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Billow Observatory

Calque / Soliton

    Billow Observatory's second Extended Play in less than a year, Soliton maximizes the compact format by further illuminating lesser-traveled paths. Contemplation and exploration weave harmoniously through five mysterious tracks. Influenced by a wide range of styles and sounds, such as Japanese ambient, the muted dissonance of Pharoah Sanders, and the chilly dub of the Scape catalog, Soliton evokes visions of lonely night drives punctuated by bright moments of bliss.

    The Calque EP from January 2023 saw them pursuing the minimal electronic side of their work even further. The opening track, "Kottbusser Tor,” showcases a conspicuous absence of the processed guitars that characterize most of their work, and instead explores sequenced filters, tape delays and analog synth patterns for eight minutes. On "Ammosel", they dive directly into dubby soundscapes, with crackling electronics and deep basslines, while "Kiyosumi" and "Fade Into Air" pay a visit to more familiar ambient territory. A darker undercurrent pervades on this EP, but one that goes particularly well with the coldest of seasons and its frosty air.

    The duo, consisting of Jason Kolb (Michigan, US) and Jonas Munk (Denmark) started working together in 2006, sending each other tracks across the Atlantic, eventually resulting in a full-length release on Felte in 2012. What started out as a side project to their respective main projects (Auburn Lull and Manual) have slowly become the main activity for both artists, now with a total of four full-lengths under their belt. Their music has also evolved and matured over the years, reaching a level of perfection that’s only granted producers who've been in the game for decades. Billow Observatory have by now established themselves as purveyors of highly refined ambient music and the Soliton EP sees them elegantly blend new and old, electronic and organic, into a gently drifting, enveloping whole.


    A1. Kottbusser Tor
    A2. Kiyosumi
    A3. Ammosel
    A4. Backshadow
    A5. Fade Into Air
    B1. In Transit
    B2. Garden Of Four Streams
    B3. Another View
    B4. Conduit
    B5. Chasing Ghosts

    Mint Field

    Aprender A Ser

      RIYL: Can, Cate Le Bon, Beak>, MGMT, Wand, Broadcast, Neu!, Thee Oh Sees, Stereolab, Ulrika Spacek, Temples, Horsegirls, Slowdive, Warpaint, Beach House.

      Time. It’s something we tend to cherish. As a band, you’re typically thrown into more than usual stressful scenarios when recording albums and rushing decisions becomes the norm. Mexico City’s Mint Field knows this all too well.

      Rewind to the spring of 2020 (yes, Covid). The band started fleshing out their new album Aprender a Ser (meaning Learn To Be in English), the follow up to 2020’s minimalist psych/shoegaze album, Sentimiento Mundial. For the first time, the band was not under any time constraints in the recording process. They wrote, recorded, produced and mixed the album in isolation. They had time to slow things down and think more obsessively about the sound, environment and vibe they wanted to create.

      Aprender a Ser became really intimate, every single detail was meticulously worked on. Mint Field recorded take after take, but at the same time tried to keep the soul of the demos intact. Some of the guitar and drums are first takes in the final versions. The band would let a recording sit, leave it and come back to it. The songs evolved a lot doing so, but at the same time didn't lose the essence of its original intention.

      Fast forward to January of 2023. During this period, the band recorded approximately twenty-five more songs and trimmed it down to ten, cohesive tracks that fit conceptually while at the same time trying to evolve their sound. During the recording process, they naturally came back to the roots of the Mint Field sound by doing a lot of layering, utilizing different types of reverb and exploring more ethereal, ambient, dream pop and shoegaze sounds.

      Thematically, Aprender a Ser talks about opening our perspective of the reality that we live every day, acknowledging each moment that we witness in life. Learning to recognize what we are, what we live, what we see, what we feel. Whether it’s seeing ourselves in the past and observing how we have evolved in the present. Or the lifetime of a butterfly from its formation within a cocoon to how it lives its short life in five days. Or seeing how an orchid slowly opens every day, never forgetting the essence of what we are and will be. Nothing in life should be taken for granted. Living in the present is a gift. Learning to be (Aprender a ser) is learning to recognize our emotions, not repress them, not turn them off and feel them.


      1. El Suspiro Cambia Todo
      2. Sueño Despierto
      3. Nuevo Sol
      4. Puerta Abierta
      5. Moronas
      6. Horizonte
      7. Respiro Profundo
      8. Orquídea
      9. Cinco Días
      10. Antes De Que Se Acabe El Año

      Mission To The Sun

      Sophia Oscillations

        Duo from Detroit which includes Chris Samuels of Ritual Howls. 

        Mission to the Sun's sophomore album, Sophia Oscillations, is an immersive journey through the dark corners of post industrial music. The Detroit based duo continues the sonic exploration started on their debut album Cleansed by Fire, while delving deeper into themes of isolation and lost communication. Christopher Samuels’ synths, samples and rhythmic programming is accented by Kirill Slavin’s haunting vocal delivery as the listener receives intersperse audio recordings from the outer reaches of inner space.

        Throughout the album, Mission to the Sun masterfully weaves together disparate sounds, creating a cohesive whole that is both complex and emotionally charged. In the opening track “Drowning,” Slavin sings about being consumed by the waters of the subconscious on an alien planet as he looks for omens in the sky. Samuels drives the song with a thick bass line and a repeating ambient pad chord structure that achieves a rich, yet alienated mood. The title track “Sophia Oscillations” establishes the album’s theme of distance and isolation while pulsating through a range of emotions. Samuels meshes otherworldly sound design with brooding synth lines to create a dark and introspective atmosphere. "Unborn" continues the journey while Slavin sings about the exploration of death and surveillance, highlighting the digital footprint that never goes away. The song's rhythmic quality (despite not having a drum beat) further highlights the duo’s willingness to delve into the darker aspects of the human condition.

