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ROUGH TRADE

Alexander Ebert, lead singer of Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, releases his debut solo album "Alexander" through Rough Trade. The album includes ten brand new songs that Alexander wrote and composed entirely himself.

During breaks from touring with the Zeros over the past year, Alexander began building and recording the pieces that would become the songs for this album alone in his bedroom. Before this album, all of the music he worked on had been collaborative, especially with the 10-person Magnetic Zeros. “I wanted to be able to build an album basically with my hands, like building a house by myself,” Alexander remarked of his inspiration for making this album without outside help.

There isn’t a single sound on the album that Alexander didn’t perform himself. When he knew that he wanted to use a violin on the bridge of "Glimpses", he had an urge to call a friend to come play it for him, but then questioned why he wouldn’t try it himself. Says Alexander, “To me, it’s a very humble album with sky’s-the-limit sort of qualities, and so I didn’t really shy away from doing whatever I felt like doing.”

As for the music itself, Alexander explains that some of the inspirations for the ‘mouth sounds’ throughout the record were from all-time-favourites of his like the 1970 chart-topping ditty "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry. He also notes that children’s clapping games like Patty Cake and infectious and optimistic Disney tunes like "Zip A Dee Do Da" served as loose inspirations for him.

Princess Nokia

A Girl Cried Red

    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.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd 12" Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

    Parquet Courts

    Total Football

      Parquet Courts release a special edition 7” for album track ‘Total Football’ just in time for the World Cup.

      The package includes a Panini-style sticker sheet which fans can use to create the cover art themselves.

      Exclusive B side track ‘Goofy vs Pluto’.

      Gruff Rhys

      Babelsberg

        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.

        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.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: It's hard to dislike Parquet Courts, with their dedication to oddball time signatures and funked-out chaka-chaka rhythms, turning the idea of guitar bands on their head, with a heady mix of soaring power chords, introspective breakdowns and massive, chugging heft. Classic PC.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe Collectors Edition LP featuring a 16-page double art and illustration booklet by A. Savage.

        Deluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Mark Kozelek

        Mark Kozelek

          On May 11, 2018, Mark Kozelek will release his self titled album, Mark Kozelek, on Caldo Verde/Rough Trade. The 88- minute, double CD was recorded in San Francisco hotels and studios between May 2017 and January 2018. Mark has also completed work on a new Sun Kil Moon album to be released this November. All of the songs were written during Sun Kil Moon's European tour of Europe this past November, 2017. Some of the songs were recorded in Europe during that time, and some were recorded in December of 2017 in San Francisco.

          Mark recently contributed music to the James Franco directed movie The Pretenders, to be released this summer, and also acted in the independent film Passing Through, written and directed by Jason Massot. Passing Through was shot in Butte, Montana, February of 2016.

          Mark will be touring throughout 2018, both solo and with Sun Kil Moon, in South America, Europe, USA and Canada.

          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

            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

            Barry 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, Goat Girl won't be off the shop stereo for some time to come.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited violet LP.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            PicaPica

            Spring & Shade

              Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing songs. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, more often than not singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it.

              PicaPica represents a long held ambition to write, record and perform new material and to join together with like-minded musicians and explore what it’s like to be in a band. Along with multiinstrumentalist, singer and songwriter Adam Beattie and multiple Grammy, Mercury and MOBO nominated producer, guitarist and bass player Sonny Johns, PicaPica make a sound that provides the perfect platform for two of the UK’s brightest vocal and songwriting talents. It’s instantly recognisable and completely unique.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              10" LP Info: Indies exclusive 10".

              Goat Girl

              The Man

                ‘The Man’ on 7” backed by exclusive B side ‘Topless Tit’.

                Goat Girl head up an emerging set of groups from South London who have been inspired by the burgeoning local scene there.

                A classic sketch by the late great comedian Bill Hicks inspired their band name.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd 7" Info: Indies exclusive 7"!

