Search Results for:

FIKA RECORDINGS

Adam Ross

Littoral Zone

    The second solo album by Adam Ross - a musician described by Folk Radio as "one of Scotland’s most talented singers and songwriters".

    The album is produced by multiple Scottish Album Of The Year Award nominated composer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Wasylyk and released on London record label Fika Recordings. Arts bodies Creative Scotland and Help Musicians have supported and funded the album in recognition of what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting musical collaborations of 2024.

    The album is a heavily lyrical collection of warped 70s-esque indie-folk ballads inspired by Adam’s relocation to the coast. The title, Littoral Zone, is a term used to define where the sea meets the land but also a nod to a style of direct, literary observations about the people, landscapes and states of mind Adam has discovered since moving there. The lyrics cover themes of nature, politics, faith, love and death and are surrounded by Andrew’s deft production featuring luscious string ensembles and brass.

    The writing of the album saw Adam move away from guitar and onto piano, having bought a slightly battered upright piano from a local antiques warehouse as a first priority after moving house in 2021. Chords, melodies and musical ideas were recorded on Adam's phone before lyrics were slowly built up during his walks on the beach and clifftops around the village of St Cyrus where he now lives.

    Songs like Free Will and Union Gary chart and exaggerate the at-times ridiculous minutiae of day-to-day life, with the latter musing on British foreign policy via the prism of an unkempt garden. The Going and I Get It Wrong pay tribute to the natural beauty and mystery of coastal landscapes while Brambles falls into the musical tradition of the murder ballad, with a story loosely based on an amalgamation of true events. The album's darker edges can also be discovered in Shrinking and Ego which dwell on aging and self-doubt, however Apogee looks to counterbalance such themes with a pure outpouring of love.

    The album sees Adam at his most musically ambitious and precise. In contrast to his more lo-fi and DIY previous work, Littoral Zone is a painstakingly crafted record which celebrates collaboration. Andrew Wasylyk's production and multi-instrumentalist performances bring sonic sophistication which is further heightened by Pete Harvey's heart-stirring string arrangements. Gillian Fleetwood's yearning vocals are a constant highlight throughout the album, as is Rachel Simpson's exquisite brass playing. Ultimately, Littoral Zone is an album of stories and Adam's lyrical knack shines throughout.

    Adam Ross is a songwriter based in north-east Scotland. He has led the cult indie band Randolph's Leap for over a decade, releasing music with independent labels Fika Recordings, Olive Grove Records and King Creosote and Pictish Trail’s Fence Records and Lost Map Records. He released his debut solo album 'Staring At Mountains' in 2022. He is known for his intricate, storytelling lyrical style which often blends humour and poignancy.

    May 2024 will see the release of a brand-new solo album produced by multiple Scottish Album Of The Year Award nominated composer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Wasylyk and released on London label Fika Recordings. Arts bodies Creative Scotland and Help Musicians have supported and funded the album in recognition of what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting musical collaborations of 2024.

    Adam has a track record of playing at venues and festivals across the country such as Green Man, Celtic Connections, Belladrum and The Edinburgh Fringe. His reputation as an engaging, witty, storytelling performer was further cemented by his role in ‘The Isle of Love’, a country-wide touring theatre show inspired by his songs.

    His music has received regular airplay on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC 6 Music including various singles and albums of the week. He has also received excellent press in newspapers such as The Herald and The Scotsman.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Free Will
    A2. Apogee
    A3. Shrinking
    A4. Caught The Sun
    A5. Ego
    B1. Union Gary
    B2. I Get It Wrong
    B3. Life Is Not A Competition
    B4. Brambles
    B5. The Going

    Mammoth Penguins

    Here

      Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop.

      May 2024 sees the release of their fourth album Here on Fika Recordings. After 2019’s big, bold and confident There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, and the initial shock of the global pandemic cancelling a trip to SXSW in 2020, the band returned to the studio in the summer of 2021 to start recording.

