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Foals

Collected Reworks

    From their early days hosting parties in Oxford through to the huge success of their two-part ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ album, Foals have consistently explored their interest in dance and electronica. Now the band chart the most essential remixes from their career so far as they share the new remix package ‘Collected Reworks Vol 1’.

    The tracks featured on ‘Collected Reworks’, are a compilation from an eclectic range of artists who have uncovered new angles to Foals’ discography. It includes one of their earliest remixes, from Ewan Pearson who blends Balearic bliss into ‘Olympic Airways’, as well as Solumun’s huge version of ‘Late Night’, which has been viewed over 50 million times at YouTube. Another standout moment is Hot Chip’s inventive interpretation of ‘My Number’.

    ‘Collected Reworks Vol. 1’ has been launched with Hot Since 82’s brand new remix of ‘Into The Surf’. The tech house producer / DJ behind ‘Buggin’’ and ‘Restless’ subverts the track from its original desolate beauty into something fresh and invigorating. The relentless driving beat maximises its energy throughout its eight minute duration, while its progressive leanings are given some unexpected throwback flavour with ‘80s style sax. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    3xColoured LP Info: 140g – Mint Green, Yellow, Pink Vinyl.

    The Magic Gang

    Death Of The Party

      The Magic Gang made a stellar return with the joyous ‘Think’, which added some fleet-footed Northern Soul grooves to their melodic take on modern indie. It immediately made an impact at Radio 1 as it premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World, while Jack Saunders subsequently named it as Tune of the Week. Further radio play also came from Matt Wilkinson at Beats 1 and John Kennedy at Radio X.

      The Magic Gang now build on that flying momentum with the news that their buoyant new album ‘Death Of The Party’ will be released on May 15th. It follows their self-titled first album, which was hailed as one of the best debuts of 2018 as the band earned award nominations from NME and Q.

      ‘Death Of The Party’ was recorded in Atlanta with the Grammy-winning producer Ben H. Allen (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), whose work in alternative and pop matches for band’s own blend of genres.

      The quartet approached the album with two objectives in mind. They aimed to broaden the scope of their harmony-rich, melodically focused pop. And inspired by Lou Reed, Alex Turner and especially Jonathan Richman they wanted to take a more observational lyrical approach.

      The stories they tell reflect the experiences of many of their early-twentysomething contemporaries. They explore anxieties about money, relationships and the future, but also the fun moments that they use to escape from such issues. Two songs – Jack Kaye’s ‘Make A Sound’ and Kristian Smith’s title track – best encapsulate their flair for a narrative, with two radically different perspectives on a New Year’s Eve party. Meanwhile, the album closer ‘(The World) Outside My Door’ explores Jack’s guilt at writing music while the Extinction Rebellion protests were hitting the streets.

      The album also finds The Magic Gang evolving their sound without losing what people loved them for in the first place. There are elements of disco in ‘Take Back The Track’ and ‘Make A Sound’, ‘Gonna Bounce Back’ hits somewhere between slacker rock and post-punk, while the piano, strings and vocal harmonies on ‘I Am Sunshine’ recalls their love of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited clear vinyl edition.

      Biffy Clyro

      A Celebration Of Endings

        Biffy Clyro can announce that their eagerly anticipated new album ‘A Celebration of Endings’ will be released on 15 May. It follows the band’s previous two studio albums – ‘Ellipsis’ (2016) and ‘Opposites’ (2013) – both of which went straight to #1.

        The band’s approach to opus eight was simple. Keep things fresh and maintain the wide-eyed wonder of what they do. Surprise themselves and each other. Push things to their furthest extremes. Their first building block in embracing the new was to turn to an old friend. In came Rich Costey, producer of ‘Ellipsis’.

        “This is a very forward-looking album from a personal perspective and a societal perspective,” explains frontman Simon Neil. “The title is about seeing the joy in things changing, rather than the sadness. Change means progression and evolution. You can retain everything you loved before, but let’s lose the bad shit. It’s about trying to take back control.”

        That idea manifests itself in various ways. On a personal level that might be a relationship which has reached a point where it’s in both parties’ interest to separate. And on a wider scale, it’s about standing up for what you believe in.

        Sonically, Biffy Clyro playfully push the outer reaches of their sound to the extreme – often in the case of the same song. Opening track ‘North of No South’ hits hard before finding the space for the Johnston brothers to unleash some soaring Queen-style vocal harmonies, before ‘The Champ’ throws piano, cinematic strings (conducted by Bruce Springsteen collaborator Rob Mathes at Abbey Road) and Biffy’s prototyped jagged rhythms into the mix without ever losing any of its sleekness.

        Other songs are far more direct. ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ is the best direct rock anthem they’ve ever written, somehow snappy, melodic and light on its feet while feeling so natural you could imagine it was conceived in minutes. Meanwhile, ‘Space’ is a natural successor from previous lighters-in-the-air highlights ‘Many of Horror’ and ‘Rearrange’. It’s a sincere message of reconciliation for someone you love, and Biffy’s most tender, unguarded moment from the sweet spot of their catalogue.

