Archive for the ‘THIS WEEKS ESSENTIAL PURCHASES’ Category

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A Big, big day for new releases tomorrow, Pixies re-release ‘Come On Pilgrim’ and ‘Surfer Rosa’ with an unreleased bonus LP!
New Live EP from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds!
New Amber Arcades record!
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs new album – is that enough Pigs for you?
New Graham Parker record – on limited pink vinyl!
A very limited Soft Cell 7″ – hurry, these are going quick!

More new albums out tomorrow from the likes of Alt-J, Blackfield, Gouge Away, Dave Grohl, Hater,Jlin, Ava Luna, Metric, Mini Mansions, Mudhoney, Marissa Nadler, Eddi Reader and Ana Da Silva & Phew.

It’s a bumper reissue day tomorrow as well. With a set of Stereolab reissues. plus the excellent Joe Strummer box set, but with the expensive price tag, there’s thankfully a slimmed down 4LP set as well. The Pink Floyd ‘Best Of’finally makes its way to vinyl, as does a collection of Aretha Franklin singles from the Atlantic label. Throw in new re-releases from U2, John & Beverley MartynHouse Of Love .

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The Pixies  – Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa

30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Pixies’ Debut EP and Album, Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, includes Bonus 1986 Radio Concert Live From The Fallout Shelter. It’s been thirty years since the release of Surfer Rosa – a record made up of rage, religion, gore, incest and superheroes named Tony – a debut album so good that it’s since seen as a masterpiece. A year prior came Come On Pilgrim, an eight-track mini-album released in 1987 which contained cuts culled from their first ever studio session, where they famously recorded seventeen tracks in just three days (in full, this session makes up the band’s much bootlegged and now officially released The Purple Tape). These formative records showed the Pixies to be an alien breed; four oddball outsiders from Boston blending US underground thrash rock, indie surf pop and Spanish-language flamenco with the Biblical mythology of Frances’s childhood. They would go on to record another masterpiece in 1989’s Doolittle but it’s the gruesome glory of Surfer Rosa, and the ruined sexuality of its cover image (a topless flamenco dancer in a crumbling Mexican bar) that set a fresh blueprint for an indie rock dynamism that not only planted the seeds of grunge (Kurt Cobain would admit that he was trying to imitate the record while writing Nevermind) but of much of the best rock music made since. The thirtieth anniversary edition contains Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Live From The Fallout Shelter, a concert-cum-session that first aired in late-1986 on WJUL in Lowell, MA. In addition to both a three CD and three LP edition, there’s also a super-limited and stunning deluxe clothbound hardbook three LP version, which will be a must for all fans. Like all other Pixies sleeves, Vaughan Oliver returns as designer, stunningly reinterpreting his original artwork with Simon Larbalestier’s iconic photographs remaining these record’s crowning glory.

3LP – Triple Gold Vinyl with Download Card of Live from the Fallout Shelter.

3LP+ – Deluxe Version in Clothbound Hardbook, Triple Clear Vinyl, Lyric Booklet, Art Book and Download Card of Live From The Fallout Shelter.

3CD – Triple CD in Hardbook Wallet Case with Lyric Booklet.

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Nick Cave – Distant Sky (Live In Copenhagen)

Filmed at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena in October 2017, Distant Skycaptured an extraordinary and triumphant live concert from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Performing new album Skeleton Tree’s beautiful compositions alongside songs from their essential catalogue. 4 track 12” taken from the performance

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The Joy Formidable – AAARTH

The Welsh trio (vocals & guitar RItzy / bass Rhydian / drums Matt) release their fourth album. It was recorded in their mobile recording studio with songs created all over the world then brought home to roost in the Welsh hills and made into a lush new album.

A little bit grungy, a little bit hard rocky, even a little bit of metal-tinged chug. Ritzy’s smooth vocals soar and dive over churning, swaying lurching fluttering guitars, grinding bass and relentless drums. It’s not all hard-hitting alt-rock though – a skilful hand on the power-on button means there’s room for a sweeter side and a push me, pull me tug on the dynamics.

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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – King of Cowards

Indeed, not only do psychologists theorise that the human braincan only memorise a sequence of this length, but Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – the Newcastle -based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years -have made a second album in King Of Cowards which does its damnedest to take consciousness to its very limits. Moreover, another notable seven is dealt with here -that of the deadly sins. As vocalist and synth player Matt Baty notes “For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression. When can guilt be converted into positive action? After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s my fire and brimstone Catholic upbringing coming into play there!” Building on the momentum this band has built since their January 2017 debut Feed The Rats, this opus sees them entering a new phase as a sleeker and still more dangerous swineherd. The Iggy-esque drive to dementia, Sabbath-esque squalor and Motörhead-style dirt may still be present and correct, yet the songs are leaner, the long-drawn-out riff-fests sharpened into addictive hammerblows and the nihilistic dirges of yore alchemically transformed into an uplifting and inviting barrage of hedonistic abandon.“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” So George Orwell noted at the end of a certain slim volume. King Of Cowards is nothing less than just sucha metamorphosis, one in which -in a blur of primal urges and beastly physicality -this band shows us just which animals are really in charge of the farm.

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Amber Arcades –  European Heartbreak

Dutch dream poppers Amber Arcades return with the elegant and romantic European Heartbreak was recorded and co-produced in LA with Chris Cohen from Deerhoof and in Richmond, Virginia with Trey Pollard (Natalie Prass, The Waterboys, Bedouine), who oversaw horn and string overdubs from Spacebomb. A vast step forward from Amber Arcades’ critically acclaimed debut album Fading Lines, this selection of songs flit around Europe, from Berlin to Spain to the south of France. It’s European not just in lyrical theme but also in the sly sophistication of its music: songs that carry with them the air of open-topped cars on clifftop roads, of cocktails on the terrace at sunset. And then the lyrics undercut that sunny mood, artfully and skilfully. For fans of Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura and the mellower parts of Alvvays.

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Lala Lala  –  The Lamb

“The Lamb was written during a time of intense paranoia after a home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence around me and my friends,” says Lillie West, the Chicago-based songwriter behind Lala Lala. “I began to frequently and vividly imagine the end of the world, eventually becoming too frightened to leave my house. This led me to spend a lot of time examining my relationships and the choices I’d made, often wondering if they were correct and / or kind.” West initially started Lala Lala as a way to communicate things that she felt she could never say out loud. But on The Lamb, her sophomore LP and debut for Hardly Art, she has found strength in vulnerability. Through bracing hooks and sharp lyrics, the 24-year-old songwriter and guitarist illustrates a nuanced look on her own adulthood – her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her. Across the album’s 12 tracks, West carefully examines the skeletons in her closet for the first time, hoping to capture honest snapshots of her past selves. Many of the songs show West asking herself agonizing questions about her life with a clever and hopeful curiosity. On the album’s first single and opening track, Destroyer, she reflects on feeling self-destructive and the delayed realization something in the past has irrevocably hurt you. In Water Over Sex, West laments her old precarious lifestyle, while trying to readjust to her newfound sobriety, and Copycat confronts her feelings of alienation and boredom. “Some of this album is about being frustrated that everything is always repeating itself and being bored with your own feelings,”she explains. Copycat in particular is about how everyone talks exactly the same on the Internet and how it sometimes feels futile to try and be yourself.”

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Metric  –  Art of Doubt

Toronto’s Metric emphasize guitars on the band’s latest album, a collection of 12 new songs packed with massive riffs, driving rhythm and raw / smooth vocals that have become their instantly identifiable signature sound. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (M83, Beck, Nine Inch Nails), Metric’s seventh LP addresses a climate of cultural and political anxiety while refusing to give despair the upper hand. In many ways, it’s the most Metric album the band has ever made as Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key rediscover their shared love of music and how good they are at making it together.

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Eyelids – Maybe More

After coming home fired up from their 2017 tours (which included UK / Euro / US dates with Drive-By Truckers, Dream Syndicate, Fruit Bats, The Cribs) Eyelids headed into various studios in Portland to finish up a new batch of songs they had been working on. They ended up with a perfect combination of
the lilting, powerful hooks of their recent Peter Buck-produced album or alongside the spookier, more meditative moments from their debut 854 . Oh and they added in a fiery rendition of The Gun Club’s Sex Beat (with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of R.E.M. throwing down alongside them) just to hammer the point home. Now Eyelids could always write a earworm of a song (which is why or ended up many best of 2017 lists) and from the minute the needle hits this vinyl, there it is again. With its rolling and
intricate jangle the band (like XTC, R.E.M. and The Byrds— their three biggest comparisons from the press) make their three distinct personalities / guitars become an amazingly powerful whole.

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Jeff Buckley – Live In Pilton UK, June 24, 1995

Recorded in Pilton, Somerset, England at the legendary Glastonbury Festival – running nearly 50 years now, since 1970 – on June 24th, 1995, this is one of Jeff Buckley’s most famous live recordings. Raw, heavy, heartfelt, and deeply emotional, the set is comprised almost entirely of Buckley originals, mostly off of 1994’s Grace as well as one unreleased track and an unexpected cover of the. Required live listening for any fan of this great 90s artist gone way too soon, who left only a small but nearly perfect legacy of recorded music.

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The KVB  –  Of Desire

The fifth album from UK darkwave duo The KVB is released on Invada Records. Of Desire is Kat Day and Nicholas Wood’s second release on Portishead member Geoff Barrow’s Bristol-based label. It follows a string of releases for operations like Downwards, Minimal Wave sublabel Cititrax and Ukraine’s ~taqueOT, most of which explored a moody shoegaze aesthetic. The recording of In Deep saw the The KVB raid Portishead and BEAK> man Geoff Barrow’s synth collection, as well as roping in Sonic Boom to master it. Their most fully formed record and considered in terms of dynamics, arrangements and instrumentation, taking in influences such as Death In Vegas, Scott Walker and Roxy Music, The KVB have managed to create something that is at once familiar and yet inventive and original.

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Hater  –  Siesta

Effortless and assured, the Scandi quartet drift eloquently into well-structured and stunning melodies.

Resolute in their sound, Siesta is the perfect soundtrack for that summer romance and the inevitable break up. Heartbreak has never sounded so sweet!. Produced by Joakim Lindberg (Yast and Hey Elbow) at Studio Sickan within old railway sheds outside of Malmö Sweden. Hater tackle their personal experiences of life, love and relationships yet through their shared songwriting there’s a togetherness. Synth pop earworm It’s So Easy contrasts the slower paced I Wish I Gave You More Time Because I Love You that blends beautiful sweeping sax from Inge Petersson Lindback. Hater boast Marr-esque guitars and vocals reminiscent of fellow Swedes and The Concretes whilst having the pop sensibilities of The Chills, Alvvays, Snail Mail and Makthaverskan.

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Marissa Nadler  –  For My Crimes

The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. The album is released via Bella Union and Sacred Bones. The opening title track is classic Nadler: a sweeping, vaguely Southern drama of voices, strings, and acoustic guitar, that walks the fine line between character song and personal indictment by metaphor. For My Crimes spawned out of a songwriting exercise in which Nadler wrote from the perspective of someone on death row, but the song casts a dark shadow over an album that turns marital conflict into inner reflection. Helping Nadler dig down into the song’s remorseful soul is her old friend Angel Olsen, who serves as a distraught echo from beyond in the chorus. Dreaminess and eeriness have often been two sides of the same coin in Marissa Nadler songs. Where For My Crimes and Blue Vapor come from her dark side, the album has plenty of moments that twinkle in their sadness and sentimentality. I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore is one of those highly specific songs you’ll get if you’ve ever lost a favourite band to your own broken heart.

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Squirrel Flower – Contact Sports and Bonus Tracks

For fans of Big Thief, Mitski and Sharon Van Etten. Squirrel Flower is the alias 21-year-old Ella Williams adopted for herself when writing and performing songs as a child. Since those early days her movement through music has progressed at a staggering pace and now a reissue of her second EP Contact Sports, available on vinyl for the first time. Contact Sports is a perfectly formed collection of songs about relationships; intimacy, dependency, betrayal and place set to the unique backdrop of the American Midwest. The first three songs represent the push and pull of love and intimacy while the last three are more meditative, more place-based. From the fulsome guitar and visceral, cathartic breakdowns of lead single Conditions to the carefully layered beauty of Hands Melt, this varied collection frequently impresses with its maturity and craftsmanship. Lyrically too, tracks like the fuzzy, dimly-lit euphoria of Daylight Savings are spellbinding in their turn of phrase as Williams sings “I know we’ve gained an hour, but I feel like we’ve lost two”.

