Posts Tagged ‘Tough Love Records’

William Doyle: Great Spans of Muddy Time: Recordstore Exclusive Flamingo Pink Vinyl + Signed Print

I was never a fan of East India Youth although that was William Doyle in everything but name. However, his first proper solo album ‘Your Wilderness Revisited’ totally and absolutely floored me, Whereas that was a perfectionist album in every sense, William Doyle is now back with something quite different. 

His hard disc crashed and he then had to piece together the album based on cassette copies that he had made. Or at least that is how the story goes, because who really backs their recordings up on cassette these days? Whatever the truth is, these songs are definitely more spontaneous, and definitely represent something that is a bit muddier timewise. Initially, you don’t notice, as the two opening tracks are crisp and pretty great pop songs. But then you are thrown into something that sounds more like a collage. There are more good pop songs further into the album but there are interspersed with more experimental – or maybe I should rather say unfocused – pieces. 

Apart from the track ‘Semi-bionic’, which literally starts out sounding like a hard disc crashing, the sound quality on the album isn’t muddy or full of tape hiss, but you definitely get the feel that some of tracks aren’t still finished. While that does lend the album an air of spontaneity, it also makes for a somewhat stumbling listening experience. But when it clicks, it is clear that Doyle’s sense for melody combined with ambient drama is intact!

It’s nearly a decade since William Doyle handed a CD-R demo to the Quietus co-founder John Doran at a gig, who loved it so much he set up a label to release Doyle’s debut EP (as East India Youth). Doyle’s debut album, “Total Strife Forever”, followed in 2014, as did a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. A year later, he was signed to XL, touring the world and about to release his second album – all by the age of 25.After self-releasing four ambient and instrumental albums, Doyle’s third full-length record – and the first under his own name – “Your Wilderness Revisited” arrived to ecstatic reviews in 2019:  Described it as “a dazzlingly beautiful triumph of intention” and Metro declared it an album not only of the year, but “of the century”. Just over a year later, as he turns 30, Doyle is back with Great Spans of Muddy Time.

Born from accident but driven forward by instinct, Great Spans was built from the remnants of a catastrophic hard-drive failure. With his work saved only to cassette tape, Doyle was forced to accept the recordings as they were – a sharp departure from his process on Your Wilderness Revisited, which took four long years to craft toward perfection. “Instead of feeling a loss that I could no longer craft these pieces into flawless ‘Works of Art’, I felt intensely liberated that they had been set free from my ceaseless tinkering,” Doyle says.“The album this turned out to be – and that I’ve wanted to make for ages – is a kind of Englishman-gone-mad, scrambling around the verdancy of the country’s pastures looking for some sense,” says Doyle. “It has its seeds in Robert Wyatt, early Eno, Robyn Hitchcock, and Syd Barrett.”

Doyle credits Bowie’s ever-influential Berlin trilogy, but also highlights a much less expected muse: Monty Don, presenter of the BBC programme Gardener’s World, Doyle’s lockdown addiction. “I became obsessed with Monty Don. I like his manner and there’s something about him I relate to. He once described periods of depression in his life as consisting of ‘nothing but great spans of muddy time’.

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When I read that quote I knew it would be the title of this record,” Doyle says. “Something about the sludgy mulch of the album’s darker moments, and its feel of perpetual autumnal evening, seemed to fit so well with those words. I would also be lying if I said it didn’t chime with my mental health experiences as well. ”Lead single “And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright)” is representative of the album as a whole: eclectic and unpredictable, but also playful and properly danceable. On top of the gently pulsing electronics, soothing harmonies and glowing melodies, there’s a ripping guitar solo that ricochets around the song like a pinball. “I wanted to get back into the craft of writing individual songs rather than being concerned with overarching concepts,” Doyle says. Elsewhere there’s the synth pop strut of “Nothing At All”, pulsating static on “Semi-Bionic”, incandescent synths and enveloping soundscapes in “Who Cares”, and the ambient glitch groove of “New Uncertainties”. Great Spans of Muddy Time is a beautiful ode to the power of accident, instinct and intuition. The result, however, is far from an anomaly: this celebration of the imperfect album is one that required years of honed craft and dedicated focus to achieve, “For the first time in my career, the distance between what I hear and what the listener hears is paper-thin,” Doyle says. “Perhaps therein reveals a deeper truth that the perfectionist brain can often dissolve.”

Tough Love Records,

DIY kitchen pop project of Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, Art Museums etc). The new LP “Uncommon Weather”, due April 2021 via Slumberland (US) & Tough Love (UK).

From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds, Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous songwriter. His new album “Uncommon Weather” is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco –– during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists –– and also a self-portrait of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs.

