YOWL new single out now

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Single release: 'John the Collector' by YOWL
Release date: Out now
More info: Band Facebook

Today, Peckham five-piece YOWL have announced their new single 'John the Collector'. The single follows the release of YOWL's third single for ‘Warm (In The Soft White Fire Of Modern Living)’ and is being released with DIY for Jäger Curtain Call ahead of their headline show, which will be taking place on 15th November at The Lexington, London (with support from Sister Talk and Lumer) - Tickets available here.

The single was recorded at London’s Tileyard Education Studios and you can see a video of YOWL in the studio here via DIY. Speaking about the single, singer Gabriel Byrde says: “It’s a loose delve into the male psyche. It’s about a guy who tries to open up a little more and realises the only way he can do that is to murder his friends and stick their faces onto his walls so he has someone to talk to at all times.”

Listen to 'John the Collector' here.

Following Jäger Curtain Call the band have two more shows lined up for 2018 including a show at Rough Trade Bristol on 8th December alongside Hotel Lux, Squid and more, as well as a sold-out end of year IDLES AF Gang Xmas party at Record Junkee in Sheffield on 15th December with John, Heavy Lungs and an IDLES DJ set from Joe Talbot.

'John The Collector' serves as a taster for what's to come from the YOWL in 2019 - Further details TBA

With an EP and three singles behind them YOWL have earned some impressive critical acclaim from the likes of NME, DIY, Clash, The Line Of Best Fit, AnOther, Loud & Quiet, So Young, The Most Radicalist and more. Following the release of 2016's Before The Sleep Sets In EP YOWL released debut single 'My Headache Likes To Speak' in May 2017. Across its noir-laden four minutes, the band marry gnarled razor-wire guitars and a swaggering rhythm section with the sick croon of vocalist Gabriel Byrde. 'My Headache Likes To Speak’ was the second release from London's Big Score imprint, after recently putting out material from Bristol's LICE. The label comes from the minds behind Golden Arm who have watched over the likes of HMLTD, Goat Girl, and The Big Moon.

Nobody’s happy putting up with poor job prospects and a city pricing out the poorest, but the Peckham-formed YOWL capture a frustration of the 9-to-5 London grind like few others. And in frontman Gabriel Byrde, they have someone who can spin poetry on songs about alienation and exhaustion. YOWL are often viciously loud, but Byrde’s fanciful delivery gives them an edge.

Previous praise for YOWL

“YOWL take the mundane and make it sound like a never-ending thrill" – NME

"Cool as hell, a completely natural, unforced slice of post-punk noir reminiscent of everyone from The Fall to Wire to The Birthday Party while retaining its own individual path." – CLASH

"ravaged, poetic and pissed-off rock." – DIY

"The Peckham five-piece perfectly capture anger, cynicism and hilarity in one fell swoop." – THE LINE OF BEST FIT

“YOWL are a band who make Peckham sound like New York City 2002” – LOUD & QUIET

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Foxwarren new single out now

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Single release : ‘To Be’ by Foxwarren
Release date: Out now
Label: Anti-Records
More info: Band website

As college friends, Foxwarren - Andy Shauf (guitars/keys/vocals) and his childhood friends Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals) and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion) - initially bonded over Pedro the Lion and drew influence from The Band and Paul Simon.

‘To Be’ was one of the first songs written for the project – listen to it here.

“We tinkered with it for ages and ended up drastically reworking it the weekend it was recorded, but we knew early on that it was going to be the opening song on the record,” Darryl said.

“It was a guitar riff that I'd been playing for a few years at least, trying to figure out what to do with it,” adds Shauf. “It went through quite a few versions if I remember correctly. Foxwarren have a bad habit of never finishing vocal melodies and lyrics before we finish the music, so it made it a bit tricky and ended up being overhauled at the last minute.”

Growing up in scattered small towns across the Canadian prairies, Foxwarren is comprised of singer songwriter Andy Shauf (guitars/keys/vocals) and his childhood friends Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals) and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion) who eventually found themselves in Regina, Saskatchewan. The initial sessions for their self-titled debut – coming out November 30th via ANTI- Records – began ten years ago in the Kissicks’ parents’ farmhouse while they were away on vacation. Upon their return, Foxwarren was forced to relocate and recording resumed back in Regina in a rented house where the members lived as roommates. The band's name comes from the Kissick brothers’ family home in Foxwarren, Manitoba.

The four-piece previously released its first song 'Everything Apart'; the driving krautrock, drum machine backbone of the song evokes a ticking clock – a race against time. “Combined with Andy’s existential lyrics, the song’s propulsive feel reminded us of the noir-ish tension of classic spy thrillers like ‘The Conversation’, ‘Three Days of The Condor’, and ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’,” explained the video’s directors, the Ft. Langley Production Company. “With the band’s blessing, we set to work on creating our own micro cold-war thriller, paying homage to era tropes like zoom-heavy camerawork, trench coats, and analogue tech.”

Now a decade into the project of Foxwarren, Shauf reflects on their debut release: “So much time and effort went into making this album; it's something I think we're all really proud of. My touring and recording schedule got pretty wild over the past three or four years, so it put the Foxwarren album on the backburner. Making the album was such an enjoyable time - the collaboration and frustration of it all. All of us trying to make something better than we previously had. I'm excited to get it out into the world and have other people listen to it. We've been a band for 10 years or so and never properly released an album, so this is special for the four of us.”

Foxwarren video ‘Everything Apart’ on YouTube

"...recalls classic pop songwriters in the vein of Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman, coupled with the plainspoken timbre of a Paul Simon, albeit with a laconic Canadian drawl." - NPR Music

"...one of the single most promising voices to emerge from Canada in recent memory." - Flood Magazine

"...Shauf has always had a way of portraying characters and telling their stories in the most delicate and piercing ways." - The Line Of Best Fit

"Expect his voice to be by your side for years to come." - DIY Mag

"...a gleaming eye for detail and a kind of subliminal richness that seems to bring a golden light to whatever situation you find yourself listening to it in." - Gold Flake Paint

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Fontaines D.C new single out 21 December 2019

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Single release: ‘Too Real’ by Fontaines D.C
Release date: 21 December 2019
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Band website

Following their recent signing to Partisan Records and the announcement of their support slot on both the forthcoming Shame tour in the UK and Ireland, and next year’s IDLES tour in the US, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. have now shared a video for their new single ‘Too Real’. The single was premiered by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music who called it "poetic and powerful".

Watch the video for ‘Too Real’ here.

Speaking about the visuals in the new accompanying video, director Hugh Mulhern, says it is made up of "low-brow visuals inspired by Buster Keaton, James Joyce, The Dubliners and Jim Henson to discuss high- brow ramblings of some stout swilling stereotypes.”

The band will be releasing the single on a double A-side single including ‘Too Real’ and ‘The Cuckoo Is A Callin’’. The single will be released on 21st Dec and can be pre-ordered here.

Fontaines D.C. met as a quintet in Dublin, influenced and driven in equal measure by the rich history of their hometown’s counter-culture, their response has been to make concise and immediately authentic post-punk, channeling often-unassumingly poetic lyrics with a distinctive gritty Irish brogue that has done anything but fall on deaf ears.

The last year has seen Fontaines D.C. release three hotly received double A-side singles, all of which were named as singles of the week by Rough Trade, and garnered early support from the likes of Steve Lamacq and others on BBC 6 Music where they have previously been b-listed with their latest single ‘Chequeless Reckless’ (self-released) for 4 weeks, presented 6 Music Recommends and played live in session. Similarly, they have also earned plaudits from DIY, Dork, Stereogum, KEXP, Fred Perry Subculture, London in Stereo, So Young and every major Irish publication. The band have also played a number of sold-out shows across Europe, Ireland and the UK earning a reputation for their brooding and trenchant live performances, supporting the likes of IDLES, Metz, The Horrors, Girl Band and The Lemon Twigs, as well as playing festival slots at Primavera Pro, The Great Escape, Dot to Dot, Electric Picnic, London Calling, Hard Working Class Heroes and Simple Things Festival.

