The Black Angels new album 'Death Song' 21 April 2017

The Black Angels: 'Death Song' by The Black Angels
Release date: 21 April 2017
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Band website

The Black Angels have shared the second track from their upcoming album ‘Death Song’, out April 21st on Partisan Records. Called ‘I’d Kill For Her’, the new track just premiered via Dangerous Minds, who called the band “psychedelia’s premier standard bearers”. They also chatted with the band’s Alex Maas about the new project, read/listen here.

Produced by Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins), ‘Death Song’ features some of the heaviest music these psych rockers have ever put to wax – slow-burning, menacing fuzz earworms meditating on the realities of society and devotion. The album’s opening track, 'Currency', has already earned raves everywhere from the New York Times to NPR Music, who say “heavy psych rarely feels as fresh as it does with The Black Angels”.  Listen to 'Currency' here

On April 22nd, a special limited edition release of ‘Death Song’ will be made available in honor of Record Store Day, including the new album on two glow-in-the-dark vinyl LPs and packaging printed entirely in blacklight-reactive ink. Sneak peek here.

The Black Angels performed at SXSW last week, and kick off an extensive tour next month including a headline set at one of the first-ever shows at new NYC venue Brooklyn Steel. The band will be supported by A Place to Bury Strangers.

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Mount Song new album 5 May 2017  

Album release: Mount Song
Release date: 5 May 2017
Label: Suncave Recordings
More info: Band Soundcloud
 
Back in 2014, singer-songwriter Jacob Johansson released his critically acclaimed debut album under the moniker Det Stora Monstret (The Big Monster). In their review of the album, GAFFA (Sweden's biggest music magazine) named the album “Swedish debut of the year, nominated for both the Swedish GAFFA-award and the Manifest-prize with that last release, Jacob is now back with a brand-new venture to sit alongside it: Mount Song.  

Together with his band (Karl Vento, Knut Källgren, Lovisa Samuelsson) and co-producer Filip Leyman (Anna Von Hausswolff, Albert af Ekenstam, Det Stora Monstret), Jacob performs songs that describe and question the world we live in with an intensity, sincerity and an urgency so strong, they force you to stop and listen. His songs are poetic, political and have been described by some as relevant on a global, as well as common, existential plane.  

Brought up on grunge, Jacob's influences range from the psychedelia of The Flaming Lips and MGMT to the more sombre likes of Jose Gonzalez, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy' and Jeff Buckley, whose rich influences this debut offers more than a glimpse into. Life, love, death and fear also seep into the subj. matter and make for an emotional listen at times, however always giving way to an ultimate message of hope.  

On the album's subject matter, Jacob says: “I write about that which feels urgent to me, the things that knock me out; my encounters with life's monsters. That which feels most urgent for me in the moment becomes the content of the songs.” 

Intimate, heavy and explosive; tracks like 'Wake Up' and 'Guitar On Fire' offer up a hazy, heated tangle of soaring falsetto vocals before descending into a heady, intoxicating mix of shimmering, jangling loose guitars. Elsewhere, ‘Halo’ is a dark, thought-provoking track that explore the sadness that accompanies dealing with life's demons.  

While incorporating an absorbing mix of traditional folk-indie tropes with tentative descents into psychedelia and more prog-inspired sounds, Jacob and his band have created an elusive, cinematic and pleasingly philosophical album that is bound to stay with you longer after you finish listening.

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Hannah Aldridge album 'Gold Rush' due 16 June 2017

Album release: 'Gold Rush' by Hannah Aldridge
Release date: 16 June 2017
Label: Rootsy Music
More info: Artist website

In literature and in songwriting, the American South is where writers go to face their fears. Hannah Aldridge doesn’t just dip her pen into the well of the South, the Muscle Shoals native embodies it. With every song, she’s facing down demons of a life once lived from substance abuse to failed relationships and scars from the lashes of the bible belt.  

'Gold Rush' is Hannah Aldridge’s second album, a follow up to her 2014 debut 'Razor Wire'. While that album launched her career, drew the attention of music writers and sent her touring across the world, 'Gold Rush' shows a more mature and introspective artist with more life experience - and music experience - under her belt.  

The honesty Hannah Aldridge crafts into each track is off-set by her stubborn, maybe defiant, nature, which gives her music a hopeful silver lining.  

“I start writing with ‘this is how I’m feeling and I need to talk about it.’ Doing that helps me sort out my own thoughts on it. My music is an introspective look at the things that happened in my life. It’s me trying to sort through and put feelings into words,” she said. 

Hannah Aldridge is the daughter of Muscle Shoals legend Walt Aldridge. An Alabama Music Hall of Famer, Walt Aldridge is a prolific and decorated songwriter of countless Number One and Top Ten hits recorded by the likes of Lou Reed, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Earl Thomas Conley, Ricky Van Shelton, Ronnie Milsap, and Conway Twitty.  

Mixing her personal life and the sounds of her hometown, Hannah Aldridge’s new album also draws in influences from across the rock genre. Working with people with one foot in country music and one foot in rock, Hannah Aldridge makes a fresh kind of Southern Rock styled by Southern Gothic storytelling. You can hear it in 'Gold Rush'’s ode to burning out, or in the yearning of 'Burning Down Birmingham', and anthem-for-the-lonely 'No Heart Left Behind' – a track that is shot-through with wild riffs.  

Recorded at Creative Workshop in Nashville, Hannah Aldridge worked with Muscle Shoals writers such as Mark Naramore, Tosha Hill, Matt Johnson and Brad Crisler and artists such as Andrew Combs, Ashley McBryde, Don Gallardo, Ryan Beaver, and Sadler Vaden on “Gold Rush.” She teamed up with Jordan Dean and M. Allen Parker, who were instrumental in working on her new album, and finally finishing by calling on her Dad, Walt Aldridge, to master the record. In total, Hannah Aldridge compiled a team of distinct talents to work with her. With their help, Hannah Aldridge has put together a progressive, creative and memorable body of work. 

