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FULL TIME HOBBY

Spencer Cullum

Spencer Cullum Coin Collection 2

    Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection 2 sees the Nashville-based musician step further from the pedal steel and towards centre stage. Released on the evergreen Full Time Hobby label on 14th April 2023, this new collection of tracks is a kaleidoscopic collection of folk, jazz, and pop, cut though with immaculately-rendered songwriting.

    Romford to Nashville is hardly the most well-trodden of paths, but for Spencer Cullum it was a way of getting to the essential heart of pedal steel, what was then and remains to this day his musical raison d'être. Growing up in the large East London town brought him early exposure to classic pub rock by way of his father such as Dr. Feelgood and Thin Lizzy, and farther-flung music by way of his mother, such as Talking Heads and Lou Reed. However, it was learning pedal steel from legendary English player B. J. Cole that set him on the path he still walks today. After touring with Nashville-based groups and hearing tales of “seasoned Nashville steel players”, the young musician upped sticks and found a “nice little crowd of weirdos” in his chosen city.

    Cullum has always maintained a somewhat silent presence - even now saying “I still want to hide behind my pedal steel in fear” - but 2020 saw him release his debut solo effort, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection. Despite his project with Jeremy Fetzer, Steelism, showing off more of his talents, never before had he felt the limelight so firmly on him.

    Although …Coin Collection’s modus operandi was "a very quintessential English folk record, but with really good Nashville players”, Cullum says of ...Coin Collection 2 that “I wanted to be different. I wanted to try and pull away from wearing my influences on my sleeve… I was trying to pick out ideas that were new to me. You can never escape your musical influences but I wanted them to be more hidden sub-consciously than upfront.” Though you can pick out the odd similarity to other things here and there - The Beach Boys’ Friends LP, perhaps, or The Incredible String Band, or Joni Mitchell - the thing is decidedly Cullum’s own. What’s also reassuring is that there hasn’t been some giant sonic leap from …Coin Collection, rather that the beautifully sun-kissed, English country garden, bees-buzzing-round-lager atmosphere has remained, but complicated, weirded, deepened.

    Much in the same way that the album doesn’t wear its influences (Amon Duul II, Skip Spence, Ennio Morricone, Chu Kosaka, Michael Chapman) lightly but rather is steeped in them and toys with them, Cullum brought in a host of guests to turn…Coin Collection 2 loose from being a purely solo effort. Yuma Abe provides fractured, low-register chorus vocals that accentuate the ever-so-slightly mournful air to ‘Kingdom Weather’, released today as a single, while Dana Gavanski provides beautiful harmony lines in ‘What A Waste Of An Echo’. Despite the number of collaborators and players (also including Rich Ruth, Erin Rae, and Caitlin Rose) things never seem too crowded or brimming with too many ideas. Instead Cullum marshalls each moving party expertly.

    Indeed, due to Cullum’s languid Romford burr (pitched somewhere between Robert Wyatt and Ray Davies), it only becomes clear when listening closely that some of the lyrics deal with weighty themes like dementia and violence. Cullum says that “I sat for a long time with the songs and wanted to find my own identity”, and …Coin Collection 2 suggests you do the same.

    In the same way that Cullum provides the pedal steel undertow of many huge artists’ music - Kesha, Lambchop, and more recently Angel Olsen - the genius in …Coin Collection 2 is in its subtlety, in what it murmurs rather than shouts.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. What A Waste Of An Echo (feat. Dana Gavanski)
    2. Kingdom Weather (feat. Yuma Abe)
    3. Green Trees
    4. Out Of Focus
    5. The Three Magnets (feat. Rich Ruth)
    6. Betwixt And Between (feat. Erin Rae)
    7. Cold Damp Valley
    8. That Same Day Departure (feat. Caitlin Rose) 

    Timber Timbre

    Medicinals

      Previously only available direct from the artist in limited quantities, the first two Timber Timbre albums are finally coming to a record store near you.

      Pressed to clear vinyl and limited to 1,500 copies of each title, Cedar Shakes (2005) and Medicinals (2007) show us the roots of Timber Timbre; often stark and unnerving, always cinematic and mysterious; a sound we’ve come to know and love on later albums. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Window Talk
      2. There Is A Cure
      3. Devil’s Dress
      4. Like A Mountain
      5. Beat The Dead Horse
      6. Under Your Spell
      7. It Comes Back To Haunt Us
      8. Werewolf
      9. Oh Messiah
      10. Patron Saint Hunter 

      Timber Timbre

      Cedar Shakes

        Previously only available direct from the artist in limited quantities, the first two Timber Timbre albums are finally coming to a record store near you.

        Pressed to clear vinyl and limited to 1,500 copies of each title, Cedar Shakes (2005) and Medicinals (2007) show us the roots of Timber Timbre; often stark and unnerving, always cinematic and mysterious; a sound we’ve come to know and love on later albums. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1. So Much
        2. Home
        3. Mercy
        4. Cedar Shakes
        5. As Angels Do
        6. Black Creek Drive
        7. It’s Only Dark
        8. I’m A Long Way
        9. Each Good House 

        Ghost Woman

        Anne, If

          One could be forgiven for getting that familiar feeling when listening to the music of Ghost Woman. And that's not just because songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Evan Uschenko is deeply steeped in classic guitar-led rock & pop songwriting (more on that later), it's that the music was, by design, intended to be evocative. But not evocative, however, of any one thing; what separates the music of Ghost Woman from a great many other bands working today is his openness to non-specificity. He's not trying to impart any sort of message to the listener; instead, the hope is that one will find themselves luxuriating in nuances of how the music is delivered, and the feelings it stirs up for each individual.

          For the past couple of years Ghost Woman has been Evan Uschenko's outlet for his interest in songwriting and recording, which began after a number of years spent playing as a sideman in various Canadian indie ensembles, most notably in the Michael Rault band, a group that displays a similar affinity for perfectly dialed, partially yesteryear-looking guitar pop. Following 2022's self-titled debut, issued by UK-based Full Time Hobby to great critical acclaim, Anne, If presents a slightly more expansive vision of what Ghost Woman can offer.

          The sound of Anne, If is certainly in keeping with past output: the music was performed and recorded (almost) entirely by Uschenko himself on his trusty Tascam 388 tape recorder, during what he describes as a “strange new chapter” in his life, living in a large, expansive house with nothing to do except record music, watch old VHS movies, and cook meals over an open fire in the backyard. “The ability to be making sounds and recording at any time of the day had a big influence on the way I worked and what was produced,” he says.

          And the results are stellar; Uschenko manages to cover more stylistic ground than ever while maintaining a strong throughline from start to finish. Though some songs seem to almost directly reference certain bands and eras of rock music, none of it is ever pure imitation; Uschenko's melodic sense – at once detached (in a Pavement kind of way) and yearning (the winsome melodies and harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash are summoned more than once) – glues the album together. Spot-on late-60s-style drum fills on title track could be lifted from any number of tracks on the Nuggets compilation; “Street Meet” betrays an interest in the endless horizon feel of bands like Can and Neu!, and the chiming 12-string guitar sounds pervading the album (see “The End of A Gun”) would be right at home on classic sides by The Byrds, Love, and Jefferson Airplane.

          The warm, straightforward production – which recalls Safe As Milk-era Captain Beefheart, the first couple Beak albums, or Shel Talmy's 60s productions for The Creation or The Kinks – also knits the whole thing together, and its perfectly tape-saturated, analog sound offers a pleasing counterpoint to today's world of digital recording, plugin effects, and “we'll fix it in post” attitudes.

          Uschenko eschews the notion that the band is – at least entirely – a “solo project”, as Ghost Woman's live show is very much a band-centric affair, these days comprised of creative and romantic partner Ille van Dessel (Poolface) at the drums, and longtime hometown co-conspirator Nick Hay handling whatever string-related duties need attending to. Hay also contributes a lead vocal to Anne, If, turning in a performance of the song “Tripped” that treads eerily close to Mark Lanegan levels of weariness, and the record is further bolstered by an appearance from Ryan “Skinny” Dyck's steel guitar on “Lo Extrano”. The songs from Anne, If that have found their way to the stage during this year's plentiful smattering of live dates around Canada and Europe (including a recent string of shows with indie-folk-pop darling Chad Van Gaalen) have already begun to take on new shapes, and the band – in whatever formation it appears – is not to be missed.


          TRACK LISTING

          1. Welcome
          2. Broke
          3. 3 Weeks Straight
          4. Anne, If
          5. Street Meat
          6. The End Of A Gun
          7. Lo Extrano
          8. Arline
          9. Down Again
          10. Tripped
          11. So Long

          Macie Stewart

          Mouth Full Of Glass

            Mouth Full of Glass is the debut album by Chicago singer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Macie Stewart (She/They). Their story is one of finding solace and strength in solitude, where lush arrangements search for the meaning of self, both within and without partnership. Exploring loneliness, as well as the growth and beauty blooming from it, Macie’s inner meditations reassess their own relationships in a singular voice that could ring true to anyone.

             “Life is a perpetual discovery of your own habits and perceptions,” Macie explains. “This record is about digging into and embracing those less favourable parts of yourself in order to shed them. The hope is always to find the most authentic self while honouring who you once were, and who you could be.”

             Written during a period of solitude between long walks in the forest preserve by their home, noticing habitual patterns within the pages of their journal, and documenting their dreams, Macie’s experiences capture those which any one of us could feel. Inwardly forming but outwardly extending, their otherworldly observations command attention from where improvisation and composition meet. Just ask The Weather Station, Clare Rousay, or Japanese Breakfast, with whom she has toured as a multi-instrumentalist, or Iron & Wine after co-producing and performing on their EP of Laurie McKenna songs. As a string arranger, Macie draws upon years of performing classical, jazz, and Irish folk, since beginning their musical career aged 3 (as daughter of pianist Sami Scot, learning to talk was punctuated by becoming proficient on piano and violin) and she has even crafted unique arrangements for the band Whitney, SZA, V.V. Lightbody, and Knox Fortune among many others.

             “I have always been drawn to working in partnership,” she says. “My creative world thrives when I am able to glance inside someone else’s brain and lock into a rhythm with them.” After co-founding Chicago bands Kids These Days and Marrow, Macie spent time in the avant-garde jazz scene, performing regularly at the city’s respected musical institutions Constellation and The Hungry Brain. There Macie joined with Sima Cunningham to form OHMME, and performed with Ken Vandermark’s Marker ensemble, improvised act The Few (with guitar player Steve Marquette and bassist Charlie Kirchen) and the violin/cello duo Macie Stewart & Lia Kohl. Mouth Full of Glass is the product of adopting a brave new perspective; to take a closer look in the mirror and craft an album of their very own. 

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Finally
            2. Garter Snake
            3. Mouthful Of Glass
            4. Golden (For Mark)
            5. Where We Live
            6. What Will I Do
            7. Tone Pome
            8. Wash It Away
            9. Defeat [CD, Digital Only]
            10. Maya, Please 

            The Besnard Lakes

            The Besnard Lakes Are The Prayers For The Death Of Fame

              Following the triumphant, epic Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings album released in early 2021, The Besnard Lakes have announced the release to an accompanying EP – The Besnard Lakes are the Prayers for the Death of Fame.

              The majority of the music found on …Death of Fame were recorded in some form at the same time as their 2021 double album, but have since been either re-recorded, edited, extrapolated, and straight-up psyched out. Going even further into their drone rock influences (think Pure Phase-era Spiritualized and the mellower moments White Hills’ catalogue) the band emerge as a progressive and experimental group not afraid to take things out beyond the 15 minute mark (Silver Shadows).

              A band who are getting close to their 20 year mark continue to explore, surprise and excite us – it’s a trip, and we’re all on board.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. She's An Icicle
              2. A Jacket For A Rainy Lady
              3. Silver Shadows

              Sylvie

              Sylvie

                Déjà vu is translated as “already seen” but for South California native Ben Schwab, his discovery in a small Ohio town 2000 miles from home led to an epiphany of creating the “already heard.” Unearthing a box of 1975 cassette tapes of his father’s old band, the recordings or “Sylvies” as Ben would affectionately call them later became the imprint for a familiar feeling he would end up chasing. The songs were timeless, effortless, and soulful.

