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Katy J Pearson

Return

    Return symbolises the re-entry of Pearson into music-making after a previous, collaborative project with her brother fell foul of the pressures of a major label record deal and over the course of two-and-a-half years, between her parents’ house in Gloucestershire, her Bristol bedroom, and nearby community arts space The Island, Pearson honed her craft as a solo artist, learning to rely on her creative instincts, and bringing forth an album just as shaped by the South-West of England as the rich musical history of America’s Southern States.

    The songs were strengthened and evolved in a live setting — including in support of Olden Yolk and Cass McCombs on their respective UK and European tours — before being taken to the studio of producer Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, M. Ward, Perfume Genius, Gruff Rhys), where they were captured in their final form. The result is a jewel in the dirt by the side of the highway; ten songs which slide effortlessly between lovelorn country, lo-fi folk and glistening, unforgettable pop.

    Having completed a European tour alongside Cass McCombs at the end of last year and appeared at both the End of the Road Christmas party and the Line of Best Fit’s ‘Five Day Forecast’, she returns later in the year for a couple of shows at Sound City in Liverpool and Live at Leeds and a run of headline shows in early 2021.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Initial pressing edition on transparent red vinyl with bonus booklet. Also includes a bonus "Field Recordings" CD while stocks last: An exclusive-to-indies CD bonus of acoustic field recordings, recorded in countryside locations and captured on a vintage Nagra tape recorder in the summer of 2020.

    Terry Hall

    Home

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE AUGUST 29TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
      LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


      Let's talk about denial.Let's talk about self-awareness.Let's talk about romantic idealism.And let's talk about pop music.Let's talk about Terry Hall and his strange relationship with all of these things: about his ability to create life-affirming pop music and about the fact that his exceptional gift was recognised by a long line of his peers before, finally, Terry Hall could no longer ignore it either.Let's talk about the album where the penny finally dropped.A record which believes in the dream of perfect love despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.Let's talk about 'Home', the first solo album by Terry Hall. Twenty-six years have elapsed since the original release of 'Home', but this Record Store Day sees its long overdue debut on vinyl.It might have been the first album which saw Hall step forward from a group identity, but 'Home' was Hall's ninth in various guises since the emergence of The Specials' self-titled LP in 1979.It had taken Hall a while to find his feet as a songwriter.With Jerry Dammers so prolific in that regard, Hall found himself in a strange position at the end of that group's collective lifetime.The Specials had made him a pop star, but he didn't feel like one.By the release of Fun Boy Three's second album 'Missing' (1983), the competition was Wham!, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club.Nothing wrong with any of those, but Hall would see himself staring back from the pages of a magazine alongside all the aforementioned names and experience what he called "a total cognitive disconnection". 'Home', then, was the culmination of a long process which saw Terry Hall separate his lack of love for the job of pop star from his adoration for pop itself.In solving that conundrum, it sounds like a weight has been lifted from Hall.Like a code has finally been cracked.Somehow emblematic of that process is the album's lead single 'Forever J', a song that Hall had started writing about his wife Jeannette almost a decade previously, but only finally came together when Hall presented it to the album's producer Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds) as the sessions got under way.Alloyed to a disarmingly beautiful chorus, this ticker-tape flurry of unguarded intimacies might just be the most perfect pop song of an era that wasn't exactly lacking in competition ñ and although it didn't crack the top 40 at the time, it cemented the affection in which an emerging generation of proficient popsmiths held him: Jarvis Cocker did his own remix of the song and Damon Albarn sang Hall's praises at every opportunity.In commencing the record, 'Forever J' sets the tone for what follows on the remainder of 'Home'.Yes, it's a solo album, but the engine of these performances is a stellar "house" band comprised of Craig Gannon (The Smiths, Aztec Camera, The Bluebells), Les Pattinson (Echo & The Bunnymen) and Chris Sharrock (The Icicle Works, The La's). This illustrious roll call is one that extends to the songwriters with whom Hall collaborated on the record.Co-written by Nick Heyward, 'What's Wrong With Joy' is a synergy of seeming incompatible components: its life-affirming power pop livery freighting a cargo of self-doubt ("I've got a bag full of promises I can't keep/And a hundred reasons why I don't sleep") and good intentions ("All I wanna do is make your dreams come true") to the affections of anyone who hears it.Andy Partridge steps forward to share the credit on 'Moon On Your Dress" and 'I Drew A Lemon': the latter a rebuke to the man who will never love her the way our lyrical protagonist pledges to; the former a longtime favourite among fans of both Hall and XTC for the sanguine self-deprecations that manage to captures something of both artists' relationship to the world around them. And, of course, if you have Ian Broudie manning the console, it would be obtuse not to write a song or two together.With a friendship dating back to the early days of The Specials (the young Broudie saw Hall's pre-Specials outfit The Coventry Automatics open for The Clash in 1978) the measure of the pair's chemistry stretches beyond Broudie's production role to encompass two of the album's indisputable highlights.Featuring the unforgettable couplet, "If ifs and ands were pots and pans, you'd be a kitchen", 'You' sees its protagonist trying to persuade his subject to see in him what he sees in her.The other Broudie co-write on 'Home' will need no introduction to most pop fans.'Sense' is the song which gave its name to The Lightning Seeds' second album, giving the group their third top 40 hit in 1992.The version sung here by Hall though benefits from the Sharrock's pugnacious Keith Moon-isms and, of course, the buccaneering fretboard work of Craig Gannon. It's Gannon, too, whose fingerprints can be found on a clutch of other songs which give a little more back with each repeated play.'Home' may have emerged in the era that saw the term 'Britpop' enter the cultural lexicon, but there's a fragrant melodic classicism at the heart of Gannon and Hall's collaborations that can also be found in the work of Hall's "other" 80s songwriting vehicle The Colour Field, with its nods to French chanson.It's there on 'Forever J' and it's also abundant on Hall/Gannon originals like 'No No No' and 'I Don't Got You'. And yet, for all of that, there's something about Hall's voice that is, to quote the latter song, "as English as the weather".You can hear it all over 'Home', and it works both to the advantage of this album and the listener.Like the expression of the man staring at you on the sleeve, there's an outward sense of reserve in these performances which belies the lyrical tensions hinted at in many of its songs.Hall's marriage was coming to an end when 'Home' was recorded, but these songs are manifestly the work of someone who still believes in happy ever after.Just about.They're also the work of someone who has come to an accommodation with his relationship to pop.To coin a neologism, you might say that this was the record where our hero finally learned to "own it".And if your love of great pop mirrors that of Terry Hall, 'Home' is a record you might also consider owning.

