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Hinds

Viva Hinds

    Beloved Spanish indie rockers Hinds are back with their utterly triumphant fourth album, VIVA HINDS. Written by the band’s co-founders, co-vocalists, co-guitarists and co-songwriters Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote, it features their first-ever fully Spanish language songs, as well as first collaborations with the likes of Beck and Fontaines D.C.’s GrianChatten. Recorded in rural France, the album was produced by Pete Robertson (Beabadoobee), engineered by the GRAMMY-nominated Tom Roach, and mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer Caesar Edmunds (The Killers, Wet Leg).

    Shortly after the band made their debut ten years ago, they hit what felt like an insurmountable obstacle – they had to change their name from Deers to Hinds for legal reasons. But, as their fans began to greet them at shows by cheering “¡VIVA HINDS!”, the band soon realized that what initially felt like an ending was actually just the beginning. Fast forward to 2023, and VIVA HINDS was written by Cosials and Perrote after a series of endings. They hit a creative rut after releasing their 2020 album The Prettiest Curse, and their bassist and drummer devastatingly decided to leave the band. They also split with their management team, lost touring revenue due to lockdowns, and were without a label for the first time. But when Perrote and Cosials got together to write again it became clear that their connection, one so special that they call themselves “millionaires in friendship,” would be all they needed to get them through. VIVA HINDS – the most accomplished, sonically adventurous, honest and celebratory record of Hinds’ career – is only the beginning.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Hi, How Are You
    2. The Bed, The Room, The Rain And You
    3. Boom Boom Back
    4. Stranger
    5. Superstar
    6. Mala Vista
    7. On My Own
    8. Coffee
    9. En Forma
    10. Bon Voyage

    Charly Bliss

    Forever

      New York pop savants Charly Bliss want their new album Forever to crush you under the weight of pure feeling. They want to sweep you up in a hurricane of heartbreak. They want you to pour your soul out singing along at their shows and alone in your bedroom. In short, says singer Eva Hendricks, they want to destroy you...but in a fun way.

      Produced by Jake Luppen (Hippo Campus) and Caleb Wright (Samia) along with the band’s Sam Hendricks, Forever follows five years after their critically acclaimed 2019 album Young Enough. Full of the band’s biggest, brightest batch of power pop yet Forever crams a lifetime of feeling, decades of friendship, and years of craft into a batch of sonically tight but emotionally vast songs that activate the pleasure centres in your brain whether you’re listening alone in your headphones or in a packed room at a live show. The songs shimmer and burst, the way fireworks look like they should sound.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Tragic
      2. Calling You Out
      3. Back There Now
      4. Nineteen
      5. In Your Bed
      6. I’m Not Dead
      7. How Do You Do It
      8. I Don’t Know Anything
      9. Here Comes The Darkness
      10. Waiting For You
      11. Easy To Love You
      12. Last First Kiss 

      Walt Disco

      The Warping

        Walt Disco are taking new shape. Lead vocalist and songwriter Jocelyn Si, drummer and co-songwriter Jack Martin, synth player Finlay McCarthy, bass player Charlie Lock and guitarist Lewis Carmichael dismantled accepted narratives and restrictive norms on debut album Unlearning. On their new record the band hold a mirror up to many shifting faces, once again welcoming the listener into a theatrical world, at once euphoric and unsettling. The Warping makes permeable the barriers of time and self, passing back and forth between memory and the future, calling out to younger selves and imagined identities. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

        Written on both sides of the Atlantic, from Los Angeles and Austin to Glasgow and London, The Warping is a significant step forward from a band who have already seen strong success. After its release in 2022, Unlearning picked up nominations for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award and AIM Independent Album of the Year, while shows at SXSW, festivals across Europe and support stints with Primal Scream and Duran Duran saw the band reach new fanbases and cross genre divides.

        Taking the cinematic glam of their debut and pushing it further, the band brought in classically trained orchestral musicians. Sonically, the horns, woodwind and swelling string sections lend an entirely new level to the Walt Disco sound - one that feels both fantastically organic and technically accomplished. While the foundations were laid during pre-album recording sessions at Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music’s studio the songs themselves largely come together in collaboration. In comparison to the ‘Frankensteined’ recording process for Unlearning, stitched together across a digital divide of necessity during lockdown, The Warping was co-produced by the band and Chris McCrory, with engineering from The Vale studios’ Chris D’Adda, and the instrumentation is almost entirely analogue.

        Deft lyricism takes in deeply personal issues and writes them large, transposing feelings of envy, fear, joy and hope out of individual experiences. Yearning for another self is a recurring dream on The Warping, as they explore gender dysphoria and envy with radical honesty, accepting them as two tangled threads in the same experience. The world, the band note, can feel like a hostile environment at the moment - especially for queer people, trans people, or anyone who is different. But they aren’t going to let that stop them. Jocelyn agrees. ‘If I’m beaten down by it, I’m not going to be able to pay it forward and act accordingly,’ they say. On The Warping, every moment changes with just a trick of the light.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Seed
        2. Gnomes
        3. Come Undone
        4. The Warping
        5. You Make Me Feel So Dumb
        6. Pearl
        7. Black Chocolate
        8. Jocelyn
        9. The Captain
        10. Weeping Willow
        11. I Will Travel
        12. Before The Walls

        Middle Kids

        Faith Crisis Pt 1

          The lifelong arm wrestle between head and heart sits at the centre of Faith Crisis Pt 1, the third album from Sydney’s emotive indie rockers Middle Kids.