      The new record leans into a raw pop-punk power-trio sound more than ever, with a deep growl in layered guitars and bursts of percussion and harmony. The songs and artwork explore themes about finding a place for yourself and familiarity with people and places. Although it turns back towards a classic three-piece sound, the band weren’t restricted by that palette, adding finishing touches of percussion, extra guitars and backing vocals in short bursts in a garden shed, and also bringing in gorgeous strings to sweeten the title track.

      The sound builds on the band’s first album, Hide and Seek, which was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna POP! in 2015. The follow-up LP 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, expanding well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples.

      The ‘Penguins have been smashing it at some high-profile support slots in the lead up to this album release, including at Allo Darlin’s joyous reunion at Islington Assembly Hall (Oct 2023) and Muncie Girls last ever London show (Dec 2023). They play the Leicester Indiepop all-dayer and Wales Goes Pop in March, before heading out on tour in support of the new album in May.

      Those big singalong choruses need your voice shouting back from the crowd with joy and defiance.

      Mammoth Penguins are Emma Kupa (guitar, vocals), Mark Boxall (bass, vocals) and Tom Barden (drums, vocals). Reminiscent of the pop melodies of The Beths, the indie dissonance of Land of Talk, and the guitar forward slacker rock of Weezer, Mammoth Penguins marry heart-ache indiepop with spiky guitars and Emma’s frank confessional songwriting.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Species
      A2. I Know The Signs
      A3. Flyers
      A4. Blue Plaque
      A5. Everything That I Write
      A6. Here
      B1. Nothing And Everything
      B2. Help Yourself
      B3. Old Friends
      B4. Lost Friends
      B5. Success
      B6. A Plea For Kindness

      Steven Adams

      Drops

        Steven Adams, formerly of The Broken Family Band releases new album DROPS on Fika Recordings. Since calling time on TBFB at the height of their success, Adams has released half a dozen albums under various names (Singing Adams, Steven James Adams, Steven Adams & The French Drops), his witty, incisive lyrics and melodic sensibilities taking in DIY indie rock, folky introspection, and off-kilter pop hooks. Originally from South Wales, Adams now lives in East London.

        “Every record I’ve made has been in a hurry of some sort” says Adams of his new album, “and with this one I took my time”. DROPS is the first album to be credited to him as a solo artist since 2016’s Old Magick, his first new music since 2020, and his noisiest record to date. Armed with a new batch of material, he began by upping sticks to the Welsh countryside to experiment with drummer Daniel Fordham and bassist David Stewart - both formerly of psych oddballs The Drink. The trio then took the songs to Big Jelly, a converted chapel on the south coast, with co-producer Simon Trought (Comet Gain, Johnny Flynn, The Wave Pictures) to lay down the basic tracks for DROPS. Eschewing a full band set up (“I wanted to concentrate on one thing at a time”), recording sessions in East London followed with Laurie Earle (Absentee) on guitar and Michael Wood (Hayman Kupa Band, Michaelmas) on keyboards. Adams then took the recordings home and to the French countryside, to work alone. “I finally got my head around home recording in 2020, while things were a bit quiet. Once I worked out how to record things I realised I didn’t have to think about time. I could let the songs evolve and change once we had the basic tracks down. After a while I started to think of them as paintings; trying something one morning, painting over it in the afternoon and attempting something completely different… it was about enjoying the process, making some bangers, playing around... and giving Simon the producer a mess to sort out when it came to mixing the record". Whenever Tom from Fika Recordings checked in to see how the album was progressing Adams would reply, “it’s taking ages but it’ll sound like it was recorded in an afternoon”. The result is a dynamic and spirited collection of songs, with Adams's love of 90/00s US underground rock (Pavement's Bob Nastanovich is a fan) to the fore. DROPS is a sonically compelling piece of work: from bleak/exultant opener Out to Sea and the motorik Living in the Local Void to the weirdly funereal Fascists (where Adams imagines the “little skip in our steps” that we’ll have upon outliving some baddies), and Day Trip's psychedelia in miniature. There are also moments of tenderness: the avalanche of empathy on closing track Cheap Wine Sad Face, and I Tried to Keep it Light’s “worse things could happen… I don’t know how, but give me time”. Adams says: “I'm preoccupied by the passing of time and the way it affects how we feel. This record is about time and bewilderment and trying to make sense of things".

