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TRAPPED ANIMAL

The Baby Seals

Chaos

    The Baby Seals debut album, "Chaos," is a sonic exploration that blends heavy guitars, a pop edge, and a punk rock garage spirit with a heavy attack. The band, comprised of Amy "Amos" Devine on drums and backing vocals, Kate Shore on bass and backing vocals, and Kerry Devine on guitar and lead vocals, delivers a raw and energetic collection that captures the essence of their live performances.

    Recorded in March 2023 in Thaxted, just outside of Essex, "Chaos" embodies the DIY ethos that has defined The Baby Seals' approach to music. Working with engineer Joe in a secluded outhouse surrounded by fields, the band laid down the tracks live over a day, capturing the unfiltered essence of their sound. Joe's extensive collection of homemade pedals added a unique touch to the recording, while Benny T's mixing expertise brought the album to its final form.

    The decision to minimise post-production sets "Chaos" apart from previous recordings, reflecting the band's commitment to authenticity and a desire to showcase their growth and maturity.

    On Chaos Kerry says: “Chaos is the next phase in life for us lasses in the band - babies and mid-life responsibilities. The album definitely is about how we feel and experience the world around us in our 30s and 40s. Someone who heard the album recently said it's like the The Baby Seals have grown up and I liked that because that's what I feel likes happened to me in the last two years… The album definitely has Themes: inclusivity, gender inequality, the mental load, the motherload, power, body positivity, challenging taboos, liberation. The importance of what to take seriously and what not to take seriously.

    Title track, Chaos is one of the songs on the album which I'd written after a series of events including watching an interview with the late writer Benjamin Zephaniah who said the only way to liberation for all was to tear big governments down and to believe in your community.

    The cover photo by Jeff Pitcher sums us up and hopefully gives you a feeling of what the album sounds like. Album design was created by Igor Prato Luna, he just seemed to understand what we are about. He referenced loads of wonderful album cover, poster and flyer artwork from the 60s - 90s, and even some fabulous sci-fi artwork from the 1920s and those incredible 1950s sci-fi pulp book covers. Nothing was referenced too heavily, though, and Igor definitely made it his own. “

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Clashing, distorted guitars and pumpelling percussion, topped with the near-shouted vocal trilogy of Amy and Kerry Devine and Kate Shore. It's rich in the traditions of punk rock and garage but with a more modern, sardonic vim. Superbly loud, and made for crashing around to.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Yawn Porn
    2. ID'd At Aldi
    3. Vibrator
    4. Chaos
    5. Invisible Woman
    6. My Labia Is Lopsided But I Don't Mind
    7. Mild Misogynist
    8. Nipple Hair
    9. It's Not About The Money Honey

    Grrrl Gang

    Spunky!

      Indonesian trio Grrrl Gang builds on their considerable worldwide buzz with Spunky!, their full-length debut album.

      Spunky! arrives following some major life changes for Angeeta Sentana (vocals, guitar), Akbar Rumandung (bass, vocals), and Edo Alventa (guitar, vocals), including a switch in locale from Yogyakarta, the city where they formed the band while still in college. “This is Grrrl Gang’s first release after we graduated and got day jobs that made us have to move to Jakarta, which is undeniably 180 degrees compared to Jogja,” says Rumandung. “But moving to Jakarta enabled us to work with Lafa on Spunky! from start to finish.” The song itself essentially describes Sentana's experience during a manic episode. “I feel like I’m on top of the world, untouchable. I do things without thinking, always chasing after that feeling of instant gratification. I feel extra confident in myself to a point of grandiose thinking and that I could do anything,” Sentana explains. That would be Lafa Pratomo, the in-demand producer brought in to help shape the ten tracks that make up Spunky! With a resume that includes the likes of the chanteuse Danilla and legendary singer-songwriter Iwan Fals, Pratomo might not seem the obvious choice to take the Grrrl Gang producer’s chair. But according to Rumandung, “In terms of production, this was something new for us by working with someone outside of Grrrl Gang’s comfort zone.” Indeed, Pratomo considerably beefs up Grrrl Gang’s sound particularly Alventa’s guitar tones, Rumandung’s rumbling bass, and touring drummer Muhammad Faiz Abdurrahman’s muscular beats while preserving the band’s signature raucous energy, catchy melodies, and Sentana’s attitude-filled, equal-parts-honey-and-vinegar vocals.