          Written at a time of a faith crisis, when songwriter and vocalist Hannah Joy found the structures and systems she believed in were being tested, the record lays out the painful, frustrating, messy pieces of the logic puzzle that life requires us to complete every day.

          Produced by Jonathan Gilmore (The 1975, Beabadoobee), Joy and bandmates Tim Fitz and Harry Day masterfully express the sensation of being overwhelmed, swept up and dragged down in songs that exalt and lift you higher. The results grab the listener from the opening bars and don't let go, finding the trio once again taking the bare-bones of indie-rock (guitar, bass, drums) and elevating their songs with astonishing and euphoric vocal performances, scorching production, and an incomparable pop-sensibility.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Petition
          2. Dramamine
          3. The Blessings
          4. The Blessings Interlude
          5. Bootleg Firecracker
          6. Highlands
          7. Bend
          8. Go To Sleep On Me
          9. Terrible News
          10. Philosophy
          11. Your Side, Forever
          12. Your Side Interlude
          13. All In My Head (feat. Dave Le’aupepe)

          Samantha Urbani

          Showing Up

            On her long-awaited debut album, Showing Up, the former Friends-frontwoman Samantha Urbani goes out to bat for her beliefs, and pours a decade of tumult and personal growth into the sort of irresistibly loose-limbed, retro-leaning alt-pop that has always been her specialty.

            It’s Urbani’s innate ability to hit the sweet spot between heady pop melodies and unfettered experimentation that makes Showing Up such a compelling collection, from the celestial disco shimmer of ‘Isolation’ and ‘Guiding Star’ to the Jam & Lewis stylings of ‘c u clear’ and the Santigold-esque funk-pop of ‘Time Keeps Slipping’. With shades of Rapture-era Blondie meets LCD Soundsystem, ‘One Day At A Time’ features louche slap bass and sliding Talking Heads-esque synths whilst ‘Evidence’, powered by gated drums, is 80s new wave/freestyle by way of Miami Sound Machine/Lisa Lisa/Nu Shooz.

            Co-produced by Samantha with Nick Weiss (Nightfeelings), the album is in keeping with Urbani’s predilection for spontaneity, with an organic approach to collaboration and contributions from close friends including Eric Cross, John Caroll Kirby, Rostam Batmanglij, Molly Lewis and Sasha Desree, as well as Sade’s right-hand man Stuart Matthewman.

            ‘Showing Up’ is a deeply uplifting record – created on Urbani’s own terms – and one that’s testament to the spirit of survival. And as overdue as its release might feel for fans, Samantha firmly believes Showing Up couldn’t have arrived a single second sooner.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Showing Up
            2. One Day At A Time
            3. Fine Lines
            4. Common Sense (lovebombed)
            5. Guiding Star (ft. Sasha Desree)
            6. Isolation
            7. An Opportunity
            8. Time Keeps Slipping (ft. Rexy)
            9. Evidence
            10. More Than A Feeling
            11. C U Clear

            Dream Wife

            Social Lubrication

              The return of Dream Wife is a moment worth savouring, with the band in electrifying form with an entirely self-written and self-produced third album. The only outside influence being the heavyweight mixing duo of Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Depeche Mode) and Caesar Edmunds (Wet Leg, Beach House). The incendiary and riotous record finds the trio once again tackling big subjects in their trademark unapologetic manner where, with the band being adept at merging the political with the playful, vital statements are hidden within hot and heavy anthems about making out, having fun and staying curious.

              Social Lubrication, in the bands words, is “Hyper lusty rock and roll with a political punch, exploring the alchemy of attraction, the lust for life, embracing community and calling out the patriarchy. With a heathy dose of playfulness and fun thrown in.”

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: The blistering new LP from Brighton's Dream Wife sees the band continuing their fine form of angular melodies and snapping percussive rhythms beneath rousing, punky vocals. They have a wealth of superb material to compare to, but 'Social Lubrication' might be their most fiery outing yet.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Kick In The Teeth
              2. Who Do You Wanna Be?
              3. Hot (Don’t Date A Musician)
              4. Social Lubrication
              5. Mascara
              6. Leech
              7. I Want You
              8. Curious
              9. Honestly
              10. Orbit

              HMLTD

              The Worm

                Ever since their emergence in early 2016 HMLTD, avid advocates of the Gesamtkunstwerk, have always striven to give audiences more. On their wildly ambitious second album, they are realising these aims on a truly epic scale.

