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what we got this week, then?
quite enjoyed it on first listen
and toro y moi...
Toro y Moi
Hilly Eye (Amy from Titus Andronicus' new thing)
Esben and the Witch
someone played them at a radio music team meeting and i thought it was cool and then i found out it was amy klein from titus andronicus on the radio and got really excited. ill probably like it more than local business.
i heard the camper van beethoven album from last week wasnt awful
I didn't like the last one though.
Pascal Pinon - Listened to it a couple of times this morning
Matthew E White - As we speak got it on, seems like a grower to me
21 January 2013
Esben and the Witch Wash The Sins Not Only The Face
22 January 2013
Aaron Neville My True Story
Adam Ant Adam Ant Is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter
Alasdair Roberts & Friends A Wonder Working Stone
Arbouretum Coming Out Of The Fog
Bad Religion True North
Camper Van Beethoven La Costa Perdida
Carrie Rodriguez Give Me All You Got
Darius Rucker True Believers
Dawn Richard Goldenheart
Foxygen We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
Gary Allan Set You Free
Guided by Voices Down By The Racetrack
Hilly Eye Reasons To Live
Love And Death Between Here & Lost [Solo project of Korn's Brian Welch]
Nightlands Oak Island
Nosaj Thing Home
Petra Haden Petra Goes to the Movies
Pillowfight Pillowfight [Dan The Automator and Emily Wells]
Poppy Ackroyd Escapement
Ra Ra Riot Beta Love
Randy Houser How Country Feels
Say Anything All My Friends Are Enemies: The Early Raritie
Shugo Tokumaru In Focus?
Speck Mountain Badwater
The Growlers Hung At Heart
The Joy Formidable Wolf's Law
The Lone Bellow The Lone Bellow
The Night Marchers Allez Allez
This Town Needs Guns 188.8.131.52.0
Toro y Moi Anything In Return
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown Wild Child
Esben and the Witch – Wash the Sins Not Only the Face - dispelling any burden of 'the difficult second album', esben and the witch have comprehensively transcended any such slump or curse with 'wash the sins not only the face': a majestic, haunting and triumphant work that is not 'difficult' in the slightest. their second full-length brings to fruition concepts that glimmered on their first, 2011's acclaimed 'violet cries', but there are no laurels being rested upon here. to make their second album, esben and the witch questioned, challenged and rewired their past to find the way to their future and have produced their first masterpiece. they wanted the album to unfurl like a journey, like a day, where opening songs are possessed of a brightness, an optimism that ebbs away over the record's course.
Nosaj Thing – Home - 27-year-old LA producer, musician and DJ Jason Chung, aka Nosaj Thing, will release his sophomore album Home on 21 January 2013 through Innovative Leisure. Home comes three years after the release of his debut Drift (Alpha Pup) which topped several Best of Year lists in the US press for its experimental hip-hop and electronic innovation. Having remixed and worked with the likes of The XX, Flying Lotus, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beck and Kendrick Lamar, Home marks the first time Nosaj Thing has incorporated guest vocalists into his own tracks. Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead) provides dark and evocative vocals on ‘Eclipse/Blue’, which has already amassed over 160,000 plays since its release online just two weeks ago. Kazu Makino was Nosaj Thing’s first-choice collaborator, and proved the perfect match. “The whole experience with that song was so amazing”, he said, “Kazu's voice is unlike any other”. Toro y Moi, a friend and touring partner, also contributes dreamlike vocals to the electronic fuzzy beauty of album track ‘Try’. The rest of the album is rounded with Nosaj Thing’s signature cinematic soundscapes that explore the space where Drift left off.
Wave Machines – Pollen - “’I love deadlines’” says Wave Machines frontman Tim Bruzon, quoting Douglas Adams “’I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.’” It’s been 3 years since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Wave If You’re Really There, but Wave Machines haven’t been standing still. While they may have taken a step back from the live scene in recent months, tracks have been permeating compilations, TV and film soundtracks around the world. Such is the unseen toil, the slow burn, the delayed reward of the modern music business. The writing and recording process had two pillars. In the eaves of St Brides Church in the shadow of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, Tim and the band worked through initial ideas in their self-made rehearsal space. Then with a hard drive full of tracks, Tim would take trips to a studio in London, where their efforts were laid bare before producer Lexxx (Arcade Fire, Bjork, Goldfrapp). The pair would then chop and change, approve or discard, edit or overdub, before Tim set off back to Liverpool. The repeated to-and-fro between these two creative hubs gave the band the necessary perspective, forging the more cohesive yet complex shapes of their second album.
