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SPEEDY WUNDERGROUND

Joyeria

FIM EP

    Pre-order the EP and you could be in with a change of winning a limited edition test pressing, hand painted by Joy - there are only four of these in existence!
    *NPN

    Joyeria’s FIM (EP) is what happens when a Canadian spends his adult life patiently crafting his own path as a songwriter in London instead of following his heroes and peers in search of an assumed authenticity in Austin or Nashville. It’s what happens when a stubbornly solo artist finds a true collaborator in a producer like Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey. It’s what happens after a songwriter has worked hard for a long time in the dark, looking for lighting in a bottle — and finds it.

    So far, Joyeria has charted his career in invisible ink. Always a shape shifter, never a genre chaser. He’s quit bands when their buzz was the buzziest, he’s released music under names even devotees could never remember how to spell and has insisted on building his backstory entirely with gaps in the narrative. He’s a maths-wiz, a crack chess player, a painter and Dad who smokes on the sly. Built like a hockey player, with a frame carved out by late nights and tour life - he is an imposing figure until you step into the presence of his gently voracious enthusiasm.

    Joyeria's FIM (‘fuck, I missed!’) is a collection of songs about depression, society and a celebration of songwriting in a world that looks a lot less encouraging to be a songwriter in than it did when Joyeria fell in love with the independent bands of the late 90’s. Which might be why it sounds fresh in the way a gem from an older sibling’s record collection does.

    One is reminded of a certain breed of accomplished songwriters in the lyrical wit and natural baritone of Joyeria. But Dan Carey’s exuberant production recaptures and reinvigorates the essential weirdness of what united the early phases of fellow off-beat masters — a buoyant taste for the strange. It’s the sound of two collaborators working fast, wild and free with years of experience under their belts and exacting standards.

    Instead of conceiving middle-age as a personal apocalypse, instead of contriving a barbed authority and pointing fingers — Joyeria breaks ground in the calm devastation of the present he perceives. This is what makes the FIM (EP) a record of the moment, by a songwriter who has plied his craft for a long time to get here.

    Over the course of six songs, a listener has room to luxuriate in electric confessions of fatigue, “Just let the dog eat from the table/ I lay in its spot catching some sleep.” And while the FIM (EP) never pretends to be positive and uplifting, it’s hard to shake the ecstatic thrill of Joyeria declaring: “There’s a wild joy I remember” — as if his voice is about to break its vessel. It’s too necessary a cry to be nostalgic. And if it sounds slightly insane, it is because it’s inspired.

    *NPN - send an email to mail@piccadillyrecords with "Joyeria TP" in the subject.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: Absolutely loving this! My favourite new thing ATM.

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Wild Joy
    2 Death
    3 Colour Film
    4 Performance Review
    5 Decisions
    6 9 To 5

    The Lounge Society

    Tired Of Liberty - Postcard Set Edition

      Returning for the third time to the studio of Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, Hebden Bridge’s The Lounge Society are back; this time, with the mindset of crafting a debut album conceived out of desire, raised by collaborative muscle-memory, and kept beating, by the sacred-heart of emotional-spirit.

      Recorded over two weeks in November 2021, ‘Tired of Liberty’ is a stunningly ubiquitous snapshot of instrumental meltdown, and timeless adolescence. Keen to uphold the manipulated elasticity of a recorded event, the majority of the eleven tracks that make up the record (with the exception of ‘Generation Game’, which saw its beginnings as part of the Speedy Wunderground 7” series, and was subsequently re-recorded), were written either just before, or throughout the duration of those fortnight sessions.

      A rarity for most bands, The Lounge Society functions best as a collective entity. With no core-leader, everything from the sources of inspiration, to the lyrics themselves, is handled collaboratively, and with equal merit; as they strive to create a self-sufficient creative unit, larger than the individual. Far from a documentation of disenfranchised youth, ‘Tired of Liberty’ seeks to overthrow with striking articulation. Stirringly fearless, it masterfully combines archetypal storytelling, with as many disparate principles as introspectively possible; capturing the aural shifts in time and attitudes between ‘Generation Game’, and where we join The Lounge Society now.

      Brimming with anthemic-myriad, this is the real deal. Genuine urgency from a group of young creatives living and breathing their inaugurated prime, with breath-taking, anarchic-proficiency. Whether it’s “lies drenched in sarcasm” (‘Blood Money’), or, the clattering, riff-screaming irony of ‘Remains’, The Lounge Society’s deep-rooted inversion towards our “culture of anti-freedom”- the ludicrous excuses man makes for the ceasing of mankind, is one which is both culturally-associative, and, counter-culturally embracing.

      Periodically awakening the living rebel running skin deep in us all, ‘No Driver’ is a heart-wrenching masterpiece. With every guitar-laden growl, it intricately sheds and unveils each layer of humanity until all that remains is skeletal distress, and intervening frequencies of invigorating-abandon. “The sun is sleeping, all of the time” yet The Lounge Society are awake and desirous; insatiably hellbent on tearing down failing social-structures, before the new-dawn seeks to counterattack.

