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VELVETEEN RECORDS

The Slow Readers Club

Knowledge Freedom Power

    When The Slow Readers Club hit the studio in early 2022 with producer Joe Cross (Hurts/Courteeners), they battled dark times with a refreshing optimism. The result is ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ , a sizzling synth-rock beast of a record akin to White Lies, Muse and modern-day Bloc Party, and a rallying cry of emancipation, both stylistically and socially. It’s a righteous punch of the air, a surge towards the future.Frontman Aaron Starkie says, “The world had got so bleak it felt a little indulgent to paint apocalyptic pictures when they were out in the real world. I thought people would probably want to hear more uplifting things, it was my intention to be a bit more positive. There’s still a lot of melodrama in there and it’s still dystopian in places but there’s more positive shades in this record.”

    That positivity powers to the fore with the album’s lead single and title track, an instantly addictive hybrid of the band’s new pulsating synth style with their anthemic alt - rock roots. Its streamlined, straight – to – the - point hook highlights the fact that there can be an alternative to a world which is becoming increasingly authoritarian and ignoring the needs of the many in favour of the few. Aaron adds, “Growing up as a council estate kid in Manchester I was very conscious of having a limited horizon and I guess I had a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. It’s that background that inspired both our band name and the album’s title track ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’. It is an exercise in positive sloganeering, a mantra for education as a means of a way out from social and psychological confinement.” As much as the record finds The Slow Readers Club channelling a brighter spirit, there’s no dumbing down of their famously ferocious and insightful lyricism. A beam of hope shines throughout ‘Sacred Song’ : part in the form of a spiritual saviour, but also embracing the power of love as a force for good, something which can also be achieved by the friendship and community spirit infused in ‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’ . Yet a darkness still looms large, whether its within the warmongering satire - and ultimately individual powerlessness – of ‘Seconds Out’ or the steady march of automation over the human workforce on opener ‘Modernise’ ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ is the band’s sixth album and the latest giant leap in one of the greatest self-made success stories in recent British rock history. Since debuting in 2011 with their eponymous and self - released debut album, they’ve constantly grown in stature leading to sold - out headline gigs including the Manchester Apollo and London’s Scala , shows as guests to Pixies ,Catfish and The Bottlemen and James , as well as festivals stretching from the Neighbourhood Weekender to Mad Cool Madrid.

    When lockdown kicked in the same week that ‘The Joy Of The Return’ debuted at #9, The Slow Readers Club reacted to the cancellation of their touring plans by creating a darker, more ethereal set of songs, which they recorded via Whats App and Google Drive and by recording one band member at a time in the studio. The result was ‘91 Days in Isolation’ , which they self-released in October 2020 Knowledge Freedom Power’

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Liam says: Next outing for Manchester favourites The Slow Readers Club, 'Knowledge Freedom Power' takes the band's signature dark power-pop and refines it to the nth degree! Big soaring choruses, mega vocals and crisp synths, Readers fans will love this!

    TRACK LISTING

    1.‘Modernise’
    2.‘Afterlife’
    3. ‘Sacred Song’
    4.‘Lay Your Troubles On Me’
    5.‘How Could You Know?’
    6. ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’
    7. ‘What Might Have Been’
    8. ‘Seconds Out’
    9. ‘Forget About Me’
    10. ‘No You'

    Klangstof

    Godspeed To The Freaks

      “Klangstof are conducting deliciously evil experiments on indie rock.” – Clash. Klangstof recently returned to attention with the ‘Ocean View’ EP, which was one of two projects they recorded simultaneously in 2021. Its release added to the anticipation for the bigger set that was recorded at the same time, their third studio album ‘Godspeed To The Freaks’, which will be released on September 16th. The band today launch the album by sharing its lead single ‘Disguiser’. ‘Godspeed To The Freaks’ will see the Edison Award (the Dutch equivalent to the Grammy or BRITs) winning band add to the widespread tastemaker attention that has greeted their previous two albums. It’s an album which focuses on self-reflection; finding the courage to confront your inner self and being at peace with your demons. There’s a power that comes with the acceptance that every good day might have a touch of darkness to it. And in a further contrast to the electronic-orientated 2020 set ‘The Noise You Make Is Silent’, this record is focused primarily upon the warmth of its live instrumentation and the intuitive interplay between the band members. Remarkably, the bulk of ‘Godspeed To The Freaks’ was recorded in just two weeks.

      The trio - Koen van de Wardt, Wannes Salomé, and Erik Buschmann - were boosted by the addition of their touring guitarist Wouter Van Nienes and channelled the energy of their live show, an approach further amplified by recording in a temporary studio in De Bolder, a music venue on the tiny Dutch island of Vlieland. Klangstof essentially rehearsed, recorded and produced the core of the record themselves in that serene environment, giving them a bubble of freedom amidst a world in chaos. Any outside input only followed later, with additional mixing by Sam Petts-Davies (Radiohead, Frank Ocean) and mastering by Heba Kadry (Björk, Slowdive, Big Thief). The album campaign’s visual aesthetic features band portraits courtesy of the iconic photographer and director Anton Corbijn. His timeless photography includes shoots for R.E.M., U2 and Nick Cave, while Nirvana, Metallica and Depeche Mode lead his numerous renowned music videos. He is also a feature-length film director who is best known for the Ian Curtis / Joy Division biopic ‘Control’. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1.‘Veerman’
      2.‘Death04’
      3.‘Seperated’
      4.‘Truth’
      5.‘The Alarm’
      6.‘Godspeed To The Freaks’
      7.‘Devil’s Lair’
      8.‘Plastic Gun’
      9.‘How Do I Feel’
      10.‘Disguiser’
      11.‘All Of My Reasons Are Distractions’
      12.‘Sylvia’


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