      Working Men's Club

      Megamix

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE AUGUST 29TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
        LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


        Working Menís Club hotly anticipated, self-titled debut album was due to drop this June, now, for reasons obvious to most of us, it is due October. Looking at the blank space left by the postponement, 18 year old wonderkid frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant decided to utilise his free time, in lockdown, and capitalise on the creative momentum the band has garnered. The result is a 21-minute continuous ëMEGAMIXí that simultaneously acts as a taster and a condensed electronic reworking of parts of the album. ìOur album would have been released today but we had to push the release back due to Covid. It doesnít feel like a particularly apt time to be self promoting anything at all however we wanted to give something to the people who pre-ordered the album on what would of the original release date,î says Minsky-Sargeant. ìInitially it seemed a bit of a crazy idea to go and remix an album we've just made that isn't even out yet. But once we got into it we were like, ëlet's fucking go for ití. One could of course argue that crazy ideas are whatís needed in such crazy times but, in reality, what has been produced is less of a chaotic and scatterbrain idea and more a coherent artistic statement in line with the bandís perpetual forward momentum. Minsky-Sargeant teamed up with the bandís producer Ross Orton - under the moniker ëMinsky Rockí, a recently started project under which they recently completed a Jarvis Cocker remix - and the pair worked remotely to create the unique reimagining. ìRoss has a studio in Sheffield and I have a bit of one at home. So I would play a synth part and then send him the file over and he'd put it into his computer and then bring it up on a shared screen. I could see his interface and we'd mix it like that. It was like being in the same room.î The result is a ìreinterpretation rather than a remixî says Minsky-Sargeant. Over its seamlessly flowing duration, as it unfurls in hypnotic and infectious grooves - teasing snippets of songs as they weave in and out - the mix plays out like a classic 12î extended mix. Albeit one that takes on different forms and explores new terrain altogether. ìIt takes a number of parts of the album but different versions [and edits] of the songs,î he says. ìI've played new parts on more or less everything. Some tracks I've taken out the guitar parts and re-done them with synths or replaced bass lines with synths.î Thereís something of a northern lineage that can be traced here too, in that the 12î band remixes were something of a mainstay of Manchester bands like New Order and A Certain Ratio, and in a similar spirit, WMC are a new young band pushing, and crossing, the boundaries of where guitar and electronic music can interlink and overlap. ìIt's free flowing and electronic, rather than sounding like a band,î Minsky-Sargeant says of the mix. ìIt gives an insight into what the record is like, as well as the future of the band, but itís also something totally exclusive. It's very much its own thing.î

        Cherry Ghost

        Live At The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge - January 25 2015.

