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SECRETLY CANADIAN

Le Ren

Leftovers

    Leftovers, the debut album from Montreal’s Le Ren, stitches together a patchwork of personal songs about different relationships: those we share with mothers, lovers, and friends. Lauren Spear, the artist behind Le Ren, created a physical quilt to mirror the assemblage of stories that comprise her album: a coming-of-age collage that collects over four years of past experiences and finds their present meaning.

    Leftovers was originally scheduled to be recorded in LA in early 2020, but the pandemic forced Le Ren to reconsider the kind of album she wanted to make, and how she wanted to make it. Taking the time to revamp old songs and bring the past to bear upon new ones, she distilled years of material into ten tightly executed tracks united by the swooning pluck of her guitar and the crystal clear timbre of her voice. The result is a timeless assemblage of love, heartache, celebration, and lessons hard-learned, written and performed by a musician who has honed the subtleties of her craft.

    With its organic yet meticulous folk production and deeply felt lyrics, Leftovers exists outside of trend or time, finding a home among classic icons like Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, and Karen Dalton, as well as a new class of folk extraordinaires, such as Adrianne Lenker, Jessica Pratt, and Laura Marling. Le Ren writes with a bold clarity that lends her songs the immediate, enduring quality of good stories well-told that, like their album title-namesake, only get better with age. Leftovers is equal parts melancholy, deep love, and levity to lift up the mournful. Le Ren here weaves a rich musical tapestry addressed to loved ones lost, found, and

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A:
    1. Take On Me
    2. Dyan
    3. Was I Not Enough?
    4. I Already Love You
    5. Who’s Going To Hold Me Next?

    SIDE B:
    6. Your Cup
    7. Annabelle & MaryAnne (feat. Tenci)
    8. Willow
    9. Friends Are Miracles
    10. May Hard Times Pass Us By

    Magnolia Electric Co.

    Fading Trails - Love Record Stores 2021 Edition

      Love Record Stores Edition available instore from 10am on Saturday September 4th, any remaining copies will be available on online from 9pm on the same day.
      Limited to one per person.


      Richard Swift

      KFC / A Man's Man

        Written in the wee hours of the night, the late Richard Swift’s ‘KFC’ is a winding sardonic monologue about a rough night of food poisoning following a quick dinner of fried chicken.

        On the track, Swift’s vocal is pitched down and distorted while accompanied by cooing vocal harmonies and drums.

        TRACK LISTING

        KFC
        A Man’s Man

        Faye Webster

        I Know I'm Funny Haha

          I Know I’m Funny haha is Webster’s most realized manifestation yet of this emotional and musical alchemy. Continuing to bloom from her 2019 breakthrough and Secretly Canadian debut Atlanta Millionaires Club, Webster’s sound draws as much from the lap-steel singer-songwriter pop of the 1970s and teardrop country tunes as it does from the audacious personalities of her city’s rap and R&B community. The album began for Webster with the stirring ballad “In a Good Way,” as in “You make me want to cry in a good way”—an instantclassic Faye Webster one-liner. It’s beguilingly simple, the kind of melody and arrangement that seem to have existed forever. A sense of relief charges the neo-psychedelic pop of “Cheers,” where Webster experiments with an overdriven guitar tone.

          She also collaborated, on “Overslept,” with the Japanese artist Mei Ehara, who she calls the biggest influence on her new music. Webster’s music is full of personality. Many of her songs contain bits of girl-group-esque talk-singing, which color her atypical storysongs. Webster says she’s in a growth mindset, pushing herself to learn more, to be more vulnerable. “Growth is really important to me,” she says. “I hope people will relate to my songs, and not just be like ‘this is a good record’ but ‘this makes me feel something. This is making me think differently, this is making me question things.’ I told myself a few years ago that I was going to be more honest in my songwriting, that honesty is the best route to take with music. If I have a voice and people are listening to me, I’m not going to waste it.”

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Better Distractions
          2. Sometimes
          3. I Know I’m Funny Haha
          4. In A Good Way
          5. Kind Of
          6. Cheers
          7. Both All The Time
          8. A Stranger
          9. A Dream With A Baseball Player
          10. Overslept (feat. Mei Ehara)
          11. Half Of Me

          Current Joys

          Voyager

            Voyager rattles with the live-wire feeling that’s thrummed through all of Rattigan’s previous releases: quavering, scream-itself-hoarse vocals and self-interrogation via song. But here, that bristling, sentimental rock ‘n’ roll cacophony is overlaid with a soundtrack orchestra guiding it along. It’s an odyssey, a grand-sounding journey of self-discovery spread across sixteen tracks. Part ekphrasis, part personal, it’s Rattigan learning new ways to understand his own feelings and identity while inspired by the highly-stylized, striking storytelling of filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Lars Von Trier, Terrence Malick, Agnès Varda, and Andrei Tarkovsky.

            Voyager, Rattigan’s most mature release to date, is an evolution built on Current Joys’ prolific output since 2013. A Nevada native, Rattigan began Current Joys in Reno, before moving to New York after school and busting his ass working as a production assistant in the film/TV industry. He relocated to Los Angeles in 2016, and the songs that make up Voyager began coming together shortly after. Each piece of Current Joys’ previous discography is wholly built and envisioned by Rattigan, self-recorded and quickly released, quivering with a lonely intensity. Within six months of beginning the project, Current Joys had already released its debut, Wild Heart; by 2018, the sixth Current Joys full length and visual album, A Different Age, was out. All the while, Current Joys’ profile quickly and quietly ascended, selling out venues like LA’s El Rey along with European tours, simultaneously amassing millions of streams of the catalog, and a dedicated following.

            On Voyager, Rattigan eschews lo-fi home recordings for a full band and recording sessions at Stinson Beach Studios. As a vocalist/drummer in his other band Surf Curse, Rattigan had finally opened up to the possibility of working in a professional studio. But while the audiences and songwriting/recording approaches changed and continue to evolve for Current Joys, the inspiration Rattigan draws from cinema remains a guiding force. Frequently he uses film as a jumping off point for songwriting. Lead single “Amateur” and its video reflects his affinity for the cinematic. The track is piano-heavy, a slow-build of tension, flitting with prettiness. The self-directed video features Rattigan in costume, chaotically driving a retro car.


            Rattigan, who stays up all night to perfect the sequencing of his records once they’re recorded, doesn’t set out with a typical aesthetic in mind – instead, it just happens. Performing is his catharsis. Which feels palpable on Voyager; there’s fragments of hours spent watching movies, as well as stories from his own life; there’s overly-caffeinated car rides blasting the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa; there’s inspiration taken from the crooning presence of frontmen like Jeff Buckley, Chris Isaak, and Nick Cave, as evidenced on Rattigan’s cover of the Boys Next Door’s “Shivers.” And there’s the simple, ecstatic energy of getting a bunch of friends in the studio.

            It’s all held together by the fervor of Rattigan’s creative process. He believes in the premonitory power of music, and he latches onto the song ideas that strike him in the moment, propelled by an abstract existentialism or burst of feeling more than anything else. It imbues Voyager with an intensity and intimacy – with the sense that you’re getting to hear, all at once, the disparate parts that make a project – or person – into a sprawling, cinematic whole.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Dancer In The Dark
            2. American Honey
            3. Naked
            4. Altered States
            5. Breaking The Waves
            6. Big Star
            7. Amateur
            8. Rebecca
            9. Shivers
            10. Something Real
            11. Money Making Machine
            12. Voyager Pt. 1
            13. Calypso
            14. The Spirit Or The Curse
            15. Vagabond
            16. Voyager Pt. 2

            Serpentwithfeet

            Deacon

              serpentwithfeet is not only imagining, but exploring a world wherein Black love is paramount. His new album, DEACON, is “a study rather than a story,” delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise.

              Fully self-actualized and more devoted than ever to personal fulfilment, DEACON highlights his growth as a songwriter, which he credits to taking a more straightforward approach to expression. Spending time with pop songwriters and observing how they traverse language encouraged serpent to take more risks lyrically, resulting in more purity.

              Raised by religious parents in Baltimore, serpent’s flair for theatrical themes and gospel sensibilities can be traced to the Black church, a place where the artist had his earliest experiences with glamour and the ornate. Well-executed vocal flourishes and the implementation of a quickening vibrato are just a few of the skills he picked up during his time in a Pentecostal choir. He proudly follows in the tradition of R&B artists whose gifts were helmed in the church, and he approached DEACON with an undeniable passion and reverence for the genre.

              In his love for love, serpentwithfeet is offering a look into the soul of a man who articulates his passion in a warmer, gentler way. He’s become wholly confident in his gift and messaging on DEACON, which is to be expected when one gives vent to maturity. Through his music, he allows compassion to be the backbone of his art, as he communes with his most loving self.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: 'Deacon' follows on brilliantly from 2018's 'Soil' but takes all of the shimmering production and and silken soulful instrumentation to the next level. We segue from downbeat hip-hop aesthetic into soulful lounge and deep synthpop without breaking pace. A singular and instantly recognisable talent.

              TRACK LISTING

              SIDE A:
              1. Hyacinth
              2. Same Size Shoe
              3. Malik
              4. Amir
              5. Dawn

              SIDE B:
              6. Sailors’ Superstition
              7. Heart Storm (with NAO)
              8. Wood Boy
              9. Derrick’s Beard
              10. Old & Fine
              11. Fellowship

              Richard Swift

              Even Your Drums Will Die: Live At Pendarvis Farm 2011

                Recorded in 2011 in a dusty, beloved barn, ‘Even Your Drums Will Die’ is a time machine, a real one, to a moment packed thick with Richard Swift’s singular, crackling liveliness. Where Swift’s studio recordings are marked by texture, tone and mood, ‘Even Your Drums Will Die’ puts a spotlight on Swift’s voice, his lyrics and his songwriting.

                Running through all of Swift’s tunes is a certain agitation - a fidgetiness, a restlessness. It’s clearer than ever now, over two years after Swift’s passing, that he used his music to let a little pressure out of his tire. ‘A Song for Milton Feher’ nods to all this, its namesake coming from the professional dancer and director who taught his students to release their “habits of tension.” The song feels like a skeleton key to Swift’s oeuvre, a clear look into the wild wheels spinning inside his big old artist noggin.

                On the flipside is ‘Lady Luck’. The classic. The revived ghost of a lost 45 that never existed, or maybe always did, but that only Richard Swift could make real.

                If you know these songs, you will find them set alight here. If you don’t, ‘Even Your Drums Will Die’ is an incomparable snapshot of both art and artist. It is a genie, a real one, let loose from the lamp with Richard Swift’s explosive energy, imagination and mischief.

                Recorded Live at Pickathon, 2011.

                Swift was a celebrated recording artist, collaborator (The Black Keys, The Shins, the Arcs) and producer (Nathaniel Rateliff, Kevin Morby, Guster, Pretenders).

                TRACK LISTING

                The Ballad Of You Know Who
                The Novelist
                Looking Back, I Should Have Been Home
                The Million Dollar Baby
                The Songs Of National Freedom
                The Original Thought
                The Ballad Of Old What’s His Name
                The First Time
                A Song For Milton Feher
                Lady Luck

                Anohni

                It's All Over Now, Baby Blue / Be My Husband

                  The songs mark Anohni’s first new music since the 2019 charity single ‘Karma’, a collaboration with Jade Bell and J. Ralph.

                  A viscous embrace, a pulsating pouring out, Anohni’s voice is above all else a vessel for political armament. On 2016’s Hopelessness, her voice bombarded with explicit illustration of Obama-era atrocities -- of war crimes, of apocalyptic climate change, of patriarchal violence. Now sharing a dual cover set, she casts a subtler, but no less powerful incantation towards change.

                  The original tracks dating to 1965, a year marked by the Selma marches, the Watts Rebellion, and the landmark Voting Rights Act, illuminate the eerily parallel struggles of this year. Anohni’s rendition of ‘It’s All Over Now…’ reads as a hopeful, future goodbye to times dominated by oppression. With ‘Be My Husband,” textually woven with marital submission and want for acceptance, she examines our reliance on the very systems that fail us.

                  In borrowing these songs, Anohni adopts their history along with her contemporary interpretations, respecting the lineage of the people’s movement while calling for its continuance today. “When Biden said ‘Americans don’t want revolution, they want a return to decency,’ he was wrong,” she explained. “We all know deep down that the continuation of our civilizations for much longer will require seismic change.”

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
                  2. Be My Husband

                  Le Ren

                  Morning & Melancholia

                    Le Ren’s close-to-the-bone, heartbreak folk songs seem, at first, to tap into a shared musical memory. A melody swirls forward and you’re just sure it’s known to the back of your mind; was it in from a movie you saw, some classic mid-60s setpiece? Maybe it’s something you heard as a kid, in the backseat of your mom’s Cutlass, or the shotgun seat of your own. But before you can zero in through the fog, your heart is torn apart by her voice — rich, direct and mellifluous — steering you through these slowburn tunes about real-life loss.

