Posts Tagged ‘Felt’

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Have you picked out your favourites to win the Mercury Prize tonight ,can’t wait to find out who’s bagged it. (i reckon there’s a 3-way fight in the shop between Nadine Shah, Sons of Kemet & King Krule coming out on top)

Christine & the Queens’ follow-up is another masterful pop record that once more marries slick electro pop production with Letissier’s equally stylish & emotive vocals. there are two separate english & french language versions. both are included on the 2cd & in the limited 4lp box set, which also includes exclusive posters. back in the land of england (via germany in the 70’s), beak> have crafted yet another superb record that marries the motorik world of their heroes with an addictive pop songwriting persuasion. across the pond,

Jordan lee’s Mutual Benefit project has thoroughly charmed us with his latest record of lush alt-folk compositions. the album is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day, or for listening to on a relaxing sunday morning, especially on limited, soothing blue vinyl. the most explosive release of the week must be the Blinders, whose huxley & orwell-worshipping album takes the catchy pizzazz of the arctic monkeys’ heaviest material & adds an extra layer of distorted punk attitude that’ll be an instant hit for fans of idles & shame.

Also worth knowing about: Suede return in sweeping, cinematic form, which can be yours on limited exclusive blue vinyl & as the most deluxe-y boxset you ever saw; Prince’s pre-‘purple rain’ studio session is an emotionally stirring, intimate recording that feels as if we’re hearing his true self, completely unguarded – there’s a deluxe version including a hardback book of liner notes from his studio engineer & previously unseen photos;

Conor O’Brien’s Villagers project is his most approachable to date & the deluxe version includes a red 10” with two bonus tracks;  Lala lala’s gorgeous album of wounded, jangly guitar songwriting will enamour fans of snail mail & soccer mommy; Lonnie Holly’s deeply spiritual new record’s the Field’s cosmic, ambient techno has melted the hearts of nigh on everyone who’s heard it; & the simple beauty of Mountain Man’s vocal harmony-driven album – their first in 8 years – is utterly beguiling & on clear vinyl.

There are some humdinger reissues too: all three Mc5 albums are collected on multi-coloured vinyl (red, white & blue) in one fancy boxset; there’s a heap of new Felt reissues; & Ramones‘ 4th record gets a more “punk” remaster, plus a load of bonus tracks & a live performance, exclusive to the deluxe version.

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Christine and the Queens – Chris

Billingual, compelling upbeat second from modern day pop star Christine and the Queens. Titled Chris the album is released as double CD and vinyl versions, as well as limited edition boxset, There are two versions of the album; one sung exclusively in English and one sung exclusively in French. Each track has earworm irresistibility with losing any edge. The album celebrates her polysexual desire, without sidelining her emotional pain, It’s a lean, thrilling muscular set from a real talent that sits next to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Chic and Peter Gabriel.

2CD – Double CD in 3-panel softpack with 28-page stapled booklet. Contains English and french Versions of the album.

2LP – Double French Version. Double Black Vinyl with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve. 30x60cm French version poster. French CD version included.

2LP+ – Double English Version. Double Black Vinyl with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve. 30x60cm English version poster. English CD version included.

4LP – Limited Boxset. 2LP and CD French Edition and 2LP and CD English Edition. Limited numbered edition (10 000 copies worldwide). Contains:

Black honey deluxe

Black Honey  –  Black Honey

Bursting out of the ether in 2014 with their squalling guitars, vivid colours and cinematic vignettes, there’s no other British band out there quite like Black Honey. Having spent the last four years perfecting the indie game, everything you think you know about them and their unique surrealist world is about to be wonderfully shaken up as they prepare to release their hugely anticipated debut album. With contradiction at every turn, it’s an album that celebrates being human, in all its different forms and by doing so, will touch the hearts of everyone that hears it. We’ve already heard Bad Friends earlier this year, but with the exception of 2016’s Hello, Today (the track that saw the band become a household name at Radio 1), and the 2017 closer Dig, the album is made up of entirely new music with 9 brand new songs on offer. Album opener I Only Hurts The Ones I Love is a fascinating Garbage-flavoured meander that sets the tone for the record brilliantly. From there, there’s stone cold classic Wasting Time, Lana Del Ray nodding slow-burner Blue Romanceand disco-pop Trojan horse Midnight – to name just a few. However, across the entirety of the record, you can always feel the bare bones of front lady Izzy B Phillips diary scribbles are just around the corner as the varying tracks switch between chart-headed bangers and scuzzy, industrial David Lynch inspired strangeness.

It’s the weird and wonderful mind of Philipps – her lovable but villainous, Milky-Bar-kid- meets-Debbie Harry persona – that you find very much at the heart of Black Honey. An open sufferer of both dyslexia and ADHD, she’s a huge advocate for self-expression without limit and has relied hugely on her band – Tom Dewhurst (drums), Tom Taylor (bass) and Chris Ostler (guitar) – to channel everything that comes from her obsessive and dizzyingly creative head and bottle it into music. The album as a result is ultimately a collage of chaos, shot straight at the heart – honest, inspiring and deeply infectious.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – High Visceral Part 1 and Part 2

A limited edition repressing of High Visceral Part One and Part Two. Having burst onto the scene in their homeland, releasing their first two LPs to widespread national acclaim, alongside supports with Royal Blood, Dune Rats and Black Mountain, the band have developed a staunch grassroots following with their captivating blend of psychedelia. The albums are fuzzy, heavy and echoes in your cranium with every beat. An epic detour of neon flavoured noise grows to entangle your dissolving brain. Savagely mutant energies bubble through the air. Your body is out of reach, turning itself into a sponge as your mind floats towards another dimension.

