Posts Tagged ‘This weeks Essential Releases’

CAR SEAT HEADREST – TEENS OF DENIAL
‘Teens of Denial’ is the thirteenth album in Car Seat Headrest’s (aka 23-year-old Will Toledo) oeuvre, second on Matador, and first to be recorded in a proper studio with a full band and producer (Steve Fisk). On Denial, Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic-rock grandeur and huge (if detailed and personal) narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor. By turns tender and caustic, empathetic and solipsistic, literary and vernacular, profound and profane, self-loathing and self-aggrandizing, he conjures a specifically 21st century mindset, a product of information overload, the loneliness it can foster, and the escape music can provide. At the heart of the album sits the 11:32 ‘Ballad of the Costa Concordia,’ which has more musical ideas than most whole albums (and at that length, it uses them all). Horns, keyboards, and elegant instrumental interludes set off art-garage moments; vivid vocal harmonies follow punk frenzy. The selfish captain of the capsized cruise liner in the Mediterranean in 2013 becomes a metaphor for struggles of the individual in society, as experienced by one hungover young man on the verge of adulthood.
2LP – Double Vinyl with Download.

ARIEL PINK / R STEVIE MOORE – KU KLUX GLAM

Psych-pop masterpiece from two of the best to ever do it. Los Angeles native and weirdo-pop enthusiast Ariel Pink joins forces with lo-fi pop pioneer R. Stevie Moore in a crazy freak-out extravaganza. Back in 2012, two leaders of the modern psych scene colluded together in making a 60+ track album. Here, we have the definitive collection of songs from ‘Ku Klux Glam’. Re-mastered and compiled by R. Stevie Moore, this is a presentation of this record in it’s clearest form.

BELLY –  STAR

The 1993 classic album reissued on limited Gatefold Double White Marbled vinyl with CD Version. Following her inestimable contributions as a founding member of both Throwing Muses and The Breeders, Tanya Donelly took centre stage to form Belly with brothers Tom and Chris Gorman on guitars and drums respectively and Fred Abong on bass. Around the release of their debut album ‘Star’ in 1993, Fred left the band and was replaced by Gail Greenwood. Among a wave of essential new American guitar acts in the early-90s, it was Belly’s spikey dreampop that helped set them apart. Catching fire with singles ‘Feed The Tree’ and ‘Gepetto’, ‘Star’ saw them grab their moment and catapulted them in to the mainstream, selling almost two million copies worldwide and earning them two Grammy nominations. A second album followed in 1995, ‘King’, before they called it quits a year later. Coming with updated artwork from Chris Gorman and package design from Chris Bigg, the new version is now spread across two LPs, pressed on white marbled vinyl and presented in a gatefold sleeve. It also includes a bonus CD of the album.

BEAR’S DEN –  RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN

‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales with the band’s long term producer Ian Grimble, in sessions following a six week European and UK tour that had culminated in an ecstatically received sold-out show at The Roundhouse last October. Inspired by – among other things – the paintings of Edward Hopper, the novels of Raymond Carver and film director Robert Altman’s Short Cuts – ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ is both erudite and intensely personal, defying trends and easy labelling. Musically, it also sees a startling progression. Because while the band’s folk roots are still evident, they now come cloaked in the lush alchemy of ’70’s and ’80’s FM rock: Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and in particular, the nocturnal ambience of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’. More contemporary influence, meanwhile, comes from artists including The National and Sufjan Stevens. Brutally honest, brilliantly realised and spiritually uplifting, ‘Red Earth and Pouring Rain’ is a masterful album from a band confident enough leave their past in the rear view mirror.
CD – Digi sleeve on reverse board.
LP – Reverse board standard sleeve with printed inner.

THE CULT OF DOM KELLER – GOODBYE TO THE LIGHT

The Cult Of Dom Keller – a four-piece from the Midlands – make the kind of experimental goth- tinged psych that, has thus far, eluded 2016. Fans of Swans and The Icarus Line will find plenty to entertain them here – this is a band unafraid to take risks. The thing that first impresses on hearing The Cult Of Dom Keller is the sheer scale of their intentions. Speaking of first single ‘Broken Arm Of God,’ the band said “we wanted it to sound like a volcano giving birth to an atomic bomb. It has bass and baritone guitar that killed 3 guitar amps in one afternoon, then a studio preamp. It’s probably costing us a fortune in damages and repairs. The result was exactly what we wanted though” This band can make a lot of noise. To focus on that however would be to negate what makes this band truly beguiling: nuance. Take ‘Deepest Pit Of Emptiness’ for example – its prog leanings combined with a decidedly English vocal delivery are as distinctive and profound as anything released this year. The Cult Of Dom Keller have pushed themselves sonically on this album, it’s by far their most experimental release to date. It’s also an album rooted in darkness. “The new album deals with the theme of uncertainty, and put more simply – the end.” That theme resonates throughout the entire album. Fans of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will be enamoured, but play to it a Sisters Of Mercy fan and watch their reaction: there is a new contender for the throne.
LP – Limited Coloured vinyl album.