      The power trio, composed of Angee Sentana on guitar and vocals, Akbar Rumandung on bass, and Edo Alventa on guitar, has been making waves in the Southeast Asian music scene since their formation in 2016. Grrrl Gang's music is a celebration of their collective roots and a testament to the power of pop music to connect people across cultures and borders. Their lyrics touch on themes such as feminism, mental health, and relationships with a raw honesty that speaks to a generation of young listeners. With their infectious energy, socially conscious lyrics, and unique sound, Grrrl Gang is poised to take the global music scene by storm and become a voice for a new generation. 

      TRACK LISTING

      01 Birthday Blues
      02 A Fight Breaks Out At A Karaoke Bar
      03 Rude Awakening
      04 Spunky
      05 Cool Girl
      06 Better Than Life
      07 Tower Moment
      08 Mother’s Prayer
      09 Blue Stained Lips
      10 The Star

      Jeremy Tuplin

      Orville's Discoteque

        Welcome to Orville’s Discotheque: a synth-drenched concept album brought to you by indie singer-songwriter from Somerset, Jeremy Tuplin.

        Set in a world slightly left of reality, the record tells the story of a flawed disco-enthused antihero and his romantic travails. The album charts the stumble and fall of a self-obsessed dancing antihero and his romantic travails. The single sets the scene of the first time the album’s protagonist, Orville, sees his new romantic interest, Eugenie, whilst performing in a disco club night; fascinated by her dance moves that include “hula hoop hips”, “loose helicopter arms”, and whatever else. The lyricism blends self-deprecating humour with poetry, whilst the sound marks another step in the continued evolution of Tuplin’s musical vision, incorporating his lyrical songwriting and intricate storytelling within a loosely defined genre of “indie disco” - or even “dark disco” and “devilish disco” that he references in the song itself. The track was recorded with Tuplin's band, The Sad & Lonely Disco Band at Marketstall Recording Studio in Star Lane, East London. It features Mark Estall on bass, Samuel Nicholson on lead guitar, and Jason Ribeiro on drums, with Tuplin on vocals, synthesizers and rhythm guitar.

        "This is the first song I started writing after finishing recording Violet Waves, just after the whole lockdown/global pandemic thing hit." Tuplin explains. "Just chugging away at these chords with no real intention or rush to write or think about the words or what the song could be about, just letting the vocal melody swim over it with word-less sounds." He continues to say "The notion to start writing about dancing and “disco”, possibly arose out of some kind of subconscious desire to return to being able to do that kind of thing. Which is interesting because I now see myself as a bit of a recluse." Jeremy Tuplin is an indie singer-songwriter from Somerset. Lyrical and genre-bending, his music blends alt-folk, indie rock and synth pop with the occasional psychedelic soundscape thrown in for taste. 

        TRACK LISTING

        1. It's A Real World
        2. Dancing (On Your Own)
        3. Eugenie
        4. Idiot Love
        5. L.O.V.E.
        6. Love Town
        7. Wonderful Time
        8. Futureman
        9. Better Man
        10. Why'd You Go And Look At Me Like That
        11. Devil Dances
        12. The Mirrorball
        13. A Dancer Must Die
        14. Dance On 

        Neev

        Katherine

          Since the release of her debut single in 2019, Glaswegian artist Neev has built a reputation for discovering beauty in the small details. Her talent for storytelling and worldbuilding has earned her early support from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Sian Eleri and BBC Radio 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, as well as a sync on BBC drama Waterloo Road & Love Island. On April 28th, the now London-based musician is set to release her debut album, Katherine, a collection of intricate indie-folk songs that pack a lyrical punch. Buoyed by the experience of engineering, mixing and producing her 2021 EP Currants almost entirely alone whilst the country was in lockdown, much of Katherine was recorded at Neev’s home studio and the homes of a host of talented musician friends.

