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ROUGH TRADE

PicaPica

Together & Apart

    PicaPica’s debut album ‘Together & Apart’ was recorded at the end of 2018 and is produced by Mobo / Mercury-nominated producer Sonny Johns, who also plays bass on the record. Together & Apart’ is about health and heartache, spring and shade, love and loss and life. PicaPica are able to balance life’s joys and sorrows beautifully, effortlessly and in continuous harmony, viewing life’s coloured photographs as imagined through their silvery negatives.

    Girl Band

    Shoulderblades

      Nearly 4 years since Girl band’s critically acclaimed debut album, hailed by some as one of the best debuts of that year – they return with new single ‘Shoulderblades’. Sonically, the landscape warps from a dissonant, distant horizon to a threatening “shh!”, the sawing note panning from ear to ear, the uncomfortable atonal blanket that wraps around you, initiating you into the new world of Girl Band. Shoulderblades is a moment, a study, a significant detail from the greater surrealist portrait to come.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 12" Info: Custom etch design.

      Amyl And The Sniffers

      Amyl And The Sniffers

      The debut album from Amyl and the Sniffers is the sound of 21st century Australia recorded in Sheffield with producer Ross Orton. It's primal and explosive with a love of glam, the 70's Sharpie movement and good time rock n roll backed with lyrics that somehow are simultaneously bleak and nihilistic, yet humorous and celebratory. The album is full of beefy riffs and stomping drums that rages and rolls and lives up to all the hype. It has attitude, sass and Amy's sore throat howl.

      Coming off the back of a hair raising gig at London's Moth Club (the band 'almost literally tore the roof off'), Amyl And The Sniffers are certainly one to watch if you like feisty, independent punk-n-roll.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Mine says: Gnarly, energetic garage Aussie punk that demands to be played loud. Like a cross between GØGGS and Be Your Own Pet, now with their first long player on Rough Trade!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies exclusive green vinyl.

      SOAK returns after 4 years with a new album, bringing with her 4 years worth of growth, introspection and understanding. The result is Grim Town, the follow-up to her Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut Before We Forgot How To Dream, which saw her win the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize, and the European Border Breaker Award, in addition to being shortlisted for a Q Award.

      Her astonishingly assured, emotionally mature songwriting was often hailed as wise beyond its years; but, as her new album often asks, when do we ever truly shake off those childlike fears, the imposter-syndrome, the outsider-status? The term ‘to come of age’ lands with so much expectation, but with Grim Town, Bridie dissolves all such assuredness with imaginative, ambitious, and cathartic results. It is almost as though the greater soundscape - heavier in places, more pop-focused in others - has given SOAK the confidence to put her long overdue introspections in the firing line. It’s beauty and brutality is there from the album open opener, ‘Get Set Go Kid’ which traces the train-tracks out of depression (“I’ve got to get out, I can’t live here anymore!”) and was as inspired by the audio-visual environmentalism of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ as Bridie’s train-obsessed grandad on voiceover duties.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Grim Town is the newest album from Soak in 4 years, and displays a much more mature and thematically consistent side to Monds-Watson's sound. Still encompassing the punky chord sequences but with a much more nuanced and musically diverse backdrop, shimmering and soaring before bringing things back to earth with minimal guitar pieces, accentuated only by those unmistakable vox.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Comes with bonus 7".

      A. Swayze & The Ghosts

      Suddenly

        A. Swayze & The Ghosts are an exhilarating new garage punk band from Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. They are comprised of lead singer Andrew Swayze, alongside high school friends Hendrik Wipprecht (guitar), Zackary Blain (drums) and Ben Simms (bass). ‘Suddenly’ is backed with the epic, 10 minute jamfest known as ‘Reciprocation’.

        Tasmania is known around the world as The Island of Inspiration and it’s no secret that the albums that have inspired A.Swayze & The Ghosts came from classic artists such as Iggy & The Stooges, Television, Fugazi, The Ramones and Australia’s kings of punk The Saints. Elements of these masterful artists from an early era can be found in the band’s DNA and have allowed them to grow into their own world, to create their own scene, on an island that also has much deep and meaningful history with potential to have some new rock & roll history too.

        PicaPica

        Cast In Stone

          PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual frontwomen who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie and Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s West Coast, sunshine pop and indie folk.

          Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it.

          The other half of PicaPica, Adam Beattie - Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson - brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while Sonny Johns is a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO- nominated producer / engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica's otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

          The band first appeared on the scene with their debut EP ‘Spring & Shade’ back in 2016 and are now returning with this new 12” featuring delicate yet empowering new track ‘Cast in Stone’. The release also features two remixes from Seb Rochford - best known for drumming with the legendary Patti Smith - who has also performed on PicaPica’s upcoming debut album.

          Across 19 tracks in just 40 minutes, Goat Girl’s self-titled debut creates a half-fantasy world out of a very dirty, ugly city reality.

          Goat Girl belong to a burgeoning, close-knit south London scene, born in venues like The Windmill in Brixton and including bands like Shame, Bat-Bike, Madonnatron, Horsey, Sorry, and many more. “We help each other - I put you on, you put me on - because we genuinely like each other’s music. We’d played gigs all over before but never really settled in a comfortable environment, which is what The Windmill is. It’s an important place for us, it was the first space that our music made sense to exist within. It’s a safe space where music is genuinely listened to and appreciated, and where laws and licensing haven't reached over to ruin the venue.”

          This live freedom enabled the band to think without constraints when it came to recording. Goat Girl enlisted producer Dan Carey (The Kills, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand) to help them capture their vision, set a goal to write and record a piece of music in a day in effort to capture that raw first-creation moment, and chose to record to tape.

          It’s a very English album -- sharp-eyed observations like The Kinks, louche rage like The Slits -- but it’s also full of swampy, swaggering guitars and singer Lottie’s filthy drawl. Each member brings a diverse range of influences and contributions, ranging from krautrock to bossa nova, jazz to blues. They resist being boxed in to an indie, guitar-based genre, and focused intensely on the layers and textures of each song as well as the different contexts they could sit within.

          The result, Goat Girl, succeeds in conjuring a complete world all unto itself, and is arranged in segments -- divided by improvised interludes -- that offer glimpses of an even stranger parallel universe. With each song acting as its own story of sorts that features different settings and characters, listeners are transported therewithin. It’s dark yet cheeky, varied yet cohesive, and striking in its vision; this world is populated by creeps and liars, lovers, dreamers, and wonderful lunatics. Lead single “Cracker Drool” is at once jaunty and sinister, a foreboding tale full of swirling guitar, echoing vocals and synthetic drum hits that stumbles and gurgles straight into “Slowly Reclines,” an equally menacing and considerably heavier track. “Creep” is, predictably and grimly enough, inspired by actual events: Creep on the train / I really want to smash your head in.

