Posts Tagged ‘Transgressive Records’

A lot was riding on the release of Blaenavon’s debut album this year. Since signing with lauded London label, Transgressive Records, in 2013, the young British alt-pop trio had opened for Bloc Party, Foals, and Two Door Cinema Club and earned much adoration in under-the-radar profiles from the British music press. Yet, in those four intervening years, they’d only released a few EPs and their first attempt at recording an album had been rejected by higher-ups. Would their debut full-length live up to the hype?

Listen to That’s Your Lot and the answer becomes obvious. Take the mesmerizing destruction of “I Will Be the World,” the raw, lovesick adventure of “Prague ‘99,” or today’s featured song, “My Bark is Your Bite,” and you’ll agree, this is an impressive and versatile debut, the kind you hope for (but don’t necessarily expect) from a band who played Glastonbury before any of the members’ 21st birthday.

“My Bark is Your Bite,” is a polished post-punk gem detailing a romance dependent on dishonesty. Whether it’s a reluctant embrace or an outright lie, each of the singer’s deceits is a double-edged sword, keeping the peace, but wounding the singer. “It cuts like a knife when I lie,” Ben Gregory sings, but “my mind says it’s the best thing to do, for you.” All the signs are there that something is wrong, but the singer is too afraid of the aftershock to drop the bomb. Meanwhile, the song races along with the anxiety of keeping up appearances. Bassist Frank Wright picks a pulsing bassline. On occasion, Gregory’s heavy baritone trips up to a fluttering falsetto, as if he can’t hide his nerves. In the end, it seems, the music saves the pair. After a few choruses, drummer Harris McMillan slices the beat in half, revealing a shiny Editors-like dance groove, the guitar glimmers, bright for a moment, and a dancefloor appears. Gregory concedes: “I’ll take one more chance, I’ll dance if you’ll dance.” Love will tear us apart, but lies – and a well-crafted pop song – will keep us together. At least for now.

Blaenavon recorded a session with KEXP at the Triple Door on June 13th. Stay tuned to the KEXP YouTube page for video from that performance and, for now, enjoy the video for “My Bark Is Your Bite.”

Blaenavon ‘That’s Your Lot’ out now!

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Featuring her performing with her new band, who you might have seen out on tour this year, Marika Hackman has a new video out for the song “Time’s Been Reckless” – taken from her album I’m Not Your ManThe video features a bunch of references to the album artwork by Tristan Piggott, switching between 35mm film and glitchy, lo-fi FX around Marika and her live band.

“I wanted to do a performance video to highlight the energetic nature of the music, but I also wanted more gruesome visuals to reflect the dark themes of death and decay within the lyrics. We filmed maggots, snails and various other insects feeding on different foods from the album artwork, in a style that harks back to those old VHS tapes teachers would put on in biology lessons.”
Marika Hackman

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With her debut album, Don’t Let The Kids Win, still fresh in the memory, Australian songwriter Julia Jacklin is wasting no time in putting new material out into the world. Today see’s the release of her new AA-single, featuring the previously shared Eastwick, and brand new offering, Cold Caller.

I fell in love with Julia Jacklin last year when she released Don’t Let The Kids Win. definitely an album that was well-played. Now she’s ready to release a 7″ tomorrow.

Cold Caller was written as a tribute to Julia’s pregnant sister Emma, as Julia explains, “I know people get pregnant all the time but this was different, this was my sister. Cold Caller is a classic slice of alt-country, gently strummed guitars accompanied by twanging slide guitars and the gentlest of ticking drum beats, as Julia’s emotive-vocals comes across all Nasvhille, with a touch of Caitlin Rose or Angel Olsen. Heartfelt and beautiful, if Julia’s got songs this good to throw out as half a stand-alone single, just imagine how good her next album is going to be.

Here’s some more info on the track Cold Caller.