      Be it the self-prophesying hum of the studios ‘Lounge’ recording-light, or, the re-configuration of the entire room so the mics moved away from the instruments with each song, (“we wanted to start with a hard focus and end chaotically”- notes Carey), every possible attention to detail was considered in order to honour the core ethos of fulfilled direction. Fervently striving to build an environment that grows bigger with sound and time, in ‘Tired of Liberty’ the creative process itself holds as much experimental value, as the conceptual journey as a whole.

      Whether its personal growth, banded maturity, or a hearty combination of the two, ‘Tired of Liberty’ is an expertly captured documentation of four young-adults, at the baptism of their cultural-ignition. After all, you only get one opportunity at a debut record. “Anything that follows, is just an evolution from that.”- The Lounge Society.

      TRACK LISTING

      1 People Are Scary
      2 Blood Money
      3 No Driver
      4 Beneath The Screen
      5 North Is Your Heart
      6 Last Breath
      7 Remains
      8 Boredom Is A Drug
      9 It's Just A Ride
      10 Upheaval
      11 Generation Game

      Moreish Idols

      Float EP

        London's Moreish Idols arrived fully formed a couple of months back with the frenetic "Speedboat", their debut single for tastemakers Speedy Wunderground. Following widespread support on that track, the band return today with news of their debut EP for the label "Float" set for release on August 12th, and a brand-new single in the insistent "Hangar".

        Born from humble beginnings in a Cornish coastal town, the band recently relocated to the capital, expanding scope in the process to create something that not only stands apart from their peers, but also manages that aural diversity song to song within the same set.

        Created with a strictly implemented manifesto: writing solely as a group so as to allow the blending of each member's widely divergent personalities and influences. This melded a sound that combines jazz, funk, krautrock, dub and punk into something decidedly... moreish.

        In January 2022, Moreish Idols laid down the four songs that would make up "Float" over an intense five-day studio session spurred on by Dan Carey. The opener, "Hangar", started life as a mistake, a chord strummed on a detuned guitar. This happy accident gradually morphed and grew into a song about feelings of disenfranchisement and boredom that comes with the inescapable nature of late capitalism.

        Beginning with an intro steeped in orange-sunshine psychedelia and led by a Swarmatron chordal drone, you’re lulled by the rhythmic arpeggiating melody before the revving Scalextric guitars kick in and the song takes off. It's an eclectic, thrilling cut that shifts sounds and shape several times across its duration, even switching vocalist between Lilley's verse and Kellett's chorus, it's a genuine highlight of an EP that is full of them.

        The band's own Jude Lilley had the following to say about "Float" as a whole:

        "The most exciting thing for us as a band is capturing our performances live, which something Speedy is renowned for. Everything you hear in the EP is us in the room working together as unit - apart from Dylan (sax) who recorded his take across the whole EP in one! There’s something really cool about listening back to the takes and realising ‘this is what the room sounded like 5 minutes ago… and that’s us making the noise’. To us "Float" is a collage, and a demonstration of the band putting everything in the mixer and seeing what comes out (lyrics included) and it’s exactly what Dan heard before getting us involved with the label."

        Produced, as ever, by the label's own aforementioned Carey, "Hangar" and "Float" showcase more of the mercurial magic that is ever-present across the Speedy Wunderground catalogue.

        Carey's most recent credits include Wet Leg, Kae Tempest and Fontaines DC while Speedy Wunderground have worked with the likes of Black Country, New Road, Sinead O'Brien, black midi, Jane Weaver, Squid and more.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Laura says: Speedy Wunderground are on a real roll atm, with their recent compilation LP and The Queen's Head 7" flying out and a couple of superb forthcoming releases from Lounge Society and Joyeria due soon. Sandwiched in between these is this cracking 4 track EP from Moreish Idols. Frenetic jazz-infused art-rock, with rattling drums and chugging guitar riffs. RIYL Squid, Parquet Courts, Folly Group.

        TRACK LISTING

        1 Hangar
        2 W.A.M.
        3 When The River Runs Dry
        4 Speedboat

        The Queen's Head

        Your God Owes You Money

          Hot off the back of their self-titled debut single – the energetic five piece made up of Joel Douglas (vox/guitar), Tom Butler (vox/bass), Robbie Cottom (keys), Mike Hendry (guitar) + George Thompson (drum/percussion) follow it up with the provocatively titled ‘Your God Owes You Money.’

          For those unacquainted with the band’s brand of esoteric eclectic pop - The Queen's Head are a five piece from South London making alternative music about modern anxieties. Blending elements of post-punk, noise-rock, disco and modern dance music, wrapped in a familiar verse-chorus pop structure, the resulting sound is simultaneously enchanting and terrifying.