The Pictish Trail – Secret Soundz Vol 2 - FENCE RECORDS are delighted to begin what is anticipated to be the label’s most exciting year yet with the release of THE PICTISH TRAIL’S long-awaited second album Secret Soundz Vol. 2 on January 21st 2012. The full release will be preceded by a double-gatefold 12” vinyl + 2CD limited-edition version together with the critically-lauded Secret Soundz Vol.1 – FENCE’S MOST SUCCESSFUL ALBUM SO FAR – dispatched from the Fence shop in time for Christmas. Yo ho ho. Pop-washed, psych-dipped, folk-tinged, electro-frazzled and altogether outrageously enjoyable, Secret Soundz Vol. 2 is a deep, reflective sigh ruminating on physical and mental upheaval, refocused priorities, expanded horizons and new starts for The Pictish Trail, nom-de-plume of Hebrides-based, Edinburgh-born, Connecticut-and-St Andrews-schooled singer-songwriter and Fife adopted-son Johnny Lynch. Recorded in a caravan on Eigg in late 2011 and early 2012, but assembling thematically-complimentary songs written over a much longer period, it’s a perfectly- formed homespun heart-warmer that snaps to this prolific artist’s diverse creative grid among a plethora of other outlets for his musical creativity. Be it crafting furiously danceable electro-pop together with London-based multi-instrumentalist Adem in the guise of Silver Columns – whose 2010 album Yes, And Dance was hailed as "A glorious curveball of a record" by Q - or making In Rooms, a 2011 side-project mini-album containing 50 songs each 30 seconds long. Or running Fence Records, one of Scotland’s most cherished and respected DIY micro-labels.
Blood Red Shoes – Water EP - Titled ‘Water’ and released January 21st through V2 on 10” vinyl and download, the three new tracks were recorded in Dallas TX this October by John Congleton (The Roots/The Walkmen/Explosions In The Sky). “One of the first times Laura and I actually met was at a show that John Congleton's band The Paper Chase were playing in London 8 years ago,” explains Steven Ansell. “We've known John since then and always been in touch about doing some recording sometime....so we finally made it happen at the end of our recent US tour. We did it super fast down at his studio in Dallas Texas, straight after our last show of the US tour. The songs themselves are some of the most out-and-out rock riffs we've ever written, inspired a lot by driving around the USA and pure badass rock n roll immediacy - they're much looser, faster, and less considered than ‘In Time To Voices’ and we wanted to capture that feeling and not make it too perfect.
FaltyDL – Hardcourage - Welcome if you will, to the coming of age of FaltyDL, AKA Drew Lustman. A producer who's already carved out a name as one of the most exciting talents to emerge in electronic music of late, he's released albums on Planet Mu, supported Radiohead (and topped Thom Yorke's office playlist,) as well as remixed the XX, Scuba and Mount Kimbie - to name but a few. He also has his own label, Blueberry Records, in collaboration with which Ninja Tune presents 'Hardcourage.'
'Hardcourage' is the NYC-based Lustman's masterpiece: an electronic opus inspired by love and crafted with renewed intent and dedication. Lustman often makes mention of attempting to channel the music in his head, to allow it to pour forth direct from his subconscious. In 'Hardcourage' it seems he's succeeded. The music here feels incredibly natural, the songs taking the most perfect of shapes, their emotive rise and swell both subtle and immensely powerful.
I Am Kloot – Let It All In - Acclaimed Manchester three-piece I Am Kloot release their eagerly awaited new album ‘Let It All In’ on January 21st on their Shepherd Moon label. Produced by Elbow’s Guy Garvey and Craig Potter, the new album follows 2010’s Mercury nominated ‘Sky at Night’ and cements the song writing fortitude of front man John Bramwell while confirming I am Kloot as one of the classic British groups of recent times. This 10 track long player is a concise and lean collection of pop gems. From bluesy, burlesque opener, ‘Bullets’, through to the reverential finale of “Forgive Me These Reminders”, “Let It All In” proves the adage that less is indeed more. Further highlights include the haunting epic ‘Hold Back the Night’; the mystical hypnotic pulse of ‘These Days Are Mine’ and the understated simple elegance of ‘Some Better Day’.
Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law - 'wolf's law' could well see the joy formidable become the next big british guitar band. the band retreated to the wilds of maine at the close of 2011 to record the tracks that would become 'wolf's law'. snowed in for periods in the intense winter climate, the trio broke out to add orchestral touches in london and then to mixing in new york with the legendary andy wallace. the finished album, takes the band's already acknowledged mastery of melody and dynamic to another level, achieving the band's aim at its inception 'to keep the sense that everything is possible.'
Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return - The product of a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, CA and the subsequent extended separation from loved ones, Toro Y Moi's third full-length, 'Anything in Return', puts Chaz Bundick right in the middle of the producer/songwriter dichotomy that his first two albums established. There's a pervasive sense of peace with his tendency to dabble in both sides of the modern music-making spectrum, and he sounds comfortable engaging in intuitive pop production and putting forth the impression of unmediated id. The producer's hand is prominent- not least in the sampled "yeah"s and "uh"s that give the album a hip-hop-indebted confidence- and many of the songs feature the 4/4 beats and deftly employed effects usually associated with house music. Tracks like "High Living" and "Day One" show a considerably Californian influence, their languid funk redolent of a West Coast temperament, and elsewhere- not least on lead single, "So Many Details"- the record plays with darker atmospheres than we're used to hearing from Toro Y Moi. Sounding quite assured in what some may call this songwriter's return to producer-hood, Anything in Return is Bundick uninhibited by issues of genre, an album that feels like the artist's essence.
Alasdair Roberts – A Wonder Working Stone - In January 2013, Drag City Records will release the new album by Alasdair Roberts & Friends, entitled A Wonder Working Stone. A collection of varied new epics, Alasdair's latest is by turns metaphysical, cosmological, phantasmagorical, topical, personal and universal. This is Alasdair's most ambitious, fully-realized work to date (an extraordinary claim following the incredible excursions made on his recent releases Spoils and Too Long In This Condition). A Wonder Working Stone continues Alasdair's long-standing love affair and deeply creative interaction with the traditional music of has native Scotland (and beyond), offering an idiosyncratic and nuanced radicalization of that tradition. Indeed, he questions the very notion of 'tradition' in the modern age, with songs addressing topics such as mortality (as ever), life, love, sex, faith and history.
Boduf Songs – Burnt Up On Re-Entry - As previously announced, Southern Records is the fitting new home for the brand new Boduf Songs album which we can reveal will be entitled Burnt Up On Re-Entry. The album will see the light of day on 28 January 2013. The album is an adventurous, unpredictable and exceptional piece of music, which marks the evolution of Mat Sweet’s sound from the minimalist acoustic approach he has previously taken on his four albums for the Kranky label, to a more adventurous and experimental treatment of his songs. Burnt Up On Re-Entry is a place - an infinite space - where dark psychedelics are crafted using a combination of raw electronics, manipulated samples and heavy rock guitar. Where once other instruments were rare interludes betwixt brooding vocals and carefully plucked guitar, now they have a much bigger part to play, shaping entire songs into an animated whole. The songcraft on Burnt Up On Re-Entry remains centred around a heavy melodic and melancholic core, which has been prevalent across the entire Boduf Songs canon.
Speck Mountain – Badwater - While many efforts have been made to describe the music of Speck Mountain, one must jump in headfirst on their own to fully absorb the band’s textured and melodic sound. Deep within their sonic landscape is something innately recognizable––maybe it calls to mind a dozy record player hazing over ’60s soul, a dream, a scrap of a memory cloaked in that fuzzy atmosphere. By their own definition, “ambient soul” seems the most apt. It is a sound that surrounds us, warm and round––a sound that seems like it was always there. This is certainly the case on their forthcoming album Badwater, set for a 21st January 2013 release on Carrot Top Records.
Chris Darrow – Artist Proof - "Artist Proof" originally released in 1972, and coming out again on January 21, 2013. "Chris Darrow had an impact on your record collection, plus songs that you've heard on the AM and FM radio dial for ages. He's in your record collection - you just took him for granted" - Author Harvey Kubernik Long-time LA musician, and original member of the psychedelic folk group Kaleidoscope; Chris Darrow played on early Kim Fowley and Leonard Cohen records in addition to his own projects. More details on "Artist Proof" will follow.