JOSIENNE CLARKE AND BEN WALKER – THROUGH THE CLOUDS

British duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have risen to star status lately on the English acoustic scene, earning last year’s Best Duo award from the BBC Folk Awards and across-the- board praise for two self-released albums, most recently ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’, with its lush single ‘Silverline’. Clarke and Walker release a new EP, ‘Through The Clouds,’ via Rough Trade, featuring a handful of the best tracks from their small catalogue, rearranged anew. ‘Through The Clouds’ is meant as an introduction to the duo; in addition to ‘Silverline’ it features a new, stripped-down version of ‘Done’ (ballads on opposite sides of love and loneliness), an alternate mix of the spooky Shirley Collins cover ‘Hares On The Mountain’ and the original album version of ‘The Tangled Tree’, a brilliant showcase of Clarke’s vocal range and expression. While The Guardian anointed them “chamber folk” (they certainly cut their teeth in that thriving part of the UK music scene), Clarke is an unusually compelling singer, sharing more in common with Sandy Denny, Gillian Welch, or even Nina Nastasia and Laura Marling, than your usual staid folk artist. Walker is a prodigiously talented guitarist and arranger and the two of them are engaging and often funny in a live setting where, in addition to their own songs, they choose covers brilliantly, from Denny, to Jackson C Frank, to Nina Simone, to death-obsessed traditional ballads. Clarke and Walker will be recording their Rough Trade debut album for an Autumn 2016 release, with an eye toward bringing bigger, more modern arrangements and production to their beautifully-wrought songs and Clarke’s tremendous voice.

AGNES OBEL  –  CITIZEN OF GLASS

‘Citizen Of Glass’ is the new album from Agnes Obel, released on Play It Again Sam. ‘Citizen Of Glass’ is the follow-up to Obel’s UK breakthrough album ‘Aventine’ and was recorded, produced and mixed by Obel at Aventine-Neukolln and BrandNewMusic-Studios in Berlin.
CD – With lyric booklet
LP – 180 Gram black vinyl LP with download code and housed in a Gatefold sleeve.

THE AMAZING  –  AMBULANCE

‘Ambulance’ sees The Amazing continue their journey to a place where music is free of restrictions. Despite reflecting Chris Gunrup’s often bleak worldview, the music is expansive and beautiful, marked by playing that’s as much free jazz as rock – pure music without any showiness. The songs unfold slowly, without a traditional verse / chorus structure, spinning gauzy webs of shimmering mystery with their own inimitable dynamic of sinuous, swirling guitars; rich, ambient basslines; crisp percussion and restrained, church-like, keyboard textures. The stately tempos suggest a room full of shadows desperately reaching out for intimacy but never quite making the connection. The songs brim over with tension and more implied release than actual relief. Gunrup is known for his reluctance to talk about his process and prefers to let the music speak for itself and if 2015’s ‘Picture You’ was brighter, exploding outward to explore the limits of experience, ‘Ambulance’ is much more intimate. The mix denser and darker, the instruments pressing closer, crowding each other, imploding inward to reconnoitre the uncharted distances that exist between us, even in life’s most intimate moments. Sharing members with Sweden’s psych forefathers Dungen, the album delves into the hidden recesses of the heart, finding inner space to be just as expansive as the midnight sky. It was recorded in just a few days in one tiny room at Stockhom’s Buller and Bang studio.
LP – With Download.