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Villagers  –  The Art of Pretending to Swim

On O’Brien’s fourth studio album, he excels at creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes, making it the perfect entry point for newcomers and raising the bar for what old fans should expect of him.

This record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of ‘Becoming a Jackal’ and ‘Awayland’, while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital. balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, this is his most brilliantly realised album to date. “Conor O’Brien dials down the intensity. the listener reaps the rewards” 4/5 – mojo. ***the deluxe lp exclusively includes a red vinyl 10” of a 12-minute version of ‘ada’ and b-side ‘this is the art of pretending to swim

Mountain man magic ship

Mountain Man  – Magic Ship

Mountain Man did not intend to disappear for the better part of a decade, or to take eight years to release its second album, Magic Ship. But for a trio of devoted friends for whom music has always seemed so effortless and graceful, that’s simply how life went. The wondrous Magic Ship a magnetic fourteen-song reflection on the joys, follies, and oddities of existence—was well worth the wait. Magic Ship is a captivating album: The stunning Boat, where cooing harmonies frame Sauser-Monnig like drapes around a sunny window, sees a world of possibility in a little vessel along the riverbanks. The dashing AGT finds inspiration in flower blooms and bumble bees, discovering in the sights of nature a pure self-reliance. The magnetic Rang Tang Ring Toon celebrates a night spent hosting friends, sharing beans and music, and a skinny dip under the stars. There is sincerity and humour, depth and mirth, all rendered with three voices that have never been more connected. These songs distill eight years of experience between Made the Harbor and now—of sights seen, pleasures had, feelings hurt, forgiveness extended. These tunes are wise and tender, open and honest. Magic Ship conveys absolute warmth—like a snowbound afternoon spent indoors, passing a bottle of brown liquor between friends while putting old favourites on the turntable, or a long summer evening spent lounging beneath a shade tree, swapping stories and sharing laughs until the sun has vanished. after an eight year gap, these three young women return with a sophomore fortified by a deeper friendship, their harmonies sounding all the warmer and sweeter for it.

There is sincerity and humour, depth and mirth, all rendered with three voices that have never been more connected. fans of deep throat choir, trembling bells and lankum should check this out!

The Lamb

Lala Lala  –

Lillie West is a songwriter who finds strength in vulnerability, through bracing hooks, sharp lyrics, and songs drenched in a profound, dreamy ambience ffo snail mail, mattiel, and tomberlin.

the 24-year-old songwriter and guitarist illustrates a nuanced look on her own adulthood – her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her. across the album’s 12 tracks, west carefully examines the skeletons in her closet asking herself agonizing questions about her life with a clever and hopeful curiosity. this mixture of melancholy and hope describes the tone of this album perfectly. it’s the kind of album to bolster your good times whilst softening the downs. “lala lala’s music is like watching an open wound being stitched up—jarring and healing”

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Mutual Benefit -Thunder Follows the Light

Mutual Benefit, the songwriting outlet for multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordan Lee releases a new album Thunder Follows The Light via Transgressive Records. Following his last outing, 2016’s acclaimed Skip A Sinking Stone, Lee marks his return with a patient and prismatic collection of songs accrued over the past two years. Lee — who grew up in Ohio and is currently based in New York — has crafted pop experiments for almost a decade, blending orchestral instrumentation and ambient electronic sounds. His new album features an array of friends and many returning collaborators. New History is the album’s truest folk song, with twangy harmonica and slide guitar. Its inspiration came to him while spending time in the economically depressed area of Ohio where his parents grew up. Storm Cellar Heart, is an ode to taking shelter and the fraught impulse to hide from the loudness of the outside world. It’s more of a long question than an answer: “Is it storms that help make the heart grow?”

Fuzz Club Session

The Myrrors  –  Fuzz club Session

Complete with the band’s signature meandering violins, droning vocals and sprawling instrumentation, this live recording allows the tracks to take on an even more alluring and  hypnotic form.

The Myrrors are a mythical force in contemporary psychedelia and one of fuzz club’s most celebrated bands. the Arizona band’s fuzz club session is comprised of three utterly bewitching tracks that invoke images of the sandy plains of the sonoran desert which they call home, yet also draped in an influence of traditional eastern psychedelia

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Suede  –  The Blue Hour

After the critical and commercial success of the top 10 album – Night Thoughts (2016) Suede return with their stunning new album The Blue Hour. Brett and co amp up the melodrama with an anthemic record of widescreen balladry, augmented by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

This album was produced by Alan Moulder and Suede, and shares the same line-up as 1996’s ‘coming up’ – vocals by Brett Anderson, guitars by Richard Oakes, bass by Mat Osman, drums by Simon Gilbert, synthesisers and piano by Neil Codling. ***the super duper deluxe box set contains includes a specially mastered instrumental, a dvd featuring album commentary from the band and Alan Moulder, plus a never-before-seen video for ‘Don’t Be Afraid if Nobody Loves You’, an exclusive bonus track – ‘Manipulation’ – on 7” vinyl, lyric sheets and a collection of art cards. plenty to be getting on with!***

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Prince  –  Piano and Microphone 1983

hearing this legendary figure peacefully tinkering away on a humble cassette recording, we’re struck more than ever by the raw talent that would eternally be right at his fingertips.

The nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983. the rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into his creative process as he worked through songs including “17 days” & “Purple Rain” (neither to be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”, “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on ‘Sign O’ the Times’), & “International Lover”. the album also includes a rare recording of “Mary Don’t You Weep”, which many will have heard playing during the end credits of ‘Blackkklansman’. “the whole thing feels – thrillingly, poignantly – like you’re in the room with him” 4/5 – mojo. ***the deluxe edition includes a 12” booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince’s then engineer Don Batts, as well as candid shots of prince & never before seen photos.

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Ramones  –  Road to Ruin 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Limited Copies of the deluxe editon come with 13’ x 13” print of the Holmstrom drawing from the front cover of the album, 11×17″ poster and a postcard. The Ramones released the band’s fourth studio album, Road To Ruin, 40 years ago this September. Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny were joined for the first time by drummer Marky Ramone, who replaced founding member Tommy Ramone, who’d left to do more producing and writing for the band. It was also the album that introduced a nation of pinheads to the all-time Ramones’ classic I Wanna Be Sedated. To celebrate the milestone, the band release two versions on September 21st, a day before the anniversary of the album’s original release on September 22, 1978 – a 3CD/1LP 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition and a newly remastered 1CD version of the original album.

3CD – The first disc of the Road To Ruin: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition features a remastered version of the original stereo mix for Road To Ruin and a new 2018 40th Anniversary Road Revisited mix created by Stasium, who strips off the original record’s commercial gloss and restores the album to its punk rock core. Stasium’s new mix is also featured on the 180-gram LP that accompanies this deluxe edition. The second disc offers up over twenty unreleased recordings, including rough mixes for every album track, starkly different alternate takes of two songs, and two unreleased outtakes: I Walk Out and S.L.U.G. – unfinished during the original recording sessions in 1978, and completed by Stasium for this anniversary release. Other highlights include three different versions of I Wanna Be Sedated, including the Ramones-on-45-Mega-Mix! released in 1988 as part of the campaign for the Ramones Mania compilation, as well as acoustic versions ofQuestioningly, Needles And Pins, and Don’t Come Close. The final disc has a previously unreleased recording of the band’s entire 1979 New Year’s Eve concert, which was mixed live by Stasium, and broadcast on WNEW-FM. Recorded in New York City at The Palladium, with audio sourced from Tommy Ramone’s original cassette of the console recording, it features blistering performances of Blitzkrieg Bop, Rockaway Beach, and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, along with several songs from Road To Ruin: I Don’t Want You, I Wanna Be SedatedandI Wanted Everything.

TOTAL ASSAULT: 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

MC5  –  Total Assault

For the 50th anniversary of the band’s incendiary debut, ‘Kick Out the Jams’, this limited edition collection features all 3 of the band’s albums with new art and previously unseen photographs.

Mc5 only released three albums, but they were ferocious, adventurous, and confrontational enough to secure the group’s place as one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll bands ever. the music on ‘total assault’ shows why the Mc5 is held is such high regard today with indelible tracks like “kick out the jams,” “human being lawnmower” and “sister anne.”

That’s quite enough of that. come back next week for some live action from nick cave, pixies’ ‘come on pilgrim’ & ‘surfer rosa’ 30th anniversary celebrations, & new music from mudhoney & marissa nadler. that’s just the start of it!

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He’s fronted three of the UK’s most cherished cult bands (Felt, Denim, and Go-Kart Mozart) written stacks and stacks of brilliant songs, conceptualized and then realized everything he’s ever set out to do. Except one thing. And that one thing means a lot to him. That one thing is to be famous. Lawrence—like Madonna, he’s mutated into an almost entirely mononymous figure to the point where it is just as difficult to imagine anyone ever calling him “Mr. Hayward” he hasn’t picked up a guitar inside his own house for a long time. “I refuse to play an instrument in this flat until its ready,” he tells me, as we sit in his living room. He moved in seven years ago.

Which isn’t to say that he’s spent that time sitting around getting through the extensive stacks of first editions and paperbacks that litter his flat, a collection crammed with the kind of esoteric material you’d expect from a songwriter beloved by a certain kind of bookish music fan.

The reason that I’ve been summoned to his house for the afternoon, a task which is virtually a rite of passage for writers who own a Field Mice album, is because he’s on the verge of releasing the fourth Go-Kart Mozart record, the chintzy, synthy Mozart’s Mini-Mart(due February 23 on Cherry Red) . Go-Kart Mozart is the third act of a career that begun just outside of Birmingham as punk was in bloom. For nearly 40 years now Lawrence has played the underdog to perfection, honing an air of misunderstood talent, revelling, or at least seeming to revel, in never quite being as big as he believed he should. Here lies Lawrence, his pose seems to say, The great indie enigma.

On the last day of his secondary education, the 3rd of May, ‘77, he abandoned his friends, and trekked alone to the Odeon in Birmingham to see seminal New York punk-adjacents, Television.

