Posts Tagged ‘Bella Union’

Modern Nature – the name taken from the title of Derek Jarman’s garden diaries – is the new project of Jack Cooper, ex of Ultimate Painting / Mazes and Will Young of Beak featuring Aaron Neveu of Woods and Sunwatchers’ Jeff Tobias on saxophone. Their debut EP, titled “Nature”, will be released 22nd March 2019.

As Jack Cooper explains: “The EP is based around a song called ‘Nature’ so ‘Supernature’ is a different perspective on the EP’s title track, but taken to another conclusion. It’s our most recent recording and there seems to be some sense in people hearing that first. ‘Nature’ is our take on that propulsive rhythm of A Sailor’s Life-era Fairport Convention but ‘Supernature’ is something else entirely. The band is so new, it’s hard to say who’s in and who isn’t. At the moment it’s myself and Will Young (Beak) with Aaron Neveu on drums (Woods/Herbcraft) Rupert Gillett on cello and then Jeff Tobias on saxophone (Sunwatchers). 


The band started as a vehicle for a wider project that Will and I spent the year putting together so it feels very exciting to be an actual band now. Every song we record or musician we gain, another door seems to open on a route that’s worth pursuing.”

The debut EP by Modern Nature is available now

Ultimate Painting have announced the release of Up!, a record we’re very much looking forward to, and their first for the Bella Union label. It will be out on the 6th April, They’re also heading out on tour (dates below).

The band has also shared a first track from the LP entitled, the meandering, gentle indie-psych of Not Gonna Burn Myself Anymore. Listen to it here.

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It’s been a while since we last heard from Susanne Sundfør, but the Norwegian indie folk artist returns to positively sweep us off our feet with her latest single, “Good Luck Bad Luck.” Featured on her recent fifth album, the critically acclaimed Music for People in Trouble, it’s a theatrical threnody to a doomed relationship as performed over piano, double bass and baritone saxophone, all of which return for the song’s smoky, late-night jazz coda.

Good Luck Bad Luck by Susanne Sundfør taken from her new album Music For People In Trouble,

The official video for ‘Accelerate’ taken from Susanne’s recent album ‘Ten Love Songs’, directed by renowned Norwegian director Stian Anderson. Listen to ‘Ten Love Songs’ in full here:…

On ‘Ten Love Songs’ Sundfør bares all with epic results, and has arguably made her most compelling and fully realised work to date. She skilfully draws on the musical assistance both of new friends and old including Anthony Gonzalez of M83, Svein and Torbjorn from Röyksopp, her long-term collaborator Lars Horntveth of Jaga Jazzist, and the Trondheimsolistene Chamber Ensemble.
I also worked with the amazing Steven Hoggett on this video, who is a choreographer. It was an intense and fun experience to really go into depth on how you can make your body convey a mood or message.
I wanted to work with Stian Andersen because he has a great eye for the kind of video I wanted to make. I wanted it to be a live performance, and I wanted it to be raw and aggressive. I’m so happy with the video, and I’m so grateful that I’ve gotten to work with such a talent…

Celebration detail new album Wounded Healer and unveil magnificent lead track “Freedom Ring”

Celebration’s fifth album, “Wounded Healer” will be released in June. The song “Freedom Ring” was released for streaming about a month ago, this is the second track to be available, “Spider.” The song would seem right at home in a Lynch film, feeling fully contemporary while availing itself heavily of comfortingly familiar ’50s tropes. Per the band: “Spider” was inspired by the Mary Howitt poem The Spider and the Fly,” a cautionary tale about the dangers of flattery. But this is from the Spider’s perspective. It’s the seduction between predator and prey. A juxtaposed romance caught in the circle of life and death. Seeing the beauty in interdependence and deepest connection because of survival. Psychedelic rock’n’soul from Baltimore legends


Celebration is a psychedelic soul band based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Formed in 2004 the band is composed of singer Katrina Ford, multi instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander, with a number of additional rotating members: Walker Teret plays bass, sometimes guitar, percussion and backing vocals; .“Spider” is taken from the upcoming album “Wounded Healer”, released 2nd June 2017 via Bella Union.

