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Devotion is a stunning artistic about-face from revered Melbourne songwriter Laura Jean. Loved for her piercing, intimate, folk-based albums such as 2014’s Laura Jean and 2011’s A fool who’ll, Laura has worked with producer John Lee (Beaches, Lost Animal) to create an enveloping, deep pop album like nothing she has done before.
Laura’s last self-titled album, recorded in the UK with John Parish (Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey) and featuring Jenny Hval on backing vocals, was a critical smash in Australia, shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and nominated for two Age Music Victoria Awards.
The album lead to Australian and New Zealand tours with Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams, plus shows with Julianna Barwick, Jessica Pratt and more.
But soon Laura found herself tinkering with a 90s Kawai keyboard, enjoying its built-in drum rhythms and moody synth sounds. Laura began a series of shows performing with nothing but the keyboard, as the idea for her next album grew and developed.
Devotion is an album about teenage obsession, coastal child- hood and vivid memory – universal themes filtered through Laura’s razor sharp lyrical focus. Initial influences for the record took in R’n’B, 80s adult contemporary pop and 70s disco, but the end result is transformed into something wholly other, full of depth, resonance and mystery.
Played entirely by Laura, John Lee and drummer Dave Williams (Augie March), “Devotion” is both contemporary and timeless. 


About the album, Laura says: “Devotion is about how a lonely coastal childhood filters into a contemporary adult life built hundreds of miles away. I wrote this album for my mum, middle sister and myself as we were at that time – eccentric, romantically-unfulfilled teens and a stressed out single mum trying to have a love life. In those times we needed to hear songs that were loving and uplifting, about the reality of intimacy, longing, romantic risk and reward. The album is narrated by me in the present, a detached adult figure far away from home, but still driven by an inner fantasy world that is set on the beach where I grew up.”

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Scottish Fiction Records are proud to present ‘a talent for being unreasonable’ – the debut album from Glasgow indie pop four piece Wojtek the Bear.

Following on from the success of their maiden EP, Wojtek the Bear tucked themselves away to work with in-demand producer Chris McCrory (Catholic Action) to record ‘a talent for being unreasonable’ at Shady Lane Studios in late 2017. The album opens with the pointedly percussive ‘oil & water’; a delicate introductory track. Second track, ‘the navies of landlocked nations’, metaphorically depicts close-to-home struggles against a gentle indie-pop backdrop. After the traditionalist tendencies of ‘postcode’ and the American Football-esque guitar/snare coupling of ‘kindness doesn’t cost’, the album crests at ‘waves’, a beautifully unassuming track. This kind of engaging simplicity is a skill normally found in bands far older then Wojtek the Bear, yet they deliver in spades.


The midriff of the album boasts the energetic injection of lead single ‘made out of maps’, before we are happily dragged back to the stripped-down ‘call this a war’; perhaps the record’s purest form of simplicity. effort contrasts a slacker-pop surface with a lyrical performance which questions the laid-back vibes the music

Releases May 25th, 2018

victorious festival

Victorious Festival are thrilled to announce that the legendary Brian Wilson will be joining their 2018 event along with The Sleaford Mods, The Cribs, Dub Pistolsand more!
Illuminating the 60s with an infectious blend of pop, psychedelia & tight harmonies, Brian Wilson directed the Beach Boys away from generic surf stalemate to the soaring pop/rock masterpiece that is Pet Sounds – a pivotal moment in pop history. His greatest hits set at Victorious will be unmissable!

Post-electro-punk agitators Sleaford Mods will be on hand this summer to administer a large dose of social commentary while The Cribs will be returning to Victorious celebrating 16 years of infectious critically acclaimed indie rock.
Also joining the spectacular line-up are dub-hop pioneers Dub Pistols, feted indie four-piece Stereo Honey, the calypso-tinged Cassia, indie-rockers Bang Bang Romeo, Electric Pyramid, Catherine McGrath, Fenne Lilly and Nathan Ball.

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DEVO: The Brand / DEVO: Unmasked


The art-punk pioneers Devo have today announced that they will be releasing a brand new book set which looks to chronicle the band’s influences, inspirations and in turn the huge amount of influence and inspiration their output has given.

The two book set, featuring ‘The Brand’ and ‘Unmasked’, will use archival art, prints, photography and notes to re-tell the story of the band, put together by co-founders Gerald V. Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh.

A unique 2-in-1, 300+ page, never-ending book with rubberized covers: flip it over when finished and begin again!