          On “Country Sleaze,” she sings about sex in a way that embraces visceral reality and defeats shame. “If you say you’re sexually free, as a woman, society still deems that a bad thing. But really it’s a beautiful thing to be confident in yourself - to know that you can have sex and it doesn’t have to mean anything and that doesn’t make you a bad person.” Ellie smiles: “That song is quite disgusting, in a good way. It’s not trying to be nice, it’s not a love song.” Goat Girl is altogether an album crafted with intention, and invites imaginations to run wild; it draws listeners in to its half-fantasy world from the slow fade, eerie instrumental intro “Salty Sounds,” to the gorgeous, unsettling closer “Tomorrow” -- a rendition of the song featured in Bugsy Malone -- which ends with dawn-chorus birds and the feeling of new possibilities after a long and messy night.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Darryl says: A superbly textured and stylistically varied outing from Goat Girl, holding within it's 19 tracks a fiery resolve and melodic leaning of the highest order. Brilliantly written and performed with heart!

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          The Decemberists

          Traveling On

            The EP “Traveling On” is the next iteration of The Decemberists B-sides series, a tradition that began in 2005 and serves as a follow up to “Florasongs” and “Long Live the King”. It’s comprised of five B-sides related to their last album ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’ (4 tracks that were exclusive to the Exploded Edition box set + a full band version of “Traveling On”).

            The Detroit Cobras

            Baby

              One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, The Detroit Cobras developed a reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band - while the band members devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, The Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering aural personality.

              ‘Baby’ is the third studio album by The Detroit Cobras. It was originally released in November 2004. It features 12 covers of R&B obscurities and one original song, ‘Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)’.

              Low

              The Great Destroyer (2018 Reissue)

              “From the ominous, post-punkish pulse and clang of opener ‘Monkey’, to the decidedly punky frustration of ‘Everybody’s Song’ and the unapologetic riffing of ‘California’, ‘The Great Destroyer’ pushes the band's sound on to thrilling new vistas” - The Guardian

              Formed in 1993, Low are a trio from Duluth, Minnesota comprised of guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk, percussionist/vocalist Mimi Parker and bassist Zak Sally.

              Initially garnering attention as leaders of the ‘90s slowcore movement, Low went on to develop a sonic repertoire that incorporated pop, R&B and dissonant rock ‘n’ roll. With this kind of storied history, most people thought they had Low pegged. But then they turned in ‘The Great Destroyer’.

              The band’s seventh full-length album, ‘The Great Destroyer’ is fascinating in that it blends the band’s austere melodies (‘On the Edge Of’, ‘Silver Rider’) with an aggressive guitar onslaught (‘Monkey’, ‘Everybody’s Song’) and even melds Low’s varied styles together into a single song (‘When I Go Deaf’).

              Co-produced by Low and David Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev), ‘The Great Destroyer’ was a welcome surprise and, in the end, a rock ‘n’ roll revelation.

              Honey Hahs

              Dear Someone, Happy Something

              ‘Dear Someone, Happy Something’ is the debut album by London based sisters Rowan, Robin and Sylvie. The three sisters from Honor Oak Park in South London, with an average age of only 13 and a ½ years old, write songs that reflect a disarmingly frank child’s-eye view of the world.

              Honey Hahs have been championed by, and played shows with, Goat Girl, Fat White Family, Insecure Men, Shame, Micachu and The Moonlandingz amongst others.

              ‘Dear Someone, Happy Something’ was recorded in London with Steve Mackey. Rowan plays guitar and piano, Robin plays bass and Sylvie plays drums, and they all sing and harmonise.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition yellow vinyl.

              The Moldy Peaches

              The Moldy Peaches

                The Moldy Peaches were established in the mid-90s by Adam Green and Kimya Dawson, after meeting in upstate New York. The duo helped spawn the “anti-folk” music genre movement, bringing a more quirky, lo-fi punk element into the indie music scene. After releasing their own music for a few years, they collected their best material for a proper album, and in 2001 shared “The Moldy Peaches” via Rough Trade Records.

                Known for their sense of humor, whimsy and self-deprecation, the album featured gems like “Downloading Porn With Dave” and Who’s Got The Crack”. In 2007, “Anyone Else But You” (another song from the aforementioned album), was used in the Academy Award winning movie Juno, and reignited the album’s cult popularity. Since then, the two founders have had continued success in their respective solo careers.

                Kimya Dawson has also made children’s albums, and collaborated with many artists including Aesop Rock, They Might Be Giants, and The Mountain Goats. Adam Green has several albums on Rough Trade, as well as showing exhibitions of his visual art and making films.

                We asked Adam Green what he thought about reissuing the album at this time....he said "It's been 17 years since this was last released and we are putting it out again just in time to capitalize on the popularity of Juno. JK LOL  we are slow at re-releasing stuff. We decided to ignore Barbara Walter's advice when she told us to strike when the iron was hot, and decided to wait until the iron had become safely tepid. Once a Moldy Peach, always a Moldy Peach. Bon appétit!"

                “punk poets disguised as Nancy Sinatra and Dean Martin against a background of guitars and hiss...sweetly crazy and completely memorable.” -GUARDIAN

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: This is the first vinyl pressing of the album in 15 years, and includes a bonus 7" single of "County Fair" / "Rainbows".

                Princess Nokia – aka New York rapper Destiny Frasqueri – has been releasing music via Youtube and Soundcloud since she was in High School and catapulted herself to the next level with last year’s critically acclaimed rap opus 1992 Deluxe -- selling out venues across the globe and steadily gaining tens of millions of streams. Now, this shapeshifting emcee returns with a brand new collection of songs titled A Girl Cried Red, a self-described “emo mixtape” which will undoubtedly cement her place in the Alternative underground as well as the Hip-Hop world. “Black people created punk — the band Death was way before The Ramones,” she stated in a recent interview, “If you think about it, the wool has been pulled over our eyes. This is our shit. Very naturally, that's why we return to it.” Drawing on influences as varied as the introverted acoustic sounds of Elliott Smith to the bombastic pop-punk energy of Paramore – A Girl Cried Red showcases another fully formed side of Destiny that still taps into the uncompromising feminist ideology of Princess Nokia.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: I am obsessed with this. Princess Nokia's emo side has emerged and it's fab. She clearly gives no cares on what people think and just does what she wants. I heart Princess Nokia!

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                Fiery Furnaces

                Blueberry Boat

                  Reissue of the second Fiery Furnaces album. Originally released in July 2004, just over 10 months after their debut album ‘Gallowbird’s Bark’.

