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Ra Ra Riot  have unveiled the opening track, “Flowers.”taken from their forthcoming fifth studio album, “Superbloom”, set for release August. 9th via Rob the Rich Recordings/Caroline.

The album will be the indie rockers’ first release since the four LPs they launched through Seattle indie label Barsuk, The summery new single was co-written and produced by the band’s frequent collaborator Rostam Batmanglij, once a member of Vampire Weekend, and a songwriter who has worked with the likes of Maggie Rogers and Haim.

“Flowers” follows previously released tracks “Bad To Worse” and “This Time Of Year,” Upbeat and kinetic, “Flowers” pops off vibrantly as blurred pixels of pinks and greens oscillate around the screen before speeding up to match the opening progression as vocalist Wes Miles launches into the first verse.

“We had it good for two years in the truck until we realized our luck had dried up,” he sings, reminiscing about a past relationship. Behind the upbeat track are lyrics tinged with regret as the speaker wonders if he should have stayed in the relationship and in the house they shared.

“Do I wonder if I should have stayed? Every night, every day,” he admits. But even though he’s been dreaming and thinking about the relationship, he knows it’s best left in the past.

“So don’t bring flowers to my grave. Say goodbye from far away,” he finishes to a buoyant backtrack.

Born out of Syracuse University house shows, Ra Ra Riot comprises Wes Miles on vocals, Mathieu Santos on bass, Milo Bonacci on guitar, Rebecca Zeller on violin and Kenny Bernard on drums. The band’s pop-infused single is representative of their new album as a whole, according to a press release, which calls Superbloom “their most extravagantly realized work to date.”

“At the same time, the band maintains the offbeat eclecticism they’ve embraced since first forming as a baroque-pop outfit back in the mid-2000s, embedding Superbloom’s lavish arrangements with elements of psychedelia, new wave, punk and country,” the release continues.

Ra Ra Riot’s last studio LP was 2016’s Need Your Light. The band also celebrated their 10th anniversary and the launch of their debut album The Rhumb Line with a tour last year. The band is back at it again with another busy year of releases and touring,

“Superbloom”, set for release August. 9th via Rob the Rich Recordings/Caroline.

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Canadian outfit Dizzy have released their first new music since last year’s impeccable debut “Baby Teeth” in the shape of new single ‘Twist’. It’s another heavy-hearted piece of dream pop with despair hidden beneath luscious layers of warming guitar strings and reverberated vocals. “There is a hole that’s inside of my chest, in the place of a heart that’s the shape of your fist,” Katie Munshaw sings. It’s a visceral, provocative choral hook, yet its delivery is so lightweight that it’s emotive significance almost passes you by on first listen.

Speaking on the song, lead vocalist Munshaw explains “Where Baby Teeth was more written about bedrooms, parking lots, restaurants and movie theatres, the new stuff is coming from a well of travelling and touring. Twist is really about missing someone so badly that you see them places and get really excited, and then realise it’s not them. It’s about the hold someone can have over you even after they’ve left your life.”

‘Twist’ is the first song to be lifted from an upcoming EP released this summer through Communion Records. The band’s time on the road has informed their process and is moving on from the insular bedroom style of their debut to more expansive ideas. This new track is a welcome addition to the band’s sentimental, starry-eyed style of relatable sad pop and is an exciting sign post as to where they’ll be heading next.

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“Smoke Inside”, the crunchy blues waltz from Australian singer-songwriter Harmony Byrne, is definitely worth a listen this week. The track is taken from Byrne’s upcoming album Heavy Doors and features her amazing voice alongside some really slick production.

“As a child I was told that I was a drama queen,” Harmony Byrne says of the track. “Initially, I mistook this as being a negative aspect of my personality and struggled to express myself. But thankfully, I was also taught to have self-worth, honesty, integrity, and that I only ever need be myself in a world full of frauds. “Smoke Inside” is all about valuing who you are, no matter how wild or tame, and that if someone you love doesn’t let you light up inside, then they are not the match for you.”

