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Lots of new albums announced this week that is keeping us busy. Out this week the new Julien Baker album, which is very good indeed. It’s her third album ‘Little Oblivions’ shows off more of his incredible story-telling with an intimate stripped-back focus some copies in limited coloured vinyl with a free postcard available.

Very limited 7″ single fromKings Of Leon, released as a taster for the album out next week.

Beautiful new record from Lost Horizons with an excellent set of guests vocalists on limited coloured 2LP . Lost Horizons release their new album “In Quiet Moments” on Bella Union label. The album features a stellar array of musical guests including John Grant, C Duncan, Marissa Nadler, Porridge Radio, Penelope Isles, Karen Peris (the innocence mission), Tim Smith (of Midlake), Ren Harvieu and many more. With all those voices, it’s testament to its creators’ judgment that it all flows so beautifully.

This week’s Neil Young release is ‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’, a live album from 1990, on a 4LP set and a deluxe box set.
A ‘Greatest Hits’ double album from The White Stripes is out too. The new Alice Cooper album “Detroit Stories” is worth a listen.
PJ Harvey
finally gets round to reissuing ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’. plus A ‘Demos’ edition of the labrum available for the first time too!
Stereolab
offer us a fourth instalment of their ‘Switched On’ compilations.
50th anniversary
reissue of the seminal ‘Tapestry’ album from Carole King.
4AD label reissue two early albums by The National as well an EP – ‘The National’, ‘Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers’ and ‘Cherry Tree’ all available now.

Sooo many quality reissues as usual  from PJ Harvey, Stereolab, The White Stripes Greatest Hits, The National, Deftones, Neil Young, Black Crowes, Alan Vega and the Melvins.

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Julien Baker – ” Little Oblivions “

Little Oblivions is the third studio album by Julien Baker. Recorded in Memphis, TN, the record weaves together unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Baker’s capacity for storytelling to new heights. It also marks a sonic shift, with the songwriter’s intimate piano and guitar arrangements newly enriched by bass, drums, keyboards, banjo, and mandolin with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker.

 

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse – ” Way Down In The Rust Bucket “

Recorded on November 13th 1990 in Santa Cruz, CA, where the band were rehearsing for their upcoming Weld tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse played a club show at The Catalyst which is now released here for the first time. The show comprised three different sets along with a 12 minute encore of Cortez The Killer and all 3 sets including that encore are brought together here in over 2 hours of music. Said to be one of the great live shows that Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed, the album includes live versions of songs from their Ragged Glory album, released just prior, along with classics from across their catalogue.

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Mt Mountain – ” Centre “

Hailing from Perth, Australia, Mt. Mountain deal in a sprawling, motorik psychedelic rock sound that journeys between tranquil, drone-like meditations and raucous, full-throttle wig-outs that’ll blow your mind as much as your speakers. Taking cues from Krautrock pioneers like Neu! and Can whilst existing in a similar world to contemporaries like Moon Duo, Kikagaku Moyo and Minami Deutsch, Mt. Mountain are formidable torchbearers of the minimal-is-maximal tradition. Musically, the band’s sound is born out of long improvised jams so naturally much of the album was recorded live to capture the band at their most freewheeling. Growing up surrounded by religion but not a follower himself, Stephen Bailey (vocals / organ / flute) describes how, thematically, much of Centre is a dissection of faith – both spiritual and secular – and his personal, often complicated relationship to it.

“The album for me, lyrically, is mostly about my experience of religion. It explores these concepts and the rules that were told to me from childhood to adulthood and my thoughts on my own connection to them. Similar themes arise between the tracks whether it be lyrically or structural, both a play on repetition and simplicity.” With a number of EPs and singles and three albums behind them – their 2016 debut Cosmos Terros, 2017’s Dust and 2018’s Golden Rise – the Perth quintet have picked up a formidable reputation in their homeland and further afield, thanks especially to their wildly all-consuming live shows. Constantly touring across Australia with each release, they’ve also shared the stage with notable down-under comrades like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and ORB, as well as a long list of international heavy-hitters including Sleep, MONO, Thee Oh Sees, Acid Mothers Temple and Moon Duo.

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Flyying Colours – ” Fantasy Country “

Australian four-piece Flyying Colours release their sophomore album; taking inspiration from the early 90s UK psych / shoegaze scene, Fantasy Country is rich in sonic texture and shimmering atmospherics with a heavy dose of melody. From the swooning, sludgy ‘Goodtimes’ and urgent noise-fest of ‘Big Mess’, to the gorgeous melodic pop of ‘OK’, Flyying Colours look to redefine noise within the context of pop music. Elsewhere, ‘It’s Real’ is perfect, summery dreampop while the crushingly loud ‘White Knuckles’ and chugging ‘Boarding Pass’ is a hazy, echo-laden spaced-out affair. Having released their critically acclaimed debut album Mindfullness in 2016, Flyying Colours have spent much of their time on the road with headline shows across the UK and Europe.

