Search Results for:

BELLA UNION

Pom Poko

Champion

    Formed in Trondheim in 2016, the quartet consists of Ragnhild Fangel, Martin Miguel Tonne, Ola Djupvik, and Jonas Krovel. Since their inception, they've released two critically acclaimed albums and mesmerizing live performances, solidifying their status as one of Norway's most exciting musical exports.

    Their third album Champion features their dynamic soundscapes, characterized by energetic rhythms, intricate guitar work, and Fangel's distinctive vocals, which have garnered widespread acclaim. With influences ranging from art-rock to jazz, Pom Poko's music defies genre boundaries, delivering a fresh and innovative sonic experience. Speaking of the record, the band said... "This record is a kind of experiment to see what happens when the four of us in Pom Poko make music without any input from the world around us, from the first idea of a song until the last note is recorded. This time, we've recorded and produced absolutely everything ourselves, a process that has been surprisingly comfortable. With this album, we landed, almost unconsciously, on the fact that the songs needed more space and less fussiness in the production than what we've been drawn to before.

    The songs also feel slightly more concise and focused on this album, perhaps, in addition to the lyrics telling more or less understandable stories - about connection, relationships, weird situations, hopes, and dreams. We were generally drawn to trying out some new things on this record, so this is the first time we've sent music to be mixed abroad, specifically to mixer and producer Ali Chant in Bristol. His clear and straightforward style suits the music very well and really brings out the songs as they are, without unnecessary frills. All in all, this feels like our most mature album so far, but hopefully not completely devoid of childlike joy and energy nonetheless."

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Growing Story
    2. My Family
    3. Champion
    4. You're Not Helping
    5. Pile Of Wood
    6. Bell
    7. Go
    8. Never Saw It Coming
    9. Druid, Fox And Dragon
    10. Big Life 
    11. Fumble

    Personal Trainer

    Still Willing

      If you like pop music to keep you on your toes, Amsterdam’s Personal Trainer provide that service fulsomely on their second album. Essentially the project of Willem Smit (working with co-producer/collaborator Casper van der Lans) on record and a band live, Personal Trainer showed a facility for DIY indie-pop exuberance and experiment in sync with 2022’s debut, Big Love Blanket. Now signed to Bella Union, Willem returns re-energised with Still Willing, a multi-faceted album of shining contrasts and spry melodies, bursting arrangements and subliminal sounds, playful lyrics and self-reflection: in short, a pop album executed with dynamism, vim and charm.

      As Willem says, this is a record fuelled by its extremes: sometimes energetic and loud, sometimes quiet and thoughtful, always full of hidden pleasures. “When I listen to the records I make, the main thing I hope is that every time something happens on them, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ I like to be taken by surprise like that on a record, to kind of be thrown around.”

      Those surprises start at the beginning, where ‘Upper Ferntree Gully’ shows a dreamy side to Personal Trainer before choppy, chunky riffs and electronics take over. Meanwhile, Willem’s anchoring imprint is ever-present: he prefers not to dissect his lyrics, but the title nod to his mother’s birthplace in Australia and opening recording of her voice seed a spirit of warmth and intimacy in the record – the personal in Personal Trainer, perhaps.

      In a sharp left-turn, ‘I Can be Your Personal Trainer’ follows with a buoyant swing. The album proceeds with that duality in mind, always Smit’s work yet always fresh, always seeking. In Willem’s description, ‘Cyan’ is “a weird, happy pop track”, chivvied onwards by contributor Nick Bolland’s sax and leavened by vocal contributions from Dutch alt-pop singer Lena Hessels. “With most of this one I was trying to make myself laugh or at least smile,” says Willem. “And then I started to really like it. Somewhere along the process I found something like honesty or something beautiful in it.”

      Elsewhere, there’s strutting rock in ‘Round’ and vulnerability in ‘New Bad Feeling’. ‘Intangible’ issues another gearshift, erupting from a rising synth line into spry indie-funk pop, where Willem’s innate melodic instincts light the way into uncharted territory for Personal Trainer. As Willem explains, “I tried to make a song that is something I wouldn’t normally do and experiment with that. I like how it turned out because it’s also probably one of the first instances where I had the chorus first and the other parts later, which rarely happens.”

      The plangent sensitivity of ‘Testing the Alarm’ adds playful wordplay (“lallygag in shrubbery”) before live favourite ‘You Better Start Scrubbing’ arrives on album in a joyously abrasive blast of no-wave vigour, its glorious shout-along chorus aided by guest vocals from three members of Dutch alt-rock quintet The Klittens. Finally, ‘What Am I Supposed to Say about the People and their Ways’ signs the album off on a wryly humble note, Willem upholding an inquisitive mindset over the modern bleat of “bleeping know-it-alls”.

      Witty, welcoming and winningly melodic, Still Willing is the sound of an instinctive DIY-pop musician favouring think-on-your-feet exploration and intuition over know-it-all premeditation. Willem’s initial intent was to record the album as if live, but he realised that his chemistry with Casper would not be denied. “I felt that we had grown and built a language together. We don’t have to say a lot, but we understand each other well. There was a lot less like trying out stuff and taking stuff away compared to the last one, because it felt like we were on the same wavelength.”

      As for how they work together, says Willem, the songs and sounds are assembled in detailed increments. “I write the songs and record most of the stuff, like kind of the skeleton, and then we record drums together. That’s the first step, most of the time. From there, we build. I don’t know much about compressors or weird effects. But Casper knows a lot about that and is really enthusiastic. If I want some part to work better, he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, I have an idea for that.’ And there were times when I would say, ‘Do you feel like playing this part?’ And he just plays it.”

      Recorded between home and – says Willem – “places that don’t cost much to record at”, the result is a DIY pop album brimming with ideas and colour. Whereas Big Love Blanket’s experimental sounds included a celery stick snapping, Still Willing features floorboards, doors closing and “no-input mixing”. Alongside Hessels and The Klittens, contributors include drummer Kick Kluiving and (for half of the songs) bassist Ruben van Weegberg, also Willem’s bandmate in the band Canshaker Pi, who numbered Stephen Malkmus among their producers. Most of the percussion comes from Kilian Kayser, and discreet sounds are served by Abel Tuinstra and Otto de Jong.

      Willem is the epicentre of the band, which originated from impromptu and exhilarating live shows featuring ever-shifting members of different local bands sharing a bustling stage. The live line-up has solidified somewhat but Willem still welcomes the contrast with his recorded work: “When I make the record, it’s me calling the shots. But I can’t tell everyone exactly what to do every second when we’re on stage. There’s, like, shakers flying around or instruments being thrown all over the place, so I don’t have the capacity to control that. And that’s really exciting to me.”

      Big Love Blanket harnessed that energy in 10 excitable pop songs, bright and bracing. Acclaim from Steve Lamacq, Marc Riley, Mojo, Clash, DIY Mag and others followed. Support slots with BC Camplight in 2023 were joyfully received, as was a tour for Independent Venues Week with The Klittens and Real Farmer. Personal Trainer have notched up many festival visits, too, including stop-offs at the End of the Road, Wilderness and The Great Escape. In December 2023, an EP featuring the tracks ‘The Feeling’ (all nine minutes of it) and ‘Babyolifantjes’ (translated: baby elephants) also emerged, recorded with a view to capturing the band’s live form. Soon, Smit and his bandmates will showcase that form with summer festivals including Green Man, Deershed, Truck Festival and Lowlands.

      Meanwhile, Still Willing arrives as a fervid expression of Willem’s home-recording and studio methods, tethered to inviting pop instincts and rich with the fertile promise of more to come. Willem doesn’t want to tell you what or how to think about the album but, he says, “It would be awesome if people like it and buy the record, so that I can make another one.” On the strength of Still Willing, he’s fit for the long distance.


      TRACK LISTING

      Side A:
      1. Upper Ferntree Gully
      2. I Can Be Your Personal Trainer
      3. Cyan
      4. Round
      5. New Bad Feeling

      Side B:
      1. Intangible
      2. Testing The Alarm
      3. Still Willing
      4. You Better Start Scrubbing
      5. What Am I Supposed To Say And Their Ways

      Humanist

      On The Edge Of A Lost And Lonely World

        The album features an array of guests including Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan, Midlake's Tim Smith, Isobel Campbell, and Ed Harcourt, amongst others.

        Commenting on the album, Marshall says... "During a time when the world seemed to teeter off its axis, and I grappled with personal illness and losses, music became my lifeline once more. Like a soothing medication, each note and lyric offered a glimmer of hope in the midst of darkness. Collaborating on the tracks felt like a shared journey through the universal language of music, allowing me to find my voice amidst the chaos. The title, On The Edge Of A Lost And Lonely World, felt deeply fitting then and continues to resonate now, embodying the essence of this profound musical exploration. I truly believe this album represents my finest work yet, a testament to resilience and the power of art to illuminate even the darkest of times."

        On The Edge Of A Lost And Lonely World will be released on July 26th via Bella Union.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. The Beginning Ft Carl Hancock Rux
        2. Too Many Rivals Ft Tim Smith 
        3. The Immortal Ft Ed Harcourt
        4. This Holding Pattern Ft James Cox
        5. Brother Ft Dave Gahan
        6. Born To Be Ft Peter Hayes
        7. Keep Me Safe Ft Rachel Fannan
        8. Dark Side Of Your Window Ft James Allan
        9. Love You More Ft Isobel Campbell
        10. The End Ft Madman Butterfly

        Dirty Three

        Love Changes Everything

          Emerging once again from the unending waves crashing upon our fragile time-craft (adrift on the eternal ocean, and taking on water), Dirty Three are (a) back, (b) tangled in seaweed, rank with saltwater and possessed of three rather ominous thousand-mile stares (at least!), and (c) not wasting another minute – as nothing is guaranteed.

          For their first album in over a decade – yep, it’s been since 2012’s ‘Toward the Low Sun’ – they flew in, got together and started playing. End of story. What else is there to say or do but that? Music’s their language, their true love; they never stop listening to that. And like the label says, ‘Love Changes Everything’.

          The Dirty Three – Warren Ellis, Mick Turner and Jim White – formed up in Melbourne in 1992, to play with guitar drums and violin or viola, and within a couple years, they’d broken out – out of Australia, out of anything else they might have been inside of, to boot – and got worldwide. Over the next ten years, they toured over and over the planet, ceaseless like, and cut seven albums out along the way. After this, their unique style of play, fitted together like puzzle pieces, was decoupled, more often than not, and pieced together in many other, fruitful collaborations with many other esteemed talents. Over the past 20 years, they’ve gotten together a few times, renewed the vow, revved the engines and played some shows, or made an album. Like now –

          These are the sounds of Dirty Three getting up to speed again:
          - the original fury of their drums/guitar/violin-or-viola power trio, cutting three unique paths through the wild into sudden convergence –
          - piano-plucked melodies ringing sweetly out over an undulating landscape flowing with guitar, drums, violin or viola, and synths! And broken hills, forests, lakes and deserts. And mountains rising in the distance...
          - mercurial shifts in mood; sudden descent from tumult of flights and heights into deep canyons of heart-struck adagio.

          Equally sudden second-winds, feisty activity in their extremities never really ceasing. Opening depths. Wariness and patience allowing them to get caught up in loops, become ambient, transcend, and then fight their way back in again. Their wild and wandering heart not simply a spry derivative of collective sea legs; a telepathy already old as time evidenced way back in the beginning of their thirty-years-and-some run.
          - such mood! Once desolate fields pouring full of emotion, wandered into, come upon as if by happenstance (but actually sourced by the divining rods in their hands).

          - all of it – everything changed by love and bubbling up with the clarity of just-struck spring water; translucence giving way to muddy gushes of distortion – dirty guitar, smears of violin, drums at times pounded upon beyond the microphones’ ability to receive...

          And when received, and committed to “tape”, or whatever they used – the master could well be carved in plates of amphibole – this music has been untethered from its streams of consciousness and reconsidered as a recording; brought to bear through edits, overdubs and mixes, re-sequenced and made suite-like. Made into this album. These lot were born to be as weathered as they are today. Time doesn’t matter. They make their gathered wisdom of the ages sing like something new every time. It renews. And Love Changes Everything. 


          TRACK LISTING

          Side A
          Love Changes Everything I
          Love Changes Everything II
          Love Changes Everything III
          Side B
          Love Changes Everything IV
          Love Changes Everything V
          Love Changes Everything VI

          John Grant

          The Art Of The Lie

            Following the runaway success of his last LP, Boy From Michigan, which crashed the UK Top 10 back in July 2021, legendary singer-songwriter John Grant returns with his hugely-anticipated sixth album, The Art Of The Lie.

            Released 14th June via longtime label Bella Union, The Art Of The Lie is Grant’s most opulent, cinematic, luxurious album yet and confirms Grant’s status as a modern electronic auteur. Grant likens the musical flavours of The Art of the Lie to the sumptuous Vangelis soundtrack for Bladerunner or the Carpenters if John Carpenter were also a member. While undeniably a John Grant record, nestling humour into tragedy, bleeding anger into compassion, there is a musical ambition and nerve to ‘The Art of the Lie’ which offsets its most political and personal moments.

            The Art of The Lie was produced by Grant and Grammy-nominated producer Ivor Guest who is perhaps best known for his work with Grace Jones & Brigitte Fontaine. The album features an array of celebrated musicians including Dave Okumu, Seb Rochford and Robin Mullarkey.


            TRACK LISTING

            1. All That School For Nothing
            2. Marbles
            3. Father
            4. Mother And Son
            5. Twistin Scriptures
            6. Meek AF
            7. It's A Bitch
            8. Daddy
            9. The Child Catcher
            10. Laura Lou
            11. Zeitgeist

            Madala Kunene

            1990: The Hidden Years Recording

              Madala Kunene (better known to his friends as Bafo) blends Zulu folk with township blues to produce a unique hybrid and contemporary music he calls "Madala-line"

              Apart from his own colourful life- experiences Madala often uses traditional songs, nursery rhymes and lullabies as the basis for his material. His highly spiritual music is guided by the mood, moment and the experience he brings to his playing. Most compositions are inspired by dreams and messages from the ancestral realm as well as the teachings of Zulu culture and folklore.

              Madala's music has been researched and taught by musicologists as a course material in music studies. In May 2023 Madala was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by the University of KwaZulu- Natal for his contribution to the development of indigenous music and his contribution to the music of Africa and that of the world. Madala Kunene was born in 1951 in Cato Manor, a vibrant mixed community in the harbor city of Durban, South Africa.

              The son of a carpenter, Kunene was raised by his grandmother - a staunch academic who wanted him to be something of a bookworm. He started busking on Durban's beachfront at the age of 7 making his first guitar out of a cooking oil tin and fish gut for the strings. It was friends such as the late guitarist Sandile Shange who encouraged him to take guitar playing much more seriously. At the age of eight, in the year 1959, Kunene and some members of his extended family were trucked off by the Apartheid government to go live in the then relatively new township of KwaMashu. In very little time he had become the hottest guitar player and was discovered by the late Sakhile leader and bassist Sipho Gumede. Madala started to share the stage with such luminaries as Doc Mthalane, Mankunku Ngozi and Busi Mhlongo.

              Madala Kunene's debut album was produced in 1990 by Sipho Gumede for David Marks label 3rd Ear Music and released on Vinyl and Cassettes. 30 years later the album was re-released digitally and now you are holding the first Vinyl re-release in your hands.

              TRACK LISTING

              U- Gongo Amayeni Wemama
              Vumela Abaphani (Song Of Happiness) 
              Ku-Khon Othwele
              U-Ncede
              Abangoma
              Sanibonani
              U-Mata-Gota-Fri 123

              Soundwalk Collective With Patti Smith

              Correspondences Vol.1

                Spanning over 10 years, it traverses a wealth of geographies and their natural environments, where the artists have uncovered sonic steps left by poets, filmmakers, revolutionaries, and the impact of climate change. Soundwalk Collective's founder, Stephan Crasneanscki, has explored, captured and collected the world's remotest places in sound to awaken a sonic memory within the landscape, uncovering traces of past and current histories of the world we are living in.

                The resulting compositions are made of sound that reflect our relation to this world, the environment, the soul of our existence, and the creative process of the artist. Initially composed as long travelling shots, soundtracks to an invisible movie, Stephan brought these recordings to Patti Smith, giving her new landscapes to channel her poetic vision. This ongoing resonance between the artists - which started during a chance encounter on a plane - has been shaped by their correspondences: ongoing conversations with the intention of reflecting on life and nature.

                For CORRESPONDENCES, their collaboration focuses on eight unique pieces that revert the relationship of sound to image. Sound came first, and only then would imagery be found to tell the music's story, visually edited to each soundtrack. From a collaboration with TBA21- Academy exploring the destructive impact of seismic airguns and human interventions in the oceans, to the resilience of Nature in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, to the decentralized societies envisioned by Peter Kropotkin, to the wastelands of Pasolini's last night: the pieces presented become thought-provoking audiovisual journeys

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Pasolini
                2. Medea

                Colouring

                Love To You, Mate

                  “I'd always been on the side of making up scenarios rather than being really honest about my life within my music,” says Jack Kenworthy of Colouring about his second album Love To You, Mate. “This is the first time I've been able to be more honest and direct. I've not been scared of it because it's not my story. It’s a shared one.”

                  The Nottingham-based songwriter and producer’s life was upended in February 2021, months before release of his debut album Wake, when his brother-in-law Greg Baker was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer. What followed was the most “unbelievable” year of togetherness when life seemed set on fracturing the life of a young man.

                  Colouring has been a solo project since Wake, an album influenced by the 00s post-Britpop greats (early Coldplay, Elbow, Keane) but taking electronic and rhythmic cues from Radiohead and James Blake. Kenworthy’s debut marked a renaissance. “Truthfully, there were a lot of times when I didn't feel completely at home in the music I was making before then,” the Leicestershire native says.

                  The EPs Symmetry (2016), Heathen (2017) and Bn (2018) were released via Interscope Records while Colouring was a poppier affair backed by three other musicians. The records led to tour support with The 1975, mainstream radio airplay, an extensive headline tour of North America, and Bn’s lead single ‘Time’ featuring on the 13 Reasons Why soundtrack.

                  Despite being called Love To You, Mate the album isn’t concerned about Kenworthy’s relationship with Greg. “Obviously he's the heart of it and certainly those last two songs are definitely to him, but it would've been disingenuous to make a record just about my relationship with him.”

                  “My goal and intention with it was a message of love to [the family] and for what they did,” Kenworthy continues. “We were this tight-knit, inseparable group of friends for a whole year… a year that was both horrible and great, in a weird way. I really feel we've made this music together. Our favourite conversation is talking about Greg and this album.”Kenworthy determines: “I've just taken the photograph.”

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. For You
                  2. I Don't Want To See You Like That
                  3. How'd It Get So Real
                  4. Lune
                  5. A Wish
                  6. The Light
                  7. Love To You, Mate
                  8. Coda
                  9. 'small Miracles'
                  10. For Life
                  11. Big Boots

                  Plantoid

                  Terrapath

                    Take a look at the cover art for Plantoid’s debut album, the jazzy, prog-rock opus Terrapath. In a desolate, misty landscape, a massive half-vegetable, half-machine structure resembling a spaceship looms above figures shrouded in shadow. It’s weird and eerie, but it also ignites a feeling of wonder and nostalgia, like cracking open your favourite sci-fi novel as a kid. It harkens back to ‘70s rock artwork, where ornate fantasy scenes gaze back at you from dusty vinyl gatefolds—and yet it was created with the decidedly modern AI software Midjourney. In short, it’s the perfect visual for a band that is able to marry both the old and the new in a fresh and exciting way.

                    Musically, Plantoid’s cauldron harnesses multiple subgenres at once to concoct a sort of primordial soup, the molecules of which are built as much from progressive rock as they are jazz, fusion, folk, and even a bit of ‘70s hard rock for good measure. The band began as the brainchild of Chloe and Tom, who formed the band Mangö and started gigging around town with drummer Louis Bradshaw, who Tom had been good friends with since secondary school.

                    After making a name for themselves locally, the three relocated to London and recruited bassist Bernardo Larisch, who they met at a uni freshers party. Now a four-piece, and renamed Plantoid, the band were ready to dig even deeper into their shared influences, ranging from Miles Davis to Todd Rundgren, to Jeff Buckley, all the way around to the more acute experimental fare that gives Plantoid their razor-sharp edge. 

                    Emotion, whether it be through their music, lyrics, or performances, is a large part of Plantoid’s creative impetus. Think back to that little alien searching for meaning with his big green spaceship: through all the crazy solos, elastic basslines, acrobatic vocals and supermassive drum beats, Terrapath is a story about finding yourself through the music you love.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: I know everyone says that their band are 'hard to categorise', and it is sometimes true. There's no doubt that hugely talented Brighton foursome Plantoid could be chucked in that broad category but it's also clear that their fusion of jagged noise-rock, angular psychedelia and tropical 50's wooze is uniquely brilliant and undeniably catchy. Ace.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Side A
                    Is That You?
                    Pressure
                    Modulator
                    It’s Not Real
                    Dog’s Life
                    Side B
                    Only When I’m Thinking
                    Wander/Wonder
                    Insomniac (Don’t Worry)
                    G.Y. Drift
                    Softly Speaking

                    Conchúr White

                    Swirling Violets

                      “I like surreal settings, but with tangible messages,” says Conchúr White. A singer-songwriter from County Armagh, White navigates the dreamlike and the grounded with blissful fluency on his beautifully lambent debut album. Released through Bella Union in January 2024, Swirling Violets is allusive and intimate, unearthly yet instantly accessible: touching on fully felt themes with grace and lightness, it’s a richly imagined album of multitudes from an instinctive talent.

                      As White explains it, “There wasn’t a conscious theme, though the songs operate in the same sort of space, that sense of surrealism. There’s ghosts, there's other worlds. There's a cosmic feeling, questions about the beginning and the end and dreams. And then there’s simpler songs, love songs about the feelings of infatuation you have when you’re young…”

                      A music graduate who has also worked alongside young people with mental health issues, White’s story began in bands. He played in atmospheric indie-rockers Silences before their split allowed Conchúr – pronounced Conor – to develop his solo voice at his own pace. That sense of freedom colours Conchúr’s music. On the Bikini Crops and Dreamers EPs, he filtered the influences of acts such as Arctic Monkeys (recent vintage) and Father John Misty into songs at once playful, referential and experiential.

                      With praise from SPIN, The Line of Best Fit, Under the Radar, Steve Lamacq, Radio 6 and others under his belt, he has also notched up touring slots with Villagers, Billie Marten and John Grant, who complemented White’s work warmly. (“It felt genuine,” marvels White. “I mean, he didn’t need to say it…”) Meanwhile, a recent invitation to support the mighty John Cale in concert lead to more complements from Cale’s storied bandmembers.

                      Collaborators on Swirling Violets include Matt Wiggins, who mixed the album; producers Kris Platt and Danny Morgan Ball; and co-writer/producer Iain Archer (‘Swirling Violets’). Finally, Brendan Jenkinson produced the closer, ‘Deadwood’, a serene drift through the “mystic night” under the “summer’s moonlight”. An irresistible invitation to float along with White, Swirling Violets is a magic-realist wonder from a new name to reckon with, bathed in a radiant glow.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. The Holy Death
                      2. Righteous (Why Did I Feel Like That?)
                      3. 501s
                      4. Rivers
                      5. I Did Good Today
                      6. Swirling Violets
                      7. Red House Parlour
                      8. Before Ten

                      Philip Selway & Elysian Collective

                      Live At Evolution Studios

                        Philip Selway and Elysian Collective announce ‘Live At Evolution Studios’ via Bella Union, a companion piece of sorts to his album ‘Strange Dance’, also released this year.

                        This superb new live recording features Selway collaborating with celebrated string quartet Elysian Collective and percussionist Chris Vatalaro, reimagining his songs in a slimmed-down setting.

                        Commenting on the album, Selway says: “This session with Elysian Collective and Chris Vatalaro was recorded at Evolution Studios in Oxford, where I recorded the bulk of ‘Strange Dance’ and also my soundtrack work. It took place at the end of April ’23, just before I went out to do my UK and European dates. I originally brought this ensemble together to play at the launch event for ‘Strange Dance’ back in February, as I felt this combination of string quartet and percussion, together with my vocals, piano and guitar would be a compact way to capture the scope of the varied musical textures on the album. I was so made up with how it sounded and how it reframed the songs, that I wanted to capture this dynamic in a recording. As well as songs from ‘Strange Dance’, there is also a version of one of my soundtrack pieces, ‘People Of The Sea’ (the original is on ‘Liminal’, the bonus album) and a track called ‘Song For Us’. This one was written as a pitch piece for a TV show. I didn’t get the gig, but I was delighted with how this song turned out. It’s how I sound as a one man band and it felt as though it rounded off the record nicely. I’ve worked extensively with Elysian Collective and Chris Vatalaro since my second solo album, ‘Weatherhouse’.”

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. The Heart Of It All
                        2. Picking Up Pieces
                        3. People Of The Sea
                        4. The Other Side
                        5. Little Things
                        6. Check For Signs Of Life
                        7. There'll Be Better Days
                        8. Songs For Us

                        Harp

                        Albion

                          Bella Union are thrilled to release the long-awaited debut solo album Albion by Harp, the adopted name of Tim Smith, formerly the singer and principal songwriter of Texan legends Midlake, who is joined by his wife, Kathi Zung.

                          The road to Albion might have been long and winding, and bumpy to boot, but the music Harp has created is steeped in sublime melody, mood, drama and detail, its ten songs and two mood-matching instrumentals framed by a mesh of acoustic/electric guitars, soft shades of keyboards and Smith’s gorgeous voice; in other words, the quintessence of what drew people in the first place to his work with Midlake.

                          But Albion has starker, darker hues than Smith is typically renowned for, which lifts Albion to new heights in his canon; likewise, the level of personal revelation. These are songs about the human condition, from love - both lost and found – to faith, anxiety to joy, fear to acceptance, all couched in a highly distinct poetic language.

                          Since leaving Midlake, Smith has performed just once, with Lost Horizons (at London’s Festival Hall in 2018), the collective co-founded by Bella Union boss (and former Cocteau Twin) Simon Raymonde, after Smith had contributed vocals and lyrics to “She Led Me Away” for the collective’s 2017 debut Ojalá. Smith subsequently went on to contribute vocals and lyrics for the track “Grey Tower” on Lost Horizons’ second album, In Quiet Moments. Those were all-too-rare sightings of Smith, but Albion’s day has come, and in a manner of speaking, in many aspects of his life, Smith has finally come home.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Andy says: Tim Smith, genius song writer, from Midlake's golden, 'Van Occupanther' period FINALLY returns. It's been 12 long years but he's delivered an absolute classic. Apparently he became smitten with The Cure's 'Faith' and all things UK alt 80s, and so has combined those epic, lush production sensibilities with his own sometimes folk, sometimes Medieval and sometimes Celtic melodies. Add a touch of Roy Harper and echoes of early 70's folk/prog,(only in feel though, these are still proper "pop" songs) and the result is a deep, doomy but beautiful, melancholy, magical, masterpiece.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. The Pleasant Grey
                          2. I Am The Seed
                          3. A Fountain
                          4. Daughters Of Albion
                          5. Chrystals
                          6. Country Cathedral Drive
                          7. Shining Spires
                          8. Silver Wings
                          9. Seven Long Suns
                          10. Moon
                          11. Throne Of Amber
                          12. Herstmonceux

                          Raze Regal & White Denim Inc.

                          Raze Regal & White Denim Inc.

                            Sometimes, even amidst the most chaotic moments of our lives, things have a way of coming together. Raze Regal, prolific electric guitarist and James Petralli, founding member and vocalist of Austin, TX indie rock legends White Denim, met during a West Coast tour in 2019, and quickly formed a deep friendship bound by their mutual love of ‘60s and ‘70s rock, the Jazz saxophone innovations and compositions of Eddie Harris, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter, ‘80s R & B production techniques and New Wave energy. In another world, perhaps their rapport would have remained casual; two music fans meeting occasionally in loud music venues to share a drink and catch up on their respective projects. However, and luckily for music fans everywhere, that’s not what happened. What followed for both men was a period of intense personal change, growth, and transformation—a period that is reflected in the creation of Raze Regal & White Denim Inc., a profoundly collaborative album that saw both musicians pour years of blood, sweat, and tears into some of the most soul-affirming music of their careers.

                            “It was a very hard time for both of us,” explains Raze matter-of-factly, from his home in Austin. He relocated there in 2020, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, after ending a long-term relationship and the dissolution of his previous band back in Oakland, CA. “This record was born out of the friendship and the closeness that James and I share, as well as pure creativity.” With Raze in serious need of a change of scenery, Austin and James provided just the right atmosphere to let his creative juices flow a little more freely. “James and I were talking and he was like, ‘Come up to Austin!’ and I was like, ‘Maybe I should.’ We would just kind of hang out in those early days, and then I started kind of writing these tunes, and I started presenting them to James. They were just sketches of ideas I had, and he was like, ‘You know these are really good. What if we worked on these together?’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely.’

