Third Culture Kings debut album due 19 August 2017

Album release: ‘Is That Light You Carry?’ by Third Culture Kings
Release date: 19 August 2017
Label: Weed Recordings
More info: Band Facebook

‘Is That Light You Carry?’ is the debut record from Third Culture Kings, a new project led by Jan Johansen (Glorybox) and Alap Momin (dälek). Filtering classic vibes through modern interpretation, 3CK reimagine The Velvet Underground or Leonard Cohen as if they had been mixed by King Tubby and Afrika Bambaataa, all the while incorporating influences as diverse as Indian drone, early 80’s synth pads and Miami booty bass. 

Still, it’s worth noting that there’s nothing about these recordings that’s rooted in the past: nearly every sound on the record - sans lead vocals and guitar – was created or recorded directly to an iPhone. Momin created the beats, bass and majority of synth lines on his device, while Johansen then recorded backing vocals, second guitar, vibraphone, piano, horns, rhodes, and melodica as voice memos on his that were eventually dropped on top of the finished tracks. 

Cuts like ‘Seven Slayers’ send you on an arcane descent into alien subterranea, while ‘Sunshine For Sadie’ floats you across a dreamy, space-like universe. Elsewhere in tracks like ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Higher’, rock and roll guitars are juxtaposed with rattlesnake drums, creating ambient desert soundscapes perfect for an imagined intergalactic western. Throughout the record, hypnotic layers of sound and ambient psychedelics grip you to an electric-folk universe in which slow bubbling beats are matched with woozy flourishes and gently propellant melodies. 

There are few acts claiming to channel Vangelis and Suicide at the same time, and even fewer that also shout out their love of Doo Wop, UK Bass, and Chicago House in the same breath, but this international duo manage to strike all those notes and more. Veteran performers who’ve outlasted endless trends and toured the world for the better part of the last two Third Culture Kings aren’t afraid to stretch the boundaries of style. The eclectic, yet cohesive group of songs in their live shows complement bills featuring everything from shoegaze to commercial R&B. 

Jan Johansen hails from Copenhagen and has toured all over Europe, the U.S., and Japan with his old band Glorybox sharing stages with acts including Iggy and The Stooges and Marilyn Manson. He's recorded and toured playing guitar, drums, sitar, percussion, keys, and vocals with Serena Maneesh, Neil Halstead (Slowdive/Mojave3), Sufjan Stevens, and many many more. He also currently performs in the Danish indie rock band Ring Them Bells. 

Alap Momin, from New York City, better known as the Oktopus was a founding member and producer of the ground-breaking noise/hip-hop group dälek. Over the course of 15 years they released seven full-lengths worldwide while working with labels including Ipecac Recordings, Matador Records, Southern Records, and Tigerbeat 6. They performed alongside an incredible batch of artists, amongst them De La Soul, KRS-One, Tool, Fantomas, Isis, John Zorn, Mike Patton, The Melvins, Moby, Prince Paul, The Roots, Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Amon Tobin, Sonic Youth, Mars Volta, Saul Williams, and Flying Lotus. Alap has also been a recording and mix engineer for the past 24 years working on music from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Rye Coalition, Charles Hayward (This Heat), Faust, Will Oldham, David Byrne, Yann Tiersen, Alan Vega, Ted Leo, Eric Bachmann, and many more. 

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Hypochristmutreefuzz debut album due 11 August 2017 

Album release: ‘Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia’ by Hypochristmutreefuzz
Release date: 11 August 2017
More info: Band website

Hailing from Ghent, Belgium Hypochristmutreefuzz are at the forefront of Ghent’s noise-rock scene. Other than a secret weapon for passionate Scrabble-fanatics (their name comes from an avant-garde jazz piece by Misha Mengelberg) the band, formed around Belgian musician Ramses Van den Eede, is a frontal attack to all of the senses, thanks to a crushing groove, the use of a power drill as an instrument and inconveniently lovable bone-shattering and shamanic vocals. 

Following on from a number of single releases and an EP release in early 2015, they are now ready to release their debut album ‘‘Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia’ (named after the phobia of long words, of course!). The band have previously received praise from the likes of the Guardian and the Quietus for their incredibly individual and cacophonous yet strangely danceable noise-rock, which has attracted comparisons to the likes of Jesus Lizard, Pere Ubu, Mr Bungle, Butthole Surfers and The Residents. The album is a collection of ten frenetic, fuzz-driven, unhinged and at times seemingly depraved tracks. However, whilst wild and undeniably distinctive Hypochristmutreefuzz understand that a song being intelligent and complex need not exclude it from having a raw, rhythmic energy and a strong sense of melody, conjuring up imagery of a pop-infused satanic ritual.  

This translates into their live shows, performing in total darkness with one strobe light per artist and Ramses Van den Eede frantically thrashing and gyrating around the room amongst the audience members. Their bizarre and almost ceremonial live performance is enough to get even the most unassuming and inhibited members of the audience moving. The band have played one-off gigs all over, from historic underground castle vaults in Southampton, through to the likes of Live at Leeds and Glimps Festival. Following their album’s release in August, the band are set to return to the UK with dates to be announced. 

If you’re lucky enough to have heard Hypochristmutreefuzz or have even seen them live before, and believe us, you’d know if you had, then this incredibly strong debut effort should be instantly recognisable as a consummate and direct snapshot of the devastatingly efficient unit; with instruments, ideas and personalities bouncing off each other in an audible culture of creativity. If you’re still yet to hear them, then now is your chance. Throw up your arms. Join the cult. 

Press reaction to date

“Hypochristmutreefuzz are the latest chapter in that long tome of rock 'n' roll weirdos that dates back from Beefheart, through Pere Ubu, The Residents, Butthole Surfers and Mr Bungle to the new cream of Belgian noise-rock pioneers.” – the Quietus 

“…sounds less like Led Zep than the Jesus Lizard entering a demented circus-orgy, ringmastered by Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers.” – the Guardian 

“…these intense Ghent-based musicians also take inspiration from chart pop, hip-hop, and dance music. You’ll be snaking your hips to their funky grooves one minute, thrashing your arms wildly around the next, and maybe ending your listening party with a small seizure.” – Bandcamp 

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Mark Springer / Rip Rig And Panic new album due 28 July 2017

Album release: ‘Circa Rip Rig And Panic’ by Mark Springer / Rip Rig And Panic
Release date: 28 July 2017
Label: Exit Records
More info: Artist website

The pianist and composer Mark Springer began his career as a soloist before going on to form the critically acclaimed Bristolian post-punk/avant-jazz band Rip Rig And Panic, featuring members from The Pop Group along with Swedish/New York singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry. When they split after three dynamic years together The Times commented that, “…their too-brief career will not have been in vain if it has served at least to launch the pianist Mark Springer.”  