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Vapour Theories – ” Celestial Scuzz “

Vapour Theories New album from brothers John and Michael Gibbons, the guitarists from psychedelic drone legends, Bardo Pond. A “heavy ambient” instrumental masterpiece that explores the symbiotic relationship of the duo as they build and dismantle sounds on a unique ethereal trip.

A full-length follow up to Joint Chiefs from 2006, Celestial Scuzz is a monumental sound piece created from hours of jam sessions and crafted into a cohesive mind-blowing trip. The result has a heavy ambience, like Eno locked in a dark room with Sunn-O))))) rehearsing next door.

While Bardo Pond’s trajectory takes them deep into rock music’s ever-imploding sound, the brothers Gibbons surf a more ethereal and eclectic plain; from a heady and consuming space, a “sanctuary; balm for the soul.” Describing the writing process, Michael Gibbons explains it as “a kind of spiritual experience. Most of the time it leaves us stunned; the more stunned we are the better the jam.”

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Lande Hekt – ” Going To Hell “

Lande Hekt’s voice in music is one that’s socially aware yet often introspective, drawing awareness to serious issues but at the same time baring her soul. Much of Hekt’s compositions act as a personal diary of what’s going on in her life at any given time. This is evident in her discography with Muncie Girls, the band which she formed in her hometown of Exeter as a teenager and have released two critically acclaimed albums to date. This knack of combining her own experiences and feelings whilst highlighting larger socio-economic issues has carried through to her more contemplative solo material, which began life in an EP Gigantic Disappointment, self-released in 2019.

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Cloud Nothings – ” The Shadow I Remember “

For a band that resists repeating itself, picking up lessons from a decade prior is the strange route Cloud Nothings took to create their most fully-realized album. Their new record, The Shadow I Remember, marks eleven years of touring, a return to early song writing practices, and revisiting the studio where they first recorded together. In a way not previously captured, this album expertly combines the group’s pummelling, aggressive approach with singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi’s extraordinary talent for perfect pop. To document this newly realized maturity, the group returned to producer Steve Albini and his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, where the band famously destroyed its initial reputation as a bedroom solo project with the release of 2012 album Attack on Memory.

Another throwback was Baldi’s return to constant song writing à la the early solo days, which led to the nearly 30 demos that became the 11 songs on The Shadow I Remember. Instead of sticking to a tried-but-true formula, his song writing stretched out while digging deeper into his melodic talents. “I felt like I was locked in a character,” Baldi says of becoming a reliable supplier of heavy, hook-filled rock songs. “I felt like I was playing a role and not myself. I really didn’t like that role.” More frequent writing led to the freedom in form heard on The Shadow I Remember. What he can’t do alone is get loud and play noisily, which is exactly what happened when the entire band— bassist TJ Duke, guitarist Chris Brown, and drummer Jayson Gerycz—convened.

The band had more fun in the studio than they’ve had in years, playing in their signature, pulverizing way, while also trying new things. The absurdly catchy Nothing Without You includes a first for the band: Macie Stewart of Ohmme contributes guest vocals. Elsewhere, celebrated electronic composer Brett Naucke adds subtle synthesizer parts. The songs are kept trim, mostly around the three-minute mark, while being gleefully overstuffed. Almost every musical part turns into at least two parts, with guitar and drums opening up and the bass switching gears. “That’s the goal—I want the three-minute song to be an epic,” Baldi says. “That’s the short version of the long-ass jam.”

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The Cramps – ” Psychedelic Redux “

The Cramps Another superior release from Ill Eagle Recs (They did that RnR Monster Bash and the revamped alt version of Songs The Lord Taught Us) Now…This is truly an amazing piece of vinyl, Pschedelic Jungle but not as you know it ! Looks like a lot of research and hard work has gone into this… it’s quality… From the sleeve artwork and the liner notes. Compiled from very rare sources, Demos, Rehearsals and selected live tracks. It chronicles the development of The Cramps 2nd release. Plain and simply magnificent !.

Sooo many quality reissues as usual  from PJ Harvey, Stereolab, The White Stripes Greatest Hits, The National, Deftones, Neil Young, Black Crowes, Alan Vega and the Melvins.

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The Distillers – The Distillers

Transparent Green With White And Black. To call The Distillers simply a punk band doesn’t do justice to either the band or the word “punk”. Guitarist, lyricist, and vocalist Brody Dalle uses her medium as a platform for a higher plane of visceral lyricism and independence. Few modern day-punk icons have not only embodied the genre so truthfully but also transformed the depth of what it can mean so thoroughly. Recorded in 2000, their self-titled album Distillers is a throwback to the raw, inyour-face aggression reminiscent of late 1970s / early 1980s punk. Fast and forceful cuts likeL.A. Girl, Oh, Serena, and Girlfixer are still exhilarating and inspired. In celebration of the 20th anniversary, Distillers has been remastered and is available on coloured Vinyl for the first time.

