SB’s notion was simple enough: After lugging his records to Portugal years ago, his fascination was renewed by old favorites and standards he had not heard in years. Something struck him, the way the ornate intros by Eddie Cochran or the Everly Brothers felt largely like stage curtains, compelling in their own right even if they had very little to do with the hits that followed. SB began crafting loops from these preambles, twisting and bending the parts like scrap metal before sending them onto PB.
The kernel of Reset emerged not long after international lockdowns began. If making it supplied temporary medicine for the duo, it is now permanently so for the rest of us, a reminder that sometimes playing and singing along to old favorites with friends can be enough to make the world feel a bit better.
1. Gettin’ To The Point
2. Go On
4. Edge Of The Edge
5. In My Body
8. Livin’ In The After
9. Everything’s Been Leading To This
“I’ve been living in the character of Tommy Shelby for years now. The only way to write for this show is to get inside his head - I’ve dreamed about him every night for months, and when I pick up my guitar I try to play to his inner thoughts. My guitar is his violence and my voice is his hope.”
1. There'd Better Be A Mirrorball
2. I Ain't Quite Where I Think I Am
3. Sculptures Of Anything Goes
4. Jet Skis On The Moat
5. Body Paint
6. The Car
7. Big Ideas
8. Hello You
9. Mr Schwartz
10. Perfect Sense
"If our first version of London in 925 was innocent and fresh-faced, then this is rougher around the edges. It's a much more haggard place," Louis says.
Earwigged conversations, text messages, snatched speech recorded underground; the city’s discarded words fed into the lyrics which map the experience of urban life on a young and frustrated generation. Produced alongside Portishead’s Adrian Utley in Bristol, the result is an angular, acerbic, bittersweet triumph.
Beyond the ambient inspiration of pop, Giannascoli has been drawn in recent years to artists who balance the public and hermetic, the oblique and the intimate, and who present faith more as a shared social language than religious doctrine.
As with his previous records, Giannascoli wrote and demoed these songs by himself, at home; but, for the sake of both new tones and “a routine that was outside of my apartment,” he asked some half-dozen engineers to help him produce the “best” recording quality, whatever that meant. The result is an album more dynamic than ever in its sonic palette.
1. After All
5. No Bitterness
6. Ain’t It Easy
7. Cross The Sea
9. Early Morning Waiting
11. Headroom Piano
Ben is one of the most influential artists of popular music right now. The hyperpop pioneer has collaborated with the likes of Arca, Daphne & Celeste and A.G. Cook.The natural musical predecessor to the likes of PC Music, Jacobs also boasts a remix roster which includes Pet Shop Boys, The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. The reissues’ announcement went down wonderfully, with pick-up in Pitchfork, The Line of Best Fit and other key media outlets, as well as social support from Danny LHarle, Shygirl, Arca, A.G. Cook, Colin Self and Caroline Polachek.
Ben is one of the most influential artists of popular music right now. The hyperpoppioneer has collaborated with the likes of Arca, Daphne & Celeste and A.G. Cook.The natural musical predecessor to the likes of PC Music, Jacobs also boasts aremix roster which includes Pet Shop Boys, The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. The reissues’ announcement went down wonderfully, with pick-up in Pitchfork, TheLine of Best Fit and other key media outlets, as well as social support from Danny LHarle, Shygirl, Arca, A.G. Cook, Colin Self and Caroline Polachek.
A1. Gum Chimes
A2. Will Get Fooled Again
A3. Which Song
A4. My Night Out
A6. Nord Lead Three
B1. The Entertainment
B2. Number Our Days
B3. Glycaemic Index Blues
B4. Until We Die
Ben is one of the most influential artists of popular music right now. The hyperpoppioneer has collaborated with the likes of Arca, Daphne & Celeste and A.G. Cook.The natural musical predecessor to the likes of PC Music, Jacobs also boasts aremix roster which includes Pet Shop Boys, The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. The reissues’ announcement went down wonderfully, with pick-up in Pitchfork, TheLine of Best Fit and other key media outlets, as well as social support from Danny LHarle, Shygirl, Arca, A.G. Cook, Colin Self and Caroline Polachek.
A2. Lamplite On A One Horse Shoe
A3. Ah, There's Deek Now Let's Ask Him
A5. Tuli, A Plain Ride From Canvas
A6. Bill Sholem Quintette
A7. Ink Me
B1. The Salation
B2. Sussi Kuku
B4. Carbon Cones
World Wide Pop is their first new music since 2018’s self-titled debut.
Superorganism have mutated and are now based around the core of Orono, Harry, Tucan, B and Soul but World Wide Pop also brings in an international set of collaborators including Stephen Malkmus, CHAI, Pi Ja Ma, Dylan Cartlidge as well as legendary musician and actor Gen Hoshino.
Blasting back with thirteen tracks that strike a balance between artifice and earnestness, between sci-fi silliness and existential intensity, World Wide Pop is a showcase for Superorganism’s newly deepened understanding of each other’s interests and impulses, the kind of creative convergence you’d expect when online friends start spending time together IRL (their debut was completed before the whole band had ever been in the same room at the same time).
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: 'Something For Your MIND' will forever be cemented in my memory, and it's a pleasure to say that their newest outing retains all of the catchy charm and pristine electronic stomp of that single and the following LP. With a whole host of collaborators pitching in too, it's another statement of their singular intention and more evidence of their synth-pop legends status.
1. Black Hole Baby
2. World Wide Pop
3. On & On
4. Teenager (feat. CHAI & Pi Ja Ma)
5. It’s Raining (feat. Stephen Malkmus & Dylan Cartlidge
7. Solar System (feat. CHAI & Boa Constrictors
8. Into The Sun (feat. Gen Hoshino, Stephen Malkmus & Pi Ja Ma)
9. Put Down Your Phone
11. Oh Come On
12. Don’t Let The Colony Collapse
13. Everything Falls Apart
That’s the thing about magic: when you go looking for it, you start to see it everywhere. And you can hear it twinklingly throughout the ten songs on Magic Sign, the second solo album written, performed, & produced by the Real Estate songwriter. The album was recorded, mixed & co-produced by Rob Schnapf. Additional performers include Matt Barrick, Oliver Hill, Kacey Johansing, and Tim Ramsey
With their debut album, ‘isn’t anything’ (originally released in 1988), my bloody valentine revolutionised alternative music and heralded a new approach to guitar music for generations to come. The album birthed a sound which became a template for thousands of new subgenres, heralding a new approach to guitar music and studio production. Not only was it a new type of music, it paved the way for a new type of journalism; inciting comparisons to elemental phenomenon, tapping into how the music affected the psyche.
Shields and Butcher frequently sang in a similar vocal range that allowed their voices to blend together. This had the effect of making their gender indistinguishable, to the point where their voices could be used as another melodic layer to complement the vertigo-inducing sounds made by Shields’ guitars. It is a record characterised by the ominous sense of space that inhabits many of its songs, which veered between the harried and propulsive, to the subdued and eerie.
Soft As Snow (but Warm inside)
Lose My Breath
(when You Wake) You’re Still In A Dream
No More Sorry
All I Need
Feed Me With Your Kiss
Several Girls Galore
You Never Should
Nothing Much To Lose
I Can See It (but I Can’t Feel it)
The new record is ablaze with mood, melody, and carefully threaded hooks, finding the band foregrounding the pop sensibilities that had always been present in their previous releases. It retains the attitude that was fundamental to the band’s DIY roots, but cuts loose a touch of the angst.
Though the songs process disillusionment and loss, the music evokes warmth and optimism. It is their best record and also their most generous.
Now a duo, guitarist Mulitz and drummer Emma Baker had to reimagine Flasher’s voice. ‘Love Is Yours’ was recorded in Washington, D.C. with long-time friend Owen Wuerker. Rather than binding the duo to its past - to geography, old habits, or trusted sounds - the familiar environment proved liberating. Working out of Wuerker’s well-appointed homestudio allowed inspiration to arrive off deadline. With no shows in sight, Flasher could relax on presenting as a ‘rock’ band.
I Saw You
Love Is Yours
Spell It Out
All Day Long
5. Not For Me
7. A Tree Day
10. Every Good Thing
The band is celebrating No Wow’s 15-year anniversary with a deluxe reissue featuring a fresh new mix by the multiple grammy award-winning Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Fiona Apple, Arctic Monkeys) that brings new life to the 11 vivid tracks.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A superb new mix of this seminal Kills LP from 2015 sees legendary deskman Tchad Blake give the raucous percussion and grinding overdrive room to breathe below Mosshart's legendary vocal fire. A wonderful album, and an essential purchase for those of you unaware of the power it holds. Superb.
1. No Wow/Telephone Radio Germany
2. Love Is A Deserter
3. Dead Road 7
4. The Good Ones
5. I Hate The Way You Love
6. I Hate The Way You Love, Pt. 2
7. At The Back Of The Shell
8. Sweet Cloud
9. Rodeo Town
11. Ticket Man
To Here Knows When
When You Sleep
I Only Said
Come In Alone
Blown A Wish
What You Want
Surely everyone has heard their debut single Chaise Longue by now? It catapulted this Isle Of Wight duo into our consciousness during lock down and was followed by a handful of smart, hook filled pop songs that have made this LP one of the most anticipated debuts of the year. And it doesn’t disappoint!
Their half sung half spoken vocals deliver witty, brazen takes on navigating the ups and downs of modern life. There’s a definite nod to the 90s their sound: Angelica’s dead pan vocals and meandering bass bring to mind Elastica while Being In Love recalls the bitter sweet, dreamy pop of Lush and there’s a smattering of The Breeders in their more up beat songs. Combining this love of 90s indie-pop with a playful, anything goes attitude, they’ve created one of the most exciting debuts of the year.
1 Being In Love
2 Chaise Longue (Vinyl Version)
4 I Don't Wanna Go Out
5 Wet Dream
1 Loving You
2 Ur Mum
3 Oh No
4 Piece Of Shit
6 Too Late Now
Armed with an astute sense of what constitutes the ‘classic pop song’ (famously proclaiming that they write music ‘to make girls dance to’) the music of Franz Ferdinand continues to resonate globally and over the course of nearly two decades they’ve become, commercially and critically, one of the biggest UK bands in the world, selling over 10 million albums, 1.2 billion streams to date, 14 platinum albums, winning Brit, Ivor Novello + Mercury Prize awards, Grammy nominations and selling 6 million tickets for their incendiary live show worldwide.