“I’d never seen a band like that before,” he says, a smile crawling across his thin, sharp face. “I didn’t expect it to be the way it was. I was in shock. They just stood still, didn’t talk to the audience, and they were very moody.” He was going to be somebody. So he started work on the project that would, and still does, hang like a shadow over his life’s work; he started Felt. Over the course of ten albums—technically nine, as Lawrence contributed nothing but song titles to the 1988 LP, Train Above the City—Felt created their own world.  They’d release 10 albums in 10 years over the course of the 80s, retiring, so the plan apparently went, in the face of the desperate protestations of the millions of fans they’d garner over their time together. Fame awaited, maybe fortune too.

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Though Lawrence wasn’t ever really responsible for chart smashes, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been. From pretty much the very beginning of the band, he had a knack, his hyperliterary lyrics and writing simple, direct songs as immediate and approachable as any of guitar wielding pop songwriter. He writes subtly and evocatively about love and loss, but even when he’s straining under the weight of the world, he imbues the band’s best songs with an otherworldly glow. He has a preternatural knack for writing these glorious pop songs that don’t compromise their bleak worldview, singing devastating lines a joyous smirk (see: the delicate wheeze with which he delivers this immortal barb “Your mind’s a vacant lot that’s for sale).

A big part of the charm of these songs comes from his childhood acquaintance Maurice Deebank’s guitar work. Without ever smudging them with distortion, or many effects at all, he has this freewheeling, lyrical way of twisting around Lawrence’s genteel chords, filling Felt’s more upbeat tracks with an impossible color. Even as Lawrence sings sometimes—as on the the golden-hour refractions of “Spanish House”—your ear can be more drawn to Deebank’s gleaming leads, which flutter with speedy stillness in the margins. It’s no wonder they wrote so many instrumentals, some of Deebank’s leads are hooky enough to be pop songs of their own.

“When we were doing the first album, I wanted to release the best English debut album ever,” he says of 1982’s spindly, embryonic Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty LP. “It’d be too conceited to say ‘I want to make the best album in the world,’” he admits. From the earliest of early days—the Lawrence-only debut single “Index,” a vocal-free, Velvet Underground-y thrash through a few chords. The best Felt songs, tunes like “Crystal” and “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow” and heart-stoppingly broken-down, “The World Is As Soft As Lace,” are truly perfect pop songs.  Drawing on the spindly guitar work of Television and the general chilly climate of the best British underground music of the era, he made a brittle-yet-brilliant version of guitar pop. Across the 10 records, he made tracks full of ghostly whispers, surrealist asides,

From Felt’s first single, very first single, the tape-fuzzed guitar experiment “Index,” Lawrence has often made room on Felt records for dazed instrumentals amid all his winking poetry. Most of them have a wispy, spectral quality to them, as if he’s suddenly ghosted away from his own band, leaving only a chill in his absence. Whether on something like the classical guitar nods of “Sempiternal Darkness” or the Ballad of the Band EP’s hazy piano curio “Magellan,” Lawrence tends to let his instrumentals float, offering space and respite amid the squirrelly upbeat numbers.

The closest they came was the 1985 single “Primitive Painters,” taken from Ignite the Seven Canons, a record which largely saw the group embracing their baroque tendencies. “Primitive Painters”—a churning, six-minute mini-epic featuring Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins—reached the top of the UK independent charts. It was the biggest hit they’d ever have.

He’s got a great song about deposing a king, and a letter to a former lover simply called “I Can’t Make Love to You Anymore.” His two best moments as a misanthrope came early in his band’s career, writing an awkward anti-everyone anthem called “All the People I Like Are Those That Are Dead,” which as its title might suggest, is full of couplets like “Maybe I should take a gun / And put it to the head of everyone,” sung with anxious desperation. Lawrence, ever the malcontent, also buried one of his best burns on what might be their best pop song, a takedown of pseudo-intellectuals called “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow” on which he tauntingly, “You’re trying to fool somebody, but you end up fooling yourself / You read from A Season in Hell but you don’t know what is about.” There’s also a version on which he taunts spiritualists instead for brainlessly parroting the Tibetan Book of the Dead, proof that that there’s a diss buried in the Felt back catalog for just about everyone.

It also marked the departure of Maurice Deebank, the group’s guitarist. “We grew up together, but we weren’t friends,” Lawrence says of him. “I’d seen what he could do when he came to tune my guitar once. He could do solos. I wanted to be in a band with solos.” Deebank’s genius is all over those early Felt albums—his spindly, tight, jangles ricochet around songs like “Cathedral”, “I Don’t Know Which Way to Turn”, and “Evergreen Dazed”, his guitar sounded part Roger McGuinn, part Tom Verlaine.

Lawrence is as much of a master of conjuring the exact opposite. While he and Deebank tended to shy away from guitar effects, the way their playing intersected with each others (and eventually with Martin Duffy’s delirious organ parts) had a way of lowering a dreamy fog over the proceedings. Early songs like “The World Is Soft as Lace,” found Lawrence presenting a gentler face to universe,

February 23rd also sees UK indie label Cherry Red Records reissue of the group’s first five albums, spanning what is arguably their best period.“It is a band that’s never let anybody down.” Describing them as “the ultimate English cult band,” Lawrence maintains that, “you’ll never be ashamed if you say you like Felt. You’ll only get respect.”

“The fourth Felt album [Ignite the Seven Cannons] was produced by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins,” he says, explaining just one of those wrongs. “And he messed it up big time.”