Now with four releases with Rip Rig and Panic and several solo albums to his name, including a collaborative record with Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Café, across Virgin Records and his own Exit label, Springer is lining up to release his new album ‘Circa Rip Rig And Panic’. Comprised of pieces written by Springer while in Rip Rig And Panic, the CD includes collaborations with two of his fellow Rip Riggers plus a duet with the Velvet Underground’s Nico. Circa is also further testimony to the versatile talents of Rip Rig and Panic’s bassist Sean Oliver - here on cello and vocals - who went on to co-write hits with Terence Trent D’Arby. 

From the earliest part of Springer’s career his distinctive and unique sound has continued. This was born from his ability to create intense and evolving soundscapes, both through his writing or improvisation - ‘spontaneous composition’ as Springer calls it. Springer has always aimed to stretch the possibilities of what the piano is capable of doing and therefore extend the language of the instrument. This powerful physical engagement directly translates into all of his music for piano and other instruments and comes through powerfully in the new CD Circa. 

This restless, continually probing, spirit has also been evidenced most recently in April 2017 with Springer playing completely new music at a special performance in Bologna, engaging the audience in a continuous energised exchange of creation and improvisation. Thriving off the risks of the unknown in his performance, this was recorded for the BBC and will be aired later this year. 

On his latest solo album ‘Circa Rip Rig And Panic’ Springer transcends strict genre classification yet again. Whilst the album’s foundations are rooted in jazz, he also makes forays into the traditional classical world, as well as neo-classical and at times the avant-garde. Tracks such as ‘Walking Cello’ and ‘Oh Lonesome Train’ explore free jazz based ideas and fluid structures creating frenetic yet masterfully controlled melodies. Elsewhere tracks such as ‘Fuji Fuji’ and ‘I’ve Got To Two Hand It To You’ lean towards neo-classical themes (the latter wouldn’t feel out of place on an Erased Tapes release) whilst introducing gentle jazz phrasing. Conversely, ‘A Given Voice A Given Choice’, which features Nico’s haunting and beguiling vocals sits somewhere between the contemporary and experimental field calling to mind Scott Walker or more recently A Dead Forest Index or Savages.  

Speaking about the album Springer says, “My drive in Rip Rig and Panic was to shake up the Jazz world and create a new kind of music that could break down musical boundaries, redefining the possibilities of a contemporary idea of what a band could do. Through that forum and with those great musicians I was able to explore and develop my compositions in front of a live audience. This music was created in that spirit.” 

‘Circa Rip Rig And Panic’ is a testament to Springer’s creative mind and his compositional integrity, which is shown through his broad back catalogue of work from the material recorded on ‘Circa’ all the way through to his more recent solo releases, piano quintet/sextets and opera. Plus a celebration of the brilliant cohesion between the talented musicians which contributed to making the group such a force. 

Albums, and indeed songs, that span so many genres are rare, and it’s even rarer that you’ll find sounds that perfectly capture such a diverse array of atmospheres and emotions as this. Mark Springer is an artist who needs no introductions, but if you’re yet to discover his work, there is no better time than now. 

Press reaction to date

“Dazzlingly inventive extemporisations that variously channel Eno, John Cage, Satie, Roedelius, Bach, Philip Glass, Jan Garbarek’s Officium, Michael Nyman, Ludovico Einaudi and Max Richter into something that sounds fresh and original.” – Uncut

“It’s clear that Springer is at home playing jazz standards or going hell for leather in an improve context” – The Wire

“This is Steve Reich territory, only here with more dynamic tension and often romantic intent. Utterly beguiling.” – Jazzwise

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Chris Merrick Hughes album 'Eirenic Life' due 14 July 2017

Album release: ‘Eirenic Life’ by Chris Merrick Hughes
Release date: 14 July 2017
Label: Helium Records
More info: Artist website

Google the word ‘Eirenic’, and you’ll find definitions like, “tending to promote peace or reconciliation.”  

“The title and main theme for Eirenic Life came from my feelings about the recent state of things and a few unwelcomed premonitions: the ongoing wars between people, the right-wing shift, Trump and Brexit, the late-night scaremongering news, all the aggressive and unnecessary crap,” says Chris Hughes. “I wanted the feeling of something more meditative, and aiming at peace. It’s as simple, and pretentious, as that!” 

There are two sides to Chris Hughes. There’s the notable producer of others’ records, most famously Adam & The Ants – with whom he also played drums - and Tears For Fears, and other famous names. And there’s the occasional composer of modern experimental music at odds with that line of work, such as the sublime piano ruminations of his new album Eirenic Life, six tracks of deep emotional engagement, from brooding to wistful and even a little agitating, Hughes reckons; from a richly expressive 13-minute piece to a 47-second miniature, united by a desire to locate a place of calm. Lovers of Eno and Erik Satie’s work will find much to love (Hughes also names Anton Webern, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Adams and György Ligeti among his ‘thanks’ in the sleevenotes: a succession of visionary pianists, minimalists and classicists).  

“The album doesn’t carry much form of traditional western composition, like developed harmonic work, it’s quite basic,” Hughes feels. “They’re more like sketches, strange melodic ideas. Not complicated, not boring but hopefully rewarding.” 

Hughes’ grounding in The Beatles and psychedelia was soon upended by a ‘Eureka!’ moment when his fine-art teacher/music-buff father took the 18-year old Chris to a concert by the minimalist composer Steve Reich. It was an album of, “strange experimental electronics,” that Hughes played to David Bates, a junior A&R man, that led to producing the Liverpool synth-pop band Dalek I Love You, which led on to Adam Ant.  

Even when Hughes was part of one of the greatest pop phenomena of the last 40 years, he’d create snippets of music, “but I’d stick them on the shelf. I never felt the urge to put it all together and make a record.”  

But finally, he did, releasing the acclaimed Shift on Fontana in 1994 (reissued by Helium Records in 2008), an exploration and reworking of several pieces by Steve Reich. Hughes recalls, “At that time, I was preoccupied with pulse, tempo, rhythm and sequence. I was busy successfully producing artists and groups for major labels, so in my precious spare time and as an antidote to schedule, demands, problem-solving and unnecessary pressure, I decided to make Shift. 

“Fast forward and I’m still working away in the studio, but I decided three years ago that it was time for another solo project. Often late at night, away from phone calls, production work and schedules, and with the added freedom of knowing that my children were now old enough to burn their own toast.” 

Eirenic Life is, at heart, a very straightforward piano album. “I wanted something small and simple, and everyone understands the nature of piano,” he explains. “I didn’t want a synth record. I didn’t want mystery.” 

