Posts Tagged ‘Luke Sital Singh’

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it’s just over *One* week now till Record Store Day 2019 and the excitement is palpable. People are already eyeing up the sacred list, marking down their order of priorities, and what a bumper year it is this year too – with an unbeatable set of rarities, exclusives, fancy editions and downright collectables to feast your eyes and ears on.

Notable releases this week : music fans were rewarded with some of the most exciting new releases of the year so far. Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, has released a career-defining LP, Titanic Rising, one of the highest-rated albums of 2019 so far. also received this week the highly-anticipated sophomore LP from D.C. rockers Priests, The Seduction of Kansas. In terms of track releases, we heard new singles from Vampire Weekend, The National and Big Thief plus some great cuts from Julie Shapiro, Field Medic and Porridge Radio.

The David Bowie ‘Spying Through The Keyhole’ 7″ box set looks great!
Circa Waves bring out a brand new record – limited blue vinyl.
There’s a new Weyes Blood album that has had excellent reviews – limited red vinyl.
the New Order ‘Movement’ box set looks nice – weighs a ton too.
A second set of Motorhead reissues.
Limited coloured vinyl from Music On Vinyl for Matthew Sweet and Within Temptation reissues.
Black vinyl for The Wannadies ‘Be A Girl’ .

W.H Lung’s dinked n limited “Incidental Music” should be first album of note to receive the attention combining it does, the thrust of Krautrock, the shimmer of psychedelia and all the gung-ho decadence of space rock.

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W H Lung – Incidental Music

W. H. Lung’s arrival at their debut album has been less conventional than most. A trait shared with the music they make, which weaves between shimmering synth pop and the infectious grooves of 70’s Berlin. The band never had any intention of playing live when forming, aiming instead to be a primarily studio-based project.

That approach was challenged when they released their debut 10” (‘Inspiration!/Nothing Is’) in 2017, which meant that they were quickly in demand. Booking requests started to flood in and W. H. Lung found themselves cutting their teeth on festival stages that summer. Though whilst some new bands may have let that interest change the course of the project, W. H. Lung stayed true to their original reticence and worked mainly as a studio band with their formidable live shows kept sporadic.

W. H. Lung have allowed this album to naturally gestate over the course of two years . The result is a remarkably considered debut – the production is crisp and pristine but not over-polished, the synths and electronics radiate and hum with a golden aura and the vocals weave between tender delivery and forceful eruptions. There is a palpable energy to the songs, as experienced in 10 glorious minutes of opening statement ‘Simpatico People’.
“I think it’s important to erase the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture,” states Joseph E. This colliding of worlds not only exists in the potent mix between whip-smart arrangements, lyrics and seamlessly danceable music but also in the fact that they are named after a cash and carry in Manchester. As Tom P. explains, “I thought it was funny juxtaposing those kind of austere associations with W. H. Auden and other initialed poets, writers, artists, etc. with the fact that it’s really just a Chinese supermarket.”

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Rozi Plain – What a Boost

Rozi Plain has been making music since her brother taught her a few chords on the guitar aged 13. Raised in Winchester, she spent a few years studying art and painting boats in Bristol, where she began collaborating with long-term friends Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rachael Dadd among many others on a thriving local scene. It was there that Rozi made her first two albums, 2008’s Inside Over Here and 2012’s Joined Sometimes Unjoined, each works of deliciously sad and beautiful pop full of heart-wrenching harmonies dotted with unexpected instrumental flourishes. Released in April 2015 on Lost Map and featuring contributions from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor among others her last album Friend was a deeply meaningful and wonderfully measured ode to memory, place, companionship and music’s remarkable power as an emotional salve. A companion album of remixes, unreleased tracks and radio sessions, Friend Of A Friend, was released in 2016.

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Luke Sital-Singh – A Golden State

Luke Sital-Singh releases his third album A Golden State on Raygun Records. The album was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, Soak), who also produced Luke’s last album, 2017’s Time Is A Riddle, and recorded in Portland’s Jackpot Studios, famously set up by Elliott Smith, where alumni include R.E.M., Stephen Malkmus, and The Decemberists. A Golden State contains new single Los Angeles, plus the 2018 singles The Last Dayand Love Is Hard Enough Without The Winter.

At its most basic, A Golden State is album of California dreaming. The songs therein reflect a new chapter, and a new mindset for Luke. “Overall, there is this ethereal, positive vibe – without being too cheesy,” he says. “There is an Americana fantasy, of wanting to escape to this gorgeous place – but also about what I’m escaping from.” The cover artwork, created by Hannah, a four-colour lino cut of the Venice Beach canals, is taken from her upcoming art book, Coastline.

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Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood, a.k.a. Natalie Mering, has designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist. Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising – which was written and recorded during the first half of 2018, after three albums and years of touring – as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.” The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.” As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”

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Priests – The Seduction Of Kansas

What is at stake in the seduction of Kansas? Like a gavel or hammer, the question rattles across the second LP from Washington, D.C. rock iconoclasts Priests: Entering their eighth year as a band, Priests—drummer Daniele Daniele, vocalist Katie Alice Greer, and guitarist G.L. Jaguar—remain an inspired anomaly in modern music. A band on its own label—jolting the greater music world with early releases by Downtown Boys, Snail Mail, Sneaks, and Gauche—they are living proof that it is still possible to work on one’s own terms, to collectively cultivate one’s own world. Priests enlisted two primary collaborators in writing, arranging, and recording The Seduction of Kansas. After playing cello, mellotron, and lap steel on Nothing Feels Natural, multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin (Mellow Diamond, Marissa Nadler) returned to breathe air into Priests’ demos, serving as primary bassist and a fourth songwriting collaborator on The Seduction of Kansas.

