Posts Tagged ‘Rough Trade Records’

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London-based band Caroline, who recently highlighted as a British band to know in 2020, have released two new tracks, which coincidentally are perfect for easy listening while working from home. New from Rough Trade Records, Caroline’s two singles, “Dark blue” and “BRJ,” are available across DSPs now and will be released as a 12” single on April 24th. The new songs are musically beautiful as the members of Caroline play everything from cello, violin, electric guitar and even the trumpet.

Caroline began as a three-piece (Jasper Llewellyn, Mike O’Malley, Casper Hughes) in early 2017, initially evolving out of weekly improvisation sessions. Bringing together shared influences in, and experiences of playing, midwestern ‘emo’ guitar music, Appalachian folk, minimalist classical and various forms of dance music.

Caroline’s debut 12″ single features lead track ‘Dark blue’ (A side) and ‘BRJ’ (B side). A hand drawn 12” insert is included with all orders.

The group spent a year and a half playing privately, without a project name. Reiterating, deconstructing and re-building the same small handful of songs over and over again, the group slowly expanded their on-stage members before playing their debut show as Caroline in 2018.

Recent Rough Trade signing Caroline are perhaps the most mystifying and gorgeous sounding group in this bunch. The London band started as a three-piece in 2017 as a result of regular improvisational jams, and they soon began adding members. Despite no name for the project yet, they spent a year and a half playing in secret before performing shows, which now include eight members. They’re currently working on their debut album, but all we have now is “the first half of a two-part video project” called “Dark blue,” a painfully beautiful, ever-unfolding composition that borders on slowcore, classical, emo and folk.

Caroline, an eight-person London-based band, present the first half of a two part video project.

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Here are a couple tracks we recorded when we first formed as a band. When we recorded these, we hadn’t played a show yet, and we hadn’t even found a bass player. My grandma would pick me and Henri up from school every day and we’d practice and write songs in their garage. Once we got enough songs, we wanted to record them immediately. So we made some demos and sent them to Steven McDonald in hopes that he’d be interested in producing us. Steven played in the band Redd Kross and now plays with the Melvins, and we were huge fans so we were really nervous about if he would be down to record us or not. Turns out he was, and we got to record in his studio using Melvins gear. It was probably the greatest first experience we could have asked for. Since we hadn’t found Tim to be our bass player yet, Steven played bass on these tracks. In the end, we only released 2 of the songs for our first single with Rough Trade, and saved the rest for our first album. I’m so glad to finally release these versions of the songs, they fully encapsulate that magical feeling you get when you know you’ve created something so special. Something that only you could create and no one else.
released March 23rd, 2020

Black Midi at Union Pool

The phrases “avant-garde improvisational noise rock” and “hot new buzz band” don’t often show up next to each other in the same sentence. But they’re difficult to avoid when discussing London’s Black Midi, an adventurous group that’s somehow broken through over the last couple years to become one of the most hyped acts in the U.K.  despite (or perhaps because of) a sound tailor-made to challenge and bewilder listeners in its prog-punk weirdness.

The indescribable Londoners just hasn’t been the same. Seems like Black Midi dropped a single utterly unlike anything found on their baffling debut from earlier this year, blending banjo and post-rock crescendos with totally  spoken word on a song with the more Carrey-wary title “7-eleven.” Following “Talking Heads” as a very reasonable alt take from the album Schlagenheim, “7” is a bizarre interpretation of Americana.

Black Midi’s excellent debut, Schlagenheim — released last year on Rough Trade Records, the iconic label that signed the Smiths and the Strokes — was nominated for the Mercury Prize, and they followed it with a mostly sold out 21-date American tour. “We intended our first show to be our last, so the whole band has been a surprise,” says Black Midi singer-guitarist Geordie Greep. “You’ve got to keep it relative.

Greep and drummer Morgan Simpson bonded over their shared love of jazz fusion, especially John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra; bassist-keyboard player Cameron Picton is a fan of West African highlife and Congolese soukous; guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin was partial to classic rock and Japanese noise bands like the Boredoms. Nearly all those elements would soon show up in the band’s sound.

UK math rock breakouts Black Midi have shared a bonus track from this year’s Schlagenheim, which the band has performed live in the past under the name “Cameron’s Song.” It’s a bit more spacious than the other songs on the record, almost leaning in post-rock territory.

As for where the band’s music is heading, Greep says whatever they put out next will be “unrecognizable” from what they’ve done so far, somewhat elusively promising something “more complicated but more simple, more clever, more subtle.”

“As individuals we challenge ourselves to try new things,” adds Simpson. “We’re always trying to find new ways to feel uncomfortable.”

