Posts Tagged ‘Happyness’

The Deer Shed Festival is a truly fantastic, family-friendly festival that somehow manages to retain a quality of music and band choices, Its true to its roots, where other festivals sometimes feel like a compromise. It fills a great gap between a serious festival for music lovers like myself who like to see the newer bands on the gigging circuit and also find that hidden newcomer, plus where else can the kids have fun rather than having to send them to the usual token and half-hearted kids field/tent like you get at other festivals. Where else do you have a whole football sized area for swingball or make cardboard boxes into something from your imagination.  From the whole heap of things to make in the science marquees to running around the perimeter of the park for you morning run.

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My Pick of Bands to check out over the weekend

Friday

It could be a difficult evening ahead, as there is such a huge array of talented bands on all stages Teenage Fan Club are such an iconic indie band surely not to be missed having released their 10th album this year, but we have some returning bands both with terrific album releases this year to the festival Honeyblood are a duo I’ve seen many times now, they played the festival two years ago, Stina Tweeddale’s is a great guitar player with her distorted ringing guitar and vocal performance to match, the band present rage-filled, but beautifully written, songs along with Cat Myers’s powerful drum beats constantly driving them forward. Stina is a great front person and for just a duo their sound is huge.

Happyness are a 3-piece alternative rock band from London, All 3 members write the songs, they also have played Deer Shed previously and have a real charm, their latest album is just another stunning collection full of wonderful power pop tunes  which finally followed up their great debut album “Weird Little Birthday” that included one of the best songs about Arcade Fire ever “Montreal Rock Band Somewhere” . LP2 is called “Write In”, and it finds the UK indie rockers continuing to explore the lackadaisical, sardonic indie rock pastures .

In The Dock Stage, Manchester band Cabbage a five piece serving up an idiosyncratic, satirical attacks in the form of discordant neo post-punk.Cabbage have been the festival band of the year drawing huge crowds to the stage as the year progressed .

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Lets Eat Grandma Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth are another big addition with a very visual stage presence.

Jesca Hoop has a  captivating voice her set with Sam Beam at the End Of The Road last year was possibly one of the best musical and magical moments of the last year, Hoop has released another stunningly good album earlier this year “Memories Are Now” the resulting combination is powerfully evocative, with overarching themes of biology, nature and humanity.

Over on the Obelisk stage Hopefully avoiding line-up clashes the headliners here are a folk duo not to be missed are the beautiful Folk-Rock vocals of Josienne Clarke and the guitar talents of her bearded band mate Ben Walker. Together, Clarke and Walker , both 34, are one of Britain’s biggest folk acts, with five albums of beautifully textured, twilight songs, plus many years of treading the dusty boards of folk sessions and festivals, and a coveted Radio 2 folk award for best duo between them. Original songs have been part of Clarke and Walker’s arsenal since day one, and their latest album, “Overnight”, includes seven of them: beautifully drawn miniatures full of a melancholy reminiscent of early-70s singer-songwriters. Clarke writes the songs, “the squishy, lyrical stuff”, while Walker’s the arranger and planner.  If you love bands like Pentangle or Fairport Convention and the voice of Sandy Denny Don’t miss this twosome ,

The other artist not to be missed on the friday is Bryde, aka Sarah Howells of the band Paper Aeroplanes  Praise for the Welsh songwriter has been well-bestowed,  Bryde music deals with human psychology and the darker side of broken relationships with an infectiously defiant and life-affirming quality. Described as being about entangling and unravelling, it sways from fierce to fragile.

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I really hope there isn’t any clashes as if you can get to see these above bands already its as good as it gets a superb first day at the Deer Shed.

Saturday 

My picks for Main Stage would have to be King Creosote  also known as independent singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson from Fife with his current album “Astronaut Meets Appleman”. The first track to be shared is the album’s opener ‘You Just Want’. A seven-minute piece of hymnal drone-pop, its touchstones are the art of patience, scenes of mild bondage and Venus (in Furs) . On Astronaut Meets Appleman, King Creosote is still upsetting apple-carts and dealing with the fallout, still appraising love and life, the moon, the stars; tide tables, bagpipe scores, zeros and ones; mathematics, ticking clocks and the beat of our hearts.