THE FIREWORKS  –  BLACK AND BLUE EP

Limited to 300 Copies. Shelflife is proud to bring you the Limited Blue vinyl 10″ ‘Black and Blue EP’, the first release by London and Brighton-based group The Fireworks since their debut LP, 2015’s ‘Switch Me On’. Following a handful of fantastic 7″ singles and a self-titled EP, the quartet exceeded already high expectations on their debut album. ‘Switch Me On’s 13 tracks soar by in a blur of warm, fuzzed-out feedback, infectious hooks and pure unadulterated energy.  Fans old and new of The Fireworks will not be let down by their new ‘Black and Blue EP’. The release may only be four tracks long, but you’ll be needing to take a breather after it’s done. These songs mark the most rocking we’ve heard The Fireworks thus far, while still keeping the catchy melodies and pop sensibility we’ve come to expect from them. The driving opener ‘All the Time’ is an instant favourite, and the dynamic track tells listeners right off the bat that this is no mellow, passive listen. ‘The Ghost Of You‘ features jangly guitar work and fantastic dual vocals from Matthew Rimell and Emma Hall, making the track a shimmering pop gem. Of course, the distortion that smattered ‘Switch Me On’ is still present, and tracks like ‘Bury Me’ will have you jumping around in a fit of uncontrollable vigor (perhaps why they chose to name this the ‘Black and Blue EP’). The band touches down on all bases on this new release, making it an essential listen whether or not you’ve been a fan in the past. For fans of: Razorcuts, Buzzcocks, Girls At Our Best!, Revolving Paint Dream, The Shop Assistants, Meat Whiplash, Bubblegum Splash. Vinyl with Download.
Image of Faun Fables - Born Of The Sun

Faun Fables are back with ‘Born Of The Sun’. Since 1998, Faun Fables has been the musical world of Dawn McCarthy, visited in collaboration with her partner Nils Frykdhal. In early times, their wild spirit roamed the streets and hills of the SF / Oakland community while, pilgrim-like, wandering the world and issuing two albums of deeply-rooted, swirlingly other folk music in 1999 and 2001. With the release of ‘Family Album’ in 2004, Drag City got involved and ‘The Transit Rider’ (2006), ‘A Table Forgotten’ (2008) and ‘Light Of A Vaster Dark’ (2010) followed. Now, suddenly, it’s 2016. Six years have passed since ‘Light Of A Vaster Dark’ appeared. Life has happened, in the form of three children born to Dawn and Nils.

Anyone who has spent time in the thrall of Faun Fables’ bewitching sound knows that this was the dream; beyond Dawn’s passion for song, dance, theatre and all manner of folklore (plus a regular regimen of yodelling), the mythic shadows of home and hearth, friends and family, have infused all of their expressions. Now, raising the family that was once only dreamed about makes for an earthier and more expansive Faun Fables album, informed by the slow and sudden progress of time that occurs when we are with the very young.

‘Born Of The Sun’ is in itself another birthing, the songs gestating over several years, then recorded mostly in concentrated periods over the past two winters. On previous albums, the passions of Faun Fables seemed to be laid firmly on the stones of the Old World. The minstrels who cavorted across the cover of ‘Mother Twilight’ seemed out of another, hard-to-place time. ‘Born Of The Sun’ continues on in this exalted tradition but also reflects the rhythms of family living, where each day is a new and irreversible step forward through the necessarily scorched earth of raising children.

Where ‘Family Album’ and ‘A Table Forgotten’ looked yearningly through time at the spiritual natures of communal living, ‘Born Of The Sun’ is forged in the crucible of now and, as such, has a feeling apart from the previous days of Faun Fables.

Dawn and Nils and the kids (whose vocals on ‘Wild Kids Rant’ suggest they are following their parents’ path into the forest) are embracing the phenomena of creation as they move inexorably forward. ‘Born Of The Sun’ is the bountiful and exuberant album of this place and time – an old, candlelit world of arcane beliefs in our brightly-lit world, growing ever more profound in the light of perpetual discovery that bathes all of Faun Fables’ songs.

An enchanting and often beguiling mix of traditional medieval folk and swirling Californian psychedelic sounds. Progressive but coherent chord changes and textures develop as time goes on, building and morphing into a cacophony of instrumental depth and vocal intensity. Fascinating and thoroughly skilled instrumentation and (in places) frightening heart-wrenchingly poignant lyricism. A Journey not to be missed.

BEACH SLANG –  A LOUD BASH OF TEENAGE FEELINGS

Beach Slang’s second full-length is a crash-and-thunder collection of songs about what it takes to keep yourself going, to make it through the rest of the night – hell, through the rest of your youth – and beyond. Frontman James Alex wrote much of ‘A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings’ on their first album’s support tour, during which he spent a lot of time with the kids who’d picked up the record. “A lot of the songs [on Loud Bash] are the stories of the kids who got turned on to Beach Slang by the first album,” says Alex. “They’re autobiographical, too, but kind of at a remove – I’m not that young kid anymore, but I used to be. You know how it is; rock and roll is a new crop of 15-year-olds picking up guitars every year and having at it. There was something really cool about documenting someone elses life, but seeing myself in it. I suppose that’s why we connect. We’re all kind of one big gang.” LP – Black Vinyl. LP+ – Limited Clear with Blue Splatter Vinyl.

