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Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

Loophole

    62 years of music, loves, losses, long summer days and longer, darker nights are vividly recalled by ‘our greatest living songwriter’, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band as he plays out flickering scenes from his life on new album, Loophole, set for release on Fri 3 May 2024 on Modern Sky.

    12 evocative and autobiographical songs to be accompanied by the written word as Michael Head prepares his memoirs for release with an autobiography with Nine Eight Books. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Shirl's Ghost
    2 Ambrosia
    3 Ciao Ciao Bambino
    4 Tout Suite!
    5 The Human Race
    6 You Smiled At Me
    7 A Ricochet Moment
    8 Connemara
    9 Merry-Go-Round
    10 You're A Long Time Dead
    11 Naturally It's You
    12 Coda

    7" - Exclusive To Dinked Edition
    Side A
    1. Connemara - Acoustic (Live From Hebden Bridge)
    Side B
    2. Tour Suite! (Live Acoustic From Hebden Bridge)

    Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

    Loophole - Instore Ticket Bundle

      THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT!!!!!!!!

      We are very excited to welcome Michael Head to Piccadilly Records on Sunday 14th April at 1pm to perform a solo acoustic set followed by a signing session.

      PRE-ORDER A TICKET BUNDLE EDITION TO GAIN ENTRY. 


      Due to the event being a few weeks prior to the album release date you'll be given an art print upon entry for Mick to personally sign later.

      * Please note, physical tickets will not be issued for this event. Please bring your order confirmation, either printed or on your phone, to gain entry.*

                       ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      62 years of music, loves, losses, long summer days and longer, darker nights are vividly recalled by ‘our greatest living songwriter’, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band as he plays out flickering scenes from his life on new album, Loophole, set for release on Fri 3 May 2024 on Modern Sky.

      12 evocative and autobiographical songs to be accompanied by the written word as Michael Head prepares his memoirs for release with an autobiography with Nine Eight Books.

      Miles Kane

      Miles Kane & The Evils (RSD24 EDITION)

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2024 EXCLUSIVE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE INSTORE ON SATURDAY APRIL 20TH ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING COPIES THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT 8PM ON MONDAY APRIL 22ND.


        Miles Kane & The Evils is a four track RSD exclusive released on physical format only. Limited to 500 copies this colour vinyl lets fans explore Miles' passion for 60's sounding surf rock instrumentals. Recorded with long term collaborators Sunglasses For Jaws. Quote from Miles ìSurf guitar has been a passion of mine since day one hearing dick dale for the first as a kid in pulp fiction blew my mind I connected with the sound immediately. Even going back further as a kid hearing the Batman theme, the pink panther theme and James Bond I was obsessed I would listen over and over to those theme songs! When I was a teenager I heard Link Wray for the first time and it changed my life I was like that is the guitarist I wanna be-twang-whammy bar-reverb-tremolo! That has been my guitar sound on every album Iíve made from the little flames to the rascals to the puppets and my solo albums! This surf mini album is me having my guitar front and centre imagining Iím in a cool badass Tarantino filmî

        Red Rum Club

        Western Approaches

          Western Approaches, a fitting title for a band who's spent much of the last two years living their American dream, however you'll find its origins are a lot closer to home. An old World War II Naval base in Liverpool city centre shares the same name and it's no coincidence. The album was conceived on the docks, a new location for the band and again much closer to home for the boys. It seems the further afar they play the tighter their grip on their roots become, playing their biggest headline show to date in Bootle a small town in North Liverpool where some of the lads grew up. This nostalgia and a dockland setting provided a post-war aesthetic to inspire the album, reflected in the name and the artwork. America had also become a new pasture for the band which you can really hear in this album. A change from the well polished, clean cut sonic that had become a theme in the band's previous works and replaced with the raw energy they're known to produce onstage. The industrial influence is reflected in the production and it became a conscious effort to add more sound effects, distortions and echoes into the arrangement of the songs.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Western Approaches 0:36
          2. Godless 3:19
          3. Black Cat 2:20
          4. Afternoon 2:05
          5. Undertaker 3:00
          6. Hole In My Home 3:32
          7. Last Minute 2:50
          8. Houdini 3:33
          9. Daisy 3:13
          10. Alive 2:50
          11. Jigsaw Shores 4:18

          Jamie Webster

          10 For The People

            He’ll always be a man of his people, but Jamie Webster’s message has cut through hearts all over the land since the folk troubadour’s debut album ‘We Get By’ in 2020. The songwriting may have evolved from those defiant early days on the acoustic guitar, but the hard-hitting storytelling that made his name remains as he continues to give a voice to the masses through towering anthems to hold close through uncertain times.