Banned from the studio—a contract was drawn up that essentially said “I, Robin, will produce the album if Lawrence doesn’t come to the mixing,”—Lawrence spent his days in Edinburgh, biding his time. “Consequently he ruined my record. All my best songs, he ruined.”

It is the only moment during my time with Lawrence where any hint of hard feelings edged into view. Even then, there’s a happier outcome than looked previously possible. He’d kept hold of the master tapes for that album’s five vocal tracks, and 30 years later, he’s finally happy with it. “They’re amazing,” he says of the reissues. “Absolutely amazing.” Of course they are, because they are Felt in their prime, premiere exponents of a sound that no one has touched before or since, But of course, over the last couple decades, there have been bands that were directly inspired by their sound too, stretching from the delicate guitar pop underground breakouts like Girls and Real Estate,

During the years the band was signed to Creation Records, they occasionally pushed even further into the fog, offering near ambient balladry on their cover of the Beach Boys “Be Still” and the slow, creeping single “The Final Resting of the Ark.” These songs are why it’s sometimes buying Lawrence’s proclamations that he was singlemindedly focused on success,

Felt wasn’t the end of Lawrence’s story, however big of a chapter it may be in his biography. True to his word, Lawrence disbanded the group in 1989. Shortly after he found himself living in New York. Homesick, he dreamt up Denim, a proto-Britpop-cum-glam-rock-revialist outfit that signed to acid house DJ Terry Farley’s label, Boy’s Own Recordings. After two albums of 70s-inspired sardonic and brash bubblegum, followed by yet another refusal on the part of the general public to embrace him as a radio and TV-friendly megastar, Denim faded from view.

Go-Kart Mozart—founded in 1998 and named after a line in “Blinded By the Light”—saw Lawrence swapping guitars for synths, and the result is a set of albums that have an almost end-of-the-pier-show sensibility about them.

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Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here.

These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

The first five albums will be released on 23rd February 2018. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections.  Previously named Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death, this album is now retitled The Seventeenth Century – the original name for the album was changed late in the day. This reversal of misfortune was classed as an awful mistake and Lawrence’s biggest regret. Flash forward to now and this situation can finally be rectified. “You can’t change the title of an album” – they told him – so he said; “if Kraftwerk can and Bowie can then I can too!!”

Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here.

Felt was a 1980s UK indie band hailing from Birmingham, led by enigmatic Lawrence Hayward (or, just Lawrence for preference), and usually included guitarist Maurice Deebank. The band claimed to have released ten albums and ten singles in ten years but actually released 11 singles if you include their debut Index on Shanghai Packaging. They were influenced by, among others, New York band Television and 60s icon Bob Dylan.

Forming in 1979, Felt never broke through to the mainstream, but enjoyed a substantial cult following. Throughout the early 1980s, Felt released a number of oblique, minimalistic guitar pop gems. In 1986 they broke through with the single Primitive Painters (featuring the Cocteau Twins Elizabeth Fraser), and the album Forever Breathes The Lonely Word. Here, Haywards trademark melodic songs are matched by a fuller sound – catchy organ lines from Martin Duffy (now with Primal Scream) and Deebanks cascading guitars feature throughout. Following this, releases in 1987 of Poem Of The River, in 1988 of The Pictorial Jackson Review, and in 1989 of Me And A Monkey On The Moon, cemented Felts cult following and reputation, before Hayward split the band up to pursue 70s-influenced project, Denim, and subsequently Go-Kart Mozart. Felts influence continues to reverberate in the music of current bands.

These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

The first five albums will be released on 23rd October 2018. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins and featuring the skyscraping vocal of Elizabeth Fraser on the mighty track “Primitive Painters”. Felt found themselves at the top of the independent charts. Unhappy with the overall sound though – it was as if some of Lawrence’s best songs were lost in an “ethereal swirl.” John A. Rivers has been given access to the original master tapes and six songs have remixed. Also – side 2 has been focused, edited and “made symmetrical.” Finally these songs can be heard as intended by Felt. It has become at long last a cohesive whole.

Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here.Released February 23rd, 2018

These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.

During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red  and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

Before the Stone Roses and after Be-Bop Deluxe and Plastic Ono Band, John Leckie worked with Felt. Booked into a metal/reggae studio in Birmingham’s industrial wasteland he sculpted a Michelangelo slice of new rock – exquisite and beautiful guitar odysseys – quite unlike anything the city had experienced before. Merging pop with a classical nuance Felt stood alone as the forerunners of a brand new style. And Gary Ainge was finally allowed to use his high-hat!

Released February 23rd, 2018.

Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here.

During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

The first five albums will be released on 23rd February 2018. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Lawrence’s ambition was to release the best debut English album ever! Adrian Borland offered his services, then commitments with his band The Sound prevented this from happening. So Felt began a relationship with Swell Maps producer John A. Rivers. Recorded and mixed in six days the band got a taste of how bitter reality fares compared to the “mellow fruitfulness” of blind ambition.

Felt are: Lawrence — guitar, vocals Maurice Deebank — lead guitar Nick Gilbert — bass guitar Gary Ainge — drums

Released February 23rd, 2018.

Anyone who’s been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here at last.

These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. During the ‘80s Felt made ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times.

