Posts Tagged ‘Domino Recordings’

Last month, Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy announced their new album,Superwolves”, out digitally April 30th and physically June 18th. Today, they release a new single “My Blue Suit,” with an accompanying video directed by Geoff McFetridge, and announce their first tour together since 2014. The tour will see the duo return to their ancestral lupine roots in Big Sur, the site of one of their first live performances, and beyond.
“My Blue Suit” follows previously released singles/videos “Make Worry For Me” and “Hall of Death.” Where “Hall of Death” featured a full band (courtesy of Tuareg guitar giant Mdou Moctar), “My Blue Suit” presents the duo at their core with Sweeney on acoustic guitar and Bonny (aka Will Oldham) on vocals. 

McFetridge elaborates on the video below:
I started this video by painting. The work I created, in response to the song, was large scale figures I could use in scenes filmed on camera. All the images in the film are done in camera, there are no digital effects. The graphic sequences were done with paintings wrapped around a garbage can placed on a Techniques 1200 turntable. The tools used to create the effects were knives, glue, paint and tape.
The pieces created for the film are nearly life size portraits done with acrylic on paper. These works, the film and the animated elements will be shown in the project space of Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, opening May 1st.”

Track from the Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy album “Superwolves,” out on Digital & Streaming on April 30th, 2021 and LP/CS/CD on June 18th, 2021 from Drag City/Palace Records and Domino Recordings.

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Real Estate are back with news of their upcoming EP “Half a Human”, and have released the title-track as the first taster. “Half a Human” marks the band’s first single of 2021, following last year’s The Main Thing album and their cover of Galaxie 500’s “Plastic Bird” that dropped in August 2020. Real Estate‘s “Half a Human” EP consists of six songs that were first conceived during The Main Thing album sessions, and finished remotely by the band during the pandemic.

Vocalist and guitarist Martin Courtney says, “Life keeps changing and additional responsibilities and stresses keep being added, but this band is still here. When I was writing a lot of these songs, I was feeling a little weird about being in a band. Like, ‘how is this still a thing?’ I was feeling silly about it and then coming around to it at the same time. This is what we’re good at and it’s what we love to do and want to keep doing. I don’t want to do anything else.”

“Half a Human” marks the band’s first single of 2021, following last year’s The Main Thing album, 

Real Estate – “Half a Human” from ‘Half a Human EP,’ out 26th March on Domino Record Co.

As part of their recent augmented reality Quarantour, Real Estate brought their brand of indie rock to everyone’s favourite kitchen appliance.

“We’ve always wanted to play inside of your refrigerator,” the band said of the “Gone” performance via press release. “We unearthed this live in-studio performance of ‘Gone’ from way back in December, and our friends Callen were kind enough to make our dreams come true. We hope you enjoy this new video as much as we do!”

Real Estate – “Gone (Live Refrigerator Version)” from ‘The Main Thing,’ out now on Domino Recordings.

Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specialising in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives even further into the musical dichotomies they’re known for—lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily— and what emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks.
 
Released February 28th, 2020

Young Marble Giants announce 40th anniversary special edition reissue of 'Colossal Youth'

Colossal Youth is the legendary debut album by Young Marble Giants; an album that has influenced the likes of Nirvana and Belle and Sebastian with its paradoxical combination of abstract, sparse electronica and warm, intimate introspection.

Comprised of guitarist-songwriter Stuart Moxham, brother and bassist Philip, and singer Alison Statton, Young Marble Giants emerged from the punk and post-punk landscape with a sound like no one else. Recorded in five days, Colossal Youth went on to influence whole legions from Sheffield to Seattle, looking to de-grungify gangs of four or more. They found fans in the likes of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Belle & Sebastian, David Byrne, Sonic Youth, The Magnetic Fields. 

Cited as one of the most definitive records of the post-punk era, there is something almost canonical about the album’s use of voice, muted instruments and space. Colossal Youth’s attention to sparse detail is now a modus operandi for haunted electronica auteurs and spectral singer-songwriters alike, but ultimately, only the Young Marble Giants sound like Young Marble Giants.

Young Marble Giants ‘Colossal Youth: 40th Anniversary Edition’ includes the titular album as well as songs from ‘Salad Days’, ‘Is The War Over?’, the ‘Final Day’ single and their ‘Testcard’ EP, plus a live DVD of their last ever US show at Hurrah in New York in 1980. Indies exclusive clear vinyl.

