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Caroline

Caroline

    UK eight-piece caroline’s eponymous debut album often cascades with force like an avalanche, squalling and rumbling on the edge of all-out collapse. At other points they slip back into impossibly fragile moments of quiet – a simple bassline or a rattle of snare the only sound amid a dark sea of silence. caroline know exactly the right balance between restraint and release. These songs are expansive and emotive pieces, their rich palette drawing on a mixture of choral singing, Midwestern emo and O’Malley and Llewellyn’s roots in Appalachian folk.

    “Sometimes things sound much better when there’s empty space,” says Llewellyn. “Sometimes you might populate [a song] with too many things and forget that an element on its own is enough.” Elsewhere on the record the band have employed a collage-like technique, combining snippets of lo-fi recordings from a myriad of different locations – a barn in France, the members’ bedrooms and living rooms, the atmospheric swimming pool in which they also filmed sublime live sessions for ‘Dark blue’ and ‘Skydiving onto the library roof’ – with more traditional group sessions at the Total Refreshment Centre and their studio in Peckham.

    The growth that began as a scrappy guitar band above a pub many years ago is still continuing. caroline’s astounding debut album is merely the first step. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: What a fascinating sound caroline have managed to coax out here. It's a heady mix of post-rock, folk and avant rock pulled together with a keen ear for melodies and tempered with airy group vocals, a-la ASMZ. A dynamic and ever-shifting landscape of melody and texture.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    Dark Blue
    Good Morning (red)
    Desperately
    IWR
    Messen #7
    Side B
    Engine (eavesdropping)
    Hurtle
    Skydiving Onto The Library Roof
    Zilch
    Natural Death

    Dinked Edition 7” Tracklisting:
    Side A - Good Morning (red) Demo
    Side B - Dirty Triple (3) #2

    Jarv Is...

    Swanky Modes (Dennis Bovell Mixes)

      Rough Trade Records are extremely happy to announce the PHYSICAL release of reggae pioneer and innovator Dennis Bovell’s mixes of the JARV IS... track “Swanky Modes” on August 20th. These mixes were first made available digitally back in April (before Dennis was awarded MBE status in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list). Iggy Pop was so impressed he played BOTH of the mixes during the course of a single edition of his BBC 6Music radio show.

      This limited-run 7” single features hand-drawn label art by Jarvis himself & is housed in a bespoke cardboard sleeve with reinforced edging. Tuff.

      TRACK LISTING

      Swanky Modes (Dennis Bovell Mix)
      Swanky Modes (Dennis Bovell DubMix)

      Black Midi

      Cavalcade

        black midi’s new album Cavalcade is to be released on 28th May. Cavalcade is a dynamic, hellacious, and inventive follow-up to 2019’s widely-praised Schlagenheim, “a labyrinth with hairpin-turn episodes and lyrics full of dourly corrosive observations” (New York Times, Best Albums of 2019).

        It scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements. 


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Black Midi have always revelled in forging the most cacophonous and confounding noise, drawing skilfully from a diverse range of influences. 'Cavalcade' takes this one step further with such a varied and hugely skilled narrative, it's hard not to get drawn into their world after just a couple tracks. Jazzy, noisy, heavy and in parts eerie, this is peak Black Midi.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. John L
        2. Marlene Dietrich
        3. Chondromalacia Patella
        4. Slow
        5. Diamond Stuff
        6. Dethroned
        7. Hogwash And Balderdash
        8. Ascending Forth

        Goat Girl

        Sad Cowboy Remixes

          Goat Girl will be releasing a 12” featuring Remixes of ‘Sad Cowboy’ one of the standout tracks from their new album ‘On All Fours’ as a limited edition on May 8th. The ‘Sad Cowboy’ Remix 12” will feature remixes by Tony Njoku, PVA, DJ Dairy (black midi) and Nídia.

          TRACK LISTING

          A1 Sad Cowboy Original
          A2 Nídia Remix

          B1 PVA Remix
          B2 DJ Dairy Remix
          B3 Tony Njoku Remix

          This Is The Kit

          Off Off On

            Since 2008’s debut album Krülle Bol, This Is The Kit (lead by Kate Stables) have unpicked emotional knots and woven remarkable stories, but even by their high standards, Off Off On is a beautifully clear distillation of Stables’ song-writing gifts.

            By the end of 2018, the band had finished touring their last album, the talismanic Moonshine Freeze – leading to Kate’s Ivor Novello nomination, but when it came to Stables’ natural impulse to start the next record, her efforts were diverted by an invitation to join The National on the road for multiple tours and TV appearances – a continuation of the role she took on their album I Am Easy To Find. “It was so brilliant when I was writing to be away from my songs and the responsibility of being in charge of a band or a project – I think it really helped my writing and my getting through whatever I needed to get through.”