Saturday includes one of my favourite bands  The Big Moon are a band I’ve seen this last two years around fifteen times great indie-pop songs full of fun and just glorious girls to boot. Based in London the four-piece girl band formed in 2014 by Juliette Jackson.[ Their debut album, “Love In The 4th Dimension was released early April 2017, containing a number of singles previously released on their EP, The Road.

The band is signed to Fiction Records and have toured internationally. The Big Moon played as backing band for Marika Hackman’s second album, I’m Not Your Man, concluding in live dates across America recently,

Check out the first artist to hit the Main Stage on Saturday Nilufer Yanya her set at Latitude was considered the best of the weekend intricate guitar work weaves around the West Londoner’s soulful vocals and jazz-flecked instrumentation.  She started performing at 18, the same year she released debut single “Waves” which she made for a college project. Rejected twice from a popular music degree, she took an artist development course and steadily graduated from the city’s open-mic scene to cooler stages, eventually supporting artists like Mitski and headlining her own shows.

Listen to the ‘The Florist’, the standout from recent EP ‘Plant Feed’ is a propulsive gem

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In the Dock Stage My other pick of the day is Goat Girl who bought out a cracking single earlier this year Their debut release track ‘Country Sleaze’ which you can hear below, was one half of a double A-Side released on Rough Trade Records last October . ‘Sleaze’ is probably an apt description for the gritty new track which packs a sludgy bass line, jangling guitar and some pure unchecked, uncensored criticism of the world right now: “I’m disgusted, I’m ashamed of this so-called human race”.

On the Lodge Stage make sure you catch the Liverpool band Hooten Tennis Club, The band’s second album ‘Big Box of Chocolates’ was produced by Edwyn Collins If their debut album, Highest Point In Cliff Town, was the band’s statement of intent, Big Box of Chocolates  is a record that retains all the colour and invention of their debut, while being elevated by richer instrumentation and lyrics that hint at slightly heavier themes: love and loss, nihilism and the ‘non-spaces’ of Northern England, all delivered in the band’s typically laconic, bittersweet style. The dozen tracks continue the band’s knack of combining catchy off-kilter riffs with droll storytelling; album narrators – vocalists and guitarists Ryan Murphy and James Madden – seem to straddle optimism and uncertainty with their lyrics, whether singing about their internal worlds or commenting on a motley cast of characters who turn up across the album’s 41 minutes to amuse, tempt or torment them. Whether fictional (the awkward genius Jimmy ‘looking shifty in his new shoes’) or real (Ryan’s ex-housemate immortalised in first single ‘Katy-Anne Bellis’), each character shares an equal platform, all revered in Hooton’s own low-key way.

The giant of a man B.C Camplight the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Brian Christinzio is the perfect showman with his dynamic and diverse take on BC Camplight’s epic pop pizzazz and simmering balladry combining eloquent songwriting with a self-destructive bent, he’s described himself as, “the guy who blew it.” Christinzio started playing piano aged just four, inspired by his mum’s Jerry Lee Lewis and Nilsson records and his Dad’s classical collection. But this sublime talent with the keening vocal and fearless approach to lyrical introspection has another chance.

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His album ‘How To Die In The North’, recorded in his newly adopted home of Manchester, England, is a fantastically rich, stylistically diverse trip. From dramatic, layered pop to a haunted take on Sixties sunshine-pop Beach Boy’s style, from blue-eyed soul to speedy surf-pop, from sparser piano balladry to psychedelic showstopper and a grand finale that’s part Nilsson and part Broadway showtune.

Sunday

Neil Hannon

The Main Stage headliner the Divine Comedy with the superb songs of Neil Hannon a welcome return from hyper-literate songsmith. With a new album “Foreverland” out now is another iteration collection of The Divine Comedy’s virtues – sumptuous, orchestral pop laced with lyrical acerbity. The new album highlight is the brilliantly song titled and perfectly judged Sinatra pastiche “I joined The Foreign Legion (To Forget)”.without a doubt they are the suitably ideal band to close the festival .