                Created over the course of two years with a cast of 47 musicians – including a gospel choir and a 16-piece string orchestra – The Worm is less a concept album than a fully-fledged musical universe, transcending genre and medium. Set in a disorienting anachronistic version of Medieval England – as steeped in dystopian sci-fi fantasy as it is folklore and Old English mythology – it’s part political polemic, part deeply moving psychological journey.

                Though always admired for their defiantly genre-agnostic approach, The Worm sees HMLTD pushing sonic experimentation to a whole new level, from dissonant free jazz riffing to vintage soul and English folk fusions to rock opera. Major musical touchpoints included Stravinsky’s ‘Rite Of Spring’, Pink Floyd and Nina Simone’s rendition of ‘Sinnerman’ and references for the world of The Worm included 14th century texts The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, Aleksey German’s 2013 sci-fi film Hard To Be A God, Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev and the hopeful narrative arc of 90s mecha anime series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. 


                TRACK LISTING

                1. Worm’s Dream
                2. Wyrmlands
                3. The End Is Now
                4. Days
                5. Saddest Worm Ever
                6. Liverpool Street
                7. The Worm
                8. Past Life (Sinnerman’s Song)
                9. Lay Me Down

                Momma

                Household Name

                  Momma, the band led by singers/guitarists Allegra Weingarten and Etta Friedman, release their new album, 'Household Name'.

                  Fresh off a series of dates with Wet Leg, the band’s new full-length 'Household Name' reveals an exciting new chapter marked by both personal and artistic growth. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, after relocating from hometown Los Angeles, the duo upgraded from GarageBand and took their time writing and recording in a proper studio alongside multi-instrumentalist/producer Aron Kobayashi Ritch. The resulting album, mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Emily Lazar, is a tightly stitched collection that is magnetic and dynamic, and also marks their debut for Lucky Number, who signed Momma in the midst of the pandemic before the band members had even finished college. In chasing their idols and embracing personal storytelling, the band has skill-fully carved out their own path. 'Household Name' showcases an unfettered vulnerability elevated by serious alt-rock bombast and is an album that tells the world: This is Momma.

                  Across the album’s 12 songs, Weingarten and Friedman, who met and formed Momma in high school, cull lyrical inspiration from their own lives for the first time - a contrast with the conceptual fiction of Two of Me. Bygone heroes also helped inspire a lyrical theme throughout 'Household Name': the rise and fall of the rock star, and the tropes and tribulations that come with that arc. The theme allowed the group to celebrate (and, in some cases, directly reference) icons like Nirvana, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, and the Breeders’ Kim Deal, while weaving in their own perspective and experiences.

                  'Household Name' perfects a balance of heavy riffs, deep emotions, inviting sonic production, and a light-hearted, wry sense of humour, creating a singular lane for Momma in today's world of alt rock.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A
                  1. Rip Off
                  2. Speeding 72
                  3. Medicine
                  4. Rockstar
                  5. Motorbike
                  6. Tall Home
                  Side B
                  7. Lucky
                  8. Brave
                  9. Callin’ Me
                  10. Spider
                  11. No Stage
                  12. No Bite

                  Sunflower Bean

                  Headful Of Sugar

                    New York trio Sunflower Bean - vocalist and bassist Julia Cumming (she/her), guitarist and vocalist Nick Kivlen (he/him), and drummer Olive Faber (she/they) – announce that their long-awaited third album Headful of Sugar will be released on May 6 via Lucky Number.

                    A psychedelic headrush, fuelled by the agony and ecstasy of contemporary American life, Headful of Sugar is about outsiders disillusioned with the modern world who, despite their alienation, refuse to be subdued; buoyed by the relief found in interpersonal relationships that counteract the daily barrage of cheap entertainment and convenience.

                    If their acclaimed second album Twentytwo in Blue, released in 2018, was a self-described “ode to the fleeting innocence of youth,” then Headful of Sugar shoves the listener into a new, dangerous world, one that is less safe but also less suffocating. “Tomorrow is not promised, no tour is promised, no popularity is promised, no health or money is promised,” bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming says. “Why not make what you want to make on your own terms? Why not make a record that makes you want to dance? Why not make a record that makes you want to scream?”

                    Headful of Sugar was produced and mixed by UMO’s Jacob Portrait, co-engineered by Olive Faber and Portrait, and recorded between Electric Lady and Sunflower Bean Studios.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: Without a doubt the most vibrant Sunflower Bean outing yet. Though their moody NY-indebted garage-rock sound is still present, there's a latent melodicism and experimental feedom that seeps out of these tracks. It's bold, and it's a little different to the sound they've established thus far but i'm absolutely for it.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Who Put You Up To This?
                    2. In Flight
                    3. Otherside
                    4. Roll The Dice
                    5. Headful Of Sugar
                    6. I Don’t Have Control Sometimes
                    7. Stand By Me
                    8. Post Love
                    9. Baby Don’t Cry
                    10. Beat The Odds
                    11. Feel Somebody

                    Walt Disco

                    Unlearning

                      Unlearning, the breathtaking debut from Glasgow’s Walt Disco, is steeped in metamorphoses, a stage show in two acts. It covers flings and romances, identities and bodies and change, profound familial love, and - of course - Hollywood glamour. The album plays out like a musical, with an emotional arc and even an instrumental interlude, winkingly titled ‘The Costume Change’.

