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HEAVENLY

"Morning Tide" is a sun-kissed, soaring record, a leap on from the mini-album "Sing Song" that so captured critics hearts early in 2007. Taking that blueprint, they've added another dimension with "Morning Tide". Its like they've taken the DNA of "Sing Song" and added something extra, reached further than before created something far more alive. The music is alive. Its bright, bold pop you can almost touch. Anyone that has seen The Little Ones live will agree they're one of the brightest, most contagious bands. Not ones to hide behind fringes, theirs is a vibe of happiness and celebration.

Amber Arcades

European Heartbreak

    "It’s about the concepts and stories we invent to understand our experienced reality and feel like we matter somehow, and about the fluid and sometimes contradictory nature of these stories. Like the concept of romantic love, for example. Is this actually a thing? Sometimes it seems so tangible it becomes my whole world, other times I’m convinced it’s just a scam I keep falling for. Both of these sentiments feel equally true at different times. The same with politics and identity. When I’m in the Netherlands I don’t really pay much attention to being “Dutch” or “European”, and I think politicians who focus on a shared Dutch culture are lame at best and dangerous at worst. Then when I’m in the US being Dutch all of a sudden seems to be a huge part of my identity. I guess the point is, whatever idea I have about myself or about love, politics, morality, and anything at all, is so fluid and relative that I’m finding it hard to say that I trust any of my own views, ideas or perceptions anymore. Which sucks, because I really want to find meaning to this life, and it’s hard to find that when you don’t trust any of your own experiences. For example, happiness: I have this Calvinistic idea that in order to achieve happiness, I have to struggle, I have to earn it by overcoming challenges, developing myself, etc. But the end-result will just be the same as if I did nothing: you die and then nothing you’ve done or achieved matters anymore. So does a human life move upwards towards a certain goal, or is it just a chain of random events? And what about our collective history, does it move towards a goal, is there progress, or is it just a random collection of events? I think most people like to think there is progress, both in their personal life as well as in the world at large, that we are working towards being a better more developed person and also towards collectively building a better world. At the same time, we tend to romanticize the past and think everything was better “back in the days”. Something I’ve always wondered is whether these concepts and experiences can be translated from the individual to the masses, and from the psychological to the physical. For example this last sentiment: that the past somehow always feels like it was better in some way than the present. I’m definitely guilty of this on a personal level. When I think about being a kid and growing up, all those memories are kind of covered in a warm and golden haze. You remember the good stuff very clearly, and all those moments when you were just bored sitting in front of the TV or staring at the clock in school waiting for the bell to ring kind of fade away, even though that was probably about 50% of your time being a kid. This same process seems to happen in whole nations, too, where we collectively decide that the past was better than the present and we feel the need to “take back control” or “make something great again” and all that jazz. And the same with romantic love. The minute you’ve broken up with someone and you’ve walked out the door, you start to idealize and romanticize what it was like being in that relationship and forget about all the fucked up thing that came with it. In a way it makes sense to romanticize the past. Maybe it’s one way to feel like the time we’ve spent in this mortal life was worth something, that it wasn’t all bad. We need to be able to tell a story about it, if we encounter a challenge we want to feel like it meant something, it made us grow. Just accepting that some bad shit happened to us for no good reason is hard. It’s pretty impressive how positive and hopeful we are as a species. Just like most of the movies we make always have a happy ending. It wouldn’t feel right if they didn’t. And even in these times, when we’re apparently on the brink of a sixth wave of extinction, climate scientists who say that they are certain the human species doesn’t have much of a future still also say they are sure something will happen or be invented to save us, even if they have no idea what or how. In a way being a tourist is like a condensed version of all these hopes and dreams and disappointments. We went on a road trip in California right after we finished recording in LA and it was pretty fascinating. Like, why do people even go on vacation? I guess for a lot of people it’s a way to escape fixed patterns, to go out and have “real experiences”, to “feel alive”. But then you’re on this road trip and internally you’re still the same old human, who is still plagued by the same insecurities and boredom and is wondering where the nearest bathroom is and are we there yet because it’s so hot in the car and the AC sucks.

    And voila, I guess the record is about my personal, mundane, relative and subjective experience of the human condition so far in this life." - Amber Arcades

    Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood

    With Animals

      Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013’s Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan’s solo records (Garwood contributed to 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2017’s Gargoyle after which he toured as part of Lanegan’s band). Writing and recording was split between studio collaboration and sharing music between Garwood’s home in London and Lanegan’s in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, technology helped make the duo’s transatlantic working relationships relatively easy.

      “Over the years, we’ve recorded together and apart. This time, I started this record alone, with many animals as company,” says Garwood. “It flowed, I set to work and out it came. Our music is instinct, there is not much talking about it, just creating. I think that if you are at peace with your work, and feeling it right, it flows, and can feel ‘easy’. Music isn't meant to be hard. Though sometimes it can burn you to ashes. Making music for a singer, so they can inhabit it with a song means hitting the right soul buttons. There is no hit without a miss. It is a healing record, for us the makers, and for the listeners. It grows natural. We are gardeners of sonic feelings.”

      While Black Pudding put Garwood’s mercurial guitar centre stage, With Animals is constructed from a different set of tools. Analogue and dust flecked, it sounds like Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a ’60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Tracks sit on loops that sounds like they’re straight out of There’s A Riot Goin’ On while sparse melodies nod in the direction of British electronic producers like Burial or Boards of Canada. Which is not to say it sounds like any of those things – this is a weird world all of their own design.

      The record’s 12 songs are spectral and sinewy, often defined by the spaces in between the sounds. A ghost’s whistle weaves itself around a pulsing single note on Lonesome Infidel; Feast to Famine’s hard luck story floats above a guitar part so strung out and washed with distortion it’s become barely recognisable. It’s soul music for anyone who’s long since left the crossroads.

      It’s a familiar story: fledgling singer does soul-sucking day job in order to fund their real passion during the nocturnal hours. Except Mattiel Brown, Atlanta’s rising star, is a rare exception to this time-honoured tradition: a fulfilled creative by day and night, albeit in different contexts. “It’s like I have two full-time jobs: designer and musician,” she says, humbly hip to her good fortune.

      During office hours, Brown works as an ad designer and illustrator at MailChimp, a position she’s enjoyed for four years. “I work with a great video production team, in a great studio. Luckily, they’re a company that encourage side gigs.” Out of office hours, Brown swaps the design studio for the stage, a softly-spoken, chilled-out design nerd turned rock & roll belter, performing bold, vintage soul as Mattiel (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’).

      Brown grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods to in her cover art). “We had a vegetable garden and chickens. My mom would sell sheep’s wool and eggs. Before that, she’d been a professional set decorator working on films. She’s a really driven, creative person. I definitely inherited my work ethic from her.”

      As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.

      When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no game plan beyond the fun of “creating something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it: Brown and InCrowd had chemistry.

      InCrowd’s founders, both skilled multi-instrumentalists, met in 2014, as session musicians touring with soul man Curtis Harding. Michael – an experienced player who’d co-written with Harding and racked up impressive session spots with the likes of Bruno Mars, and The Next Day-era Bowie – played guitar, while Swilley ¬(producer, writer and performer since age 9 and younger brother of Black Lips bassist Jared) played drums. On the road, they bonded over a mutual love of vintage R&R and ‘90s rap. “We discovered we both loved The Beatles as much as Jay-Z, Dylan as much as the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers Swilley. Back in Atlanta, once the Harding tour had wrapped, the pair formed a band, Black Linen, writing reverb-washed guitar music inspired by Tarantino soundtracks, by way of ‘60s Cambodian psych. Brown knew Michael from his days in The Booze, a popular local act who’d tour with OK Go before their demise. She’d kept track of him, aware that they shared a musical kinship. “[Randy] was the only person I knew who was into the music I was into.” When she reached out, asking to cut a Donovon cover record at Michael’s garage-turned-studio, Toco Electric, he was dubious. “I thought she'd have this little, whispery voice, you know? But she blew me away! She sounded like ‘60s-era Cher doing Dylan or something. I just knew she’d be perfect for the Black Linen stuff.” “We knew immediately that we wanted to work with her,” Swilley concurs. By then, around 2014, InCrowd were deep on a ’50s Leiber and Stoller bend, says Michael: “The Coasters, The Drifters, all that good stuff.” Bored with Atlanta’s “ultra cool” enclaves, they’d built their own scene, says Michael. They’d put on and promote reviews-style gigs, a 12-man strong house band (“our very own Wrecking Crew”) backing various InCrowd vocalists. “We were just making it happen, doing it ourselves.”

      In the studio, Michael cut InCrowd records live, no overdubs, feeding everything through a rare analogue Peavey soundboard. “That’s how InCrowd rolls. What you hear on our records is everyone playing and singing together, in the same room, at the same time. We cut it right there, as it happens, and its either magic or its not.”

      Mattiel’s process was just so: InCrowd supplied the instrumental compositions – raucous, swinging medleys frilled with organs and brass – while Brown provided vocals and lyrics, the latter often written freestyle, in situ. “That’s where the parallels between music and design really happen,” says Brown. “Your limitations – time, space, expense – push you to be as creative as you can with what you have.”

      The resulting collection of songs is a dynamite salvo of retro-inspired rock & soul, from the gun-slinging stomp of “Whites Of Their Eyes,” to the string-laden self-affirmation of “Count Your Blessings,” penned by Brown after a spate of the blues brought on by a period of ill health. “Its a song I wrote for myself to myself, like 'you’re gonna get through this, you’re gonna be okay.'”

      Mattiel’s sound might borrow from the past, but their art direction – Brown’s inspiring handiwork, of course – is decidedly forward-thinking, all colour block aesthetics (á la the White Stripes) and artful, design-savvy music videos. “I don’t wanna hit people over the head with like, bell bottoms and long hair and a Jimmy Hendrix outfit,” Brown laughs. “People have seen all that before.”