With ‘Brand’ we see a closer look at the band’s relationship with the mdeia and in turn their fans, while ‘Unmasked’ takes a in-depth look at the band on a more personal level, as their individual narratives meander through the group. The set is available in the Classic version, which features both books in a mammoth 320-page edition. The book will also be available in the limited run Signature edition, which contains the two separate volumes completed by a hand-crafted, rubberized clamshell box signed by the band, and a vintage Devo artwork co-created by Casale and Mothersbaugh.

DEVO: The Brand is illustrated throughout with classic Devo iconography and photos showing how DEVO Inc. was built.
DEVO: Unmasked, is packed with rare and unseen photos of the band from childhood, through to the present day. First-person commentary is provided throughout by Jerry and Mark.

The Signature edition box set: limited print run of separate books encased in a hand-made rubberized clamshell box, numbered and signed by DEVO, includes a large, exclusive print of a collaborative work of art by Mark and Jerry.

DEVO was, and is, an adjective, an adverb, a noun, a Gestalt–a unified field concept embracing art, music, politics and fashion with an alternate world view we christened ‘Devolution’. For the first time ever, this book compiles the breadth and depth of our attempts to create something unique against all odds, while fighting the good fight as the world slowly proved that Devolution is real.

Gerald Casale

Record Store Day 2018, The Alarm  “Where The Two Rivers Meet”

Saturday April 21st is World Record Store Day and also the day for the release of brand new music from Mike Peters and The Alarm.

Mike Peters and The Alarm will be releasing a very special, limited edition 8 track – vinyl only – mini album entitled Where The Two Rivers Meet Extended Play which will only be available exclusively at participating Record Store Day outlets worldwide.

To celebrate the release, Mike Peters will undertake a 24 Hour Transatlantic Tour performing at Record Stores in the U.K., New York and Los Angeles – all within the same day.

Where The Two Rivers Meet Extended Play features an incredible collaboration with The Cult / Coloursøund guitarist – Billy Duffy on the brand new song Blood Red Viral Black. There are 8 songs in total including a brand new recording / mix of live favourite Two Rivers coupled with Transatlantic, The White Count and Year One which runs at 8.55 minutes in length, making it the longest song in Alarm history (Only three of the eight tracks will appear on the forthcoming album). The original artwork was conceived by Mike Peters and Daniel Shearn and features a spot varnish cover image with full colour inner sleeve.

Where The Two Rivers Meet Extended Play features an ‘electric’ and ‘acoustic’ side and is the prelude to a brand new album release scheduled for June 29th 2018.

The complete track listing of Where The Two Rivers Meet Extended Play is as follows:

Electric Side
Two Rivers
Blood Red Viral Black
The White Count

Acoustic Side
Thirteen Dead Reindeer [Acoustic]
Armageddon In The Morning [Acoustic]
Crowd Trouble [Acoustic]
Year One

#rsd #thealarm

Arcade Fire have announced a reissue of their debut Arcade Fire EP. It’s the first time that the EP has been pressed to vinyl. The Arcade Fire reissue arrives on Record Store Day 2018 (Saturday, April 21) via Legacy Recordings. The band self-released Arcade Fire in 2003. Two years later, Merge Records re-released it on CD. The seven-track release includes “No Cars Go,” which was re-recorded for 2007’s Neon Bible.

This 2003 album preceded the instant classic Funeral, and has been relatively overlooked since Arcade Fire became one of the biggest bands in the world. However, the seven track EP (known unofficially as Us Kids Know) gives an insight into the band’s thematic and musical heart and is a key part of any fan’s collection. Now on vinyl for the first time in transparent blue, limited and numbered.
1. Old Flame  2. I’m Sleeping In A Submarine 3. No Cars Go  4. The Woodland National Anthem 5. My Heart Is An Apple  6. Headlights Look Like Diamonds 7. Vampire / Forest Fire

First time on Vinyl for this 12″ transparent Blue coloured & individually numbered EP, with augmented Gold artwork

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Exclusive 4 track release for Record Store Day; two tracks from upcoming album “DOVE”  due out May 4th and two unreleased tracks.This is the first new release from legendary 4AD Records band Belly for over 20 years. The band scored two Grammy nominations, two UK top 10 albums, covers of Rolling Stone, NME and more in their heyday – now the original lineup has returned with this exclusive Record Store Day release.BellyBellyBelly

Exclusive for Record Store Day 2018 we’ll be releasing FEEL, a 4-song, 10” colored-vinyl EP with 2 tracks from the upcoming album , an exclusive track, and our cover of Hushabye Mountain. Available April 21st at your local independent record store!

