Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

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After a year full of health setbacks and tour cancellations, Ozzy Osbourne is back at full swing and he stole the show at the American Music Awards, joining Post Malone and Travis Scott for a fiery performance of their hit single “Take What You Want.” Metalheads are, of course, divided over the Prince of Darkness’ embrace of pop. Ozzy Osbourne is already recording a new album, which is a bit of a surprise, because in some ways this year’s Ordinary Man feels like a goodbye — or at least the exclamation point on a long chapter of work. Not that Ozzy sounds tired; on high-octane single “Straight to Hell” and the manic, Post Malone-featuring “It’s a Raid,” he appears invigorated, replenished by a nearly 10-year gap between solo records. But when he sings “I don’t wanna die an ordinary man” alongside fellow aging rocker Elton John, he sounds as though he knows the writing’s on the wall – and if so, Ordinary Man is a hell of a way to go out.

The Prince of Fucking Darkness re-emerged reinvigorated on solo album No. 12. Helmed by Post Malone producer and guitarist Andrew Watt, and featuring rock-star assists from Slash, Elton John, Post and others, Ordinary Man is anything but ordinary, capturing the septuagenarian godfather of heavy metal in fine form, whether shrieking, “It’s a raid!” or moaning of the inevitable end on “Under the Graveyard.” The crazy train still has plenty of steam in it yet.

Mention the San Francisco rock scene of the 1960s and most people think of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin’s Big Brother & the Holding Company. But, for anyone who either took part in that scene or paid it any heed, a fourth name holds equal sway: Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Quicksilver Messenger Service never achieved the same level of fame as the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane, the definitive San Francisco bands, but their late-decade run is equally distinctive. The most lauded of the band’s three ’60s LPs is 1968’s ‘Happy Trails,’ which draws from heavy guitar jamming (25-minute opener “Who Do You Love Suite”), symphonic-scale psychedelia (“Calvary”) and atmospheric blues (“Mona”).

Like the Dead and the Airplane—and nearly a year before Janis joined her band Quicksilver devised a sound in late 1965 that established the new San Francisco esthetic. Anchored on guitar-driven jams, the San Francisco sound refracted blues, folk, and jazz through the trippy lens of psychedelia.

The abstraction, duration, and explorative nature of the music offered a kaleidoscopic soundtrack to a new culture—one which Quicksilver represented more purely than any band on the scene save The Dead. Quicksilver made instrumental work their raison d’etre. For them, playing was the thing, making them more a live band than a studio-driven one. If that focus gave them spontaneity and rarity, it also helps explain why they ended up the least commercially successful of the top San Francisco bands. They sold far fewer records, and had a much lower media profile than their peers, let alone that of the biggest Bay Area bands. Quicksilver never had a great singer, though they did manage to hire a divisive one, Dino Valenti. To make matters more challenging, they changed their line-up with the speed of their name-sake, losing key members, while gaining new ones who strongly affected their direction.

While all the band members boasted admirable chops, the most prized player had to be guitarist John Cipollina. He got a shivering, quavering sound out of his instrument that was wholly his own. To achieve it, he employed an eccentric arrangement of amplifiers and equipped his Gibson SG with special effects, allowing him to achieve a tremolo as singular as a human timbre. On the low end, he hammered his strings hard while, on the high, he could make them shudder or sting. Better, Cipollina found a powerful foil in Quicksilver’s other axe man, Gary Duncan. Their one-two punch paved the way for all the double lead guitar acts that came in their wake.

‘Quicksilver’