With the shimmering sounds of guitar-synths indie pop band Teleman ‘Brilliant Sanity’ was definitely one of the top albums of the year last year, the bands minimal sound has grown into something solid and substantial with constant touring and last years sold out tour. Teleman are currently working on their third album and therefore just playing just a few select festivals this summer.

Earlier in the day plus singer songwriter Hannah Lou Clark. Its a shame that the Dock Stage has no music whatsoever on the Sunday I would love to see another 4 bands present their talents to make the day and weekend complete . In the Lodge Stage I love the sound of the Sunderland based songwriter  Martin Longstaff  under the name The Lake Poets and then later the rockier psychedelic sound of Flaming Gods, Juanita Stern could be a hidden gem if you recall the band Howling Bells who made a great record on the Bella Union label then seemed to disappear she returns with her debut solo album ‘America’ to be released late july.

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So lots to see and so many things to do especially for the kids, my only criticism is I would like to see even more music each stage could do with one more band, to make this more than the perfect festival especially when there are bands like Lewis Capaldi, George Taylor ,Estrons, Girl Ray, Gurr, Dream Wife, Blaenavon, Pumarosa, The Wharves, Palace ,Our Girl (Sophie From The Big Moon’s other band), Mammut, Japanese House, Shame , Keir, Flyte , Stevie Parker, Lemon Twigs and Lucy Rose all crisscrossing the country this weekend , The Big Moon are playing three festivals just that day as are Cabbage plus I would love to see a few more USA artists passing through.

Spoken Word & Literary line-up

Owen Jones, Tim Dowling, Stuart Heritage, Amy Liptrot, Woody Woodmansey, Ken Scott, Vanessa Kisuule, Rob Cowen, Anthony Clavane, Kate Pankhurst, Dominic Berry, Rowan McCabe, Kate Fox, Paul Cookson, Lorna Mallet, Jenna Drury, Hoglets, Say Owt Slam Poetry, Shed Talks, Pip Theatre, Mud Pie Arts and A Thoughtful Place To Be.

The highlight to look out for here is Woody Woodmansey and Ken Scott From The Beatles to Bowie, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust. Ken Scott best known as Beatles engineer and producer of no less than five classic David Bowie albums. Woody Woodmansey, meanwhile, is the Yorkshireman drummer from humble Driffield who boarded Bowie’s spaceship and became A Spider From Mars.

This unique event reunites them both. Ken will be talking about his new book Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust and Woody will wow Deer Shedders with tales from and not from his recent autobiography, before a joint audience Q&A. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the studio with Beatles or share a bus with Ziggy Stardust, this is a very special chance to find out.

Comedy line-up .

John Shuttleworth, Hal Cruttenden, Justin Moorhouse, Ivo Graham, Josh Howie, Bec Hill, Tom Parry, Sarah Bennetto, Scummy Mummies, Nick Doody, Edd Hedges, Patrick Monahan, Dan Nightingale and Hannah Silvester.

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Since 2012, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably, um, idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berzerk”, or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape – that of a real enigma. Pure Comedy sees Tillman at the height of these powers: as a lyricist, and equally so a cultural observer – at times bordering on freakishly prescient. Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and – at 75 minutes – there’s a veritable fuck ton of it. The album navigates themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection and his own role in it all with his usual candour, and in terms as timely as they are timeless.

Tillman wrote the majority of Pure Comedy throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) at United Studios (fka the legendary Ocean Way Studios, favored by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) in Los Angeles March 2016.

Pure Comedy was co-produced once again by Josh Tillman and long-time producer Jonathan Wilson; mixed by Tillman, Wilson and Trevor Spencer, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album features string, horn and choral arrangements from classical iconoclast Gavin Bryars (Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Sinking Of The Titanic), with additional contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.