        TRACK LISTING

        Out To Sea
        Living In The Local Void
        Moderation
        Heads Keep Rolling
        Making Holes
        Pas Moi
        Holiday Casual
        Fascists
        I Tried To Keep It Light
        Day Trip
        Cheap Wine Sad Face

        Stanley Brinks

        Good Moon

          The good moon comes after the full moon, when everything comes down and you can finally get some work done - be it building a house, or a boat, or recording an album). It's the most achieved album Stanley Brinks ever made. Stanley Brinks is renowned for his unique anti-folk style: both playful and suggestive, insightful and entertaining. Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne alongside his brother, David-Ivar. Several albums and Peel sessions later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded well in excess of 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on numerous occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.

          TRACK LISTING

          If I Can Bring It To My Lips
          This Is The Day
          Always The Same
          Take It To The Street
          Last Bar
          Good Moon
          I Didn’t Come Here To Love You
          Dead Bug
          Cold Noise
          No Trouble
          Don’t Go
          So Easy
          Out Of Nowhere

          Darren Hayman

          You Will Not Die

            When Darren Hayman made his debut in 1997 with the acclaimed indie band Hefner his lyrical remit was the broken hearted. His early songs told the story of the lonesome and lost, and broken dreams of love on the back streets of London. After Hefner, Hayman’s palette grew to include a unique take on place and memory. In the early 2000s he wrote a trilogy of albums around the history of Essex. In 2012 he made an instrumental album describing the tranquillity of Lidos. In 2016 Darren was awarded ‘Hardest Working Musician’ by the Association of Independent Music for his epic project on Thankful Villages, the 55 villages that survived the Great War with no casualties. His most recent record, 12 Astronauts, tells the personal story of the only men to have walked on the Moon. Darren is continually obsessed with the idea of what songs can be, and the stories they can tell.

            As he explains, “With projects like Thankful Villages, I became interested in what a record could be, using field recordings, interviews and songs to make sound collages. I wanted to return to the stricter art of song writing and try and make the twelve best compositions I could. I wanted to make useful songs, words that could be comfort, not just thoughts that would depress.”

            TRACK LISTING

            A1) How It Could Be
            A2) You Were My Map
            A3) Don’t Haunt Me
            A4) A Real Human Being
            A5) Let’s Drift
            A6) Love Is Through
            B1) Otium
            B2) A Room Within A Room
            B3) No Lime For The Gin
            B4) The Safest Way
            B5) Turn My Grey Tick Blue
            B6) Feel Like This Every Night
            C1) Girls Who Look Like You
            C2) Here’s The Stillness
            C3) Loser Run
            C4) Say You Want To Be Alone
            C5) We Are Repaired
            C6) Easter Gold
            D1) Actually I Still Really, Really Miss You
            D2) Holiday Eyes
            D3) Where Were You
            D4) Adverse Camber
            D5) I Am Owned
            D6) You Were Always Here 

            Stanley Brinks And Freschard

            Lion Heart

              Following on from the two sold out records together, Freschard and Stanley Brinks come together for 12 brand new tracks. Lion Heart is an irresistibly charming collection of late night tales, woozy ballads and uptempo sing-alongs. Clemence Freschard’s beautiful vocal tones lend this a rich, French indiepop/chanteuse vibe, complemented by Stan’s wistful timbre and characteristic warm instrumentation. Stanley Brinks is renowned for his unique anti-folk style: both playful and suggestive, insightful and entertaining. Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973.

              He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne. Several albums and Peel sessions later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks.

              Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures. Freschard grew up in a farm in French Burgundy. Aged 18 she moved to Paris, where she baked pies and cakes in a cafe.

