Vomitface album 'Hooray For Me' due 26 August 2016


Album release: 'Hooray For Me' by Vomitface
Release date: 26 August 2016
Label: Help Yourself Records
More info: Band website

Jared Micah (vocals/guitar) and Preetma Singh (drums) found themselves trapped in their Jersey City, NJ, home during Hurricane Sandy. Drawing inspiration from their depressing surroundings and a shelf full of equally depressing records - Slint, Shellac, and Babes in Toyland, to name a few - Micah and Singh decided they had nothing better to do than to write loud songs. Those songs eventually became a band that they decided to call Vomitface, despite several industry professionals subsequently telling them that was a bad idea.  
 
From the beginning, Vomitface pledged to steer clear of the latest production trends and micro-genre tags, but despite their best efforts they soon became known as New York City's buzziest "black-surf avant-grunge sludge-pop" band (a term Micah may have coined himself). In 2014, Vomitface released their debut EP, S/T, followed immediately by a second EP, Another Bad Year, in 2015. The quick output, combined with a slew of DIY shows and tours, landed Vomitface on a list of "Hardest Working Bands in NYC" (Oh My Rockness), an accolade that contradicted a number of previous articles that had them pegged as "best new slacker rock." 
 
Following the release of Another Bad Year, Vomitface headed into the studio with bass player Angela Phillips (not pictured) and engineer Steve Albini to record their debut full-length, Hooray for Me (out 8/26/2016 on Help Yourself Records). Recorded in two days in mostly single takes, Vomitface left the studio with an album that finally encompassed the raw and unhinged energy the band had been striving for all along. After the session, Albini even went so far as to tell the band that the songs "sounded fine."  
 
The final product is an album full of sharp, deceptively catchy songs, each delivered with a self deprecating smirk. The son of a Tennessee preacher, Micah began writing songs in high school around the same time he started working at the local record store, where he would book after-hours shows and sneak out punk records behind the manager's back (he was fired). Singh is a law school graduate, who can beat the shit out of the drums and do a spot-on Courtney Love impression at karaoke. Singh's booming drum kit is the first thing you hear on opener "Senior Pictures," with Micah's buzzsaw guitar following close behind. On "Dramamine" and "It's Me," vocal harmonies layer over voyeuristic glimpses into the band's collective misfortunes. The band's nihilism and generational self-loathing boils over on "Chew Toy," a five minute dirge that ends with Micah sarcastically showing off his millennial participation trophies ("I hear applause it's all for me / Hooray for me”). 
 
Vomitface recently relocated from NYC to Singh’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. With a new home base, multiple tours on the horizon, and a debut LP, Hooray for Me - making a tumultuous splash on 8/26/2016 via Help Yourself Records - the pessimists in Vomitface may very well experience their long awaited first good year. 

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The Mirror Trap album 'Simulations' out 8 July 2016

Album release: 'Simulations' by The Mirror Trap
Release date: 8 July 2016
More info: Band website

Two years ago Dundee based band The Mirror Trap (TMT) were Scotland’s best kept secret. The 5-piece rock band met at music college and started writing and releasing music almost immediately, leading to considerable attention north of the border and much talked about appearances at T In The Park and beyond. 
 
After their album ‘Stay Young’ was released on their own label in 2014 the band were spotted in their home town of Dundee by none other than Brian Molko of Placebo. His immediate connection to their anthemic, direct song writing led to a bizarre and wonderful opportunity for the band; they were invited to support the indie legends on a Trans-Siberian train tour of Russia, followed by the iTunes Festival (which was TMT’s debut London show) and then Placebo’s UK tour in 2015. This brought them to a wider audience where their engaging stage show made many new fans. They were no longer a best kept secret. 
 
Gary Moore fronts the band, a personality not afraid to show his own opinions, a tonic to a variety of all too polite and passive modern frontmen; his dynamic sharp delivery backed by a powerful line of guitars and rhythm in Paul Markie, Paul Reilly, Ben Doherty and Mike McFarlane. At gigs they are joined by Scott Duffy on keys and percussion. 
 
The band’s new album ‘Simulations’ was recorded at the infamous Karma Studios in Thailand, recent home to recordings from The Libertines, Young Guns and Enter Shikari. Its 10 tracks deliver a real statement of intent from a band that at times shows reverence to the sound of indie-rock’s past – echoes of that early Manic Street Preachers intensity, the ambition of Suede or the wordplay and bookish intelligence of Idlewild’s Roddy Womble. Yet here that almost Evening Session-esque charm, that late 90’s bombast, meets an angular sound of a modern rock and roll all of their own.  
 
From the aggressive opener 'Under The Glass Towers' to the sloganeering album closer 'Bleach Your Bones', the band deal in a series of memorable hooks throughout. From 'No I.D.’s anthemic chorus through to the almost QOTSA low end of the brooding future single 'Piranhas', the bright melodies of 'Something About Forever' and the fragile, keys-led 'Joyride' there is a rare something here to unite fans of guitar music across the board. While the melodies stick with you so do the careful words, Moore’s lyrics on the record dealing specifically with the lack of identity in today’s electronic world. ‘New Trance’ is about “the feeling of being hypnotised by smart phones and iPads and social media. Knowing that you have so much to be doing, so many places you could be, but still finding yourself sitting in the same spot, scrolling through pointless information.”  
 
The release of ‘Simulations’ is July 16th. With KROQ in LA also playing tracks in advance of the release the USA is not far behind. The band’s first UK shows with the new material will be Stag and Dagger in Glasgow (May 1st ) starting a run of shows in Scotland including Madhatters Inverness (May 5th), Buskers Dundee (May 7th), Downstairs Aberdeen (May 19th), Mash House Edinburgh (May 28th) and Upstairs at The Garage (May 29th). Other summer shows include Ten Tons Moscow, YNOT in the UK and Summersonic in Japan. More shows to be announced very soon.