            Though born from frustration and adversity, Webster's music has always managed to encapsulate a sense of unity and togetherness through tough times. Take the breakthrough single ‘Weekend In Paradise’ which distills a living for the weekend ideology of the working classes. An anthem just about everyone working nine to five can relate to, the flagship single speaks volumes of the journey so far as it surpasses 20 million streams on Spotify alone. His second album ‘Moments’ charted in the Official UK Album Chart #3, Indie Chart #2, Official Vinyl Chart #2, Scottish Album Chart #2.

            Blazing through not only his biggest Glastonbury appearance in June, but two nights in front of a combined 26,000 people at Liverpool’s Pier Head a week later and enjoying a televised repeat performance on Glasgow’s TRNSMT’s Main Stage, those turning to look in Webster’s direction are discovering an artist inexorably on the rise. His UK Winter Tour now peaked by two sold out dates at Manchester’s O2 Victoria Warehouse, added dates in Glasgow, an upgrade in Sheffield and a showpiece night ahead at London’s iconic Roundhouse, yet no homecoming date, tickets for Sefton Park’s celebration are set to be summer 2024’s hottest as Webster returns to Merseyside.

            With Voice Of The Voiceless, Webster’s pledge to fans has been to sing songs that will always make sense to their real lives whilst upping the sonic ante. Like 2021’s No.3-charting success story album, Moments, Webster assembled 10 For The People in the company of producer, Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Kylie Minogue), in a range of studio settings over the last 18 months, including the infamous Rockfield Studios in south Wales and, for the first time, the musician’s own studio in the former industrial heartlands of his home city.

            Jamie: “I came up with the concept of ’10 For The People’ when I was listening back to a lot of the new albums released in the past year; some these albums charted at number 1 and had songs played all over the place and were on every television and radio show known to man. While these records undoubtedly had some great songs within them, and 1 or 2 big singles; when listening to the albums as a body of work I thought to myself, why are there so many fillers? Nothing tracks that must get skipped past after the first listens and slowly fade into the back pages of our minds. That then got me thinking, who are these albums written for? Who do they represent? What message are they carrying? Besides 1 or 2 that were genuinely brilliant I struggled to find answers in my head.

            10 For The People is 10 tracks long and every song has 10 put into it, and every song tells a story or holds a message for the people that I represent. Those people are your every day working class mums and dads, sons and daughters, the people on the ground who keep the world running without even knowing it, the people who are systematically put down time and time again by governments with no option but to take it on the chin and make the best of the situation for their families and for their own sanity. The people who have supported me from the ground up and got me to the position I'm currently at.

            This whole body of work is for the people who supported me when nobody else would, so I’m using my platform to speak for these people because not enough of us currently are. This album is conceptually about everyday life. And musically speaking it couldn't be any bigger, I've mixed influences of McCartney, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, CSN all the way down to current greats like Sam Fender. I hope you like it but even if you don't... the people will.”


            TRACK LISTING

            1. Better Day (featuring Brooke Combe)
            2. Voice Of The Voiceless (Album Mix)
            3. Lovers In The Supermarket
            4. Dolly Bird
            5. Fickle Fran (featuring Bill Bragg)
            6. Looking Good
            7. Sing Your Tears
            8. The Boy (Chapter 1)
            9. The Girl (Chapter 2)
            10. Something To Eat
            11. How Do You Sleep At Night?

            The Dream Machine

            Thank God! It’s The Dream Machine…

              ‘Thank God! It’s The Dream Machine…’ is the hotly anticipated debut album from The Dream Machine. A self-produced collection of 12 tracks exploring everything from love and loss to angels, dogs and The Devil. Recorded on an 8-track in the winter of 2021 in the bands rehearsal space. The album treads a familiar path of 60’s inspired pop anthems, psychedelic-tinged country, punk, doo wop and everything in-between.

