Posts Tagged ‘Partisan Records’

Of all the new music I heard during the height of the initial lockdown. ‘Ultra Mono’ was an album that I was already extremely excited to hear; and the stream of songs released during Lockdown only served to raise that excitement to a fever pitch.

Thankfully IDLES didn’t disappoint and when the album arrived it was a pure masterpiece. It shows a natural progression on the bands first two records and grows the bands sound. It still captures what made us all fall in love with the band but by incorporating new elements into the bands sound the album shows that IDLES are no one trick pony.

Above all other releases this year and those that feature in this list, this was the album that we needed this year. In a year where we have all been knocked down one way or another, IDLES and ‘Ultra Mono’ has been a call to arms, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and keep going.”

IDLES third LP, Ultra Mono, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The video for “Kill Them With Kindness” was directed and designed by James Carbutt and animated by Pip Williamson, inspired by the working men’s clubs of Barnsley. Brutal guitar work flips between Bowen and Kiernan on a Travis Bean and Esquire respectively, revealing again why they’re the two most important players in the UK today.

Another single from the Bristolian band’s acclaimed third LP on Partisan Records, it begins with a monstrous bass riff that twists around the snare drum, before bellowing into the chorus with pulsating, glistening guitars and the odd bit of ring-modulator thrown in for good measure.


The Bristol, U.K. punk outfit are releasing their third studio album Ultra Mono this last year. IDLES recorded Ultra Mono in Paris, working with producers Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire), Adam “Atom” Greenspan (Anna Calvi, Cut Copy) and Kenny Beats (FKA Twigs, DeBaby, Vince Staples). Per a press release, “‘Ultra Mono’ was sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record.” The album also features guest vocals from Jehnny Beth (Savages), and contributions from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), David Yow and Jamie Cullum.

In 2020 there were certainties: third IDLES album, third time among the best fifty of the year. On Ultra Mono we hear a sharper and smoother IDLES than before. A band that takes steps to keep developing its sound, which takes a hip-hop producer under its arm, once worked its crown with the cracks and moments later comes across songs like “Grounds” or “Reigns”. The British are going to be wonderfully retamful about this drive for innovation and the ability to remain fully IDLES. (Post)punk has its heyday again, and part of the answer to the question shines on the chest of the Bristol fivesome.  Ultra Mono also includes a lot of discs that live on a swirling, roaring mass, while a band has the mob on a raise.

Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, IDLES return with their highly anticipated third album – “Ultra Mono”. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono.

Since their 2017 debut Brutalism, British punks IDLES have seemed like a band on a mission. Release a record, tour hard, write more songs, make another album, do it all again. Their new record Ultra Mono is their third in four years, which is impressive when you see the band’s immense pre-pandemic touring schedule. “We never stop writing,” says frontman Joe Talbot,

The band have a method for writing an album that goes well beyond standing in a room and playing. They are organised and focused, which ensures their records remain centred on a theme. “With every album, we start with the title – and artwork normally comes to mind – with a theme around it, and then I kind of build the idea around the album,” Talbot says. “Then we start writing the songs specifically to those ideas, with the idea that if we’ve got boundaries, we can all work within them and work together better, because we’re very different people.

“It’s important for us to understand each other moving forward, because we write democratically. We don’t want it to be some sort of autocracy. We all pitch in.m This time around, Talbot wanted to write about internal struggles. The frontman admits to struggling with certain sides of fame, notably the understanding that his work will now be noticed by more people than ever. Such a profile comes with pressure, and feelings that threaten to inhibit creativity. “I was going through a lot of self-doubt around writing,” he says. “There’s a lot of eyes and ears on us, way more than before Joy… [2018 album Joy Is An Act of Resistance] came out.

“So, I just wanted to focus on that idea of self-awareness as a way of progress and understanding what self-care really meant.” So, Ultra Mono became a record about accepting yourself for who and what you are.