                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

                  Sun Kil Moon

                  Ghosts Of The Great Highway

                    An album as good as Ghosts of the Great Highway should never go out of print. Ghosts continues-- even fine-tunes-- the work Kozelek did with his former band, Red House Painters. These songs are virtuously stoic Americana-- all shimmery guitars, measured tempos, malevolent moods, and wandering melodies. His voice sounds like Neil Young’s, especially in the effortlessness with which he hits the high notes then returns to a lower, earthier texture. Ghosts is a travelogue of sorts, speeding through the Midwest and the West; in this sense, it’s the male equivalent to Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, especially in the imperfect mirroring of physical terrain and emotional geography. The band Kozelek assembled for Ghosts-- Anthony Koutsos (Red House Painters), Tim Mooney (American Music Club), and Geoff Stanfield (Black Lab), along with a few guests-- ably but subtly bolster his lyrics and vocals, generating a steady clip that never flags. The result is an album as hypnotic as highway divider lines whizzing past. Includes original bonus track “Gentle Moon (Acoustic).” 

                    Starcrawler

                    I Love LA

                      Starcrawler present ‘I Love LA’, the second song taken from their Ryan Adams-produced debut album.

                      Starcrawler hail from Los Angeles and were formed a year ago when lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter, the streets of Hollywood brought them the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass).

                      Starcrawler have already been cover stars of LA Weekly back home and are currently touring.

                      “‘Raw Power’-era Stooges, Sunset Strip glam-metal and Nirvana at their hookiest” - Uncut

                      “Arrow de Wilde is what would have happened if Ozzy Osbourne and Patti Smith had got together in 1975 and had a kid” - Classic Rock

                      “Glam - shock Los Angeles delinquents find hope for rock n’ roll” - Mojo

                      “Super refreshing to see this mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity” - Gerard Way

                      “Starcrawler are the future of the rock n’ roll legacy of bands like Kiss, X, Sonic Youth & The Stooges. RAW x 1000” - Ryan Adams

                      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.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

                      Josienne Clarke And Ben Walker

                      Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour

                        Now available on vinyl for the first time, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker’s ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’ album from 2014.

                        A year in the making, ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’ builds on the blend of traditional and contemporary songwriting first explored in 2013’s ‘Fire And Fortune’.

                        Drawing on sumptuous chamber folk textures and rich instrumentation, this new record has a timeless yet current sound, examining and reflecting upon the theme of time past, present and future.

                        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!

                          Lankum

                          Between The Earth And The Sky

                            “Lankum are the darlings of Dublin’s 300 year-old folk scene.” Colin Irwin – The Guardian

                            Lankum are one of the most talked about bands to come out of Ireland in decades. They are a Dublin four-piece who combine distinctive four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, accordion, fiddle and guitar. Their repertoire spans humorous Dublin music-hall ditties and street-songs, classic ballads from the Traveller tradition, traditional Irish and American dance tunes, and their own original material. The band comprises of brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch along with Cormac MacDiarmada and Radie Peat. When not on tour Ian lectures in Irish Folklore and musical traditions in University College Dublin, while Cormac and Radie grew up as champion traditional players, on the fiddle and concertina, respectively. Yet Lankum are not purely trad themselves, in the same way The Pogues were more urban music. Rough-hewn and raw, they’re the edgiest thing in Dublin right now.

                            Having spent the last number of years performing as ‘Lynched’ a play on Ian and Daragh’s family name Lynch, the band decided that they would no longer continue with the name due to the unavoidable implications that it has in regards to acts of racist violence. Their new name comes from the ballad ‘False Lankum’, as sung by the Irish Traveller John Reilly Jr.

                            The band was originally formed by brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch in the early 2000’s, and has since progressed through a number of incarnations, culminating in the four-piece group playing today. The release of their album 'Cold Old Fire' and a subsequent appearance on the BBC television programme, 'Later... with Jools Holland' cemented their reputation as a band that successfully crosses genres. Lankum are busy breathing new life into old music.

                            Although an acoustic group whose repertoire is fundamentally based on traditional song, influenced by legends such as Frank Harte, Planxty, The Dubliners and the Watersons, subtle traces of the group’s collective influences can be detected, ranging from American old-timey music to krautrock and drone.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Unbelievable hypnotic multi-part harmonies, flickering fiddles and trad. melodies all over the gaff. It's a hark back to traditional folk in all it's forms. Sea shanties, drinking chants, all the good stuff.

                            Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White

                            Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White

                              Recorded and mixed in San Francisco February through June of 2017.

