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STARDUST

King Tuff

Smalltown Stardust

    There are times in our life when we feel magic in the air. When new love arrives, or we find ourselves lost in a moment of creation with others who share our vision. A sense that: this is who I want to be. This is what I want to share. It’s a fleeting feeling and one that Kyle Thomas, the singer-songwriter who records and performs as King Tuff, found himself longing for in the spring of 2020.

    But knowing he couldn’t simply recreate this time in his life at will, Thomas—who hails from Brattleboro, Vermont—set out to write a love letter to those cherished moments of inspiration and to the small town that formed him. The one where he first nurtured his songwriting impulses, bouncing ideas off other like-minded artists. The kind of place where the changing of the seasons always delivered a sense of perspective and fresh artistic inspiration. Where he felt a deeper connection with nature and sense of community that had once been so close at hand. And so, Thomas seized upon his memories, creating what he calls “an album about love and nature and youth.”

    The result is Smalltown Stardust, a spiritual, tender and ultimately joyous record that might come as a shock to those with only a passing knowledge of the artist’s back catalog. On Smalltown Stardust, Thomas takes us on his journey to a place where past and present collide, where he can be a dreamer in love with all that he sees. References to his Brattleboro upbringing abound, but at the core of Smalltown Stardust is Thomas’s desire to commune with nature on a spiritual level. Images of the natural world, from blizzards to green mountains to cloudy days, fill the songs. “I consider nature to be my religion,” he explains, and Smalltown Stardust is nothing if not a spiritual exploration.

    While so much of Smalltown Stardust invokes idealized traces and places of Thomas’s past, the album’s recording process made his communal vision a reality. Thomas’s Los Angeles home in 2020 formed a micro-scene of sorts, with housemates Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) and Sasami Ashworth recording their own heralded albums (2021’s Fun House and 2022’s Squeeze, respectively) at the same time. A shared spirit dominated an era spent largely on the premises, with Thomas serving as engineer and contributor to both records, and Ashworth working as co-producer on Smalltown Stardust. Ashworth’s contributions are vital to the album: she co-wrote a majority of the record and contributed vocals, arrangements, and instrumentation to each song.

    In the end, Smalltown Stardust is not merely a nostalgia trip. Thomas not only conjured a special time in his life, he found new inspiration, surrounded by collaborators and a sense of love and wonder for nature. If the first King Tuff record was content to merely state Thomas was no longer dead, Smalltown Stardust is a paean to what that life means. A statement of belief and a hymnal to the magic still to behold all around us.

    TRACK LISTING

    Love Letters To Plants
    How I Love
    A Meditation
    Portrait Of God
    Smalltown Stardust
    Pebbles In A Stream
    Tell Me
    Rock River
    The Bandits Of Blue Sky
    Always Find Me
    The Wheel

    Rioghnach Connolly & Honeyfeet

    It's Been A While Buddy

      Still residing as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Ríoghnach Connolly's taste for musical adventure is eclectic. Along with her companion players, Honeyfeet, they collectively drive a broad terrain of musical textures from esoteric protest songs to foot-tapping and floor-thumping dance rhythms.

      Ríoghnach and the Honeyfeet ensemble are equally proficient in headlining festival stages as they are stripping back to sublime obscure jazz on theatre stages.

      Deadpan wit courses through Connolly's veins. Known for her broad, smiling on-stage banter, she often describes the delight of her multi-cultural voyage of discovery while pushing aside life's banality in favour of mischievous energy and creative joy.

      Traditional and folk are fundamental in Connolly's musical canon. Coming from a long line of singers on both sides of her family, she channels the music of her grandparents and can draw from a breadth of styles and folk traditions across the world. In her voice, you can hear equal parts Sean-nós Caoineamh, west African griot ululation and American deep-south resonance. She performs in the more traditional form with Stuart McCallum as The Breath whilst corralling her more heavily layered and theatrical songs into her performances with Honeyfeet.

      Alongside Ríoghnach, the Honeyfeet lineup is; Lorien Garth Edwards, bass; Ellis Davies, guitar; John Ellis, keyboards; Biff Roxby, brass; and Phil Howley, drums.

      An eclectic troupe based in Manchester, Honeyfeet's heavy sound spans from the bountiful to the subtle, with everything from big-band swing to Alabama blues-tinged folk, all held together by the powerful vocals and flute from Ríoghnach.

      From the start of lockdown, they used their time to write new material and explore multiple genres of music. Then, on the gradual journey back to live audiences, in May 2021, they re-opened Manchester's Albert Hall taking the room by storm with a long-awaited return to the stage.

      For more than a decade, Honeyfeet have been 'on the road'. When lockdown rules didn't interfere, the norm was headlining stages at Shambala, Beautiful Days and Moovin Festivals and wowing audiences at Glastonbury, Boomtown, Wilderness, Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling.

      During the lockdown, the band invested their time recording a new album, stretching further than before into string arrangements, greater dynamics and implementing sparse introductions to Ríoghnach's vocal stream, where her poetic consciousness gives rise to honest, personal, heartfelt lyrics.

      This obviously means the new Honeyfeet album, It’s Been A While, Buddy, is about to fill the shelves and hit the airwaves, with bonus tracks and lots of lovely gigs to bring the magic closer to you!