              The Dream Machine take their name from ‘Dream Machine’ an invention that recreates hallucinations similar to psychedelics without taking substances with their music being portrayed as enigmatic, mysterious and very psychedelic. Formed in 2021, the band have already gained widespread support including Steve Lamacq, Radcliffe & Maconie and Chris Hawkins on BBC Radio 6 Music, John Kennedy on Radio X, Gary Crowley on BBC Radio Londo, Dave Monks on BBC Introducing in Merseyside as well as repeat plays across Amazing Radio.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Martin says: The Dream Machine brilliantly toe the line between jangling psychedelic 60's influenced pop and soaring northern indie. It's both melodically rich and full of hooks, but never strays into pastiche.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Lola, In The Morning
              2. Tears
              3. Children, My England
              4. Sweet Mary
              5. TV Baby/Satan's Child
              6. The Time Around
              7. White Shadow Blues
              8. Intermission
              9. Away For The Summer
              10. The Last Temptation
              11. Always On My Mind
              12. Angel Of The North

              7" With Dinked Edition Only:
              Side A
              Before The Rain
              Side B
              01. Rama Go

              The Lottery Winners

              Anxiety Replacement Therapy

                Manchester band The Lottery Winners new album ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’, features collaborations with Boy George, Frank Turner, and Shaun Ryder.

                A mammoth step forward, ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ is on one level a set of 10 absolute anthems (and three interludes from a mystery narrator). These are mass singalongs in waiting from a band who’ve specialised in bringing people together over their previous two albums.

                Scratch the surface, however, and there’s a world of empowerment and defiance, tackling subjects such as austerity, as well as of course, anxiety, mental health and its medications, and ADHD. It helps that these messages come wrapped with some of the best choruses you’re likely to hear all year.

                “Each of the albums in my collection are a self-help tape for me,” explains singer Thom Rylance. “If I listen to Paul Simon’s Graceland, it’s because I know it’ll put me in a good mood. If I play The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths, it’s because I want to embrace feeling sad. We wanted to present ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ as a self-help tape for anyone playing it.”

                The album features guest spots with their friend and previous collaborator Frank Turner on the moving and stirring ‘Letter To Myself’ , as well as Boy George who puts in a bravura performance on the summery ‘Let Me Down’ which recalls the emotional intensity of his work with Culture Club, and Shaun Ryder who brings his freewheeling brilliance on the already incisive austerity anthem ‘Money’, reprising his iconic “Call the cops!” refrain from Happy Mondays’ 1990 classic ‘Step On’.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Featuring some pretty huge collaborators (including 'Not not Stephen Fry'), the Lottery Winners' newest LP is a heartfelt message to both those suffering from anxiety and those dealing with the results of it. Full of beautifully written songs and calming interludes, ART is rich and deep and excellently portrays an important message. Lovely.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. [PLAY]
                2. Worry
                3. Burning House
                4. Money (ft Shaun Ryder)
                5. Long Way Down
                6. Sertaline
                7. [PAUSE]
                8. Letter To Myself (ft Frank Turner)
                9. Jennie
                10. Let Me Down (ft Boy George)
                11. Not Alone
                12. Anxiety Replacement Therapy
                13. [STOP]

                Brooke Combe

                Black Is The New Gold

                  “You’ve had your story/ time to tell you mine.” So sings Scottish newcomer Brooke Combe on ‘Over You’, one of the many soulful, defiant tracks that make up her debut mixtape. A collection she has honed through years of relentless gigging, each song has its heart in a long lineage of funk and soul, a retro sound that has earnt her endorsement from the likes of the BBC, Rolling Stone UK, The Skinny and NME. It's a style that could easily feel like pastiche, but from the very first note, there can be no doubt that Brooke’s side of the story is entirely her own; a powerful Gen-Z vocalist cutting her own path through the male-dominated indie arena.

                  “For me, it’s about getting every tune I have done so far out of my head,” explains Combe. “This mixtape is a little bit about the naivety of my adolescent years, but it’s also a bit of a 'who is Brooke Combe', showing people all the different sides to my music. So many people have been coming to the shows now, they've been consistent and loyal. I want them to have what they've been hearing live and to see the development so far.” 