Despite Quicksilver’s instrumental concentration, they also crafted some important studio recordings, including FM staples like their bold cover of Hamilton Camp’s “Pride of Man,” Nicky Hopkins’ piano masterpiece “Edward, the Mad Shirt Grinder” and Dino Valenti’s political anthem, “What About Me” later covered, to perfection, by Richie Havens. To boot, they scored a pop hit with their stoner-anthem “Fresh Air” and finessed four of their albums into The American Billboard’s Top 30. Though Quicksilver hasn’t had the staying power in the public consciousness that they deserved, they had a strong impact on more progressive rock listeners of the day. And they were hugely respected within the San Francisco underground they helped found.
The group’s genesis began towards the end of 1965 with a casual conversation between Cipollina and Valenti (ne Chet Powers). The latter already had a career as a singer/songwriter on the Greenwich Village folk scene. An early song he wrote, “Get Together” was later recorded by everyone from The Kingston Trio and the Dave Clark Five to San Francisco acts like the Airplane and The Youngbloods, whose 1967 version became a classic.
Unfortunately, one day after Valenti and Cipollina talked about playing together, the singer was busted for marijuana possession, resulting in a two-year jail term. In the meantime, Cipollina started a band with bassist/singer David Freiberg (who previously played in a group with David Crosby and Paul Kantner), and guitarist Skip Spence (who would soon switch to drums and ditch the proto-Quicksilver configuration to join Kantner in the just forming Airplane). As a result, Cipollina and Freiberg hooked up with drummer Greg Elmore and guitarist Gary Duncan, who’d played together in a local group named The Brogues. Rounding out the first incarnation of Quicksilver was Jim Murray as third guitarist and singer.In their five-man incarnation Quicksilver became a regular draw at San Francisco’s hippest new venue, the Avalon Ballroom during 1966. Yet, by the next June, Murray quit, an unfortunate move considering the band had just played the history-making Monterey Pop Festival. (Luckily, Murray’s fleeting time with the group is captured for posterity in D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary about the storied festival). Monterey energized the major labels to sign nearly anyone in the Bay Area with a guitar, but RCA beat everyone to the punch by inking the Airplane in the year before. By ’67, Warner Brothers signed The Dead and Big Brother made a rotten, though brief, pact with Mainstream Records. Inspired by the excitement at Monterey, Columbia Records swept in to give Janis’ band a far better deal, resulting in her stardom.

That left Quicksilver as the last major SF band to sign a contract, theirs with Capitol Records in 1968. That May, their self-titled debut appeared, by which time the Airplane had already released three albums, including their Top Five smash, ‘Surrealistic Pillow’. Quicksilver’s debut turned out to be a less commercial affair, though they did make some musical concessions. Taking their cue from main vocalist, Freiberg, they leaned towards folk-rock, most effectively in “Pride of Man,” an apocalyptic warning that culminated in an apt shiver on Cipollina’s guitar. Cipollina put his vibrato to even more poignant use in “Light Your Windows,” stitching fine pings around its graceful melody. Though Valenti was incarcerated at the time, he appeared by proxy in a cover of his sashaying piece “Dino’s Song.”

Another notable track, “Gold and Silver” borrowed its composition from Dave Brubeck, without credit. The song’s main riff translated Brubeck’s piano part in “Take 5” to electric guitars. Still, the purest representation of Quicksilver’s axe work came in “The Fool,” a twelve-minute instrumental epic. The guitars at the start imitated the quaver of a sitar, leading to a melody that showed-off Freiberg’s classical background via his august viola work. As the song progressed, the guitarists supported each other and sparred, culminating in a Cipollina solo so pure.

‘Happy Trails’

If “The Fool” captured Quicksilver instrumental focus, the band took that all the way on ‘Happy Trails’,” their second release. This time, jamming ruled, but with a purpose. Though the album cover promised a spontaneous document, “recorded live at the Fillmore East and West,” much of it was actually scripted and overhauled in the studio. That bait-and-switch approach mirrored a similar move by Big Brother on ‘Cheap Thrills’, which likewise claimed, erroneously, to be cut entirely in concert. Regardless, ‘Happy Trails’ nailed the verve of a live Quicksilver show, especially in the 25-minute take on Bo Diddley’s’ “Who Do You Love.” Divided into six parts, this side-long track featured showcases for each guitarist in separate sections, providing the ultimate game of compare and contrast. Duncan demonstrated his approach in a section titled “When You Love,” with a long, jazz-influenced lead as methodical as it was melodic.

For over five minutes, he wove a series of blues licks, jazz lilts, psychedelic filigrees and hard rocking riffs into a fluid story. Meanwhile, the “How You Love” section demonstrated the wilder style of Cipollina. Drawing on the highest end of his tremolo, his guitar sounded like a flock of mad birds cackling in air. Bassist Freiberg’s got his own, jaunty solo stint in “Which Do You Love,” while the “Where You Love” section operated as an abstract center piece, suggesting Quicksilver’s answer to Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.” Together, “Love” represented as potent an acid-rock document as The Dead’s “Dark Star,” though it never received parallel awe.

For another run at Bo Diddley, the band opened side two with a spacey cover of “Mona,” before moving into two instrumentals blended into a fifteen-minute suite. The first, “Maiden of the Cancer Moon” bounced Duncan’s trenchant fingerings off Cipollina’s cackling cries, while “Calvary” drew on everything from classical music to proto-metal to boleros, cementing a psychedelic classic. While ‘Happy Trails’ sold well, going gold.

