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CITY SLANG

Anna B Savage

A Common Turn

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

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

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

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

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


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Dinked Edition LP Info: • 140g Yolk Vinyl (Transparent + purple).
    • 4 x postcards set.*
    • Numbered Sleeve.*
    • Download code.
    • Limited 300 pressing.
    *Dinked exclusive

    Coloured LP Info: Limited, 140g transparent dark blue vinyl, lyric sheet, download code.

    LP Info: 140g black vinyl, lyric sheet, download code.

    Grandbrothers

    All The Unknown

      On the leafy cover they invite the spectator to peer through the thick foliage of a hawthorn bush, seemingly powered by a similar sense of curiosity that informed this exploratory new record. Ditching the restrictions of their former setup, with their new record the Turkish-German/Swiss duo took a leap into the dense unknown—and landed on their feet.

      The album maps out a wide-open soundworld of compositional possibilities for pianist Erol Sarp and producer / electronic engineer Lukas Vogel, who have been putting their modern and unique electronic spin on prepared piano since first forming in 2012. Forgoing the need to play every single note live, this new album sees the pair juxtapose the old and new once again, venturing further into the electronic cosmos armed with a grand piano, self-built computer-controlled mechanics, and a new sense of latitude.

      The debut single and title track from the album “All The Unknown” starts out with the clanging percussive piano figures that have danced across Grandbrothers’ previous terrain, but grows with the intensity of high-octane electronica to cast out allusions of classical romance, guided by emotive, cascading keys that collide with stuttering digital percussion.

      Listen closely to this latest album and you can hear an old-school hip-hop beat enmeshed in melodic piano, or feel the cold rush of techno fly past at lightning speed. “We wanted to leave the lovely romantic piano music behind,” explains Sarp, whose affinity with dance music has always been an influence on his writing process. Motifs of club music creep subtly into ‘All The Unknown’’s impeccably textured palette, which nonetheless uses sounds found exclusively within the piano. These sounds and samples are triggered and collected using mechanics built by Vogel and placed inside the piano, then extracted, processed and shaped beyond their original identity to create alien beeps, beats and tones. Melded these with the organic piano sounds is what fuels Grandbrothers’ creativity.

      Sarp and Vogel met nearly a decade ago while studying audio and video engineering in Düsseldorf. Conceiving a project that would draw on Sarp’s piano skills while also providing a piano part for Vogel through bespoke programming and mechanical apparatus, Grandbrothers was formed. They brought their vision to life with debut album ‘Dilation’ in 2015, followed by the majestic ‘Open’; a swirling fusion of electronica and classical piano, which was released on City Slang in 2017. These days, with the pair no longer both residing in Düsseldorf, they have forged a new remote working relationship that involves a lot of back and forth and more time spent
      on developing ideas and producing. This new album documents that process.

      Lambchop

      Trip

        In the fall of 2019, Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner had a unique idea: In lieu of going on what would become an economically disastrous tour, he would invite the band to Nashville to make a record as a way to provide them with similar financial support and realize something tangible in the process. Each band member was tasked with choosing one song for the band to cover, and leading the recording session to completion each day. Wagner says, “My idea was to see what might happen if I removed myself from the process and the content as much as possible. In doing so, what surfaced were elements that have always been there but maybe got overshadowed by my songwriting and process.”

        Recorded December 2–7, 2019, at Battletapes in Nashville, TN, and produced, engineered, and mixed by Jeremy Ferguson (with the exception of “Reservations” which was co‐mixed by Ferguson and Matthew McCaughan), TRIP sounds like a culmination of the band’s older work and current work. There’s a looseness and freedom that recalls their older sound mixed with a group sophistication and innovation derived through the process of playing together for so long. The title TRIP refers to the circumstances surrounding its creation and the endeavor of “touring” itself. “It also seems to describe a life in music and the situations we created in our life as a band over the years,” Wagner adds. “It’s been a trip…”

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited 180g heavy, sun-yellow coloured-vinyl edition, comes with cotton based blotter paper (only for this edition).

        Anna Von Hausswolff

        Ceremony

          It begins with the sound of a church organ, an arpeggio played on the lower notes, a melody teased out in the higher register, before a snare drum beats out an ominous, stuttering tattoo. Three minutes in, guitars begin to rumble like clouds gathering on the horizon, the melody slowly swelling, threatening to tear the sky apart. This is Anna Von Hausswolff’s ‘Epitaph Of Theodor’, and as dramatic, instrumental openings to albums go, it’s close to overwhelming. But it’s followed by something even more intense: ‘Deathbed’, which growls and resonates sinisterly before shards of metallic thunder shatter the drones and a funereal beat forces the song to lurch forward. Only after some four and a half minutes of this ferocious clamour do we hear a human voice, and it’s unleashed with a fierce power, rising and swooping, a vast bird pursuing its prey until the song reaches its final, unexpectedly triumphant climax.

          You want to talk about compromises? No. Nor does Anna Von Hausswolff.

          These two songs alone represent a quarter of 'Ceremony'’s 60 minutes, but there are eleven more on an album that confounds and dumbfounds from its start to its end. To those who used Anna Von Hausswolff’s debut album, 'Singing From The Grave', to compare her lazily to Kate Bush, it will come as a brutal shock. The fragile atmospheres of that impressive debut, one that earned her huge acclaim in her native Sweden, have been blasted away, and what’s emerged from the wasteland left behind is a dizzying masterpiece that, she proudly states, calls upon, amongst others, Elizabeth Fraser, Jefferson Airplane, PJ Harvey, Earth, Barn Owl, Nick Cave and Diamanda Gala?s.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: This double LP is pressed on blue and black marbled vinyl and is limited to 700 units worldwide.

          Caribou

          Never Come Back / Sister (Floating Points Remixes)

          Three is the magic number! Following recent remixes by Morgan Geist and Four Tet for Caribou’s single NEVER COME BACK, Sam Shepherd completes the holy trinity. Sam outdid himself adding a dash of motor city oil to NCB and throwing in an extra remix for Caribou’s ’Suddenly’ album opener ‘Sister'.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: For the second one this week, we get Floating Points reworking 'Never Come Back' first up, brimming with all of the analogue click we'd expect from Sam, almost moving into trancey territory before slipping into the cool clear waters of 'Sister', a deep grooving beach-filler.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd 12" Info: Black 140g vinyl in heavyweight grey carton sleeves. One time pressing, limited to 800 units for UK.

          Caribou

          Never Come Back (Four Tet & Morgan Geist Remixes)

          About the Remixes:
          Four Tet Remix: This is what it sounds like when the universe spontaneously synchronises. We give you the new Four Tet remix of Caribou’s latest single "Never Come Back” Kieran took the track and warped and bent it into a playfully hypnotic late night wormhole that lures you in with it’s repetitive claps, snares and synths. It will never let you go.

          Morgan Geist Remix: Morgan is one of the architects of modern electronic dance music and electronic pop as we know it today, whether it was as a part of influential duo Metro Area and the label Environ, as the mastermind behind chart-topping project Storm Queen or his numerous remixes, Morgan left an undeniable mark. His rework of Caribou's excellent single "Never Come Back" pays respect to the early 90ies transatlantic house phenomenon that stretched from New York to London US to Europe.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: We get a couple killer club edits of the Caribou originals here, first up is Morgan Geist glitching out the melodic floorfiller 'Never Come Back' into a burning, acidic rework before our own Mr. Tet reworks it into his ring-modulated take, more chaotic but keeping the euphoric vocal sample to ground things.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd 12" Info: Black 140g vinyl in heavyweight grey carton sleeves. One time pressing, limited to 800 units for UK.