This month the band will be embarking on a full UK/IRE tour with Shame and in December will play a short series of headline dates, which have already begun to sell out. They have also announced further European and UK tour dates as well as main support on the IDLES US tour and a SXSW appearance for 2019 - Full dates can be seen here.

Fontaines D.C. have gone from strength-to-strength with each release, and with a vast array of critical acclaim, renowned live shows, a series of sold out releases behind them and their recent signing to Partisan, the new single and forthcoming dates stand as a huge statement of intent, which is not to be ignored.

The band entered the studio this autumn to record their highly anticipated debut album with estimable producer, Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bloc Party, Bat For Lashes, Black Midi, TOY, Goat Girl and more) - More details to be announced.

Previous praise for Fontaines D.C

"The best encapsulation yet of that surrealist, lyrical approach to noisy punk." - NME

"With one foot in the shambolic anarchy of The Pogues, and the other in a Las-esque lilt, Fontaines D.C are messy but melodic in the best way possible" - DIY

“Ireland’s latest greatest export” - DORK

“"Snarling, Swaggering Post Punk” - STEREOGUM

"I've played this about 15 times since yesterday. It's a little bit like hearing Idles for the first time. I really think there's something here" - STEVE LAMACQ

“The energy, the urgency and the emotion of these brilliant new songs made me stand up and take notice that this is the band I've been waiting for” - KEXP

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Paul Smith tour dates November 2019

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Tour announcement: Paul Smith
Tour dates: November / December 2019
More info: Artist website

Paul Smith's new solo album Diagrams is out now, and already riding a wave of positive reviews, including being made BBC 6 Music’s Album of The Day. Diagrams sees 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. Most recently he found himself performing alongside folk star Rachel Unthank for Lauren Laverne’s Great Northern Soundtrack, and he is currently a host for publisher Penguin’s podcast alongside David Baddiel and Konnie Huq, discussing the latest book releases.

Smith gave songs from the album their first live airing at a sold-out launch show at The Waiting Room in Stockton last month. Full-band live shows begin next week, continuing into December. Full details can be found 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.

As a body of work, it seeks to unite the strengths that Smith has in his canon, drawing on his ability to both write from experience, yet also conjure new stories of unknown protagonists. Sidestepping (but not wholly ignoring) the more autobiographical work that played out through previous releases, Diagrams instead sees Smith further explore his nous for telling these short stories. 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.

“I try to absorb information and filter parts that interest me into the songs, while retaining my own, singular voice. I still believe in the power of a pop song to alter someone’s day, and although this record was mostly made in a bedroom, I felt the songs would have a universal appeal.” – Paul Smith

With his ability to unravel the day-to-day and transform the commonplace into an eloquent turn of phrase, the thread that holds Diagrams in place is Smith’s honesty and empathy. It’s these matters-of-the-heart elements that push and pull at the listener’s emotions. Resultingly, it’s a collection that feels incredibly relatable.

Album opener The Public Eye sets the tone with a dark undercurrent and was written in the aftermath of the “Hostile Environment” policy adopted by the British Home Office. Taking aim at our climate of suspicion, it shines a light on how vulnerable groups are attacked without factual foundation (“Convictions without proof”). Around and Around similarly details the futile merry-go-round of the news cycle, before Silver Rabbit conjures a story of self-doubt, set against the low-budget romance of the seaside, and channelled through overdriven guitars. Lake Burley Griffin - inspired by the story of Walter Burley Griffin, an American who designed Canberra alongside his wife Marion Mahony Griffin – is the album’s discordant left-hand turn, taking in the post-rock influence of Slint or Tortoise. A love story featuring prominent clarinet, it showcases – along with the saxophone in The Public Eye – Smith’s addition of woodwind instruments to his musical palette. Elsewhere on John he imagines a life that can never be known, inspired by a name scrawled on the back of a toilet door, extrapolating the sentiment and following it into a world where the story unfolds from schooldays to falling in love. It’s in these instances that Smith’s talent is subtly exemplified. He envisages unknowable situations and turns them on their head to evoke truly universal emotions of hope and regret (“what if the first chance, is the last chance?”).

Through The Beauty Contest and Critical Mass – the former featuring folk royalty, Marry Waterson, the latter inspired by JG Ballard and Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' - Smith again shows us he can veer into and out of songs inspired by reality. The Beauty Contest plots a late-night train journey, and Critical Mass plumbs bleak and apocalyptic depths, albeit alongside a black sense of humour.

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.

"Always an artist doing interesting, exciting and unexpected things." - Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

"A wealth of strong songs… Shapeshifting between bright guitar pop and darker, introspective tales" - Mojo

"Around and Around and John pleasingly recall the breezy stylings of early Real Estate or Best Coast" - DIY

"His way with words is as a poet, and mastery of the English tongue shines throughout" - Dork

"Around and Around offers fine poetic storytelling" - The i Paper

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Ralph Breaks the Internet soundtrack out 16 November 2019

Album release: Ralph Breaks the Internet original motion picture soundtrack
Release date: digital album November 16th, physical CD November 30th.
More info: Amazon

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Walt Disney Records will release the soundtrack for the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Ralph Breaks the Internet” on Nov. 16. The soundtrack features original songs “A Place Called Slaughter Race” performed in the film by Sarah Silverman and Gal Gadot; “Zero,” written and performed by Imagine Dragons; score by composer Henry Jackman (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Big Hero 6”), and “In This Place,” a pop version of “A Place Called Slaughter Race,” performed by Julia Michaels. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, produced by Clark Spencer and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” hits U.S. theatres on Nov. 21.

The soundtrack and film feature “A Place Called Slaughter Race,” featuring Sarah Silverman, voice of Vanellope von Schweetz. In the vein of classic “I want” songs in the Disney canon such as “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “Part of Your World,” the song showcases Vanellope’s desire to be part of the world outside Sugar Rush—to grow as a racer and as a person. The song also features the singing debut of Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”) as Shank. The music was composed by Oscar®-winning songwriter/composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pocahontas” and “Aladdin”) and the lyrics were written by Phil Johnston and GRAMMY®-winning producer Tom MacDougall (Frozen; Executive Vice President, Music at Disney).

The multi-platinum, GRAMMY-winning band, Imagine Dragons, wrote and recorded the end-credit song “Zero” for the film, embracing the struggle Ralph has with his evolving friendship with Vanellope. According to Imagine Dragons’ lead singer Dan Reynolds, the film’s emotional themes are reflected in the song. “It's a pretty timely movie in a lot of ways in that it addresses some of the issues of identity and loneliness unique to this internet generation,” says Reynolds. “Ralph's internal struggle for self-acceptance really resonated with us, and this song speaks to that.” “Zero” is also featured on the band’s upcoming fourth studio album Origins available November 9.

Composer Henry Jackman, who scored 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” returns to score the follow-up.

Jackman’s mission was to create a score that’s reminiscent of the first film, while embracing the new story and the vast, uncharted new world of the internet that Ralph and Vanellope must navigate to retrieve a part to save her game. Says Jackman, “‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is one of the best animated films of recent times and I was really proud of the score. What makes this one different? There’s a clue in the title, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’—we’ve moved from the arcade to the internet. While we can retain some of the original material, there’s a new layer we had to create and integrate. There’s a distinction between arcade electronica and internet electronica, which sounds more modern.”

“There’s so many fun things to enjoy,” continues Jackman. “But I think the universality comes from the fact that it’s an important archetypal friendship story. Hidden behind all of this amazing technology and imagery is something very solid emotionally and narratively.”