Harmony Byrne – “Smoke Inside” (Official Video) “Smoke Inside” from Harmony Byrne’s upcoming debut album, “Heavy Doors”

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On his second album for Domino, Peter Perrett – former frontman of The Only Ones – continues to dissect romance and politics with his trademark sense of sardonic wit and wry humour, if not with even more vigour and a palpable sense of immediacy.

One of the recent past’s most unexpected come-back stories, Peter Perrett – the former frontman of The Only Ones – resurfaced in 2017 with ‘How The West Was Won’, an album that saw him chart in the UK, star on BBC Newsnight, sell out rooms at Electric Ballroom and Islington Assembly Hall and collect accolades across the board.

In this new chapter, Peter continues to dissect romance and politics with his trademark sense of sardonic wit and wry humour, if not with more vigour even and a palpable sense of immediacy. He is not unshackled from his past, however. ‘Humanworld’ features a production credit for Peter’s son Jamie who also contributes a song to the album (‘Master Of Destruction’) and the story of knitting a family back together, following a history of chaos and addiction, now takes a step closer to centre stage.

Peter Perrett – “Once Is Enough” from ‘Humanworld’, out 7th June 2019 on Domino Record Co.

Peter Perrett – “I Want Your Dreams” from ‘Humanworld’, out 7th June 2019 on Domino Record Co.

Pixx 'Small Mercies' LP

Pixx (aka British musician Hannah Rodgers) is releasing her sophomore album, Small Mercies, on June 7th via 4AD Records. Although love lives at the heart of her second album, it has little to do with romance. ‘Small Mercies’ is absolutely not a heartbreak record, nor is it a celebration of new love, or sisterly call-to- arms or vengeful catharsis. Instead, it is a series of poetic examinations of love across the experiential spectrum, from the micro (self-love) to the macro (devotional faith-inspired love, love for this planet), set to a soundtrack that mixes electronic pop and grungy guitar rock with aplomb.

‘Small Mercies’ follows the 23 year-old’s debut album, ‘The Age Of Anxiety’ (2017) – an unsettling synth-pop record fuelled by Pixx’s own debilitating experience of angst – and 2015’s forlorn and folk- edged ‘Fall In’ EP.  it sees Pixx assuming different personas to examine the damage done by religion, gender-based power hierarchies and stereotypes, the tipping point of Earth’s destruction and love.

This week she shared the album’s third single, “Andean Condor,” via a video for the track. The album-opener tackles gender politics. “Mature males tend to be at the top of the pecking order/It’s stale/Detest it cos you want to,” Rodgers sings in the song. “Dance for me boy/Give me a twirl/I want to get to know you/But I probably won’t blow you.”

Alice Clingan directed the video, which features Rodgers’ in Elizabethan garb dancing with two topless men.

Rodgers had this to say about the song in a press release: “This song is written about the link between wo/mankind and nature. It is important to recognize how many times women have to face the absurdity of male hierarchy in our modern world. Having had endless conversations with (certain) men who justify the inequality of the sexes by comparing themselves to animals, I thought what better way to help them than to remind those men that they are supposed to be human, with emotional capability and growth.”

Small Mercies is the follow-up to 2017’s The Age of Anxiety. It was co-produced by Simon Byrt and Dan Carey. Previously she shared two songs from Small Mercies: “Bitch” and “Disgrace.”

Sea Girls have toasted a new record deal with a thumping new single. The four-piece have stormed across the country, releasing a string of indie rock bangers to electrify fans.

Polydor Records have swooped to sign the band, with Sea Girls also announcing their biggest ever UK tour.

Hitting London’s Kentish Town Forum on October 10th, the quartet have also shared brand new single ‘Damage Done’. It’s a song about “about young love and moving on” it’s an indie rock track that looks continually to the future.

