Search Results for:

W.H. LUNG

W.H. Lung

Vanities

    “We were raring to go,” says W. H. Lung’s Tom Sharkett of the band’s desire to keep the momentum going after the huge success of their debut album.

    2019’s Incidental Music - a vivacious concoction of krautrock, synth pop and infectious grooves - topped end of year lists, with the likes of Piccadilly Records and Resident both naming it album of the year. However, it quickly became apparent that a repeat performance was of no interest to the band. “At the beginning it felt like every new idea could’ve just been on Incidental Music,” remembers Tom. “They weren’t bad ideas, but they didn’t feel new. I don’t think we knew where we wanted to go but we were 100% sure on it not being Incidental Music part 2.”

    Things soon burst to life however and a period of profound creativity, musical intuition, bold innovation and near total musical rebirth came forth. “I was in the best place of my life,” says Joe Evans. “I was like a slot machine putting in wellbeing currency and jackpotting this album. Words and melodies were coming so quick and easy. Tom was sending tunes across and I was having a lot of fun playing around with a new way of singing which was freer, more expressive, more instant and more melodic.”

    The result is a record that is direct, punchy and potent. Merging silky vocals, strutting grooves, enveloping textures, and a sparkling blend of electronic and pop music. “We thought: okay we’ve done the long sprawling introductions and instrumentals,” says Tom. “So let’s see if we can get the same intensity, energy and layers whilst getting straight to the point.” Joe echoes this. “We wanted to move away from easing people in and grab them by the heart straight away. I reflected on how we played live shows and romanticised about launching onto the stage in a bundle of energy and starting the party, no messing. The directness comes from making music more intuitively, and more from a place of fun. We were writing music that affirmed how much we missed dancing in sweaty rooms, enjoying the company of a collection of beautiful friendly strangers.”

    The album documents a period of change for the group. They lost a member in Tom Derbyshire, moved from Manchester to Todmorden and fell in love more with dance music and the shifting sense of community and inclusivity that came with these changes. “We have moved forward from the change with a new energy,” says Joe of Tom Derbyshire’s amicable exit to focus on filmmaking. “It was a challenge shifting the dynamic but we truly found our stride and Tom Sharkett and I have an absolutely beautiful working relationship.”

    Tom also feels this forced sense of change has brought about something fresh. “We didn’t have many spare ideas let alone spare tunes for the first album,” he recalls. “Whereas for Vanities we had loads that we binned. That needed to happen for us to get somewhere new and I think before the change in line-up we were in limbo a bit.” The album was written with a process of passing ideas back and forth, in a spirit of playfulness and exploration. The songs were then further refined in the studio of band member Chris Mulligan (guitar, bass, keys), a producer in his own right, who helped to further refine the arrangement and directness of the songs. ‘We are blessed to have brilliant musicians in W. H. Lung. It is very comforting, creatively, to know that initial ideas will always be further developed and expanded when played by Alex (drums), Chris and Hannah (keys, vocals.)’ says Joe. ‘And we got loads of magic out of (producer) Matt (Peel) for this record. He infuses all the tracks with such an infectious, wonky energy.’

    This positivity, and incandescent dance floor giddiness that the pair espouses can be felt all over the record too. Despite being written in isolation and remoteness the album is rooted in very real physical spaces. “Manchester is a very important part of this record,” says Tom Sharkett, “The White Hotel, nights like Wet Play, seeing Gerd Janson DJ at the End of Year Riot (Electric Chair) and then discovering all the amazing stuff on his label Running Back. Then when we moved to Todmorden it was the same. Seeing Andrew Weatherall down the road from our flat at The Golden Lion - it just felt like an exciting time for us and I wanted to consume as much new music as possible.” Joe shares his bandmates’ enthusiasm for their dance floor experiences that have fed into this record. “Vanities is a musical representation of what Tom and I crave the most now that it’s been taken away from us,” he says. “In simple terms, we love to dance and have both fallen deeper in love with the music that facilitates that. Because of this voracious appetite for new music and the experiences that come with that hunger, influences on the album are vast: the aforementioned Weatherall, Robyn, Todd Terje, Grauzone, Kelly Lee Owens, Helena Hauff and countless others. But the end result is something distinctly the band’s own.”

