Larkin Poe return to the UK this July for headline shows

Tour announcement: Larkin Poe UK shows
Tour dates: July 2015
More info: Band website

They say madness runs in the family. They say the same about creativity and passion. That's good news for Larkin Poe's sister duo Rebecca and Megan Lovell, the descendants of tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allen Poe, who return to our shores for another headline run of live dates this July. The Atlanta-based sisters released their debut album ‘Kin’ last year, to a raft of press and radio attention, and have seen their UK following swell in the wake of a string of sold out live shows – shows that cementing their reputation for high-energy, joyous performances.

Hot on the heels of a tour in support of Elvis Costello, new single ‘Stubborn Love’ surfaces on 31 July too - a highlight from the debut album, and a song that really gets to the crux of Larkin Poe’s internal relationship, offering some insight into how they tick, both as people and artists. “Every time we fight in a hotel room / Stubborn love keeps pulling us on through.” they sing. It invites us to join them on their journey, be there for the good times and bad, and come out singing full volume at the end. The band comments;

“Having just wrapped up a 3-week tour with Elvis Costello in the UK, we are so excited to be launching straight into a Larkin Poe tour. We'll be hitting the road afresh and in support of our new single, "Stubborn Love"! All told, it'll be two months straight of touring... As sisters on the road, our bond is a strong as it's ever been and we feel that "Stubborn Love" is the perfect anthem for this tour!”

Press reaction to date

A sinewy blend of lap steel, electric guitar riffs, blunt rhythm and their tightly knit vocal harmonies…A fun energetic ride…”  - Uncut

Slick, bluesy rock, with a few real highlights”  - The Guardian

"Best Discovery at Glastonbury 2014" - The Observer

“…swings between swampy rock and moody pop, gilded with sororal harmonies” - Mail On Sunday ****

“…bristling with a Seventies classic pop rock sheen of sinuous riffs, snappy handclaps and cheeky call and response vocals… These are 12 perfectly honed tracks” - The Telegraph ****

Bluegrass rooted sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell turn up the heat on this debut”  - Daily Mirror **** 

Sugar High has the echoes of Melissa Etheridge & Sheryl Crow at their very best but the guitar playing is pure Tom Petty meets Vince Gill.” - Maverick *****

Sweetness undercut with Spice” - Rock N Reel *****

Great harmonies and fine guitar… a thrilling duo in full flow” - Daily Express *****

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ATP Announces 2016 ATP 2.0 Curated By Stewart Lee

Festival announcement: ATP 2.0 Festival
Festival date: 15 - 17 April 2016
More info: ATP Festival website

ATP is thrilled to announce that their second ATP 2.0 festival at Pontins camp in Prestatyn, North Wales is to be curated by comedian and writer Stewart Lee, on 15th - 17th April 2016.

Stewart Lee comments:

Of all the ATPs I've attended, the 2001 weekend, when Tortoise curated it and laid American free jazz, European improv noise, alternative country rock, alienating stand-up comedy, ambient electronica, Eighties hardcore, Seventies CBGBs nostalgia, smart-arse post punk, Dutch anarcho-jazz and all manner of unexpected cross-currents on curious young people, remains a pivotal point in my musical education. It's a great honour to be allowed to attempt something similar. Bring bucket, spade, swimwear and an open mind.”

Ordinarily curated by musicians, next year’s ATP festival will be curated by ‘acclaimed stand-up and writer’ Stewart Lee, bucking the trend alongside visual artists Matt Groening and The Chapman Brothers who previously curated the event in 2004 and 2010 respectively.

Already set to return in November this year, ATP 2.0 festival is back due to demand from ATP’s long-standing fans, following on from 2000 - 2013’s succession of exceptional ATP holiday camp festivals. April’s Stewart Lee curated ATP 2.0 festival will be held at Pontins camp in Prestatyn, North Wales – a site which benefits from being well-situated to serve ATP’s nationwide and international customer base.

The site benefits from a venue complex with two large-capacity stages, both boasting multiple-tiered seated areas to assist with visibility, as well as a huge selection of on-site activities available open to all attendees. These include an indoor swimming pool, football pitch, basketball and tennis courts, crazy golf course, go-kart track, air hockey, and a large arcade games area. And a beautiful sandy beach-front only a few hundred metres walk away.

More information, including the first wave of artists joining the line-up, will be announced soon. Extremely limited Tier 1 price Early Bird tickets (at £40 off Full Price per person) on sale now

The original boutique festival, All Tomorrow's Parties was founded in 2000 - with Mogwai curating - in the then unusual setting of Pontins Holiday Camp, Camber Sands, UK. Since then the festival has expanded across the globe continuing to set itself apart from large scale corporate events by staying intimate and fan-friendly, whilst influencing countless other festivals along the way. The holiday-camp weekenders offered something that was inimitable in a city, and that many will be excited to continue with. Not just for the nostalgia of the past, but to make the events of the future as memorable and iconic as any previous ATP ever was. Some of the best weekends of ours and our customers lives have taken place in these places. Places so removed from our everyday, busy, city existences. An out of season holiday-camp turned into a temporary town of like-minded music fans.

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Infinity Girl release new album Harm on August 28

Album release: Harm by Infinity Girl
Release date: 28 August 2015
Label: Topself Records
More info: www.topshelfrecords.com

Brooklyn, NY's Infinity Girl have signed with Topshelf Records and will release their sophomore LP, 'Harm' on August 28. A track titled "Firehead" is now premiering on Stereogum.

A dollar from every pre order of the album will be donated to the Direct Relief Network in Nepal. Additionally, all pre-orders will include an Infinity Girl button as an extra thank you for pre-ordering.

Forged in the crucible of the Boston underground and now based in Brooklyn, New York, Infinity Girl is a four-piece American guitar band. The act emerged in 2012 with a startlingly whole and reverent shoegaze sound on its debut full length, 'Stop Being On My Side,' a set that was equal parts haunting melody and ear-bleeding power. An EP, 'Just Like Lovers,' followed in late 2012 and again propounded Infinity Girl's refreshing proclivity for bending classic song forms toward its will to experiment.

More recently the band has taken its music to a darker and more dynamic place informed by both classic post-punk sounds and an increasingly formidable ability to meld noise and hooks in exciting, surprising ways.

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Small Faces albums release on 180g vinyl on 22nd June

Album release: Small Faces and In The Beginning
Release date: 22 June 2015
Label: Universal Music
More info: www.thesmallfaces.com

Between spring 1965, when they began rehearsing at the Ruskin Arms in East London's Manor Park, and June 1967, with their farewell Decca release, The Small Faces were emblematic of a fast-moving youth culture. Mod-ish street style peacocks and R&B/soul obsessives to a man, they were young, hip and hyper.

