" — as Deerhunter opts more often for the raw, noisy, slurred and basement-friendly feel of "Pensacola." Elsewhere, "Blue Agent" meets somewhere on Deerhunter's continuum between sideways prettiness and the sort of thorniness that ensures arm's-length distance. Even as its sound continues to shift unpredictably, Deerhunter has maintained that balance throughout its fruitful run — no small task, coming from a man whose entire artistic persona is rooted in an understanding that balance doesn't come easy, even on the best days.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Andy says: Less Shoegaze, more Velvets. Always good songs!

                                                                          Iron & Wine

                                                                          Ghost On Ghost

                                                                            Following 2011’s ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’, which debuted at number two on the US Billboard chart, ‘Ghost On Ghost’ is to be the fifth studio album from Austin-based Sam Beam.

                                                                            While Rolling Stone said of ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ that “pop music hadn’t seen anything like it since the heyday of Cat Stevens,” and Pitchfork said it “more closely resembles the lush, gold-toned singer songwriter records of the late 60s and early 70s - ‘Astral Weeks’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’”, Beam felt it time to move from what he called the “anxious tension” from this record and his previous one (‘The Shepherd’s Dog’). “This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few,” he says.

                                                                            Recorded in New York and produced by Beam’s longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats), helping achieve Beam’s vision were a group of stellar musicians including Rob Burger of Tin Hat Trio, Steve Bernstein, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, and Briggan Krauss of Sex Mob, jazz drummer Brian Blade, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes of The Jazz Passengers, bassist Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan’s band), cellist Marika Hughes, Maxim Moston and Doug Wieselman of Antony And The Johnsons, and Anja Wood. Burger (Tin Hat Trio) has worked with Beam intermittently through the years and handled arrangements for strings and horns on ‘Ghost On Ghost’.

                                                                            For the album’s cover, Beam, who is also a visual artist, chose an image from the series ‘Private Views’ by noted photographer Barbara Crane.

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Andy says: Another mellow delight from Sam Beam. Lovely.

                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            Caught In The Briars
                                                                            The Desert Babbler
                                                                            Low Light Buddy Of Mine
                                                                            Graces For Saints And Ramblers
                                                                            Grass Windows
                                                                            Singers And The Endless Song
                                                                            Sundown (Back In The Briars)
                                                                            Winter Prayers
                                                                            New Mexico’s No Breeze
                                                                            Lovers’ Revolution
                                                                            Baby Center Stage


                                                                            If You Leave

                                                                            Daughter are a London-based trio consisting of Elena Tonra (vocals, guitar), Igor Haefeli (guitar) and Remi Aguilella (percussion).

                                                                            Daughter started life in 2010 as an outlet for Elena’s musings. After recording a ‘Demos’ EP, Elena joined forces with Igor, then fellow classmates studying music at college. A four-track EP, ‘His Young Heart’, was self released in April 2011, and with Remi completing the line up soon after, The ‘Wild Youth’ EP was released in late 2011. On the strength of these releases alone they have gained a loyal fanbase which continues to grow as public and media alike discover their charms.

                                                                            ‘If You Leave’ is Daughter’s debut album. Recorded over a period of months at home and in various spaces around London, it was produced by Igor with additional production from Rodhaidh McDonald (The xx, Adele) and Jolyon Vaughan Thomas, and mixed by Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, M83) at High Bank Studios.

                                                                            Less of a statement of intent, these songs are more a snapshot of a year in Daughter’s short life. Lyrically, Elena plumbs the depths of her psyche to reveal her innermost thoughts, finding catharsis in expounding those internal demons. There may be little light relief here, but the personal themes have universal appeal; tales of doubt, insecurity, fear, anger and loneliness all take centre stage.

                                                                            Musically, Daughter balance an intricate interplay between vocal, guitar and rhythm section. Elena’s vocals are fractured, often delivering savage words with a smoke-tinged whisper. Igor wrestles his guitar to build up a stark and brutal landscape, colliding with Elena’s more structured rhythm guitar. All are punctuated by the jolts of Remi’s minimalist drums.

                                                                            ‘If You Leave’ is a bold first move for an act still in its infancy, and yet the songwriting displays a maturity that belies their youth. Darkness may prevail on ‘If You Leave’, but the future looks extremely bright for Elena, Igor and Remi.

                                                                            TRACK LISTING



                                                                            Tales From Terra Firma

                                                                              Stornoway's second album, Tales From Terra Firma, is an album of stories – birth, death, marriage, coming of age: The Big Stuff. The songs were mostly written in a camper van in land-locked Oxford but on listening, the yearning for adventure and the freedom of the coast and wild places is palpable. As is true of classic songwriting partnerships, lyricist Brian Briggs? eloquence coupled with his crystalline voice unite with Jon Ouin?s stunning arrangements and alchemise to form a musical mirror. Tales From Terra Firma reflects powerful life experiences, the great outdoors and the passing of time, which is a major theme of the album. And with that, Stornoway have self-produced a record that marks a new sophistication in compositional and, in particular, lyrical qualities, while still retaining the charm of their debut that so many fell in love with.

                                                                              And so to the songs themselves. Brian suggests: “The title of the album conjures up for me, the romantic notion of an adventurer, exploring new lands and reporting on his experiences. Discovering what it is to be human and an enthusiasm for adventure, which I feel is true of me.” This notion was seized upon by drummer Rob Steadman who worked in conjunction with artist Kirini Kopcke to bring an action-adventure sensibility to the album?s artwork. Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Hergé and Ukiyo-e and using the ligne claire style, the aim was, as in the songs, to contrast the drama and adventure of the high seas with something very rooted in the real world.

                                                                              Bass player and other band multi-instrumentalist Oli Steadman transformed into the band?s “super geeky esoteric experimentalist” as well as tutor to Brian in the finer points of learning Logic. Oli and Rob?s parents? garage in Oxford became band HQ: Stornostudios. It was here that they together brought Tales From Terra Firma into being. Whilst the band strengthened their grip on experimenting, arranging, song writing and the accompanying artwork; the majority of the tracks are simple, melodic pop songs that are warm and inviting and quintessentially Stornoway

                                                                              Scott Walker will finally release Bish Bosch this December, his long-awaited and first studio album since 2006’s The Drift.

                                                                              Since the 1960s, Scott Walker has scaled the heights of pop superstardom, produced some of the most revered solo albums of the late sixties, coasted on his laurels during the seventies, then metamorphosed into something very different. The music he has been making at his own pace since the early eighties might be utterly estranged from the songs that made him a household name, but they stem from the privacy he requires to write this complex and hugely inventive music.

                                                                              Bish Bosch is the latest in Scott’s discography to pursue the line of enquiry he began back in 1978, with his four devastatingly original songs on the Walker Brothers’ swansong, Nite Flights, and continuing through Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1995), The Drift (2006). He has continued to mature and develop in a late style utterly at odds with the music that made him a superstar, a lifetime ago, but which is totally honest, uncompromising and transcendent.

                                                                              Scott began writing new material around 2009 - whilst also scoring the ROH 2’s Duet For One Voice ballet - recording it sporadically over the following three years. Aided again by co-producer Peter Walsh and joined by the regular core of musicians, Ian Thomas (drums), Hugh Burns (guitar), James Stevenson (guitar), Alasdair Malloy (percussion) and John Giblin (bass).

                                                                              Musical director Mark Warman also played a prominent role, both as conductor and keyboardist, while guests include trumpeter Guy Barker and pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, who worked on three of Scott’s midseventies LPs. For three tracks (‘SDSS1416+13B’, ‘Dimple’ and ‘Corps de Blah’), Scott drafted in an orchestra, recording them in The Hall at Air Studios last November.

                                                                              If The Drift was a dark place, full of scorching orchestral textures and ominous rumblings, Bish Bosch is a tauter but more colourful experience, with greater emphasis on processed, abrasive guitars, digital keyboards and thick silences.

                                                                              Bish Bosch is released on December 3rd and a comprehensive booklet accompanies the album. For the cover art, Scott worked closely with painter Ben Farquharson and designer Philip Laslett.

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              ‘See You Don’t Bump His Head’
                                                                              Corps De Blah
                                                                              SDSS1416+13B (Zercon,
                                                                              A Flagpole Sitter)
                                                                              The Day The “Conducator” Died



                                                                                Forever fascinated by the purest possibilities of sound, since forming in 2001 Efterklang - childhood friends Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg - have consistently adjusted their sonic modus operandi to suit very specific inspirations. The results the band have produced so far - most notably across three acclaimed albums, 2004’s ‘Tripper’, 2007’s ‘Parades’ and 2010’s ‘Magic Chairs’ - have each explored different directions, each an end product of remarkably studied songcraft and emotional resonance. But ‘Piramida’ is perhaps the band’s greatest achievement: an album bringing the outside in, informed by frozen time and the relics humanity leaves in its expanding wake.