                    “Discussing songwriting feels the same as when someone asks about your tattoo,” says Lauren Spear, 26, the sole voice and songwriter behind Montreal’s Le Ren. “You’re putting it out there, showing it in public right on your arm. Then, when someone asks you ‘Hey, what’s that tattoo mean?,’ you’re shocked to have to explain it, as it is a choice that feels essential for a particular moment.”

                    Two years ago, Spear’s ex-boyfriend was killed in a car accident. Since then, she has been struggling with the immeasurable weight of being the sole keeper of their shared memories and in response, translated a sliver of that experience into music. Her EP, Morning & Melancholia, is a mediation on mourning, memory and how to live with the ellipses you’re forever left with in the wake of loss.

                    The way Le Ren is able to look tragedy directly in its eyes and never let her voice so much as quiver is owed to a few things. Raised on rural Bowen Island, British Columbia, the isolated lifestyle allows for a certain independent dedication to craft that is evident in her performances. Spear has studied folk and bluegrass going back to her early teens, partaking in workshops and festivals all over North America. You can hear in her acumen the gorgeous folk formalism of Canadian heroes Kate and Anna McGerrigle. But it’s not all rigor and acuity that makes Le Ren’s music so stunning. She was also raised on The Holy Trinity of songwriters John Prine, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, and their curious, deadpan and cosmic approach to life’s most brutal swipes also feed Le Ren’s sensibilities. Her lyrical couplets are as simply put as they are devastating. “So here we are at the end of all things // I guess I learned too late // that love can’t be the only reason to stay,” she sings on the closer “Love Can’t Be the Only Reason To Stay”. It’s gut wrenching, but sure-footed. And you can almost hear the slight smile on one side of her mouth as she sings, the knowing smile of someone who knows real pain, knows there’s surely more to come, but who also knows it doesn’t erase life’s humorous, enduring beauty.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    SIDE A:
                    1. Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay
                    2. How To Begin To Say Goodbye
                    SIDE B:
                    4. If I Had Wings
                    5. The Day I Lose My Mind

                    Covers have long been an integral part of Whitney's ethos. Ever since the band first formed in a Chicago apartment in 2014, tackling songs by the Everly Brothers, Allen Toussaint, and more played an important part in the songwriting process for their breakthrough 2016 debut Light Upon The Lake. Since then, their takes on NRBQ's "Magnet" and Neil Young's "On the Way Home" have become live staples, an essential and communal part of their sets. Their love for the music that makes up their deepest influences has always been genuine and tangible. Following their acclaimed sophomore 2019 album Forever Turned Around, Whitney have decided to return with a loving tribute to songs that have been formative and lasting to the entire band. Candid is a 10-song collection boasting covers of artists like Kelela, David Byrne, John Denver, SWV , and others but it's also a band challenging themselves to explore more than their musical comfort zone. "This could've been as simple as saying we really love these songs and we love our bandmates and making a covers record just felt right but it truly became an exploration into how we can evolve as a band going forward,” says drummer and singer Julien Ehrlich.

                    Recorded in January and February of 2020 over multiple sessions at Treehouse Studios in Chicago and Flora Recording and Playback in Portland , Candid finally sees the full touring band in a recording studio together. " This is the first time we really saw what the live iteration of Whitney sounds like in a studio. It was a really celebratory vibe and everyone in the room fed off each other's energy," says guitarist Max Kakacek. It's the band's best reflection so far of their triumphant live show as most of these renditions were recorded live. Featuring keyboardist Malcolm Brown, bassist Josiah Marshall, trumpeter Will Miller, as well as guitarists Print Chouteau and Ziyad Asrar, the entire live unit is firing at all cylinders thanks to its tight-knit and road-tested relationship.

                    Their chemistry exudes throughout the tracklist but it's especially apparent when they open up the dynamic to their friends, like Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee joining John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." On the cover of the classic, Ehrlich and Crutchfield's voices merge for a joyous harmony over the chorus. Over eight days at Treehouse Studios, the band would show up in the morning, learn a song together, and choose an instrument, leading to a freewheeling and adventurous atmosphere. Their renditions of SWV's '90s R&B heater "Rain" or David Byrne and Brian Eno's 2008 track "Strange Overtones" prove this, as they stretch Whitney into new musical directions. "We love these songs and all have an emotional connection to each one, but we really wanted to see if we could take the skeleton of each track and approach it in a way that felt new. We didn't want to recreate what any of these artists already did," says Kakacek. This is most evident on Candid opener "Bank Head," which tackles the sparse and hypnotic electronic single by Kelela. Ehrlich adds, “ It's something we've never done before and probably a direction that we want to explore in our future albums” he continues, “ We knew we couldn't beat these songwriters at their own game. Instead, we wanted to find songs that were great at their core and could be reimagined.”

                    At its core, Candid is a celebration of both the songs Whitney has adored throughout its formation and the band's evolving bond through years of relentless touring and an enduring friendship. "One thing we realized is how these songwriters could make amazing songs with so much simplicity. Taking these skeletons and working with this incredible material means we're keeping our chops and staying tight as a band," says Ehrlich. The LP is a sincere snapshot of their evolving and eclectic tastes that's imbued with a wholly inviting charm. It's Whitney at their most unvarnished and inventive but most importantly, it's a heartfelt tribute to the songwriters who've helped them most.

                    -Josh Terry
                    May 4, 2020
                    Chicago, IL

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: Whitney return once again, this time with a soaring suite of covers all done in their inimitable style. Perfectly balanced falsetto, beautifully tender instrumentation and a great take on these classic tunes.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Bank Head (Kelela)
                    2. A.M.:A.M. (Damien Jurado)
                    3. Country Roads Ft. Waxahatchee (John Denver)
                    4. High On A Rocky Ledge (Moondog)
                    5. Something Happen (Jack Arel)
                    6. Strange Overtones (David Byrne And Brian Eno)
                    7. Hammond Song (The Roches)
                    8. Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying (Labi Siffre)
                    9. Rain (SWV)
                    10. Rainbows And Ridges (Blaze Foley)





                    Jason Molina

                    Eight Gates

                      Sometime in 2006 or 2007, Jason Molina moved from the midwest to London. Separated from his bandmates and friends and never one for idleness, Molina explored his new home with fervor. Sometimes he’d head out on foot, often with no destination in mind. Other times, he’d pick a random tube stop and find his way back home. He’d pick up on arcane trivia about London’s rich history, and if the historical factoids weren’t available — or weren’t quite to his liking — Molina was quite comfortable conjuring his own history. His adoration of The Great American Tall Tales like John Henry and Paul Bunyan’s blue ox Babe stretched across the Atlantic, where he created his own personal Tall Tales. And when he learned of the London Wall’s seven gates (itself a misconception), Molina went ahead and called it eight, carving out a gate just for himself. The eighth gate was Molina’s way into London, a gate only passable in the mind.

                      Fast forward to 2008, Molina set off on an experimental solo tour through Europe. While in Northern Italy, Molina claimed to have been bitten by a rare, poisonous spider. A debilitating bout of illness ensued. “I was in the hospital here in London,” Molina wrote in a letter. “Saw six doctors and a Dr. House-type guy. They are all mystified by it, but I am allowed to be at home, where I am taking a dozen scary Hantavirus type pills a day that are all to supposedly help — but they make me feel like shit.” There is no record of a single doctor visit, not any prescription record for these medications. It is entirely plausible there was no spider and that whatever was keeping him indoors during this time was entirely self-induced. While at home, he of course wrote songs.

                      Molina also claimed that during this time, he fed several bright green parrots that would gather in his yard. While often associated with a greyscale sensibility, Molina was oft-clad in a Hawaiian shirt and had, at least in part, selected the name Songs: Ohia for his first project as a nod to Hawaii’s ‘Ohi’a lehua flower. Which is all to say, the tropical element the parakeets brought to those sick days delighted Molina. He made short, crude field recordings of them with his trusty four-track. Only once Molina was officially on the mend and re-exploring the streets of London would he learn that those parrots had their own fabled tale. Back in the 60s, Jimi Hendrix — in a moment of psychedelic clarity — released his pair of lime green ring-necked parakeets from their cage, setting them free into the London sky. Now, their decendents are spotted regularly around certain parts of the city. Or so we’re told.

                      Eight Gates is the last collection of solo studio recordings Molina made before he passed from complications related to alcoholism in 2013. Recorded in London around the time of the supposed spider bite and Jimi’s supposed parakeets, some of the songs (“Whispered Away,” “Thistle Blue”) are fully-realized — dark, moody textures that call to mind his earlier work on The Lioness. Knowing what we know about those parakeets and their peppered presence on the recordings, one can’t help but think of that colorful tree of birds on Talk Talk’s classic Laughing Stock, certainly a spiritual guide for much of the set. Other songs (“She Says,” “The Crossroads and The Emptiness”) lay in a more unfinished states, acoustic takes that call to mind Molina’s Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go, and still tethered to Molina’s humorous studio banter. You remember how young Molina was, and how weighty this art was for such a young man. On the closer, “The Crossroads and The Emptiness,” Molina snaps at the engineer before tearing into a song in which he sings of his birthday (December 30), a palm reading and the great emptiness with which he always wrestled. It is a perfect closer and, in many ways, the eighth gate incarnate: mythical, passable only in the mind, built for himself and partway imaginary but shared, thankfully, with us.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Whisper Away
                      2. Shadow Answers The Wall
                      3. The Mission’s End
                      4. Old Worry
                      5. She Says
                      6. Fire On The Rail
                      7. Be Told The Truth
                      8. Thistle Blue
                      9. The Crossroad + The Emptiness

                      Jens Lekman & Annika Norlin

                      Correspondence

                        After completing his previous projects Postcards (where he wrote 52 songs in 52 weeks) and Ghostwriting (where he offered his songwriting to tell other peoples stories), Jens Lekman came up with a new idea. He asked fellow Swedish songwriter Annika Norlin (Hello Saferide, Säkert!) to join him.

                        The idea was that throughout the year of 2018, the two of them would correspond through music. Each month, one of them would write a song and the next month, the other one would reply. Before starting, they did some research on famous letter writing in literature. They were struck by how you usually have to be dead and declared a genius for your correspondence to be published. That’s sad, they thought, and decided this would be great to do while they were still alive.

                        The rules were simple:

                        - One letter each month throughout the year - in total, six songs for Jens and six for Annika.

                        - Only one instrument could be used for each song. This was to help them focus on the songs/letters instead of the production. Correspondence gave Jens and Annika an outlet for more spontaneous ideas, and they decided to stay under the radar by only releasing the songs on the Correspondence website, and a Spotify playlist. Most of the time they forgot that anyone else could hear the songs, and they turned out very personal. But looking back at 2018, maybe most of the personal things they wrote about - exhaustion, longing for human connection, harassment, climate change anxiety - summed up 2018 at a larger level as well.

                        As the project came to an end, Jens and Annika listened through the songs and felt pleased with the results. An epistolary novel in the form of twelve folksongs. Jens wrote string arrangements for half of the songs and brought in violinist Ellen Hjalmarsson and cellist Petra Lundin. For the first time since the digital release, their correspondence will be released on vinyl.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        SIDE A:
                        1. Who Really Needs Who
                        2. Showering In Public
                        3. Forever Young, Forever Beautiful

                        SIDE B:
                        4. Hibernation
                        5. Not Because It’s Easy, Because It’s Hard
                        6. Joining A Cult

                        SIDE C:
                        7. Revenge Of The Nerds
                        8. Failure
                        9. Cosmetics Store

                        SIDE D:
                        10. Election Day
                        11. On The Edge Of Time
                        12. Silent Night

                        Porridge Radio

                        Every Bad

                          Porridge Radio grew out of Dana Margolin’s bedroom, where she started making music in private. Living in the seaside town of Brighton, she recorded songs and slowly started playing them at open mic nights to rooms of old men who stared at her quietly as she screamed in their faces. Though she eventually grew out of them, for Margolin these open mic nights unlocked a love of performing and songwriting, as well as a new way to express herself. She decided to form a band through which to channel it all, and be noisier while she was at it – so Porridge Radio was born.

                          Inspired by interpersonal relationships, her environment - in particular the sea - and her growing friendships with her new bandmates (bassist Maddie Ryall, keyboardist Georgie Stott, and drummer Sam Yardley) Margolin’s distinctive, indie-pop-butmake-it-existentialist style soon started to crystallise. Quickly, the band self-released a load of demos and a garden-shed-recorded collection on Memorials of Distinction, while tireless touring cemented their firm reputation as one of UK DIY’s most beloved and compelling live bands.