Their self-titled debut album, released in May 1966, includes the hit singles Whatcha Gonna Do About It and Sha-La-La-La-Lee and was well received by music critics and fans alike, rising to number three on the UK album chart and remaining at the top for several weeks.

It represented a three-pronged alliance between the band’s concert set, a couple of Tin Pan Alley-style ’gifts’ bestowed upon them and a clutch of surprisingly assured originals.

Hot under the collar and hastily executed, Small Faces had pop, soul an (rare for a beat combo) very little in the way of 12-bar rock ‘n’ roll. Above all the record caught the flavour of those changing times.

From the Beginning was the (unofficial) retrospective album released in June 1967. It reached number 17 in the UK Album Chart. It is somewhat notorious for being a record put together by the band’s former manager Don Arden after his charges had dispensed with his services and signed with Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label. It’s a mix of A-sides, first album outtakes and works-in-progress for a second LP and contains an inventive cover of Del Shannon's classic Runaway as well their biggest hit, All or Nothing.

The latter was the highlight of the Small Faces live set, the centrepiece of From The Beginning and, reckoned Steve Marriott, one of two key Swinging London anthems (the other, he said, was The Who’s My Generation). Built on chord changes that would have been second nature to the Stax house band, the song brought Memphis to Pimlico and summoned a career-best performance from Marriott. It had power, soul and in September 1966 it shared the Number One spot with The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.

 

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Mark Morriss to release second studio solo album The Taste of Mark Morriss

Album release: The Taste of Mark Morriss by Mark Morriss
Release date: 7 August 2015
Label: Acid Jazz Records
More Info: 
www.markmorrissmusic.co.uk
 

Mark Morriss is a bit of a buzz-word right now with The Bluetones frontman recently announcing a reunion tour for this September, with many of the dates close to selling out.

This album is the second studio solo album from Mark. Titled 'The Taste of Mark Morriss', this record is a 12-track intimate insight into the creative-mind of one of the UK’s finest song-writers.

Mark has selected his favourite 'blast from the past' songs that helped to form his musical tastes and shape the songwriting abilities we all know and love, picked them apart and re-invented them with his own flair.

Featuring something for everyone, the album provides an eclectic mix of covers, including The Sisters Of Mercy, Madonna, Laura Brannigan, Weezer and The Pet Shop Boys. Bringing listeners a trip down 'Memory Lane' with a fresh, new perspective. 

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Gunship announce their debut album and premiere first ever music video created in GTA V’s PC editor

Album release: Gunship by Gunship
Release date: 24 July 2015
Label: Ingrooves
More Infowww.gunshipmusic.com

Gunship is a neon soaked, late night, sonic getaway drive, dripping with luscious analogue synthesizers, cinematic vocals and cyberpunk values, exploding from the front cover of a dusty plastic VHS case which has lain forgotten since 1984. Created by Dan Haigh, Alex Westaway and Alex Gingell, Gunship is an evolution of the of the recently popularised synthwave genre, which was originally started by Rosso Corsa records & The Valerie Collective artists. The band’s new album is due for release via INgrooves on 24th July 2015.

Today Gunship are set to make history with the premiere of the first music video created within the Rockstar Games’ PC editor for Grand Theft Auto 5. The video is the cinematic accompaniment to ‘The Mountain’ the second track to date to be released by the band.

‘The Mountain’ video is an example of cutting edge Machinima (the use of real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production), which was put together in partnership with the ‘8-BIT BASTARD’ team. The music video is littered with homages to classic 1980s movies such as Blade Runner and The Terminator resulting in a super retro cinematic adventure told using incredibly contemporary storytelling technology. It bears a lot of similarities to other projects coming out of the synthwave scene such as ‘Kung Fury’, Drive and The Guest and goes on to show the ever expanding and evolving nature of the scene.

Gunship is more of a story than a soundtrack, written large across an eighties action cinema screen, where the narrative interweaves romance, hope, fear, technology, the threat of nuclear obliteration, and ultimately the need to celebrate life. Both bleak and dystopian at times but also progressive, uplifting and danceable.

Gunship’s sound is created with vintage analogue synthesizers and other retro electronic gear available in the 1980s. The music is driven by retro gear, inspired by nostalgia for a bygone era but they use this approach to yield something fresh and new. The debut album is sonically diverse - blending sweeping fluorescent synth lines with fever pitched and adrenalizing electric bass arpeggios. This musical foundation, sometimes dark and brooding, sometimes romantic, underpins emotive and cinematic vocals.

The new album also features guest vocals by John Carpenter, Charlie Simpson (Fightstar), Lou Hayter (New Young Pony Club), Martin Grech, and Stella Le Page. Upcoming remixes include Miami Nights 1984, Make Up And Vanity Set, April Towers and Carpenter Brut.

‘The Mountain’ video premiered with VICE gaming today who say “The emerging trio's neon-soaked sonics are ideally suited to GTA V's movie-making toolset.”

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Ellie Goulding to reissue 'Lights' & 'Halycon'

Album release: Lights and Halcyon by Ellie Goulding
Release date: 15 June 2015
Label: USM
More infohttp://store.universalmusic.com/elliegoulding/

The Brit-award winning singer-songwriter’s multi-platinum number one albums, 'Lights', released in 2010 and featuring the singles Under the Sheets and the top five hit Starry Eyed, and 'Halcyon', released in 2012 and featuring the top five hit Anything Could Happen, are now available on vinyl with original artwork and mp3 download vouchers. Both albums now include the bonus track Lights, originally not in the CDs in UK.

Ellie Goulding became the second artist to both top the BBC’s annual Sound of… poll and to win the Critics’ Choice Award at the Brit Awards in the same year, after her debut success with Lights reportedly selling over 850,000 copies within the UK. After the album’s title track was released in the US it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Halcyon debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart and held this spot for 65 weeks before reaching number one. In the United States it reached number nine on the Billboard 200 chart. When re-released in 2013 with additional track she claimed her first UK number one single in the same month with Burn. By the end of 2013 she had sold an estimated four million albums and fifteen million singles worldwide.

After the feature of Beating Heart in blockbuster Divergent during 2014, Ellie Goulding has continued her soundtrack success with the recent release of the number one single Love Me Like You Do, included in the film adaption of hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey. She is currently working on a third solo studio album after appearing on Major Lazer’s album Peace is the Mission alongside Ariana Grande and 2 Chainz.

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Bedroom Community & Rás 2 Radio to curate ATP Iceland's Andrew Theatre Stage

Festival announcement: ATP Iceland
Festival date: 2 - 4 July 2015
More info: www.atpfestival.com/events/atpiceland2015/view/eventinfo
Watch: ATP Iceland 2014 Wrap-up video

ATP Iceland can confirm that influential Icelandic collective Bedroom Community (described as “The best record label in the whole of Iceland maybe even the entire world” by Drowned In Sound) and leading Icelandic broadcaster Rás 2 Radio will curate the festival’s Andrew Theatre Stage, completing the 2015 line-up. Joining the likes of Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Run The Jewels will be Bedroom Community founder Valgeir Sigurðsson – who will appear with viola de gamba virtuoso Liam Byrne - as well as Daníel Bjarnason, JFDR, Pink Street Boys, Rythmatik and Börn.