          Ordering this giddy chaos are the dual vocals of childhood friends Joel Douglas and Tom Butler. Together they combine cutting, spoken word narratives and growling melodies which take form as vigorous, traumatised calls to arms, scriptures not as much sung but bellowed and preached to the audience. It’s a sermon.

          ‘It did feel like that’ recounts Speedy co-runner Pierre Hall who put them on at one of Speedy’s ‘Homecoming’ nights at The Social at the end of lockdown. ‘From the second they came on to the second they finished – everyone was completely entranced. You were sucked in. It was powerful. Scary, intense, confrontational. But powerful nonetheless. I was hooked.’

          On the resulting track – a heady mix of post-punk influences crossed with everything from The Clash to The Specials via Daniel Avery and Charlie XCX, the band say: ’We are a band interested in world-building, with our process normally meticulous, pouring over tiny production and song-writing details. Taking 'Your God Owes You Money' into Dan Carey's space and method was a deliberate attempt to disrupt our complacencies. We played live, welcomed error and followed improvised ideas, under Dan's guiding hand. The version of this song we produced in just a day hopefully captures the rage and range of our live show - a direct glimpse into the band, what we believe and our frailties as self-confessed performers. An honour, a privilege and a wholly enjoyable day amidst Dan's Aladdin's cave.’ The genie is out of the lamp.

          Various Artists

          Speedy Wunderground - Vol. 5

            It’s safe to say a lot has happened since the release of the last Speedy Wunderground compilation in 2019. The revered label headed up by producer Dan Carey alongside Alexis Smith and Pierre Hall has had numerous professional accolades, personal triumphs and evolved vastly in the last few years at a staggering pace. To note a few of these - Awards: (‘Best Small Label’ at the AIM awards and ‘UK Producer of The Year’ at the Music Producer Guild Awards for Carey). Critical acclaim for Carey across a range of successful releases (Wet Leg, Kae Tempest, Fontaines D.C. to start with) and huge acclaim for the label itself, with The Quietus effusing: ‘The label has become genuinely prestigious. It is not ridiculous to wonder whether one day it will be looked back upon with the same reverence as labels like Factory, Sarah, Zoo or Creation receive today.’ High praise indeed.

            As well as the world changing, so has Speedy – it’s constant evolvement a reaction to whatever opportunities arise for it – including their in-lockdown ‘Quarantine Series’ a collection of what began as online experiments as a result of Carey’s studio being closed due to the pandemic and led to over twenty collaborations with artists such as Georgia, RoRo, youngblackmale, Kae Tempest – all commandeered under Carey’s ‘Savage Gary’ alias forming almost a parallel strand of the label, more electronic and hip-hop focussed due to the lack of studio access, with the results no less thrilling.

            Then there’s the fact that aside from its legendary single-series – Speedy is now a proper fully-fledged label – having released EP’s and albums from Squid, Tiña, The Lounge Society, Honeyglaze and Stephen Fretwell (Fretwell being their first Top 40) with lots more on the horizon.

            For a label that started out with a strict set of rules – it is now, in some strands of its structure, moving outside of its original parameters to continue to put out some of the freshest and most exciting new music in the country. ‘It’s all happening very organically’ says Carey, ‘it feels natural. As always, it is leading us. Not the other way around.’

            ‘It’s weird’ expands Hall – ‘even though we’ve been going for 10 years’ (they started in 2013), ‘people still constantly refer to us a new label. Which hopefully is testament to the quality and feel of the music we put out’.
            Which bring us back to why we are here. The fifth seminal collection of those now very collectable 7” series tracks. First of all – the name. The previous four going under the Year 1/2/3/4 guise – this is ‘Vol. 5’. ‘Well, we had to really’ says Hall – ‘due to boring stuff like vinyl manufacturing and COVID – we fell way behind. It felt strange putting something out and calling it Year 5 – when it’s our 10th anniversary as a label next year. If felt like we were doing ourselves a discredit.’ The two sides of the compilation itself also reflect that passage of time brought along by external factors. With Side A being all the tracks recorded before lockdown, and Side B - all those recorded quite quickly after. ‘Yeah, it’s weird how it happened like that’ says Hall, ‘but it definitely wasn’t intentional. It’s funny how things work out sometimes though. It definitely gives it extra relevance.’

            And what a collection it is – probably one their most diverse and eclectic compilations to date. There’s the strut-stomp funk of (the now defunct) Lazarus Kane’s ‘Narcissus’; the psych-haze swirl of Pynch’s ‘Disco Lights’. PVA bring the party with their Patti Smith meets Factory Floor incendiary debut single ‘Divine Intervention’; and The Lounge Society turn things up with their political call-to-arms ‘Generation Game’ (their much-anticipated debut long-player due for release on the label later in the year).

