Posts Tagged ‘Needle Mythology’

Ed’s first album came out in 2017 on Lost Map Records. His music has regularly appeared on BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, which included The Uncle Sold in their Top 12 albums of 2017. His 2nd album, “The Obvious I” is out now on Needle Mythology. 

It has been four years since Ed Dowie’s debut album ‘The Uncle Sold’. I liked that very much and although maybe his new album is a little less experimental, I like it every bit as much. With arrangements very much designed to lift Ed’s strong voice to the fore, it plays like a synth pop album for those of us who never liked synth pop albums. It is all here, sampled instruments, blips and blurbs, programmed drums and more. But done with restraint and a sense for the rather straightforward songs on the album. In 2017, Ed released his feted debut album ‘The Uncle Sold’, prompting The Quietus to hail him as a “bold and starry-eyed visionary” and The Skinny to praise his “beautiful… stolen snapshots of glimpsed futures and lost pasts.” and BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction made the record one of their albums of the year. Now, four years on, Ed is to return with an album that will surely find him new followers alongside long time fans such as Lauren Laverne, who described its predecessor as an “absolutely extraordinary” achievement.

And while there are many layered sounds here, they never unnecessarily take over the soundstage, allowing for much space between instruments, sometimes even creating a cavernous yet simultaneously clear sound for the vocals to inhabit.

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So whereas there are clear homages to the sounds of the 80s here, and the 8-bit cover art had me worried, Dowie has delivered a powerful album of gentle pop that really shines.

‘The Obvious I’, the second album from Ed Dowie, is the second new master release from Needle Mythology, the label founded by music writer, author and broadcaster Pete Paphides. “The Obvious I” was co produced by pioneering British experimental musician and sometime member of Polar Bear “Leafcutter John” Burton “John’s become something of a hero of mine over the years. Way back when he was in Polar Bear, I approached him after a couple of gigs, and he’d remembered me from those days. And really, his presence on the record was invaluable. He lent me equipment and gave me advice, then when I finished recording, I sent him the stems and he mixed the album.”

Released March 26th, 2021

With nearly five decades and a wealth of recording experience between them, talk of a collaboration between Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler is a mouth watering prospect to say the least.  Indeed, their coming together didn’t just happen overnight. It’s actually been in the offing for a good 10 years now, but rather than just rush into things, they’ve taken their time and gradually honed, then built a collection of songs worthy of any great debut album. Which essentially this is, as pairings go.   

Ironically, despite being conceived in 2010 then completed in 2014, “In Memory of My Feelings” only took 15 days to make. The biggest battle facing its creators was finding someone to release it, where music journalist cum label owner Pete Paphides duly obliged in making it the first “new” release on his Needle Mythology imprint, which up until now has solely put out reissues.

In Memory of My Feelings is a very personal record, particularly for Davies, who wrote all of the lyrics. Nevertheless, the meeting of minds between two very talented individuals means the arrangements veer from sparse, such as on opener and lead single “The Breakdown,” or the exquisitely tender “I Know” and despondent penultimate number “The Patron Saint of the Lost Cause,” to the more upbeat and up-tempo, rockier pieces like “Sabotage (Looks So Easy)” and “Judas,” where Butler’s signature guitar sound rises to the fore.   

The sparse but stately opener, ‘The Breakdown’, explores the impact and aftershocks of the aggressive pursuit of wealth, reflecting on the life of a banker post-crash: “Do you make the money, or is the money making you?” Other destructive impulses, including the pressure to adhere to performative behaviours, are explored on the wonderfully energised ‘Sabotage (Looks So Easy)’‘The Patron Saint Of The Lost Cause’ fondly evokes some of the similarly alchemical results witnessed when Davies worked with the Manics on ‘Dylan And Caitlin’ for 2018’s ‘Resistance Is Futile’.

“Sabotage (Looks So Easy)” is the second single from the album ‘In Memory Of My Feelings’ which is released on September 18th, the album is the result of a one-off collaboration between Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) and Bernard Butler. In contrast to the piano led end-of-days address The Breakdown, Sabotage is album’s emphatic guitar driven moment of celebratory catharsis. Of the song Catherine says, “Some people lift others up. They’re altruistic and constructive. Then there are the energy vampires who have perfected the art of destruction. It’s about toxic masculinity and I’m channelling my inner Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde here to raise a middle finger to every man who played the victim when they were called out.”