The band also found a kindred spirit in producer John Congleton (Angel Olsen, St. Vincent), recording for two weeks at his Elmwood Studio in Dallas. It marked the band’s first time opening up their creative work to collaborate with someone outside of their DC-based community—a decidedly less hermetic approach. Priests found a third collaborator in bassist Alexandra Tyson, who has also joined the touring band. The songwriting process found the group once again analyzing the textures and scopes of albums as aggressive as they are introspective, like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, Portishead’s Third, and Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral. The first single, “The Seduction of Kansas,” is Priests’ purest pop song to date. It is dark and glittering—though there is still something fantastically off about it, decadent and uneasy at once.

As journalist Thomas Frank explored in 2004’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?, the ideological sway of Kansas has often predicted the direction in which the U.S. will move—whether leaning socialist in the 1800s or going staunchly conservative in the 1980s. Illustrating Kansas’ potent place in our national imagination—as well as “a chorus of whoever is trying to persuade the social consciousness of Kansas”—Greer sings brilliantly of a “bloodthirsty cherub choir” in a cornfield, of “a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country through it used to be,” beckoning that “I’m the one who loves you.” The song does what Priests do best: They make us think, stir us with complexity.

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Son Volt – Union

Led by vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Jay Farrar, Son Volt became one of the leading bands in the alternative country community, attracting critical praise and an audience that was loyal if not always large. Farrar has collaborated with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and several other well respected artists / musicians. Union is the bands 10th studio album and mixes present and past into strong confluence. The thirteen new songs written by Farrar confront our turbulent politics and articulate the clarity and comfort music can offer in the tumult.

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Lady Lamb – Even In The Tremor

Even in the Tremor marks Spaltro’s latest full-length LP following 2015’s After and it’s a remarkable achievement because, among other things, it’s the first time in her career that Spaltro is singing explicitly about herself. Between confessing a tantrum in a batting cage (Little Flaws), telling the story of her parent’s kiddie-pool baptism (Young Disciple) and singing openly about untangling her girlfriend’s wet hair (Deep Love), Even in the Tremor is deeply rooted in the people and places, extraordinary and mundane, that have shaped Spaltro into the self-determining artist she is today. Known for her keen observations of others, Spaltro now turns her multifaceted ruminations inward; She calls out from dreams, peers into churches, has fits of rage, and struggles to get out of her head long enough to love herself and those around her. Commitment to creating only what is necessary and urgently felt is the key to appreciating Spaltro’s fearless songwriting, as emotional as it is philosophical. Even in the Tremor signifies the arrival of her most sonically soaring and brutally honest album to date.

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Shana Cleveland – Night Of The Worm Moon

Shana Cleveland has been beguiling listeners for years in her role as the superlative front woman for elastic surf rockers La Luz. Now Cleveland is evolving her sound on the new solo full-length Night of the Worm Moon, a serene album that flows like a warm current while simultaneously wresting open a portal to another dimension. As much a work of California sci-fi as Octavia Butler’s Parable novels, Night of the Worm Moon incorporates everything from alternate realities to divine celestial bodies. Inspired in part by one of her musical idols, the Afro-futurist visionary Sun Ra (the album’s title is a tip of the hat to his 1970 release Night of the Purple Moon), the record blends pastoral folk with cosmic concerns. Cleveland dreamt up this premise while living in Los Angeles, a city where – as deftly explored on La Luz’s recent Floating Features – reality and fantasy casually co-exist.

Abetting Cleveland during the recording process was a familiar gallery of co-conspirators: multi-instrumentalist Will Sprott of Shannon and the Clams, original La Luz bassist Abbey Blackwell, Goss, pedal steel player Olie Eshelman, and Kristian Garrard, who drummed on Cleveland’s previous solo effort (with then-backing band The Sandcastles), 2011’sOh Man, Cover the Ground. But whereas that album was internal and contemplative, Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks–a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.

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Gurr – She Says

Gurr return with a new 7 track EP “She Says” released in April 2019. Recorded with New York producer Mathew Molner (Sunflower Bean, Friends) and Berlin based producer Tobi Kuhn at the UFO studios in Berlin.

“We met Sunflower Bean at Latitude Festival in UK and asked them who produced their album “Human Ceremony” as we liked how it sounded retro and modern, they connected us with Mathew and we brought him to Berlin to record with us” says Andreya Casablanca... “After ‘In My Head’ was recorded all in analogue we definitely wanted to have a little bit more room for the production in these songs. We were adding guitars, small synth lines and sounds after laying down the basic tracks.”

The writing of the EP was heavily influenced by the big transitions in the lives of Laura Lee and Andreya Casablanca in the 12 month period after the release of ‘In My Head’, which can be heard in the fake highs of optimism of tracks such as “Of Hollywood” and “Bye Bye”, the melancholia of “She Says” and “Hush” and the angst of Middleton Mall but musically the band draws inspiration across genres, from contemporary dream pop wonders Beach Fossils to psychedelic classics such as The Velvet Underground.

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David Bowie – Spying Through a Keyhole

With 2019 marking 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, Space Oddity, Parlophone release a 7″ vinyl singles box set of nine previously unreleased recordings from the era during which Space Oddity was first conceived.

