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

Festival announcement: ATP Iceland
Festival date: 2 - 4 July 2015
More info:
Watch: ATP Iceland 2014 Wrap-up video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Andrea Balency releases new single, Simone on 18 May

Single release: Simone by Andrea Balency
Release date: 18 May 2015
More info:

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

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

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

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

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


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


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Dearly Beloved to support Swervedriver

Tour announcement: Dearly Beloved on tour with Swervedriver
Tour dates: May 2015
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Dearly Beloved are almost continually on the road. The Canadian group recently hit Germany with Dark Horses, before leaping on board July Talk's tour bus for an Austrian jaunt.

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

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

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The Velvet Teen to release new album All Is Illusory

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

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

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

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

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

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Colder  announces new single Turn Your Back

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

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

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

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


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

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Anuryzm new album All Is Not For All


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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The Classical re-release Diptych on 31 July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Richard Thompson releases new album STILL on 29 June

Album release: Still by Richard Thompson
Release date: 29 June 2015
Label: Proper records
More info / listen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Tour dates:

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Postcards From Jeff release debut album 'Modern Language'


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Heartless Bastards to release new album on 15 June

Heartless Bastards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 - Lifetime Achievement


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press reaction to date 

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

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Rush release their 14 Mercury albums in 2015

Alum Release: Rush
Release Date: 2015
Label: Mercury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Terrace release debut album ‘We Fall Together’ on 1 June


Album Release: "We Fall Together" by Terrace
Release Date: 1 June 2015
More Information / listen:

Simon Lock formed Terrace in 2010 with intent that Terrace will make music that doesn't obey the fickle music "scene". Too many sub genres confuse the palate and create short lived trends. Instead, why not make music that can reference the past, lighten the future and live in the present? 

"As a band, we have one main goal, which is... to create and play unpretentious dance music that pays no attention to current fads. Rather than follow the rest of the herd, we pull strongly from our deep roots in House Music, Techno, Funk, Disco, Brit Pop, Post Punk, and Ambient and throw it all together in one ear pleasing mix." 

"We infuse every song with our deep passion for music and really focus on making the track unique. It has to remind you of all the things you love about music."

With the release of their first single "Cote d' Azur" in November 2014 the band plans to release their first full length album with the new line up by Spring 2015.

Terrace the band is Simon Lock (Vox, Guitar, keyboard, drum programming), Kalani Polson (Drums, Percussion) Alex Cooper (Guitar, Keys, Backing Vox).

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The Complete American Recordings of Johnny Cash

Album release: Complete American Recordings by Johnny Cash
Release date: 11 May 2015
Label: USM

USM are proud to present the Johnny Cash American Recordings LP boxed set, a classic black box housing all studio albums released between 1994 and 2010 on 180gm vinyl. 

American Recordings is the 81st album by the country singer Johnny Cash after he was approached by producer Rick Rubin and offered a contract with Rubin's American Recordings label, better known for rap and heavy metal than for country music. Under Rubin's supervision, he recorded the album in his living room, accompanied only by his guitar.  His successful collaboration with Rick Rubin was in part due to Rubin seeking a minimalist sound for his songs. The album was hailed by critics and many declared it to be Cash's finest album since the late 1960s, while his versions of songs by more modern artists such as Tom Waits and Glenn Danzig helped to bring him a new audience. 

American Recordings received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album of the Year at the 1994 Grammy Awards.  In 2003, the album was ranked number 364 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Unchained is the second album in Johnny Cash's American Recording series and contains songs by Tom Petty ("Southern Accents"), Soundgarden ("Rusty Cage") and Beck ("Rowboat"). Unchained received a Grammy for Best Country Album and Cash was nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his version of “Rusty Cage”. American III: Solitary Man was notable for being Cash's highest charting solo studio LP since his 1976 One Piece at a Time. Between Unchained and Solitary Man, Cash's health declined due to various ailments, and he was even hospitalised for pneumonia. 

American IV: The Man Comes Around is the fourth album in the American series by Johnny Cash and his 87th overall, released in 2002.  This is the last album released before his death in 2003.  The majority of songs are covers which Cash performs in his own sparse style, with help from producer Rick Rubin. For the song "Personal Jesus", Rubin asked then-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style. 