Filmmakers called on GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Michaels to perform the second end-credit song, “In This Place,” a pop version of “A Place Called Slaughter Race.” “I think one of my favorite things about ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is Vanellope,” says Michaels, “because she’s just completely misunderstood. I think a lot of people feel that way—misunderstood—and go through life trying to find their power. And when they find it, it’s really beautiful.”

About “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had. Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Zootopia,” writer, “Cedar Rapids”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt,” “Lilo & Stitch”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

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Press Club debut album out 25 January 2019

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Album release: Press Club
Release date: 25 January 2019
Label: Hassle Records
More info: Band website

  • Watch the video for first single ‘Headwreck’ here

  • First UK tour dates set to be announced for Spring 2019

With Press Club having already risen way out of Australia’s underground punk scene, to become one of the country’s buzziest new bands, today they announce that they have signed to Hassle Records for the UK / EU release of their debut album Late Teens on Jan 25. Support from the influential Triple J radio station has come thick and fast for the band, with a number of singles gaining heavy rotation, and a coveted ‘Like A Version’ session slot generating over 150,000 views. Rolling Stone Australia and Beat Magazine have also touted the band as Ones To Watch, as the first pockets of UK media support have begun to emerge from Kerrang! magazine and the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show’s Dan P Carter.

Press Club are also sharing lead single and accompanying video for ‘Headwreck’; two and half minutes of frenetic, raw, self-assured and commanding punk, stacked with buzz-saw guitars and brimming with honesty. The track is about a place we’ve all been; in a relationship with someone that doesn’t treat you right, doesn’t respect you. It’s a call to arms to respect yourself, to demand more. The video was shot in a Collingwood warehouse, with the help of two friends, Nick Manuell and Will Maconachie, who have created a video that captures the band’s brash energy, and embodies how the song was recorded: live and in one take. It’s a glimpse at the kind of performances that have won them so many fans in support of the likes of Japandroids, Joyce Manor, Cloud Nothings, The Smith Street Band and Dream Wife on the road in their native Australia.

Press Club will also play their first ever live shows in the UK this coming Spring, with more details to be announced shortly. Bassist Iain MacRae comments; “Absolutely over the moon to be part of the Hassle posse! It's great to finally have someone we trust in our corner after being independent for so long. Let the Antipodean takeover of Europe commence!”

Late Teens is what happens when four Melbourne musicians come together to create a body of work entirely devoid of outside influence, being answerable to only themselves. Over six weeks, bassist Iain MacRae’s house was converted into a temporary song-writing sweatshop where the band wrote forty songs that were distilled into the dozen that make up the track list on Late Teens. Relying upon the experiences of their friends and people they know as subject matter, Late Teens thematically approaches displacement, relationships, internal turmoil, gentrification and inequality. Press Club is the musical embodiment of the attitude of a generation experiencing impermanence in every way.

Pre-order Late Teens on limited colour vinyl / CD / Digital here.

“A rootsy, passionate emo-punk gem… They’re another band with an incredible frontwoman, Nat Foster, whose voice imbues the songs with passion and yearning.” - Kerrang!

“One of our records of the year for sure – so great.” - Dan P Carter, BBC Radio 1

“There’s plenty of buzz surrounding Press Club, with firebrand frontwoman Natalie Foster proving she has one of the strongest set of pipes that we’ve heard in a while.” - Rolling Stone Aus

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Deer Tick new album out 1 February 2019

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Album release: ‘Mayonnaise’ by Deer Tick
Release date: 1 February 2019
Label: Partisan
More info: Band website

On Feb 1st Deer Tick will release a new compilation album entitled ‘Mayonnaise’ – a 13-song companion piece to last year's full-length albums 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2.' Listen to two tracks from ‘Mayonnaise’ now - a cover of George Harrison’s ‘Run Of The Mill’ as well as brand new track ‘Hey! Yeah!’, which is accompanied by a Scorpion Dagger animated visualizer.

  • Check out ‘Hey! Yeah!’ here.

  • Listen to ‘Run Of The Mill’ here.

The band explains: “On ‘Mayonnaise,’ you’ll find alternate versions of songs from ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ that we feel have their own merit and wanted to share. We also decided to record some of the cover songs that ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ inspired us to play on our Twice Is Nice Tour. We had such a good time playing these covers live that it felt appropriate to document them here. And, lastly, if we are going into the studio, why not write a few new songs, record them, and give the fans something new to round everything out? So, here you go, this is ‘Mayonnaise.’”

'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2' were the band’s first new material since 2013’s ‘Negativity’ and were recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. The albums earned raves everywhere from Vice Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Mojo, Uncut, Uproxx, as well as a performance on CBS This Morning. The band will be on tour in the UK / Ireland this November, with more dates to be announced soon.

Praise for 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2’

"...with Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, McCauley solidifies his status as a modern-day barstool poet...throughout both albums, the band varies its rhythms and arrangements with surprising agility." – Pitchfork

“Vol.1 is raw, introspective and rootsy… Vol.2 is its noisy yang” – Mojo

“Vol 1 is reflective and rootsy… Vol 2 is high-class punk thrash” – Uncut

"...'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Vol. 2' find the Rhode Island roots rockers back and better than ever...Deer Tick's most optimistic effort yet, a masterclass in newfound maturity not losing what made the band so likeable in the first place." – Noisey

"If the motive behind putting out two albums with contrasting volumes was intended as a demonstration of ambition and range, well, mission accomplished" - NPR Fresh Air

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IDLES 2019 world tour

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Tour announcement: IDLES
Tour dates: March to May 2019
More info: Band website

  • Including first ever Australian dates and two headline shows at The Electric Ballroom, London

After a wrapping up sell-out UK and US tours, IDLES have confirmed a 2019 world tour, headlining their biggest venues yet. The run will include two London headliners at The Electric Ballroom and their first ever run of dates in Australia. Tickets go on public sale this Friday Nov 9th at 10am local time, with tickets available at here.

IDLES’ new record 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance' debuted at no.5 in the UK charts, breaking Rough Trade’s all-time record for most pre-orders and sales in a day. It is currently the no.1 best reviewed record of 2018 (average rating of 88 across 25 reviews) at Album Of The Year and in the Top 10 on Metacritic. The band saw not only singles but the album itself A-listed at 6 Music and earned major features, amongst others, with the likes of Q, Mojo, The Guardian and covers with DIY, Loud & Quiet, So Young and NME. They’ve arrived internationally too with only last week NPR Music declaring “I am an IDLES addict. It's like mainlining an uplifting and unifying assault on nationalism, racism, intolerance, and class inequality.”

The band won Best Breakthrough at the Q Awards last month following their Jools Holland debut which NME called “history in the making…incomparably brilliant,” likening it to Arctic Monkeys and Kanye West's first appearances on the show. Watch here. La Blogothèque also just filmed the band performing a couple ‘Joy’ standouts, watch them do stripped down versions of ‘I’m Scum’ and ‘Gram Rock’.

More key tracks:

Selected praise for IDLES

“No hyperbole needed; IDLES are the most important band we have right now." - DIY Magazine (cover story)

“Everything about Joy As An Act Of Resistance is just so perfectly realised. An instant classic, one that people will turn to in times of need for years to come.”

10/10 - NME

“This album is a heart-breaking but jubilant exploration of joy, honesty, fragility and expression as our most powerful means of human resistance.”

9/10 - Classic Rock

“IDLES have released the most relevant and at times gut wrenching album of the year.” - Drowned In Sound

“IDLES make sense of modern chaos on the utterly essential Joy as an Act of Resistance.” - The Line Of Best Fit

“Idles take their rightful place as not Britain’s, nor Europe’s, but the world’s most vital band. It’s a fist-clenched celebration of the full spectrum of phenomena - inexplicable, crushing and totally joyous - that divides and unites us all.” - The Quietus

“IDLES deliver a thunderous and sharp state-of-the-nation address.” - The 405

“Across its 40-odd minutes, Joy As An Act of Resistance makes you want to laugh and cry and roar into the wind and cradle your nearest and dearest. It is a beautiful slice of humanity delivered by a group of men whose vulnerability and heart has become a guiding light in the fog for an increasing community of fans who don’t just want, but need this.”