      Mattiel is a “fresh mesh of retro and contemporary,” says Swilley, the latter thanks in large part to Brown’s vision, voice and on-stage energy. “She's very exciting to watch. She doesn't rehearse it or try to emulate anyone; she's just doing own her thing. And she's not fazed by the crowds [as evidenced during their shows to date: a recent, three-date support slot for Portugal The Man]. It’s kind of incredible really, because in person she's pretty chilled and softly spoken, but when she gets on stage...in the last six months, she's really been killing it.”

      With a European festival circuit tour scheduled for this summer, Mattiel is no longer Atlanta’s best kept secret. Look out, world.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: This ace debut is an explosion of 60's....ooh: EVERYTHING! Classic, warm, garage riffing, soully melodies but with a huskily honeyed folky voice. And the songwriting is superb!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Crystal coloured vinyl. Comes with download that includes bonus tracks.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      77:78, the new project from Aaron Fletcher & Tim Parkin, card carrying members of the musical kaleidoscope that is The Bees.

      Set to pick up where the Bees left off, the album was recorded at Studio Humbug on the Isle of Wight and musically picks it way from sublime west coast harmonies that recall the frayed beauty of the Beach Boys Smiley Smile , to the ramshackle dub of King Tubby via the playfulness of early Syd Barret. The album will be available on coloured orange vinyl.

      “Some musicians and bands definitely have their sound and stick to it, which is fair enough, but that’s just not us. Whenever we’re in the studio we’re constantly inspired to go down different musical paths, which I suppose is why the record we’ve made sounds so diverse. “

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Perfect hazy summer psychedelia, with echoes of 60's classics, imbued with the preceding decades of production knowledge and influences make this ex-Bees side-project more than the sum of it's considerable parts. Brimming with musicality and oozing vibes, this is a summer stormer.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition orange jelly coloured vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      In a period of governmental and cultural revolution, former Pipettes front-woman, Gwenno, releases a political concept album inspired by an obscure 1970s Welsh language sci-fi novel, subtly disguised as a blissful kraut-pop record.

      Taking its cue, and title, from Owain Owain’s 1976 novel about a dystopian future where the robots have taken over and are busily turning the human race into clones through the use of medication, 'Y Dydd Olaf' blends big themes (including patriarchal society, government-funded media propaganda, cultural control, technology, isolation and the importance of, and threat to minority languages), great tunes, and a real sense of revolution to produce a powerful, politically-charged concept album.

      'Y Dydd Olaf' is a political, feminist, brilliantly executed record; and although this particular revolution might not be televised, it certainly will have a great soundtrack.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe LP includes ‘Y Dydd Ychwanegol’ as a bonus CD and a digital download of all content.

      Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

      77:78

      Chilli - Inc. Dubwood Allstars Remix

        77:78, the new project from Aaron Fletcher & Tim Parkin, card-carrying members of the musical kaleidoscope that is The Bees, release Chilli, the latest track to be taken from their debut album, Jellies, which is released on Heavenly Recordings on Friday 6th July.

        There's just 150 copies of this life affirming 7” featuring the original version of Chilli on the A side and on the flip a brilliantly nuts (and soon to be in-demand) remix by Dubwood Allstars. 

        Talking about the track, Aaron said:
        "Chilli is just us being the sort of 70’s dirty ol’ roadhouse blues band that we always wanted to be....dressed in double denim and playing in a desert bar where the chilli is hot as rockets."

        Here’s a quote from Dubwood Allstars:
        "Looking forward to seeing 77:78 ...hope they're as good as when I saw them at The Fillmore in '75, managed to capture this stomping version of Chilli on my Nagra, been in the loft ever since…”

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 7" Info: The labels are stamped, the sleeves are wraparound risograph prints, individually numbered and poly-bagged.

        Boy Azooga, the shape-shifting musical mystery tour piloted by Cardiff’s Davey Newington have announced details of the release of their debut album, 1,2 Kung Fu!, on Heavenly Recordings.

        A prodigous musical talent, Davey Newington is a young man with a rich musical heritage. One of his granddads was a jazzer who played drums for the Royal Marines. Davey’s dad (violin) and his mum (clarinet) both played, and met, in the BBC National Orchestra Of Wales. Davey himself took up drums at the age of six and also enjoyed orchestral engagement, playing in various Welsh Orchestra’s and Jazz bands as a teenager as well at latterly finding gainful employment playing drums as part of Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon.

        Inspired by his art teacher at school who sent him off to town to buy Can’s Ege Bamyasi, taking musical cues from the likes of Sly & The Family Stone, Caribou, Black Sabbath, Outkast, Van McCoy, Ty Segall and The Beastie Boys and with arrangements which carry the wonky tunefulness of The Super Furry Animals they nabbed their name from the 1994 film The Little Rascals.

        With a Davey recruiting friends Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to form the Boy Azooga live quartet, an ensemble that swings smoothly from filmic instrumentals to a churning, rave-tinged rock that hints at both Can and their progeny, the Happy Mondays, the band played a number of headline and support shows across the U.K. at the end of last year, including a manic sold-out hometown show in Cardiff at Clwb Ifor Bach almost a year to the day they made their debut in the city at the same venue.

        They take their loose-limbed live show on the road later this year and the dates include their own headline shows, support slots with The Magic Gang & Rolling Blackouts and Coastal Fever and an appearance at this year’s Heavenly Weekender at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Brilliant work here from Cardiff's newest prodigal talent, Boy Azooga. I have it on good opinion that Davey is a 'Lovely. happy chap' (Graf, 2018), but I can tell you that he is indeed a venerable talent, and deserving of every bit of praise this soaring psychedelic-indie-synthy wonder garners. Fully brilliant.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited pink coloured vinyl.

        Halo Maud

        Je Suis Une Ile

          Halo Maud’s first release on Heavenly is a recap of the story so far ahead of an album release later this year – three tracks of this EP originally came out on a Canadian label last year, with the difference that ‘Du Pouvoir’ now features some English lyrics, and ‘À La Fin’ and ‘Dans La Nuit’ cropped up on a La Souterraine compilations in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

          Maud Nadal has been a member of both Moodoïd and Melody’s Echo Chamber’s live bands, and of course at times there are comparisons to be drawn with MEC, with both teetering on a crystalline peak where extreme joy and despair meet. But if anything Nadal’s own melodies are even more indelible, and her voice turns them into vapour trails.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Hazy harmonies, rolling grooves and insistent percussive workouts form the backbone to Nadal's often haunting vocal flourishes, sometimes falling behind to give the vocals their own space. Perfectly measured and beautifully written immersive indie anthems.

          Audiobooks

          Gothenburg EP

            If you’re going to call your band audiobooks, you’d better get your stories straight. Evangeline Ling and David Wrench have great stories. Their songs are full of them - discombobulating observations over discomfiting oscillations. There are woozy fly-on-the-wall accounts of boozy art gallery openings and out of body journeys through the capital at night, all stretched out over stuttering, glitchy glam electronics. Managing to be spontaneous and playful yet fully focused, as if driven by some pagan design, audiobooks ride the sharp neon ley-lines that run between the north Wales coast and the grubby heart of after hours London. These songs are Pulp fictions by an inhuman league. They’re our new favourite band. Start following the story now.

            Written entirely in Cornish, Le Kov is exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album entirely in Cornish: to create a document of a living language, explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries.
            She dove deep into research, learning about attempts to protect and progress the language and the role of women throughout Cornish history. When Gwenno considered the legends of sunken Brythonic cities Cantre’r Gwaelod, Kêr-Is, Langarrow and Lyonesse, she knew she had her starting point. These cities evoked her idea of language as its own form of psychological territory, a concept perfectly distilled by the Cornish title for the album, Le Kov – the place of memory.

            But Le Kov isn’t really a concept album—the city doesn’t loom that large through these 10 songs, and you don’t need the translation sheet to appreciate the gorgeous, sea-warped psychedelia that Gwenno has created alongside long-term collaborator and producer Rhys Edwards. Evoking the music of her childhood – Brenda Wootton, Alan Stivell, BUCCA – along with Broadcast, The United States of America, White Noise and Serge Gainsbourg, Le Kov is shimmering and tarnished, rust mingled with barnacles, moss entwined with weathered rope. It’s a huge step up from her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, featuring forlorn piano, crisp drums, and searching synth lines that seem to reach across the horizon. The sounds of the language are similarly gorgeous: “Dha wolow jy yw splann” (“your light is bright”), Gwenno marvels on Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow (She Shed A Flood Of Tears).

            Sharp-eyed observers will note that that’s also a song from Aphex Twin’s 2001 album Drukqs. “I imagined Richard D. James coming across this ‘long lost Cornish 70s folk rock song’ on vinyl in a charity shop in the city of Le Kov, and stealing the title,” says Gwenno. It’s one of just two songs where she references the city directly. The next is Herdhya (Pushing), a hypnotic song “about the feeling of isolation after the Brexit vote, and realising that you’re stuck on an island—Britain—with perhaps many people who are trying to push society back to a regressive idea of the middle ages that has never existed, and imposing that on everyone else,” says Gwenno. By contrast, Le Kov is “dhyn ni oll” (for us all), a sanctuary city and analogue for the importance of understanding that diverse identities are the foundation of any place.
            There’s darkness on Le Kov, but beauty, too. Tir Ha Mor (Land And Sea) is a tribute to Peter Lanyon, the St. Ives school painter who learned to fly a glider plane in order to “get a more complete knowledge of the landscape” where he lived, and died after crashing his aircraft in August 1964. “Marghek an Gwyns was his Bardic name,” says Gwenno. “Rider of the Winds.”
            And Gwenno’s playful side shines through, too. Daromres Y’n Howl (Traffic In The Sun) is a low, groovy tribute to Cornwall’s clogged roads in the summertime, featuring Gruff Rhys rapping amid dissonant brass that evoke the angry horns of tourists on the A30. And Gwenno’s favourite song is Eus Keus? (Is There Cheese?). It comes from one of the oldest surviving Cornish phrases: “Is there cheese? Is there or isn’t there? If there’s cheese, bring cheese, and if there isn’t cheese, bring what there is!”

