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Wasuremono new album out 14 June 2019

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Album release: 'Are You OK?' by Wasuremono
Release date: 14 June 2019
More info: Band website

Wasuremono have announced their new album 'Are You OK?' will be released on June 14th. Today, they have also shared the title track from the album after teasing the news with previous single 'Lonely Type'.

Listen/watch new single 'Are You OK?' YouTube.

Listen/watch previous single 'Lonely Type' via YouTube.

Pre-order album 'Are You OK?' here.

In 2018, Wasuremono made quite the impression; with the release of their self-titled debut album, Steve Lamacq’s invite to record a live session for BBC 6 Music at the legendary Maida Vale Studios, Lauren Laverne describing them as a “favourite”, supporting both the The Flaming Lips and Phosphorescent on tour, and playing at iconic venues such as Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

New album, ‘Are You OK?’ was written and recorded by multi-instrumentalist William Southward in his shed. On the newly released title track, Southward has said that the song, "seemed to turn into a pep talk to myself, with themes and sounds of the seaside and clearing the mind asking yourself or someone else ‘Are you ok?’. It’s got a really 80’s vibe to this song with the help from the Linn Drum Computer pounding through the song backed up with synth sounds played on an old Yamaha Dx7."

With the enlistment of friends Madelaine Ryan, Isaac Phillips, and Phoebe Phillips, Southward’s songs come to life. Wasuremono will be performing across the UK this summer in support of 'Are You OK?', with stops at festivals including Live at Leeds, The Great Escape, Bluedot, and Dot To Dot, as well as a headline show at the Sebright Arms in London on June 19th. Full details here.

The Japanese word ‘wasuremono’ or, ‘忘れ物’ in kanji characters, roughly translates to “something forgotten or left behind.” Within the first few bars of Wasuremono’s new album ‘Are You OK?’, feelings of isolation, fear, defensiveness, and inherited reservations, are forgotten or left behind. It may sound like a tall task, but somehow, they nail it. “We will find you, we will, we will work it out!”, the climactic track ‘Self-Help’ reassures.

2018 was quite a year for Wasuremono; with the release of their self-titled debut album, Steve Lamacq’s invite to record a live session for BBC 6 Music at the legendary Maida Vale Studios, Lauren Laverne describing them as a “favourite”, supporting both the The Flaming Lips and Phosphorescent on tour and playing at iconic venues such as Shepherd’s Bush Empire – no mean feat considering the debut album was conceived and recorded in a garden shed.

‘Are You OK?’ was also written and recorded by multi-instrumentalist William Southward in his shed. “It’s a tiny space at the bottom of the garden, crammed with old instruments I have been collecting over the years and the sounds of birds occasionally spilling into the recordings”, explains Southward. With the enlistment of friends Madelaine Ryan, Isaac Phillips, and Phoebe Phillips, Southward’s songs come to life. ‘Are You OK?’ is an immersive kaleidoscopic collection that plunges the listener deep into an invigorating world of sanguine synths, radiant harmonies and salient percussion that is repeatedly sublime. Although the atmosphere of the album is mostly one of hope and assurance, it stylistically travels through baggy electronica, mesmeric psychedelia, wonderfully futuristic (or is it wonderfully retro?) pop, to off-kilter almost surf-rock on tracks like ‘A Lesson To Learn’.

The enveloping percussion on the release was central to its creation, explains Southward, “Most of this album was written around an old Linn Drum Computer that I managed to get my hands on last year. I had always really liked the distinct 80’s sound of the Linn Drum, made famous by the likes of Prince, Gary Numan, and Peter Gabriel, and it was a fun and unique process writing songs around the beats I programmed in.” Southward puts the fizz and pop of the record down to “all the songs on the album being the original demos; There always seems to be a magic in the original take of a song, that’s impossible to put your finger on and equally hard to replicate when you then try to re-record it.”

Despite the palpable emotion and fragility in the vocals, the layered production and distinctive melodies work to shift the focus from the intensity of the lyrical content, something Southward has recognised, “Unconsciously a lot of the songs I have written over the last year seem to explore mental health at some level, so ‘Are You OK? seemed a fitting title. I liked the idea of sugar coating the ‘Are You OK?’ slogan, which is something we can all be guilty of doing when portraying our lives, whether that’s online or to each other in person. Underneath all this though, is the more serious question that I think we should be asking each other and ourselves; Are You OK? Let’s talk…”

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Drahla debut album out 3 May 2019

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Album release: 'Useless Coordinates' by Drahla
Release date: 3 May 2019
Label: Captured Tracks
More info: Band website

Today, the Leeds-formed three-piece Drahla have announced their highly-anticipated debut album 'Useless Coordinates' will be released via Captured Tracks on May 3rd 2019.

The band have premiered the arresting first single 'Stimulus for Living' as a taster of the album along with a video for it via The FADER where it was described as "tightly bound and inventive...a frantic and densely packed song full of ideas and angst."

Drahla describe the video as: “a visual composition that reflects the lyric content of the track. Based upon abstracted ideas and thought, challenging standardised format and perception.”

Listen/watch to 'Stimulus For Living' here.

‘Stimulus For Living’ is the second track taken from ‘Useless Coordinates’ following the release of ‘Twelves Divisions Of The Day’ last summer. The album was recorded in Yorkshire in the second half of 2018, and sees the band’s sound continue to evolve with the addition of saxophonist Chris Duffin across the record. Since finishing ‘Useless Coordinates’ the band have spent their time touring the US and Europe, including stops at Eurosonic and La Route Du Rock this winter.

Blending wiry, dark post-punk with unpredictable art-rock, Drahla have established themselves as a formidable and distinctive band across their three sold out 7” singles and 2017's Third Article EP. Formed in late 2015, Drahla quickly found their identity in Yorkshire’s fertile music scene with their minimal yet robust bass-heavy sound. Their reputation as a fervent live act is ever-growing, with the band being asked to share stages with the likes of Parquet Courts, METZ, Ought, Buzzcocks, The Cribs and multiple festival appearances - including Meltdown at the request of The Cure’s Robert Smith.

Drahla will accompany the release with a run of tour dates. Tickets can be found here.

Pre-order 'Useless Coordinates' here.