Colossal Youth is the opposite of ‘Anarchy In The UK’ or ‘Clash City Rockers’, [but] every bit as good.” – Dave McCullough, Sounds 17/05/1980

Young Marble Giants (YMG)’s one and only album Colossal Youth celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the Cardiff trio are releasing a special edition reissue. Young Marble Giants –  Colossal Youth 40th Anniversary Editionincludes the titular album as well as songs from Salad Days, Is The War Over, the “Final Day” single and their Testcard EP as well a live DVD of their last ever US show at Hurrah in New York in 1980.

Alongside the announcement, the band have shared live footage of them performing “Final Day”, taken from the DVD.

 Released on Domino Recordings

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Even if you hate every note that Glasgow’s Orange Juice recorded in their early 1980s heyday, it would be almost impossible not to admire their guts. Scotland had caught on to punk late. When it did, audiences steadfastly clung to the troglodytic cartoon peddled by Sham 69 and Sid Vicious. Gigs were big on spitting and violence. There may have been more dangerous places to perform the songs collected on “The Glasgow School” – alternately sarcastic and romantic, invariably limp-wristed, and equipped with fruity lyrics about frolicking in the dew and doting on awfully pretty girls – but you couldn’t have reached them without joining the SAS.

Orange Juice fused new wave vibrancy with sun-dappled mid-1960s pop and disco. Under punk’s scorched-earth policy, the former was strictly verboten, but the latter constituted a flagrant incitement to public disorder. Orange Juice’s three albums, along with compilations of various shapes and sizes, have floated in and out of print throughout the years.

The four singles and unreleased debut album Orange Juice recorded for indie label Postcard in 1980 and 1981 still seem faintly miraculous. That is partly because of their remarkable musical content: there has never really been anything like it since, although not for want of trying. It is partly down to the subversive tang that clings to their greatest songs. The gleeful chant of “no more rock’n’roll for you!” on 1981’s Poor Old Soul sounds like a manifesto.

Instead, Orange Juice became, first, Britain’s hippest band, then bona fide pop stars – their big hit was 1983’s “Rip It Up” – and finally, an influence on everyone from the Smiths to Belle and Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand. The Glasgow School explains why. They were the first band to notice that the Velvet Underground’s agitated, trebly strumming bore a surprising correspondence to both the scratchy funk guitar of Chic’s peerless disco anthems and Northern Soul’s staccato chords. Both songs on their 1980 single “Blue Boy/Love Sick” sound breathlessly thrilled at this discovery: stomping Wigan Casino drums, funk basslines, piercing solos and jangling guitars all fighting for space. Even today, the excitement is infectious.

Orange Juice just couldn’t stop themselves writing gorgeous melodies. The starry-eyed swoon of Dying Day and the dizzy ebullience of Wan Light or Tender Object were strong enough to withstand the cheap studios and the band’s endearingly ramshackle musicianship. The unlikely mainstream success of Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You,” the history of post-punk, or the birth of indie pop. “The Glasgow School”, released in 2005 by Domino Recordings, contains the band’s four singles for Postcard, the bulk of Ostrich Churchyard (a disc released in 1992, containing early versions of what would become 1982’s You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever), a Stars on 45-style version of “Simply Thrilled Honey,” and a crude cover of the Ramones’ “I Don’t Care.”

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For a lot of people, the material here (dating no later than 1981) is where Orange Juice begins and ends. The band signed to Polydor soon after the latest song on this disc was recorded, and they promptly gave their sound a coat of shiny wax — so they helped invent indie pop, only to abandon it before their first album. Though the notion extends throughout Orange Juice’s discography, they were nothing if not fearless. What other way is there to describe lyrics like “I wore my fringe like Roger McGuinn’s/I was hoping to impress/So frightfully camp — you laughed,” or their wholly convincing (if occasionally gawky) way of bouncing the jangly folk-rock of the Byrds off the fat-bottomed disco drive of Chic, all the while creating an identity all their own? Both the singles and the Ostrich Churchyard takes are as crafty as they are crude, and if you can’t get past the amateurishness, there’s plenty of winsome attitude to win you over. This disc serves as proof that, along with Josef K, Associates, Altered Images, Simple Minds, Cocteau Twins, and the Scars, Orange Juice helped make Scotland a very productive resource during the post-punk/new wave era.