                  In a rave review, Chris Dahlen of Pitchfork described ‘Blueberry Boat’ as “a record for the overgrown part of our brain that craves engrossing complexity.” Heather Phares of AllMusic wrote that the album “can be appreciated in the same way you would a puzzle box with intricate, endlessly shifting parts: you can spend a lot of time trying to unlock (or describe) its riddles, or just enjoy the artfulness behind them.”

                  Babelsberg is the fifth album by Gruff Rhys, his first record for Rough Trade since 2007’s classic Candylion. The album features orchestral scores by Swansea based composer Stephen McNeff and the incredible work of the 72 piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The result is Gruff’s best record to date - a ten song gazetteer of modern times, each track set to timeless, indelible melody. Amazingly, for a collection of songs written over two years ago, each one seems to pull very sharp focus on the times we’re living in.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: The legendary Gruff Rhys kills it once again for his newest outing, Babelsberg. Orchestral, nuanced and oozing with Gruff's singular vocal drawl, encompassing all aspects of his previous works and pulling together into a cohesive and essential whole.

                  Parquets Courts' fifth album 'Wide Awake!' - produced by Danger Mouse - is a groundbreaking work, an album about independence and individuality but also about collectivity and communitarianism. The songs, written by Andrew Savage and Austin Brown but elevated to even greater heights by the dynamic rhythmic propulsion of Max Savage (drums) and Sean Yeaton (bass), are filled with their traditional punk rock passion, as well as a lyrical tenderness. The record reflects a burgeoning confidence in the band's exploration of new ideas in a hi-fi context.

                  Parquet Courts

                  Mardi Gras Beads

                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                    Limited 7” / Brand new song from the forthcoming album in May / Exclusive indies only B side

                    Fiery Furnaces

                    Gallowbird's Bark

                      ‘Gallowbird’s Bark’ was released on Rough Trade 2003, featuring siblings Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger.

                      ‘Gallowsbird’s Bark’ plays like a big, half-drunken romp through golden-era rock & roll - airy and thrilling and shifty as hell.

                      “A joy from start to finish.” - Q Magazine 4/5

                      “An oddball masterpiece.” - Mojo 4/5

                      “This may well be the most exhilarating debut of the year.” - Uncut 4/5

                      Starcrawler are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats, and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Gigwise (UK) recently stated that “Starcrawler are simply the most exciting - and best - band Rough Trade have signed in years."

                      Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the 10 songs on the album prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again! Ryan has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.”

                      The first single from the album is “I Love LA” and the video, directed by famed music photographer Autumn de Wilde (AKA Arrow’s mum) is a fun and feisty homage to the city of dreamers – watch it here: http://rtrecs.co/ilovela

                      After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single “Ants”, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again". In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They also recently played LA’s CalJam Festival, which is curated by Dave Grohl (Starcrawler was the first band he reached out to, and he raved about them the next day on KROQ.) Gerard Way is also a fan, describing them as a "mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Think Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, NY hardcore, new-wave and mush them all up into a ball and you're still nowhere near to Starcrawler. Enthralling, hugely talented and they're all about to sit their Key Stage 3's. Properly great stuff.

                      Elastica

                      Elastica

                        Rough Trade Records are delighted to announce the reissue of Elastica’s debut album ‘Elastica’ which came out in 1994 and went straight to number 1.

                        Justin Welch “The band is shocked and totally overwhelmed at the outpouring of love that obviously still exists for Elastica after all these years. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans for a reunion but we are really excited to announce that we are working with Rough Trade Records and the re release of the first album on vinyl to coincide with Record Store Day 2017.”


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd LP Info: Includes bonus flexi disc and 12 page booklet.

                        Prepare to hear the hottest shit around! Stomping out of Harlem in an explosion of speaker wrecking beats, hard hitting bars and vintage clothing, Princess Nokia has taken the world by storm of late. Sticking a fat middle finger up to the hyper masculine (often misogynistic) hip hop crowds, white male industry bods and bro-ey haters, Destiny Frasqueri blew up last year with the release of her '1992' mixtape, and now returns with an expanded version for physical release. A child of the 90s, Frasqueri was robbed of the noughties via an abusive foster mother, leaving home with 3$ and 75% battery to make her own way on the streets. After a brief brush with the industry as Wavy Spice in 2012, Destiny swerved the suits, headed back to Harlem, only to re-emerge as Princess Nokia. Taking her name from the cheap ass Obamaphone she got from the state, Destiny set about combining a hard edged punk attitude, political consciousness and a fuck load of raw talent into the freshest rap you'll hear in 2017. Flow-wise we're talking the best of Wu, Nas, Monie Love, Biggie & Pac; politics are Le Tigre, Bikini Kill and L7; the beats flip between Premo head nod and trap rumble and the lyrical content touches on the gentrification of NYC, her upbringing, contemporary feminism and her unapologetic outsider status. So if you were wondering what rap should sound like in 2017, it's this - a fiercely independent intersectional feminist making a whole lot of noise. Turn it up!

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: Holy shit! If this had dropped a month earlier we'd have had to make some serious alterations to the End Of Year Chart. Packed from top to tail with neck snapping beats, razor sharp lyrics and a life changing flow, "1992 Deluxe" is as good as Kendrick's "Damn". No bullshit!

                        Goat Girl

                        Crow Cries

                          Goat Girl formed a few years ago in South London, the band have been busy on the road for the last 18 months playing with everyone from The Fall to Parquet Courts.

                          The band’s furious sound represents how it feels to live in this current climate “There’s teenage angst in them,” says Ellie. “But I think that was inevitable, growing up in London over the last ten years.” All four members of Goat Girl have just turned 20, but their relative youth isn’t what makes them stand out. Rather, they feel so compelling because of the way they expertly pick through the holes of so-called millennial culture, not to mention the way the media and government are messing with the minds and future plans of an entire generation.

                          This Is The Kit - the musical project which holds exceptional Paris-via-Bristol songwriter Kate Stables close to its heart - have earned the adoration of peers including Guy Garvey, The National and Sharon van Etten. Their new album and Rough Trade debut, 'Moonshine Freeze', is undoubtedly their most compelling and accomplished to date. Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, M Ward, Perfume Genius), it began in the immediate wake of its predecessor, 'Bashed Out', when days after coming off tour last November, Stables and her band (Rozi Plain, Jamie Whitby-Coles, Neil Smith and Jesse D Vernon) headed into the studio in Bristol. Aaron Dessner of The National also features on six of the album tracks.