5/5 - DIY

“The power of ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance.’ is how it shows society itself in a mirror. Sometimes it’s a bathroom mirror in the morning too bright and over exposed, another time it’s a makeup mirror in a car you struggle just to catch a glimpse of yourself and other times it’s a fairground mirror and everything is distorted and grotesque. But each time you have look yourself in the eye and take stock for your actions.

This is a band to get excited about. Very, VERY, excited about!”

9/10 - Clash

“This album announces IDLES as one of the most exhilarating and necessary punk bands of right now.” - Kerrang!

“…this isn’t good-time, aspirational, radio-friendly pop. But for anyone in need of music that articulates their concerns or helps them to work through their troubles--or anyone who simply appreciates blistering, intelligent punk - they might just be Britain’s most necessary band.” - The Guardian

“Over a visceral torrent of motorik punk-pop pummels recalling prime Pixies or mclusky, Joe hails his “beautiful immigrant” blood brother “Danny Nedelko” and celebrates his “mongrel” upbringing on “I’m Scum” - in a world run by bullish right-wing sex pests, his aggressive compassion is a potent antidote.” - The Independent

“This feels indispensable, as both bereavement therapy and Brexit-era protest.” - Q

“Britain’s most cult-worthy band have a raging vitality.” - GQ

“Joy as An Act of Resistance is a record that bristles with the political and emotional energy of punk’s very best.”

9/10 - CRACK

“One of the most vital albums of 2018.”

5/5 - Dork

“‘Joy…’ is a self-confessed parade. It’s a punch-up and it’s a bear hug.” - Loud & Quiet

“Their follow-up sees them crank everything up to the next level. No band is better equipped to document the here and now, warts and all.” - Mojo

“This must surely win the award for most intense album of the year. An exorcism of sadness and rage, with a burning commitment to honesty of expression throughout.” - The Times

“Bristolian punk – brutally loud, brutally honest.” - Uncut

"IDLES is the best 21st century punk-ish band I've heard.” - NPR Music (Bob Boilen)

“Visceral, joyous, and honest — lightning rods for collective rage, forged from love.” - Noisey

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Foxwarren debut album out 30 November 2019

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Album release: Foxwarren
Release date: 30 November 2019
Label: Anti-Records
More info: Band website

Growing up in scattered small towns across the Canadian prairies, Foxwarren is comprised of singer songwriter Andy Shauf (guitars/keys/vocals) and his childhood friends Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals) and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion) who eventually found themselves in Regina, Saskatchewan. The initial sessions for their self-titled debut – coming out November 30th via ANTI- Records – began ten years ago in the Kissicks’ parents’ farmhouse while they were away on vacation. Upon their return, Foxwarren was forced to relocate and recording resumed back in Regina in a rented house where the members lived as roommates. The band's name comes from the Kissick brothers’ family home in Foxwarren, Manitoba.

Today the four-piece has released its first song 'Everything Apart'; the driving krautrock, drum machine backbone of the song evokes a ticking clock – a race against time. “Combined with Andy’s existential lyrics, the song’s propulsive feel reminded us of the noir-ish tension of classic spy thrillers like ‘The Conversation’, ‘Three Days of The Condor’, and ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’,” explained the video’s directors, the Ft. Langley Production Company. “With the band’s blessing, we set to work on creating our own micro cold-war thriller, paying homage to era tropes like zoom-heavy camerawork, trench coats, and analogue tech.”

Watch Foxwarren video ‘Everything Apart’ on YouTube

As college friends, Foxwarren initially bonded over Pedro the Lion and drew influence from The Band and Paul Simon. Now a decade into the project, Shauf reflects on their debut release: “So much time and effort went into making this album; it's something I think we're all really proud of. My touring and recording schedule got pretty wild over the past three or four years, so it put the Foxwarren album on the backburner. Making the album was such an enjoyable time - the collaboration and frustration of it all. All of us trying to make something better than we previously had. I'm excited to get it out into the world and have other people listen to it. We've been a band for 10 years or so and never properly released an album, so this is special for the four of us.”

"...recalls classic pop songwriters in the vein of Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman, coupled with the plainspoken timbre of a Paul Simon, albeit with a laconic Canadian drawl." - NPR Music

"...one of the single most promising voices to emerge from Canada in recent memory." - Flood Magazine

"...Shauf has always had a way of portraying characters and telling their stories in the most delicate and piercing ways." - The Line Of Best Fit

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Hayes & Y new single out now

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Single release: ‘Blue’ by Hayes & Y
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

"From the synth flecks to those speckled Nile Rodgers esque guitar lines, 'Blue' feels like the complete pop package." - CLASH

Hayes & Y have returned with a brand new single, 'Blue'. Described by CLASH magazine as "a moody dancefloor burner with a killer chorus", it follows recent track 'Always So Simple, Always So Cold' which was featured on Spotify's UK Viral Top 50 chart. Already picking up plays at BBC Introducing and BBC 6 Music, the group adds a little more insight into their latest creation;

"Blue is the first in a series of songs we've named after colours. It is about loneliness, insanity and imaginary friends. ‘Blue’ is a song about longing, masquerading as a dance track. The most ambitious work we've done so far, challenging ourselves and hopefully, our audience."

Listen to 'Blue' here.

With band members that hail from as far afield as Bulgaria and Finland before settling in Manchester, Hayes & Y collect their influences to create their very own sound. Their strong chemistry and rich musicality are manifest in their effortlessly sleek, immediate and addictive brand of pop - which has been compared to the likes of Jungle and Nile Rogers - with CLASH going on to comment on their "infectious funky yacht pop, their bleached out sound recalls everyone from Jungle to Kool & The Gang. 'Blue' will only serve to increase the hype around the quartet, an irresistible new single from the group."

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JP Harris & The Tough Choices new album out now

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Album release: ‘Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing’ by JP Harris & The Tough Choices
Release date: Out now
Label: Free Dirt Records
More info: Artist website

  • UK Tour begins this Saturday in Scotland. Tickets here.

  • Featured: 10 New Country Acts You Need To Know In August 2018 - Rolling Stone

“...thoughtful, authentic music.” - Don Henley, The Eagles

“…has the rugged edges of outlaw, the danceability of honkytonk, and classic country’s beloved emotional candour - Harris has a timeless voice.” - Wide Open Country

After performing across Europe earlier this month, JP Harris is set to start his UK tour this Saturday November 10th with his full band, The Tough Choices, accompanying him. Including three dates in Scotland to kick things off, the critically acclaimed musician will also be stopping in Newcastle, Bristol, Oxford, Bedford, and headlining at the Omeara in London on November 16th.

With his latest album ‘Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing’ (released October 5th on Free Dirt Records), Harris is back after a four-year hiatus to remind folks what a lifetime dedicated to country music looks and sounds like. Sure to please fans of his hardscrabble earlier work, this new collection of songs finds the acclaimed songwriter and vocalist stretching himself both musically and personally.

In today’s musical culture, the word “authenticity” seems to have lost all meaning. What used to represent something bona fide and true is now just watered-down marketing speak, stamped onto press releases without a second thought. Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1983, JP Harris doesn’t fancy himself a musician as much as he does a carpenter who writes country songs. However, his stranger-than-fiction story begins after the eighth grade, when he left home on a Greyhound bus in the middle of a summer night. And he’s never looked back.