The Trouble With Templeton

After the indie-folk restraint of Calder’s 2011 solo mini-album Bleeders, Trouble With Templeton served evidence of tremendous range and ambition on their debut album. Then went a step further, harnessing a leaner, tighter take on Trouble With Templeton’s melodic styled alt-rock . As Calder puts it, “We made a conscious decision to challenge ourselves to focus on minimal instrumentation and production in the recording process in an effort to place more emphasis on the song-writing.”

The full-bodied songs here can take that emphasis,  Trouble With Templeton weren’t slouching , where Calder and company wedded vibrant melodies epic, jangly, glam – to a core of emotive cogency. But on Someday, Buddy, their personality emerges sharper and clearer. “Our goal was to make a record that is raw, bare and honest,” says Calder, a claim borne out by the incisive lyrics of the swelling “Sailor” and lilting “Heavy Trouble”, where Calder’s falsetto dances over a tender indie-folk backdrop.


Sometimes fragile, sometimes forceful, Calder’s voice remains a marvel on lead track “Bad Mistake”, a combination of intricate verses and a huge chorus pitched somewhere between Pavement and Elliott Smith. And so the album goes, its full of slow-burn songs harbouring great reserves of potency: the discreet neo-glam swagger of “Complex Lips”, the sunburst chorus of “Vernon”, the gorgeous ripples of album highlight “1832”.

The album is the culmination of time spent refining the band’s qualities, something that the Bella Union label allows its artists in abundance and every time pays off . Following extensive touring for Rookie. After taking time out to recharge their batteries, Calder, Ritchie Daniell (drums) and Sam Pankhurst (bass) recorded as a trio with help from their friend Matt Redlich; later, they were joined by another buddy, guitarist Jack Richardson. As a result, says Calder, the band’s bonds are “stronger than ever”. By the time Someday, Buddy fades out with the understated confidence and poised beauty of “Sturdy Boy”, you won’t doubt it. Someday, Buddy is to be released 2nd December on Bella Union.


In the two and a half years since the release of their last album, Brisbane’s The Trouble with Templeton have, says frontman Thomas Calder, been busy “breaking down and reassembling what it means to make music for us”. On the evidence of the richly confident and clear-sighted Someday, Buddy, released 2nd December 2016 on Bella Union, that time was well spent.


Soundwalk Collective, Jesse Paris Smith, and Patti Smith have shared a new video for “Fearfully In Danger”, taken from their upcoming collaborative album “Killer Road”, an album of reinterpretations of Nico’s songs and poetry. The album is out September 2nd on Bella Union. The video features footage of the ensemble performing the song live at Volksbühne in Berlin, and was filmed and edited by Barbara Klein.

The song, originally recorded by Nico on her final album Camera Obscura, begins with field recordings, a trademark of Soundwalk Collective’s music, before fading into a droning bed of harmonium, synthesizer, and singing bowl, with a chilling arrangement of the song’s lyrics performed by Patti Smith. It is a remarkable collaboration, showcasing not only Smith’s talent for embodying the words she’s reading but Soundwalk Collective’s talent for creating immersive soundscapes. It is a worthy tribute to the music and legacy of Nico.

A shimmering ambient tone, an electronic underlay to the lulling chatter of crickets, makes way for the unmistakable voice of Patti Smith, quietly intoning, ominously, “The killer road is waiting for you / like a finger, pointing in the night.”

Smith was already a fan of Nico’s unique performance, and her half-spoken, halfsung delivery: “that was interesting and instructive for me when I was young because I had no ambition to be a singer – I was simply trying to deliver my poetry – as she did – in a unique way,” Patti Smith was able to repay the spiritual debt by paying to rescue Nico’s beloved harmonium – which underpinned so much of her work – from the pawnshop in 1978.