                          Though the album’s songs were already written before heading into the studio, Stables says she had no fierce vision for how they should sound, preferring to let them take shape with the input of her band and Parish. “I’m not yet someone who says ‘I want this album to sound like an 80’s French nightclub’,” she says. “All I can do is write the songs and then step back from them and see what themes or patterns there are, then bring those patterns out so it’s a coherent piece of work, sonically and in terms of feeling.” Sonically, Moonshine Freeze is a beguiling mixture of great musical sophistication and something more guileless — children’s games, songs, incantations and snatches of nursery rhymes. Stables’ voice too is a remarkable thing: in its angles there lies an exquisite strangeness reminiscent of Will Oldham, Magnolia Electric Co, Robert Wyatt, Karen Dalton. 


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Propulsive dual vocal melodies and tenderly treated fuzz guitars punctuate subtle acoustic strums and clashing lo-fi percussion, gradually acquiescing into folky flickering strings and softly accentuated angelic vox. The 11 songs on ‘Moonshine Freeze’ perfectly progress from twee minimalism into hefty, but not overwrought instrumentals. It's a delicate balance to maintain, but it is done flawlessly here.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: RED coloured vinyl.

                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Benjamin Booker

                          Witness

                            On ‘Witness,’ Booker has created his most ambitious work yet by digging deep into his passion for eccentric soul, R&B, and blues, while never straying too far from the garage-punk intensity that made his self-titled 2014 debut such a creative breakthrough. The album’s ten new, original tracks were all written by Booker, produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby), mixed by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes), and recorded at The Isokon studio in Woodstock, NY and New York City’s Red Delicious studio.

                            WITNESS
                            By Benjamin Booker


                            “Once you find yourself in another civilization you are forced to examine your own.” -James Baldwin

                            By February of 2016, I realized I was a songwriter with no songs, unable to piece together any words that wouldn’t soon be plastered on the side of a paper airplane.
                            I woke up one morning and called my manager, Aram Goldberg.
                            “Aram, I got a ticket south,” I said. “I’m going to Mexico for a month.”
                            “Do you speak Spanish,” he asked.
                            “No,” I answered. “That’s why I’m going.”
                            The next day I packed up my clothes, books and a cheap classical guitar I picked up in Charleston. I headed to to Louis Armstrong Airport and took a plane from New Orleans to Houston to Mexico City.
                            As I flew above the coast of Mexico, I looked out the plane window and saw a clear sky with the uninhabited coast of a foreign land below me.
                            I couldn’t help but smile.
                            My heart was racing.
                            I was running.
                            I rented an apartment on the border of Juarez and Doctores, two neighborhoods in the center of the city, near the Baleras metro station and prepared to be mostly alone.
                            I spent days wandering the streets, reading in parks, going to museums and looking for food that wouldn’t make me violently ill again. A few times a week I’d meet up with friends in La Condesa to sip Mezcal at La Clandestina, catch a band playing at El Imperial or see a DJ at Pata Negra, a local hub.
                            I spent days in silence and eventually began to write again.
                            I was almost entirely cut off from my home. Free from the news. Free from politics. Free from friends.
                            What I felt was the temporary peace that can come from looking away. It was a weightlessness, like being alone in a dark room. Occasionally, the lights would be turned on and I’d once again be aware of my own mass.
                            I’d get headlines sent to me from friends at home.
                            “More arrests at US Capitol as Democracy Spring meets Black Lives Matter”
                            “Bill Clinton Gets Into Heated Exchange with Black Lives Matter Protester”
                            That month, Americans reflected on the murder of Freddie Gray by Baltimore police a year earlier.
                            I’d turn my phone off and focus on something else. I wasn’t in America.
                            One night, I went to Pata Negra for drinks with my friend Mauricio. Mau was born and raised in Mexico City and became my guide. He took me under his wing and his connections in the city made my passage through the night a lot easier.
                            We stood outside of Pata Negra for a cigarette and somehow ended up in an argument with a few young, local men. It seemed to come out of nowhere and before I knew it I was getting shoved to the ground by one of the men.
                            Mau helped me get up and calmly talked the men down. I brushed the dirt off of my pants and we walked around the block.
                            “What happened?” I asked him.
                            “It’s fine,” he said. “Some people don’t like people who aren’t from here.”
                            He wouldn’t say it, but I knew what he meant.

                            It was at that moment that I realized what I was really running from.
                            Growing up in the south, I experience my fair share of racism but I managed to move past these things without letting them affect me too much. I knew I was a smart kid and that would get me out of a lot of problems.
                            In college, if I got pulled over for no reason driving I’d casually mention that I was a writer at the newspaper and be let go soon after by officers who probably didn’t want to see their name in print.
                            “Excuse me, just writing your name down for my records.”
                            I felt safe, like I could outsmart racism and come out on top.
                            It wasn’t until Trayvon Martin, a murder that took place about a hundred miles from where I went to college, and the subsequent increase in attention to black hate crimes over the next few years that I began to feel something else.
                            Fear. Real fear.
                            It was like every time I turned on the TV, there I was. DEAD ON THE NEWS.
                            I wouldn’t really acknowledge it, but it was breaking me and my lack of effort to do anything about it was eating me up inside.
                            I fled to Mexico, and for a time it worked.
                            But, outside of Pata Negra, I began to feel heavy again and realized that I might never again be able to feel that weightlessness. I knew then that there was no escape and I would have to confront the problem

                            The song, “Witness,” came out of this experience and the desire to do more than just watch.
                            If you grew up in the church you may have heard people talk about “bearing witness to the truth.”
                            In John 18:37, Pilate asked Jesus if he is a king. Jesus replies, “You say that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I may bear witness to the truth. Everyone being of the truth hears My voice."
                            In 1984, The New York Times printed an article titled “Reflections of a Maverick” about a hero of mine, James Baldwin.
                            Baldwin has the following conversation with the writer, Julius Lester.

                            Witness is a word I've heard you use often to describe yourself. It is not a word I would apply to myself as a writer, and I don't know if any black writers with whom I am contemporary would, or even could, use the word. What are you a witness to?

                            Witness to whence I came, where I am. Witness to what I've seen and the possibilities that I think I see. . . .

                            What's the difference between a spokesman and a witness?

                            A spokesman assumes that he is speaking for others. I never assumed that - I never assumed that I could. Fannie Lou Hamer (the Mississippi civil rights organizer), for example, could speak very eloquently for herself. What I tried to do, or to interpret and make clear was that what the Republic was doing to that woman, it was also doing to itself. No society can smash the social contract and be exempt from the consequences, and the consequences are chaos for everybody in the society.

                            “Witness” asks two questions I think every person in America needs to ask.
                            “Am I going to be a Witness?” and in today’s world, “Is that enough?”

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            In collaboration with Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke, on “PARADISE,” ANOHNI seeks to support activist conversations and disrupt assumptions about popular music through the collision of electronic sound and highly politicized lyrics.