‘Shady Grove’

Exhausted by the pressures of impending success, Duncan abruptly quit and, instead of hiring another guitarist to replace him, Quicksilver brought in celebrated piano wiz Nicky Hopkins, fresh from a stint in the Jeff Beck Group. The result radically altered the band’s direction, evidenced by their highly uneven third album, ‘Shady Grove’, which came out in 1969. It drew on more country music and psychedelic-pop, often unconvincingly. Freiberg struggled to sing the oddly conceived songs, leaving the album’s highlights in Cipollina’s all-too-brief guitar parts and Hopkins’ commanding piano. In places, it seemed like Quicksilver had become Hopkins‘ backing band, especially the title track, which was driven by his rippling keyboard, or the nine-minute showcase, “Edward.” A mix of classical, boogie-woogie, and psychedelia, “Edward” stands as one of most exciting, piano-led instrumentals in rock history.

‘Just For Love’

If the jarring shift in style threw some fans, they had to endure another big one in 1970. A newly sprung Valenti was finally free to join the band as frontman, changing their essential dynamic. The wayward Duncan also returned to the fold. Together, the moves definitely had some positive results. They restored the band’s double guitar draw and added a strong songwriter in Valenti, who wrote under the pseudonym Jessie Oris Farrow. At the same time, Valenti proved an eccentric, sometimes irritating, front-man, over-singing in many sections, an effect worsened by the heavy echo they threw around his voice. By all accounts, the sessions for the band’s next two albums, ‘Just for Love’ and ‘What About Me’, couldn’t have been less disciplined, with no firm producer in sight. The albums, both drawn from the same sessions, were released within six months of each other during the latter half of 1970.

But, despite their flaws, they make one very good album together. Stand outs from ‘Just for Love’ included the instrumentals, “Wolf Run,” which featured Valenti’s haunting flute, and “Cobra,” which boasted a fiery run from Cipollina. The album also featured “Fresh Air,” known for its invitation to “take another hit,” a druggy encouragement Quicksilver fans hardly needed.

Besides the killer melody, ”Air” introduced roiling Latin music to the band. Better, it featured stoked solos from both guitarists—a stuttering one from Duncan, and a high-flying one from Cipollina—with an extended piano break from Hopkins as a bridge between. The ‘What About Me’ album boasted its own striking instrumentals—Cipollina’s “Local Color,” which showcased his slide-guitar work for the first time, and Hopkins’ “Spindrifter,” as lovely a piano instrumental as rock has produced. Despite such draws, the band was already in the process of falling apart again. Hopkins left during the sessions, replaced by Marc Naftalin of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band on half the cuts, and Cipollina split soon after recording was completed to form his own group, Copperhead.

‘Quicksilver’

Given so much tumult, it’s remarkable how well the band rebounded for their next album, simply titled ‘Quicksilver’, in 1971. Their hardest rocking record to date, it boasted consistently catchy songs, mostly penned by Valenti. The frontman even managed to keep his undisciplined singing in check. Better, Duncan proved capable of handling all the guitar parts himself, offering sterling double leads on the folk-rock marvel “Hope,” and the country-blues-rocker “I Found Love.” Despite its many strengths, ‘Quicksilver’ was the band’s first release to miss the Top 30. The disappointment helped inspire another change for their follow-up album, ‘Comin’ Thru’, in ’72. It introduced a charging horn section, a la Blood, Sweat and Tears or the Electric Flag. An under-rated, and highly energetic, effort, ‘Comin’ Thru’ still failed to click with critics or fans, leading to an extended hiatus for the band.

‘Solid Silver’

It took a full three years for Quicksilver to return, but this time with an added draw. ‘Solid Silver’, released in 1975, reunited every one of the core members, including Cipollina, Duncan, Elmore, Freiberg, and Valenti. It even featured guest work from Hopkins. Ten years into their career, the reconstituted band sounded more in synch than they had since the start. Nearly all the members contributed to the singing and the writing. More, they added a soul element, amplified by the backup vocals of Kathi McDonald. Nearly all the songs were upbeat, from the R&B rocker “Gypsy Lights,” penned by Duncan, to Valenti’s county-tinged “Cowboy on The Run,” which sounded like a lost Gram Parsons song. A blues-rock barn-burner, “Worryin’ Shoes,” found both guitarists playing so swiftly, it suggested the Allman Brothers on speed. Sadly, the neo-psych-rock sound wasn’t a big commercial draw amid the soft-rock world of 1975, so the album tanked, taking the reunion with it.