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE AUGUST 29TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
          LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


          As the final act before their hiatus ñ coming after three critically praised albums in a decade - 'Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge' is Cherry Ghost performing an intimate, starkly arranged set at the 2015 Heavenly Weekender.Released now for the first time ñ on double vinyl and download ñ this is perhaps the best realised collection of songs from Cherry Ghost, the alias of the Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Simon Aldred. The instrumentation ñ Aldred is joined on keyboards and light percussion by Christian Madden and Grenville Harrop ñ brings to the fore Aldred's peerless songwriting, his oak-aged, prematurely wisened baritone.'History' wrote the Quietus in 2014, 'will be kind to Aldred', and this collection proves exactly that ñ with a bit of time and distance, the songs presented here show a highly singular, highly accomplished songwriter, aspiring to the pop classicism of Glen Campbell or Bill Callahan. All of human life is here ñ tracking a drizzly Northern gothic of last bus loneliness, late-night Spars, solitary drinkers, factory floors and Gods that betray.And yet, there's more than meets the eye.There's magnetic renderings of his best known songs - '4AM', 'People Help the People', the soaring 'Mathematics' - but surprises reveal themselves.'All I Want' and 'Herd Runners' candidly examine Aldred's sexuality, whilst the seldom heard b-side 'Bad Crowd' reveals Aldred to be a much funnier songwriter than remembered. What runs right through Aldred's work, however, is a yearning ñ a much tested faith in romance ñ so no wonder that the album ends on its most optimistic notes, at the darkest point of winter nestled in the West Yorkshire valleys, promising clear skies ever closer.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xLtd LP Info: *** ONE COPY FOUND ***

          The Magic Numbers

          The Magic Numbers (RSD20 EDITION)

            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE AUGUST 29TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
            LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


            The 15th anniversary of the debut Magic Numbers album.Released in it's orginal limited format, including the one sided limited 7".The vinyl is Crystal Clear 2LP + 7î Time creates it's own mirror and within it comes new reflections.Fifteen years later I find myself listening and reflecting on our debut album in a way that has also made me reflect upon my life.Just who was I making that record, writing those songs, what did we want, what did we achieve? Perhaps you too will be thinking similar things as you listen and reflect upon your own personal journey, especially if this record soundtracked your life all those years gone by....If you are listening to this for the very first time, may I introduce you to... The Magic Numbers Two families. The Stodart's & The Gannon's. We wanted to create music that was timeless. We wanted to create a band that you could believe in. We wanted to break your heart whilst lifting your spirit. We wanted to make a classic debut album. In 2004 The Magic Numbers were playing live almost every other night around London, making friends that soon grew into a following that spread the word the old school way, by word of mouth.People telling people about this new group comprising of two sets of brothers and sisters, who were singing a kind of country-soul-pop music with three part harmonies.From the outside things seemed to be happening very quickly, but I'd been writing songs and playing empty venues with our drummer Sean for 10 years before this momentum started building, and for us it really was always just a matter of time...but it sure took it's sweet time.Honestly though, it was only when our sisters Michele & Angela brought their magic to the band did anyone start taking notice, as then we discovered a sound.There was an energy between us that was somewhat frenetic, it was powerful, we knew we had something special and unique and because of that it also made us very cautious and protective. Fifteen years ago it felt like we were on top of the world, capable of anything, full of promise, full of innocence but also full of anxiety, still recovering from loss and having nothing.We literally had nothing but each other and this music.So many dreams of ours started coming true, from selling out shows and hearing people sing along to our songs in the crowd, to being given the opportunity to go into the studio by Heavenly.The biggest dream was to make a record.Jeff Barrett & Martin Kelly's belief in the band and myself as a songwriter at that time really gave us that extra confidence and boost that I think every artist needs whether they'd like to admit it or not.So there we were, about to make this record. Going into the studio can be a very daunting experience for a band, especially when the only real experience you've ever had was some home recording with a 4 track.We chose to work with Craig Silvey because we loved him straight away as a person and felt like he understood what we wanted to achieve.He was amazing at putting us at ease and not having us react to that red light fever that sometimes creeps up on you.He wanted to stay true to what he'd seen us do live and just try and enhance that sonically as best as he could. We had a shared vision of not wanting there to be too many overdubs on the record, as the core elements between the four of us when we played live was already telling the story in the way we had arranged the songs.It's funny now to think that we ended up playing these huge festivals with literally a guitar tuner between us as we didn't want anything else to colour the sound of our guitars being plugged straight into our amplifiers. It's always the songs for me that make a great record and we had the songs. My sister Michele & I sat at our mum and dad's and said "Right let's write a song in D major" and I started pulsing on that opening chord and Michele's bass line took us on a journey like they always do, that melodic hooky driving thing that she does is key to what makes this music.We had so much fun writing 'Mornings Eleven' that I feel the spirit of that moment was captured in the song.We never really said it out loud to each other at the time but we both knew we were trying to write our very own 'Good Vibrations' We'd have never thought that it would be the opening song on our debut album. Some of the songs on this album just appeared fully formed.'This Love' in particular was written pretty soon after I had learnt of our grandmother's death in New York, I was heartbroken that I wasn't there for her in those last days especially as she had raised me as a little boy.I can clearly remember playing that opening triplet guitar figure and the words and melody just came pouring out like they were always there, the same thing with 'Which Way To Happy' I remember the feeling of playing catch up to what was coming out.Over the years I've learnt that it's a very rare thing, songs appearing fully formed like that, it still surprises me when they do arrive like a memory of some kind.'Love's A Game' felt like it had always existed, in fact for a very long time I would ask people "But does it remind you of anything?" I don't remember writing 'Forever Lost' at all.I remember playing it to the band and us rehearsing it, having fun with the arrangement but no recollection of writing it. So many songs came from such sad places, the end of a long term relationship, death in the family, feeling so lost and vulnerable, this yearning for something else, to be someone else but I guess unknowingly we disguised it with harmonies and hooks. 'Love Me Like You' was definitely one of those, no one spoke of the meaning of the song when I first played it, we all just dived straight in and started having fun with hooks and skips in the rhythm.It was the baby of the bunch, as it was only written a few months before we began recording, whereas 'Try' was probably the eldest of almost 2 years.Then there's the duet between Angie and myself 'I See You You See Me'.My mum and dad were arguing downstairs and I knew it would only be a matter of time before they would make up and laugh about how ridiculous they were both being.I based the song on that kind of love, one that sees through everything.Angela's voice on that still melts my heart. I'd bought a set of these glockenspiel tone bars from a charity shop in Hanwell one afternoon walking home from signing on at the job-centre and all the way back I was thinking about this much more tender arrangement of a song I'd written called 'Hymn For Her'.The climax of the song on the third chorus was originally how it was all throughout.I remember that day working on it with Michele and Angela as we were so excited about how it turned out we decided to play it live that night to a small few. There's so much love and hope and joy and honesty in this album.So much fun in the arrangements, so much youth and innocence in our voices.It encapsulates a very precious time within the four of our lives.I'm still our biggest fan. Fifteen years later. We're still wanting to create music that is timeless. We're still wanting to be a band that you can believe in. We're still wanting to break your heart whilst lifting your spirit. But we can't ever make that first album again, this is it, we captured that moment in timeÖ..and upon reflection it surpassed all of our wildest expectations. Hope you enjoy listening. Romeo Stodart