                                                                                ‘Piramida’s roots were laid in 2010, when the band first saw photographs of a forgotten settlement lying, slowly dying, on Spitsbergen, an island of the Svalbard archipelago midway between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole. This ghost town, which the trio eventually visited in August 2011 (drummer Thomas Husmer left before ‘Piramida’s commencement), would give their fourth album its title, and comprise the conceptual catalyst for its contents.

                                                                                Once an outpost for some 1,000 Russians, the former mining facility was abandoned in January 1998. Between the empty oil drums and fuel tanks, glass bottles, lampshades, sea birds and polar bears, the band discovered the world’s northernmost grand piano, standing proudly in a concert hall that once held 400 people. Its notes can be heard on ‘Piramida’, perhaps for the first time anywhere in over a decade.

                                                                                When the band returned home, nine days later, they’d accumulated just over 1000 field recordings from the many and varied environments they explored in Piramida. The beginnings of this approach can be seen on the band’s 2010 film collaboration with Vincent Moon, ‘An Island’. Then the time came to transform these audio snapshots of abandonment, of isolation touched by unique beauty, into songs.

                                                                                Every added element - including contributions from Peter Broderick (violin), Earl Harvin (drums), Nils Frahm (piano), brass from the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, and a 70- piece girls choir - owes its presence to the trio’s Piramida visit. “Everything that has gone onto this record is connected with that trip,” says Clausen. Adds Stolberg: “We didn’t really know where we were going to end the record - but the starting point was something we could control. That was an amazing framework for us, and we could constantly put what we were working on in the context of that trip.”

                                                                                Lyrically, Clausen isn’t telling of empty houses and dusty grand pianos - but his heartfelt performance, more prominent in the mix here than on past albums and all the more affecting for it, is carried by a different kind of isolation, of abandonment. In his words there are glimpses of a relationship splintered, a community of two lost to the winds. It’s thousands of geographical miles away from Piramida, yet becomes the heart of Piramida.

                                                                                A less-densely layered collection than the electronic-hued ‘Parades’, and more direct than ‘Magic Chairs’, ‘Piramida’ is a rare example of a conceptually strong project that never forgets to let the concept serve the song, rather than the other way around. It’s a streamlined sound, but distinct and absorbing too. It showcases a band superbly capable of transitioning experiences shared by a select few into music that can be enjoyed by a wide, open-minded audience.

                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                Ryan says: Piramida stands tall above their previous releases, gritty synth lines, punchy percussion and oh yes, trumpets add to the atmosphere to create a true masterpiece.

                                                                                David Byrne & St Vincent

                                                                                Love This Giant

                                                                                  Recorded over two years largely at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ, the album is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, with Byrne and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) co-writing ten of the album’s twelve tracks, and each artist penning one song individually.

                                                                                  The album centres around an explosive brass band and is propelled by John Congleton’s drum programming.

                                                                                  “There was no delineating what the roles were,” explains Clark. “It’s a collaboration I’m truly proud of.” The duo also split lyrical and vocal duties on the record which, despite eschewing a traditional guitar / bass / drums line-up in favour of idiosyncratic horn arrangements, presents itself as infectious and modern hook-laden rock.

                                                                                  Byrne and Clark spin their intriguingly enigmatic tales, by turns whimsical and dark, backed by a large brass band in lieu of a traditional rock lineup. There is a magical urbanity to ‘Love This Giant’: It’s as if they’re dancing in the streets, their voices soaring over the rhythms, the melodies, the barely contained cacophony of the city.

                                                                                  Though Byrne and Clark each have an unmistakable sound and persona that have made them such compelling performers on their own, their voices manage to blend naturally, effortlessly, here. Sometimes they trade verses, at others they sing in unison. Like friends who can finish each other’s sentences, when one takes the spotlight alone, it’s often with words that the other provided. The brass lends the songs an appealing theatrical sheen while programmed percussion provides a contemporary feel.

                                                                                  Byrne and Clark met in 2009 at the ‘Dark Was The Night’ benefit at Radio City Music Hall and were approached shortly after by the Housing Works Bookstore to collaborate on a night of music. They began composing remotely, trading song ideas and structures online while Clark toured and it quickly became apparent that they had more than just one night of music in them. Byrne performed with Clark at her ‘American Songbook’ show at Lincoln Center in 2010, and Clark contributed vocals to Byrne’s ‘Here Lies Love’ album, released the same year.

                                                                                  The Birthday Party

                                                                                  Junkyard - Special Vinyl Edition

                                                                                    4AD reissue ‘Junkyard’ in a special vinyl edition. Apart from the LP, the package also contains a bonus 7” featuring ‘Release The Bats’ and ‘Blast Off’. Additionally, it includes a CD of all 12 tracks, so that fans can also access the music digitally.

                                                                                    The album has been mastered from Henry Rollins’ 2000 re-master, previously unavailable in Europe, while the single is a new, 2012 master taken from the original studio analogue tapes.

                                                                                    “Released in May 1982, ‘Junkyard’s uncompromising contents signalled both the oncoming demise of the band responsible for them and rock & roll’s logical conclusion. Harnessing the power of The Stooges’ ‘Funhouse’ with the limitless possibilities offered by Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’, The Birthday Party were a product of the uncertain times that created them - the unwitting soundtrack to a time of death, darkness and decay.”

                                                                                    “Troubled music for a troubled age, Nick Cave’s world was created in a white-hot blast of visceral energy, gut-wrenching violence and Dadaist stupidity while the work of his band mates fleshed out the vision to devastating effect. Here, blasphemous imagery fraternised with scenes of murder, brutality and sadism as it rolled and revelled in a trash aesthetic that belied the intellect behind it. The noise created by the band was at once familiar - a wild mutation of rock’s primordial slime mixed with a nightmarish interpretation of Elmer Bernstein and a skewed vision of the blues spewed out rather than played - yet startlingly new and all underlined by an inevitable finality.”

                                                                                    “With the passing of 30 years, ‘Junkyard’ still sounds as if it’s waiting for rock music to catch up with it. Throwing down a taunting gauntlet to subsequent generations of musicians, this feral collection of songs simultaneously closes a door on something that can’t be repeated or improved upon. The distance of time has failed to reduce its sonic power and revisiting Junkyard three decades after its birth is to rediscover an album more melodic if no less manic as was initially perceived.” - Julian Marszalek, The Quietus

                                                                                    Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

                                                                                    Mature Themes

                                                                                      West Coast natives Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti present ‘Mature Themes’, the follow-up to 2010’s hugely successful album, ‘Before Today’.

                                                                                      ‘Before Today’ was the band’s 4AD debut, offering the first sign that the intriguingly scatalogical music Ariel had been making for over a decade was finally ossifying into a coherent form. Indeed, the lead song from ‘Before Today’ - the inimitable ‘Round And Round’ - was awarded Pitchfork’s Track Of The Year for 2010, and further plaudits were heaped upon the album as it cropped up in near-all end-of-year polls. For many it seemed that Ariel had finally reached the wider audience his early recordings had hinted was possible. And with ‘Mature Themes’, Haunted Graffiti have forged a record that raises the bar once again.

                                                                                      Installing themselves in a studio space in downtown-LA, Haunted Graffiti began a lengthy process of writing and recording. ‘Mature Themes’ is a self-produced affair, with former member Cole MGN drafted in to provide some drum programming and additional mixing duties.

                                                                                      Far removed from Ariel’s early bedroom recordings, ‘Mature Themes’ is a product of a more collaborative process, with the oftenoverlooked virtuoso musicianship of the band bought to the fore. “There are definitely not any links to my lo-fi origins”, Ariel recently told Spin magazine. “It’s so diverse but so different from anything I’ve done before. In a sense, it’s really the record I wanted to make back when I made ‘Before Today’, but couldn’t. We had time to let our hair down and try new things.”

                                                                                      While the creative process was new, familiar Ariel Pink signatures remain. In fact, ‘Mature Themes’ feels like the definitive Haunted Graffiti record, a patchwork of modern America, its esoteric reference points and moments of lyrical lucidity a twilight excursion through backwater LA and late-night TV channel hopping.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Andy says: Sheer brilliance. Often absurd and lyrically insane, but crammed full of so many melodic detours and crazy ideas, that you can only marvel at his inventiveness. It's refreshing that this guy never seems to take himself seriously, but with music as inspiring and unique as this, we definitely should do. He's a (twisted) superstar!

                                                                                      Purity Ring


                                                                                        Purity Ring are a Halifax / Montreal-based duo comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James. Their debut album ‘Shrines’ will be released on 4AD.

