Posts Tagged ‘Yak’

With a new EP in the offing, YAK share its lead track, the psych-tinged ‘Am I A Good Man’, as an early preview.

The EP itself, entitled ‘Atlas Complex’, arrives on November 1st via Virgin EMI / Third Man Records, to coincide with the start of a UK tour for the trio.

‘Atlas Complex’ was recorded between Nashville [at Jack White’s Third Man Records] and South London at the beginning of this summer,” says frontman Oli Burslem. “The ‘atlas complex’ is centred around an idea of losing all sense of everything. It’s a state of mind in which a person believes that the world is on their shoulders and they’re unable to deal with what they perceive as endless problems and uncertainty.”

Am I A Good Man · Yak November tour COME SEE US. THERE WON’T BE ANY OTHER SHOWS FOR A WHILE

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London alt-rock trio Yak have revealed their much desired follow-up to their debut album, “Alas Salvation”. With new and old members jostled in and of the band during this album’s rocky inception (including Tame Impala’s Jay Watson), a rotated cast eventually ironed out its crinkles, and with the help of former Bjork and Django Django album producer, Marta Salogni, Yak’s difficult second album, in 10 hectic days, was achieved. With both NME and Q magazine’s tipping their nod of approval Yak’s way, the steely, blue-eyed defiance of the trio dismiss any notion of the tired cliche that guitar music is a bygone thing. The freshest second album since Kasabian’s Empire, Tame Impala’s Lonerism and Bloc Party’s A Weekend In The City.

Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as London trio Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless?

The result is a rare white-knuckle ride of an album in which his extreme commitment pulsates through every moment – much like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis – ranging from the gonzo-fuzz chaos of tracks like “Blinded By The Lies” through to the Roy Orbison-inspired heartbreak of “Words Fail Me”.

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Few albums in rock ‘n’ roll history have seen its creator’s obsession veer so close to self-destruction, as Yak’s The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness. For singer, guitarist and driving force Oli Burslem, making his band’s second album became about pursuing his artistic vision at the expense of all else, including his own financial security, and mental health. Who else these days invests every single penny available to them into recording, to the point where they become homeless, and have to sleep in the back of a Citroën estate?
​Listening to The Pursuit Of Momentary Happiness, you frequently feel the white-knuckle monomania of Yak’s mission. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade records, whose sheer sense of belief and commitment pulsates through every nanosecond of boundary-breaking sound – like Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis.

​“I don’t want it to be a boo-hoo story,” says Burslem, of the record’s tortuous gestation. “It was fun doing it. It’s nice to push yourself to the limit, and I can say now that I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, because it’s a document of that time, and it’s honest and open, and I couldn’t have done or given much more, which is a great feeling.”

​The story began after Yak had completed a debut campaign which itself had played out like a dream. After getting snapped up by Rough Trade management, and cutting one of several feral early EP’s for Jack White’s Third Man Records, the trio of Burslem, bassist Andy Jones (Oli’s childhood friend from Wolverhampton), and drummer Elliot Rawson, set an all-but-moribund UK alt-rock scene alight with 2016’s inaugural long-player, Alas Salvation, but for Oli, that year’s final career-high show at London’s Scala felt like an endgame, rather than an achievement to build upon.

​“Andy and I had been friends since we were three years old,” he says, “and he was always gonna get married and move away at some point. We didn’t particularly think the band had a future, but then it took off, and it was ace, and after the Scala, there was an opportunity, and some money, to do another record, and I really wanted to give it a go.”

​Jones, indeed, soon upped sticks for Melbourne, but after a chance meeting in a pub in Dalston with Jay Watson from Tame Impala’s touring band, Burslem hatched a hare-brained scheme for the band to convene in Melbourne to rehearse together for ten days, then move across Australia to lay down Album Two, on Watson’s invitation, at Tame mainman Kevin Parker’s place in Perth. “I thought recording would take ten days,” says Oli, sheepishly, “but it didn’t quite work out that way.”

​Things started going off the rails before Burslem and Rawson even got to Aus, as Oli decided to go to Tokyo for a month beforehand – “you know, for the isolation, to do all the writing”. Perhaps predictably, the first two or three weeks went by in a drunken blur with nary a note written. Landing ragged in Australia though, things got worse.
“It had become pretty apparent that the three of us in a room bashing chords out, wasn’t really turning me on,” shrugs Oli. “That was just going to sound like the first record. It was an eye-opener, like, what the fuck are we going to?”