            Baxter Dury

            The Night Chancers

              Failed Fashionistas, Instagram voyeurs, jilted Romeos, reeking insecurity, the willingly self deluded, the comically unware, the Night Chancers… “Baxter Loves You” The album was co - produced by long time collaborator Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, John Grant, Artic Monkeys) and Baxter, and was recorded at Hoxa studios West Hampstead in May 2019.

              From thrilling affairs that dissolve into sweaty desperation (Night Chancers) to the absurd bloggers, fruitlessly clinging to the fag ends of the fashion set (Sleep People), via soiled real life (Slum Lord) social media – enabled stalkers (I’m not Your Dog) and new day, sleep – deprived optimism (Daylight), the record’s finely drawn vignettes, are all based on the corners of world Dury has visited.

              Baxter says “Night Chancers is about being caught out in your attempt at being free”, it’s about someone leaving a hotel room at three in the morning. You’re in a posh room with big Roman taps and all that, but after they go suddenly all you can hear is the taps dripping, and all you can see the debris of the night is around you. Then suddenly a massive party erupts, in the room next door. This happened to me and all I  Could hear was the night chancer, the hotel ravers”.



              King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

              Flying Microtonal Banana (Love Record Stores Edition)

                Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
                Limited to one per person.


                Rancid rainwater eco-wax editions. Recycled board and biodegradable packaging. This release has been carbon offset from production to your local record store.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Brown Vinyl.

                King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                Paper Mache Dream Balloon (Love Record Stores Edition)

                  Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
                  Limited to one per person.


                  Rancid rainwater eco-wax editions. Recycled board and biodegradable packaging. This release has been carbon offset from production to your local record store.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Brown Vinyl.

                  King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                  Quarters (Love Record Stores Edition)

                    Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
                    Limited to one per person.


                    Rancid rainwater eco-wax editions. Recycled board and biodegradable packaging. This release has been carbon offset from production to your local record store.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Brown Vinyl.

                    Mark Lanegan

                    Straight Songs Of Sorrow

                      When considering any great work of art, be it a painting, a novel, or a piece of music, it’s natural to wonder what might have inspired it: ‘the story behind the song’. Mark Lanegan’s new album, Straight Songs Of Sorrow, flips that equation. Here are 15 songs inspired by a story: his life story, as documented by his own hand in his new memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep.