01 Darts Of Pleasure
02 Take Me Out
03 The Dark Of The Matinée
05 This Fire
06 Do You Want To
07 Walk Away
08 The Fallen
10 Lucid Dreams
12 No You Girls
13 Right Action
14 Evil Eye
15 Love Illumination
16 Stand On The Horizon
17 Always Ascending
18 Glimpse Of Love
20 Billy Goodbye
1. Dragon Slayer
2. Car Keys
3. Prester John
4. Strung With Everything
8. We Go Back
9. Royal And Desire
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A beautiful new album from Cat Power, comprising of (you guessed it), her versions of some well-known (and some less well-known) cover versions. It's a beguiling affair throughout, the majority of which are solemn but beautiful, with the odd curveball thrown in there for good measure. Typically well done, and quintessentially Cat Power.
1 Bad Religion
3 Pa Pa Power
4 White Mustang
5 A Pair Of Brown Eyes
6 Against The Wind
7 Endless Sea
8 These Days
9 It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
10 I Had A Dream Joe
11 Here Comes A Regular
12 I'll Be Seeing You
Together they are… Richard Dawson & Circle! Today, we are pleased to announce news of their collaborative album Henki, due November 26th via Weird World. Their epic joint record might seem a departure to those who are most familiar with Dawson from recent solo albums like 2017’s Peasant and 2020 (released in 2019). In fact, Henki fits comfortably into the bigger picture of two acts who have always strived for uninhibited originality.
Dawson explains the album’s title: “The word 'henki' roughly translates as 'spirit'. It's a very rich word, supple in its meaning in the same way as the Geordie 'canny'; difficult to pin down.” True to its name, while Henki is influenced, in part by heavy-metal bands, it does not sound like any metal album you will have heard before. For one thing, few metal albums are filled with songs about plants. Inspired by Circle’s guitarist Janne Westerlund instructing the group during recording to be less straightforward and more “like a plant”, each of Henki’s seven tracks deal with special plants throughout history.
As mutual fans of each other, Circle and Dawson originally hit off it via Twitter, which led to Dawson being invited to accompany Circle for their set at Helsinki’s Sideways Festival in 2019. Dawson recalls the moment: “It was like being a teenager and suddenly being asked to go onstage with Iron Maiden. That’s how important this band are to me”. Having pulled that off, they started exchanging demos before they finally got in a room together to set off on their journey proper. Most of the recording took place in Pori - a fine jewel of a city on Finland's balmy west coast - across several visits, the last being in late January 2020 just as Covid-19 first reached Europe. From there they had to finish Henki remotely - via waves of pure thought beamed across the dark dividing oceans betwixt them, and email.
Easily the greatest flora-themed hypno-folk-metal record you’ll hear this year, Henki adds an electrifying new chapter to the remarkable story of each act, and marks the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Circle, described as "the world’s greatest band - in every category” are Pekka Jääskeläinen (guitar), Julius Jääskeläinen (guitar), Jussi Lehtisalo (bass, voice), Mika Rättö (keyboard, voice), Tomi Leppänen (drums) and Janne Westerlund (guitar, voice). Richard Dawson plays guitar and vocals. Henki was mixed by Antti Uusimäki and mastered by Christian Wright.
“‘Sit Around The Fire’ exists from one of the deep synchronicities that ushered this thing (Music For Psychedelic Therapy) into being,” comments Hopkins. “I was contacted by East Forest, who had spent some time with Ram Dass in Hawaii before he passed. He was given access to several lesser-heard talks from the 70s, and asked to set them to music. He sent me some starting points, including the beautiful choral vocals he recorded which open the piece. I put my headphones on and with Ram Dass’ voice inside my head, I sat at the piano and improvised. What you hear is the first thing that came out - it just appeared in response to the words.”
Hopkins elaborates on Music For Psychedelic Therapy: “What grew from this experience is an album with no beats, not one drum sound, something that is closer to a classical symphony than a dance / electronica record. Something that is more like having an experience than listening to a piece of music. Maybe something far more emotionally honest than I had been comfortable making before - a merging of music, nature and my own desire to heal. The freedom from traditional rhythmic structures unlocked so much - it felt like I was free to explore a new form of rhythm, one that you discover when you just allow things to flow without letting yourself get in the way.
“Music For Psychedelic Therapy is not ambient, classical or drone but has elements of all three. For me it’s a place as much as it is a sound. It works for the sober mind, but takes on a new dimension entirely when brought into a psychedelic ceremony. In my own psychedelic explorations testing this music, I found a quote I had read would keep coming to mind. ‘Music is liquid architecture, architecture is frozen music.’ I love this idea of music as something you inhabit, something that works on you energetically. In fact, it was while in that state that the title appeared to me. Psychedelic-assisted therapies are moving into legality across the world, and yet it feels like no one is talking about the music; the music is as important as the medicine.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Jon Hopkins presents a beautiful suite showing the other side to his more electronic / experimental excursions from his superb last few studio LP's. Here we get a brittle, all-encompassing selection of beautiful lysergic pads and shimmering, twinkling ambience.
2. Tayos Caves, Ecuador I
3. Tayos Caves, Ecuador Ii
4. Tayos Caves, Ecuador Iii
5. Love Flows Over Us In Prismatic Waves
6. Deep In The Glowing Heart
7. Ascending, Dawn Sky
9. Sit Around The Fire (with Ram Dass, East Forest)
New York City’s Amy Douglas has made her reputation across the worlds of house and disco with her distinctive voice and stellar songwriting ability. She has worked with such artists as Luke Solomon, The Crooked Man and Horse Meat Disco, and she wrote ‘Something More’ for Roisin Murphy on her recent album ‘Roisin Machine’.
Joe Goddard is also synonymous with the electronic music world, widely-known in the front ranks of British producers, creating a sounds from across his panoramic musical life, from house, techno and disco to UK garage, R&B and electro-pop. Joe forms one fifth of the UK electronic-pop powerhouse Hot Chip whilst, alongside Raf Rundell, he is one half of The 2 Bears.
Running Out Of Time
You Always Know
Take You Down
Holding On Too Long
Recorded in 2010 at the Good House, an old church in upstate New York, with fellow Animal Collective band member Deakin.
‘Down There’ is a world of nine songs from Avey Tare. His first official solo full length carries you through a murky world of sound, an alien death world of soul grooves that is both honest and otherworldly.
Take a ride on this haunted boat and let yourself be guided through deep sloshy rhythms, waterlogged bass and moonlit breaks in the canopy that reveal a crisp crystalline pop buzz.
Glass Bottom Boat
Ghost Of Books
Heather In The Hospital
"For me, one of the most exciting production techniques from this record was this idea where I’d record the song twice,” explains White of K Bay and “Genuine Hesitation.” “First, in a more traditional, band-in-the-room, work out the parts and sounds, nail it, kind of way. Secondly, I would distill the concept of the song one way or another into an instrumental composition. I had a much larger band (based off of Miles Davis’s On The Corner bands) play this kind of new-music/improvisational piece at the same tempo as I had recorded the first, more ‘normal’ take. The goal was to be able to cut across between the two pieces, and/or layer them and have them fit together in wild ways. To a large degree it worked, which was pretty exciting for me. The intro to ‘Genuine Hesitation’ is an excerpt from the much longer improvisation based instrumental."
K Bay, White’s first solo album in six years, is the astounding record he has forever aspired to make. A bold reclamation of independence and identity, K Bay establishes White as one of his era’s most imaginative artists. These 11 pieces are retro-futurist magic tricks that feel instantly classic and contemporary, the product of a musical mind that has internalized the lessons of his idols and used them to build a brilliant world of his own.
After his solo introduction Big Inner became a surprise hit and his 2015 debut for Domino, Fresh Blood, ascended him to late night TV performances and further critical acclaim, career demands nearly overwhelmed White. His record label/studio Spacebomb, for instance, ballooned into a bevy of obligations and expectations. White followed Fresh Blood with 2017’s Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, a set of duets with Flo Morrissey, and continued to produce records for the likes of Natalie Prass, Bedouine, and more—doubtless privileges that sometimes crowded out his ability to work on his own music. So he began building K Bay, a home studio where he could sequester himself with his thoughts. Newly married and starting to talk about children as he inched toward 40, White funneled a lifetime of experiences, enthusiasms, and obsessions into these new songs.
More than love, romance, or self-reliance, this is the animating ideal of K Bay—that we can forever strive for something better, no matter how flawed or blessed we have already been. A decade ago, Matthew E. White made a classic beauty no one expected; on K Bay, he has made a masterpiece by harnessing what he’s learned from that community and life itself in entirely unexpected, electrifying, and reaffirming ways
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: K Bay is by far White's most texturally interesting and conceptually exciting outing yet, and sees White heading more towards the sort of neon-lit futuristic synthpop that his technically minded production sensibilities are perfect for. It's swimming in groove and constantly confounding expectation while remaining resolutely melodic and typically inventive.
1. Genuine Hesitation
4. Take Your Time (And Find That Orange To Squeeze)
5. Let’s Ball
6. Fell Like An Ax
7. Only In America / When The Curtains Of The Night Are Peeled Back - Feat. Joseph “JoJo” Clarke
8. Never Had It Better
10. Shine A Light For Me
11. Hedged In Darkness
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
The songs that make up Superwolves, the duo’s second album and first since 2005’s Superwolf, go boldly into undreamed-of places, and go deep, as Matt and Bonny take all the musics they know to make songs that penetrate. In classic Garcia-Hunter style, Sweeney and the ‘Prince’ first work separately, finding a path to each other in their solitary imaginings. Bonnie lyric sets delivered to Matt spark Sweeney’s guitar brain; chords and a melody are shaped, recorded fast and loose and sent back to the Prince, then the two parties meet up to sing, stitch, strengthen and finally perform them together in front of a small unsuspecting audience. Then new sets of lyrics are sent, animated and played in a high wire style until the shared songs and experiences are ready to commit to record. This is just the beginning of their fusion process, as words imply vocalizations to counter and support, and guitar lines suggest harmonic fields to subtly push into. In this process, a new creature grows out of the old one. In this name of this partnership, the guitar shares an open and fluid space with the vocals, the voices sing with the guitars—every moment in the life of Superwolves is an extravaganza, guided only by its need.
“The chemistry comes from lives, lived separately, in which music is crucial sustenance. We listen with gratitude and awe, knowing that we belong in there. We construct our dream selves with the faith that these selves will have their chance at life. We know what we are capable of doing and just need each other’s support to bring the imagined languages to life.” — Will Oldham
“I love the challenge to write melodies for Will to sing. Struggle with that challenge too. Knowing that Will’s voice will elevate the melody makes me reach higher and dig deeper for the tune. Makes me want to match it with a guitar part that holds his voice like a chalice holds wine (or blood, or whatever is needed to live the best life). I also love singing harmonies and responses to this voice of his.” — Matt Sweeney
As far as this record, as in when and how it came together, the two man crew started working on it five years ago. The first actual session, however, went down about a year ago at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather and the next took place at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville. Sweeney oversaw the mixing of the Brooklyn sessions with Oldham overseeing the Nashville mixes. On the album, Sweeney sings harmonies along, with, and around his favorite singer, and plays all electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, joined in places by David Ferguson on stand-up bass, Mike Coltun on electric bass, Mdou Moctar on electric lead, Ahmoudou Madassane on rhythm guitar, Souleyman Ibrahim, Ryan Sawyer and Peter Townsend on drums and Mike Rojas on keys. The Bonnie ‘Prince’ sings. Does he ever. And Superwolves rules over all.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: This is a perfect collaborative effort from Sweeney & Oldham here, offsetting BPB's sometimes saccharine vocal style with Sweeney's brilliantly dynamic guitar playing. There are moments of stunning minimalistic bliss ('Resist The Urge') or more psychedelic grooving force ('Hall Of Death') but this is a constantly confounding and rewarding listen.