          Ian Chang

          属 Belonging

            Belonging, Ian Chang’s first full-length album, is like a cyborg - part purring mechanism, part animate bio-mass rising from primordial ooze. In nine concise, largely instrumental pop songs, Chang conjures a personal cosmos: the listener feels as if we might reach out and touch Belonging's jagged and tender aural sculptures. At every level, his music sings with earnest and deceptive simplicity. The album's melodies are intimate, its rhythms rewarding, and yet, just beneath the surface glimmers innovation, as if the neurons firing in each melodic idea have become audible. From the tradition of Bjork, Burial, and Flying Lotus, Chang breathes a new kind of human vulnerability into electronica.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

            In 2014 Dan Snaith aka Caribou released "Our Love" to overwhelming critical acclaim and massive fan support. Now Caribou returns with his seventh studio album "Suddenly", an album about family and the changes we go though as those relationships evolve. "Suddenly" is the most surprising and unpredictable Caribou album to date. Though it retains the trademark Caribou warmth and technicolour, this album is littered with swerves and left turns, and amazes with its yet unheard nuances, samples and hooks. As Snaith puts it, “these albums are like photo albums for me – when I look back at the old ones, they’re a snapshot of my life at that time, full of people who are close to you”. This is the drive to continue to make Caribou albums. Full bodies of work where Snaith is able to evaluate things, look at those around him and celebrate them. As his passion and joy in music making remains as fresh as ever, "Suddenly" is the purest example of this yet.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: Exciting times! Dan Snaith is back in the Piccadilly house with a brand new Caribou LP, infusing hook-heavy house jams, hip hop curveballs and sweet synthpoppers with the signature warmth and space of his previous work. I would imagine festival goers of all ages will enjoy losing their proverbials to this in the coming months.

            COMA

            Voyage Voyage

              Fusing a pop sensibility with dance music’s communal properties, the German duo of Georg Conrad and Marius Bubat present their new album “Voyage Voyage”. Rich in melody and often melancholy, COMA’s repertoire occupies an emotionally driven corner of the electronic music spectrum, where dynamic soundscapes collide with honest lyrics. Across ten pristine tracks, the pair meld piano, guitar, drums, synths and electronic flourishes to futuristic vocal harmonies that amp up the melancholic pop factor and capture life’s fleeting moments, moods and adventures. The album is anchored in an analog-meets-digital universe that’s informed by the idea of memory where musical and personal flotsam floats around the body of the record. 


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive turquoise coloured vinyl.

              Wives

              So Removed

                City Slang are thrilled to announce the debut album of WIVES! The Queens, NY four-piece is the latest fit into a long lineage of New York’s gritty, melodic-meets-punk.

                WIVES as a band came together by happenstance — a random realization amidst friends busy with other musical projects. Jay met Adam Sachs, WIVES’ drummer, while interning at a New York recording studio where Adam worked as an assistant. The two became fast friends, their constant hanging out growing to include guitarist Andrew Bailey (DIIV) and bassist Gabe Wax, who’d eventually be replaced by another friend, Alex Crawford. All were embedded in New York’s DIY music scene through their respective projects, with years of playing house shows and booking their own tours under their belts. It wasn’t until a random day of extra studio time booked for another project that the four of them actually played together.

                So Removed is grungy dark-wave, tethered to daily anxiety without resorting to cynicism. The noisy dissonance of Sonic Youth, the edgy hooks of early Pixies, and the clever, cerebral sneering of The Fall simmer as touchstones within the album, sharp and prodding at the details, pulsing with urgency. So Removed plunges into the void of unknown, a tangle of contemporary dread and optimism, mapping the gray areas of alienation.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Wives present a perfect mix between anthemic grunge, clashing post-punk and NY experimental, with a cohesive progression from snarling noise to chunky, blissfull riffage and sleazy vocal perfection.

                Sinkane is an artist with a real stake in our current cultural and political climate. Born in London to Sudanese parents, raised in Ohio, and now calling New York City home, Ahmed Gallab refines his sound and message to peak form on his new studio album, ‘Dépaysé’.

                “Sinkane is an American band comprised of people from all over the world,” says Gallab in his bio letter for ‘Dépaysé’. “Our collective experience as children of the diaspora helped bring the music to life in the most honest way possible.” He adds, “Dépaysé is the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era. The music is loud and raw, and it's bursting with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”

                ‘Dépaysé’ is Sinkane’s seventh full-length and the follow-up to Sinkane's acclaimed 2017 album ‘Life & Livin' It’. The band features Gallab, Elenna Canlas (keys and vocals), Jonny Lam (guitar), Ish Montgomery (bass), and Chris St Hilaire (drums).

                Accompanying statement from Ahmed Gallab: -

                It’s easy to be angry in moments like now. And that’s OK. But it takes courage to turn that anger into productive energy. The previous Sinkane album, 2017's Life and Livin' It, was released at a very crazy time: things like the Muslim ban, police shooting unarmed people of color, massive corruption in my native Sudan, fake news, Donald Trump, Brexit and so many other calamities all really forced me to think about my place in the world as a musician. I began to think about how I could use my music in a constructive way — not only to help myself but to help others who feel frustrated and powerless.

                I’ve made a lot of music out of my life story but I’ve always kept things vague enough that anyone listening to my music could relate to it on their own terms. And yet I have to admit that I never truly felt satisfied with that. I eventually realized that, in order to truly connect with other people, I first needed to connect with myself on a deeper level than before.

                Throughout the making of MY NEW ALBUM I kept asking myself the same question: “As an immigrant to America, where do I belong?” So, during the writing process, I worked mainly by myself so that I could ensure the most honest and personal answers to that question.

                At some point, I discovered the French word dépaysé, which basically means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings.” By extension, it means to be disoriented, homeless. That's a feeling I relate to very much in these times — and I’m not the only one who feels this way. That word gave me clarity and made the journey inward that much more exciting.

                So here we are. Dépaysé is the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era. The music is loud and raw, and it's bursting with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The album starts with “Everybody,” an anthem of inclusion. Every day we wake up to another horror story about racism, and it’s left many of us angry, confused and frustrated. But we can change the news for the better. We can show people that a multicolored world is a beautiful one. Celebrating our differences yields beauty in life. And that takes... everybody. On “Everyone” I continue that line of thought to its logical conclusion: love is the key to helping us understand one another.

                I confront my insecurities with identity on songs like “Ya Sudan,” “Dépaysé” and “The Searching.” Truly understanding one's duality means seeing beyond where you came from: let go of any definition that others put on you and then you can truly see the beauty of your life experience. This, along with the rest of Dépaysé, has given me peace. I’m no longer confused about the duality of my Sudanese and American identities. Now I accept it.

                I want Sudanese kids to see a person like them as a positive role model in the arts. And to everyone, I want to make it clear that the world is a better place because of our differences. We’re all strangers in this ever-stranger land of America. We are all the American Dream.

                Best,

                Ahmed Gallab

                Wives

                Waving Past Nirvana

                  Wide-eyed and hyper-aware, Wives' sound pulses with urgency. The quartet are the latest fit in a long lineage of New York's gritty, melodic-tinged punk-hook-driven, grungy dark-wave that's tethered to daily anxiety without resorting to cynicism. Both the noisy dissonance of Sonic Youth and the clever, cerebral sneering of The Fall simmer as touchstones within the band's music.

                  'Waving Past Nirvana' trudges forward, a sort of thesis for Wives' sound. It delves unabashedly into feeling removed, its narrator rejecting spiritual enlightenment, literally 'waving past nirvana'. The swaggering cut pulls from the swaying beat of '80s rap, while the chorus jumps forward a decade into a grunge-tinged, anthemic roar.

                  The band's vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter, Jay Beach offers: "'Waving Past Nirvana' is a literal interpretation of the bodhisattva—one who has achieved the release, the awakened eye, and yet wants to trade it back for the painful life of desire because she/he/they predominantly feels compassion. This "entering back into the world" to fight a fool's battle is the essence of 'Waving Past Nirvana', and the video depicts one young woman's journey along these lines."

                  Said video comes directed by Milah Libin (Beach Fossils, Princess Nokia), who adds, "When I listened to 'Waving Past Nirvana' it evoked the beauty and the mundane in a never-ending routine. The closeness to finding some sort of fulfillment, or "nirvana," that keeps bringing one back. It happens to all types of people, but particularly in New York where the beat is so fast and so many come here searching. It's not quite sad; there's something admirable in that search – a sort of dedication.”


                  Stuart A. Staples

                  Music For Claire Denis' High Life

                  'High Life' was written and directed by Denis and stars Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche in the lead roles. It focuses on a group of criminals who are tricked into believing they will be freed if they participate in a mission to travel on a spaceship towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source while being sexually experimented on by the scientists on board. The soundtrack to the film was created by Stuart A. Staples of Tindersticks.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                  Jakuzi

                  HataPayı

                    Istanbul synthpop vanguards Jakuzi turned heads in 2017 with the release of their unique and exciting debut album 'FanteziMüzik’ which showcased modern Turkish underground music to the world. Two years later their new album, “HataPayı” (meaning literally ‘’a part of the mistake”), brings a more refined and darker sound to their arsenal, exploring the depths of relationships and the human condition.

