Posts Tagged ‘Bella Union Records’

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The perpetually underrated indie-rock mainstay Ezra Furman has shared the lead single from his latest album release“Twelve Nudes”, due out August. 30th. It’s accompanied by a colorfully macabre music video that visualizes the song’s panic attack-driven narrative, as Furman dances, falls and smokes through the anxiety.

As is typically the case with Furman’s songwriting, “Calm Down” (aka “I Should Not Be Alone”) just shreds. Furman has always been able to bridge this gap between pop-rock and garage meltdowns with a particular punk-rock sensibility; the immediately laid-back and groovy bass line that kicks the song off paves the way for an absolute ripper of a bridge that finds Furman yelling at the listener to calm down.

It’s almost impossible to calm down while listening to the song, though—this thing rocks. The video, animated by frequent Furman collaborator Beth Jeans Houghton, matches the breakneck pace of the track, using vibrant colors to underscore the cognitive dissonance between feeling pretty on the outside and like you’re on the verge of a meltdown on the inside. There’s dancing eyeballs, demon babies, fornicating dogs and all sorts of other psychedelic imagery. “Calm Down” is over way sooner that you’ll want it to be,

That catchy mentality seems to pervade the rest of Twelve Nudes, which Furman says will be among his punkiest, most political songwriting. Furman says of its lead single in a statement:

Desperate times make for desperate songs. I wrote this in the summer of 2018, a terrible time. It’s the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization, in which bad men crush us into submission. Once you admit how bad it feels to live in a broken society, you can start to resist it, and imagine a better one.

Twelve Nudes is inspired in equal parts by the legendary punk-rocker Jay Reatard and the poet/essayist Anne Carson, whose work inspired the album’s title. “Anne had these visions, or meditations, to deal with the intense pain in her life, which she calls ‘nudes,’” Furman says. “So, my album is called Twelve Nudes.”

The record is produced by John Congleton, whose recent work with Sharon Van Etten rather impressed. Furman will be backed by Sam Durkes, Jorgen Jorgensen and Ben Joseph on this record.

Official music video for ‘Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone’ by Ezra Furman. Taken from his forthcoming album ‘Twelve Nudes’ out 30th August via Bella Union Records.

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“IVRY” is a new song with lyrics written by Patti Smith and inspired by Antonin Artaud’s time in the mental hospital in Ivry ,The song is part of our new album with Patti Smith ‘The Peyote Dance’, to be released by Bella Union on May 31st.

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith THE PEYOTE DANCE ,The sound of walking in a Mexican canyon transforms into the distinct beat of the heart, distant chants, sticks, stones, and the whistle of blowing wind: Featuring Patti Smith, and produced in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker a soundtrack of elements that invites us to explore a sacred space. The album takes as its starting point Antonin Artaud’s book ‘The Peyote Dance’, a work inspired by his revelatory experiences with the Rarámuri in 1936, 

Featuring original footage by Stephan Crasneanscki, Lelio Moehr and Sylvie Marchand. Courtesy, Association Temps Réel, Collectif Gigacircus, France (www.gigacircus.net/fr/) Lyrics by Patti Smith, copyright / © (2019) (Patti Smith) All music produced by Soundwalk Collective in Mexico City and NYC in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker with original instruments from the Rarámuri Indians of the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico Voice: Patti Smith Traditional Guitars: Joel Cruz Castellanos Traditional Drums, Chapareke Snare, Chihuahua Bells: Leonardo Heiblum Foley: Nicolas Becker Recorded at Audioflot Studios in Mexico City and Hobo Sound in New Jersey

Introducing Penelope Isles

Penelope Isles are a Brighton-based indie rock quartet centered across the songwriting chemistry of siblings Jack and Lily Wolter. After signing to Bella Union Records and impressing at this years SXSW with their searing reside present, they’re on the point of put out their debut album, “Till The Tide Creeps In”, later this summer.

Bella Union are thrilled to introduce new signings Penelope Isles, Between its chiming dream-pop, fuzz-noise waves, indie-psych currents and lustrous melodies, the album is a transporting show of expansive DIY vision, its elemental metaphors a fertile backdrop for the band’s innate inner chemistry and acute grasp of contrast.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, it’s also an album powerful enough to sweep you away live. 

We’ve already heard two songs thus far, the fuzzily psych-rocking lead single “Chlorine” and a reside recording of the layered nine-minute available Live At Bella Studios opus “Gnarbone.”

“Chlorine” “It’s a song we often open our shows with, so it felt right to have it as the first single off the record,” say Penelope Isles. Bright and brisk, wide-eyed and wistful, ‘Chlorine’ is a dreamy introduction to the instinctive charms and alt-rock chops of the Isle of Man-via-Brighton quartet, ‘Chlorine’ harbours a tale of what the band call “a heart-breaking family divide”. Its potency heightened by the juxtaposition between the band’s fiery lead-guitar sorcery and sailing three-part harmonies, it’s a song of tremendous melodic calm and emotional rip tides, inviting and immersive.