1. Make Worry For Me
2. Good To My Girls
3. God Is Waiting
4. Hall Of Death
5. Shorty’s Ark
6. I Am A Youth Inclined To Ramble
7. My Popsicle
8. Watch What Happens
9. Resist The Urge
10. There Must Be A Someone
11. My Blue Suit
12. My Body Is My Own
13. You Can Regret What You Have Done
14. Not Fooling
Did You See The Words
The Purple Bottle
Turn Into Something
Who Could Win A Rabbit
The Softest Voice
Kids On Holiday
Mouth Wooed Her
Good Lovin Outside
Whaddit I Done
1. You Made Me Realise
4. Cigarette In Your Bed
5. Drive It All Over Me
6. Feed Me With Your Kiss
7. I Believe
8. Emptiness Inside
9. I Need No Trust
12. Don’t Ask Why
13. Off Your Face
1. To Here Knows When
3. Honey Power
4. Moon Song
5. Instrumental No. 2
6. Instrumental No. 1
7. Glider (full Length Version)
10. Good For You
11. How Do You Do It
1. She Found Now
2. Only Tomorrow
3. Who Sees You
4. Is This And Yes
5. If I Am
6. New You
7. In Another Way
8. Nothing Is
9. Wonder 2
1. Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)
2. Lose My Breath
3. Cupid Come
4. (When You Wake) You’re Still In A Dream
5. No More Sorry
6. All I Need
7. Feed Me With Your Kiss
9. Several Girls Galore
10. You Never Should
11. Nothing Much To Lose
12. I Can See It (But I Can’t Feel It)
To date, Anna Calvi has released three studio albums (‘Anna Calvi’, ‘One Breath’ and ‘Hunter’), a collaborative EP with David Byrne (‘Strange Weather’) and the most recent ‘Hunted’, a seven-track reworking of ‘Hunter’. Additionally, Calvi wrote and performed the score for Season 5 of BBC One’s Peaky Blinders and wrote the music for the opera The Sandman, directed by Robert Wilson.
Anna is the first solo artist to achieve three consecutive Mercury Prize nominations and has also received a Brit Award nomination. Throughout her career, Calvi has worked with Brian Eno, Marianne Faithfull, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joe Talbot (IDLES), Dave Okumu (The Invisible), Johnny Flynn, Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Courtney Barnett.
The LP, which includes the likes of ‘Desire’, ‘Blackout’, ‘Rider To The Sea’ and ‘Suzanne And I’, is reissued for the first time, available to independent retailers on deluxe red vinyl. It also features brand new cover artwork and an 8-page booklet containing previously unseen photographs, plus digital download code.
1. Rider To The Sea
2. No More Words
4. Suzanne And I
5. First We Kiss
6. The Devil
9. I’ll Be Your Man
10. Morning Light
11. Love Won’t Be Leaving
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: It's a bit of a different vibe for Animal Collective this time round, with their notoriously clangy arty-indie replaced with brittle atmospherics and suitable filmic drones. It's a big step, but a perfectly fitting soundtrack and a testament to the continued skill of this Maryland crew.
Almost entirely acoustic, ‘Island’ begins with 13 darkened chords and was recorded live at Abbey Road Studios with the London Contemporary Orchestra. The introduction is the sound of waking up alone and on the shore of a strange land. What follows is a shimmering and luscious orchestral album that draws across the full breadth of Pallett’s discography, from ‘Heartland’’s Technicolor to the glittering, fingerpicked guitar that marked Pallett’s first records with their trio, Les Mouches.
In addition to Pallett’s Grammy Award-winning work with Arcade Fire, Pallett’s commissions have included string, brass and orchestral work for Last Shadow Puppets, The National, The Mountain Goats, Christine and arrangements for Frank Ocean, Caribou, R.E.M., Linkin Park, Sigur Rós, Taylor Swift and the Pet Shop Boys.
Since the release of ‘In Conflict’ (2014), Pallett has earned an Oscar nomination for their film scoring work on Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ and an Emmy for Sølve Sundsbø’s ‘Fourteen Actors Acting’. Their score for Matt Wolf’s ‘Spaceship Earth’, a documentary about a crew who spent two years quarantined inside a replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2, is out now.
Paragon Of Order
The Sound Of The
Perseverance Of The
A Bloody Morning
Lewis Gets Fucked Into
Paragon Of Order
Written solely by Frànçois Marry himself, close collaborator and Weird World artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi was enlisted for production duties whilst Renaud Letang (Feist, Gonzales, Connan Mockasin) mixed the album.
The title of the album is taken from the ‘blue banana’ concept, a geographical theory that groups together a corridor of Europe’s biggest cities, originally conceived in the 1980s. The theory states that the blurring of these cities’ boundaries has resulted in the formation of one massive, interconnected megalopolis.
Expanding on the theory, Frànçois poetised it, picturing a luminescent blue banana shape that you can see from space with vibrant, ethereal currents that surround and bind us. It explores common cultural and romantic ground, creating an album full of missed meetings and misunderstandings.
Par Le Passé
Lee-Ann & Lucie
Gold & Lips
Dans Un Taxi
The band took some of their unreleased improvisations, remixed them, collaged them and built them into fully formed songs, finding their way to ‘Bridge To Quiet’.
Animal Collective consists of musicians Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb) and Geologist (Brian Weitz), who play in various configurations on each album. Their expansive catalogue spans the entirety of the 2000s, including ‘Strawberry Jam’, ‘Feels’ and ‘Sung Tongs’. With the release of ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, named after the Baltimore venue, they established themselves as one of the most acclaimed acts of the 21st Century.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Bridge To Quiet shows the Animal Collective in a more expansive, avant-ambient mood, with these stunning shadowy vocals and electronic artifacts mixed with glitched synths and off-kilter snappy percussion.
Rain In Cups
Bridge To Quiet
The North West Londoner has been on a long, dazzling journey since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album in 2015. Her first self-titled collection of percussive, punk-inflected pop songs was lauded by The Guardian, Vice, The FADER and others - but nobody predicted the about turn she would make when she returned with two rough-hewn diamonds of house music in 2019.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: I was a huge fan of the superb album from Georgia a few years ago, and if anything, the crystal clear production and effortless absorption of dancefloor influence and soulful 80s groove in 'Seeking Thrills' is even more satisfying. Ram-packed with day-long earworms.
About Work The Dancefloor
Never Let You Go
24 Hours *
Mellow (ft Shygirl)
Til I Own It
I Can’t Wait
The Thrill (ft Maurice)
Honey Dripping Sky
* = CD / LP Digital download Card Only
The compilation includes the unreleased and never-before-heard demo “Raise Me” from the 2008-2009 Midnight Boom era. Other highlights include “I Call It Art” from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited covers compilation, the brilliant Midnight Boom digital bonus track “Night Train,” a blistering performance of “Love Is A Deserter” from an XFM radio session and a handful of classic American roots songs performed with the kind of bruising delivery they’re famous for: Howlin’ Wolfs’ “Forty Four,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You” and Dock Boggs’ “Sugar Baby.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: It always amazes me when a band releases a b-sides album that could easily have held an album’s worth of material. In the case of the new Kills retrospective, ‘Little Bastards’ (named after a presumably disobedient Roland 880 sampler) it could easily have been two albums worth.
1. SUPERPOWERLESS / Last Day Of Magic 7” - 2008
2. PASSION IS ACCURATE / Love Is A Deserter CD Single - 2005
3. KISS THE WRONG SIDE / Cheap And Cheerful 7” - 2008
4. RAISE ME / Unreleased Demo 2009
5. NIGHT TRAIN / Midnight Boom Digital Bonus Track 2008
6. HALF OF US / No Wow 7” - 2005
7. LONDON HATES YOU / Tape Song 7” - 2008
8. I CALL IT ART / Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited Compilation - 2006
9. FORTY FOUR / Black Balloon 7” - 2009
10. LOVE IS A DESERTER / Recorded For XFM - 2005
11. THE SEARCH FOR CHERRY RED / Pull A U 7” Single - 2003
12. MAGAZINE / Love Is A Deserter 7” - 2005
13. BLUE MOON / Future Starts Slow 7” Single - 2011
14. JEWEL THIEF / Fried My Little Brains 7” Single - 2003
15. BABY’S EYES / The Good Ones 7” Single - 2003
16. I PUT A SPELL ON YOU / Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Cover - 2009
17. RUN HOME SLOW / The Good Ones CD Single - 2005
18. WEED KILLER / Black Balloon 10” - 2009
19. THE VOID / No Wow Expanded Edition CD - 2005
“On June 7, 2018 we played a very special show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. All the proceeds from that memorable night were donated to War Child in support of the vital work they do protecting, educating, and rehabilitating children who have experienced the trauma of conflict and the horror of war. The situation that was bad in 2018 is now desperate and those children and their families need our help more than ever. To enable War Child to reduce their funding deficit and continue their valuable work, we are happy to be able to release a live album, recorded that evening at The Royal Albert Hall. All proceeds will go direct to the charity. We thank all our fans in advance for their support of this release and in turn for their support of War Child” - Arctic Monkeys.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A completely essential document of the Arctic Monkeys incendiary live show here, on top form and all for a good cause. The set-list is everything you'd expect from a Monkeys best-of gig and all from the comfort of your own home! What more could you want.
1. Four Out Of Five
3. Crying Lightning
4. Do I Wanna Know?
5. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?
7. One Point Perspective
8. Do Me A Favour
10. Knee Socks
12. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
13. She Looks Like Fun
14. From The Ritz To The Rubble
15. Pretty Visitors
16. Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
17. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
18. Star Treatment
19. The View From The Afternoon
20. R U Mine?
The album itself was produced by TNP's Jack Barnett and Graham Sutton (Bark Psychosis, Boymerang) and mixed by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, MF DOOM), it draws on both the rhythmic lexicons of dancehall and 20th century post-minimalism, the recording features 6ft Japanese Taiko drums, a thirteen piece brass and woodwind ensemble, sub-heavy beats, prepared piano & a children's choir. The result is equal parts brutal and melancholy, standing the test of time, sounding as pioneering and bold a decade on.