“It’s about being self-destructive,” Aldridge said of her new album. “That is the underlying tone. The album goes back to when I was younger, and after touching on that, to now. In ‘Aftermath,’ the very first line is: ‘I was born in a crossfire.’ It starts from day one.”  

Hannah Aldridge will tour the UK in summer 2017 – details announcing soon.

Press reaction to date

“Listening to Aldridge’s music is a sonic treat” – Billboard  
“Aldridge’s songs are deep, intelligent, and very powerful” – No Depression
“In the running for best Americana debut this year” – American Songwriter  
“An important album” – Americana UK  

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Craig Finn new album 'We All Want The Same Things' due 24 March 2017 

Album release: 'We All Want The Same Things' by Craig Finn
Release date: 24 March 2017
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Artist website

Nowness shares a strikingly beautiful music video for Craig Finn’s 'God In Chicago,' the next single off his forthcoming solo album 'We All Want The Same Things' out March 24 on Partisan Records. Directed by Kris Merc, the video follows the fleeting journey of two young lovers finding beauty in the unremarkable. It’s relatable, poignant and raw. 

“I was already in love with the song and I was mostly struck by the words and their pacing,” says Merc. “The spoken word quality of the narrative had a sombre, melancholic tone that left me feeling a bit reflective about the fleeting moments we all face in life. We decided the video should tell a story about the meandering nature of youth. From there, we created a narrative that follows the fleeting journey of two young characters who find beauty in their bleak circumstances, carving out hope in their own way while knowing their time together is limited. It's a meditation on the idea of memories, nostalgia, and the feeling of being caught up in a raw moment. All this happens in a landscape reflecting contemporary America. In this search for meaning, you can feel the raw emotion of something lost and something gained. There is a lot of tension, but I think the problems we all face are the same. ‘We all want the same things’ — the camera is constantly seeking solace; It is seeking out a truth not easily found.” 

About the song, Finn says: “I've done a lot of songs that have been called ‘talky,’ but this is the furthest I've gone towards spoken word. It's a story about a guy and a girl pushed together to try to fix a problem. In doing so, they push into unchartered territory for both of them. Going to a bigger city without supervision for the first time is a huge moment, no matter how you get there. I was trying to capture that.  Also, I wanted to show how easily it is sometimes to take a break, if briefly, from our regular lives. Annie Nero has a lot of vocals I love on this record but this one might be my favourite.” Watch 'God In Chicago' via Nowness

Finn's "We All Want The Same Things" is his eagerly awaited third album and arrives via Partisan on Friday, March 24. It’s available for pre-order now at all leading DSPs. All pre-orders receive an instant download of the album's first single, "Preludes," that premiered exclusively via NPR Music. The album is also available via Pledge Music with exclusive merch. Anyone who pre-orders through Pledge will receive an exclusive four-digital track EP. 

Finn and his band The Uptown Controllers are currently on a North America tour supporting Japandroids. He will then play a series of house shows in the UK through April, culminating in a headline London show. See complete details and regularly updated tour information.

'We All Want The Same Things' sees Finn exploring themes of love and partnership in the modern world, as ever expressed via finely etched character studies, black humour, and smartly arranged rock 'n' roll. Largely recorded last spring at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY with frequent collaborator Josh Kaufman producing and Dan Goodwin engineering and mixing, the album features musical contributions from drummer Joe Russo, keyboardist Sam Kassirer, Rainer Maria vocalist Caithlin De Marrais, singer/songwriter Annie Nero, horn master Stuart Bogie, Jon Shaw, Jordan McLean, Matt Barrick and Finn's longtime partner in The Hold Steady, guitarist Tad Kubler. 

"We named this collection 'We All Want The Same Thing's after a line in 'God in Chicago', Finn says. "It seems like a bit of dark humour in these turbulent political times, but it also rings true: no matter our differences we all have some very basic wants and needs that line up with each other. The characters in these songs are normal people trying to help themselves, trying to move forward, and in some cases trying just to survive. All the while they are negotiating what space the others in their lives can occupy." 

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Yazz Ahmed album 'La Saboteuse' due 12 May 2017

Album release: ‘La Saboteuse’ by Yazz Ahmed
Release date: 12 May 2017
Label: Naim Records
More info: Artist website

Bahraini-British performer, Yazz Ahmed, is transforming what jazz means in 2017. This trumpet and flugelhorn-playing artist has worked with Radiohead, These New Puritans and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, experiments with electronic effects, and combines sounds from her shared heritage to author a new narrative for the genre.  

Part of the new wave of artists credited with stirring up the sound, including Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal, Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming, Yazz Ahmed is thrilled by the possibilities of making something new. “I feel like I’m a part of modernising jazz and connecting it with audiences today,” Yazz says. “It’s exciting.” 

Her new album ‘La Saboteuse’ is a deep exploration of both her British and Bahraini roots. Ably assisted by musicians including Lewis Wright on vibraphone, MOBO-winning new jazz kingpin Shabaka Hutchings on bass clarinet and Naadia Sherriff on Fender Rhodes keyboard, it’s composed of undulating rhythms, Middle Eastern melody and Yazz’s sonorous trumpet lines. The record sounds like the passage of a desert caravan, bathed in moonlight.  

The theme of ‘La Saboteuse’ is the sense of self-doubt that Yazz feels when she is creating, personified in a female saboteur, an anti-muse that spurs her into action. “Giving ‘her’ a name has really helped me to identify those negative voices we all get,” she says. “I know what it is and I know how to combat it.” 

‘La Saboteuse’ will be released in four chapters incrementally, unravelling the story, before the full version is available. Each chapter has its own cover, with beautiful illustrations by Bristol artist Sophie Bass. “I feel really touched, nobody’s created art from my music before, it’s really special,” Yazz says. 