                              Words by Mark Kozelek. Music by Kozelek, Ben Boye and Jim White of Xylouris White, and most notably, Dirty Three with frequent Nick Cave collaborator, Warren Ellis. 

                              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.

                                Honey Hahs

                                OK

                                  The Honey Hahs are three sisters from South London somewhere between Nunhead and Peckham. Their average age is 11 and a ½ years old. Rowan plays guitar and piano, Robin plays bass and Sylvie plays drum. They all sing and harmonise.

                                  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.

                                  Pantha Du Prince

                                  The Triad: Ambient Versions

                                    Pantha Du Prince (Hendrik Weber) has been working with longtime engineer Kassian to create an ambient version of last year’s triumphant studio return, ‘The Triad’. This reworking showcases the otherworldly and moody delicacy that makes Weber’s music so absorbing and affecting; with the beats and most vocals removed, his dreamy sonic details come to the fore.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP Info: LP is accompanied by a digital download that also includes bonus extra versions of some of the album tracks.

                                    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

                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      Emiliana Torrini

                                      The Colourist & Emiliana Torrini

                                      Rough Trade release a collaborative album by Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra. This is a live album containing nine Emiliana Torrini songs from her catalogue along with two brand new songs. Seeing Emilíana and The Colorist Orchestra in concert is a truly special experience. They have a musical chemistry that is undeniable and documenting the experience on an album was something that just had to be done.

                                      The Colorist Orchestra are a Belgian ensemble founded by Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans in 2013. They re-envision the repertoires of established musicians from across genres using traditional classical instruments and arrangements, along with a variety of their own musical inventions to contribute innovative, never-before-heard sounds and grooves to their compositions and re-compositions.

                                      When Jespers and Proesmans, fans of Torrini’s rich catalogue, invited her to collaborate on a series of live concerts she was intrigued and asked them to recompose one of her songs to see what their concept was all about. The result, a wholly novel rendition of ‘Animal Games’, from her most recent album ‘Tookah’, convinced Torrini that working with the group was a creative opportunity that she shouldn’t dare miss.

                                      The group created a new world out of the music and while Torrini admitted that she could barely recognize many of her own songs in the rearrangements, the collaboration - from emails and Skype calls to rehearsals, soundchecks and finally the live concerts - came together organically and beautifully, with Torrini’s talent elevating the Colorist ensemble’s creativity and the group helping her rediscover the joy and the power within her own songs in this new light. The shows’ reception from audiences and press was exceptional and the Colorist members and Torrini realized a live album would enable them to share this magical experience more broadly.

                                      Two brand new Emiliana Torrini songs debut on this album: ‘Nightfall’, written by Kid Koala and Torrini; and ‘When We Dance’, written by Jespers, Proesmans and Torrini. The latter reflects the musical chemistry the three musicians developed during the process of rehearsal and performance for the Colorist concerts.

                                      Emiliana Torrini’s voice has been embedded in your brain over the last 20 years whether you knew it or not. She was a member of GusGus and she’s written / produced / performed numerous songs and hits with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Thievery Corporation, Bill Callahan and more. She herself had a #1 hit in a few countries with the song ‘Jungle Drum’ and in Germany it stayed in the #1 position for nine weeks. She contributed a song to the multi-platinum ‘Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers’ Soundtrack and her songs have been featured in many television shows. Her debut album was released in 1999 and was followed by three more critically acclaimed titles.

                                      “Ms. Torrini’s voice is warm and whispery and appealingly unpredictable: she knows when to flatten the melody with a half spoke phrase and when to carry it up and away.” - The New York Times

                                      Parquet Courts

                                      Performing Human

                                        The "Performing Human" 12",  feature an alternate take of "Human Performance" as well as remixes of the song by Eaters and Chris Pickering from Future Punx.

                                        ‘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.

                                        Jarvis Cocker

                                        Likely Stories

                                          Limited edition 7” EP of music written by Jarvis Cocker for the TV series “ Likely Stories”.

                                          Friends gather in an after-hours bar to swop “true” ghost stories. One tale - of an after - school encounter - leads to the unearthing of a dark secret.

                                          Jarvis worked on the score for the series with musicians Alasdair Malloy (percussionist to Scott Walker), Serafina Steer, Sarah Anderson, Jenny Moore (collectively known as Bas Jan), Martin Slattery (The Hours, Black Grape) & drummer Tom Skinner (Melt Yourself Down). Adrian Utley (Portishead) makes a guest appearance playing synth & Swarmatron on the Main Theme.

