Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

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Over the span of their first five albums, the Roadside Graves were quintessential, New Jersey roots-rock storytellers, with songs full of empathetic third-person narratives. On their fifth album, and first for the esteemed Don Giovanni label, they are ready to tell their own. At its best, Acne/Ears unassumingly places itself within reach of New Jersey’s A-list of confessional indie rockers.


It’s as unflattering as you’d expect from a song called “Acne/Ears”, two facial features that seem to exist for the sole purpose of causing adolescent embarrassment. “Some boys are filled with piss and vinegar/ Some boys are filled with just pus and blood,” John Gleason sings, recalling the days when his breakouts were so profuse, he didn’t even bother going to school. It’s similar to Strand of Oaks’ breakthrough single “Goshen ’97”, in which a sullen teen finds relief by singing terribly in the mirror even when he could hardly bear to look at himself.

John Gleason’s creaking vocals about a lonesome kid holed up in his bedroom. There is a larger scope here, as if that kid finds a suburbia full of other holed-up kids, but it’s when they get together, when they are just “boys in basements making noise” that the song erupts into rollicking, full-band joy. We see much of the louder joy and frustration of this record rise out of solitary quiet. On string-laden “Endangered”, Gleason calls for help because he’s in danger “just like the fish in the sea.” On Acne/Ears, trouble isn’t really a change in the program but more like the same come down. Sometimes, on the heartbreaking loss of “The Whole Night”, it’s too much to bear. Other times, on “Gospel Radio” for instance, it’s the music that makes it all bearable, that can turn pain and closed bedroom doors into wide open spaces of sound, into release. Like the suburbs these songs sound born from, Acne/Ears sprawls outward, in a few small moments almost too far, but in the end the record keeps its shape while offering surprising turns throughout. For Roadside Graves, it’s not about escaping the pain, it’s about making something bigger than it.



On their fourth album, Northern Ireland’s Girls Names plunge themselves down into a dark, dark place. It’s not as immediate as previous efforts, but I think I like this new one more than anything they’ve done so far. It brings to mind the moody “difficult” post punk the Sound’s All Fall Down and Comsat Angels’ Sleep No More.

‘Karoline’, the latest song to be taken from our new album Stains on Silence, out 15th June on Tough Love Records

Our latest album on Lolipop/Burger—’Psychsploitation Today’—has had a great run, garnering a lot of attention & rad vibes. You may have heard that there were videos being made for all 10 album tracks…not only is that true, but we’ve also made a 35-minute movie featuring all of the tracks. Carve out some popcorn time for ‘Psychsploitation Today: The Video Album’

The Prefab Messiahs are back with a new installment of wiggy Garage-Pop-Psych scheming. Their fourth full-length release ‘Psychsploitation Today’ comes to you via Lolipop Records, with Burger Records .

These 10 self-produced songs represent a unique kaleidoscopic voyage through today’s cultural zeitgeist — taking on everything from 21st century media “Psychsploitation” to explosive ruminations about the “Last Day On Earth.” 

The Prefabs’ front Xerox Feinberg, a self-described “Lost Generation Wanna-be Spokesperson,” calls the album “a mental and sonic continuation of the things we were obsessed about from the beginning — mashing up the sounds and attitudes of ’60s garage-psychedelia with post-punk ’80s stuff and dragging all that into whatever ‘today’ is — while generally trying to poke people in the ribs and skewer some of the Big Shams behind all the Shiny Facades. We’re still trying to toss everything into the mix including the kitchen sink. We’re still bemused and shocked and disgusted with The State of Things — and also in love with the noises in our heads. The Prefab Messiahs’ work is never done.”

Released January 26, 2018

The Prefab Messiahs music with a 60’s influenced rock laden in lots of harmonies and layered vocals. Animation suits the music well and would especially appeal to collage kids–underground stuff, with much subtle, hidden commentary about life and its struggles without being heavy. Could watch it again and again and each time see something funny and new in the content.