              There, a local musician and regular customer called Stanley Brinks wrote a few songs for her to sing. Homeless in Paris, she saved up just enough money to get herself a ticket to New York. There she found an old electric guitar and started writing her own songs. In 2004 she moved to Berlin, where she recorded her first LP, "Alien Duck". Her second album, "Click Click", recorded in 2006, features electric guitar by Stanley Brinks. On her third album, she plays the drums herself. On her fourth “Shh...” she also plays the flute, and she breaks out the washboard on her fifth “Boom Biddy Boom”. On Midnight Tequila, Freschard brings it back to just drums and vocals

              TRACK LISTING

              A1) Lion Heart
              A2) Grapes
              A3) Drink With Me
              A4) One Smile
              A5) Home
              A6) Me One Alone

              B1) Time To Think
              B2) Lazy Way
              B3) Night
              B4) Find It
              B5) Stay Where You Are
              B6) I’m Out

              Jessica’s Brother

              Just Rain

                ‘Just Rain’ is the second album from London 3 piece Jessica’s Brother, comprising songwriter Tom Charleston, The Wave Pictures’ Jonny Helm on drums and Charlie Higgs on bass. Stitching together a variety of influences, from crunching indie-rock, to gothic country and contemplative psych folk, Jessica’s Brother create the sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in the rush of starting afresh. The disintegration of a long-term relationship, coinciding with a global fracturing, provided a catalyst for ‘Just Rain’. The songs explore a relentless collision of melancholy and resilience alongside themes of comedy, agency, and hope. The title track lays this out with an opening burst of slacker rock as Tom reflects back over a passage of time that feels like persistent unrelenting rain.

                Vacillating between despair and defiance, we uncover the strength to shrug it off as “just rain”; after all, as the track draws to its conclusion “losing sight can be relieving”. Interestingly, the lyric, “open up your heart, it can help to wear a mask”, was written before the pandemic had properly struck in the UK. ‘Finding Snowdrop’ is a spiritual rebirth gone wrong, influenced by the rambling poetry and hooks found in Yoni Wolf’s Why? and Bill Callahan. On 'Full Swing’ both the baritone of Tom’s delivery and lyrics conjure the darkness of the everyday: ”cut my own brakes, living in hiding of late” are reminiscent of The Handsome Family’s wonderful way of transposing the tradition of murder ballads and the bleakest tales to the modern.

                A more expansive and luxuriant sound runs through ‘Just Rain’, than the sparser Silver Jews / Jason Molina atmosphere of their 2018 debut, from the gutsy alt-rock of the title track to the off kilter pop of ‘Little One', reminiscent of Sparklehorse, a tale of young love and youthful exuberance. Jessica’s Brother formed in 2016. Jonny and Charlie worked together in a framing business and had often talked about collaborating in a band together. Fate intervened when Jonny’s girlfriend Jessica introduced him to her brother Tom, and they found a songwriter in waiting. Their debut, eponymous, album released in 2018 was warmly received.

                ‘Just Rain’ was produced and engineered by Shuta Shinoda (Hot Chip, Ghost Poet, Anna Meredith) at Hackney Road Studios during the summer of 2020. The album features Dan Mayfield’s elegant touch on violin (he has performed with artists from Daniel Johnston to Allo Darlin’), and new female voices from Polimana (a jazz vocalist from the SoCal suburbia) and Shantha Roberts (whose voice has graced Glasgow’s reggae sound system Argonaut Sounds). The eponymous Jessica Jane Charleston, a painter and printmaker, provides the meteorological juxtaposition to the album in the visuals, the warmth of a giant sun looming over the contorted figure, rising up to fight another day.

                With an at times folkloric narrative, ‘Just Rain’ is both poetic and playful retaining throughout a thread of darkness. The record takes a step forward in terms of production while maintaining the band’s rough around the edges charm. It is an intimate affair punctuated with louder and more unwieldy moments. A true story revolving around a relationship and a world falling apart. 

