Posts Tagged ‘Play It Again Sam Records’

Fews into red packshot

After their initial eight-minute sonic rollercoaster ILL on Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground imprint and their subsequent debut album Means, Fews return with a brand new ten-track studio album, Into Red. Co-produced by Joakim Lindberg (Hater) and mixed by James Dring Into Red sees Fews extricating their influences to reveal a band assuredly moving on from the template of their debut album Means with a confident post-punk swagger and no little addition of muscular heft on the song-writing front.

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Here’s a live version of ‘Business Man’ in session from the studio where we made the forthcoming album . ‘Into Red’, out 1st March 2019 via Play It Again Sam Records

 

For those unfamiliar with his work, Keaton Henson is an English folk-rock musician and poet, whose work incorporates a range of influences from contemporary to classical.

His work is also intensely performative, despite Keaton’s famously intense anxiety that has, for much of his career, precluded him from live performance. From an early age, Keaton learned to “gild the domestic cage” of his introspective world with “images and songs and poems of his imagined worlds” – not to mention music.

Keaton’s eagerly-awaited new album Kindly Now was released in September and to gain an insight into the music that’s shaped his own as he’s battled with isolation, Its such a rewarding listen,

‘Kindly Now’, his fourth album, is actually much the same of the same Keaton formula, an analysis of his own depression and anxiety, mixed with a healthy dose of self-loathing. However, it does feature a new side to him, with songs sounding much fuller and more arranged than previously, and a vocal delivery that’s a lot stronger than previous albums. In the track ‘Alright’, Keaton almost sounds angry at his inadequacies, a surge of weight behind his words, unlike his usual self-deprecating whine. I think on the whole this is a braver album, with Keaton owning up to his shortcomings without asking for a dashing of pity. The track ‘Old Lover’s In Dressing Rooms’ is particularly beautiful, detailing a conversation adrift with tension and woe between Keaton and an ex (presumably so anyway). It’s a great songwriting technique and catches the mood of a certain type of closeness between two people, a feeling most if not all of us have experienced and can understand.

Keaton Henson has crafted a career from writing immersive and deeply sad indie folk songs. “Kindly Now”, is no exception to the rule, giving us a glimpse into his inner struggles. From failing to connect with others to coping with anxiety, Henson is both candid in his storytelling and, in parts, determined that he will overcome his troubles. Across the record, Henson’s quivering voice is the main attraction. With his disarmingly timid falsetto, Henson trudges through twelve bittersweet orchestral heartbreakers.

Opening track “March”, a mash-up of diced samples and textures, showcases Henson’s more experimental side before the record plummets into the more familiar-sounding and frail “Alright”. Tipping a hat to fellow folk connoisseurs Perfume Genius and Destroyer, the song is stirringly beautiful, Once again experimental in colour, the anthemic ‘Comfortable Love’ opens with swaying, lazily-picked guitars;

In “The Pugilist”, with its dramatic strings and torn melody, Henson fights his corner as a serious artist, (“Don’t forget me, I still have art in me yet”), and implies that suffering for his art is a small price to pay to feel alive (“To remind me I’m living, And that I still need it”). Filled with cascading guitars and shivering cellos, “The Pugilist” is the record’s standout and most heartbreaking moment.

In contrast, Kindly Now’s most upbeat moment is the soulful Afro gospel, indie rock “Holy Lover”. With this ode to Paul Simon’s Graceland, Henson nervously confesses “I think I love you, baby please don’t be afraid of me.” The song feels like a turning point for Henson, not only on the album, but in his personal life too.

 The therapy continues on “How Could I Have Known” and “Good Lust”, as Henson continues to pick at the scabs of past relationships. Unable to let his insecurities dissipate, Henson sings about love like an awkward, heavy-hearted teenager, whispering lyrics “know that our love was real but I broke the deal all out I the cold, baby come hold me close, please don’t let me drown”, before the record comes to rest with the retreating sound of piano.

 Shaking off labels such as the ‘British Jeff Buckley‘, Henson has grown into his sound over time. If Birthdays was his attempt at self-loathing, then Kindly Now is his attempt at therapy; as with the album’s artwork, Henson has painted a self-portrait of himself and plastered over his faults. Stitched together with lulling orchestras, romantic sentiments and quivering vocals, the anxiety-ridden Kindly Now is an obscured window into the mind of one of music’s most reclusive characters.