                    When Jakuzi released their debut FanteziMüzik as a cassette in 2016, no one expected that this would leave its circle in Istanbul. But the record was rereleased with new tracks in early 2017 via City Slang and immediately became a favorite amongst critics and music fans alike. The band embraced a manifold of musical elements, layering pop fragments with slabs of Low-Fi, New Wave and Post Punk. They effortlessly created one of the most unique sounding albums of the year and gained attraction internationally.

                    The album is less heterogeneous than the debut but yet, the unique sounds stay intact. The first single “Süphe” (translates to “Doubt") is the saddest track you can cry dance to since A Flock Of Seagulls “Wishing“. Then there’s “Yangın” (“Fire") which writes synthpop history with its mad genius half-time / crescendo, or “GördüğümRüya“ ("The Dream I See") that starts with a very familiar guitar riff just to morph into an epic dreamwave anthem. “Toz” (“Dust") recalls the lively experiments of a young Martin Gore, and it doesn’t’ stop there. HataPayı is full of ideas and energy, the songs take well nuanced twists and turns and prove that even in the darkest hours, Jakuzi never shy away from glorious pop moments.


                    Less than a year after their last album Performance, the ever-prolific White Denim are back with their eighth record Side Effects. More in line with the experimental, freewheeling spirit of their fan-favorite record Last Day of Summer than anything else they’ve done since, Side Effects is a record that captures the essence of the band’s full-throttle live shows. Featuring a rotating cast of band members led by James Petralli and Steve Terebecki, these tracks draw on the sounds of different personnel to create a cohesive whole – the result being an album that’s as varied and vivacious as anything they’ve ever done.

                    If you’re coming back to White Denim after a few years away, Side Effects most likely picks up exactly where you left off: a record showcasing a hugely energetic band bursting at the seams. And if you never checked out, then Side Effects is instead a wholly rewarding record – one that celebrates every form of White Denim to date and sets the stage for a brand-new chapter.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Absolute belter again from White Denim, this time treading a slightly less psychedelic path than on shop favourite 'Performance'. There are hints of eastern timbres and residual lysergic progressions, but the main body is a less meandering and more direct slipstream of jagged rock and shimmering fuzz.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Indies only clear vinyl edition.

                    With ’This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)’ Lambchop Continue To Establish Themselves As Forerunners And Innovators Of What Was Once Called Alt Country. Their Sound Has Morphed To Encompass Multiple Genres, Blending Folk Songwriting With The Tones Of Urban Soul.

                    Following On From The Pioneering Sounds Of ‘Flotus' (2017), ’This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)’ Showcases Lambchop At A New Peak In Their Career, Whilst Still Retaining The Ingredients Of Their Classic Albums. ’This’ Is Brimming With Ideas, Songs And Hooks. A Huge Influence On The New Direction Is Matthew McCaughan (of Bon Iver And Hiss Golden Messenger), Who Produced And Co-wrote Large Parts Of The Album With Kurt Wagner (Lambchop Frontman) Over A Period Of Two Years.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Though we all know Kurt Wagner has a beautiful voice, this extensive use of the vocoder takes the focus away from his beguiling vox into the glitchy, dynamic instrumentation, as smoothly reminiscent as ever, but with a superb, fractured instrumental underclay coalescing into a huge, textured bed of bliss.

                    Each song on Bayonne’s Drastic Measures is orchestral in texture, unfolding in countless layers and kaleidoscopic tones. With great intensity of detail, the Austin-based artist otherwise known as Roger Sellers deepens that sonic complexity by weaving in elegantly warped samples of the field recordings he’s gathered for over a decade. But in its powerful melodies and pristine arrangements, Drastic Measures ultimately bears a pure pop lucidity even in its most grandiose moments.

                    Roger Sellers is a lot of things. He’s a minimalist composer with a knack for making hypnotic, enveloping songs from a few repeated musical phrases. He’s a gifted musician who is mostly self-taught, having abandoned formal study because it was draining the life from his work. He’s a self-described disciple of Phil Collins. What he is not, however -- despite multiple press reports to the contrary - is a DJ.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Swimming in reverb, soaring melodies are twisted together delicately below echoed vocals, rich percussion and slowly developing melodic counterpoint. It's a well balanced and beautifully accomplished suite of dreamers.

                    It’s easy to eye collaborative records between two established artists with either a weary sigh or a degree of cynicism. In an age where a track or record seems to perform better directly in relation to how many artist names are on the digital byline, it can often feel like engineered circumstance or a desire to exponentially boost appeal comes before any natural create endeavour. In the case of ‘On Reflection’ however – the new record by Derwin Dicker AKA Gold Panda and Jas Shaw, one half of Simian Mobile Disco, the venture, under the moniker Selling is rooted in a long-standing friendship and prior creative history.

                    Calexico

                    The Black Light - 20th Anniversary Edition

                    An album about crossing physical and metaphorical borders that has never been timelier: Calexico’s classic album “The Black Light“ turns 20. This limited celebratory anniversary edition includes all new artwork by Victor Gastelum, extensive linernotes, and 11 bonus tracks.

                    What was surprising about The Black Light (and what set its architects apart from their indie rock peers) was the album’s unusual willingness to wade into the rapids of American and Mexican culture, fully immersing itself midstream. From the outset, with ‘Gypsy’s Curse’, the record combines guitar twang and flamenco flourishes; and by its end, almost an hour later, it’s contrived a skillful and instinctive union of smoky bar room jazz, arthouse indie rock, and compelling mariachi brass in ‘Frontera’. If Calexico falls short as a name, it’s only in the fact that - alongside their mining of Mexico’s fertile musical past - Joey Burns and John Convertino weren’t just digging into California’s songbook...they were unearthing America’s too.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Calexico's uniquely Calexican second outing gets a twenty year reissue (20 years!!), including outtakes, special mixes and heaps of their Americana-lite acoustic fusion. A fitting testament to a band at the peak of their game, and certainly one that's held it's own over time.

                    White Denim are back - regenerated and resolute. The Austin quartet have long pulled hard at the parameters of rock & roll, admitting garage punk, soul, psychedelia, prog, jazz and blues while holding onto its vital goodtime core. Their up-tempo drive has produced a body of work defined as much by stellar musicianship as off-the-chain exhilaration. Energy and adventurism have always been paramount. Here are nine songs with clarity and renewed purpose as well as a truckload of attitude. A new studio, new collaborators, and new techniques for writing and recording influenced the elastic possibility and liberation felt throughout.

                    Theirs is music that aims for the whole body, while equally satisfying the mind. While it has morphed, expanded, and even burst apart, White Denim’s sincere, human drive and ability to spark true exhilaration have been unerring constants of the band’s existence. Ever progressing, never content to camp out on a plateau of their creative accomplishments, there is no other band quite like White Denim – unique in talent and legendarily potent as a live band, they are quite simply a very special band.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Classic White Denim this, clean and sophisticated, prone to getting dirty at the drop of a hat and a brilliantly innovative twist on an already established body of material.

                    To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Lambchop’s 1998 album ’What Another Man Spills’ has been pressed to vinyl for the first time after it’s original release 20 years ago! Remastered from the original DAT and featuring refreshed artwork.

                    What Another Man Spills (1998) represents a milestone in Lambchop’s career, but not in the modern sense of a ‘landmark’ release. Building on foundations that had once sounded almost literally creaky, it expands upon the tentative manoeuvres they’d undertaken with the previous year’s Thriller (1997) and gestures confidently towards its brassy successor, Nixon, which would arrive in 2000 to wild acclaim and previously unimaginable commercial success.

                    Liner notes by Kurt Wagner himself.

                    Stuart A. Staples releases his first solo album in thirteen years. Arrhythmia is immersive and experimental, both recognisably the work of the Tindersticks’ frontman and simultaneously a stand-alone, unique piece of work. It's a provocative album where electronic experimentations and rare multi-instrumentations interweave, wrapping themselves around unconventional but utterly spellbinding song structures.

                    Written in what Stuart A. Staples describes as “a lost year”, Arrhythmia began on Christmas day 2016 when he was drawn to the studio to record the beginnings of A new real, the album’s hypnotic opener of glitchy electronic loops with a sly nod to disco. A year later the entire album was complete, a process which involved Staples struggling between his own free sense of timing and more mechanical rhythms and what he describes as “a growing need for each song to take a turn, to lead them into strange places, keeping the feeling or effect of the song, but only as a memory.”