Looking out of his studio at the lush Bybrook Valley, outside Bath, and looking too at computer graphic images of a sunset/sky and water that became Eirenic Life’s beatific album cover, Hughes had a tranquil place to work from, as he brought different pieces off the shelf: “ambient electronics, drone, undefined tempo and rhythm, the lack of constant pulse, piano music and, once again, sequence.”  

But he eschewed the easy option - especially for a producer used to big mixing desks and budgets - of changing the provenance of each piece. “It was important to do something that wasn’t cathedral-like, with a hundred overdubs and chord progressions, things I often do in my day job. My album has purpose but it’s meandering, it’s supposed to be primitive. I did write other ambitious tracks, but I couldn’t connect with them. I’m also a huge fan of minimalism, if you can get your point across with less.” 

The only addition to Hughes’ piano is some very subtle ambience, often field recordings that bring their own energy and intrigue. Such as recording from London’s Victoria & Albert museum in ‘Girl With The Jesus Towel’. “I like the idea that the V and A is theoretically calm, but it’s actually quite noisy!” he says. “And then I bedded the piano on that ambience”. The track also features the sound of an old gate opening and closing, discovered on a countryside walk: “it made such a squeaky mechanical interruption, I recorded it and used it as a squeaky mechanical interruption!”  

In case people interpret the reference to a 'Jesus Towel’–  which Hughes says could have been a rug or cloak, as a symbol of comfort - and the fact ‘Eirenic’ comes from Christian theology (of which Hughes was unaware at the time) as religious motifs, the ‘NSV’ part of the lengthy opening track, standing for ‘Non-Secular Violence’, makes his point clear.  

“The aspect of violence, ironically, comes from within the wrong part of religion, having God on your side and righteousness, fucking over another country, race or religion, which I find repulsive. The album ends with ‘Safe Warm Sun,’ which is a the eirenic part, aiming for peace, and no bigotry.”  

‘Tenemos Historia’ (Spanish for ‘we have history’) makes the same point: “it’s reminder that human beings should be doing better than killing each other by now.” 
The Dily of ‘Dily’s Dream’ is Hughes’ cat, a nervy rescue animal who nevertheless sleeps so peacefully, “and I often wonder what she’s dreaming about. It’s a dippy, noodly tune and it’s supposed to be whimsical.”  

Likewise, ‘Exmoor Pony Gavotte’, 47 seconds of, “a strange, repetitive descending line, which wasn’t particularly good, but when I re-discovered it, it made me laugh! And it made a nice dropdown into the last piece.” 

Having waited 23 years between solo albums, Hughes is already making progress with a third, “a more obtuse record, with wobbly synthesiser, super-fast modulation and drums.” A book of Hughes’ graphic designs in also in the works. But right now, he’s on a mission for peace, with one of the most exquisite and melodic balms of this or any other year. Send it to Donald Trump, now!

“beautifully pastoral and mesmerising” – the Guardian

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Binker and Moses new album due 28 July 2017

Album release: 'Journey To The Mountain Of Forever' by Binker and Moses
Release date: 28 July 2017
Label: Gearbox Records
More info: Band website

Binker Golding and Moses Boyd are a semi-free jazz saxophone and drums duo. They are among the frontrunners of a loose yet interconnected group of London-based jazz musicians that are influenced by the music that surrounds them, including grime, hip-hop and electronica as well as jazz. Like their US counterparts, they’re connecting with a new, younger audience. 

Born either side of the Thames - Binker north in Edmonton, Moses south in Catford – the pair met eight years ago and toured extensively as members of Zara McFarlane’s band, recording three albums for Giles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings. It was during the onstage sound checks with McFarlane that Binker and Moses started developing their duo improvisations, eventually bringing the idea of recording them to the attention of Gearbox Records, the vinyl-led record label and vinyl mastering studio. 

Their debut album, 'Dem Ones', kickstarted a sensational period for the duo, earning them a string of awards including Best Jazz Act at the 2015 MOBO Awards and two wins at the Jazz FM Awards 2016: UK Jazz Act of the Year and Breakthrough Act of the Year. They were also voted Jazz Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. 

From the beginning Binker and Moses have been building a strong young audience base performing in the more intimate rooms away from the traditional jazz venues, such as Brilliant Corners in Dalston and Deptford’s Job Centre as well in bookshops, cafes and record stores. In these situations they can play without amplification, often ‘in the round’ and facing each other, drawing the audience in to their uninterrupted sets that continually ebb and flow, building to tremendously powerful crescendos.

'Journey to the Mountain of Forever' is a two record set: the first disc features the duo on their own, while on the second they are joined by the great UK free jazz saxophonist Evan Parker, trumpeter Byron Wallen, harpist Tori Handsley, tabla player Sarathy Korwar and drummer Yussef Dayes. 

At 31 years of age Binker Golding has already been playing saxophone for 23 years. He studied jazz at Middlesex University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he completed his Master’s Degree. He has learned from and played alongside many great saxophonists including Steve Williamson, Jason Yarde, Denis Baptiste and Gilad Atzmon. Binker is the Musical Director of the TW Youth Orchestra and has composed concert repertoire and conducted the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Binker also plays in Moses’ band Exodus, and performed with Kano at last years Mercury Prize. 

26 year old Moses Boyd only started playing music in his teens, but within a few short years was performing in Denys Baptiste’s quartet at the Royal Festival Hall. Moses was the 2014 Worshipful Company of Music’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year and won the John Peel ‘Play More Jazz’ Award at the 2016 Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards. He has worked and collaborated with artists including Lonnie Liston Smith, Ed Motta, Little Simz, Four Tet, Floating Points, Sampha, Gilles Peterson. He leads his own outfits The Exodus and Solo Exodus which infuse jazz, grime and electronica influences. Moses also produces and releases music on his own Exodus Records label. During this incredibly busy period Moses still found the time to graduate from Trinity Laban with a BMus (Hons) Jazz Drums in 2016. 

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Wren album 'Auburn Rule' due 14 July 2017

Album release: ‘Auburn Rule’ by Wren
Release date: 14 July 2017
Label: Holy Roar Records
More info: Band website

Following on from the release of their 'Host' EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, are now gearing up to release their new album ‘Auburn Rule’. 

Recorded at Holy Mountain Studios by Misha Hering (Memnon Sa) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Beastmilk, Fucked Up and High On Fire), the new album sees the bands most consummated material yet. Calling to mind the likes of Neurosis, Amenra and Old Man Gloom, ‘Auburn Rule’ is a masterfully bleak and aggressive collection of tracks, which traverse an unyielding foray of styles and influences with nods to post-metal, noise-rock, sludge and doom. Full of morose and slow moving ascerbic moods, tempos and soundscapes, the album seamlessly merges visceral instrumentation and vocals with moments of ominous yet ethereal serenity.  