“I started writing this song when my older sister told me she was pregnant. I know people get pregnant all the time but this was different, this was my sister. The one who explained tampons to me, told me what kissing felt like, convinced mum to let me shave my legs, sung ‘Boys of Summer’ a capella at the school talent quest.

“I went to New Zealand to record this 7 inch and on the first day she went into labor, I was checking my phone every 10 minutes but managed to write the second part of the song. That night I had all these crazy nightmares, where she kept disappearing into the dark and every time I caught up to her she’d slip out of my hands again. Woke up in an absolute state to the news that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy. I went into the studio and recorded this song. So this is for her, my wonderful sister Emma.

Eastwick/Cold Caller is out today via Transgressive Records (UK)/ Polyvinyl (US).

Alvvays are a band who no longer require much in the way of an introduction. The Canadian-quintet just put out their hotly anticipated, and frankly brilliant, second album, Antisocialites, and have this week shared the video to new single, Dream Tonite.

The track is accompanied by a beautiful video where director Matt Johnson inserts Alvvays into footage of the Montreal Expo back in 1967, the perfectly retro video serving as an expert accompaniment to the band’s timeless take on pop. A clear stand out from Antisocialites, Dream Tonite is Alvvays at their most downbeat and wistful, as lyrically, singer Molly Rankin seems to grapple with a fading memory of a failed relationship. Alvvays have never sounded better and increasingly the cliché of difficult second albums seem entirely redundant.

Antisocialites is out now via Transgressive Records.

“Dreams Tonite” is taken from our new album, Antisocialites, out September 8th, 2017.

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Blaenavon say their debut That’s Your Lot is “five years of our lives condensed into 59 minutes of yours…Youth, capriciousness, duality, duplicity, love, bitterness, fate. Songs from the human core: some malleable, long considered – others pure, direct, cruelly honest. An album to bathe in and appreciate the inevitable end.”

The band have been tipped for some time, with their precocious live shows matched to some superb songwriting.

The long awaited debut album from indie trio Blaenavon. The band play a blend of indie-rock with a sunset-beach vibe, full of well crafted melodies, tip-toeing guitar licks, funky bass and drum patterns, this is one to keep an eye on

Debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ was recorded with Grammy winner Jim Abbiss (Adele, Björk), the album really has taken its time but will be released on April 7th.

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Two lookalike freaky kids who made one of the most lush, organic songs of the year in 2015, the mesmerising track Deep Six Textbook. Their music is as icy as PJ Harvey and as random as Bjork or Dean Blunt, arriving complete with coordinated handclaps, sax solos, wilfully obscure lyrics and jaw-dropping harmonies. There’s something a bit creepy about Let’s Eat Grandma. Their name, for starters. But their eerie childlike vocals matched with a quirky psych tinged, folk sound but with hints of electronica, shouldn’t really work. Yet it does. And the result of I, Gemini is one of the most catchy new records of the year. The teenage Norwich duo are instantly likeable and the ideas involved in their debut record hint at a very bright future.

That Let’s Eat Grandma’s debut album I, Gemini should feature on our favourites of the year list should come as no surprise to regular readers. We’ve been fans and supporters since way back when and their appearance on Jools Holland was one of our personal music highlights of 2016.

Their music isn’t for everyone but the best thing is, we really don’t think they care. In fact, we’d wager that all the critics, bloggers and armchair opinioners take it all a lot more seriously than Rosa and Jenny do. Their sound is inventive, imaginative and entirely different to pretty much anything else out there right now. They make music for themselves, please themselves and to entertain themselves. It’s not really commercial – it’s not pop by numbers, it’s not landfill indie, it’s not even punk (though some will say it is) – it is simply the imagination and musicality of two incredibly talented teenagers left to run wild, and the results are magnificent.

Many of the tunes are pretty much the same as they were a couple of years ago, before the industry was aware of them and before their debut Latitude appearance (on the tiny Inbetweeners stage) became a thing of legend. A tip of the hat to Transgressive then for letting the pair be themselves and not trying to add significant amounts of polish or control to a sound that is at its best when it is left to just be whatever the girls want it to be.