                          As the band’s sound – bright pop-rock instrumentation blended with Margolin’s tender, open-ended lyrics – has developed and refined, Porridge Radio have also received enthusiastic radio airplay on the BBC, Radio X and more. Now, they are taking that development a step further, as they put out their label debut, Every Bad.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          SIDE A
                          1. Born Confused
                          2. Sweet
                          3. Don't Ask Me Twice
                          4. Long Nephews

                          SIDE B
                          1. Pop Song
                          2. Give/Take
                          3. Lilac
                          4. Circling
                          5. (Something)
                          6. Homecoming Song

                          Cherry Glazerr

                          Daddi (Reggie Watts Remix)’ / ‘Self Explained (tUnE-yArDs Remix)

                            Cherry Glazerr releases a 7” single with exclusive remixes by Reggie Watts and tUnE-yArDs via Secretly Canadian, in support of their upcoming appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Daddi (Reggie Watts Remix)
                            Self-Explained (tUne- YArDs Remix)

                            Alex Cameron

                            Miami Memory

                              Alex Cameron’s newest and most musically expansive LP, the glistening Miami Memory, takes a surprising turn. Cameron’s flair for narrative and character are still on full display; yet Miami Memory’s most frequent narrator is, for the first time, Cameron himself—singing with stunning candor of his three-year relationship with his girlfriend.

                              “When you listen to these songs, and you’re waiting for the twist, or the joke, or any kind of discomfort, I can assure you none of those things were there when I wrote them,” says Cameron. “These are true stories, of actual events. Specific but never esoteric. And graphic but never offensive. Miami Memory is the story of a couple balancing sex with contemporary family values...It’s my gift to my girlfriend, a symbol to hoist on the totem of love.”

                              Though remnants of his synth-driven earlier work sneak in to unsettle the tone, the bulk of Miami Memory, produced by Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty) and recorded and mixed by Marta Salogni (Björk, Kelela), revels in the emotional overdrive of classic dad rock, its warm, anthemic songs driven by bass, guitar, sax, and layers of Vegas wedding chapel-ish organ.

                              Cameron’s dad rock funhouse of an album ultimately twists and subverts the genre: it recalls classics the white male ego has historically visited for its regular adrenaline injection, and morphs them into a singular “stepdad” rock that largely turns its lens away from the dads, celebrating the demise of old norms of gender and power. In his depiction of his relationship, Cameron reveals a striking honesty about love and sex in a time where a palpable fleetingness hangs over everything from relationships to human life on this planet—but also where constricting mores have deteriorated enough to let “family life,” in all its morphing forms, exist outside of social obligation. With arresting straightforwardness, Cameron now sings as himself, paying tribute

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Huge stadium-rock choruses and growling synths provide a glitzy and sturdy backdrop for Cameron's soaring vocals and robust 80's-tinged pomp. Huge, overblown, and great fun all round.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              SIDE A:
                              1. Stepdad
                              2. Miami Memory
                              3. Far From Born Again
                              4. Gaslight
                              5. Bad For The Boy

                              SIDE B:
                              6. End Is Nigh
                              7. PC With Me
                              8. Divorce
                              9. Other Ladies
                              10. Too Far

                              Forever Turned Around came together over several sessions across the country. Though Julien Ehrlich is Whitney’s lead singing drummer while Max Kakacek is the lead guitarist, when writing, both transcend their roles to piece together each offering lyrically and compositionally. “The way it ends up working is one of us comes up with a basic idea for a song and the other person serves as the foil to complicate that idea. We ask, ‘What can we change to make it more interesting?’” says Kakacek. Challenging each other is the core of their songwriting partnership.

                              It’s these risks and experiments that make Forever Turned Around a triumph. Take opener “Giving Up,” which started from a stream-ofconscious revelation when Ehrlich improvised the chorus while Kakacek played Wurlitzer. What began as a nod to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971 in an afternoon turned into a heart-rending and relatable song about the ups and downs of long-term relationships. Over twinkling piano, Ehrlich sings, “Though we started losing touch / I’ve been hanging on because / You’re the only one I love.” He explains, “In a relationship, you don’t stay at the same level at all times. You go through weeks where you’re closed off.”

                              After a session with producers Bradley Cook (Hand Habits, Hiss Golden Messenger) and Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty) helped color in the arrangements, the album truly revealed itself when they reunited with original rhythm guitarist Ziyad Asrar in his basement Chicago studio—the same place where they hashed out much of their critically acclaimed 2016 debut, Light Upon The Lake. “Getting down there was so important because we’ve always used that basement for music. The comfort and familiarity mattered but having Ziyad be a buffer between us was so helpful,” says Ehrlich. With Asrar, songs like “Song For Ty” and “Forever Turned Around” effortlessly came together.

                              Restlessness is at the heart of Whitney’s resonant and stunning sophomore album Forever Turned Around. As Ehrlich and Kakacek realized life can change almost instantly. Priorities shift, relationships evolve, home can become far away, and even when luck momentarily works out, there’s still that underlying search for something better. Happiness can be fleeting but this album proves that even when it feels like time is turning on its head and there’s either a moment of clarity or crippling doubt, there’s still beauty in figuring it all out.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Whitney are absolutely unmistakable. After their 2016 outing 'Light Upon The Lake', i'm pretty sure i'd recognise those vocals anywhere. Stunning upbeat jangles, soulful progressions and smooth-as-silk percussion throughout.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Giving Up
                              2. Used To Be Lonely
                              3. Before I Know It
                              4. Song For Ty
                              5. Valleys (My Love)
                              6. Rhododendron
                              7. My Life Alone
                              8. Day & Night
                              9. Friend Of Mine
                              10. Forever Turned Around

                              If you’d claimed just a few years ago that Shura would make an album exploring 'all that love is,' few would have been as surprised as Aleksandra Denton herself (nicknamed Shura at a young age). Ever since the 2014 viral hit "Touch" - and its stunning video in which Shura, crucially, ended up alone - an impassioned global fanbase have awaited another record of heartbreak anthems. And when Shura started work on "Forevher’, she did so at her most tired and homesick, setting up shop in Minneapolis at the close of a two year tour cycle for her debut album, "Nothing’s Real". Here, "Religion (U Can Lay Your Hands On Me)" - along with the seeds of the Minneapolis sound - eventually became a lynchpin for the rest of the album. Just as importantly, it was in Minneapolis that Shura began talking to her current girlfriend online.

                              "Forevher," then, is a record born from a budding romance, covering everything from the initial pull of desire, to the giddy joy of finally being together, to recognising the moment when the connection develops from lust into something scarily meaningful. Here is a classic London-to-NYC love story but one told through the filter of dating apps and Skype chats. And whilst how to live - and love - as a queer woman has always been integral to Shura, it’s remarkable to hear these stories twisted through such a gorgeous amalgam of influences: Joni Mitchell and Minnie Riperton, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean, Prince and Ariel Pink. Through these inspirations, Shura’s own modern, outlier perspective found a newer, more daring approach to sound and song.

                              The luxurious groove of "Side Effects" shakes off the shackles of past love, chiefly saying goodbye 'to that more anxious iteration of me. I don’t miss her.' "Religion (U Can...)", meanwhile, is an unabashedly queer sex-jam - free of guilt, long-term future and faith itself.

                              As the album progresses, so too does the relationship deepen, with the risks and rewards getting greater and greater. "Forevher’ is an album that feels the fear and does it anyway: "Princess Leia" considers the fact real love means having so much more to lose. Elsewhere, "BKLYNLDN" looks at romantic longing through the lens of texts, anxiety-inducing silences and what presence and absence really means in today’s relationships. The record closes on the epic "Skyline", which builds to an explosive crescendo before levelling out to peace in a way that evokes some of the lusher, linear moments on Frank Ocean’s "Blonde". For Shura, this soundtrack’s not only her final relocation to New York but also a much deeper journey as an artist and young woman. "Forevher" feels the same as its creator: a little sharper, a little wiser.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              That’s Me, Just Sweet melody
                              Side Effects
                              Religion (U Can Lay Your hands On Me)
                              The Stage
                              BKLYNLDN
                              Tommy
                              Princess Leia
                              Flyin’
                              Forever
                              Control
                              Skyline, Be Mine

                              Faye Webster

                              Atlanta Millionaires Club

                                ‘Atlanta Millionaires Club’ is in Faye Webster’s feelings and that’s the way she likes it. “Everything is way personal,” Webster says. “I have to write about very personal things for me to even want to write.”

                                On the 21-year-old Atlanta native’s new album, the omnipresence of pedal steel eschews bluegrass trappings, flexible under Webster’s genre-bending direction. Webster didn’t set out to make it sound like any artist in particular but she cites Aaliyah as her main musical inspiration for how she uses sound. “That’s where I first heard, ‘Oh, there’s this weird guitar that’s bendy and it could totally be in a country song,’ but the way she’s using it is what makes her music so special to me,” Webster explains. “I try to do that. I try to change the way pedal steel is supposed to sound, or keys, to make it more R&B.”

                                Pulling from a familial lineage of folk storytelling and time spent in Atlanta’s hip hop scene, Webster’s work is a study of duality, weaving through her own introversion and heartbreak; it’s an idiosyncratic sadness punctuated by fleeting observations and an unexpected, sly sense of humour. And like the way Webster takes the traditional instrumentation of Americana and flips it into something else, she uses her own calm, laid-back demeanour to say you can be boldly and unapologetically yourself in a quiet way, too.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Room Temperature
                                Right Side Of My Neck
                                Hurts Me Too
                                Pigeon
                                Jonny
                                Kingstonv
                                Come To Atlanta
                                What Used To Be Mine
                                Flowers (ft Father)
                                Jonny (Reprise)

                                Songs: Ohia

                                Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions

                                  The Lioness is the first Jason Molina project to fully turn away from the battlefield folk and deconstructed Americana of earlier Songs: Ohia recordings. At the dawn of the 21st century, the album felt modern. It aligned Molina with a new set of peers — Low, Gastr del Sol, Red House Painters and, most importantly, the influential Scottish band Arab Strap, whose producer and members were crucial in the creation of The Lioness. The avantgarde tones and arrangements of Arab Strap are absorbed here into Molina’s songwriting to create what would become, for many acolytes, the archetypal Songs: Ohia sound. Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions, the box set reissue, will serve as the seminal log of the era, complete with lost songs, photos, drawings, and essays from those who knew Molina best.

                                  We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different. We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love — an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love.

                                  And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being. These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn “Wondrous Love.” While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing/Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. The Black Crow
                                  2. Tigress
                                  3. Nervous Bride
                                  4. Being In Love
                                  5. Lioness
                                  6. Coxcomb Red
                                  7. Back On Top
                                  8. Baby Take A Look
                                  9. Just A Spark
                                  10. On My Way Home (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  11. Never Fake It (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  12. From The Heart (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  13. It Gets Harder Over Time (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  14. I Promise Not To Quit (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  15. Neighbors Of Our Age (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  16. Pyrate II (Even Now) (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
                                  17. Velvet Marching Band (Lissy’s Sessions)
                                  18. Raw (Lissy’s Sessions)
                                  19. Already Through (Lissy’s Sessions)
                                  20. Wondrous Love (Lissy’s Sessions)

                                  Richard Swift

                                  The Atlantic Ocean

                                    Meticulously arranged and gorgeously recorded (including a session at Chicago’s famed Wilco Loft), ‘Atlantic Ocean’ is an immaculate kiss off. It’s a cheeky - if not wholly acrimonious - takedown of music industry artifice and hipster culture vapidity. “I’m part of the scene… I got the right LPs,” Swift begins the album on the title track over fuzzed Casio stabs and a clunky, bounding drum machine. The chorus of “Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, You’re gonna drown, drown drown” is itself a wee stab at a major label of a similar name. Across the entire album, Swift is burning bridges and the exposing trolls underneath. As the timeless Sly Stone-leaning burner ‘Lady Luck’ stretches to its climax, you get the sense that Swift has put his faith and trust into the familial love around him and not in the dangling carrot of music. Alongside 2007’s ‘Dressed Up For The Letdown’ and 2018’s posthumous ‘The Hex’, Richard Swift’s ‘The Atlantic Ocean’ (2009) completes his triumvirate of meta-pop masterpieces.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    The Atlantic Ocean
                                    The Original Thought
                                    Ballad Of Old What’s His Name
                                    R.I.P.
                                    Already Gone
                                    Hallelujah, Goodnight!
                                    The First Time
                                    Bat Coma Motown
                                    The End Of An Age
                                    A Song For Milton Feher
                                    Lady Luck

