THIS WEEKS ESSENTIAL NEW RELEASES Friday 13th January

Posted: January 14, 2017 in MUSIC, THIS WEEKS ESSENTIAL PURCHASES
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Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
For fans of the early work of Leonard Cohen, Vashti Bunyan, Joni Mitchell and Cat Power. American wanderer Julie Byrne’s second album Not Even Happiness comes 3 years after her debut. A more confident beast, Not Even Happiness adds atmospheric instrumentation and electronic flourishes to Byrne’s unusual guitar tunings and fingerpicked melodies, moving the songs from the front-porch into subtle anthemia. Julie Byrne has counted Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans and Northampton, Massachusetts as her transient homes in recent years. For now, she’s settled in New York City, moonlighting as a seasonal urban park ranger in Central Park. Whether witnessing the Pacific Northwest for the first time (Melting Grid), the morning sky in the mountains of Boulder (Natural Blue), or a journey fragrant with rose water; reading Frank O’Hara aloud from the passengers seat during a drive through the Utah desert into the rainforest of Washington State (The Sea As It Glides), Not Even Happiness is Julie’s beguilingly ode to the fringes of life. Her debut album was released back in January 2014 on Chicago based DIY label Orindal after initially being as two separate cassettes releases. Rooms With Walls and Windows went onto become a true modern-day word of mouth success story (it would have to be for an artist who shuns all forms of social media) and ended the year being voted number 7 in Mojo magazine’s best albums of the year, with the Huffington Post calling it “2014’s Great American Album”. A collection of hushed intimate front porch psych-folk songs, that unknowingly recalled the greats, but felt very much for our time. The album is the first release on a new record label Basin Rock, based in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border town of Todmorden.

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The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody

The Flaming Lips release their long-awaited new studio album, entitled Oczy Mlody, via Bella Union. Produced by the band and their long-time producer Dave Fridmann, the highly-anticipated LP is the follow-up to their globally acclaimed 2013 album, The Terror. On Oczy Mlody, The Lips return to form with an album no less experimental in nature, but perhaps more melodically song-oriented, recalling the best parts of their most critically applauded albums The Soft Bulletin and the gold-certified Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

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The Big Moon –  Formidable

Limited edition standard 7” vinyl with outer sleeve. Mostly, when bands talk about bringing something to their recorded output, they’re on about capturing the ferocity of their live performances. The claustrophobic sweat of the circuit stage, the immediacy of the moment. The Big Moon don’t have to worry about that. They’ve captured something even more magical. The best bands, see, are a gang. It’s them against the world. They’ve got their own personalities, their own sense of humour. Open up the door and they’ll drag you into their world. It’s that which runs through the core of Formidable. Even when not going for the sugar spun funhouse of Silent Movie Susie or Cupid, there’s still that nudge, wink and held hand into their magical kingdom. Switching between swooning verse and firmly planted chorus, there’s a steely defiance to Formidable, The Big Moon’s latest offering. Like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it’s the sound of something clicking. What was potential before is realised now. Supermoons be damned, this is one lunar cycle that’s going interstellar.

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Brian Jonestown Massacre –  Groove Is In The Heart

Limited Green Vinyl 10″. Groove Is In The Heart is the first of 3 singles from the forthcoming album Don’t Get Lost released in February 2017. Both tracks (Groove Is In The Heart and Throbbing Gristle) feature vocals by Tess Parks, these tracks give an idea of the changing rhythms of The Brian Jonestown Massacre for the new album. Heavy hypnotic beating drums, with smoky vocals provided by Tess Parks.

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R.E.M  – Radio Free Europe: Live From The Capitol Theatre, Passaic, Nj. June 9Th 1984

Live album from 1984 when they were just starting to really grow in stature. Tracks include Pale Blue Eyes, Radio Free Europe and another 11 tracks.

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R.E.M – Pretty Persuasion: FM Broadcast live in Orlando, Florida, April 30th, 1989

Another great radio show recording from 1989 – and they are on top form, playing Orange Crush, Crazy, Gravity and another 10 tracks.

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