​On the plane back, Burslem ate and drank to excess, knowing that when he touched down, he had no money, no home, and, worryingly, no album. On arrival, he reduced his possessions down to two hold-alls, and “moved into” his old Citroën, which had no MOT. “It wasn’t ideal,” he admits.

That was February 2017, and he says he has only the sketchiest memories of the ensuing 18 months. Some of the time, fellow musicians would let him crash at their place, like Martin Slattery, once of Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros, and Spiritualized guitarist John Coxon.

On the plus side, after blagging into Glastonbury, he found a new bassist in Vinny Davies. They partied for two days straight, then back in London rehearsed together with Rawson for a few weeks, and “things started to get more focussed.” They booked a cheap demo studio, and in the pub with Coxon a few days beforehand, Burslem got chatting to Spiritualized chief Jason Pierce.

“He was like, how’s your record? And I was like, it’s non-existent. I told him we were demoing around the corner, and he was like, Oh, I’d love to come and help you out. I was like, Okay! Thinking he wasn’t going to turn up.”

On day two, Pierce materialized, and had them rattle through all the band’s songs. “He was really supportive. I’d been thinking, no-one will like this, but he was like, No, you’ve got something good here – you should try and record them properly.” At one point, Burslem was casting around for small change for a tube fare, and seeing Oli’s woeful circumstances, Pierce urged him to get a record deal, and Yak duly landed up with mighty Virgin-EMI.
Says Oli, “Then it became, Right, I can’t fuck this up now. I could’ve tried to house myself, but instead we put it all into recording, and getting a brass section. Then afterwards, I can sort my personal situation out.” He shrugs. “I probably took on a bit too much.”

Another chance meeting at a party brought Burslem together with Marta Salogni, an Italian producer now based in the UK, best known for her mix on Björk’s sonically adventurous Utopia album. Says Oli, “We met a few times, and talked about making a guitar record that wasn’t boring, and didn’t sound like UK indie rubbish. But we still wanted to capture a live element, and in my head, RAK is the best studio in London to do that, so it was, Let’s just do ten days there, and get some really good performances of us three playing together.”
​In those ten days, Yak recorded some 29 songs, of which 11 ended up on the record. “The songs that went on are the ones I thought fitted together as a consistent story. Doing the writing, I couldn’t see further than the next day or two, so all the joyous and happier things were momentary, whether it be going out, getting drunk, whatever – no plan of any longevity, so all the songs have that destructive bent. They’re on the edge.”

Opener ‘Bellyache’, with its Tame Impala-esque wah-wah stomp, Oli describes as “angry and fuck-you”, the ensuing ‘Fried’ as simply “I’m fucked”, and the titular third track as “the comedown, like, what’s this all about?” The latter was apparently written, after staying up all night. He describes it as “blunt and to the point”. The song also acquired twinkling celeste, which launches it into the heavens. ‘Bellyache’, meanwhile, boasts crazy flute, and one of a handful of portentous brass arrangements.

​After the RAK sessions, Burslem withdrew to a small home studio with Pierce to apply some different vocals, and piece the album together. Pierce also added slide guitar and his own vocals to dazed finale, ‘This House Has No Living Room’, which sails out on Oli’s own field recording of birdsong. The complexity of all the layering in that track led to Burslem’s belief that the album needed a full-scale remix. Everyone involved was advising him to quit while he was ahead, but he flew to New York to mix it. “I just wanted a record with depth, as a piece of audio,” he says, “where you’ll still be finding new bits in 20 years’ time”.
​Job done, Burslem’s existential status quo was such that he duly got smashed with a fellow homeless person, and, doing a runner from his hotel, jetted home, pockets totally empty.