            Over the course of making Le Kov, Gwenno reconciled her anxiety over her right to make a Cornish-language pop record, and realised that, in the age of Brexit, isolationism and hostility towards the rich cultures that make modern Britain, it had a wider resonance, too. “This album is a combination of accepting the culture which your parents have valued enough to want to pass on to you, regardless how small, and utilising it in a positive way to try and make sense of the world around you, it’s also about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth.”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Never one to shy away from walking the roads-less-travelled when it comes to language use (being fluent in both Welsh and Cornish), Gwenno is flying the flag for regional language pride, as well as dominating players around the globe when she puts out a new one. 'Le Kov' is no different, perfectly produced and brilliantly enjoyable.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Sidonie Hand Halford is a Christmas temp at the Post Office in Liverpool, her younger sister Esme is studying English literature at Manchester, and their friend Henry Wade is preparing to sit his A-levels in Halifax next summer. 

            From the first jangling sunshine chords on opening track ‘Mango’, Silver Dollar Moments announces itself as a proper piece of indie pop goodness. Then, across 45 minutes, it takes all kinds of turns, into ESG-ish yips and funk, dreamy-arch harmonies, disco synth-pows and stoner bongos, unsettling submerged voices - with all that and more it still flows like a fountain of indie pop, fresh and catchy and altogether.

            Maybe one reason it all coheres so beautifully is that The Orielles are a close-knit unit: two sisters and their best mate. “We met Henry at a house party a few years ago,” says Sid. “I mean, it’s a bit lamer than that sounds. It was a friend of our parents, she was having a 40th birthday party, and we went along, and Henry was there too, with his parents.” They’ve been writing songs together ever since, Esme singing and on bass, Sidonie on drums, Henry on guitar. They’ve played live all over the UK as well as Europe and North America, and this year they signed to Heavenly Recordings and headed into Eve Studios in Stockport.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Andy says: Brilliant, classic indie-pop! This has all the youthful charm and quirks of the C86 era, but is way better presented and with very good songs. Anorak godfathers The Pastels spring most readily to mind, except The Orielles have a tangible groove and percussive joie de vivre untypical of that era. You're gonna love this band!

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl.

            The nine songs that comprise Quit The Curse come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies. The maddeningly absent lover being sung to in “2 Cool 2 Care”, the crowded exhaustion of “With You Every Day” or even the grim, paranoid tale of scoring drugs in “Asking 4 A Friend” sometimes feel overshadowed by the shimmering sonics that envelop them. Though the deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of Anna Burch, it’s anything but the green first steps of a fledgling new artist. Growing up in Michigan, her fixation with music transitioned from a childhood of Disney and Carole King sing-alongs to more typically angsty teenage years spent covering Bright Eyes and Fiona Apple at open mic nights. “To me this album marks the end of an era of uncertainty. Writing songs about my emotional struggles helped me to work through some negative patterns in my personal life, while giving me the sense of creative agency I'd been searching for.” Emerging from years spent as a supporting player, Quit The Curse stands as a liberation from feeling like Burch’s own songwriting voice was just out of reach -- an opportunity, finally, for the world at large to hear what’s been on her mind for quite a while.

            Early praise for Anna Burch's music:

            “Frank and gratifying all the same, Burch’s tightly structured pop is an invigorating take on an evergreen sound.” - Pitchfork

            “Anna Burch is a veteran of the Detroit music scene, which helps explains why “2 Cool 2 Care,” the first single from her upcoming solo debut LP, lands like an old friend. There’s an instant familiarity and warmth to it that can be partially attributed to the song’s gentle sway — all oohs and ahhs and starry-eyed romanticism — but it hits even deeper than that.” - Stereogum

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Laura says: New Heavenly Records signing Anna Burch brings us lovely, (mostly) up beat guitar-pop tempered perfectly by a slight twist of melancholy.

            Saint Etienne

            Tales From Turnpike House

              ‘Tales From Turnpike House’ is the seventh studio album by Saint Etienne. It is a concept album in which the songs depict characters who all live in the eponymous block of flats in London.

              The album features two tracks co-written and produced by Xenomania (‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ and ‘Stars Above Us’) as well as a guest vocal from 1970s pop star David Essex on ‘Relocate’ (Essex had earlier appeared on the Saint Etienne album ‘So Tough’ via sampled dialogue from the 1973 film ‘That’ll Be The Day’).

              Finally available on LP since original release. Includes postcard digital download card and printed inner sleeve.

              Saint Etienne

              Finisterre

                ‘Finisterre’ is Saint Etienne’s sixth studio album, first released in 2002.

                ‘Finisterre’ contains a wide mixture of sounds and styles. The album returned to the inclusion of vocal interludes between songs as last heard on their album ’So Tough’ and a more angular, electronic sound, particularly on tracks such as ‘Action’, ‘Shower Scene’ and ‘New Thing’.

                ‘Language Lab’ and ‘Summerisle’ recall the ambient style of ’Sound Of Water’, while ‘Stop And Think It Over’ would not have been out of place on ’Good Humor’ or its predecessor ‘Tiger Bay’.

                The album sleeve features a photograph of the East London tower block Ronan Point shortly after it collapsed in 1968 with the loss of four lives.

                LP with postcard, digital download card, printed inner sleeve. Never before reissued on vinyl.

                Saint Etienne

                Good Humor

                  ‘Good Humor’ is Saint Etienne’s fourth album, originally released in 1998.

                  The American spelling "humor" is used in the title as the band were, according to Sarah Cracknell, "fed up with the 'quintessentially English' tag, so there was a bit of a backlash against that“.

                  The album was a departure for the group, who had been associated with the Indie Dance genre.

                  ’Tiger Bay’, their previous album, had added many acoustic and orchestral elements but still belonged to the synthpop and dance genres, while ’Good Humor’ is a more acoustic affair.

                  ‘Good Humor’ was demoed in the UK using synths and drum machines, but was recorded in Sweden under the guidance of Tore Johansson, who augmented their sound with a full band and a horn section.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Saint Etienne

                  Continental

                    ‘Continental’ (1997) was originally released in Japan only, later made available on CD outside of Japan in 2009. This is the first time it has been reissued on vinyl.

                    It is a compilation that includes previously released material such as the UK hit ‘He's On The Phone’ as well as curios like their cover of the Paul Gardiner/Gary Numan song ‘Stormtrooper In Drag’.

                    Many of the tracks were recorded during the 'wilderness' years of 1996/97 when the band members worked on their separate projects.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    Saint Etienne

                    So Tough

                      ‘So Tough’ is the second studio album by British band Saint Etienne.

                      First released in 1993, it is their highest-charting album to date, reaching No. 7 on the UK Album Charts.

                      The album takes its title from The Beach Boys’ ‘Carl And The Passions - So Tough’ album.

                      The album was indebted to Sixties classics ‘The Who Sell Out’ by The Who, ‘Smile’ by The Beach Boys and ‘Head’ by The Monkees.

                      The album was originally intended as a concept album which starts at Mario’s Café in London then travels around the world, however it came to be viewed as a solely London album.

                      The album cover features lead singer Sarah Cracknell aged 6, taken by her father Derek Cracknell.

                      King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard With Mild High Club

                      Sketches Of Brunswick East

                      Just when you think you have King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard sussed they throw a curveball - in the wake of two albums released in 2017 already, including most recently the dystopian end-times concept album Murder Of The Universe, which tackled in no uncertain terms the rise of robots and the downfall of mankind, comes Sketches Of Brunswick East, an entirely altered beast.

                      Australia’s finest and most productive rock band have done this before, of course: while the world was still reeling from their 2014 breakthrough psych-punk masterpiece I'm In Your Mind Fuzz (2014) they casually released 2015’s expectation-confounding Paper Mache Dream Balloon (2015), a pastoral, sun-drenched acid-folk album.

                      Sketches Of Brunswick East is a collaboration between King Gizzard and Mild High Club, the Los Angeles based tripster troupe signed to Stones Throw Records and led by Alex Brettin – the two bands formed a strong friendship touring together throughout the USA, Europe, and Australia.

                      Recorded at the band’s own Flightless HQ in East Brunswick, Melbourne Australia earlier this year and mixed at Stones Throw studios in L.A. it’s the third of five projected albums to be released in 2017. 

                      “We were listening to compilations of Ethiopian music form the 1960s and 70s a lot,” explained Stu Mackenzie about the making of the record. “It was in no way thought-out though. If Murder Of The Universe was our most conceptual and arranged album - then Sketches... is the exact opposite.”

                      The title could be perceived as both a knowing nod towards Miles Davis’s Sketches Of Spain and the sketchy on-the-hop, improvised nature of its creation by these gnarly and feral Aussie dudes. It also sees the band further exploring the Tropicalia element only ever previously hinted at. Stu explains that a change of pace and tempo was necessary after “a concurrent period of productivity, a ball of energy and ideas”.

                      Logistically, its creation saw the sifting through “piles of ideas” previously laid down during intense periods of creation that their frontman confesses he barely remembers having taken place. Truly this is impulsive music, sketches of time and place reworked and pieced together, akin to, says Stu “sampling-culture, in which old ideas are reshaped and suddenly things make sense. It was like we were continually jamming with ourselves.”