Vocalist and songwriter Henry Camamile explains the track: “‘Damage Done’ is about young love and moving on. The night before the song was written I recognised that a part of my past was amazing, a bit flawed and broken all at the same time. I wanted to try to be at peace with it, and to realise that better things are to come rather than holding onto the past. I sort of told myself I’m singing to no one if I’m not thinking of the future.”

October 2nd Nottingham Rescue Rooms

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LIINES – ” On and On “

Posted: May 18, 2019 in MUSIC

Manchester’s LIINES are on fire right now. Having just hopped off a 30+ date tour with Sleaford Mods, and just about to embark on their own headline tour, they’re releasing a blinder of a new single, “On and On”, out Friday 24th May on Reckless Yes records. It’s a frenetic but ultimately satisfying 2 and a bit minutes of the driving dissonance that have made us weak at the knees for LIINES since they first graced us with thier debut back in 2017. Sigh. Anyway. Here’s a sneaky peak of the new goodness:

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LIINES release new single “On and On” – Out digitally via Reckless Yes 24th May 2019

The track – once again recorded and produced by Paul Tipler (Idlewild, Elastica, Stereolab) – comes one year on from the release of their acclaimed debut album Stop-Start.

Building on their trademark sound of relentlessly rhythm-driven tracks with soaring vocals and strikingly spacious melody On and On finds the band at their best.

Nottingham (31 May, The Bodega) – with Pet Crow, I am Lono and Dacodac

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Echo In The Canyon celebrates the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound.  It was a moment (1965 to 1967) when bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music. Featuring Jakob Dylan, the film explores the beginnings of the Laurel Canyon music scene.  Dylan uncovers never-before-heard personal details behind the bands and their songs and how that music continues to inspire today.  Echo in the Canyon contains candid conversations and performances with Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn and Jackson Browne as well as contemporary musicians they influenced such as Tom Petty (in his very last film interview), Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones.

Release Date: May 24, 2019 Director: Andrew Slater

Echo in the Canyon 
by director Andrew Slater

I did not set out to make a film about the Laurel Canyon music scene. In fact, I didn’t set out to make a “film” at all. I was looking to record some music.

Growing up in New York in the 1960s, AM radio transported me to places I wanted to be. Of course The Beatles defined mod London, and Bob Dylan defined New York. But the songs by The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas and Buffalo Springfield painted an idyllic picture of life in bohemian Los Angeles. As a young adult I was drawn to move to Los Angeles by these groups and the lifestyles they expressed in song.

Throughout my career in the music business, this earlier music of my adopted hometown was an obvious part of the bedrock of my generation’s cultural place in the universe. But I was also aware of how it remained part of the foundation of the musical palette for generations of musicians that followed.

Whether through nostalgia or some other force I cannot quite account for, as we neared the 50th anniversary of the advent of this revolutionary period in rock and roll, I was struck with the need to explore the music of this era through the eyes, ears and souls of musicians who were born into a culture where this music was always a part of the world as they knew it.

I enlisted the help of Jakob Dylan, along with a few artists of his generation, to join me, and we journeyed to places where the music was made and to the people who made it. Jakob had known many of these people his whole life, and they began telling him the stories behind the songs. And the stories we heard echoed all the things I thought I knew but never was able to articulate in a way that clearly captured what was happening at this fantastic creative moment in time.

We recorded the music that is now the Echo in the Canyon album, and luckily I must have always known this project would be more than just a record, as I began filming our experiences early on, whenever and wherever it was possible. It was not long before it became clear through our conversations with the original artists that this needed to be more than album. The stories and insights, told by my heroes, “primary sources” from this magical period of time, were too compelling to be buried in “research.” That is how this movie, which has now taken on a life of its own, came to be made.