For over a decade, Harris travelled the country, often alone, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains while making his living as a farm labourer, shepherd, woodsman, and carpenter, among many other titles. Still an in-demand carpenter to this day, Harris has been writing and performing country music for nearly ten years, releasing his debut album, ‘I’ll Keep Calling’, in 2012. He followed that release with ‘Home Is Where the Hurt Is’ in 2014, which only saw his star rise both among country fans and critics at major outlets like Rolling Stone. Even Eagles frontman Don Henley referenced Harris in a 2015 interview with Hey Reverb saying that Harris made “thoughtful, authentic music.”

Working with producer and Old Crow Medicine Show member, Morgan Jahnig, Harris tapped a handful of his favourite players, sent them acoustic demos, and gave some pretty unconventional instructions: “Take five days to think about these songs. Please write notes of whatever ideas come to mind. Please don’t talk to each other about it. Let’s all just get in the studio on day one and compare notes as we go.”

The resulting sessions featured a palpable spontaneity and creative energy, both of which manifest in an album that’s real, raw, and more akin to his live performance than anything Harris has put out thus far. “We took a counter-intuitive approach,” he says. “We had no pre-production. There were no rehearsals. We basically had a whole studio full of multi-instrumentalists, a six-piece band total, for the whole recording session. Everybody played at least two instruments. It was a really interesting way to do it and I think it helped us avoid anybody, including myself, overthinking the songs.”

Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing opens with ‘JP”s Florida Blues #1’, a hard driving country rock number that details some of Harris’ darker days touring Florida with his band, the Tough Choices. ‘Lady in the Spotlight’, an affecting song with layered strings, turns a critical eye to the stark gender imbalance and the seamy, predatory side of music industry.

Album highlight, ‘When I Quit Drinking’, is, as its title suggests, a tender look at one of Harris’ most personal struggles. ‘Gossamer’ strands of pedal steel complement the gentle quaver in his voice, underpinning some of his most personal lyrics to date.

After years of writing and playing, Harris is more in love with country music than ever before. He sums up his hopes for the album simply: “I’m just hoping that me coming to the table without gimmicks or cool-looking costumes or fancy vintage jeans—just the grubby guy I am with a sleeveless shirt and a pair of boots on—is enough to get people into the music.”

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OGRE and Dallas Campbell new soundtrack out 25 January 2019

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Soundtrack release: ‘All Hallows’ II’ by OGRE and Dallas Campbell
Release date: 25 January 2019
More info: Band website

‘All Hallows’ II’ is a full-length studio album by transatlantic synthesists Robin Ogden (OGRE) and Dallas Campbell. The sequel builds upon the previous instalment of All Hallows’: slasher synth chase sequences, atmospheres laden with powerful dread and eerie soundscapes score a true horror story, track by track, to a thrilling and cinematic conclusion. ‘All Hallows’ II’ is a conceptual narrative journey into cults and the occult, unfeeling cosmic horrors, and the unplumbed darkness of the human condition.

Hear / share ‘Have You Seen Me’ here.

Despite living 3594 miles apart, and having never met in person, Robin and Dallas collaborate online by the combined powers of FaceTime, Dropbox and Sid Meier’s Civilization V, sharing a passion for all things analog, tape machines and esoteric vintage synths. All Hallows’ II draws on the duos combined nostalgia for the halcyon years of Carpenter and Goblin-esc soundtracks, cheap horror movies and sweet synth scores. The soundtrack is the fourth instalment of their many transatlantic collaborations, and builds upon their last horror outing, a re-score of George Romero’s classic Night Of The Living Dead on Grammy winning soundtrack label Lakeshore Records (Stranger Things, Drive etc.).

The accompanying story could be ripped from the pages of Weird Tales and is a delicious throwback to the slow-burn pulp horror movies of yester-decades. For fans of the weird and eerie, Lovecraftian horrors, Cronenberg’s early works and immersive fiction, All Hallows’ II is an ambitious work of deep fiction told through a series of found artefacts: coroner’s reports, newspaper clippings and ominous bloodstained notes. The synopsis reads: “35 years ago, police discovered the remains of over a dozen former patients in the sub-basement of an alternative healthcare facility, The Shepard Institute For Psionic Inquiry. All Hallows’ II is the story of investigative journalist Ellis Ledstone, and Shepard’s other victims, whose bodies was never found.”

All Hallows’ II includes the unaltered case files of the events of 1983. The onus is on the reader to stitch together the narrative and come to their own conclusions about the mysterious events of 1983 and what really happened at The Shepard Institute For Psionic Inquiry, by examining the interviews, reports and artefacts, which are included both digitally with the release and physically with physical versions of the soundtrack.

The soundtrack features 24 tracks and will be released both digitally and on cassette with a special edition physical package of ‘All Hallows' II’ including a hard print copy of the story component and a 'found artefact' meditation cassette. A separate selection of B-sides and cuts entitled: ‘All Hallows’ II: Coda’ will follow the release.

Praise for OGRE & Dallas Campbell

“As an exercise in pure immersion in a genre, this is pretty much perfection. The only imaginary synth horror soundtrack you’ll ever need.” – the Quietus

“The international duo love the Berlin school of synthesizer music and cheesy horror flicks, and they curate the perfect sounds from a panoply of MOOGs, Korgs, Farfisas, and more.” – Bandcamp

“If you’re into the recent trend of synth with horror influences then this is going to be right up your alley!” – Bloody Disgusting

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Imperial Daze new single out now

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Single release: ‘Always Settling’ by Imperial Daze
Release date: Out now
Label: AudioCommune Records

Watch / share ‘Always Settling’ new video here

Made up of singer/guitarist Alex Cameron-Ward, guitarist/bassist Felix Rebaud-Sauer, keyboardist/singer Facundo Rodriguez and drummer Tom Sunney, Peckham, indie-psych-pop quartet Imperial Daze started as a 3-piece studio project. At the end of 2015 that Alex, Facundo, and Felix decided to build a recording studio together with the intention of making music for advertising under the company name of AudioCommune, following Alex’s previous band being placed in a Sony PS4 advert, bringing in enough money to set up a recording hub in the basement of an industrial old warehouse building in Battersea.

Having begun writing music together, late-2016/early-2017 saw Imperial Daze release a short series of hotly received singles earning critical acclaim from the likes of DIY (Neu Pick), Clash (Track of the Day), Indie Shuffle, Hilly Dilly and more, whilst clocking up tens of thousands of plays across streaming platforms. The band’s hazy, rolling indie-pop and self-made success also caught the attention of Rupert Jarvis from The Maccabees and Ian Brundrett from Caroline/Fiction Records who took the band under their wing for both the production and management, helping the band to further explore their sound.

Having performed as a studio project up until meeting Rupert, the decision was made to put a live band together with the idea of recording a first EP and touring. Taken to The Drugstore (The Maccabees own recording studio in London) by Rupert, the band recorded their debut EP ‘Solid Fair’, which due to a last-minute line-up change also featured Sam Doyle (also of The Maccabees) on drums. These recordings and the bands work with Rupert led to the band supporting a series of estimable artists over the second half of 2017 including Mystery Jets, Matt Maltese, Nilufer Yanya, The Maccabees, All We Are, Man,The Echo and more, allowing the band to craft and hone their live show.

Having found their new (and current) drummer, Tom Sunney, again the band had to move their recording studio. History repeating itself, a strike of luck brought the band another opportunity to build their own walls inside a giant disused commercial freezer under a railway arch in Central London. Getting a call for AudioCommune to score an advert for a large ice cream brand, they land the job, get the pay check and with the extra help of a successful crowdfunding campaign they manage to gather enough money to build from scratch what is now called The Electric Eel Recording studio (the freezer was previously used to store eels) by Tower Bridge, London.