                      While the themes of the album are universally relatable, Walt Disco’s gift is in the unique experience of discovery and heartbreak between queer people - something that frontperson James explores in depth on songs such as ‘Weightless’, ‘Be An Actor’ and ‘Hold Yourself As High As Her’. In Walt Disco’s eyes, it’s never too late to become what you might have been and there are plenty of possibilities to explore on Unlearning.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Weightless
                      2. Selfish Lover
                      3. How Cool Are You?
                      4. Cut Your Hair
                      5. Timeline
                      6. Be An Actor
                      7. The Costume Change
                      8. Those Kept Close
                      9. Hold Yourself As High As Her
                      10. My Dear
                      11. Macilent
                      12. If I Had A Perfect Life

                      Sleigh Bells

                      Texis

                        Sleigh Bells’ sixth album Texis is the sound of the duo letting go of all hang-ups and inhibitions and allowing themselves to embrace making the sort of loud, colorful, genre-melting music only they could make. “We stopped worrying about whether or not we’re in or out of our comfort zone, or if we were being repetitive or formulaic,” says guitarist and composer Derek Miller. “In the past we were pretty obsessed with tearing up the rule book and starting from scratch for every record as a means to do something new or different,” he says. “For Texis we didn’t worry about any of that stuff, we just pushed the first domino and hoped that something exciting and inspiring would happen.”

                        That first domino would be “Justine Go Genesis”, a song that lands at the unexpected intersection between Metallica, Spice Girls, and ‘90s drum and bass. The wild maximalism of the track opened the floodgates for the songs to come, like the exuberant cheerleader metal of “Locust Laced” and “Tennessee Tips,” which whips dramatically between thrash riffs and spacey shoegaze sections. Miller and Sleigh Bells singer and co-writer Alexis Krauss didn’t go “back to basics” by emulating the sound of their landmark debut Treats, but they did reconnect with that record’s brash, speaker-rattling energy. The result is an album that’s the most fully actualized version of the band, merging the more refined pop craft and deeper emotional palette of their 2016 album Jessica Rabbit with the dopamine-blasting bangers of their earlier days.

                        Bachelor (Jay Som + Palehound)

                        Doomin' Sun

                          Bachelor, the new project from Melina Duterte (Jay Som) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound), is not a band, it’s a friend-ship. After being mutual fans for years, they finally met when sharing the bill at a show in Sacramento in 2017. Keeping in touch over text and Instagram posts, Duterte and Kempner started recording together for fun in 2018, resulting with what would become "Sand Angel", the seductive slow-burner that convinced the pair to write an album together.

                          Reconvening in January 2020, the duo packed the entirety of Duterte’s recording equipment into two cars and headed to a rental house in Topanga, CA. In this space Kempner and Duterte hybridized their individual song-writing talents, producing a collection that slips between moods with ease and showcases their lyrical prowess. Arriving with almost no songs written and no solid plan, they finished the 10 songs that make up Doomin’ Sun after two short weeks. That much work in so little time may sound exhausting, but it wasn’t, it was blissful and freeing.

                          There was a lot of pain that went into the record, especially around themes of queerness and climate change inspired by the red skies and wildfires subsuming Australia at the time. However, when the duo did shed tears during the creative process, they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of laughter. When Kempner and Duterte look back on those weeks, what they remember first is shortness of breath and the inability to track vocal takes without falling to the floor howling. They couldn’t remember a time they’d ever been so delirious with creativity, so overwhelmed with joy.


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: With more than a little nod to seminal grunge bands of the 90's (and beyond), Bachelor sees Jay Som and Palehound team up for a riotous mix of pop-punk, grunge and grooving noisy rock. Tracks like 'Sand Angel' and 'Anything At All' tread a more minimal, psychy groove while 'Stay In The Car' is undoubtably the most riotous, melodic slice of pop on here. Really great stuff.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          Side A
                          1. Back Of My Hand
                          2. Sand Angel
                          3. Stay In The Car
                          4. Went Out Without You
                          5. Spin Out

                          Side B
                          6. Anything At All
                          7. Moon
                          8. Sick Of Spiraling
                          9. Aurora
                          10. Doomin’ Sun

                          Middle Kids

                          Today We're The Greatest

                            The Sydney-based three-piece Middle Kids, formed of lead singer and songwriter Hannah Joy, multi-instrumentalist Tim Fitz and drummer, Harry Day, release their second album, Today We’re The Greatest via Lucky Number. Recorded and produced in Los Angeles by Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Soccer Mummy, Purity Ring), the follow-up to the band’s award-winning 2018 debut, Lost Friends, is their most personal and courageous effort to date. Moving away from lyrics of a more conceptual nature, Today We’re The Greatest is the open, uninhibited product of fearless collaboration. Showing a real vulnerability, Joy is pulling directly from her own experiences and breaking down barriers she had previously set for herself. About the new record, she said: “I want to make music that loves its listener. Music that makes people feel seen, seen in the tiny little places that hide away in their hearts. I want people to hear our music, and feel a sense of love. And when I say love, it can be challenging, intense and tough. But it’s in the guts.” She added: “It can be easier to live dualistically, splitting the world in two. We want to be able say it’s this or it’s that, but sometimes it’s both -- and can we hold both? Can we hold the brokenness? Can we hold the beauty? That has definitely been a defining bit of this album, the fragility in that dance.