Self-produced by Jack and recorded in Brighton’s Bella Studios, ‘Chlorine’ is a hypnotic teaser for Penelope Isles’ debut LP, And now they’re sharing one other new monitor, a dreamy old-school rock ‘n’ roll sway known as “Round”

“It’s a love music — a set of moments and ideas of what it’s wish to be in love,” Jack Wolter explains. “All the gorgeous moments and all of the troublesome occasions too. Going spherical full circle. The verses are like the gorgeous occasions that we’ll at all times keep in mind the place the refrain is the reality of the way it’s not at all times that simple.”

‘Round’ is taken from the debut album by Penelope Isles.

Hannah Cohen will release her third album “Welcome Home” on 26th April via Bella Union Records.

“It was the beginning of September and NYC was in the midst of a big heat wave.” Cohen says of the track. “I was staying with my partner at the time and had locked myself in the bathroom to work on this song. It was very early in the morning, the air conditioner was buzzing away. At the time we were searching for our first apartment together, and had seen about 27 apartments in person. All were gross or out of our price range. It was definitely a catalyst for wanting to move out of the city – and it all came rushing at me. I really needed a change. Locked in a boiling hot bathroom, playing my nylon-string guitar, I realized that this is it… my life is crazy, it’s time to make a big move.”

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, “Welcome Home”, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

With Welcome Home, “I don’t feel I have to cover up anything, or not be able to share,” Cohen says. “There’s less to interpret, I’m more visible. And as to reflecting on the past when things didn’t go well, I’ve left that behind. It was all worth it, to make my way to this point.”

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Welcome Home is almost brutally honest in its self-examination, as Cohen couches home truths in velvet-lush settings. As she explains, “A lot of the album is about checking in with reality and taking the wheel, being honest with myself and my intentions. Being transparent as much as possible. They’re about exploring why I’m here. And the songs question love – if it’s real or something else, finding love that’s healthy, mature and supportive.”

All of Cohen’s new material was crafted in Brooklyn except ‘Big House,’ which was written in an isolated stone farmhouse in upstate New York where they sometimes recorded, preserving the intimacy at the core of Welcome Home. The album was mostly tracked with a live rhythm section: bassist Brian Betancourt (from Evian’s live band) and drummer Vishal Nayak (Nick Hakim). Says Cohen, “We wanted to capture the essence of the song, quickly, and not toil over details for two years.”

That straightforward immediacy marked an important change in Cohen’s relationship with her music and the recording process. After growing up around professional musicians, she moved to New York from the Bay Area at 17, an intrepid adventurer who was drawn to New York’s singer-songwriter world. “New York became my world and my community, and formed me as a person, though I have never felt settled here until the last two years.” Her first two albums, Child Bride and Pleasure Boy, document the sound of a young artist finding her feet on a stage populated by established performers, a very public evolution toward the lived-in experience and command of Welcome Home. The desire to live on her own terms has recently led her to the less-crowded vistas of Woodstock, NY, a no-less iconic musical destination.

‘Old Bruiser’ documents that feeling of escape, specifically a west coast road trip (“Made it back to the city by daylight and we turned to each other as if to ask why /did we make something special just to go and leave it all behind?”). ‘Build Me Up’ also reflects Cohen’s desire to move: “Living in the city has such extreme effects on your body, your nervous system, the constant grind, living on top of people and never really having any true personal space. I am naturally a very sensitive person, I feel a lot of energy and people are really intense in NYC. I have been inspired by that energy but after fifteen years it became exhausting trying to keep up with the grind and hustle. I wanted a change of scenery and a new pace. It was hard to let go after putting so much time and work into building my life and community, and in a way I went from one extreme to another. But I felt I needed to make a big move to break free from all the noise. Welcome Home chronicles my last year in New York City before moving on. Onward and upwards.”

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releases April 26, 2019

The Soft Cavalry - The Soft Cavalry

Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell has lent her talents to a number of projects over the last few years, from the supergroup Minor Victories to collaborations with Mark Kozelek and Beach Fossils. She also, of course, played a large part in Slowdive’s 2017 comeback album. The band’s music is a particularly British brand of intense cinematic drama. Melodic and timeless, the album lands in the atmospheric dimensions between Pink Floyd, Talk Talk and Mansun. A record radiating midlife crisis but equally enormous elation; a helix of fear and hope, aching for resolution. A record Steve emphasises that he “needed” to make.