    ‘Pearl in the Palm’ was the track that kicked it all off. “A transition from the old W. H. Lung to new,” says Tom. It marries pulsing synths, galloping drums and a vocal take that is both caramel smooth but also fervently intense. ‘Show Stopper’ allows the drums and bass to carry a subtle funk strut and is one of the album’s moments that highlight the band’s deft touch for layering and texture. ‘Somebody Like’ is an absolute stomper, marrying filthy electronics with a pop hook that is as irresistible as it is anthemic. ‘Gd Tym’ nicely captures the transition from a more archetypal band sound to dance floor fodder, as spiralling guitar lines intersperse with heavy lashings of electronics and deep hooks.

    Despite the album’s exploration of the dizziness of dance floors and their maximalist appeal, it’s also one that plunges deep lyrically and comes from a place of profound introspection. Taking influence from the searching at the heart of the plays of Anton Chekov, as well as the novels of Shusaku Endo and Iris Murdoch, Joe also went deep into self-observation books like Red Hawk and The Fourth Way by Pyotr Ouspenskii. “It talks about stepping back from your mind and waking up to the patterns and conditionings of your thoughts,” he says. “This is like a constant meditation and so when I sat down to write lyrics, the different behaviours that I recognised in myself were really clear and poured out.” This meditative state also extended to another physical connection, this time out in the open rather than under the strobes. “A source of inspiration was getting out into nature,” he says. “We would often go out onto the tops of Todmorden and walk and swim. Sitting with and walking in the abundance of the natural world has fed into some of the playfulness and light spirit of the album.”

    Perhaps most remarkable thing about the album - aside from the unflinching new sonic leaps it takes - is that the band have taken a dormant year void of live experiences, sweaty clubs, or anything resembling fun times, and have made an album that makes that world feel palpable – that you can crawl inside it. “Lockdown gave me the time to pour work into myself and out came this wonderful album,” reflects Joe. “It was strange at first and I missed seeing my mates and having a laugh and dancing but this album is a direct reflection of creative flow brought on by the space given by lockdown.”

    Vanities is a very rare beast of a record: a lockdown album that feels bursting with vitality and the love, promise and transcendence of shared dance floor experiences. Just in time for when we crave those the most.

    Joe Evans – Vocals / Tom Sharkett – Guitar / Alex Mercer Main – Drums / Hannah Peace - Synths + Vocals / Chris Mulligan - Bass / Synths.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Calm Down
    2. Gd Tym
    3. Pearl In The Palm
    4. Ways Of Seeing
    5. ARPi
    6. Showstopper
    7. Figure With Flowers
    8. Somebody Like
    9. Kaya

    Francis Lung

    Miracle

      “For me, [Miracle] is about the struggle between my selfdestructive side and my problem-solving, constructive side,” says Francis. “I suppose through a lot of these songs I’m dealing with these emotional problems, acknowledging the negative aspects of my behaviour instead of burying them, and providing an alternative point of view for myself”. Despite its serious subject matter, Miracle is far from austere in sound, marrying the cinematic, dreamlike quality of Francis’s earlier music with the pared-back charm of great singer-songwriters like Judee Sill, Jeff Tweedy and Elliott Smith.

      The album opens with ‘Bad Hair Day’, a relentlessly catchy—and deceptively upbeat—ode to hangovers and missed connections. “I’ve been calling on you all night /But I never get through, I just get in the way” Francis laments; “I am a cloud in the sun’s light/Whatever I do, whatever I say.” Elsewhere, the title track finds him pondering the fickle nature of the music industry: “I think of [Miracle] as acknowledging and even encouraging the feelings we’re not supposed to succumb to - giving up, giving in - just because it can be comforting to hear it from someone else. ‘Why am I climbing these social ladders and jumping through the hoops of this creative industry? Does this make me happy?’”