                                    Richard Swift

                                    Ground Trouble Jaw / Walt Wolfman - Reissue

                                      It was a great Swiftian irony that the shining moment of realization that is ‘Ground Trouble Jaw’ first saw its release as a modest, digital-only EP in 2008. Here Secretly Canadian right that wrong and pair it with 2011’s ‘Walt Wolfman’ EP, very much a spiritual twin of ‘Ground Trouble Jaw’. Walt Wolfman’’s blown-out, basement R&B speaker-shredders are not for the faint of heart. Highlight of the set, ‘MG 33’ is a raw and ghostly trance, a blast of kinetic energy and that jazz apple smoke blown right in your face. The quasi-title track ‘Walt Whitman’ is a cryptic salute to Whitman, whose American lineage of primal, urgent art can be traced to include Kerouac and Ray Johnson, Bo Diddley and Beefheart - right on through to Swift himself. He was an outsiderpop wanderkind who could do more with one worn, old mic than most men could with a high-end studio, taking ‘the holy moment’ and making it eternal.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Would You
                                      Lady Luck
                                      The Bully
                                      The Original Thought
                                      A Song For Milton
                                      Feher Whitman
                                      MG 333
                                      Laugh It Up
                                      Zombie Boogie
                                      Out & About
                                      Drakula (Hey Man!)
                                      St. Michael

                                      Richard Swift

                                      Dressed Up For The Letdown - Reissue

                                        Richard Swift confidently composed yet another original masterpiece; employing an archaic attitude of tempered restraint on a fresh collection of ten songs, without appearing shamelessly retro or kitschy. Playing a vast majority of the instruments himself, by virtue Swift has created something that is characteristically his. And considering his rough-around-the edges exterior, one could rightly assume that Swift desires the listener to accept him as an ordinary honest man with some honest songs - unmasked blemishes and all. Yet when one engages with Swift on this narrow-road-less-travelled, one immediately ignores the subtle imperfections shadowed by the all-consuming white light of well-crafted pop songs in an analogue heaven.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        Dressed Up For The Letdown
                                        The Songs Of National Freedom
                                        Most Of What I Know
                                        Buildings In America
                                        Artist & Repertoire
                                        Kisses For The Misses
                                        P.S. It All Falls Down
                                        Ballad Of You Know Who
                                        The Million Dollar Baby
                                        The Opening Band

                                        John Lennon & Yoko Ono

                                        Wedding Album

                                          Originally released in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Wedding Album’ was the couple’s third experimental album length record and one of the most remarkable of the duo’s testaments to an intense romantic and artistic partnership that would last fourteen years, until Lennon’s tragic passing in 1980.

                                          On March 20, 1969, John and Yoko were married in a civil service in Gibraltar. To celebrate the event, in lieu of a conventional honeymoon, the newlyweds spent a week in bed at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam, inviting members of the press into their room for interviews and photo sessions and using their fame and the publicity generated by their ‘Bed-in’ to call attention to their campaign for world peace.

                                          With ‘Wedding Album’, John and Yoko created an enduring snapshot of a vibrant pop-cultural moment, with the hostilities of the Vietnam War as its bracing backdrop. It captures the humour, earnestness, and spontaneity that marked the early years of the ‘Ballad of John and Yoko’ era.

                                          ‘Wedding Album’’s innovative, original packaging, created by graphic designer John Kosh, included a box filled with souvenirs of John and Yoko’s nuptials: photographs, a copy of the couple’s marriage certificate, both Lennon’s and Ono’s drawings, a picture of a slice of wedding cake and more. Now, with a faithful recreation of ‘Wedding Album’ on special edition white vinyl LP, as well as compact disc, Secretly Canadian are making one of the most unusual and emblematic recordings of the Sixties available again - fifty years after John and Yoko were married - to mark the Golden Wedding anniversary of two of the 20th Century’s most emblematic cultural figures.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          John & Yoko
                                          Amsterdam

                                          After releasing 2016’s critically acclaimed Apocalipstick, Cherry Glazerr spent the next 18 months touring the world on their own steam. Between DIY All Ages venues, rock clubs, large festival stages, and massive theaters with some of the world’s best and most beloved bands (The Pixies, Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and The Breeders, among others), the band has really only stopped to work on their follow up, Stuffed & Ready. While furiously building the band’s sound and ideas, front person Clem Creevy enlisted Carlos de La Garza to be the band’s studio co-collaborator as they evolved the songs and refined the recordings.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Heavy in parts, but with a carefully graduated delivery, Clem Creevey's voice rides over the top, lending an air of assertive dominance whilst still moving with the changing dynamics of the music. Heavy as f**k at certain points before breaking down into echoing gothic malaise. It's a superb outing, and one sure to impress fans old and new.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. Ohio
                                          2. Daddi
                                          3. Wasted Nun
                                          4. That’s Not My Real Life (feat. Delicate Steve)
                                          5. Self Explained
                                          6. Isolation
                                          7. Juicy Socks
                                          8. Pieces
                                          9. Stupid Fish
                                          10. Distressor

                                          Richard Swift

                                          The Novelist / Walking Without Effort

                                            "The Novelist" - Swift's highly acclaimed, succinct, eight song, nineteen minute and 38 second-long, audiophile archivist experiment - immediately ushers the listener deep into the recesses of Swift's creative core for a kaleidoscopic trip aboard an intergalactic vaudevillian steamship with a speakeasy code-word. Yet, "The Novelist" is only one small manifestation of Swift's entire musical manifesto and only one-half of this double-disc set. "Walking Without Effort" - the second disc in the two-disc set - is the first, and perhaps most deceptively complex, yet decisively understated, Swift release to date. A slight step eastward from the eclectic musings of "The Novelist", "Walking Without Effort" intentionally paints another image, and baptizes believers born-again into Swift's unique brand of sonic schizophrenia. Gramophones are replaced by 8-tracks and Persian rugs are covered with shag, as Swift nods to the early 70s solo efforts of McCartney and Harrison, while waving to Burt Bacharach and Van Dyke Parks.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            Foreward
                                            Lady Day
                                            Lovely Night
                                            Sadsong St.
                                            Blues For Mother
                                            The Novelist
                                            Ballad Of Clifford Swift
                                            Looking Back, I Should
                                            Have Been Home More
                                            Walking Without Effort
                                            Theme
                                            Half Lit
                                            In The Air
                                            As I Go
                                            Above & Beneath
                                            Mexico (1977)
                                            Losing Sleep
                                            Not Wasting Time
                                            Beautifulheart

                                            Goshen Electric Co.

                                            The Gray Tower / Ring The Bell

                                              Goshen Electric Co. happened both all at once and gradually: an electrifying culmination of Tim Showalter’s nearly two decades long love affair with Jason Molina’s craft and just one half-day in the recording studio with the members of Magnolia Electric Co. Ring The Bell, recorded in one take, roars in with a twinge of psychedelia, thrumming with vibe; Showalter’s wail recalls Molina’s sombre, choir-boy croon but roughened with sandpaper. The prophetic, dystopian darkness of ‘The Gray Tower’ captures the original soaring chorus and delicate melody with the power of a full band. Decades later, the intense, unflinching urgency of Molina’s songwriting endures. “There was such an intimate relationship with his music - it felt a lot deeper than just liking a song,” says Showalter. “You live in these songs.”

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              The Gray Tower
                                              Ring The Bell

                                              Steven A Clark

                                              Where Neon Goes To Die

                                              ‘Where Neon Goes To Die’ explores a complex relationship full of highs and lows. From sultry pop to heart aching ballads, the album retells Clark’s travels through the city’s nocturnal fantasyland through hooky, R&B-infused synth pop - file alongside Prince and Frank Ocean - that (maybe ironically) could fill the floors at the same clubs he’s singing about. Of course, when Clark writes about his city he’s really writing about himself.

                                              ‘Where Neon Goes To Die’ retells Clark’s travels through the Miami’s nocturnal fantasyland. At its core, it is the story of a musician casting aside the distractions of his youth and discovering not only a new level of maturity but a new level to his talents.

                                              After a string of mixtapes and EPs and his 2015 debut album ‘The Lonely Roller’, Clark is making music more confidently than he ever has before, sliding effortlessly between effervescent future disco on ‘Feel This Way’ to purple-tinged slow-burn soul on ‘Easy Fall’, a duet with Gavin Turek.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              Maria, Under The Moon
                                              Feel This Way
                                              Easy Fall
                                              On And On
                                              Found
                                              Did I Hurt U
                                              Evil Woman
                                              Days Like This
                                              War
                                              What Can I Do

                                              Serpentwithfeet

                                              Soil

                                                Serpentwithfeet is an experimental R&B / gospel vocalist and performance artist whose growing body of work is rooted in dueling obsessions with the ephemeral and the everlasting – key components of his artistic journey from a childhood stint as a choirboy in Baltimore through his time at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied vocal performance before relocating to New York City. "Soil" is a return to the sensibilities and wide-eyed curiosity of his musical youth before symmetry and sterile soundscapes ruled the roost. With the release of "Soil" the chameleonic Serpentwithfeet (born Josiah Wise) rediscovers and ultimately returns to the unhinged version of himself he was sure he had outgrown.

                                                On "Soil", Serpentwithfeet trades glossolalia and peacocking showmanship for intricately layered harmonies, a sumptuous bottom register that appears for the first time to challenge his fluttering tenor, and ballsy sonic experimentation encouraged by Gately, whose talent he describes as 'making voices sound like elephants and elephants sound like car engines.' Together they develop an unctuous sound that suggests billowing clouds and the dense, plodding stomp of 12-bar blues. Once concerned with perfect execution of gospel runs and dishing up a gossamer falsetto, Serpentwithfeet is out of balance and reveling in the concept of mess on "Soil". Particularly, what it means to part ways with sterility and the urge to uncoil himself in order to occupy more space. "Soil" is the moment at which he unfolds himself with zero intention of closing back up.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Tender synthy ballads, simmering jazzy influence and reticent gothic turns all form together on Serpentwithfeet's newest outing, at once soulful and bracing, before launching into reticent and delicate urban beats. Stunning stuff.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Whisper
                                                2. Messy
                                                3. Wrong Tree
                                                4. Fragrant
                                                5. Mourning Song
                                                6. Cherubim
                                                7. Seedless
                                                8. Invoice
                                                9. Waft
                                                10. Slow Syrip
                                                11. Bless Ur Heart

                                                Like previous albums, The Horizon Just Laughed started with a dream – though that’s where things change, as they often do. It is Damien Jurado’s first self-produced album in a 20+ year career, more personal and more rooted than even his Maraqopa trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he’s stumbled upon his home.

                                                The album feels like a beautiful collage — its narrative pieced together through letters and postcards, with each part contributing to its greater whole, and providing snapshots of ones journey to find a sense of place and connection to a changing world.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Jurado just goes from strength to strength, and this continues that trajectory. Beautiful production mixed with his singular songwriting ability make for a spellbinding and nuanced ride.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Allocate
                                                2. Dear Thomas Wolfe
                                                3. Percy Faith
                                                4. Over Rainbows And Rainier
                                                5. The Last Great Washington State
                                                6. Cindy Lee
                                                7. 1973
                                                8. Marvin Kaplan
                                                9. Lou-Jean
                                                10. Florence-Jean
                                                11. Random Fearless

                                                Makeness drops his debut album, "Loud Patterns" on the Secretely Canadian labe. Crafting tracks which make a virtue of disparate influences, Kyle Molleson manages to pull off something difficult: songs which have been tirelessly worked on, although sound loose-limbed and to-the-point.

                                                "Loud Patterns" is noticeably indebted to house and techno; there are 4/4 rhythms, and a no-nonsense directness that harks back to the Detroit pioneers. Channeling avant-garde experimentalism and an outsider’s interest in pop, Kyle embraces the distance between those two poles.

                                                Cosmic Slop, an underground institution in Leeds, was another touchstone. As Kyle recalls,'That place was definitely an awakening in terms of dance music.' It boasts a hand-built, peerless soundsystem, a near-pitch black dancefloor and a music policy that ranges from Dilla instrumentals to Detroit house. It takes dance music away from regimented structure, fashion and trends and into a freeform world of creative, one which Kyle thoroughly embraces.

                                                "Loud Patterns" arrives after a series of releases that have established his particular, in-between approach to dance-minded music. He put out two EPs on Manchester-based imprint Handsome Dad, a one-off single with Adult Jazz and self-released Temple Works EP; Whities also released a limited-edition white label of a Minor Science dub of one of his tracks.

                                                Containing single, “Stepping Out Of Sync" - 'for me is about losing a little bit of a grip on reality,' says Kyle. 'There’s a big nod to the world of pop music in the track and I wanted to reflect that in the video too. Josha and Felix, who directed the video, came up with this great time splicing technique using a custom 3-camera rig. The idea was to use the technique as a character in the video to add a sense of detachment from reality and subtly invert the upbeat aspect of the music. I had also been talking to my friend Maddie who is a brilliant dancer about working on some choreography for the video. These aspects seemed to come together perfectly when Josha and Felix started sending ideas across. I think the video really captures the range of emotions that exist in the track, it’s upbeat and positive aspect alongside a layer of dissonance and confusion that lies under the surface.'. 