                      The book is a brutal, nerve-shredding read, thanks to Lanegan’s unsparing candour in recounting a journey from troubled youth in eastern Washington, through his drug-stained existence amid the ’90s Seattle rock scene, to an unlikely salvation at the dawn of the 21st century. There’s death and tragedy, yet also humour and hope, thanks to the tenacity which impels its host, even at his lowest moments. As Lanegan writes near the end: “I was the ghost that wouldn’t die.”

                      Today, Lanegan is a renowned songwriter and a much-coveted collaborator, as adept at electronica as with rock, constantly honing his indomitable voice: an asphalt-laced linctus for the soul. While the memoir documents a struggle to find peace with himself, his new album emphasis the extent to which he came to realise that music is his life.

                      “Writing the book, I didn’t get catharsis,” he chuckles. “All I got was a Pandora’s box full of pain and misery. I went way in, and remembered shit I’d put away 20 years ago. But I started writing these songs the minute I was done, and I realised there was a depth of emotion because they were all linked to memories from this book. It was a relief to suddenly go back to music. Then I realised that was the gift of the book: these songs. I’m really proud of this record.”

                      Straight Songs Of Sorrow combines musical trace elements from early Mark Lanegan albums with the synthesized constructs of later work. The meditative acoustic guitar fingerpicking – provided by Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton – on Apples From A Tree and Hanging On (For DRC) echo 1994’s Whiskey For The Holy Ghost. Yet one of that record’s touchstones was Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, echoed in the new album’s opener I Wouldn’t Want To Say, where Lanegan extemporises *à la Ballerina over musique concrète wave patterns generated by his latest favourite compositional tool, a miniature computer-synth called the Organelle. The lyric clings onto the music, emulating his book’s queasy momentum: *“Swinging from death… to revival.”

                      “That song is the explanation, the beginning and middle and end of that entire period of time,” Mark says. “The encapsulation of the entire experience, book and record. So I started with that.”

                      Lanegan affirms that every song references a specific episode or person in the book, albeit some more explicitly than others. Hanging On (For DRC) is a loving ode to his friend Dylan Carlson, genius progenitor of drone metal and a fellow unlikely survivor of Seattle’s narcotic dramas. “I was always unhappy, and he was the guy who was always smiling, even through my crazy schemes that eventually got both of us into a lot of trouble.” The richly cinematic mood of Daylight In The Nocturnal House, meanwhile, paints a more impressionistic scene: factory smoke, rain, a phone call from *“somebody’s grand-daughter”, who’ll *“pay to make somebody crawl/And send you to heaven.” The singer’s perspective is ambiguous. “I got into a lot of shady business in those years,” Lanegan says.

                      Longtime observers will recognise some familiar recurrent themes. Death. Destruction. Bad behaviour. In the case of At Zero Below, all in the same song. “Yes, I did burn someone with a cigarette,” Mark says. “Yes, I did spit in somebody’s face – maybe more than once in my life. Stuff I’m not proud of. That song is also about one of my many ex-girlfriends who is no longer with us. It’s all linked to the book.”

                      At Zero Below features two of the album’s many stellar guests. Singing admonitory harmonies with himself is Greg Dulli, another ’90s alt-rock veteran, Lanegan’s erstwhile partner in mischief and fellow Gutter Twin. The song’s incantatory fiddle is played by The Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis. No lesser figure than Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones provides Mellotron on the serpentine Ballad Of A Dying Rover (*“I’m just a sick sick man/My days are numbered”). Aside from mandolin, all Daylight In The Nocturnal House’s cobwebbed atmospherics are by Portishead’s Adrian Utley. Ed Harcourt is Lanegan’s pick for album MVP (“He’s all over it – everything that he plays, piano or Wurlitzer, becomes magical”), with special mention to bassist Jack Bates, son of Peter Hook; that duo make especially distinctive contributions to Churchbells, Ghosts a bleakly humorous lament to the drudgery of life on the road (*“I’d ask somebody for a quarter/If there were someone for me to phone”).

                      Ketamine is a numb blues, with Lanegan shadowed by Cold Cave vocalist Wesley Eisold, who inspired the album’s only overt drug song (ironically, about a drug that Lanegan has never actually taken). “Wes is good friends with Genesis P-Orridge,” explains Mark, “and he said the last time he saw Gen she was in a hospital bed, saying to this priest, ‘No thank you sir, I don’t need any last rites, but if you have any ketamine that would be perfect.’” He laughs. “So I immediately wrote that song and had him sing on it. There’s drugs throughout the record – they’re rife in Bleed All Over – but that song was the only real specific one.”