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Gregory Alan Isakov With The Colorado Symphony - Album Out June 10

Album release: Gregory Alan Isakov with The Colorado Symphony
Release date: June 10 2016
Label: Suitcase Town
More info: Artist website

The beauty of Gregory Alan Isakov’s latest album is realising how much it surprises and rewards the listener. It burns slowly, not unlike a campfire that blazes one moment and then crackles the next. A song might begin with the barest of bones, with Isakov’s resonant voice closely synched to his acoustic guitar. But then the orchestral layers begin to pile up, transporting the songs to cinematic heights.

Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony marks a milestone for the singer-songwriter, who’s beloved for the spectral intimacy of his recordings and live shows. Set for release on June 10 on Isakov’s own Suitcase Town Music label, the album finds Isakov cracking his catalogue wide open to see what else he—and we—can learn about them.

The album features songs from Isakov’s previous three studios releases, along with the debut studio recording of 'Liars', a fan favourite that’s been a staple of his concerts for the past few years. The album will be released on limited-edition LP, CD, and digitally. 

With orchestral arrangements by Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa) and Jay Clifford (Jump Little Children) and with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s Scott O’Neil conducting nearly 70 classical musicians, these are older songs cast in new and revelatory hues.

“I’ve always had this hunch that you can manifest whatever you really want if you dream hard,” Isakov says. “I think I wrote down this idea a bunch of times, thinking it would be so incredible. And when it finally happened, I was just over the moon.”

“It’s not that I thought these were better versions than the ones we put out before,” he adds, “but I think these versions are so different, and this collaboration with the symphony gave the songs a whole new angle.”

The kernel for the album was a 2013 collaboration between Isakov and his band and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Boettcher Hall in Denver. Since then, Isakov has performed again with the CSO at Red Rocks, as well as with the Seattle Symphony and the Oregon Symphony orchestras. This summer, he’ll collaborate with even more: the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra—all part of a tour that kicks off in early June.

“I was a little bit nervous about transitioning over to a symphony arrangement,” Isakov admits. “It was a daunting process in the beginning, and then I realized the opposite of what I expected actually happened. It opened up the songs way more than I thought it would.”

Perhaps most astonishing is the fact that the album’s expansiveness never compromises the intimacy that has been so crucial to Isakov’s work. You still feel like he’s in the room with you—just with an additional 80 musicians. 

“That’s exactly what we were going for,” Isakov says. “We recorded about 16 songs, and then we chose the ones that conveyed that element the most, the ones that drew the ear in. I really do work hard on creating intimacy in my records.”

“I was looking for the pieces that really lent themselves to these kinds of arrangements,” he continues. “My goal was to find some of the more intimate songs and see if they could work.”

It turns out, they did. Take “Amsterdam,” from The Weatherman. In its reconfigured form, it’s suddenly an anthem in search of a movie that hasn’t yet been made. “The Stable Song,” one of a handful of songs to feature Julie Davis’s haunting harmonies, is chamber folk at its most sophisticated. On several songs, in fact, Gregory Alan Isakov With the Colorado Symphony conjures echoes of the lush magic of Harry Nilsson’s 1970s recordings.

“Liars,” written by Isakov’s friend Ron Scott, opens the album with thunderous elegance, led initially by the starkness of Isakov’s voice and fingerpicking. Three minutes in, though, the song quakes with sweeping strings.

Originally from South Africa and now planted in Boulder, Colo., where he splits his time between his home studio (Starling Farm) and his four-acre farm (his horticulture degree has come in handy), Isakov co-produced the album with Jamie Mefford, who also plays and sings on it. 

“In a normal recording session, the other musicians are there in a supportive nature and generally find their place around Gregory,” says Mefford, who previously worked with Isakov on This Empty Northern Hemisphere and The Weatherman.

“Having the entirety of a symphony in the same room carries a weight and gravity that shapes and constrains the songs before a note is played,” Mefford says. “It's a different experience for Gregory and the band, and one that transforms the songs into a different shape and feeling.”

Isakov and his band—including Jeb Bows (fiddle), Philip Parker (cello), Steve Varney (electric guitar/banjo), John Grigsby (upright bass), and Max Barcelow (drums)—will take the record on the road this summer with a symphonic ensemble dubbed The Ghost Orchestra, a collective of Colorado musicians (some whom are also members of the Colorado Symphony) assembled specifically for this new tour.

“Even as I was finishing up the symphony record, I found it curious that I was delving into songs from my past. There were moments when I thought, ‘What am I doing? Shouldn’t I be working the new songs?’ he admits, adding that he has already sketching out his next album… “But I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of our symphony shows, that I thought these arrangements needed to be heard in these new contexts. They deserved that.”

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NARCS album 'A Thinking Animal' due 8 July 2016

Album release: 'A Thinking Animal' by NARCS
Release date: 8 July 2016
Label: Clue Records
More info: Band website

Pouring fury on driven-alternative-indie noise, Leeds quartet NARCS create a unique blend of passionate lyrical incisiveness with powerful, spine-cracking intensity and the occasional shaman-like rantings of a possessed mad man. Following on from their dark and tense recent single ‘Pig’ the band are now gearing up to release their new album ‘A Thinking Animal’, which will be released via Clue Records (home to the likes of: Allusondrugs and Forever Cult). 
 
Describing their sound as “guitar-centred alt-rock aimed at Tory scum”, ‘A Thinking Animal’ is a visceral attack on political apathy. It’s a passionate yet desolate onslaught on topics such as misogyny, greed, nepotism and self-loathing. However, this shouldn’t be taken as en-vogue right-wing sledging or liberalism, the content is both intelligent and sincere.  
 
Tracks such as the aforementioned single ‘Pig’ are a brooding statement of intent, pushed on by rumbling bass while the guitars scream as hard as the impassioned vocals, building throughout before bursting into a frenzied finish. Elsewhere on the album tracks such as ‘Bullingdon Boys’ carry the same venom, with verses that exchange caustic guitars for trenchant lyrics and vocal style and cacophonous instrumental sections that culminating in a volatile rhythmically driven end section, which conveys the bands frustration and dejection at current state of the country’s political and social status. 
 