            Richly illuminating and acutely sensitive to the pulses and currents of life, Off Off On shows This Is The Kit overflowing with ideas. In difficult times, it’s a record that feels like a lifeline, moving against the tide, standing against the storm. Keep going.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: It's no surprise that 'Off Off On' has already garnered hefty praise from the mainstream music media, with it being a perfectly illustrated collection of skilful songwriting and beautiful performance skills. While Moonshine Freeze and Bashed Out were both stunning, this shows a real maturity and unbelievable advancement of the skills that thrust Staples into the limelight in the first place. An essential addition to any collection.

            TRACK LISTING

            Found Out
            Started Again
            This Is What You Did
            No Such Thing
            Slider
            Coming To Get You Nowhere
            Carry Us Please
            Off Off On
            Shinbone Soap
            Was Magician
            Keep Going

            Sleaford Mods

            All That Glue

              Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn stepped out of 2019 with a Top Ten album under their belt, Eton Alive, their biggest sold out tour to date and the swagger of a band that have never been more relevant, topically challenging and downright entertaining.

              Sleaford Mods are set to continue their onslaught into 2020 with the release of All That Glue, a collection of songs spanning the last seven years of the bands career; an array of crowd pleasers, B sides, unheard tracks and rarities for fans and the curious, released via Rough Trade. Over the past few years Sleaford Mods have become one of the most intractable British pop stories. One of its best. Their music is drawn at a flawless fault-line of anger, tenderness and humour, a triumvirate of raw energy which frequently jostles in the space of a cadence for supremacy. On record you can hear their sinews, live you can touch their veins.

              Ahead of All That Glue's release the band will be making available fan favourite Jobseeker for the first time. In addition, footage from the duo's acclaimed sell out show last year at the Eventim Apollo, will be released for the first time and kicks off with an incendiary performance of Tweet Tweet Tweet.

              Limited edition independent store-only double white vinyl includes a 16-page A5 booklet - a précis in the inimitable style of Jason Williamson - documenting Sleaford Mods inexorable rise since their inception in 2011 to the present day, together with praise from the incomparable Iggy Pop.

              Pinegrove’s new album begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation. In between is Marigold, an urgent, multivalent meditation—and an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that’s inspired the band’s ardent fan community. Marigold marks their Rough Trade Records debut, offering what songwriter Evan Stephens Hall calls a “heart-first” perspective.

              Those familiar with Pinegrove will recognize signature elements of the band’s sound: literary yet conversational lyrics, geometrically interlocking guitars, the dynamic shifting shadows of rhythm and structure. But this effort marks the most spacious, bold, and well defined iteration of the project yet.

              Formed in 2010 by childhood friends Evan and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove have released three previous albums — Everything So Far (2015), Cardinal (2016), and Skylight (2018) — to massive critical acclaim, garnering them a widespread and devoted listenership. They’ve described their sound as variously as introspective party music, or energetic music in the folk tradition; in any case they have combined catharsis and inventive structures with irrepressible melodies, resonant lyrics and emotive twang. Marigold finds the band expanding into the latter, spreading out over varying tempos and swelling pedal steel. But in surprising moments, the album can suddenly unfold into the band’s heaviest, most unbound offerings yet—a cavalier disregard of genre in favour of something honest and unique.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Swooning, Americana tinged rock choruses and beautifully mixed instrumentals from New Jersey's Pinegrove. Grand and momentous while still retaining the charm of more relaxed acoustic folk numbers. Lovely stuff.

              TRACK LISTING

              Dotted Line
              Spiral
              The Alarmist
              No Drugs
              Moment
              Hairpin
              Phase
              Endless
              Alcove
              Neighbor
              Marigold

              Gruff Rhys

              Pang!

                The new album from Gruff Rhys, ‘Pang!’ is a Welsh Language pop album with a couple of verses of Zulu and an English title. ‘Pang!’ developed unexpectedly over about 18 months. A solo album of songs by Gruff Rhys, produced & mixed by the South African electronic artist Mmusi, and will be released by Rough Trade Records.

                Recorded in Cardiff, Wales. It was mixed by the producer Muzi in Johannesburg, South Africa. Drums by Welsh-American psychedelic warlord Kliph Scurlock, brass by Gavin Fitzjohn and flute and percussion by the engineer Kris Jenkins. Beats, bass & ah’s by Muzi with Gruff on vocals and guitar.

                Gruff explains “Pang! Is a Welsh language song with an English title. It started life as a folk reel and soon expanded into a ‘list’ song, listing various reasons for pangs; hunger, regret, twitter, pain, bad design etc. Using the English word pang in a Welsh language track may appear weird but I suppose it’s like using the French word ‘Magazine’ in an English song. In that it’s slightly pretentious but completely acceptable.”