                            The album includes "nervy Strokes-esque floorfiller" (The Guardian) “R U 4 Me?” and their monumental new single, “Questions”, a charged three-minute odyssey which sees Joy struggle poetically with concepts of honesty and intimacy over an explosive rhythm section and a stunningly orchestrated brass-filled climax. As Joy explains, “Questions” is about the fallacies of intimate relationships; “I used to drink a lot and most of my previous relationships revolved around this. I don’t think I ever really knew them or they me as a result. Questions is about people being around each other but not being close. People who are in intimate relationships can stop asking questions of each other because they are uncomfortable and confusing.”

                            Other tracks like “Run With You”, were written when Joy was a few months into pregnancy with her and Tim Fitz, her husband and bandmate’s, first child. They recorded her 20-week sonogram, and wove the gentle, rapid thump of their baby boy’s beating heart into the last 20 seconds of the track -- an exuberant declaration of devotion. Joy’s journey to motherhood and her marriage with Fitz has imbued her songs with a vibrancy that’s unabashedly romantic yet free of clichés. There’s also “Stacking Chairs,” with its unique allegories and Joy’s sunny vocals, that strikes this delicate balance beautifully: it’s a testament to her deep connection with Fitz and the new, “infinitesimal” love that transformed their lives with their son’s arrival.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Bad Neighbours
                            2. Cellophane (Brain)
                            3. R U 4 Me?
                            4. Questions
                            5. Lost In Los Angeles
                            6. Golden Star
                            7. Summer Hill
                            8. Some People Stay In Our Hearts Forever
                            9. Run With You
                            10. I Don’t Care
                            11. Stacking Chairs
                            12. Today We’re The Greatest

                            London based five-piece HMLTD release their long-awaited debut album, West of Eden. The expansive, labyrinthine debut has been several years in the making, a daring collection of songs created to incite conversation about proposed new visions of masculinity, the decadence of western capitalism and the violence of insecurity and repression. Across its 15 tracks, the band’s artistic vision is realised in full technicolour, with all shades of their sonic palette used to create an album that is equal parts lush and abrasive.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: A political tour-de-force of skittering percussion, fuzzy guitars and dubby club aesthetics, all imbued with a snarling, punky lilt. A wildly varied, but perfectly curated melting pot of influences from HMLTD.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. The West Is Dead
                            2. LOADED
                            3. The Ballad Of Calamity James
                            4. To The Door 5. Satan, Luella & I
                            6. Mikey’s Song
                            7. Why?
                            8. 149 (feat. Tallulah Eden)
                            9. Joanna
                            10. Where’s Joanna?
                            11. Death Drive
                            12. Nobody Stays In Love
                            13. MMXX A.D.
                            14. Blank Slate
                            15. War Is Looming

                            Ratso

                            Stubborn Heart

                              NYC author/writer/actor Larry "Ratso" Sloman has collaborated with some of the most dynamic figures in pop culture from Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, John Cale and Leonard Cohen. Ratso also wrote the best-selling memoirs for Howard Stern, Anthony Kiedis and Mike Tyson. Now at 70, Ratso announces debut LP Stubborn Heart. Ratso explains, “If you would have told me when I was covering Dylan's Rolling Thundertour for Rolling Stone Magazine that forty-four years later, I would be releasing my first album I would have laughed and asked for a hit of whatever it was you were smoking. Guess I’ll take that hit now.”

                              For the last forty-four years Larry “Ratso” Sloman has forged an impressive career as a writer of books, lyrics and most recently screenplays. Credited with writing features on Lou Reed, George Harrison and Leonard Cohen for Rolling Stone, Sloman was also personally invited by Bob Dylan to join his 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue as the tour's official scribe, which led to Ratso's first book On The Road With Bob Dylan (dubbed by Dylan as "The War and Peace of Rock and Roll”). On tour he was given the moniker “Ratso” by Joan Baez for his disheveled appearance. Ratso has collaborated with Howard Stern, Anthony Kiedis, David Blaine, and Mike Tyson on their best-selling memoirs. He was asked by Leonard Cohen to preface On Tour with Leonard Cohen and Ratso's biography of Houdini will soon be a major-motion picture.

