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Just Joans

The Private Memoirs And Confessions Of The Just Joans

    Acerbic yet winsome Scottish indiepoppers The Just Joans return with the dazzlingly maudlin The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans, a deeply personal collection of songs that hazily recall the past and contemplate the futility of the future. A titular twist on the classic gothic horror novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by compatriot James Hogg, the new album is the follow-up to 2017’s You Might Be Smiling Now… and contains the kind of melodies and mockery that led Uncut to class the band as the point at which “Stephin Merritt lies down with The Vaselines.” At the forefront remain the mischievous lyrics and heartfelt vocals of siblings David and Katie Pope, aided and abetted by Chris Elkin on lead guitar, Fraser Ford on bass guitar and Jason Sweeney on drums. Yet it is the recruitment of multi-instrumentalist Arion Xenos and guest appearance of Butcher Boy’s Alison Eales to arrange strings that have helped elevate the band’s music to new heights. Their progression is most noticeable on lead single “Dear Diary, I Died Again today”, a painfully beautiful admission of everyday anxiety and “When Nietzsche Calls”, the triumphant cry of a spurned lover revelling in the misery of their ex to a backdrop of trumpets and violins.

    The juxtaposition of the fragility shown in these tracks with the menace of “Wee Guys (Bobby’s Got A Punctured Lung)” – an observation and understanding of the casual violence that once cast a shadow over the band’s hometown – highlights The Just Joans’ ability to seamlessly flip between sensitivity and danger, and sums up why Highway Queens described them as the “perfect Glasgow kiss.” The Private Memoirs and Confessions of the Just Joans is a veritable smorgasbord of misery, longing and unrequited love; stories of small town resentments, half-forgotten school friends, failing relationships and awkward workplace conversations. As David explains: “It’s a collection torn from the pages of the diary I haven’t kept over the past 25 years. There are songs about places and people I vaguely remember, feelings I think that I once may have felt and the onset of middle-aged ennui.” Despite entering new territory with the addition of brass and strings, they have nevertheless maintained the DIY ethos that made them darlings of the underground indie-pop scene, with each song on the album recorded and produced by the band in various gloomy bedrooms around Glasgow. “The Just Joans have documented the romantic pratfalls of a generation of indie kids with a sardonic wit and a shambling musical style where Stephin Merritt lies down with The Vaselines” 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Mammoth Penguins

    There Is No Fight We Can't Both Win

      For the uninitiated, Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie pop powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare, The Hayman Kupa Band) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop Their first album, Hide and Seek, was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna Pop! in 2015. Stand-out tracks ‘Strength In My Legs’ and ‘When I Was Your Age’ were picked up by BBC 6Music and Radio X, and the band played a live session for Marc Riley the following year. But Mammoth Penguins didn’t want to stop there. Their follow-up release John Doe in 2017 was an ambitious concept album, exploring the feelings of loss and anger at a man who fakes his own death, only to return years later. It featured contributions from Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood and Alto 45’s Joe Bear, and expanded well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples (field recordings of butter being scraped on toast, photocopiers, and Ramsgate beach helping to fully immerse the listener in the world the band have created) filling out and developing Kupa’s songwriting.

      Having had their ‘and now for something completely different’ moment, the band have brought that ambition and expanded palette to the production of this new release. The sound is big, bold and confident—with layers of guitars, backing vocals and keys all adding extra muscle—but maintaining Emma’s candid, heartfelt, confessional style of songwriting, and the jubilant power pop hooks that made the first record so special. This time around, classic themes of love, loss and conflict are (mostly) given a hopeful and optimistic spin that opposition is neither inevitable nor hopeless. For musical comparisons, think Land of Talk, and Philadelphia bands such as Swearin and Hop Along, but Kupa’s insight into the everyday and her ability to pen such relatable and honest missives means that, often, the best comparison for Mammoth Penguins’ music is with your own past. “Like a lot of songwriters, my songs are derived from my own personal experiences, thoughts and feelings, long lived or fleeting. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Hayman Kupa Band

      The Hayman Kupa Band

        When Darren Hayman (Hefner) and Emma Kupa (Standard Fare/Mammoth Penguins) decided to make a duets record, we knew the results would be great, but we didn’t expect them to be THIS great. Gathering together a rhythm section consisting of Michael Wood (Whoa Melodic/Singing Adams) on bass and Cat Loye (Fever Dream) on drums, The Hayman Kupa Band create brash, bold and effortlessly melodic power pop. Sharing writing duties and sometimes singing each others words, lines are blurred and creativity explored in a wonderfully exuberant collection of songs.