And that lonesome drone of Nico’s harmonium makes a late appearance in Killer Road, as part of the haunting electro-organic weave, like an aural heatwave, pulsing and sweltering. Sometimes you hear ocean waves and footsteps, or the thrum of honeybees; the panoply of sound subtly shifts as Nico’s view would have changed as she cycled that day. But then she had a heart attack, fell and hit her head, and was lying by the sound of the road, to a backdrop of crickets, before she was discovered and taken to hospital, only to pass on later that night. “That captivated me,” said Smith, “the idea of merging her language with what was perhaps the last sound she might have heard, besides her own breathing.”

Behind the music and concept of Killer Road is international trio Soundwalk Collective – Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi – who, alongside Patti Smith’s daughter, Jesse Paris, conceived an immersive exploration of the tragic death of Christa Päffgen. Better known as Nico, the Velvet Underground chanteuse, Päffgen died while riding her bike on the island of Ibiza in the summer of 1988.

The roots of Killer Road lie in a fortuitous meeting on an airplane bound for New York. One passenger was Smith; the other was Soundwalk Collective founder Crasneanscki. Soundwalk had previously been a collaborative series of idiosyncratic walking guides to cities, before evolving into musical frameworks for field recordings and sight specific sound installations and performances using a variety of texts and themes.

Killer Road was initially a live audio-visual experience, at the French Institute Alliance Francaise in New York as part of 2014’s Crossing the Line festival. Finally, we now we have the recorded version, a poignant, profound, imaginative exploration and tribute nearly 30 years after that fateful summer’s day.

Killer Road will be released September 2nd 2016 via Bella Union.

Fearfully in Danger (Live at Volksbühne, Berlin) from the album “Killer Road – A Tribute To Nico”
Killer Road is a sound exploration of the tragic death of Nico, Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon.

For all its inventiveness using traditional Americana instrumentation, Arc Iris’ 2014 self-titled debut still was primarily that – traditional Americana, wrung through a number of early-mid 20th century musical genres. The album’s two-part “Honor Of The Rainbows” couplet was the lone patch where the band’s recorded material seemed to fit with its glittery psychedelic stage identity, and it’s from here that they springboard headlong into technicolour star-gazing of follow-up Moon Saloon.

Lead track and single “Kaleidoscope” couldn’t be more representative of Arc Iris and their M.O. on Moon Saloon, offering the listener a reflection of them from nearly every angle, dyed in a myriad of colours. While banjos and pedal steel are still identifiable on occasion throughout, Moon Saloon is built on loud and proud strings, horns, and keyboards. Pulling heavily from the grandiosity of 1970s pop and prog, it’s actually a testament to Arc Iris’ dizzying flair for arrangement that those hints of Americana can so comfortably fit in these songs.

Just as on the debut, Moon Saloon’s base sonic template is churned through multiple classic American musical genres – gospel-flavoured soul on “Lilly”, salacious barroom ragtime on “Johnny”, and “Rainy Days” panoramic musical cinema. At times, Moon Saloon wants for the debut’s periods of respite as the tracks that do begin peacefully all burst open in our faces at some point. Arc Iris veer close to parody at times, but they approach everything here with such earnest playfulness that one gets the sense the band simply peer over that precipice and throw their heads back in laughter.

Like any album leaning so heavily on ‘70s prog rock, Moon Saloon follows a loose song cycle featuring a male and female duo of protagonists down on their luck and seeking peace of mind through simple, everyday human actions and emotions. It’s Arc Iris’ simultaneous dedication to their virtuosic execution and commitment to not take themselves too seriously that largely pulls it all off, even when they hit peak-ham on “Saturation Brain”. The closing title track’s spareseness is jarring following “Rainy Days” credits-rolling close, yet its curiosity prompts you to turn around and dive right into Moon Saloon again.

While summer typically lends itself to instantly gratifying earworm jams and barren release schedules, in Moon Saloon, Arc Iris have served us an album entirely unconcerned with nascent fads and just as heavy on challenge as it is reward.

Father John Misty Announces Tour

Father John Misty has expanded his tour behind last year’s I Love You, Honeybear. He’ll play a bunch of dates in North America next spring, followed by a European trek.

