Posts Tagged ‘Domino Recordings’

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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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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

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Sorry are a bunch of snotty brats from north London who nick ideas from better bands (everyone from Tears For Fears to Oasis – they’re not picky), act like they’re too cool for the interviews they’ve agreed to do – as one poor NME writer recently found to his peril – and whose stage presence is best described as: mild. So it’s quietly devastating to report that the five of them have turned in one of the most incredible debut albums of the year so far.

After competing to see who could release the better songs on SoundCloud, they realised they were, in fact, better together. Sorry create an unusual, sexy take on modern indie rock – the febrile sound of city-dwelling, broke 22-year-olds, whose nights are dominated by hook-up culture and casual drug-taking – as evidenced on their debut album for Domino Records, “925”. Co-produced by James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T), it sees them finally wriggle free of being called a guitar band. Lorenz and O’Bryen describe their sound as pop music, but in early press Sorry saw themselves lumped in with bands in the south London music scene – sludgy art-school outfits such as Shame, Goat Girl and HMLTD. “We’re both from north London and live with our mums but play at [Brixton pub] the Windmill a lot,” says Lorenz. “I don’t feel a strong identity to where I’m from.”

According to O’Bryen, journalists and those within the music industry “just want to give people a reason to listen to something by calling it guitar music”. So what are Sorry? They’re a very 2020 band, in that they build their songs round the mood of whatever they’re singing about. A typical Sorry track is just as likely to be inflected with 90s grunge as with jazz or trip-hop.

It’s a weird moment to release this but we hope during this crazy & scary time you can find solace and peace in the musics. Big Thank you to James Dring, Louise, Bertie, Callum, Flo, Laurence, Jack, Will & Everyone at Domino.. and more thanks to our much adored fans, friends and family who have come to shows, listened to the tunes and fuel us with compassion, love and rich experiences. We hope you enjoy

A playful mix of indie, electro, jazz, pop and experimental music, ‘925’ has fun with the old maxim that there are no new ideas. Take lead single and signature song ‘Right Round The Clock’, which gleefully rips off aforementioned 1980s band Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World’: “I’m feeling kinda crazy/I’m feeling kinda mad/The dreams in which we’re famous are the best I’ve ever had”,sighs Asha Lorenz with an almost audible eye roll. It’s so brazen that it’s actually exciting, the band helping themselves to boomer culture as though they’re slipping £20 notes from their parents’ purses.


Sorry“Right Round The Clock”, taken from the debut album ‘925’, out now on Domino Recordings.

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“House of Sugar” is the type of album that gets you banned from having access to the aux cord—(Sandy) Alex G’s latest collection of bedroom-ideated folk and pop songs may feel like it would set the perfect mood for a road trip, but in reality it is, for lack of a better term impossible to make heads or tails of upon first encounter. Lead single “Gretel” probably stands as the best candidate for introducing the Orchid Tapes–reared songwriter to the rest of your car, a pristine pop song built upon an inexplicably functional formula of obscure instrumentation, venturing beyond that—through the faux-Southern accent of “Bad Man” and the numerous over-the-top experimental fillers might prove an exercise in defending an acquired taste.

A glitchy abstraction like “Near” may not grab your over caffeinated co-pilots’ attention immediately, but House of Sugar’s appeal ironically isn’t as aggressively sugar-coated as Alex G’s previous earworm singles. Taking his bedroom ideas to a Domino Recordings-signed artist’s bevy of resources, Sugar lucidly displays facets of the songwriter’s personality we’ve yet to see, both sounding the most alien to his previous discography and the most comfortable in terms of taking creative risks.

There’s as much of Alex’s character in the dream-inspired hoedown “Southern Sky” as there is in the shimmering interlude “Taking,” while the live recording of “Sugar House” that closes the album serves less as a bonus track and more as a crossing over from the surrealist House of Sugar universe into a palpable reality. There’s certainly an argument to be made for Sugar being a great record to listen to while drifting across state lines, though it feels more like an album to jam while drifting in and out of conscious states.

“Southern Sky” appears on (Sandy) Alex G’s new album ‘House of Sugar’ – out September 13th, 2019 on Domino Recordings.

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House of Sugar – (Sandy) Alex G’s ninth overall album and his third for Domino – is a highly meticulous, cohesive album: a statement of artistic purpose, showing off his ear for both persistent earworms and sonic adventurism.

Alex Giannascoli’s new album, House of Sugar, is populated by gamblers, chancers, and conmen — the same spirits that have haunted his work for a decade. Now that (Sandy) Alex G has outgrown his status as indie’s best kept secret, he’s grappling with those demons in public.  Alex — the 26-year-old singer, songwriter, bandleader, pitch-shift enthusiast, poet, session guitarist, book-lover, son, friend, brother, boyfriend, and aspiring pool shark better known as (Sandy) Alex G — is in New York for a few days to put some final touches on his new album a collection of haunted-feeling collection of off-kilter Americana.

“Hope” appears on (Sandy) Alex G’s new album ‘House of Sugar’ – out September 13th, 2019 on Domino Recordings.

In 2017 British art-rockers Wild Beasts announced their breakup in a typed up statement, signed by the band and posted to Instagram. That was followed by a final EP, Punk Drunk and Trembling, three farewell concerts came in February 2018, and a final album, February 2018’s live in the studio release Last Night All My Dreams Came True (which featured new interpretations of songs from across their catalogue).

Hayden Thorpe formerly their singer is about to release his debut solo album, “Diviner”, via Domino Recordings. this week he shared one last pre-release song from it, “Earthly Needs,” a track built around a hypnotic beat and Thorpe’s very distinctive emotive vocals.

Back in February Thorpe shared the album’s title track, “Diviner,” via a video. When the album was announced in April he shared another song from it, “Love Crimes,” . Diviner was written in California, Cornwall, and at Thorpe’s home in London.

A previous press release described the album as such: “Diviner is a deeply emotional album: lyrically generous in its candid tone and self-awareness, the melodies resonant with sense memory. The album feels like a startling departure from Thorpe’s previous work with Wild Beasts and also unlike anything else being made at the moment.”

Thorpe had this to say about the album in the previous press release: “My adulthood was based on a certain belief system, a band, a family. When it shifted entirely, I had a ghost I had to find a new haunt for…. I believe in the medicinal properties of songs. I believe in their healing properties, Songs defy time, they don’t erode or denature, they come with you and reform anew in your mind as and when you need them…. I broke up with myself. So this is a break-up album, but not about a relationship. It’s a break-up from a past self, it’s a breakup from the old idea of yourself and therefore every relationship, of all kinds, that you’ve ever had.”

Hayden Thorpe – the debut album Diviner, out 24th May 2019 on Domino Recordings.

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