                                                                                        Purity Ring make lullabies for the club, drawing equally from airy 90s R&B, lush dream pop, and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of modern hip hop. Megan’s remarkable voice is at once ecstatic and ethereal, soaring joyfully through Corin’s carefully chopped beats, trembling synths, and skewed vocal samples.

                                                                                        Despite the band’s young age (Corin is 21, Megan 24) and short gestation (they formed in late 2010), Purity Ring have delivered one of 2012’s most assured - and anticipated - debuts with ‘Shrines’. Indeed, ‘Shrines’ feels like anything but a first record - its vocal hooks are inescapable, its lush production futuristic and sophisticated but also as pristine as anything on pop radio.

                                                                                        The record’s 11 tracks trace a unique aesthetic universe that is carefully crafted and fully realised - deftly walking the lines between trap-rap exhilaration and otherworldly rapture, pleasure-centre pop and diaristic emotion, childlike dread and total selfpossession. Purity Ring’s is a universe that invites exploration and demands revisiting.

                                                                                        Corin and Megan grew up in and around Edmonton, Alberta where they were an integral part of that city’s small, tight-knit all-ages DIY music community. They toured extensively together in the band Gobble Gobble (now Born Gold), with Corin on drums and Megan singing. In the midst of a six-month-long tour, Corin’s love of R&B and hip hop grew, and he began experimenting with beat-making in Ableton Live. He asked Megan to lay down vocals on a song called ‘Ungirthed’, and Purity Ring was born. The song made its way online in January of 2011 to immediate international acclaim, and thus the two were suddenly faced with the daunting task of turning a studio project into a real band. To meet the challenge, Megan and Corin spent nearly six months conceiving a live show that would do justice to the unique music they were recording.

                                                                                        Every element of Purity Ring’s live presence has been carefully considered, from the clothes they wear (all designed and handmade by expert stitcher Megan) to the tactile, hybrid musical instrument / lighting machine that Corin built himself. The resulting spectacle can’t be overstated; infectious vocal leads chopped and screwed improvisationally, synth leads and lighting triggered live with a drummer’s precision.

                                                                                        Purity Ring’s performance is a lived synaesthesia that transcends the pitfalls often associated with live electronic-based music. Of course, perhaps the most exciting thing about Purity Ring is the overriding sense that these live performance innovations and their exceptional debut Shrines are merely the beginning of a collaboration whose remarkable chemistry is sure to bear much more to come - future pop, in every sense of the phrase.

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Ryan says: I'm sure we've all been waiting eagerly for this one, witness the epic shimmering beauty that only Purity Ring can pull off. More of that 90's Rnb tinged synthwave you've heard so much about, similar to 'OoOOo'.

                                                                                        Twin Shadow, the creative moniker of George Lewis Jr., will release second album ‘Confess’ on 4AD. Self-produced and with mixing duties handled by Michael H. Brauer (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney), the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Forget’ (“Impressive” - The Sunday Times ****) finds Lewis Jr. doing what he does best; remembering and reinventing, and fashioning a soundtrack which sounds refreshingly and distinctly modern.

                                                                                        Talking about his inspiration behind ‘Confess’, New York-based George Lewis Jr. writes: “One winter I crashed my motorcycle, with a friend on the back. I shouldn’t have been riding that day, but I was young and fearless of the black roads, fast and easy in my ways. As the bike slipped from under us my head filled with words. The slow motion moments of calm just after surprise and just before regret are bliss. I remember in that moment I wanted to say everything to him. How could I say everything in a split second? How could I bury my words in his heart?”

                                                                                        “I got a new bike and went to LA to record what is now called ‘Confess’. I took the bike out at 6am one morning after not having done much riding in the couple years between ‘Forget’ and ‘Confess’. I noticed my head clearing as I came slowly down a hill where the road around a reservoir began. I pulled back slowly on the throttle with my right hand, and felt the bike start to come to life. My head was still crystal clear… nothing. As I kicked the bike into third, I pulled almost all the way back and jumped forward leaning in towards the gas tank, fighting the wind. I got up to 75 and saw that no one was out but the runners and their four legged friends, the sidewalks became a blur of barking dogs and heads all turning. My mind was empty. I put the bike in fourth and hit 90. The engine jackhammered under my legs. My mind was clear. I inched toward 100 on the speedometer and punch the last five. TON UP! My mind is filled with words. My heart is full of love. This is where I want to be. I want to stay here, and I want to tell you everything.”

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Andy says: This is like Part Two of his amazing debut, but he's made it out of the bedroom and into a proper studio. The result is a punchier take on his unique vision. Retro yet defiantly unique.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        1. Golden Light
                                                                                        2. You Call On Me
                                                                                        3. Five Seconds
                                                                                        4. Run My Heart
                                                                                        5. The One
                                                                                        6. Beg For The Night
                                                                                        7. Patient
                                                                                        8. When The Movies Over
                                                                                        9. I Don't Care
                                                                                        10. Be Mine Toni



                                                                                          "Microcastle" is the follow-up to 2006's critically lauded "Cryptograms" and was recorded over the course of a week at the Rare Book Studios in Brooklyn, NY with studio proprietor Nicolas Verhes (Les Savy Fav, Silver Jews). All tracks on the record feature Bradford on lead vocals except "Agoraphobia" and "Neither Of Us, Uncertainly", which are fronted by guitarist Lockett Pundt, while "Saved By Old Times" also features a vocal collage by Cole Alexander of The Black Lips. It's a more immediate album than it's predecessor, and although not exactly what you'd call a 'pop' album it's much more accessible. In fact, it kind of falls somewhere between "Cryptograms" and Bradford Cox's solo project Atlas Sound. The songs range from shimmering slow fuzz, at times bringing to mind 80s 4AD acts like Ultra Vivid Scene, to more upbeat, psyche-pop experiments. The mood and tempo change constantly, but that's not to say it's disjointed, it all flows beautifully, all the while pulling influences from all over the place; 60s doo-whop to Kraut to garage punk, all filtered through a shoegaze-fuzz. A wonderfully uplifting, off-kilter pop album. Set to be a Piccadilly Records favourite!

                                                                                          4AD release ‘Visions’, the defining new album from Grimes.

                                                                                          For those unaware, Grimes is the inventive work of Claire Boucher, a project that has gained notoriety since its inception back in early 2010. Moving to Montreal from Vancouver in 2006, she developed Grimes among the city’s burgeoning DIY scene; a scene where both punk ethos and pop music collide, resulting in a distinct sense of community, religiosity and psychedelic revelry.

                                                                                          ‘Visions’ will be her fourth release in less than two years. With her creative bent being both musical and visual, her second self embodies the arts of 2D, performance, dance, video and sound, weaving them all together to strong rhythmic effect. Subsequent records have sharpened her production skills and each one has tackled different influences and styles. This new set incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, whilst drawing from genres like new jack swing, IDM, new age, K-pop, industrial and glitch, resulting in a record that is both otherworldly and futuristic.

                                                                                          Claire describes her work as “the only means through which I can be fully expressive. It is both an ethereal escape from, and a violent embrace of, my experience. The creative process is a quest for the ultimate sensual, mystical and cathartic experience and the vehicle for my psychic purging. ‘Visions’ was conceived in a period of self-imposed cloistering during which time I did not see daylight.”

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1. Infinite Love Without Fulfilment
                                                                                          2. Genesis
                                                                                          3. Oblivion
                                                                                          4. Eight
                                                                                          5. Circumambient
                                                                                          6. Vowels = Space And Time
                                                                                          7. Visiting Statue
                                                                                          8. Be A Body
                                                                                          9. Colour Of Moonlight (Antiochus)
                                                                                          10. Symphonia Ix (My Wait Is U)
                                                                                          11. Nightmusic (Featuring Majical Cloudz)
                                                                                          13. Skin
                                                                                          14. Know The Way (Outro)

                                                                                          Cocteau Twins

                                                                                          Stars And Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

                                                                                          ‘Stars and Topsoil’, Cocteau Twins’ collection of the best of their 4AD years, is belatedly issued on vinyl. Perfectly suited to the format, there’s a greater cohesion to the tracks when they are split into four sides.

                                                                                          Following their ascent from alternative novices to universally acclaimed artists, ‘Stars and Topsoil’ is a fine testament to one of the most original bands to emerge in the last three decades. Over a career at 4AD that spanned six albums and seven eps, Cocteau Twins retained an intriguing uniqueness of style that defied comparison. Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie (guitars) and Simon Raymonde (bass guitar) were always fiercely protective of their privacy, preferring to let the music speak for itself; it spoke volumes and continues to do so.