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Limited copies come with a 12 track bonus CD That’s Your Lot – The Bedroom Tapes. Following a breakthrough 2016 which saw them sell out London’s Scala, fill tents at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and Latitude, ink a US deal with Canvasback / Atlantic and release a run of critically acclaimed singles, Blaenavon release their long awaited debut album, That’s Your Lot. Recorded with Grammy-winning producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Bjork) the LP marks a certain milestone for the band – a sumptuous, thrilling and brave collection of songs written throughout their teenage years and now fully realised. Intensely personal, yet exploring the universal experiences of friendship, sadness, hope, love held and lost, and all the confusions of youth – a body of work to help define a generation. That’s Your Lot includes I Will Be The World, Let’s Pray and My Bark Is Your Bite – a more than impressive run of singles championed by the likes of Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, NME and Fader, whilst collectively racking up over 1,500,000 Spotify streams. The album will also feature explosive new single Orthodox Man, Blaenavon’s most immediate moment to date and already a firm fan favourite following a series of incredible live performances.

2LP – Limited Double Blue Vinyl with Fold Out Poster.

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Diet Cig are here to have fun. They’re here to tear you away from the soul-sucking sanctity of your dumpster-fire life and replace it with pop-blessed punk jams about navigating the impending doom of adulthood when all you want is to have ice-cream on your birthday. Alex Luciano (guitar and vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums) have been playing music together ever since Luciano interrupted the set of Bowman’s other band for a lighter. The New Paltz, New York duo have since released the infectious, 2015 ‘Over Easy’ EP that introduced consistent sing-a-long lyrics with thrashing drums and strums that never held back. ‘Swear I’m Good At This’ is the first full-length from the band and accumulates their tenacity for crafting life-affirming, relatable tales with a gutsy heart at their core. Luciano has the ability to write lyrics that are both vulnerable and badass, perfecting a storm of emotive reflection that creates a vision of a sweaty, pumped-up room screaming these lines in unison. Diet Cig make it okay to be the hot mess that you are.

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When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with 2013’s debut single ‘It’s On You’, their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, ‘Weird Little Birthday’, went on to feature in many of 2014’s End Of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on much-loved label Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US) and millions of plays later, it is with some anticipation now that the band finally reveal the full details of the follow up.

Titled ‘Write In’, released through Moshi Moshi Recordings and featuring artwork from the band’s own Jon EE Allan, the record was made in the band’s own studio above a now-abandoned bookshop, then finished and mixed with Adam Lasus at his LA home studio.

‘Write In’ sets its stall out as an outward looking, inventive and thoughtful progression from their debut. Drawing on an array of influences including Roxy Music, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Sonic Youth, Big Star and Pierre Cavalli, the direction is best summed up by Jon EE Allan; “I’d like to think this record looks outside the little American alt-rock sphere we were looking in on. I think we used to be very afraid of being earnest. And now we’re able to be tender or heartfelt without feeling too guilty about it.”

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One band who have been threatening a big breakthrough is female four-piece The Big Moon, who in 2016 were dubbed the coolest young band in Britain are destined to be huge in 2017 with their Slits and Elastica-inspired punky gems.

“Definitely a band to watch” – London On The Inside
“With each new release, they continue to reach brand new heights” – The Line of Best Fit
“Another sign of the band’s blossoming maturity and growing confidence as songwriters” – Clash
“London’s most exciting new quartet … The Big Moon are readying to shoot for the stars” – NME
“Another introduction to one of the buzziest new bands on the scene, it’s proof that they’re making all the right moves on their road to the top”