                            “PARADISE” includes new songs as well as material recently debuted live. On the title track, “Paradise,” Anohni voices ecstatic alienation, describing a dystopian life filled with horror, awe, comfort and threat. She expresses a sense of disembodiment: "Myself, I'm here... not here, as a point of consciousness." The music is wild and invigorating with a heavy beat conceived by Hudson Mohawke and twisting vocal treatments by Daniel Lopatin.

                            Nine portraits of women on the EP artwork reflect the feminine oracle that ANOHNI evoked in her live concert tour.

                            The album was recorded at Steve Mackey’s (Pulp) West Heath Garage studios in London. Jason Williamson discusses ‘English Tapas’: "Andrew walked into some random pub and saw "English Tapas" scrawled on the menu board. Underneath this beautiful coupling of words were it's components, half a scotch egg, cup of chips, pickle and a mini pork pie" It says everything about this fucking place. It's comedy, it’s make do, it's ignorant and above all, it's shit"

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Sleaford Mods hit us hard with another voracious and aggressive commentary on modern life with their trademark combination of wit and vitriol, backed by a thumping but decidedly downplayed backline. Snarling, punky spoken word passages and gritty dusty drum machines. If you like the Mods, this one won't change your mind. If you don't, it just might.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            ‘Heads Up’ was recorded after the band spent 2015 apart working on solo projects. Reuniting in January this year, the band started to work with producer Jacob Bercovici, whom they had worked on their debut EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’ – into the studio to begin work on the new LP.

                            The album was recorded in House on The Hill studio in downtown LA, their home studios and Papap’s Palace and for the first time ever, recorded in pairs and alone rather than as a full band.

                            ‘The doors were a little more open in terms of what was accepted and what wasn’t, because we were sharing ideas so rapidly between us” says the band drummer Stella Mozgawa of the recording process. “

                            “Everybody was allowed to have their space, time and creative freedom with songs and figure out, ‘I wonder what the best notes would be? I wonder what the best would be to play?” says bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg “Everybody got to sit and go, “What do I want to do to this? What’s my part? What’s My Role? How can I make it the best?”

                            “I Feel really proud of what we made – almost surprised,” says Linberg “When we were making it, I was like “I wonder what this is going to sound like? How’s this going to come together so nicely? I feel so proud of it, and like its an evolution of our band, It sounds like a mature version of Warpaint”




                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Warpaint have obviously matured a bit. Their last album was a rawkous and forceful cacophony of sound, visceral and triumphant. This is somewhat more nuanced, confident and collected. Electronic drums are heard in certain sections, rippling and swaying instrumental breakdowns and smooth vocal melodies. This has much more of a swagger about it, like they have made their point and now they're just out to prove their worth. It's definitely working. Fantastic.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies only pink & black vinyl, includes download code.

                            Recorded over the course of a year against a backdrop of personal instability, Human Performance massively expands the idea of what a Parquet Courts record can be. They've been one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last 5 years; this is the record that backs all those words up.

                            “Every day it starts, anxiety,” began the first song on 2014’s Content Nausea. Those were essentially the song’s only lyrics, but Human Performance picks up where that thought left off, picking apart the anxieties of modern life: “The unavoidable noise of NYC that can be maddening, the kind of the impossible struggle against clutter, whether it's physical or mental or social,” says singer, guitarist and Human Performance producer/mixer Austin Brown.

                            There has always been the emotional side of Parquet Courts, which has always had an important balance with the more discussed cerebral side, but Andrew Savage sees Human Performance as a redistribution of weight in that balance. "I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance,” says Savage. “I felt like a sort of malfunctioning apparatus,” he says. “Like a machine programmed to be human showing signs of defect.”

                            The sonic diversity, time, and existential effort that went into its creation makes Human Performance Parquet Courts' most ambitious record to date. It's a work of incredible creative vision born of seemingly insurmountable adversity. It is also their most accessible record yet. 



                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Darryl says: After bursting on the scene with the explosive and thrilling splendour of “Light Up Gold” (a Piccadilly Records Album Of The Year back in 2013) Parquet Courts seemed to be on a mission to alienate with a succession of somewhat “difficult” releases, the ‘Monastic Living’ EP in particular was a real head scratcher! But thankfully with ‘Human Performance’ the Brooklyn based four piece have rediscovered their smart pop edge.
                            Kicking off with the upbeat and catchy “Dust”, the band immediately plug in to their trademark “Americana punk” showcasing an uber cool sound that brings to mind the perfect New York lineage of Sonic Youth, Television and The Velvet Underground.
                            Almost every track on ‘Human Performance’ screams “Single” potential; we have the goofball pop of “I Was Just Here”, “Berlin Got Blurry” and afore mentioned “Dust”; the slacker-rock (dare we say Pavement influences?) of “Paraphased”, “Outside” and “Keep It Even”; the jaunty rumbles of “Pathos Prairie” and “Captive Of The Sun”; the mellow hazy-psych of “Steady On Mind” and the uptempo but chilling “Two Dead Cops”. The title track chronicling a relationship breakdown is a serious song of the year contender with its introspective verses and explosive shouted choruses; and then we have album’s centrepiece, “One Man No City”, a six minute plus drawn-out long-jam epic combining bongos and the jagged guitars of “The Gift” period VU. Lastly, "It's Gonna Happen" is a perfect finale, a brooding refrain that leads out with the reflective “…it’s gonna happen every time so rehearse with me in mind…”
                            ‘Human Performance’ is Parquet Courts reaching a songwriting peak, refined and intelligent off-kilter Brooklyn art-rock.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Gruff Rhys

                            Candylion

                              "Candylion" was the second solo album from Gruff Rhys. Now released on vinyl for the first time in the UK, it's a mesmerising musical journey. It seems fitting therefore that insight into the workings behind the album come straight from the man himself:

                              '"Candylion" took form in the spring of 2006 over a fragmented two week period at Gorwel Owen's Ofn studio in Llanfaelog, Wales. My ears were happily ringing from a few months touring with the Super Furry Animals and I had a batch of mellower acoustic songs I wanted to record quickly and get out of the way before the next speaker-blowing SFA record. Once in the studio however I got carried away and found myself in a nostalgic mood, pining for some of the music I grew up listening to.'

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              LP Info: The Double Vinyl comes with 3 sides of Audio with the 4th side Etched as well as a 12” pop out Candylion Figure.

                              Girl Band

                              Pears For Lunch

                                7” single, hand folded and numbered by Girl Band themselves.

                                One sided 7” features an etched B-side of drummer Adam’s head.

                                ‘Pears For Lunch’ is taken from Girl Band’s debut album ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’ out on Rough Trade.