                                                                                          From day one Cocteau Twins had something special; Liz’s glittering vocals, unintelligible and perfect, Robin’s edgy guitar, all grounded by Simon’s bass. This chronological collection is a fitting reminder of why Cocteau Twins are so important: musical visionaries who transcended convention yet achieved massive international success.

                                                                                          ‘Blues Funeral’ is the new Mark Lanegan Band record, the first since 2004’s ‘Bubblegum’, recorded in Hollywood, California by Alain Johannes at his 11ad studio. In the mean time, he’s been busy working with the likes of Isobel Campbell, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins and Soulsavers. Here, the music was played by Johannes and Jack Irons with appearances from Greg Dulli, Josh Homme et al.

                                                                                          The awesome ‘Gravedigger’s Song’ kicks things off, with it’s pounding, claustrophobic beats. The tempo slows for the next track ‘Bleeding Muddy Water’, with it’s soulful, pulsing groove. In fact, the whole album ‘grooves’ to varying degrees, from slow and soulful, to Kraut-ish metronomy, to almost funky – yes really! There’s a lot going on here, and it’s taken me a good few listens to get to grips with it, but as ever, Mark’s dark tales, delivered in his distinctive gravelly tones have won me over.

                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1. The Gravedigger’s Song
                                                                                          2. Bleeding Muddy Water
                                                                                          3. Gray Goes Black
                                                                                          4. St. Louis Elegy
                                                                                          5. Riot In My House
                                                                                          6. Ode To Sad Disco
                                                                                          7. Phantasmagoria Blues
                                                                                          8. Quiver Syndrome
                                                                                          9. Harborview Hospital
                                                                                          10. Leviathan
                                                                                          11. Deep Black Vanishing Train
                                                                                          12. Tiny Grain Of Truth

                                                                                          The Birthday Party


                                                                                            A reckless whirl of mutant rockabilly, black-eyed swamp-blues, outlaw imagery and stomach-churning violence, The Birthday Party were one of the definitive post-punk groups, creative and destructive in equal measure. Originally called The Boys Next Door, the band formed at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia in the early '70s. The initial line-up was singer/lyricist Nick Cave, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey, bassist/provocateur Tracy Pew and drummer Phill Calvert. They started out performing covers, but were soon galvanised into writing their own material by the nascent Aussie punk movement (notably The Saints and Radio Birdman). The Boys Next Door's development was accelerated by the addition of visionary guitarist Rowland S Howard in 1978. The following year saw the release of an album, Door Door, on local label Mushroom, but its creators felt the record failed to capture the power of their live show. The group had also grown tired of Melbourne, where they were banned from most venues and routinely hassled by the police.

                                                                                            By the start of the new decade The Boys Next Door had changed their name to The Birthday Party and moved to London. Living in poverty and squalor, they had to borrow equipment and only played ten UK shows in 1980. The second of these, at the Moonlight Club in West Hampstead, was attended by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell. Despite a shambolic set, Ivo saw them again the following month, and by the end of the summer The Birthday Party were signed to 4AD. Their first release for the label was The Friend Catcher 12", comprising three songs recorded back in Melbourne as The Boys Next Door.

                                                                                            They went on to release a couple of albums for 4AD, along with a couple of  EPs before disbanding, with Nick going on to form The Bad Seeds with Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld. This album collects together some of the finest moments from these releases.

                                                                                            Throwing Muses

                                                                                            Anthology - Standard Version

                                                                                              Following the sell-out release of the limited, deluxe version of Throwing Muses ‘Anthology’, 4AD release a standard, single disc version.

                                                                                              Compiled by the band, the 21 track selection eschews most of the singles in favour of personal favourites, and enjoys a non-chronological sequence which makes for interesting juxtapositions and encourages a reassessment of the music.

                                                                                              Known for performing music with shifting tempos, creative chord progressions, unorthodox song structures, and surreal lyrics, Throwing Muses was set apart from other contemporary acts by Kristin Hersh’s stark, candid writing style, Tanya Donelly’s pop stylings and vocal harmonies, and David Narcizo’s unusual drumming techniques eschewing use of cymbals.

                                                                                              The standard edition is packaged in a digipack with a 20 page booklet.

                                                                                              Atlas Sound


                                                                                                Welcome to ‘Parallax’, the third long player from Atlas Sound, the ever expansive solo project of Bradford Cox from Deerhunter.

                                                                                                Atlas Sound is not a side-project, but rather a fully-fleshed musical landscape chock full of pop chronicles culled from sci-fi fever dreams and midcentury rock.

                                                                                                All songs were written and performed by Bradford, except on ‘Mona Lisa’, where Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT) plays piano.

                                                                                                ‘Parallax’ was recorded at New York’s Rare Book Room with Nicholas Vernhes, where Cox’s band Deerhunter recorded 2009 album, ‘Microcastle’.

                                                                                                This is perhaps Cox’s best work to date, juxtaposing his modern, sometimes avant songwriting sensibilities against a backdrop of ambient loneliness and a quiet feeling of desperation.

                                                                                                Visuals for Parallax were provided by Mick Rock, the photographer famous for his work with the likes of David Bowie, Blondie, Queen, Roxy Music and Lou Reed.

                                                                                                ‘Parallax’ is dedicated to Trish Keenan RIP.

                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                Darryl says: Dreamy off-kilter indie-pop from Bradford Cox's (Deeerhunter) solo project. Liking this a lot.

                                                                                                With such a wealth of releases behind him, it’s hardly surprising that Joker’s music escapes easy characterisation. Keen to avoid generic formalism, he has even publically distanced himself from being labelled  as just dubstep. It’s understandable, since his music runs deep with R&B, funk and soul influences combining with his trademark pounding bass wobbles and ascending crystalline synths. Also apparent is an affection for computer games; no more evident than on the Sega throwdown album track ‘Level 6 (Interlude)’.

                                                                                                Old fans will be pleased to know that trademark instrumentals are there in abundance, from the Vangelis inspired album opener (‘Intro’) to established classics ‘Tron’ and ‘My Trance Girl’, which showcase the muscular synths and sharp drum snaps for which he has become renowned to the warmth of the heady height of summer album closer, ‘The Magic Causeway’, performed with Ginz. These are complimented by a number of startling vocal collaborations that also show just how far his sound has come; with inspired contributions from fellow rising stars like Jessie Ware on the Radio 1 playlisted ‘The Vision (Let Me Breathe)’, Jay Wilcox on ‘Electric Sea’ and Silas from Turboweekend and William Cartwright on forthcoming singles, ‘Here Come The Lights’ and ‘On My Mind’. He also found the time to round up Buggsy, Shadz, Scarz and Double (KHK-SP) to record ‘Back In The Days’, the definitive Bristol track he’s been promising to make.

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                1. Intro
                                                                                                2. Here Come The Lights (Feat. Silas)
                                                                                                3. Tron
                                                                                                4. The Vision (Breathe In) (Feat. Jessie Ware)
                                                                                                5. Milky Way
                                                                                                6. Level 6 (Interlude)
                                                                                                7. My Trance Girl
                                                                                                8. Lost (Feat. Buggsy And Otis Brown)
                                                                                                9. On My Mind (Feat. William Cartwright)
                                                                                                10. Back In The Days (Feat. Buggsy, Shadz, Scarz, Double)
                                                                                                11. Electric Sea (Feat. Jay Wilcox)
                                                                                                12. The Magic Causeway (Joker & Ginz - Outro)

                                                                                                St. Vincent

                                                                                                Strange Mercy

                                                                                                  St. Vincent, the nom-de-stage of Annie Clark, releases the new album, ‘Strange Mercy’. Having worked together on 2009’s ‘Actor’, Clark reunited with producer John Congleton and recorded the album in her hometown of Dallas, TX at Elmwood Studios.

                                                                                                  The eleven new tracks showcase Clark’s gift for fusing the cerebral and the visceral, her melodically elegant arrangements packing hefty emotional punches.

                                                                                                  Clark’s virtuosity has been long recognised, and ‘Strange Mercy’ finds St. Vincent redefining the idea of the guitar hero, utilising the instrument as a pointillist artist might wield a brush. Countless judiciously placed riffs and instrumental flares, each distinct and unique, cohere into grand tableaus. On ‘Cruel’, she elicits punchy bursts like an R&B horn section. ‘Cheerleader’ froths and boils, with deep and fuzzy guitars bubbling up to the surface, while ‘Surgeon’ twirls about endlessly, Clark’s vocals dancing amid a blizzard of notes.

                                                                                                  ‘Strange Mercy’ isn’t an entirely solitary affair either, with Clark joined by a host of other musicians. Included among them are Grammy Award winning Bobby Sparks on mini Moog, clavinet, Arp and Wurlitzer, Midlake’s MacKenzie Smith on drums and Daniel Hart on violin. Also contributing were Beck keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton, Evan Smith on woodwinds and Phil Palazzolo.