The first five albums will be released on 23rd February 2018. These vinyl records, Lawrence escapes the contours of a bland city and retreats into his mind. Felt had risen from the underworld searching for a new horizon but only managed to slip into a desolate obscurity! Dark black slabs of creosote guitar – vast swathes of epic interplay – casting futuristic Shadows – an idiosyncratic and unobtrusively brilliant band, the music Felt made on this album is unlike anything attempted before. This really is a template for an age yet to come. And it pays to know that Maurice Deebank now resides in a monastery in Birmingham!

Montreal band Suuns are pleased to announce their new album, “Felt”, coming out on March 2nd through Secretly Canadian. Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie says, “This record is definitely looser than our last one [2016’s Hold/Still]. It’s not as clinical. There’s more swagger.” You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. It’s both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums [Zeroes QC and Images Du Futur] with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St. Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

The album’s lead single “Watch You, Watch Me” debuts today  in the form of a Ruff Murphy-directed video. The song showcases an organic/synthetic rush that builds and builds atop drummer Liam O’Neill‘s elevatory rhythm. O’Neill exclaims, “It was different and exciting. In the past, there was a more concerted effort on my part to drum in a controlled and genre-specific way. Self-consciously approaching things stylistically. Us doing it ourselves, that process was like a very receptive, limitless workshop to just try out ideas.”

Suuns are hugely proud of their roots in Canada’s most socialist province, whilst not sounding quite like anything else the city has produced. Quebecois natives Shemie and Joseph Yarmush founded the group just over a decade ago, the latter having moved to Montreal from a nearby village. The only member not to be formally schooled in jazz, guitarist Yarmush studied photography and utilized his visual training to help realize Shemie’s novel concept for the eye-catching album artwork.

“I was at a barbecue last summer and there were balloons everywhere,” recalls the singer. “I like this idea of pressure, resistance, and pushing against something just before it brakes. And there is something strangely subversive about a finger pushing into a balloon. It seemed to fit the vibe of the record we were making. We made plaster casts of our hands, going for a non-denominational statue vibe. Joe came up with the colour scheme, the sickly green background, and shot the whole cover in an hour.”

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It’s a suitably outre image for Felt, which breaks with Suuns’ earlier darkness for a more optimistic ambience. The record’s playful atmosphere is echoed by its double meaning title. “Some people might think of the material,” muses Shemie. “I like that that could be misconstrued. Also it’s to have felt and not to feel a little introspective, but that feeling’s in the past.”

DIIV  –  IS THE IS ARE

“There are plenty of bands that have served as their own worst enemies. DIIV had all the makings of a band banging on the door to stardom—hooks for days, a distinctive aesthetic in a crowded field, an edgy frontman who has acquired his own mythos. So the wait between their debut and sophomore efforts was an unwelcome wrinkle. After curating one of the finer entries into the Captured Tracks discography, the Brooklyn genre-melders hit a few snags, most notably Zachary Cole Smith’s arrest in late 2013 and drummer Colby Hewitt’s departure due to drug addiction. It all made a one-and-done affair seem like a real possibility. Is The Is Are’s opening line captures this sentiment perfectly: ‘You’re out of sight/And out of mind.’ DIIV were essentially off the grid for three years, more than enough time to be supplanted by a new rival. But rather than a distraction, the tabloid drama surrounding the band became the fodder for their new album. Is The Is Are takes everything that DIIV did well on Oshin, deepens it, broadens it, fiddles with more permutations, and does it all to excess.

2LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 500 Copies on White marble Coloured Vinyl. LP One with red swirls and LP two with Pink Swirls. This is a different Colour to the US Version. Plus Two 12’x12″ – 12 page Lyric / Art Books.

ULRIKA SPACEK – THE ALBUM PARANOIA

Ulrika Spacek is a British experimental rock band formed in Berlin by Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, relocated to Homerton, London. Work on debut album ‘The Album Paranoia’ began in the summer of 2014 in the band’s shared house KEN, and was finished there last month. In conjunction to the making of ‘The Album Paranoia’, the band has curated a number of nights under the name ‘Oysterland’ combining their first live performances with a series of exhibitions. The band’s music has drawn various interpretations, a cross pollination of hypnotic fuzz, Verlain-Malkmus guitar idiosyncrasies and intertwining feelings of both angst and melancholia. For fans of Mercury Rev, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Limited White Vinyl with Download.

PALEHOUND –  MOLLY

Debut UK release on Heavenly Recordings from Boston’s Palehound – the vehicle for Ellen Kempner who on ‘Molly’ shows her inimitable songwriting skills while playing it a bit fast and loose with hooks. ‘Molly’ features the same kind of seasick, pointed instrumentals of a
 song, and the caustic lyricism to match. Limited 7″ only.

THE PARROTS  –  I DID SOMETHING WRONG

The Parrots are an unstoppable garage-surf party-machine. They have been causing a stir in the scene in recent months with their bewildering shows and their already sold out ‘Weed For The Parrots’ EP (out last June on Luv Luv Luv Records and on Burger Records in the US), and after the sweaty success of their London multi-venue residency at The Shacklewell Arms, The Waiting Room and The Lock Tavern at the start of the summer (all packed in the same week, with a memorable stage invasion at The Shacklewell), The venue issue the Spanish trio on a very limited, exclusive 7″ single that also marks the launch of Shacklewell Records, a newborn imprint linked to the Dalston venue and its pop-up record shop, Black Wax. This 7″ features two early demos that are among the most celebrated tracks in their live shows – ‘I Did Something Wrong’ (with more than 90,000 plays on YouTube yet still unavailable physically) and drunken show-closing chant ‘Somebody To Love’.

Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
“Philly’s Dr. Dog made their first record, The Psychedelic Swamp, in 2000 but never officially released it. Sure, there’ve been bootlegs, and any long-time Dr. Dog diehard can list the LP’s songs — but the collection never got a chance to really shine. Now 15 years later, the album has gotten a complete makeover. The strange thing is not that the band is returning to the first thing they ever created together, but that returning was their intention all the while. ‘The concept behind it is that we were always going to redo it and make it super-accessible pop, which was built into the concept of The Psychedelic Swamp. Part of the original record that is so unlistenable is that,” he pauses to laugh, ‘it was trapped in a psychedelic swamp.’” – Charleston City Paper

GAME THEORY –  LOLITA NATION

When Game Theory emerged with their fourth full-length release in 1987, there was not only a new line-up of the band, but it took two LPs to capture all of the magic. Once again produced by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Let’s Active), ‘Lolita Nation’ was the culmination of all that had come before, and pushed the boundaries farther than they had ever gone. ‘Lolita Nation’ became their most critically acclaimed work – grabbing a Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) nomination for Outstanding Independent Label Album in 1988. Revered for decades, and – sadly – out of print for many. As Omnivore Recordings continues to reintroduce this seminal band to the masses, ‘Lolita Nation’ now requires a second CD to collect alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions. The original’s 27 tracks are joined by 21 bonus performances! In addition to the highly sought after 8 minute version of ‘Chardonnay’ and alternate mixes of other album tracks, the bonus material features covers of David Bowie, The Modern Lovers, Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, The Stooges, Joy Division, The Hollies, and Public Image Ltd. classics. Truly as eclectic and all-encompassing as ‘Lolita Nation’ itself, and just as revolutionary. All formats feature new liner notes from Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, interviews with the band and original album contributors and previously unseen photos. As the world reawakens to the incredible Game Theory, it is truly a new time and a new day. It’s time to return to ‘Lolita Nation’ – if even for your first visit!
This expanded reissue of Game Theory’s ambitious fourth album adds a disc of alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions – 48 tracks total. “Game Theory leader Scott Miller has never made much of a secret of his fondness for Big Star, but while Real Nighttime favored the sound of #1 Record and The Big Shot Chronicles suggested the harder-edged tone of Radio City, Lolita Nation sounded like Game Theory’s variation on the themes of Big Star’s masterfully damaged swan song, Third/Sister Lovers. Certainly Game Theory’s most ambitious album, Lolita Nation was a two-LP set that combined some of Miller’s most user-friendly power pop with dark, moody ruminations on betrayal, failed love, and mortality, bursts of avant-garde noise, and fragments of unclassifiable studio doodling, all thrown into a sonic Cuisinart through Miller’s aggressive use of aural montage.”
2CD – Double CD Set with 21 bonus tracks.
2LP – Double LP on Green colored vinyl for first press with download card for entire CD program.

G.L.O.S.S.  –  DEMO 2015

Without a doubt, one of the most hyped punk groups of recent years, G.L.O.S.S. are different in that they deserve the column inches 10 times over.
With an acronym translating as Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit, the four piece from Olympia took the punk and hardcore world’s by storm in early 2015 with their demo of blistering, stomping, meaty and breathtaking hardcore. Sounding not unlike Japanese hardcore pioneers Bastard mixed with prime Tragedy and even some wilder Italian influences, G.L.O.S.S. approach the punk status quo from the role of self-declared outsiders. Helmed by the immensely powerful vocals of Sadie Switchblade, the politically and hyper-aware lyrical content of the group set them apart from the staid pre-occupation of a predominantly macho and male hardcore scene. It’s a testament the group’s power and compositional prowess that, on the opening spoken-raged-word intro to their first wax statement, you can’t help feeling enraged, pumped up and ready to destroy two thousand years of patriarchal culture before the first minute is out no matter your angle or political persuasion. We’ve been waiting for this for so long it already feels like the 7″ of the year.

PORCHES  –  POOL

‘Porches’ debut full-length for Domino and a major step forward for frontman Aaron Maine – as an evolving singer / songwriter, and as a nascent producer. Written and recorded almost entirely in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his partner and frequent collaborator, Greta Kline a.k.a Frankie Cosmos, ‘Pool’ is an elegantly drawn set of gorgeous synth-driven pop songs, and an expansive re-articulation of the melancholy we’ve come to expect from him; from the pristine harmonies of ‘Hour’ to the undulating R&B of ‘Underwater’ to the Auto-tuned majesty of the title track. “I feel like I naturally gravitate towards the more melancholic experiences in life,” he says, “but this time around I tried to dissect those moments and somehow extract what was so beautiful about them.” The result – recorded twice, and eventually mixed by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Tobias Jesso Jr.) in his Los Angeles studio – is a sophisticated and fully immersive listening experience, with Maine’s voice at its center. “I want people to feel dark, beautiful and strong when they hear this new record,” he adds, “I want them to fall in love.”​Pool marks a major step forward for Porches frontman Aaron Maine—as an evolving singer/songwriter, and as a nascent producer
LP – Heavyweight Black vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.
LP+ – Heavyweight Clear vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, limited to 750, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.

