Posts Tagged ‘Mark Kozelek’

Image of Ride - Weather Diaries

Ride  – Weather Diaries

Ride release their first album in over twenty years, ‘Weather Diaries’ on June 16th via Wichita Recordings.

Produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, ‘Weather Diaries’ is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. The album will be released through Wichita Recordings and sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album ‘Nowhere’ and produced it’s follow up ‘Going Blank Again’.

The revitalised four piece – comprising of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, and Steve Queralt – reformed and returned to the live scene in 2014, selling out headline tours around the world to a plethora of critical acclaim, as well as show stopping turns at festivals including Coachella, Primavera and Field Day. More than that though, the British music sphere especially has been littered with bands heavily indebted to Ride and their peers. The likes of The Horrors, School Of Seven Bells and labels such as Sonic Cathedral have ensured that shoegaze is a sound that’s eternally relevant.

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Royal Blood  -How Did We Get So Dark?

After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood’s release their eagerly anticipated second album How Did We Get So Dark? released on Warner Bros. Records. The ten tracks that feature on How Did We Get So Dark? were written in instrumental form during sessions in Brighton, Hollywood, Los Angeles and Nashville. Always trying to explore ways of stripping their enormous sound back to give it more space and impact, inspiration for the lyrics came from events in vocalist / bassist Mike Kerr’s life since the band first found huge success. In November 2016. Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, along with producer Jolyon Thomas, spent six weeks in a studio in Brussels that was decked out like a New York diner and featured a warehouse of antique gear. How Did We Get So Dark? was subsequently completed after a final session in London with their debut album’s co-producer Tom Dalgety. There are times where Royal Blood are more visceral than ever – notably the gargantuan introduction to Hook, Line and Sinker and also the intense denouement that brings Looks Like You Know to a close. While the album finds Royal Blood refining their melodic might, there are other moments that fulfil their aim to create songs that will add new dimensions to their live sets. Adorned with Kerr’s falsetto, Don’t Tell drops the intensity to mesmerising effect, while Where Are You Now? pulsates with a bounding energy that’s quite a step apart from anything else in their catalogue. The Royal Blood palette is also expanded with the complementary addition of piano or keyboards on four tracks, including the foreboding album closer Sleep.

Image of Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes  –  Crack Up 

Crack-Up is Fleet Foxes’ long awaited and highly anticipated third album. It comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut.

All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut made a profound impact on the international musical landscape, earning them Uncut’s first ever Music Award Prize, and topping numerous ‘Best of’ lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s and Pitchfork’s 50 Best Albums of 2008. Fleet Foxes is certified Gold in North America and Platinum in both the UK and Australia. The follow-up album Helplessness Blues was met with the same critical praise as its predecessor;s .

Image of Big Star - The Best Of Big Star

Big Star  –  Best Of Big Star 

Best of Big Star is part of a wide-ranging, year-long initiative celebrating Stax Records’ 60th anniversary. Formed in 1971 by singer/songwriters Alex Chilton (1950-2010) and Chris Bell (1951-1978), drummer Jody Stephens (b. 1952) and bassist Andy Hummel (1951-2010), the Memphis-based group is now considered to be one of the most influential bands in modern music, having inspired some of the biggest alt-rock artists of the ’80s, ’90s and beyond. An underground core of fanatical enthusiasts kept the fire burning. The Replacements famously released “Alex Chilton,” a song that paid tribute to Big Star’s songwriting genius. R.E.M.’s Peter Buck said, “Big Star served as a Rosetta Stone for a whole generation of musicians.”

Image of Kevin Morby - City Music

Kevin Morby  –  City Music 

City Music is the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. As he puts it: “It is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”

His fourth album, City Music works as a counterpart to Morby’s acclaimed 2016 release Singing Saw, an autobiographical set that reflected the solitude and landscape in which it was recorded. Saw was imagined as “an old bookshelf with a young Bob and Joni staring back at me, blank and timeless. They live here, in this left side of my brain, smoking cigarettes and playing acoustic guitars while lying on an unmade bed.”

And now follows City Music, the yang to its yin, the heads to its tails. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator’s brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. “Stretched out on a living room floor they are somewhere in mid-70s Manhattan, also smoking cigarettes.” It finds Morby exploring similar themes of solitude, but this time framed by a window of an uptown apartment that looks down upon an international urban landscape “exposed like a giant bleeding wound.”

Image of Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound

Jason Isbell and The 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound 

The Nashville Sound was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who produced ‘Something More Than Free’ and Isbell’s celebrated 2013 breakthrough album ‘Southeastern’.