      David Bowie

      The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - 50th Anniversary Edition

        28th April 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s STARMAN, the first single from THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS. To celebrate, Parlophone Records is proud to announce release details to mark the album’s Golden Jubilee.

        On 17th June 2022, 50 years and one day after the original U.K. release date, THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS will be issued as a limited edition 50th anniversary picture disc, featuring a half-speed master and a replica promotional poster for the album.

        THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS is the breakthrough album that catapulted David Bowie into the international spotlight. Over the past 50 years it has remained a touchstone record, growing in stature with each passing year. It is now ingrained in popular culture, its undeniable influence spanning musicians from Arcade Fire to Lady Gaga, to Harry Styles’s androgynous fashion sense to Noel Fielding’s shirts on The Great British Bake-Off to Ziggy make-up challenges on Tik-Tok.

        David Bowie laid to rest the Ziggy Stardust persona in July 1973 at his infamous last show with the Spiders From Mars at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, but Ziggy’s impact reverberates to this day.


        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE ONE
        Five Years – 4:42
        Soul Love – 3:34
        Moonage Daydream – 4:40
        Starman – 4:10 It Ain’t Easy – 2:58
        SIDE TWO
        Lady Stardust – 3:22
        Star – 2:47
        Hang On To Yourself – 2:40
        Ziggy Stardust – 3:13
        Suffragette City – 3:25
        Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide - 2.58

        Stardust

        Music Sounds Better With You - 21st Anniversary Edition

          Where to begin? I was 13 when this first came out; and I distinctly remember the music video on MTV - in their space suits: Alan Braxe with his synth, middle its Benjamin Diamond the vocalist and on the right Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk fame. Anyway, being snotty nosed, punk obsessed teenagers, the track didn't really register on our radars at the time, mainly cos it was on MTV along with 'all that other mainstream nonsense'. Fast forward nearly twenty years and I've hammered the shit outta this, one of the finest moments of 'filter house' (urgh) the world has ever seen. This Chaka Khan sampling beast has been played at 45rpm by DJ Funk, at -6 by Andi Handley and mixed into a variety of end-of-night melee's by Kickin' Pigeon. For me, it epitomizes the Roule sound, along with "Together" (DJ Falcon & Thomas Bangalter) - it's hypnotic, peaktime loops sending hordes of dancers spiraling into the speaker stacks as full on house music mosh pits erupt all over the shop. It deserves a place in every house music lover's home, and is surely crucial for anyone into the history of Daft Punk and French house. I can't actually believe we've never had this in the shop before; make a house a home and bag this aural essential now! 

          TRACK LISTING

          A. Music Sounds Better With You (Long Version - Re Cut From The Orignal Master)
          B. Exclusive Etched Design 

          Stardust

          Music Sounds Better With You

            Where to begin? I was 13 when this first came out; and I distinctly remember the music video on MTV - in their space suits: Alan Braxe with his synth, middle its Benjamin Diamond the vocalist and on the right Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk fame. Anyway, being snotty nosed, punk obsessed teenagers, the track didn't really register on our radars at the time, mainly cos it was on MTV along with 'all that other mainstream nonsense'. Fast forward nearly twenty years and I've hammered the shit outta this, one of the finest moments of 'filter house' (urgh) the world has ever seen. This Chaka Khan sampling beast has been played at 45rpm by DJ Funk, at -6 by Andi Handley and mixed into a variety of end-of-night melee's by Kickin' Pigeon. For me, it epitomizes the Roule sound, along with "Together" (DJ Falcon & Thomas Bangalter) - it's hypnotic, peaktime loops sending hordes of dancers spiraling into the speaker stacks as full on house music mosh pits erupt all over the shop. It deserves a place in every house music lover's home, and is surely crucial for anyone into the history of Daft Punk and French house. I can't actually believe we've never had this in the shop before; make a house a home and bag this aural essential now! 

            TRACK LISTING

            A. Music Sounds Better With You
            B. Etched With Roulette Artwork (no Sound)

            David Bowie

            The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - 180 Gram Vinyl Edition

              Originally released through RCA Victor on 6th June 1972, Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie’s fifth album, co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott. Incredibly, the album was written whilst Bowie was recording 1971’s Hunky Dory album, with recording beginning a couple of months before that album’s release. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London between 8th November 1971 and 4th February 1972, with the line up: Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, backing vocals, string arrangements), Trevor Bolder (bass), Mick Woodmansey (drums), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and backing vocals on ‘It Ain’t Easy’ by Dana Gillespie. As well as performing vocals, Bowie also played acoustic guitar, saxophone and harpsichord on the album and was involved in the arrangements too.

              The album eventually peaked at #5 on the UK Album Chart on 22nd July having entered the chart at #15 on 1st July. Key to the album’s rise in the UK were the two TV performances of “Starman” on Granada TV’s Lift Off With Ayshea and nationally on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops. The album’s influence is immeasurable – it converted legions of fans, becoming the zeitgeist and a major influence on the next generation, particular those who were involved in the punk movement – musicians, artists, designers – and the subsequent re-birth of rock and pop.

              Famously Bowie killed Ziggy at his peak at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, on July 3rd, 1973, though Ziggy Stardust’s influence was to redefine popular culture forever: pop music was never the same again.


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