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Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez had a clear vision for his band’s gorgeously cinematic debut album. After the phenomenal online break-out success of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby”, from the band’s debut EP 1, the Brooklyn transplant (originally from El Paso) wanted to project his worldview on to a bigger screen, a broader canvas. As Greg explains, “This is like the novel or feature-length version of Cigarettes. I wanted it to feel like a complete work, where some of the imagery repeats – like it’s all in the same world. It’s very much a fulfilment of the feelings in the short works.”

That sense of fulfilment is richly felt on Cigarettes After Sex, which unspools like the most achingly romantic of movies: immersive, cohesive and transporting. Swooning in the spirit of influences such as Mazzy Star and Red House Painters, its sumptuous songs of love elevate Cigarettes to the ranks of those acts who create worlds of their own, exciting the most devoted kind of following.

Alongside keyboardist Phillip Tubbs, bassist Randy Miller and drummer Jacob Tomsky, the ability of Gonzalez and his band to set a scene and sustain a mood reels you in deeply. On album opener ‘K’, a tale of blossoming love etched in tiny details luxuriates over chiming guitars; on the hymn to romantic compulsion of ‘Each Time You Fall in Love’, the suspended animation of Angelo Badalamenti’s heart-stopping Twin Peaks music is echoed. ‘Sunsetz’ and the gently lilting ‘Sweet’, meanwhile, showcase Gonzalez’s ability to weave impressionistic snapshots of romance into melodies that haunt like memories of past loves, all coalescing around his melting vocals.

STAFF COMMENTS

says: Gorgeous, slow-mo, late night heart-breakers drift by with classic chords, beautiful vocals and not one bad song in sight.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Deluxe LP Info: 180g vinyl with gatefold jacket printed on metallic foil. Comes with 24” x 24” foldout poster and lyric booklet.

Aerial East

Try Harder

    Aerial East’s music explores the space between the conscious and unconscious mind, between what was and what will be. She dives into what she has known - adolescence, heartbreak, coming into a new social consciousness, and managing a perpetual unanchored-ness - in order to find a most surprising place to rest inside: the unknowable.

    As the daughter of a military family, East spent her late childhood in Europe and teenage years in Abilene, Texas. After dropping out of community college, she moved to New York City where she’d meet a group of musicians whom she would come to befriend and collaborate with (including Okay Kaya, Kelsey Lu, Wet + more). She hopes to tell stories we don’t hear often. “I want to tell stories about people in Texas,” she says, “I want to humanize different characters.”

    ‘Try Harder’ is a tight yet eclectic record, both sonically and emotionally. “I didn’t want to hear any drums,” East says. “I was going through a period of high anxiety,” she explains, adding that she listened to a lot of solo-piano to calm down during moments of ungroundedness. “I wanted to make a record to be soothing in the same way [as the piano was for her].” So, much to the initial skepticism of her collaborators, East decided against adding drums to her songs. “I just wanted it to be healing and calm, something you can listen to even if the world is ending,” a feeling we can all relate to. The end result is a beautiful ode to those of us who feel like life sometimes is a little bit harder, that we don’t quite fit in, that our edges are rough – an album-length anthem for sitting in our own discomfort and groundlessness and finding a specific peace with it. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Gold vinyl.

    Femi Kuti And Made Kuti

    Legacy +

      Legendary activist and Afrobeat originator, Fela Kuti, used his music to lament social injustices and political corruption in his native Nigeria. Fela’s legacy spans decades and genres, touching on jazz, pop, funk, hip-hop, rock, and beyond. While this impact can be felt in Nigeria and the entire world, it also greatly affected Fela’s son Femi and his son Made, both of whom carry his legacy as torchbearers for change. On February 5th, Partisan Records will release two albums from Femi and Made, packaged together and appropriately titled ‘Legacy +’.

      Both albums that make up ‘Legacy +’ are steeped in the tradition of Afrobeat invented by Fela, but each also offers their own unique vision. Femi’s 'Stop The Hate' honors Fela in a traditionally fun, sharply political, and affirming way. Meanwhile Made’s ‘For(e)ward’ is a modern and progressive freedom manifesto, pushing boundaries of the subgenre even further. Made also performs every instrument on his album. Both albums also feature portraits of Femi and Made, done by Brooklyn-based artist Delphine Desane, whose work was recently featured on the cover of Vogue Italia. 

      Fontaines D.C.

      A Hero's Death/I Don't Belong

        Barely a year after the release of their hugely acclaimed debut album 'Dogrel', which earned a Mercury Prize nomination and Album of the Year 2019 at both BBC 6Music and Rough Trade record store, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. have returned with an intensely confident, patient, and complex follow up album. 'A Hero's Death’ was released on 31st July 2020 via Partisan Records – it arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful - a heady and philosophical take on the modern world, and its great uncertainty.