                    The second track Memories of love is indicative of Arrhythmia’s time-less experimentation and musical exploration. A stark and delicate melancholy opens up to rich and increasingly vivid chiming bells. There’s a feeling that the song has two diversely distinct parts unexpectedly, yet perfectly, married. Closing side 1, Step into the grey offers a dark romanticism reminiscent of early Tindersticks with a crescendo of freestyle percussion and strings.

                    Side 2 of the album consists of a 30 minute instrumental track Music for ‘A year in small paintings’. The piece began its evolution back in 2012 when filmmaker, and long-time Staples collaborator, Claire Denis first saw the serial of works by the painter (and Staples’ partner) Suzanne Osborne and wanted to turn these 365 oil paintings of the sky into a film. As friends and musicians passed through Staples’ studio he asked them to watch and react to the paintings. As Staples explains “From these recordings, I chipped away at its form, guiding and editing. Each time there was an exhibition of the work there was a newly evolved version of the music to accompany it.” Eventually the creative process came full circle when Claire Denis’ film Un beau soliel interieur (transl. Let the Sunshine In), featured the paintings, and their music became inextricably linked to the film’s soundtrack. Improvisations of the themes from Music for ‘A year in small paintings’ were also contributed by The Julian Siegel Quartet.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Evocative of the new movement of outsider synth artists of the 70's and early 80's, Arrhythmia builds tension through the gradual addition of instrumental layers to the seemingly minimal beginnings, before things grow into a beautiful and many-faceted blanket of euphoric polyrhythms and his instantly recognisable tender vocals.

                    Imarhan

                    Temet

                    When Imarhan released their self-titled debut album in 2016, they stepped into a genre already flooded with talent and exposure, but still managed to rise to the top and be heralded as the 'new wave Of Tuareg music'. It is with much anticipation that the band from Tamanrasset, Algeria have announced the details of their second album Temet, due out February 26 on City Slang.

                    "Temet" is a huge leap forward in production, as well as creatively for Imarhan. Whereas their debut was anchored in the meditative Desert Blues tradition, "Temet" eclipses such notions, finding bounce and drive by stirring their sound with funk, fuzz, disco and rock. This is not a novel concept to the band, as anyone who has seen them play will attest. Imarhan's experience as a touring band has reinforced the focus and meaning behind their music.

                    With "Temet", Imarhan have firmly established themselves as a band to reckon with. Rather than being distracted by meddling around with big producers or famous guests, they’ve focused this release on their inherent strength of songwriting, using the eternal bonds in their community, families and friendships as a blueprint not only for an amazing standalone album, but as a reference for generations to come. 'We hope that Imarhan will allow the younger generation to become aware of the fundamental importance of friendship. As long as someone is by your side supporting you, asking for your friendship, what more could you want out of life? You will want for nothing.'


                    Son Lux

                    Brighter Wounds

                      Son Lux reemerge with their forthcoming fifth full-length LP, Brighter Wounds, finding the trio in command of a daring, multidirectional sound, expressing naturally the proclivity for surprise and contrast that characterize the project's output. The new release explores the violence of love, the beauty of sacrifice, and the specter of impermanence.

                      Anchored by its cinematic heart, “All Directions,” the album ranges from the thunderous charge of “Dream State” to the sputtering, soulful lilt of “Slowly.” Ryan Lott’s devastating vocal on "Aquatic," guitarist Rafiq Bhatia’s blooming flower melismas on "Labor," and drummer Ian Chang’s nearly inhuman rhythmic calculus on "The Fool You Need" illuminate a curious and delicate balance of precision and pain.

                      Since 2015’s Bones, the band's profile has grown in the worlds of music, dance, and film. Each member now charts their respective solo paths, and their individual adventures find a home within the purview of Son Lux. On Brighter Wounds, collaborators range from longtime cohorts Rob Moose (Y Music, Bon Iver, The National) and DM Stith (Sufjan Stevens), to new friends trumpeter Dave Douglas and reedist/instrument builder Arrington de Dionyso.

                      Son Lux has made invention its hallmark through continued exploration and experimentation. With Brighter Wounds, the triad NPR proclaimed “the world’s most lethal band" now grips exhilaration and heartache in full embrace. In the words of the album's closing refrain, "is this what the resurrection feels like?"

                      The ninth studio album from Calexico, The Thread That Keeps Us is a timely snapshot of the Arizona-bred band: a family portrait capturing their stylistic variety and unpredictability while still finding solace in limitless creativity. In bringing the album to life, vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino found a spiritual home in unusual surroundings—not in Arizona, but on the Northern California coast in a home-turned-studio called the Panoramic House. Built from debris and shipyard-salvaged timber—and dubbed “The Phantom Ship” by the band—the grandiose house and its edgeof-the-world-like ambience soon made their way into the songs.

                      The specter of California also had a powerful effect: as both dream state and nightmare, its infinite duality is mirrored in the music, giving Calexico a new direction and new edge. With less polish and more grit than ever before, The Thread That Keeps Us both honors enduring traditions and reveals Calexico’s confidence in songwriting, ultimately setting a whole new standard for the band.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xDeluxe CD Info: Limited edition double CD with 7 bonus songs. Initial copies come with a rather lovely pack of 10 postcards with artwork based on the album cover.

                      Grandbrothers

                      Open

                        Grandbrothers are the sum of unique parts: Progressive Swiss engineer/mechanic/software designer Lukas Vogel and German-Turkish pianist Erol Sarp. Their second album ‘Open' twins Sarp’s piano skills with Vogel’s talent for both building the formidably intricate mechanics with which he exploits his partner’s instrument and also designing its software. Sarp works at his ivory keyboard while, from behind his own computer keys, Vogel live-samples his partner’s notes, triggering further effects with the aid of a homemade apparatus that physically manipulate the piano’s strings and body. They have essentially built an analogue drum machine out of a grand piano. Nerd out! Creating a new shade, a new dimension, a new generation of atmospheric krautrock with the piano at its core.

                        Their ambitious second album ‘Open' explores dimensions at which their debut ‘Dilation' only hinted. The greatest revelation for anyone hearing them the first time remains the element constant to everything they’ve recorded: every individual sound that Grandbrothers make stems from one single instrument, a piano. No wonder their music was once memorably described as “open heart surgery on a grand.”

                        “What makes things work,” Vogel concludes, “is that we are such different personalities, with different skills, which fit together so well.” Sarp concurs: “Our music comes from a mixture of really intense analysis and simply doing things. I can calm him down, and he can incite me. He’s not just a colleague, but one of my closest friends.” Such synergy – born of an innate understanding and intuition, personally and musically – can be heard throughout Grandbrothers’ technically innovative, thrillingly distinctive work: two ingenious minds, perfectly in tune, relentlessly exploring new ideas. Keep your mind Open.

                        Cristobal And The Sea

                        Exotica

                          ‘Exitoca’ is a trip into an alternative reality where humans care for each other and the environment, value sensual experiences and dance their troubles away. The title is a reference to the genre known as “Exotica”, which represented the escapist dreams of a generation of American salary-men and housewives in the 50s and 60s. For Cristobal and the Sea, expatriates from Portugal, Spain, France, Egypt & USA, now based in London, the idea of “Exotica” is more than just an escapist plot to avoid workaday drollery; it is a proposed evacuation from the toxic mires of Brexit; the very notion that threatens the place they now call home.

                          This philosophy is narrated no greater than between the words and music of ‘Goat Flokk’ where longing, searching lyrics are mixed with both Brazilian Tropicalia-like speed and rhythm with a healthy Syrian-pop breakdown. The fusion of sounds and styles proves that harmony is very much possible when cultures are mixed.

                          Recorded and produced in a self-made studio on the outskirts of Paris with upcoming London-based producer and artist Yehan Jehan. The lush surroundings, combined with Jehan’s creative impetus, offered Cristobal a greater richness to their recording process.

                          The ecstatic quality of the band, whose personal manifesto calls for warmth, nakedness and polygamy (as opposed to the cold and sexless Brexit reality), is on display in ‘The Seed.’ This track brings images of lolling natural bodies, flesh and excitement, again with the production and arrangements in full force. Play it loud during your next late night foray with your best friends and you'll see what they mean.

                          Cristobal and the Sea's Balearic roots are inseparable from their essence. The bossa anthem ‘Uma Voz’ is a reach out to everyone in their situation, a passionate and all-encompassing hand to everyone facing the same nationless situation.