American V: A Hundred Highways is the 93rd overall album and a posthumous title by Johnny Cash released on July 4, 2006.  The liner notes of “Unearthed”, a box set composed of outtakes from the first four entries into the series, claim "around 50" songs were recorded during the American V sessions before Cash's death on September 12, 2003.  However, only two albums worth of material were released, including American VI: Ain't No Grave, which was released in February 2010. 

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Debut album from White Reaper out July 17

Album release: "White Reaper Does It Again" by White Reaper
Release date: 17 July 2015
Label: Polyvinyl
More information / listen on: White Reaper website

Like everything White Reaper does, the band’s trajectory from regional act renowned for its high-intensity shows to national touring group was accomplished at the speed of 0 to 60. “We went all over the country and grew our hair out a little bit,” says guitarist/singer Tony Esposito about the past year spent on the road with the likes of Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests, and more.

After signing to Polyvinyl in early 2014 and releasing a self-titled EP that blasts through six tracks in a breakneck 15 minutes, the Reapers — Esposito, keyboardist Ryan Hater, bassist Sam Wilkerson, and drummer Nick Wilkerson — soon began working on new material to fill out their set.

Enter White Reaper Does It Again: a raucous debut full-length from a bunch of barely 20-somethings who have more fun on a Tuesday night than you do on a Saturday. Recorded in White Reaper’s hometown of Louisville, KY, with engineer Kevin Ratterman (Young Widows, Coliseum), WRDIA is a pure rock ’n’ roll adrenaline shot: vicious guitar scratches, elastic bass, sugary keyboard leads, and a thudding drums that will inevitably give your heartbeat a new rhythm.

Opening track/lead single “Make Me Wanna Die” counts off to detonation before quickly ensnaring the listener in a melodic force field of fuzz and distortion, highlighted by Hater's bright keyboard tones sending out signal flares through the haze. Esposito’s punk snarl takes centre stage on “I Don’t Think She Cares,” a two-minute ripper that romps and stomps like a certain girl on a certain guy’s heart.

Far from pausing to take a breath, the record’s b-side is just as eager to accommodate those with a beer in one hand and a limitless fount of energy to burn. Take “Sheila,” a track that displays thinly veiled restrained on its verses before exploding in a thrashing chorus over which the titular name is shouted gleefully.

As with their previous material, before entering the studio Esposito put together demos of all the tracks before sending them to his bandmates to flesh out their parts. The band then held reign over Ratterman’s La La Land space for a little over a week, arriving at noon and staying late into the night — a schedule that left everyone as giddily exhausted as the crowd at, well, a White Reaper show.

Not sure what that feels like? Crank this record at full volume — and then turn it up a bit more — and you’ll find out soon enough.

Press reaction to date

  • “…the feral snarl of MC5, the itchy, rhythmic spasms of post-punk, golden-era tunefulness.”  - Pitchfork
  • “Ramshackle riffing served with delightfully disorientating synth arrangements… Ramones-inspired chaos” - NME
  • “unrelenting garage-punk outbursts” - The Line of Best Fit
  • “The fuzzy garage rock of White Reaper has an inspiring groove” - The Independent

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Town Portal release new album, 'The Occident'

Town Portal

Album release: 'The Occident' by Town Portal
Release date: 25 May 2015
Label: Small Pond Recordings
Listen / more information on: Bandcamp 

More than two years have passed since the riff-forging Danes of Town Portal released their debut album Chronopoly; a cult favorite among math connoisseurs and nerdy alt. rock fans alike, but a well-kept secret to most. May 2015 finally sees the release of the follow-up The Occident, honing familiar expressions into a refined, darker aesthetics that merges adventurous complexity with measured temperance. 

The road to this album has been long: an increasingly intense and, at times, seemingly directionless excavation of musical feedstock from the depth of three geeky minds; a group of weathered fishermen angling in the musical ocean to see what deep-sea dwellers they might pull to the surface, lest they be pulled down with them. While decrypting and rearranging the continuous haul of musical fragments reeled in, the band witnessed both the beginning and completion of an artificial alpine skiing slope and vast residential constructions now surrounding the small portable cabin in the outskirts of Copenhagen, in which the album was composed and finally recorded. The challenge however, wasn’t the lack of inspiration or vision but the abundance of ideas and ambition. Thankfully the result honors these efforts.