                                                                                                    Among discerning listeners, anticipation for new Zomby material is now high but outside of him teasing fans with a few out-takes via the internet, there hasn't been much to go by in recent times. That was until the end of last year when hauntingly beautiful new track 'Natalia's Song' appeared unannounced in a Burial and Kode9 mix for Radio 1. Catching people off-guard, it served to pour fuel on the fire and leave all anticipating what was to follow. Having signed a worldwide deal with 4AD, that wait is over. ‘Natalia’s Song’ has being afforded a proper release as a single and is also included on this, his second album, 'Dedication'. A wholly different record to its predecessor, Zomby returns from his hiatus with typical style. It is both a dark and absorbing listen that engulfs the listener, running between sparse electronics, techno hooks and minimal piano riffs. Making up for lost time, 'Dedication' continues to put Zomby at a distance from his peers. By the time they’ve caught up, he’ll no doubt be somewhere else entirely.

                                                                                                    When Justin Vernon emerged from the wilds of Wisconsin in 2008 with his Bon Iver project, and the startling debut album 'For Emma, Forever Ago', perhaps none of us quite realised the magnitude of this unique talent. Not only did he capture hearts across the globe, but 'For Emma' also attained beyond gold sales in the UK, and the follow up EP ‘Blood Bank’ debuted at #14 on the Billboard Top 200 and the Top 40 UK in 2009. In the intervening months and years, Vernon has collaborated non-stop on entirely new projects in varying genres with Gayngs’ sassy innovation on the Relayted album, and Volcano Choir, a freeform adventure with fellow Wisconsin musicians Collections of Colonies of Bees on the album Unmap. He also duetted with St Vincent, appearing on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, while Peter Gabriel recorded a cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Flume’ and Bon Iver reciprocated with ‘Come Talk To Me’ for a Record Store Day limited edition 7” release.

                                                                                                    And then there was the time when Kanye West called up and invited Vernon to pop down to his studio in Hawaii to collaborate on the hip hop auteur’s astoundingly bold opus, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. West sampled ‘Woods’ (taken from ‘Blood Bank’) on the track ‘Lost in the World’. Vernon also appeared – alongside Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj – on ‘Monster’, which proved to be one of the tracks of last year. He also appeared on four other tracks and has since performed live with Kanye on numerous occasions, including the 2011 Coachella Festival.

                                                                                                    When it came to recording the follow up to 'For Emma', Justin Vernon headed to his hometown of Eau Claire. Bon Iver was recorded and mixed at April Base Studios, a remodeled veterinarian’s clinic located in rural Fall Creek, Wisconsin. The main recording space is constructed over a defunct indoor pool attached to the clinic.

                                                                                                    “It’s an unique space and destination; it’s our home out here,” says Vernon, who purchased the structure with his brother in late 2008 with the sole intention of converting it into his ideal recording studio. “It’s been a wonderful freedom, working in a place we built. It’s also three miles from the house I grew up in, and just ten minutes from the bar where my parents met.”

                                                                                                    The creation of 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver' was not solely down to Vernon. On the track ‘Beth/Rest’ and throughout the album, we hear the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell), the uniquely layered low end of Colin Stetson's (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire) saxophones, the riffing of Mike Lewis' (Happy Apple, Andrew Bird) altos and tenors, and the lush horns of C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens). Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production, Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and added strings, and fellow members of Volcano Choir, Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek provided processing.

                                                                                                    It’s all there right away, in the thicker-stringed guitar and military snare of ‘Perth’, and ‘Minnesota, WI.’ Anyone who had a single listen to 'For Emma' will peg Justin Vernon’s vocals immediately, but there is a sturdiness – an insistence – to Bon Iver that allows him to escape the cabin in the woods without burning it to the ground. ‘Holocene’ opens with simple finger-picking. The vocal is regret spun hollow and strung on a wire. Then the snare-beat breaks and drives us forward and up and up….The magical poise and restraint of ‘Michicant’. The vocals in ‘Hinnom, TX’ ease to the muffled depths, while the instrumentation remains sparse and cosmic.

                                                                                                    From the tenderised piano and sprouting strings of arguable album highlight ‘Wash’, we arrive at future single ‘Calgary’ – a worship song to everything 'For Emma' mourned. At the point in the final track ‘Beth/Rest’ when Vernon sings, “I ain’t livin’ in the dark no more” it is clear he isn’t dancing in the sunshine, but rather shading toward a new light. It also provides the most ‘Woods’-like moment on the album in terms of singular voice and production.

                                                                                                    'Bon Iver, Bon Iver' is Justin Vernon returning to former haunts with a new spirit. The reprises are there – solitude, quietude and hope – but always a rhythm arises, a pulse vivified by gratitude and grace notes, some as bright as a bicycle bell. The winter, the myth, has faded to just that, and this is the new momentary present. From ‘Perth’ to ‘Beth’ we go full circle and reach the summation to a remarkable second album.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    1. Perth
                                                                                                    2. Minnesota, WI
                                                                                                    3. Holocene
                                                                                                    4. Towers
                                                                                                    5. Michicant
                                                                                                    6. Hinnom, TX
                                                                                                    7. Wash.
                                                                                                    8. Calgary
                                                                                                    9. Lisbon, OH
                                                                                                    10. Beth/Rest

                                                                                                    Gang Gang Dance

                                                                                                    Eye Contact

                                                                                                      Gang Gang Dance continue their compelling musical evolution with new album "Eye Contact", the New York based group’s first  full-length release since joining 4AD.

                                                                                                      Although together in their current incarnation for a decade, Gang Gang Dance only really came to the public’s attention with the release of the EPs "Hilluah" and "Rawwar" and crucially, 2008’s genre-bending long-player "Saint Dymphna". The latter in particular has come to be regarded as a landmark record in forward thinking pop circles, showcasing the group’s love of improv and experimentation and drawing inspiration from the local New York art community with which the band have close ties. "Saint Dymphna" also served to highlight previously untapped talent from the UK underground with a then unknown Tinchy Stryder providing vocals for the avant-grime track "Princes". A pioneering piece of work, it – coupled with their incendiary high-octane live performances – served to establish Gang Gang Dance as one of the most exciting and innovative acts of their generation.

                                                                                                      After a personnel change (Tim DeWit departed shortly after the release of "Saint Dymphna", allowing drummer Jesse Lee to join the band), Gang Gang Dance returned to the studio in 2010 with long-term collaborator Chris Coady (producer of "Saint Dymphna" and "Rawwar", as well as recent releases by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Zola Jesus, Beach House and TV On The Radio) and work began on the group’s fifth album. "Eye Contact" sees the new line-up subtly build upon the melodic aspects of "Saint Dymphna". The album opens with a brief speech, 'I can hear everything. It’s everything time', then segues effortlessly into the audacious eleven-minute slow-burn "Glass Jar". It’s an ambitious beginning yet it is a coherent statement of intent. Elsewhere, "Eye Contact" features a guest appearance from Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, whose signature vocals take centre stage on the track "Romance Layers".


                                                                                                      W H O K I L L

                                                                                                        "w h o k i l l", the sophomore album by Merrill Garbus’ tUnE-yArDs, is a thrill for fans of the live show that left most stunned in 2010. No longer is her artful songwriting and soulful voice obscured by digital fuzz as it often was on her solo debut, "BiRd-BrAiNs". Transplanting herself from Montreal to sunny Oakland, California, while touring almost non-stop for over two years, Merrill has stripped tune-yards away to a more precise, concentrated and vivid sound. "w h o k i l l" retains the honesty of the lonely bedroom confessional characteristic of her early work, but with the addition of the fangs, claws and dented metal of its new surroundings.

                                                                                                        As before, tUnE-yArDs grounds its sound in tangible, instantly gratifying techniques. Neither digital magic trickery nor auto-tuned dazzle need be applied; tUnE-yArDs’ music is made by human hands and possessed of a distinctly human touch. This is music created piecemeal, smashed apart wholly, then reassembled tenderly, gaining complexity as the layers stack up.

                                                                                                        Applying the tune-yards live approach to her studio work for the first time in "w h o k i l l", her tools have not changed. Rather, she’s added more buttons and joints to those already being used - one essential new joint is dexterous bass member Nate Brenner, who co-wrote a few songs. The opportunities exploited are evident in "w h o k i l l"’s dynamic range, as it matches Garbus’ creative strides. There’s no substitute for a good microphone, and the sonic nuances that can only be achieved through masterful recording techniques — producer Garbus and engineer Eli Crews are to be thanked — can be heard in each drumbeat and vocal line. Take "Powa", a song whose immense, undulating strength emanates from little more than a repeating ukulele line, artfully-placed bass and percussive backbeat, complimented by Garbus’ soaring and melodic vocal delivery.