                TRACK LISTING

                A1) Just Rain
                A2) Finding Snowdrop
                A3) Boat Song
                A4) Land Ahoy! (Beyond Buoyed)
                A5) Darling, I Wanted To Know

                B1) Caroline
                B2) Little One
                B3) Full Swing
                B4) Big Boy Now 

                Emma Kupa

                It Will Come Easier

                  Following successes fronting Mammoth Penguins and (the much missed) Standard Fare, Emma Kupa releases her first full length solo album It Will Come Easier. “The title is a hopeful line, and one that is important to me – it is something I try to hold onto when things feel difficult”. The album delves through the trials and tribulations of attempting to navigate through the crossroads of your early thirties. Direct, raw and frank, Kupa leads us through her tender reflections on relationship regrets, the torment and pressure to succeed, and the dichotomy of now finding herself tending to choose logic over impulse - “does her smile light up your heart, or do you just want to get under her shirt?” she asks on Does It Feel New. Picking up from the intimate family portraits of her debut solo EP, Home Cinema, this is her most personal collection of songs yet.

                  “The album explores aspects of love, escapism and fidelity, but there’s also a thread which is about ac-cepting feelings of hopelessness when you don’t quite meet the many pressures of life’s expectations”. Despite the brutal directness of the subject matter, It Will Come Easier has an audible freshness and spring to its step. The optimistic jaunt of Nothing At All defies the futility in being unable to influence a particularly toxic situation. I Keep An Eye out is a follow up to Half Sister, written for the eponymous sibling that doesn’t know of Emma. Written and recorded over several years, Kupa felt she needed to give these 10 tracks some emotional space before releasing the record. Joined by bandmates from both Mammoth Penguins and Suggested Friends (Mark Boxall and Faith Taylor, respectively), alongside Laura Ankles, Joe Bear, Rory McVicar and Carmela Pietrangelo, the instrumenta-tion is more diverse than in previous Kupa bands. From the sparse, evocative strings of Hey Love and the simple piano backing of unexpected wedding drama in Crying Behind The Marquee, through to the grinding synths of CP Reprise, there’s textural flourishes abound that bely her background fronting noisy three-piece indiepop outfits. With nods to Dusty Springfield, The Unthanks and The Postal Service, It Will Come Easier is a mesmerising journey through early adulthood, poignant and expertly detailed. Emma Kupa currently fronts Mammoth Penguins, and The Hayman Kupa Band alongside Darren Hayman. She ini-tially made her name with Standard Fare, whom called it a day at the peak of their success in 2013. Her insightful warmth, eye for lyrical detail and powerful, idiosyncratic voice has made her a firm favourite amongst fans and critics alike. 

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1) Does It Feel New
                  A2) I Keep An Eye Out
                  A3) Hey Love
                  A4) Nawlins
                  A5) No Easy Way Out
                  B1) When Our Toes Are Long Enough
                  B2) Nothing At All
                  B3) CP Reprise
                  B4) Another No
                  B5) Crying Behind The Marquee

                  Steven Adams And The French Drops

                  Keep It Light

                    “Making this record was a joy,” says Steven Adams of his latest album with his band the French Drops. He even let the positive mood around the making of it influence its title. “I love making records but sometimes time, money, or people - including me - fuck up my enjoyment of the process. So this time I kept saying to myself ‘keep it light’ whenever I was making decisions.” The buoyant and relaxed mood can be heard across the album in its gloriously skipping tones, as it traverses across indie, pop, alt-rock and more tender acoustic and folk-leaning moments. It’s a craft that Adams has been honing for years as the lead figure in outfits such as The Broken Family Band and Singing Adams, so much so that by now it oozes out of him with a seamless grace.

                    The feelings of serenity and solace he experienced whilst writing the songs themselves carried over into the final product. “I did a big chunk of the writing on holiday in the South of France last year,” he says. “We were staying in this big, rambling house that had a kind of turret room that was cut off from everything, so I’d go up there in the mornings and sit on the floor and feel like a proper artist while everyone else was eating croissants.” Once described by The Guardian as “one of Britain’s smartest, most underrated songwriters”, Adams’ aim was clear with this record. “I wanted to make a super personal, light-hearted and upbeat record,” he says. “I wanted to do the whole write about what you know thing and keep it as light as possible.” The lightness of the album was a guiding principle but it wasn’t a rule set in stone, as Adams soon found out the deeper he plunged into himself. “We had a running joke about how we were making an album called Keep it Light that is full of songs about racists and panic attacks and existential angst,” he says. “But it does you good to get that stuff out. Writing songs and making records keeps me sane.”