BEACH HOUSE – ZEBRA
“Zebra” was Beach House’s follow up EP to the highly acclaimed breakthrough album “Teen Dream” which was centered around that album’s lead-off cut.

DIIV  –  IS THE IS ARE

“There are plenty of bands that have served as their own worst enemies. DIIV had all the makings of a band banging on the door to stardom—hooks for days, a distinctive aesthetic in a crowded field, an edgy frontman who has acquired his own mythos. So the wait between their debut and sophomore efforts was an unwelcome wrinkle. After curating one of the finer entries into the Captured Tracks discography, the Brooklyn genre-melders hit a few snags, most notably Zachary Cole Smith’s arrest in late 2013 and drummer Colby Hewitt’s departure due to drug addiction. It all made a one-and-done affair seem like a real possibility. Is The Is Are’s opening line captures this sentiment perfectly: ‘You’re out of sight/And out of mind.’ DIIV were essentially off the grid for three years, more than enough time to be supplanted by a new rival. But rather than a distraction, the tabloid drama surrounding the band became the fodder for their new album. Is The Is Are takes everything that DIIV did well on Oshin, deepens it, broadens it, fiddles with more permutations, and does it all to excess.

2LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 500 Copies on White marble Coloured Vinyl. LP One with red swirls and LP two with Pink Swirls. This is a different Colour to the US Version. Plus Two 12’x12″ – 12 page Lyric / Art Books.

ULRIKA SPACEK – THE ALBUM PARANOIA

Ulrika Spacek is a British experimental rock band formed in Berlin by Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, relocated to Homerton, London. Work on debut album ‘The Album Paranoia’ began in the summer of 2014 in the band’s shared house KEN, and was finished there last month. In conjunction to the making of ‘The Album Paranoia’, the band has curated a number of nights under the name ‘Oysterland’ combining their first live performances with a series of exhibitions. The band’s music has drawn various interpretations, a cross pollination of hypnotic fuzz, Verlain-Malkmus guitar idiosyncrasies and intertwining feelings of both angst and melancholia. For fans of Mercury Rev, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Limited White Vinyl with Download.

PALEHOUND –  MOLLY

Debut UK release on Heavenly Recordings from Boston’s Palehound – the vehicle for Ellen Kempner who on ‘Molly’ shows her inimitable songwriting skills while playing it a bit fast and loose with hooks. ‘Molly’ features the same kind of seasick, pointed instrumentals of a
 song, and the caustic lyricism to match. Limited 7″ only.

THE PARROTS  –  I DID SOMETHING WRONG

The Parrots are an unstoppable garage-surf party-machine. They have been causing a stir in the scene in recent months with their bewildering shows and their already sold out ‘Weed For The Parrots’ EP (out last June on Luv Luv Luv Records and on Burger Records in the US), and after the sweaty success of their London multi-venue residency at The Shacklewell Arms, The Waiting Room and The Lock Tavern at the start of the summer (all packed in the same week, with a memorable stage invasion at The Shacklewell), The venue issue the Spanish trio on a very limited, exclusive 7″ single that also marks the launch of Shacklewell Records, a newborn imprint linked to the Dalston venue and its pop-up record shop, Black Wax. This 7″ features two early demos that are among the most celebrated tracks in their live shows – ‘I Did Something Wrong’ (with more than 90,000 plays on YouTube yet still unavailable physically) and drunken show-closing chant ‘Somebody To Love’.

Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
“Philly’s Dr. Dog made their first record, The Psychedelic Swamp, in 2000 but never officially released it. Sure, there’ve been bootlegs, and any long-time Dr. Dog diehard can list the LP’s songs — but the collection never got a chance to really shine. Now 15 years later, the album has gotten a complete makeover. The strange thing is not that the band is returning to the first thing they ever created together, but that returning was their intention all the while. ‘The concept behind it is that we were always going to redo it and make it super-accessible pop, which was built into the concept of The Psychedelic Swamp. Part of the original record that is so unlistenable is that,” he pauses to laugh, ‘it was trapped in a psychedelic swamp.’” – Charleston City Paper

