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W.H. LUNG

Lung & Maxx Roach

Booty Call


    For our debut release we see two young Cardiff talents, Lung & Maxx Roach, come together to create two original tracks that are rather different to the sound that each artist is known for, but with clear influences from both. With Randomer providing a stomping remix of “Booty Call”, DPL001 is a varied release spanning across Dubstep and Bass Music. Lung & Maxx Roachare two talented young producers from Cardiff. Lung has gained rapid success after his debut “Afterlife” on Kokeshi, swiftly followed by a Kryptic Minds remix. Gaining a reputation for his ability to work atmospheres, melodies and subtle drum top-ends, he has a promising future ahead of him. Long time friend and lesser known producer Maxx Roach shares Lungs talents for melodies and atmospheres, drawing inspiration from Techno and House music. Coming together they have created two very unique tracks. “Booty Call” is a hard-hitting tribal 140 bpm track that draws inspiration from House and UK Funky rhythms, whilst “Crisbuit” reflects on the duo’s more melodic sides, creating a beautifully fluent and swelling Dubstep track. Randomer steps up to remix “Booty Call” and brings his unique percussive style to the original, slowing it down and focusing on the tribal nature whilst adding a mechanical vibe that comes together to form a truly unique interpretation.

    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

    Barry 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.

    Andy 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!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indie Exclusive – Limited Edition Pink LP (180 gram).

    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

    Mine 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!

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: Black 180g double LP in gatefold jacket.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    CD Info: CD In Card Wallet.

    Du Blonde may sound like a band, but in fact it is, and always has been, the work of just one person. Beth Jeans Houghton.

    Her new album Lung Bread For Daddy delves even deeper into self sufficiency, seeing Beth take the reigns on production, instrumentation, album artwork and direction of music videos. This project is entirely her own. “I know exactly what I want my record to sound like and apart from drums, I have the ability to play all the instruments, so I did” Houghton states.

    True to form, the first peak of the new album is the self directed video (Houghton has also made videos for Ezra Furman, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and LUMP) for lead single 'Buddy' which also stars a bathtub, 3 bottles of vegetable oil and 37 packets of spaghetti.

    Lung Bread For Daddy sees a meeting in which Beth’s previous two albums, 2015’s ‘Welcome Back To Milk’ and her debut ‘Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose’, take a seat at the table and make amends. Veering wildly between proto-punk, psych rock and the wholesome song writing of the 1970’s, taking the listener on a journey through the landscape of her past. It is an honest and often uncomfortable look into the life of a person who’s experiences have been touched by a myriad of characters, homes across continents, periods of extreme loneliness, mental illness and a search for an understanding of personal identity. “My lyrics are always autobiographical. I have to be able identify with what I’m singing, and telling my story is therapeutic”.

    Houghton's insatiable thirst for creation on her own terms has seen her take charge of every aspect of Lung Bread For Daddy including the brutal self portrait that adorns the cover of this record. Painted from a photograph taken during one of her lowest points, the image depicts Beth devoid not only of makeup, but self worth and confidence. “I look tired and pretty much destroyed, which is a feeling I’ve known many times over; in the aftermath of relationships and that of making a record. Lyrically the album is very naked so I’m carrying on the nudity of my previous album covers, only this time it’s emotional instead of physical.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A wonderfully off-piste distorted wonder from Beth Jeans Houghton as 'Du Blonde' here : distorted riffage, snappy percussion and haunted echoing vox, think stoner rock, garage and rock and/or roll all wrapped into one cohesive whole. Fully brilliant.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Sunflower yellow vinyl.

    Various Artists - WAREHOUSE FIND!

    Popcorn Lung: A Polytechnic Youth Collection

      Barring any last minute curveballs like Christmas Day released lathe cut 45s, the last release for 2018 on Polytechnic Youth is an absolute beauty. The long planned “Popcorn Lung” compilation brings together a richly assembled cast of exclusives and a previously released lathe cut only, gem.