‘The Nashville Sound’ features 10 new songs that address a range of subjects that include, politics and cultural privilege (“White Man’s World”) longing nostalgia (“The Last Of My Kind”), love and mortality (“If We Were Vampires”), the toxic effect of today’s pressures (“Anxiety”), the remnants of a break up (“Chaos and Clothes”) and finding hope (“Something To Love”). Songs such as “Cumberland Gap” and “Hope The Highroad” find Jason and his bandmates going back to their rock roots full force.

Big Machine

It’s difficult for any band or artist to sound enthused after decades of making music. Automatic pilot and rock ‘n’ roll root rot can easily set in. There are some exceptions: Paul McCartney has had some late-career gems; same goes for David Bowie . You can add Cheap Trick to that list. They sound positively vibrant and genuinely excited on We’re All Alright! . 

Unlike many of their contemporaries, Cheap Trick have never broken up, stopped touring or quit making new music. They have also never stopped putting everything they have into what they do either. Coming hot on the heels of last year’s excellent Bang Zoom Crazy Hello , We’re All Alright!  follows in the footsteps of its predecessor while adding a couple of new twists to the mix.

Guitarist Rick Nielsen welds together riffs borrowed from the Kinks and the Who for the album’s first single, “Long Time Coming,” while “Nowhere” takes on a Ramones -like charge in its speed attack. Other songs follow a similar path, with no track clocking in at more than four minutes. This pace gives the album a whiplash flow that recalls some of their earliest records.

A few of the songs actually date back several years. “Radio Lover” was put on the shelf in the ’90s, and it’s rescued from oblivion here as an amphetamine-fueled hard rocker. “Lolita” slaps keyboard sequencers on top of glam-rock boogie. And “She’s Alright” features some Dylan styled phrasing from singer Robin Zander.

Cheap Trick also dip into the past by covering Roy Wood again. As they’ve done in the past with “California Man,” “Brontosaurus” and “Rock and Roll Tonight,” they take the Move’s 1968 song “Blackberry Way” and spin it in their direction..

The band pushes itself on We’re All Alright!, turning in enthusiastic and engaging performances throughout. They still sound like a bunch of guys half their age. “Who knows what forever is about?” Zander asks on “The Rest of My Life.” He doesn’t pretend to know the answer.

Cheap Trick sound like they still have something to prove, and perhaps they do. After a couple of trying and triumphant years — there was a legal hassle involving former drummer Bun E. Carlos, and they were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016 — they sound ready for their next chapter.

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Sun Kil Moon – Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

“‘Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood’, for the most part, captures events from January to August of this year and how I processed it all while traveling. “[…] I’m blessed to have met the very talented Justin Broadrick and to have made these beautiful albums with him. “These two new albums capture more than my reactions to mass murders or the passing of beloved heroes like David Bowie or Muhammad Ali. The Sun Kil Moon and Jesu / Sun Kil Moon albums are also full of love, humour, and my gratitude for the gift of life.” – Mark Kozelek, Sun Kil Moon.

4LP – Limited Four LP Set. Limited to 2000 Copies.

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Trevor Sensor  –  Andy Warhol’s Dream

It’s Trevor Sensor’s voice you notice first. A deep bubbling black tar pit of a sound, it’s a voice whose unique timbre resonates far beyond the constraints of the songwriting format. It demands the listener reaches for a new vocabulary. The 23 year old’s debut album Andy Warhol’s Dream is part of a literate folk lineage that runs from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan through Tom Waits and onto the likes of Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens today. It’s an unflinching honest album, transcendent in its exploration of self and sonically a collision between the classic and the forward-thinking. Sensor’s debut EP for the label, Texas Girls and Jesus Christ, was written on a borrowed acoustic guitar and took him out into the world. 2016 saw him tour Europe before hitting the road in the US for tours with Foy Vance and The Staves. Andy Warhol’s Dream was recorded to tape at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio and produced by both Jonathan Rado of Foxygen (The Lemon Twigs, Whitney) and songwriter/producer Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, Foxygen). His backing band featured members of Whitney. On these 11 songs Sensor doesn’t so much wear his heart on his sleeve as flings it out in the darkness of the front rows that sit beyond the glare of the single blinding spotlight. This is the sound of one man’s soul laid bare, facing life head on.