                Awakening senses to the eternal quality of hidden or lost music, Sylvie fully encompasses that very same musical lineage and spirit living in those lost yet beloved time capsules. Recorded years before by Ben’s father, John Schwab and his own band Mad Anthony in a Southern California barn, those reels spoke of a common narrative at the time; a band close to a record deal which never came, so the tapes were boxed up and stored in a closet for years to come. “Dad’s songs are straight from the heart and really shaped my taste and imagination for songwriting in a permanent way,” Ben reveals. Taking the name from one of those early recordings an obscure cover of a 70s track by Ian Matthews ‘Sylvie’ would inspire his project’s namesake and feature as the album’s only cover. “It’s an incredible song from the past but for whatever reason, is basically unknown,” Ben offers by way of an explanation. “Sylvie sounds so different from Mad Anthony, but their story is very personal and an inspiration that runs deep. I was able to translate it into something entirely different.”

                True to Mad Anthonyʼs form and blissfully reminiscent of Laurel Canyon’s rootsy collaborative scene, Sylvie’s rolling folk rock runs a strict go with the flow policy. Inviting close friends and inspiring musical colleagues to gather and record at his own garage in Silverlake C A, Ben channels his years of writing, arranging, recording, and playing with bands Golden Daze and Drugdealer into writing and recording For release 7th June 2022 expansive original arrangements without temptation of decorative reverb/delay or pedal effects. “I aspire to write time less songs I could relate to 40 years from now,” he says. “Putting my own life experiences, friends and family into them, making Sylvie has been a spiritual pursuit.”

                Announcing an early self titled EP on Terrible Records “A lot of the songs feel like they’re about other people’s lives, my experience with them, or a time and place in the past, ” he said at the time Sylvie features vocalists Marina Allen and Sam Burton, with Ben’s father John returning to the microphone once more to sing on ‘505’ and ‘Rosaline’. Alongside Connor Gallagher (Pedal Steel), Sam Kauffman Skloff (Drums) and JJ Kirkpatrick (Horns) Ben plays all other instruments himself but do not be surprised if, in future Sylvie expands. “I keep things loose, so I have freedom to explore. I’l l go song by song and do whatever it asks,” he says.

                Now a fully formed album, with artwork featuring a photo captured by friend Brandon, of Ben playing the piano alone in his studio in the wee hours of night, Sylvie’s process, like each song, has grown from an increasingly personal space. ‘Shooting Star’ is a country travelling road song about a collective experience of friends together a shimmering mantra sung on camping trips up the coast, ‘Further Down The Road’ is a smooth cruise through a landscape of copper and burnt orange, and the fleetingness of time is ever present via the poignant vocals of ghostly ‘Stealing Time.’ ‘Falls On Me,’ meanwhile, reflects personal growth. “I was sorting through a decade of emotions, relationships ending, bridges burning,” Ben says of the track. “ I found myself at a place very distant from the source, repeating similar patterns, over, and over. Then you are reminded of yourself, just enough to see what it would be like to return to the source. It is about deliverance; a returning home that took me years to arrive at.”

                Whether releasing his own limited run of tapes featuring outtakes and conversations from his phone, covering Jason Molina for Secretly Canadian’s SC25 Series, or supporting Widowspeak on tour; music may run in the Schwab family, but history is not ready to repeat itself. “I would love to make a short film around the concept of Sylvie and plan to release my dad’s Mad Anthony tape separately later this year but for now, I’ll go at my own pace to see what inspires me and run with that.” Dig for gold, you might just discover Sylvie and its lasting treasures within.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Falls On Me
                2. Sylvie
                3. Rosaline
                4. Further Down The Road
                5. Shooting Star
                6 . 50/50
                7. Stealing Time

                Pale Blue Eyes

                Souvenirs

                  The PBE album is called Souvenirs because, as Lucy explains, “The songs encapsulate a few years’ worth of memories and experiences – times of change and personal sadness. The songs were an outlet for us and they now serve as souvenirs of all those times”.

                  As Pale Blue Eyes worked toward the album, Matt’s father died – the album is dedicated to the late Danny Board. Matt has endless fond memories of his father, including “when I’d wake up on a summer’s morning to the sound of dad playing a Cocteau Twins album – really loud with all the windows and doors open”. PBE built their studio adjacent to Matt’s old family home – so they could be there to help Matt’s mum through long-term illness. The album includes reflection on death and despondent times, as on the former single TV Flicker, which, perhaps surprisingly given the subject matter, became a playlisted radio smash. But Pale Blue Eyes accentuate the positive – reacting to difficult times by making an album that pulses with exhilaration, beauty and joy.

                  The album brims with a kind of elective positivity, as made clear when Matt lists the album’s themes: “Embracing good times, escapism, losing yourself in a moment of bliss when the world around you is going to shit… Processing and understanding loss and grief and using our music as a vehicle to move on… Fighting against the mundane and not giving up on dreams… The pure joy of a good night out or a moment of being moved by a band or a piece of artwork or a great film… Making the most of the time you have…” The tracks Little Gem and Globe, in particular, beam with positivity – alighting on optimism, gardening and hedonistic days in a shared student house.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Globe
                  2. TV Flicker
                  3. Little Gem
                  4. Dr Pong
                  5. Honeybear
                  6. Star Vehicle
                  7. Champagne
                  8. Sing It Like We Used To
                  9. Under Northern Sky
                  10. Chelsea

                  Ghost Woman

                  Ghost Woman

                    Ghost Woman’s blissfully hypnotic world is the creation of melodic maniac, Evan John Uschenko. Beating the odds of life as a busy touring musician, salvaging and replacing his instruments from burned down rehearsal spaces, van break-ins and far too many relocations to list, Uschenko has transformed his lifelong habit of homespun sonic exploration into a sensory ‘mix and match’ experience destined for the main stage. “When I record songs I tend not to approach them with any preconceived idea, I take a seat, tune the guitar and enjoy myself. It’s always been like that for me. If it don’t turn you on, what’s the point?” Evan’s sonic and literal adventures as a touring multi-instrumentalist with songwriter/producer/guitarist Michael Rault saw him share international stages with the likes of Jacco Gardner, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and The Mild High Club; Who unwittingly paved the way for Ghost Woman’s inevitable incarnation. “Having the opportunity to witness those groups perform was inspiring to say the least. Especially Gizz and Jacco. The attention to detail, professionalism as a touring act and the extra effort put into creating a killer live show doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s a calibre I’m just not used to where I’m from.” “When the tours were wrapped, I got home and immediately started writing music. And music with a live show in mind” Ghost Woman’s upcoming self-titled LP brims with self-produced and self-performed Anatolian sounds and lo-fi hooks. Subscribing to the school of authenticity Uschenko seemingly shares with rebellious new-psych classmates Kurt Vile or The Black Angels, Ghost Woman takes its inspiration largely from groups like Can, Beak, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, and The Firesign Theatre. do.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. All The Time
                    2. Do You
                    3. Dead & Gone
                    4. Along
                    5. Clockwork
                    6. Behind Your Eyes
                    7. All Your Love
                    8. Jreaming
                    9. Good
                    10. Comes On

                    Originally released on 25th February 2007, Malcolm Middleton’s third solo album and first for Full Time Hobby is being made available on vinyl once more for its 15th anniversary.

                    Only ever released on black vinyl in limited numbers around the original release, this updated version has been re-cut to optimise sound quality and pressed to natural / clear vinyl, includes liner notes from broadcasting legend Colin Murray, and is presented in a high-quality gatefold sleeve with updated art from David Shrigley.

                    Also available is a very special Dinked Archive edition featuring an alternative sleeve, again by David Shrigley, silver vinyl and an exclusive 7” featuring three b-sides from the original sessions (Point of Light, Pick Me Up, Black Marks) limited to 500. This 15th anniversary edition will be released 25th February 2022. 

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: A superb and much needed reissue of Malcolm Middleton's third LP, 'A Brighter Beat'. We get Middleton's unmistakeable vocals atop a beautifully constructed bed of folky guitars and wry observational humour. Still sounding as fresh as it did fifteen years ago, and looking even better!

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. We’re All Going To Die
                    2. Fight Like The Night
                    3. A Brighter Beat
                    4. Death Love Depression Love Death
                    5. Fuck It I Love You
                    6. Stay Close Sit Tight
                    7. Four Cigarettes
                    8. Somebody Loves You
                    9. Up Late At Night Again
                    10. Superhero Songswriters

                    Bonus Dinked Edition 7"
                    A1. Point Of Light
                    B1. Pick Me Up
                    B2. Black Marks

                    Dana Gavanski

                    When It Comes

                      There’s something mesmerising about the fingertips of Dana Gavanski. Conducting each note with a light gracefulness, they appear to dance whilst aiding their owner in expressing the stories behind each of her lighter-than-air tones. Stories which, on her new album When It Comes, may never have been heard if not for healing ‘lost’ vocal cords and a lesson in taking the rough with the smooth.

                      “In many ways this record feels like it is my first,” Dana tells. “When I could use my voice, I had to focus so there is an urgency and greater emotional trajectory than before… it’s very connected to vocal presence, which extended into an existential questioning of my connection to music. It felt like a battle at times, which I frequently lost.”

                      Arriving where introversion and extroversion meet, When It Comes is Dana’s most vulnerable record to date. A Canadian-Serbian artist unafraid of extremes, she seamlessly blends her love of music from the 50s-70s with mythology. Led by instinct in its purest form, Dana’s latest chapter is an ode to the voice as an instrument – its power, and how intricately it can deliver words to tug at, and tie knots in, every heartstring. “Words can be taken quite literally, but to me, a lot of the time, they are pivots. They point in a direction but don’t necessarily stay there,” she says.

                      Just as Dana’s debut Yesterday Is Gone and her covers EP Wind Songs were lauded for their intimacy captured through an innate sense of melody to convey a mood, they traced a timeline of Dana’s teenage years in Vancouver, a move to Montreal and visiting family homes for kitchen talks with her “Baka” (grandma) in Belgrade / Serbia. Her latest was started in Montreal before ending in Belgrade and whilst expressive with French Yé-yé flourishes – offers something altogether more atmospheric and widescreen.

                      “Yesterday Is Gone consisted of straightforward pop songs, this album is about searching for something to excite me back into songwriting,” Dana reveals. “It’s about finding the origins of my connection to music, that tenuous but stubborn and strong link - why it draws me and what if anything, I can learn from it. The album title has a heaviness to it but also a lightness, depending on your frame of mind. It’s about being open, and letting it come whatever it is, without judgement.”

                      Recorded in London, the original ideas for the record were played out on Dana’s toy Casiotone. Returning to Capitol K’s Total Refreshment Centre (TRC) with partner James Howard, the pair co-produced the songs together and felt very much at home. “James has an effortless musicality and we work together so well. The TRC is a special place, like a community centre,” she recalls. “It’s very understated but important to the people who come through it. It’s a rehearsal space, a recording studio, and there are a handful of music studios.”

                      Opening with music box sweetness, ‘I Kiss The Night’s twinkling piano melody paves the way for the baroque Wurlitzer-like nursery rhyme of ‘Bend & Fall’ and mystical lullaby ‘Under The Sky.’ Alongside humour and caricature (‘The Reaper’), mythological romance and spirituality (‘Knowing to Trust’) and idiosyncratic carnival arpeggio grooves (‘Indigo Highway’), the squelchy staccato and subtle jazzy flecks of ‘The Day Unfolds’ and tension release of ‘Letting Go’ dazzle like bokeh in a Nick Drake haze. The autumnal hymnal of ‘Lisa’ meanwhile, was one of the first, more fictional tracks written for the record, from the viewpoint of the sea, watching the protagonist pass by day after day, offering a metaphorical reflection on the natural world around us. “We don’t realize we are surrounded by all this beauty; we’re shut up inside, rushing to get to work, buying books online without ever leaving home. It’s about focus, recognising what’s in front of you.”

