Lisbon Kid debut album due 22 April 2016

Album release: Lisbon Kid
Release date: 22 April 2016
Label: Wall of Sound
More info: Band website

Comprised of the estimable Soho-based, Portuguese musicians, producers and TV ad composers Danny de Matos and Rui da Silva, electronica duo Lisbon Kid are now gearing up to release their eponymously titled debut album. Made from a beguiling mix of electronica and acoustic instruments, often with ambient landscaping and elements of sound design added to a huge song-based pop sensibility and emotional lyrical content, Lisbon Kid have created a consummate debut record which is as diverse as it is adventurous.  

Tracks such as the Balearic ‘Sunburst’ show the duo’s song craft by merging effortlessly infectious textured bassline and synth melodies with hazy and laidback ambient beats. Alternative versions of the track have already appeared on leading compilations such as Café Del Mar, Golden Lounge and Balearic prior to its forthcoming release of the original mix as the debut single. Much like a number of other tracks on the record it is incredibly radio and sync friendly but it is also so much more than that.

Tracks such as ‘Last Weekend’ exhibit a starker, yet more playful side to the duo with a raw almost distorted bassline accompanied by a brutally honest narrated stream of consciousness provided by Tony Bignell (Coming of Age). Elsewhere, the album is strewn with pianos, acoustic guitars, string sections and an expansive percussion section. This is where the album picks up its obvious individuality calling to mind artists from a huge range styles and genres with moments that travel from Air to Royksopp, Cinematic Orchestra to Nick Drake, Zero 7 to Pink Floyd and many more.  

The debut also features a number of estimable guest appearances from the likes of Sarah Cracknell (St. Etienne), Lisa Billson (Orbital/Loose Salute), James Craise (featured Professor Green singer), electronic diva Queen of Hearts and Icelandic songstress Hafdis Huld. Each guest appearance contributes further personality and uniqueness to each song adding even more diversity to the album.

Speaking on the new album, Danny de Matos said “We wanted to make a record that we loved that would move people and bring a smile to their faces and a tear to their eye. We’re happy to say we’ve done that.”Rui da Silva also speaking on the album said “After so many years producing music for clubs at 4am, it was really exciting to embark on this new project and be able to explore other sonics, bpm’s and escape the limits of dance floormusic. We had immense fun writing and recording this album between London and Lisbon and I can’t wait to share the results with you all. Music for the morning after the night before."

Live shows have previously seen Lisbon Kid being joined by James Craise (Professor Green). From their beginnings at Canvas Art Gallery in London for a select audience of UK’s cutting-edge advertising industry, Lisbon Kid have already played shows as support for M+A in Shoreditch, and private after-party DJ sets at Soho House for Scarlet Johansson’s ‘Under The Skin’ and their international live debut at the Cannes Festival of Creativity.

Similarly, in demand as leftfield remixers, Lisbon Kid have dub-remixed James McArthur’s ‘Lawn Order’ for Chris Coco’s Melodica label and ‘Confused’ for The Blockheads’ Remixes Album. They have also recently remixed singles from Kids On Bridges and Ekkoes and The Woodentops for Wall Of Sound.

Lisbon Kid very recently signed to the renowned eclectic label Wall Of Sound, who have previously released albums from the likes of: Royksopp, Grace Jones, Mogwai, The Clash, Kids On Bridges and more. The multifarious nature of the label is the perfect fit for the debut album and mirrors Lisbon Kid's individual intent to merge various styles and influences in their songwriting. Speaking on the recent signing Mark Jones (label founder) said in Music Week “It’s great to have Lisbon Kid on Wall of Sound with their beautiful songs and soundscapes that touch you inside and out. I’m actually now officially a Portugeezer!”

Between them both Danny de Matos and Rui da Silva have had success on a worldwide level as award-winning writers and producers over a wide range of genres and projects. It is this combination of talent, experience and personality which has allowed the duo to create a debut album filled with contemplative ambience andemotive and hook driven moments that sink into the mind and beg repeated listening. Lisbon Kid have only just begun, but their proficiency gives the project the feeling that it has been in development for years. This is a debut that loudly broadcasts its intention, Lisbon Kid mean business and we know it.

Press reaction to date

'...An intriguing album of downtempo gems'– Chris CoCo

'...I’ll be playing it all summer' – Phil Mison (Café Del Mar)

'...I love it' – Rob da Bank

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Left With Pictures new album 'Afterlife' due 29 April 2016

Album release: 'Afterlife' by Left With Pictures
Release date: 29 April 2016
Label: Organ Grinder Records
More info: Band website

Left With Pictures are an orchestral pop ensemble from London. Formed in 2005, they started with three hard-up, classically trained musicians who forsook the orchestra pit for the sanctuary of their keyboard player’s loft. Armed with synths, guitars, strings, kazoos, found-sounds and a shoestring budget, they began with a series of self-releases and impromptu performances in theatres, bars and bedrooms.  

In 2008 LWP signed to Organ Grinder Records – with whom they have released two albums, Beyond Our Means (2009) and 2011’s In Time,an album consisting of 12 songs which were released monthly and premiered by Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music. Over 10 years the band has won critical praise, expanded their live sound, and steadily refined their craft of inventive pop music, where the acoustic and the electronic are intricately combined. Afterlife – their first release in five years – is the result of a band evolving, and pulling apart their sound in order to explore their own innate creativity, much of which can be attributed to the appointment of Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Ghostpoet, Darkstar, Hood) as producer.  

Formby acted as a sounding board and as a voice to challenge any comfort zones the band may slip back into after 10 years together, as Tom Walker explains: "Richard’s job as producer was often to gently unpick what we’d done and refocus it. He encouraged us to change arrangements in the studio – often stripping parts away and leaving a broader, more cinematic sound. Richard is a master of vintage equipment – modular synths, old organs, tape delays, etc. – and he always had ideas about which sounds to use and how to distort, bend and re-imagine the music we made."

In many ways it’s the sound of a band reborn, which is fitting when considering their subject matter. Much of what appears on Afterlife very frankly concerns endings, death and renewal – themes which evolved over the course of the writing and recording process. Bloody Mess doesn’t mince its words with the line “I don’t know what my body will to do me today / I’m scared to go to sleep tonight.” Before the album’s lead track Terra Firma (a song very plainly about dying) climaxes in a kind of folktronic, symphonic soup, bolstered by gently swelling strings, ghostly church-pew background vocals and a gorgeous looped synth motif, all preceded by the contemplative lyric “It’s easy to go on without a life you know nothing about, when you spend your days at the water’s edge.”

Indeed, from the lonely nostalgic hum of Last Man On Earth (“Should I hang my St Christopher over the dash? / and find my way back”), through Long Lane’s Elliott Smith ode, to the chilling album closer The Night Watch (“all who love you will be here”), Afterlife is a much more lived-in, otherworldly, and more cohesive body of work that anything the band have done before.  

Left With Pictures are Tom Walker, Stuart Barter and Toby Knowles. They are joined live by Alex Gold on percussion and Mike Cranny on bass.