                              Ratso has paid his dues in the tower of song, having written the lyrics for over thirty tracks with Rick Derringer (McCoys) and ex-Velvet Underground founder John Cale, including "Dying on the Vine," which became Cale’s signature solo song (inspiring not one, but two novels). Ratso has also acted in films as diverse as the award-winning short The Black Balloon, the horror film Satan’s Little Helper and has a large role in Martin Scorsese's upcoming Netflix documentary on Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour, out in April.

                              What hasn’t Ratso done? His own album. At 70, Ratso is releasing debut album Stubborn Heart, produced by his close friend Vin Cacchione (of Soft Black and Caged Animals) at his studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Stubborn Heart blends a classic songwriting approach with a contemporary sophistication. The album features Ratso singing on eight originals (including songs that were co-written with John Cale) and what he describes as an “audacious” Bob Dylan cover, along with the generous talents of his friends Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Sharon Robinson (Leonard Cohen’s co-writer, producer and back-up singer), Yasmine Hamdan, Imani Coppolla and more.

                              Reminiscing on the album Ratso says, “Everything about this project was fun. And it was always about the songs. They had been lying dormant since 1984. They deserved a life.” Each track carries a significant and often astonishing history. For instance, the John Cale collaboration "Dying On The Vine," was originally conceived in hotel room off Sunset Blvd. whilst trading lines with Tom Waits and Chuck E. Weiss, whereas Sharon Robinson was convinced to sing on the record in exchange for Ratso writing the aforementioned Leonard Cohen preface for free, described by Ratso as an “old school barter.”

                              Stubborn Heart is an album that is fittingly autobiographical, harking back to various stages of Ratso’s accomplished career and life, sung by a guy who witnessed the counter-cultural explosion of 1970's NYC and birthed forty years later within the DIY confines of Brooklyn. His Rolling Stones fan club card long gone, Ratso’s now a card-carrying member of the American Association of Retired Persons but he’s determined to ride this new career wherever it takes him. “Maybe I can be the Jewish Susan Boyle,” he muses. “The oldest best new artist ever and if that doesn’t pan out, I can always perform on subway platforms. Hey, I can get in for half-price!”


                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. I Want Everything (ft. Yasmine Hamdan)
                              2. Our Lady Of Light (ft. Nick Cave)
                              3. Caribbean Sunset (ft. Imani Coppola & Paul Shapiro)
                              4. Dying On The Vine
                              5. Living In Moonlight
                              6. Matching Scars
                              7. Listen Little Man
                              8. Stubborn Heart
                              9. Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands

                              Co-produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait (who also mixed the record) and HC-producer Matt Molnar of Friends, Twentytwo in Blue shows Sunflower Bean stay true to their guitar band core and classic rock-inspired roots, while exploring new sonic textures with more direct and progressive themes. Unlike their debut, which was essentially a compilation of songs Sunflower Bean wrote while still in their teens, Twentytwo in Blue was made in the year between December 2016 and December 2017 and showcases how far the band has come since playing together in their high school days.

                              Sunflower Bean find a sublime maturity and progression to their sound and songwriting on Twentytwo in Blue. If there was a ragged beauty in the gauzy, groovy wall of sound of Human Ceremony, there’s a new directness to these songs, a product of the band’s growth and the insanity of the times we’re in. Sunflower Bean have gained a newly confident voice that they bring to the second album, one that doesn’t shy away from addressing the other events of those two years—political changes and cultural shifts that have left America and the world stupefied. “This has been such an unbelievable time,” says Kivlen. “I can’t imagine any artist of our ilk making a record and not have it be seen through the lens of the political climate of 2016 and 2017. So I think there’s a few songs on the record that are definitely heavily influenced by this sort of—whatever you want to say what the Trump administration has been.” “A shit show,” offers a helpful Faber.

                              Ultimately, this record is much more than a political statement or piece of commentary on today’s political climate. “I think one word that always comes to mind when I think about this record is lovable,” says Cumming. “We want the songs to be something that someone can get attached to, and have be a part of them. Because that’s what I look for in songs myself, and that’s the kind of experience we want to give to others.”

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Andy says: Not indie, but beautiful classic rock/pop from NYC's next big thing. With elements of sublime Pretenders-on-autopilot, Fleetwood Mac and even occasional Glam crunchers, this super- melodic 3 piece basically bring pristine jangling and classic riffing to superbly written pop songs, all sweetly delivered by lead singer Julia Cummings. It's a really good record.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Burn It
                              2. I Was A Fool
                              3. Twentytwo
                              4. Crisis Fest
                              5. Memoria
                              6. Puppet Strings
                              7. Only A Moment
                              8. Human For
                              9. Any Way You Like
                              10.Sinking Sands
                              11. Oh No, Bye Bye

                              Spanish quartet Hinds - Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrotte, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen - announce their long-awaited second record I Don’t Run. Out April 6 via Lucky Number, the new album shows a bigger, better, faster, funnier, more dexterous Hinds. Co-produced by the band and Gordon Raphael [The Strokes, Regina Spektor], and engineered by Shawn Everett [Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, The War On Drugs, John Legend], I Don’t Run is the product of a band fighting for their place, a band unwilling to rely upon their successes, a band who have just begun to prove themselves, and a band who plays hard but works even harder.