                                          “Hendrik Weber is one of the leading figures in modern techno.” - Pitchfork • “A gift for generating heavily melodic mazes of sound.” - BBC

                                          German techno auteur Pantha Du Prince (aka Hendrik Weber) releases ‘The Triad’, his first proper studio album since his 2010 breakthrough ‘Black Noise’ and 2013’s collaboration with The Bell Laboratory, ‘Elements Of Light’.

                                          Of the new album’s conceptual framework Weber says, “‘Black Noise’ was very much about me being alone in a small room in Berlin and composing. ‘The Triad’ opens the structure to more human ways of interacting, not digitized ways of interacting. It’s not about Facebook; it's about meeting up and jamming. I wanted to cut through the digital dust that surrounds us.”

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: The tone for this whole album is set by the organically blooming electronic melodies and serene ambient sweeps of anthemic opener 'The Winter Hymn'. Nuanced and breathtaking.

                                          Parquet Courts

                                          Human Performance - Bonus Disc Edition

                                          PICCADILLY RECORDS EXCLUSIVE:
                                          For a limited period only the LP and CD comes with a bonus DVD, "Steady On My Mind" featuring videos of "Dust", "Human Performance" and "Berlin Got Blurry".

                                          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 Info:


                                          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.

                                            Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint announces her solo debut album as jennylee, after hinting to fans with studio photos via social media. ‘right on!’ is released by Rough Trade Records.

                                            Co-produced by jennylee and Norm Block, the 10 songs on ‘right on!’ were all written by jennylee and recorded earlier this spring at Happy Ending Studios in Silverlake, CA.

                                            Joining Jenny on the album are Norm Block (Plexi, Mark Lanegan), Dan Elkan (Them Hills, Broken Bells) and Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa. Additional players include Tony Bevilacqua, Kris Byerly, Katie Burden, Kirk Hellie, Jonathan Hishcke and Cedric LeMoyne.

                                            While ‘right on!’ retains some of Jenny’s signature Warpaint groove, she incorporates New Wave and Goth elements into her solo work. Her breathy voice and her meticulous bass playing create a new aura that is hazy and dreamy, and essentially all jennylee.

                                            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.

                                                LP Info: Standard black 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.

                                                Soak

                                                Before We Forgot How To Dream

                                                Before We Forgot How to Dream’ is a stunning snapshot of SOAK’s formative years growing up in Northern Ireland, touching variously on the themes of isolation, family and what to do with your future. Already compared with the likes of Laura Marling and Beach House, Bridie has been a rising star in her hometown of Derry since the age of 14, when a chance uploading of the ‘Sea Creatures’ demo to the BBC Introducing playlist saw A&R board the next flight over and park up outside the Monds-Watson’s household. Yet SOAK rushed into nothing, instead splitting her time between studies, the local skate-park and daunting early shows (such as opening Derry’s tenure as City of Culture hours before a GCSE exam). Things moved forward last year, when Bridie teamed up with CHVRCHES for their launch of a singles label, toured with George Ezra and Tegan & Sara, before signing a deal with Rough Trade the same summer most of her friends got their A-Level results. Produced alongside Tommy from Villagers, her debut album traces SOAK’s extraordinary journey to this point, and marks Bridie’s graduation from raw talent to a significant songwriter for the years ahead. It seems also to speak of those more universal joys and fears of adolescence, before we, too, forgot how to dream.

                                                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’s newest odyssey, ‘Black Metal’, rides this tension between critical detachment and mainlined human feeling and in fact he climbs ever-steeper theoretical heights just as his emotionally stark songs become, at times, startlingly intimate.

                                                A true multi-media vanguard, Blunt employs original instrumentation along with elements of pastiche and his unique vocal performances to create songs and recordings that are not only beautiful but also tie into his larger project that incorporates music, visual art and the written word to play with identity, cultural signifiers and artistic agency.