      These themes of longing, and lacking, missing and being missed, reoccur throughout Miracle. “When I die/Will I be missed/Or am I missing the point?” asks ‘Say So’; while ‘Lonesome No More’, inspired by the Kurt Vonnegut book of the same name, begs the question: if loneliness was eradicated, would we miss it? By confronting these feelings, Francis is able to move forward, as triumphant album closer ‘The Let Down’ proves. Its lyrics serve as a call to action, as Francis wills himself (and the listener) to ‘Get up/Get something going/Do something, do it/Do it now’

      Miracle was produced by Francis in collaboration with Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, Matthew Halsall, Kiran Leonard) and Robin Koob (who co-arranged and performed strings). The opportunity to take creative control was one Francis relished. “I’m quite bad at delegating” he admits, noting that he played every instrument except strings on Miracle. The result is a cohesive, deeply personal record, which is as vital as it is vulnerable. “I don’t want to be defined by my anxiety, my depression or any history of substance abuse,” Francis says, “but I do want to reach out to other people who have had similar experiences, especially if it’s in a way that helps them feel a little better. To me, this music is celebrating healing as much as it focuses on the darker sides of the human psyche.”

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: What an enchanting LP this is. Taking in facets of classic rock, psychedelia and folk rock of the late 60's, while remaining true to the sunshine indie-pop roots. Wry observations and even a Vonnegut reference! this is clever songwriting that's easily accessible and endlessly reveals elements the more you listen. Absolutely essential stuff.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Intro
      2. Bad Hair Day
      3. Blondes Have More Fun
      4. Miracle
      5. Empty Playgrounds, Broken Swings (Demo)
      6. Don't Call Me Baby
      7. Say So
      8. Southern Skies
      9. Want 2 Want U
      10. Comedown (Again)
      11. Uncommon
      12. Lonesome No More
      13. The Let Down

      Back in stock Cover of GLS001 by Working Men's Club & W H Lung.
      Ok you've heard the story now hear the music!! One of the modern North's proudest and realest stories, a true tale of grit and determination, seeing a tired old venue going onto become the centre of cultural invention and integrety for a whole generation of digital rapscallions, nu-hippies and still-chugging acid casulaties looking for better views but no less quieter life.

      Lost? You shouldn't be - The Golden Lion, based in Todmorden, has dragged itself out of small town life and shines as a beacon of artistic innovation amongst a (don't-say-bohemian) set of workers, creatives, comer-iners and comer-outers as money from the South slowly drifts North. The result, after years of building up their reputation as one of the best (read: only) place outside Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool you're guaranteed to hear good music, on a week-by-week basis; built amongst an unpretentious set and setting.

      The result of all this blood and guts is that main man Waka has now got the steam to expand his dream further into the wild world of record distribution. Inaugurating Golden Lion Sounds with two of the hottest new bands on our tight circuit: W. H Lung & Working Men's Club; who each contribute a track each for a double-A of raw, independant, DIY power!

      'Lung's effort is the more rocking of the two, a wide-eyed ode to JCC laced with guilded guitars, Big Drums and expansive vision.

      WMC deliver an experimental jam / remix of their track "John Cooper Clarke" - completed on lo-fi drum boxes run nice n hot in the red. Over this skeletal track we get the original vocals half-crooning with that broken falsetto. It's an accomplished remix that should keep their already massive fan base salivating for a live version!

      Annnnnnnnnnd their off! What a tasty start to this label - let's see where we are in a few more releases!


      TRACK LISTING

      A: W. H. Lung - Symmetry (3:50)
      AA: Working Mens Club - John Cooper Clarke (Stephen Mallinder & Benge 'Conspiracy' Mix) (5:09)

      When Francis Lung describes his new album as sounding “like a short Mancunian boy single-handedly trying to incite Beatlemania” he’s really not too far wide of the mark. ‘A Dream Is U’ is both bold and enthusiastic, a kaleidoscopic journey informed by the greats but also one that is wonderfully enigmatic, the sound of a multi-instrumentalist tying together all manner of influences into one beautifully cohesive album.