Image of The Drums - Abysmal Thoughts

The Drums –  Abysmal Thoughts

With The Drums’ new Abysmal Thoughts, band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he’s always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken—but there’s beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak, as well as that special kind of glorious delirium that comes from taking everything life can throw at you and still walking away triumphant. Here Pierce is back in full control of The Drums, not just writing all the songs himself but playing every instrument and bringing his exact personal vision to life. Not coincidentally, it’s some of the most revelatory work he’s ever done. If Abysmal Thoughts doesn’t sound at all abysmal—really, Pierce has rarely been this irresistibly pop—that’s because this is a story about how to figure out what happiness means once the worst has already happened: “If there’s one thing I can rely on it’s the healing power of being an artist,” he says. “I’m falling back in love with music.”

“There’s no question that The Drums have mastered the synthpop game” – Consequence of Sound.
For fans of The Smiths, Morrissey, New Order and The Cramps.

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Echo and The Bunnymen – It’s All Live Now

Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited. 180 Gram, black vinyl pressed at Record Industry comes in a single sleeve aqueous-gloss, old school tip-on Stoughton sleeve with brand new artwork and hard stock insert. Never before seen photos of the band. Liner notes by guitarist Will Sergeant. One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. This brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985 includes classic Rock- N-Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of Do It Clean recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.

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Game Theory -2 Steps From The Middle Ages

Their final studio album ” remastered and expanded. Following up 1987s Lolita Nation (whose reissue appeared on numerous year-end best of lists for 2016) would be no easy task for Game Theory. But, Scott Miller and company were certainly up for the task. Re-teaming with producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Marshall Crenshaw, Velvet Crush), 2 Steps From The Middle Ages was released in 1988, and showed the band had no shortage of energy, experimentation, and excellent material. This reissue contains the original 13 songs supplemented with a whopping 11 bonus tracks ” demos, live performances and covers ” all previously unissued. The translucent orange, first pressing of the LP (on vinyl for the first time since its initial release), contains a download card for the entire CD/Digital program. Packaging includes rare and previously unseen photos from the bands photographer, Robert Toren, as well as essays from Easter, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), and Franklin Bruno (The Village Voice, Salon.com). The bands drummer, Gil Ray, who was involved in all aspects with the Game Theory reissue series including this title, sadly passed away earlier this year. This reissue is lovingly dedicated to him.

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Nikki Sudden and his Jacobites – Chelsea

Limited edition 350 copies only on Transparent Green vinyl 7” single. Both tracks feature vocals by Max ‘Lizard’ Edie ( Waterboys ) and also Mike Scott ( Waterboys) features on Chelsea Embankment. Chelsea springtime single edit has remained unreleased since 1992.

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Jesu / Sun Kil Moon Announce New Album 30 Seconds To The Decline Of Planet Earth For May 2017 Release

Jesu / Sun Kil Moon will release their highly anticipated sophomore album 30 Seconds To The Decline Of Planet Earth on May 5th, 2017. The collaboration between Justin Broadrick’s and Mark Kozelek’s main gigs was recorded in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe in November of 2016.

The album has already had one single “He’s Bad” which was released in July. The partnership then embarked on a autumn tour of the States that concluded late last month in Seattle . The two respected musicians came together to release their self-titled debut on January 21st of this year. The collaboration was hinted at way back in 2015 by Kozelek in an issue of Uncut Magazine and officially announced via Twitter a few months later.

Though Kozelek’s Sun Kil Moon operates within the indie folk spectrum and Broadrick has a long history in the metal, industrial and experimental genres, the pairing was a natural one.

Mark Kozelek spoke about the track recorded for the 30 Songs 30 Days Project, The Greatest Conversation Ever In the History Of The Universe ,

I wrote the words to this one in the early morning hours of August 2nd in a New York hotel room, a few nights after I played a Lou Reed tribute concert at The Lincoln Center. A lot of things were happening at once. I remember turning on the TV and seeing that two 12 year old girls were being tried as adults for something to do with a video game, and I had a dinner with friends where the subject of Pokemon came up. Trump wasn’t just all over USA television at the time. I’d spent June and July in Europe and his face was on news stands all across Europe (not Hillary’s). I don’t like Trump, but it’s my opinion that we all have to look inward and ask ourselves how we got here in the first place. We’re all in this together, we all took part in the platform he’s been given, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then YOU’RE FIRED!

To combat apathy, entertain the citizenry, and provide a soundtrack to resistance, over the next four years, the producers of 30 Days, 30 Songs will assemble a playlist of 1,000 songs. One song every day to get us through what promises to be a tumultuous and frequently dispiriting and certainly bizarre presidency. The playlist will feature original tracks, unreleased live versions, remixes, covers, and previously released but relevant songs that will inspire and amuse and channel the outrage of a nation.