The title Spying Through A Keyhole is a lyric taken from the previously unknown song, Love All Around, and though most of the other titles are known, these versions have never been officially released until late last year. Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances, unless otherwise stated.

The design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m.

Due to the nature of some of the solo home demos where Bowie accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, the recording quality isn’t always of a usual studio fidelity. This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.

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The Proper Ornaments – 6 Lenins

‘Six Lenins’, the third album release from The Proper Ornaments, sees the band master their seemingly effortless but finely-wrought sound as their songwriting prowess refuses to plateau. Fresh from an US tour in Autumn last year, the London jangle pop group led by James Hoare (also of Ultimate Painting/Veronica Falls) and Max Claps (Toy) went into James‘ home studio in Finsbury Park, London and made their finest recordings to date on a newly-installed 16 track Studer machine – joined by Danny Nellis (Charles Howl) on bass and Bobby Syme (Wesley Gonzalez) on drums. Having escaped deep, twisting tunnels of illness, divorce and drug abuse to release their second record in January 2017, it’s unsurprising they sound sunnier this time around. What their supremely melodic work suggests is a nonchalance or naivety but is in fact an expensively bought slice of coherence and clarity within a constantly shifting backdrop to their lives and landscapes. The band exists as an unassuming and resilient organism in a fiercely competitive, trashed environmental niche. Throughout their years of hard-edged music industry Darwinism, they’ve shown longevity and growth scuttling from the wreckage of their previous guitar bands to become one united organism. “We started writing new songs in the Summer. I was in bed recovering from hepatitis and very broken and tired so couldn’t do anything else apart from playing guitar,” says Max, “and the songs slowly started to appear. In August we realised we had five new songs each and free time, so we decided to record them. The actual recording only took two weeks and it was considerably easier than our previous recordings.” The speed with which “Six Lenins” was made suggests the two songwriters managed to keep a keen focus on what they wanted to achive, further finessing the balance of conflict and collaboration that lends their sweet, succinct tunes their nervous energy. Well-crafted songwriting and a controlled sonic despite a zealous analogue sensibility. The opener ‘Apologies’, sets out stridently and the mood and momentum, even as we weave through some more sombre moments, never dips before soaring with the Velvets-y propeller riff of live favourite ‘In the Garden’ to end the record.

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Circa Waves – What’s It Like Over There?

The new studio album from Circa Waves, titled What’s It Like Over There? via Prolifica Inc. / [PIAS]. Recorded in just one month, and renewing their blossoming co-producing relationship with Alan Moulder (Foals, The Killers), What’s It Like Over There? is an album that’s creatively unshackled and refuses to stay still. It fuses the visceral thrill of rock music with a slick pop sound, its themes of modern ennui, emotional fragility and all the inside-outs and upside-downs of relationships making it a record that could only have been made now. Whilst the anthemic Movies will appeal to the band’s long-standing fan base, the likes of Sorry I’m Yours and Be Somebody Good see Circa Waves experiment with a new progressive sound that will surprise and delight in equal measure. Me Myself and Hollywood touches on the band’s love of R&B, whilst Times Won’t Change Me is a piano-led, Beatles-inspired future hit. What’s It Like Over There? always manages to sidestep genres and easy pigeonholing, but what remains constant is Circa Waves’ ability to create the kind of infectious music that is propelling them towards the top tier of British music.

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The Drums – Brutalism

Brutalism is quite possibly the best collection of songs in The Drums’ ten-year career. The album is defined by growth, transformation and questions, but it doesn’t provide all the answers. Brutalism is a form of simplistic architecture defined by blocks of raw concrete. Brutalism is rooted in an emotional rawness but its layers are soft, intricate and warm, full of frivolous and exquisitely crafted pop songs that blast sunlight and high energy in the face of anxiety, solitude and crippling self-doubt.

Even the fact that Brutalism sounds intentional, focused and efficient is a symbol of how Pierce’s prioritizing of his own health and wellbeing has bled into how he makes music. For the making of this album, between his lake house in Upstate New York and a studio in Stinson Beach, California, Pierce was more open than ever, keeping his control freakery at bay, working with others to produce and record the album. He brought in Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Amen Dunes) to mix it. If there was a guitar part he wanted to write but couldn’t play, he brought in a guitarist. It’s also the first Drums record with a live drummer. Delegating freed up Pierce’s time to produce a more specific vision.

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Molly Tuttle – When You’re Ready

Award-winning guitarvirtuoso Molly Tuttle, whose debut album, ‘When You’re Ready’ is an insightful, gifted album from a songwriter who was crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP Rise, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible at picking guitar technique and confessional songwriting.

Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 25-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. ‘When You’re Ready’, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.

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Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend

Matthew Sweet is an American singer-songwriter and rock musician. He was part of the burgeoning music scene in Georgia during the ‘80s, before gaining commercial success in the ‘90s. In 1991 Matthew Sweet released Girlfriend, the pop-rock album which was widely considered an artistic breakthrough. It quickly garnered impressive sales, spawning a top 10 single with the title track. Girlfriend is Sweet’s most commercially and critically successful album to date. Both the title track and Divine Intervention did well on the charts. The album was included as number 61 on Paste’s list of “The 90 Best albums of the 1990s”.

LP – Limited edition of 1.000 individually numbered copies on 180 Gram pink vinyl with Insert.

