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SECRETLY CANADIAN

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.

    Baby Rose & BADBADNOTGOOD

    Slow Burn

      Less than a year after her album Through and Through, Baby Rose returns with Slow Burn, a collection of songs that explode her sonic palette from progressive R&B into a rawer, richer and more sprawling lens of American music. Here, Rose asserts herself as not only a once-in-tenlifetimes vocalist, but as a formidable songwriter connecting the dots where Muscle Shoals meets psych, psych meets jazz, jazz meets Americana, and the right players bring it all together. Produced by BADBADNOTGOOD, Rose and the band found an instant but seemingly endless well of inspiration; what started as an introduction became a day, became a song, became a night, became Slow Burn. Baby Rose was already a powerful position player — she can share the stage with Robert Glasper without breaking a sweat, or close an epic film like Creed III, for which she performed the closing credit song, with steely confidence. When Rose first met with BADBADNOTGOOD the idea was to say hello, get acquainted, see what a collaboration could, over time, potentially become. But the connection was instant, and together they put down lead single “One Last Dance” in just that first meeting. It was Rose’s first freestyle vocal, and it snapped crucial pieces of her vision into focus. “I’ve known deep down there were new spaces and sounds that I could rise to,” Rose explains. “I’ve always been into different sounds that bring in those rawer textures.” And so while the speed of their collaboration thrilled and surprised Rose, the potential and the end results did not. “We moved quickly,” she says, “and it really was a faucet. Once we got ‘One Last Dance’, it became clear everything was going to flow.”

      The songs on Slow Burn were inspired in part by Rose’s experiences driving between her family’s home bases: the noise and chaos of DC and the quiet, Carolina countryside. Rose would crank music and let her mind drift, making room for the internal monologues and imagined dialogues you might not otherwise dare to hear. There’s a dreaminess in those moments, and they smolder on Slow Burn: memories lose their realities, feelings replace happenings. Slow Burn’s title track, for example, sets soft, ambling drums against Rose’s lyrical repetitions, as she traces those recollections—some lives, some felt— with patient, insistent desire.

      The standout “One Last Dance” arrives disguised as a love song, but is actually an ode to a lost friendship, and an imagined dream of one more day like the old days. Reality blurs with feeling again, vocals layer into lullaby, and BADBADNOTGOOD’s bassist Chester Hansen brings that dreamlike quality to a sneaky, cautious but loving undertone. In fact most of the songs on Slow Burn have that stealthy, shadowed feel, like they’re arriving on tiptoe: intimate but a little dangerous, tender but a little mysterious. As complete and compelling a work as this is, Slow Burn points to a bigger, higher ascent in Baby Rose’s future. “I feel boundless,” says Rose. “It’s one thing carrying the weight of the emotion I’m going to bring as a vocalist and lyricist, but now I feel like I’m the head on a body with all these players and artists and other limbs. I’m in love with that process. When you have the right energy and the right synergy,” she says, “all that’s left is to trust yourself.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. On My Mind
      2. Slow Burn
      3. Caroline Feat. Mereba
      4. Weekness
      5. It’s Alright
      6. One Last Dance

      Loren Kramar

      Glovemaker

        If the Chateau Marmont could sing. This would be it. Loren Kramar’s voice vibrates with the shameless hum of a room after a celebrity exits. Ecstatic aspiration. Doubt. Proximity. Desire. The album Glovemaker is about the skins we craft to be seen by the world, and Loren reminds us that we are all in drag. All exposed. No matter what gloves we slip on.

        I’m a slut for all my dreams, Loren Kramar sings with Patti Smith brashness, I’m a whore for them, I’ve got more of them. Loren’s lyrics move like tinsel, shimmering bravely, then just as quickly, curling, fragile under the spotlight. Loren has always been obsessed with fame. Not with famous people, but with the electricity that perverts attention – the crushing desire to be truly seen. And all of Loren, and this obsession, is in this album. He grew up in the Valley, forced to hide his Barbies from his father, so the closet was a gorgeous Spanish ranch house on a gilded cul-de-sac crawling with celebrities. Naturally this gay boy wanted to be a child star so his mother secretly shuttled him to tap and jazz and figure skating lessons. I’ve got hands and feet to put in the concrete, Loren croons, in “Hollywood Blvd,” a song which clangs with brawny bravado. But “Gay Angels” reminds us that Loren’s infatuation with stardom is inextricably linked with his queerness and his own desire to live outside of fear. To be famous is to be out. To be known.To be himself.

        “Glovemaker has become a kind of code for art making itself. A glove as a covering or mask that follows the contours of the life beneath it. As a song and a symbol, this is an album about studying and tracing a life - and then sharing what’s there,” Loren says. And his desire to share truth feels urgent. To listen to Loren is to understand there is no choice; the songs must tear through the air right now. This very second. I see myself tearing and splitting and becoming a trampoline, he belts in “NoMan,” breaking our hearts right alongside his. Part poet, part theatrical diva, Loren loops together the tragedy of breathing on this planet, because like Eartha Kitt or Cat Stevens, Loren is at his core – an incredible story teller. This whole album is a shrine, a mantle atop a blazing fire of life, spread with the memorabilia of Loren; all of the pain and lust dazzling on unabashed view.

        This is a songwriter’s album. Loren’s lyrics are all his, and you feel itwith every bright, Maraschino-cherry-like word that falls from his lips.Like a lover, You scream and I shatter, I hit like a hammer, Loren sings.And we get to feel what Loren feels. We live in his brain, riding hisgenre bending emotions, on a wave of modern pop. And the songs lift,they are anthems of belief, “Hollywood Blvd,” “I’m a Slut,” “Euphemism,”“Gay Angels,” are all odes to triumphing over the corroding powers offear and doubt. And on this ride, Loren’s voice is the guard rail, evereager to stretch and transform, belting, talk-singing, multiplying, keepingus safe.

        Glovemaker slaps and soars. The album is an ecstatic overture to loveand loneliness, to dreams and promises, to everything Los Angelesdangles. Buckle up. Loren knows how to craft space, how to move usthrough darkened bars, strobing arenas, beige carpeted bungalows andyellow lit highways. How do you like LA? Loren asks. I hope you love it.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Hollywood Blvd
        2. Euphemism
        3. I'm A Slut
        4. Like A Lover
        5. Gay Angels
        6. Glovemaker
        7. Birthday Thursday
        8. Whatever Happens
        9. 15 Years
        10. Oh To Be
        11. No Man

        Serpentwithfeet

        GRIP

          serpentwithfeet, the Baltimore born singer-songwriter, is taking natural steps as a versatile talent from chapter to chapter in his career. His third album GRIP is the result of these latest steps. GRIP finds its home on the dance floor of Black gay clubs and the intimate moments that happen there and afterward, no matter the location. It explores the small moments of physical touch and how they occur. Whether it be a grip around the waist or the face, serpentwithfeet manages to explore all angles.

          GRIP and the Black gay club share an interesting juxtaposition: the club is public; the dancefloor is obviously a place where people look at and watch one another. At the same time, the Black gay club is a safe community space, it is “for us”, and in that way is very private, very intimate. These clubs provided a different atmosphere for him, a different comfort, and a different sense of welcoming that nurtured him in a new way.

          From start to finish, GRIP sonically lives the highs and lows of not only a night out at the club but of romance as well. “Damn Gloves (ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Yanga YaYa)” captures the adrenaline rush of a night’s peak with a thumping bass entwined in dance production that mimics the heartbeat’s speed as intimacy runs high between two lovers. “Spades” employs a sweet guitar-driven melody to create a tender moment as a slow-dance would. “Lucky Me” is sweet and honest, void of anything that distracts from the moment at hand as serpent’s voice, a twinkling guitar melody, and enchanting synths serve as the driving force to champion a new romance.

          TRACK LISTING

          SIDE A:

          1. Damn Gloves
          2. Safe Word
          3. Spades
          4. Deep End
          5. Rum / Throwback

          SIDE B:

          6. Black Air Force
          7. Hummin’
          8. Ellipsis
          9. Lucky Me
          10. 1 To 10

          Gglum

          The Garden Dream

            As she’s gotten older, Ella Smoker has found that her subconscious has been trying to tell her “some pretty wacky stuff”. Thoughts will come to the 21-year-old singer-songwriter in dreams, or as she writes lyrics in studio sessions, words floating onto the page before she’s really had a moment to realise what they are. “As soon as we start making the music, my brain sort of turns off,” she explains. “I’ll be sitting there, writing all this stuff that feels like a load of nonsense, and a month later, I'll look back and be like ‘oh’. It all comes from a place I didn’t even realise was there.”

            In learning how to open up to herself, gglum ended up finding a kindred spirit in producer Karma Kid (Maisie Peters, Shygirl, Connie Constance), pushing past her natural bedroom-pop introversion to find joy in the process of collaboration. Whether it’s the ragged radio-rock of ‘SPLAT!’ (“basically about realising that somebody you held up very highly is actually just a massive shambles of a person”) or the riotous, industrial energy of ‘Easy Fun’, Smoker is able to reshape her vocal around the mood, creating a record which expertly balances light and shade. “I've never really done anything in like that vocal style before,” she says of ‘Easy Fun’s near-spoken delivery. “I love that song because it’s not something I would have come up with on my own, but Karma Kid was great at pushing me out of my comfort zone. I just thought like, look: I can be a little silly with this.”

            The release of The Garden Dream will offer gglum plenty more opportunity to get both silly and serious, to be bold in her exploration of new ideas and sounds. But it will also offer the opportunity to further accept herself as the dreamlike artist she always wanted to be; confidently embellishing acoustic worlds that her listeners can burrow safely within.

            “I feel like I naturally gravitate towards wanting to make musical spaces that you can feel like you’re living in, rather than trying to make songs”, she says. “That's something I really wanted to solidify with this album: I basically want to make music that feels like when you're looking out the window and it's the end of the film and you're imagining what comes next. That's the sound of what I want to be doing.”

            TRACK LISTING

            1. With You
            2. SPLAT!
            3. Late
            4. Pruning 1
            5. Pruning 2
            6. Easy Fun
            7. Glue
            8. Second Best
            9. He Laid His 97's Neatly At The Door
            10. Honeybee
            11. Do You See Me Different? Feat. Kamal.
            12. Eating Rust
            13. The Garden Dream

            Faye Webster

            Underdressed At The Symphony

              Faye Webster’s songs are direct lines to the human subconscious, and Underdressed at the Symphony documents what happens once you begin to build a new self from the ashes of your old routines. This rebirth isn’t flashy or definitive, but is instead a series of seemingly mundane moments that, scattered across weeks and months, sneak their way toward something like healing. Yes, there’s a breakup in play, but Webster is not documenting the heartbreak of a breakup so much as she’s navigating the contours of heartbreak itself.

              Recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios in Texas with her longtime band, Webster is accompanied on Underdressed at the Symphony by Matt Stoessel’s arcs of shimmering pedal steel, the plaintive, unhurried drums of Charles Garner, and, occasionally, additional guitarwork from Wilco’s Nels Cline, among many other crucial players. The title of the album refers to Webster’s post-breakup compulsion to visit the symphony on a whim, usually buying a ticket at the last possible second. “Going to the symphony was almost like therapy for me. I was quite literally underdressed at the symphony because I would just decide at that moment that that's what I wanted to do,” she says. “That's what I felt like I needed to hear. I got to leave what I felt like was kind of a shitty time in my life and be in this different world for a minute.”

              That strain of lightheartedness with a melancholic backbone permeates the album, and is the major driving force behind “Lego Ring,” which features Atlanta multi-hyphenate Lil Yachty, the only guest voice on the entire album. Yachty’s ghostly warble floats just under Webster’s voice, jabbing through empty space, trembling over a low rumble of bass. The song is also a sort of release—a buoyant moment that cuts through the sadness. “I think I hit a point in songwriting during this record where I was just like, man, I said a lot.” Webster says. “I'm just going to sit down and sing about this ring that I really want.” Like the rest of the album, Webster isn’t providing answers, nor is she on some epic journey of healing and self-care. Instead, she’s choosing to just live, to document heartbreak and ridiculous moments right next to each other, until they start to blur together, becoming real enough for us all to feel.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: A soaring, swooning selection of beautifully penned ballads, grooving guitar lines and cracked vocoder vox from the brilliant Faye Webster. 'Lego Ring' is for me, one of the top bangers of the year thus far. A perfectly mixed cocktail of synth-pop, indie and with wisps of country woven through her compositions, Webster is a true talent. Brilliant.

              TRACK LISTING

              1.Thinking About You
              2. But Not Kiss
              3. Wanna Quit All The Time
              4. Lego Ring
              5. Feeling Good Today
              6. Lifetime
              7. He Loves Me Yeah!
              8. EBay Purchase History
              9. Underdressed At TheSymphony
              10. Tttttime

              Current Joys

              LOVE + POP

                LOVE + POP is a snapshot of a moment in not-so-far-away time; something fast, loud, moody and a little dangerous. It is, in some ways, classic Current Joys: full of wild ambition, sneaky hooks, and songs that move from concept to completion with prolific speed. But LOVE + POP also explodes myriad expectations with aggressive, deconstructed production, house music influence, and a guest appearance from Lil Yachty. It is not so much a twist as it is a unique multiverse identity for Current Joys, as Nick Rattigan’s set out to “capture this sonic moment and harken back to the way I first released music.”

                The story of LOVE + POP begins with one of those house parties: the kind that bulldozes your home and, in its aftermath, leaves a wreckage that finds you flattened but also ready to be new. In that mess and mayhem, Rattigan watched Everybody’s Everything, the documentary of Lil Peep, and recorded a cover of “walk away as the door slams”. But the itch wasn’t scratched, and what began as a moment of homage morphed into something bigger, deeper and more fundamental, a point where the seemingly haphazard – in his home, in Peep’s process – opened Rattigan up to an entire creative space and a new approach to bending or even detonating genre.

                Crucially, all of this was recorded at home, in what Rattigan calls a “tribute to the process of creating” in a DIY space. And what began as a singular passion project unexpectedly grew into a uniquely collaborative record for Current Joys. “I’ve set out to make collaborative records before,” Rattigan explains, “but they often end up totally me, with just a couple exceptions. But then this record gave me the opportunity to be extremely collaborative, to let other people write instrumental tracks, sending links around for people to mess with and weigh in on. I sat down to do credits and realized here were all these people and styles and they all came together and worked.”

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Walk Away As The Door Slams (feat. Your Angel)
                2. LOVE + POP (feat. Your Angel)
                3. Gatsby (feat. Lil Yachty)
                4. My Shadow Life (feat. Oddbody)
                5. CIGARETTES
                6. Bb Put On Deftones
                7. Dr Satan
                8. Moon Sickness
                9. Rock N Roll Dreams (feat. Brutus VIII)
                10. I Feel Truth Inside Of U
                11. 3lefant (feat. Slow Hollows)
                12. U R THE REASON

                William Eggleston

                512

                  William Eggleston is a famed photographer and musician credited for iconic album covers such as Spoon’s Transference and Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American. 512 was inspired and recorded at the Parkview Apartments in Memphis, Tennessee where Eggleston lived for almost ten years. The apartment was full of art and inspiration: cameras, naturally, but also high-end stereo tube amplifiers and objects that you’d rush towards money in hand at your local flea market. But also a gigantic nine foot Bosendorfer grand piano and a massive grand vintage JBL theater speaker console. His home was overwhelmed by music.

                  By recording there the album captures not just his performances, but also the vibe of the place; it often felt as though there were artists lurking in the aether listening along. His visitors over the years were no small change: Lee Friedlander, Carl Sagan, Dennis Hopper , Paul McCartney and many others came to see him and listen to his hypnotic “Musik”. You can hear local traffic, a dog barking, weather; reality, in other words. But there was another space layered on top, a kind of surreality echoing his music, as you can imagine a gathering of musicians listening in, eager to join him. Thus came along 512 which features the legendary Brian Eno on bells and production from Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Paul Simon, Jon Hopkins).”

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Improvisation
                  2. Ol’ Man River
                  3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
                  4. Over The Rainbow
                  5. That’s Some Robert Burn
                  6. Onward Christian Soldiers

                  Songs: Ohia

                  Songs: Ohia - National Album Day 2023 Edition

                    In a 1997 debut album release, singer/ guitarist Jason Molina unfolds the beginning chapter of the influential and essential discography of Songs: Ohia. The self-titled album sometimes referred to as 'The Black Album', was recorded on an 8-track over the span of one afternoon, was the start of Molina's ideal "first draft" sound that opened the fourth wall into the haunted world-building the album creates for the listener. The sound flickers between undiscovered folk tradition, circular lyrical patterns, and love seesawing between the emotional weight of fear and exhilaration. Repressed on colour for the first time in ages!

                    Songs: Ohia

                    Axxess & Ace - National Album Day 2023 Edition

                      Axxess and Ace stood to be Songs: Ohia's third album release in 1999, Jason Molina is assisted by Geof Comings (Party Girls), Michael Krassner (The Lofty Pillars, Boxhead Ensemble, Edith Frost Band), Joe Ferguson (Pinetop Seven), Dave Pavkovic (Boxhead Ensemble), Julie Liu (Rex) and Edith Frost. This album was recorded by Krassner at his Truckstop Studios in Chicago. 'Axxess and Ace' flickers between Liu's aching violin and Molina's intensely personal lyrics quilting the worries and anxieties of the idea of imperfections. It is direct, in the way that love songs can be, recorded almost entirely live and first take. The finished product is full of spontaneity and surprise for the listener to enjoy time and time again. Repressed on colour for the first time in ages!

                      Cherry Glazerr

                      I Don't Want You Anymore

                        It’s been four years since Cherry Glazerr released their resplendent third album Stuffed and Ready, but Clementine Creevy has been in no rush. “I’ve spent these years taking a hard look at myself, at my relationships, and writing about it,” she says. “I guess I’m coming to terms with a lot of my bullshit.” Cherry Glazerr has been on the road more often than not since Creevy was still in high school, and when the pandemic hit, she immersed herself in a static existence she’d been deprived of.

                        Creevy describes Cherry Glazerr’s ambitious new album, I Don’t Want You Anymore, as some of her most personal, raw music to date, a collection of songs that elaborate on this period of self-reckoning. It’s the first she’s produced since Cherry Glazerr’s garage rock debut, Haxel Princess, released nearly a decade ago when Creevy was a teenager.

                        Creevy describes I Don’t Want You Anymore as a “mature” album, moreso in reference to her personal growth than a reflection of the record, which in true Cherry Glazerr fashion is best described as Extremely Fun. To make it, Creevy linked up with producer Yves Rothman, who’s best known for his work with Yves Tumor.

                        Lead single “Soft Like a Flower” exemplifies that growth. A murky guitar riff inaugurates the track, before Creevy’s unguarded vocals enter the mix. She sings of a consuming obsession and is joined on the chorus by longtime bandmate Sami Perez. It’s proudly emotive, what Creevy calls an “Evanescence moment.” “It’s a real ‘losing your fucking shit’ kind’ve vibe,” she says. “I wanted this album to be just heart and soul. Completely exposed.”

                        I Don’t Want You Anymore uses the element of surprise to its advantage; each track is a radical reimagination of what Cherry Glazerr is and can be. “Bad Habit” opens with a spiraling vocal loop that Creevy began recording at home and it expands into a delirious downtempo dance track without ever invoking a guitar. The subsequent track, “Ready for You” is sung in funky staccato and the initially spare bassline on the opening verse is eventually overtaken by a massive, staticky guitar riff that reminds you this is, at its heart, a rock album. These are songs to soundtrack the listener’s life, a score to suit any occasion. The titular track makes a promise to an unnamed other, but the repeating lyrics on the bridge could just as easily serve as a love letter to listeners: “In the end, you’re always holding me.”

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Gigantic swathes of distorted poppy guitar riffs and shimmering shoegaze progressions. It's a huge thematic progression from her 2019 LP, 'Stuffed & Ready', bringing in myriad influence from pop-punk to driving garage rock and grunge.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        SIDE A:
                        1. Addicted To Your Love
                        2. Bad Habit
                        3. Ready For You
                        4. Touched You With My Chaos
                        5. Soft Like A Flower
                        6. Sugar

                        SIDE B:
                        1. Golden
                        2. Wild Times
                        3. Eat You Like A Pill
                        4. Shattered
                        5. I Don’t Want You Anymore

                        Baby Rose

                        Through And Through

                          Baby Rose is undeniably a once-in-a-lifetime artist. She burst onto the scene with her 2019 debut project To Myself, which has amassed over 25 million global streams to date and landed her early co-signs by SZA, J. Cole, James Blake, Kehlani, and LeBron James. Later the singer received a Grammy nomination for her contribution to Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III album and was also featured on albums from Big Krit and Matt Martians.