          “It was really important to me that the album wasn’t only a group of songs but that it would also be a learning curve for me, and it was! I learnt so much about arrangement, frequency, the range of my voice and the way I like to construct songs and write,” she says. Katherine carries all of the trademark sounds of Neev’s previous releases. Acoustic guitars, soaring string arrangements and layered backing vocals can be found throughout, but this time they’re bigger. Standout single ‘Green’, a song about envy, calls to mind artists like Marika Hackman and Fenne Lily. The track was born out of the relief Neev felt being reunited with her band post-lockdown. “It just fell out of me,” she says. “I think my brain just wanted to write a big, fun track for us to play together,” she says. Every song on Katherine is tied to the idea of identity. “Each song explores the different facets of an individual,” explains Neev. “Them as someone’s child, someone’s sibling, someone’s partner. Someone as the gender (in my case, female) they identify as, someone as the job they do,” she continues. “In certain scenarios we play a role, at work we’re professional, at our family home we play out our function. Each track adopts a different role. For example, ‘The House’ is told from the point of view of a classic 60s housewife, the song paints them as unsatisfied, frustrated and pessimistic. However, that’s probably not how they feel all the time but it is when they’re playing their role”. ‘Fast Patterns’ is a real highlight. Written from the point of view of an imperfect friend, the song is about not knowing how to be there for someone in their darkest moments. It asks how far you should go for a friend in need and at what point you need to take a step back. Similarly, ‘Built Your Body’ is an open-hearted ode to finding resilience, the lyrics trace the different ways in which people get through the day. Neev’s passion for theatre and film has been integral to her development as a songwriter. Coming from a long line of actors and directors, she’s been an avid theatre goer from a young age, with one-person plays being her favourite. “I always find stirring solo shows inspiring as I love monologues and communication centred stories. They give me a huge amount of energy and ideas for lyrics,” she says. In fact, ‘Seawall’, a song about being stretched too thin, was actually inspired by a one-man play of the same name, written for and starring Andrew Scott. The song, like the play, features the recurring motif of a hole in the middle of the stomach. The album’s title encapsulates the record’s essence. “Katherine is a common name in my family and it’s also my middle name,” says Neev. “So whilst it has a personal meaning, it also exists in a few different ways. I named the album ‘Katherine’ because it touches on the themes of family, identity and the different identities one person can hold within themselves.” 

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Seawall
          2. Green
          3. Without Warmth
          4. You Shouldn't Hate Your Teeth
          5. Built Your Body
          6. I Can Be Sorry
          7. The House
          8. Fast Patterns
          9. Will I Change You
          10. Hard Lines
          11. Out Of The Blue

          Tape Runs Out

          Floodhead

            Trapped Animal Records is proud to announce Cambridge band, Tape Runs Out's debut album.

            Floodhead is an exploratory sonic journey from the mind and soul of long-time band leader, Liam Goodrum-Bell (guitar, vocals). Tape Runs Out’s experimental sound comes in part from their excellent array of instrumentation - the band members bring violin (Clare Myerscough) and the hammered dulcimer (Ellie Winter), as well as bass (Takeshi Kanemoto) and drums (Laurence Moore). Recorded and produced by Liam and Dan Dawson (band’s guitarist) at Dan’s home studio over the course of a year, the album thrives off experimenting with different textures and sounds, with each song seeking to be its own microcosm of creativity, delivering its unique part within the whole. The painstaking detail and time spent by Liam and Dan between the initial recording session during the summers of 2021 and 2022 has resulted in an incredible production, and one that takes the listener through the Tape Runs Out universe. The first single from Floodhead, Souvenir made God is in the TV's track of the week and was heaped praise on by Steve Lamacq on his BBC 6 Music afternoon show and new music fix. 

            TRACK LISTING

            Jab
            Ark
            Souvenir
            The Garden
            The Garden Pt2
            In The Muddles
            Overseas Assignment
            Paperback
            90oc
            Pillowtalk

            Jemma Freeman And The Cosmic Something

            Miffed

              Outsider, alt, psych, power trio Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something are the aural equivalent of a distorted photograph capturing the hinterland found between emotions and actions. Emerging like joyous sci-fi warriors, the songs either overtly or indirectly demonstrate solidarity with anyone that’s ever identified feeling off kilter with the rest of the universe and needed an equally wonky soundtrack to back it. An introspective journey through psychedelic glam-rock nightmares, woozy flows of self discovery and beguiling lyrics delivered with subtlety and intensity. Jem, Samuel Nicholson (bass) and Jason Ribeiro (drums) are your astral guides in this strange country, illuminating a path, in reality they’re as lost as the listener. In this limbo, thoughts tumble on top of each other through twisted rhythmic guitar, bass and drum lines that interchange and play with each other in a frenzied cosmic dance.