Press reaction to date

'Absolutely beautiful' - Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

'Beyond brilliant...the most heartwarming album of the year.' - Drowned in Sound

'Totally beguiling on every level.' - The Line of Best Fit

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Oranssi Pazuzu new album 'Värähtelijä' due 26 February 2016

Album release: 'Värähtelijä' by Oranssi Pazuzu
Release date: 26 February 2016
Label: Svart Records
More info: Band website

In 2013 Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu issued their 'Valonielu' LP, an album of timeless creative immensity that was met with ubiquitous praise throughout the world, and solidified the band’s position as one of the most forward-thinking and interesting metal bands. Now Oranssi Pazuzu returns with the follow-up album and fourth overall, the mind-bending masterwork 'Värähtelijä'.

Oranssi Pazuzu, since birth, has never been satisfied to stick with a formula. Each album has seen the band expand upon its previous incarnation and then, like a supernova, blow it up and transform again into something recognizable but completely new.

'Värähtelijä' continues in this vein, giving the band much more room to diverge and explore the vast regions of hypnotic progressive psychedelia and the nebulous outer limits of Scandinavian black metal. Songs explode with radiant ultraviolet color and plunge into the deep black darkness of innermost consciousness. If ‘Valonielu’ was the creation of a universe, ‘Värähtelijä’ is the magnification and expansion of its infinite boundaries.

A 70+ minute sprawling voyage, ‘Värähtelijä’ more accurately represents the stunning live presence of the band where the songs often span new and previously unheard dimensions of form and structure. Not meant for genre purists, Oranssi Pazuzu are on a trip all their own; modern electric pioneers on an expedition to unlock the keys to the hidden spaces all around and inside us. 20 Buck Spin and Svart are pleased to once again present the innovative brilliance of Oranssi Pazuzu and ‘Värähtelijä’.

"Värähtelijä is continuing where we left off with 'Valonielu'. But it plunges deeper into the pitch black hypnosis, combines progressive song structures to more free and flowing parts. At the same time, it’s the heaviest and the most atmospheric album we`ve done so far. The fusion between different ends of spectrum reveals new realities we`ve never discovered before. We really wanted this album to go to new places and to be the crossover album of genres we always wanted to do.

To further boost the idea, the album was done with Julius Mauranen who had previously done lots of Finnish shoegaze and indie pop albums. I think it’s safe to say that this is by far the heaviest stuff he has done and for us, working with a guy like him stretched our sound to way more dynamic and trippy horizons." - Jun-His

Press reaction to date

'Oranssi Pazuzu never disappoint' – Metal Hammer

'Their unique take on psychedelic, proggy black metal is totally otherworldly and even uplifting at times' – Terrorizer

'...trippy combination of space rock, psychedelic textures and controlled aggression' – Rock Sound

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Ben Abraham debut album 'Sirens' due 4 March 2016

Album release: 'Sirens' by Ben Abraham
Release date: 4 March 2016
Label: Secretly Canadian
More info: Artist website

Australian artist Ben Abraham, whom the Sydney Morning Herald calls 'one of the best new male voices' debuts a new Oh Yeah Wow-directed video for 'You And Me' today, watch it here. 'You And Me' is the first track from Abraham’s debut album 'Sirens', set for release March 4 on Secretly Canadian. Preorder the album on all physical formats here and digitally via iTunes here

Zane Lowe premiered 'You And Me' today on Beats 1, praising Abraham’s 'Beautiful songs from a debut album [written] whilst working in a hospital.' 
 
'I jumped at the chance to work with Oh Yeah Wow because Darcy, Josh and the OYW team have consistently released some of the most visually inventive and beautiful Australian music videos I've seen,' says Abraham of making the video. 'I knew working with this crazy team of visionaries would produce something truly special—which feels important as our lives become more saturated with mindless video content. They somehow managed to capture the intimacy, scope and melancholy of the song and I'm really excited for people to see that breathtaking final shot.' 
 
Abraham recorded and produced Sirens in Melbourne with the help of friends and longtime collaborators Jono Steer and Leigh Fisher. The album also features a collaboration with Sara Bareilles, who Abraham connected online and struck up a friendship with several years ago, on “This Is On Me” as well as additional production from Gotye’s Wally De Backer on “Speak.” 
 
Abraham brought his live show, which Tone Deaf calls 'disarming' and 'truly stunning,' to the U.S. for the first time at last year’s CMJ. Abraham backs up his voice with only guitar and harmonium, in the vein of 'Cat Stevens, If Donny Hathaway and Cat had a baby and he hung out with Sufjan Stevens and Feist,' Abraham says. Abraham was recently featured in an installment of the acclaimed British Mahogany Sessions series—watch him perform 'Speak' here

Abraham is set to return to the U.S. this year for a full tour to celebrate the release of his album. Watch the official video for 'Home' here
 
Since he began writing songs while working in a hospital, Abraham has collaborated with Ta-ku, Wafia, Gotye and more and recorded an album. The son of Indonesian folk-pop stars, he has risen to prominence in his hometown of Melbourne and throughout Australia through his much lauded live performances, where his voice and talent has consistently blown audiences away. 

Press reaction to date

'Ben’s honest songwriting…has seen him grow…from a well-kept hometown secret into an independent artist with a passionate international following.' —Tone Deaf

'This is a remarkable new singer songwriter who definitely understands the craft.' —Zane Lowe

 'When Ben sings, I listen.' —Gotye

 

 

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The Gromble new album 'Jayus' due 12 February 2016

Album release: 'Jayus' by The Gromble
Release date: 12 february 2016
More info: Band website

Hailing from the warm shores of California, five-piece band The Gromble grew up playing together in various bands and have established the kind of rare synchronicity that has helped them carve out their own idiosyncratic niche: a charming blend of orchestral alt-folk and indie rock, honed live supporting such acts as The Lemonheads. With the classic intensity of early greats Pavement, Weezer and Neutral Milk Hotel and a taste for the heartland classics, they arrive somewhere between Grouplove, Miniature Tigers and Vampire Weekend. They take their name from Nickelodeon’s Aaahh!!! Real Monsters a perfect indicator of their unashamed love for 90s pop culture and for the sense of humour that runs beneath the surface of their songs. 

This is summery beach-pop for when you're coming of age, music to soundtrack the best years of your life. The Gromble provide something different for everyone in their refreshing refusal to settle for the status quo. As such, they've already been championed by such reputable names as VICE, Gold Flake Paint, KROQ, and Indie Shuffle. 

The band broke ground on the project that would become Jayus in November of 2011. A series of consistent setbacks that have led to this overwhelming delay of this project can best be described as "a joke so unfunny one can't help but laugh," hence the title. 

A spokesperson of the band said: “Much of this album was about challenging ourselves, seeing what was really possible with our incredibly limited resources. Everything on the album (aside from the live drum set) was tracked between our family homes: guitars in the garage, vocals in the bedroom closet, strings and horns in the game room etc. Our drummer, Stefan Macarewich, did all of the tracking and a great deal of the production and engineering. Additional production as well as final mix/master was done by XOQ, who has worked with: Alex Metric, VCMG, Alan Parsons, Scissor Sisters, Erasure and more.” 

Jayus will also be the first release with their newly streamlined roster. The band went through three lineup changes throughout the process, and the album is really built around the kinetic energy and creativity that exists between a group of people - with the end result being more than the sum of its parts. 

The band say: “We wanted to create something that encompassed all of our varying and often conflicting influences, in hopes that it will reach the listener as something both fresh and familiar. There's something special about the time when a group is first trying to gel together and really define itself, its aural signature. For us, this album definitely captures that feeling as we're learning about ourselves, each other, and the burden of life in general.” 