‘Not Quite The End Live at the Winterland Ballroom – December 1, 1973’

If that failure brought the active era of Quicksilver to an end, Duncan took it upon himself to keep the name alive for decades after. He issued many albums under their banner, though they were, essentially, solo works. More encouragingly, he oversaw the release of scores of great live recordings from the vintage period. No fewer than twenty-two are currently available on streaming. Of those, three stand out most. The first, ‘Live at the Fillmore June 7th, 1968′ (cut one year after Monterey) captured the band in their ‘Happy Trails’ prime. It’s a pure live document of what ‘Happy Trails’ had earlier simulated. Cut two years later, the ‘Live at Winterland Ballroom 1970’ album captured the band’s rapport with Hopkins. It’s amazing how well his piano integrated with the two guitars. More, the set boasted a nearly half hour version of “Who Do You Love” that features guitar pyrotechnics from Cipollina right before he left the band for the first time. Even more exciting is “Live at Winterland December 1, 1973,” cut on a special night. Though Cipollina had left the group three years earlier, his band, Copperhead, were the opening act for that show, so he agreed to play with the mother act as well. Freiberg, who had left in ’71, came back for the ride too. By adding a Latin percussionist and a surging organ, Quicksilver ended up sounding a bit like their fellow SF band Santana. The feverish new arrangements put a fire behind the two guitarists, who avoided their most trippy forays to center on hardcore blues-rock. It’s an air-guitar player’s dream come true.

Over the years, documents like these have gained greater meaning for a sad reason: Most of the band’s key members have died. The losses began with Cipollina, in 1989 at just 45, followed by Hopkins and Valenti, both felled in 1994, and Duncan, just this past June. With their passing went a sound as fast, and uncontainable, as Quicksilver itself, leaving a legacy that richly deserves a fresh hit of attention.

John Cippolina was a founding member and the lead guitarist of this prominent San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service. After leaving Quicksilver he formed the band Copperhead and then later played with numerous other bands, and is considered one of the fathers of the San Francisco psychedelic rock sound. He had a unique guitar sound all his own, mixing solid state and valve amplifiers as early as 1965. His one of a kind massive amplifier stack was loaned, along with one of his customized Gibson SG guitars, and effects pedals, for display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1995.

John Cippolina passed away on 29th of May 1989 the age of 45 after a career in music that spanned twenty five years. Quicksilver Messenger Service fans and countless friends paid tribute to him the following month in San Francisco at an all-star concert at the Fillmore Auditorium which featured Nicky Hopkins, David Freiberg, John’s brother Mario, and a host of others.

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“There’s not a note out of place but there’s some clear wear and tear on the singer.” Nat’s angling for Americana MVP this year. First he released this heart-broke pearl, then he got back in step with The Night Sweats for an excellent single before closing out April with a birthday song for Willie Nelson that makes me want to grow pigtails and start smoking weed again.

For a soul singer who promised to drink his life away, and made a good start of it, this is an incredibly delicate album – sombre, regretful, occasionally sweet but much more often bitter. There’s not a note out of place but there’s some clear wear and tear on the singer.

It’s nowhere near the brassy, bombastic fare that made Rateliff a household name. It’s also not out of character; before The Night Sweats he put out two solo records that had him pegged as a bit of a misery guts. The BBC review of his 2010 debut said “It all seems so mournful and woebegone, one starts to suspect that In Memory of Loss is a darkly comic concept album about the futility of existence.” So not exactly a boot scooter.

Existence isn’t pointless on Still Alright, it’s a sharp right hook. It’s also passing. Death and divorce spill out every which way here, but you get the impression Rateliff knows how to dust himself off and it’s not a record that ever feels hopeless.

“All Or Nothing” off the latest album “And It’s Still Alright” on Stax Records

Singer, guitarist and songwriter Chelsea Wolfe has been working with multi-instrumentalist, programmer and songwriter Jess Gowrie for years, but new project Mrs. Piss is a bit different. Their work is always dark, but there’s a dirgy, filthy weight to this that is both entirely welcome and utterly uncomfortable. We chatted to the two of them about new album Self-Surgery

If you thought Chelsea Wolfe’s 2017 album, Hiss Spun, was heavy, wait until you dive into Mrs. Piss‘ self-titled debut. A collaborative effort with her longtime friend and current go-to drummer Jess Gowrie, the LP sees these two “mega babes of the wild order” channelling the gnarliest, noisiest grunge-sludge sounds of the Nineties, plus plenty of the era’s riot grrrl attitude. “Nobody Wants to Party With Us” goes the title of one song. We sure as hell do.