Speaking on the new album Joe (guitarist) said, “This album came out the way it did because we’ve always used music as an outlet for the darker stuff that we needed to vent. At the moment, the way things are, we just got drawn back to the root of our anger and frustration time and time again: the ruling class, the political class, Etonites, whatever you want to call them. In a better time, we’d never have written this album. Hopefully we never need to write another one like it.  
 
Having said that, we are unapologetic about absolutely everything we are saying on this record. We want to see things change, we want people to feel anger instead of apathy; we’re under no illusions of being any kind of revolution leaders but we’re definitely of the opinion that music changes mood and just being able to connect your frustration to that of a band/song/lyric can make shit a bit easier to get through. 
 
Ultimately we wanted to aim this at the people who actually deserve it. There’s nothing more pathetic than artists of any type striving to seek popularity through attacking small fry.Everyone outside of the ruling class is so busy bickering over small details that we’re still stuck in some sort of feudal system that we’ve been duped into thinking is a democracy.  
 
We hope people enjoy the album, we hope it brings people whatever they’re looking for at this shitty period in history: comfort, motivation, inspiration, and anger, whatever.” 
 
2015 saw the band play Leeds & Reading Festival, Long Division, Tramlines, complete a full UK tour, whilst picking up acclaim from BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, Noisey and more. This year has already seen the band play the DIY stage and Live at Leeds, and Leicester’s Handmade Festival, with 2000 Trees, Tramlines and a number of other dates confirmed for later this year.  
 
As a whole body of work ‘A Thinking Animal’ is a punishing yet driving album, which mercilessly fires on all targets. It is the product of both dejection, vexation and resentment for the shape of current affairs, and is both a battle-cry and a wake-up call, which urges you to stand up with the band and scream along with them. 

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Hiva Oa new EP 'mk2 (part 1)' due 5 August 2016

EP release: 'mk2 (part 1)' by Hiva Oa
Release date: 5 August 2016
More info: Band website

New material from Hiva Oa has been a long time coming. Sometimes, it seems, a period of inactivity is better for a band than one of constant creation. With the release of their forthcoming 'EP mk2 (part 1)', core members Stephen Houlihan and Christine Tubridy departed Edinburgh, returning to their native Ireland seeking renewed inspiration. Hiva Oa retain the mystery and ambition of their former incarnations, but inject a heavy thrum to their intricate patchwork style, and turn their attentions to themes of fear, loneliness, abandonment and awakening.  
 
On lead single 'A Great Height' the band continue their controlled experimentation by marrying primal, dizzying electronica and a swelling bass hum, with minimal guitar patterns to create a tightly wound, suffocating and intense atmosphere that sets the tone for the EP.

Somewhat appropriately it’s an anxious listen, the influence of Thom Yorke on vocalist Stephen Houlihan here provides the forlorn, and almost hopeless, punctuating refrain “…and I fall from a great height.”  Elsewhere Seskinore demonstrates their skill in developing percussive motifs that flit from the suspenseful and shuffling, to eruptive, deafening, conclusions. A powerful resolution to each composition is never far from the minds of Hiva Oa.  
 
The latter part of 'mk2 (part 1)' begins to bring subtler intricacies to the fore. Christine is awash with swathes of gentle guitar, gifting the four-minute piece a transcendent quality that, coupled with another yearning vocal, offers the listener a brief glimpse into one of the EP’s more intimate moments, in this near-fearful, dream-like, serenade. Closing track Jonny Brazil again shifts unassumingly from sinewy indie-rock before revealing a raft of squalling guitars and inter-playing vocal melodies. Hiva Oa have become masters of developing atmospheres proving that, for them, a visit to old pastures has worked wonders.  
 
Hiva Oa is: Stephen Houlihan & Christine Tubridy. Additional studio & live members Matthew Collings and Daithi McNabb  

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Aaron Holm – album 'The Boy' out 29 July 2016

Album Release: 'The Boy' by Aaron Holm
Release date: 29 July 2016
Label: Dissolve Records
More info: Artist website

Aaron Holm is a Seattle-based producer and musician writing and performing experimental ambient and electronic compositions deep in the depths of the Emerald City. His fascination with ambient came during 1996 travels throughout Southeast Asia, where he listened to tapes of Future Sound of London, Scorn, and Shinjuku Thief while riding on trucks and longboats in Vietnam and Laos. Upon returning to Toronto, he put together his first electronic music studio in a warehouse above a furrier in Chinatown. 

Aaron’s field recordings of the birds of the Pantanal and other tropical sounds are blended into his first album, 'Still Dreaming...' while his later ones, simplifying the accompanying textures, capture his travels through India and Pakistan. He’s also been deeply influenced by ambient and electronic pioneers such as Brian Eno, Future Sound of London, Richie Hawtin, Aphex Twin, Bjork, Massive Attack, and Loscil- who all feed indirectly into his work. 

Holm took a decade break from music to focus on software and started three high profile technology companies over an 11-year period in Miami, New York, and Seattle before re-engaging with music and founding Dissolve Records in 2013.  He sits on the Boards of several technology companies and Youth in Focus, a non-profit organisation that empowers urban youth through photography. 

His ethereal mixes of real and imagined worlds continue in his organic new album, 'The Boy' in which Aaron explores the violence and isolation of the inner city boy as he grows, detaches and himself becomes a father. Pulsing, warm washes of sound in 'Little One’ explore the emotional push and pull of abandonment and a boy taken in and raised by all mothers. The woman’s voice represents the voice of the ocean calling to love and care for the boy. 

Other tracks of note include, ‘Catch a Falling Star’, the story of a father’s love for his child and his heartbreak on hearing of the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown.  On this one Holm says: 

“On the morning of the shooting, my daughter’s first grade teacher sent out a recording of the children singing ‘Catch A Falling Star’.  The recording is heard at the track start.  As I heard the news of the school shooting, first graders were the victims, I pulled to the side of the road and cried.  The voices in this track soothe broken hearts and the loss of innocence and brings the boy full circle from childhood to fatherhood.” 