Yazz spent her early childhood in Bahrain, her paternal homeland, before moving to London with her English mother at the age of nine. There, she became fascinated by her grandfather’s trumpet playing, and vowed to learn the instrument herself. “My grandfather, my mum’s dad, was a trumpet player, and I was quite taken by him, inspired. I wanted to learn the trumpet at school.” Jazz became her chosen form of expression, because “I loved the spirit of the music, the freedom. There’s a lot of joy, mystery. I connected with it”. 

Yazz’s sound is unique. Her take on jazz weaves in Arabic melodies to evocative, cinematic effect. “I love the sounds of Arabic music. The traditional folk singing is so heartfelt, elemental and passionate. I absorbed it as a child, but only in the past few years has it come to the surface in my playing and writing. I want to embrace my culture and my British jazz heritage, the music my grandfather played to me.” 

Jazz has traditionally been a male-dominated sphere, though Yazz is challenging that notion. To start with she found it a hindrance, but has been empowered by a new wave of women musicians. “There are more female jazz musicians and attitudes are changing,” she says. “People see that women can play just as well as the men. But there are still areas that haven’t caught up with the rest of society. It’s getting better, but we can do more.” 

Future-facing and fascinating, Yazz Ahmed is part of a glimmering new constellation in the jazz firmament. And her next project is destined to take her further into the stars. “I’m planning to write a piece inspired by the ever-changing structures of the universe,” she concludes. 

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The Molochs new EP due 3 March 2017 and tour dates

EP Release: “AVG Sessions” by The Molochs
Release date: 3 March 2017 3rd
Label: Innovative Leisure
More info: Band website

After the release of their new album 'America’s Velvet Glory' on Jan 13th, LA band The Molochs return with a new EP for Innovative Leisure, titled 'AVG Sessions', a track from which can be heard today at Loud & Quiet

The band’s Lucas Fitzsimons comments; "Hidden Spoon is about revolutionaries imprisoning and executing their King in Paris in 1793. it's just a good story and can apply to any period of time. The song is a vivid ballad.. something that can bring the story to life in someone's head." 

The band also today announce a big run of UK and EU tour dates, as well as SXSW appearances. 

The Molochs – Live 2017

March

15 Barracuda Backyard, SXSW, USA

May

14 Broadcast, Glasgow, UK
15 The Cluny, Newcastle, UK
16 Brudenell, Leeds, UK
20 Q Factory, Amsterdam, NL
22 Shacklewell Arms, London, UK
23 Montague Arms, London, UK
24 La Mecanique Ondulatoire, Paris, FR
25 Nuits Sonores Festival, Lyon, FR
26 La Parenthese, Nyon, CH
27 Spazio Morel, Lugano, CH
29 Passport, Athens, GR
30 Fuzz'Yon, La Roche Sur Yon, FR
31 La Nef, Angouleme, FR

June

1   Primavera Sounds festival, Barcelona, SP
6   Doornroosje, Nijmegen, NL
7   Bassy Club, Berlin, DE
9   Molotow Club, Hamburg, DE
10 Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DK

Press reaction to date

"The perfect soundtrack to pulling on your Chelsea boots and black crew-neck sweater" - The Guardian 

"One of the year’s best. Which year? Any year" - MOJO 

"Anxious indie-rockers playing up like a reborn Modern Lovers" - Uncut 

"steeped in jangly Eighties rock, with flecks of psychedelic folk and surfer nonchalance" - DiS 

"the album feels like you’re travelling through the US in a beat-up old car, and casually tuning in and out of a dozen different radio stations... a barnstorming record." - NME 

“The Molochs’ latest track is hazy folk with a revolutionary message …The ghosts of Lou Reed and Syd Barrett don’t so much as linger but crawl all over the sound.” – Loud & Quiet

"You & Me evokes a kind of hair-raising nostalgia and perfectly complements the 60s jangle-pop vibes" - Noisey 

"These latest Stateside sounds will put you in a spin" - Shindig! 

"Garage-rock revived with conviction" - Classic Rock 

"Full of rock n roll swagger and referential aplomb" - The Mirror 

"Fitzsimons channels the ramshackle spirit of The Modern Lovers brilliantly" - Sunday Express 

"The Molochs can lay claim to one of 2016’s strongest singles" - The 405

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Loom debut album due 19 May 2017

Album release: Loom
Release date: 19 May 2017
Label: Silent Cult Records
More info: Band Soundcloud

Loom formed through a shared distaste, boredom, and frustration with new music. They recorded and released two cassettes within their first year, the latter being a showcase of their most prominent initial influences – a six-track covers ep of The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Pixies, GG Allin, Misfits, and Warsaw. They felt that it was a necessity to broadcast their intent as a band as aggressively and directly as possible. 

Off the back of those first releases the band earned plaudits from the likes of Zane Lowe and Daniel P Carter at BBC Radio 1, supported The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park and over the past few years toured across the UK and Germany with artists including Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Queen Kwong, and Turbowolf, along with a number of headline tours. 

Loom took a step back from the initial ‘hype’, with frontman Tarik Badwan saying “Labels and journalists were quick to assume we had a certain sound and wanted to have an influence on that.” The band didn’t want to make someone else’s idea of a debut album. 

The songs Loom have written needed to be presented exactly how they want them to be. They didn’t want to be accused of contrived revivalism or as part of a particular scene. They needed to find the right producers and the right label to understand where they were coming from. The band recorded half of their debut album themselves and the other half with John Coxon at the legendary Ray Davies’ Konk studios.  