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Canyons of My Mind is, as its title suggests, a landscape where the personal and the pastoral converge. Drawing inspiration from the biographies of literary figures like Charles Wright and Jim Harrison, Combs has created an album that explores the notion of sustainability in its many facets – artistic, economic, spiritual, environmental. “When I set out to record All These Dreams, I had a distinct vision of what I wanted the record to sound like. It was a cocktail of the Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Nilsson vibes that you can hear right there on the surface,” Combs says. “Canyons is much more personal. It’s a testament to my acceptance of who I am as a man, and who I am becoming.” The quiet struggles and satisfactions of carving out an identity in a world gone wrong are palpable throughout the album. Whether questing through the labyrinth of his own spiritual yearning, (Heart of Wonder), recreating a rail rider’s full-body sensation of freedom beneath an azure Montana sky (Rose Colored Blues), imagining a near-future dystopia where the very idea of green spaces has been annihilated (Dirty Rain), or channeling the desire of a peeping Tom who has fallen in love with his sylvan quarry (Hazel), Combs refines the vulnerable vagabond persona he mastered on All These Dreams while pushing it beyond those boundaries, into a more pastoral realm aligned with artists like Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.

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Happyness are back with the follow up to 2014′s “Weird Little Birthday”, an album that found its way into our Best Of that year for its enjoyable nod to influences such as Pavement, Grandaddy and Wilco. Here’s a little more on the forthcoming album from the band.

The record was recorded in the band’s own studio above a now-abandoned bookshop, then finished and mixed with Adam Lasus at his LA home studio. It features artwork from the band’s own Jon EE Allan. It sets its stall out as an outward looking, inventive, and thoughtful progression from their debut. Drawing on an array of influences including Roxy Music, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Sonic Youth, Big Star and Pierre Cavalli, the direction is best summed up by Jon EE Allan; “I’d like to think this record looks outside the little American alt-rock sphere we were looking in on. I think we used to be very afraid of being earnest. And now we’re able to be tender or heartfelt without feeling too guilty about it. This record cost us about £500 to make, and that was mainly spent on an 8 track tape recorder and a dehumidifier. We self-produced it in our studio [the affectionately named ‘Jelly Boy Studios’, where the band also recorded their debut, ‘Weird Little Birthday’. The building’s being redeveloped at the end of the year, so this is the last record we’ll make there, which feels like the end of a chapter for us.”

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On the surface, Happyness’ frivolous, slackened indie-rock is as carefree as it comes. The band’s new ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ EP, though, reveals a darker tint.

Draped in sadness and an aching romanticism, their airy sound becomes less playful on the new release. From ‘Surfer Girl’’s yearning for connection through to the title-track’s pensive closing moments, via recent singles ‘SB’s Truck’ and ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’, there’s a sense of the London based band stretching their aching muscles as they ready themselves for LP2.

Get the first stream of ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’ below released Friday 23rd September via Moshi Moshi, with Happyness playing a handfull of dates in the run up to the christmas period .

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Happyness will  release the successor to 2014’s excellent long player Weird Little Birthday next Spring and they have shared the first taste of what the album will sound like in the form of new single Falling Down. The band commented “Hey Guys – we’re very excited to tell you that we’ll be releasing our second album on Moshi Moshi Records and Bar None Records soon ! Here’s the first single, “Falling Down”.

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Members
Ash Cooper
Benji Compston
Jon EE Allan

 

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Julia Jacklin –  Don’t Let The Kids Win

Julia Jacklin highly anticipated debut album, ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’, is released via Transgressive Records. Hailing from the Australian Blue Mountains, Julia Jacklin is a guitarist and singer like no other. Her music courses with the aching current of alt-country and indie-folk, augmented by her undeniable calling cards: her rich, distinctive voice, and her playful, observational wit. For the past several years Jacklin has lived in a garage in Glebe (a suburb of Sydney), working a day job on a factory production line making essential oils, all the while finding time to hone her craft – to examine her turns of phrase, to observe the stretching of her friendship circles, to wonder who she was and who she might become. And now, as Jacklin quits her factory job to focus solely on a music career, the future she had once imagined is becoming her present day reality. For fans of Margo Price, Mazzy Star and Lana Del Ray.