Sitting in the same space as contemporary artists like Taylor Deupree (who also mastered The Boy), Susumu Yokota, and Jon Hopkins, this haunting yet beautiful new album is filled with sonic solace, calmly bewitching the listener into a state of pure tranquillity. 

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Chain Wallet debut album due 7 October 2016

Album release: Chain Wallet
Release date: 7 October 2016
Label: Jansen Plateproduksjon
More info: Band soundcloud

You can’t deny that there is something sorrowful behind the Bergen-based, lo-fi dream/psych pop trio Chain Wallet, and you can’t hide that their music suits the environment wherein it was created. It may be a cliché that it always rains in the band’s hometown, but when you play Chain Wallet’s self-titled debut album, it’s not too difficult imagine the mist hanging heavily over their indie dystopian vision of Bergen.  
 
Even though feelings of nostalgia and melancholy lurk in the Scandinavian shadows, it’s not difficult to find indie-pop gold in its purest form, glittering below the heavy layers of synth and reverb. Tracks like 'Shade' and 'Abroad' have an up-tempo urgency to them which calls to mind bands like Motorama, whereas other dreamy psych ballads like 'Muted Colours' and 'Stuck In The Fall' occupy a rich and hazy middle ground between Diiv and Wild Nothing. 
 
These sombre but captivating pop songs are a good introduction. Even though Chain Wallet may not have many genre colleagues in Norway, they easily join the ranks behind international indie counterparts like Twin Shadow or Beach Fossils. 
 
On their debut album, Chain Wallet explore themes of betrayal, idleness and crushed dreams against the backdrop of an existential breakdown; The album is loosely based in the same universe, and portrays different aspects of the quarter-life crisis, ensuring that 'Chain Wallet' hits on a visceral, teenage level, amongst the shimmer and haze of the lo-fi soundscape that they conjure. 
 
Frode Boris from the band explains the band’s ethos and sound - “We want to capture the acute distress of an afflicted character; his self-indulgent pity, gradual loss of touch with reality and his forlorn attempts on returning to normal life. The abrupt disintegration unveils interesting tensions between urgency and inertia. The album is about fragmented memories, unfulfilled ambitions and the quiet whisper of a stranger.” 

Here, the band show their absolute strength, which isn’t just writing songs that unavoidably stick in your mind, but also erase the divide between sorrow and happiness. You will be left with a feeling of both reflection and pensiveness, whilst at the same time as you’re quietly elated. That’s the impact good music should have. 

Press reaction to date

‘’...the band create a sense of urgency without ever really rushing towards anything...’’ – The 405
 
‘’New Wave-inflected widescreen shoegaze-pop... all ringing guitars and instagrammed vocals, the dreamy vibe accompanied by deceptively stadium-ready hooks’’ – Ja Ja Ja
 
‘’[Chain Wallet] have the chiming guitars and slightly fey vocals, but with the added twist of a bit of C86 dreaminess’’ – Nordic Spotlight

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Staycations new single 'The Enemy' out now

Single release: 'The Enemy' by Staycations
Release date: Out now
More info: Band Facebook

Cambridge quintet Staycations have shared their new single 'The Enemy'. The single comes ahead of the release of their AA single, which consists of 'The Enemy' and soon to be released single 'Hey Guys'.

Having recently played alongside the likes of Lonely The Brave, High Tyde and playing sets at festivals such as Secret Garden Party and Rhythms of the World, Staycations new material is a statement of intent. Full of racing guitars and strong drumbeats reminiscent of LA-style surf pop, there are also influences of Peace, JAWS and Superfood to be heard here. Staycations music is familiar but it remains individual throughout thanks to the beguiling idiosyncratic vocals from front man Lewis Hall and the satisfyingly off-kilter guitar riffs and intricate rhythms from the rest of the band.  

Speaking about ‘The Enemy’ the band said: "The Enemy is an anti-love song. It’s about the feeling of an unrequited sense of admiration towards someone you really care about and who you’d do anything for but you know they wouldn’t in return. It’s kind of depressing the more we think about it."

With real heads for song craft on the bodies of such young musicians, their new single perfectly captures the spirit, zeal and electricity of what it is to be young and restless in 2016. As a taster of what’s yet to come ‘The Enemy’ is over before you know it, and is likely to leave listeners and their well-earned fans eager in anticipation for their next release. This is material is completely new territory for Staycations, and it’s one that is likely to please fans and newcomers alike.

Staycations are: Lewis Marriott-Hall – Lead vocals, Charlie Hall – Lead guitar, backing vocals, Will Hasleham – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals, Craig Sadler – Bass, Ben Udin –Drums, backing vocals.

Press reaction to date

“Their sun-drenched, infectious indie music is blessed out enough to make it seem like it’s summer all year round – how delicious.” –Wonderland  

“A band with talent well beyond their years and the potential to go far! Staycations are definitely ones to watch.” – BBC INTRODUCING

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Devil Gone Public debut album due 29 July 2016

Album release: ‘Smokehound’ by Devil Gone Public
Release date: 29 July 2016
More info: Band website

Formed in Sarasota, Florida in 2008, Devil Gone Public united under the guidance and mentorship of Brian Johnson (AC/DC).  The band spent a lot of their early years jamming with the likes of Johnson, Scotti Hill (Skid Row) and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (Booker T, The Blues Brothers), which led to the band performing extensively in support of Brian Johnson, alongside the likes of Motley Crue and Godsmack before disbanding in 2012.  

Having reformed in 2014 independently of Johnson, Devil Gone Public are now gearing up to release their debut album, ‘Smokehound’. The band’s debut is a consummate collection of visceral yet refined tracks, which effortlessly fuses elements of groove metal, stoner rock, southern metal and sludge. The lead track, ‘Euthanation’ is the perfect introduction to the new album; combining Red Fang meets Mastodon-esque guitar riffs with powerful and sneering vocals calling to mind the sounds of Lamb of God and He Is Legend. Elsewhere on the album ‘Blood Debt’ edge towards the frenzied southern influence of Every Time I Die, coupled with a very subtle hardcore influence that could be likened to that of The Chariot. Whilst closing track ‘Galactic Amnesia’ takes its cues from rhythmic and grinding desert cruisers such as Kyuss and Goatsnake, with huge churning guitars colliding with unrelenting bass lines and rhythms supplementing dynamic vocals throughout.  