      Following on from the home-recorded Volumes 1 + 2 EPs, which contained titbits written during his time in Wu Lyf, ‘A Dream Is U’ is the first fully-realised Francis Lung record, a studio undertaking brought to life with producer Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, GoGo Penguin), a colourful patchwork of vision and ingenuity. “Before we started recording I knew exactly what the arrangements were in my head” Francis says, reflecting on the time spent devising his new work. "It was kind of my mission to capture everything as it was in my imagination”.

      A beautiful amalgamation of instruments, ‘A Dream Is U’ might fit neatly into the classic pop drawer but it comes with all manner of decoration, from violin and viola, to cello and saxophone. Writing for strings for the first time, Francis was inspired by the likes of Michael Brown (The Left Banke) and Robert Kirby (Nick Drake) and the parts are played by two members of the Hallé Orchestra, while the saxophone was played by Manchester’s jazz saxophonist Sam Healy. “He mostly played stuff I'd written for him,” Francis says, “but the solo at the end of The Lie is all him, with me in the studio trying to direct him by jumping around and waving my arms!”

      Initially conceived to outline the different stages of a relationship, from heady early excitement to bitter fall-out, the finished product is intact an assortment of sentiments, scattered like puzzle pieces from an overturned box. “The problem with that theme is that it was too cut & dry and unrealistic,” Francis says now. “You can have all of those feelings in one day in no particular order. It’s more human to me that emotions can come at any time, without any real resolution. I wanted the album to reflect that sentiment.”

      The new album is opened and led by ‘I Wanna Live In My Dreams’, a dazzling burst of Ronettes-inspired pop music, a love letter to sleeping, but also a song that buries allusions of real-world melancholy under its jubilant exterior, calling to mind the likes of Stephen Merrit, or later-day Elliott Smith, and their ability to shape moments of sadness into something strikingly pretty. “Songwriting is a bit like writing jokes, you have a setup and a knockdown,” Francis says. “But I really, really want to make music that makes people feel better, not worse. So I’m trying to push that line.”

      If that introduction was somewhat understated, the rest of the album isn’t afraid to delve into more mosaic territory, pulling in influences as far-ranging as Big Star and The Beach Boys; Guided By Voices, Olivia Tremor Control, Apples In Stereo. It’s not just a collection of straightforward love songs either. Companionship might be the central weight here but it’s presented in myriad forms. ‘Comedown’ for instance, tells a complex narrative of two people’s drug dependency, and the validation they find in each other’s abuse, alongside gentle piano lines and stirring strings, while ‘Up & Down’ is breezier affair on the surface but actually tells a bipolar love story, chronicling the relationship between two lovers with manic mood swings, the track itself swinging between tender verses and a dramatic chorus.

      Touching upon the universal themes of addiction, faith, and love in all of its confusion, ‘A Dream Is U’ is a collection of characters and stories that plays out something like a Harvey Pekar comic strip; an obsessive chronicle of daily lives twisted into new shapes by the unique mind and manners of their narrator. With flashes of striking colour and an ever-present wry smile, Francis Lung has created a debut album that drifts between simple acceptance and exuberant yearning for more. “My favourite part is when it talks about escaping to another universe,” Francis says of one song in particular, Unnecessary Love. “Although it’s a doomed and impossible dream, it’s amusing to me that if we survive long enough it could be a real possibility.”

      Perhaps the key to the record, in fact, can be found in its closing track. Written on a toy piano found in a charity shop, ‘The Lie’ is a boldly stirring pop song, projecting Francis’ own statement of intent, to find a way through the fogginess of self-struggle, to accept ourselves as we are. “I don’t like shouting all my lyrics,” he says, “but it feels like 'If you could accept yourself you'd be happy' is a good one to shout. I don’t want to oversimplify the solution to anybody’s struggles but I know that learning to accept myself would help me no end.”

      At times boisterous and radiant, elsewhere contemplative and brooding, ‘A Dream Is U’ feels like being awake in dreams, like stepping outside of the daily rotation; like shadows leaving their dancing bodies to waltz away to their own tune.

      by tom johnson.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: Imagine Elliott Smith backed by Teenage Fanclub in heaven forever, and you having an idea of the chiming, melodic majesty within the grooves of this record. A total delight!

      says: From his superb self-released EP's 'Mother's Son' and 'Faeher's Son', it was clear that Francis lung was indeed something special, and that has become even more obvious with the sparkling hazy beauty of 'A Dream Is U'. Channelling the spirit of swooning 70's psychedelia through a Mancunian dream-pop filter, this is a stunning and groundbreaking debut album proper. Essential listening.