                              Some might expect them to write songs about being happy, young and carefree – “but we're not satisfied with that,” explains guitarist Ana Perrote. “On this album the struggles are clear. We want to be brave.” I Don’t Run is Hinds’ return with an honest reflection on a period that changed their lives beyond their wildest imaginations. After everything they’ve overcome, one might think a band like Hinds would have second album jitters, but think again. Hinds are chomping at the bit and with defiant confidence. “We loved making this album,” says Perrote. “We knew what we wanted and we have what we wanted. This is a new start for us and we're fucking ready.”

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. The Club
                              2. Soberland
                              3. Linda
                              4. New For You
                              5. Echoing My Name
                              6. Tester
                              7. Finally Floating
                              8. I Feel Cold But I Feel More
                              9. To The Morning Light
                              10. Rookie
                              11. Ma Nuit

                              Sleigh Bells, Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss, have announced their first new album in three years. Entitled Jessica Rabbit, the album was produced by the band and mixed by Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Tyler, the Creator); and for the first time ever they brought someone outside of the band into the creative process, working with Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Fiona Apple) to shape five of the band’s favourite tracks on the album.

                              The result is an album that does not sound like anything Sleigh Bells has ever done - or anyone has ever done, for that matter. It is the sonic equivalent of firing synapses, with melodies zigzagging in different directions in a beautiful and ever-modulating controlled chaos. It is playful but darkly so; flirtatious but caustic; ebullient but downright sinister. It is a record that is wholly unique in sound and purpose, an unabashed and unafraid statement from a band that has made offending rote conceptions of pop music their signature and greatest strength.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: There is more than a hint of shoegaze here, dream-pop melodies and serene floating vocals segue into ambient passages before flourishing into aggressive electronics. Elswehere, 80's tinged melodies and sing-along anthemic rock chords and twinkling arps take the forefront. Glow-sticks out everyone.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. It’s Just Us Now
                              2. Torn Clean
                              3. Lightning Turns Sawdust
                              4. I Can’t Stand You Anymore
                              5. Crucible
                              6. Loyal For
                              7. I Can Only Stare
                              8. Throw Me Down The Stairs
                              9. Unlimited Dark Paths
                              10. I Know Not To Count On You
                              11. Rule Number One
                              12. Baptism By Fire
                              13. Hyper Dark
                              14. As If

                              Since bursting onto the DIY scene last summer, Hinds - Ana Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen - have mastered a raw and playful sound all their own. With just a handful of released singles under their belt, Hinds have already earned early support from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, NME, Guardian, Beats 1, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The FADER, Gorilla vs. Bear, and many more. Now with the release of their eagerly awaited debut album, Hinds are firmly establishing themselves as one of the most exciting emerging acts of the year and show no sign of slowing down.

                              Kicking things off with their new single “Garden,” Hinds take us on a badass rock & roll ride on their debut full-length Leave Me Alone. Weaving sun-kissed, 60’s-inspired melodies, executed with a genius call-and-response between co-vocalists and band co-founders Perrote and Cosials, Hinds create the ultimate soundtrack to the best day ever - from start to finish - spent with your four best friends. In addition to previously released fan favorites including the band’s first-ever single “Bamboo,” “Castigadas En El Granero” - which translates in English to “Grounded In The Barn” - and the band’s first new song of 2015 “Chili Town,” Leave Me Alone only gets better with each song. Featuring bright surf-pop tune “San Diego,” the mixed-tempo “Fat Calmed Kiddos,” and a bitter ode to shitty boyfriends in “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back,” Leave Me Alone is guaranteed to bring the Mediterranean sun to you wherever you are in the world at any time of the year. 

                              “A concentrated shot of brattish indie psych…a total breath of fresh air” – NME

                              “Addictive, pure pop hooks…they know exactly what they’re doing” – Q

                              “Loud, spiky and infectiously happy…(they) have a smack of the Velvet Underground and ramshackle riot grrrl bands” – Time Out

                              “…all scratchy guitars, kiss-off lyrics and Phil Spector sonics.” – The Sunday Times

                              “a lackadaisical, whimsical 60s garage-pop tune that’ll snog your face off and then nick your ice-cream afterwards.” – The Guardian

                              “an assertive rhythm and off-kilter guitar line…an enjoyable ride.” - Pitchfork

                              “The chillest four-piece in rock hail from Madrid, and write choruses so loose and lovely you’ll want to wear them in like a favorite pair of sneakers.” - The FADER

                              “We're head over heels.” - Noisey.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Laura says: Infectious pop hooks but delivered with a kind of ramshackle, lo-fi cool rather than the hi-gloss synth-pop sheen of many bands at the mo. Guaranteed to set your toes tapping and bring a smile to your face.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Garden
                              2. Fat Calmed Kiddos
                              3. Warts
                              4. Easy
                              5. Castigadas En El Granero
                              6. Solar Gap
                              7. Chili Town
                              8. Bamboo
                              9. San Diego
                              10. And I Will Send Your Flowers Back
                              11. I’ll Be Your Man
                              12. Walking Home

                              Caged Animals is Vincent Cacchione, a New Jersey-born Italian living in Brooklyn. Known previously for the nearly noir folk-rock of his former band, Soft Black, Cacchione carries a strong songwriting gene in his Caged Animals brand of glitch-friendly pop - as inspired by the classicism of Jeff Magnum or John Lennon's solo material, as the melancholic R&B twist of James Blake or Frank Ocean, or the perfect fusion of Chad Van Gaalen's raw & pop qualities.