KEXP.ORG presents IDLES sharing songs recorded exclusively for KEXP and talking with Kevin Cole. Recorded Thursday, October 1st, 2020.
Model Village
Mr. Motivator


Ultra Mono will be released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records.

Released September 25th, 2020

Idles are precious and highly reflective of all that’s happening around them and what their role in it is. They are all that in a way few other bands are. “Ultra Mono” as an album though is, if you are familiar with them already, not what the cover image tries to imply: Too seldomly it comes as a surprise. It doesn’t hit just the right spots to make your aching feel worthy. But it still is a powerful, lively statement of one of the most important rock bands of our time. I’m sure we’ll be reminded of that once they return to stage and channel their irressistible, very contemporary complex of politics, decay, love and anger. You just might have to dig a little deeper for it on Ultra Mono.

IDLES found themselves in the middle of a feud again with Fat White Family (following a similar one with Sleaford Mods last year). The short version of this ridiculous rambling is that people constantly seem to deny the band’s status to represent the British working class. It’s the old tale of the left eating itself as if there’s a fixed universal rule that defines who should speak for the poor and needy. I don’t get the point of this beef. I don’t get why they don’t join forces and fight the real evil here. Once Boris Johnson’s Corona and Brexit politics have done the damage the British working class will have bigger problems than asking about the right representation.

Idles, however, answered with what they are best at: humility. Kill Them With Kindness is a track on their new album and that sums up the band’s spirit pretty well. In order to fight the evil, just be nice and kind to each other. It’s a simple yet efficient technique. You dismantle the troll by not following him onto his low level. You react with positivity that might confuse him. In the end hate fuels such people and if you cut them off their energy source and simply stay calm you take a huge amount of ammunition away from them. “Let’s seize the day, all hold hands, chase the pricks away” is the line Idles keep on repeating in their single Mr. Motivator and it’s a fitting credo. The fact that these guys transport their messages of love, feminism and against toxic masculinity in a very aggressive way might sound confusing for many but I think it’s a great method to channel these emotions. Yes, you have the right to be pissed off by these idiotic trolls but don’t address the direct anger towards them – let the music be your outlet. Killing people with kindness is easier said than done.

It’s a tough thing to do. It’s an active choice you make and something you have to remind yourself of every day. Like I said last week – the system didn’t train us to have faith in each other and modern communication tools like Facebook and Twitter want us to compete against each other if we want to get heard. In order to fix this fucked up thing called society we have to rise above that concept because the only realistic way of changing the entire damn construct is to fix the individual parts that make it up and that’s – surprise – us, the people. It’s not easy, I can tell from experience. Overcoming passive cynicism is the first step, learning to trust, communicate and not being afraid to do so is the next step and right now I’m in the middle of that. There are many days where life and our current society make it hard to not fall for the communication patterns of the troll. It takes discipline, patience and most importantly people around you that will support this attitude because – to quote The National – it takes an ocean not to break. 

Idles new album ‘ULTRA MONO’ out now on Partisan Records.

Following Brutalism (2017) and Joy as an Act of Resistance (2018), two releases that garnered global critical acclaim, IDLES return with their highly anticipated third album – “Ultra Mono”. Sonically constructed to capture the feeling of a hip-hop record (including production contribution from Kenny Beats), the album doubles down on the vitriolic sneer and blunt social commentary of their past work. Not far beneath the surface of their self-admitted sloganeering lies a deeply complex and brutally relevant album that chews up clichés and spits them out as high art for the masses. This is momentary acceptance of the self. This is Ultra Mono.

‘A HYMN’ from the new album Ultra Mono”  released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records.

‘GROUNDS’ from the new album ‘ULTRA MONO’ released on 25th September 2020 on Partisan Records


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There’s something shattering about the music of Fontaines D.C. Following on from the release of “I Don’t Belong” last month, the Irish post-punk outfit return today with another piercing look into the void in the form of “Televised Mind.” “That’s a televised mind/That’s a televised mind/That’s a televised mind,” repeats frontman Grian Chatten on the song – an incisive indictment of groupthink and echo-chamber living that cuts like a knife.