                          After the success of 2011’s ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ and 2014’s prophetic ‘The Future’s Void’, EMA retreated to a basement in Portland, Oregon – a generic apartment complex in a non-trendy neighbourhood, with beige carpeting and cheap slat blinds. Now, she returns, with a portrait of The Outer Ring: A pitch-black world of dark night highways, American flags hung over basement windows, jails and revival meetings and casinos and rage. In a year dominated by white working-class alienation and anger, EMA – a Midwesterner who never lost her thousand-yard stare -- has delivered an album that renders Middle American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy.

                          “I want to explain to outsiders that the people where I come from aren’t beyond hope and reason”, says EMA, “I want this record to bridge a divide.”

                          The album, co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, is a return to EMA’s roots in the noise-folk outfit Gowns, whose 2007 album Red State prefigured many of Exile’s core themes, along with its mix of stripped-back folk (“Always Bleeds,” originally a Gowns song), spoken word (“Where the Darkness Began”) and noise epics (“Breathalyzer”).

                          The album is unique in its mingling of gender politics with American working-class anxiety. The voices we hear in these songs — druggy, surly societal outcasts; Byronic nihilists bringing down fire — speak to a kind of rebellion that’s typically reserved for men, and the archetype of the “dirtbag teenage boy” dominates the album. Yet EMA claims some of that same dirtbag alienation for women — “a woman who swallowed a scumbag teen boy whole,” as EMA puts it – and uses it to interrogate both her own vulnerability and how male violence shapes the world, as on the anthemic “Aryan Nation.”

                          The result is a deeply personal, confrontational, but ultimately redemptive album from a quintessentially American artist at the peak of her form.

                          Timber Timbre

                          Sincerely, Future Pollution

                          On its fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre coats the stark, sensual sound of 2014’s Hot Dreams in an oil-black rainbow of municipal grime. It is the cinema of a dizzying dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time.

                          Sincerely, Future Pollution stands out in Timber Timbre’s catalogue of imagistic records, with Taylor Kirk and band-mates Mathieu Charbonneau and Simon Trottier taking a unique approach to Timber Timbre’s process of sonic invention. Kirk wrote the songs in late 2015/early 2016, then arranged the music over a “very focused” Montreal winter with the veteran Timber Timbre members.

                          If each Timber Timbre record is framed in genre play, on Sincerely, Future Pollution, the components are the most askew: the glam of Roxy Music; the plaintive pop of Talk Talk; the disquiet of Suicide; the invincibility of Talking Heads; the haunting This Mortal Coil. All (and more) unlikely references are present, tethering Timber Timbre’s experimentation to points of familiarity. The range is an acute angle from New Age to Popular French Disco Revival like Daft Punk and Air, filtered through Timber Timbre’s painterly imagination. Freshly exhumed, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a portent from the bygone year 2016.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: Sleazy glam basslines, euphoric digital pads and funked out guitars sway and swarm into the visceral vocal stylings of Taylor Kirk. A meticulously crafted, and brilliantly emotive outpouring from beginning to end.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition, heavy tip-on gatefold cover with foil print, clear vinyl, includes download code.

                          South African via Berlin Indie Pop darlings Dear Reader return with Day Fever, their fourth album on City Slang and the first, in four years. It was recorded in John Vanderslice’s San Francisco studio, Tiny Telephone. Well-known as a producer for acts like Spoon and The Mountain Goats, and a musician in his own right, Vanderslice has made a name for himself in analog recording, something Dear Reader hadn’t explored prior to the decision to record at his studio.

                          Already far from home in Berlin, the South African musician’s trek to San Francisco meant a huge adjustment in terms of her recording style. Recording on tape helped Dear Reader mastermind, Cherilyn MacNeil, commit to the performance and narrative act of making an album, and to break, in her words, the habit of “editing the life out of things.” In Day Fever, those old habits have died, and hard. The raw, melodious, at times discordant record has most certainly retained its life, left fresh and untrampled by infinite do-overs. In fact, each song on the album is the result of just one, or a maximum of two, studio performances.

                          Day Fever sounds more minimal, more vanguard than Dear Reader’s previous albums, bending to match the album’s thematic pitch: if Rivonia (2013) pulled us back into the MacNeil’s (and South Africa’s) history, Day Fever slingshots us into the present to confront life in real time.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on Magenta Coloured Vinyl – limited to 1000 units world wide

                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

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


                          Lambchop are back! Their new album, For Love Often Turns Us Still (in short FLOTUS … yes FLOTUS), arrives just in time for the bands' 30th Anniversary and in time for one of the most tumultuous years in history; not least in American history. Kurt Wagner is still painting musical miniatures as well as dramatic landscapes like no-one else right now. Though this year something is different, the fragile songs are as much about the tiny details of living in a struggling neighborhood in Nashville, which faces new challenges, as it is about the grand scheme of things without naming them.

                          Musically, the devil is in the details. The stylistic sound of Lambchop is thriving but it’s made out of pieces unheard of before. 2016 is a new chapter for a lot of people and a lot of bands and is certainly a new chapter for Lambchop, returning with their most ambitious and important record to date. Be surprised and be carried away by this quiet and beautiful masterpiece where it’s intensity rings louder than sirens.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: A slightly more electronic sound on this newest one from Lambchop, while retaining the same languid vibes and hazy-day melodies. Vocoders and smooth synths nuzzle up next to drifting ambience, silky drums and echoing guitar plucks. While their delivery has changed a little, this is all still clearly the Lambchop we know and love. Turn it up and get the (winter) barbecue out.

                          Tindersticks release their new album ‘The Waiting Room,’ a milestone not just numerically, but musically and creatively. Their first studio album since 2012’s critically acclaimed ‘The Something Rain' (9/10 DiS, 8.1 pitchfork, 8/10 the Quietus, 8/10 DIY, 4/5 Guardian, 4/5 Independent on Sunday, 4/5 Uncut, 4/5 Q, 4/5 Observer) is the most ambitious, diverse and elaborate album you’ll have heard from Tindersticks in recent years. 2 decades into their musical voyage Tindersticks, established masters of restraint and poetic human emotion, are a band now confidently making the best songs of their career.

                          ‘The Waiting Room' breathes gravity and features guest appearances by Jehnny Beth of Savages and a particularly poignant duet with long time friend of Stuart Staples, Lhasa De Sela. Not just an album but also an elaborate collaborative artistic project, each track is accompanied by a short film, each one a visual interpretation by it's own director. Christoph Girardet, Pierre Vinour, Claire Denis, Rosie Pedlow and Joe King, Gregorio Graziosi, Richard Dumas and Gabriel Sanna.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: Hazy and harrowing, The Waiting Room is an intimate album with soft lyrics which are told in a story-like manner holding incredible depth. It has remnants of Celtic folk influence from the percussion, orchestral choruses and tinkering sounds of loveliness!

                          Naytronix is the alter ego of multi instrumentalist Nate Brenner who spent much of the past four years touring the world as bassist for the mighty tUnE-yArDs. Consider Naytronix’s second full-length, ’Mister Divine’ (2015, City Slang), his treatise on the subject, which sees him turning from the disjointedly funky party dance anthems of his debut Dirty Glow (2012, Plug Research) to a surrealist stream of consciousness poignancy.

                          Conceived in tour busses, hotel suites, and basement studios initially as fodder for DJ sets, Mister Divine is the feeling of déjà vu between delirious post-show fevers and the road-torn sleep through the night on the way to the next city, driving the circumference of the Earth in nine weeks, dreams of Pangaea, of forever ago and infinity from now.

                          Imagine: impossibly, and without the recollection of flying, you’re in Europe maniacally driving through the pre-dawn to catch the first ferry to Belgium, to Spain, to Sweden. There is Dur Dur on the stereo, William Onyeabor, Khaira Arby, and Dizzy K, compilations and mixtapes of unknown origin and content. This too is a dream, and tomorrow you’re starting over, another opportunity to bask in the irrelevance of the present moment, “all we have,” while keeping one eye on the future and one on the past.

                          Brenner has digested a lot in the three years since introducing this world to Naytronix. tUnE-yArDs has turned into something of a perpetual motion machine, taking him to far corners of the Earth, as well as Carnegie Hall and the TV sets of Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Jools Holland, and Austin City Limits. He did some recording and performing with music royalty Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, got to collaborate and learn from Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda, and even found some time to take the Naytronix band around the US and across the Atlantic, from London to Istanbul. His music as Naytronix keeps its characteristic reflection of the ‘70s of Onyeabor and Bootsy Collins, there is too a new face of the sincerity and vulnerability of the ‘70s of Arthur Russell he shows here amid the psychedelia, as if wishing to land the Naytronix Mothership down to stay with us for a bit.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: The product of a unique songwriter spending too many nights under the stars in Arthur Russell's Sleeping Bag, "Mister Divine" is the best off kilter pop album I've heard in years.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Ltd LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram coloured vinyl. Full download included.