                                                ‘Black Metal’ is, above all, a majestic collection of songs encompassing everything from hypnotic longform experiments to ballads almost disarming in their sweet simplicity, swirling equally with fascinating sounds and fascinating ideas. Blunt’s influences are wide-ranging, from rock’s underground pioneers (he quotes Sonic Youth in interviews; the album leads with a Big Star sample), to neoclassical composers, to early indie pop (another track samples The Pastels), to classic rock, hip hop and R&B. However, rather than coldly compiling them, Blunt brings the works and genres he draws from into a new musical and cultural conversation.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xLP Info: LP comes in black outer PVC sleeve.

                                                2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                CD Info: CD comes in black jewel case.

                                                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.

                                                  Parquet Courts

                                                  Sunbathing Animal

                                                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                    2013 was, in many ways, a ridiculous year for Parquet Courts.

                                                    It began with a record release show for their now legendary full-length ‘Light Up Gold’ at Death By Audio in Brooklyn, a secondary home to the guys.

                                                    Fast forward to January 2014, with the band playing Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

                                                    From the basement to playing for millions.

                                                    Add in ‘Light Up Gold’ picking up end of year acclaim everywhere from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork in the US to The Times and NME in the UK and that was Parquet Courts’ 2013.

                                                    It is now with much excitement that Parquet Courts announce the release of a new single on Rough Trade – ‘Sunbathing Animal’, which is the A-side to the Record Store Day 7” and b-side ‘Pilgrims To Nowhere’, another brand new song.

                                                    Limited to 1000 copies for the UK and Ireland.

                                                    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.

                                                    ‘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.

                                                    The Strokes release their highly anticipated fifth studio album ‘Comedown Machine’ via Rough Trade Records.

                                                    The Strokes consist of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums).

                                                    The New York band have released four studio albums, ‘Is This It’ (2001), ‘Room On Fire’ (2003), ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ (2006) and ‘Angles’ (2011), which have sold over 5 million albums worldwide.

                                                    Discussing the recording of ‘Comedown Machine’, bassist Nikolai Fraiture said: “We got off tour and we had these songs, some left over and some new. We rehearsed in Electric Lady and it was working so we went with it. It was touch and go for a while but we finished up at Electric Lady (recording studio) in New York. We recorded ten or 11 songs and there is other stuff floating around.” He added: “We hashed it out all together like the good old days. It’s a legendary studio and it is not far away from us all, apart from Nick who lives in Los Angeles, but he made the trip out to record.”

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Ryan says: The gritty New Yorkers make a comeback with 'Comedown Machine'. It’s clear that Casablancas’ stained vocals are still there, and the unique riffs & melodies remain, but Comedown Machine adds a new element of synthetic dreaminess, melodic 80's sounds & percussive overhauls. A must listen.

                                                    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.

                                                    Pantha Du Prince

                                                    XI Versions Of Black Noise

                                                      Rough Trade Records announce the release of "XI Versions Of Black Noise" by Pantha Du Prince, an album of reworkings of tracks originally on his album "Black Noise", by friends and contemporaries including, amongst others, Animal Collective, Moritz Von Oswald, Four Tet, Efdemin and North American pioneer Hieroglyphic Being.

                                                      The vinyl version features five tracks, in addition to a download voucher for all eleven tracks.

                                                      Pantha Du Prince’s ‘Black Noise’ has been lauded as a groundbreaking, seminal album in its field. The music on Black Noise balances precariously on the slippery threshold between art and nature, between techno and folklore, which lends it a certain spectral and intangible aspect.

                                                      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.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                        Joe Worricker

                                                        Joe Worricker EP

                                                        Recalling some of the 20th century's most enigmatic vocalists, from Jackie Wilson to Arthur Russell, his sharp pop edge and magical lyricism place this 21 year old firmly in the here and now.
                                                        After penning his first song at the tender age of 7, Joe spent his teens honing his vocal and songwriting skills until a chance encounter in a Soho jazz bar led to a record deal with Rough Trade.
                                                        Turning down major label offers to sign with the legendary indie, Joe reflects on his decision: “They’ve given me total creative freedom – they just want to create something beautiful rather than turn it into a product. And that isn’t just a phony thing, that’s how they are”.
                                                        With his debut album approaching completion - created with a handful of close collaborators including Scritti Politti legend Green Gartside and Jaz Rogers - the "Joe Worricker EP" provides a perfect appetiser.
                                                        From "We Hug In Bed"'s upbeat twist on classic 60s pop, to the smoky after hours stylings of "Wrap Me Up" and the simple, touching ballad "Littleman" (presented here in it's stripped down demo version), the versatility of Joe's voice and songwriting is perfectly showcased.
                                                        The EP is completed with a Pocketknife remix of "Wrap Me Up", with the NYC producer revisiting territory that Joe and he explored in their acclaimed cover of Arthur Russell's "Get Around To It" from last year.