                      Now planning her headline tour with an expanded 5-piece line-up and taking to the stage for the first time since touring with Porridge Radio, Damian Jurado and Chris Cohen, Dana is currently perfecting her live performance by practising a voice ever more elaborate, and perfecting those subtle hand gestures to match. “I’m so inspired by David Bowie’s performances and discovered he practised mime with Lindsay Kemp early on in his career,” she says of seeking inspiration. “I’ve done some mime classes since and it’s become good practice to go deeper into the body and be less controlled by the humility of the mind.”


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: There are echoes here, without a doubt of Cyrk era Cate Le Bon, in Gavanski's swooning vocal style and keen melodic ear. There are moments of brittle, thoughtful vulnerability and unease but the general, overwhelming sense is of a warm and familiar wonder. Evocative and satisfying, 'When It Comes' is a beauty.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Kiss The Night
                      2. Bend Away And Fall
                      3. Letting Go
                      4. Under The Sky
                      5. The Day Unfolds
                      6. Indigo Highway
                      7. Lisa
                      8. The Reaper
                      9. Knowing To Trust

                      The Magnetic North

                      Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North

                        Haunting debut album from The Magnetic North, the new project from Erland Cooper (Erland & The Carnival), Simon Tong (Gorillaz, Verve, Blur) and Hannah Peel (of last year’s ‘The Broken Wave’ album).

                        ‘Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North’ was inspired by a dream of Erland’s, in which he was visited by Betty Corrigall, an Orcadian girl who in the 1770s committed suicide having been outcast from her village for falling pregnant out of wedlock. The resulting long player, recorded in various locations across the Orkney Islands, is a collection of beautiful, evocative songs, at times reminiscent of Nancy & Lee, at others King Creosote & Jon Hopkins.

                        The band recorded with the Stromabank Pub Choir while they were in the north, and will be bringing the choir to London later in the year for a live performance.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Stromness
                        2. Bay Of Skaill
                        3. Hi Life
                        4. Betty Corrigall
                        5. Warbeth
                        6. Rackwick
                        7. Old Man Of Hoy
                        8. Nethertons Teeth
                        9. Ward Hill
                        10. The Black Craig
                        11. Orphir
                        12. Yesnaby

                        Silverbacks

                        Archive Material

                          In years from now, anyone seeking to make sense of what life was like during a global pandemic should extend their research beyond the newspaper clippings and dive into the art produced during the period. Archive Material - the aptly-titled second album by Dublin-based art-rock quintet Silverbacks - will make for a particularly illuminating listen on the subject. Capturing the absurd mixture of monotony and creeping disquiet experienced by many of us this past 18 months, it’s simultaneously sobering and wickedly droll.

                          Spend more than five minutes in the company of brothers/band founders Daniel and Kilian O’Kelly and you’ll quickly realise this playfulness is hardwired. Reminiscing about their upbringing in Brussels, they gently rib one another about their early creative abilities. “When Kilian started writing music, around the age of 14/15, it was like, oh shit, that's better than what I've been doing - maybe I should latch on to him a bit,” older brother and lead singer Daniel chuckles. “And that’s still the case,” guitarist/vocalist Kilian bats back, grinning.

                          They laugh too recalling how - prior to the existence of streaming services - they used their dad’s extensive record collection as a lending library, much to his disapproval. “The rule in the house was [you could borrow] just one CD at a time,” Daniel explains. “It was like borrowing a book: you’d check it out for a night and then the next day he'd be immediately chasing up on the CD asking, ‘Where is it?’ And then he’d fine us.”

                          It was via these limited loans that the pair first discovered the work of Frank Zappa, the Beatles and Miles Davis, as well as some of the records and bands that would go on to inspire their output in Silverbacks specifically. “Television’s Marquee Moon was a big one,” Daniel recalls. “Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was another. And then Sonic Youth generally.”

                          The siblings’ songwriting partnership only began in earnest when Daniel moved to Kildare to study music in 2008, with the pair swapping ideas over email under the band name Mighty Good Leaders. Two years later, Kilian joined Daniel at college in Maynooth and - after changing their name to Silverbacks - they expanded the line-up, recruiting course mates Peadar Kearney on guitar and Emma Hanlon on bass, alongside a revolving cast of drummers. This arrangement continued until 2014, when Peadar left Ireland to live in France and the band reverted back to being a bedroom project. The current incarnation of Silverbacks officially began two years later, upon Peadar’s return to Dublin, with drummer Gary Wickham completing the line-up.

                          The five-piece’s first release together - ‘Just For A Better View’ - arrived in 2017, instantly picking up praise from an array of blogs. 2018-single, the BBC 6 Music playlisted ‘Dunkirk’ extended their audience even further, showcasing Daniel’s sardonic lyrical style as he played a man having a mid-life crisis on the site of the former battleground. As a result of the single’s success, they gigged solidly for the next two years, touring Ireland extensively, and playing shows across the UK and Europe with Girl Band, in-between working on their full-length debut, Fad.

                          Recorded with Girl Band-bassist Daniel Fox - who the band had initially admired for his production work with Paddy Hanna - its release was initially scheduled for November 2019, before being put back to March 2020 for logistical reasons. When the music industry was derailed by the pandemic, its release was postponed indefinitely. Frustrated, the band took control and opted to put it out in July 2020, against the advice of their label. Daniel explains, “We knew it was a risk, but just for our own sanity, we just needed to get it out there and move on to the next thing.

                          It was a leap of faith that paid off, with the Irish Times declaring the 13-track collection “seriously exciting”, DIY Magazine calling it “an excellent example of how a debut should be done” and it getting nominated for the RTE Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year. Not that the band hung around to revel in the acclaim: they were already hard at work on the follow-up.

                          Archive Material only cements Silverbacks’ status as one of Ireland’s most fascinating bands. Recorded at Dublin’s Sonic Studios in November 2020, with Daniel Fox undertaking production duties once more, it finds the band leaning into their early influences, delivering idiosyncratic indie-rock packed with intricate, Tom Verlaine-esque “guitarmony”. Other reference points for the record included Neil Young, Weyes Blood and - on ‘Wear My Medals’ in particular - Bradford Cox and Cate Le Bon’s collaborative record Myths 004.

                          Where Fad found Silverbacks focused on recapturing the live experience rather than reveling in studio experimentation, Archive Material skillfully traverses the line between the two. As a unit, they replicate that irrepressible live energy via complex arrangements incorporating everything from wistful Rhodes (‘Carshade’) to congas and Gang Of Four-style bass (‘Different Kind Of Holiday’).

                          Thematically, the record is every bit as rich, displaying an anthropological approach as exemplified by the album’s artwork. The initial premise for ‘They Were Never Our People’ came from a YouTube comment, portraying the decline of a town that has lost its footfall as the result of a bypass. Meanwhile, ‘Central Tones’ is an empathetic character study of someone seemingly content to trade off former glories, but secretly deeply unhappy.

                          On several songs, the pandemic functions as a particularly effective prism through which to examine ideas of community. ‘A Job Worth Something’ finds Daniel reflecting on his real-life experiences working in insurance while his sister treated patients on a COVID ward, and the feelings of futility and guilt he felt at the time. ‘Different Kind Of Holiday’ was inspired by the ways in which previously uncommunicative neighbours bonded with each other during periods of enforced confinement. Throughout, his observations arrived drenched in the same surreal strain of gallow’s humour that many of us were forced to adopt to lighten the toughest moments of the lockdown.

                          Daniel explains, “I can't remember who it was, but I saw a musician who said that they'd be keeping away from writing anything about the pandemic, because who wants to hear about that? But I’d much rather hear about an event via someone who actually lived through it, rather than someone writing about it retrospectively.”

                          Keenly observed and vividly rendered, Archive Material is an eye-witness account of human resilience as much as it is a compelling indie-rock record. Future historians take note.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          Archive Material
                          A Job Worth Something
                          Wear My Medals
                          They Were Never Our People
                          Rolodex City
                          Different Kind Of Holiday
                          Carshade
                          Central Tones
                          Recycle Culture
                          Econymo
                          Nothing To Write Home About
                          I’m Wild

                          Spencer Cullum

                          Spencer Cullum's Coin Collection

                            With an arm’s length list of credits stretching from the likes of Kesha, Dolly Parton and Deer Tick, to Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, pedal steel savant Spencer Cullum is one of Nashville’s most in-demand session cats. That’s in addition to making up half of acclaimed, primarily instrumental space-country duo “Steelism.” Clearly he’s had little trouble fitting in since moving from his native London to Music City by way of Detroit eight years ago, even if it’s mostly meant blending into the background. “I guess I’ve always hidden behind [the instrument],” he deadpans. “I’m always the guy who looks like he’s studying for a test in the background.” Now, with a debut solo album, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection, paying homage to the ’60s and ‘70s psych-pop, folk and proto prog heroes of his homeland, this Nashville sideman’s stepping out from the shadows into the spotlight. The album is being released September 10th via Full Time Hobby. Along with a supporting cast of fellow Music City stage and studio aces like guitarist Sean Thompson and multi-instrumentalist Luke Reynolds, as well as singing and writing partners like Caitlin Rose, Andrew Combs, Erin Rae, Annie Williams and James “Skyway Man” Wallace — he’s bringing a bit of Britain to Tennessee. “I wanted to write a very quintessential English folk record, but with really good Nashville players.” Cullum says of Canterbury Scene conjuring Coin Collection. Cuts like glass-lake-placid album opener “Jack of Fools”, “Seaside” and the dreamlike “The Dusty Floor,” recall the prime work of the influences he name-checks: Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny. Beyond that, the album manifests his love for psych-prog ground-breakers the Soft Machine (“Tombre En Morceaux”), digs deep into cerebral ambient inspirations like Robert Fripp and Brian Eno (“My Protector”) and krautrock icons NEU! (“Dietrich Buxtehude”) – references he’d previously explored with Steelism. “I’ve always wanted to mix krautrock music into folk and psychedelic,” he explains. While that might sound a little off-brand for a picker who’s made his bones on arena and stadium stages with Miranda Lambert, Cullum notes that his introduction to pedal steel was actually through the instrument’s prominent appearance on classic English rock albums released in the 60s and 70s. In fact, the man who taught him to play the instrument was the master steel player on those very recordings. Multi-genre stylist and session man B.J. Cole, recorded with a staggering range of diverse artists including Elton John, Sting and John Cale, to Beck and Björk.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Jack Of Fools
                            2. To Be Blinkered
                            3. Tombre En Morceaux
                            4. Imminent Shadow
                            5. Seaside
                            6. Dieterich Buxtehude
                            7. The Dusty Floor
                            8. My Protector
                            9. The Tree

                            Squirrel Flower

                            Planet (i)

                              Squirrel Flower’s heart-rending sophomore album Planet (i), following her 2020 debut I Was Born Swimming, is exactly that. A singular planet, a world entirely of artist Ella Williams’ making. The title came first to her as a joke: it’s her made-up name for the new planet people will inevitably settle and destroy after leaving Earth, as well as the universe imagined within her music. “Planet (i) is my body and mind,” Williams says, “and it’s the physical and emotional world of our planet. It’s both.” Buoyed by her steadfast vision and propelled by her burning comet of a voice, the record is a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable. Tornadoes, flooding, gaslighting assholes, cars on fire—these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin. As Williams rides from melancholy to jubilance to complete emotional devastation over the course of twelve songs, she carves out a future for herself and those she loves.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. I'll Go Running
                              2. Hurt A Fly
                              3. Deluge In The South
                              4. Big Beast
                              5. Roadkill
                              6. Iowa 146
                              7. Pass
                              8. Flames And Flat Tires
                              9. To Be Forgotten
                              10. Desert Wildflowers
                              11. Night
                              12. Starshine

                              Tunng

                              Mother’s Daughter And Other Songs - Reissue

                                The first Tunng album!