Speaking about the new album the band said “The album is based around the same premise as the entire band and our other records so far. Our process is more of a returned contribution to the creative pool that we draw from as a collective. Lyrically, each song is knowingly vague, and throughout 'Auburn Rule' there is rarely one idea that can be summarised from each song or passage - what is more common in our work is a collection of our scattered thoughts and incomplete musings." 

Since releasing their debut self-titled EP release back in Feb 2014, Wren have been moving from strength-to-strength, despite a variety of tumultuous line-up changes and painful geographical relocations. Wren have had to make heavy sacrifices to follow through with each record and commit to their sound, and their determination shows. 

Wren have garnered healthy support from select press in their short time together, with their last EP 'Host' commanding praise from the likes of CVLT Nation, The Obelisk, Terrorizer and, most notably, Daniel P. Carter with repeat plays on BBC Radio 1's Rock Show. Supports under the likes of Minsk, Ohhms and Kowloon Walled City have helped establish the band both in the UK and EU, and Wren have also made select festival appearances at Carefully Planned and Incubate Festival and are set to appear at Raw Power later this year. 

Press reaction to date

“massive waves of abrasive and downtrend sludge core heaviness” - CVLT Nation

“a good example of their turbulent, Isis-inspired churn” - Terrorizer

"righteous in its violence, thoughtful in its execution” - The Obelisk

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Charly Bliss announce first UK dates during September 2017

Tour announcement: Chely Bliss
Tour dates: September 2017
More info: Band website

NYC's Charly Bliss announce long awaited first UK dates following on form the huge interest in their critically acclaimed debut album, Guppy, out now digitally via Barsuk Records.

The album will get a physical release in the UK on September 8th ahead of their live dates here.

The band have also released a music video for 'Westermarck', a stand out - complete with infectious, immediate chorus - from Guppy. Billboard, who premiered the video, are saying it "captures summer camp in all its nostalgic, carefree glory."

The band are also offering a free download of 'Westermarck' with a follow here.

Guppy has been receiving significant attention in the States, where it recently got "Best Albums Of The Year So Far" accolades from Billboard, Stereogum, SPIN, Consequence of Sound and UPROXX. 

The band is currently on tour in the US and has dates with Death Cab For Cutie, Pup and Kevin Devine. Their energetic and magnetic live show is not to be missed.

Press reaction to date

"A record for the ages... Charly Bliss' debut is ebullient, addictive and an instant classic." - The AV Club

"An album of vulnerability and blunt honesty... Feels familiar even on first listen; you might find yourself singing along by the second chorus, as if this band's been soundtracking your adolescence all along." - NPR

"One of those bands where you either like them or you're wrong" - Upset

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Deer Tick new albums due 15 September 2017

Album release: Deer Tick Vol 1 & 2 by Deer Tick
Release date: 15 September 2017
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Band website

For the first time in four years the acclaimed and beloved band Deer Tick announce the September 15 release of a long-awaited new album...actually, two. Never a group to stand by conventional protocol, the celebrated Providence, RI quartet will release two separate albums of original material, Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2 (Partisan Records), recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. The two albums complement each other yet reflect completely contrasting styles, both of which accurately represent the two distinctive musical personalities of Deer Tick — quiet and thoughtful / loud and raucous. Listen to the beautiful 'Sea Of Clouds'  from Vol. 1 and the garage punk-infused 'It’s a Whale' from Vol. 2. 

Deer Tick Vol. 1 showcases the folk-driven, roots/rock style with right amount of grit, that Deer Tick is known for. Lead singer/songwriter John McCauley is a masterful introspective and observational songwriter, who documents inner struggles and external conflicts with a perfect balance of heartfelt sincerity and wry wit. The opening track Sea of Clouds encompasses all of what brought so many fans to Deer Tick in the first place, and also what kept them there. Guitarist Ian O’Neil’s 'Hope is Big' and drummer Dennis Ryan’s 'Me & My Man' expand on the group’s already dynamic range.

On Deer Tick Vol. 2, the band turns it up and lets it fly with an injection of punk-inspired garage rock at it’s finest. Clever lyrics, infectious hooks and captivating melodies pack Vol. 2 with bassist Christopher Ryan skillfully laying it down with authority and attitude.The propulsion of opener 'Don’t Hurt', edgy pop of 'Jumpstarting' and rowdy punk of 'It’s a Whale'  reveal that there was an obvious Jekyll & Hyde approach to recording Vol. 1& Vol. 2. Vol. 2 closes with boisterous 'Mr. Nothing Gets Worse', with all three singers taking a verse on a song that would have made The Replacements proud.

Deer Tick defines the term outlier. Their ever-evolving style has never been claimed by any one scene or genre. They encompass key elements of indie-rock, country, punk, pop, Americana, folk and so much more, which is what makes it difficult to nail them down. With Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, the question really is, why would anyone want to?

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Duane Forrest 'The Climb' new album due 21 July 2017

Album release: ‘The Climb’ by Duane Forrest
Release date: 21 July 2017
Label: Traaxx Music
More info: Artist website

The traveller’s experience is one envied by many. Throughout his life Duane Forrest, the newest artist to be signed to Traaxx Music, has been in the thick of many cultures, and now residing in Toronto, has previously had the luck to have lived in Mexico, Honduras, and Puerto Rico amongst others. Perhaps then, it is no surprise that his life and Jamaican heritage, has allowed Duane to so naturally weave the styles of Bossa Nova, Jazz, Reggae and Soul to create an organic warming sound.

A rough neighbourhood in a Toronto government housing complex could have lead to a different path in life except from the blessing that has saved so many before him, music. From a young age his appetite to delve deeper into the world of the arts has drawn him to many instruments, and techniques that have built and built into the ‘ Apple in the Tree’  series. The concept grew from an experience Duane had during a spiritual trip to Mexico, upon encountering a glimpse of love when it was least expected. The experience struck a chord when, “One day she told me this story. "I'm an apple in the tree, in this tree there are many apples within reach, even some on the ground are easy to pick up, but for me you'll have to climb..." Needless to say this stuck with me. Also the woman that she was, the confidence etc stuck with me. What she brought out of me also was very important. So I wanted to tell that story, that journey.”

Through the profits and influence of his music, Duane has recently founded a non-profit charity called 'Genesis Community of the Arts'. Genesis equips and sends teachers in the arts to marginalized places around the globe. Currently, Genesis has teachers placed in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, Choloma, Honduras and Panajachel, Guatemala. The goal of Genesis is to give marginalized people around the globe education in the arts, some for the first time. They are granted this opportunity through classes in music, dance, and visual arts. The hope is that through Genesis, they will discover something beautiful: creativity, much like the story of Duane’ s journey.