Two of the 10 songs from the new album Courtney Marie Andrews “May Your Kindness Remain”,  astonishingly beautiful new album, have the word kindness in the title. This is not a coincidence. The idea of kindness of empathy, of giving unto others, of needing the same from others — is as central to Andrews’ music  Even when it’s not what she’s singing about, it’s what she’s singing about.

One song on May Your Kindness Remain is about an old, broken-down, permanently messy house and about the couple who used to live there. It’s clear that they’re not still together — “There’s a bed upstairs if you’re ever in town / Or if you need a place to get your feet back on the ground” — but there’s still a fondness, a feeling of togetherness. She sings that the house is their home, that it belongs to both of them, and it feels like a powerful act of generosity, a gift of a song. It’s about how that warmth can outlast the end of a relationship. It’s just lovely.

There are some staggering love songs on May Your Kindness Remain, and there are also songs about needing love, about requiring that sort of empathy. “Lift The Lonely From My Heart” is about depression, about needing someone else’s help to get through it: “Pining, mining for a feeling I’m not finding / Looking to you to tell me what I’m worth.” And then there’s a song like “I’ve Hurt Worse” about knowing that empathy is not coming back to you: “I like you when I have to call you a second time / It keeps me wondering if you are mine / Mother says you love who you think you deserve / But I’ve hurt worse.” Andrews herself calls it a sarcastic song, but I hear a note of longing in there, of self-recrimination. Andrews is working within a country-music tradition that’s long prized a brassy toughness, but even at her hardest, that’s not really what she’s about. And that, in its way, is why a song like that cuts even deeper.

The empathy extends, too, to people beyond Andrews’ relationships, to people she might not know. “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” is a song about getting stranded in an edge-of-oblivion upstate New York town, taking in all the misery around you, and wondering how shit ever got this bad. It gets a little on-the-nose when Andrews starts wondering how this place ever got this bad — “Is that the American dream dying?” — but it hits hard when she takes in the individual scenes of misery, extrapolating from a glance: “A snowy prison out on Main Street, heaters hang from the cells / A bum searches for shelter, so cold he dreams of hell.” And on “Border Song” she imagines the life of a Mexican immigrant trying to get through the desert, dreaming of a better life that’s still a hell of a lot harder than what most of the people reading this website will ever have to endure: “Stand outside that hardware store / Don’t matter the job they need me for.”

Courtney Marie Andrews’ music isn’t country the way “country” is commonly understood now. It’s country the same way that, for instance, the Black Keys’ music is metal, which is to say that it’s something that could’ve been called country in 1971 even if the tag no longer applies. Her voice has a deep twang, the kind that sticks to you. Her voice is huge, warm, expressive. She’s not a soul singer, but she’s got that soul-singer balance of fire and control, the two elements working together rather than against each other. Occasionally, when she’s really cutting loose, she gets some gospel in her voice. The album has some hazy psychedelic tremolo guitar and some sweaty blues-rock organ. She’s an Americana singer, I guess, but she doesn’t have the sleepy reverence that I (maybe wrongly) tend to associate with Americana singers. Her music is heavy and direct and alive.

Andrews is only 27, but she’s already a veteran. She released her first album when she was a teenager, and she’s been steadily cranking out music for about a decade while moving from Arizona to Seattle to Los Angeles. For a while, she was touring as a keyboardist and a backup singer for Jimmy Eat World. And for a while after that, she was bartending whenever she wasn’t touring. That changed in 2016 with the release of Honest Life, the album that finally got her noticed by the kinds of people who notice really good Americana albums. (I still slept on it.) If Honest Life was Andrews’ break, then May Your Kindness Remain is her big reach.

The new album belongs absolutely to Andrews. She sang and played guitar on every song, and she wrote all of them except for the one she co-wrote with a couple of dudes. She also co-produced it with Mark Howard, a veteran studio type who’s been doing mixing and engineering for people like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits for many years. It’s not a huge leap beyond Honest Life, but it’s got the exact right level of musical lushness. Andrews’ voice dominates, but it doesn’t overpower, and the arrangements shimmer like mirages around her. And for someone like me, someone who’s been shamefully ignorant of all the music that Andrews has been making for all these years, it’s a head-spinning discovery, a warm and gorgeous and fully formed piece of work. The kindness isn’t just in the lyrics. It’s in the way music like this can nourish you, can make your insides glow. An album like this can be a refuge.

