Posts Tagged ‘Ben Walker’

Seedlings All

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have revealed heavenly new track “Bathed In Light” from their upcoming new album ‘Seedlings All’ due to be released 23rd March. the release also includes a Bonus CD of three previously unreleased tracks.

Josienne explains the background to “Bathed In Light”: “As a performer I’ve always been torn between my need for attention and my fear of how exposing it is, especially as a songwriter. In that 30 seconds before the first note when the audience is silent and the lights are on you, I’m gripped with nerves and I ask myself ‘why do you put yourself through this?’ This song is basically the narrative that runs through my head as I sweat and panic. I want it to go well, and my stage fright has always come from a fear that I’m not really made of strong enough stuff for a performing career but I’ve gone and wasted my life trying to do it and what else would I do and by the second or third note I love it…..”

Today our favourite musical folksters Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have announced that they will release their fifth album ‘Seedlings All’ on 23rd March on Rough Trade Records.

’Seedlings All’ is Josienne & Ben’s first album to be made up of all original songs and is songwriter Clarke’s most autobiographical work to date. She explains: “For the first time I’m out there alone with a bunch of songs that expose my insecurities, fears of failure and inflated pride. They deal with my own specific thoughts and feelings about the reality of pursuing this kind of career, the cost to personal relationships, circumstance and lifestyle, and asking the question – “Is this still worth it?”

It’s this theme that informs the album’s stunning opening track “Chicago”, which the duo have unveiled today along with a video by filmmaker Bob Gallagher (the man behind many of Girl Band’s visuals).

Of the track, Josienne explains: “We drove all day to get to Chicago, but then NO ONE came to the gig. It was one of those gigs where you wonder whether it’s even worth going on, but we’re sticklers for a contractual obligation, so we played.  After our set one of the guys from the support band said to me that he thought an hour set of our music was “a bit long” because “it’s the kind of music you have to listen to and think about and it’s Saturday and no one wants to do that”.  So I was sitting at the bar drinking my quadruple Bulliet bourbon thinking “fuck this, I’m not doing it anymore, the world is not made for my gift!” and then I realised that I was being a knob and that’s just how it is, we’re not the fucking Beatles and we have to start somewhere, we played to no one in the UK and we’d have to get used to it here too. So I wrote this song mainly to have a word with myself about not being a massive diva….”

Having spent last Autumn honing their already incredible live show supporting Richard Thompson across the UK, we’re sure there won’t be any empty venues on the BBC Folk Award-winning pair’s upcoming European tour

Taken from Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker’s album ‘Seedlings All’, out 23rd March on Rough Trade Records

Photo credit: Jenna Foxton

Coming up through the cloistered English folk scene, this north London duo have filled their repertoire with songs dating back centuries, but Overnight, their Rough Trade debut, is their first album to feature primarily originals. Clarke has been holding out, with a lyrical style as luminescent and melancholy as her voice. On “Nine Times Along” she describes the wax and wane of a relationship against the lunar cycle and the gentle current of Ben Walker’s elegant guitar-work, working from the timeless wisdom that time heals not all wounds.

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CAR SEAT HEADREST – TEENS OF DENIAL
‘Teens of Denial’ is the thirteenth album in Car Seat Headrest’s (aka 23-year-old Will Toledo) oeuvre, second on Matador, and first to be recorded in a proper studio with a full band and producer (Steve Fisk). On Denial, Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic-rock grandeur and huge (if detailed and personal) narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor. By turns tender and caustic, empathetic and solipsistic, literary and vernacular, profound and profane, self-loathing and self-aggrandizing, he conjures a specifically 21st century mindset, a product of information overload, the loneliness it can foster, and the escape music can provide. At the heart of the album sits the 11:32 ‘Ballad of the Costa Concordia,’ which has more musical ideas than most whole albums (and at that length, it uses them all). Horns, keyboards, and elegant instrumental interludes set off art-garage moments; vivid vocal harmonies follow punk frenzy. The selfish captain of the capsized cruise liner in the Mediterranean in 2013 becomes a metaphor for struggles of the individual in society, as experienced by one hungover young man on the verge of adulthood.
2LP – Double Vinyl with Download.