“Go inwards and be bold.” This was Harmony Korine’s advice to aspiring creatives, during a Q&A at the British Film Institute back in early 2016. For the recently-formed Drahla, his words served as something of a directive, encouraging the trio to trust their own instincts, however far removed they might be from those of their peers. Three years on, the Leeds-formed band have defined their own vital subset of art-rock with Useless Coordinates, a debut album that’s as fearless as it is enthralling.

Speaking from her current base in south-east London with bassist Rob Riggs, singer/guitarist Luciel Brown recounts the record’s somewhat chaotic gestation. “Most of last year was spent touring, so we were squeezing writing and recording in from the beginning of 2018 until end of August.” In-between a headline tour, support slots with Ought and METZ, and multiple festival appearances - including at Meltdown at the request of The Cure’s Robert Smith - Brown, Riggs and Wakefield-based drummer Mike Ainsley managed 10 days in the studio in total.

It was the unsettled nature of the period that part-inspired the album’s title. “[Useless Coordinates] summarised all of our situations,” Brown explains. “We had all these shows coming up and we knew we needed to leave our jobs and change our living situations to make all this stuff happen. So we had all these fixed points and timelines, but at the same time we felt quite lost within all of that.”

Though they felt adrift in their personal lives, artistically Drahla thrived amongst confusion. Experimentation was integral to the creative process, with Brown and Riggs continuing to swap instruments as per their live shows, while collectively they were open to relinquishing traditional song structures in favour of adopting a more instinctive approach. Another integral development proved to be the involvement Chris Duffin of XAM Duo, who played saxophone on large swathes of the record and whose esoteric musical tastes were influential.

Via Duffin, they discovered the work of Japanese synth pioneers Mariah and saxophonist Yasuaki Shimizu. These cult figures figure amongst an eclectic array of musical touch points, from Glenn Miller and Swell Maps, to L.A.-band Behavior. As per their earliest releases, No Wave and post-punk remain integral to Drahla’s musical universe, evident in Brown’s brilliantly deadpan drawl, in the Gang Of Four-esque guitars on Gilded Cloud, and in Duffin’s skronking saxophone on React/Revolt, which draws parallels with the work of James Chance and the Contortions.

The set’s sharp angles, stark tones and claustrophobic textures are reflected in the album’s artwork. Designed by Brown and Riggs - as per all previous record sleeves and promotional videos - the minimalist, mixed media creation takes inspiration from Talking Heads and Gang Of Four album art, the work of American artist Cy Twombly, and the economical, regimented aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement. “Drahla came about off the back of needing an outlet for creative expression,” Brown explains. “So the whole aesthetic is hugely important. As important as the music.”

Whatever the medium, Brown’s interests lie in looking beyond the immediate to the abstract and indefinable. Her lyrics are developed from observations, notes and poems, and the fragmented imagery is spliced together to disorientating effect. On Gilded Cloud elegant snapshots from the golden age of Hollywood are juxtaposed with abrasive guitar textures, Pyramid Estate draws parallels between Ancient Egypt and the present day, and Serenity evokes the violent energy of a Francis Bacon painting. Beneath the abstraction are a diverse array of themes, including gender fluidity (Invisible Sex), city living (Primitive Rhythm) and artistic expression (Unwound).

The result is an uncompromising but deeply rewarding debut where the internal and external, cerebral and visceral coalesce to quite startling effect.

"(Drahla) make the kind of literate punk to kickstart a revolution in your mind" - The FADER

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Big Scary Monsters new compilation out now

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Album release: 'Let's Just Do It And Be Legends' by Big Scary Monsters
More info: Label website

Today, Big Scary Monsters announce and celebrate their 250th release with their new compilation 'Let's Just Do It And Be Legends'.

Featuring new album tracks from American Football, Martha, Delta Sleep, Pedro The Lion and more, alongside vinyl exclusives from Cursive, Kevin Devine, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Jamie Lenman, the 12" picture disc is available now, for whatever price you'd like to pay. There's no minimum.

Commemorating years of critically acclaimed releases, the exclusive tracks on the record include Kevin Devine's 'Outstretched & Never Ending', which is taken from his digital only split with Worriers earlier this year; Jamie Lenman's cover of 'Good Riddance' by Green Day, which was on a Kerrang covermount several years ago; A new exclusive taken from We Were Promised Jetpack's recent album recording sessions, and an outtake from Cursive's new 'Vitriola', which was previously only available via a flexi disc which came free with New Noise magazine in the US. Additionally, the Martha and American Football tracks are both new singles, which are included in the compilation ahead of their respective album's that will come out in March.

Speaking about the release, Kevin Douch (label founder) says, "We think our roster is the best in the world and, as such, it deserves shouting about, SO WE MADE A LOVELY COMPILATION FOR YOU ALL.

We're immensely proud of the extremely talented artists' we're lucky enough to work with and only wish we could've squeezed more of them onto this record. It's release marks the beginning of a very busy period for BSM, with loads of brilliant new releases, showcases at SXSW, The Great Escape and Truck festivals, in addition to the return of our own multi-venue East London event, Big Day Out, on 28th September. Running a record label is never straight-forward and nor should it be (the fact that this release's catalogue number is accidentally BSM250 says it all) but we absolutely love what we do and hope this pay what you want LP helps introduce lots of people to their new favourite band."

'Let's Just Do This And Be Legends' is available, alongside hundreds of other records and merch items, via the labels new website.

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Club Kuru new single out now

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Single release: 'Cherry Bloom' by Club Kuru
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Today, Club Kuru have returned with their new single ‘Cherry Bloom’. The single follows on from the band’s 2018 debut LP ‘Giving In’, which featured their critically acclaimed, BBC 6 Music B-listed single, ‘Memory Junkie’.

Taken from their forthcoming second record which is due out in spring 2019 (further details TBA), the duo’s new material sees them further explore their multifarious and eclectic sound, developing new textures and further pushing the boundaries of their meticulous and far-reaching brand of psych-pop.

Hear / share the new single here.

Speaking about the single, Erskine says:

"I was imagining a man in purgatory; he can see the events in the mortal world unfold, but can no longer effect them. His wife has a new man - a taller and more handsome version of himself. He sees his lost love living the life they’d always dreamed of. Now he is frozen in time; he lies deep beneath the soil, watching. Cherry blossom from a beautiful Japanese, tree falls over him."