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Hilang Child is the project of London singer-songwriter Ed Riman. You may have heard him last year on the debut album from Lost Horizons, the new project from Cocteau Twins’ Simon Raymonde, whose Bella Union label is putting out Hilang Child’s upcoming album YearsRiman is sharing a video for the album’s new single “Crow.”

The track is characterized by a U2 dramatic, boundless crashes, but Riman’s voice evokes the gracefully hollow harmonics of Robin Pecknold and Fleet Foxes. Its lyrics move with a bright and earnest determination, and the video feels appropriately meditative.

Riman spoke of the new single:

“Crow” is the most hopeful song on this album. I wanted to write something that sonically created the feeling of glimpsing at a brighter future; a release of euphoric energy in anticipation of better times incoming. I went for a more ‘live’ and visceral approach rather than the measured/layered songwriting that features on the rest of the album, as I always knew it was going to form the album’s crashing climax despite being one of the earliest songs I wrote for it.

“Crow” is taken from the debut album by Hilang Child.

Lay Llamas essentially is Italy’s Nicola Giunta creating multi-textured psychedelic rock. On Thuban he has a few guest to help him out including Goat and Clinic, but this is his show of rhythmic dalliances into north Africa, Thailand and the Beta Band’s Edinburgh.

Dwelling in the night sky of the Northern hemisphere, Thuban (named after the Arabic for ‘snake’ also known as Alpha Draconis, and sometimes as the ‘dragon’s tail’) was the star closest to the North pole from the fourth to the second millennium BC. Yet in a migration that perhaps allows us to consider our own insignificance in the realm of the cosmos, its never-ending trajectory will mean that it will once again become the polar star by 20346AD. It’s a star system powered by mystical significance enough for both Matt Groening to include it in Futurama and for David Icke to consider it the homeland of the shapeshifting reptiles that he maintains secretly control Earth. For Nicola Giunta of Lay Llamas however, this mysterious point in the night sky offers pause for thought. “A polar star is something that drives the travellers towards a safe place. But in the age we’re living now it seems hard to recognise a polar star. Do we have to wait for that? How many times? Do we have to look in another direction?”

Nonetheless, the personal journey Giunta has embarked on in the four years since Lay Llamas’ Rocket Recordings debut Østro has been characterised as much by forward motion as cosmic drift. A number of smaller releases on labels such as Backwards, 4 Zero and ArteTetra followed, as the live band that notably supported Goat at London’s Roundhouse and effortlessly managed a psychic demolition job of considerable force at Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia was replaced by a different constellation of musicians. Yet following the departure of vocalist Gioele Valenti, Thuban is very much Nicola’s brainchild, involving as many of twelve different musicians yet with him writing lyrics, singing, producing, mixing and recording at his home, whilst utilising new instruments from marimba to sax to kalimba to pilot this craft to dimensions unknown. The result has been a step beyond the kraut-damaged psychedelic mantras of Østro into a realm seemingly without boundaries, one in which a pan-global fascination with rhythmic hypnosis and an unquenchable experimental zeal manifests hermetically-aligned revelations aplenty.

It’s as much a voyage of discovery for himself as the listener, as he reveals, both stylistically and creatively. “Everything around us is transforming, always! You know, I’m not a proper songwriter, I consider myself a sound crafter. An experimental alchemist of sounds and visions. And sometimes I start with an idea and finish with something really different” True to form, Thuban maps out terrain where collaborators including members of Clinic (on the sax-assisted ritualistic darkness of ‘Cults And Rites From The Black Cliff’) and Goat (on the jubilant tropicalia serenade ‘Altair’) can contribute to the air of earthy vibrancy and fertile exploration. Moreover, Mark Stewart of The Pop Group’s spoken-word contributions to the searing ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ (styled by Nicola as ‘dystopian afrobeat’) steers the album to new pinnacles of intensity informed by science fiction yet with explicitly political force. For all the outward exploration of its sonics, and even considering the excursions through inner space that they resemble, this is an album with its feet firmly on the ground in the here and now.