              TRACK LISTING

              Big Bread
              Easy Peeler
              Nobody Ever
              Huge
              Lump
              Maersky
              Bugles
              I Thought Too Much
              Sicilian Mousse
              Take Me

              Headswim

              Flood - 2022 Reissue

                Trapped Animal is pleased to announce the return of 90's legends Headswim! We present a reissue of their seminal psych-grunge masterpiece, Flood. Pressed on 180G, Double Vinyl Gatefold with photo lyric insert all printed on uncoated card, this is an absolutely stunning package that truly matches the timeless quality of the songs it houses. Flood #Redux - Headswim's seminal 1994 Psych-Grunge masterpiece gets its first reissue since the original 1994 pressing. A highly sought after record and produced with mountains of love between label and artists. Previously unreleased BBC sessions, and material from the Flood era. 

                Cormorant Tree Oh

                Swoontide

                  Cormorant Tree Oh announces the release of folk horror masterpiece, via Trapped Animal! “Marrying skeletal balalaika and disembodied samples with low-lying synth organ lines and a focal point here – Keane’s arresting vocals, it doubles as one of our favourite Irish tracks of the year thus far.” The Thin Air // Trapped Animal is very excited to announce we will be working with new visual and aural talent, Mary Keane aka Cormorant Tree Oh on her folk horror masterpiece that is Swoontide. The Cave, the first single from Swoontide dropped in June on digitals.

                  Mary says on the track: “This song is a celebration of the form and symbolism of caves. They are portals to another realm, the site of our earliest artistic expression, places of transcendence, the hermit’s refuge. They are colossal gees in the landscape. They are where picnicking lovers go to make mischief on a summer’s day. The cave in question is located in Portrane Co.Dublin.” Swoontide is the distillation of several years of Mary Keane’s life, recorded on her laptop as and when a new song or idea would come along. Mary talks about her process: “I love to stitch in samples from nature as so many of my songs are inspired in some way by the natural world. I’m also drawn to more domestic sounds like my mother’s washing machine or water coming to the boil. I play some unusual instruments throughout the album including balalaika, theremin, psaltery and lots of improvised percussion including bread bins, biscuit tins, stones, and a spiral staircase.” Try taking a walk in the dark with this album, we dare you.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Thirty Deer Heads
                  2. Zip Issues
                  3. Sphere Of The Sensory
                  4. Pareidolia
                  5. Holiday Rigor Mortis
                  6. Pissing Stones
                  7. All Of It
                  8. The Cave
                  9. We Are Fruiting Bodies

                  Sunday Driver

                  Sun God

                    Sunday Driver return with the announcement of their long-awaited, forthcoming album Sun God, the band’s fourth, and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2014 record, Flo. Sun God is an album that draws influence from a rich plethora of literature, culture and fiction, from Hindu gods to HG Wells to the 1800s Gold Rush, fusing ideas together to create an expansive, cathartic and cohesive ‘Spaghetti Eastern’. Weaving through multiple languages, genres and sounds, the record plays tribute to the band’s cultural background and, despite its storyline theme, highlights a very personal experience. With each song, lyrics are enhanced by infectious songwriting that takes you on a stereoscopic journey through the collective minds of one of the UK’s most exciting bands.

                    The title track and album’s lead single, ‘Sun God’ is a perfect introduction to the record. Set against smoky, jazz-infused tones, sitars and featuring pioneer of the British Banghra sound, Kuljit Bhamra, on the tabla, the track wonderfully introduces the musicality of the album and its lyrical themes. Upcoming single ‘Time Machine’ continues with this theme matched against flamboyant, infectious instrumentation. The track’s title alludes to the album’s sub-plot, in which two women from a South Indian Village fall in love, rob a bank, and use a time machine to disappear: “One day I found a set of HG Wells novels in a charity shop, picked up the Time Machine and realised that was what the song was meant to be about!”

                    ‘Sun God’ is a treasure trove of colourful songs that is well worth the wait since the band’s last, although that wait was not the original intention: “We have been demoing songs for this album since the summer of 2013. In the space of a few days in the studio we churned out almost 100 fledgling ideas between us. Some were snippets of melodies Chandy remembered from her childhood spent surrounded by south indian musicians.