        With "Sophia Oscillations", Mission to the Sun offers a deeply concerning and otherworldly listening experience that showcases the band's skill at crafting intricate sonic landscapes. The band masterfully blends organic vocal delivery and synthetic sounds to create songs as if they were bathed in alien noise artifacts. These compositions oscillate as transmissions from a journey towards a distant sun to be interpreted by the listener in their home world.


        01. Drowning
        02. Sophia Oscillations
        03. Censor Sickness
        04. Unborn
        05. Attrition
        06. Cornerstone
        07. Touch
        08. No Foundation

        Odonis Odonis


          Odonis Odonis have proven time and time again that they’re not interested in doing the same thing twice. Since their beginnings, the Toronto outfit led by core duo Constantin Tzenos and Denholm Whale, have put out five full-length albums, and played countless shows and festivals across North America and Europe, all while following their musical instincts. In the past eleven years, they’ve thrillingly explored genres including post-punk, EBM, industrial, shoegaze, pop, and surf rock. For their next evolution, Odonis Odonis are shifting from the grind of the traditional music industry with its unsustainable physical and psychological demands, to strictly focus on meaningful creative endeavors. These include releasing music, album production, and event production, and draw on Tzenos and Whale’s collective talents and experience. From producing, scoring, and mastering at Tzenos’s new studio After Hours, to countless curated shows through Whale’s co-run concert company Transmit Presents, these past and forthcoming projects were chosen selectively, and with the intention of working with individuals they respect and admire.

          The duo describe their collaborative EP ICON as a “calling card,” and it perfectly encapsulates the new iteration of Odonis Odonis. Following their 2021 album Spectrums, they started working on this collection of five songs, writing them geared towards some of their favorite veteran and up-andcoming artists. “We wanted to bring out what we admire in them and prove that we can do a variety of styles,”explains Whale.

          Some like New York noise rock mainstays A Place to Bury Strangers, Pittsburgh experimentalist TOBACCO, and Vancouver post-punks ACTORS, they’ve previously shared stages and tour vans with, while others like Vancouver darkwave singer and pianist Terror Bird and Los Angeles industrial pop project Patriarchy, are more recent discoveries. The striking artwork comes courtesy of New York-based noise artist Dreamcrusher, another act who shares Whale and Tzenos’ community-minded ethos. Somewhat ironically, by shedding their skin as a band, the duo have embraced the individual spotlight more, and ICON marks the first chapter (with further collaborations to come) of this new Odonis Odonis era.


          1. X
          2. Model (feat. A Place To Bury Strangers)
          3. Beast (feat. TOBACCO)
          4. Brilliant Things (feat. Terror Bird)
          5. XX
          5. No One Left (feat. Actors)
          6. Passing Us By (feat. SUUNS)
          7. Scapegoat (feat. Patriarchy)
          8. XXX

          Estrella Del Sol

          Figura De Cristal

            RIYL: Grouper, Mabe Fratti, Eartheater, HTRK, Julee Cruise, Julia Holter, Ana Roxanne, Carla dal Forno, James K, Ydegirl.

            In the chaos of our every day, it can be difficult to find time for pause. Knee-jerk reactions have become the norm, while the instantaneous fog clouding our culture urges us to move along, to step away from the present moment. Mexico City-based songwriter and instrumentalist Estrella del Sol wanted to craft a space where there is finally room to breathe, and time to arrange the patchwork of our reality. On new album Figura de Cristal, she encourages fragility, and celebrates the delicacy of our ever-evolving selves.

            Estrella del Sol is known for her work in shoegaze band Mint Field, hailed for their tender exploration of sentimentality and grief. While Mint Field propel their themes with oozing, amplified guitars and commanding vocals, del Sol’s solo work blossoms in a quieter, more electronic space. “I wanted to experiment more with my vocals and mainly synth sounds, always trying to find a different sound,” she explains. The result is a patient and nurturing collection of songs that remind us of the importance in taking our time.

            Her first solo album, Un espacio de lo imaginario, released in 2020 and recorded in the first two months of the pandemic, introduced del Sol’s ethereal side. Expansive vocal dynamics dance carefully through gentle melodic structures, showcasing the intimacy of del Sol’s solo arrangements. Figura de Cristal builds upon this intimacy, adding a blanket of subdued yet glittering drones, haunting electric guitars and celestial vocal textures. It was written, recorded and produced entirely by Estrella del Sol at her home in Mexico City, with cello contributions by experimental composer and personal friend Mabe Fratti and mixed by Mint Field bassist Sebastian Neyra.

            The album includes field recordings of Estrella del Sol’s surroundings, namely her neighborhood in Mexico City. By including these miniature portraits of her reality, Figura de Cristal acts as a kaleidoscopic interrogation into what it means to be alive, and how others figure into the images we create for ourselves. By using the recordings, del Sol says “the album could feel familiar to my reality at that particular moment.” Enmeshing them into the album’s ambient arrangements, Figura de Cristal threads together the familiar and the fantastical. It’s a reminder of the coexistence of multiple realities.

            When making the LP, Estrella del Sol wanted to create a soundtrack that could replicate the calming notion of a sunset-stroked evening, or the pink tones of a quiet morning. The title track, “Figura de Cristal,” replicates the grace of these moments, teaching us to lend ourselves that same grace and gentleness, even during the most difficult days. “This album became a reminder to me that I have to take care of myself and that If I don't, I can break like a crystal figure,” she explains. “I have to learn to empathize with myself and the people surrounding me. That everyone's perspective of reality is different and there's no true answer.”

