Archive for the ‘THIS WEEKS ESSENTIAL PURCHASES’ Category

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Since 2012, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably, um, idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berzerk”, or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape – that of a real enigma. Pure Comedy sees Tillman at the height of these powers: as a lyricist, and equally so a cultural observer – at times bordering on freakishly prescient. Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and – at 75 minutes – there’s a veritable fuck ton of it. The album navigates themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection and his own role in it all with his usual candour, and in terms as timely as they are timeless.

Tillman wrote the majority of Pure Comedy throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) at United Studios (fka the legendary Ocean Way Studios, favored by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) in Los Angeles March 2016.

Pure Comedy was co-produced once again by Josh Tillman and long-time producer Jonathan Wilson; mixed by Tillman, Wilson and Trevor Spencer, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album features string, horn and choral arrangements from classical iconoclast Gavin Bryars (Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Sinking Of The Titanic), with additional contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.

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Limited copies come with a 12 track bonus CD That’s Your Lot – The Bedroom Tapes. Following a breakthrough 2016 which saw them sell out London’s Scala, fill tents at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and Latitude, ink a US deal with Canvasback / Atlantic and release a run of critically acclaimed singles, Blaenavon release their long awaited debut album, That’s Your Lot. Recorded with Grammy-winning producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Bjork) the LP marks a certain milestone for the band – a sumptuous, thrilling and brave collection of songs written throughout their teenage years and now fully realised. Intensely personal, yet exploring the universal experiences of friendship, sadness, hope, love held and lost, and all the confusions of youth – a body of work to help define a generation. That’s Your Lot includes I Will Be The World, Let’s Pray and My Bark Is Your Bite – a more than impressive run of singles championed by the likes of Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, NME and Fader, whilst collectively racking up over 1,500,000 Spotify streams. The album will also feature explosive new single Orthodox Man, Blaenavon’s most immediate moment to date and already a firm fan favourite following a series of incredible live performances.

2LP – Limited Double Blue Vinyl with Fold Out Poster.

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Diet Cig are here to have fun. They’re here to tear you away from the soul-sucking sanctity of your dumpster-fire life and replace it with pop-blessed punk jams about navigating the impending doom of adulthood when all you want is to have ice-cream on your birthday. Alex Luciano (guitar and vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums) have been playing music together ever since Luciano interrupted the set of Bowman’s other band for a lighter. The New Paltz, New York duo have since released the infectious, 2015 ‘Over Easy’ EP that introduced consistent sing-a-long lyrics with thrashing drums and strums that never held back. ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ is the first full-length from the band and accumulates their tenacity for crafting life-affirming, relatable tales with a gutsy heart at their core. Luciano has the ability to write lyrics that are both vulnerable and badass, perfecting a storm of emotive reflection that creates a vision of a sweaty, pumped-up room screaming these lines in unison. Diet Cig make it okay to be the hot mess that you are.

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When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with 2013’s debut single ‘It’s On You’, their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, ‘Weird Little Birthday’, went on to feature in many of 2014’s End Of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on much-loved label Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US) and millions of plays later, it is with some anticipation now that the band finally reveal the full details of the follow up.

Titled ‘Write In’, released through Moshi Moshi Recordings and featuring artwork from the band’s own Jon EE Allan, the record was made in the band’s own studio above a now-abandoned bookshop, then finished and mixed with Adam Lasus at his LA home studio.

‘Write In’ sets its stall out as an outward looking, inventive and thoughtful progression from their debut. Drawing on an array of influences including Roxy Music, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Sonic Youth, Big Star and Pierre Cavalli, the direction is best summed up by Jon EE Allan; “I’d like to think this record looks outside the little American alt-rock sphere we were looking in on. I think we used to be very afraid of being earnest. And now we’re able to be tender or heartfelt without feeling too guilty about it.”

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One band who have been threatening a big breakthrough is female four-piece The Big Moon, who in 2016 were dubbed the coolest young band in Britain are destined to be huge in 2017 with their Slits and Elastica-inspired punky gems.

“Definitely a band to watch” – London On The Inside
“With each new release, they continue to reach brand new heights” – The Line of Best Fit
“Another sign of the band’s blossoming maturity and growing confidence as songwriters” – Clash
“London’s most exciting new quartet … The Big Moon are readying to shoot for the stars” – NME
“Another introduction to one of the buzziest new bands on the scene, it’s proof that they’re making all the right moves on their road to the top”

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Canyons of My Mind is, as its title suggests, a landscape where the personal and the pastoral converge. Drawing inspiration from the biographies of literary figures like Charles Wright and Jim Harrison, Combs has created an album that explores the notion of sustainability in its many facets – artistic, economic, spiritual, environmental. “When I set out to record All These Dreams, I had a distinct vision of what I wanted the record to sound like. It was a cocktail of the Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Nilsson vibes that you can hear right there on the surface,” Combs says. “Canyons is much more personal. It’s a testament to my acceptance of who I am as a man, and who I am becoming.” The quiet struggles and satisfactions of carving out an identity in a world gone wrong are palpable throughout the album. Whether questing through the labyrinth of his own spiritual yearning, (Heart of Wonder), recreating a rail rider’s full-body sensation of freedom beneath an azure Montana sky (Rose Colored Blues), imagining a near-future dystopia where the very idea of green spaces has been annihilated (Dirty Rain), or channeling the desire of a peeping Tom who has fallen in love with his sylvan quarry (Hazel), Combs refines the vulnerable vagabond persona he mastered on All These Dreams while pushing it beyond those boundaries, into a more pastoral realm aligned with artists like Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.

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The Jesus And Mary Chain are set to release their long-awaited new album ‘Damage and Joy’ on March 24th, their first since ‘Munki’, back in the summer of 1998. The Reid brothers have enlisted the help of super (as in cool, not megabucks!) producer Youth and he has coaxed and cajoled these perma-scrapping siblings (still, even now!!) into producing a magnificent distillation of everything we’ve come to love about their sound.

Fuzzed up trashy or broken and blue, Jim’s honeyed voice takes us over familiar territory while William scuzzes things up in the wings. The songs are all classic Mary Chain.
With the help of Isobel Campbell, Sky Ferreira and the Reids’ own sister Linda on vocals, there’s also a freshness to their palette, bringing their much imitated sound back up to date, here in the now.  It’s great to have them back!