            Elsewhere Polish superstar Brodka and Carey’s in-house band Scottibrains distill chaos with ecstasy on ‘Wrong Party’ and moa moa provide a sweetly saccharine respite – layering sunshine pop over reverb-drenched vocals in ‘Coltan Candy’.

            Finishing things off is the enigmatic Joyeria – with his devastatingly effective deadpan vocals jostling with a krautrock beat and detuned guitars on ‘Here Comes Trouble’ – while it’s left for London’s deep tan to bring their taut, seductive post-punk to the closing ceremony as only they can on the outlandishly titled ‘tamu’s yiffing refuge.’

            And what more can be said apart from that? This is a label and producer at the peak of their powers, it’s having a genuine cultural impact and is playing a big part in forming the present and future landscape of UK music as we know it, that much is obvious. As they approach their 10th year all you need to do is look back at some of the names that been involved already - many at the earliest stages of their careers: Squid, Black Country, New Road, Loyle Carner, black midi, Kae Tempest, Sinead O’Brien, Natasha Khan, Steve Mason, Jane Weaver… the list goes on.

            Is there anything left for them to achieve? ‘We like the idea of being important to people’ says Hall. ‘To inspire them like those other labels were and are important to us. Carry on the baton. We want to be the next Heavenly, the next Rough Trade, the next Warp. And I think we can. Otherwise - what’s been the point? We just need people to give us a chance. And first and foremost – let the music do the talking.’

            Speedy Wunderground are Dan Carey, Alexis Smith and Pierre Hall. 


            TRACK LISTING

            Lazarus Kane – Narcissus
            Pynch – Disco Lights
            PVA – Divine Intervention
            The Lounge Society – Generation Game
            Brodka & Scottibrains – Wrong Party
            Moa Moa – Coltan Candy
            Joyeria – Here Comes Trouble
            Deep Tan – Tamu’s Yiffing Refuge

            Jane Weaver

            Oblique Fantasy

              The landmark 40th release in Speedy Wunderground’s singles series is from Manchester (via Widnes)’s titan of the independent UK scene and unshakable figure in experimental pop music Jane Weaver. Having traversed numerous genres across her long and self-propelled career from krautrock to girl-group psyche, indie to folk, grunge to psychedelia – and having worked with an illustrious list of legendary friends and collaborators over the years including Factory Records’ Rob Gretton, Twisted Nerve’s Andy Votel as well as counting Doves and Elbow as early backing bands – this is her first new material since the triumphantly twisted pop of her critically acclaimed Flock album last year.

              It's also a first for the label too – with this being the only track in the label’s single series to not be recorded in Carey’s regular Speedy HQ under his family home in Streatham – with this one having been put to tape in the legendary surroundings of Abbey Road Studios.

              Carey has been a regular there for a while – having manned the desk numerous times during his career – as well as Christian Wright – one of the in-house mastering engineers there being a close friend of the label and producer. But during COVID the hallowed premises started a series of Lock-In Sessions – a series of events designed to illuminate the musical creative experience – filming and offering a window into what is normally quite a closed process.

              ‘I was invited to Abbey Road to record as one of their Lock-In Sessions’ recalls Weaver, ‘so asked Dan to be involved. I’ve always admired Dan’s production style - it’s really exciting and dynamic, most records I like these days have his name on them, and for ages I’ve been keen to have a look around his studio and explore the possibilities to do something creative together. We wrote the song at Dan’s place and then recorded most of it at Abbey Road- Studio 3. Having to turn it around, write and record a song from scratch within 24hrs was really exciting as we’d never worked together before, but I knew we shared a joy for certain sounds and equipment- and in true Speedy style it happened pretty quickly.’

              As soon as the producer/label heard the resulting track ‘Oblique Fantasy’ it was clear it had to be a ‘Speedy’. Slinky, pulsating bass, ethereal cosmic vocals, jagged minimalist guitar stabs over a menacing krautrock drumbeat – like Roxy Music meets Jane Birkin– it already feels like a classic in the label’s stable and apt that it was written and recorded in exactly the same way –but at the place where some of the most important records of all time were committed to wax.

              ‘I guess the song is about waiting for passion and inspiration’ says Weaver, ‘writing in lockdown at times wasn’t easy because of the lack of connection, and interaction with others, wanting to write something emotive and pop and looking for a way out of the forced solitude, it was a bit of a puzzle... I guess in the end I’m writing about the longing for normality and that seeming like it was now part of another dimension… a fantasy.’


              TRACK LISTING

              Oblique Fantasy (Part 1)
              Oblique Fantasy (Part 2)

              Lewsberg

              Six Hills

                The 39th release in Speedy Wunderground’s singles series is from Rotterdam indie-rock stalwarts Lewsberg – consisting of Arie van Vliet (guitar & vocals), Michiel Klein (guitar), Shalita Dietrich (bass guitar & vocals) and Marrit Meinema (drums).