“I was born and grew up in Sicily, but now I live in the north part of Italy” says Nicola. “That extremely south part of the Europe represents the main gate for a lot of people that coming from Africa, Asia and the Middle-East. A real cultural melting process is on the way. And there’s not any kind of fascist law that can stop this. Thuban talks about ancient sea travels, ancient cultures, ancient rites, but also about today’s travellers, travellers from all ages. Travellers that are still looking for their Thuban, for their polar star to reach a safe place to live with their family.”

Released June 15th, 2018


Math & Physics Club have been known to cover an REM song, I remember them doing an excellent version of Shaking Through from Murmur, so it not surprising to hear them dropping REM references throughout the new album Lived Here Before. Don’t worry, if you are a fan of their subtle understated pop, they haven’t gone all End of the World as We Know it. They have this great ability to subtly incorporate influences without them overpowering their own of delicate pop.

Upon the release of 2018’s Lived Here Before, it’s been five years since the last Math and Physics Club album, but all the hallmarks of their sound remain intact. The required amount of guitar jangle, sweet indie pop melody, tender and true lyrics, and Charles Bert’s wistfully sincere singing are all on display, and the band delivers a few songs that stand with its best work. The gently rumbling “Threadbare,” the warm-hearted “Broadcasting Waves,” and the insistent “All the Mains Are Down” are all first-rate examples of the best kind of indie pop, when the music, words, and voices work together to wrap the listener in the audio equivalent of a long, strong hug. The record is more than just a few great songs, though. Like on their last album, Our Hearts Beat Out Loud, the band continues to expand its sound, becoming more muscular than ever and stretching the songwriting a bit.

Tracks like the circular “The Pull of the Tides” and the almost C&W “Take a Number” wouldn’t have appeared on an early MAPC album, and Lived Here Before is enriched by their presence. The rest of the record has a fuller, more dynamic sound than the previous album too, and when the songs rock, like on “Past and in Between,” they have some real punch. The ballads like “Dear Madeline” also have a real echoing beauty that the band has previously hinted at but can fully realize now. Credit the production by indie rock veteran Chris Hanzsek for the improved sound, the band for the expansive arrangements, and Bert for coming up with MAPC’s strongest set of songs to date. Put it all together and it’s the best record the band has done and some really fine indie pop that shows the long-running style has some life left in it yet.

Band Members
Charles Bert (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Ethan Jones (bass, keys, etc)
James Werle (guitar)
Kevin Emerson (drums)

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Pure Comedy brought the universe into his musical world, grand-scaling both Tillman’s cleverness and an earnest love for humanity, On God’s Favorite Customer, he sounds all by himself wracked with self-doubt, on the verge (perhaps at the apex) of hopelessness. He’s his comically dark self during hazy nightmare “Mr. Tillman,” mind fractured and teetering at the edge of bender doom in a hallucinogenic hotel. “Hangout At The Gallows” is positively, dreamily dour, and “The Palace” is nearly cripplingly lonesome. There’s little to adorn most of these songs lyrically economical, sonically without much pageantry—but the intimacy and honesty results in some of Tillman’s most stunning songwriting. On the aching “Just Dumb Enough To Try,” he forces a death grip on hope for the victory of love and self-betterment, against all odds, and “The Songwriter” deftly examines the destruction that can be inherent when your partner is your muse.

“Please Don’t Die” rolls easy with an understated twang, howling harmonica, and twinkling piano, combining some of Tillman’s best moves heart-baring vulnerability, swirling melodies, and just a touch of the surreal—to convey that familiar feeling of when we just can’t stand to lose someone.

Father John Misty is a contentious character. His last album, Pure Comedy, He ruthlessly bashed most aspects of human nature for over an hour, upping the ante of cynicism found on his two previous albums. But on June’s God’s Favorite Customer, Joshua Tillman turns his ever-critical gaze inward to write an album full of both touching self-reflective ballads and ironic psychedelic pop singles. These songs return to themes Tillman has previously tackled: battling alcoholism, his dedication to his wife and general critiques of humanity, but in a way that seems more hopeful or, perhaps, more trivialized. This slight positivity is amplified in a sonic change:

He turns from the safe, Randy Newman-styled of piano-lead singer-songwriter tunes to embody elements of vintage psychedelic pop and flex his vocal range. “Date Night” and “Mr. Tillman” are both short, funny songs perfectly poised to become radio hits. Ballads “The Songwriter” and “The Palace” sound more like traditional Misty, but are more sad than purely cynical. It seems Tillman has gotten over his hatred of everyone and everything, and given us an album with songs that both put us in our feels and deserve to be belted out in angst.