Hidden is a record that crushes together menace and beauty: after the prelude of woodwind that is “Time Xone”, “We Want War” remains one of the most startling tracks to be released as a single in this millennium - a sound like swarms of invading, metallic wasps, robotic voices intoning, the martial rattle of layers of drums, Jack Barnett’s vocals an incantation. The militant funk of “Three Thousand”, strange skittish jazz in “Hologram”, and “Drum Courts - Where Corals Lie” feels like an ancient, elegiac folk song carried forth on a storm. A record of intense variety, soul and depth, Hidden is remarkable by anyone’s standards, let alone one made by a group of people barely out of their teens.
Through the extremes of recording, These New Puritans had a critical hit. It was rightly lauded for its singularity and adventure at the time and found the group a legion of loyal fans and was given NME’s prestigious Album of the Year 2010 accolade. Further to the record, it spawned the Hidden Live tour, featuring a large ensemble, conductor Andre De Ridder, and a kids choir.
1. Time Xone
2. We Want War
3. Three Thousand
5. Attack Music
9. Drum Courts–Where Corals Lie
10. White Chords
12. Hologram Pianos
13. We Want War Brass & Woodwind
14. 5 Mallets
15. Hologram Chamber Mix
16. Drum Courts Hidden Live Paris
17. Irreversible¬¬–En Papier Hidden Live Berlin
Comprised of guitarist-songwriter Stuart Moxham, brother and bassist Philip, and singer Alison Statton, YMG emerged from the punk and post-punk landscape with a sound like no one else. Recorded in five days, Colossal Youth went on to influence whole legions from Sheffield to Seattle, looking to de-grungify gangs of four or more. They found fans in the likes of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Belle & Sebastian, David Byrne, Sonic Youth, The Magnetic Fields. Cited as one of the most definitive records of the post-punk era, there is something almost canonical about the album’s use of voice, muted instruments and space. Colossal Youth’s attention to sparse detail is now a modus operandi for haunted electronica auteurs and spectral singer-songwriters alike, but ultimately, only the Young Marble Giants sound like Young Marble Giants.
1. Searching For Mr Right
2. Include Me Out
3. The Taxi
4. Eating Noddemix
5. Constantly Changing
7. Colossal Youth
8. Music For Evenings
9. The Man Amplifier
10. Choci Loni
11. Wurlitzer Jukebox
12. Salad Days
13. Credit In The Straight World
14. Brand – New – Life
15. Wind In The Rigging
16. Have Your Toupee Ready
17. The Man Shares His Meal With His Beast
19. Loop The Loop
20. Ode To Booker T
21. Final Day
22. Radio Silents
24. This Way
25. Posed By Models
26. The Clock
28. Zebra Trucks
29. Sporting Life
DVD – Live At Hurrah, New York, November 1980:
Music For Evenings
Credit In The Straight World
Brand – New – Life
Include Me Out
Searching For Mr Right
Each EP features lead vocals by a different band member: Maia Friedman, Felicia Douglass, Kristin Slipp and Dave Longstreth, who all trade verses on the series closer.
Maia’s ‘Windows Open’ is acoustic and folky, Felicia’s ‘Flight Tower’ is both soulful and electronic, Dave’s ‘Super João’ is a four-track bossa nova homage to João Gilberto, Kirstin’s ‘Earth Crisis’ is a cut-up orchestral collage in the mode of through-composed art song, whereas the final EP ‘Ring Road’ weaves together the emotional, stylistic, and lyrical threads explored in the prior four EPs.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: I was just listening to Dirty Projectors' song with David Byrne for the 'Dark Was The Night' compilation just the other day, which led me to wishing for a collection of some of the more unheard of tracks from their canon. Lo and behold, stone the crows etc. Here it is. You'll have heard some of these tracks before, but it's a brilliant document to have them all together like this.
On The Breeze
Search For Life
Guarding The Baby
Lose Your Love
I Get Carried Away
You Create Yourself
Moon, If Ever
Eyes On The Road
There I Said It
Now I Know
Por Qué No
On ‘A Bag OF Eyes’ there is industrial judder, slacker-fuzz guitar, a cacophony of saxophones. On one track, ring-modulated drums kick in with oscillating fury. Another moves from 90s shit-hole grunge venue to sleazy jazz joint in four minutes. Whilst on a third a synth is deployed, with the express purpose of sawing the listener’s ears in half, Fogarty attests. However, beneath them all lie fragments of melody, image, drone; a flicker of banjo, an electronic pulse. “I like to purposely make music that clashes with the more traditional stuff that I do,” he says.
Fogarty’s celebrated storytelling is at home in this new sound world, rambling between the fantastical and the mundane: nuns playing volleyball, horses on clifftops, lives glimpsed through rear windows. There are echoes of his own past, the loss of dear friends. Ireland, London and two views of San Francisco, 15 years apart. It is bus stops, house fires and Jimmy Stewart. ‘A Bag Of Eyes’ was recorded across London, Kent and East Sussex and features Fogarty’s partner Emma Smith, Meilyr Jones, long-time collaborators Leo Abrahams, Aram Zarikian and John Fogarty, as well as someone slightly more unexpected, an audience member recorded live at one of Seamus’ gigs in Dublin. If there is a restlessness to these songs it is there not only in their geographical sweep, their mingling of memory and nostalgia, but also in their sense of invention: audience anecdotes, a trad ballad cover, electronic fury, dirty guitar solos, all pressed fiercely together into something that feels startling and new and explorative.
Wake Up Felix
Bus Shelter Blues
My Boy Willie
Following “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong” and “megapunk,” “el cielo no es de nadie” defies the idea that one grandiose act means more than little ones. The video, co-directed by Ela and Pepi Ginsberg, presents striking images of Ela’s machines and her moving throughout the stage and hallways of a club. It gives a feel of Ela’s visceral, intimate world and urges finding a deeper connection to those around you. “‘el cielo no es de nadie’ is about all the love I see in small, everyday acts. It’s an invitation to appreciate unheroic, but constant and meaningful actions,” says Ela. “The song’s title, ‘el cielo no es de nadie,’ refers to the phrase ‘I’ll give you the sky,’ a common expression used in Spanish when in love. In the song, I defy it: 'you can't give me the sky' / it isn’t yours to give.”
Before forging her path as a solo electronic artist, Ela was a drummer in a teenage hardcore band. She joined the band when she was just 12, performing with them for almost a decade. Ela then moved to the United States to attend Berklee College of Music, where she double-majored in jazz drumming and synthesizer design. This roving background instilled in her a belief that we all have the power to change things, and as she delved deeper into her work with synthesizers, she saw a clear connection between the freedom of the DIY scene she grew up in and club culture. “I deeply identify with club culture, and want to make music to dance to,” she says. “I also want to make songs in the more traditional sense, with melodies, lyrics, and singing. I want to make songs that stay with people through the years.”
Using only hardware to perform, write and record, Ela creates complex, technical electronic music that exudes a warm vibrancy, along with a darker, almost celebratory understanding that our breaths aren’t infinite. Her sharp, coiled words are cathartic—due in part to her approach to writing them. “I always start writing by improvising alone,” she says. “Once I have some instrumentals I’m happy with, I intuitively grab the mic and sing a phrase with a melody in it. I always keep that initial phrase.” On acts of rebellion, you sense the stories hidden in everyday things. You feel Ela’s personality and viewpoint; you sense her presence. The cover features a photo of her, most of her face obscured, but her eyes sharply focused.
On acts of rebellion, she’s asking us to make contact not just with her, but also the people that inhabit our lives. She’s suggesting we leave our gadgets behind in favor of flesh-and-blood communities. She’s asking us to think, dance, and love, while she coaxes humanity from her hardware—machines that rattle and whirr alongside her and, in turn, make us feel more alive.
2. They Told Us It Was Hard, But They Were Wrong.
3. El Cielo No Es De Nadie
5. Pocket Piano
7. Let Them Have The Internet
9. Do Whatever You Want, All The Time.
10. Close (ft. Helado Negro)
In its title, ‘His Greatest Misses’ acknowledges that Wyatt’s career has taken place outside the limited space and definition of commercial pop success but simultaneously recognises that Wyatt’s non-careerist career has nevertheless proven both productive and rigorous. The collection, originally released as a Japanese edition, includes selections dating from ‘Rock Bottom’ (1974) to ‘Cuckooland’ (2003), although its running order is non-chronological. This makes the subtle point that Wyatt’s recordings are best considered as a nonlinear catalogue; this is a world through which the listener can move at any pace in any direction.
Born in Bristol in 1945, Wyatt was a founding member of the bands Soft Machine and Matching Mole, before embarking on a solo career. His discography is one that flows with the force and intensity of a river in full spate. Each recording on ‘His Greatest Misses’ is a benchmark in the life and work of a steadfast and true original and provides the opportunity for the listener to enjoy some wild swimming through this powerful, idiosyncratic and unclassifiable catalogue.
The release of ‘His Greatest Misses’ coincides with the release of ‘Side by Side’, a book by Robert Wyatt and his wife Alfie Benge: visual artist, songwriter and the person who has nurtured and overseen Wyatt’s career for the past forty-six years.
3. Heaps Of Sheeps
4. Free Will And Testament
5. I’m A Believer
6. Sea Song
7. Little Red Robin Hood Hit
8. The Road
9. Solar Flares
10. At Last I Am Free
12. The Age Of Self
15. Memories Of You
16. Muddy Mouse (b)
17. Mister E
18. Foreign Accents
With Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course, from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.
In the years between For As Many As Will (1978) and the release of Lodestar, Shirley suffered from a form of dysphonia, had lost her singing voice, and was never expected to sing again – certainly not in public. Lodestar was a delightful surprise to all her fans and the folk community, and once Shirley had started to sing again, she was not going to stop. “I’m absolutely consumed by this music,” she said. “I have always loved it so much. I’m still learning songs and just want to keep learning them. I thought ‘somebody has got to sing these songs, so it might as well be me!”
Collins followed Lodestar with a remarkable blitz of activity for a lady in her eighties. There was a film, and soundtrack album, The Ballad of Shirley Collins. There was a new autobiography, All in the Downs, which won the Penderyn Music Book Prize (beating the Beastie Boys). And there were high-profile come-back concerts, including a memorable appearance at London’s Barbican, at which she was backed by an exceptional group of friends and musicians, the Lodestar Band. She may have felt nervous being back on stage, “but I feel so supported by that band. And every song I sing I love anyway – it’s not a hardship to sing the songs!”.
All of which is reflected in her second come-back album, Heart’s Ease. Collins’ intriguing choice of songs on Heart’s Ease includes two with lyrics by her first husband Austin John Marshall, a graphic artist and poet who produced several of her albums and had the inspired idea of getting Shirley to work with blues/jazz/world music guitarist Davy Graham on that extraordinary album Folk Roots, New Routes in 1964. There are more family memories with “Locked In Ice”, written by Dolly’s son the late Buz Collins and the most startling new piece is the finale, “Crowlink”, named after a pathway on the South Downs overlooking the English Channel “where I love to be,” in which Shirley sings against a moody, atmospheric fusion of Ossian Brown’s hurdy-gurdy, and electronica and field recordings of waves and sea birds from Matthew Shaw.