                                The release comes a few years into their tenure; a few years after their first tour; nine days crammed into a Fiat Panda; a few years of stamping 7” sleeves to sell at merch tables and mail-order; a few years of writing songs and touring and developing a live ferocity unmatched by nearly anyone.

                                Recorded in April 2015, two days after returning home from their first-ever US tour, the nine tracks making up ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’ capture, more than any previous recordings, the tension and abrasive energy of a Girl Band performance.

                                This young Dublin foursome are creating vital, propulsive, and almost terrifyingly energetic noise rock that pulls as much influence from classic techno as from their more obvious postpunk, noise and industrial predecessors.

                                “It’s hard to overstate how heart-stopping it is to see these four guys from Dublin play live, but I’ll say they make it sound like the whole world is going to literally explode in a massive, interstellar ball of fire. It's the end of everything and they're both indifferent and full of rage.” - NPR

                                “The one blindingly obvious thing about Girl Band is that this is fucking great.” - Noisey

                                “Their cover of [Yorkshire exponent of terror techno] Blawan’s ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?’ features distortion and noise like a Hoover crying. It is mechanistic and rhythmical-industrial, not grunge at all, eight minutes of pure panic.” - The Guardian

                                Girl Band

                                Paul

                                  ‘Paul’ is taken from Girl Band’s debut album ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’, out on Rough Trade.

                                  The video for the single was directed by Bob Gallagher.

                                  The 12” exclusive B-side, ‘The Wrath Of Nick Berry’, offers an exciting surprise that only those who buy the vinyl will experience…

                                  Girl Band

                                  Holding Hands With Jamie

                                  If you’ve seen Girl Band live, you understand. If you’ve heard ‘The Early Years’ EP or one of their early, handmade releases - or perhaps if you’ve seen the not-for-the-squeamish video for their eight-minute cover of Blawan’s “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage,” you’ve got a sense.

                                  ‘Holding Hands with Jamie,’ Girl Band’s debut album, comes a few years into their tenure; a few years after their first tour; nine days crammed into a Fiat Panda; a few years of stamping 7” sleeves to sell at merch tables and mail-order; a few years of writing songs and touring and developing a live ferocity unmatched by nearly anyone. Recorded in April 2015, two days after returning home from their first-ever US tour, the nine tracks making up 'Holding Hands with Jamie’ capture, more than any previous recordings, the tension and abrasive energy of a Girl Band performance.

                                  Going into the studio (Bow Lane, Dublin) to record an album - rather than a track or two here and there - “required a different mindset,” guitarist Alan Duggan explained. "It was way more challenging to stay focused – tricky to find a balance between keeping a distance from the songs for perspective but also to fully concentrate on them.” While they had the luxury of studio time (“we spent three or four days just setting up drums, amps, and mics”), the band laid down seven of the tracks in less than two days, ensuring that the record pulses with vitality and forward momentum.

                                  Recalling any number of things but for only milliseconds at a time, Girl Band make a mockery of comparisons, because you can only get as far as “oh this bit sounds like—” before a guitar scuff-screams, the bass crunches like a car in a bailing press, or something else visceral and glorious comes from the speakers, and the thought’s erased. This young Dublin foursome are creating vital, propulsive, and almost terrifyingly energetic noise-rock that pulls as much influence from classic techno as from their more obvious post-punk, noise and industrial predecessors.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd LP Info: Limited edition yellow vinyl.

                                  “Different things are happening in my life now, so there is no doubt that it will be a very different album.” - Mark Kozelek

                                  ‘Universal Themes’ includes ‘The Possum’, a nineminute track featuring Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley about dead possums and hanging out with Godflesh.

                                  Guitars and vocals by Mark Kozelek. Percussion by Steve Shelley.

                                  Recorded in San Francisco, 2014 / 2015. Additional recording in Hoboken, 2015.

                                  Two year’s on from the release of their debut, top 10 UK charting album ‘180’, which NME declared to be ‘the new soundtrack to your life,’ Q Magazine ‘one of the best debut albums of the decade’ and The Quietus ‘fucking brrrilliant,’ Palma Violets have announced the full details of their highly anticipated follow-up ‘Danger In The Club’. The album was produced by John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Fall), recorded at Rockfield Studio in Wales and is set for release on 4th May 2015 on Rough Trade Records. 

                                  Anyone lucky enough to catch Palma Violets road testing the new album at intimate UK venues recently (including Scunthorpe where the local rugby team had to be called in when the venue’s bouncers couldn’t handle the over-excited crowd) can testify that the new material is a giant step up from the band’s debut. ‘Girl, You Couldn’t Do Much Better On The Beach’ and ‘Hollywood (I Got It)’ build on ‘180’s exhilarating, primal rock and roll, whilst the hook-heavy choruses and imaginative lyrics of ‘English Tongue’ and ‘Coming Over To My Place’ demonstrate how much Palma Violets – still all in their early twenties – have developed into first class songwriters and honed their own unique sound.

                                  Speaking about the new album, bassist and singer Chilli Jesson explains: 
                                  “We wanted to make a young-sounding record. We listened to a lot of pre-punk while we were making the album. We like its rawness and simplicity. A lot of bands want to over-complicate their second album, we know that we didn’t.”

                                  Dean Blunt

                                  50 Cent / Trident

                                  Hype Williams man Dean Blunt preceeds his soon-come 'Black Metal' LP with this super-limited 12". Showcasing more of Blunt's eclecticism, '50 Cent' combines spacious, shimmering, reverb-laden lo-fi shoegaze guitar work and simple kick-snare machine drumming used as a hip hop break. Over this Williams adds a melancholic rap, duetting with a choral female vocal in a call and response style. 'Trident' offers a more straight forward rap, but again over an inventive dark and grimey backing track. It's indie hip hop, but not as you know it.


                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  12" Info: Limited pressing. 200 copies only.

                                  Seven albums in and Belle and Sebastian have just made the best record of their career. Produced by Tony Hoffer this album feels both familiar and strange at the same time. There is a powerful aesthetic at the heart of the "The Life Pursuit" that places it at some time in the early-to-middle Seventies without ever specifically sounding like anything you can put your finger on. Belle And Sebastian pull in stuff from all over the place, so that Sly & the Family Stone/Funkadelic inflections ("Song For Sunshine") sits side by side with the classic Bubblegum riffs and call-and-response vocals of "White Collar Boy" (another sure-fire stomping single); the "Queen Bitch"-era Bowie stylings of "Sukie In the Graveyard"; the glammy T-Rex of "The Blues Are Still Blue"; the prime-time miserablism of a Terry Hall "Mornington Crescent" and the irrepressible rousing piano drive of "The Price Of A Cup Of Tea". All formats come beautifully packaged.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  The year and change since the release of Parquet Courts monumental 'Light Up Gold' is reflected in ways expected and not with 'Sunbathing Animal', its sharper, harder follow up. Following their quietly released 2011 debut 'American Specialties', 'Light Up Gold' caught the ears of everyone paying even a little bit of attention, garnering glowing reviews across the board for its weird colors and raw energy, saturated punk songs that offered crystal clear lyrical snapshots of city life. It was immediately memorable, a vivid portrait of ragged days, listlessness, aimlessness and urgency, broadcast with the intimacy of hearing a stranger’s thoughts as you passed them on the street.