                          Cristobal and the Sea are a proper European union of a band, if ever there was one. The quartet hail from four corners of our diverse continent. They are: Alejandro Romero from Spain (bass/vox), João Seixas from Portugal (guitar/vox), Leïla Seguin from Corsica/France (flute/vox) and Josh Oldershaw from old Blighty (drums).

                          After signing to City Slang (Sinkane, Caribou, Junip, Lambchop) and releasing their debut EP ‘Peach Bells’ last year, the band spent the duration of February locked in Namouche studios in Lisbon (Portugal) working on their forthcoming debut album with producer Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Owen Pallett, DJ Rashad, Ariel Pink). Entitled ‘Sugar Now’, the record is set for release later this year, with this new single ‘Sunset Of Our Troubles’ displaying the band’s mystical, dreamy & enticing sounds wonderfully, offering a little glimpse of what to expect from the forthcoming debut.

                          Young, enormously gifted, very charismatic and incredibly laid back, Cristobal And The Sea are devouring life as only the young and carefree know how.

                          For the better part of two decades, the acclaimed band Calexico has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With 'Edge of the Sun' they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way.

                          Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, and Neko Case. Burnsʼ brother John Burns lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the bandʼs keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, John Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: Calexico have been honing their Latin-American infused dusty desert blues for the best part of 20 years, and here, they've got it bang on.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Dan Snaith makes his highly anticipated return to the long player, faced with the unenviable task of following up an undeniable classic, 2010's "Swim". That universally adored album (placed in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Top 3) saw Snaith complete the journey from the pastoral electronica of his early work as Manitoba, through the woozy hip hop inflected beats of "Milk Of Human Kindness" and "Andorra" to the undisputed champion of leftfield house. "Our Love" sees the producer joining the dots between the synth led euphoria of his dancefloor productions and the polyrhythmic rattle of his Daphni project while offering new take on warm and expansive future soul, while featuring his strongest songwriting to date.

                          Snaith makes his intentions clear from the off, with album opener "Can't Do Without You" picking up right where "Sun" left off, but with the euphoria turned all the way up to 11 thanks to crescendant synths and heartfelt vocals. Recent single "Our Love" falls into the same camp, pairing emotional vocals and melodies with a skipping garage beat, while organic synths and Owen Pallett's darting strings provide a richly textured backing. The warm analogue sounds of futuristic soul weave themselves deep into the record’s DNA, particularly on "Silver", "Second Chance" (featuring Jesse Lanza's seductive vocals) and "Back Home". These immersive synth ballads form intimate moments of calm between the driving house and garage of "Can't Do Without You" and "Our Love", the Daphni-styled dancefloor diaspora of "Mars" and the raving interludes "Dive" and "Julia Brightly". Snaith's mastery of these diverse styles, and the ease with which he moulds them into his artistic vision is a testament to his mature and accomplished songwriting. Nowehere is this so clear as on the LP finale and crowning moment "Your Love Will Set You Free", which combines the soulful with the driving, the melancholic with the euphoric, bringing the album to a gorgeous bitter sweet conclusion. Ultimately, Snaith has delivered a worthy follow up to "Swim", which is high praise indeed.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves, and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore, whilst 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something wonderfully cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

                          Returning to City Slang in 2014 for their first full-length since 2010’s Speculation (released on Domino) and their eighth album in total, Instrument is a landmark record for the electronic trio from Berlin. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay adorn three tracks (‘Many Descriptions’, ‘Classify’ and ‘The Longest Escalator in the World’), offering up a new perspective. As much a progression as a refresher course for older material, it is arguably their most refined record so far.

                          Lindsay’s laid-back and unhurried words lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of To Rococo Rot whilst pulling them through to an unfamiliar and occasionally pop-based space. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification. It sits perfectly within the warm timbres created by Lippok, Lippok and Schneider.


                          The Notwist

                          Run Run Run

                            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                            The Notwist release 12" single 'Run Run Run' from the critically acclaimed new album 'Close To The Glass' featuring two remixes and an exclusive B-side called "Magnificent Fall";

                            "The perfect blend of electronic trickery and broken hearts" 8/10 NME
                            “a wonderful reminder that nobody makes music quite like the Notwist” 4/5 The Skinny
                            “Sensitively poised and technically perfect” 8/10 Uncut
                            “will have you skipping back and hitting play again” 8/10 Clash
                            “brilliantly snaps together everything from digitalised tabla rhythms to surging power pop” 4/5 Q
                            "this is music of craft and accomplishment" Mojo
                            "a continuation of what The Notwist have always been best at" DIY
                            "The bonkers German kraut-prog-pop experimentalists are back" The Times
                            "Ecstatic" Independent on Sunday.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd 12" Info: Doublegroove Side A (Remixes By Ada And Nuel).

                            EMA

                            The Future's Void - Bonus Disc Edition

                            City Slang is excited to announce the new album from EMA, "The Future's Void". The follow-up to her acclaimed 2011 LP, "Past Life Martyred Saints," “The Future’s Void” was written by Erika M. Anderson, recorded in Portland, Oregon, and produced by Erika and Leif Shackelford.

                            EMA recently told NME that the album was influenced by, among other things, NiN demos, the heavier side of early K Records, and William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and that the album looks at the digital commodification of our online lives. She says, “I gravitate toward hooks and melodies, and in some ways the structure of these songs are my poppiest yet,” while noting that the jarring production includes a lot of first takes and spontaneously-recorded ambient sounds “to keep the songs from sounding like advertisements".

                            Last month the first single "Satellites" was released to raves, garnering "Best New Track” from Pitchfork, who said, "It’s discontent composed to Carl Sagan proportion, and it’s easily the most bracing thing yet from an artist already more bracing than most.“ Spin said, “it’s a rumbling mammoth that feeds off canned, clapping percussion and waves of static feedback,” while Stereogum noted, “anxiety this ferocious is a timeless thing.”

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            CD Info: Initial orders come with a bonus City Slang CD sampler.

                            Kevin Drew is the frontman of Broken Social Scene, solo recording artists, and co-owner of independent music company Arts & Crafts. His 2007 solo debut, Spirit If..., was widely loved for unearthing the affirmative grooves and experimental pop songwriting churning at the heart of indie vanguards Broken Social Scene. Darlings, his first solo recording since, showcases Drew's more mature pop sensibilities and his earnest and playful lyrics soaring over hook-laden songs like first single “Good Sex”.

                            In the tradition of post-Velvets Lou Reed or post-Genesis Peter Gabriel, Darlings shows Drew stepping out to create a breakthrough personal statement of true artistry. Darlings was recorded at the Banff Centre in Alberta with Graham Lessard and then taken to a house in Northern Ontario with Dave Hamelin (The Stills, Eight and a Half) for final recording and mixing. The album also features longtime collaborators Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) along with Dean Stone (Apostle of Hustle). Darlings was co-produced by Kevin Drew, Graham Lessard, and, for the first time, Dave Hamelin.

                            In recent years songwriters have experimented more widely than ever with beats and bass, but only a few have succeeded in producing results worthy of mention. The underlying problem is that club music, when it comes to the punch, to put it crudely, needs to function on the dance floor. This can make life pretty difficult for the classic songwriter, and the resulting music can often sound a little over-thought and self-conscious. On the other hand, a functional fixation on dance floor compatibility can take over, and what is designed to work in the club can often, in album format, fall a little flat. Thus, one continues to put together brilliant, functional tracks and the other remains firmly in the domain of the song writing. Those artists who manage successfully to straddle both worlds can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

                            Canadian musician and producer Brad Weber, with his project Pick A Piper, joins the ranks of this charmed few. Pick A Piper was conceived in 2008 along with band mates Angus Fraser and Dan Roberts, and following two EPs, the band is set to release their debut self-titled debut album. The album is made up of eight very different songs, all with one thing in common: each is built upon the foundation of its own ingenious rhythm structure, with musical layers meticulously applied, up until the vocals, which are added right at the very end, if at all. Song writing done back-to-front, which is also fitting in this case because: Brad Weber? Isn’t that...? Yes indeed! Brad is also the drummer for Caribou. To give the whole the perfect finish and to avoid falling into the "functionality trap" (it exists!), Brad enlisted many of his friends as guest singers on these recordings. Amongst others, he asked Andy Lloyd of Born Ruffians, as well as members of the Ruby Suns and John Schmersal of Enon, Brainiac and Caribou. Brad sent them demos, allowing space for a very important and often underestimated element of the musical process, without which it would be about as exciting as a bank statement: chance. He couldn’t be sure exactly what the respective collaborators would contribute to the corresponding ideas, but that was the concept, and thus the resulting album sounds even less like a classic producer album, and more like a soundtrack to a movie - different topics but a common thread. A record that could not please us more, full of complexly layered yet catchy songs that display a very keen sense of rhythm, song writing and musical finesse. Attention to detail, but with the bigger picture in mind.

