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Friday
Feb142014

20th anniversary editions for Therapy? albums, and an April tour

Deluxe edition releases: Troublegum and Infernal Love by Therapy?
Release date: 31 March
Label: UMC
Listen / more information: on official Therapy Site

Next March UMC/Mercury will release Therapy?’s 1994 tour de force, Troublegum as a superb 3 CD Deluxe Edition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album’s original release. It will be released alongside a deluxe edition reissue of the following year’s Infernal Love. All of this will coincide with a short run of UK shows by Therapy?, also in celebration of Troublegum’s 20th anniversary.

The set on each night will feature Troublegum in its entirety plus a host of other musical treats from around the same era of their recording career, and will include rarely heard B sides, the ShortSharpShock, Face the Strange and Opal Mantra EPs.

The dates are:

  • 02/04 Bristol, Trinity
  • 03/04 Manchester Academy 2
  • 04/04 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
  • 05/04 Nottingham Rock City
  • 07/04 Glasgow, The Classic Grand
  • 08/04 Norwich Waterfront
  • 09/04 London Scala
  • 11/04 Southampton, The Mo’ Club 

The support on the tour will be hotly-tipped British rockers, Lonely The Brave.

The tightly wound punk-metal of Troublegum propelled Therapy? into the UK Top 5, sold 750,000 copies worldwide and spawned no less than five Top 40 singles ('Turn', 'Nowhere', Die Laughing', Trigger Inside' and 'Screamager', the lead cut from the 1993's Shortsharpshock EP), landing the band a Mercury Music Prize nomination in the process.

The black-hearted melancholia of 1995's Infernal Love was a radical departure for the trio. Bound together by Belfast-born DJ David Holmes' cinematic soundscapes, the album was a brooding, twisted, heroically unhinged affair.

More recently, Therapy? have enjoyed success with their 2012 album A Brief Crack of Light, and they have spent the last eighteen months touring mainland Europe, UK, Ireland and beyond. Not content to sit on their laurels they are currently working on a new studio album due for release in late 2014.

Friday
Feb142014

Fiona Bevan: The Machine

Single release: The Machine by Fiona Bevan
Release date: 10 March 2014
Label: Navigator Records
Listen: on official website

“Fiona Bevan contrasts pastoral, acoustic textures with her golden, golden voice” - Clashmusic.com

“Mesmerizingly beautiful… intriguing and fascinating to listen to. Bevan’s sweet but passionate vocals dance throughout.” - The Line of Best Fit

The Machine is the stunning debut single from Fiona Bevan, released 10th March on Navigator Records. Written by Bevan - who has already tasted success as a chart-topping songwriter for One Direction - The Machine’s hypnotic rhythm and clanging percussion contrast vividly with it’s spritely vocal and the frisky, looped acoustic guitar. The almost conversational, Sondheim-esque shift sees Bevan urging herself – and her listeners – to take control.

“The Machine came from being angry and frustrated about the state of the world and from my feelings of powerlessness to do anything about it,” she says. “Within the song, there’s a shift – that’s about breaking out and finding how you can have power in your own life, in everything you do.”

On side 2 is a brilliant remix by the acclaimed multi-talented artist/writer/producer Ed Harcourt, which features languid guest vocals from south London rapper Fem Fel.

The Machine is the first single to be taken from Talk To Strangers, Fiona Bevan’s debut album released April 28th on Navigator Records. Bevan describes her debut album as “pop in disguise”, and the dozen, dynamic songs have hooks, harmonies and melodies that linger from first listen, but are defiantly timeless, as rooted in the past as they are in the present. Recorded in producer Shawn Lee’s Bloomsbury studio on entirely analogue equipment, Talk To Strangers was recorded with live instrumentation, with Bevan playing guitar, violin, double bass, accordion, and harp. Holding everything together is her extraordinary, sweet voice, as unique and distinctive as her mop of peroxide curls.

Suffolk-born, Colchester-raised, and now living in east London, alongside performing Fiona Bevan has established a stellar career as an in-demand songwriter. As well as commissions for film, classical compositions, and a Tate exhibition, she co-wrote Little Things with Ed Sheeran, a 2012 No.1 single for One Direction. Last year, Bevan wrote, recorded and toured with jazz vocalist Gwyneth Herbert. Reviewing the show in London, The Guardian wrote “Bevan took us on startling odysseys that suggested Erykah Badu, Joanna Newsom and Kate Bush spine-tinglingly joined”. Most recently, Bevan was in Los Angeles co-writing with Grammy Award-winning producer John Shanks.