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New Order – Movement – Definitive Edition

Out of the ashes of Joy Division, the remaining members decided to carry on recording under the name of New Order. The band’s debut album Movement recorded between 24th April to the 4th May 1981 at Strawberry in Stockport and featuring all new material, produced by Martin Hannett was released in 11th November 1981 on Factory Records. TheMovementboxed set includes the vinyl LP with its original iconic sleeve designed by Peter Saville, original album CD in replica mini album sleeve, a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, DVD of live shows and TV appearances plus hard backed book all housed in a lift off lid box. The vinyl LP of the original album is cut on 180 Gram and features the 2015 remastered audio, presented in a replica of the original sleeve. The second CD includes 18 completely unreleased tracks made from Demos, Sessions, Rehearsal Recordings and an Alternative 7” version of Temptation Accompanying the set is a 48 Page hard back book which features photos and an essay.

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Karen Dalton – The Karen Dalton Archives Box

Packaged in Ampex studio tape style carboard box. Including for the first-time ever on Vinyl – 3 LP : the 1962 double live album Cotton Eyed Joe remastered…. and the 1963 home recordings album Green Rocky Road remastered. 4 CD – same albums and 1CD of unreleased home recordings including a mesmerizing take on God Bless The Child – 52 Page Book with scans of Karen Dalton Personal archives (writings, photographs, memos) disclosed here for the first time. It also comes with a Large T-shirts and a Download Card.

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Fake Laugh -Honesty / Surrounded

Hot on the heels of his debut LP and follow up 7”, Fake Laugh AKA Kamran Khan delivers yet two more bangers for the kids, in the form of another double A-Side. The driving, dream-pop bop that is Honesty features guest vocals from Poppy Hankin of previous tour-mates Girl Ray, whilst the skittish, social commentary of Surrounded hurtles along set against a backdrop of razor-sharp melodies and instant-hit hooks.

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Luke Sital-Singh sings songs of love, longing and grief in this stirring performance of “Afterneath” and “Killing Me.” These are the songs I just never tire of hearing and I never tire of writing, because they make me feel less alone,” Sital-Singh says.

I’m not sure if you’ll remember because, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on these days. But back in April of this year I was asked to perform at the TED Global event in Vancouver, and I said yes, obviously. It was an amazing privilege and I’m super excited to tell you that the video of my performance is now live on Ted.com.

I was asked to perform two songs and speak a little about what makes me tick as a songwriter. In my head my talk was entitled Why sad songs are the most important songs’

So go give it a watch, it’s not long. And if you like it maybe share it with someone else you think would enjoy it too.Thank you, Luke x

Hello, It’s me. My new EP is finally out. It features my versions of songs by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Big Star, Neil Young & Jackson Browne. You can read a bit more about how each song came about down below.

Just A Song Before I Go,

I just love this song. It’s an effortlessly good driving song, perhaps owing to the fact that Graham Nash wrote it whilst in a taxi to the airport after his driver bet him he couldn’t write a song during the 15 minute drive.

Late for the Sky
What can I say? This is one of the greatest songs ever written. I’ll always remember my first time traveling to San Francisco and stumbling into a free festival only to find myself watching Jackson Browne, my favourite songwriter, singing this song to thousands of people. Since then I can never travel through the US without this tune ringing through my head.

Harvest Moon
For the longest time people would say my voice was reminiscent of Neil Young and I’d nod and say thanks having only the slightest idea of who they were talking about. Eventually I thought I should probably listen to his music. Harvest Moon was the first song I ever heard of his and I’ve never looked back. It was like discovering my primary musical influence long after I’d started writing songs. A bizarre experience but one I’ll never forget.

Thirteen
I came late to Big Star. Like real late. My manager turned me onto their first album ‘#1 Record’ and I was hooked instantly. There’s just something effortless about the songwriting and timeless about the recordings. As cliché as it sounds it’s always the slower acoustic ballads that jump out at me on rock records and Thirteen is one hell of a ballad. This entire record is my go to driving album. The first thing I put on when starting another long drive to the next place.

A message from Luke Sital-Singh

Hello, It’s me again. I just got back from my second US tour in as many months. It was such a joy and a dream to travel around North America and sing for new audiences.
The drives were long and as such, so were the playlists. I couldn’t help spinning my favourite songs of the late 60s and early 70s as we drove down the Californian coastline. Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, CSNY, The Beach Boys, Jim Croce to name a few. With such great songs and great sights I knew I wanted to document this experience in some way. So, as we travelled, in motels and dressing rooms I began to record my own versions of the songs that were soundtracking the tour.
My new single ‘Thirteen’ was recorded during those days on tour. It is the second single from my upcoming EP ‘Just A Song Before I Go’ out on the 12th January. You can listen to it below.

The Live Version of ‘Just A Song Before I Go’,  I just love this song. It’s an effortlessly good driving song, perhaps owing to the fact that Graham Nash wrote it whilst in a taxi to the airport after his driver bet him he couldn’t write a song during the 15 minute drive.

Singer Songwriter Luke Sital-Singh is a solo musician committed to the craft of slowed-down, intentional songwriting and performing. His intensely sincere biographical tunes are bolstered by rhythmic, bluesy guitar strumming and a poised, confident vocal delivery. Most of Sital-Singh’s work is fairly melancholy, but optimism and the will to overcome pervades his otherwise overtly sad discography.