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Goggs  –  Pre Strike Sweep

With their second album Pre Strike Sweep, Goggs add a new level of primordial anxiety to their already catastrophic symphony. Recorded and mixed in 2017 by Goggs guitarist and co-founder Ty Segall, the album explores the damaging affects of modern life before blowing them up one by one. Singer Chris Shaw uses terms like “space rinse” and “roadside surgery” to inform the listener that this is a strange and different trip, far and away from the Glendale Junkyard he romanticized in 2016 on their self-titled album. In fact, all expectations brought on by that acclaimed debut are crushed into dust, revealing a new standard by which the Goggs march thumps. Ty Segall side project featuring Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult) on vocal duty and Charles Moothart (Fuzz) on drums.

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Parquet Courts – Wide Awake Remixes

Limited 12″. Standout tracks from Parquet Courts’ latest album Wide Awake! get the dancefloor treatment in a collection of remixes available on 12” vinyl. The A-side features a re-work of the danceable title track by legendary first wave NYC disco pioneer Danny Krivit, who has delivered classic vinyl re-edits of tunes from Visage, James Brown, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, and many more. The B-side features remixes of two tracks by prolific Australian producer and engineer Mikey Young, known for his work in Total Control and Eddie Current Suppression Ring. “Mikey has always impressed me as a musician and person,” says Parquet Courts’ A. Savage, “but he’s developed a remarkable talent for producing electronic music, as evidenced by projects like Lace Curtain and Total Control. He has a skill of impressing his genius and personality into a track and elevating it to something more.

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Alt J  –  Reduxer

Reduxer is a set of 11 incredible reinterpretations of songs from their award winning third album ​Relaxer, ​reimagined by a host of fans, friends and peers, including a globe-straddling cross-section of some of the world’s most influential and prolific hip hop artists and producers. Putting their own indelible vocals on the songs are, amongst others, Grammy-nominated US hip hop high flyer GoldLink​, platinum-certified Parisian rapper ​Lomepal​, Berlin powerhouse ​Kontra K​, Dublin-born breakthrough rapper ​Rejjie Snow​, Australian auteur ​Tuka​, Puerto Rican rapper ​PJ Sin Suela​ and London’s acclaimed ​Little Simz. The project was first hinted at when Virginia Beach hip hop superstar​ PushaT​ and LA synthpop polymath Twin Shadow both joined alt-J for a surprise performance of In Cold Blood on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, before swiftly releasing the studio version of the collaboration. Another standout is a new version of Deadcrush reworked by legendary producer ​The Alchemist and Latin American production powerhouse ​Trooko​, and featuring the unmistakable vocals of hip hop iconoclast​ Danny Brown​.

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Mudhoney –  Digital Garbage,

Since the late ’80s, Mudhoney – the Seattle-based foursome whose muck-crusted version of rock, shot through with caustic wit and battened down by a ferocious low end – has been a high-pH tonic against the ludicrous and the insipid. Thirty years later, the world is experiencing a particularly high-water moment for both those ideals. But just in time, vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison, and drummer Dan Peters are back with Digital Garbage, a barbed-wire-trimmed collection of sonic brickbats. Arm’s raw yawp and his bandmates’ long-honed chemistry make Digital Garbage an ideal release valve for the 2018 pressure cooker. “My sense of humor is dark, and these are dark times,” says Arm. “I suppose it’s only getting darker.”

Digital Garbage opens with the swaggering Nerve Attack, which can be heard as a nod both to modern-life anxiety and the ever-increasing threat of warfare. The album’s title comes from the outro of Kill Yourself Live, which segues from a revved-up Arm organ solo into a bleak look at the way notoriety goes viral. Arm says: “people really seem to find validation in the likes—and then there’s Facebook Live, where people have streamed torture and murder, or, in the case of Philando Castile, getting murdered by a cop. In the course of writing that song, I thought about how, once you put something out there online, you can’t wipe it away. It’s always going to be there – even if no one digs it up, it’s still out there floating somewhere.”

Appropriately enough, bits of recent news events float through the record: Please Mr. Gunman, on which Arm bellows “We’d rather die in church!” over his bandmates’ careening charge, was inspired by a TV-news bubblehead’s response to a 2017 church shooting, while the ominous refrain that opens the submerged-blues of Next Mass Extinction calls back to last summer’s clashes in Charlottesville. Mudhoney’s core sound – steadily pounding drums, swamp-thing bass, squalling guitar wobble, Arm’s hazardous-chemical voice – remains on Digital Garbage, which the band recorded with longtime collaborator (and Digital Garbage pianist) Johnny Sangster at the Seattle studio Litho. The anti-religiosity shimmy 21st Century Pharisees builds its case with Maddison’s woozy synths, which Arm says “add a really nice touch to the proceedings.” Digital Garbage closes with Oh Yeah, a brief celebration of skateboarding, surfing, biking, and the joy provided by these escape valves. “I would’ve really just loved to write songs about just hanging out on the beach, and going on a nice vacation,” says Arm. “But, you know, that probably doesn’t make for great rock.” Mudhoney, however, know what does make great rock – and the riffs and fury of Digital Garbage will stand the test of time, even if the particulars fade away. “I’ve tried to keep things somewhat universal, so that this album doesn’t just seem like of this time – hopefully some of this stuff will go away,” Arm laughs. “You don’t want to say in the future, ‘Hey, those lyrics are still relevant. Great!’”

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Tom Petty – An American Treasure

Reprise Records release An American Treasure – a career-spanning Tom Petty box set. The 60-track set unveils dozens of previously unreleased recordings, alternate versions of classic songs, rarities, historic live performances and deep tracks that spotlight Tom’s remarkable depth and evolution as a revered and tremendously influential songwriter, recording artist and performer. An American Treasure marks the first release of Tom Petty music since the artist’s tragic passing in October 2017. The first single from An American Treasure isKeep A Little Soul—a previously unreleased recording from 1982 sessions that resulted in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ classic album, Long After Dark. Tom’s daughter, Adria Petty, and his wife, Dana Petty, were the primary catalysts for the commission, creation and release of An American Treasure­ – a tribute and love letter pointing to the music in between the hits, and a strong musical portrait of the person they know in their hearts. Adria and Dana both serve as the project’s Executive Producers, and, together with Tom’s bandmates of 45 years, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, and his studio collaborator, Ryan Ulyate, curated the box set’s track list from Petty’s rich song catalog. Campbell, Tench and Ulyate also produced An American Treasure.

2CD – Double CD Set that features 26 career spanning tracks chosen from the Deluxe editions, as well as Bud Scoppa’s detailed track-by-track.

4CD – Four CD set housed in Hard Cover Book Sleeve that features all 60 tracks, plus a 52-page booklet with rare and previously unseen photographs of Tom, his bandmates, family and friends. The booklet also features detailed track-by-track liner notes by noted journalist and Tom Petty aficionado Bud Scoppa, who drew upon his previous interviews with Tom and new conversations with Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Ryan Ulyate, as well as Adria and Dana Petty.

6LP – 6-LP Set that features all 60 tracks and a 48-page booklet containing all of the photographic and editorial elements found in the CD Deluxe Edition. This set also includes the Nicholas Dawidoff essay.

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Joe Strummer  –  001

Joe Strummer 001 is the first compilation to span Joe Strummer’s career outside of his recordings with The Clash.

Joe Strummer 001 includes fan favourites from his recordings with the 101ers and The Mescaleros, all of his solo albums, soundtrack work and an album of unreleased songs. Standouts include It’s A Rockin’ World, produced by Rick Rubin and taken from the ‘South Park’ Soundtrack and London Is Burning (an alternative / early version of Burnin’ Street from Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros final album Streetcore).

All of the formats include tracks that have never appeared anywhere before as well as new remasters. Exclusive to all formats is an album of unreleased material including an early demo of This Is England entitled Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England, a solo demo of Letsagetabitarockin recorded in Elgin Avenue in 1975, outtakes from Sid and Nancy featuring Mick Jones and unreleased songs Rose Of Erin, the biographical and mythical recording The Cool Impossible and London Is Burning one of the last songs Joe recorded. Punk pioneer, singer, songwriter, recording artist, activist, musical and political inspiration for a generation and mighty diamond Joe Strummer was the most charismatic and passionate frontman to emerge from the punk explosion of the late seventies.

After Joe’s untimely death in December 2002 it was discovered that Joe had been quite an archivist of his own work, having barns full of writings and tapes stored in his back garden. There are now over 20,000 items in the Joe Strummer Archive. The archiving of this material and compiling of Joe Strummer 001 was overseen by Joe’s widow Luce and Robert Gordon McHarg III. All tracks were restored and mastered by Grammy Award winner Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto Canada. On-going through cassettes and recording tapes it was discovered that Joe was rather frugal and keen on hiding tracks. On cassettes he would leave 20 minutes between songs. On the 1” 8 track recordings it was discovered there were hidden tracks superimposed onto each other. For example tracks 1-4 were taken by one song and tracks 5-8 by two other songs which were thought when played back to be caused by tape denigration until the tapes went to Peter J Moore who was able to separate one song from another. The cover of all formats is taken from Joe’s 1990 Californian driving license.

4LP+ – Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set: Quadruple Heavyweight Vinyl, 7” Vinyl Single (exclusive tracks on 7”This Is England(Side A) and Before We Go Forward (Side B), Cassette (previously unheard and unreleased U.S North (Basement Demo) – with artwork replicated from the original cassette recording from Joes’s archive), A4 Book, Enamel Badge, envelope containing a screen print, a high quality image of Joe, two original art prints, and a sticker sheet. The book features rarely seen and previously unpublished memorabilia from Joe’s personal collection as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums. Limited to 3000 Copies.

2CD+ – Limited Edition Deluxe Double CD in A4 Book. Limited to 5000 Copies.

2CD – Double CD in Slipcase.

4LP – Quadruple Heavyweight Vinyl in Slipcase. Limited to 3000 Copies.

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John and Beverley Martyn – Stormbringer!

Originally released in February 1970 by Island Records this is the first and classic album by John and Beverley Martyn. After being rehearsed in Woodstock, NY Stormbringer! was recorded and mixed in only 8 days with engineer John Wood and producer Joe Boyd. John Martyn, inspired by the Band’s Music from Big Pink, worked hard to find a distinctive guitar sound and in two tracks (Would You Believe Me? and The Ocean) introduced his pioneering guitar technique. Levon Helm guested on drums on two tracks while John Simon and Paul Harris are among the other contributors. jazzy undertones, spirit lifting vocals, and buttery folk guitar leads for such a unique and beautiful record.

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John and Beverley Martyn – The Road To Ruin

John and Beverley’s 2nd album, also released in 1970, was Produced by Joe Boyd and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques, the Island Records studio. Features contributions from Danny Thompson, Dave Pegg and Wells Kelly. Contains the single Primrose Hill.

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Redd Kross – Third Eye

The American alternative rock band Redd Kross reached their peak in the early 1980s by releasing clever punk rock song. Their 1990 album Third Eye shows how much they changed their sound over the years. Their aggressive approaches have been changed to fascinating power-pop and alternative rock songs. The colourful choruses on this genre-defining record gives the album more depth than you’d think on first listen. Positively Beatlesque they sound on Bubblegum Factory, while Shonen Knife is a tribute to the contemporary Japanese rockers. Rooted in 1978 as the punk band The Tourists Redd Kross went on to become a well-known name in the punk and power pop music scene.

The Big news this week is the widely anticipated, ‘The White Album’ from The Beatles is getting a 50th Anniversary reissue. Newly remastered and remixed in stereo by Giles Martin, this comes a regular 2LP set, a 4LP set with The Esher Demos and a gigantic 6CD & 1 Blu-Ray box set that throws just about everything in. The 4LP set looks pretty damn essential in our eyes.

Other news this week
A live Father John Misty album, record by Third Man Records!
New Ty Segall album!
A new Mumford & Sons record
A new Ryley Walker record! Covering Dave Matthews Band But don’t let that put you off.

Also added to the site this week are forthcoming albums from Night Beats, Richard Swift, Vessel, a compilation from the Brainfeeder label, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and another in the series of From The Vault recordings live Rolling Stones 3LP set from the Voodoo Lounge tour. Limited blue vinyl for two early Fleetwood Mac albums. A very limited Aretha Franklin 2LP & 10″ set from Music On Vinyl.

looking forward to next week with new albums from Cat Power, Kristin Hersh, Phosphorescent and reissues from XTC and Television. have a great weekend!