Today, she’s announcing a new project named the Soft Cavalry, which is a duo with her husband Steve Clarke, who she married last year. In July, they’ll release their self-titled debut album. “I’d always had ideas but never felt that anything I had to say was worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone my own,” Clarke said of the collaboration. “I wish that I could have done this fifteen years ago but, in reality, I simply couldn’t have. But I’m not one to overly wallow. I’d rather plough the various levels of confusion into songs.”

Its lead single, “Dive,” is a contemplative sigh, unknotting thorny emotions with comparative ease.

Taken from the debut album by ‘The Soft Calvary’.

Available as a limited edition 12″ vinyl featuring cover versions of a number of rain–themed songs by the likes of Eurythmics, Ann Peebles, Scott Walker and The Cure. a collection of covers of songs by some of my favourite artists……. and it’s all about the rain. Scott Walker’s ‘It’s Raining Today,’ which I hope will be a fitting tribute.

In 2017, Bella Union boss Simon Raymonde said this of Moss: “Outrageously talented as she is, I still think her best is yet to come.” Offering full affirmation on both fronts, My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth is a haunting snapshot of an intuitive artist seeking new ways to work without safety nets, a quest spurred forwards by her move to Somerset in 2014. As Moss puts it, “Whilst the tentacles of city started to loosen their grip, I began amassing vocals that I felt cut a stark silhouette, and I didn’t want to share with big drums and distorted guitars. I work on a few projects at a time, and the contrast of having disparate musical worlds to step into makes me feel more satisfied. But with this record, I’d gone way deeper than anything merely gratifying.

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As well as my new EP, this beast came out on Friday. The new UNKLE album, The Road pt2, which I’m super excited to be a part of once again. It’s an epic listen, and some great collaborations. Particularly proud of Sun (The).

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I hope you are all having a nice winter so far and staying warm as the cold sets in. I directed and animated a video for my song “Said Goodbye To That Car,” off of my newest album For My Crimes. You can watch it below.  For My Crimes is out now on Sacred Bones Records and Bella Union Records

Guitar, vocals, background vocals- Marissa Nadler String arrangements Janel Leppin

I’m contributing to Mercury Rev’s recreation of the Bobby Gentry album Delta Sweete. including it’s insane lineup of contributors.  It’s out February 8th via Partisan/Bella Union. Each song features a different singer. Guest vocalists include Margo Price, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, Vashti Bunyan, Lucinda Williams, Phoebe Bridgers, Norah Jones, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier, Marissa Nadler, M83’s Kaela Sinclair, and more.

From the album For My Crimes

Beach House, 7

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully of Beach House described a new kind of freedom in the making of their seventh album. It seems they felt an unwelcome pressure writing and recording in the past, whether that was the constraints of a set studio schedule, or concerns with how their experimentation would translate live. With some adjustments to the creative process, the duo were more liberated this time and the results are stellar. That’s not to suggest they re-invented their sound along the way; in fact, they have stayed true to their particular brand of dream-pop, but you can hear confident strides toward mastering their craft.

As a music fan reared on ’90s-era British indie-rock (Cocteau Twins, Ride, My Bloody Valentine), Beach House have always had an immediate gravitational pull. Peter Kember from Spacemen 3, central to that era in the U.K., took a turn producing this album, and you can hear his fingerprints all over it. “Dive” is a good example, as the song builds from a drone-like church organ to a hard-charging anthem. The dynamics and range of feeling throughout this album are really special: intimate one moment and rolling thunder the next. It’s also a great album listen, which has become something of a lost art in these days of algorithms and streaming playlists. 

Over the past decade, Beach House has become synonymous with dream-pop. The duo has consistently written gorgeous music with a hypnotic, almost otherworldly quality that often defies conventional expectation and revels in risk-taking. But by definition, its sound has typically been a little more dream than pop. Album number seven for the Baltimore-based group flips that relationship, but only ever so slightly. And the result is perhaps the band’s finest recording to date. 7 is indeed a cover-to-cover listen. When consumed in one sitting, the record’s 11 songs will reward the complex palates of longtime fans. But Beach House have also created some truly great standalone tracks here. Songs like “Lemon Glow,” “Dark Spring” and “Dive” standout with their less-than-subtle hooks and a surprising drive. And this being Beach House, they get better with each listen.

