IDLES new single out now

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Single release: 'Great' by IDLES
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Following the single's debut with Steve Lamacq on 6 Music (listen to recent session here) and ahead of a live performance for Annie Mac on Radio 1, IDLES have shared another new song off their much-anticipated new LP ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance,’ out 31st August via Partisan.

'Great' is a pro-immigration black comedy (“Islam didn’t eat your hamster/change isn’t a crime”) as well as a scathing confrontation of the Brexit/Trump era. The song is accompanied by a music video (directed by Theo Watkins), which you can watch here.

Singer Joe Talbot says of the track: “Let us go forward with open minds and open hearts into that fuck off fire we've started. No blame, no hate. Just love and a blue passport.”

‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ bluntly addresses everything from toxic masculinity, immigration, racism, nationalism + more. The band are able to channel those weighty subjects though pure positivity and even biting humor. 

Earlier this month IDLES also announced an art exhibition to celebrate the release of their album. Open for two days on 30 and 31 August, between 12pm and 8pm, and curated by the band, the exhibition will take place at: HM Electrics Gallery, 65 Nile Street, London N1 7RD

The gallery will contain 18 pieces of work across several mediums. All proceeds going to the Samaritans charity. Watch the exhibition trailer here.

Watch IDLES on News At Ten

The band have also announced a run of live in-store dates around the album:

30 Aug UK London, Banquet Records, 9pm
31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 3pm
31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 7pm
03 Sep UK Portsmouth, Pie and Vinyl, 1pm
03 Sep UK Brighton, Resident, 6.30pm
04 Sep UK London, Rough Trade East, 7pm
05 Sep UK Sheffield, Record Junkee, 1pm
05 Sep UK Nottingham, Rough Trade, 7.30pm
06 Sep UK Leeds, Crash Records, 1pm
06 Sep UK Manchester, FOPP, 5.30pm
07 Sep UK Cardiff, Spiller Records, 7pm

'Great' is the fourth song to be released from IDLES's much-anticipated upcoming album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance'. Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan & Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush), The album takes aim at everything from nationalism and immigration to class inequality - all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity. Singer Joe Talbot summarises: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

Read Joe’s full statement on the album’s inspiration and origins here

Watch the video for album opener 'Colossus' 

This autumn, IDLES will embark on their first ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner yet at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18th October. Their last London headliner, at Heaven, sold out nearly six months in front. Tickets are on sale now here

Watch the video for anthemic single 'Danny Nedelko'

"IDLES might just be the best live guitar band in Europe." - The Quietus

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Paul Smith new album out 26 October 2018

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Album release: 'Diagrams' by Paul Smith
Release date: 26 October 2018
Label: Billingham Records
More info: Artist website

Paul Smith returns this October with a brand-new album 'Diagrams', a release that strips bare his work to this point and ploughs fresh songwriting pathways. Now onto his fourth record as a solo artist, the Maxïmo Park frontman continues to sharpen his skills via a keenness to step out of his comfort-zone, and an ever-present desire to digest culture in all its forms. Newly announced single 'Silver Rabbit' conjures a story of self-doubt, set against the low-budget romance of the seaside, and channelled through overdriven guitars. Listen to 'Silver Rabbit' here.

With each Paul Smith release we expect an evolvement, and on 'Diagrams' he remains committed towards expanding the parameters of his songwriting. From the anthemia of his debut solo outing 'Margins' (2010) to the exploratory minimalistic jazz of his Peter Brewis (Field Music) collaborative album 'Frozen By Sight' (2014) and the spirited, guitar pop record that was 'Contradictions' (2015), 'Diagrams' sets its stall out as a vivid and complex album that binds the obscure and the everyday, searching for romance under stones that not many songwriters would think to turn over.

“It's a punchy song where the self-doubt and regret in the lyrics is mirrored by the musical tension that develops as it goes along. I grew up in the grunge era, so this has echoes of that sound but with my own romantic view of everyday life.” – Paul Smith

Alongside co-producer Andrew Hodson, of 6 Music favourites, Warm Digits, he charts a course into the yearning, melancholic jangle-pop of The Go-Betweens, finding himself drawn to the literate, grunge-pop of The Lemonheads, to build a cohesive collection that pulls in his many strengths.

'Diagrams' is a collection that further cements Smith’s reputation as a revered songwriter and lyricist, whose skills continue to find new avenues through which to develop.

Pre-order the album here.

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Lonely The Brave new singer and live 13 October 2018

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New singer and live date announcement: Lonely The Brave
Live date: 13 October 2018
More info: Band website

Lonely The Brave - one of Britain’s most successful rock bands of the last few years, boasting two Rock Chart #1 albums – are today announcing the arrival of new vocalist Jack Bennett, a name more than familiar to the rock world for his solo work under the name Grumble Bee.

After the departure of co-founder and vocalist David Jakes earlier this year due to health reasons, Lonely The Brave stood together, supporting their friend but adamant that as one door was closing, they would very soon be opening a new one. They never stopped writing, never stopped creating, and instead started the search for a vocal talent that they could stand side by side with in their march toward album number three.

A short search led them to the door of Jack Bennett, and an instant connection was made as they traded stories, ideas and inspirations. He is noted for his strong and emotionally wrought vocal performances - qualities that have come to define the band’s live show - so it is with some excitement that their first live outing together is announced to take place at Omeara, London, on October 13th. Tickets will be available here and go on general sale from 9am Friday, August 17th. This will be a special headline show with no support act and an early 10pm curfew, so be sure to get down early to avoid disappointment.

The band had this to say about Jack’s arrival;

We don’t know where to start with everything that has happened over the last 12 Months or so, so first of all we all want to say thank you to every single one of you that has messaged us with your support during this period. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and your continued words of encouragement really have helped galvanise our belief that this band has so much more to give. It fills us with pride to say that this new chapter of our history will begin in earnest on the 13th October. The show is our way of thanking every single one of you for standing by us and understanding that this is a continuation; that the songs really are the most important part.

We hope to see friends old and new on the 13th

With love
Lonely The Brave

Join the band as they pen a new chapter together.

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Glen Frey and JD Souther album out 28 September 2018

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Album release: Longbranch/Pennywhistle by Glen Frey and JD Souther
Release date: 28 September 2018
Label: Geffen/UMe

Los Angeles – August 3, 2018 – Longbranch/Pennywhistle, the legendary 1969 collaboration between late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and longstanding songwriting partner, JD Souther, will make its CD debut as well as return to vinyl for the first time in nearly 50 years on September 28 via Geffen/UMe. The album has been remastered and remixed by acclaimed producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner (Eagles, Steely Dan, Toto) and Souther. Released earlier this year as part of the Glenn Frey box set 'Above The Clouds: The Collection', the eponymous album is being made available as a standalone CD and on 180-gram black vinyl for the first time ever. Pre-order Longbranch/Pennywhistle here.  

Longbranch/Pennywhistle represented the budding essence of a songwriting team that would tap into something quite intuitively special that eventually took flight on such well-loved and enduring Eagles tracks to come such as 'Best of My Love', 'New Kid in Town', 'Heartache Tonight' and 'The Sad Café'. Agrees Souther, “Longbranch/Pennywhistle gives you some sort of foundation for what’s to come.”

Produced by Tom Thacker, Longbranch/Pennywhistle boasts an impressive list of top-tier collaborators including rockabilly guitar legend James Burton, slide maestro Ry Cooder, pedal-steel legend Buddy Emmons, Wrecking Crew pianist Larry Knechtel, session drummer Jim Gordon, bass master Joe Osborn, and fiddle player nonpareil Doug Kershaw.

A second album was never cut and the band subsequently broke up. Frey went on to co-found the Eagles, occasionally with Souther’s songwriting pen and vocal harmonies in tow, while Souther mainly focused on a successful solo career (“You’re Only Lonely,”) and the occasional duet with the likes of James Taylor (“Her Town, Too”) and Linda Ronstadt (“Prisoner In Disguise”), in addition to authoring signature hits interpreted by the likes of Dixie Chicks (“I’ll Take Care Of You”) that yet again served to redefine the country genre.

Forever intertwined together in Longbranch/Pennywhistle, Souther and Frey will always represent the pioneering So Cal-transplanted songwriting duo who opened the door on a genre that ultimately knows no limits. Songs like album standouts 'Kite Woman' and 'Run, Boy, Run' serve as the literal seeds of the country-rock movement Frey and the Eagles perfected to a T.