            Figura de Cristal is an album about curiosity, and the merit in embracing our vulnerabilities. There is not one single reality, or experience, but instead an infinite range of truths. Through improvisational techniques and dynamically droney sonic textures, Estrella del Sol asserts the joy in following your instincts, rather than following the rules. Figura de Cristal rids itself of rigid structure or certain form, bending to a liminal space that declares joy in the unknown, and an exhale in the unfamiliar.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Ver A Través De Tus Ojos
            2. Tangible
            3. Figura De Cristal
            4. No Existe Respuesta
            5. Adentro De Mis Sábanas
            6. Corriente De Agua
            7. Sólo Yo Puedo Cuidarte
            8. Suspendidos
            9. Acompáñame

            Vulture Feather

            Liminal Fields

              RIYL: Wilderness, Ought, Shame, Protomartyr, Gold Class, Dry Cleaning, Fontaines DC, Unwound, Fugazi, Jawbox.

              Colin McCann didn’t pick up a guitar for nearly ten years. The Northern-California-based songwriter, previously performing under Long Dog Bird, had been creating music with longtime friend and collaborator Brian Gossman for much of their adult lives with early-00s Baltimore-based band Wilderness. So what would cause such a stagnant period? And how could McCann find his way back to the joy that music had once so easily conjured? The answer was to go back to the very beginning, where the kinetic forces that urged McCann to make music in the first place could emerge once again. But first, he had to make space in his internal world; a kind of silence where he could hear the exhale of his past, and the blossoming of a new song.

              That blossoming would soon become the first songs for McCann’s latest project Vulture Feather. The band’s debut album Liminal Fields exists on an intangible plane: a crack in the concrete, a gauze between worlds. For as long as McCann can recall, he’s been using music as a vehicle to try and connect with an underlying, indescribable nature that only the sonic world seems to be able to reach. “There’s a feeling of ecstasy that comes when one merges with music,” he says. “It’s what calls us all back again and again to listen, to sing, and to play.” McCann had been striving to reach this outlying environment throughout his career, often stretching in ways that eventually came to negatively impact his life, and his health.

              The wake up call came when McCann suffered a near-death experience, eerily predicted by a friend through a dream she had had almost a year earlier. Newly awoken to the beauty of being alive, McCann strove to slow down, to listen to the inherent nature in all living things, and to rediscover our mutual connectivity. He stopped playing and listening to music, and instead soaked himself in the cacophony of silence. Then without any epiphany or grand catalyst, something urged McCann to pick up a guitar again. Ideas flowed more naturally than ever, and he soon realized that the liminal space he had been searching for was there all along he only had to listen.

              McCann tentatively reached out to Gossman to collaborate and the friends found themselves once again jamming together, in an off-grid quonset hut where they now practice. “It was like no time had passed,” McCann says. “That feeling of ecstatic joy, of forgetting your own name, came flooding back.” They were soon joined by another old friend, Eric Fiscus, who completed Vulture Feather on drums.

              TRACK LISTING

              01. Inseparable
              02. Bad Land
              03. Bell Of Renewal
              04. Your True Face
              05. Monument
              06. Be Still
              07. Illusion Of Time
              08. Ballad Of Pelletreau

              Devon Church

              Strange Strangers

                Devon Church is a singer-songwriter hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba and based in New York City. He was, for many years, a multiinstrumentalist, co-writer and producer of the dreampop duo Exitmusic, whose album, Passage (Secretly Canadian), Pitchfork described as “insurgent, cinematic, and sometimes brilliant.” In 2018, the same year that Exitmusic released it’s swan song, The Recognitions (felte), Church released his solo debut, We Are Inextricable (felte), which employed the textural electronic elements he had harnessed during the Exitmusic years in the service of a songwriting style rooted in the folk rock tradition, with deep nods to Cohen and Dylan. The results, according to Allmusic, were both “affecting and musically inventive.” Having gigged throughout the US in 2019 (opening for the likes of Orville Peck, Adam Green, Kirin J Callinan and Black Marble) Church set to work recording his latest offering, Strange Strangers, while seeking refuge from the global pandemic in a barn in rural Pennsylvania.

                The album’s opening track, “This is Paradise (But Not For Us),” is an ironic complaint sung by an itinerant Adam & Eve to their absent father, a kind of gnostic protest ballad in waltz time. It sounds as if Apollo-era Eno had wrested the controls (and the handgun) from Phil Spector halfway through the recording of Death of a Ladies Man. The atmospheric elements of Church’s past productions are sublimated throughout the album, put into the service of tape-saturated vocals, combo organs and guitars. His voice, grown more confident and understated since his debut, still ranges from a laconic Lee Hazelwood hangover to a smoky Tom Waits growl, but it smooths out nicely on tracks like the intensely melodic and propulsive ”Flash of Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky.” Angelic backing vocals by Church’s partner, the artist Ada Roth (who also co-directed two delightfully strange videos for the album) lend an aura of dreamlike lightness in contrast to the baritone of the album's world weary narrator. When, in hushed tones reminiscent of Hope Sandoval, Roth comes to the front of the mix to deliver a lyric like “We’re so bored of the apocalypse,” things take a subtly menacing turn toward pop surrealism.

                A sense of cosmic black-humor has crept into Church’s lyrics, which deal with a sort of bewildered pilgrim’s progress through various spiritual and material Bardo states. "Jesus was a genius," sings the Adam character in This is Paradise, "but I prefer his early stuff." On ”What is Consciousness?/St Teresa,” a suite featuring arpeggiated analog synths and slide guitar by indie rock virtuoso Delicate Steve, Church answers the question, "What is consciousness?" with the wry formulation of the Tibetan crazy wisdom teacher Chögyam Trungpa: "Mostly your bad habits." And on the languidly psychedelic ”Slouching Toward Bethlehem,” in the midst of a string section and what sounds like a choir of monks, Church reflects lysergically on selfhood itself:

                Slouching toward Bethlehem
                Giving birth to myself again
                Wondering where my body begins
                And where the bacteria ends

                Strange Strangers borrows its title from the eco-philosopher Timothy Morton: ‘The strangeness of strange strangers is itself strange, meaning the more we know about an entity the stranger it becomes.’ On Ephemera, Church seems to lament the mysterious unknowability of these objects of our deepest desires and fears, but he does so with defiant exuberance, his ecstatically strummed acoustic guitar threatening to go off the rails. “I was weary and you took me in your arms," he sings to the other (a lover, a god?). "I couldn’t see you, but you held me like the light holds the dark.”

                RIYL: Mark Lanegan, Tom Waits, Crooked Fingers, The National, Lee Hazlewood, Atlas Sound, Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen, Chad VanGaalen.

                TRACK LISTING

                01. Slouching Toward Bethlehem
                02. This Is Paradise (But Not For Us)
                03. Bored Of The Apocalypse
                04. All Is Holy (A432)
                05. Flash Of Lightning In A Clear Blue Sky
                06. Ephemera
                07. Winter’s Come
                08. Since I Fell
                09. Deer Park


                Nothing You Do Matters

                  RIYL: Sleater-Kinney, Bartees Strange,Liars, Shellac, Blonde Redhead, Protomartyr, Iceage, A Place To Bury Strangers, Throwing Muses, Omni, Shopping, Bikini Kill.

                  In the era of Ganser’s Just Look At That Sky delightfully descended on the world in July of 2020, I do admit that I mostly did find myself looking skyward, though that looking was often colored by an ever-present anxiety. My city was coming apart and maybe your city was coming apart too. Maybe atop the buildings of your downtowns there were guns, and men in fatigues. Maybe in front of the libraries, there were tanks, maybe in front of the food banks, there were army patrols. And yet, maybe you found an album or some tunes that reflected the times, which means both everything and nothing at all now, as time fractures into small, elastic shapes, some jagged, some joyful. An album of a moment must require malleability – songs that hold several songs within them.

                  Ganser is back with a couple of tunes that will anchor spring through fall, a project called Nothing You Do Matters (produced by Liars' Angus Andrew) and the songs are full, biting, sweet and relentlessly tongue-in-cheek. What propels Ganser as a band, for me, is what shines here: their performance of joyful apathy so often has many other moving parts underneath that suggest that they are a band of deep caring, simply unsatisfied

                  with the hands they’ve been dealt by the world. The dark humor seeped into the apathy is the central and most visual part of the magic trick, but it isn’t the trick itself. It is the disappearing bird or rabbit, that which returns safely to the open palm in order to distract an audience from everything else unfolding during its

                  disappearance. “People Watching” is almost a mini-suite of a jam, which first kicks in your door and then lulls you with what feels like comfort, before tearing your place apart on the way out. It’s a thrasher of a tune that is more deliberate than breathless, picking its spots to twist the lyrical knife of talk until the words lose meaning, which circle the drain of the song repeatedly, until it has evicted you, or you have evicted it.

                  “What Me Worry?” fills the space of breathlessness, a sneering romp where each line of lyric feels engaged in a mighty tug-ofwar for what comes before and after, simmering with the kind of tension that Ganser has gotten great at – a tension that pushes a listener to the edge before dragging them back to firm ground.

                  Survival is hard-won. For many folks, it has always been, for many more folks it feels especially hard-won now. Ganser has adjusted to the times. Yes, the lyrics are darker, seem more exhausted with the realities of having to make it to whatever is next. But there’s also real bursts of playfulness and gratitude wrestling underneath these songs. Gratitude for what winning another inch of survival, perhaps. I needed these songs, and you might, too. It’s good to feel, for a moment, that all is not lost. And even if it is, at least we can laugh our way to somemeaningless demise. - written by Hanif Abdurraqib

                  TRACK LISTING

                  01. People Watching
                  02. What Me Worry
                  03. People Watching (Liars Remix)

                  Billow Observatory


                    Billow Observatory is the project of trans-Atlantic duo Jonas Munk (Denmark) and Jason Kolb (Michigan). Initially planned as a small sideproject from their main work in Manual and Auburn Lull respectively, the two quickly realized their collaborative experiments merited more time and attention. Using heavily treated cavernous guitars, subtle synths, and crackling radio transmissions, their self-titled debut was released in 2012 as a double LP and established Billow Observatory as purveyors of unhurried, highly detailed ambient immersion.

                    The release pair of II: Plains/Patterns in 2017, and III: Chroma/Contour in 2019, on Munk's own Azure Vista Records, introduced a subtle underpinning of rhythm, pulse, and stutter among the washes, expanding their sound with a hint of understated electronica.

                    Marking 10 years since debuting on Felte, 2022 sees the release of Stareside, their most forcefully elegant undertaking to date. A record of swaying quarantine temperament, Stareside's 9 tracks thread the needle between hope and hopelessness - daydreaming whilst watching the world go mad in the blink of an eye. Not shy of overt rhythm, soaring motifs, and daunting undercurrents, Stateside veers wildly in new directions, yet keeps one hand near the record bin of comforting nostalgia (think early Warp Records, Jon Hassel, and Conny Plank to name a few).