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Trixie Whitley 'Porta Bohemica' due early March 2016

Album release: 'Porta Bohemica' by Trixie Whitley
Release date: March 2016
Label: Strong Blood Music/BMI
More info: Artist website

Porta Bohemica is the name of an old train line that once connected Germany and Austria. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Trixie Whitley, was inspired by the concept of such remote journeys when choosing a title for her latest album. Her sophomore release, Porta Bohemica (Strong Blood Music/BMI), represents an introspective expedition into the depths of her creative identity, culminating in her resolve to fearlessly let go of gratuitous baggage, not needed on future travels. 

“The metaphor of an old train line feeds something in my imagination. I related to that sense of travel when making this record because it was an epic undertaking. It involved letting go of my past to embrace my individuality both as a young woman and as an artist. This record has been something of a rebirth for me,” the Brooklyn-based artist says. 

Trixie Whitley was born in Belgium in 1987 and re-located to NYC the following year. When she was three years old she and her mother, a philosopher and healer, return to Belgium. 

From a very young age, Trixie Whitley nurtured a singular creative spirit, springing from her restless inner directive. Art is inherent in her genetics: she is the daughter of the late Chris Whitley, a renowned blues musician and innovative writer; her great-grandfather was Georges Minne , a sculptor and artist, muse and contemporary of both Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele; her grandfather was an upright bass player; her Grandmother was a model, anarchist and bronze sculptor. At the ripe age of three, she made her onstage debut alongside her father. Never resting on her lineage, Trixie set out to craft a unique personal and artistic identity. At age 10, she picked up her first instrument, the drums. The following year, at age 11, she emerged as an intrepid DJ; with residencies at Modern Art Museums and underground festivals, spinning electronica, free jazz, and hip-hop. Throughout her teenage years, she toured with several avant-garde theater and dance groups throughout Europe; including Les Ballets C de la B, Sidi Larbi and Cherkaoui. 

Throughout all of this, she developed an affinity for punk rock’s nonconformist and D.I.Y. ethics that permeated her fearless genre-bending and daring life choices. After a nomadic transatlantic existence, living between New York and Belgium, and touring throughout Europe with several contemporary dance companies in her early teens, she quit high school at age 16 and took a job slinging burgers at dive while steadily advancing her music career. One of her early efforts impressed the iconic producer Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris). At the age of 21, she was enlisted to front his own band, Black Dub, playing alongside drummer Brian Blade and bassist Daryl Johnson. The following year the Black Dub self-titled album was released. 

Since 2013, Trixie has emerged as a compelling solo artist with three EPs and one full-length in her catalog. Fourth Corner, her self-released, full-length debut, garnered acclaim from MOJO, Interview, ELLE, Relix, The Village Voice, NPR and The New York Times, among many other publications. Through it’s success, she’s toured internationally and earned three nominations, as well as a win for Best Female Artist at the 2013 Belgium Music Industry Awards (MIAs). She has performed and recorded with such artists as Robert Plant, Marianne Faithful, Meshell Ndegeocello, Daniel Lanois, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, Joey Waronker, Mark Guiliana, Sam Amidon, and many more.

Trixie’s prismatic artistry reflects electronica, R&B, the vulnerable ethos of singer-songwriters, and the unapologetic individuality of punk rock. Although her previous effort reflects her broad tastes, it is with her latest that Trixie creates a transcendent musical miscellany. It even took chucking an earlier version of the record and starting over to achieve the meaning and mastery displayed in Porta Bohemica, which flourished with the help of producer Gus Seyffert (Beck, The Black Keys) and Joey Waronker (Atoms for Peace, Ultraísta). 

“I wanted to make people think and feel something honest and emotionally complex in my music--that came from me being present in the creative moment. I ended up finishing two records, the second one being Porta Bohemica, and it really came together at the end of the process,” Trixie confides. 

The album is bookended by the slow burning “Faint Mystery” and “Visitor.” The tracks are stately and spectral, elegantly vulnerable, and convey a desire for lost love in contrasting yet cohesive form. “When I started recording this album, I wanted to tap into complete openness,” Trixie explains. 

“New Frontiers” puts forth a tender, ethereal soulfulness while “Visitor” cuts to the core with Trixie’s honeyed, longing vocals and lonesome piano accompaniment. These tracks are the directional poles of the album, and capture the heart of her artistry. Other standouts include the ominous electronic blues of “Soft Spoken Words” and the lush “Salt.” On “Salt,” Trixie’s vision is at it’s grandest with rhythmic piano melodies, atmospheric keys, a big guitar riff, and hypnotic hip-hop beats. Throughout the album, Trixie’s lyrics express a resilient emotionality. “I hope my music generates a strength through vulnerability that invites people to be courageous enough to explore what’s inside,” she says. 

Porta Bohemica was nearly a two-year odyssey that profoundly changed the artist. “I came to a lot of realizations making this record,” Trixie reveals. “When you let go of your fears, you can start facing your potential and there is an endless palette of possibilities to explore. This is just the beginning, and I feel a lot of excitement and optimism about what’s to come.” 

Porta Bohemica will be released in the UK March 2016.  Digital copies available on request. 

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Turin Brakes 'Lost Property' due 29 January 2016

Album release: 'Lost Property' by Turin Brakes
Release date: 29 January 2016
Label: Cooking Vinyl
More info: Band website

How many pundits frantically casting their runes back in 1999 for predictions for the new millennium would have foreseen that Turin Brakes would be releasing their seventh studio album in 2016? Back then, they were hotly-tipped young ingénues, and we all know what usually happens to them in the heartless world of showbiz... Since then, music business headlines have become a catalogue of collapse. We just don’t do long-lived acts any more, haven’t you heard? 

Step away from the shrinking world of the mainstream business, though, and it seems like there’s another story going on, right under your nose, so close that it’s hiding in plain sight. While many of the rest of the class of 2000 seem forever frozen into the faces in their yearbook pictures, Turin Brakes are still making their way through the century’s changing landscape. Their association with now-fallen giants EMI yielded four internationally-acclaimed albums, with all the trappings of hit singles, billboard ads, and the TV transmissions that are now beaming their way endlessly into space, but the glare of the spotlight left the secret at the heart of their vision still intact and waiting to be discovered.  

Turin Brakes was created by Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, in a millennial South London bedroom, more out of a shared need to express a hidden message they’d both caught at the century’s end, than in a grab for stardom. Enlisting the membership of long-term collaborators Rob Allum and Eddie Myer, the band carries on because the message is still there, still hidden, still with something to say. 2010’s 'Outbursts' was followed by 2013’s 'We Were Here', written on the back of a continuous live touring schedule driven by their fans’ need to keep tapping in. Sending out continuous streams of under-the-radar transmissions to whoever tuned in to hear, the band found their audiences staying, then growing, as more and more listeners tumbled to the secret.  