                                Originally released in 2005 on the magnificent Static Caravan (VAN88V), this is the first time this beloved album has been available on vinyl since 2006. Lovingly restored from the original masters, re-cut in December 2020.

                                Back in 2003, Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay were introduced by a mutual friend at a gig Sam was playing. Mike had a strange studio underneath a woman’s clothes shop in Soho at the time, and after some discussion, Sam asked if he could record an EP there.

                                Mike agreed, and after a while played Sam some ideas he’d been working on, fusing his vision of electronica and acoustic paganistic folk music. He then asked Sam if he’d sing on one, and then another one…and then another one. The pair began to write songs together from this point, and became totally immersed in this new album project, which would later come to be known as Mother’s Daughter and Other Songs.

                                Inspiration for the name “tunng” came from electronic artists Mike was into at the time – Mum, Isan, Benge. From here, the pair sent CD-Rs to labels, and Static Caravan got back immediately, signing on a handshake deal. “Tale From Black” was released on 7” in 2004 and became a favourite of John Peel’s. The album itself came out in Jan 2005 and it was from here that Tunng was made complete. Made up of friends the pair had made in London, Tunng now included Phil Winter (electronics), Ashley Bates (nylon string guitar), Becky Jacobs (vocals / melodica) and Martin Smith (sea shells, bear’s toenails, clarinet, keys). Seventeen years, a few mini world tours, a million festivals and 7 albums later the band are still making music together.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Well well, this long awaited gem is finally here and it honestly sounds as good as the day it came out. One of the forefathers of the 'Folktronica' movement and consistently excellent to this day, this is an absolutely essential addition to any collection. It's a definite yes from me.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Mother’s Daughter
                                2. People Folk
                                3. Out The Window With The Window
                                4. Beautiful And Light
                                5. Tale From Black
                                6. Song Of The Sea
                                7. Kinky Vans
                                8. Fair Doreen
                                9. Code Breaker
                                10. Surprise Me 44

                                Esther Rose

                                How Many Times

                                  Esther Rose was in perpetual motion when she wrote How Many Times. In the span of two years, she moved three times, navigated the end of a relationship, and began touring more than ever. The New Orleans-based singer-songwriter used that momentum while she penned her third studio album. That’s why, as the album title’s nod to the cyclical nature of life implies, there’s a rush that accompanies How Many Times as if you’re experiencing an awakening, too.

                                  “That’s how I untangle what’s on my mind, by going off for a walk into wild places. That’s what makes this album a country album,” says Rose. “It’s not really just about feeling better, it’s about feeling it, whatever it is.”
                                  If Rose used time to frame the stories on her 2019 sophomore album You Made It This Far, then she’s swapped that clock for a heart monitor on How Many Times. While some may look outward and lament over hard times and bad luck, Rose turns inward. Instead of blaming an ex for failing to juggle her reactions on “My Bad Mood,” she examines her own blind spots where she hopes to improve as a partner. When her car’s engine blew up during an impulsive “pitstop” in Nashville, she wrote “Good Time” not to rue misfortune, but to toast her own recklessness. After losing her nerve and fleeing a New Year’s Eve date by bicycle half an hour before midnight, she immediately penned “Are You Out There,” confronting her fear of letting go and moving on.

                                  With the integrity of Dean Johnson, Faustina Masigat, and Kiki Cavazos serving as primary influences, Rose expands her alt-country sound into a blossoming world of folk pop, rustic americana, and tender harmonies. “They’re the holy trinity of songwriter magic,” she says, “and when I listen to them I feel like I can explore my own heartache.” Creative touches add detail throughout the album. She uses a 1962 Gibson ES-120T, her first semi-hollow body electric guitar, to play unplugged for a distinct tone. On “Mountaintop,” she includes a blustery voice memo recorded at the summit of Mount Philo, an homage to the field recording in a Bright Eyes song she holds dear.

                                  From “Coyote Creek” to “Without You,” Rose’s compelling voice is ferried masterfully by the musicians that join her: Matt Bell on lap steel, Max Bien-Kahn on electric guitar, Dan Cutler on upright bass, Cameron Snyder on drums, and Lyle Werner on fiddle. A collection of complete takes recorded live to tape with rich instrumentation, soul-tugging hooks, and resonating vocal melodies, How Many Times carries you into the room in which it was made. There to help realize this was co-producer Ross Farbe of synthpop band Video Age, who Rose also credits for bringing a stereo pop glow to these new songs.

                                  The album opens with Rose reflecting on the mundane as she drifts around her house in How Many Times. She wrote it in a night of intentional sobriety, choosing to address directly emotions she had been avoiding until then, a theme that’s apparent throughout the record. “‘How Many Times’ shows that ‘face it’ moment: opening the fridge, staring down the bottles, opening a laptop, just bouncing around the house before you finally make room to face the pain and be with it,” she says. “I remember walking trancelike to my writing table thinking, No numbing tonight. I’m going to sit here and look at it.” From opening for Nick Lowe on tour to being asked to sing on Jack White’s new album, Rose’s journey through the past few years has been one of saying yes to new opportunities, all while nurturing and playing in bands in the New Orleans country music scene. The arrival of How Many Times is evidence of the sweeping growth Rose has undergone, both personally and artistically. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: There's a lot to be said for a gently strummed acoustic guitar and a well sung tune isn't there? I mean, I know i'm a big fan of both bells and whistles (maybe not *actual* whistles), but Rose presents the stripped-back country aesthetic that is perfectly accentuated by a single lap-steel or a snappy percussive wander and executes it so perfectly, it's impossible not to be drawn in.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Side A
                                  How Many Times
                                  Keeps Me Running
                                  My Bad Mood
                                  Coyote Creek
                                  Good Time

                                  Side B
                                  When You Go
                                  Songs Remain
                                  Mountaintop
                                  Are You Out There
                                  Without You

                                  Bonus Dinked Edition 7”
                                  A1. Bitter Heart
                                  B1. My Jealous Mind

                                  The Besnard Lakes

                                  Are The Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings

                                    The Besnard Lakes have passed through death and they’re here to tell the tale. Nearly five years after their last lightning-tinted volley, the magisterial Montreal psych-rock band have sworn off compromise, split with their long-standing label, and completed a searing, 72-minute suite about the darkness of dying and the light on the other side.

                                    The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is the group's sixth album and the first in more than 15 years to be released away from a certain midwestern American indie record company. After 2016's A Coliseum Complex Museum - which saw Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas attempting shorter, less sprawling songs - the Besnards and their label decided it was time to go their separate ways; with that decision came a question of whether to even continue the project at all. What use is a band with an instinct for long, tectonic tunes - rock songs with chthonic heft and ethereal grace, five or 10 or 18 minutes long? How do you sell that in an age of bite-sized streaming? How do you make it relevant?

                                    "Who gives a shit!" the Besnard Lakes realized. Ignited by their love for each other, for playing music together, the sextet found themselves unspooling the most uncompromising recording of their career. Despite all its grandeur, ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings honours the very essence of punk rock: the notion that a band need only be relevant to itself. At last the Besnard Lakes have crafted a continuous long-form suite: nine tracks that could be listened together as one, like Spiritualized's Lazer Guided Melodies or even Dark Side of the Moon, overflowing with melody and harmony, drone and dazzle, the group's own unique weather.

                                    Here now, the Besnard Lakes finally dispensed with the two/three-year album cycle, taking all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix their opus. Some of its songs were old, resurrected from demos cast aside years ago. Others were literally woodshedded in the cabanon behind Lasek and Goreas's "Rigaud Ranch" - invented and reinvented, relishing this rougher sound. Some of that distortion makes its way into the final mix: an incandescent crackle that had receded from the Besnards' more recent output.

                                    Rightly - nay, definitively! - The Besnard Lakes Are The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a double LP. "Near Death" is the title of the first side. "Death," "After Death," and "Life" follow next. It's literally a journey into (and back from) the brink: the story of the Besnard Lakes' own odyssey but also a remembrance of others', especially the death of Lasek's father in 2019. Being on your deathbed is perhaps the most psychedelic trip you can go on: in Lasek's father's case, he surfaced from a morphine dream to talk about "a window" on his blanket, with "a carpenter inside, making intricate objects." That experience pervades the album, catching fire on the song "Christmas Can Wait"; elsewhere the band pays tribute to the late Mark Hollis and, on "The Father of Time Wakes Up," they mourn the death of Prince.

                                    In these scorched and pitted times, as the world smoulders, there might be nothing less trendy than an hour-long psych-rock epic by a band of Canadian grandmasters. Then again, there might be nothing we need more. ...The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is a bright-blazing requiem: nine tunes that are one tune and six musicians who make one band - unleashed and unconstrained, piercing and technicolour. At the end of the golden day, the Besnard Lakes are right where they should be.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: 'Are The Last...' has all of the haunting Besnard Lakes atmospherics with a more direct bombastic stadium approach, cavernous echo and rolling basses below the wonderfully acrobatic vocal performances. As ever, it's quintessentially THEM, and sounding better than ever.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Blackstrap
                                    2. Raindrops
                                    3. Christmas Can Wait
                                    4. Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again
                                    5. Feuds With Guns
                                    6. The Dark Side Of Paradise
                                    7. New Revolution
                                    8. The Father Of Time Wakes Up
                                    9. Last Of The Great Thunderstorm Warnings

                                    Tunng

                                    Tunng Presents....DEAD CLUB

                                      The breadth, detail and care of Tunng’s Dead Club project is a striking thing. “It’s not just a record, it’s a discussion, it’s a podcast series, it’s poetry, it’s short stories, it’s an examination,” says the band’s Mike Lindsay. Tackling the still near-untouchable subjects - grief, loss, the act of dying, where we go, what becomes of those left behind - death is a taboo beyond all others.

                                      Around the time of Tunng’s sixth album, 2018’s Songs You Make at Night, lyricist Sam Genders found Max Porter’s novel Grief is The Thing with Feathers, and was struck by its power. Its viscerality and rawness and rage. Its beauty and love and connection. He passed Porter’s book around his band members.

                                      For months the six band members discussed the subject at length. That they are such a sizeable band, diverse in opinion and perspective, proved helpful: “When all those things come together that’s what makes it Tunng,” says Genders. “And because the subject of death is so powerful for people in different ways, we talked about the kinds of issues it might bring up, that we might need to be sensitive about.”

                                      Firstly, Dead Club is an extraordinary record; contemplative, intimate and celebratory. It includes collaborations with Max Porter, who wrote two new pieces for the album. It draws on the research the band conducted — nods to the Wari people of Brazil who eat their dead, discussions of consciousness and memory, Genders’ visit to a death cafe in Sheffield, and the Swedish art of Death Cleaning. It touches on personal loss, fear, and humour and sorrow and love.

                                      “Trying to turn this whole concept into an album, into music, without it being too sombre and difficult for people to listen to, that’s been the challenge,” says Lindsay. “We wanted it to be colourful and we wanted it to be kind of uplifting. Although some of it’s a lot darker than I was imagining it originally, I think it’s a thought-provoking and emotional journey; it doesn’t make me feel sad.”

                                      It's also a podcast series, produced by the band’s Becky Jacobs and Sam Genders, speaking to those who work in the field of death: philosophers, scientists, frontline workers, and beyond. Philosophers Alain De Botton and A.C. Grayling discuss cultural attitudes towards death, alongside palliative care physician and author Kathryn Mannix, mentalist Derren Brown, forensic anthropologist Dame Sue Black, musician Speech Debelle, and Poetry editor of the New Yorker, Kevin Young. Samples from these discussions in turn appear on the album: Brown’s voice hovers over Fatally Human, Black considers what happens after we die on The Last Day, while on A Million Colours, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib of Tinariwen speaks of the traditions around death of the Tuareg in northern Mali.

                                      There were live events planned of course, collisions of music and readings and art that the band had hoped might prompt conversations about the subject among the audience. Perhaps the hope of this project is not to commandeer grief, to explain it or provide a structure for loss, but to bring a new openness to the subject.