                ‘They’re probably the band that over the years we’ve wanted to work with the most’ says label co-runner Pierre Hall. ‘Me and Dan (Carey) were completely obsessed with that first album (Lewsberg, 2019). For me they were like the nearest thing to a modern-day Velvet Underground I’d ever heard/seen – and we watched them a couple of times on that tour and were just blown away. Especially by the guitarist. They had that feel of a band that was just yours, a secret – that only a few people knew about – which is why I suppose we didn’t really pursue them at first. They seemed kinda perfect. Plus we were probably scared they’d say no’.

                Eventually fortunes did cross and the label decided to reach out at the start of 2020. After a few gushing emails and a clear common DIY aesthetic – the band agreed to partake, but then COVID hit – meaning –due to the band’s location, recording couldn’t commence until almost two years later. For a label that prides itself on being ‘speedy’ it wasn’t ideal. ‘It was so annoying’ continues Hall, ‘but not the end of the world in the grand scheme of things. Plus we felt like we had this this little golden egg in the bag – waiting to hatch.’

                And hatch it has. Following on from the bands softer (but no less effecting) recent gem of a mini-album ‘In Your Hands’ – ‘Six Hills’ harks back to classic first-album Lewsberg – conveying all the attributes that made the label fall in love with them in the first place. Motorik drums, simple immediately-catchy guitar riffs, understated production with otherworldy guitar solos – hitting all the right reference point – Velvets, Television, Jonathan Richman – wrapped up in something that is completely their own. Coupled of course with those detached, deadpan, but engaging vocals, Arie (van Vliet) sharing duties on this occasion with the band’s bass player Shalita (Dietrich).

                Of the track – the band philosophise in their own sardonic wit – ‘When you keep fighting over things that are really important to you, you could decide to stop arguing with people, and try killing them with kindness instead. You might find out this works. Then, accidentally, you might also find out that you don’t even have to kill. You might just as well just be kind. But it’s a thin line. Sometimes, it can even be kind to kill someone.’

                Lyrical prowess and a devastating turn with a couplet are a power the band have in spades – even clearer here with lines such as ‘you meant to enter like a lion / but then you walked in like a lamb.’ The visceral imagery of the bands writing paired with the let-loose, ragged, it-could-all-fall-apart-at-any-minute-but-it-doesn’t nature of the music makes for a completely compelling listen – and a stone-cold addition to the label’s already stellar canon of singles.

                Sometimes the old cliches are best: Good things come to those who wait.

                Honeyglaze

                Honeyglaze

                  We've managed to get our hands on a lovely signed test pressing from Honeyglaze, pre-order the album now to be in with a chance to win it!
                  NPN*


                  Honeyglaze are the South London based, Haiku loving trio comprised of vocalist and guitarist Anouska Sokolow, bassist Tim Curtis, and Yuri Shibuichi on drums.

                  Born out of lead songwriter Sokolow’s un-desire to be a solo-act, the group met officially at their first ever rehearsal- just three days ahead of what was to become a near-residency, at their favoured ‘The Windmill’, Brixton. Forming a mere eighteen-months ahead of a subsequent eighteen-months of mandatory solitude, a parallel that’s both aligned and universally un-timely, Honeyglaze, at first appearance, are a group who play with chance, time, and synergetic fate, in mannerisms few others are able to do.

                  Pricking the ears of seminal producer Dan Carey and his team of merry taste-makers: Speedy Wunderground (Tiña, Squid, Black Country New Road), the Speedy Wunderground / Honeyglaze partnership would manifest into a dynamic that, despite not having met prior, quite simply, just worked.

                  Much like the eponymously debuted statements of contemporary folk-singer Bedouine’s ‘Bedouine’, ‘Crosby, Stills and Nash’, or, dare we suggest Madonna’s ‘Madonna’, Honeyglaze the album presents to the world an audibly picturesque documentation of soul-searching, in all its figment’s of reality; a proclamation of cultivated intent which in turn creates a subliminal safe-space between relatability and self-projection, and creative-comradery paired with introspective artistry.

                  A self-described “opposite to a concept album” that sonically encapsulates the who, what, where and how of their individual circumstances coming together as one, Honeyglaze is a meticulously transformative feat of which, in their own eyes, is a “quite accurate” sonic encapsulation of who the trio believe to be.

                  This is storytelling at its most soulful, and Honeyglaze presents human-instinct in a manner that accepts all of the insecurities that come from their present adolescence, whilst acknowledging the formative maturity that’s earned when we allow ourselves to embrace the unknown, of our futures ahead.

                  “If someone is going to find you special – then you want to show what’s most special about yourself” notes Curtis. “Then you can do what you want from there.”

                  Mixing the personal with romanticised ideals in ways that are simultaneously heart-wrenching, and humorous to a dead-pan effect, there is no one trajectory for Honeyglaze who’s greatest ability, is finding ways to present what’s written in-between the lines, in moments of beautifully well-versed clarity.