L.A. WEEKLY: How did Mrs. Piss come to be…

JESS GOWRIE: Chelsea and I grew up in the same city, Sacramento. We met in our early 20s and started a band called Red Host. That kind of kicked it off. Me joining in with Chelsea Wolfe [the project] in 2016, it just seemed like we picked up where we left off. It’s been 12 years or something.

CHELSEA WOLFE: We had about seven years of separation where we didn’t talk, and then when we finally reunited and started spending some time together, it was like no time had passed. We immediately picked up our friendship and our musical relationship. It was magical to see that hadn’t faded at all, and we were still able to write music together really easily.

Describe the sound…

JG: I would say it’s a mixture of a lot of different sounds. Chelsea and I have very similar backgrounds but we also differ and I think that was brought into this project. You’ve got grunge and a lot of ’90s influences that we both love, dabbling with industrial.

CW: When I stepped into this project, I had this vision in my that it was gonna be punk music. But it kinda immediately, as soon as we started playing, became clear that it was a lot more like metal and rock. That’s just who we are. I would say it’s very much a mix of metal, ’90s rock & roll, ’90s industrial, but also with punk spirit injected in there as well.

Why that band name?

CW: It was just something we would say when we were on tour together. It’s essentially about an energy and mood rather than something literal. It’s about embracing and empowering what the world considers to be your messy side as a woman. Just being married to the dirt — embracing it fully.

re you pleased with the way Self-Surgery came out?

CW: Yeah. I think this was an experiment and us really doing things on our own. We had a little bit of help from some band mates to record and mix. But we produced it ourselves. Jess and I spent a lot of time in practice spaces working on the songs. It was very much the two of us putting ourselves into it. No matter how it sounded, we knew that it captured our friendship, that energy and stuff.

JG: For me, hearing the collection of songs together, I couldn’t be happier with it actually. I think it expresses the mood perfect that we’ve had over the past three or four years of being in a band again, but really it goes back for years and years since we started playing together.

How have you been keeping busy during lockdown? Did it affect the recording or rollout of the album?

CW: We had it finished. We mixed it in fall of last year. I was supposed to go on an acoustic tour in March, I went over to Europe and that was cancelled. Once I got home from that and there was nothing else going on, it was like we should just focus on getting this out. We started talking to Sargent House and rolled it out from there.

JG: This has been in the making for three years. We had to find downtime in between touring. Whenever we had a little bit of time, that’s when we’d get together and either write or record. It took us quite a long time to get these songs together. But they were done before the pandemic.

CW: I feel like the process relates to the title because we really made it in pieces and then stitched it all together at the end.

What’s next for the rest off the year, particularly when lockdown is eventually lifted?

CW: The bandmates have been sending new Chelsea Wolfe ideas back and forth, but also Jess and I have been sending new Mrs. Piss ideas back and forth. We’ve been doing a lot of writing, and planning for when we can get together again. We don’t know when we can play shows again, so we can’t plan too much for that. But we look forward to being able to do it in person again.

Mrs. Piss’ debut album Self-Surgery is out now via Sargent House. Mrs. Piss is (Chelsea Wolfe & Jess Gowrie)

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The cover to Emma Ruth Rundle’s fourth solo record, “On Dark Horses”, bears a blurry photo of the songwriter obscuring her face with a large toy horse with broken legs. The photo suggests something candid but also hidden, graceful but also fractured—a fitting portrait for an artist who has established a career by vacillating between shrouding herself in mystery and exposing her wounds to the world.

Previous album Marry Us mirrors On Dark Horses’ Light Song, with the union of Rundle’s siren vocals and Patterson’s poised baritone conjuring a dizzying and feverish update on the duets of Johnny Cash and June Carter. The eight tracks of On Dark Horses capture the evolution of Rundle as an artist, with vestigial traces of the savvy guitar work of Electric Guitar: One, the siren song beauty of Some Heavy Ocean, and the amplified urgency of Marked For Death all factoring into the album’s rich tapestry. Rundle arrives at the end of the album with an ode to a traumatized and heartbroken friend on the grand and triumphant You Don’t Have To Cry.