                      King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals / guitar/ flute), Ambrose Kenny Smith (harmonica / vocals), Craig Cook (guitar / vocals), Eric Moore (drums), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass) & Michael Cavanagh (drums).

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Oh Gizz', you may write 1.8 albums p/h but we love you so. This time out it's a tad jazzier but as ever, impeccable.

                      King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

                      Murder Of The Universe

                      Lit by thunderclaps and lightning, Murder Of The Universe inhabits a sonic landscape of death, decay, ossification, fossilisation, rebirth. It is a place occupied by wandering shape-shifting beasts, bleeding skies, pools of blood, great fires and mushroom clouds; a planet rent asunder by conflict.

                      A disorientating experience, the album hinges on three distinct sections that rise from larval beds, and whose lyrics should be carved in stone, squeezed from moss, discovered in ancient runes. And all the while a passing cast of characters imbue the tale with both human and non-human emotions.

                      Snippets of earlier recordings breakthrough collection I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity resurface throughout like ghostly shadow form to haunt their latest sound. In years to come King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will be judged not by their separate albums, but by a body of work where themes, melodies, motifs, riffs and ideas resurface and recur, each album peeling back a layer of the onion to glimpse at past and future alike.

                      “We’ve always thought of our albums as portals through which you can move from one to the other,” says Stu. “Or maybe each album is a bridge to the next part of the story. Songs sync together, records can be played in loops and past ideas recur or are reprised, and then woven into new textures. These ideas aren’t necessarily contrived though...sometimes these just happen.”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Another brilliant outing from the King Giz fam. Psychedelic swirling guitars, echoing vocal melodies, impeccable percussive freak-outs and as ever, fist-pumping heavy af grooves.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Glow in the dark vinyl with burnt scented scratch and sniff sticker, includes 32 page booklet.

                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      H. Hawkline

                      Last Thing On Your Mind / More Salt

                        Well, this is rather nice! A super-limited 12" in a hand stamped and numbered screen printed sleeve.

                        Artwork by H. Hawkline.

                        Last Thing On Your Mind and unreleased b side "More Salt".

                        Recorded in Los Angeles with Samur Khouja, who worked with Huw on his last album, In The Pink Of Condition, the track features Cate Le Bon and Josiah Steinbrick.

                        Talking about the track, Huw said:

                        'It waits like the cat who knows it'll eventually get cream. Sits, makes eyes and then sips, always watching, one eye on the washer, the warm smell of fresh china'

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd 12" Info: There are only 100 of these little beauties in the world, so don't snooze!

                        The Orielles

                        Sugar Tastes Like Salt

                          New Heavenly signings The Orielles release this ultra limited edition, just 100 copies of a 7” and a 12” each lovingly packaged in custom made artwork.

                          Screen printed covers, all copies numbered 1 - 100.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          12" Info: The 12” is one sided featuring the track in it’s original form.

                          Ltd 7" Info: The 7” has the 8:25 track split over both sides, fading out on the A and fading in again on the flip.

                          The Home Counties are an embarrassing place to come from. The name itself suggests that somehow the rest of Britain isn’t ‘home’, not even London. Saint Etienne grew up in the Home Counties. Here are sixteen new songs they have written about a day in the life of this doughnut of shires that ring the capital, punctuated by bursts of BBC radio to remind you what time it is and all connected by train journeys - main lines, branch lines, commutes, escapes.

                          The love / hate relationship people have with ‘home’ is particularly acute in the Home Counties. Yet Saint Etienne understand that if you squint, it could be almost utopian.

                          The album was produced by Shawn Lee of Young Gun Silver Fox, with support from Augustus (Kero Kero Bonito), Carwyn Ellis (Colorama, Edwyn Collins), Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires), Richard X (Girls On Top / Black Melody) and long-time collaborator Gerard Johnson (Denim, Yes). It was recorded in Central London. Sarah, Bob and Pete commuted to the studio every day for six weeks.

                          There’s a singer with a voice 50 fathoms deep and the consistency of vitrified teak, who has been known to go to extremes in search of a song. Across continents, over oceans, through multiple time zones. From West Hollywood to... Tunbridge Wells. A long way – but Mark Lanegan knows the directions.

                          Early in 2016, Mark was at home in Los Angeles, working on some ideas for what might turn into his next album. He wasn’t too thrilled by what he was coming up with. Then he got an email from a friend, an English musician named Rob Marshall, thanking Mark for contributing to a new project he was putting together, Humanist. The pair first met in 2008, when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm supported Soulsavers, who Mark was singing with at the time. Now Rob was offering to write Mark some music to return the favour.

                          “I was like, Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything?’” Mark recalls. “Three days later he sent me *10 things… !”

                          In the meantime, Mark had written Blue Blue Sea, a rippling mood piece that he thought might be a more fruitful direction for his new record, and had the idea for a song called First Day Of Winter that felt like an apt closer. “It’s almost always how my records start,” he explains. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess. Start with the raw material and let that point me in the direction I want to go. So, once I was pointed in that direction, the music that came from other sources, from Rob, I just went for the ones that helped me build this narrative that I had started already.”

                          Within an hour, Mark had written words and vocal lines for two of the pieces Rob had cooked up at Mount Sion Studios in Kent and pinged through the virtual clouds to California. Rob's music fitted perfectly with the direction Mark had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. Eventually, Rob Marshall would co-write six of the songs on the new Mark Lanegan Band album. “I was very thankful to become reacquainted with him,” Mark deadpans.

                          The remainder of the album was written, recorded and produced by Lanegan's longtime musical amanuensis Alain Johannes at his 11 AD base in West Hollywood. Everything was done and dusted within a month, unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. Both Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio unfurled at leisurely pace over several months. But this time Johannes had only a fixed window of opportunity due to his ongoing touring commitments as a member of P.J. Harvey’s band. But Mark was sufficiently happy with the material to move swiftly, a reflection of contentment with his abilities as a singer and writer, which have now produced a huge body of work spanning a period of more than 30 years: whether it be his own solo records, or collaborative recordings with others, or going back to his legendary first band, the Screaming Trees.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Lanegan and band do it once again with this, the brilliant 'Gargoyle'. A more upbeat outlook than previous iterations, channelling the spirit of 60's psychedelia, stadium rock, downbeat folky moments and good ol fashioned songwriting talent. Brilliant.

                          It doesn’t take too long with Volcano to realise that, while all the things that made the band special the first time around remain intact, a noticeable evolution has taken place. It’s there from the outset: the beefed-up beats of Certainty reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. “If there’s a sense of scale,” says lead singer James Bagshaw, “It was really just a result of implementing a load of things that we didn’t know about the first time around.” Co-founding member and bassist Thomas Walmsley describes a record in which “we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates

                          One thing you do notice is that it’s harder to spot the influences this time around. It would be disingenuous to evade the psych-pop tag, for sure, but mystical language has been supplanted by something a more direct – and while those influences are still there, it’s no longer possible to pick them out. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilised into a single source of creative fuel, so that what you can hear this time around, sounds like nothing so much as Temples. This is the sound of a band squaring up to their potential.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Andy says: More synthy than their debut but crucially just as hyper-melodic, Temples bring the magic of a bygone era right into the present with huge aplomb. It's a beautiful thing.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Neon orange indies exclusive.

                          King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                          I'm In Your Mind Fuzz

                          Australia’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard announce details of new album ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ on Heavenly Recordings.

                          This Australian beast of a band, with a bear of a name and a thick herd of band members, deliver many things on ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’, namely a skeleton of propulsive Krautbeat fleshed out with a liberal dose of citric sweetness, flutes and harmonicas, a ton of wah, many lovely left turns of delicate psych and a dash of DMT dread.

                          King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                          Flying Microtonal Banana

                          Geelong’s insuppressible King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard release their new album ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ on Heavenly Recordings - the first of five albums they are set to release in 2017.

                          Talking about the making of Flying Microtonal Banana, Eric Moore of the band said: “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu. The guitar was modified to play in 24- TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a Turkish horn called a Zurna.”

                          Shimmering, hypnotic and propulsive and powered along, as ever, by the metronomic beat of two drummers, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ takes a subtle musical shift away from the frazzled freak-beat of its predecessor, ‘Nonagon Infinity’. Trance like, in parts clipped and concise yet deeply psychedelic, it reveals yet another musical side to a band seemingly in perpetual motion.

                          Perhaps one of the most exciting live bands out there right now, they appeared at both Green Man and End Of The Road festivals over the summer as well as playing sold-out London shows at the Electric Ballroom, Moth Club and The Electric during 2016. The band will bring their unrestrained and free-wheeling live show back to the UK in 2017.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: K-Gizzle pull out another brilliant and no doubt in-demand album of angular melodies, psychedelic freak-outs and grooving churns of noise, interspersed with funked-up melodies and brilliantly effervescent indie rock. There really is a bit of everything here, classic rock, jazz, psych, noise. You name it, it's here, and executed to perfection.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          In the face of an apocalypse, we all need a safe house. A place for sanctuary; not to hide, but to claim for our own. On his new album, South London’s unlikely bluesman Duke Garwood has found the perfect place for us all, and says it’s time to meet in the Garden of Ashes.

                          “I am an angry man; so angry I burn myself. So angry I heat up the air around me. This is the nuclear fuel I use to make music,” tells Duke. “In a world so full of pain and madness we need to be better than ever; to evolve not devolve. To become masters of our fate and stop listening to the snake talkers who would steal our last breath. It’s time to go Elvis and shoot the cursed TV.”