                              In The Land Of Giants is a record about family, faith and hope and its’ recording became an opportunity to do everything that Cacchione does best in one audio space - marrying the sonic experimentation of his love for electronica with the undeniable penchant for lyrical and emotional resonance he developed in Soft Black, a band he formed with (Zachary) Cole Smith of DIIV.

                              This is an intimate yet grand Pop record from an artist that is not afraid of stirring emotions amidst a mountain of melody, and certainly not afraid to risk being seen as uncool in order to deliver something genuine. Cacchione himself states “This is the most spiritual record I've made. It necessitated a huge shift in my worldview and a concentrated effort to distill all of my strengths into a focused idea. For me, this album was about making something emotional, direct and human within the context of computer-made, electronic music. My previous recordings dealt heavily with some serious issues from my past. On 'In The Land Of Giants', I'm seeing the clouds part and trying to describe the beauty of my first view of the sky". How cool is that?

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Too Much Dark
                              2. Stop Hurting Each Other
                              3. Cindy + Me
                              4. The Sound Of Thunder
                              5. U + Yr Rocketship
                              6. The Mute + The Mindreader
                              7. Tiny Sounds
                              8. We're Playing With Fire
                              9. A Psychic Lasso
                              10. In The Land Of Giants
                              11. (you're A Giant Now)
                              12. What You're Looking For

                              Reptar

                              Body Faucet

                                Reptar are from Athens Georgia and are the latest signing to Lucky Number (Darwin Deez, Friends, Caged Animals, Sebastien Tellier, Gotye). They have a reputation for riotous, must-see live shows becoming the most talked about band of 2011’s SXSW with the NME declaring they were “the most synonymous name in Austin”.

                                Debut album Body Faucet, has been produced by Ben H Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Bombay Bicycle Club) and it builds on the infectious dance-driven melodies established by the band on Oblangle Fizz Y'all EP (INCLUDED AS BONUS CD). Body Faucet finds the bands sonic wanderlust extending from African Music to post-punk to psych-pop.

                                “their playful electro-pop channels MGMT’s debut-album psychedelic-yet-ready-for-the-masses sheen, and their rambunctious antics recall the Black Lip’s punk bravado.” SPIN

                                “ Bouncing synth-pop recalling the gleaming, anthemic vibrancy of early MGMT, the galactic qualities of Empire Of The Sun and the playful oddities of Animal Collective. FLY

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Sebastian
                                2. Please Don’t Kill Me
                                3. Isoprene Bath
                                4. Orifice Origami
                                5. Houseboat Babies
                                6. Natural Bridge
                                7. Ghost Bike
                                8. New House
                                9. Thank You Gliese 370b
                                10. Sweet Sipping Soda
                                11. Three Shining Suns
                                12. Water Runs

                                Bonus Disc
                                1. Blastoff
                                2. Rainbounce
                                3. Context Clues
                                4. Stuck In My Id
                                5. Phonetics

                                Seventeen Evergreen

                                Steady On, Scientist

                                “Uplifting future-pop anthems that sound like a mixture of first-album MGMT and Little Dragon” The Guardian.

                                Five years after the release of their debut LP, Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth, San Francisco’s Seventeen Evergreen make an exciting return with sophomore long player, Steady On, Scientist!, via Lucky Number.

                                Sonic references are broad, explosive and reformulated. Late 80s/early 90s dance era pulsing pop-beats rise, hot with hope, fuelled by unique bass-lines, played like classic 60s Fender riffs, but with added synth propulsion, whilst lyrical and musical themes are always stretching beyond norms. Lyrics are immediately provoking and mind grabbing and across the album, vocals are textured like instruments in their own right.

                                This album is about space and density – the polarity and the duplicity of life. Names like New Order, Air, Screamadelica-era Primal Scream, Sonic Youth or Flaming Lips may come to mind, but sonically and spiritually, it’s a singularly triumphant and liberating concoction, an anthemic vision. Like their debut, Steady On, Scientist! is entirely self-written, recorded and produced and, once again, it emphasizes its creators clear and unique identity, away from the pack.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Polarity Song
                                2. Bucky
                                3. President Clavioline
                                4. Wasting Time / Castlefield
                                5. Del Paso Heights
                                6. Fluorescent Kind
                                7. Dancespider
                                8. Burn The Fruit


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