                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Loud Patterns
                                                2. Fire Behind The 2 Louis
                                                3. Who Am I To Follow Love
                                                4. Stepping Out Of Sync
                                                5. Gold Star
                                                6. The Bass Rock
                                                7. Day Old Death
                                                8. Rough Moss
                                                9. Our Embrace
                                                10. 14 Drops
                                                11. Motorcycle Idling

                                                Suuns are pleased to announced their new album, Felt, coming out March 2nd on Secretly Canadian. Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie says, “This record is definitely looser than our last one [2016’s Hold/Still]. It’s not as clinical. There’s more swagger.” You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. It’s both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums [Zeroes QC and Images Du Futur] with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

                                                Complementing O’Neill are the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song on Felt while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about “freaky post-techno” and Frank Ocean’s use of space, he’s among your more modest studio desk jockeys: “Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played – hitting ‘record’ and ‘stop’. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music.”



                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Darryl says: Hypnotic synth throbs, dusty percussion workouts and flickering kosmische bass meet with ambient downtempo before thrashing forwards into dark dystopian minimal wave. Superb.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Look No Further
                                                2. X-ALT
                                                3. Watch You, Watch Me
                                                4. Baseline
                                                5. After The Fall
                                                6. Control
                                                7. Make It Real
                                                8. Daydream
                                                9. Peace And Love
                                                10. Moonbeams
                                                11. Materials

                                                Joey Dosik

                                                Game Winner

                                                  Joey Dosik didn’t set out to make a conceptual mini album about basketball. It was his first love before music and some of his earliest memories are of attending Lakers games but he’d never thought to look to the sport for inspiration. However, when Joey blew out his knee during his regular pick-up game and had to undergo reconstructive ACL surgery, he found himself confined to the couch, watching a lot of television and waiting to resume his normal life. He gravitated toward basketball and when he started recording again he found it seeping into his writing. The result is ‘Game Winner’, a brisk, emotive collection of songs loosely inspired by the language and lore of the game.

                                                  Joey is an inveterate collaborator who has worked extensively with the likes of Vulfpeck, Nikka Costa and Miguel Atwood Ferguson and who is a vital part of an LA scene that updates vintage sounds into a more contemporary context. ‘Game Winner’ was a different project with a different process; the lion’s share of the release was recorded solo in Joey’s home studio.

                                                  The common thread in the six songs - as well as the four bonus tracks - is musicality and song craft: the two pillars of Joey’s sound. “The most important thing is the song,” explains Joey. “Songwriting won’t go out of style.” It’s that approach, one that thinks beyond style, that gives the title track its magic. Minimal and almost languid, ‘Game Winner’ has a confidence that’s hard to place in time, an ease that meets a buzzer-beater just as well as it meets a Sunday morning. Basketball may have been Joey’s first love but the sport is also the perfect metaphor for where he’s ended up musically, always striving to stay timely and timeless, to bring deep, foundational elements in sync with innovation and imagination.

                                                  ‘Game Winner’ was originally released in 2016; this re-release features bonus tracks.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  The Night Before…
                                                  Game Winner
                                                  Running Away
                                                  …The Big Game
                                                  Competitive Streak
                                                  Game Winner Remix
                                                  Northridge Park (Bonus Track)
                                                  Game Winner By The JD’s (Bonus Track)
                                                  Running Away (Stripped Mix) (Bonus Track)
                                                  Gentle Giant (Bonus Track)

                                                  Whitney

                                                  Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings

                                                    ‘Light Upon The Lake’, the debut from Whitney, was born from early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the most brutal winters in Chicago’s history. Vocalist / drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek began writing unflinching, honest songs about everything from breakups to the passing of Ehrlich’s grandfather. The pair leaned on one another for both honest critique and a sounding board for working through their newly-discovered truths.

                                                    The brief, intense period of creativity for the band yielded ‘Light Upon The Lake’s exceptional, unfussy combination of soul, breezy Sixties / Seventies rock and sombre heartbreak woven together by hopeful, golden threads. After critical acclaim and nearly nonstop touring since the album’s 2016 release, Ehrlich and Kakacek are going back to their roots - for the first time, the full demos from ‘Light Upon The Lake’ will be made available. After a whirlwind year following the debut, the demos offer a way for listeners to get a glimpse into the very beginning of Whitney’s sound.

                                                    “After almost two years of non-stop touring, we decided we wanted to close the chapter on ‘Light Upon The Lake’ by releasing the songs in their earliest incarnations alongside a cover of a band favorite by Alan Toussaint, and an unreleased track called ‘You and Me’. We’re looking towards LP2 as we finish out the year on the road.” - Love, Max and Julien

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    No Woman (demo)
                                                    The Falls (demo)
                                                    Golden Days (demo)
                                                    Dave’s Song (demo)
                                                    You And Me (demo)
                                                    No Matter Where We Go (demo)
                                                    On My Own (demo)
                                                    Polly (demo)
                                                    Follow (demo)
                                                    Southern Nights (Allen Toussaint Cover)

                                                    William Eggleston

                                                    Musik

                                                      Native Memphian William Eggleston, 77, is widely regarded to be the most important photographer of the late 20th Century but there is another side to him that took root in his Sumner, Mississippi childhood, where he discovered the piano in the parlour that ignited in him a lifelong passion for music.

                                                      In the 1980’s, Eggleston, who disdained digital cameras and modernity in general, became surprisingly fascinated with a synthesizer, the Korg O1/W FD, which had 88 piano-like keys and in addition to being able to emulate the sound of any instrument, also contained a four-track sequencer that allowed him to expand the palette of his music, letting him create improvised symphonic pieces, stored on 49 floppy discs, encompassing some 60 hours of music from which this 13 track recording was assembled.

                                                      The music, which he refers to as ‘Musik’, adopting the German spelling of his hero, JS Bach, is highly emotional, whether he’s improvising a Bach-like organ fanfare out of whole cloth, using a Korg patch titled ‘Guitar Feedback’ to create a dirge, or playing Lerner and Lowe’s ‘On The Street Where You Live’ as a dramatic overture.

                                                      Release available in a beautiful gatefold double LP with photography by Alex Soth.

                                                      Alex Cameron

                                                      Forced Witness

                                                        “Up until 2014 I was an investigator’s assistant in a public law office. I can’t tell you exactly what my job was on account of I signed a shut your mouth agreement around the time I quit for stress related reasons. But what I can say is that I dealt with corruption and badness perpetrated at the highest levels of authority, daily. I clocked all these leads and I made a file. Because these aren’t things you keep in the dark. You shine a light on the badness and you strive to understand it.

                                                        “From a dossier on all things delicate and beautiful and sadly human. Crimes of passion and victims of love. All contained in 10 hot songs. Who’s the culprit? I’ve got my inklings and you can get your own. But first you need to listen to the thing, take it all in, stick photos to your walls and connect them with string, measure footprints in the yard, wear a suit made of reeds, track the migration patterns of birds, intercept whispered transmissions, learn to eat spiders with a hunting knife, sleep in air ducts, make the case.

                                                        “Here it is, my album: ‘Forced Witness’.” - Alex Cameron

                                                        Album features guest appearances by Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Angel Olsen and Weyes Blood.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        Candy May
                                                        Country Figs
                                                        Runnin’ Outta Luck
                                                        Stranger’s Kiss (duet With Angel Olsen)
                                                        True Lies
                                                        Studmuffin96
                                                        The Chihuahua
                                                        The Hacienda
                                                        Marlon Brando
                                                        Politics Of Love

                                                        Yoko Ono

                                                        Feeling The Space

                                                          If you’ve listened to ‘Feeling The Space’, Yoko Ono’s personalis- political 1973 album, it should come as no surprise that the once-reviled artist is inspiring a new generation of activists in 2017.

                                                          On such songs as the righteous chant ‘Woman Power’, the empathetic ballad ‘Angry Young Woman’, the hilarious protogrrrl ‘Potbelly Rocker’ and the satirical ‘Men, Men, Men’, Yoko sings in surprisingly straightforward fashion about the burdens carried by women and the mandate for feminism.

                                                          Supported by such skilled studio vets as guitarist David Spinozza, sax player Michael Brecker and drummer Jim Keltner, this is perhaps Yoko’s most accessible album and her most intimate.

                                                          ‘Feeling The Space’ was recorded during the time when the avant-garde visionary artist became estranged from her rock star husband John Lennon. He plays only briefly on the album (billed as Johnny O’Cean); she produced and wrote all the songs. The result is a definitive soundtrack / document of the era of consciousness raising and of radical critique of the family structure. Yoko and company deliver this hard message soft rock style, or as soft as Yoko could get. Yoko was on the front lines of the women’s liberation movement.

                                                          Dedicated “to the sisters who died in pain and sorrow and those who are now in prisons and in mental hospitals for being unable to survive in the male society,” it’s an emotional exploration of the psychological toll of oppression.

                                                          Available again for the first time in decades.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          Growing Pain
                                                          Yellow Girl (Stand By For Life)
                                                          Coffin Car
                                                          Woman Of Salem
                                                          Run, Run, Run
                                                          If Only
                                                          A Thousand Times Yes
                                                          Straight Talk
                                                          Angry Young Woman
                                                          She Hits Back
                                                          Woman Power
                                                          Men, Men, Men

                                                          Across three studio albums, the Swedish singer/songwriter and musician has proven not only his flair for telling very personal stories with a sharp self-awareness, but also his skill for balancing depth of emotional expression with droll and often self-deprecating detail. It’s a winning pop combination.

                                                          His fourth, Life Will See You Now is a typical Lekman album in several ways: sly humor is key to its heartfelt nature; it inverts pop’s writing norm by making songs with sad concerns sound happy and songs with a happy subject sound sad; and it plays with notions of identity and the self.

                                                          But, as the title suggests, it also represents a significant move forward, as if across a threshold. I Know What Love Isn’t (2012) was informed by a painful relationship breakdown that pitched its author into something of a crisis and so necessarily put him at its center, using a muted sound palette.

                                                          But Life Will See You Now is the more expansive, upbeat sound of a revitalized Lekman, who is just one of many characters in his new stories about the magic and messiness of different kinds of relationships. It’s also the result of deliberate steps he took to create this fresh sound.

                                                          Lekman experiments with different kinds of rhythms – disco, calypso, samba and bossa nova all get a bespoke twirl in the spotlight – and so he called on producer Ewan Pearson (M83, The Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp) to help realize his new songs.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Twee outsider-pop pieces, silken strings and shimmering guitars, topped by Lekman's brilliantly emotive vocals. Groovy, with meaningful melodies, constantly evolving chord progressions and a unique pop sensibility makes this stand out as one of the great voices of our time.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. To Know Your Mission
                                                          2. Evening Prayer
                                                          3. Hotwire The Ferris Wheel
                                                          4. What’s That Perfume That You Wear?
                                                          5. Our First Fight
                                                          6. Wedding In Finistère
                                                          7. How We Met, The Long Version
                                                          8. How Can I Tell Him
                                                          9. Postcard #17
                                                          10. Dandelion Seed

                                                          It’s with great excitement that Cherry Glazerr announces their new album, Apocalipstick, out January 20th. The band’s first album for Secretly Canadian was recorded at Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Sound studio with acclaimed producers Joe Chicarrelli (The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes) and Carlos De La Garza (Bleached, M83, Paramore).

                                                          To celebrate, the band is sharing “Nurse Ratched,” which was written by lead singer Clementine Creevy as she mused on the evil Nurse Ratched character in Ken Kesey’s masterpiece, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The track’s slasher flick video is directed by horror film director/producer Roxanne Benjamin, who is known for her films Southbound and V/H/S, among other work. Perfectly timed for its release on Halloween, watch as what appears to be an innocent albeit bizarre hitchhiking ride turns into a bloody massacre. “Nurse Ratched” is the second single to be heard from the forthcoming record and follows the previously shared “Told You I’d Be With Guys.”

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Hard-hitting neon rock and roll. Aggressive Motorheaded guitars, pummeling drum riffs and half-time breakdowns. Chorused guitars, snappy snares and hollaring vocals come together into a satisfying chorus before breaking into rocking mayhem once again. Brilliantly accomplished, and great fun.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1 Told You I'd Be With The Guys
                                                          2 Trash People
                                                          3 Moon Dust
                                                          4 Humble Pro
                                                          5 Nuclear Bomb
                                                          6 Only Kid On The Block
                                                          7 Lucid Dreams
                                                          8 Sip O'Poison
                                                          9 Nurse Ratched
                                                          10 Instagratification
                                                          11 Apocalipstick

                                                          Over the weekend of August 21-22, 2010, not long after Damien Jurado and Richard Swift first collaborated to produce Damien’s 2010 record, ‘Saint Bartlett’, the pair hunkered down with a 4- track recorder and one Coles 4038 ribbon microphone to record a collection of cover songs that run the gamut from John Denver to Chubby Checker to Kraftwerk.