The result is a collection of songs that are made cohesive by the aggression that runs throughout them. It very much spans the spectrum of sub-genres that all essentially come from that same place – tracks such as ‘Lice’, ‘Bleed On Me’ and ‘Hate’ all merge that 70’s Stooges punk thrust and a 90’s grunge infused sound, meanwhile ‘Barbed Wire’ exhibits a more classic US hardcore punk drive, whilst ‘Seasick’ calls to mind the sounds of The Melvins. Later tracks such as ‘Nailbender’ even leans towards a more Metal-influenced Misfits-esque goth-punk sound. 

The debut album is the biggest statement a band makes and Loom have spent the best part of four years preparing theirs. Having perfected the ten tracks that make up their self-titled album and with a vast range of critical acclaim, renowned live shows and a series of sold out releases in their arsenal, it’s obvious Loom now have everything they need to show everyone what they’re capable of on their own terms.

Press reaction to date

“As confrontational as Danny Dyer on a Friday night Wetherspoons bender” - NME (Radar - Band Of The Week) 

“…emanating charisma with every snarl” – The Line Of Best Fit

“…bracing, thrilling and ultimately inspiring.” – CLASH  

Also featured with BBC Radio 1, Drowned in Sound, DIY & more… 

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Blood Command album 'Cult Drugs' out 28 April 2017

Album release: 'Cult Drugs' by Blood Command
Release date: 28 April 2017
Label: Fysisk Format
More info: Band website

After two albums, numerous EPs and four radio hits, Blood Command are hungrier for success than ever. The sound still has the distinct fingerprint of producer and songwriter Yngve Andersen: Sharp and challenging, but still so universal and seductive that you will throw your hands in the air and run into the crowd before the first chorus ends. Since the last album, Andersen has received wide recognition in Norway as a successful producer and is responsible for several local hits. But Blood Command remains his favourite pet and Cult Drugs might be the point where all of his talents finally hit their zenith. 

The band's previous album, ‘Funeral Beach’ (2012) received a 5/5 in Kerrang (who also placed them at no. 8 in their end of year list), 9/10 in Rock Sound, 5/6 in most Norwegian broadsheets. Metal Hammer UK awarded the album a 9/10, saying that Blood Command is one of the best they have heard in recent years. In 2010, Blood Command was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy for their debut album ‘Ghostclocks’. 

Blood Command have played numerous festivals such as Roskilde, Nova Rock in Austria (where they shared the stage with, among others, Iron Maiden) and The Great Escape in Brighton, where they won the "Best Concert of the Year" in Artrocker Magazine. 

The band have regularly played across Europe and have undertaken support tours with Biffy Clyro and Protest the Hero among others. 

Blood Command's reappearance shows a band that has never sounded as good as now. Singer Karina Ljone is angrier and more accurate than ever, the complexing-riffing is smoother and drummer Sigurd Haakaas sets new standards in action-drumming. The album is mixed and mastered by Blood Command’s long-time collaborator Dagger, who together with producer Yngve Andersen has made sure that the album comes together as a relentless sting of murderous hooks. 

Musically, the band reference Refused and Boney M as the main inspiration, alongside acts like The Clash, “We’re making a sonic revolution you can dance to!” boasts Andersen.  

In recent years, the band has binged on rave culture and charismatic cults like Heaven's Gate. Inspired by this and the increasing political manipulation taking place in both Europe and the US, the lyrics and the themes of Cult Drugs took form. Blood Command-main man Yngve Andersen, who himself was part of a Christian charismatic group in his youth, generally holds a positive view on non-mainstream religious groupings: “If it makes you happy and you don’t hurt anyone else, you can worship your cat as far as I’m concerned.” 

Andersen elaborates: “The title Cult Drugs comes from the realization that we're all in some ways part of a cult that informs our way of being and our ways of thinking. We’re programmed to perceive ourselves as the good guys, no matter what side we're on. Most people live with a self-manipulation so extensive that it can compare to drug addiction. It is easy to put a stigma on religious outcasts, but it’s time to admit that every human, to some extent, live in denial.” 

So, the difference between “cult people” and “normal people” could be smaller than you think. Particularly when you’re exposed to the seducing power of music. What could appear as a perfectly ordinary rock album, might prove to be a gateway to powers beyond your control.

Press reaction to date

“Funeral Beach is the sort of album you hear and think ‘Holy Scheisse’, Blood Command, where have you been all my life?” – Kerrang (KKKKK) 

 "Blood Command have combined driving anthemia, lacerating stabs of guitar-hammering ferocity, thunderous percussive workouts and a vocalist capable of carrying both a pristine melodic hook and a glass-shattering scream, to produce a body of work which simply screams ‘rock stars’ – Rock Sound

“Blood Command have the uncanny ability to sound startlingly fresh and new, while never jumping too far to land on that dreaded island of ‘quirky’. Funeral Beach is a fiercely unique, invigorating slab of catchy punk’n’roll, and it demands your full, ongoing attention.” – Metal Hammer (9/10) 

“In reality, where only good jams matter, Blood Command is fucking awesome!” – Metalsucks

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Loved Ones single 'Harness' due 5 May 2017

Album release: 'Harness' by Loved Ones
Release date: 5 May 2017
Label: Blood Records
More info: Band Facebook

It is said that a change is as good as a rest, so when it comes to Liverpool quartet Loved One’s re-emergence, coupled with their shift in musical direction, things can only bode well for the swell of new material they are set to release in 2017. 
 
Releasing themselves from the lo-fi and ambient rock of their debut album 'The Merry Monarch' – having spent much of their recent time involved in soundtrack work - the forthcoming full length 'Harness' sets its stall out as a move into an eclectic, but no less focussed, sphere of operation.

The album’s first single 'End Of An Error' today premieres at Wonderland and offers a first look into what they’ve been working on. Listen to 'End Of An Error. With this track we get a sense of the record’s more anxious moments and themes of escapism, which conspire here to erupt into a dilating and expansive chorus.