                                                        Pantha Du Prince fuses house, techno, shoegazy electronica and psychedelic electro-acoustic soundscapes into music that is at once both beautiful and bewitching.
                                                        This limited edition 12" featuring Noah Lennox of Animal Collective on vocals also comes with remixes from Four Tet, Efdemin and Lawrence.

                                                        Basia Bulat

                                                        Heart Of My Own

                                                        "Heart Of My Own" is the follow up to Basia Bulat’s 2007 album "Oh, My Darling", which generated a groundswell of support from both the press and fans alike.

                                                        It was recorded with Howard Bilerman, who was at the control desk for "Oh, My Darling", as well as having worked with Arcade Fire on their seminal "Funeral" and many others.

                                                        Arthur Russell

                                                        Love Is Overtaking Me

                                                          Rough Trade continue mining the Arthur Russell archives, this time bringing us this beautiful collection of pop, folk and country gems from the singer / songwriter / producer, arguably the most accessible songs from his career. The collection spans the artist's whole career, from compositions in the early 70s to his later work, before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992. Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear tenderly contributed to mixing, restoration and editing of the original material, and the CD comes with extensive sleeve notes from Arthur's partner Tom Lee.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xLtd LP Info: Record store day exclusive – these are the last few copies. ONE PERSON!!

                                                          "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 super-hip New York quintet return with their third studio album and, gasp, what you might call a new direction! For a start this new longplayer lasts almost an hour, almost as long as "Is This It" and "Room On Fire" combined. The leading single "Juicebox" will give you some idea towards their redefined sound, whilst tracks such as "Vision Of Division" tread familiar ground which should please the faithful. All in all, another great album and a blistering start for 2006.

                                                          I'd heard this lot were Springsteen fans, but with the drawl and attack of the singer on the very first song, a "Warehouse" era Husker Du springs more readily to mind. What follows is an unbelievably life-affirming rock'n'roll record which recalls the E-Street Band only in its joy, effervescence and unflinching disregard for any notions of fashion or 'cool'. This is classic, passionate music from the heart, which, when married to such excellent, emotive lyrics (murder, dreams, hope, death, lowlife, wonder!) unfurls more like a film than an actual LP. Recommended.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Ltd CD Info: The limited edition CD comes in very nice fold out packaging and includes three bonus tracks "Ask Her For Adderall", "Cheyenne Sunrise" and "Two Handed Handshake".

                                                          This EP contains four cover versions of Arthur Russell songs by Vera November, Jens Lekman, Taken By Trees and Joel Gibb. All are very sympathetic to the original ideas and sounds of the idiosyncratic 80s singer-songwriter, delivering a new look at his work.

                                                          Bulat hails from the forest city of London, Ontario, where she found her songs and stories dangling from the trees. Her debut album "Oh, My Darling" was engineered and produced by Howard Bilerman (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Arcade Fire, upcoming British Sea Power). Basia's songs are infused with sweet ragtime piano melodies, tender-hearted string arrangements, and a voice that has been compared to Elyse Weinberg and Leslie Feist.

                                                          Mescalitas

                                                          Breathe Deeper

                                                          The Mescalitas are Gem Jones, Melmel, and Gabi Woo. They didn't mean to be an all girl group, it just turned out that way..... Through chance meetings and a common love and desire to be in a band they got together formed The Mescalitas. After their first few gigs they resolved to rehearse solidly for 6 months before playing again, with a view to getting more songs together. Which is what they've done, culminating in this, their debut single "Breathe Deeper" produced by Bernard Butler - A slinky, sassy, rockin' number.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          CDS Info: The CD single includes "What You Gonna Do Now?" and the video for "Breathe Deeper".