Father John Misty has announced he’ll be coming to Leicester’s De Montfort Hall and The Forum, Bath (Official) later this year as part of his 2018 World Tour! see dates on the top header.

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Regret’s is the worst thing ever? If you’re not careful, that shoulda-woulda-coulda will eat you alive, or at the very least, make you lose your mind for a bit . Goon’s Kenny Becker knows all about that, as detailed in the band’s tops new standalone track “Enter Bethel Admissions,” .

Though the track’s title is just a play on the song’s E-B-A chord progression, its lyrics delve into the madness of missed opportunities and past mistakes. Couched in the LA outfit’s signature scuzzy shimmer and Becker’s alternately lackadaisical and pleading vocals, it’s ultimately uplifting—both heartbreaking and gentle as Becker sings, “I won’t beat up myself, about it…I wanna show my tremor.” It’s less an affirmation than a Hail Mary.

Here’s what Becker said about the tune, which lands alongside the Partisan re-release of LA grunge-gaze outfit’s Dusk of Punk/Happy Omen double EP today.

I was dealing with this intense regret that used to come up a lot. It was usually centered around this girl from college that I botched things with before they even began. Actually it’s the same girl that also inspired a couple tunes from our upcoming LP. It was a crazy type of regret, I kinda thought my brain was broken sometimes. It seemed like every day I could very tangibly feel my life going further and further down some wrong path because I missed a crucial opportunity with her that I was “meant” to take years earlier. I’m happy to say that I’m now very over it, but it fucked me up good for a while.

So with all that in mind, I made Enter Bethel Admissions as sort of pleading with myself to not get down on myself for any of that stuff. However, despite my desire to not cause myself harm for things that are out of my control or are in the unchangable past, I still very much end up seeking that harm in other ways, which is the desire for a metaphorical “tremor” in the choruses.

Band Members
kenny becker + drew eccleston + christian koons + caleb wicker

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“In this landscape we are fading/ Shiny particles and shadings/ Once continuous and clear/Through the skies.” Jane Weaver is the architect of a world of wavy soundscapes where listeners lose themselves in a mix of intrepid experimentalism and anthemic floor-fillers.

And when we say ‘architect’, we really mean it. Weaver is self-taught, self-produces and even owns the record label Bird – her completely autonomous artistic process resulting in a wholly inimitable sound.

Another favourite of our omniscient friends over at BBC6 Music, the Liverpudlian’s latest album Modern Kosmology leads us to the claim that she could well be the queen of psychedelia.


The phenomenon that is Jane Weaver leads the charge, alongside Joan as Police Woman, of an emboldened Deer Shed Festival Lodge Stage line-up for 2018, as Saturday night headliner.

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Cut Worms is the nom de plume of songwriter Max Clarke, whose debut LP will seduce you right off the bat with its sparkling opening track, “How It Can Be.” With his intimate indie voice and facility for instantly memorable melodies and guitar lines, Clarke conjures a kind of garage-tested Everly Brothers, reminiscent of early Shins, with breezy pop ballads just tart enough to soundtrack lonesome summer days. Hollow Ground was recorded in the L.A. home studio of Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, and in New York with Jason Finkel at Gary’s Electric. Check out the animated video for “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye,” and prepare to hum it for the rest of the day.

“Don’t Want To Say Good-bye” from debut LP “Hollow Ground” out May 4th on Jagjaguwar

Tons of Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly in Hollow Ground, which flies in the face of present day music. What’s wrong with this one man band Max Clarke and his compulsion of a bygone era? Who cares, when it sounds this good.


“Cash For Gold” from debut LP “Hollow Ground” out May 4th on Jagjaguwar Records