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500 limited edition 12” on Cadillac pink vinyl. Manchester all-female five-piece Pins release a new EP Bad Thing, through Haus Of Pins and features Aggrophobe, their single with the legendary Iggy Pop. Following the release of their acclaimed second album Wild Nights last year, Pins went back into the studio to work on new tracks. Recorded in a studio on the Scottish Borders last October and produced by Mark Vernon and the band themselves, the EP features 5 new tracks, which includes a cover of Joy Division’s Dead Souls. The EP opens with the teasing Bad Thing before moving into the addictive Aggrophobe, featuring Iggy Pop’s iconic vocal, leading onto the chant-like pop of All Hail and the dreamy and synth-laden In Nightmares, before ending with Pins own take on Dead Souls. The four new tracks are synonymous with Pins’ sound but also showcase a vigorous, more mature side to the band, making up a solid and impressive musical body of work.

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Desperate Journalist release their second album, Grow Up, ostensibly eleven tracks of rocketing leftfield delights propelled forth with thundering rhythms, thunderously spectacular guitar and Jo Bevan’s thunderstruck vocals. Such is intense life with Desperate Journalist, one of the most potent, important DIY bands lurking on the underground scene right now.

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They began as a fictional band from a fictional town featured on the Eccentronic Research Council’s 2015 concept album Johnny Rocket, Narcissist And Music Machine… I’m Your Biggest Fan. Now The Moonlandingz have lurched, sticky and bleeding, into the real world and are releasing the first great album of 2017. Interplanetary Class Classics, released on Transgressive Records, is a feast of swirling juddering synths, wailing guitars, motorik stomp and extraordinary songwriting. The Moonlandingz have proven themselves to be one of the best live bands in the UK (“Magnificent, cosmic and batshit!” said The Quietus. “Feral antics and louche anarchy!” said The Guardian) and now they’ve produced an album of proper weird catchy glorious filthy pop.
The Moonlandingz is Eccentronic Research Council’s Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer in cahoots with Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi (aka frontman Johnny Rocket) and Saul Adamczewski. They recorded the album with Sean Lennon at his studio in upstate New York. Also on the record: Randy Jones the Cowboy from The Village People, Rebecca Taylor from Slow Club, drummer Ross Orton, bassist Mairead O’Connor, Phil Oakey and YOKO fucking ONO, who sings and yowls on epic closer This Cities Undone.

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Sonic Jesus is an Italian musical project lead by multi-instrumentalist Tiziano Veronese. Since signing to Fuzz Club, the project has released a split single with The Black Angels and been remixed by Sonic Boom aka Pete Kember. Their internationally acclaimed debut ‘Neither Virtue Nor Anger’; an industrial barrage of hypnotic, dark psychedelia. Sonic Jesus’ new album ‘Grace’ goes beyond the past boundaries, pushing towards enthralling melodic horizons and modern pounding beats, delivered by a new-found pop sensibility. There’s still a darkness brooding beneath the noise but these new tracks see the project take on a magnificent and insatiable new form.

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Limited to 1000 Copies. Long Time is the second single off Blondie’s new album Pollinator and comes backed with exclusive B-Side Breaks.

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On her first proper album as Jay Som, Melina Duterte, 22, solidifies her rep as a self-made force of sonic splendor and emotional might. If last year’s aptly named Turn Into compilation showcased a fuzz-loving artist in flux – chronicling her mission to master bedroom recording – then the rising Oakland star’s latest, Everybody Works, is the LP equivalent of mission accomplished. Duterte is as DIY as ever – writing, recording, playing, and producing every sound beyond a few backing vocals – but she takes us places we never could have imagined, wedding lo-fi rock to hi-fi home orchestration, and weaving evocative autobiographical poetry into energetic punk, electrified folk, and dreamy alt-funk. Everybody Works was made in three furious, caffeinated weeks. She came home from the road, moved into a new apartment, set up her bedroom studio and dove in. Duterte even ditched most of her demos, writing half the LP on the spot and making lushly composed pieces like Lipstick Stains all the more impressive. While the guitar-grinding Jay Som we first fell in love with still reigns on shoegazey shredders like 1 Billion Dogs and in the melodic distortions of Take It, we also get the sublimely spacious synth-pop beauty of Remain, and the luxe, proggy funk of One More Time, Please.

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Fifth album (third for Full Time Hobby) from Samantha Crain, following 2015’s “Under Branch & Thorn & Tree” and the 2014 album “Kid Face.”

Written over 4 months at the back end of winter whilst at home in Norman, Oklahoma, You Had Me At Goodbye was penned whilst Samantha was working shifts at a pizza place to save up money for touring, recording, paying bills, and as a self-confessed ‘film nerd,’ binge watching movies. “Oklahoma is beautiful but my relationship with it is complicated. There are mountains, plains, prairies, rolling hills, high deserts and plateaus, with an amazing creative community of people making beautiful visual art, interesting films and loud music. But it’s extremely Christian, conservative, and whilst people say it’s ‘friendly,’ really, people are only friendly if you’re white and aren’t dressed unconventionally. I feel welcome and alienated all at once.”
Bolstered by the visionary production of John Vanderslice (Spoon, the Mountain Goats, Strand of Oaks), mixed and engineered by Jacob Winik (The Magnetic Fields, Hot Buttered Rum), Samantha returned to the Bay Area in California to, once again, record the album in analog at Tiny Telephone Studio.

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Iggy Pop had hit bottom after the messy breakup of the Stooges and he needed help, and when friend and fan David Bowie offered to lend him a hand, he was smart and grateful enough to accept. Bowie produced Iggy’s first solo album, The Idiot, and after Iggy set up a tour to promote the record, Bowie put together the band and tagged along as their keyboard player. Bowie’s presence insured a larger audience than Iggy had attracted during the grim final days of his band, and he was determined to prove he could deliver the goods without making a spectacle of himself or collapsing into a drug-sodden heap on-stage. Unfortunately, anyone familiar with Iggy’s body of work knows the last thing you want from one of his live shows is a professional-sounding performance without a sense of danger, and unfortunately, that’s what the audience got during this March 21st, 1977 show in Cleveland, OH, part of a three-night stand Iggy and the band would perform at the Agora Ballroom. Iggy & Ziggy: Cleveland ’77 finds Iggy in fine voice, and at a time when he had a lot to prove, he leaves no doubt he was a solid musician and showman, singing with a sense of control and dynamics he couldn’t approach with the Raw Power-era Stooges. However, Iggy also seems clearly afraid to push this material too far, and the caution robs the songs (nine of which are drawn from the Stooges‘ songbook) of much of their life force. Even worse, guitarist Ricky Gardiner doesn’t seem to know what to do with the Stooges material — he’s at least as skillful as Ron Asheton or James Williamson, but his attack is so toothless and polite that he reduces some of the greatest rock songs ever to mush. (Bowie’s keyboards are not nearly as ill-advised but they don’t fit the old material very well, though Hunt Sales and Tony Sales are a great rhythm section who do what they can to give Iggy the energy he needs.) Some of the material from this show also appeared on Iggy’s lamentable live album TV Eye Live.