                      The material on the last two Mark Lanegan Band albums had Lanegan’s words set to music by various other sources. But aside from the Mark Morton collaborations, Straight Songs Of Sorrow was built from the ground up by Lanegan alone, aided by producer Alain Johannes, his longtime consigliere. Only two other songs have shared credits, and even these stay in-house: Burying Ground and Eden Lost And Found were co-written by Mark’s wife Shelley Brien, with whom he also duets on the Rita Coolidge/Kris Kristofferson-style ballad This Game Of Love. “Let’s put it this way,” says Mark. “Every girlfriend I’ve ever had, for any amount of time, left me. All the good ones left me! Until my current wife. It was great to sing that with Shelley, it really shows she’s a great singer. And it has a depth of emotion that I’m not used to. This is a more honest record than I’ve probably ever made.”

                      A crushing twin-song centrepiece proves that. First, Stockholm City Blues, a sparse, beautiful, strings and finger-picking meditation on the remorse code of addiction (*“I pay for this pain I put into my blood”). Then, the seven-minute epic Skeleton Key, a supplicatory confessional (“I’m ugly inside and out there is no denying”) that also provides the album title. It’s a remarkable performance from a man whose punishment for plumbing the depths was simply to continue further along the road. “My wife called that my ‘redemption song’,” says Lanegan.

                      And indeed, there is a happy ending to this story. Just as his book closes with the hero overcoming adversity and turning, battered but cleansed, towards a new day, so Straight Songs Of Sorrow closes with Eden Lost And Found. *“Sunrise coming up baby/To burn the dirt right off of me,” marvels Lanegan, with his words echoed by Simon Bonney of Crime & The City Solution, an all-time hero. “I wanted to make a positive song to end this record, because that’s the way the book ended,” Mark says. “And what’s more positive than to have your favourite singer sing with you?”

                      Straight Songs Of Sorrow feels both definitive and unique, a culmination of its creator’s arc yet also indicative of the energy that drives him onto future horizons. No wonder Lanegan is proud.

                      “I do feel this is something special for me, something honest,” he says. “’Cos records are not real life, man – in case no one told ya. They’re just a fake version of life!” Mark Lanegan laughs. “Well, at least you have one now that’s a little closer to being real. Unfortunately, it’s by me.”

                      Keith Cameron.


                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xLP Info: Double 180 gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with printed inners.

                      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      Unloved

                      Heartbreak Instrumentals

                        Unloved release a very special companion piece to their critically acclaimed 2nd LP ‘Heartbreak’ for Record Store Day 2019. These instrumental versions reveal the full depth of the album’s productions and give a fresh perspective on the cinematic beauty of the music, as used in the soundtrack for hit BBC Spy drama ‘Killing Eve’. Perfectly complemented by pulp romance cover inspired artwork by Julian House, director of the band’s ‘Heartbreak’ and ‘Guilty Of Love’ music videos, this limited release is not to be missed. Limited to 500, includes download.

                        Big Wows is heavier, harder and weirder than Stealing Sheep’s previous work. Bold neon pop songs with rave percussion, steelpans, dreamy segues and breathy experiments. The *fsszzt* sound of lemonade opens the album with a hyper-real sense of optimism that progressively reveals the cracks of dystopian irony amidst sugar–coated pop; held together by Emily Lansley’s bass guitar, Luciana Mercer’s drum kit, Rebecca Hawley’s synths, and the trio’s swooning steely vocal harmonies.

                        Stealing Sheep describe Big Wows as “a slow rush”; taking shape over a period of nearly three years spent working out exactly what they wanted it to be and creating an album that levitated their identities as individuals as well as merging them into one unit “We’re each finding our own creative intuition,” says Bex “..and then we come together...and we back each other up" adds Lucy.

                        Just as the title suggests, Big Wows is both cynical and optimistic: dreaminess and pop dance rhythms are cut With eye rolling vocal styles inflected by heartfelt lyrical messages “We hit upon this conversational-style between the vocals and have alternating lead melodies. There's a sarcastic tone to some of the music but there is always a strong wilfulness to incorporate honest integrity, which is hard to do but refreshing when it finally comes out.”

                        Side one opens with a burst of shimmery synths as ‘Show Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ lead you heart first into the headier feels of ‘Jokin' Me’ and upbeat bounce of 'Why haven't I?' following into the more progressive grooves for ‘Girl’ then fading out with the narcoleptic comforts of ‘Just Dreaming’. Side two digs deeper into a dreamworld, with the manias and hallucinations of ‘Breathe’ and ‘True Colours’ as well as the gorgeous disillusionment of the title track and ending with an unexpected tropical club banger ‘Choose Like You’.

                        Running through the whole record is a response to living in a tech era: “We wanted sounds to represent TVs, computers and everyday glitches” says Bex “We started to have this feeling that life is like a game and how you can malfunction when you're blasted with too much information…” As well as composing with traditional instrumentation they also started songs solely on the computer; sequencing, building sounds, drum machines and responding to that non-emotional binary world. “The big challenge,” continues Bex “is making machines sound organic, emotional, finding their flaws. That’s why Delia Derbyshire is so important to us. All the effects that she uses serve to humanise the machines.”