Lead singer Nik Glover comments; “We tried to turn our traditional song structure on its head in 'End of an Error', piling all the melodies into the verse and letting the chorus speed past with hardly any vocals. It's a song about naive teenage love and regret, and why sometimes ripping up all your memories of a relationship is better than trying to hold on to it.” 

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Mt. Wolf single 'The Electric' out 17 February 2017

Single release: 'The Electric' by Mt. Wolf
Release date: 17 February
Label: CRC Music
More info: Band website

London’s Mt. Wolf ended last year teasing the world with the smart-pop stylings of 'Golden', which saw significant pick-up internationally from the likes of The Independent, Indie Shuffle and others but was moreover a distraction of sorts, to maintain momentum whilst the band continued working away in the studio on a debut album and the huge sound they have always threatened. With the 6 minute + 'The Electric', the first material from their as yet untitled debut LP, this sound is very much realised. This year marks a fresh start for a band whose promise is set to be fulfilled.  

The road up to now has been nothing if not eventful – including a line-up change, sell-out shows across Europe and the US, a brief hiatus last year that only invigorated the band and significant, ongoing critical support. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy but the feeling is that the real rewards, for the band and for us the listeners, are now just around the corner.

Punctuated by apocalyptic visions, the accompanying lyric video ebbs and flows as the song swells, and shows the strength – and importance – of lyrics in the band’s ever-growing sonic palette.  

Since last year’s comeback EP and single the band have kept busy writing and recording with Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, M83, Daughter). Early listens confirm this as their boldest, most ambitious output yet; expect the full album to land, and awe, shortly before the summer. 

Press reaction to date

“Subtle soundscapes, haunting vocals and broody bass” – Clash Magazine

“Enough hypnotic electronica to keep bassheads interested, while their folky roots and classical string instruments add depth to satisfy any weary soul” – MTV

“The band’s dreamy electronic-folk sound is surely destined for great things.” – London Evening Standard

"Self-starters to the fullest extent... selling out shows at London Heaven and across the country, standing out as one of the most promising new acts in the UK." – DIY

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Be Like Pablo new single 'There She Is' out 17 March 2017

Single release: 'There She Is' by Be Like Pablo
Release date: 17 March 2017
More info: Band website 

“There She Is is the best Be Like Pablo song to date.” says lead songwriter, Ewen Watson, of the mischievous Scottish band. A bold statement to make for a band with a consistent record of quality music behind them, but not an exaggerated one in this case. With influences like The Rentals, and The Cars, the band’s interest in retro imagery and sounds are prominent in the track, yet their trademark Moog synths, and fuzzy power chords help to underline the narrative that runs throughout ‘There She Is’. 

The sleek sweet video, produced by the award-winning company, Freakworks, and starring Jerry-Jane Pears (The Royals, Survivor), depicts a Notting Hill-like tale of celebrity vs ‘normality’ and how images in the media blitz society. Watson explains this further,“There She Is tells the story of a high-school crush who left home and grew up to be the most famous person on earth. When writing the song, I could see a music video in my head from the outset: billboards and magazines spectacularly coming to life with their star – a glamourous model - breaking from her still-image form and reaching out to the real world.”

Press reaction to date

“Riotously enjoyable, noisy power pop.” - The 405

“Scottish indie pop of the most traditional and twee sort. Neither of which are an insult…charming.” - Drowned In Sound

“I cannot stress enough how good this band are…Be Like Pablo have music to suit every mood and their twee tinged hits will put a smile on anyone’s face.” – Glasswerk  

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Yazz Ahmed new album 'La Saboteuse' due 12 May 2017

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Album release: 'La Saboteuse' by Yazz Ahmed
Release date: 12 May 2017
Label: Naim Records
More info: Artist website
 
Yazz Ahmed has been making serious waves in the Jazz world after storming onto the scene with a commanding performance at Ronnie Scott’s with her quintet in 2010. With her next release ‘La Saboteuse’ Yazz looks set to join an pioneering group of artists such as The Comet is Coming (Leaf Label), Kamasi Washington (BRAINFEEDER), Yussef Kamaal (Brownswood) and Naim Records’ Sons Of Kemet who are flipping the jazz world on its head and breaking through to the forefront of the UK music scene with a vibrant and exciting approach to their art. 

Yazz has performed with creative goliaths including Lee "Scratch" Perry and Max Romeo as well as touring worldwide with These New Puritans and laying down the Flugelhorn on Radiohead’s ground-breaking ‘King of Limbs’. Her second full length release ‘La Saboteuse’ explores the creative process and the demons that can exist within. Yazz’s transformation of this into a unique blend of psychedelic Arabic jazz is intoxicating, compelling and sonically outstanding. 

Naim Records have teamed up with emerging Bristol illustrator Sophie Bass Illustration to craft a stunning visual aesthetic for ‘La Saboteuse’. Sophie’s work explores human nature and our sensual relationship with the world we occupy. Through an exploration of her Trinidad heritage Sophie developed an appetite for native art and the mythology and symbolism encompassed within, these themes are beautifully displayed in Sophie’s unique, culturally rich and symbolic style.  

With 'La Saboteuse' Naim Records will break away from the traditional model of release with the album being dropped as four chapters across streaming services in early 2017. Each chapter will have an individual cover crafted by Sophie which when combined will form the gatefold cover housing the heavyweight double LP. The vinyl and CD will be released concurrently with Chapter Four and the digital release of the full album, all landing in May 2017. 

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Loudon Wainwright III ‘Surviving Twin’ Live March 2017

Tour announcement: Loudon Wainwright III - ‘Surviving Twin’ Live
Tour dates: March 2017
More infoLeicester Square Theatre

'Surviving Twin' is a posthumous collaboration in which Grammy Award winner Wainwright connects some of his best songs with the writing of his late father Loudon Wainwright Jr, the esteemed LIFE Magazine columnist. The performance is a game of creative catch between son and father, exploring issues like birth, loss, parenthood, fashion, pet ownership, and mortality. In a one man show, Wainwright recites a selection of his father’s compositions interspersed with songs from his own catalogue. 'Surviving Twin' has never been previously performed in the UK. 

