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FRENCHKISS

Island

Yesterday Park

    Yesterday Park’ is an album about nostalgia, that feeling of looking back, not to one specific time or place but rather the feeling associated with the hazy blur of childhood and teenage memories. The songs cover a lot of different themes, but at their heart they all stem from formative memories. When writing we considered how our understanding of past experiences had shifted through the many different retrospective lenses we have. Life has become more complex and we wanted to capture that feeling of looking back, finding the beauty in those simple moments that exist as silver-linings in our memories. That reflection also brought us to think differently about the complexity and challenges of life today. It inspired us to consider the importance of taking responsibility for the harm that the world is doing to itself, at the same time as needing to take more responsibility in our own lives.

    We had the majority of the album written just before everything shut down in March last year, but, since taking that enforced pause, the songs have grown to take on new significance for us. Nostalgia is a feeling that has become more relevant for everyone in the last year, with more time and space to reflect on past experiences. We regrouped in the summer in a strange, semi-locked-down London to record ‘Yesterday Park’. Although we’d always previously self-produced our music, we wanted to expand our sound for this record in order to best capture that feeling we wanted to create, and we began working with producer Mikko Gordon (Thom Yorke, Arcade Fire). We stepped away from some of our old approaches and brought in new ideas, experimenting with more complex production that we had previously shied away from. Introducing new textures, instrumentation and recording techniques allowed us to better create that reflective feeling we were aiming for. We drew a lot of influence from the 90s, and particularly beat-driven 90s hip-hop which inspired a lot of the grooves in the album.

    After being apart from each other for months, away from any chance to perform, hunkering down in our hometown and focusing in on making ‘Yesterday Park’ was a really intense experience for us, and emphasised that cathartic feeling of reflecting on the past.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Octopus
    2. Everyone's The Same
    3. Do You Remember The Times
    4. Young Days
    5. We Use To Talk
    6. Yesterday Park
    7. By Your Side
    8. The Lines We Follow
    9. When I Gave You My Heart
    10. This Part Of Town
    11. My Brother
    12. The Way We Love

    Diet Cig

    Do You Wonder About Me?

      They’ve been compared to tornadoes, firecrackers, and lightning storms, and described as genuine, unapologetic, and down-to-earth. And today Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman of gutsy rock duo Diet Cig are excited to announce their sophomore full-length, Do You Wonder About Me? 

      Do You Wonder About Me? Is the follow-up to 2017’s Swear I’m Good At This. The new record marks a more intentional, self-assured Diet Cig; not only in Luciano’s radically intimate, acerbic lyrics, but in the duo’s sound as well. Luciano and Bowman moved to Richmond, VA in the summer of 2017 as a place to “hide out and make music,” and it was there that they wrote Do You Wonder About Me?, Diet Cig’s ode to growing up.

      “We spent a lot of time after the first record growing as people, being humans outside of tour for a little bit, and trying to shed the imposter syndrome.” Luciano says. Spending the time to make the kind of music they really wanted to make and making sure they felt good about it was crucial to the success of tracks like “Night Terrors.” It’s a slower-paced song than Diet Cig’s usual, but just as biting; a song about reckoning with all the past versions of yourself. As Luciano puts it, “Am I still these people, or have I shapeshifted?” It’s essentially the thesis of Do You Wonder About Me?, considering and accepting the embarrassing aspects of your identity, and how they’re just as much a part of you as the good stuff.

      “When we made our first record we almost felt like we had something to prove,” Luciano says. Much of it was written on tour—the kinks in the songs worked out by playing them live. But the writing and recording of Do You Wonder About Me? was imbued with more freedom. Diet Cig had the sense that they could make whatever they wanted. Luciano and Bowman, instead of practicing live to an audience, worked on their songs over the course of a year in their practice space, and ended up finishing tracks with their longtime producer Chris Daly at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia, PA, and back in New Paltz, NY at Salvation Recording. Instead of making sure they’d fit their live show, Diet Cig tinkered with songs until they felt right to them. As a result, Do You Wonder has a freshness, a gleaming new direction. Fewer boundaries. More truth, more honesty.

      The Hold Steady

      Thrashing Thru The Passion

        The Hold Steady’s seventh studio album Thrashing Thru The Passion collects five new songs recorded this year alongside five acclaimed ones released digitally between November 2017 and March 2019.