GAME THEORY –  LOLITA NATION

When Game Theory emerged with their fourth full-length release in 1987, there was not only a new line-up of the band, but it took two LPs to capture all of the magic. Once again produced by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Let’s Active), ‘Lolita Nation’ was the culmination of all that had come before, and pushed the boundaries farther than they had ever gone. ‘Lolita Nation’ became their most critically acclaimed work – grabbing a Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) nomination for Outstanding Independent Label Album in 1988. Revered for decades, and – sadly – out of print for many. As Omnivore Recordings continues to reintroduce this seminal band to the masses, ‘Lolita Nation’ now requires a second CD to collect alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions. The original’s 27 tracks are joined by 21 bonus performances! In addition to the highly sought after 8 minute version of ‘Chardonnay’ and alternate mixes of other album tracks, the bonus material features covers of David Bowie, The Modern Lovers, Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, The Stooges, Joy Division, The Hollies, and Public Image Ltd. classics. Truly as eclectic and all-encompassing as ‘Lolita Nation’ itself, and just as revolutionary. All formats feature new liner notes from Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, interviews with the band and original album contributors and previously unseen photos. As the world reawakens to the incredible Game Theory, it is truly a new time and a new day. It’s time to return to ‘Lolita Nation’ – if even for your first visit!
This expanded reissue of Game Theory’s ambitious fourth album adds a disc of alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions – 48 tracks total. “Game Theory leader Scott Miller has never made much of a secret of his fondness for Big Star, but while Real Nighttime favored the sound of #1 Record and The Big Shot Chronicles suggested the harder-edged tone of Radio City, Lolita Nation sounded like Game Theory’s variation on the themes of Big Star’s masterfully damaged swan song, Third/Sister Lovers. Certainly Game Theory’s most ambitious album, Lolita Nation was a two-LP set that combined some of Miller’s most user-friendly power pop with dark, moody ruminations on betrayal, failed love, and mortality, bursts of avant-garde noise, and fragments of unclassifiable studio doodling, all thrown into a sonic Cuisinart through Miller’s aggressive use of aural montage.”
2CD – Double CD Set with 21 bonus tracks.
2LP – Double LP on Green colored vinyl for first press with download card for entire CD program.

G.L.O.S.S.  –  DEMO 2015

Without a doubt, one of the most hyped punk groups of recent years, G.L.O.S.S. are different in that they deserve the column inches 10 times over.
With an acronym translating as Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit, the four piece from Olympia took the punk and hardcore world’s by storm in early 2015 with their demo of blistering, stomping, meaty and breathtaking hardcore. Sounding not unlike Japanese hardcore pioneers Bastard mixed with prime Tragedy and even some wilder Italian influences, G.L.O.S.S. approach the punk status quo from the role of self-declared outsiders. Helmed by the immensely powerful vocals of Sadie Switchblade, the politically and hyper-aware lyrical content of the group set them apart from the staid pre-occupation of a predominantly macho and male hardcore scene. It’s a testament the group’s power and compositional prowess that, on the opening spoken-raged-word intro to their first wax statement, you can’t help feeling enraged, pumped up and ready to destroy two thousand years of patriarchal culture before the first minute is out no matter your angle or political persuasion. We’ve been waiting for this for so long it already feels like the 7″ of the year.

PORCHES  –  POOL

‘Porches’ debut full-length for Domino and a major step forward for frontman Aaron Maine – as an evolving singer / songwriter, and as a nascent producer. Written and recorded almost entirely in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his partner and frequent collaborator, Greta Kline a.k.a Frankie Cosmos, ‘Pool’ is an elegantly drawn set of gorgeous synth-driven pop songs, and an expansive re-articulation of the melancholy we’ve come to expect from him; from the pristine harmonies of ‘Hour’ to the undulating R&B of ‘Underwater’ to the Auto-tuned majesty of the title track. “I feel like I naturally gravitate towards the more melancholic experiences in life,” he says, “but this time around I tried to dissect those moments and somehow extract what was so beautiful about them.” The result – recorded twice, and eventually mixed by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Tobias Jesso Jr.) in his Los Angeles studio – is a sophisticated and fully immersive listening experience, with Maine’s voice at its center. “I want people to feel dark, beautiful and strong when they hear this new record,” he adds, “I want them to fall in love.”​Pool marks a major step forward for Porches frontman Aaron Maine—as an evolving singer/songwriter, and as a nascent producer
LP – Heavyweight Black vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.
LP+ – Heavyweight Clear vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, limited to 750, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.

SUNFLOWER BEAN  – HUMAN CEREMONY

As a band, Sunflower Bean have grown exceptionally fast. On the heels of strong live shows around their Brooklyn hometown and festivals like CMJ, the three-piece dropped an EP earlier this year. Since then, they’ve nailed down tours with the likes of Wolf Alice, DIIV, Best Coast, and others, leading to a staggering 100 performances in the span of just one year. That’s a lot for a fresh outfit. Recorded in just seven days, Human Ceremony sees them refining their psych rock ways into something with a bit more of a fuzzy pop edge, with a press release referencing influences like The Cure, The Velvet Underground, and The Feelies.”