A few weeks further on, he says he’s happy the album is now done, but those who’ve read this far may be worried about Oli’s welfare. Has he now, as intended, ‘sorted out his personal situation’, and re-entered normal society? “That’d be nice,” he smirks, a tad unrepentantly. Does he at least have a roof over his head? “Only for two weeks. I got told yesterday, I’ve got to move out of my current place.” He shrugs. “I’ll find somewhere…”
​Roll on, that victory lap on the road…

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Yak will be live in-store at Rough Trade Nottingham to perform tracks from their new album ‘Pursuit of Momentary Happiness’, released 8th February on via Virgin EMI / Third Man Records.

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London rock trio Yak have announced the follow-up to 2016’s Alas Salvation. Their second studio album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is out on February. 8th 2019, via Third Man Records and Virgin EMI. They’ve also shared their latest single, “Fried,” following the release of previous tracks “Bellyache” and “White Male Carnivore.” “Fried” is full of fuzzy punk grumbles as the track ramps up via frontman Oli Burslem’s jagged howls and an epic, distorted cacophony of guitars.

If these three new cuts from their record are a good indication of the album’s overall sound, it appears that the heavy-rock origins of Alas Salvation have been rekindled, as their turbo-charged guitar flamethrowers have been dusted off and wielded with a bold ferocity once again.

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YAK – ” Bellyache “

Posted: October 14, 2018 in MUSIC
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Yak have always used intensity as their greatest weapon, hammering their way through tracks loud enough to make your ears bleed. New one ‘Bellyache’, however, uses restraint to its advantage.

Let’s be clear here, it’s not a ballad, or lumbering in the slightest, but the space given to the song by its slow, steady drumbeat allows all manner of fascinating, psychedelic squeals to worm their way around the QOTSA-esque rock song at the track’s core.

Wah pedal-assisted guitars give the track a woozy, otherworldly quality, before a stab of incessant noise barges through for a chorus-of-sorts. Completely by surprise, the track then folds out into a majestic outro, punctuated by horns. A fascinating change of pace, ‘Bellyache’ shows that Yak refuse to be pigeonholed, and are all the more exciting for it.

Music video by Yak performing Bellyache. © 2018 Universal Music Operations Limited

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The Weather Station  –  The Weather Station

On her fourth (and tellingly self-titled) album as The Weather Station, Tamara Lindeman reinvents, and more deeply roots, her extraordinary, acclaimed songcraft, framing her precisely detailed, exquisitely wrought prose-poem narratives in bolder and more cinematic musical settings. The result is her most sonically direct and emotionally candid statement to date. The most fully realized statement to date from Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman. Self-titled and self-produced, the album unearths a vital new energy from Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice, marrying it to a bold new sense of confidence.

CD – Digipack.

LP – Deluxe 140 Gram virgin vinyl LP features heavy-duty board jacket with full lyrics, full-colour inner sleeve, and high-res Download Card.

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Yak  –  All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life

Limited to just 300 Copies on 7″ Vinyl. Renowned for the ferocious intensity of their live shows, Yak are back with the new single All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life. Recorded with Tame Impala’s Jay Gum Watson in Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth, the track is Yak’s claustrophobic interpretation of The Dixie Nightingale’s cult gospel classic. “A loved one departed and on the way out sent me this song, so we ended up recording a delirious version in the blistering heat of Perth,” says Yak frontman Oli Burslem. “I love the original Dixie Nightingales’ version, it reminds me of songs like Wendy Rene’s ‘After Laughter’, which I imagined was recorded in the same studio with maybe even the same people playing.” On the b-side is Yak’s take on Lee Hazelwood’s Wait and See.

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Weaves  –  Wide Open

It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed self-titled debut LP, lauded internationally for its exuberant approach to guitar pop and recently nominated for this year’s Polaris Prize. It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a life changing-experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.

Burke and Waters half-jokingly refer to the album as their “Americana” record, and while the statement is made with tongues placed firmly in cheeks, the album, without discarding the punky pyrotechnics that defined their first LP, displays an expansive and anthemic quality in songs like the opener #53 and the sweeping Walkaway, that makes the joke ring half true. The record sees Burke extend herself as a performer – moving more frequently to the center of arrangements and revealing new facets of her unique and powerful singing voice – as the band find ways to interpret the growing diversity of her expression. From the glammy Saturday night strut of Slicked, to the stripped-down, pedal steel abetted torch song Wide Open, to the searing Scream, a warped duet with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq that likely constitutes Weaves’ wildest recording to date, the album captures a band for whom exploration is a compulsion making a self-assured step into the unknown.