Where Chronopoly was an album obsessed with the abundant, the eccentric and the bombastic, The Occident expands and inverts the subject of fascination. Rather than fixating a gaze at the fireworks in the sky, this album toys with the magical potential of even the dullest object that, if turned to reflect the light in different ways, inspires fundamentally different perceptions. The rhythmic complexities that have come to characterize the band’s efforts are not less adventurous, but have taken on a grounded, heavily synchronized and almost tectonic quality that allows heavy head bobbing even to the most intricate of systems. The harmonies and melodies explore themes of repetition, monotony, sequence and patterns, yielding new, darker expansions of the melodic palette of the band, without ever resorting to widely favored romantic post-rock chord progressions. Instead The Occident sounds more like a record translating the influence of bands like Shiner, Hum and Polvo into a drop tuned and heavily syncopated realm of almost Meshuggah-like stringency. Rather than creating something merely alienating, the aim has been to strike the perfect balance between unpredictability and listenability and to develop narratives capable of transmitting something other than grandeur or solemnity.

The ability of instrumental music to convey readily decipherable meaning is limited. However, the context of ideas and themes in which songs are created can permeate the music, making it the carrier of more abstract notions of meaning. On Town Portal’s second album, that notion is the Occident. Not as a political comment on colonialism or as the geographical or cultural counterpart to the Orient, but as a look at our western culture through the imagined viewpoint of a cyber-archeologist in a far distant future piecing together a picture of an era from random artifacts pulled from an overflowing data ocean. A legend based as much on spam-email, pop-ups or mindfulness-pamphlets as on the cultural beacons of our time. 

The Occident was recorded by guitarist Christian Henrik Ankerstjerne and mixed/ mastered by Carl Amburn (Riddle of Steel, Traindodge, Self-Evident). It releases digitally and on vinyl through Small Pond Recordings (UK) and Subsuburban (Denmark and the rest of the world) on May 25th 2015.

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Marvin Gaye - multiformat reissues announced

Marvin Gaye 1961-1965

Reisssues: various, including vinyl box set, by Marvin Gaye
Release date: 18 May 2015
Label: Universal

Seven-LP vinyl box set Marvin Gaye 1961-1965, Individual vinyl release of Trouble Man, Blu-Ray Audio of Let’s Get It On, Double A-side vinyl 7” single of “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”/”Once Upon A Time”

One of the most iconic singers of his generation, Marvin Gaye, “The Prince of Motown,” would have been 76 years old on April 2 of this year. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Gaye was cited for his “huge contribution to soul music in general and the Motown Sound in particular…[his] classic R&B voice was edged with grit yet tempered with sweetness…[projecting] an air of soulful authority driven by fervid conviction and heartbroken vulnerability.” 

Universal Music Enterprises and Motown Records celebrate that legacy with a reissue roll-out over the next three months leading up to his birthday and beyond: two classic albums, a new digital single, a 7” vinyl single and a comprehensive, seven-LP collection. That includes a vinyl version of his 1972 Trouble Man soundtrack (February 10); two rare cuts from 1972, “Where Are We Going” and “Woman Of The World,” that were first released only as a vinyl 12” last year, when it was mixed by the original co-producer Larry Mizell, now available as a digital single for the first time (March 31); a Blu-Ray Audio, 96k/24-bit release of his 1973 chart-topping album, Let’s Get It On (April 28); and a special limited edition double A-sided 7” vinyl single of his 1965 hit, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” b/w “Once Upon A Time” with Mary Wells (April 14), when he will be honored as Motown’s iTunes Artist of the Month. In addition, a seven-album 180g vinyl box set, Marvin Gaye 1961-1965, covering the first seven albums of his remarkable career, will be released May 18th.

Known for his bold stance on racial equality and his pointed politics on albums like the legendary 1971 classic What’s Going On and intensely personal, provocative songs, it is apt that Gaye’s remarkable career should be celebrated throughout the year.