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: There is no more distinctive a voice in modern indie than Gruff, with his impeccable grasp of melody and seamless integration of welsh vocals, dynamic percussion and classic songwriting. Another absolute classic, and an absolutely lovely chap to boot. Perfect.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Pang!
                2. Bae Bae Bae
                3. Digidigol
                4. Ara Deg
                5. Eli Haul
                6. Niwl O Anwiredd
                7. Taranau Mai
                8. Oi Bys Nodau Clust
                9. Annedd Im Danedd

                black midi -- Georgie Greep (vocals/guitar), Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin (vocals/guitar), Cameron Picton (vocals/bass), and Morgan Simpson (drums) -- have a dynamic energy, playing as a musical unit that’s constantly in a state of flux and development.

                Schlagenheim was recorded with Speedy Wunderground producer Dan Carey, who the band praises for his quick, unfussy approach. black midi laid down eight of the record’s nine tracks in just five days. The process was one of refining and rebuilding tracks around the initial structures. Five hour jams would sometimes yield a riff that then became a few bars of a song. As anyone who’s been lucky enough to catch black midi live over recent months will testify, black midi’s songs are slippery creatures.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Much like the fervour that accompanied Battles' 2007 outing 'Mirrored', Black Midi have managed to make an indefinable and thrilling collection of angular post-punk, avant math-rock and percussive glitch without so much as a glance into their stylistic forebears. Singular in artistic scope and as forward thinking as they come, they are sure to have a loyal and enthusiastic following through their use of unexpected rhythms and off-piste stylistic flair.

                TRACK LISTING

                953
                Speedway
                Reggae
                Near Dt, Mi
                Western
                Of Schlagenheim
                Bmbmbm
                Years Ago
                Ducter

                This is the band’s first new music since last year’s top 15 album “English Tapas” The EP was recorded in Spring 2018 in Nottingham, and features five new tracks including lead track “Stick in a Five & Go”. The band are confirmed to play two nights at London’s Roundhouse on September 21st & 22nd 2018 and also their biggest hometown show at Nottingham’s Concert Hall on September 30th. They also play their biggest Paris show too at Le Triannon on 26th Sept, some Scottish dates in November with shows in Copenhagen and Amsterdam planned for November too.

                The band are currently in the studio in Nottingham working on tracks for a new album planned for March 2019.

                Jason Williamson says about the new songs “the lead tracks are mostly full of violent tendencies that only transpire through imagination. People are powerless under the political monster and the intense anger and frustration morphs into illusions of attacking each other through the bravado of social media, depression and paranoia.”

                TRACK LISTING

                Stick In A Five And Go
                Bang Someone Out
                Gallows Hill
                Dregs
                Joke Shop

                Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

                Seedlings All

                  ’Seedlings All' is Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker’s first album to be made up of all original songs, and is songwriter Clarke's most autobiographical work to date. As she explains: “For the first time I’m out there alone with a bunch of songs that expose my insecurities, fears of failure and inflated pride. They deal with my own specific thoughts and feelings about the reality of pursuing this kind of career, the cost to personal relationships, circumstance and lifestyle, and asking the question - "Is this still worth it?” They’re about trying to find an inner balance in an environment that doesn’t provide any balance or certainty. Where one day everything is brilliant and the next day it could all be over. Where one night ends in a standing ovation and the next starts by playing to an empty room."

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Chicago
                  Bells Ring
                  Seedlings All
                  Maybe I Won't
                  Tender Heart
                  All Is Myth
                  Ghost Light
                  Sad Day
                  Things Of No Use
                  Bathed In Light
                  Only Me Only

                  (Bonus CD)
                  When To Then
                  Milk And Honey
                  For All We Know

                  The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which will be released March 17 on Rough Trade Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Ray) and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as can be heard on the synth-driven lead single “Severed”

                  I’ll Be Your Girl is the sound of a veteran band finding new inspiration, a unit unafraid of challenging itself to re-connect with its creativity. “Making music is an infinite choose-your-own-adventure,” says Colin Meloy, “and when you go down one path, the other paths get sealed off. So every time we could, we said, ‘If this is what our impulses would tell us to do, let’s try to imagine it in a different way.’”

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A more direct affair than their previous outing, 'I'll Be Your Girl' flits between the full-sounding AOR melodicism of War On Drugs and the pseudo-country psychedelia of their previous iterations, 'I'll Be Your Girl' takes all the elements we love about The Decemberists and distills them into a cohesive and hugely satisfying whole.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Once In My Life
                  Cutting Stone
                  Severed
                  Starwatcher
                  Tripping Along
                  Your Ghost
                  Everything Is Awful
                  Sucker’s Prayer
                  We All Die Young
                  Rusalka, Rusalka / The Wild Rushes
                  I’ll Be Your Girl


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