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Lucy Rose

This Ain't The Way You Go Out

    British musician Lucy Rose released a third album, No Words Left, back in 2019. It garnered the strongest critical acclaim of her career and culminated in a sell-out show at London’s Barbican theatre. It was a record that ruminated in a sort of hushed reverence, emotionally charged and deftly delivered.

    Lucy had planned to spend some well-earned time at home in the record’s aftermath, having toured relentlessly since her late teens. She’d balanced that precariously spinning plate by forming her own record label too, Real Kind Records, putting out new records by artists she admired and thought deserved her due care and attention. With both plates spinning, she managed to catch them just before the pandemic ensured her plan for some rest and recouperation became an enforced reality. She welcomed her first child, Otis, in the summer of 2021. All was well until she was diagnosed with a rare form of pregnancy induced osteoporosis.

    With a life being lived upside down, and only now without the indignity of excruciating pain, making music wasn’t seeded top of Lucy’s priority list. Any fleeting thought of writing a new record, or even sitting down with a guitar or at a piano, took a back seat to building up the strength to walk and care for Otis. As her confidence started to rebuild, so did her usual inhibitions in the making of music. Inspired by a trip to America with friend and rapper Logic, she later worked with renowned producer Kwes to finish the record.

    This Ain’t The Way You Go Out is an album constructed from the ashes of despair, nurturing the tiniest of green shoots and giving life to something that had looked otherwise spent. It’s a new era for Lucy, and an era in its purest, truest sense. An artist re-awakening herself to the power of music, and having a lot of fun in the process of its discovery and delivery.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Lucy Roses's brilliant 'This Ain't The Way You Go Out' flawlessly straddles the disparate worlds of disco, folk and indie rock, delivered in Lucy's richly syncopated vocal style. There are myriad moments that could easily be made for the dancefloor but they classily move into similarly placid jazzy home listening fare. It's wonderfully done throughout, and hugely addictive the more you listen.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    Light As Grass
    Could You Help Me
    Dusty Frames
    Whatever You Want
    Interlude I
    Life’s Too Short
    Side B
    This Ain’t The Way You Go Out
    Over When It’s Over
    Sail Away
    Interlude II
    No More
    The Racket

    The Staves

    All Now

      It was in December 2022 that The Staves celebrated the 10th anniversary of their debut album Dead & Born & Grown – a strange and beautiful period in the lives of sisters and band members Jessica, Camilla and Emily Staveley-Taylor, making their fourth album All Now with the same organic vulnerability as that first record: except now everything was different, and they kind of were too.

      All Now emerges, bold and bright, from a period of quiet, which followed a period of chaos, for the band. When Good Woman was released in 2021, to positive reviews, it felt like “an echoing silence” to share such a cathartic album with a world shut down. So The Staves had to retreat, again, and actually wrestle with everything they had been through.

      The result? An album as rich and honest as all the most profound music by The Staves scattered across albums for the last decade, calcified here into something special.

      But the most thrilling part of this album, is that the hardest pills to swallow, here, almost have a sweeter taste. Once you’ve survived the climb to the top, learned from the journey, you may as well enjoy the view. “When you sing about hesitation and fear, there’s a lot of power in not making it sound fearful and being quite steadfast instead,” says Camilla. “It feels like an act of taking control.” With All Now, there’s no letting go. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Though it's the vocal interplay between Jessica and Camilla Stavely-Taylor and the relative instrumental minimalism that first comes to mind when you think of The Staves, their formula works just as well when transplanted onto a hefty backdrop of soaring synths and throbbing basses, and 'All Now' is the perfect display of a more hi-nrg version of their trademark sound.

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      All Now
      I Don’t Say It, But I Feel It
      Fundamental Memory
      Make A Decision
      The Echo
      Side B
      I’ll Never Leave You Alone
      After School
      Great Wave
      Recognise
      So Gracefully
      The Important One
      You Held It All

      Blue Hours sees the much-loved folk-rock duo – made up of Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones – once again team up with producer Ian Grimble on what is one of their most personal records to date.

      Speaking about the new album, Davie says: “Blue Hours is a kind of imaginary space you get into at night, a place where you process difficult things or where you try to figure everything out.”

      Themes on the album include both self-reflection and mental health after both struggled with the latter in recent years. “It’s the main over-arching theme with this record,” Davie explains. The group, who have worked with mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) previously added: “It probably speaks to our struggles and hopefully many other people’s too. Men are not very good at talking. We’re not really taught how to – men have no idea how to talk about this stuff, certainly to each other.”