“Glenn Frey was my roommate, best friend, and first songwriting partner in Los Angeles,” Souther says. “We knew we were onto something original, as are most young musicians, including our soon-to-be friends and collaborators Jackson Browne and Don Henley; but quite honestly, we were just trying to do our best work in a very competitive environment. If in doing that we evolved a new architecture of some sort, fine, but remember we were all listening carefully to each other and to the giants before and among us. We listened to Miles, Hank Williams, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Trane, Bach, Cole Porter, Tim Hardin, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and Carole King to name a few. We always said that if you want to make great music you should listen to great music. This album was our freshman project."

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IDLES pop-up art exhibition 30/31 August 2018

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Exhibition: Pop-up art exhibition to raise money for Samaritans
Date: 30/31 August 2018
More info: Band website

  • IDLES announce pop-up art exhibition to raise money for Samaritans
  • Live in-store dates to promote the new album
  • First ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner

IDLES have announced an art exhibition to celebrate the release of their second album 'Joy as an Act of Resistance' out on Partisan Records. Pre-order the album here.

Open for two days, between 12pm and 8pm, and curated by the band, the exhibition will take place at HM Electrics Gallery, 65 Nile St, London N1 7RD

The gallery will contain 18 pieces of work across several mediums, with contributions from:

  • Orlando Weeks
  • Nigel Talbot
  • Tao Lapsley
  • Russell Oliver
  • Robin Stewart
  • Tom Ham
  • Dapper Signs
  • Chris Nicholls
  • Ed Barrett
  • Beth Cater

The gallery will be free entry and artwork on display available to buy, with all proceeds going to the Samaritans charity. Watch the IDLES gallery video here.

The band have also announced a run of live in-store dates around the album:

  • 30 Aug UK London, Banquet Records, 9pm
  • 31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 3pm
  • 31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 7pm
  • 03 Sep UK Portsmouth, Pie and Vinyl, 1pm
  • 03 Sep UK Brighton, Resident, 6.30pm
  • 04 Sep UK London, Rough Trade East, 7pm
  • 05 Sep UK Sheffield, Record Junkee, 1pm
  • 05 Sep UK Nottingham, Rough Trade, 7.30pm
  • 06 Sep UK Leeds, Crash Records, 1pm
  • 06 Sep UK Manchester, FOPP, 5.30pm
  • 07 Sep UK Cardiff, Spiller Records, 7pm

Last week the band shared further new material in a searing takedown of toxic masculinity entitled 'Samaritans'. A live favourite for sometime, the Theo Watkins directed music video compiles archival clips displaying traditional masculine imagery. The FADER writes: ""The mask of masculinity is a mask that's wearing me," sings front man Joe Talbot over the top of a tight and anxiety-laced guitar riff. It's the third single... and one of their most confrontational songs to date." Listen/watch here and feel free to share.

Speaking of the song’s message, front man Joe Talbot says:

"There's been a long line of bullshit that has pushed men into a corner, where simple masking becomes a trope of masculinity and a catalyst for insanity. What we wear, what we eat, what razor we use, high performance chewing gum, go faster shampoo, how we treat women, how we treat ourselves, how we die. I truly believe that masculinity has gone from an evolution of cultural praxis to a disease. I wanted to encourage a conversation about gender roles by writing this song."

'Samaritans' is the third song to be released from IDLES's much-anticipated upcoming album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance'. Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan & Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush), The album takes aim at everything from nationalism and immigration to class inequality - all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity. Singer Joe Talbot summarises: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

  • Read Joe’s full statement on the album’s inspiration and origins here.
  • Watch the video for album opener 'Colossus' here.

This autumn, IDLES will embark on their first ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner yet at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18th October. Their last London headliner, at Heaven, sold out nearly six months in front. Tickets are on sale now here.

  • Watch the video for pro-immigration anthem and current single 'Danny Nedelko' here.

"IDLES might just be the best live guitar band in Europe." - The Quietus

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Gomez UK Tour August - September 2018

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Tour announcement: Gomez
Tour dates: August September 2018
More info: Band website

  • Guestlist for new tour dates available on request. Contact Ellie at Prescription PR

Due to the huge success of their Spring UK tour, Gomez will be returning this August and September to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their Mercury Prize winning record 'Bring It On'. UMC have also released a super deluxe box set containing: 35 previously unreleased tracks. The collection features 25 demos & 13 songs never released in any form by Gomez, including covers of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend” and “T-Bone Walker’s Mean Old World” plus the band’s 1998 Glastonbury performance and BBC sessions. 

Package includes a 10,000-word essay by journalist Paul Stokes, with new interviews with the band and those close to them. Red & Yellow coloured vinyl edition are available + Standard black vinyl edition both in gatefold packaging.

U.K. fans - For sold out shows, please note that Gomez have appointed Twickets as their official ticket resale partner. Twickets enables fans to trade tickets for gigs at face value and helps fans avoid exploitation and overpricing on secondary ticketing platforms.

“No other record captures that period so perfectly,” says Elbow’s Guy Garvey. “The concerns of the songs. The stories, the experimental sounds. It was so brave for a band to record themselves at that time: it allowed a direct and undiluted account of the band as aspirational, big-hearted friends in love with making music and each other. It dared us to record ourselves. But they did it first. It’s the most deserving recipient of the Mercury Prize in its history: a breathlessly ambitious and lovingly crafted masterpiece. It should be called Bring It 'The Fuck' On.”

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Gomez’s Mercury Music Prize winning debut album, Bring It On has been re-mastered and reissued as a super-deluxe 4CD with an accompanying remastered double LP release. The 4CD 20th Anniversary edition of 'Bring It On' contains the original, classic album remastered by Frank Arkwright @ Abbey Road studios and 35 previously unreleased tracks including 25 demos (recorded between January 1996 and August 1997) - 13 of which are appearing on an official Gomez release for the first time.

The band have played the album in its entirety this Spring on their UK & Ireland tour, then going on to Australian and US dates.

Twenty years on, the debut album by Gomez sounds not of its time, but ahead of its time. You can hear its echoes in so much of the music that followed it: not just in Elbow, but in any artist who heard Bring it On and realised the possibilities of combining indie and roots music with lo-fidelity electronics: a modern experimental sensibility with a love of the past. 'Bring It On' was an album that synthesised styles in a way that seemed remarkable then, and now sounds utterly unforced and contemporary. Where so many of its contemporaries sound completely of their time, Bring It On sounds as if it could have come out to equal acclaim at any point over the past 20 years. It’s a record that thoroughly merits its expanded 20th anniversary edition.

'Bring it On' sounds as if it's been made by kids who’ve been exploring the outer expanses of Spotify, scouring it for unlikely sources, rather than four lads in a Southport garage, and the fella they met at university. Though, in a way, 'Bring It On' is the pre-streaming version of that very process, bringing together all the five members’ tastes, without ever allowing one style to dominate. You can hear their love of so much different music: Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, Prince, Talking Heads, Johnny Cash, Portishead, The Chemical Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, jazz and folk and indie and the West Coast and classic rock. Between them, Ian Ball, Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray, Paul Blackburn and Olly Peacock created something that was far more than the sum of its parts.

In 1998, of course, it sounded revolutionary. “Gomez came along at exactly the right moment,” says the DJ Steve Lamacq, who championed the band on his Radio 1 show. “After Britpop had collapsed in on itself, there was a massive hole on the Evening Session, waiting to be filled. But what we found was, people reacting against the commerciality of the Britpop wave and heading off on all sorts of strange tangents. The audience was really receptive to sounds that maybe wouldn’t have fitted in a few years earlier.”

Gomez hadn’t even recorded with the intention of making an album, which is perhaps why it sounds so unforced. The basis of the album was seven tracks recorded on an ancient four-track recorder. The band’s label, Hut, had to use the home recordings – for practical reasons. “They couldn’t recreate those recordings because they’d done them in one of their dad’s garages on the four-track, and just after they’d finished doing the last one the thing broke,” says Hut’s David Boyd. “So we decided it needed a little bit of mixing and embellishment, but not a lot, and they trotted off to Liverpool to do the touch-ups, but to all intents and purposes that was 'Bring It On'.”

In Liverpool, engineer Ken Nelson awaited them, and helped them turn those seven tracks into a whole album. “They’d have an idea and would look to me to make it work,” Nelson says. “Their home-learned skills transferred well to the studio and I believe we learned so much from each other. I’d never worked with a band who were so creative before: it was truly exciting for me.”