Friday 3rd July - Andrew Theatre Stage - Bedroom Community curate:

  • Valgeir Sigurðsson with Liam Byrne
  • Daníel Bjarnason
  • JFDR
  • Unsigned Talent Winner

Saturday 4th July - Andrews Theatre Stage - Rás 2 Radio curate:

  • Pink Street Boys
  • Rythmatik
  • Börn
  • Unsigned Talent Winner

The line-up in full now stands as Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Run The Jewels, Mudhoney, Loop, Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond, Kiasmos, HAM, Ghostigital, Ought, Clipping, The Bug, Younghusband, Xylouris White, Deafheaven, Iceage, Chelsea Wolfe, The Field, White Hills, Ghostigital, Oyama, Vision Fortune, Grísalappalísa, Valdimar, Stafrænn Hákon, Mr Silla, Kippi Kaninus, Tall Firs, Grimm Grimm, Ben Frost + Valgeir Sigurðsson, Daníel Bjarnason, Jófríður (solo) Pink Street Boys, Rythmatik, Börn

ATP Iceland is also happy to announce that its Unsigned Talent Competition will open on May 18th (entries close on May 26th, with winners announced on June 1st) with two lucky bands winning spots opening up the curators’ stages. One band will be chosen by Bedroom Community and will open up their stage on Friday 3rd July, and another band will be chosen by Rás 2 Radio and will open up their stage. A further two bands will be chosen as runners-up, with each band member receiving a 3 day pass to the Festival. Full details of the competition, including terms and conditions, can be found here: https://atpfestival.typeform.com/to/jo87qc

ATP Iceland will be held at Ásbrú, the former NATO base in Keflavík, Iceland. The former NATO base dates back to 1941 and the last US military personnel left in 2006. The site is located only 5 minutes away from Iceland's main international airport, 15 minutes from the famous Blue Lagoon and 30 minutes from Reykjavík. The festival site will host two indoor stages and a cinema with films picked by ATP and the bands, as well as the usual ATP extracurricular activities like DJsPop Quiz and much more.

Details of the curator(s) of the ever-popular cinema schedule will be announced soon, as well as info of the food & drink element of the festival that brings so much happiness to attendees each year, as they devour some Icelandic food between bands.

PRESS REACTION TO DATE

  • When it comes to putting on a bloody good festival with some of the most influential bands of all time and the most inventive of new talent, you can't really go wrong with ATP. Putting on a festival in Iceland is just another stroke of genius.” – Gigwise
  • This weekend was without a doubt the best music festival I’ve ever been to.” – KEXP
  • I took a walk in downtown Reykjavík earlier today; all I heard was talk of Portishead and ATP. That, I think, is a triumph” – Iceland Review
  • "At a new locale ensure its tradition is not dead; it has just freshened up and moved north" – Drowned in Sound
  • "One of the best festivals we’ve ever been to." - London In Stereo

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Andrea Balency releases new single, Simone on 18 May

Single release: Simone by Andrea Balency
Release date: 18 May 2015
Label: 
Bataille
More info: www.andreabalency.com

After her very-long awaited second EP, 'Volcano', released on March 16th on Bataille and an exclusive premiere on Dazed for her single 'Waterfalls', Andrea Balency reveals a new single, 'Simone', demonstrating a growth in style, experience and quality beyond that which she has already earned.

Co-written, co-composed and co-produced by Rob McAndrews, the track finds itself in a long-standing artistic collaboration between the British producer and the French-Mexican artist. After the successful debut recording 'You’ve Never Been Alone' in 2014, the 1-800 Dinosaur co-founder joined Andrea on production duties again on 'Volcano', which he entirely co-produced with her.

Having stood out for, and built her persona in the ‘cutely-breathy-females scene’ (The Guardian), Andrea Balency demonstrates a much more rich, more mature, more strong, vocal ability. Her voice has always been a key strength in her arsenal, yet she has discovered a new way to utilise it, finding a beautiful relationship between voice and drums, as if the voice is the thumping heart of a big storm.

RBMA certified, Andrea Balency has been charming the music industry ever since her musical presence was spotted in the Mexican art-rock scene. She has since been singled out for tour support by James Blake, Au Revoir Simone, Inc. and Mount Kimbie to name a few, and was even hand-selected by The Cure for the closing gig of their worldwide tour at the Mexico DF stadium, for 50,000 people. She’s seen many collaborations with a number of producers, of which particular highlights are vocal features on the FKA Twigs / We Are Shining track ‘Breaks’ and on Airhead’s lauded album 'For Years'. Festival slots at Calvi On The Rocks, SXSW and Sonar; recent tours with Banks, Metronomy and London Grammar and continual approval from esteemed press are further testaments to Andrea’s outstanding talent. 

Andrea says : Simone is very different from the songs in « Volcano », so different that it almost feels like a side project. It’s a nice breath of fresh air, a little break from the heavier stuff I’ve been working on. It’s one of the very first collaborations between me and Rob McAndrews. We made it long distance and it took a very long time to finish it- but we saw each other to work on it in person and here it is finally. Hope you enjoy it.”

PRESS REACTION TO DATE

  • Her vision is total and it’s strikingly effective’  - Fader
  • It’s a mesmeric blend of Bat for Lashes, FKA Twigs and Björk. Not a bad bunch to fall in with.’ - Noisey
  • Andrea Balency is one of the most interesting and diverse female vocalists around right now.’  - Notion Magazine
  • Heartbeats. Synth R&B production. Impossibly perfect, breathy vocals. Andrea Balency has it all.’  - Stereogum
  • Andrea Balency has a hauntingly beautiful and smoky vocal style and knack for creating intricate atmospheric soundscapes rich with texture.’  - Earmilk
  • Everything is immediately appealing, easy on the ear, but will satisfy fans of the avant-garde, reminding you that sometimes, flukes – out there experiments such as O Superman – can suddenly find their way into millions of homes.’  - The Guardian
  • Rather than adding to what has become the echo chamber of EDM, Balency’s ethereal voice and soft structures instead aim to mimic the movements of contemporary dance.’  - The New York Times

 

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Dearly Beloved to support Swervedriver

Tour announcement: Dearly Beloved on tour with Swervedriver
Tour dates: May 2015
More info: www.dearlybelovedmusic.com

Dearly Beloved are almost continually on the road. The Canadian group recently hit Germany with Dark Horses, before leaping on board July Talk's tour bus for an Austrian jaunt.

Set to play a series of German festivals this July, Dearly Beloved have also been picked as the main support on Swervedriver's forthcoming UK tour.