                  TRACK LISTING

                  Vinyl:
                  Side A
                  1. Are You With Me?
                  2. A-Game
                  3. Talkin’ Bout Heartaches
                  4. Black Is The New Gold
                  Side B
                  5. Why'd You Say You Love Me?
                  6. Miss Me Now
                  7. Impress You
                  8. Over You

                  CD:
                  1. Are You With Me?
                  2. A-Game
                  3. Talkin’ Bout Heartaches
                  4. Black Is The New Gold
                  5. Why'd You Say You Love Me?
                  6. Miss Me Now
                  7. Impress You
                  8. Over You
                  +
                  9. Moving On
                  10. Teardrops (ft. Miles Kane)
                  11. Black Is The New Gold (Live @ The Garage, Glasgow)
                  12. Are You With Me? (Live @ The Garage, Glasgow)
                  13. Miss Me Now (Live @ The Garage, Glasgow)
                  14. Wish I Didn’t Miss You Again (Live @ The Garage, Glasgow)
                  15. Are You With Me? (Piano Cover)
                  16. Used To Love Me 

                  Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

                  Dear Scott - Piccadilly Exclusive Bonus Disc Edition

                    THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2022.

                    PICCADILLY RECORDS EXCLUSIVE: 
                    For a limited period only, buy either the CD or vinyl you’ll get an exclusive 14 track CD bonus disc, 'Live At Strathaven'.

                    Finding that luck, love and letting things roll works out for him just fine, Michael Head leads his Red Elastic Band into a fresh chapter with optimism and some of the best music of his career, releases his, Bill Ryder-Jones-produced album, Dear Scott.  

                    Revered by heavyweight songwriting peers and discovered by new generations of discerning listeners, all enraptured by the fruits of Head’s winding, 40-year career, the Liverpool singer-songwriter enters a new age of creativity and collaboration with Dear Scott. Promising to be a shimmering jewel cast by the minds and hearts of Merseyside’s finest musicians, the 12-track album is dusted with both Ryder-Jones’ artistry and the heavyweight musicianship of The Red Elastic Band, which Head found had ‘stepped up’ following almost a year apart, forcing him to dig deeper himself.

                    Of slipping back into writing and recording in 2021, Head continues: “After being apart for a while, I went for a walk on the beach with the band and it was beautiful, literally and personally. Rehearsals followed and it clicked into place, with one thing leading to the next. It’s very much the ethos we’re working by, keeping things simple, but keeping the momentum. I’d met Bill a few times and he’s a lovely guy. Once we knew he was interested in producing the album we didn’t need to think about it again, it just progressed and became a completely natural thing.”

                    Dear Scott refers to novelist, F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose debt-ridden, down-and-out years captured the imagination of Head, specifically a postcard Fitzgerald addressed to himself upon checking in at Hollywood’s infamous Golden Age retreat, The Garden Of Allah Hotel. Head explains: “A decade after being the king of the jazz age, Fitzgerald arrived unfashionable and sober, ready to conquer Hollywood. His agent with a sense of humour booked him into The Garden Of Allah, where writers, movie stars and even Stravinsky sometimes lived. He famously picked up a postcard on checking in and addressed it to himself.”

                    The postcard read: Dear Scott, How are you? Have been meaning to come and see you. I have living at the Garden Of Allah. Yours Scott Fitzgerald

                    Head states that the formation of The Red Elastic Band in 2008 began with ‘whoever was available at the time’, primarily as a vehicle for live performance, producing one, previous album in 2017’s Adiós Señor Pussycat. The band has since developed into a cohesive, mutually-supportive and permanent line-up, with Phil Murphy on drums, Tom Powell on bass, Danny Murphy on guitars and Nathaniel Cummins on guitars and backing vocals being the musicians taking on the world in 2022 alongside Head. 

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Andy says: Dear Scott is a masterpiece. Twelve perfect songs with melodies to die for and words that feel like scenes from a film condensed into poetry. Michael Head is the Liverpudlian genius renowned for his classic pop songs from “Thank You” and “Jean’s Not Happening” through to “Comedy” and “Meant To Be”. Forty years making music and he’s just made his joint best LP, one that if you’re into guitar based pop music you’d be daft to ignore.