The spectacular results had an immediate impact and influence, Chris Martin admired 'Bring It On' so much that Coldplay hired Ken Nelson to produce their first album (he went on to produce three for them). Indeed, without some of Gomez’s freewheeling influence, it's much harder to imagine the British music scene making a comfortable home for the innovating likes of Alt-J, Everything Everything & Field Music, or across the pond where subsequent harmony bands blending indie, antifolk and art rock have thrived.

'Bring It On' went on to win 1998’s Mercury Music Prize, beating Pulp, Massive Attack, Cornershop and The Verve, the judges describing the album as "an intriguing blend of swamp blues, bar-room rock and eerie power".

'Bring It On' remains the album Gomez are best known for in the UK, but it was only the starting point for a spectacular career. The band built audiences internationally, especially in the US and Australia. In the States, in particular, Gomez have become bigger and bigger, with their two most recent albums, 'A New Tide' (2009) and 'Whatever’s on Your Mind' (2011), becoming the highest-charting records of their career.

But 'Bring It On' remains the landmark: The introduction to their singular nature. Hence the deluxe reissue. Hence the anniversary tour in the Spring on which many of the shows – including an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall – sold out in moments. Hence more tour dates being added this August and September. Twenty years later? Once again, bring it on.

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Mozes and the Firstborn new single out now

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Single release: 'Hello' by Mozes and the Firstborn
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

“We grow and develop by challenging ourselves: By taking risks that make us prone to failure, but also to success and achievement. It’s easy to get by in the good times. It’s in the rocky moments that we finds ourselves vulnerable and in the spotlight, pushed to our limits and forced to discover who we really are – even if that means stumbling a few times before we regain balance. Dynamic, vivacious, and driving, Mozes and the Firstborn’s 'Hello' is an emphatic endorsement of stepping outside our comfort zones and asserting ourselves.” – Atwood Magazine

Since the Californian label Burger Records released their self-titled debut album in 2014, the band has embarked on international tours with The Growlers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and together PANGEA, crisscrossing the United States and Europe. In 2016 the band released 'Great Pile of Nothing', a more introvert and mellow LP.

Over the past year the Eindhoven-based Mozes and the Firstborn have been recording new tunes for their third full-length album. Embracing the feel of a mixtape, they blend their favorite styles and genres into an intriguing conglomeration of songs. The band has worked with a number of producers, including producer/mixer Chris Coady (Beach House, Slowdive) and Roland Cosio (together PANGEA, Fuzz).

'Hello' is all about stepping out of our comfort zone and overcoming fears and other obstacles in our lives. Filmed by Mart Beek, the song’s music video is the quintessence of going the distance, a single-shot film of Melle Dielesen running in a marathon while singing – and, at times, smoking a cigarette.

“I wrote ‘Hello’ for my little sister to tell her she needs to get out of her comfort zone a little more,” Dielesen says. “A couple of weeks ago I realised I ought to practice what I preach. Recording a video during a marathon while smoking a cigarette seemed like a good start. I’m growing. The band is growing: Doing things that seem scary and irrational in your head make sense if you actually put them to practice. Every day we should try something we’ve never tried before. Go out into the world and say Hello. It’ll probably turn out all right. And if it doesn’t? Hey, you’ll have a good story to tell.”

It’s not about succeeding; it’s about setting yourself up for greatness. You “have to show something of yourself from time to time and dare to say hello,” Dielesen reflects. If we’re not pushing ourselves, we’re stagnant – a passive state that’s far too easy to get used to. Thankfully, we now have a provocative song and video like “Hello” to keep up the momentum when our legs get tired, and we slow down. Raucaus and energetic, Mozes and the Firstborn’s latest release is a garage-y explosion that promises to brighten your day.

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Black Belt Eagle Scout debut album out 14 September 2018

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Album release: 'Mother of My Children' by Black Belt Ealge Scout
Release date: 14 September 2018
Label: Saddle Creek
More info: Artist website

“Having this identity—radical indigenous queer feminist—keeps me going. My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman.” - Katherine Paul (aka KP) is Black Belt Eagle Scout

Recorded in the middle of winter near her hometown in Northwest Washington, Paul’s connection to the landscape’s eerie beauty are palpable throughout as the album traces the full spectrum of confronting buried feelings and the loss of what life was supposed to look like. Paul reflects, “I wrote this album in the fall of 2016 after two pretty big losses in my life. My mentor, Geneviève Castrée, had just died from pancreatic cancer and the relationship I had with the first woman I loved had drastically lessened and changed.” Heavy and heartbroken, Paul found respite from the weight of such loss in the creation of these songs that “are about grief and love for people, but also about being a native person in what is the United States today.”

Listen to the new single 'Soft Stud' here.

On 'Mother of My Children', the songs weave together to capture both the enduring and fleeting experiences of loss, frustration, and dreaming. The structures are traditional, but the lyrics don’t adhere to any format other than what feels right in the moment. Mother of My Children begins with lead single 'Soft Stud,' which Paul describes as her “queer anthem.” It’s “about the hardships of queer desire within an open relationship.”

“It’s is a sprawling six minutes that feels surprisingly compact, tight nerves and circuitous guitars and muddy drums building and breaking” - Stereogum

'Indians Never Die,' a call out to colonisers and those who don’t respect the Earth, follows. As Standing Rock was happening, many people in Paul’s life were coming together to fight for the most basic necessity to sustain human life: water. “Our treaty rights weren’t being honored. Imagine hearing on the news that the government doesn’t support you as a human being and never has. They don’t care about the water, they don’t care about how they are destroying what is around them. Indigenous people are the protectors of this land. Indians never die because this is our land that we will forever protect in the present and the afterlife.”

Paul grew up in a small Indian reservation, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, surrounded by family focused on native drumming, singing, and arts. From an early age, Paul was singing and dancing at powwows with one of her strongest memories at her family’s own powwow, called the All My Relations Powwow. Paul reminisces, “When I was younger, my only form of music was through the songs my ancestors taught the generations of my family. Singing in our language is a spiritual process and it carries on through me in how I create music today.” With the support of her family and a handful of bootleg Hole and Nirvana VHS tapes, Paul taught herself how to play guitar and drums as a teenager. In 2007, she moved to Portland, Oregon to attend college and get involved with the Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls eventually diving deep into the city’s music scene playing guitar and drums in bands while evolving her artistry into what would later become Black Belt Eagle Scout.

'Mother of My Children' is a life chapter gently preserved. The access listeners have to such vulnerability feels special and generous.

Pre-order Mother of My Children:
https://BBES.lnk.to/MOMC

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Scott Matthews tour dates September - November 2018

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Tour announcement: Scott Matthews
Tour dates: September - November 2018
Label: Shedio
More info: Artist website

  • New album 'The Great Untold' out now
  • Listen to lead single 'Cinnamon' here.

There's no rest for Scott Matthews. 'After his Spring' tour earlier this year culminated in a sell-out show in Sheffield, the Ivor Novello-winning songwriter has announced new tour dates for this Autumn. Beginning in York and reaching out to places that might normally be left off the map, this 15-date UK tour is a second chance for those that missed Mathews first time around in 2018.

Also, the brilliant Jasmine Rodgers and Ady Johnson have been announced as support for selected shows, details on which can be found, here. The full list of dates announced can be found here.

Scott Matthews’ latest record, 'The Great Untold', deserves to be a career defining one. The sixth studio album by the Ivor Novello Award-winning singer-songwriter (Best Song Musically & Lyrically for “Elusive”) is a master class in honesty, instinct and reflection. A largely acoustic recording, Matthews’ new record features sparse production after being recorded over a productive winter at home. His ten-song cycle is the sound of a man now entirely comfortable in his own skin, putting his neck on the line with a collection of quietly extraordinary songs.

The ghosts of Paul Simon, Ron Sexsmith, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake and John Martyn loom large on a sixth record that revels in its stripped-back nature to show what an exceptionally strong songwriter Matthews really is. The absence of multi-layered instrumentation on The Great Untold, however, should not infer that it lacks depth. The richness in Matthews’ new work comes from the intricacy of his guitar work, influenced by the likes of Bert Jansch and Mark Kozelek, whilst showcasing again an otherworldly singing voice that betrays an everyman inflection and down-to-earth persona.