As well as sharing their new single, Club Kuru have also announced that they will be supporting Jungle on a short run of shows in France this February. They will play the following dates:

  • 23rd Feb - L'Aéronef - Lille, France

  • 24th Feb - L'Olympia - Paris, France

  • 26th Feb - Stéréolux - Nantes, France

If the classic stereotype of psych is one rooted in stoned jam sessions and 40-minute noodling guitar solos, then this decade's most respected and forward-thinking proponents of the genre are ones coming from an altogether different angle. From Unknown Mortal Orchestra to Tame Impala, Connan Mockasin and beyond, many of modern psych's most exciting figures are ones ploughing a far more technical, intricate path.

Into this lane come London duo Club Kuru. Drawing simultaneously from the emotionally visceral '60s and '70s influences that they were raised on, as well as more formal classical training and self-taught production skills, it's this combination of drama and detail that sits at the heart of their heady, densely idea-packed output.

Last year, the band – Laurie Erskine on vocals and completed by guitarist Laurence Hammerton – released debut LP 'Giving In' – a two-and-a-half years in the making, entirely self-recorded and produced record of warm, enveloping psych rock that exemplifies all these ideas. After gaining 6 music play listing, a sync on HBO’s High Maintenance and having played a UK tour with a sold out show at London's Moth Club, they're now building on those foundations and have finished Album Two. As with most things, it took a series of refinements to get to this point.

Formed originally as a solo project several years back when Laurie decided he wanted to move away from the then-dormant London jazz scene that his music school education had naturally placed him in, it was only when Laurence came on board that Club Kuru began to fully cement itself in the sonic world it sits now. “Everyone teased me when you came to that audition that I'd fallen in love,” jokes the singer to his bandmate of their immediate connection. Over the course of a few years, Erskine then built and ran a studio in Manor House. Though the building was eventually knocked down (a classic London tale), his tenure there gave him the opportunity to master things on the other side of the mixing desk. “In the year or two we had the space, I learnt a lot about production and songwriting, and that enabled us to make the album entirely ourselves,” he nods. Then, when they moved out of that space at the end of 2017, the pair decided to move in together in South London – turning their living room into a home studio and throwing everything into a living-working, all-in commitment. “It was then things started to happen much more quickly and with a clearer direction” recalls Hammerton.

The space itself – an “old granny's bungalow” situated down a quiet street amidst a row of pensioners – is a fittingly quiet and closed-off place for the pair to make their hub. “No one knows what we're doing down there; it's just this odd little place but it's perfect for us. And as soon as we got there, everything started to work better,” Erskine continues. And with their roots bedded down and everything in place, Club Kuru started to refine what they'd began with their debut and hone their sound even further.

Rooted in the classic songwriting of decades before them, but the modern production of the current crop, it’s a sound that embraces ideas from a wide pool. They make a point of recording the majority of their work to tape using analogue equipment from a bi-gone era. Citing Neil Young and Shuggie Otis, Iggy and the Stooges and Hammerton’s father’s band Sands all as influences, the result, says the guitarist, “tries to find the inner point of the three circles of psych, soul and jazz.” Lyrically, meanwhile, Erskine is now turning the lens outwards. Channelling ideas of outsiderdom and overblown romance, his are often oblique tales rooted in the hazy shadow regions of the human psyche. "I've been reading a lot of John Fante's Bandini books,” he chuckles. "I just related to this really naughty boy who was really lost and thinks he's a brilliant artist but doesn't get any recognition. That really struck a chord with me…”

If the tortured artist path has somewhat rung true previously, however, now Club Kuru are treading stable and productive ground. With European headline shows set for 2019, tour support around France with the formidable band; Jungle and LP2 set for release this spring, they’re building on the foundations of something special. Just two men, in an old lady’s bungalow, create their own sonic world...

Praise for Club Kuru

"...both live and on record, one to treasure." - DIY

"Merging the old with the new, it’s romantic, swooning and dreamy all at once." - Crack

"This is great." - The Line Of Best Fit

"Somewhere between the torn 'n' tattered Mac DeMarco style and Tame Impala's focussed pop elements ... Something to cherish." - Clash

"...brings together influences from hip hop, and sugary electronica to create a kind of ultraviolet synth-pop." - Dummy

"...exciting, genre-bending sounds." - Hillydilly

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Sistertalk debut single out now

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Single release: 'Vitriol' by Sistertalk
Release date: Out now
Label: Family Portrait
More info: Band Facebook

Today, elusive North London art rock quintet Sistertalk have announced their highly-anticipated debut single, 'Vitriol'.

Formed by brothers Gabriel and Daniel Levy in 2017, the past 18 months have seen the band holed up producing and honing their recorded material. Despite having no music online, Sistertalk have quickly become one of the most talked-about new bands in London due to their incendiary live performances. Having sold-out multiple headline shows and played alongside the likes of Shame, Yowl, Kagoule, Crows, Metz, Whenyoung and Goat Girl, the band have earned plaudits from the likes of DIY, So Young, Dork, Fred Perry Subculture, Clash and more.

Variously described as something that "smashes early 80s electronica with powerful punk" (Dork) and as "taking cues from the psychedelic, post-punk and the experimental" (Clash), theirs is a sound that is hard to pin down. Entirely unique, expect howling brass, pulsating synths, and angular guitars - all fused together with a laser-like precision as sharp as their suits.

Hear/share ‘Vitriol’ via Soundcloud | YouTube.

Speaking about the single, frontman Gabriel Levy says, "Before we started this band, I wanted to write something from the perspective of the jaded

performer – someone who’s tired of folded arms, half-empty rooms and mid-set walks to the bar. What that says about my relationship with music prior to this project is uncertain, but it ended up imagined as someone’s very public onstage tirade against an industry which isn’t even present to hear him babble. I didn’t anticipate that it would be the catalyst I needed to form Sistertalk."

Their debut single, 'Vitriol', was written, recorded and produced by the band themselves. Rather than follow the conventional path of releasing through a label, the band chose to continue this trend of self-sufficiency and release it themselves. Full of thwarted ambition and unconcealed contempt, it is an impassioned cry for all those who have played the game but couldn’t win.

'Vitriol' is due out 8th February 2019 via Family Portrait.