You can either fear the unknown, or you can embrace it. Beach House has spent the last 13 years worshipping it, each new song and album a dance of devotion to an unnamable, immutable creative force. After following it down to its most elliptical and interior on 2015’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, where else was there for Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally to go but outward? 7, the dream-pop duo’s most collaborative and extroverted album yet, springs forth with an urgent and unpredictable energy. It plunges you into dense, interstellar shoegaze (“Dark Spring”), then grounds you in stargazing grunge balladry (“Pay No Mind”), before sending you on a mechanical 808 track through the woozy “candy-colored misery” of “Lemon Glow.” And those are just the first three songs. Breaking from a long partnership with producer Chris Coady, Legrand and Scally began assembling 7’s immersive arrangements in a new home studio before finishing them off with space-rock experimentalist Sonic Boom, a.k.a. Peter Kember of Spacemen 3. The shake-up paid off spectacularly. Together they’ve crafted a towering psych record that plays like a radio response to otherworld transmissions like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End In TearsYou can try to drift off in its dark, dreamlike textures, but like those seminal albums, 7 will keep prodding you to witness its mysteries up close. It will keep asking you to search its layers, to savor each image flying by—to give yourself over to the moment. And by now Beach House has well-proven that, whatever the next moment holds, they’ll see you through it. This is a band you can trust with your life.

This Pay No Mind video is directed by our friend Michael Hirsch. We’ve been lucky to have friends join us on the road over the years. They’ve helped us stay sane through all the hard touring. Mike recorded this footage between 2015-2018, and it documents many live performances over that time. We like how it focuses on the audience, as they are the whole reason we go on tour. We also like that it shows some of the scuzzy reality of tour

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It feels like a statement of purpose, but then again, so do almost all of Jason Pierce’s transcendent musical compositions that employ overpowering bombast in service of the purest emotions—love, hope, sadness, and, um, drugs. But what sets And Nothing Hurt apart is how it distills his previous stylings down to their essence, a polished diamond of the musician’s sometimes excessive past reaching. There are no hundred-person choirs or symphony orchestras accompanying him; it’s just Pierce and his muse—which isn’t to say these songs are any less packed with booming layers of synth swells and soaring vocals. It’s merely that he’s harnessed his ambition in service of tightly structured beauty, from the sweetly plucked ukulele start of “A Perfect Miracle” to the organ-laced and Pink Floyd-ified anthem “Sail On Through.” These are songs of love and devotion, yes, but they’re also elegant expressions of an artist who knows exactly what he wants to say, and has mastered the art of saying it in the grandest way possible.

‘And Nothing Hurt’ the new album from Spiritualized is out 7th September via Bella Union Records.
‘And Nothing Hurt’ rivalled some of Jason Pierce’s most emotive and touching writing of his career to date. Full of wearied upset and despair at the world around him, Pierce’s voice captured human emotion at its most vulnerable and downtrodden: “You gotta take the pain / You gotta give it all away,” he sings on ‘The Morning After’, one of the album’s standout tracks. Despite the pain Pierce sings of, ‘And Nothing Hurt’ is also an album that finds hope in the very darkest of places, capturing the resilience of humans and how they can embrace the fear to work through it, despite the uncertainly of the times we face.

“Magnificent… Bursting with symphonic goodness, musical adventure and dizzying levels of intensity.” Uncut – 8/10

SpiritualizedAnd Nothing Hurt’ will be released on 7th September 2018 on Bella Union + Fat Possum Records.

E.B. The Younger announces debut album “To Each His Own”

And the best news of the afternoon is the arrival of this little beauty from Eric Pulido of Midlake whose debut solo work goes under the name E.B. The Younger.

Check out the video asap, featuring an old pal of ours!

So thrilled to continue the Midlake connections in 2018 with E.B. The Younger, who will release his glorious debut album To Each His Own in March 2019. Watch the video for “Used To Be” now starring actor Jason Lee as Coach Dick!

“What came before you is why you’re here now,” declares the man born Eric Brandon Pulido. “So embrace both the past and the present.” The frontman of Texan legends Midlake embraces both past and present times for his glorious debut solo album To Each His Own, under his new enigmatic alias E.B. The Younger, released 8th March via Bella Union . E.B The Younger has shared an amusing and nostalgic video for lead track “Used to Be” starring Jason Lee which can be viewed below.

Of the track and video Pulido says: “The tune ‘Used To Be’ is an acquiescence towards an imminent coming-of-age and the subsequent peace found in it’s acceptance. In short, this is 40 and I’m OK with it. It’s human nature to get stuck looking backwards and lamenting the passing of a romanticized time or place. Since we tend to appreciate things more now than when we do in the moment, my battle cry of sorts here is to champion the ‘now’ and carry on with a renewed spirit. And what better way for this mantra to manifest itself than for a bunch of guys playing dress up, cracking open some beers and partaking in America’s favorite pastime!? The teams in the video were mainly made up of the guys who played on the record, and although it was a near miracle to get us all there together, it really made the experience that much more special and memorable to say the least. The cherry on top was pulling my longtime friend Jason Lee from his current acting hiatus to play the coach. He hasn’t missed a beat and had us all rolling in laughter and feeling like kids again. I’m so thankful we pulled this off and I hope it brings as much of a smile to everyone’s face that watches as creating it did mine.”