Self-recorded and mostly self-performed, the music on “Uncommon Weather” continuously reckons with the influence of The Television Personalities’ Dan Treacy, whose own forays into drum-machines, echo, and reverb in the early 1990s is an important reference point. Paul Weller, Robert Smith, and Sarah Records also come to mind. The album arrives with grateful timing, quick on the heels of the recent EP “You Might Be Happy Someday” and alleviating, for a brief window at least, whatever it is that keeps us coming back to this elemental music. Donaldson imagines his listeners are just like himself: fascinated and addicted to the spiritual power of uncomplicated pop classics.

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Released April 9th, 2021

It’s nearly a decade since William Doyle handed a CD-R demo to the Quietus co-founder John Doran at a gig, who loved it so much he set up a label to release Doyle’s debut EP (as East India Youth). Doyle’s debut album, “Total Strife Forever”, followed in 2014, as did a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. A year later, he was signed to XL, touring the world and about to release his second album – all by the age of 25.After self-releasing four ambient and instrumental albums, Doyle’s third full-length record – and the first under his own name – Your Wilderness Revisited arrived to ecstatic reviews in 2019:

Line of Best Fit described it as “a dazzlingly beautiful triumph of intention” and Metro declared it an album not only of the year, but “of the century”. Just over a year later, as he turns 30, Doyle is back with “Great Spans of Muddy Time”. Born from accident but driven forward by instinct, “Great Spans” was built from the remnants of a catastrophic hard-drive failure. With his work saved only to cassette tape, Doyle was forced to accept the recordings as they were – a sharp departure from his process on Your Wilderness Revisited, which took four long years to craft toward perfection. “Instead of feeling a loss that I could no longer craft these pieces into flawless ‘Works of Art’, I felt intensely liberated that they had been set free from my ceaseless tinkering,” Doyle says.“ The album this turned out to be – and that I’ve wanted to make for ages – is a kind of Englishman-gone-mad, scrambling around the verdancy of the country’s pastures looking for some sense,” says Doyle. “It has its seeds in Robert Wyatt, early Eno, Robyn Hitchcock, and Syd Barrett.” Doyle credits Bowie’s ever-influential Berlin trilogy, but also highlights a much less expected muse: Monty Don, presenter of the BBC programme Gardener’s World, Doyle’s lockdown addiction.

“I became obsessed with Monty Don. I like his manner and there’s something about him I relate to. He once described periods of depression in his life as consisting of ‘nothing but great spans of muddy time’. When I read that quote I knew it would be the title of this record,” Doyle says. “Something about the sludgy mulch of the album’s darker moments, and its feel of perpetual autumnal evening, seemed to fit so well with those words. I would also be lying if I said it didn’t chime with my mental health experiences as well.” Lead single “And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright)” is representative of the album as a whole: eclectic and unpredictable, but also playful and properly danceable. On top of the gently pulsing electronics, soothing harmonies and glowing melodies, there’s a ripping guitar solo that ricochets around the song like a pinball. “I wanted to get back into the craft of writing individual songs rather than being concerned with overarching concepts,”

Doyle says. Elsewhere there’s the synth pop strut of “Nothing At All”, pulsating static on “Semi-Bionic”, incandescent synths and enveloping soundscapes in “Who Cares”, and the ambient glitch groove of “New Uncertainties”.

Great Spans of Muddy Time is a beautiful ode to the power of accident, instinct and intuition. The result, however, is far from an anomaly: this celebration of the imperfect album is one that required years of honed craft and dedicated focus to achieve, “For the first time in my career, the distance between what I hear and what the listener hears is paper-thin,” Doyle says. “Perhaps therein reveals a deeper truth that the perfectionist brain can often dissolve.”

Taken from the album, “Great Spans of Muddy Time”, out 19th March ’21 on Tough Love Records.


“Pacific Kiss”, the fourth album from Australian musician David West’s underground pop band, Rat Columns, is out today. Alongside the usual formats, two different vinyl pressings of Pacific Kiss are available – classic black and ‘pastel pink’, both of which are limited to 250 copies.

Pacific Kiss was primarily recorded in a dingy but comfortable practice space in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The core of the record is DW, bassist Max Schneider-Schumacher, drummer Dylan Stjepovic and keyboard wiz Joey Fishman. Additional fairy dust was sprinkled by Amber Gempton and Raven Mahon (vocals), Jef Brown (saxophone) and Mikey Young, who found time to contribute some off the wall guitar solos during the mixing process. Pacific Kiss is a record for those astral voyages into the spheres conducted from bedrooms, kitchens, grassy fields and open car windows.

We’re only just announcing this now, but it’s out tomorrow, in stock and shipping. The new record from the Western Australian post-punks adds a layer of jangle hypnotism rarely heard in this context. Pacific Kiss plunges headfirst into an azure sea of upbeat and meditative jams.