Weaker tunes would certainly have buckled beneath Edwyn Collins’ unique approach to vocals. A couple of months ago, the website where Grace Collins has courageously documented her husband’s recovery from a cerebral haemorrhage reported that he had been singing again, adding that “his tuning needs working on”. “Grace,” one fan gently replied, “his tuning always did need work.” In fact, you could spend all day throwing adjectives at Collins’ voice on The Glasgow School and still not come up with a satisfactory description. Occasionally, he sounded like a Caledonian Bryan Ferry attempting to croon while balancing marbles on his tongue and stifling a fit of the giggles. Usually he sounded more peculiar than that.

What should have been irritatingly affected is charming. This may have something to do with the words Collins sang. Displaying his famed capacity for candour and even-handedness, Morrissey has never conceded his debt, but he was definitely taking notes. Collins‘ lyrics are rich with the same jaded sarcasm, arcane language and rarefied romantic longing. Striking lines whizz past with startling regularity: “The fun begins as soon as you stop your whining”; “To put it in a nutshell, you’re a heartless mercenary”; “Sorry to moan but it’s what I do best”.

Inevitably, perception of The Glasgow School has been changed by Collins’ illness. For a brief and horrible moment, it looked as if an album intended to reaffirm Orange Juice’s place among the pantheon of truly great British bands might become a memorial for their former leader. Now, with Collins apparently improving, it feels like a particularly potent get well soon message. Pop music needs unique and innovative talent. As The Glasgow School proves, they come no more unique and innovative than this.

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When Ela Minus first surfaced a few years ago with a series of gorgeous EPs that culminated with 2017’s Adapt., there was something unusually striking about her synthesized productions alongside her vapory vocals. Perhaps it’s because Ela Minus’s Gabriela Jimeno forgoes the use of computerized sounds in favour of those emanating from synths that she builds and designs herself. The Colombian-born, Brooklyn-based producer and singer just released her debut LP, “Acts of Rebellion”, via Domino Recordings, and is maintaining the analogue approach to her compositions. On tracks like “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.” and “el cielo no es de nadie,” (translation: “heaven belongs to nobody”) Jimeno ruminates on purposeful solitude with an unwavering club sensibility. Ela Minus is a necessary Latinx voice in indie electronica. 

Ela Minus’ debut album is a collection about the personal as political and embracing the beauty of tiny acts of revolution in our everyday lives. Throughout, a sense of urgency and a call to arms is mixed with this love and appreciation for reality—because even revolutionaries need to leave space for simple human interaction. 

Ela Minus“megapunk” from the new album ‘acts of rebellion’ out now on Domino Record Co.

Although the concept of B-sides has largely disappeared in this digital day and age when Spotify rules listening habits (while also refusing to adequately compensate artists), when Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince started The Kills in 2000 things were very different. The release of physical singles with B-sides was much more commonplace. It was also incredibly prevalent among the punk rock scene in which Mosshart first cut her teeth as a teenager in Florida with punks Discount (still the best band she’s ever been in, but that’s also a story for another day). It’s little surprise, then, that The Kills were big purveyors of the B-side, and have compiled theirs, along with a bunch of other rarities that spans the band’s two-decade career to date, for Little Bastards. While the very nature of a B-side might imply it wasn’t good enough to be released on an album or as a single, that’s not always the case, so to dismiss this as a collection of offcuts for dedicated fans of the band would be harsh. 

Indeed, there are some tracks here that are definitely good enough to warrant their inclusion on actual Kills albums—the scuzzy gloom of “Kiss the Wrong Side” for instance, or the dour celebration of miserablism that is “London Hates You,” which sounds more like Yeah Yeah Yeahs than The Kills. Is that why it’s one of the better tracks here? Quite possibly. That problem with The Kills is the one-dimensionality of their sound. While that other famous male-female bluesy-rock duo The White Stripes—to whom comparisons were rife when The Kills first started, and for valid reasons—found a way to swell and evolve their sound over time (even as they became a parody of themselves), The Kills, on the whole, never quite managed to do the same. 