The reformed noise-rock out fit have pieced together a series of dates, opening in Portsmouth on May 12th. Hitting Brighton, Cardiff and Birmingham, the lengthy tour ends with a no doubt titanic show at London's Scala venue on May 27th.

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The Velvet Teen to release new album All Is Illusory

Album release: All Is Illusory by The Velvet Teen
Release date:  30 June 2015
Label: Topshelf

More Info: www.thevelvetteen.com

Topshelf Records and Sonoma Country, CA-based indie-rock band The Velvet Teen are proud to announce the release of the band’s forthcoming album titled 'All Is Illusory'. Being released on Tuesday, June 30, 'All Is Illusory' marks the band’s fourth album and is the long-awaited and elegant follow-up to 2006’s Cum Laude! that was recorded and co-produced by Steve Choi (Rx Bandits, Peace'd Out) and Roger Camero (No Motiv, Peace'd Out). From its gorgeous, swirling electronics to its harder, angular, ‘90s-leaning flourishes of grunge, indie and emo, 'All Is Illusory' is a welcome return for a band whose varied influences are still very much intact after its short silence.

Since its inception in late 1999, The Velvet Teen have travelled the world and challenged the very concept of genre with its eclectic and at times schizophrenic appeal. From the early EPs which showed prowess in the pop realm, to the dynamic indie jangle of its Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie)-produced debut, Out of the Fierce Parade, to the romantic strings and quietly political lyrics of Elysium, to the sexually charged whip-it beats of Cum Laude! and No Star EP, The Velvet Teen truly has a talent for seducing the masses into a cult-like state, before promptly leaving the faithless with nothing but a Kool-Aid aftertaste. The believers, however, will vouch that the experience is well worth the risk.

The Velvet Teen officially made its debut in a brief Icelandic tour in the debatedly millennial new year, finding founding member Judah Nagler accompanied by electronic arrangements programmed on a portable sequencer. After returning home, Nagler teamed up with former bandmate Logan Whitehurst, and together they recorded the first EP under the moniker. Josh Staples soon joined the group, and the trio recorded a wealth of material while touring North America, Canada and Japan until late 2004 when Whitehurst was diagnosed with brain cancer. Whitehurst would sadly pass from the disease in 2006. Casey Deitz filled in for Whitehurst and later joined the group permanently to help extend the band’s reach to Europe and record Cum Laude! (2006).

The present day finds The Velvet Teen signed to the San Diego, CA-based powerhouse independent label Topshelf Records (Braid, The Jazz June) and preparing for the release of 'All Is Illusory', its newest material that is a culmination of its history and a body of work that represents where its members currently are, creatively. 

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Colder  announces new single Turn Your Back

Single release: Turn Your Back by Colder
Release date: 25 May 2015
Label: Bataille
More info / listen: www.colder.tv

Colder has just completed his third, very long-awaited album and it’s abundantly clear from the opening strains that the lengthy absence since 2002 debut on Trevor Jackson’s seminal OUTPUT Recordings ('Again', and 2005 successor,'Heat') hasn’t diminished Marc Nguyen Tans keen sense of mood and melody. In fact, if anything the ten-year respite has given Tan a renewed sense of purpose and direction that reveals itself with a subtle beauty that resonates and endures.

Colder’s music is cool. It is seductive yet unobtainable, intimate yet peculiarly disorienting. It resonates like Joy Division or LCD Soundsystem yet occupies its own space, taking the listener out of their comfort zone and into a world of unsettling feelings and sensations, each more tantalising than its predecessor. This is a mature work made by an artist of rare purity and insight, a man who makes music for the right reasons, or not at all.

'Turn Your Back' (single) , includes the b-side A City.  Released on 8 June, 'Turn Your Back Remixes ' (EP)  includes versions by Cómeme’s member Christian S, swiss party duo In Flagranti, The Rapture’s drummer and multi-instrumentalist side project Vito and Druzzi,  iconic catalan dj and producer Marc Piñol and Kompakt’s Amsterdam based signature Patrice Bäumel. 

PREVIOUS PRESS REACTION

  • "Exquisite - Colder sounds like a sparser, funkier Joy Division or a Digital Doors" NME 
  • “With Colder there’s no notion of compromise” - Time Out New York
  • "Suicide-ish vocal meanderings and Krautrock-via-Joy Division hypnosis” - CMJ
  • “Colder's sound is at the height of chic, the perfect late-night complement to an evening of jealous lovers” - Pitchfork
  • “Very fashionable, very necessary” - METRO

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Anuryzm new album All Is Not For All

Anuryzm.jpg

Album Release:  All Is Not For All by.Anuryzm
Release date: 15 June 2015
Label: 
Melodic Melodic Revolution Records

Hailing from the U.A.E, progressive metal quintet Anuryzm are now ready to release their second full length album ‘All Is Not For All’. Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Worm’s Eye View’, which was released in 2011, the new album is an uncompromising assemblage of carefully calculated instrumentation and masterful composition, which sees the band develop on their already lauded and esoteric approach to the metal genre.

Formed in Lebanon in 2003, the band now reside in Abu Dhabi and have performed extensively in and around the local & regional scenes, sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Black Sabbath, Avenged Sevenfold, Yngwie Malmsteen, Scorpions, Nightwish, Epica, Dark Tranquillity, Orphaned Land, Myrath, and many others.

‘All Is Not For All’ is a consummate collection of visceral and polished tracks, which effortlessly coalesces elements of power metal, death metal, thrash and prog. The lead track, ‘Humanoid’ is the perfect introduction to the new album; combining abrasive tech guitar riffs with vacillating harmonious yet caustic vocals. The track glides effortlessly through euphonious and symphonic synth and acoustic sections, at times even incorporating anomalous traces of eastern and jazz like arrangements.

There are clear influences from the likes of Opeth and Dream Theater strewn throughout the album, however there is an underlying familiarity in its conformation, which also calls to mind classic thrash bands such as Exodus, Testament and Iced Earth. It’s an incredibly compelling listen, which despite its sometimes disparate arrangements, is entirely beguiling in its methodical yet aberrant composition.

Additionally, the band have raised an army of venerable musicians from the metal world to take up arms on the new album with guest collaborations from the likes of Michael Lepond (Symphony X), Uri Dijk (Textures & Ethereal), Charlie Zeleny (Whiplash), and interestingly, Christopher Chaplin (the youngest son of the late icon Charlie Chaplin) who plays Cello on ‘Oceans Apart’. The album was also mastered by recording legend Bob Katz (three time Grammy award winning audio mastering engineer).

According to the band, thematically, “The album’s songs span a variety of topics including humbleness, nanotechnology, illness, astral projection, extraterrestrial encounters, love, longing and remorse, third culture upbringing, displacement and Japanese warrior code (Bushido,) to name a few.”