                                                          The timing was perfect. On ‘Other People’s Songs Volume One’ one can see the scaffolding of what would become a creative turning point for the pair - later seen with the release of Damien Jurado’s ‘Maraqopa’, the first record in his Maraqopa trilogy - less than two years later. The opening drum hits of ‘Be Not So Fearful’, the falsetto vocals of ‘Sweetness’ and the Spaghetti-Western swing of ‘Radioactivity’ are, by now, hallmarks of the Jurado / Swift sound but ‘Other People’s Songs Volume One’ is a transitional fossil, a marking of the pair’s collaborative evolution.

                                                          This is the first time ‘Other People’s Songs Volume One’ is available on CD and LP.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          Be Not So Fearful
                                                          Hello Sunshine
                                                          Sweetness
                                                          Sincere Replies
                                                          If The Sun Stops Shinin’
                                                          Follow Me
                                                          Outside MyWindow
                                                          Radioactivity
                                                          Crazy Like A Fox

                                                          John Lennon & Yoko Ono

                                                          Unfinished Music, No. 2: Life With The Lions

                                                          The sound of Ono and Lennon validating their love as something impenetrable and timeless. It’s when we, the listener, begin to fully understand that the scope of their recording efforts was much more than a recording collaboration and something closer to a performative documentary, a declaration of “Our life and our love is our art - every nitty, gritty part of it.”

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          Cambridge 1969
                                                          No Bed For Beatle John
                                                          Baby’s Heartbeat
                                                          Two Minutes Silence
                                                          Radio Play

                                                          Alex Cameron

                                                          Jumping The Shark

                                                            'My name is Alex Cameron and I won't waste your time. When you're talking about me and my business partner, Roy Molloy, you're talking about the online cowboys in the wild-west days of the World Wide Web. And if you want to know what we're really about just look at all the things you wish you'd done differently. All the things you stopped yourself from doing on account of the fear of failure, or rejection. Weigh that up against your ambitions. Think about your work ethic. We're reclaiming failure as an act of progress. An act of learning. Something to celebrate.

                                                            A word's meaning can change depending on who utters the thing; and so we present characters - shapes are morphed and stories are delivered. This is a collection of 4-minute tales written to provide you with insight into the inner workings of failed ambitions and self-destruction. Unedited, uncensored, and without inhibition. I've learned to reveal what I want to unlearn. I cast a light on the darkness and in doing so understand love and compassion. Fear is to be confronted, and to learn strictly requires failure - over and over. Celebrate failure with Jumping The Shark.'

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1 Happy Ending
                                                            2 Gone South
                                                            3 Real Bad Lookin
                                                            4 The Comeback
                                                            5 She's Mine
                                                            6 Internet
                                                            7 Mongrel
                                                            8 Take Care Of Business

                                                            Gordi

                                                            Clever Disguise

                                                              There are few young songwriters the calibre of Sophie Payten. At 22 years of age, Gordi distils a broad spectrum of emotional experience into captivating, spine-tingling musical gems - a worldly vocal punctuated by wonderful arrangements.

                                                              Gordi’s musical instincts began on the piano at an early age by virtue of her music teacher mother. Like so many of her musical heroes, she was later drawn to the earthiness of the steel string - a useful piece of armoury to have growing up on a farming property in Canowindra in rural New South Wales, Australia.

                                                              However, the craft in her songwriting is found partly in the emotional spectrum that her tracks span. From wistful aching to spirited celebration, her lyrical journeys take us places in our memories and imaginations that belie her 22 years.

                                                              The candour in Gordi’s songs is matched by a vocal tone that is at once fractured and brimming with richness. Combining vintage vocal layering and earthy guitar textures with delicate modern electronic production, Gordi’s sonic palette is one she can call her own.

                                                              Whitney make casually melancholic music that combines the wounded drawl of Townes Van Zandt, the rambunctious energy of Jim Ford, the stoned affability of Bobby Charles, the American otherworldliness of The Band, and the slack groove of early Pavement. Their debut, Light Upon the Lake, is due in June on Secretly Canadian, and it marks the culmination of a short, but incredibly intense, creative period for the band. Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich, to say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. The band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone.

                                                              Ehrlich had been a member of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but left to play drums for the Smith Westerns, where he met guitarist Kakacek. That group burned brightly but briefly, disbanding in 2014 and leaving its members adrift. Brief solo careers and side-projects abounded, but nothing clicked. Making everything seem all the more fraught: both of them were going through especially painful breakups almost simultaneously, the kind that inspire a million songs, and they emerged emotionally bruised and lonelier than ever.

                                                              Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago history, after Ehrlich and Kakacek reconnected - first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth. “We approached it as just a fun thing to do. We never wanted to force ourselves to write a song. It just happened very organically. And we were smiling the whole time, even though some of the songs are pretty sad.” The duo wrote frankly about the break-ups they were enduring and the breakdowns they were trying to avoid. Each served as the other’s most brutal critic and most sympathetic confessor, a sounding board for the hard truths that were finding their way into new songs like “No Woman” and “Follow,” a eulogy for Ehrlich’s grandfather.

                                                              In exorcising their demons they conjured something else, something much more benign—a third presence, another personality in the music, which they gave the name Whitney. They left it singular to emphasize its isolation and loneliness. Whitney is named after Whitney, a muse they created as a songwriting conduit—a phantom third member of the band. Says Kakacek, “We were both writing as this one character, and whenever we were stuck, we’d ask, ‘What would Whitney do in this situation?’ We personified the band name into this person, and that helped a lot. We wrote the record as though one person were playing everything. We purposefully didn’t add a lot of parts and didn’t bother making everything perfect, because the character we had in mind wouldn’t do that.”

                                                              In those imperfections lies the music’s humanity. Whilst they demoed and toured the new songs, they became more aware of the perfect imperfections of the songs, and needing to strike the right balance, eventually making the trek out to California, where they recorded with Foxygen frontman and longtime friend, Jonathan Rado. They slept in tents in Rado’s backyard, ate the same breakfast every morning at the same diner in the remote, desolate and completely un-rock n roll San Fernando Valley, whilst they dreamt of Laurel Canyon, or maybe The Band’s hideout in Malibu, or Neil Young’s ranch in Topanga Canyon.

                                                              The analog recording methods, the same as used by their forebearers, allowed them to concentrate on the songs themselves and create moments that would be powerful and unrepeatable. “Tape forces you to get a take down,” says Kakacek. “We didn’t have enough tracks to record ten takes of a guitar part and choose the best one later. Whatever we put down is all we had. That really makes you as a musician focus on the performance.” The sessions were loose, with room for improvisation and new ideas, as the band expanded from that central duo into a dynamic sextet (septet if you count their trusty soundman). And that’s what you hear – Whitney is the sound of that songwriting duo expanding their group and delivering the sound of a band at their freest, their loosest, their giddiest.

                                                              Classic and modern at the same time, they revel in concrete details, evocative turns of phrase, and thorny emotions that don’t have exact names. These ten songs on Light Upon the Lake sound like they could have been written at any time in the last fifty years. Ehrlich and Kakacek emerge as imaginative and insightful songwriting partners, impressive in their scope and restraint as they mold classic rock lyricism into new and personal shapes without sound revivalist or retro. Whitney arrive as a fully formed gang of outsiders, their album rich in the musical history of the classic bands of the 60s and 70s who, like Whitney, were greater than the sum of their parts. “I’m searching for those golden days.” sings Ehrlich, with a subtle ripple of something that sounds like hope, on the track “Golden Days”. It’s a song that defines Whitney as a band. “There’s a lot of true feeling behind these songs,” says Ehrlich. “We wanted them to have a part of our personalities in them. We wanted the songs to have soul.”

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1 No Woman
                                                              2 The Falls
                                                              3 Golden Days
                                                              4 Dave's Song
                                                              5 Light Upon The Lake
                                                              6 No Matter Where We Go
                                                              7 On My Own
                                                              8 Red Moon
                                                              9 Polly
                                                              10 Follow

                                                              Hold/Still, the third studio album from Suuns, is an enigmatic thing: an eerily beautiful, meticulously played suite of music that embraces opposites and makes a virtue of cognitive dissonance. It is a record that does not give up its secrets easily. The 11 songs within are simultaneously psychedelic, but austere; sensual, but cold; organic, but electronic; tense sometimes to the brink of mania, but always retaining perfect poise and control. "There's an element of this album that resists you as a listener, and I think that's because of these constantly opposing forces," says drummer Liam O'Neill. "Listen to the song 'Brainwash', for instance, "It's a very soft, lyrical guitar song, existing alongside extremely aggressive and sparse drum textures. It inhabits these two worlds at the same time."

                                                              From the beginning, Suuns (you pronounce it "soons", and it translates as "zeroes" in Thai) have sought to do things differently. They formed in Montreal 2007, when singer/guitarist Ben Shemie and guitarist Joe Yarmush got together to work on some demos, soon to be joined by Liam, Ben's old schoolfriend, on drums and Max Henry on synth. Their group's first two records, 2010's Zeroes QC and 2012's Polaris Prize-nominated Images Du Futur – both released on Secretly Canadian – were immediate critical hits, and Suuns soon found themselves part of a late '00s musical renaissance in the city, alongside fellow groups like The Besnard Lakes, Islands and Land Of Talk. Still, at the same time, Suuns feel remote from the big, baroque ensembles and apocalyptic orchestras that typify the Montreal scene. "We write quite minimal music," thinks Ben. "They're not traditional song forms, sometimes they don't really go anywhere – but they have their own kind of logic." Or as Joe puts it: "It's pop music, but sitting in this evil space."

                                                              After two records produced by their friend Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes at his Montreal studio Breakglass, Suuns decided Hold/Still demanded a different approach. In May 2015, they decamped to Dallas, Texas to work with Grammy- winning producer John Congleton (St Vincent, The War On Drugs, Sleater- Kinney). For three intense weeks, the four recorded in Congleton's studio by day, the producer driving them to capture perfect live takes with virtually no overdubbing. At night, they returned to their cramped apartment and stewed. "Recording in Montreal, it's more of a party atmosphere," says Joe. "Here it felt like we were on a mission. We were looking for something to take us out of our element, or that might seep into our music." Luckily, the effect was galvanizing. Under Congleton's instruction, 'Translate' and 'Infinity', songs the group had been reworking for years, suddenly found their form.

                                                              The result is undoubtedly Suuns' most focused album to date, the sound of a band working in mental lockstep, crafting a guitar music that feels unbeholden to clear traditions or genre brackets. From the haunted electronic blues of 'Nobody Can Save Me Now' to throbbing seven-minute centrepiece 'Careful', Hold/Still foregrounds the work of Max, a synthesizer obsessive who builds hisown patches and confesses to using cranky or budget equipment as well as top-of-the-range kit because "[good gear] does all the work for you, and that's not always fun". Certainly, this is a band as inspired by the dark groove textures of Andy Stott, the flourishing arpeggios of James Holden or the serrated productions of Death Grips as anything familiarly rock. "Things don't feel right until they've been touched or cast over in an electronic light," elaborates Liam. "It's rare that acoustic drum kit, guitar, and bass comprise a finished product for us. For a song to be Suuns, it has to be coloured by electronics".

                                                              Certainly this remains a band in love with the aesthetic of obscurity. The album cover is an image of Ben's former workmate Nahka, who was captured by photographer Caroline Desilets using a pinhole camera with a four-minute exposure time – Hold/Still, indeed.

                                                              In another contradiction, this record finds Ben's vocals far more enunciated and upfront than before. If there are themes that tie Hold/Still together, says Ben, they might be investigations "about sex... perhaps not the act specifically, just [themes] of a sexual nature. But there's also a spiritual undertone that points to another kind of searching." The sexual is illustrated in the dark romance of 'Careful', while longing becomes both sexual and spiritual in the thirsty pleas of 'Instrument': "I wanna believe/I wanna receive..." The spiritual takes over on the back half of the record. 'Nobody Can Save Me Now' evokes artist Tracey Emin's ghostly invocation For You at the Liverpool Cathedral: "I felt you / and I knew that you loved me", while side B opener 'Brainwash' wonders: "Do you see, all seeing? / Do you know, all knowing?"

                                                              In a cultural centre like Montreal, bands can get too comfortable playing to their peers. Suuns, though, feel like a band always looking to the nearest border. They found early audiences in France and in Belgium, where they curated the Sonic City Festival in 2012, booking acts as diverse as Swans, Tim Hecker and Demdike Stare. Meanwhile, the last couple of years have seen them tour as far afield as Mexico, Morocco, Beirut, Taiwan and Istanbul – sometimes with friend Radwan Moumneh of the multimedia project Jerusalem In My Heart, with whom they released a brilliant collaborative record, Suuns And Jerusalem In My Heart last year.