The cover artwork of their new album 'Lost Property' shows an urban spaceman marooned in a deckchair as, behind the winter lawn, half-hidden shapes loom in the dark. The image is a perfect match for this collection of dispatches from the elusive side of reality that’s just a twist away from the everyday. Their sonic camera pans wider and deeper - trademark West-Coast acoustic guitar and widescreen harmony textures wrap themselves around the enigmatic explorations of normality at the heart of Olly Knight’s lyrics. Listen carefully beneath the lush, cinematic production the band created with co-conspirator Ali Staton in the analogue world of Rockfields’ legendary studio; and you’ll hear other hints and stories, both hopeful and unsettling, resonating with unexpected echoes from your own life. The record scales up from the intimacy of 'Martini', through the uneasy domesticity of 'Quiet Ones', the futuristic pulse of 96, the yearning gospel inflections of 'Save You' and the pure folk-pop of 'Keep Me Around' into the wistfully uplifting, anthemic 'Jump Start', leading to the towering darkness of 'Black Rabbit'. There’s the intimacy and warmth that Turin Brakes have taken along with them down the years, but this time reaching up towards something bigger, more epic in scope and darker in hue. It’s a sound yearning for the wide open spaces of the USA but rooted in the grimy streets of South London, still unique, still unforgettable.  

Sixteen years of touring across continents have sealed their reputation as a fearsome live act, able to hold any size crowd with the sheer chutzpah of their no-hidden-tricks raw and direct onstage presence. Turin Brakes carry on their secret life, and with a new generation of artists like Max Jury, Aquilo and Benjamin Francis Leftwich starting to beat a path to their door to collaborate, it looks like the secret is getting out.  

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Oracle North 'Communion' EP released on 4 December

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EP release: 'Communion' by Oracle North
Release date: 4 December 2015
More info: Band website

Having previously collaborated on numerous projects and having released material on labels such as Kitsuné and Palms Out Sounds, Swedish four-piece Oracle North are currently getting ready to release their debut EP. Drawing inspiration from life-embracing warm and ambient soundscapes and colder forms of new-wave and punk; their new EP moves around themes as loss and alienation but never hits a dead end, rather a supposition for rebirth, for becoming your own origin.  
 
As a complete entity ‘Communion’ is both a distinct and consummate release, which when broken down calls to mind the sounds of New Order and the Manchester post-punk scene, whilst seamlessly applying osmotic pressure in the form of darkwave textures and 80’s influenced electronic sections to merge and create an EP full of rich yet dark, atmospheric colours and an orchestrated bohemian individuality.  
 
Dark but uplifting vocals take centre stage in tracks such as ‘Communion’, supported by post-punk instrumentation that occasionally experiments with shoegaze almost rose-tinted bass and guitar lines. Elsewhere tracks such as ‘Lykeion’ and ‘Pacific’ conjure up the imagery of an early Led er Est or even Oppenheimer Analysis. All the while this is consistently infused with  cold-wave yet post-punk-driven melodic synth sections which calls to mind the idiosyncratic but very appeasing sounds of Tangerine Dream and Durutti Column, The EP is clearly very deeply rooted in both post-punk and new-wave indie heritage, but it never feels like it’s borrowing too heavily from either. For every familiar sound there is an original counter-point which catches you off guard in the best way possible. 
 
Talking about their forthcoming EP, the band said, “I think our music is touching on subjects like estrangement and existential anxiety, which is expressed through some sort of yearning for a more primitive experience. Aesthetically, we've been inspired by equal parts Greek mythology; the Dionysian, Apollonian dichotomy and so forth, and the late 70s, early 80s DIY culture. And Can... and Suicide.” 
 
Oracle North are only just getting started, but as a debut EP ‘Communion’ begs to be listened to again and again. Spanning various eras of indie and electronic music history it holds its own, safe in the hands of four band members who clearly love, and are very focussed on what they are creating. ‘Communion’ sees Oracle North join the new wave of electronic-indie music, the only difference is that they are sonically individual, this is a band that won’t be lost in the haze. 

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Treetop Flyers new album 'Palomino' due 26 Feb 2016

Album release: 'Palomino' by Treetop Flyers
Release date: 26 February 2016
More info: Band website

For Treetop Flyers, the last few years have been a case of needing to fall apart, in order to rebuild, and come back stronger. Two and a half years on from their acclaimed debut album ‘The Mountain Moves’, fate showed its macabre sense of humour in dramatically shifting the ground beneath the London five-piece. The grief for lost parents, broken marriages, the near-death of a close friend, the departure of long-time bassist Matthew Starritt, the loss of numerous behind-the-scenes personnel (as well as an accountancy bill that they say “would make the government weep”) led to a prolonged period of upheaval and an unsettled and anxious camp. It was perhaps natural that Palomino was to become an honest, raw, and reflective record. As vocalist / guitarist Reid Morrison puts it; “We'd been through a lot individually and collectively. Coming together to make this record was very therapeutic for us, in a sense. It brought us closer and allowed us to let go of a lot of the bullshit that we'd had to endure and negotiate in the past.” 
 
With an out-of-sorts band slowly coming to terms with their own situations, self-reliance and a gang mentality showed itself to be the route ahead. Locking themselves away at their own Soup Studios in London, self-producing along with the help of some friends -  and then mixed by Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello) - their new outlook was to embrace the unknown, and begin experimenting. New synths, new pedals and new techniques helped them to unravel their own sound, as well as conceptions of the classic qualities laid down by their forebears, ultimately uniting them with a purposely accentuated groove and unfathomably tight vocal harmonies - all threaded together by Reid’s own soulful melancholy. Treetop Flyers are a fluid band, affected by, and absorbing everything, for better or worse. Drummer / vocalist Tomer Danan says; “It was important for us to free ourselves from some of the ideas we had about ourselves and maybe a bit of what people seemed to think about us from an outside perspective, which was largely based on one song, letting in more of our influences from 70's Nigerian psych rock/pop to jazz and a whole lot in between. How that all gets filtered through us as individuals and as a group is what you are hearing, and that's still changing all the time.”  
 
In 2015, after everything, instead of uncovering a lost and haphazard band, their caution-to-the-wind experimentalism sees a group dragging themselves to their feet once more. Sticking together extended far beyond just getting in a room and recording. Palomino is a wholly collaborative affair – no single songwriter is solely credited on any of the record - and you sense it had to be this way. Setting the tone for the album, opener 'You, Darling You' is a reflection on the old saying "sometimes loving someone means letting them go”. In this case it's over a failed marriage, but the record picks up on some of the themes of death and departure that made up The Mountain Moves. It’s a subject the band still find, understandably, difficult to shake, as Palomino flirts with many ideas of finality. 31 Years tracks a goodbye to a friend who passed away during the recording of their debut, and St Andrew’s Cross is a lament to the passing of Reid’s father, used almost in therapy by the band as a way to reconcile the past and the unknown ahead, all at once. Interestingly, it’s the band’s own smart production (as well as tracks like Dance Through The Night and Falling Back) that injects real life into Palomino. Hope permeates above all else, which is nothing less than they should allow themselves after everything they’ve been through. Treetop Flyers emerge triumphant from the most turbulent of times.  
 