                  In their own words: “Hi we are Honeyglaze, and there’s no time to explain.”

                  NPN*
                  For the NPN option email us at mail@piccadillyrecords.com with Honeyglaze TP - NPN in the subject.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: There are moments here of angular off-kilter pop to contrast the more straight up melodic pieces like 'Shadows' or the stumbling beauty of 'Burglar', but it's in this juxtaposition that the album's true charm lies, is that these moments can sit next to each-other and work together to great effect. Cleverly written, delightfully weird but full of moments of undeniable melodic genius.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A
                  Start
                  Shadows
                  Creative Jealousy
                  I Am Not Your Cushion
                  Female Lead
                  Burglar

                  Side B
                  Half Past
                  Deep Murky Water
                  Young Looking
                  Souvenir
                  Childish Things

                  Deep Tan

                  Tamu's Yiffing Refuge

                    The 38th release in Speedy Wunderground’s singles series is from East London’s deep tan who consist of Wafah (vox/guitar), Celeste (bass) and Lucy (drums).

                    Part of the city’s thriving post-punk scene, deep tan make music that draws on the traditions of postpunk and new wave but with a distinctly modern take on the genres. Their stripped-back, minimal sound is a vehicle for songs that engage with contemporary themes, from deepfake revenge pornography to quarantine drinking sessions.

                    Shedding the atmospherics of earlier releases in favour of a darker, more driving sound, this evolution is developed further on their most recent EP, ‘creeping speedwells’, which expanded the band’s range to include psych textures and German experimental elements.

                    On the provocatively titled ‘tamu’s yiffing refuge’ the band explain ‘it’s a story of furry lust. A furries convention has hit town and at an afterparty at a nearby hotel (hosted by tamu himself) there are scenes of unbridled hedonism unmatched since the days of Freddie Mercury’s legendary parties at New Orleans’ Fairmont Hotel. The track was recorded to tape at Dan Carey’s South London studio with some very welcome additions, including percussive elements, custom-built drum fortress and a mind-bending swarmatron.’
                    For the uninformed minority – furries are a community of people who dress up in animal costumes as a hobby who meet up IRL and online as their ‘fursonas’. All clear so far.

                    The resulting track is probably one of Speedy’s most stripped back affairs so far but no less compelling. Taut, seductive and enthralling – it channels legendary indie heroes like The Slits, Young Marble Giants and The Raincoats with influences from contemporaries and peers like Jessica Winter and Dry Cleaning to create something that is undeniably their own.

                    And you can’t say fur-rer than that.


                    Stephen Fretwell

                    Busy Guy

                      After an absence of 13 years Stephen Fretwell has announced news of his long-awaited third album, Busy Guy, released via Speedy Wunderground. Described by Fretwell as “a song cycle of sorts,” the album examines the seasons of a life, exploring fatherhood, grief and rebirth, with Fretwell’s trademark eloquence and wit.

                      Busy Guy was produced by Fretwell’s close friend and Speedy Wunderground label boss, Dan Carey. They recorded the whole thing one hot July afternoon in just two hours. “I was so fired up, I just rattled off the songs,” Fretwell says. “I assumed it was the run-through, but Dan said he thought we’d got it.” The next day, Carey assembled “a palate of sound” involving keyboards and an electric guitar. “Dan said, ‘I’m just going to react to the songs over the next few hours’, and that’s the finished record, besides some cello.” The album title was also Carey’s idea. Fretwell explains: “Years ago, Dan asked why I always carried a copy of The Guardian, a notebook and a pen when all I did was go to the pub. I said: if you go to the pub at 11am with a newspaper, a notebook and pen, you look like a busy guy rather than a pisshead. It became a joke between us. The joke too is that I didn’t do any music for years.”

                      The album was recorded at Dean Street Studios in Soho, not far from where Fretwell now lives, and London looms large on the record, in titles like ‘Oval’ and ‘Embankment’: stops on the Tube, and urban images shimmer as Fretwell captures a city full of pride and secrets. He wrote most of the lyrics for Busy Guy sitting in the British Library, “taking the songs to pieces and reassembling them, refining the words, thinking about the stories.”

                      And what stories. From the album’s opener, ‘The Goshawk and the Gull’, a wintery lament shot through with foreboding, the album moves through characters and scenes, from shorelines to collapsing buildings, looping in its callbacks with panache. Fretwell is a seasoned craftsman, and this is an album that sneaks up on you; that hunts you in the listen. The themes of the record are heavyweight – the breakdown of a relationship, lost love, lost family, guilt, yearning – but there is boldness in the delivery that provides uplift to the emotional heft. Several of the songs have colours for their titles: ‘Orange’, ‘Green’, ‘Pink’, ‘Copper’. They hit like a series of fever dreams.