                          For an artist who claims to be angry, there’s a lot of love to be heard in Duke’s music and in the face of impeding Armageddon, just as Nick Cave claims in his film One More Time With Feeling, the only way to fight anguish is with positivity. On Duke’s sixth album Garden Of Ashes, that’s precisely the message. "I make beautiful music, because we don't need angry music right now. Everyone can turn on the TV and see the horror show, they don't need to hear it coming out the stereo. I’m trying to distil this frustrating feeling we all have right now into something more focused.”

                          Only in the Garden of Ashes can such furious frustration be channelled. Whilst last year’s Heavy Love thrust Duke into the spotlight with well long-overdue praise for its clarity and the “mad blues” charisma of a musician at his 20-year career peak, Garden of Ashes takes it all up a level, higher than many would think possible. “This album is about midnight in the garden of love. The garden of good and evil. The garden of paradise that we know is being destroyed to satisfy the greedy money people. It's all burned down. We burned it to ashes.”

                          Whilst fans, fellow artists and collaborators including Josh T. Pearson, Tinariwen, Mark Lanegan, Kurt Vile, and Savages’ Jehnny Beth all marvelled at Heavy Love and its depiction of an artist who has always cut his own groove, Garden of Ashes is equally doused in magnetising imagism (‘Coldblooded The Return’ brings the record full circle with slightly altered lyrics as though its grown wiser throughout the course of the album and ‘Sleep’ nods to the writing of Werner Herzog). “I was inspired to follow Heavy Love with a warm bath of honey for the soul. It's a stare down to the beast of hate trying to take over our garden. Time for Man to be the beautiful warrior and stand up for his loves,” Duke says.

                          Old soul-meets-saint, Duke’s life story is one of the character-building twists and turns known only by the greatest artists and vagabonds. As the leading character in a tale where Mexican gangs forced tequila down his throat, or in rooms where some of the world’s biggest rock stars would gather, Duke’s cross-continental travels extend from Thailand’s bar scene,the mean streets of Paris, Hackney’s squatlands, nearly dying upon returning from Cuba due to “some serious jungle disease”, Moroccan hash bars, a music-filled bolthole on Brixton Hill, to Josh Homme’s Pink Duck studio in Los Angeles.

                          Leaving behind LA and work with Mark Lanegan as well as playing horns in Archie Bronson Outfit in favour of recording solo material closer to home, Garden of Ashes was part recorded in Duke’s ‘Valley Heights‘ studio and at ‘Giant Wafer’ in Wales with producer Strat Barrett at the helm. It features friends Paul May on drums, Pete Marsh on double bass and, adding a Morricone-style to some choice cuts, Smoke Fairies' Emily on backing vocals.

                          Whilst it explores Duke’s heartache for things beyond his control, each track on Garden of Ashes, through sonorous vocal delivery, unfurls like the healing stench of a Deep Heat patch for the soul. ‘Sonny Boogie,’ gives us a song to dance to and ‘Heat Us Down’ is a love song about appreciating the wold as it burns. The title-track’s sensual tempo is the theme as lovers take a walk amongst the trees, and ‘Sing To The Sky’ will surely ease any pre-apocalyptic pain as Duke’s warm vocals soothe the crying fret squeaks.
                          “This record is fantasy music,” Duke tells. “Beautiful apocalypse love music, it doesn't hide from reality, but it could hide the listener from it all for a while.” 


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Laura says: Everything feels understated here: Intricate guitar, half whispered vocals, brushed drums and slow pulsing grooves. Beautiful, melancholic, super-slo-mo blues.

                          Saint Etienne

                          Foxbase Alpha - Box Set

                            It’s hard to believe that Saint Etienne’s debut album ‘Foxbase Alpha’ turns 25 this year but the good news is that it still sounds as fresh, vibrant and relevant as the day it was released. Often hailed as one of the most important DIY albums of all time, ‘Foxbase Alpha’ became the first long player released on fledgling Heavenly Recordings in 1991 and went on to be nominated alongside ‘Screamadelica’ in the first ever Mercury Music Prize in 1992.

                            This special edition triple vinyl box set includes the original album cut over two discs at 45rpm plus a bonus album (at 33rpm) of associated recordings from the era, most of which appear on vinyl for the first time.

                            A one sided 7” single featuring a previously unreleased demo of Moria Lambert (vocalist for ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’) singing over a radically different version of ‘Kiss And Make Up’, plus a 32 page book and assorted inserts - including band photos, original press releases, Foxbase trading cards and a digital download code - complete the package.

                            The band kicked 25th anniversary proceedings off with three sold out shows where they performed the album in its entirety followed by a short set of career highlights. The shows were at London’s Heaven - scene of the first ever Saint Etienne show back in 1991 - and the Rockaway Beach Festival in Bognor Regis.

                            It’s hard to believe that Saint Etienne’s debut album ‘Foxbase Alpha’ turns 25 this year but the good news is that it still sounds as fresh, vibrant and relevant as the day it was released. Often hailed as one of the most important DIY albums of all time, ‘Foxbase Alpha’ became the first long player released on fledgling Heavenly Recordings in 1991 and went on to be nominated alongside ‘Screamadelica’ in the first ever Mercury Music Prize in 1992.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP Info: The album is re-issued on vinyl for the first
                            time since its original release, as an exact replica
                            of the original UK pressing. Includes digital
                            download.

                            2xCD Info: Double CD version includes the original album plus a disc of 14 associated recordings from the era and a lavish 28 page booklet.

                            If their debut album, ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’, released in August last year, was Hooton Tennis Club’s sprightly statement of intent, ‘Big Box Of Chocolates’ may well be their coming of age - a record that retains all the colour and invention of their debut while being elevated by richer instrumentation and lyrics that hint at slightly heavier themes: love and loss, nihilism and the ‘non-spaces’ of Northern England, all delivered in the band’s typically laconic, bittersweet style, like a Mersey Beat Murakami.

                            Recorded over three weeks in Helmsdale, during which time they all grew beards, drank copious amounts of tea and became birdwatchers and whiskey tipplers, the album reflects the band’s relaxed approach to songwriting. They tend not to labour over recording demos or strumming and beating the life out of songs in the practice room. Instead, ideas are allowed to form spontaneously: melodies are hummed into phones or computers, lyrics batted back and forth, songs worked out alone in the bedroom, or layered up from scratch together in the studio.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: A fancy-free and assured romp through the recesses of indie-rock and late psychedelia ; jangly guitar melodies and waves of reverbed drums all topped with emotive but relaxed vocal wanderings. Imbibed with melody and soul, but heavy and grooving enough to keep you moving. Rock out with your Big-Box-Of-Chocs out.

                            Recorded with Keith Cooper and Andrew McCalla in the band’s home-town of Memphis, the album features artwork by lead vocalist / guitarist Natalie Hoffman.

                            Nots are still a wild guitar band, but above and below the guitar, bass and drum pound, Alexandra Eastburn's analog synth blurps melodies and nonsense, teasing squiggles of freedom which defy the false grid of modern life.

                            With Hoffmann on guitar & vocals, Eastburn on synth, Charlotte Watson beating drums, and Meredith Lones steering a solid path through the chaos on bass, Nots are neither content with the smug "stare at your shoes" approach of bands from both coasts, nor an Earth-hugging "we need to get back to nature" hippie copout. There might not be any answers here. That might be the point. Nots have arrived at the next level of their attack with a confidence and a music that lays waste to the wasteland without romantic attachment to a thing.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Channeling the spirit of early punk (distorted backline, shouty singer, 2 minute songs etc) Nots have presented us with a scathing collection of dynamic and vitriolic bursts of noise. Single-string melody lines and broken-speaker distortion back up the hollered vox. Clanging and concise, this is punk-rock for a new generation.

                            The Parrots

                            Los Niños Sin Miedo

                              Oh Dios mio! Madrid racket-makers The Parrots have announced their debut album 'Los Ninos Sin Miedo'. With an album title that roughly translates as 'Children Without Fear,' the band's first full-length comes out via Heavenly Recordings.

                              The Parrots - Diego García (vocals / guitar), Alex de Lucas (bass) and Larry Balboa (drums) - are a loose-hipped, primordial rock ‘n’ roll band from Madrid who met at university in the city and evolved from the same firmament of like-minded artists, photographers, DJs and musicians that recently spawned the acclaimed band Hinds. (The Parrots’ Diego produced Hinds’ recently released acclaimed album ‘Leave Me Alone’.) 

                              The band recorded ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’ in one week last September down by the sea in Cádiz at the studios of much-loved Spanish sound engineer Paco Loco. An idyllic setting conducive to the recording of the album, Paco’s infectious enthusiasm and artistic insight made the process even easier.

                              ‘Blood Moon’, M. Craft’s third full length album, is very much a score for seclusion. Inspired by witnessing the titular lunar event twice during his time as a desert resident, ‘Blood Moon’ began life in a studio in nearby Los Angeles as a series of unstructured, experimental piano pieces.

                              Constructed from those piano recordings with additional percussion from another temporary desert dweller, Seb Rochford (Polar Bear) and occasional orchestration, ‘Blood Moon’ is a stunning fusion of freeform instrumental explorations and properly pure songs.

                              Amber Arcades, the moniker of Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf, unveils her debut album, released on Heavenly Recordings.

                              With motoric rhythms and ethereal vocals, ‘Fading Lines’ was recorded in New York with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Beach Fossils, Destruction Unit).

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Millie says: This is definitely my favourite summer album of the year. Hazy yet dazzling, it flickers between her honey-like vocals and jangly guitars. Sunny and shimmering, it's not one to be overlooked. Fans of Alvvays will love this!

                              Palehound, the musical alias of 21-year-old Boston-based guitarist and songwriter Ellen Kempner, releases the ‘Dry Food’ album on Heavenly Recordings.