      TRACK LISTING

      I Wanna Live In My Dreams
      2 Real
      Do Ya
      Comedown
      Unnecessary Love
      A Dream Is U
      I Do Believe In U
      Up & Down
      Invisible
      The Lie

      THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2019.

      W. H. Lung’s arrival at their debut album has been less conventional than most. A trait shared with the music they make, which weaves between shimmering synth pop and the infectious grooves of 70’s Berlin. The band never had any intention of playing live when forming, aiming instead to be a primarily studio-based project.

      That approach was challenged when they released their debut 10” ('Inspiration!/Nothing Is') in 2017, which meant that they were quickly in demand. Booking requests started to flood in and W. H. Lung found themselves cutting their teeth on festival stages that summer. Though whilst some new bands may have let that interest change the course of the project, W. H. Lung stayed true to their original reticence and worked mainly as a studio band with their formidable live shows kept sporadic.

      W. H. Lung have allowed this album to naturally gestate over the course of two years . The result is a remarkably considered debut - the production is crisp and pristine but not over-polished, the synths and electronics radiate and hum with a golden aura and the vocals weave between tender delivery and forceful eruptions. There is a palpable energy to the songs, as experienced in 10 glorious minutes of opening statement 'Simpatico People'.
      “I think it’s important to erase the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture,” states Joseph E. This colliding of worlds not only exists in the potent mix between whip-smart arrangements, lyrics and seamlessly danceable music but also in the fact that they are named after a cash and carry in Manchester. As Tom P. explains, “I thought it was funny juxtaposing those kind of austere associations with W. H. Auden and other initialed poets, writers, artists, etc. with the fact that it’s really just a Chinese supermarket.”


      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: It's clear from the first moments of 'Incidental Music' that the title couldn't be any less true, moving from soaring echoing kosmische into a groove-led psychedelic soup in the blink of an eye. Rich in rhythm but still undeniably melody-led, W.H. Lung are at the top for the important reason that they are something different to everyone, and everything they are is undeniably brilliant.

      says: One of the most assured and confident Mancunian debuts of the past few decades, ‘Incidental Music’ is a dream of a Piccadilly Records album. With its sparkling synth laden grooves, motorik beats, sweeping electronics, crisp guitar lines and a hazy psychedelic soundscape it’s no surprise that it’s united both the indie and dance staff divide and taken the number one spot this year. Two years in the making, this is a euphoric and fully-formed masterpiece.

      says: Possibly one of the most anticipated albums of the year here at Piccadilly (we wouldn't interrupt our Christmas do for just anyone but if it clashes with a W.H. Lung gig then that's where we end up!)... Like a joint effort from Talking Heads and NEU! thrown head first into 2019 with an extra portion of shimmery beats and hooks. PLAY IT LOUD!

      says: Around this time last year I found myself in Soup Kitchen’s basement with the rest of the Piccadilly crew, absorbed in what was unfolding onstage. A magnetic frontman was delivering half sung, half spoken vocals over a kaleidoscopic haze of synths and a propulsive motorik beat. It seems fitting that the group we were watching, W.H. Lung, are now sitting at the top of our chart a year later. The homegrown Manchester trio have coalesced a series of hypnotic, synth fuelled krautrock grooves into their first full length release ‘Incidental Music’. In it, they strike a perfect balance between taking reference from the past and keeping their gaze tilted towards the future. Well worth a listen!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Simpatico People 
      2. Bring It Up 
      3. Inspriation! 
      4. An Empty Room
      5. Nothing Is
      6. Want
      7. Second Death Of My Face
      8. Overnight Phenomenon

      Lung Dart

      Ebbs

        Lung Dart release their debut EP, entitled ‘ Ebbs’ , on Monday the 27 th April 2015 .