It is the third track shared from their forthcoming LP A Hero’s Death, which is out on the 31st July.

The track heaves, drones, and churns – a faultless embodiment of the bruised and battered – perfect in its uneasy, resigned melancholy.

“Televised Mind” taken from the forthcoming album ‘A Hero’s Death’ out 31st July on Partisan Records.

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Barely a year since their debut Dogrel earned them a spot as one of the most acclaimed new bands of 2019, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. will return with “A Hero’s Death” on July 31 via Partisan Records. Arriving battered and bruised – albeit beautiful – the album is anything but a re-hash of the swaggering energy from their first record, instead the music is patient, confident, and complex – heady and philosophical takes on the modern world and its great uncertainty. The album serves as a conscious effort to subvert expectations, to challenge themselves and their listeners, and to sacrifice one identity in order to take on another – one that is fully their own.

We’re giving away handwritten lyrics by Grian for ‘I Don’t Belong’ & ‘A Hero’s Death’ and also a signed 7″. Pre-save ‘A Hero’s Death’ and follow us on Spotify by Monday 6th July for a chance to win

Irish rockers Fontaines D.C. came out swinging on their debut album Dogrel—it became one of the years favourite albums of last year thanks to its propulsive rhythms, Grian Chatten’s mesmerizing speak-sing and their satisfying blend of post-punk, garage and surf sounds. After cementing themselves as one of the most exciting new bands of 2019, excitement began to swirl when news started circulating about a quick follow-up album that was recorded in Los Angeles and influenced by The Beach Boys. I figured an album full of surfy tunes like Dogrel highlight “Liberty Belle” and 2017 b-side “Winter in the Sun” was on the way, which I undoubtedly would’ve devoured, but that’s pretty far from what we’ll actually receive at the end of July.

A Hero’s Death is decidedly not perky—it’s full of somber, gothic numbers, slow ballads and a few very on-the-nose nods to Brian Wilson (but this is dejected Pet Sounds era Beach Boys—not the carefree “Surfin’ U.S.A.” Beach Boys). It’s not what many will expect from the group, but it’s a noticeably more mature second chapter that pays dividends with each listen. Sprinkled with ’60s armchair pop and ’80s post-punk references, this is a gloomy outdoor stroll record—but a very special one at that.

Fontaines D.C. perform A Hero’s Death Live at home for Later… with Jools Holland.

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Fontaines D.C.’s second album is out at the end of this month, which means the promo trail is giving us new songs from the record to hear as we approach.

So far, we’ve heard two very different songs from the record. ‘I Don’t Belong’ is a slower Whipping Boy-esque opening track while the title track is a looser take on the kind of thing that won that much praise on album one.

‘Televised Mind’ is coming from a different place, with a more psych-rock edge on a song they say, is inspired by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, which is about the echo chambers people have made for themselves – “how personality gets stripped away by surrounding approval.”

“This song is about the echo chamber, and how personality gets stripped away by surrounding approval. People’s opinions get reinforced by constant agreement, and we’re robbed of our ability to feel wrong. We’re never really given the education of our own fallibility. People feign these great beliefs in order to appear trendy, as opposed to independently arriving at their own thoughts.

We were listening to a lot of The Prodigy and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, specifically their song “Open Heart Surgery”. I was interested in extrapolating those types of chord progressions and capturing this droning, hypnotic feel. That last line repeated over and over [“What ya call it”] is a buffer expression that people used here in Dublin. It’s sort of like “umm” or “well…” – it’s what people say when they’re distracted.

“Televised Mind” taken from the forthcoming album ‘A Hero’s Death’ out 31st July on Partisan Records.