        The 7” features two tracks from the album – “A Hero’s Death” and “I Don’t Belong”. I

        Fontaines D.C.

        A Hero's Death

          Barely a year after the release of their hugely acclaimed debut album 'Dogrel', which earned a Mercury Prize nomination and Album of the Year 2019 at both BBC 6Music and Rough Trade record store, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. have returned with an intensely confident, patient, and complex follow up album. 'A Hero's Death' arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful - a heady and philosophical take on the modern world, and its great uncertainty. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: Following the moody brilliance of the universally lauded ‘Dogrel’ was never going to be easy. Such a weight of expectation! Add to that a relentless schedule that goes with maintaining the momentum of success and a lifestyle that stretches minds and bodies to the limit (all too often beyond) and Fontaines D.C. could well be forgiven for buckling under the pressure. They certainly weren’t immune. Instead of blunting their creativity however, they channelled the world weariness and cynicism into their music, giving darker breadth and depth to the snarl and vigour of their debut. Grian Chatten is as poetic and articulate as ever, his wry observations irreplaceable, but here they are shot through with defiant nihilism and a wish for independence, from everything and everyone.

          They cite the Beach Boys as an influence on this album, but, while their chopping, post punk growl certainly has added harmony and changes of pace for sure, this ain't surfing weather. Where they do throw in a ballad, the gorgeous drunken drawl of “No” that closes the record, it's under leaden Dublin skies. The glorious, rolling sneer of “Televised Mind” and the tortured glam of the title track are perhaps other standouts, but then this album is full of them. All killer, certainly that.

          ‘A Hero's Death’ is absolutely and identifiably Fontaines D.C., it couldn't be anyone else, but it’s a leaner, more layered and brooding upgrade. If ‘Dogrel’ was a victory, ‘A Hero's Death’ is a reflection on the cost. It’s just magnificent.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDeluxe LP Info: 45rpm cut double-LP on 180g black vinyl.
          Cut at Abbey Road Studios.
          Double gatefold LP.
          Comes with 12”x12” photo/lyric book.

          Pottery

          Welcome To Bobby's Motel

            Who is “Bobby,” you ask?

            Enter Pottery. Enter Paul Jacobs, Jacob Shepansky, Austin Boylan, Tom Gould, and Peter Baylis. Enter the smells, the cigarettes, the noise, their van Mary, their friend Luke, toilet drawings, Northern California, Beatles accents, Taco Bell, the Great Plains, and hot dogs. Enter love and hate, angst and happiness, and everything in between. Beginning as an inside joke between the band members, Bobby and his “motel” have grown into so much more. They’ve become the all-encompassing alt-reality that the band built themselves, for everyone else. So, in essence, Bobby is Pottery and his motel is wherever they are.

            But really, Bobby is a pilot, a lumberjack, a stay at home dad, and a disco dancer that never rips his pants. He's a punching bag filled with comic relief. He laughs in the face of day-to-day ambiguity, as worrying isn’t worth it to Bobby. There’s a piece of him in everyone, there to remind us that things are probably going to work out, maybe. He’s you. He’s him. He’s her. He’s them. Bobby is always there, painted in the corner, urging you to relax and forget about your useless worries. And his motel? Well, the motel is life. It might not be clean, and the curtains might not shut all the way. The air conditioner might be broken, and the floors might be stained. But that’s okay, because you don’t go to Bobby’s Motel for the glamour and a good night’s sleep, the minibar, or the full-service sauna. You go to Bobby’s Motel to feel, to escape, to remember, to distract. You go for the late nights and early mornings, good times and the bad. You might spend your entire life looking for Bobby’s Motel and just when you think you will never find it, you realize you’ve been there all along. It’s filthy and amazing and you dance, and you love it.

            The 11 songs on ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ don’t just invite you to move your body; they command you to. Fusing reckless, manic energy with painstaking precision, the record is part post-punk, part art-pop, and part dance floor acid trip, hinting at everything from Devo to Gang of Four as it boldly careens through genres and decades. The music is driven by explosive drums and off-kilter guitar riffs that drill themselves into your brain, accented with deep, funky grooves and rousing gang vocals. The production is similarly raw and wild, suggesting an air of anarchy that belies the music’s careful architecture and meticulous construction. The result is an album full of ambitious, complex performances that exude joy and mayhem in equal measure, a collection that’s alternately virtuosic, chaotic, and pure fun." 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Love Record Stores LP Info: Special limited edition obi strip, designed by the band’s artist / drummer Paul Jacobs.