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Spectres release their second album Condition via Sonic Cathedral. The follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 debut, Dying, it was recorded by Dominic Mitchison in the band’s adopted home city of Bristol and mastered by Frank Arkwright (Mogwai, 65daysofstatic) at Abbey Road in London. It’s louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge, partly inspired by last year’s remix album, Dead, which saw everyone from Factory Floor to Richard Fearless instructed to “kill” the songs from Dying. “There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realised we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. As a result tracks such as End Waltz have a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis-inducing dirge of Dissolve – the first single from the album that came with a suitably stomach-churning video late last year. Elsewhere the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of A Fish Called Wanda and the sprawling Colour Me Out are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as Neck and Welcoming The Flowers, which keeps threatening to drown itself in its own roiling diamond sea.

LP – Limited-edition Black vinyl LP in a Gatefold sleeve, featuring lyrics and artwork by Laurie Lax and photography by Stephanie Third.

LP+ – Limited-edition Cream vinyl LP in a Gatefold sleeve, featuring lyrics and artwork by Laurie Lax and photography by Stephanie Third.

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Semper Femina is Laura Marling’s sixth album – an intimate, devoted exploration of femininity and female relationships, and among her finest work to date. Written largely on the tour that followed 2015’s Short Movie and recorded in Los Angeles with production from Blake Mills, it is at once a distinctive and musically compelling collection of songs, run through with Marling’s fierce intelligence; a keen, beautiful and unparalleled take on womanhood.

2LP+ – Limited Deluxe 2LP Edition including Bonus Material Live tracks and digital download card.

2LP – Standard Version with Download.

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‘It’s the Buzz, Cock’. Howard Devoto read this headline from a January 1976 Time Out review of ‘Rock Follies’, the 1970s TV musical drama following the ups and downs of the fictional female rock group, ‘Little Ladies’. Adapting and appropriating it as the name for his new band that he had just formed with Pete Shelley having realised what a Sex Pistol was before anyone else. Buzzcocks formed having witnessed firsthand the white-heat of the early Sex Pistols. Howard and Pete went about organising the now infamous 1976 Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs that brought punk to the provinces and galvanized the new Manchester music revolution. The plan was to simply play support to the Pistols and then see what happened next…Featuring the original line-up of Howard Devoto (vocals and songwriter), Pete Shelley (guitar and songwriter), Steve Diggle (bass guitar) and John Maher (drums), Time’s Up was recorded at Revolution Studios, Bramhall Lane Stockport on the 18th of October 1976. The session, recording Buzzcocks’ live set at the time, cost £45 and was engineered by Andy MacPherson.

LP – The long-out-of-print Time’s Up 12” Vinyl LP, re-pressed on heavyweight black vinyl with a printed inner sleeve.

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In early 2016, the release of Talk Tight put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from Spin, Stereogum, and Pitchfork, praising them as stand-outs even among the fertile landcape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick-witted wordplay, Talk Tight was praised by Pitchfork “for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note.” The band was born from late night jam sessions in singer / guitarist Fran Keaney’s bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne’s live music venues. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, brothers Tom and Joe Russo, and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs. The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to Bigsound, the entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows while prepping their next release. The French Press levels up on everything that made Talk Tight such an immediate draw. Multi-tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive bass lines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band’s Australian storybook. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and The French Press is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life – the melancholy of travel on French Press, having a hopeless crush on Julie’s Place – before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality – vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone. Blending critical insight and literate love songs, The French Press cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia’s smartest working bands.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download.

LP+ – Limited Loser Clear Coloured Vinyl with Download.

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This remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s Ultramega OK is a long-planned correction of the legendary band’s Grammy®-nominated debut full-length. The album was originally recorded and released in 1988 on SST Records. While the band enjoyed working with the original producer, Drew Canulette, they soon realized they weren’t quite happy with the final mix. Thus, shortly after the album’s release, the band decided to remix the album for subsequent pressings. However, success intervened: the band rapidly scored a deal with A&M and began work on their major-label debut, Louder Than Love, and the Ultramega OK remix project fell by the wayside as Soundgarden climbed their way to (ultra)mega-stardom. In 2016, after worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, the band finally acquired the original multi-track tapes to Ultramega OK and carved out time to dig into the remix. They handed the tapes over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard), who worked with the band to create a fresh mix of the album that, for the band, ties up this persistent loose end and remedies the sound of their debut full-length. While they were at it, the band dug out six early versions of tracks that wound up on Ultramega OK. The songs were recorded in 1987 on 8-track tape by Jack Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, and mixed by Jack Endino in 2016. These versions feature the band in raw, powerful form – sonically closer to the band’s Endino-recorded six-song debut, Screaming Life – and provide a fascinating window into the development of songs that eventually became staples of the band’s set. The six songs comprise what the band refers to as Ultramega EP, and they are included in this reissue. Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the late ‘80s, the band – singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron – combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the ‘80s airwaves. Early indie releases, including seminal Screaming Life and Ultramega OK, quickly led to a dedicated indie following as the band toured on both sides of the Atlantic. Subsequent albums, including Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside, achieved multi-platinum sales and launched the band to international fame.

2LP – Double Black Vinyl in Foil-stamped Gatefold packaging with custom dust sleeves plus Download.

2LP+ – Limited Double Loser Blue Marbled and Violet Coloured Vinyl in Foil-stamped Gatefold packaging with custom dust sleeves plus Download.

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The husband and wife duo of Alaina and Patrick, otherwise known as Tennis, return with Yours Conditionally, their new album on the band’s own label Mutually Detrimental. Building on their dreamy combination of perfect melodies and classic songwriting, Yours Conditionally sees a full circle return to their nautical roots of sorts, with the duo even writing part of the album while sailing at sea, what Alaina calls “a grandiose gesture”, a necessary venture of revisiting the past to reinvigorate the present. However, the pair dig deeper and darker this time round, with the resultant album wedding discussions of identity and self-sacrifice to some of their most pristine and infectious hooks yet. Achingly beautiful lead single In the Morning I’ll Be Better, written about the “precariousness of our lives”, sums up this paradox completely, with gorgeous melodies belying its subject matter of Riley seeing a family member through a serious illness. Please Don’t Ruin This For Me and Fields of Blue also deliciously straddle the light / dark divide, while others, like Ladies Don’t Play Guitar and the divine swoon of Modern Woman hit the pop bullseye square on the nose while unpacking conflicting themes of feminism and industry archetypes. Taken in toto, Yours Conditionally sees a band at maturation point, looking fondly to the past while also staring down the uncertainty and confusion of the future without flinching. This is Tennis at their contrary, compelling best.