LP+ – Limited White Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with Download.

In 2017, the musical term “electronic” is nearly obsolete given the ubiquity of computerized
processes in producing music. Even so, the prevailing assumption is that musicians working
under this broad umbrella must be inspired by concepts equally as electrified as their
equipment. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has demonstrated in her still-blooming discography that this
notion couldn’t be further from the truth, and that more often than not, rich worlds of synthesized
sound are born from deep reverence of the natural world. Smith (who by no coincidence, cites
naturalist David Attenborough as a contemporary muse) has embodied such an appreciation on
The Kid in as direct and sincere a way as possible by sonically charting the phases of life itself.
The album, which punctually follows up her 2016 breakthrough Ears, chronicles four defining
cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan across four sides of a double LP.
The first side takes us through the confused astonishment of a newborn, unaware of itself,
existing in an unwitting nirvana. Smith’s music has always woven a youthful thread befitting of the
aforementioned subject. Here she articulates it in signature fashion on the track “An Intention,”
which serves not only as a soaring spire on The Kid, but on her entire output. There is playfulness
here, but it’s elevated by an undertone of gravity into something compelling and majestic that is
fast becoming Smith’s watermark. The emotional focus of side two is the vital but under reported
moment in early youth when we cross the threshold into self awareness. The subject is profound
enough to fill an entire album, but rarely makes its way into a single track, indicating Smith’s
ambition to broach subtler and deeper subjects than the average composer. This side offers up
another highlight in the form of In The World But Not Of The World which serves its subject well
with epiphanic, climbing strings and decidedly noisy textures over a near-Bollywood low end
pulse. Side three emphasizes a feeling of being confirmed enough in one’s own identity to begin giving back to the formative forces of one’s upbringing, which is arguably the duty that all great artists aim to fulfill. This side ends with the exploratory album cut Who I Am and Why I Am Where I Am recorded in a single take without overdubs on the rare EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer. This humble piece of sound design serves as a contrast to side four’s verdant orchestral moments, all written and arranged for the EU-based Stargaze quartet by Smith herself. This final side represents a return to pure being, the kind of wisdom and peace that eludes most of us until the autumn of life. On To Feel Your Best this concept is voiced in the bittersweet refrain “one day I’ll wake up and you won’t be there” which Smith intended to be a grateful acknowledgement of life rather than a melancholy resentment of loss. The song has both effects depending on the mood of the listener, and both interpretations are equally moving. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith belongs to an ilk of modern musicians who are defined by their commitment to creating experiential albums despite the singles-oriented habits of modern listeners, and here she represents her kind proudly. The subjects on The Kid are not simple to convey, and yet through both emotional tone and lyrical content, Smith does just that. There is a similar gravity to both birth and death, and rarely is that correlation as accurately and enthusiastically mapped as it is here. Alan Watts, another logical inspiration of Smith’s, once expounded that people record themselves to confirm their own existence, and as such, echoes and resonance are reminders that we are alive. “You’re not there unless you’re recorded,” Watts muses, “if you shout, and it doesn’t come back and echo, it didn’t happen.” The Kid speaks to this idea directly. As Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith explores her existence through music, she guides us in gleefully contemplating our own.
2LP – Double Black Vinyl.
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Yumi Zouma –  Willowbank

Following last year’s lauded debut LP, Yumi Zouma return to Cascine with their sophomore album, Willowbank, a collection of dreamy, disco-indebted pop tracks. The album’s namesake is a wildlife reserve in the band’s home base of Christchurch, NZ, a community on the mend in the wake of a devastating earthquake in 2011. The Yumis, whose four members are scattered across the globe, reunited in New Zealand to write and record Willowbank. The result is an album that channels both the tight-knit togetherness and the unparalleled beauty of their native land. Willowbank is also some of Yumi Zouma’s best work to date, refining their effortless, windswept songwriting sensibility, while also exploring a new pallet of sounds and textures.