Emma Ruth Rundle has released a new single ‘Staying Power’, recorded during the sessions for her last album, “On Dark Horses”.

“There is very little mystery as to what this song is about. The lyrics are not metaphorical. It’s about being a touring musician and trying to survive, to conjure the self discipline to go on without sacrificing sensitivity. How we can become hardened as a result of constantly selling our feelings, how I didn’t want that to happen to me but could feel the callousness building. It’s also about the financial feast or famine and whether a little immediate monetary gain is worth the expenditure of youth. It’s about wondering how long I might be allowed to do this and the fear that it could end at any moment – with covid the song has some renewed relevance in that regard. It talks about what it means to endure and what the rewards and consequences of such persistence might be.”

Emma Ruth Rundle “Staying Power” available now on Sargent House, Recorded during the sessions for “On Dark Horses”

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I never imagined that The Radio Dept would produce a 1960s girl group cover. For me, You’re Lookin’ at My Guy only confirms the fact that genre aside, The Radio Dept  are fantastic songwriters. Whether it’s indie-pop or lover’s rock, the strength of their music is in the quality of their writing and delivery, particularly their choice of melody.
Could You Be the One is the perfect TRD ballad. That Bacharach-esque call and response between Johan’s vocals and that horn-sounding synth is heavenly. Pure genius.

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The Radio Dept have chosen to release a series of singles this year instead of an album, though they say that they’ll all be compiled onto one record when they’re done. So far they’ve just been digital singles but today, as part of Bandcamp Friday, they’ve offered up an actual 7″Vinyl. The a-side is a cover of The Tri-Lites 1964 single doo-wop-y “You’re Lookin’ at My Guy,” which they transform into jangly indie-pop a-la The Go-Betweens, complete with a lovely violin line. The b-side is an original, “Could You Be the One,” which is reminiscent of their early hushed, melancholy singles: “Guilty of wishing / You’ve been wishing away / Aching to be led astray / Anything to be the one that got away.” Both tracks are pretty great.

Band Members:
Johan Duncanson
Martin Carlberg

Released July 3rd, 2020

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Our new album “Acr Loco”, is our first album in 12 years, will be released September 25th 2020! Listen to the first single ‘Always In Love’ A Certain Ratio are back with their album, Revitalised by their most successful tour in over two decades, the band returned to the studio to record their first album in 12 years – due for release on Mute Records on 25th September 2020.

ACR Loco was recorded by the core line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with contributions from the ACR live line up – Tony Quigley on sax, Denise Johnson adds vocals and Matt Steele provides keyboards. Additional guests include Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma CullingfordGabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce and Eric Random.

“This album is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done,” explains Kerr. The album distils the different directions and styles that have run throughout the band’s career – one that began in the late ‘70s with Factory Records first ever 7” release. “Digging into the past for the boxset [ACR:BOX was released in 2019 on Mute] must have rubbed off on us and influenced the current album,” says Moscrop. “I think it helped spark up our imagination. It allowed us to work in some of the past as we move forward into the future.”

Keen on the joys of collaboration and sharing, it makes sense that adding the ACR touch to other artists via a series of reworks led to their latest album taking shape. Recent reworks of tracks for the likes of Barry Adamson, The Charlatans and Maps saw the band return to the studio to unpick those original tracks. “The reworks were crucial,” says Donald Johnson. “They got us back in the studio and forced a union and a bond. They allowed us to start getting a groove again.” Kerr mirrors this. “We love doing the reworks because it’s just us doing our thing,” he says. “The three of us jamming is really the basis of it all. Once you get that groove there’s no stopping us.”

The first sounds from the album were heard earlier this month when ‘Friends Around Us (Part 2)’ debuted after Tim’s Twitter Listening Party. This was followed by a limited edition 7” released in two parts across both sides of the vinyl, in homage to some of the great soul releases of the ‘70s and ‘80s, the 7” was available exclusively through the Love Record Stores Event to help struggling independent retailers.

The new 10-track album is out on CD, cassette and limited edition coloured vinyl. The vinyl will be available in one of four colours: white, blue, red and turquoise, randomly packed, with each colour of varying rarity.

Always In Love, taken from the forthcoming album ACR Loco, released September 25th.