Treetop Flyers will tour the UK in spring 2016. Watch the video for Dance Through the Night 

Press reaction to date

 “…effortlessly captures the spirit of late-1960s west coast pop-rock: the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. British influences can be heard: there are hints of the Faces’ or the Rolling Stones’ swagger in Laurie Sherman’s classic-rock guitar licks, and sublime opener Things Will Change dips into 1980s winsome indie”  - THE GUARDIAN ★★★★ 
 
“Treetop Flyers are in it for the long haul.” - MOJO
 
“Debut album ‘The Mountain Moves’ is chock full of lush harmonies, warm arrangements and billowing acoustic guitars as fresh as a breeze looming in from San Francisco harbour”  - CLASH MAGAZINE ★★★★ 
 
“(Treetop Flyers) share with Midlake custody of a brood of Buckingham/Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac licks, likewise the Mac’s mood of unrequited yearning. More, please” - Q ★★★★ 
 
“The Mountain Moves reimagines the golden age knowingly but not slavishly…displays the earthy smoothness of the original America line-up.” - UNCUT
 
“If America had recorded Ventura Highway in 2013, it’s quite likely it would have sounded like this.”  - CLASSIC ROCK
 
“The album is a thrill, delivering unexpected updates on its vintage influences. More soul than folk and more rock than country, The Mountain Moves is an idyllic debut from a band that has traced its own lively arc through the So-Cal ’70s.”  - PASTE MAGAZINE
 
“The Mountain Moves is a subdued classic” - THE TIMES
 
“Watch this band fly far beyond the treetops.” - THE SUN ★★★★ 
 
“Tuneful late-’60s Laurel Canyon vibe” - WALL STREET JOURNAL ★★★★ 
 
“Marks a somewhat welcome return to the classic side of folk-rock.” - DIY

 

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yndi halda 'Under Summer' album due 4 March 2016

 

Album release: 'Under Summer' by yndi halda
Release date: 4 March 2016
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

Eight years on from ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss,’ Brighton based quintet yndi halda are now preparing to release their new album, ‘Under Summer’. Having toured across the UK, Europe, the USA and Asia, including shows at London’s famed Barbican Hall, Koko and Union Chapel venues, and entirely selling out a short residency at Hoxton Hall, yndi halda’s fervent and nominally patient fan base have been eagerly awaiting this new material. For those who were previously enthralled by the band’s revered string-heavy and densely layered flavour of instrumental rock, there are seemingly endless new aural delectations to unearth and embrace in the band’s intense second effort. 
 
Their music is at once subtle and joyous, hitting huge emotional peaks around moments of serene gentleness and heart-breaking sadness in its orchestration of sonorous guitar interlacing, meticulously crafted string arrangements and - now - soaring vocal harmonies. 
 
Tracks such as ‘This Very Flight’ perfectly exemplify how dextrous and explorative the band have become, with the first half of the song revisiting the already cherished sounds of ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss’, whilst the second half presents the ‘new yndi halda’, sonically more mature yet still unafraid to experiment with new emotions and sounds. Other tracks on the album such as ‘Golden Threads From The Sun’ solidify this new temperament, making prominent use of vocals and with a lighter timbre than before. The sonic boundaries of ‘Under Summer’ are only limited by the band’s collective imagination, and which sentiments they allow to permeate that individual creative talent. There may have been eight years of musical silence between the two albums, but this has allowed the band members’ individual life and subsequent cultural experiences to redefine the way the band can collectively compose and express themselves.  
 
Speaking about writing the new album, James Vella (guitar, vocals) said “We called the album ‘Under Summer’. It is two references. For us at least. Inevitably it will mean something different to everyone who hears the album. But for us it is the very upper limit of the sky under which we wrote and recorded the album. The endless July days that we played into, a perfect calm and joy. But it’s also a sadness. ‘Under’ as in ‘beneath’; sorrow and heartache. We found that important because we want to express that in our music too. Sadness and bliss. What one means to the other.” 
 
‘Under Summer’ is captivatingly personal, with both beauty and disconsolate longing entwined throughout every profoundly textured movement. This is something that means far more to yndi halda than written words in a press release, but something that is present and perceptible in the album. 

Press reaction to date

“…they've mastered the sound.” – Pitchfork
 
“yndi halda go to town with the whole thing, playing with a passion that makes most post-rockers look as dynamic as a breezeblock.” – The Line Of Best Fit
 
“Britain’s finest on-album purveyors of modern instrumental rock music.” 
– Drowned in Sound

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Radiation City 'Synesthetica' due 12 February 2016

Album release: 'Synesthetica' by Radiation City
Release date: 12 February 2016
Label: Polyvinyl Records
More info: Band website

In late 2013, with two well-received full-lengths and an EP under its belt, Radiation City got the itch. The band had built a strong following in its native Portland and connected with fans around the world, and from the outside, the path seemed clear enough: find a great producer to work with and further develop the smooth, space-age doo-wop sound that had put them on the map in the first place. 
 
But on the inside, things weren’t so simple. Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison, Radiation City’s founding couple, were falling apart. Rad City, a tight-as-family band that always seemed to work so effortlessly off and on stage, was on the verge of calling it quits. 
 
Then a funny thing happened: Spies and Ellison got together to record some new, urgent and semi-spontaneous songs and rediscovered that old magic. 'None of it felt rushed, or belabored,' Spies says. 'It was honest and unafraid.' 
 
Of course, it was also the product of just 40 percent of the group. So, in the face of ambivalence and the band’s impending implosion, Ellison and Spies decided to do something they’d never done before -- they transformed Radiation City from a democracy into a monarchy. They curated a new tracklist for the third full-length (half new songs and half old ones), enlisted Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Riley Geare to be their studio drummer, and found their great producer in John Vanderslice (Spoon, Death Cab For Cutie) of Tiny Telephone Studios. 
 
The band’s issues didn’t end with these revelations - Spies and Ellison broke up temporarily and called off their wedding, one band member was let go, and only half of the group went to San Francisco to record the tracks for the new album - but the die was cast. 
 
Radiation City was not going to polish up its old style for Synesthetica; it was going to completely overhaul both its process and its sound. After recording with Vanderslice, the band took its new directive back to Portland and turned to Jeremy Sherrer (Modest Mouse, Gossip) at Ice Cream Party to flesh out its studio sessions. 
 
In contrast - or, perhaps, in response - to all the human drama involved in creating Synesthetica, the album itself turned into something otherworldly. 'We were trying to get to a place where cultural constructs didn’t mean anything,' Spies says. 'We wanted to destroy the barriers between all the things we keep separate in our daily lives.' 
 
Based on the condition known as synesthesia, whereby a person links one sensual experience with another (for Ellison, who experiences it, that means seeing specific colors when she hears different musical sounds), Synesthetica is a place where multi-sensory experience is commonplace; where feelings and definitions blend and melt, and surreality becomes reality. 
 
Synesthetica means a lot of other things for Radiation City, too. The band is sensual and synthetic in equal turns—just check out the Bond-worthy 'Butter' or the explosive 'Milky White' for proof. Synthesizers comprise a major piece of the band’s musical puzzle, especially on the trippy 'Juicy' and the minimal 'Sugar Broom,' which nods toward Portland legends (and Rad City homies), STRFKR. And an interest in retro-futurism, which the title subtly implies, has been a hallmark of its sound and visual aesthetic from the get-go (as the sweeping space-tango, 'Futures', reminds us).  
 
The word synesthetica is the summation of a pivotal third album that, from the outside, probably seems as effortless as every other Radiation City release. Synesthetica almost killed this band, but instead, it serves as the opening salvo of a monumental second act, and Radiation City is invincible. 