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Cults  –  Offering

Cults made their name in black and white. A pair of film school dropouts who burst onto the New York scene with a perfect single and a darkly retro sound, the band’s first two albums play like noirish documentaries on a lost girl group. Four years after Static, Cults returns with Offering, an exciting collection of songs bursting with heart, confidence, shimmering melody and buzzing life. The time off has given the band new energy and new ideas–Cults are working in Technicolour now. The core duo remains the same. Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, both 28, still live in New York. They still finish each other’s thoughts and still share a love of catchy music and black humor (this is a band that sampled cult leader Jim Jones on their first hit). But the pair have put some blood on the tracks since their breakout debut: they’ve toured the world, built a devoted audience, survived a breakup, grown up in green rooms, parted ways with their old label and made a home of their new one.

Pains album cover

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Echo Of Pleasure

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have long set the benchmark for big-hearted, idealistic pop songs. With The Echo of Pleasure, The Pains push beyond their many inspirations and embrace their role as indiepop heroes in their own right. Showcasing the deft songwriting of frontman Kip Berman, The Pains‘ fourth album is their most confident and accomplished. After three critically-acclaimed records, 2009’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, 2011’s Belong and 2014’s Days of Abandon received praise from The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Guardian and Rolling Stone, they have put together a collection of songs that possess a timeless grandeur, deeper and more satisfying than anything the band has done since their iconic debut.

It’s an album that reflects the band’s most joyous moments while maintaining Berman’s candid and critical lyricism, free of the self-abasing insecurity of youth. “The album is loving. The music is heavier, more expansive,” he says. “To me, songs about love shouldn’t be thought of as light. Love is big- sometimes it’s emphatic, overwhelming or simple – other times it’s tense, anxious or just exhausting. But at its best, it makes you want to be something better.”

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Miracle Legion  –  “Annulment”

First ever live album by Miracle Legion, Annulment was recorded during the band’s 2016 US reunion tour. Most of the album comes from a show at Codfish Hollow, Iowa plus tracks from the Bellhouse, Brooklyn show. Double CD with 25 songs

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Richard Thompson – Acoustic Classics 2

A continuation of the Acoustic Classics series, this collection features acoustic renderings of classic songs from the Richard Thompson catalog, including some previously recorded by other singers, some only available in a band format, and some only existing as cover versions.

3LP – Triple Gatefold Vinyl comprising Acoustic Classics II and the Acoustic Rarities albums.

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Limited to just 300 Copies on 7″ Vinyl. Renowned for the ferocious intensity of their live shows, Yak are back with the new single All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life. Recorded with Tame Impala’s Jay Gum Watson in Kevin Parker’s studio in Perth, the track is Yak’s claustrophobic interpretation of The Dixie Nightingale’s cult gospel classic. “A loved one departed and on the way out sent me this song, so we ended up recording a delirious version in the blistering heat of Perth,” says Yak frontman Oli Burslem. “I love the original Dixie Nightingales’ version, it reminds me of songs like Wendy Rene’s ‘After Laughter’, which I imagined was recorded in the same studio with maybe even the same people playing.” On the b-side is Yak’s take on Lee Hazelwood’s Wait and See.

YakAll I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life

Produced by Pulp’s Steve Mackey, ‘Semi-Automatic’ is the slow-burning new single from London’s noise-rockers Yak, which with ‘Heavens Above’ comprises the AA-side release out today (October 28th) on Octopus Electrical Records.
It’s a loaded track, in all senses of the word, exploding on their incendiary riffs, infectious bassline and Oli Burslem’s inimitable vocal.
Watch the video, directed by Ben Crook, which features the band performing at Ridley Road Market Bar in London’s Dalston.

NOTHING – TIRED OF TOMORROW

Philadelphia’s Nothing return with ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, their beautifully profound follow-up to 2014’s widely-acclaimed ‘Guilty Of Everything’. Recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4 with Will Yip (Circa Survive, Title Fight), ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ is a modern, nihilistic take on the triumphant fuzzed-out guitar rock of the 90’s, replete with huge hooks and brooding melodies. Much like the events it’s based on, the album displays an unparalleled balance of opposites and contradictions, rife with sweet-and-sour themes, downcast grooves, infectious choruses, and blissfully expansive washes of sound. With ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, Nothing have worked the deepest influences of their youth and maturation into a confident, memorable album that is sure to soothe old wounds while simultaneously opening up new ones. Recommended if you like: Smashing Pumpkins, Ceremony, Merchandise, My Bloody Valentine, Diiv and Radiohead.
LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 300 Copies on Grey Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Standard Black Vinyl with Download.