What was happening here in the mid-‘60s, before the onset of psychedelia and the era of the singer-songwriter was obvious to me—but no one had ever told the story of this legendary place from the standpoint of how deeply and richly the artists impacted and collaborated with one another, and how the waves of influence traveled across the ocean to England and back, with The Beatles claiming The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” as a precursor to much of the musical landscape of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Personally, I embarked on the Echo in the Canyon project because these songs defined what I couldn’t say about the places that I had yearned to see. And these bands changed the way I thought about music—electrifying folk and trading ideas amongst each other that not only inspired The Beatles but inspired generations of artists to this day. And I wanted to film and record it to be experienced in a state-of-the-art movie theater, to try to recapture the magic I felt so many years ago. Thank you Landmark for helping me bring this dream to life.

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Wovoka Gentle are an experimental three-piece from London, comprised of William J Stokes and twins Imogen and Ellie Mason. Taking its root in folk and Americana songwriting, the Wovoka sound draws upon the psychedelic soundscapes of the late 60s as well as contemporary experimental, pop and collage music; marrying classic instrumentation with sampling, analogue synthesis and sound manipulation.

They have announced the release of their debut album ‘Start Clanging Cymbals’ on 7th June through Nude Records.

After releasing ‘1,000 Opera Singers Working in Starbucks’, ‘Peculiar Form of Sleep’, ‘Sin is Crouching At Your Door’ and ‘Tell’em Makoto’, Wovoka Gentle have now shared a new track from their upcoming debut LP. ‘Xerxes’ features glitchy electronics, soaring beats and the exuberant voices of Kids Club Kampala Choir. They add: “You could say there’s an atmosphere of celebration in Xerxes ‘19, even though it’s more or less about death. There’s an imagined ecstatic moment of submission before departing a world running election campaigns for tried and tested tyrants, where legends are equal parts seductive and dangerous. The Kids Club Kampala Choir was recorded in Uganda by a friend of ours, originally for the Kids Club Kampala charity. We wanted to create a call and response dynamic between our vocals and their vocals; the conversation flung across continents.”

Wovoka Gentle will live be in-store at Rough Trade NOTTINGHAM to perform tracks from new album ‘Start Clanging Cymbals’, released 7th June on Nude Records.

This event is Free Entry, with the option to pre-order an album / ticket, and we will have your guaranteed album ready and waiting to collect on the day of this in-store.

bruce springsteen there goes my miracle, bruce springsteen, bruce springsteen western stars, bruce springsteen new album

Bruce Springsteen is gearing up to release his first new album in five years, Western Starsdue out on June 14th via Columbia Records. The solo album marks Springsteen’s first collection of new, original songs since 2012’s Wrecking Ball. He had previously released an album of covers and re-worked originals, High Hopes, in 2014.

Following the release of the album’s lead single, “Hello Sunshine”, Springsteen has shared “There Goes My Miracle”, the second single from his forthcoming Western StarsLP. “There Goes My Miracle” features some impressive vocal arrangements from The Boss along with a lush string section. “There Goes My Miracle” features a lush and orchestral arrangement, with melodic detours more reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds than Glen Campbell, even though some electronic drums show up midway through the bridge.

Much like Springsteen’s previous two albums, Ron Aniello produced the project in addition to playing bass, keyboard and other instruments during the tracking sessions. Western Stars also features work from over 20 musicians, including original E Street Band keyboard player David Sancious and violinist Soozie Tyrell, as well as organist Charlie Giordano, who currently plays with the group. Jon Brion, who’s best known for his work with Kanye West and Fiona Apple, also contributed in playing celeste, Moog, and Farfisa to the album. Springsteen’s wife and E Street bandmate Patti Scialfa is responsible for the vocal arrangements on four songs and contributes her vocals on several others. It’s uncertain whether Springsteen will tour in support of his forthcoming album. Recently, while chatting with Martin Scorsese at a Netflix event in Los Angeles, Springsteen revealed “I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band. And it came out of just … I mean, I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know?”

He noted that it woke him out of a seven-year stretch where he was doubting the prospect of any new music. He said was relieved after the “little daily visitations” of creativity. “You go, Fuck, I’m not fucked, all right?” he said. “There’ll be another tour!”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have been off the road since their Working on a Dream tour wrapped in 2017.

Western Stars arrives on June 14.