LP – White Vinyl.

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The Shins release of their fifth studio album, Heartworms. In contrast to 2012’s Port of Morrow, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. Heartworms is, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of So Now What (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms features Mercer’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by Mercer’s distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both familiar – a nostalgic nod to the album’s predecessors – and distinctly new. The album’s first single, Name For You, is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by Mercer’s three daughters.

LP – 180 Gram Vinyl with Download.

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Cameron Avery has arrived as a new breed of nocturnal crooner, a train-wreck romantic creating timeless, ambitious music for the modern age. Utilizing his soulful wit, shrewd arrangements, and a deep, husky baritone, Avery harnesses the dark power and humor of artists like Nick Cave, Scott Walker, and Tindersticks to expertly walk the fine line between vulnerable and venerable. Hailing from the late 2000’s-era Perth, Australia, a healthy scene of hard-hitting garage rock bands, including a long stint as the drummer of Pond, Avery found his musical footing while playing with friends but sought the reward of his own outfit. Encouraged by his friend Kevin Parker of Tame Impala to record on his own, Avery started The Growl as his solo project in 2007, making an EP and an album of aggressive, distorted psychedelic rock and roll. When Parker asked him to join Tame Impala as its touring bassist in 2013, Avery jumped at the chance and rose with that band to the top of the psych-rock heap, but all the while remained focused on carving out his singular identity as an artist and following his own muse. On a break from touring, Avery decided to head to the US to work on his album. He would settle in Los Angeles at the behest of Jonathan Wilson, the Echo Park musician and producer who also encouraged Avery to shine a spotlight on his baritone singing voice, unlike the snarling, obscured vocals of The Growl. It was a lofty idea, but one to which Avery aspired, encouraged by the challenge. Melancholic machismo is written into the very DNA of Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams. From the classical, finger-picked guitar on the opener A Time and Place and the orchestral vamping of Do You Know Me By Heart? to the bombastic, self-assured swagger of Dance with Me. He takes an emotive page from the Leonard Cohen songbook-of-longing on Big Town Girl just as naturally as he thumbs an aggressive note of Bad Seed strut and Cramps rut on Watch Me Take It Away. And by the time he purrs that earnest refrain of “Baby, it’s you” on the album’s closer C’est Toi, Avery has surely mastered that drunken tightrope dance. Now a resident of New York City, Avery looks to continue his search for the ultimate sensations from a fresh vantage point.

LP – With Download.

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Throughout years of traveling, John Andrews has documented his life with his home recordings. His first record, Bit By The Fang, found him living in the amish country of Lancaster, PA. On his latest record, Bad Posture, he waves farewell to Pennsylvania and greets the wooded hills of Barrington, NH. These songs were written slowly and quietly throughout the winter, usually late at night next to the wood stove. It was recorded in Andrews’ barn with the doors ajar, welcoming the springtime — inviting the outside noises in. You can hear the crickets chirping and the occasional truck driving by. The songs themselves lend their hand like slow backwoods Beatles demos covered in a thin blanket of tape hiss. Andrews’ band, The Yawns, has been crystallized with staples from the New England freak scene: Rachel Neveu and Lukas Goudreault (MMOSS / Soft Eyes) and Joey Schneider. The album was mixed with headphones at the foot of Emma Critchett’s grave, who lived in the Yawns’ house during the 1800s. The record is an ode to her and all who have lived there. It paints a picture of living in the “freecountry” on the precipice of a rapidly changing political climate.

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Sonic Jesus is an Italian musical project lead by multi-instrumentalist Tiziano Veronese. Since signing to Fuzz Club, the project has released a split single with The Black Angels and been remixed by Sonic Boom aka Pete Kember. Their internationally acclaimed debut Neither Virtue Nor Anger; an industrial barrage of hypnotic, dark psychedelia. Sonic Jesus’ new album Grace goes beyond the past boundaries, pushing towards enthralling melodic horizons and modern pounding beats, delivered by a new-found pop sensibility. There’s still a darkness brooding beneath the noise but these new tracks see the project take on a magnificent and insatiable new form.

Available on 180gm white vinyl and CD.

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From adversity can come triumph, and from catharsis inspiration. Such has been the case for Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, whose second release for Rocket Recordings, Tschak! arrives in the wake of considerable turbulence and tumult within their personal lives and society itself, all of which has only been fuel for a creative epiphany that has seen them create a deeply evocative work rich with vibrant experimentation and saturated in a widescreen sense of wonder. It may only have been eighteen months since Ngan!, the band’s first release for Rocket, whose self-styled ‘stargaze’ approach marked a glorious collision between melodic sweetness, skysurfing guitar experimentation and motorik magnificence, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on Tschak!, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar noise and electronic extrapolations both blissfully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defence to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating Tschak! entirely on their own terms. Central to the this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analogue textures form crucial ingredients on songs like Severokamsk and the title track, arriving at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records. Forging forth into unknown realms both physical and metaphysical, Gnoomes recently completed a UK tour – including an appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia. Yet with the dreamlike radiance of the potent and otherworldly Tschak! on their side, this adventure is already well on its way.

LP – Limited Green Vinyl with Download.

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Psych-pop masterpiece from two of the best to ever do it. Los Angeles native and weirdo-pop enthusiast Ariel Pink joins forces with lo-fi pop pioneer R. Stevie Moore in a crazy freak-out extravaganza. Back in 2012, two leaders of the modern psych scene colluded together in making a 60+ track album. Here, we have the definitive collection of songs from ‘Ku Klux Glam’. Re-mastered and compiled by R. Stevie Moore, this is a presentation of this record in it’s clearest form.

Tape – Double 63 Track Tape.

Conor Oberst is streaming new album ‘Salutations’

This album is a companion piece to 2016’s “Ruminations”. When Oberst wrote and recorded the songs on Ruminations, entirely solo with just vocals, piano, guitar and harmonica, he intended to ultimately record them with a full band. But in the midst of putting together that band – upstate New York’s The Felice Brothers plus the legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and many more) – the passionate responses Oberst was getting to those first solo recordings, from friends and colleagues, encouraged him to release the songs as-is, in their original sparse form.