“My music is about my personal growth as a man, what that means, and how that looks as I interact with a woman. The ups and downs. This album is called 'The Climb'. It's about the work, the hard work it takes to rise to a place where perhaps I could be with the woman of my dreams.” Duane’ s heartfelt words are matched by the intimate hushed tones that swirl along throughout ‘The Climb’. For Duane, the release is an important one mentally. “I wrote most if this music after going through some hard times so it's very personal. Learning to be OK and happy with myself before moving into a relationship with others. And then there are my hopes and dreams there as well.”

Press reaction to date

“...soulful solo acoustic music. He sounded like Dave Matthews... with just a touch of jazz as his fingers flew over the fretboard of his guitar”- L.A. Beat

"Toronto's smooth operator warms the vibe with bossa nova, jazz and soul" - Vancouver Sun

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Placebo new single 'Life's What You Make It' out 2 June 2017

Single release: 'Life's What You Make It' by Placebo
Release date: 2 June 2017
More info: Band website

For a band with such a strong and unmistakable catalogue of original material, Placebo have always had an impeccable way with a cover version. Starting with a take on Syd Barrett’s Dark Globe, way back in 1996, they have freely interpreted the songs of others to complement the originals. Their choice of covers – from Nick Drake to Boney M; Serge Gainsbourg to Depeche Mode – demonstrates Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal’s musical influences and heritage. Rather than keep their musical passions locked in an ivory tower, they approach each interpretation with an excitement to share what they love.  

With its sledgehammer beat and Molko’s keening vocal, ‘Life’s What You Make It’ – the lead track from last year’s EP of the same name – instantly reminds you of all the reasons you fell in love with Placebo. There is a great deal in common with the work of Talk Talk (who sang the original in 1986) and Placebo: both remained true to their artistic vision, even if that has sometimes meant not taking the easy route. The song’s message of making the best of circumstances strikes a particular chord in the challenging era in which we live.   

“We covered Talk Talk's Life's What You Make It because it is a song from the 80s that we still liked, and wondered if we could replicate Gwen Stefani's global smash hit with her band's cover of 'It's My Life'. That remains to be seen…” Brian Molko says.  

Molko wanted something different for the film to accompany their song. He had a concept in mind that was loosely based around the original 1986 Talk Talk video that was shot at night on London’s Wimbledon Common. It featured the band surrounded by nature, complete with, as Molko puts it, “little beasties crawling over leaves”. Brian felt that there could be an updated version, where “the band would be robots playing instruments and that e-waste would replace nature, as it appears to be doing only a few decades after the song’s original release”. The brief that the band put out to prospective directors was short, simple and open to interpretation: “e-waste, please!”  

It’s not that Placebo were inundated with appropriate responses. Brian continues, “The only director who actually came back to us with a treatment about e-waste was Sasha Rainbow. I called her up to sound her out and discovered that I was speaking to a very brave and passionate woman.” 

Rainbow’s accompanying film for ‘Life’s What You Make It’ was shot in Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in the heart of Accra, in Ghana, which is home to one of the world's largest electronic waste dumps. It sets an apocalyptic backdrop of first-world waste against the daily lives of those who inhabit this thoroughly otherworldly space. 

“I told her that she had balls of steel for actually daring to go film on location in Ghana and that, no, we would not be coming, since we were timid little souls,” Molko says. 

“The two boys in the film live in this extraordinary place,” Rainbow says. “Which for me, highlights a human’s ability to adapt with incredible strength, resilience, and humanity.” It is a compelling look into a world that few know exists: “I hoped to capture the environment in a dreamily meditative way that would at once juxtapose and yet synergise with the theme of the song, and glimpse at part of the repercussions of our current technological revolution. On the one hand, technology is enabling us to create things beyond our wildest imagination, and yet little discussion has been had about what to do with all our discarded e-waste.”  

“I think that it is important to stress that the video is not anti-technology,” Molko adds. “That would be ridiculous, considering how much it enriches our daily lives. To me, it is about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity that has not been chosen. We do, however, hope that it will make the viewer think about the repercussions of just throwing away tech that doesn't work anymore. There are several new and ingenious ways to recycle tech these days. Some companies will even give you money for it. All it takes is a little more effort.” 

One of songwriter Mark Hollis’ key phrases in ‘Life’s What You Make It’, “yesterday’s favourite”, is sung so powerfully by Molko, and underlines the e-waste message strongly in the film; yet it is far from being downbeat – the boys are seen dancing and laughing, making the most of their circumstances. 

‘Life’s What You Make It’ continues Placebo’s remarkable run of singles, and its accompanying short film will provide one of the most thought-provoking moments you’ll have all year. 

The video for Placebo’s new single ‘Life’s What You Make It’ premieres Friday, June 2 2017. 

We are delighted to announce that Placebo will be returning to the UK to play a run of dates in October.  

Fans have the opportunity to get tickets in a special 48 hour pre-sale that begins at 9am on the 7th June here

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Fairport Convention box set, Come All Ye – The First 10 Years, out 28 July 2017

Album release: 'Come All Ye – The First 10 Years' by Fairport Convention
Release date: 28 July 2017
Label: UMC
More info: Band website

July 28th sees the release of this lavish Fairport Convention CD box set, 'Come All Ye – The First 10 Years'. Compiled by Andrew Batt, the curator of the very successful show, ‘ The Lady –A Tribute To Sandy Denny’, which toured the UK in 2012, this collection celebrates Fairport’ s first 10 years, beginning with their eponymous debut for Polydor in 1968, through all of their seminal albums for Island Records and finishing with tracks from their two albums for Vertigo, The Bonny Bunch of Rosesand Tippers Tales.

Of the 121 tracks featured here, 55 are previously unreleased. Highlights include key tracks from all of their classic albums, single B-sides, BBC Radio Sessions, 5 songs from the French TV programme, ‘Pop 2’  (December 1970), 5 songs from the Television show, ‘The Man They Couldn’ t Hang’  (1971) and the audio for an entire concert at The Fairfield Halls, Croydon (December 16th1973) plus 2 songs recorded live for the Scottish Television programme, ‘ Anne Lorne Gillies –The World of Music’  (1976). The set comes complete with liner notes by respected English writer, Patrick Humphries, author of many highly regarded books including,  ‘ Nick Drake – The Biography’  ( Bloomsbury 1998 ), ‘Richard Thompson – The Biography’ ( Music Sales Ltd 1997 ) and ‘The Many Lives of Tom Waites’  (Omnibus Press 1989).

Since 1979 the band have been hosting their very own yearly festival, Cropredy, the annual highlight of which is the Saturday night headlining performance by the current incarnation of Fairport Convention plus past members and guests. This year’ s festival promises to be very special as it marks the band 50th anniversary.  

Formed in London in 1967, Fairport Convention are the hardy perennials of the British Folk scene and are credited with inventing the genre known as Folk Rock on the release of their influential  album Liege and Lief in 1969.