                    It’s not always been like this. In a career buffeted by personal problems and dodgy deals it has taken the arrival of erstwhile Coral guitarist Bill Ryder Jones, a fellow Merseysider and huge fan, to draw the very best out of Mick. Bill has helped create what feels like a greatest hits LP but made up of brand new songs. There’s jangling indie pop, jazz, mystical folk, roving psych pop and even a splash of bossa, taking us right back to Mick's days as a teen star in the Pale Fountains! As I mentioned, each track is a short story or mini movie touching on the kindness of strangers, old Hollywood dreams, the futility of war, Liverpool trips, Love from afar and even a murder in gangland made wild and funky on album highlight “Gino And Rico”.

                    The tunes themselves are proper ear worms and the album is designed as an old fashioned two sided listen. Side 1 has six perfect pop songs, hit after hit, but flip it over and you’re whisked off into what almost feels like a song suite, interspersed as they are with towering strings, mad interludes (each track has contrasting parts that surprise and amaze) and psych rock guitar; it’s bewildering but oh so beautiful and it grows and grows with every listen. The record starts off neat but slowly expands into the stratosphere only to end on a heavenly lullaby, melancholic and magical.

                    Mick’s other great album, Waterpistol, was loved by all at Piccadilly nearly 30 years ago. That we’re here again all these years later is bizarre and brilliant.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A1 Kismet
                    A2 Broken Beauty
                    A3 The Next Day
                    A4 Freedom
                    A5 American Kid
                    A6 Grace And Eddie
                    B7 Fluke
                    B8 Gino And Rico
                    B9 The Grass
                    B10 The Ten
                    B11 Pretty Child
                    B12 Shirls Ghost 

                    Leah Weller

                    Freedom

                      Freedom – the debut album from Leah Weller – a modern soul soundtrack to her head spinning twenties turning into empowered, contented thirties. Completed last year, Weller’s first complete album follows a decade-long career on catwalks, in front of cameras and making dancefloors shake, constantly on the move and with music as a constant companion. Finding the escape route out of anxiety-inducing mix-and-match career moves with the stability of love, the slowdown of repeated lockdowns and, finally, motherhood, Weller’s race is now to be run at her own pace with a collection of songs set perfectly to her flow.

                      Gathering nine, finely-tailored songs together with a drum beat of support from producer and collaborator, Steve Craddock, the collection speaks, much rather than screams, of finding the sweet spot between the need for hope, however naïve, and the truths that only experience can spell out. 

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1.Freedom
                      2. Wonder
                      3. Pale Blue Sky
                      4. Dive In
                      5. Change
                      6. Call Me By Your Name
                      7. Strength
                      8. Summer At Last
                      9. Reason
                      10. Unity
                      11. Something Sacred
                      12. Butterflies 

                      Jack Flanagan

                      Jack Rides The Sky

                        The debut album from Jack Flanagan, currently best known for his work as a member of the Mystery Jets. ‘Jack Rides The Sky’ is a magical coming of age record that comprises of 12 tracks written over the last decade, some finished and some left as initial sketches of ideas. As brutally honest as it is escapist and romantic, ‘Jack Rides The Sky’ is a body of work that signals the arrival of a unique, poetic talent finally stepping out on his own and releasing the extraordinary songs that have been parked on his laptop for the last 10 years.

                        Born in Basingstoke outside London in the early 90s, Jack grew up obsessing over John Lennon, Evan Dando, and The La’s. Like any none too sensible kid with great hair, an Irish surname and a romantic view of the heroic nature of rock'n'roll, he drifted to the capital city. At 19 he was making his own music and learning song craft. Through the early Noughties he played bass in scene bands, and the glow of imminent stardom surrounded him.

                        The scene loved Jack and Jack loved the scene. The career planning did not, however, go as intended. Jack's early musical alliance with Rob Skipper from The Holloways ended in tragedy when the singer died of a heroin overdose. For the next ten years Jack's progress was hampered by fate's interventions and his own insecurities. Exciting projects were stop started and brilliant songs were left ignored, until now.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Curses
                        2. Skyhorse X Skyhorse
                        3. Gravy Train
                        4. Unbelievable
                        5. Don’t Ask Me Why
                        6. Something Has Changed
                        7. Misty
                        8. Lately
                        9. Blue Canoe
                        10. Girls And Boys
                        11. Try
                        12. Why Am I Only Here 