 

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The Unthanks 'Archive Treasures' to be released 11 December

 
Album release:
  'Archive Treasures' by The Unthanks
Release date: 11 December 2015
Label: RabbleRouser Music 2015
More info: Band website

In quiet, understated celebration of their 10th anniversary, The Unthanks release a 76 minute CD of rarities, exclusive live tracks, demos and outtakes. It is the only item available for individual purchase from The Unthanks Memory Box - a limited edition 10th anniversary box of Unthanks treasure, including this CD, a live DVD, 3 books, a 7” single, prints, postcard and photos, all hand-finished and signed by the band. They’re almost sold out already.   
 
Achive Treasures (2005-2015) could be described as a fan album and really illustrates how free and uninhibited the musical philosophy of The Unthanks has been over 10 years. There is no greater contrast on the record than listening to snapshots of childhood folk clubs recordings, next to a previously unreleased live version of Robert Wyatt’s Alifib/Alifie, illustrating a bravery and willingness to weather judgement from listeners and critics with musical vocabulary and listening habits less expansive, but ultimately a readiness to believe in the universality of music and the open-mindedness of their audience.   
 
Organised on the record in sections, the album features never-before-heard Winterset recordings, live recordings of the 10 piece Unthanks from Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre, radio session tracks, childhood folk-club snapshots, a new Christmas single, a very different work-in-progress version of Queen of Hearts, 3 years before it appeared as a single on Last, plus tracks which have previously only been available on compilation albums featuring other acts, such as crowd favourite Tar Barrel in Dale, The Beatles’s Sexy Sadie, Peter Bellamy’s Oak, Ash and Thorn and from Adrian McNally’s Harbour of Songs album, a collaboration with fellow Barnsleyite, poet Ian McMillan.     
 
The Unthanks release a dark, wintry version of 2000 Miles by The Pretenders, backed by the much loved Tar Barrel in Dale, written by Rachel & Becky Unthank’s dad George Unthank about the New Year’s Eve fire tradition at Allendale, Northumberland, featured live every year for a good few now, on BBC Radio 6 Music’s Christmas outside broadcast with Radcliffe and Maconie.    
 
The Unthanks Memory Box - a Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Box of Unthanks Treasure. Watch the promo video now on our website homepage, featuring Rachel and Becky Unthank and including the forthcoming single, 2000 Miles, as soundtrack. Only available direct from the band and bursting with exclusive, unreleased content, The Unthanks Memory Box will arrive hand-finished, stamped, numbered, signed and posted with the owner’s name on it. Pre-orders will leave our studio on December 7th and arrive in time for Christmas.  
 

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Songs Of Separation due 29 January 2016

 

Album release: Songs of Separation by various artists
Release date: 29 January 2016
Label: Navigator Records
More info: Songs of Separation website

'Songs of Separation' is a highly significant collaborative recording project which reflects, through song, the issue of ‘separation’ in its many forms. Featuring ten of England and Scotland’s most celebrated female contemporary folk artists, together they explore the similarities and differences in our musical, linguistic and cultural heritage. The ten participants are Eliza Carthy, Karine Polwart, Rowan Rheingans, Mary Macmaster, Hannah Read, Kate Young, Jenn Butterworth, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Jenny Hill (who conceived the project). For individual biog info see here

Ahead of the release of the ‘Songs of Separation’ album and tour, Navigator Records are pleased to announce the release (on 20th Nov 2015) of a double A-side single release from the forthcoming album; Echo Mocks the Corncrake, feat. Karine Polwart, and A’ For Our Rightfu’ King, feat. Hannah Read. Listen to Echo Mocks the Corncrake
 
Recorded in the fairy-tale setting of the Isle of Eigg (in the Scottish Inner Hebrides) and set in the context of a post-referendum world, ‘Songs of Separation’ is not simply a beautiful collection of traditional and self-penned songs, but also aims to prompt new thinking about the issue of separation as it occurs in all our lives. The process of developing the music was documented and shared with audiences each day, through a range of videos

The 'Songs of Separation' ensemble will embark on a short tour early in 2016, culminating at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow on 24th January. The artists will be hosting a party on 24th January and would like to welcome supporters from the press and music industry to join in celebration (details to be announced shortly).

'Songs of Separation' aims to capture a sense of our times, exploring topical social and political issues through powerful music. 

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Gunship to re-release self-titled album on cassette with Commodore 64 game

Cassette / game release: Gunship
Release date: 9 December 2015
More info: Band website

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. 
 
Today GUNSHIP return with another world first, salvaging yet another relic from the retro gaming hall of fame. The band are re-releasing their critically acclaimed self-titled album on cassette. On side-a the golden cassette features GUNSHIP’s self-titled album and on side-b, Jeff Minter’s classic Commodore 64 game ‘Attack Of The Mutant Camels’. Not only is this the first cassette album release to feature a built in C64 game, but this version of the album will also be the only version of the album to feature the April Towers remix of ‘The Mountain’, which was premiered with Earmilk earlier this year. 
 
Speaking on the new release GUNSHIP said, 'The games for the early video game systems like the Commodore Vic 20, C64, Atari 2600 and latterly the Amiga 500 were huge influences on our imaginations growing up. At that me game development felt like a genuine free for all where unrestricted creativity flourished and imagination was unchecked by the yet to arrive influence of big business and its risk-averse practices. We love this era for its simplistic charm and raw creativity and certainly try to take these influences and values and implement them in GUNSHIP’s music. 
 
We worked with Jed Shepherd at Post/Pop records to cook up a version of our album on gold cassette tape, with our music on side A and a Commodore 64 game on side B to hopefully bring some attention back to this fantastic era in game design. It’s an honour to share a cassette tape with Jeff Minter! The man is a icon in the classic gaming world. His games, including ‘Attack of the Mutant Camels’ and ‘Llamatron’, were cornerstones of our childhood and those influences certainly live on in GUNSHIP’s approach to writing music today.' 
 
GUNSHIP’s debut album has previously received acclaim from the likes of IGN, Nerdist, Bloody Disgusting, WIRED, Metal Sucks, Yahoo, Games Radar, Rockstar, Kotaku, FACT Mag, Digital Spy, Shortlist, Zoo, Kerrang, Big Cheese, Evening Standard, Electronic Sound VICE and many more. The cassette is due for release on 9th December 2015, and can be pre-ordered HERE

Gunship Commodore 64 Competition

It’s time to put your retro gaming chops to the test! To accompany the bands cassette release, in true GUNSHIP style the band have also launched a competition to win a one-off, custom neon pink Commodore 64 to play their new cassette/cartridge release.  
 
The competition is open now and the challenge is simple, visit this online emulator HERE, and attack your keyboard in an effort to reach the highest score possible in ‘Llamatron!  

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 album also features guest vocals by 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. 
 