                                                                                                        And can we take a second to thank the good Lord above for giving us a voice like Garbus? From a croon to a shriek to a rap to a hum, the vocal gymnastics of tune-yards’ songs remain front and center. Now, add a beat, one full of soul and swing and wonderful imperfection. That voice infiltrates your mind, shoots down your legs and converts any ground into a dance floor. "Bizness" takes this approach to the extreme, starting with the sung imitation of a xylophone roll, then building in a raucous style until the searing and commanding chorus takes control.

                                                                                                        Yet it would vastly underplay "w h o k i l l" to view it as simply a get-your-groove-on party-bringer. Take for example "Doorstep", which melts the usually blasting tune-yards style into a stunning and smooth doo-wop R&B. Then there’s the environment in which it was conceived: Oakland’s particular landscapes serve as primer for what you hear on the album. The city’s unique vitality, a nest of vibrancy and danger, is what fuels the brightness of "w h o k i l l". The sound scraps and samples that characterized "BiRd-BrAiNs" remain as well, placing Merrill on the very soil where these songs grew to full size.

                                                                                                        So here we have it. A remarkable record, from a creative force so strong and focused, "w h o k i l l" practically jumps out of its shoes.

                                                                                                        Iron And Wine

                                                                                                        Kiss Each Other Clean

                                                                                                          New to 4AD, Iron And Wine deliver the perfect way to start any year.

                                                                                                          It’s been over three years since Iron & Wine released "The Shepherd’s Dog", a collection of songs that Sam (Beam) himself described as an attempt to replicate something in the vein of Tom Waits’ "Swordfishtrombones".

                                                                                                          While Waits fans might gasp at such a notion, making the kind of records that had brought much of their early successes would have been all too easy and living up to folks expectations never sounded all that interesting to Sam.

                                                                                                          After all, the most fascinating journeys are the ones where you have no idea where you’re headed, and that’s what the experience of making the record turned out to be. In the end, they were rewarded with a warm reception from both fans and critics alike.

                                                                                                          "Kiss Each Other Clean" is the next logical step and should have been done sooner had life not got in the way. As is well documented, Sam resides outside of Austin, Texas close to the middle of nowhere where he and his wife tend to a rather large homestead.

                                                                                                          As one journalist who visited him once said, “he lives exactly as you hoped he would”. Good for us, sometimes difficult for him.

                                                                                                          When possible, recording sessions were taking place over the course of 2010 in Chicago with Brian Deck at the helm again as well as a number of familiar names who pop up to contribute musically.

                                                                                                          Not one to rest on laurels, "Kiss Each Other Clean" takes off where "The Shepherd’s Dog" left us with layer upon layer, rhythm upon rhythm and of course some acoustic guitar and whispering vocals for good measure. In a recent interview Sam said that the resulting ten tracks make for a “more focused pop record”, albeit with “straight-up jazz, blues and African elements” experimentally thrown in.

                                                                                                          If we are to believe Sam on his earlier Waits-ian comparison then it’s safe to say that "Kiss Each Other Clean" could be the second phase in his own trilogy a la "Rain Dogs". One thing is certain, he’s yet to show any sign of letting up.

                                                                                                          The National

                                                                                                          High Violet - Expanded Edition

                                                                                                            The album opens with the slow drums and mournful vocals of “Terrible Love” but from the start there’s a simmering intensity that builds and eventually explodes into crashing cymbals, pummelling drums, distorted guitars and layered vocals. A dramatic entrance to The National’s fifth album. But it’s not all this heavy, as with their previous releases it’s an album of mood swings. Where “Terrible Love” was explosive, second track “Sorrow” is mournful and melodic.
                                                                                                            And while the album changes mood and tempo, at times warm and intimate at others dramatic, propelled by off beat drum rhythms, there’s always a palpable intensity. I read recently that they find it hard to finish songs, with one or other band member frequently rejecting material. Whether the atmosphere created here is the cause or result of this I don’t know, but either way it works perfectly. Despite Matt’s melancholy, there’s something really uplifting about this collection of beautifully crafted mini epics.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            High Violet
                                                                                                            Terrible Love
                                                                                                            Anyone’s Ghost
                                                                                                            Little Faith
                                                                                                            Afraid Of Everyone
                                                                                                            Bloodbuzz Ohio
                                                                                                            Conversation 16
                                                                                                            Vanderlyle Crybaby

                                                                                                            Bonus Disc

                                                                                                            Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
                                                                                                            Wake Up Your Saints
                                                                                                            You Were A Kindness
                                                                                                            Walk Off
                                                                                                            Bloodbuzz Ohio (Live On The Current)
                                                                                                            Anyone’s Ghost (Live At BAM)
                                                                                                            England (Live At BAM)

                                                                                                            Blonde Redhead

                                                                                                            Penny Sparkle

                                                                                                              "Penny Sparkle" was made over the last year with the band journeying between New York and Stockholm to work with production duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid (Fever Ray, Glasser) with additional production work undertaken with Drew Brown (Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Radiohead). As with their previous album, "23", Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was enlisted to mix it.

                                                                                                              Kazu Mazino from the band speaks of the record: “I can't say what Penny Sparkle is about just yet. I remember talking to Ed (from 4AD) one day and telling him that I had a vision that I was traveling to far away places to complete it. (Then) I landed in snowy slippery Stockholm... and here. Henrik and Peder in Stockholm and Drew in NY and after with everyone in NY again. I fell in love with the music like falling for someone you've known for a long time. It was dreamy and sometimes was very stormy. At times, I felt like a shepherd who was trying to herd five stallions into a yard (unsuccessfully). I felt like I was a link to everyone. I remained still and the others were constantly moving around it. I am not sure what Penny Sparkle is but I hope I offered to them as much as they offered me. I know that we have never made a record this way and if I could go back in time, I would do it exactly the same way again”.

                                                                                                              Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

                                                                                                              Before Today

                                                                                                                For the best part of a decade, Los Angeles native Ariel Rosenberg aka Ariel Pink has been carving some of the most intoxicating music going, a reclusive pop surrealist whose corroded productions have led to a cult following that has often been difficult to keep up with.

                                                                                                                With roots going back as far as 1996, West Coast act Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti are as sublime as they are surreal, with a sound loaded with hazy nostalgia and a fiercely experimental pop palette. From the "Haunted Graffiti" series (from which the full band’s name is now derived), which featured the likes of "Worn Copy" (2005) and "House Arrest" (2006), Ariel Pink has established himself as one of the most prolific songwriters of his generation, a visionary producer in the vein of Joe Meek and Ariel’s hero and previous collaborator, tape deck dilettante R. Stevie Moore.

                                                                                                                To date Pink’s most celebrated release – and one that summarises the erratic nature of his output, pieced together from various periods – is "The Doldrums", released on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks imprint in 2004, yet recorded and mixed by Ariel in his bedroom on an 8-track in the late 90s.

                                                                                                                No longer a bedroom venture, Haunted Graffiti are now a fully realised band, comprised of Kenny Gilmore (keys / guitar / vocals), Aaron Sperske (drums / vocals) and Tim Koh (bass / vocals), all characters from the underground LA scene.

                                                                                                                The album took nearly six months to complete, with around half of the record completed with Sunny Levine at the dials (the rest being self-produced and recorded), plus engineer Rik Pekkonen, who previously recorded many great 70s acts including Bill Withers, Seals & Crofts and Bread, all on show as "Before Today" muddles glam rock, West Coast funk and Merseybeat harmonies.

                                                                                                                For such a unique act, Haunted Graffiti manage to weave such a beguiling range of influences into their music. They can veer from the demented heavy metal of "Butt-House Blondies" to the classic synth-rock of "I Can’t Hear My Eyes", "Revolution’s A Lie" with its pulsating motorik tints to their cover "Bright Lit Blue Skies" (originally recorded by the Rocking Ramrods in 1966).

                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                Darryl says: The sun-kissed hit of the summer, there's something for everyone here - 70s soft rock, West Coast funk, synth-rock, motorik pulses and golden harmonies. Totally brilliant!

                                                                                                                The album opens with the slow drums and mournful vocals of “Terrible Love” but from the start there’s a simmering intensity that builds and eventually explodes into crashing cymbals, pummelling drums, distorted guitars and layered vocals.
                                                                                                                A dramatic entrance to The National’s fifth album. But it’s not all this heavy, as with their previous releases it’s an album of mood swings. Where “Terrible Love” was explosive, second track “Sorrow” is mournful and melodic.
                                                                                                                And while the album changes mood and tempo, at times warm and intimate at others dramatic, propelled by off beat drum rhythms, there’s always a palpable intensity. I read recently that they find it hard to finish songs, with one or other band member frequently rejecting material. Whether the atmosphere created here is the cause or result of this I don’t know, but either way it works perfectly. Despite Matt’s melancholy, there’s something really uplifting about this collection of beautifully crafted mini epics.