Heart’s Ease is a glorious reminder that Shirley Collins is still in a class of her own, both as a folk singer with a distinctive no-nonsense style that is all her own, and as an innovator. And she certainly doesn’t intend this album to be her last. “I have such a huge memory of songs, so many of which I still want to sing. And I wasted all those years not singing, so now I’ve got to catch up a bit!”
The Merry Golden Tree
Rolling In The Dew
The Christmas Song
Locked In Ice
Sweet Greens And Blues
Tell Me True
Orange In Bloom
“There is darkness in the poetry of Ultimate Success Today,” says punk legend, founding member of The Raincoats, and friend of the band Ana da Silva. “The theme of things ending, above all human existence, is present and reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Our world has reached a point that makes us afraid: fires, floods, earthquakes, hunger, war, intolerance…There are cries of despair. Is there hope? Greed is the sickness that puts life in danger.”
"The re-release of our first album had me thinking about the passage of time and its ultimate conclusion,” says singer Joe Casey of Ultimate Success Today. “Listening to No Passion All Technique again, I could hear myself hoping for an introduction and a long future, but also being cognizant that it could be ‘one and done’ for us. So, when it came time to write Ultimate Success Today, I was reminded of that first urgency and how it was an inverse of my current grapple with how terribly ill I’ve been feeling lately. Was that sick feeling colouring how I felt about the state of the world or was it the other way around?”
“This panic was freeing in a way. It allowed me to see our fifth album as a possible valediction of some confusingly loud five-act play. In the same light I see it as an interesting mile marker of our first decade of being a band - a crest of the hill along a long highway. Although just to cover my bases, I made sure to get my last words in while I still had the breath to say them.”
“There are exquisite, subtle gifts from other instruments that always heighten the guitar, instead of fighting with it,” explains da Silva. “They help to create a harmonious wall of sound all of its own. This was intentional. Greg Ahee wanted to use different textures other than pedals, and the drone quality of some of those instruments colours the guitar and the whole sound with a warm, rich in reverb, yet all-consuming landscape for Joe Casey’s voice.”
Protomartyr is Joe Casey (vocals), Greg Ahee (guitars), Alex Leonard (drums), and Scott Davidson (bass guitar). Ultimate Success Today was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios, a late 19th century church, in upstate New York and co-produced by the band and David Tolomei (Dirty Projectors, Beach House) with mixing by Tolomei. Featured guest musicians on the album include Nandi Rose (vocals) a.k.a. Half Waif, jazz legend Jemeel Moondoc (alto sax), Izaak Mills (bass clarinet, sax, flute), and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello).
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: 'Ultimate Success Today' is a superb, burning fire of an LP from start to finish. Dark and foreboding while somehow managing to elicit a headnod from even the most stationary of listeners, this is Protomartyr's finest moment yet.
Day Without End
Processed By The Boys
I Am You Now
Modern Business Hymns
Bridge & Crown
Worm In Heaven
GENE, the album, is named after a brand-new analogue drum machine Sam dreamt up and built alone. Working in isolation for more than two years in California, Wales and England’s south coast, soldering iron in hand, Sam developed the inners of GENE using dozens of electrical circuits he made up himself. The creation came after a search for an alternative to the structure and rigor of standard drum machines. Its unique rhythmic patterns are the focal point for the album, which is coloured by lush, pastoral tones, paired with the influence of his environmental changes.
The product of clear-eyed focus, the record offers a one-way ticket into a dimension entirely of Sam’s own making.
GENE is the most complete realisation of his vision yet. These songs are on a quest for meaning, exploring the limits of their maker’s abilities.
Coaxed into life with the juicy groove of “Beginning”, the record struts and sparkles through “Rubber Sky” and “What Moves” towards the melancholic interlude of “Sudden Thing” and the gigantic noise of centerpiece “Monochrome”, taking a sharp turn in the final third towards something darker and more mystical.
GENE was produced alongside London based artist, producer, DJ and founder of Phantasy records, Erol Alkan.
Open My Eyes
What Do You See
Kissing Of The Weeds
Ain’t No Love Affair
Never Let You Go
Never Let You Go (Skream Remix)
Katie Austra Stelmanis has been better known by her middle name for three albums, ten years, and countless tours. She wrote, produced, and performed all her own records, occasionally sharing the spotlight with a band to tour live. From the outside, things were going really well for a while: she built a devoted fan base and sold out shows all around the world. However, on the inside, Stelmanis was beginning to feel stagnant and uninspired. “I was losing faith in my own ideas,” she explains. Without realising it, she’d got caught up in a toxic relationship that was tearing her apart.
It wasn’t until Stelmanis was ready to face her insecurities that she was able to see a way forward: “My creative and personal relationships were heavily intertwined, and I knew the only answer was to part ways with all of the people and comforts that I’d known for the better part of a decade and start again.” Alongside making changes in her personal life, HiRUDiN saw Austra taking an entirely different, free-spirited approach to making a record. Seeking out all new collaborators, she booked three days of sessions in Toronto with improv musicians she’d never met before. They included two thirds of contemporary classical improv group c_RL, the cellist and kamanche duo Kamancello, kulintang ensemble Pantayo, and a children’s choir.
Accumulating a vast and vibrant mass of source material, Austra then holed up in a studio in the Spanish countryside and took a collage approach to sampling, arranging, writing and producing to reveal the songs that would form the album.
HiRUDiN traces a deeply personal journey towards regeneration, dealing with the fallout of toxic relationships, queer shame, and insecurity along the way.
2. All I Wanted
3. How Did You Know?
4. Your Family
5. Risk It
6. Interlude I
7. It’s Amazing
8. Mountain Baby Feat. Cecile Believe
9. I Am Not Waiting
10. Interlude Ii
The release of the ‘Queen & Slim’ score marks an incredible couple of years for Hynes, who recently wrapped up a tour opening for Tyler, The Creator in arenas across America. As Blood Orange, he released the mixtape Angel’s Pulse this past summer, in addition to directing a video for Beck, writing a collection of classical music with Third Coast Percussion, directing and releasing a series of his own videos and being called one of the Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People For 2019
Slim Lets Go
This Is A Safe Place
A Couple Deer
Love Theme (Dance)
Slim Calls Home
Start The Car
Kissed All Your Scars
Joined by drummer Lincoln Barrett and Campbell Baum on bass, Sorry emerged from a thriving scene of bands in London, and though 925 is their debut album, it is by no means their first statement. It follows a series of mixtapes, released sporadically and used as a way to experiment with the disparate influences and sounds that give 925 its distinctively modern and apocalyptic sound.
Where previous singles and mixtapes earned the band their status as one of the most vital and relentlessly creative new British bands of the moment, 925 is a record which will undoubtedly cement their status as true originals and cross-genre innovators in 2020 and beyond.
1. Right Round The Clock
2. In Unison
7. As The Sun Sets
9. Rock 'n' Roll Star
12. Ode To Boy
13. Lies (Refix)
Once he’d identified each song’s greater role, Webb took pains to ensure the albums would stand alone. “Through the year of mixing and releasing Drift Code,” he continues, “I made a conscious effort not to listen to Clockdust. It became some long-lost twin everybody had forgotten. There was an older, wiser atmosphere to it, more cinematic, but in a romantic way”.
Clockdust draws upon an armoury of instruments, some, like the euphonium, unfamiliar in such contexts, and plenty – the kokoriko, the okónkolo – with even more unfamiliar names. Each track, too, indicates Webb’s fondness for the path less travelled, its twists and turns at first jarring but soon intuitive. That they’re embellished by a voice which has seemingly endured many lifetimes emphasises their mysterious nature. That its recording was soundtracked by Jacques Brel, Jet Harris and Kurt Weill no doubt contributed too. That many songs are inspired by old movies enhances their ageless atmosphere yet further.
Lead single “Jackie’s Room” is about a dysfunctional yet romantic relationship in which the protagonist believes “as long as she’s desired, she’ll never grow old” and the resulting track sways with the grace of its aging seductress. “I think of the album as containing stories from people who’ve reached their present situation through many years of experiences,” Webb says.
Idiosyncratic and quietly haunting, Clockdust is seeped in sepia-tinted nostalgia, “a powerful force of nature,” Webb states, “up there with love and desire”. The album blurs the boundaries between past and present. Webb insists that he prefers to live in the here and now, but in looking back he’s found a magical, mesmerising manner in which to forge a path forward: for him, for his music, and for his audience.
Gold & Tinsel
Love Turns Her On
Night In Evening City
Man With A Remedy
About the album, Maine says: “My new album, Ricky Music, was written and recorded between Dec 2017 and the spring of 2019. Mostly in New York at my apartment, but some of it in Chicago, Los Angeles, and various cities while touring around Europe. This record is an account of the beauty, confusion, anger, joy and sadness I experienced during that time. I think I was as lost as I was madly in love. In these songs I hear myself sometimes desperate for clarity, and other times, having enough perspective to laugh at myself in some of my darkest moments. That’s sort of what this album is about, I hope you enjoy it.”
With the album announcement comes a new song – “Do U Wanna” – and a video for the song directed by prior Porches collaborator Nick Harwood. ““Do U Wanna” is a song about looking at yourself and realizing the disparity between how you’d like to act and how you actually act. The fun you vs. the isolated you. I feel like with the refrain I’m almost taunting myself to get up and do something.”
Do U Wanna
I Wanna Ride
I Can’t Even Think
Wrote Some Songs
Rangerover (7" Bonus Track)
Malkmus took on Traditional Techniques as a kind of self-dare. Conceived while recording Sparkle Hard at Portland’s Halfling Studio, Malkmus had observed the variety of acoustic instruments available for use. The idea escalated within a matter of weeks into a full set of songs, and shortly thereafter into a realized and fully committed album. When he returned to Halfling, Malkmus drew from a whole new musical palette--including a variety of Afghani instruments - to support an ache both quizzical and contemporary. The resulting Traditional Techniques is expansive and thrilling. Alongside gorgeous folk music, there are also occasional bursts of flute-laced swagger, straight-up commune rock (“Xian Man”), and mind-bending fuzz.
Centred around the songwriter’s 12-string acoustic guitar, and informed by a half-century of folk-rock reference points, Traditional Techniques is the product of Malkmus and Halfling engineer/arranger-in-residence Chris Funk (The Decemberists). Additionally, Matt Sweeney (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Chavez) plays guitar throughout.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Malkmus returns, bringing with him a healthy line-up of shimmering folky ballads and swooning angular acoustic guitar work. Ranging from hypnotic drones and soul-affirming melodicism to jaunty, swaggering grooves and all topped with Malkmus' unmistakeable vocals. Superb.
