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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.


    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 have announced their forthcoming new album ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’, which will feature 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’.


      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.” 


        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

        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 

        The Lottery Winners

        Something To Leave The House For

          Keeping the faith and facing the future, Times Are Changing puts a full stop on pandemic talk for unstoppable indie-pop four-piece Lottery Winners, as the four-piece release the fizzing anthem into a newly optimistic world. The first single from their newly announced, upcoming, second studio album, Something To Leave The House For, the band has penned the soundtrack to hugging old friends, the rebirth of live music and those summer festivals just around the around the corner.

          For front man and songwriter, Thom Rylance, working through the darkness of Covid meant surviving Covid, tying the threads of an unravelling mental state into a new body of work now emerging as bright, arms-aloft bursts of positivity. His famed ‘note to self’, the emotive An Open Letter To Creatives and the band’s sensational, viral collaboration with Nickelback with the Rock Star Sea Shanty were just two moments of levity in a time dominated by the dark clouds forming overhead. Now he and the band are moving on and moving up.

          “If something so bleak and harrowing can hit us all, totally out of the blue, and change our lives, then by definition that must mean that something beautiful can too.” says bassist and vocalist, Katie Lloyd (bass and vocals) as Lottery Winners start the next leg of their adventure with Times Are Changing, reflective, ready to party and no less ambitious than before.

          In true Lottery Winners style, every truth and life lesson is dressed in glass-half-full, wildly optimistic, radio-friendly pop, hip-swinging beats and bittersweet tenderness.


          1. Favorite Flavor
          2. Sunshine
          3. Much Better
          4. Dance With The Devil (feat KT Tunstall)
          5. Love Yourself
          6. 85 Trips
          7. Start Again (feat Frank Turner)
          8. Times Are Changing
          9. Hotel Deville
          10. Love Bites
          11. Bad Things (feat Sleeper)
          12. Overthink Everything
          13. Something To Leave The House For
          14. See You Later

          Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

          Dear Scott - Piccadilly Exclusive Bonus Disc Edition


            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 

            Red Rum Club

            How To Steal The World

              Once again melding relatable words of life, love and late nights to the hip-shaking grooves that have ignited numerous festival stages, irrepressible indie-soul-funk six-piece Red Rum Club return with their head-bopping new single, Nightcalling. Their first new material of 2021, the pin-sharp, three-minutes of pure cocktail-swilling, dancefloor-carving magic heralds the release of their third album, How To Steal The World.

              Unaccustomed to the new ‘wait and see’ conditions of modern living, Red Rum Club bottled their impatience, wrapped up their worries and gathered their thoughts together in cathartic writing and recording sessions for album number three. Reacting with force to dark winter lockdowns and the extended live break, Nightcalling is a story of new love set to the beat of a smooth soundtrack that’s as close to the sound of red-hot Miami as it is the band’s wind-blown, native Mersey.

              Previous albums, Matador (2019) and The Hollow Of Humdrum (2020) scattered steamy, brass-flecked singles onto radio playlists and across festival fields, with the band somehow fusing a distinct English realism akin to Arctic Monkeys to the hands-high funk of Chic and disco chops of the Bee Gees. A band truly like no other, the 12 tracks that lie in wait on How To Steal The World promise yet another step up in their main stage ambitions.

              Doran says: “’Nightcalling’ brings disco hooks for the dancefloor that we’re aching to jump onto together. While the club doors remain shut, it should be enjoyed blaring out of car speakers, cruising by on a late-night drive. The track is an energetic and cocky perspective of new love and the irrepressible excitement that accompanies it.”

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Drown
              2. Love Me Like You Wanna Be Loved
              3. Vibrate
              4. Summer Of Another Lover
              5. Nightcalling
              6. Eighteen
              7. How To Steal The World
              8. Sweet Degrees
              9. Come Back, Anna Marie!
              10. Disappear
              11. Monaco
              12. Beautiful Mind 

              Red Rum Club

              Vanilla / The River

                Extremely limited edition 7” vinyl pressing of Red Rum Club’s infectious new singles Vanilla and The River.

                After recently kicking up a dusty, desert-pop storm on their US tour, Liverpool’s funk-infused, brass-driven rock sextet are offering their new wave of American fans a chance to take home a slice of Scouse swagger in the form of a super limited two-track 7” record.

                Armed with unapologetically catchy melodies and oozing with an instantly likeable charm, the band have captured the true essence of their personalities on these two new singles. ‘Vanilla’ takes a vicious side-swipe at mundanity and provides the perfect antidote to “vannilla” living with its infectious hook, vibrant brass melody and brooding vocal delivery. Meanwhile, unreleased track ‘The River’ sees the band delve into their emotive side and produce an uplifting and heartwarming song that radiates a feel-good party atmosphere that will make you forget all your troubles in an instant.