                        Sheafs

                        A Happy Medium

                          Fresh from supporting punk icons The Buzzcocks on their recent UK dates, Sheffield quintet SHEAFS announce their debut album, A Happy Medium. After releasing their debut EP Vox Pop in 2020, the band scored a 'Next Wave' on BBC Radio 1's Indie Show with Jack Saunders. This has been followed by consistent support across major national radio stations including BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, Radio X and Virgin Radio, and the band have also earned press plaudits from essential titles like DIY, Dork, Gigwise and more over the years. SHEAFS have secured previous support slots with artists such as The Slow Readers Club (2021), Red Rum Club (2021), Squid, Idles, Greta Van Fleet, The Coral and The Amazons. They have previously played Reading Festival, Isle of Wight, Live at Leeds, Dot to Dot, Y Not Festival, Tramlines and The Great Escape.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1 En Route Distress
                          2 Monotonal Living
                          3 Cycles
                          4 Vacancy
                          5 Losing All Inhibitions
                          6 Spectator
                          7 For Now, Concede
                          8 A Reverie
                          9 Millennial
                          10 The Room 

                          Altameda

                          Born Losers

                            'Born Losers’ is Altameda’s strongest album to date. Recorded in Toronto, ON by Thomas D’Arcy (Neko Case, The Sheepdogs) and mixed in Portland, OR by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Whitney, REM) the newest offering shows immense growth, both musically and personally. Grappling with family tragedy, love lost, and the countless miles in between. The record is both lyrically nuanced and compositionally lush. It is clear that the band have a bright future ahead. It features the previous tracks ‘Dead Man’s Suit’ and ‘Wheel Of Love’.

                            It will be the follow-up to 2019’s Hasn’t Changed You. Full and resounding, cutting and dynamic, Altameda’s sophomore record is full of all that makes life a beautiful mess. Brought along by warm bass lines, bluesy rhythms and the sweet whir of the wurlitzer, vocalist Troy Snaterse’s lyrics burn with nostalgia and present desire, made vivid by his talk-like cadences and emotional peaks. It will lift you out of your seat—then all at once send you spiralling down to the kitchen floor.


                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Dead Man’s Suit
                            2. Neon (& That’s Why)
                            3. Wheel Of Love
                            4. I’m Here For You
                            5. Sweet Susie
                            6. Everybody’s Gotta Bleed
                            7. Just Me & You
                            8. Born Losers
                            9. Nightmare Town
                            10. Ramona Retreat
                            11. In Time, They Say

                            Holly Macve

                            Not The Girl

                              “My vision was big,” says Brighton-based singer Macve of the road to her second album. “I knew I wanted to do something more expansive than my first record.” With reach, feeling, storytelling power and a stop-you-dead voice, Macve sizes up to that mission boldly on Not The Girl. Following on from the rootsy saloon-noir conviction of her 2017 debut, Golden Eagle, Holly sets out for deeper, often darker territory with a firm, unhurried sense of direction on her second record: on all fronts, it’s an album that looks its upscaled ambitions in the eye fearlessly.

                              For Macve, the combination of influences such as Nancy & Lee with time spent touring helped widen her horizons. “I wasn’t afraid of trying new things, and I wanted to explore sounds and develop my skills in production, composing and engineering. When I wrote the songs on Golden Eagle I had never toured, it was just me in my bedroom playing acoustic guitar. I then got the chance to tour the world with a band and sing with a symphony orchestra [with Mercury Rev in 2017]. My little world grew and I realised there was so much for me to learn about how I can use my skills as a singer and writer. I didn’t want to limit myself – I wanted to push my boundaries.”

                              At every turn, Macve’s powers of evocation are matched by the depth and strength in her voice. Witness the meeting of a plangent pedal-steel with her elastic vocal on the atmospheric “Be My Friend”, or the sultry verses and soaring chorus of “You Can Do Better”, which bring to mind a prairie-sized Mazzy Star. Guest guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones’ spacious contributions help enhance its sense of space. “Bill was an important part of the story of this record,” says Holly. “I love his playing – it helped create that kind of heavy, lazy, dreamy sound I’m such a fan of.”

                              Elsewhere, rich seams of contrast and counterpoint emerge. The Velvet Underground-ish “Sweet Marie” is epic drone-country, “Little, Lonely Heart” a symphonic waltz around the rootsy stuff of bad love, jealousy, and guilt. “Who Am I” merges a Phil Spector-ish wall of sound with a grunge-y melodic insouciance, while “Daddy’s Gone” finds Macve reflecting on the death of her father over Memphis soul-style backing, rendering complex emotions with controlled reserves of detail and drama before a roistering climax. “Lonely Road” closes the album on a note of becalmed resilience, its narrator looking “past the prison walls and into the garden”, ready to face whatever waits out there.