The band will also play a headline show at The Windmill, London on 13th March 2019 - Tickets available here.

“With one of the most immediately engaging live shows we’ve seen from a new band all year, they’ve planted themselves firmly in our sights” - DIY

“Electrifying performances have seen the band being tipped as one of the leaders of the next wave of exciting emerging bands” - So Young

“With no music out, but an endless list of unbelievable live sets…this is a reveal you need to see” - Dork

"Take neoclassical soundscapes and hammer them into a dark and angular portrait. Imagine a bitter artist, after a sleepless three-day bender, finally putting pen to paper." - Fred Perry Subculture

"Genre bending at its most excellent" - Clash

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Fontaines D.C. debut album out 12 April 2019

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Album release: 'Dogrel' by Fontaines D.C.
Release date: 12 April 2019
Label: Partisan Records
More info: Band website

Over the last year, Fontaines D.C. have released four critically acclaimed AA side singles, all of which garnered considerable support both from radio, with the band A-listed at BBC Radio 6 Music for their last single ‘Too Real’, and from a vast range of international press, with the band featuring in a number of end of year lists and receiving high praise from the likes of: NPR, Rolling Stone, Q, NME, The FADER, Time Out, DIY, The Line of Best Fit, Dork, Clash, Gigwise, So Young, Stereogum, Paste and more.

Now, ahead of their sold-out UK headline tour in April, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. have announced their highly-anticipated debut album, 'Dogrel', which is slated for release on 12th April 2019 via Partisan Records. Alongside the announcement of their new album, the band have also shared a new video (directed by Molly Keane) for the album opener, 'Big'. Hear/share ‘Big’ here.

Speaking about the video, the band said, "we felt that great ambition was a sickness, and we got Grian's 11 year next-door neighbour to say it to you all because he's got the presence of a hundred frontmen."

Alongside the new album and single, the band have also announced a new EU/UK headline tour starting on 19th November 2019.

Fontaines D.C. have toured extensively over the last year supporting Shame on their UK tour and selling out every date their own UK headline tours in December 2018 and April 2019. Similarly, the band have just completed a 20+ run of sell out dates across Europe and Scandinavia, will support label mates IDLES on their US tour in April 2019 and are also set to appear at various festivals across 2019 including End Of The Road, Truck Festival, Y Not Festival, SXSW and more. Full list of tour dates here.

'Dogrel' is due out 12th April 2019 via Partisan Records and is available to pre-order here. The album will be released on limited edition transparent yellow vinyl, CD as well as all digital platforms.

About Fontaines D.C.

“Is it too real for ya?”

“We were encouraging each other to be who we believed ourselves to be all the time” - Grian Chatten, lead vocals, Fontaines D.C.

With the best bands, it seems to happen fast. The trajectory is steep, the progression seemingly preordained, inexorable. Assembling whilst still at college in Dublin a mere three years ago, from the ruins of early nowhere bands, and having discovered a shared love of poetry and a common zeal for authentic self-expression, the evolution of Fontaines D.C. has been swift, sure and seemingly effortless. Three self-released seven-inch singles (the first of which, “Liberty Belle,” emerged in May 2017) each a confident step onward from its predecessor, and a relentless schedule of live shows have seen them progress at a prodigious, yet wholly logical pace. Through around 200 dates in the UK, Europe, and the US, one word has kept resurfacing in their characteristically eloquent yet direct interviews: authenticity. “I think there's an authenticity to what we do, and people have been starved of authenticity for too long,” Chatten said in one early Irish radio encounter. Not youthful bravado, but a truthful reflection of the shared code that has guided these five young best friends thus far, with what has occasionally seemed a preternatural combination of insouciance and self-belief. This commitment to the authentic, in their music and in each other, is key to understanding the Fontaines D.C. aesthetic. In the course of “going round bars, drinking and writing poetry and romanticizing it to bits,” according to bassist Conor Deegan, the band pushed each other to create, always keeping a collective eye on keeping it real. “We’d call each other out” Chatten has explained, adding, “through each other, we found ourselves a lot quicker.”

Alongside this commitment to each other and the shared goal, another overarching formative dynamic was at work: Dublin City itself; more specifically, the disappearing Dublin embodied most readily in their immediate surroundings, the old working class neighborhood known as The Liberties. As with so many of our cities, the modern malaise of gentrification is steadily claiming vast swathes of the Irish capital. Sure, that's progress, but the underlying cultural cost of this air-brushing of an environment is something that has preoccupied Chatten, feeding into much of the Fontaines’ lyrical content, and indeed the early singles' artwork which featured long-gone, semi-mythical figures like Bang Bang and Forty Coats, real-life quasi-Dickensian characters, legendary in their own time but now becoming lost in the city's fading folklore. Chatten speaks of writing about “the dying romance of the city...the reason we love the Liberties is that seems to be where a lot of that action is happening,” It would be a mistake to view this as some sighing nostalgia, however. Rather, it speaks to the place of Fontaines D.C. in a broader Irish cultural lineage: the bloodline that is more Behan than Bono, evoking poets such as Kavanagh and Lynott, Chevron and MacGowan and yes, even Joyce in the expression of the universal and profoundly human experience through the prism of the local, the familiar, the real. As Lou Reed did with New York, or Ray Davies with London, or indeed The Smiths with Manchester. Write what you know, as the old advice goes. Or, in the words of guitarist Conor Curley: “From talking to these guys about literature, I saw Irishness as being easily romantic about what you see.”

It's a through-line that can be discovered in all the best of Irish art, whichever the medium, and the band's intent is drolly embodied in the album's knowing title: ‘Dogrel.’ To give it its dictionary definition (or close enough for now): crude verse of little artistic worth. The ribald rhymes of the docks, the factories and the early houses. The authentic poetry of the people, which any smart Irish poet knows it is foolish to think oneself above. For in it all is an ineffable beauty, something these young men understand very well.

Not that ‘Dogrel’ isn't rock and roll; it most assuredly is, the best example of the form that you are likely to hear this or any other year. It spits, it snarls, it snaps with the very best of them. But also it yearns, like the greatest Irish music must do. In songs like the almost unbearably sad “Dublin City Sky” there is a marriage of the lyrical to the poetic tradition that bears comparison not just with MacGowan's (the Pogues) best work, but echoes the exquisite heartbreak of Luke Kelly's timeless reading of Kavanagh's “On Raglan Road.” This is an example of one of the great strengths of ‘Dogrel’; its diversity makes it feel less like a debut and more like the work of a band who have long since proven their point, as I suspect Fontaines D.C. may well feel that they have; to the very people who matter above all: each other.