This Week’s Releases

Tony Allen & Jeff Mills – ‘Tomorrow Comes The Harvest’ 10″ EP
Alt-J – ‘Reduxer’ LP
Amber Arcades – ‘European Heartbreak’ blue vinyl LP
Barenaked Ladies – ‘Stunt’ 2LP reissue
Blackfield – ‘Open Mind: The Best Of’ limited coloured vinyl 2LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Distant Sky (Live In Copenhagen)’ 12″ EP
Aretha Franklin – ‘The Atlantic Singles Collection’ 2LP reissue
Gaika – ‘Basic Volume’ 2LP
Dave Grohl – ‘Play’ LP
Hater – ‘Siesta’ 2LP
Trevor Horn – ‘Reflection’ limited pink vinyl 2LP
Jlin – ‘Autobiography’ limited red vinyl 2LP
The Joy Formidable – ‘AAARTH’ LP
The KVB – ‘Of Desire’ coloured vinyl LP
Kodaline – ‘Politics Of Living’ LP
Ava Luna – ‘Moon 2’ LP
John & Beverley Martyn – ‘Stormbringer’ LP reissue
John & Beverley Martyn – The Road To Ruin’ LP reissue
Paul McCartney – ‘Egypt Station’ LP

The Meters – ‘The Meters’ LP reissue
Metric – ‘Art Of Doubt’ LP

Mudhoney – ‘Digital Garbage’ limited blue vinyl LP
Marissa Nadler – ‘For My Crimes’ smoke coloured vinyl LP

Graham Parker – ‘Cloud Symbols’ pink vinyl LP

Parquet Courts – ‘Wide Awake: Remixes’ 12″
Peluche – ‘Unforgettable’ 2LP
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – ‘King Of Cowards’ LP
Pink Floyd – ‘A Foot In The Door: The Best Of’ 2LP reissue
Pixies – ‘Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa’ standard coloured vinyl 3LP set
Eddi Reader – ‘Cavalier’ limited blue vinyl 2LP
Redd Kross – ‘Third Eye’ limited purple vinyl LP reissue
Ana Da Silva & Phew – ‘Island’ 2LP
Soft Cell – ‘Northern Lights/Guilty (Cos I Say You Are)’ limited 7″ single
Stereolab – ‘Switched On Vol.1, 2 & 3’ 6LP bundle package
Stereolab – ‘Switched On’ LP reissue
Stereolab – ‘Refried Ectoplasm’ 2LP reissue
Stereolab – ‘Aluminium Tunes’ 3LP reissue

Joe Strummer – ‘Joe Strummer 001’ limited deluxe box set
U2 – ‘The Best Of: 1990-2000’ 2LP reissue
Tony Joe White – ‘Bad Mouthin” white vinyl 2LP

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Our Girl – Stranger Today

Our Girl inhabit a space bigger than the first loves, sleepless nights and growing pains that define Stranger Today. Don’t miss this very special debut. For fans of The Big Moon, Lush and The Breeders

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Oh Sees – Smote Reverser

Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Headalum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone / Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts. Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there’s a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer’s made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Destroyer is the artistic restlessness underpinning its flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!

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Mitski – Be The Cowboy

Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski returns with Be The Cowboy via Dead Oceans Records.

Mitski’s carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but in her fifth album, Mitski introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now—a woman in control. “For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” comments Mitski. Though she hesitates to go so far as to say she created full-on characters, she reveals she had in mind “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.”

Throughout the 14 songs, the music swerves from the cheerful to the plaintive. Mournful piano ballads lead into deceptively uptempo songs. “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.”

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Mikey Collins – Hoick

Hoick is the solo album from Allo Darlin’drummer Mikey Collins, who combines his love of solid grooves and joyous harmonies to create a fun and sonically varied record. Mikey played most of the instruments and mixed the record himself, with some assistance from Laura Kovic (Tigercats) on vocals and fellow Allo Darlin’ member Paul Rains on lead guitar. The flicker of his previous band provided the building blocks of an upbeat, positive record, but Mikey wanted to add his own quirky, disco spin and sonic expansiveness. The aim to make a record that people stood a chance of being able to dance to. Mikey draws on influences as far flung as Dexy’s, Bruce Springsteen, Night Works, Matthew E White and Father John Misty. Mikey began working on the album while he was in Allo Darlin’. The last few years were a conveyor belt of change as he; got married, had a child, bought a house, moved from London to be by the Kent coast and opened a residential studio Big Jelly Studios (Girl Ray, Metronomy, Pete Doherty, Mt Wolf, Seamus Fogarty and Elva). In short, he grew up. The record journeys through these changes but has its roots firmly grounded in his new seaside habitat.

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Slaves – Acts Of Fear And Love

Slaves release their third album Acts of Fear and Love via Virgin EMI/AMF Records. The band’s third album reflects that fear and love may actually be the biggest motivators in the world at the moment. Working with previous collaborator, producer Jolyon Thomas (Royal Blood, U2) in Brussels, the band opened themselves up to a new sonic territory. Not concerning themselves with other people’s expectations of what a Slaves album should sound like the band have experimented with their style, without any boundaries; embracing pop song writing and tender moments alongside the more traditional hardcore riffs and scream-along choruses. Standouts include the joyous thrash of Bugs, the sprawling and tense title track and the Blur mixed with Weezer esque banger Chokehold.

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Anna Meredith – Anno

Anna Meredith releases Anno, a boundary-pushing collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble, in which original pieces of work by the classical-electronic composer are intertwined with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Released via Moshi Moshi, the project began as an immersive 360 degree live experience but is now available on double vinyl and CD. After a recording process using the unusual ‘binaural recording head’ the project will also be available in an exclusive binaural recording – allowing the listener to experience the unique spatial aspects of the piece through headphones.

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Follakzoid  – London Sessions with J Spaceman

It should come as no surprise to fans of the Chilean trio Follakzoid that upon meeting the legendary Jason Pierce AKA J. Spaceman (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized), they discovered they were kindred spirits. Follakzoid and Spaceman’s projects share a restless drive to explore the outer limits of music, as well as an uncanny ability to lock into a groove until it infiltrates the deepest recesses of the listener’s psyche. When Follakzoid met Spaceman backstage at a Wooden Shjips gig at London’s Electric Ballroom several years ago, they instantly became friends. For London Sessions, the Chileans and Spaceman joined forces for new, live-to-tape renditions of Electricand Earth, two highlights from Föllakzoid’s III. The recordings were made in a private studio in London while Follakzoid was on tour in Europe in June 2016, and Spaceman’s contributions breathe new life into the songs. “Jason added a very different harmonic atmosphere to the songs,” guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro explained. “It somehow rearticulated the space and metric that already existed in a way the band never could. These new versions have a different edge.”

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The Myrrors – Borderlands

If you see The Myrrors as the dust-caked disciples of a specific strain of desert-drone mysticism, theres little on Borderlands, their fourth full-length Myrrors album released in as many years, to dissuade you from that vision. Theres only confirmation an intoxicating combination of outlook and output that clarifies and crystallizes the bands many sonic strengths throughout the albums fantastically unfolding forty-plus minutes. From the beginning, with an appropriately Albert Ayler-ish blast of Awakening, to the epic 20-minute B-sidelong excursion, Note From the Underground, the beating heart of The Myrrors current statement. Borderlands will be extremely satisfying to otherworldly music seekers who find aural transcendence through the works of artists such as International Harvester, Taj Mahal Travellers, Trad Gras och Stenar, Kikagaku Moyo, Amon Duul, and Agitation Free, to name a few.

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Have you picked out your favourites to win the Mercury Prize tonight ,can’t wait to find out who’s bagged it. (i reckon there’s a 3-way fight in the shop between Nadine Shah, Sons of Kemet & King Krule coming out on top)

Christine & the Queens’ follow-up is another masterful pop record that once more marries slick electro pop production with Letissier’s equally stylish & emotive vocals. there are two separate english & french language versions. both are included on the 2cd & in the limited 4lp box set, which also includes exclusive posters. back in the land of england (via germany in the 70’s), beak> have crafted yet another superb record that marries the motorik world of their heroes with an addictive pop songwriting persuasion. across the pond,

Jordan lee’s Mutual Benefit project has thoroughly charmed us with his latest record of lush alt-folk compositions. the album is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day, or for listening to on a relaxing sunday morning, especially on limited, soothing blue vinyl. the most explosive release of the week must be the Blinders, whose huxley & orwell-worshipping album takes the catchy pizzazz of the arctic monkeys’ heaviest material & adds an extra layer of distorted punk attitude that’ll be an instant hit for fans of idles & shame.

Also worth knowing about: Suede return in sweeping, cinematic form, which can be yours on limited exclusive blue vinyl & as the most deluxe-y boxset you ever saw; Prince’s pre-‘purple rain’ studio session is an emotionally stirring, intimate recording that feels as if we’re hearing his true self, completely unguarded – there’s a deluxe version including a hardback book of liner notes from his studio engineer & previously unseen photos;

Conor O’Brien’s Villagers project is his most approachable to date & the deluxe version includes a red 10” with two bonus tracks;  Lala lala’s gorgeous album of wounded, jangly guitar songwriting will enamour fans of snail mail & soccer mommy; Lonnie Holly’s deeply spiritual new record’s the Field’s cosmic, ambient techno has melted the hearts of nigh on everyone who’s heard it; & the simple beauty of Mountain Man’s vocal harmony-driven album – their first in 8 years – is utterly beguiling & on clear vinyl.

There are some humdinger reissues too: all three Mc5 albums are collected on multi-coloured vinyl (red, white & blue) in one fancy boxset; there’s a heap of new Felt reissues; & Ramones‘ 4th record gets a more “punk” remaster, plus a load of bonus tracks & a live performance, exclusive to the deluxe version.

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Christine and the Queens – Chris

Billingual, compelling upbeat second from modern day pop star Christine and the Queens. Titled Chris the album is released as double CD and vinyl versions, as well as limited edition boxset, There are two versions of the album; one sung exclusively in English and one sung exclusively in French. Each track has earworm irresistibility with losing any edge. The album celebrates her polysexual desire, without sidelining her emotional pain, It’s a lean, thrilling muscular set from a real talent that sits next to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Chic and Peter Gabriel.

2CD – Double CD in 3-panel softpack with 28-page stapled booklet. Contains English and french Versions of the album.

2LP – Double French Version. Double Black Vinyl with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve. 30x60cm French version poster. French CD version included.

2LP+ – Double English Version. Double Black Vinyl with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve. 30x60cm English version poster. English CD version included.

4LP – Limited Boxset. 2LP and CD French Edition and 2LP and CD English Edition. Limited numbered edition (10 000 copies worldwide). Contains:

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Black Honey  –  Black Honey

Bursting out of the ether in 2014 with their squalling guitars, vivid colours and cinematic vignettes, there’s no other British band out there quite like Black Honey. Having spent the last four years perfecting the indie game, everything you think you know about them and their unique surrealist world is about to be wonderfully shaken up as they prepare to release their hugely anticipated debut album. With contradiction at every turn, it’s an album that celebrates being human, in all its different forms and by doing so, will touch the hearts of everyone that hears it. We’ve already heard Bad Friends earlier this year, but with the exception of 2016’s Hello, Today (the track that saw the band become a household name at Radio 1), and the 2017 closer Dig, the album is made up of entirely new music with 9 brand new songs on offer. Album opener I Only Hurts The Ones I Love is a fascinating Garbage-flavoured meander that sets the tone for the record brilliantly. From there, there’s stone cold classic Wasting Time, Lana Del Ray nodding slow-burner Blue Romanceand disco-pop Trojan horse Midnight – to name just a few. However, across the entirety of the record, you can always feel the bare bones of front lady Izzy B Phillips diary scribbles are just around the corner as the varying tracks switch between chart-headed bangers and scuzzy, industrial David Lynch inspired strangeness.

It’s the weird and wonderful mind of Philipps – her lovable but villainous, Milky-Bar-kid- meets-Debbie Harry persona – that you find very much at the heart of Black Honey. An open sufferer of both dyslexia and ADHD, she’s a huge advocate for self-expression without limit and has relied hugely on her band – Tom Dewhurst (drums), Tom Taylor (bass) and Chris Ostler (guitar) – to channel everything that comes from her obsessive and dizzyingly creative head and bottle it into music. The album as a result is ultimately a collage of chaos, shot straight at the heart – honest, inspiring and deeply infectious.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – High Visceral Part 1 and Part 2

A limited edition repressing of High Visceral Part One and Part Two. Having burst onto the scene in their homeland, releasing their first two LPs to widespread national acclaim, alongside supports with Royal Blood, Dune Rats and Black Mountain, the band have developed a staunch grassroots following with their captivating blend of psychedelia. The albums are fuzzy, heavy and echoes in your cranium with every beat. An epic detour of neon flavoured noise grows to entangle your dissolving brain. Savagely mutant energies bubble through the air. Your body is out of reach, turning itself into a sponge as your mind floats towards another dimension.

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Villagers  –  The Art of Pretending to Swim

On O’Brien’s fourth studio album, he excels at creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes, making it the perfect entry point for newcomers and raising the bar for what old fans should expect of him.