YAK  –  ALAS SALVATION

Just over a year since their first single ‘Hungry Heart’ was released – a period that saw their unpredictable gigs and electrifying clutch of studio recordings earn them a reputation as the most exciting and talked about new act in the UK – Yak have channelled their ferocious live experience into their debut album ‘Alas Salvation’. Recorded with Pulp’s Steve Mackey, it’s a wired and ambitious record that refuses to be pigeonholed. Yet beneath all the head-spinning chaos lies a beating heart of great melodicism and a hyperactively eclectic and inventive approach to making.

EAGULLS  –   ULLAGES

Rough Trade exclusive with a Zine – Procrastination Compilation George Mitchell – Limited to just 500 Copies. Releasing their much-acclaimed self-titled debut-album in 2014, the following 12 months saw the fiercely independent Leeds-based band go from strength to strength. Highlights of the year included taking both Later… With Jools Holland and The Late Show With David Letterman in the U.S. by storm, sharing the stage with the likes of Arcade Fire and Pharrell while scooping a major prize at the NME Awards and playing across the globe at some of the world’s most renowned festivals including Coachella, Latitude, Field Day and Reading / Leeds. Retreating to their rehearsal space to begin work on their second album, ‘Ullages’ (an anagram of the band’s name) gradually took shape over long days and nights in the converted Catholic Church in Leeds. Intent on breaking new ground, drawing out the textured melodies that lay discreetly amongst the speed, intensity and heady fuzz of their debut and creating an altogether different record, ‘Ullages’ is a near perfect distillation of their agenda; a record that recalls the shimmering opulence of the Cocteau Twins and the melancholic majesty of Disintegration / Pornography-era The Cure.
LP – Black Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Limited Green vinyl with Download. 500 Copies only for the UK.

JOHN DOE  –  THE WESTERNER

John Doe is a founding member of the seminal L.A. punk rock band X and the country spin-off band The Knitters. The album features ten new tracks from Doe with guest appearances from Chan Marshall of Cat Power, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Cindy Wasserman of Dead Rock West and Tom Brosseau. ‘The Westerner‘ was produced by Howe Gelb (Neko Case, M. Ward), Dave Way (Fiona Apple) and Doe. The album’s artwork was designed by Shepard Fairey and Aaron Huey to support Native American rights via a campaign called Protect The Sacred, with additional photography by Jim Herrington.
LP – With Download.

RED HOUSE PAINTERS –  OLD RAMON

Released almost concurrently with head Red House Painter Mark Kozelek’s solo venture ‘What’s Next to the Moon’ (a selection of deconstructed AC/DC covers), ‘Old Ramon’ allows the rare opportunity to hear an artist both then and now. Recorded in 1997, ‘Old Ramon’ languished in the limbo of label fallout, finally to be rescued and released by Sub Pop in 2001. Meanwhile, though, it seemed Kozelek had moved on, releasing a flurry of projects with nary a look back, making ‘Old Ramon’ almost seem like an afterthought. But what a lovely afterthought it is. The trademark features of the Red House Painters are all here: the songs are long and meandering, the guitars seesaw languidly, the drums plod, dissonant harmonies moan and Kozelek’s olive-oil voice seeps around everything. The best tracks include the light and airy ‘Wop a Din-Din’, an homage to Kozelek’s cat; the dark and beastly ‘Byrd Joe’ and the understated ‘Cruiser’.
LP+ – Limited Double Vinyl with Download.

PUMAROSA –  CECILE

Limited beautiful White Vinyl 12″ with Download. London five-piece, Pumarosa are a band who assembled from unexpected and varied quarters. Isabel met drummer Nick at a rehearsal for a new band in a rundown Homerton pub and when no one else showed up the pair formed a guitar-and-drums Punk duo and began writing and rehearsing in the basement. After moving to a warehouse in Manor House, they met Henry, Tomoya and Neville and began a period of intensely hot rehearsal in a 10′ x 10′ chipboard room. In the summer of 2015, the band was offered a residency in the cavernous disused cinema of an Italian surrealist, situated within the cliffs of Calabria. Scraping together a van and driving non-stop to Italy, the band worked on new material in beguiling forty degree heat, developing further their expansive sound. It was also in Italy that they settled on the name Pumarosa: in part reflecting Isabel’s Chilean roots, but also the lurid-looking jungle fruit of the same name. In September 2015 Pumarosa released debut single “Priestess’, produced by Mercury-nominated Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bat For Lashes, Toy) via Chess Club / Mom + Pop (US). Zane Lowe on Beats 1 had the world’s first play and within three days ‘Priestess’ was the second most blogged about song worldwide.