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01. Inner Citadel
                    02. Sink The Outlook
                    03. Vantage Low
                    04. Wash Away The Dust
                    05. Osar
                    06. Havel
                    07. Stareside
                    08. Red Morning
                    09. In A Stream


                    Every Moment, Everything You Need

                      For Matthew Doty, Deserta has always been about exploring a sonic universe that allows him to express a kaleidoscope of emotions, without having to say much at all. Through a patchwork of reverb-tinged textures – drone guitars, lingering synths and driving percussion – the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist weaves together stories of care, frustration and catharsis that ultimately stretch to a gentle resolve.

                      On new album Every Moment, Everything You Need, Doty chronicles the kind of year we all fear, full of uncertainty, tension and sustained pressure, and transforms it into a celebration of perseverance. It’s an essential reminder that we have the power to shape the stories we tell. The pandemic meant that Doty had to give up his studio and downsize a lot of his gear and instead, carve out a space in his two-bedroom apartment to craft the next chapter of Deserta.

                      Sharing the space with his wife and son, Doty and his partner are also essential healthcare workers, which meant the couple would often have to tag-team childcare, along with 13-hour shifts in PPE and people constantly calling with questions about the ever changing guidelines and protocols. Once the blueprint for Every Moment, Everything You Need was set, Doty reached out to a number of collaborators to stitch together his vision for the sonic landscape.

                      James McAlister (Sufjan Stevens, The National, Taylor Swift) came onboard to perform and record drums, while Caroline Lufkin (Mice Parade) wrote and performed vocals on the ethereal “Where Did You Go.” Elsewhere, the LP was mixed by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Mogwai, Interpol), with Beach House and Slowdive producer Chris Coady engineering and co-producing, making this the first time Fridmann and Coady had worked together on a project.

                      While the vocals are more prominent than Deserta’s previous albums, it’s their amalgamation with the instrumental aspects that secures Every Moment, Everything You Need as Deserta’s most confident and assured release to date. An affecting emotional candor teamed with persistent riffs and tenacious rhythms sees Doty unafraid to dive deeper; an unrestrained approach that ushers in a lustrous purging of agitation and anxiety. Showcasing those dark, exhaustive thoughts through crucial swells and looped, electronic soundscapes, it’s an LP that’s infinitely layered, with something new to discover with each and every enchanting listen.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      01. Lost In The Weight
                      02. I'm So Tired
                      03. Where Did You Go
                      04. Far From Over
                      05. It's All A Memory
                      06. A World Without
                      07. Goodbye Vista
                      08. Visions

                      Ashley Shadow

                      Only The End

                        Recorded and mixed by Joshua Wells (Destroyer, Lightning Dust, ex-Black Mountain). Guest vocals from Bonnie “Prince” Billy on the “Don’t Slow Me Down” single. Guest pedal steel guitar from Paul Rigby (known mostly for his studio work with Neko Case) on 3 of the 10 tracks. Support thus far from FLOOD Mag, Stereogum, KEXP, KCRW, Popular TV (ex-Nylon writers), Pitchfork, Exclaim! & more. “Tonight” single synced for a Netflix series 13 Reasons Why in March 2017.

                        Ashley Shadow winks at darkness, but she won’t lead you towards it. It’s easy to fall under the spell of Ashley’s haunting voice. The Vancouver, B.C. based songwriter forged her own identity as a songwriter with 2016’s eponymous self-titled debut. Her sophomore effort, Only the End, maintains the moody introspection that is ingrained in Pacific Northwest life, but now comes armed with a palpable hope complementing her signature melancholy. Ashley explains, “I wanted to make a more upbeat album, something you could play with some friends over. Some of the songs I wrote were initially bummers, but when we went to record them, we lightened them up.”

                        Balancing a couple of jobs and navigating life and love in increasingly unstable times, the album was written over two years by Ashley at her apartment. Her confident vibrato above lightly, distorted guitars mirrors the album’s theme of resilience, if not triumph, over adversity. There is comfort in these warm songs that endorse the realism of contented acceptance, rather than the naïve search for non-existent utopias. While the songs were conceived in contemplative solitude, Ashley invited some very capable collaborators for their journey into the studio. Ashley’s first album saw her take center stage after more than a decade of gracing friends’ projects in a supporting role.

                        The move to the front was a cautious one. “First record was, can I do a solo album? This time, I know what I’m doing. It’s way more clear.” "Don’t Slow Me Down" reunites Ashley with Bonnie “Prince” Billy for the first time on record when she sang vocals on Bonnie's Lie Down In Light album in 2018. The album also includes contributions from Paul Rigby (Neko Case), Colin Cowan (Elastic Stars), Joshua Wells (Black Mountain, Lightning Dust) and Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear). It’s clear to anyone listening. It’s Only the End. If only all endings were so glorious.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        01. Gone Too Long
                        02. For Love
                        03. Don’t Slow Me Down (feat. Bonnie "Prince" Billy)
                        04. Grey
                        05. From You
                        06. I Will Remember
                        07. Unspoken
                        08. Nothing
                        09. Catlin
                        10. Bury 

                        Mission To The Sun

                        Cleansed By Fire

                          RIYL: Ritual Howls, Throbbing Gristle, Coil, The Legendary Pink Dots, Suicide, Cabaret Voltaire, Sonic Youth, Current 93 & The Stranglers.