In many ways, 'The Great Untold' is the start of a new era for Matthews. Since his debut album, Passing Stranger, in 2006, the Wolverhampton-born artist has further refined his craft. Writing deft and sensitive songs during a trajectory that began with the ethereal ‘Elusive’, The Great Untold marks a new beginning on his own terms. The first great arc of his career was completed with his Home duology; a pair of records that reflected on his journey thus far. The Great Untold is the sound of that man moving on. Matthews is recently married, soon-to-experience fatherhood and has new hopes and fears, new stories to tell. “After Home Part 2 was finished, I was looking to move forward by marrying harmony with my experiences since the last record. The plan to write an acoustic record has always been there. And finally the time is right to do that.”

Matthews has tested himself as a songwriter. He started as a soloist and has gone full circle, again ready to fly alone. It opens new possibilities, a different type of challenge. “It takes me out of my comfort zone and has made me test myself. I’ve largely pared it down to guitar and vocals. At the beginning, there was nobody else. It’s time to surprise myself. It’s time to go back to my own world.”

Lyrically, 'The Great Untold' is a work with poetic intent. “It’s a collection of songs that lots of people will hopefully relate to. Naturally, my starting points are from a personal perspective but most times I have to broaden the idea so it's not so insular as a piece of music. It can be a challenge but I'm very proud of where I've ventured to and there's been a lot of soul searching woven into these songs that I hope people will appreciate. When I’m writing, I’m almost hearing voices from The Masters and thinking: ‘Would they approve?’”

The point is to make a connection. “I want to move somebody with the power of moods and music.” It is in the right hands. And that’s an opposite description for The Great Untold. It is a record written by a man at the peak of his powers – 'As The Day Passes', 'Something Real', 'Song To A Wallflower' and the stunning 'Cinnamon' are amongst the finest in his songbook – and by a musician able to channel great beauty in songs that reveal the most human of truths.

"...engagingly thoughtful and classy singer-songwriter" - The Guardian

"John Martyn’s true musical heir" - Folk Radio

"There is a purity to this record; Matthews seems to have returned to his roots" - No Depression

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Bert Jansch album out 26 October 2018

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Album release: 'Just A Simple Soul' by Bert Jansch
Release date: 26 October 2018
Label: BMG
More info: Artist website

  • The first comprehensive Best Of collection spanning Jansch’s 5-decade-long career, compiled by Bernard Butler and the Bert Jansch estate
  • Released on 2CD, 2LP and advance pre-order 2LP+Tote bag

From his 1965 iconic debut album, Bert’s peerless musicality, songwriting and interpretation of traditional song has held generation after generation spellbound and inspired musicians in all genres. Just A Simple Soul – named after the closing track on his 1998 album Toy Balloon ­- is the first collection of Jansch’s entire solo career, with insightful liner notes by Bernard Butler (Suede) who compiled this selection with the Bert Jansch Estate. As a writer and player, Jansch has inspired countless other music icons including Jimmy Page, Paul Simon, Johnny Marr, Laura Marling, Graham Coxon, Fleet Foxes and Neil Young.

Pre-order the collection here.

Presented chronologically the collection begins by drawing from his prolific 1960s period, during which he released six albums between 1965 and 1969. His self-titled debut, sometimes referred to as 'The Blue Album', is listed at #3 in NME’s Best Folk Albums Of All Time, and this collection plucks three tracks including the harrowing ‘Needle Of Death’; about the tragic passing of Bert’s friend, folk singer Buck Polly. The influence of young singer Anne Briggs began to show in this period, and the traditional folk songs she taught him, plus his bluesy, improvised guitar accompaniment which dominated his third solo album, Jack Orion (1966), featuring John Renbourn on guitar. That same year, the collaborative album Bert & John laid the foundations of the trad folk supergroup Pentangle. Jack Orion included ‘Blackwaterside’ (featured in this collection), a traditional song Jansch learned from Briggs. Elsewhere, eco-warning ‘Poison’ and ‘The Bright New Year’ are included from Bert’s fifth solo album Birthday Blues (1969), with Pentangle colleagues Danny Thompson and Terry Cox.

Jansch recorded three solo albums while part of Pentangle, notably 'Rosemary Lane' (1971), an album described by The Guardian as “a stark, reflective work”, which again included a traditional song learned from Briggs (‘Reynardine’, included here) alongside his own compositions. Also featured here is ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’ (originally written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger) as a duet with Mary Hopkin. ‘Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning’ and ‘Chambertin’, lifted from 1974’s L.A. Turnaround, highlight a significant passage, being recorded after Pentangle’s demise, featuring erstwhile Monkee Mike Nesmith on production. Jansch’s 70s’ output is drawn to a close with the inclusion of Kittiwake from his 1979 album Avocet, on which he teamed up with the multi-instrumentalist Martin Jenkins and Danny Thompson for a concept album inspired by birds.

Pentangle reunions and illness limited Jansch’s 80s’ solo output. It’s represented by ‘Sweet Rose’ from 'From The Outside' (1985) which was described by Irish author and composer Colin Harper as “Bert's rawest and most cathartic work since Bert Jansch twenty years earlier.” 'When The Circus Comes To Town' (1995) was the start of a renaissance for Bert with the title track featured here, as well as ‘Morning Brings Peace of Mind’. This collection takes its name from ‘Just A Simple Soul’, on 1998’s follow-up Toy Balloon, which also included Bert’s take on Jackson C. Frank’s ‘Carnival’ which was a perennial in his live sets.

Jansch’s 21st century output is represented by ‘Crimson Moon’ (Crimson Moon, 2000) and ‘On The Edge Of A Dream’ (Edge Of A Dream, 2002), two records that bookend his 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Edge Of A Dream featured Bernard Butler on electric guitar, Bert’s son, Adam, on bass and vocals of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. This collection is concluded with ‘High Days’, taken from Bert’s 23rd and, tragically, final studio album The Black Swan. Released through Sanctuary and Drag City, it featured prominent admirers including Beth Orton, Devendra Banhart and Helena Epsvall. It was dubbed an instant classic, described by Pitchfork as “immaculate but natural”, and named one of the best albums of 2006 by MOJO, who described it as “a beautiful, evocative piece of music… his strongest album in years.”

'Just A Simple Soul' reminds us of Bert Jansch’s enduring legacy and his influence across the musical spectrum. As Bernard Butler eloquently puts it; “Bert lived and breathed the sound of the guitar and its endless possibilities for communication, storytelling, conversation, emotional dialogue. We have a life’s work here, and what a life Bert Jansch has given us.”

“Bert lived and breathed the sound of the guitar and its endless possibilities for communication, storytelling, conversation, emotional dialogue. We have a life’s work here, and what a life Bert Jansch has given us.” – Bernard Butler

“One of the most influential and intriguing musicians to have come out of the British music scene". – Johnny Marr

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Ruston Kelly debut album out 7 September 2018

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Album release: 'Dying Star' by Ruston Kelly
Release date: 7 September 2018
Label: Rounder Records
More info: Artist website

The official music video for Ruston Kelly’s new single, 'Mockingbird', is premiering across Viacom platforms in an unprecedented partnership between CMT Music, MTVU and MTV Live. Watch/share here.

Of the song and video, Kelly shares, “I wrote ‘Mockingbird’ in a Dominican hotel, on the edge of a bed, at like six in the morning. I needed a release from a cyclical pattern of a doomed relationship. The kind that leaves you with less than what you went in with. But, what directors Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King reminded me with their proposed story about a single mother, is even though I write about my own personal situations, it’s also everyone’s story: the human condition, our connected plight in a mad world. Regardless of how it’s expressed, we all struggle through something with hope on the other side. That’s this song and that’s this video. That’s also why I fell in love working with them immediately.”

'Mockingbird' is from Kelly’s highly anticipated full-length debut album, 'Dying Star', which will be released September 7 on Rounder Records and is now available for pre-order here.

Already receiving widespread acclaim. the album’s first track, 'Jericho', recently premiered to critical praise. Stereogum calls it, “… a warmly melancholy acoustic ballad in the vein of A.A. Bondy, Justin Townes Earle, or early Ryan Adams. It’s about learning to stand up for what you believe in, which seems as relevant now as ever. Kelly manages the feat of keeping his rich arrangement relatively minimal, so that when background vocals or harmonica rise up in the mix they really stand out.” Additionally, Rolling Stone declares, “‘Jericho’ finds Kelly channelling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic,” while EARMILK states, “His unique voice contains this gentle raspiness that makes the vocal delivery of each track both haunting and comforting, while his complex guitar work adds to the overall catchy melodies.”