 

Pinegrove

This month the New Jersey alt-country outfit Pinegrove will share “Marigold”, the group’s debut on their new label, Rough Trade Records, and the announcement arrived with a single and video for one of its tracks, “Phase.” “Phase” feels like a return to the Pinegrove’ former sound on their acclaimed record, Cardinal. In it, there’s a driving drum beat and palm-muted guitar setting the stage for frontman Evan Stephens Hall’s ardent yelps. The restrained verse builds to a chorus where everything comes to a crescendo at Hall’s cry of “I’m torn right through / Divided right in two.” There’s some fantastic slide guitar fills within, giving the track Pinegrove’s signature almost-country feeling. Pinegrove took a year-long hiatus after Hall issued a statement in response to an allegation of “sexual coercion” made against him in 2017. Since then, their self-release of Skylight in 2018 and new record deal with Rough Trade have shown the group attempting to put those events behind them.

Taken from Pinegrove’s new album ‘Marigold’, coming January 17, 2020 on Rough Trade Records.

Pinegrove lp yellow

Pinegrove’s new album begins with a breath and ends with a shimmering exhalation. In between is “Marigold”, an urgent, multivalent meditation—and an expanded take on the blend of alt-country, indie rock and cerebral humanism that’s inspired the band’s ardent fan community. Marigold marks their Rough Trade Records debut, offering what songwriter Evan Stephens Hall calls a “heart-first” perspective.

Those familiar with Pinegrove will recognize signature elements of the band’s sound: literary yet conversational lyrics, geometrically interlocking guitars, the dynamic shifting shadows of rhythm and structure. But this effort marks the most spacious, bold, and well defined iteration of the project yet

Formed in 2010 by childhood friends Evan and drummer Zack Levine, Pinegrove have released three previous albums — Everything So Far(2015), Cardinal (2016), and Skylight(2018) — to massive critical acclaim, garnering them a widespread and devoted listenership.

They’ve described their sound as variously as introspective party music, or energetic music in the folk tradition; in any case they have combined catharsis and inventive structures with irrepressible melodies, resonant lyrics and emotive twang. Marigold finds the band expanding into the latter, spreading out over varying tempos and swelling pedal steel. But in surprising moments, the album can suddenly unfold into the band’s heaviest, most unbound offerings yet—a cavalier disregard of genre in favour of something honest and unique.

Pinegrove’s new album ‘Marigold’, coming January 17th, 2020 on Rough Trade Records.

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We do humbly present a video of myself—that is, Evan—performing the song “Phase” on an acoustic guitar in the chilly front porch enclosure of our house that is, Amperland studios, aka PGHQ, aka the house featured in the Command S documentary series about the making of “Skylight”, aka a rare & strange falling apart Dutch farmhouse built in 1731. Our new album “Marigold” which was also recorded here (inside, not on the porch) is coming out January 17th

This month the New Jersey alt-country outfit Pinegrove will share new album “Marigold”, the group’s debut on their new label, Rough Trade Records, and the announcement arrived with a single and video for one of its tracks, “Phase.” “Phase” feels like a return to the Pinegrove’ former sound on their acclaimed record, Cardinal.

In it, there’s a driving drum beat and palm-muted guitar setting the stage for frontman Evan Stephens Hall’s ardent yelps. The restrained verse builds to a chorus where everything comes to a crescendo at Hall’s cry of “I’m torn right through / Divided right in two.” There’s some fantastic slide guitar fills within, giving the track Pinegrove’s signature almost-country feeling. Pinegrove took a year-long hiatus after Hall issued a statement in response to an allegation of “sexual coercion” made against him in 2017. Since then, their self-release of Skylight in 2018 and new record deal with Rough Trade have shown the group attempting to put those events behind them. Thanks as always for listening!, Evan.

Pinegrove’s new album ‘Marigold’, coming January 17, 2020 on Rough Trade Records.

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With an elegant, nuanced and emotionally affecting singing style (Cerys Matthews described her as having a voice that can “trickle back over centuries”) Josienne Clarke has frequently been compared to the great Sandy Denny, but present too are elements of Nina Simone and Gillian Welch; all three are important influences on her work.

In recent years, Josienne has supported the great Richard Thompson on a dream-come-true tour of the UK and opened for the legendary Robert Plant across Europe, as well as performing at some of the UK’s best-loved festivals, including Latitude, Larmer Tree and End Of The Road. She also found herself in demand as a writer and broadcaster, contributing to Standard Issue magazine and appearing on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb to discuss her pet subject melancholy, alongside poet Simon Armitage.

Original track from Josienne’s latest album ‘In All Weather’.

“this album is thirty two minutes of bliss”

Clarke the master of restraint, delivers short wafts of bliss on a small but perfectly formed album and leaves us, wanting more”

Josienne Clarke

Back in September Josienne Clarke released her excellent single, “If I Didn’t Mind”, It’s stripped back and raw, be warned: there is a powerful emotional punch to this album. As an account of a life laid bare, there are also some remarkably tender moments – and some joyous ones too. “In All Weather” is undoubtedly an artistic triumph, and certainly Josienne’s most assured work to date.