                          Through and Through will show Baby Rose like we have never seen or heard her before. Sonically, the album see’s Rose carving out a lane for herself that is unrestricted by genres and showcases her extraordinary range as a skilled singer, songwriter and executive producer. Paired with her once-in-a-lifetime voice, Through and Through will exist like nothing else in music right now. 

                          Magnolia Electric Co.

                          Sojourner

                            For the first time on vinyl and returning from a long time out-of-print, Secretly Canadian is proud to re-present The Sojourner Box Set from Magnolia Electric Co. The four LPs that comprise The Sojourner Box Set are from four distinct recording sessions that Magnolia Electric Co. undertook following the release of their debut studio album, What Comes After The Blues.

                            From these, sophomore album Fading Trails was born. But the four sessions, in full, chart the celestial map of Magnolia Electric Co.: its constellations and shooting stars, its Americana stompers and lean folk dirges. And, of course, the center of gravity that is Jason Molina’s mournful, incomparable voice. The session known as “Nashville Moon” was recorded by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, Illinois.

                            The session known as “Sun Session” was recorded at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The session known as “Black Ram” was recorded by David Lowery at his Sound Of Music studios in Richmond, Virginia and features an entirely different cast of characters including Lowery, Rick Alverson, Andrew Bird, Molly Blackbird, Miguel Urbiztondo and Alan Weatherhead.

                            The session known as “Shohola” was recorded by Jason Molina alone, with a guitar and microphone. With LP covers drawn from original box illustrations and with the original box’s poster included, this LP edition of The Sojourner Box Set delivers for the most ambitious and robust Magnolia Electric Co. release to date.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Nashville Moon
                            Side A
                            1. Lonesome Valley
                            2. Montgomery
                            3. Don’t Fade On Me
                            4. Hammer Down
                            5. No Moon On The Water
                            6. Nashville Moon
                            Side B
                            7. What Comes After The Blues
                            8. Don’t This Look Like The Dark
                            9. North Star
                            10. Bowery
                            11. Texas 71
                            09 North Star (3:55)
                            10 Bowery (3:38
                            11 Texas 71 (4:17
                            12 Down The Wrong Road Both Ways (3:21

                            Black Ram
                            Side A
                            1. In The Human World
                            2. The Black Ram
                            3. What’s Broken Becomes Better
                            4. Will-O-the-Wisp
                            5. Kanawha
                            Side B
                            6. A Little At A Time
                            7. Blackbird
                            8. And The Moon Hits The Water
                            9. The Old Horizon

                            Sun Session
                            Side A
                            1. Talk To Me Devil, Again
                            2. Memphis Moon
                            Side B
                            3. Hold On Magnolia 

                            Shohola
                            Side A
                            1. Steady Now
                            2. Spanish Moon Fall And Rise
                            3. Night Country
                            4. Shiloh Temple Bell
                            Side B
                            5. The Spell
                            6. Take One Thing Along
                            7. The Lamb’s Song
                            8. Roll The Wheel

                            Faye Webster

                            Car Therapy Sessions

                              Faye Webster announces ‘Car Therapy Sessions’, an EP of new and re-imagined songs by Websterrecorded at Spacebomb Studios with a 24 pieceorchestra. The orchestra was headed by Trey Pollard,who was responsible for both conducting andarranging, and Drew Vandenburg produced and mixedthe EP.

                              “I have a vivid memory of walking around London in2018 listening to a mix of ‘Jonny’, which I had justwritten. I remember thinking ‘I want to perform thissong with an orchestra’. I truly have had my heart seton it since then, always talking about it and figuring outhow or when to make it happen,” says Webster.

                              On the EP, Webster reimagines three songs from hercritically acclaimed 2021 release, ‘I Know I’m Funnyhaha’, and 2019’s ‘Atlanta Millionaire’s Club’. Thesongs ‘Kind Of’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Cheers’ take on acinematic and glimmering new sheen.

                              In addition to the title track, she also shares asprawling and emotional work - ‘Suite: Jonny’ - whichcombines fan-favourites ‘Jonny’ and ‘Jonny (Reprise)’.The two songs originally appeared on the ‘AtlantaMillionaire’s Club’ tracklist, two different views on thesame narrative. Here they are presented together. It’s remarkable how beautifully Webster’s work cantake on this orchestral treatment. Like Cole Porter, orJudy Garland, her delicate and emotional deliverypacks a gut punch when dramatized by the EP’srobust arrangements.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              A1. Kind Of (Type Of Way)
                              A2. Sometimes (Overanalyze)
                              A3. Car Therapy
                              B1. Suite: Jonny
                              B2. Cheers (To You & Me)

                              NNAMDÏ

                              Please Have A Seat

                                NNAMDÏ has never been able to stay in one place. The Chicago multi-instrumentalist and songwriter set a blistering pace in 2020 with his critically acclaimed genre-fusing LP Brat, a punk EP Black Plight, and Krazy Karl, a full-length tribute to Looney Tunes composer Carl Stalling. Add in his role as co-owner of label Sooper Records, as well as recent tours with Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and black midi, and it’s an overwhelming schedule. However, his latest album, Please Have A Seat, is the result of a muchneeded pause.

                                “I realized I never take time to just sit and take in where I’m at,” says NNAMDÏ. “It’s just nice to not be on ‘Go, Go, Go!’ mode, and reevaluate where I wanted to go musically.” This period of reflection allowed him to take stock of his life and his relationships. “I wanted to be present,” he says. “Each song came from a moment of clarity.” Please Have A Seat serves as an invitation to listen. It’s a request to sit down, be present, and take in a moment. With this quiet introspection, NNAMDÏ found inspiration in silence and nuance.

                                While making the record, he decided to stretch the limits of his pop songwriting: every track had to be hummable. Though he’s written earworms throughout his career from playing in bands in Chicago’s DIY community or releasing goofy raps as Nnamdi’s Sooper Dooper Secret Side Project, here, his shapeshifting hooks are undeniable. Each of the album’s fourteen songs, which NNAMDÏ wrote, produced, and performed entirely himself, are relentlessly replayable, careening into unexpected and disorienting places. With NNAMDÏ’s singular vision, Please Have A Seat is yet another leap from Chicago’s hardest working musician. By taking a minute to sit down and catch his breath, he reemerged with the most ambitious, accessible, and nuanced work of his career.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                SIDE A:
                                1. Ready To Run
                                2. Armoire
                                3. Dibs
                                4. Touchdown
                                5. Grounded
                                6. I Don’t Wanna Be Famous
                                7. Anxious Eater
                                8. Anti

                                SIDE B:
                                9. Dedication
                                10. Smart Ass
                                11. Benched
                                12. Careful
                                13. Lifted
                                14. Some Days

                                Skullcrusher

                                Quiet The Room

                                  Helen Ballentine’s spellbinding first full-length album Quiet the Room is the sound of a window opening, a barrier dissolving. Across these fourteen tracks, the outside world seeps in and the inside world crawls out. The result is a stunning and quietly moving work that reflects the journeys we take through the physical and spiritual realms of ourselves in order to show up for the world.

                                  While writing the album in the summer of 2021, Ballentine drew inspiration from her childhood home in Mount Vernon, NY. What she set out to capture on Quiet the Room was not the innocence of childhood, as it is so often portrayed, but the intense complexity of it. Past and present merge Escher-like in this dreamlike space laced with elements of fantasy, magic, and mystery. Musically, this translates into a sound that feels somehow weighty and ephemeral all at once, like a time lapse of copper corroding.

                                  To capture the effortless blend of electronic, ambient, folk, and rock, Ballentine and her partner and collaborator Noah Weinman brought in producer Andrew Sarlo to record at Chicken Shack studio in Upstate New York, close to where Ballentine grew up. “We wanted every song to have that little twinkle, but also a sense of crumbling,” she says. These songs thrum with moments of anxiety that boil over into moments of peace, as on lead single “Whatever Fits Together,” which chugs to a ragged start before the gears catch and ease. On “It’s Like a Secret,” Ballentine struggles to connect and let people in, recognizing that no one can ever fully know our inner worlds and that to understand each other is to cross a barrier and leave a part of ourselves behind. And yet, on closing track “You are my House,” she finds a way to reach out. “You are the walls and floors of my room,” she sings in perfect, hopeful harmony.

                                  As the album cover invites, these are dollhouse songs to which we bend a giant eye, peering into the laminate, luminous world that Ballentine has created. Like a kid constructing a shelter in a patch of sharp brambles, she reminds us that beauty and terror can exist in the same place. The complexities of childhood are so often overlooked, but through these private yet generous songs, she gives new weight to our earliest memories, widening the frame for us—even opening a window.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Liam says: Don't let the name fool you... Debut LP from Skullcrusher (real name Helen Ballentine), 'Quiet the Room' is a stunning mix of folk, ambient and field recordings - all wrapped up in an ethereal dreamlike bow. Reminds me of Lucy Rose mixed with Lina Tullgren - lovely stuff!

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. They Quiet The Room
                                  2. Building A Swing
                                  3. Whatever Fits Together
                                  4. Whistle Of The Dead
                                  5. Lullaby In February
                                  6. Pass Through Me
                                  7. Could It Be The Way I Look At Everything?
                                  8. Outside, Playing
                                  9. It’s Like A Secret
                                  10. Sticker
                                  11. Window Somewhere
                                  12. (Secret Instrumental)
                                  13. Quiet The Room
                                  14. You Are My House

                                  Yeah Yeah Yeahs

                                  Cool It Down

                                    It could only be called alchemy, the transformative magic that happens during the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ most tuned-in moments in the studio, when their unique chemistry sparks opens a portal, and out comes a song like “Maps” or “Zero” or the latest addition to their canon, “Spitting off the Edge of the World featuring Perfume Genius” — an epic shot-to-the heart of pure YYYs beauty and power.