From the short, sharp opener “Big” (surely rivalling “I Wanna Be Adored” as an irresistible opening statement of self-confident intent) the album delightfully surprises at every turn. The singles sit fully at ease along much more complex, emotionally loaded pieces such as “Roy's Tune” and “The Lotts,” both examples of a bruised but unbowed melancholia which is the record's true genome. “Television Screen,” shares its title with the first ever Irish punk single (by The Radiators From Space featuring future Pogue and another of the great chroniclers of old Dublin Town, the late Philip Chevron) and it is a different beast again: melodic and stately, it's a perfect example of the untimely, almost unnatural maturity that this band has already attained. “Boys in The Better Land,” in another twist, perfectly captures the spirit of the album's title. Among a blizzard of evocative couplets, “He spits out 'Brits Out" and only smokes Carroll's,” stands out as as great a pencil portrait as you'll find anywhere. That Lou Reed thing again.

As a band, Fontaines D.C. are on fire throughout: witness the brief, urgent mechanical grind of “Chequeless Reckless,” which perhaps comes closest to a Fontaines D.C. manifesto: "A sellout is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money. An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of their thinking. A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they affect. A dilettante is someone who can't tell the difference between fashion and style. Charisma is exquisite manipulation. And money... is the sandpit of the soul.” Spat out by Chatten with palpable contempt, they are words that could come back to haunt him, but he's smarter than that, and anyway, somewhere Mister Wilde is wryly smiling.

‘Dogrel’ is a debut which is best enjoyed as a whole; it is very much in the grand tradition of the album as art form, just as this is a band very much in the classic band mold: great singles, an indefatigable work ethic and an utter aversion to standing still.

Reluctant to be viewed as part of any wider movement (“I get a bit uncomfortable with some of the comparisons that have been made,” says Chatten, as he must, though they inevitably shall be) Fontaines D.C. have delivered on their tremendous promise in a way that few bands have. It is to their credit and it augurs well that their collective eye is already on the next phase as they prepare for now to merely take on the world for real. To real.

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Delicate Steve new album out 1 March 2019

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Album release: ‘Till I Burn Up’ by Delicate Steve
Release date: 1 March 2019
Label: ANTI- Records
More info: Artist website

Steve Marion - the songwriter, guitarist, and producer who has made four studio records of primarily word-less, guitar-first music as Delicate Steve – is excited to announce his fifth LP today, titled ‘Till I Burn Up’. It will be released on March 1 via ANTI- Records; pre-order it here.

The new track ‘Selfie of Man’ – listen to it here – was recorded on the Oberheim OB-X synthesizer that belonged to Freddie Mercury.

Now nearly ten years into his career, Steve is a cult artist of his time. He has been called to record with his heroes (Paul Simon, Kanye West) and contribute significantly to his contemporaries’ modern masterworks (Amen Dunes, Freedom), all the while recording and releasing his own critically hailed work and sharing the stage with Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, Growlers and others.

The album name ‘Till I Burn Up’ comes from a line in Dr. John's ‘Walk on Guilded Splinters’ where Steve misheard John’s actual phrase "Tit Alberta" as "Till I Burn Up." But more than fodder for an album title, John’s Gris Gris, and records like it informed a new frame-of-mind for an artist who has historically set out to make a predetermined statement with every recording.

“The idea of this young freak making Gris Gris in LA, and nobody knowing what to do with it in 1968 ... He gave me confidence to be a little more freaky and abstract instead of quirky and nicely-packaged like my last album was,” Steve explained. He then went on to cite early records by Iggy Pop and Dylan and The Band’s electric tour that were panned at the time and lauded in hindsight. “There is a confidence that comes with abandoning the idea of wanting to create something that everyone might like to check out.”

“Delicate Steve seems interested in animating rock’n’roll’s most outrageous qualities, using his studio savvy to make it do all the things it can’t in real life.” – Pitchfork

“Vastly underrated not only as a guitarist but an accomplished composer and arranger to boot.” – Billboard

"The world's only guitarist that can claim Tame Impala, Death Grips and Paul Simon as admirers." - Uncut

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FUR debut EP out 14 February 2019

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EP release: ‘FUR’ by FUR
Release date: 14 February 2019
Label: Nice Swan Records
More info: Band Facebook

Following the release and significant interest, including playlisting at 6 Music, for ‘Angel Eyes’ at the tail end of 2018, FUR continue their impressive rise with the near perfect pop of their latest single ‘Him & Her’. Front man Murray says the song is: “about trust and distrust in a relationship. Trying to tell if someone trusts in you and how that can lead to you seeing them in a completely new light. Then, ultimately, the battle of deciding whether you want to be with them anymore.”

Stream latest single ‘Him & Her’ here.

Watch video for ‘Angel Eyes’ here.

The single is the latest to be taken from their self-titled EP, landing February 14th on Nice Swan Records. Nice Swan have quickly become one of the country’s most exciting new labels and landing pad for early releases for the likes of Sports Team, Pip Blom and Sweaty Palms. You can pre-order the band’s EP on limited 12” vinyl direct from the label here.

The band were formed after frontman Murray met guitarist Harry in a Fresher’s internet forum before their respective University lectures began and the duo instantly began writing songs. "I was very aware that going to a place like Brighton would definitely allow you to do the band thing," explains the singer “So when me and Harry met each other we thought: let's get it started as soon as possible so we're not wasting time.”

With bassist Tav and drummer Flynn soon completing the line-up, waste time they did not. Last autumn’s ‘If You Know That I’m Lonely’, is testament to that. Armed with a camera and a £100 budget, the group headed to woodland to shoot the video to the aforementioned single themselves.

Subsequently, and around 4 and a half million YouTube hits later, the band have landed support slots to the likes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Matt Maltese and more; their listenership is fast-spreading with praise - and even fan art - coming in from all over the world. "I think the one thing we really appreciate is people telling us we have a fanbase in places we never expected”, noted Murray on this. “Indonesia has become a big thing, and when people in Peru say there are whole groups of people out there that love us, that's amazing.”