This record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of ‘Becoming a Jackal’ and ‘Awayland’, while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital. balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, this is his most brilliantly realised album to date. “Conor O’Brien dials down the intensity. the listener reaps the rewards” 4/5 – mojo. ***the deluxe lp exclusively includes a red vinyl 10” of a 12-minute version of ‘ada’ and b-side ‘this is the art of pretending to swim

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Mountain Man  – Magic Ship

Mountain Man did not intend to disappear for the better part of a decade, or to take eight years to release its second album, Magic Ship. But for a trio of devoted friends for whom music has always seemed so effortless and graceful, that’s simply how life went. The wondrous Magic Ship a magnetic fourteen-song reflection on the joys, follies, and oddities of existence—was well worth the wait. Magic Ship is a captivating album: The stunning Boat, where cooing harmonies frame Sauser-Monnig like drapes around a sunny window, sees a world of possibility in a little vessel along the riverbanks. The dashing AGT finds inspiration in flower blooms and bumble bees, discovering in the sights of nature a pure self-reliance. The magnetic Rang Tang Ring Toon celebrates a night spent hosting friends, sharing beans and music, and a skinny dip under the stars. There is sincerity and humour, depth and mirth, all rendered with three voices that have never been more connected. These songs distill eight years of experience between Made the Harbor and now—of sights seen, pleasures had, feelings hurt, forgiveness extended. These tunes are wise and tender, open and honest. Magic Ship conveys absolute warmth—like a snowbound afternoon spent indoors, passing a bottle of brown liquor between friends while putting old favourites on the turntable, or a long summer evening spent lounging beneath a shade tree, swapping stories and sharing laughs until the sun has vanished. after an eight year gap, these three young women return with a sophomore fortified by a deeper friendship, their harmonies sounding all the warmer and sweeter for it.

There is sincerity and humour, depth and mirth, all rendered with three voices that have never been more connected. fans of deep throat choir, trembling bells and lankum should check this out!

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Lala Lala  –

Lillie West is a songwriter who finds strength in vulnerability, through bracing hooks, sharp lyrics, and songs drenched in a profound, dreamy ambience ffo snail mail, mattiel, and tomberlin.

the 24-year-old songwriter and guitarist illustrates a nuanced look on her own adulthood – her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her. across the album’s 12 tracks, west carefully examines the skeletons in her closet asking herself agonizing questions about her life with a clever and hopeful curiosity. this mixture of melancholy and hope describes the tone of this album perfectly. it’s the kind of album to bolster your good times whilst softening the downs. “lala lala’s music is like watching an open wound being stitched up—jarring and healing”

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Mutual Benefit -Thunder Follows the Light

Mutual Benefit, the songwriting outlet for multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordan Lee releases a new album Thunder Follows The Light via Transgressive Records. Following his last outing, 2016’s acclaimed Skip A Sinking Stone, Lee marks his return with a patient and prismatic collection of songs accrued over the past two years. Lee — who grew up in Ohio and is currently based in New York — has crafted pop experiments for almost a decade, blending orchestral instrumentation and ambient electronic sounds. His new album features an array of friends and many returning collaborators. New History is the album’s truest folk song, with twangy harmonica and slide guitar. Its inspiration came to him while spending time in the economically depressed area of Ohio where his parents grew up. Storm Cellar Heart, is an ode to taking shelter and the fraught impulse to hide from the loudness of the outside world. It’s more of a long question than an answer: “Is it storms that help make the heart grow?”

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The Myrrors  –  Fuzz club Session

Complete with the band’s signature meandering violins, droning vocals and sprawling instrumentation, this live recording allows the tracks to take on an even more alluring and  hypnotic form.

The Myrrors are a mythical force in contemporary psychedelia and one of fuzz club’s most celebrated bands. the Arizona band’s fuzz club session is comprised of three utterly bewitching tracks that invoke images of the sandy plains of the sonoran desert which they call home, yet also draped in an influence of traditional eastern psychedelia

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Suede  –  The Blue Hour

After the critical and commercial success of the top 10 album – Night Thoughts (2016) Suede return with their stunning new album The Blue Hour. Brett and co amp up the melodrama with an anthemic record of widescreen balladry, augmented by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

This album was produced by Alan Moulder and Suede, and shares the same line-up as 1996’s ‘coming up’ – vocals by Brett Anderson, guitars by Richard Oakes, bass by Mat Osman, drums by Simon Gilbert, synthesisers and piano by Neil Codling. ***the super duper deluxe box set contains includes a specially mastered instrumental, a dvd featuring album commentary from the band and Alan Moulder, plus a never-before-seen video for ‘Don’t Be Afraid if Nobody Loves You’, an exclusive bonus track – ‘Manipulation’ – on 7” vinyl, lyric sheets and a collection of art cards. plenty to be getting on with!***

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Prince  –  Piano and Microphone 1983

hearing this legendary figure peacefully tinkering away on a humble cassette recording, we’re struck more than ever by the raw talent that would eternally be right at his fingertips.

The nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983. the rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into his creative process as he worked through songs including “17 days” & “Purple Rain” (neither to be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”, “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on ‘Sign O’ the Times’), & “International Lover”. the album also includes a rare recording of “Mary Don’t You Weep”, which many will have heard playing during the end credits of ‘Blackkklansman’. “the whole thing feels – thrillingly, poignantly – like you’re in the room with him” 4/5 – mojo. ***the deluxe edition includes a 12” booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince’s then engineer Don Batts, as well as candid shots of prince & never before seen photos.

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Ramones  –  Road to Ruin 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Limited Copies of the deluxe editon come with 13’ x 13” print of the Holmstrom drawing from the front cover of the album, 11×17″ poster and a postcard. The Ramones released the band’s fourth studio album, Road To Ruin, 40 years ago this September. Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny were joined for the first time by drummer Marky Ramone, who replaced founding member Tommy Ramone, who’d left to do more producing and writing for the band. It was also the album that introduced a nation of pinheads to the all-time Ramones’ classic I Wanna Be Sedated. To celebrate the milestone, the band release two versions on September 21st, a day before the anniversary of the album’s original release on September 22, 1978 – a 3CD/1LP 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and a newly remastered 1CD version of the original album.

3CD – The first disc of the Road To Ruin: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition features a remastered version of the original stereo mix for Road To Ruin and a new 2018 40th Anniversary Road Revisited mix created by Stasium, who strips off the original record’s commercial gloss and restores the album to its punk rock core. Stasium’s new mix is also featured on the 180-gram LP that accompanies this deluxe edition. The second disc offers up over twenty unreleased recordings, including rough mixes for every album track, starkly different alternate takes of two songs, and two unreleased outtakes: I Walk Out and S.L.U.G. – unfinished during the original recording sessions in 1978, and completed by Stasium for this anniversary release. Other highlights include three different versions of I Wanna Be Sedated, including the Ramones-on-45-Mega-Mix! released in 1988 as part of the campaign for the Ramones Mania compilation, as well as acoustic versions ofQuestioningly, Needles And Pins, and Don’t Come Close. The final disc has a previously unreleased recording of the band’s entire 1979 New Year’s Eve concert, which was mixed live by Stasium, and broadcast on WNEW-FM. Recorded in New York City at The Palladium, with audio sourced from Tommy Ramone’s original cassette of the console recording, it features blistering performances of Blitzkrieg Bop, Rockaway Beach, and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, along with several songs from Road To Ruin: I Don’t Want You, I Wanna Be SedatedandI Wanted Everything.

TOTAL ASSAULT: 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

MC5  –  Total Assault

For the 50th anniversary of the band’s incendiary debut, ‘Kick Out the Jams’, this limited edition collection features all 3 of the band’s albums with new art and previously unseen photographs.

Mc5 only released three albums, but they were ferocious, adventurous, and confrontational enough to secure the group’s place as one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll bands ever. the music on ‘total assault’ shows why the Mc5 is held is such high regard today with indelible tracks like “kick out the jams,” “human being lawnmower” and “sister anne.”

That’s quite enough of that. come back next week for some live action from nick cave, pixies’ ‘come on pilgrim’ & ‘surfer rosa’ 30th anniversary celebrations, & new music from mudhoney & marissa nadler. that’s just the start of it!

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This week my most awaited LP of 2018 thus far coming from the inimitable Low on their shadowy electronic masterpiece, ‘Double Negative’. There are synths akimbo on the new one from MCR up-n-comers Pale Waves, reminding me of a more youthful Kristin Kontrol (if only everyone loved that LP as much as I did), or a less saccharine Tegan & Sara. In fact, it’s a very electronic week on the heavy hitters, Those of you who love a good guitar can do FAR worse than The Goon Sax’s new outing on the ever-reliable Wichita Recordings, absolutely brimming with lyrical fire and melodic cleverness, and with the propulsive slacker vibes the Aussies do so well.

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Low  –  Double Negative

In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative co-writers, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

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Toy  –  The Willo

Since 2010, Toy have earned a reputation as a band of integrity, virtuosity and taste, with Tom, Maxim, Dominic, Charlie and (joining in 2015) Max creating a sound that is embedded in the underground tradition, yet distinctly their own. Now here comes a two-track twelve-inch on Tough Love, a foretaste of a forthcoming album in January 2019, which marks a new dawn for this most singular of bands.

‘The Willo’ is a dreamlike, seven-minute glide, redolent of a forest at sunset and just as pretty, but not without hints of malevolence. Maxim’s fingerpicking acoustic melds with electric twang from Dominic, and a whirling organ from Max Oscarnold gives this elegant creation an extra layer of disorientation and depth. “People appear to have seen Will-o’-the-wisp, a mysterious green-blue light, over the centuries. It generally means something ominous is about to happen”, says Tom.

Then there is ‘Energy’, which lives up to its name with thunderously metronomic drums from Charlie Salvidge and a ferocious guitar from Dominic O’Dair. The lyrics, culled from a story written by Max about a nighttime ritual, are obscured by the barrage-like forward momentum of the music.

The twelve-inch, recorded and mixed by the band between Oscarnold’s Stoke Newington flat and a south London studio, is the first release for Toy on their new label Tough Love, representing the latest stage in the evolution of the band. Since their inception, they have released the acclaimed albums Toy (2012), Join The Dots (2013) and Clear Shot (2016), and toured everywhere from Serbia to China, while holding onto that youthful, magical moment of discovering strange new worlds of innocence and experience.

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The Goon Sax

The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. Still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016, their brand of awkwardly transcendent teenage guitar pop took earned them wide-spread critical acclaim.

For album number two, they flew to Melbourne to record with James Cecil and Cameron Bird, respectively former/current members of Architecture In Helsinki, and ‘We’re Not Talking’ shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It’s a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion.

Drummer Riley Jones really comes to the fore here, joining Louis and James in singing lead and writing songs for the first time, making the band the musical equivalent of an equilateral triangle (the strongest shape in physics).

Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. ‘We’re Not Talking’ is a record made by restless artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes ‘We’re Not Talking’ even more of a marvel.

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Dilly Dally – Heaven

Heaven highlights Dilly Dally’s rough edges in all their ragged glory, drawing every potent ounce of energy from the foursome’s swampy tones, raspy vocals, and volatile rhythm section. While the music is undeniably ferocious, there’s uplift woven into the fabric of every track. The album opens with the dreamy “I Feel Free”, which begins as a floating, untethered soundscape before transforming into a soaring anthem for a world that’s ready to finally turn the page on all the darkness and disillusion the last few years have wrought. The inexorable “Believe” insists on self-confidence, while the driving “Sober Motel” celebrates the lucidity a clear mind, and the lilting “Sorry Ur Mad” makes a case for releasing yourself from the prisons of anger and resentment. Heaven carves out its own atheistic religion to get through the day, a faith that validates our pain as real but responds with a beaming light of hope. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]

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Slothrust  –  The Pact

Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Wellbaum confirms. “We were able to take risks. I’m saying yes more than no these days.”

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Pale Waves  – My Mind Makes Noises

After signing a record deal with Dirty Hit in 2017, Manchester’s Pale Waves released their debut single “There’s a Honey”, followed by “Television Romance”. The following year, the band were ranked fifth in the BBC Sound of 2018 poll and won the NME Under the Radar Award at the NME Awards. They now return with their debut album which features the singles ‘There’s A Honey’, ‘Television Romance, ‘Kiss’, ‘Eighteen’ and new single ‘Black’.

Pale Waves are Heather (vocals, guitar), Ciara (drums), Hugo (guitar) and Charlie (bass).

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Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers

Richard Thompson’s new album is his first self-produced record in over a decade. It’s a minimal and spacious recording which, according to Thompson, is a projection of current events in his life. “This has been an intense year for myself and my family, getting older doesn’t mean that life gets easier! There are surprises around every bend. I think this reflects in the immediacy of the stories, and the passion in the songs. Sometimes I am speaking directly about events, at other times songs are an imaginative spin on what life throws at you. The music is just a mirror to life, but we try to polish that mirror as brightly as possible.” 13 Rivers spans thirteen tracks. It is an album as much about growth as it is about reflection. Says Thompson, “I don’t know how the creative process works – I suppose it is some kind of bizarre parallel existence to my own life. I often look at a finished song and wonder what the hell is going on inside me. We sequenced the weird stuff at the front of the record, and the tracks to grind your soul into submission at the back.” [Limited black and cream colored vinyl pressing also available.]