                                    A thunderstorm of a return is what the legendary trio has in store for us on Cool It Down, their fifth studio album and their first since 2013’s Mosquito. The eight-track collection, bound to be a landmark in their catalog, is an expert distillation of their best gifts that impels you to move, and cry, and listen closely.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    SIDE A:
                                    1) Spitting Off The Edge Of The World (feat. Perfume Genius)
                                    2) Lovebomb
                                    3) Wolf
                                    4) Fleez
                                    SIDE B:
                                    5) Burning
                                    6) Blacktop
                                    7) Different Today
                                    8) Mars

                                    Whitney

                                    Spark

                                      Whitney, the Chicago duo of Julien Ehlrich and Max Kakacek, return with their third album, SPARK. SPARK reintroduces Whitney as a contemporary syndicate of classic pop, its dozen imaginative and endearing tracks wrap fetching melodies around paisley-print Dilla beats and luxuriant electronics. However surprising it may sound, SPARK is less a radical reinvention for Whitney than an honest accounting of how it feels when you move out of your past and into your present, when you take the next steps of your lives and careers at once and without apology. SPARK maintains the warmth and ease of Whitney’s early work; these songs glow with the newness of now.

                                      The start of SPARK traces back to the surprise success of Whitney’s 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake. Its softly distorted psych-folk dreams found a wide audience more readily than the pair ever expected; after years of ceaseless touring, they felt compelled to plug into the same sound for round two, 2019’s Forever Turned Around. As the sessions progressed, though, they became a slog, as Julien and Max worked to be versions of themselves they no longer were, to write songs in a mold that no longer fit. “What are we doing? How do we fix this, together?” Max remembers often asking Julien, as they contended with broken tape machines that felt like metaphors. This no longer felt like their music, but a vestige of their initial enthusiasm. They barely had enough material or energy to finish.

                                      Max and Julien knew a drastic change was necessary, but they never envisioned, of course, international lockdowns would facilitate it. Weeks after Julien decamped to Portland to clear his head after the end of a years-long relationship, Max followed, hoping to escape the tail of a long Chicago winter with his best friend and co-writer. Four days later, flights were grounded. Upcoming tours were canceled. For the next 14 months, they dug in with a zeal and determination that recalled their start, before success set expectations. “We had time to just sit and watch the body of work grow in real time,” Julien says. “We were just stacking stronger and stronger songs on top of each other.” Max picks up his thought: “Our favorite way to make records, the way we made the first one.”

                                      Even if the way was similar, the results are remarkably different, a refreshing reminder of how effortless a pivot can feel when it’s a true course correction. Max and Julien weren’t immune to this moment of overwhelming loss, either. Max lost his grandfather to COVID-19 in December 2020, soon after the duo’s mutual mentor, Girls’ JR White, died. But the key to SPARK—even on these saddest of songs, all of which sparkle like gentle technicolor dreams—is sublimation, or Whitney’s ability to hang around long enough for conditions to improve. To wit, the first song Max and Julien wrote upon returning to Chicago in May 2021—and the last one they finished before heading to Texas to cut SPARK with producers Brad Cook and John Congleton—is “REAL LOVE,” which celebrates the overdue end of one relationship as an opportunity to fall completely for the right someone. From its Wurlitzer chime to its serrated bass, from its beaming harmonies to its massive chorus, “REAL LOVE” is a bright-eyed celebration of what will be, not a eulogy for what was. It feels, as with much of SPARK, like twirling in whatever sunbeam happens to peak through the clouds. The video, directed by Aaron Brown, is an entirely different visual presentation than anything the band’s ever released.

                                      Julien elaborates: “Max and I wrote ‘REAL LOVE’ in June 2021 right after a cross country move back to Chicago. I was experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and panic, while the entire city was re-emerging from isolation. I’ve been running away from and self medicating my anxiety for as long as I can remember, but for whatever reason, it felt like it was time to dive straight into it. During late night sessions over a two week period, we captured the embrace of anxiety and fear in a way that resonated with us immediately. We spent the next few summer nights driving on Ashland with the windows down and the song turned up. It felt like an emotional and musical burst of light and we’re so grateful to finally be sharing that with people.”

                                      You’ll notice frequent references to smoke and fire throughout SPARK, itself a double entendre for inspiring something new or burning down the old. Max and Julien were living in Portland when smoke from nearby fires choked the city at record levels. Scientists speak increasingly of serotiny, an evolutionary miracle that causes some trees to release seeds only amid a season of fire. That is how SPARK often feels—Whitney’s circumstances were fraught on so many levels that they hung “the past...out to dry” and began again, finding a fresh version of themselves, their relationship, and their band after the blaze. SPARK is an inspiring testament to perseverance and renewal, to best friends trusting each other enough to carry one another to the other side.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Andy says: Whitney really hit the mark here with their beautiful soulful, soft early 70's sound, and possibly the best song-writing of their career so far. Lovely mellow stuff.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Nothing Remains
                                      2. Back Then
                                      3. Blue
                                      4. Twirl
                                      5. Real Love
                                      6. Memory
                                      7. Self
                                      8. Never Crossed My Mind
                                      9. Terminal
                                      10. Heart Will Beat
                                      11. Lost Control
                                      12. County Lines

                                      Stella Donnelly

                                      Flood

                                        Like the many Banded Stilts that spread across the cover of her newest album Flood, Stella Donnelly is wading into uncharted territory. Here, she finds herself discovering who she is as an artist among the flock, and how abundant one individual can be. Flood is Donnelly’s record of this rediscovery: the product of months of risky experimentation, hard moments of introspection, and a lot of moving around.

                                        Donnelly’s early reflections on the relationship between the individual and the many can be traced back to her time in the rainforests of Bellingen, where she took to birdwatching as both a hobby and an escape in a border-restricted world. By paying closer attention to the natural world around her, Donnelly recalls “I was able to lose that feeling of anyone’s reaction to me. I forgot who I was as a musician, which was a humbling experience of just being; being my small self.”

                                        Reconnecting with this ‘small self’ allowed Donnelly to tap into creative wells she didn’t know existed. Soon songs were coming to her in a way she could not control and over the coming months, Donnelly accumulated 43 tracks as she moved out of Bellingen and around the country, often finding herself displaced due to border restrictions and a tough rental market.

                                        Though the writing of Flood was an intensely personal undertaking, Donnelly still saw the recording process as one of her most collaborative projects yet. Along with her band members, co-producing the record beside Anna Laverty and Methyl Ethyl’s Jake Webb helped to foster an important spontaneity in the studio. With Webb, Donnelly could “dig in” and discover a “forward-leaning sound” she’d been searching for, while Laverty’s ability to “capture the piano” and discern the “perfect take” allowed the songwriter to take risks, many of which have clearly paid off.

                                        Looking back at the Banded Stilt, Donnelly ultimately appreciates how when “seen in a crowd they create an optical illusion, but on its own it’s this singular piece of art.” While each song in Flood is a singular artwork unto itself, the collective shares all of Stella Donnelly in abundance: her inner child, her nurturing self, her nightmare self; all of herself has gone into the making of this record, and although it would take an ocean to fathom everything she feels, it’s well worth diving in.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        Side A
                                        1) Lungs (03:31)
                                        2) How Was Your Day? (02:32)
                                        3) Restricted Account (04:08)
                                        4) Underwater (04:57)
                                        5) Medals (04:05)

                                        Side B
                                        6) Move Me (03:07)
                                        7) Flood (03:43)
                                        8) This Week (02:52)
                                        9) Oh My My My (03:13)
                                        10) Morning Silence (02:10)

                                        11) Cold (04:36)

                                        Jens Lekman

                                        The Cherry Trees Are Still In Blossom

                                          “All my friends were playing in these bass-guitar-drum bands,” speaks Jens Lekman, casting his mind back over twenty years to his first rudimentary experiments with sampling using his father’s old cassette recorder, and an instinct to create music that would set him far apart from his Swedish pop peers. “I’m going to sound like Scott Walker. But I’m going to do it in my bedroom.” Works of sweeping, maximalist, orchestral wonder sung in a sumptuous tenor, weaving lifts from obscure fleamarket vinyl records with by turns burningly romantic and mordantly funny true-life tales from the sleepy-shadowy suburbs of Gothenburg – Lekman’s early songs come from a different time, a different place. An era when the internet was young, limitless and disruptive, sample culture was turning music inside out, and anything felt possible. After initially finding an audience through peer-to-peer file sharing sites, Lekman signed to Secretly Canadian Records in 2003, and went on to release a slew of cherished material, including three cult limited-edition EPs – Maple Leaves, Rocky Dennis and Julie – later collected on the 2005 compilation album Oh You’re So Silent Jens.

                                          His DIY fantasias found their fullest and most celebrated form in 2007 on his second album proper, the exquisite Night Falls Over Kortedala – Lekman’s self-professed “dream record”. It went to number one in Sweden and was later hailed as one of the 200 best albums of the 2000s by Pitchfork, as well as one of the top 100 albums of the 21st century so far by The Guardian. Now, like Oh You’re So Silent Jens, it no longer exists in its original form. Oh You’re So Silent Jens enigmatically disappeared in 2011; Night Falls Over Kortedala followed suit in early 2022. Lekman’s impulse for giving old music fresh life and context has led him to remake the records under new names, each delicately positioned in dialogue with the past – the same albums, just different.

                                          The Cherry Trees Are Still In Blossom and The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom are a pair of lovingly and painstakingly assembled reduxes each keeping the same core tracklisting, spirit and source material as the originals, but blending brand new versions of some tracks, in part or in whole, together with many tracks left largely as they were. Both records are fleshed out with rare, previously unreleased, and even previously unfinished old songs, as well as other contemporaneous material such as cassette diaries.

                                          On The Cherry Trees, two of Lekman’s best-loved early breakout singles are completely reimagined – ‘Maple Leaves’ as a tender ballad burnished with warm strings; tragi-comic illegal taxi ride to oblivion ‘Black Cab’ in two different versions, a handsome full band pop song and a gentle acoustic lullaby.