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“Stand Up” Brand new sonic firepower from The Atlas Underground universe out now, I grew up in the tiny lily white, archly conservative town of Libertyville, Illinois. When I was a kid, someone hung a noose in my family’s garage, there was occasional N-word calling, etc, etc. On June 6 of this year, there was a Black Lives Matter rally and march in that same town that drew over 1,000 people.

It seems that the times, they are a’changin’. I was so inspired that night, I reached out to Dan from Imagine Dragons. The Bloody Beetroots and I had conjured a slamming track and within 24 hours Dan had sent back a completed vocal. We got Shea Diamond, a Black transgender woman with a long history of activism, on the track and the coalition was complete.

Legendary musician Tom Morello – co-founder of Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets of Rage releases the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career yet. Throughout his remarkable career, Morello has collaborated with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Johnny Cash. On The Atlas Underground, he paves a path into new sonic territory with the project’s breadth of talented collaborators – Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, Bassnectar, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, Vic Mensa, K.Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike, Steve Aoki and Whethan among others – transforming his sound into something even he could not have anticipated, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop. Morello served as chief curator for the record, hand-picking and personally reaching out to the involved artists to recruit their efforts to the project.

100% of artist proceeds from “Stand Up” will be donated to the following organizations: NAACP, Know Your Rights Camp, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. KIDinaKORNER/Interscope will additionally donate an amount equal to the artists’ record royalties derived from streams of the track for a 3-year period.

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Ellis (aka Hamilton, Ontario dream pop artist Linnea Siggelkow) is released her debut album, Born Again, via Fat Possum. On Wednesday she shared another song from it, “Saturn Return,” via a Michael Pugacewicz-video for the track. The full-length debut from Ellis, “Born Again” takes place in spaces both intimate and vast, ordinary and near-mythic: warm beds and lonely church pews, restless cities and desolate forests and the furthest reaches of the cosmos. Produced by Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear) and recorded partly at Aron’s Brooklyn studio, Born Again arrives as the follow- up to Ellis’s debut EP The Fuzz—a self-released, self-produced effort that promptly led to a deal with Fat Possum Records. In a departure from the viscerally charged dream-pop of The Fuzz, Born Again unfolds with a mesmerizing subtlety, gracefully spotlighting Ellis’s unhurried melodies, starkly confessional lyrics, and the luminous vocal work she’s shown in opening for artists like Soccer Mommy and Alvvays.

Siggelkow had this to say about “Saturn Return” in a press release: “‘Saturn Return’ is an astrological term for the time in your life where Saturn literally returns to the same place in it’s orbit that it was the moment you were born. The first one happens in your late twenties, and it’s a time of radical transformation. I am in mine now and have been feeling it big time! I wrote this record while reflecting on all the ways my life is changing, reconciling things from the past and making space to move forward.”

Previously Ellis shared Born Again’s first single, “Fall Apart,” via a video for the track. Then she shared another song from it, “Embarrassing,” via a video for the short track. Then she shared another new Born Again song, “March 13,”

Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear) produced the album, which was partly recorded at his Brooklyn studio. Born Again follows Ellis’s debut EP The Fuzz, which she self-produced and self-released in 2018.

As Born Again’s title suggests, the album partly deals with questions of faith. Siggelkow is the daughter of a traveling book salesman and a piano teacher. “I grew up Christian and was quite devoted to faith up through my late teens, but I started challenging that once I got to university,” said Siggelkow in a previous press release announcing the album. “Since then I’ve been trying to redefine who I am and where I stand and what I think about these things on my own, and that journey very much played into the songwriting on this record.”

“Saturn Return” from Ellis’s debut album ‘Born Again’

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Losing someone close to you creates an almost phantom limb-like effect. Often, it feels like they’re a phone call away. But that instant between when you reach for the phone and when your brain delivers the new reality to you is a strange, momentary eternity. It’s both an uncompromising void and maybe as close as you’ll ever come to communing with that loved one again.

Gordi wrote Sandwiches as a tribute to the matriarch of her family. Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.” So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone.”

Sydney-based singer-songwriter Gordi  announced her sophomore album with a brand-new single, ‘Aeroplane Bathroom’, which has arrived with a music video.

Gordi – real name Sophie Payten – told NME Australia that the music video is “the visual centrepiece” of her upcoming album, ‘Our Two Skins’, due for release on June 19th on Liberation Records.

“Aeroplane Bathroom” by Gordi, the new song off ‘Our Two Skins,’ out June 26 on Jagjaguwar Records.