                            It wasn’t long before the duo realized they had something special on their hands. It was more than just the fact that they were good at writing songs together—there was something deeply complementary in the way Raze and James thought about music and songwriting that made them better than the sum of their parts. The work took place at Radio Milk, James’ studio, curious to see what would come out of it; although, the process proved to be slightly more intense that either of them had imagined. “The week Raze arrived in Austin he joined my family/creative bubble, and we began writing and cutting music together,” explains James. “Through these initial sessions I learned that Raze possesses a unique gift as a lyricist and songwriter as well as a striking and colorful chord vocabulary. He naturally led these writing sessions and I supported him as an editor, instrumentalist, and engineer. We quickly developed an easy flow together in the studio. Which was refreshing for both of us. These were particularly hard times: Raze and I became close friends and helped each other get to the other side.”

                            The result of these summertime sessions, Raze Regal & White Denim Inc. bursts at the seams with jazz chords, rock hooks, soul vocals, pop melodies, and everything that made the latter half of the 20th century some of the most cardinal music in human history. Completely eschewing the trappings of “retro” or “throwback” sentiments, the record could have only come from artists with such a deep knowledge of popular music, that they are able to transcend references and homages, presenting something comfortably familiar yet totally fresh. Raze and James’ creative union took form before their very eyes, with James at first wanting to take more of a backseat role—but luckily, fate had other plans.

                            “Raze was bursting with musical ideas during a time when I was focused on learning how to capture and represent them,” James says, clearly holding his bandmate in the utmost respect. “He wrote the changes for the songs and we cut demos together and he'd sit with a note pad and sketch lyrical ideas once the framework was down. I did my best not to impose too much as a writer, rather mostly offering perspective as a singer and sometimes pulling a few books off of the shelf for consideration and reference. Raze was writing about our lives. We knew well where we were coming from.”

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: This absolutely sings with the hazy melodic groove of White Denim, but it's accentuated with a rich seam of airy funk, psychedelic soul and twisting melodicism from Raze Regals considerable talent pool. What a lovely thing.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Ashley Goudeau
                            2. Blood
                            3. Tivoli
                            4. Complaining In Heaven
                            5. Don’t Laff
                            6. The Hustle In You
                            7. Before The Fact
                            8. Idle Later
                            9. Dislocation
                            10. Ugly Man Suit

                            Modern Nature

                            No Fixed Point In Space

                              No Fixed Point In Space, the third full-length album by Jack Cooper’s Modern Nature, takes the palette of sound and themes that were honed on 2021’s Island Of Noise and launches them into an expansive world of openness and vivid technicolour. It’s a music that hasn’t been heard before; as melodic as anything Cooper has produced but framed by rhythms and instrumentation that reflect the chaos, unpredictability and colour of the natural world.

                              Certain moorings - woodwind, percussion, strings and Cooper’s lambent voice - are still present and recognisable from No Fixed Point In Space’s predecessor, Island Of Noise but the new record marks a shift to utilising musical notation as a point of departure, from which the group explore the space around suggested notes and rhythms to create a semi-improvised, semi-composed ensemble performance. These explorations of partly organised chance were recorded live and directly to tape.

                              This approach gives the music a remarkably fresh feel; songs pulse and evolve. The changes between movements, verse and choruses are almost all ambiguous. During the album’s opener Tonic, a verse of hushed brevity washes away into a passage of overwhelmingly vibrant orchestration.


                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Tonic
                              2. Murmuration
                              3. Orange
                              4. Cascade
                              5. Sun
                              6. Tapestry
                              7. Ensō

                              Beach House

                              Devotion - 2023 Reissue

                                Beach House’s critically acclaimed 2007 sophomore album, ‘Devotion’, is also finally back on vinyl via Bella Union.

                                “Crisper, brighter, bolder songs that retain the Baltimore dream-pop duo’s melodic sense and vibe of elegant decay.” - Pitchfork (8.5 - Best New Music)

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Wedding Bell
                                You Came To Me
                                Gila
                                Turtle Island
                                Holy Dances
                                All The Years
                                Heart Of Chambers
                                Some Things Last A Long Time
                                Astronaut
                                D.A.R.L.I.N.G
                                Home Again

                                Beach House

                                Beach House - 2023 Reissue

                                  Beach House’s 2006 self-titled debut album is finally back on vinyl, released on Bella Union. Contains the song ‘Master Of None’, which was famously sampled by The Weeknd on his song ‘The Party & the After Party’.

                                  “In the tradition of Mazzy Star, Galaxie 500, Spiritualized, and Slowdive, this Carpark duo - singer / organist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally - crafts lovesick, narcotized rock with lots of depth and sweep.” - Pitchfork (8.1)

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Saltwater
                                  Tokyo Witch
                                  Apple Orchard
                                  Master Of None
                                  Auburn And Ivory
                                  Childhood
                                  Lovelier Girl
                                  House On The Hill
                                  Heart And Lungs

                                  Explosions In The Sky

                                  End

                                    End, the enigmatic seventh album by Explosions in the Sky, was inspired by darkness, but became a loud, dramatic, wild rumination on life and death.

                                    “Our starting point was the concept of an ending—death, or the end of a friendship or relationship. Every song comes from a story, or an idea one of us has had that we’ve all expanded on and made its own world. Maybe it’s our nature, but we kept feeling that the album title was ultimately open to a lot more interpretation—the end of a thing or a time can mean a stop, but it can also mean a beginning, and what happens after one thing ends might pale in comparison to what it becomes next,” says the band about the album.

                                    End is perhaps the “grandest” Explosions in the Sky album – melding the quiet restraint and crushing feel of their early releases with the sonic texturing and ornate experimentation of their later releases, and their increasingly deep film and television scoring catalog, influenced by personal tastes stretching from classical to soul to experimental ambient music.

                                    The title “End” furthers a story arc reflected in the album titles that started with the “innocence” of their first album (How Strange, Innocence), progressed through the idealism and romanticism of their second and third albums (Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever and The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place), followed by the introspection (All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone and Take Care Take Care Take Care) and big-picture focus (The Wilderness) of their most recent albums.

                                    End is the band’s seventh, but not final, studio album

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: It's always going to be a big thing for me when EITS release an LP (massive fan), and while their soundtrack-adjacent 'Big Bend' LP from 2021 was high up my album charts for the year, it's been a while since a full studio album has affected me the way 'Those Who Tell The Truth..' or 'The Rescue' did. I can say with some confidence that 'End' might be my favourite thing they've done for a couple decades now.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1 Ten Billion People
                                    2 Moving On
                                    3 Loved Ones
                                    4 Peace Or Quiet
                                    5 All Mountains
                                    6 The Fight
                                    7 It's Never Going To Stop

                                    Our Broken Garden

                                    Blind

                                      Epitomising triumph over adversity, the first Our Broken Garden album since 2010 not only embarks on a newly minted sound – a gloriously warm and nuanced brand of slowburning Scandinavian soul - but Danish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Brønsted has dug deep to provide an emotional tour de force that shines as a beacon of resilience, resistance and perseverance. Welcome to Blind.

                                      Blind’s musical DNA is warmer, more inviting and even poppier than previous album, The Golden Sea: Brønsted suggests that it’s down to Blind’s backing tracks being recorded live (as opposed to Golden Sea’s layered production), but also that she was particularly taken with ‘70s singer-songwriters (she namechecks Neil Young, Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell) and contemporary R&B, especially FKA Twigs. And it’s that intimacy, and candour, which also makes Blind sound that much warmer and inviting. Brønsted’s life was on the line, and her creative response has thrown her a lifeline. As she prepares to play the first Our Broken Garden shows in ten years, the darkness of her recent past recedes further, but she is sanguine about the present.

                                      “With deep feelings of loss but also deep feelings of love,” Brønsted concludes, “the good thing is that I am not caught in the numbness of my ‘safe’ everyday life anymore. Every day is new - which is not necessarily pleasant and without challenges. But I feel free - and one of the gifts is that I have found places that I didn’t know existed in myself. And that I have found peace here – until the next crisis comes around, I guess!”

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1 Prelude
                                      2 Lost
                                      3 Rain
                                      4 Fallen
                                      5 Shameless
                                      6 Prayer
                                      7 Waltz
                                      8 Words
                                      9 Sirens
                                      10 Storm
                                      11 Crown
                                      12 Found
                                      13 Lies

                                      Laura Groves

                                      Radio Red

                                        Much of Radio Red, the first full length album Laura Groves has released under her own name, was written, produced and recorded by Groves in her studio, watched over by two radio transmitting towers. “I became very drawn to them and they became like symbols to me; they were always awake, sending their messages, the red lights always came on at night and watched over whatever was going on in my life.” The album deals with themes of communication - missed and intercepted signals, chance meetings, synchronicities, the channels through which we try to express our true feelings, the outside interference that can get in the way and the joy of letting go and allowing the messages to flow freely.

                                        Self-recording and production is a core part of Laura’s songwriting process. “I remember years ago getting hold of some basic recording software and being instantly drawn in. The idea of being able to layer up my voice was a dream, like building an orchestra out of what I had at home.” The passion for home-recording, using the resources available at the time, working through limitations and capturing textures through layering, forms the foundation of Groves’ experimental and off-centre pop music and electrified folk music. The sound world of Radio Red is made up of echoes and snapshots of half-remembered pop songs, piano ballads, chopped up TV theme tunes, ambient synthesised sounds and electronic music; tuning in between channels without fully belonging to any one of them, with the comfort, familiarity and strangeness that can come with hearing voices on the radio.


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Sky At Night
                                        2. Good Intention
                                        3. Synchronicity
                                        4. D 4 N
                                        5. I'm Not Crying
                                        6. Any Day Now
                                        7. Time
                                        8. Sarah
                                        9. Make A Start
                                        10. Silver Lining

                                        Wren Hinds

                                        Don't Die In The Bundu

                                          A fresh chapter takes soft, sure shape for Cape Town-based singer-songwriter Wren Hinds on his new album. Released through Bella Union, Don’t Die in the Bundu follows Bella Union Pressings’ vinyl releases of Wren’s first three Bandcamp LPs. A gleaming set of gently dappled and poetic songs about fatherhood and fortitude, the album roots its restrained strength in an innate understanding of what matters most to us.

                                          Wren’s own life began on the South-east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. His father was a musician, his mother a landscape painter. While his dad inspired Wren to record whenever and wherever he could, his mother’s artform coloured his approach to songwriting: “painting with sound” is Wren’s description, a methodology illustrated by his use of light, shade and space to communicate powerful impressions and feelings.

                                          Recorded at a timber cabin in the South Peninsula mountainside, about 40km outside of Cape Town, Don’t Die in the Bundu is at once a natural evolution from his earlier work…, a fresh start and a statement of commitment, embedded in its title. Drawn from “a few personal experiences,” says Wren, the inspiration for the title helps pinpoint its purpose. “It was inspired by a very old survival book distributed in South Africa and Zimbabwe. I had a few title options I was playing with, and around July 2022 a friend and I were held up at gunpoint in Cape Town. Fortunately we weren’t harmed or anything, but the whole ordeal helped me to settle on the title.”

                                          Meanwhile, parenthood helped crystallise Wren’s perspective on the trials of our times. “I try not to be too pessimistic about the future, especially now that I have a kid. It forces me to look at the beauty in humanity and the mysterious nature of this place we call home. I guess, like everyone else, I’m often trying to figure out how it all fits together, and how we fit into this story… Now that I’m a father, I’d rather live in hope than in fear.” Richly subtle, deeply inquisitive, Don’t Die in the Bundu illustrates Wren’s preference beautifully.


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. A Song
                                          2. Wild Eyes
                                          3. Father
                                          4. Chasing The River
                                          5. A Wasted Love
                                          6. Restless Child
                                          7. Dream State
                                          8. The Garden
                                          9. Gilded By The Sun, Silvered By The Moon
                                          10. Razor Wing

                                          Creep Show

                                          Yawning Abyss

                                            In the five years since Creep Show’s acclaimed ‘Mr Dynamite’ album was released it’s fair to say that we’ve all been through a fair bit. Sat here, in 2023, things don’t seem to be getting any better. There's the cost of living crisis and political meltdowns; we're in deep water with global warming and to top it all there’s a war on our doorstep.

                                            Back in 2018 everything seemed less complicated. Sure, there was stuff to get riled about, but we knew nothing about what was to come. ‘Mr Dynamite’ was a fairground ride into the dark corners of a world that was on the brink of being blitzed in a blender. It was a record teetering on the edge. Five years down the line you’d expect the follow-up, ‘Yawning Abyss’, would double-down and bring the white-knuckled, teeth-gritted fury of the last five years to the boil. And yet…

                                            A quick recap? No problem. Wrangler + John Grant = Creep Show. And Creep Show? “A band of musical misfits who have found a voice or two,” says Wrangler’s Ben “Benge” Edwards, whose Bond villain studio on the edge of a moorland is Creep Show Grand Central as well as home to an analogue synth arsenal that could sink ships.

                                            Let’s talk about the new album. What is the ‘Yawning Abyss’? You might well ask. According to Mal, it’s “a cosmic event horizon that I can see from my attic window when stand on a chair”. Yeah. Thanks. “On this album,” offers Benge, feet firmly on the floor, “Wrangler wrangled some vintage synths, mostly Roland, Moog, and the ‘Crystal Machine’ - then John Grant joined in the fun at Memetune Studios where lots of musical experiments were carried out. Then Mal and John ran off to Iceland with the master tapes and recorded a load of madcap vocals. Back at Memetune, me and Phil were left to try and make sense of it all. Which wasn’t hard because what they did in Iceland was totally magnificent.”

                                            Where ‘Mr Dynamite’ was menace, a melange of mangled voices, with Grant and Mallinder being heavily treated, pitched up or down, rendering their contributions largely indistinguishable, ‘Yawning Abyss’ takes a more direct approach. You hesitate to say feelgood, but there’s a skip in the step here for sure.

                                            The title track plays John Grant’s vocal straight. Completely. It’s good, so very good. Like ‘Axel F’ covered by Vangelis. The delicious shimmering synths of ‘Bungalow’ also plays those Grant pipes with a straight bat. ‘Matinee’ delves into darker very funky territory. With Mal upfront it comes on like ‘The Crackdown’. Choice lyric: “You are starting to breakdown / And it’s so fun for me to see / You should have thought of that / You should have come prepared / You can see what’s happening and you look a little scared”.

                                            So, you know, not all feelgood. But it does feel good. It’s probably best to draw your own conclusions. This is Creep Show after all.


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: I've always been a big fan of John Grant, and the dream-team of Stephen Mallinder, Benge and Phill winter of Tunng couldn't be any more perfect a fit for Grant's hypnotic vocal syrup. It's an absolute slam-dunk of an album and ends up sounding a little more like Grant's Pale Green Ghost LP (to me, a pantheon of synthesiser worship) than the also-brilliant hefty haze of their debut. Brilliant.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1. The Bellows
                                            2. Moneyback
                                            3. Yawning Abyss
                                            4. Matinee
                                            5. Wise
                                            6. Yahtzee!
                                            7. Bungalow
                                            8. Steak Diane
                                            9. The Bellows Reprise

                                            Lanterns On The Lake

                                            Versions Of Us

                                              This self-produced fifth studio album follows 2020’s Mercury nominated Spook the Herd. Its nine songs are existential meditations examining life’s possibilities, facing the hand we’ve been dealt and the question of whether we can change our individual and collective destinies.

                                              Singer and songwriter Hazel Wilde has no doubt that motherhood fundamentally shifted her perspective. “Writing songs requires a certain level of self-indulgence, and songwriters can be prone to dwelling on themselves,” she says. “Motherhood made me aware at having a different stake in the world. I’ve got to believe that there’s a better way and an alternative future to the one we’ve been hurtling towards. I’ve also got to believe that I could be better as a person, too.”

                                              Mixed by the band’s guitarist Paul Gregory, in the bedroom of his home in North Shields, there is a sense of time and place that runs deep throughout this record. Given some of its themes, a biting irony is found in an entire previous version of the record being discarded. Mental health struggles and personal problems in the band had a big impact on how the initial version took shape. “Despite trying everything we could to make it work we reached the point where we just had to stop” Wilde explains. Drummer Ol Ketteringham parted ways with the band, something Wilde says was “heartbreakingly difficult as we were and still are extremely close”.

                                              The band scrapped nearly a year’s worth of work, regressing to song demos with just Wilde performing with a single instrument as they began again with Radiohead’s Philip Selway joining the album sessions on drums. “Philip brought an energy to the songs that reignited our belief in them,” says Wilde. “Within a few weeks we had a whole other version of the album and things felt very different,” Wilde continues. “We had changed the destiny of the record.”

                                              It’s a heartening idea. Despite the difficulties in its genesis, Versions of Us is the most empowering album yet from the band. In exploring whether we can change fate or are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in life, this powerful collection of songs ultimately alights on hope. 


                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1 The Likes Of Us
                                              2 Real Life
                                              3 Vatican
                                              4 String Theory
                                              5 Thumb Of War
                                              6 The Saboteur
                                              7 Locust
                                              8 Rich Girls
                                              9 Last Transmission

                                              Beach House

                                              Become

                                                “The Become EP is a collection of 5 songs from the Once Twice Melody sessions. We didn’t think they fit in the world of OTM, but later realized they all fit in a little world of their own. To us, they are all kind of scuzzy and spacious, and live in the spirit realm. It’s not really where we are currently going, but it’s definitely somewhere we have been. We hope you enjoy these tunes.” - Alex and Victoria/Beach House.

                                                Become featuring the songs “American Daughter,” “Devil’s Pool,” “Holiday House,” “Black Magic” and the title track, and was produced by Beach House, with mixing by Alan Moulder (track 1), Trevor Spencer (tracks 2, 3, 5), and Caesar Edmunds (track 4), and mastering by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1 American Daughter
                                                2 Devil's Pool
                                                3 Holiday House
                                                4 Black Magic
                                                5 Become

                                                Temps

                                                Party Gator Purgatory

                                                  Temps is a 40-strong international music collective, consisting of artists across multiple genres, fronted by a cartoon alligator.

                                                  Featuring such geniuses as Quelle Chris, John Dieterich, Joana Gomila, Laia Vallès and Seb Rochford, Temps’ ten-track debut Party Gator Purgatory was produced, curated and devised by UK stand-up comedian James Acaster. Released via Bella Union, this mind-bending opus rose from the ashes of an aborted mockumentary made with Louis Theroux’s money.

                                                  Vast in scope and scale, and fizzing with an experimental energy, the trippy Party Gator Purgatory manages to blend a host of ideas, guests and moods into an album that draws you into its own unique world. “I became completely obsessed with this project,” states Acaster as he hand-draws the album’s artwork himself, using a trio of highlighter pens, “it was all I focussed on for two years and we ended up making my favourite thing ever. I hope people enjoy it.”

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1 Lookaliveandplaydead (feat. Quelle Chris, Mal Devisa, Denmark Vessey, Foonyap)
                                                  2 Kept (feat. NNAMDÏ, Gaston Bandimic, Xenia Rubinos, Satomi Matsuzaki, Law Holt, Quelle Chris)
                                                  3 PartygatorR.I.P. (feat. Xenia Rubinos, Denmark Vessey, Quelle Chris, Bb Tombo)
                                                  4 No,no (feat. Quelle Chris, Xenia Rubinos, NNAMDÏ, Shamir)
                                                  5 At(moves) (feat. Quelle Chris, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Mal Devisa)
                                                  6 Partygatorpurgatory (feat. Babar Luck, Law Holt, Gaston Bandimic, Bb Tombo)
                                                  7 Ificouldjust (feat. Yoni Wolf, Quelle Chris, Shamir, Montaigne, Ami Dang)
                                                  8 Bleedthemtoxins (feat. Joana Gomila, NNAMDÏ, Shamir, Quelle Chris)
                                                  9 Partygatorresurrection (feat. Open Mike Eagle, Me Oh Myriorama, Montaigne, Low Growl, Bb Tombo)
                                                  10 Slowreturn (feat. Yoni Wolf, Shamir)
                                                  11 Fitinthiscostume (feat. Ami Dang, Emma Daman, Blanck Mass, Me Oh Myriorama, Gaston Bandimic, Law Holt, Public Speaking, The Growth Eternal)
                                                  12 Firstbirthday (feat. NNAMDÏ, Public Speaking)
                                                  13 Partygatorpoltergeist (feat. Me Oh Myriorama, J Thoubbs, The Growth Eternal)
                                                  14 Lastbirthday (feat. Gaston Bandimic, Blanck Mass)
                                                  15 Belongbetween (feat. Quelle Chris, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Law Holt, Babar Luck, Mal Devisa, Public Speaking)

                                                  BC Camplight

                                                  The Last Rotation Of Earth

                                                    Is there a curse that says Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio cannot move forward without being knocked back? That the greatest material is born out of emotional trauma?

                                                    Whilst making his new album The Last Rotation Of Earth, Christinzio’s relationship with his fiancé crumbled after nine inseparable years. The album follows this break-up amid long-term struggles with addiction and declining mental health. The outcome is an extraordinary record, with Christinzio describing it as “more cinematic, sophisticated, and nuanced than anything I’ve done before. And more desperate”.

                                                    That Christinzio has bettered his previous album is an achievement, given that Shortly After Takeoff received the best reviews of his life. “A masterpiece,” said The Guardian’s 5 star review, “a half hour or so that roils with anxiety, stuns with beauty and, occasionally, provokes laughter.” Even then, fate intervened when the album was released in April 2020, just as Covid and lockdown kicked in, so he was unable to tour the record until late 2021. The Philadelphian then joked, “I can't wait to make an album that isn’t surrounded by some awful tragedy.”


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: A wonderful return for Brian Christinzio, full of soaring pop songs and perfectly manicured melodies, as you'd expect. What's not so expected however is how BC's self-confessed pains and setbacks have resulted in such a wonderfully jubilant end-result. Heartfelt, grand and full of nuance, 'The Last Rotation..' is by far his most refined and enjoyable outing yet.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    Side A:
                                                    1. The Last Rotation Of Earth
                                                    2. The Movie
                                                    3. It Never Rains In Manchester
                                                    4. Kicking Up A Fuss
                                                    Side B:
                                                    1. She's Gone Cold
                                                    2. Fear Life In A Dozen Years
                                                    3. Going Out On A Low Note
                                                    4. I'm Ugly
                                                    5. The Mournin

                                                    Beach House

                                                    Become (RSD23 EDITION)

                                                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2023 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.



                                                      The Become EP is a collection of 5 songs from the Once Twice Melody sessions. We didnít think they fit in the world of OTM, but later realized they all fit in a little world of their own. To us, they are all kind of scuzzy and spacious, and live in the spirit realm. Itís not really where we are currently going, but itís definitely somewhere we have been. We hope you enjoy these tunes, Alex and Victoria/Beach House.



                                                      ‘Become’ featuring the songs ‘American Daughter’, ‘Devil’s Pool’, ‘Holiday House’, ‘Black Magic’ and the title track, and was produced by Beach House, with mixing by Alan Moulder (track 1), Trevor Spencer (tracks 2, 3, 5), and Caesar Edmunds (track 4), and mastering by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound.



                                                      ‘Become’ will be available on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023 as a Record Store Day crystal-clear vinyl exclusive.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1 American Daughter
                                                      2 Devil's Pool
                                                      3 Holiday House

                                                      1 Black Magic
                                                      2 Become

                                                      Susanne Sundfør

                                                      Blómi

                                                        Five years after Sundfør redefined her career with the folk-inspired, emotionally-effervescent album Music for People In Trouble, the Norwegian musician, artist and producer delves even deeper into her personal mythology on the soul-bearing blómi.

                                                        Meaning “to bloom'' in Norse, blómi takes very unique aspects of Susanne’s life story, like the academic work of her grandfather who is a linguist specialising in Semitic languages, and her own life-changing experiences as a new mother, to weave together a colourful tapestry unlike anything she has released to date.

                                                        Sundfør wrote blómi, above all, as a love letter to her young daughter, a missive to a precious new life entering an unstable world. In the title track, which is anchored around a lush, driving piano arrangement and skin-tingling saxophones, Susanne imparts all her wisdom to her daughter, urging her to take her words with her through life. Pairing her lyrics with hints of Norse language and mythology, Susanne harks to indigenous Nordic cultures who built matrilineal societies and worshipped divine feminine deities. These roots, this passing from mother to child, is at the core of the music on blómi.


                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: Tender plucked folk guitar and Sundfør's strong vocal presence combine beautifully atop orchestral flourishes and rich, traditional Nordic themes. It's a fascinating and constantly rewarding listen.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Orð Vǫlu
                                                        2. Ashera's Song
                                                        3. Blómi
                                                        4. Rūnā
                                                        5. Fare Thee Well
                                                        6. Leikara Ljóð
                                                        7. Alyosha
                                                        8.

                                                        Midlake

                                                        Live At The Roundhouse (RSD23 EDITION)

                                                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2023 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                          Denton, TX indie folk-rock pioneers Midlake announce their first catalogspanning double live album, ‘Live At The Roundhouse’.

                                                          Recorded at London’s historic Roundhouse in April 2022, the album includes material from their latest album For The Sake Of Bethel Woods, fan favorites from 2013’s exploratory Antiphon, dark psych-folk thickets of 2010’s The Courage of Others, and the highly wondrous and critically acclaimed modern classics of 2006’s The Trials of Van Occupanther.

                                                          A pivotal city to the band’s success and their dedicated fanbase, London was the obvious show to record during their most recent tour. Midlake’s Eric Pulido shares, “Since our early days, London has been like a second home. We’ve been embraced so warmly all of these years and knew our show at The Roundhouse would serve as the perfect night to celebrate our 20-year relationship with our first live album.”

                                                          A long overdue retrospective, Live at Roundhouse includes 75+ minutes of music including Midlake classics “Roscoe,” “The Old and the Young,” “Head Home,” and “Acts of Man,” featuring vocals from singer/songwriter Bess Atwell.

                                                          The packaging showcases a gorgeous matte-board double album, printed on Translucent Red (Side A) and Translucent Orange (Side B) 180-gram vinyl, with expansive artwork by photographer Andy Little.

                                                          ‘Live At The Roundhouse’ is a true collector's item for any fan of the band.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          Commune
                                                          Bethel Woods
                                                          Glistening
                                                          We Gathered In Spring
                                                          Young Bride
                                                          Acts Of Man
                                                          Children Of The Ground
                                                          Antiphon
                                                          Aurora Gone
                                                          Meanwhile…
                                                          Feast Of Carrion
                                                          Roscoe
                                                          Noble
                                                          The Old And The Young
                                                          Head Home

                                                          Silver Moth (Stuart Braithwaite Of Mogwai, Elisabeth Elektra & Evi Vine)

                                                          Black Bay

                                                            A leap of faith reaps extraordinary rewards on ‘Black Bay’, an album of depth, atmosphere and daring from the collective known as Silver Moth. Recorded under unusual circumstances, ‘Black Bay’ is the sound of seven storied musicians yielding to shared goals, a policy of trust in action. Between hushed incantations and molten guitars, 15-minute noise-rock epics and healing psalms, the record is a testament to connectivity and receptivity: to a union of disparate minds committing to something greater than the sum of its parts.

                                                            Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, Elisabeth Elektra, Evi Vine, Steven Hill, members of Abrasive Trees, Burning House and Prosthetic Head convened to improvise the album in early 2021, inspired by a Twitter exchange between Abrasive Trees guitarist/songwriter Matthew Rochford, musician Elisabeth Elektra and fellow artist Nick Hudson about the Isle of Lewis. A couple of Zoom meetings would subsequently lead to Rochford, Elektra, Vine, Braithwaite, Hill, drummer Ash Babb and cellist Ben Roberts visiting the dramatic location of Great Bernera’s Black Bay Studios on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where they tracked the songs in just four days: a testament to the musicians’ focused openness to their shared mission and environment.

                                                            This is an album of elemental force and evocative poise, its controlled power focused around the ego-free chemistry between the players. By abandoning all certainties, Silver Moth have found something truly special on ‘Black Bay’.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: A stunning debut LP from Silver Moth here displaying every bit of the influence from the myriad heads of the collective, forging brittle ballads and thundering gothic waves from haunting vocals and hypnotic post-rock instrumentals.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1 Henry
                                                            2 The Eternal
                                                            3 Mother Tongue
                                                            4 Gaelic Psalms
                                                            5 Hello Doom
                                                            6 Sedna

                                                            Beach House

                                                            Depression Cherry

                                                            Beach House is Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. We have been a band for over a decade living and working in Baltimore, MD. Depression Cherry is our 5th full-length record. This record follows the release of our self-titled album in 2006, Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010 and Bloom in 2012. Depression Cherry was recorded at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana from November ’14 through January ’15. This time period crossed the anniversaries of both John Lennon’s and Roy Orbison’s death.

                                                            In general, this record shows a return to simplicity, with songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role. With the growing success of Teen Dream and Bloom, the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our natural tendencies. Here, we continue to let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.