                              Recorded with Gabe Wax (Wye Oak, Speedy Ortiz), ‘Dry Food’ is full of sonic and emotional twists and turns, written as it was at a time in Kempner’s life that was defined by instability and uncertainty.

                              “The way some people have a way with words, Palehound singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner has a way with a guitar: Looped lines tumble out in the knotty configurations worthy of a sailor’s handiwork, or maybe of academic writing.” - SPIN Album Of The Week

                              “‘Dry Food’ confronts the point it’s been evading: kidding yourself is no way to recover, and comfort offers little impetus to move on. Palehound’s discomfiting, unflinching debut suggests she knew it all along.” - Pitchfork (8/10)

                              “Palehound’s ‘Dry Food’ is one of the best albums this year because it doesn’t reinvent any wheels so much as the axis the wheels spin on.” - The Observer

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Laura says: One of my favourite 'new band' things so far this year. Lovely inventive guitars topped with Ellen's insightful lyrics; at times playful at others melancholic. The rhythms tumble along intertwined with clever melodies, bringing to mind past gems such as Belly and The Breeders, while at other times the sudden changes in direction and tempo bring to mind Pavement. But despite these references, it's by no means retro, it has a really fresh feel to it.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              Nots

                              Reactor - Mikey Young Remix

                                Ultra limited one sided white label 12".

                                Remix by Mikey Young of Total Control!




                                King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                                Paper Mâché Dream Balloon

                                Starting out in 2010 as a solid garage rock group, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard followed their collective muse wherever it chose to lead them. For their latest opus, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, they initially thought it was going to be filled with the darker, heavier material that the band has been playing live of late. But front man Stu Mackenzie soon decided that it was time to put aside the longer, more conceptual pieces and go in a completely new direction.

                                On previous records King Gizzard has channeled many different sounds: From heavily distorted, kraut-driven rock on their 2014 album I’m In Your Mind Fuzz to expansive, almost jazzy, Dead-like head trips on Quarters! Or as Mackenzie puts it, “I always wanted to be a band where you would expect the unexpected each time, with each album being treated like a different phase.”

                                Hence, the band’s seventh album was recorded using nothing but acoustic instruments. Mackenzie elaborated on this with: “Acoustic guitars, flute, double bass, fiddle, harmonica, drum kit, clarinet. Whatever we could find really.” The result is a lovely, lilting pop masterpiece that still evokes the same intoxicating exuberance as KGATLW’s most recent work, but with a more pastoral, communal feel to it.

                                "Their songs are dense, intricately crafted, and most importantly, powerful … King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard don't do predictability.” - Pitchfork”

                                “King Gizzard are on a dizzying trip to the center of psychedelia, cocooning themselves in spaced-out guitar lines and engorged melodies that demand to be viewed Disney-style, through a dodecahedral prism of light.” – The Guardian

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                ‘What Green Feels Like’ is the hauntingly beautiful debut album from Eaves.

                                The album was recorded in the Autumn of 2014 at Voltaire Studios, London with acclaimed producer Cam Blackwood.


                                “One of the most compelling British debuts in years” - The Sunday Times

                                “Strikingly fresh and moving” - Mojo (4/5)

                                “Echoes of Tim Buckley but he’s very much his own (young) man” - Metro (4/5)

                                Fever The Ghost

                                Zirconium Meconium

                                Transmitting cosmic narratives and inventive song structures, Fever The Ghost’s sprawling pop saga ‘Zirconium Meconium’ sleekly marries the group’s esoteric tendencies with an inescapable melodicism.

                                Described by the band as a “collection of songs musically interpreting the third dimensional integration process from the perspective of vital force energy incarnating into the physical world” the album combines interstellar vibrations and a sense of youthful wonder into an unparalleled pop sound.

                                Drinks (Cate Le Bon & Tim Presley)

                                Hermits On Holiday / Eighteen Teenage Revenge Pair

                                  Drinks is the new project from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley, aka White Fence, whose forthcoming album ‘Hermits On Holiday’ is preceded by a single featuring the title track ‘Hermits On Holiday’ backed with ‘Eighteen Teenage Revenge Pair’.

                                  Stealing Sheep / The Voyeurs

                                  Split 7"

                                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                    Now in its 25th year, Heavenly Recordings have announced a series of limited edition double A-sided split 7”s to mark this year’s Record Store Day. 

                                    The 7’s, which feature most of the labels current roster, include a number of exclusive cover-versions, remixes and hard-to-find tracks. 

                                    Limited to only 500 copies each.

                                    Jimi Goodwin / Pete Wiggs

                                    Split 7"

                                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                      Now in its 25th year, Heavenly Recordings have announced a series of limited edition double A-sided split 7”s to mark this year’s Record Store Day. 

                                      The 7’s, which feature most of the labels current roster, include a number of exclusive cover-versions, remixes and hard-to-find tracks. 

                                      Limited to only 500 copies each.

                                      Various Artists

                                      Heavenly 25: Records Store Day 7x7" Boxset

                                        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                        Now in its 25th year, Heavenly Recordings have announced a series of limited edition double A-sided split 7”s to mark this year’s Record Store Day.

                                        The 7’s, which feature most of the labels current roster, include a number of exclusive cover-versions, remixes and hard-to-find tracks.

                                        Available as standalone 7” single releases – limited to only 500 copies each – and also as a deluxe boxset, limited to 200.

                                        The Voyeurs

                                        Stunners / Orgy #2

                                        The Voyeurs (formerly Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs) return with a brand new single.

                                        Featuring the B-side Orgy # 2, the single was produced by Oli Bayston (Boxed In) and recorded at the Flesh & Bone and The Premises studios in east-London.

                                        Released on 7” and download, the track features on their forthcoming 2nd album, Rhubarb Rhubarb, which is released the following week.

                                        The Wytches

                                        Burn Out The Bruise

                                        The Wytches release the third single from their acclaimed debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ on 7” and digital download.

                                        Recorded at Toe Rag Studios and co-produced by Kristian Bell and Bill Ryder-Jones, the single also features a brand new track ‘Darker’.

                                        “They’re equal parts sordid, spiteful and slightly damaged” - NME

                                        “The Wytches inject their misery with a little ‘Miserlou’ and ride an ocean wave awash with oil spills and blackened birds.” - Pitchfork

                                        “‘Annabel Dream Reader’ is heavy, wavy; you’ll feel very high and a little sick.” - Crack Magazine

                                        Cherry Ghost return with third album ‘Herd Runners’ on Heavenly Recordings.

                                        For the last couple of years, Simon Aldred has been in a state of wilful musical schizophrenia. Since 2007, Bolton-born Aldred has - to all intents - been Cherry Ghost, a band known for perfecting a kind of widescreen North Western country soul. Yet the third Cherry Ghost album, ‘Herd Runners’, arrives after an extensive period in which Aldred’s own music been pulled in multiple different directions.

                                        Firstly, as a songwriter-for-hire, Aldred has helped nurture the best of nascent British talent (including hugely tipped artists like Sam Smith and Kwabs). Latterly, he produced a set of critically lauded post-midnight electronic love songs under the Out Cold guise. Somewhere in the middle, there’s the small matter of the phoenix-like rebirth of Aldred’s Ivor Novello winning 2007 single ‘People Help The People’ as it went on to chart highly in fourteen different countries in 2010 when it was covered by the teenage singer Birdy.

                                        Far from muddying the musical waters, each of these diversions has only helped sharpen Aldred’s songwriting, providing a major spur for the finest Cherry Ghost album to date. “Exploring different styles has helped my own songs,” says Aldred, “Musicians need to stretch themselves and keep on learning.” · It was that exploration that has helped bring ‘Herd Runners’ to life. Shifting from soaring, symphonic pop (‘Clear Skies Ever Closer’) to melancholic lock-in blues (‘Drinking For Two’) via an almost uncompromisingly hopeful rhythmic shuffle (‘The World Could Turn’), ‘Herd Runners’ is a sublime collection, a reminder of Aldred’s singular skill as a composer; a skill that can twist bitter loss into teary optimism (and back) in less time than it takes to toss a coin.

                                        Lyrically, the album paints Edward Hopper-esque observations of the lives of others. Where previous records would have focused on the gloomy edges of the picture, ‘Herd Runners’ takes something of a longer view. “These songs aren’t as dark as those on previous records. This time round I thought it was important to keep a real empathy for the people I’m writing about.”

                                        Recorded in Sheffield with longterm Richard Hawley collaborator Colin Elliot and mixed in Bath with Dan Austin, ‘Herd Runners’ is ten perfectly crafted tales of heartbreak and hope. That musical schizophrenia is clearly working wonders for Simon Aldred. Long may it continue.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Ltd LP Info: Available exclusively to independent retailers on cream coloured vinyl (limited to 400 copies).

                                        Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                        Cherry Ghost

                                        We Sleep On Stones

                                          Album standout "We Sleep On Stones" is given the rework treatment by San Fran label Stones Throw affiliate Mr Chop & features Heliocentrics Malcolm Catto on drums and Jake Ferguson on bass. Comes backed with a once-in-a lifetime cover of Ce Ce Peniston’s uber-hit "Finally".

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Ltd 12" Info: Oooh, look what we just found!

                                          Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs

                                          Things We Be

                                          Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs have announced details of the release of a new single. Available on 7” and featuring the B-side Feathers & Tar, it follows their debut single, I Watch You, which was released last October.

                                          Both tracks were produced by Edwyn Collins & Seb Lewsley at West Heath Yard Studios in January 2013 as part of the their album sessions.

                                          Having supported TOY on their U.K. tour at the end of 2012 and recently played with them at their NME Awards Show at London’s Scala, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs also have their own London headline show around the release of the single.

                                          Details of their debut album, to be released in late spring 2013, and further U.K. dates will be announced shortly.

