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Real Estate

The Main Thing

    The brand new album delivers the band’s most inspired and self-aware set of songs to date, created over the course of a year at upstate New York’s Marcata Sound. Following his work on 2011’s Days, engineer Kevin McMahon returns as producer, and, for the first time ever, Real Estate have brought in outside instrumentalists and special guests like Sylvan Esso, whose vocalist Amelia Meath features on first single, “Paper Cup.”

    Across the album’s 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirizing lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.

    The Main Thing arrives with a fresh commitment the members of Real Estate - Alex Bleeker (bass), Martin Courtney (vocals, guitar), Matthew Kallman (keyboards), Julian Lynch (guitar, vocals), and Jackson Pollis (drums and drum programming) - have made to each other, 10 years and 5 full-length LPs into a career spent crafting unmistakable and influential palettes of sound. The band underwent a collaborative evolution for this album, which saw each member experimenting in new roles, and alongside Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, Matt Barrick of The Walkmen, Aaron Johnston of Brazilian Girls and a string quartet all play on the record.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe double LP (tip-on gatefold jacket with Bjorn Copeland’s collage piece mounted on the front cover).

    Bonnie Prince Billy

    I Made A Place

      Bonnie “Prince” Billy stays busy - in the past five years he has released albums of previously-recorded songs by Susanna Wallumrod, Mekons, Merle Haggard; even himself) and a collaborative record with Bitchin Bajas! The only thing he hasn't done is a new album of Bonny originals - in case you weren't counting, 2011's Wolfroy Goes To Town was the last one. That's from the first half of the Obama presidency, for chrissakes!

      Things happen for reasons that are often bigger than ourselves and outside of our control. They happen suddenly or they happen slowly - but they always happen one day at a time and day after day. Here's Will Oldham, on the confluence of marketplace, values, aesthetic and process that slowly built new album I Made A Place:

      "In recent years, the whole world of recorded music, in the way that such music is conceived, perceived, recorded, released and distributed, has been atomized. I tried holding my breath, waiting for the storm to pass, but this storm is here to stay and its devastation is our new landscape. What else is a person to do except what he knows and feels, which for me is making records built out of songs intended for the intimate listening experiences of wonderful strangers who share something spiritually and musically? I started working on these songs thinking that there was no way I was going to finish them and record and release them. This was a constructive frame-of-mind that protected the songs until this frightening moment when we let go of them and give them to you."

      The world has changed. Some things will never change. Some are gone forever. Thankfully, this isn't one of them: the wait for new Bonnie “Prince” Billy is now on a timer. What's more, the new single drops a bit of Apocalypse WOW. Picking up in a sense where last year's "Blueberry Jam" left off, "(At The) Back of the Pit" considers what to do with the things we love when it comes time for the death (and therefore, rebirth) of our painstakingly-built'n'kill't world. It's an affirming country jam: elegiac early moments give way to jaunty roots-rock strides, a horn section soulfully charting the long rays at the end of the day as well as the first rays of the new rising sun as they light on all our hopeful tomorrows.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: I think it's probably hard for someone as resolutely productive as Mr. Billy to reach the moment in a songs creation where it feels like there is no more work to be done. Fortunately for us, these delicate, tender country ballads finally reached the light of day, and we're all the better for it. As brilliantly produced and perfectly balanced as any of his previous work, whilst being more focused and melodic. Gorgeous stuff.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies only deluxe edition on transparent red vinyl.

      Bill Ryder-Jones

      Yawny Yawn

        At the end of 2018, Bill Ryder-Jones released the critically acclaimed Yawn – his beautiful fourth album. He has now reimagined the songs from Yawn, this time with only vocals and piano, opening an even more intimate window onto his world. Taking inspiration from The Beach Boys, Bill has titled this alternative version of the record Yawny Yawn.

        In his own inimitable style, Bill Ryder-Jones says: “I can't remember why I thought it was a good idea to make a piano version of Yawn, I presume at some point I felt that the original had too much pep. Was actually quite fun to make although I've since developed a dislike for the way my hands look”.

        Similarly to Yawn, the album artwork for Yawny Yawn features a family photo. Bill adds: “Much like the artwork for Yawn, this photo just looked like it should be an album cover. Whereas Yawn featured my brother, our babysitter and myself in the background, the artwork for Yawny Yawn shows me at my aunt's house aged 3 and playing my keyboard.

        Everyone's favourite electro-pop imps, the stadium shaking, body moving, high-note hitting Hot Chip are back with a BRAND NEW ALBUM. Dripping in lyrical references to the halcyon days of rave and the sleek synth-funk they've perfected over the past fifteen years, "A Bath Full Of Ecstasy" is primed to make you dance, dream and catch more than a few feels.