                                                            Here are a few quotes that we feel relate to the feeling and themes of this record:

                                                            — “I’ll never be able to be here again. As the minutes slide by, I move on. The flow of time is something I cannot stop. I haven’t a choice. I go. One caravan has stopped, another starts up. There are people I have yet to meet, others I’ll never see again. People who are gone before you know it, people who are just passing through. Even as we exchange hellos, they seem to grow transparent. I must keep living with the flowing river before my eyes.” - from Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
                                                            — “We inhabit a world in which the future promises endless possibilities and the past lies irretrievably behind us. The arrow of time… is the medium of creativity in terms of which life can be understood.” - from The Arrow of Time by Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield
                                                            — “Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” - from Parerga and Paralipomena by Arthur Schopenhauer
                                                            — “Hark, now hear the sailors cry, feel the air and see the sky, let your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic……
                                                            ….when the fog horn blows, i want to hear it, i don’t have to fear it” - from “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison.

                                                            Depression Cherry was produced and recorded by the band and Chris Coady at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana.




                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Andy says: Beach House's 5th album sees Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally distill things right down to their essence and create their best record so far. This is dream-pop in excelsis. Using the most minimal ingredients of organ, guitar, drum-machine and voice, but creating a spangly, fuzzy, graceful sound, the duo have made an album that totally envelops the listener. Mesmerising stuff.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            Here Is The Track Listing With Selected Lyrics.

                                                            1. Levitation - “The Branches Of The Trees, They Will Hang Lower Now, You Will Grow Too Quick, Then You Will Get Over It”
                                                            2. Sparks - “It’s A Gift, Taken From The Lips, You Live Again”
                                                            3. Space Song - “What Makes This Fragile World Go ‘round, Were You Ever Lost, Was She Ever Found?”
                                                            4. Beyond Love - “They Take The Simple Things Inside You And Put Nightmares In Your Hands”
                                                            5. 10:37 - “ Here She Comes, All Parts Of Everything, Stars In The Motherhand”
                                                            6. PPP - “Did You See It Coming, It Happened So Fast, The Timing Was Perfect, Water On Glass…”
                                                            7. Wildflower - “What’s Left You Make Something Of It”
                                                            8. Bluebird - “I Would Not Ever Try To Capture You”
                                                            9. Days Of Candy - “I Know It Comes Too Soon, The Universe Is Riding Off With You…... I Want To Know You There, The Universe Is Riding Off With You.”


                                                            Emma Tricca

                                                            Aspirin Sun

                                                              “It felt like I was driving through tunnels,” Emma Tricca says of her fourth album – her first for Bella Union. A phosphorescent panorama of undulating colour, shape and sound.

                                                              As with any transformation, it is this sense of movement that underpins Aspirin Sun and its bold new form, ebbing and flowing, continually unfurling. The tunnels led the Italian-born, London-based singer-songwriter towards something expansive and far-reaching: an entirely new and experimental collection of songs.

                                                              This new psychedelic horizon could only be fully brought to life by a band she calls her family. The same musicians she collaborated with on her 2018 outing, St. Peter: Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, Dream Syndicate guitarist Jason Victor, and bass player Pete Galub. All three musicians brought something unique to the record.


                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1 Devotion
                                                              2 Christodora House
                                                              3 Autumn's Fiery Tongue
                                                              4 Leaves
                                                              5 King Blixa
                                                              6 Ruben's House
                                                              7 Through The Poet's Eyes
                                                              8 Space And Time

                                                              The Natural Lines

                                                              The Natural Lines

                                                                The artist formerly known as Matt Pond PA returns with the self-titled debut album from The Natural Lines. At once clearly Pond’s work yet a huge leap forward in its measured songcraft, melodic immediacy, collaborative detail and wryly questioning lyrics, the result is a gorgeous album of intimate reflections from a relocated, renamed, revivified talent.

                                                                Pond-watchers might wonder why the album took so long to arrive since Matt Pond PA’s last album proper, Still Summer (2017). But The Natural Lines was not a project to be rushed. Recorded with close collaborators and friends over a period that saw Pond make vital adjustments to his life, its stealth emergence reflects his desire to set a fresh pace for himself and come from somewhere new, somewhere more open.

                                                                Now based in Kingston, New York, with his partner and wild dog Willa, Matt explains the album’s gestation thus. “It was something different from the start. I wanted to write as purely as I could. Instead of getting stuck in the ‘tour, write an album, release an album, tour’ cycle, which is not a natural way of writing or living, I wanted to write an album and when it was done I wanted to make sure it was done. I didn’t want this feeling of, ‘Oh, we didn’t have time’, or, ‘I don’t know whether I believe in the songs but it’s coming out anyway.’ I used to be always racing to the finish line, but I’m not anymore.”


                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1. Monotony
                                                                2. No More Tragedies
                                                                3. Help
                                                                4. Alex Bell
                                                                5. My Answer
                                                                6. Spontaneous Skylights
                                                                7. A Scene That Will Never Die
                                                                8. Person Of Interest
                                                                9. Don't Come Down
                                                                10. Artificial Moonlight
                                                                11. Mahwah

                                                                Emilíana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra

                                                                Racing The Storm

                                                                  There’s something almost magical about a great collaboration. When two artists are able to synchronize on an infinitesimal level, where each note and breath and strum aligns to create a perfect whole. The Colorist Orchestra know how to do this — in fact, they’ve made it their speciality. Since 2013, the Belgian duo (comprised of multi-instrumentalists and longtime friends Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans) have made a career out of reimagining the discographies of a wide array of artists, using their background in pop, electronic, and world music to transform the songs.

                                                                  Recently, they have reconnected with acclaimed Icelandic singer-songwriter Emilina Torrini, with whom they first collaborated in 2018 on the album The Colorist Orchestra & Emiliana Torrini. This time, however, their project exceeded even their own expectations.

                                                                  In 2023, The Colorist Orchestra and Emiliana will release Racing the Storm, a joint record that takes both artists to towering new heights. An album of all original material, it melds TCO’s classical chamber pop roots with the power and fragility of Emiliana’s understated songwriting.

                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                  Barry says: A thoroughly hypnotic selection of classical-leaning electronic lounge business here from the wonderful Colorist Orchestra, all topped with Emilíana Torrini's beguiling vocal charms. Racing The Storm is clearly an album steeped in influence, but what comes out at the end could only have been made by this pairing. Beautiful.

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  Mikos
                                                                  You Left Me In Bloom
                                                                  Hilton
                                                                  Dove
                                                                  Wedding Song
                                                                  Right Here
                                                                  Smoke Trails
                                                                  A Scene From A Movie
                                                                  The Illusion Curse
                                                                  Racing The Storm
                                                                  Lonesome Fears

                                                                  Philip Selway

                                                                  Strange Dance

                                                                    When Philip Selway approached some of his favourite musicians to play on his third solo record he said he imagined it as a Carole King record if she collaborated with the pioneering electronic composer Daphne Oram and invited him to drum on it. Unsurprisingly they were all sold, and so began the bringing together of an extraordinary number of gifted people, including Hannah Peel, Adrian Utley, Quinta, Marta Salogni, Valentina Magaletti and Laura Moody.

                                                                    Foregrounding this remarkable union of musical voices was 10 songs written by Selway at home on piano and guitar that show him at the height of his songwriting powers. As Strange Dance unfurls, it takes the listener through different weathers and seasons. Each song carries varied and diverse shades and textures of emotion. Lyrically, it is artful. Selway has a gift at writing heartfelt lyrics which could relate to any number of human experiences.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    LP / CD Tracklisting
                                                                    1 Little Things
                                                                    2 What Keeps You Awake At Night
                                                                    3 Check For Signs Of Life
                                                                    4 Picking Up Pieces
                                                                    5 The Other Side
                                                                    6 Strange Dance
                                                                    7 Make It Go Away
                                                                    8 The Heart Of It All
                                                                    9 Salt Air
                                                                    10 There’ll Be Better Days

                                                                    Box Set Tracklisting
                                                                    Side A
                                                                    1 Little Things
                                                                    2 What Keeps You Awake At Night
                                                                    3 Check For Signs Of Life
                                                                    4 Picking Up Pieces
                                                                    5 The Other Side

                                                                    Side B
                                                                    1 Strange Dance
                                                                    2 Make It Go Away
                                                                    3 The Heart Of It All
                                                                    4 Salt Air
                                                                    5 There’ll Be Better Days

                                                                    Side C
                                                                    1 The Hills
                                                                    2 Sea Longing
                                                                    3 Lara
                                                                    4 Munich
                                                                    5 Expectant
                                                                    6 Our Bloods
                                                                    7 An Tri Numh

                                                                    Side D
                                                                    1 Recitation
                                                                    2 Strange Broken Sleep
                                                                    3 People Of The Sea
                                                                    4 Pray Hard
                                                                    5 Carmilla
                                                                    6 Coutille
                                                                    7 Let Me Go (Live For Eid Celebration)

                                                                    Lowly

                                                                    Keep Up The Good Work

                                                                      The internationally acclaimed quintet from Denmark continue to develop their creative process, embracing other peoples’ affection and letting it blend into their songwriting. The result of this journey is Keep Up The Good Work, the band’s most sincere work to date. Sometimes the support we need doesn’t lie in complex answers. Sometimes it can be found in the simplest encouragement. This reflection is embodied throughout their third album, Keep Up The Good Work.

                                                                      This music has been forged within a maelstrom of lockdown restrictions and critical life events; often working together virtually, and eventually being together physically and writing as a group.

                                                                      “We know each other really well after 8 years as friends, colleagues and collective creators. We know what we’re each going through in life, and we can hear it in the music we make together; it’s always a personal reflection of us in the given moment. You can hear that we’ve become older, that we have more to tell. During the pandemic we experienced both the joys of having children and the sorrow of losing people we cared for. Life and death struck us, you could say, which maybe seems rather banal or cliché to be writing about. But for that reason, we think this record speaks universally, and has the potential of resonating with many people.”


                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: An uplifting and beautifully constructed selection of synthy, post-rock indebted instrumentals topped with found sound mantras and soaring folky vocals. It's a bafflingly large influence pool to be drawing on, but it's put together impeccably and flows as smoothly as you'd like.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      1 What A Day
                                                                      2 Seasons
                                                                      3 Keep Up The Good Work
                                                                      4 Happen
                                                                      5 Feel Someone
                                                                      6 The Fish
                                                                      7 Yagaily
                                                                      8 You Are Good And I Love You
                                                                      9 Lead Me
                                                                      10 1321
                                                                      11 Nothing Much
                                                                      12 Took A Day Off Feeling Sad
                                                                      13 The We The You The I
                                                                      14 Mouth

                                                                      A.A. Williams

                                                                      Forever Blue

                                                                        After the success of A.A. Williams’ 2022 album, ‘AsThe Moon Rests’, which placed in both Kerrang and Metal Hammer’s Top 10 Of The Year lists, Williams reissues two of her beloved older records: 2020’s ‘Forever Blue’ and 2021’s ‘Songs From Isolation’.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        A1. All I Asked For (Was To End It All)
                                                                        A2. Melt
                                                                        A3. Dirt
                                                                        A4. Fearless
                                                                        B1. Glimmer
                                                                        B2. Love & Pain
                                                                        B3. Wait
                                                                        B4. I'm Fine

                                                                        Complete Mountain Almanac

                                                                        Complete Mountain Almanac

                                                                          Many serendipitous moments have led to the creation of the musical project known as Complete Mountain Almanac. The first of these temporal alignments came at a chance meeting between two visionaries - Norwegianborn, Sweden-based singer and composer Rebekka Karijord and American-born, Italy-based poet, dancer, and multimedia artist Jessica Dessner.

                                                                          Jessica and Rebekka began collaborating, with Jessica providing poems and lyrics for Rebekka to compose music to. While Jessica is not a musician per se, as a dancer she naturally has a deep understanding of music as an artform. On top of that, she comes from a musical family: her twin younger brothers, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, most known as part of indie rock stalwarts The National.

                                                                          The album consists of twelve tracks, each named after a month of the year. Some have a meditative, almost hypnotic quality, using Jessica’s words as healing mantras. Sonically, the album cycles through folk, classical, chamber music and everything in between, creating a cocoon-like atmosphere that draws the listener into a stand-alone universe. It’s a marriage of the inner and outer worlds, illness and rejuvenation, grief and joy.

                                                                          Therein lies the idea of the almanac: having a guide to see you through each day, some kind of idea of what the future holds in uncertain times. But even as the project came together over the course of years, Rebekka and Jessica were always able to return to the core of their friendship to keep them on course, and the result is what might be one of the most important works of their respective careers.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Martin says: An evocative, heartfelt collection of understated folky ballads and ethereal melodies, presented by Rebekka Karijord and Jessica Dessner. It's rich with atmosphere and aided in no small part by the inclusion of Rebecca's brothers Aaron and Bryce of The National. A perfectly balanced trade-off of melody and ambience.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          January
                                                                          February
                                                                          March
                                                                          April
                                                                          May
                                                                          June
                                                                          July
                                                                          August
                                                                          September
                                                                          October
                                                                          November
                                                                          December

                                                                          Liela Moss

                                                                          Internal Working Model

                                                                            After the haunting My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth (2018) and the dramatic, synth-loaded Who the Power (2020), Liela Moss’ new album Internal Working Model bristles with frustration at our disconnected culture but also – crucially – burns with a desire to reconnect – in her own words: “We see the beneficiaries of the status quo suppress realness and wellbeing by selling you a banal alternative that upholds their agenda. I want to add to the firepower to burn that old house down.”

                                                                            With Moss’ expressive voice leading the way over fractious synth backdrops, the result is at once tense and tender, timeless and timely; determined to plug into positivity wherever it can be found. Personal and expansive, galvanic and inquisitive, it’s an album that sees the modern world’s mess through open eyes but isn’t willing to stop there: it wants to seek out solutions, source the potential in other ways of being and seeing.


                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                            1 Empathy Files
                                                                            2 WOO (No One's Awake)
                                                                            3 Vanishing Shadows
                                                                            4 The Wall From The Floor
                                                                            5 Ache In The Middle
                                                                            6 New Day
                                                                            7 Come And Find Me
                                                                            8 Welcome To It
                                                                            9 Love As Hard As You Can

                                                                            Nell & The Flaming Lips

                                                                            Where The Viaduct Looms

                                                                              Where the Viaduct Looms comprises nine Nick Cave cover versions with vocals and instrumentation by 14-year-old Nell Smith and instrumentation and production by The Flaming Lips. The album was mastered by Dave Fridmann at Tarbox Road Studios.

                                                                              This inspiring and heartwarming story begin when Smith, originally from Leeds (UK), moved to Canada and first met Wayne Coyne at the age of 12 at The Flaming Lips’ headline show at the Sled Island Festival, Calgary, in 2018 with her family. Nell had already attended several Lips shows and was a regular at the front of the stage, dressed in a parrot costume and screaming out the band’s songs. Coyne soon began to notice the kid in the parrot suit and sang a David Bowie cover directly to her at the show in Calgary, with Nell singing every word back.

                                                                              A musical bond formed with Coyne staying in contact with Nell and her father Jude as she learned to play guitar, while their creative relationship began to flourish when she started to write her own songs.

                                                                              When a planned trip to record with the band in Oklahoma had to be cancelled due to covid Coyne suggested Nell record some Nick Cave songs and email them to Oklahoma to be backed by the band. Coyne chose Nick Cave because Nell didn't know him and wouldn’t have preconceived notions as to how to sing the songs.


                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              1 Girl In Amber
                                                                              2 Weeping Song
                                                                              3 Into My Arms
                                                                              4 O Chrildren
                                                                              5 The Kindness Of Strangers
                                                                              6 No More Shall We Part
                                                                              7 Red Right Hand
                                                                              8 The Ship Song
                                                                              9 We Know Who You Are

                                                                              Simon Raymonde

                                                                              Solo Works 96-98

                                                                                Simon Raymonde recorded his solo album, ‘Blame Someone Else’, while still in Cocteau Twins. Fellow Twins Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie appeared on ‘Blame Someone Else’, as did late-period member Mitsuo Tate. But Cocteau Twins were no more by the time it was out. Originally issued in October 1997, it became the first release on Bella Union, a new label run by Robin and Simon. And now by Simon alone. Circumstances change and ‘Blame Someone Else’ unexpectedly arrived in a world where Cocteau Twins were in the past.

                                                                                Twenty-five years later, ‘Blame Someone Else’ is now being released under the name ‘Solo Works 96-98’, appearing on vinyl for the first time, and with the additionof the three bonus tracks from 1998’s Japan-only edition.

                                                                                “It was begun in 1996 at a time of turmoil with Cocteau Twins,” says Simon of the album now. “At the time, I was unsure if I should make the album but my bandmates were extremely supportive, their encouragement helped me get the record finished. It took me 25 years to feel comfortable with these songs being available again. We all have hurdles to get over before we can feel ready to let go of certain things. Today, I feel that the first-ever release on Bella Union should once again be an active part of the label’s history, if only to bookmark these first 25 years.”

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                It’s A Family Thing
                                                                                Love Undone
                                                                                The Seventh Day
                                                                                In My Place
                                                                                Supernatural
                                                                                If I Knew Myself
                                                                                It’s Raining Today
                                                                                Muscle And Want
                                                                                Worship Me
                                                                                A Fault Of Mine
                                                                                Days
                                                                                Tired Twilight
                                                                                Summer's Blue
                                                                                Left Untouched The Flowers Grow
                                                                                Let Love In

                                                                                Jambinai

                                                                                Onda - 2022 Reissue

                                                                                  When the three founders of Jambinai decided to,“communicate with the ordinary person who doesn’t listen to Korean traditional music,”few outsiders anticipated an extraordinary fusion with metal, post-rock and noise. “Most people expect Asian traditional music to make something smooth for yoga or meditation,” says band spokesman LeeIl-woo. “We wanted to break all of that.” Even fewer would have predicted that the likes ofJambinai would play the 2018 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony in their home city of Seoul, accompanied by a troupe of geomungo (Korean zither) players - an audio visual spectacle that such an occasion demanded.

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  Sawtooth
                                                                                  Square Wave
                                                                                  Event Horizon
                                                                                  Sun. Tears. Red
                                                                                  In The Woods
                                                                                  Small Consolation
                                                                                  ONDA Prelude
                                                                                  ONDA

                                                                                  Sophie Jamieson

                                                                                  Choosing

                                                                                    Released this summer via her new home at Bella Union, Sophie Jamieson’s ‘Choosing’ is a strikingly personal document of a journey from a painful rock bottom of self-destruction to a safer place imbued with the faint light of hope. Focusing on the bare bones of each song and taking inspiration from the direct and melodic work of songwriters such as Elena Tonra, Sharon Van Etten, and Scott Hutchison, it’s an album that sings openly of longing and searching, of trying, failing, and trying again – and always and throughout, the strength of love in so many varying forms.

                                                                                    Following on from the pair of EPs she released in 2020, Choosing finds its own shape by a subtle reforming of Jamieson’s sound. Where those EPs flirted with playful experimentation, here the overriding sound is both organic and simpler – live drums, bass, cello, and piano are used across the album – allowing space for Sophie’s mesmerising voice to take the spotlight, the songs delivered with the most direct and intimate impact.

                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    1 Addition
                                                                                    2 Crystal
                                                                                    3 Downpour
                                                                                    4 Sink
                                                                                    5 Fill
                                                                                    6 Empties
                                                                                    7 Runner
                                                                                    8 Violence
                                                                                    9 Boundary
                                                                                    10 Who Will I Be
                                                                                    11 Long Play

                                                                                    Psychic Markers

                                                                                    Hardly Strangers

                                                                                      Psychic Markers are a quintet of musical nomads who have their sights set on everywhere and nowhere in particular, directing their focus more to the functions of navigation.

                                                                                      The crew - Alannah Ashworth, Lewis Baker, Steven Dove, Leon Dufficy and Luke Jarvis - all come to Psychic Markers from other bands, which sets the group up as a point of creative confluence rather than a centered force. Hardly Strangers never takes its fingers off the dial as it scans through each station, but the result isn’t a lack of focus, far from it. As the title suggests, theirs is a comfortable chemistry where it seems there must be no wrong ideas, they're just waiting for the right moment to come together.

                                                                                      “Release the anchor / Sail away / The pyramids are here to stay” intones Dove over and over at the end of “Pyramids”, which starts like a dusted “Chariots of Fire” and comes to a squiggling, pulsing finish in just over two minutes. The immovable authority of rock's past is set in stone, so why not venture forth and see what else is out there. Across “Sea Waves” and “Fields of Abstraction” they head, but for all the bright corners and modern psychedelic melange that Psychic Markers see fit to explore, they’re also a jam band that knows how to keep things succinct.

                                                                                      “One day this ship’s gonna sink”, though, Dove later warns on “Dreaming”. “I’m sick of dreaming / About living the dream”, he relates, softened by Ashworth’s distant shooby-doo-wops, adding more cryptically that “I might just give up / And try something with feeling”. The discouraged moment passes like the rest, and, in defiance of terrestrial limitations, Psychic Markers make it home without ever really circling back on themselves.

                                                                                      Helen Ganya

                                                                                      Polish The Machine

                                                                                        For Helen Ganya, entering her thirties made her question and pull away from the heteronormative social constructs that surround us. On her new album polish the machine, the Brighton-based songwriter stretches away from the suburban nightmare, seeking a cathartic reprieve that looks beyond the ordinary. “I was looking to the truth of removing any expectations that we’ve acquired along the way,” she says.

                                                                                        Previously performing under the moniker Dog in the Snow, Ganya’s 2017 album Consume Me (Battle Worldwide) introduced a meticulous and elegant voice, while 2019 album Vanishing Lands (Bella Union) - inspired by the striking imagery in a period of vivid dreams - utilised swirling dream-pop and haunting post-punk to present an eerie, unflinching look at the often nightmarish reality of the present world. polish the machine leans further into Ganya’s interiority, but refuses to succumb to despondency, instead pursuing a platform for community and tentative optimism. Here, the constraints of societal roles are loosened to encourage a different route: a wandering, ever-evolving path.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        1 I Will Hold That Hand For You
                                                                                        2 Young Girls Never Die
                                                                                        3 Wedding In The Night Time
                                                                                        4 Delicate Graffiti
                                                                                        5 Afterparty
                                                                                        6 The Crowd
                                                                                        7 Deep Sea
                                                                                        8 Devotion
                                                                                        9 Polish The Machine
                                                                                        10 Blue Fruit
                                                                                        11 Birdsong

                                                                                        Fiona Brice

                                                                                        And You Know I Care

                                                                                          The British multi-instrumentalist, orchestral arranger and composer Fiona Brice has drawn on her abundant talents to forge her second solo album for Bella Union, And You Know I Care. It's a deep listening experience that raises the post-classical bar, eschewing the genre’s default melancholia for wider and richer dimensions of uplifting and exultant bliss - though the range and contrast ensure this is no new age-style panacea.

                                                                                          Brice has drawn on all the experience gained working with the likes of John Grant, Anna Calvi, Jarvis Cocker, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Katherine Jenkins, Elbow, the BBC Concert and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the London Mozart Players. She toured with Placebo for ten years, and more recently Elbow, so to say Brice is in-demand is an understatement. But she still has time for her own work. Her debut album Postcards From, a more minimalist, filmic set of instrumentals, was released in 2016. After two purer classical projects (String Quartet No.1 in 2018 and the lockdown-inspired Piano Preludes in 2022) And You Know I Care is a more wide-ranging, ruminating work, and showcases Brice’s voice, lyrics and choral arrangements.


                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                          1 Ascending
                                                                                          2 And You Know I Care
                                                                                          3 We Rise We Fall
                                                                                          4 Through Her Eyes
                                                                                          5 Nocturnal
                                                                                          6 Whose God Are You?
                                                                                          7 Today Will Be Different
                                                                                          8 Retreat

                                                                                          A.A. Williams

                                                                                          As The Moon Rests

                                                                                            A.A. Williams returns with new album 'As The Moon Rests', her second album with Bella Union. It's the follow up to 2020's Forever Blue, the London-based singer-songwriter’s album debut, a brilliantly dramatic, unique and intimate walk on the dark side that fused bold and smouldering hues of post-rock and post-classical. By turns, it was glacial and volcanic, blissful and violent, through moments of disarming quiet and explosive volume, equally appealing to alt-rock and metal camps.

                                                                                            “Traditionally, your second album is the worry: you don’t want to create something that people don’t like as much,” A.A. Williams contends. “But I must create music I like myself, and I’ve had more time on this record; I’ve felt more confidence and conviction. As The Moon Rests is heavier and softer, there’s more texture and weight, and a string ensemble. It’s Forever Blue times ten!”

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. Hollow Heart
                                                                                            2. Evaporate
                                                                                            3. Murmurs
                                                                                            4. Pristine
                                                                                            5. Shallow Water
                                                                                            6. For Nothing
                                                                                            7. Golden
                                                                                            8. The Echo
                                                                                            9. Alone In The Deep
                                                                                            10. Ruin
                                                                                            11. As The Moon Rests

                                                                                            Tim Burgess

                                                                                            Typical Music

                                                                                              Has there been a busier musician over the last two years? A more prolific artist? More creative? More heroic?

                                                                                              Tim Burgess – as self-effacing a band leader, solo star, label runner, repeat memoirist and all-round caffeinated can-do kid as you’ll find – would certainly shrink from the latter accolade. “A hero??” he’d likely mutter with a shake of his boyish mop. “For playing some records?”

                                                                                              Yes, Tim, we would say that. And not just because with the May 2020, mid-lockdown appearance of I Love The New Sky, his fifth solo album, he undauntedly pushed on with releasing an album that brought much-needed sunshine to a world enveloped in gloom.

                                                                                              Over the course of the first year of the pandemic, Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties were a lifeline to many. At a time when the world shut down, we all retreated indoors, alone, and cancelled gigs were the least of our worries, the North Country Boy’s idea of utilising social media to unite us round a digital turntable was inspired.

                                                                                              Meanwhile, Burgess was writing. And writing. And writing. From September 2020 to summer 2021, ideas poured out of Burgess. He’d been encouraged by Simon Raymonde, boss of his record label Bella Union ¬– and, of course, a former Cocteau Twin. He applied a musician’s logic: if you can’t tour your last album, write a new one. Then, when you can tour again, you’ll have two albums’ worth of songs to play.

                                                                                              Well, now, arguably, Burgess has three albums’ worth of songs to perform live. Typical Music is a 22-track double, a blockbuster set of songs that are as expansive and diverse as they are rich. As fun as they are funky. That embrace heartache and love. That run the gamut, from ABBA (in the shape of guest vocalist Pearl Charles, whose own brilliant Magic Mirror album is the sound of the magic Swedes doin' disco) to Zappa (free-form studio experimentation is go!)


                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              Side A
                                                                                              1 Here Comes The Weekend
                                                                                              2 Curiosity
                                                                                              3 Time That We Call Time
                                                                                              4 Flamingo
                                                                                              5 Revenge Through Art
                                                                                              6 Kinectic Connection
                                                                                              Side B
                                                                                              1 Typical Music
                                                                                              2 Take Me With You
                                                                                              3 After This
                                                                                              4 The Centre Of Me (Is A Symphony Of You)
                                                                                              5 When I See You
                                                                                              Side C
                                                                                              1 Magic Rising
                                                                                              2 Tender Hooks
                                                                                              3 L.O.S.T Lost / Will You Take A Look At My Hand Please
                                                                                              4 A Bloody Nose
                                                                                              5 In May
                                                                                              Side D
                                                                                              1 Slacker (Than I've Ever Been)
                                                                                              2 View From Above
                                                                                              3 A Quarter To Eight
                                                                                              4 Sooner Than Yesterday
                                                                                              5 Sure Enough
                                                                                              6 What's Meant For You Won't Pass By You

                                                                                              Ezra Furman

                                                                                              All Of Us Flames

                                                                                                A singer, songwriter, and author whose incendiary music has soundtracked all three seasons of the Netflix show Sex Education, Ezra Furman has for years woven together stories of queer discontent and unlikely, fragile intimacies. Her new album ‘All of Us Flames’ widens that focus to a communal scope, painting transformative connections among people who unsettle the stories power tells to sustain itself.

                                                                                                Produced by John Congleton in L.A., ‘All of Us Flames’ unleashes Furman's songwriting in an open, vivid sound world whose boldness heightens the music's urgency. The record arrives as the third instalment in a trilogy of albums, beginning with 2018's Springsteen-inflected road saga Transangelic Exodus and continuing with the punk rock fury of 2019's Twelve Nudes.

                                                                                                "This is a first person plural album," Furman says. "It's a queer album for the stage of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole. I wanted to make songs for use by threatened communities, and particularly the ones I belong to: trans people and Jews."