                                      We no longer have the religious script we once had that helped us to deal with death, Genders notes. “And I think a lot of us are struggling to know how to behave around it.” But there are skills we can learn, conversations we can have, cultural baggage we can question, to find an approach that reflects an experience that is “inherently human”, as Genders puts it. “I think in life in general there’s something very powerful in total honesty,” he says. “In being honest about all the different ways that you experience things. Because it’s nearly always the case that you discover everyone’s got the same anxieties, and the same fears, and having the same experiences. And maybe that can be powerful.”

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Though the idea and the creative process behind 'Dead Club' is significantly different from their usual collaborative approach, it has every bit of the alt-folk charm and bracing mix of electronic and organic instrumentation we saw in 'then We Saw Land' or the brilliant 'Good Arrows'.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Eating The Dead
                                      2. Death Is The New Sex
                                      3. SDC
                                      4. Three Birds
                                      5. A Million Colours
                                      6. Carry You
                                      7. The Last Day
                                      8. Tsunami
                                      9. Man
                                      10. Scared To Death
                                      11. Fatally Human
                                      12. Woman

                                      Aidan Knight

                                      Aidan Knight

                                        An introduction to Aidan Knight: As a songwriter, performer and producer based on Vancouver Island, Aidan has released 3 critically acclaimed albums (Versicolour, Small Reveal, and Each Other), toured with artists like Half Moon Run, Andy Shauf, James Vincent McMorrow, Villagers, Dan Mangan and more. Since the release of his 3rd LP (Each Other) he’s moved to Berlin and back, begun a home base studio for his production work, and celebrated the birth of his son with Julia, his wife and long-time creative partner) Here are his own words on the new recording, produced and recorded by Aidan: Gotta say that I thought 2020 would be a much different world to release a new record into. Not like this, but it's been 4 years since Each Other - Streaming continues to grow in influence, bands are being asked not to simply write and perform but to curate playlists, merchandise, and do their own accounting. Dystopian fiction is selling. And yet, many things haven't dramatically changed - the climate crisis continues to elude politicians, songwriters and performers who labour to create all music still haven’t seized the means of production, and I still enjoy a bowl of cereal now and then. I remember waking up in a tent after playing Glastonbury when Brexit happened in 2016. Loading-in at First Avenue in Minneapolis the night Prince died. Rescuing a hedgehog in Rotterdam after having a panic attack on stage. So many memories filed away at the time. I stopped drinking in 2017, stopped self-sabotaging and started recording new music in our 2 bedroom apartment. We moved in July of 2018 after 9 years there. Predictably, I panicked and thought about scrapping the entire record because I was extremely sad and couldn't tell anyone. Self improvement isn't always linear I suppose. You can falter and yet all's not lost. I'm sure I won't be the last singer-songwriter to mine the depths of their ennui, depression and suffering for lyrics but these 12 songs are also some of the clearest and most shameful memories I have. When you feel horribly exposed but calm singing a line for the first time, you know it's right. Domestic bliss, unrelenting loneliness, death, love, taxing the rich, new life, the splendour of nature, renovating the basement, misunderstanding your parents, gender, body negativity – Y’know, stuff that sells. In short, this is a modern record that borrows from a long history of techniques and songwriters that have inspired me. Every writer loves their newest thing, so it's redundant to say that I'm proud of these songs and think they are my best work yet. So, without further ado, I hope this music finds you healthy and ready to create a better world than it is right now

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Julia In The Garden
                                        2. La La
                                        3. Sixteen Stares
                                        4. Veni Vidi Vici
                                        5. Mary Turns The Pillow
                                        6. Slacker II
                                        7. St Kierans
                                        8. Houston TX
                                        9. Rolodex
                                        10. Renovations
                                        11. These Days

                                        Bananagun

                                        The True Story Of Bananagun

                                          Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s afrobeat and exotica to Fela Kuti-esque repetition, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia.

                                          The True Story of Bananagun marks Bananagun’s first full foray into writing and recording as a complete band, having originally germinated in the bedroom ideas and demos of guitarist, vocalist and flautist Nick van Bakel. The multi-instrumentalist grew up on skate videos, absorbing the hip-hop beats that soundtracked them -taking on touchstones like Self Core label founder Mr. Dibbs and other early 90’s turntablists. That love of the groove underpins Bananagun - even if the rhythms now traverse far beyond those fledgling influences. "We didn't want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band’s founder says. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature."

                                          Van Bakel was joined first by cousin Jimi Gregg on drums–the pair’s shared love of the Jungle Book apparently made him a natural fit – and the rest of the group are friends first and foremost, put together as a band because of a shared emphasis on keeping things fun.

                                          Jack Crook (guitar/vocals), Charlotte Tobin (djembe/percussion) and Josh Dans (bass)complete the five-piece and between them there’s a freshness and playful spontaneity to The True Story of Bananagun, borne out of late night practice jams and hangs at producer John Lee’s Phaedra Studios.

                                          “We were playing a lot leading up to recording so we’re all over it live”, van Bakel fondly recalls of the sessions that became more like a communal hang out, with Zoe Fox and Miles Bedford there too to add extra vocals and saxophone. “It was a good time, meeting there every night, using proper gear [rather than my bedroom setups.] It felt like everyone had a bit of a buzz going on.”

                                          Tracks like The Master and People Talk Too Much bounce around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia; the likes of She Now hark to abmore westernised early rhythm ‘n’ blues beat, remoulded and refreshed in the group’s own inimitable summery style. Freak Machine is perhaps the closest to those early 90’s beats, but even then the group add layers and layers of bright guitars, harmonic flower -pop vocals and other sounds to transmute the source material to an entirely new plain.

                                          Elsewhere there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as an homage to the wildlife surrounding van Bakel’s home 80 kilometres from Melbourne. Oh, and there are hooks galore too–try and stop yourself from humming along to Out of Reach’s swooping vocal melody.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. Bang Go The Bongos
                                          2. The Master
                                          3. People Talk Too Much
                                          4. Freak Machine
                                          5. Bird Up!
                                          6. Out Of Reach
                                          7. She Now
                                          8. Perfect Stranger
                                          9. Mushroom Bomb
                                          10. Modern Day Problems
                                          11. Taking The Present For Granted

                                          Katie Von Schleicher

                                          Consummation

                                            Katie Von Schleicher doesn’t hold back. Her music, drenched in layers of warmth and fuzz, mines depression, devotion, power, and anxiety without reserve.

                                            But if channeling weighty subject matter is a constant in Von Schleicher’s music, so too is transforming that material into sonic landscapes that defy expectations. On Von Schleicher’s second record, Consummation, she blasts past the lo-fi power ballads of her debut Shitty Hits (2017) with a severe expansion of her sonic palette; its 13 shape-shifting songs depict a deeply personal exploration of trauma. The result is both potent and listenable; strange and familiar; intense and entertaining - and, perhaps most of all, teeming with life.

                                            Von Schleicher pulls the listener in from the outset. The synths and drum machines of the album opener “You Remind Me” evoke a room depressurizing, signaling a crossover into unsettling, dream-like territory. Her self-assured voice floats above the fray, her lyrics pointed: “And now I can’t confine my rage.” The following songs vary in genre and tempo, ranging from a pulsating, electronic rocker (“Brutality”) to upbeat and jagged kraut (“Wheel,” “Caged Sleep”) and a melancholic, cosmic ballad (“Gross”). There’s even a brief, haunting crooner of a track (“Strangest Thing”). What they share is lyrical concision, emotional heft, and conscientious production.

                                            Consummation is, in part, inspired by an alternate interpretation of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In 2018, Von Schleicher rewatched the seminal film and was struck by its largely unanalyzed subtext of abuse. She knew immediately that this hidden narrative, which spoke to her personal experience, would be the basis of her next album.

                                            While writing and engineering the record, she found sanctuary in the words of other women: namely, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, and Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. The latter proved particularly influential: Soon after revisiting Vertigo, Von Schleicher stumbled upon Solnit’s lacerating take on the film. Solnit describes the “wandering, stalking, haunting” of romantic pursuit that it depicts as “consummation,” while “real communion” - understanding and mutual respect between two lovers - is, to the men in the film, “unimaginable.” The consequence is a fundamental failure of communication. At its core, Consummation evokes the pain of being unable to bridge that vast psychic distance between oneself and another.

                                            Can love that destroys, Von Schleicher asks, be love at all? At the close of the album, it seems she’s arrived at something of an answer, at least for herself. On “Nothing Lasts,” the record’s final song, a romantic verse gives way to an anthemic, albeit fatalistic chorus - one that feels something like a sigh of relief: “Cause nothing lasts for long, nothing lasts, see it’s gone.”


                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            Side A:
                                            1. You Remind Me
                                            2. Wheel
                                            3. Nowhere
                                            4. Caged Sleep
                                            5. Messenger
                                            6. Loud

                                            Side B:
                                            1. Strangest Thing
                                            2. Can You Help?
                                            3. Brutality
                                            4. Hammer
                                            5. Power
                                            6. Gross
                                            7. Nothing Lasts

                                            Bonus 7” (DINKED EDITION ONLY)
                                            Side A
                                            1. CMWA
                                            Side B
                                            1. Display

                                            Dana Gavanski

                                            Yesterday Is Gone

                                              ‘I’m learning how to say goodbye / to let you go and face the tide / to wrap my feelings in a song,’ sings Dana Gavanski on the title track of her debut LP, Yesterday Is Gone. To wrap her feelings in a song: this is the task Dana has dedicated herself to with this record. It’s a goal common to many songwriters, but few approach it with such aplomb. By turns break-up album, project of curiosity, and, as Dana puts it, ‘a reckoning with myself’, Yesterday Is Gone is her attempt to ‘learn to say what I feel and feel what I say’: an album of longing and devotion to longing, and of the uncertainty that arises from learning about oneself, of pushing boundaries, falling hard, and getting back up.

                                              Born in Vancouver to a Serbian family, Dana has always harboured a desire to sing. In her final year of university in Montreal, she picked up the guitar left by her ex-partner and decided to re-learn. But with a father in film and a painter mother, other art-forms clamoured for her attention. She spent a summer as her producer father’s assistant in the Laurentians, in a derelict hotel-turned-office that looked like something out of The Shining. The long days behind a computer cemented her desire to make music, ‘because it was so impossible to play that I needed to, in order to feel like it was real.’ The income she saved that summer funded a year of writing religiously, leading to EP Spring Demos in September 2017, which Dana describes as ‘whatever was coming out of me. A flood.’

                                              Following Spring Demos, Yesterday Is Gone reflects Dana’s aim ‘to make something bigger, more thought through’. Steeped in determination and uncertainty in equal measure – ‘I just wanted to write a good song’ – the album took shape after she returned from a writing residency in Banff, Alberta. She left the residency resolved not to worry about her songs being ‘too obvious’. She’d begun to learn the art of empty time, of being alone with her emotions, losing herself in a landscape. She thought of Vashti Bunyan, riding for hours and writing, writing, writing. She considered how she might use writing to make sense of her life after the tumults of a break-up and a new city. Adrift in Toronto, Dana struggled to feel at home and connected to people, but the solitude also allowed her to ground herself in writing. She kept office-style hours at her bedroom desk every day until she started to understand the writing process, to see that ‘transforming a burning desire into something clear and tangible is a vulnerable and delicate act. You have to be able to let things happen, to accept losing control.’

                                              The record is a co-production between Dana, Toronto-based musician Sam Gleason, and Mike Lindsay of Tunng and LUMP. While Sam helped Dana bring out the tunes, Mike’s input marked ‘the beginning of developing a sound that was closer to what I had in my head’. Though excited by the other elements of a song introduced during production, Dana and Mike were keen on ‘finding essential things, not overblowing, keeping things bare and letting the elements speak for themselves’. Not that the sheer variety of sounds and instruments didn’t overwhelm. ‘But you have that feeling,’ Dana says, ‘then you just pick up an instrument. At the base, you do know what you want. It’s about how to chip away at what you don’t want.’