Taken from the album, Pacific Kiss, out 12th Feb ’21 on Tough Love.

From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous songwriter. His new album “Uncommon Weather” is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco –– during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists –– and also a self-portrait of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs.

http://

Self-recorded and mostly self-performed, the music on “Uncommon Weather” continuously reckons with the influence of The Television Personalities’ Dan Treacy, whose own forays into drum-machines, echo, and reverb in the early 1990s is an important reference point. Paul Weller, Robert Smith, and Sarah Records also come to mind. The album arrives with grateful timing, quick on the heels of the recent EP “You Might Be Happy Someday” and alleviating, for a brief window at least, whatever it is that keeps us coming back to this elemental music. Donaldson imagines his listeners are just like himself: fascinated and addicted to the spiritual power of uncomplicated pop classics.

Releases April 9th, 2021

A collaboration between Faris Badwan (The Horrors / Cat’s Eyes) & renowned guitarist John Coxon (Spring Heel Jack / Spiritualized / Treader), “Boiling Point/Promise Land” is the first release of an ongoing collaborative series between Faris and other artists, details of which will be subsequently announced.

Badwan & Coxon met some years ago when Faris was looking for producers to work with on his solo material and their working relationship evolved beyond the existing songs into something more improvisational and instinctive. As Faris explains: The new songs we ended up working on were largely spontaneous and cut together from early takes with minimal overdubbing. The lyrics were improvised and the focus was placed more on creating atmosphere and keeping things fairly raw and expressive. I guess I found it rewarding particularly with the guitar playing because it was so intuitive and completely free from any expectations of how a song should be constructed. There are hooks and repetitive sections but fewer traditional structures.

We tried to avoid doing any planning beforehand and focussed more on responding to what was happening in the moment. I guess the sessions were kind of a constant dialogue where we would each respond to the other’s improvisation.

With Promise Land I began by improvising lyrics over a drone track John and I created. Some time later I came across “To Our Land” by Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet, and was struck by the similarities – there are a few lines that match really closely. Despite being half-palestinian myself this was a total accident and I know for sure I hadn’t seen Darwish’s piece before.

With Boiling Point the lyrics are almost the ghost of a narrative rather than an explicit story. I’m interested in the subconscious and how the hidden parts of your brain express themselves when given the opportunity. Looking back it was almost more about creating the right conditions for the subconscious to come out.

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Boiling Point / Promise Land is out on Tough Love Records on Friday 5th February 2021 on DL and as a limited edition (500) 12” which includes a very limited run of 100 copies with hand painted sleeves by Faris which are available via Bandcamp. In keeping with the approach of the music, each design was improvised and instinctive. Faris added about the artwork:

What was interesting about it was the way the style of the designs naturally evolved as a result of having so many blank squares to fill – there’s a really clear development from start to finish – beginning with angular lines filling the sleeve and ending with smoother, more minimal abstract shapes responding to the existing sleeve design. It ended up almost like a process-based art project where you work repetitively within really strict confines and let the results emerge organically. 

Releases February 5th 2021

After delivering ‘Day By Day’ and ‘Night Drive’, White Flowers are back with ‘Within A Dream’, the title-track of their forthcoming EP, to be released via Tough Love Records on January 15th 2021. Following the release of two 12″s in the past year, White Flowers returned with the “Within A Dream” EP, a recently recorded four song collection to be released on 15th January 2021. Alongside digital formats, it will be pressed to 12″ transparent vinyl in an edition of 300 units. The four songs on the EP came together earlier this year during various periods of enforced isolation, and somewhat inevitably reflect the conditions of their provenance, exploring themes of dissociation, multiple selves, and the role of the individual in an increasingly strange and fragmented world.
Alongside the three originals is a cover of Mama Cass’ ‘Didn’t Want to Have to Do It’ that closes the EP, and as with their version of Red House Painter’s ‘Katy Song’ from their previous 12”, is a further example of how defined their aesthetic has become, as they’re effortlessly able to shape the music of others to their own vision. Indeed, as with all their videos and records to date, the artwork for the single is again created entirely by the band, another example of their intentions to create a defined White Flowers universe. 

Preston’s White Flowers, made up of Katie Drew and Joey Cobb, have so far not disappointed, and this third track – accompanied by the self-directed video below – from the Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius, Portishead) co-produced EP, delves further into their gothic dreampop world, with enticingly atmospheric instrumentals and hauntingly whispered vocals.

Within a Dream EP out 15th Jan 2021 on Tough Love Records.

Tough Love Records have partnered with West Coast imprint Mt St Mtn for the release of “Free Advice”, the instant slowcore/dreampop classic by San Francisco four piece, Cindy. The full album is available to stream/download now, while a highly limited transparent vinyl pressing will be released on 20th November. Limited to just 250 copies, this pressing follows the long sold-out edition of 100 released earlier in the year and which was previously only available in the US.