                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                Train Comes Through
                                                                                                Throne
                                                                                                Dressed In Black
                                                                                                Forever In Sunset
                                                                                                Book Of Our Names
                                                                                                Point Me Toward The Real
                                                                                                Lilac And Black
                                                                                                Ally Sheedy In The Breakfast Club
                                                                                                Poor Girl A Long Way From Heaven
                                                                                                Temple Of Broken Dreams
                                                                                                I Saw The Truth Undressing
                                                                                                Come Close

                                                                                                A.A. Williams

                                                                                                Arco EP

                                                                                                  Making her stage debut in April 2019 and selling out her first headline show at London’s prestigious Southbank Centre less than a year later, A.A. Williams hit the ground running. Similarly, the acclaim for her performances and her music has been unanimous from the start. After one self-titled EP and a collaboration with Japanese post-rockers MONO, the London-based singer-songwriter signed to Bella Union and released her stunning debut album, Forever Blue, in July 2020. That Southbank show would prove to be the last time she would take to the stage for a long while as the world struggled to cope with unforeseen and extreme challenges. Never a musician to sit still, the classically trained multi-instrumentalist focused her creativity on arranging - firstly, by stripping back to the most delicate bones on her Songs from Isolation covers record, and now with a complete reimagining of her own material as the four songs from her debut EP become Arco.

                                                                                                  Not many musicians have the ability - or indeed bravery - to rework a collection of their own full band 'rock' songs into a string-and-voice arrangement. A.A. Williams, however, is not like many musicians and the minimalism of Arvo Pärt and Gorecki has long since sat beside Vaughan Williams' folk-inspired classical work as important influences on her music. Indeed, the intention with the EP was for Williams to challenge herself by not retaining guitars and drums, meaning arco had to be truly reimagined with a full string ensemble. As Williams describes it: "The main focus of the arrangements is trying to maintain the authenticity of the original songs that, whilst embodying some of the more familiar elements of the full-band settings, draws focus on the voice." Conducting the ensemble of string musicians in the studio, A.A. Williams has evolved her own compositions with new instrumentation and arrangements, encapsulating the singular vision of a unique artist.

                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                  1 Control
                                                                                                  2 Cold
                                                                                                  3 Terrible Friends
                                                                                                  4 Belong

                                                                                                  Blue Luminaire

                                                                                                  Terroir

                                                                                                    Blue Luminaire is a new project from British composer Nick Martin, currently based in Copenhagen. Their father was a classical pianist, and Martin found themselves shunning the mainstream pop that filled the airwaves, and instead gravitated towards obscure 19th Century Russian composers and Brian Eno LPs. This early obsession formed much of Martin’s musical language, and soon they started crafting their own original compositions and experimenting with their vocal range. With interrogation came revelation, and Martin began drifting from the confines of traditional classical music to create something entirely their own. Hovering between worlds, and embracing their love of alternative rock, funk, fusion and jazz, Blue Luminaire is the sound of the in-between.

                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                    1. Our
                                                                                                    2. Let Go
                                                                                                    3. Closeness Sighs
                                                                                                    4. Tangled
                                                                                                    5. Worlds
                                                                                                    6. Learn To Trust
                                                                                                    7. Your Skin Against Mine
                                                                                                    8. Held
                                                                                                    9. Falling

                                                                                                    C Duncan

                                                                                                    Alluvium

                                                                                                      ‘Alluvium’ is the fourth album from C Duncan, Glasgow’s classically trained multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, released through Bella Union. After the haunting raptures of Architect (2015), the Twilight Zone-inspired reveries of The Midnight Sun (2016) and the richly melodic Health (2019), Alluvium is a sublime palate-refresher for Duncan (C for Christopher), brimming with revitalised fluency: a warming dispatch from the daylight zone, if you like.

                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                      Air
                                                                                                      Heaven
                                                                                                      We Have A Lifetime
                                                                                                      Bell Toll
                                                                                                      Lullaby
                                                                                                      Torso
                                                                                                      Pretending
                                                                                                      You Don’t Come Around
                                                                                                      I Tried
                                                                                                      Sad Dreams
                                                                                                      Alluvium
                                                                                                      Earth
                                                                                                      The Wedding Song
                                                                                                      Upon The Table

                                                                                                      Ural Thomas & The Pain

                                                                                                      Dancing Dimensions

                                                                                                        Though Ural Thomas is universally recognized as one of the most exciting singers remaining from the original soul era, and an active musical institution for over sixty years, his band, all decades younger, are treated as equals. The Pain are no backing band - but rather a well-oiled tightly knit musical aggregation that have spent the last eight years with Thomas developing a unique sound of their own. 

                                                                                                        The relationship extends beyond the stage and the studio and the practice room. On a given night you may witness the octogenarian soul journeyman turning up at the club with a crew one-third his age at midnight. If you don't recognize him, he's the sharp-dressed man with the charismatic grin out on the floor cutting a rug long after the young folks went home. This love of life and crossgenerational relationship is the essence of Ural Thomas & The Pain. 

                                                                                                        Despite the usual COVID-19 obstacles, Ural Thomas and The Pain finally completed their much-anticipated third album, ‘Dancing Dimensions’. While exploring everything from sweet Chicago soul to airy West Coast psychedelia to Sly funk, their latest collection retains the distinctive sound the band organically developed over years of relentless work.

                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                        1. Dancing Dimensions
                                                                                                        2. Heaven
                                                                                                        3. Do You Remember The
                                                                                                        4. Times We Had?
                                                                                                        5. First Dimension
                                                                                                        6. Apple Pie (Oh Me Oh My)
                                                                                                        7. Ol Safiya
                                                                                                        8. El Eey Em Eh
                                                                                                        9. Gimme Some Ice Cream
                                                                                                        10. Second Dimension
                                                                                                        11. My Favourite Song
                                                                                                        12. Third Dimension
                                                                                                        13. Hung Up On My Dream
                                                                                                        14. Promises
                                                                                                        15. If It Wasn't For Love

                                                                                                        Tallies

                                                                                                        Patina

                                                                                                          With their brand-new sophomore album, Patina, Toronto-based indie pop band Tallies have found a way to expertly walk that razor-thin tightrope between nostalgia and the present, nodding to their favorite bands of the past while transforming their sound into something tight, bright, and undeniably fresh.

                                                                                                          The band’s 2019, debut self-titled album solidified the their stature as Canada’s leading dreampop scholars as its mix of upbeat pop hooks and heady, larger-than-life production won the band critical acclaim from the indie underground to the mainstream alike. They began work straight away on a second record, which would prove to be an even more life-affirming endeavour than their debut.

                                                                                                          It was during this process that Tallies began a working friendship with one of their musical heroes—Simon Raymonde, ex-Cocteau Twins bassist and founder of Bella Union, caught wind of Tallies and made it his mission to sign the band. Through transatlantic phone calls, Tallies were able to deeply connect with a member of one of their favourite bands.

                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                          1. No Dreams Of Fayres
                                                                                                          2. Hearts Underground
                                                                                                          3. Wound Up Tight
                                                                                                          4. Catapult
                                                                                                          5. Heavens Touch
                                                                                                          6. Special
                                                                                                          7. Memento
                                                                                                          8. Am I The Man
                                                                                                          9. When Your Life Is Not Over

                                                                                                          Laura Veirs

                                                                                                          Found Light

                                                                                                            Found Light may be Laura Veirs’ 12th studio LP, but it also, in many ways, feels like her debut. If 2020’s My Echo—written and mixed just prior to her 2019 split from her longtime husband, her longtime producer, and the father of her two sons—was her divorce album, Found Light is about what comes after.

                                                                                                            Found Light is a liberating collection of inquisitive and surprisingly assured snapshots of healing and personal growth, and her very first release with co-production credits. Despite the sadness and suffering that prompted these 14 graceful wonders, the result is a testament to the inspiration of independence, to shaping new possibilities for yourself even after great loss. It is a reminder that we are always capable of something more.

                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                            Autumn Song
                                                                                                            Ring Song
                                                                                                            Seaside Haiku
                                                                                                            Naked Hymn
                                                                                                            My Lantern
                                                                                                            Signal
                                                                                                            Can't Help But Sing
                                                                                                            Eucalyptus
                                                                                                            New Arms
                                                                                                            Sword Song
                                                                                                            Time Will Show You
                                                                                                            T & O
                                                                                                            Komorebi
                                                                                                            Winter Windows

                                                                                                            Warmduscher

                                                                                                            At The Hotspot

                                                                                                              Warmduscher have never taken to the term “supergroup”, but it’s safe to say that their unique, potent blend of raw musicianship, down ‘n’ dirty rock riffs and devil-may-care party attitude was birth from the union of Clams Baker and The Witherer of Paranoid London; Lightnin’ Jack Everett and Quicksand, formerly of Fat White Family; and Mr. Salt Fingers Lovecraft, haiking from Insecure Men. After a tumultuous writing and recording process during the height of COVID lockdowns and a triumphant return to the stage at this year’s End of the Road festival, Warmduscher are on the brink of releasing the salaciously groovy and expertly grimey At the Hotspot. Produced by Joe Goddard and Al Doyle of Hot Chip, At the Hotspot takes the raucous energy Warmduscher solidified on their critically acclaimed 2019 release Tainted Lunch, and injects it with a slightly more polished, ‘80s funk sound, kind of like stumbling home to your squatted loft after a drunken night at the local disco. It’s crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside, and might be the most immediately enjoyable music Warmduscher have ever graced us with.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1 Live At The Hotspot
                                                                                                              2 Hot Shot
                                                                                                              3 Eight Minute Machine
                                                                                                              4 Wild Flowers
                                                                                                              5 Fatso
                                                                                                              6 Twitchin' In The Kitchen
                                                                                                              7 Five Star Rated
                                                                                                              8 Baby Toe Joe
                                                                                                              9 Double Vision
                                                                                                              10 Super Cool
                                                                                                              11 Greasin' Up Jesus

                                                                                                              Destroyer’s latest album, Labyrinthitis, brims with mystic and intoxicating terrain, the threads of Dan Bejar’s notes woven through by a trove of allusions at once eerily familiar and intimately perplexing. The record circuitously draws ever inward, each turn offering giddy surprise, anxious esoterica, and thumping emotionality at equal odds.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Barry says: It's always been difficult to pigeonhole Destroyer, with a wealth of influence seeping into his sound from classic rock to soul and folk, as well as the core of classic indie anthems, so it's no surprise that this is a many-faceted treat. What is surprising is how far Bejar has come, and how each iteration of his sound is more profound than the last. Lovely.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1 It's In Your Heart Now
                                                                                                              2 Suffer
                                                                                                              3 June
                                                                                                              4 All My Pretty Dresses
                                                                                                              5 Tintoretto, It's For You
                                                                                                              6 Labyrinthitis
                                                                                                              7 Eat The Wine, Drink The Bread
                                                                                                              8 It Takes A Thief
                                                                                                              9 The States
                                                                                                              10 The Last Song

                                                                                                              'Once Twice Melody', the first album produced entirely by Beach House, was recorded at Pachyderm studio in Cannon Falls, MN, United Studio in Los Angeles, CA, and Apple Orchard Studios in Baltimore, MD.

                                                                                                              For the first time, a live string ensemble was used, with arrangements by David Campbell. Once Twice Melody was mostly mixed by Alan Moulder but a few tracks were also mixed by Caesar Edmunds, Trevor Spencer, and Dave Fridmann.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Andy says: It's heartening to see every development of Beach House add to their already significant musical foundations, this time sees a significant orchestral presence come to the fore, offsetting their usual hazy swagger but perfectly fitting in with their already wildly cinematic inclinations. It's a beautiful and perfect meeting of melody and ambience, while retaining their airy, otherworldly sound.

                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                              1. Once Twice Melody
                                                                                                              2. Superstar
                                                                                                              3. Pink Funeral
                                                                                                              4. Through Me
                                                                                                              5. Runaway
                                                                                                              6. ESP
                                                                                                              7. New Romance
                                                                                                              8. Over And Over
                                                                                                              9. Sunset
                                                                                                              10. Only You Know
                                                                                                              11. Another Go Around
                                                                                                              12. Masquerade
                                                                                                              13. Illusion Of Forever
                                                                                                              14. Finale
                                                                                                              15. The Bells
                                                                                                              16. Hurts To Love
                                                                                                              17. Many Nights
                                                                                                              18. Modern Love Stories

                                                                                                              The Walkmen

                                                                                                              Lisbon - 10th Anniversary Edition (RSD22 EDITION)

                                                                                                                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                                To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Walkmen's critcally acclaimed album 'Lisbon' Bella Union will be releasing a very special double LP version of the album with 5 additional bonus songs. Remastered for vinyl and pressed on 140g silver LP. It also features new artwork - gatefold sleeve with inner sleeves. Bonus tracks : Orange Sunday Good Day Carry On All Black and White Grateful Weight on My Shoulders Paper House

                                                                                                                Spiritualized

                                                                                                                Everything Was Beautiful

                                                                                                                  During lockdown last year, J Spaceman would walk through an empty “Roman London” where the world was “full of birdsong and strangeness”, trying to make sense of all the music playing in his head at the time. The mixers and mixes of his new record weren’t working out yet. Spaceman plays 16 different instruments on Everything Was Beautiful which was put down at 11 different studios, as well as at his home.

                                                                                                                  He also employed more than 30 musicians and singers including his daughter Poppy, long-time collaborator and friend John Coxon, string and brass sections, choirs and finger bells and chimes from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Eventually the mixes got there and Everything Was Beautiful was achieved.

                                                                                                                  The result is some of the most “live” sounding recordings that Spiritualized have released since the Live At The Albert Hall record of 1998, around the time of Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space.


                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Barry says: Mr. Spaceman returns for a new album, hot on the heels of those fervently snatched and much-requested reissues of the first four LP's. This time sees more orchestral beauty, both swooning and romantic but imbued with a melancholic edge, it's classic Spiritualized with a few hints of soulful Americana and brittle folk woven through the fabric. 'Crazy' is a particularly evocative highlight.

                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                  1. Always Together With You
                                                                                                                  2. Best Thing You Never Had (The D Song)
                                                                                                                  3. Let It Bleed (For Iggy)
                                                                                                                  4. Crazy
                                                                                                                  5. The Mainline Song/The Lockdown Song
                                                                                                                  6. The A Song (Laid In Your Arms)
                                                                                                                  7. I’m Coming Home Again

                                                                                                                  Father John Misty

                                                                                                                  Chloë And The Next 20th Century

                                                                                                                    Father John Misty returns with 'Chloë and The Next 20th Century', his fifth album and first new material since the release of God’s Favorite Customer in 2018.

                                                                                                                    'Chloë and the Next 20th Century' was written and recorded August through December 2020 and features arrangements by Drew Erickson. The album sees Tillman and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilson resume their longtime collaboration, as well as Dave Cerminara, returning as engineer and mixer. Basic tracks were recorded at Wilson’s Five Star Studios with strings, brass and woodwinds recorded at United Recordings in a session featuring Dan Higgins and Wayne Bergeron, among others.


                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                    Barry says: Father John Misty has always been one of the most distinctive voices working in the middle ground between modern indie and country music, and his latest is the perfect illustration as to why he's so revered in the field. Beautifully produced and gorgeously evocative throughout, this is classic Misty.

                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                    1 Chloë
                                                                                                                    2 Goodbye, Mr. Blue
                                                                                                                    3 Kiss Me (I Loved You)
                                                                                                                    4 (Everything But) Her Love
                                                                                                                    5 Buddy's Rendevous
                                                                                                                    6 Q4
                                                                                                                    7 Olvidado (Otro Momento)
                                                                                                                    8 Funny Girl
                                                                                                                    9 Only A Fool
                                                                                                                    10 We Could Be Strangers
                                                                                                                    11 The Next 20th Century

                                                                                                                    Midlake

                                                                                                                    For The Sake Of Bethel Woods

                                                                                                                      Loss and hope, isolation and communion, the cessation and renewal of purpose. Timeless and salient, these themes echo throughout the fifth album from Midlake, their first since Antiphon in 2013. Produced to layered, loving perfection by John Congleton, For the Sake of Bethel Woods is an album of immersive warmth and mystery from a band of ardent seekers, one of our generation’s finest: a band once feared lost themselves by fans, perhaps, but here revivified with freshness and constancy of intent.

                                                                                                                      From the cover to the title and beyond, a longing to reconnect with that which seems lost and seek purpose in its passing sits at the record’s core. The cover star is keyboardist/flautist Jesse Chandler’s father, who, tragically, passed away in 2018. As singer Eric Pulido explains, “He was a lovely human, and it was really heavy and sad, and he came to Jesse in a dream. I reference it in a song. He said, ‘Hey, Jesse, you need to get the band back together.’ I didn’t take that lightly. We had already had these feelings with everyone in the band of, oh, this could be a cool thing to do. But the dream was a kind of beautiful depiction of a purpose to reconvene and make music together as friends.”

                                                                                                                      Featuring Chandler’s father during John Sebastian’s set, the cover image was taken from the 1970 documentary Woodstock. In 1969, Jesse’s then-16-year-old dad had joined a friend and hitchhiked from Ridgewood, New Jersey, to the legendary festival. Raised in Woodstock after his father moved there in 1981, Jesse later paid pilgrimage to Bethel Woods with his father; there, the elder Chandler recorded an audio account of his festival experience in the museum’s public database. “So for me, the picture of that kid, my dad, forever frozen in time,” says Chandler, “encapsulates what it means to be in the throes of impressionable and fleeting youth, and all that the magic of music, peace, love and communion bring to it, whether one knows it at the time or not. (I think he knew it).”

                                                                                                                      A desire to commune with the past and connect with present, lived experience asserts itself from the opening of the album. A song that resonates with Midlake’s return and, perhaps, our lockdown era, ‘Commune’ can also be read in terms of a deeper urge to re-engage with sometimes neglected ideals and beliefs. ‘Bethel Woods’ sustains and develops that reconnection, evoking the steadfast and contemplative urgency of The Trials of Van Occupanther to back a lyric steeped in yearning for a paradisal time and place of hope and optimism. Soaring guitars and atmospheric noise effects extend a sonic scope further developed by ‘Glistening,’ where arpeggios dance like light glancing off a lake. In just three songs, Midlake reintroduce themselves and reach out into fresh territory with a richly intuitive dynamism, honouring their past as a seedbed of possibility.

                                                                                                                      The psychedelic space-rock and sticky guitars of ‘Exile’ shift the album to another plane, promising rich returns live, before ‘Feast of Carrion’ splices apocalyptic imagery with lustrous harmonies: darkness and light, held in rarefied balance. A deeply personal turn follows on ‘Noble,’ a song of tender innocence named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son, born with a rare brain disorder called Semi-Lobar Holoprosencephaly. Pulido, who has been friends with McKenzie since they were 16 years old, kept McKenzie in mind for the lyrics. “I wrote the song from his perspective in a way, his expression to me of how he had been feeling towards his son. And then among the lament of his condition, it’s also embracing this child who has only joy. Noble doesn’t know that he has a condition, he just loves life. And smiles, and is so innocent, and perfect in so many ways.”

                                                                                                                      Elsewhere, the prog-enhanced funk-rock of ‘Gone’ seeks to find hope in relationships that seem fragile. The ELO-esque ‘Meanwhile…’ draws inspiration from what happened when Midlake paused after Antiphon, developing universal resonance as a song about the beautiful growths that can emerge from the cracks and gaps between things. ‘Dawning’ draws on 1970s soft-rock stylings for another song searching for hope, its keyboard line reaching out towards an uncertain future while everything seems to collapse around it; ‘The End’ reflects on the difficulties of partings. Finally, ‘Of Desire’ meditates on letting go of what you can’t control and attending to what you can during uncertain times. “It’s about finding peace in that humbling,” says Pulido. “Sometimes it’s hard to have a large effect, so it’s just about shrinking that and saying, these are the things I can do and the rest is to be seen, to be known.”

                                                                                                                      Midlake began re-attending to their patch in 2019, with the bulk of the album’s work undertaken when the world shut down in 2020. The lockdown turned out to be helpful, in terms of offering an escape from grim reality and focusing the band’s energies – essential for an outfit whose members (Pulido, Chandler, Smith, Eric Nichelson and Joey McClellan) had all pursued alternative ventures following Antiphon. Also on-hand was new collaborator John Congleton, who produced, engineered and mixed the album, marking Midlake’s first record with an outside producer. “I can’t say enough just how much his influence brought our music to another sonic place than we would have,” says Pulido. “I don’t want to record without a producer again. Part of that is the health of the band, because as you get older you get more opinionated and you kind of need that person who says, ‘No, it’s going to be this way!’ It’s hard to do that with your friends.”

                                                                                                                      The result is a powerful, warming expression of resolve and renewal for Midlake, opening up new futures for the band and honouring their storied history. Formed in the small town of Denton, with roots in the University of North Texas College of Music, Midlake delivered an auspicious debut with 2004’s Bamnan and Slivercork. For the follow-up, they looked further afield and deeper within to deliver 2006’s wondrous The Trials of Van Occupanther, a modern classic pitched between 1871, 1971 and somewhere out of time: between Henry David Thoreau and Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, between 1970s Laurel Canyon thinking and a longing for something more mysterious.

                                                                                                                      Confidence bolstered by a growing fanbase and a developed sense of their own far-reaching abilities, Midlake – a band acutely attuned to seasonal shifts – then embraced change. In 2010, they visited darker psych-folk thickets for The Courage of Others and backed John Grant on his lustrously spiky breakthrough album, Queen of Denmark. When singer Tim Smith departed Midlake in 2012, Pulido stepped up to the lead vocal role for 2013’s freshly exploratory Antiphon, teasing out singular routes through vintage electric-folk pastures.

                                                                                                                      Since then, domestic projects have beckoned as children entered various band-members’ lives. Pulido joined Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday celebrations at Nashville’s prestigious Ryman Auditorium and launched the project BNQT with a cast of all-star guests, backed by Chandler, McClellan and Smith; Pulido and Chandler also recorded solo albums.

                                                                                                                      In reuniting, the bandmates were adamant that Midlake needed their absolute focus. The result is an album of tremendously engaged thematic and sonic reach with a warm, wise sense of intimacy at its heart: an album to break bread and commune with, honour the past and travel onwards with. In ‘Bethel Woods’, Pulido sings of gathering seeds. On For the Sake of Bethel Woods, those seeds are lovingly nurtured, taking rich and spectacular bloom.

                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                      Barry says: Midlake's new LP is a beautiful, rich tapestry of driven guitars and soaring orchestration, full of their trademark melodic turns. Chantler has had a very prolific patch of late, and though the subject matter here is somewhat mournful, out of it has sprung a no doubt cathartic and swimmingly beautiful tribute.

                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                      1 Commune
                                                                                                                      2 Bethel Woods
                                                                                                                      3 Glistening
                                                                                                                      4 Exile
                                                                                                                      5 Feast Of Carrion
                                                                                                                      6 Noble
                                                                                                                      7 Gone
                                                                                                                      8 Meanwhile…
                                                                                                                      9 Dawning
                                                                                                                      10 The End
                                                                                                                      11 Of Desire

                                                                                                                      Modern Nature

                                                                                                                      Island Of Noise

                                                                                                                        Since the demise of his previous band Ultimate Painting, Jack Cooper – under his Modern Nature guise – has never stopped looking ahead, exploring, and reaching for something further. Since 2019, he’s released an EP, mini album Annual, one full length LP, one 7” and three live cassettes – in the process mapping out astonishing new terrain. Island Of Noise presents an obvious new peak in his discography.

                                                                                                                        “Mesmerising... A treasure trove of interesting musical ideas, as well as a source of restorative solace.” The Guardian – 4 stars ****

                                                                                                                        “On Island Of Noise Modern Nature’s Jack Cooper folds together much of what he’s already done – illuminated pop, exploratory improvisations, post-Canterbury prog – and locates a common thread, expanding outwards with the help of free-music pioneers saxophonist Evan Parker and bassist John Edwards.” Uncut – 9/10

                                                                                                                        “Jack Cooper captures a sense of mystery and magic on his second album as Modern Nature, using gentle folk rock as the base for a subtle evocation of peacefulness.” The Times – 4 stars ****

                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                        1 Tempest
                                                                                                                        2 Dunes
                                                                                                                        3 Performance
                                                                                                                        4 Ariel
                                                                                                                        5 Bluster
                                                                                                                        6 Symmetry
                                                                                                                        7 Masque
                                                                                                                        8 Brigade
                                                                                                                        9 Spell
                                                                                                                        10 Build

                                                                                                                        Penelope Isles

                                                                                                                        Which Way To Happy

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

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

                                                                                                                          Midlake

                                                                                                                          The Trials Of Van Occupanther - 2022 Vinyl Reissue

                                                                                                                            Midlake are a relatively small indie band, so the level of ambition they display on ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’ is to be commended. From the opening track, ‘Roscoe’, with its laconic lyrics and slowly building chorus, they manage to recreate perfectly the sound of 1980s Fleetwood Mac, a band not known for thinking small.

                                                                                                                            And though the rest of the album doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of this opener, it’s not for a lack of trying (particularly on ‘Head Home’). The remainder of ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’ is considerably more downbeat, with distant flutes complementing the vocal harmonies of songs like ‘Bandits’ and ‘Branches’.

                                                                                                                            Where Midlake particularly excel, though, is when, like Grandaddy before them, they draw their inspiration from the classic rock that they seem to love so much, adapting and modernising it. So in addition to the anthemic ‘Roscoe’, they evoke the Gram Parsons-era Byrds or even The Band on ‘Van Occupanther’ and the road-ready ‘It Covers the Hillsides’.

                                                                                                                            ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’ is an album that's steeped in musical history yet possessing an identity all its own.

                                                                                                                            Released on 180g gold vinyl to celebrate a new Midlake album for 2022 and also the 15th anniversary of ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’ last year.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            Roscoe
                                                                                                                            Bandits
                                                                                                                            Head Home
                                                                                                                            Van Occupanther
                                                                                                                            Young Bride
                                                                                                                            Branches
                                                                                                                            In This Camp
                                                                                                                            We Gathered In Spring
                                                                                                                            It Covers The Hillsides
                                                                                                                            Chasing After Deer
                                                                                                                            You Never Arrived

                                                                                                                            Deep Throat Choir

                                                                                                                            In Order To Know You

                                                                                                                              “I’m reeling, I’m restless,” sing Deep Throat Choir from the heart of their second album. That restlessness manifests in a set of tremendously abundant, original songs from the east London female and non-binary vocal collective, founded by Landshapes member Luisa Gerstein. Released via Bella Union in December, In Order to Know You is a multi-layered assertion of freshly expansive range, driven by two core virtues: a sense of strength in unity and an open embrace of its singers’ personal experiences, shared through collective, supportive vocal expression.

                                                                                                                              After 2017’s largely covers-based debut album, Be OK, the choir recognised the call to evolve. “Having been singing together for five-plus years, and having released an album of mostly covers, it felt like the logical next step to make our own music together,” says Gerstein. “This album is the alchemy of all the specific voices and players that make up the choir, and a collaborative process of writing and sharing music and ideas. Sonically, I wanted to move beyond just voices and percussion, to see what richness could be brought with acoustic instruments and electronics, and to transition from a choir that does covers to a band with loads of vocalists.”

                                                                                                                              The rewards of that leap are immediately evident on ‘Alchemilla’, named after the herbaceous perennial. A testimony to the strength in vulnerability, it celebrates an openness to emotion across buoyant harmonies that “ebb and flow” like cool waves; with words by Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Alice Freedman and Holly Turnbull, the song emerged from a jamming session in Margate and a conversation about masculinity. On the jazzy ‘Firefly’, Sarah Parkes’ saxophone adds flavour to a song of palpable feeling. ‘Picturing’ is a spun-silk reflection on shared tenacity before tough circumstance, while the forceful voices and folksy guitars of ‘Uvas’ frame a lyric that testifies to the choir’s depths of personal experience.

                                                                                                                              “This song is about my mum,” says Gerstein. “In Colombia (or maybe it’s a Catholic thing?) you eat 12 grapes (uvas) at New Year’s to make 12 resolutions with. I was thinking about her resolve to move and travel to a faraway place, and a resolve and hunger that I feel she’s passed down to me. It’s about looking back at the generations before you, finding common threads that run through those histories, and all the bigger histories that are part of that tapestry, like ships on the sea and emeralds in the dirt (early conquistadors traded glass for emeralds with indigenous people).”

                                                                                                                              A rolling piano buoys up ‘Lighter’, which channels Sun Ra’s influence into a song that upholds the support found in mutual connectivity. Meanwhile, the gorgeous swoon of ‘Patience’ again illuminates how individual singers’ experiences can take shape within the choir, to become something held by all. “I wrote ‘Patience’ as a kind of eulogy for my mum’s funeral,” says soloist Rosa Slade. “Music for me was the easier way to express a combined and confusing feeling of grief and celebration of life. I joined Deep Throat a few months later and found the choir space brought such deep holding through song and collectivity. When Luisa began to compose and gather for the second album, it felt natural somehow for the song to be held by those voices too; so it could live by transforming into something new and shared; becoming multiple stories existing in unison.”

                                                                                                                              Elsewhere, the restless, reeling surfaces of ‘Camille’ foreground the shape-shifting potential in Deep Throat Choir: between its effusive voices and bubbling arrangements, the song blurs the lines between boundaries and singers, leaping off from Björk’s influence to mount a declaration of band intent. “It felt like a real line in the sand for encapsulating a new sound for us,” says Gerstein, who co-wrote the words to the song with Tanya Auclair while listening to lectures by science and feminism professor Donna Haraway.