      The pair describe the conceptual blue hours headspace that gives the new album its title as being “somewhere between a hotel, a mental health hospital, a bar that stays open later than anywhere else, a paradise, a dream, a nightmare and an endless sea of corridors and staircases leading you to rooms that represent memories – good, bad, happy or difficult.”

      Despite the album’s challenging themes, it’s an album drenched in hope too. “We wanted this to be a celebration of music,” Jones continues. “I think that informed some of the bolder decision making on this record. At a time when music was so distant, it felt important to make an album that sounded hopeful, celebratory, ambitious and beautiful in spite of the heavy subject matter in some of the songs.” Jones adds: “It was almost like we needed to shout louder than before because we felt that there were more barriers between the audience and us. We needed something to transcend that.”


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: This is another beautiful outing from Bear's Den, both orchestral and tender in equal measure. These are grand, bold pieces with a brittle and fragile core, both cathartic and touching.

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      New Ways
      Blue Hours
      Frightened Whispers
      Gratitude
      Shadows
      Side B
      All That You Are
      Spiders
      Selective Memories
      On Your Side
      All The Wrong Places

      MarthaGunn

      Something Good Will Happen

        ‘Something Good Will Happen’ marks another defiant chapter for MarthaGunn, who consistently prove they are worth their weight in gold through honest and conscientious song-writing, partnered with pristine pop melodies that have caught the attention of tastemakers CLASH, Independent, Dork, The Line of Best Fit, BBC Introducing Track of The Week and John Kennedy (Radio X). This is the sound of a band ever evolving their euphoric sound, where nuanced production and kaleidoscopic samples lift them into the stratosphere.

        If there’s one goal MarthaGunn want to achieve with their music, it’s connection. Whether it’s Abi giving a voice to her contemporaries via her Songwriters Circle on Instagram live, where she invites her favourite songwriters for a Q&A about their process, guests including Another Sky, Katy J Pearson, Willie J Healey, Flyte and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, or setting up a virtual tour in light of having shows cancelled and playing a special live set including a locally sourced cover - her and her band want to remind people that they’re not alone and that, at end of the day, we’re all human and we all have that in common.

        “I want to connect with people. The beautiful thing about songs is that you don’t have to know someone, but you can connect with them through the same song without saying anything. I want this album to be able to help people in some way, and give people courage to leave a situation they know isn’t right for them, or for the other person. To go after the person they love and to know no matter how bad things may seem, it’s just a chapter. Things always get better.”


        TRACK LISTING

        Side 1
        1. Undone
        2. Caught Up & Confused
        3. Giving In
        4. It’s Over
        5. Raising Hell

        Side 2
        1. Lost In The Moment
        2. Minute Of My Time
        3. I Had To Let Go
        4. Holding The Fire
        5. See You Again
        6. The Nights Are Long 

        “Amir” was produced by PJ Maertens and Jo Francken, and recorded at Maertens’ house in Belgium and at Audiworkx Studios in Holland. Of Belgian, Egyptian and Lebanese heritage the 21-year-old musician has written and shaped an album of startling, visceral, sit-up-and-listen power. “Amir” features a handful of tracks from his debut EP, “Habibi” including "Indigo Night" which features Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood on bass guitar. Although the majority of the playing heard on “Amir” is Tamino himself, he is joined by a collective of Arabic musicians based in Brussels called Nagham Zikrayat.

        The Firka (orchestra) is predominantly made up of professional musicians from the Middle East, most of which have refugee status having predominantly fled from Iraq and Syria. Over the course of “Amir”, Tamino captures a range of emotions from romance to desolation, and almost everything in between. It’s mood music, painted in a number of different shades. Tamino: 'Some of the songs on “Amir” are more on the romantic side, whilst others are more on the apathetic side. In my own life, I can look at the world and at life in both ways depending on my state of being. The conflict creates an imbalance. “Amir” is about balance'

        'A tantalising introduction to a fierce new talent' - Sunday Times Culture

        'An astonishing vocal range...Breath-taking' - The Independent. 


        TRACK LISTING

        Habibi
        Sun May Shine
        Tummy
        Chambers
        So It Goes
        Indigo Night
        Cigar
        Each Time
        Verses
        W.o.t.h
        Intervals
        Persephone

        The Tower Recordings

        The Galaxies’ Incredibly Sensual Transmission..

          Almost a precursor and defiantely a reference point to the whole 'new weird folk' scene that is in abundance in the USA right now, TTR members include PG Six, Samara Lubelski, Tim Barnes, Dean Roberts, Andre Vida, Helen Rush, Matt Valentine...so, very much a sum of some very special parts. If you like Devendra, Six Organs Of Admittance, Espers, Vetiver etc then you need this.


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