“Free Advice” offers a sombre-yet-uplifting take on sobered dream pop. Imagine if Galaxie 500’s On Fire didn’t have a guitar solo or if The Trinity Session was stripped of its folk & blues roots; it’s just pure mood. Like sitting in a half-empty movie theater that’s playing Alphaville or Wild Strawberries and watching patron’s heads briefly illuminated from the screen; Free Advice (as with all of the Cindy output) transfers you to these momentary worlds.

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Cindy is Karina Gill on guitar/vocals, Aaron Diko on synth/keys, Simon Phillips on Drums/Percussion, and Jesse Jackson on Bass/Keys + Simon and Jesse on backing vocals. The songs on Free Advice are these moments in mood: Phillips & Jackson’s rhythms create the foundation, while Diko’s keys rise and fall. Gill’s guitar rattles, vocals brood, and lyrics create these narratives that depict observers, not necessarily wronged rather, cautious and investigative of the world around them.

This year San Francisco band Cindy were plucked from obscurity into internet cult fandom with their second album, but it may as well have been their first since they were so under the radar. Free Advice is a record that is made for these times. Super chill, nearly hushed vocals accompanied by glacial guitars and some nice synthesized sounds. Galaxie 500 fans take note and snatch it up before it goes out of print (again).

Released October 8th, 2020

 

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We loved New Yorkers Peel Dream Magazine’s recent release Agitprop Alterna, an excellent album that draws from a wide set of post-punk, shoegaze and indie pop influences but still has an assured, unique sound. Now they’re following up with “Moral Panics”, a companion EP that features unreleased songs from the Agitprop Alterna sessions.

The six tracks are, without exception, all top-notch tracks that stand strong on their own, and make an excellent companion to the album.

Brooklyn’s finest Stereolab/My Bloody Valentine hybridizers surprise release a new EP, Surprise! New EP out today via Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records – limited edition lathe cut vinyl via Tough Love from was made available over night but it has sold out. Peel Dream Magazine released the terrific Agitprop Alterna earlier this year and have now released, for Bandcamp Friday, this EP of songs that didn’t quite fit the record. I definitely wouldn’t call these throwaways, and some are new territory of the band. “Verfremdungseffekt” is low-key folk with a krautrock engine, and “Dialectrics” is one of their warmest pop melodies yet, drenched in chugging guitar, drony organ and a lead line right out of the JAMC recipe book. They’re still pulling from Stereolab (“Life at the Movies”) and My Bloody Valentine (“New Culture”), but making it their own.

This is a companion EP that features unreleased songs from the “Agitprop Alterna” sessions. Far from being outtakes, these are all songs that stand strong on their own, and gathered together function as a useful corollary to the album.

The EP’s title comes from Stanley Cohen’s “Folk Devils and Moral Panics,” a pivotal study of the media treatment of the mod movement and the poltical, societal and cultural faultlines that the media panic embodied — it’s a reference that’s quite revealing about some of the ideas behind Peel Dream.

Peel Dream Magazine, the shoegaze and indie-pop project of NYC musician Joe Stevens, released their sophomore album Agitprop Alterna earlier this year, and it showcased a floaty, pensive style of pop. Their new EP Moral Panics isn’t so much a departure from that sound as it is a reaffirmation that they’re one of the best at what they do. Between transportive serenity (“Live at the Movies,” “The Furthest Nearby Place”) and fuzzy potency (“New Culture”), Peel Dream Magazine are masters of stylish, profound songcraft.

Peel Dream Magazine – Moral Panics EP


“Look Alive” by The Stroppies is released today. Having initially been moved back a month due to complications relating to COVID19, the record now arrives at a time of even more distress and concern. Tough Love and The Stroppies stand united in our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Please see below for the band’s views on the matter. We hope the music can bring some relief in these dark and uncertain times.

“It feels strange to be promoting and releasing music in the midst of what has been a strange and traumatic year for everyone. This feeling is even more acute in light of the recent events in Minneapolis and the global raising of consciousness around the adversity faced by black people and black communities the world over.

The Stroppies will be donating 100% of profits from any copies of Look Alive sold through our to the aboriginal led Literacy for Life foundation until our copies are gone- in addition to this we will donate 100% of the profits from anything sold on our Big Cartel to this charity over the next week. We have also set up an ongoing donation of $20 a month in the band’s name that will be debited monthly and indefinitely.

Australian customers please order through us and through this channel to support this initiative.
For any overseas customers you can click the link below to purchase the record through regular channels.
We hope you enjoy the record and look after each other.

Stroppies x”