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Fountains of Wayne – ” Fountains Of Wayne “

Fountains of Wayne is one of those rare bands that digs back into what pop music is all about – good, fun tunes. Their self-titled debut studio album was released in 1996. Recorded when the band was just a duo, Chris Collingwood and the late Adam Schlesinger provided almost all the instrumentation during the recording. Schlesinger and Porter had also been members of The Belltower, and bassist Danny Weinkauf later played with Lincoln before joining They Might Be Giants. Although the songs were written over a period of years (as outlets to make each other laugh through inside jokes and references to suburban New York and New Jersey), the album was recorded in just five days. The song writing is straightforward and wonderful; nearly every song is a pop gem. The result is an innovative album – very few albums released in the 90’s are this pleasant, charming, and all-round likeable.

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PJ Harvey – ” Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea “

The fifth PJ Harvey studio album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. Produced by PJ Harvey with Rob Ellis and Mick Harvey, and originally released in October 2000, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea features the singles Good Fortune, A Place Called Home and This Is Love and includes a duet with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on This Mess We’re In..

The album won the Mercury Music Prize in 2001. Reissue is faithful to the original recording and package, cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey producer Head.

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PJ Harvey – ” Stories From The City Stories From The Sea Demos “

PJ Harvey Collection of unreleased demos of every track written for the fifth PJ Harvey studio album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, including demos of Good Fortune, A Place Called Home and This Is Love. 
Audio has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator Head. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.

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Beachwood Sparks – ” Beachwood Sparks “

The original 2000 Sub Pop alt country masterpiece remastered replete with previously unreleased tracks. Never before issued on vinyl.

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The National – ” The National ” (Reissue)

The National Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The National’s self-titled debut album of sozzled Americana is a thing of beauty, laden with heavy hints that this was a special band in the making.

Their first release, The National arrived two years after The National formed, a time when they were juggling bandlife with needing to hold down full-time jobs. And while nods to the alt. rock artists that inspired them (Pavement, Silver Jews) can be heard, so too are the beginnings of something all their own – Matt Berninger’s stunning and unexpected lyrics being pinned to melodies that stop you in your tracks.

The National marks the start point for one of the best bands of their generation with its new master helping elevate it to new levels. A great primer to a great band.

Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

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The National – ” Cherry Tree EP ” (Reissue)

Released a year before The National broke through with their third album Alligator, 2004’s Cherry Tree EP is a thrilling record which – thanks to its collection of delicate ballads and anthemic crowd-pleasers – sums up what they do best in under 30 minutes. Now a firm fan-favourite, among Cherry Tree’s seven tracks are now National classics About Today and All The Wine, plus a thrilling live version of Murder Me Rachael that reminds of the band’s fearsome early live performances. Cherry Tree can be seen as the record that marks the moment when The National had truly found themselves, a bridge from what went before to a band ready to conquer the World.

Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

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The National – ” Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers ” (Reissue)

The National’s second album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers (2003) proved a leap forward from 2001’s eponymous debut, showing a band adept at delivering warm embraces and gut punches in equal measure.

With word of mouth now spreading on the band, critics proved equally enthusiastic… Pitchfork in their glowing review called it a “Gorgeous train wreck” that “Lives up to its blunt title (with) Matt Berninger’s self-eff acing barbs matched by the band’s equally potent hooks,” while Uncut also became early champions saying the album was “A genuine treasure… Livid as a bruise, this is brave, desperate, beautiful music.”

No longer a secret among those that know, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers is an important record in The National’s discography with this new remaster showing that it’s more than standing the test of time. Having been remastered at Abbey Road Studios, the 2021 represses stay faithful to their original artwork while their stunning new masters help make these much-loved records sound as vital as ever, further emphasising the early signs of the sound that would go on to make them one of the fi nest and most beloved alternative bands of their generation.

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Yumi Zouma – ” EP I “

Repress of Yumi Zouma’s debut ​EP​. Originally released in 2014, ​EP ​represents the world’s introduction to the New Zealand dream-pop band Yumi Zouma. Though the project has since grown considerably in profile, releasing their 2020 album ​Truth or Consequences​, their winsome allure remains. ​EP​ features early favourites from the band’s catalogue including “The Brae” and “Salka Gets Her Hopes Up.”

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Yumi Zouma – ” EP II “

Originally released in 2016, EP II found the New Zealand band coming into their own as songwriters, developing their “soft-focus synth-pop” (Pitchfork) with hints of electronic piano-house pulse (“Alena”) and anthemic, movie-ready choruses (“Catastrophe”). Though the project has since grown considerably in profile (in 2020 year the band released their third full-length album Truth or Consequences), their winsome allure remains.

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