SUNFLOWER BEAN  – HUMAN CEREMONY

As a band, Sunflower Bean have grown exceptionally fast. On the heels of strong live shows around their Brooklyn hometown and festivals like CMJ, the three-piece dropped an EP earlier this year. Since then, they’ve nailed down tours with the likes of Wolf Alice, DIIV, Best Coast, and others, leading to a staggering 100 performances in the span of just one year. That’s a lot for a fresh outfit. Recorded in just seven days, Human Ceremony sees them refining their psych rock ways into something with a bit more of a fuzzy pop edge, with a press release referencing influences like The Cure, The Velvet Underground, and The Feelies.”

Rough Trade exclusive with a Bonus 4 Track CD featuring covers of Neil Young, T-Rex, Jonathan Richman and Spiritualized. New York City’s Sunflower Bean release their full-length debut album, ‘Human Ceremony‘ via Fat Possum Records and it’s a joyous pop nugget from start to finish. The 11 tracks are urgent, flowing and demand repeated listens. It emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelia and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. On ‘I Was Home’ and ‘Wall Watcher’ the riffs rage, whilst on ‘Creation Myth’ they sound like a sugar sweet 80’s Indie Pop band with delicate female vocals. Seriously, this is everything and more, we could have expected from the debut Sunflower Bean album. For fans of Early 90’s Creation Records, Tame Impala and Veronica Falls.
LP+ – Rough Trade Exclusive. 500 Copies Only on Coke Clear Coloured vinyl with Download.
LP – Indie Shops Red Coloured Vinyl with Download.
LP+MP3 – Black Vinyl with Download.

TELEGRAM  –  OPERATOR

Limited Copies on all formats come with a bonus CD featuring four extra new tracks. London four piece Telegram release their eagerly awaited debut album on Gram Gram. ‘Operator’, Recorded in London with Rory Atwell, features twelve tracks including the forthcoming single ‘Taffy Come Home’, and a new version the band’s long deleted seven-inch debut release ‘Follow’ from October 2013. A stunning set of songs, the album will more than confirm Telegram’s early promise as one of the most exciting bands around right now. Formed just over two years ago, the Telegram line up of Matt Saunders (vocals / guitar), Oli Paget-Moon (bass) and Jordan Cook (drums) have recently recruited new guitarist Pip Stakem to the fold. Effortlessly combining a love of Roxy Music, Syd Barrett, krautrock and late proto-punk to great effect, they’ve built up an ever growing fanbase of critics and public alike with extensive touring and a clutch of fantastic and much sought after seven inch singles, ‘Follow’, Regatta’, ‘Inside Outside; and most recently ‘Aeons’.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Black Vinyl.
LP+ – Limited edition coloured vinyl.

I DON’T CARES (WESTERBERG AND HATFIELD) –  WILD STAB

Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield are the I Don’t Cares and they don’t care.The I Don’t Cares is Westerberg’s first new music since The Replacements disbanded earlier this year – for the second time.Back in a May 2014 feature for Paste magazine, Juliana Hatfield admitted to only ever writing three fan letters to other musicians: One to the band X, one to Elliott Smith, and the first, when she was a teenager, to Paul Westerberg.
Now Hatfield and the Replacements’ singer/guitarist have apparently formed a new group, called the I Don’t Cares, and they released their first song, a jangly guitar-rock nugget called “1 / 2 2 P, at the end of 2015.The song is to be included on the I Don’t Cares’ debut album, titled Wild Stab, out on Dry Wood Music. At the very least, the album is a victory for the lost art of fan-letter writing!

THE PRETTIOTS  – FUN’S COOL

NYC’s The Prettiots (Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Prat) release their debut album, ‘Fun’s Cool’ via Rough Trade. Packed with catchy melodies, memorable hooks and heart on the sleeve lyrics, ‘Fun’s Cool’ acts as a thoughtful, funny, and catchy-as-hell state of the union address from young women living in a big city and watching life unfurl in fits and starts before them. They’ve got a playful aesthetic and a sweet pop sound, but their observations are scalpel-sharp, and the emotional gut-punch their music packs is real. For Kay (vocals and uke) and Lulu (bass), simple instrumentation and no-frills vocals aren’t useful because they’re easy or cute.

FIELD MUSIC –  COMMONTIME

‘Commontime’ is the first album of new songs from North East siblings Peter and David Brewis since ‘Plumb’ in 2012 and their fifth album ‘proper’ since their debut in 2005. After four years threading a way through one extra-curricular project after another, the space that Field Music vacated still appears to be empty and Field Music-shaped. No one else really does what Field Music do; the interweaving vocals, the rhythmic gear changes, the slightly off-chords, but with the sensibility that keeps them within touching distance of pop music. All this is present again but things are different this time. Where ‘Plumb’ was an album of vignettes and segues, ‘Commontime’ edges towards what people might call “proper songs”. Field Music have never shown off their unashamed love of choruses quite like they do on this record.  Lyrically, Peter and David continue to mine that inexhaustible seam wondering how on earth we ended up here, in this situation, as these people. Over fourteen songs, conversations are replayed and friendships are left to drift. And all the while, that thing you were trying to remember has changed while your head was turned.
2LP – Black Double Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Neon Orange 180 Gram Double Vinyl with Download.

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