HATCHIE – ” This Enchanted “

Posted: September 19, 2021 in MUSIC
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Hatchie the dream pop project of Australian musician Harriette Pilbeam, shared a new song “This Enchanted” via a video for it. It is her first single for Secretly Canadian and her signing with the label was also announced on Tuesday. “This Enchanted” again finds Hatchie ably putting a modern spin on early ’90s shoegaze music, producing a song that’s at once pleasing to old school fans of the genre but is also accessible to contemporary listeners with no proven affinity for shoegazers. The video finds Pilbeam wandering around a city at night while wearing angel wings, as well as showing her performing the song with her band.

“This Enchanted” is Hatchie’s first single since the 2019 release of her acclaimed debut album, “Keepsake” which came out via Double Double Whammy. The song came together in February 2020, while Pilbeam and her romantic partner, and Hatchie guitarist, Joe Agius (who also releases music as Rinse) were writing in Los Angeles and working with producer Jorge Elbrecht (Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast, Wild Nothing).

Pilbeam had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘This Enchanted’ encapsulates everything I wanted to do moving forward from my first album. I started writing it with Jorge and Joe in February 2020 and completed it from afar in lockdown later in the year. We had been talking about making something dancey but shoegaze.

“It’s one of the more light hearted, lyrically vague songs of my new recordings about falling in love; it’s not a perfect relationship, but you’re enthralled by one another and it’s an easy love. It’s one of the most fun songs I’ve written, so it was a no-brainer to pick it as my first solo release in almost two years. It feels so right to be working with a label as exciting as Secretly as I step into new territory with Hatchie. I’ve been counting down the days until its release for a long time.”

This Enchanted”, the new single out now on Secretly Canadian and Ivy League Records:

Liverpool post-punks Clinic have released their first new album in seven years, Wheeltappers And Shunters, today via their long time label Domino Recordings. Previously they shared a video for its first single, “Rubber Bullets”. Then they shared another song from the album, opening track “Laughing Cavalier” also via a Joseph May-directed animated video .

The band’s last album was way back in 2012’s “Free Reign”. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” explained frontman Ade Blackburn in a  previous press release about the long gap between albums. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

“Wheeltappers and Shunters” album title is inspired by a 1970s British variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, which was hosted by Bernard Manning and according to the press release “recreated the smoky, boozy atmosphere of Northern working men’s clubs for a sofa-bound audience.”

“It’s been a pisstake thing between us for quite a few years,” Blackburn explained. “Whenever we’d talk about a song sounding too ‘cabaret’ or too nice, we’d say, ‘That’s a bit Wheeltappers and Shunters.'”

Wheeltappers and Shunters looks back on the culture 1970s era Blackburn and “his collaborator-in-chief” Jonathan Hartley grew up in. “It’s a satirical take on British culture – high and low,” Blackburn said. “It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It’s emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture.”

The previous press release set the scene for Wheeltappers and Shunters: “The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by traveling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.”

The album was recorded last year at Hartley’s Liverpool studio. Then Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) mixed the album. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” said Blackburn.

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When you listen to the love songs of LA-based Bedouine, you will be reminded of Karen Dalton’s world-wise voice or the breathy seduction of Minnie Riperton’s vocals, the easy cool of French ye-ye singers, and the poetry of Joan Baez. Her folk is nomadic, wandering across time and space, and on the likes of new song Dizzy meander into danceable jams. On first discovery you may ask whether they’re dated to 2019, or whether you’ve uncovered some forgotten classic. It makes sense that singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian’s arrival – both musically and personally – on her second record has been influenced by her own wanderlust, displacement, and curiosity.

The music is the farthest from curmudgeonly or depressive as could be. It’s a soundtrack to Spring blossom, to warm air on skin, to the concept of possibility. Amazingly, despite the successes since her debut release, “Bird Songs of a Killjoy” rejects any pressures to be some kind of grand evolution from before. When her self-titled debut came out in the summer of 2017, Azniv was entirely unknown, and wasn’t necessarily looking to change that. The album she wrote in her free time while dealing with some emotional trauma and locking herself away in her house, was an exercise in diarizing, in expression without expectations. Some of the songs on this sophomore effort were from that same time period of fruitful creativity. She continued her creative partnership with Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones) who produced them in his studio.