                      There are moments of visceral delight, of ripeness and fullness in nature – blood, milk and honey, peaches and almonds – all set against the backdrop of the slow-burn of long-term love. Fretwell is a true poet with his imagery – taking us on a tour of the universe as he tries to conflate the experience of loss and love on a major scale, yet never wanting to assume grandeur, always dancing that fine line between statement and question. He takes us right up into the cosmos, to “moon craters” and “crazed constellations” (‘Green’), to religion’s saints and angels, and right back slap-down down to earth again – in the grotesque detail of horseflies twitching in last night’s wine glasses, and the fridge-cold lagers the narrator of ‘Pink’ has brought for the beach: a peace offering, but also an opt-out.

                      Summer features heavily on the record, but also not-summer, a desire for summer, and, ultimately, a resignation to time passing, to the approach of spring. ‘Almond’ features Spanish guitar flares – hints of heat, of holidays past. The coast also plays a big part, no doubt due to it being the setting for much of Fretwell’s recent life in Brighton, and seabirds as well as sea animals duck and dive through the lyrics, offering levity in the album’s darker moments. There are wry takes on urban life, on white privilege, on satisfied songbirds, and never quite settling into middle-class family life.

                      These relaxed tones, combined with the bright energy of ‘Copper’ break into the harder beats of ‘Almond’, where “the sun tries, but it can’t get through” and summer starts to lose all its shine and expression itself seems under threat. “A love song is croaking,” he sings. ‘Almond’ tells the story of a relationship, from meet-cute to heartbreak, packed in a bittersweet little nutshell. “‘Almond’ dips in and out of a relationship I had over 20 years, from fumbling around in a doorway to having a child,” says Fretwell. Words weave and tangle in the album’s latter songs, a mind and life unravelling, a descent to the gut-punch moment, spelled out in the album’s final song, ‘Green’.

                      But it’s not an ending so much as the beginning of the cycle all over again. While Busy Guy acknowledges tragedy, it is also punctuated with hope. The narrator of ‘Embankment’ might beg for his body to be dragged from the water, but his heart is still beating. Busy Guy is a record that dips into darkness but ultimately shines in its own light. A record that symbolises a waking up. A fresh start. A newness that bears the weight of the past but uses it to great effect.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: There's a certain indescribable organic feel to the way 'Busy Guy' is produced, it's not that the instrumentation isn't beautifully recorded (it is) or that the sounds don't fit together perfectly (they absolutely do), but the gorgeous intimacy of the pieces and the unhurried stagger to every piece on show gives it the languid, swooning feel of a folk record with the melodic appeal of classic rock. Stunning.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. The Goshawk And The Gull
                      2. Remember
                      3. Embankment
                      4. Oval
                      5. The Long Water
                      6. Orange
                      7. Pink
                      8. Copper
                      9. Almond
                      10. Green

                      The Lounge Society

                      Silk For The Starving EP

                        Pre-order this EP to be in with a chance of winning an exclusive signed test-pressing.

                        With their first two singles under their belts – "Generation Game", the fastest selling 7" for the award-winning label, and "Burn The Heather" – plus a raft of Ones To Watch accolades for 2021, there is much anticipation for what lies next for the band.

                        In early 2020, "Generation Game" announced the band as artists shaping powerful narratives around a fast-fragmenting society. With the lyric “what will the US do?” they served up a painfully prescient prediction of American unrest.

                        Follow-up single "Burn The Heather" made a left-hand turn for the more punk-funk, sneering at culture wars and the damaging impact of a class divide.

                        New single "Cain’s Heresy" shakes with the propulsion of a nimble rhythm section, full of bite and scorn, simultaneously swinging angrily at a negligent political class ("The death of four souls is less than a kick in the teeth, for them"), the threat of misinformation ("Poisonous ideals on the screen breed a vicious way of thinking, off the screen") and the noxious follow-the-leader march of celebrity culture ("They’re servants to fame"). The EP title “Silk For The Starving” in itself probes at a society that routinely neglects the needs of the have-nots.

                        The Lounge Society sing about what they know then. Make no mistake, this is the sound of young England: articulate, enraged and energised. And – perhaps crucially - highly danceable too. It should give hope to anyone who has lost faith in the future, because here the future is in safe hands.



                        TRACK LISTING

                        Burn The Heather
                        Television
                        Cain’s Heresy
                        Valley Bottom Fever

                        Savage Gary

                        Quarantine Sampler 2

                        Despite current circumstances – Speedy Wunderground have had a busy year. The London-based label run by producer Dan Carey alongside Alexis Smith and Pierre Hall were recently coveted with the ‘Best Small Label’ Award by AIM (Association of Independent Music) after being nominated for the second year in a row. When COVID hit – bringing bands into the studio wasn’t an option and so the label started an ongoing project called ‘THE QUARANTINE SERIES’ in which Carey under his ‘Savage Gary’ techno/electronic alter ego collaborated with artists and friends, old and new over the internet and then uploaded them to the labels Soundcloud/socials with little or no fanfare – no PR-ing or radio pluggers, just letting them do their own thing, organically.