        TRACK LISTING

        Side 1
        1. Denver Haircut
        2. Epaulets
        3. You Did Good, Kid
        4. Traditional Village
        5. Blackout Sam

        Side 2
        1. Entitlement Crew
        2. T-Shirt Tux
        3. Star 18
        4. The Stove & The Toaster
        5. Confusion In The Marketplace

        In contrast to her 2016 lauded album New View, which Eleanor arranged and recorded with her touring band, Rebound was recorded mostly by Eleanor alone with assistance from producer Clemens Knieper. The resulting album is an entirely new sound for Eleanor, exchanging live instrumentation for programmed drums, a Juno synthesizer, and muted guitars, creating a sonic landscape where influences range from Stereolab and Suicide to Lena Platonos and Yellow Magic Orchestra. In addition to a new sonic palette, Rebound takes significant inspiration from Eleanor’s time spent in Greece. Half-Greek herself, Eleanor frequently traveled to Greece to see family, but decided in 2016 to really immerse herself in the culture. Rebound is the incredible next step in a lauded, brilliant recording career by one of the most prolific, daring independent artists of our time. From her days spent in The Fiery Furnaces, creating melodically off-kilter, idiosyncratic mini-epics, to her three acclaimed previous solo albums, Eleanor Friedberger continues to create exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. My Jesus Phase
        2. The Letter
        3. Everything
        4. In Between Stars
        5. Make Me A Song
        6. Nice To Be Nowhere
        7. It's Hard
        8. Are We Good?
        9. Showy Early Spring
        10. Rule Of Action

        Drowners

        On Desire

          When Matt Hitt says Drowners' second album was "written with a lot of uncertainty and darkness," it's easy to ask one simple question: Really? After all, the hooks careening across 'On Desire' hit as hard as their debut, a DIY record that earned Drowners a cult following on the road alongside Cage the Elephant, Foals and Arctic Monkeys. If anything, the New York band - helmed by Hitt and rounded out by guitarist Jack Ridley, bassist Erik Snyder, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Jacobs - is as bold and brash as ever.

          Lurking a few levels beneath the group's tightly wound post-punk tracks are bittersweet minor-key melodies that burn like the red light of a setting sun. The honeymoon period is over, in other words, with the rose-coloured rush of living in a new city - Hitt is Welsh and lived in London before moving to the USA five years ago - replaced by lingering pangs of paranoia, anxiety and doubt.

          One in the decades-old tradition of Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen and early Cure, mind you, music that is caustic and catchy. That goes for everything from the call-and-response chords of 'Conversations With Myself' and pressure-cooked choruses of 'Cruel Ways' to the mangled drum machines, muffled synths and lean Kraut loop of 'Trust the Tension.' Songs as insistent as 'Someone Else Is Getting In' and 'Another Go' also sound like they are about to boil over, finding strength in the final stages of a flat-lining relationship - down, but certainly not out.

          Unlike the introspective songs Hitt wrote for their self-titled debut, 'On Desire' is more of a group effort, a full-on collaboration from its demo stages at an upstate cabin to sleepless recording sessions at several NYC studios (including Electric Lady and The Bunker) with producer Claudius Mittendorfer.

          New View, the third solo album by Eleanor Friedberger, was rehearsed in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Echo Park and recorded in upstate New York. In the past, she was a member of the much loved Brooklyn two-piece, The Fiery Furnaces.

          The songs were recorded live to tape with simple instrumentation: drums, bass, Wurlitzer and 12-string acoustic guitar on almost every track. These come courtesy of the band Icewater (Malcolm Perkins, Jonathan Rosen, Michael Rosen, Noah Hecht), with Dorian DeAngelo contributing a handful of well-placed guitar solos. Producer Knieper (son of Jurgen Knieper, the German composer whose credits include the score to Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire) gives the album a classic sound, like something that's existed forever on a record collector's shelf, wedged in with Dylan's New Morning and John Cale's Vintage Violence.

          For everything new about New View, it still fits comfortably in the continuity of Friedberger's work. Songs like "Open Season" recall the Furnaces at their most magisterial. The wry, plainspoken "Because I Asked You" builds on the style Friedberger first polished on her solo debut Last Summer. And then there's "A Long Walk," the sun-striped finale that lends a memorable afterglow to New View. She's never lacked confidence -- this is someone who once took a fractured nine-minute ballad about the international blueberry trade and put it across like it was "Thunder Road" -- but there's a new kind of confidence on this record. It's a sweet, aching goodbye from an album that seems full of them

          TRACK LISTING

          01 He Didn't Mention His Mother
          02 Open Season
          03 Sweetest Girl
          04 Your Word
          05 Because I Asked You
          06 Never Is A Long Time
          07 Cathy With The Curly Hair
          08 Two Versions Of Tomorrow
          09 All Known Things
          10 Does Turquoise Work?
          11 A Long Walk

          Devin’s debut EP entitled ‘You’re Mine’ is three tracks of classic rock & roll infused with elements of soul and punk; the passion of his vocal delivery combined with the high energy melodies introduce Devin as an exceptionally exciting artist. ‘You’re Mine’ was written while Devin worked at a Brooklyn shipping warehouse and contains what he calls his “first good songs.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Laura says: Love this! Raw garage rock that hurtles along at 100mph. Think The Strokes knack for a catchy tune mixed with the upbeat energy of The Hives.

          TRACK LISTING

          A: You’re Mine
          B1: Thing On My Mind
          B2: Black And Blue

          The Bloodthirsty Lovers

          The Bloodthirsty Lovers

            An atmospheric, arty mix of punk, prog and glam-rock from this three piece featuring Grifters and Those Bastard Souls main man David Shouse.

            The Apes

            The Fugue In The Fog

              Aggressive in yer face Iggy-style guitar onslaught, impressive and unrelenting.


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