                                          The Linden Trees repackages all the true-life tales, magic, and mystery of Night Falls for a new age, yet in wholly familiar form, from the joyous ‘The Opposite of Hallelujah’ to hilariously uplifting missive ‘A Postcard to Nina’ and open-hearted love-song ‘Your Arms Around Me’. Taken together, the new albums form a sort of belated farewell to Lekman’s formative days as a bedroom Scott Walker, panning for sample gold in stacks of vintage vinyl. Albeit not a farewell to the original albums themselves, which will live on in fans’ record collections, and perhaps illicit corners of the internet. Spread to the wind. “I feel like these new records are like portals that can lead you to the old records if you want,” Lekman reflects. “I think that they can lead you to another time and a place, where you could work with music in a different way

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: It's a really interesting idea this, and 'Cherry Trees...' sees Swedish pop maestro Jens Lenkman revisit 'Oh You're So Silent, Jens' from 2005 and is a brittle and beautiful reconstruction of those wonderfully evocative pieces. Though the structure is recognisable, it's brought things right up to date with orchestral flourishes and a modern production aesthetic, paying homage to the original whilst completely reinventing it at the same time. Beautiful.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          SIDE A:
                                          1) November 27, 2002
                                          2) At The Dept. Of Forgotten Songs
                                          3) Maple Leaves
                                          4) Sky Phenomenon
                                          5) Pocketful Of Money
                                          6) Black Cab

                                          SIDE B:
                                          7) Someone To Share My Life With
                                          8) December 19, 2002
                                          9) Rocky Dennis’ Farewell Song To The Blind Girl
                                          10) Rocky Dennis In Heaven
                                          11) Jens Lekman’s Farewell Song To Rocky Dennis
                                          12) Julie (RMX)

                                          SIDE C:
                                          13) April 23, 2003
                                          14) I Saw Her In The Anti-War Demonstration
                                          15) A Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill
                                          16) A Man Walks Into A Bar
                                          17) Another Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill
                                          18) F-Word

                                          SIDE D:
                                          19) The Wrong Hands
                                          20) June 1, 2003
                                          21) Eureka
                                          22) The Cherry Trees Are Still In Blossom
                                          23) Black Cab (Acoustic)

                                          Jens Lekman

                                          The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom

                                            “All my friends were playing in these bass-guitar-drum bands,” speaks Jens Lekman, casting his mind back over twenty years to his first rudimentary experiments with sampling using his father’s old cassette recorder, and an instinct to create music that would set him far apart from his Swedish pop peers. “I’m going to sound like Scott Walker. But I’m going to do it in my bedroom.” Works of sweeping, maximalist, orchestral wonder sung in a sumptuous tenor, weaving lifts from obscure fleamarket vinyl records with by turns burningly romantic and mordantly funny true-life tales from the sleepy-shadowy suburbs of Gothenburg – Lekman’s early songs come from a different time, a different place. An era when the internet was young, limitless and disruptive, sample culture was turning music inside out, and anything felt possible. After initially finding an audience through peer-to-peer file sharing sites, Lekman signed to Secretly Canadian Records in 2003, and went on to release a slew of cherished material, including three cult limited-edition EPs – Maple Leaves, Rocky Dennis and Julie – later collected on the 2005 compilation album Oh You’re So Silent Jens.

                                            His DIY fantasias found their fullest and most celebrated form in 2007 on his second album proper, the exquisite Night Falls Over Kortedala – Lekman’s self-professed “dream record”. It went to number one in Sweden and was later hailed as one of the 200 best albums of the 2000s by Pitchfork, as well as one of the top 100 albums of the 21st century so far by The Guardian. Now, like Oh You’re So Silent Jens, it no longer exists in its original form. Oh You’re So Silent Jens enigmatically disappeared in 2011; Night Falls Over Kortedala followed suit in early 2022. Lekman’s impulse for giving old music fresh life and context has led him to remake the records under new names, each delicately positioned in dialogue with the past – the same albums, just different.

                                            The Cherry Trees Are Still In Blossom and The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom are a pair of lovingly and painstakingly assembled reduxes each keeping the same core tracklisting, spirit and source material as the originals, but blending brand new versions of some tracks, in part or in whole, together with many tracks left largely as they were. Both records are fleshed out with rare, previously unreleased, and even previously unfinished old songs, as well as other contemporaneous material such as cassette diaries.

                                            On The Cherry Trees, two of Lekman’s best-loved early breakout singles are completely reimagined – ‘Maple Leaves’ as a tender ballad burnished with warm strings; tragi-comic illegal taxi ride to oblivion ‘Black Cab’ in two different versions, a handsome full band pop song and a gentle acoustic lullaby.

                                            The Linden Trees repackages all the true-life tales, magic, and mystery of Night Falls for a new age, yet in wholly familiar form, from the joyous ‘The Opposite of Hallelujah’ to hilariously uplifting missive ‘A Postcard to Nina’ and open-hearted love-song ‘Your Arms Around Me’. Taken together, the new albums form a sort of belated farewell to Lekman’s formative days as a bedroom Scott Walker, panning for sample gold in stacks of vintage vinyl. Albeit not a farewell to the original albums themselves, which will live on in fans’ record collections, and perhaps illicit corners of the internet. Spread to the wind. “I feel like these new records are like portals that can lead you to the old records if you want,” Lekman reflects. “I think that they can lead you to another time and a place, where you could work with music in a different way.”

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: 'Linden Trees...' is the second of Lenkman's reimagined classics out this week and much like the Cherry Trees, sees the swedish composer redoing one of his classic. This time it's the turn of 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' and is probably my favourite of the two, moving deftly between shimmering orchestral fare and stripped-back acousticry. It's a wonderful execution of a unique concept, and a GREAT listen.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            SIDE A:
                                            1) And I Remember Every Kiss
                                            2) Sipping On The Sweet Nectar
                                            3) The Opposite Of Hallelujah
                                            4) A Postcard To Nina
                                            5) Into Eternity

                                            SIDE B:
                                            6) I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You
                                            7) If I Could Cry (it Would Feel Like This)
                                            8) Your Arms Around Me
                                            9) Shirin
                                            10) It Was A Strange Time In My Life

                                            SIDE C:
                                            11) Kanske Är Jag Kär I Dig
                                            12) Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
                                            13) Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death
                                            14) Our Last Swim In The Ocean

                                            SIDE D:
                                            15) A Little Lost
                                            16) Radio NRJ
                                            17) The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom
                                            18) When I’m Swimming

                                            Porridge Radio

                                            Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky

                                            When Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin, one of the most vital new voices in rock, began to consider the themes of her new album, three vivid words began to emerge: joy, fear and endlessness. The artwork of the band’s third full-length, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky, is a surreal image that evokes the ducks and dives, slippery slopes and existential angst of life in recent times. “To me, the feelings of joy, fear and endlesses coexist together,” says Dana. “You’re never just happy or unhappy.”

                                            Following Every Bad’s release in 2020, Margolin was quickly becoming regarded as one of the most magnetic band leaders around. But if Every Bad established Dana’s bravery in laying herself bare, her band’s third record takes that to anthemic new heights. While there are moments of guttural release, she also finds soft power on songs. “I used to think I had to be loud to be heard,” she admits, “but now I’m definitely less afraid of being gentle.” The band’s first new single, ‘Back To The Radio’, sets out their stall, a lurching call to arms that contrasts Dana’s lyrics of panic and closing herself off. This song is just one of example in WDBLTTS that explores something that has long been an important part of Porridge Radio’s process: playfulness. “I think the album needed to have that balance,” Dana explains.

                                            Balance: that’s the word the album seems to be eternally striving for – joy, fear and endlessness in harmony but also self-acceptance. Dana is more aware of how she’s creating a persona as her star continues to rise, and how she’s singing personal songs that now belong to other people which gives her purpose. She says, “I wrote these songs for myself, but I think everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing is useful in some way. I’m ready to embrace it all now, whatever happens.”

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: There's a wonderful strength around the new Porridge Radio LP, it's bold and it's nuanced and anthemic but it's also defiant, with moments of instrumental and lyrical fragility perfectly offset by grand crescendos and almost post-rock levels of intensity. Beautifully written and melodic throughout, but with both moments of divine joy and passages of honest vulnerability.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            SIDE A:
                                            1. Back To The Radio
                                            2. Trying
                                            3. Birthday Party
                                            4. End Of Last Year
                                            5. Rotten
                                            6. U Can Be Happy If U Want To

                                            SIDE B:
                                            7. Flowers
                                            8. Jealousy
                                            9. I Hope She’s OK 2
                                            10. Splintered
                                            11. The Rip
                                            12. Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky

                                            Hatchie

                                            Giving The World Away

                                              The second album from Hatchie, ‘Giving The World Away’ is the truest introduction to the songwriter at the helm of the project, Harriette Pilbeam. Although her sound arrived fully-formed, a dazzling dream-pop and shoegaze tangle, it’s here that she distills the core of herself into a record.

                                              “There's more to me than just writing songs about being in love or being heartbroken -- there's a bigger picture than that,” Pilbeam explains. “This album really just feels like the beginning to me, and scratching the surface – and even though it’s my third release as Hatchie, I feel like I’m rebooting from scratch.”

                                              For Pilbeam, that bigger picture explored here includes confronting her anxieties after decades of compartmentalisation; realising her own self-confidence and self-esteem; taking control of her own narrative, and her place in both her professional and personal life. On ‘Giving the World Away,’ she held herself to higher standards, especially with personal lyrical precision. At the time she started working on it, she was caught in a strange headspace. When 2018 EP Sugar & Spice and subsequent debut LP Keepsake both arrived to critical acclaim and catapulted Hatchie into an international spotlight, she felt both unsure of herself and an intense, self-imposed pressure to keep going forward. Trapped in constant motion, Pilbeam was unable to be present or appreciative of herself, both professionally and personally.

                                              She tackles that struggle directly in the moody single “Quicksand,” written with GRAMMY-nominated Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro. “I used to think that this was something I could die for / I hate admitting to myself that I was never sure,” she sings, inverting the thesis of one of her early break-out singles “Sure.” And then, a few lines later, she regains her footing -- in her musicality, and in herself: “It’s all I know, and I’m taking it back.”

                                              “Quicksand is about dealing with the realisation that you'll never be satisfied” Pilbeam comments. “I started writing it when I was home between tours in 2019 before finishing it with Joe Agius and Dan Nigro the next year. I was feeling guilty and ungrateful for not being happy about a few different things in my life that were technically going well. I had to work through some tough learned thought processes and emotions that had been working away for years to try to understand how to be happy with my present, and stop fixating on my past and future. The video digs deeper into showing this juxtaposition of such sadness and anger despite being surrounded by glamour and grandeur."

                                              Director Nathan Castiel adds: “For ‘Quicksand', I created a video that plays off of some tropes of Hollywood glamour in a melancholy and surreal way while giving Harriette room to perform and express the song's raw emotions. We leaned into a neon-tinged after hours aesthetic and shot on 16mm which added a griminess to the opulent locations and set pieces.”

