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MARK LANEGAN

Mark Lanegan Band

Somebody's Knocking

    ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is the eleventh album from Mark Lanegan. The album pulsates with energy echoing the punch of Eighties garage metallers Raw Power and the sweep of brooding atmosphere concreted by late Joy Division. With his love for electronic dance dating back his youth, tracks on ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ act as a callback to these days whilst simultaneously signifying a definitive shift in his sensibilities and very approach to songwriting.

    It’s unsurprising then that ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ was cowritten by Rob Marshall - of Exit Calm and collaborator on 2017’s Gargoyle - alongside Martin Jenkins of electronica project Pye Corner Audio. In Lanegan’s own words, he approached working with the two “from the perspective of a fan.” This is unsurprising; Lanegan’s love for European dance music even led to Jenkins contributing album remixes for both 2015’s ‘A Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ and 2017’s ‘Still Life With Roses’, Pye Corner once again proving to be the perfect foil for Lanegan’s more overtly electronica infused approach.

    Mostly recorded in LA over an eleven-day session, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is a shift in perspective for Lanegan, showcasing his maturing approach to songwriting and remaining instinctive, elusive and unflinchingly honest.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Lanegan's newest outing is full to the brim with gritty, southern rock drive and the undeniable musicality we've come to expect from him over the past 30 years, only this time we get the more electronic-leaning production of Martin of Pye Corner Audio and Rob Marshall of cooking vinyl, a match made in music heaven.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited heavyweight blue vinyl, limited to initial pressing.

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood

    With Animals

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

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

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

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

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Brimming with morose energy and perfectly measured songwriting, an album from these two veterans was never going to be anything but mindblowing, and here we have it. Lanegan and Garwood have managed to meet perfectly in the dark ether between their two styles and 'With Animals' is every bit the perfect fusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    STAFF COMMENTS

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

    ‘Blues Funeral’ is the new Mark Lanegan Band record, the first since 2004’s ‘Bubblegum’, recorded in Hollywood, California by Alain Johannes at his 11ad studio. In the mean time, he’s been busy working with the likes of Isobel Campbell, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins and Soulsavers. Here, the music was played by Johannes and Jack Irons with appearances from Greg Dulli, Josh Homme et al.

    The awesome ‘Gravedigger’s Song’ kicks things off, with it’s pounding, claustrophobic beats. The tempo slows for the next track ‘Bleeding Muddy Water’, with it’s soulful, pulsing groove. In fact, the whole album ‘grooves’ to varying degrees, from slow and soulful, to Kraut-ish metronomy, to almost funky – yes really! There’s a lot going on here, and it’s taken me a good few listens to get to grips with it, but as ever, Mark’s dark tales, delivered in his distinctive gravelly tones have won me over.

    Mark Lanegan

    Whiskey For The Holy Ghost

      ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ is the second solo album from Mark Lanegan, originally released in 1994.

      The album builds upon the roots-music foundation Lanegan established with his debut ‘The Winding Sheet’.

      Released during the grunge explosion of the early 1990s, ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’ showcases Lanegan’s growing maturity as a songwriter and vocalist. Lyrically, Lanegan continues to delve into the darker side of the human experience on songs like ‘Borracho’ and the biblical ‘Pendulum’.

      Dan Peters of Mudhoney guests on the album, playing drums on the songs ‘Borracho’ and ‘House A Home’.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Black double vinyl in a gatefold jacket with custom
      dust sleeves and digital download coupon.

      Mark Lanegan

      Winding Sheet

        ‘The Winding Sheet’ is Mark Lanegan’s 1990 solo debut. It showcases his adept skills as a lyricist and his deep, soulful voice.

        Highlights include ‘Mockingbirds’, ‘Ugly Sunday’ and the haunting ‘Wild Flowers’.

        The late Kurt Cobain lends vocals to ‘Down In The Dark’ and for the folk classic ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ Cobain contributes guitar and vocals and Krist Novoselic plays bass. Nirvana would later also cover ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ on their ‘Unplugged’ album.

        ‘The Winding Sheet’ was produced by Jack Endino, Lanegan and Mike Johnson.

        Mark Lanegan

        Scraps At Midnight

          ‘Scraps At Midnight’ is the third solo album by Mark Lanegan. It was produced by Mark Lanegan and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. ‘Scraps At Midnight’ could arguably be considered the final instalment of a trilogy of albums (preceded by ‘The Winding Sheet’ and ‘Whiskey For The Holy Ghost’) which feature the songwriter’s interpretation of American roots music set to troubling lyrics that explore themes of loss, sin and redemption.

          Featuring 15 original tracks and boasting some stunning guest appearances, "Bubblegum" is simply one of Mark Lanegan's (Screaming Trees singer and Queens Of The Stone Age member) best albums, a stunning dark americana journey full of tales of remorse and loneliness delivered by his unique and emotive gravel-edged voice. Musical assistance on "Bubblegum" comes from luminaries including Queens Of The Stone Age bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, PJ Harvey (who provides vocals on "Hit The City" and "Come To Me"), Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli and Ween's Dean Ween amongst others.

          Mark Lanegan

          Field Songs

            ‘Field Songs’ is the fifth solo album by Mark Lanegan, released in 2001.


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