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First Aid Kit – Tender Offerings

“Technically, Tender Offerings are the four songs that did not make it onto Ruins. For these ladies, these precious songs did not fit the bombastic folk-nature of the album. Instead, they truly felt like tender offerings; too sweet and soft in scope to be fluidly aligned with their other tracks. Once, you hear such gorgeous tracks like, “I’ve Wanted You” and “All That We Get” you will understand their point. Instrumentally, you feel every hook, melody, and chorus was precisely and clearly made as a cloud creates a raindrop. This duo turn their guitar melodies into field of amber strings dancing in the suns of their voices like grains move with daylight.”

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Paul Weller – True Meanings

To put it simply, True Meanings, the fourteenth Paul Weller solo album and the 26th studio album of his entire career, is a record unlike any he has ever made before. It’s characterized by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Weller’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited. A dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in, it’s both an album that his faithful audience has been wanting him to make for a long time, and an album that many new people outside of that audience will relate to.

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The Doors – Waiting For The Sun [Reissue/1968]

50th Anniversary reissue. This double-CD and single-LP collection features a new version of the album’s original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl LP, which has been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Bruce Botnick, the Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer. The CD set also includes a second disc of 14 completely unreleased tracks: nine recently discovered “rough mixes” from the album recording sessions and five live songs from a 1968 Copenhagen show.

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Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 DVD

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context.

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There’s some rather good albums out tomorrow. We have new records from Cowboy JunkiesMattielLulucRayland BaxterDirty ProjectorsLoticBody/HeadThe HunnaThe OpheliasImmersion and a new ‘Black Mirror‘ soundtrack, this time from Alex Somers and Sigur Ros on limited white vinyl.

Some nice reissues as well, with coloured vinyl from Tom Waits for the ‘Foreign Affairs‘ album which hasn’t been on vinyl for some years. We also have old albums made new from The LibertinesGrateful Dead, a repress of the King Gizzard ‘Polygondwanaland’ coloured vinyl on Fuzz Club (in standard sleeve packaging) and a Trojan Records 50th anniversary picture disc. Special mention must go to the Holger Czukay/David Sylvian ‘Plight & Premonition and Flux and Mutability’ albums released as a double LP.

Dirty Projectors – Lamp Lit Prose

‘Lamp Lit Prose’ arrives just over a year after 2017’s self-titled ‘Dirty Projectors.’ Here David Longstreth’s band returns with a new album that is the yang to the yin of the 2017 effort. The songs signal a page turned for Longstreth: hope instead of heartbreak, a restorative balance. Guitars have returned to the Dirty Projectors’ world, intricate and gorgeous vocal harmony too. The album begins with “Right Now,” David singing, “there was silence in my heart, but now I’m striking up the band.” In addition to the core musicians and guests, LA string group the Calder Quartet, and The Brass Players of Los Angeles both appear on several songs. ‘Lamp Lit Prose’ is a recommitment to the sounds and ideals of Dirty Projectors, embracing the band’s trademarks while pushing forward the sonic envelope.

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Cowboy Junkies   –  All That Reckoning

With Cowboy Junkies’ new album, All That Reckoning, the band once again gently shakes the listener to wake up. Whether commenting on the fragile state of the world or on personal relationships, this new collection of songs encourages the listener to take notice. It also may be the most powerful album Cowboy Junkies have yet recorded.

Jason Isbell  –  Sirens Of The Ditch

The debut album from accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive By Truckers, is reissued with four unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The addition of those extra songs finds ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ clocking in at 15 total tracks.

Sirens Of The Ditch’’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL, where the album was recorded.

Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers), ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on bass and Brad Morgan (Drive By Truckers) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on ‘Down In A Hole’, John Neff (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on ‘Dress Blues’ and Patterson himself guests on ‘Shotgun Wedding’.

“A strong debut, full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can’t be taught.”

Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Deafheaven’s new album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, finds them working with old friends again. The Jack Shirley-produced and Nick Steinhardt-art directed (of Touché Amoré) collection gets its title from Graham Greene’s novel The End of the Affair, referencing a moment when someone is looking for love, in all of its imperfection and simple beauty. This sentiment is carried throughout the hazy, yearning romanticism of the record with song titles and words as sumptuous as the sounds around them.

Clarke describes the composition of Ordinary Corrupt Human Love beginning with “small seeds of healing, repair, and rebirth,” and like each subsequent Deafheaven album, this record is, in fact, a revelation. Defeat has inspired some of our best art. If you survive something terrible, you surface on the other side, walk toward the light, and come back to life. If you’re an artist, this kind of new self-knowledge can lead to creating something universal and remembered, something that can live longer than you do.

While Deafheaven have managed to cross over this road in the past, they’ve nailed the feeling wholly with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, a feeling that comes with experience and wisdom. Yes, everybody deals with hurt, everybody’s been the cause of their own implosions, and everybody has the capacity to overcome and love again. Deafheaven have found a way to externalize all of this, and in making their most complete record to date, they turn it into a balm and a cathartic exorcism.

Body/Head – The Switch

Body/Head, the duo of Kim Gordon (CKM, Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, etc.) and guitarist Bill Nace (X.O.4, Vampire Belt, Ceylon Mange, etc), will release their second studio album, ‘The Switch’, on the 13th of July on Matador Records. Their debut album together as Body/Head, ‘Coming Apart’, from 2013, was more of a rock record

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Ben Folds  –  Brick

Brick – The Songs of Ben Folds, 1996-2012 features 13CDs housed in a unique brick box set.
This collection of 194 tracks spans the career to date of one of the most adventurous and exciting songwriters and performers of his generation, who has not only worked with a diverse range of artists including William Shatner, Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, but authors Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman.
In addition to featuring all the Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds’ solo studio albums, the box set also includes the 2002 Ben FoldsLive album, the live album Songs For Goldfish which accompanied the 2005 album Songs For Silverman, the alternative Seeds versions from Stems And Seeds, and all the bonus tracks, b-sides and rarities from the whole period. Ben Folds Five formed in in 1993, accompanied by Robert Sledge (bass, synthesizers, backing vocals) and Darren Jessee (drums,backing vocals), with Folds on lead vocals and piano, this outstanding musical trio forged a path as an incendiary live band. Releasing their self-titled debut album in 1995, the album featured such BFF’s classics as Underground and Philosophy. This was followed in 1997 by Whatever and Ever Amen. The album featured the singles, Battle Of Who Could Care Less and Kate, as well as UK Top 30 and mainstream radio hit in the USA and Australia, Brick. The third and final BFF’s album (until their 2012 reformation) was The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.

In 2001 Folds released his first solo album, Rockin’ The Suburbs, which was recorded in Adelaide, Australia, where he was living at the time. The title track was remade for the 2006 film Over The Hedge, featuring William Shatner on vocal duties (both versions appear on this box set, as well as the five other songs recorded for the film). This was followed in 2005 by Songs For Silverman, which reached no.13 on the Billboard chart. The next year Folds released Supersunnyspeedgraphic, a compilation of songs,which were originally released on the EPs Sunny 16, Speed Graphic and Super D. The final Folds solo album to appear in this box set is 2008’s Way To Normal, which is his highest-charting solo album to date in the US, having entered at no.11 on the Billboard chart. The album featured a guest appearance by Regina Spektor, as well as are mastered follow up version, Stems and Seeds. For this Folds created a different track order and stem files, which allowed the listener to use computer applications to produce their own remixes. In 2011, Ben Folds Five reunited to record new tracks for a Ben Folds retrospective. Excited by the experience, the band reconvened in Folds’ studio and recorded what would become the first BFF’s album for 13 years. With the title track’s lyric supplied by Folds collaborator Nick Hornby, The Sound of the Life of The Mind was to be their highest charting album, reaching no.10 on the Billboardchart. The box includes a 60 page booklet featuring a brand new interview with Paul Myers.

Grateful Dead  – Anthem of the Sun: 50th Anniversary Edition

Anthem of the Sun: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes two versions of Grateful Dead’s original album, both of which have been newly remastered: first, the original 1968 mix, and second, the 1971 remix. Both mixes of the albums were remastered by Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser from the original analog master tapes. The second disc boasts a previously unreleased complete live show recorded on October 22nd, 1967 at San Francisco’s Winterland.  It’s been newly  remastered by Jeffrey Norman and marks the first known recording of the Dead with Mickey Hart, who joined the band in September 1967.  A picture disc vinyl edition features the remastered 1971 mix only.

The Rolling Stones  – From the Vault: No Security – San Jose 1999 

The Rolling Stones revisit a 1989 performance from their No Security tour which extended from the band’s Bridges to Babylon outing.  This title will be released on DVD, 2CD/SD (Standard Definition) Blu-ray, 2CD/DVD, 3 LP, and digital audio and video platforms.  Whew!  (The 1998 concert album entitled No Security featured tracks culled from the Bridges to Babylon tour.)

Ben Folds Five  –  The Complete Sessions at West 54th 

This week brings a release from another longtime favorite!  Real Gone Music has the audio debut of Ben Folds Five’s June 9th, 1997 performance for PBS’ Sessions at West 54th of 15 songs including “Brick,” “Kate,” and “Battle of Who Could Care Less.”

This Week’s Releases

Rick Astley – ‘Beautiful Life’ LP
Rayland Baxter – ‘Wide Awake’ LP
Body/Head – ‘The Switch’ LP
Cowboy Junkies – ‘All That Reckoning’ LP
Holger Czukay & David Sylvian – ‘Plight & Premonition/Flux & Mutability’ 2LP reissue
Mikaela Davis – Delivery’ LP
Dirty Projectors – ‘Lamp Lit Prose’ LP
Grateful Dead – ‘Anthem Of The Sun’ picture disc LP reissue
The Hunna – ‘Dare’ limited sparkle vinyl LP
Immersion – ‘Sleepless’ LP
Jason Isbell – ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ 2LP reissue
The Jayhawks – ‘Back Roads & Abandoned Motels’ LP
The Libertines – ‘Time For Heroes: The Best Of’ red vinyl LP reissue
Lotic – ‘Power’ limited LP
LULUC – ‘Sculptor’ limited maroon vinyl LP
Mattiel – ‘Mattiel’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Nightmares On Wax – ‘Deep Shadows Remixes’ 12″
The Ophelias – ‘Almost’ green vinyl LP
OST: Alex Somers & Sigur Ros – ‘Black Mirror: Hang The DJ’ limited white vinyl LP
Pariah – ‘Her From Where We Are’ LP
The Rolling Stones – ‘From The Vault: No Security – San Jose 1999’ 3LP
Tom Waits – ‘Foreign Affairs’ LP reissue
Wolf Eyes – ‘Dread’ LP reissue
Yes – ‘90125’ limited coloured vinyl LP reissue
Adrian Younge & Ali Shaeed Muhammad – ‘The Midnight Hour’ 2LP
Various Artists – ‘Trojan Records 50th Anniversary’ picture disc LP

There were an astonishing amount of forthcoming albums announced this week that we now have for preorder.  Paul Weller has a new record ‘True Meanings’, out 14th September and a week later there is a new one from Christine & The Queens; you can choose between an English version, a French version or a deluxe box set that contains both versions. October 12th sees a brand new album from John Grant, ‘Love Is Magic’ is released on standard black vinyl 2LP and a limited deluxe clear vinyl 2LP that only us indie stores will have. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds release a live EP on the 28th September called ‘Distant Sky’.

Lots more new albums coming soon too on the way from Seasick Steve, The Proclaimers, Mikey Collins, Slaves,The Lemon Twigs, Black Honey, Nothing, Paul Haig, The Joy Formidable, Mudhoney,Marissa Nadler, Black Peaks, Birdpen and a limited remix 12″ from Parquet Courts.

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New releases for this week Kamasi Washington 4LP set, we’ve not managed to give it a full listen yet but what we’ve heard so far sounds really good. There is a brand new Nine Inch Nails album is also out tomorrow, we’ve heard just one track but can’t wait to get stuck into it tomorrow. If you missed out on the limited green vinyl for the Sleep album, now’s the chance to get the black vinyl LP version, it’s now in stock.

Also out are new albums from Panic At The Disco, Princess Nokia, Gang Gang Dance, Soulwax, and our favourites The Wave Pictures, an EP from Stella Donnelly . The best of the weeks releases are some really good reissues out tomorrow too from The Cure, Garbage, King Crimson, The Pogues. 