Trouble Man, the 1972 follow-up to the previous year’s What’s Going On, is a mostly instrumental, orchestral jazz-soul soundtrack to the mostly forgotten crime thriller of the same name, but its title track was a Top 10 pop hit and the album itself is credited with spawning the acid-jazz movement. Gaye recorded the album in Motown’s new home of Los Angeles. A 40th anniversary expanded edition was released in 2012 by Universal Music Enterprises that combined the soundtrack and score albums. This version of the original soundtrack will come out on 180g vinyl and will recreate the album’s original unique gatefold design.

Let’s Get It On was first released on August 28, 1973, recorded both in Detroit and Los Angeles. The album, with its combination of funk and romance, established Gaye as a romantic icon, producing three hit singles: the chart-topping title track – named by Vibe magazine as the No. 1 love songs of all time – as well as “Come Get to This” and the frisky, explicit “You Sure Love to Ball.” The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, charting for a total of 61 weeks; it was No. 1 for 11 weeks on the Soul LPs charts. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004 and was one of three Gaye albums on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” With a 5.1 Surround mix supervised by the album’s original engineer, this will be the first time it’s available in digital Blu-ray audio.

UMe will also mark the 50th anniversary of one of Gaye’s most beloved hits, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” a Top 10 pop and R&B smash in 1965, with the double A-side, “Once Upon a Time,” a duet with Mary Wells that went to Top 10 R&B and Top 20 pop in the fall of 1964.  A special vinyl double-sided 7” featuring both tracks will be released in time for Record Store Day April 14.

To mark Gaye being named April’s iTunes Motown Artist of the Month, we will release a seven-vinyl-album box set, Marvin Gaye 1961-1965, featuring the first seven albums of his career, including the stereo mixes of his 1961 debut, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow (1963) and When I’m Alone I Cry (1964), for the first time ever in the LP format. The collection also includes Hello Broadway…This Is Marvin (1964); Together, his 1964 album of duets with Mary Wells; How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You (1965), and A Tribute to the Great Nat “King” Cole (1965).  The release is the first of three planned vinyl box sets which will encompass the breadth of Gaye’s career.

The singer/songwriter’s first solo hit, "Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” was released in September ‘62, reaching #8 on the Billboard R&B chart and #46 on the Hot 100, appearing on the album of a similar name which came out the following year. Gaye also had a hit with the dance song, "Hitch Hike,” from the same album, peaking at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as his first Top 10 single with "Pride and Joy."

In 1964, Gaye’s duet album with Mary Wells, Together, peaked at #42 on the Billboard pop album chart. The album's two-sided single, "Once Upon a Time" and "What's the Matter with You Baby,” each reached the Top 20. Marvin’s next solo hit, "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” the title track to the 1965 album, written for him by Holland-Dozier-Holland, reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Top 50 in the UK.

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Inner Tongue: "Tz, Ka" EP release

Inner Tongue

EP release: "Tz, Ka" by Inner Tongue
Release date: 1 June 2015
Listen / more information: on Inner Tongue Soundcloud page

What does a musician do when they’re forced to spend months in absolute, total silence? In the case of Inner Tongue, they simply continue on as before: writing lyrics, harmonies and melodies, working on perfect beats, all the time unsure how, when – or indeed whether – the individual components will ever be combined. Fortunately, on this occasion we can skip straight to a happy ending: in May 2015, Inner Tongue releases his debut EP, "Tz, Ka".

A project undertaken by one man in his mid twenties, Inner Tongue offers the sound of victory over an uncertain future: in 2013, its exponent was diagnosed with a vocal cord disorder so severe that only a handful of specialists throughout the entire world were capable of treating it at all. Still, given that the gift of a voice is sacred to a musician, he worked day and night to raise the funds necessary to pay for the required operation, and, after the procedure, embarked on a protracted period of silence. With this, inevitably, came the unbearable uncertainty of not knowing whether he’d ever be able to use his voice as he once had. 

“Until the first follow-up appointment,” Inner Tongue explains, “I hid myself in total silence in my apartment. I was totally depressed, and refused to write any music. But somehow I was drawn from my sofa to my piano, and tried to overcome my fear. So I decided to modify my musical focus temporarily by writing songs which could produce a melodic tension without vocals, but which featured the traits of forward-looking pop music. What emerged came from an entirely new perspective. It was as if someone had pressed a reset button on the musical identity I had of myself." 