                                              “Quicksand” sets up the rest of the record; an album about self-confidence, about reclamation, about the strange time in young adulthood where you begin to finally be able to see yourself clearly.

                                              Produced by Jorge Elbrecht, also recently GRAMMY-nominated and known for his work with Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast, and Wild Nothing, ‘Giving the World Away’ is Hatchie’s most thunderous, sprawling work yet. Featuring extensive input from longtime Hatchie collaborator Joe Agius, it takes the celestial, shimmering shoegaze and pop sensibilities of her earlier releases, but with the volume knob cranked up tenfold. Built out with percussion from Beach House drummer James Barone, it’s synthed-out, sonic opulence, a more structured and ornate musicality with traces of ‘90s trip-hop and acid house influences.

                                              Pilbeam initially intended for these songs to go in a higher-energy direction -- she had the distinct vision of a Hatchie show turned dance party, inviting more movement and vibrancy into her live shows. But then, between Covid and the lockdowns in Australia, Pilbeam retreated more into herself, and that introspection and self-discovery served as the true inspiration for the record. Again and again across ‘Giving the World Away,’ she returns to that same theme – dismantling internalized shame and finding gratitude and steadiness, and finally being able to trust herself. Pilbeam grew up the youngest in her family, a self-described “big baby,” but says the last year and a half gave her the space to understand herself better. After years of emotional avoidance, here she excavates her fears fully.

                                              ‘Giving the World Away’ is an album about self-confidence, about reclamation, about the strange time in young adulthood where you begin to finally be able to see yourself clearly. Incisive and probing, ‘Giving the World Away’ is the clearest look at Pilbeam yet, and a relic of the power and bravery that spring forth from embracing vulnerability and putting your heart on the line.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Crystalline synths and rolling bass licks permeate the retro-tinged percussion and dreamy echoic vocals, bringing to mind the perfect pop of Tegan & Sara mixed with walls of shoegaze fuzz.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              Side A
                                              1) Lights On
                                              2) This Enchanted
                                              3) Twin
                                              4) Take My Hand
                                              5) The Rhythm
                                              6) Quicksand
                                              Side B
                                              7) Thinking Of
                                              8) Giving The World Away
                                              9) The Key
                                              10) Don't Leave Me In The Rain
                                              11) Sunday Song
                                              12) Til We Run Out Of Air

                                              BONUS TRACKS On Download Card:
                                              Back Into Your Arms (Hatchie's Version)
                                              Don't Leave Me In The Rain (Demo)
                                              Quicksand (Demo)
                                              The Rhythm (Demo)

                                              Alex Cameron

                                              Oxy Music

                                                Alex Cameron has always been a great storyteller, finding his ways into the depths of the places where not many others are looking, and Oxy Music continues on that trajectory. It’s filled with stories of people who fall outside the system and exist in the grey areas of life. And much like 2017’s Forced Witness, Oxy Music is a work of fiction. In its design - its music, lyrics and tracklist - lies the journey a person can take, if the circumstances present themselves - down the road of heavy drug and alcohol abuse. Initially inspired by Nico Walker’s Cherry, Cameron was spurred into yet another commentary on American Life, this time about the opioid crisis that has taken over the country. Alex says about Oxy Music: “The album is a story, a work of fiction, mostly from the perspective of a man. Starved of meaningful purpose, confused about the state of the world, and in dire need of a reason to live - a person can, and according to the latest statistics, increasingly will, turn to opioids. This is one of those people.”

                                                While Oxy Music could be dark, it’s instead brighter and more buoyant than much of Cameron’s previous work, a shift in mood first seen across 2019’s Miami Memory. It’s told from a place of optimism and through the lens of Cameron, in the way that only he can tell it.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                SIDE A:
                                                1. Best Life
                                                2. Sara Jo
                                                3. Prescription Refill
                                                4. Hold The Line
                                                5. Breakdown

                                                SIDE B:
                                                6. K Hole
                                                7. Dead Eyes
                                                8. Cancel Culture (feat. Lloyd Vines)
                                                9. Oky Music (feat. Jason Williamson)

                                                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

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Barry says: 'Leftovers' is a beautifully written and tender culmination of Lauren Spear's musings on various relationships, filtered through the medium of folky guitar and gorgeously sung vocals.

                                                  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

                                                  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

                                                            Skullcrusher

                                                            Skullcrusher EP

                                                              Skullcrusher is, by all accounts, an exploration of the ways you become yourself when you aren’t looking - and how that feels once you start paying attention. It’s a quiet power; a hushed celebration of the tiny, understated subtleties that culminate into knowing yourself.

                                                              On her debut EP, songwriter Helen Ballentine offers an airy, intense and unflinchingly open collection of songs written about - and from - one of life’s in-between grey areas, a stretch of uncertainty and unemployment and the subsequent search for identity. Here, as Skullcrusher, Ballentine grapples with how to communicate her private self to an audience. 

                                                              The four dark, dreamy songs on her debut EP were influenced by a strange-but-fitting amalgamation of media consumed in the immediate aftermath of quitting her 9-5. There’s Valerie and her Week of Wonders, the Czech newwave film that went on to inform Skullcrusher’s aesthetic. There’s Ballentine’s love of fantasy and surrealism, her appreciation of the way fantasy novels juxtapose beauty and violence.

                                                              Skullcrusher’s understated energy radiates with the atmosphere of waking up to the quiet terror of shapeless, structureless days but it finds power in eschewing the pressures of careerism and a vapid culture of productivity. Instead, as Skullcrusher, Ballentine has the audacity to be comfortable enough with herself and to simply accept the unknown as her life.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              Places/Plans
                                                              Trace
                                                              Two Weeks In December
                                                              Day Of Show

                                                              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

                                                                      Suuns

                                                                      Felt (Love Record Stores Edition)

                                                                        Love Record Stores Edition available from 9am on Saturday June 20th.
                                                                        Limited to one per person.


                                                                        Two-tone vinyl.

                                                                        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

                                                                              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

                                                                                          Stella Donnelly

                                                                                          Beware Of The Dogs

                                                                                            Stella Donnelly is a proud, self-proclaimed shit-stirrer. On lead single “Old Man,” the biting opener of her electrifying debut album, ‘Beware of the Dogs,’ she targets the song’s titular creep, “Oh are you scared of me old man or are you scared of what I’ll do? You grabbed me with an open hand. The world is grabbing back at you.” When something needs to be said, whether it’s to an abusive man, a terrible boss, or a clueless significant other, the 26-year old Fremantle, Western Australia-based musician is fearless in telling it like it is. Delivered entirely with a sarcastic wink and a full heart, ‘Beware of the Dogs’ proves across 13 lifeaffirming songs the power in sticking up for yourself, your friends, and what’s right.

                                                                                            The album showcases an artist totally in command of her voice, able to wield her inviting charm and razor-sharp wit into authentically raw songs. It’s a resounding statement of purpose in recent memory and most importantly, it’s a portrait of Donnelly taking charge. She says, “this album made me feel like I was back in the driver’s seat. It was really liberating and grounding to realize that no one can fuck with this except me.”

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Barry says: There certainly is a coherent thread running between a lot of the music coming from Australia nowadays, not in terms of sound necessarily, but the attitude and pacing of the music. 'Beware Of The Dogs' epitomises that effortless cool without ever feeling like it's too loose. tightly woven melodies and strummed guitars form the perfect backdrop to the wry political meanderings and stunning vocals peppered over the top. This really is a killer LP, and one that is sure to appear in my top-10 come the end of year.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. Old Man
                                                                                            2. Mosquito
                                                                                            3. Season's Greetings
                                                                                            4. Allergies
                                                                                            5. Tricks
                                                                                            6. Boys Will Be Boys
                                                                                            7. Lunch
                                                                                            8. Bistro
                                                                                            9. Die
                                                                                            10. Beware Of The Dogs
                                                                                            11. U Owe Me
                                                                                            12. Watching Telly
                                                                                            13. Face It

                                                                                            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 believed in and sought real beauty. And so, even at its most caustic and sardonic, his masterpiece swan song The Hex is beautiful. Conceived in pieces over the last several years and completed just the month before his passing, The Hex is the grand statement Swift acolytes have been a-wishin-and-a-hopin’ for all these years. After a career of sticking some of his finest songs on EPs and 45s, here are all his powers coalescing into a single, long-player statement. At its core, The Hex is an aching call out into the void for Swift’s mother (“Wendy”) and his sister (“Sister Song”) whom he lost in back-to-back years. You hear a man at his lowest and spiritually on his heels.

                                                                                            The pain fueling Swift’s cries of “She’s never comin’ back” on the absolutely gutting standout “Nancy” is some sort of dark catharsis for anyone who’s ever lost a loved one to the cold abstraction of Death. Over a slow, Wall of Sound kick and a warbling synth, Swift’s cries climb higher-n-higher-n-higher into what may be his most devastating vocal performance on record. A cry of pain so real and so raw Swift had to treat the performance with just a little studio effect, without which the recorded grieving might be too much to bear. The Hex is presented here as “The Hex For Family and Friends.” An obsessive fan of Wall of Sound doo-wop, early Funkadelic, Bo Diddley, Beefheart and Link Wray, Swift gives them all a moment with the flashlight around The Hex campfire, one moment to make a strange shadow-cast face for us, his family and friends.

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Barry says: A visceral but fascinating look into the mind of one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, 'The Hex' is disarming at points, but dynamically absorbing and brilliantly written. A superb legacy, and a superb listen throughout.

                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                            1. The Hex
                                                                                            2. Broken Finger Blues
                                                                                            3. Selfishmath
                                                                                            4. Dirty Jim
                                                                                            5. Babylon
                                                                                            6. Wendy
                                                                                            7. Sister Song
                                                                                            8. Nancy
                                                                                            9. HZLWD
                                                                                            10. Kensington!
                                                                                            11. Sept20

                                                                                            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

                                                                                                Stella Donnelly

                                                                                                Thrush Metal

                                                                                                  Stella Donnelly quickly became one of Australia’s buzziest young singer-songwriters earlier this year with the release of her debut EP, Thrush Metal. Now release in the UK, it opens with the defiant, "Mechanical Bull" which is reminiscent of "Dry" era PJ Harvey. Next up is the stunning "Boys Will Be Boys". Atop delicate, singsongy acoustic fingerpicking, Donnelly confronts a man who raped her friend and takes to task the accompanying victim-blaming. “Why was she all alone? Wearing her shirt that low And they said boys will be boys Deaf to the word no,” she coos in the chorus, a slight vibrato flaring up at the corners of her lovely voice.
                                                                                                  The stripped back melancholy of the following three tracks: "Mean To Me", "Grey" and "A Poem" show off her vocals in a slightly different light, and closing track "Talking", which is a new addition to the EP for this vinyl release, returns to the weightier content of the EPs start. 