Play It Again Sam Records

Image result for fews

Fews are a Swedish/American four-piece whose debut single was an eight-minute blur of motorik boogie, like something out of early-70s Detroit via early-70s Düsseldorf. It was produced by Dan Carey, who has worked with Toy, Warpaint and Bat For Lashes, and was released on Speedy Wunderground. Now signed to Play it Again Sam, and their latest single is a more concise example of what can be achieved with a linear groove and a sense of mantric repetition. It goes on for three and a half minutes but you could imagine enjoying 33 minutes of it, such is the hypnotic effect of the propulsive drums and two-note guitar pattern.

Produced by Dan Carey. Directed and animated by Alden Volney.
Available on ltd. 7″ single

After a long time away, folk-pop darling Lisa Mitchell has finally returned to the scene with the announcement of her ‘Something About These Streets’ tour. Mitchell is set to tour tracks from her forthcoming album ‘Warriors’ (due out Friday 14th October). It will be the Australian singer-songwriter, Lisa Mitchell’s third album, Warriors, her first for Play It Again Sam.

New single “Warhol” is an intriguing piece, Explaining the title Lisa recalls, “I kept hearing Warhol through the melody I was mumbling…It’s as if I was calling out to Andy Warhol , as if he were a dear confidante…A world to find refuge in…”. While Lisa might find her refuge in Warhol’s Pop Art world, but we can think of worse places to get lost than the music he’s inspired her to make.

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Warriors is out today via Play It Again Sam. Lisa Mitchell tours Europe in February,

“We really got rid of a lot of guitar and piano in this album,” says Lisa, who has teamed up with US producer Eric J (who has worked with Flume and Chet Faker, among others), opening up some brave new realms.

OUR NEW VIDEO FOR 100 GOOSEBUMPS IS HERE ⚠️ check it out over at @diymagazine (link in bio) x http://ift.tt/1VYDTal

While most bands are birthed in dingy basements and musty garages, the seeds of FEWS were sown on a MySpace page circa 2006. It was on the social networking site that the post-punk outfit’s founding members Fred, a Bay Area native, and David, a Swede, crossed paths and forged a musical kinship despite being thousands of miles apart.

The two bonded over what they described as “outsider” music like Television Personalities and Ian Dury and the Blockheads, as well an obsession with Interpol guitarist Daniel Kessler. After five years of online exchanges, they finally met face to face in Stockholm to drink beers and talk music. Not long after, David delved deep into electronic music and Fred made it a point to fly out and join him on his Berlin club-going excursions. They eventually got a place together in Malmö, a city in southern Sweden just a train ride away from places likes of Copenhagen and Berlin, and recruited two additional musicians to make their ideas officially come to life as FEWS.

As a band, FEWS echo Fred and David’s musical friendship over the years, the times they spent poring over the likes of Antics and Our Love to Admire and sweating the night away at German dance spots. Take for example the band’s latest single “If Things Go On Like This”. Produced by veteran Dan Carey (The Kills, Bat for Lashes), the three-minute cut takes its cue from bleary post-punk, but drives with the contagious pop pulse of a club jam.

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Of the song’s backstory, “We’d been working on this on and off for a while, we had so many new songs it almost got forgotten. During the album sessions (producer) Dan remembered it from the first demos he heard and asked where it was so we tried it. On the original recording you can hear everyone at the end saying, ‘Shit! That sounded great!’”

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“If Things Go On Like This” is taken from FEWS’ Carey-produced debut album, “MEANS”, due out May 20th via PIAS (Play It Again Sam). For more, check out early singles “The Zoo” and “100 Goosebumps”.

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Fews are a Swedish/American four-piece whose debut single was an eight-minute blur of motorik boogie, sounding like something out of early-70s Detroit via early-70s Düsseldorf. It was produced by Dan Carey, who has worked with Toy, Warpaint and Bat For Lashes, and was released on Speedy Wunderground. Now signed to Play it Again Sam, and their latest single is a more concise example of what can be achieved with a linear groove and a sense of mantric repetition. It goes on for three and a half minutes but you could imagine enjoying 33 minutes of it, such is the hypnotic effect of the propulsive drums and two-note guitar pattern.