ARIEL PINK / R STEVIE MOORE – KU KLUX GLAM

Psych-pop masterpiece from two of the best to ever do it. Los Angeles native and weirdo-pop enthusiast Ariel Pink joins forces with lo-fi pop pioneer R. Stevie Moore in a crazy freak-out extravaganza. Back in 2012, two leaders of the modern psych scene colluded together in making a 60+ track album. Here, we have the definitive collection of songs from ‘Ku Klux Glam’. Re-mastered and compiled by R. Stevie Moore, this is a presentation of this record in it’s clearest form.

BELLY –  STAR

The 1993 classic album reissued on limited Gatefold Double White Marbled vinyl with CD Version. Following her inestimable contributions as a founding member of both Throwing Muses and The Breeders, Tanya Donelly took centre stage to form Belly with brothers Tom and Chris Gorman on guitars and drums respectively and Fred Abong on bass. Around the release of their debut album ‘Star’ in 1993, Fred left the band and was replaced by Gail Greenwood. Among a wave of essential new American guitar acts in the early-90s, it was Belly’s spikey dreampop that helped set them apart. Catching fire with singles ‘Feed The Tree’ and ‘Gepetto’, ‘Star’ saw them grab their moment and catapulted them in to the mainstream, selling almost two million copies worldwide and earning them two Grammy nominations. A second album followed in 1995, ‘King’, before they called it quits a year later. Coming with updated artwork from Chris Gorman and package design from Chris Bigg, the new version is now spread across two LPs, pressed on white marbled vinyl and presented in a gatefold sleeve. It also includes a bonus CD of the album.

BEAR’S DEN –  RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN

‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales with the band’s long term producer Ian Grimble, in sessions following a six week European and UK tour that had culminated in an ecstatically received sold-out show at The Roundhouse last October. Inspired by – among other things – the paintings of Edward Hopper, the novels of Raymond Carver and film director Robert Altman’s Short Cuts – ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ is both erudite and intensely personal, defying trends and easy labelling. Musically, it also sees a startling progression. Because while the band’s folk roots are still evident, they now come cloaked in the lush alchemy of ’70’s and ’80’s FM rock: Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and in particular, the nocturnal ambience of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’. More contemporary influence, meanwhile, comes from artists including The National and Sufjan Stevens. Brutally honest, brilliantly realised and spiritually uplifting, ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ is a masterful album from a band confident enough leave their past in the rear view mirror.
CD – Digi sleeve on reverse board.
LP – Reverse board standard sleeve with printed inner.

THE CULT OF DOM KELLER – GOODBYE TO THE LIGHT

The Cult Of Dom Keller – a four-piece from the Midlands – make the kind of experimental goth- tinged psych that, has thus far, eluded 2016. Fans of Swans and The Icarus Line will find plenty to entertain them here – this is a band unafraid to take risks. The thing that first impresses on hearing The Cult Of Dom Keller is the sheer scale of their intentions. Speaking of first single ‘Broken Arm Of God,’ the band said “we wanted it to sound like a volcano giving birth to an atomic bomb. It has bass and baritone guitar that killed 3 guitar amps in one afternoon, then a studio preamp. It’s probably costing us a fortune in damages and repairs. The result was exactly what we wanted though” This band can make a lot of noise. To focus on that however would be to negate what makes this band truly beguiling: nuance. Take ‘Deepest Pit Of Emptiness’ for example – its prog leanings combined with a decidedly English vocal delivery are as distinctive and profound as anything released this year. The Cult Of Dom Keller have pushed themselves sonically on this album, it’s by far their most experimental release to date. It’s also an album rooted in darkness. “The new album deals with the theme of uncertainty, and put more simply – the end.” That theme resonates throughout the entire album. Fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will be enamoured, but play to it a Sisters Of Mercy fan and watch their reaction: there is a new contender for the throne.
LP – Limited Coloured vinyl album.