                                          Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs are: Charlie Boyer (vocals & guitar), Danny Stead (bass), Sam Davies (guitar), Samir Eskanda (drums) & Ross Kristian (keys).

                                          Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs seem set on leaving distinctive footprints – The Guardian

                                          Dapper, immaculate and melodic, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs are hard not to love – The Fly

                                          They have a keen eye for Velvets styled magic - NME

                                          Following a couple of great singles, Toy release their much anticipated debut album, which was recorded during the spring of 2012 with Dan Carey in his South London studio.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Andy says: Right from the very start there was something special about this band. By that I mean Piccadilly sold tonnes of their first few singles, before we'd really worked out what was going on! This debut album explains the fuss; it's absolutely brilliant! Sure, they've got all the cool references which older bods will recognise in the House Of Love or even The Church i.e. moody vocals and a certain psych-tinged sense of otherness, but Toy add tasty, motorik grooves and FX-laden shoegaze swathes to a sound that is hypnotic, kaleidoscopic, but most importantly catchy as fuck! They do the arty stuff with the kosmische repetition and well-placed instrumentals, but then bring out the enormous choruses and deft pop hooks for all the kids (and milkmen!) that couldn't care less. They remind me a little bit of Ride, or today The Horrors, but I think Toy are better than both.

                                          What’s in the water up on Merseyside? It’s as if there’s an endless source of almost psychedelic otherness running deep beneath the place. It’s there in the music of everyone from the La’s to Ladytron; an off-kilter wonder that sets the place and its art apart from the rest of the country.

                                          Stealing Sheep are very much a group channelling that source. You could hear it in their first recordings, released collectively as the Noah & The Paper Moon e.p. And its there flowing throughout their debut album proper, Into The Diamond Sun, a collection of songs that don’t so much defy genres as gleefully hand-pick the most mellifluous elements of everything from voodoo folk, DIY pop, post punk and analogue electronica, and stitch them together into a glorious harmonic whole.

                                          Recorded at Mello Studios with Sam Crombie, Stealing Sheep’s debut album proper is an Olympian leap forward, so much so that at points the record sounds like it’s arrived from its own private universe. Whereas on one track - White Lies – the group could be the much-missed Broadcast closing the main stage of the Green Man festival, on another they sound not a million miles from a properly wigged out Go Go’s (Genevieve). Elsewhere, ghostly piano codas (Bear Tracks) brush up against galeophobic warnings about the perils of the seaside (Shark Song).

                                          Into the Diamond Sun is a glimmering, shimmering work, where Rebecca, Emily and Lucy’s unique visions of music warp into a singular whole. It’s also an exceptional addition to Liverpool’s celebrated lineage of unconventional art and music.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Andy says: Mainly folky, but also psychy and creatively lo-fi, it's the sweet harmonies that'll pull you in. Ace and lovely.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                          The Head And The Heart

                                          The Head And The Heart - Bonus Tracks Edition

                                          The Head and the Heart came together in the summer of 2009, during frequent visits to the open mic night at Conor Byrne in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

                                          Californian Josiah Johnson and Virginia-native Jonathan Russell formed the core songwriting partnership, before adding keyboardist Kenny Hensle. Kenny, then 21, had packed up his piano and moved up to Seattle from California to pursue musical score-writing. Charity Rose Thielen, violin and vocals, had just returned from a year of studying and playing music in Paris. Drummer Tyler Williams moved from Virginia after Jon sent him the demo of Down in the Valley, relocating across states to be a part of this. Finally, Chris Zasche, was bartending at Conor Byrne and mentioned one day that he'd be happy to play bass for the nascent band. It all felt right: The Head and the Heart was born.

                                          The band entered Seattle's Studio Litho in early 2010 to record these songs that had been kicking and twisting in the catalytic development of their live show. Recorded by Shawn Simmons at Studio Litho and Steven Aguilar at Bearhead Studio, the band was selling burned copies in handmade denim sleeves at local shows within a few weeks. Self-released in June 2010, the debut album helped build an impressive head-of-steam for the band through the second 1/2 of the year, gaining fans at influential Seattle station KEXP, local record shops (a consistent top 10 seller for Easy Street and the #1 album of 2010 at Sonic Boom), and venues up and down the west coast.

                                          For the 2011 re-release of the album, Sounds Like Hallelujah has been re-recorded, live favorite Rivers and Roads has been added, and the album has been re-mastered.

                                          Rising out of Helsinki’s local electro-pop-punk scene in 2007, sisters Emma and Mia Kemppainen’s musical vehicle LCMDF (Le Corps Mince de Francoise) was quickly picked up by bloggers and music fans across the globe. Their incredibly vibrant, leftfield pop gained them countless fans, earning them the top spot on the Hype Machine, out-ranking even Kanye West..

                                          Heavenly say of their newest signing, 'the band holds true the qualities of the bands we love: conviction, tunes and a love of POP'. Indeed, the ten tracks that make up LCMDF’s debut album "Love & Nature" - produced by Kaiku Studios in Berlin - are embossed with the kind skewed pop vision that recalls the likes of Tom Tom Club, Neneh Cherry and Shaun Ryder.

                                          The result of cutting their teeth listening to everyone from the Beastie Boys to Gaga whilst getting lost in Ghost World, LCMDF’s debut LP is as immediate and accessible as it is dazzlingly unique - an unblinking, hyper-coloured record that balances pop gratification with deftly intricate production. "Gandhi" is something of a statement of intent. Its loopy buzz-saw guitars and lolloping beats trundle along with the hazy eyes of "Second Coming" era Roses, until the girls' unmistakably gleeful, dizzy mantras pave way for the giddiest sing-a-long chorus about an iconic spiritual leader ever committed to wax. Their first ever release as LCMDF, "Something Golden" sounds like a pop classic as dancehall snare rolls rise into a huge arms aloft synth breakdown. "Cool And Bored" mixes castanets, lo-fi Brimful of Asha strums, and a scatty hollering chorus that sounds like Plastic Bertrand doing an impression of Nicky Minaj. An album littered with singles, "Take Me To The Mountains" propulsive squelches find a barmy middle ground in between booty-bass and Hanna-Barbera soundtracks, whilst "We Are Cannibals" shimmers with a similar Nordic menace and beauty as fellow Scandinavians, The Knife.



                                          James Walbourne

                                          The Hill

                                          Despite only still being in his late 20s James Walbourne’s musical pedigree is already an enviable one. Stints playing live with the likes of The Pernice Brothers, Son Volt, Jay Farrar and The Pogues and session work with Jerry Lee Lewis, Edwyn Collins and Linda Thompson amongst others have gained him a respect beyond his years.

                                          "The Hill", named as a nod to Muswell Hill, Walbourne’s locale, is beautifully soulful, full of deftly written songs and features Jim Keltner on drums (primarily known for his session work with Bob Dylan and on solo recordings by three of The Beatles – George, John & Ringo) and Ivan Neville on keyboards (son on Aaron Neville, songwriter in his own right, Rolling Stone collaborator).

                                          The Magic Numbers

                                          The Pulse

                                          The 1st single to be taken from the Magic Numbers forthcoming 3rd album produced by Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork, Bonnie Prince Billy) & string arrangements by the late Robert Kirby (Nick Drake, Paul Weller).

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Laura says: "The Pulse" is a big swoonsome pop number full of their trademark vocal harmonies and West Coast vibes, augmented by waves of lush strings.

                                          It's been four long years but Doves are back. Don't worry: it's excellent! Their most rhythmic and expansive album so far sees the band touching on beatific, pulsing Krautrock, spaghetti western blues, and a laidback funker that's a cousin of Blondie's "Rapture"! Big cinematic vibes, see "Bladerunner" as a reference point, and one song is a collaboration with The Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands. Of course it is lushly produced with Dan Austin, but Stone Roses' knob-twiddler John Leckie handles anthem-in-waiting "Winter Hill". How they do this, 'The Big Music', yet remain so cool and tasteful, is the Doves' secret ingredient, it's what sets them apart from the rest. Well, they've only gone and done it again!

                                          Tracklisting
                                          1. Jetstream
                                          2. Kingdom Of Rust
                                          3. The Outsiders 4. Winter Hill
                                          5. 10:03
                                          6. The Greatest Denier
                                          7. Birds Flew Backwards
                                          8. Spellbound
                                          9. Compulsion
                                          10. House Of Mirrors
                                          11. Lifelines

                                          Doves

                                          Lost Souls

                                            Arriving in 2000, with impeccable credentials (they'd released three beautiful EPs on Casino Records) Doves' debut album was astonishing in its completeness. Deep, doomy but always beautiful, there was a seamlessness to its 12 songs which created a good old-fashioned Proper Album vibe; a record that ebbed and flowed, and a record to lose yourself in. There's a filmic quality to a lot of the sound; a brooding, symphonic, melancholy air which soothes as it grooves. And groove it does: Doves have always had the bottom end well and truly sorted out, and no less than on this, their gorgeous, mellow, darkly comforting debut. What a mix!



                                            Doves

                                            Lost Sides

                                              In 1998/99 Doves released three EPs before their debut album. This compilation from 2002 gathered together the non-album b-sides from those records, as well as some smart surprises. "Hit The Ground Running" was a joyous reworking of a Warren Zevon tune, which they used to end their sets with, whilst "Willow Song" was a cover from the about-to-be-trendy-again (hey! Doves were there first!) "Wicker Man" soundtrack. But best of all was the pure-pop high of "Your Shadow Lay Across My Life": worth the price of admission on its own.