                                                              "We tour a lot as a band and we've been all over the map at this point," says Ben. "There is a concerted effort on our part, when the opportunity arises, to do that. It's like, this time, let's try to go further east, let's try to go further south. You find yourself playing in front of people who don't get bands playing in front of them often, and that can be really fun." In short, good things happen when you venture outside of your comfort zone – a truth that you could equally apply to Hold/Still itself: an album which derives its eerie power from simmering tensions and strange, stark juxtapositions, and in doing so, directs rock music down a new, unventured path.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Hold/Still is a chaotic and jagged foray into the recesses of thought. Distorted synth pulses underpinning cracked drums and glitched pads. Hypnotic repeated guitar loops bringing things back to earth before exploding into a rain of percussion and psych-drone chanting. Exhilarating and deep, the appeal of this grows with every listen and it is more than worth the time.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Fall
                                                              2. Instrument
                                                              3. Un-No
                                                              4. Resistance
                                                              5. Mortise And Tenon
                                                              6. Translate
                                                              7. Brainwash
                                                              8. Careful
                                                              9. Paralyzer
                                                              10. Nobody Can Save Me Now
                                                              11. Infinity

                                                              Damien Jurado

                                                              Visions Of Us On The Land

                                                              Providing the ideal entry point for neophytes and an intoxicating aural high for the faithful, Damien Jurado’s new opus extends the hot streak ignited by 2012s Maraqopa and its 2014 follow-up Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. Cut once again with label mate and super producer Richard Swift at the latters National Freedom recording facility in rural Oregon, Visions of Us On The Land, out 3/18 on Secretly Canadian, completes the tale of an individual who has had to disappear from society in order to discover some universal truths. Today, we’re excited to share the song “Exit 353,” premiered by NPR Music.

                                                              There was no grand scheme to make a trilogy at the outset. Exuberantly prolific, its creator simply wanted the first record to be “a quick snapshot,” says Jurado. “Maraqopa is this peaceful place I can go to in my mind. A little bit psychedelic, but youre not using substances. The brain is such a powerful thing. In that uncharted territory I was able to tap in and find this place. Which was called Maraqopa. Similar to the fictional towns in television or books.”

                                                              Maraqopa the album introduced a character deliberately unnamed, intended to represent anyone feeling that way who stumbles upon the titular locale then gets into a car crash… which only frees him further. Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. It picked up the narrative after the accident, in a commune inhabited by Silver Timothy, Silver Donna, and Silver Malcolm. Visions of Us On The Land journeys further into the subconscious mind, a symbolic road trip spotlighting the people and towns that our central figure and his travelling companion, Silver Katherine, encounter upon leaving the commune. Hence the capitalized track titles, alluding to real American locations refracted through ones third eye in the rear view mirror. Like all great art, its about life and death and love and freedom. A sonic map with no set destination, revealing more with each ride.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Andy says: I was a massive johnny-come-lately with this guy, whilst my shop customer-friends had been extolling his virtues for years. Well, they were right! This is proper, deep, cavernously produced Americana with a subtle psych twist, and again, just huge, huge songs throughout. There's a lot on here and it is all good. Now for his OTHER ten records!!

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1 November 20
                                                              2 Mellow Blue Polka Dot
                                                              3 QACHINA
                                                              4 Lon Bella
                                                              5 Sam And Davy
                                                              6 Prisms
                                                              7 ONALASKA
                                                              8 TAQOMA
                                                              9 On The Land Blues
                                                              10 Walrus
                                                              11 Exit 353
                                                              12 Cinco De Tomorrow
                                                              13 And Loraine
                                                              14 A.M. AM.
                                                              15 Queene Anne
                                                              16 Orphans In The Key Of E
                                                              17 Kola1

                                                              Ben Abraham

                                                              Sirens

                                                                In contrast to its ethereal title, Ben Abraham’s ‘Sirens’ is deeply human. Its songs were written over the artist’s developing years as a writer and the album has become a kind of musical documentary of the loss, longing and growth that carried Abraham from his very first lyric to this, his first album.

                                                                Abraham first found his voice writing songs whilst working in a hospital. Eight years on, he’s made an album, toured with Emmylou Harris, co-written with Grammy-nominated singer Sarah Barreilles and made ‘Sirens’, his debut album.

                                                                Originally self-released in Australia, ‘Sirens’ is now receiving a worldwide release via Secretly Canadian.

                                                                Ben recorded ‘Sirens’ with two local friends, Jono Steer (who was his live mixer) and percussionist Leigh Fisher. A number of other Melbourne musicians joined in on sessions, including Gossling, whose angelic voice can be heard in the opening track. Gotye helped produce the haunting vocals on ‘Speak’, while ‘experimental electronic producer’ Tim Shiel assisted on ‘This Is On Me’.

                                                                ‘This Is On Me’, co-written / sung with platinum-selling artist Sara Bareilles, has its own story. After Abraham posted a song (‘To Sara, From Ben’) on YouTube, Bareilles’ fans began to tweet the video and it grabbed her attention. When she played Melbourne in 2011, she invited Abraham up on stage to co-sing a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’ and an original co-write was subsequently born.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                Sirens
                                                                Time
                                                                I Belong To You
                                                                She
                                                                You And Me
                                                                Collide
                                                                To Love Someone
                                                                Home
                                                                This Is On Me
                                                                Speak
                                                                Somebody’s Mother
                                                                Songbird
                                                                A Silent Prayer

                                                                Miami by way of Fayetteville and Little Rock, Steven A Clark’s raw, confessional singing and personal stories pair with pulsing synthesizers and rhythms that hang in the air like a glowing grid of roadside neon. It’s a means for the soft-spoken artist to process all the drama in his head. 

                                                                On songs such as ‘Not You’, he flips a brutally honest breakup tale and draws emotions and empathy from being on the ‘right’ side of the conversation. 

                                                                The title track uses a slinky, sensual beat to create a perfect backdrop to tell the story of a weekend-long tryst in Vegas. For a man of few words, his unadorned and uncomplicated lyrics hit home. 

                                                                “… a heroic underdog of the specific, delivering diarylike lyrics detailed enough to provide a loaded portrait of a young man in transition.” - SPIN

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                Lonely Roller
                                                                Trouble Baby
                                                                Not You
                                                                Can’t Have
                                                                Bounty Time
                                                                Machine
                                                                Floral Print
                                                                Part Two
                                                                She’s In Love
                                                                Young, Wild, Free

                                                                As Zach Yudin and his twin brother and bandmate, Ben, went in to create their new album, what it all came back to was something personal. While they now call Los Angeles home, they drew from the nostalgia of their childhood growing up in Davis, CA; the nostalgia in their music that is as much about a place they’ve never been as any actual experience. And it was that wandering imagination and a punchy California dream that eventually grew to become Dancing at the Blue Lagoon.

                                                                While their sun-drenched, jangly, sometimes melancholic sound is quintessentially Californian, the album very much their California. It’s the sound of kids from the suburbs who fantasize in Technicolor, whose view of the Golden State is its own form of idealism.

                                                                Dancing at the Blue Lagoon is all about a band testing its comfort zone and asking us to do the same. Zach and Ben would “create bands that were more like a musical idea,” record a few songs, and then move on. Cayucas grew out of this period of experimentation. Cayucas has taken sound we thought we knew and turned in into something personal and complex.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                Big Winter Jacket
                                                                Moony Eyed Walrus
                                                                Hella
                                                                Champion
                                                                Ditches
                                                                Dancing At The Blue
                                                                Lagoon
                                                                Backstroke
                                                                A Shadow In The Dark
                                                                Blue Lagoon (Theme Song)

                                                                Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

                                                                Suuns & Jerusalem In My Heart

                                                                  Beginning in November 2012, Suuns and longtime friend Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart rented a studio in Montreal for seven days. The idea was to collaborate on rough sketches of song ideas and to complete as much recording as possible without discrimination. The session was successful, yielding many vibe-laden songs featuring heavy analogue synths, Arabic influences and electronic sensibilities.

                                                                  After the session the recordings laid dormant. Both bands were releasing individual albums; touring was to ensue shortly. Some editing time was squeezed in between tour dates but a full year passed before the songs were heard by an audience. The collaborative band did a live show at Pop Montreal 2013 and then another the following March. At that point the project was kickstarted into gear. The band over-dubbed and re-worked the songs in the summer of 2014 and finally, whilst on tour in October, finished the vocal overdubs and mixing. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart did the tracking and most of the mixing while Max Henry of Suuns handled some mixing as well.

                                                                  Woman's Hour

                                                                  Her Ghost / I Need You

                                                                    Brand new UK signings for Secretly Canadian, Woman’s Hour, release their new 7” single.

                                                                    Woman’s Hour are already one of the most blogged and talked about bands of 2014, having spent 2013 touring and building a solid UK fanbase with their first two singles.

                                                                    The band have just opened for Anna Calvi on a string of shows and are soon to be seen playing with Metronomy, as well as a run of their own.

                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Andy says: Gorgeous, pulsing, 80's mix of chunky electronics and subtle guitars with a big, sad female vocal. Subtly epic and really rather good!

                                                                    The singer / songwriter of Here We Go Magic releases his new solo album. In 2008, Luke Temple made what would become the first Here We Go Magic album, forming the band and releasing the self-titled debut in 2009. Since Here We Go Magic’s 2012 release, ‘A Different Ship’, Luke has returned to his original solo ideas.

                                                                    ‘Good Mood Fool’ is an extension of the first self titled Here We Go Magic record. It was recorded with the same sense of freedom and joy. The meat of the record finds Luke taking a sharp turn in order to keep himself interested.

                                                                    First single ‘Katie’ is a prime slice of mid 80s intelligent pop, almost ‘So’-era Peter Gabriel in its rhythms and sound. Meanwhile, ‘Florida’ is a blue eyed soul hit, a lazy sunny evening of summer beauty.

                                                                    ‘Good Mood Fool’ draws from myriad influences, from the hushed soulful wail of Curtis Mayfield to the dense harmonies of Gill Evans and the Bulgarian Women’s Choir. It is meant to be clear in production and in content, hiding nothing.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    Hard Working Hand
                                                                    Katie
                                                                    Florida
                                                                    Those Kids
                                                                    Jessica Brown Findlay
                                                                    Sue
                                                                    Terrified Witness
                                                                    Love Won’t Receive
                                                                    Hardest Working Self Made Mexican

                                                                    Dungeonesse

                                                                    Dungeonesse

                                                                    Dungeonesse, the pop project of Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock Of Dimes) and Jon Ehrens (White Life), release their self-titled debut album on Secretly Canadian.

                                                                    Born of a mutual admiration for Top 40 and R&B and the mechanics of what makes a hit song, the Baltimore natives and longtime friends Wasner and Ehrens began putting jams together remotely. Ehrens would send tracks from LA to Wasner on tour, and they’d bounce ideas back and forth.

                                                                    The charming strength of the resulting Dungeonesse rests in the dichotomy formed by of a bold re-introduction of the beautiful imperfections of the human voice into a landscape of what is an increasingly mechanized process of music making. The fun resides in the listen.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    Shucks
                                                                    Drive You Crazy
                                                                    Show You
                                                                    Private Party
                                                                    Nightlight
                                                                    This Could Be Home (ft TT The Artist)
                                                                    Wake Me Up
                                                                    Cadiallac (ft DDm)
                                                                    Anywhere You Are
                                                                    Soon

                                                                    Montreal’s Suuns spent the winter and spring of 2012 writing and recording ‘Images Du Futur’. Their sessions were concurrent with the Quebec student protests that started in February of 2012 and continued through September of this year. Set against a backdrop lead singer Ben Shemie calls “a climate of excitement, hope and frustration,” Suuns aimed for an expansion of the musical ideas on their critically acclaimed first record, ‘Zeroes, QC’.

                                                                    ‘Images Du Futur’ builds upon the intensity of their debut, but often does so through new textures and subtler dynamic manoeuvring. Album standout ‘Edie’s Dream’ begins with a single bassline repeated from which layers build and rise - first drums, then a wash of white noise; echoes of guitar, then chanted vocals. The song’s clever shifts are jazz-touched and delicate, almost subliminal. It all makes for a stark, skeletal boogie - more an astral projection than a song. ‘Edie’s Dream’ exemplifies the restraint of which Suuns is capable and works to make the unhinged moments all the more devastating.

                                                                    Lauded by Pitchfork and NME - the former saying “few bands this young are operating on quite this scale, and fewer still have the brass - and the patience - to pull off a big, glitzy, complex record like ‘Zeroes, QC’”, and the latter declaring them 2011’s Best New Band - Suuns have deepened their approach, using minimalist techniques to create maximalist works.