It goes some way in showing the power of simply uploading a good song can have, even amongst the swathe of music constantly flooding the web. It pricked the ears of the likes of Steve Lamacq, an early supporter via his BBC 6 Music show, and Nice Swan Records; set to release the band’s debut EP next month.

Despite being relatively early in their life as a band, FUR sound like a band already capable of crafting intelligent songs; penning a particularly nostalgic strain of guitar music but making it sound fresh again. Taking the age-old love song trope and reinvigorating it, theirs are tracks that feel familiar and classic but with a vibrancy that’s entirely new. “The three most written-about things are love, money and sex”, mentions Murray. “One I’m not that comfortable writing about, and I don’t have that much money, but everyone’s felt some feeling of love and there’s something powerful about that. It’s the strongest emotional connection I can have with a song.”

Catch FUR live on the following tour dates:

Jan 22nd - London, Old Blue Last, Hello '19

Feb 11th - Glasgow, Broadcast

Feb 12th - Manchester, The Castle Hotel

Feb 14th - London, Omeara

Feb 15th - Brighton, Patterns

Feb 16th - Bristol, Rough Trade

Mar 2nd - Barcelona - Rainbow Machine Festival

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Liily debut EP out 8 March 2019

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EP release: ‘I Can Fool Anybody In This Town’ by Lilly
Release date: 8 March 2019
Label: Flush Records
More info: Band website

Recent single Sold played by Jack Saunders on BBC Radio 1 - "now I've got another new band that I think could be a pretty good bet to be the next big one out of LA. They are called Liily, and they have a wild garage-rock feel to their music."

Rising alt-rock band Liily, a crew of teenagers hailing from deep in the San Fernando Valley, are sharing their latest single ‘Sepulveda Basin’ today. The band says “the song is about the pleasures of living in the greatest place in the world: the San Fernando Valley.”

Listen to ‘Sepulveda Basin’ here.

Hear recent single ‘Sold’ here.

The new song follows their two breakout tracks ‘Toro’ and ‘Sold’, both of which will appear on their forthcoming debut EP ‘I Can Fool Anybody In This Town’, due out on March 8 via Southern California-based indie label Flush Records. The EP comes just in time for their mid-March performance at SXSW. The band is currently hosting a month-long residency at The Echo in Los Angeles, with their DIY underground festival moniker ‘Brekfest,’ every Tuesday in January by way of Flush Records, KLOS' Check One...Two, and Spaceland Presents. The Brekfest set also includes performances from some of LA’s finest, like Starcrawler, Skating Polly, Death Valley Girls, Plague Vendor, and Superet.

‘Sepulveda Basin’ sings of a vicious cycle in a sour, tumultuous relationship, the chorus croons, “In n out again. It was the best I ever had. In n out again. My life’s growing so sad.”

Inhabiting a diverse and sprawling city where both Odd Future and Jane’s Addiction somehow seem to have crossed their paths, and raised on an internet culture where kids can seemingly digest the entire history of western music in a matter of months, Liily makes music that draws on all the jagged stimuli of their upbringings to make something distinctly Los Angeles in 2019. It’s suburban valley music from the future, even as it calls back to 1991.

Liily’s local shows reflect that crazed manic intensity. Audiences of often under-aged kids turn up to dance and absolutely tear the place apart alongside the band. Having started out playing mostly house parties and warehouses, it’s only recently that this new youth culture has even entered into nightclubs.

Their music is the sound of a gang of teenagers kicking the shit out of every room they play, harkening in a new generation of bands with guitars, and setting out to build an entirely new culture where everyone can jump and in take part.

Liily has already received support from the rock community since their inception, with radio play in the UK from Jack Saunders at BBC Radio 1, and Amazing Radio. Local LA favorites KCSN and KLOS have been great supporters. The video for recent single Sold premiered exclusively on Spotify’s ‘Rock This’ and ‘New Noise’ playlists, since gaining nearly 400k views and over 1M streams. Meanwhiile, Apple Music playlisting has included hits on ‘New Releases (Rock),’ ‘Hot Tracks (Rock)’, ‘Rock Workout,’ ‘Breaking Rock,’ ‘New Rock,’ and ‘Best of the Week’.

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The Murder Capital UK tour starts 31 January 2019

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Tour announcement: The Murder Capital
Tour dates: January / February 2019
Label: Human Season
More info: Band website

The Murder Capital ended 2018 as that rare thing: a band tipped from all corners without having released a single song. In an age where people and bands overshare by default, The Murder Capital have been doing the opposite. If you wanted to know about The Murder Capital, you had to get to a show and see for yourself. That’s if you could get in. Based on the caustic strength of one live recording of ‘More Is Less’, which went viral on YouTube (watch), and feverish word of mouth from those who have been lucky enough to attend these early gigs, The Murder Capital have built a formidable reputation. In just over a year, they’ve sold out shows in their hometown of Dublin (to 400 people), played with Slaves, Shame and fellow countrymen Fontaines DC and seen the likes of the NME, Loud & Quiet, Dork and DIY back them already – with The Irish Times calling them out as Ireland’s best new rock band.

With ‘Feeling Fades’ the band fulfill their early promise – delivering a brooding, propulsive slice of post-punk recorded with Flood (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Foals). In one of their rare interviews so far, the band have stated they are driven by the genuine desire to affect cultural change, and when front-man James McGovern repeats the lyric “the now elapsed ‘round you and me, and it kept us all together” on this, their debut single, you start to believe that they’re capable of achieving just that.

Stream debut single ‘Feeling Fades’ here.

Watch ‘More Is Less’ (Live session) here.

The Murder Capital will tour the UK in January and February:

31st January – Liverpool – EBGB’s

1st February – Cardiff – Club Ifor Bach

2nd February – London – The Shacklewell Arms

3rd February – Brighton – The Prince Albert

5th February – Birmingham - The Sunflower Lounge

6th February – Newcastle – Think Tank? Underground

7th February – Glasgow – The Poetry Club

8th February – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s

They will also support IDLES at the band’s sold out show at The Electric Ballroom on 6th April.