Having their own creative space has allowed the band to expand their sound and repertoire. They began by scoring, recording and producing the soundtrack to director Nathan Sam Long’s short movie ‘Give Up The Ghost’ (selected for Cannes) signalling a more “cinematic sound” to come. Going forward the band are continuing their collaboration with director Nathan Sam Long throughout two new music videos for their upcoming singles. The tracks have been recorded between their own studio and the now defunct Maccabees’ Drugstore studio and with ‘Always Settling’ out now a follow up single is due ahead of the bands forthcoming headline show at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington in November.

Previous praise for Imperial Daze

"hazy and romantic, rolling along with little urgency, just a beautiful, driving vocal set against surf pop guitars." - DIY (Neu Pick)

"a succinct, groove-led summer jam with a chorus to stop you in your tracks." - CLASH (Track of the Day)

"if you're a fan of the genres described and know when a group not only has potential, but is nailing the kind of sound you love, this track is definitely one you'll like" - Hillydilly

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Dreyfus Jazz Reference 14 albums out 30 November 2018

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Album release: Dreyfus 'Jazz Reference'
Release date: 30 November 2018
Label: Sony BMG

  • Reissue of 14 titles from 'Jazz Reference' collection

  • Available for the first time on vinyl (and CD) with new artwork by Seb Jarnot

  • Digital promo copies and very limited physical copies available upon request

The 'Jazz Reference' series was originally created by Francis Dreyfus at the very start of the 21st century. This incredible catalogue regrouped the biggest names in Jazz at a groundbreaking sound quality.

Almost twenty years later it is still perceived as one of the best ever created. To help a new generation rediscover this amazing collection, BMG is releasing a first selection of 14 titles: from Louis Armstrong’s trumpet or Django Reinhardt’s guitar to the voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, only the very best has been kept.

Now, this collection will available for the first time on vinyl, and all formats display a brand new artwork from Seb Jarnot, exclusively created for this special reissue.

Speaking about the collection on it's original release, the late Francis Dreyfus, said:

"Since my early childhood, I’ve been crazy about Jazz. This childhood fascination is what inspired me to create Dreyfus Jazz.

I am releasing these masterpieces in order to discover, through another perspective, a collection of the most beautiful tracks ever recorded before 1960 by the biggest and most renowned creators of the lively and flawless language of jazz.

Who is this anthology for?

It’s for those who already love Jazz, and for those who will find great pleasure in re-discovering it, thanks to the sound quality that is unexpected and unequaled. It’s also for the younger generation who don’t yet realize that they are going to love this music that burnt down from its creative violence and its jubilant swing throughout the entire twentieth century.

First, I had to achieve the near impossible: “Break the wall of sound” in order to enhance the already sublime tracks of yesterday… to make them sound as though they’d been recorded yesterday. Thanks to technological information storage and the resolute research of exceptional sound engineer René Ameline (with never ending passion and patience) it was possible to give a “new youth” to the voice of Ella and Billie, and to offer an unheard freshness to formidable improvisations by Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins. We have included the best sources, the best songs, the best documents and there were no “second takes” or “false starts”.

I wanted to start from the original signals inscribed deeply in the wax, to enlarge and enrich the entire sound spectrum until it was inaudible and mute. It was necessary to carefully clean each chosen song, meaning that every useless scratch and annoying click had to be wiped, whilst avoiding stripping away the original grainy sound. With this we were able to achieve a more spacious sound, offering more depth and fullness compared to the original 78 record collection. The result is spectacular!

This collection is truly unique. From the will of a passionate perfectionist who manifested its conception like bearing a child, it was championed by a team of specialists who are lovers of jazz in all its dimensions: Claude Carrière, Noël Hervé and Daniel Nevers.

To really define the spirit of this adventure, which has lasted almost two years, I cannot think of a better way to conclude but to quote Claude Debussy: “Finally, a savage music with modern comfort”!"

Full list of 14 titles:

  • Billy Holiday – You Go To My Head

  • Charlie Parker – Now’s The Time

  • Miles Davis & John Coltrane – Trane’s Blues

  • Dizzy Gillespie – Cubana Be, Cubana Pop

  • Django Reinhardt – Echoes of France

  • Duke Ellington – Ko-Ko

  • Louis Armstrong – C’est Si Bon

  • Nat King Cole – Route 66

  • Stan Getz – Lullaby Of Birdland

  • Sarah Vaughan – Lullaby Of Birdland

  • Ella Fitzgerald – Love For Sale

  • Erroll Garner – Trio

  • The Gerry Milligan Quintet with Chet Baker – Soft Shoe

  • Lester Young – Just You, Just Me

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The Steel Woods new album out 18 January 2019

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Album release: ‘Old News’ by The Steel Woods
Release date: 18 January 2019
Label: Thirty Tigers
More info: Band website

"Though there is not a shortage of Southern rock bands, few have the edge and darkness The Steel Woods bring to the table..." - Saving Country Music

‘Old News’, the new album from Nashville based southern-inspired rock band The Steel Woods is set for a January 18th release via Woods Music/Thirty Tigers. Centred around the soulful and commanding vocals of lead singer Wes Bayliss and the instrumental prowess of guitarist Jason (Rowdy) Cope, Old News makes a statement in the continuing evolution of The Steel Woods as a unit and the Bayliss/Cope combo as songwriters, something their 2017 debut ‘Straw In The Wind’ only scratched the surface of. Listen to the title track here.

Over the last two years The Steel Woods have built a loyal and passionate fan-base through their road warrior touring mentality and extraordinary live shows. Whether headlining or supporting artists such as Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jamey Johnson, Cody Jinks, Miranda Lambert, Blackberry Smoke and many more, The Steel Woods consistently convert audiences with each performance. Click here for a full schedule of The Steel Woods tour dates.

The themes reflected on Old News range from perseverance (‘Wherever You Are’, ‘All of These Years’), to unity (‘Blind Lover’) to hope and resilience in the stand out title track ‘Old News’. Their belief in finding common ground through shared life experiences and a musical connection was inspired by the conversations the band had with people they met on the road.

As with their acclaimed debut album, The Steel Woods again included a Black Sabbath cover (‘Changes’), but also felt the need to acknowledge some important artists we have recently lost. The four tribute tracks honour Tom Petty (‘Southern Accents’), Merle Haggard (‘Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)’), their dear friend Wayne Mills (‘One Of These Days’) and Gregg Allman (‘Whipping Post’).

Old News was recorded at Echo Mountain Studio (Asheville, NC) and Blackbird Studio (Nashville, TN) and features band members, Wes Bayliss (guitar/vocals/keys/mandolin/harmonica), Jason Cope (guitars), Johnny Stanton (bass) and Jay Tooke (drums/percussion).

The Steel Woods are a band steeped in Southern culture with a modern approach and powerful intensity in live performance. Though their style is apologetically Southern Rock and Rock, just pull back the layers to find lyrics that feature passionate storytelling and messages that resonate.

Brand new album from The Steel Woods, ‘Old News’, available for pre-order here.

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The Joy Formidable on tour February 2019

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Tour announcement: The Joy Formidable
Tour dates: February 2019
More info: Band website

The Joy Formidable’s new album ‘AAARTH’ has keenly shone the spotlight back onto the Welsh alt-rock trio. An album packed with inventive and emotive rallying cries, born from a place of renewed vision, ‘AAARTH’ has become their most experimental work to date, and among their most heralded.

As their live outings in support of the new album got underway in the summer – with main stage appearances at Reading & Leeds Festival, a sold-out show at The Lexington, followed by extensive touring in support of Foo Fighters through the US and Canada – their latest material has been connecting with fans old and new, and is turning into a defining record in the band’s already storied career. Three huge singles - ‘Dance of The Lotu’, ‘The Wrong Side’, and ‘The Better Me’ – have picked up airplay across BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music too. Watch the video for latest single ‘The Better Me’ here.

