Posts Tagged ‘Tough Love Records’

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.


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.


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”

The London five-piece Tom Dougall, Dominic O’Dair, Maxim Barron, Charlie Salvidge and Max Oscarnold release their first album on Tough Love and their fourth for the world. It’s recorded in home studios, mixed at Studio B in South London and completely self-produced. This extra material recorded and commisioned around the same time the original album was made. The deluxe version of Toy’s fourth album, “Happy In the Hollow”, is now available online. It includes the original album alongside new artwork and four rare or previously unavailable songs, as below.

Happy in the Hollow
The Willo (Sonic Boom remix)
Strangulation Day (Cosey Fanni Tutti remix)
Move Through the Dark (Daniel Melero & Yuliano Acri remix)

Grooving looping guitar psych-out dream-state vocals bring you trippy melodies. Originally released February 14th, 2020

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Aussie janglers The Stroppies return in fine form today with a new mini-album that wraps up their recording work from the last year. Vaulting off of their excellent album from last year, the band continues to capture the overcast sway of kiwipop from days past, calling back echoes of The Clean, Able Tasmans, and Tall Dwarfs. They buoy their sunny strums with heavy-sighed harmonies and a hummable heft of organ that gives the song staying power.

The band’s sticks to your ribs more than some of their peers with an ability to let angst and insecurity bask in the sun of their strums – giving their songs a more substantial kick then some of their cohorts. They continue their run at UK label Tough Love and while this might be another short one (something the band seems adept at) these eight songs still feel like a vital part of The Stroppies’ path. The LP descends to the decks on May 1st.

Taken from the record, Look Alive, out 1st May 2020 via Tough Love Records.

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Peel Dream Magazine, the project of musician Joe Stevens, combines off-center dream pop with classic shoegaze soundscapes. Both their 2018 debut album Modern Meta Physic and forthcoming LP Agitprop Alterna (out on April 3rd via Slumberland Records) exude a hypnotic quiet-loud dynamic, often aided by blurry synths and serene vocals. Mixing the glaring with the pacifying, Peel Dream Magazine are an exercise in dazzling, retro-meets-modern drone. The band’s 2020 follow-up Agitprop Alterna is much broader, thanks in part to the live members that appear here like vocalists Jo-Anne Hyun and Isabella Mingione and drummer Brian Alvarez, and also due to its emphasis on a more dynamic sound. It’s a caressing record with satisfying moments that are felt long after they pass—take for instance the innocent, fluttering keys that close “Brief Inner Mission,” which transition into the wonderfully filtered vocals and blown-out guitars of “NYC Illuminati.” Agitprop Alterna is a loungey, droning, space-age odyssey that might help even the most anxious among us escape for a bit.

It’s not without good reason that people have been likening Peel Dream Magazine to My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab and Yo La Tengo. Helmed by Joe Stevens, one of New York’s finest contemporary players, the outfit makes music that’s tender but savage, powerful but delicate and packed with beautiful discordance hiding its sumptuous melodies. ‘Agitprop Alterna’ is their second full-length release and it certainly adds fuel to the argument that people need to take this lot very seriously. In addition to the aforementioned, here it nods to Velvet Underground (notice the tripped out, opiate-hazed interludes throughout the album) and krautrock-leaning art pop. The record drones, drives, grooves and perplexes on its course, but most of all it unarguably impresses. Or at least that’s what we’ve got to say on the matter

Agitprop Alterna is out everywhere today Shout to everyone who made this possible, most importantly Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records

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As one of the most quintessentially ’80s-sounding bands, Soft Cell aren’t the easiest artist to cover. On their recent covers EP, “Songs of Consumption”, English psych outfit Toy decided to give it the old college try with the 1982 Soft Cell b-side “Fun City.” Frontman Tom Dougall’s layered vocals are far more ghostly than the earnest pop of Marc Almond. In Toy’s version, the keyboards are more robotic and twinkly than Soft Cell’s wonky new wave, plus the hopping guitar pulses are more pronounced. While the Soft Cell’s cut is more danceable, Toy’s version is far more icy, atmospheric and expansive and—dare I say—far superior to the original.

Following the announcement earlier this month of their forthcoming covers album ‘Songs Of Consumption’, Toy
have shared a further track ‘Down On The Street’, the classic Stooges track – here given a synth makeover – taken from the self-produced 8-song collection, released on November 15th via Tough Love Records.

The band have also announced a run of UK shows early next year as part of the Independent Venue Week 2020. These follow a couple of special shows next month.

Titled ‘Hollowed Out – A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’, the shows will see them re-imagining songs from ‘Happy In The Hollow’, their fourth studio album released in January.

Taken from the album, Songs of Consumption, out 15th November.

Toy, who released Happy In The Hollow, their fourth, and by far most acclaimed album to date, in January of this year, have announced details of “Songs Of Consumption”, an 8-song collection of unique interpretations of tracks which have inspired the band.

Taking on a varied musical range from The Stooges via Amanda Lear to Soft Cell, the album, released on Friday 15th November 2019, will be available on LP, CD and digital formats. A hand-numbered edition of 300, 180gm seafoam green vinyl is available exclusively via Bandcamp and the Tough Love website.

Self-produced and recorded at home studios, the track listing of the album is as follows:

1.   Down On The Street
2.   Follow Me
3.   Sixty Forty
4.   Cousin Jane
5.   Fun City
6.   Lemon Incest
7.   Always On My Mind
8.   A Dolls House

Talking about the album, TOY said: “Songs of Consumption sonically is a continuation and development of the themes conceived on Happy In The Hollow and it will show people where we are going towards musically. The DIY approach was explored further utilising more of the electronic elements that we touched upon before. Drum machines, stripped down arrangements and rudimentary production give a primitive sound that we thought suited the choice of songs. Some of the songs have very big sounding production, so we wanted to experiment with them by going in a different direction.

Music is consumed voraciously now whereas these songs came from a time when the song was of the most important thing and that’s what was appreciated. Stripping them back to the essence of what they are was also something we wanted to explore. Also, we wanted to make a covers record with songs by people that influenced us in the past few years and it’s as much about the way they dealt with their ideas, and how they put themselves in uncomfortable situations in order to make something that in the end is simple. It’s a homage to the spirit of these people, that helped us to untangle ourselves from our inherent complicated nature and create a new space where we can exist.”

Additionally, having played a sold-out tour of the UK in February, including a mesmerising show at Village Underground in London, the band have announced a couple of very special shows at the end of the year.

Playing under the banner of ‘Hollowed Out – A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’ the shows will see them re-imagining songs from Happy In The Hollow.