This Town Needs Guns – 184.108.40.206.0 - TTNG has always been known for walking a tightrope line between pop melody and technical precision. But, 220.127.116.11.0 finds the band blurring the lines so masterfully that their intricate, spindling guitar lines and soaring pop hooks reach unforeseen apexes. And, so it's fitting that the band titled their new album after esoteric means of counting: 18.104.22.168.0 referring to the Mayan calendar's Long Count indicating the beginning (August 11, 3114 BCE) and ending (December 21, 2012) of the current creation. 22.214.171.124.0 is their first album featuring their new vocalist Henry Tremain following the amicable departure of former lead singer Stuart Smith in 2011. This lineup shows considerable growth and cohesion with Tim Collis' signature bluegrass style finger-picking electric guitar lines weaving around brother and drummer Chris Collis' stop 'n' go syncopated rhythms as Tremain's rich vocals glide across the proceedings. But it's the band's earnest songwriting that really shines herein.
Arbouretum – Coming Out of the Fog - baltimore's finest release their fifth full length album 'coming out of the fog' on thrill jockey. 'coming out of the fog', continues arbouretum's journey as their most focused and best-recorded album to date. dave heumann's vocals soar atop his guitar solos and corey allender's crunchy bass lines. throughout 'coming out of the fog', heumann's vocals take on a meditative quality, melodies unraveling effortlessly over carey's steady grooves. syncopated rhythms come to the fore on 'the promise,' building tension, and leading to a climax of synth swells and chromatic guitar lines.
Bad Religion – True North - Preeminent punk band Bad Religion will release their new album True North this January 21st on Epitaph Records. In a world still brimming with rampant anti-intellectualism, inequality and oppression, the band’s signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent seems as relevant as ever. On their newest record, the storied band deliberately revisits and refines the powerful and melodic Southern California sound they helped to define. “We went back to our original mission statement of short concise bursts of melody and thought,” co-songwriter and guitarist Brett Gurewitz explains. “The intent was to record stripped down punk songs without sacrificing any conceptual density.”
Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Light and Magic - In May 2011, Foxygen's Sam France and Jonathan Rado nervously handed off a CD-R of their homemade mini-opus Take the Kids Off Broadway to producer and visionary Richard Swift after his performance in a Lower East Side club. The duo, who had just mixed and burned the disc that very night, had been devotees of Swift's outsider-pop oeuvre since high school, when they first began recording their own pubescent forays into oddball rock n' roll (At least a dozen records were finished before they graduated high school). Foxygen left the venue that night unsure whether Swift would truly listen or sling the disc into a dumpster on his way out. You're reading this right now because he did listen. In fact, Swift fucking flipped for Foxygen's bugged out, esoteric majesty and called upon them immediately to say as much. Eight months later, Foxygen was holed up for a week-long recording session at Swift's neo-legendary National Freedom studio, creating what has become We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, a precocious and cocksure joyride across California psychedelia with a burning, bursting punk rock engine. The songs were written in an inspired fury just after the Take the Kids... was complete, pouring from their hands and mouths. Foxygen believes each song was a message of peace delivered from cosmic beings who used France and Rado as their messenger vessels. Some listeners may approximate with that old trope: "It's like listening to The Kinks on acid." But that doesn't exactly do it. The deeper truth might be that this is what The Kinks would be like if they themselves —the brothers Davies—dropped some blotter and struggled through a trip to lay down the follow-up to Arthur. Bubbling beneath their supreme melodic instincts, there's a wild, nervy energy and a raw musicianship that makes Foxygen incapable of doing anything exactly straight. And we wouldn't want it any other way. They somehow pack a host of musical left turns, lyrical non sequiturs and decades-spanning bridges into industry-prefered 3-4 minute gems that are at both reinvention and memorial. Don't call them the new young dudes on the scene. They're only new to you. They've been at this rock god thing since junior high.
Roots Manuva – Banana Skank EP - The one and only Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva returns to the fray with a four track EP displaying a perfect balance between stripped back lyrical goodness and dancefloor crunchiness. The last track on Mr Manuva's acclaimed 2011 album, "4everevolution," "Banana Skank" is here reimagined by WAFA as a hyperkinetic club smasher, all intricate changes of direction and emphasis, but without losing any of the original's joyful reggae pulse. Not be outdone, Smith links up his own sequel to the original, a kind of motoric good trip/bad trip which reminds you yet again what a uniquely talented producer he is. "Party Time" and "Natural" reinforce the point, showcasing the stripped back, icy productions Manuva has been making at his secret Tottenham base over the last year or so. He is joined on both tracks by long time Banana Klan collaborator Kope and together the two trade lines and verses in the best traditions of hip hop, their voices (and imaginations) bouncing off each other in an intertwining stream of consciousness that almost demands to be read across both tracks.