“Salutations” so soon after is a surprise release. After the previous “Ruminations” 10-track album written and recorded by Conor Oberst in the cold confines of Omaha, Nebraska which came out last year, the news that a second album, with full-band arrangements of those same 10 songs plus seven more, would be released this year was an unexpected bonus. Featuring the contributions of The Felice Brothers and Jim Keltner, it promised a new treatment of some of Oberst’s most raw compositions. The result is a fulsome new release, markedly different from its 2016 cousin.

If nothing else, Salutations is a fascinating look at the changes that come from collaboration and evolution in a studio setting versus the isolation in which these songs were born. Instead of relying solely on piano, acoustic guitar, and harmonica, Conor Oberst and company employ accordions, organs, strings (of both the orchestral and fiddle varieties), and ethereal sound collage elements to build up these tracks and give them a more unique new character.

In place of sparse confessionals, Oberst offers amblers, anthems, and torch songs. The first track of the album, “Too Late to Fixate”, announces Salutations as such – a slow groove with his trademark combination of wry humor, self-pity, and world-weary reflection. The album’s new additions tend to be its more raucous ones, approaching a Southern rock vibe in songs like “Napalm” and “Anytime Soon”. Despite those rollicking numbers, much of Salutations moves at a slower pace, with the addition of percussion and string-accompaniment often turning Oberst into a crooner see: “Rain Follows the Plough”. The record has an overall jam band quality, but it’s one to sway and swoon to, with clean electric guitars and steady ballads.

 The themes are recognizable to anyone familiar with Oberst’s prior work. There is a particular focus on the peculiar nature of celebrity, most notably “It’s a Little Uncanny” and “You Loved Him Once”. Oberst seems captivated by how people in the public eye have a strange hold over the rest of us in ways that can affect the lives of both those adoring and adored.

The album also presents Conor Oberst struggling with his own mortality. Health issues, including a diagnosis of a cyst in his brain, originally prompted the singer to step back from a planned tour and pour his worries onto the page. The echoes of that remain on Salutations in songs like “Tachycardia” and “Counting Sheep” with lyrics like “everything ends, everything has to.” Oberst seems to be contemplating his own end, trying to reassure himself about both the meaning and inevitability of it.

Through the fuller production, however, Oberst softens the blow of these thoughts. There was a bare earnestness to Salutations’ predecessor, a sense in which Oberst was sequestered in his own confessional in Nebraska, pleading his case and wrestling with his demons. In the confines of the studio, the lyrics have the same potency, but Oberst himself is more languid, the instrumentation more amiable than arresting. It turns passages in songs like “A Little Uncanny”, where Oberst sings “I miss poor Robin Williams”, from sad laments into fond remembrances.

But the same ruminative qualities remain on the record. Salutations focuses on the fleeting, fickle nature of just about everything. Success, romance, veneration, discipline, fidelity, and life itself all appear to be phantoms that can never truly be captured or pinned down in Oberst’s estimation , “Salutation”, “Afterthought”. Oberst is seemingly beleaguered by the uncertainty and the march of years, with many songs that mention his finding refuge in various substances, geographic escapes, or more carnal distractions.

In “Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)”, he speaks of finding something “sacred till the end,” after beauty, wealth, and achievement have faded and crumbled. He seems to settle on art as one of those few things that can be pure, that can withstand the panicked paradoxes of the day-to-day and perhaps even death itself .

Oberst strikes the notes of a man trying to find something permanent, beautiful, and unblemished .

Image of Brian Jonestown Massacre - Don't Get Lost

“Don’t Get Lost” was recorded & produced at Anton’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin between March 2016 & October 2016. It is the 16th full length release. With band members Ricky Maymi , Dan Allaire , Collin Hegna & Ryan Van Kriedt .Also Emil Nikolaisen from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh & Pete Fraser (The Pogues .New Young Pony Club) on saxophone joins the band on this album , plus vocal performances from Tim Burgess (Charlatans) , Tess Parks and Shaun Rivers .

A new dynamic is heard on this album mixing the shoegaze/psychedelic sound with more experimental twists, on some tracks you might hear PIL (Metalbox) , Primal Scream , or even Ornette Coleman . 14 tracks that will twist and turn through the known and unknown Brian Jonestown Massacre . In 2016 The band released 2 singles and the critically acclaimed Third World Pyramid .

Image of All Them Witches - Sleeping Through The War

Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Rival Sons) and mixed / engineered by UK-bred young-gun Eddie Spear, All Them Witches’ ‘Sleeping Through The War’ is the quartet’s most bold and well-crafted record to date.
The album’s creation marks the first time in the band’s history that a record was written before entering the studio. This process allowed for an alignment of the band’s art, desire and time. Convening in Nashville for only six days after a year of relentlessly touring their New West Records debut ‘Dying Surfer Meets Their Maker’, the band’s spirit coalesced in a rhythm of statement and melody that simply needs to be heard… repeatedly.

With the guidance of Cobb and Spear, ‘Sleeping Through The War’ captures the truest energy of the group, full blast, fun and contemplative. The record was made with volume in mind. ‘Sleeping Through The War’ is meant to be played loud, cranked up and without reservation. Feel it live through your stereo system or listen to it speak in tongues through your headphones.
The sounds are nothing without the songs and the songs are nothing without the lyrics. This record is a result of constant touring, world travel, overstimulated / divided humanity and a learning of awareness and compassion.
“They are the real deal – psychedelic blues-rock warriors who pray at the altar of Black Sabbath, space out like Pink Floyd and shred away their bummers like Blue Cheer.”

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Principal songwriters John Moen & Chris Slusarenko (BOSTON SPACESHIPS, DECEMBERISTS, ELLIOTT SMITH, STEPHEN MALKMUS, DAMIEN JURADO) have turned inwards to their loves of New Zealand/Flying Nun guitar buzz, their teenage LA Paisley Underground obsessions, haunts of early Athens and all things beautiful, lopsided and rock. Along with members Jonathan Drews (guitar), Jim Talstra (bass) and Paulie Pulvirenti (drums) they push & pull against each other’s songwriting, in a beautiful tension that just works.

Image of Sun Kil Moon - Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

“‘Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood’, for the most part, captures events from January to August of this year and how I processed it all while traveling.
“[…] I’m blessed to have met the very talented Justin Broadrick and to have made these beautiful albums with him.
“These two new albums capture more than my reactions to mass murders or the passing of beloved heroes like David Bowie or Muhammad Ali. The Sun Kil Moon and Jesu/Sun Kil Moon albums are also full of love, humor, and my gratitude

Image of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana

Geelong’s insuppressible King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard release their new album ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ on Heavenly Recordings – the first of five albums they are set to release in 2017.