                                  As it goes with these things, the band went on tour for a short eternity, spending most of 2013 on the road, their sound growing more direct in the process and their observations expanding beyond life at home. Constant touring was broken up by three recording sessions that would make up the new album, and the time spent in transit comes through in repeated lyrical themes of displacement, doubt and situational captivity. To be sure, Sunbathing Animal isn’t a record about hopelessness, as any sort of incarceration implies an understanding of freedom and peace of mind. Fleeting moments of bliss are also captured in its grooves, and extended at length as if to preserve them. Pointed articulations of these ideas are heard as schizoid blues rants, shrill guitar leads, purposefully lengthy repetition and controlled explosions, reaching their peak on the blistering title track. A propulsive projection of how people might play the blues 300 years from now, “Sunbathing Animal” is a roller coaster you can’t get off, moving far too fast and looping into eternity.

                                  Much as Light Up Gold and the subsequent EP Tally All The Things That You Broke offered a uniquely tattered perspective on everyday city life, Sunbathing Animal applies the same layered thoughts and sprawling noise to more cerebral, inward-looking themes. While heightened in its heaviness and mania, the album also represents a huge leap forward in terms of songwriting and vision. Still rooted firmly in the unshackled exploration and bombastic playing of their earlier work, everything here is amplified in its lucidity and intent. The songs wander through threads of blurry brilliance, exhaustion and fury at the hilt of every note. Parquet Courts remain, Austin Brown, A. Savage, Sean Yeaton, and M. Savage.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: Gatefold sleeve, printed inner bag, download code, standard black vinyl.

                                  Parquet Courts

                                  Sunbathing Animal - Indies Only Vinyl With Bonus 7"

                                    Indie shops only version includes a bonus 7".

                                    The year and change since the release of Parquet Courts monumental Light Up Gold is reflected in ways expected and not with Sunbathing Animal, its sharper, harder follow up, due out 2nd June on Rough Trade Records / and 3rd June on What’s Your Rupture / Mom & Pop in the US. Following their quietly released 2011 debut American Specialties, Light Up Gold caught the ears of everyone paying even a little bit of attention, garnering glowing reviews across the board for its weird colors and raw energy, saturated punk songs that offered crystal clear lyrical snapshots of city life. It was immediately memorable, a vivid portrait of ragged days, listlessness, aimlessness and urgency, broadcast with the intimacy of hearing a stranger’s thoughts as you passed them on the street.

                                    As it goes with these things, the band went on tour for a short eternity, spending most of 2013 on the road, their sound growing more direct in the process and their observations expanding beyond life at home. Constant touring was broken up by three recording sessions that would make up the new album, and the time spent in transit comes through in repeated lyrical themes of displacement, doubt and situational captivity. To be sure, Sunbathing Animal isn’t a record about hopelessness, as any sort of incarceration implies an understanding of freedom and peace of mind. Fleeting moments of bliss are also captured in its grooves, and extended at length as if to preserve them. Pointed articulations of these ideas are heard as schizoid blues rants, shrill guitar leads, purposefully lengthy repetition and controlled explosions, reaching their peak on the blistering title track. A propulsive projection of how people might play the blues 300 years from now, “Sunbathing Animal” is a roller coaster you can’t get off, moving far too fast and looping into eternity. 

                                    Much as Light Up Gold and the subsequent EP Tally All The Things That You Broke offered a uniquely tattered perspective on everyday city life, Sunbathing Animal applies the same layered thoughts and sprawling noise to more cerebral, inward-looking themes. While heightened in its heaviness and mania, the album also represents a huge leap forward in terms of songwriting and vision. Still rooted firmly in the unshackled exploration and bombastic playing of their earlier work, everything here is amplified in its lucidity and intent. The songs wander through threads of blurry brilliance, exhaustion and fury at the hilt of every note. Parquet Courts remain, Austin Brown, A. Savage, Sean Yeaton, and M. Savage.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Ltd LP Info: Gatefold sleeve, printed inner bag, download code, standard black vinyl and a bonus 7".

                                    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    ‘Warpaint’ was co-produced by Warpaint and Flood (PJ Harvey, Sigur Ros, New Order, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Foals), and mixed by Flood and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead). The album was conceived after some writing and recording sessions that took place in The Joshua Tree late last year. Here the band was joined by visionary director Chris Cunningham who has partnered with them for many of the album visuals including the cover. He has spent the past two years filming and photographing the band as they made ‘Warpaint’.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    David says: The Californian sunshine bores the daylights out of Warpaint. Surf dudes to the left, Hollywood desperados to the right: their second album proper finds the band diving down deeper and darker than ever before in a valiant, but ultimately doomed attempt to escape LA's shiny, happy people. Hypnotic and bleakly claustrophobic; 'Warpaint' is an album that won't return your calls and will pretend it hasn't seen you on a night out but, like a doomed love affair, will keep you coming back for more, hoping for reciprocity, ignoring the truth, that this a record that will never love you back. Don't let that stop you falling in love though, having your heart broken is one of life's cruel constants. So, if it's inevitable, you could do worse than to have it broken by 'Warpaint'.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    2xLtd LP Info: Double etched vinyl.

                                    Warpaint

                                    Warpaint - Limited Indies Only Coloured Vinyl Edition

                                    ‘Warpaint’ was co-produced by Warpaint and Flood (PJ Harvey, Sigur Ros, New Order, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Foals), and mixed by Flood and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead). The album was conceived after some writing and recording sessions that took place in The Joshua Tree late last year. Here the band was joined by visionary director Chris Cunningham who has partnered with them for many of the album visuals including the cover. He has spent the past two years filming and photographing the band as they made ‘Warpaint’.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Andy says: A tasty mix of groove, floatiness and melody. Warpaint move (slightly) into focus with a record that's bound to be featuring in End of Year lists in 12 months' time.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Ltd LP Info: Limited edition coloured double etched vinyl includes mp3 download code.

                                    One of the most highly anticipated debut albums of the year, comes in the shape of the Palma Violets '180' via Rough Trade Records. They kicked things off with last years 7" debut 'Best Friend' - a burst of raw hook-filled energy which sets a general template for the entire album. The tempo fluctuates throughout, but there's always that energy bubbling away. I've read a couple of reviews that have said it sounds a little rough around the edges, but I don't think it's any worse for it. It has an urgency and exhuberance that goes some way to matching that of their live performances.