Mountains – Centralia - Centralia is the most fully realised Mountains album, it encompasses everything Mountains represents, from the analog electronic sound of 2011's Air Museum, to the gentle warmth and improvised grandeur of Choral. Mountains are utterly singular in their ability to combine such varied and complex sources into such delicately detailed songs of perceived simple pastoral ambience.
Brokeback – Brokeback and the Black Rock - Douglas McCombs’s goal for his longstanding Brokeback project has always been to do service to those fleeting moments in life when everything seems clear and defined and beautiful and the hair stands up on the back of your neck. These moments are hard to describe and by their nature impossible to capture, but to try it is to be inspired. They’re not always auditory, but for their musical expression, think Roy Orbison when he's sad and lonely, or alternately when he’s feeling triumphant, a Tom Verlaine guitar solo, Stravinsky and Erik Satie, an Ennio Morricone crescendo. Or Billy Gibbons, in a lyric like "Ridin’ ’top the floodway on a Friday night / The landscape’s a fine and natural sight." In the fall of 2010, when McCombs convened a new version of the band, Brokeback hadn't played a live show for more than two years and had not recorded any new music for eight. McCombs’s idea was not to start over, exactly, but to start fresh, approaching similar harmonic content from a different direction, taking into consideration the perspectives of the three new guys, Pete Croke (Tight Phantomz, Head of Skulls!, Reds and Blue), Chris Hansen (Pinebender, Head of Skulls!), and James Elkington (the Zincs, the Horse’s Ha).
V/A – Pop Ambient 2013 - The return of our annual ambient classic! POP AMBIENT always has located itself between the poles of habitual listening and sonic curiosity, with the space in-between beats being a way more interesting material than the beat itself. As in the years before, POP AMBIENT 2013 collects an illustrious cast of producers uniting genre pioneers alongside old friends and some surprising new arrivals.
Pascal Pinon – Twosomeness - On Pascal Pinon’s Tumblr you’ll find an old photo that shows twin sisters Jófríður and Ásthildur smiling proudly over a Yamaha keyboard circa 1999. Back then they weren’t even in their teens; far from it. And yet, they were already shaping a unique chemistry - a special bond that can only exist between siblings, and especially between twins. It's a rare gift to know another person on that level. The keyboard is still around now, and through their special bond, Pascal Pinon have produced a second album that’s bold, mature, and a striking development from their debut. “I don’t need anything/I just make something beautiful,” they sing on “Therney”, and apart from their own bedroom studio - simply equipped with cookies and tea, keyboards and guitars - they indeed don’t seem to need much to create a sense of homecoming. On "Twoseomness", Pascal Pinon lead the listener into an intimate, personal realm where everything seems to have fallen into place, or will do so soon enough, somehow.
Mattis & The Grand Trunk Road – Imperial Splendour - Now, the album 'Imperial Splendor' is finally ready. A collection of songs linking Mattis' Western singer/songwriter background with the influence of the East. The blend is a soundscape, hard to frame into any specific genre. Its direct, yet poetic story-telling leads the way and the music varies from the spare and ethereal, to the dense and edgy. 'These stories have their own pace and attitudes and I didn’t want the standard popsong-formula to limit how they unfold. It’s a state of mind that needs constant exercise, letting the words show you the way and letting the music follow the flow of the words', Mattis explains.
Ulrich Schnauss – A Long Way To Fall - Throughout the last decade Ulrich Schnauss has produced three albums which perfectly captured his vision of taking the 90's 'Shoegaze' aesthetic and placing it into an electronic context. With the new album 'A Long Way To Fall' Ulrich felt the need to change and explore new avenues. The result is an album still rich in texture and sonics but somehow cleaner, it celebrates the synthesiser but retains a human quality and an open structure to the songs without the need to smother the sounds with walls of echo and reverb. The album is most definitely still an Ulrich Schnauss album however and retains a certain sound and production sheen that could only be Ulrich. He has managed to create a record that has a coherent, cohesive narrative while managing to avoid leaning towards any genre cliches like 'shoegaze' 'electronica' or 'edm'.
First single from the new album out on 4th Feb.
Fuzzy Lights return with their highly anticipated third album ‘Rule of Twelfths’, their first new material since the Mojo Underground Album of the Month ‘Twin Feathers’ in 2010. Since their near-instrumental debut album of 2008, Fuzzy Lights have grown organically into a powerful and confident band weaving together elements of pastoral psych-folk and noise-rock. They now sit poised ready to reach a far wider audience with their most fully-realised and direct set of songs to date, hinting at elements of dream-pop.