Whilst the value of performing arts may have diminished in the Middle East over time, it is clear that the quality has not. With a strong track record as a viable progressive metal contender from the Middle East, Anuryzm have proven that we should all be paying attention and if you haven’t been there is no better time to start than now.

PRESS REACTION TO DATE:

This is broad reaching progressive metal that exhibits a gleeful disregard for traditional limits and a satisfyingly unpredictable melodic sensibility that glues the remarkably accomplished individual performances together.”  Metal Hammer

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The Classical re-release Diptych on 31 July

Album release: Diptych by The Classical
Release date: 31 July 2015
Label: Time Sensitive Materials 

A year after their move to San Francisco, The Classical quietly self-released 'Diptych' on Bandcamp. One month later, the album was being lauded as one of the Bay Area’s best releases of 2014. It was a strong start for The Classical, currently a duo comprised of singer-songwriter Juliet E. Gordon and free jazz drummer Britt Ciampa. And this summer, the Alameda, CA label Time Sensitive Materials (sub. of Time Released Sound) will give a well-deserved physical re-release to this formidable collection of songs.

Gordon describes herself as a “disavowed stage actor,” having abandoned that career path when, in her eyes, it lost its luster. But her dramatic training undeniably colors the content of The Classical. "Diptych", writes critic Sam Lefebvre, “is full of play, pretend, and severity, with Gordon inhabiting diverse characters such as sycophant, deviant, and spy.”

Indeed, James Bond theme music comes readily to mind while listening to 'Diptych' —“brassy, but slick” writes Lefebvre—but so does swampy post-punk and nightmarish horror soundscape. It’s anything but tame, yet it manages to unite highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities to delicious and delirious effect. In “Sicily: Catacombs,” for instance, Gordon describes a chance visit to the famous open burial catacombs of Palermo, Sicily. Pausing to gaze upon a wall reserved for deceased young virgins, she sings, “Strung up by their necks in rotten dresses/Wheezing down at their weeping fathers/Masturbating, gargling salt water…”

Elsewhere, she croons soaringly of bestiality, and confesses to revenge fantasies with outright glee. It all unfolds over a dramatic palette of souped-up pianos, synthesized strings, and the evocative punctuation of Ciampa’s drumming. The duo recorded Diptych themselves, but passed the task of mixing on to Jay Pellicci (Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney), who made sure the songs hit with their full weight.

'Diptych' will be available on July 31st exclusively through Time Sensitive Materials. Until then, watch the official clip for “Shovel & Bevel” on YouTube

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Richard Thompson releases new album STILL on 29 June

Album release: Still by Richard Thompson
Release date: 29 June 2015
Label: Proper records
More info / listen: www.proper-records.co.uk/richardthompson-still

The renowned guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson will release 'Still', an album of new music produced by Jeff Tweedy, on June 29, 2015 via Proper Records.

'Still' will be available in several configurations including a twelve-track CD, a twelve-track double 180-gram vinyl album and a deluxe CD package that includes a five-song EP from a previously un-released session.  

'Still' was recorded in a two-story rehearsal loft in Chicago over the course of just nine days with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy at the helm, backed by several longtime players from both Thompson’s and Tweedy’s bands. Thompson enlisted Tweedy’s production skills in an effort to shake up his own creative approach to making records. “It turned out be really good idea,” says Thompson. “Jeff is musically very sympathetic. Although some of his contributions are probably rather subtle to the listener’s ear, they were really interesting and his suggestions were always very pertinent.”

“I really tried to not have any preconceived ideas,” Thompson says of working with Tweedy, “but of course you do. I tried to shove those to the back of my mind. You don’t really know until you turn up — what the studio is like, what the gear is like. It ended up being a nice unfolding of surprises.”

The key to the emotional resonance of 'Still' is a set of gripping new Thompson compositions rich with his signature mix of trenchant insight, gallows humor, and keen empathy for characters at the brink of being overcome by their emotions, their pasts, or themselves.

A recipient of BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Mojo’s Les Paul Award, Richard Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 New Year Honours List. The Americana Music Association also recently honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded Thompson’s songs.

Taken as a whole, 'Still' is a powerful dispatch from an acknowledged master who remains unafraid to put himself into demanding new environments – its title reflecting that resilience and seemingly endless resourcefulness. “Or,” Thompson adds slyly, “it could be read as ‘Is he still performing? I thought he died years ago.”

For Tour dates: www.richardthompson-music.com/tour-dates

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Postcards From Jeff release debut album 'Modern Language'

ModernLanguageCover.jpg

Album Release: 'Modern Language' by Postcards From Jeff
Release date: 
24 July 2015
Label: Alien Boutique
More info / listen: 
www.postcardsfromjeff.com

Postcards From Jeff release their debut album 'Modern Language'. An elegy for cinema revealing stolen glimpses of another world, another life. Each track a cinematic snapshot, shifting and shimmering in a flickering film light, capturing the timeless claustrophobia and psychodramas of small town suburbia. A soundtrack to a world wrapped in a rich language of isolation, of disconnection and delicious melancholia, where characters reach out to connect but miscommunicate with every step, staring into the darkness from the tree lined streets, out across the windswept moors and epic cloudscapes to a coming storm.

This is brooding lustrous indie pop from a Manchester newcomer driving a line somewhere between the dreaminess of Mercury Rev and the vastness of Sigur Ros, by way of kindred spirits The National, Guided By Voices or the exultant cinematic reach of a band like M83. It's ten killer tracks are built from simple and evocative foundations into Lynchian epics of mood and wonder, combining songs with soundscapes and the electronic with the analogue to create a world that's as much Americana as it is Manchester and as much about film as it is about music.

The albums opening single, 'Suburban Girl', projects itself into this half glimpsed cinematic universe, where falling for movie characters, getting lost in their world and struggling to find your way back is more powerful than real life. It's a song for Laura Palmer, a song for a faded small town weirdness, it's quiet desperation's stirred up through an imaginary cult classic, better than the real thing.

2014 saw the release of Postcards From Jeff's debut self-titled EP which was accompanied by two dark and dreamlike videos made in collaboration with award winning filmmaker Steve Glashier. This year, beginning with 'Suburban Girl', Glashier is onboard to direct all three of the debut albums accompanying videos, creating not only the cinematic snapshots that the songs deserve but turning all three into one single narrative, a short film within a film, following the complexities, themes and imagery of the record and delivering a piece of cinema that can truly turn 'Modern Language' into the soundtrack it evokes.