Dying Star was co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX. It includes 14 songs written/co-written by Kelly and features Kelly (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, xylophone, harmonica), Jarrad K (12-string guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, Rhodes), Tim Kelly (pedal steel), Ian Fitchuk (piano, organ, drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass) and Kyle Ryan (banjo) as well as background vocals from Jon Green, Natalie Hemby, Kacey Musgraves, Kate York, Abby Sevigny and Joy Williams.

Of the album, Kelly comments, “A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering…which probably sounds totally depressing, but it’s actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you’ve gotta go into that darkness—you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That’s the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we’ve been given.”

The release of Dying Star follows a breakout year for the Nashville-based artist, whose debut EP, Halloween, was released last April to widespread acclaim.

Born in South Carolina, Kelly started playing guitar under the guidance of his dad, Tim “TK” Kelly, a pedal steel guitarist who now performs in his band. Since his father worked for a paper mill and often changed job locations, Kelly grew up frequently moving, living everywhere from Alabama to Belgium, including time in Michigan—where the young one-time figure skater went to train with an Olympic coach in the hope of furthering his career, and where he first began writing songs. At 17, he moved to Nashville to live with his sister and went on to land a publishing deal with BMG Nashville, placing songs with several high-profile artists.

Praise for Ruston Kelly's recent single 'Jericho'

"a warmly melancholy acoustic ballad in the vein of A.A. Bondy, Justin Townes Earle, or early Ryan Adams." – Stereogum

‘Jericho’ finds Kelly channelling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic.” – Rolling Stone

“His unique voice contains this gentle raspiness that makes the vocal delivery of each track both haunting and comforting.” – EARMILK
 

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Gregory Alan Isakov new album out 5 October 2018

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Album release: 'Evening Machines' by Gregory Alan Isakov
Release date: 5 October 2018
Label: Dualtone Records
More info: Artist website

Gregory Alan Isakov’s highly anticipated new album, 'Evening Machines', will be released October 5 and is now available for pre-order here. In advance of the release—his first in partnership with Dualtone Records—the album’s first single, 'Chemicals', is premiering today. Listen / share here.

Recorded at a converted barn studio located on Isakov’s three-acre farm in Boulder County, CO, the thirteen-track album was self-produced and mixed by Tucker Martine (Neko Case, The Decemberists) and Andrew Berlin (Descendents, Rise Against). 

Of the record—his fourth full-length studio album and first in five years—Isakov comments, “I’d work really hard into the night. A lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so that’s where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasn’t working in the gardens. It doesn't matter if it’s summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me.”

In celebration of the album, Isakov will embark on an extensive worldwide tour this autumn - including a sold out return headline show at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on September 30 with special guest Patty Griffin - and UK / Ireland shows that include a headline at London’s 02 Shepherds Bush Empire. 

The new album follows Isakov’s acclaimed collaboration with the Colorado Symphony, 2016’s Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony, which featured orchestral versions of twelve of Isakov’s beloved songs. Released to widespread acclaim, NPR Music premiered the official music video for the song, 'Liars', praising, “Stunning imagery…an emotionally charged and poignant musical statement.” The Independent, CLASH and Huck magazine were also quick to praise his work with the orchestra. Previous to the symphonic album, Isakov released 2013’s The Weatherman, which debuted at #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart and received widespread acclaim including critical notice at NPR’s Weekend Edition, NPR Music, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Boston Globe, etc. Of the music, Denver Westword proclaimed, “Bob Dylan once sang, ‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,’ and you don't need to be a singer-songwriter to realise that Isakov has created something truly stunning here.”

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now calling Colorado home, Isakov is a lifelong traveller. Since his debut in 2003, Isakov has self-released three full-length studio albums on his independent label Suitcase Town Music with over 370,000 in sales and has toured extensively building a devoted worldwide audience. He’s also toured extensively with artists including Iron & Wine, Ani DiFranco, Blind Pilot, Passenger, Josh Ritter, Brandi Carlile, and Nathaniel Rateliff and, since his debut with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in November 2013, has performed with symphonies across the county including: the Seattle Symphony, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, among others.

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Gunship new album out 5 October 2018

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Album release: ‘Dark All Day’ by Gunship
Release date: 5 October 2018
More info: Band website

Today, synthwave pioneers Gunship return with the announcement of a brand new 13-track album titled ‘Dark All Day’ and unveil an epic new anime/live-action video for the title track. The new record is now available for pre-order and will be released on 5th October 2018.

In true Gunship fashion, the band have dusted off the VHS - both video and track are a tribute to the cult 1987 film ‘The Lost Boys’ and feature one of the film's stars Mr. Timmy Cappello - the sexy sax man himself.  Timmy provides a blistering performance on the track and also appears in the video, which sees him reprise his original role from ‘The Lost Boys’ some 30 years later.

Tim Cappello: "Gunship's track 'Dark All Day' is one of the funkiest tracks I've ever played on. The groove is brooding and dark but there's so much passion & power to it, it moves so well, I couldn't stop dancing while I was playing on it. And going doubletime during the choruses, pure genius. The guest singer, Indiana, has so much personality, her voice is so perfect for this, I think she's AMAZING! It was so much fun to reprise my role in The Lost Boys, 30 years later, I kinda felt like a kid again, the hips are holding up :D."

The video and track also features UK singer/songwriter Indiana on vocals, best known for her chart topping song ‘Solo Dancing’ and album ‘No Romeo’.

Watch the video for 'Dark All Day' here

Conceptually, the new video sees Gunship return to The Lost Boys’ fictional town of ‘Santa Carla’ in order to play a show. Unfortunately the years have not been kind to Santa Carla and the town’s infamous vampire infestation has worsened considerably. It's all going to OK though - GUNSHIP have brought the world's most notorious vampire slayers along for the ride as their personal bodyguards…

The new video pays homage to numerous well known vampire slayer characters, including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Blade, Seth Gecko from ‘Dusk til Dawn’, and the Frog brothers from the original film. The video culminates in the ‘death’ of Gunship, and their undead resurrection.

The album artwork also suggests a progression. The new cover art shows the previous album’s sun-design now ominously eclipsed. This signifies the beginning of the ‘Dark All Day’ era, a musical expansion of the band’s sound which sees them exploring darker and more cinematic material in tandem with a renewed focus on the killer hooks and pop sensibility Gunship are known for. Countless horror classics were unleashed on the world during the 1980s; this is Gunship’s love letter to that incredibly creative and artistically rich period.

The video is created in Japanese anime style by ‘Angry Metal Studios’ but, significantly, it switches to live action for the finale - this is the first time that Gunship have revealed themselves, having never appeared in any of their previous videos.

Gunship are well-known for their impressive collaborations with previous material featuring the likes of John Carpenter (director/composer), Lee Hardcastle (The ABC’s of Death, [Adult Swim], 20th Century Fox), Charlie Simpson, Lou Hayter (New Young Pony Club), Martin Grech, Stella Le Page, Miami Nights 1984, Make Up And Vanity Set, Carpenter Brut and more.

The new album 'Dark All Day' sees the band expand on this by collaborating with the likes of tattoo artist, model, musician, author, entrepreneur, and television personality Kat Von D, who provides a seething and haunting vocal collaboration on track 'Black Blood Red Kiss'. Elsewhere on the album, 'When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies' features an innovative segment in which fans submitted recordings of themselves giving uplifting statements, led by self-proclaimed ‘King of the Nerds’ Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, Stand By Me…).

Similarly, the band channel their love for all things cyberpunk on the track ‘Woken Furies’ which is a tribute to and features voice-over from renowned science fiction author Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon). In addition, 'Art3mis & Parzival’ is written in tribute to the book 'Ready Player One', which was recently brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg. The genuine 8-bit pixel art video for ‘Art3mis & Parzival’ was released in April, garnering effusive praise from no less than the author of ‘Ready Player One’ himself Ernest Cline, who described it as “Badass”.

Popular UK artist Una Healy (The Saturdays) also contributes vocals on the album.

'Dark All Day' is availble for pre-order now. The album contains 13 tracks and is available in a deluxe limited edition 180g double-gatefold 45 rpm vinyl set with special lenticular cover, as well as in a brand new Special Edition ‘16-Bit Box Set’ which includes signed CD and a plethora of new GUNSHIP goodies.