Despite the results of the election, we still believe it’s possible to build a more inclusive, equal, and just America. The world will not end on January 20th. It will continue to move forward, and it is up to us to chart its course. In the coming weeks, we plan to raise money for this endeavor through a crowdfunding campaign. If you enjoyed the work we did during election season

Holly Throsby’s new single “What Do You Say?” featuring.
 Mark Kozelek is released today . What Do You Say?“, is a duet with the iconic American musician Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters), its the first new music from Holly Throsby in five years, the song is described as “a beautiful ballad about romantic reconciliation”  The song can be seen as a companion to Throsby’s earlier duet “Would You?“, which featured legendary American singer-songwriter and actor Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy). 

These are available on Holly’s recently released sixth studio album “After a Time” which is due for release on Spunk Records early 2017

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Mark Kozelek

Mark Kozelek often has a, shall we say, contentious relationship with music festivals. But he seems to be a fan of Denmark’s Heartland Festival, where Sun Kil Moon performed last Friday. Although he doesn’t usually allow cameras at shows, Kozelek let the fest professionally film his set, which means that high-quality footage of the entire thing is now available. The setlist included his first live performance of his cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’sSomethin’ Stupid” from Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites, along with a few tracks from Sun Kil Moon’s collaborative album with Jesu

SETLIST
“Somethin’ Stupid”
“Baby In Death Can I Rest Next To Your Grave”
“Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes”
“Carondelet”
“Glenn Tipton”
“Dogs”
“Fragile”
“Exodus”

NOTHING – TIRED OF TOMORROW

Philadelphia’s Nothing return with ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, their beautifully profound follow-up to 2014’s widely-acclaimed ‘Guilty Of Everything’. Recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4 with Will Yip (Circa Survive, Title Fight), ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ is a modern, nihilistic take on the triumphant fuzzed-out guitar rock of the 90’s, replete with huge hooks and brooding melodies. Much like the events it’s based on, the album displays an unparalleled balance of opposites and contradictions, rife with sweet-and-sour themes, downcast grooves, infectious choruses, and blissfully expansive washes of sound. With ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, Nothing have worked the deepest influences of their youth and maturation into a confident, memorable album that is sure to soothe old wounds while simultaneously opening up new ones. Recommended if you like: Smashing Pumpkins, Ceremony, Merchandise, My Bloody Valentine, Diiv and Radiohead.
LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 300 Copies on Grey Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Standard Black Vinyl with Download.

YAK  –  ALAS SALVATION

Just over a year since their first single ‘Hungry Heart’ was released – a period that saw their unpredictable gigs and electrifying clutch of studio recordings earn them a reputation as the most exciting and talked about new act in the UK – Yak have channelled their ferocious live experience into their debut album ‘Alas Salvation’. Recorded with Pulp’s Steve Mackey, it’s a wired and ambitious record that refuses to be pigeonholed. Yet beneath all the head-spinning chaos lies a beating heart of great melodicism and a hyperactively eclectic and inventive approach to making.

EAGULLS  –   ULLAGES

Rough Trade exclusive with a Zine – Procrastination Compilation George Mitchell – Limited to just 500 Copies. Releasing their much-acclaimed self-titled debut-album in 2014, the following 12 months saw the fiercely independent Leeds-based band go from strength to strength. Highlights of the year included taking both Later… With Jools Holland and The Late Show With David Letterman in the U.S. by storm, sharing the stage with the likes of Arcade Fire and Pharrell while scooping a major prize at the NME Awards and playing across the globe at some of the world’s most renowned festivals including Coachella, Latitude, Field Day and Reading / Leeds. Retreating to their rehearsal space to begin work on their second album, ‘Ullages’ (an anagram of the band’s name) gradually took shape over long days and nights in the converted Catholic Church in Leeds. Intent on breaking new ground, drawing out the textured melodies that lay discreetly amongst the speed, intensity and heady fuzz of their debut and creating an altogether different record, ‘Ullages’ is a near perfect distillation of their agenda; a record that recalls the shimmering opulence of the Cocteau Twins and the melancholic majesty of Disintegration / Pornography-era The Cure.
LP – Black Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Limited Green vinyl with Download. 500 Copies only for the UK.

JOHN DOE  –  THE WESTERNER

John Doe is a founding member of the seminal L.A. punk rock band X and the country spin-off band The Knitters. The album features ten new tracks from Doe with guest appearances from Chan Marshall of Cat Power, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Cindy Wasserman of Dead Rock West and Tom Brosseau. ‘The Westerner‘ was produced by Howe Gelb (Neko Case, M. Ward), Dave Way (Fiona Apple) and Doe. The album’s artwork was designed by Shepard Fairey and Aaron Huey to support Native American rights via a campaign called Protect The Sacred, with additional photography by Jim Herrington.
LP – With Download.