                                                          Aberfeldy

                                                          Hypnotised

                                                          This is the first single taken from their second long player "Do Whatever Turns You On". Aberfeldy front man Riley Briggs explains, 'It was a pretty basic kind of pop song,' admits Riley 'I like nice, easy-to-trip-off-the-tongue lyrics, and lots of alliteration. The song was written in the context of ID cards and CCTV everywhere. You're being watched and monitored all the time and being encouraged to switch off at the same time'.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          CDS Info: The CD single includes "I'll Be Good This Time" and "Friend Like You (Instrumental Version)".

                                                          The Strokes

                                                          Heart In A Cage

                                                          Bigger, bolder Strokes with a great groove, spidery guitar and cool-as-you-like vocal drawl from Julian. It's a hit!

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Ltd 7" Info: The 7" includes "I'll Try Anything Once (You Only Live Once Demo)".

                                                          CDS Info: CD1 includes "Life's A Gas (Radio 1 Session)".

                                                          Hal

                                                          Don't Come Running

                                                          Perfect summer sounds from Hal in the shape of this infectious acoustic pop song from their self titled debut album.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          CDS2 Info: CD2 includes "I Sat Down" plus a demo version of "Mama's Gone Away".

                                                          Hal's much anticipated debut album is the sound of four young Irish men by-passing the computerised production line of 21st century music to create both a perfect piece of pop joy and an aching heartbreaker of an album. The album features the glorious singles "Play The Hits", "What A Lovely Dance", and "Worry About The Wind". Citing Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson and Van Morrison as direct influences their classic yet quirky 70s West Coast FM pop influenced sound gives them both a huge cross over potential, as polished as Steely Dan, as heartfelt as Al Green.

                                                          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.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                            The Fiery Furnaces

                                                            Single Again

                                                            Brother / sister duo the Fiery Furnaces release this live favourite - a dark tale of a violent marriage, narrated in Eleanors distinctive style over squelching keyboards, razor sharp guitars and pounding drums.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            7" Info: The limited edition green glitter vinyl 7" includes "Sing For Me" on the B-side.

                                                            CDS Info: The CD single includes "Evergreen".

                                                            Belle & Sebastian

                                                            Wrapped Up In Books / Your Covers Blown

                                                            "Your Covers Blown" is great! A cool funky track with wah-wah guitars and a squelchy keyboard riff that sounds like it's lifted straight from a 70s cop show, and then it changes tack completely, with a great twist at the end! "Wrapped Up In Books" is taken from their recent album "Dear Catastrophy Waitress" and is perhaps more familiar B&S territory, with a driving bass and hi-hat rhythm topped with jangling guitars and Stuart's faltering vocals.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            CDS Info: The CD single features the two title tracks, plus "Your Secrets" and "Cover (Version)".

                                                            What a lovely surprise. I had these down as a sweet, poppy Roses / Las / sixties obsessed pop group (all completely commendable, of course) but the opening track "Wanderlust" with mock steel-drums, pulsing electronica, and the nearest any man has got to sounding like (The Cocteaus's) Liz Frazer, blast The Delays into another orbit altogether. This is 80s lush dream pop. And singer Gary Gilbert has an incredible, freed-up, androgenous falsetto (remember David McAlmont?) that, when married to rich, chiming guitars and reverb-swimming special FX, produces a blissed out swoon of a record. Certainly those Teenage Fanclub style classic reference points are all present and correct, but there's such a colourful array of sound and so many clever, fun-loving touches that we're whisked away from the slavishly studied and into the unfettered zone marked "Outstanding Pop." It's heaven sent.

                                                            Arthur Russell

                                                            Calling Out Of Context - Album Sampler

                                                            Four tracks from "Calling Out Of Context", the collection of unreleased songs Russell was working on in the mid 80s and before his death in the early 90s. Includes "You And Me Both", "Get Around To It", Make 1, 2" and "I Like You!". Post disco balearic pop?

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            12" Info: 250 copies only!

                                                            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.

                                                              Arthur Russell

                                                              Calling Out Of Context

                                                                During a short, prolific, and often misunderstood career, Arthur Russell bridged the boundaries between downtown New York's vital rock, avant-garde and post-disco scenes of the '70s and '80s. More than a decade after his death from AIDS at age 41, the full breadth and influence of Russell's work will finally reveal itself with various reissues and collections. Following on from Soul Jazz's "The World Of Arthur Russell", "Calling Out of Context" is a collection of his final, unreleased recordings, including a 1985 LP "Corn" and an abandoned LP recorded for Rough Trade between 1986 - 1990. Mixing funky, avant garde rhythms with pop melodies Russell created some of the most beautiful, off kilter tracks from that time.