                          Mission to the Sun synthesizes ambient, post-industrial landscapes with expansive arrangements and haunting vocals. Comprised of Christopher Samuels (synths, samples, programming) of Ritual Howls and Kirill Slavin (vocals), the Detroit-based duo creates an atmosphere of lamentation for a world left behind. Fragments of industrial noise and hypnotic synths fill Samuels' foreboding, alien terrain, and it's in this vastness that Slavin’s voice mourns the drudgery of everyday life and the loss of universal consciousness.

                          The duo's debut album, Cleansed by Fire, takes the listener on a journey home to the inferno of the sun, navigating memories of a life lived, dissolved into time. A wind of desolation opens "Take Me Back," with Slavin mourning for a return home to a distant reality. The song uses repetition to build a somber ambience while maintaining a spaciousness sparsely accented by noise with care and precision. Slavin's lyrics examine the conflict and paradoxes that riddle the human condition with

                          Samuel's instrumentation providing a fitting backdrop. "The Unbroken Sea" illustrates this symbiotic reflection with a propulsive bass line contradicted by ethereal synths that swell and contract, only to be finally engulfed by a pulsating crescendo of rhythmic noise at the end. The dystopian title track "Cleansed by Fire" marches steadily along to a creeping darkwave rhythm. The basic elements of dance music are there, yet the song remains devoid of danceability. Punctuated by lyrics inspired by J.G. Ballard and technological isolation, a glimmer of pop sensibility can be found beneath the haze of the track's potent mood.

                          Mission to the Sun beautifully captures an alien feeling: one ripe with despair and longing, one that doesn't quite belong to this world or time. A slow, satisfying burn, Cleansed by Fire traverses the dystopian past and present, while moving toward the future.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          01. Take Me Back
                          02. Cleansed By Fire
                          03. Damaged
                          04. Mission To The Sun
                          05. The Unbroken Sea
                          06. Computers
                          07. In Your Eyes
                          08. Three Crossings

                          Initial copies of the coloured vinyl edition include an exclusive 11" x 11" art print whilst stocks last.

                          The duo consists of Camila de Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini and met in London’s global melting pot. Originally they hail from Mexico City and Munich respectively and now call Lisbon home. Produced + mixed by Peter Kember (Sonic Boom, Spacemen 3, Spectrum) who has mixed bands such as Panda Bear, Beach House and MGMT Camila Fuchs creates experimental electronic pop with spectral vocals and avant-garde sensibilities. Currently based in Lisbon, the project was formed by Camila De Laborde (Mexico City) and Daniel Hermann-Collini (Munich) in London in 2012. The band released their debut album Singing From Fixed Rung in 2016, followed by 2018's Heart Pressed Between Stones on ATP Recordings. Met with international praise, Camila Fuchs has performed at numerous well-regarded festivals including Mutek Mexico, Primavera Sound and All Tomorrow's Parties Festival. They have also supported and shared the stage with Plaid, Actress, Aleksi Perälä, Starcrawler, Charles Hayward, William Basinski, Braids and The Orb.

                          Kids Talk Sun is the duo's third full-length album. It was produced and mixed by Peter Kember. With an imaginative, child-like approach, Camila Fuchs have managed to harness a transformational space of exploration and experimentation. Filled with a youthful sense of wonder, Kids Talk Sun is a meditation on childhood, as well as the exchanges between humans, between humans and nature, and within nature itself. A textural, drumless offering, "Sun" opens the album with a slow-tempo arpeggiation guided by Laborde's transporting voice. The words “heat me up, heat them up” conjures warmth that radiates throughout the album. “There was no way, no need to be careful,” Laborde sings in “Moon Mountain.” Mirroring the lyrics in approach, the band taps into a playful psychedelia with dense, hypnotizing instrumentation. Synths contract and swell punctuated by bleeps, bloops, and spaced-out effects beautifully articulated by Kember's production.

                          A step into darker territory, "Come About" shows the band's breadth of range with Laborde's voice soaring over a driving downtempo rhythm, pleading for love and dedication to be taken and received, with a haunting effect. Kids Talk Sun was recorded near the sea and wilderness outside of Lisbon, with the band shifting back and forth from the natural world to the studio. The result is an ecosystem of complex, ever-evolving sounds working together, with generosity given to the process itself; the biomimicry of plants, insects, the sun and moon, earth, seasons, and cycles gorgeously reimagined in sonic form. There is a sense of multiplicity, a reassurance on change deeply rooted in transformation, on things disintegrating, decomposing, and something new coming to ground us, arms open, and ready for hope.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Camila Fuchs' previous releases have always indicated towards a multi-faceted psychedelic electronic powerhouse, but nly on 'Kids Talk Sun' has that possibility become quite so crystal clear. Texturally rich but imbued with the sort of avant-pop spirit of 70's psych or the octaved drive of Italo-disco. Absolutely astounding work.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          01. Sun
                          02. Moon’s Mountain
                          03. Gloss Trick
                          04. Roses
                          05. Sandstorm
                          06. Silenced By Hums
                          07. Come About
                          08. Mess
                          09. Pool Of Wax

                          Gold Class


                            The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a drafty, old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. I’d been moving around from place to place for eight or nine months at that point, since just after our first album was released. When the band got together that week to write, the first thing that came out was the song “Get Yours.” written in one jam, just this hurricane of noise.

                            In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with news from friends and the TV: the suicides of musicians and writers I’d known and queer kids I hadn’t; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs. I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in “Get Yours”: “There’s none left here and all I need.” I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn’t set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard but doesn’t want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.

                            But I couldn’t avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here. It seems a worthwhile enough act when our existences are being further and further streamlined, turned into commodities unworthy of protections or acts of humanity, when some weird version of equality and not liberation is now the aim of even the left.