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Hiss Golden Messenger  –  Heart Like A Levee

The writing of the songs that became ‘Heart Like a Levee’ started in a hotel room in Washington DC in January of 2015 during a powerful storm that darkened the East Coast. At that time I was feeling – more acutely than I had ever felt before – wrenched apart by my responsibilities to my family and to my music. Forgetting, momentarily, that for me, each exists only with the other. How could I forget? Though maybe my lapse was reasonable: I had just quit my job, the most recent and last, in a series of dead-end gigs stretching back 20 years, with the vow that my children would understand their father as a man in love with his world and the inventor of his own days. They would be rare in that regard. And then – driven by monthly bills and pure fear – I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift. But in that snowy hotel room I found the refrain that became my compass: I was a dreamer, babe, when I set out on the road; but did I say I could find my way home? M.C. Taylor Available CD – Digipak with poster style insert. 11 Tracks.2CD – Deluxe 2CD is Digipak / Softpak with obi wrap and poster style insert. Includes the 8 Track ‘Vestapol’. 19 Tracks total.LP – 11 Tracks with Download.2LP – Deluxe 2LP in Gatefold Sleeve poster plus obi wrap and Download. Includes the 8 Track ‘Vestapol‘. 19 Tracks total.

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Goat Girl  –  Country Sleaze / Scum

Limited to just 500 Copies on Rough Trade Records. The debut single by teenage South London four piece Goat Girl. Goat Girl head up an emerging set of groups from South London who have been inspired by the burgeoning local circuit there. Goat Girl are a special band. Songs that use subtlety as their main ingredient while remaining disarmingly fierce at every turn. Lyrics that mean everything despite being written down in the most simplistic and non-aggressive way possible… they are an anomaly in the UK music scene as 2016 draws to a draggy close: four people playing guitars, bass and drums who have the ability to make you feel //alive// again. Goat Girl release two songs on Rough Trade, each one a caustic commentary on the England they’ve grown up in: Country Sleaze is a brooding two-chord time capsule that sounds like it’s been beamed over from a Seattle divebar in 1989. Both tracks were recorded purposefully quickly in a no-nonsense north London studio a few weeks ago with fast-rising producer Margo Broom

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C Duncan – The Midnight Sun

Glasgow’s prodigious talent C Duncan released his critically acclaimed and Mercury Prize nominated debut full-length ‘Architect’ last July, wrapping up an extremely successful first year with a headline tour and stunning sell-out performance at Union Chapel. Follow up ‘The Midnight Sun’ sees the bedroom producer return with a more expansive and experimental second offering, blending electronic elements and sweeping synth sounds with his signature layered vocals and dreamy instrumentation.

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Babeheaven  –  Moving On

Babeheaven return with their second single on Handsome Dad and limited to just 250 Copies. It’s a beautifully immersive slice of ethereal trip-hop. Pinned together with lead vocalist Nancy Andersen’s shimmering voice, it’s another smooth triumph for the London based five piece. As time passes, it feels kinda like they’re morphing into this generation’s Portishead.

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White Lies  – Friends

After three consecutive Top 5 albums, White Lies release their fourth album ‘Friends’. With ‘Friends’, White Lies haven’t so much abandoned their trademark synth-rock sound as given it a spring clean by exploring new sounds. For many reasons, it felt like a fresh start. The trio were temporarily without a label after a bout of record company reorganisation. Rather than re-sign straight away, they decided to start ‘Friends’ under their own steam without the pressure of a deadline or a budget, or even the guidance of a producer. Whatever sound each song suggested, White Lies went with it. Hence, when ‘Hold Back Your Love’ and ‘Is My Love Enough’ sparkled with disco grooves, they embraced it. When the beautiful ballad ‘Don’t Fall’ jettisoned their signature sound entirely, leaving only frontman Harry McVeigh’s sumptuous, sonorous vocals to connect it to White Lies of old, they stuck with it. Similarly, when the triumphant ‘Summer Didn’t Change A Thing’ harked back to the arena-ready rock of their debut, they didn’t mind. The changing nature of relationships is a recurring theme throughout the album. ‘Friends’ was recorded in Bryan Ferry’s private studio in London’s Olympia and was self-produced by the band. White Lies enlisted the help of an expert team including Grammy Award-winning engineer James Brown (Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys), David Wrench (Caribou, FKA twigs) on mixing duties and long-term collaborator Ed Buller who contributed additional production.