Over the years they have enjoyed a shifting line-up, which has helped to launch the successful solo careers of founder members Richard Thompson, Judy Dyble, Ashely Hutchings and Simon Nicol and subsequently the careers of Sandy Denny, Dave Swarbrick and Dave Pegg. 

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Reverend & The Makers new album due 22 September 2017

Album release: ‘The Death Of A King’ by Reverend & The Makers
Release date: 22 September 2017
Label: Cooking Vinyl
More info: Band website

‘The Death Of A King’, the followup to the Top 20 album ‘Mirrors’, was recorded at Karma Sound Studios, Thailand with additional recording at 2Fly Studios & 1984 Studios (Sheffield) and produced by Dave Sanderson. It will be available on CD, Deluxe edition CD, 12” Vinyl, limited edition 12” vinyl, cassette and digital download. The album can be pre-ordered from the bands website and iTunes

The video for ‘Too Tough To Die’ is an extract from a film shot in Thailand and directed by Shaun James Grant. Following the critical success of previous album/film  ‘Mirrors’, which saw the band decamping to Jamaica, ’ The Death Of A King’ follows the band as they arrive in a remote fishing village in Thailand to record and film, however things take an unexpected twist when on the day of arrival the controversial king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, dies. 

Jon McClure: “We loved the recording abroad thing after the last album. Gives the albums a flavour of their own and so we thought we'd give Thailand a try, take the family and all that. I've been there before and Pete and Carl raved about Bang Saray so we took all the gang out there. Loads of us. It had finally got back to that big collective I'd always wanted to create. Having long since given up the notion of being number One, we resolved to just make tunes we liked. Ryan's mrs played bass for a tune, the wives and kids sang backing vocals. Being so far away from home and my family (Laura couldn't come as she was pregnant) meant I was starting to go a bit mental by the end. I kinda feel like some of that comes thru in the tunes a bit too. I’m kind of off trying to recreate ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’. I'm 35. I have a new set of concerns . I see the world in a different way now so I'm trying to be true to who I am today.” 

Reverend & The Makers played a storming set at Wirral Live (May 20th) where Jon McClure proudly welcomed Jeremy Corbyn to the stage, to make what many commentators agree his most impassioned speech of the 2017 campaign to date. Reverend & The Makers have announced five shows in October and November, with support from Will And The People. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 2nd June here

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Ron Pope new album 'Work' due 18 August 2017  

Album release: 'Work' by Ron Pope
Release date: 18 August 2017  
Label: Brooklyn Basement Records
More info: Artist website 

This fall, Nashville-based independent artist Ron Pope will embark on an international headline tour making stops in New York, London, Chicago, Nashville, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and more. See below for a full tour itinerary. Pope’s latest studio album, Work, is due August 18 on his own Brooklyn Basement Records and follows last year’s critically acclaimed Ron Pope & The Nighthawks, of which Entertainment Weekly said, “Heavier, deeper, bigger, louder. The warm glow of the West, and a heavy meditation on classic sounds of the South seeps out.”

Earlier this spring, Pope performed 'Baby, I Love You' at Carnegie Hall as part of The Music of Aretha Franklin tribute show. His recorded cover of the song and accompanying in-studio video premiered on Glide in celebration of Franklin’s 75th birthday. Of the new cover, Glide proclaimed, “Taking on Aretha is a daunting task, but with Pope’s vivacious voice and the top notch players behind him, this rendition is blessed with is on unique wow factor while retaining its original luster.” The new record’s lead single 'Bad For Your Health' premiered on Team Coco who call it “seriously addictive.” Most recently, Relix debuted the new album’s second single 'Let’s Get Stoned'.

Work marks Pope’s seventh studio album. To date, he has surpassed one million monthly listeners on Spotify, sold out shows in more than 20 countries, sold over 2 million digital tracks, had over 200 million streams on Spotify, 630 million plays on Pandora and 150 million views on YouTube.

The album was recorded completely in analog at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, TN where Pope and his fellow musicians locked themselves in the studio for one week until completion. Work was co-produced and recorded with Grammy award-winning engineer Ted Young, his third consecutive collaboration with Pope. The lead single, “Bad For Your Health” was co-written by Pope and Jonathan Tyler.

Of the new recording, Pope says, “This album follows me from when I was thirteen and a teacher told my mother that I’d probably end up in prison; I started messing around writing songs that year. It’s been mostly uphill ever since.

Appearing on the album are Jay Collins on sax (Gregg Allman Band), Mike Riddleberger on drums (Bleachers), Andrew Pertes on bass (Savoir Adore), Kai Welch on keys/accordion (Abigail Washburn, Glen Campbell), Jeff Malinowski on guitar (Frances Cone), Alex Brumel on guitar/pedal steel and Charles Ray on flugelhorn/trumpet plus guest vocals on select tracks from Mary Richardson (The Banditos), Katie Schecter, Molly Parden and Vanessa McGowan.

Last summer saw the release of the feature-length documentary One Way Ticket by Kelly Teacher (No Cameras Allowed, Austin To Boston). The film follows Pope and his band on the road and during recording sessions for Ron Pope & The Nighthawks in Lake Blue Ridge, GA. In the film, Spotify’s D.A. Wallach notes, “Here’s a guy who’s figured out how to do this basically by himself and is really proving the power of streaming music.”  

Pope’s music has been featured on NBC’s 'The Voice', CW’s 'Vampire Diaries', '90210', and multiple seasons of FOX’s 'So You Think You Can Dance', which sent two of his albums into the top 100 on iTunes simultaneously. Pope also guest starred as himself in Season 3 of the show 'Nashville'.

Press reaction to date

“Sincere, slick, and catchy” – Q  
“One listen and you want to hear Ron Pope again and again and again” – Maverick  
“Lovers of The Band, Allman Brothers and The E Street Band will find lots to enjoy here” – Daily Mirror  
**** - The Guardian, live review  
**** - Daily Express  
“Gorgeous church-pew harmonies… fine songcraft” – The Independent  
“There’s a retro heart in the swagger of his bluesy song writing” – Daily Telegraph  

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Martin Simpson new album out 1 September 2017

Album release: ‘Trails & Tribulations’ by Martin Simpson
Release date: 1 September 2017
Label: Topic Records
More info: Artist website

World renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson releases his 20th solo album in 40 years ‘Trails & Tribulations’ on September 1st 2017 via Topic Records. The brand-new studio album, his first new solo work since 2013’s widely praised ‘Vagrant Stanzas’, will be available in standard and deluxe CD, digital download and standard vinyl (the latter through Vinyl 180). 