Upon pre-ordering the album listeners will receive two instant downloads ‘Dark All Day’, and ‘Art3mis & Parzival’.

GUNSHIP is Dan Haigh, Alex Westaway and Alex Gingell. Gunship’s sound is created with vintage analogue synthesizers and other retro electronic gear from the 1980s. Driven and inspired by nostalgia for a bygone era, Gunship harness this retro approach to birth something fresh and new. Their sound is sonically diverse - blending sweeping fluorescent synth lines with fever pitched and adrenalizing electric bass arpeggios.

Dan Haigh from Gunship describes their sound as “a neon soaked, late night, sonic getaway drive, dripping with luscious analogue synthesizers, cinematic vocals and cyberpunk values, exploding from the front cover of a dusty plastic VHS case which has lain forgotten since 1984.”

Previous praise for Gunship

“… the perfect coalescence of everything I and the rest of our editorial team love: retrofuturism, ’80s references, synthy jams, and way more.” – Nerdist

“…a gleaming synth behemoth that wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking a medley of all your favourite Eighties sci-fi films.” –  Evening Standard

“Gunship Release One Of The Coolest Music Videos Ever” –  Bloody Disgusting

“British band GUNSHIP have made the most innovative, awesome music video ever” – Zoo Magazine

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Lucero new album out 3 August 2018

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Album release: 'Among The Ghosts' by Lucero
Release date: 3 August 2018
Label: Liberty & Lament / Thirty Tigers
More info: Band website

Nashville, TN – Memphis rock/alt country quintet Lucero has announced 2018 fall tour dates in support of their upcoming album 'Among The Ghosts', which releases on August 3rd via Liberty & Lament/Thirty Tigers. The anticipated new album has already received positive responses, including early coverage from Billboard, Garden & Gun, Rolling Stone Country and Brooklyn Vegan, with more to come. American Songwriter posted an exclusive premiere of Lucero’s new track 'Cover Me'. Click here to listen.

Celebrating 20 years together, Lucero returns to their early rock n’ roll days for the band’s ninth studio album as they pull back on the big arrangements and Memphis-styled horns of their recent work. With lead singer/songwriter Ben Nichols taking a more observational approach, 'Among The Ghosts' showcases his penchant for creating hauntingly vivid imagery with literary-inspired storytelling steeped in Southern Gothic vignettes. The result is an album that is more core Lucero and yet not quite like anything the band has done in recent years. Among The Ghosts is the sound of a band going back to their roots to discover a fresh perspective and cement their legacy for years to come. In recognition of their 20 year anniversary, Lucero just released a home movie-style video featuring entertaining personal footage captured during their earlier days set to the track 'For The Lonely Ones'. View it here.

Lucero has remained firmly rooted in their blue-collar ethos for two decades, building a loyal legion of fans along the way with their gritty, high-powered live performances and communal atmosphere. Keeping one foot firmly planted in a foundation of Memphis rock and soul, the band consistently brings it night after night, playing over 100 shows a year and continuing to pack houses all over. Lucero’s longevity and ability to evolve while engaging fans both new and old, proves that even after all this time they remain a relevant, dynamic force with staying power.

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Satellite Stories final album out 7 September 2018

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Album release: ‘Cut Out The Lights’ by Satellite Stories
Release date: 7 September 2018
Label: Playground Music Scandinavia
More info: Band website

The fifth and final Satellite Stories album Cut Out The Lights arrives on the 7th September 2018. As fans around the world digested the news, the blow was considerably softened when they heard the first taste from Cut Out The Lights, ‘Coupons’ – with Clash Magazine proclaiming the track “A fizzing, cracking, explosive return.” Today we share with you a new single from the album, ‘Carried Away’. The band's singer Esa Mankinen tells us "Carried away is a song about losing track with reality, but also realizing that's part of life". Listen to 'Carried Away' here

In September Satellite Stories start their The Final Story – Farewell Tour, playing shows in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, England and Spain.  

Satellite Stories are Finland's biggest and most successful indie act ever, with over 60 million streams worldwide, having appeared at over 300 headline shows, in no less than 17 countries spanning 3 continents. ‘Cut Out The Lights’ is an album where the band have taken the decision to self produce, to maintain complete creative control and make certain the ideas come across fully in the manner they wish. “It is all on us again now, which is a position we love, the challenge is immense, we have put everything into this record, a full year in the making,” says lead guitarist Marko Heikkinen.

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Bob Marley 'Kaya' anniversary edition out 24 August 2018

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Album reissue: 'Kaya' by Bob Marley
Release date: 24 August 2018
Label: The Marley Family/Island Records/UMC
More info: Band website

On the 24th of August, The Marley Family, Island Records, and UMC will collectively proclaim the sun is shining in celebration of 40 years of Kaya, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ historic March 1978 release. The album's themes of love and peace have resonated across the world and the record reached the top 5 in the UK albums chart upon original release.

This most special anniversary edition will feature Stephen “Ragga” Marley’s exciting and vibrant new 'Kaya 40' mixes of all ten tracks from the original album alongside its original mixes in 2CD and 180-gram 2LP configurations. (The digital version will be a standalone release of Stephen’s mixes only.) The album will also be available as a limited edition 180-gram 2LP green vinyl version exclusively here.

Listen to the new mix of 'Is This Love' here.

Recorded in London concurrently with the material that ultimately comprised 1977’s Exodus — a record proclaimed by Time Magazine in 1999 to be the Best Album of the 20th Century — Kaya is the perfect sonic-sibling bookend that shares all the joy, spirit, and literal DNA of some of Marley’s most ground-breaking material. Kaya contains a number of the most enduring, heartfelt songs in the entire Marley canon, including 'Is This Love', 'Easy Skanking', and 'Sun Is Shining'.

'Kaya' was initially released just one month ahead of Bob Marley & The Wailers headlining the legendary One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on 22nd April 1978, an event that featured 16 of reggae’s biggest acts. One Love Peace was heralded as Marley’s triumphant return to his native soil, following his long exile in London after having fled the country as a result of a December 1976 assassination attempt at his Kingston homestead.

The album was recorded with the then-new configuration of The Wailers that comprised brothers Carlton and Aston 'Family Man' Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin 'Seeco' Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes — Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt — on backing vocals, along with newest member Julian (Junior) Marvin on guitar. Two of Kaya’s songs had previously appeared in different arrangements on 1971’s Soul Revolution — the title track, and 'Sun Is Shining'.

Stephen's goal in mixing 'Kaya 40' was to create a balance that drew heavily from the original versions. Using Bob’s vocals from demos from original 'Kaya' sessions that were recorded at different tempos, Stephen synched the vocals with alternate takes and layered it over different instrumental arrangements.  Stephen tried to keep the flavor as authentic as possible. To mix the album, he used a similar minimal approach, basing his version heavily off the classic analog concepts they used in the 1970s.

Bob Marley’s artistic legacy forever endures, and the 40th anniversary edition of 'Kaya' only serves to reinforce just how much we all share the shelter of this special music.
 

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Mothers new album out 7 September 2018

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Album release: 'Render Another Ugly Method' by Mothers
Release date: 7 September 2018
Label: ANTI- Records
More info: Band website

Mothers attempt to exist in two places at once - both singular and collaborative, sprawling and concise, present and distant. Kristine Leschper, songwriter and founding member of the project, says that it is in the space between opposites that she finds herself. The multifaceted is, by nature, fragmented - each facet reflecting a slightly different perspective of the whole.

Mothers have announced their new album 'Render Another Ugly Method', set for a 7th September release date via ANTI- Records. Courtesy of NPR Music listen to the first track 'Blame Kit' here.

“A blame kit is exactly what it sounds like - an apparatus or social mechanism that aims to shift or imply guilt onto a particular person, group, or idea,” Leschper explains. “It is the first of many songs on the record that deals with the body as an object that can be expanded or collapsed, inhabited or deserted. The second section was inspired by a passage I discovered in a book of case studies of schizophrenic and autistic children: ‘His body will at one moment expand to contain things and events that are outside of it, and at the next shrink to near-nothingness…Uncertain of the boundaries of his body, things on the outside become terribly important.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about that.”