                                                                                                                              From there, In Order to Know You heads towards its climax without seeming to touch the ground, from the title-track’s devotional exhalation to the stealthy, smoky shimmer of ‘Unstitching’. Its lyrics drawn from a poem by Emma Cleave, the sublime ‘Field of Not Knowing’ closes the album in a vivid tapestry of folk-gothic images (moon beams and pipistrelles) and serene-to-soaring arrangements, revelling in possibility: “It’s the place where I begin,” sing the choir.

                                                                                                                              For Deep Throat Choir, the result is both an exquisite culmination of journeys taken so far and a lustrous, exquisite springboard for further adventures. Their travels began in 2013, when the collective took shape from a desire to strip music back to the basic elements of raw female voices and drums, united in a fashion that both honours and transmogrifies personal expression.

                                                                                                                              A small group of four or five singers steadily expanded, with Zara Toppin’s drums providing a propulsive energy. Cathartic live shows and collaborations followed, ranging from team-ups with Peggy Sue, Stealing Sheep, Horse Meat Disco and Matthew E White to performances at Green Man, Wilderness, the Southbank Centre’s WOW festival, London’s Scala and beyond. Be OK provided a gutsy showcase for the band’s close, collective strengths, bolstered by weekly gatherings at a church in east London to blow the roof off. A fruitful collaboration with techno-pop duo Simian Mobile Disco on the 2018 album Murmurations followed: a testament to the choir’s alchemical abilities.

                                                                                                                              At a residency at the Prah Foundation, Margate, seeds were sown for the new songs. An increased confidence bloomed as the band pushed at its boundaries, an evolution aided by engineer Andy Ramsey, the vast range of contributors’ musical talents and the innate strength of their shared foundations. Removing the first album’s boundaries of voices and drums, the choir freed themselves up to explore musically, with the emphasis on voices remaining a central constant.

                                                                                                                              Emerging organically, the songs reflect the experiences and worlds of the singers who contributed to the writing process. Alongside soloists Tanya Auclair, Liv Stones, Holly Holden, Elly Condron, Miryam Solomon, Fikir Assefa, Maddie Rix, Rosa Slade, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Fran Lobo and Gerstein, new contributors included brass players Marcus Hamblett and Emma Gatrill, plus pianist Sam Beste. From within the choir, Kate Burn played cello, Sarah Anderson played violin/viola, Tunstall-Behrens played bass and Auclair contributed synth parts. Recording took place before lockdown; Gerstein produced, while Jimmy Robertson (Anna Calvi, Peggy Sue) mixed the record.

                                                                                                                              From these deep roots, fresh growths blossomed. The album is instrumental in the formation of the multi-disciplinary Amorphous Sounds collective, named after the lyrics to ‘Camille’ and launched by Gerstein with long-time friend and collaborator Anika Mottershaw. As Gerstein puts it, “Amorphous Sounds is a continuation of the collaborative processes that started on this album. It’s inspiring to have so many artists within the group, and the idea of the label is to have a space where people can collaborate on songs or more extended projects, both within and outside the choir. It’s giving a name to something that already exists, and a structure for it to grow. As things start to open up we’re plotting some Amorphous shows, and I hope we’ll be able to jam and make tunes together again soon!”

                                                                                                                              The album title reflects that drive towards a kind of questing togetherness. “We made this music in order to know and understand each other more fully,” says Gerstein, “and that’s what music is in general. We’re saying it to each other, and to the listener.” Getting to know this most deep, rich and mutable of records is, we’d wager, a journey well worth the taking. 


                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                              1 Alchemilla
                                                                                                                              2 Firefly
                                                                                                                              3 Picturing
                                                                                                                              4 Uvas
                                                                                                                              5 Lighter
                                                                                                                              6 Tremelo Train
                                                                                                                              7 Patience
                                                                                                                              8 Camille
                                                                                                                              9 In Order To Know You
                                                                                                                              10 Unstitching
                                                                                                                              11 Field Of Not Knowing

                                                                                                                              Marissa Nadler

                                                                                                                              The Path Of The Clouds

                                                                                                                                ‘The Path Of The Clouds’, Marissa Nadler’s ninth solo album, is the most stylistically adventurous, lyrically transfixing, and melodically sophisticated collection of songs in her already rich discography. Gripped by wanderlust while suddenly housebound at the start of the pandemic in 2020, Nadler escaped into writing and came back with a stunning set of songs about metamorphosis, love, mysticism and murder. Blurring the line between reality and fantasy and moving freely between past and present, these 11 deeply personal, self-produced songs find Nadler exploring new landscapes, both sonic and emotional.

                                                                                                                                While she’s always been a brilliant guitarist, Nadler challenged herself to expand her palette for ‘The Path Of The Clouds’, experimenting with synthetic textures that make the album feel untethered from time and space. A majestic grandeur sweeps through songs such as ‘Elegy’, shooting the listener into the stratosphere as synths swirl and entwine with Nadler’s celestial mezzo-soprano. Nadler also learned to play piano during the pandemic’s isolation and she composed many of the songs on the album on keys rather than guitar, which further contributed to their exploratory feel. These songs are unmistakably Marissa Nadler’s, but they sound free to go places she’s never gone before.

                                                                                                                                Nadler tracked the skeletons of the songs at home and then sent them to some choice collaborators, including experimental harpist Mary Lattimore and Simon Raymonde, the Cocteau Twins bassist and her Lost Horizons collaborator. Multiinstrumentalist Milky Burgess, having recently worked on the soundtrack to the film ‘Mandy’, adds intricate melodic power throughout the album. Jesse Chandler, Nadler’s piano teacher (as well as a member of Mercury Rev and Midlake), plays winding woodwinds and plaintive piano to luminous effect. Fellow singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle contributes a slinky guitar solo on ‘Turned Into Air’, while Black Mountain’s Amber Webber steps in as a vocal foil to Nadler, a ghostly apparition in the distance of ‘Elegy’.

                                                                                                                                Seth Manchester, known for his work with Lingua Ignota, Battles and Lightning Bolt, mixed the album at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Manchester added dimension to the songs’ atmospheric beauty with screeching feedback and distorted guitars. Stripped of the ethereal reverb that often swaddles her resonant vocals, Nadler’s delivery now stings and pierces with newfound immediacy and confidence.

                                                                                                                                As a songwriter, Nadler is as direct and urgent as she has ever been. There’s no coded language amid the bleak lows and exalted highs of songs like ‘Elegy’, ‘Lemon Queen’ and ‘Storm’. Memories are painted with highly detailed imagery and Nadler, also a visual artist, uses that eye not only to tell a story but to transport the listener there.

                                                                                                                                ‘The Path Of The Clouds’ showcases the power of an artist at the peak of her powers nearly 20 years into an acclaimed career as a songwriter and singer. Coming a long way from the spare dream folk of her earlier work, she has remained inspired and continues to evolve, open to new ideas and directions.

                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                Bessie Did You Make It
                                                                                                                                The Path Of The Clouds
                                                                                                                                Couldn’t Have Done The Killing
                                                                                                                                If I Could Breathe Underwater
                                                                                                                                Elegy
                                                                                                                                Well Sometimes You Just Can’t Stay
                                                                                                                                From Vaport To Stardust
                                                                                                                                Storm
                                                                                                                                Turned Into Air
                                                                                                                                And I Dream Of Running
                                                                                                                                Lemon Queen

                                                                                                                                Karen Peris

                                                                                                                                A Song Is Way Above The Lawn

                                                                                                                                  “I like that it’s possible to re-travel some of the wide open expanse of childhood imagination and wonder. The thing is, I don’t really feel that far away from those places even now, and I’m sure that’s a universal thought. The moments I’m telling about in the songs, and the wonder and the curiosity - I still feel so much of it, just as anyone does. I didn’t want to be an adult saying to a child, This is how you feel. It’s more like saying, just as a person talking with another person, Isn’t this how we all feel, and isn’t that a mystery of life, too, that we are all so connected? So, most of the songs are written in the first person.”

                                                                                                                                  Singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter Karen Peris is talking about the ten compositions on her new album, A Song Is Way Above the Lawn. Written over a period of seven years, these songs make an especially melodic collection of beautifully rendered moments that will resonate with both children and adults. They offer a joy that is often poignant, thanks in part to Peris’ voice and poetry, and to the emotional, sometimes cinematic nature of the piano, central to the album’s sound. Her other instrumentation, chamber-like, with pump organ, accordion, and melodica, along with occasional nylon string and electric guitars, is spacious, allowing room for the listener’s own imagination. With the help of her husband Don Peris, who plays drum kit and upright bass, and their son and daughter, who contribute violin and viola to three songs, she has made a timeless album that has a rare and particular atmosphere of its own.

                                                                                                                                  Journalists and fellow musicians have long written warmly about the singing and songwriting of Karen Peris with her band The Innocence Mission, which she started in high school with Don Peris. Her lyrics have been called ‘profound’ by Sufjan Stevens, and ‘engaging’ by Natalie Merchant; NPR music critic Lars Gotrich has spoken of the ‘supreme detail’ of her poetry. With A Song Is Way Above the Lawn, she has combined music and words with her own illustration, to make a sort of picture book in record album form. Throughout, there is an enormous tenderness expressed, for children and families, for the natural world, and for the miraculousness of everyday life. “You know how, if we take a tiny moment of a day and really look into it, it can sort of widen out and we can see how much it holds - I like thinking about that,” she explains, “and of how it can even be a moment when we’re waiting for something else to happen, that can end up being the most memorable.” The entirety of “This Is a Song in Wintertime” is devoted to a single moment when the narrator is waiting in line, outside with her family, and it begins to snow. “And all the people in line start remarking about the snow and we realize a connectedness,” Karen relates, “and strangers talk to us and there’s this feeling, like we all arrived there together, in a sense.”

                                                                                                                                  A Song Is Way Above the Lawn also reflects a love of reading and public libraries, of walking in the companionship of trees, and of the sense of possibility felt in listening to the first sounds of the day. The latter is the subject of the album’s title song. Animals - elephants, giraffes, lions, birds, and dogs - walk in and out of the album, occasionally appearing as imaginary friends in times of solitude. About “I Would Sing Along”, Karen relates, “I heard a biologist talking this year about elephants. And she said that elephants do a kind of singing, almost subsonically, but if she listened very closely she could hear it”. Much of the album celebrates an attentiveness to the world and to the lives around us, from the luminous opening track, “Superhero”, in praise of the kindness and open-heartedness of kids and of all the people she most admires, to the closing lullaby, “Flowers”.


                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                  1. Superhero
                                                                                                                                  2. To The Library
                                                                                                                                  3. I Would Sing Along
                                                                                                                                  4. For A Giraffe
                                                                                                                                  5. This Is A Song In Wintertime
                                                                                                                                  6. Map For The Orange Daylight
                                                                                                                                  7. Sister Birds
                                                                                                                                  8. George In The Car
                                                                                                                                  9. A Song Is Way Above The Lawn
                                                                                                                                  10. Flowers

                                                                                                                                  Piroshka

                                                                                                                                  Love Drips & Gathers

                                                                                                                                    Bella Union are thrilled to announce the release of Piroshka’s stunning second album, Love Drips And Gathers. The album builds on the acclaim of the band’s 2018 debut LP “Brickbat” and the reputations of former members of Lush, Moose, Elastica and Modern English.

                                                                                                                                    Piroshka emerged in 2018, four individuals with distinct musical identities but also overlapping histories - a combination that might have unsettled, or even overwhelmed, some bands. But in their case, the bond only got stronger. After “Brickbat” explored social and political divisions by way of what MOJO described as “Forceful, driving garage songs and dream-pop epics”, Love Drips And Gathers follows a more introspective line - the ties that bind us, as lovers, parents, children, friends – to a suitably subtler, more ethereal sound, whilst still revelling in energy and drama.

                                                                                                                                    “If Brickbat was our Britpop album, then Love Drips And Gathers is shoegaze!” reckons vocalist/guitarist Miki Berenyi, formerly of Lush, a band that effortlessly bridged the two genres like no other. “It wasn’t intentional; we just wanted a different focus. I’ve always seen debut albums as capturing a band’s first moments, when you really have momentum, and then the second album is the chance for a more thoughtful approach.”

                                                                                                                                    Bassist Mick Conroy (Modern English) agrees. “Brickbat was a classic first album; noisy and raucous. On Love Drips And Gathers, we’ve calmed down and explored sounds, and space.”

                                                                                                                                    To recap; before Miki and KJ ‘Moose’ McKillop were a couple (and parents), they were pivotal figures on the London-centric 90s indie scene. Likewise, Elastica, whose drummer Justin Welch was part of Lush’s 2017 reunion, whilst Mick had played for both Moose and – on their last ever gig - Lush.

                                                                                                                                    As Lush Mark II came to an end, Justin persuaded Miki (who’d abandoned music when Lush first split in 1997) to start another band, Piroshka, which in turn reignited Moose’s own long-dormant ambitions. Whilst Justin and Miki were the dominant influence on Brickbat, this time Moose and Mick were given greater control over the production, with invaluable assistance from Bella Union’s in-house engineer Iggy.

                                                                                                                                    The way Love Drips And Gathers changes shape and dynamic is less a reprise of nineties Brit indie than a transformation into a more shivery, Euro-mantic version with glistening electronic filigrees. The opening ‘Hastings’ sets the tone. Luminous drops of guitar underpin Miki’s becalmed vocal before drums, bass and a Mellotron add pace while the decorative coda features their old pal Terry Edwards on flugelhorn.

                                                                                                                                    Framed by Mellotron, cello and piano. ‘The Knife-Thrower’s Daughter’ emphatically proves Piroshka can be restrained without losing any essence of drama: the calm before the euphoria pure-pop storm of ‘Scratching At The Lid’. The words ‘ethereal’ and ‘shimmering’ were surely invented for the likes of ‘Loveable’, but the uncanny DNA of ‘V.O.’ is less categorisable – a Bond theme in the making with electro-gliding beats, perhaps? ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Echoloco’ might be described as Francophile cousins of Lush before the haunting lullaby of ‘Familiar’ segues into the pulsing, rippling instrumental finale ‘We Told You’ - more eighties synth drama than nineties indie, with vocal samples played on what Moose calls, “the Miki-tron.”

                                                                                                                                    Love Drips And Gathers - named after a line in a Dylan Thomas poem - was inspired by love, family, belonging, memory. Miki and Moose split the eight lyrics, with some poignant overlaps here too. Miki’s ‘Loveable’ looks to Moose; Moose’s ‘The Knife-Thrower’s Daughter’ looks to Miki, but also their daughter Stella and his sister Anna; an empathic, touching embrace of the women in his life.

                                                                                                                                    Staying within the family, Moose eulogises his late mother (the idyllic childhood seaside trip of ‘Hastings 1973’) and father (the more conflicted ‘Scratching At The Lid’). On ‘V.O.’, Miki pays fond tribute to Vaughan Oliver, 4AD’s legendary in-house art director who died suddenly in December 2019, and who had a particularly close relationship with Lush during their time on the label (like Brickbat, Love Drips And Gathers’ beautiful and enigmatic artwork is by Vaughan’s former design partner Chris Bigg).

                                                                                                                                    Love Drips And Gathers’ nine tracks will each have its own video (all to be made by Connor Kingsley), with a continuing thread that will eventually create one story. Piroshka’s own story is rooted in family – both those you’re born with, and those (friends) you choose.

                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                    1 Hastings 1973
                                                                                                                                    2 The Knife Thrower's Daughter
                                                                                                                                    3 Scratching At The Lid
                                                                                                                                    4 Loveable
                                                                                                                                    5 V.O.
                                                                                                                                    6 Wanderlust
                                                                                                                                    7 Echo Loco
                                                                                                                                    8 Familiar
                                                                                                                                    9 We Told You

                                                                                                                                    John Grant

                                                                                                                                    Boy From Michigan

                                                                                                                                      Produced by longtime friend Cate Le Bon, ‘Boy from Michigan’ is Grant’s most autobiographical and melodic work to date. Grant stopped being a boy in Michigan aged twelve, when his family moved to Denver, Colorado, shifting rust to bible belt, a further vantage point to watch collective dreams unravel. Across 12 tracks, Grant lays out his past for careful cross-examination. In a decade of making records by himself, he has playfully experimented with mood, texture and sound, all the better for actualizing the seriousness of his thoughts. At one end of his musical rainbow, he is the battle-scarred piano-man, at the other, a robust electronic auteur. ‘Boy from Michigan’ seamlessly marries both.

                                                                                                                                      With Le Bon at the helm, Grant pared back his zingers, maximizing the emotional impact of the melodies. A clarinet forms the bedrock of a song. One pre-chorus feels lifted from vintage Human League. There is a saxophone solo. ‘Boy from Michigan’ ultimately swings between ambient and progressive, calm and livid. The album’s narrative journey opens with Grant at his artistic prettiest, three songs drawn from his pre-Denver life (the Michigan Trilogy, as Grant calls them): the title track, “The Rusty Bull,” and “County Fair.” Each draws the listener in to a specific sense of place, before untangling its significance with a rich cast-list of local characters, often symbolizing the uncultivated faith of childhood.

                                                                                                                                      Elsewhere, tracks like “Mike and Julie” and “The Cruise Room” offer an affecting plunge deep into Grant’s late teenage years in Denver, while the midpoint of the album is highlighted by “Best in Me” and “Rhetorical Figure,” a pair of skittish, scholarly dance tunes that build on the lineage of Grant’s electropop heroes, Devo. Childhood as a horror narrative is the theme of “Dandy Star,” which observes a tiny Grant watching the Mia Farrow horror movie ‘See No Evil’ on an old family TV set, and finally on “The Only Baby” (released this January) Grant removes his razor blade from a pocket to cleanly slit the throat of Trump’s America, authoring a scathing epitaph to an era of acute national exposition.

                                                                                                                                      Though he has lived in Iceland since 2011 – the same year he was also diagnosed HIV-positive – Grant spent his childhood and formative years in the US and maintains US citizenship. Growing up, Grant was subjected to a deeply ingrained hatred of anyone perceived as homosexual at school. Following the demise of his first band The Czars, Grant left music entirely for over five years, only to achieve greater success as a solo artist (his acclaimed 2015 solo LP ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ went Top Five in the UK). Grant has sold out Royal Albert Hall, performed at Glastonbury, Latitude + more, and his song “Snug Snacks” was featured on Pitchfork's 'Songs That Define LGBTQ Pride'. BBC Radio 6 host Mary Anne Hobbs described Grant’s music: "Most songwriting, even if it's based on a true story ... is embellished in some way. But John's lyrics — they're so true they might as well be written in blood."

                                                                                                                                      ##############################################################

                                                                                                                                      *** NPN - email mail@piccadillyrecords.com before 25 June 21 to be entered in the draw 

                                                                                                                                      ##############################################################

                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                      Barry says: Absolutely classic modern day John Grant this, filled with the wry self-deprecation and endlessly witty lyricism of Queen Of Denmark / Pale Green Ghosts era but swimming with the shimmering disco synths and snapping electronic groove of the more recent LP's. It's a PERFECT mix and is quite possibly his strongest outing to date. Another outstanding LP from this Piccadilly favourite.

                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                      1. Boy From Michigan
                                                                                                                                      2. County Fair
                                                                                                                                      3. The Rusty Bull
                                                                                                                                      4. The Cruise Room
                                                                                                                                      5. Mike And Julie
                                                                                                                                      6. Best In Me
                                                                                                                                      7. Rhetorical Figure
                                                                                                                                      8. Just So You Know
                                                                                                                                      9. Dandy Star
                                                                                                                                      10. Your Portfolio
                                                                                                                                      11. The Only Baby
                                                                                                                                      12. Billy

                                                                                                                                      Lanterns On The Lake

                                                                                                                                      Gracious Tide, Take Me Home - 10th Anniversary Edition

                                                                                                                                        The band’s much-loved debut has been meticulously remastered at Abbey Road studios and will be released on double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with gold foil print. Additionally, the album comes with five previously unreleased tracks recorded during the original sessions, details of which can be found in the track-list below.

                                                                                                                                        Fusing the most fragile and graceful end of the folk music spectrum to the most luminous properties of cinemascope rock, Gracious Tide, Take Me Home used a smorgasbord of instruments (guitars, violin, mandolin, piano, synths, glockenspiels, even a kalimba) to paint a variety of beautiful vistas, from the ambient ‘Ships In The Rain’ to the galloping ‘A Kingdom’, from the six-minute layers of ‘The Places We Call Home’ to the skeletal 73-second finale ‘Not Going Back To The Harbour’. There’s always been a compelling drama to Lanterns On The Lake; the way the opening track ‘Lungs Quicken’ shifts from dreamy restraint to a full-blown crescendo indicated the true power at their fingertips.

                                                                                                                                        Lanterns On The Lake formed in 2008 combining a group of friends who had all played in various bands on the local music scene. Hazel Wilde (vocals, guitar), Paul Gregory (guitars, electronics) and Ol Ketteringham (drums, piano) still comprise the core of the band whilst previous members Adam Sykes (vocals, guitar) and Brendan Sykes (bass) departed prior to the second album.

                                                                                                                                        Hazel commented at the time that. “A lot of lyrics were inspired by me and Paul moving back to the coast [between Tynemouth and North Shields], where I grew up, after we’d been living near the city centre. They’re also memories of growing up here, the feeling of homesickness, and stories of people around us and of the sea. The title Gracious Tide, Take Me Home seemed to sum up all the themes.”

                                                                                                                                        There might be a vein of sadness through this music - ‘Ships In The Rain’ was inspired by a local fisherman who went missing at sea, and ‘A Kingdom’ was inspired by the book letters sent home by WW2 soldiers – but there is just as much hope in ‘Keep on Trying’ and ‘You’re Almost There’, where fear and insecurities are banished by self-belief; “the feeling that you’re going places,” as Hazel says. Mirroring the sentiment of the album title, ‘I Love You, Sleepyhead’ and ‘Places We Call Home’ draw on the comfort and security of home, friendship and memory.

                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                        1. Lungs Quicken
                                                                                                                                        2. If I've Been Unkind
                                                                                                                                        3. Keep On Trying
                                                                                                                                        4. Ships In The Rain
                                                                                                                                        5. A Kingdom
                                                                                                                                        6. The Places We Call Home
                                                                                                                                        7. Blanket Of Leaves
                                                                                                                                        8. Tricks
                                                                                                                                        9. You're Almost There
                                                                                                                                        10. I Love You, Sleepyhead
                                                                                                                                        11. Not Going Back To The Harbour
                                                                                                                                        12. The Watchhouse And The Daughter
                                                                                                                                        13. Sapsorrow
                                                                                                                                        14. You Need Better
                                                                                                                                        15. My Shield
                                                                                                                                        16. Not Going Back To The Harbour (High Tide Version)

                                                                                                                                        Will Stratton

                                                                                                                                        The Changing Wilderness

                                                                                                                                          Will Stratton’s rich catalogue is proof that the Hudson Valley folk musician thrives on exploration and reflection. Chart his trajectory over his previous six albums and you’ll find a songwriter not content to stay comfortable or do the same thing twice. From his 2007 debut What the Night Said, which he released aged 20, to 2014’s Gray Lodge Wisdom, a resilient and gorgeous LP which documented his bout with cancer, as well as 2017’s Rosewood Almanac, a de facto love-letter to song-writing, his guitar, and his favourite records, the subtle but sizable tweaks to his process, arranging, and writing have been revelations. “I’ve always tried to make the process of making music as much of a source of pleasure and exploration as possible,” says Stratton. So it’s no surprise that The Changing Wilderness, his resonant and clear-eyed seventh album, pushes him to expansive new heights again.

                                                                                                                                          The 10 tracks on the LP came about from an intense four-year period of soul-searching and change for Stratton, where he knew he needed to change the way he wrote songs. “I was just really sick of introspection,” he says. “I had to write music that felt like it was engaging with the outside world, rather than focusing on what was going on in my own life like on my earlier records.” With the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s Presidency, and rising right-wing extremism on his mind, Stratton set out to interrogate his country’s present crises. Like the best protest music, these songs aren’t didactic or preachy. Instead, they ask more questions than claim to have answers with Stratton’s lyrics taking a scalpel-like approach to the very worst of human nature. 

                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                          1. Tokens
                                                                                                                                          2. Black Hole
                                                                                                                                          3. Infertile Air
                                                                                                                                          4. The Rain
                                                                                                                                          5. Finally Free
                                                                                                                                          6. Fate's Ghost
                                                                                                                                          7. When I've Been Born (I'll Love You)
                                                                                                                                          8. River Of Silver
                                                                                                                                          9. Venus
                                                                                                                                          10. Stillness

                                                                                                                                          A.A. Williams

                                                                                                                                          Songs From Isolation

                                                                                                                                            Following excellent reviews for her debut album Forever Blue, A.A. Williams announces news of Songs From Isolation, a 9-track LP of cover versions. The Songs From Isolation project began at the beginning of the UK’s nationwide lockdown in March. A.A. Williams took songs suggested by fans and created a series of videos presenting the tracks with stripped-down instrumentation, recorded and filmed from her home in North London. The album represents a continuation of the project into a full collection of recordings and features cover versions of The Cure, Pixies, Deftones, Nick Cave, Gordon Lightfoot, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and more.

                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                            1 Lovesong
                                                                                                                                            2 Where Is My Mind?
                                                                                                                                            3 If You Could Read My Mind
                                                                                                                                            4 Creep
                                                                                                                                            5 Nights In White Satin
                                                                                                                                            6 Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
                                                                                                                                            7 Every Day Is Exactly The Same
                                                                                                                                            8 Into My Arms
                                                                                                                                            9 Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans

                                                                                                                                            Lost Horizons

                                                                                                                                            In Quiet Moments

                                                                                                                                              In 2017, Simon Raymonde and Richie Thomas had both abstained from making music for 20 years until they united as Lost Horizons and released a stunning debut album, Ojalá - the Spanish word for “hopefully” or “God willing.”

                                                                                                                                              “These days, we need hope more than ever, for a better world.” Thomas said at the time. “And this album has given me a lot of hope. To reconnect with music.... And the hope for another Lost Horizons record!”

                                                                                                                                              Thomas’ hopes had a mixed response. On the plus side, the new Lost Horizons album In Quiet Moments is an even stronger successor to Ojalá with another distinguished cast of guest singers and a handful of supporting instrumentalists embellishing the core duo’s gorgeously free-flowing and loose-limbed blueprint that one writer astutely labelled, “melancholy-delia.”

                                                                                                                                              On the minus side, any hope for a better world, as Earth continues to freefall toward political and social meltdown. Then, to make matters worse, as Raymonde and Thomas buckled down to create the improvised bedrock that Lost Horizons is built on, the former’s mother died. At least Raymonde had a way to channel his grief. “The way improvisation works,” he says, “it’s just what’s going on with your body at the time, to let it out.”

                                                                                                                                              Raymonde (bass, guitar, keyboards, production) and Thomas (drums, occasional keys and guitar) forged ahead, creating 16 instrumental tracks to send to prospective guests. When he did, Raymonde suggested a guiding theme for their lyrics: “Death and rebirth. Of loved ones, of ideals, at an age when many artists that have inspired us are also dead, and the planet isn’t far behind. But I also said, ‘The most important part is to just do your own thing, and have fun.”

                                                                                                                                              And then Covid-19 hit. Half of In Quiet Moments’ lyrics were written after lockdown, but Raymonde saw a silver lining: people were slowing down and taking stock of their lives. Hearing a lyric written by veteran singer Ural Thomas, known as “Portland's Pillar of Soul", who fronts the title track, Raymonde singled out the phrase “in quiet moments” and made it the album title. “It just made sense,” he says. “This moment of contemplation in life is really beautiful. The title also went with the album cover, a photograph by Jacques-Henri Lartigue from the 1940s of a woman and dog on a beach, captured as if in flight.” 


                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                              Barry says: There are a frankly dazzling array of guests on this beautiful collection of slow-motion psychedelic drifts from Raymonde & Thomas, and each one seem to effortlessly glide into the instrumental core of ambient swells and subtle strings. A perfect tonic to the strains of a day.

                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                              1. Halcyon - Lost Horizons Feat. Jack Wolter
                                                                                                                                              2. I Woke Up With An Open Heart - Lost Horizons. Feat. The Hempolics
                                                                                                                                              3. Grey Tower - Lost Horizons Feat. Tim Smith
                                                                                                                                              4. Linger - Lost Horizons Feat. Gemma Dunleavy
                                                                                                                                              5. One For Regret - Lost Horizons Feat. Porridge Radio
                                                                                                                                              6. Every Beat That Passed - Lost Horizons Feat. Kavi Kwai
                                                                                                                                              7. Nobody Knows My Name - Lost Horizons Feat. Cameron Neal
                                                                                                                                              8. Cordelia - Lost Horizons Feat. John Grant
                                                                                                                                              9. In Quiet Moments - Lost Horizons Feat. Ural Thomas
                                                                                                                                              10. Circle - Lost Horizons Feat. C Duncan
                                                                                                                                              11. Unravelling In Slow Motion - Lost Horizons Feat. Ren Harvieu
                                                                                                                                              12. Blue Soul - Lost Horizons Feat. Laura Groves
                                                                                                                                              13. Flutter - Lost Horizons Feat. Rosie Blair
                                                                                                                                              14. Marie - Lost Horizons Feat. Marissa Nadler
                                                                                                                                              15. Heart Of A Hummingbird - Lost Horizons Feat. Lily Wolter
                                                                                                                                              16. This Is The Weather - Lost Horizons Feat. Karen Peris

                                                                                                                                              I Break Horses

                                                                                                                                              Death Engine Remix

                                                                                                                                                Following the release of her album ‘Warnings’ in May 2020 via Bella Union, I Break Horses announces details of a remix 12” featuring The Field and Mythologen.