                    Our producers had the idea of building these snippets into songs in the studio, leading to our EP ‘Flo’. We stuck with this approach for the new album, having fun and generating ideas in the studio as a band, then fitting them together later in an almost modular way. We were also incredibly lucky to have tabla maestro Kuljit Bhamra to work with – he would send back absolute tabla gold to go with any song we made!” Sun God cements Sunday Driver’s place as one of the UK’s most inventive and diverse bands. However, Sun God is only the beginning. The record is part one of a two-part album, the latter of which will be due 2023

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01 Aftermath
                    02 Sun God
                    03 For A Few Regrets More
                    04 Sylvi
                    05 In Your Shadow
                    06 Somewhere Nice
                    07 Mathanga
                    08 Time Machine.
                    09 Keepsake.

                    Gabi Garbutt & The Illuminations

                    Cockerel

                      Gabi and her band toured with The Libertines and Edwyn Collins in 2019, and were all set for a year of touring when the pandemic hit in 2020. Retreating into her songwriting, Gabi started sketching out songs about escape and exploring vulnerability. Demoing the arrangements at home then honing the songs with her band The Illuminations as soon as rehearsal studios opened up, they created an explosive album of indie pop bangers that have lyrical and musical depth. As the opening song ‘Bad Boy Bird’ announces “I am no human, I am the promise of dynamite”, Gabi and her band summon up a volcanic concoction of sounds, from the poetic punk sensibilities of Ezra Furman and Patti Smith, the soaring alt pop of The Voidz and The Flaming Lips, to Motown inspired soul stompers, the record conjures up a range of atmospheres to occupy the listeners mind over many, many replays, as they fall deeper into the universe that is Cockerel. Connecting again with multi-instrumentalist and producer Sean Read (Beth Orton, Edwyn Collins, The Pretenders) at his Famous Times Studio Gabi set to work bringing their songs to life on record. Upcoming single ‘Subterranean Stars’, one of the most representative songs on the album, catchy guitar licks flutter around trippy lyrical musings, brass refrains and a soaring string arrangement played by Basia Bartz. Following this slice of shimmering pop is ‘Genet’s Journey.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1 Cockerel
                      2 Bad Boy Bird
                      3 Subterranean Stars
                      4 Genet’s Journey
                      5 Never Never
                      6 Your Blues
                      7 I Can’t Win
                      8 Habit Of Sadness
                      9 Sea Organ
                      10 Angel Of Third Avenue
                      11 Our Dying World

                      Siv Disa

                      Dreamhouse

                        Siv Disa, the Chinese-American New York singer currently residing in Iceland releases her debut album, Dreamhouse on UK based label Trapped Animal. The artwork was conceived and built by Siv Disa. It features a dreamy hand-painted dollhouse—the front image is a photograph of a tangerine sherbet living-room-in-miniature, complete with a teacup table and a glowing salt shaker lamp.

                        The artist herself is hanging on the wall ensconced in a gilded frame overlooking the tableau. The back cover explores the same dollhouse, from a distance: there’s a garden in the basement, a maze of threads in the gallery, and a small ocean in the bathroom. A callback to the intricate maximalism of 70’s psychedelia and Neo-art nouveau, there are layers of details embedded into each room for the viewer to discover. Dreamhouse is a wild journey through its creator's psyches. It moves from gentle break-up songs to dark nights out in the fluorescent haze of nighttime New York and Reykjavik city filled with deep hallucinogenic beats... before it finally closes on a song infused with the isolation of 2020. The first part of Dreamhouse was recorded in upstate New York with collaborator and producer Sam and the sea, they both chose to relocate when the pandemic hit the US – and regrouped at a studio cabin in the wilderness to complete Dreamhouse and take time to escape the ensuing storm we all faced.

                        It’s important to understand, whilst a product finalised during lockdown – this album was largely conceived way before the lockdown or pandemic, this is Siv Disa’s debut album and it was always going to be luminous and otherworldly, as with its creators. Quotes : “psychedelic pop that converges the encompassing textures of Broadcasts with Joanna Newsom’s pleasantly off-kilter melodies” - Line Of Best Fit // “...a haunting feel, while her warm, soft voice invites the listener into even the darkest of stories…Fear is an embodiment of this distinct sound she’s mastered.” Audiofemme // “profound lyrics flow from an ethereal plane, it’s an utterly captivating offering”

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1 Whistle
                        2 Painted Ceiling
                        3 Fear
                        4 Music In The Streets
                        5 Sorry
                        6 My My
                        7 Breathing
                        8 Beat
                        9 In The Hills