1. ACC Kirtan
2. Xian Man
3. The Greatest Own In Legal History
4. Cash Up
6. What Kind Of Person
7. Flowin’ Robes
9. Signal Western
On Hunted, Calvi said, “During a break from touring I went back and listened to the first recordings I ever made of ‘Hunter’. These recordings capture the very moment I first wrote these songs, and recorded them on my own, in my attic studio. I find something especially intimate about sharing these most private recordings with my favourite singers and asking them to lend their voices and artistic sensibility. Courtney Barnett is an amazing artist. Her voice and guitar playing together are mind blowing. Her ability to connect the profound to the smallest moments of human experience is the unique talent of a true artist.”
On working together, Barnett said, “Anna is a completely awe-inspiring performer, it’s impossible to take your eyes off her onstage. I love her songwriting for its beautiful and perfect balance between aggression and tenderness.” More raw-sounding than their original incarnations, the tracks on Hunted shine under the light of a different lens, one that brings the innate fragility of the compositions to the forefront and exquisitely melds together the dichotomy of the hunter and the hunted, the primal and the beautiful, the vulnerable and the strong.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: The superb turnaround of Anna Calvi's 2018 LP 'Hunter' into 'Hunted' sees Calvi collaborating with a selection of some of the greatest names in modern indie music, and adds futher gravitas to the stunningly written and brilliantly performed pieces on show. Deep and soulful, swimming with gothcic drive and singularly enchanting, this is a perfect companion or a wonderful listen on it's own.
Swimming Pool (feat. Julia Holter)
Eden (feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg)
Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy (feat. Courtney Barnett)
Wish (feat. Joe Talbot/IDLES)
Indies Or Paradise
Since 2015’s Gliss Riffer, Deacon has branched out into an array of collaborative projects including film scores to Rat Film, HBO’sWell Groomed, ESPN’s30 for 30: Subject to Review; collaborating with the NYCBallet’s resident choreographer Justin Peck, LAPhil and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
While fulfilling, these projects lacked Dan’s singing voice. In the midst of that whirlwind of activity, he returned whenever he could to a personal oasis—the songs that would become Mystic Familiar, informed by all these collaborations but built from within. Deacon’s writing took an exploratory new direction developed with therapeutic practices of self-compassion and mindfulness, daily prompts from Brian Eno’s deck of Oblique Strategies and the use of meditation. These techniques produced songs that paint life as a psychedelic journey brimming with bliss and disruption, darkness and light.
It’s a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and modulations. This voice-focused album is also the first record in which each song was built around one central concept—the Mystic Familiar, a supernatural other being that we carry with us everywhere in our head, which only we can hear and with whom we live our lives in eternal conversation.
Mystic Familiar takes a propulsive leap with the robot-performed drums and soaring melodies of “Sat By a Tree.” Lyrically, the song conjures campfire reflections on key memories with the hard-won clarity of time, a dialogue with an anthropomorphic tree on chilling out, and befores and afters of life and death. The video, directed by Daren Rabinovitch offilm and animation studioEncyclopedia Pictura and starring comedian Aparna Nancherla, uses natural world elements, vivid colors, and a cartoon-like aesthetic to reflect on time and the precious shortness of life (not for those with an aversion to bugs).
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: 2015's 'Glass Riffer' didn't some off my turntable for quite some time, and i'm pretty sure this will meet the same fate. Huge swathes of synth and bright percussives shine through below the off-piste vocals and chaotic bitcrushed scree. It's marvellous, and completely insane.
1. Become A Mountain
3. Sat By A Tree
4. Arp I: Wide Eyed
5. Arp II: Float Away
6. Arp III: Far From Shore
7. Arp IV: Any Moment
8. Weeping Birch
9. Fell Into The Ocean
10. My Friend
11. Bumble Bee Crown King
At the heart of YTK’s transporting new album is the subcontinent’s navarasa; the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This central unifying underpinning is a centuries-old organising principle. The individual artistic emotions range from Shringara (love, beauty) through Hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), Raudra (anger), Karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (horror, terror), Veera (heroism, courage), Adbutha (surprise, wonder) to Shanta (peace, tranquillity).
Each song on YTK’s new album is connected to one of these emotions, and the first track to be shared from Navarasa : Nine Emotions is “Westlin’ Winds”, paired with Adbutha.
“Westlin’ Winds” starts with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’ poem ‘Now Westlin Winds, (And Slaught’ring Guns)’ and deliciously transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II onto Indian soil with a composition “in Purbi, a specific dialect of old Hindi. I learnt the song,” says Suhail, “by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi. Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.” Thus YTK unite one of the key spiritual visionaries and architects of Hindustani art music, the poet-philosopher Hazrat Amir Khusrau with the key literary visionary of Scottish and Scots-language culture, Robert Burns.
This bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa : Nine Emotions and all of what YTK create. James Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands. Jon Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove. What the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Suhail Yusuf Khan brings to this feast of pulses and cycles is northern Indian classical, light classical (thumri, for example) and Sufi devotional musical and literary forms. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in James’ phrase, “a dark happiness”.
The Shearing’s Not For You
Song For Oddur
The North Carr
Waliyan Da Raja
Bonus Tracks Exclusive To Vinyl:
All Saved But One
Skinfast Haven Blues
On 2020, Dawson introduces us to grand themes through small lives. His are portraits of human beings struggling with recognisable (and dare we say it, relatable) concerns, conflicts and desires, each reminding us that tragedy and gallows humour are not mutually exclusive, and that the magical can sit next to the mundane. Lyrically it is by far Dawson’s hardest-hitting and unflinchingly honest album to date. It is his poetic masterwork.
Within, we find disgruntled civil servants dreaming of better days, anxiety-addled joggers listlessly searching Zoopla for houses they cannot afford in their spare time, amateur footballers who think they’re Lionel Messi and beleaguered pub landlords battling rising floodwaters.
Here is life, in all its strange and wonderful ways.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Massive stadium rock choruses and strolling folk meet headfirst in this decidedly odd but absolutely on-brand distillation from Richard Dawson. Fiercely political but with a wry humour and unmissable melodic drive (an often overlooked aspect of the more 'humorous' releases) coupled with Dawson's flawless delivery and brilliant ear for a progression make this his most direct and essential release yet.
‘Dark and Handsome’ encapsulates everything I love about Hynes’ music, those drops of recognizable Blood Orange trademarks which are so prominent throughout all his albums. Something that sets the album apart for me is the heartbreaking track ‘Birmingham’ which is referencing the church bombing in Alabama by white nationalists in 1963. Kelsey Lu and Ian Isiah vocals are incredibly emotive and cut through the soul.
The album includes collaborations with Toro Y Moi, Kelsey Lu, Arca, Porches, Ian Isiah, Justine Skye and many more. The tracks are short in quick succession, it’s easy to glide through the album and want to hear it all over again for the parts you missed the first time around.
STAFF COMMENTSMillie says: Dev Hynes bringing us this incredible mixtape, Angel’s Pulse filled with emotional, raw material. Blood Oranges distinct sound flows throughout with glimpses of his trademark echoes, the album flows seamlessly from start to finish but holds his most diverse mixture of songs to date. Absolutely love this and can’t wait for the next.
I Wanna C U
Something To Do
Dark & Handsome Ft Toro Y Moi
Birmingham Ft Kelsey Lu & Ian Isiah
Good For You Ft Justine Skye
Baby Florence (Figure)
Gold Teeth Ft Project Pat, Gangsta Boo & Tinashe
Berlin Ft Porches & Ian Isiah
Tuesday Feeling (Choose To Stay) Ft Tinashe
Seven Hours Part 1 Ft BennY RevivaL
Take It Back Ft Arca, Joba & Justine Skye
One True Pairing is an album shaped by class frustration and self-despair and there is a continuation of the exploration of masculinity that made Wild Beasts so unique. As well as being deeply personal, OTP has a wider political resonance. "This country is going through a terrible moment and if you listen to the art nobody seems to give a shit,” Fleming says emphatically. He believes that class is entirely discounted from the current conversation about inclusivity and privilege. In its 11 songs of discordant guitar and aggressive synth Fleming channels his discontent with Britain in 2019 and a “feeling of directionless rage and cheatedness which hasn't gone away."
I’m Not Afraid
One True Pairing
Dawn At The Factory
Reaper Of Souls
Alive In The Resplendent Flames
King Of The Rats
Only God Can Judge Me
Giannascoli worked closely with Jacob Portrait, who mixed both ‘Rocket’ and 2015’s ‘Beach Music’ and helped to balance each of ‘House of Sugar’s dense, multi-faceted tracks. As the product of extended focus and planning, ‘House of Sugar’ emerges as Giannascoli’s most meticulous, cohesive album yet: a statement of artistic purpose, showing off his ear for both persistent earworms and shifting textures and the out-there sonic adventurism that’s made previous (Sandy) Alex G records so singular.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: From twisted, Beck-y ballads to euphoric synth-led stormers, Alex G has always had an uncanny knack for writing a tune and these richly orchestrated, beautifully constructed off-piste tunes show more and more ability in every passing album. This stuff is properly gorgeous ; heartfelt, soaring and emotive works of genius. Spellbinding from the outset.
In My Arms
Visions At The Stars
Not A Dream
Started Out (Tuff City Kids Remix)
About Work The Dancefloor
About Work The Dancefloor (The Black Madonna Remix)
Recorded in the boat-shaped confines of London’s legendary Soup Studios and produced by Kwes, the overarching goal with Blume was to simply capture the rawness, warmth, joy and the spirit of their relationship and performance. One of the recording aims was to channel the feel of Teo Macero and Stanley Tonkel’s records with Miles Davis during his Columbia years, thinking “forward” as they did but for this band, capturing the controlled chaos and frame it with a timeless elegance.
"Blume" is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija; vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current. For just over an hour, they take us on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work; their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half decade or so.
STAFF COMMENTSEmily says: New London jazz supergroup Nérija have debuted their radiant, horn driven sound in 2019 to great acclaim. ‘Blume’ expands on the foundations they established earlier this year with their self titled EP. Teeming with lush harmonies, syncopated riffs and plenty of afrobeat shuffle, it is sure to impress fans of Kokoroko, Ezra Collective and Maisha.