Audiotree is a Chicago-based music discovery platform: In-studio sessions • Live From Lincoln Hall • Shows From Schubas • Audiotree Music Festival

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Luke Sital-Singh - Time Is A Riddle

Time Is A Riddle’, London based singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh’s second full-length, is a heartbreakingly emotive record. At times easy listening due to its graceful melody, at others uncomfortably affecting, this album is up there in the Julien Baker realms of super high-quality solo songwriting.

Opening with the sombre yet catchy groove of ‘Still’, this LP is consistently brilliant throughout. The tenderness of ‘Til The Night Is Done’ is spellbinding, ‘Innocence’ is a wistful, gorgeous listen, and the title-track – complete with a beautiful piano accompaniment – is deeply moving. ‘Time Is A Riddle’ is a record in which it’s easy to lose yourself; perfect for those introspective long drives and late-night walks, Luke Sital-Singh’s words possess a universal appeal, his tales of love and loss sure to strike a chord with anyone willing to give them their time.

Not content to stick to the standard vocal and guitar/piano formula, however, on ‘Time Is A Riddle’, Luke Sital-Singh demonstrates an appetite for the grandiose. This is evident in the build of the album’s midpoint and peak, ‘Cynic’, which develops into a glorious, choir-backed composition of serious class.

Far better than many similar artists who’ve fully infiltrated the mainstream, Luke Sital-Singh is a performer who deserves to enjoy wider recognition; such is the standard of this LP. It’s impossible not to enjoy songwriting this accessible and honestly delivered.

originally from Bristol the singer/songwriter Luke Sital Singh writes for us about each of the songs on newly released second record “Time Is A Riddle”

Still

This song is already known to the world. I released it on my 2015 EP The Breakneck Speed of Tomorrow. Perhaps a strange choice to place an old song as first track on an important second album, but it was a turning point song for me when I wrote it and recorded the original demo in my flat. There was a lot of doubt and fear in the air after my first label relationship ended and the future felt shaky at best. Finishing this song both in composition and production felt really really good. It basically unlocked something in me and gave me a vision for the sound and the sentiment of what could become a second album.

Also, all that fluff aside, I just think it’s a damn good song and I’m really proud of it and it just feels right as the opening statement on this album

Oh My God

Collaborating or co-writing can be a sticky subject for some. It can be perceived of as being inauthentic at best or as an admission that you can’t write your own songs at worst. There are definitely times I have been put in rooms with ‘hit makers’ and it all felt very contrived and silly, but there have been other times when I’ve wanted to work with actual friends of mine who are amazingly talented, just to see what would happen. That’s how I wrote “Oh My God”, with friend and writer, Paul Steel. The song ended up feeling like a slight oddity for me. In some ways it feels a little angrier, a little more on edge.

With a lot of the writing for this album I tried to let my mind loose and run free when it came to lyrics. I would sing whatever came into my head and try to listen to what my subconscious was coming out with, to see what the music churned up from inside. I was inspired in this by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco who writes most, if not all, of his lyrics this way.

Until The Night Is Done

I’ve always heard that a lot of songwriters carry around notebooks or a note file in their phones etc. to capture thoughts and ideas throughout the day, and even whilst socialising will leave the room when someone says something they think is cool, so they can go write it down or record a voice memo. I’ve never really done this, at least it’s never worked. I carry notebooks but they are all basically empty… but there was something about that method that I liked and I wished my mind worked like that. I was jealous of that method. However, one day I was talking with my Grandmother and she was talking about her late husband and she said ‘I found the letter that he gave to me, 11 hours before we got married,’ and I left the room to write it down. That line became this song. Never done that before. Not done it since.

Rough Diamond Falls

Another first for me. The whole ‘this song came to me in a dream’ thing always felt far-fetched until it happened to me with this one. I dreamt I was in a desert town in America, but it was a kind of Heaven but also a kind of Hell where everything was perfect and nothing could die, but in not dying there was no real life. The town was called Rough Diamond Falls. Very strange. I woke up with the chorus melody and the words ‘Rough Diamond Falls’ repeating over and over in my head.

Nowhere’s Home

This songs all about the recording for me. I had the song on file for a while. I knew I liked it but wasn’t sure the best way to arrange it. Working with Tommy, the producer, we decided it would be cool if it descended into something a little crazy at the end. Started off as a hat tip to “Karma Police” but went a bit more nuts than that in the end! I love it.

Cynic

This is the third time I’ve sat down to specifically write a live set opener song. “Bottled Up Tight” was the first time I did this – initially that song started off very sparse and grew larger towards the end. The second time I did it was “I Have Been A Fire”, which I wanted as a bit of a statement piece. That song has been screeching at the top of my range, which was a ploy to get festival crowds and support slot audiences to shut up and listen to me! Sometimes worked. I wanted a new song that would work for this album cycle. I’ve always wanted to come on stage and sing a completely a cappella song, and “Cynic” started as that but I didn’t have the guts or the talent to go along with it so, although it’s stripped, it’s still got some chords. One day I’ll do that a cappella tune.

Innocence

This song came to me out of thin air. I remember I was watching TV whilst I wrote it. It basically fell out of me fully formed. I would really love to know how that works so I can replicate it everytime!

Time Is A Riddle

This is the song that unlocked the album for me. I go through writer’s block more than I don’t. The block is the default for me. Sometimes I find that stressful, sometimes I manage to just let it be and trust that the songs will happen when they happen. But this specific block was painful and I was really losing all sense of vision and purpose. That said I was writing some things but I had such a lack of confidence that I just shelved them and no one heard them. One of these ideas was “Time Is A Riddle”, it was mostly just the chorus and a vague verse idea. Some residual hint of will inside me wanted to get the song in shape and I got it finished and sent it to my manager. He came back so enthusiastically it was a real shock to the system. Just having someone praise something new I’d written woke me up and the songs came flooding.