        How can you conclude an album of such esoteric diversity? Biffy launch headfirst into ‘Cop Syrup’. There’s the rush of ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’, a detour into Sub Pop-style grunge and manic shrieks which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Liturgy record. But then it contorts again, first into ethereal orchestration and then with a final burst of violence. It’s an ending to celebrate.


        Lianne La Havas

        Lianne La Havas

          South London’s Lianne La Havas re-entered our musical consciousness at the end of February with her emotionally stirring soul-gem ‘Bittersweet’. This came in conjunction with an Annie Mac Hottest Record, a mind-blowing live show at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Jules Buckley and an incredible Colors session – all of which helped put Lianne firmly back on the cultural map for 2020.

          ‘Lianne La Havas’, Lianne’s third album and her first in five years and is an album of startling beauty and insight—made entirely on her own terms which has been quite a journey. In one sense, geographically: La Havas spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the UK and the States working on writing and exploring her own identity. As a result, ‘Lianne La Havas’ feels spacious and luminous. Its sunbaked sounds recall, in places, the Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Milton Nascimento (on “Seven Times”). You might also hear the curveball chords of Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorious’s jazz explorations (“Green Papaya”), or the puttering drums and inviting warmth of golden-era Al Green (“Read My Mind”). And throughout the record, there’s a sense of empowerment that has its roots in the crisp ‘90s R&B of Destiny’s Child.

          ‘Lianne La Havas is ten songs that span the arc of a love relationship. The album’s opener, ‘Bittersweet’ functions as a kind of an overture, setting out what follows, before the giddy, love-struck rush of ‘Read My Mind’. If these first few songs suggest a flower opening its petals, that’s no coincidence: “What plays a big role in the album is the idea of the life cycle of plants and nature—equating this journey with a seasonal thing that blooms, thrives, goes away, and comes back even stronger,” La Havas says. Over the five years it took for the album to come together, she found herself watching the changing foliage outside her window in south London, struck by how she was growing and changing herself—not always comfortably. “A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn,” she says. “You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself.”

          After relentless touring and promoting of her first two albums as well as personal and emotional events in her life, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find time, inspiration and confidence to get back in the studio for a follow up. As it came about, the recording process of album number three began in earnest by accident; returning from a glorious, sunny Glastonbury festival performance in June 2019, La Havas and her core band decided to see if they could nail their lithe live version of Radiohead’s ‘Weird Fishes’ in the studio. “I had the most wonderful, nourishing experience recording that,” she says, “And that’s where I decided: the rest of the album needs to be like this. It’s got to be my band, and I’ve got to do it in London, whenever people have time.” By October, she had all ten songs, and by December, everything was recorded—mainly in London, and also in Bath and New York. In keeping with the album’s intimate feel, everyone who contributed to the record is a trusted collaborator, including long-term songwriting ally Matt Hales, co-producer Beni Giles, and guest co-producer Mura Masa.

          The confidence that La Havas has cultivated, both personally and creatively, is audible in the fact that ‘Lianne La Havas’ is a record that feels utterly real—a living, breathing thing. It hasn’t been polished to a squeak in favor of a “clean” recording; La Havas followed her gut on this album, going with what feels good.

          Beauty never really goes by the book, and ‘Lianne La Havas’ is a breathtaking example of this. Now thirty years old, she is excited about playing these powerful songs live. “The best part is that I own them, and really believe in them,” she says. “And, you know, it’s me. So I can’t be afraid of doing what I do, and being who I am.”

          ‘Lianne La Havas’—an exquisite, rich, and tender expression of love, loss, and rebirth that marks a new era for the British artist.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Indie exclusive limited mint coloured vinyl.

          Earl Sweatshirt

          Feet Of Clay

            7 track one sided 12” Black vinyl with etching on Side B.

            Last year, around the time he released Some Rap Songs and ended his deal with Columbia Records, Thebe Kgositsile said he was looking forward to “doing riskier shit.” Apparently, that meant turning his already-insular music darker and more inscrutable. The rapper, better known as Earl Sweatshirt, doesn’t offer much direct commentary on Feet of Clay. Instead, he pushes further into the murky territory he began mapping on Some Rap Songs, loosening up his flow, letting down his guard, and wandering ever-further into the recesses of his mind.

            Kgositsile has described Feet of Clay, his latest seven-track, 15-minute project, as “a collection of observations and feelings recorded during the death throes of a crumbling empire.” The title references the Bible’s Book of Daniel: in it, the prophet interprets a dream of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, in which he sees a colossal statue made of four metals: a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, body and thighs of brass, and feet of iron and clay. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar the statue represents the kingdoms of the Earth, starting with Babylon, and that a stone cut by non-human hands will fall on the statue’s feet and destroy it, a metaphor for the end times. “We at the feet of clay right now,” Kgositsile told Apple Music. “We posted up live from burning Rome.”

            His verses don’t give much clarity to that ambitious context so much as they offer fragments: “I beat you to the point/My noose is golden/True and livin,’ lonesome/Pugilistic moments/Riveting, come get to know me at my innermost/My family business anguish, now I need atonement,” he raps on “OD.” The line hints at Kgositsile’s grief over his father, who passed in 2018.