In contrast to 'Blame Kit', a new album teaser features a portion of a second track, 'Baptist Trauma'. A composition of stop-start drums and shards of jagged guitar, the song is ultimately a dissection of Leschper’s practice and work ethic, self-described as ‘ugly, at times seeking validation through itself.’ Watch it here.

Now based in Philadelphia, Mothers originated in Athens, Georgia where Leschper was attending printmaking school. In 2016 they released their debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired to great critical acclaim. Named a Stereogum ‘Band To Watch’, Pitchfork’s review of the album compared Leschper to Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten while Noisey exclaimed that the record “is singer-songwriter prog rock for grown up emo kids.” When You Walk also kicked off a sprawling eight months of touring across the US, UK and Europe, as the group honed their take on left-of-center indie rock with an explosive and surprising live show that displayed how forceful the songs translated to a full-band setting.

"The first time I heard Mothers I knew it was a band that I wanted to work with,” said John Congleton, who produced Render Another Ugly Method. “So special and idiosyncratic, it is impossible to ignore their point of view. I loved making the record and seeing them work."

“Mothers have returned with new songs that are more challenging to listen to, with a sound that is less benevolent, and somewhat demanding in its tone.” – Bob Boilen, NPR Music

“Shifting, polyrhythmic song structures and unexpected refrains are sure to disorient in a way that can only be pulled off by a band like Mothers. You won’t be able to figure out where the song goes next, you’ll just have to drift along with it and maybe do some reckoning of your own.” – Stereogum

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Yazz Ahmed new remix EP out 3 August 2018

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EP release: 'La Saboteuse Remixed' by Yazz Ahmed
Release date: 3 August 2018
Label: Naim Records
More info: Artist website

  • Shares new remix featuring Hector Plimmer
  • Announces new remix EP featuring DJ Khalab, Blacksea Não Maya and more
  • See the premiere via The Vinyl Factory here
  • Hear/share via Soundcloud here

We are witnessing a burgeoning jazz scene in London, a resurgence that looks set to give us a return of the jazz filled 20s once again. One of the driving forces at the heart of this tidal wave of compelling, new music, is British-Bahraini composer and trumpet player, Yazz Ahmed, who has been cited as ‘redefining what jazz means in the 21st century’. La Saboteuse Remixed is her latest offering, released on Naim Records this summer. 

Following the 2017 release of 'La Saboteuse', her highly acclaimed psychedelic Arabic jazz album, this remix EP brings together three of Europe's eminent electronic DJs. This confluence of individual artistic visions creates music of deeply saturating polyrhythms, placing the listener into a curious state of relaxed tension. The sense of a personal narrative runs through all of Ahmed’s work and here is no exception. La Saboteuse as a whole is a journey of self-examination and with this remix EP, the reflection continues in both linear and abstract directions.

Ahmed’s symbiotic collaboration with illustrator Sophie Bass also continues, in celebratory style. Above a familiar desert landscape, dripping with symbolism and intrigue, the ever present fish soars high in a galaxy of stars, overseeing the eternal dance between the demonic Saboteuse and the spiritual creative force of the Sufi. Harmony and balance is restored through the natural healing power of water. 

Produced by Noel Langley, the original album paints a sinuous far reaching soundscape. The reevaluation of the inner well of self doubt as a strength, a resource to be celebrated, to take nourishment from, is heavily sewn through all the tracks. Three pieces from the original album have been reimagined. Meaning and substance, borrowed from the source tracks, are filtered through an alternative perspective, each collaborator adding their own strand to the unfolding story. These virtual conversations between the artist and the remixer, with the addition of her own creative response to this process, result in four stand-alone pieces, which together will extend the listener’s journey through a mystical land of snakes and desert sands. 

Remixers:

Hector Plimmer
Hector Plimmer’s forte is the combination of visual and auditory arts. Around for a little while, he had a track released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Bubblers label compilation in 2014. The recipient of the prestigious PRS Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award in 2015 this led to tutorship by Four Tet, Floating Points and Gilles Peterson. The South London based DJ and graphic artist, released Sunshine in 2017, his full length debut, on Albert's Favourites, earning industry distinction. Following this release Plimmer conducted a full self-remix album of both the tracks and artwork, leading Subtempo to say, “It's hard to improve an original piece of music as good as the album itself, but with these remixes, this rises to a new level.” An Escheresque tessellation of shapes form the basis of the album artwork, splintering across the page while retaining a cohesive shape. With The Lost Pearl, he shows us yet another facet to his art, deftly sculpting a mesmeric original into a rarified groove to get down to. 

DJ Khalab 
The Italian self proclaimed ‘Afro-Futurist Beatmaker’, has had releases on close collaborator Clap! Clap!’s Black Acre and in 2015 produced the eponymous DJ Khalab and Baba Sissoko with Malian master musician Baba Sissoko. The weaving, electronic substrata of the album is imbued with tribal drums and fervent synths, creating mesmeric, complex and layered musical structures. With Jamil Jamal, Khalab takes Ahmed’s original track, suggestive of a caravan traversing a vast desert, and morphs it into a more frenetic examination of space and time. Starting with suspicious circumspection, the restless progression of the track is buoyed midway through, with the power of Shabaka Hutchings’ bass clarinet. Occasionally pausing in suspenseful anticipation, before descending again into an agitated world of overgrown jungle, whereby, at the end of the progression, Yazz’s horns are morphed into a myriad of whirling synths. 

Blacksea Não Maya
Straight outta Lisbon, represented by Portugal’s chief dance music label PRÍNCIPE, Blacksea Não Maya are dedicated representing the fundamental realities of life in the suburbs, projects and slums of the city they call home. The trio is formed of brothers DJ Noronha and DJ Kolt, and their long-time friend, DJ Perigoso. They have been collaboratively developing their talents since 2009 and were picked up by PRÍNCIPE in 2012. Since then they have aimed to share their wish that all can “live every day in the festive ambience of Lisbon”. Their dynamic tunes exemplify a vast range of persuasive dance music within each release, coercing and cajoling the listener into a rapturous state. Their phantasmagorical rejig of Al Emadi, Ahmed’s tribute to the ancient Arabic tribe of her forefathers, is transformed into a club banger. 

Ahmed/Langley
In the whirlpool of global excitement and glowing reviews surrounding the release of 'La Saboteuse', Ahmed had her interest piqued by comparisons made to the work of Jon Hassell & Brian Eno’s Fourth World project and the output of Flying Lotus, music which she had not encountered previously. Inspired by these new discoveries and the concept of collaborating with remixers, she decided to contribute a new track of her own to close the EP. 

In creating the haunting track 'The Space Between The Fish & The Moon', Langley and Ahmed had already begun experimenting with self-sampling and deconstructing existing compositions to make something new. This is the same approach that they used here, taking elements from Spindrifting (La Saboteuse Chapter Three), a few groovy bars of Corinna Silvester’s riqq, fragments of Lewis Wright’s bowed vibraphone, re-worked and re-orchestrated to form a flugelhorn melody. Disparate elements used as material for a collage, endlessly rearranged and reshuffled until the music began to discover what it wanted to be. This is the way Ahmed and Langley work together, things evolve, elements are added, elements are discarded, new material is layered over old, improvisations are developed, themes emerge. Samuel Hällkvist was invited to respond to the work in progress, adding the pulsing guitar arpeggios and Yazz felt this was the right time to reveal her longstanding collaboration with Jason Singh, the voice sculptor and sound designer, incorporating material from one of the soundscapes he had created for her. 

'Spindrifting' is a rich, dark tapestry of timbres and moods, almost orchestral in places, underpinned by a deep fragmented undulation. It intriguingly points to one of several possible future directions that Ahmed might take with her next full release….

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Creedence Clearwater Revival 50th anniversary video release

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Video release: 'Fortunate Son' by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Release date: Out now
Label: Craft Recordings
More info: Band Facebook

Craft Recordings proudly announces the 50th anniversary of America’s greatest rock band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was in the summertime half a century ago that CCR, a group that would reach sky-high success while retaining a resolutely rootsy, earthbound sound, released their debut album. This marked the beginning of an incredible legacy that was formed over just four years of unbridled creative output (1968-1972).

CCR's canon has become a staple in the Great American Songbook. Songs like 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Down on the Corner', 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', 'Proud Mary', and 'Up Around the Bend' have been ingrained into the pop-cultural consciousness—not just as classic rock staples, but as American standards.