                        Stars And Rabbit

                        On Different Days

                          Stars and Rabbit has been continuously sharing their journey over the last decade, originating from a cultural city in Central Java, off to write in cultural Dutch towns, savored the legendary music venue in Camden Town to Iceland’s most exquisite stage, and humbly experienced the traditional Japanese sacred stage. These have broadened their perspectives and senses of making music that really speaks out their distinct personalities. They become more aware of their own evolution and all they want is just to make music borderless. A field of limitless expressions called playground and it always brings them the purest of joy. It's going to be an exciting journey to follow the world they create. Their newest album, On Different Days, will be out on June 25th. This album expresses their thoughts about creating space for oneself. As the world once stopped and forced people to reconnect with their being, they're taking all that time to redefine everything. "...a truly spectacular piece of forward-thinking folk" The Line of Best Fit // "...feels both joyfully innocent and completely badass" Ones To Watch

                          TRACK LISTING

                          01 Merry Alone
                          02 Moon Lone City
                          03 Who Am I Now
                          04 Misty Garden
                          05 One Foot
                          06 Library Of My Mind
                          07 Pretty Anticipated
                          08 Time Traveller 

                          Fassine

                          Forge

                            A Yorkshire farmer who led a challenging and isolated existence, caring for elderly relatives whilst running her farm in the most extreme conditions. She became an overnight celebrity after appearing in an ITV documentary, her virtues of hard work without any complaints, without any expectations of praise or credit, were something an entire nation identified with. Hauxwell is the subject of album track ‘Perfectly Planned’, whilst ‘Hellsto’ looks on admiringly at the working women of WW1 and WW2, who often go nameless, under the radar. “FORGE’ is about the small pockets of communities that are overlooked, unheard, ignored. Their ways of work and living are changing, either drying up or being sold off, and this is causing people to burn with frustration whilst also causing them to reaffirm their strengths and identities”, say Fassine.

                            The London trio’s distinctive take on electronic music has previously earned acclaim and support from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Clash and more. Yet on ‘FORGE’ they’re bolder than ever before, the instrumentation heavier and more aggressive than on previous full lengths ‘Gourami’ (2017) and ‘Dialectik’ (2016). They still follow tradition in one sense though, opting again to feature a cover, this time Paolo Conte’s‘ Max’ with guest vocals from Italy’s Fabrizio Pagni (Arqtic, Zen Circus). Recorded primarily at London’s Battery Studios, Sarah Palmer, Laurie Langan and James Hayward (Fassine) would play late into the night, adopting a much more improvisational approach than previously, “This process was far more improvisational - a lot of ideas were done on-the-fly in the studio. We had a skeletal demo, then ideas were batted out and put down.

                            Far fewer demos were gone through to begin with, and gut instinct was followed much more quickly. We also decided that no matter what the song, if we liked it, it would go on’’. Since their last release, Fassine have been busy on our screens, the London trio’s XTC cover of ‘That Wave’ appeared on the Sky Arts’ documentary on the seminal band, This Is Pop. Their track ‘Whatever It Takes To Help You Sleep’ played as the backdrop to Netflix’s first feature film ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’, and ‘Leaves’ was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar. ‘FORGE’ literally meaning to ‘create something strong and enduring’. And with this album, Fassine have embodied the grit and grime of their personal heroes to weld into existence something that’s an industrial and hard-hitting piece of craftsmanship. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Forge
                            2. Limbs
                            3. Magpie
                            4. Perfectly Planned
                            5. Migraine
                            6. Everyone Is Guilty To Me
                            7. Max
                            8. Bloom
                            9. Hellsto (The Sweetness Came For Us)

                            Maija Sofia

                            Bath Time

                              Maija Sofia, one of Irelands most lauded young folk artists has produced a timeless debut album, inspired by story-driven traditional folk-ballads, shone through the lens of punk DIY ethos. Following the success of lo-fi dream-pop single ‘Flowers’, Maija Sofia releases her debut album ‘Bath Time’ Sofia took inspiration fromstory-driven traditional folk ballads and shone them through the lens of a punk DIY ethos. The album name comes from the ritual of daily bathing, a whimsical place where most of the lyrics were written. The album deals with the ways in which women's voices, stories and desires have been sidelined and misrepresented throughout history. From Edie Sedgwick to Bridget Cleary, Sofia's songs imagine a world in which silenced women speak back..