JOSIENNE CLARKE AND BEN WALKER – THROUGH THE CLOUDS

British duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have risen to star status lately on the English acoustic scene, earning last year’s Best Duo award from the BBC Folk Awards and across-the- board praise for two self-released albums, most recently ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’, with its lush single ‘Silverline’. Clarke and Walker release a new EP, ‘Through The Clouds,’ via Rough Trade, featuring a handful of the best tracks from their small catalogue, rearranged anew. ‘Through The Clouds’ is meant as an introduction to the duo; in addition to ‘Silverline’ it features a new, stripped-down version of ‘Done’ (ballads on opposite sides of love and loneliness), an alternate mix of the spooky Shirley Collins cover ‘Hares On The Mountain’ and the original album version of ‘The Tangled Tree’, a brilliant showcase of Clarke’s vocal range and expression. While The Guardian anointed them “chamber folk” (they certainly cut their teeth in that thriving part of the UK music scene), Clarke is an unusually compelling singer, sharing more in common with Sandy Denny, Gillian Welch, or even Nina Nastasia and Laura Marling, than your usual staid folk artist. Walker is a prodigiously talented guitarist and arranger and the two of them are engaging and often funny in a live setting where, in addition to their own songs, they choose covers brilliantly, from Denny, to Jackson C Frank, to Nina Simone, to death-obsessed traditional ballads. Clarke and Walker will be recording their Rough Trade debut album for an Autumn 2016 release, with an eye toward bringing bigger, more modern arrangements and production to their beautifully-wrought songs and Clarke’s tremendous voice.

AGNES OBEL  –  CITIZEN OF GLASS

‘Citizen Of Glass’ is the new album from Agnes Obel, released on Play It Again Sam. ‘Citizen Of Glass’ is the follow-up to Obel’s UK breakthrough album ‘Aventine’ and was recorded, produced and mixed by Obel at Aventine-Neukolln and BrandNewMusic-Studios in Berlin.
CD – With lyric booklet
LP – 180 Gram black vinyl LP with download code and housed in a Gatefold sleeve.

THE AMAZING  –  AMBULANCE

‘Ambulance’ sees The Amazing continue their journey to a place where music is free of restrictions. Despite reflecting Chris Gunrup’s often bleak worldview, the music is expansive and beautiful, marked by playing that’s as much free jazz as rock – pure music without any showiness. The songs unfold slowly, without a traditional verse / chorus structure, spinning gauzy webs of shimmering mystery with their own inimitable dynamic of sinuous, swirling guitars; rich, ambient basslines; crisp percussion and restrained, church-like, keyboard textures. The stately tempos suggest a room full of shadows desperately reaching out for intimacy but never quite making the connection. The songs brim over with tension and more implied release than actual relief. Gunrup is known for his reluctance to talk about his process and prefers to let the music speak for itself and if 2015’s ‘Picture You’ was brighter, exploding outward to explore the limits of experience, ‘Ambulance’ is much more intimate. The mix denser and darker, the instruments pressing closer, crowding each other, imploding inward to reconnoitre the uncharted distances that exist between us, even in life’s most intimate moments. Sharing members with Sweden’s psych forefathers Dungen, the album delves into the hidden recesses of the heart, finding inner space to be just as expansive as the midnight sky. It was recorded in just a few days in one tiny room at Stockhom’s Buller and Bang studio.
LP – With Download.

THE FIREWORKS  –  BLACK AND BLUE EP

Limited to 300 Copies. Shelflife is proud to bring you the Limited Blue vinyl 10″ ‘Black and Blue EP’, the first release by London and Brighton-based group The Fireworks since their debut LP, 2015’s ‘Switch Me On’. Following a handful of fantastic 7″ singles and a self-titled EP, the quartet exceeded already high expectations on their debut album. ‘Switch Me On’s 13 tracks soar by in a blur of warm, fuzzed-out feedback, infectious hooks and pure unadulterated energy.  Fans old and new of The Fireworks will not be let down by their new ‘Black and Blue EP’. The release may only be four tracks long, but you’ll be needing to take a breather after it’s done. These songs mark the most rocking we’ve heard The Fireworks thus far, while still keeping the catchy melodies and pop sensibility we’ve come to expect from them. The driving opener ‘All the Time’ is an instant favourite, and the dynamic track tells listeners right off the bat that this is no mellow, passive listen. ‘The Ghost Of You‘ features jangly guitar work and fantastic dual vocals from Matthew Rimell and Emma Hall, making the track a shimmering pop gem. Of course, the distortion that smattered ‘Switch Me On’ is still present, and tracks like ‘Bury Me’ will have you jumping around in a fit of uncontrollable vigor (perhaps why they chose to name this the ‘Black and Blue EP’). The band touches down on all bases on this new release, making it an essential listen whether or not you’ve been a fan in the past. For fans of: Razorcuts, Buzzcocks, Girls At Our Best!, Revolving Paint Dream, The Shop Assistants, Meat Whiplash, Bubblegum Splash. Vinyl with Download.
Image of Faun Fables - Born Of The Sun

Faun Fables are back with ‘Born Of The Sun’. Since 1998, Faun Fables has been the musical world of Dawn McCarthy, visited in collaboration with her partner Nils Frykdhal. In early times, their wild spirit roamed the streets and hills of the SF / Oakland community while, pilgrim-like, wandering the world and issuing two albums of deeply-rooted, swirlingly other folk music in 1999 and 2001. With the release of ‘Family Album’ in 2004, Drag City got involved and ‘The Transit Rider’ (2006), ‘A Table Forgotten’ (2008) and ‘Light Of A Vaster Dark’ (2010) followed. Now, suddenly, it’s 2016. Six years have passed since ‘Light Of A Vaster Dark’ appeared. Life has happened, in the form of three children born to Dawn and Nils.