Talking about the making of Flying Microtonal Banana, Eric Moore of the band said: “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu. The guitar was modified to play in 24- TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a Turkish horn called a Zurna.”
Shimmering, hypnotic and propulsive and powered along, as ever, by the metronomic beat of two drummers, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ takes a subtle musical shift away from the frazzled freak-beat of its predecessor, ‘Nonagon Infinity’. Trance like, in parts clipped and concise yet deeply psychedelic, it reveals yet another musical side to a band seemingly in perpetual motion.

Perhaps one of the most exciting live bands out there right now, they appeared at both Green Man and End Of The Road festivals over the summer as well as playing sold-out London shows at the Electric Ballroom, Moth Club and The Electric during 2016. The band will bring their unrestrained and free-wheeling live show back to the UK in 2017.

Image of Peter Silberman - Impermanence - Bonus Disc Edition

While Impermanence is Peter Silberman’s first solo album, it could easily be thought of as a continuation of the emotional-spiritual odyssey begun through his work in The Antlers over the past decade. It travels some of the thornier terrain of the trio’s previous albums Hospice, Burst Apart, and Familiars, while carrying the conversation further down the path.
But much of what distinguishes Impermanence from its forebears can be attributed to an unexpected injury, which imposed upon the musician considerable time and space to ponder the finite.
A few years back, Peter Silberman developed a hearing impairment in his left ear that resulted in a temporarily total hearing loss, extraordinarily loud tinnitus, and an excruciating sensitivity to everyday noises. The condition required extensive rest and quiet, and in order to get that, he left his Brooklyn apartment for a more secluded setting in upstate New York.
The six songs have an economy of expression, the spaces between the words as important as the words themselves. Like the infamous Miles Davis quote: “It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play.”

As the writing neared completion, Silberman linked up with his long-time friend and collaborator, Nicholas Principe of Port St. Willow. Over the course of a few winter months, Principe engineered the album in his upstate People Teeth studio, contributing production throughout. Together, they carved out a sacred sonic space, elongating the distance between notes, between chords, utilizing minimal arrangements to allow breathing room.
But the album goes beyond experiments in ambience. It actually traces the stages of healing, as Silberman experienced them.

“The sequence charts a circular course between distress and peace,” he explains. “The final track returns you to the mood of the first by a wormhole through a single breath, split in half across the last and first seconds of the album. It mimics the cyclical nature of facing unexpected obstacles.”
“I hope Impermanence can provide comfort to people grappling with transition, while remaining honest about it. There’s no remedy for the unpredictable, and I want this record to reflect that, to offer an alternative way to think about changing circumstances.”

Image of The Feelies - In Between

New Jersey indie-rock pioneers The Feelies are celebrating their 40th anniversary with the release of “In Between”, their first album of all new material in over 6 years.
Whilst working the post Velvet Underground moves they’re so famous for, In Between brings interesting new ideas into the mix. The twin-guitar attack of songwriters and founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million is still at the core of the group’s infectious sound, paired with the driving rhythmic team of drummer Stan Demeski and percussionist Dave Weckerman, with Brenda Sauter’s bass guitar proving a rock solid foundation.

“On the new record we did a lot of it at my house in my home studio with extra equipment, explains Mercer. “It’s the same room where we rehearsed. We’ve been here since we reformed and a little bit prior to taking the hiatus in the 90’s. So it’s a room we’re really familiar with and feel comfortable in. We also did some recording at an engineer’s studio, so it was all done very low key. We refer to it as “off the clock” when you’re not paying an hourly rate, so in that sense it was a lot more relaxed. I don’t think anyone would notice a drastic change in the sound or the vibe of the record. I think it sounds a lot more relaxed and laid back.”

“I think all of our albums reflect a certain degree of reaction to the work that we previously did and In Between is no exception,” continues Bill Million. “We liked the sounds and the feel of the demos for this album and we thought it would be difficult to capture that in a recording studio. So that was our starting point and it evolved in a much more relaxed way that loaned itself to more creative interplay. Time wasn’t a component. If you let it, music can take on a life of its own and we wanted to allow the songs to develop with that idea in mind.”

Formed in Haledon NJ in 1976, The Feelies have now released six albums – including their critically acclaimed and influential debut Crazy Rhythms, as well as playing concerts with The Patti Smith Group, REM, and Bob Dylan as well as touring with Lou Reed.
In 2008, The Feelies re-united after a 17 year hiatus to open for long time admirers Sonic Youth at Battery Park and then resurrected their tradition of playing low key gigs at strategic intervals throughout the year rather than doing lengthy tours. They signed with Bar/None the same year, who re-issued The Good Earth and Crazy Rhythms. Here Before was released in 2011 and marked The Feelies first studio album in nearly two decades.

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Ninor Victories – Orchestral Variations

This summer, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Editors’ Justin Lockey and his brother James came together to release their debut album as Minor Victories. Currently in the midst of a run of live shows throughout Europe, the band are pleased to announce their utterly stunning instrumental interpretation of the self-titled record, entitled Orchestral Variations.

What better way to hear the gorgous backdrops and impeccable arrangements behind the brilliant Minor Victories album than by hearing the instrumentals all on their resplendent tod. Soaring strings, beautifully poignant interludes and heart-breakingly serene segues. A fantastic companion piece for those who enjoyed the first, and a truly stunning stand-alone for those who didn’t.

Image of Ty Segall - Ty Segall

Ty SegallOrange Color Queen

Ty Segall has made whole records that wrestle with realities — fighting against some, pulling mightily to bring others into being. Of late, he’s thrown up his hands and donned clown shoes, dancing merrily in the dual role of oppressed/oppressor! His hands aren’t any more or less dirty than anyone else’s — but amidst the thunder and the chaos of the ongoing storm, he’s looking for the eye within.

The new self-titled record — the next record after Emotional Mugger, Manipulator, Sleeper, Twins, Goodbye Bread, Melted, Lemons, and the first self-titled album that started it up in the now-distant year of 2008 — is a clean flow, a wash of transparency falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly, to their logical end. It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse (from way back in the long, hot summer of 2012), but it also features a steep flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty’s new songs range around in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colors high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation.

The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping overdubs together to form the sound — but for this new album, he entered a studio backed by a full band — Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart and Ben Boye — to get a read on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal passages yet heard from Ty Segall.