                                              The album shapeshifted as it passed through the hands of Dana, Sam, and Mike, taking on different tastes, feelings, and visions. When Dana performed the songs with a band, they found new form again. She was intrigued by performers like David Bowie and Aldous Harding, who inhabit different personalities on stage, physically tuning themselves to their music. ‘Watching these kinds of performances,’ Dana says, ‘I feel my body longing to express myself in exaggerations … to leave behind self-consciousness and become this energy.’ But a three-month trip to Serbia in autumn 2018 really pushed performance to the forefront of Dana’s mind. She took singing lessons to learn how to sing with the resonance that defines traditional Serbian song. Stirred by the bombast of fifties, sixties, and seventies music, including the high-energy kafana, or café music, as rooted in expressive pouts as it is vocal resonance, the trip incited a yearning to completely inhabit herself on stage. ‘I often feel we’re all just these controlled bodies,’ she says. ‘Sometimes I just want to make a snarl with my lip and keep it there.’

                                              Stood on a crowded train last spring, Dana sang the Macedonian song Jano Mome to an audience of cheery Scottish ladies. The moment, brief but beautiful, lays bare Dana’s craving for live spontaneity. But it also reflects her injection of stylish drama and vivid emotion into the folk landscape that inspires her, from contemporary singers H Hawkline and Julia Holter, to stalwarts Fairport Convention, Anne Briggs, Connie Converse, and Judee Sill. Expressive urges run all through Yesterday Is Gone. Moments of beguilement splinter a backdrop of tenderly picked guitar, bass, synth, and poppier elements, which commune to produce her own kind of wall of sound. Each component is meticulously placed, yielding a deeply sincere response to the chaos of human emotion. ‘Often we have to go a little far in one direction to learn something about ourselves,’ Dana says. The months of solitary writing and self-doubt testify to this, but they’ve led to Yesterday Is Gone: an optimistic, steely-eyed gaze into the future.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. One By One
                                              2. Catch
                                              3. What We Had
                                              4. Good Instead Of Bad
                                              5. Trouble
                                              6. Yesterday Is Gone
                                              7. Small Favours
                                              8. Everything That Bleeds
                                              9. Other Than
                                              10. Memories Of Winter

                                              Squirrel Flower - the moniker of Ella O’Connor Williams - announces I Was Born Swimming, her debut album, out January 31st on Full Time Hobby. The album’s title was inspired by Williams’ birth on August 11th 1996 - the hottest day of the year - born still inside a translucent caul sac membrane, surrounded by amniotic fluid. Throughout the 12 songs, landscapes change and relationships shift. The album’s lyrics feel like effortless expressions of exactly the way it feels to change - abstract, determined and hopeful.

                                              Squirrel Flower’s music is ethereal and warm, brimming over with emotional depth but with a steely eyed bite and confidence in it's destination. The band on I Was Born Swimming plays with delicate intention, keeping the arrangements natural and light while Williams' lead guitar is often fiercely untethered. The album was tracked live, with few overdubs, at The Rare Book Room Studio in New York City with producer Gabe Wax (Adrienne Lenker, Palehound, Cass McCombs). The musicians were selected by Wax and folded themselves into the songs effortlessly. At the heart of the album lives Williams’ haunting voice and melancholic, soulful guitar.

                                              The sounds expand and contract over diverse moods, cutting loose on the heavier riffs of 'Red Shoulder'. "'Red Shoulder’ is a song about destabilisation and dissociation,” explains Williams. “Something soft and tender becomes warped and sinister, turning into sensory overload and confusion. How can something so lovely turn painful and claustrophobic? The song ends with a heavy and visceral guitar solo, attempting to reground what went awry."

                                              Williams comes from a deep-rooted musical family tree. Her grandparents were classical musicians who lived in the Gate Hill Co-op, an artistic cooperative from upstate New York that grew out of Black Mountain College. Ella’s father, Jesse Williams, spent most of his life as a touring jazz and blues performer and educator, and lends his bass playing to the album. Growing up in a family of hard working musicians fostered a love of music and started Williams down her own musical path. As a child, Williams adopted the alter ego of Squirrel Flower. A couple years later, she began singing with the Boston Children’s Chorus while studying music theory and teaching herself to play the guitar. As a teen, she discovered the Boston DIY and folk music scenes and began writing, recording, and performing her own songs, now returning to Squirrel Flower as her stage name.

                                              Sheer determination and belief quickly saw her make a name for herself in this newly discovered scene. Doing everything from making videos and artwork to the production of her music herself she recorded two EP's and began touring, appearing on bills with the likes of Moses Sumney, Lucy Dacus, Frankie Cosmos, Jay Som, Julien Baker, Soccer Mommy and Big Thief. During this time the signature artful songcraft heard on I Was Born Swimming was formed.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: At a superb midpoint between dreamy psychedelia, soaring Americana and more percussive, anthemic rock numbers, 'I Was Born Swimming' displays the wide breadth of influences that Williams has woven through her sound. The more meditative pieces are beautifully offset with driving, southern rock and screaming, guitar-heavy heft.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. I-80
                                              2. Red Shoulder
                                              3. Slapback
                                              4. Eight Hours
                                              5. Headlights
                                              6. Honey, Oh Honey!
                                              7. Seasonal Affective Disorder
                                              8. Home
                                              9. Streetlight Blues
                                              10. Rush
                                              11. Belly Of The City
                                              12. I Was Born Swimming

                                              Bananagun

                                              Do Yeah

                                                There are some records that you come across that sound like you’ve discovered an unearthed gem from a previous decade; a lost moment in musical history that has cruelly been sat gathering dust in a record shop for years. From the opening seconds of Bananagun’s “Do Yeah” - which stirs to life in an intoxicating blend of 1970s afrobeat, fuzzed out psychedelia and immersive pop - this very much feels like the case of discovering something special. However, rather than being a decades old find, this track comes from a brand new Melbourne band. With the aim of merging the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks with the tropicália grooves of Os Mutantes, the band soon forged a sound that was as loose and unravelling as it was focused and taut, with an aim of creating a real sense of place and environment.

                                                “We didn't want to do what everyone else was doing,” the band say. “We wanted it to be vibrant, colourful and have depth like the jungle. Like an ode to nature.” There’s a deeply percussive element to the band’s psychedelic ode to mother nature, touching upon Fela Kuti-esque repetitions, exotica, jazz and 1960s pop-rock. Much like a lot of the influences it filters into its own unique spin on it all, it’s intended as “music for the people” - a unifying groove that spans genres. Even the seemingly innocuous band name has an underlying message of connectivity that matches the universality of the music. “It’s like non-violent combat! Or the guy who does a stick up but it’s just a banana, not a gun, and he tells the authorities not to take themselves too seriously.” This extends to the underlying message of their debut single too: “try to love and not hate because you’re the one who has to carry it around.” Do Yeah 7”

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Do Yeah
                                                2. Top Cat
                                                3. Crane In The Tiger's Mouth

                                                Tunng

                                                This Is Tunng...Magpie Bites And Other Cuts

                                                  Since forming in 2003 and over the course of six studio albums, Tunng are a group that have explored the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, becoming synonymous with the folktronica genre before moving into territory that managed to both evade that label and continue to redefine it. This is a collection of rare gems and oddities released from 2004 to 2018. These are the 7”s, special editions, b-sides and hidden tracks that would otherwise be lost in the ether. Here they are sitting side by side like a wonky gang, leaning in to share their strange tales.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  DISC 1
                                                  1. Heatwave
                                                  2. The Pioneers
                                                  3. Bodies
                                                  4. Pool Beneath The Pond
                                                  5. Death And The Maiden Retold
                                                  6. Bank Holiday
                                                  7. No Man Can Find The War
                                                  8. Magpie Bites
                                                  9. Clump
                                                  10. Band Stand
                                                  11. Peanuts

                                                  DISC 2
                                                  1. The Bonnie Black Hare
                                                  2. Sefa Deta (Birds)
                                                  3. The Source
                                                  4. Robin
                                                  5. The Raven Flies
                                                  6. Weekend (In The Cabin)
                                                  7. Wood
                                                  8. Shove It
                                                  9. Walter Wash Me

                                                  The Saxophones

                                                  Singing Desperately Suite

                                                    These songs were recorded with the same team behind "Songs of the Saxophones" but after the album had been released.

                                                    MOJO – “David Lynch will swoon when he hears this exercise in etiolation.”

                                                    Uncut – “sparsely immersive, chiseled arrangements."

                                                    There’s a beautiful, mournful atmosphere to the EP, recalling the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and even parallels to some of Low’s recent work (see “Always Trying to Work It Out” from their latest album as a good reference point).

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Prelude
                                                    2. Singing Desperately
                                                    3. Crude Advance
                                                    4. You Seem Upset

                                                    Gardner has been known to create swirling psychedelic pop boosted by his rich, resonate and baroque voice but on his third album, his vocals are gone and in their place is an equally seamless melodic exploration but an instrumental one, with a synthesized occult edge. Somnium is a nod to the novel of the same name, written in 1608 by Johannes Kepler and is regarded as the first ever science fiction novel. “This book fascinates me because it was basically Kepler travelling in his mind to a non-existent world while describing it, and his journey, with amazing detail.”

                                                    This form of mind travel is what Jacco has set out to create in a sonic, almost alchemic, capacity. Hence the reason for his vocals being left out of this spiritual journey. “I deliberately removed my voice from the experience, as it made it more difficult for me to achieve the intended state of mind. I think it makes the journey more interesting, more deep, and more intimate. I didn’t feel the need to show my face while one drifts away into thought. Somnium is a visionary experience. The album is more than just a trip, it is about contact with a deeper – hidden – reality.” 


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Jacco may well have got rid of the vocals, but it hasn't dampened any of the stone-cold groove he manages to eke out of his instruments. Vox or no, the swooning, psychedelic haze is strong here, and further goes to show his skills no matter the tools. A mind-bending and enthralling journey throughout.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Rising
                                                    2. Volva
                                                    3. Langragian Point
                                                    4. Past Navigator
                                                    5. Levania
                                                    6. Eclipse
                                                    7. Utopos
                                                    8. Rain
                                                    9. Privolva
                                                    10. Pale Blue Dot
                                                    11. Descent
                                                    12. Somnium

                                                    Tunng

                                                    Songs You Make At Night

                                                    Some musical partnerships are so strong, intuitive and natural that they almost can’t be separated due to the natural magnetism present in the relationship. One such tight knit songwriting family are Tunng, and their new album Songs You Make At Night reunites founding members Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay (fresh from his LUMP side project with Laura Marling) and the rest of the Tunng gang for the first time since 2007’s Good Arrows.

                                                    “We really wanted to do a Tunng record going back to the original line up,” Lindsay says. “there was a real magic in the early records that we all wanted to capture again in this one.”

                                                    Since forming in 2003 and over the course of five albums, Tunng are a group that have explored the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, becoming synonymous with the folktronica genre before moving into territory that managed to both evade that label and continue to redefine it. Songs You Make At Night finds a group of people reconnecting with a previous collective state to bring out something new and forward-looking. “We're all so different but each bring something essential, something Tunng to the party. Be that to the studio, to the stage, to the van, or to the pub. I think that the new songs Mike and Sam have crafted between them have brought out the best in all of us.” confirms singer Becky Jacobs.

                                                    Songs You Make At Night is also Tunng's most electronic-leaning to date. Take lead single ABOP which brings the Moog right to your face, with a heavily swung frazzled 808 pigeon beat whilst sampling a speech from the 1970s pornographic actor Mary Millington that builds into a magical pop feast. 

                                                    Songs You Make At Night’s tone, theme, lyrics, mood and characters exist in a fluctuating state between night and day ("I got very much into the idea of a dark underwater world suffused with pockets of light and beauty and some of the songs grew out of that." says Sam Genders), the conscious and unconscious. Crepuscular in its nature, Lindsay explains the all-encompassing title. "I think it’s also important to stress the songs you make at night not, we make at night. Then the word “songs” can mean a multitude of things. It can mean songs, or dreams, pillow talk or actions and decisions, moves, and can be very personal... the thoughts that keep you awake at night."