                              Other contributors included Fiona Brice (Placebo, John Grant), whose string arrangements helped Macve fulfil an ambition to blend ’70s Laurel Canyon sounds and the rougher edges of ’90s grunge with the melodic sweep of Scott Walker. Collin Dupuis (Lana del Rey, Angel Olsen) mixed the album in Nashville; CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg) plays pedal-steel, Emily Druce plays viola, and David Dyson/Phil Murphy play drums. The Arts Council helped with funding, and recording took place between Holly’s home studio, Retreat Studios in Ovingdean, Ryder-Jones’ YAWN studio in Liverpool, and Kore Studios in London.

                              Brave, brooding, and beautiful, Not The Girl is the sound of that confidence in full, spectacular bloom.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1 Bird
                              2 Eye Of The Storm
                              3 Be My Friend
                              4 You Can Do Better
                              5 Daddy’s Gone
                              6 Little Lonely Heart
                              7 Sweet Marie
                              8 Who Am I
                              9 Not The Girl
                              10 Behind The Flowers
                              11 Lonely Road

                              The Jacques

                              The Four Five Three

                                Heralding from Bristol and London – guitarist, and singer/songwriter, Finn O’Brien and drummer/brother Elliot O’Brien were both born in London and brought up and schooled in Bristol, before subsequently relocating back to London - the Jacques formed in early 2014 and had already appeared live at the Dot to Dot Festival and GuilFest when a performance at the Hyde Park Festival - with The Libertines - changed their trajectory. Correspondingly, after briefly signing to Libertines’ drummer Gary Powell’s label 25 Hour Convenience Store, the band released their debut four-track Pretty DJ EP in November that year. But their personal journey is a unique tale of triumph over adversity and, like the best kind of drama – and theirs is quite definitely a drama - one of gain through loss.

                                The Jacques have been variously described as gritty, distorted, lush, dreamy, discordant, infectious, inventive, evocative, romantic and ludicrous, and everything from the “absurd” and “straight up grotesque” to the “tongue in cheek”. They’ve gained the seal of approval from the likes of Steve Lamaq, Don Letts, Huwey Morgan, Huw Stephens, Chris Hawkins and NME. In 2020, The Jacques (now with the backing of Modern Sky) unleashed the fruits of their labours on the world in their debut EP and are gearing up for their debut album. “This is not a normal debut album. We wanted to get it right.” Finn O’Brien

                                The Four Five Three is a record of remarkable songs hewn from a range of tragically ragged, sweet and tender adolescent experiences you can’t quite believe have been crammed into such a slight number of collective years. But therei lies the rub: The Jacques may have unremarkable musical origins emanating out of the fields and towns of rural England, best visualized in that seminal British comedy This Country, with all the boredoms and eccentricities associated with the social isolation of such communities. But their personal journey is a unique tale of triumph over adversity and, like the best kind of drama – and theirs is quite definitely a drama - one of gain through loss.

                                The Jacques are Finn O’Brien (voice, guitar), Elliot O’Brien (drums), Harry Thomas (keyboards) and James Lay (bass), although it hasn’t always been this way. Past members include Jake and Oliver Edwards, Clint Trembath and Gabriel Ciechan, but the death of long-term bass player Will J Hicks in March 2019 hit them hard. Relations amongst the previous line-ups had already soured when Finn met Will whilst studying Art at Goldsmiths College in 2016. Initially, Finn and Will didn’t hit it off, but a blossoming close friendship ensued and, together with the addition of Harry on keyboards, a new fuller, less-guitar centric sound emerged. James had already started rehearsing with the four-piece when tragedy struck.

                                “It was hard,” says Finn now. “We played so many songs with Will that meant such a lot. But we decided to carry on.” James subsequently joined on a permanent basis and The Jacques resumed professional duties as best they could, releasing a series of singles throughout 2019 including the fuzzy post-punk of ‘Kiss The Pharaoh’, which features on The Four Five Three. The song hums and clatters like early-Horrors, yet delivers piercing offhand lyricism which Finn describes as having a, “anarchistic and creepy, nursery rhyme thing going on.”