Loudon’s illustrious career as a songwriter, humourist and actor, spans over two-dozen albums. He collaborated with Joe Henry, on the music for Judd Apatow’s hit movie 'Knocked Up', penned music for the British theatrical adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel, 'Lucky You' and also recorded several songs for HBO’s 'Boardwalk Empire'. His songs have been recorded by many including Johnny Cash, Mose Allison, Earl Scruggs, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Rufus Wainwright and Bonnie Raitt. 

As an actor, he hit the screens early in his career playing Captain Calvin Spalding, the “singing surgeon”, on the American television show, M*A*S*H and has subsequently appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Hal Ashby, Christopher Guest, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, and Judd Apatow. 

A limited edition, deluxe hardback programme including an 18 track CD of show excerpts will be available exclusively at the performances.  Listen to the tracks here

Leicester Square Theatre, London 9th, 10th, 11th (inc. matinee), 12th March 2017. Tickets available now.

Press reaction to date

“The sardonically humorous singer-songwriter delivers a moving meditation on father/son relationships.” - The Hollywood Reporter 

“…a bristling, acerbic, ultimately affecting family album of a show, with father-son resentments, hostilities and resemblances laid out for all to see, alongside the love and self-loathing.” - New York Times

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Wayde 'Lucky Aide' EP due 3 March 2017

EP release: 'Lucky Aide' by Wayde
Release date: 3 March 2017
More info: Band Soundcloud 

Having only released one previous single (‘Eleanor’), which earned them plaudits from the likes of DIY, The 405, BBC 6 Music and more, Essex four piece Wayde are now ready to unleash their new 'Lucky Aid'e EP. Recorded in guitarist/vocalist Tyrone Foster’s flat in Stoke Newington, in between the banging on ceilings and floors from disgruntled neighbours, Wayde’s sound is an amalgamation of sardonic indie, enveloping shoegaze and psych-infused grunge. 

Channelling influences from the likes of The Rentals, Hüsker Dü, Teenage Fanclub and Pavement, there is a nostalgic comfort amongst Wayde’s combination of warm guitars, mid-tempo grooves and vocals, which are lyrically sharp, saccharine and melodically contagious. The new EP draws on a beguiling familiarity throughout but despite its evocative nature it remains atypical and unbridled. This is exemplified in tracks such as ‘easy’, which oscillate between laid-back yet acidulous vocally driven sections and crushing, overdriven grunge-infused choruses. Whilst elsewhere, Wayde’s heavier guitar led sections on tracks such as ‘doser’ and ‘incomplete’ call to mind The Pixies ‘Debaser’-era riffs, if they’d have had the same production of Smashing Pumpkin’s ‘Cherub Rock’. The delivery is heavy, pretty and deceptively straightforward. 

Speaking about the themes behind the forthcoming EP, Miles Shawyer (bass) said, “There’s no consciously imprinted themes on the EP, however the songs were all written in a period when we were all just about to finish university and the anticipation of having to become real people and getting jobs was looming. So there’s an almost entirely unintentional coming of age/fear of adulthood theme running throughout the EP.” 

It’s this charming yet almost serendipitous honesty that resonates the loudest throughout every track on the EP. The themes come naturally and candidly, whilst Wayde place their focus entirely on infectious hooks, reverb and fuzz, only abating to take rapid turns into hazy garage-punk and feedback-laden grunge.

Having dipped their toes in water with their first single, Wayde are now ready to take the plunge with a consummated EP, which will appeal to many both on and beneath the surface.  

Press reaction to date

“Racing through a collision course with the likes of Ty Segall and Pond by their side, they still hit heights that other have yet to cross, rinsing a trusty sound and sourcing something original at the same time.” - DIY

“A noisy and abrasive yet relaxed and pretty slice of modern rock.” – The 405

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Myles Manley single ‘Relax; enjoy your night upon the town’ due 17 February 2017

Single release: ‘Relax; enjoy your night upon the town’  by Myles Manley  
Release date: 17 February 2017
Label: Little L Records  
More info: Artist website

'Relax; Enjoy your night upon the town!' with this utterance Myles Manley is being at once both sincere and fatalistic. "I always knew I was the best!" says the dashing and supercilious young artist with a smile, "but at certain points I realise that that might not really be the case. It is always the case though." 

Myles Manley makes idiosyncratic folk music on guitar with rhythms and colours snatched from various places, most recently Eric B and Rakim, Micachu and The Shapes, Moondog, The Clash's Sandinista, Jinx Lennon, Frankie Cosmos, etc. "I started listening to a lot of early hiphop for some reason and what I loved about it was the clunkiness of the sounds, and the excitement you can hear at a whole new world of opportunities. I bought an MPC and started making idiot beats late at night that I'd write songs to. I've always had an ear for weird rhythms and I was able to make stuff that you'd never come up with rehearsing in a room with a drummer." 

A batch of songs written in this way was then taken to human drummers Solamh Kelly and Oisin Trench and recorded by longtime collaborator Chris Barry, who added his own guitar parts, yielding the single you have in your very ears. "It is amazing to play with such musicians because they take a framework and make it come alive, add their voice to it. It starts to express a time and a place. And it starts to express my unbelievable talent." 

Hurrying through Broadstone, Dublin for another midnight session of bopping and guitar strumming at the Mr. Barry's studio Ail Fionn, the aloof, succulent Manley has this to whistle: "these are troubling times for a reluctant narcissist. You always thought you could saunter through life, gently seeking attention, a joker in the pack, avoiding beatings, harming no-one beyond mild nuisance making. There're times you wonder, are you lord of the dance or lord of the bluebottles?" 
 