                                                                    Produced once again by Jace Lasek from Besnard Lakes. Shemie says of the process, “As a band we were trying to look at our music from further and further away, seeing more details in the picture as we expanded the landscape.”

                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Darryl says: The sophomore release from Suuns builds on their excellent debut with a restrained and minimal intensity that threatens to boil over with washes of unhinged noise, but rarely does. A brooding classic!

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. Powers Of Ten
                                                                    2. 2020
                                                                    3. Minor Work
                                                                    4. Mirror Mirror
                                                                    5. Edie's Dream
                                                                    6. Sunspot
                                                                    7. Bambi
                                                                    8. Holocene City
                                                                    9. Images Du Futur
                                                                    10. Music Won’t Save You

                                                                    Nightlands is the solo project of The War On Drugs’ bassist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley, and ‘Oak Island’ is the follow-up to his 2010 Secretly Canadian debut ‘Forget The Mantra’.

                                                                    Each distorted, silver-voiced melody is wrapped in the sounds of 70s AM gold - plucked acoustic guitars, trumpets, dulcimers and hand percussion. In using these pop touchstones, the songs become something close to memories, the faded feelings that tide in and out of you when conjuring the past.

                                                                    Harley is a major player and sideman in Philadelphia’s Fishtown scene that has produced The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile, Purling Hiss.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    Time & Peace
                                                                    So Far So Long
                                                                    You're My Baby
                                                                    Nico
                                                                    So It Goes
                                                                    Born To Love
                                                                    I Fell In Love With A Feeling
                                                                    Rolling Down The Hill
                                                                    Other Peoples Pockets
                                                                    Looking For Rain

                                                                    Dungeonesse

                                                                    Drive You Crazy

                                                                      Longtime friends and Baltimore compatriots Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes) and Jon Ehrens (White Life, Art Department) are expanding their work together into a new pop music venture: Dungeonesse. Born of a mutual admiration for Top 40 and R&B and the mechanics of what makes a hit song, the duo and longtime friends began putting jams together remotely. Ehrens would send tracks from LA to Wasner on tour, and they'd bounce ideas back and forth. The resulting songs are part party machine programming, and part homage to the great tradition of R&B vocals which retain an experimental and playful inner beauty while leading the charge to a dance floor of abundantly inclusive and carefree spirits.

                                                                      As a first taste of great things to come, Secretly Canadian is proud to announce "Drive You Crazy," the first single from the band.

                                                                      Jens Lekman

                                                                      I Know What Love Isn't

                                                                        Jens Lekman returns with his first full length album in 5 years, and it’s more than worth the wait. A melodic sensibility mixed with personal, insightful lyrics and a sparer palette of instruments, he takes inspiration from a break-up, a sweltering Melbourne summer, time spent in the US, etc.

                                                                        Without a doubt his finest collection of songs to date, the album is already picking up incredible attention and is sure to bring him a vast array of new fans. ‘I Know What Love Isn’t’ is the story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.

                                                                        This single (single no. 4) features two new songs from the Gothenburg duo.

                                                                        “Even when smoked out or slowed down, [the band] still teems with energy and both Kastlander and Benon, chameleons that they are, blend into snippets of song just as well as they shift gears between genres” - Pitchfork

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        Beautiful Life
                                                                        Burn

                                                                        Exitmusic

                                                                        From Silence

                                                                          The debut EP from New York City’s Exitmusic (Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church).

                                                                          Both chillingly beautiful and melodic, whilst creepily sparse and disembodied. Ethereal dark pop similar to Beach House, Sigur Ros and Portishead.

                                                                          This EP will be released exclusively to independent stores only in advance of a full release in November.

                                                                          Jens Lekman

                                                                          An Argument With Myself

                                                                            Jens Lekman returns with his first new music in almost four years, with the mini-album ‘An Argument With Myself’.

                                                                            Witty, literal, and location-specific, the songs are all heading somewhere as a means to either go crazy or keep from doing so.

                                                                            From the title track’s inner battle about moving to Melbourne, or the manic roadmap of directions to any place but here (and any time but now) of ‘New Directions’.

                                                                            Jens has a devoted hardcore following desperate for new Jens music and he’ll be returning for shows in the UK in October shortly after this release, including an already sold-out show at London’s Heaven.

                                                                            This is a collection of five of the most impeccably crafted songs you will hear in 2011.

                                                                            Here We Go Magic

                                                                            The January EP

                                                                              "The January EP"s six songs complete the songwriting cycle that Here We Go Magic began in an upstate New York farm house upon the commencement of their critically-acclaimed sophomore album "Pigeons".

                                                                              The band's signature mix of swirling guitars, Krautrock grooves, pulsing synths, and hushed chants provide a foundation for these otherworldly songs.

                                                                              "Hands In The Sky" is a ghostly number that showcases vocalist Luke Temple's lyrical pedigree.

                                                                              At the centre of the mini album lies a dichotomy between eerie folk sounds and driving art rock. The jangly back-and-forth between the guitars of Michael Bloch and Temple form the backbone to "Song In Three", the yin to "Pigeon"s standout "Collector"s yang.

                                                                              "The January EP" was produced by Jen Turner and recorded live to analog tape in a band-built living room studio.

                                                                              JJ

                                                                              JJ No 2

                                                                                In Summer of 2009, Gothenburg, Sweden’s jj quietly released one of the year's most critically acclaimed albums. This album, "JJ Nº 2", was the group’s debut full-length ("JJ Nº 1" was their first single).

                                                                                jj create pop, R&B and Balearic dub from the ghosts of lost lovers. Their music is both carefree without carelessness, and self-aware without being self-conscious. With it, they build an ice bridge arching from Gothenburg into the heart of the UK music world, and everywhere in between.

                                                                                'A gorgeous ode to chemically-assisted euphoria, or an effective, shimmering simulation for those who keep their intoxications on the legal side' - Pitchfork.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1. Things Will Never Be The Same Again
                                                                                2. From Africa To Malaga
                                                                                3. Ecstasy
                                                                                4. Are You Still In Vallda
                                                                                5. My Love
                                                                                6. Intermezzo
                                                                                7. My Hopes And Dreams
                                                                                8. Masterplan
                                                                                9. Me & Dean

                                                                                Damien Jurado

                                                                                Saint Bartlett

                                                                                  "Saint Bartlett" opens up with a grandiosity yet unheard on a Damien Jurado album. It strips away the many layers of paint from the house down the street where we know Jurado has occupied for the last decade. The new coat is exhilarating. It makes the whole neighbourhood shine. It's a modest grandiosity; still homegrown. The mellotron swells, heavenly handclaps ring in stereo and big drums create a sky for the songs to fly in. And the words. Words spring forth from within the volcano of Jurado, full of hope. There's so much hope, in fact, that album opener "Cloudy Shoes" turns into a call-and-response with himself, as though it were a dialogue between two halves of himself.

                                                                                  'I wish that I could float up from the ground / I will never know what that's like'

                                                                                  Heavy stuff. Richard Swift's Spector-esque production is spot-on. He ferries Jurado across the river, where the metamorphosis occurs. He then ferries him back, and it is through Swift's lens that we see Jurado not as a folk singer, but as a mystic - somewhere between Van Morrison, Scott Walker and Wayne Coyne. "Saint Bartlett" was made entirely at Swift's National Freedom studio in Oregon, in just under a week with only Jurado and Swift as the performers.

                                                                                  Early Day Miners

                                                                                  The Treatment

                                                                                    The Early Day Miners new album, "The Treatment", speaks to the powers of reinvention in more than one way. After years of building gorgeous and sprawling guitar rock epics, Early Day Miners have trimmed their sound into shorter, tighter songs with a decidedly pop edge to them. They have also slimmed their line up down from as many as eight members to the lean four-piece outfit of Dan Burton (guitar, vocals, keys), John Dawson (guitar), Marty Sprowles (drums) and Johnny 'Yuma' Richardson (bass). Even in the album's lyrics, the yearning allure of reinvention is ever present.

                                                                                    Throw Me The Statue

                                                                                    Creaturesque

                                                                                      Originally the one-man project of multifaceted musician and songwriter Scott Reitherman, Throw Me The Statue (TMTS) has since expanded to a quartet with drummer Jarred Grimes, and multi-instrumentalists Aaron Goldman and Charlie Smith. This album is produced by TMTS and Phil Ek (The Shins, Built To Spill, Band Of Horses), and while the band retains much of the lo-fi bliss found on their critically acclaimed debut "Moonbeams", Phil Ek's mixing of "Creaturesque" brings the band's maximalist pop sensibilities to new heights. Perhaps more sonically upbeat than its predecessor, its details are at times painted in both optimistic and sobering tones. Reitherman's scattershot poetics touch on an array of ideas, it's oppressive American machisimo and suburbanite sexuality. It's soft drugs and convertible cars. It's the struggle for higher expectations within the mess of modern life, and when wrapped up in the structures of TMTS' sure-handed tunes it's an all too delicious combination.

                                                                                      Foreign Born

                                                                                      Person To Person

                                                                                        A band willing to keep their pallet open to almost any influence – Hi-Life guitars, countered with New Wave wash, from U2 to The Feelies. It could be Phil Spector's mid-70s lost recordings inspired by the depth of second-line drum bands from New Orleans; an album filled with anthems.

                                                                                        The War On Drugs

                                                                                        Wagonwheel Blues

                                                                                          The War On Drugs push the boundaries of a quintessentially American music. Guitars soar and colorful clouds roll past whatever sun or moon you are cruising under, through whatever old bar you are reveling within. The War On Drugs point toward a tireless horizon in the distance that you will never reach but are compelled to chase. It's a tail you've chased your whole life and will continue chasing because your life is more poetic when you are moving toward it - your cinematography is more rich. Wagonwheel Blues is one of those albums that each of us holds onto tightly. They get moved from apartment to apartment through the years; they are songs on the radio that follow us from town to town. They evoke waves of nostalgia and grow more poignant with each new bump along the road.

                                                                                          In The War On Drugs we have a fresh face that already sounds like an old friend. Bringing a dose of the West Coast to the hard streets of Philadelphia, their songs recall the '80s guitar army of Sonic Youth with the captivating lyrics and vocal stylings of Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen. Songwriter Adam Granduciel (vocals/guitar) leads the attack with his lyrical paintings of his own American landscape. Walls of guitar - acoustic, electric, and twelve-string - douse each track of this debut album, threatening to cast the band into space rock territory, but the melodies and immediately identifiable lyrics soldier on to keep these songs from blasting into the esoteric beyond. With Wagonwheel Blues, Granduciel joins a distinct set of songwriters in a new golden era of polished-yet-subcultural underground music. The War On Drugs have that unmistakable singularity that comes along only so often, with the spirit of invention and playfulness lying earnestly at the forefront of their creative process.

                                                                                          Richard Swift

                                                                                          Richard Swift As Onassis

                                                                                            Richard Swift is one of the most critically acclaimed artists of the last few years. On this new double album he turns his hand to a completely different genre and mood: a 20 song exploration into Richard Swift's alter ego; delivering acid garage rock classics. This was recorded on down time between tours – a chance for Richard to delve into his hugely varied musical collection. Drawing on Link Wray, Howlin' Wolf, Little Richard and others, this is an album drenched in classic reverb and knee-high boogie blues.

                                                                                            The Impossible Shapes

                                                                                            We Like It Wild

                                                                                              For "We Like It Wild", their fourth proper full-length, the band ventured to the wooded Indiana hills of Monroe County. With alternating lead guitars, the band recalls the urban paranoia of Television and the forlorn southern gothic of Derek & The Dominoes with Barth's fey Donovan-esque voice sounding as though it's coming from across the Atlantic. All the while they maintain the urgent bounce of early REM.

                                                                                              Danielson Famile

                                                                                              A Prayer For Every Hour

                                                                                                Reissue of the debut album from these New Jersey oddballs. Deeply rooted in American folk and gospel music, the Famile offers a twisted hybrid of early Talking Heads, Carter Family, Half Japanese and the Shaggs.

                                                                                                Racebannon

                                                                                                Satan's Kickin Yr Dick In

                                                                                                  Racebannon craft a sordid tale of woe, depression, excitement, accolade, fear, rise, fall, alpha and omega through a five part aural aria of the pleasures and pain of the rock'n'roll lifestyle. Tracks often go from a funeral dirge to defiant and pompous to a spaced out overdose. One for fans of The Melvins, Icarus Line and Jesus Lizard.

                                                                                                  Swearing At Motorists

                                                                                                  Along The Inclined Plane

                                                                                                    Fantastic mellow mini album from this band who've been compared with Buffalo Springfield through to Richard Hell, Alex Chilton and The Replacements.


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