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FICTION

Nick Mulvey's second album 'Wake Up Now. Hisstandout debut album, First Mind, in 2015 was the introduction of an artist who shirked the conventional and side-stepped the expected. Nick’s return with the first fruits of his new album sessions has brought with it his own outlook on a world that can’t decide which direction it’s going, or quite what to do with itself. We’re all hastily trying to find our spot within these times, and Nick is no exception, but if clarity is part-resolved by a call to arms, perhaps it’s time to make that call.

STAFF COMMENTS

Martin says: Wonderful follow up to the exquisite "First Mind". Darker and more world weary, but still as beautifully crafted and endlessly compassionate as his debut.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Double limited edition orange vinyl.

Day Wave

The Days We Had

    Jackson Phillips is dropping his debut album as Day Wave, The Days We Had, in May, but damn if he isn’t more polished than a first outing would suggest.

    “Something Here,” the second single (after the melodically sedated “Wasting Time”) rushes forward with the sort-of hope that could only come from a “rookie” while tempering that blind faith with some lived-in logic. Even with a heavy head, Phillips insists “There’s something here” as some War on Drugs-inspired guitars whoosh past him. It’s just lovely to listen to and a wonderful sign of things to come.

    One band who have been threatening a big breakthrough is female four-piece The Big Moon, who in 2016 were dubbed the coolest young band in Britain are destined to be huge in 2017 with their Slits and Elastica-inspired punky gems.

    “Definitely a band to watch” - London On The Inside
    “With each new release, they continue to reach brand new heights” – The Line of Best Fit
    “Another sign of the band's blossoming maturity and growing confidence as songwriters” – Clash
    “London’s most exciting new quartet ... The Big Moon are readying to shoot for the stars” - NME
    “Another introduction to one of the buzziest new bands on the scene, it’s proof that they’re making all the right moves on their road to the top" – DORK

    Crystal Castles are an experimental electronic band formed in 2003 in Toronto, Ontario by songwriter/producer Ethan Kath. Crystal Castles are known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic homemade productions. They released many limited vinyl singles between 2006 and 2007 before releasing a trilogy of critically acclaimed albums between 2008 and 2012. Their debut album, Crystal Castles, was released in 2008 and was listed on NME’s "Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade" list at # 39. In 2010 their second album, titled (II), charted on the Billboard 200, and includes their first worldwide charting single, “Not In Love” featuring vocalist Robert Smith of The Cure. Their third album, (III), was released on November 12, 2012 and was the # 1 album of 2012 on Tumblr and also on Hype Machine. The album included 4 singles: “Plague”, "Wrath of God", "Sad Eyes" and "Affection".

    Glass announced her departure from the band in October 2014, citing personal and professional reasons. In April 2015, Ethan Kath released a new Crystal Castles track, "Frail", featuring a new singer, Edith Frances. He also announced they are writing and recording a new album, and here it is!

    Fourth and best album from this London combo. The Maccabees make powerful indie-rock with incendiary guitars, the perfect backdrop to Orlando Weeks' poetic lyrics, which on this record are sometimes politically motivated too. It's very much an urban band, and the gentrification of the area around their studio (in the Elephant and Castle) is a particular bugbear. But ultimately we're here for the tunes, and just like on their last, Mercury Music nominated effort,  "Marks To Prove It " does not disappoint.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Martin says: Politics take centre stage on The Maccabees' best LP so far.

    Currents was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker in Fremantle, West Australia. Lyrically the record finds Parker in a very different place in 2015 to where he was seven years ago. Transitions in life, relationships, perspectives, mindsets – Currents maps Parker’s evolution through these and finds him a brand new person.

    Musically, Currents sounds like the work of a player on top of his game and having a blast, Parker indulging his whims and unafraid to dive down the rabbit hole after an idea. Again operating as a one man studio band, Parker’s resultant record calls to mind contemporary hip hop production, Thriller, fried 70s funk, the irreverent playground Daft Punk presented on Discovery, swathes of future pop and emotional 80s balladry, all filtered through a thoroughly modern psychedelic third eye. A genre-bending soundscape fuelled equally by curiosity as it is consciousness; it’s an exhilarating new territory for Tame Impala. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Chunky dream-pop with melodies galore. Got to be one of the albums of the year?!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLtd LP Info: Double LP with printed inner sleeves.

    2xLP Info: Black vinyl edition. Double LP with printed inner sleeves.