RED HOUSE PAINTERS –  OLD RAMON

Released almost concurrently with head Red House Painter Mark Kozelek’s solo venture ‘What’s Next to the Moon’ (a selection of deconstructed AC/DC covers), ‘Old Ramon’ allows the rare opportunity to hear an artist both then and now. Recorded in 1997, ‘Old Ramon’ languished in the limbo of label fallout, finally to be rescued and released by Sub Pop in 2001. Meanwhile, though, it seemed Kozelek had moved on, releasing a flurry of projects with nary a look back, making ‘Old Ramon’ almost seem like an afterthought. But what a lovely afterthought it is. The trademark features of the Red House Painters are all here: the songs are long and meandering, the guitars seesaw languidly, the drums plod, dissonant harmonies moan and Kozelek’s olive-oil voice seeps around everything. The best tracks include the light and airy ‘Wop a Din-Din’, an homage to Kozelek’s cat; the dark and beastly ‘Byrd Joe’ and the understated ‘Cruiser’.
LP+ – Limited Double Vinyl with Download.

PUMAROSA –  CECILE

Limited beautiful White Vinyl 12″ with Download. London five-piece, Pumarosa are a band who assembled from unexpected and varied quarters. Isabel met drummer Nick at a rehearsal for a new band in a rundown Homerton pub and when no one else showed up the pair formed a guitar-and-drums Punk duo and began writing and rehearsing in the basement. After moving to a warehouse in Manor House, they met Henry, Tomoya and Neville and began a period of intensely hot rehearsal in a 10′ x 10′ chipboard room. In the summer of 2015, the band was offered a residency in the cavernous disused cinema of an Italian surrealist, situated within the cliffs of Calabria. Scraping together a van and driving non-stop to Italy, the band worked on new material in beguiling forty degree heat, developing further their expansive sound. It was also in Italy that they settled on the name Pumarosa: in part reflecting Isabel’s Chilean roots, but also the lurid-looking jungle fruit of the same name. In September 2015 Pumarosa released debut single “Priestess’, produced by Mercury-nominated Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bat For Lashes, Toy) via Chess Club / Mom + Pop (US). Zane Lowe on Beats 1 had the world’s first play and within three days ‘Priestess’ was the second most blogged about song worldwide.

THE BIG MOON – CUPID

Limited 7″ only. The Big Moon release a new single ‘Cupid’, their first through Fiction Records. It was produced and mixed by Catherine Marks (Foals / Wolf Alice), and follows their two acclaimed singles to date, ‘Sucker’ and ‘The Road’. It has been an exciting introductory year for Juliette, Fern, Soph and Celia of The Big Moon. Releasing their first recordings to widespread acclaim in 2015, the band have been busy selling out their shows across the UK, and performing to expansive audiences on high-profile support tours with the likes of The Vaccines, Ezra Furman and their new label mates The Maccabees. The band return with another bullet of a track that heightens their already sky-high appeal. ‘Cupid’ is everything that The Big Moon have already promised and more. A track full of punch, verve and a knowing swagger, capped by vocalist Juliette Jackson’s wry snarl of a delivery, and her bandmates pin-sharp harmonies. It’s a smart and confident next step forward.

BRYDE  –  EP1

Exciting new London solo-artist Bryde releases her debut EP, simply entitled ‘EP1’ via Seahorse Music. The release contains previous singles ‘Wait’ and ‘Help Yourself’ alongside two brand new tracks (‘Nectar’ and ‘To Be Loved’) which have already been making an impact at her live shows around the country. Earning comparisons to the Sharon Van Etten, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley and London Grammar, her powerful vocals, sharp, evocative lyricism and searing guitar tones have won plaudits from the likes of NYLON, The 405 and The Line Of Best Fit, with the latter declaring Bryde’s heady concoction as “tearjerk folk-pop”. Limited to 500 copies on transparent light blue vinyl.

CAT’S EYES –  TREASURE HOUSE

If Cat’s Eyes self-titled debut was grown in the dark, then ‘Treasure House’, their second, is born in light. If the nocturnal interiors of Cat’s Eyes were a cult flick viewed in smudgy black and white on cathode ray, then ‘Treasure House’ takes everything into the great outdoors and shoots it in Technicolor on wide silver-screen; an old school blockbuster, of the kind they no longer make. This is the third album by Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan, previous albums include Cat’s Eyes self-titled 2011 debut and last year’s European Film Award awarding wining soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s film, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’.