“Murder Capital are one of those most oddly entertaining prospects – a punk band that can truly instill can’t-look-away levels of captivation.” - NME

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Guided By Voices new album out 1 February 2019

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Album release: ‘Zeppelin Over China’ by Guided By Voices
Release date: 1 February 2019
Label: Rockathon
More info: Band website

We are extremely excited to announce that Guided By Voices will be appearing at Primavera Sound Festival 2019 in Barcelona (May 30) and Porto (June 7).

This will be the legendary band's first return to Spain since 1997 and their first time ever in Portugal. GBV has played just one show in Europe (2011) in the past 15 years.

In celebration of the news, the band are sneaking out a preview song, titled ‘My Future In Barcelona’, from GBV's forthcoming epic double album, ‘Zeppelin Over China’ (in stores on February 1st). Pre-order the album here. Listen to ‘My Future In Barcelona’ here.

‘Zeppelin Over China’ is a major and majestic work in the GBV canon, spotlighting the scope and genius of Pollard's songwriting. With 32 songs in 75 minutes, the massive Zeppelin reaches lofty heights on its musical journey. Pollard continues to deliver endless invention and emotional wallop in 2 and 3-minute guitar rock gems.

Pollard has assembled his greatest supporting cast ever -- Doug Gillard (guitar), Kevin March (drums), Mark Shue (bass), Bobby Bare Jr. (guitar) and Travis Harrison (engineer) -- and this line-up's virtuosic talents spur him to his most ambitious work yet, a grand album of emotional resonance and narrative drama.

After well-deserved acclaim for the mind-boggling milestone of Pollard's 100 career albums, ‘Zeppelin Over China’ is a wonderful entry point for new listeners to experience Guided By Voices for the first time. Not resting on his laurels, Pollard’s tireless tenacity pays off with spectacular results.

If one song is not enough, the band also release their ‘Wine Cork Stonehenge’ EP on 7" and you can hear the effortless pop smarts of ‘My Angel’ from that record here.

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Swazi Gold new single out now

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Single release: 'Disco' by Swazi Gold
Release date: Out now
Label: Research Records
More info: Band website

Formed by the chief songwriters from Melbourne bands Crepes, Dreamin' Wild and Sagamore, Swazi Gold brings old friends together. Chris Jennings and Sam Cooper grew up in the Victorian coastal towns of Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, while Tim Karmouche was an inland man, hailing from Ballarat in the state’s north-west.

It’s this togetherness that’s at the heart of Swazi Gold’s debut album, 'Jehovah’s Whispers', out on 1st March 2019 via research records. There are six songs, two created by each member; through true collaboration and participation. Nothin’ but a democracy there.

The first single from the album is 'Disco', written by Jennings. He says the song is about, “moving to Melbourne and seeing how we’ve all changed. We’ve all come from these bands that were heavily influenced by the coast and were our hometowns. They’ve changed a lot. We’ve kind of stopped being from the coast,” he says.

Listen to Disco here.

Driven by a sassy disco beat, the song name-checks towns dotted along Victoria’s western coastline. These places, like Leopold, Portarlington, Bellbrae and Torquay, are the former homes of Swazi Gold. The final places, and indeed the final words uttered in the song, are better known international hubs—like Barcelona, London and Berlin—suggesting the mainstreaming of worlds in moving to the big smoke.

On 'Disco' and 'Jehovah’s Whispers', Swazi Gold draw on their collective love of Nigerian funk, American electronics, and quirky, melody-driven pop music to explore the spaces between conventional genres. Artists ranging from the likes of Haruomi Hosono and William Onyeabor to JJ Cale and Harry Nilsson form the reference points that the give light to the band's creative spark.

‘Jehovah’s Whispers’ was recorded in a single weekend in 2017 at the Cooper’s family home in Ocean Grove, and captures the deep friendship between the three members.

Lyrically, the remaining five songs address a range of themes, from the realisation of personal limitations to seeing a thriving country town fade to nothingness. There’s also a brooding one in there for anyone who’s ever been ripped off.

'Jehovah’s Whispers' proves the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And in amidst the love and equality, Swazi Gold’s debut album still packs a punch.

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Silverbacks new single out now

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Single release: ‘Just In The Band’ by Silverbacks
Release date: Out now
Label: PK Miami Records
More info: Band website

Dublin art-punks Silverbacks are storming back into action in 2019 with their new single ‘Just In The Band’ premiering at Stereogum, produced by Girl Band’s Daniel Fox and released through their own PK Miami Records.

Irish art punks Silverbacks delve into themes of false idolatry and deeper connection in their latest track ‘Just In The Band’ out Friday November 23rd on PK Miami.

Produced by Daniel Fox from fellow Dubliners Girl Band, 'Just In The Band' carries the same nagging unease as previous single 'Dunkirk' with taut drums and unrelenting bass underpinning seasick guitar arps and Daniel O’Kelly’s blunt commentary on the ‘problems down the back’. Feedback soaked and frazzled, it sees the band step further away from their indie roots and more into the groove - if the groove covered itself in petrol and dared you to light the match.

Silverbacks are a thrilling prospect, delivering their own louche take on NYC-indebted rock: slack enough for the tastemakers while also mining the gems of a pop vein, catching the ears of those with a taste for a good hook. Now a full-fledged five piece after graduating from the bedroom project of songwriting brothers Kilian and Daniel O’Kelly, they ply their trade with as much emphasis on the dry humour running through Daniel’s lyrics as the propulsive, triple guitar-led onslaught in their music.

Upcoming Irish shows:

  • December 1st: Other Voices 2018, Dingle (Hennessy Music Trail)

  • December 8th: Whelans, Dublin

The video for previous single 'Dunkirk' was created by Cameron Taylor, a childhood friend of the band's brothers Kilian and Daniel O'Kelly, who has done all of Silverbacks' artwork to date, and is "an important part of [their] direction." His video for 'Dunkirk' delves into their shared past: "The last scene in the music video features a typically grey and flat Flanders landscape where the three of us grew up. The estates in which we lived were once battlefields in the First and Second World War which isn’t too far off the idea of a beach resort in Dunkirk."