                            I want to be the author of my words. My words are often still at the mercy of my day-to-day, but I can try to locate them in history and to look beyond myself, too. That’s what I’ve tried to do. The politics and the personal experiences were sticky and came out all tangled up. I couldn’t detach them. I can’t still, maybe because not enough time has passed since making the record, but maybe because those things simply can’t be detached. I suspect that last part is nearest to the truth. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            01. Twist In The Dark
                            02. Rose Blind
                            03. Get Yours
                            04. Trouble Fun
                            05. Bully
                            06. Thinking Of Strangers
                            07. We Were Never Too Much
                            08. Mercurian
                            09. Place We Go
                            10. Lux


                            On The Legs Of Love Purified

                            Debut album from this San Francisco, female based duo. Chasms is the San Francisco based project of Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden. The duo crafts percussive dirges that are at once beautiful and menacing. Labrador's haunting vocals and hypnotizing guitar work wade between rhythmic bass lines and bursts of Madden's stinging feedback, laid on a bed of pummeling drum programming. The band's affinity for industrial rhythms, swelling textures, precise minimalism, and chaotic eruptions of noise sounds as equally informed by shoegaze as drone and doom metal—to choose just one would be a disservice. On the Legs of Love Purified, the band's debut full-length album, will see the light of day on October 14th. Written over the course of several years, the album explores the healing force of love and the exorcism of pain that inescapably accompanies it. Light cannot exist without dark, bliss without suffering. …Love Purified conjures this atmosphere of duality as it drifts through an expanse of emotion. While this is Chasms’ debut, they’ve been an active duo since 2012. They’ve released the When It Comes (Dream, 2012), Riser (Dream, 2014) EPs and the "Bad Evolution" single (Sleep Genius, 2012). They then collected a majority of the two Eps on the Subtle Bodies compilation album (Sleep Genius, 2014). Why hasn’t it taken so long for a debut album? Labrador spent a year recording the album herself despite a hand injury that made guitar playing and production work difficult and physically painful. Recording between the band's illegally rented rehearsal space and a cramped apartment compounded a sense of tension and isolation as the two struggled to not only finish the album but to also stay afloat in a city that is increasingly hostile to artists, and where the threat of eviction constantly looms. This underlying uneasiness and discomfort can be heard in these recordings, and it works not to mar their beauty but rather to emphasize it by contrast. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            01. More Love To Be Found
                            02. Black Ice
                            03. Beyond Flesh
                            04. We’ll Go
                            05. Come To Harm
                            06. Intimacy
                            07. Between The Eyes On The Legs Of Love Purified

                            RIYL: D.A.F., Nine Inch Nails, HEALTH, Metz. Toronto underground staple Odonis Odonis broke out in 2011 with their scrappy, blown out debut, Hollandaze. The dynamic trio instantly began turning heads with their signature "industrial surf-gaze" sound.

                            On their Polaris Prize nominated follow up, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, Odonis Odonis masterfully crafted a sonically divergent record that pushed their sound into new territory. Odonis Odonis' latest epic, Post Plague, delivers a powerful blend of industrial, electronic and Sci-Fi. Odonis Odonis' post--apocalyptic anthems construct scenes of sci-fi horror and saturate them with industrial strength synth beats. Dean Tzenos' vocals sit clear and upfront, delivered with a foreboding intensity accented by his synth motifs and soundscapes. Denholm Whale's carefully crafted bass figures / electronic percussions are strategically placed like demolition charges throughout the sonic foundations of each track that Jarod Gibson, like some futurist architect, constructs.

                            On Post Plague, Odonis Odonis delivers the kind of hypnotic, pulsing destruction that you can't wipe away. Post Plague inhabits that impending reality of synthetic experience which forces us to realize what we are: vulnerable, frantic creatures yearning for an authentic present / future. Jeff Goldblum, in the acclaimed motion picture The Fly, reminds us that we must take a “deep penetrating dive into the plasma pool,” and take stock of ourselves before we lose something profound. Something that may be necessary to ward off a pending anthropogenic apocalypse. Recognize and take pleasure in our fucked up place in time as we have so many new worlds possible at once.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            01. Fearless
                            02. Needs
                            03. That’s How It Goes
                            04. Nervous
                            05. BLTZ
                            06. Pencils
                            07. Game
                            08. Vanta Black
                            09. Betrayal
                            10. Lust

                            Ashley Shadow

                            Ashley Shadow

                              With the release of her eponymous debut album, Ashley Shadow has at long last taken center stage after a decade of valuable contributions to highly regarded, diverse musical acts. Though bestowed with a strong voice both lulling and bracing in its quality, Ashley spent the first five years of her musical career playing bass guitar for rock-noir outfit The Organ before recording and/or touring with Bonnie Prince Billy, Pink Mountaintops, The Cave Singers and Lightning Dust. Her self-titled debut endeavors to find certainty amidst incessant change and ensures that her talent -- a secret long known around her home of Vancouver, British Columbia -- will be shared with the rest of the world's melody lovers.

                              Enlisting the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Wells (Black Mountain), guitarists Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear) Peter Le Grand and Darcy Hancock, Ashley Shadow has asserted an independent stake in the musical community she has enriched for so long. Prior to focusing on her own songwriting, Ashley has given much of her heart and energy to working with the marginalized, at risk population in Vancouver. When she stepped back to reflect on these experiences, songs were inspired by both relationships during that time and the unique emotional work and struggles she involved herself in. 


                              Jane's Lament

                              Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, are set to release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like “Sun,” and “Pyramid” emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation.