        When not playing instruments or sat gazing into their computers, LUNG DART take sounds from their every‐day, using the voice memo app on their phones. The sounds you can hear within the 18 minutes that is EBBS, include some of London’s most famous places, one in par1cular being the grey mass of bilge that they call Wembley Stadium. You can hear it’s empty hallways and kegs of Carlsberg knocking together from the night shiIs James and Tim would work for an unnamed recruitment agency. Other sounds include; some wind on a hill in Leicestershire, a broken washing machine in Peckham, a heavily breaking train on the Northern Line, a broken tape player, a steamy table tennis game in Hackney, an iPhone dropping into a box of cutlery in BaQersea Park and some birds in Bow.


        TRACK LISTING

        1. A HOME
        2. B. OK
        3. A CERTAIN PATIO
        4. PARADISE TURNS

        Finally, a new deep cut from Melbourne’s visceral post-punk band Total Control. Typical System, their second LP, was written, recorded, created over the past two years and is set for US/Worldwide release via Iron Lung Records
        .
        Total Control emerged from Australia’s dynamic punk scene in ’08, releasing a succession of 7”s that developed from an aggressive post-punk band sound to studio forays into electronic forms from minimal wave to house. Their debut LP, Henge Beat, was commended as one of the few records released in 2011 that evaded the ease of classification and competent tribute act status of most modern bands.

        Subsequently, they have released three very different records: a split 12” with Thee Oh Sees, a 7” single on Sub Pop and a house remix 12”. Typical System develops on the incongruent demands of their debut LP and ensuing releases, a further development on their continually evolving sound.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Glass
        2. Expensive Dog
        3. Flesh War
        4. Systematic Fuck
        5. Liberal Party
        6. Two Less Jacks
        7. Black Spring
        8. The Ferryman
        9. Hunter
        10. Safety Net

        Resilient and hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll outfit White Lung are set to release their third album ‘Deep Fantasy’ via Domino. The band is every bit as confrontational as before but they’ve managed to open their sound up just enough to draw listeners in before kicking them in the face (in a good way).

        ‘Deep Fantasy’ was made primarily in Vancouver with producer Jesse Gander (who did both ‘Sorry’ and their 2010 debut ‘It’s The Evil’) in just two, ten day-long sessions at the end of last year and the start of this one.

        Vocalist Mish Way is more provocative and melodic than ever on ‘Deep Fantasy’, surveying lyrically addiction (‘Drown With The Monster’), body dysmorphia (‘Snake Jaw’) and sexual dynamics (‘Down It Goes’).

        TRACK LISTING

        Drown With The Monster
        Down It Goes
        Snake Jaw
        Face Down
        I Believe You
        Wrong Star
        Just For You
        Sycophant
        Lucky One
        In Your Home

        White Lung

        Songs Of The South

        The angry female fronted Vancouver punks release new seven inch single 'Songs of the South' - comprised of 'Blow It South' and 'Down With You'.

        After being credited as having one of the best live shows of SXSW earlier this year and their 2012 full length 'Sorry' receiving critical acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, Noisey, Spin and Rolling Stone White Lung look set to become a successful crossover band – following in the steps of Fucked Up & The Men

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Blow It South
        2. Down With You


        Latest Pre-Sales

        111 NEW ITEMS

        🙌 Album of the day for @FrancisLung today on @BBC6Music Get a copy here and we still have a small amount of the… https://t.co/hZ1QZPd1ui
        Wed 23rd - 11:58
        PRESALE: @dinkededition 131 @metronomy 'The English Riviera (Instrumentals) • Cream Coloured Vinyl • Numbered Sl… https://t.co/AuuNPQNQym
        Wed 23rd - 10:00
        ⭐️COMPETITION⭐️ @johngrantmusic latest album, ‘Boy From Michigan’ is coming out this Friday via @bellaunion - As y… https://t.co/ZYMXOwZwFB
        Wed 23rd - 8:59
        Looking great John, and looking forward to the record coming out on Friday 🥳 Get those pre-orders in now >… https://t.co/5XWFGbpSzP
        Wed 23rd - 7:47
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top