                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                Martin says: A bona fide classic, and possibly the summit of The National's already majestic canon. Moody, introspective and deeply involving, "High Violet" manages to be both clever and inventive and at the same time focused in it's somewhat bleak expression. A work of troubled genius whose (very) high points, "Afraid of Everyone", "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and the sublime "Conversation 16" would grace pretty much any album, ever. It is really that good.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                1. Terrible Love
                                                                                                                2. Sorrow
                                                                                                                3. Anyone’s Ghost
                                                                                                                4. Little Faith
                                                                                                                5. Afraid Of Everyone
                                                                                                                6. Bloodbuzz Ohio
                                                                                                                7. Lemonworld
                                                                                                                8. Runaway
                                                                                                                9. Conversation 16
                                                                                                                10. England
                                                                                                                11. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks


                                                                                                                Magic Chairs

                                                                                                                  Since 2000, Copenhagen-based quartet Efterklang (plus an ever evolving number of collaborators) have been quietly honing their craft, fusing left-of-centre electronic beats with grand orchestral gestures. Self-sufficient by nature and necessity, the band have, until now, always written, recorded and produced every element of their music from the comfort of their Copenhagen bunker. In this time, they have also released records through their own Rumraket label, working with the likes of Grizzly Bear, Amiina and Slaraffenland. So far, the results have been nothing short of revelatory; in particular, 2007’s hugely ambitious "Parades", an album that was difficult to define but even harder to fault, it raised their profile enormously, and with "Magic Chairs" they continue their evolution, exploring previously unchartered territory.
                                                                                                                  The result is an intimate and immediate record that exudes warmth. The grandiose classical structures heard so prominently and admired so highly in previous albums "Tripper" and "Parades" have been replaced by something far more streamlined, deconstructed and altogether melodious. Opening track "Modern Drift" is a statement of intent with its intricate and looping arpeggios whilst "I Was Playing Drums" is arguably their most accessible pop song to date, the echoes of its refrain linger irresistibly in the ear. ‘Magic Chairs’ still bears the occasional signature moment (an electronic buzz here, a choral flair there) but, all told, it is an album that is an even bolder step forward.

                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Darryl says: Featuring a host of guest musicians including Peter Broderick, "Magic Chairs" is an immense melodic strewn avant epic, that snuggles nicely in your collection between the latest Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear albums.

                                                                                                                  The Mountain Goats

                                                                                                                  The Life Of The World To Come

                                                                                                                  "The Life Of The World To Come" is The Mountain Goats' 6th album for 4AD, and is less a profession of religious faith than an immersion in Biblical poetry and imagery. With John Darnielle remaining The Mountain Goats' creative hub - this time flanked by Peter Hughes and Jon Wurster - "The Life Of The World To Come" was recorded in three studios across three states and features string arrangements from Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy), who has also worked in a similar capacity with the varied likes of Arcade Fire, Fucked Up and The Pet Shop Boys.

                                                                                                                  St Vincent


                                                                                                                    "Actor" takes the ambitious compositional and sonic underpinnings of St Vincent's debut as a starting point and never looks back. The arrangements are more masterful, the songwriting grander, the performances ever more confident and inspired. St Vincent aka Annie Clark developed an idiosyncratic writing process for "Actor", immersing herself in some of her favourite films – 'Badlands', 'Pierrot le Fou', 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Stardust Memories', 'Sleeping Beauty' - and beginning each song as a secret film score, then slowly giving it independence as its structure and lyrics came fully into focus. The resulting eleven tracks are as cinematic as pop songs can be, but the movie is a private one, revealing its storyline in hushed, cunning couplets and cascades of scathing guitar. Here is a record to listen to with your eyes closed. Melodies are transposed and inverted. The fantasy of Disney is juxtaposed with the sweep of Morricone, David Mamet's unsettling dramatic form and the alienation of Philip Roth. Igor Stravinsky scores Roger Corman's horror flicks. "The Strangers" starts off as a deceptively dulcet elegy for a lost love, then suddenly capsizes under a flood of distortion. "Actor Out Of Work" is a devastating sonic kiss-off, complete with slyly poisonous lyrics and steamrolling guitars. The strings and woodwinds at the opening of "Marrow" might be escorting Dorothy to the Emerald City, or straight into the flying monkeys' clutches. The crackerjack band, including supporting turns by McKenzie Smith and Paul Alexander of Midlake, has the crunch of a tank and the grace of a chamber ensemble.

                                                                                                                    You'd be hard-pushed to find an album with as many well-crafted, supremely catchy pop songs as this. Original yet soothingly familiar, these tunes manage to break your heart and take you to the top in equal measure. They're written and sung by Tracyanne Campbell and there can't be a sweeter, more believable voice in pop right now. It's like she's your best friend, singing in your ear, but what she's singing is the pages of her diary! This is actually Camera Obscura’s 4th album, but the others just led up to this one; this is the one where they’ve distilled their thing. The production’s perfect too: Concrete’s producer Jari Haapalainen perfectly capturing the old-school indie classicist vibe. Every song's a gem, there's not one duffer, but the gorgeous slowie "James" and the euphoric, horn-driven "Honey In The Sun" deserve a special mention. Mancunian legend Paul Morley's a massive fan too: that's good enough for me!

                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                    1. French Navy
                                                                                                                    2. The Sweetest Thing
                                                                                                                    3. You Told A Lie
                                                                                                                    4. Away With Murder
                                                                                                                    5. Swans
                                                                                                                    6. James
                                                                                                                    7. Careless Love
                                                                                                                    8. My Maudlin Career
                                                                                                                    9. Forests And Sands
                                                                                                                    10. Other Towns And Cities
                                                                                                                    11. Honey In The Sun

                                                                                                                    From Minnesota via Los Angeles and now based in Chicago, twenty-three year old Anni Rossi is an exciting prospect. Having been classically trained since aged three, Anni is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and has been performing as a solo artist for the past few years. Fresh from signing to 4AD, Anni headed straight to Electrical Audio in Illinois to record "Rockwell" with Steve Albini and the results show it to have been a wise move. Mostly using tracks from her existing live set, the energy, depth and eccentricities of her live show have all been successfully translated onto record, making the document she set out to make – something she feels she has never achieved previously. Until now, the viola has formed the centrepiece to her music, often finding itself to be the only instrument used, but more come to the fore here. In particular, drums and cello slightly elevate her sound, appearing occasionally to fill in corners. The fact it was all recorded in one day will surprise most but so will the unlikely cover version of Ace Of Base's "Living In Danger", a version so sublime you wouldn't know what it was unless told.

                                                                                                                    Future Of The Left

                                                                                                                    Last Night I Saved Her From Vampires

                                                                                                                      This 19 track live CD is available in independent stores only and features four brand new, unreleased tracks - "Drink Nike", "Distant Jabs At A Soul", "V.D.F.A." and "Cloak The Dagger", the latter two songs having been a regular fixture of the band's live set throughout the summer.


                                                                                                                      Chemical Chords

                                                                                                                        If you discount "Fab Four Suture", the EP collection of 2006, "Chemical Chords" is the first album proper from Stereolab since 2004's "Margerine Eclipse". The eleventh album in an illustrious career, "Chemical Chords" began life in early 2007 when Tim Gane started messing with 'a series of about seventy tiny drum loops' on top of improvised chord sequences using piano and vibraphone, 'building them up from there – later slowing the tracks down or speeding them up – a totally new way of doing songs for us…' With typical prolificacy, the band laboured over the summer at their studio, Instant Zero (in Bordeaux, France), helping transform these blueprints into 32 luminous new songs, with keyboardist / technician Joe Watson manning the mixing desk. Half the new repertoire was selected for this album, which, for all the breathless spontaneity of its invention, is arguably the band's tautest, most highly focused work this century.

                                                                                                                        Scott Walker

                                                                                                                        And Who Shall Go To The Ball? And What Shall Go To The Ball?

                                                                                                                          Scott Walker was commissioned by London's South Bank Centre to write the music for a contemporary dance piece, released here as a limited edition in exquisite deluxe packaging. Entitled "And Who Shall Go To The Ball? And What Shall Go To The Ball?", the entirely instrumental composition is made up of four movements with a total running time of 25 minutes. Scott has this to say about the music: 'Apart from a slow movement given over to solitude, the music is full of edgy and staccato shapes or cuts, reflecting how we cut up the world around us as a consequence of the shape of our bodies. How much of a body does an intelligence need to be potentially socialised in an age of ever-developing AI? This is but one of many questions that informed the approach to the project.'