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Having been one of my absolute favourite bands at one point in time, Tunng elicited within me more than a little excitement, and have followed through on that excitement with aplomb. with the sound from their heyday being completely in attendance here. Electronic blips, huge synths and shimmering acoustic guitar, Tunng are back!

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    Dream In
                                                    Abop
                                                    Sleepwalking
                                                    Crow
                                                    Dark Heart
                                                    Battlefront
                                                    Flatland
                                                    Nobody Here
                                                    Evaporate
                                                    Like Water
                                                    Dream Out

                                                    Bank Holiday (7" Only)
                                                    Heatwave (7" Only)

                                                    ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ is the follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘Some Twist’ and its extension ‘The Load’ EP (feat. Natalie Prass).

                                                    The sprawling new album was recorded in guitarist Benny Yurco’s one-bedroom apartment in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Nau and his collaborators had a cool little set up going in Yurco’s spot — drums and bass took over the bedroom, the guitar amp in the bathroom, Nau’s vocals and piano in the living room, and a vibraphone in the kitchen. It’s the first time one of Nau’s records happened all in one place, and “it feels most like a band record than ever before”. Nau and this particular group of musicians held it down together as a true team, which is why Nau named the record in their honour. The songs on this layered record sound sunny and familiar, like sharing stories and worries with a close friend on a late summer day. In a gorgeous and natural way, he contemplates his own process, those feelings of uncertainty. “Making it too hard just comes easier,” Nau croons on ‘Funny In Real Life,’ an exquisite meditation on creation and self. “Truth is such a beautiful force/And every time we find the chorus/There’s no second-guessing the real/I don’t ever know how I feel.” 


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Andy says: The Richard Hawley of Americana returns with another swoonsome collection of mellow classics-in-waiting. Superb, as ever.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Less Than Positive
                                                    2. Shadow On
                                                    3. When
                                                    4. What's A Loon
                                                    5. Far The Far
                                                    6. No Faraway Star
                                                    7. Funny In Real Life
                                                    8. On Ice
                                                    9. Funny Wind
                                                    10. Can't Take One
                                                    11. Smudge

                                                    The Saxophones began as the solo project of Erenkov - a project that was loosely started over a decade ago but gained full momentum and dedication in recent years - he wanted to bring in some primitive drum and percussion playing and couldn’t think of anyone more suited than his wife. “I wanted to share the band with her,” he says. “Plus, I would be devastated if I had to leave for weeks at a time to tour without her.”

                                                    The songs which make up the debut album were formed and written during a period in which the pair were living on a boat during a very wet winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Much of the music was written over rainy mornings on acoustic guitar inside the cabin of our boat and outside of the city in a little guesthouse in Pt. Reyes,” he reflects. It was then recorded in Portland over 10 days, the recording was an intense and occasionally tense process.

                                                    Taking inspiration from 1950s exotica and Hawaiian albums (Edhen Abhez, Buddy Fo, and Martin Denny), 1970s outsider Italian songwriter Vittorio Impiglia, and a host of third-stream and West coast jazz records, the result is a unique offering.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Time Is Like A River
                                                    2. Picture
                                                    3. Aloha
                                                    4. Singing Desperately
                                                    5. Just Give Up
                                                    6. Alone Again
                                                    7. Work Music
                                                    8. Mysteries Revealed
                                                    9. Find I Forget
                                                    10. Afterglow

                                                    Micah P Hinson

                                                    Presents The Holy Strangers

                                                    Micah P. Hinson’s new album “Presents The Holy Strangers” is described by the artist as being a “modern folk opera.” Telling the story of a war time family, going from birth to love, to marriage and children, to war and betrayal, murder to suicide – spanning all of the strange and glorious places life can lead. We follow their story, we see their decisions, we see their faults and their beauty. We live with them, we die with them.

                                                    Two years in the making, Micah wrote and recorded The Holy Strangers in Denison, Texas, incorporating ancient reel to reels, analogue keyboards, old Tascam and Yamaha desks. The recording only entered the digital realm once pre-mastering took place.

                                                    Split across two pieces of the vinyl, the 14 tracks which make up The Holy Strangers are at times sparse and haunting; at other times luscious, maybe even euphoric. From the Johnny Cash-style country single “Lover’s Lane,” to the album’s broad, spoken-word centrepiece “Micah Book One”, The Holy Strangers covers a lot of ground over the course of its hour long running time, appealing to both long-time fans and new ones alike.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. The Temptation
                                                    2. The Great Void
                                                    3. Lover's Lane
                                                    4. The Years Tire On
                                                    5. Oh, Spaceman
                                                    6. The Holy Strangers
                                                    7. Micah Book One
                                                    8. The War
                                                    9. The Darling
                                                    10. The Awakening
                                                    11. The Last Song
                                                    12. The Memorial Day Massacre
                                                    13. The Lady From Abilene
                                                    14. Come By Here

                                                    On her debut album, Von Schleicher strikes again on the magic that comes from her warped and uncompromising sound. Shitty Hits odes to the bright, sunny radio burners of the 1970’s, songs you drive to, carefree, and songs you can cry to. From beginning to end, Shitty Hits rises against a feeling of isolation and powerlessness. Opener ‘The Image’ (named for Boorstein’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America) hits on fear and a lack of perspective: “The image runs and runs together / I’m glancing at it on a screen / I can’t tell you how I feel / It runs and runs together / I’m standing beneath it.” Evoking the home recorded sound of McCartney or Jeff Buckley’s Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, Shitty Hits began on a Tascam 488 tape machine in her childhood home in Maryland. Where Bleaksploitation courted some kind of sonic nihilism, Shitty Hits shows confidence and growth. It ends in unflinching self-realization, as Von Schleicher sings “Where is everything I hold to be true? / When you feel like you’re a door they’re knocking on / Or worse, that no one passes through / Do I hold my life? / No one’s gonna sell it back / Over my head.” Words form the questions, answers are given in sound.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Low-fi pop perfection on this one from Katie Von Scleicher, with woozy longing vocals and epic crescentic instrumentation, all run through a gritty saturation filter, lending a dusty mysterious aura. Don't believe everything you read. These hits are anything but shitty.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. The Image
                                                    2. Midsummer
                                                    3. Paranoia
                                                    4. Soon
                                                    5. Nothing
                                                    6. Mary
                                                    7. Life’s A Lie
                                                    8. Isolator
                                                    9. Hold
                                                    10. Going Down
                                                    11. Sell It Back

                                                    Michael Nau returns with his new album, Some Twist, on Full Time Hobby. Some Twist is the follow up to 2016’s Mowing and its announcement comes amidst a flurry of recent activity. Two weeks ago, Nau debuted songs from Some Twist on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and headlined two sold out shows on back-to-back nights in Los Angeles. He has received extensive BBC radio play and been selected as a “6 Music Recommends” pick. Oneoff single “Love Survive” cracked the top 50 on Spotify's Global Viral Chart and Elton John has played Nau on his Beats1 show.

                                                    The first single from Some Twist is “Good Thing”. Bright piano and fingerpicked guitar weave together throughout the song with a chorus that swells with feedback fuzz and crashing percussion. Nau’s ever-present sense of humor, one of the hallmarks of his songwriting, gives the song a wry sense of purpose amidst its reflection.

                                                    “His masterful instinct for arrangement, along with his reedy voice, earns Nau a place in the rock’n’roll underdogs’ Hall of Fame.” - Pitchfork

                                                    "A beguiling debut - a warm bath of baroque pop, country and Hazlewood-like balladry" - Uncut

                                                    “Recalls cadences of 1970s Ned Doheny and solo David Byrne, with a hint of Brian Wilson” - The Fader

                                                    "A breezy, laid-back union between country, folk, and classic pop" The Line of Best Fit

                                                    "Intimate and inviting" Q

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Andy says: This gorgeous LP was made in the heat, to be listened to in the heat. Michael Nau is an American singer-songwriter who’s previously been in a couple of bands, but went solo in 2016 with his lovely debut record, ‘Mowing’. It was all good and garnered decent praise, but ‘Some Twist’ is a brilliant progression and something you absolutely need in your life! Conjuring warm, 70s, analogue sounds in a country, folky, gently psychy style, these are supremely melodic songs, beautifully sung. Nau has the sweetest voice which glides between the fruity, deep croon of a more wistful Fred Neil and the light, flutey flightiness of a star-sailing Harry Nilson. Not bad, eh? But it's the texture of the album with its FX laden guitars, beat box grooves, echoes, horns, fuzz and static, which really entrances. You'll think you've stumbled upon a long-lost West Coast, classic LP. You have. But it's Nau!

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Good Thing
                                                    2. I Root
                                                    3. Wonder
                                                    4. How You're So For Real
                                                    5. Scumways
                                                    6. Oh, You Wanna Bet?
                                                    7. Waiting, Too
                                                    8. Scatter
                                                    9. Twelve
                                                    10. The Load
                                                    11. Done Wonder
                                                    12. Light That Ever

                                                    Newly signed to Full Time Hobby, VENN’s debut album ‘Runes’ was recorded at the Total Refreshment Centre in London, by Kristian Craig Robinson (AKA Capitol K) of The Archie Bronson Outfit and Loose Meat. Lyrically, each song occupies its own territory, while contributing to the wider thematic arc of the record. Themes of the individual existing within a moment we all share, the incredible flux of culture, the search for nodes of meaning and love, and the confrontation of ones’ own vanity and narcissism amid all this crisis. The accompanying video for first single ‘Real Blood’ was directed by photographer, Emma Gibney, and shot by editor, Mark Norgate. It is described by the band as “a visual representation of the song’s deeper meaning – of the struggle to feel real in an increasingly cold, closed culture, to remain human even when you are confronted with inhumanity”, while exploring tangential themes of mutual and reciprocal domination, if indeed such a thing exists.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Legacy Project
                                                    2. Real Blood
                                                    3. Slowly Sinking
                                                    4. Esalen 64
                                                    5. Supernature
                                                    6. A Smaller Part
                                                    7. Bigger Fiction
                                                    8. Dave Land
                                                    9. Waxen Palm

                                                    Aidan Knight

                                                    Small Reveal

                                                      Aidan Knight hails from Victoria, the biggest city on Vancouver Island, off the shore of British Columbia. Aidan’s been making music since his teens and has been putting out music since 2010. Although the name Aidan Knight belongs to the individual, the records have been a collaborative effort between himself and his band, a collection of classical music nerds, jazz aficionados, and experimental musical wizards.

                                                      Small Reveal was originally released by Outside Music in Canada back in 2013. Full Time Hobby now present this very limited 180g white vinyl edition.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Dream Team
                                                      2. A Mirror
                                                      3. Singer-Songwriter
                                                      4. Figure I
                                                      5. You Will See Good In Everyone
                                                      6. The Master's Call
                                                      7. Skip
                                                      8. Figure II
                                                      9. Creatures Great & Small
                                                      10. Figure III
                                                      11. Margaret Downe 

                                                      Nearly ten years since the release of Tunng's third album Good Arrows and the last time the partnership of Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, Tunng’s founding forefathers', imagination was let loose together - comes Throws; the sound of two old friends and collaborators reconnecting, catching up on each other’s lives and creating ideas on an enchanting island.

                                                      During their time apart Mike had been living in Reykjavik and Sam had moved to Sheffield; it became apparent the two friends had taken dramatically different paths in love, location, and life. Curious what they could produce second time around; with no preconceived agenda Sam packed his suitcase and joined Mike in his Reykjavik studio, in the town’s industrial old fishing harbour, with no more intentions than catching up with his old buddy.

                                                      The result is something no-one, least of all them, would have expected, and breaking away from his signatory hushed tones, and a big shift in Sam’s vocal habits soon opened some surprising new doors.