Hunger

I wrote “Hunger” in the midst of a rocky label relationship. Things weren’t particularly enjoyable and I could see things slipping away from my control. Whether things were quite as bad as there were in my head is another question. I’m a pessimist through and through, so it was the end of the world as far as I was concerned. This song started as a stream of conscious rant about whatever came into my head and turned into a rallying cry for me about sticking to my guns and fighting for what I cared about. This whole album is a bit of a testament to me finding a way to do just that.

Track By Track: Luke Sital-Singh on Time Is A Riddle

Killing Me

This is one of the most personal and open-handed songs I’ve ever written, whilst at the same time it isn’t about me at all. I wrote it after spending more time with my Grandma who had recently moved in with my parents. Her husband, my Grandfather, died 10 years ago and the idea of anyone living alone without their soulmate is heartbreaking to me, but seeing my Grandma talk about him a lot and also witnessing her in her new surroundings with great-grandchildren running around was very moving to me. Eventually I sat down at my piano and the song came spilling out.

Slow Down

One of my favourite bands is Sigur Rós and one day I will play guitar or drums in an epic post-rock band. But it’s not that day yet, so for now I decided to write this. I told Tommy it needed to sound like the track was breaking apart at the end and he put the whole track through a valve distortion unit and gradually cranked it. So chuffed with how it sounds.

Time Is A Riddle is out now via Raygun/Red Essential.

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Love Is Love was written and recorded in the two months immediately following the election, but it’s not a record borne entirely of angry, knee-jerk reaction to what America is becoming. Instead, it’s a meditation on love, and on what life means now. Taking cues from last year’s City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, it feels very much like a record made from living, shoulder to shoulder, in a major city: weaving psychedelic swirls of guitar between languid horns reminiscent of the best Ethiopian jazz—Love is Love is a distinctly New York record. It is a document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too.

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“Wisdom comes with age, so it’s no surprise that Woods have grown more sage in the twelve years since they formed, expanding from sylvan drum circles into increasingly elaborate, transcendent psychedelia.” – Pitchfork.

 

There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.” –

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“I wasn’t planning on making a record,” says Juliana Hatfield, of her new “Pussycat” album. In fact, she thought her songwriting career was on hiatus, and that she had nothing left to say in song form; that she had finally said it all after two decades as a recording artist. But then the presidential election happened. “All of these songs just started pouring out of me. And I felt an urgency to record them, to get them down, and get them out there.” She booked some time at Q Division studios in Somerville, Massachusetts near her home in Cambridge and went in with a drummer (Pete Caldes), an engineer (Pat DiCenso) and fourteen brand-new songs.

Hatfield produced and played every instrument other than drums—bass, keyboards, guitars, vocals. From start to finish—recording through mixing—the whole thing took a total of just twelve and a half days to complete.“It was a blur. It was cathartic,” says Hatfield. “I almost don’t even understand what happened in there, or how it came together so smoothly, so quickly. I was there, directing it all, managing it, getting it all done, but I was being swept along by some force that was driving me. The songs had a will, they forced themselves on me, or out of me, and I did what they told me to do. Even my hands—it felt like they were not my hands. I played bass differently– looser, more confident, better.” Pussycat comes on the heels of last year’s Hatfield collaboration with Paul Westerberg, the I Don’t Cares’ Wild Stab album, and before that, 2015’s Juliana Hatfield Three (My Sister, Spin The Bottle) reunion/reformation album, Whatever, My Love. “I’ve always been prolific and productive and I have a good solid work ethic but this one happened so fast, I didn’t have time to think or plan,” says Hatfield. “I just went with it, rode the wave. And now it is out of my hands. It feels a little scary.” Pussycat is being released into a very tense, divided and inflamed America. The songs are reflective of that atmosphere—angry (When You’re A Star), defiant (Touch You Again), disgusted (Rhinoceros), but also funny (Short-Fingered Man), reflective (Wonder Why), righteous (Heartless) and even hopeful (Impossible Song, with its chorus of ‘What if we tried to get along/and sing an impossible song’).

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Eighteen months on from debut album, The Fire Inside comes Time Is A Riddle, the second album Luke Sital-Singh was determined to make solely on his terms. No interference, no scheduling issues, nor elaborate musicianship, nothing big or brittle. Just care, and effort, and time well spent – values he shares with the Slow Movement to which he subscribes, and with the crafts people up and down the country with whom the musician has some special projects planned. It’s a lovely record of self-written songs, a crafted distillation of the ideas and tastes that have been percolating through Sital-Singh since he was a teenager in suburban southwest London.

Having written a brace of songs – simple songs that moved him – Sital-Singh followed his long-held artist’s dream: he escaped to a remote studio, Attica Audio, in Donegal, with nothing on his mind other than making the record of his life. The studio’s owner, producer Tommy McLaughlin (a member of Villagers’ touring band, who Sital-Singh has opened for) pulled together a small group of musicians. Well-used to playing together, the band slotted together effortlessly for a series of recordings over ten days. Time Is A Riddle is a record where you can smell the graft, see the joins and hear the sweat on the frets – and the occasional live-recording misstep. It’s that real. Luke Sital-Singh wouldn’t have it any other way.