                        Since the release of their last album, 2015’s surreal and fantastical ‘Not Real’, they’ve been in demand as multidisciplinary public artists as well as musicians – on projects including Wow Machine, which brings to life another more conceptual strand of ‘Big Wows’; in a mechanical light up stage with dancers and live music. This summer they also performed at UK festivals with a 15 strong all-female procession to celebrate the centenary of Suffrage. “Being female has become more of a theme in our work” the band say. “It's obviously always been there but now we're playing with it more conceptually and thinking about empowerment"

                        This greater confidence and rock-solid aesthetic mean that Stealing Sheep can take greater risks and reap more wonderful rewards. They have a broad range of influences – St Vincent, Michael Jackson, The Knife, Kraftwerk, Drake, Little Dragon - but they remain so resolutely and richly themselves. “We try new things out and we get more confident about what we like.” says Bex. "There’s a really good thing Grayson Perry says about developing your creative intuition. You get to a level as an artist where you know on a gut level what you like and what you don’t like. It takes a long time to feel comfortable in that place, to know your palette, to know you like these drum sounds or whatever it is.”

                        Lucy is working with a full drum kit now instead of just toms, Emily is playing bass guitar, Bex is making her own synth patches and they’re all using new equipment: they are developing and experimenting and moving forward together. “We wanted the machine sounds to be juxtaposed against a full kit and bass guitar, which we tracked live to feel intentionally loose in places. We like the idea of placing robotic tech next to real life energy.”

                        The songs began at home or in their studio at Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, laying down the main body of the tracks, then the band worked with various producers – including Marta Salogni (Bjork, MIA, Factory Floor), Andy Smith (Years & Years), Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy) and Joe Wills (video artist for Little Dragon) – as they’ve tried out different mixes and ideas to convey their messages. They also teamed up with 8bit video artist Pastle Castle (Emily Garner) from Leeds, who created a Karaoke video series for the whole album; exploring Stealing Sheep's digital dimension and their shifting identities amidst changing cultural moods and millennial paraphernalia. "It's a crazy time and it's challenging navigating through it, but it's like 'whatever' bring on the BIG WOWS.’


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: I remember being slightly surprised when Dave told me I should give the new Stealing Sheep single a listen a few months ago (Dave and I have canonically opposed tastes in music), and I actually really liked it. Throbbing synths, sugary percussion and huge 80's reverbs but with perfectly precise production and more than a nod to that classic sound of Italo disco. There's no way this isn't going to be a hit, and it deserves every minute of it.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Splatter disc with mirri-board sleeve (first pressing edition only).

                        Right as the clock was striking midnight on the last day of the year, King Gizzard issued Gumboot Soup, an entirely new 11-song collection. "Greenhouse Heat Death" and "All Is Known" are microtonal jams that roil and boil like the songs on Flying Microtonal Banana, the metallic "The Great Chain of Being" has the proggy feel of Murder of the Universe, and a bunch of mellow tracks ("Superposition," "I'm Sleepin' In," "The Wheel") could have been warped a bit and slotted right into Sketches of Brunswick East. The rest of the songs are strong neo-psych that would have fit well on the grab bag that was Polygondwanaland; the soft rock "Beginner's Luck" would have been a highlight with its marshmallowy chorus and jabbing guitar solo, and the same goes for the almost funky "Down the Sink," which reveals a loose-limbed side the band doesn't often show. So yes, it's a collection of castoffs and almost-weres, but the amazing thing is that it sounds like a greatest-hits collection made up of songs that are fully realized and played with passion and weirdness, not a half-baked slag heap. In case anyone needed it, Gumboot Soup is yet more proof that King Gizzard were firing all year long on all five cylinders, plus about four more that most bands don't have, and the body of work they created is immensely, intensely, jaw-droppingly impressive.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: Though I feel like I might be getting RSI from writing about King Giz, amazingly they've managed to smash out yet another killer LP, full of their trademark hooks and off-kilter psychedelic scree. Once again, a completely realised and cohesive collection comes from the KG camp.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Limited opaque orange coloured vinyl.

                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Baxter Dury

                        Miami

                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                          Heavyweight 180g White vinyl                                                                              
                          Speaking on the remix, Baxter stated:Jarvis I guess isn’t interested in doing things politely, this is a different song, possibly a better oneMiami (Original)BBC 6 Music:B-LISTED: MIAMI w/c 02/10, 09/10, 16/10A-LISTED: MIAMI w/c 23/10Miami - (Jarvis Cocker and Parrot Remix)the Queitus - 6th top track of 2017 http://thequietus.com/articles/23768-tracks-of-the-year-songs-2017Trevor Jackson - "can't start to tell you how much i love this mix, love the original too and hearing this made me buy the album, which i love too! thanks for sending."Joe Goddard / Hot Chip - "Amazing tune"Kelvin Andrews / wONK / Soul Mekanik / Creative Use - "I'm a big fan of Baxter. This is just great. Nice work Parrot & Jarvis! Thank you! Playing this out loads!"