Bernard Butler “Sabotage” was written when we reconvened a few years after anxiously writing the first set of songs, by which time I think we had both been trampled on a little … as is our style, without talking about it to each other, we consequently wanted to smash the room up a little and say ‘that’s enough now thanks.’’

Elsewhere, “The Waiting Game” could be a Manic Street Preachers outtake from the Resistance Is Futile sessions (if you’ve heard Davies’ contributions to that record you’ll understand where I’m coming from), while closer “F.O.H.” could be a distant relative of “P.S. Fuck You” off Davies’ alter ego The Anchoress’ 2016 long player Confessions of a Romance Novelist.

I’d also recommend the bonus seven-inch, which comes with the vinyl edition, if only for the heartfelt cover of Madonna’s “Live to Tell” that rivals the original for delivery and execution.

‘In Memory Of My Feelings’ is released on Needle Mythology; the label founded by music writer, author and broadcaster Pete Paphides and is the very first release of brand new music on the label. Limited edition formats include 2LP +7” w/ signed lyric sheet and gatefold replica CD with signed postcard available for a limited period exclusively via the Official store.

Needle Mythology is back with a new release, And with their very first release of brand new music. Bernard Butler & Catherine Anne Davies’ In Memory Of My Feelings LP is out 18th September on heavyweight vinyl in gatefold sleeve, including a bonus 7″ with a cover of Madonna’s Live To Tell.

Ironically, despite being conceived in 2010 then completed in 2014, In Memory of My Feelings only took 15 days to make. The biggest battle facing its creators was finding someone to release it, where music journalist cum label owner Pete Paphides duly obliged in making it the first “new” release on his Needle Mythology imprint, which up until now has solely put out reissues.

In Memory of My Feelings is a very personal record, particularly for Davies, who wrote all of the lyrics. Nevertheless, the meeting of minds between two very talented individuals means the arrangements veer from sparse, such as on opener and lead single “The Breakdown,” or the exquisitely tender “I Know” and despondent penultimate number “The Patron Saint of the Lost Cause,” to the more upbeat and up-tempo, rockier pieces like “Sabotage (Looks So Easy)” and “Judas,” where Butler’s signature guitar sound rises to the fore.

Elsewhere, “The Waiting Game” could be a Manic Street Preachers outtake from the Resistance Is Futile sessions (if you’ve heard Davies’ contributions to that record you’ll understand where I’m coming from), while closer “F.O.H.” could be a distant relative of “P.S. Fuck You” off Davies’ alter ego The Anchoress’ 2016 long player Confessions of a Romance Novelist.

“I’m not especially interested in recreating whatever’s worked on previous projects,” Bernard Butler . “Odd is what I look for – and, by ‘odd’ what I really mean is ‘character’. And as for that Madonna cover? “When I was 16, Live To Tell allowed me to join the dots in song writing between True Blue and The Queen Is Dead.”

Catherine Anne Davies loves the song to (as do we – both the original and their 7″ cover). “I don’t know what Madonna wrote it about,” she told us, “but the resonances in a post-#metoo world are impossible to miss.”

The Breakdown’ is the first offering to be lifted from the forthcoming collaborative album by Catherine Anne Davies (aka The Anchoress) and Bernard Butler. ‘In Memory Of My Feelings’ will be released via Needle Mythology on 18th September, 2020 and is notable as the first new master recording for Pete Paphides‘ label. The Breakdown explores the personal price to the pursuit of economic wealth and the failures of free market capitalism, framed through the story of one investment banker’s catastrophic breakdown. Butler adds “Musically the song is deliberately dysfunctional with an unorthodox slowed up 10/8 meter.

The piano arpeggio is played forwards then backwards to symbolise the dysfunctional dreamlike beauty of the breakdown” Taken from the forthcoming album ‘In Memory Of My Feelings’, out 18th September on Needle Mythology. Limited edition formats include 2LP +7” w/ signed lyric sheet and gatefold replica CD with signed postcard available for a limited period exclusively via the Official store.

Catherine Anne Davies – vocals Bernard Butler – piano Rex Horan – upright bass

Long unavailable solo albums to be reissued by Needle Mythology • Vinyl available with SIGNED lyric sheets • Remastered CDs with bonus tracks from Robert Forster, the ex-Go-Betweens singer-songwriter, is to reissue his first two solo albums this March.