If I could play a song as many times as I wanted, over and over and over again and sing it at the top of my lungs without a care in the world.  This would be my vocal lesson song, my affirmation. Singing it gives me so much joy. “He” in this song is “spirit” or “God” and sometimes I changed it to “She” depending on who I was calling in that day (angels, guides, guardian wise). I love this song so much- it’s grounding and permission giving and loving.

“When You’re Gone” continues the Aleppo-born, Saudi Arabia- and America-raised musician’s collaborative partnership with Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones, Michael Kiwanuka), who produced the single in his Los Angeles studio. “Drag my finger round the rim / drag around a phantom limb when you’re gone,” Bedouine sings, her delicate vocals and fingerpicked guitar flurries accompanied by orchestral flourishes that lend them a gentle grandeur befitting the video’s breath taking natural imagery. “When I started ‘When You’re Gone,’ I was just messing around with pretty chords. Then the lyrics spontaneously came to me much later when I read something on Instagram, which is kind of hilarious. It triggered a line that eventually rolled out the entire song,” Bedouine explains. “In retrospect I think it reflects on the time since I’ve released my first record; in nondescript hotel rooms alone or getting dropped off a cliff after tour is over, not exactly sure what to do with myself. It also touches on what that can mean when it comes to the people you’re closest to.”

Bedouine “When You’re Gone” out now on Spacebomb Records

MINI TREES – ” Always In Motion “

Posted: September 18, 2021 in MUSIC

For better or for worse, life keeps moving forward. It’s this fundamental truth that Lexi Vega, the creative force behind Mini Trees, confronts throughout her debut album “Always In Motion“. But coming to terms with this inevitability has been a life-long struggle.

The daughter of a Cuban-born father and Japanese-American mother, the uniqueness of her identity has been an ever-present tension in Lexi’s life. She never quite fit in growing up within predominantly white communities in suburban southern California, with few who around her outside of her family to understand the generational scars caused by both exile and internment. When she was only 5 years old, Vega’s father, a professional drummer himself, took his own life. These traumas set in motion an ongoing questioning of Vega’s own self identity – and Mini Trees has provided the palette for Vega to process, to persevere, and to grow.

After playing drums in various projects for years, Vega began writing and recording her own music under the moniker Mini Trees in 2018. She recorded her first solo track in the Summer of 2018 with producer Jon Joseph and was immediately hooked on the feeling of creating something that spoke directly to her as an artist, fully in control of her own vision. Mini Trees debut EP, “Steady Me“, dropped in 2019 and Vega followed it with 2020’s EP, “Slip Away”. 

Following the release of these two EPs and with ample time to work on music during 2020, Vega both found herself ready to progress creatively and challenging many of her long-held beliefs and notions about her own identity. Originally envisioned to be yet another EP, Vega instead began working on what would become her debut full length, “Always In Motion”, a collection of relatable indie-pop songs that acknowledge our collective anxiety about life’s improbability.

“Moments In Between,” Always In Motion’s ethereal opening number, was written early on in the process, kick-starting Vega into song writing mode and reflecting the anxiety and dread she was grappling with as the world shut down around her. That sense of uncertainty pervades the album, although it’s more universal than circumstantial as Vega uses the lyrics to consider how we move through life with a constant sense of unknowing. “Moments In Between” wonders whether spiritual belief can help us accept all types of challenges, although the introspective track doesn’t necessarily find a conclusion.

“When you’re in the midst of something painful you long to get to the other side of it,” Vega explains. “You want to be free from that. Faith can mean that even though life is long and painful, there is hope at the end of it all. I like the idea of there being something better than this on the other side. That possibility acknowledges that while people go through periods of intense anxiety and dread, they make it through.”

“Carrying On,” a pulsating, layered track, was written during a trip to the desert, where Vega struggled to reconcile her sense of the world with actual reality, especially during a time when everything felt so unbelievable and surreal. The lush “Cracks in the Pavement” reflects on identity, with Vega acknowledging and embracing who she is and recognizing that change has to come from within. 

Those themes extend into “Spring” as Lexi explores long-term relationships, wondering whether they can withstand one partner’s internal evolution. “It explores that fear of when you care about something so much that you don’t want to lose it,” she notes.