                            The ever-modest Lambchop boss presented ‘Is A Woman’ to Cityslang with these words: "Here's my new album. I hope you'll like it. It's a bunch of samey, downtempo stuff that doesn't really seem to go anywhere." Little did he know. Is A Woman broke Lambchop to the same place on the European continent where Nixon had previously taken the band in the UK. It was instantly recognized as a modern classic and described by one famous German critic as "one of the best albums ever made". We couldn't agree more.

                            PRESS: quotes from original release:

                            ‘Another mature masterpiece from America's finest.’ AOTM 5/5 – Uncut

                            ‘It's a brave and curious record that, as on 'Bugs', occasionally resembles Willie Nelson fronting Labradford.’ 8/10 – NME

                            ‘A strange delight of a record.’ 8/10 – Popmatters

                            ‘A record that urges you to lean closer to the speakers in order to fully hear everything that is being played and sung.’ – The Wire

                            ‘These gradual pleasures fly in the face of today's pop/rock hardsell, for sure, but inexorably you are drawn into Kurt's world.’ 4/5 - Mojo

                            In 2000 the Tucson band released their second album proper and further refined their desert noir soundscapes. On this album Calexico opted for a more intimate form of expression, for a stylish, sombre, bleak ballad style that is often drenched in psychedelic reverbs and accented by jazz instruments.

                            Then again it does contain their first forays into the semi pop song with The Ballad Of Cable Hogue and eventually it was reissued with a version of "Crystal Frontier" that had quickly become a live favourite and went on to become their first pan European radio hit and calling card.

                            Sometime in the spring of 2012 the musicians that would go on to form the Chicago & Minneapolis based trio ON AN ON found themselves at a tipping point. The three of them—Nate Eiesland, Alissa Ricci, and Ryne Estwing—had played music with one another in various capacities for the better part of a decade. Most recently, they had shared the stage and studio as three fifths of the indie-pop outfit Scattered Trees, which had seen its fair share of success. But with the band’s studio time only a few weeks away and the other members now spread out across the country pursuing other endeavors, they would chart their own course and come out stronger for it. What emerged was ON AN ON.

                            For ON AN ON, the precariousness of breaking new ground only three weeks before recording with accomplished producer Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Super Furry Animals, Los Campesinos!) provided a jolt of creative energy. The musicians had become disenchanted with their past approach to songwriting and recording, finding the process of striving for polished pop both tiresome and constrained. Newfeld proved the perfect counterpart to their initial vision for the record, encouraging them to push boundaries and go with their instincts.

                            According to Eiesland, the sessions were something of an exorcism: “We really wanted to get away from the sterility of our previous approach to recording.” Eieseland, Ricci, and Estwing embraced musical risks that in the past it might have shied away from. In the studio, the band members explored a natural chemistry and honed their sound; synthesizers, scattershot electro beats and ambient ear candy gave guitars, bass and drums a ghostly sheen.

                            While the melodies might clue one in to the trio's evolved sonic palate, it's through the album's themes that the group member’s respective evolution becomes most apparent. Eiesland wrote the majority of the lyrics, in the process coming to terms with death and the traps that life springs upon us. Whether letting his intuition guide him on "I Wanted To Say More” ("You are a saint and you’re the devil/Every word I spoke to you, I thought that they were wings/ But they were only feathers”) or owning up to life's inevitability on "All The Horses" ("A family tree will split in two halfway through its life"), there's a tempered calm to the thought-provoking imagery he espouses through his words. Estwing offered up his own lyrical séance on his lead vocal track "Cops," although the bassist says his message—that the police can be surprisingly corrupt—is more direct. After smashing everything they knew to pieces, they pulled themselves together around Give In, ON AN ON’s ten-track debut album – a dream-washed textural journey armed with a biting perspective on life, love, and the commonality of loss. It is an affair that sizzles with electricity and calls one in with its unnerved openness.

                            Get Well Soon

                            The Scarlet Beast O'Seven Heads - Bonus Tracks Edition

                            'Get Well Soon are one of Germany’s most prolific bands of the decade and certainly the most extravagant!

                            We would even go further and claim, that Konstantin Gropper is the Caspar David Friedrich of his generation; strictly musically speaking, of course. In case you don’t know, Friedrich was the most important romantic painter of the 19th century. Similarly, Konstantin’s musical vehicle, Get Well Soon is best known for its hugely romantic, allegorical songs, full of drama, morning mist and night skies. No gothic ruins though.

                            Their new album ‘The Scarlet Beast O'Seven Heads’ is one of the most sophisticated pop albums of the year. The album features 13 new, wildly imaginative and of course opulently arranged songs. It is, in certain moments, a colourful and beautiful nod to the genre we know as ‘Cinema Italiano’ (think Nino Rota or Argento), though these masters of the strange, wild and adventurous are just one of the 3,227 inspirations that went into the making of this new ornate Get Well Soon masterpiece.'

                            MR. M is Lambchop’s eleventh album on City Slang and documents the band at its best, it encapsulates one of the most profound moments in Lambchop history. Kurt Wagner turned away from music and picked up his brushes to paint his way out of a funk that followed the premature death of friend Vic Chesnutt, who the band backed on 1998’s The Salesman and Bernadette. Incidentally the paintings, thickly layered black and white portraits forming a series called Beautillion Millitaire 2000, feature on the album sleeve and throughout the full artwork-

                            “As I worked, I was approached by Mark Nevers (former full time band member & producer for the likes of Andrew Bird and Will Oldham) with the idea of making another Lambchop record. He had a concept of a sound and a method that worked with the tone of my writing. His idea was a kind of ‘psycha-Sinatra’ sound, one that involved the arranging of strings and other sounds in a more open and yet complex way. It was a studio creation, not a type of recording based on band performance, and this was a radical approach for us. I felt Lambchop had one more good record in us, and this time I was going to do things as directly and true to my desires as possible.”

                            The resulting album stretches out as sonically as promised. It was recorded at Nevers’s Nashville Beech House studio cum bungalow with the usual core of musicians- Scott Martin (drums), Matt Swanson (bass), Ryan Norris (guitar, organ), Tony Crow (piano), William Tyler (guitar). Guests include original cofounder Jonathan Marx, Cortney Tidwell (who shared vocals on 2010’s KORT project) and fiddler Billy Contreras (who has worked with all from Charlie Louvin to Laura Cantrell) - spectacular string arrangements shared between Peter Stopschinski and Mason Neely.

                            Tu Fawning

                            A Monument

                              Portland’s Tu Fawning return this May with their sophomore release titled 'A Monument'. A mere nine songs short, but enough time to confirm the suspicion raised by the band's debut album 'Hearts On Hold: Can it be that this band sets itself apart from everything else out there right now? Yes, this is proof.

                              A Monument is in fact a very different record, all the more reason for us to appreciate this band and their artistic merits. Live Tu Fawning deliver a dense, romantic, highly energetic live show, much more powerful than their debut album would have led you to imagine. And on A Monument this sparkles through on every track.

                              A Monument offers exactly nine very different pieces to that beautiful and unusual Tu Fawning style. Tracks like 'Blood Stains' have moved Tu Fawning south, more the Down Under type of south, with the warped R’n’B styles of a Birthday Party or early Bad Seeds. Less the atonality and surely sans the testosterone. And likewise 'Wager' lifts some moment of orchestral nausea out of a Crime And The City Solution track, converting it into a real song. Not all gothic, but certainly all dark. Weird, eccentric, timeless are user-friendly adjectives for the simple minded when trying to describe a band such as this. And lets not forget dramatic! Does it get anymore dramatic than 'Build A Great Cliff'? Take a rollercoaster ride with the epic seven and a half minute album closer that is 'Bones'. The latter showing that there is indeed also a sense of playfulness here.