        Switching up their workflow to collaborate with outside producers from the outset, Hot Chip enlisted the dancefloor clout of Philippe Zdar (the French touch legend who's added club dynamics to Cat Power, Beastie Boys and Phoenix, and makes up one half of Cassius) and indie expert Rodaidh McDonald (famed for his work with The XX, Sampha and David Byrne). The result is the perfect combination of classic Hot Chip, the bold flavours of Zdar's ouvre and the emotional impact of McDonald's productions. 

        The record is a celebration of joy but recognises the struggle it can take to get to that point of happiness. You can hear the pleasure Hot Chip had in creating this album and they want to pass on that feeling to the listener. It is time to get lost in "A Bath Full of Ecstasy".

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: Double LP pressed on crystal clear vinyl in limited edition black and white sleeve, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio.

        2xLP Info: Double LP pressed on heavyweight black vinyl in full colour sleeve, designed by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio.

        Serfs Up! is Fat White Family’s third album and their first for new label Domino. It marks the most gratifying and unexpected creative volte face in recent musical history.

        Having released their second album, Songs For Our Mothers in January 2016, core-members Lias and Nathan Saoudi relocated to Sheffield and set about writing the album. Joined by co-conspirator Saul Adamczewski and recorded at their own Champzone studios in the Attercliffe area of the city, Serfs Up! was finished in late autumn 2018 with the help of long-time collaborator, Liam D. May and features a guest appearance from Baxter Dury on Tastes Good With The Money.

        Serfs Up! is a lush and masterful work, lascivious and personal. Tropical, sympathetic and monumental. It invites the listener in rather than repel them through wilful abrasion. Fat White Family have broken previous default patterns of behaviour, and as such their third album heralds a new day dawning.

        Gregorian chants, jackboot glam beats, string flourishes, sophisticated and lush cocktail exotica, electro funk and the twin spirits of Alan Vega and Afrika Bambaataa punctuate the record at various junctures, while the dramatic production of Feet is as immaculately-rendered as ‘Hounds of Love’-era Kate Bush. The dirt is still there of course, but scrape it away and you’ll find a purring engine, gleaming chrome.

        Echoing within the arrangements throughout are traces of blissed-out 60s Tropicalia, Velvets/Bowie sleaze-making and star-gazing, 80s digital dancehall, David Axelrod-style easy listening, joyous Pet Shop Boys synth crescendos, acid house, post-PIL dub, metropolitan murder ballads, doom-disco and mouth-gurning, slow-mo psychedelia so by the time it comes to a close only a fool would deny that Serfs Up! is something very special. No longer is unadulterated music malevolence Fat White Family’s stock in trade; this is cultivated music for the head, the heart. For tomorrow’s unborn children.

        Where once they soundtracked a grubby Britain of vape shops, Fray Bentos dinners and blackened tin-foil, a crepuscular comedown realm stalked by Shipman, Goebbels and Mark E. Smith, Fat White Family now inhabit another cosmos entirely. Serfs Up! is the product of a band of outlaws reborn. Few but themselves could have forecast it: Fat White Family survived. Fat White Family got wise. Fat White Family got sophisticated.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Martin says: Fat White Family’s turbulent and well documented Peckham squat/smack/crack background has found unfiltered expression in their anarchic output, exacting gleeful slaughter on common decency and sacred cows alike. Both artwork and lyrics are used as iconoclastic dirty bombs; butchered Nazi and Communist symbolism, the IRA, dead pigs, big cocks, Harold Shipman and your mum have been deployed with a complete lack of due reverence. Decamping to Sheffield, kicking heroin and recent diversions into more melodic side projects might have led them into calmer and broader sonic waters, taking in glam, corrupted disco and cod reggae, but they are still viciously irreverent. Amongst the carnage, Kim Jong Un’s nuclear potential is saluted in the Balearic balm of “Kim’s Sunsets”, “Tastes Good With The Money” makes bitter reference to wealthy sightseers of Grenfell and the dark disco rampage of “Feet” to the human cost of war in Syria.
        It ought to have been a shambles, but it actually works just beautifully.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes illustrated poster.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        CD Info: Includes illustrated poster.

        Fat White Family

        Feet

          "Feet" is the first song to be taken from Fat White Family's 2019 album Serfs Up!

          Includes an exclusive "Brian" versino on the B-side.

          Brian has been known to support Fat White Family for many a year. Mocked and loved in equal measure, Brian aims to please not themselves, but as many people as possible. Until Brian dies, they want everyone to be able to make love how they could never make love, and try their best at all times.

          Will Oldham, AKA Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, here continues to carve his niche in the world of indie-Americana with "Beware", his seventh under his current alias. Where his preceding album, 2008's "Lie Down In The Light", was a reasonably cheerful and buoyant affair, one look at the song titles alone for this release indicate that Oldham is considerably less bright here. Titles such as "Beware Your Only Friend", "Death Final" and "I Don't Belong To Anyone" seem to suggest that the mood is significantly more sombre for this outing. The constants with Oldham, though, are his sparse arrangements and world-weary howling delivery, and "Beware" sees him continue to be a much-admired songwriter.



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