Myles Manley was born in northern England and lived in a few places there until his family moved to Sligo, Ireland, where he became the village indie boy. "I'm in love with songs. What I am seeking in my music is naivety and deliciousness; what I find is also an escape from anxiety. And if you want to really hear it, imagine early days, running round a dead, shithole town at 4am in August, with a person you haven't kissed, want to kiss and will never kiss. No power. Night night." 

'Relax; enjoy your night upon the town' is set for release on February 17th via Dublin's Little L Records, available on 7" and all major digital platforms.

Press reaction to date

  • "The Irish singer/songwriter pulls his own "Praise You"-style dance moves across a city, his jerky movements embodying the anxiety of his folk-pop single" – The Fader

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The Dream ‘Get Dreamy’ deluxe reissue 3 March 2017

Album release: ‘Get Dreamy’ by The Dream
Release date: 3 March 2017
Label: Round 2 Records

From the somewhat sparse, yet unique catalogue of adventurous, high-quality rock music coming out of Scandinavia in the late 60’s, the sole album ‘Get Dreamy’ by The Dream has been one of the most hunted treasures. Originally released in 1967, the album proves that the youth of Norway were just as happy swinging as their blighty cousins. It also marks the beginning of guitar legend Terje Rypdal’s journey from beat music and pop into new musical territories, which would ultimately lead him to become a key player in the European jazz world. 

Any album that opens with a track (‘Green Things’) describing the heartbreak of aliens abducting your love, is clearly out of this world. But ‘Get Dreamy’ somehow fits there, and it doesn’t feel alarming when it takes you with it. Getting lost in the cosmos and making a great time out of it was the aim in ’67 and The Dream follow the tradition well. Having clear references to The Beach Boys (Driftin’), Floyd (‘Aint No Use) as well as some truly lust-filled riffs that sound like unreleased Hendrix tracks from a lost session, The Dream’s highly personal and almost fearless take on free rock and psychedelia was, actually, the first of its kind in Norway. With elements of jazz, glam horror (Hey Jimi), hazy sounding pop and the occasional whimsical Vaudeville-vibes so typical of 1967, it is a special slice of vinyl from the era.  

Round 2 proudly presents this rarity and true Norwegian classic, remastered from the original tapes and with liner notes written by Rypdal afficionado and guitar ace, Reine Fiske (Dungen, The Amazing). 

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The Week’s new album ‘Easy’ due 7 April 2017

Album release: ‘Easy’ by The Weeks
Release date: 7 April 2017
Label: Lightning Rod Records
More info: Band website

'Easy', the highly anticipated new album from rising Nashville-via-Mississippi band The Weeks, is set for release April 7th on Lightning Rod Records. The new video for 'Talk Like That,' the album’s first track, debuts today featuring live footage shot entirely by the band’s own drummer, Cain Barnes. Watch it here. Pre-order 'Easy', with special packages—including one of a kind artwork by band members Cain and Cyle Barnes, here.  

The Weeks recorded Easy over the course of two weeks at Memphis, TN’s Ardent Studios with producer Paul Eber sold. The band left Nashville to record in order to disassociate themselves from their everyday routines in the city, and to find a halfway point between their two homes old and new, Mississippi and Nashville. “Memphis has always been the capitol of North Mississippi to us, says guitarist Sam Williams. “We went there to be at Ardent. We knew Paul had learned everything from John Frye and John Hammond so we figured that was the spot. It’s important to keep those historic studios alive and not let them become museums.” 

Of the record, frontman Cyle Barnes says, “We called it 'Easy' because every time I make music with these guys, it’s easy. It feels good. But the other side of it is there’s nothing easy about being in a band. There’s nothing easy about staying together for ten years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us.”

Thematically, 'Easy' explores new ground for the band. Bassist Damien Bone explains, “We just wanted to make a rock record. We weren’t as concerned making it a southern rock record. The southern thing is always going to part of what we do. ” 

To celebrate the release, the band will tour North America extensively this spring. Further announcements are forthcoming. The Weeks is twin brothers Cyle (vocals) and Cain (drums), Sam Williams (guitar/vocals) and Damien Bone (bass). Formed when its members were in high school in Jackson, Mississippi, the band self-released its debut EP Dog Days in 2006. More than ten years and a handful of critically acclaimed albums later, the band has relocated to Nashville and toured extensively worldwide with Kings of Leon, The Meat Puppets, North Mississippi Allstars, Local H and many more. 

Press reaction to date

  • “Driven by rowdiness, and a mix of pride and defiance about their origins.”—The Guardian
  • “Their music still kicks with the same hard-bitten affirmations that made them better than weekends in the first place.”—American Songwriter
  • “powerful guitars and Southern-tinged vocals”—Paste
  • “Churning, turning marble-mouthed swamp-rock anthems…”—Nashville Scene
  • “Together they are a force…The Weeks know how to write, and play, and make music for their generation of midnight riders.”—Best New Bands

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The Black Angels album 'Death Song' due 21 April 2017

Album release: 'Death Song' by The Black Angels  
Release date: 21 April 2017
Label: Partisan Records  
More info: Band website

The Black Angels – Austin’s psych rock masters – have confirmed details for their upcoming album, ‘Death Song,’ out April 21st. This will be the five-piece’s first full-length release in four years, and their debut for Partisan Records.  Scorching opening track “Currency” is streaming now via NPR.  

Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music on ‘Death Song’ serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. “Currency,” strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role money plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature of devotion.  

Recorded between Seattle and Austin, ‘Death Song’ features production from Phil Eck (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins). The 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound - menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream.  

Since forming in Austin in 2004, The Black Angels have become standard-bearers for modern psych-rock. They founded Levitation Festival (formerly Austin Psych Fest) in 2008, which has since grown into one of the best-reviewed and expertly-curated festivals in the country. The band has toured with Queens of the Stone Age, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Black Keys + more.

