Posts Tagged ‘The Big Moon’

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Marika Hackman’s forthcoming album “I’m Not Your Man” features a striking cover created by artist Tristan Pigott.

Hackman asked Pigott to paint a group portrait of everyone who was closely involved in making the album. “That was really important to me … everyone came together to make this,” she says. The singer-songwriter is pictured standing in a messy kitchen alongside Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathan, Celia Archer and Fern Ford from the band The Big Moon. Producer Charlie Andrews’ face appears on passport photos on a wooden dining table.

Pigott’s painting is filled with references to tracks from the record as well as recurring themes in his own work. Cucumbers often appear in his art and he is fascinated with images of dying and decaying plants. Sliced apples and cigarette butts refer to song titles and a portrait of Hackman’s friend Gina appears in the pages of a magazine – a reference to the track Gina’s World.

Tristan Pigott's oil painting for Marika Hackman's album, I'm Not Your Man

The layout of the portrait reflects the recording process: Archer and Fern played bass and drums in one room while Hackman and Nathan played guitar in another. “We had two rooms and a window in between so we could see each other,” explains Hackman.

There are also references to the cover of Hackman’s previous album We Slept At Last. A painting on the wall inspired by Tracey Emin’s famous artwork My Bed features the same mattress and colour scheme used on the album’s cover.

Alongside this, there are phallic symbols, smiley faces and images alluding to key themes on the album. Dirty dishes represent a rejection of domestic ideals and a detailed postcard on the floor juxtaposed with a simplistic view from a window represent how “we’d rather be looking at the world through a glamourised perspective [ie on social media] than acknowledging reality” – a theme prevalent in the track blahblahblah, says Hackman.

It’s a striking image and a highly detailed one. While most solo artists opt for an image of themselves on their album covers, Hackman’s artwork reflects the idea of an album as a collaborative process. Pigott’s surreal scene offers a window into both Hackman’s world and his and hidden references reward repeat viewing.

“There’s a lot of stuff in there which I think is really fun. It was fun to think of and when I’m looking at record sleeves, that’s what I want to look for and discover. It’s a much more exciting prospect than taking a picture of my face and putting it on the cover,” says Hackman.

Hackman met Pigott at a party and says she “fell in love” with his work. “It’s so incredibly detailed but not everything is quite right,” she says. “Sometimes eyes are slightly off or colours are quite flat … and it creates this really weird illustrative world that also has a sense of the hyperreal. I love that sense of playing with perspective.”

Pigott worked from lyrics and Hackman’s initial concept but also added several ideas of his own, creating the painting while the album was being recorded. “The reason I chose Tristan is because I love his work, so I have to be very respectful of that. I don’t want to stand there and say, ‘do it this way’,” says Hackman. Hackman discussed the initial concept with Pigott and had a look at early sketches but didn’t see the final painting until it was complete.

“He worked out what would be best visually, whereas I was just thinking about everything we’d need to get on [the cover]. We got the layout together and spoke about colour concepts and things like that, but he very much led that side of it and always very much got it right in my mind.”

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Hackman’s next single Boyfriend is out on 31st March. AMF Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Ltd

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“Save this holy mess,” announces Jules Jackson in the opening moments on ‘Hold This’ – throwing away the keys to the control booth, and fleeing an unspecified scene of total chaos never to be seen again. Luckily, she’s had second thoughts a verse later, and The Big Moon’s latest becomes an odd, squalling, musical entanglement instead, which wrestles with messy situations, and finds the answers by holding them together.

Echoing the themes of ‘Formidable’ (this new ‘un forms the b-side) ‘Hold This’ is a song that deals in darker and more complex lyrical themes ,Darkness, and mildly menacing instrumental interludes aside, though ‘Hold This’ remains a total banger of a song, too. Such a wonderful band who have worked so hard these last 12 months , Looking forward to the debut album due out very soon .

the debut album ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’