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Happyness – Tunnel Vision On Your Part

The harmony-packed single Anna, Lisa Calls appears here as the opener to Happyness’ Tunnel Vision On Your Part EP, with the band saying; “This is our first phone call song and our 5th song in E major. We wrote it one day in the studio in June and recorded it straight away – I think we were going for a kind of Traveling Wilburys thing. Also we felt like we hadn’t put a synth in a song for a while, so there’s a synth.” The EP, which also includes single SB’s Truck – a track penned by the band in homage to Samuel Beckett, who famously used to give the beloved, late, 80’s wrestler André The Giant lifts to school in his truck, owing to him being too large for his dad’s car – also provides a rare direct glimpse into the band’s influences as they offer their own interpretation of Club Gaga’s Friend Of The Revolution. Originally featuring on their Suburban Lake album, it’s a record that Happyness hold up as one of their favourites of all time, saying “Most (if not the whole) of the record is findable on YouTube. There were a few different songwriters in the band – but this one’s by the great Peter Fancher.”

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Lush – Lollapalooza Festival, Miami Fl August 22, 1992

Numbered Limited edition of 349 copies on White and Red splatter vinyl. Following the release of 1992’s Spooky, produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins fame, Lush brought their first wave shoegaze sound to the US for their second stateside tour, as part of the Lollapalooza tour, which that year included Red Hot Chili Peppers Ministry, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Pearl Jam

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Lou Reed – The RCA / Arista Albums Collection

A limited edition 12″x12″ deluxe box set library, Lou Reed – The RCA and Arista Album Collection is the ultimate tribute to an essential epoch in Lou Reed’s career as a transformative figure in American music. This definitive anthology contains 16 full-length albums on 17 compact discs in addition to an 80-page hard-bound book featuring memorabilia from Lou Reed’s personal archives, rarely seen photos and artwork, interviews with Lou conducted during his years as a recording artist for RCA and Arista and evocative in- depth liner notes – written by Lou’s longtime friend and the collection’s co- producer Hal Willner – chronicling Lou Reed’s involvement with the making of Lou Reed – The RCA and Arista Album Collection. The collectible deluxe box set also contains – suitable for framing – five 8″x10″ prints and a facsimile reproduction of a rare RCA promotional poster (598mm x 572mm, folds to 299mm x 286mm). The set includes

1. Lou Reed (April 1972)
2. Transformer (November 1972)
3. Berlin (July 1973)
4. Rock n Roll Animal (live – February 1974)
5. Sally Can’t Dance (August 1974)
6. Metal Machine Music (July 1975)
7. Coney Island Baby (December 1975)
8. Rock and Roll Heart (October 1976)
9. Street Hassle (February 1978)
10. Lou Reed Live Take No Prisoners (2 CDs – November 1978) 11. The Bells (April 1979)
12. Growing Up in Public (April 1980)
13. The Blue Mask (February 1982)
14. Legendary Hearts (March 1983)
15. New Sensations (April 1984)
16. Mistrial (June 1986

Happyness are back with a new track entitled ‘SB’s Truck‘.

It’s a precursor to the band starting work on a second album, as is a tour supporting The Dandy Warhols throughout Europe this month, of which they say:

“We’re bringing a friend of ours along to play some of the parts that we can’t play with just three people. We’ll be playing a few songs from the first record that we haven’t been able to play before, and some of the same songs a little different to how people have heard them, and some new ones.”

“So we’re going backwards and forwards in time, and we’re excited to do it. And our friend’s name is Paul. And thanks to The Dandy Warhols for having us on tour with them!”

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On the surface, Happyness seems like just another band cashing in on the resurgent popularity of softened indie rock. They do have a familiarity in their music in that they incorporate Pavement’s wit, the pop sensibilities of Neutral Milk Hotel, and the soothing, moodiness felt in many bands of the genre (Sparklehorse comes to mind). While they’re a young band, the London-based trio has an uncanny ability to take you to a completely different frame of mind like the sun-setting easiness that is “Orange Luz.” One thing is for sure, with Happyness you’ll enjoy the journey.