                        First on the release is ‘Wait & See’ from rising Bajan artist RoRo. A hypnotic masterful flow which meanders seamlessly around Carey’s pulsating electronics. It’s bursting with attitude and originality. ‘I saw Dan Carey play with Kae Tempest on one of my first few times ever being out in London’ she says, ‘it was such an amazing show. I was extremely excited to then get the chance to work with him. I'd been trying to do so while in London, but it didn't quite work out that way. We did manage to make it happen remotely whilst I was back in Barbados though, and we knocked it out!’

                        Second is ‘Cigarettes Pt. 2’ from the enigmatic Londoner youngblackmale AKA Rutare Savage: ‘It’s a poem, transformed into a song by the ever amazing Dan Carey. It touches (lightly) upon the topics of fear of the police, drug and alcohol abuse, family, and pulling oneself out of a nihilistic worldview driven by a newfound lust for life. This is me trying to reason with the void.’


                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. Savage Gary Feat. RoRo – Wait & See
                        2. Savage Gary Feat. Youngblackmale – Cigarettes Pt. 2

                        Tiña

                        Positive Mental Health Music

                          Pre-order the album to be in with a chance of winning a limited edition test pressing.

                          Freud’s process of therapy was famously labelled the ‘Talking Cure’ - through the act of conversation participants received cathartic relief. Positive Mental Health Music (PMHM), the debut album from South East London band Tiña, stems from this idea. Lead singer/songwriter Josh Loftin explains that he used the songs to “work through a mental breakdown”, and that for him “writing is like solving a mystery”.

                          The 11 track LP provides an honest and intimate portrait into this process of self-examination, covering themes of anxiety, depression, love, sex, isolation, fear and failure. Yet, PMHM is anything but a difficult listen: the tracks are catchy, lively - even danceable at times. Loftin’s cooing vocals, his lyrics poetic yet slightly self-mocking, sit atop a blend of psych-pop keys, drums and guitars, all guided by the shepherding hand of producer Dan Carey.

                          After singles ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘Dip’, Positive Mental Health Music is the first ever LP to be released on Carey’s Speedy Wunderground label.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Tiña perfectly stands between solemn bedroom rock and intricate art-pop, at once beautiful and effecting but without ever being a struggle to listen to. Personal, frank but beautiful and wonderfully done.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1Buddha
                          2 Rosalina
                          3 I Feel Fine
                          4 Rooster
                          5 Closest Shave
                          6 Growing In Age
                          7 New Boi
                          8 Golden Rope
                          9 It's No Use
                          10 Dip
                          11 People

                          Savage Gary

                          Quarantine Sampler (Love Record Stores Edition)

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



                            Boss

                            I'm Down With That

                              BOSS are Guro Gikling of All We Are, Theresa Wayman of Warpaint, Sarah Jones, who has previously drummed for Hot Chip and Yeasayer, and Speedy Wunderground head-honcho Dan Carey, who has recently been involved in the Sexwitch project with Natasha Khan and TOY.

                              In the time honoured spirit of the label, the single was produced in a day at Dan’s south London studio and is their first release, yet the inception of the band goes back to 2012 when Dan met Theresa at a festival in Slovakia (he would also later produce All We Are’s debut album).

                              “Being a Warpaint fan I found her backstage and told her I was the best psychedelic rock producer in the world,” remembers Dan.

                              “The exact words of her response were ’that’s the last fucking thing we need. See you later.’ “

                              Despite the inauspicious meeting, Dan would later be recruited to work on Theresa’s forthcoming solo album and having met Guro on tour, Theresa invited her to also work on the long-player.

                              Born out of these album sessions, the BOSS track came out of post recording jams and after recruiting drummer Sarah Jones, a 20 second snatch of an almost 15 hour jam was eventually worked into ‘I’m Down With That’.



                              TRACK LISTING

                              BOSS - I'm Down With That
                              BOSS - 'Mr Dan’s I’m Dub With That' Version

                              Various Artists

                              Speedy Wunderground: Year 1

                                The record label Speedy Wunderground is the idea of producer Dan Carey, who has previously produced records for Franz Ferdinand, Bat For Lashes, The Kills, Steve Mason, Willy Mason, Django Django and TOY, to name a few.

                                The idea of Speedy Wunderground was to create something immediate, harking back to the golden age of rock and roll - where records were written, recorded and put out in a short space of time. All Speedy records are recorded and produced by Dan in one day, followed by mixing for one day, released on 7” single in limited runs of 250 as soon as is humanly possible.

                                Each record is recorded in Dan’s south London studio - the core of each song is a live take recorded in the dark with smoke and lasers.

                                ‘Speedy Wunderground: Year 1’ is a collection of the first year’s singles along with the B-sides.


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