The albums – Danger In The Past and Calling From A Country Phone – are the fourth and fifth releases from Pete Paphides’ Needle Mythology label. These were first issued in 1990 and 1993 respectively, and have been long out of print and indeed, this campaign also heralds the debut of Calling From A Country Phone on vinyl.

It’s been a busy old time for Forster of late, following a 2019 which saw a new album Inferno, and the release of the well-received box set G is for Go-Betweens Vol. 2.

1990’s Danger In The Past was originally recorded in Berlin with a cast of Bad Seeds alumni such as Mick Harvey (producer, multi-instrumentalist), Hugo Race (guitar) and Thomas Wydler (drums) while Calling From A Country Phone saw Robert return to Brisbane and the same studio where most of the early Go-Betweens gear had been recorded.

These vinyl reissues are issued on heavyweight vinyl (pressed at The Vinyl Factory), are housed in a gatefold sleeve and each comes with a bonus seven-inch single; Danger In The Past has ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ / ‘Falling Star’, and Calling From A Country Phone features ‘Lonely Boy’ / ‘Brookfield 1975’. The CDs append these songs to the albums as ‘hidden’ bonus tracks, and come with a 16 page booklet.

Forster himself has been fully involved on these reissues contributing new sleeve notes and unearthing old photographs.

Curator Paphides has been particularly effusive about the remastering undertaken by Sean Magee at Abbey Road, saying his work “dramatically revealed a depth and physicality to these recordings that casts new light on Robert’s intentions for these records. Calling From A Country Phone, in particular, is a revelation. It’s as though an invisible membrane between listener and songs has been removed.”

Both albums are now available to pre-order on either format via Needle Mythology’s official store. CDs come with a Needle Mythology badge pack while vinyl purchasers get the badges and a Signed lyric sheet. Bundles also available!

Danger In The PastandCalling From A Country Phoneare released by Needle Mythology on 27th March 2020

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Stephen Duffy’s 1998 album was one of his three very good – albeit rather ‘lost’ – solo records from the 1990s. This one was particularly ill-fated, since label intervention meant that the album that was eventually released wasn’t really what Stephen wanted to put out at the time. Fed up, he reformed The Lilac Time and just moved on. 21 years later, fan and friend Pete Paphides decided that a revised edition of “I Love My Friends” would be the inaugural release on his new label Needle Mythology. With Duffy’s assistance they restored I Love My Friends to a kind of ‘director’s cut’ version with the mood-spoiling Andy Partridge-produced tracks removed and a few of others (that had been B-sides at the time) reinstated. The running order was also re-jigged for good measure. The album was remastered and sounded great on vinyl, but CD fans were really spoiled by a whole extra disc of ‘selected demos’ (all unreleased) that were delivered as a bonus item within the gatefold CD wallet.

Stephen Duffy’s 1996 solo album I Love My Friends has been made available for the first time ever on vinyl and vinyl replica CD. Produced by Stephen Street, the album was released to unanimously positive reviews and remains a favourite among his fans.

Following a time of personal upheaval, the album was the result of an unprecedented creativity for Stephen. “The tunes and the words were coming faster than I could write them down. That’s the dichotomy of I Love My Friends. My interior world was falling apart, but creatively it was a charmed existence.”

After tasting worldwide chart success with his 1985 hit Kiss Me, Stephen went on to record four albums of exquisite bucolic pop with his group The Lilac Time before recommencing his solo career. Stephen was a formative player in the West Midlands post-punk scene alongside Swell Maps and Duran Duran, whose first incarnation he fronted. In 2002, he reunited with Nick Rhodes to release an album of their early songs with the group.

For I Love My Friends, Stephen has reverted to the original intended sequence for the album, which was produced by Stephen Street, restoring fan favourites Mao Badge and In The Evening Of Her Day to the track list.

The two Andy Partridge-produced tracks recorded at the behest of Stephen’s label as putative singles now feature on a seven-inch single, which comes with the record. As with all Needle Mythology releases, a vinyl replica CD is available.

The CD version ofI Love My Friends features a bonus CD Blown Away – Selected Demos Volume 1 – ten previously unreleased demos for songs written during the I Love My Friends sessions but never recorded for the finished album.