As the United States speeds towards another anniversary of its own on 4th July, Craft is kicking off the CCR50 campaign by releasing an official music video (the first ever) for one of the band’s most enduring classics, 'Fortunate Son', a song as vital now as ever.

Beyond its anti-war sentiment, 'Fortunate Son' is an anthem for the 99%ers, condensing a critique of elitism and class privilege into three simple, but powerfully defiant words: It Ain’t Me. Craft partnered with director Ben Fee (Band of Horses, The War on Drugs, The Lumineers, Aesop Rock) to give a whole new generation a visual entry point into the world of Creedence.

The song already has an undeniable place in history as one of the most visceral, attention-grabbing protest tunes of the Vietnam era. With the new video, Fee extends the reach of 'Fortunate Son' even further. "For me, protest right now is just showing pure positivity in the face of division and anger." Says Fee, “I wanted to highlight the community and positivity that everybody shares…I wanted to show what America feels like when you actually hit the road and drive throughout the states."

Though the Vietnam war is decades away in the rearview mirror, the people CCR were speaking for in the song are still the heart and soul of America, and they're still the underdog, facing a whole new set of challenges. So, Fee turned the video into a celebration of their indomitable spirit, giving viewers a glimpse of the broad array of characters comprising the patchwork that is our country at its core.

In spotlighting the diversity and unconquerable spirit of America's so-called 99%, Fee created a concept as relevant to today's world as it is to the original 1969 setting of "Fortunate Son." "I met so many beautiful people," says Fee of the folks he shot for the video. "I went to the Taos Pueblo people, into their land, and met with the war chief, and they were very big fans of CCR. They were so welcoming because they knew the song and the band, and they really loved the idea of protest through positivity." 

Click here to watch the video.

Fee’s video road trip took him across the country, from Los Angeles to Miami and all points in between. The footage captures people across America of diverse ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and locations (including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, California, Washington and Hawaii) to document the true spirit that makes up the fabric of the United States, for which CCR have been the soundtrack for 50 years.

In addition to the video, the half-century celebration will continue in the coming months to fill out the CCR story even further. Craft will be honouring the band’s musical legacy via a diverse array of media, products and events; including a special release coming this autumn. The fête will also provide fans with new ways to engage with CCR online–sharing their memories, streaming new content, and diving deeper into the band’s legendary history. Stay tuned to CCR50.com for more details, coming soon.

In the meantime, you can dig in to more from the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue (and build your 4th July playlists) via Apple Music (click here for the Essentials) or Spotify (click here for This Is).

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1968 self-titled debut album introduced the world to guitar-playing brothers John and Tom Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, and bassist Stu Cook, four young men out of El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though they emerged in a place and time where trippy psychedelic visions were the order of the day, CCR bucked the trends and instead tapped into a rich, traditional seam of American music that connected to blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, folk and R&B.

While their contemporaries were unfurling mind-bending musical excursions with elaborate productions, Creedence crashed into the upper rungs of the album and singles charts with songs that wasted nary a note or word, overflowing with raw soul and unbridled energy. Although the band members were only together for four years under the Creedence Clearwater Revival appellation, they managed to accomplish more than many artists do in their entire career – they released 14 Top 10 hits, six Platinum albums, and one Gold in just four intensely prolific years, all powered by John Fogerty's gut-level growl, with Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford providing just the right kind of gritty, in-the-pocket punch to propel CCR's vision.

The band's West Coast origins notwithstanding, Fogerty's voice contained echoes of everything from the Chicago blues bite of Howlin' Wolf to the Alabama twang of Hank Williams and the Memphis swagger of Elvis Presley, creating an archetypal example of Americana decades before anybody ever thought of using that term to define a musical genre.

For all the indelible guitar hooks and commanding vocals the CCR catalogue contains, their songs are more than catchy tunes. CCR was a people's band in more ways than one; hand in hand with the accessibility that made their music relatable to just about everybody, there was a strong sense of identification with America's common folks, the ones whose stories were told in the songs.

On tunes like 'Born on the Bayou' and 'Green River', Creedence harnessed the sonic hoodoo of almost dangerously deep, “swamp rock” grooves to propel vivid New Orleans imagery. 'Long As I Can See the Light' floats luminously with the kind of sanctified soul feel that we've come to expect only from the South. And the spry country two-step of 'Lookin' Out My Back Door' finds its feet in Nashville, at least in a spiritual sense. While CCR's signature song, "Proud Mary," is a Southern-soaked riverboat travelogue, with stops in Memphis and the Crescent City.

Even some of the covers of Creedence's tunes have become part of history—Ike & Tina Turner's sped-up, R&B-slathered 1971 recording of 'Proud Mary' almost rivaled the original in popularity. And an astonishing array of artists, from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to R.E.M. and the Ramones, have recorded 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', to home in on the reach of just one of their profusely covered songs.

The group also performed a historic headlining set at Woodstock, and toured the world before disbanding in 1972. CCR's music endures today – still in popular rotation on the radio, and heard regularly in films and TV shows. Having sold over 30 million albums in the U.S. alone, Creedence received a rare Diamond certification from the RIAA in 2016, marking 10 million units in sales for their 1976 compilation album, Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits.

The appeal of Creedence Clearwater Revival isn't tied to any one era or milieu; whether it's 50 years ago or 100 years from now, all you need is a pair of ears to pick up on their sound. As John Fogerty once sang on a certain 1969 hit single, "Over on the corner there's a happy noise/People come from all around to watch the magic boys."

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The Joy Formidable new album out 28 September 2018

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Album release: 'AAARTH' by The Joy Formidable
Release date:  28 September 2018
Label: Hassle Records
More info: Band website

Welsh rock trio The Joy Formidable are returning with yet another huge step forward, in the shape of upcoming fourth album 'AAARTH'. Propelled by their restlessness and curiosity, the band continue to sit at the forefront of inventive and aggressive guitar music, taking what can be done with the instrument to new levels with each album. Still commanding festival main stages around the world, and following a rapturous response to their sold-out UK live return at last week’s Robert Smith-curated Meltdown Festival, the band are now able to share full details of the album, along with brand new single 'The Wrong Side'. It was premiered on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens last night said "it's brilliant isn't it... a pleasure to bring you that this evening… I’m really looking forward to seeing them at Reading & Leeds.” Listen to the new single 'The Wrong Side'

'AAARTH' is released on September 28th on CD, download and LP, as well as an extremely limited boxset, Indie retail exclusive vinyl, and Rough Trade exclusive vinyl, which will be supported by in-stores at Nottingham, Bristol and London East. Pre-order the album here

'The Wrong Side' follows recent single 'Dance of the Lotus' and is a lurching, hulking giant of a track that aligns and progresses all of the band’s best qualities – a crushing, intense rhythm, remarkably inventive, snaking guitar work, and a soaring vocal melody – pushing things forward on an album that promises to be their most vibrant and experimental yet. Lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan explains; “With life not always being that kind, you can either go down a really dark hole or you can smear yourself with colour and reverie and try to forget. That’s what we did with 'AAARTH'; we threw ourselves into this beautiful vivacious collage of experimentation, real meets unreal, and stopped giving a fuck about things that didn’t matter, and started caring more about the things that are worth your time.”

'AAARTH' marks a transformative, near-psychedelic rebirth that channels long-held anger, soundtracking a chaotic global period of injustice and division, setting it against a deeply poignant backdrop of personal experiences and healing. Although the album came into being as the band travelled the globe and recorded in their mobile recording studio, the music intertwines the whispering hills of Wales with the otherworldly rainbow canyons of the Utah / Arizona border. 'AAARTH' unites the personal with the mythical and symbolic, as Bryan continues; “We’ve definitely made a colourful, mystical collage with this record, partly because of our surroundings. Those multi-coloured sunsets & the primeval elements of nature in the Southwest – it’s emboldened our imaginations in the songwriting and the production. I love stories and seeing symbolism and meaning change with different cultures and interpretations. I see it in my lyrics, a lot of the imagery plays on being ambivalent because I’m often expressing a lot of things at once. That’s true of the title; it falls somewhere between a scream, an exaltation, a play on words, and then this motif of the bear (“arth” in Welsh) that spiritually represents strength, wisdom & healing.”   

The Joy Formidable bring their unique, evolving and progressive live show to an already-sold-out show at The Lexington in London, followed by main stage appearances at Reading & Leeds Festivals, before they depart for the US and Canada – by personal invitation from Dave Grohl – as support to Foo Fighters.
 

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