                                              Tracklisting
                                              1. Break Me Gently (Incidental)
                                              2. Darker
                                              3. Your Shadow Lay Across My Life
                                              4. Meet Me At The Pier
                                              5. Down To Sea
                                              6. Crunch
                                              7. Zither
                                              8. Valley
                                              9. Northenden
                                              10. Hit The Ground Running
                                              11. Willow's Song
                                              12. Far From Grace

                                              Raised in Leeds, Greenwood, 27, had relocated to London in 2002 with his then-band. When the band floundered, he enrolled upon a music degree at Goldsmith's, where he signed up for a songwriting class. Greenwood sat at home with a pad of paper and a guitar and worried. He listened to "Blood On The Tracks" 'a few hundred times' and he worried some more. And then he set to writing. The result was "Any Given Day", one of "Sirens'" most intoxicating tracks, a tale of a poor boy and a stranger and a crush. In truth Greenwood's musical education began long before university. As a child he would sit at his father's feet and watch him detune his guitar, he learned piano, and grew up steeped in folk music. There have been other inspirations since then — a brief jazznut period in 2002, for example, when he was supposed to be playing in 'an angular punk pop band' but instead bought a double bass, started using liquorice rolling papers and professed a desire to play like Charlie Mingus. Although he also plays with The Loose Salute and The See See, Greenwood's heart lies in writing his own material, and for the past two years he has been enjoying exploring the strange new world of songwriting. The result is less of an album and more of a sort of musical trellis; twelve songs of structure and rigidity and lush lyrical sprawl, including Greenwood's attempts at writing 'a really really crappy ITV drama', tales about taxi drivers on the Westway, Victorian gin, Charles Manson and the search for a pair of decent shoes, all told in his soft, earthy tones. It is a collection of songs that he hopes tethers him to a narrative songwriting tradition.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              LP Info: The vinyl now won't be released.

                                              "Home Again" is Edwyn's 6th solo long player. Work began on the album at West Heath, Edwyn's North West London studio in late 2004 / early 2005 but was halted as Edwyn was struck down with a serious illness. Work to complete the album was resumed earlier this year following a long period of rehabilitation which sees Edwyn happily back creating music again. Edwyn formed his first band, The Nu-Sonics in Glasgow in 1976 and was later to form Orange Juice and the hugely influential Postcard Records on which they released a string of acclaimed singles including "Falling And Laughing" and "Simply Thrilled Honey" in the late 1970s. They went on to record four ambitious albums which fused the rhythm and drive of Chic and Stax with an edge and attitude born out of their post-punk roots; such a sound was, at the time, completely unique and their influence on subsequent waves of British guitar bands cannot be underestimated. Orange Juice disbanded in 1985 and Edwyn has subsequently enjoyed a successful solo career (his 1994 single "A Girl Like You" was a worldwide hit) and has produced a number of albums, including The Cribs 2004 long player "The New Fellas". He has released five solo albums since his debut, "Hope And Despair" in 1989.

                                              Ed Harcourt releases his fourth full length album, "The Beautiful Lie", and it features guest appearances from Graham Coxon, The Magic Numbers and BJ Cole. Once again it's choc-full of brilliantly melodic songs and it's a mystery why he hasn't been more successful. There's more than a hint of melodrama, which may put some people off, but really his super-romantic, rich in imagery mega-stories deserve these flourishes. Each song is like opening a 3-D picture-book and tumbling into a different world. It's magic!

                                              The Magic Numbers are the brother and sister pairings of Romeo and Michele Stodart and Angela and Sean Gannon. Over the past 12 months, through a couple of limited edition singles and plenty of live shows, they have been quietly building a devoted following. Drawing inspiration from many sources - singer-songwriters (Cohen, Dylan), 60s harmony groups (Mamas & Papas, Lovin' Spoonful), epic rock or such mavericks as David Axelrod - the band craft a sound which, like Flaming Lips or Beck, is coming from everywhere but is uniquely theirs.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Ltd CD Info: Limited edition digi-pack.

                                              This superb record was released in February 2005. Doves continued where they left off but this time they go even one better again: song for song this probably outslugs "The Last Broadcast"! You could actually describe this as a pop record, just for its massive melody quota, except pop music rarely displays such soul, depth or intelligence. There's Air-ish grooves, Cocteau's-shimmering echoes, a Strokes rip, a Northern Soul stomper, and one song "Snowden" has the sweetest Mercury Rev-style, swooning keyboard refrain. But then you probably know all this by now? This stunning album catapulted Doves right into the big league. Albums with not one duff track can do that for a band. To see a group who'd played live in our shop to a handful of people only six years earlier, go on and connect with so many, and in such a meaningful way, was heartwarming, to say the least.

                                              Tracklisting
                                              1. Some Cities (Rich Costey Mix)
                                              2. Black And White Town
                                              3. Almost Forgot Myself
                                              4. Snowden
                                              5. The Storm
                                              6. Walk In Fire (Rich Costey Mix)
                                              7. One Of These Days
                                              8. Someday Soon
                                              9. Shadows Of Salford
                                              10. Sky Starts Falling
                                              11. Ambition

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xLtd CD Info: Special CD and DVD double digi-pack edition.

                                              He was Mercury nominated for his first album but his second bettered it and now his third is simply breathtaking! First listens suggest a lighter, more direct record and I was worried that Ed had copped out a little; it's certainly not as murky or mysterious. But when the songs start to kick in and you realise that every single one is brilliant, any preconceptions will vanish, lost in the pure pop rush! It's joyous yet melancholic (there is no better blend!) and his voice is just spine tingling. The songs are all proper; crammed with melodic twists (The Beatles often spring to mind, or shall we say Elliott Smith) and enriched by piano, trumpets and violins. There's even a David Crosby-ish mellow number which is something new for Ed, I think. But as the songs roll by and you realise there's not one you'd skip; there you have it, a super pop album, catchy but moving, frothy yet deep. It's perfect!

                                              22-20s

                                              Why Don't You Do It For Me?

                                              Tribal thumping, taut guitars, it's a high octane MC5 style pure rock 'n' roll assault on the senses. This is the first new stuff from this lot since their incredible debut mini-album last summer, and like The White Stripes it's bringing the blues up to date; it's young, exciting, explosive stuff. Shake it like a bowl of soup!

                                              Still mining the richest of rock seams, from Beatles to Nirvana and taking in West Coast psychedelia with a side order of garage-band nuggets, this LP nicely consolidates things for The Vines. The limited 7" "F*** The World" flew out of Piccadilly, so we know you still love them; there's been some negative press but that's just a reaction to the hype they got first time round. If you enjoyed their debut then you'll love this one too. There's 3 enormous ballads which, to me are their best work yet. "Sun Child", "Winning Days" and "Autumn Shade II" are worth the price of admission alone. They're not the Rock Saviours they were hyped up to be; they're just a smart melodic group with some cool and tasty reference points. Good stuff.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              LP Info: Was £14.99

                                              Ed Harcourt

                                              From Every Sphere

                                              Calling all lovers of classic pop! He's here! A bona-fide super-talented romantic songwriter crafting half-experimental half-sugar-coated catchy nuggets for your delectation! Rich, melodic West Coast flavours collide with a British folksy whimsy on mostly piano-led tunes which are all gorgeously crooned and sprinkled with fairy dust. He's got a gift for narrative that really pulls you in and he's been compared to Costello and even Tom Waits. Either way, he's dealing in magic and he's conjured up what will surely be seen as one of the albums of the year.

                                              Ed Harcourt

                                              All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed

                                              "Strawberry Fields" keyboards and heavily phased guitar propel this top song skywards. A catchy tune with a lovely sentiment.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              CDS Info: Limited edition enhanced CD, includes "Coal Black Heart", "Blackwoods Back Home" and the enhanced video of "All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed".

                                              Beth Orton

                                              Daybreaker

                                              Third studio album from Beth Orton. The album features new songs that see her collaborating with Ryan Adams, The Chemical Brothers, Emmylou Harris, William Orbit, Ben Watt & Johnny Marr.

                                              Doves

                                              The Last Broadcast

                                                April 2002 saw Doves return, with the Roses inspired "There Goes The Fear" single crashing into the Top 3. It was a massive song, all groove, headrush melody and scope, but even that couldn't prepare us for the sheer brilliance of the album that followed. Every single song is fantastic and whilst still heavy on the sadness, this is a defiantly uplifting record. The appropriately titled "Pounding" is testament to that; it's one of many heart-tugging anthems. Elsewhere Doves cover folk, gospel and early-Floyd style psychedelia, effortlessly blending it into a singular listening experience. It was around this time that another musician (I forget who) described Doves as 'pure emotion on tape'. Whoever he was, he was right!

                                                Tracklisting
                                                1. Intro
                                                2. Words
                                                3. There Goes The Fear
                                                4. M62 Song
                                                5. Where We're Calling From
                                                6. N.Y.
                                                7. Satellites
                                                8. Friday's Dust
                                                9. Pounding
                                                10. Last Broadcast
                                                11. The Sulphur Man
                                                12. Caught By The River

                                                Saint Etienne

                                                Smash The System

                                                Saint Etienne epitomise the best of indie pop and this great best-of has many classics such as "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (their brilliant reworking of the Neil Young song) "Kiss And Make Up" and loads more.


                                                Latest Pre-Sales

                                                214 NEW ITEMS

                                                We now have @slowdiveband signed albums in. Thank you for popping to our pop up shop @bluedotfestival guys. https://t.co/qvq2SqExmk
                                                Sun 22nd - 3:54
                                                RT @slowdiveband: We are @bluedotfestival and about to head over to @PiccadillyRecs stall to sign some records if you’re in the area .
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                                                Good morning @bluedotfestival we are open and ready for the 3rd and final day. Who is swinging by our pop up shop i… https://t.co/lIZ7D6Npye
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                                                .@BALOJI is playing the main stage at 5pm @bluedotfestival and just after 9pm on the roots stage today. We’ve got a… https://t.co/YERAhcCVnF
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