                                                                                                                          Blonde Redhead


                                                                                                                            It's been 14 years since their debut EP "Amescream" and 12 since their eponymous mini album, in which time they have undergone several changes of style, from the dreamy and exotic post-Sonic Youth landscapes of "Blonde Redhead" and "La Mia Violenta" to the jagged art rock of "Fake Can Be Just As Good" and the intensely personal "Misery Is A Butterfly", apparently an insight into Kazu Makino's melancholic state of mind after her trampling by a horse. What has tied them all together are Makino's eerie, aching vocals, an instinct for the sublime, and the passion that drips from every pore of their music; all of which are perfectly distilled in this, probably their finest album.

                                                                                                                            Mojave Three

                                                                                                                            Puzzles Like You

                                                                                                                              "Puzzles Like You", the fifth album in the already rich history of Mojave 3, catches them moving in a slightly unexpected direction. Where their last album, "Spoon & Rafter", was them experimenting with their formula, this album contains songs of a more immediate quality, in fact, poppier, than anything the band have written before. The album is filled with the life-affirming light of Mojave 3's Cornish base - splashed with sunlight and the heady sparkle of summertime waves. The songs, taking their cue from the soaring lead-off single "Breaking The Ice", fizz past, brimming with renewed confidence.

                                                                                                                              The Hope Blister

                                                                                                                              Underarms & Sideways

                                                                                                                                "Underarms" by The Hope Blister is one of those records whose reputation has grown steadily and stealthily over the years. It is itself a reconstruction - a seamless, variously-textured and entirely instrumental collection crafted by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell using The Hope Blister's album "...Smile's OK" as a rich trove of source material. "Underarms" was originally released as a mail-order only limited edition CD in 1998. It quickly sold out, and it has never been repressed. But long after it became unavailable, word continued to spread about the record's wealth of quiet beauty, and in recent years copies have been changing hands for considerable sums. But despite this, a plan to reissue "Underarms" only took firm shape after a string of serendipitous events. Ivo encountered Markus Guentner's album "1981", loved it, and was immediately struck by the aesthetic match between it and "Underarms", and when 4AD contacted Markus, tentatively, to suggest some kind of collaboration, he responded immediately and enthusiastically, professing great enthusiasm for the label and for the music of Ivo's previous studio project, This Mortal Coil. And so a strange, three-cornered process began, with music moving between 4AD in London, Markus in Regensburg and Ivo in Santa Fe. The end result was "Sideways", a resonant, warm and completely involving reinterpretation which stands as a worthy companion piece to "Underarms". The new 2CD set – "Underarms And Sideways" - comes in an entirely new v23 designed package which should tempt more listeners to venture into The Hope Blister's singularly engaging world. And the fact that it appears at the same time as 4AD's 25th anniversary celebrations is a final sweet touch of serendipity.


                                                                                                                                Surfer Rosa - Vinyl Edition

                                                                                                                                  The Steve Albini produced "Surfer Rosa" was the first full length release from The Pixies. Abrasive, clever, and totally unique, it defined their sound and became one of the most influential albums of the 80s.

                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  1 Bone Machine
                                                                                                                                  2 Break My Body
                                                                                                                                  3 Something Against You
                                                                                                                                  4 Broken Face
                                                                                                                                  5 Gigantic
                                                                                                                                  6 River Euphrates
                                                                                                                                  7 Where Is My Mind?
                                                                                                                                  8 Cactus
                                                                                                                                  9 Tony's Theme
                                                                                                                                  10 Oh My Golly!
                                                                                                                                  11 Vamos (Surfer Rosa)
                                                                                                                                  12 I'm Amazed
                                                                                                                                  13 Brick Is Red


                                                                                                                                  Come On Pilgrim

                                                                                                                                    The debut release from the Pixies, and what a mini album this was. I can still remember the first time I heard this, thinkin' what sort of man could make such a screaming noise with his voice without collapsing in pain!!! And when you couple that the amazingly intense, highly strung and at times violent music then it's no wonder that the Pixies went on from here to become one of the best bands ever!!!! A classic and no messin!!!



                                                                                                                                      Released straight to DVD in 2004 as a love letter to the famed four-piece from Boston, 4AD’s ode to the Pixies is a long-awaited dream come true for rabid fans everywhere.

                                                                                                                                      Combining live footage, videos, and not one, but two documentaries, the disc gives love to the seminal outfit who changed the face of rock music and then disappeared all-too-soon into infamy.

                                                                                                                                      Recorded live on May 1, 1988, at the Town & Country Club in London, the complete live show features the foursome at their best. Stripped down, with their dynamics working on overdrive, this is the time and moment when the Pixies were at the top of their game.

                                                                                                                                      With 15 songs culled from their first two releases, the 40-minute professionally filmed gig has all the fire and charm that made them such a singular band to see. Presented in both 5.1 and stereo tracks, the sound and brilliant picture are nothing short of astounding, putting each and every video bootleg out on the market to shame.

                                                                                                                                      Additionally, the band's video collection can finally be appreciated as a whole, with famous clips like ‘Head Long’ smashed right alongside little-seen gems like ‘Veloria’, banned from ‘120 Minutes’ shortly after being aired.

                                                                                                                                      Also included is a new video for ‘Debaser’, directed by 4AD’s own Vaughan Oliver, known for his design work on all of the band’s previous releases.

                                                                                                                                      Over two and a half hours of archive footage.

                                                                                                                                      Live complete set filmed in 1988 when the band supported Throwing Muses at London’s Town & Country Club (with choice of stereo or 5.1 soundtrack, running time approx. 50 minutes).

                                                                                                                                      Eight rarely seen promotional videos, including ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’, ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Velouria’, ‘Dig For Fire’, ‘Alec Eiffel’, ‘Head On’ & ‘Debaser’.

                                                                                                                                      ‘On The Road’ - an intimate assembly of footage filmed behind the scenes, mostly on Pixies’ 1989 European tour (running time approx. 30 mins).

                                                                                                                                      ‘Gouge’ - a documentary tracing Pixies’ story, featuring interviews with Bono, David Bowie, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead), Graham Coxon and Alex James (Blur), Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop (Travis), P J Harvey, Tim Wheeler (Ash), Gavin Rosdale (Bush) and Badly Drawn Boy.

                                                                                                                                      NTSC pressing of long out of stock DVD. PAL compatible.

                                                                                                                                      Cocteau Twins

                                                                                                                                      Heaven Or Las Vegas

                                                                                                                                        Originally out in 1990, "Heaven Or Las Vegas" was the Cocteau Twins' last LP for 4AD, and the pinnacle of their releases to date. Everything you love about the trio's music is present here: phased, shimmering guitar soundscapes, subtle synth washes and textures, and of course Liz Fraser's swooping, soaring vocal. If you had to pick only one Cocteau Twins LP to own, then this has to be it!

                                                                                                                                        Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy

                                                                                                                                        Immortal Memory

                                                                                                                                          As a member of the seminal Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard made nine strikingly original and influential albums over a ten year period. Lisa then released two acclaimed solo albums "The Mirror Pool" and "Duality". In recent years Lisa has become a much sought-after soundtrack composer. Scoring and contributing to scores for Gladiator, Heat, Whalerider, Ali, The Insider, Mission Impossible 2, Black Hawk Down and El Nino De La Luna, amongst many others. Patrick Cassidy is widely recognised as Ireland's most important classical composer. Patrick has released three highly-regarded albums: "Cruit", "The Children Of Lir" and "Deirdre Of The Sorrows", the latter two recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra. In "Immortal Memory", they have crafted a timeless album of transcendental beauty.

                                                                                                                                          Throwing Muses

                                                                                                                                          Throwing Muses

                                                                                                                                            Twelve songs, all written by Kristin Hersh and featuring the ultimate power trio line-up of Kristin Hersh (vocals / guitar), Bernard Georges (bass) and David Narcizo (drums). The album was recorded over three weekends in 2002, and they have mainted a raw energy by using few overdubs and no heavy handed mixing. Former band member Tanya Donelly (who left the band in 1992 to form Belly) returns to the fold to contribute backing vocals.

                                                                                                                                            Cocteau Twins


                                                                                                                                              "Treasure" is arguably the Cocteau Twins finest album, bassist Simon Raymonde joined the band in 1983 and after a couple of brilliant EPs came "Treasure". Opening with "Ivo", one of their best album openers featuring a brilliant Robin Guthrie guitar solo and followed by one of my all time favourite Cocteau Twins tracks in "Lorelei" the pace never slackens, the quality of the songs never lets up right to the last note on the albums climax "Donimo" which ultimatly explodes into a heavenly choral wall of sound.

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