The band will tour extensively behind ‘Death Song’.   

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Sweet Gum Tree album 'Sustain The Illusion' out 31 March 2017

Album release: ‘Sustain The Illusion’ by Sweet Gum Tree  
Release date: 31 March 2017
Label: The Orchard / Plastic Head
More info: Band website

Sweet Gum Tree’s first and heavily supported album by the likes of Mojo, Uncut and The Line Of Best Fit, came to fruition with the help of many prestigious collaborators such as Isobel Campbell -Belle & Sebastian, Earl Harvin -Tindersticks and Marty Willson-Piper -The Church. This time, Arno Sojo has reshuffled his cards and chosen to record this new album almost entirely on his own, except for the help of Irish producer David Odlum (long-time partner-in-crime of Gemma Hayes and Glen Hansard). 

Both a beautiful, romantic adventure and an unnerving trip through a mind crowded with troubled creatures, Sojo’s earnest vocals confirm that he is amongst those who still believe that music and words can touch the soul, by way of sincerity, constant reinvention and fine craftsmanship. Minimal drum machines and echo-laden guitars throughout create a state of grace evoking the ethereal new-wave productions of British label 4AD as well as hymns from great pop architects like Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout or Divine Comedy. The album’s electronic rigidity contrasts perfectly with the elegant strings and soaring melodies, while Sojo’s gravelled vocals ensure it remains an outstandingly humane and sensitive collection of tracks.  

The album’s title nods to Wes Anderson’s acclaimed, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', which itself was based upon Stefan Zweig’s writings on the rise of Nazism in the mid-30’s. Drawing a parallel with the current fiery state of the world and Anderson’s tale of creating love despite all circumstances, Sojo reflects on the challenge of how one can fulfil the need to dream whilst in such a desperate context.  

The soul in Sojo’s voice is what really drives ‘Sustain The Illusion’, particularly on tracks such as ‘Someday’, ‘Guilt Trip’ and the closing lullaby, ‘Keeper’ that lulls you into a complete sense of security. On the other hand, ‘Burn Your Icons’ is both a thought provoking, sharp and ironic look at the relevant question of how we view our fallen idols that gives a truly unique perspective on our society’s traditions.  

Sweet Gum Tree will also be performing live on April 5th in London at The Good Ship. 

Press reaction to date

"A thing of delicate beauty... Sweeping cinematic strings, classical structures and wonderfully textured acoustics provide the perfect backbone to the vocals" - The Line Of Best Fit

“A beautifully windswept, wintry feel… thanks to swells of Scott Walker-style strings” - Mojo

“Gentle, poetic…backed by an elegant string section and a band who sound a lot like Tindersticks, dreamy…intriguing...lush..."” – Uncut

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Jim Lauderdale album 'London Southern' out 3 February 2017

Album release: 'London Southern' by Jim Lauderdale
Release date: 3 February 2017
Label: Proper Records
More info: Artist website

Award winning singer and master songwriter Jim Lauderdale releases a striking new studio album 'London Southern' on February 3 2017 and will take part in the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions tour in February, starting in Glasgow at Celtic Connections and then touring the UK.  

Himself recipient of the Wagonmaster Award at this year’s US Americana Honors & Awards, a special lifetime achievement honour reserved for the most valuable contributors to the course and history of the format, presented to him by George Strait, Jim has been invited to present an award at the second UK Americana Awards in London next February. 

Recorded in London at Goldtop studios and produced by Neil Brockbank and Robert Trehern, London Southern features co-writes with Dan Penn, Joan Oates, Odie Blackmon and Kendell Marvell alongside six Lauderdale solo compositions and a host of celebrated guest musicians. 

The making of London Southern in Jim’s own words: 

"Making London Southern was my first time recording in the London area. It’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, but more important was getting to work with Nick Lowe's band and with his co- producers Neil Brockbank and Bobby Irwin.  I had been such a huge fan of Nicks and was able to be his support act back at different times in ‘94 and ‘95 which was a huge break for me. So fast forward 20 years later and this record came together. We recorded over several sessions at the Goldstar Studios in Balham. In my opinion Neil Brockbank is one of the best producers, engineers, and mixers out there. Period.  Tragically, Bobby Irwin has passed away and I dedicate this record to his memory. He was well loved by his friends and family and is terribly missed."

"Some of the songs for the first session were written or started in Glasgow, Liverpool, or London after gigs in the few days before starting. Back in the States, before going back for second rounds of sessions, I wrote with new co writers John Oates (If I Can't Resist, Different Kind Of Groove) and Dan Penn (Don't Shut Me Down, What Have You Got To Lose). Neil got me to add strings to "I Love You More" which I had never tried before. He had great ideas and made this a different sounding record than I had ever gotten to make.  It was a real pleasure and inspiration to play with the musicians and some of the songs were written during the recording. Ready for more."

Jim Lauderdale is both a ‘songwriter’s songwriter’, who has written/co-written many modern classics for iconic artists, as well as an intuitive sideman who has enhanced the music of a bevy of esteemed musicians. As a solo artist, he has created a critically acclaimed body of work spanning nearly 30 albums of imaginative roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock. 
 
Throughout his three-decade career, Lauderdale has helped pave the way for the current Americana movement, recording albums and writing songs that cross genres from country, rock, folk and bluegrass. Jim has written many classic songs for iconic artists and worked with some of the finest performers in traditional and modern music, including Robert Hunter, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Solomon Burke, Lee Ann Womack, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and Gary Allan among many, many others. He co-hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Buddy Miller, "The Buddy & Jim Show," and is also co-host of Music City Roots, the weekly live and radio, podcast and PBS series. 

Jim has won two Grammys and been honoured with the SESAC Inspiration Award, the prestigious American Eagle Award from the National Music Council along with Kris Kristofferson and in 2016, the aforementioned US Americana Music Association’s Wagonmaster Award.  

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