                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                Death Engine (The Field Remix)
                                                                                                                                                Turn (Mythologen Remix)

                                                                                                                                                Modern Nature

                                                                                                                                                Annual

                                                                                                                                                  Released in August 2019, Modern Nature’s debut album - How to Live - crossed the urban and rural into each other. Plaintive cello strains melted into motorik beats. Pastoral field recordings drifted through looping guitar figures. Rising melodies shone with reflective saxophone accents, placing the record somewhere between the subtle mediations of Talk Talk, the stirring folk of Anne Briggs and the atmospheric waves of Harmonia. The album was met with universal acclaim and featured in a number of publication’s ‘Best Of 2019’ lists. As the group took the album out on the road, Modern Nature became something even more expansive. “It feels like there's scope and room to grow. I want the group to feel fluid and that whoever's playing with us can express themselves and interpret what they think this music is” says bandleader Jack Cooper.

                                                                                                                                                  Their new mini-album Annual, recorded in December 2019 at Gizzard Studio in London, is another step towards something more liberated and a world away from the sound of Jack Cooper's previous bands. Will Young sits this one out, concentrating on his work with Beak, but How To Live collaborator Jeff Tobias takes a more central role, alongside percussionist Jim Wallis.

                                                                                                                                                  Jack explains how 'Annual' came about:
                                                                                                                                                  “Towards the end of 2018, I began filling a new diary with words, observations from walks, descriptions of events, thoughts...free associative streams of just... stuff. Reading back, as the year progressed from winter to spring, the tone of the diary seemed to change as well... optimism crept in, brightness and then things began to dip as autumn approached... warmth, isolation again and into winter. I split the diary into four seasons and used them as the template for the four main songs. The shorter instrumental songs on the record are meant to signify specific events and transitions from one season to the next. I figured it wouldn't be a very long record, but to me it stands up next to 'How To Live' in every way.”

                                                                                                                                                  ‘Annual’ opens with ‘Dawn’ which brings to mind the peace and space of Miles Davis' ‘In A Silent Way’; it rises from nothing like shoots reaching for the light. “I wanted Dawn to feel like the moment you realise spring is coming, when you notice blossom on the trees or nights getting lighter. On lead track ‘Flourish’, it's clear Modern Nature have moved on from the first album; as muted percussion and double-bass stirs behind Cooper's Slint-like ambling guitar; the chorus soars into a collaged crescendo. “Flourish is like when my part of the world coming to life. I live on the edge of London between Leytonstone and Epping Forest, so the signs of spring are very apparent round here - flowers, light, people talking in their gardens. Mayday started as an outro to Flourish or ‘Spring’ as it was titled originally. The idea was a segueway into the summer section to represent the sort of collective excitement a city gets once it realises summer is here."

                                                                                                                                                  The summer of Jack's diary inspired 'Halo'. “Wanstead Flats where I live, change a lot in the summer; a haze descends on them instead of the spring mist and the city's proximity is more apparent. Blue bags of empty cans and scorched grass from out of control barbeques.” Arnulf Lindner on double-bass recalls the playing of Danny Thompson with Jeff Tobias' wonderfully lyrical saxophone referencing Pharoah Sanders. On ‘Harvest’ Jack takes a backseat with Kayla Cohen of Itasca singing. “All these songs are in the same key but the melody was above my range. I'd been playing the new Itasca record all the time and just reached out. The economy with which she sings is perfect.”

                                                                                                                                                  “The intention with the record was for it to feel like a circle, so Wynter reflects the opening. I guess having to get up and flip the record destroys the illusion so it's a rare occasion where listening with the ability to just loop the album into another year is closer to our intention.”

                                                                                                                                                  ‘Annual’ then acts both like a companion piece to the band’s ‘How To Live’ debut but also a pointer to the paths ahead. Cooper has already started work on the next album, his speed of output an indication of the excitement and creativity that surrounds the project. Who will be involved and what the touchstones might be are yet to be firmly established but then who would have it any other way with this most fascinatingly free-flowing and mutable of groups? 


                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                  1 Dawn
                                                                                                                                                  2 Flourish
                                                                                                                                                  3 Mayday
                                                                                                                                                  4 Halo
                                                                                                                                                  5 Harvest
                                                                                                                                                  6 Ritual
                                                                                                                                                  7 Wynter

                                                                                                                                                  Pom Poko

                                                                                                                                                  Cheater

                                                                                                                                                    “If you have a vacancy for Favourite New Band, Pom Poko would like to apply for the role,” tweeted Tim Burgess in April, as Norway’s finest punkpop anti-conformists revisited their joyous debut album, ‘Birthday’, for one of Tim’s mood-lifting Twitter listening parties. Pom Poko pimp their CV on all fronts with their glorious second album, ‘Cheater’. Between the quartet’s sweet melodies, galvanic punky ructions and wild-at-art-rock eruptions, ‘Cheater’ is the sound of a band celebrating the binding extremes that make them so uniquely qualified to thrill: and, like Tim’s listening party, to fulfil any need you might have for a pick-you-up.

                                                                                                                                                    As singer Ragnhild Fangel explains of the leap from ‘Birthday’ to ‘Cheater’, “I think it’s very accurate to say that we wanted to embrace our extremes a bit more. In the production process I think we aimed more for some sort of contrast between the meticulously written and arranged songs and a more chaotic execution and recording, but also let ourselves explore the less frantic parts of the Pom Poko universe. I think both in the more extreme and painful way, and in the sweet and lovely way, this album is kind of amplified.”

                                                                                                                                                    The sound of four distinct personalities driving in divergent directions towards one destination, the result is an evolved snapshot of the bracingly contrary chemistry forged when Fangel, Tonne, Jonas Krøvel (bass) and Ola Djupvik (drums) united to play punk during a jazz gig at a literature festival in Trondheim (the band-members studied jazz there).  Along the way, the band drew praise from NME, Interview Magazine, DIY, PopMatters, The Line Of Best Fit, The Independent and BBC Radio 6, where Miranda Sawyer was moved to note that “‘Birthday’s ‘Crazy Energy Night’ seems to contain about 20 songs in one.” Meanwhile, a huge touring schedule included countless sold-out headline shows and a rapturously received UK jaunt with Ezra Furman.

                                                                                                                                                    ‘Cheater’ does its predecessor proud on every front. Bursting with colour and wonky life from its cover art (by close collaborator Erlend Peder Kvam) outwards, it differs from ‘Birthday’ primarily in that its songs did not have a chance to be road-tested before going into the studio. But you wouldn’t know it. As Ragnhild explains, “That meant we had to practice the songs in a more serious way, but it also meant the songs had more potential to change when we recorded them since we didn’t have such a clear image of what each song should/could be as the last time.”

                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: Pom Poko have all of the zest and quirk of a modern pop band but with brilliantly angular melodies and swooning time signatures, and perfectly played instruments. It's an intoxicating experience, and one that needs to be heard to be believed. absolutely superb.

                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                    Cheater
                                                                                                                                                    Like A Lady
                                                                                                                                                    Andrew
                                                                                                                                                    My Candidacy
                                                                                                                                                    Danger Baby
                                                                                                                                                    Andy Go To School
                                                                                                                                                    Look
                                                                                                                                                    Baroque Denial
                                                                                                                                                    Curly Romance
                                                                                                                                                    Body Level

                                                                                                                                                    Hilang Child

                                                                                                                                                    Every Mover

                                                                                                                                                      “The greatest thing about being a musician is experiencing it with other people,” says Ed Riman, the Brighton-based Eurasian singer, songwriter and sound-scapist who records as Hilang Child. “Whether that’s playing with others, creating together, sharing a vision, whatever, I just think in all aspects it’s a totally elevated experience when you’re not alone.” Proof rings out with force and feeling on Hilang Child’s superlative second album, "Every Mover".

                                                                                                                                                      In 2018, Riman delivered a serene, textured debut album in Years, rich in sound and feeling. Lauren Laverne, Q, MOJO and others lavished praise, but the “isolating process” of making the album left Riman hungry to find alternative ways of working. Meanwhile, the “lonely, pressured” aftermath of Years found Riman grappling with “rough self-esteem and anxiety issues”, amplified in part by social media’s ‘fulfilment narratives’. Duly, he set out to navigate and overcome these mindsets, drawing deeply on his own insecurities and those he recognised in others. These themes converge emphatically on Every Mover, an album steeped in everyday emotional states and crafted for cathartic, communal performance. Drawing on a rich spread of collaborators, sounds and themes, Riman uses his frustrations as the impetus to transform the brimming promise of Years into upfront and expansive new shapes.

                                                                                                                                                      “I wanted it to sound abit gutsier than the first album,” he says, succinctly, “heavier and closer to the kind of stuff that hits me when I go to shows or blast music in the car. I started out in music as a drummer playing for pop or beat-driven artists and grew up listening to louder stuff, but a lot of the music I’ve made as Hilang Child has been more ethereal. I wanted to bring it back to a place that feels more ‘me’ and make more of a thing of having big hypnotic drums, aggressive bass, ripping distorted instruments and a general energy to it.” “Good to be Young” serves swift notice of this leap, its banked synths and twinkling sound clusters leading to an assertion of fresh force when the main beat lands and a congregation of friends – AK Patterson, Paul Thomas Saunders, Dog in the Snow, Ellen Murphy, members of Penelope Isles – unite for the gang-vocal refrains. “It’s all iridescent colour I’m on,” Riman exults, a claim lived up to on the full-flush folktronica of “Shenley”. A reflection on spiralling insecurity, “Seen the Boreal” ups the ante again with its monk-ish chorales, looping samples, spectral woodwinds (from multi-instrumentalist John ‘Rittipo’ Moore, of Public Service Broadcasting and Bastille previous) and ecstatic chorus, Riman transforming a meditation on hindsight’s limiting effects into a spur to look forwards.

                                                                                                                                                      And surge forwards he does with the glittering synths, spacey guitars, and Krautrock propulsion of “King Quail”, developed in jam sessions with dream-pop wonder Zoe Mead (Wyldest) in her basement studio. Riman’s sounds are enriched wherever you turn, from the epic prog-tronica of “The Next Hold” to the vocal release and layered arrangement of “Play ’Til Evening”; a kind of summit meeting between Surrender-era Chemical Brothers and Fleet Foxes in the high church of ecstatic sound. The treated chorales of “Magical Fingertip” and naked lyrics of the festival-sized “Anthropic (Cold Times)” showcase a fertile push-pull of lush arrangements and wide-open emotions in Riman’s sound; on the latter, Rittipo’s horns brim with expressive power. That confidence also extends to the opposite extreme on a stripped-back love song with an illustrative back-story. “I was helping some friends build a music studio in early 2019,” says Riman, “and the days were a long, manual-labour slog on a dimly lit building site in winter.

                                                                                                                                                      One dark evening we were fitting insulation and choking on rockwool dust in the freezing cold, when Carole King’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ came on the radio and pierced through the gloom, bringing this calm over everyone. It was like this weird epiphany moment.” Written in tribute, “Earthborne” channels King’s influence into an ode to the support of loved ones. Brought to a sublime close with “Steppe”, the resulting album projects its own epiphanic force. The birth was not always smooth: due to Covid-19, tours were cancelled and studios closed. Thankfully, most of the main parts were recorded pre-lockdown between East London, Gateshead, Brighton, Wandsworth and elsewhere, before mixing proceeded remotely. Meanwhile, alongside indie-pop trio OUTLYA’s Will Bloomfield (percussion/co-production on ‘Play ’Til Evening’), visual design collective Tough Honey (accompanying videos) and other collaborators, Riman’s bond with co-producer JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose) proved crucial. “It felt freeing to work collaboratively and have that push-and-pull of ideas,” says Riman.

                                                                                                                                                      “Even the moments where we didn’t see eye-to-eye made it feel like I wasn’t alone, with someone else working just as passionately on the project.” That sense of passion lights up Every Mover, an album that hymns the redemptive qualities of richly expressive music crafted in simpatico unison with friends. “I get told I’m quite an openly emotional person,” says Riman, “and I suppose the extremes in this album reflect that! But I also wanted the album to roughly follow the mental flow of feeling worthless, then recognising it, then accepting your shortcomings and trying to work on it, then coming out unscathed on the other side. I’m still not fully out of the spiral. The Covid apocalypse, alongside some personal life changes, have definitely caused it to resurface. But I’m glad I made this album as a kind of cathartic primer on trying to deal with it.” Now, time for other people to experience it too.

                                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                      Martin says: At the forefront of emotional synthpop and pristine melodic direction, Hilang Child's newest offering perfectly marries huge anthemic hand-wavers with more introspective, experimental moments.

                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                      1. Good To Be Young
                                                                                                                                                      2. Shenley
                                                                                                                                                      3. Seen The Boreal
                                                                                                                                                      4. King Quail
                                                                                                                                                      5. Pesawat Aeroplane
                                                                                                                                                      6. The Next Hold
                                                                                                                                                      7. Play 'Til Evening
                                                                                                                                                      8. Magical Fingertip
                                                                                                                                                      9. Anthropic (Cold Times)
                                                                                                                                                      10. Earthborne
                                                                                                                                                      11. Steppe

                                                                                                                                                      Landshapes

                                                                                                                                                      Contact

                                                                                                                                                        Loneliness, isolation, alienation, the need for connection and community. The salient themes of our times resonate with a haunting, predictive and vital power on the third album from London four-piece Landshapes. Released through Bella Union this November, Contact is an album that digs deep into the past, looks ahead to the future and burns with vivid life in the present, where its mind-expanding soundscapes, beguiling melodies and resonating emotions exude a tremendous in-the-moment vibrancy.

                                                                                                                                                        The title speaks clearly to the album’s themes, as intended. As Luisa Gerstein (vocals, synths) explains, “The working title for a long time was ‘Collapse’, but when we came around to naming it, and having the conversation from our respective isolation, we wanted to give it a name that was more hopeful, and about connectivity. Dan suggested ‘Contact’ and it clicked - Contact with each other; contact with the wider world amidst its unravelling; music feels like a really essential part of that right now.”

                                                                                                                                                        After the voyages of self-discovery on their 2013 debut, “Rambutan”, and the wide-open reach of “Heyoon”, Contact pays testimony to Landshapes’ questing spirit. Recorded live at Soup Studios when it was in Limehouse, the album’s freshness reflects a strict resistance to, says Luisa, “over-cooking in the studio”. New tools helped flesh out the soundscapes, Jemma notes: “actual synths”, a Boss Dr Rhythm drum machine, and fresh guitar pedals enrich the sonic palette without gratuitous studio interference. Meanwhile, storied sound wizard and producer Kwes became, says Heloise, “sort of a fifth member”, helping to take the songs “to a new realm”.

                                                                                                                                                        As Jemma says, “We had a strong idea of wanting to keep a raw feel to the work, and that we wanted external ears to play a guiding influence and add a new voice once we had built the foundations. The sense of previous preciousness was something we could dispose of, as we had more confidence in our ability to play and write. I think it made us bold.”

                                                                                                                                                        Landshapes, then: reach out, make contact.

                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                        1 Rosemary
                                                                                                                                                        2 Siberia
                                                                                                                                                        3 Drama
                                                                                                                                                        4 The Ring
                                                                                                                                                        5 Real Love Is Dead
                                                                                                                                                        6 I'm Mortal
                                                                                                                                                        7 Dizzee
                                                                                                                                                        8 Let Me Be
                                                                                                                                                        9 Just A Plug
                                                                                                                                                        10 Conductor

                                                                                                                                                        Laura Groves

                                                                                                                                                        A Private Road

                                                                                                                                                          Of the 6-track EP Groves says: “This record, made mostly on my own, became both a channel for the expression of an inner world and an imagined soundtrack to my physical journeys through the city. It is rooted in the stories, atmospheres, mistakes and wrong turns, desires and layers of meaning that run through and play out in the landscapes we inhabit. The songs are snapshots of late night journeys across the river, the sparks of love that transform us and keep us going, the dead ends that the mind can lead us down, the erotic; the visible and invisible places we pass through as they merge and are erased and overwritten. The ability and opportunity to create and connect through music is a gift and I’m so happy to be able to share these new explorations with you.”

                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                          1. Infinite Wisdom
                                                                                                                                                          2. Foolish Game
                                                                                                                                                          3. Faking It
                                                                                                                                                          4. Red
                                                                                                                                                          5. Sunset
                                                                                                                                                          6. Searching For The Stars

                                                                                                                                                          Jonathan Wilson

                                                                                                                                                          Rare Blur EP

                                                                                                                                                            THIS IS A BLACK FRIDAY RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27TH FROM 6PM.
                                                                                                                                                            LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.



                                                                                                                                                            Jonathan Wilson follows up his Dixie Blur album, released earlier this year via Bella Union, with a new EP ‘Rare Blur’.

                                                                                                                                                            The EP continues where Dixie Blur left off with Wilson recruiting a host of Nashville musicians to deliver 6 songs of beautiful folk music.

                                                                                                                                                            Pressed on 180g black vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                            Tim Burgess

                                                                                                                                                            Ascent Of The Ascended EP

                                                                                                                                                              This 6-track EP contains two superb new tracks, “Yours. To Be”, and “The Ascent Of The Ascended”, recorded soon after the album was finished, as well as four tracks recorded in New York City back in March as a live session for Paste magazine. Three of the tracks are from I Love The New Sky alongside a new version of The Charlatan’s classic ‘The Only One I Know’.

                                                                                                                                                              Of the lead track, “Yours. To Be”, Burgess says: “At the tail end of the glory of the night before - with all the hope and beauty that the following morning brings. Away from the glare of the party - like the calm after the storm has left town. It’s a feeling that’s so pure and uncluttered. It’s around a while, then real life starts to creep back in. It’s all about making the most of moments as they are happening .”  

                                                                                                                                                              Burgess goes on to say: “There was an energy that came from recording the album with such a brilliant band - I didn’t want it to end, I wanted to record a bit of a magnum opus, which is where Ascent of the Ascended came in. I’d always wanted to work with Charles Hayward from This Heat, so we have him a ring and he said yeah. With “Yours. To Be” being almost like an instant feeling you get in a moment, very rarely in your life - the two songs are so different but they somehow complement each other. So an EP was the perfect idea.”

                                                                                                                                                              “We had so many plans for playing live this year - from South by Southwest to Glastonbury and everything in between. But that wasn’t to be. We played four shows in New York before lockdown happened - so our session for Paste Magazine was such a rare event, we’ve included the songs to complete the EP.”

                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                              1. The Ascent Of The Ascended
                                                                                                                                                              2. Yours. To Be
                                                                                                                                                              3. Laurie (Paste Session)
                                                                                                                                                              4. The Mall (Paste Session)
                                                                                                                                                              5. The Only One I Know (Paste Session)
                                                                                                                                                              6. Undertow (Paste Session)

                                                                                                                                                              Laura Veirs

                                                                                                                                                              My Echo

                                                                                                                                                                “My Echo is my 11th solo album. It’s my ‘my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did’ album. My conscious mind was trying as hard as I could to keep my family together but my subconscious mind was working on the difficult struggles in my marital life. I was part of a “Secret Poetry Group” that met and wrote poems monthly for a year during the writing of this record. Many of my poems turned into songs for this album. By the time the album was being mixed last fall, my ex-husband/producer Tucker Martine and I had decided to go our separate ways. We were a great musical team for many years but we struggled to be compatible in our marriage and family life and that struggle is reflected in this album.

                                                                                                                                                                In this new batch of songs I imagine escaping from some sort of prison or cage. Advancing age, the confines of domesticity, our oppressive government and the threat of the apocalypse permeate these songs. In these songs my heart craves certainty and permanence but none is to be found. It’s an album about disintegration. It reveals my artist’s intuition at work.

                                                                                                                                                                Although these songs were written before quarantine they are strangely relevant to times in which we find ourselves currently. You will find me staring at the walls (Turquoise Walls). You will find me feeling grateful to be alive (Memaloose Island). You will find me accepting the ephemeral nature of life (Vapor Trails and All the Things). You will find me searching for personal freedom while feeling trapped (Freedom Feeling). You will find me trying to accept that sometimes the best thing to do is to sit still and do nothing at all (Another Space and Time).

                                                                                                                                                                Produced by Tucker Martine in the summer and fall of 2019 in Portland, OR. Includes appearances from Jim James, Bill Frisell, Karl Blau, Matt Ward.

                                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                Barry says: Laura Veirs proves an essential voice in these times, mixing the brittle folky guitars and soft vocals of her earlier work with a more recent downtempo plaintiveness. It's a heady combination, and one that continues the legacy she's built up so far, but taking the sound into new realms.

                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                1 Freedom Feeling
                                                                                                                                                                2 Another Space And Time
                                                                                                                                                                3 Turquoise Walls
                                                                                                                                                                4 Memaloose Island
                                                                                                                                                                5 End Times
                                                                                                                                                                6 Burn Too Bright
                                                                                                                                                                7 Brick Layer
                                                                                                                                                                8 All The Things
                                                                                                                                                                9 I Sing To The Tall Man
                                                                                                                                                                10 Vapor Trails

                                                                                                                                                                Emmy The Great

                                                                                                                                                                April / Ɯ

                                                                                                                                                                  “My story begins with the moon. In September 2017, I travelled to Hong Kong from New York, where I’d lived for three years, for the Mid-Autumn festival. I was planning to visit my parents and take some time off to write my fourth album. I arrived in time for the full moon - Chang-E’s moon - at a time of year when the heat breaks and the city seems alive with possibility.


                                                                                                                                                                  That Spring, I’d visited China and accidentally become somewhat fluent in Cantonese again, though the goal had been to speak Mandarin. I was there for a music residency, and had expected to feel an instant click. Instead, I realised that Hong Kong had an identity quite separate from the Mainland, and with my mother tongue reinstated, I was beginning to come to terms with that identity being a part of mine. This was tough - I was born in Hong Kong but I’ve always felt complicated about it.


                                                                                                                                                                  Still, that Mid-Autumn, everything felt simple. Under the guidance of the moon, I walked the city - its neon-lit alleyways, its escalators and mountain paths. For a brief, precious moment, I fell into synch with Hong Kong. I felt its complex legacy and its tangled future. I felt the sorrow, alive in the buzz of neon and the drips of air-conditioner units, of a city caught between two destinies. It was twenty years since the Handover and the beginning of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. Everywhere I went, I saw people seeking to define their shared identity before it was too late. I hope some of that spirit has found its way into the songs, which were mostly written during that time.

                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Mid-Autumn/ Ɯ�音
                                                                                                                                                                  2 Writer
                                                                                                                                                                  3 Dandelions/Liminal
                                                                                                                                                                  4 Chang-E
                                                                                                                                                                  5 A Window/O'Keeffe
                                                                                                                                                                  6 Okinawa/Ubud
                                                                                                                                                                  7 Your Hallucinations
                                                                                                                                                                  8 Mary
                                                                                                                                                                  9 Hollywood Road/April
                                                                                                                                                                  10 Heart Sutra

                                                                                                                                                                  The Flaming Lips

                                                                                                                                                                  American Head

                                                                                                                                                                    American Legends The Flaming Lips announce the release of their 21st studio album, American Head via Bella Union. The album is comprised of thirteen new cinematic tracks, produced by longtime collaborator Dave Fridmann and The Lips. Among them, “God and the Policeman” featuring backing vocals from country superstar Kasey Musgraves. American Head takes on a welcome temporal shift that occupies a similar space to that of The Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and just may be their most beautiful and consistent work to date

                                                                                                                                                                    American Head finds The Flaming Lips basking in more reflective lyrical places as Wayne Coyne explains in a longer form story titled “We’re An American Band.”

                                                                                                                                                                    Excerpt below:
                                                                                                                                                                    “The Flaming Lips are from Oklahoma. We never thought of ourselves as an AMERICAN band. I know growing up (when I was like 6 or 7 years old) in Oklahoma I was never influenced by, or was very aware of any musicians from Oklahoma. We mostly listened to the Beatles and my mother loved Tom Jones (this is in the 60’s)... it wasn’t till I was about 10 or 11 that my older brothers would know a few of the local musician dudes.

                                                                                                                                                                    So... for most of our musical life (as The Flaming Lips starting in 1983) we’ve kind of thought of ourselves as coming from ‘Earth’... not really caring WHERE we were actually from. So for the first time in our musical life we began to think of ourselves as ‘AN AMERICAN BAND’… telling ourselves that it would be our identity for our next creative adventure. We had become a 7-piece ensemble and were beginning to feel more and more of a kinship with groups that have a lot of members in them. We started to think of classic American bands like The Grateful Dead and Parliament-Funkadelic and how maybe we could embrace this new vibe.

                                                                                                                                                                    The music and songs that make up the AMERICAN HEAD album are based in a feeling. A feeling that, I think, can only be expressed through music and songs. We were, while creating it, trying to NOT hear it as sounds... but to feel it. Mother’s sacrifice, Father’s intensity, Brother’s insanity, Sister’s rebellion...I can’t quite put it into words.

                                                                                                                                                                    Something switches and others (your brothers and sisters and mother and father...your pets) start to become more important to you…in the beginning there is only you... and your desires are all that you can care about...but... something switches.. I think all of these songs are about this little switch.”




                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Will You Return/When You Come Down
                                                                                                                                                                    2 Watching The Lightbugs Glow
                                                                                                                                                                    3 Flowers Of Neptune 6
                                                                                                                                                                    4 Dinosaurs On The Mountain
                                                                                                                                                                    5 At The Movies On Quaaludes
                                                                                                                                                                    6 Mother I've Taken LSD
                                                                                                                                                                    7 Brother Eye
                                                                                                                                                                    8 You N Me Sellin' Weed
                                                                                                                                                                    9 Mother Please Don't Be Sad
                                                                                                                                                                    10 When We Die When We're High
                                                                                                                                                                    11 Assassins Of Youth
                                                                                                                                                                    12 God And The Policeman
                                                                                                                                                                    13 My Religion Is You

                                                                                                                                                                    Leila Moss

                                                                                                                                                                    Who The Power

                                                                                                                                                                      "If you’re going to deconstruct the modern psyche," says Liela Moss, "you might as well dance to it." On her second solo album, ‘Who The Power’, Moss fulfils that remit with all the power its title calls for. After 2018’s deeply personal ‘My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth’ - a debut solo album at times serene, at others stormy, on every front sumptuous - Moss entered a period of profound creative and personal self-reflection. When she emerged, she forged an album of questioning intensity and synth-loaded drama, with the expressive force in her voice refuelled by the urgent desire to interrogate the role of selfhood in fraught times. And, crucially, backed by the urgent grooves needed for the job.

                                                                                                                                                                      As Moss says of her feelings during the build-up to the album: “To make music for the sake can sometimes feel like a narcissistic thing to do, and very reflective of our times. So much of being a musician and live performer is about projecting energy outward, which can be a beautiful and powerful thing. I experienced a good round of that over previous years, and now wanted to explore my fears of tipping the scales the other way: why should I continue to reenact the narcissistic habits of our generation, desperate for validation, desperate for space, for ‘a platform’?”

                                                                                                                                                                      Album opener ‘Turn Your Back Around’ is a yearning eco-lament set to banked synths over a propulsive beat. Or, as Moss puts it: “One filthy, upbeat, downhearted, close-your-eyes-and-dance-by-yourself pop song, offered as a parting gift to Mother Earth.” ‘Watching The Wolf’ is another forthright song for today, its brooding, near-gothic swagger framing a righteous modern-day folk tale about wolves converging to unseat a toxic political pundit. A controlled rage shows in Moss’s voice, which grows more liberated still amid the simmering darkwave throb of ‘Atoms At Me’, where Moss issues a call to free the senses from the call to consume.

                                                                                                                                                                      That sense of freedom further shows in the album’s dynamic focus and passion. The nearceremonial ‘Always Sliding’ draws power from the idea of impermanence, from the call to “keep searching.” ‘The Individual’ sets a Paradise Lost-ish narrative to a sulphurous bassline and lunging synths, while the graceful synths and infectious melody of ‘White Feather’ frame lyrics with teeth. “‘White Feather’ is a lament for the earth, sung with fingers crossed behind my back,” explains Moss. “Humanity is losing connection with something vital, and willingly letting itself slip into an abyss. This isn’t as simple as my reaction to the distressing reality of environmental damage; it is my thoughts on our lousy behaviour to one another.”