Eight months after the operation, Inner Tongue was at last able to use his voice fully, and it turned out that not only is his unlikely history sensational, but also his talent. Working in his current home base of Vienna amid a thriving electronic scene – though he finds as much inspiration in the quiet serenity of the mountains as in the hustle and bustle of the city – the all-rounder wrote and produced his songs alone, before gathering musician friends around him to arrange them. (Even his videos, conceived with an ambitious sense of his overall artistic vision, are made with close allies on his own initiative.) Having recorded the tracks, he then travelled around the world in pursuit of vital finishing touches, calling upon Matt Boynton (MGMT, Kurt Vile etc.) in New York, and, especially, John Catlin (Foals, Warpaint, The Naked And Famous etc.) in London. 

The resulting work combines the lightness of touch that distinguishes Death Cab For Cutie, the heartfelt perfection found in SOHN’s sonic realms, and the intuition evident in Chet Faker. ‘Fallen Empire’ cleverly knits deft, nonchalant beats with elements that at times recall James Blake, while ‘Tz Ka’ boasts delicacy and astonishing depth. The EP’s standout track, however is undeniably ‘Somebody Knows It’: opening with a ballad-like piano, it’s soon reinforced by subdued drums and floating synths, and by the time his gentle, vulnerable voice appears, it’s clear that something extraordinary is happening. Remarkably, furthermore, ‘Somebody Knows It’ worked on the very first take. “That was a really emotional moment for me,” Inner Tongue recalls with pleasure. “Until then I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever sing my own songs again."

Bright and dreamy, though often undercut by the presence of a dark, almost physical bass, the soundscape of Inner Tongue’s songs is always harmonious, but nonetheless flirts constantly with discord. His lyrics, too, offer a tremendously reflective intensity, that fragile voice delivering them through a meditative pulse of restrained, intelligent beats. Classifying such hypnotic, understated pop isn’t easy, but the result is a small miracle, and the lust for life unleashed by the successful realisation of Inner Tongue’s creativity penetrates his restraint with a tranquil but substantial force. As the video for ‘Fallen Empire’ illustrates so beautifully, he’s not afraid to make his own rules. Whether the joy is in the game or the victory, however, is anybody’s guess.

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Goldsmack release debut EP

EP release: 'Wild Season' by Goldsmack
Release date: 11 May 2015
More information / listen on: official website

To define Goldsmack, just imagine that Love, Bruce Haack, The Velvet Underground and Nico teamed up to compose a song for a Disney classic. They are a psychedelic power pop trio of gold-scented, gold junkies, created to bring discord and entropy into the world of pop music with a sound that is soft and electric; quirky and genuine; super serious and absolutely whimsical.  

Dave Tebaldi, Georgia Minelli and Luca Bagatti are childhood friends who started a band in the single most beautiful and boring place on earth; that is the small village, situated in the gentle hills of northern Italy. As most kids who live in isolated places they approached music with much hunger and senseless ambition. The isolation also provided them with countless hours to be dedicated to reading, fighting, rehearsing, playing cards with the village’s elderly and most of all… imagining, fantasizing and dreaming. It is from this point of view that the Goldsmack project has to be interpreted. It is the fruit of dreaming and isolation, and it refers not as much to real gold, but rather to an alchemical sort of gold, a chimera, a potent drug…a prismatic, paradoxical thought that becomes circular and obsessive. We could say that all of us are chasing Goldsmack and we are doing it our own way.

'Wild Season' wants to symbolize a sort of Rite of Passage into a New Era. It is a concept album that traces the impossible triangle between Love, Money and Spiritual Enlightenment. All the songs are symbolically charged and these symbols, instead of being covert or slightly hidden are proposed in an almost excessive way, every song proposes a riddle, a paradox to be solved, and does so with the whimsical attitude of Trivial Pursuit but with the seriousness of a life/death deal.


  1. Good Morning Star
  2. A Wild Wild Season
  3. Rites Of Spring
  4. Kids with Guns
  5. Of Human Bondage


Georgia Minelli (vocals) // Luca Bagatti (bass guitar, keyboards, back vocals) // Davide Tebaldi (guitars).

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