'Smokehound' is an album that you can easily draw comparisons to; however, through its combination of exhilarating vocals, crushing instrumental sections and dark unforgettable breakdowns, Devil Gone Public are able to create an individual sound for themselves which is just as beguiling as it is impressive.

When creating and recording their debut the band also brought in Rob Caldwell (Iron Reagan, Goatwhore) to produce the album, as well as enlisting the talents of Jake Duncan (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster) to lay down guest guitar parts. Speaking about the album the Garrett Moore (lead vocals) said “This album comes from a culmination of our various musical backgrounds and influences, having grown up on Classic Rock, our roots are deep in Rock N' Roll and that has a lot to do with our style and sound. When we set out to create this album with Rob Caldwell, we knew we wanted to write a heavy, groovy, sludgy metal record and spent a lot of time trying different tones and worked hard to make it something we're all proud of.”

As a debut full-length album Devil Gone Public have shown a lot of promise for what is yet to come, despite this being their first full-length album in their eight year existence. This is an album that will appeal to many different listeners from the metal world and is one that is both familiar and individual all at once. It’s time to start paying attention to Devil Gone Public, because after eight years they are ready to prove that sometimes it really is worth the wait.

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Hockey Dad debut album 'Boronia' out 12 August 2016

Album release: 'Boronia' by Hockey Dad
Release date: 12 August 2016
Label: Kanine Records
More info: Band website

Australian duo and Leisure Coast legends Hockey Dad are set to release their debut album Boronia on August 12th via Brooklyn indie label Kanine Records. Their story is simple: best mates first, band second, and their music flows from their surroundings: sunny and jangly guitar driven rock complete with anthemic choruses. Yet please do not mistake their laid back vibes for anything but tight execution and a drive to share their good times with the world.  

Zach Stephenson (guitars/vocals) and Billy Fleming (drums) have been best friends since age 4. Living two doors down on Boronia Street in the small Australian coastal town of Windang, it was around 13 when they discovered Zach's Dad's old gear in his garage and about 15 when they started sneaking into local music venue RAD BAR and playing other bands' instruments while they were not around. By 18, they were touring Australia under the name Hockey Dad, which was gleaned from a Simpsons episode. The duo brings an incredible energy and youth to their warm and jangly guitar tones, telling tales of beaches and babes.

The past year has seen the duo move from aspiring garage band to Australian indie pop stars. After releasing their debut EP 'Dreamin' on local Aussie label Farmer and the Owl, Hockey Dad won Triple J's Unearthed Fall Festival Competition in 2014 gaining them national radio play and sold out shows across Australia. With headlining festival appearances in their hometown under their belt, in 2015 they headed stateside for CMJ where they met up with Brooklyn indie Kanine Records (Surfer Blood, Splashh, Beverly) and cemented a deal to release their debut album in the US.

'Boronia' is 11 tracks of pure unadulterated fun that comes straight out of the surf and skate culture surrounding them in their native Wollongong. "As a kid growing up, it was inevitable that we'd be picking up boards and hitting the waves, as we're only a couple minutes walk away from the beach. The video for 'I Need A Woman' serves as a dedication to our childhood, just hanging around the beach and having sick fun." But skating and surfing wasn't enough to fill up their days, Billy grew up on his older brother's stash of 90's punk, while Zach grew up with his dad's collection of Aussie Gold records. "It's funny because one minute we'll be throwing bones to Parkway Drive, and next thing we're sobbing to Aretha Franklin." 

Their debut album 'Boronia' is a testament of the good times that the boys have pouring out of them. And now they want to share those good times with the world. 

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SQRD new EP 'Gold' due 15 July 2016

EP release: 'Gold' by SQRD
Release date: 15 July 2016
Label: Fresh Milk
More info: Artist Soundcloud
 
Developed from a background in jazz and classical music, Swedish-born, Berlin-based artist Carl Robin Kirchmann (AKA SQRD) has soaked up the soul of these two cultural Meccas to develop his unique blend of low key, dreamy electronica. With a master’s degree in mathematical engineering under his belt, Kirchmann’s process for creating music is seemingly drawn from his ability to solve equations, experimenting not only with developing his personal tastes and musical disciplines, but also with various vocal and instrumental textures, effects and rhythms; the result of which is his new EP ‘Gold’. 
 
‘Gold’ sits somewhere between the engulfing and benign sounds of The xx and Four Tet, whilst vocally Kirchmann calls to mind the opaque melodies of James Blake and Active Child. It’s a captivating blend of sonic components, which is more supportive and protective than it is forlorn, however there are still wistful and reminiscent undertones throughout. It is the influence of this beguiling honesty and courage that can be heard across tracks such as title-track ‘Gold’ and ‘Would Run Wild’ where soft and sombre electronics meet melancholic yet resolute vocals, which are accompanied by hypnotic oscillating rhythms. Elsewhere on the EP, tracks such as ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ shows clear yet befitting influence from the likes of Caribou and Moderat, with a higher tempo and timbre than that of the rest of the EP, alongside more complex and densely structured samples and percussion. This contrast across the first and last two tracks of the EP perfectly exemplify the themes running throughout the EP and show a clear journey across not only SQRD’s musical journey but also his personal one. 
 
Thematically, the EP is about the end of Kirchmann’s seven year relationship and the process of finding your own path. Speaking about the ‘Gold’ EP SQRD said, “Writing music was an attempt to handle and process what happened and in the same way to find my own path. I sit for hours and hours, I forget about everything else, and just focus all of my energy on the music. Now when I think about it, this might also explain why I want to do everything on my own - the writing, singing and producing - it makes me feel independent and I can do whatever I want from the initial idea to finished track. 
 
SQRD is constantly exploring how he can push the boundaries of writing electronic music, and his experimentation with different tones and moods both sonically and subjectively is what sets him apart from the rest. It’s rare that an artist is able to define their sound so equivocally yet so proficiently, and this short yet consummated EP is just an introduction of what he is capable of.