Dunkirk by Dublin band Silverbacks video on YouTube

Press reaction

"...infectious and breakneck" - Stereogum

"Dublin art-punks Silverbacks combat martial strife and boredom via tense, methodical beats and prickly guitar riffs." - Paste

"...jagged-yet-slick …modern post-punk" - The 405

"...another promising installment in Silverbacks’ early output, a suggestion that their forthcoming album will be an overdriven display of gratifyingly dense guitars and vocal hooks alike" - Stereogum

"...a crashing melodic chorus, kinetic drum fills, and tasty licks that would do Tom Verlaine proud" - Hot Press

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Hajk new single out now

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Single release: 'Keep Telling Myself' by Hajk
Release date: out now
Label: Jansen
More info: Band website

Today, Hajk have shared a brand new single entitled 'Keep Telling Myself' which has been described by DIY as "shimmering, woozy pop goodness".

The band's Preben Sælid Andersen has said that 'Keep Telling Myself' is, "actually a pretty dark song about trying to convince yourself that love still exists – not just between two people, but in general. This is also a sonic leap for us, containing a variety of sounds that we really enjoyed exploring."

Listen to 'Keep Telling Myself'

Pre-order album 'Drama'

'Keep Telling Myself' is the latest single to be released from newly announced album 'Drama', the first track 'Dancing Like This' can be heard below:

Listen to 'Dancing Like This'

Listen to debut single 'Magazine'

'Drama' – of the interpersonal kind – that’s what Hajk have turned their focus to. The band burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut album last year, garnering support around the world as well as making a name for themselves in their home country of Norway. Now, the highly anticipated follow-up 'Drama' has been announced for February 2019 – a record that both pulls at the heartstrings and urges you to dance away your sorrows. Lead single and first taste of what is to come arrives in the form of the bubblegum-flavoured new cut, 'Dancing Like This'. It's a lyrically melancholy and wide-eyed love song, with an addictive melody that looks to sugarcoat your tears.

Hajk’s 2017 debut received praise from the likes of Astrid S, Sigrid and Kimbra, as well as actress and model, Chloë Grace Moretz. International acclaim came in waves from Noisey, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, Drowned In Sound, V Magazine, The Independent, Indie Shuffle, and more, noting their idiosyncratic, yet supremely catchy pop tunes, while likening them to everything from Fleetwood Mac and Aztec Camera to Dirty Projectors and Little Dragon.

With their second album, 'Drama', a more self-assured band reveals themselves. Sharpened by more studio experience, they have once again produced the record themselves, taking extreme care over every second and minute detail of their work. Blending analogue and digital sounds, switching between programmed arrangements and live takes from the studio, drawing on three lead vocalists and an assortment of guest musicians, Hajk conjured up whatever was necessary to fulfill their creative vision.

The title 'Drama' relates to the drama of humanity and a somewhat naïve yearning for love in a world in which love can sometimes seem in scarce supply.

'Drama' is due for release on February 15th via Jansen Records.

PREVIOUS PRAISE FOR HAJK

"...shimmering, woozy pop goodness" - DIY Magazine

"This new Oslo-based band will make you feel so very fine" - Noisey

"The soaring vocals of Feist with the erratic percussion of Dirty Projectors" - V Magazine

Ones To Watch at The Guardian

"Hajk has delivered one of the best debuts of the year" - The Line Of Best Fit

"Crisp, clear, and smooth... street-ready guitar-pop" - Stereogum

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Maxïmo Park new album out 22 February 2019

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Album release: ‘As Long As We Keep Moving’ by Maxïmo Park
Release date: 22 February 2019
More info: Band website

Over three million album sales and multiple Top 10 records into their career, Maxïmo Park are today announcing that their live album ‘As Long As We Keep Moving’ will be released on Feb 22nd, featuring hits spanning their six albums to date. ‘Get High (No, I Don’t)’ and ‘What Equals Love?’ appear from latest album ‘Risk To Exist’, as does Top 20 single ‘Books From Boxes’, and the beloved ‘Going Missing’ B-Side ‘A19’.

Much-loved on record, the band are famed for reaching new levels of dynamism, energy and excitement in a live environment. Many fan-favourites are given such life in this new release. Mixed by Adrian Bushby, he captures the band at the peak of their powers, showcasing what has made them such a popular live act over the last 14 years. Accompanying the live performance on CD is its counterpart on DVD; a beautifully filmed, engaging and intimate set from the band, that really highlights the live strengths they have.

Lead singer Paul Smith comments; "It's been over a decade since our only live DVD, ‘Found On Film’. We thought we would make an audio-visual document of our band in its current incarnation, especially because we feel like we are at our most dynamic in a live setting.”

Pre-order it HERE (includes ‘I Want You To Stay’ as an instant-grat) and watch the live video HERE.

To coincide the release the band have also confirmed their first live outing for 2019, at Leeds Beckett University on Jan 10th. Tickets go on sale Friday 30th November at 9:00am, and will be available HERE.

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Jaws new single out now

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Single release: ‘Driving At Night’ by JAWS
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Birmingham dream-pop trio JAWS return today with the announce of their third and most ambitious album yet, ‘The Ceiling’, out April 5th 2019. Recording again with Gethin Pearson, who also produced 2016's "Simplicity", the album represents another musical leap forward for the band, adding new textures and further honing a sound that has been theirs since their inception.

You can watch the video (directed by Morgan Tedd) for the album opener and propulsive lead single ‘Driving At Night’ HERE.

Front man and guitarist Connor Schofield has the following to say about the new album and single:

“Lyrically ‘The Ceiling’ is generally about feeling a bit lost, I think as you grow up everything feels like its moving along a lot quicker; friends, relationships, life can all seem to move at 100 mph. Sometimes we forget that its OK to stand still for a bit sometimes and actually breathe. A lot of these songs are about dealing with that. Musically I think we’ve surprised even ourselves with it, we’ve gone down paths we haven’t taken before and ended up with something we’re really very excited about.”

“‘Driving at Nigh't’ follows the general theme of the record. I wrote it while thinking a lot about my hometown of Birmingham and I think it sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the record.”

Drummer Eddy Geach also said, "Basically that there's some things on there that people might not expect. Some that even took us by surprise, but also, classic jaws vibes."

As well as the new album, JAWS also announce a UK tour for April.

"The Ceiling" is due out 5th April 2019 - Pre-order HERE.

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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 2018

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Tour announcement: Paul Smith
Tour dates: November / December 2018
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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