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Stella Donnelly –  Thrush Metal EP

The Thrush Metal EP originally came out last year, self-released by the artist on tape and digitally. Stella Donnelly quickly became one of Australia’s buzziest young singer-songwriters and now Secretly Canadian release the EP on Vinyl. Boys Will Be Boys is the standout track. Atop delicate, singsongy acoustic fingerpicking, Donnelly confronts a man who raped her friend and takes to task the accompanying victim-blaming. “Why was she all alone? / Wearing her shirt that low / And they said boys will be boys / Deaf to the word no,” she coos in the chorus, a slight vibrato flaring up at the corners of her lovely voice.

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 Warmduscher. – Whale City

The second album from Warmduscher. South London recidivists Warmduscher include members of Paranoid London, Fat White Family and Childhood. There is power in repetition. Longtime Warmduscher biographer Dr Alan Goldfarb describes Whale City as “a rock opera so vast in magnitude that – were in not for my being strapped naked to a chair in a garage – could send a man hurtling towards the outer perimeters of uncharted space.” It’s difficult to argue with. The characters that inhabit Whale City are, as the title suggests, larger than most aquatic life forms. A cast of millions. Pretty Lilly, Whale Jimmy, Uncle Sleepover, Ice Cream Keith, Disco Minny. The people you walk by late at night with bottles in their hands and money in their pockets. The woman with bright red lipstick and straight razor smiles. Thrill seekers to a person. Powerful. Intoxicated. Intoxicating. In the words of Clams Baker, Whale City is “a playground for the people that have stepped above and beyond their comfort zone.” What are you waiting for? If you love the repetition of the Fall, the chaos of Fat White Family and own a Pebbles or Nuggets compilations – then this a must have.

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The Wave Pictures  –  Brushes with Happiness

As one of the UK’s most prolific and beloved bands, it has become expected – nay, the fans have demanded – that The Wave Pictures release several albums a year. This year, they are releasing two albums and they’re kindly letting us know well in advance, so that we can set our calendars and save our pennies in anticipation. Starting with the spontaneous, recorded in one-day, minor-key, epic masterpiece that is Brushes with Happiness in June, the trio of Jonny Helm (drums), Dave Tattersall (guitar and vocals) and Franic Rozycki (bass), will be following up with a more up-beat party album, Look Inside Your Heart in October. Brushes With Happiness sees The Wave Pictures in contemplative and expansive mood. Mellower and more reflective than last year’s rock’n’roll surf-garage-rock collaboration with Charles Watson from Slow Club, as new band The Surfing Magazines, or 2016’s blues driven Bamboo Diner in the Rain or 2015’s Billy Childish produced Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon. This album is more akin to 2016’s acoustic release A Season in Hull, which, like Brushes With Happiness, was recorded live in one room in a single January day.

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Nine Inch Nails  – Bad Witch

Nine Inch Nails release Bad Witch, completing the trilogy that began with 2016’s Not The Actual Events and 2017’s Add Violence., Nine Inch Nails will launch COLD AND BLACK AND INFINITE NORTH AMERICA 2018 on September 13 with support The Jesus and Mary Chain. The band will bring their “musical, visual, emotional sensory onslaught,” as hailed by The New York Times, to some of the most iconic venues in the USA.

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Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson  –  Apart

Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson’s 5 Track EP Apart is the follow up to their critically-acclaimed 2009 album Break Up. The EP features four brand new recordings and a new version of Tomorrow, a song that originally appeared on Yorn’s last album, 2016’s ArrangingTime. Scarlett Johansson adds, “Being able to revisit this project with Pete in a totally different context but within the same creative parameters is a unique artistic opportunity for me. It is always a pleasure to sing with Pete because I think our voices and stories complement each other.”

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The Cure  –  Mixed Up

A reissue and remastered version of the Cure’s 1990 remix album Mixed Up. Featuring 11 remixes of their hits including; Lullaby, Close to Me, Pictures of You, Love Song and Why Can’t I be You?

3CD – Expanded Deluxe Edition with a second CD of long deleted remixes from 1982 to 1990 and a third CD containing 16 brand new Remixes done by himself, Torn Down: Mixed Up Extras 2018.

CD – Standard CD Version.

2LP – Double 180 Gram Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with Download. Half Speed Double Vinyl Mastered by Robert Smith and Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, London.

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Cream –  Live In Detroit ‘67

Cream, live at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MA on October 15th 1967. White-hot from two months of touring the US, Cream played this remarkable show shortly before the release of Disraeli Gears. Regarded by some as the finest live document of the trio in existence, it typifies their explosive chemistry, with some outrageous wah-wah from Clapton, thunderous bass from Jack Bruce, and virtuoso drumming from Ginger Baker. This show from Detroit’s Grande Ballroom on October 15th 1967, originally broadcast on WRIF-FM, is presented in full here, together with background notes and images.

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Spacemen 3  – For All The Fucked Up Children of This World We Give You

Space Age Recordings are pleased to announce the first official limited edition vinyl release of the album For All The Fucked Children Of This World We Give You Spacemen 3 (Sonic Boom a.ka. Peter Kember (Spectrum / E.A.R.) and Jason Pierce (Spiritualized). For All the Fucked Up Children from the neo-psychedelic trio Spacemen 3 was first released as a bootleg record in 1995. The record consists of Spacemen 3’s first ever recording session from 1984. The music itself sounds like a primitive version of what the group were to become; the dominating sound of the record is a slow, droning psychedelic blues performed with sparse instrumentation. A drum set is matched with a pair of distorted electric guitars, all of which provide a swirling foundation for Jason Pierce’s vocals. The album’s liner notes replicated here are actually an early review of the band by Gary Boldie, where he contemplates the city of Rugby and finds it an odd source for this new sound, and he declares Spacemen 3 as the “all singing, all dancing answer to the problems of a grey 1985.”

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Sorry  –  Showgirl

Sorry are back with a new 7”, following their previous 7” singles, Wished / Lies from last year and2 Down 2 Dance earlier in the year. The ferocious Showgirl is the third and last instalment of the band’s early singles period, produced by Frank Ocean and James Blake collaborator Sean Oakley, who also helmed the band’s 2017 debut single, Lies. Showgirl is a sordid and seedy 90’s sounding nugget with breathy and addictive vocals and spidery guitar work. Sorry just keep getting better and better.

Today also saw the announcement of the new Mogwai album

There’s also new albums coming from Death Grips (with an indie stores only limited clear vinyl LP), The Jayhawks, The Pineapple Thief, The Internet, Menace Beach, Pram,Villagers, Bellini, Rise Against, Helena Hauff, Tirzah, Kate NashThe Amity Affliction, Wild Nothing

There are five Flaming Lips albums coming back out that have not been on vinyl for years. We have the next Tom Waits reissue out on 13th July with ‘Foreign Affairs’ . There’s a set of Moody Blues 180g vinyl reissue coming soon, some of which will feature bonus tracks for the first time. and U2 wade in with three strong albums in ‘Achtung Baby’, ‘Zooropa’ and ‘The Best Of: 1980-1990’.  Also coming soon are reissues from Mick Ronson, REMand a ‘Best Of’ fromThe Libertines.

This Week’s Releases

The Cure – ‘Mixed Up’ black vinyl 2LP reissue
The Cure – ‘Torn Down’ black vinyl 2LP reissue

Stella Donnelly – ‘Thrush Metal’ 12″ EP
Richard Edwards – ‘Verdugo’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Richard Edwards – ‘Verdugo’ LP

Field Division – ‘Dark Matters Dream’ silver vinyl LP
Gang Gang Dance – ‘Kazuashita’ limited red vinyl LP
Garbage – ‘Version 2.0’ limited deluxe 3LP box set
Garbage – ‘Version 2.0’ orange vinyl 2LP reissue

King Crimson – ‘Discipline’ LP reissue
Danni Minogue – ‘Neon Nights’ 2LP reissue
The Nextmen vs Gentlemen’s Dub Club – ‘Pound For Pound’ LP
Nine Inch Nails – ‘Bad Witch’ LP
The Orb – No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds’ 2LP
Panic At The Disco – ‘Pray For The Wicked’ LP

The Pogues – ‘The Best Of’ LP reissue
Princess Nokia – ‘A Girl Cried Red’ limited red vinyl LP
Sleep – ‘The Sciences’ black vinyl LP
Soulwax – ‘Essential’ 2LP
Spacemen 3 – ‘For All The Fucked Up Children Of  This World’ LP reissue
Various Artists – ‘The Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin’ 2LP
Kamasi Washington – ‘Heaven & Earth’ 4LP set
The Wave Pictures – ‘Brushes With Happiness’ limited coloured vinyl LP

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Wooden Shjips  –  V

Wooden Shjips, long-time leaders of the contemporary psychedelic movement, expand their sound with V. On their fifth album the quartet of Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo), Omar Ahsanuddin, Dusty Jermier, and Nash Whalen augment their already rich sound with laid back, classic summer songs. Inspired by the tumult of the modern world, and the desire to offer a contrasting vision of peace, the band has created a record that lters their trademark hypnotic grooves through an optimistic lens, resulting in music that is bright and vital. Each song shimmers with a distinctly Wooden Shjips sound, a relaxed summer vibe. This was a conscious choice, an atmospheric goal that in uenced nearly every detail: the tones, the delay types and reverbs used, as well as the synthesizer elements that color the songs. The band’s members collectively share a love of classic rock from the Velvet Underground to Neil Young, as well as more overt love of the San Francisco scene of the 60’s. This commonality in their formative musical years binds them even as they live in different cities. Wooden Shjips has with V. created the most concise, laid back songs of their career. Their music is a balm of sorts, a respite from the insanity that, through its regenerative abilities, empowers continued, calm resistance. A reminder of the simple power of peace and beauty, V. is brimming with optimism and a peaceful energy, aptly timed for release at the height of spring.

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Halo Maud  –  ” Je Suis Une Île “

Halo Maud’s first release on Heavenly is a recap of the story so far ahead of an album release later this year – three tracks of this EP originally came out on a Canadian label last year, with the difference that Du Pouvoir now features some English lyrics, and À La Fin andDans La Nuit cropped up on a La Souterraine compilations in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Maud Nadal has been a member of both Moodoïd and Melody’s Echo Chamber’s live bands, and of course at times there are comparisons to be drawn with Melody’s Echo Chamber, with both teetering on a crystalline peak where extreme joy and despair meet. But if anything Nadal’s own melodies are even more indelible, and her voice turns them into vapour trails.

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Gretchen Peters – Dancing With The Beast

Dancing with the Beast, the new album from Gretchen Peters, puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women. And intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and the #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing time, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. She admits, “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to ‘Independence Day’ and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center.” Though Peters doesn’t consider herself a political writer, she is politically minded and, therefore, knew she had to address the 2016 election and all that has happened since… but in her own way. There’s a bittersweet beauty to the passing of time – the changes it brings are just as often heartbreaking as they are heartwarming. The inevitable tension that arises from that sway is Gretchen Peters‘ most trusted muse. With melody supporting that melancholy, the songs on the new album combine to lift the effort over the high artistic bar set by her last outing, 2015’s award-winning Blackbirds.

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Wand  –  Perfume

If the emblem of Wand’s Plum was the stark blue cloud a condensation, a linking between longing molecules, data hungering for more data, a flotilla of vapor between eye and sky – then Wand’s new EP reeks of something more forceful, more seductive, more intoxicating, more insidious: this is Perfume. Here are six electric hues, shocks of light that flagrantly provoke the dark, a posy’s clutch of purple, fuchsia, green and snowy white that curl against a stench of plague. Recorded between tours and fire seasons in Grass Valley, CA by Tim Green, Perfume’s potent, expansive tunes were mixed in Woodstock, NY by Daniel James Goodwin. The band features Sofia Arreguin, Evan Burrows, Robbie Cody, Cory Hanson and Lee Landey. There’s a kind of return here, a haunting, the deja vu you only take in through a curious nose. Your nose invites the world inside your skull. A familiar fragrance finds you when you thought you’d let a lover go, but it won’t linger like a lover, flickering away with the breeze toward a yawning future.

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Judee Sill  –  Songs of Rapture and Redemption: Rarities and Live

Judee Sill may not have been commercially successful in her short recording stint, but her influence looms large with recording artists such as Warren Zevon, Andy Partridge, Liz Phair, Beth Orton, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy and more having covered her songs. The Turtles recorded Lady-O in 1969, two years before Sill’s 1971 debut album on Asylum Records contained that song. This brand new collection includes demos and live recordings that are making their debut on the vinyl format and have never sounded better. With new artwork, liner notes and deluxe packaging, this limited ROG release should not be missed.

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Cream –  BBC 1966 – 1967

Clapton, Bruce, and Baker are responsible for some of the most classic BBC live recordings of the 60s. Recorded for several different programs between November ’66 and October ’67 there are raw versions of classics likeStrange Brew, andTales Of Brave Ulysses, as well as great blues covers and a fascinating series of interviews with Clapton, these are essential live sets for any serious Cream collector. Limited edition splatter vinyl LP.