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Field Mouse new album 'Episodic' due 5 August 2016

Album release: 'Episodic' by Field Mouse
Release date: 5 August 2016
Label: Topshelf Records
More info: Band website

If 2014's 'Hold Still Life' was the fruition of Field Mouse's evolution from a fiery two-piece in to a fully-fledged band, then new album 'Episodic' is the letting go; the abandonment of past persuasions for something altogether more untamed. Where the band's initial work was self-recorded, by founding members Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral, the new record signifies the first time that the quintet has composed an album together from start-to-finish - and the result is a record that feels altogether more defined.

Recorded in Philadelphia with Hop Along's Joe Reinhart, and written through a twelve month period which delivered sudden family illness and a deteriorating relationship, Episodic is fashioned from ten feverish bouts of guitar-pop; led by Browne's fearsome and fearless vocal and informed by an instrumental backing that underpins the entire record with a vibrant concoction of guitar, drums and keys.

Showcasing the band's ability to switch between mood and tone, the record shifts from the spiky immediacy of tracks such as Accessory and A Widow With A Terrible Secret, to the more spacious moments, such as monumental centre-piece Beacon, without ever losing sight of the scuzzy, melodic pop songs that remain Field Mouse's distinct forte.  

Featuring guest turns from Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Allison Crutchfield (Swearin'/Waxahatchee) and Joseph D'Agostino (Cymbals Eat Guitars),

'Episodic' is the sound of a fully-realized band truly coming in to their own; honest, direct and immensely powerful.

Field Mouse is Rachel Browne (vocals/guitar), Andrew Futral (guitar), Saysha Heinzman (bass), Tim McCoy (drums), Zoë Browne (synth/rhodes/vocals).

Press reaction to date

"With a vintage sound boasting raw post-punk, finely juxtaposed with Rachel Browne's delicate vocals, Field Mouse manage assured nods at the likes of The Cure and Elastica" - NME

"Field Mouse make a tougher and shoegazier racket than the fey-pop of their similarly-named forebears. They also, on Two Ships, nod to ‘90s indie-dance, which will appeal to those who dream of Sarah Cracknell of St Etienne cooing wistfully with Republic-era New Order." –The Guardian

"[Field Mouse] shimmer like Velocity Girl used to do back in the early ’90s..." - Stereogum

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Divan new album 'Modern Knowledge' our August 2016

Album release: 'Modern Knowledge' by Divan
Release date: August 2016

There's a lot of life in the city. 

Growing up in the idyllic Irish countryside and finding a place amid the alien, urban sprawl had a huge impact on DIVAN. 

Their music; all pulsating rhythm, soaring vocals and oscillating guitars, draws on a rich tapestry of styles and sounds, which evolves into a real statement of intent: the desire to understand art and its relevance in modern life.  

Singer, Jamie Clarke writes: 'I think always having an innate desire to surround yourself with activity & action when all you've known is peace & tranquillity comes out in our music. It draws me to people, and also to the art that I love.' 

The lyrical narrative in Modern Knowledge weaves its way through such themes, affecting not just today's artists and creators but everyone that, like Jamie, is drawn to the bustle of something more than what was known... 

From experimenting with accessible but unusual time signatures in 'Shards' to exploring vulnerability both lyrically and vocally in ‘A Clarity Appears’, the heart and soul that runs through this record is achieved via subtle nods to the likes of Radiohead, The National and Richard Hawley, as well as the band’s own profound voice and subject matter. 

There are mournful sparks of looped piano from Brent (Knopf) in 'Darkened Room' and dark melodies inspired by the encompassing warmth of Sufjan Stevens…while frontman Clarke’s subtly reedy voice is reminiscent of Benjamin Gibbard in his more delicate moments. Major chords are utilised to strengthen the depths alongside jolting, haunted stabs of guitar and the end result is compelling, intense and overwhelmingly thoughtful; demanding repeated listens. 

About the record, singer Jamie Clarke writes; "When all you want to do is make music, trying to turn what you love into a product in a time when that product is no longer being purchased is a weird situation. It takes up a huge part of your life. It affects your relationships in great and negative ways. It closes doors, but it opens others. At the end of the day you just have to try to do what you love as much as possible. That's what this album tries to convey. We loved making it. Hopefully it will find people who love to listen to it."

'Modern Knowledge' was recorded in Attica Audio & produced by Ian McNulty & Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena, Ramona Falls). DIVAN features members of The Ambience Affair & Tomorrows, who have supported the likes of Villagers, Lower Dens, Field Music & Peter Broderick. DIVAN are Jamie Clarke, Marc Gallagher & Conor Deasy. 

 

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The Amazing new album 'Ambulance' on 5 August 2016

Album release: 'Ambulance' by The Amazing
Release date: 5 August 2016
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Band website

Partisan Records is excited to announce that the new album from The Amazing, 'Ambulance', will be released in the UK on August 5th.

On 'Ambulance', the Swedish band - composed of members of Dungen and led by Christoffer Gunrup - continues their journey to a place where music is free of restrictions, offering up another collection of densely concentrated melodies and fractured rhythms. Pitchfork summed their sound up well on their last record, saying "discussion of Picture You can only end up with slack-jawed remarks about how goddamn pretty it is."

Songs on 'Ambulance' unfold slowly, without a traditional verse/chorus structure, spinning gauzy webs of shimmering mystery with their own inimitable dynamic of sinuous, swirling guitars; rich, ambient bass lines; crisp percussion and restrained, church-like, keyboard textures. They brim over with tension and more implied release than actual relief. "An ambulance picks up the wounded," Gunrup says. "It does not mean 'ambulance' in the common sense. Everybody needs a bit of 'ambulance' now and then."

Gunrup, the band's lead singer, songwriter and one of three main guitarists, has been playing music all his life. He's a serious musician with a self-effacing demeanour who is known for his reluctance to talk about his process, preferring to let the music speak for itself. He refuses to take part in the promotion of the band, never reveals the lyrics, which are often an impenetrable jumble in the mix, and expresses little satisfaction with any of the music he's recorded.