                              Above and beyond the usual guitar, bass, keys, drums, the record feautures instrumentation such as a ragini, a tuned down marching band drum, old 80’s synths, actually lots of synths, those samples of South American chants turned into chords. Not to mention the degenerated Four Track recorders, dying guitar pedals, but most importantly: "turning your back to the microphone and yelling...“. Monumental indeed!

                              With the help of producer Billy Pavone (The Fall, Asobi Seksu, White Rabbits), the latest O’Death opus, Outside, is their subtlest work by far, but also the most impressive of the band's career. This is a record that lives up to its name with spacious and cinematic arrangements, layers of subtle percussion, and at times an impenetrable wall of found sound.

                              O'Death recorded the album over a two-month period, easily the longest they've ever spent on a production. The extended recording time allowed the band to write in studio, as well as cultivate the organic noise for the record in an intimate setting. As Pavone observed, "Creating the album in the recording, and not in the mix, was a leap of faith for me. It was challenging to let go and allow the album to breathe a bit, and be its own creation– unique and very different from some of the sounds we hear so often in the world of digital manipulation.

                              The result is a record that is both the most subtle and massive accomplishment of the band's career, a darkly triumphant and free-flowing album that represents exactly where the songwriters have found themselves in this moment. As Pycior notes, "I love the dynamic disparity in the album: the fragile parts of ‘Bugs,’ ‘Ourselves,’ and ‘Don't Come Back...,’ the huge endings in ‘Alamar,’ ‘Look at the Sun,’ and ‘Pushing Out.’ I know we have the right sequence this time around… and I love ending on a different and demented tone with ‘The Lake Departed.’”

                              Norman Palm

                              Shore To Shore

                              In the midst of the music industry crisis art student Norman Palm had an idea: Why not visualize the rough recordings he had made between Paris and Berlin, produce a 200-page artbook with a cd and throw it on the collapsing market via his own DIY-record label? Sometimes it seems one has to ignore all golden rules to make something work: Norman Palm's book did not only sell pretty well, soon he was also invited to play live shows all over Europe such as the renowned Austrian art festival Steirischer Herbst and Haldern festival where he played along with bands such as Fleet Foxes and Yeasayer. He played at countless art events, sang next to Jane Birkin in a Parisian radio studio, was hyped by music magazines such as Stereogum, got filmed by french Blogotheque and eventually even found himself featured on the world's most visited blog run by Hollywood gossip boy Perez Hilton. Norman Palm got around.

                              Norman Palm also gets around because he decided not to live his life at one place only. Taking the adventures of a long-distance relationship to a not always easy level he practically commutes between Berlin and Mexico City. Enough exercise for body and soul to make contacts, get inspired and write new songs.

                              While Norman Palm's DIY-debut was a loose collection of songs, "Shore to Shore" is a homogenic piece and a musical quantum leap! Palm gets rid of his singer-songwriter image, irony and shyness of his debut have vanished. "Shore to Shore" is pop and love-long-distance set to music. Start/Stop, the album's overture brings together what is later split up into its parts: Ukulele, electronic beats, crazy choirs, African vs. technoid vibes, warm vs. synthetic. Above all floats Palm's distinctive voice. In Smile Palm sets foot into the american indie-terrain normally conquered by the likes of Wilco, he designs a 2.0 version of Paul Simon's Graceland with Images, flirts with Beck and the Beta Band in Landslide and spins out of $20 with an extensive Krautrock steelpan synth loop. Easy, virtually the title track of the album and a lyrical centrepiece ("Let's all be friends with the telephone calls / Let's all be friends with the departure halls") layers voices, basslines and synthesizers thus providing a perfect soundtrack for an early morning after clubbing. It's almost like listening to the radio, only that radio stations of such quality are hard to find!

                              Norman sings about love and how it interferes with life. About distance and closeness, about intimacy and strangeness, about missing and losing, love in a digitalized and globalized design of life. Doing that he avoids kitsch and cliché, writes poetry without being corny, makes himself clear, honestly and humble, never awkward, never bigger-than-life. Palm throws his very personal and his musical influences into a pot, cooks his own soup and puts it right on the table of international contemporary pop culture.

                              Caribou

                              Swim

                                If you think you know Caribou, think again. Dan Snaith’s new album, "Swim" is the sound of the musical glass ceiling being blown away. Dan’s latest recording sees him getting busy in the basement with some expertly constructed, rave-tinged sounds that sing with soul. But that’s not all. As a songwriter of considerable standing, Dan has not subsumed his uniquely recognisable touch in an orgy of technical bliss – although, there is plenty of euphoria in the musical alchemy on offer. From Dan’s perspective, he says, 'The most important thing for me with this record was finding my own sonic vocabulary. That’s why I’m proud of this record.'

                                "Swim" is full of brightly textured, rapturous gems that gleam with astonishing production – and then wrenches at your heart with soulful, thoughtful reveries on the passing of time, family history and the breakdown of relationships. 'There are songs about growing old in a relationship, about divorce and loneliness in old age but the lyrics are generally pretty abstract sketches of what’s going on in the situation in my head', says Snaith. If there is a link to previous album "Andorra", it would be in the ravishing explosions of sound pulsing through album closer "Niobe". A continuum of sorts leads us to 2010, but that finale gives mere hints as to the future Caribou. From the opening effervescent gambol of "Odessa" to the glorious odyssey of "Jamelia", it’s crystal clear that Caribou has made a massive leap forwards, upwards and sideways.


                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xLP Info: Double 180 gram vinyl including free album download and booklet.

                                Get Well Soon

                                Angry Young Man


                                Having released an album on Nude Records back in 2008, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Gropper returns with "Angry Young Man", taken from the forthcoming album "Vexations".
                                Gropper is also a composer of film scores; his latest being for Wim Wenders’ (Paris, Texas / Buena Vista Social Club) film Palermo Shooting (nominated at the Cannes Film Festival 2008).
                                The B-Side of this limited 7” "Your Teenage FBI" is taken from a film score of a 2010 released film by German cult regiesseur Detlev Buck.


                                Nashville based Cortney Tidwell releases the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2006 album "Don't Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up". Recorded in Cortney's home and her friends' homes and co-produced by Cortney, her husband Todd Tidwell and Ryan Norris, "Boys" is, like its predecessor, an astonishingly eclectic and genre-defying mix of the many musical forms that have inspired her. It owes as much to Depeche Mode and Joy Division as it does to Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash, and as much, if not more, to Great Britain as to The Grand Ole Opry. It's all held together by Cortney's extraordinary voice: athletic and graceful, as capable of immaculate innocence as banshee wails, and equipped with an irrefutable ability to strike right to the heart.

                                O'Death

                                Broken Hymns, Limbs And Skin

                                New York quintet O'Death's third album, "Broken Hymns, Limbs And Skin", feels like a giddy junkyard hoedown, from the panicked fiddle screeches of opener "Lowtide" to the celebratory gallop of closer "Lean-To". At times it sounds morose or contemplative, but underneath the melancholy is a gospel fervour — bashed from paint buckets, banjos, guitars and anything else in kicking distance — that defines their sound. Since 2007's "Head Home", the band have evolved the possessed Americana-meets-gypsy-punk of recent years into a more urgent, unrelenting celebration of life, death and everything in between. They've grown up a little, but haven't lost the underlying longing or the unruly jubilation in their songs.

                                This sophomore effort by Montreal's Malajube is the best francophone indie-rock release in recent memory. Catchy, heavy, light, playful and exhilarating - it rocks non-stop, and in a multitude of ways. The underlying theme of sickness runs through the disc like death did on the Arcade Fire's "Funeral". But it's filtered through textured, sweeping and frequently beautiful songwriting. Guests include rappers Loco Locass, singer Pierre Lapointe and Dears members Martin Pelland and Valerie Jodoin-Keaton. This is a big record, a great record, by what could very well be your new favourite Montreal band.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                LP Info: Was £11.99. In a gatefold sleeve and limited to just 300 copies.

                                Radio 4

                                Gotham!

                                Melodic, angular guitar tunes with a heavy Gang Of Four / Mission Of Burma influence, along wih hints of Wire and Joy Division. Produced by Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy (the guys responsible for DFA - LCD Sound System, The Rapture)


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