                              The album was recorded by Chris Barry at Ailfionn Studio and features performances by Ronan Kealy (Junior Brother) and Niall Murphy (Oh Boland). The Gold Shoes’, is a mystical, ethereal opening before the melancholic ‘Hail Mary’, which starts soft, but the music grows in power as Sofia interrogates the sexual hypocrisy of the Catholic church, and the harp feeds into the haunting sound with effortless complexity and depth. ‘Edie Sedgwick’, named after the muse of Andy Warhol has alt-country elements from lap steel player Niall Murphy (Oh Boland) and cellist Laura McCabe (Molly Sterling). ‘The Wife of Michael Cleary’ is an ode to Bridget Cleary, killed by her husband in 1895. Michael Cleary believed his wife had been abducted by fairies with a changeling left in her place. The male vocal is provided by off-kilter alt-folk Junior Brother, with singing in the round building tension.


                              ‘The Glitter’ is disturbingly beautiful, an ode to Jean Rhys, a troubled novelist from the Carribean who came to England aged 16 and dealt with issues of displacement and unbelonging. As is ‘Cobweb’ with Sofia’s rich contralto “I didn’t know I was on my own. I’m only as wise as you.” ‘Morning’ mourns lost relationship and the failure of trying to fix a flawed lover. ‘Elizabeth’ dwells on the troubled love affair between Elizabeth Siddal and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Rossetti.. ‘The Trees They Do Grow High’ is a disturbing English folk ballad sung from the point of view of a woman forced to marry an inappropriately younger man.. The album wraps around the listener like a velvet cloak, time is irrelevant, and the pain and complexity of female life has been sharply observed by Sofia. 'Bath Time' is a collection of songs written between Dublin, London and rural Galway, it was recorded slowly over several months by Chris Barry in Ailfionn Studio in Dublin. The guitar and vocals tracks were recorded all in one take and then others we brought in to finish the piece - Niall Murphy from Oh Boland plays lap steel and synths, Christophe Capewell who plays with Lisa O'Neill played fiddle, harp by Meabh McKenna, synths by Clara Tracey, and Cello by Laura McCabe, and some guest vocals by Ronan Kealy (Junior Brother). 

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Beautiful brittle guitar pieces, cavernous echoes and Sofia's transportive vocal prowess form together into a haunting and effecting whole. Brilliantly original and reassuringly heartfelt.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1 The Gold Shoes
                              2 Hail Mary
                              3 Edie Sedgwick
                              4 The Wife Of Michel Cleary
                              5 The Glitter
                              6 Cobweb
                              7 Morning
                              8 Elizabeth
                              9 The Trees They Do Grow High 

                              Jeremy Tuplin

                              Pink Mirror

                                Tuplin describes ‘Pink Mirror’ as a “jovial sojourn through some of human nature's so-called dark sides. It's a satirical look at representations of love, desire, vanity, society, the internet and more in the modern world. For Tuplin, the pink mirror represents the rose-tinted spectacles through which we often view our world and/or our own places within it. The album was recorded at Marketstall Recording Studio in South Bermondsey with Mark Estall, the sound-engineer and co-producer who worked on Tuplin’s acclaimed first album, ‘I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut’.

                                Clash Music described ‘I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut’ as a “cosmic gem”; Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music called it “unconventional, conversational and intimate”. Tuplin was subsequently compared to such legends as Leonard Cohen, Bill Callahan, Nick Drake and ‘Space Oddity’-era Bowie. Boomtown Fair music festival hailed him as “one of the founding fathers of the lesser known genre of space-folk.” ‘Pink Mirror’ brings it all back to earth, adding soundscapes and swells – and more guitar. During this year’s record-breaking summer, Tuplin released one-off track ‘Long Hot Summer’ to raise money for Friends of the Earth. Through this he caught the attention of independent label Trapped Animal Records as an exciting artist with a social conscience. Album teaser track ‘Just Cos Ur Handsome’ was made available as a limited-edition free download through Bandcamp received radio play from Amazing Radio.

                                The track was described by ComeHereFloyd blog as “what you want in a drizzly life that needs a dose of bright sunshine of reality.” First single ‘Bad Lover’, released in November 2018, went down a storm, thanks no doubt to the accompanying video of Tuplin performing with a backing band of ironically-yawning hipsters. For The Rabbits said of the track, “Jaunty guitars, group backing vocals so wonderful the Ronettes would be proud of them, and rolling basslines; it’s Jeremy Tuplin sure, but as we’ve never seen him before.” 


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