Bringing the band out of its sojourn into film and isolation are the first of a series of spring shows, marking the beginning of an exciting year for the band:

15/05/15 Victoria Theatre, HALIFAX
06/06/15 The Lofthouse, NOTTINGHAM
13/06/15 Soup Kitchen, MANCHESTER
17/06/15 The Strongroom, LONDON
25/07/15 Brudenell Social Club, LEEDS

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Heartless Bastards to release new album on 15 June

Heartless Bastards

Album release: "Restless Ones" by Heartless Bastards
Release date: 15 June 2015
Label: Partisan Records
More information / listen on: Heartless Bastards website

Heartless Bastards have spent the past decade in motion, boldly pushing their unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll into new shapes over four acclaimed albums and nearly non-stop roadwork. Now, with "Restless Ones", the band sets out once again, blazing a path to a place of shifting moods, seasoned songcraft, and unbridled spontaneity. Heartless Bastards’ fifth studio recording and follow-up to 2012’s breakthrough "Arrow", the album finds singer/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom exploring as-yet-unvisited avenues of sound and sensation, her bravery and ambition readily apparent in the emotional timbre and the sheer physicality of her songs. “Wind Up Bird” and “Into The Light” are straightforward yet stunningly sophisticated, shot through with layered guitars, atmospheric harmonies, hints of synth, and a powerhouse rhythm section adept at both subtle swing and heavy horsepower. Wennerstrom’s spellbinding vocals are of course front and center, her one-of-a-kind voice as primal, cathartic, and indefinable as ever.

“We took a lot of chances,” Wennerstrom says, “taking the sounds in different directions in order to grow. I don't ever want to make the same album twice.” 

Now based in Austin, the band’s current incarnation – that is, guitarist Mark Nathan, bassist Jesse Ebaugh, and drummer Dave Colvin – united in 2009, touring Heartless Bastards’ acclaimed third album, "The Mountain", before hitting the studio to record "Arrow". 

"Arrow" proved popular success, earning Heartless Bastards’ top album and track sales to date, fueled by multi-format rock radio airplay across the land, high-profile placements on a wide range of highly rated network programming, rave reviews in the likes of Rolling Stone, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and show-stopping performances on such TV shows as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, TBS’ Conan, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! The band celebrated with furious roadwork, including sold out headline tours and memorable appearances at such famed festivals as Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, Pickathon, Hangout Music Festival, Summerfest, Wakarusa Music Festival, Firefly Music Festival, and Austin’s own ACL Music Festival and Fun Fun Fun Fest. 

Having spent the better part of two years on tour, summer 2014 saw Heartless Bastards humming on all cylinders and ready to commence work on their next record. Wennerstrom began honing in on the myriad ideas she had accumulated, developing melodies and arrangements though not yet committing lyrics to paper. She experimented with vowel and consonant noises, toying with untested sounds and instrumentation. 

GRAMMY® Award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Swans) was tasked with corralling Heartless Bastards’ collective energy. The band made significant inroads during pre-production sessions, tightening songs and structures but still leaving things open to chance.  

“John came down to Austin and sat in with us for a couple of days,” says Nathan. “That was really great – it was important to get an outside ear and it helped make the process more concise. I’ve never seen anybody get sounds as good and as quickly as he does.” 

“These songs are about what’s happening now,” Colvin says, “about not looking too far ahead or back. John is a real decisive person, which is great for us as players. He helped us to capture the moment and not worry about it.” 

"Restless Ones" was tracked in August 2014 during a 10-day session at El Paso’s renowned Sonic Ranch. Located on 2,300 acres of pecan orchards bordering the Rio Grande and Mexico, the studio – the largest residential recording complex in the world – provided the perfect setting, miles away from all real world responsibilities and thus able to fully invest themselves in the act of creation.

“When you record in the city you all live in, it’s easy for people to just come in and out of the studio,” Wennerstrom says, “so vocals and guitar parts and overdubs are often recorded without anyone else hearing them. Recording at Sonic Ranch was a way for everyone in the band to experience the creative process and to be able to offer opinions in real time.” 

The band put their back into the project as one, living together, dining together, always alert to their mission. The communal nature and concentrated schedule of the Sonic Ranch sessions proved an intense but inspirational combination. 

“There was no break from the process,” says Nathan. “In some ways, it made the good things better and the bad things worse, but looking back, it was a different experience and I’m glad we did it.”

“Sonic Ranch attracts talent from all over the Americas,” Ebaugh says. “We met people from Chile, Argentina, Mexico City. It helps you contextualize your own work to be shoulder to shoulder with other artists from backgrounds so different from your own. It makes you think twice as hard about what you are saying, about your life, and your background artistically.”

The sessions were marked by Heartless Bastards’ openness to the unfamiliar, allowing previously untapped influences – from The Byrds and Syd Barrett to the Faces and the Flaming Lips – to take root in their own distinctive blues-powered rock ‘n’ roll. “Wind Up Bird” is given texture and psychedelic lift via a visit from keyboardist John Baggott (Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters, Portishead, Massive Attack), while the album-closing “Tristessa” was born of Wennerstrom’s home experiments with guitar loops but then grown by the band into a deeply devotional drone.

 “We started with sketches and ideas of directions,” Ebaugh says, “but allowed the process of discovery to guide the finalization. It allowed us to think about the songs more globally and really flesh them out.”

“There were some happy accidents,” Colvin says. “Things that were completely organic, that could’ve only happened in that moment. Things are still shifting, nothing’s set in stone.”

Where some tracks were built from the ground up, others were completely upended. First recorded for the soundtrack to 2013’s acclaimed "Winter In The Blood", “Hi-Line” was broken down and retooled from front porch folk to Fleetwood Mac-inspired country pop unlike anything in Heartless Bastards’ prior canon.

“‘Eastern Wind’ provided a bit of a road map for the record,” she says. “It’s a song of wanderlust. Writing words is always a real challenge for me, so I end up taking off in my car and roaming around by myself looking for inspiration. I think in doing that I’m taking myself out of my comfort zone. I turn my world upside down over and over and start anew. 

Further insight came from such literary touchstones as Haruki Murakami (“Wind Up Bird”), Jack Kerouac (“Tristessa”), and the late photojournalist/artist/activist Dan Eldon, whose Be Here Now philosophy is at the very heart of "Restless Ones."

“I love the idea of ‘The Journey Is The Destination,’” she says, referencing Eldon’s most famous work. “Not looking too far ahead and really focusing on the present. I've tended to look so forward that I forget to stop and smell the roses. The process of working towards the things you want in your life is more important than the goal itself.”

“As always, Erika’s lyrical honesty informs the behavior of the whole project,” says Ebaugh. “There comes a time in an artist's trajectory when you realize that your entire life experience is expressed through the work, so you better be able to relax and let the work reflect the experience that is yours.”

"Restless Ones" was finished in the fall with two mixing sessions at Congleton’s Elmwood Recording in Dallas. Heartless Bastards’ next challenge is bringing the album’s studio-crafted songs to the stage.  “It’ll be fun to chuck it all at the wall and let the collective experience of band/audience dictate the conversation of the music,” Ebaugh says.  “That's the mission ultimately: rock ‘n’ roll communion.”   