“Freedom/Warm Hands” puts the “sweet” back into suite; “Orange Color Queen” is a supreme moment of tenderness; “Talkin’,” a roots-infused truth-attack. “Papers,” looks behind the doors of Ty’s process; “Break A Guitar” is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the back of the house. Ty Segall keeps you guessing, bracing your skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies, and LOTS of songs to sing. There’s no concept beyond that; finding the right places to be is a momentary thing. Ty Segall is the sum of his songs — and about getting the free. The free to be!

Another self titled album? Who are these crazy fools? They’re Ty Segall, that’s who and they can do exactly as they wish if they keep churning out rocking classics like these. Much more punky than sludgy, with more in common with early Pixies than their more recent output. Driven, rocking and absolutely essential.

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Horse Thief  -Trials and Truths

Two years after their widely feted Bella Union album debut Fear In Bliss, Oklahoma quintet Horse Thief have created another surging, crafted beauty in Trials and Truths. The record’s unified feel still contains many contrasting elements, sounding both panoramic and nuanced, intimate and anthemic and vibrant and contemplative, while frontman Cameron Neal’s lyrics range from the confessional to the metaphorical as he surveys the passing of time. For Trials And Truths, Oklahoma quintet Horse Thief reunited with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver).

Image of Japandroids - Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

With the release of their second album, Celebration Rock in 2012 the band embarked on what seemed like an endless world tour, performing over 200 shows in over 40 countries, and played their final show in support of Celebration Rock in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2013. They would not perform live again for three years. Their third album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (Fall of 2015), with one song, “True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will”, recorded at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC.

The title, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, comes from a passage in the novel A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.” Like their prior albums Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album. Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue. If Celebration Rock was the culmination of something, then Near To The Wild Heart Of Life can be considered the beginning of something else.

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Arcade Fire  –  The Reflektor Tapes

The Reflektor Tapes is a visually stunning and hypnotic documentary about the making of Arcade Fire’s hugely successful 2013 studio album Reflektor by director Kahlil Joseph . The film received its premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary captures recording sessions, live performances and the band’s time in Haiti, a country with which they have a long-standing relationship. The second disc in the set features Arcade Fire’s full length live concert from Earl’s Court in London on 6th June 2014 during the Reflektor tour, which perfectly complements the documentary.

Image of Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound

Cloud Nothings are back with ‘Life Without Sound’, the follow up to 2014’s ‘Here And Nowhere Else’, on Wichita Recordings.

Lead singer and guitarist Dylan Baldi maintains simple, admirable standards in quality. “A thing I like to do with all of my records is drive around with them,” the 25-year-old Cloud Nothings front man says. “In high school, I would listen to music for hours like that: just driving through the suburbs of Cleveland. And if it sounds good to me in that context and I can think of high school me listening to it and saying, ‘That’s okay,’ I feel good about the record. This is the one that’s felt best.”

‘Life Without Sound’ is the radiant fourth full length Cloud Nothings have recorded since Baldi began writing and releasing songs on his own under the Cloud Nothings alias in 2008. While its highly acclaimed predecessor, 2014’s ‘Here And Nowhere Else’, came together spontaneously in the little time that touring allowed, ‘Life Without Sound’ took shape under far less frenetic circumstances.

For more than a year, Baldi was able to write these songs and flesh out them out with his bandmates – drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke – before they finally joined producer John Goodmanson (Sleater Kinney, Death Cab For Cutie) at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas for three weeks in March of 2016. The result is Baldi’s most polished and considered work to date, an album that speaks to his evolving gift with melody while also betraying the sort of perspective that time provides.

Image of Allison Crutchfield - Tourist In This Town

Allison Crutchfield – Tourist in This Town

CD is 4-panel digipak, LP includes full album download. The debut full-length by Allison Crutchfield titled Tourist in This Town sonically pulls back the curtain on her life and places Crutchfield center stage, fully revealing her power, conviction, and grace. The Alabama native has immersed herself in music since her teenage years, forming notable bands such as P.S. Eliot and Bad Banana (both with her twin sister Katie of Waxahatchee). In 2012, she co-founded Swearin’—the band in which she would truly begin to formulate and understand her full potential as a songwriter—and in 2014, she recorded and released her first solo EP Lean In To It. Her debut album is an accomplished work that integrates her past musical experiences with a pronounced growth in arrangement and instrumentation.

Tourist in This Town was made at Uniform Recording in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler, who is known for his work with Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, and Mary Lattimore, among others. His synthesizer collection and related expertise proved an alluring draw for Crutchfield, who had started incorporating synths into her work when she branched off into a solo career. “This record marked a sonic transition in the way I think about the element of space in music, and I attribute that mainly to Jeff,” says Allison. “His arsenal and knowledge of analog synths, along with his ear for spatial addition and subtraction within a song, really sculpted this album and impacted me artistically forever.” “Tourist in This Town is completely made up of heightened anxiety and became a clearly defined puzzle that I slowly put together over the course of a year,” says Crutchfield. “It’s a record about change— change of scenery, of partner, of band, of home, of friends, of outlook—and how that change can cause a temporary panic but ultimate triumph in most of us.”

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Menace Beach – Lemon Memory

“Lemon Memory” is, for Menace Beach at least, an exercise in restraint, the fuzz and distortion turned down, a big last chorus avoided. Liza explains, “The one ‘rule’ thing we went into the album session with was to keep in mind that sometimes doing The Opposite is much more interesting”. Liza takes the lead vocal as she does on much of “Lemon Memory”. Indeed, if debut LP Ratworld was Ryan’s record, “Lemon Memory” is very much a Liza record. Ryan explains “Liza got that look in the eye and a head-down-blinkers-on thing, and only a moron would try and get in the way of that. It’s all about keeping those ideas in their purest form and diluting as little as possible.”

Written in Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield with Ross Orton (MIA, Arctic Monkeys, The Fall) “Lemon Memory” is in part an effort to lift a citrus based curse – trust us, it’s a real thing – Ryan and Liza believe was placed on their house, via the hexbreaking power of music. It’s also the sound of a band finding their own identity, edging closer to some sort of grimy truth.

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Foxygen – Hang 

On their first proper studio record, the Los Angeles pair once again present their uncanny knack for pulling together myriad strands of influences to an elaborate, uncompromising vision. And this time, they’ve gone true big band! Every song on Hang features a 40-plus-piece symphony orchestra arranged and conducted by Trey Pollard with additional arranging from Matthew E. White. Additionally, Hang was recorded with the brothers rhythm section duo of Brian and Michael D’Addario, also known as the Lemon Twigs, and features Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips on select tracks. Written and produced entirely by Foxygen, Hang was recorded on 2” tape at Electro Vox Studios in Los Angeles.