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On PWR BTTM’s new album Pageant, glammed and glittered duo Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce tackle their diary-like explorations of life, identity and existential crises head-on. Pageant is a vital exploration of self that’s hot with friction, angst and hope, both hilarious and heart wrenching.

Pageant is ferociously emotional, with passionate narratives set to cutting rock and roll anthems. The album builds upon PWR BTTM’s sensational debut Ugly Cherries with a further refined song craft and sonic flourishes including horns, flutes, keyboard and even an impromptu choir. The result is thirteen original songs that burst with laughter, tears and triumph. Pageant was produced by Christopher Daly and Cameron West, and was recorded primarily in the top floor of a furniture factory in Geneva, New York. Ben Hopkins takes his guitar playing and vocal fierceness to new heights, and with newfound openness. The duo swap instruments on the record and live, constantly alternating between Hopkins’ finger-picking solos and Liv Bruce’s tremendous drumming.

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Hazel English is a 25-year-old Oakland-based artist who makes beautifully blurry indie-pop music powered by transcendent melodies and caked in layers of Californian sunshine and redolent reverb. She finds herself something of a scene queen amidst the burgeoning jangling happenings of the Bay Area, which count the likes of her producer Jackson Philips aka Day Wave amongst it ranks, as well as kindred spirits like Craft Spells and Hot Flash Heat Wave, to name but a few. Despite the fun being had locally, Hazel describes her music as, “Transportive. It makes you feel like you’re in a different place”. A very literal example is the title track, which charters the bittersweet abandon of her runaway journey from her native Australia to her new adopted home in an near-cinematic narrative. She’s drawn comparisons to everyone from Alvvays and Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to touring partners Ride, while her soaring, hypnotic, vocal arrangements have been likened to everyone from Grimes to Diiv.

2LP – Double LP on Pastel Pink and Pastel Blue Vinyl.

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Manic Street Preachers’ eighth studio album Send Away The Tigers celebrates its tenth anniversary in May and to mark the occasion a 10 Year Collectors’ Edition of the album packed with unheard music, unseen footage and artwork from the band’s own archive is released.

3CD – 2CD / DVD folio book featuring the original album remastered by James Dean Bradfield, a second disc of b-sides and rarities and a DVD including the band’s full 2007 Glastonbury performance plus previously unseen rehearsal footage, an album track-by-track and promo videos. This comes packaged with a beautiful folio book of artwork and handwritten lyric sheets from Nicky Wire’s personal archive alongside photos and liner notes.

2LP – Double gatefold heavyweight vinyl, featuring a remastered edition of the album alongside demos recorded at Faster Studios and at the band’s homes. The vinyl release includes download codes for the album and demos.

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2017, marks the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller’s first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977. For most artists such a landmark would be greeted with extensive retrospective celebrations: lavish reissues and all that jazz. But Paul Weller is not like most artists, instead releasing a new studio album, because releasing new albums is what Paul Weller does. Always moving forwards, almost clinically averse to nostalgia or checking his progress in the rear-view mirror. And so, continuing his never-ending creative peak, Paul Weller releases his eagerly awaited 13th studio album A Kind Revolution on Parlophone Records.

Weller started work on A Kind Revolution immediately after finishing 2015’s Saturns Pattern, first tickling out the funky strut of New York and the beautiful slow-mo gospel of The Cranes Are Back – a song that ties in the changing face of London with the power of nature. The album’s title is taken from a line in the aforementioned song. Musicians on the album feature most of the touring band faithful with Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier being the top mainstays. Steve Cradock and Steve Pilgrim also feature on several tracks. Opening track Woo Sé Mama sees legendary soul singers PP Arnold and Madeleine Bell supply their distinctive vocal skills while the exceedingly funky One Tear features the unmistakable voice of the one and only Boy George. Paul even managed to lure Robert Wyatt out of retirement to sing and play trumpet on She Moves With The Fayre. Finally, and once again, The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey has been drafted in to add his magic to 3 tracks.

A Kind Revolution features ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs. By “modern Paul Weller songs” we mean, instantly recognisable but in no way predictable. He doesn’t make a “kind of” album, he fits together all his influences – rock, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, folk…whatever – and builds a song from them, delivering something that drifts through genres un-selfconsciously and at ease. Two great examples of this are two of the most reflective, contemplative songs, Long Long Road and Hopper, which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller adds so much texture and colour to each that they defy categorisation. With great age comes great wisdom. Written and recorded at de facto HQ, Black Barn Studios in Surrey, A Kind Revolution was produced and arranged by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself.

CD – 10-track album in Gatefold card wallet with lyric booklet.

3CD – 8-panel fold-out card wallet containing the original 10-track album A Kind Revolution, plus a bonus CD featuring instrumental versions of A Kind Revolution and a third CD with remixes / alternate versions of A Kind Revolution tracks and another brand new track, Alpha. Also includes a booklet containing album lyrics.

LP – On heavyweight black vinyl, housed in a Gatefold sleeve with lyric booklet, art print and a download card with access to MP3s of the 10-track album.

10″ – Deluxe rigid board box set with lift-off lid containing A Kind Revolution pressed up on 5 x pieces of 10” black vinyl with individual artwork. Includes 10” art print, lyric booklet and download card to access MP3s of all 29 tracks from Deluxe formats of the album.