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Pottery’s debut EP, No. 1, made our mid-year best post-punk list last year thanks to its bluesy, funky take on post-punk. This coming Friday , the Montreal five-piece are unleashing their first full-length, and it’s even more eccentric than we were expecting (or hoping). It’s full of psych-punk jams so surreal and danceable that falling down their wormhole and grooving to the beat are not optional. Make sure you polish off your dancing shoes before diving into its off-the-wall percussion and snappy guitars. Their sky-high dance-punk and witty psychedelia can hardly pack more tightly-coiled zip.

Here’s a jagged new single from Montreal band Pottery’s upcoming debut album, “Welcome to Bobby’s Motel”, which is out in June. It goes from a rigid start into something decidedly more funky. “While there are hints of environmental themes on this one, we mainly wanted to make a disco song with a robotic feeling, something that could be easily chanted,” say Pottery. “Austin was originally really interested in heat as a musical concept/feeling – some of the early album titles we threw around were ‘Hot Hot Hot’ and ‘Sun Fever’ – and there are a bunch of other heat references on the album [see previous single ‘Hot Like Jungle’. In the studio he’d be joking around and yelling stuff at us like ‘let’s make it hot!’ right before a take. A lot of that didn’t end up totally sinking in, but some did…like on this song.”

“Hot Heater” from ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ out June 26th on Partisan Records and Royal Mountain Records.

Cigarettes After Sex is an ambient pop collective led by songwriter Greg Gonzalez & is currently based out of Brooklyn, NY.  “I’ve always avoided studios,” says Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez. “There’s something special about recording out in the world, some kind of X-factor that comes from the character and atmosphere of wherever it is that you’re working that becomes essential to the feeling of the music.”

That marriage of sound and setting is the heart and soul of Cry, Cigarettes After Sex’s riveting sophomore album. Recorded in a stunning house on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the collection reflects the uneasy beauty, erotic longing, and stark minimalism of the space, all smooth lines and soft light. Energized by the fresh palette and setting, Gonzalez would write songs just minutes before recording them with the band—drummer Jacob Tomsky, bassist Randy Miller, and keyboardist Phillip Tubbs. He engineered and produced the sessions himself, with an emphasis on capturing live performances and exploring the material together in dialogue with the house and with each other.

Clocking in at nine songs, Cry is a compact collection, but its brevity belies its depth. While the band’s sound may be most associated with the romantic pop music of the late 50’s and early 60’s, Gonzalez pushes into more unexpected sonic territory on Cry, reaching back to his childhood in El Paso, Texas, to draw subtle melodic influence from 90’s Tejano stars like Selena and mainstream pop country artists like Shania Twain. Gonzalez pushes himself lyrically on the album, too, tackling sex with the graphic frankness of Henry Miller or Leonard Cohen as he renders unabashed, sometimes explicitly erotic scenes with a casual candor. Writing with a filmmaker’s eye, he captures tiny moments with a rich, cinematic detail that manages to locate the profound within the mundane.


Cigarettes After Sex return with their anticipated sophomore album – Cry via Partisan Records. Recorded during night time sessions in a mansion on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the album is a lush, cinematic meditation on the many complex facets of love – meeting, wanting, needing, losing…sometimes all at once. The album was self-produced and engineered by Greg Gonzalez, and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).


Cigarettes After Sex made a hushed and sensual splash with their 2017 self-titled debut, and the Greg Gonzalez-led indie-pop project are returning with their second record, “Cry”, out now on Partisan Records. The band recorded Cry during nighttime sessions at a mansion on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, with Gonzalez self-producing and engineering the album, and Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) mixing it. “The sound of this record is completely tied to the location for me,” says Gonzalez.

“Ultimately, I view this record as a film. It was shot in this stunning, exotic location, and it stitches all these different characters and scenes together, but in the end is really about romance, beauty & sexuality. It’s a very personal telling of what those things mean to me.  Raunchier yet equally as romantic and sentimental, Cry doesn’t necessarily break new ground, but continues to explore the band’s noir atmosphere.

Cigarettes After Sex is an ambient pop collective led by songwriter Greg Gonzalez & is currently based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Released October 25th, 2019