ULTIMATE PAINTING – LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Ultimate Painting is a young, yet already distinguished UK duo comprised of Jack Cooper and James Hoare. As the story goes, these two spent time touring together with Cooper’s band, Mazes, supporting Hoare’s band, Veronica Falls. A fateful friendship developed and, to make it quick, demos were recorded and swapped, which all eventually led to their debut seeing release on Trouble In Mind. The project has been so thoroughly adored for its uncomplicated, beautifully calm approach to VU-style riff-making and loose-but-biting vibes that the follow up, ‘Green Lanes’, was released a mere ten months later. Needless to say Third Man Records are so glad they carved their way through the great land of Nashville, TN. Recorded direct-to-tape, ‘Live at Third Man Records’ is an impeccable document of English rock ‘n’ roll. The band is in top form here and their set consists of the finest material from the band’s first and second albums, ‘Ultimate Painting’ and ‘Green Lanes’ respectively, with a handful of extended jams featured here. This live record is a must own for fans of the band, not to mention anyone smitten with mellow guitar magic that absolutely explodes into some true, stately mayhem.

DEATH AND VANILLA  –  DEATH AND VANILLA EP

12″ Blue Vinyl EP / CD digipack. The first release for the Swedish Psychedelic dream-pop band, their self-titled EP caught the attention of French label ‘Hands In The Dark’. They originally released EP in 2010 on CD an extremely limited edition run of 100 copies. The EP will be reissued on blue vinyl to match the cover alongside the ‘From Above’ 7″ and their self-titled debut long player.

CLINIC  –  INTERNATIONAL WRANGLER  Reissue

Clinic’s long-awaited debut album Internal Wrangler fleshes out the sound the group crafted on their self-released EPs, and it also adds a few new twists. Though eerie, punk-tinged songs like “The Return of Evil Bill” and the title track sound like they could have appeared on the band’s first singles, Internal Wrangler’s best songs concentrate on the experimental yet accessible sides of Clinic’s sound. “The Second Line”‘s darkly catchy throb, the aptly named “2nd Foot Stomp”‘s organ-driven pulse, and “Voodoo Wop”‘s blend of surf and Krautrock are a logical progression from Clinic’s roots, but ballads like the “Pale Blue Eyes”-esque “Distortions” and the late-night calm of “Goodnight Georgie” are a leap into new territory for the band. Though some of the thrashier songs like “C.Q.” and “T.K.” and a bottom-heavy song sequence detract from the album’s flow, Internal Wrangler is still a strong debut from one of England’s most promising and distinctive indie bands.

CLINIC –   WALKING WITH THEE  Reissue

Right down to its gritty, mod-punk art direction, Walking With Thee seems like it should fit right in with Clinic’s previous work. Indeed, the group’s second full-length album could’ve been a carbon copy of their debut, Internal Wrangler, but to Clinic’s credit, the band makes a few changes, opting for a smoother production and a quieter, more implosive sound than their previous work offered. Frustratingly, though, most of these changes end up detracting from the group’s strengths and diluting the album’s impact. Walking With Thee’s production is far from slick, but a huge part of Clinic’s appeal was that the band seemed to record in an underwater garage, giving their songs a fuzzy, cavernous sound that made their messy, thrashy moments even more dangerously alluring and their ballads that much more affecting. Stripped nearly bare of reverb and static, much of Walking With Thee sounds incomplete, particularly on the almost-punk of “Pet Eunuch,” “Welcome,” and “The Equaliser,” which, with its rattling percussion and driving bassline, could’ve rivaled Internal Wrangler’s ugly-beautiful intensity if had a little more oomph. However, the album isn’t a total washout — for every lackluster moment, there’s one that connects. “The Vulture” and “Walking With Thee” nearly reach the frenzied, strangely sexy, bottom-dwelling heights (depths?) of Clinic’s best work. And beginning with the chilly, hypnotic opener, “Harmony,” many of the album’s quietest moments are the most compelling. Filmic tracks like “Come Into Our Room” and the dreamy finale “For the Wars” follow suit, though their brooding, stark sound will only strengthen the Radiohead comparisons. There’s a lot of promise on Walking With Thee, but nothing here touches the deadpan cool of Internal Wrangler’s “The Second Line,” the detached poignancy of “Distortion,” or the raw energy of “Second Foot Stomp.” The band sounds like they’re still figuring out how to make the urgency of their previous work jell with a more polished, experimental sound, which makes Walking With Thee not so much a progression or regression as a step sideways. Clinic is still one of the most intriguing acts around, and while this isn’t the masterpiece the band has the potential to deliver, an interesting disappointment from them is still better than a successful but boring album from a less-inspired group.