            This is the project he made in the wake of that loss. The pall of death haunts the edges of his rhymes; birds of prey circle carrion on “74,” and on “OD” he raps, “My memory really leaking blood/It’s congealing, stuck.” If these are confessions, they are delivered in code, and the meaning comes from the sounds of the words themselves.


            Neil Young

            Homegrown

              Neil Young has said this album is “the unheard bridge between Harvest and Comes a Time”, which perfectly describes the warm, semi-acoustic feel of these twelve songs. Originally intended to be released in 1975, the album has remained unreleased since then, and has a legendary status among Neil’s fans.

              Seven of the songs are previously unreleased on any album, and different versions of the other five songs would appear on later Neil Young albums. Neil plays guitar, piano and harmonica on the album, and is accompanied by a stellar group of musicians including Levon Helm, Ben Keith, Karl T Himmel, Tim Drummond, Emmylou Harris and Robbie Robertson.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Indies Exclusive LP Info: RSD stores exclusive.
              One 12” Black vinyl disc in plain white paper inner sleeve.
              12” 4/colour Gatefold jacket.
              Includes a very limited inner sleeve litho of the album cover.

              Liam Gallagher

              MTV Unplugged

                Last summer Liam Gallagher joined the list of all-time greats (Paul McCartney, Page and Plant, Nirvana and many more) who have filmed a prestigious MTV Unplugged session. Having missed Oasis’s 1996 session through illness, the show at Hull’s City Hall found Liam fulfilling some unfinished business entirely on his own terms.

                Now Liam is set to release the ‘MTV Unplugged’ live album of the show on April 24th.

                The show’s electrifying atmosphere is palpable from the very beginning with a phenomenal reaction as Liam takes to the stage with ‘Wall of Glass’. Material from Liam’s solo career such as his personal favourite ‘Once’ and the joyous ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ resonates in this stripped-back format, with his vocal shining alongside a trio of backing singers and string arrangements performed by the 24-piece Urban Soul Orchestra.

                Oasis guitarist Bonehead features on performances of ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Stand By Me’, ‘Cast No Shadow’ and Liam’s first ever live vocal performance of the ‘Definitely Maybe’ bonus track ‘Sad Song’. The show concludes on a crowd-pleasing high with an emotive take on the classic ‘Champagne Supernova’.

                Liam launches the ‘MTV Unplugged’ album by sharing the new version of ‘Gone’, which was one of the strongest performances of the night. Stripped of the force of the studio recording, ‘Gone’ instead reveals new-found bombastic dynamics and an evocative cinematic atmosphere.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Very limited two colour splatter vinyl.
                Includes exclusive poster.

                LP Info: Includes exclusive poster.

                Considered one of the most iconic and influential double albums of all time, Prince’s "1999" was released at a major turning point in the artist’s career. After years of bossing the R&B charts, he experienced his first true crossover moment with the mega-hits “Little Red Corvette,” “1999,” and “Delirious,“ shattering barriers with his revolutionary blend of rock, funk, R&B and new wave pop, and making history by being one of the first black artists to have their videos in heavy rotation on MTV. Flawless from start to finish, perfectly produced, played and performed by a true musical genius, this falls into the ever home should have one category.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition double 180 gram purple vinyl.

                Biffy Clyro

                Balance, Not Symmetry

                  The 17-song ‘Balance, Not Symmetry’ explodes into life with the title track, which tightly packages Biffy’s angular rhythms with the kind of sky-bound hook that they’ve established as a hallmark of their sound. The track is accompanied by an official video. Also directed by Adams, it intercuts the band’s visceral live performance with footage from the film.

                  While the collection often explores Biffy’s gift for arena-filling anthems on the likes of ‘All Singing and All Dancing’, ‘Tunnel and Trees’ and ‘Touch’, the album as a whole leans towards introspection and experimentation. The foreboding yet elegiac ‘Gates Of Heaven’ is quite unlike anything that the band have recorded before, ‘Colour Wheel’ switches to a more ethereal ambience and ‘Touch’ echoes the emotional power of previous Biffy classics such as ‘Many Of Horror’ and ‘Re-arrange’.

                  The album also includes three mood-setting instrumentals (‘Pink’, ‘Navy Blue’ and ‘Yellow’) plus a studio recording of ‘Different Kind of Love’, which originally featured on last year’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ album. It was co-produced by Adam Noble and Biffy Clyro, and recorded at AIR Studios, Monnow Valley Studio and ICP Studios.

                  Filmed in Scotland during Autumn, the ‘Balance, Not Symmetry’ film follows American student Caitlin (Laura Harrier) after her father’s funeral, leaving her grieving mother (Kate Dickie) behind to return to her third-year studies at the Glasgow School of Art. There she juggles her grief and end-of-year presentation with meeting a new guy, Rory (Scott Miller), and a rupture in her relationship with her housemate and BFF Hannah (Bria Vinaite). Can she again find balance in her turbulent life?



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