Rough Trade exclusive with a Bonus 4 Track CD featuring covers of Neil Young, T-Rex, Jonathan Richman and Spiritualized. New York City’s Sunflower Bean release their full-length debut album, ‘Human Ceremony‘ via Fat Possum Records and it’s a joyous pop nugget from start to finish. The 11 tracks are urgent, flowing and demand repeated listens. It emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelia and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. On ‘I Was Home’ and ‘Wall Watcher’ the riffs rage, whilst on ‘Creation Myth’ they sound like a sugar sweet 80’s Indie Pop band with delicate female vocals. Seriously, this is everything and more, we could have expected from the debut Sunflower Bean album. For fans of Early 90’s Creation Records, Tame Impala and Veronica Falls.
LP+ – Rough Trade Exclusive. 500 Copies Only on Coke Clear Coloured vinyl with Download.
LP – Indie Shops Red Coloured Vinyl with Download.
LP+MP3 – Black Vinyl with Download.

TELEGRAM  –  OPERATOR

Limited Copies on all formats come with a bonus CD featuring four extra new tracks. London four piece Telegram release their eagerly awaited debut album on Gram Gram. ‘Operator’, Recorded in London with Rory Atwell, features twelve tracks including the forthcoming single ‘Taffy Come Home’, and a new version the band’s long deleted seven-inch debut release ‘Follow’ from October 2013. A stunning set of songs, the album will more than confirm Telegram’s early promise as one of the most exciting bands around right now. Formed just over two years ago, the Telegram line up of Matt Saunders (vocals / guitar), Oli Paget-Moon (bass) and Jordan Cook (drums) have recently recruited new guitarist Pip Stakem to the fold. Effortlessly combining a love of Roxy Music, Syd Barrett, krautrock and late proto-punk to great effect, they’ve built up an ever growing fanbase of critics and public alike with extensive touring and a clutch of fantastic and much sought after seven inch singles, ‘Follow’, Regatta’, ‘Inside Outside; and most recently ‘Aeons’.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Black Vinyl.
LP+ – Limited edition coloured vinyl.

I DON’T CARES (WESTERBERG AND HATFIELD) –  WILD STAB

Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield are the I Don’t Cares and they don’t care.The I Don’t Cares is Westerberg’s first new music since The Replacements disbanded earlier this year – for the second time.Back in a May 2014 feature for Paste magazine, Juliana Hatfield admitted to only ever writing three fan letters to other musicians: One to the band X, one to Elliott Smith, and the first, when she was a teenager, to Paul Westerberg.
Now Hatfield and the Replacements’ singer/guitarist have apparently formed a new group, called the I Don’t Cares, and they released their first song, a jangly guitar-rock nugget called “1 / 2 2 P, at the end of 2015.The song is to be included on the I Don’t Cares’ debut album, titled Wild Stab, out on Dry Wood Music. At the very least, the album is a victory for the lost art of fan-letter writing!

THE PRETTIOTS  – FUN’S COOL

NYC’s The Prettiots (Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Prat) release their debut album, ‘Fun’s Cool’ via Rough Trade. Packed with catchy melodies, memorable hooks and heart on the sleeve lyrics, ‘Fun’s Cool’ acts as a thoughtful, funny, and catchy-as-hell state of the union address from young women living in a big city and watching life unfurl in fits and starts before them. They’ve got a playful aesthetic and a sweet pop sound, but their observations are scalpel-sharp, and the emotional gut-punch their music packs is real. For Kay (vocals and uke) and Lulu (bass), simple instrumentation and no-frills vocals aren’t useful because they’re easy or cute.

FIELD MUSIC –  COMMONTIME

‘Commontime’ is the first album of new songs from North East siblings Peter and David Brewis since ‘Plumb’ in 2012 and their fifth album ‘proper’ since their debut in 2005. After four years threading a way through one extra-curricular project after another, the space that Field Music vacated still appears to be empty and Field Music-shaped. No one else really does what Field Music do; the interweaving vocals, the rhythmic gear changes, the slightly off-chords, but with the sensibility that keeps them within touching distance of pop music. All this is present again but things are different this time. Where ‘Plumb’ was an album of vignettes and segues, ‘Commontime’ edges towards what people might call “proper songs”. Field Music have never shown off their unashamed love of choruses quite like they do on this record.  Lyrically, Peter and David continue to mine that inexhaustible seam wondering how on earth we ended up here, in this situation, as these people. Over fourteen songs, conversations are replayed and friendships are left to drift. And all the while, that thing you were trying to remember has changed while your head was turned.
2LP – Black Double Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Neon Orange 180 Gram Double Vinyl with Download.