                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                  1. Mechanical Bull
                                                                                                  2. Boys Will Be Boys
                                                                                                  3. Mean To Me
                                                                                                  4. Grey
                                                                                                  5. A Poem
                                                                                                  6. Talking

                                                                                                  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)

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                            Whitney

                                                                                                            You've Got A Woman / Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)

                                                                                                              Ever since they wrote ‘Light Upon The Lake’ as Chicago froze around them during winter 2014, Whitney have tried to make the kind of songs they’d be jealous of if someone else got there first.

                                                                                                              ‘You’ve Got A Woman’, released on the B-side of Dutch duo Lion’s 1975 psych-pop 7” ‘But I Do’, is precisely one of those songs. “As soon as I heard it, I wished I’d written the vocal melody; it’s so catchy and powerful,” says singing drummer Julien Ehrlich. Whitney’s version is rich, instantaneous and deep in groove. Much like Whitney’s singles ‘No Woman’ and ‘Golden Days’ from last year’s debut, ‘You’ve Got A Woman’ is brushed with longing, nostalgia and serves to slow down time.

                                                                                                              Unlike Lion, Whitney made it their A-side. Flip the 12” and you’ll find Dolly Parton’s ‘Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)’, a short, tearful love song hewn from piano, brass, guitar and Julien’s falsetto.

                                                                                                              Things have exploded for Whitney in a year and time on the road meant that even Chicago feels different now - relationships have changed, friendships have drifted but they can still retreat into their songs, snapshots of changing seasons that will always be comforting.

                                                                                                              The first new recordings from Whitney since their breakthrough debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’.

                                                                                                              She-Devils

                                                                                                              She-Devils

                                                                                                                Through primitive electronic gear, hypnotist vocals and an “amusement park of sounds,” duo She- Devils’ album constructs a fun-house world of beautiful chaos.

                                                                                                                The music is built from original sonics inspired by everything from Iggy Pop to Madonna to T-Rex to Can, as well as the romantic longing of 60s yé-yé.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                Come
                                                                                                                Hey Boy
                                                                                                                Make You Pay
                                                                                                                Darling
                                                                                                                How Do You Feel
                                                                                                                Blooming
                                                                                                                You Do You Feel
                                                                                                                Blooming
                                                                                                                You Don’t Know
                                                                                                                Never Let Me Go
                                                                                                                Buffalo

                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                This long-overdue vinyl reissue of Yoko Ono’s seminal but massively under-appreciated ‘Plastic Ono Band’ has all the makings of a classic rock nostalgia trip: Ono, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and free-jazz legend Ornette Coleman. All the pieces are here to stir up a dangerous amount of nostalgia but once the needle drops the record achieves something exactly perpendicular to nostalgia.

                                                                                                                Released in 1971, the album not only influenced the approach of other musicians for decades, it also sounds absolutely modern 44 years out, eternally fresh despite the forward march of time.

                                                                                                                ‘Plastic Ono Band’ not only predicted the intersection of the avant-garde and rock that would take place in the second half of that decade, the album would sound right at home at where that intersection is happening today.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                Why
                                                                                                                Why Not
                                                                                                                Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City
                                                                                                                AOS
                                                                                                                Touch Me
                                                                                                                Paper Shoes

                                                                                                                John Lennon & Yoko Ono

                                                                                                                Unfinished Music, No. 1: Two Virgins

                                                                                                                Turns out the very sound of falling in love is just as abstract, subjective and loopy as the concept itself. Yoko Ono and John Lennon are two of history’s greatest lovers and ‘Two Virgins’ is the document of the pair falling in love in real time. The album is a curious and amazing suite recorded over one weekend in Spring 1968 at Lennon’s Kenwood home: Distant conversations; comedic role playing and footsteps; laughter, birdcalls and plunking piano lines; silly songs and space; tape delay stretching shrieks, bass rumbles and moans to the moon and back again.

                                                                                                                The now-iconic cover (featuring Ono and Lennon standing nude together) notwithstanding, nothing about ‘Two Virgins’ is safe. It would be a risky move today for artists in the larger, pop culture conversation just as it was a risky move in 1969. However, this is an uncomfortably private, two-person dialogue about - and celebration of - experimentation, inspiration and play. These two souls bravely let us look through the keyhole.

                                                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                Side One
                                                                                                                Side Two

                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                        Songs: Ohia

                                                                                                                        Didn't It Rain - Deluxe Edition

                                                                                                                          The release features the original album - an ode to the Midwest Rust Belt under which Molina was born and Molina’s (at the time) newfound Chicago home - as well as an additional disc of never-before-released demos.

                                                                                                                          The first demo shared was the haunting ‘Ring The Bell, Working Title: The Depression No. 42’, replete with gentle room noises, highlighting the intimacy of all the demos found on this deluxe edition.

                                                                                                                          Stereogum premiered the gorgeous ‘Blue Chicago Moon’, a song that reminds us all that this was an artist trying to discover himself and confront all his strengths and weaknesses within the context of his new hometown. The demo features what can only be described as an affirmation in refrain: “you are not helpless.” It’s through these seminal records of Jason’s and these newly released demos that we are able to feel more close to an artist who touched so many with his music by revealing and coming to terms with his own demons.

                                                                                                                          ‘Didn’t It Rain’ is Jason Molina’s first perfect record. Recorded live in a single room, with no overdubs and musicians creating their parts on the fly, the overall approach to the recording was nothing new for Molina. The execution of ‘Didn’t It Rain’ clearly sets it apart from his existing body of work. His albums had always been full of space but never had Molina sculpted the space as masterfully as he does on ‘Didn’t It Rain’.

                                                                                                                          This expanded reissue presents Molina’s home demos of the record, eight previously unreleased tracks, complete with a distant playground full of children chiming in the background for a few songs. The glorious juxtaposition of Molina’s songs’ desolation and the blissful playing of children is about as haunting as it gets.

                                                                                                                          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!

                                                                                                                            Lost In The Dream is the third album by Philadelphia band The War On Drugs, but in many ways, it feels like the first. Around the release of the 2011 breakthrough Slave Ambient, Adam Granduciel spent the bulk of two years on the road, touring through progressively larger rock clubs, festival stages and late-night television slots. As these dozen songs shifted and grew beyond what they'd been in the studio, The War on Drugs became a bona fide rock 'n' roll band.

                                                                                                                            That essence drives Lost In The Dream, a 10-song set produced by Granduciel and longtime engineer Jeff Zeigler. In the past, Granduciel built the core of songs largely by himself. But these tunes were played and recorded by the group that had solidified so much on the road: Dave Hartley, (his favorite bassist in the world), who had played a bit on The War on Drugs' 2008 debut Wagonwheel Blues, and pianist Robbie Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist who contributed to Slave Ambient. This unit spent eight months bouncing between a half-dozen different studios that stretched from the mountains of North Carolina to the boroughs of New York City. Only then did Granduciel--the proudly self-professed gearhead, and unrepentant perfectionist--add and subtract, invite guests and retrofit pieces. He sculpted these songs into a musical rescue mission, through and then beyond personal despair and anxiety. Lost In The Dream represents the trials of the trip and the triumphs of its destination.

                                                                                                                            "I wanted there to be a singular voice, but I wanted it to be a project of great friends. Everyone in the band cares about it so much," he says. "That is the crux of it--growing up, dealing with life, having close friends, helping each other get by. That is what the record's all about."

                                                                                                                            As such, these tunes reveal a careful and thrilling reinvention of the sound that's become The War on Drugs' trademark. The signature meld of long tones and scattershot layers still stands, with phantom drum machines and organ lines dotting the musical middle distance all across Lost In The Dream. Note the way the keys whisper against the guitar's growl as the tempestuous "An Ocean in Between the Waves" approaches pentecostal heat. Hear how, when a sharp and hard riff cuts into the inescapable chorus of "Red Eyes," synthetic strings and baritone saxophone shape a soft, infinite bed beneath it.

                                                                                                                            But there's a newfound directness to these tunes, too. Granduciel's voice steps out from behind its typical web of effects--louder now, with more experiences to share and more steel from having survived them. He sounds less like a prismatic reflection of a rock bandleader, more like the emboldened actualization of that idea. With its crisp, unencumbered delivery, "Eyes to the Wind" becomes the album's centerpiece and the group's new anthem. This is Granduciel's to-date triumph and the exact moment where Lost In The Dream moves from a tale of confusion to one of resolve. Throughout most of the record, grips loosen and senses fail, memories are mourned and expectations are abandoned. But after the Rolling Thunder lift of "Eyes to the Wind," Granduciel finds new contentment and direction. Anguish sublimates into deliverance. Backed by his bros, Granduciel becomes a preacher in a new pulpit.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            1. Under The Pressure
                                                                                                                            2. Red Eyes
                                                                                                                            3. Suffering
                                                                                                                            4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
                                                                                                                            5. Disappearing
                                                                                                                            6. Eyes To The Wind
                                                                                                                            7. The Haunting Idle
                                                                                                                            8. Burning
                                                                                                                            9. Lost In The Dream
                                                                                                                            10. In Reverse

                                                                                                                            Over the past three years, the Santa Barbarian comrades that make up Gardens & Villa - Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop, and Dusty Ineman - went from playing local bills to being veterans of the road. After releasing their self-titled debut on Secretly Canadian in 2011, they pushed their van’s odometer into the six-digit range, zigzagging North America and Europe with over 350 shows in just two years. Gardens & Villa emerged a wiser, crystallized version of themselves.

                                                                                                                            Those experiences planted the seeds for the band’s new batch of cohesive, personal, and beautifully layered pop songs - homegrown in the confines of the band’s beachside practice space. When it came time to record, they searched out acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules & Love Affair) and these five surftown natives found themselves travelling to the unlikely locale of Benton Harbor, MI (pop. 10,040) in January. There they landed at the Key Club, located deep in the recesses of a converted locksmith’s building where they would record what would become their second full length, ‘Dunes’.