THE BIG MOON – CUPID

Limited 7″ only. The Big Moon release a new single ‘Cupid’, their first through Fiction Records. It was produced and mixed by Catherine Marks (Foals / Wolf Alice), and follows their two acclaimed singles to date, ‘Sucker’ and ‘The Road’. It has been an exciting introductory year for Juliette, Fern, Soph and Celia of The Big Moon. Releasing their first recordings to widespread acclaim in 2015, the band have been busy selling out their shows across the UK, and performing to expansive audiences on high-profile support tours with the likes of The Vaccines, Ezra Furman and their new label mates The Maccabees. The band return with another bullet of a track that heightens their already sky-high appeal. ‘Cupid’ is everything that The Big Moon have already promised and more. A track full of punch, verve and a knowing swagger, capped by vocalist Juliette Jackson’s wry snarl of a delivery, and her bandmates pin-sharp harmonies. It’s a smart and confident next step forward.

BRYDE  –  EP1

Exciting new London solo-artist Bryde releases her debut EP, simply entitled ‘EP1’ via Seahorse Music. The release contains previous singles ‘Wait’ and ‘Help Yourself’ alongside two brand new tracks (‘Nectar’ and ‘To Be Loved’) which have already been making an impact at her live shows around the country. Earning comparisons to the Sharon Van Etten, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley and London Grammar, her powerful vocals, sharp, evocative lyricism and searing guitar tones have won plaudits from the likes of NYLON, The 405 and The Line Of Best Fit, with the latter declaring Bryde’s heady concoction as “tearjerk folk-pop”. Limited to 500 copies on transparent light blue vinyl.

CAT’S EYES –  TREASURE HOUSE

If Cat’s Eyes self-titled debut was grown in the dark, then ‘Treasure House’, their second, is born in light. If the nocturnal interiors of Cat’s Eyes were a cult flick viewed in smudgy black and white on cathode ray, then ‘Treasure House’ takes everything into the great outdoors and shoots it in Technicolor on wide silver-screen; an old school blockbuster, of the kind they no longer make. This is the third album by Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan, previous albums include Cat’s Eyes self-titled 2011 debut and last year’s European Film Award awarding wining soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s film, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’.

ULTIMATE PAINTING – LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Ultimate Painting is a young, yet already distinguished UK duo comprised of Jack Cooper and James Hoare. As the story goes, these two spent time touring together with Cooper’s band, Mazes, supporting Hoare’s band, Veronica Falls. A fateful friendship developed and, to make it quick, demos were recorded and swapped, which all eventually led to their debut seeing release on Trouble In Mind. The project has been so thoroughly adored for its uncomplicated, beautifully calm approach to VU-style riff-making and loose-but-biting vibes that the follow up, ‘Green Lanes’, was released a mere ten months later. Needless to say Third Man Records are so glad they carved their way through the great land of Nashville, TN. Recorded direct-to-tape, ‘Live at Third Man Records’ is an impeccable document of English rock ‘n’ roll. The band is in top form here and their set consists of the finest material from the band’s first and second albums, ‘Ultimate Painting’ and ‘Green Lanes’ respectively, with a handful of extended jams featured here. This live record is a must own for fans of the band, not to mention anyone smitten with mellow guitar magic that absolutely explodes into some true, stately mayhem.

DEATH AND VANILLA  –  DEATH AND VANILLA EP

12″ Blue Vinyl EP / CD digipack. The first release for the Swedish Psychedelic dream-pop band, their self-titled EP caught the attention of French label ‘Hands In The Dark’. They originally released EP in 2010 on CD an extremely limited edition run of 100 copies. The EP will be reissued on blue vinyl to match the cover alongside the ‘From Above’ 7″ and their self-titled debut long player.