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Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
For fans of the early work of Leonard Cohen, Vashti Bunyan, Joni Mitchell and Cat Power. American wanderer Julie Byrne’s second album Not Even Happiness comes 3 years after her debut. A more confident beast, Not Even Happiness adds atmospheric instrumentation and electronic flourishes to Byrne’s unusual guitar tunings and fingerpicked melodies, moving the songs from the front-porch into subtle anthemia. Julie Byrne has counted Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans and Northampton, Massachusetts as her transient homes in recent years. For now, she’s settled in New York City, moonlighting as a seasonal urban park ranger in Central Park. Whether witnessing the Pacific Northwest for the first time (Melting Grid), the morning sky in the mountains of Boulder (Natural Blue), or a journey fragrant with rose water; reading Frank O’Hara aloud from the passengers seat during a drive through the Utah desert into the rainforest of Washington State (The Sea As It Glides), Not Even Happiness is Julie’s beguilingly ode to the fringes of life. Her debut album was released back in January 2014 on Chicago based DIY label Orindal after initially being as two separate cassettes releases. Rooms With Walls and Windows went onto become a true modern-day word of mouth success story (it would have to be for an artist who shuns all forms of social media) and ended the year being voted number 7 in Mojo magazine’s best albums of the year, with the Huffington Post calling it “2014’s Great American Album”. A collection of hushed intimate front porch psych-folk songs, that unknowingly recalled the greats, but felt very much for our time. The album is the first release on a new record label Basin Rock, based in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border town of Todmorden.

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The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody

The Flaming Lips release their long-awaited new studio album, entitled Oczy Mlody, via Bella Union. Produced by the band and their long-time producer Dave Fridmann, the highly-anticipated LP is the follow-up to their globally acclaimed 2013 album, The Terror. On Oczy Mlody, The Lips return to form with an album no less experimental in nature, but perhaps more melodically song-oriented, recalling the best parts of their most critically applauded albums The Soft Bulletin and the gold-certified Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

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The Big Moon –  Formidable

Limited edition standard 7” vinyl with outer sleeve. Mostly, when bands talk about bringing something to their recorded output, they’re on about capturing the ferocity of their live performances. The claustrophobic sweat of the circuit stage, the immediacy of the moment. The Big Moon don’t have to worry about that. They’ve captured something even more magical. The best bands, see, are a gang. It’s them against the world. They’ve got their own personalities, their own sense of humour. Open up the door and they’ll drag you into their world. It’s that which runs through the core of Formidable. Even when not going for the sugar spun funhouse of Silent Movie Susie or Cupid, there’s still that nudge, wink and held hand into their magical kingdom. Switching between swooning verse and firmly planted chorus, there’s a steely defiance to Formidable, The Big Moon’s latest offering. Like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it’s the sound of something clicking. What was potential before is realised now. Supermoons be damned, this is one lunar cycle that’s going interstellar.

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Brian Jonestown Massacre –  Groove Is In The Heart

Limited Green Vinyl 10″. Groove Is In The Heart is the first of 3 singles from the forthcoming album Don’t Get Lost released in February 2017. Both tracks (Groove Is In The Heart and Throbbing Gristle) feature vocals by Tess Parks, these tracks give an idea of the changing rhythms of The Brian Jonestown Massacre for the new album. Heavy hypnotic beating drums, with smoky vocals provided by Tess Parks.

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R.E.M  – Radio Free Europe: Live From The Capitol Theatre, Passaic, Nj. June 9Th 1984

Live album from 1984 when they were just starting to really grow in stature. Tracks include Pale Blue Eyes, Radio Free Europe and another 11 tracks.

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R.E.M – Pretty Persuasion: FM Broadcast live in Orlando, Florida, April 30th, 1989

Another great radio show recording from 1989 – and they are on top form, playing Orange Crush, Crazy, Gravity and another 10 tracks.

One of the best bands of the year have given us hope for the next with the announcement of their debut album “Love in the 4th Dimension” which is due out 7th April 2017 via Fiction Records. The record will feature stand out tracks “Cupid”‘Sucker’ and ‘The Road’ as well as the below single ‘Formidable’.

Speaking of the album, Juliette Jackson said: “We spent twelve gorgeous summer days in the studio hanging out with the brilliant producer and super babe Catherine Marks, experimenting and noodling and shredding and hitting things until all the right noises happened at once.

“We’ve been playing these songs for two years now, and it’s a dream come true to finally immortalise them on record. It’s like having eleven tiny babies all at once, all with their own little faces and voices and personalities, and now we’re ready to throw them out of our nest and into your ears.”

‘Formidable’ has been a crowd favourite for a while so it feels like a real ‘moment’ for the band as the debut album comes ever closer.

Pre-order the debut album ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ on signed CD & Vinyl out 7th April via Fiction Records

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Billy Bragg and Joe Henry
Shine A Light – Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad
The new Billy Bragg and Joe Henry album ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’ on Cooking Vinyl. In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers.

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Bruce Springsteen  –  Chapter and Verse

‘Chapter and Verse’ is the audio companion to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, ‘Born to Run’. Five of the album’s 18 tracks are previously unreleased. Springsteen selected the songs on ‘Chapter and Verse’ to reflect the themes and sections of ‘Born to Run.’ The compilation begins with two tracks from The Castiles, featuring a teenage Springsteen on guitar and vocals, and ends with the title track from 2012’s ‘Wrecking Ball.’ The collected songs trace Springsteen’s musical history from its earliest days, telling a story that parallels the one in the book. 2LP – Double LP Set

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The Big Moon – Silent Movie Susie
Limited 7″ vinyl. It has been an exciting introductory year for Juliette, Fern, Soph and Celia of The Big Moon. Making riotous guitars and stadium-ready choruses look like the most effortless thing on earth, The Big Moon are creating no shortage of buzz. With each new release, they continue to reach brand new heights. ‘Silent Movie Susie’ is their most obvious pop nugget – it oozes summer fun, style and a big hook of a chorus. Think a mix of the Pretenders and Elastica.

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Warpaint -Heads Up

Warpaint are back with their third album! ‘Heads Up’ was recorded after Warpaint spent 2015 apart working on solo projects, including Jennylee’s recently released album ‘Right On!’. Emily, Theresa, Jenny and Stella then reunited in January this year with producer Jacob Bercovici, with whom they had worked on their much loved debut EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’. ‘Heads Up’ was recorded at House on The Hill studio in downtown LA, their home studios and Papap’s Palace.2LP – Double Black Vinyl with Download.LP+ Limited Pink and Black Vinyl with Download.

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Billie Marten – Writing of Blues and Yellows
Titled ‘Writing of Blues and Yellows’, the 17 year old’s first full-length is released via Chess Club / RCA. The songs on ‘Writing of Blues and Yellows’ are as remarkable for their beguiling beauty as for the age of their singer. All are at once intimate and airy, like secrets blown in on a breeze. All have enchanting lyrics that linger long after they have left Billie’s lips. All showcase a voice so perfectly pure it sounds almost otherworldly. The painted cover art sets the tone for the Brit’s collection of whimsical, timeless tunes with its faded, vintage look. Like Billie’s music, it couldn’t be less on-trend or modern. Which is why it stands out. The teenager’s recent releases make the cut as well as new single ‘Lionhearted’ and a couple of old favourites (‘Bird’ and ‘Heavy Weather’). For fans of Laura Marling, Joanne Newsom and Kate Bush.
CD – 13 Track Standard CD.
CD+ – 18 Track Deluxe CD featuring extra demos, alt versions and more.

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LVL UP – Return to Love
‘Hidden Driver,’ the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut ‘Return to Love’, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths, and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration, and introducing a band that is always pushing further. LVL UP was formed in 2011 at SUNY Purchase as a recording project between Caridi, Benton, and their friend Ben Smith, with the original intention of releasing a split cassette with Corbo’s then-solo material. They instead released that album, Space Brothers, as one band, and Rutkin joined shortly afterwards for the group’s first show. Smith left the band for personal reasons just before the release of second album Hoodwink’d, a joint release on Caridi and Benton’s label Double Double Whammy and Exploding in Sound. DDW also put out records from other artists in the tight-knit community that launched the band.

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Fleetwood Mac – Mirage
Fleetwood Mac’s streak of five consecutive multi-platinum albums began in the Seventies and continued in 1982 with ‘Mirage’, the follow-up to the band’s 1979 double-album, ‘Tusk’. During the summer of 1982, ‘Mirage’ topped the album chart and added to the band’s already impressive canon of hits with ‘Hold Me,’ ‘Love In Store’ and ‘Gypsy’. Following last year’s deluxe edition of ‘Tusk’, Fleetwood Mac continues chronologically with the deluxe edition of ‘Mirage’. This new edition expands on the original album with newly remastered sound, a selection of rare and unreleased recordings, as well as the stories and pictures behind the album.CD – 12 Track Remastered.2CD – Double CD in Digipack with an extra 19 Track CD of B-Sides, Outtakes and Sessions.Heavy – Three CDs, DVD and LP. Original album remastered, plus b-sides and rarities; the original album on LP; live performances; and a 5.1 mix on DVD.

The Big Moon

“This all feels a bit like therapy but a lot less private as it will be going on the Internet.” Juliette Jackson confesses. Through the maze of tunnels that is the backstage area of the Brighton Dome and Corn Exchange, past the numerous Grime crews and frantic tour managers, The Big Moon sit in their tiny dressing room looking cool as cucumbers. The all-female indie four-piece from London are storming onto the scene in some fashion. The hype behind the band is rapidly growing and there is good reason for that. They are yet to release an album but recent single ‘Cupid’ is huge. It’s had plenty of airplay on various radio stations, a vinyl release and is one of the best songs you’ll hear this year.

“Before I was doing this I was a waitress” Juliette explains, “its what I’d been doing forever so even the bad days are so much better then serving people burgers and chips.” The band life is something she is clearly relishing. You can hear it in the music and feel it when they play live. The Big Moon simply love making music. As well as their music being incredible as a live act there are few acts without an album and years of experience, which can top them. They’re the sort of support act that out shines whoever the headline act is. They are going to go far.

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Juliette Jackson’s ever brazen croon is at the forefront of this pop tinged banger from The Big Moon; ‘Silent Movie Susie’. The track has been a long-time favourite of fans who dance their night away waiting for the climatic aforementioned song. Released on vinyl on 25th September via Fiction Records, it’ll be one for the collection in no time at all. The Big Moon are going to be collectible soon enough.

The track hints at what The Big Moon do best; a range of grunge, pop and indie to whet the appetite of even the stuffiest shirt for the upcoming debut LP. ‘Silent Movie Susie’ adds harmonies and a knowing bounce to an otherwise impressive live set where the band really show off the energy embedded in their songs.

To catch a glimpse of this set then take a look at the huge number of dates over the festival period

Music video by The Big Moon performing Silent Movie Susie. (C) 2016 Fiction Records, a division of Universal Music

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.

The Big Moon are a wonderful melting pot of contradictions; they’ve got something of the rock n’ roll simplicity of Palma Violets but with a heartfelt streak and lyrics often riddled with millennial doubts. Their latest single ‘Cupid’ – due for release next week – is a strong contender for their best material yet, a purer distillation of everything that made The Big Moon a band worth taking notice of when Eureka Moment was made public.

‘Cupid’ strides through the gentle, noodling guitar intro and frontwoman Juliette Jackson’s distinctive London accented vocals assuring that she’s “gonna get this perfectly right”, to a thicker sound in the second verse via a few big Palmas-style crashes of sound. Here they’ve nailed the stop/start, quiet/loud blend that characterises indie rock but is often so poorly done; here it’s not simply a case of ticking a tired genre box, it propels Cupid forward and stops the song stagnating. Jackson’s songwriting ability is equally interesting, spasming between allusions to the namesake cupid, broader observations and ambiguous changes of speaker. One voice urges “baby take my wallet, my round” and promises to “make the earth shake tonight” and another concludes that it’s “time to turn and run from romance”, without it ever being clear who is who.

They’re raucous when needs be and reflective when required, but whether they’re thrashing out chords or singing endearing, lovestruck one liners, The Big Moon always get it right.

Music video by The Big Moon performing Cupid. (C) 2016 Fiction Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited.

 

The BIG MOON – ” The Road “

Posted: December 31, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: ,

The Big Moon: Formally The Moon, The Big Moon's name-change came just at the right time. Their sweet and sour songwriting and wired instrumentals throwback to Runaways style rebellion but with a distinctly London bite.

The Big Moon

Expect to be eclipsed by The Big Moon in 2016! These four garage rockers from London have played tonnes of gigs all over the country, travelled Stateside, and supported beloved alt rockers The Vaccines – all this before releasing a debut album.

It’s not just their effortlessly cool sound that keeps fans coming back. The band have a string of rad music videos that accompany their singles, and a laid-back, approachable attitude which spreads from stage to smoking-area post show.This cracking combination of attributes makes The Big Moon one of the most likeable bands on the circuit right now. They’re due to support The Maccabees in 2016, so try and squeeze into one of their gigs before the demand to see them escalates further!