                                                                                                                            Gardens & Villa burrowed into the Key Club’s retro-themed studio and living space, only leaving the facility five times over the next month. The disconnection between Santa Barbara’s familiar sunny beaches and Michigan’s snow-covered lakeshore led to the group’s creative unravelling in the studio. The band lost track of the hours, days, and weeks as blinking analogue machines captured the intense journey. In the process, ‘Dunes’ was poured through Sly Stone’s original custom-built Flickinger recording console.

                                                                                                                            With just a week left before deadline, Gardens & Villa sought a brief refuge from the studio where their progress had stalled. They went on a trip, traversing winding roads past frozen tundra and barren trees into the wilderness of the nearby state park’s tall dunes. The group climbed to the top and collapsed into a combination of sand and snow

                                                                                                                            Simultaneously reminded of home as well as their distance from it, their jaws dropped as they turned to see Lake Michigan’s majestic and surreal expanse stretching toward the horizon. Supported by Goldsworthy’s guidance, the band went back to the studio and ultimately emerged with a record beaming with dystopian energy, subconscious lyrics, and uncompromising sincerity.

                                                                                                                            Lynch has seamlessly integrated his bansuri flutes and Rasmussen has fleshed out his looming synths alongside shades of 80s cult films soundscapes that lurk just underneath the songs in an unnoticeable yetomnipresent fashion.

                                                                                                                            Like the awe-inspiring clarity of sitting atop Michigan’s dunes, the band’s forthcoming record shares a clear and evocative vision of where Gardens & Villa’s members have travelled, what they’ve learned, and what lies ahead.

                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                            Ryan says: 'Dunes' is a wonderful mishmash of synth-pop, funk & psyche tendencies. The sound is much bigger than their previous LP. This is great.

                                                                                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                                            Domino
                                                                                                                            Colony Glen
                                                                                                                            Bullet Train
                                                                                                                            Chrysanthemums
                                                                                                                            Echosassy
                                                                                                                            Purple Mesas
                                                                                                                            Avalanche
                                                                                                                            Minnesota
                                                                                                                            Thunder Glove
                                                                                                                            Love Theme

                                                                                                                            Damien Jurado

                                                                                                                            Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son

                                                                                                                              Damien Jurado’s ‘Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son’ is the follow up to 2012’s critically acclaimed ‘Maraqopa’ and again features Richard Swift producing - the third time in which the pair have collaborated. 

                                                                                                                              Expanding on the existential journey of its predecessor, ‘Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son’ tells the story of a man who disappears on a search for himself never to return. The world of ‘Brothers...’ is birthed from the deepening partnership between Damien and producer Richard Swift. 

                                                                                                                              Damien’s musical career began with the release of his debut ‘Water Ave S’ on Sub Pop in 1997. He went on to release three more records for the Seattle label before joining Secretly Canadian, a move marked by the release of ‘Where Shall You Take Me?’. 

                                                                                                                              What’s evident on ‘Brother And Sisters Of The Eternal Son’ is that Jurado continues to evolve. In his own words he states “How I feel about, not just my songs but what happens in the studio... It is limitless.” 

                                                                                                                              This deluxe version features a second disc of songs from the album as performed by Damien and female choir Sisters Of The Eternal Son.

                                                                                                                              Luke Temple

                                                                                                                              Good Mood Fool

                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                Porcelain Raft

                                                                                                                                Permanent Signal

                                                                                                                                  Porcelain Raft’s Mauro Remiddi began working on ‘Permanent Signal’ at the end of 2012, two months after returning from tour supporting his first album ‘Strange Weekend’. It became a period of readjustment in which he was beginning to enjoy everyday comforts and reconnecting with friends, yet the thoughts of those unrealized conversations during his recent travels were still fresh in his mind.

                                                                                                                                  Inspired by this surreal moment of transition, where the reality of finally being home was still overshadowed by lingering feelings of detachment, he sold almost all of the instruments used for ‘Strange Weekend’ in order to “start with a new colour palette”.

                                                                                                                                  During ‘Minor Pleasure’, Remiddi finds catharsis amidst the processed drone of organ and piano, echoing the gospel-dosed psychedelia of Spiritualized, There are tracks like ‘Cluster’ and the haunting, Lennon-esque ‘I Lost Connection’, which deal directly with lives either on hold or in transition.

                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                  Andy says: Porcelain Raft's debut was one of Piccadilly Records' albums of the year and this follow-up does not dissapoint. Like Puressence gone shoegaze, there's a real songcraft once more on display.

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                  Songs: Ohia

                                                                                                                                  Hecla & Griper - 15th Anniversary Edition

                                                                                                                                    This vinyl reissue contains two previously unreleased Songs: Ohia tracks ("Debts" and "Pilot & Friend") and alternative versions of two songs that would later appear on Songs: Ohia's Impala ("Hearts Newly Arrived (Hecla Session)" and "One of Those Uncertain Hands (Hecla Session).”

                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                      Cayucas

                                                                                                                                      Cayucos / Swimsuit

                                                                                                                                        No one knows summer like Santa Monica’s Zach Yudin. “Can you hear it comin’?” he asks, at the start of ‘Cayucos’, the opening salvo by his band Cayucas.

                                                                                                                                        With a nod to 60’s beach blanket pop gems and bonfire folk songs, Cayucas hits the waves runnin’, causing involuntary headbobs, finger snaps, toetaps and the ability to shake your booty like it’s strapped to a brand new set of maracas.

                                                                                                                                        Producer / multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift deftly captures Yudin’s inimitable voice as it echoes through the barrel of the perfect wave. It's a song for the ages for sure.

                                                                                                                                        B-side ‘Swimsuit’ continues to carry the torch, with its cocktail-lounge organ flourishes painting a picture of young, carefree days spent pining for your summer love.

                                                                                                                                        For fans of Best Coast, Beach Boys, Andrew Bird, Small Black, Foster The People, Here We Go Magic.

                                                                                                                                        Jens Lekman

                                                                                                                                        I Know What Love Isn't / An Argument With Myself

                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                          Special edition 2CD version features the entire ‘Argument With Myself’ EP from 2011.

                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                            Taken By Trees

                                                                                                                                            Dreams

                                                                                                                                              ‘Dreams’ is just one of the highlights from Taken By Trees’ ‘Other Worlds’, the forthcoming album that was inspired by chanteuse Victoria Bergsman’s visit to the Hawaiian Islands.

                                                                                                                                              The touches of dub are gently layered with synths and Victoria's voice, floating along with the bassline.

                                                                                                                                              The music reflects the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands; floating in a perfectly blue pond, a kind breeze coasting off the waves, abundant deep green foliage, sweet slices of pineapple and milky coconut, and the delicate pink of a seashell curled like a baby's ear.

                                                                                                                                              The ‘Dreams’ 12” also features an extended instrumental and a dubbed out remix by Henning Fürst of The Tough Alliance.

                                                                                                                                              Exitmusic

                                                                                                                                              Passage

                                                                                                                                                The debut album from NYC’s Exitmusic - Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino - is one of stirring atmospherics and grandiose thoughtful pop.

                                                                                                                                                Powerful and nuanced, this is a record that has wide appeal and it is a sound that has been painstakingly put together. Aleksa and Devon started writing several years ago in NYC, and continued when the couple moved to Los Angeles as Palladino’s burgeoning acting career continued (she has a major part in Scorsese’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’), finishing with Nicholas Vernhes at the Rare Book Room in Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                                Chiming, blurry guitars, heavenly, ethereal sighs, elegant and starkly devastating sparks of light… simply put, this is arena goth.

                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                Damien Jurado

                                                                                                                                                Maraqopa

                                                                                                                                                  At Richard Swift's National Freedom studios, the live-to-tape ethos allowed the songs on Damien Jurado's 'Maraqopa' to expand and retract like a great beast's breath. Every in-the-moment bell and whistle here is hung with a natural, casual care. And from this, each song offers up its own unique gift: the enchanting children's choir that echoes each line of Jurado's lament for innocence lost on "Life Away from the Garden"; the breezy bossa nova that begins "This Time Next Year" and rises as effortless as a smoke cloud into high-noon showdown pop; "Reel to Reel"'s wobbly, Spector-symphony and its meta themes; the wonderful falsetto vocal work Jurado pulls from himself on "Museum of Flight."

                                                                                                                                                  The Seattle Times recently called Jurado "Seattle's folk-boom godfather," a praising recognition to be sure. But also a title Jurado might not yet be ready to accept. That's a title for someone who has settled. With each visit to National Freedom, Jurado is exploring, taking risks. He's not only freeing his songs. The gate is opened wide to allow us all into his once-isolated musical universe. One gets the sense he's just now hitting his stride.

                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                  Darryl says: A really beautiful album, Jurado has really hit his songwriting peak with 'Maraqopa'. Intimate desert blues with a warm melancholic soundscape.

                                                                                                                                                  Porcelain Raft

                                                                                                                                                  Strange Weekend

                                                                                                                                                    Debut album on Secretly Canadian for widely respected Italian / London artist now relocated to New York.

                                                                                                                                                    Mauro Remiddi's androgynous vapor of a voice weaves like a ghost between Nick Gilder and The Alessi Brothers, Julee Cruise and Judee Sill. In more contemporary terms, Porcelain Raft stands confidently on a high hill between the sounds of M83 and Beach House. Lead track "Drifting In and Out" is loping and anthemic; gauzy and chiming. "Shapeless and Gone" follows with a heavy strum reminiscent of "Cosmic Dancer" -- full of mood and style without all the wearying excesses and feathered boas. Porcelain Raft's thesis statement hits when side B kicks off with "Unless You Speak From Your Heart." Remiddi's androgynous vocals carrying a hook so simple that you might think you sang it first; keys and bass that might make the needle jump off of your turntable; and a sense of raw sincerity that has come to trademark Remiddi's songs is what ultimately resonates.


                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                    Andy says: Heartstring twanging, massive, classic chord changes with yearning vocals drifting around. This is like Puressence, but played by Twin Shadow. That gorgeous, sometimes anthemic quality is offset by bedroom electronics and distortion. Absolutely mega!

                                                                                                                                                    Darryl says: Serene and utterly gorgeous, welcome to the world of Porcelain Raft. An angelic vocal that floats majestically over a delicate and melancholic soundscape, bringing to mind a futuristic Joy Division, M83, and an electro-infused My Bloody Valentine.


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