Love Supreme & <b>Rough</b> <b>Trade</b> - News - Love Supreme - Love Supreme

Image of Daughter - Not To Disappear

Daughter  –   ” If You Leave “

Nearly three years after the release of their debut ‘If You Leave’, Daughter – the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella – will return in 2016 with a new album, entitled ‘Not To Disappear’.

Not To Disappear’ is Daughter’s second album and finds the band making confident strides forward both sonically and lyrically. Elena, Igor and Remi spent a summer in New York recording ‘Not To Disappear’ with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective) at his Rare Book Room studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Image of Fat White Family - Whitest Boy On The Beach

The Fat White Family  –   “Whitest Boy On The Beach”  

The Fat White Family announce details of ‘Whitest Boy On The Beach’, the first track from their forthcoming second album.

The single is released on the band’s own Without Consent label.

The track is accompanied by a video shot at Beachy Head and directed by the acclaimed artist Tim Noble.

The band release their second album, ‘Songs For Our Mothers’, early 2016. It follows their hugely acclaimed debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’, released in 2013.

Image of Mystery Jets - Curve Of The Earth

The Mystery Jets  –

Of all the acts that sprang into life in The Libertines’ Fagin-like wake, Mystery Jets were always the hardest to pin down. A Syd Barrett-enthralled troupe fashioning delightfully skewed, potting shed psychedelia out of playful wonky pop and unashamedly proggy flourishes from their Thameside hideout of Eel Pie, the South London island that played midwife to the British R&B boom in the early ’60s.On Curve Of The Earth, Mystery Jets have changed tack again, only this time it’s been to strip back some of their more shapeshifting tendencies and distil the essence of what makes them such a great band. Arguably their strongest, most personal and most coherent set of tracks to date, it highlights what the kids down the front of their shows shouting “Zoo Time!” have known all along, that at their centre Mystery Jets simply write amazing songs.

 

Image of Sauna Youth - The Bridge

Sauna Youth are an evolving band of future humans making truly irregular punk, not quite comparable to anything else. ‘Weird’ is a meaningless platitude, and ‘art punk’ is a classifier that shouldn’t be required. This last year has been an amazing time for the band, seeing them release their widely applauded ‘Distractions’ album, a split record with their sister band Monotony, embarking on several tours, radio sessions and even appearing on Marc Riley’s ‘All Shook Up’ TV show for BBC iPlayer.

To celebrate all of this Sauna Youth have decided 2015 has just enough room left in it for one more 7” and video. ‘The Bridge’ is taken from their album and accompanied with an exclusive brand new song called Blurry Images’ on the flipside.

Beginning and ending in squalling feedback ‘The Bridge’ is the song that rings longest in your head when listening to ‘Distractions’, it’s full of the desire to set yourself apart, to connect and hold fast. “I am the source of the overflow, a torn neck, an effervescent glow, I am the route to the heart of it” sing Ecke and Boon in everyman unison. It’s keen and brisk, tireless and smart as a whip. ‘Blurry Images’ prefers to jog on the spot, its drumbeat and bassline pinned down by throbbing keyboard jabs. “Ancient warning, or invitation, what’s it look like to you?” question the vocals, drawing the song into focus before upping the contrast. It’s a tour de force and a fitting home for one of the most unhinged guitar solos the band have committed to tape so far.

Image of Sheer Mag - I/II CD

Sheer Mag

Limited CD containing Sheer Mag’s first two EPs (originally released on Wilsuns Recording Company in the USA and Static Shock in UK/Europe) to coincide with the bands first European tour. Eight tracks in twenty seven minutes. In 2014, Sheer Mag seemingly came out of nowhere with possibly Static Shock’s favourite release of the year. They are the only band of recent times that manages to sound like a mix of a classic Seventies rock record, power pop and an obscure English DIY 7″ from the late 70’s.

Everything sounds scrappy, fuzzy and scuzzy and it’s all the better for it. The riff packed guitar work and fuzzed female vocals sit perfectly together whilst the crude rhythms just adds bounce and basic beats. Think a mix of the power pop delight of Protex, the lo-fi nature of The Seize, the riffs of Thin Lizzy and the powerful female vocal of Suzi Quatro. The CD comes in a reverse board digipack and with a double sided lyric insert.