May Your Kindness Remain is out on 23rd March on Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recordings.


thanks to Stereogum

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In 1976, Britain was a cultural wasteland for some with prog rock bands like ELP and Genesis and then the dregs of glam rock.  But Mick Jones and Tony James – who’d later play in the Clash and Generation X respectively – were starting a band called the London SS. We were all in a dingy basement auditioning a drummer called Chris Millar, who had scabies at the time, when a rat ran across the floor. So Chris became Rat Scabies.

Mick and Tony liked Rat’s drumming, but said he didn’t look right because he had a shabby overcoat and messy hair. So Rat and I went off to form a band with another guy, Ray Burns, who Rat knew through cleaning toilets at Fairfield Halls in Croydon.

Ray had long hair and was into John McLaughlin, a jazz fusion guitarist, so I played him the Stooges and the Ramones – and he became our infamous madcap guitarist Captain Sensible. Rat suggested a singer called Dave Vanian, who was into vampire stuff. We got our name from two 1960s films: Luchino Visconti’s The Damned, about the Nazis, and the horror movie The Village of the Damned. It was perfect for us.

Captain wore a nurse’s uniform on stage and, at the third gig, poured a pint of beer over his head. After that, it was just chaos every night. Audiences hated us.

I had a bunch of riffs I’d written when I was in a band called Bastard. When I played New Rose to Rat, his drumming set it on fire. We signed to Jake Riveria Stiff Records to do a single, and Nick Lowe produced us in a tiny eight-track studio. We spent more time in the pub round the corner than we spent recording, but Nick captured how wild we sounded.

We thought we were a fast rock’n’roll band, but the journalist Caroline Coon coined the term “punk rock” so suddenly “New Rose” was “the first British punk single”. Everything happened very quickly after that. Contrary to belief, New Rose isn’t a love song. The words were just imagery to go with the riffs: “I got a new rose, I got it good / Guess I knew that I always would / I can’t stop to mess around / I got a brand new rose in town.” . The single’s B-side was a cover of the Beatles’ hit “Help!”, performed about twice as fast as the original. Both songs became staples of the Damned’s live shows,

However, some lines did express my excitement about the early punk scene: “I got a feeling inside of me / It’s kinda strange like a stormy sea.” It was everything I’d ever dreamed of. And there I was in London with everyone going crazy for it.

Dave Vanian, singer recalls The band were auditioning for a singer, and I went early to check out the the guy before me, but he never turned up. Turned out it was Sid Vicious. Could he have become the singer in the Damned, rather than the bass-player in the Sex Pistols? We’ll never know.

Brian shouted the lyrics in my ear while he played guitar, and I did the best I could. He’d seen me in the audience at some shows and told me: “You look like a singer.” Before it became all torn clothes and spiky hair, punk was about individuality. I wore winkle-pickers and was going for that 1920s Rudolph Valentino look. I’d seen a few Hammer horror films, too, and decided I wanted to live in Baron Von Frankenstein’s castle. 

So I left my gravedigger job to join the Damned and everything started moving very fast. We’d rehearse, get in the van, tear up the country doing gigs, then get back in the studio.

“New Rose” was a raw, visceral, classic three-minute pop song. My famous spoken intro – “Is she really going out with him?” – taken is from the Shangri-La’s Leader of the Pack, which I adored. I’d just been clowning around, but everyone liked it so we kept it. We recorded a whole album – Damned Damned Damned – in two days flat. In those days, there was never much food around. We were fuelled by amphetamine sulphate and cider. The Damned were funny and had such a strong image, sometimes that acted against them, and people didn’t recognise and realise how great their records were. As well as being the first, New Rose is definitely one of the very best singles from this era – or any other era to be honest.

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Lindsey Jordan has a lot of firepower for an 18-year-old. The Maryland-based Matador Records signee was stylishly clad with a red guitar in tow and sleek shades. Throughout the set, the band gave way to the commanding Jordan for a powerful 40 minutes in front of what felt like the largest crowd of the day. Something big is brewing here, take note…For Indie rock wunderkind Lindsey Jordan and her band, Snail Mail, have announced the release of their debut album. Lush, which follows 2017’s Habit EP, is out June 8th via Matador Records.

“Pristine” continues the personal, intimate feel of Habit, which was written in Jordan’s suburban bedroom. But “Pristine” aims a bit higher, with soaring choruses and crisp guitars crafting a shimmering backdrop for Jordan’s musings on young love. “Don’t you like me for me?” she sings. “I know myself, I’ll never love anyone else.”

Ah, to be young. And yet, “Pristine” is a grand step forward for a promising songwriter who — despite the hype — is really just getting started.