      Rare are the free flowing, fluid compilations that flow effortlessly as opposed to some hastily cobbled together assorted odds n’ sods full length. This -much like it’s predecessor label collection “They Make No Say” that sold out 2 pressings in 2017- does exactly that. A heady mix of full on synth pop, darker more industrial electronic textures through kosmische / kraut grooves to whacked out electronic pop then back; ie styles may alter but it enhances the seamless feel, the free flowing vibe in no small part and quality remains incredibly high throughout.

      Highlights include exclusives from Australian Testing Labs Inc who follow their ‘underground hit’ full length “Music for Air-Cooled Motoring” with their first new music in 2 years, (the majestic motorik of “Alpenstrasse”) to smash 6music ‘hit’ “Tisch Tennis” from Matt Hookworms’ side project Xam Duo (Gideon Coe’s single of 2017 no less, and a £70 discogs 7” A side made available again), East London’s mysterious Karen Novotny X with a previously unreleased gem straight outta’ Mute / Blackwing studios 1980 territory, teasers to future PY full lengths from Canada based Gabe Knox with ace LP opener “Look and Listen”, and Bernard Grancher, Stephen Buckley’s fab Polypores project, PY old hands Detox Twins with another Germanic nugget of minimal synth- alongside many more treasures culminating in the -wait for it, as you’d never guess- trombone freakout of closer by Kendo Nagasaki (all be it heavily treated, synth aficionados rest easy!)

      A fabulous album, which on one hand acts as a perfect intro to the label for newcomers, it also more than pleases older hands in equal measure; and comes in a sleeve designed by label head Dom with tasty Nick Taylor designed insert. One time Pressing of 500 copies on vinyl only.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Only one copy unearthed! Awesome Comp from the venerable Polytechnic Youth. Long gone at source.

      It is a glorious day when not one, but TWO Francis Lung LP's land on my desk. Former member of well-respected Manchester music-maestros Wu Lyf, now pulling out all the stops on his own terms. This one begins wtih the tender hazy balladry of 'Something Blue'. Softly plucked guitars, swelling lap-steel and McLung's pitch-perfect silken vocal wanderings. It's a subtlly morose but chillingly effective starting point, setting the scene in terms of melodicism and tentative optimism. 'Where Life Comes To Live' follows up with Americana tinged guitar strums and slide-guitar / vocal counterpoints setting the backdrop to the skittering percussives and mellow instrumental wanderings before hushed vocals swim over the top. 

      'Over The Top' is quite frankly, a brilliant concept executed to perfection. So the story goes, McLung was sketching out a vague idea for a song when the phone rang, upon answering it the sketch languished before being feverishly revisited at some inoppotune moment later. The concept for this one is that the initial sketch is what we hear when the track begins, in all it's solo acoustic glory, then the phone rings, McLung answers and is confronted with a complete re-write of the sketch on the other end of the line. It's a clever turnaround of the oft-overused intro riff / redux theme, and here it is bombastic, fully fledged and brilliantly enjoyable. 

      As if that wasn't worth the entry price alone (it is), there is another side to this vinyl record! (wonders never cease). Anway, 'Back One Day' is reminiscent of jagged indie-pop, with slo-mo drum stabs and jangles abound, interspersed with almost immobile swoony gloom. it's a delicate but perfectly handled mix of head-nodding indie pop and simmering unease, that seems all the better for the moments of optimistic respite. 

      The closing duo of 'Age Limits' and 'You Know What I Mean' feel like somewhat of a thematic comedown from the more sunny moments of this collection, with the gradual chord falls and simmering unease suddenly punctuated with rays of light on 'Age Limits' closing moments, and the saturated and brittle 'You Know What I Mean', almost entirely restricted to guitar and vocals, with sweeps of compressed bass closing things out in spectacular fashion.  

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Limited numbered white LP, insert and CD version of the album.

      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.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 12" Info: The 12” vinyl release will be limited to 300, hand screen printed and individually number.

        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.

        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’).

        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


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