MONEY –  Suicide Songs

In 2013, Money released their acclaimed debut album ‘The Shadow Of Heaven‘, following only a handful of concerts that felt more like communions in out-of-the-way venues, advertised only by word-of-mouth. The record sounded similarly crafted – all haunted melody and atmosphere, invested with an unusually ambitious and uncompromising lyrical zeal. This was a band that invested as much in what they meant as how they sounded. Two years on, the new Money album, ‘Suicide Songs’, takes you deeper into their sound and vision. It feels more advanced and yet simpler, more perfected and yet more open. It is, by turns, a tender, barren, cavernous, smouldering, despairing and inspirational piece of work. It’s a long day’s journey into night, but it pays huge dividends when you arrive, drawing you in and casting a spell that won’t let go. The album finds the band gelling as never before, framing Jamie’s poetic vision with an intuitive grasp of the album’s dignified and despairing themes. There are strings and brass, gospel-style backing vocals, and the (Indian stringed) dilruba on the opening ‘I Am The Lord’. This collectively adds more divine dimensions to the band’s sound, embellishments that Money didn’t have the confidence to try out on their debut.
LP – With Download.

VARIOUS ARTISTS –  STILL IN A DREAM – A STORY OF SHOEGAZE 1988 – 1995

‘Shoegaze’ was a term invented circa 1990 to describe a new breed on UK Indie guitar bands inspired by the likes of 4AD Records, My Bloody Valentine and US acts like Sonic Youth. Bands like Ride, Moose, Lush, Pale Saints and The Telescopes married dreamy, off-kilter melodies, skewed, heavily effects-laden guitar riffs and psychedelic production values. Although ‘Shoegaze’ was initially a somewhat derogatory term to pigeonhole a clutch of new acts, the term quickly evolved to become an accepted genre of music which has influenced successive generations of bands, especially those outside of the UK. Housed in a lavish ‘book’ set, ‘Still in a Dream’ pays tribute to that seminal period with numerous classics, cult favourites, rarities and tracks new to CD. Across five discs, the evolution of the sound labelled as ‘Shoegaze’ is charted from the bands who inspired it on Disc 1 to many of the US and other non-UK acts on Disc 5. Awash with rare memorabilia, 12,000 words of sleeve-notes from journalist Neil Taylor and band biographies, ‘Still in a Dream’ is the ultimate tribute to what was also called ‘The Scene That Celebrated Itself’! It features 87 cuts from the Pale Saints, Spectrum, AR Kane, Loop, Ride, Lush, Ultra Vivid Scene,Telescopes, Cocteau Twins, Swervedriver, Luna and more.

WET  –  Don’t You

Columbia Records release ‘Don’t You’, the long-anticipated album from the trio of friends known as Wet. An astonishingly lucid and heart-wrenching collection of 11 tracks. Much has been made of the utopian merging of indie and traditional pop worlds in recent years, but ‘Don’t You’ is an album that takes this fusion to an unprecedented place. This is a benchmark record that delicately sews together the clean songwriting of big-pop, the melodic sensuality of R&B, and the faint twang of country with touches of experimental production and precise instrumentation to create a bold and effortless-feeling new space. Wet, comprised of singer-songwriter Kelly Zutrau, and multi-instrumentalists Joe Valle and Marty Sulkow, make songs that resist easy categorization and invite every listener to bask in its intimate glow. But despite their wide-ranging sensibilities, Wet never compromises its core: sturdy pop songwriting and piercing lyrics.
LP – Limited to 500 Copies.

NIGHT BEATS –  Who Sold My Generation

Night Beats third album, and first for Heavenly Records, follows the release of their self-titled debut in 2011 and ‘Sonic Bloom’ in 2013. Recorded on old two-inch tape in Echo Park, Los Angeles at the home of producer Nic Jodoin and featuring co-production and guess bass playing from Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, new album ‘Who Sold My Generation’ goes beyond merely being a retreading of well-worn garage / R&B path. Instead it offers a contemporary take on the psychedelic experience, a heady set of hoodoo voodoo songs. Very much a record in the great Texan musical tradition of acid-drenched outlaw music, ‘Who Sold My Generation’ picks up where the likes of The Elevators, The Red Krayola, pre-ZZ Top band The Moving Sidewalks, The Butthole Surfers and The Black Angels – whose record label Reverb Appreciation Society released the band’s second album – left off.
LP – With Download.

TELEGRAM  –  Taffy Come Home

Limited copies are signed. Recorded in London with Rory Atwell, ‘Taffy Come Home’ is one of their finest moments to date and comes backed with ‘It’s Not Very Easy’ which is only available as a bonus track on special editions of the album. The track utilises everything we love about the band – a rich, pulverising melody that sounds as compressed and tight as prime-time Buzzcocks, and a healthy nod to Roxy Music courtesy of frontman Matt Saunders.