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The Smithereens  –  Covers

The Smithereens – Pat DiNizio, Jim Babjak, Mike Mesaros and Dennis Diken dip deep into their archives to present Covers, a tribute to the songs and the artists that shaped their career. The album presents a heavy dose of British Invasion paying homage to the Kinks, the Beatles, the Who and T. Rex. The Smithereens were also influenced by a fair number of homegrown heroes too including Springsteen, Sinatra, Iggy Pop, The Beach Boys and more. The Smithereens are known for writing and playing catchy 1960s-influenced power pop. The group gained publicity when the single Blood and Roses from its first album was included on the soundtrack for Dangerously Close, and the music video got heavy rotation on MTV. During the course of their career the Smithereens racked up 2 platinum albums and 1 gold record.

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Jenny Hval  – The Long Sleep

The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs. All of the songs on the EP recycle the same compositional motives, but manipulate them into very different shapes that take them further and further out of their original, “life-like” context. Hval recorded The Long Sleep with longtime collaborator Havard Volden and producer Lasse Marhaug, along with an ace new supporting cast of talented players from the jazz world — Kyrre Laastad on percussion, Anja Lauvdal on piano, Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, and Eivind Lønning on trumpet. Hval calls them some of her favorite contemporary musicians, and their musical background helps to give the songs on The Long Sleep their intuitive, improvised feel.

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The Heads  –  RKT

Timely reissue of the first 3 releases The Heads put out on the Rocket label, from their first split 7” release (with Lilydamwhite) in 1998 to their much lauded Sessions 2 freakout 12” from 2002… compiled here in their remastered glory, the Heads were quite prolific back in the late 90s / early 00’s, and in between the Everybody Knows We Got Nowherealbum andUndersided album they released their jams and raw rehearsals via the burgeoning Rocket Label. Compiled here with extensive sleeve notes from Rocket founder Simon Healey, this limited 3LP (1000 copies) and 2CD (1000 copies) set captures the band at their most laconic and free… psychedelic sprawling morass or sound and aural distortion grooves akin drawing from their wide influences…also from simply plugging in and letting go. LP and CD both come with booklet

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Pink Floyd  –  BBC 1967 

Performing on 4 different dates in 1967, the year they released their first album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, this is Pink Floyd at their early, psychedelic, and raw best. Their showing in May of that year, for the program The Look Of The Week, was probably the earliest live video recording of the group and includes amazing versions of Pow R. Toc H. and Astronomy Domine. Two more recordings for the program Top Gear, which showcased the underground hipster scene of London, and one for Tomorrow’s World round out this amazing collection of early Floyd, including great versions of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Flaming and Vegetable Man. Essential live recordings of Pink Floyd during their greatest era! Limited edition splatter vinyl LP.

 

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There are some great releases out this week, with the new Blossoms LP having been eagerly awaited by everyone from the young to the… less young,  There is a standard CD edition and a deluxe 2CD edition (inc. acoustic versions of all the tracks on the album), a standard LP and an in-store only deluxe LP with the same acoustic versions as found on the CD!  Also a new Okkervil River LP which, though more political, still maintains the playful but sincere songwriting charm and perfectly measured anthemic melodicism we’ve come to expect from them.

As well as those two, a superb new Speedy Ortiz you really need to hear this one, it’s excellent and an evolved follow-up to 2014’s ‘Hills End’ from the DMA’s, mixing the jangling britpop era guitars of Oasis etc with some more refined production, and psychedelic influence from the years since the britpop ‘boom’.

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Blossoms – Cool Like You

Blossoms second album sees them return with 11 tracks of 80s inspired synth-layered pop bliss. On lead single I Can’t Stand It, the band bring the tempo up and combine it with cascading synth riffs, while There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) brings a previously unheard anthemic rock quality to the bands sound.

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Forth Wanderers  –  Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon the demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop debut, is the groups’ most comprehensive and assured statement yet.

Now living in Ohio and New York respectively, Guterl and Trilling have evolved their separate but collaborative writing process. “The only way I can really write is by myself in my room with a notebook, listening to the song over and over again,” Trilling says. “I’ve never sat down to write a story, I write the song as it unfolds.” Since her lyrics are often embedded with intimate truths from her life, the private writing experience often leads to intense self-reflection.

On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take “Not for Me,” a romping track about “the ambivalence of love.” Trilling’s confession of “I can’t feel the earth beneath my feet/Flowers bloom but not for me” resists feeling like a dreary, pitying complaint; instead, as her bandmates bolster her melancholy with interlocking harmonic intricacies, she soars with self-actualization. Opener “Nevermine,” is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image. “I don’t think I know who you are anymore/And I think I knew who I was before,” she jabs with relish. On “Ages Ago” Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.”

Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of their earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded sharper, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling sounds more self-assured than ever. These are exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.

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DMA’s  –   For Now

Produced by the band alongside Kim Moyes of The Presets, For Now is a gloriously uplifting album of beautifully honed, passionately emotive rock’n’roll songs. A teaser of what to expect emerged late last year when intro track Dawning was released. Demonstrating that the DMA’S are brimming with confidence, its crowd-pleasing hook and rich melodies made for the kind of timeless indie anthem that bands rarely seem to write any more.While the collection echoes the strident, hook-heavy Britpop and Madchester influences of the band’s debut on tracks such as the explosive opener For Now and Depeche Mode-esque Do I Need You Now?, it’s also an album that demonstrates a very organic evolution. The End (written by guitarist Johnny Took) shows Kim Moyes’ influence with its dark electronic production and synths, while the psychedelic-tinged Emily Whyte (written by guitarist Matt Mason) erupts into an epic, blissed out album closer.

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Speedy Ortiz  – Twerp Verse

“Necessary brattiness” is the motto for Speedy Ortiz’s dauntless new collection of songs, Twerp Verse, out via Carpark Records. The follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed Foil Deer, the band’s latest indie rock missive is prompted by a tidal wave of voices, no longer silent on the hurt they’ve endured from society’s margins. But like many of these truth-tellers, songwriter, guitarist and singer Sadie Dupuis scales the careful line between what she calls being “outrageous and practical” in order to be heard at all. Twerp Verse, Speedy’s third album and first with Philadelphian Andy Molholt (Laser Background) on second guitar, is urgent and taut, adding surprising textures like Linn drums and whirled guitar processing to their off- kilter hooks. The band’s camaraderie and crate-digging is evident, with diffuse reference points like Squeeze, Hop Along, Prince, Paramore, and Brenda Lee being sucked into the band’s chaos. Even when Dupuis sings of alienation and political weariness, the pop maelstrom swirling around her provides a defiantly charged, mussed-but-hooky optimism.

LP+ – Deluxe LP is pink coloured vinyl with rainbow splatter in Gatefold jacket. Includes Bonus 7” (A Side: Le Mans B Side: Saint Fret) Includes Lyric Sheet Insert and Download.

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Tiny Ruins – Some Were Meant For Sea

Reissue of the New Zealanders album on Gold vinyl with Download Code. Never before released on vinyl in the UK the album, Some Were Meant For Sea exists in dappled warmness: Fullbrook’s striking vocal timbre conjuring a natural imagery born from earth and sea. Recorded in a diminutive hall, once the local school of South Gippsland, Fullbrook worked with producer J Walker (Holly Throsby, Machine Translations) and between the pair, some cello, violin, piano and accordion were added to the otherwise bare-boned songs, which were all recorded entirely live.

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Album of the week has to go to Simply Saucer, one of my all time favourite records, a legendary proto-punk classic and a must for any fans of The Velvet Underground/The Stooges/Modern Lovers or weirdo Psych-punk. So chuffed that In The Red have reissued this with a bonus Live LP too. Gwenno returns for her second album in an unfathomable language (to me anyway), with ‘Le Kov’ sung entirely in Cornish, but retaining every bit of the interest that had her last LP playing constantly in the shop. All-round top producer and session musician Jonathan Wilson has a new full-length out, the latest since his 2103 stormer, Fanfare. It’s no surprise that he’s really not missed a trick on the production front, but the songs themselves are stunning, heartfelt and unmissable.

Soccer Mommy’s new one covering the jangly lo-fi end of the spectrum with aplomb, sounding like a grungy distillation of the 90’s with today’s saturated tape aesthetic, brilliantly varied but hugely satisfying. If this isn’t quite heavy enough for you, then you could do worse than the storming Moaning LP on Sub Pop, at points sounding like a bastard child of NY hardcore and melodic post-punk, but brought together with a wonderously heavy, but undeniably glossy aesthetic.

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The impassioned, self-titled debut from Los Angeles-band Moaning produced by Alex Newport.
Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after they met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future. The trio began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for Don’t Go, setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heartbreak to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream.

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Suuns are pleased to announced their new album, Felt, coming out March 2nd on Secretly Canadian. Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie says, “This record is definitely looser than our last one [2016’s Hold/Still]. It’s not as clinical. There’s more swagger.” You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. It’s both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums [Zeroes QC and Images Du Futur] with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

Complementing O’Neill are the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song on Felt while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about “freaky post-techno” and Frank Ocean’s use of space, he’s among your more modest studio desk jockeys: “Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played – hitting ‘record’ and ‘stop’. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music.”

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Titus Andronicus A Productive Cough

Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] has been conditioning faithful listeners to expect only the unexpected. With A Productive Cough, +@ has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.” In a move that may infuriate the black-denim-and-PBR set, A Productive Cough sets aside leadfooted punk anthems in favor of a subtler, more spacious approach that pushes Stickles’ soul-baring songwriting to the fore, creating an intimacy between artist and audience with which previous +@ efforts had only flirted. “[+@] records have always had their fair share of ballads,” Stickles explains, “but they were always buried amidst a lot of screaming. Now, they are the cornerstones. Punk rock is nice, but it is but one tool in the toolbox from which I pull to achieve my artistic purpose, and that purpose has always been communication and validation. This time, perhaps I can more effectively talk to the people if I am not so busy yelling at them.” The mission of A Productive Cough is apparent from the first bars of opening track “Number One (In New York).” As a tableau of piano and dulcet horns unfolds, Stickles unleashes a breathless and unceasing 64-bar verse with subject matter as sprawling as the kitchen-sink arrangement, which grows to include sparkling guitars, twinkling bells, and uplifting choral vocals as Stickles searches desperately for the strength to carry on through an increasingly violent and frightening world.

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Darlingside – Extra Life 

Extralife is the follow up to the band’s 2015 breakthrough, the highly praised Birds Say. Where Birds Say was steeped in childhood nostalgia and the loss of innocence, Extralife finds Darlingside looking to the future, mourning the loss of our world with an almost post-apocalyptic view. While the subject matter may seem bleak, Extralife is not without an underlying sense of hope and optimism. Extralife looks at hard truths ranging from societal issues, politics, environmental concerns and religious tensions as catalysts for where we may be headed. While the issues of today dominate every form of media and communication, Darlingside views it all from a different lens. The group looks past the now and predicts the life to which we could potentially be headed as a fictional narrative, but is it? How the group could address such a dark subject with such artistic beauty and grace is a testament to the distinctive nature of Darlingside.

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Tracey Thorn –  Record

Tracey Thorn’s first solo album of entirely original material for seven years.

Describing Queen, Tracey says: “It’s a great opener for the album – driven along by Ewan Pearson’s unashamedly glittering electro-pop production, drums and bass from Warpaint’s Stella and Jenny, it features me playing electric guitar for the first time in a while, and singing my heart out.”

As ever the personal has often been political in Tracey Thorn’s work. “Nine feminist bangers,” Tracey Thorn jokes when asked to describe ‘Record.’ If this album is in part about freedom and disenthrallment, new single ‘Queen’ is the opening broadside, all personal fire and desire. Her voice, self-assured and richly-textured, yet confessional and affecting, spits out the lyrics on ‘Record’ with a fresh compelling drive and remains one of the finest female pop voices of the last four decades.

”I think I’ve always written songs which chronicle the milestones of a woman’s life.” she says. “Different ages and stages, different realities, not often discussed in pop lyrics. If 2010’s Love and Its Opposite was my mid-life album – full of divorce and hormones – then ‘Record’ represents that sense of liberation that comes in the aftermath, from embarking on a whole new ‘no fucks given’ phase of life.”

On Record, the synth-driven tracks arrive and leave with a punchy sub-three-minute directness. “I wanted it to be a record you’d listen to in the daytime,” Tracey says. “On your headphones or on the move. Not necessarily in the evening, or in your bedroom.” For all its no-fuss pop brevity, the album rotates around Sister, a dubby nine-minute Compass Point-style disco jam where Tracey is joined again by Warpaint’s rhythm section and glorious backing vocals from Corinne Bailey Rae.

Across four decades Tracey’s songs and writing have offered up a clear-eyed woman’s view of the immediate world around her; from the acerbic teen love songs of her first early-eighties band Marine Girls, through sixteen years as one half of articulate multi-million-selling duo Everything But The Girl to her recent acclaimed memoirs and journalism.”