1.Nascence - Composed By Nérija
Solos From Sheila Maurice-Grey, Rosie Turton And Lizy Exell
2. Riverfest - Composed By Nérija
Solos From Shirley Tetteh And Rio Kai
3. Last Straw - Composed By Sheila Maurice-Grey
Solos From Nubya Garcia And Sheila Maurice-Grey
4. Partner Girlfriend Lover - Composed By Shirley Tetteh
Solo From Shirley Tetteh
5. EU (Emotionally Unavailable) - Composed By Cassie Kinoshi
Solos From Cassie Kinoshi And Nubya Garcia
6. Blume - Composed By Nubya Garcia
Lead Line From Sheila Maurice-Grey And Nérija On Vocals
7. Equanimous - Composed By Rio Kai
Solos From Rosie Turton And Shirley Tetteh
8. Swift - Composed By Lizy Exell
Solos From Lizy Exell And Cassie Kinoshi
9. Unbound - Composed By Rosie Turton
Solos From Rosie Turton And Nubya Garcia
10. Blume Ii - Composed By Nubya Garcia
Lead Line From Sheila Maurice-Grey And Nérija On Vocals
The songwriting, while still steeped in super-catchy, velvety riffs and pure pop glaze, feels more sophisticated and modern. Since the pair met in high school, awestruck by such ear-candy wizards as Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, they set off to craft their version of what sophisticated, emotional modern pop music can and should sound like.
2016’s ‘Pennied Days’ was a breakthrough and set a new bar for the members of Night Moves. After spending the subsequent two years on ‘Can You Really Find Me’, they’ve scaled new heights, where the sounds are still just as sweet but now smarter, more evocative and perfectly designed for a summer release.
‘Can You Really Find Me’ was produced by Jim Eno (founding member and drummer of Spoon) out of Public Hi-Fi Studios in Austin, TX and recorded with live band members Mark Hanson and Chuck Murlowski.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Night Moves expertly craft a brilliantly emotive and drippingly filmic selection of 80's inspired ballads and rhythmically fluid disco-tinged pop anthems on 'Can You Really Find Me'. Any of these pieces could easily be a slow-motion montage soundtrack, dynamic but with a hint of latent morosity, these are modern and eminently enjoyable anthems, and another reason to pay attention to Night Moves.
Keep Me In Mind
Waiting For The
Saving The Dark
Can You Really Find Me
Singles Going Steady
Their songs were gritty, speedy and short like a lot of other punk music, but few punk bands remained committed to pure pop songwriting like Buzzcocks. Pete Shelley’s voice was snotty and full of attitude, their lyrics pushed social boundaries and the band’s guitars were pumping and lightning fast, but their infectious melodies might have fallen more in line with the pop or New Wave acts of the day than say, The Damned or The Stooges.
While albums like Another Music in a Different Kitchen or Love Bites are still worth digging into, the general consensus is that Buzzcocks’ most essential release is their 1979 singles compilation Singles Going Steady. It contained album cuts like “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” non-album singles like “Orgasm Addict” and “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” as well as B-sides like “Autonomy” and “Noise Annoys.” The album’s eight singles and eight B-sides buff out the occasionally forgettable moments of their LPs and it’s the most accurate document of Buzzcocks as a band.
The songs that make up Singles Going Steady are largely about relationships and youthful frustration, and the album leads off with “Orgasm Addict,” an explicitly sexual song about everything from masturbation to full-on sex addiction. The song, which also features Shelley’s erotic moans, was unsurprisingly banned by the BBC upon release. Continuing with themes about the universal, inevitable shortcomings of youth, “I Don’t Mind” sums many of them up in a sharp, snappy rock ’n’ roll nut shell. Shelley paints a picture of the longing for another and the highlighting of your own insecurities when you do find that person. What begins with a song about loneliness and escape transforms into a song about fear of unreciprocated romantic feelings, which stems from a lack of self-confidence.
STAFF COMMENTSDavid says: Quite simply it’s hands down the best ‘best of’ in the history of pop. Originally released in 1979 this edition has been brought back to life by the good folk at Domino Records. “Orgasm Addict”, “What Do I Get?”, “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?)”, “Harmony In My Head”, “Autonomy”.... The list goes on, what more could you possibly want?!
01 Orgasm Addict
02 What Do I Get?
03 I Don't Mind
04 Love You More
05 Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?)
07 Everybody's Happy Nowadays
08 Harmony In My Head
09 Whatever Happened To?
10 Oh Shit!
12 Noise Annoys
13 Just Lust
15 Why Can't I Touch It?
16 Something's Gone Wrong Again
02. Sitting 'round At Home
03. You Say You Don't Love Me
04. You Know You Can't Help It
05. Mad, Mad Judy
06. Raison D'Etre
07. I Don't Know What To Do With My Life
09. Hollow Inside
10. A Different Kind Of Tension
11. I Believe
12. Radio Nine
In this new chapter, Peter continues to dissect romance and politics with his trademark sense of sardonic wit and wry humour, if not with more vigour even and a palpable sense of immediacy. He is not unshackled from his past, however. ‘Humanworld’ features a production credit for Peter’s son Jamie who also contributes a song to the album (‘Master Of Destruction’) and the story of knitting a family back together, following a history of chaos and addiction, now takes a step closer to centre.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Peter Perrett, lead singer of the Only Ones presents his newest outing, 'Humanworld'. With big crunchy guitars and a modern take on the soaring 80's jangle we all know and love, Perrett efforlessly and effectively swaggers through a varied but engrossing suite of melodic heft and massive stadium fuzz.
I Want Your Dreams
Once Is Enough
Love Comes On Silent
The Power Is In You
Believe In Nothing
War Plan Red
Walking In Berlin
Master Of Destruction
1. Bad Timing
2. This Love
In My Name
The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by travelling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.
For most bands about to enter their third decade as an entity the well would be running dry, but eight albums in and Clinic still retain the ability to surprise. Clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Wheeltappers and Shunters is an absolute blast, rich in detail and sonic intrigue, those precious minutes stuffed with ideas. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” Blackburn reveals. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Comfortingly warm and brilliantly varied, 'Wheeltappers and Shunters' perfectly treads the line between jagged, unpredictable psychedelia and smoothly redolent rock music, with enough of an edge to remain interesting and the perfect amount of sweetness to keep the listener fully on-board. Lovely.
1. Laughing Cavalier
3. Rubber Bullets
5. Ferryboat Of The Mind
8. Flying Fish
9. Be Yourself/Year Of The Sadist
12. New Equations At The Copacabana
When Protomartyr - vocalist Joe Casey, guitarist Greg Ahee, bassist Scott Davidson, drummer Alex Leonard - stepped into a studio together for the first time, in November of 2011, they didn’t know they were about to record an album. With only four hours of studio time booked and one case of beer between them, their plan was to walk out with enough songs for a seven-inch single. Instead, at the suggestion of engineer Chris Koltay, the newly formed Detroit outfit recorded as much as they possibly could, in what little time they had.
Sold out and out of print shortly after its original release on Urinal Cake Records in October 2012, ‘No Passion All Technique’ is a sometimes-messy look at one of rock’s most magnetic bands - and lyricists - just as they were coming to life. Primal, cerebral, heartbreaking, funny - it’s an accidental tour de force that’s also become an unlikely collector’s item. “My memory is shot,” Casey says, “but I appreciate now, looking back, how raw and off-the-cuff it was. There’s tons of mistakes in it and that wasn’t because we planned on it. We still can’t really admit that it’s as good as it is. You never want to say that your first is the best, but I’m happy that the first ended up not being terrible. It gave us doorway to what we’d want to do later.”
In My Sphere
Hot Wheel City
Too Many Jewels
(Don’t You) Call Me Out My Name
How He Lived After He Died
Wine Of Ape
The Clang Group
We Do Wie Du
The performance took place at The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw on November 29th 2014, and was part of an evening of programming that also featured Jonny Greenwood's (Radiohead) 48 Responses To Polymorphia and the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's (The National) Réponse Lutosławski.
Following an invitation to collaborate at the concert, Beth Gibbons undertook an intense preparation process, including tackling the challenge of learning the original text (and the emotional weight it carries) without speaking the mother language. Typical to Beth though - the elusive yet iconic frontwoman of one of the most important British bands of the last two decades - the challenge was met and exceeded. Her performance alongside the maestro Penderecki has been hailed as triumphant, as you can see and hear on this release.
The film, was produced by the National Audiovisual Institute, Poland and directed by Michał Merczyński.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: There's no denying that Beth Gibbons is one of the most cherished and highly recognisable vocal talents of the past several decades, but hearing her in this context is nothing less than astounding. The latent sadness inherent in Gorecki's 3rd symphony is only enhanced by Gibbons' stunning vocal range and perfect delivery. Astounding.
I. Lento - Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile
II. Lento E Largo - Tranquillissimo
III. Lento - Cantabile-semplice
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Frenetic melodies and cavernous vocal reverb work their way around the slo-mo funk and psychedelic melodies, leading the listener on a stylistically varied and fascinating journey.
What’s The Goodside?
Eyes On Eyes
Nostalgia In Lemonade
Our Little Chapter
Their debut ‘Nérija EP’ - originally composed, recorded and self-released following their meetings and collaborations via London’s Tomorrow’s Warriors - is re-released, having been remixed by kwes and remastered by Chris Potter at Electric.
STAFF COMMENTSMillie says: It’s been a while since I’ve listened to anything this warm and soulful, the seven-piece all female collective have breathed new life into jazz. With a mixture of horns, beautiful arrangement and upbeat, bold rhythm they really have owned their sound. Hopefully lots more to come from Nérija…
The first taste of Stephen’s new groove can be sampled today, with the release of single ‘Viktor Borgia’, and its accompanying video starring Stephen alone in a dance club. The title playfully merges the name of the comedian-pianist and the ruthless dynasty of Italo-Spanish nobles. With its stately melody and the almost-English-accented vocal, the coordinates here are early Human League or even Men Without Hats. “I was thinking things like Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien’, the Human League, and DIY synth music circa 1982,” says Stephen, adding “and also about how in the New Wave Eighties, these suburban 18-and-over dance clubs were where all the freaks would meet – a sanctuary.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: It's bloody brilliant this, with hints of post-punk garage and most of all 80's synth, Malkmus clearly shows his wealth of influence on 'Groove Denied', swinging from snappy grunge to 70's psychedelia without batting an eyelid. Though the diversity in sound shines through, it's not without the Malkmus charm, with his vocal prowess shining through the stylistic patchwork.
01. Belziger Faceplant
02. A Bit Wilder
03. Viktor Borgia
04. Come Get Me
05. Forget Your Place
06. Rushing The Acid Frat
07. Love The Door
09. Ocean Of Revenge
If you’ve ever drafted an overly long text to someone and decided against sending it, then you'll probably hear something of yourself in SASAMI. Los Angeles based songwriter and multiinstrumentalist Sasami Ashworth wrote the album’s ten tautly melodic rock tracks over the course of a year on tour, playing keys and guitar with Cherry Glazerr, tracking the thrills, disappointments and non-starters of a year spent newly single and on the road.