Never ones to sit still for long, the band are already plotting an extended return to UK venues and have confirmed their first full UK tour of the album through Feb 2019. Tickets will be on sale on Weds 24th Oct from 10am at the band’s website here. They will bring their magnetic live show to the following cities.

Listen to new album ‘AAARTH’ here.

Praise for new album AAARTH

The Welsh rockers build their towering songs on wobblier foundations for the sheer thrill of trying to make them topple. - Pitchfork

All Beck groove, Beatles psych, volcano solos and guitar hooks that sound like Elon Musk trying to catapult himself to Mars. – The Guardian

Tightly-wound rock riffs and pummelling drums. A great leap forward. - Q

An album of compositional daring and fierce experimentation. – DIY

It’s an album that sees them back on solid footing, re-energised and ready to take on the world again. – Upset

Joyfully experimental and refreshing. – Total Guitar

A biting, visceral return. - CLASH

Riffs as high as a Welsh mountain. – Louder Than War

The trio have found their form again (4/5) - Dork

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Paul Smith new solo album out now

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Album release: Diagrams’ by Paul Smith
Release date: Out now
More info: Artist website

Today, Paul Smith releases his brand-new solo album ‘Diagrams’, a record that strips bare his work to this point and ploughs fresh songwriting pathways. Already riding a wave of positive reviews, the record will be BBC 6 Music’s Album of The Day on October 29. ‘Diagrams’ sees 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. Most recently he found himself performing alongside folk star Rachel Unthank for Lauren Laverne’s Great Northern Soundtrack, and he is currently a host for publisher Penguin’s podcast alongside David Baddiel and Konnie Huq, discussing the latest book releases.

Smith gives songs from the album their first live airing at a sold-out launch show at The Waiting Room in Stockton on Oct 28th, before taking the show on the road with a full band through November. Full details can be found 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.

As a body of work, it seeks to unite the strengths that Smith has in his canon, drawing on his ability to both write from experience, yet also conjure new stories of unknown protagonists. Sidestepping (but not wholly ignoring) the more autobiographical work that played out through previous releases, ‘Diagrams’ instead sees Smith further explore his nous for telling these short stories. 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.

“I try to absorb information and filter parts that interest me into the songs, while retaining my own, singular voice. I still believe in the power of a pop song to alter someone’s day, and although this record was mostly made in a bedroom, I felt the songs would have a universal appeal.” – Paul Smith

With his ability to unravel the day-to-day and transform the commonplace into an eloquent turn of phrase, the thread that holds ‘Diagrams’ in place is Smith’s honesty and empathy. It’s these matters-of-the-heart elements that push and pull at the listener’s emotions. Resultingly, it’s a collection that feels incredibly relatable.

Album opener ‘The Public Eye’ sets the tone with a dark undercurrent and was written in the aftermath of the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy adopted by the British Home Office. Taking aim at our climate of suspicion, it shines a light on how vulnerable groups are attacked without factual foundation (‘Convictions without proof’). ‘Around and Around’ similarly details the futile merry-go-round of the news cycle, before ‘Silver Rabbit’ conjures a story of self-doubt, set against the low-budget romance of the seaside, and channelled through overdriven guitars. ‘Lake Burley Griffin’ - inspired by the story of Walter Burley Griffin, an American who designed Canberra alongside his wife Marion Mahony Griffin – is the album’s discordant left-hand turn, taking in the post-rock influence of Slint or Tortoise. A love story featuring prominent clarinet, it showcases – along with the saxophone in ‘The Public Eye’ – Smith’s addition of woodwind instruments to his musical palette. Elsewhere on ‘John’ he imagines a life that can never be known, inspired by a name scrawled on the back of a toilet door, extrapolating the sentiment and following it into a world where the story unfolds from schooldays to falling in love. It’s in these instances that Smith’s talent is subtly exemplified. He envisages unknowable situations and turns them on their head to evoke truly universal emotions of hope and regret (“what if the first chance, is the last chance?”).

Through ‘The Beauty Contes’t and ‘Critical Mass’ – the former featuring folk royalty, Marry Waterson, the latter inspired by JG Ballard and Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' - Smith again shows us he can veer into and out of songs inspired by reality. ‘The Beauty Contest’ plots a late-night train journey, and ‘Critical Mass’ plumbs bleak and apocalyptic depths, albeit alongside a black sense of humour.

‘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. Listen to ‘Diagrams’ here.

PRAISE FOR DIAGRAMS

"Always an artist doing interesting, exciting and unexpected things." - Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

"A wealth of strong songs… Shapeshifting between bright guitar pop and darker, introspective tales" - Mojo

"Around and Around and John pleasingly recall the breezy stylings of early Real Estate or Best Coast" - DIY

"His way with words is as a poet, and mastery of the English tongue shines throughout" - Dork

"Around and Around offers fine poetic storytelling" - The i Paper

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Josephine Davies' Satori new album out 9 November 2019

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Album release: 'In The Corners Of Clouds' by Josephine Davies' Satori
Release date: 9 November 2019
Label: Whirlwind Recordings
More info: Artist website

  • View the new single 'Wabi-Sabi' premiere with JAZZIZ

  • Listen/share new single 'Wabi-Sabi' on YouTube

Saxophonist and composer Josephine Davies is engaged in a continually evolving, creative musical expedition with near-chordless trio project Satori; and for this second recorded waymarker, ‘In the Corners of Clouds’ (the follow-up to the 2017 Whirlwind debut, Satori), she welcomes drummer James Maddren alongside existing double bassist Dave Whitford to explore eight original numbers, fronted by her own inquiring tenor resonances.

The spontaneity of this purely acoustic trio has already captured imaginations, as well as spurring Davies on in its progression. “We played a lot of shows after the first release and soon after I had written another album’s worth of material; and because our approach has become more and more open, I began to see my tunes mainly as a basis for improvisation. It might be seen as limiting to have no traditional "harmonic instrument" in this line-up—especially with the deeper frequencies of the tenor—but it actually throws melody to the fore, which I like. And if melody is happening you really can do whatever you want. We create so much space together that it actually encourages me to both compose and play in a different way.”

Comprised almost entirely of first takes, the less-rehearsed immediacy of Satori’s sound is fundamental to the ambiences which Davies seeks, and is encapsulated in opening number ‘Wabi Sabi’, named after a Japanese philosophy which embraces and celebrates the beauty in imperfection.

Here, Whitford’s rhythmic ostinato and the core melody are broken up, creating an oriental long groove for improvisation before being put back together into a similarly beautiful state. Davies’ long-held fascination with the music of John Coltrane can be heard in ‘Dancing Saint’, its bluesy, smouldering rhythms and long, shaped tenor lines paying homage (with animated individual features for bass and drums).

Title track ‘In the Corners of Clouds’, prompted by two Haiku based on these opposingly angular and ineffable subjects, “arrived very quickly and fully formed”, explains the saxophonist; and its almost singer/songwriter feel is characterised by an attractive, cantabile, downward sequence.

Gingerly-trodden ‘Oddities’, built from a clutch of motif snippets, leads to ‘The Space Between Thoughts’, whose finely-spun thoughts echo Buddhist meditation. The impassioned weight of Coltrane-like tune, ‘Cry’, pushes tenor out close and high, dramatized by rumbling bass and drums, only to be contrasted by the joyful South African township sway of ‘Lazy’. To close, ‘Scattered’ (a favourite of the saxophonist) travels through differing key centres, sans time signature, with complete abandon.

Reflecting on the affecting unrestraint of Satori, Josephine Davies concludes: “As a culture, we mostly don’t celebrate the crusty, technically imperfect, unglossed aspects of life, but rather seek perfection—and that doesn’t move me. I’ll always go for the intangible or the emotional; that ‘creative something’—which is what I feel all the timeless albums have got. The enduring appeal of Satori is its freedom—a wonderfully exciting and valuable experience.”