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Limited to 500 Copies on Seafoam Green Vinyl with Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg’s artwork beautifully repurposed in a shiny gold mirror board sleeve. Ask Me Tomorrow has been unavailable on vinyl since its release on 4AD in October, 1995 and original copies now change hands for three-figure sums. The reissue is timely as it follows the recent announcement of Slowdive’s fourth album, and this could well have been that record, but after being dropped by Creation following the release of Pygmalion, the band – reduced to a three-piece of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheon – rechristened themselves Mojave 3 and experimented with stripped-down, acoustic songs more in thrall to Leonard Cohen than LFO. As a result, Ask Me Tomorrow is essentially Slowdive Unplugged; a special record, with a unique, hushed grandeur all of its own. For fans of Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons.

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Girlpool made their mark with a spare, simple sound – two guitars and two voices, with absolutely nothing else accompanying them. It was an original, intimate sound, and it made the two sound like they were united against the rest of the world. But on their new album, Powerplant, they’re trying something else. They’re playing with a full band. Over 10 days in August 2016, Girlpool holed up at Los Angeles’ comp-ny studios to record and mix Powerplant with Drew Fischer. For the first time, Harmony and Cleo were joined by a third performer, drummer Miles Wintner, a friend who easily meshed with the tightknit duo. The 12 tracks that compose Powerplant grow and burn with greater fire than the duo have possessed heretofore. Both bandmates were heavily inspired by Elliott Smith, the Cranberries, the Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, and Graham Nash; the influence of each appear in the record’s deliberate and intricate guitar work (Fast Dust, She Goes By) as well as its embrace of dissonant noise (Corner Store, Soup). Perhaps what really makes Powerplant a home run is that Girlpool understand exactly how to use their incisive lyrics, soft textures, hushed harmonies, and soaring hooks for maximum emotional impact. In these moments, when Harmony and Cleo’s voices join together to deliver transcendent transmissions straight from their hearts, Girlpool become a league of their own.

LP+ – Translucent red vinyl with Download – 300 copies.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download.

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Nomad stands as Martha Tilston’s most compelling work to date, an album full of experimentation and impulse. Across the album, musical arrangements realm from the pinhead intimacy of acoustic guitar and voice to the expansive electric guitar, slide guitar, rolling beats, deep bass, banjo and string arrangements. There are subtle undertones of old country music flittering throughout, suggestions of rock and pop and a good dose of stripped back acoustic cinema for the listener to submerge in. Recorded in Cornwall, Martha and her frequent collaborators Matt Tweed, Nick Marshall and Tim Cotterell, amongst other new faces, would pick up instruments in the late hours and the outcome of these sessions arising from spontaneity, experimentation and maturing songwriting was to become Nomad. Martha Tilston has grown up immersed in music from a young age. Her singer-songwriter father Steve Tilston and the late Maggie Boyle (step-mother) were obvious influences, with their musician friends Bert Jansch, John Rebourn and John Martyn often gathering and singing in the family kitchen.

Martha’s own musical journey has taken her from the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury to touring the far reaches of the globe. Originally one-half of folk duo Mouse (alongside Nick Marshall), Martha often shared the stage with the likes of Kate Tempest and Damien Rice before earning a nomination from the BBC for best newcomer and featuring on the Zero 7 album, Yeah Ghost.

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Concord release Thank You Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…and more celebrating the musical legacy of one of rock’s most influential bands – Big Star– and their legendary Third album. Experience this classic of late ’70s power pop through the prism of a collective of immensely talented fans, including members of Wilco, R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, and, of course, Big Star. Following the untimely death of Alex Chilton two days ahead of Big Star’s SXSW performance in 2010, famous friends and fans came from far and wide to play the gig in his honour. Much of that spontaneous ensemble, along with other musical titans, assembled at Glendale, CA’s Alex Theatre in April 2016 to record and film an epic performance.

2CD – Stand Alone Double CD.

3CD – Double CD and DVD Version.

3CD+ – Double CD and Blu-Ray Version

The Bristol-based artist took to Donegal, West Ireland, to record the track with Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK).

“My Grandad passed away around 10 years ago and I have grown closer to my Grandma in his absence,” says Luke. “I’m often moved thinking about her living without him. She misses him and talks about him everyday. Her broken heart breaks mine and this song was written about that.”

“Killing Me” is out now via RayGun/Red Essential,

Killing Me taken from the new album ‘Time Is A Riddle’ out May 12th

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BARN ON THE FARM’s first year started in 2010 and since then this uniquely atmospheric small festival held in two barns on a Gloucester farm has had incredible success and with such impressive line-ups with Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran Bastille and Gabrielle Aplin. With the best of rising stars in Indie Folk, Acoustic and contemporary singer songwriters and the added indie or Synth rock bands on the line up it looks a superb weekend,the feeling you get the musicians enjoy the event as much as the festival goers.

this years Fat Angel must see acts include, AMBER RUN here is the wonderful track “Spark”

Irish singer songwriter Hozier who is about to become one of the acts of the year

Just a quick one to tell you all that my new single Killing Me is now available EVERYWHERE*

Ethereal, passionate and moody. Luke Sital Singh’s is a voice of pure beauty. the 26-year-old Londoner is conquering hearts and minds with rousing and intense tunes fraught with heartache and candour, which carry the listener on an emotional roller coaster. It’s fragile, downtempo, and some might even say, gloomy.

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It’s called Killing Me. It’s sad. There’s also a B-side called Darling. Less sad.
Please go listen, save, share, repeat.