                              Au.Ra's “emotive soundscapes” perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight “Morning,” where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a serene, meditative realm. Their repetitive lyrics belie this easy transcendence, sometimes even verging on incantation. These songs evoke a languid drive along a bending highway in autumn, the scenery and light shifting ever so slowly out the windows. As the sun sets earlier, this is an album to savor with the dying light.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Morning
                              2. Sun
                              3. Pyramid
                              4. You’re On My Mind
                              5. Juki
                              6. Spare The Thought
                              7. Talk Show
                              8. Ease
                              9. Width

                              Mysteries is just as it implies. A few months ago the felte label received an anonymous demo accompanied by a photo of 3 figures, faces covered like some sort of futuristic druids. To this day the label still doesn't know the group's origin, but the joy of discovering this music unimpeded renders this fact almost irrelevant.

                              There’s a sense that the band would prefer to keep your focus on the music and not who they are, where they come from or what you might perceive them to be before hearing a single note. If you need glorious mug shots and preamble to capture your intrigue, then this is not for you. The album’s title, New Age Music is Here, could even be interpreted as a sarcastic shot at the new listening habits dictated by the constant noise all around us, but is more likely a simple invitation to engage with the music on its own terms, in its own universe. One thing is certain. New Age Music Is Here glows with exotic, crunchy, muscular, expressive pop music built around vocals and drums, rather than the big synth or guitar riffs prevalent today. Almost like a psych-rock, cyborg, 50's doo-wop Alice Coltrane if you will. Is it truly new age? We definitely haven't heard much like it.

                              Listen with an open mind and heart and you too might believe in music once again strictly for music’s sake. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

                              TRACK LISTING

                              01. Introduction (New Age Music Is Here)
                              02. Knight Takes Rook
                              03. Newly Thrown
                              04. Stateless Wonder
                              05. Authenticity Machine
                              06. Motion
                              07. Ev’rything
                              08. I Wanna
                              09. Call And Respsone, With Morals
                              10. In The Dark
                              11. Deckard
                              12. Trust

                              Lushes are a band born of tensions – between art and math, order and chaos, planning and chance. You can hear it in their songs – taut, twitching art-punk that balance anxiety and elation, often within the space of a few bars. Album opener "Harsh" glides along slowly, feeling like a moody and measured art-rock meditation until you zero in on the words in the chorus: "Harsh on my ears, that's the way I like it." This is push-pull music, songs that temper the jagged fitfulness of groups like June of 44 and Slint with the soft-focus sweetness and open-ended song structures of The Sea & Cake and The Notwist. That moods so diametrically opposed can peacefully coexist is part of Lushes mystery and allure. That duality extends to the group's background. James Ardery and Joel Myers were living in worlds far removed from music, both working day jobs that neither of them enjoyed. Their personalities were different – James was outspoken and gregarious, Joel introverted and reserved. Their musical backgrounds were different: James grew up pillaging his father's record collection, getting turned on to Nirvana and Wu-Tang Clan by his older brother and attending hardcore shows by pioneering bands like Fugazi at 12 years old. Joel was formally trained, loving classical music but almost completely oblivious to rock and pop. The fusion of their disparate influences is what animates Lushes – the anarchy of punk and hardcore colliding with the precision of jazz to create music that is marvelously ordered while still feeling seconds away from detonation. That tension pulses throughout What Am I Doing, the group's warring influences making for music that feels brittle and vital.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              01. Harsh
                              02. One Right Word
                              03. Traffic
                              04. Warm Contagion
                              05. Dead Girls
                              06. Feastin
                              07. Garden

                              A sense of place. It's a notion that has informed some of our most memorable works of art — everyone has a favorite book or painting or album that somehow has the power to immerse you completely in its world, so much so that you don't want to leave.

                              This sense of creating art that can spirit you away somewhere else entirely is something that most definitely also informs the selftitled debut album from Brooklyn-based band ERAAS. In 2011, the band's founding members, Robert Toher and Austin Stawiarz, both ex-members of New England-based project Apse, were gravitating more towards ritualistic and darker themes not fully explored in their previous incarnation. In searching for a place to translate this mood to record, the duo settled on a rambling, atmospheric mansion in Western Massachusetts outside of Northampton. ERAAS decided to retreat to an area steeped in history and its own distinct atmosphere — all deserted hill towns and melancholy beauty — to make this record. The decision paid rich creative dividends — this is an album that's heavy with both an ominous mood and a certain orchestral grandeur.

                              When you listen to these songs, the ambience of the house itself is palpable, its creaking boards and tenebrous hallways reflected in the claustrophobic, echo-laden production — from the mournful strings that introduce the opening "Black House" until the flurry of tribal percussion that brings final track "Trinity" to a conclusion, there's a real sense of mood that never relents. The album plays out more like a single coherent entity than a simple collection of songs, the tracks emerging ghost-like from the shadows and then receding into interludes of whispers and strange, abstract samples. The songs are built around insistent basslines and driving percussion, along with a distinctive, evocative vocal sound created with deft utilization of delays and reverbs. Tracks like "Briar Path" and "A Presence" sound like stumbling across secret rituals, all haunted vocal melodies and spidery guitar figures. Other songs see subtle elements drifting in and out of the mix— "Crescent" is adorned by a delicate piano melody that sounds like it was recorded from an old Victrola, strange whisperings lurk deep in the mix of "Ghost", while "Trinity" strips things back to percussion and an insistent, rasping vocal.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Black House
                              2. A Presence
                              3. At Heart
                              4. Ghost
                              5. Skinning
                              6. Moon
                              7. Briar Path
                              8. Crosscut
                              9. Fang
                              10. Crescent
                              11. Trinity

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