        The album, recorded in 3 days, is an exploration of relationships and, at its heart, it’s the sound of a friendship being made. Darren explains further: It’s only happened a few times but just once or twice I have seen someone on stage and thought, “I want to be in a band with them.” But I thought it the first time I saw Emma playing with her magnificent and under-rated band Standard Fare. I met her properly a little later in Sheffield when we played together. Before the gig I said I was suspicious of bands that wore hats. She wore a hat on stage. They say imitation is a form of flattery and I was glad that I noticed when I wrote the song “Boy, Look at What you Can’t Have Now” that it sounded like the sort of thing Emma might write. I covered up my theft by asking her to sing on it. When we were recording the song I suggested that we should write a whole album of duets. Musicians suggest things like this all the time because they are stupid or drunk. A few months later Emma told me she had started writing the album. This is what Emma does; she says something then does it. I race to play catch up. The songs were written over 3 weekends at her house and mine. Co-writing is something I’m not used to. It’s very intimate and me and Emma became friends through the process. Emma’s lyrics are sharp and precise whereas mine are more metaphoric. We talked about relationships and that’s what the album is about. It’s about our fears and paranoias and the search for trust and love. We deliberately swapped lines and genders so the narrative is never truly that of traditional duets. We wanted a band to make the album and chose Michael Wood and Cat Loye. 

        Enderby’s Room is fiddle player Dan Mayfield, once from rural Lincolnshire, but he has now found home living in London. His folk tinged songs reflect on his traditional folk upbringing. Mayfield has played violin for many artists including Daniel Johnston, Darren Hayman, The Wave Pictures, Allo Darlin’ and the Belles of

        London City morris dancers. Over the past ten years he has gently built up a collection of his own songs, which he performs with his band Enderby’s Room. The name comes from an Anthony Burgess character called Mr Enderby who composed his prose inside the toilet. The band’s make up has been constantly evolving; around 30 different individuals have been a part of Enderby’s Room over the last decade, before settling on the current 5 piece lineup. Enderby’s Room’s sound features a Victorian pedal harmonium, together with French horn, double bass, ukulele, guitar and percussion. The artwork for the record was created by Johnny Voss whose style involves using a continuous single pen stroke to create his illustrations. As well as Enderby’s Room, Mayfield set up School of Noise which encourages young people to be creative with sound, using unusual noise making and sound sculpting machines. This project has seen him take workshops to the Green Man and End of the Road festivals as well as the Southbank Centre, Museum of London, Great Ormond Street Hospital and primary schools around the country.

        “Unfolding gently, the quiet grace of Enderby’s Room seems to draw on the folk tradition while taking brave chances of its own.” Clash Music"

         "At times they capture the sumptuous melancholia of Low; at others, they're finding new shapes for indie folk" How Does It Feel

        “their delicate harmonies, unusual instruments and vivid storytelling are intricately woven and desperately beautiful” Green Man Festival

        “an absolute stunner. The harmonies and whimsical melodies will take you to places you never dreamed of; imagine the most beautiful sunset, the most beautiful starry night sky and you will begin to get a picture of where this amazing song will take you. The lyrics are full of reflection and wonder, leaving you feeling warm and content… make Enderby’s Room one of the many bands you fall head over heels in love with during 2017”

        Sally Shapiro

        If You Ever Wanna Change Your Mind

        The name “Sally Shapiro” refers to both the Swedish duo, consisting of the producer Johan Agebjörn and an anonymous singer, as well as the pseudonym of the singer herself. In December 2004 Johan discovered Shapiro’s gentle and beautiful voice while the two were singing Christmas carols together. Their first track, 'I'll B e By Your Side', was released as a 12" single on May 12th, 2006, on the Austrian label Diskokaine (run by DJ/producer Wolfram Eckert).

        Sally Shapiro’s debut album, 'Disco Romance', was a nostalgic trip back to romantic italo disco of 1984. The album was revered by the press, nominated as “dance/electronic album of the year” at the U.S. Plug Awards and was given a spot in Pitchfork’s Top 50 albums of 2007. The tracks on the album were subsequently remixed by Lindstrøm, Tensnake, Junior Boys, CFCF, and Juan MacLean. Sally Shapiro is known for her shyness: she does not reveal her real name, will not even let Johan into the studio when she sings, and has never performed her songs live. After a handful of DJ dates in 2008, she decided to never ever stand on stage again. However, the duo released two more studio albums, 'My Guilty Pleasure' in 2009 and 'Somewhere Else' in 2013. Apart from a collaboration single with Tommy '86 - 'Why Did I Say Goodbye' - and a few appearances on Johan's solo album Notes in 2015, Sally Shapiro has been silent since the last album.

        The new two-track single is scheduled for a release on the 10th anniversary of 'I'll Be By Your Side', and will be the last recorded piece of music by Sally Shapiro. They explain why: ”Our musical tastes don't overlap that much anymore. Johan is more into 90s-style electronica these days, and Sally is into non-electronic pop. In three years, we've only managed to record these two songs as Sally Shapiro, so with this single we have decided to call our musical project a day, and we would like to thank everyone who followed us on this journey.” The A-side, 'If You Ever Wanna Change Your Mind', was co-written by longtime collaborator Roger Gunnarsson and co-produced by Mitch Murder (Kung Fury OST). The B-side, 'Dangerous', is an acoustic interpretation of the David Guetta hit, with guitar played by Johan's cousin, Jonas Agebjörn. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 7" Info: 7” white vinyl single with download (including two bonus download remixes), 500 only.


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