"'Trails & Tribulations’ is a collection of songs about nature, about travels and about real life stories. There are traditional songs, poems and contemporary songs by great writers, and songs that I had to write because nobody else knew what I wanted to say. I travel, I learn songs, I write and try to get better at the skills required for me to do my job. I look at the world as I pass by, on the road, out of the train window, or as I stop and pay close attention to the square foot under my nose. There is so much to see and to hear and to inspire and to try and understand. I had a huge amount of fun playing and recording these songs, using different instruments, different noises, old friends and new ones, all of whom brought so much to the mix. " Martin Simpson, April 2017. 

Produced and engineered by Andy Bell, ‘Trails & Tribulations’ features some of Martin’s most inventive playing yet, showcasing his virtuosity on a variety of instruments including acoustic guitars, resonator guitars, Weissenbown lap steel guitar, electric guitars, 5 string banjo, ukulele – and voice.

Guest musicians on the new album are: Ben Nicholls (string bass and electric bass guitars), Toby Kearney (drums and percussion), Nancy Kerr (fiddle and viola), Andy Cutting (diatonic accordion and melodeon), John Smith (electric guitar and backing vocals), Helen Bell (strings), Amy Newhouse-Smith (backing vocals) and his daughter Molly Simpson on vocals. 

Martin will tour extensively this year, including a headline set at Cambridge Folk Festival in the summer and London’s Kings Place in autumn, following the release of ‘Trails & Tribulations’. 
Hand in hand with his long and storied solo career, Martin has been central to seminal collaborations like The Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and Simpson Cutting Kerr. He has worked with a dazzling array of artists from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons, to mention a few. He is consistently named as one of the very finest acoustic, fingerstyle and slide guitar players in the world and is the most nominated musician in the history of the BBC Folk Awards, with a remarkable 31 nods. A true master of his art.

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Duncan Lloyd new album due 26 May 2017

Album release: 'I O U O M E' by Duncan Lloyd
Release date: 26 May 2017
Label: Afternoon In Bed Records
More info: Artist Soundcloud
 
Duncan Lloyd is probably best known as the guitarist and musical driving force behind Mercury Music Prize nominated band, Maximo Park, but Lloyd’s frenetic outpouring has also seen him busy with various projects including Decade In Exile, Nano Kino, experimentalists Res Band, and solo work under his own name. It is his solo work which now calls for our attention, with the release of new album, ‘I O U O M E’, and it’s first single “Heads of The Bastille.” Listen to 'Heads Of The Bastille' here.

On an album about surviving change, detailing the effort to escape self-destructiveness, division and the inevitable breakdown of certain relationships, 'Heads of The Bastille' marks itself out as a starkly personal track, in which Lloyd ponders his “mistakes are carved in rock, through the Appalachians of your heart” and his “memory turns against me”. It’s a tale of fading love, lyrically at odds with its defiantly buoyant melodies. 

It’s a quality that seeps through the foundations of 'I O U O M E'; Lloyd's voice has a tactile warmth, weaving around deftly self-produced music, as if through his own nocturnal metropolis. The melodies keep you afloat but between the layers there’s an emotional intimacy borne of experienced song-writing, both nimble and volatile. Talking about the record, Lloyd comments; 

“From 'Heads Of The Bastille' onwards, these songs come from a more personal perspective and it’s fair to say there is a lot of longing in them. They were mostly written in motion, travelling on long journeys, often late at night when ideas tend to mutate & evolve in a way which is less black & white, where finer subtleties appear.” 

Ultimately 'I O U O M E'  is an absorbing album, rich with melody, melancholy and wit. With the addition of Tom English (Maximo Park) on drums, and additional vocals from Eternal Summers’ Nicole Yun, the album powers into sonorous focus, never lapsing, it is a full-blown journey that is saying something worth hearing and for Lloyd, the end result this time, is his alone.

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Ratboys album due 30 June 2017

Album release: 'GN' by Ratboys
Release date: 30 June 2017
Label: Topshelf Records
More info: Band website

Chicago's Ratboys, led by singer/guitarist Julia Steiner and guitarist Dave Sagan, will release its sophomore album entitled GN on June 30th (Topshelf Records). Drawing influence from the down-to-earth sincerity of late-90s Sheryl Crow and the confessional confidence of Kim Deal and Jenny Lewis, the songs on GN (aka ‘goodnight’) “largely detail experiences of saying goodbye, finding your way home, and then figuring out what the hell to do once you’re back,” says Steiner. The Fader, who premiered the album's first single, 'Control' says "the song is a perfect example of the special, personal nature of their music." Listen to 'Control' here

GN offers a bevy of tales, laments and triumphs, which recount near-tragedies by the train tracks, crippling episodes of loneliness, remembrances of a deceased family pet with freezer burn, and on and on. The songs shift and breathe as worlds all their own, tied together by the group’s self-proclaimed ‘post-country’ sound, which combines moments of distortion and a DIY aesthetic with a devotion to simple songwriting and ties to the Americana sounds of years past. 

The songs chosen to close both sides of the record – the slow-burning "Crying About the Planets’" and quizzical "Peter the Wild Boy" - unpack the respective journeys of two real people who were quite literally lost and found. ""Crying" tells the survival story of Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson from a first-person perspective, and "Peter" reflects on the life of a feral child in Germany who was eventually adopted by the King of England," according to Steiner. 

Certain personal stories - the tour adventures recapped in "GM," the struggle to learn to show affection as divulged in "Molly" - find Ratboys just as eagerly exploring subject matter that comes from within, and then illustrating the highs and lows with soaring hooks and plaintive ones. Even in the moments that lie somewhere between bliss and misery, a tension persists between Steiner’s sweet vocal delivery and Sagan’s physical, almost-off-the-hinges guitar playing that lends each song a deeper sense of colour and movement. 
 

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Indigo Girls to tour the UK July 2017

Tour announcement: Indigo Girls to tour the UK
Tour dates: July 2017
More info / tickets: Band website

Twenty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and countless U.S. and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music business. Selling over 14 million records, they are still going strong. Amy & Emily are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s. They are now proud to announce they will be touring the UK this July including dates in Manchester, Bristol, and London as well as a main stage slot at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival on the 28th of July. 

After signing to Epic Records in 1988, the Indigo Girls released their critically acclaimed eponymous album to thunderous praise; it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for 35 weeks, earned double platinum status, received a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist” and won “Best Contemporary Folk Recording.”  They were overnight folk icons who continued to live up to the high standards they’d set for themselves: they’ve since released 14 albums (3 platinum and 3 gold), received six Grammy nominations and have won one. Indigo Girls have toured with innumerable star acts including Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, R.E.M., Sarah MacLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Jewel and Mary Chapin Carpenter. 

The duo has balanced their long, successful musical career by supporting numerous social causes – the Indigo Girls don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk.  Having established an intensely dedicated fan base, the duo continues to remain relevant and attract new fans. With their latest release, 'Beauty Queen Sister', released on IG Recordings distributed by Vanguard Records, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have secured their spot as one of the most legendary musical acts of this generation. 