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Frankie Davies debut album out 2 November 2019

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Album release: 'Wherever I Go' by Frankie Davies
Release date: 2 November 2019
More info: Artist website

Bob Harris has had the first play of the new single by Frankie Davies called 'Open Road' taken from her debut album 'Wherever I Go'. Frankie has described the song as articulating how she feels about the love between her and her partner and their journey together:

"I wrote this song after a big road trip with my partner," says Frankie, "...sometimes it's rough and we have no idea where we are going but actually it takes us to some place beautiful. More importantly, when it seems there is no more road left to take, we just turn a corner and carry on our adventure."

Listen to 'Open Road' on Bob Harris Country BBC Radio 2.

Listen to 'Open Road' on Spotify.

Previous single 'High On Love' came with a playful new video that saw Frankie meandering home ‘the morning after’ around her local streets with the gorgeous landscape of Jersey as a backdrop. 'Wherever I Go' is released worldwide this Friday November 2nd. The album reached Number 2 in the iTunes Country Chart last week upon UK release.

Watch the video for 'High On Love' here.

Pre-order the album here.

“Wherever I Go is me, encapsulated.” says Frankie Davies, Jersey-born songwriter, on her highly anticipated debut album. This is an important release for Davies, in fact, she has said that the record “represents me, my journey and experiences over the last 4 years.”

In 2015 Davies released her debut EP ‘Dancing All Night’ out of which came 3 singles, critical praise and national airplay. In 2017 she began work on her debut album, recording with renowned Nashville musicians in the home of Country, and back in the UK with her all-female band. Davies has visited Nashville on many occasions to write and perform, once notably with BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris as one of just 3 UK artists selected to represent BBC Introducing in Nashville at the Americana Music Festival. She continues to enjoy support from Bob and his team on his radio shows and festival stages. In 2016, Davies was invited back to Nashville to perform at an international showcase at one of the world’s biggest Country festivals, CMA Fest.

Davies performs at the highest level touring the UK and wider Europe with some of the biggest names in Country Music including Maddie & Tae, Chris Young, Charlie Worsham, Mo Pitney & Josh Kelley. Closer to home Frankie has appeared regularly at the UK’s biggest Country Music Festival ‘C2C’, toured with UK favourites The Shires, supported Ward Thomas & completed her first headline tour in 2017.

2018 marks an important step in her story, the release of ‘Wherever I Go’, Davies’ debut album on the 2nd of November, something fans have been waiting to hear for a long time. Its variety of influences are tied together by Davies’ evocative vocals and addictive melodies that transport listeners through both painful and joyful moments in her life.

“In one sense this album is a showcase of lessons learnt from my beginnings and being young and naive in the music industry. From the rockier, You Don’t Know Me, written with Emily Linden, where I let my frustration pour out, to the contrasting Front Row Seat. The latter song is about an experience that broke me. I had been led to believe that a show I had been booked for would suddenly change my life. When it came to showtime there was only one person in the audience.” This confrontation with a harsh world at such a young age only pushed Frankie forward and adds a grit to her songwriting as well as moments of heart-breaking honesty.

“I went out and I played and from my disappointment, I discovered something truly valuable. Even if there is only one person to listen to my music they deserve my best performance. I am always grateful to anyone who wants to listen.”

'Wherever I Go' was released to the US and UK on October 26th before the worldwide release on November 2nd.

Album launch shows:

  • 7th November - Ruby's Lounge, St Helier, Jersey

  • 9th November - The Acorn, Penzance, Cornwall

  • 11th November - Gullivers, Manchester

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Pedro The Lion new album out 18 January 2019

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Album release: 'Phoenix' by Pedro The Lion
Release date: 18 January 2019
Label: Big Scary Monsters / Polyvinyl Records
More info: Band website

  • First album as Pedro The Lion since 2004's 'Achilles Heel'

  • Watch the Jason Lester-directed video for the album's debut single 'Yellow Bike'

Pedro the Lion has always been David Bazan, but it took a long time to get back there.

In August 2016, during what he now recognizes as his lowest point, Bazan was touring the country alone in an aging minivan and found himself in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. In need of a break from the road, he spent a night off at his grandparents’ house instead of driving on to San Diego. Before leaving town the next morning, after realizing that even the most familiar places can become unrecognizable, Bazan gave himself the gift of a quick detour past the house he grew up in, and on the way, experienced a breakthrough - one that would lead him both forward and back to another home he had built many years before.

From the beginning, Pedro the Lion didn’t work like the bands Bazan had played drums in, where each player came up with their own parts. Instead, like scripting scenes of dialogue for actors to play with, Bazan recorded and arranged all of the skeletal accompaniments for his obsessively introspective lyrics and spare melodies. Each player would then learn their parts and, together as a band, they brought the skeleton to life. While bandmates played on a few recordings, Bazan often played all or most of the instruments himself.

“I found so much joy working this way,” Bazan remembers. “It came naturally and yielded a feeling and a sound that couldn’t have existed by any other process. At the same time, I was also aware that not everyone wanted to play in a band where the singer wrote all the parts and might perform them on the record. Someone even suggested it might not be a valid approach to having a band in the first place. Being insecure and wanting to find camaraderie, I became conflicted about my natural process.”

By 2002, after recording Control, the high rate of turnover in the band finally caused Bazan to ditch his “natural process” in favour of a collaborative writing process. When, after a couple more years, this move did nothing to stabilize turnover, Bazan was perplexed. In November 2005, Bazan decided to stop doing Pedro the Lion altogether.

Ironically, Bazan didn’t see “going solo” as a chance to revert back to his original process of writing and playing all the parts. For the next decade Pedro the Lion felt off limits, even forgotten, like a childhood home Bazan had moved out of. He pushed forward with releasing solo albums & relentless touring in living rooms and clubs, through every part of the US and beyond, sometimes with a band, but mostly on his own. It took a toll on his family and more acutely on himself. By the summer of 2016, he still hadn’t found the personal clarity or the steady collaboration he’d been seeking and was at the end of his rope.

“I had abandoned my natural way of working in the hopes of creating space for a consistent band to write with...and it hadn’t worked. So I got a rehearsal space, mic’d up drums, bass, and guitar, and really leaned into my original process again. It immediately felt like like home. Before long I realized it also felt like Pedro the Lion.”

In June 2018, with Bazan on bass, vocals, and arrangement writing, Erik Walters on guitar and backing vocals, and Sean Lane on drums, Pedro the Lion went into Studio X and Hall of Justice with producer Andy Park to create Phoenix, the first new Pedro album in 15 years.

The songs themselves are the result of mining your past for who you are now. On opening track 'Yellow Bike', Bazan encapsulates a core ache he’s been exploring since 1998’s ‘It’s Hard to Find a Friend’ with the line:

“My kingdom - For someone to ride with”

Phoenix also deals with having to be better to yourself in order to be better to others on 'Quietest Friend', and harkens back to Control’s 'Priests and Paramedics' with a story about EMTs facing a gruesome scene, and storytelling as coping mechanism, on 'Black Canyon'. It bears witness to both what was around and what was inside, with the signature kindness and forgiveness that lightens Pedro the Lion’s darkest notes.

The result is a twisting, darkly hopeful introspection into home and what it means to go back, if you ever can. It is rock and roll wrapped in tissue paper, its hard edges made barely soft. Every melody is careful, a delicate upswing buoyed by guitar lines that hold each tender feeling together like string before ripping them apart to see what’s inside. It is an ode to the place he still loves despite how alien it can appear to him now. It is the story of a life from the beginning, but not a linear one. This life is a circle, and 'Phoenix' goes back to that first point, to show that when we are looking for home we’ll eventually run into it again, whether it’s in the desert, in a rehearsal space, or on a stage.

"He's both singular and reliable, and within a narrow but potent vein of subject matter and style, he's an explorer." - NPR

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