Anyone who has spent time in the thrall of Faun Fables’ bewitching sound knows that this was the dream; beyond Dawn’s passion for song, dance, theatre and all manner of folklore (plus a regular regimen of yodelling), the mythic shadows of home and hearth, friends and family, have infused all of their expressions. Now, raising the family that was once only dreamed about makes for an earthier and more expansive Faun Fables album, informed by the slow and sudden progress of time that occurs when we are with the very young.

‘Born Of The Sun’ is in itself another birthing, the songs gestating over several years, then recorded mostly in concentrated periods over the past two winters. On previous albums, the passions of Faun Fables seemed to be laid firmly on the stones of the Old World. The minstrels who cavorted across the cover of ‘Mother Twilight’ seemed out of another, hard-to-place time. ‘Born Of The Sun’ continues on in this exalted tradition but also reflects the rhythms of family living, where each day is a new and irreversible step forward through the necessarily scorched earth of raising children.

Where ‘Family Album’ and ‘A Table Forgotten’ looked yearningly through time at the spiritual natures of communal living, ‘Born Of The Sun’ is forged in the crucible of now and, as such, has a feeling apart from the previous days of Faun Fables.

Dawn and Nils and the kids (whose vocals on ‘Wild Kids Rant’ suggest they are following their parents’ path into the forest) are embracing the phenomena of creation as they move inexorably forward. ‘Born Of The Sun’ is the bountiful and exuberant album of this place and time – an old, candlelit world of arcane beliefs in our brightly-lit world, growing ever more profound in the light of perpetual discovery that bathes all of Faun Fables’ songs.

An enchanting and often beguiling mix of traditional medieval folk and swirling Californian psychedelic sounds. Progressive but coherent chord changes and textures develop as time goes on, building and morphing into a cacophony of instrumental depth and vocal intensity. Fascinating and thoroughly skilled instrumentation and (in places) frightening heart-wrenchingly poignant lyricism. A Journey not to be missed.

BEACH SLANG –  A LOUD BASH OF TEENAGE FEELINGS

Beach Slang’s second full-length is a crash-and-thunder collection of songs about what it takes to keep yourself going, to make it through the rest of the night – hell, through the rest of your youth – and beyond. Frontman James Alex wrote much of ‘A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings’ on their first album’s support tour, during which he spent a lot of time with the kids who’d picked up the record. “A lot of the songs [on Loud Bash] are the stories of the kids who got turned on to Beach Slang by the first album,” says Alex. “They’re autobiographical, too, but kind of at a remove – I’m not that young kid anymore, but I used to be. You know how it is; rock and roll is a new crop of 15-year-olds picking up guitars every year and having at it. There was something really cool about documenting someone elses life, but seeing myself in it. I suppose that’s why we connect. We’re all kind of one big gang.” LP – Black Vinyl. LP+ – Limited Clear with Blue Splatter Vinyl.

BEACH HOUSE – ZEBRA
“Zebra” was Beach House’s follow up EP to the highly acclaimed breakthrough album “Teen Dream” which was centered around that album’s lead-off cut.

Josienne Clarke is a glorious, and very funny, purveyor of gloom who argues that she can now be as miserable as she likes after she and Ben Walker won best duo at this year’s folk awards. This the elegant and suitably melancholy opening track to their last album, Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour. From the album ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour ‘
Out on Folkroom Records October 13th, 2014.

Josienne-Ben-630x370

Nominated for Best Duo and Newcomer at the Fatea awards for British Folk, Josienne Clarke, powerful and pure vocals reminiscent of english folk heroine Sandy Denny and Judy Dyble and Ben Walker with some guitar mastery are one of the best Folk bands you will see and hear. they are similar to the Richard and Linda Thompson of I want to see the Bright Lights era,