                    The album is one as full of joy and beauty as it is ink black humour and caustic revelation. On the gorgeous shuffle of “Oh Dear” - recalling the kind of stripped back beauty of Yo La Tengo at their finest - Adams sings: “and true love will not find you in the end.” A knowing nod and a wink to Daniel Johnston’s earnest refrain that indeed true love will find you in the end. It’s such moments that fill the album with equal parts weight and lightness, a smart touch delivered with a deft hand. Of the broad range of the album and its wide-spanning lyrical content Adams simply says: “the upbeat stuff is pretty upbeat and the darker stuff is pretty dark, but it’s all still with some humour.” Perhaps the song that best encapsulates this split between the light and the dark and the funny and the personal is “My Brother, the Racist” a self explanatory song that skips along with an infectious groove as Adams sings about, well, his racist brother. It unfurls in an intimate manner that recalls the kind of deeply personal allure of Sun Kill Moon’s Benji. “It’s an awkward thing to sing about, but it was the right thing to do,” he reflects. “I’ve written about British racism before, but never this close to home.”

                    Recorded at Soup by Simon Trought and with band members Laurie Earle, Daniel Fordham, David Stewart and Michael Wood, this is the first time Adams has worked in such a harmonious and in sync way. “This is the first record I’ve made with the band all playing in one room, getting everything down at once,” he says. “We played live with all of us on the floor, and it came together really quickly. But we still gave ourselves time to experiment and do fun stuff all over it. This combination of allowing things to be light, not overstressing, the harmony of the group, and the seamless knack of Adams’ songwriting has resulted in a truly special record. “I’m usually sick of a record by the time it’s mixed and I don’t get much of a kick out of hearing my own stuff, but this one’s different,” he says. “I know I sound like a wanker saying this but this is the best record I’ve ever made.” 

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A1) Soft Landings
                    A2) Bring On The Naps
                    A3) Canary
                    A4) Gracechurch St
                    A5) Oh Dear

                    B1) Going To Everglades
                    B2) Note To Self
                    B3) My Brother, The Racist
                    B4) Jonny
                    B5) Mr Sunshine

                    Darren Hayman

                    Home Time

                      An autobiographical album about break ups, the record is tender, honest and frequently funny. Darren set an 8 track, acoustic rule for the record. Everything sounds warm, close and intimate. Darren’s own love-worn, London voice is joined on every song by the sweet antipodean tones of Hannah Winter and Laura K, recording artists and songwriters themselves with Common or Garden and Fortitude Valley. When Darren Hayman made his debut in 1997 with the acclaimed indie band Hefner his lyrical remit was the broken hearted.

                      His early songs told the story of the lonesome and lost, and broken dreams of love on the back streets of London. After Hefner, Hayman’s palette grew to include a unique take on place and memory. In the early 2000s he wrote a trilogy of albums around the history of Essex. In 2012 he made an instrumental album describing the tranquillity of Lidos. In 2016 Darren was awarded ‘Hardest Working Musician’ by the Association of Independent Music for his epic project on Thankful Villages, the 55 villages that survived the Great War with no casualties. His most recent record, 12 Astronauts, tells the personal story of the only men to have walked on the Moon. Darren is continually obsessed with the idea of what songs can be, and the stories they can tell. As he explains, “With projects like Thankful Villages, I became interested in what a record could be, using field recordings, interviews and songs to make sound collages. I wanted to return to the stricter art of song writing and try and make the twelve best compositions I could.