05-11 Leeds, England – O2 Academy
05-12 Glasgow, Scotland – O2 Academy
05-13 Manchester, England – Albert Hall
05-14 Gateshead, England – The Sage Gateshead
05-15 Nottingham, England – Rock City
05-17 Bristol, England – Colston Hall
05-18 London, England – The Roundhouse
05-19-20 London, England – The Roundhouse
05-21 Southampton, England – O2 Guildhall

Josh Tillman will also appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on January 14th 2016.



Ezra Furman’s latest offering hints at the closing of a chapter and is as loving and heartfelt as all of his veracious work. Following the critical success of Perpetual Motion People last year’s offering, there is a new six-track EP Big Fugitive Life is going to be great judging by the latest track ‘Teddy I’m Ready’

The ever-eloquent Furman said this about the new work “Big Fugitive Life is a group of our favourite orphaned songs that have banded together to form a unit. They are focused on the theme of the mind unmoored – those of us who have been left to drift unsupervised through the modern world. Four of these tracks were originally intended for inclusion on Perpetual Motion People. Two of them were for The Year of No Returning. But they weren’t ready until now.

“The first three songs are our vision of rock and roll. A madness that overtakes your mind and body. It’s wanting to go somewhere you’ve never been, knowing you’re on your way. The second side is acoustic guitar as open wound, a troubled mind on display. Emotional in a different way, tender like a bruise. It includes ‘The Refugee’, my first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.

“We dedicate this record to refugees of all kinds, all over the world. May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and and may those with power welcome them as fellow citizens of humanity.

“This feels like an end of a chapter for me, musically. A beautiful, insane chapter. Keep an ear out for our next phase – we’ve been dreaming big.”

Listen to ‘Teddy I’m Ready’ below and get prepared for a heap of live shows in the UK. Get Big Fugitive Life on Bella Union from August 19th


Father John Misty performs a song off of his latest album “I Love You, Honeybear.”

Staying true to his name, Father John Misty often delivers live performances that transcend the stage and feel like out-of-body religious experiences. His appearance on last night’s installment of Colbert was no different.

Josh Tillman commanded his way through both the subdued and dramatic portions of I Love You, Honeybear highlight “Holy Shit” with grace as well as a conviction that perhaps only a preacher could muster up.
While the studio version uses a swelling orchestral arrangement to signal a shift in the song’s dynamics, here that instance is marked by a pretty epic drum solo, wild, flashing lights and all. Everything changes after that point — you could say it was a true “Holy Shit” kind of moment.

Its been a phenomenal year for FATHER JOHN MISTY. His breakthrough second album, I Love You, Honeybear figured highly in most Best of 2015 lists including being Number 1 in GQ, Loud And Quiet and Drowned In Sound, Number 2 in Shindig and Rough Trade Shops, Number 3 in The Guardian and Sunday Times, 5 in Uncut, 11 in Q and Number16 in NME. To add to these accolades Father John Misty has now been nominated for International Male Solo Artist at the year’s Brit Awards alongside Drake, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd.

In other news, with his two Roundhouse shows in May having long-since sold-out, Father John Misty recently announced a third and final performance at Camden’s iconic venue on Friday 20th May. Upcoming UK live dates below:

Wednesday 11th May – LEEDS – O2 Academy
Thursday 12th May – GLASGOW – O2 ABC **(SOLD OUT!)**
Friday 13th May – MANCHESTER – Albert Hall **(SOLD OUT!)**
Saturday 14th May – GATESHEAD – The Sage Gateshead **(SOLD OUT!)**
Sunday 15th May – NOTTINGHAM – Rock City
Tuesday 17th May – BRISTOL – Colston Hall
Wednesday 18th May – LONDON – Roundhouse **(SOLD OUT!)**
Thursday 19th May – LONDON – Roundhouse **(SOLD OUT!)**
Friday 20th May – LONDON – Roundhouse
Saturday 21st May – SOUTHAMPTON – O2 Guildhall

Critical acclaim for I Love You, Honeybear, out now on Bella Union:

“I Love You, Honeybear is a masterpiece. An at once personal and existential examination of a love affair and love itself, the album contains melodies other writers would kill for.”
Sunday Times (Album Of The Week)

“Hugely entertaining… Its hard to tell where Joshua Tillman ends and his alias Father John Misty begins – but it doesn’t matter when the songs sound this good.”
The Guardian – 5 Stars ***** (Album Of The Week)

“A revelation… A hugely ambitious, caustically funny album about the redemptive possibilities of love.”
NME – 9/10 (Album Of The Week)

“It wows the listener outright… An album that reaffirms your faith in the transformative powers of love.”
The Observer – 4 Stars **** (Album Of The Week)

“Tillman is one of music’s most arch satirists.”
Time Out – 4 Stars (Album Of The Week)

“A compelling and addictive listen. The gags are good, but the songs are always better.”
Loud And Quiet – 10/10

“For it’s black lyrical humour alone, I Love You, Honeybear would be a winner. The fact that it’s matched to towering songwriting and swirling orchestrations makes it masterful stuff… A provocative star is born.”
Q – 4 Stars ****

“An epic creation which takes its cues from the likes of Harry Nilsson, Dory Previn and John Grant, it belongs to that honourable tradition which sets beautifully orchestrated pop and AOR against brutally honest and sometimes comically profane sentiments, sung with dramatic, edge-of-the-cliff conviction… A truly compelling album.”
Uncut – 8/10

“Essentially an album-length love letter to his new wife, these are grand arrangements in the style of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson.”
MOJO – 4 Stars ****

“A former Fleet Fox delivers something wondrous: a tart, timely, Broadway-bright boost for the devalued currency of the love song. Sneaking dark lyrics into plush settings in no new trick, but there’s no denying Tillman masters it.”
Independent On Sunday – 4.5/5 *****

“Richly layered and immaculately played, Tillman has a forte for poignant detail as well as some deliciously spicy wit.”
Metro – 4 Stars (Album Of The Week)

“His second album restates his lyrical brilliance… Strings, mariachi trumpets and harmonies work a treat, framing tunes that echo Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman.”
Daily Mail – 5 Stars *****

“FJM mixes tuneful Americana with heavy dollops of ’70s-style balladry. Much of it sounds like Elton John, circa Don’t Shoot Me, with the same blend of witty and powerful lyricism.”
Sunday Express – 5 Stars ***** (Album Of The Week)

“An album that evokes – and stands up to – the likes of Glen Campbell’s Reunion: The Songs Of Jimmy Webb and Gene Clark’s No Other, Tillman has created a sumptuously arranged set of gold-standard singer-songwriterly fare, the FJM guise has allowed Tillman to loosen up and write the most acerbic, carnal and surprisingly lovelorn material of his career.”
Record Collector – 4 Stars (New Album Of The Month)

“This breathtaking album will surely see Father John Misty walk away with all those end of year trophies.”
London In Stereo (Album Of The Month)

“FJM wields a grand echoing production that evokes the decadent 70s pop craftsmanship of Harry Nilsson, while tossing out some of the funniest lines since Dylan’s scornful peak.”
Mail On Sunday – 4 Stars ****

“Rich and rewarding… Slowed-down honky tonk and sumptuous orchestrations in Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow’ are reminiscent of classic Elton John while ‘Bored in the USA’ combines dreamy piano balladry with sardonic lyrics.”
Financial Times – 4 Stars ****

“an album by turns passionate and disillusioned, tender and angry, so cynical it’s repulsive and so openhearted it hurts.”
Pitchfork – 8.8

“I Love You, Honeybear is an exceptional work… A lush string-laden album anchored by a literate turn of phrase that’s by turns romantic, deeply cynical and often incredibly funny.”
Shindig – 4 Stars ****

“With his new Father John Misty record, Tillman is opening up and baring everything.”
DIY – 4 Stars ****

“Rich and absorbing… Brilliant stuff.”
The Sun – 4 Stars ****

“Tillman repeatedly hits the compositional sweet spot… The songs glow with gorgeous, flowing orchestrations and svelte arrangements.”
The Mirror – 4 Stars ****