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Studio Electrophonique

Happier Things EP

    Studio Electrophonique is James Leesley: a young songwriter and musician from Sheffield.

    Since the critical acclaim accompanying his sought-after debut 10" album "Buxton Palace Hotel" in 2019, James has captivated audiences performing at his own curated events in Sheffield, Liverpool, London and Paris as well as at The Green Man and End Of The Road festivals.

    In 2020 Studio Electrophonique performed at L'Olympia in Paris at the personal invite of the legendary Étienne Daho as well as across the UK and Ireland with Richard Hawley - both are long-time supporters and admirers of James's work.

    James is currently putting the finishing touches to a film featuring Jarvis Cocker and Sean Bean which retraces the fascinating history of Ken Patton's original Studio Electrophonique home recording studio in Sheffield.

    Songs come to James Leesley in airless attics, dinner time chippies and late afternoon bookies shops; on long walks through town with a sandwich in each pocket, on morning runs through the park in lost-property trainers or on the top deck of the 52A with rain-laced windows and wet toe-ends.

    He records on an old four-track machine using deadstock Metal Maxima cassettes sourced from an unnamed charity shop close to Bramall Lane. This machine kills flashiness. There is no room for garnish. Choice is minimised to serve the song, intimacy is maximised to serve the ache.

    Studio Electrophonique is a semi-fictional collective of analogue romantics sent to reassure us that art is not some far off place, that sadness can be enjoyed like happiness and that glamour can descend like a minor key melody on the shoulders of anyone willing to pay their subs and the price of a day-return to Ballifield shops.


    Departure Lounge

    Transmeridian

      Transmeridian is the first album from Departure Lounge (ex-Bella Union) in 19 years. It features all four original members plus a guest appearance from legendary REM guitarist, Peter Buck, one of many long-standing admirers of a band that embodied a lost age of reflective, experimental pop music coming to the fore at the turn of the Millennium alongside The Beta Band, Tunng, Boards Of Canada and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

      The surprise new album, named after the defunct ‘golden age of aviation’ cargo airline for which singer/guitarist Tim Keegan’s dad was chief pilot, is released on Violette Records (formed by Michael Head (Shack, The Pale Fountains) and Matt Lockett ) on digital and vinyl formats on Fri 26 March 2021.

      Originally scooped up by Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union label (labelmates with John Grant’s Czars) following the self-funded release of their debut album Out Of Here (1999), Departure Lounge’s sophomore outing, Too Late To Die Young (2002) was equally acclaimed and was honoured as the first ever Album Of The Week on the emergent BBC 6 Music. The band toured extensively in the UK, Europe and the US, including outings with The Go-Betweens, Morcheeba, Paul Heaton and Robyn Hitchcock, peers whose stylistic contrasts reflect the eclectic nature of Departure Lounge themselves.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Antelope Winnebago Club
      2. Australia
      3. Timber
      4. Harvest Mood
      5. Mercury In Retrograde
      6. Al Aire Libre
      7. Gurard Pines
      8. Mr. Friendly
      9. Paging Marco Polo
      10. Frédéric’s Ghost
      11. Don’t Be Afraid
      12. Flying Home
      13. So Long

      The Pistachio Kid

      Sweet Remedies

        The debut record by The Pistachio Kid entitled "Sweet Remedies" features eight songs of incandescent beauty, presenting wonderfully warm and infectious melodies, elegant harmonies and combining these with a collage of musical styles and arrangements. The Pistachio Kid is hailed by critics and audiences as an idiosyncratic, creative musician and songwriter invoking the early work of Randy Newman , Bert Jansch, Van Dyke Parks and The Sherman Brothers. The Pistachio Kid is the new musical project of Charlie McKeon, a talented and multi-instrumental singersongwriter from Liverpool. An urban-Huckleberry Finn character whose music transcends genres, is otherworldly yet melodically familiar and evokes the spirit of endless summers, the exuberance of youth and that belief that everything and anything is possible.

        "I love music that's about playing together, like Jazz or Bluegrass, and I love music that's about composition and beauty, like Debussy. And then I love music that's about an individual personality like Dylan. I love people exploring what they sound like, it's all good." The recordings were written, entirely performed and recorded by Charlie McKeon in his hometown of Liverpool and represent his coming of age as artist. McKeon is a graduate of Leeds College of Music and has become known for his intricate and colourful guitar playing, his unique voice and exquisite songs which balance the perfect ratio of lyrics to guitar. "People try to tailor your creativity before you’ve even done anything, you need to do it all first. The best advice is the opposite of that. John Fahey said ‘Play what you like to play, don’t worry about anyone else’. Imagine Dylan having singing lessons?!" "I wish I had written "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen or "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by John Lennon, or "René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War" by Paul Simon. They’re all very individual and delicate and they move in cool motions."

        TRACK LISTING

        Mountain High:

        1. Sweet Sweet Remedies
        2. Vistabella Road
        3. Everything And Anything
        4. Bicycle Thieves!

        River Deep:

        1. Park Song
        2. Soreberry Tree
        3. Killingfields
        4. Mama You Been On My Mind

        Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

        Adiós Señor Pussycat

        Beautiful and evocative and recorded in his home-town of Liverpool between March 2016 and June 2017, the album is the culmination of four years of hard work. Equal to his finest moments, Adiós Señor Pussycat will undoubtedly only further cement his reputation as one of this generations greatest songwriters.

        Since a self-imposed hiatus in 2008, Michael Head has been working with a fluid concept of an ever-rotating band format to provide a flexible platform for the range of his new live and recorded works.

        ‘Under the guise of Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band in 2013, they released their sought-after debut EP, Artorius Revisited, and followed this with a double A sided 7”, Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears in 2015.

        A soulful and poetic genius, fate, bad luck and circumstance and often conspired to deny him his rightful dues. Loved and lauded by fellow artists and critics alike, he started out in the early 1980s with The Pale Fountains, with whom he recorded a brace of acclaimed albums, Pacific Street (1984) and …From Across The Kitchen Table (1985). He subsequently formed Shack with his brother John and went on to record five albums over almost twenty years including the much loved and acclaimed Waterpistol and HMS Fable in 1999 which saw the band briefly flirt with chart success and hailed from the cover of the NME as “our greatest songwriter”

        He also released, what is often regarded as his classic album, The Magical World Of The Strands under the name of Michael Head & The Strands in 1997, and with Shack currently on hiatus he has been performing under the Red Elastic Band guise for the past few years.

        The album features the following musicians:
        Michael Head - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
        Steve Powell - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
        Phil Murphy - Drums
        Tom Powell - Bass Guitar
        Nina - Piano
        Dan Rogers - Electric Guitar
        Rod Skipp - Cello
        Dewi Tudor Jones - Violin
        Helen Tonge - Viola
        Martin Smith - Trumpet
        Andy Diagram - Trumpet
        Simon James - Saxophone
        Steve Powell, Joanne Head, Phil Murphy, Mary McCombs - Backing Vocals
        Michael Head, Phil Murphy, Karina Townsend - Percussion


        TRACK LISTING

        1. Picasso
        2. Overjoyed
        3. Picklock
        4. Winter Turns To Spring
        5. Workin' Family
        6. 4&4 Still Makes 8
        7. Queen Of All Saints
        8. Josephine
        9. Lavender Way
        10. Rumer
        11. Wild Mountain Thyme
        12. What's The Difference
        13. Adios Amigo


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