Mark Kozelek, who used to front an epically moody band called Red House Painters, is known as something of a jerk. Onstage, when not singing in a voice like crumbling granite, he says things that usually end up offending somebody: hipsters, women, journalists, the band on the next stage. But on the records he now releases as Sun Kil Moon, he examines his life with plain-spoken brutality, saving the most cutting remarks for himself.

“I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same” occupies more than 10 minutes of “Benji,” the album he released in 2014. It begins as the story of the first time Kozelek saw the Led Zeppelin concert film “The Song Remains the Same” as a child; it ends as a song about nostalgia, chronic sadness and the way people drop in and out of your life. One moment Kozelek’s admiring the electric piano on “No Quarter”; the next, he’s sharing memories of being a “very melancholic kid,” or apologizing for the time he punched a classmate in school. The way he writes isn’t so different from Karl Ove Knausgaard, also in his late 40s; both men spent long careers skirting the spotlight, then found new renown when they started excavating their own biographies for details.

So on “Benji,” Kozelek sings about his relationship with his parents, about buying lampshades, about death. A second cousin’s death sets him thinking about family; James Gandolfini’s sets him thinking about his prostate troubles. He approaches each topic as if flipping through a disorganized photo album, and the more insular and lived-in the details, the more enthralling they seem. At the end of “I Watched the Film … ,” he says he’s headed to Santa Fe to visit a friend he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Close Googlers can deduce that friend must be Ivo Watts-Russell, who signed Red House Painters to his 4AD label back in 1992; Kozelek, grave and grateful, says he’s going to New Mexico just to say thank you.

Red House Painters boxset

Mark Kozelek is virtually alone among music mid-lifers. Over 25 years into his career, his current records are considered as vital as the Red House Painters albums with which he made his name. Rarer still is that this new material engages deeply with his past without attempting to relive it, or lapsing into its defining self-pity. The relationship between now and then remains complex: Sun Kil Moon’s 2012 Among The Leaves saw Kozelek griping about his audiences – middle-aged blokes who turn up to hear ancient Painters songs. If there’s any reconciliation between the two, it’s in the form of gratitude: 2014’s opus Benji referenced getting his 4AD deal from Ivo Watts-Russell in the early ‘90s. “He signed Red House Painters when we couldn’t draw 20 people,” said Kozelek.

Decades before the Mark Kozelek we know today, the waspish essayist, he was a depressed Ohio kid who had been through rehab at 14. After moving to San Francisco in the late ‘80s, he met his Red House Painters bandmates and forged his forlorn Midwestern gothic built on smoky coils of guitar. A 20-track cassette demo eventually made its way to Watts-Russell via American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel. Kozelek’s music came from a deeply lonely place, but he wasn’t plumbing this furrow alone. There was Low in Duluth, Idaho in California, Codeine in New York and Bedhead in Texas – the “slowcore” movement was fittingly isolated. But no-one else had a frontman like Kozelek, a Morrissey fan of equal melodrama and self-loathing that he refuted any comparison. “Morrissey is funny, charming and intelligent,” he said in ‘93. “I am none of those things.”

He is openly misanthropic on the Painters’ debut, 1992’s Down Colorful Hill (six cleaned-up songs from the demo tape), rendering a break-up in obsessive excess on “Medicine Bottle”, and declaring, “This dictionary never has a word for the way I’m feeling” on the bleak “Japanese To English”. Bass lines prowl gently, while Kozelek plays down-tuned, disquieting guitar. But there’s humour on the Lemonheads-jaunty “Lord Kill The Pain”, and a single compassionate note: the warm “Michael”, a study of a lost soul that prefigures his current approach.

The prospect of wider attention begat paranoia and cruelty on the Painters’ next record, a mass of music divided across two self-titled albums. The first pushes the debut’s sound in two opposing directions: sentimental (“Grace Cathedral Park”) and dirt-kicking (“Funhouse”). But it’s still the sad centre where Red House Painters thrive: understandably, “Katy Song” – a tribute to an unsuccessful relationship with a woman who offers escape from his “cold solitary kingdom” – remains his calling card. As if to underline Katy’s importance, it’s sandwiched by “Down Through”, where he admits domestic violence, and the equally spiteful and beautiful “Mistress”. But RHP II sounds like the wound bled dry. It’s grandiose and Kozelek’s lovelorn lyrics become obsessive: “Helicopter” imagines him dying with a woman he hasn’t met yet. By the penultimate “Blindfold”, he’s screaming with rage; closing with a Crazy Horse-styled “Star Spangled Banner” feels perverse.

