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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.”


    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


      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. 


        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 

        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.” 


          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

          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

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