The closing track, “Otherwise,” confirms that there is no easy answer for these queries, but maybe that’s okay. Life, as usual, moves forward.

“I liked the idea of ending on an unresolved note,” Lexi says. “It emphasizes that there’s no certainty until we reach the end. That’s the only truth that seems reliable. You can’t ever know what’s going to happen until you get there. And that doesn’t have to conjure up feelings of dread. Over the course of the album I teeter-totter between having questions and wanting answers, but the resolution is to be okay with not knowing. I think I do find some acceptance along the way, but the album purposefully concludes with no real resolution.” 

Released September 17th, 2021

Eric Clapton: Lady In The Balcony: Lockdown Sessions Gatefold Black Vinyl 2LP

Amongst this week’s new releases listed we highlight Eric Clapton’s “The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Series

In February 2021 Eric Clapton’s live shows at The Royal Albert Hall were cancelled due to the global pandemic. Determined to play, he brought his band together in the English countryside. In the absence of a live audience, he decided to record the performances. This release is the culmination of their sessions together at Cowdray House, West Sussex, England.

The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions. The collection of 17 songs include mostly acoustic renditions of such classics as “After Midnight,” “Layla,” and “Bell Bottom Blues,” performed with his long time bandmates Nathan East (bass and vocals), Steve Gadd (drums) and Chris Stainton (keyboards). The title arrives on November 12th, 2021, via Mercury Studios on multiple formats.

The recording was overseen by Clapton’s longtime Grammy-winning producer Russ Titelman and was recorded live at Cowdray House in West Sussex, England. The performance features Clapton standards and an assortment of other numbers encompassing blues, country and rarified originals. “The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions” also offers versions of songs that had a profound effect on his career and those of his contemporaries including the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac tracks “Black Magic Woman” and “Man of the World.”

The project was initiated as the result of the postponement of Clapton’s concerts scheduled for May 2021 at London’s Royal Albert Hall due to the pandemic. He reconvened with his band to the English countryside and staged a concert in the presence of only the participants themselves while letting the cameras roll. The mostly acoustic set was envisioned to be like an Eric Clapton Unplugged II, but not quite, as three songs are played with electric guitars.

Eric’s also has a new single entitled “This Has Gotta Stop” from Bushbranch/Surfdog. The song was written by Clapton, produced by his long time producing partner Simon Climie and is performed by Clapton, Sonny Emery on drums, Nathan East on bass, Sharon White on background vocals along with Nick Ingman as the strings arranger and conductor and Perry Montague-Mason as strings leader.

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BLACK BATS – ” Psychic Retreat “

Posted: September 17, 2021 in MUSIC

Black Bats return with their follow up album to 2019’s self-titled debut – “Daylight, even worse sunshine, are definitely not the right setting for consuming the quartet’s excellent debut album from Melbourne, Australia.”

Psychic Retreat ventures further into the realms of garage, punk, and western psych, delivered with a tighter and punchier focus. If ‘Black Bats’ was crossing the desert plains, ‘Psychic Retreat’ is the seedy motel on the other side.

Garage psych fuzz from Melbourne, Australia Out via Cactus Records

Released September 17th, 2021

David Houston – Guitar / Bass / Vocals / Organ
Tim Ryles – Drums

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Anna B Savage is a London singer-songwriter and musician. Her songs are stark, skeletal paintings of moods and reflection, using a palette of mainly voice and guitar. Most prominent is her voice – strong and sonorous, yet with a vulnerability that feels as if she’s in the same room as you. Anna B Savage has delivered her version of Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You”, which will feature on her new EP These Dreams.

These Dreams was first announced last month with a new song titled “Since We Broke Up”, She delivered a second outing form the EP, which is a haunting cover of Edwyn Collins’ 1994 track “A Girl Like You”.

Anna B Savage says of the cover, “I’ve loved this song for years. I first heard it in Empire Records, and remember being completely floored as to how a song could be so damned sexy. Naturally, I decided to cover it and make it kind of creepy and weird instead. It’s such a privilege and a joy to be able to enjoy Edwyn Collins’s outputs over the years. His ever-present, fostered and amorphous creativity is something I aspire to.”

These Dreams includes three new songs as well as the Collins cover, and was recorded during the “A Common Turn” sessions.