                                                      A brilliantly varied record that couldn’t be further from the pair’s earlier incarnation, the two have channelled all they’ve soaked up over the years into salt-swept surroundings. Through the studio’s big windows over-looking the sea, synths, old guitars and an off-key piano would bring the elements onto the record.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Though this is drastically different from the pair's previous incarnations (Tunng, The Accidental), there are still the ghosts of folktronica present on this release. Granted it's more 'tronica now, and definitely less folk, the heartwarming northern vocals remain. Much more outgoing stylistically, and much more instrumentally focused, the vocals are not a focus as much as the glittering synths, walking distorted bass and clanging drums. 'Throws' has elements of indie, electronica and (dare I say it) even disco! A step out of the comfort zone here, but all the better for it. Fresh, interesting and funky.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1: The Harbour
                                                      2: Punch Drunk Sober
                                                      3: Silence In Between
                                                      4: High Pressure Front
                                                      5: Knife
                                                      6: Sun Gun
                                                      7: Bask
                                                      8: Play The Part
                                                      9: Learn Something
                                                      10: Under The Ice

                                                      Since 2010, Vancouver artist Christopher Smith had carved a notable space in his native Canada for his exquisitely rendered, emotionally bold music, over the course of two solo albums. In a great leap forward, he’s now fronting the five-piece Dralms, which is making inroads overseas with their first European shows and now a towering debut album. Shook is defined by its hypnotic, rich and simmering heart of darkness, its contents are as provocatively elusive as the band’s name, yet there are lyrical clues to draw you in. Beneath the music’s deceptively unruffled and dreamy exterior are viscous eddies, which can turn into dangerous riptides when the tension is unleashed.

                                                      The sound of Dralms, says Smith, “is an assemblage of different inspirations. But it’s hard articulating what the influences are.” In search of comparisons, reviewers have referenced the likes of Talk Talk, Radiohead, The Antlers, Pink Floyd and Spiritualized, but they can only hint at the indeterminable quality Dralms can have.

                                                      Shook is a world of emotions and extremes, a compelling and seductive missive, that might reveal itself to be one of 2015’s most unique.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1: Usage
                                                      2: Pillars & Pyre
                                                      3: Domino House
                                                      4: Divisions Of Labour
                                                      5: Shook
                                                      6: My Heart Is In The Right Place
                                                      7: Objects Of Affection
                                                      8: Wholly Present
                                                      9: Gang Of Pricks
                                                      10: Crushed Pleats

                                                      Bonus Disc:
                                                      1. The Pits
                                                      2. A Slum Of Legs
                                                      3. If I Had A Heart
                                                      4. Crushed Pleats (V.E.N.N. RMX)

                                                      Its meaning may refer to a fear of sleep, but with Hypnophobia, the brand new album from the baroque pop prince and Dutch producer/multi-instrumentalist, Jacco Gardner’s all set to cast a majestic and vibrant psychedelic spell that will hypnotize listeners at the point dreams and reality meet. Since unveiling his Cabinet of Curiosities in 2013 (released on the Trouble In Mind label), tastemakers and fans alike have been drawn deeper into Jacco Gardner’s fantastical fairytale kingdom.

                                                      Hypnophobia captures a true sense of exploration, combining Gardner’s newfound love of travel with his continued passion for collecting and playing vintage instruments. The album features a Wurlitzer electric piano, waltzing alongside mellotrons, harpsichords, an Optigan, and an antique Steinway upright piano. It’s a stunning exhibit of lush instrumental tracks as well as songs that boast lyrics worthy of any great pop number. Fusing fantasy with sublime twisted reality, Hypnophobia was recorded in its entirety at Gardner’s Shadow Studio.

                                                      For most tradition enthusiasts, it’d be all too easy to rehash the past. But that’s where Jacco Gardner’s differences lie. Playing all instruments except for drums, Hypnophobia brilliantly captures a unique artist and future-vintage aficionado operating at a far higher state of consciousness.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Another You
                                                      2. Grey Lanes
                                                      3. Brightly
                                                      4. Find Yourself
                                                      5. Face To Face
                                                      6. Outside Forever
                                                      7. Before The Dawn
                                                      8. Hypnophobia
                                                      9. Make Me See
                                                      10. All Over

                                                      When songwriter and producer Sam Genders last donned his Diagrams hat, captive listeners found themselves truly stunned by the Streatham Hill artist’s imaginative and inventive arrangements that made up 2012's debut album Black Light. Having now upped sticks from his London lodgings and settled in Sheffield with a new lease of life and wife, fresh pastures and friendships are what form the heart of Diagrams’ brand new album Chromatics.

                                                      “Relationships are a constant thread. In all their frustrating, exciting, mundane, beautiful, wonderful, sexy, scary glory,” reveals Genders of the album’s themes." Whilst Black Light fizzed with electronic effects, synth-bass, programmed beats and low-key funk grooves that brought about comparisons to the leftfield pop of Arthur Russell, Metronomy, Steve Mason and Hot Chip, it’s without doubt that Genders’ next offering falls closer to home comforts and marks the next step in Genders’ renaissance. Take lead track ‘Phantom Power’; it’s the track which truly sums up what it’s like to find yourself forever reassessing. “It's about feeling like you're losing a grip on your sanity at one moment, then feeling inspired and up for anything the next. Or frustration with yourself yet believing that it's possible to sort yourself out,” explains Genders.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      Vinyl / CD Disc 1 
                                                      1: Phantom Power
                                                      2: Gentle Morning Song
                                                      3: Desolation
                                                      4: Chromatics
                                                      5: You Can Talk To Me
                                                      6: Shapes
                                                      7: Dirty Broken Bliss
                                                      8: Serpent
                                                      9: The Light And The Noise
                                                      10: Brain
                                                      11: Just A Hair's Breadth

                                                      Disc 2 (CD Only)
                                                      1: Phantom Power (Instrumental)
                                                      2: Gentle Morning Song (Instrumental)
                                                      3: Desolation (Instrumental)
                                                      4: Chromatics (Instrumental)
                                                      5: You Can Talk To Me (Instrumental)
                                                      6: Shapes (Instrumental)
                                                      7: Dirty Broken Bliss (Instrumental)
                                                      8: Serpent (Instrumental)
                                                      9: The Light And The Noise (Instrumental)
                                                      10: Brain (Instrumental)
                                                      11: Just A Hair's Breadth (Instrumental)

                                                      Timber Timbre

                                                      Hot Dreams

                                                        Timber Timbre is the brainchild of Taylor Kirk, the commanding persona at the fore of its spacious, weighted sound.

                                                        With ‘Hot Dreams’, Kirk and longtime collaborator Simon Trottier daub vibrant colour across the restless evolution of Timber Timbre’s earthy, angular palette.

                                                        On the acclaimed ‘Creep On Creepin’ On’ (2011) - nominated for two 2012 JUNO Awards and a spot on the Polaris Music Prize Short List - Timber Timbre transmuted the hollow grey tones of ‘Timber Timbre’ (2009) into plaintive doo-wop through oblique, concrete passages.

                                                        With ‘Hot Dreams’, Timber Timbre transposes new definitions of historic ambience, unabashedly weaving unity between disparate, charted environments.

                                                        Timber Timbre’s third full length on Full Time Hobby is their most cinematic work, connecting arid western to plodding horror with the pomp of Hollywood phantasm. Fittingly, Timber Timbre music from previous records has been heard on AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ soundtracks.

                                                        On the title single ‘Hot Dreams’, guitars chime melancholy and petulance, animating a sometimes reticent Kirk, singing “I want to follow through, follow through, follow through / On all my promises and threats to you.”

                                                        ‘Hot Dreams’ immediately instils as Timber Timbre’s most lush, focused, evocative and flourished work to date; so distinctly familiar though it precedes memory, recognizable only as itself.

                                                        Highly anticipated debut album from British-born, Berlin-based James Welch aka Seams. Welch recorded the LP across four different areas of Berlin and the city’s influence is apparent in ‘Quarters’ minimal beats and focus on rhythm over melody. Drawing influences from The Field's hyperactive sample work on tracks like "ClapOne", and the global grooves of Gold Panda on "Constants", Welch has nestled this record perfectly into the realm of leftfield techno, whilst providing a style that remains unique. "Iceblerg" is built out of intense synth sounds, but retains a playful spirit and clarity through it jaunty rhythm. Both CD and LP are presented beautifully on reverse board with a double hit of high-build gloss UV varnish to bring out the gold quarters. The deluxe heavyweight vinyl pressing comes with download code.


                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        ClapOne
                                                        Constants
                                                        Pocket
                                                        Sitcom Apartment
                                                        Iceblerg
                                                        Hurry Guests
                                                        Rilo
                                                        TXL

                                                        Fifth studio album from experimental 6-piece Tunng.

                                                        Despite various changes in the band’s set-up - including frontman Mike Lindsay’s relocation to Iceland where he recorded last year’s acclaimed ‘Cheek Mountain Thief’ solo album - there’s a togetherness to the album. Recorded mainly in Dorset, this is the first Tunng album where all members were present at each stage of the process.

                                                        Becky Jacobs shares lead vocals with Mike, and they are joined by an eclectic array of instruments and vintage equipment resulting in a rich, colourful record.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        Once
                                                        Trip Trap
                                                        By This
                                                        The Village
                                                        Bloodlines
                                                        Follow Follow
                                                        So Far From Here
                                                        Embers
                                                        Heavy Rock Warning

                                                        Self-titled album from new Transatlantic duo Omega Male, comprised of David Best (Fujiya & Miyagi) and Sammy Rubin (Project Jenny, Project Jan).

                                                        Ten rump-shaking electronic tracks which combine Best’s trademark hushed vocals with pulsating funk-led basslines.

                                                        As well as exploring notions of masculinity and what it means to be an ‘Omega Male’, evident on such songs as lead single ‘Testosterone’, Best’s darkly witty lyrics also cover subject matter as diverse as the coalition government (‘Blue Narcissus’) and voodoo dolls (‘Wax & Glue’).

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        Omega Male
                                                        Testosterone
                                                        Uh-pol-uh-jet-ik
                                                        You Bore Me To Tears
                                                        Wax & Glue
                                                        Blue Narcissus
                                                        No
                                                        Rotten Fruit
                                                        X
                                                        Buildings Like Symphonies

                                                        The first release from Danish quartet Pinkunoizu on Full Time Hobby, 'PEEP EP' displays the band’s eclectic range of influences; from 60s psychedelia to Moroccan trance to kraut rock to brooding acoustic folk. Will appeal to fans of Animal Collective, The Flaming Lips, Akron/Family and Black Mountain.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Time Is Like A Melody
                                                        2. Everything Is Broken Or Stolen
                                                        3. Dairy Queen

                                                        White Denim

                                                        Fits

                                                          "Fits" is an explosive album of garage, psyche and soul carrying on from where "Workout Holiday" left off but leading you into a completely new world. From thunderous prog and psyche to tender blue eyed soul, White Denim's highly-anticipated second album is packed with instantly memorable songs.


                                                          Tunng

                                                          Comments Of The Inner Chorus

                                                            Tunng's second LP, has been eagerly awaited round these parts and they haven't let us down. Twelve more expertly crafted wonky folk songs that have been trussed up in harp strings, super-charged with electronic pulses and spliced with a sampler. Truly they embrace all the good things on offer to open minded musicians, quasi-traditional songs laced with meditative accoustic lines and a pulsing mechanic undercurrent. Tunng deftly unite numerous eccentric elements without causing chaos, plodding melodically through a fairy lit magical underground.

                                                            Viva Voce

                                                            Get Yr Blood Sucked Out

                                                              Two years on from their debut, this cool-as-you-like husband and wife duo from Portland are letting us into their groovy, spaced-out world for a second time. It's all about the vibe, so stoned riffs and campfire jams chug along with half-there melodies which recall a damaged Monkees or wonky Beach Boys. There's plenty of overdubs and soundscapes going on, whilst the bass-lines are surprisingly fat. This is sixties, acoustic-based, freed-up music, but with shades of the Flaming Lips or (zonked-out) Pixies and a whiff of folkiness, there's a timeliness that comes with being Tunng's lablemates. It's happening, man!


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