Buy the 16-bit boxed set now: 
The GUNSHIP debut album is now available for purchase on iTunes. The album contains 13 tracks - 10 GUNSHIP originals and 3 remixes from leading synthwave artists: Carpenter Brut, Miami Nights 1984 and Makeup and Vanity Set. Purchase the album here

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Fay Hield new album 'Old Adam' due 12 February 2016

Album release: 'Old Adam' by Fay Hield
Release date: 12 February 2016
Label: Soundpost Records via Proper
More info: Artist website

Following the considerable success of The Full English album and touring band, which she assembled, singer Fay Hield is due to release her 3rd solo album, 'Old Adam' on Soundpost Records on 12th February 2016 and will tour in February and March too. Meanwhile, in October 2015, a digital single, taken from the album, featuring ‘Willow Glen’ and ‘Green Gravel’ will be made available on YouTube

Old Adam is a fresh and original exploration of how we use stories and music to understand what it means to be human and combines not only Fay’s gift for unearthing striking material but also her distinctive and naturalistic delivery of it. These qualities have won her critical acclaim for her previous solo albums (Looking Glass / 2010 and Orfeo / 2012, both Topic Records) including several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and a nomination for Folk Singer of the Year.

Old Adam contains 14 tracks, ranging from the The Hag in the Beck from the 1600s to The Briar and the Rose, a version of a Tom Waits song. The title track explores the oldest story in the book: ‘the fantasy of a purity of life, before corruption and sin – perhaps it was a result of the developing sins that we have these songs to help us make sense of it all’ says Fay. ‘Willow Glen’ is taken from the Lucy Broadwood collection, while ‘Green Gravel’ (from Alice Gomme’s ‘Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland’) is an interpretation of a playground song. ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy’ moves into the realms of fantasy, with an enticing glimpse of a world we could inhabit, if only we would follow our hearts. Themes of justice (and injustice) are explored in Queen Eleanor’s Confession (from a version by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior) and The Hornet and the Beetle (from the collection of Ralph Vaughan Wiliams). Many of the lyrics are adapted by Fay and she has written several tunes as has her partner, Jon Boden.  The arrangements on the album are all by Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party.

Fay is accompanied on Old Adam by her stellar band, The Hurricane Party, which consists of some of the finest folk musicians working today; Rob Harbron (English Concertina, fiddle, vocals), Sam Sweeney (fiddle, viola, cello, nyckelharpa, vocals), Roger Wilson (fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals), expanded to include Ben Nicholls (Bass) and Toby Kearney (Percussion) and including special guests Jon Boden and guitar maestro, Martin Simpson.

As well as enjoying a blossoming recording and performing career, Yorkshire born and bred Fay is also an academic, lecturing in Music at the University of Sheffield where she specializes in the role folk music plays in the construction of communities. With her unique combination of performance and academic talents, it was perhaps inevitable that she would be invited by the English Folk Dance & Song Society to head their ground-breaking Full English project. For the first time many of the finest early 20th century folksong collections can be found in the most comprehensive searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world. Fay assembled The Full English Band, pulling together half a dozen of the top talents on the English folk music circuit, including Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and double bassist Ben Nicholls. This ‘super group’ toured for two years and released a self-titled album, again on Topic Records, winning Best Group and Best Album at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Fay Hield continues in her passionate and engaging exploration of the repertoire of the English tradition. At times sparse and contemplative, at others, fired-up with a spirit lifting rhythm and plenty of rousing choruses, the music on Old Adam is both captivating and thought-provoking. 

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The Altered Hours new EP 'In Heat Not Sorry' on 29 January

EP Release: 'In Heat Not Sorry' by The Altered Hours
Release date:  29 January 2015
Label: Art For Blind Records
More info: Band website

The Altered Hours exist in a swirl of the psychedelic and hypnotic. Their live shows are known for their intensity and the band's ability to envelope both themselves and the crowd in their sound – but where so many focus on the textures, The Altered Hours set themselves apart with as much a focus on the songs themselves. The group have toured Ireland, the UK and Europe and have won critical acclaim along the way.

Having recorded their first EP “Downstream” DIY, the band were invited to record their second EP Sweet Jelly Roll with Fabien Leseure in Berlin. It was subsequently released in May 2013 by Anton Newcombe’s A Recordings, home of psychedelic pioneers The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dirty Beaches and Magic Castles. 

The group released a 7'' – Dig Early – on Cork label Art For Blind in April of this year and their debut full length, In Heat Not Sorry, will finally see the light of day early next. Part of a burgeoning Irish scene that continues to spawn young and seemingly brilliant, vital bands, Altered Hours will take their place on a wider scale with this record. Melodic, abrasive, dual girl-boy vocals, a Sonic Youth-esque approach to guitar tone and crashing feedback, this band’s sounds are surely destined to surely travel.

Press reaction to date

'The Altered Hours have a certain darkness to their sound.'
'Recently releasing an EP on Anton Newcombe's sought-after A Recordings imprint, it's there in those brittle tones, the post-punk influenced chugging bass line, and it's there in those pleading, sometimes desperate vocals.'
'But that isn't to suggest that the Irish act are doom-laden naysayers – rather, The Altered Hours continually transgress the intensity of their volition, focussing on shards of pure, white light amidst the black.' - Robin Murray, CLASH

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Glue Foot 'Seed' new EP out 11 December

EP Release: 'Seed' by Glue Foot
Release date: 11 December 2015
More Info: Band website

Having built strong hype in the Cardiff and Bristol alternative music scenes by becoming staples of now legendary house shows, young trio Glue Foot have taken their own brand of pop punk and grunge around the country in their 1999 Suzuki Swift - affectionately known as 'Suzie'.  
 
Glue Foot began during the summer of 2014 after lead vocalist and guitarist, Matt Fleet, successfully persuaded his university coursemate (and now bassist), Shyam Pankhania, to attend a rehearsal with long-time partner in crime and drummer, Joe Cooke. 'The people living below my flat would always bang on the ceiling or give us sweets in the hope we would turn our guitars down late at night - we would practice every day', recalls Matt. Shyam brought flare and ingenuity with his bass playing - writing basslines that complimented the reflective nature of Matt's songwriting. Joe also brings something extremely special to the table. Influenced by the feel and style of drummer Matt Helders as well as the unique qualities of Matt Nicholls (Bring Me the Horizon), Joe uses interesting grooves and an element of musicality to support the other instruments. 
 
Following the release of debut EP 'Mission Happy Face' (which was recorded primarily to send to promoters across the country), Glue Foot played clubs and house parties extensively in the UK (with the likes of ROAM, GIANTS and more), swiftly generating a following. Excited by their progress, the band were still surprised at the reception they were receiving at shows: 'people would dance, sing along and crowd-surf - even encouraging us to crowd-surf with them!' tells Joe. Their second EP, 'Seed', takes a grungier path than previous material, with songs such as 'Silk' and 'Floating Like A Leaf'. 'We really want to make an impact with 'Seed' - we have invested so much emotion in it', states Matt.  
 
Following the release of 'Seed' and the video for single 'Floating Like A Leaf', the band are planning to take their music across the UK with more energy than ever before. 'We really want to provide everyone that comes and sees us with an experience they won't forget. We really love what we are building here and it seems a lot of other people do too', reflects Shyam. Make sure you are there when Glue Foot - and 'Suzie' - arrive in your town. 
 

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Turin Brakes ‘Lost Property’ new album released 29 January 2016

Album release: ‘Lost Property’ by Turin Brakes
Release date: 29 January 2016
Label: Cooking Vinyl
More info: Band website

Turin Brakes release their hotly anticipated new album, 'Lost Property', through Cooking Vinyl, on January 29th 2016. The opening track 96 is available as an instant grat track. You can watch the video to 96 here

A collection of dispatches from the elusive side of reality that’s just a twist away from the everyday, Lost Property features the band’s trademark West-Coast acoustic guitar and widescreen harmony textures. Listen carefully beneath the lush, cinematic production the band created with co-conspirator Ali Staton (Madonna, La Roux) in the analogue world of Rockfields’ legendary studio; and you’ll hear other hints and stories, both hopeful and unsettling, resonating with unexpected echoes from your own life.