Lead single, “Follow The Leader,” is one of the album’s most upbeat songs. As described by the band, “it was a blast to make! It’s a positive anthem, with some lyrical scenarios we don’t quite understand.” The song’s video was directed Cameron Dutra (who directed Foxygen’s “San Francisco” video).

Image of Cherry Glazerr - Apocalipstick

It’s with great excitement that Cherry Glazerr announces their new album, Apocalipstick, out January 20th. The band’s first album for Secretly Canadian was recorded at Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Sound studio with acclaimed producers Joe Chicarrelli (The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes) and Carlos De La Garza (Bleached, M83, Paramore).

To celebrate, the band is sharing “Nurse Ratched,” which was written by lead singer Clementine Creevy as she mused on the evil Nurse Ratched character in Ken Kesey’s masterpiece, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The track’s slasher flick video is directed by horror film director/producer Roxanne Benjamin, who is known for her films Southbound and V/H/S, among other work. Perfectly timed for its release on Halloween, watch as what appears to be an innocent albeit bizarre hitchhiking ride turns into a bloody massacre. “Nurse Ratched” is the second single to be heard from the forthcoming record and follows the previously shared “Told You I’d Be With Guys.”

Image of Proper Ornaments - Foxhole

Proper Ornaments is the project of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Veronica Falls) and Max Oscarnold (Toy, Pink Flames). Debut LP ‘Wooden Head’ (FortunaPop 2014) perfected the unique slant of their previous work. James and Max started out writing the follow-up in January 2015. On ‘Foxhole’ they’ve sliced away a whole stratum of their sound, removing some distortion and lowering the frequency of plectrum strokes to allow more nuanced, piano-led ideas to emerge.

The title isn’t a reference to Television’s jaunty proto-punk record but seems to be more of a dark, protective interior, a head space sketched out on ‘Jeremy’s Song’. While their particularly recognisable production style (a bright, frozen counterpoint to the airless mixes one encounters more often) remains, three things stand out as likely reasons for the shift in mood. By the time they got around to recording again in James’ bedroom in Finsbury Park that Summer, the instability around the recording of ‘Wooden Head’ (and the five years before) had slid into a deep and seething acrimony. Second, they both bought pianos. Third, when the band, with Daniel Nellis and Bobby Syme joining on bass and drums went to record at Tin Room in Hackney in June, the pinch wheel on the 8 track machine was broken and somehow no one noticed. All but one recording, ‘The Frozen Stare,’ was hopelessly warped, so they went and did it all again from scratch back at James’. “We ended up doing the whole thing there as the atmosphere suited the direction of the foxhole and we were more comfortable working on it in our own time,” says James.

That’s why the record has a laid back, conversational, not imposing or anxious feel in my opinion. If ‘Always There’ was the most melodically fluid but dimly lit point of the first record, there are another half album of songs here at least that are as strikingly gorgeous and unsettling. ‘Memories,’ ‘Just a Dream,’ ‘The Frozen Stare’ and ‘When We Were Young’ are in this mould, as is the icy, slightly devastated goodbye that closes the record ‘The Devils,’ filled out with piano reminiscent of Big Star’s ‘Third’ or Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’ and cracked double bass.

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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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Sundara Karma – Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect

Sundara Karma finally release their debut album. Indie-Springsteens with arena ambitions give four-square guitar rock a refreshing, euphoric makeover. Sundara Karma aspire to the driving, rousing anthemia of Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire, with big ideas about death and sacrifice and music up to the task of reflecting same.

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Nirvana  –  Hollywood Rock Festival, Rio ‘93

Double 180 Gram Green Vinyl set in Gatefold Sleeve. Nirvana, live at Hollywood Rock Festival, Praça Da Apoteose, Rio De Janerio on January 23rd 1993. Prior to the release of their raw and uncompromising In Utero album in September 1993, Nirvana performed in various parts of the world, kickstarting with two shows as part of the Hollywood Rock Festival in Brazil. This set was recorded in Praça Da Apoteose, Rio De Janeiro on January 23rd, and originally broadcast on MTV Brazil. It finds the band playing tracks spanning their entire career, with a guest appearance from Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and is presented here together with background notes and images.

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David Bowie – Legacy – The Very Best of David Bowie

Music, art and fashion would not be in the place it is today without the seminal influence of David Bowie. A titan of popular music and pioneer of changing culture, it is not surprising that his death in January was met with such shock and sadness across the globe. Throughout his life, David Bowie has amassed such an influential and varied musical back catalogue, that he leaves behind him a body of work that can be unrivalled – a true legacy. In this must-have Bowie collection, you can experience Bowie’s genius from start to finish. From his early days as the iconic Ziggy Stardust, to his final days before his sudden passing, Legacy brings you the best material from Bowie’s star-studded career. Not only is Legacy the ultimate Bowie collection to own, but it also features a previously unreleased mix of his renowned song Life On Mars ?. With a more orchestrated and cleaner mix, this unreleased version was mixed by Ken Scott the original producer of the track

CD – 20 Tracks, 2CD – 40 Tracks – deluxe digipack with additional photos. 2LP – This special 180 Gram Double vinyl edition of the album comes as a Gatefold with 2 limited edition 12” art prints of the 2 images used on the sleeve.

The Jam: Live At Reading University - Exclusive Pressing

Live At Reading University – Exclusive Pressing,

The Jam at Reading University, playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979, and found the band in a radically different place to their showcase at the Music Machine 12 months before. In that time, their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’, had been released to critical acclaim, and their status as one of the New Wave’s most musically substantial and exciting bands had been secured. And Paul Weller was still only 20 years old…

The Jam: Live At The Music Machine

Live At The Music Machine ,

A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’. The show was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows in the capital to fanfare their new ‘News Of The World’ single under the banner ‘The London Blitz’.

The Jam: Live at The 100 Club - Exclusive Pressing

Live at The 100 Club – Exclusive Pressing ,

Continuing The Jam exclusive live vinyl releases, we now have the concert from London’s 100 Club September 1977 for you, this is a double LP on 180g heavyweight vinyl and very limited.

  • Double LP packaged in exceptionally stylish gatefold sleeve with printed inner bags.
  • Re-mastered at Abbey Road and pressed on heavyweight vinyl.
  • Includes period photos and rare memorabilia.
  • Featuring stunning live versions of all the band’s classic hits and favourites.