The Amazing came together a few years after Gunrup's former group, Granada [a renowned Scandinavian pop duo w/ his ex-wife], broke up and he asked Dungen's guitarist and former drummer (Reine Fiske and Fredrik Björling) to join him onstage. After a few personal shifts, the line-up settled down with Fiske on guitar; Fredrik Swahn on guitar and keys; bass player Alexis Benson and drummer Moussa Fadera. The band's previous four records have garnered a loyal following & critical acclaim, landing them on Letterman and on a world tour with Tame Impala.

While Picture You was bright, exploding outward to explore the limits of experience, this next instalment, Ambulance, is more intimate, imploding inward to reconnoitre the uncharted distances that exist between us, even in life's most intimate moments.

Press reaction to date

“Discussion of Picture You can only end up with slack-jawed remarks about how goddamn pretty it is.” – Pitchfork

“While it's still shrouded in the frontman's down-in-the-mouth moodiness, its slinking rhythms offer the album's most striking and effective contrast between light and dark.” – NME

"The Amazing are one of the best-named bands I've encountered in a while, mainly because they're also one of the best...I am not being facetious when I say this is something you absolutely need to hear, so hear it." - Stereogum

"8.5 / 10" - The Line of Best Fit

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Ed Scissor & Lamplighter new album our 15 July 2016

Album release: 'Tell Them It’s Winter' by Ed Scissor & Lamplighter
Release date: 15 July 2016
Label: High Focus Records
More info: Label website

Ed Scissor’s new LP 'Tell Them It’s Winter' ruminates over life and love. The LP settles on the notion that every human being is on the hunt for the same thing. 

A key player in the Brit rap renaissance, renowned live performer, acclaimed wordsmith and expert storyteller, Ed Scissor’s development tessellates strongly with his ever-blossoming relationship with Glasgow-based producer Lamplighter. The pair have developed into one of the go-to partnerships in the alt-rap soundscape ever since their debut 'Better.Luck.Next.Life' was released to critical acclaim back in 2012 (even though they rarely find themselves in the same room as one another). 

Fast forward four years and the duo’s nu-classical compositions are wiser and more profound than ever before. The camaraderie grows more expansive and ear-opening with every song; the music is rich, expansive and rewarding at every turn. 

Lamplighter squeezes life's emotional and existential essence into a box marked ‘hip hop’ before it bleeds back out, leaving a trail of nihilistic retro-futurism and romance. His music makes friends of techno, modern classical composition and synth-led film scores before reducing them down to a solitary minimalistic entity. The result is a window into the way he sees the world - past, present and future. 

Scissor writes lyrics that extend beyond the realms of reality into a strange left field. It feels like an alternate reality in his head, fuelled by a heady mix of fantasy and reality, umbrella’d under a now customary gothic shroud. 

‘Tell Them It’s Winter’ is the next (and quite possibly final) instalment and both Ed Scissor and Lamplighter are super excited for you to hear it. 

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Happyness to tour ahead of recording new album

 

Tour announcement: Happyness with The Dandy Warhols
Tour dates: May 2006
More info: Band website

This May, Happyness take a break from writing new material in advance of recording their highly anticipated second album for Moshi Moshi/PIAS (and follow-up to the acclaimed 2014 debut Weird Little Birthday) as The Dandy Warhols take them out on tour across the EU and UK.

Not only that, the band return with their first taste of new music in 2016, in the shape of new song SB’s Truck. In their own words, the track “has something to do with [the late, famed, 80s wrestler and actor] André The Giant as a teenager having to be taken to school in Samuel Beckett's truck because he couldn't fit in his dad's car.” 

> Listen to SB's Truck here

As for touring with The Dandy Warhols, Happyness say; "We’re bringing a friend of ours along to play some of the parts that we can’t play with just three people. We’ll be playing a few songs from the first record that we haven’t been able to play before, and some of the same songs a little different to how people have heard them, and some new ones. So we’re going backwards and forwards in time, and we're excited to do it. And our friend's name is Paul. And thanks to The Dandy Warhols for having us on tour with them!" 

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The Fall Of Troy new album released and tour dates announced

Album release: 'OK' by The Fall Of Troy
Release date: 20 April 2016 download, 15 July 2016 vinyl
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

After two years of teasers, today (4/20), The Fall Of Troy have surprise released ‘OK’, their fifth studio release and their first album in seven years. For their loyal fan base that have stuck by them through four albums, a hiatus in 2010 and the following sporadic reformation in 2013, TFOT have decided to release the album to their fans as a pay-what-you-want download. The band will also later release a vinyl version of the album via Big Scary Monsters (their first release with the label).

In a statement made by the band, they say “This album represents hope; that things can be different, that the past doesn't have to always weigh on the present. We give this album to you now for free, because we know that you deserve it. Rather than try to squeeze every penny from people who have given us opportunities beyond our wildest dreams, we wanted to give you a gift, for all the gifts you've given us over the years.”

Known for their technical and unique guitar style, idiosyncratic song structures and frenetic and often surreal vocal work, ‘OK’ is an album that will appeal to veteran fans and newcomers alike. As an entire body of work the album exhibits the best of Thomas Eckharts infectious hook-laden guitar work that revisits the ‘Doppelgänger’-era, whilst merging the melodic complexities found on ‘Manipulator’ and later albums.

‘OK’ is a return to form for The Fall of Troy, it’s clear that the bands reunion for time apart and work in other projects Chiodos and Just Like Vinyl has invigorated and inspired the band to come back with the bands most original and accomplishedalbum to date. TFOT have taken the best of their previous work and amalgamated it in a work of intense focus and deliberate and resolute determination and power.

Acclaimed for their energetic live shows and their relentless thirst for touring, TFOT have previously toured with the likes of Deftones, Coheed and Cambria, The Dear Hunter, And So I Watch You From Afar and Foxy Shazam. Today the band also simultaneously announced that they will be going out on a colossal 63 date tour, starting in May and ending in September, the tour will cover Australia, USA, UK, EU and Russia. The tour will see them supported by the likes of Closure in Moscow, Meniscus, Osaka Punch, ’68, Illustrations and Tiny Moving Parts.