In 2015 Indigo Girls released their 14th studio album, 'One Lost Day', produced by Jordan Brooke Hamlin and mixed by Brian Joseph. 

Press reaction to date

“The Indigo Girls operate as powerfully as at any time in their career, on a set of uncommonly strong songs performed with the kind of typically understated Nashville polish that affords their signature harmonies the full spotlight.” – The Independent (UK) 

“Along with Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers rank at the very top of all-time great duos.” – The Boston Herald

‘Their voices soar and swoop as one, alternately raucous and soothing. When they sing together, they radiate a sense of shared purpose that adds muscle to their lanky, deeply felt songs.' - Rolling Stone
 

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Daudi Matsiko double EP due 26 May 2017

EP release: 'An Introduction To Failure' by Daudi Matsiko
Release date: 26th May 2017
Label: Naim Records
More info: Artist website

The confessional, folk sound of guitarist Daudi Matsiko is much in demand, after his collaborations with electronic acts Booka Shade and Kyodai, an appearance at Red Bull Music Academy, and tours with Keaton Henson, GoGo Penguin and Portico Quartet. 

The mellow fingerpicking guitar of Daudi Matsiko really gets to you. Listen to one of his disarming songs from his double EP for Naim Records, and it’s like a personal performance; as if he’s stood in front of a microphone on the other side of the room, his melancholy melodies ringing out with absolute accuracy. Hear his song ‘Take Me Old’, and enter a hushed gig venue, all ears and eyes entranced by the music unfolding before them. Daudi’s music hypnotises with an economy of elements. It’s with just guitar, autobiographical lyrics, hints of saxophone and synth that he weaves a magic spell. 

This artist’s songs are taking him places. Daudi recently travelled to Montreal to take part in prestigious music making workshop Red Bull Music Academy, while two of the most renowned acts in underground dance music, Booka Shade and Kyodai, have come calling for collaborations. 

Daudi’s first two, self-released EPs, ‘the Lingering Effects of Disconnection’ and ‘A Brief Introduction to Failure’ have been collected on his eight-track long-player debut for Naim. The words of these songs, startling in their tales of personal experience, intensify his warm tones. Highlight ‘You Can Do Better Than Me, But I Hope You Don’t’ details with heart-breaking directness the decline of a relationship. Each of his songs has a therapeutic purpose. “My songs all have a cathartic intention in some way,” Daudi has said. 

Daudi was born in the UK to Ugandan parents, and became hooked on guitar at a young age. Encouraged by a great music teacher and friends he’d later form a band with. He grew up with eclectic influences, from Radiohead to the jazz of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, post-rock bands Mogwai and Slint, and trip-hop fusioneers Cinematic Orchestra. While he was attracted to heavy sounds as a teenager, he came to favour sparse, quiet arrangements instead. The direct simplicity of guitar and voice became his medium of expression. 

Daudi’s music rings out with a dazzling brightness that will delight lovers of quality sound. That’s partly thanks to the mixing of Wah Wah 45s recording artist Adam Scrimshire, who tunes his acute ears to Daudi’s songs and brings their intimacy to the fore, capturing the living ambience that makes Daudi’s music such a pleasure to listen to. “He’s really good at bringing out the warmth I’m looking for and general size,” Daudi has commented. 

It’s playing live that Daudi feels most at home, and his recordings admirably evoke this elusive, vivid quality. “Once you’re sat in front of those people you can’t leg it, you’ve got to go for it,” Daudi said. “That adrenaline is nice to have.” 

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Emelie Hollow single 'Like I Love You' out now

Single release: ‘Like I Love You’ by Emelie Hollow
Release date: Out now
Label: Universal
More info: Artist Facebook 
 
Hailing from Norway, Emelie Hollow is already displaying a sharp musicality and songwriting talent that transcends her 18 years. She has written music with several Scandinavian producers and songwriters already, including Dhani Lennevald (Lykke Li) and Carl Falk (Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Ariana Grande) and her brand-new track, the smart pop and R&B flavour of 'Like I Love You' premiered on The Line Of Best Fit last week. 

Emelie Hollow was born in Norway to a Norwegian mother and a father from New Zealand. From an early age, she was making and listening to music; learning to play piano, guitar and cello, all the while growing into a great vocalist and in turn, a capriciously talented songwriter. She credits an eclectic range of musicians as having an influence on her sound, from NAO to Carole King to The Weekend. 

On the track itself she says: 

“For me, 'Like I Love You' is the beginning of a new chapter in my life, where I can explore and work with my music on other new levels. While I wrote the song in Stockholm, I lost my phone in a glass of water but I didn’t have time to be concerned about it because I was digging it too much – the phone survived! Even though it´s scary to release something completely different from what people have heard from me before, I’m really looking forward to presenting 'Like I Love You'. I hope people like it.” 

'Like I Love You' is written by Emelie Hollow and written/produced by Dhani Lennevald (Lykke Li) and Carl Falk (Demi Lovato, One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande).  

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Happyness new album 'Write In' due 7 April 2017

happy2.jpg

Album release: 'Write In' by Happyness
Release date: 7 April 2017
Label: Moshi Moshi
More info: Band website

When Happyness first burst into the public conscience with debut single 'It’s On You', their spirited take on US college rock was as big a surprise as it was an instant hit. The resulting full length, 'Weird Little Birthday', went on to feature in many End of Year album lists. Worldwide tours, an NME Award, a re-issue on the much-loved labels Moshi Moshi Recordings (Bar/None in US), and millions of Spotify plays later, it is now just a few short weeks until their long-awaited follow-up “Write In” is released. As of today, anyone pre-ordering the album will receive new track “Bigger Glass Half Full” as a free download. Pre-order the album here

Part-recorded at the band’s own Jelly Boy Studios, then finished with Adam Lasus in LA, Happyness shared some thoughts on Bigger Glass Half Full: "Bigger Glass started with an oblique strategy that we learnt from Terry Gilliam: apparently he made 'Brazil' without ever reading 1984. We were trying to sound like a Pierre Cavalli song we'd heard once a very long time ago. It couldn't sound less similar if we'd tried... We added the acoustics when we were in LA mixing with Adam Lasus - as of now the only thing we've ever recorded outside the UK." 

Once the band return from this year’s SXSW, they’ll head straight out on a headline UK tour (including their biggest London show to date for April 28th), followed by European dates in May. Benji comments; “This tour is our first headline tour for a while now, and for the first time we'll have two albums to play from, so we're looking forward to it a lot. We've got a lot of expensive ideas for stage props that we probably won't be able to realise by April.”

Happyness share new track 'Bigger Glass Half Full' here

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