Certainly, the spooky, made-for-a-Tim-Burton-movie stylings of “I Call It Art” and the electronic strains of “Blue Moon” are examples of the band at its best and most interesting, but they’re offset by the anemic chug of blues standard “Forty Four”—which removes most of the soul of the original—and the band’s rather basic, unsubtle, and emotionless version of “I Put a Spell on You.” Granted, both of those are covers, but both “Weed Killer” and “The Search for Cherry Red”—not to mention the inane “Magazine”—demonstrate the duo’s reliance on affectation and the one-dimensionality at the heart of what they do. Yes, this is a rarities compilation, but unlike the best rarities compilations it doesn’t really offer any insight into the band or their music-making processes. Which means, on the whole, this is best served for those who are already fans of the band. Others probably won’t find much of interest here.

from the collection of b-sides and rarities ‘Little Bastards’, out now on Domino Recordings .

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“On Heart’s Ease”, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Shirley Collins – “Sweet Greens and Blues”, from ‘Heart’s Ease’, released 24th July 2020 on Domino Recordings.

Sorry

Genre traversing North London collective Sorry have been bubbling under the radar for a couple of years now. Centred around the creative nucleus of childhood friends Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Brien, the band’s ability to fuse apparently disparate musical elements into something cohesive and unique is just one of the reasons people are getting very excited about this band. They don’t play by the rules and mix lo-fi indie-pop with thumping electronica, hip hop beats and soaring distorted riffs. They take their influences from everywhere and anywhere rather than allowing themselves to be constrained by artistically reductive by ill-advised genre tagging. Since signing to Domino Records the band have shown no signs of playing it safe and continue to be as experimental and off the wall as ever.

Sorry, the north London band are centred around songwriting duo Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen. 925 is music for high-functioning depressives, combining the sly pop smarts of Blur at their smackiest with the post-grunge pop of Cat Power and the post-everything pop of Dean Blunt without bothering to paper over the cracks – in fact, the cracks are kind of the whole point.

But the whole is held together by a strange glue, finding beauty in a world their generation finds itself increasingly locked out from: on the tentatively anthemic “Ode to Boy”, Lorenz composes an “ode for joy ’cause there is no joy”, and on “As the Sun Sets”, she sounds aglow with longing, like she’s got her face pressed up against the glass of a happier existence. On “In Unison”, she spits a line that, just a few short weeks ago, must have seemed a bleak nod to the trials of atomised 21st century life – “Everybody dreams alone, on their own, privately / in unison.” Flip the line on its head, though, and you can hear a note of frustrated optimism struggling to get free: what if, from all this solitude, something shared might begin to emerge?

“ODE TO BOY”

Asha Lorenz: This song was off the first mixtape. We revamped it for the album; we wanted it to play on the fact that it’s a knock-off of “Ode to Joy”. It sounds like a churchy choir song that you might sing at school. The lyrics are quite paternal and religious and also about innocence and love – it’s about protecting, really. We recorded a children’s choir singing the song and Campbell (Baum, bassist) played the organ.

Louis O’Bryen: We recorded the choir in a school hall in Highgate and then finished in James (Dring, producer)’s studio where we tried a lot of different glitchy sounds and effects to add over Campbell’s organ and the choir. We wanted the choir and their voices to mimic the childlike lyrics and innocence of the song.

“AS THE SUN SETS”

Asha Lorenz: This was one of the first newer songs (we wrote) that we knew we wanted to put on the album. We started at Asha’s with Louis producing and it was an overwhelmingly sweaty day. The lyrics were more of a string-of-consciousness and Louis and I worked quite quickly. It all flowed naturally and made sense; it felt like a cathartic song quite early on. The build-up bit in the middle and other parts of the song that make it bigger were added by Campbell Baum and Lincoln Barrett when we started playing it as a live band. Once it had developed for a while as a live song we then went into the studio to record it live. Finally, we took it to James Dring and together we merged the live song with the more ‘samply’ sounds we had made at home.

Louis O’Bryen: It reminds me of a hot summer’s day coming to an end, this one. It’s one of my favourites from the album and some of my favourite lyrics by Asha – it always makes me feel a little sad, but content. The electronic snare in it is a fave of mine, and adds to the weird, slightly apocalyptic feel of the tune – it sounds like a crow’s squawk. We also added loads of ethereal drone sounds to add to that feeling. We started this song on my computer at Asha’s house, making the bare bones of the tune with the weird sounds and snare, building it one part at a time, then took it to James who brought it to life.