The band describe ‘OK’ as a “gift” to their fans and that’s what ‘OK’ is, whether you are a ‘Doppelgänger’ fan, a ‘Phantom on the Horizon’ fan or a dedicated fan of all of their material so far, every track on this album has convergent moments that explore the creative expression found across all of their previous work. This is one for the fans, and that is not because it’s free.

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Perhaps Contraption new album 'Mud Belief' due 3 June

Album release: 'Mud Belief' by Perhaps Contraption
Release date: 3 June 2016
Label: Grabby Claw
More info: Band website

Perhaps Contraption are a twisted 9 piece art rock brass band from London. Part chamber orchestra, part choir, part experimental marching band; their sound is something like Steve Reich meeting Frank Zappa and Sufjan Stevens in some sort of punk-jazz collision, staggering through a fairground. The troupe’s intense pop up performances have created a cult-like festival following, and won them the Haizetara International Street Music competition (Spain) in 2014 and 2015, the judge's prize at Cirque et Fanfare Festival (France) and Help Musicians Emerging Excellence Award in 2013.

Full of complex, yet curiously accessible songs, Perhaps Contraption’s new album ‘Mud Belief’ draws upon post-minimalism, jazz, contemporary classical, and blistering avant-rock, all condensed to form detailed, iconoclastic art pop.Recorded at London’s Premises Studios and mastered by Mandy Parnell (Bjork, Dirty Projectors) the album touches upon the joyous and irreverent, the dark and the savage, the oom-pah and the sublime.

Anywhere and everywhere this troupe have bellowed their massive choral harmonies and jubilant, soaring horns. They have led processions upon boats, beaches and mountains, and during the next few months will be completing a London street tour. Spontaneous performances will occur in unusual public spaces around the city (beaches and bandstands included...).

The troupe’s idiosyncratic blend of classical instrumentation with progressive rock and punk ideology has sent them to a diverse range of events including Glastonbury Festival, The London Jazz Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Bestival, Sudtirol Jazz Festival (Italy), The Royal Academy of Arts, Wilderness, CrossLinx (The Netherlands) Latitude, Artisti in Piazza (Italy), Buskers Bern (Switzerland), numerous Honk! Festivals (USA) and touring in Europe with Amanda Palmer.

Whether leading exultant parades, amplified stage shows, or fleeting street performances, Perhaps Contraption create an unforgettable sonic spectacle. Fierce, desperate, yet brimming with hope, ‘Mud Belief’ captures this sensation perfectly and in doing so the band have created their most accomplished and urgent recording to date.

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D Generation announce first album in 17 years

Album release: 'Nothing Is Anywhere' by D Generation
Release date: 29 July 2014
Label: Bastard Basement
More info: Band website

D Generation - Jesse Malin, Danny Sage, Howie Pyro, Richard Bacchus and Michael Wildwood – is widely regarded as one of the most important and unsung rock 'n' roll bands of the past 25 years.  On 29th July these five childhood friends will release 'Nothing Is Anywhere' (Bastard Basement Records), their first album in 17 years. The band will return to Irving Plaza in NYC on July 30 (tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here), for a hometown record release show, with additional tour dates to follow.

Produced by guitarist Danny Sage, 'Nothing Is Anywhere'; is a first-or-second-take album, recorded in basements under Avenue A and the Magic Shop in NYC. “We’ve finally made a record that represents us,” says Sage. “We make a really good noise on stage, and this album is a little more snotty, nasty.  The needles are in the red a bit more.

”In the bombed-out warehouses of early-90s Brooklyn, D Generation formed as a reaction to the culture. “We decided to do another record because we still have a fire under us,” says Jesse. “The world is even more full of shit than it was when we were in our 20s. One digitally connected highway of invasion and disposableness, burning through the planet and time.” 'Nothing Is Anywhere' became an escape, both a continuation of their lives and a way to remember where they came from.

On the autobiographical 'Apocalypse Kids,' D Generation might have summed up their story in four lines: "slip through the cracks like a criminal / lost in a packet full of chemicals / from 7th Street to The New York Times."

“We grew up together as misfits who always turned towards music as an escape and a way out,” says Jesse. “We always had each other”.

“Bands should be a gang, a brotherhood,” adds Malin, who began playing music with Danny in Queens at age of 13. “We’ve all known each other forever,” says Sage. “We’re like a weird family that you can never leave, but somehow it all makes sense.”

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Bad Breeding release new single ‘Remembering’

Single release: 'Remembering' by Bad Breeding
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Today, Stevenage based punks Bad Breeding have premiered their new single 'Remembering' with NME. Speaking about the single, NME said: "...they’re a barrage of pent-up frustration, often spilling off the stage and into the audience"

Frontman Christopher Dodd describes the concept behind the new single, saying: "We watched Amy Berg’s documentary Deliver Us from Evil a while back and I’d also been moved by this investigative piece called Crime and Punishment by Zhao Liang. It got us thinking about the manipulation and misuse of institutional power, but also about the endurance of humanity that often shines through when people are damaged by the rapacity of those in positions of supposed authority.

In some ways it's an examination of impropriety from religious, financial and political cliques, as well as some of our own personal struggles, which we wanted to offset against a defiant thud. It was definitely a bleak thing to write, although there's plenty of fortitude in the song too."

The new single comes ahead of the bands forthcoming UK tour dates (below), which are taking place from the end of April throughout May. It also follows on from the recent release of the bands 'Corrupting Fist' video, which was premiered with CRACK Magazine last week.

Press reaction to date

"But the interesting thing about Bad Breeding is that, while you’re listening to them, they dissolve all notions of now and then and make you feel as though you’re hearing this noise for the first time."- the Guardian (New Band of the Week #59)

"...the Stevenage noisemongers have begun to cement themselves as one of the most exhilarating live bands in the country."- the Quietus

"...here to shake things up in a burst of volatile fury."– NME

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