As befits someone related to Robert Louis Stevenson, Bevan grew up immersed in books. She began writing poetry aged 8 and joined her first band at 15. A regular on the thriving, DIY singer-songwriter circuit, she hosts a regular night at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston (the next event is on Weds 5th March). Bevan has also supported many of her friends and peers including Nick Mulvey, Lianne La Havas, Sam Lee, and John Smith, plus the aforementioned Gwyneth Herbert and Ed Sheeran.

Friday
Feb072014

Chris Garneau to release 'Winter Games' on April 21

Album release: Winter Games by Chris Garneau
Release date: April 21 2014
Label: Clouds Hill Recording
Listen: on Soundcloud 

"As a writer he has the deadpan playfulness of Bill Callahan and a delicate tenor voice that recalls Sufjan Stevens. The wistfulness masks beautiful melodies…"- Uncut

“Chris hints at hope throughout the excellent Music For Tourists, not to mention a classically keen sense for composition (enter Rufus) and Buckley in the voicebox, both in his breathy and vibrato fueled moments” - Stereogum

“Garneau relies on minimal instrumentation -- a smattering of piano and cello, to go with his dangerously beautiful voice -- and the result is a chilling disquiet” - NPR song of the day

"The singer-songwriter Chris Garneau’s fanciful and ornate compositions are haunted with melancholia and a dreamlike innocence; his falsetto voice often dances over staccato piano notes accompanied by sorrowful violin and pastoral cello parts." - The New Yorker

"With a voice equal parts tender, warm, and haunting, Chris Garneau is like the male version of Regina Spektor (with a bit of Sufjan Stevens thrown in). With each song, you're taken on an emotional rollercoaster, and you enjoy the ride, going from celebration to sadness, nostalgia to hope." - Nylon

When Chris Garneau started working on "Winter Games" five years ago, he had a simple premise in mind: exploring the frostbitten season through secondhand story lines. Not long-forgotten memories of merriment and myrrh so much as the many ways smothered sunrises and blanketed windowsills manipulate our moods and tighten―or in some cases, altogether undo ―our family ties.

The first two tracks Garneau wrote (simply titled "Winter Song 1" and Winter Song 2" despite being much denser lyrically) weren't just about seeing ghosts or sinking one's teeth into piles of freshly packed snow. They also delved into such dark topics as abuse, incest, and neglect. Things only got deeper from there, too, transcending the singer's original concept with minor-keyed tales of hastily drained happiness, unheeded warnings, and swift mood swings.

"This record isn't about trivial shit" explains Garneau. "It's about why love doesn't happen right, how your person is shaped in the early stages of life. It's about defeating parental abandonment, sexual abuse, or family rejection. It's about people who struggle well, what it means to have those things happen to you as a child and play out later in life"

And yet Winter Games isn't a downer. In its own twisted way, it's triumphant, bursting at the seams with Garneau's barebones melodies and the richly woven arrangements of CJ Camerieri and Rob Moose―perfectly paced orchestrations that parallel their work on Bon Iver's GRAMMY-winning debut as a full-blooded group.

"It's magical really," explains Garneau, referring to the pair's collaborative process. "They don't write anything down; I direct things to a certain degree, then they take over and get this big sound from only the two of them."

In many ways, "Winter Games" is the music Garneau's been trying to make since he was a lonesome kid who competed in Parisian piano competitions and happened to be on a last name basis with Beethoven, Debussy and Brahms. Garneau had to endure years of personal and creative growth first, however, as he found his voice as a songwriter and expanded his record collection well past the familiar environs of classical and jazz. That includes everything from the otherworldly pop songs of Tori Amos and the alien harmonies of the Cocteau Twins to the devastating confessionals of Cat Power, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith. Not to mention one of Garneau's biggest influences, Nina Simone, whose music he fondly remembers figure skating to ― in his socks, mind you ―around the family living room.

"I trusted myself on this record," says Garneau, "and it forced me to go well past my boundaries. I wanted to get away from clean and tight, to make things big and loose and free. Form can be really important but I also wanted to just play music. In the past, I always focused on the 'song' first. For the first time, this record is me. That's all I know."

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