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Steven Wilson

The Future Bites

    THE FUTURE BITES explores ways that the human brain has evolved in the internet era. Where 2017’s Top 3 album TO THE BONE confronted the (then) emerging global issues of post truth and fake news, THE FUTURE BITES places the listener in a world of 21st century addictions. It’s a place where on-going, very public experiments with nascent technology on our lives take place constantly; where clicks and Tiks have become more important that human interaction. THE FUTURE BITES is less a bleak vision of an approaching dystopia and more a curious and playful reading of a world made all the more strange and separated by the events of 2020.

    Musically, THE FUTURE BITES positively gleams. Across the album, there’s tracks that deal in gorgeous electronics warped by human intervention (KING GHOST) and soaring acoustics that hit the stratosphere (12 THINGS I FORGOT); a ten minute treatise on the joys of oniomania laid out by Elton John over a Moroder-esque whirlwind (PERSONAL SHOPPER) and a relentless bass-driven Motorik groove that dives right into the murk of clickbait and online radicalisation (FOLLOWER). The album’s new recording, COUNT OF UNEASE, is a beautifully plaintive close to the album that floats out on a mix of piano and ambient sound. Together, the nine tracks form Steven’s most consistently brilliant work to date. THE FUTURE BITES was recorded in London and co-produced by David Kosten (Bat For Lashes, Everything Everything) and Steven Wilson. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: As one of the greatest producers on the alternative scene, Steven Wilson was never going to stagnate in the psychedelic waters (Porcupine Tree, whilst brilliant admittedly sound a little dated now), and continues moving forwards with this varied and enduring collection of wry songwriting, clever lyricism and pitch-perfect instrumentation.

    For Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, 'Color Theory' is a distillation of hard-won catharsis. The album confronts the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued the 22-year-old artist since pre-pubescence, presenting listeners with an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait, and reminding us exactly why her critically-acclaimed debut, 2018’s 'Clean', made her a hero to many. Wise beyond her years, Allison is a songwriter capable of capturing the fleeting moments of bliss that make an embattled existence temporarily beautiful. With 'Color Theory', Allison’s fraught past becomes a lens through which we might begin to understand what it means to be resilient.

    'Color Theory' investigates a traumatic past in exacting detail; in doing so, Allison finds inroads for healing through self-acceptance, and occasionally, humor. (“I’m the princess of screwing up!” she declares at one point.) This isn’t a quest to uncover some long-since forgotten happiness so much as it is an effort to stare-down the turmoil of adolescence that can haunt a person well into adulthood. Allison is a gifted storyteller, one who is able to take personal experience and project it to universal scale. On 'Color Theory', she beckons in outsiders, rejects, and anyone who has ever felt desperately alone in this world, lending them a place to unburden themselves and be momentarily free.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A beautiful mixture of nostalgic, hazy pop and brilliantly written vocal melodies coalesce into the most heart-wrenching and thematically consistent outing for Allison yet. Shimmering, ambient pieces like 'Night Swimming' fit perfectly alongside the more direct pieces, 'Circle The Drain' being one of my favourite tunes i've heard for quite some time. Genuinely gorgeous stuff.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Bloodstream
    2. Circle The Drain
    3. Royal Screw Up
    4. Night Swimming
    5. Crawling In My Skin
    6. Yellow Is The Color Of Her Eyes
    7. Up The Walls
    8. Lucy
    9. Stain
    10. Gray Light

    Ben Watt

    Storm Damage

      Completing a compelling trilogy of albums since his late-flowering return to solo songwriting and singing six years ago, Ben Watt releases his fourth LP, "Storm Damage" on 31 January 2020, and with it a new sound and fervency.
      "I needed a fresh approach," says Watt, 56. "The album came out of an intense period of personal anguish and political anger. Sometimes repeating yourself musically feels disrespectful to the sharpness of your feelings. You have to search for a new way to capture the energy."

      Across four decades Watt has maintained a committed forward-looking course, from the ardent echo-drenched folk of his early solo work with Robert Wyatt, through seventeen years as musical mainspring and co-lyricist in the best-selling Everything But The Girl with Tracey Thorn - and ten at the helm of his smart electronic label Buzzin' Fly - to his recent moving non-fiction and mid-life solo albums, the award-winning "Hendra" (2014) and "Fever Dream" (2016). New album "Storm Damage" is no exception. Sonically adventurous, lyrically detailed and engaged, the album - written and produced by Watt - is a personal journey through anxiety and change cut through with an insistent defiance. 

      Iggy Pop

      Zombie Birdhouse

        Originally released on Animal Records in 1982 and produced by Chris Stein of Blondie, ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ is something of a lost classic.

        Produced by Chris Stein
        Remastered by Paschal Byrne at The Audio Archive, London
        Features the singles “Run Like A Villain” and ‘The Villagers”
        Sleeve Notes by Irvine Welsh
        Rare Photographs from the original photo shoot


        TRACK LISTING

        01: Run Like A Villain ( 3:01 )
        02: The Villagers ( 3:54 )
        03: Angry Hills ( 3:02 )
        04: Life Of Work ( 3:57 )
        05: The Ballad Of Cookie McBride ( 2:58 )
        06: Ordinary Bummer ( 2:43 )
        07: Eat Or Be Eaten ( 3:14 )
        08: Bulldozer ( 2:17 )
        09: Platonic ( 2:40 )
        10: The Horse Song ( 2:58 )
        11: Watching The News ( 4:11 )
        12: Street Crazies ( 3:54 )

        CD BONUS TRACK
        13: Pain And Suffering ( 2:58 )

        Iggy Pop

        The Villagers / Pain & Suffering

          Dark green 7” - the first time ‘Pain & Suffering’ has been on vinyl. Numbered. 


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