Rich with purpose, passion, and commanding musicianship, "Restless Ones" captures an idiosyncratic band exploring their craft and soul in an effort to reach a place that’s both true and transcendent. Heartless Bastards continue to drive their monumental music ever forward, towards hidden vistas and horizons still unseen.

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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 - Lifetime Achievement

LOudon-colr-__.jpg

BBC Radio 2 today announced the recipients of this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The two prestigious lifetime achievement accolades will be presented to legendary musicians Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Loudon Wainwright III at the ceremony which is being held at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 22 April. The Good Tradition Award, for an outstanding contribution to the upkeep of a musical tradition, is being presented posthumously to the late Meredydd Evans.

Renowned singer Yusuf / Cat Stevens, who will also be performing at the awards, gained worldwide acclaim for works including Wild World, Father and Son and Morning Has Broken, which remain staples of the folk genre. Following a conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977, Stevens retired from the music business to work with and support causes in education and humanitarian relief. Yusuf / Cat Stevens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2014, subsequently releasing the album, Tell 'Em I'm Gone. Last year also saw Yusuf / Cat Stevens embark upon his acclaimed Peace Train - Late Again international tour, including his first US dates in 38 years.

Al Booth, Editor of Specialist Music, Radio 2 said:

‘To have a musical legend of the calibre of Yusuf performing at the Radio 2 Folk Awards is a testament to the high esteem in which the event is held. I know that everyone in the folk world is looking forward to what promises to be a very special night.’

Grammy Award winning Loudon Wainwright III will also be celebrating his Lifetime Achievement Award with a live performance at the event. He said:

“I'll be happy and gratified, not to mention a bit smug, to receive my award in Cardiff next month. Yes it certainly has seemed like an entire lifetime has whizzed by since the mighty John Peel saturated the UK airwaves in 1969 with my first songs, spinning "School Days" and "The Movies Are a Mother to Me" late at night on BBC Radio.”

Loudon Wainwright III had studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon University, but dropped out to partake in the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco, and wrote his first song Edgar in 1968. He was soon signed to Atlantic Records and was lured by Clive Davis to Columbia Records, which released his first big hit Dead Skunk. His songs have since been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and his son Rufus Wainwright and daughter Martha Wainwright. An accomplished actor, he has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, on TV in M.A.S.H. and Undeclared, and on Broadway in Pump Boys and Dinettes.

The 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards will also pay tribute to the late Dr Meredydd Evans, who passed away in February 2015 at the age of 95, with a Good Tradition Award. The Good Tradition Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to UK folk music. Meredydd’s wide-ranging contributions as a singer, historian, broadcaster and Welsh language campaigner made him a significant, respected and popular figure across Welsh culture. He recorded for the Sain label in Wales and made a classic album of Welsh songs for the American label Smithsonian Folkways during the 1950s. He was Head of Light Entertainment at BBC Wales, working both behind and in front of the camera and an important collector of Welsh traditional song. He will be posthumously honoured and there will be a special tribute performance to him by the 10 Mewn Bws, (10 in a Bus) a project that saw ten young Welsh musicians travel around Wales in an attempt to reinterpret and demystify traditional Welsh music.

The Folk Awards are hosted by Radio 2 Folk Show presenter Mark Radcliffe alongside Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. Folk Singer Of The Year-nominated Julie will also perform on the night. Other performers are modern folk rock band The Rails who are nominated in the Best Album and Horizon Award category for the best emerging act and London based duo Josienne Clark and Ben Walker, singing from their nominated Best Album Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour. The pair has also been nominated in the Best Duo category. Welsh folk band 9Bach, who will sing in Welsh, and English folk singer Kate Rusby complete the live line up for the night.

Star guests who will be handing out some of the gongs on the night include 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, Gavin and Stacey and Stella actress Ruth Jones and singer songwriter Billy Bragg.

The evening will also see singer, songwriter, record producer, playwright, actor and political activist Ewan MacColl inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Award Hall of Fame. MacColl played a vital role in instigating the folk song revival in Britain and is perhaps best known for his much covered songs ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Throughout his career MacColl produced around 300 songs and scores of albums and 2015 marks the centenary of his birth.  

The Radio 2 Folk show has a weekly audience of 812,000 listeners and BBC Radio 2 has weekly reach of 15.3 million. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from 7.30pm-10pm on Radio 2 and will also be simulcast on BBC Radio Wales. From 10pm to 11pm, BBC Radio Wales will be broadcasting the official after show programme presented by Frank Hennessy.

Listeners will be able to watch highlights of the awards on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event and also at a later date on Red Button. For more details head to bbc.co.uk/radio2

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Diamond Youth release debut album ‘Nothing Matters’ on 19 May

Album Release: "Nothing Matters by Diamond Youth
Release Date: 19 May 2015
Label: Topshelf Records

Shortly after announcing that they will accompany Superheaven and Rozwell Kid on a full North American tour this spring including Skate and Surf Festival and Bled Fest, Baltimore's Diamond Youth announced this week that the band will release their debut LP "Nothing Matters" on 19th May 2015.   

BrooklynVegan is not only sponsoring the tour, but also has the premiere of the first new track from the upcoming album, "Thought I Had It Right", saying  "new single "Thought I Had It Right" sounds like Queens of the Stone Age going power pop, and it suits them." Recorded at Hurley studios at the company's headquarters in Costa Mesa, California by engineer Dave Warsop, Nothing Matters is the studio's first full LP to be released and is now available for pre-order via Topshelf Records. 

Formed in 2012, the quartet calls Baltimore home, although the members of Diamond Youth are currently spread out across the country. Sharing a common background in art, design, skateboarding and music, the band has previously released three EPs, including the critically acclaimed 2013 EP Orange and 2014 EP Shake, on Topshelf Records.  Drawing influence from bands such as Pixies, Queens Of The Stone Age, and The Nerves, Diamond Youth writes infectious, catchy songs that are full of sunny guitar lines, warm reverb and gorgeous harmonies. 

Press reaction to date 

  • "...a stellar example of what this young band have to offer the sometimes stagnant alternative rock genre" - Alternative Press  
  • "...a rollicking affirmation that hardcore dudes can be rather good at making straight-up rock music..." - Rock Sound

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Rush release their 14 Mercury albums in 2015

Alum Release: Rush
Release Date: 2015
Label: Mercury

Call it 12 months of Rush as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees ready their 14 Mercury albums for release in 2015. 