The first taste of her debut album, “In All Weather”. With the album now out this week Josienne has shared the latest taste of it, the pleasingly titled, “Slender, Sad and Sentimental”.

Discussing the track, Josienne has suggested it’s a somewhat cerebral affair, “I was writing about writing a catchy single in the style of a catchy single. I’ve possibly hit peak self-reference!” Self-referential or not, there’s an undeniable catchiness to elements of the track, the chorus combining Josienne’s impressive, Martha Ffion-like vocal style, with a bass-line Girl Ray would be proud of. Yet there’s a restraint to the song’s pop tendencies too, just as it threatens to slip into purest-pop, it makes a detour into a melancholic folk breakdown or a minimal keyboard line. Slender, Sad And Sentimental never quite commits to being a full blown pop song, and is all the more intriguing for it.

Josienne provides vocals and sparse acoustic and electric guitar throughout the album, joined by Elliott Galvin on piano, jazz drummer Dave Hamblett and renowned Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy. Additional guitar and bass is provided by Sonny Johns, who also co-produced the album with Josienne.

She writes, ‘I exiled myself, moved to an island, literally and metaphorically, broke up with everything but songwriting. To re-make myself, to learn to let it all go in peace.’ Personal and professional relationships cast aside – along with a physical relocation away from London to be isolated on the Isle of Bute – provides a powerful backdrop to the songs. And reveals that the themes of separation, independence, determination, dissolution and reawakening are not solely metaphorical…

In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records.

New Jersey band Pinegrove has announced that their new album “Marigold” will be released on January 17th, 2020, via Rough Trade Records. This announcement comes paired with the release of new song “Phase,” the second song released from the album following the album’s first single “Moment,” .

“Phase” has that now-signature urgent and emotional Pinegrove sound, packing a lot in it’s 2 1/2-minute runtime. Evan Stephens Hall wrote the song about those times you’re desperately trying to sleep but you can’t because your mind is racing with different ideas and anxieties.

The official music video captures this idea in a humorous fashion, which was directed by Colin Read. Find it posted below, along with the Marigold tracklist and some newly announced tour dates.

we’re also real psyched to report that we are working with Rough Trade Records! they’ve been terrific to work with so far & it’s an honor to be on their roster. may we also say! our tour is coming up—beginning, in fact, next week! we’ll be playing this song “moment” & perhaps some other new ones out there on the dusty trail.

28-Mar-20 Dublin, Ireland @ The Grand Social
30-Mar-20 Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 TV Studio
31-Mar-20 Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
01-Apr-20 Bristol, UK @ SWX
02-Apr-20 London, UK @ Electric Ballroom

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The voice and the space between the words are unmistakably Josienne Clarke. ‘Things I Didn’t Need’ is a powerfully brittle love song. The arrangements of all the songs are barer than the chamber folk of SEEDLINGS ALL, Josienne’s stunning 2018 duo album with Ben Walker. There is room to hear every emotional syllable and nuance with voice, strummed electric guitar and some atmospherics to make the whole thing crackle. The effect is hypnotic, giving weight and power to every word.

Expect to hear these tracks soundtracking poignant moments in arty TV dramas soon. ‘Season And Time’ features a beautiful picked acoustic and Clarke’s wonderfully melancholic voice with some wonderful lyrics. ‘Never Lie’ adds some atmospheric textures and layers to Josienne’s fine voice and guitar, building a wonderful soundscape. Three tracks, individually sublime, also act as a starter, hinting at the rich treasures and sounds on Josienne Clarke’s forthcoming album that she describes as filled with misery, anger and a, longing for better.

Opening lines can be so crucial to a song, the way they set a mood, create a scene and instantly plant the listener squarely in the centre of proceedings. “You’ve got your problems but I’m the one that needs to change”, is how Josienne Clarke’s new single, If I Didn’t Mind, greets you. Instantly thrusting you into the centre of a failing relationship, a row so instantly real you feel like you’re going to be ducking flying plates and pulling your hands out of the ways of slammed doors. The track is lifted from Josienne’s upcoming debut album, In All Weather, a record about pulling yourself out and starting again, “I exiled myself, moved to an island, metaphorically and literally; broke up with everything but songwriting, to re-make myself and learn to let it all go in peace”.

Built around a fluttering bass-line, and rolling drum beat, most of the track’s melody is carried by Josienne’s vocal. Throughout there’s a calmness and a strength to the delivery, that doesn’t disguise the hurt underneath, almost if Josienne is steadying herself determined to make her point. Discussing the album as a whole, Josienne has suggested In All Weather is, “a manifesto of how to leave and how to change”, a series of songs about breaking-up and crucially about moving on, on this evidence one enthusiastic writers claim that these are, “the best break-up songs since Blood on the Tracks”, might actually have some legs.

In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records.