                                It’s a track that has propelled them to receive strong support from BBC 6Music with Huw Stephen, Steve Lamacq, Don Letts and Huey Morgan all big fans of the band at. the station. The album also features the recently released single ‘Swift Martin’, a bleak and unnerving track of pulsating synths and distorted guitar lines along with songs. like ‘Cradle My Heart’ – about each of us having our own versions of God – and ‘Holy Mamacita’; a love song with a twist, about letting someone down. However it’s perhaps ‘Hendrik’ and ‘Taste The Mexican Sun’ that showcase The. Jacques at their most sentimental and their most playful. ‘Hendrik’ is the oldest track on the album and was renamed to celebrate one of Finn’s closest friends who hadalways loved the song before he passed away; and ‘Taste The Mexican Sun’ takes its title from a seemingly-meaningless caption Finn and Will noticed on a plastic cup whilst hanging out at a music festival.

                                Remarkable enough in themselves, they segue effortlessly into the album’s closer, ‘God’s Lick’, a song that evokes bittersweet memories of endless jamming sessions when Will was in the band. It’s a beautifully poignant way to finish this emotional rollercoaster of a record.


                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Born Sore
                                2. Kiss The Pharaoh
                                3. Swift Martin
                                4. Do Me For A Fool
                                5. The Ugliest Look
                                6. Count On Me Pt.1
                                7. Tiny Fuzzy Parasite
                                8. Cradle
                                9. Count On Me Pt.2
                                10. Holy Mamacita
                                11. Hendrik
                                12. Taste The Mexican Sun
                                13. God's Lick

                                Catholic Action

                                Celebrated By Strangers

                                  The Glasgow quartet Catholic Action return with their sophomore album Celebrated by Strangers. The single One Of Us packs a fuzzed-out stomp alongside masterfully giddy melodies that sees lead singer and guitarist Chris McCrory recount “the welfare son of a welfare son”, taking aim at the billionaire-owned media and their Bullingdon Club ilk who shirk responsibility for sowing the division we see in the UK. It sets the tone for a record that asks both searching questions of the self, while pointing the finger at inaction in the wider world. Through a procession of skittish, off-kilter riffs and squawking saxophones, Celebrated by Strangers doesn’t just call for action, it demands it. Fizzing with invention, accusation, self-belief and creativity, it never stutters under the weight of its own message.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. Grange Hell (South London In D)
                                  2. Witness
                                  3. I'm No Artist
                                  4. One Of Us
                                  5. Yr Old Dad
                                  6. And It Shows
                                  7. People Don't Protest Enough
                                  8. Another Name For Loneliness
                                  9. Sign Here
                                  10. There Will Always Be A Light
                                  11. Four Guitars (For Scottish Independence)

                                  The Slow Readers Club

                                  The Joy Of The Return

                                    Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club return with their fourth album, The Joy Of The Return. Opening to an energetic blend of driving drums and infectious guitar lines, the opening track builds through evocative verses and anthemic choruses, imbued with their idiosyncratic brand of insightful and confronting lyricism and set against relentlessly danceable and energy-provoking instrumentation. “‘All I Hear’ is about a lack of agency and an inability to affect change. That there’s something happening, and you have no choice but to go along with it,” explains singer Aaron Starkie.

                                    Throughout the album, the band explore a vast swathe of sonic territory, from the passionately delivered ‘All The Idols’, to the poppier tones of ‘Jericho’ that power through with bright indie guitar lines and ethereally melodic choruses.  Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.

                                    “I think it’s definitely our most interesting and accomplished record musically,” says singer Aaron Starkie. “Lyrically the album covers love, alienation, the rise of right wing populism and comments on algorithm driven propaganda. And as always, I try to deliver those lyrics with uplifting melody.”

                                    The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding ‘No Surprise’ providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling ‘Paris’ is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality The swelling, arena-sized ‘Zero Hour’ displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while ‘The Wait’ closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Side A
                                    1. All I Hear
                                    2. Something Missing
                                    3. Problem Child
                                    4. Jericho
                                    5. No Surprise
                                    6. Paris

                                    Side B
                                    1. Killing Me
                                    2. All The Idols
                                    3. Every Word
                                    4. Zero Hour
                                    5. The Wait


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