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The Black Watch

The Morning Papers Have Given Us The Vapours (RSD24 EDITION)



    Emma Tricca and Jason McNiff first met each other a number of years ago in the 12 Bar Club, a venue that they both played at and frequented looking for like minded souls. Brought together by their mutual appreciation of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, (Jason knew Bert and Emma knew John) they forged a friendship and made plans to one day record together.

    Their solo careers blossomed, Tricca "carving folk's new golden era" with her two delicate records for Finders Keepers and McNiff releasing six albums of highly regarded singer/songwriter material.

    But the roots run deep with Tricca McNiff, and the friendship and intention remained, finally to be realised in the summer of 2015. Fortune found them with time on their hands and after a summer of rehearsal in a farm house in rural Italy and engineer/producer Tommaso Colliva of Calibro 35 suddenly free from duties with Muse, they got to fulfil this career long ambition and "SOUTHERN STAR" was born. Consisting of six songs, three each, the mini album will be released on Dell'orso Records on 26th August.

    The songs feature the pair duetting on each others material, and highlight a yearning for travel and the emotions that are stirred by distant shores. The only kids in town who were listening to Bert and John and finger-picking on their guitars in those distant days of the 12 Bar deliver a consummate and engrossing listening experience where one travels with them on a southbound train, taking in stops in New York, the Hills of Rome and Paris in rain, the long way. As the lead track, New York is given added poignancy what with Emma's new material (due in 2017) being currently mixed with Jason Victor, Pete Galub and Steve Shelley in the Big Apple resulting in Emma spending most of this year on trans-Atlantic flights.

    As Tricca sings on McNiff's song, Hills of Rome, 'I come down on my bike to the market place, got petrol in my blood and wind in my face, my God I seem to be winning this race, got no one to chase to now...' 


    1) Southern Star
    2) Middletown
    3) New York
    4) Hills Of Rome
    5) Southbound Train
    6) Paris Rain

    Butterfly Child


    Anyone with affection for treasure of a particularly luminous dream-pop vintage will know about Joe Cassidy and his alias Butterfly Child.

    Having recorded three albums and a handful of EPs in the 90s, in 2012 a brand new Butterfly Child single ‘No Longer Living In Your Shadow’ was released without any fanfare, as Cassidy wasn’t then sure of what he was shaping up for. This is now resolved, as the first Butterfly Child album in 18 years is here.

    'Futures' refutes any fears that Cassidy couldn’t match past glories with an epic, radiant 54-minute journey invested with his usual melodic richness – both musical and vocal - and a more widescreen production, even though the record was recorded at Cassidy’s LA home. Sonically, the album lives somewhere between The Beach Boys and dreampop, but with a much more direct emotional impact, between bliss and melancholy. It combines new songs with unreleased older material, reaching as far back as Cassidy’s very first demos as a teenager, and lyrics inspired by relationships past and present, and where Cassidy is now, 24 years after Butterfly Child’s first release.

    In the early Nineties, a Butterfly Child demo had ended up with the celebrated noise/dream-pop adventurists A.R.Kane. The duo were signed to Rough Trade (UK) and Luaka Bop (US) but were starting their own label H! Ark. Cassidy recorded the Toothfairy EP (1991) and the Eucalyptus EP (1992) for H.ark! before he moved to Rough Trade himself for the Ghetto Speak EP and debut album Onomatopoeia (both 1993).

    But Rough Trade’s collapse saw Butterfly Child move again, to Dedicated for the Beaujolais EP (1994) and The Honeymoon Suite album (1995). It was then Dedicated’s turn to implode. Cassidy – battling Britpop’s tide, “which I found woefully uninspiring” – was given a fortuitous way out by Chicago label Hitit!, which had licensed both Butterfly Child albums for the US, and invited Cassidy over to make use of studio space. “I just fell in love with Chicago,” he recalls. “I recorded eight tracks in a week, and then the label asked if I wanted to make an album. So I went back, and stayed for ten years! I’ve always gone where the chance to make music has been afforded to me.”

    Hence the lush, sun-dappled climes of LA, which can be felt in the expansive folds and grooves of Futures, both on the softer, heartache-y side and pop-centric songs such as ‘A Shot In The Dark’ and ‘Holding On’. The latter has a fascinating genesis: Sirman sent a string loop to Cassidy, which reminded him of Dionne Warwick, though the eventual track was inspired by Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell. This being LA, Cassidy could call on his pals Justin, James and Christiaan, Webb’s three sons, to add backing vocals, while Campbell’s son Cal plays guitar and percussion.

    The track also features drummer Matt Walker (he’s also on ‘Shot In The Dark’) and keyboardist Brian Liesegang. Other Futures guests are Ryan J Rapsys (Euphone, drums), Pendle Poucher (a Butterfly Child accomplice back in the Nineties, on ‘glitch’ guitar), Merritt Lear (another Butterfly Child accomplice, and Assassins co-singer, on violin and backing vocals) and Oliver Kraus (strings and horns on the exquisite finale ‘Beauty #2’). Assassins producer Stephen Hague (of Pet Shop Boys and New Order fame too) has done a remix of ‘A Shot In The Dark’ that will be released as the next Butterfly Child single. 


    Andy says: Luminous dream pop with shoegazey swathes and a Big Music widescreen sweep. In another pop world this would be massive! Heartbreak and longing never sounded so good.


    1. Blind Me So I May See
    2. Still Learning To Crawl
    3. Playfair Steps
    4. Our Delays
    5. No Longer Living In Your Shadow
    6. Sheets Of Whitewashed Sun
    7. A Shot In The Dark
    8. Night Music
    9. Holding On
    10. The Only Sound
    11. Futures
    12. Lost In These Machines
    13. Beauty #2

    The Dexateens


      This is The Dexateens' previously unreleased debut album. Recorded in Spring 2000, in two days flat, it laid down the foundations of what was to come with "The Dexateens" and "Red Dust Rising". This album finds them at their most primal Motorhead meets manic Southern-fried rock. Raw'n'rowdy porch blues at its finest.

      James Roberts

      Everything You Know Is Right

        James Roberts has been writing beautiful ballads for a long while now, but this is undoubtedly his most intimate and personal record, particularly as it is the first time he has recorded without his brother. Having spent his teenage years in the Sea Urchins, and the nineties in the greatest 'lost' band of the decade, Delta, he returns with his debut solo album. Guests on the album includes Alex Lee from Suede and Allison Brice from Eighteenth Day Of May.

        Big Leaves

        Alien And Familiar

          Debut English language album from Cardiff's Big Leaves. They meld folk, psyche-pop, Beach Boys-esque harmonies and glam-ish rock to create gorgeously skewed pop songs. For fans of early Supergrass and Super Furry Animals.

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