                          King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

                          Polygondwanaland - Heavenly Edition

                            With an insanely prolific year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard return with their twelfth album, Polygondwanaland to journey into the depths of the mind and the limits of the universe. The Australian 7-piece have made a name for themselves with a steady stream of new material since their inception 2010, blending everything surf rock, prog, soul, folk, metal, garage rock, and even elements of spoken word and cinematic presentation, creating a large buzz and rabid fanbase stretching far across the globe from their Melbourne roots. this album is full of the psychedelic rock outfit's jazz and groove laden jams.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            says: For all of you who missed out on the Piccadilly Records exclusive beer splattered vinyl version of this, their TWELFTH LP, then here it is brought to you by the wonderful Heavenly records on CD and standard LP. If you haven't heard it yet, then get on it, or they'll have another one out before you get chance.

                            King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

                            Nonagon Infinity

                            Recording, releasing and touring a couple of albums in 18 months is beyond the realms of comprehensibility for most bands, but then King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard aren’t ‘most bands’. Forget a couple of albums, Friday April 29th 2016 marks the release of Nonagon Infinity, their fourth long-player for Heavenly Recordings in a little under a year and a half. Workshy they ain’t!

                            After the acid-flecked cosmic jazz of Quarters and the hazy, pastoral, acoustic bliss of Paper Mache Dream Balloon, with Nonagon Infinity the Gizzard once again dive head-long into the gonzo freak-beat frenzy that mark both their Heavenly debut I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, and their perpetually in motion, double-drummer propelled live show.

                            Recorded by Wayne Gordon, Paul Maybury, Michael Badger and Stu Mackenzie at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn, in keeping with their indefatigable spirit the 9 track album may be the world's first infinitely looping LP. Each of the nine, complex, blistering tracks on Nonagon Infinity seamlessly flows into the next, with the final song linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip.

                            Although little is known about H Hawkline at this stage, international record collector, occasional DJ partner and hirsute head Andy Votel divulges that he is “from a family lineage that comprises of 70s radio DJs and Welsh Horror movie stars.” He continues: “H Hawkline’s own place in the limelight often cascades and intertwines with the likes of his close friends Cate Le Bon [who produced this album], Sweet Baboo and Gruff Rhys. As an adept multi-intrumentalist main vein Huw Evans claws his influences from a broad outernational record collection comprising of Faustian Krautrock, Welsh Damp Wave, Turk Jerk and South American pre-punk.”

                            An album of “strange pop” (words borrowed from Huw), ‘In The Pink Of Condition’ is a controlled explosion of laser-guided guitar melody (think a careering Television show or Pavement outside the original site of Spillers) and whipsmart bi-lingual wordplay.

                            Although reluctant to cite a shopping list’s worth of influences, Huw nods to two permanent inspirations - the maverick US author Richard Brautigan (the Hawkline name is appropriated from Brautigan’s 1974 ‘gothic western’ ‘The Hawkline Monster’) and a just-turned-solo Paul McCartney (Huw namechecks ‘Ram’, an album coincidentally recorded when the once-and-future Beatle was also twenty-nine). From the former, a wistful ways with words - songs constructed as slices of life, surrealist observations on the everyday. From the latter - what else would one ask for other than a just smidgeon of McCartney’s sixth sense for abundant, tumbling melody?

                            Toy

                            It's Been So Long

                              The second 7” to be released from the album ‘Join The Dots’.

                              Screen printed 7” of 500 copies. Also available as a digital download.

                              As with their debut album, ‘Join The Dots’ was recorded mostly live with Dan Carey at the helm, although increased studio time has enabled the band to experiment more with Carey’s laboratory of effects and pre-amps, and embellish their swirling, psychedelia, Krautrock indebted tracks with overdubs.

                              Toy’s swirling, psychedelia, Krautrock indebted debut album arrived almost exactly 12 months ago.

                              Dan Carey sits at the controls once again on ‘Join The Dots’, released via Heavenly Recordings.

                              As with their debut, ‘Join The Dots’ was recorded mostly live with Carey at the helm, although increased studio time has enabled the band to experiment more with Carey’s laboratory of effects and pre-amps, and embellish the tracks with overdubs.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: As good, if not better than their superb debut. And you can't say that too often! A much more powerful, physical record, but with those shogazery melodies still intact.


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