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Lucy Dacus –  Historian

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock’s most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. “This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. “Everything after this is a bonus.”

Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus’ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

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The Men  Drift

Drift is the seventh full-length by NYC rock polymaths The Men. The band’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find.

The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the album drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts.

The album was recorded to 2″ tape with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices) at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn. A whole pile of instruments was involved — synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike recent releases from The Men, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift — a reflection of the personalities of its makers becoming less frantic, Chiericozzi suggests. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel. The songs on Drift took giant leaps and trips from their beginnings only to find the band returning to the first spark of creation.

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Soccer Mommy – Clean

Following on from last years compilation “Collection”, Nashville based Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy now brings us her debut album proper. Produced by Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Beirut), the new album is a huge step up from her earlier bedroom recordings. The fuller sound works perfectly with Sophie’s finely crafted, bitter-sweet pop songs that have a world weary quality beyond her 20 years.

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Jonathan Wilson  Rare Birds

Jonathan Wilson had a busy 2017, producing Father John Misty’s grammy nominated Pure Comedy and touring arenas around the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters (for whom he also contributed to the lauded Is This The Life We Really Want? album.) Wilson also saw widespread acclaim heaped on Karen Elson’s sophomore LP Double Roses, which he recorded with her in Los Angeles in 2016.

But it’s not looking like Wilson is going to get much of a rest in 2018 either, as he’ll be continuing on with the worldwide Waters tour and is set to release his own new solo album Rare Birds in the spring. The highly anticipated long player – which features backing vocals from Lana Del Rey, Josh Tillman, fellow Roger Waters bandmates Lucius and an extraordinary musical gift from otherworldly Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji – will be released through Bella Union worldwide.

Although much of the album is comprised lyrically of meditations on a failed relationship and its aftermath, Wilson insists that Rare Birds is not really a concept album. “It’s meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music that includes elements consciously and purposefully to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It’s all in there.”

And, for this one, music critics will need to retire the comparisons to heritage rockers and Laurel Canyon troubadours as they’re hardly useful anymore. Wilson’s new sound takes a synthetic/acoustic, best-of-both-worlds analog/digital hybrid approach to achieve the complexity, sonic density and glossy hi-fi coating of Rare Birds. Heard for the first time on a Jonathan Wilson album are the sounds of synthesizers and drum machines.

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The Breeders  All Nerve

All Nerve – the first new album from The Breeders in a decade – reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, the line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash.

The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material since then.

Featuring singles ‘Wait in the Car’ and title track ‘All Nerve’, recording took place at Candyland, Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, Ohio. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with The Breeders since their first album, Pod

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Simply Saucer  –  Cyborgs Revisited

Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John Ping Romany LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked Bullet Proof Nothing, an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused. Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center!

Last but Most Importantly, Patrick, Stu and Katy (or not Patrick, Stu and Katy, depending on how secretive they want to be) are now hither forth to be known as TALKING DRUMS, their record is out now and available in-stores! I’ll eat my hat if this one doesn’t fly off the shelf because it’s Amazing, and you need to hear it.

This weeks —–
Simply Saucer – Cyborgs Revisited – In The Red
Pye Corner Audio – Where Things Are Hollow – Lapsus
Street Sects – Rat Jacket – Flenser
Turbonegro – Rocknroll Machine – Burger Records
Dwarves – Take Back The Night – Burger Records
Hans Zimmer – True Romance OST – Enjoy The Ride
Max Eastley/ Steve Bereford/ Paul Burwell & David Toop – Whirled Music – Black Truffle
Dead Moon – Cracks In The System – Mississippi Records

There are some storming new release’s tomorrow. There’s albums out from Franz Ferdinand, Ezra Furman, Joan As Police Woman, Brigid Mae Power, MGMT, Son Lux,GoGo Penguin, Fu Manchu, Susanna and a ‘Best Of’ from Bring Me The Horizon (with a very limited red vinyl version still available). Reissues? Of course! How about coloured vinyl from Lords Of The Underground ,Or the first three Ramones albums? Or a fantastic compilation of Nina Simone early recordings?. 

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Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers

SLEEPWALKERS sees Brian Fallon once again pushing timeless rock ‘n’ roll into the modern era, recasting British Invasion rock, first generation UK punk, and American pop and soul into a near irresistible sound he’s dubbed – with a nod and a wink towards The Who – as “Heavy R&B.”

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Ezra Furman  –  Transangelic Exodus

Transangelic Exodus Ezra Furman’s second album for Bella Union, is a new landmark for the American singer-songwriter: “not a concept record, but almost a novel, or a cluster of stories on a theme, a combination of fiction and a half-true memoir,” according to its author. “A personal companion for a paranoid road trip. A queer outlaw saga.” The music is as much of an intense, dramatic event, full of brilliant hooks, with an equally evolved approach to recorded sound to match Furman’s narrative vision. In honour of this shift, his backing band has been newly christened: The Boy-Friends are dead, long live The Visions. In other words, the man who embodies the title of his last album Perpetual Motion People is still on the move… Or in the vernacular of the new album, on the run. His musical DNA remains intact – a thrilling, literate form of garage-punk rooted in The Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman and ‘50s rock’n’roll.
Standout tracks include the album’s lead single Driving Down To LA, a sparse, but explosive, mix of doo-wop and digital crunch. Another is the haunting Compulsive Liar. Transangelic Exodus addresses another kind of coming out, as Furman addresses his Jewish faith on record much more openly than before, from the shivery ballad God Lifts Up the Lowly (which includes a verse in Hebrew) to the exquisite Psalm 151 and the line “I believe in God but I don’t believe we’re getting out of this one” in Come Here Get Away From Me, a heady blend of rock’n’roll rumble and ghostly clarinet. Crossing between love, gender, sexuality and religion, and singing in solidarity with the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened, Ezra Furman has soundtracked the current fear and loathing across America like no other, while pushing ahead with his own agenda, always on the move.

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Jay Som –  Jay Som

Jay Som is the moniker of San Francisco-based musician Melina Duterte who, at 22, has already self-released a debut album: a collection of finished & unfinished songs titled “Turn Into”, signed to Polyvinyl Records, and is opening for Mitski across the US and Canada. “Turn Into” sees a wide release this July via Polyvinyl (and vinyl/CD later this year). “Turn Into” was recently described by Pitchfork as “deceivingly textured and intricate pop songs—flush with nimbly intertwined guitar melodies and distressed fidelity”. While Gold Flake Paint said of Duerte: “Melina Duerte is a wizard. Quite how she manages to eek such lustrous, iridescent wonder out of a collection of scraps (“finished and unfinished songs”) is proof that what lies in her songwriting is something mystical, an intangible force of feeling that floods the rooms and walls within which it finds itself”.

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MGMT – Little Dark Age 

MGMT release their fourth album Little Dark Age – the follow-up to their 2013 self-titled album is released via Columbia. It features production from Patrick Wimberly (formerly of Chairlift) and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala). MGMT are back and more creative, robust, toned and energised in years. The best songs have that eccentric edge but with the pop layer of 2008 debut Oracular Spectacular. Opener She Works Out is a mangled, sunshine pop take on Air’s Sexy Boy whilst You’re Small is an Alice in Wonderland take on the Beatles Across the Universe. It’s a record that embodies a whole world of vulnerability, confusion and unsteadiness without losing shape. Little Dark Age is back to MGMT’s crowd pleasing best.

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Twin Peaks – Sweet ’17 Singles

Throughout the second half of 2017, Chicago’s Twin Peaks released a run of a half dozen limited-edition 7″ singles the band affectionately dubbed Sweet ’17. Only 300 copies of each 7″ were made, and subscriptions sold out almost immediately. But due to popular demand, Twin Peaks have compiled all of the songs from the series onto a LP release. Sweet ’17 Singles follows in the footsteps of Down In Heaven, the band’s 2016 full-length release, which expanded on the garage-inspired sounds of 2014’s Wild Onion.

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Bat Fangs –  Bat Fangs

NC/DC superghouls Bat Fangs pick up where Roky & the Aliens blasted off — cranking acid-soaked ’80s hard rock for the living and the dead. Making heady heavy music for third eyes and stiff upper lips, Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) shreds ‘n’ howls over Laura King’s (Fleshwounds, The Moaners) deep-thunder drums. Let the Bat Fangs sink in!

Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane – Mahonneys Last Stand OST

What do two Faces do when their lead singer (bon vivant Rod Stewart) doesn’t show up for the Ooh La La recording sessions? They work on a soundtrack for an obscure film by actor and friend Alexis Kanner (most famous for his guest roles on the late-’60s TV series The Prisoner), and draft the uppermost rank of British rock royalty to play on it!

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Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

Always Ascending’ is nothing short of a rebirth. The album’s ten songs are a triumphant recasting of one of everyone’s favourite groups, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending is the new album from Franz Ferdinand. the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove. Always Ascending shows Franz Ferdinand broadening their palate, as exuberant as it is euphoric, creating a sound that singer, Alex Kapranos, refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.”

Joan As Police Woman – Damned Devotion

A new album from Joan As Police Woman, which sees a return to the darker, sensual sound of her celebrated early releases. ‘Damned Devotion’ finds Joan Wasser at her rawest yet. Brand new album from Joan As Police Woman, which sees a return to the darker, sensual sound of her celebrated early releases. A beautiful soul-searching record and the one that Joan has spent her whole life building up to.

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Various Artists Revolutionary Spirit – The Sound of Liverpool 1976 – 1988

Extensive 5CD / book set exploring the ‘second wave’ of music on Merseyside, from 1976-1988 Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more. 5CD and 56 page A5 book format contains many artists’ own sleeve-notes, previously unseen photographs and essays from key observers and participants in the city’s music scene – Bernie Connor, Mike Badger, Yorkie and Joe McKechnie. Curated and designed by the people who brought you Scared To Get Happy, Still In A Dream, Manchester – North Of England, Silhouettes And Statues and many more extensive box sets. A remarkable journey through the music of a generation inspired and enabled by punk rock to step out from behind the shadow to the Fab Four. Packed with first-hand artist sleeve-notes, insightful essays, imagery and brilliant, essential music, this is a story long in need of telling.

Robert Plant – Live At David Lynch’s FESTIVAL OF DISRUPTION (DVD)

Eagle Rock Entertainment release Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters Live At David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption. Filmed as part of one of Los Angeles’s most anticipated cultural events, David Lynch’s inaugural Festival of Disruption took place at the Ace Hotel Theatre, LA in October 2016, raising funds for The David Lynch Foundation.

Performing with The Sensational Space Shifters since 2012, Robert Plant continues to shift the musical goalposts, blurring the lines between rock, blues, folk & world music and finding new life in exotic beats and African rhythms. With a set including a new take on beloved Led Zeppelin classics, stripped down versions of ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ are met with a rapturous response from the packed theatre audience, with whom Plant enjoys a genuine rapport. Also included are ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ and ‘Going to California’, alongside solo standouts ‘Turn It Up’, ‘The Enchanter/Rainbow’ and ‘Little Maggie’. This is a rare opportunity for fans to witness the legendary frontman as they’ve never seen or heard him before. This David Lynch curated event aims to feature artists with ‘knowledge and mystery’, undoubtedly Robert Plant has an abundance of both

9th February
Bring Me The Horizon – ‘2004-2013’ limited vinyl 2LP
Bring Me The Horizon – ‘2004-2013’ 2LP
Don Broco – ‘Technology’ limited picture disc 2LP & CD box set

Europe – ‘Out Of This World’ limited blue vinyl LP reissue
Brian Fallon – ‘Sleepwalkers’ 2LP
Franz Ferdinand – ‘Always Ascending’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Fu Manchu – ‘Clone Of The Universe’ LP
Ezra Furman – ‘Transangelic Exodus’ coloured vinyl LP
Gogo Penguin – ‘A Humdrum Star’ limited coloured vinyl 2LP
Holy Motors – ‘Slow Sundown’ LP
Joan As Police Woman – ‘Damned Devotion’ limited pink vinyl LP
Brigid Mae Power – ‘The Two Worlds’ LP
MGMT – ‘Little Dark Age’ LP
OST – ‘Three Days Of The Condor’ limited gold vinyl LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Ramones’ remastered LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Leave Home’ remastered LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Rocket To Russia’ remastered LP reissue

Nina Simone – ‘Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles’ LP & 7″
Son Lux – ‘Brighter Wounds’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Susanna – ‘Go Dig My Grave’ LP
The Wombats – ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ LP
Betty Wright – ‘I Love The Way You Love’ LP reissue

Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane – Mahoney’s last Stand OST CD

Toto – 40 Trips Around The Sun CD, 2LP

Johnny Greenwood – Phantom Thread CD
Chicane – Chicane – Sun:Sets 2018 2CD
Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters – 
Live At David Lynch’s Festival Of Disruption DVD