Following the release of “Boyish”, Hippo Campus’s debut album landmark is going to be out 24th February, of course featuring the song Boyish for which a video has also been released today! The video can be seen below
We’re going to have a limited edition of the album available on orange LP as well as a CD edition,

the debut album ‘landmark
At the beginning of next year, it will also be possible to see the band live in the UK, they’ll be doing the following 5 shows.

27 January – Thekla in Bristol (Tickets)
28 January – Sound Control in Manchester (Tickets)
29 January – Stereo in Glasgow (Tickets)
31 January – Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds (Tickets)
1 February – Dingwalls in London (Tickets)

Mutual Benefit’s Skip a Sinking Stone, a gorgeous collection of orchestral folk, focuses on the carefully plotted tours of a newly successful band and frontman Jordan Lee’s adopted home of New York. rdan Lee had quietly released six albums prior to 2013, so Mutual Benefit didn’t exactly come out of nowhere three years ago. But Love’s Crushing Diamond sounded like it did, Mutual Benefit remains in 2016: Lee’s still a wandering spirit surrounding himself with an orchestra of friends, recording in “forests, attics and hotel rooms”

“Getting Gone” is from Mutual Benefit’s ‘Skip a Sinking Stone’ out now on Mom+Pop / Transgressive Records.

A dark, dreamy dose of romantic pop that rises and falls between icy climes of quivering vocals to the warm, dark depths of fluid driving riffs. There’s touches of psychedelia, swirling elegantly around simplistic melodies that soothe and gently etch themselves into your mind. Gengahr are in no rush to make an impression you, this is no deluge of dream pop, it is not intended to blast you away floundering and wondering what’s going on. It’s a far more gentle, progressive record that washes over you in slight ebbs and flows and allows you to drift away, tuning into the occasional raucous solo. Stick on “Bathed In Light” and try not to picture yourself rowing a raft, your toes dangling in the water. Delightful grooves accompany perfected guitar effects of John Victor, but Gengahr are a band we’re already eager to hear develop, from their already irresistible sound that can slot neatly into practically any mood.

In March last year, The band Gengahr emerged from north London with breakthrough demo ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’, a vampiric love song on which singer Felix Bushe implored, “Let me in/So I can drink from you”. The quartet’s debut album sounds just as unsettling. “I’ve changed for the better now there’s metal in my heart”, sings Bushe in his delicate falsetto on the iridescent ‘Heroine’, like some kind of lovelorn Iron Man. ‘Lonely As A Shark’, meanwhile, has him “lonely as a shark in a dark room, counting away” over rippling guitars, and the woozy ‘She’s A Witch’ wonders “Maybe she’ll sink, maybe she’ll fly/I caught a witch that cries all the time”. Throughout these 11 gently psychedelic tracks, John Victor weaves an aura of calm via unconventional but pretty guitar patterns that counterbalance Bushe’s romantic tribulations. The result is a record that cloaks Gengahr’s inherent weirdness in peaceful melodies you’ll want to wallow in for hours.

Blaenavon - Let’s Pray

Blaenavon love a good juxtaposition. Dishing out shiny, perky guitar lines for fun, they’re also specialists in brutally dark, romantic imagery. “Let’s pray, let’s pray, let’s pray for death!” isn’t exactly the kind of chorus you’d want your kids singing at the dinner table, but don’t rule out it spreading like wildfire.

As an instrumental, ‘Let’s Pray’ would be a sweet, sunny-side-up indie banger, fit for Match of the Day goal montages. Combined with Ben Gregory’s bewitched tales, it becomes something beautifully twisted, like playing frisbee in a graveyard. Blaenavon’s frontman is skilled at embracing his own mortality, turning dark thoughts into pop gold.