“HEATHER”

Asha Lorenz: This is one of the lighter songs on the album. It’s a love song that’s more inspired by old crooner-esque artists like Tony Bennett. At the same time, we also wanted to make a Beatles-like showtune arrangement. For some reason it took the longest to finish because there was always a drum-pattern or one note that we wanted to change to make it perfect.

Louis O’Bryen: “Heather” is another of my favourites, and also a newer song on the album. Asha came to my house after she’d been on holiday with the first idea, then we built it (up) a bit at mine on the computer, adding the chorus and the horns, and then we took it to James. The chorus was an extension of that first idea of an old crooner-y love song, with the horns adding to that idea. We were always proud of this song, as I think it’s put together well and this makes me happy. It always reminds me of “Michelle” by The Beatles, for some reason.

“PERFECT”

Louis O’Bryen: “Perfect” is a very old song, one that’s close to the band’s heart, and one we’ve fallen in and out of love with many times. I wrote that first guitar part trying to replicate something like “Nude as the News” by Cat Power. We recorded a very old version at Asha’s and then it became a faster, more rocky live song, so it’s been through many different forms. I like it on the album as it’s energetic and picks things up a bit.

“IN UNISON”

Louis O’Bryen: This our marching band song, and a nice song to get into the album with, after “Right Round the Clock”.

Asha Lorenz: It’s quite a weird song. I tried to write it as though it was from an otherworldly character perspective looking in on humans, or perhaps someone in your head. It’s more based around phrases we use; it’s about trying to translate an idea. The drop is apocalyptic and every turn in the song makes you sink a bit lower into it. It started as a demo that we tried out live as a band before recording it. We also got a violin player to play on it so it didn’t sound too programmed. When we were working on it at home Louis thought it would be cool to add the ‘this is a demo’ voice, like Radiohead. ‘This is a demo’ is just what it said on their website but we thought it was cool so used it.

Their debut album 925 will be out via Domino Recordings in 2020.

SASAMI shares new track "Mess"

In March 2019, Los Angeles songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sasami released her self-titled debut album. Its ten tautly melodic rock tracks originated as a string of demos recorded straight to her iPad while on tour, and described the surprising ways that one’s relationships—with lovers, with friends, with oneself—can shift in a single year. The prolific Sasami (aka Los Angeles based musician Sasami Ashworth) via Domino Recordings. Last month she shared a brand new song, “Mess,” via a lyric video for the track. Ashworth says “‘Mess’ is where I’m at now” and that she wanted to release a new song to honor the one-year anniversary of her debut, before moving on to her sophomore album.

Ashworth had this to say about the song in a press release: “I started making my self-titled album almost three years ago. Since then I’ve fucked other people, healed bad relationships, broken new good ones, found more joy, more anger and everything in between. ‘Mess’ is where I’m at now. I wanted to end the year of my first album campaign with one last sentence before I crack into the stone slab of my next album. This time I didn’t want to provide any visual counterparts. I just want people to listen.”

When Sasami’s self-titled album was announced she shared a self-directed video for the new song “Jealousy,”. Then she shared a video for another new song from the album, “Free.” The song featured backing vocals from Devendra Banhart, although he was not in the video, Then Ashworth shared a video for “Morning Comes” that featured her grandmother hosting a cooking show where she teaches you to make kimichi. The album included the previous singles “Not the Time” and “Callous.”

Sasami earned acclaim from critics: a powerful first effort” according to Pitchfork; “one of the best debut rock albums of the past few years…incessantly replayable” via FLOOD; “impressive: finely crafted and introspective” per NPR.

Since then, Sasami has toured internationally, released a holiday 3-track single titled lil drmr bb, and curated an issue of the zine Yes Plz.

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North London’s Sorry have today shared their new video for ‘Perfect’, taken from their acclaimed debut record 925. The ‘Perfect’ video was directed and produced by the band’s Asha Lorenz and Flo Webb aka flasha.prod. whilst in isolation, using “an iPhone, a little strobe light and some black food colouring”. The track follows recent BBC Radio 6 Music playlisted singles ‘Right Round The Clock’ and ‘More’.

The band have also announced their rescheduled UK/EU tour dates for November and December, including a hometown headline show at Heaven on 2nd Dec.

Sorry – “Perfect”, taken from the debut album ‘925’, out now on Domino Recordings


J. ERIC SMITH

Slow molasses drip under a tipped-up crescent moon.

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