“Our setup consists of a pretty mismatched patchwork of stuff. We self-produced our album Weird Little Birthday using a bunch of cheap gear (a Roland Octa-Capture 8-channel digital interface, an Aria semi-hollow that has this cool, brittle, biting tone and when you drive it, it sounds raw as fuck) and then messed around with various 4-track tape players. For the most part, we just use whatever practice instruments we have lying around and it’s kind of the same attitude live—working with what we can afford that doesn’t suck like crap. That all being said, my main onstage guitar is a 1971 Gibson ES-335 and I also play a Fender American Standard Telecaster to save time changing tunings, so I’ll bounce back and forth during a set depending how we have songs/tunings lined out.”

Our main guitar amps are a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and a Blackstar HT Stage 60 combo, but somewhere along the line we picked up a collection of 15-watt practice amps—like a cheap Marshall combo and a Roland Cube—that we run vocals through when we’re doing stripped-down gigs. We’ll run those practice amps and the front-of-house sound guys hate us when we turn up those combos and insist on running vocals through them. The distortion sound we use for our vocals is a General Motors 1971 Alternator running through a Toblerone box.”

“My favorite thing on my pedalboard has to be the Danelectro Cool Cat distortion pedal—the red one. They’re super cheap and have an awesome, tacky distortion sound that’s really compressed and kind of harsh. We’ve run vocals through it—think: Satan-shouting-through-a-supermarket-PA—and we used it for loads of the distortion sounds on the album. The orange pedal on the board is a JHS Pulp ’N’ Peel Compressor that’s awesome. I keep it on throughout the set and it just softens everything a bit and warms stuff up—like a microwave. Other stomps I have on my board include Electro-Harmonix’s Holy Grail Plus, a Line 6 DL4, TC Electronic’s Vintage Tube Primer and PolyTune, and a Pro Co Rat.”

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Ultra-lo-fi, but Happyness’ ‘Weird Little Birthday’ is nonetheless stuffed full of rich melodies and arch lyrical observations. The band Happyness are a 3 piece band from South London, formed of multi-instrumentalists Ash Cooper, Benji Compston and Jonny Allan. After forming in early 1973, the band went on hiatus pending their births and the sufficient progress of the affordable digital audio interface market. Regrouping in 2013, the band spent Saturday nights playing under a railway bridge in Bermondsey. By mid-2013, having written “most of an album” they rented out an unused church with the intention of setting up a studio and finishing the record there. That ended after less than a week with only one song tracked – they were driven out by “the bitter cold and an unconvinced congregation of the dead”. (Unintentionally significantly the song was “Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)”).


Relocating to their affectionately named “Jelly Boy Studios” (a one-time carpentry warehouse and butterfly commune an hour or so outside of London), the band self-produced their debut album and the songs that would become their debut EP.
Before the recording sessions, the band had played a handful of shows under a variety of names (“something to put on the flyers”), but the name Happyness wasn’t used until November 2013, when the band started playing live in the build up to the release of their eponymous EP – mixed by Ed Harcourt.

The album – “Weird Little Birthday” – was mixed by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) and features Ed Harcourt singing on “Pumpkin Noir” and was released to great acclaim in the UK in the Summer of 2014. They have made various attempts to spread the rumour that Jonny Allan is the forgotten son and heir to the Terry Richardson empire, but those have all failed pretty conclusively. Their approach to writing and recording music means that roles within the band are fairly fluid, but Jonny Allan and Benji Compston do lead vocals and Ash Cooper does drums.

The band Happyness is three guys from London with a breathtaking range of sounds, like Wilco crossed with Sparklehorse, Pavement and gritty garage rock. With lyrics that are unexpected and dark, but also humorous, Happyness takes us on a bright but twisted trip on this song “Naked Patients.”