The record scales up from the intimacy of Martini, through the uneasy domesticity of Quiet Ones, the futuristic pulse of 96, the yearning gospel inflections of Save You hurtling towards the towering darkness of epic finale Black Rabbit.

There’s the intimacy and warmth that Turin Brakes have taken along with them down the years, but this time reaching up towards something bigger, more epic in scope and darker in hue. It’s a sound yearning for the wide open spaces of the USA but rooted in the grimy streets of South London, still unique, still unforgettable.

How many pundits frantically casting their runes back in 1999 for predictions for the new millennium would have foreseen that Turin Brakes would be releasing their seventh studio album in 2016? Back then, they were hotly-tipped young ingénues, and we all know what usually happens to them in the heartless world of showbiz....While many of the rest of the class of 2000 seem forever frozen into the faces in their yearbook pictures, Turin Brakes are still making their way through the century’s changing landscape.

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The Staple Singers - Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976

Album release: Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 by The Staple Singers
Release date:20 November 2015
Label: UMGI/Concord
More info: Mavis Staples website

UMGI/Concord will release the first-ever comprehensive, career-spanning overview of The Staple Singers, one of the most important American musical acts of the 20th century. Due out November 20th, this limited edition 4-CD box set-titled 'Faith and Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976' -also includes a very special bonus: the earliest known recording of the gospel, soul and R&B group, housed on a 7” vinyl record, marking the first time that this track has been available in any format since the Staples’ self-released edition of 500.

Housed in a deluxe, old-school '45-folio' package, the accompanying book features new liner notes by Mavis Staples, James Miller, Opal Louis Nations and compilation producer Joe McEwen, as well as rarely seen photos of the family band taken over the course of their career.

The long-lost recordings embodied on the 7” record, 'Faith and Grace' and 'These Are They' are the earliest known recordings of The Staple Singers and were made in a friend of Pops Staples’ basement in Chicago in 1953. These have never before been commercially available in any format except the 500 or so copies the Staples pressed themselves on 78 RPM records. The box set also contains the live recording: 'Medley: Too Close/I’m On My Way Home/I’m Coming Home/He’s Alright (Live).' This live performance from 1960 Clarksdale, Mississippi has never before been available in its entirety.

The music of the Staple Singers--best known for their 1970s hits 'Respect Yourself,' 'I'll Take You There,' 'If You're Ready (Come Go with Me),' and 'Let's Do It Again' -is richly embedded into American history and culture. As James Miller writes in the liner notes: 'The Staple Singers are American originals. Like Elvis Presley in the fifties, they took the country gospel sounds of the Mississippi Delta and turned them into a brand new kind of music, a fusion of blues form and raw feeling that was sui generis. Like Bob Dylan in the sixties, they created their own kind of folk music, in part to hymn the progress of the civil rights movement in America. Like Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin, they took the music of the black church and made that soulful sound matter to anybody with ears and an open mind in a series of exceptionally popular recordings that made them well-known to a wide audience. And afterwards, even after their belated moment of fame in the early 1970s, their principal members survived into a dignified old age, becoming venerated solo troubadours, performing vernacular American music that sounds as fresh today as it did a half-century ago...The consistency with which this family made rapturous music–as documented on this box set–becomes ever more impressive with the passage of time.'

Explaining The Staple Singers’ special dynamic, notes Miller, 'The group had two primary leads: Pops, a tenor, and Mavis, a skinny girl with a thundering voice. When the Staples harmonized, their blend was high and keening, with Pops singing falsetto alongside his daughter Cleotha, a soprano, and Pervis, a high tenor like his dad, making them sound more like the Carter Family than a conventional black gospel group. Equally unusual was the instrumentation; instead of performing a capella or with keyboard accompaniment, the Staples featured the electric guitar playing of Pops. That’s the first thing you hear on their classic early recordings: finger-picked arpeggios, amplified in a wash of reverb and tremolo, anchoring the bottom of the sound. (‘Pop Staples and his nervous guitar,’ quipped rivals on the gospel circuit.)'

The box set is aptly titled Faithand Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 as these qualities are hallmarks of The Staple Singers. Their music remains soul-stirring and relevant –these songs bring hope in uncertain times. As always, The Staple Singers take us there.

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All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 Curated by Drive Like Jehu

Festival announcement: ATP -  All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0
Festival date: 22-24 April 2016
More info: Festival website

ATP Festival is excited to reveal our latest curators for All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0, seminal San Diego band Drive Like Jehu. Performing in the UK for the first time since 1994, Drive Like Jehu will be headlining the 2016 weekender as well as hand-picking the festival line-up. The first wave of artists performing alongside Drive Like Jehu will be revealed in the coming weeks. 
 
All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 Curated by Drive Like Jehu, held at Pontins in Prestatyn, will take place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th April 2016 for ATP Festival’s second consecutive holiday camp weekender, following on from All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 Curated by Stewart Lee (15/16/17th April 2016).  
 
ATP’s Barry Hogan adds “Jehu were undoubtedly one of my favourite performances at ATP Iceland this summer, and we couldn't pass up an opportunity to have them curate and headline ATP in what will be one of their first UK performances in over 20 years” 
 
Limited Early Bird tickets (which start at £40 off full price per person - saving you up to £280 on your chalet) are available now via the ATP Ticket Store 
 
All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 site of Pontins in Prestatyn, North Wales – chosen for its easy reach for both international and UK customers – benefits from all the facilities associated with holiday camp vacations, including an indoor swimming pool, football pitch, basketball and tennis courts, a crazy golf course, go-kart track, air hockey, a large arcade games area, and a beautiful sandy beachfront only a few hundred metres walk away. As always with ATP’s holiday camp festivals, all attendees are provided with a chalet as part of the ticket price so that you can enjoy the festival whilst indulging in the comforts of your own bed, bathroom and kitchen. 
 
For a limited time only, until December 1st 2015, ATP attendees who have already purchased tickets for All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 Curated by Stewart Lee, and would like to amend their booking by swapping for an equivalent chalet to All Tomorrow’s Parties 2.0 Curated by Drive Like Jehu, may do so by emailing feedback@atpfestival.com with the subject header ‘Ticket Swap’. 

About ATP

 'The fans will undoubtedly notice the beautiful seaside location, the picturesque beaches with a backdrop of rolling sand dunes, high wind and churning sea. They will travel the last few miles by minicab or bus, enter the camp, pass-by the Water Walkerz, the Crazy Golf – they will find their allocated chalets, unpack, perhaps watch a little ATP TV. They might even elect to go to the cinema to watch one of the many films especially selected for their amusement. But when the music starts we will all move en masse through the arcades...', Jake Chapman, Visual Artist and 2004/2015 ATP Festival Curator. 
 
The original boutique festival, All Tomorrow's Parties was founded in 2001 – 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-focused, whilst influencing countless other festivals along the way.  
 
The holiday camp weekenders offer something that is inimitable in a city. Some of the best weekends of ATP fan’s lives have taken place in these spaces – 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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