With featured artists Dustin Payseur (Beach Fossils), Devendra Banhart and Soko, this is a slice of 90s distorted guitar pop wonderment you won’t want to miss.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Wonderfully wonky at points, rhythmically diverse and musically immersive, Sasami's debut LP is an absolute storm of inventive poly-rhythms ('In Hollywood' is a prime example) presenting themselves without getting in the way of the listeners enjoyment. From tender, almost whispered vocals to huge distorted scree, this debut LP is an absolute rollercoaster, and unlike a rollercoaster, enjoyable throughout.
I Was A Window (feat. Dustin Payseur)
Not The Time
Free (feat. Devendra Banhart)
Pacify My Heart
Adult Contemporary (feat. Soko)
Turned Out I Was Everyone
The album was almost entirely recorded by James himself, in the small Scottish fishing village of Cellardyke, where he lives. Yorkston’s studio is a ramshackle old loft space, originally used to repair fisherman’s nets, and now stuffed full the antique instruments James has collected throughout his life as a musician. Having created hours of recordings, James called up his old collaborator David Wrench - the mixer and producer who has worked with the likes of Caribou, Four Tet, Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and David Byrne - and someone who has worked on James’ albums since 2003 – to help make sense of the sessions.
The Route to the Harmonium (or, ‘the search for peace’) is intensely personal; it’s the sound of home, of undisturbed craftmanship. Listen closely and you can imagine him putting it together. Overlaying vocal and guitar tracks, adding further with Dulcitones, harmoniums and autoharps, with nyckelharpa, the distinctive Swedish stringed instrument given to him by a friend. And friends and family, past and present swim all over his songs. Remembering them, and those you’ve shared life with, those who leave and those who remain, is the strongest thread running through these affecting, extraordinary songs. This is Yorkston’s world and could be nowhere else in music.
James adds: “I guess, as a musician and writer, I find myself reacting to what goes on around. So, this album is about life, the life that carries on around me. There’s family, place, and the being away from family that the life of a touring musician brings… But there’s also reference to friends departed – the hows, the whys – When a friend jumps ship it’s always a haymaker to the gut, you know? And this album is about them, but it’s more about us, us who are left behind...”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Tender ballads and brittle songmaship on this stunning outing from the great James Yorkston. Reminiscent of some of the country-folk offerings from Constellation / Alien8 recordings in the early 90's, Yorkston manages to convey a heartbreaking morose air whilst keeping the melodicism intact. A beautifully written collection, as expected.
01 Your Beauty Could Not Save You
02 The Irish Wars Of Independence
03 Like Bees To Foxglove
05 The Blue Of The Thistle
07 My Mouth Ain't No Bible
08 Solitary Islands All
09 The Villages I Have Known My Entire Life
10 Oh Me, Oh My
11 Yorkston Athletic
12 A Footnote To An Epitaph
Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, Lennox and Santos envisioned something that would “feel familiar to a young person’s ears.” However, Buoys retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through the hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.
Alongside Santos, Buoys also features collaborators in Chilean DJ/vocalist Lizz and Portuguese musician Dino D'Santiago, both artists who came to Lennox via Santos’ recent trap and reggaeton production work; the former contributes arrangements throughout the album including “Dolphin,” and both lend their vocals to “Inner Monologue."
Buoys is the first Panda Bear release since 2018's vinyl-only EP A Day With the Homies, and the follow-up to 2015's kaleidoscopic full-length Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. "The last three records felt like a chapter to me, and this feels like the beginning of something new," says Lennox whilst surveying how Buoys relates to the estimable Panda Bear catalogue. Indeed, the forthcoming Buoys is full of fresh ideas from one of modern music's most fascinating, innovative, and emotionally generous artists.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Having always been the more electronic side of the musical monolith that is Animal Collective, Panda Bear clearly brings the off-kilter melodies and syncopated Books-esque loop manipulation, with 'Buoys' proving to be every bit the staggered and echo-laden monolith we'd expect. Comfortingly avant-garde without stepping too far into art-rock or ostracising the listener, buoys takes a while to reel you in but when it does, you're stuck for good.
04. I Know I Don’t Know
07. Inner Monologue
09. Home Free
Love Bites hit its moment. The reviews were good, and so were sales: it reached number 13 in the album charts, Buzzcocks’ best showing. They immediately went out on their fourth tour, Beating Hearts - supported by Subway Sect - which was marked in this year of Sham 69 by skinhead violence and stage invasions, definitely not what Buzzcocks were about. The fifth single of that year had already been recorded: ‘Promises’ and ‘Lipstick’, the latter of which used the same riff as Magazine’s debut ‘Shot by Both Sides’. Buzzcocks had reached their commercial peak, but Pete Shelley was deeply troubled.
Late 1978 was a harsh place, with competing styles and fads and the relentless pressure of rapid fire novelty that punk had set up. The pace was killing and on top of that the impetus of 1976 punk had faded. Shelley also felt that the original sense of community had gone: “Once we were in the music industry, people had become more diversified, there was nothing really to pull people together again.” More importantly, the constant touring was driving him mad: “It was a bit unnerving. When we did the Love Bites tour I was convinced by Richard not to leave the band. It was all getting too much for me.”
“Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it's hard to find one's foundation,” says Holter. “I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person - how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it’s a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future.”
“In a lot of the songs, when I mention love, it’s about a seeking for compassion and humility in a world where it feels like empathy is always being tested,” Holter says. In Aviary’s case, that search for sweetness - that bridging of the gulf - becomes a metaphor for the creative process itself, cutting through the hierarchies of history, language, and musical form to offer something more fluid, more inclusive, more idiosyncratic.
Aviary combines Holter’s slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of fifteen songs.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Since her 2015 album, 'Have You In My Wilderness' (voted our #1 album of 2015) Holter has gone from strength to strength. Treading a similar path to her more recent forays into arty ambience and brittle electronics, 'Aviary' is an epic of Holter's mesmerising vocal talent, backed with an absorbing and progressive instrumental backdrop.
1. Turn The Light On
4. Voce Simul
5. Everyday Is An Emergency
6. Another Dream
7. I Shall Love 2
8. Underneath The Moon
10. In Gardens’ Muteness
11. I Would Rather See
12. Les Jeux To You
13. Words I Heard
14. I Shall Love 1
15. Why Sad Song
1. Humans Disguised As Animals | Nonkilling 1
2. Body Fat
3. False Skull 7
4. Nonkilling 3 | The Anteroom | False Skull 1
5. Vacant Boat
6. Nonkilling 13 | Ceiling For The Sky
7. A Memory, The Spinning Of A Body | Nonkilling 2
8. Nonkilling 6 | Hunger
9. July 13 No Hope No Pain
10. Love Means Taking Action
11. Brutal (feat. Ocean Vuong) | False Skull 5
12. False Skull 12
Autumn 2018 sees the release of a celebrated lyrics archive that has been growing for over 25 years in the form of a book- the words to the songs sung by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Palace Music, written by Will Oldham. The book, to be released by W.W. Norton, is titled Songs of Love and Horror, the same as this album and can be seen as a companion piece. Both celebrate not one legacy, but rather a confluence of them, flowing in the stream towards an unknown and often unknowing future, with the hope that these notes in a bottle ever pass on through.
1. I See A Darkness
2. Ohio River Boat Song
3. So Far And Here We Are
4. The Way
6. The Glory Goes
7. Only Someone Running
8. Big Friday
9. Most People
10. Strange Affair
11. New Partner
12. Party With Marty (Abstract Blues)
Wanderer’s 11 tracks encompass “my journey so far,” says Marshall. “The course my life has taken in this journey - going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. Folk singers, blues singers, and everything in between. They were all wanderers, and I am lucky to be among them.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A beautifully produced, bittersweet collection of twinkling guitars, acoustic percussives and Marshall's unmistakable vocal stylings. Brimming with low-key country influences, rhythmic momentum and enchanting, hypnotic drive. Quintessentially Cat Power, superb.
In Your Face
Woman (feat. Lana Del Rey)
Nothing Really Matters
Wanderer / Exit
‘Battle Lines’ follows the band’s acclaimed debut album, ‘Days Gone By’, which featured their worldwide hit ‘Tearing Me Up’. The band recorded the new album in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, after writing and testing out new material on the road. Inspired by their time playing raves and rock clubs all over the globe since the release of ‘Days Gone By’, Battle Lines takes a harder look at the world in which they find themselves.
Heaven Only Knows
Eye For An Eye
The Only Thing We Know
Nothing But You
Enough To Believe
Listen To Me
Selling Me Sympathy
Don’t Hold Back
Fallen From Your Arms
Hunter is an album of visceral guitars and vocals, exploring sexualityand breaking the laws of gender conformity. Passionate subject matter calls for passionate delivery, and on Hunter, Calvi pushes the limits of her guitar and her voice beyond anything she’s recorded before. It was important to Calvi that the record was as vulnerable as it is strong; as beautiful as it is ugly. To be the hunter and the hunted.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Calvi is at once arresting and mesmerising, mixing evocative gothic symphonics and soaring melodic waves with a brittle undercurrent, flipping from shimmering synth pop to dark bubbling ambient in the blink of an eye. As immediately appreciable musically as it is conceptually exceptional.
01. As A Man
03. Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy
04. Indies Or Paradise
05. Swimming Pool
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Another brilliantly off-piste outing from Animal Collective. Scattered percussion, haunting shadowy vocals and that effervescent duality of low-fi production values and hi-fi songwriting make this yet another stormer from the AC camp.
1. Hair Cutter
2. Buffalo Tomato
3. Inspector Gadget
5. Coral Understanding
6. Airpipe (To A New Transition)
7. Jake And Me
8. Coral By Numbers
9. Hip Sponge
10. Coral Realization
11. Lundsten Coral
13. Best Of Times (Worst Of All)
The album was conceived and written with long-term collaborator, Mica Levi who handles the music and production across the whole album, Tirzah providing vocals, melody & lyrics. Additional vocals & lyrics are provided by Coby Sey on stand out track, ‘Devotion’. The album was mixed by Mica & Kwes.
1. Fine Again
2. Do You Know
4. Holding On
6. Basic Need
9. Go Now
10. Say When
The band convened at the remote Foel studios in Wales to improvise on ideas and record some bases for tracks, before finishing them in their studio in Birmingham. Pram have a working process that has developed over many years and reflects shifts in band personnel and technological advancements. Across The Meridian is a testament to the band embracing these new approaches without losing any of their original allure.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Haunting, dusty melodies and slowly pulled strings mix with echoed vocals, simmering horns and clicking electronic percussion in this multi-faceted and smooth juxtaposition of post-rock, electronic and psychedelic instrumentation. Perfectly balanced and fully immersive.
1. Shimmer And Disappear
4. Wave Of Translation
5. Shadow In Twilight
6. Ladder To The Moon
7. The Midnight Room
8. Footprints Towards Zero
10. Sailing Stones
11. Where The Sea Stops Moving
12. Doll’s Eyes
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