1995’s Ocean Beach is more polished and expensive-sounding than its predecessors. The reverb is gone from Kozelek’s vocals, and he even attempts balladeering on “Shadows”. There are just two standout songs – acoustic devotional “Summer Dress” and “Drop”, about his inability to reciprocate love. It would become Red House Painters’ final album for 4AD, the relationship between Kozelek and Watts-Russell severed because the songwriter wanted to record covers and unwieldy solos.

In 1993, Kozelek declared that he didn’t want to sell tons of records and be on MTV: “respectability and recognition don’t interest me.” But Red House Painters soon signed to John Hughes’ Island imprint, Supreme, for $100,000 and sold their cover of The Cars’ “All Mixed Up” to a Gap ad. Although their comparative mainstream success was a brief cautionary tale, it’s hard to begrudge the notion of this hypnotic, quiet music being heard, however brief their moment in the sun.

Mark Kozelek has announced that the next Sun Kil Moon album will be called “Universal Themes”, and will be out June 2nd on Caldo Verde Records. The follow up to the hugely succesfull album Benji” was recorded over this year and last in San Francisco and Hoboken, and features percussion from Steve Shelley of the band Sonic Youth. The album will contain last year’s one-off  track The Possum,” and its B-side Cry Me A River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues.” And the tracklist also contains some more Mark Kozelek gems like “With A Sort Of Grace I Walked To The Bathroom To Cry” and “This Is My First Day And I’m Indian And I Work At A Gas Station.” Thankfully, no War On Drugs diss tracks made the cut.  The Possum is a nine-minute track featuring Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley about dead possums and hanging out with Godflesh. In April 2015, the track will be released on a limited edition 10″,

 

“Benji” is the sixth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released in February 2014 on Caldo Verde Records. Self-produced by primary recording artist Mark Kozelek, the album shares its name with the 1974 film Benji, and was recorded between March and August 2013 at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco.

Kozelek’s songs match a mordant sensibility with a wry wit that remains unblunted by the passage of time. The sprawling ‘Among The Leaves’ from 2012 saw him playfully subverting the album format with a 17-track opus that included one song with an 18-word title. This time round, the humour is more subtle but the observations on life, and increasingly death, are no less keen. Kozelek has a novelist’s eye for detail, and right from languid opener ‘Carissa’ – a song about his second cousin – he paints a vivid world and invites you to see it through his eyes.

The ideas come so thick and fast that Kozelek has to speed up his delivery for songs like ‘Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes’, a claustrophobic meditation on the death of the serial killer known as the Night Stalker that recalls Modest Mouse at their darkest.
The album features contributions from Owen Ashworth, Jen Wood, Will Oldham, and Sonic Youth‘s Steve ShelleyThe album was recognized as one of The 100 Best Albums of the year by Rolling Stone,

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Mark Kozelek’s songwriting sure has evolved a lot over the years since the early days of Red House Painters. In recent years the slowcore founding father’s transformation has been especially evident, and nowhere is that truer than “Ben’s My Friend,” the closing track from the forthcoming Sun Kil Moon album “Benji” . Kozelek has always leaned toward the plainspoken as a lyricist he writes what appear to be basically a series of detail-laden short stories all seem to be autobiographical, with songs such as “Sunshine In Chicago” functioning as play-by-play travelogues. That’s truer than ever on “Ben’s My Friend.” As with the other songs we’ve heard from “Benji” especially “Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes,” adopted the syllable-cramming cadence of his trusted muse Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, but this time out Kozelek’s traded Brock’s quirky, effects-laden guitar squeals for saxophone-infused mid tempo lounge styled sounds. It exists in an entirely different sonic universe from the stone-faced melodrama of Red House Painters’ “Have You Forgotten” or even the spare acoustic plucking of Sun Kil Moon’s Modest Mouse covers album. There are a lot of ways to sing a sad song with an acoustic guitar!

Kozelek’s latest sonic realm is the background for a story about Kozelek going to see the Postal Service. He feels old amongst a crowd of 8,000 twentysomethings, and tinges of jealousy spring up when he thinks back to when he first met Ben Gibbard at a festival in Spain in 2000, when his band was outdrawing Gibbard’s. Hearing a line like “The other night, I saw the Postal Service/ Ben’s my friend, but getting there was the worst” in a song .