All titles will be reissued on high-quality vinyl with a download card for Digital Audio version, high resolution Digital Audio releases, while three titles will also be released on Blu-ray Pure Audio 

Los Angeles, CA – December 11, 2014 – With the release of multi-platinum Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Rush’s self-titled 1974 debut this past April, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) kicked off its own celebration of the legendary Canadian prog-rock band’s 40th anniversary since that first album. In 2015, vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart, who joined the band in July, 1974, shortly after the release of that first album and two weeks before the group’s inaugural U.S. tour, will see the reissue of the remaining 14 albums in their Mercury catalog in chronological order, starting with Fly By Night, which will be available in high-quality vinyl with a download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download; high resolution Digital Audio editions in DSD (2.8mHz), 192khz / 24-bit, 96kHz / 24-bit; and an additional Blu-Ray Pure Audio version with 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo, on January 27. A Farewell to Kings and Signals are the other two albums which will be reissued in Blu-Ray Pure Audio. 

The remaining 13 titles will be released one or two a month through the end of the year. The band performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, 2013 at L.A.’s Nokia Theater after receiving a loving, humorous induction speech by super-fans Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, who joined the group on-stage before a crowd of boisterous Rush supporters. “When the f**k did Rush become cool?” wondered Grohl, while recounting his own history as a rabid fan. “They broke all the rules,” added Hawkins. “And isn’t that rock ‘n’ roll?”  

January 26: "Fly by Night" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-Ray Audio): The 1975 release of Fly By Night was the first to feature drummer Neil Peart, who also became the band’s lyricist. The singles included the title track and “Making Memories.” Fly By Night reached #113 on the Billboard chart, going platinum in both the U.S. and Canada. 

February: "Caress of Steel" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The second album to be released in 1975, the band’s third release marked their emergence into more hard prog-rock styles as opposed to the blues-based style of the group’s first two albums. Singles included “The Necromancer: Return of the Prince” and “Lakeside Park.” Although the album peaked at #148 on the Billboard charts, it has since gone gold in both the U.S. and Canada.  

March: "2112" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The group’s fourth album, first released in 1976, proved a breakthrough, highlighted by its seven-part title suite written by Lee and Lifeson, with lyrics by Peart, recounting a dystopian story set in the year 2112. It came in at #2 on Rolling Stone’s list of “Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time.”  Most Rush fans consider it the band’s definitive recording, as the album sold 3 million in the U.S., going triple-platinum.  

"All the World’s a Stage" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): This 1976 double-live album was recorded at Toronto’s Massey Hall June 11-13, during the band’s 2112 tour, with the title a nod to William Shakespeare.  The record climbed to #40 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and going platinum in the States and Canada. 

April: "A Farewell to Kings" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-Ray Audio): This 1977 release, the band’s fifth studio album, was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and mixed in London’s Advision Studios. It became the band’s first U.S. gold-selling album within two months of release, and went platinum. The singles included “Closer to the Heart” and “Cinderella Man,” while the album peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 and #22 on the U.K. album charts.    

May: "Hemispheres" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Another favorite of true Rush fans, this sixth studio album, released in 1978, once more explored fantasy and science fiction themes in Neil Peart’s lyrics. The final track, the ambitious nine-and-a-half minute “La Villa Strangiato,” was the band’s first instrumental  The album peaked at #47 on the Billboard charts, and was the group’s fourth consecutive gold album in the U.S., featuring the singles “The Trees” and “Circumstances.” 

June:  "Permanent Waves" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The seventh studio album was released on January 1, 1980, and recorded at Le Studio in Quebec, becoming the first U.S. album to go Top Five, peaking at #4 on the Billboard charts.  The effort marked a transition from the band’s long, conceptual pieces into a more accessible, radio-friendly style on such rock airplay hits as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill,” with the album going platinum.  

July: "Moving Pictures" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio):  Rush’s eighth studio album, released in February, 1981, also turned out to be their biggest-selling in the U.S., rising to #3 on the Billboard charts (and #1 in Canada), as one of the first discs to receive the RIAA’s first-ever multi-platinum designation, scoring 4 million sales to date in the U.S. on the strength of classics like  “Limelight,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Vital Signs.” 

"Exit… Stage Left" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio):  Released in August, 1981, this live album was recorded during the Moving Pictures tour at the Montreal Forum and in Glasgow Scotland, peaking in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts, buoyed by live versions of “Close to the Heart,” “Tom Sawyer” and “A Passage to Bangkok.”    

August: "Signals" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-ray Audio): This September, 1982, release marked the band’s increase use of electronic instrumentation, especially sequencers and electric violin (played by Ben Mink), peaking at #10 on the Billboard charts and eventually going platinum. A total of five singles were released from the album, including “Subdivisions,” which became a live staple of their concerts, along with “New World Man,” “The Analog Kid,” “The Weapon” and “Countdown.”  

September: "Grace Under Pressure" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Released in April, 1984, the band’s tenth studio album reached #10 on the Billboard chart and went platinum. Alex Lifeson called it “the most satisfying of all our records.” It was the first album they recorded without long-time producer Terry Brown, eventually producing it themselves.  The song’s themes were influenced by the growing tensions in the Cold War. The music itself continued the presence of synthesizers introduced on Signals, as well as incorporating elements of ska and reggae into their sound. Singles included “Distant Early Warning,” “The Body Electric,” “Red Sector A:” and “Afterimage.”  

October: "Power Windows" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): This 1985 release was Rush’s 11th studio album, and the first time they worked with producer Peter Collins, who recorded the album at The Manor in the U.K., George Martin’s AIR Studios in Montserrat and Sarm East Studios in London. It was also the group’s first CD release. More keyboards and synths were introduced into the sound, with “The Big Money” and “Mystic Rhythms” made into videos for MTV. The album once more hit #10 on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold a million copies, earning platinum status. Other singles included “Territories,” “Manhattan Project” and “Marathon,” the latter two topping the U.S. Mainstream Rock airplay charts at #10 and #6, respectively. 

November: "Hold Your Fire" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Released in September, 1987, Rush’s 12th studio album continues the band’s commitment to exploring new songwriting territory, with Aimee Mann contributing vocals to “Open Secrets” and “Time Stand Still,” appearing in the video for the latter. The album debuted at #13 on Billboard and eventually went gold. The other singles included “Force Ten” (#3 U.S. Mainstream Rock), “Lock and Key (#16 U.S. Mainstream Rock) and “Prime Mover.”  

December: "A Show of Hands" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The band’s third live album was released January, 1989, recorded while on tour in Birmingham, U.K., New Orleans, Phoenix and San Diego during the 1988 Hold Your Fire tour, as well as in the Meadowlands in New Jersey during the 1986 Power Windows tour. The opening track “intro” features the Three Stooges theme song, “Three Blind Mice,” a song the band used to open many of their concerts during the ‘80s. That same year, the group released a video of the same name on VHS and Laserdisc featuring the Birmingham show, while a DVD version was included as part of a 2006 box set and as a stand-alone the following year.  The album reached #21 in Billboard, going gold, with the singles including “Closer to the Heart” and 12” promos of “Mission” and “Marathon.”

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