                                                                                                                                                                      Elsewhere, the moody elegance of ‘Battlefield’ and bruised plea of ‘Nummah’ rank among Moss’s finest vocal performances. ‘Suako’ offers pulsing synth-rock impetus to risk starting anew, while the blissful ‘Stolen Careful’ ends the album on a palpable note of revitalisation, all risks rewarded as Moss emerges refreshed in her hunger to explore new, meaningful ways to engage with the world.

                                                                                                                                                                      As with the widely acclaimed ‘My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth’, that engagement took place close to home. Working again with partner / producer Toby Butler, Moss wrote and recorded the album in their studio in Somerset, where they live with their child. The difference this time, she explains, was a desire “to create something more urgent,” which captured a sense of renewal while conveying a strong sense of despair at modern culture. “Perhaps that oscillating energy is best expressed musically via machines. We spent much of our time playing with vintage synths and drum machines, building a more visceral palette. I wanted the album to convey a depth of field, to be multi-layered yet feel simple, and to groove.”

                                                                                                                                                                      Widescreen ambitions fulfilled, the result is another bold leap forward for one of alt-rock’s most magnetic, exploratory voices. Over 14 years, Moss’s work with the Duke Spirit (on pause) ranged from brawling riff-rock to more cinematic ventures. Other gigs have included synth-rock recordings with Butler under the name Roman Remains and various collaborative ventures – with UNKLE, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder and Lost Horizons, as well as serving as muse for fashion icons Alexander McQueen and Phillip Lim, among others.

                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Turn Your Back Around
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Watching The Wolf
                                                                                                                                                                      3. Atoms At Me
                                                                                                                                                                      4. Always Sliding
                                                                                                                                                                      5. The Individual
                                                                                                                                                                      6. White Feather
                                                                                                                                                                      7. Battlefield
                                                                                                                                                                      8. Nummah
                                                                                                                                                                      9. Suako
                                                                                                                                                                      10. Stolen Careful

                                                                                                                                                                      Mr Ben And The Bens

                                                                                                                                                                      Life Drawing

                                                                                                                                                                        After the celestial adventures of Mr Ben and the Bens’ previous issue, band-leader Ben Hall finds all the magic he needs on earth with his new album, Life Drawing. On 2019’s Who Knows Jenny Jones?, Hall plotted the story of a young, shy Pitsmoor woman who returned from an alien encounter newly armed with serious disco-dancing know-how. Life Drawing, meanwhile, looks closer to home for its inspiration – Sheffield and thereabouts – for twelve brightly plaintive, character-driven vignettes, set to warm, acoustic, indie-folk-pop backdrops after its predecessor’s close encounters of the synth-driven kind.

                                                                                                                                                                        A “cloudy thread of narrative” is present, Hall explains, but this time it’s left open for listeners to map routes through it. “The idea with the title is that the songs are character sketches, and their stories coalesce in a place that has a bit of all the towns in the North of England I’ve lived in. Bits of myself in the stories came out unintentionally, so I’d like it if the listener could find those semi-truths from the songs and place them into their own experiences.”


                                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: Mr Ben moves himself and all of his Bens to Bella Union! It's a fitting home really, as they are well heeled with this sort of jangling, melodic optimism and off-kilter classic psychedelia. It's lovely stuff, and a superb whimsical counterfoil to the drags of day-to-day life.

                                                                                                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                        1 On The Beach
                                                                                                                                                                        2 How Do You Do?
                                                                                                                                                                        3 Danny
                                                                                                                                                                        4 Faithful Hound
                                                                                                                                                                        5 Astral Plane
                                                                                                                                                                        6 Minor Keys
                                                                                                                                                                        7 Beast In The House
                                                                                                                                                                        8 Walking To An Open Sky
                                                                                                                                                                        9 The Wind On Spittlehill
                                                                                                                                                                        10 Irish Rain
                                                                                                                                                                        11 Closing Time
                                                                                                                                                                        12 Watering Can

                                                                                                                                                                        Midlake

                                                                                                                                                                        The Courage Of Others (Love Record Stores Edition)

                                                                                                                                                                          Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
                                                                                                                                                                          Limited to one per person.


                                                                                                                                                                          Green vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                          Drab City

                                                                                                                                                                          Good Songs For Bad People

                                                                                                                                                                            A heady air of dislocation envelops Drab City’s debut album, where songs of innocence and experience merge with dub, hip-hop, dream-pop and jazzy soundtrack vibes to intoxicating effect. Drab City are fixated on social alienation, violent revenge, and (perhaps) romantic love as salvation; topics not new in music, but listening to Drab City in 2020, one is struck by how uncommon they’ve become.

                                                                                                                                                                            Lyrically, these songs often project punkish angst and resentment. “Working For the Men” is a degraded service worker’s revenge ballad, imagining male tormenters brought to a violent end. “Hand On My Pocket” tells of a destitute, wandering youth. One night she meets a stranger on a desert road, and is told of a nearby city where a soft, rich citizenry make easy targets. Class war is palpable. Other songs are more opaque, but seem to speak of being the black sheep of the family, or being weighed down by the dullness of hometown life. Yet the casual listener might not notice the violence as the music itself is far from abrasive.

                                                                                                                                                                            Dreamy and ethereal, a foundation of flute, vibraphone, and jazzy guitar chord melody can switch to drum machines or funk-inflected girl-group pop at a moment’s notice. It’s a flurry of 20th century references, combining and recombining at such a schizophrenic pace, the overall effect is something that could only be conjured in our frenzied present. At once catchy and unfamiliar, the melodic, welcoming soundscapes are a Trojan horse for the band’s antisocial outlook.

                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Entering Drab City
                                                                                                                                                                            2 Working For The Men
                                                                                                                                                                            3 Hand On My Pocket
                                                                                                                                                                            4 Another Time
                                                                                                                                                                            5 Devil Doll
                                                                                                                                                                            6 Troubled Girl
                                                                                                                                                                            7 Just Me & You
                                                                                                                                                                            8 Problem
                                                                                                                                                                            9 Live Free & Die When It's Cool
                                                                                                                                                                            10 Standing Where You Left Me

                                                                                                                                                                            Psychic Markers

                                                                                                                                                                            Psychic Markers

                                                                                                                                                                              “Silence is a complex subject and completely affects you depending on context,” the band say of the track, which is accompanied by a self-directed video. “Silence can be deafening in people when they struggle to communicate. Other times silence is awkward. Silence can also be golden, to have built a relationship with someone and just to be with them is enough, finding somebody to share this with is rare and should be appreciated.”

                                                                                                                                                                              A near death experience being sucked into an active sandstorm during a US road trip is enough to make you think about life. Being immersed in a swirling vortex of sand, dust, tumbleweed and detritus whilst trying to keep control of a speeding car might have only been a brief flash moment in Steven Dove’s life but it was enough for the Psychic Markers man to question life. “These things impact you,” he says. “I got thinking about human nature, our proneness to mistakes, imperfection and the implications of reactionary decision making.”

                                                                                                                                                                              The results of such lyrical reflection, and broad spectrum of thought, can be heard throughout the latest Psychic Markers album, one that Dove describes as, “Imagine a David Cronenberg-style movie in which each morning you awake to find your brain merged inside someone else’s head - you see life from a totally different angle.”

                                                                                                                                                                              Approaching things from a different angle was also the objective sonically. “We wanted to make an album that was 100% us,” says Leon Dufficy, who heads up the band with Dove. “With zero dilution from other influences.” This natural, intuition-led, direction is something immediately apparent on the album, one that weaves seamlessly between pulsing groove-locked electronica and psychedelic pop as frequently as it glides from sparkling melody to rich cinematic ambience.

                                                                                                                                                                              “Cohesive yet diverse,” is what the band have said of their music and it fits their personalities too, with members coming from as far afield as Australia and Yorkshire. Dufficy and Dove wrote and produced the record together, the sultry yet subtle bass comes from Luke Jarvis, who also did the band’s artwork, whilst the glowing backing vocals of Alannah Ashworth feature alongside the shared percussion duties of Lewis Baker and Jim Wallis.

                                                                                                                                                                              The opening track ‘Where Is the Prize?’ is a perfect opener that encapsulates Dove’s introspective yet existential lyricism, as well as the band’s expanded sonic terrain. It’s written from the perspective of an old person who sees friends die off until only they remain. “We strive for old age but what’s even there if you make it?” asks Dove. Musically, it opens with gently lapping waves of electronics that sets the tone for a more electronically-leaning record.

                                                                                                                                                                              A total electronic overhaul this is not, however. Instead, their third album sits in a sweet spot between evolutionary and revolutionary step; retaining the core essence and personality of the band but also moving into new territory. It embellishes and emboldens the band’s pre-existing palate, one that still nods to 1970s Germany on the careering ‘Clouds’ (a song that, antithetical to the opener, looks at life from the perspective of a child) and one that still exhibits their seamless knack for immersive melody via the gorgeous Yo La Tengo-like closer ‘Baby It’s Time.’

                                                                                                                                                                              Amidst the engulfing soundscapes of ‘Juno Dreams’ is a sample of an old Texan psychic that cannot foresee a future for its subject, whilst the serene-to-nightmare psychedelic noise trip that is ‘Sacred Geometry’ is a direct exploration of the moment Dove was caught in the sandstorm. “The track is that nanosecond you have to make an important decision – the second part of it being the knock-on effect of making the wrong one.”

                                                                                                                                                                              Playing with structure and form, and the overlapping role between lyrics and music, is rooted in the album. “I was tired of writing within the constraints of a verse/chorus structure and wanted to be expressive in alternative ways,” says Dove. “It’s like walking the same route to get from a to b - eventually it becomes mundane and for this record I wanted to try walking a different way.”

                                                                                                                                                                              Dufficy also found himself going down a rabbit hole of old gear for the album, exploring four tracks, micro cassettes and drum machines. “I wanted to see how it would impact our writing and recording process,” he says. “By taking away the endless options you have in the digital world.” The result is one that adds to the already deeply textural world of the band - an approach that has previously reared its head via doo-wop-esque harmony vocals, thoughtfully layered immersive guitars or enveloping atmospheres - as well as adding a further sense of diving into the unknown.

                                                                                                                                                                              The dodgy motors of the four-track led to drums and keys being all over the place on the track ‘Enveloping Cycles’, creating its own woozy, distinct rhythm of gently fizzing beats. That is before the machine gave up completely. “The four-track died right at the end of making the album, so its quirks will only ever exist on this album,” Dufficy says. “I like that, it's kind of romantic to me.”

                                                                                                                                                                              Much like being caught in the middle of a sandstorm, or a piece of equipment holding out until the final sputtering moments of musical completion, there’s something unique, engulfing and encompassing about the latest Psychic Markers album. A beautiful bottling of time and place that magically ends up somewhere completely new


                                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                              01. Where Is The Prize?
                                                                                                                                                                              02. Silence In The Room
                                                                                                                                                                              03. Pulse
                                                                                                                                                                              04. Enveloping Cycles
                                                                                                                                                                              05. Sacred Geometry
                                                                                                                                                                              06. A Mind Full And Smiling
                                                                                                                                                                              07. Irrational Idol Thinking
                                                                                                                                                                              08. Juno Dreams
                                                                                                                                                                              09. Clouds
                                                                                                                                                                              10. Baby It's Time

                                                                                                                                                                              Tim Burgess

                                                                                                                                                                              I Love The New Sky

                                                                                                                                                                                How inspiring it is to hear Tim Burgess conjuring up exciting and life-affirming sounds as he, almost inconceivably, enters his fifth decade on public duty. Frontman, singer, label boss, DJ and author, he’s been instrumental in so many great records over the years, always bringing enthusiasm, positivity and diversity of influence, which altogether light the way for those who hold him dear.

                                                                                                                                                                                While in The Charlatans, Tim’s indefatigable energy has been a consistent fuel for the band across thirteen high-charting albums, his solo adventure has been no less extraordinary, scaling new heights in 2020 with his fifth solo release to date: ‘I Love The New Sky’. Released on Bella Union, it features wonderfully connective songs of everyday minutiae and universal experience, of love and anger, of loss and belonging, all united by elaborate yet natural arrangements and an effortless but deceptively expert way with melody.

                                                                                                                                                                                ‘I Love The New Sky’ differs from its predecessors in that all twelve tracks were self-penned. “In the past, I've written collaboratively,” says a characteristically, but rightfully excited Burgess. “(2012's) ‘Oh No I Love You’ was written with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner in Nashville, and then ‘Same Language, Different Worlds’ was a collaboration with Peter Gordon who had worked extensively with Arthur Russell.”

                                                                                                                                                                                The spark for ‘I Love The New Sky’ came after a year of touring another album, ‘As I Was Now’, which he’d made in 2008 but had a belated release ten years later. “That one was made in three days, just friends getting together”, he says – the amigos included Josh Hayward from The Horrors, Primal Scream Keyboard player Martin Duffy, Ladyhawke and My Bloody Valentine's Debbie Googe.

                                                                                                                                                                                “I didn’t realise the album hadn't actually come out as I had a copy of it on my ipod so I figured that maybe everybody did. So, all those years later I thought it would make an interesting release for Record Store Day. It did really well, so I was approached to tour it for Independent Venue Week and after that a load of festivals asked us to play too. Average Sex were the support band that then became my band so it was a brilliant little tour. After that, I was really energized, and I thought, Right, I'm going to do another album, but really concentrate on making it a solo record, where I write everything on my own and all the songs are the very best I can make them.”

                                                                                                                                                                                “I’d been listening to a lot of Isaac Hayes, Olivia Tremor Control, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, John Maus, Weyes Blood and Kevin Ayres - I’m not sure how much they have influenced the album but they were the impetus and inspiration.”

                                                                                                                                                                                The twelve tunes of ‘I Love The New Sky’ were authored, he says, “in Norfolk, in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest shop eight miles away. There are no distractions, and I guess that way things happen. I wrote everything on acoustic guitar, and the chords were really considered. The guitar lines would lead the melody, and the melody would inform the lyrics – just dreaming away with music.”

                                                                                                                                                                                So far, so Laurel Canyon, though ‘I Love The New Sky’ would end up sounding anything but hippie/folkie, thanks to a connection Tim made while living in a warehouse space in gritty Seven Sisters in North London, before heading to Norfolk.

                                                                                                                                                                                “The Quietus had their office there,” he recalls. “I used to know pretty much all the stuff they were writing about, but then their album of the year for 2013 was ‘Glynnaestra’ by Grumbling Fur, and I really fell in love with it. I started talking to the band about working together. To cut a long story short I recorded a song with Grumbling Fur, they remixed two Charlatans tracks and a couple of Daniel O'Sullivan's solo albums came out on my label.”

                                                                                                                                                                                As well as bass and drum duties on I Love The New Sky, O’Sullivan plays piano on much of the album, from the bouncing chamber-pop chords of ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ and the punchy chorus of ‘Empathy For The Devil’, through to ‘Comme D’Habitude’’s juxtaposition of blissfully rolling West Coast singer-songwriting and a complex Sparks-y Broadway-esque bridge, to the Velvets-y ramalama moves on ‘Warhol Me’ and ‘Undertow’’s sombre balladry.

                                                                                                                                                                                The album was arranged and recorded quickly but not rushed: “Ideas happen fast, don’t they?” Tim reasons. The first sessions at Eve Studios in Stockport were with long-serving Charlatans engineer Jim Spencer. Tim, Daniel and Nik Void cut three tracks in two days, with Nik layering up modular synths in line with her previous day job in Factory Floor.

                                                                                                                                                                                A third keyboard maestro entered the picture when Thighpaulsandra, a maverick musician and producer, came into the frame, best known for his work for Julian Cope, Coil Spiritualized and Elizabeth Fraser. I found out that he was based at ‘Rockfield’ [legendary residential facility near Monmouth, South Wales]. So I said, ‘Okay, that’s where we’re going to record the rest of it’.” As well as enlisting his know-how as an engineer, the cosmically-inclined Welshman also applied vintage synths and what Tim hazily calls “wizardry”.

                                                                                                                                                                                For Burgess himself, the return to Rockfield was meaningful: “I hadn’t been there since we recorded ‘Tellin' Stories’” he says. “It was a matter of ending this long period of not going there, because after Rob died we couldn’t face it again. So nearly 25 years later, we returned and the positive feelings came back. Mark Collins [Charlatans guitarist] came down to play on ‘Empathy For The Devil’ and ‘Sweetheart Mercury’, and he actually had the same room as he had in 1996. It was like no time had passed at all.”

                                                                                                                                                                                “I was in search of a certain sound there,” Tim adds, of his overriding motivation for returning. “I couldn’t exactly put my finger on what it was I was searching for, but I knew if it was there that I’d be able to find it”.

                                                                                                                                                                                The results are nothing short of astounding. ‘I Love The New Sky’ has landed somewhere between Paul McCartney's ‘RAM’ and Brian Eno's ‘Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)' and certainly that recipe covers both the all-pervasive tunefulness and high quality. Stylistically, though, it runs the widest gamut, from 'Empathy For The Devil's gospel style rockabilly skip, through to the sophisticated song-craft of ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ and the Nilsson-esque ‘Sweet Old Sorry Me’, with the angst-y gravitas of ‘Undertow’, which Tim describes as “a mood-changer, influenced by 10cc.”

                                                                                                                                                                                Lyrically, this might almost be a defining collection from Burgess after thirty years honing his craft. There’s plenty of typical lightness of touch of ‘Only Took A Year’s joking reference to the album’s twelve-month gestation period, and the quip, “what’s your favourite Cure LP? I like ‘Pornography! But it could be any one of three.”

                                                                                                                                                                                Equally amusing in its self-referencing is ‘Warhol Me’ set to a soundtrack of New York bubblegum pop. ‘Sweet Old Sorry Me’ finds Burgess reminiscing on his former life in Los Angeles, but drolly updating the Steely Dan vernacular for the social-media era with the line, “I had to unsubscribe from that particular tribe”. ‘Lucky Creatures’, meanwhile, follows Tim on his day back in LA on tour, as he enjoys “tacos on the underground”, revisiting his old everyday haunts in Hollywood.

                                                                                                                                                                                ‘The Mall’, too, revels in its everyday setting: “it’s an ordinary feature of everyday life. I’m pretty sure that the ‘escalating drama on a moving staircase’ bit happened at Boots in Piccadilly Circus. Maybe they'll put a blue plaque there one day. I love it round there, it’s like the whole world is happening – but it’s taking a small idea and trying to make it into something more universal.”

                                                                                                                                                                                ‘I Got This’ has the line “the future is friendly”. Says Tim: “Everyone’s been going through a lot of tough times. And the future is uncertain. But you have to have that optimistic outlook – like, waking up in the morning and feeling that it’s gonna be a good day.”

                                                                                                                                                                                There is a sense of community within this solo venture, which is emphasised when Tim and Nik’s six year old son joins in on ‘Comme D’Habitude’, and with the assembly of what Tim calls a “gang chorus”, in the spirit of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ ‘Plan B’, for the closing chant of the album title on ‘Laurie’. This song is particularly heartfelt, as Tim mistily reveals, written for “someone I love who I never met”. The end section happened spontaneously at Rockfield: “Everybody that came into the studio, I asked them to sing, so there are about 20 people doing that vocal – Mark Collins, Daniel, our friend Ally, Nik, Thighpaulsandra – everybody singing it, and for this spirit that is loved.”

                                                                                                                                                                                The final stages of the album’s year-long narrative arc were enacted at Jet Studio in Brussels, with the Echo Collective string section. Burgess looked on “mesmerised at what was happening to the songs, taking an even more magical turn.”

                                                                                                                                                                                With that icing on the cake, Tim is in no doubt that he has his finest solo record under his belt. On this occasion, it’s coming out on time, and he’ll be touring it with a live ensemble featuring Daniel O’Sullivan, Thighpaulsandra, another O Genesis artiste called Keel Her, and renowned avant-jazz violinist Peter Broderick, who plays on ‘’Empathy…’ and will recreate the Echo Collective parts, too. So, the community will grow. Just like Tim says, “the future is friendly.”


                                                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                Andy says: Tim’s fifth solo album is his best by a mile and what’s even sweeter is that he wrote every song totally by himself. It’s the quintessential Tim experience; warm, open-hearted, playful and experimental, but absolutely always with a catchy pop hook at the centre of everything. There’s a sense of wonder and a carefree spirit at play, but don’t be fooled; these twelve ditties have sophisticated arrangements and are expertly embellished with sax, strings and piano, the latter provided by Grumbling Fur’s Daniel O’Sullivan. You could call this soft psyche or indie easy listening except Tim always throws a spanner in the works, a mad detour or delightful quirk. It’s a record full of surprises. Having warmed the hearts of a nation with his wonderful listening parties this summer, Tim has made the kind of album we’ll all be pouring over ourselves for many years to come.

                                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Empathy For The Devil
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sweetheart Mercury
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Comme D'Habitude
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Sweet Old Sorry Me
                                                                                                                                                                                5. The Warhol Me
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Lucky Creatures
                                                                                                                                                                                7. The Mall
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Timothy
                                                                                                                                                                                9. Only Took A Year
                                                                                                                                                                                10. I Got This
                                                                                                                                                                                11. Undertow
                                                                                                                                                                                12. Laurie

                                                                                                                                                                                I Break Horses

                                                                                                                                                                                Warnings

                                                                                                                                                                                  If I Break Horses’s third album holds you in its grip like a great film, it’s no coincidence. Faced with making the follow-up to 2014’s plush Chiaroscuro, Horses’s Maria Lindén decided to take the time to make something different, with an emphasis on instrumental, cinematic music. As she watched a collection of favourite films on her computer (sound muted) and made her own soundtrack sketches, these sonic workouts gradually evolved into something more: “It wasn’t until I felt an urge to add vocals and lyrics,” says Lindén, “that I realized I was making a new I Break Horses album.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  That album is Warnings, an intimate and sublimely expansive return that, as its recording suggests, sets its own pace with the intuitive power of a much-loved movie. And, as its title suggests, its sumptuous sound worlds – dreamy mellotrons, haunting loops, analogue synths – and layered lyrics crackle with immersive dramatic tensions on many levels. “It’s not a political album,” says Lindén, “though it relates to the alarmist times we live in. Each song is a subtle warning of something not being quite right.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  As Lindén notes, the process of making Warnings involved different kinds of dramas. “It has been some time in the making. About five years, involving several studios, collaborations that didn’t work out, a crashed hard drive with about two years of work, writing new material again instead of trying to repair it. New studio recordings, erasing everything, then recording most of the album myself at home…”

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yet the pay-off for her long-haul immersion is clear from statement-of-intent album opener ‘Turn’, a waltzing kiss-off to an ex swathed in swirling synths over nine emotive minutes. On ‘Silence’, Lindén suggests deeper sorrows in the interplay of serene surface synths, hypnotic loops and elemental images: when she sings “I feel a shiver,” you feel it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Elsewhere, on three instrumental interludes, Lindén’s intent to experiment with sound and structure is clear. Meanwhile, there are art-pop songs here more lush than any she has made. ‘I’ll Be the Death of You’ occupies a middle ground between Screamedlica and early OMD, while ‘Neon Lights’ brings to mind Kraftwerk on Tron’s light grid. ‘I Live At Night’ slow-burns like a song made for night-time LA drives; ‘Baby You Have Travelled for Miles without Love in Your Eyes’ is an electronic lullaby spiked with troubling needle imagery. ‘Death Engine’’s dark-wave dream-pop provides an epic centrepiece, of sorts, before the vocoder hymnal of closer ‘Depression Tourist’ arrives like an epiphany, the clouds parting after a long, absorbing journey.

                                                                                                                                                                                  For Lindén, Warnings is a remarkable re-routing of a journey begun when I Break Horses’s debut album, Hearts (2011), drew praise from Pitchfork, The Guardian, NME, The Independent and others for its luxurious grandeur and pulsing sense of art-pop life. With the electro-tangents of 2014’s Chiaroscuro, Lindén forged a new, more ambitious voice with total confidence. Along the way, I Break Horses toured with M83 and SigurRós; latterly, U2 played Hearts’ ecstatic ‘Winter Beats’ through the PA before their stage entrance on 2018’s ‘Experience + Innocence’ tour. Good choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                  A new friend on Warnings is US producer/mixing engineer Chris Coady, whose graceful way with dense sound (credits include Beach House, TV on the Radio) was not the sole reason Lindén invited him to mix the album. “Before reaching out to Chris I read an interview where he said, ‘I like to slow things down. Almost every time I love the sound of something slowed down by half, but sometimes 500% you can get interesting shapes and textures.’ And I just knew he’d be the right person for this album.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  If making Warnings was a slow process, so be it: that steady gestation was a price worth paying for its lavish accretions of detail and meaning, where secrets aplenty await listeners eager to immerse themselves. “Nowadays, the attention span equals nothing when it comes to how most people consume music,” Lindén says. “And it feels like songs are getting shorter, more ‘efficient’. I felt an urge to go against that and create an album journey from start to finish that takes time and patience to listen to. Like, slow the fuck down!” Happily, Warnings provides all the incentives required.


                                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Turn
                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Silence
                                                                                                                                                                                  3. L A R M
                                                                                                                                                                                  4. I'll Be The Death Of You
                                                                                                                                                                                  5. D E N L I L L A P å S E A V L Y C K A
                                                                                                                                                                                  6. The Prophet
                                                                                                                                                                                  7. Neon Lights
                                                                                                                                                                                  8. I Live At Night
                                                                                                                                                                                  9. Baby You Have Travelled For Miles Without Love In Your Eyes
                                                                                                                                                                                  10. Death Engine
                                                                                                                                                                                  11. A B S O L U T A M O L L P U N K T E N
                                                                                                                                                                                  12. Depression Tourist

                                                                                                                                                                                  BC Camplight

                                                                                                                                                                                  Shortly After Takeoff

                                                                                                                                                                                    “This is an examination of madness and loss,” says Brian Christinzio, the inimitable force behind BC Camplight. “I hope it starts a long overdue conversation.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fired by his ongoing battle with mental illness, Shortly After Takeoff is the final, and finest, chapter of what Christinzio calls his “Manchester Trilogy”, following 2015’s “How To Die In The North” and 2018’s “Deportation Blues”. All three albums were created after the native Philadelphian had moved to Manchester. Like Deportation Blues, Shortly After Takeoff spans singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll, with Christinzio’s similarly distinctive, flexible vocal carrying a fearless approach to lyrical introspection, but the new album is a major leap forward in songwriting sophistication and lyrical communication.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “It’s important to stress that this isn’t a redemption story,” he says. “I'm a guy who maybe lives a little hard and I’m in the thick of some heavy stuff. But as a result, I think I've made my best record.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    The “heavy stuff” has come thick and fast for Christinzio. Just days before How To Die In The North was released, he was deported and banned from the UK because of visa issues. Estranged from his new home, his girlfriend and his dog, unable to promote his album and back home with his parents, Christinzio sunk deep into the dark. An Italian passport, care of his grandparents, eventually allowed him to re-settle in Manchester, but then just days before Deportation Blues was released, his father Angelo unexpectedly died.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “I went into a spiral that was worse than any time since my twenties,” he recalls. Hence the title Shortly After Takeoff: the feeling of being suddenly thwarted by what life throws at you. Making matters worse was a neurological disorder that returned after years in remission: “I see TV static, and it messes with how my brain interprets everything from sound to my own feelings.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    One way to process tragedy is comedy, which elevates Shortly After Takeoff to a heightened plateau, from grief-stricken vulnerability to armoured bravado, from the black dog of depression to gallows humour. None more so than ‘Ghosthunting’, which opens with an extraordinary (fabricated) passage of Christinzio doing a stand-up routine, centring on the memory of hallucinating his father’s ghost. “I want to drag the listener into this world and hopefully they question why they feel uneasy,” he explains.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “I also wanted to make a record totally free of whimsy and irony, that was just clear and open and honest. I don’t think you really heard the chaos in Deportation Blues, but in Shortly After Takeoff, I can hear I’m finding undiscovered places to go, only because I was so lost. Lyrically, I wanted people to hear and understand me this time. Before, if I would have written about my father dying, I would have made up some weird bullshit, like an analogy about a tree shedding leaves or something. That Brian is gone. I have a direct line to the listener now. I have a direct line to myself too. It’s a benchmark moment for me.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    Shortly After Takeoff ends with the gorgeously tender 93-second ‘Angelo’, “a little fleeting moment for my dad. I wanted his name on the album, and something that sounded like a goodbye. It ends with the drums, like a heartbeat stopping…”

                                                                                                                                                                                    That’s Christinzio and Shortly After Takeoff: his best, most honest, open and frequently heartbreaking record.

                                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                    Andy says: Surely this must finally be the record which brings Brian Christinzio the attention he deserves. He is simply an incredible melodicist and creates tracks full of surprising twists and unusual turns. Dark, crazy but funnily inspirational lyrics are offset against the sweetest voice and catchiest songs you’ll hear all year. Just brilliant.

                                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 I Only Drink When I'm Drunk
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Ghosthunting
                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Back To Work
                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Cemetery Lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                    5 I Want To Be In The Mafia
                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Shortly After Takeoff
                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Arm Around Your Sadness
                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Born To Cruise
                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Angelo

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ezra Furman

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sex Education OST

                                                                                                                                                                                      Following the success of last year’s “Twelve Nudes”, Ezra Furman returns with Sex Education OST, songs from season 1 and 2 of the hit Netflix TV show. The 19-track LP will be released via Bella Union and is available to download and on DSPs from Friday, 24th January, with a physical release on CD and vinyl to follow on 10th April.