            Coloured LP Info: 'Hot Dog yellow' vinyl.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Ultraísta

            Sister

              Ultraísta are releasing their first new album since 2012's self-titled debut. "Tin King" is a collection that defies easy categorization, and one that proves that Ultraísta — Grammy-winning producer/engineer/musician Nigel Godrich, best known for his two decades helming Radiohead’s groundbreaking studio output; celebrated drummer Joey Waronker, who’s toured and recorded with everyone from R.E.M. and Beck to Roger Waters and Elliott Smith; and singer Laura Bettinson, an acclaimed solo artist whose work combines synth-driven electropop and dreamy vocal looping — is far more than just the sum of its remarkable parts.

              IDLES

              A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live At Le Bataclan

                ‘A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live at Le Bataclan’ is the brand new live album from IDLES, recorded at Le Bataclan in Paris on 3rd December 2018, at the close of a 90 date world tour. The album celebrates the band’s success over the last two years, featuring songs from ‘Brutalism’ and ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’, and highlights their overall message of unity, and of healing through community.

                “Our show at Bataclan was the end of a very long journey for us. On that tour we learnt so much about ourselves, each other and the audiences we have grown with over the past 10 years. That show was nothing short of catharsis and nothing more than love. We love what we do and the people who have carried us here, there was no hiding that at Bataclan and we are so very grateful that the moment was captured in all its glory, love and fatigue. Long live the open minded and long live the moment.” - Joe Talbot


                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: A beautiful thing indeed, Idles bring all of their vitriol and political fire to the legendary Bataclan, and it couldn't be more perfect a performance. Rawkous, huge and scathing, a live album not to be missed.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xColoured LP Info: Neon Clear Orange Vinyl.

                2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                2xColoured LP 2 Info: Neon Clear Lime Green Vinyl.

                2xColoured LP 2 includes MP3 Download Code.

                2xColoured LP 3 Info: Neon Clear Pink Vinyl.

                2xColoured LP 3 includes MP3 Download Code.

                Cigarettes After Sex return with their anticipated sophomore album. Recorded during night time sessions in a mansion on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the album is a lush, cinematic meditation on the many complex facets of love - meeting, wanting, needing, losing...sometimes all at once. The album was self-produced and engineered by Greg Gonzalez, and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Much like their debut, 'Cry' is full of wistful moments of contemplative beauty and heady, rich waves of synth and restrained bass throbs. Classic chord progressions and tear-jerking vocal performances make for a more refined distillation of the sound that garnered them so much attention the first time around. Lovely stuff.

                Erika Wennerstrom

                Sweet Unknown

                  There's something somewhat frightening, yet utterly freeing when leaving the confines of a successful band to venture solo — especially a band whose latest record was called "effortlessly brilliant" by critics. But, such is the case with Erika Wennerstrom who is taking a brief vacation from her Cincinnati-based rock band, Heartless Bastards, to deliver her solo debut Sweet Unknown.

                  But fans of Heartless Bastards need not worry. The band has not broken up. "We'd been going for so long and everyone in the band was just ready for a little break. But I had songs in me that needed to come out. I didn't think it was fair to push them to keep going and I didn't want to do it without them under the band name," explains Wennerstrom, who enlisted the help of HB's Jesse Ebaugh to play bass on 8 of the 9 tracks on Sweet Unknown.

                  While Wennerstrom has always been honest the Heartless Bastards songs she's written, the 9 tracks that make up Sweet Unknown are even more personal and reflective, and for her, quite transformative as well.

                  The album kicks off with the feel-good roadtrip vibes of "Twisted Highway," which Wennerstrom says sums up her musical journey on Sweet Unknown. On the somber psych-rocker "Staring Out the Window," the artist digs even deeper into the inner workings of her mind. The upbeat and optimistic "Letting Go" epitomizes that experience. "Good To Be Alone" is just one sonic outcome of a formative trip to Big Bend taken soon after the band decided to go on hiatus.

                  With Sweet Unknown, Erika Wennerstrom bravely invites the listener in to experience her trials and tribulations of life amist a cozy soundscape of deeply emotive vocals and melodies to what is ultimately the soundtrack to her soul.



                  Americana mainstays Deer Tick return to form with not one but two albums in 2017.

                  ‘Vol. 1’ is quiet, ‘Vol. 2’ is loud - Deer Tick’s dual personalities, finally channelled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.

                  Die cut covers that resemble picture frames with retractable disco jacket.

                  Americana mainstays Deer Tick return to form with not one but two albums in 2017.

                  ‘Vol. 1’ is quiet, ‘Vol. 2’ is loud - Deer Tick’s dual personalities, finally channelled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records.

                  Die cut covers that resemble picture frames with retractable disco jacket.


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