                      I wanted to make useful songs, words that could be comfort, not just thoughts that would depress.” The songs for Home Time were written over a three-year period but recorded quickly, and with love, in Darren’s home. Home Time is a fragile, subtle slice of prettiness. Wrap it around you. Three digital singles will be released; ‘I Tried and I Tried and I Failed’, a song about the endless, circular nature of being human, ‘I Was Thinking About You’, a song about the uncontrollable nature of memory and how it continues to haunt us even when we consider the long buried, and ‘The Joint Account’, about how when trying to negotiate matters of the heart and mind, it is sometimes the physical objects that anchor us down in the mire.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1) Curl Up
                      A2) I Was Thinking About You
                      A3) Because We Were Impossible
                      A4) I Am The Noise
                      A5) I Want To Get Drunk
                      A6) I Tried And I Tried And I Failed

                      B1) I Love You, I Miss You, Come Back
                      B2) Dinosaur Plate
                      B3) The Joint Account
                      B4) Kissing A Cloud
                      B5) A Girl That I’m Seeing
                      B6) Wrap Yourself Around Me

                      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” 

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1) Hey Ho, Let’s Not Go
                        A2) Who Does Susan Think She Is?
                        A3) Wee Guys (Bobby’s Got A Punctured Lung)
                        A4) My Undying Love For You Is Beginning To Die
                        A5) When Nietzsche Calls

                        B1) The Older I Get, The More I Don’t Know
                        B2) The One I Loathe The Least
                        B3) Another Doomed Relationship
                        B4) Holiday
                        B5) People I Once Knew
                        B6) Like Yesterday Again

                        Stanley Brinks And The Wave Pictures

                        Tequila Island

                          Stanley Brinks is joined by The Wave Pictures for their fifth album together; and their first since 2015’s “My Ass”. That’s not to say either have been slacking in that time, both are notoriously prolific: The Wave Pictures have turned out 5 albums and Brinks 7 since they last came together in the studio. Stan arrived at the studio with several CDs worth of unrecorded songs on a balmy North London night and instructed The Wave Pictures to pick out some favourites to jam during the following three nights of recording sessions.

                          To anyone familiar with Stanley Brinks' huge discography - more than 100 albums - it might sound more raw in a way, less sophisticated than some of his other recordings. It's still rich in jazzy sounds and original structures however, the songs looser and full of playfulness, with the lyrics carrying the essence of the songs. Tequila - the drink - was obviously the inspiration for the album. While writing, and while recording. Stanley Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne.

                          Several albums and Peel sessions later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.

                          The Wave Pictures are David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm. Formed in 1998 when Franic and David lived in a village called Wymeswold, the band played with several drummers until Jonny became a permanent member in 2003 replacing Hugh J Noble. In the beginning the band learned to play together by covering Jonathan Richman songs but soon David was writing lots of original material. They have since released six studio albums to critical acclaim and played numerous sessions on BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Xfm. Interest generated from these recordings has enabled The Wave Pictures to play shows all over the world with artists including Jeffrey Lewis, Darren Hayman, Stanley Brinks, Freschard and Herman Düne. 

                          TRACK LISTING

                          A1) Song Of Siggi
                          A2) Living Without You
                          A3) Like A Fool
                          A4) Underwater
                          A5) Like A Song
                          A6) Tequila Island
                          B1) Sober In Barcelona
                          B2) Vermut
                          B3) Gin In Me
                          B4) Four Times We Kissed
                          B5) Little Irene

                          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. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1) Let’s Do Nothing
                            A2) No More Bombs
                            A3) Red Petal
                            A4) Over’s Now Overdue
                            A5) We Can Get By
                            A6) Do You Know

                            B1) A Tent Of Blankets
                            B2) Draw The Line
                            B3) My Right Arm
                            B4) Pretty Waste Of Time
                            B5) Reach Out
                            B6) Then We Kissed

                            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”

                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1) Lakeside
                            A2) The Music
                            A3) Stars
                            A4) David The Gnome
                            A5) Birds
                            A6) Grey Stones
                            B1) Mr Enderby
                            B2) Heartaches
                            B3) My Old Friend
                            B4) Mannequins
                            B5) Tiptoe
                            B6) I’ll Find You


                            Latest Pre-Sales

                            223 NEW ITEMS

                            E-newsletter —
                            Sign up
                            Back to top