                                                                The Strokes

                                                                12:51

                                                                Who's this? Nifty, clipped riff, insistent rhythm, metronomic drums, (that sound like a drum machine) there's been plenty of imitators but oh yes, it's them! They're back! In drawls Julian with the cutest of tunes, shadowed by Nicki's guitar (that sounds like a keyboard) and it's just like they've never been away. What I'm saying is they sound exactly the same, but who's complaining? Not only is it youthful, energetic, dead un-pretentious and simple, but there's something in the lyric, something in the singing, that makes it so right, so believable...feeling the exotic, the magic, the romance, in the everyday. It all sounds so effortless, too...and that plus its ace brevity make it very close to perfection.

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                7" Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                                The Veils

                                                                Guiding Light

                                                                Another great new release from Rough Trade. This is produced by Bernard Butler and it's an enormous, emotive pop epic. Sixties girl groups oohs and aahs, scarf wavingly heroic lead guitar and a fantastic lead vocal make up the pieces of a tune so strong that it's basically one big chorus from start to finish.

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                7" Info: The 7" includes "Death & Co" on the B-side.

                                                                CDS Info: The CD single includes "Need Is Water" and "Death & Co".

                                                                The Hidden Cameras

                                                                A Miracle

                                                                Second single taken from the self-titled album. This is one of the best songs I've heard in ages. A lush, acoustic strummer with sprightly Smithsy jingles, a deep cello undertow and a beautiful, pleading vocal that recalls Michael Stipe circa "Fables Of The Reconstruction" (or even The Lotus Eaters, anyone?) This is sad but upliftingly pretty folk music with a touch of "Songs Of Praise" in its anthemic simplicity. Well it is called "A Miracle". Be Thankful! For a very, very lovely thing indeed.

                                                                The Sun

                                                                Back In The Summer Of '72

                                                                Debut UK release from this LA based punk-pop band. "Back In The Summer Of 72" is a short blast of Hammond-driven pop that brings to mind early Violent Femmes with its chugging drum rhythms and distorted vocals. Ace!

                                                                The Hidden Cameras

                                                                Ban Marriage

                                                                Debut release from this Canadian band. Describing their sound as 'gay folk church music', they merge multi part vocal harmonies with psyche-pop tinged walls of sound.

                                                                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.

                                                                Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

                                                                Suzanne

                                                                Four track CD single includes "Suzanne" from the "Bavarian Fruit Bread" album, plus three non-album tracks "I Thought You'd Fall For Me", "These Things" and "Friends Of A Smile".

                                                                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.

                                                                  Sunstorm

                                                                  The Come On Higher E.P.

                                                                  An amalgamation of classic rock from this LA band, with hints of everything from The Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground, to Spiritualized and The Verve.

                                                                  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.

                                                                  Pooka

                                                                  Shift

                                                                  This disc from duo Natasha Jones and Sharon Lewis blends so many musical genres that it really is impossible to pigeon hole it into just one. Their earlier more acoustic work has given way to a hybrid electronica downbeat with acoustic overtones. The use of vocoder and various other electronic vocal treatments lends a air of mystery and ethnicity to some of the tracks but their beautiful vocal harmonies are still well in evidence.

                                                                  ARE Weapons

                                                                  Street Gang

                                                                  The third Rough Trade Records band to break out of New York City after The Strokes and Moldy Peaches circa 2000. A.R.E. Weapons are a mix of Suicide's first album, Cabaret Voltaire and dirty NYC punk rock, and have more recently become part of Harvey's Map Of Africa project!

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  7" Info: Rare! TWO copies for sale!

                                                                  Eddi Reader

                                                                  Simple Soul

                                                                  Her warm and melodious vocals first came to prominence on "Perfect" by Fairground Attraction but her subsequent solo albums for Warners never acheived the same recognition. New album, new label and a re-emphasis on simple acoustic flavoured songs that bring out her strengths; vocally and in terms of her songwriting with her partner Boo Hewerdine.


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