    LP Box Set Info: The Currents Collectors Edition box set includes the album on limited edition red marbled vinyl with alternate artwork, a 12” featuring two remixes, and a 7” and flexidisc with three b-sides. Plus a poster and a zine of images and scribbles offering a candid glimpse into the making of Currents.
    • 7" tracklist: A – ‘List Of People (To Try And Forget About)’ and B – ‘Taxi's Here’
    • Flexidisc tracklist: ‘Powerlines’
    • 12" tracklist: A – ‘Let It Happen (Soulwax Remi

    24 year old Benjamin Garrett, aka Fryars, has always bucked trends. His startling new album Power has been more than just a labour of love, it's been a near-five year journey of the imagination built around a story that spans three continents and deals with all the deliciousness of life; love, greed, loss and death.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with full colour printed bag and lyric sheet, all on a satin finish.

    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Nick Mulvey releases ‘First Mind’ through Fiction Records. It was produced by Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Steve Mason) in Streatham. Nick's music is making impressive, encouraging footprints across the globe concluding 2013 on the BBC Sound of 2014 shortlist.

    Nick Mulvey is less the master of reinvention, as he is the master of invention. Invention by its very definition being a ‘unique method, composition, or process’. First Mind ticks all three boxes, and it ticks them in spades. The album includes the hit single Cucurucu' which was Zane Lowe's Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Heartfelt, good-natured, reflective music with lovely songs and superb finger-picking. Like a modern take on Elliott Smith.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    'Debut album from Little Matador. Founding member and frontman is Nathan Connolly (Snow Patrol) but don't let that fool you! This music channels the scuzz and potency of Queens Of The Stone Age, has the knowing way with a melody of Arctic Monkeys and even the twisted darkness of Girls Against Boys - Little Matador join the likes of Band Of Skulls and Royal Blood in championing a new breed of raw rock music full of swagger and integrity.

    Elbow

    The Take Off And Landing Of Everything - Deluxe CD Edition

      ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ was recorded in Real World Studios and at the band’s facilities at Blueprint Studios, Salford. As with previous albums, the million selling ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ and platinum follow up ‘build a rocket boys!’ it was produced by the band’s keyboardist Craig Potter. The making of ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ saw the band take a new approach to writing and recording. Previously songs were mostly developed by the band as a whole but this new album sees individual members and subgroups take the lead on several tracks. 

      ‘Honey Sun’ was written and recorded at home by guitarist Mark Potter, his brother Craig wrote the music for ‘Real Life (Angel)’ and bassist Pete Turner built ‘Colour Fields’ using apps on his iPad. The first track to be heard from the album, ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ was developed by drummer Richard Jupp alongside Pete and Mark whilst both Guy and Craig were away from the studio.

      The album features several guests including the Hallé Orchestra (‘Manchester’s oldest band’ as Guy affectionately calls them) with Pete McPhail, Tim Barber, Bob Marsh and Kat Curlett adding brass to selected tracks and tour mate and long term friend Jimi Goodwin of Doves adding backing vocals on ‘New York Morning’. 

      Despite the changes in approach musically and lyrically ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ contains many familiar elements for fans of the band. Early taster ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ harks back to debut single ‘Newborn’ in its step change melody and rhythmic shift mid song whilst ‘New York Morning’, the first single proper from the album, carries at its centre the type of life affirming refrain that run through elbow songs from ‘Scattered Black and Whites’ from their debut to ‘Open Arms’ from ‘build a rocket boys!’. 

      Sharp eyed elbow watchers will also note the presence of ‘Charge’, which was performed live during the band’s last run of UK arena shows during the ‘build a rocket boys!’ campaign in December 2012. The song demonstrates that elbow retain an ability to deliver the darker side of human nature that echoes the likes of ‘Little Beast’ and ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ from earlier albums. 

      Familiar themes return, the welcoming of old friends, the mourning of past loves and, as Guy would say ‘some of the big and little, positive and negative, life experiences that any group of men approaching forty can expect’.

      Elbow

      The Take Off And Landing Of Everything

      ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ was recorded in Real World Studios and at the band’s facilities at Blueprint Studios, Salford. As with previous albums, the million selling ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ and platinum follow up ‘build a rocket boys!’ it was produced by the band’s keyboardist Craig Potter. The making of ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ saw the band take a new approach to writing and recording. Previously songs were mostly developed by the band as a whole but this new album sees individual members and subgroups take the lead on several tracks.

      ‘Honey Sun’ was written and recorded at home by guitarist Mark Potter, his brother Craig wrote the music for ‘Real Life (Angel)’ and bassist Pete Turner built ‘Colour Fields’ using apps on his iPad. The first track to be heard from the album, ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ was developed by drummer Richard Jupp alongside Pete and Mark whilst both Guy and Craig were away from the studio.