                                    ‘180’ is also the number of the Lambeth house that the four-piece have become known for regularly throwing parties and impromptu gigs for friends and fans in. The album artwork features the band stood outside the building.

                                    '180' was recorded in London at RAK Studios (produced by Steve Mackey), and also at The Lightship (produced by Rory Attwell).

                                    ‘POP ETC’ was recorded by the band over the course of 2011 at both Headphone Cave and Pull Studios in New York City, as well as in Los Angeles at SoundEQ Studios.

                                    Though largely produced by the band, the album also features contributions from Danger Mouse and Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Lil' Wayne).

                                    Bright synths, high-octane pop melodies, and watery R&B reconfigurations.

                                    Until very recently the band were known as The Morning Benders.

                                    Los Angeles all-girl four-piece Warpaint release their debut album proper, "The Fool" on Rough Trade, following last year's "Exquisite Corpse" mini-album.

                                    Warpaint weave intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms into gorgeous, sprawling songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy. Both live and on record, Warpaint sound like they're channelling something truly otherworldly, mystical.

                                    Recorded in a gym in LA, "The Fool" was produced and mixed by Tom Biller (Karen O – "Where The Wild Things Are" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" soundtracks), with further mixes from Andrew Weatherall (New Order, Primal Scream, Bjork) and Adam Samuels (Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson).

                                    Belle And Sebastian

                                    Dear Catastrophe Waitress

                                      Fifth album from fey Scots indie-pop heroes is their first for Rough Trade and follows 2002's soundtrack effort "Storytelling". Featuring their usual blend of twee chamber-pop and dry wit, the album was, bizarrely, produced by Trevor Horn, the man behind the desk for such pop luminaries as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, the Pet Shop Boys, TATU and LeAnn Rimes.

                                      "Colin Meloy Sings Live!" is the debut album from The Decemberists singer and songwriter. It comprises of songs spanning The Decemberists career, alternative versions that morph in to covers (The Smiths "Ask" and Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" as well as snippets from REM and Pink Floyd!), a Tarkio track (Colin's band before The Decemberists), unreleased tracks and rarities, as well as the in-between song banter that Colin is famed for throughout his live shows.

                                      The Libertines

                                      Time For Heroes

                                        Bringing together the tracks that defined a generation, from their epochal debut "Up The Bracket" and feted, self-titled follow-up, "Time For Heroes" is a timely reminder of the unique talent of Albion's favourite sons Pete Doherty, Carl Barât, John Hasall and Gary Powell.
                                        The album also includes ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ and ‘What A Waster’, which have never previously been available on either of the band’s albums.

                                        The collection includes the classic singles ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, ‘Time For Heroes’, fan picks ‘What A Waster’, ‘Boys In The Band’ and live favourites / B-sides ‘The Delaney’ and ‘May Day’.

                                        Scritti Politti

                                        Early

                                          Scritti Politti were one of the first bands to be signed to Rough Trade in the late 70s. Their initial recordings were groundbreaking and although not yet the most accomplished musicians in the world, what they constructed was immediate, cerebral, politicised, and original. "Skank Bloc Bologna", their first single was a triumph of intent, content and style. The sleeve demythologised the whole record making process by including invoices for cutting, labels and pressing. "Early", is the first time these recordings have been committed to CD and as Green says, 'It's murky and frail stuff cut from old vinyl (the masters are long lost) I found it evocative of extraordinary times'.

                                          I'd normally say 'ignore the hype, just listen to the music' but with this band you simply can't. Their story is everywhere. And it informs nearly every lyric, every slash of guitar, on this, their excellent second album. God knows who plays bass and drums on Libertines' records because this is the Pete And Carl Show, through and through. Love, betrayal, spirit, dreams and passion are set to their usual musical blend of The Jam and The Clash. Mick Jones produces again but this time the songs are better, the sound much bigger than on their debut. And that's all you need to know; that's where we came in; accept the hype, enjoy the music. It's great.

                                          Sufjan Stevens

                                          Seven Swans

                                            THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2004

                                            This is wonderful! Sufjan has created another stunning album, by blending pastoral folk songs, with a whole host of unusual instrumentation, including electric piano, xylophone and glockenspiel that at times are reminiscent of Philip Glass, occasional bursts of frantic but melodic banjo, and various brass and woodwind instruments and the whole thing is held together through out by some stunningly simple acoustic guitar and fragile, half whispered vocals.

                                            The Libertines

                                            Up The Bracket

                                            Chancers? They'd take it as a compliment. But you don't get the Clash's Mick Jones to produce you if that's all you are. There's a real heart beating here. A rough energetic garage band fronted by two proper characters. A bit like the Strokes but mostly like the Jam. They've got the spirit of the new wave (that's 1979 mate!) and in "Time For Heroes" and "Up The Bracket" the tunes to match.

                                            Baxter Dury

                                            Len Parrot's Memorial Lift

                                              Following on from last years memorable single, comes the debut album from Ian Dury's son Baxter. A fantastic piece of drowsy laidback pychedelia which takes its cue from the Velvet's "Loaded" album and maybe bands such as Spiritualized and Mercury Rev. A reassuring and confident debut and a perfect accompaniment to balmy summer evenings and those late night sessions.

                                              Released in July 2001, The Strokes' debut album completely rejuvenated the UK music scene. The excitement had begun in January with their Modern Age ep and a bidding war ensued for the band's signatures but they stayed with Rough Trade in the UK and opted for RCA  in the States. 

                                              The Modern Age was a lo-fi blast of New York garage/new wave rock'n'roll; cool as fuck, but seemingly not of its time. Put this with a strikingly retro,  skinny jeans and Converse, band- as- a-gang image( which is hard to believe but was in no way de rigeur in the early noughties) naysayers could well have been forgiven for thinking that this was just another indie band, here to do the rounds. Clearly they weren't and none of this mattered a jot. The Strokes made their time, and it was emphatically 2001

                                              Led by songwriter Julian Casablancas and his distinctive slightly distorted/buzzed up vocals, the group presented a perfect selection of all killer/no filler, short, powerful and sweet. The UK in particular went ballistic and the record gatecrashed the charts at no.2. But their legacy was something else all together. Suddenly lo-fi garage rock was everywhere, and young people formed new bands just like in the old days. No Strokes no Arctic Monkeys etc etc. 

                                              The rest is history.  And it all started here. 

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Laura says: One of the most talked about debut albums ever, and yes it lives up to the hype! Eleven slices of NYC rock'n'roll genius.


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