Speaking about the EP, Savage explained, “This EP traverses the expanse between possibly the most difficult and wrenching song (“These Dreams”) and the most positive and defiant (“Since We Broke Up”), and it’s not an easy listen by any means. “Hairier Now” was written about the same person as “Baby Grand“, but a year earlier, after a seven year absence.”

Released September 16th, 2021

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This 1971 concert handbill promotes the band headlining “The Super Blues Jam festival” staged at the Civic Center in Philadelphia, PA. Joining them on stage were blues guitar heroes Buddy Guy & Luther Allison, plus a very special appearance from a young Bonnie Raitt who had yet to release her first album. Duane Allman, the bands founder and slide guitar master met his tragic demise just a few months after this show. The band at this time were enjoying mass critical acclaim following the release of the “At Fillmore East Album”.

Posters and handbills from Duane’s tenure are ultra scarce and have achieved world record results in auction. 

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To celebrate our top 10 placing in the Rough Trade albums of the year, we’d like to present a limited edition record;• ‘live at Rough Trade Transmissions’ , we jumped at the chance to create something like this, to try and encapsulate the live sound .

If you still need convincing, check out the live performance below. Originally recorded for Rough Trade Transmissions back in June, it’s now available to watch in its full glory on YouTube.

bdrmm recorded live at Eiger Studios in Leeds in June 2021.

Tracklisting: 1. Shamen 2. Push/Pull 3. Gush 4. Port 5. Is That What You Wanted To Hear? 6. A Reason To Celebrate

MILDRED MAUDE – ” Sleepover “

Posted: September 16, 2021 in MUSIC

“Sleepover” is the band’s second album and will be released on locked-groove vinyl, CD, tape and all digital platforms on October 22. It was recorded by the band with Tom Joyce and Seamus Constance at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall and has been mastered by Simon Scott.

It bears the influence of Stereolab, Can, Butthole Surfers, Yo La Tengo and Sun Ra, among many others. Watch Innerstrings’ video for the edited version of ‘Glen Plays Moses’. Three seemingly disparate characters from CornwallMatt Ashdown (guitar), Lee Wade (bass) and Louie Newlands (drums) – Mildred Maude are named after one of their grandmas and play an improvised noise that always seems to be teetering on the edge of chaos, but something incredibly beautiful at the same time, like a cross between Sonic Youth and Slowdive. It is utterly thrilling.

Sleepover is their second album, with three of its four tracks being over 10 minutes in length. ‘Trevena’ is the loping opener; ‘Elliott’s Floor’ initially turned into My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Only Shallow’ by mistake and on the vinyl version it never ends, thanks to a locked groove; ‘Glen Plays Moses’ crosses a Red Sea of sound and is just epic in every way.

The odd one out is ‘Chemo Brain’ – just under three minutes of Fugazi-esque frenzy, named after a side-effect of bassist Lee’s cancer treatment. The album artwork is also inspired by this – it’s a molecular model of cyclophosphamide, one of the drugs he was given. Mildred Maude’s DIY approach has been the only way for them to get anywhere in Cornwall, where they say they feel more in tune with Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert and the Rephlex Records crowd from the 1990s than any current scene.

They do, however, unintentionally have something in common with the medieval Miracle Plays that would take place in the Duchy. “They were notoriously noisy to attract people to them,” explains guitarist Matt, “but were also events that brought communities together, and we like our live shows to have a sense of togetherness.” Matt says he is also inspired by historic places of worship. “There are some great places in Cornwall such as St Just Church and the open air Gwennap Pit in Redruth. It’s these beautiful spaces that I try to imagine we’re in when we’re playing live – so it’s fitting that we’re releasing this new album on Sonic Cathedral.”

An edited excerpt of ‘Glen Plays Moses’, the second single from Mildred Maude’s new album ‘Sleepover’, which is released on October 22nd.

Mildred Maude will follow the release of their new album “Sleepover” with a UK tour, which calls at the following venues:

October 23 – Falmouth – Woodlane Social Club – buy tickets
October 24 – Manchester – The Peer Hat – buy tickets
October 26 – Glasgow – The Hug And Pint – buy tickets
October 27 – London – The Social – buy tickets
October 29 – Nottingham – Rough Trade – buy tickets
October 30 – Birkenhead – Future Yard – buy tickets