                Never afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve, Red Rum Club have distilled the rock and roll flair, endearing lyrical honesty and hip-shaking musical energy of their wide-ranging discography into two tracks that epitomise them as a band. After releasing three albums in as many years, the group have truly refined their unique sound, combining the authentic grit of their native northern England with an eclectic, groove-laden funk sensibility and this exclusive new 7” is the perfect way to sample that concoction in its truest form.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Vanilla
                2. The River

                Jamie Webster

                We Get By - 2022 Repress

                  Following a hugely successful year for Liverpool singer-songwriter Jamie Webster, his UK #6 charting debut album We Get By has been repressed on limited edition red and white swirl vinyl with the added bonus track of “This Place” re-recorded with the Sense of Sound choir.

                  By singing the lives of the angels, villains and overlooked of Liverpool, Jamie Webster sings the hope-filled daydreams of a generation on We Get By, the singer-songwriter’s debut album. Continuing the story from the rock-and-roll records that spilled from the docks into the arms of waiting beat groups, the hopeful indie-pop of the 80s that faced-down Thatcher’s cruelty and the Merseypsych boom of the ‘shroomy 2000’s, Webster sings his city to tell a story of our times.

                  Webster originally grew in renown for providing new soundtracks to Liverpool Football Club’s rising fortunes, playing to 60,000 fans attending the 2019 Champions League Final in Madrid and performing around the world, as far afield as Australia and Dubai. He has since seen support from BBC Radio 1, Radio X, 5Live, The Guardian (“the Liverpool hero who topped the first folk chart”) to name but a few, and sold out Liverpool’s huge M&S Bank Arena for a hometown headline show to remember at the end of the year, shortly before the new vinyl is released.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Down The Road
                  2. Living For Yesterday
                  3. Change
                  4. Stop Living Blind
                  5. Out On The Street
                  6. The Joker
                  7. Something’s Gotta Give
                  8. This Place
                  9. Grinding The Gears
                  10. Common People
                  11. Weekend In Paradise
                  12. We Get By
                  13. This Place (Choir Version Featuring Sense Of Sound) 

                  Leah Weller


                    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

                    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 


                    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 

                      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 


                        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


                          Outside Of The Blue

                            Drawing inspiration from Buddhist teachings and the hopeful attitude of frontman Johnny Quinn, Liverpool-based four-piece SPINN return with their staggering second album ‘Outside Of The Blue’. 

                            Across the 11 tracks SPINN double down and distill their sound, delivering festival-ready indie-pop packed with earworm hooks, feel-good guitars and a newfound determination to break out of the boxes in which they’d previously been confined. The record splits the world into two distinct spaces; the blue, which represents periods of anxiety and depression, and the other side; a place filled with colour, endless opportunity and brimming with hope.

                            The mindset and the mantra of the album can be equated with Buddha's main teachings “avoid evil, do good and purify the mind,” having himself found solace in meditation and mindfulness over the last 18 months. Born out of a period of change for the band, including the departure of their lead guitarist, Johnny and Sean handled most of the lyrics, bouncing ideas off each other via voice notes and phone calls when not physically together in Sean’s decked out DIY studio.

                            Diving deeper than before, the band’s second album offers a nuanced commentary about their own experiences with anxiety, depression, the power of love (and loving someone) as well as disillusionment with the government.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Hello
                            2. Daydreaming
                            3. I Believe In Love
                            4. Stargazing
                            5. Outside Of The Blue
                            6. Getaway
                            7. Sweet Like Honey
                            8. People Should Know Better
                            9. The Things She Said To Me
                            11. The Outside Looking In 

                            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


                              Another State

                                Following their signing to Modern Sky, Torquay five-piece Tourists are releasing their long-awaited debut album Another State, produced by Daniel Schlett (The War On Drugs, DIIV, Here We Go Magic). Another State is an album exploring the shadowy recesses of the human mind and existence, across eleven darkly compelling and utterly immersive dreampop songs, drawing on shoegaze, Krautrock, post-post and synthpop influences. The brooding, multi-faceted soundscapes of Another State offers an often melodic, sometimes knife-edged, and always enveloping backdrop to the album’s lyrical themes of control, manipulation and escapism, observed with a needle point astuteness, and an overriding message that all is not what is seems on the surface.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Silent Type
                                2. Align
                                3. Smokescreen
                                4. Faults
                                5. Lego Man
                                6. Blindside
                                7. Black Friday
                                8. Strangers
                                9. Perception Management
                                10. Another State

                                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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