      The album features several guests including the Hallé Orchestra (‘Manchester’s oldest band’ as Guy affectionately calls them) with Pete McPhail, Tim Barber, Bob Marsh and Kat Curlett adding brass to selected tracks and tour mate and long term friend Jimi Goodwin of Doves adding backing vocals on ‘New York Morning’.

      Despite the changes in approach musically and lyrically ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’ contains many familiar elements for fans of the band. Early taster ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’ harks back to debut single ‘Newborn’ in its step change melody and rhythmic shift mid song whilst ‘New York Morning’, the first single proper from the album, carries at its centre the type of life affirming refrain that run through elbow songs from ‘Scattered Black and Whites’ from their debut to ‘Open Arms’ from ‘build a rocket boys!’.

      Sharp eyed elbow watchers will also note the presence of ‘Charge’, which was performed live during the band’s last run of UK arena shows during the ‘build a rocket boys!’ campaign in December 2012. The song demonstrates that elbow retain an ability to deliver the darker side of human nature that echoes the likes of ‘Little Beast’ and ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ from earlier albums.

      Familiar themes return, the welcoming of old friends, the mourning of past loves and, as Guy would say ‘some of the big and little, positive and negative, life experiences that any group of men approaching forty can expect’.

      Jamie N Commons

      Rumble And Sway EP - SIGNED COPIES

        ULTRA LIMITED SIGNED COPIES.

        Born in Bristol, Jamie N Commons moved to Chicago with his family when he was six and it was there that he developed a deep love for American music. The first gig his father took him to was the Allman Brothers: "I have strong memories of strange-smelling smoke and the guy next to us howling like a wolf," recalls Jamie.

        Working at Westlake Studios, where Michael Jackson recorded Thriller, inspired a new sonic approach, combining gritty beats, arresting vocals and rousing melodies which, together with experimental arrangements, make these 4 songs unique and inspiring. Alex Da Kid, Eg White (Adele, Florence and the Machine) and Ed Harcourt are on production duties, giving a taste of things to come.

        Cheeky title, but what do you expect? This collects all his singles plus his two excellent collaborations with UNKLE. There's also three re-recorded, and far superior takes on a couple of B-sides and the gorgeous "Forever And A Day." As a romantic lover of the old '45' this is probably Ian's favourite LP that he's done. The photos and artwork are lush and the songs themselves are super-vibrant, catchy and groovy. If you only get one IB album then you better make it this. If you're a fan you'll be made-up with the new versions, and you can finally get to offload that dodgy second UNKLE LP!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLtd CD Info: The limited edition double pack comes with a 48 page hardback book and a bonus disc of remixes and rarities. Back in stock.

        Elbow

        Leaders Of The Free World

          'Leaders of the Free World', Elbow's third album, sees the band try to beat down their major league contemporaries with a more ambitious set of songs. The results are impressive and may form the band's best work yet. Beginning with the beautiful, slow-building "Station Approach", and ending with the short but touching "Puncture Repair", 'Leaders of the Free World' takes in an a host of minor classics along the way including the captivating title track. The album is the result of a collaborative projecy between the band and film-makers, the Soup Collective.

          10,000 Things

          10,000 Things

          10,000 Things are rock'n'roll. Their debut album is full of songs about bad relationships, crap jobs, avoiding your landlord on rent day and having a laugh - basically a snapshot of the bands lives.

          Ian Brown

          Time Is My Everything

          Taken from the album "Solarized", this is the one with the super catchy Spanish melody and mariachi horns. It's the poppiest thing Ian's ever released (on his own). Nice up the dance, mon.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          CDS2 Info: CD2 includes "Where Angels Play", "Time Is My Everything (Stateside Hombres Over Easy Mix)" and the video for "Time Is My Everything".

          CDS Info: CD1 includes the UNKLE reconstruction of "Time Is My Everything".

          From Scunthorpe, but having lived in Manchester for a few years, Stephen Fretwell has been 'Boy Most Likely To' for a while now. His "8 Songs" mini-album and 2 EPs have sold like hotcakes in our shop and if you liked them you're going to love this album. It was recorded in Abbey Road and is lush, full yet never over-done. It's still open-hearted, melancholy and beautiful stuff - a little Dylan, a little Kloot-ish- but just so tastefully coloured in that you feel he may just one day walk out of the cosy, dark haven of the Night And Day bar into the dazzle of international stardom! Certainly there have been few better songs than "Play", "Emily" or "Lost Without You" written this year. It's too late for our Year End chart but you can be sure this record would have been right up there if it hadn't have been. It's effortlessly classic. You'll all love it!


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