                                                                                                                                                                                      When the makers of the hit Netflix series Sex Education told Ezra Furman, “We want you to be the Simon & Garfunkel to our The Graduate", they clearly recognised a kindred spirit. Who better to articulate all that awkwardness and alienation than Furman?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sex Education is about Otis Milburn, a socially awkward high school student who lives with his sex therapist mother, Jean. In season 1 Otis and his friend Maeve Wiley set-up a sex clinic at school to capitalise on his intuitive talent for sex advice. In season 2, as a late bloomer Otis must master his newly discovered sexual urges in order to progress with his girlfriend Ola whilst also dealing with his now strained relationship with Maeve. Meanwhile, Moordale Secondary is in the throes of a Chlamydia outbreak, highlighting the need for better sex education at the school and new kids come to town who will challenge the status quo.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Sex Education soundtrack gathers the original songs that Furman composed for the first series and the brand new second series, whilst adding tracks featured on the show that can be found on prior Furman albums such as “Perpetual Motion People” and “Transangelic Exodus”. Lining up alongside older cover versions of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘ I Can Change’ and Melanie’s ‘The Good Book’ is a new rendition of ‘Devil Or Angel’, The Clovers’ doo-wop jewel from 1956. It all adds up to a bumper 19-track set of Furman’s trademark enthusiastic emotional catharsis.

                                                                                                                                                                                      “Making music for a TV show was a new experience for me,” she says. “As a fan of many a high school comedy, for example The Breakfast Club and 10 Things I Hate About You, I knew how fun the music can be, and also how emotional. I wanted to rise to the challenge.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      Furman and her band recorded the new songs in between sessions for a “loud punk record,” namely the exhilarating “Twelve Nudes”, released by Bella Union in 2019. “I decided I’d use the Sex Education project as a place to put my tenderness, my sadness and longing,” she says. “The soft teenage feelings that every adult knows continue long after high school ends.”



                                                                                                                                                                                      For the first series, Furman was supplied with an extensive description of the show and the episode scripts. For the second series, she says, “They trusted us completely. They were like, ‘you know what to do’. I try to imagine what’s going to be on screen as a jumping-off point, but they don’t need songs that fit, they need songs of a high quality, that come from a real place. That’s why they wanted me, I guess. Also, I guess they noticed an exuberant vulnerability. I lay all my feelings out there.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      Given Furman’s personal experience at high school, having been closeted with regard to gender and sexuality, she wasn’t method-acting for a second. The new songs allowed her to reconnect to that past, but also the present, as teenager and adult. ‘Amateur’, for example. “I’m an amateur in my heart, and the show is about amateurs,” she says. “About bodies not yet fully formed, and hearts not yet hardened to the world.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      ‘Every Feeling’ was inspired by a bad bout of depression: “I was so bored of having these feelings year after year, I just wanted to feel them all and get them over with.” ‘Care’ is afflicted by, “the noise of celebrity culture and politics.” Why can’t we just have, as Furman sings, “a world of love and care”? “That’s the dream I hang on to,” she says.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Songwriting, Furman concludes, “is a way of keeping tabs on what I care most about, the purest stuff, the matters of the heart that don’t expire. It’s what matters to teenagers, and revisiting the teenage perspective has been oddly centering for me. It’s a reminder of what’s important, and the emotional dramas that persist through life.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I’m Coming Clean
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Love You So Bad
                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Every Feeling
                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde
                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Care
                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Restless Year
                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Early Rain
                                                                                                                                                                                      8. La Madrugada
                                                                                                                                                                                      9. I Can Change
                                                                                                                                                                                      10. Amateur
                                                                                                                                                                                      11. My Zero
                                                                                                                                                                                      12. The Good Book
                                                                                                                                                                                      13. Body Was Made
                                                                                                                                                                                      14. If Only The Wind
                                                                                                                                                                                      15. Can I Sleep In Your Brain
                                                                                                                                                                                      16. Devil Or Angel
                                                                                                                                                                                      17. At The Bottom Of The Ocean
                                                                                                                                                                                      18. Splash Of Light
                                                                                                                                                                                      19. The Queen Of Hearts

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sonikku

                                                                                                                                                                                      Joyful Death

                                                                                                                                                                                        “I love songs that make you want to cry and dance at the same time,” says Tony Donson, the London-based musician who records as SONIKKU. That sense of unfettered release and liberation drives his new album, Joyful Death. A fluent, fertile and full-colour hybrid of vibrant Italo-house, liquid synth-pop, righteous disco and French philosophical asides, it’s an album that signals the emergence proper of SONIKKU – a fully formed dancefloor artist. It’s also a farewell of sorts, perhaps, but with an emphatic rebirth at its heart. “This album feels like a transformation in the sense that I’m creating the music I’ve always wanted to make. A fully realised, coherent pop record that showcases my craft as a song-writer and producer.”

                                                                                                                                                                                        Total control of his craft is swiftly asserted on ‘Let the Light In’, where the influences of lost-in-music disco and the Pet Shop Boys merge under vocals from immersive, exploratory British singer-songwriter Douglas Dare. The pace accelerates as ‘WKND’ gets into a groove pitched somewhere between Madonna, Daft Punk and Indeep, with LA future-pop singer LIZ primed for dancefloor abandon on vocals. Meanwhile, SONIKKU’s independent intent is firmly asserted on the freestyle-inspired ‘Don’t Wanna Dance with You’, where singer Aisha Zoe coolly brushes off unwanted advances in favour of dancefloor pleasures.

                                                                                                                                                                                        LIZ assumes vocal duties again for ‘Sweat’, a song fully equipped to make dancefloor devotees do as its title suggests. Dreamily melodic evidence of SONIKKU’s dynamism (and love of melancholy Swedish electro-pop queen Robyn) beckons on ‘X Hopeless Romantic’, where Little Boots contributes a sweetly loved-up vocal over a sublimely infectious chorus.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pummelling synths signal a dramatic shift of pace on the almost electro-darkwave dash of ‘Remember to Forget Me’, where actor/singer Chester Lockhart presides over a summit meeting between Depeche Mode and New Order. Performance artist Tyler Matthew Oyer takes the vocals for the Italo-disco-inspired title-track, a vividly imagined album manifesto – of sorts – inspired to varying degrees by an 1892 poem, French thinker Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the “body without organs” and a 1997 anime called The End of Evangelion. Finally, that grand piano takes over as Dare returns, presiding over an achingly stripped-back version of ‘Remember to Forget Me’.

                                                                                                                                                                                        With help from friends and artists he admires on vocals, Joyful Death is a hugely confident and self-contained leap forward for SONIKKU after his time as a feted DJ. Having moved from Derby to London at the age of 18, Donson worked as an intern (at MTV, Dazed & Confused, SHOWstudio and elsewhere) then turned to DJing (from London to Tokyo, Paris and Berlin) after he was signed to London label Lobster Theremin. Though he continues to DJ regularly at Tottenham’s LGBTQ rave-up Adonis, he has extra ambitions in mind: “I love DJing but I’m more looking forward to developing a live show.”

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ren Harvieu

                                                                                                                                                                                        Revel In The Drama

                                                                                                                                                                                          Harvieu’s defiance against the odds and her willingness to lay herself open to make what she believed was within her is baked into every groove of the record, across every stylistic turn: the giddy pop of ‘Strange Thing’, the gothic swoon of ‘Cruel Disguise’, the smokey seductiveness of ‘Yes Please’ through to the stirring torchsong finale ‘My Body She Is Alive’.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Harvieu has come a long way from the 17-year-old who was signed to Island Records and who had no intention of becoming a singer-songwriter. Even when she made her debut album “Through The Night”, her confidence was low. “I did help write a few of the songs on that record, which I’m still very fond of, but I felt more of a mouthpiece for someone else’s talent, which eats away at you especially because I had so much to say lyrically I just hadn’t learnt how to as yet.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          Her injury - a broken spine following “a freak accident” between recording and releasing her debut album - undermined Harvieu even further. Likewise, Island parted ways with her six months after it’s release, despite a Top 5 chart entry, making the BBC’s Sound Of 2012, a 5-star live review from The Guardian and TV exposure. What followed was what Harvieu describes as “some very dark years” which she addresses in songs like ‘Spirit Me Away’ and the 50’s ballad-evoking ‘You Don’t Know Me.’ A split with her long term partner, her manager and then her beloved Salford. “In one fell swoop everything was gone. I knew I had to get away, start again, rebuild myself.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          It wasn’t until 2015 to be exact, when she met Romeo Stodart, the Magic Numbers frontman and songwriter who had emailed after seeing her perform on Later… With Jools Holland, to ask if she’d consider writing together. “When we started, the energy was immediately different to anyone I’d worked with before, there was this insane instant musical connection” she says. “I loved that Romeo really embraced who I was and encouraged it, I was starting to realise that I didn’t have to be anything other than myself.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          The pair spent the next two years co-writing: “I wasn’t in a massive hurry, because at last I was having fun” Harvieu says. ‘We’d stay up all night drinking, dancing and playing music, I felt like I was re-discovering a girl who had been hidden, quietened. I’d tell Romeo, I don’t just want to paint pretty pictures I want to revel in the drama of my life, the good and the bad, before I was afraid to say something in my lyrics, but no longer. I felt free.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          The album was co-produced by Romeo Stodart and Dave Izumi Lynch, owner of Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne where recording took place. “It was a truly magical experience working with Dave & Romeo, they are two absolute nurturing musical wizards.” says Harvieu.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Harvieu’s lyrical confidence is evident throughout the album and has you leaning in to absorb line after line. Her voice, soaring and caressing in equal measure, is matched in force by her flirtatious personality. From the album’s opening lyric “Let me put my paws on you, strange thing’through to the feminine bite of ‘Curves And Swerves’ “I’ve got some curves and some swerves, what you gonna do about it?” which crackles with sexual tension and an aching vulnerability.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Among Harvieu’s new songs are messages of hope to her younger, anxious self. To the teenage goth Ren in ‘Little Raven’, she says: “I want you to know, that I’m starting to feel, but its gonna take time, but I’m ready to heal”. ‘Tomorrow Girl Today’ is to the Ren “who would make bad decisions… we can all be very self-destructive, but will we make it this time?”

                                                                                                                                                                                          So what now, Ren Harvieu? “I’ve created a second chance for myself“ she says. “And I will keep creating second chances for myself, because this is my life and I’m not afraid to revel in it anymore.” Revel In the Drama of Ren Harvieu - finally we all can too.

                                                                                                                                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Strange Thing
                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Teenage Mascara
                                                                                                                                                                                          3. This Is How You Make Me Feel
                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Curves And Swerves
                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Cruel Disguise
                                                                                                                                                                                          6. Yes Please
                                                                                                                                                                                          7. Spirit Me Away
                                                                                                                                                                                          8. This Is Our Love
                                                                                                                                                                                          9. You Don’t Need Me
                                                                                                                                                                                          10. Tomorrow’s Girl Today
                                                                                                                                                                                          11. Little Raven
                                                                                                                                                                                          12. My Body She Is Alive

                                                                                                                                                                                          Jonathan Wilson

                                                                                                                                                                                          Dixie Blur

                                                                                                                                                                                            Where do you go after making an album that the Guardian hailed as “a rich, ambitious triumph”, American Songwriter called “a strikingly original, complex and inspired work”, MOJO described as “a record you could lose yourself in for months”, and Billboard as a “most magnificent recording, one that is mandatory listening if you are in search of an immersive album rock experience in the 21st century”? It's a question Jonathan Wilson asked himself after his “maximalist” album Rare Birds was released in 2018 to glowing reviews. Not only did it earn him Album of the Year awards in Rolling Stone, France and Blitz in Portugal, it brought him his first national television appearances in the US, on Conan and CBS Saturday Morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Rare Birds had been the culmination of three solo albums in seven years that the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer released to widespread acclaim. His first, 2011's Gentle Spirit, a beautiful California dream of an album, is a classic by now and won him the admiration and friendship of Graham Nash, David Crosby, Elvis Costello and Jackson Browne. His follow-up, Fanfare, was also well-received with Uncut calling it “a lavish musical epic, the work of a dedicated and stone cold studioholic.” But now Wilson was looking for something completely new.

                                                                                                                                                                                            In 2019 he appeared on the celebratednationally-syndicated live music radio show eTown. “It was sort of bluegrass-based”, Wilson says, “and on this particular show I was playing with Steve Earle. Next thing you know, I'm talking with Steve about recording.” Earle advised Wilson that, if he had a bunch of songs written, he ought to take them to Nashville and make the record blind, since Nashville's crawling with studios and top-notch session players. “And that's how I got into the idea of going to Nashville and tapping into that sound,” says Wilson. “The sound of my home.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            Wilson was born in a small town in North Carolina. As a child he was raised on a mix of Beatles, 60’s and 70’s rock, country, and bluegrass.His uncle played in bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's band. His father had a rock band, but he would often jam with local friends who could “moonlight on banjo and mandolin and do gospel harmonies that would knock you out. I would sit there and strum along,” says Wilson, “There’s this astute southern rhythm and musicality in western NC… Then there’s this crazy three finger banjo style that you have to be really good at it because you’re from the place where Earl Scruggs is from. One of my father’s best pals was the music director at the Caroleean gospel church where my grandfather was a preacher and on the side he could pick the shit out of a mandolin. So, I was exposed to something super-authentic that I was soaking up. In hindsight, it doesn’t get more authentic than that.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            A musical prodigy himself, Wilson wrote his first song at three. He was also a musical polymath, playing drums, horns, woodwind, piano and guitar. He joined an R&B band at 14; left high school to study jazz with some old masters, and joined a rock band, Muscadine. He also became a noted luthier and a record producer. Among the artists he has produced albums for are Father John Misty, American band Dawes, British folk legend Roy Harper and Conor Oberst. In 2017-18 Rogers Waters asked Wilson to join him on his US+THEM tour on guitar and as musical director. Wilson also sang all the David Gilmour vocal parts. On that two-year tour, Wilson would sometimes find himself thinking about his Southern home. “Stuck out there in a hotel in Latvia, it's a long way from anything that feels like home or family. I felt I was subconsciously being led back to my roots.” In the new song '69 Corvette' he sings, I still think of Carolina sometimes. I miss the family. I miss that feeling. I miss home.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Those feelings were still fresh in his mind during that conversation with Steve Earle. Making his next album live in the studio with a Nashville band, instead of building them alone, piece by piece in his L.A studio, seemed like a good way to go back while simultaneously moving forward. An example of that is Wilson's new take on “Korean Tea”, an old song he had done with his ‘90’s band Muscadine. “That is a song about having a shining musical gift to share with the world. My brother says that’s one of the prettiest melodies I’ve written, so I decided to bring it back into the world”. “Heaven Making Love” is a song Wilson wrote for Rare Birds but abandoned; “I tried but I could never really get it, it had that locomotive polka thing sorta so I guess it was waiting for an album like this to join!”

                                                                                                                                                                                            With Wilson's longtime friend Pat Sansone of Wilco producing, Wilson and the band recorded in Studio A at the Sound Emporium, the late country maverick Cowboy Jack Clement's studio. The musicians included Nashville’s premier session players including bass player Dennis Crouch, Russ Pahl on pedal steel, multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, and world renowned Fiddle master Mark O’Connor. “I was thinking about fiddle as being an integral part of the record, and I needed to find the best. In my mind the best of the best was Mark O'Connor. So I decided to reach out to him. I said, ‘Hey man, I'm doing a session, would you like to come down and play fiddle?’ and he's like, ‘Thank you, but I haven't done a session since 1990.’ So, he didn't say no and he didn't say yes! Over time, he eventually said, ‘Maybe, but my only stipulation is it's got to be with the band, no overdubs. That's what drove me out of the session business.’ That was a big deal to all of us. Mark truly elevates the record and he shines as the most brilliant fiddler on Earth, I thank him for his beautiful melodies on this album.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            Working with this Nashville band gave Wilson the same kind of feeling he had as a kid, strumming along with those bluegrass bands. “There's something about this level of musicianship, they've been in so many sessions. It was fun to play some of the more stoner Canyon-ey tunes for this crack session band and watch them write up their special Nashville charts with their numbers, symbols and diamonds… they call it ‘hillbilly arithmetic’ over there…. The album was cut in only six days. “It was so fast it was a blur.” Hence the title, Dixie Blur. “And there really is a magic that occurs when musicians play together in a room and create that one consistent thing in time, something is created by the collective energy that is impossible to recreate otherwise,” says Wilson.

                                                                                                                                                                                            “It feels like another side, you know? Sort of like a personal, unplugged, just got off the road feeling. I think it's the most down to earth and emotional both musically and lyrically that I've ever been.”


                                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Jonathan Wilson has had a stellar career as a songwriter and musician, following on from his equally stellar career as a producer and session muso, and 'Dixie Blur' just goes to show exactly why he's so in demand. Gorgeous melodies, flawless songwriting and a good dose of classic rock whimsy and downbeat ballad bliss.

                                                                                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                            1.  Just For Love
                                                                                                                                                                                            2.  69 Corvette
                                                                                                                                                                                            3.  New Home
                                                                                                                                                                                            4.  So Alive
                                                                                                                                                                                            5.  Heaven Making Love
                                                                                                                                                                                            6.  O' Girl
                                                                                                                                                                                            7.  Pirate
                                                                                                                                                                                            8.  Enemies
                                                                                                                                                                                            9.  Fun For The Masses
                                                                                                                                                                                            10.  Platform
                                                                                                                                                                                            11.  Riding The Blinds
                                                                                                                                                                                            12.  El Camino Real
                                                                                                                                                                                            13.  Golden Apples
                                                                                                                                                                                            14.  Korean Tea

                                                                                                                                                                                            Wrangler

                                                                                                                                                                                            A Situation

                                                                                                                                                                                              When Wrangler first formed like Voltron a decade ago, they had a very simple modus operandi. The clue was in their name. Ben ‘Benge’ Edwards (The Maths), Stephen ‘Mal’ Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire) and Phil ‘Phil’ Winter (Tuung) would get together with a very select kit list of careworn analog synthesizers and vintage digital sequencers. Their task? To wrangle new music from the ancient equipment. These self-imposed restrictions helped produced two classic long players: LA Spark (2014) and White Glue (2016).

                                                                                                                                                                                              However the times have changed and so have Wrangler. The coming decade, which looks set to be dubbed the Terrible Twenties, may be the last time that bands actually get to release albums. Ecological collapse, climate crisis, food shortages and the disintegration of the fabric of society will mean that the slow devolution of the music industry isn’t even one of the main things that musicians (or anyone else) should be worrying about. So the trio have thrown everything into their third (but hopefully not their last) album. The result - A Situation out this month on Bella Union - is simultaneously their bleakest and funkiest release to date.

                                                                                                                                                                                              This collection of warm, reverberant, amped up tracks, that land somewhere between future music, synth pop, industrial dance, classic techno and rigid electro, captures the ambiguities of the group perfectly. Just as they use the ageing outmoded equipment that other people once chose to throw away in order to make tomorrow’s music, they are the paranoid group who (just about) dare to hope that things still might turn out OK. They cast a doleful eye across the hellscape of 2019 and state, if the end is truly nigh, then it’s never been more important to celebrate the little time we have left. And if a revolution to save ourselves is possible then we’re all in need of a revolutionary party, with a revolutionary soundtrack to match.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Even though their first two albums were released on Benge’s own MemeTune label he was unsure that he had the time and energy to release A Situation. The solution was staring them in the face however. In 2018 the members of Wrangler along with revered American musician, John Grant released Mr Dynamite on Bella Union, their debut as Creep Show. Label boss Simon Raymonde heard the tracks and loved them: Wrangler now had a new home.

                                                                                                                                                                                              For Mal it almost feels like a family affair: “I was best friends with Robin [Guthrie] and Liz [Fraser] of Cocteau Twins and when Simon joined the group I got to know him really well. I was more from a club music background but I loved what the Cocteaus did.” Phil adds that there’s no real need for them to define the difference between Wrangler and Creep Show, as the chemistry is completely different: “It’s not just John’s vocals but the way he plays synths and programmes rhythms is unique, so that music can’t help but have its own character. It’s the result of a four way democracy instead of a three way democracy.”

                                                                                                                                                                                              The album title A Situation is purposefully ambiguous perhaps referring to a job that needs doing or a nettle that needs to be grasped; perhaps referring to an unspecified event that is potentially either an opportunity or a threat. The mood is set by ‘Anthropocene’ which concerns the collapse and fall of human civilisation. As Mal points out: “If a future archaeologist digs down into the rocks they probably won’t find any human fossils, just a very thin layer of plastic and some rust patches. There’s an inevitability because the wheels have already been set in motion but that doesn’t mean we should ignore what’s going on, we should be taking care of things regardless. So this is about reaching out to other people before it’s too late rather than building walls.They’re the first fucking things that are going to fall down in the Anthropocene!”

                                                                                                                                                                                              ‘How To Start A Revolution’ contains a different kind of warning. Mal says: “There was originally a little bit of irony in this track but if anything the world has become even scarier in the last two years. If you keep on pushing people there will come a tipping point and it will come back to bite you. There’s no irony left any more.” ‘Machines Designed (To Eat You Up)’ is about the fully-automated AI state surveillance that threatens us all. It looks like the future that Cabaret Voltaire warned us about over four decades ago is now finally here. Mal says: “It’s not my fault! I take no satisfaction at all in this stuff coming true. If it felt dystopian then, it feels more dystopian now. Wrangler are still questioning power but some of the tools of power have changed. I’m now fearful of Google in the same way I was fearful of Thatcher in the 80s.” Phill adds: “In the 70s and 80s if you wanted to have a go you could any weekend of the year but nowadays it’s harder to see who the enemy is and where they are. Come on out and have a go. Where are you hiding?” Benge concludes: “People are aware of the problems with Google, Facebook, 5g, social media, etc. but they’re woven into everything we do, so impossible to deal with.” Addressing the multiple failures of the internet ‘Mess’ originally had the more prosaic title ‘It’s A Fucking Mess’ which just about says it all. ‘White Noise’ is perhaps the bleakest track of all, based round a spoken word piece by Mal, inspired by a reflection on JG Ballard’s notorious and transgressive experimental novel The Atrocity Exhibition.

                                                                                                                                                                                              But Wrangler refuse to ignore the possibility of hope. The mirror image of ‘Mess’ comes in the shape of the copper-bottomed Kraftwerkian techno pop banger, ‘Rhizomatic’. In 1980, French philosophers Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze came up with the idea of complex connectivity between “nodes” which eerily predicted the way the internet would work. As Mal says: “It’s an uplifting song, simply because the decentralisation of technology is the one aspect of the internet that might save us.” On the track ‘Anarchy Of Sound’ the group call up perhaps their most unlikely influence to date: the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid Of Athens. Benge explains: “We’ve built weird things into this track called Euclid patterns.” Mal, who studied the history of rhythm for his PhD concludes: “They’ve been part of culture for millennia and explain African drumming as much as Elvis Presley.” But perhaps the most positive aspect of the album is hardwired into the DNA of the track ‘Slide’ simply because it stands on a continuum with the most uplifting of jacking Chicago house and the most utopian of New York garage.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Both sides of the coin - the dystopian and the utopian - are necessary for Wrangler to work. Phil sums it up the most succinctly when he says: “The heavier things get, the more I just want to jump around and have some fun.”


                                                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                              Barry says: It's almost like Wrangler were my answer to 'Who Would Your Supergroup Dream Team Be?', with some of the greatest musicians from 3 of the most diverse acts around electronic music today. 'A Situation' is yet more evidence of their right to inclusion, a thumping, synthy fever dream.

                                                                                                                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Anthropocene
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 How To Start A Revolution
                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Machines Designed (To Eat You Up)
                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Mess
                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Knowledge Deficit
                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Rhizomatic
                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Anarchy Of Sound
                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Slide
                                                                                                                                                                                              9 A Situation
                                                                                                                                                                                              10 White Noise

                                                                                                                                                                                              Lanterns On The Lake

                                                                                                                                                                                              Spook The Herd

                                                                                                                                                                                                It’s strange – not to mention fundamentally disconcerting - to live through turbulent times. Yet as many feel like the world is slipping out of control, artists are enlivened as they seek to make sense of the shifting sands. Hazel Wilde of Lanterns on the Lake is now a songwriter necessarily emboldened. On Spook the Herd, the band’s fourth record, her voice and preoccupations rise to the fore like never before. In tandem, the band break new ground on a set of songs that are direct and crucial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wilde does nothing less than dive headlong into the existential crises of our times. Beginning with the record’s title - a pointed comment at the dangerously manipulative tactics of ideologues - its nine songs turn the microscope to issues including our hopelessly polarized politics, social media, addiction, grief and the climate crisis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The world is brought into focus, but Wilde’s style is not declarative. She also proves herself a songwriter possessed of a rare talent for finding the personal contours to contemporary issues, fully inhabiting them to make them real. Recorded as live where possible, the band’s natural touchstones of gauzy dream-pop and monumental post rock still float in the air, but listening to Lanterns on the Lake now feels like actually sitting in the corner of the room as they play. As guitarist and producer Paul Gregory says of approaching their fourth album, “There was a sense of release in terms of what kind of music we felt we could make. The idea of what kind of band you’re supposed to be really disappeared. It was great; you felt you could do whatever you like.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. When It All Comes True
                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Baddies
                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Every Atom
                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Blue Screen Beams
                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Before They Excavate
                                                                                                                                                                                                6. Swimming Lessons
                                                                                                                                                                                                7. Secrets & Medicine
                                                                                                                                                                                                8. This Is Not A Drill
                                                                                                                                                                                                9. A Fitting End

                                                                                                                                                                                                The Innocence Mission

                                                                                                                                                                                                See You Tomorrow

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love. Connection. Community. Understanding. Most of us experience these aspects through the prism of family and friends. But not everybody can turn those feelings into song, especially not with the beauty and sensitivity of Pennsylvania trio the innocence mission, fronted by Karen Peris and husband Don. Following their Bella Union album debut Sun On The Square, which won the band some of their best-ever reviews, they have made another exquisite and touching album, See You Tomorrow. A record steeped in awe and wonder, intense longing, sadness and joy; a rich sequence of songs that attempt to describe the essence of what makes us human.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sufjan Stevens, who has covered the innocence mission’s classic ‘Lakes Of Canada’, once called their music “moving and profound. What is so remarkable about Karen Peris' lyrics is the economy of words, concrete nouns which come to life with melodies that dance around the scale like sea creatures.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The band recorded See You Tomorrow in the Peris’ basement (and the dining room where the piano sits). Karen wrote and sang ten of the album’s eleven songs, and plays guitars, piano, pump organ, accordion, electric bass, melodica, mellotron, and an old prototype strings sampler keyboard. Don contributes guitars, drums, vocal harmonies, and one lead vocal on his song ‘Mary Margaret In Mid-Air’. Fellow founder member Mike Bitts adds upright bass to four songs including ‘On Your Side’, the album’s first single.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The Brothers Williams Said
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. On Your Side
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Movie
                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. We Don’t Know How To Say Why
                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. St. Francis And The Future
                                                                                                                                                                                                  6. At Lake Maureen
                                                                                                                                                                                                  7. John As Well
                                                                                                                                                                                                  8. This Boat
                                                                                                                                                                                                  9. Mary Margaret In Mid-Air
                                                                                                                                                                                                  10. Stars That Fall Away From Us
                                                                                                                                                                                                  11. I Would Be There

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Flaming Lips

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Soft Bulletin - Live At Red Rocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                    On 26th May 2016, The Flaming Lips performed their universally acclaimed 1999 album The Soft Bulletin in its entirety with the Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. This particular event has been regarded by those in attendance as one of the most awe-inspiring, moving and magical moments of a lifetime. For the Lips and their fans, perhaps the apex of a magnificent interpretation that will remain as rewarding and emotionally-charged as it was that night in 2016. The Flaming Lips performed the 12-track album in its original sequence with new arrangements accompanied by a 69-piece orchestra and 56-strong chorus. The performance was conducted by the internationally celebrated conductor Andre De Ridder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now, the resulting live recording is being released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Soft Bulletin. The album was the band’s breakthrough moment and featured the hit singles “Race for the Prize” and “Waitin’ for a Superman.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Race For The Prize
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A Spoonful Weighs A Ton
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. The Spark That Bled
                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. The Spiderbite Song
                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Buggin’
                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. What Is The Light?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. The Observer
                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. Waitin’ For A Superman
                                                                                                                                                                                                    9. Suddenly Everything Has Changed
                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. The Gash
                                                                                                                                                                                                    11. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
                                                                                                                                                                                                    12. Sleeping On The Roof


                                                                                                                                                                                                    next 100

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just In

                                                                                                                                                                                                    36 NEW ITEMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Latest Pre-Sales

                                                                                                                                                                                                    224 NEW ITEMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-newsletter —
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sign up
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Back to top