CLINIC  –  INTERNATIONAL WRANGLER  Reissue

Clinic’s long-awaited debut album Internal Wrangler fleshes out the sound the group crafted on their self-released EPs, and it also adds a few new twists. Though eerie, punk-tinged songs like “The Return of Evil Bill” and the title track sound like they could have appeared on the band’s first singles, Internal Wrangler’s best songs concentrate on the experimental yet accessible sides of Clinic’s sound. “The Second Line”‘s darkly catchy throb, the aptly named “2nd Foot Stomp”‘s organ-driven pulse, and “Voodoo Wop”‘s blend of surf and Krautrock are a logical progression from Clinic’s roots, but ballads like the “Pale Blue Eyes”-esque “Distortions” and the late-night calm of “Goodnight Georgie” are a leap into new territory for the band. Though some of the thrashier songs like “C.Q.” and “T.K.” and a bottom-heavy song sequence detract from the album’s flow, Internal Wrangler is still a strong debut from one of England’s most promising and distinctive indie bands.

CLINIC –   WALKING WITH THEE  Reissue

Right down to its gritty, mod-punk art direction, Walking With Thee seems like it should fit right in with Clinic’s previous work. Indeed, the group’s second full-length album could’ve been a carbon copy of their debut, Internal Wrangler, but to Clinic’s credit, the band makes a few changes, opting for a smoother production and a quieter, more implosive sound than their previous work offered. Frustratingly, though, most of these changes end up detracting from the group’s strengths and diluting the album’s impact. Walking With Thee’s production is far from slick, but a huge part of Clinic’s appeal was that the band seemed to record in an underwater garage, giving their songs a fuzzy, cavernous sound that made their messy, thrashy moments even more dangerously alluring and their ballads that much more affecting. Stripped nearly bare of reverb and static, much of Walking With Thee sounds incomplete, particularly on the almost-punk of “Pet Eunuch,” “Welcome,” and “The Equaliser,” which, with its rattling percussion and driving bassline, could’ve rivaled Internal Wrangler’s ugly-beautiful intensity if had a little more oomph. However, the album isn’t a total washout — for every lackluster moment, there’s one that connects. “The Vulture” and “Walking With Thee” nearly reach the frenzied, strangely sexy, bottom-dwelling heights (depths?) of Clinic’s best work. And beginning with the chilly, hypnotic opener, “Harmony,” many of the album’s quietest moments are the most compelling. Filmic tracks like “Come Into Our Room” and the dreamy finale “For the Wars” follow suit, though their brooding, stark sound will only strengthen the Radiohead comparisons. There’s a lot of promise on Walking With Thee, but nothing here touches the deadpan cool of Internal Wrangler’s “The Second Line,” the detached poignancy of “Distortion,” or the raw energy of “Second Foot Stomp.” The band sounds like they’re still figuring out how to make the urgency of their previous work jell with a more polished, experimental sound, which makes Walking With Thee not so much a progression or regression as a step sideways. Clinic is still one of the most intriguing acts around, and while this isn’t the masterpiece the band has the potential to deliver, an interesting disappointment from them is still better than a successful but boring album from a less-inspired group.

Taken from the forthcoming album, ‘Alas Salvation’, by Yak,

Yak are bonkers – that much has been clear from the off. With a reputation for deranged live-shows, non-stop touring and a debut album as fast-and-furious as they come all tucked under their arms, they’re only going to get weirder still. Their new video for ‘Harbour The Feeling’ is the launch-pad for that lunacy.

Frontman Oli Burslem takes centre-stage, presenting a wacky new game show in which contestants have to ride a real-life yak. Sort of – it’s a mechanical one, but it’s every bit as feisty as the real thing.Sporting a fetching camel suit in the process, Oli leads ‘Harbour The Feeling’ through this maddening pitch for your new favourite Saturday night telly show.

Watch the ‘Harbour The Feeling’ video below – it’s taken from ‘Alas Salvation’, Yak’s forthcoming and hopefully if their live shows are anything to go by it could be a brilliant debut album . Catch up with the band here, and head in-the-studio where they put ‘Alas Salvation’ together

Yak play the following live dates: